Essays upon several projects: or, effectual ways for advancing the interest of the nation.:
Defoe, Daniel, 1661?-1731.


WE have in England fewer of these than in any part of the World, at least where Learning is in so much esteem. But to make amends, the two great Seminaries we have, are without comparison the Greatest, I won't say the Best in the World; and Page  228 tho' much might be said here concern|ing Universities in general, and Foreign Academies in particular, I content my self with noting that part in which we seem defective. The French, who just|ly value themselves upon erecting the most Celebrated Academy of Europe, owe the Lustre of it very much to the great Encouragement the Kings of France have given to it. And one of the Members making a Speech at his En|trance, tells you, That 'tis not the least of the Glories of their Invincible Monarch, to have engross'd all the Learning of the World in that Sublime Body.

The peculiar Study of the Academy of Paris, has been to Refine and Cor|rect their own Language; which they have done to that happy degree, that we see it now spoken in all the Courts of Christendom, as the Language al|low'd to be most universal.

Page  229 I had the Honour once to be a Member of a small Society, who seem'd to offer at this Noble Design in England. But the Greatness of the Work, and the Modesty of the Gen|tlemen concern'd, prevail'd with them to desist an Enterprize which appear'd too great for Private Hands to un|dertake. We want indeed a Richlieu to commence such a Work: For I am persuaded, were there such a Genius in our Kingdom to lead the way, there wou'd not want Capacities who cou'd carry on the Work to a Glory equal to all that has gone before them. The English Tongue is a Subject not at all less worthy the Labour of such a So|ciety than the French, and capable of a much greater Perfection. The Learned among the French will own, That the Comprehensiveness of Ex|pression is a Glory in which the Eng|lish Tongue not only Equals but Ex|cels Page  230 its Neighbours; Rapin, St. Evre|mont, and the most Eminent French Authors have acknowledg'd it: And my Lord Roscommon, who is allow'd to be a good Judge of English, be|cause he wrote it as exactly as any ever did, expresses what I mean, in these Lines;

"For who did ever in French Authors see
"The Comprehensive English Energy?
"The weighty Bullion of one Sterling Line,
"Drawn to French Wire wou'd through whole Pages shine.

"And if our Neighbours will yield us, as their greatest Critick has done, the Preference for Sublimity and No|bleness of Stile, we will willingly quit all Pretensions to their Insignificant Gaiety.

'Tis great pity that a Subject so No|ble shou'd not have some as Noble to Page  231 attempt it: And for a Method, what greater can be set before us, than the Academy of Paris? Which, to give the French their due, stands foremost among all the Great Attempts in the Learned Part of the World.

The present King of England, of whom we have seen the whole World writing Panegyricks and Encomiums, and whom his Enemies, when their Inte|rest does not silence them, are apt to say more of than our selves; as in the War he has given surprizing Instan|ces of a Greatness of Spirit more than common; so in Peace, I dare say, with Submission, he shall never have an Opportunity to illustrate his Memory more, than by such a Foundation: By which he shall have Opportunity to darken the Glory of the French King in Peace, as he has by his daring Attempts in the War.

Page  232 Nothing but Pride loves to be flat|ter'd, and that only as 'tis a Vice which blinds us to our own Imperfections. I think Princes as particularly unhap|py in having their Good Actions mag|nify'd, as their Evil Actions cover'd: But King William, who has already won Praise by the Steps of dangerous Virtue, seems reserv'd for some Acti|ons which are above the Touch of Flat|tery, whose Praise is in themselves.

And such wou'd this be: And be|cause I am speaking of a Work which seems to be proper only for the Hand of the King himself, I shall not pre|sume to carry on this Chapter to the Model, as I have done in other Sub|jects. Only thus far;

That a Soceiety be erected by the King himself, if his Majesty thought fit, and composed of none but Per|sons of the first Figure in Learning; and 'twere to be wish'd our Gentry Page  233 were so much Lovers of Learning, that Birth might always be join'd with Capacity.

The Work of this Society shou'd be to encourage Polite Learning, to polish and refine the English Tongue, and advance the so much neglected Faculty of Correct Language, to esta|blish Purity and Propriety of Stile, and to purge it from all the Irregular Ad|ditions that Ignorance and Affectation have introduc'd; and all those Inno|vations in Speech, if I may call them such, which some Dogmatic Writers have the Confidence to foster upon their Native Language, as if their Au|thority were sufficient to make their own Fancy legitimate.

By such a Society I dare say the true Glory of our English Stile wou'd appear; and among all the Learned Page  234 Part of the World, be esteem'd, as it really is, the Noblest and most Com|prehensive of all the Vulgar Langua|ges in the World.

Into this Society should be admitted none but Persons Eminent for Learn|ing, and yet none, or but very few, whose Business or Trade was Learning: For I may be allow'd, I suppose, to say, We have seen many great Scholars, meer Learned Men, and Graduates in the last Degree of Study, whose English has been far from Polite, full of Stiffness and Af|fectation, hard Words, and long un|usual Coupling of Syllables and Senten|ces, which sound harsh and untune|able to the Ear, and shock the Reader both in Expression and Understanding.

In short, There should be room in this Society for neither Clergyman, Phy|sician, or Lawyer. Not that I wou'd put an Affront upon the Learning of Page  235 any of those Honourable Employ|ments, much less upon their Persons: But if I do think that their several Professions do naturally and severally prescribe Habits of Speech to them pe|culiar to their Practice, and prejudi|cial to the Study I speak of, I believe I do them no wrong. Nor do I deny but there may be, and now are among some of all those Professions, Men of Stile and Language, great Masters of English, whom few men will un|dertake to Correct; and where such do at any time appear, their extraor|dinary Merit shou'd find them a Place in this Society; but it shou'd be rare, and upon very extraordinary Occasi|sions, that such be admitted.

I wou'd therefore have this Society wholly compos'd of Gentlemen; whereof Twelve to be of the Nobi|lity, if possible, and Twelve Private Gentlemen, and a Class of Twelve Page  236 to be left open for meer Merit, let it be fonnd in who or what sort it would, which should lye as the Crown of their Study, who have done some|thing eminent to deserve it. The Voice of this Society should be suffi|cient Authority for the Usage of Words, and sufficient also to expose the Innovations of other mens Fan|cies; they shou'd preside with a Sort of Judicature over the Learning of the Age, and have liberty to Correct and Censure the Exorbitance of Writers, especially of Translators. The Re|putation of this Society wou'd be enough to make them the allow'd Judges of Stile and Language; and no Author wou'd have the Impudence to Coin without their Authority. Cu|stom, which is now our best Autho|rity for Words, wou'd always have its Original here, and not be allow'd without it. There shou'd be no more Page  237 occasion to search for Derivations and Constructions, and 'twou'd be as Cri|minal then to Coin Words, as Money.

