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Toronto 5, Canada 

The Compleat 

English Gentleman 

BaHantgne preftB 


The Compleat 

English Gentleman 

By Daniel Defoe 

Edited for the First Time from the Author's 

Autograph Manuscript in the British 

Museum, with Introduction 

Notes, and Index 

By Karl D. Biilbring, M.A., Ph.D. 

London: Published by David Nutt 


















FOREWORDS . . . i 






Of the born gentleman, in the common, or modern, or present 
acceptation of the word, and as the gentry among us are 
pleas'd to understand it . . . / . . .11 


Of the great mistakes in the first managing the children of 
gentlemen, and of the horrible corrupcion of blood from 
the suckling them by those (....). That the ignorance 
and the bad educacion of gentlemen of quallity and fortune 
is no where in Christendome so entirely neglected as in 
this nacion, and some thing of the consequences of it 1 . 59 

1 This heading is struck out in MS. 

[ viii ] 


Of the generall ignorance of the English gentry, and the 
true causes of it in the manner of their introduccion into 
life 92 


Of what may be the unhappy consequences of this generall 
defect in the education of our gentry, and a rational pro- 
posall for preventing those consequences . . . .144 


That it is not to late to put a stop to this national defect of 
learning, and that the gentlemen of England, generally 
speaking, may in a great measure retriev the loss of 
their education by a little voluntary applicacion ; and an 
account of some proper and very easie methods for the 
doing it I have heard 184 


Of the gentleman's government of himself, his family, and 



Of the fund for the increase of our nobillity and gentry in 
England, being the begining of those we call bred gentle- 
men, with some account of the difference . . .256 


. . . . .279 


. . 289 


JHE Compleat English Gentleman, by Daniel 
Defoe, which appears now for the first time 
in print, is preserved, in the author's hand- 
writing, in the manuscript collection of 
the British Museum, numbered 32,555 of the Addi- 
tional MSS. 

John Forster was the first to mention the existence 
of the work, in his Biographical Essay 's, London, 1860, 
foot-note on page 155. Fuller particulars were made 
public by William Lee (Life of Daniel Defoe, London, 
1869, pp. 45 I, 452, and 457), and to these subsequent 
writers have added nothing further. 

In one point they have all been misled, for the MS. 
does not consist of a single work, but includes another, 
which is bound up with it and fills the leaves 67100. 
This second work bears the title, On Royall Educa- 
tion, and will be published shortly by Mr. David Nutt. 
The Compleat English Gentleman was one of Defoe's 
last works, the only one published subsequently being 
his Effectual Scheme for the Preventing of Street 
Robberies, and Suppressing the other Disorders of the 


Night (1730). Together with the MS. is preserved 
a printed proof-sheet of sixteen pages, containing the 
beginning of the work. This seems to be the only 
part which was ever put in type. There is extant a 
letter written by Defoe to Mr. T. Watts, in Wild Court, 
the printer of this sheet, which is important, as it fixes 
the date previous to which the work must have been 
composed. It is as follows : 

Sir I am to ask your pardon for keeping the enclosed so long, 
Mr. Baker having told me your resolution of taking it in hand and 
working it off. But I have been exceedingly ill. I have revised it 
again, and contracted it very much, and hope to bring it within the 
bulk you desire, or as near it as possible. But this and some 
needful alterations will oblige you to much trouble in the first 
sheet, and perhaps almost as bad as setting it over again, which 
cannot be avoided. I will endeavour to send the rest of the copy 
so well corrected as to give you very little trouble. I here return 
the first sheet and as much copy as will make near three sheets 
more. You shall have all the remainder so as not to let you stand 
still at all. 

I am, Sir, 

Your most humble servant, 

Sept, ic///, 1729. 

The terminus a quo is furnished by internal evidence 
of the work itself. Many historical facts are mentioned, 
the latest of which are these : 

On page 35, Peter the Great, who died January 28, 
1725, is spoken of as the late Czar, and his wife and 
successor, Catherine I., who died May 17, 1727, as the 
late Empress; whilst Prince Menchikoff, who was 
deprived of the Regency and sent to Siberia in 
September 1727, is alluded to as being in exile. 

[ xi ] 

Thus, allowing some time for the news to reach 
London, and taking into account the delay mentioned 
in the letter, we get the year 1728 and the earlier half 
of 1729 as the date of composition. 

The manuscript and proof-sheet appear to have 
remained in the possession of Defoe's relations, the 
Baker family, for more than a hundred years, as Mr. 
Dawson Turner, of Great Yarmouth, bought them in 
1831 from the Rev. H. D. F. Baker, the descendant 
of Henry Baker, son-in-law of Defoe, for ^69, the 
British Museum not having ventured to go beyond 
$$. 1 At the sale of his MSS. in 1859 Defoe's 
treatise was purchased by Mr. James Crossley for 
?S % s ' (including commission). 2 The British Museum 
bought it on June 20, 1885, at Sotheby's (Crossley 
Sale, lot 2973). 

The MS. is a small quarto, and consists of 142 
leaves, the printed sheet being affixed at the end. 
According to Mr. Francis B. Bickley, of the British 
Museum, the binding was certainly done when the MS. 
belonged to Dawson Turner, since many of his other 
MSS. are bound in exactly the same style. The proof- 
sheet has a few corrections, but in a handwriting 
different from Defoe's. The MS. itself is in Defoe's 
own firm, small, and close writing. As a rule, only one 
side of the paper is written on, but many insertions and 
notes are added on the opposite page. The first leaf 

1 Forster, page 155 ; Lee, page 457; and Dawson Turner's Sale 

2 Seethe fly-leaf of the MS., where also this remark in Crossley's 
hand is to be found : " For an admirer of Defoe this volume is a 

contains the title. On the next six leaves are three 
different Introductions, of which the first, filling folio 2, 
runs thus : 

The True Bred Gentleman. 

NOTHING in the world can be more prepoflerous, and yet nothing 
of the kind is more warmly efpoufed and dogmatically infifled upon, 
than the grofs nocions of 1 nobillity and gentillity, as they are at this 
time entertained among [us]. 2 

If it were to be defended by reafoning, or fupported by argument, 
we fhould certainly have found fomething among the antients for 
an opinion that has taken fuch deep root among us. 

If phylofophy or the laws of Nature were furnifhed with anything 
to fupply the defect of argument, they would have been fearcht to 
the bottom long agoe. 

If anatomy, or the flrictefl inquiry into the microcofme of the 
creature called man could afford anything in its favour, fomething 
might be found in the learned anatomifts of the age. 

But if neither phylofophy, reafon, or demonflration of parts can 
mew any fpecific difference between the Patricij and the Plebei, if 
the whole kind is formed in the fame mould, if all the parts are 
the fame, if the form is the fame, and the materialls the fame ; 
where then muft we fearch for the gentleman, among the remains 
of antiquity, or among the works of Nature ? 3 

This brief preface does not suit with the beginning 
of the first chapter, as it partly contradicts and partly 
anticipates what is said there. 

The second Introduction (fol. 3-5) is the one adopted 
for the present edition, as it agrees best with the treatise 
that follows, though it seems incomplete, ending abruptly 

1 MS. of of. 2 us om i tte( i j n MS. 

3 At the bottom of the page : " Mr. Furlong at or near the King's 
Arms at Hungerford Market in the Strand." 

as it does in the middle of folio 5^. It does not seem 
that anything is lost, but that Defoe broke off at this 

The third Introduction (fol. 67) is in parts very like 
the one I have chosen, and is full of witty and striking 
remarks. I reproduce it here : 

v s 


THE grave ones tell us that every age has its peculiar favourite 
follyes, fmgular to itfelf, which the people are all wayes fond of and 
blind to the weaknefs of them ; and if I may judge of the pail times 
by the prefent, I believ 'tis very true. 

It is true, in former ages, when the fiinple things they have taken 
up with, have run fome length and this or that vice has been 
fafhionable for a time, the fluctuating palate has chang'd its guft, the 
habit has fmelt ftale, they have grown Tick of their old mifflrefs, and 
fac'd about to fome other extravagance : whether this age will do 
fo, or how long it may be, or if, when they do, they will change for 
the better or for the worfe, where is the conjuror that can tell ? 

It might be ufefull, if it were not for being tedious, to run over 
the world and giv a lift of nacionall follyes, and to look back into 
time and trace periodicall extravagances of particular ages in thofe 
nations feparately or among man-kind univerfally : how one age 
has been quarrelfome, another drunken, 1 another lewd, etc., more 
than any before them. 

But what need when we are come to the heel of time, when the 
whole lift being, as it were, worn out, and every humour has had its 
day : the world, at prefent, feems to engrofs them into one generall, 
and making a kind of democrafie of vices, to let them all reign 
together. Yet it is true that even in fuch a Common Wealth of crime 
there will be fome predominant. 2 The age will embrace fome peculiar, 
and this I take to be our cafe. Pride and ignorance have been the 
two tyrant devils of the age. They have reign'd 3 too long and got 
fuch a footing that, as I doubt, they will not abdicate ; and particu- 

1 MS. druften. " MS. predominat. 3 MS. rigrid. 

larl y as we do not fee any worfe to come in their room, fo I can not 
fee a probable end of their dominion. 

Pride indeed is an original, a child of Hell by imediate genera- 
cion, which comes in by a kind of hereditary right ; and it reigns 
accordingly like a tyrant. 

Ignorance indeed is an upflart, for man was not created a fool : 
'Tis a negatio, a deprivacion of knowledge, as darknefs is a depri- 
vacion of light. 

Nature's produccion is a Charte Blanch, and the foul is plac'd 
in him like a 1 peice of clean paper, upon which the precepts of 
life are to be written by his inftruclors, and he has the charge of 
keeping it fair lay'd upon himfelf. 

If his introduccion is good, if he is well taught, 'tis his felicity ; if 
not, his foul remains a blank, and the world is a blank to him, and 
he is miferable by the accident of his birth, not by his fault. But 
if this blank be written upon, but either the writing makes no- 
impreffion or is not carefully preferv'd : this is both his mifery and 
his fault, and this is the criminal negatio I am to fpeak of. This 
is Ignorance in the abftra<5l. 

But to bring thefe two together which one would think was 
impoffible for how can they confifl? Is it poffible a man can be 
proud of ignorance ? was ever a crooked man proud of a hump 
back, or a cripple proud of his wooden leg ? Was ever a man proud 
of the fmall-pox in his face or vain of being fquint ey'd ? To - be 
proud of knowledge, 3 tho' it is a blemifh too and a great token of 
degeneracy, yet there is fome foundacion for it. There is fomething 
at bottom to be proud of, and as Mr. Dryden faid to Shadwell : 

Prid of wit and fence may be an evil, 

Btit to be proud of nonfence, thats the Devil. 

To be proud of ignorance is to be proud of non-entity. Ignorance 
is no being, as black is no colour. 'Tis a demiffion ; 'tis a nothing, 
if that can be faid to be that has no being. In fhort, 'tis a name 
without a thing, 'tis a noun of emptynefs, a word to fignifye the 
want of every thing that is worth anything. 

I might examin here the reafon of the generall ignorance, which 
we are fo fond of in this age, and how it comes to encreafe as it 
1 a omitted in MS. 2 With a small letter in MS. s Folio 7. 

does ; and I might run it up to its original!, (viz.) the defecl of 
education and inflruccion ; and that indeed maybe the true naturall 
reafon as we mail fee afterward : But I am not fo much upon the 
grave part yet. 

But the prefent caufe of our ignorance, at leaft the beft reafon we 
can give for its encreafe, is its being fo fafhionable, and there comes 
in the pride of it. 

We have a tradition among us, how true I leave to the criticks, 
that in the reign of Richard III., commonly, tho' (as fome fay) falfly 
call ; d Crook-back* d Richard, the courtiers made themfelves humps 
to wear under their clothes, that fo they might be in the fafhion and 
look like the king, 1 regis ad exemplum. So by the rule of our 
prefent difcourfe, they might fet up for feverall other imitacions in 
the round fhouldred age. The Ruffian ladyes, I am told, in the 
reign of the late Czar's grandfather, painted their hair red, becaufe 
the Czarina's hair was red ; and who knows, had King James II. 
reign'd a little longer, 2 mam births, warming pans, and borrow'd 
heires might have become a fafhion to prevent alienacion of eftates 
and keep the manfion houfe in the light line. 

How glorious ignorance came to be the fafhion fo much among 
us, is not very eafie to fay, or when it had its original. But that 
we grow proud of this deformity I mufl date from the facl, viz. of 
its being fafhionable. 

But I am told this is begging the queftion, that it does not appear ; 
or to reduce it to a fair enquiry, how do I prov that it is the 

If I may be allow'd to answer that queftion with a queftion, at 
the fame time promifmg to giv an ample difcovery of the fact 3 in 
its place, my queftion fhould be, in fhort, this : 

If Ignorance is not the fafhion, why is it not more out of fafhion ? 
why do we decline fending our young noblemen and the fons of 
out beft gentry to fchool, and efpecially the eldeft fons, the heirs of 
the eftates ? why muft they have no learning ? 

The, tho' weak and foolifh, anfwer is : Why, nobody does it. 'Tis 
below his quallity. " What?' 1 ' 1 fayes the lady mother, "fhall myfon 
go to fchool ! myfon ! no, indeed, he fhan't go among the rabble of 

i MS. n- ' MS - long. 3 u a" indistinct. 

every trades-man's boys and be bred up among mechanicks. No, no, 
my fon is a gentleman ; my fon, is he not a baronet by his blood ? 
and he is bora a gentleman, and he mall be bred a gentleman."- 
And fo the young gentleman has a tutor beflow'd on him to teach 
him at home ; 'tis taken for a fcandal to the heir of the family to 
be under difcipline and under reflraints, and much more to be under 
the power and correcion of a forry pedagogue : no, he mail have 
a tutor. 

And what is the Englifh of this tutor? 'Tis evedent in the 
confequence. The young gentleman has a tutor, that is, a play- 
fellow : while he is a child, indeed, he may learn him his letters and 
to read Englifh, and indeed, this but forryly too fometimes, and 
very feldome to fpell it. But more of that in its place. Then, with 
fome difficulty, he is taught his accidence, which he can rather fay 
than underfland, and this carryes him on to 12 or 13 year old, 
perhaps farther, according as he is dull or quick. If {end of 

There are some very good points in this Introduction ; 
but that which has been prefixed to the present edition 
deserves the preference, not only as being more complete, 
but because it leads more directly to the subject of 
the work, and indeed supplies some almost necessary 
observations, intended to make the aim of the book 
more easily intelligible, and to preclude misunderstand- 
ings. It seems not improbable that the two rejected 
Introductions were written before entering on the 
composition of the work itself, whilst the third was 
written, after a good deal, or perhaps the whole, of the 
book was completed ; and that Defoe desired, at the 
outset, plainly to state his opinion on several points 
on which he feared he had not made it sufficiently 
clear in the body of the work. 

The beginning of the treatise itself is not preserved 
in manuscript, but the want is fully supplied by the 

printed portion. One sheet consisting of two leaves 
must have been lost before folio 8, which accordingly 
is numbered 2 by Defoe himself ; also folio I o has the 
old number 3. The beginning of the text of folio 8 is 
found on page 8 of the proof-sheet ; but two insertions 
preserved in the printed portion, and which must have 
been written on the back of the preceding leaf, are 
lost with the first sheet. 

The MS. is well preserved, but the close and hurried 
writing, the indistinct characters, which may very often 
mean different letters, the great number of emendations, 
additions, and deleted passages, the extensive use of 
contractions and of shorthand and other abbreviations, 
and the uncommon, irregular, and often curious and 
faulty spelling make it difficult and sometimes perplex- 
ing to read. Mr. Francis B. Bickley, of the British 
Museum, who made the copy for the printer, has per- 
formed his arduous task in a most satisfactory manner, 
and, in order to make the reproduction as correct as 
possible, the editor has himself compared all doubtful, 
difficult, or complicated passages with the MS. while 
correcting the proofs. There are a few shorthand 
notes in the MS. which it has been impossible to de- 
cipher, or to get transcribed by an expert ; but they are 
always short, and never form part of the text. All 
the shorthand abbreviations in the text we have, I 
believe, interpreted correctly. 

As Defoe himself states in the letter to his printer, 
he has tried to shorten the work, and there are, in con- 
sequence, a few deleted passages of some length in the 
MS., which are printed at the end of the present 
volume among the Notes. 

[ xviii ] 

In preparing the text for publication I have avoided 
needless corrections. In the opening part, which had 
to be taken from the printed sheet, I have strictly 
adhered to the old spelling and punctuation, though it 
will be seen that both in these and in the use of 
capital letters, there are many inconsistencies. 

With regard to the MS. itself, I have adhered to the 
text, with the following necessary exceptions. I have 
expanded all abbreviations, which are very numerous. 
Defoe uses a short, thick, horizontal stroke for and, 
only occasionally employing the sign & ; a short, thick, 
oblique stroke from right to left for that ; a similar one 
from left to right for the ; but sometimes the well-known 
abbreviations y l and y e . An o with a horizontal stroke 
means either wJiich or what ; if crossed obliquely from 
right to left, it means particular. Two connected o's 
stand for good ; a long stroke with an o, for notwith- 
standing. Another more complicated shorthand abbre- 
viation is used for the words government, governor, 
and govern ; another for understand and understood ; 
likewise the words world, would, should, said, children, 
compleat, king, Christ and Christian, circumstance, pro- 
vidence, necessary, of, satisfaction, are, some of them 
usually, some occasionally, represented by shorthand 
notations ; a dot before some of them signifies the addi- 
tion of an s,e.g., kings, thafs. Ace' signifies account ; 
und r , under ; m, mm; prelimin 7 , preliminary ; bro 1 , 
brought; G, gentleman, or gentlemen, or gentry, or 
gentle; ha', have; hon bl , honourable ; S., Spain; S r , 
Sir; Po., Portuguese; T M, tradesman ; C d , Cardinal; 
K d , kingdom; Hund ds , hundreds ; tho ts , thoughts ; Q., 
Queen ; sev 11 , severall ; Plo, plenipotentiary ; P., Parlia- 

ment ; ps, peice (Defoe's spelling for piece) ; gen 11 , 
genera II ; comp a , company ; y m , them ; ordin a , ordinary ; 
Abishops, Archbishops; Eng., English; Pat. Nost., 
Paternoster; D., Devil; M., Majesty ; Gent, Gentle- 
man; bro., brother; fa., father; L d , Lord; ag st , 
against ; tho', thought. Defoe also uses the old abbre- 
viations for er and re after p ; ra with this abbreviation 
of er means merit. The i between c and o or # in such 
words as condition, especially, is either represented by a 
flourish over the two neighbouring letters, or omitted 

Many of these abbreviations are at once understood, 
and the meaning of others was found by comparison 
with the printed sheet, whilst several could only be 
explained conjecturally by comparing all the passages 
in which they occur. To this latter class belong the 
words notwithstanding^ children, good, providence, corn- 
pleat, Christian, circumstance, and one or two others. 
For the sake of scrupulous readers I have pointed out 
in foot-notes all the passages where such abbreviations 
occur, though I have myself no doubt that the inter- 
pretations given are correct. 

I have been obliged to supply the punctuation, as 
Defoe scarcely puts any commas, and only very rarely 
puts a full stop or other mark ; and to regulate the use 
of capitals (in which I have followed modern usage), as 
he puts them quite at random, sometimes even writing 
a small letter after a full stop, he makes no distinction 
between the capital and the small r. 

I have frequently inserted a hyphen where it facili- 
tates comprehension, though Defoe never uses it. The 
apostrophe is often employed in abbreviations in the 

MS., but occasionally I have supplied one in conformity 
with modern custom, as in the Saxon genitive, where 
Defoe never employs it. Now and then it was neces- 
sary to insert a word which had been accidentally 
omitted, and, though I do not think that in any instance 
there was room for doubt, all such additions are 
pointed out at the bottom of the page. 

With these exceptions, I have endeavoured accu- 
rately to reproduce the original. I have retained 
Defoe's spelling, curious and faulty though it often is. 
In many words he is simply following the older method, 
but this will not serve to excuse his writing harmony, 
propagate, and the like, not once only, but frequently, or 
as often as the words occur ; and it is amusing to note 
that he scoffs at the country gentlemen for not knowing 
how to spell while laying himself so open to criticism. 
Blunders in spelling, therefore, I have only corrected 
where it was evident that letters had been unintentionally 
omitted or written twice, as cuumber for cumber, den- 
gerate for degenerate, bings for brings ; these corrections 
also have been pointed out at the bottom of the page. 
Defoe was very fond of long sentences, and the MS. 
shows that lie frequently inserted additional clauses, 
long or short, subordinate or otherwise, explanatory or 
merely ornamental. Thus the sentence often becomes 
so long that he is obliged to repeat the beginning of it 
with an " I say " ; and even then he seldom scruples to 
heap fresh superfluities on the others. It is therefore 
no wonder that he often forgets to complete the origi- 
nal construction, and follows the overflowing stream of 
his thoughts in a different direction. I need hardly 
say that I have not altered such passages in order to 

make his style more grammatically correct, nor have I 
made changes in any other cases where he builds up 
his sentences regardless of the ordinary rules of the 
English language. At the end of the volume I have 
endeavoured to clear up a few allusions which seemed 
to require explanation. 

It appears, from a passage in the work, that Defoe 
intended to publish it anonymously ; he may perhaps 
have been conscious that one whose conduct had often 
been unscrupulous and dishonest could hardly publish 
a treatise on such a subject under his own name. He 
begins by adopting the then current acceptation of the 
word " gentleman " as " a person born (for there lies the 
essence of quality) of some known or ancient family " 
(p. 13). Then he goes on to praise the nobility and 
gentry as " the glory of Creation, the exalted head of 
the whole race" (p. 20), and adds (p. 21), "I have the 
honour to be rank'd, by the direction of Providence, in 
the same class, and would be so far from lessening the 
dignity Heaven has given us, that I would add lustre 
to the constellated body, and make them still more 
illustrious than they are." The whole book shows 
that he did not extend the word " gentleman " beyond 
the aristocracy and rich landed proprietors, among 
whom he could not, without incurring general ridicule, 
have classed himself; and he affects, throughout the 
whole book, to write as a gentleman for gentlemen, 
He was therefore, by necessity, compelled to conceal 
his name. 

He states on page 151 that he was induced to write 
the book by the case of a nobleman of ancient family, 
who deeply regretted his neglected education ; but this 

may be only an invention, as Defoe cannot be relied on 
in such matters. 

I do not propose to give a summary of the whole 
work, which is not very consistently put together ; but 
I may mention a few points of special interest, while 
the longish headings of the chapters in the list of 
Contents will give an idea of the general plan of the 

From the numbering of the chapters it is evident 
that the work is not complete, as also from the text 
ending abruptly in the middle of a narrative. As the 
last page of the MS. is covered with writing to the very 
bottom, we might suppose that part of the MS. is lost. 
But this assumption is rendered doubtful by a note in 
Defoe's writing on the back of the last leaf. It was his 
custom to write the number of the chapter on the blank 
back of the leaf which concluded it, and thus on the 
back of the last leaf we find Part II. Chapter I. It 
seems probable, therefore, that Defoe broke off here, 
perhaps interrupted by the mysterious misfortune which 
darkened the end of his life. 

Notwithstanding its incompleteness, the work is 
valuable on many accounts, but especially for the 
picture it gives of the country gentlemen of the period. 
To this subject Macaulay has devoted special attention 
in the famous third chapter of his History of England, 
and his description has been accused of great exaggera- 
tion ; but Defoe's book corroborates all his statements, 
even to the remark that there were many justices of the 
peace who could hardly sign their names to the mittimus 
which their clerk had drawn up. The curious reader 
should consult Defoe's own descriptions and remarks, 

especially pages 57, 58, 65, 66, 89 seq., 237, and the 
whole of the third chapter, in order to realize distinctly 
the state of ignorance and coarseness in which the 
majority of the nobility and gentry still continued to 
live. To make them ashamed of their want of culture, 
and to induce them to give their children a better 
education, is the principal aim (or at least the ostensible 
one) of the book, as is stated on pages 171, 172. 
It must be acknowledged that Defoe treats his subject 
with great dignity. His reasoning is throughout 
eminently calm and unpretending, nor does he ever 
assume a harsh or ungenerous tone ; and, though he 
sometimes reads his victim a severe lecture, he never 
ceases to treat him as a friend, nor does he descend to 
mean abuse. He leaves on us the impression that he 
is not merely repeating commonplaces and platitudes, 
but that he speaks from his own experience and con- 
viction ; and, although there is very little method in 
the development of his argument, he does not fail to 
bring vigorously home the truths he wishes to impress 
upon his readers. 

