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advancement of national education. We take the present opportunity to offer a few remarks concerning it; and in the outset we ask, does classical learning deserve special encouragement, as a branch of instruction in this country? This question we answer without hesitation in the affirmative, and proceed to give our reasons and express our opinions. Supposing the merits of the question to be known and allowed, so far as the classics are considered of importance in securing an early discipline of the mind, or esteemed as models of style, we shall pass rapidly over these topics on this occasion, and endeavor to show, that there are particular reasons, why the study of them ought to be promoted among us. We are not disposed to attribute benefits to the pursuits of the learned, which are not a consequence of them; nor to magnify the advantages, which they unquestionably confer. Be it, therefore, freely conceded, that in some things they have no very direct practical utility, that they do little towards promoting commerce or manufactures, and that they contribute less towards increasing the national population, revenues, or territory.

The noble characters, which distinguished the various epochs of the history of the ancient republics, have been justly held up as models for imitation; and the constant study of their writers has been commended by the judicious as the surest means of forming a correct taste, and learning the principles of a good style. And even here, on the points, which are by many deemed the strongest for the defence of classic learning, we would not represent Greece and Rome as the only mothers of great men, as alone rich in inventive genius or active virtue, There are poets, who have never tasted of Helicon; politicians renowned for justice, who never heard of Aristides; defenders of free governments, who have known nothing of the patriotism of the Gracchi; martyrs in the cause of liberty, who have never been quickened by the example, nor encouraged by the fame of Leonidas. Though the rules and models of fine writing are to be sought in ancient literature, the works of Franklin have still been extolled for their almost faultless simplicity; and at present our most admired moral writer, who has addressed himself to the best feelings of our nature with winning eloquence and exquisite purity of taste, is not, we believe, indebted to classic learning for the

elegance, or the chastened fervor of his style. We would not substitute ancient literature for the whole of intellectual culture, nor the greatness of the ancient republics for all that is ennobling in political history. The dispute respecting the comparative merits of the ancients and moderns is one of the most idle, that has been recorded in the history of letters. Let us be just to them both. Because Sophocles is another name for perfection in the tragic art, should not the imagination still be charmed by the more free inventions of Shakspeare, or the equally stern sublimity of Alfieri? The study of Demosthenes will but increase our admiration for Burke; and we shall never feel a deeper reverence for our own national benefactors and champions, than on rising from the pages of Herodotus.

While we thus disclaim any intention to ascribe to classic studies practical benefits, which they do not confer, or to exaggerate the good effects, which they are certainly calculated to produce, we may without fear of contradiction assert, that an acquaintance with them, and the discipline of the mind resulting from the exertions, which are necessary to gain that acquaintance, sharpen and invigorate the faculties, and thus form an excellent preparation for any active employment whatever. It will also be acknowledged, that these studies. furnish an elegant and suitable occupation for men, who have retired from the busy scenes of action; that they form a pleasing relief in the character of the soldier and the statesman; that Germanicus, for instance, among the ancients, gains more of our admiration for having polished and improved his mind by the study of Grecian letters; or, to come to our own times and country, that the distinguished diplomatist, who fills the department of state, though learning confers no additional claim to the gratitude of the nation, deserves increased respect for his attainments as a scholar.

As none will contend, that the classics should be taught as a necessary branch in military schools, or in those principally intended for the training of youth for the mechanical or practical arts, so none will deny, that the study of them essentially belongs to that higher education, which proposes for its object the culture of the intellectual man. If the study of languages is of moment, the Greek and Latin have the first right to attention, because they are the more ancient, and therefore the

advancement of national education. We take the present opportunity to offer a few remarks concerning it; and in the outset we ask, does classical learning deserve special encouragement, as a branch of instruction in this country? This question we answer without hesitation in the affirmative, and proceed to give our reasons and express our opinions. Supposing the merits of the question to be known and allowed, so far as the classics are considered of importance in securing an early discipline of the mind, or esteemed as models of style, we shall pass rapidly over these topics on this occasion, and endeavor to show, that there are particular reasons, why the study of them ought to be promoted among us. We are not disposed to attribute benefits to the pursuits of the learned, which are not a consequence of them; nor to magnify the advantages, which they unquestionably confer. Be it, therefore, freely conceded, that in some things they have no very direct practical utility, that they do little towards promoting commerce or manufactures, and that they contribute less towards increasing the national population, revenues, or territory.

