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seeing varieties of people and things, by forming acquaintance with polite, estimable, and enlightened foreigners, he will lay in a large stock of agreeable and useful ideas, which may serve for future employment and amusement in the many leisure hours he will pass in retirement. With these views in travelling, our countrymen will, it is to be hoped, see foreign kingdoms and manners without prejudice in favour of their own; and without affected, absurd admiration of every thing that is not English: an extreme into which some travellers have fallen by endeavouring to avoid the ridiculous nationality of others. A man of sense would not, on his return from France, build pisé walls in a country, where there are fine quarries, or abundance of bricks; nor would he, if situate in a part of England where both were wanting, resist the introduction of this mode of building merely because it is foreign : and at all events, he would not have observed with so little attention as to be obliged, after having resided in France or in Italy, to look into an English magazine for instructions how to practise at home what he saw every day abroad. Some, after a short visit to the continent, affect foreign manners, and convince their country neighbours, that they have been abroad, and that they are returned coxcombs. This folly is well ridiculed by Lord Chesterfield, in a well known paper in “ The World," describing an English family's trip to Paris; and it is attacked by Bramstone in that exquisite satire, “ The Man of Taste." The sense and discretion of a country gentleman are usually estimated, upon his return from his travels, by the simplicity of his manners, and by the objects to which he has directed his attention ; what these have been must appear by his conversation, by the manner in which he employs his time or lays out his money. After having seen the state of the arts, agriculture, science, and manners in other countries, he is now to settle in his own, and to endeavour to make himself a useful, respectable, and happy member of society.
If, at this period of his life, a young man, who has no previous knowledge of the duties of a country gentleman, comes into possession of a considerable estate, and has the entire management of his own property, he will find, that it requires uncommon prudence to guide even his benevolence. He will be in circumstances which are new to him; and he will be called upon to support a situation, to which, if the expression may be allowed, he has not served an apprenticeship. If, on the contrary, his father be living, he will have time to acquire some experience and knowledge of what is called country business, a sort of knowledge very necessary to him who is to manage a large estate. Locke has wisely exhorted parents to trust their sons with all the arcana of their affairs, and not, from short-sighted jealousy of those who are to be their heirs, to deprive themselves of the greatest blessings of advanced life, domestic confidence and friendship.
Under the guidance of a father and friend, willing to allow him a share of power, and capable of instructing him both by precept and example in the duties of a respectable country gentleman, how advantageously might a young man begin his life! and how much it must prepossess his neighbours in his favour, to see him introduced among them under such auspices! He would profit by parental experience, become acquainted with the characters of all those, with whom he is
afterwards to spend his life, his neighbours, tenants, or dependants, the magistrates and grand juries of his county, of which he is to form a member. In short, he would acquire the habits and local attachments, which are necessary to a rational love of our country and practical patriotism : he would take root in the spot from which he is to draw his sustenance and support, and he would be naturalized to the soil.
Among the pleasures and occupations of a country gentleman's life, agricultural pursuits claim, of course, a large share. By the opulent proprietors, of whom we are now speaking, farming should not be practised as a lucrative business : they should not be mere farmers, they should be agriculturists : they should look to the improvement of the science of agriculture, while others of more limited means, and of inferior knowledge, are compelled to attend to it only as an art. Gentlemen can afford to try experiments for the advantage of their tenants, for the benefit of their estates, and of their country. Whether these experiments succeed, or whether they fail as to the immediate object, they are of ultimate service; and provided they be not made rashly, or on too large a scale, they will not injure the private fortune of the experimentalist. Country gentlemen of large property cannot, if they wish to do public and private service, employ their money and time better than in ascertaining facts in rural economy, in establishing principles, instead of leaving so much as is now left to the two extremes of wild theory and narrow prejudice. Such men as these should defend the ignorant and imprudent from being imposed upon by the 269 quackery or folly of those who come forward, to use their own expression, with new inventions that are to perform wonders, or new lights that mislead the multitude. Gentlemen of sense and fortune may do great service by trying new implements of husbandry, which are said to save time or labour: those that are really useful will be brought into practice, without difficulty, by the simple example of their success; and failure in such hands, will expose the errours of bad mechanism with advantage.
This conduct will be serviceable both to the publick in general, and to men of science and ingenuity in particular ; for while it discountenances pretenders, it will give the lower classes of people confidence in persons of superior talents, and will teach them to show toleration for new inventions. When practical farmers hear great promises, and see afterwards inadequate performance; when they perceive the most costly and complicated mechanism often fail to execute what can be performed with ordinary implements, they are confirmed, even by good sense and experience, in their belief, that what they and their fathers did before them is best, that the old ways. are worth all the new methods. Obstinacy, or what is called obstinacy in the lower classes of people, often arises from partial experience; and the same persons, who are pertinacious in errour, would be resolute in what is right, if they had more ample information. Gentlemen of fortune and knowledge, who reside in the country, have means of instructing them continually, and of conquering, or rather dissipating their prejudices. Their inveterate contempt for theoretical farmers and mechanists prevents the progress of improvement in our country ; but this contempt cannot be vanquished by declamation : conviction must be brought home to the reason, and demonstration must satisfy the senses. This must be a work of time and patience, for which only persons of education and leisure are qualified.
. Excellent examples, both of what should be followed and of what should be avoided in any attempt to improve a people, may be found in the accounts which have been lately published of the proceedings of two sets of missionaries. What to avoid, may be seen in the conduct of the Methodist South Sea Missionaries, who began by preaching to the poor savages of things which they could not comprehend, and who blamed them for not having habits, which they had no means and no motive to acquire. The South Sea auditors, though naturally gentle and docile, proved stubborn, profiligate, and thievish under these tutors; of whom, in their broken English, they acutely said, “ Massas give us great deal of good “ talkee, but very little of knives and scissars.”
What to follow, which is sometimes so difficult a task to point out, may be seen to advantage in the proceedings of the Quaker missionaries, in promoting the improvement and gradual civilization of the North American Indians. They found savages averse from all sorts of labour; the Quakers began by cultivating a piece of ground for themselves, and, without exhorting the natives to industry, showed them its advantages. The introduction of the plough among them was judiciously managed. “ The Indians took,” says the journal, “ a very cautious method of determining whether the