The book has, however, still another aim, and one 
well worthy of notice. In the second part, which un- 
fortunately is not complete, Defoe treats of the gentle- 
men by breeding, and of the increase of their numbers 
from the ranks of the wealthy merchants. The honour 
due to trade is a favourite theme in many of his 
works, and here he pleads the cause of the rich trades- 
men with much shrewdness and common-sense. He 
does not, indeed, claim the name of gentleman for the 
merchant who has amassed a fortune and bought an 
estate (p. 257) ; but he urges that the " polite son," who 

[ xxiv ] 

has received a liberal education, should not be excluded 
from that honour, and that, in fact, he is admitted into 
some of the best families in Britain (p. 258). It should 
be observed that Defoe never attempts to claim the 
name of gentleman for any professional man, nor for 
any one on account of his personal merit or character, 
except in one short passage, where he seems to hold 
that officers in the army and clergymen are gentlemen 
by right of their position (p. 46). He admits, in 
conformity with generally received opinion, that the 
root of the distinction lies in the possession of landed 

Another passage worthy of notice will be found 
on page 200 seq., where Defoe repeats his famous 
disguised self-defence, and powerful attack upon the 
conceited scholar, 1 not quite in the same terms, but in , 
very similar ones, and with even greater force. In both 
cases the passage is marked by the effective use of the 
epipJiora, which consists in the frequent repetition of the 
bitter phrase, " And yet this man is no scholar ! " On 
page 20 1 follows a renewed invective against the 
scholars, which distinctly recalls another passage con- 
tained in Applebee's Journal? On page 203 he dwells 
on the distinction between the " man of polite learning " 
and the " meer scholar " ; the former, he says, is a 
gentleman, and the latter a mere book-case. These 
and other similar passages show the bitter feeling left 
in his mind by the scornful treatment he had formerly 
received from University men. 

1 See Applebefs Journal^ Oct. 30 ; the passage is reprinted in 
W. Lee's Life and Unpublished Writings of Daniel Defoe^ iii. 
435 seq. 2 Of November 6. 

[ XXV ] 

A little farther on Defoe enters more minutely on 
the question in what true learning consists; " the know- 
ledge of things," he says, " not words, make a scholar " 
(p. 212). He recommends the study of history, geo- 
graphy, astronomy, philosophy, and natural science, 
urging that one may know these things without being 
acquainted with the learned languages, as there are 
good translations of all Latin and Greek books of im- 
portance. " Thus, men may be scholars without Latin 
and philosophers without Greek" (p. 215). May any 
one, he asks, who has the knowledge of philosophy and 
all the other sciences, be called a man without learning, 
ignorant, and untaught, or does he not indeed deserve 
the name of a scholar ? (p. 2 1 7.) The whole disqui- 
sition shows how highly Defoe valued the title of 
scholar, notwithstanding his previous invectives, and 
how much he would have liked to bear it. But as the 
word is generally connected with a meaning different 
from that which he wishes it to bear, he misses his 
point, though in other respects his remarks are just and 
worthy of notice. The same thoughts, springing from 
the same feelings, are thus expressed by Goldsmith in 
his Inquiry into the Present State of Polite Learning, 
Chapter IX. : 

"To acquire a character for learning among the 
English, at present, it is necessary to know much more 
than is either important or useful. It seems the spirit 
of the times for men here to exhaust their natural 
sagacity in exploring the intricacies of another man's 
thought, and thus never to have leisure to think for 

themselves From this fault also arises that 

mutual contempt between the scholar and the man of 

[ xxvi ] 

the world, of which every day's experience furnisheth 

Locke also had previously pronounced the opinion 
that " a great part of the learning then in fashion in 
the schools might be left out from the education of a 
gentleman without any great disparagement to himself, 
or prejudice to his affairs." " School learning," as Mr. 
Quick has, no doubt justly, observed, 1 " was in those 
days even more estranged from the business of life than 
it has been since." Thus the protest of Defoe, who 
looked on life from a practical point of view, seems 
fully explained and justified. 

At the same time Defoe also takes occasion to de- 
nounce the practice of teaching in Latin, then general 
at grammar schools and the Universities, observing 
that if " science and all the liberal arts " were taught in 
English, this would greatly help to soon do away with 
the ignorance of the gentry (p. 208). 

The work is written in the classic style which has so 
often been praised in Defoe. His mastery of language 
in this late work is still as complete and admirable as 
ever ; the sentences flow in an uninterrupted stream, 
and the author never seems to hesitate except, as indeed 
often happens, to return to his proper subject after a 
digression into which his flood of language has carried 
him. The most obvious peculiarity of his diction is 
the tendency to write over-long sentences, and to use as 
many words as possible ; but this excessive copiousness 
of expression rarely or never destroys the lucidity, or 
even the simplicity, of his language. He never indulges 

1 Essays on Educational Reformers^ 2nd edition, Cincinnati, 
1888, p. 85. 

[ xxvii ] 

in the clumsy or grotesque classical constructions which 
characterized many writers of the previous century, nor 
in the oppressive quotations from Horace, Virgil, and 
" their chiming train," upon whom so many others still 
liked to "draw a bill" (p. 222). His only quotations 
are taken from Holy Scripture, when his subject sug- 
gests, perhaps, an allusion to David or to Solomon's 
fool. Sometimes his style certainly becomes a little 
too rhetorical, but not to any offensive extent ; and the 
general impression left on the mind is that his words 
were allowed to arrange themselves naturally as the 
course of his ideas suggested. He does not much con- 
cern himself with the elaborate balancing of sentences, 
nor go out of his way in search of choice words and 
laboriously polished expressions ; but the ease and 
freshness of his style make him delightful to read. 
Nor does he make any deliberate efforts at wit, though 
a pleasant jeu de mots now and then occurs, as it were, 
spontaneously ; or a happy simile gives poetic eleva- 
tion to the page. I would instance especially his com- 
parison of the happiness of an ignorant noble to that 
of a stag in his forest (p. i 5 8), less for the appropriate- 
ness of the comparison than for the beauty of the 
language. It recalls some of the similes in the Iliad Y 
where the poet, in elaborating his description, has lost 
sight of the comparison for which it was begun ; and 
the reader admires the vivid picture for itself rather 
than for any light which it throws on the original 

Defoe tells us himself (p. 219) what his ideal style 
is ; it should be " manly " and " polite," " free and 
plain, without foolish flourishes and ridiculous flights 

[ xxviii ] 

of jingling bombast, or dull meannesses of expression 
below the dignity of the subject." Notwithstanding 
some minor defects, such as the frequent use of " I 
say," " viz.," " as above," and other like locutions, which 
are really irritating, we must acknowledge that he suc- 
ceeds fairly well in attaining his own standard. 

The length of the work and the very deliberate evo- 
lution of the argument will doubtless deter many 
readers, and I cannot defend the many superfluous re- 
petitions of the same ideas, which, moreover, are some- 
times superficial or commonplace. We should, however, 
remember that the book was not written for us hasty and 
fastidious moderns, but for the readers of his own time, 
who may be safely supposed to have had much more 
patience, and who had a special love for this kind of 
literature. Goldsmith remarked (The Bee, No. 6), 
" Few subjects are more interesting to society at pre- 
sent, and few have been more frequently written upon, 
than the training of youth." In fact, the press teemed, 
not only with English writings on the subject, but with 
translations of French, Italian, and Spanish books on 
education. It is not surprising, then, that Defoe, who 
always understood the public taste, should have taken 
up so promising a subject. While former writers had, 
for the most part, produced only masses of dreary and 
unrelieved commonplace, he at least excites our in- 
terest, though of course his book is not to be compared 
with such a work as Locke's Thoughts on Edttcation. 

Defoe has treated the subject in a manner of his own. 
There are many books, bearing the same title as his, or 
a like one, which give directions for the education of 
youth, and in some cases include a compendium^] of 

[ xxix ] 

necessary knowledge. Defoe limits his efforts to the 
exposure of existing mistakes, only rarely suggesting 
plans for improvement ; and his aim is to show that a 
liberal education is necessary to a gentleman of good 
birth, and that without it he could not be called a 
"complete gentleman." In this attempt he lays so 
much stress on the acquisition of book-learning that he 
seems to forget the moral elements which form the 
character of a true gentleman. We should not, perhaps, 
treat this omission as indicating a fundamental defect 
of mind in Defoe himself ; yet it is significant that on 
page 274, where he describes a perfect gentleman, the 
mention of " his mind fortified with virtue and solid 
judgment against the fopperies and follyes of the age," 
not only comes last, and as a mere addition to "his 
agreeable behaviour, his good humour, great stock of 
common knowledge, his knowledge of several modern 
languages, and his school learning," but here and in 
other places, when he makes a brief remark on " the 
noble and virtuous qualities of a gentle character," he 
utterly fails to express them distinctly or adequately. 
He can only be in part excused for this deficiency by 
the aim of his book, which, it is true, gave his thoughts 
a somewhat different direction, as he desired to blame 
the gentry rather for ignorance than for lack of gener- 
ous character. 

There is sometimes considerable monotony in his 
discussions, from his dwelling too long on some one 
point ; but frequently the argument is enlivened by 
little stories, dialogues, and amusing anecdotes. In 
these, Peter the Great (of whom he had formerly written 
a Life) frequently appears, and he quotes sayings of 

[ XXX ] 

Charles II., of Queen Anne, and of his well-beloved 
William of Orange. He also gives anecdotes of the 
Earl of Oxford, who once compared pedigrees with a 
newly created peer ; of Sir Thomas Hanmer, called 
Number Fifty ; of the Pension Parliament ; and of a 
petition which had to be reprinted in order to make it 
intelligible to Members of Parliament, because the 
numbers in it were given in figures instead of full 
words. There are even some stories which fill many 
pages and contain long conversations ; they are told in 
a lively style, and are perhaps the best, certainly the 
most amusing, part of the book (cf. pp. 43-58, 123 
141,151-171, 188-208,268-275, 276-278). As is his 
wont, Defoe introduces this latter kind of stories as 
taken from his own personal experience; but some 
probably are fictitious. Of course they interrupt the 
continuity of his arguments ; and once he does not 
even scruple to relate a little story which does not 
touch at all upon the subject under consideration 
(cf. pp. 151-153); but he is ingenuous enough to 
confess that he is quite aware of this. 

Finally, I will mention a very effective artifice, which 
Defoe sometimes uses with admirable skill in order to 
show the absurdity or the meanness of a thing. He 
sets up a mock defence, in which either the ridiculed 
person is introduced as defending his own cause, or the 
author stands up for the person whose folly he wants 
to expose, and conducts the defence in a perfectly 
natural and apparently serious tone. In both cases 
the result is a playful satire, which nevertheless shows 
the inanity of the cause in all its bareness (cf., for 
instance, pp. 65-66). 

{ xxxi ] 

In order to illustrate certain statements of Defoe's, I 
originally intended to append a number of notes at the 
end of the text ; on second thoughts, however, it seemed 
more advisable to arrange them in connected order and 
give them in the shape of forewords. Still, this intro- 
duction is not, and does not pretend to be, much more 
than a mere collection of notices principally intended 
to throw a clear light on two points, and necessary for 
a full appreciation of Defoe's works: (i) The changes 
in the meaning of the word gentleman ; (2) The education 
of the upper classes of England in former times. As 
the latter is a subject, or forms part of a subject, which 
has lately begun to interest not a few people in England, 
viz., the History of Education ; I feel confident that, 
though my remarks may be imperfect, they will not be 
thought altogether futile. 

The collection of these notices has involved a large 
amount of work, as the material had to be dug up from 
a heap of old books, of which only few proved service- 
able, and many did not yield any contribution at all. 
This may seem surprising, as it is well known that 
all the books on education down to the time of Rousseau 
at least, all English books are concerned only with 
the bringing up of young gentlemen. But I was less 
interested in the theory 1 than in illustrating the actual 
state of education ; besides, almost all the books, 
especially of the sixteenth and the earlier part of the 
seventeenth century, written as they are by pedantic 
scribblers, contain nothing but a dull tissue of childish 

1 A very useful book on the history of educational theory, in 
England, is Mr. Robert Hebert Quick's Essays on Educational 
Reformers, 2nd ed., Cincinnati, U.S.A., 1888. 

xxxii ~] 

rhetoric. Usually, they all follow the same insipid 
method, beginning their argument with a Latin or 
Greek quotation, going on with a lengthy declamatory 
exposition of its truth, and winding up with the un- 
measured praise of some antique hero, Alexander or 
Caesar, whom they represent as the paragon of excellent 

A long list of these books is given in Watt's 
Bibliotheca Btitannica under the head Education; all 
the better ones will be found mentioned in the present 

History of the meanings of the word "gentleman" 

The English words gentleman and gentlewoman are 
simply translations of the French gentil homme and 
gentille femme, and thus originally meant only a man or 
woman born of a family of a certain social rank. It 
may be safely assumed that the Normans who accom- 
panied William the Conqueror brought the terms with 
them, and that they were among the earliest words 
translated into English. Dr. Murray tells me that 
the slips for the New English Dictionary accord- 
ingly show the word gentil, in the meaning of " well 
born," in familiar use with all writers from about 
the year 1200; many of the instances are given in 
Prof. Ed. Matzner's Wb'rterbuch (Altenglische Sprach- 

By reason of " collateral associations," which always 
adhere to words, the terms gentleman and gentlewoman 
came by degrees to connote all such qualities or 
adventitious circumstances as were usually found to 

[ xxxiii ] 

belong to persons of gentle origin. 1 Thus, mediaeval 
writers frequently urge that without such virtues as 
" trouth, pete, fredome, and hardynesse, nobody ought 
to be called a gentleman." 2 

As a matter of course the additional meanings which 
the two words included, besides the quality of birth, 
must have varied in different ages according to the 
changing qualities, morals, and manners of persons of 
gentle extraction. In the age of chivalry a true 
gentleman was distinguished, besides his birth, by 
valour, honour, gentleness and respect towards the 
fair sex, truth, humility and piety ; and knowledge of 
manly exercises, courteous manners, music and singing, 
acquaintance with the order of precedency in rank, and 
ability to carve, were his accomplishments rather than 
scholastic learning, or even the faculty to read or write. 3 
From this it is a long way to the modern definition 
which I remember to have read in a little American 
book 4 devoted to the subject, saying "the truest gentle- 
man is he 'who combines the most cultivated mind with 
the most sympathetic and unselfish heart" 

1 I have been assisted in these remarks by Mr. Stuart Mill's 
discussion on the word in his System of Logic, quoted in Latham's 
ed. of Dr. Johnson's Dictionary, under " Gentleman." 

2 Wright, Reliquce Antiques, vol. i. 252. I am indebted for this 
quotation as well as for other information on the above subject to 
Dr. Murray. 

3 See Dr. Furnivall's very interesting and instructive account of 
early English education (p. iv.), printed as introduction to his col- 
lection of treatises on Early English Meals and Manners, for the 
Early English Text Society, 1868 ; and also in the second and 
third numbers of the Quarterly Journal of Education, 1887. 

4 Its title is, What is a Gentleman ? 

[ xxxiv ] 

It is curious to observe here that in all the instances 
of mediaeval literature where the word gentleman is used 
it either directly refers to a man of gentle birth, or it 
is accompanied by an analysis of a true gentleman's 
qualities. The secondary meaning of the word seems 
in fact to have detached itself from the original one 
at a comparatively late period ; the corresponding word 
gentlewoman has apparently never had any other sense 
than that of a " woman of gentle birth," the word used 
for the secondary meaning being lady. 

These changes in the meaning of the word are, of 
course, not merely verbal, but are closely connected 
with the social history of the times. During the 
Middle Ages the divisions of rank were strongly 
marked and firmly maintained. A wide and practi- 
cally unsurpassable gulf divided commoners from the 
nobility and gentry. Nobody who was not born 
gentle would have thought of laying claim to the 
denomination of a gentleman, evidently for the simple 
reason that it only signified a man of gentle birth. 
Younger sons did not then, as they do to-day, form the 
connecting link between the two classes ; there were no 
learned professions in which they met with the man of 
lower birth, as they found ample occupation in the field 
and at Court. Even in the clergy, which comprised 
men of both classes, the higher and lower ranks were 
kept separate. 

The few exceptions, where commoners rose to dignity 
and rank, do not shake the rule, the less so as the 
particular circumstances which attend them make the 
distinction only the more conspicuous. 

Only at the time of the Reformation did this ex- 

[ XXXV ] 

clusiveness of the upper classes begin to disappear. 
Learning henceforth took a different position. 

In the Middle Ages, study in all its forms was left as 
an inferior pastime to a secluded class of people ; for in 
those warlike days a literary education was of little use 
for the business of life, and consequently enjoyed but 
little esteem. But when, from the sixteenth century, 
scholastic knowledge became of great and ever-increas- 
ing value, the esteem in which scholars and all profes- 
sional men were held, increased too, as a matter of 
course. Then it became a shame to be ignorant, and 
the writers declare that " learning is an essentiall part 
of nobilitie." 1 About the same time the petty feuds of 
the nobility, as well as the great civil wars, ceased ; and 
as younger sons could no longer turn to the occupation 
of arms alone, they had to resort to the other profes- 
sions as well. Besides, the splendour of chivalry had 
disappeared, and this had brought the nobility and 
gentry a good deal nearer the level of the ordinary 

This was the time when commoners first raised the 
claim to being admitted among gentle-folk. 

It is very instructive to compare here what the 
anonymous writer of a little book called The Insti- 
tution of a Gentleman, blk. lr., 155 5, says on the subject. 
The treatise has a special interest, dating, as it does, 
from the juncture when the social institutions of the 
Middle Ages had fallen to pieces and the foundation of 
modern society was being built on the ruins. The author 
leads with his subject not only systematically, but with 
a good deal of common sense and ability ; and the book 
1 Peacham, Compleat Gentleman^ p. 18. 

[ xxxvi ] 

was reprinted in 1568 and 1579, and has also had the 
honour of a modern black letter reprint, in 1839. It 
distinguishes these three classes of gentle people : those 
who are called (\) gentil gentil, (2) gentle vngentle, and 
(3) ungentle gentle. 

1. " Gentil gentil" the author explains, "is he which 
is born of noble kynred descendyng of gentle blud, 
as son to a duke, an erle, a baron, a lord, or more 
low, son to a knight, or an esquier, (for these degrees of 
nobilitie,) having ioyned with hys gentle house, gentle 
manners, and noble conditions." Learning is not men- 
tioned here at all ; only a good many pages later on 
the author observes that " for the further ornature and 
setting forth of hys person, a gentleman ought to be 
learned, to have knowledge in tounges, and to be apte 

in the feates of armes To suite a gentilman, 

also sume knowledge in musicke, or to know the use of 
musicall instrumentes, is muche commendable." 

2. " Gentle vngentle is that man whiche is descended 
of noble parentage, and hath in him such corrupt and 
vngentle maners as to the iudgement of al men hee 
iustly deserueth the name of vngentle." 

3. " Ungentle rcntle is hee whych is borne of a lowe 
degree, of a poore stocke, or of a lowe house ; whyche 
man, by his vertue, wyt, pollicie, industry, knowledge 
in lawes, valiency in armes, or such lyke honeste meanes, 
becometh a wel beloued and hygh estemed man, pre- 
ferred ttien to great office, put in great charg, and credit, 
even so much as he becometh a post or stay of the 
Commune Wealthe, and so growynge ryche, doth thereby 
auaunce and set up the rest of his poore line or 
kindred ; they are the children of such one commonly e 

[. xxxvii ] 

called gentlemen ; of whych sort of gentleman we have 
now in England very many, whereby it should appeare 
that vertue flourisheth emong vs. These gentlemen are 
now called vpstartes, a terme latelye invented. 

" But this alloweth nothinge the newe sorte of menne 
whyche are run out of theyr order, and from the sonnes 
of handycraft men, have obteigned the name of gentle- 
men, the degre of esquiers, and title of knyghtes. These 
men ought to be called worshypful vnworthie, for that 
they have crepte into the degree of worshippe wythoute 
worthines, neyther broughte thereunto by valiencye ne 
vertue. Theyr fathers was contented to bee called good- 
men John or Thomas, and now they, at euery assise, 
are clepid worshipfull esquiers, havyng them a lytle 
donghil forecast to get lands, neyther by their learning 
nor worthynes achiued, but purchased by certein darke 
augmentacion, practises by meanes wherof they be 
called gentilmen ; but they be abusiuely so called, by 
reason their actes neuer made them noble. 

"Therfore I do exclude and banysh al such out of 
this booke, of whom it doth not treat. 

" These be the righte vpstartes, and not those whyche 
clyme to honour by worthynes." 

From these remarks we may conclude that in the 
middle of the sixteenth century gentlemen formed still 
a rigorously exclusive caste, into which, besides per- 
sons of birth, comparatively only very few highly deserv- 
ing men and their descendants were admitted. But at 
the same time we are told that, besides these, there are 
others who assume the name of gentleman by improper 
means, and the great indignation with which the author 
speaks of the rich merchants who creep into repute, 

[ xxxviii ] 

not by noble deeds, but by buying lands and estates, 
shows that this was then a novel practice. It is also 
interesting to read what our author observes on the 
proper callings of a gentleman. He declares that 
there are four " chiefe offices over others " which it is 
" most necessary that gentlemen should have the min- 
istration of before any other sortes of persons : " i . The 
post of " a manne of law ;" 2. Of " a captayne in the 
warres. To bee a perfect soldier, he says, or captayne 
in the warres, or to have knowledge in the feates 
or armes, it is so honourable in a gentleman that 
there can be nothyng more prayse worthy ; 3. Of am- 
bassadoures between kynges and prynces ; 4. Of justices 
of peace in the cuntrye. None but gentlemen should 
be in these offices. But apart from these there are 
manye moe offices and roumes fit for gentlemen. 
To be a customer of a hauen towne, or a bayly 
for wante of a larger fortune, necessitie hath rather 
enforsed gentlemen, then their first institution : but 
that a gentle man be a sercher of sume porte or a 
sergeant in a citie, it is very vnmete for his institu- 

Some of the offices which he recommends to the 
born gentlemen, were, or soon became, also open to 
commoners, and this necessarily raised such professional 
men of humble birth to the higher social position of their 
colleagues of gentle origin. 

The Institution of a Gentleman is the earliest book I 
know of, which testifies to the beginning of those de- 
structive changes and growing innovations which have 
formed modern society. Never before had it been de- 
clared that the name of gentleman was or should 

[ xxxix ] 

be extended to other persons but men of birth. The 
line of demarcation between gentle and not gentle 
henceforth is moveable ; and in progress of time 
more and more classes of people claim the honourable 
name of gentleman. The change, however, is only a 
very slow one, and, as is usual in cases of such gradual 
transitions, it is accompanied by a great deal of public 
discussion. It is superfluous to quote many of the 
writers, as they agree in all essential points, especially 
in the praise of learning and virtue. The subject is 
treated at great length, and not without ability, in an 
Italian book, called Nennio, and written by Sir John 
Baptista Nenna, which was translated into English by 
W. Jones, Gent., in 1595. Here a nobleman defends 
his cause in a way which makes great concessions to the 
altered spirit of the age. " Learning," he says, on 
p. 1 8, "is rather an ornament of nobilitie than cause 
thereof; it giueth a certain facilitie, or rather a begin- 
ing, vnto man to become honourable, but it doth not 
indeede make him noble .... there wanteth some- 
what else, and it is, riches ; which are an ornament, or 
rather a part of nobilitie ; which if thou dost conioine 
with learning, it may be that then I will beleeue that he 
that posseseth both, is become noble." His opponent 
for the book is mainly a dialogue: then shows that 
true and perfect nobility " consists in the virtues of the 
minde." But the author recognises the two new causes 
never acknowledged in the time of chivalry, which may 
make a gentleman viz., education and wealth. Al- 
though in this treatise, as in The Institution of a Gen- 
tleman, and most other books, considerable trouble is 
taken in order to show the reader that "riches are an 

ornament, not the cause of nobility," 1 we may 
take it for granted that in practice rich men were more 
readily admitted to the name of gentlemen than any 
other class of society, and that it was they who first 
and most frequently made their way into the higher 

The first direct mention which I know, of professions 
giving a claim to that name is in William Harrison's 
Description of England (in. Holinshed's Chronicles), 1577. 
He says, in Book III. chapter iv.: 2 "Whosoever studieth 
the laws of the realm, whoso abideth in the university 
(giving his mind to his book), or professeth physic and 
the liberal sciences, or beside his service in the room of a 
captain in the wars, or good counsel given at home, 
whereby his commonwealth is benefited, can live with- 
out manual labour, and thereto is able and will bear the 
post, charge and countenaunce of a gentleman, he shall 
for money have a coat and arms 3 bestowed upon him 
by heralds, and thereunto, being made so good cheap, 
be called master, which is the title that men give to 
esquires and gentlemen, and reputed for a gentleman 
ever after." A little later on, Harrison remarks that 
citizens " often change estate with gentlemen, as gentle- 
men do with them, by a mutual conversion of the one 
into the other." .... Yeomen as well often " do come 

1 H. Peacham, The Compleat Gentleman (1622, 1627, 1634, 
1661), p. 10 of ed. 1634. 

2 Dr. Furnivall has edited the work in a condensed form for the 
"New Shakspere Society" (1876); the most interesting parts of 
it form also a volume of the " Camelot Series," with the title 
Elizabethan England (ed. by Mr. Lothrop Withington), from which 
I have taken the quotations. 