The Exercises of this Society wou'd be Lectures on the English Tongue, Essays on the Nature, Original, U|sage, Authorities and Differences of Words, on the Propriety, Purity, and Cadence of Stile, and of the Polite|ness and Manner in Writing; Reflecti|ons upon Irregular Usages, and Cor|rections of Erroneous Customs in Words; and in short, every thing that wou'd appear necessary to the bringing our English Tongue to a due Perfection, and our Gentlemen to a Capacity of Writing like themselves; to banish Pride and Pedantry, and si|lence the Impudence and Impertinence of Young Authors, whose Ambition is to be known, tho' it be by their Folly.

Page  238 I ask leave here for a Thought or two about that Inundation Custom has made upon our Language and Discourse by Familiar Swearing; and I place it here, because Custom has so far prevail'd in this foolish Vice, that a man's Discourse is hardly agreeable without it; and some have taken up|on them to say, It is pity it shou'd not be lawful, 'tis such a Grace in a man's Speech, and adds so much Vigour to his Language.

I desire to be understood right, and that by Swearing I mean all those Cur|sory Oaths, Curses, Execrations, Im|precations, Asseverations, and by whatsoever other Names they are di|stinguish'd, which are us'd in Vehe|mence of Discourse, in the Mouths almost of all men more or less, of what sort soever.

I am not about to argue any thing of their being sinful and unlawful, as Page  239 forbid by Divine Rules; let the Parson alone to tell you that, who has, no question, said as much to as little pur|pose in this Case as in any other: But I am of the opinion, that there is no|thing so Impertinent, so Insignificant, so Sensless and Foolish, as our vulgar way of Discourse, when mix'd with Oaths and Curses; and I wou'd only recommend a little Consideration to our Gentlemen, who have Sense and Wit enough, and wou'd be asham'd to speak Nonsense in other things, but value themselves upon their Parts; I wou'd but ask them to put into Wri|ting the Common-Places of their Discourse, and read them over again, and examine the English, the Cadence, the Grammar of them; then let them turn them into Latin, or translate them into any other Language, and but see what a Jargon and Confusion of Speech they make together.

Page  240Swearing, that Lewdness of the Tongue, that Scum and Excrement of the Mouth, is of all Vices the most foolish and sensless; it makes a man's Conversation unpleasant, his Discourse fruitless, and his Language Nonsense.

It makes Conversation unpleasant, at least to those who do not use the same foolish way of Discourse; and indeed, is an Affront to all the Com|pany who swear not as he does; for if I swear and Curse in Company, I ei|ther presume all the Company likes it, or affront them who do not.

Then 'tis fruitless; for no man is believ'd a jot the more for all the Asse|verations, Damnings and Swearings he makes: Those who are us'd to it themselves, do not believe a man the more, because they know they are so customary, that they signi|fy little to bind a man's Intenti|on; Page  241 and they who practise them not, have so mean an opinion of those that do, as makes them think they deserve no belief.

Then, they are the Spoilers and Destroyers of a man's Discourse, and turn it into perfect Nonsense; and to make it out, I must de|scend a little to Particulars, and de|sire the Reader a little to foul his Mouth with the Bruitish, Sordid, Sensless Expressions, which some Gen|tlemen call Polite English, and speak|ing with a Grace.

Some part of them indeed, tho' they are foolish enough, as Ef|fects of a mad, inconsiderate Rage, are yet English; as when a man swears he will do this or that, and it may be adds, God damn him he will; that is, God damn him if he don't: This, tho' it be horrid in another sense, yet may Page  242 be read in writing, and is English: But what Language is this?

Jack, God damn me Jack, How do'st do, thou little dear Son of a Whore? How hast thou done this long time, by God?—And then they kiss; and the t'other, as lewd as himself, goes on;

Dear Tom, I am glad to see thee with all my heart, let me dye. Come, let us go take a Bottle, we must not part so; pri|thee let's go and be drunk by God.—

This is some of our new florid Language, and the Graces and Deli|cacies of Stile, which if it were put into Latin, I wou'd fain know which is the principal Verb.

But for a little further remembrance of this Impertinence, go among the Gamesters, and there nothing is more frequent than, God damn the Dice, or God damn the Bowls.

Page  243 Among the Sportsmen 'tis, God damn the Hounds, when they are at a Fault; or God damn the Horse, if he bau'ks a Leap: They call men Sons of Bitches, and Dogs, Sons of Whores: And innumerable Instances may be given of the like Gallantry of Lan|guage, grown now so much a Cu|stom.

'Tis true, Custom is allow'd to be our best Authority for Words, and 'tis fit it should be so; but Reason must be the Judge of Sense in Language, and Custom can never prevail over it. Words, indeed, like Ceremonies in Re|ligion, may be submitted to the Ma|gistrate; but Sense, like the Essentials, is positive, unalterable, and can|not be submitted to any Jurisdiction; 'tis a Law to it self, 'tis ever the same, even an Act of Parliament cannot al|ter it.

Page  244Words, and even Usages in Stile, may be alter'd by Custom, and Pro|prieties in Speech differ accord|ing to the several Dialects of the Countrey, and according to the dif|ferent manner in which several Lan|guages do severally express themselves.

But there is a direct Signification of Words, or a Cadence in Expression, which we call speaking Sense; this, like Truth, is sullen and the same, ever was and will be so, in what manner, and in what Language soever 'tis ex|press'd. Words without it, are only Noise, which any Brute can make as well as we, and Birds much better; for Words without Sense make but dull Musick. Thus a man may speak in Words, but perfectly unintelligible as to Meaning; he may talk a great deal, but say nothing. But 'tis the proper Position of Words, adapted to their Significations, which makes them in|telligible, Page  245 and conveys the Meaning of the Speaker to the Understanding of the Hearer; the contrary to which we call Nonsense; and there is a su|perfluous crowding in of insignificant Words, more than are needful to ex|press the thing intended, and this is Impertinence; and that again car|ry'd to an extreme, is ridiculous.

Thus when our Discourse is inter|lin'd with needless Oaths, Curses, and long Parentheses of Imprecations, and with some of very indirect significati|on, they become very Impertinent; and these being run to the extravagant de|gree instanc'd in before, become per|fectly ridiculous and Nonsense; and without forming it into an Argument, it appears to be Nonsense by the Con|tradictoriness; and it appears Imperti|nent, by the Insignificancy of the Ex|pression.

Page  246 After all, how little it becomes a Gentleman to debauch his Mouth with Foul Language, I refer to themselves in a few Particulars.

This Vicious Custom has prevail'd upon Good Manners too far; but yet there are some degrees to which it is not yet arriv'd.