The noble characters, which distinguished the various epochs of the history of the ancient republics, have been justly held up as models for imitation; and the constant study of their writers has been commended by the judicious as the surest means of forming a correct taste, and learning the principles of a good style. And even here, on the points, which are by many deemed the strongest for the defence of classic learning, we would not represent Greece and Rome as the only mothers of great men, as alone rich in inventive genius or active virtue There are poets, who have never tasted of Helicon; politicians renowned for justice, who never heard of Aristides; defenders of free governments, who have known nothing of the patriotism of the Gracchi; martyrs in the cause of liberty, who have never been quickened by the example, nor encouraged by the fame of Leonidas. Though the rules and models of fine writing are to be sought in ancient literature, the works of Franklin have still been extolled for their almost faultless simplicity; and at present our most admired moral writer, who has addressed himself to the best feelings of our nature with winning eloquence and exquisite purity of taste, is not, we believe, indebted to classic learning for the

elegance, or the chastened fervor of his style. We would not substitute ancient literature for the whole of intellectual culture, nor the greatness of the ancient republics for all that is ennobling in political history. The dispute respecting the comparative merits of the ancients and moderns is one of the most idle, that has been recorded in the history of letters. Let us be just to them both. Because Sophocles is another name for perfection in the tragic art, should not the imagination still be charmed by the more free inventions of Shakspeare, or the equally stern sublimity of Alfieri? The study of Demosthenes will but increase our admiration for Burke; and we shall never feel a deeper reverence for our own national benefactors and champions, than on rising from the pages of Herodotus.

While we thus disclaim any intention to ascribe to classic studies practical benefits, which they do not confer, or to exaggerate the good effects, which they are certainly calculated to produce, we may without fear of contradiction assert, that an acquaintance with them, and the discipline of the mind resulting from the exertions, which are necessary to gain that acquaintance, sharpen and invigorate the faculties, and thus form an excellent preparation for any active employment whatever. It will also be acknowledged, that these studies furnish an elegant and suitable occupation for men, who have retired from the busy scenes of action; that they form a pleasing relief in the character of the soldier and the statesman; that Germanicus, for instance, among the ancients, gains more of our admiration for having polished and improved his mind by the study of Grecian letters; or, to come to our own times and country, that the distinguished diplomatist, who fills the department of state, though learning confers no additional claim to the gratitude of the nation, deserves increased respect for his attainments as a scholar.

As none will contend, that the classics should be taught as a necessary branch in military schools, or in those principally intended for the training of youth for the mechanical or practical arts, so none will deny, that the study of them essentially belongs to that higher education, which proposes for its object the culture of the intellectual man. If the study of languages is of moment, the Greek and Latin have the first right to attention, because they are the more ancient, and therefore the

more nearly original, because they have exercised an influence over all polished dialects of later nations, and because they are in themselves more perfect. To this we add, that they are dead languages, beyond the reach of change; the seal has been set upon them; their principles of construction and the force of their words are unalterably fixed; and, therefore, they best serve to illustrate the abstract principles of grammar.

It is also indisputable, that these studies form the necessary basis of education for the man of letters, that no branch of literary history can be perfectly understood without a knowledge of them, that they are indispensable to eminence in at least one profession, and are, to speak moderately, worthy of being pursued by all, who value the culture of taste, and the enjoyment of eloquence and poetry. We may also add, that they have proved themselves the faithful assistants of creative genius, that many of the most tender and most original modern poets have been directed in their intellectual efforts by classic letters. Virgil has been the master of Racine, of Petrarca, and of a spirit of still higher order, of Dante himself; a refined and enlightened nation has applauded Sophocles once more in the tragedy of Voltaire, and Milton has drawn many of his boldest images and most inspiring thoughts from the same 'living springs of beauty.' As it has of late grown too much the fashion to speak of the ancient writers, as chiefly fitted to employ the curious in philology, it is the more necessary to mention, that they have served to enrich, discipline, and embellish the minds of those, who, in modern times, have created or perfected the literature of their respective nations.

But we would not be detained too long from our main design. There are particular reasons why classic learning should be cultivated in the United States. And the first of these we find in our very situation, in regard to the ancients. Their writings are their only monuments, to which we can have immediate access. We must read their books, or rest our belief of their greatness on the testimony of others. The nations of Europe have visible witnesses. Parts of Germany, Switzerland, and France, possess monuments, and works of art, full of instruction respecting the past. Traces of the Romans are still to be observed in Great Britain, local traditions concerning them are current among the people; and

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