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the radiance of the gospel, would have dispelled so soon that night of intellectual darkness which followed the subversion of the Roman empire: and, lastly, whether it be not prudent for a few individuals (unbelievers being still, as I trust, the smaller number in these parts of the world) to conform to the manners of the many, especially when those manners are universally felt and acknowledged to be more agreeable than any other. The influence of true religion, in humanizing society, and refining conversation, is indeed very great. And if so, I could not, consistently with my present plan, overlook it. Nor is it, in my opinion, possible for a philosopher, unless blinded by ignorance, checked by timidity, or led astray by prejudice, to enter into any inquiry relating either to morals or to manners, without paying some tribute of praise to that divine in stitution.

VOL. VI.

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REMARKS

ON THE

UTILITY

OF

CLASSICAL LEARNING,

Written in the year 1769.

1

Ego multos homines excellenti animo ac virtute fuisse, et sipe doctrina, naturæ ipsius habitu prope divino, per seipsos et moderatos, et graves, extitisse fateor. Etiam illud adjungo, sæpius ad laudem atque virtutem naturam sine doctrina, quam sine natura valuisse doctrinam. Atque idem ego contendo, cum ad naturam eximiam atque illustrem accesserit ratio quædam conformatioque doctrinæ, tum illud nescio quid præclarum ae singulare solere existere.Quod si non hic tantus fructus ostenderetur, et si ex his studiis delectatio sola peteretur; tamen, ut opinor, hanc animi remissionem humanissimam ac liberatissimam judicaretis.-Hæc studia adolescentiam alunt, senectutem oblectant, secundas res ornant, adversis perfugium ac solatium præbent, delectant domi, non impediunt foris, pernoctant nobiscum, peregrinantur, rusticantur.

Cicero pro Archia, cap. 7.

REMARKS

ON THE

UTILITY

OF

CLASSICAL LEARNING.

THE calumniators of the Greek and Roman learning have not been few in these latter times. Perrault, La Motte, and Terrason, arraigned the taste of the ancients; and Des Cartes and Malebranche affected to despise their philosophy. Yet it seemed to be allowed in general, that the study of the classick authors was a necessary part of polite education. This, however, has of late been not only questioned, but denied: and it has been said, that every thing worth preserving of ancient literature might be more easily transmitted, both to us and to posterity, through the channel of the modern languages, than through that of the Greek and Latin. On this subject, several slight essays have been written; the authors of which seem to think, that the human mind, being now

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