As first, The worst Slaves to this Folly will neither teach it to, nor ap|prove of it in their Children: Some of the most careless will indeed nega|tively teach it, by not reproving them for it; but sure no man ever order'd his Children to be taught to curse or swear.

2. The Grace of Swearing has not obtain'd to be a Mode yet among the Women; God damn ye, does not sit well upon a Female Tongue; it seems to be a Masculine Vice, which the Women are not arriv'd to yet; and I wou'd only desire those Gentlemen who pra|ctice it themselves, to hear a Woman Page  247 swear: It has no Musick at all there, I am sure; and just as little does it be|come any Gentleman, if he wou'd suffer himself to be judg'd by all the Laws of Sense or Good Manners in the world.

'Tis a sensless, foolish, ridiculous Practice; 'tis a Mean to no manner of End; 'tis Words spoken which sig|nify nothing; 'tis Folly acted for the sake of Folly, which is a thing even the Devil himself don't practice: The Devil does evil, we say, but it is for some design, either to seduce others, or, as some Divines say, from a Prin|ciple of Enmity to his Maker: Men Steal for Gain, and Murther to gratify their Avarice or Revenge; Whore|doms and Ravishments, Adulteries and Sodomy, are committed to please a vicious Appetite, and have always alluring Objects; and generally all Vices have some previous Cause, and Page  248 some visible Tendency; but this, of all Vicious Practices, seems the most Nonsensical and Ridiculous; there is neither Pleasure nor Profit; no Design pursued, no Lust gratified, but is a mere Frenzy of the Tongue, a Vo|mit of the Brain, which works by putting a Contrary upon the Course of Nature.

Again, other Vices men find some Reason or other to give for, or Ex|cuses to palliate; men plead Want, to extenuate Theft; and strong Provo|cations, to excuse Murthers; and many a lame Excuse they will bring for Whoring; but this sordid Habit, even those that practise it will own to be a Crime, and make no Excuse for it; and the most I cou'd ever hear a man say for it, was, That he cou'd not help it.

Besides, as 'tis an inexcusable Im|pertinence, so 'tis a Breach upon Good Manners and Conversation, for a man Page  249 to impose the Clamour of his Oaths upon the Company he converses with; if there be any one person in the Company that does not approve the way, 'tis an imposing upon him with a freedom beyond Civility; as if a man shou'd Fart before a Justice, or talk Bawdy before the Queen, or the like.

To suppress this, Laws, Acts of Parliaments, and Proclamations, are Bawbles and Banters, the Laughter of the Lewd Party, and never had, as I cou'd perceive, any Influence upon the Practice; nor are any of our Ma|gistrates fond or forward of putting them in execution.

It must be Example, not Penalties, must sink this Crime; and if the Gen|tlemen of England wou'd once drop it as a Mode, the Vice is so foolish and ridiculous in it self, 'twou'd soon grow odious and out of fashion.

Page  250 This Work such an Academy might begin; and I believe no|thing wou'd so soon explode the Practice, as the Publick Discou|ragement of it by such a Society. Where all our Customs and Habits both in Speech and Behaviour, shou'd receive an Authority. All the Disputes about Precedency of Wit, with the Manners, Cu|stoms, and Usages of the Theatre wou'd be decided here; Plays shou'd pass here before they were Acted, and the Criticks might give their Censures, and damn at their pleasure; nothing wou'd ever dye which once receiv'd Life at this Ori|ginal: The Two Theatres might end their Jangle, and dispute for Priority no more; Wit and Real Worth shou'd decide the Contro|versy, and here shou'd be the In|fallible Judge.

Page  251
The Strife wou'd then be only to do well,
And he alone be crown'd who did excell.
Ye call'd them Whigs, who from the Church withdrew,
But now we have our Stage-Dissenters too;
Who scruple Ceremonies of Pit and Box,
And very few are Sound and Orthodox:
But love Disorder so, and are so nice,
They hate Conformity, tho' 'tis in Vice.
Some are for Patent-Hierarchy; and some,
Like the old Gauls, seek out for Elbow|room;
Their Arbitrary Governors disown,
And build a Conventicle-Stage o' their own.
Phanatick Beaus make up the gawdy Show,
And Wit alone appears Incognito.
Wit and Religion suffer equal Fate;
Neglect of both attends the warm Debate.
For while the Parties strive and counter|mine,
Wit will as well as Piety decline.

Page  252 Next to this, which I esteem as the most Noble and most Useful Proposal in this Book, I proceed to Academies for Military Studies; and because I de|sign rather to express my meaning, than make a large Book, I bring them all into one Chapter.

I allow the War is the best Acade|my in the World, where men study by Necessity, and practise by Force, and both to some purpose, with Duty in the Action, and a Reward in the End; and 'tis evident to any man who knows the World, or has made any Observations on things, what an Improvement the English Nation has made, during this Seven Years War.

But should you ask how dear it first cost, and what a condition Eng|land was in for a War at first on this account; how almost all our Engineers and Great Officers were Foreigners, it Page  253 may put us in mind how necessary it is to have our people so practis'd in the Arts of War, that they may not be Novices when they come to the Expe|riment.

I have heard some, who were no great Friends to the Government, take advantage to reflect upon the King in the beginning of his Wars in Ireland, That he did not care to trust the Eng|lish, but all his Great Officers, his Ge|nerals, and Engineers were Foreigners. And tho' the Case was so plain as to need no Answer, and the Persons such as deserv'd none, yet this must be ob|serv'd, tho' twas very strange, That when the present King took Possession of this Kingdom, and seeing himself entring upon the bloodiest War this Age has known, began to regulate his Army, he found but very few among the whole Martial Part of the Nation fit to make use of for General Officers; and Page  254 was forced to employ Strangers, and make them Englishmen; as the Counts Schomberg, Ginkel, Solms, Ruvigny, and others: And yet it is to be observ'd also, that all the Encouragement imaginable was given to the English Gentlemen, to qualify themselves, by giving no less than Sixteen Regiments to Gentlemen of Good Families, who had never been in any Service, and knew but very little how to command them: Of these several are now in the Army, and have the Rewards suitable to their Merit, being Major-Generals, Briga|deers, and the like.

If then a long Peace had so reduc'd us to a degree of Ignorance that might have been dangerous to us, had we not a King, who is always follow'd by the greatest Masters in the World, Who knows what Peace and different Go|vernors may bring us to again?

Page  255 The manner of making War dif|fers perhaps as much as any thing in the world; and if we look no further back than our Civil Wars; 'tis plain a Ge|neral then wou'd hardly be fit to be a Collonel now, saving his Capacity of Improvement. The Defensive Art al|ways follows the Offensive; and tho' the latter has extremely got the start of the former in this Age, yet the other is mightily improving also.