3 Shakespere's father received a coat of arms in 1599. 

to great wealth, insomuch that many of them are able 
and do buy the lands of unthrifty gentlemen, and often 
setting their sons to the schools, to the universities, and 
to the Inns of the Court, or otherwise leaving them 
sufficient lands whereupon they may live without labour, 
do make them by those means to become gentlemen." 
I take another passage from Peacham's Compleat 
Gentleman, p. 1 1 : " We may ranke advocates," he says, 
" and physitians with the ennobled, or no," but " the 
exercise of merchandize is accounted base and most 
derogating from nobility." Personally, however, he 
pleads for the honest merchant. 

Mulcaster assigns the following order to the four pro- 
fessions which he thinks a gentleman may take up : 
(i) The counsellor; (2) the clergyman ; (3) the lawyer; 
(4) the physician (Positions, 1581, ed. Quick, p. 202). 

The opinion that trade was "wholly inconsistent 
with a gentleman's calling" (Locke, Thoughts on Edu- 
cation, 1693, P- 2OI )> appears to have been more firmly 
maintained in previous times than in our century. But 
many writers share Peacham's conciliatory opinion. 
Addison and Steele take occasion in their writings to 
satirize those numerous poor younger sons who would 
rather " be starved like gentlemen, than thrive in a trade 
or profession that is beneath their quality." Defoe also 
makes great endeavours in his Compleat English Gentle- 
man to show the absurdity of the common aversion 
among gentle-folk to commerce and trade. 

In Mulcaster's days also professional men of low 
birth still were protested against. Sir John Feme, for in- 
stance, who wrote about the same time, does not recog- 
nize any others but born gentlemen. " It appeareth,," 


[ xlii ] 

he says, " that no man can be properly called a gentle- 
man except he be a gentleman of bloud, possessing 
vertue" (Blazon of Gentrie, 1586, p. 87). The contrary 
opinion again appears in Selden's Titles of Honour 
(163 1 ) thus : " Vulgar use now hath so altered the genuine 
sense of generosus, that it frequently denotes any kind 
of gentleman, either by birth or otherwise, truly enjoying 
that name, as well as nobilis." 1 The reason of these 
diverging opinions is, of course, that the word already 
included two distinct meanings. 

According to Clement Ellis (The Gentile Sinner, 1660, 
and frequently, p. 10), there was at one time a great 
danger that the word might assume a very bad meaning : 
" Never," he exclaims, " honest name was more abused 
than this of gentleman ; indeed it is to be feared that 
having been so long misapplied, it wil at last find the 
like hard measure with those other once more honest 
names of tyrant and sophister, and from a title of honour 
degenerate into a term of the greatest disgrace and 
infamy. // is, indeed, already made to be of no better 
a signification than this, to denote a person of a licentiotis 
and an unbridled life ; for though it be, as 'tis used, a 
word of a very uncertain and equivocal sound, and given 
at random to persons of farre different, nay contrary 
both humours, descents, and merits, yet a gentleman 
must be thought only such a man, as may, without 
controle, do what he lists, and sin with applause : one 
that esteems it base and ungentile, to fear a God, to own 
a law, or practise a religion." With this we may com- 
pare the following passage, which is found in the Tatler, 

1 Both passages are quoted by Mr* Croft in his edition of Elyot's 
Governor, vol. ii. 27. 

[ xliii ] 

No. 66 : " You see among men who are honoured with 
the common appellation of gentlemen so many contra- 
dictions to that character, that it is the utmost ill-fortune 
to bear it." The meanings of many words are indeed 
in a continual fluctuation ; they represent in a great 
measure the character and prevalent opinions of the 
day, and the same word may signify " good " to-day 
and " bad " to-morrow. 

Throughout all changes of secondary meaning, the 
primary English idea of a " gentleman/' as being the 
owner of an estate, or one of the owner's family, remained 
intact ; the longer the estate had been in possession of 
their ancestors, the more illustrious was their birth. 
The owner of a property so small that he had personally 
to superintend the cultivation, was a " yeoman," and no 
gentleman, a distinction not yet quite extinct in some 
parts of the country. 

I will insert here a few short extracts from a little 
book of Charles II.'s time, which bears the title The 
Courtier's Calling (London, 1675), and is written by 
an anonymous "Man of Honour" apparently a man 
of fashion. The second part of this book is devoted 
to the object of giving advice to younger sons how to 
provide for themselves. After observing that, unfor- 
tunately, it is impossible for gentlemen to "traffick" 
(p. 120), he, in the first instance, recommends to enter 
the army. The next best thing is to " attend a lord " ; 
the master, it is true, will treat them meanly, " will 
often converse with others, whilst they must stand 
behind them with their hats off. One can hardly 
distinguish them in this posture from valets de 
chambre, and they are sometimes abused like villains. 

[ xliv ] 

It is very hard for a poor gentleman to undergo all these 
grievous disasters." Thirdly, if the young gentleman 
"perceives in himself a natural disposition to study 
[divinity, the laws, or medicine], he ought to apply 
himself thereto." The fourth profession, which the 
" Man of Honour " recommends quite seriously, is 
gambling ! He says (on p. 225) : " So soon as we have 
gathered together a considerable stock of money, let us 
get into the greatest gaming-houses, and hold for a 
maxime always to attaque the best purses." On p. 227 : 
" Cheating is somewhat (!) infamous, and unworthy 
of a gentleman, and is not to be endured by any gallant 
men." On p. 228 : " Cheating is very dangerous, and 
therefore ought always to be avoided." 

The comparatively very modern meaning of the word, 
when used to denote a man of a generous heart, quite 
irrespective of birth as well as station of life, is pointed 
out in the Tatlcr (of June i6th) : " The courtier, the 
trader, and the scholar," Steele observes, " should all 
have an equal pretension to the denomination of a 
gentleman. That tradesman who deals with me in a 
commodity which I do not understand, with upright- 
ness, has much more right to that character than the 
courtier who gives me false hopes, or the scholar who 
laughs at my ignorance." Probably there are few 
earlier passages where the word has that noblest of 
its meanings, than this in Dekker's tragedies : 

" The best of men 

That e'er wore earth about him was a sufferer, 
A soft, meek, patient, humble, tranquil spirit ; 
The first true gentleman that ever breathed." 

It seems to me that such passages are not only 

very scarce, even after Defoe's day, but they appear 
to be always accompanied by a special reflection on the 
character of a "true" gentleman; and I am inclined 
to believe that the idea of a " gentleman by feeling " 
is in reality only a creation of the present century. 
Readers of Defoe's Compleat English Gentleman will 
notice that, though he devotes many long discussions 
to the question who may be called gentlemen in addi- 
tion to the gentry and nobility, there is nowhere the 
slightest indication that in his opinion a man might be 
a gentleman by virtue of a generous heart and a highly 
cultivated intellect. According to him, only immense 
wealth, joined with a good education, can impart the 
attribute gentle to a man of low origin. It will, more- 
over, be remembered that in Fielding's novels the majority 
of the gentry exhibit a total lack of those good feelings, 
tastes, and habits which we are nowadays accustomed 
to attach to the name of gentleman ; and only later, 
when a great number of the higher classes of society 
were possessed of those noble qualities which constitute, 
in our modern opinion, the true gentleman, could other 
men as well acquire that name by, having the same 

The Education of the Born Gentlemen. 

1. Fashionable Contempt for Learning. 

2. Education at Home. 

3. Education at Schools and Academies. 

4. Education at Universities and Inns of Court. 

5 . Travelling. 

6. Subjects of a Gentleman's Education. 

7. Manners and Habits, 

[ xlvi ] 

The far better education of the born gentleman of 
the present day, the more careful cultivation of his mind 
is the most striking feature that distinguishes him from 
his predecessors, not only in the Middle Ages, but of 
much later times. Defoe's book reveals the deplorable 
state of ignorance in which the majority of the gentry 
still persisted in his day. It is the object of the subse- 
quent pages to throw more light on the subject of his 
work by giving more particulars on this point from 
previous and contemporary writers. As the changes in 
the bringing up of the nobility and gentry from about 
the middle of the sixteenth century down to Defoe's 
time are slight and gradual, not fundamental, the 
historical treatment of the subject does not, I believe, 
necessitate separate dealing with the education in the 
different epochs, but a more or less strictly chronological 
arrangement of the matter seems to be sufficient. 

Dr. Furnivall's article on " Early English Education " 
shows how low the state of learning was in the upper 
classes till about the time of the Reformation. The 
chief places of education for the sons of the nobility 
and gentry then were the houses of other noblemen, 
especially of the chancellors of the King, where, how- 
ever, the youths learnt chiefly good manners and courtesy. 
Lack of book-learning, and even of the knowledge of 
using the pen, was by no means a disparagement. A, 
little more was learnt in the houses of abbots and at 
monastic schools, where boys were taught to write, and 
acquired a tincture of barbarous Latin. But even in 
1523 ignorance was still so common that Fitzherbert 
recommends that gentlemen unable to commit notes by 
writing should notch a stick to assist their memory 

[ xlvii ] 

(Husbandry, p. 86 ; quoted by Henry, History of 
England, vol. vi. 648). 

i . Fashionable Contempt for Learning. 

The Reformation, which may be set down as the time 
when the great advantages of a well-regulated literary 
training became more generally recognized, found the 
nobility and gentry very conservative in this respect, as 
in all others ; and even down to the days of Defoe and 
later, there are numerous signs to show that the highest 
classes of society persisted in an undue reluctance to 
adopt an education worthy of their position. 

In the year 1531, Sir Thomas Elyot says: "Some 
[men of noble or gentle birth] without shame, dare 
affirme that to a great gentilman it is a notable ro- 
proche to be well learned and to be called a great 
clerke, whiche name they accounte to be of so base 
estymation that they never have it in their mouths but 
whan they speke anythynge in derision" (loth edition 
of The Governor, by Mr. H. H. St. Croft, 1880, vol. i. 
p. 99). 

The author of The Institution of a Gentleman (1555) 
quotes a proverb " He shoteth like a gentleman, faire 
and fur of" which, he says, is used in a figurative 
sense "to the disprayse of ignorant gentlemen." Ascham, 
too, knows of the contempt for learning among the 
upper classes ; he says (on p. 22 of Professor Mayor's 
edition) : " If a father have foure sonnes, three faire and 
well formed both mynd and bodie, the fourth, wretched, 
lame, and deformed, his choice shal be, to put the 
worst to learning, as one good enough to becum a 
scholer. I have spent the most parte of my life in 

[ xlviii ] 

the Universitee, and therefore I can beare good witnes 
that many fathers commonlie do thus." Compare also, 
on pp. 53 and 64. Peacham, Complete Gentleman (1622), 
p. 31, remarks: "Now adaies, parents [of rank] either 
give their children no education at all (thinking their 
birth or estate will bear out that) : or if any, it leaveth 
so slender an impression in them, that like their names 
cut upon a tree, it is overgrowne with the old barke by 
the next summer." 1 Swift begins his Essay on Education 
(Works, 1841, ii. 290) with the remark that he has come 
to the conclusion that " education is always the worse 
in proportion to the wealth and grandeur of the parents." 
Later on (p. 292) he adds : " I do by no means confine 
these remarks to young persons of noble birth, the same 
errors running through all families where there is wealth 
enough to afford their sons (at least the eldest) may be 
good for nothing. Why should my son be a scholar, 
when it is not intended that he should live by his 
learning ? " And again, on p. 291, he reports how once 
a fashionable officer thought fit to interrupt the con- 
versation of two gentlemen, one of whom was of the 
clergy ; " professing to deliver the sentiments of his 
fraternity, as well as his own (and probably he did so 
of too many among them), [he] turned to the clergy- 
man, and spoke in the following manner : " D n 
me, doctor, say what you will, the army is the only 
school for gentlemen. Do you think my Lord Marl- 
borough beat the French with Greek and Latin ? 
D n me, a scholar when he comes into good company, 
what is he but an ass ? D n me, I would be glad by 
G d to see any of your scholars, with his nouns and 

1 Compare also Locke, Thoughts on Education, 90. 

[ xlix ] 

his verbs, and his philosophy, and his trigonometry, 
what a figure he would make at a siege, or blockade, or 
rencountering ! D n me," &c. In Defoe's book this 
fashionable contempt for the study of letters is probably 
justly represented by the long dialogue between the 
two brothers on p. 43 sq. ; here and in many other 
places he introduces the elder sons and owners of 
estates as boasting of their ignorance, which they think 
sits well on their quality. 

2. Education at Home. 

When the mediaeval practice of bringing up boys of 
good birth in a nobleman's family had fallen into dis- 
use, private tuition at home seems to have become the 
ordinary course. The tutors were either undergraduates 
of the Universities who wanted to fill up their time, or 
young clergymen waiting for preferment, or professional 
teachers, the last, in all likelihood, mostly Frenchmen. 
In a wealthy family the tutor was usually one of the 
salaried dependents, and lived in the house, while in 
other cases the village parson or schoolmaster came up 
to instruct the squire's children in private. A passage 
in Mulcaster's Positions (1581) shows that private 
tuition was the course often adopted even by " the 
gentleman which flyeth not so high, but fluttereth some 
little above the ordinarie common " (ed. R. H. Quick, 
p. 189). Mulcaster, who did not approve of private 
tuition, recommended that " rich people should keep 
a private master, and send him with the child to the 
common school." 

Lord Herbert of Cherbury (1581-1648) gives simi- 
lar advice in his Autobiography (ed. Sidney J. Lee, 

[ 1 ] 

p. 46) : " When children go to school, they should have 
one to attend them who may take care of their manners, 
as well as the schoolmaster doth of their learning." 1 

Frequently the private tutors only prepared their 
pupils for a school, but in other cases for the Univer- 
sity, to which they sometimes followed them. Lord 
Herbert of Cherbury had a tutor till about the age of 
ten, when he was sent to the school of Thomas Newton, 
a graduate of both Cambridge and Oxford, and a good 
classical scholar. He stayed there two years, and was 
then, at twelve years old, sent to Oxford, to University 
College (Autobiography, p. 37). 

J. Gailhard (The Compleat Gentleman, 1678, p. 17) 
says, "The way of some, first to have a tutor at home, 
then to send the boys to a Free School, so to the Uni- 
versity (when they are fit for it), is often attended 
with success." 

In the year 1732 John Littleton Costeker, in his 
book entitled The Fine Gentleman, p. 17, marks out 
the following course of education for a gentleman's 
son : " When the boy is six years old, the first thing 
I recommend to be done, should be to be well instructed, 

1 Girls also received their education from private tutors. Cf. 
Autobiography of Mrs. Lucy Hutchinson, daughter of Sir Allen 
Apsley, born 1616 (Bonn's Standard Library, pp. 16-17): "As 
soon as I was weaned, a Frenchwoman was taken to be my day- 
nurse, and I was taught to speak English and French together. 
By the time I was four years old, I read English perfectly. When 
I was about seven years of age, I remember I had at one time t ight 
tutors in several qualities, languages, music, dancing, writing, and 
needlework. My father would have me learn Latin, and I was so 
apt, that I outstripped my brothers who were at school, though my 
father's chaplain, that was my tutor, was a pitiful dull fellow." 

under the care of a proper master at home, in ortho- 
graphy. That done, and he capable of reading and 
writing true English, let him be transferred to some 
genteel academy, where he might be well instructed in 
the grounds and principles of religion ; .... let 
grammar, Latin, French, be his studies, till he is expert 
in them ; all which I allow him seven years to com- 
pleat, or at least to have made a considerable progress 
in : these things properly attained, let him be removed 
to the University, and continue with a strict and careful 
tutor four years ; in that time, as his judgment ripens, 
let his genius follow its proper inclination to pursue 
those studies he likes best." 

Many other writers recommend a similar course, but 
it is evident that some superficial and barely elemen- 
tary instruction at home was frequently deemed by the 
parents quite sufficient, especially for the heir of an 
estate, as in the case of the country squire in Joseph 
Andrews (book iii. chap. 7,) whose education is thus 
described by Fielding : " He had been educated, if we 
may use the expression, in the country and at his own 
house, under the care of his mother and a tutor, who 
had orders never to correct him, nor to compel him to 
learn more than he liked, which it seems was very little, 
and that only in his childhood, for from the age of 
fifteen he addicted himself entirely to hunting, and other 
rural amusements, for which his mother took care to 
equip him with horses, hounds, and all other neces- 
saries ; and his tutor, endeavouring to ingratiate him- 
self with his young pupil, who would he knew be able 
handsomely to provide for him, became his com- 
panion, not only at these exercises, but also over a 

[ Hi 3 

bottle, which the young squire had a very early relish 

From Swift's remarks, quoted above, and from 
numerous passages in Defoe's book, it appears that a 
thorough education was only thought necessary for 
younger sons, who had to make their own way in the 
world. Locke (ThongJits on Education^ 16) says ex- 
pressly that gentlemen sent to grammar schools only 
their younger sons, intended for trades. But the son 
who was to inherit the title grew up in idleness among 
the grooms and gamekeepers ; and if he was taught to 
read and write a little, it was thought enough for him. 
Even this modicum of instruction was often forgotten 
in after-life. It must therefore be borne in mind that 
what is said, later on, of school and university educa- 
tion applies only in a limited degree to elder sons. 

The position of tutors was not an enviable one, and 
many of them probably deserved nothing better. Ac- 
cusations against them of ignorance, and even of bad 
morals, occur as frequently as complaints of the low pay 
and the little esteem with which they were rewarded. 

Elyot, in his Governour (ed. H. H. St. Croft, 1880, 
vol. i. p. 163), exclaims: "Lord God, how many good 
and clene wittes of children be now-a-days perisshed by 
ignorant schole-maisters." 1 

In a foot-note, Mr. Croft cites the following passage 
from Henry Peacham's Compleat Gentleman (1634): 
"For one discreete and able teacher, you shall find 
twenty ignorant and carelesse, who, whereas they make 
one scholler, they marre ten." 

Higford (Institution of a Gentleman, 1660, p. 591) 
1 Cf. also vol. i. p. 1 66. 

names three good tutors : " Sir John Higford, who was 
an eminent man in his country, had for his tutor the 
famous Bishop Jewel ; my father, Dr. Cole, an excel- 
lent governor ; myself, Dr. Sebastian Benefield, a very 
learned man, all three of Corpus Christi College, 

Defoe calls them " murtherers of the children's 
morals" (p. 71) ; and again (p. 87) he repeats that they 
are " not only the ruine of the children's heads, but of 
their moralls also." 

From Roger Ascham, the learned preceptor of Queen 
Elizabeth, we learn how much the tutors were paid in 
his day. He says (p. 20 in J. Mayor's edition) : " It 
is a pittie, that commonlie more care is had, yea, and 
that emongst verie wise men, to finde out rather a 
cunnynge man for their horse, than a cunnynge man 
for their children. 1 They say nay in worde, but they 
do so in deede. For to the one they will gladlie give 
a stipend of 200 crown es by year, and loth to offer to 
the other 200 shillinges." 

A similar passage is found in Peacham's Compleat 
Gentleman (1634), p. 31 : " Such is the most base and 
ridiculous parsimony of many of our gentlemen (if I 
may so terme them) that they can procure some poore 
Batcheler of Arts from the Universitie, to teach their 
children to say Grace, and serve the cure of an im- 
propriation, who wanting meanes and friends, will be 
content, upon the promise of ten pound a yeere, at his 

first coming to be pleased with five Is it not 

commonly scene, that the most gentlemen will give 

better wages, and deale more bountifully with a fellow 

1 Cf. also Elyot, Governour, i. 131. 

who can but teach a dogge, or reclaime an hawke, than 
upon an honest, learned and well qualified man to bring 
up their children ! " 

Defoe speaks of a salary of 100 as extremely 
liberal (pp. 206 and 213). The same amount was 
offered to Addison by the Duke of Somerset, who 
thought his proposal a magnificent one, and wrote thus 
to Tonson, through whom he made it : " I desire he 
may be more on the account of a companion in my 
son's travels, than as a governor, and as such I shall 
account him." The Duke was much offended that 
Addison showed no great eagerness to accept the offer, 
and looked out for another and cheaper tutor. 1 

In further illustration I quote a passage from Swift's 
Essay on Education (Works, 1841, vol. ii. 291), as it is 
contemporary with Defoe's book, and gives a very vivid 
account of the generally miserable private tuition of his 
times : 

" Another hindrance to good education, and I think 
the greatest of any, is that pernicious custom, in rich and 
noble families, of entertaining French tutors in their 
houses. These wretched pedagogues are enjoined by 
the father to take special care that the boy shall be 
perfect in his French, by the mother, that master must 
not walk till he is hot, nor be suffered to play with 
other boys, nor be wet in his feet, nor daub his clothes ; 
and to see that the dancing master attends constantly, 
and does his duty ; she further insists that he be not 
kept too long poring on his book, because he is subject 
to sore eyes, and of a weakly constitution. 

" By these methods, the young gentleman is, in 
1 W. J. Courthope's Life of Addison, pp, 52 and 55. 

every article, as fully accomplished at eight years old, 
as at twenty-eight, years adding only to the growth of 
his person and his vice .... the same airs, the same 
strut, the same cock of his hat, and posture of his 
sword (as far as the change of fashion will allow), the 
same understanding, the same compass of knowledge, 
with the very same absurdity, impudence and imperti- 
nence of tongue. 

" He is taught from the nursery that he must inherit 
a great estate, and has no need to mind his book, which 
is a lesson he never forgets to the end of his life. His 
chief solace is to steal down and play at spin-farthing 
with the page, or young black-a-moor, or little favourite 
foot-boy, one of which is his principal confidant and 
bosom friend." 1 

3. Education at Schools and Academies. 

Apart from the religious schools mentioned above, 
Winchester College (founded in 1373) was probably 
the only school of importance for the education of the 
gentry till the foundation of Eton in 1440. A few more 
endowed grammar schools were added, before the close , 
of the century, to those already existing. But by the 
dissolution of the monasteries at the time of the Refor- 
mation, more than a hundred of the flourishing schools 
connected with them were destroyed, and great addi- 
tions to the grammar schools became necessary, which 
were effected in the course of the next fifty years. 2 

1 With this may be compared John Littleton Costeker, The Fine 
Gentleman, 1732, p. 10. 

2 See Warton's History of English Poetry ', ed. 1840, vol.iv. p. 9 ; 
and Dr. Furnivall's Essay, p. lii. 

They were mainly founded for citizens' and townsmen's 
children, but, as they were the best schools in the coun- 
try, the sons of gentlemen were, also sent to them. As 
an instance I quote the following passage from the 
Autobiography of Mrs. L. Hiitchinson (Bonn's Standard 
Library, p. 46) : " When it was time for them to go 
to school, both the brothers {i.e., Colonel Hutchinson, 
born in 1616, son of Sir Thomas, and his brother] were 
sent to board with Mr. Theobalds, the master of the 
Free School at Nottingham, who was an excellent 

scholar Afterwards they were removed to the 

Free School at Lincoln. But the master was such a 
supercilious pedant, and so conceited of his own pedan- 
tic forms, that he gave Mr. Hutchinson {i.e., the Colo- 
nel] a disgust of him. And he profited very little there 
[p. 50]. Afterwards he was removed from Lincoln 
back to the Free School at Nottingham, and he was 

left at board in a very religious house Then he 

was sent to Cambridge." 

