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to them. Not that even these countries were fully known either; and several parts of them were not inquired into at all. Germany was known little farther than the banks of the Elbe, Poland as little beyond the Vistula ‘), or Hungary as little beyond the Danube; Muscovy or Russia perfectly unknown, as much as China beyond it; and India only by a little commerce upon the coast, about Surat and Malabar; Africa had been more unknown, but ?) by the ruin of the Carthaginians; all the western coast of it was sunk out of knowledge again, and forgotten; the northern coast of Africa in the Mediterranean remained unknown, and that was all; for the Saracens, overrunning the nations which were planted there, ruined commerce as well as religion. The Baltic sea was not discovered, nor even the navigation of it known; for the Teutonic knights came not thither till the 13th. century.

America was not heard of, nor so much as a suggestion in the minds of men that any part of the world lay that way. The coasts of Greenland, or Spitsbergen, and the whale fishing, not known; the best navigators in the world, at that time, would have fled from a whale with much more fright and horror than from the devil, in the most terrible shapes they had been told he appeared in ).

The coasts of Angola, Congo, the Gold and the Grain 4) coasts, on the west of Africa, whence, since that time, such immense wealth has been drawn, not undiscovered, but out of the reach of expectation. Coffee and tea (those modern blessings of mankind) had never been heard of; all the unbounded ocean, we now call the South Sea, was hid and unknown; all the Atlantic ocean, beyond the mouth of the Straits “), was frightful and terrible in the distant prospects, nor durst any one peep into it, otherwise than as they might creep along the coast of Africa towards Sallee or Santa Cruz. The North Sea was hid in a veil of impenetrable darkness; the White Sea, or Archangel, was a very modern discovery, not found out till sir Hugh Willoughby doubled) the North Cape, and paid dear for his adventure; being frozen to death, with all his crew, on the coast of Lapland; while his companion's ship, with the famous Mr. Chancellor, went on to the gulf of Russia, called the White Sea, where no Christian strangers had ever been before him. In these narrow circumstances stood the world's knowledge at the beginning of the 13th. century, when men of genius began to look abroad and about them. Now as it was wonderful to see a world so full of people, and people so capable of improving, yet so stupid and so blind, as ignorant and so perfectly unimproved; it was wonderful to see with what a general alacrity they took the alarm: almost all together preparing themselves, as it were on a sudden, by a general inspiration, to spread knowledge through the earth and to search into every thing that it was possible to uncover.

How surprising is it to look back so little a way behind us, and see that even in less than two hundred years, all this (now so self-wise) part of the world did not so much?) as know whether there was any such a place as a Russia, a China, a Guinea, a Greenland, or a North Cape! that as to America, it was never supposed there was any such place; neither had the world, though they stood upon the shoulders of four thousand years' experience, the least thought so much as that there was any land that way! As they were ignorant of places, so of things also. So vast are the improvements of science, that all our knowledge of mathematics, of nature, of the brightest part of the human wisdom, had their admission among us within these last two centuries.

1) Weichsel. 2) Wenn nicht wäre. 3) (337). 4) Körnerküste. von Gibraltar. 6) Umfuhr, umsegelte. 7) (284).

5) Meerenge

What was the world then before? and to what were the heads and hands of mankind applied? The rich had no commerce, the poor no employment; war and the sword was the great field of honour, the stage of preferment; and you have scarce a man eminent in the world for any thing before that time, but for a furious outrageous falling upon his fellowcreatures, like Nimrod and his successors of modern memory.

The world is now daily increased in experimental knowiedge; and let no man flatter the age, with pretending that we are arrived at a perfection of discoveries.

What is now discover'd only serves to show,
That nothing's known to what is yet to know.

B. Franklin.

2. On good manners. Propriety of behaviour in company is necessary to every gentleman; for, without good manners, he can neither be acceptable to his friends, nor agreeable in conversation to strangers.

The three sources of ill manners are pride, ill na re, and want of sense; so that every person who is already endowed with humility, good nature, and good sense will learn good manners with little or no ') teaching.

A writer who had great knowledge of mankind, has defined good manners as the art of making those people easy with whom we converse; and his definition cannot be mended. The ill qualities above mentioned, all tend naturally to make people uneasy. Pride assumes all the conversation to itself, and makes the company insignificant. . Ill nature makes offensive reflections; and folly makes no distinction of persons and occasions. Good manners are therefore in part negative: let but a sensible person refrain from pride and ill nature, and his conversation will give satisfaction.

So far as good manners are positive, and related to good breeding, there are many established forms, which are to be learned by experience and conversation in the world. But there is one plain rule, worth all the rest added together; that a person who pretends to the character and behaviour of a gentleman, should do every thing with gentleness; with an easy, quiet, friendly manner, which doubles the value of every word and

A forward, noisy, importunate, overbearing way of talking is the very quintessence of ill - breeding: and hasty contradiction, unseasonable interruption of persons in their discourse, especially of elders or superiors, loud laughter, winkings, grimaces, and affected contortions of the body, are not only of low extraction ?) in themselves, but are the natural symptoms of self-sufficiency and impudence.

