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same salutary operations of police be made use of to prevent our burning candles that inclined us last winter to be more economical in burning wood; that is, let guards be placed in the shops of the wax and tallow-chandlers, and no family be permitted to be supplied with more than one pound of candles per week. Third. Let guards also be posted to stop all the coaches, &c., that would pass the streets after sunset, except those of physicians, surgeons, and midwives. Fourth. Every morning, as soon as the sun rises, let all the bells in every church be set a ringing; and if that is not sufficient, let cannon be fired in every street, to wake the sluggards effectually, and make them open their eyes to see their true interest.
All the difficulty will be in the first two or three days; after which the reformation will be as natural and easy as the present irregularity; for ce n'est que le premier pas qui coute. Oblige a man to rise at four in the morning, and it is more than probable he shall go willingly to bed at eight in the evening; and, having had eight hours' sleep, he will rise more willingly at four the following morning. But this sum of ninety-six millions and seventy-five thousand livres is not the whole of what may be saved by my economical project. You may observe, that I have calculated upon only one half of the year, and much may be saved in the other, though the days are shorter. Besides, the immense stock of wax and tallow left unconsumed during the summer, will probably make candles much cheaper for the ensuing winter, and continue cheaper as long as the proposed reformation shall be supported.
For the great benefit of this discovery, thus freely communicated and bestowed by me on the public, I
demand neither place, pension, exclusive privilege, or any other reward whatever. I expect only to have the honour of it. And yet I know there are little envious minds who will, as usual, deny me this, and say, that my invention was known to the ancients, and perhaps they may bring passages out of old books in proof of it. I will not dispute with these people that the ancients knew not the sun would rise at certain hours; they possibly had, as we have, almanacks that predicted it: but it does not follow from thence, that they knew he gave light as soon as he rose. This is what I claim as my discovery. If the ancients knew it, it must have been long since forgotten, for it certainly was unknown to the moderns, at least to the Parisians; which to prove, I need but use one plain single argument. They are as well instructed, judicious, and prudent a people as exists anywhere in the world, all professing, like myself, to be lovers of economy; and, from the many heavy taxes required from them by the necessities of the state, have surely reason to be economical. I say, it is impossible that so sensible a people, under such circumstances, should have lived so long by the smoky, unwholesome, and enormously expensive light of candles, if they had really known that they might have had as much pure light of the sun for nothing. I am, &c.
SKETCH OF AN ENGLISH SCHOOL.
FOR THE CONSIDERATION OF THE TRUSTEES OF THE PHILADELPHIA ACADEMY.
IT is expected that every scholar to be admitted into this school, be at least able to pronounce and di
vide the syllables in reading, and to write a legible hand. None to be received that are 'under
years of age.
FIRST, OR LOWEST CLASS.
Let the first class learn the English grammar rules, and at the same time let particular care be taken to improve them in orthography. Perhaps the latter is best done by pairing the scholars; two of those nearest equal in their spelling to be put together. Let these strive for victory; each propounding ten words every day to the other to be spelled. He that spells truly most of the other's words is to be victor for that day; he that is victor most days in a month, to obtain a prize, a pretty neat book of some kind, useful in their future studies. This method fixes the attention of children extremely to the orthography of words, and makes them good spellers very early. It is a shame for a man to be so ignorant of this little art, in his own language, as to be perpetually confounding words of like sound and different significations; the consciousness of which defect makes some men, otherwise of good learning and understanding, averse to writing even a common letter.
Let the pieces read by the scholars in this class be short; such as Croxall's fables and little stories. In giving the lesson, let it be read to them; let the meaning of the difficult words in it be explained to them; and let them con it over by themselves before they are called to read to the master or usher; who is to take particular care that they do not read too fast, and that they duly observe the stops and pauses. A vocabulary of the most usual difficult words might be formed for their use, with explanations; and they might daily get a few of these words and explanations by heart, which would a little exercise their memories; or at least they might write a number of them in a small book for that purpose, which would help to fix the meaning of those words in their minds, and at the same time furnish every one with a little dictionary for his future use.
THE SECOND CLASS.
To be taught reading with attention, and with proper modulations of the voice, according to the sentiment and the subject.