We saw in England a bloody Civil War, where, according to the old Temper of the English, fighting was the Business. To have an Army ly|ing in such a Post, as not to be able to come at them, was a thing never heard of in that War; even the weak|est Party would always come out and fight; Dunbar Fight, for instance; and they that were beaten to day, would fight again to morrow, and seek one another out with such Eager|ness, Page  256 as if they had been in haste to have their Brains knock'd out. En|campments, Intrenchments, Batteries, Counter-marchings, fortifying of Camps, and Cannonadings, were strange, and almost unknown things, and whole Campaigns were past over, and hardly any Tents made use of. Battels, Surprizes, Storming of Towns, Skirmishes, Sieges, Ambuscades, and Beating up Quarters, was the News of every day. Now 'tis frequent to have Armies of Fifty thousand men of a side stand at Bay within view of one another, and spend a whole Cam|paign in Dodging, or as 'tis genteely call'd, Observing one another, and then march off into Winter-Quarters. The difference is in the Maxims of War, which now differ as much from what they were formerly, as Long Perukes do from Piqued Beards; or as the Ha|bits of the People do now, from what Page  257 they then wore. The present Maxims of the War are;

Never Fight without a manifest Advan|tage.
And always Encamp so as not to be forc'd to it.
And if two opposite Generals nicely observe both these Rules, it is impos|sible they shou'd ever come to fight.

I grant that this way of making War spends generally more Money and less Blood than former Wars did; but then it spins Wars out to a great|er Length; and I almost question whether if this had been the way of Fighting of old, our Civil War had not lasted till this day. Their Maxim was,

Whereever you meet your Enemy, fight him.

Page  258 But the Case is quite different now; and I think 'tis plain in the present War, that 'tis not he who has the long|est Sword, so much as he who has the longest Purse, will hold the War out best. Europe is all engag'd in the War, and the Men will never be exhausted while either Party can find Money; but he who finds himself poorest, must give out first; and this is evi|dent in the French King, who now in|clines to Peace, and owns it, while at the same time his Armies are nu|merous and whole; but the Sinews fail, he finds his Exchequer fail, his Kingdom drain'd, and Money hard to come at: Not that I believe half the Reports we have had of the Misery and Poverty of the French are true; but 'tis manifest the King of France finds, whatever his Armies may do, his Money won't hold out so long as the Confederates; and therefore he uses Page  259 all the means possible to procure a Peace, while he may do it with the most advantage.

There is no question but the French may hold the War out several Years longer; but their King is too wise to let things run to extremity; he will rather condescend to Peace upon hard terms now, than stay longer, if he finds himself in danger to be forc'd to worse.

This being the only Digression I design to be guilty of, I hope I shall be excus'd it.

The Sum of all is this, That since 'tis so necessary to be in a condition for War in a time of Peace, our People shou'd be inur'd to it. 'Tis strange that every thing shou'd be ready but the Soldier: Ships are ready, and our Trade keeps the Seamen always Page  260 taught, and breeds up more; but Sol|diers, Horsemen, Engineers, Gunners, and the like, must be bred and taught; men are not born with Muskets on their Shoulders, nor Fortifications in their Heads; 'tis not natural to shoot Bombs, and undermine Towns: For which purpose I propose,

A Royal Academy for Military Exercises.

The Founder the King himself; the Charge to be paid by the Publick, and settled by a Revenue from the Crown, to be paid Yearly.

I propose this to consist of Four Parts.

  • (1.) A Colledge for breeding up of Artists in the useful Practice of all Military Exercises; the Scholars to be taken in Young, and be maintain'd, Page  261 and afterwards under the King's Care for Preferment, as their Merit and His Majesty's Favour shall recommend them; from whence His Majesty wou'd at all times be furnish'd with able Engineers, Gunners, Fire-masters, Bombardiers, Miners, and the like.
  • The Second College for Volun|tary Students in the same Exercises; who shou'd all upon certain limited Conditions be entertain'd, and have all the advantages of the Lectures, Experiments, and Learning of the College, and be also capable of se|veral Titles, Profits, and Settlements in the said College, answerable to the Fellows in the Universities.
  • The Third College for Tempo|rary Study, into which any Person who is a Gentleman, and an En|glishman, entring his Name, and conforming to the Orders of the House, shall be entertain'd like a Gen|tleman Page  262 for one whole Year gratis, and taught by Masters appointed out of the Second College.
  • The Fourth College, of Schools only, where all Persons whatsoever for a small Allowance shall be taught and entred in all the particular Exer|cises they desire; and this to be sup|pli'd by the Proficients of the first College.

I cou'd lay out the Dimensions, and ne|cessary Incidents of all this Work; but since the Method of such a Founda|tion is easy and regular from the Mo|del of other Colleges, I shall only state the Oeconomy of the House.

The Building must be very Large, and shou'd rather be Stately and Mag|nificent in Figure, than Gay and Cost|ly in Ornament: And I think such a House as Chelsea-College, only about Page  263 four times as big, wou'd answer it; and yet I believe might be finish'd for as little Charge as has been laid out in that Palace-like Hospital.

The First College should consist of,

One General
Five Collonels
Twenty Captains

Being such as Graduates by Prefer|ment, at first nam'd by the Founder; and after the first Settlement to be chosen out of the First or Second Col|lege; with Apartments in the Col|lege, and Salaries.

The General 300 l. per Ann.
The Collonels 100
The Captains 60

Page  264 2000 Scholars; among whom shall be the following Degrees;

Governors 100. Allow'd 10 l. per An.
Directors 200.   5.
Exempts 200.   5.
Proficients 500.    
Juniors 1000.    

The General to be nam'd by the Founder, out of the Collonels; the Col|lonels to be nam'd by the General, out of the Captains; the Captains out of the Governors; the Governors from the Directors, and the Directors from the Exempts, and so on.

The Juniors to be divided into Ten Schools; the Schools to be thus go|vern'd: Every School has

100 Juniors, in 10 Classes.
Every Class to have 2 Directors.
Page  265
100 Classes of Juniors, is 1000
Each Class 2 Directors, 200

The Proficients to be divided into Five Schools:

Every School to have 10 Classes of 10 each.
Every Class 2 Governors.
50 Classes of Proficients, is 500
Each Class 2 Governors, is 100

The Exempts to be Supernumerary, having a small Allowance, and main|tain'd in the College till Preferment offer.

The Second College to consist of Voluntary Students, to be taken in after Page  266 a certain Degree of Learning, from among the Proficients of the First, or from any other Schools, after such and such Limitations of Learning; who study at their own Charge, being allow'd certain Privileges; as,

  • Chambers Rent-free, on condition of Residence.
  • Commons gratis, for certain fix'd terms.
  • Preferment, on condition of a Term of Years Residence.
  • Use of Libraries, Instruments, and Lectures of the College.

