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“ plough, instead of the hoe, was likely to be an advantageous 6 change for them or not. Several parts of a very large “ field were ploughed, and the intermediate spaces prepared “ by their women with the hoe, according to ancient custom. “ It was all planted with corn; and the parts ploughed, “ beside the great saving of labour, produced much the “ heaviest crop; the stalks being more than a foot higher, “ and proportionably stouter, than those on the hoed “ ground."
By similar patience in letting these ignorant Indians have time to see the result of experiment, and to feel the force of conviction, these instructors persuaded them to make good their fences, and to build houses with shingled roofs and stone chimneys : by similar methods they taught the people the blacksmith's art, and introduced among them forges, the spinning-wheel, the saw mill, the grist mill, and other implements and machines suited to their condition. And if all this could be accomplished by a few missionaries among ignorant and prejudiced tribes of savages, what may not be done by similar methods among the civilized inhabitants of our own country? Whenever improvements in husbandry or mechanism are resisted, we must blame the manner in which they are introduced.
· Perhaps it may be thought, that much study and skill in
* See a Brief Account of the Proceedings of the Committee appointed in the Year 1795, by the Yearly Meeting of the Friends of Pennsylvania, New Jersey, &c. for Promoting the Improvement and Gradual Civilization of the Indian Natives.
mechanics would be necessary to enable a country gentleman to judge of the merit of new machines, and to explain their principles to illiterate uninformed neighbours and tenants; but in fact, the knowledge necessary for this purpose is so easy, and comprised in so small a compass, that a few hours well employed are sufficient for the purpose. It does not require any great share of science to know, that where the force of a man is fairly exerted, as in digging, thrashing, sowing, or boring, no machine worked by human force can be more efficacious than the simple instruments in common use; no levers, nor wheels, nor any combination of what are usually called the mechanical powers, can be serviceable either worked by one or any number of men.-It is easy to remember, that a good horse can do the work of from six to eight men, that a horse walking in a circle loses a very great portion of his force, and loses much more in a small than a large circle; that, on the contrary, where mere dexterity is required, with little múscular exertion, as in spinning, turning, weaving, &c. machinery is of inestimable value, in some instances enabling one man to do the work of hundreds. These simple truths, are applicable upon so many occasions, that it is wonderful such numbers of pretenders can succeed in duping the publick.
Besides a knowledge of the science of mechanics, the practice of some mechanic art will be a never failing source of amusement. Rosseau's pupil, Emilius, is taught to be a carpenter; this trade is a certain resource against that poverty, to which the highest classes may be reduced in the present disastrous times of change: but an agreeable occupation and amusement in the country, working in brass and iron is preferable. A carpenter or cabinet-maker is to be hired every where; but for optical and astronomical instruments, time-keepers, and various other works, accurate workmen cannot be easily procured : and as these employments require invention, as well as execution, they are peculiarly suited to a gentleman. Dexterity in the use of tools should be taught to children ; where this has been attended to, the skill necessary for constructing many parts of astronomical apparatus, if not every branch of that business, may be soon required. In recommending such employments, their necessity is not insisted upon. But he who has acquired a variety of rational amusements can best appreciate their value.
Various other branches of knowledge will be useful to a country gentleman. Without being a professed architect, he should be acquainted with the principles and general rules of architecture, and his ear should be familiar with its technical terms, that he may not be liable to be imposed upon by the apparent superiority, which a mere knowledge of these names gives to certain professional artists. A gentleman should be able to show an architect, who lays before him a plan of his house or his castle, that he understands enough of the business to prevent him from being easily imposed on, and enough to prevent him from being on the other hand suspicious, or unreasonable. The power of estimating, both as to the expense and time which any given work will require, must be of daily service to him. It will save him money, by preventing his workmen from cheating him, and it will give him authority over their understandings, which will ensure the prompt. and exact execution of his orders ; this will spare him much!
disappointment and vexation. Thus, by his personal domestic experience, he will be convinced of the truth of the axiom, that knowledge is power.
An affluent country gentleman should be skilled in ornamental, as well as in profitable improvements of land. He should have at least those principles of taste, which will enable him to lay out his own grounds, or to judge of the advice of the professional improver. Any ignorant man of fortune can pay a landscape gardener for laying out grounds for him, for directing where he should plant, and where he should cut down, where he should raise and where he should level the surface; but there is one thing, which he cannot purchasegood sense:
Jones and le Notre have it not to give.
People of fortune are every day led into enormous and absurd expense, by thus giving up their understandings and their purses to the disposal of improvers. Some of them are certainly men of genius and taste; but, even where they succeed best in making a work to wonder at, can the most beautiful grounds laid out by the skill and labour of another afford the owner half the delight, which he might have enjoyed, if they had been gradually formed by his own skill, and with some portion of his own exertion. The pleasure of self-complacency constitutes an essential part of the pleasures of taste. Hope, and varied employment, and the sense of daily progress in the execution of our plans, are some of the most agreeable and useful concomitants of taste. All these are lost to the country gentleman, who does not think and act. for himself. So many instructive and entertaining works have lately been published on the principles of taste, on the sublime, the beautiful, and the picturesque, and these are now so much the subject of general conversation, that ignorance of them must become every day more shameful. Young people should be exhorted to think as well as to read on these topics, lest they should learn merely to repeat what Wheatly, or Alison, or Price, or Knight have said, without forming their own judgment.
Is it necessary to specify other sciences, as well as tastes, which may be useful to a country gentleman? For instance, astronomy, which is indeed peculiarly suited to a country life; mineralogy, at least such a tincture of it as would prevent his being imposed upon by the finders of mines and minerals. A. slight knowledge on this subject would have prevented the ruin of many a fine estate, and happy family, who have fallen sacrifices to rash projects or designing adventurers.
Chemistry every day promises more and more to be serviceable to agriculture, and to all the useful arts of life; some acquaintance with its principles, and some general knowledge of its important modern discoveries, become necessary to a well-educated gentleman. His knowledge both of science and literature should in early life be rather various and extensive than deep or critical; he should have such a degree of information, as should make him wish for, and should enable him to acquire more: such a degree of information as should qualify him to bear a part in all general literary conversation, and should render him a fit and agreeable campanion for men