It is a sign of great ignorance to talk much to other people, of things in which they have no interest; and to be speaking familiarly by name of distant persons, to those who have no knowledge of them. It shows that the ideas are comprehended within a very narrow sphere, and that the memory has but few objects.

If you speak of any thing remarkable in its way, many considerable people have a practice of telling you something of the same kind, which they think much more remarkable. If any person in the company is commended for what they do, they will be instantly telling you of somebody else whom they know, who does it much better; and thus a modest person, who meant to entertain, is disappointed and confounded by another's rudeness 3). True gentility, when improved by good sense, avoids every appearance of self-importance; and polite humility takes every opportunity

1) (165). 2) Ursprung. 3) (104).

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of giving importance to the company; of which it may be truly said, as it was of worldly wealth, «it is better to give than to receive.» In our commerce with mankind, we are always to consider, that their affairs are of more concern to them, than ours are; and we should treat them on this principle, unless ') we are occasionally questioned, and directed to ourselves by the turn of the conversation. Discretion will allways fix on some subject in which the company have a common share. Talk not of music to a physician, nor of medicine to a fiddler; unless the fiddler should be sick, and the physician at a concert. He that speaks only of such subjects as are familiar to himself, treats his company as the stork did the fox, presenting an entertainment to him in a deep pitcher, out of which no creature could feed but a long - billed fowl.

The rules I have laid down are such ?) as take place chiefly in our conversation with strangers: among friends and acquaintances, where there is freedom and pleasantry, daily practice will be attended with less reserve. But there let me give you warning, that too great familiarity, especially if attended with roughness and importunity, is always dangerous to friendship, which must be treated with some degree of tenderness and delicacy, if you wish it to be lasting. You are to keep your friend by the same behaviour that first won his esteem: and observe this, as a maxim verified by daily experience that men advance themselves more commonly by the lesser arts of discretion, than by the more valuable endowments of wit and science; which without discretion to recommend them, are often left to disappointment and beggary.

The earl of Chesterfield has given many directions, which have been much admired of late years; but his rules are calculated to form the petit maitre, the debauchee, or the insidious politician, with whom it would be totally improfitable, and even dangerous, to converse. My late 3) friend, the learned Dr. Delany, at the end of his anonymous Observations on Lord Orery's Remarks, published a short original discourse of Swift on Good Manners, which contains more to the purpose in one page of it, than you will find in the whole volume of the courtly earl, so highly applauded by ignorant people for his knowledge of the world.

We are apt to look upon good manners as a lighter sort of qualification, lying without the system of morality and Christian duty; which a man may possess, or not possess, and yet be a very good man.

But there is no foundation for such an opinion: the apostle St. Paul hath plainly comprehended it in his well known description of charity, which signifies the friendship of Christians, and is extended to so many cases, that a man can practice that virtue, and be guilty of ill-manners. Show me the man, who in his conversation discovers no signs that he his puffed up with pride; who never behaves himself unseemly, or with impropriety; who neither envies nor censures; who is kind and patient towards his friends; who seeketh not his own, but considers others rather than himself, and gives them the preference; I say, that man is not only all that we intend by a gentleman, but much more: he really is, what all artificial courtesy affects to be, a philantropist, a friend to mankind; whose company will delight while it improves, and whose good will rarely be evil spoken of. Christianity, therefore, is the best foundation of what we call good manners and of two persons, who have equal knowledge of the world, he that is the best Christian will be the best gentleman.

W. Jones.

1) (332).

2) (329).

3) Verewigt.

3. On Reading and Pronunciation. You are sensible ?) we have taken some pains, and with good reason, in the practice of reading with propriety. It is the matter of the last 2) importance in education, though too generally neglected: in public schools it is seldom thought of. Several years are spent in charging the memory with words, while few days are employed in forming the voice and judgment to utter them in a powerful 3) and agreeable manner. A scholar may be such in theory, when his head is stored with languages, and be can interpret the writings of the Greeks and Romans: but he is no scholar in practice, till he can express his own sentiments in a good style, and speak them in a proper manner. A mathematician understands the rationale 4) of musical sounds; but the musician, who charms the ear, and touches the passions, is he who can combine sounds agreeably, according to the rules of art in composition, and perform them well upon an instrument. The dead philosophy of music in the head of a mathematician is like the learning of a Greek and Latin scholar, who can neither write nor read; and there are many such to be found.