This College should have the fol|lowing Preferments, with Salaries.

A Governor, 200 l. per Ann.
A President, 100
50 College-Majors, 50
200 Proficients, 10
500 Voluntary Students, without Al|lowance.  

Page  267 The Third and Fourth Colleges, consisting only of Schools for Tem|porarary Study, may be thus;

The Third being for Gentlemen to learn the necessary Arts and Exercises, to qualify them for the Service of their Countrey, and entertaining them one whole year at the Publick Charge, may be suppos'd to have always One thousand Persons on its hands, and cannot have less than 100 Teachers; who I wou'd thus order;

Every Teacher shall continue at least One year, but by allowance Two years at most; shall have 20 l. per Ann. Extraordinary Allowance; shall be bound to give their constant Atten|dance, and shall have always 5 Col|lege-Majors of the Second College to supervise them, who shall command a Month, and then be succeeded by 5 Page  268others, and so on; 10 l. per Ann. extraordinary to be paid them for their Attendance.

The Gentlemen who practise, to be put to no manner of Charge, but to be oblig'd strictly to the following Ar|ticles:

  • (1.) To constant Residence, not to lye out of the House without leave of the College-Major.
  • (2.) To perform all the College-Exer|cises, as appointed by the Masters, without dispute.
  • (3.) To submit to the Orders of the House.

To quarrel, or give Ill Language, shou'd be a Crime to be punish'd by way of Fine only, the College-Major to be Judge, and the Offender be put into Custody till he ask Pardon of the Person wrong'd; by which means every Gentleman who has been affronted, has sufficient satisfaction.

Page  269 But to Strike, Challenge, Draw, or fight, shou'd be more severely punish'd; the Offender to be declar'd no Gentle|man, his Name posted up at the College-Gate, his Person expell'd the House, and to be pump'd as a Rake if ever he is taken within the College-Walls.

The Teachers of this College to be cho|sen, one half out of the Exempts of the First College, and the other out of the Proficients of the second.

The Fourth College being only of Schools, will be neither Chargeable nor Troublesome, but may consist of as many as shall offer themselves to be taught, and suppli'd with Teachers from the other Schools.

The Proposal being of so large an Extent, must have a proportionable Settlement for its Maintenance; and the Benefit being to the whole King|dom, Page  270 the Charge will naturally lye upon the Publick, and cannot well be less, considering the Number of Persons to be maintain'd, than as fol|lows;

First College. l. per An.
The General, 300
5 Collonels at 100 l. per Ann. each, 500
20 Captains, at 60. 1200
100 Governors, at 10. 1000
200 Directors, at 5. 1000
200 Exempts, at 5. 1000
2000 Heads for Subsistence, at 20 l. per Head, per Ann. Including Provision, and all the Officers Salaries in the House, as Butlers, Cooks, Purveyors, Nurses, Maids, Laundresses, Stewards, Clerks, Servants, Chaplains, Porters, and Attendants, which are nu|merous. 40000
Page  271Second College.  
A Governor, 200
A President, 100
50 College-Majors, at 50 l. per An. 2500
200 Proficients, at 10 l. 2000
Commons for 500 Students, during times of Exercises, at 5 l. per An. each, 2500
200 Proficients Subsistence, reckoning as above, 4000
Third College.  
The Gentlemen here are main|tain'd as Gentlemen, and are to have good Tables, who shall therefore have an Allowance at the Rate of 25 l. per Head, all Officers to be main|tain'd out of it; which is, 25000
100 Teachers, Salary and Sub|sistence ditto, 4500
Page  27250 College-Majors at 10 l. per Ann. is 500
Annual Charge 86300
The Building to cost 50000
Furniture, Beds, Tables, Chairs, Linnen, &c. 10000
Books, Instruments, and Uten|sils for Experiments, 2000
So the Immediate Charge would be 62000
  l. per An.
The Annual Charge, 86300
To which add the Charges of Exercises and Experiments, 3700

The King's Magazines to furnish them with 500 Barrels of Gunpowder per An. for the Publick Uses of Exercises and Experiments.

Page  273 In the first of these Colleges should remain the Governing-Part, and all the Preferments be made from thence, to be suppli'd in course from the other; the General of the first to give Orders to the other, and be subject only to the Founder.

The Government shou'd be all Mi|litary, with a Constitution for the same regulated for that purpose, and a Council to hear and determine the Differences and Trespasses by the Col|lege-Laws.

The Publick Exercises likewise Mi|litary, and all the Schools be disci|plin'd under proper Officers, who are so in turn, or by Order of the Gene|ral, and continue but for the Day.

The several Classes to perform seve|ral Studies, and but one Study to a distinct Class, and the Persons as they remove from one Study to another, to change their Classes, but so as that in Page  274 the General Exercises all the Scholars may be qualified to act all the several Parts, as they may be order'd.

The proper Studies of this College should be the following:

  • Geometry
  • Astronomy
  • History
  • Navigation
  • Decimal Arithmetick
  • Trigonometry
  • Dialing
  • Gauging
  • Mining
  • Fireworking
  • Bombarding
  • Gunnery
  • Fortification
  • Encamping
  • Entrenching
  • Approaching,
  • At|tacking
  • Delineation
  • Architecture
  • Surveying.
And all Arts or Sciences Appen|dixes to such as these.

With Exercises for the Body, to which all should be oblig'd, as their Genius and Capacities led them. As,

    Page  275
  • (1.) Swimming; which no Soldier, and indeed no Man whatever ought to be without.
  • (2.) Handling all sorts of Fire-Arms.
  • (3.) Marching and Countermarching in Form.
  • (4.) Fencing, and the Long Staff.
  • (5.) Riding and Managing, or Horse|manship.
  • (6.) Running, Leaping, and Wrest|ling.

And herewith shou'd also be pre|serv'd and carefully taught all the Cu|stoms, Usages, Terms of War, and Terms of Art, us'd in Sieges, Marches of Armies, and Encampments; that so a Gentleman taught in this College, shou'd be no Novice when he comes into the King's Armies, tho' he has seen no Service abroad. I remember the Page  276 Story of an English Gentleman, an Officer at the Siege of Limerick in Ire|land, who tho' he was Brave enough upon Action, yet for the only matter of being ignorant in the Terms of Art, and knowing not how to talk Camp-Language, was expos'd to be laugh'd at by the whole Army, for mistaking the opening of the Trenches, which he thought had been a Mine against the Town.

