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Spencer is an intimate friend of the Princess Ezterhazy ; she can introduce you to the acquaintance of an amiable and respectable lady, who knows how to estimate the value of persons of merit. I have nothing at present worth troubling you with. I reserve this pleasure for a future opportunity, and in the mean time am, with great respect and veneration,
Your very humble servant,
* C. REVICZKI to Mr. JONES.
Vienna, Oct. 16th, 1770. Although your last letter gives me no information of your intended destination after your departure from Spa, I conclude from your very silence, that you are now in London. This opinion is confirmed by the late receipt of your letter. I was deprived of the pleasure of hearing from you during my excursion into Hungary ; nor did your letter reach me till after my return to Vienna, long subsequent to its date, and when the subject of it was in fact obsolete. Most sincerely do I hope that your wishes may be gratified, and that after so much travelling, I may have the pleasure of seeing you at Vienna.
The French are light and frivolous, the Italians effeminate and enervate, and the Germans may perhaps be dull and morose; yet they are not on this account to be despised, for if nature has not endowed them with the more elegant qualities, they possess what is more valuable, and win the affections of strangers by plain dealing and simplicity of manners.
I give this testimony to the character of the Germans, without partiality, for I am as much a stranger in Germany, as I lately
* Appendix, No. 17.
was in England; and no one, at all acquainted with the character and country of the Germans and Hungarians, can possibly consider them the same, for they are not only dissimilar in disposition, language, and manners, but in their very nature. I will not however dissemble, but candidly confess the truth, that my way of life here is extremely pleasant ; nor have I any doubt that you, who are so accurate a judge of mankind, will one day readily subscribe to my opinion of this nation.
I smile at your declaration that you are changed, and that you hope to be more agreeable to me, from having renounced youthful gratifications, and devoted yourself to the cultivation of literature and the pursuit of virtue ; for my own part, I only wish to find you again precisely the same as when I knew and admired you in England, faultless and irreproachable. I confess indeed, that what I particularly valued in you, was the happy talent of blending pleasure and recreation, with the most intense study and thirst for literature.
Take care however, that you do not suffer the ardour of application to deprive you of the gratifications of life, sufficiently brief in their own nature; they are indeed so connected with literature, that the wise and the learned only are qualified for the true enjoyment of them. Take care also, that you have not hereafter reason to complain, in the words of Horace:
Ah why, while slighted joys I vainly mourn,
Why will not youth, with youthful thoughts, return ? The chastity of the Muses, and their enmity to Venus, is a mere. fable adapted to fiction ; for poetry delights to repose on downy pillows. I now turn to another subject. I have not yet received your translation of the Persian manuscript which you promised me,
and which indeed you seem to have sent ; what has delayed its arrival I know not, and will trouble you to enquire about it.
I have read again and again the beautiful English song, with your elegant translation of it in two languages, and I am delighted with it. I wonder however that you are so little satisfied with the Latin version of it, with which I am highly pleased.
The last letter was received by Mr. Jones, after his return to England. It may be regretted that his correspondence during his excursion to the Continent, should have been confined chiefly to literary topics, and that his letters contain no observations of a particular nature, on the characters and manners of the French, Italians, and Germans, amongst whom he so long resided. They exhibit however what may be more interesting to those who are anxious to explore his mind and feelings, an undisguised picture of them; and for this reason, I more particularly regret that so few of his letters should have been preserved. The account which he gives of his success in deciphering an ode of Confucius, is a remarkable proof of his ardour for universal literature, and of his invincible application in the pursuit of it. He had before acquired the keys of the Chinese language, and having accidentally discovered, through the medium of an inelegant translation, a treasure locked up in it, he applies them skilfully, and, with great perseverance, obtains access to it.
Nothing remains of the Treatise on Education, mentioned by Mr. Jones, except the plan; as it is short, I present it to the reader in this place. He will probably regret with me, that the Treatise, if it ever were completed, no longer exists. In the culture of his own talents, Mr. Jones appears strictly to have pursued the objects which he points out as the end of education in general, and to have attempted the attainment of them, by the means which he recommends to others. This little sketch was written in his twenty-third year.
PLAN OF AN ESSAY ON EDUCATION. A celebrated Eastern philosopher begins his first dissertation with the following period. The perfect education of a great man, consists in three points : in cultivating and improving his understanding; in assisting and reforming his countrymen; and in procuring to himself the chief good, or a fixed and unalterable habit of virtue.
I have chosen the words of this sublime author, as my subject for a series of essays, in which I design to discourse on education in its fullest extent, tracing it from its beginning with the elementary parts of language, to the great end proposed by it, that is, the ability to benefit mankind and ourselves, either in war or in peace, by action or by speculation. I shall, however, make a slight deviation from the definition of the philosopher, by fixing the good of ourselves and our fellow-creatures, as the primary end proposed by a liberal education ; and by considering the cultivation of our understanding, and the acquisition of knowledge, as the secondary objects of it. For knowledge must certainly be acquired before it can be conveyed to others; the consequence of actions must be known, before the good can be selected from the evil; and the mind must be enlightened by an improvement of our natural reason, before a proper distinction can be made between the real and the apparent good. Now, as neither this knowledge can be perfectly obtained, nor the reason completely improved, in the short duration of human life, unless the accumulated experience and wisdom of all ages and all nations, be added to that which we can gain by our own researches, it is necessary to understand the languages of those people who have been, in any period of the world, distinguished for their superior knowledge ; and that our own attainments may be made generally beneficial, we must be able to convey them to other nations, either in their respective dialects, or in some language, which, from its peculiar excellence and utility, may be in a manner universal. It follows, therefore, that the more immediate object of education is, to learn the languages of celebrated nations both ancient and modern. But as these cannot, consistently with reason and propriety, be taught before our native tongue, our first step must be to make ourselves perfect masters of the language of the country in which we are born.
In consequence of this analysis, I intend to distribute my dissertation into several distinct treatises ; on language, on the understanding, on knowledge, on the good of mankind, and on the good of ourselves, or private happiness.
But there are other acquisitions which must go, as it were, hand in hand with those above mentioned. I mean those which refresh and enliven the mind, and those which improve and adorn the body. For as the human mind, by reason of its earthly impediments, cannot at all times support with equal advantage its attention to abstracted subjects, but requires many intervals of relaxation, it is necessary that some state be found between labour and rest, to prevent the faculties from lying totally inactive. Hence proceeds the use of polite literature, and of the liberal arts, of poetry, of painting, and of music, which relieve the mind after any violent exertion of its powers, and prepare it for the reception of fresh knowledge with greater alacrity. And as the mind can neither attend to instruction nor receive refreshment, unless the body enjoy at least a moderate share of health, those exercises are essentially necessary, which tend to procure or preserve it, and