On pages 1 6 and 1 7, Mrs. Hutchinson mentions that 
her brothers also were sent to school. Besides the free 
grammar schools, there were private schools for the 
education of gentlemen's sons, at one of which Lord 
Herbert of Cherbury received part of his education. 
He had previously been privately taught by a school- 
master, 1 " the alphabet, and afterwards grammar, and 
other books commonly read in schools." " On this 
theme, Audaces fortuna juvat" he says, "I made an 
oration of a sheet of paper, and fifty or sixty verses, in 
the space of one day." This was before he had attained 
the age of nine, up to which time he lived " in my lady 

1 See the edition of his Autobiography, by S. L. Lee, p. 36 seq. 

ii J 

grandmother's house at Eyton." About the age of ten 
he was sent to be taught by Mr. Thomas Newton, a 
graduate of both Cambridge and Oxford, and a well- 
known classical scholar, who had a school at Didlebury, 
in Shropshire, where in the space of less than two 
years he attained to the knowledge of the Greek 
tongue and logic. At the age of twelve, he went to 

Some of the better schools were called academies, 
and claimed to hold a position intermediate between a 
University or college and a school ; cf. the passage 
from Costeker, quoted above. Distinct from these 
academies were establishments for teaching special 
arts and accomplishments, such as riding and fencing. 
It was to academies of this description that young 
gentlemen used principally to go when they were sent 
on the Continent. 1 

Many gentlemen's sons had, as stated above, had a 
tutor at home before going to school, but some did not 
receive such preliminary instruction. Henry St. John, 
Lord Bolingbroke (born '167 8), was sent to Eton "as 
soon as it was fit to take him out of the hands of the 
women, and removed thence to Christ Church College, 
in Oxford " (see his Life by O. Goldsmith). 

The subjects taught in public schools up to Defoe's 
time, and indeed much later, were almost exclusively 
the dead languages, Latin and Greek, and in the upper 
forms, sometimes Hebrew and Arabic. 2 From the 

1 For these academies, see later on. 

2 Cf. Thomas Fowler, Life of Locke, p. 170. Three very instruc- 
tive articles on the subjects studied in the schools of Shakspere's 
time, by the late Prof. T. Spencer Baynes, to which Mr. Quick has 


[ Iviii ] 

writings of Ascham, Mulcaster, Brinsley, Locke, and 
many others, it appears that this linguistic training 
was carried on in the dullest possible manner, by 
means of learning by heart, and writing verses, themes, 
and grammatical exercises. The results of such training, 
on average boys, must have been most unsatisfactory 
to the common-sense of many fathers, who would 
therefore think such a course scarcely necessary for 
the heir of a large estate, though they might be 
alive to the advantages of a learned education for 
their younger sons, who had to make their own way in 
the world. 

How common such views were, appears constantly 
throughout Defoe's book ; he endeavours to bring 
home to the minds of his readers the value and import- 
ance of learning, apart from its mere practical use- 

The position of schoolmasters seems very frequently 
to have been even worse than that of private tutors ; 
especially the condition of ushers at private estab- 
lishments was simply dreadful. Every one knows the 
passage in the Vicar of Wakefield (chap, xx.) which 
describes the hardships of an usher's life at a boarding 
school : " I had rather be an under-turnkey in New- 
gate. I was up early and late, brow-beat by the 
master, hated for my ugly face by the mistress, worried 
by the boys within, and never permitted to stir out to 
meet civility abroad." They had to dress the boys' 
hair, and to lie three in a bed. 

referred me, were published in Fraser's Magazine, Nov. 1879, and 
Jan. and May 1880. Prof. Baynes gives a long list of the Latin 
books then commonly used in the six forms of a grammar school. 

In the sixth number of The Bee (Nov. 10, 1759) 
Goldsmith published a fictitious letter on the same 
subject. He says that, though some of the London 
youth were then educated at free schools in the City, 
" the far greater number were sent to boarding schools 
about town." He goes on to remark that " if any man 
is unfit for any of the professions, he finds his last 
resource in setting up school ;" among such are bank- 
rupts in trade, and even former butchers and barbers j 1 
that of all members of society there is " not any more 
generally despised, or whose talents are so ill-rewarded, 
though none is more useful or more honourable than a 
schoolmaster. Their salary is 20." These schools, it 
may be said, were not the places to which gentlemen 
usually sent their sons. But we may infer a great deal 
from such facts as to the condition of the superior 

What we may suppose to have been the opinion 
about schoolmasters commonly held by the gentry of 
Defoe's time may be gathered from the language which 
he puts into the mouth of the mother (p. 7) ; that it is 
the mother, and not the ruder father, perhaps gives ad- 
ditional significance to the words : " Shall my fon be 
fent to fchool to fit bare-headed and fay a leffon to fuch 
a forry diminutiv rafcall as that, be brow beaten and 

1 Readers will remember that Mr. Partridge, in Tom Jones, while 
he was still parish schoolmaster, added to that office those of a 
cleik and a barber. He had married a wife out of Mr. Allworthy's 
kitchen for her fortune viz., 20. The village schoolmaster from 
whom Goldsmith received his early education had served as 
quarter-master in an Irish regiment through the campaigns of 

he&or'd and threaten'd with his authority and Hand in 
fear of his hand! my fon ! that a few yeares after he 
will be glad to cringe to, cap in hand, for a dinner ! no, 
indeed, my fon fhall not go near him. Let the Latin 
and Greek go to the D 1. My fon is a Gentleman, he 
fha'n't be under fuch a fcoundrel as that." 

A hundred and fifty years before Goldsmith's day 
even first-class teachers received still less than 20} 
Mulcaster, the first head-master of Merchant Taylors' 
School (1561-1596), was paid 10, the same amount 
as each of his three ushers ; however, Mr. Hills, the 
Master of the Company to whom the school belonged, 
undertook to double Mulcaster's 10 out of his own 
pocket. When Mulcaster, after this grant had ceased, 
applied to the Company for an increase of salary, his 
very reasonable request was refused. 2 

Discipline was very rigorous at schools in Defoe's 
time, and long before, as is shown by many authorities. 
In 1531, Elyot complains of the cruelty of school- 
masters (The Governour, ed. H. H. St. Croft, 1880, 
i. 50). Ascham tells us, in the Preface to his Schole- 
master, that he was induced to write the book by hear- 
ing " that divers scholars of Eton had run away from 
the school for fear of beating." While Aseham speaks 
strongly against corporal punishment, it is advocated 

1 The difference in the value of money then and now must be 
recollected. Bishop Latimer, in one of his sermons (temp. 
Edward VI.) recommended that Melanchthon, if he came to 
England, should be granted a pension of ^40 a year, which he 
evidently thought handsome for a man of European reputation. 

2 Taken from Mr. Quick's Appendix to his edition of Mulcaster's 
Positions, pp. 301, 302. 

by Mulcaster (in his Positions, ed. Quick, p. 274): 
" The Maister therefore must have in his table a cata- 
logue of schoole faultes, beginning at the commande- 
mentes, for swearing, for disobedience, for lying, for 
false witness, for picking, and so thorough out ; then to 
the meaner heresies, trewantry, absence, tardies, and so 

forth Which in all these I wish our maister to 

set down, with the number of stripes also, immutable 
though not many." He even appointed boys who had 
to inform their master of the misdemeanours of the 
others (p. 275). In a subsequent passage (p. 279), 
he affirms that " myselfe have had thousands under 
my hand whom I never bet, neither they ever much 
needed ; but if the rod had not bene in sight, and 
assured them of punishment if they had swarved to 
much, they would have deserved." 

Locke is another writer who denounces the use of 
the rod, which he says is the only instrument of govern- 
ment that tutors generally know, or even think of 
(Thoughts on Education, 47). Even in the Univer- 
sities corporal punishment was in use. Milton is said 
to have been flogged when at Christ's College, Cam- 
bridge. The latest instance is reported in 1667, in the 
Admonition Book of Emmanuel College. 1 At a later 
date Dr. Johnson bears witness to the great seventy 
exercised at Lichfield School, where he was educated. 
It is not perhaps surprising that such treatment was 
thought unworthy the future representative of an an- 
cient family, an opinion repeatedly expressed in Defoe's 
book. But it seems to have been not uncommon to 
treat gentlemen's sons with exceptional leniency. J. 

1 Cf. Mark Pattison's Life of Milton. 

Gailhard, The Compleat Gentleman (1678), p. 17, says: 
"In some schools, he \i.e. t the gentleman's son] will 
neglect his book, and fall into a disorderly course of 
life, often running to and fro, which some masters will 
wink at for their interest, to perpetuate them in the 
school." And Swift tells us in his Essay on Education 
(Works, 1 84 1, p. 292) that "they [i.e., the gentlemen's 
sons] were not suffered by their careful parents to stay 
[at school] about three months in the year." 

4. Education at the Universities and Inns of Court. 

Defoe complains, on p. 55, that so few elder sons 
were sent to the universities ; of 30,000 families of 
noblemen and gentlemen of estate which might be 
reckoned up in the kingdom, he says there are not 200 
eldest sons at a time to be found in Oxford and Cam- 
bridge, whilst there are ten times that number of 
younger sons. For the heir, it was considered to be 
more becoming to remain at home and to grow up in 
ignorance and idleness. Lord Herbert of Cherbury, 
though he recommends that also eldest sons should 
go to the University, does not approve for them 
"that course of study which is ordinary used in the 
University, which is, if their parents perchance intend 
they shall stay there 4 or 5 years, to employ the 
said time as if they meant to proceed Masters of Art 
and Doctors in some science : for which purpose, their 
tutors commonly spend much time in teaching them 
the subtleties of logic, which, as it is usually practised, 
enables them for little more than to be excellent 
wranglers, which art, though it may be tolerable in a 

[ Ixiii ] 

mercenary lawyer, I can by no means commend in a 
sober and well-governed gentleman." 1 

Though formerly boys were generally sent to the 
University earlier than nowadays the sons of the 
aristocracy frequently went to college before they had 
even entered their teens. 

Lord Herbert of Cherbury (born 1581) was twelve 
years old when he entered University College, Oxford. 
H. Peacham, in his Compleat Gentleman (1634), p. 33, 
says : " Many parents take their children from schoole, 
as birds out of the nest, ere they bee flidge, and send 
them so young to the Universitie, that scarce one 
among twenty prooveth ought." Clement Ellis, The 
Gentile Sinner (1661), p. 25, blames parents for the 
same mistake : " But the hopefull youth must be a 
gentleman, and in all hast he must be sent to see the 
University or Innes of Court ; and that before he well 
knowes what it is to go to school." 2 Thus it often 
became necessary to send a special governor or tutor 
with boys to the University. This is recommended 
by Lord Herbert, in his Autobiography ', p. 47 : " When 
the young gentleman shall be ready to go to the 
University, it will be fit also his governor for manners 
to go along with him." Swift is very hard on those 
(French) tutors who, he says, "attend their pupils to 
their college to prevent all possibility of their improve- 
ment" (Essay on Education^ p. 292.) " And thus," he 

1 In his Autobiography, ed. Lee, p. 48- 

2 The proper age for leaving the University in Goldsmith's time 
was twenty-one years, when the first degree was generally taken, 
four years after matriculation ; cf. chap. xiii. of his Inquiry into 
the Present State of Learning. 

[ lxiv ] 

continues, " they learn nothing more than to drink ale 
and smoke tobacco." Clement Ellis is of the same 
opinion in this matter. He observes, in his Gentile 
Sinner (1661), pp. 25-27: "The father keeps the 
governor (as he doth all things else) for fashion's sake. 
Such an one who may serve at least, as poore boyes 
do in some princes' Courts to sustain the blame of the 
young gentleman's miscarriages, and whom the father 
may chide and beat when the son is found in a fault. 
.... The son curses his tutor by the name of Baal's 
priest, and sells more bookes in half an houre than he 

had bought him in a yeare Thus the young 

gentleman continues, perhaps, a yeare or two [at the 
University], if he have no mother upon whom he must 

bestow at least 3 parts of that time in visits 

And now it is time he should be hasten'd away to 
some Inne of Court, there to study the Law as he did 
the Liberall Arts and Sciences in the Colledge. Here 
his pretence is to study and follow the Law, but it's his 

resolution never to know or obey it (p 27) 

Here indeed he learnes to be (in his notion of the man) 
somewhat more a gentleman then before, having now 
the mock-happinesse of a licentious life, and a manu- 
mission from the tyranny (as he termes it) of a school- 
master and tutor." 

5. Travelling. 

According to Locke (Essay on Education, 212), 
travelling was " commonly thought to finish the work 
of education and to complete the gentleman." The 
ordinary time of travel was from 16 to 21, but for 
the sake of the young gentleman's morals, Locke 

thinks it fittest for him to be sent abroad, "either 
when he is younge, under a tutor, or when he is some 
years older, without a governor, when he is of age to 
govern himself." The majority of the country gentry, 
though, probably did not travel ; and Defoe remarks, 
in a deleted note on fol. 14, back, "that whilst the 
younger brothers were sent abroad, the eldest son was 
thought not to be in need of it." 

The countries ordinarily visited were Italy, France, 
Spain, Germany, and the Netherlands, but more espe- 
cially the former two, which were then in the forefront 
of civilization or, perhaps, more strictly speaking, 
civility. Till the seventeenth century Italy and Provence 
held the very first rank, and then gradually lost their 
place to France. The great dependence of English 
manners and fashions on those foreign countries is at 
once apparent from the numerous translations of 
Italian, Spanish, and French books on civility, educa- 
tion, manners, and similar subjects. 1 

A very interesting account of how young gentlemen 
used to spend, or rather should spend, their time during 
their travels, is given in a book already mentioned above, 
viz., The Compleat Gentleman, or Directions for the 
Education of Youth, as to their Breeding at home and 
travelling abroad, by J. Gailhard, Gent., 1678 and 1684. 
The author knew the subject from personal experience, 
as he had himself been much abroad as the tutor of 

On page 7, he remarks that " because young gentle- 

1 For titles of such books see Watts' Bibliotheca Britannica, s.v. 
Education ; from some of them extracts are given in this Introduc- 

[ Ixvi ] 

men are hardly capable to benefit themselves, they 
take a governor, or companion with them." However, 
" some [parents] send their sons without governors .... 
because some young men think it a discredit to them to 
have a governor." 

Gailhard's advice is to take an experienced tutor, not 
one who has never been abroad himself and does not 
know foreign languages, but seeks only for an oppor- 
tunity of travelling at the cost of others. But some 
fathers, " who are willing to spend three or four hundred 
pounds, more or less, will be unwilling to gratify a 
governor with 20 or 30 more than they have a mind 
to allow." This, however, is saving in the wrong 
place. The principal qualities requisite in a good 
governor are, according to Gailhard : (i) He must be 
a scholar, (2) a traveller, (3) he must be "gentle, well 
brought up himself; he must have seen the world, 
and frequented the courts, and (4) he must be com- 
municative, not dull or silent." 

On page 3 r, Gailhard recommends letters of credit 
as preferable to bills of exchange, and advises travellers 
always to carry a good sum of ready money in their 
pockets ; for " what, if when I am walking in the 
street, I am unhappily forced, or suddenly engaged 
in my own defence, or of a friend, to draw, and wound, 
or kill a man, which thing is not impossible, what 
would become of me, if I had no monies to get on 
horse-back, and be gone ?" 

Well provided with letters of recommendation, and 
having left England, "the governor will carry his 
pupil to Paris [p. 33], where he ought to show 
him some of the chief fair houses,- and other 

[ Ixvii ] 

curiosities in or about that city. He must wait upon 
the Lord Embassador, and in case there be no incon- 
venience, what other English persons of the highest 
quality are there. He will also do well to go, if he 
makes but a short stay in Paris, at least once to 
Charenton, to the Protestant Church there, whether or 
not he understands the language, to give God thanks 
for his protection so far." 

It appears that the Englishmen who travelled for 
the sake of instruction used to live at Pensions and 
Auberges y or resided in Academies. Gailhard does 
not think it advisable for the tourists to make a long 
stay in Paris at the beginning of the journey, but recom- 
mends that they should settle at such a place as Orleans, 
Blois, Saumur, or Angers ; which latter, to his mind, 
ought to have the preference ; why, he does not say. 

Here (p. 35), "the first thing you do must be to 
carry your letters of commendation," and then " to 
desire your landlord to go with you, or give you some 
rational man to carry you to see the town." 

P. 38: "If there be any princes, though strangers, 
or embassadors, residents, etc., you may enquire whether 
they like to receive such visits as yours may be ; 
you may desire those you are recommended to, to 
procure you the honour of kissing their hands." P. 46 : 
"The young gentleman must soon set to work, and 
begin the different important excercises to which he has 
to apply himself." For besides studying the language 
of the country, he has, first of all, to learn dancing. 
Gailhard mentions the Branle, the Gavote, the Coitrante, 
and the Boree, as dances then in vogue. P. 49 : In 
these dancing lessons the pupil must also be taught 

[ Ix'viii ] 

"how to come in or go out of a chamber where is 
company ; he must be taught how to carry his head, 
his hands, and his toes out, all in the best way." Next 
comes fencing, which " is now accounted a necessary 
excercise " (p. 49). The pupil has, moreover, to learn, 
to ride the Great Horse at an "Academy." P. 52 : 
Besides, he recommends running, wrestling, and leaping 
though "these are not so material as the forenamed." 
" A gentleman will also do well to learn vauting, trail- 
ing the pike, spreading colors, handling the halbard, 
or the two-handed sword. Also it will not be amiss to 
learn to play upon an instrument or other, of musick; 
as the lute, gittar, or violin." 

P. 54: At the same time he has to make himself 
acquainted with "the use of the map and the use of the 
terrestrial globe, as well as with the science of Mathe- 
maticks and with Chymistry." 

On page 56, Gailhard remarks, " If a traveller hath 
time, and happens to be in a convenient place, as may 
be Padoa, Montpellier, or other, it would be in him 
a commendable curiosity to learn something in Physick 
not to be a doctor of, or to practise it, only to be able 
to understand the grounds of it." 

P. 57: At other places, " perhaps at Orleans and 
Angers, where are publick schools of the Civil Law, 
he will do well to get one of the doctors, or pro- 
fessors thereof, to read it to him, which he will do 
privately in his own house ; or, perhaps, if you be a 
man of high quality, come to your lodging." P. 58 : 
" fc And perhaps there will be time and opportunity for 
the young gentleman to learn to draw pictures." And 
last of all, " let him not neglect to see, and if possible 

[ Ixfx ] 

to get some skill in ancient and modern curiosities, 
whether pictures, statues of brass, marble, alabaster, &c., 
medals, and other fair and curious things." 

For the whole tour, the author of this curious work 
which gives more details than a dozen of the usual 
kind of books on such subjects allows 3 years, 
which he recommends should be divided in the follow- 
ing way : The first 1 8 months are put down for 
France, the next 9-10 for Italy, then 5 for Germany 
and the Low Countries, after which the tour should be 
wound up with a stay of 4 or 5 months in Paris. 

Travelling was often expected to make up for the 
neglected training of previous years, as in the case of 
the young squire in Joseph Andrews (book iii. chap, vii.) 
who has already been mentioned as a typical specimen ; 
he was sent abroad at the age of 20, when " his mother 
persuaded him to travel for 3 years, which she 
imagined would well supply all that he might have 

learned at a public school or university He 

returned home well furnished with French clothes, 
phrases, and servants, with a hearty contempt for his 
own country, especially what had any savour of the 
plain spirit and honesty of our ancestors." l 

The great dangers to the morals of young travellers 
are frequently mentioned as a warning to conscientious 
parents. Ascham, in his Scholemaster (p. 69, ed. 
Mayor), strongly denounces travelling as " mervelous 
dangerous for morals and faith," unless the youths 
were put under the supervision of a tutor ; for " an 
Italianate Englishman is a devil incarnate," as the 
Italians themselves said. His warning is repeated in 
1 Cf. also Costeker, The Fine Gentleman (1732), p. 22. 

even stronger terms by William Harrison, in A De- 
scription of England (i 57 7, book iii. chapter iv.) : " This 
nevertheless is generally to be reprehended in all estates 
of gentility, and which in short time will turn to the 
great ruin of our country, and that is, the usual sending 
of noblemen's and mean gentlemen's sons into Italy, 
from whence they bring home nothing but mere atheism, 
infidelity, vicious conversation, and ambitious and proud 
behaviour, whereby it cometh to pass that they return 
far worse men than they went out." Brinsley (Lucius 
Literarius, 1612, p. 229) is aware of the same 
objections, but recommends going abroad. Peacham 
(Compleat Gentleman, 1634, p. 33) declares that, in- 
stead of learning anything or improving their manners, 
the young gentlemen generally come back " ten times 
worse." Lord Cowper, on his deathbed, ordered that 
his son should never travel. His injunction was based 
on a good deal of observation on the effects of foreign 
journeyings. He had found that there was little to be 
hoped, and much to be feared, from travelling. 1 It 
seems that young travellers had not only to guard 
themselves against the vicious examples on the part of 
natives of foreign countries, but were tempted by the 
extravagant fashions of their own countrymen who had 
settled abroad. This appears, for instance, from Gold- 
smith's remarks, in his Inquiry into the Present State of 
Polite Learning, chap, xiii., where he says : " In all the 
great towns of Europe there are to be found English- 
men residing either from interest or choice. These 
generally lead a life of continued debauchery: such 
are the country-men a traveller is likely to meet with. 
1 Quoted in W. J. Courthope's Life of Addis on, p. 40. 

[ Ixxi ] 

This may be the reason why Englishmen are all 
thought to be mad or melancholy by the vulgar 
abroad. Their money is giddily and merrily spent 
among sharpers of their own country." 

6. Subjects of a Gentleman's Education. 

This question has already been touched on here and 
there in the preceding sections, but I propose to add 
now some fuller particulars. It should, however, be 
kept in mind that the following extracts only state 
what young gentlemen ought to learn, not what they 
commonly did learn. 

The author of The Institution of a Gentleman (1555) 
names "knowledge in tounges, and in thefeatesof armes," 
and " sume knowledge in musike " as necessary for a 

Mulcasterj/WV/tf/w (1581), enu merates the following 
accomplishments which a gentleman ought to possess 
"for his credit and honour, besides necessarie uses " viz., 
"to reade, to ivrite, to draw, to sing, \.o> play, to haue 
language, to haue learning, to haue health, and activitie, 
nay euen to professe Diuinitie, Lawe, Physicke, and any 
trade else commendable for cunning." 

William Kemp, the author of The Education of 
Children, blk. lr., 1588, names (i) Grammar, "which 
handleth diuers languages, as English, Latin, Greek, 
Hebrew, and such others ; " the pupil should begin 
with the study of Latin, and only in case he was 
intended to be a scholar should he go on with Greek ; 

1 Modern edition by Mr. Quick, p. 206. 

[ Ixxii ] 

(2)"Logike and Rhetorike ; " (3) " Arithmetike and 
Geometric, or any other arte." 

Henry Peacham (1622) gives this list of subjects 
in which a noble gentleman should be instructed : 
Style (which has to be practised after Latin and 
English models), 1 History, Cosmographie, Geography, 
Geometry, Poetry, Musicke, Antiquities (Statues, In- 
scriptions, Coynes), Drawing, Limning, Painting, 
Blazonry, Armory. 2 For bodily exercise he recom- 
mends "coiting, throwing the hammer, sledge, and 
such like ; running, jumping, leaping, and wrestling." 

It will be observed that none of these writers 
mentions any modern foreign languages. The reason is 
that they were not considered as "learning" in those 
days, and that, if they were acquired, it was not so 
much by study as by practically conversing with 
foreign masters. 

Lord Herbert of Cherbury (Autobiography, ed. Lee, 
p. 46) recommends the following course of studies for 
a gentleman's son : 

Before going to a University he ought to learn 
Greek and Latin and other languages. The first six 
months at the University should be devoted to a little 
logic, the following year to both the grounds of the 
Platonic and Aristotelian philosophy, and to reading 
Severinus, Franciscus Patricius, and Telesius. After 

1 As Latin authors to be read at the University, he names Tully, 
Caesar, Cornelius, Tacitus, Titus Livius, Ouintus Curtius, and 
Sallust ; besides, the young gentleman might read Greek as 

2 On this subject Peacham wrote a special book, The Gentlc- 
maris Exercise, 1634. 

[ Ixxiii ] 

which the young student has to take up geography, 
arithmetic, and geometry "in some good measure" 
(p. 5 2). Besides, " it will become a gentleman to have 
some knowledge in medicine, especially the diagnostic 

part This art will get a gentleman not only 

much knowledge, but much credit It will 

become him also to know not only the ingredients, 
but doses, of certain cathartic or purging, emetic or 

vomitive medicines (etc.) Besides, I would 

have a gentleman know how to make these medicines 
himself, and afterwards prepare them with his own 
hands." Moreover, Lord Herbert (p. 57) conceives it 
is a fine study, and worthy a " gentleman, to be a good 
botanist." And he (p. 5 9) "no less commends the 
study of anatomy." And last (p. 65), "it would be 
fit that some time be spent in learning rhetoric." 
Concurrently with these intellectual studies, the young 
gentleman is to learn riding the great horse, 1 fencing, 
dancing, and swimming (p. 68). 