The Experiments of these Colleges wou'd be as well worth publishing, as the Acts of the Royal Society. To which purpose the House must be built where they may have Ground to cast Bombs, to raise Regular Works, as Batteries, Bastions, Half-Moons, Redoubts, Horn-works, Forts, and the like; with the convenience of Wa|ter to draw round such Works, to exercise the Engineers in all the neces|sary Experiments of Dreining, and Page  277 Mining under Ditches. There must be room to fire Great Shot at a distance, to Canonade a Camp, to throw all sorts of Fire-works and Machines, that are or shall be invented; to open Trenches, form Camps, &c.

Their Publick Exercises will be also very diverting, and more worth while for any Gentlemen to see, than the Sights or Shews which our people in England are so fond of.

I believe, as a Constitution might be form'd from these Generals, this wou'd be the Greatest, the Gallantest, and the most Useful Foundation in the World. The English Gentry wou'd be the best qualifi'd, and consequent|ly, best accepted abroad, and most useful at home of any people in the world; and His Majesty shou'd never more be expos'd to the necessity of employing Foreigners in the Posts of Trust and Service in His Armies.

Page  278 And that the whole Kingdom might in some degree be better qualifi'd for Service, I think the following Project wou'd be very useful.

When our Military Weapon was the Long-Bow, at which our English Nation in some measure excell'd the whole World, the meanest Countrey|man was a good Archer; and that which qualifi'd them so much for Service in the War, was their Diver|sion in Times of Peace; which also had this good Effect, That when an Army was to be rais'd, they needed no disciplining: And for the Encou|ragement of the People to an Exer|cise so publickly Profitable, an Act of Parliament was made, to oblige every Parish to maintain Buts for the Youth in the Countrey to shoot at.

Since our way of fighting is now alter'd; and this destructive Engine, the Musquet, is the proper Arms for the Page  279 Soldier, I could wish the Diversion also of the English would change too, that our Pleasures and Profit might correspond. 'Tis a great Hindrance to this Nation, especially where Stand|ing-Armies are a Grievance, that if ever a War commence, men must have at least a Year before they are thought fit to face an Enemy, to in|struct them how to handle their Arms; and new-rais'd men are call'd Raw Sol|diers. To help this, at least in some measure, I wou'd propose, That the Publick Exercises of our Youth shou'd by some Publick Encouragement, (for Penalties won't do it) be drawn off from the foolish Boyish Sports of Cocking, and Cricketing, and from Tipling, to shooting with a Firelock; an Exercise as Pleasant, as 'tis Manly and Generous; and Swimming, which is a thing so many ways profitable, besides its being a great Preservative Page  280 of Health, that methinks no Man ought to be without it.

(1.) For Shooting; the Colleges I have mention'd above, having provided for the instructing the Gentry at the King's Charge; the Gentry in return of that Favour shou'd introduce it among the Countrey-people; which might easily be done thus:

If every Countrey-Gentleman, ac|cording to his degree, wou'd con|tribute to set up a Prize, to be shot for by the Town he lives in, or the Neigh|bourhood, about once a year, or twice a year, or oftner, as they think fit; which Prize not single only to him who shoots nearest, but accord|ing to the Custom of Shooting:

This wou'd certainly set all the Young Men in England a shooting, and make them Marks-men; for they wou'd be always practising and ma|king Page  281 Matches among themselves too, and the advantage wou'd be found in a War; for no doubt if all the Sol|diers in a Battalion took a true Level at their Enemy, there wou'd be much more Execution done at a distance than there is; whereas it has been known now, that a Battalion of men has receiv'd the Fire of another Batta|lion, and not lost above 30 or 40 men; and I suppose it will not easily be for|got how at the Battel of Agrim, a Battalion of the English Army receiv'd the whole Fire of an Irish Regiment of Dragoons, but never knew to this day whether they had any Bullets or no; and I need appeal no further than to any Officer that serv'd in the Irish War, what advantages the English Ar|mies made of the Irish being such wonderful Marks-men.

Page  282 Under this Head of Academies, I might bring in a Project for

An Academy for Women.

I Have often thought of it as one of the most barbarous Customs in the world, considering us as a Civi|liz'd and a Christian Countrey, that we deny the advantages of Learning to Women. We reproach the Sex every day with Folly and Impertinence, while I am confident, had they the ad|vantages of Education equal to us, they wou'd be guilty of less than our selves.

One wou'd wonder indeed how it shou'd happen that Women are con|versible at all, since they are only be|holding to Natural Parts for all their Knowledge. Their Youth is spent to teach them to Stitch and Sow, or make Bawbles: They are taught to Read indeed, and perhaps to Write their Names, or so; and that is the Page  283 heighth of a Woman's Education. And I wou'd but ask any who slight the Sex for their Understanding, What is a Man (a Gentleman, I mean) good for, that is taught no more?

I need not give Instances, or exa|mine the Character of a Gentleman with a good Estate, and of a good Family, and with tolerable Parts, and examine what Figure he makes for want of Education.

The Soul is plac'd in the Bo|dy like a rough Diamond, and must be polish'd, or the Lustre of it will never appear: And 'tis manifest, that as the Rational Soul distinguishes us from Brutes, so Education carries on the distinction, and makes some less brutish than others: This is too evi|dent to need any demonstration. But why then shou'd Women be deni'd the benefit of Instruction? If Know|ledge and Understanding had been Page  284 useless additions to the Sex, God Al|mighty wou'd never have given them Capacities; for he made nothing needless: Besides, I wou'd ask such, What they can see in Ignorance, that they shou'd think it a necessary Orna|ment to a Woman? Or how much worse is a Wise Woman than a Fool? Or what has the Woman done to for|feit the Privilege of being taught? Does she plague us with her Pride and Impertinence? Why did we not let her learn, that she might have had more Wit? Shall we upbraid Women with Folly, when 'tis only the Error of this inhuman Custom, that hindred them being made wiser?

The Capacities of Women are sup|pos'd to be greater, and their Senses quicker than those of the Men; and what they might be capable of being bred to, is plain from some Instances of Female-Wit, which this Age is not Page  285 without; which upbraids us with In|justice, and looks as if we deni'd Wo|men the advantages of Education, for fear they shou'd vye with the Men in their Improvements.

To remove this Objection, and that Women might have at least a needful Opportunity of Education in all sorts of Useful Learning, I pro|pose the Draught of an Academy for that purpose.

I know 'tis dangerous to make Pub|lick Appearances of the Sex; they are not either to be confin'd or expos'd; the first will disagree with their Inclina|tions, and the last with their Repu|tations; and therefore it is somewhat difficult; and I doubt a Method pro|pos'd by an Ingenious Lady, in a little Book, call'd, Advice to the Ladies, would be found impracticable. For, sa|ving my Respect to the Sex, the Le|vity, which perhaps is a little peculiar Page  286 to them, at least in their Youth, will not bear the Restraint; and I am sa|tisfi'd, nothing but the heighth of Bi|gotry can keep up a Nunnery: Women are extravagantly desirous of going to Heaven, and will punish their Pret|ty Bodies to get thither; but nothing else will do it; and even in that case sometimes it falls out that Nature will prevail.

