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able employments, would be no less a diversion, than any of the idle sports in fashion, if men could but be brought to delight in them, which custom and skill in a trade will quickly bring any one to do. And I doubt not but there are to be found those, who, being frequently called to cards, or any other play, by those they could not refuse, have been more tired with these recreations, than with any the most serious employment of life: though the play has been such as they have naturally had no aversion to, and with which they could willingly sometimes divert themselves.
§ 207. Play, wherein persons of condition, especially ladies, waste so much of their time, is a plain instance to me, that men cannot be perfectly idle; they must be doing something. For how else could they sit so many hours toiling at that, which generally gives more vexation than delight to people, whilst they are actually engaged in it? It is certain, gaming leaves no satis. faction behind it to those who reflect when it is over; and it no way profits either body or mind: as to their estates, if it strike so deep as to concern them, it is a trade then, and not a recreation, wherein few, that have any thing else to live on, thrive ; and, at best, a thriving gamester has but a poor trade on it, who fills his pockets at the price of his reputation.
Recreation belongs not to people who are strangers to business, and are not wasted and wearied with the employment of their calling. The skill should be, so to order their time of recreation, that it may relax and refresh the part that has been exercised, and is tired; and yet do something, which, besides the present de. light and ease, may produce what will afterwards be profitable. It has beert nothing but the vanity and pride of greatness and riches, that has brought unpro. fitable and dangerous pastimes (as they are called) into fashion, and persuaded people into a belief, that the learning or putting their hands to any thing that was useful, could not be a diversion fit for a gentleman, This has been that which has given cards, dice, and drinking, so much credit in the world; and a great many throw away their spare hours in them, through the prevalency of custom, and want of some better employment to fill up' the vacancy of leisure, more than from any real delight is to be found in them. They cannot bear the dead weight of unemployed time lying upon their hands, nor the uneasiness it is to do nothing at all; and having never learned any laudable manual art, wherewith to divert themselves, they have recourse to those foolish or ill ways in use, to help off their time, which a rational man, till corrupted by custom, could find very little pleasure in.
§ 208. I say not this, that I would never have a young gentleman accommodate himself to the innocent diver. sions in fashion, amongst those of his age and condition. I am so far from having hinn austere and morose to that degree, that I would persuade him to more than ordinary complaisance for all the gaieties and diversions of those he converses with, and be averse or testy in nothing they should desire of him, that might become a gentleman, and an honest man: though, as to cards and dice, I think the safest and best way is never to. learn any play upon them, and so to be incapacitated for those dangerous temptations, and incroaching wasters of useful time. But allowance being made for idle and jovial conversation, and all fashionable becoming recreations; I say, a young man will have time enough, from his serious and main business, to learn almost any
trade. It is for want of application, and Trade.
o not of leisure, that men are not skilful in more arts than one; and an hour in a day, constantly employed in such a way of diversion, will carry a man in a short time a great deal farther than he can imagine: which, if it were of no other use but to drive the common, vicious, useless, and dangerous pastimes out of fashion, and to show there was no need of them, would deserve to be encouraged. If men from their youth were weaned from that sauntering humour, wherein some, out of custom, let a good part of their lives run uselessly away, without either business or recreation; they would find time enough to acquire dexterity and skill in hundreds of things, which, though remote from their proper callings, would not at all interfere with
them. And therefore, I think, for this, as well as other reasons before mentioned, a lazy, listless humour, that idly dreams away the days, is of all others the least to be indulged, or permitted in young people. It is the proper state of one sick, and out of order in his health, and is tolerable in nobody else, of what age or condition soever.
$ 209. To the arts above mentioned may be added perfuming, varnishing, graving, and several sorts of working in iron, brass, and silver:. and if, as it happens to most young gentlemen, that a considerable part of his time be spent in a great town, he may learn to cut, polish, and set precious stones, or employ himself in grinding and polishing optical glasses. Amongst the great variety. there is of ingenious manual arts, it will be impossible that no one should be found to please and delight him, unless he be either idle or debauched, which is not to be supposed in a right way of education. And since he cannot always be employed in study, reading, and conversation, there will be many an hour, besides what his exercises will take up, which, if not spent this way, will be spent worse. For, I conclude, a young man will seldom desire to sit perfectly still and idle; or if he does, it is a fault that ought to be mended.