On previous pages Lord Herbert has given an ac- 
count of his own education, which I have already quoted 
in part above. At twelve years old his parents 
"thought fit to send him to Oxford to University 
College," where he remembers " to have disputed at 
his first coming in logic, and to have made in Greek 
the exercises required in that college oftener than in 
Latin." P. 42 : " During this time of living in the 
University or at home, he did, without any master or 
teacher, attain the knowledge of the French, Italian, 
and Spanish languages, by the help of some books in 
Latin or English translated in those idioms, and the 
1 As to this art, see Mr. Lee's foot-note. 

[ Ixxiv ] 

dictionaries of those several languages. He attained 
also to sing any part at first sight in music, and to 
play on the lute with very little or almost no 

Lord Herbert was a little vain, and proud of his 
learning and other accomplishments ; and probably 
there were very few possibly none of his rank who 
knew as much as he did. 

J. Gailhard (1678) recommends not only Latin and 
Greek, but Hebrew, Chaldaic, Syriac, and Arabic for 
the study of young gentlemen. 

His great contemporary, Locke, does not go so far 
in his estimate of the dead languages (Thoughts on 
Education, 195). "Latin and French," he says, "as 
the world now goes, is by every one acknowledged to 
be necessary ; " but he is inclined to leave Greek 
altogether to professed scholars. Besides, he wants 
the young gentleman to acquire the knowledge of 
minerals, plants, and animals, arithmetic, geometry, 
geography, astronomy, chronology, anatomy, ethics, and 
civil and common law; but he does not seem to think 
much of the refining influences of the arts. As corporal 
accomplishments, he mentions dancing, fencing, wrest- 
ing, riding, and one or more manual trades. 

On page 17 of his Fine Gentleman (1732), Costeker 
gives a scheme of what he understands by a " regular, 
useful, and polite education." At six years of age 
the boy should be put " under the care of a proper 
master at home, in order to be well instructed in 

orthography Afterwards let him be transferred 

to some genteel Academy, where he might be well 
instructed in the grounds and principles of religion, 

[ Ixxv ] 

grammar, Latin, and French ; all which I will allow 

7 years to compleat Then let him be removed 

to the University, and continue with a strict and 
careful tutor 4 years. In that time let his genius 
follow its proper inclination to pursue those studies he 
likes best, either Law, or, if he likes languages, Latin, 
Greek, French, and Italian ; or Divinity, or Moral 
Philosophy, or Natural Philosophy." Besides, he should 
acquire these accomplishments : Geometry, geography, 
chronology, history, music, dancing, fencing, riding, 
optics, architecture, and algebra. Travelling ought 
to complete the education. 

It will be interesting and instructive to compare 
with the above schemes a list of the books which an 
anonymous University tutor recommends to the ordinary 
student, in a pamphlet entitled Advice to a Young 
Student, with a method of Study for the 4 first years at 
the University (London, 1730): 

(a) Philosophical: Wells's Arithmetic, Euclid's Ele- 
ments, Burgersdicius's Logick, Wells's Geography, 
Wells's Trigonometry, Newton's Trigonometry, (b) 
Classical : Terence, Xenophontis Cyri Institutio, Tully's 
Epistles, Phaedrus's Fables, Lucian's Select Dialogues, 
Theophrastus, Justin, Cornelius Nepos, Dionysius's 
Geography, (c) Religious : Sermons of Sharp, Calamy, 

II. SECOND YEAR. (a) Wells's Astronomy, Locke's 
Human Understanding, De la Hire's Conic Sections, 
Whiston's Astronomy, Keil's Introduction, Cheyne's 
Philosophical Principles, Rohaulti Physica. (b) Causin 
de Eloquentia, Vossius's Rhetorick, Tully's Orations, 


[ Ixxvi ] 

Isocrates, Demosthenes, Caesar's Commentaries, Sallust, 
Hesiod, Theocritus, Ovid's Fasti, Vergil's Eclogues. 
(c) Tillotson's Sermons. 

III. THIRD YEAR. (a) Burnet's Theory, Whiston's 
Theory, with Keill's Remarks ; Wells's Chronology, 
Beveridge's Chronology, Whitby's Ethicks, Pufendof, 
Grotius. (b) Homer's Iliads, Virgil's Georgicks, Virgil's 
Aeneids, Sophocles, Horace, Euripides, Piers's Edit, 
Juvenal, Persius. (c) Other Sermons. 

IV. FOURTH YEAR. (a) Baronius's Metaphysics, 
Newton's Opticks, Whiston's Praelectiones, Physica 
Mathematica, Gregory's Astronomy, (b) Thucydides, 
Livy, Diogenes Laertius, Cicero's Philosophical Works. 
(c) Other Religious Books. 

In reading the books from which extracts have just 
been quoted leaving out Locke, who, indeed, sets little 
store by learning we almost invariably find that the 
only, or at least the principal, aim of education is 
represented as consisting in the mere acquisition of a 
more or less extensive store of useful and useless 
knowledge. Thus occasionally even Chaldaic, Syriac, 
and Hebrew are thought fit to take a place in the 
course of a young gentleman's education. 

Probably owing to a widely spread indifference to the 
learning of the schools, the majority of the writers 
indulge in unmeasured praise of what they are desirous 
to make acceptable to their reluctant readers. And 
this may explain, and in some measure excuse, the 
one-sided judgment which their books exhibit. But it 
seems that scholastic knowledge was never so much 
overrated as in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, 
at least by educational writers ; nor do scholars ever 

[ Ixxvii ] 

appear to have prided themselves so much on their 
book-learning. Locke is the first great writer who, 
emancipating himself from the scholastic traditions, 
distinctly and emphatically subordinates the possession 
of learning to nobler qualities, and makes the acquisi- 
tion of knowledge subservient to the higher aim of 
developing the moral side of man (Thoughts on Educa- 
tion^ 147). 

That the ordinary course of education, consisting, as 
it almost entirely did, in a dreary study of the dead 
languages, was commonly thought unsatisfactory, is 
evident from the great number of proposals for reform 
made in those times. It was also generally acknow- 
ledged that the received method was particularly unfit 
for the training of young gentlemen. It was Locke's 
opinion that a great part of the learning then in fashion 
in the schools was not " worth a gentleman's while," 
and that it might be omitted " without any great dis- 
paragement to himself or prejudice to his affairs." 
Under such circumstances, it does not seem very strange 
that so many of the gentry and nobility scorned the 
scholar and hated the schools, and that very few of 
them were great proficients in book-learning. What 
the general opinion of the education fit for a well- 
bred gentleman was, may be gathered from the 
description which Sir R. Southwell gives of the 
accomplishments of Lord Ossory, son of the first 
Duke of Ormonde (about 1650) : " He rides the great 
horse very well, is a good tennis-player, fencer, and 
dancer. He understands music, and plays on the 
guitar and lute ; speaks French elegantly, reads Italian 
fluently, is a good historian, and so well versed in 

[ Ixxviii ] 

romances that if a gallery be full of pictures or hang- 
ings, he will tell the stones of all of them that are 
described." l 

7. Manners and Habits. 

Dr. Furnivall has given, in his Babees' Book, numerous 
and very interesting particulars concerning the manners, 
especially at table, of the upper classes at the close of 
the Middle Ages. In the old treatises on courtesy 
printed in his volume are very many precepts which, 
though they were probably useful and necessary when 
the books were written, seem extremely superfluous and 
ridiculous to our modern mind ; it is, therefore, sur- 
prising to find so many of them in books written 200 
or 300 years later. 

In J. Gailhard's book, The Compleat Gentleman 
(1678 and 1684), we meet with the following odd 
directions intended for young noblemen and gentle- 
men 2 who are going to France : P. 67 : " Forks 
are a neat invention, therefore to be used to avoid 
greasing hands, with laying them upon the meat." 
The young gentleman is requested " to make clean 
his spoon before he puts it in the dish, after he 
hath taken it out of his mouth. Sometimes," the 
author says, " I have seen gluttons, and a rude sort of 
people, who, as soon as a dish is set down upon the 
table, snap all they can out of it, as if they were afraid 
to want and starve ; . . . . then leaning one or both 

1 Quoted by Mr. Sidney L. Lee in a foot-note on page 69 to his 
edition of Lord Herbert's Autobiography. 

2 The author says he had been tutor abroad to several of the 
nobility and gentry. 

[ Ixxix ] 

elbows upon the table, like pigs they hang their 
mouth over the plate, and, with both hands to the 
mouth, greedily devour that which so uncivilly they 

have taken " P. 84 : " When he is in company, 

he must forbear talking to himself, muttering between 
his lips, often spitting, 1 nodding with his head, pointing 
the finger, leaning on his elbow, crossing of his legs," 
&c. P. 90 : At table the young gentleman " ought 
to avoid licking his fingers, knawing of bones," &c. 

I take a few more extracts from another book, which 
I have had the advantage of using by the kind permis- 
sion of Sir George Douglas Clerk, Bart., in whose 
library at Penicuik House a copy is preserved. It 
bears the title, The Rules of Civility, or the Maxims of 
Genteel Behaviour \ newly done out of the 1 2th edition 
in French, London 1703, and was written for men 
who moved in fashionable society, not for people in 
the country. The translator has added several notes 
in cases where English customs differed from those 
described in the French original. 

P. 95 : " You must not hang your head over your 
plate ; you must not drop upon your cravat, lick your 
fingers, your knife, or your spoon ; nothing is more 
unhandsome than to make clean your plate, or the 
bottom of the dish, with your finger : to drink out the 
remainder of the pottage, sawce, &c., out of the dish, 
or to pour it into your spoon. If your fingers, knife, 
or fork be greasy, you must never wipe them up[on] 
the cloth or bread, but always upon your napkin : 2 and 

1 This precept, with additions, is repeated on page 89. 
- This was necessary, because the knives and forks were not 

[ Ixxx ] 

to keep your fingers clean, it is the best way to eat 
nothing but with a fork. If any one at the table has 
lent you his knife, spoon, or fork, you must be sure to 
wipe it well upon your napkin, or else send it to the 
side-board to be wash'd." P. 99 : " Tis not civil to 
pick your teeth at the table with your knife or fork, or 
rinse your mouth after you have din'd, if there be 
persons of quality in the room." P. 91 : " If we be to 
eat out of the [same] dish, we must have a care of 
putting in our spoons before our superiours, or of eating 
out of any other part of the dish than that which is 
directly before us." P. 92 : " Having served your self 
with your spoon, you must remember to wipe it, and 
indeed as oft as you use it ; for some [!] are so nice 
they will not eat pottage, or anything of that nature, 
in which you put your spoon unwip'd, after you have 
put it into your mouth. Some are so curious, they 
will not endure a spoon to be used in 2 several dishes ; 
and therefore in several places 'tis grown a mode to 
have spoons brought in with every dish to be used only 
for pottage and sawce." 

Among the rules for behaviour while travelling, the 
author observes, on p. 1 16 : "If in your journey you 
be constrained to take up your quarters in the same 
chamber with the qualify'd person, you must give him 
leave to undress and to go to bed first ; and when he 
has done, you are to strip and go to bed after him, and 
to lie so as to give him no disturbance all night." 
P. 117: " It is not tolerable to comb your head in the 
kitchen [of the inn], where your hairs may fly into the 
dishes, upon the meat." 

There are many more curious and amusing parti- 

[ Ixxxi ] 

culars in this little book, but I am afraid it would lead 
too far to quote more from it. 

Nothing is more common in books on the education 
of young gentlemen than complaints of fashionable 
bad habits. The foremost is excessive drinking, which 
was for a very long time in England what it is still 
too much in Germany, the common amusement of all 
sorts of people. Brinsley (Ludus Literarius, 1612) 
calls it "the plague of the English gentry" (p. 223) ; 
he thinks it was introduced into England from the 
Netherlands about the time when Sir John Norrice 
was there. In 1634, Henry Peacham, The Compleat 
Gentleman, p. 9, writes : " To be drunke, sweare, wench, 
follow the fashion, and to do just nothing, are the 
attributes and markes now adayes of a great part of our 
gentry." Again, in 1661, Clement Ellis complains 
that usually a gentleman " drinks as stoutly as if he 
meant to carry liquor enough with him in his 
belly to quench the flames of hell " (Gentile Sinner, 

p. 44). 

According to J. Gailhard, The Complete Gentleman 
(1678), part ii., p. 3, country gentlemen used to em- 
ploy their time with " hawking, coursing, and hunting ; 
with taking tobacco, and going to the alehouse and tavern, 
where matches were made for races, cock-fighting, and 
the like ; and if a gentleman be not as forward as they 
are, then he is proud, he is an enemy to good fellow- 
ship, and is a man not fit for society ; thence dicing 1 

1 Dice play is also mentioned in The Institution of a Gentleman 
(1555) as being "no honest pastyme : although it be a game 
much vsed amonge noble men and gentlemen, yet doth it vngentle 

[ Ixxxii ] 

and carding will follow, which at last are attended 

with loss of estates and destruction of families 

Indeed to speak the best of such gentlemen, we use 
to say, he is an honest country gentleman ; that is, 
often apt to be fooled, who has neither much wit nor 

An anonymous " Gentleman of the Middle Temple," 
who, in 1729, wrote a book under the title The Young 
Gentleman s New Year's Gift, expresses himself even in 
stronger terms : " There is not a more worthless and 
despicable animal than a true country booby, who, 
calling himself a country gentleman, spends his life 
only in eating, drinking, and sleeping ; and dis- 
tinguishes himself in nothing from the brutes, but 
only that, whereas they keep within the bounds of 
nature, he prides himself in the excesses of it" 

(P- 35)- 

Similar complaints are uttered in numerous other 
books. One writer is even much distressed that "the 
custom and fashion of lying has grown epidemical " 
(The Gentleman's Library, by a Gentleman, 3rd ed., 
London, 1734, p. 204). One cannot, of course, believe 
everything or everybody. But Locke, too, complained 
that lying was " very much in fashion amongst all sorts 
of people." Fielding's novels, also, tell us a great deal 
about the bad manners and habits, especially of the 
country gentlemen ; they abound in examples of half- 
educated, brutal squires, who bully their wives and 
daughters, and drink deep, and curse abominably. 1 In 

1 As for the then very common habit of swearing, compare alsa 
Defoe's Essay on Projects, ed. H. Morley, p. 144 ; and Clemen 
Ellis, Gentile Sinner (1661), p. 37. 

[ Ixxxiii ] 

many ways, in fact, as Macaulay has observed, 1 they 
did not materially differ from a rustic miller or ale- 
housekeeper of our time. If we bear these things in 
mind, we shall refrain from accusing Defoe of exagger- 
ation, as otherwise many readers might be tempted 
to do. 

At the end of my task I gratefully and sincerely 
acknowledge the valuable help kindly and freely granted 
to me by friends and others. I have already men- 
tioned what share Mr. Francis B. Bickley has in the 
reproduction of the text ; he has also very readily 
assisted me in looking out several things for the Notes 
when I was away from London. Dr. Furnivall, Mr. 
Sidney L. Lee, Mr. R. Hebert Quick, and Mr. T. 
Widgery have made me acquainted with several useful 
books ; the first two also lent me some rare ones. 
I repeat my thanks to Miss C. L. Cooper and to Dr. 
Murray for their kind communications, which have 
assisted me in my remarks on the word " gentleman." 
Miss Cooper and my good friend Mr. W. Leo Thomp- 
son have taken the great trouble of reading the proofs 
of the text with me. Both, as well as Dr. Furnivall, 
have also looked over parts of my MS. of this 
Introduction in order to improve my English, and 
have helped me in correcting the proofs of it as 

I conclude with quoting Mr. William Lee's opinion 
of Defoe's book ; the MS. was then still in Mr. Crossley's 
possession ; " Mr. Crossley," he says, " would do great 
service to all lovers of pure English Literature if he 

1 History of England, vol. i. chap. iii. 

[ Ixxxiv ] 

could be persuaded to publish this valuable work of 

Now that his wish is fulfilled, I hope that readers 
will share his opinion. 


Nov. 19, 1889. 

The Compleat 

English Gentleman 


Usefull Observations on the General Neglect of 

the Education of English Gentlemen with 

the Reasons and Remedies 

The Apparent Difference between a Well 
Born and a Well Bred Gentleman 

Instruccions how Gentlemen may Recover the 

Defficiency of their Latin, and be Men of 

Learning tho' without the Pedantry 

of the Schools 


)HAT I may begin with the fame brevity folio 3. 
that I purpofe to go on with, I fhall 
onely obferv here by way of introduccion 
that there are two forts or claffes of men 

who I am to be underftood to fpeak of under the 

denomination of gentlemen : 

1. The born Gentleman, 

2. The bred fen&cman. 

The complete gentleman I am to fpeak of will take 
them in both ; and neither of them, fmgly and ab- 
ftracledly confidred, will fband alone in the clafs 
of a compleat gentleman without fome thing that may 
be faid to comprehend both. 

The born gentleman is a valuable man if bred up as 
a gentleman ought to be, that is, educated in learning 
and manners fuitable to his birth. This I muft infift 
on as a preliminary, that I may not be cenfur'd and 
condemn'd unread, and bring upon me a clamour from 
the numerous party of old women (whether male 
or female), idolaters who worfhip efcutcheons and 
trophyes, and rate men and families by the blazonry of 



their houfes, exclufiv of learning or virtue, and of all 
perfonall merit. 

On the other hand, the fon of a mean perfon furnifh'd 
from Heaven with an originall fund of wealth, wit, 
fence, courage, virtue, and good humour, and fet apart 
by a liberall education for the fervice of his country ; 
that diftinguifhes himfelf by the greatefb and befb 
actions ; is made acceptable and agreeable to all men 
by a life of glory and true fame ; that hath the naturall 
beauties of his mind embellifh'd and fet off with a vaft 
fund of learning and accquir'd knowleg; that has a clear 
head, a generous heart, a polite behaviour and, in a 
word, fhews himfelf to be an accomplifh'd gentleman 
in every requifite article, that of birth and blood 
excepted : I muft be allowd to admit fuch a perfon 
into the rank of a gentleman, and to fuggeft that he 
being the firft of his race may pofiibly raife a roof tree 
(as the antients call it) of a noble houfe and of a 
fucceflion of gentlemen as effectually as if he had his 
pedigree to fhow from the Conqueror's army or from a 
centurion in the legions that landed with Julius Caefar. 

Out of the race of either of thefe, the compleat 
gentleman I am to defcribe is to be deriv'd. How to 
reconcile the antient line to this and bring them, 
however degenerate, to embrace the modern line, tho' 
exalted by the brighteft virtue and the moft valuable 
accomplifhments of a man of honour, is the difficult 
cafe before me. 

I am refolv'd however to giv antiquity its due 
homage ; I fhall worfhip the image cali'd antient 
lineage as much as poffible without idolatry ; I fhall 
giv it all the reverence and refpecl that it can pretend 



to claim, fearch for all the glories of birth and blood, 
and place them in full proportion : no luftre of antient 
gentry fhall be ecclypft by me, onely with this excep- 
cion, that I muft intreat the gentlemen who are to /. 4. 
value themfelves chiefly upon that advantage, that they 
will ftoop fo low as to admit that vertue, learning, a 
liberal educacion, and a degree of naturall and accquir'd 
knowledge, are neceffary to finilh the born gentleman ; 
and that without them the entitul'd heir will be but 
the fhaddow of a gentleman, the opaac, dark body of 
a planet, which can not fhine for want of the fun 
communicating its beams, and for want of being plac'd 
in a due pofition to reciev and reflect thofe beams 
when they are communicated and reciev'd. 

In condicioning for fo fmall an advance in the 
favour of true merit, and infifling upon its being, as I 
faid, abfolutely neceffary, I think we differ upon fo 
fmall a point, that I can not doubt of reconciling it all 
in the end of this difcourfe and bringing the blood 
and the merit together ; fo we fhall foon produce the 
beft and moft glorious peice of God's creation, a 
complete gentleman ; which is the deferv'd fubject of 
the whole work. 

I fhall begin with the born gentleman. I fhall do 
him all the honour due to his difhinguifht quallity and 
birth ; I fhall giv him the preference upon all occafions; 
I fhall allow him to be fuperior becaufe he is prior or 
feignior in blood, expecting nothing of him in return 
but this trifle onely, that he be but equall in merit, not 
tying him down, no, not to that claim of his quallity 
that he fhould exceU his inferiors in virtue as he does 
in degree. 



In all this I think I am extremely civil to him, 
and ufe him like a gentleman. I mufl indeed, for his 
fervice, fhew him the miftakes which were committed 
among his anceftors, efpecially the Lady-mothers and 
the Lady-aunts, the introducers of his junior be- 
haviour ; thofe directreffes in his moft early yeares 
who for want of erudition have expofed him to 
ignorance and weaknefs of underftanding and left 
his head unfurnifh'd and his mind unfinifh'd, left him 
loaden with wealth, but unfupply'd with the means of 
making ufe of it : unguided and unable to guide him- 
felf, and untaught and, what is worfe, in moft things 
unteachable. I fay, I muft be allow'd to fhew him 
fome of thefe miftakes ; but this, as I fhall make 
appear at large, is not onely neceffary in the cafe before 
me, but is very much for his fervice alfo. Yet in 
doing this I fhall ufe him tenderly, treat him per- 
fonally with all poffible deference and refpect, and 
humbly addreffmg him for his own benefit to retriev 
the lofs, lead him by the hand into the way to 
do it ; fhowing him how to place himfelf in the rank 
which God and Nature defign'd him for, and at laft 
deliver him up to himfelf and into his own pofeffion 
in the full perfeccion of a gentleman. 

If in doing this it naturally occurs that his anceftors, 
whether fathers or mothers, or both, or indeed any kinds 
or degrees of his relacions into whofe hands he fell 
and who had the charge of his erudition, were ex- 
ceedingly in the wrong, and that their ill conduct 
fhould be a little expof'd in this work, the neceflity of 
it will appear fo evedently that I fhould be inexcufable 
if it were omitted, not fo much for the fake of what is 



paft as of what to come; not fo much to reproach 
them (perhaps in their graves), for that I do not call 
neceffary, but to prevent the example fpreading in 
thofe families into a further pra6life ; and fo 'tis for the 
fake of thofe yet in the cradle or perhaps not born. 
I kno' this mifffortune of our gentlemen is plac'd to 
the account of the fex ; that indulgent mothers are 
charg'd with violently oppofmg the committing their 
fons to the condu6l of the fchooles, fubjecting them 
to difcipline and putting them, as 'tis call'd, under the 
government of their inferiours ; infifting that 'tis below 
their quallity to have their fons, for they fpeak it with 
an emphafis and with contempt, corrected by a forry 
fellow of a pedagogue and plac'd under the domineer- /. 4 b. 
ing law of a little fchool tyrant. " Shall my fon be 
fent to fchool to fit bareheaded and fay a leffon tofuch 
a forry, diminutiv rafcall as that, be brow beaten and 
hector'd and threatn'd with his authority and ftand 
in fear of his hand! my fon ! that a few yeares after 
he will be glad to cringe to, cap in hand, for a dinner ! 
no, indeed, my fon shall not go near him. Let the 
Latin -and Greek go to the D 1. My fon is a Gentle- 
man, he fha'n't be under fuch a fcoundrel as that." 