When I talk therefore of an Aca|demy for Women, I mean both the Model, the Teaching, and the Go|vernment, different from what is propos'd by that Ingenious Lady, for whose Proposal I have a very great Esteem, and also a great Opinion of her Wit; different too from all sorts of Religious Confinement, and above all, from Vows of Celibacy.

Wherefore the Academy I propose should differ but little from Publick Schools, wherein such Ladies as were Page  287 willing to study, shou'd have all the advantages of Learning suitable to their Genius.

But since some Severities of Disci|pline more than ordinary wou'd be absolutely necessary to preserve the Reputation of the House, that Persons of Quality and Fortune might not be a fraid to venture their Children thi|ther, I shall venture to make a small Scheme by way of Essay.

The House I wou'd have built in a Form by it self, as well as in a Place by it self.

The Building shou'd be of Three plain Fronts, without any Jettings, or Bearing-Work, that the Eye might at a Glance see from one Coin to the other; the Gardens wall'd in the same Triangular Figure, with a large Moat, and but one Entrance.

Page  288 When thus every part of the Sci|tuation was contriv'd as well as might be for discovery, and to render In|trieguing dangerous, I wou'd have no Guards, no Eyes, no Spies set over the Ladies, but shall expect them to be try'd by the Principles of Honour and strict Virtue.

And if I am ask'd, Why? I must ask Pardon of my own Sex for giving this reason for it:

I am so much in Charity with Wo|men, and so well acquainted with Men, that 'tis my opinion, There needs no other Care to prevent In|trieguing, than to keep the men ef|fectually away: For tho' Inclination, which we prettily call Love, does sometimes move a little too visibly in the Sex, and Frailty often follows; yet I think verily, Custom, which we miscall Modesty, has so far the Ascendant over the Sex, that Solicitation always goes before it.

Page  289
Custom with Women 'stead of Virtue rules;
It leads the Wisest, and commands the Fools:
For this alone, when Inclinations reign,
Tho' Virtue's fled, will Acts of Vice restrain.
Only by Custom 'tis that Virtue lives,
And Love requires to be ask'd, before it gives.
For that which we call Modesty, is Pride:
They scorn to ask, and hate to be deni'd.
'Tis Custom thus prevails upon their Want;
They'll never beg, what askt they eas'ly grant.
And when the needless Ceremony's over,
Themselves the Weakness of the Sex discover.
If then Desires are strong, and Nature free,
Keep from her Men, and Opportunity.
Else 'twill be vain to curb her by Restraint;
But keep the Question off, you keep the Saint.

In short, let a Woman have never such a Coming-Principle, she will let you ask before she complies, at least if she be a Woman of any Honour.

Page  290 Upon this ground I am persuaded such Measures might be taken, that the Ladies might have all the Freedom in the world within their own Walls, and yet no Intrieguing, no Indecen|cies, nor Scandalous Affairs happen; and in order to this, the following Customs and Laws shou'd be ob|serv'd in the Colleges; of which I wou'd propose One at least in every County in England, and about Ten for the City of London.

After the Regulation of the Form of the Building as before;

  • (1.) All the Ladies who enter into the House, shou'd set their Hands to the Orders of the House, to signify their Consent to submit to them.
  • (2.) As no Woman shou'd be receiv'd, but who declar'd her self willing, and that it was the Act of her Choice to en|ter her self, so no Person shou'd be con|fin'd to continue there a moment lon|ger Page  291 than the same voluntary Choice inclin'd her.
  • (3.) The Charges of the House being to be paid by the Ladies, every one that entred shou'd have only this Incumbrance, That she shou'd pay for the whole Year, tho' her mind shou'd change as to her continuance.
  • (4.) An Act of Parliament shou'd make it Felony without Clergy, for any man to enter by Force or Fraud into the House, or to solicit any Wo|man, tho' it were to Marry, while she was in the House. And this Law wou'd by no means be severe; because any Woman who was willing to re|ceive the Addresses of a Man, might discharge her self of the House when she pleas'd; and on the contrary, any Woman who had occasion, might dis|charge her self of the Impertinent Addresses of any Person she had an Aversion to, by entring into the House.

Page  292In this House,

The Persons who Enter, shou'd be taught all sorts of Breeding suitable to both their Genius and their Quality; and in particular, Musick and Dancing, which it wou'd be cruelty to bar the Sex of, because they are their Dar|lings: But besides this, they shou'd be taught Languages, as particularly French and Italian; and I wou'd ven|ture the Injury of giving a Woman more Tongues than one.

They shou'd, as a particular Study, be taught all the Graces of Speech, and all the necessary Air of Conver|sation; which our common Edu|cation is so defective in, that I need not expose it: They shou'd be brought to read Books, and espe|cially History, and so to read as to make them understand the World, Page  293 and be able to know and judge of things when they hear of them.

To such whose Genius wou'd lead them to it, I wou'd deny no sort of Learning; but the chief thing in ge|neral is to cultivate the Understandings of the Sex, that they may be capable of all sorts of Conversation; that their Parts and Judgments being im|prov'd, they may be as Profitable in their Conversation as they are Pleasant.

Women, in my observation, have little or no difference in them, but as they are, or are not distinguish'd by E|ducation. Tempers indeed may in some degree influence them, but the main distinguishing part is their Breeding.

The whole Sex are generally Quick and Sharp: I believe I may be allow'd to say generally so; for you rarely see them lumpish and heavy when they are Children, as Boys will often be. If a Woman be well-bred, and taught Page  294 the proper Management of her Natu|ral Wit, she proves generally very sensible and retentive: And without partiality, a Woman of Sense and Manners is the Finest and most Deli|cate Part of God's Creation; the Glo|ry of her Maker, and the great In|stance of his singular regard to Man, his Darling Creature, to whom he gave the best Gift either God could bestow, or man receive: And 'tis the sordid'st Piece of Folly and Ingrati|tude in the world, to withhold from the Sex the due Lustre which the ad|vantages of Education gives to the Natural Beauty of their Minds.

A Woman well Bred and well Taught, furnish'd with the additional Accomplishments of Knowledge and Behaviour, is a Creature without com|parison; her Society is the Emblem of sublimer Enjoyments; her Person is Angelick, and her Conversation heaven|ly; Page  295 she is all Softness and Sweetness, Peace, Love, Wit, and Delight: She is every way suitable to the sublimest Wish; and the man that has such a one to his Portion, has nothing to do but to rejoice in her, and be thankful.

On the other hand, Suppose her to be the very same Woman, and rob her of the Benefit of Education, and it follows thus;

If her Temper be Good, want of Education makes her Soft and Easy.

