--- Section ---
[s0001] [s0002] [1.3] Reasons for an English Education. [s0004] [1.5] New Methods being always liable to Censure, $'t $is requisite to prefix some Reasons for this Proposal of an English Education, and for having the Youth of Great Britain taught the Grammar and Rhetoric, &c. of their own Mother-Tongue, before they learn Latin, or any other Language. [1.6] First then, Can any thing be more Absurd and Barbarous, than our present Method of Disciplining Children in the Initiatory part of Literature? To push tender Wits into the intricate Mazes of Grammar, and a Latin Grammar? To learn an Unknown Art by an Unknown Language? To carry them a Dark Round-about Way, to let them in at a Back-door? Whereas by Teaching them First the Grammar of their Own Mother-Tongue, so easie to be learnt. Their Advance to the Grammars of Latin and Greek would be gradual and pleasant: [1.7] But our precipitate Practice of hurrying them over such a Gulph, before we have built 'em a Bridge to it, is such a Shock to their Weak Understandings, that they very seldom recover it. [s0008] [s0009] [2.10] To Speak and Write without Absurdity the Language of one's Country, is certainly commendable in Persons of all stations, but to some indispensibly necessary. [s0011] [2.12] I appeal to common Sense, if the having a Grammar of our Mother-Tongue first taught in our Schools would not so far facilitate our Youths learning their Latin and Greek Grammars, as to afford 'em spare-time for Arithmetic, Astronomy, Geography, History, and other useful Knowledges, that would make them pass the Spring of their Life with Pleasure and Profit, that is now miserably worn out in Grammatical Perplexities. [s0013] [s0014] [3.15] $'T $is I humbly conceive evident from the Premises, that the propos'd Method of Commencing with an English Education would be a great Benefit to our Youth, whether continued, or taken off from School; to Adult Persons, that have forgot or never had School-Learning any farther than to Read; since by the help of an English Grammar and Rhetoric they may arrive to no small Accomplishments both in Speaking and Writing. [s0016] [3.17] Now the Reasons for and good Consequences of having our English Youth first taught the Rhetoric, as well as Grammar, of their own Language, being much the same, what I have to add shall be with reference to Both. [3.18] $'T $is contrary to Sense and Reason says an able Judge in this Case to put our English Youth to toil in foreign Languages, while our own Excellent Language lies neglected, as if it were savage and unfit to entertain the Liberal Arts and Sciences; whereas, if we would take care to polish and adorn our Language, we should find it as capable of being the Receptacle and Repository of Learning, as those that are call'd the Learned Languages. [s0019] [4.20] But after all, because Arguments from Interest are most persuasive I would ask those Parents, who have their Children bred Scholars chiefly for a Livelihood, In what Language is the Thriving Business of our Nation transacted? And, Whether a voluble English Tongue in their Head will not carry them farther in the ways of Profit and Preferment, than all the Learned Languages? [s0021] [4.22] Generous Spirits will always have a Concern for the Benefit and Credit of their Country: [4.23] And how far the Honour and Interest of Great Britain are concern'd in the Cultivating of Our Language, I presume not to say; only, That a neighbouring Nation has taken Care of Theirs, and found their Accounts in't. [4.24] The 'foremention'd Cicero, when advanc'd to the Consulship, was so far from neglecting his Mother-Tongue, that in the heat of Civil War between Caesar and Pompey, when he knew not whither to send Wife or Children, nor where to hide his own Head, he importunes his Friend Atticus in a Letter of State-matters to satisfie him, whether he ought to write ad Piraeum, in Piraea, in Piraeum, or Piraeum without a Preposition; [4.25] then adds these Emphatical Words, [4.26] Resolve me this Doubt, [4.27] and you will rid me of a great Vneasiness. [4.28] What! [4.29] This Prince of Eloquence, at the Age of 60, a Man of his Authority, in that Care for his Country, in that Jeopardy for Himself, and extreme Necessity of his dearest Friends, so Sollicitous for a small Criticism in the Grammar of his Native Language! [4.30] And can we give our British Censor just Cause to complain of the continual corruption in our Stile, that a Catalogue could be produc'd of lately-written English Books of 100 l. price, without ten Lines together of Common Grammar, or Common Sense? [5.31] Then how Unaccountable is it, that the Teaching a Good English Stile should be no Part of English Disciplin; and to put our Youth upon the study of Foreign Languages with the same Discretion that sends them to travel Foreign Countries, before they know the Constitution and Customs of their Own! [5.32] But here an importunate Question will be ask'd, viz. Why an English Education? [5.33] Had we no good Scholars made in the Old Way? [5.34] Yes, and good Masters of Stile too; never more than in our Days, and of several Professions, [5.35] especially the Divines of Our Church, whose Discourses with all the Charms of Foreign Eloquence have kept up the Dignity of Our Mother-Tongue by The Comprehensive English Energy, as the Lord Roscommon calls it; [5.36] particularly that Oracle of English Stile, who Extensive Sense still into Compass drew; Said what was just, and always something New. [5.37] The most Polite Ages of Greece and Rome pretend to but One Perfect Pattern of Eloquence; and that in Caesar only cou'd no Fault be found. [5.38] Now I think I may modestly ask, Whether that small Piece, call'd Observations on Monsieur Sorbier's Voyage into England, will not bear reading after the Celebrated Commentaries of Caesar? [5.39] Nor has the Province of Poetry been so ill serv'd, as not to answer the Character given by the same sagacious noble Critic, that- One Massy English Line Drawn in French Wire, would thro' whole Pages shine. [5.40] What shall we say then? [5.41] has our Censor complain'd without Cause, and given a false Alarm of Danger to the Language of our Country, that our Sterling English is got into the Hands of Clippers and Coyners? [5.42] I refer those that make a Doubt, to his Remonstrance of the Case. [6.43] I crave leave farther to assert, That the chief Criminals have been our late Pretenders to Wit, to whom we may say as Petronius to the Wittlings of his time, Gentlemen, give me leave to tell you, that you have been the Principal Persons that have murder'd Eloquence. [6.44] Our Stage-Buffoons from puny Actors turn'd Authors have at once endeavour'd to debauch our Morals and Dialect, by senseless Cant, and new Affectations of Speech, that have catch'd the Town, and infected Conversation; so that it concern'd the Censor of Great Britain to take care that the Commonwealth of Letters come to no Damage; which, like other States, when, arriv'd to Perfection, is then in most danger of falling to Decay. [6.45] J. B. upon the great Encouragement to the First Impression of his Grammar, has with indefatigable Industry consulted all the Polite and Learned Men that he and his Friends cou'd engage, in order to obtain such Improvements, as might make it approach near to Perfection in the Second Edition: [6.46] And, to render his System of an English Education Compleat, he has procur'd an Addition of the Arts of Poetry, Rhetoric and Logic. [6.47] In the Poetry is deliver'd not only the Versification and Numbers of our Tongue, but also Rules for the several Provinces of that Useful Art, which will fix in the Minds of Youth a true Judgment of Performances in that kind. [6.48] The Rhetoric shall not only be drawn from the Best of the Ancients and Moderns, and from the Nature of the Thing, but be deliver'd in such Terms, as may inform not puzzle the Learner. [6.49] The Logic will be freed from the useless Jargon and Methods of the Schools, and appear a Just Art of Reasoning; always directed to the finding out of Truth, and not for the support of Squabbles.