Now it is true that this is one part of the charge 
and that lad yes are certainly to blame, becaufe, tho' 
in this or that place a forry inferiour fellow, as they 
call 'em, may be a fchoolmafter, yet a fchoolmafter is not 
an inferior by his office, and in many places we find 
the moft venerable, grave, learned and valuable perfons 
have been plac'd at the head of a Grammer School, in 
whofe hands the children of perfons of the beft rank 
have been entrufted with fuccefs and who very well 



kno' how to govern themfelves in the government even 
of their fuperiors, as is the cafe in the great fchooles of 
Eaton, Winchefter, Weftminfter, Felfted, Bishop Stort- 
ford, Canterbury, and others, where the children, nay 
the eldeft fons of fome of the beft families in England, 
have been educated, and that with great fuccefs ; and yet 
with all decent regard to the dignity of their birth and 
to the great fatiffaccion 1 of the young gentlemen them- 
felves ; and I need fay no more in the cafe than to obferv 
the apparent difference in the future conduct and juft 
character for their accomplifhment, as gentlemen and 
as noblemen, between the perfons fo educated and 
thofe who by the force of the female authority, as 
above, have been thus unhappily robb'd of their edu- 

The difference, I fay, of thefe is evedent, the firft 
have been the glory of their country, the ornament of 
the court, the fupports both of prince and people ; 
while tJie latter have been the meer outfides of gentle- 
men, ufelefs in their generacion, retreated from the 
State, becaufe uncapable to ferv it ; born for them- 
felves, given up to their pleafures, as if they came into 
the world for no other end but to continue the race 
and hand on the name to pofterity. Their youth is 
worn out wallowing in fenfuality, floth, and indolence, 
till wearyed with a life of levity, gayety, and wanton 
exceffes they dye, as it were, onely to make room for 
the untaught heir to live the horrid fcene over again : 
and thus ignorance and fullnefs of bread is the 
uttmoft of the family enjoyments, and they dye 


1 Abbreviated in MS. 


But I can not joyn with thofe who thus load the 
ladyes with all the weight of this complaint ; for were 
it fo, (i) the gentlemen would be inexcufable in fuffring 
it, and I can never believ, if the fathers were not con- 
fenting at leaft and paffivly yielding to it, the fatal jeft 
could ever be carryed on to fuch a length : they might 
indeed confent to the mother's importunity, or, if you 
will, to her affuming and authority, in not fending her 
Jon to this or that particular fchoolmafter upon the 
points fuggefled abov, (viz.) his being a mean fellow. 
But the father could never confent without inexcufable 
ignorance and folly to the totall ommiffion of his fon's 
learning in generall, and to the breeding him up per- 
fectly illiterate, meerly becaufe his quallity was to 
exempt him from the discipline of a fchool and from 
the being fubject to an inferiour fchoolmafter. On the 
contrary, the father, fuppofing him 1 to have any fence of/ 5- 
the advantages of erudicion and the lofs it would be to 
his fon not to be taught, would take care to have him 
plac'd out to fuch fchools as are proper for perfons of 
quallity to be taught in, and where he would fee the 
fons of gentlemen, equall at leaft and perhaps fuperiour 
to himfelf in dignity, brought up and inflructed in the 
fame manner. 

2. It muft therefore be that, however prepofterous 
fuch a thing may feem in the fence of men of better 
judgement, and however fcandalous to their own 
characters fuch an unaccountable indolence and neg- 
lect of their families really is, that yet the fathers are 
certainly guilty of it, as well as the mothers ; that they 
come into the practife, whether they come into the 

1 him omitted in MS. 


weake womanifh reafon of it or no ; that they look upon 
learning as a thing of indifference and of no great ufe 
to a gentleman ; that leaving his fon a great eftate is 
enough and makes a full amends for all the pretended 
defficiencies of the head ; that making them fchollars 
does but plunge them into politicks, embark them in 
parties, and endanger their being fome time overthrown 
and ruin'd ; that the ignorant man is the fafe man, and 
he that is not concern'd in the broils of the State is 
fure not to be fhipwreck'd among the ill pilotes and the 
rafh difturbers of the public peace. Thefe weak, but 
willfull reafonings on the father's fide joyn'd to the fiery 
pride of the mother keep 1 the heir at play with his 
nurfes and pages, till he is too big to go to fchool at all, 
and till getting a tali of pleafure and a difguft at all 
reftraint he grows paft government ; and 'tis no wonder 
that a tutor can do nothing with him but what he 

1 MS. keeps. 



Compleat Gentleman. 


Of the Born Gentleman^ in tJie Common, or Modern, or Printed 
Prefent* Acceptation of the Word, and as the Gentry 
among us are pleafd to understand it. 

EFORE I enter too far into this nice Sub- 
ject, 'tis neceffary, for keeping all clear 
about me, that I fhould explain my Terms ; 
that I may have no Difpute about Words, 
no Mifts and Fogs to difperfe as I go on, and may 
make as few Parenthefes as poffible to interrupt the 

I matter 3 not your long Etymologies and Deriva- 
tions, nor all the tedious Harangues, whether of the 
Ancients or the Moderns, upon the Word Gentleman; 
its Interpretation from its jingling with the Word 
Generous ; whether the Patricii of Rome and the 


1 Corrected to Gentleman born in a handwriting different from 

2 or Modern, or Prefent is struck out, and marked for deletion, 
by the corrector. 

3 Corrected to value, but not by Defoe. 


Gcnerofi of the modern Italians were not Synonimous, 
or which of the two are the moft significant. 
P 2 It may ferve in the fchools for a good The/is, and 
long learned Differtations may be made upon it, that 
the Word Gentleman being inftituted and legitimated 
in our Language, as fignifying a Man of generous 
Principles, of a great generous Soul, intimates a kind 
of an Obligation upon thofe who affum'd the Name 
to diftinguifh themfelves from the reft of the World 
by generous and virtuous Actions. Thofe Inferences, 
however far-fetch'd, preach well, and may have some 
Place in the Roftnnn of the Pedagogues, where the 
good, well-meaning Inftructor does his beft to teach 
Good-manners to his Scholars, as well as Letters, and to 
prepare their Minds for higher Reafonings. But when 
the Confequences appear to be drawn from weak if not 
wrong Premifes, that Inftruction will lofe its Energy, 
and the Inftruclor muft look out for a better Foundation. 

But I muft place the Object in a differing Perfpec- 
tive, we muft fee it in quite another Light : be it a 
better or a worfe Explanation, we muft underftand it 
as it is at prefent underftood, and taking People in 
their own Way, talk to them of it juft as they talk of 
it to us ; and fo, as the Backf-cvord Men fay, beat them 
out of their Play : and it muft be done too with tJteir 
own Weapons. In a word, we muft fhew them their 
Miftakes, and the Folly of thofe Miftakes, by the fame 
Light which they faw them in before, and while they 
underftood them to be no Miftakes. 

To take any other Courfe would be wafhing Ethio- 
pians, and meer beating the Air ; we are all Spaniards, 
or rather Rujfians, in fuch things as thefe ; we scorn 
to alter old Opinions, or old Ufages, even when we 
can't defend them ; nay, we don't care to do it, tho' 
we know we are in the wrong. 

I don't wonder at the old Pharifees among the 



Hebrews, who fet up the. Traditions of the Elders^ even /. 3 . 
above the written Law of Mofes, or at the Papifts who 
rank their oral Fragments of religious Inftitutions above 
the ivritten Gofpel: I fay, I don't wonder at them at all, 
when I fee our felves fo wedded to Error, and fo pofitive 
in Miftake, that even Demonftration will not remove us. 

Our modern Acceptation of a Gentleman then, and 
that in fpite of defeated Reafoning, is this, A perfon 
BORN (for there lies the Effence of Quality) of fome 
known, or Ancient Family ; whofe Anceftors have at 
leaft for fome time been raifd above the Clafs of 
Mechanicks. If we will examine for how long it muft 
be, that is a dangerous Inquiry, we dive too deep, and 
may indeed ftrike at the Root of both the Gentry and 
Nobility ; for all muft begin fomewhere, and would be 
traced to fome lefs Degree in their Original than will 
fuit with the Vanity of the Day : It is enough there- 
fore that we can derive for a Line of two or three 
Generations, or perhaps lefs ; fo that in fhort, the 
main Support of the thing, which is Antiquity, and 
the Blood of an Ancient Race, is a tender Point, and 
is not without its Defects ; but, like a Rope of Sand, if 
it be ftretch'd out too far it feparates and falls back 
into the Mafs or Heap of the meaneft Individuals. 

Nor indeed is it poflible to avoid this Defect, and 
therefore I wonder our modern Pretenders to the Title 
of Gentility fhould lay fo much Strefs upon what they 
call a long Defcent of Blood. I would give it all its 
due Honour, but don't let us ftrain it too hard, or run 
too far into the Search, becaufe we know it muft 
dwindle into Diminutives at laft : all Great things 
begin in Small, the higheft Families begun low, and 
therefore to examine it too nicely, is to overthrow it all. 

It is a ftrange Folly in the beft of Mankind to Cap 
Pedigrees ; fmce as the talleft Tree has its Root in the P. 4- 
Dirt ; and the FJorifts tell us the moft beautiful 



Flowers are raifed out of the groffeft Mixture of the 
Dunghill and the Jakes ; fo the greateft Family has 
its Beginning in the Throng, and the Search brings it 
to nothing. 

Is it not enough that our Fathers were Gentlemen 
as far back as we can have any good Account of them ? 
Since they that look farthefl back mufh lofe their 
Fathers in the Search, or they will lofe themfelves as to 
the thing they fearch for ; they muft flop fome ^vhere, 
or they will find themfelves no where ; they muft run 
at laft into a Beginning that will baulk the Enquiry, 
and bring them all to nothing, that is to the Cannaille 
and to the mob. 

I remember a Conteft of this Kind between a certain 
modern Nobleman and the late Earl of Oxford of the 
ancient illuftrious Family of De Vere. The Earl of 
Oxford valued himfelf upon the Glory of his Anceflors, 
their Fame, their great Actions, their Victories in foreign 
Service, and the like ; as for his perfonal Glory, the 
Stream ran fomething low, and as for his Family it 
was apparently extinguifhing with himfelf. 

The modern Lord was a Man of Spirit, had ferv'd 
Voluntier under the Fountain of Glory Guftavus 
AdolpJius, and behav'd fo in the Pre fence of that true 
Heroe, as to have his publick Teflimony of his 
Bravery ; but the other told him he was of no Family, 
he had no Blood : The modern Lord deny'd the Fact, 
told him he was of as noble Race as he ; came of as 
good a Family as his Lordfhip, and challeng'd to Cap 
Pedigrees ; and fo they began. 

I am Aubrey de Vere Earl of Oxford, fays the Earl ; 
my Father was Aubrey de Vere, Earl of Oxford ; my 
Grandfather was Earl of Oxford, my Great-grandfather 
was Francis de Vere, Lieutenant-General to Queen 
p> 5- Elizabeth ; his Father Horatio de Vere, Colonel of 
Horfe, and fo back to a long Race ; 'till the other 



feeing him at a ftand, bid him hold, for it was enough ; 
and he muft have ftopp'd a little farther, whether he 
would or not. 

Then the modern Lord began thus, I am William 

Lord my Father was Lord Mayor of London 

and my Grandfather was the Lord knows who, and fo I 
am of as Good a Race as any of you. Where it is ob- 
fervable that in all Enquiries of this kind, after we 
come a few Ages back and pafs a Heroe or two, the 
farther we go beyond that, the lower we go ; like 
diftant Profpe<5ls of the greateft Obje<5t, the farther you 
go from them the lefs they feem, 'till at laft diffolving 
themfelves in Mift and Cloud, Perfpe6live fails, and 
they entirely go out of fight and difappear ; fo the 
greateft Heroes in the World, and of the moft ancient 
Families, if we carry their Names back beyond their 
proper Diflance, they difappear, and are no more to be 

It is enough then, I fay, and a Gentleman ought to 
be fatiffy'd with it, if we can trace our Line back as 
far as our Anceftors are to be remember'd for great 
and good Actions ; left going on to ftrain the Line too 
far, we fink it again below what we would have it be : 
It is fufficient to derive from Virtue and Honour, let it 
ftand near or remote is not the Queftion ; nor can that 
Part add to the Luftre, becaufe there is no Standard 
of Antiquity fettled to rate a Gentleman by. 

Nor is it yet determin'd, no not in the Jargon of the 
Heralds, How many Defcents make the Son of a Cobler 
commence Gentleman^ or give 1 an Efcutcheon of Arms 
and the red Hand> nay the Coronet it felf, to a Plebeian. 

Not therefore to fearch too far where the thing will 
not bear the Inquifition, I fhall take it as the World 
takes it, that the Word Gentleman implies a Man of 
Family, born of fuch Blood as we call Gentlemen, p. 6. 


1 gives in printed sheet. 


fuch Anceftors as liv'd on their Eflates, and as muft 
be fuppofd had Eflates to live on, whether the prefent 
Succeffor be poor or rich. 

Now tho' this Birth, after all, is but mean in it felf 
abftracted from other Merit, yet this I muft alfo grant, 
that a Dignity thus raifd at firft flows in the Blood, 
that it is handed on from Family to Family, and from 
Age to Age, by the meer Confequence of Generation : 
Nay, I will grant an invifible Influence of the Blood, 
if they pleafe, as if there were fome differing Species 
in the very Fluids of Nature ; that the Spirits of a finer 
Extraction flow'd in the Veffels, or fome Animalcules 
of a differing and more vigorous kind which exifled in 
the Blood, fir'd the Creature with a fuperiour Heat 
differing from thofe which mov'd in the Veffels of a 
meaner and lower Kind of Creature ; as the Waters of 
fome Fountains and Rivers whofe Courfe lies thro' 
rich and fruitful meadows or fertile Plains, or which flow 
down from Mineral Springs or golden Mountains, have 
in their Streams more fecret Virtues, more healing and 
fructifying Qualities, more golden Sands than other 
Currents equally large which flow from unhealthy Bogs, 
moorifh and fenny Grounds, or barren and fandy or 
rocky Defarts, whofe Waters are thick and muddy, 
which impoverifh the Lands they flow over, and whofe 
ftagnate Waters rather poifon and kill than nourifh and 
heal the Lands or Creatures that drink them. 

This is granting as much as can be demanded, and, 
perhaps, more than is demanded, and is the exacl Figure 
which they would form in our Minds concerning the 
Original and Conftitution of a Gentleman ; as if he 
were a different Species from the reft of Mankind, that 
Nature had caft in another Mould, and either that he 
p. 7 . was not created at the fame time, or not made of the 
fame Materials as the reft of the Species of Men. 

This exalted Creature of our own forming we are 



now to fet up upon the Stage of Honour, rate him 
above the ordinary Price, and ranking him in a higher 
Clafs than his Neighbours, call him a Gentleman. And 
now having made an Idol of our own, like Nebu- 
chadnezzar, we would have all the meaner World fall 
down and worfhip him. 

I allow indeed (I might fay I am forc'd to allow) 
that there are and may be accidental Degeneracies by 
corrupt Mixtures of Blood, that the original Stream is 
fometimes difhonoured and injured by promifcuous 
Coalitions, and Marriages with Perfons of Plebeian 
Race ; yet it is infmuated that there are forne Globules 
in the Blood, fome fublime Particles in the Animal 
Secretion, which will not mix with the hated Stream of 
a mechanick Race, but preferve themfelves pure and 
entire, and in time expels the degenerate Mixture, and 
reftores its original Purity ; and the Learned often 
exprefs themfelves in fuch cafes thus, viz. Such a one 
has good Blood in his Veins, tho' his Father indeed did 
marry below himfelf, and his Mother was a Shop- 
keeper's Daughter or a Citizen's Daughter of no 
Family ; yet he is of a good Family originally, and he 
has now married a Lady of an ancient Family in the 
North ; fo that the Quality of his Race will be kept up, 
and the Blood is reftor'd. 

This is the Language of the Times, which I muft 
comply with, and muft confent to affift in the carrying 
it on, even to fuch ridiculous height, that as fome 
Sectaries have been juftly reproach'd with feparating 
from the World, and refufmg to marry with Unbelievers, 
and as the Pharifees of old faid to the Publicans, Stand 
off for I am holier than Thou : So I muft join, for the 
prefent purpofe, with thefe People that value them- 
felves on their unmix'd Blood, and call them Gentle- /. 8. 
men, tho' they want a Pair of Shoes, and the Ladies 
who fcorn to marry a Tradefman however rich, wife, 

B learned, 


learned, well-educated or religious, tho' at the fame 
time they have little or nothing to fupport the 
Chara6ler of their Birth, and perhaps, not Means to 

Unhappy Humour ! truly ridiculous, and indeed 
prepofterous ! and yet in this manner I muft proceed 
in meer Conformity to the Cuftom of the Times, at 
leaft 'till I come to the juft Diftinctions which I fhall 
afterwards make, and by which, if poffible, we may 
undeceive the World, divorce their Minds from an 
efpoufed Error, and fet the real Gentlemen in a true 
Light, that we may no longer make a Harlequin of 
the Man we fhould admire : But fetting up a new 
Clafs truly qualify'd to inherit the Title, turn the 
ancient Race into the Woods a grazing with Nebu- 
chadnezzar, notwithffcanding all the Trappings of their 
Antiquity, high Birth, great Anceftors, and boafled 
Family Fame, 'till they learn to know themfelves, 'till 
their Underftandings return, and 'till they can be 
brought to confefs that when Learning, Education, 
Virtue and good Manners are wanting, or degenerated 
and corrupted in a Gentleman, he finks out of the 
Rank, ceafes to be any more a Gentleman, and is, ipfo 
fatto, turn'd back among the lefs defpicable Throng of 
the Plcebeii. That when it is thus, the Species alters, 
the Manners make the Man, that the Gentility dies in 
them, and like a fine Flower ill tranfplanted the Kind is 
loft ; that they lofe all Pretence of right to the Quality 
they bore, forfeiting their Claim of Blood they 1 really 
ought to rank no otherwife than according to Merit. 

The firft thing which feems neceffary in this Work, 


1 This is the beginning of folio 8 of the MS. After the lefs de- 
fpicable Throng of the Plabeii is a mark for an interpolation, which 
is lost with the preceding leaf, the next words being really ought 
to rank, &c. After as the great Fountain of Order has fet them, 
another insertion is lost, which extended as far as the paragraph 
Venice and Poland, &c., on page 1 1 of the printed sheet. 


and which may be of ufe to fet this Affair in a Clear 
Light, is to examine our modern Notions about 
Nobility of Blood ; upon what Principles they are p- 9 
raifed, and to what Abfurdities they are carry'd by 
fome People, fetting every thing in its due Order, 
as the great Fountain of Order has fet them : See 
who is in the Right and who in the Wrong, that 
fo we may place the Gentleman where he fhould 
be placed, and then we may honour him as he fhould 
be honour'd : For the Defign of this Work is not at 
all to level Mankind, to blend the Low and the High 
together, and fo make a meer Mob of the People. 

'Tis evident God Almighty in peopling the Earth 
acted with the fame Wifdom, and with the fame 
excellent Order, as he did in peopling the Sky, nay 
even the Heavens themfelves. In the Firmament he 
placed glorious Lights ; glorious indeed they are in all 
their Degree, but of different Magnitude. It is true 
that even thofe which appear as if they were of lefs 
Magnitude far than others, may be fo to us only as 
their Station is nearer or more remote. But it is the 
fame thing to us ftill, that near or remote Situation 
is appointed to form the Difference of their appear- 
ing Luftre. 

Here we fee a Sun, an immenfe and amazing Globe 
of Fire fhining in its full Strength, warming us with 
his illuftrious Beams, enlivening and envigorating the 
World with its Genial Heat, giving new Seafons in 
their Order, and putting a new Face upon Nature, and 
clothing her with Beauty and a renewed Youth at his 
Vernal Returns. 

There the humble Moon and her Sifters the Planets 
with their Satellites, the Plebeii of the Skies, dark and 
opake in themfelves, fhine by Reflection only, and 
borrowing Beams from the Patrician Sun, give Light 
without Heat, pale and languid, and feem to be in a 



wonderful Round of Negative Glory what they really 
are not. 
//to. T/io* W and? ring, fix d; tho retrograde, yet true; 

Tho> Chang' d y the fame ; and the? the fame, yet neiv; 

T/io* diftant, near ; immenfly high, yet low ; 

Swift, yet not rapid ; tedious, yet not flow ; 

77/0' dark, yet clear; tho' all opake, yet bright; 

Fair 1 without Beams, and without Lziflre brigJit. 

Thus Heaven, I fay, a6ls with the fame Wifdom in 
placing his Creatures in differing Ranks and Claffes in 
every Part of the Creation ; nay even in the Cceleflial 
Creation it felf we are told there are different Claffes 
even among the Heavenly Inhabitants themfelves, such 
as we call Angels and Archangels, and fuch as facred 
Text diftinguifhes by Thrones, Dominions, Principalities, 
and Powers : Nay, and if we may believe the fublime 
Mr. Milton, who talk'd of thofe Places as if he had 
been born there, there were abundance more Claffes 
than we have Names for. 

In the very fame Method God proceeded when he 
eftablifhed a Nation under his own Government here 
on Earth, and whom he govern'd in an immediate 
Theocrafie : Do we not read of the Princes of Ifrael r 
Heads of the Houfe of their Fathers, Honourable Men, 
and Men of Renown, &c ? 

All this is in favour of the Gentry and Nobility of 
the World, and to let you fee I am far from levelling 
the Clown and the Gentleman, the Great with the 
Mean and Bafe. No ; not the Rich with the Poor, 
which, by the way, may at the Bottom be the Effence of 
that DiftincJion, as we fhall fee in its Place. 

All this, I fay, will let you fee that I am far from 
intending to leffen or difhonour the Gentleman I am 
fpeaking of : I allow him to be the Glory of the 

1 The print has Shines, which the corrector has altered to Fair. 


Creation, the exalted Head of the whole Race, that 
demands Honour and Diftinction from the reft of the p. n. 
World. I have the Honour to be rank'd, by the Direc- 
tion of Providence, in the fame clafs, and would be fo 
far from leffening the Dignity Heaven has given us, 
that I would add Luftre, if that was poflible, to the 
conftellated Body, and make them ftill more illuftrious 
than they are. 

But this is to be done, not by dreffing them up like 
Actors upon a Stage, adorning worthlefs and degenerate 
Heads with Laurels and Bays, that they may act the 
Conquerors who never drew a Sword ; and the Poets 
who never meafur'd Quantity, tranfforming Faces, tranf- 
pofing Figures, and making the Actrefs appear to-day 
a Goddefs^ to-morrow a Queen, and the third Day a 
Waiting-woman, and the like, as the Part fhe is to act 

The Gentleman is to be reprefented as he really 
is, and in a figure which he cannot be a Gentleman 
without ; I mean as a Perfon of Merit and Worth ; a 
Man of Honour, Virtue, Senfe, Integrity, Honefty, and 
Religion, without which he is Nothing at all, as we 
fhall see in its place. But of that by it felf. 

Venice^ and Poland are two particular countryes, MS. 
where the notions 2 of nobillity in blood are 3 at this 
time carryed to the higheft and moft ridiculous extreme. 
The Venetians are without difpute an antient people, 
they call themfelves the unconquer'd remains of the 
antient Romans ; and I am not for difputing it with 
them at all, any more than I will with our Welch 
gentlemen whether they are the unconquer'd remains 
of the antient Britains ; if they are not the degenerated 4 
race of them 'tis well enough. 


1 As the rest of the text of the printed sheet corresponds with 
that of the MS., the latter will be followed in future. 
* notion in MS. and print. ' z's in print. * degenerate in print. 


I will not doubt but that, according to antient 
hiftory 1 when the Goths and Vandals and other 
barbrous 2 nacions over-run Italy, when the Exarchs 
who took refuge at Ravenna, and fet up their petty 
governments there, were no more, and all face of 
government began to wear out in Italy, I mean as it 
was Roman, when the Kingdom of Lombardy diffolved 
itfelf, and all the other kingdoms of that part of the 
world made up the great Empire of Charlemain, or 
Carolous* Magnus, and of the Franks, from whom to 
this day all the European nacions are among the 
Greeks call'd Franks ; I will not, I fay, doubt but that 
the Veneti or the Padiians, for they were the head of 
them, and other inhabitants of the fea-coaft, and of the 
country upon the banks of the Po, retiring to the in- 
acceffible iflands and the low grounds at the mouth of 
that great river, the fame which is now call'd the 
Dogade, or the mere dominion of the Duke and Senate 
of Venice, defended themfelves againfh all the forces of 
the barbarians, and erected a new nacion made up of 
many nacions. That all the families difperf d among 
the provinces of Italy, who abhorr'd the bondage of 
the barbarians, finding those Veneti enjoy'd there both 
liberty and peace, principally by the help of their 
fituacion, and particularly by their naval ftrength, 
which they by meer neceffity creeled, fled to them, and 
dwelling among them, became foon after manumiz'd 
and made freemen and encorporated into the fame 
common body. 