Her Wit, for want of Teaching, makes her Impertinent and Talka|tive.

Her Knowledge, for want of Judg|ment and Experience, makes her Fan|ciful and Whimsical.

If her Temper be Bad, want of Breeding makes her worse, and she grows Haughty, Insolent, and Loud.

If she be Passionate, want of Man|ners makes her Termagant, and a Page  296 Scold, which is much at one with Lu|natick.

If she be Proud, want of Discre|tion (which still is Breeding) makes her Conceited, Fantastick, and Ridi|culous.

And from these she degenerates to be Turbulent, Clamorous, Noisy, Nasty, and the Devil.

Methinks Mankind for their own sakes, since say what we will of the Women, we all think fit one time or other to be concern'd with 'em, shou'd take some care to breed them up to be suitable and serviceable, if they expected no such thing as Delight from 'em. Bless us! What Care do we take to Breed up a good Horse, and to Break him well! and what a Value do we put upon him when it is done, and all because he shou'd be fit for our use! and why not a Woman? Since all her Ornaments and Beauty, without Page  297 suitable Behaviour, is a Cheat in Na|ture, like the false Tradesman, who puts the best of his Goods uppermost, that the Buyer may think the rest are of the same Goodness.

Beauty of the Body, which is the Womens Glory, seems to be now un|equally bestow'd, and Nature, or ra|ther Providence, to lye under some Scandal about it, as if 'twas given a Woman for a Snare to Men, and so make a kind of a She-Devil of her: Because they say Exquisite Beauty is rarely given with Wit; more rarely with Goodness of Temper, and ne|ver at all with Modesty. And some, pretending to justify the Equity of such a Distribution, will tell us 'tis the Effect of the Justice of Providence in dividing particular Excellencies among all his Creatures, share and share a|like, as it were, that all might for something or other be acceptable to Page  296〈1 page duplicate〉Page  297〈1 page duplicate〉Page  298 one another, else some wou'd be de|spis'd.

I think both these Notions false; and yet the last, which has the shew of Respect to Providence, is the worst; for it supposes Providence to be Indi|gent and Empty; as if it had not wherewith to furnish all the Crea|tures it had made, but was fain to be parcimonious in its Gifts, and distri|bute them by piece-meal, for fear of being exhausted.

If I might venture my Opinion against an almost universal Notion, I wou'd say, Most men mistake the Proceedings of Providence in this case, and all the world at this day are mistaken in their Practice about it. And because the Assertion is very bold, I desire to explain my self.

That Almighty First Cause which made us all, is certainly the Fountain of Excellence, as it is of Being, and Page  299 by an Invisible Influence could have diffused Equal Qualities and Perfecti|ons to all the Creatures it has made, as the Sun does its Light, without the least Ebb or Diminution to himself; and has given indeed to every indivi|dual sufficient to the Figure his Pro|vidence had design'd him in the world.

I believe it might be defended, if I should say, That I do suppose God has given to all Mankind equal Gifts and Capacities, in that he has given them all Souls equally capable; and that the whole difference in Mankind proceeds either from Accidental Dif|ference in the Make of their Bodies, or from the foolish Difference of Edu|cation.

1. From Accidental Difference in Bodies. I wou'd avoid discoursing here of the Philosophical Position of the Soul in the Body: But if it be true Page  300 as Philosophers do affirm, That the Understanding and Memory is dilated or contracted according to the acci|dental Dimensions of the Organ through which 'tis convey'd; then tho' God has given a Soul as capable to me as another, yet if I have any Natural Defect in those Parts of the Body by which the Soul shou'd act, I may have the same Soul infus'd as another man, and yet he be a Wise Man, and I a very Fool. For example, If a Child naturally have a Defect in the Organ of Hearing, so that he cou'd never distinguish any Sound, that Child shall never be able to speak or read, tho' it have a Soul capable of all the Accomplishments in the world. The Brain is the Centre of the Souls actings, where all the distin|guishing Faculties of it reside; and 'tis observable, A man who has a nar|row contracted Head, in which there Page  301 is not room for the due and necessary Operations of Nature by the Brain, is never a man of very great Judg|ment; and that Proverb, A Great Head and Little Wit, is not meant by Nature, but is a Reproof upon Sloth; as if one shou'd, by way of wonder, say, Fye, fye, you that have a Great Head, have but Little Wit, that's strange! that must certainly be your own fault. From this Notion I do believe there is a great matter in the Breed of Men and Wo|men; not that Wise Men shall al|ways get Wise Children; but I be|lieve Strong and Healthy Bodies have the Wisest Children; and Sickly Weak|ly Bodies affect the Wits as well as the Bodies of their Children. We are easily persuaded to believe this in the Breeds of Horses, Cocks, Dogs, and other Creatures; and I believe 'tis as visible in Men.

Page  302 But to come closer to the business; the great distinguishing difference which is seen in the world between Men and Women, is in their Educa|tion; and this is manifested by com|paring it with the difference between one Man or Woman, and another.

And herein it is that I take upon me to make such a bold Assertion, That all the World are mistaken in their Practice about Women: For I cannot think that God Almighty ever made them so delicate, so glorious Creatures, and furnish'd them with such Charms, so Agreeable and so Delightful to Mankind, with Souls capable of the same Accomplishments with Men, and all to be only Stewards of our Houses, Cooks and Slaves.

Not that I am for exalting the Fe|male Government in the least: But, in short, I would have Men take Women for Companions, and Educate them to bePage  303fit for it. A Woman of Sense and Breeding will scorn as much to en|croach upon the Prerogative of the Man, as a Man of Sense will scorn to oppress the Weakness of the Woman. But if the Womens Souls were refin'd and improv'd by Teaching, that word wou'd be lost; to say, The Weakness of the Sex, as to Judgment, wou'd be Nonsense; for Ignorance and Folly wou'd be no more to be found among Women than Men. I remember a Passage which I heard from a very Fine Woman, she had Wit and Capacity enough, an Extra|ordinary Shape and Face, and a Great Fortune, but had been cloyster'd up all her time, and for fear of being stoll'n had not had the liberty of being taught the common necessary know|ledge of Womens Affairs; and when she came to converse in the world, her Natural Wit made her so sensible Page  304 of the want of Education, that she gave this short Reflection on her self:

I am asham'd to talk with my very Maids, says she, for I don't know when they do right or wrong: I had more need go to School, than be Married.

I need not enlarge on the Loss the Defect of Education is to the Sex, nor argue the Benefit of the contrary Practice; 'tis a thing will be more easily granted than remedied: This Chapter is but an Essay at the thing, and I refer the Practice to those Happy Days, if ever they shall be, when men shall be wise enough to mend it.