Some short pieces, not exceeding the length of a Spectator, to be given this class for lessons, (and some of the easier Spectators would be very suitable for the purpose.) These lessons might be given every night as tasks; the scholars to study them against the morning. Let it then be required of them to give an account, first of the parts of
speech, and construction of one or two sentences. This will oblige them to recur frequently to their grammar, and fix its principal rules in their memory Next, of the intention of the writer, or the scope of the piece, the meaning of each sentence, and of every uncommon word. This would early acquaint them with the meaning and force of words, and give them that most necessary habit of reading with
The master then to read the piece with the proper modulations of voice, due emphasis, and suitable action, where action is required; and put the youth on imitating his man
Where the author has used an expression not the best, let it be pointed out; and let his beauties be particularly remarked to the youth.
Let the lessons for reading be varied, that the youth may be made acquainted with good styles of all kinds in prose and verse, and the proper manner of reading each kindsometimes a well-told story, a piece of a sermon, a general's speech to his soldiers, a speech in a tragedy, some part of a comedy, an ode, a satire, a letter, blank verse, Hudibrastic, heroic, &c. But let such lessons be chosen for reading, as contain some useful instruction, whereby the understanding or morals of the youth may at the same time be improved.
It is required that they should first study and understand the lessons, before they are put upon reading them properly: to which end each boy should have an English Dictionary, to help him over difficulties. When our boys read English to us, we are apt to imagine they understand what they read, because we do, and because it is their mother-tongue. But they often read, as parrots speak, knowing little or nothing of the meaning. And it is impossible a reader should give the due modulation to his voice, and pronounce prop. erly, unless his understanding goes before his tongue, and makes him master of the sentiment. Accustoming boys to read aloud what they do not first understand, is the cause of those even set tones so common among readers, which when they have once got a habit of using, they find so difficult to correct; by which means, among fifty readers we scarcely find a good one. For want of good reading, pieces published with a view to influence the minds of men, for their own or the public benefit, lose half their force. Were there but one good reader in a neighbourhood, a public ora. tor might be heard throughout a nation with the same advantages, and have the same effect upon his audience as if they stood within the reach of his voice.
THE THIRD CLASS.
To be taught speaking properly and gracefully; which is
near akin to good reading, and naturally follows it in the studies of youth. Let the scholars of this class begin with learning the elements of rhetoric from some short system, so as to be able to give an account of the most useful tropes and figures. Let all their bad habits of speaking, all offences against good grammar, all corrupt or foreign accents, and all improper phrases, be pointed out to them. Short speeches from the Roman or other history, or from the parliamentary debates, might be got by heart, and delivered with the proper action, &c..-Speeches and scenes in our best tragedies and comedies (avoiding every thing that could injure the morals of youth) might likewise be got by rote, and the boys exercised in delivering or acting them; great care being taken to form their manner after the truest models.
For their farther improvement, and a little to vary their studies, let them now begin to read history, after having got by heart a short table of the principal epochas in chronology. They may begin with Rollin's ancient and Roman histories, and proceed at proper hours, as they go through the subsequent classes, with the best histories of our own nation and colonies. Let emulation be excited among the boys, by giving, weekly, little prizes, or other small encouragements to those who are able to give the best account of what they have read, as to times, places, names of persons, &c. This will make them read with attention, and imprint the history well in their memories. In remarking on the history, the master will have fine opportunities of instilling instruction of various kinds, and improving the morals, as well as the understandings, of youth.
The natural and mechanic history, contained in the Spectacle de la Nature, might also be begun in this class, and continued through the subsequent classes, by other books of the same kind; for, next to the knowledge of duty, this kind of knowledge is certainly the most useful, as well as the most entertaining. The merchant may thereby be enabled better to understand many commodities in trade; the handicraftsman to improve his business by new instruments, mixtures, and materials, and frequently hints are given for new methods of improving land, that may be set on foot greatly to the advantage of a country.
THE FOURTH CLASS.
To be taught composition. Writing one's own language well, is the next necessary accomplishment after good speak. ing. It is the writing master's business to take care that the boys make fair characters, and place them straight and even in the lines; but to form their style, and even to take care that the stops and capitals are properly disposed, is the part