$ 210. But if his mistaken parents, frightened with the disgraceful names of mechanic and trade, shall have an aversion to any thing of this kind in their children; yet there is one thing relating to trade, which, when they consider, they will think absolutely necessary for their sons to learn, · Merchants accounts, though a science not
Merchants likely to help a gentleman to get an estate,
accounts. yet possibly there is not any thing of more use and efficacy to make him preserve the estate he has. It is seldom observed, that he who keeps an account of his-income and expences, and thereby has constantly under view the course of his domestic affairs, lets them run to ruin; and I doubt not but many a man gets behind-hand, before he is aware, or runs further on, when he is once in, for want of this care, or the skill to do it. I would therefore advise all gentlemen to learn perfectly merchants accounts, and not to think it is a skill that belongs. not to them, because it has received its name from, and has been chiefly practised by, men of traffic.
$ 211. When my young master has once got the skill of keeping accounts, (which is a business of reason more than arithmetic) perhaps it will not be amiss, that his father from thenceforth require him to do it in all his concernments. Not that I would have him set down every pint of wine, or play, that costs him money; the general name of expences will serve for such things well enough: nor would I have his father look so narrowly into these accounts, as to take occasion from thence to criticise on his expences. He must remember, that he himself was once a young man, and not forget the thoughts he had then, nor the right his son has to have the same, and to have allowance made for them. If therefore I would have the young gentleman obliged to keep an account, it is not at all to have that way a check upon his expences, (for what the father allows him, he ought to let him be fully master of,) but only, that he might be brought early into the custom of doing it, and that it might be made familiar and habitual to him betimes, which will be so useful and necessary to be constantly practised through the whole course of his life. A noble Venetian, whose son wallowed in the plenty of his father's riches, finding his son's expences grow very high and extravagant, ordered his cashier to let him have, for the future, no more money than what he should count when he received it. This one would think no great restraint to a young gentleman's expences, who could freely have as much money as he would tell. But yet this, to one, who was used to nothing but the pursuit of his pleasures, proved a very great trouble, which at last ended in this sober.and advantageous reflection : “ If it be so “ much pains to me, barely to count the money I would “ spend; what labour and pains did it cost my ances
tors, not only to count, but get it?” This rational thought, suggested by this little pains imposed upon
him, wrought so effectually upon his mind, that it made him take up, and from that time forwards prove a good husband. This at least every body must allow, that nothing is likelier to keep a man within compass, than the having constantly before his eyes the state of his affairs, in a regular course of account.
$ 212. The last part usually in education, li is travel, which is commonly thought to Travel, finish the work, and complete the gentleman. I confess, travel into foreign countries has great advantages; but the time usually chosen to send young men abroad, is, I think, of all other, that which renders them least capable of reaping those advantages. Those which are proposed, as to the main of them, may be reduced to these two: first, language; secondly, an improvement in wisdom and prudence, by seeing men, and conversing with people of tempers, customs, and ways of living, different from one another, and especially from those of his parish and neighbourhood. But from sixteen to one-and-twenty, which is the ordinary time of travel, men are, of all their lives, the least suited to these improvements. The first season to get foreign languages, and form the tongue to their true accents, I should think, should be from seven to fourteen or sixteen; and then too a tutor with them is useful and necessary, who may with those languages, teach them other things. But to put them out of their parents view, at a great distance, under a governor, when they think themselves too much men to be governed by others, and yet have not prudence and experience enough to govern themselves: what is it but to expose them to all the greatest dangers of their whole life, when they have the least fence and guard against them? Till that boiling boisterous part of life comes on, it may be hoped the tutor may have some authority; neither the stubbornness of age, nor the temptation or examples of others can take him from his tutor's conduct, till fifteen or sixteen: but then, when he begins to consort himself with men, and thinks himself one; when he comes to relish, and pride himself in, manly vices, and thinks it a shame to be any longer under the control