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Were this more practised, we should see young men keep the good of their country more steadily in view, and never dare to prostitute or even postpone it to self-interest, upon any occasion whatever; nay, they could not do it without a secret check from within, nor without the sharp stings of remorse for acting against the plain relations and honourable engagements of social life. Here it may be said that, by making youth good men, they will of course become good patriots. It is true, in some respect, that just private affection is the foundation of that which is public; but there are many sensible of the private relations of life who have little sense of what they owe to the public; and it is painful to perceive, that, in the education of youth, more attention is not paid to this kind of instruction.
The “dulce est pro patria pati et mori” [it is sweet to suffer, and even die, for one's country] ought to be early and firmly engraved on the warm, affectionate, and ingenuous hearts of youth.
It is not so easy for us moderns to take in our connexion with the public, because it is a larger whole; and the generality do not so much feel their influence in the state as the ancients did, whose forms of government were more popular, or confined to a particular city or province, where all could discern their immediate interest in public concerns, and the greatest part had some
share in the management; yet there are, still among us, several public images to suggest ideas of a PPBLIC, and, consequently; to excite public affections : gur public buildings, courts, halls, gardens, parliament houses, councils, fleets, armies, and the like symbols, which direct our view to a common good, in which all share in some degree.
Accụstom yourself, therefore, ingenuous youth! to attend frequently to these, and observe their reference to a public weal; that such ideas may grow familiar to your mind; that every thing you see and are coversant with may strike you with your relation to the public, and put you in mind of the duties you owe to your country. Whatever science, art, or profession, you apply to, you should consider the connexion it has with public utility, that your studies and daily occupation may run in a public channel, and that your private interest may appear not only connected with that of the public, but likewise subordinate to it.
Above all, accustom yourself to be strictly obedient to the laws, and submissive to the rulers ‘of your country, legitimately and constitutionally called to act under them, or put them in execution.
You ought to be convinced, and to feel, that your happiness is of a wider extent than mere persona pleasures or gains ; that you must be more or less happy or miserable as others are so; that your
best enjoyments arise from participation; that, in short, we find the most exquisite pleasure in the most extensive happiness, not only of our country, but of mankind; and that, therefore, the highest self-interest is to promote the greatest public good.
A youth thoroughly possessed of such principles as these, will not barter a single grain of honour for the most splendid titles ; nor betray his country, nor even meanly shrink from its service, though a world were to be the bribe.
EXTENSIVE UTILITY, ADVANTAGES, AND AMUSÉMENT,
IN all ages and countries where learning has prevailed, the Mathematical Sciences have been looked upon as the most considerable and interesting branch of it. The very name itself, Megmois, implies, no less ; by which they were called either for their excellency, or because of all the sciences they were first taught, or because they were conceived to comprehend the principles of every necessary branch of learning : and, amongst those that are commonly denominated the seven liberal arts, four are mathematical, viz. Arithmetic, Music, Geometry, and Astronomy.
But, notwithstanding their excellency, utility, and reputation, they have not been taught or studied so universally as they deserve; and it is Q 2
but within these few years that they have been paid any considerable attention to in public schools, or private academies; the UNIVERSITIES, indeed, have made a greater point of teaching them. This neglect appears to have proceeded from the following causes :--
1. The aversion of the greatest part of mankind to serious and close argument.
2. Their not comprehending sufficiently the necessity and great utility of mathematical learning in other branches of science.
3. An opinion that this study requires a particular genius and turn, which few are so happy as to be born with.
4. The want of public encouragement and able masters.
For these, and perhaps some other reasons, this study has been generally neglected, or only pursued by some few persons, whose superior genius and curiosity have prompted them to it, or who have been induced to it by the immediate subserviency of this science to some particular art or profession.
The great influence which mathematical learning has on philosophy, and all the useful branches of education, as well as the concerns of the public, ought sufficiently to recommend the study of it to the consideration and choice of advanced youth, before and after their leaving school; and