As they form'd their firfh conflitution into a Common- 
wealth, the fame as it remains at this day, and 4 drefling 
up their government in the fame form and exa<5tly 
after the modelle of the Common-wealth of Rome, fo 


1 Instead of antient hijlory the print has a long stroke. 

2 barbarous in print. 8 Carolus in print. 
4 and not in print. 


they had their Senatus Populufque on one hand, and 
the Tribunes of the people on the other ; they were 
divided into the Senate and the people, or as it follow'd 
the Nobillity and the Commons, exactly the fame as 
the Patricii and the Plcebeij of Rome ; and as the 
Romans upon all emergencies of the State, extra- 
ordinary dangers from enemies, and the like, chofe a 
Dictator and afterwards the Ccefars affum'd the title of 
perpetual dictators, and then that of Imperator ; fo the 
Venetians appointed a Doge or Duke in the nature 
of a Dictator, or of a temporary Imperator, onely that 
this is more limited and reftrain'd by much, as he is 
rather the fervant than the governor of the Common- 

Now what follow'd among the Venetians ? Pride 
ftepping in, as it ufually does, where the degeneracy of 
nature opens a door, affifhed to put an immoderate rate 
upon this clafs of nobillity, tho' without the firft virtue 
which raifed them ; the Senators meriting at firft 
greatly from the people who came to dwell among 
them, as is faid, for the protection they gave them 
againft the barbarians, were in return greatly honour'd 
as they indeed deferv'd ; their names were reverenc'd 
and the merit defcending in thofe firft ages to their 
pofterity, the honour entail'd it felf of courfe. 

The prudent and well-managing of the government 
was the teffcimonial of their reall defervings ; and in 
the next age all thofe familyes, on whofe wifdom, 
valour and fidelity to their country the greatnefs of 
the Common-wealth began fo foon to flourifh, were firft 
made Counfellors and Directors of the State, and then 
ennobled ; I fay made, becaufe 'tis evident the Tribunes 
made them Councillors, and eftablifhed them in the 
Government, and the Tribunes confequently gave them 
nobillity ; to which was added that the Doge or Duke 
ihould be allways chofen out of that body, with power 



in the faid Doge and nobillity to confer nobillity to 
7.9. other families, as merit and reafons of State fhould 
make reafonable ; and had they flopped there they had 
done well. 

Here began nobillity in Venice, and a juft beginning 
it was ; nobillity, as it ought to be, was made an 
appendix to, or attendant on, virtue : True merit, 
fidellity to, and fervices done for, their country, exalted 
the firfl patriots of the State, and eftablifli'd them- 
felves as the rule for thofe noble perfons to act by in 
taking fubfequent patriots into that illuftrious body, 
giving nobillity afterwards as the reward of virtue, and 
thereby firing the minds of the growing and afpiring 
generacions with refolutions to purchafe nobillity at 
the fame rate, (viz.) by noble and generous accions, by 
a generall courfe of glorious merit, fo to rife to honour 
on the wings of virtue, which indeed is the onely 
juftifyable gradacion. 

All this was right, and thus to make a nobleman or 
a gentleman, would certainly add luftre to the name, 
and men might juftly value themfelves upon the 
honours 1 fo acquir'd and fo conferr'd. 

But two things are to be brought in abatement of 
the plea. Not againft the honour for I am ftaunch to 
the principle I layd down ; the honour I allow to be 
valuable, but then the merit too muft remain. But if 
the vertue defcends not with the titles, the man is but 
the fhaddow of a gentleman, without the fubftance. 
If vertue gave being 2 to his degree, where the caufe 
dyes the effect ceafes ; the degenerate 3 offfpring of 
the noble, virtuous, gallant fpirit finks the nobleman, 
becaufe the nobleman finks the hero ; the honour muft 
go with the merit : If he has not the virtue which is 
the merit, how can he be call'd noble ? What remains 
to the miferable fkeleton of a nobleman ? The walking 


1 honour in print. 2 MS. bfng. 3 MS. dengerate. 


fliaddow of a duke who once was noble, but of whom it 
may be faid, the man remains, but the D ... is dead, 
as a renegado is no more a chriftian. 

2. The advancing men to honours without the 
merit, is abufmg the honour and the man too. It is 
indeed a peice of mockery, and is a fcandal of the 
nobillity and gentry ; 'tis dreffing little David in 
Saul's armour the one a ftripling, and the other the 
tailed man in Ifrael : Poor David could not walk, 
much lefs fight, in that drefs. Well did King Charles II. 
fay, he could make a knight, but could not make a gentle- 
man. The king underftood what went to that qualli- 
fication, and that a title no more made a gentleman 
than the lyon's fkyn would make the afs a lyon ; 
The gentleman muft have the merit, or he is not at all 
advanc'd by his title ; the Sir no more makes a gentle- 
man, than the fcarf makes a doctor : To exalt a fool 
is onely making a jeft for the town ; in a word, to 
knight a booby is an affault upon nature, and is a fatyr 
upon the clown himfelf; fee what Andrew Marvell 
fayes upon fomething of this kind. 

To fee a white flaff make a beggar a lord, 
And fear ce a wife man at a long Councel Board. 

When I mencion the advancing men to titles without 
merit, I may be fuppof'd to touch upon the modern cuf- 
tome of felling nobility in Venice for 100,000 ducates ; 
and, if indeed the man fo advanc'd had nothing to en- 
title him to the honour but the money, the fatyr would 
be juft : But I am told the Venetians go .upon three 
ftipulacions when they make thofe advances. 

i. They never take that method to raife money by 
encreafmg the familyes of the nobility except in times 
of heavy war, when the State is preffd, and when 'tis 
neceffary to raife a confiderable fum for the exigencies 
of State. 

2. When 


2. When they have voted for taking in a certain 
number of perfons into the nobillity, it is referr'd to 
the Council to fmgle out fuch familyes, and fuch 
perfons, as have deferv'd well of the Common Wealth. 

3. The advancing the money on thefe occafions is 
really doing a fervice to the public, and may be 
allow'd to have fome merit in itfelf. 

But now we come to the main claufe wherein this 
article of nobillity in Venice is brought under our fatyr. 
The antient nobillity value themfelves fo much above 
f. 10. the created nobillity, that there feems to be an im- 
placable animofity between them, and they will 
fcarce falute one another or at leaft would not for a 

Now this comes exactly within the cenfure which I 
am paffmg with fo much juftice upon the times. If the 
antient nobillity had either any fuperiour perfonal merit 
of their own, upon the foot of which they could juftly 
rate themfelves above the other, or if the modern 
nobillity lay under any fcandal, upon the foot of which 
they could be reproacht as unquallify'd for Nobillity, 
that they had no merit but their money, or were really 
perfonally unworthy being enobled ; this would in 
either cafe juftifye the contempt with which they treat 

But fuppofe now that the noble Venetian of the 
antient creation, fuppofe one of the Contarini, the 
Bragadini, the Boccalini, the Cornari, or the Mocenigi ; 
fuppofe him a bully, a rake, a B .... or a W .... 
or an E . . . . , a man ufelefs to the Common Wealth, 
degenerate, vitious, unworthy of the honour and titles 
which he bears, and which he inherits, but knows 
not how to deferve : fuppofe him difhonouring his 
glorious anceflors by his deficiency of that vertue, 
courage, learning, and fidellity to his country, which 
juftly raif'd his anceftors to the dignity of counfellors, 



and rankt them among the nobillity : Shall the no- 
billity of blood remain, with this weight upon its fame? 
NO ! 'tis 1 inconfiftent with the nature of the thing ; 
the blood of a gentleman poifon'd and tainted with 
crime is loft, and ought to be no more valued as a 
generous ftream. 3 

Suppofe, on the contrary, a nobleman of the 
modern creation, and allow him to be a perfon of 
merit, of wifedom, of prudence, of learning, able for 
council, for embaffys, for confidence ; a man of 
conduct in the field, brave, enterprifing, experienc't, 
and faithfull, and worthily honour'd, and enobl'd on 
all thefe accounts ; befides the advancing fo much 
money, as is faid above, for the public fervice in a 
time of exigence. 

Now the cafe is this : the firft of thefe, notwith- 
ftanding 3 all thofe extremes of contrarys, fhall contemn 
the laft for the meer antiquity of their creation ; how 
abfurd is the pride of this, and how contrary to the 
nature of the thing ! The firfh has nothing to value 
himfelf upon but the remote vertues of his forgotten 
anceftors, which weigh no more in the fcale of his 
perfonall merit, than the efcutcheon of his arms 
painted upon filk would weigh againft the other man's 
100,000 duckets. 

In a word, the laft has the merit, the firft the anti- 
quity ; pray which has the beft claim to the honour ? 
The firft has family without vertue, the laft has the 
virtue to build the family : the firft ought to be the 
laft nobleman of his houfe, as the laft is the firft noble- 
man of his. Yet thus it is at Venice ; the antient 
nobillity look upon the modern nobillity with the 
utmoft contempt, fo as they will hardly keep them 


1 it is in print. 

2 The passage from Shall the nobillity to generous ftream is 
scratched out in the MS., but it stands in the print, which ends here. 

3 Abbreviated in MS. 


company, or give them the civilityes of their rank, if 
they meet them in the fbreet. Let us bring the cafe 
nearer home. 

With what contempt do we degrade a Knight of 
the Garter who has once difhonour'd his dignity by 
crime. The trophies of his honour, the enfigns of 
the Order, are thrown down. His coat of arms, how- 
ever illuflrious, and even glorious, from the nobillity 
of his defcent, are taken from over the ftall, are tranf- 
verf'd, torn in peices, thrown on the ground, and 
kick'd out at the door of the chappel of the Order. His 
name is declar'd infamous and detefbable, and his 
memory unworthy of being preferv'd in the roll 
among the Knights Companions. 

If this is the treatment which a man once fo 
exalted, fo great, fo honourable, lhall receive in the 
particular cafe of treafon and rebellion againft the 
Soveraign, why fhall not a gentleman forfeit his 
rank and be fuppof'd degenerate when he difhonours 
his blood by other equal, or even lefs, degrees of 
crime, fuch for example as a generall contempt of 
all morall virtue, a total degeneracy of manners, and 
in a word an avowed practife of all degrees of fcandal 
and crime ? 

It is a little hard, and we muft think ourfelves 
impofed upon by cuftome and other errors of the 
age, that a man fhall ftand attainted in blood, and 
his pofterity after him, for crimes againft the Govern- 
ment he lives in, and fhall yet preferv his blood 
entire, and the ftreams of it be efteem'd pure and 
uncorrupted, when he gives up all obedience either to 
God or good manners. Such a conduct degrades the 
gentleman ipfo fatto and fhows him in the form of a 
vile and degenerate wretch. And why fhould he not 
be taken as Nature fhows him ? why fhould he not be 
accepted for what he is, and not for what he is not ? 



In Poland this vanity of birth is ft ill worfe ; 'tis 
there carry'd up to fuch a monftrous extravagance, 
that the name of gentleman and the title of a Staroft^ 
a Palatine, or a Caftollan, gives the man a fuperiority 
over all the vaffals or common people, infinitely 
greater than that of King or Emperor, reigning over 
them with more abfolute power, and making them 
more miferable than the fubjecls either of the Grand 
Seignior or the Cham of Tartary, infomuch that they 
trample on the poorer people as dogs and frequently 
murder them : and when they do, are accountable to 
nobody, nor are calPd fo much as to giv a reafon for /. n. 
it Were this haughty carriage and the violence uf'd 
upon that account allow'd by the conftitution of their 
country, the poor people were only to be commifer- 
ated, and their unhappynefs would be that they were 
the fubjects of fuch a Government. But then I mould 
have nothing to do with it in this place. 

But as it is the confequence of meer pride and 
arrogance founded upon birth and the pretended pre- 
rogativ of blood, it is an example which, of all ever 
met with, moft expofes the thing I am fpeaking of and 
is indeed the reproach, inftead of being the true char- 
acter, of a gentleman. 

For take the nobillity and gentry of Poland, not 
onely as we kno' them to be by converfmg with them 
in their private capacity, but as they appear in hiftory ; 
in the firft place, they are the moft haughty, im- 
perious, infulting people in the world. A very valu- 
able hiftorian of our times fayes they are proud, infolent, 
obftinate, pajfionate, furious. Thefe are indeed the born 
gentlemen ; but how remote is this from the true 
bred gentlemen, of whom, thanks be to Heaven, we 
have fome among us, and of whofe character I mail 
have room to fpeak with fome pleafure. 

Then take them, I fay, as they appear in hiftory. 



How falfe, perfidious, treacherous, mercenary, unfleady, 
not to be trufted upon the folemneft oath ! Let the 
prefent King of Poland be our witnefs in this cafe. 
How often did they f wallow his gifts by millions, then 
change fides upon the leaft difguft or as they found 
the ftream run low, and then fight againft him, that is, 
affociate againft him (for they can't be charg'd with 
much fair fighting), till they, as it were, fwallow'd him 
up ; and yet, after all, flood ftill and let a fubjec~l be 
put into the throne over his head by an enemy who, 
had but thofe very gentlemen that had eaten his 
bread, as it may be truly faid, that ts, taken his money^ 
flood by him like gentlemen, as they call themfelves, 
could never have 1 been brought to pafs. 

How often have thofe men of honour, as they are to 
be call'd, for all gentlemen are or ought to be fuch 
play'd Jack a both fides, to-day for and to-morrow 
againft, to-day for the Saxon to-morrow for the Swede, 
as the money could be got or the party was ftrongeft. 

Yet if you fhould afk a Polander what he is, he 
would tell you he is gentleman of Poland ; and fo 
much do they value themfelves upon the name, that 
they think they are abov being tyed to the rules of 
honour, which are the onely conflituting laws of gentle- 
men. Nay they fupport themfelves upon their being 
gentlemen even in doing the fouleft and blackeft 
things and which we fay are below a gentleman, and 
expect allowance in thofe things, even from Heaven 
itfelf, on account of their birth and quallity : an 
eminent inftance of which we have in an infamous 
wretch, Capt. Vratz, a Polander, who, in cold 
blood, affaffmated an Englifh gentleman, Thomas 
Thynne Efq re , mooting him into the body in his coach 
with a mufqueteer loaden with 7 bullets ; and who, 
the day before he was to be hang'd for it, when he 

1 MS. ha\ 


was fpoken with by the minifter to prepare himfelf for 
death, anfwer'd that he did not doubt but God would 
have foin refpect to him as a gentleman. 

Let us wonder no more at all the weak and wicked 
things thofe people can do under the fkreen of their 
dignity, who can carry it fuch a length, as to believ 
Heaven itfelf regards them in the fame fhacion they 
regard themfelves, and that they may a6l like devils 
under the mafk of the gentleman. 

And yet, as I faid abov, this does by no means inti- 
mate a levelling all mankind one with another : far 
otherwife, it exalts the true gentleman above the 
common, mechanick, labouring clafs as high as can be 
in reafon defir'd or imagin'd, onely with this fhort 
addition eafily underftood and not impoffible to be 
acquir'd, namely, that the virtue fhould go along with 
the title, the merit defcend with the race, and follow 
the inheritance like a rent-charge upon the manfion 
houfe and park. 

If the heir will cut off the entail, if he will quit the 
vertue, he fhould quit the name ; for a man, to have 
dignity without honefty, the name without the fame, 
the diftincion of quallity without the difttnction of 
quallification, is like the coat of arms of the family 
without the eftate. In a word, if he will cut off the 
entail of virtue and honor, he fhould cut off the entail 
of the title too, and mould no longer call himfelf a 
gentleman than he will act like a gentleman, no longer 
pretend to be a man of blood and family than he will 
be a man of honefty and merit. 

To be known by his crimes, at the fame time that he 
claims to be known by his blood and the antiquity of 
his anceftors, is to regifter himfelf the fhame of his 
race : and to place himfelf as a mark of infamy upon 
his houfe, which, as in the cafe of a bend in his coat of 
arms, the efcutcheon cannot be blazon'd without it, fo 



the hiftory of his family can not be read over, but his 
own part muft be left out or Hand as a foyl to the 
brighter lives of the reft of his kindred. 
/. 12. How is the ancient noble family of Sturton in Wilt- 
fhire remembrd with infamy, tho' full of illuftrious 
anceftors, for the foul fact committed by one of the 
race ! How is the filken halter which to this day 
hangs over his grave in the cathedrall of Salifbury and 
with which he was executed, all-ways remembr'd when 
the very family is but nam'd. All the good of the 
family is funk and forgotten in that one crime, and the 
whole race now extinct is, as it were, attainted in fame, 
tho' not guilty. 

It is the fame with the family of the Lord Caftle- 
haven and feverall others that might be nam'd ; and if 
we come to matters of treafon, we fee the law is fo 
fevere that the attainder of blood extends to the 
pofterity, and they are no more nam'd among the 

And why fhould it not be fo with every gentleman 
who giving himfelf up to crime difhonours his race ? 
nay, it is fo in the nature of the thing, whether it is fo 
in the ftri6l determination of the law : when he 
degenerates from the vertue of his anceftor, when he 
abandons himfelf to vice, and becomes loofe and profli- 
gate, 'tis an attainder upon his blood ; he fhould be 
efteem'd as one that has abdicated the title of gentle- 
man and levell'd himfelf with Newgate and the Bear- 

Where is there any man that to this day will boaft 
himfelf of being the pofterity of a highway- man or a 
murtherer ? Do we fee any of the family and pofterity 
of Guy Faux or of Lieutenant Felton ? Who values 
himfelf upon the race of thofe affaffmators of princes, 
Balthazar Gerrard and of Poltcot ? We have fome 
famous Rabbis of the Jews left among the regifters of 



antiquity of the ^Efmodean 1 race, and fome who fay 
they are of the pofterity of the good old Simeon ; we 
read of Rabbi Jofeph and Rabbi . . . Ben Gorion and 
others, but we never read, as I remember, of Rabbi 
Judas or the noble race of the forcerer Bar Jefus or 
of Simon Magus. 

As crime, when grave, notorious, and flagrant, brands 
a family even in the view of the whole world, and puts 
a ftop to the fame of the whole race, fo, I think, 'tis but 
juft it fhould do fo to the claim of a gentleman, and 
the pofterity of a proffligate fhould be afham'd of their 
anceftor, blacken'd by his crimes and, whether hang'd 
or unhang'd, as well when he efcapes juftice as when he 
falls under the ftroke of it. 

As then the crimes of our anceftors deface their 
memory in our efteem, and make us blufh to owne 
them or to own our felves to belong to, or be fprung 
from, them, fo when we abandon ourfelves to vice, we 
ought, for ourfelves and in behalf of our pofterity, to 
quit the name of gentleman, and to blot our felves out 
of the roll of our families. When we ceafe to be 
honeft men we fhould ceafe to claim the name of 
men of honour [for honefty and honour are the fame]. 

To conclude, it cannot juftly be taken for a depre- 
ciating the rank and quallity of men of birth and 
blood to lay fo much greater ftrefs upon their perfonal 
merit and virtue than upon their lines and defcent, 
the antiquity of their families and greatnefs of their 
anceftors. It is, I think, doing a higher piece of juftice 
to them and exalting them as really deferving the 
dignity they poffefs, fuppofmg them really to accu- 
mulate honour and add to the glory of their race by 
the illuftrious merit of their own accions ; and were 
we to rate our nobillity and gentry by their rule, (viz.) 
of their own merit, and no otherwife, it would be the 


1 Error instead of Afmonean* 


greateft fpur to great actions imaginable ; and the world 
would foon applye to the practife of virtue as to the 
true and proper means of obtaining fame. We have 
one ftrange example in Europe, and it is nacionall too, 
where a whole people have caft off all claim of blood 
from their reall anceffcors, and reje6l the very race they 
are defcended from, onely becaufe of the infamy of 
their character, and this is the Spaniards. 

It is evident they are generally defcended from the 
Moors, who, having conquer'd and for above 700 years 
poffefs't Spain and Portugal loft their tawny progeny 
by promifcuous generacion and intermarriages with the 
natives blended with the blood of the beft and moft 
antient familyes in Spain; and this is fo evident in the 
very blood, the names, nay, and the very faces of Spain 
and Portugal, that you hardly find any familyes in 
either of thofe countryes who pretend to any line or 
genealogy farther back than the fifteenth and fixteenth 
century, except fuch as have fettled in Spain from 
other countryes under the Spanifh government. 

Upon this very account it is that if you enquire into 
moft of the great families in Spain, and efpecially thofe 
who claim a defcent of much antiquity, they tell you 
their family came from Sicily or they were originally 
Neapolitans, or Milanefe, or Flemifh, or Burgundians, 
all which countryes were formerly fubje6ls of the King 
of Spain ; but not a man will own himfelf defcended 
from a Moor: he would as foon claim a clefcent from 
Mahomet or Judas ; and yet 'tis evident that moft of 
them have undergone the mixture, and have it not 
onely in their language, their colour, their temper and 
their names but even (as abov) in their very faces, and 
that of the beft of their families, not excepting the 
royal houfe of Braganza itfelf. 

Let any man examine the countenances of the 
Spaniards, and efpecially of the Portuguefe, and fee if 



there is ordinarily not fomething of the Moor and the 
Negrovv in their very features. Nay, let them look on 
the new gold coin, where there is the buft or head of 
a certain king, and let them fee if they can not dif- 
tinguifh fomething of the Moor in the very face, and 
yet the family is as great, as antient, and has had a race 
of heroes in it, equall to moil in Spain or Portugal. 

From what an original then are we to go for a 
gentleman in this part of the world ? and yet they 
are not more tenacious of their blood and, as 'tis call'd, 
of their gentility in any nation in Europe, tho' the 
excellency of it is to flop the fearch at 1 the time of 
Ferdinand of Caftile, fo that the claim of blood is to go 
no higher on pain of fcandal and difgrace. 

Thus we fee in fome places the gentleman is valued 
for being antient and in fome places for being modern ; 
fome for one thing, fome another. In England we 
defire no greater honour than to fay our line can be 
trac'd back to the Conqueror, and that our ancefbor 
came over with the conqueror : 

Tho* what the hero was no man can tell, 
Whether a Drummer or a Colonell. 

In Ruffia we fee the fhort originalls of their chief 
nobillity by no means afFecte their glory. They tell us 
that, the old ducal race of the Mufcovite blood being 
extinct, the late Czar himfelf was but in three removes 
the fon of a Greek prieft, and that none of the beft or 
firfl-rate priefls neither ; that a certain great prince of 
the nacion, who was at this time lately faid to be the 
Deputy Czar (for fo they call'd him) and chief mannager 
or minifber of the whole Empire, tho' now in exile, was 
but a drummer in the Czar's army ; and that the late 
Emprefs (Reft her foul) was but a chambermaid to the 
Lutheran Vicar of Dorpt in Livonia when that province 

1 at indistinctly written. 


was Swedifh ; that fhe was hyr'd by the old man to wait 
upon his two daughters, and that fhe had but 5 Rix- 
dollars a year wages. 

How then did the late Czar raife his fame ? how 
arriv to that pitch of glory ? of whom it is truly faid no 
prince ever obtain'd fuch an elevated character in fo 
fhort a time. It was neither by his high birth or his 
education. His father had nothing of it in him, was 
weak and inconftant in his temper, had neither know- 
ledge natural or acquir'd ; and as for his elder brother 
he was little better than a f . . . . It was not then 
convey'd by blood : he might be born of what he would, 
if they had it not themfelves, they could not convey it 
by generation. Nil dat quod non habet. The being 
the fon of an Emperor or the grandfon of an Emperor 
ftor'd the eldeft fon with no brains ; and how many 
eldeft fons of heroes do we find inheriting the name 
without the genius, in a word the body without the 
foul. It was all owing to his induftry and application ; 
he had the genius lent by Heaven, not by the blood of 
his family ; he had the head, and, above all, had a fence 
/ *4- of his want of knowledge, which fir'd his foul with an 
earneft defire to kno', to learn, and to be inftrucled. 
He fought wifdom, thro' the whole world ; he applyed 
for knowledge in every branch of fcience. He knew 
he wanted it before, and he knew it was to be obtained, 
and this made him unwearied in his applicacion to en- 
creafe his knowledge, to cultivate his underftanding. 
This made him refolv to travell, that he might fur- 
nifh his head with knowledge : the want of it made 
him uneafie and unfatiffy'd with himfelf and with his 
whole empire : he abhorr'd to be ignorant of any thing, 
and from hence he refolv'd to fee every thing that was 
to be feen, hear every thing that was to be heard, know 
every thing that was to be known and learn every thing 
that was to be taught. 



But as God afk'd Adam after the fall, Who told 
thee that t/wu waft naked? fo the queftion readily 
occurrs here (and I affure you it has fome weight in it), 
Who told the Czar of Mofcow that lie was ignorant? 
We kno' 'tis the particular property of a Rufs to think 
they kno' every thing, and to abhorr to be taught by 
any body ; but it was not fo with the Czar. What ever 
he knew he found he might kno' more of, nay he found 
other men knew more than himfelf. It was his ufuall 
faying that every cobler that came but from Germany 
or Holland knew more than he did. 