There are two great faults in reading which people fall into naturally; and there is another fault which is the work of art, as bad, in my opinion, as either of the former: it is common with those who are untaught, or ill taught, or have a bad ear, to read in a lifeless insipid tone, without any of those artificial turnings of the voice which give force and grace to what is delivered. When a boy takes a book into his hand, he quits his natural speech, and either falls into a whining canting tone, or assumes a stiff and formal manner, which has neither life nor meaning. Observe the same boy when he is at play with his companions, disputing, reasoning, accusing, or applauding, and you will hear him utter all his words with the flexures which are proper to the occasion, as nature and passion, and the matter dictates. Why does he not read as forcible as he speaks ? This he would soon do, if he were to consider, that reading is but another sort of talking. He that reads, talks out of a book; and he that talks, reads without book; this is all the difference: therefore let a boy consider with himself, how he would talk what he is reading, and then he will drop the formal tone he had assumed, and pronounce easily and naturally.

The sense of a passage depends so much on the emphasis with which it is uttered, that if you read without emphasis, the matter is dead and unaffecting: if you lay it on the wrong word, you alter the sense. Trite examples have been given of sentences which have as many meanings as words when the emphasis is differently placed. Thus, if the question were asked. Do you ride to London to-day? Place the accent on the first word, the sense is, Do you; or do you not? If you place it on the second, it means, Do you go yourself; or does somebody else go for you? Lay it on the third, it means, Do you go on horseback, or on foot &c. ? On the fourth, it asks, whether you go so far as London, or only part of the way? On the fifth, it is, do you ride to London or to some other place? If you lay it on the two last, it asks, whether you go there to-day, or at some other time?

This example is sufficient to show, that you must understand the meaning of a sentence before you can pronounce it rightly; and that if you pronounce it wrong, the meaning cannot be understood by another person. To hear any one reading in a single unvaried note or monotone, without expressing the sense, is like looking upon a right line which has no variety of flexure to entertain the eye; and if he reads with a false emphasis, he makes the sense absurd and ridiculous. Many instances have been reported to illustrate this absurdity. They tell us of a reader, who in deliver

1) Begreifen. ? Göchsten. ;) Wirksam. 4) Erklärung.


ing that passage of Scripture from the reading desk, «He said unto them, saddle the ass, and they saddled him,» unfortunately laid the accent on the last word; by which the sentence was made to signify that the man was saddled instead of his beast.

The want of art and skill, especially in a matter where it is of real consequence, is unpardonable in a person of a liberal education: but it is equally offensive to read with too much art. Ne quid nimis, is to be observed here as in other cases. Affectation is disgusting wherever it is to be found; it betrays a want of judgment in the speaker, and none admire it but the illiterate, who are not prepared to make proper distinctions. We are never more justly offended, than when an attempt is made to surprise us with unreasonable rant, with grimace and distortion, and such 1) other emotions as are not justified by the matter delivered, and destroy the effect of it with those who have judgment to see through the artifice. When ) a speaker seems to expect that I should be surprised, and I am not; when he shows me, that he is endeavouring to lead my passions where they cannot follow; it occasions a very disagreeable sensation. Affectation, though it is always out of place, and seldom fails to defeat its own intentions, is never more so :) than when it appears in the pulpit or the reading desk; where it is shocking to see the airs of the theatre, and to hear a preacher enforcing his observations with the voice of an actress expiring upon the stage.

What is unnatural cannot be just; and nothing can be affecting which is not natural. Therefore, in all reading, we must have regard to the sense, to the matter, and the occasion: then we shall read with propriety, and what we deliver, will have the proper effect.

One rule ought never to be forgotten; that the reader or speaker should seem to feel in himself what he delivers to others; si vis me flere, dolendum est ipsi tibi. The principle is certain, and even mechanical; for in all machines, no part moves another, without being first moved itself. This is the soul of all elocutions, with which a common beggar at a door has the powers of an orator, and without which, all the rules of art are cold and insignificant. A barrel-organ can be made 4) to play a most elaborate piece of music truly and correctly; but the sounds want that animation which they receive from the finger of a living player, who is bimself delighted with what he is performing.

For practice in reading, a plain narrative has not variety enough to exercise the different turns of the voice: speeches, reasonings, controversies, and dialogues are more proper; and there is great choice in the Scriptures. The speeches of St. Paul to Agrippa, Festus, and the Jews; his reasonings in the epistle to the Romans; the conversation of the Jews with the man that was born blind are all excellent to teach propriety and force of expression. Some of the Night Thoughts of Dr. Young are so difficult, that they cannot be expressed without some study and a perfect understanding of the sense; but when understood, they will contribute much to farther improvement. I am cautious of recommending speeches in plays; not only because the matter is too often corrupting, but because there is danger of falling from thence into an affected overstrained manner, which is always to be avoided.

The prose pieces of Swift are so correct and humorous, and are stored with such variety of speech, reasoning, and dialogue, that they cannot be read without advantage; and therefore I would recommend them to your perusal for this purpose. In a future letter I shall give you some advice about style and composition.

W. Jones. 1) (329). 3) (332). 3) (146). 4) (254).

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