They tell us that one of the main occafions of his 
being more than ordinarily fencible of the want of fence 
and underftanding in himfelf, as well as in his own 
people, was at the firft feige of Afoph, where he was 
oblig'd to raife the fiege after the killing of two German 
engineers, meerly for the ignorance and unfkilfulnefs of 
his own. 

After that he went to Arch- Angel, where he converft 
with fome of the Dutch and Englifh merchants and 
commanders of fhips, and where he found, as he often 
faid, every cabbin boy taking obfervacions, keeping 
the fhip's reckonings and able to fleer and work a fhip 
better than any of his people ; and that every mate or 
boatfwain underftood more of navigation than the beft 
man in all his empire. 

There he built himfelf a yacht or pleafure boat, and 
had allmoft drown'd himfelf to learn how to work it. 

Thefe things taught him to know his own ignorance 
and deficiency, and fir'd him with refolutions of improv- 
ing himfelf that he might improv his whole empire. 
This made him, according to Solomon, Search for know- 
ledge as for Jilver and dig for it as for hid treafure 
Prov. 2. 4. 

If this fence of felf-defficiency was able to form the 
foul of an Emperor, and to finifh him for a hero, would 



not the fame humble thoughts aflift and accomplifh a 
gentleman, if improv'd and follow'd with the fame ap- 
plicacion ; and if it was not below an Emperor thus to 
furnifh his foul with knowledge, and even to force 
nature and form a genius to himfelf, to polifh and 
finifh his mind for the great accions which were before 
him in life, how can it be below a private gentleman to 
do the fame ? 

Indeed, if the Czar had not been bred abroad, one 
would not have taken him to be what we call a gentle- 
man, efpecially an Englifh gentleman ; for do we ever 
meet with an Englifh gentleman that does not think 
himfelf wife enough and learned enough ? Do not we 
Englifh gentlemen think, that to be a good fportfman 
is the perfeccion of education, and to fpeak good dog 
language and good horfe language is far abov Greek and 
Latin ; and that a little damming and fwearing among' 
it makes all the reft polite and fafhionable. I met 
with one of this fort of gentlemen once that was very 
bright upon the fubje6l with me. " What occafion has 
a gentleman to trouble himfelf," faid he, " with books, 
and to fpend his time poring over old hiftoryes ? what 
have we to do with the lives of a parcell of rotten 
kings and emperors, the Caefars and Alexanders of 
the world ? aren't they dead and in their graves and for- 
gotten ? and there let them lye and be forgotten. What 
does it fignifye to us to enquire after them ? " 

" There's Sir T .... P . ..." (adds he) " and 
my Lord . . . . ; they have been travelling as they 
call it ; 'tis rambling over the hills and far away, moil- 
ing themfelves in clambring over the mountains of 
the Alps and the Pyrenees and I kno' not where, hunt- 
ing in every hole and corner to fee graves and ruines, 
and to look upon the old heaps, that they may fay they 
have feen the place where fuch a town flood, the vault 
where fuch an emperor was bury'd, and it may be they 



had feen the town too, if it had not been loft, and the 
Emperor too, if he had not been dead ; and what if 
they had ? all they could fay when they came home 
would be, I have feen fuch a town and fuch a Csefar, to 
which one would anfwer as the Dutch do in the like cafes, 
Had you not un fac ? had you not a bag ? that is to 
fay, if you had, why did you not bring 'em away with 

you ? Here was my Lord ," adds his Worfhip, 

bantering a noble perfon who had fpent fome yeares 
abroad, "went over to Affrica, and what did he fee there? 
why he faw a lyon, and fo have I done in the tower ; 
well, but he faw the ruines of the great city of Carthage, 
that is to fay he faw Carthage lyeing in ftate, for it 
feems it was dead : he faw a great heap of rubbifh and 
they told him, there the city of Carthage flood. Very 
good, and his Lordfhip values himfelf much upon it. 
Why," fayes he, " I faw London once in rubbifh, and 
that was better ; for it had this difference, that London 
is rifen again from the dead, and fo is not Carthage, 
and never will ; and I think I am even with his Lord- 
fhip and have fav'd a labour of rambling a thoufand 
miles for nothing." 

Then my country efquire was witty upon the gentle- 
men that read and travell to flow themfelves with know- 
ledge, that are curious in fearching into antiquity, and 
looking back into the records of time ; that read the 
glorious accions of great men in order to imitate their 
vertue and, that by knowledge treafur'd up, make them- 
felves rich in abillityes as well as defire to ferv their 
country. But he fets his foot upon it all as ridiculous, 
enjoys his efpoufd brutallity, hunts, hawkes, fhootes, 
and follows his game, hallows to his dogs, dams his fer- / 15. 
vants, dotes upon his horfes, drinks with his huntfman, 
and is excellent company for two or three drunken 
elder brothers in his neighbourhood ; and as here is his 
felicity, fo here is the uttmoft of his accomplifhments. 



When 1 he comes to the eftate, 'tis not the fame onely 
but worfe ; for, his pride encreafmg without his fence, 
he comes at laft to the perfeccion of a fool, namely to 
be proud of his ignorance. This makes him talkative, 
and that makes him intolerable, becaufe he talks non- 
fence and impofes it upon you for wit, argues without 
knowledge, grows dogmatic in his folly and at laft 
quarrellfome, till, in a word, you muft grant the moft 
egregious ridiculous noife of his tongue to be fence and 
liften to it too, or you muft fight him. 

By this time, he gets a wife and perhaps an heir as 
wife as himfelf. If the lady be a toy, a flutter, an empty 
weakling like her fpoufe, fhe is happy ; if not, fhe is 
undone ; if fhe is a woman of fence and wit, fhe is 
ruin'd ; for to be ty'd down to converfe with a fool, 
Heavens ! what lady of any underftanding can bear 
it ! In a word, fhe languifhes under the infupportable 
weight of it a few yeares; when being fmother'd with 
the fume and fmoke of nonfenfe and impertinence, fhe 
expires, and ought to be put down among the various 
diftempers in the yearly bill fuffocated I 

Thefe are the gentlemen of whom the great Rochefter 
fayes they are good Chriftians, 2 for they allwayes believ 
Heaven has given them a full fhare of brains, and that 
they have wit enough. 

In it'itt alone Heaven is munificent, 
Of which to all fo juft a JJiare is lent 
That the moft avaritious are content. 
And none ere thinks the due divifiori s fuch> 
His own too little, or his friends' too much. 

But I fhall be loft among fools, the crowd is fo great 
that, as 3 in a wood the bufhes are fo thick, I fhall never 


1 The subsequent text, as far as in its order^ is marked for dele- 
tion, but is not struck ouU 

2 Abbreviated in MS, 3 that as indistinct in MS. 


find my way out. I muft come back to the fact before me. 
Perhaps I may touch this fore place again in its order. 

But I return to the queftion about the late Czar of 
Mufcovy, which requires fome thing to be faid to it, viz., 
who told him that he was ignorant ? It is indeed one 
of the hardefb things in the world to convince any man 
that he is ignorant ; like the fin of ingratitude 'tis what 
no body cares to confefs. 

The mocion muft be fupernatural. It is not dictated 
by common principles ; if it were, the world would be 
all wife, learned, knowing, and fully inform'd ; for 

If fools could their own ignorance difcern^ 
They'd be no longer fools, becaufe tliefd learn. 

Here I might take up a whole chapter by way of effay 
upon the extraordinary quallificacion of conceit, the 
puff't up empty accomplifhment, the coxcomb's glory 
mencion'd as above, viz. opinion, wit, of which Roch- 
efter merrily fums up the bleffmg in two lines, thus, 

With an eftate, no ivitt, and a young wife, 
The folid comforts of a coxcomb life. 

It muft be confefft (fo nature directs by the force of 
fecond caufes) that 'tis very hard for a man thoro'ly 
ignorant of witt and good fence, that knows not what 
it is or means, not to miftake in his own favor, not to 
believ his naturall baftard wit to be good fterling, and 
fo put it off for current coin when it is really a counter- 
feit. Now if this be his cafe, 

firft, you need not wonder that he is angry that you 
won't take it. For like an honeft man that puts off 
brafs money, if he does not know it is counterfeit, 'tis 
no breach of juftice, and he is not blam'd, and, if you 
charge his integrity, he refents it : fo our felf-wife 
gentleman refents it to an extremety, if you reproach his 
underftanding, becaufe he believs it to be very good. 

2. You 


2. You are not to wonder that he fcorns to be in- 
form'd when he is allready fo fully perfwaded, that his 
wit is confumate and at lead fuperior to yours, who 
pretend to inform him. Nothing can be a greater af- 
front to him than to offer to teach him who thinks 
himfelf able to teach the world, and that pretends both 
to have fence himfelf and judge of every one's elce. 

Crede quod hales, ethabes, if, according to the doctrine, 
to believe that we have wit is to be wife, happy ! 
W .... the flower of his family, mafter of the fineft 
fence, the fineft language, and the greateft fhow of wit 
of his whole generacion, no matter where he had it, 
what tho' his anceftors for three ages never had any 
and he was never taught any ; yet as the immenfe fund 
is fecur'd in the mine tho' never dug up, and the fub- 
/ 16. ftance exifts in his imagination, the reallity is as evi- 
dent and the operation as effectuall as the divifion of 
colours in the prifme, where the eye fees what is not 
and realizes nonentity to a demonftration. 

I fhould be very unwilling to treat the Englifh 
gentlemen rudely, when they are fo civil to themfelves. 
Nothing is more affronting to a gentleman than to con- 
tradict him when he takes the affirmatio upon him, and 
if he affures me then that he is a man of fence, that he 
has a fund of brains and a ftock of wit, whether it be 
mother- wit or clergy, it matters not ; good manners 
fay I am oblig'd to believ it, and while I fubmit to the 
popery of it, how can I go about to undeciev him ? that 
would be popery indeed of another kind, (viz.) to preach 
one thing and profefs another. 

Here a man is embarrafft in an inextricable labrinth: 
he is bound on one hand to fee the fool (nature forbids 
fhutting our eyes againft the light), and he is bound on 
the other hand to recognize the wit ; and, which is the 
part particularly perplexing, both thefe center in the 
fame object, yet it muft be done, the laws of Nature 



command one, and the rules of decency, which is nature 
in a gentleman, oblige the other. Thus he fubmits to 
worfhip the idol when the deity is abfent, as our people 
bow to the candles upon the altar when they deny the 
Reall Prefence, a fort of popery that every body may 
not think of. 

I muft fay, however, 'tis fomething hard that, when 

Coll. Ch rattles at W . . . . s and talks fo 

ridiculouily that the very foot-men grin and fneer at 
it, I muft fit by and fay yes and no juft as his brains 
jingle, and accquifce in what every body that hears 
him knows to be the worft of nonfence onely becaufe 
he weares a red coat and a fvvord, and, it may be, 
has two or three orderly men, corporalls or fergeants 
allways at his heels, who will knock a man down with 
their halberds, if we fhould not let him knock us down 
with his toungue. 

I once met cafually with one of thofe fons of ignor- 
ance in a country coffee-houfe. He had in -his com- 
pany two clergy-men 1 and his younger brother. One 
of the clergy-men 1 was the chapline of the family, the 
other a divine of fome note in the next town, who, 
however, enjoy'd a living by the gift of thofe two 
gentlemen's father, who was yet alive, tho' the fons 
were both of them then grown. 

The two brothers had a warm difcourfe about 
learning and wit, and it was as much as both the 
clergy-men could do to keep them from quarrelling. 

The younger brother had been bred at the Uni- 
verfity, and had acquir'd a good flock of learning, 
which he had the felicity to graft upon a noble ftock 
of originall fence. He had a genius above the 
common rate, and, as it was improv'd by a liberal! 
educacion, it made him extremely valued by the befh 
men, and particularly quallify'd by a polite converfa- 

1 MS. Clergy man. 


tion for the befb company. The elder brother was 
a gentleman, that is, he was heir to an eftate of about 
3000 pounds a year, and expe6led to be chofen Par- 
liament man at an eleccion which was then at hand. 
He had been a hunting early that morning, and his 
man flood at the coffee houfe door with the French 
horn in his hand ; and the muftering being juft ready 
to go home, the park and manfion houfe being about 
a mile out of the town, but meeting with his younger 
brother in the town, with the two clergy men, they 
came all together to the coffee houfe to read the news. 
When every one taking a feverall paper in his hand, 
/. 17. the gentleman happens to read a paragraph telling us 
that fuch a gentleman was made Commiffioner in fome 
bufmefs or other, I do not remember whether of the 
Cuftomes or Excife or fome other employment under 
the Government ; at which he threw down the paper 
in a kind of paffion : 

" D . . . . m 'em," fayes he, " what fool muft he be 
now that they have given him a place ! " 

" Who is it ? " fayes the brother. 

" Why, there," fayes he, " look, 'tis that beggarly 
fellow, Sir Tho " 

" Why, brother ? " fayes the younger, " he is a very 
pretty gentleman I affure you, a man of merit, and 
fit for any employment whatfoever." 

" A gentleman and a man of merit, what d'ye 
mean by that? What family is he of? Why, his 
grandfather was a citizen, a tradefman ! he a gentle- 
man ! " 

Younger : " I don't kno' what his father was, or his 
grandfather ; but I affure you he has all the quallifica- 
tions of a " 

Elder brother: " Of a what ? of a fcoundrel. I tell 
you he is but one remove from a fhopkeeper, his 

father was a " 



Younger : " Nay I muft interrupt you now, brother, 
as you did me. Let his father be what he will, his 
merit will make a gentleman of him in fpite of family; 
befides he is a baronet by birth." 

Elder : " A baronet ? yes, his father got money by 
bubbling and tricking and jobbing, and bought a 
patent of a poor gentleman that was ftarving." 

Younger : " Let the patent be bought by who it 
will ; he inherits it, he didn't buy it." 

Elder : " Well that does not make him a gentle- 
man ; you kno' what King Charles faid, that he could 
make a knight, but could not make a gentleman." 

Younger : " But I tell you, Sir Thomas was a gentle- 
man before he was a knight." 

Elder : " How do ye make out that, Doctor, with 
all your fchollarfhip ? " 

Younger : " Don't be fo witty upon your younger 
brother: I am no doctor, and yet I can make out 
that well enough. He was a man of vertue and 
modefby, had a univerfall knowledge of the world, 
an extraordinary flock of fence, and withall is a 
compleat fchollar." 

Elder: "And thofe things, you fuppofe, make a 
gentleman, do ye ? " 

Younger : " They go a great way towards it, in my 
opinion, I muft confefs." 

Elder : " Not at all ! they may make him a good 
man perhaps and a good Chriftian 1 ; nay, they may 
make him good company, but not a gentleman, by no 
means. I can't allow that." 

Younger : " Then I don't know what a gentleman is 
at all, or what it means." 

Elder : Then I am forry for your head. Have you 
gone all this while to fchool, and don't know what a 
gentleman is ? " 

Younger : 
1 Abbreviated in MS. 


Younger : " I am mighty willing to learn, efpecially 
of my elder brother." 

Elder: "Why then your elder brother may teach 
you. I take him to be a gentleman that has the 
blood of a gentleman in his veins. Nothing can be 
a gentleman but the fon of a gentleman." 

Younger: "And vertue, parts, fence, breeding, or 
religion, have no fhare in it." 

Elder: " Not at all. They may conflitute a good 
man, if you will, but not a gentleman. He may be 
the D ... if he will, he is ftill a gentleman." 

Younger: "Well then let me be the good man, 
and you fhall be the gentleman. But I tell you, Sir 
Thomas has a thoufand good things in him, and above 
all I take him to be that good man too ; for he is a 
very religious gentleman." 

Elder : " Very good then ; he would have made a 
good parfon, it may be, or a bifhop ; but what's that 
to a gentleman ? " 

Here the minifter put in, tho' modeftly too : " Sir," 
fayes he, " I hope you will allow a clergy-man may be 
a gentleman." 

Elder : " What, do I touch your cloth too, Doctor ? 
I don't allow it I affure you. A parfon a gentleman ? 
No, I affure you I allow no tradefmen 1 to be gentle- 

Then the chaplain fpoke : " That's too hard, Sir," 
fayes he, " upon our cloth. I hope you don't call us 
tradefmen 1 neither." 

Elder brother: "Not tradefmen 1 ? why, what are 
you ? Is it not your bufmefs to work for your bread, 
and is not that your trade 2 ? Is not the pulpit your 
fhop, and is not this your apron, M r Book Beater ? " 
Here he took up a chaplain's fcarf and gave it a twirle 
into his face, at which both the clergy-men rofe up, as if 

1 MS. Tmen, as often. 2 MS. T t as often. 


they would be gon : but the younger brother took him 
up, but with refpect. 

Younger brother : " O brother, don't . abufe your 
friends ! remember you are a gentleman, what ever 
they are; and I think they are gentlemen too." 

Elder brother : "I find my brother don't kno' what /. 18. 
a gentleman is, indeed. Pray how do you make it 
out with all your fchool trumpery ? A parfon a 
gentleman, how do you prove that ?" 

Younger : " It is not my bufmefs to prove them 
gentlemen by birth, becaufe I don't kno' their fami- 
lyes ; but I kno' there are fome very good familyes of 
both their names. But there is fuch a thing as being 
a gentleman by office. What d'ye think of that ?" 

Elder : " By office ! What fort of gentlemen are 
they, pray ? " 

Younger : " Why, for example, tho' I did not mean 
that, the King's Comiffion I think conftitutes a gentle- 
man effectually. Don't we call an officer in the Army 
a gentleman ? I think fighting for his country and 
his King, and entrufled by the King with command, 
gives him a title." 

Elder: "I don't kno' that; he is at beft but a 

Younger : " No, no. Mercenaries were allwayes 
fuch foldiers as are hyr'd out from one nation to 
another meerly for pay, fuch as the Swifs, the Grifons, 

and fuch as they. But we muft diflinguifh in this 
cafe. Soldiers entred into the fervice of their Sove- 
raign can not be called mercenaries." 

Elder : " Well, but the parfons don't were the King's 
Comiffion : what's that to them ? " 

Younger : " I don't kno' how you'l come off, that 
way : they wear a higher comiffion than 1 the King's, 
I affure you." 

1 MS.y. 


Elder: "A commifllon d'ye call it? what, the 
bifhop's commiffion ! that won't do. That's all a 
church trick, a peice of prieft craft." 

Then the minifter put in again : " Come, gentlemen," 
fayes he, " pray, don't differ about us. The young 
gentleman fhall call us what he pleafes. We have a 
higher commiffion than he thinks of, or perhaps he 
has not fpent many thoughts about it. Whether the 
King can do it or not, we won't difpute ; but we have 
our commiffion from him that, we are fure, can make 
a gentleman. Pray, don't differ about that" 

Younger : " Well, I believ your claim good that 
way too, and I take a clergyman to be a gentleman 
by office, too, tho' that was not what I meant." 

Elder: "It's well if you kno' what you meant." 

Younger: " Yes, I kno' what I meant, and I nam'd 
it to you before. I fay a man that beares the King's 
Commiffion and is entrufted with the command of his 
fubjecls in the field, is a man of honour, and I think 
a clergy-man the fame on account of his office. Pray > 
what would you call the fon of an officer in the Army 
or the fon of a dignify'd clergy-man ? " 

Elder : " I fuppofe you kno' what they are call'd 
abroad, brother. To call a man the fon of a prieft is 
to call him the fon of a whore." 

Younger : " That's quite another cafe; that's becaufe 
of the celibacy of the Romifh clergy ; but we muft dif- 
tinguish between Proteftant and Popifh." 

Elder: " Yes, yes; and you muft diftinguifh between 
a prieft and a gentleman." 

Younger : " Not at all ; unlefs it be to the minifter's 
great advantage, viz., that he may be a gentleman by 
birth and by office, too." 

Elder: " That's no diftincion at all." 

Younger : " But I diftinguish again ; I fay there 
are gentlemen by birth and gentlemen by education, 



and I infift that the laft is the better of the two ; for 
he is the beft and trueft originall of a gentleman, and 
has been fo, of all the familyes of gentlemen in England ; 
or elfe they have no originalls at all." 

Elder: " I thought we fhould have fome of your 
fchool logic ; it's much you had not given us fome 
old fcraps of Latin to make out this new diflinccion. 
Englifh-men, they fay, allways talk other people's 
Latin and none of their own." 

Younger brother : " Well, I neither talkt other 
people's Latin or my own. I was not willing to 
affront my elder brother." 

Elder : " What d'ye mean by that ? pray explain 
yourfelf." \Speaks angrily?^ 

Younger : " Why, I would not fpeak a language 
my brother did not underfband. If I muft explain 
myfelf, I muft." 

Elder : " I don't defire to underftand it, I hate 
all your pedantry ; but what's that to your learned 
diftinccion of a gentleman by birth and a gentleman 
by educacion ? " 

Younger : " No, no, it's nothing to my diftincion ; 
it was onely a return to my brother's witt ; you was 
fo fharp upon me." 

Elder : " I wit ? I have enough to ferv me. I 
have wit enough for a gentleman. I hate your 
wits. I would not be a-kin to a wit if I could help 

Younger : " Nor I to a fool." 

Elder : " I hope you mean my father. I wifh he 
was prefent to hear you." 

Younger : " You can't suppofe I meant my father, 
becaufe he is known to have more wit and more 
learning than all of us, and if he was here he would 
not fee room to think I meant him." 

Elder: "Then you mean your brother: which if 

D I 


I thought you did, I fhould let you kno' I refent it 
as I ought to do." 

Younger : " I mean nothing but what I fay ; and 
I am neither afraid of what I faid or what I meant or 
of any body's refentment." [Now they grew very hot] 

Elder : " Then I defire you to explain your felf 

Younger : " You ought to explain firft ; you made 
the firft reflection." 

Elder : " What fhould I explain ? " 

Younger : " Why, what you meant by being a-kin 
to a witt. I fay that is a full reflection upon my 

Elder : " I thought you would have taken it to 

Younger : " No ; no ; tho' I am no witt, yet I have 
more wit than that, too. If you meant me you will 
be agreeably diffapointed, I affure you, tho' I am 
none the lefs obliged to you for your good will." 

Elder : " So I muft mean my father, muft I ? that's 
as wife as the reft." 

Younger : " I kno' ne're another wit in the family. 
You muft mean my father or have no meaning." 

Elder : " Then it may be I had no meaning." 

Younger : " No, no, that's too polite for an elder 
brother, too." 

Elder ; " Ay, ay, you younger brothers have all the 
witt, that makes 'em have fo little manners." 
/. 19. Younger : " That's all upon my father again. I 
don't think my father wants manners any more than 
he does witt or learning." 

Elder : " But his younger fon may for all that." 

Younger : " I have heard my father thank God 
many a time that he was a younger brother." 

Elder : " And what for, pray ? " 

Younger : " Becaufe if he had not, he faid, he would 



have been a blockhead, an untaught lump of ignorance 
and pride, as his elder brother was and as mod of the 
eldeft fons of his acquaintance were." 

Elder : " And as his own eldeft fon is, you fliould 

Younger : " Nay, that's your own. I fay nothing 
but my father's words : if you have a mind to come 
in for a fhare of it, you may make your beft of it, I 
lha'n't meddle with that." 

Elder : " You are fo farr from good manners that 
you are impudent. I don't believ you ever heard 
the words, or that ever my father faid fo." 

Younger : " Why, had you not given me the lye in 
your abundant manners ? You need not boaft fo 
much of being a gentleman." 

Elder : " It is none of your place to tell me a falfe 
thing any more than 'tis to tell me of my manners." 

Younger : " Look you, Sir, giving me the lye is a 
kind of ufage that takes away all relation. I kno' 
what's my place as well as you do ; but I affure you 
I'll no more take the lye from my elder brother than 
I will from a porter. I don't think that's my place 
at all." 

Elder : " I think you have forgot being a gentle- 
man. I wifh my father was not cheated. I think 
you was nurft abroad, wa'nt you ? " 

The gentlemen began now to be fo hot 'twas 
time to part 'em, efpecially feeing it was in public 
too ; for the younger brother layd his hand upon his 

However, the clergymen pacify'd them with en- 
treaties, and two or three of the townfmen put in to 
help reconcile 'em ; fo they fat downe again and 
were good friends for a little while ; but they had 
better have parted them at firft and let them have 
gone home affunder as they came out. For falling 



into other difcourfe, one thing brought forward another, 
and in a little time, they fell to it again upon the 
fame fubject. 

The younger brother happens to read a paragraph 
from Edinburgh, where there was an account of a 
man that was tryed and fentenc't to death for a 
robbery and a very barbarous cold-blood murther. 
But that when the Lords of the Jufticiary, thofe are 
the judges in the criminal cafes in that country, came 
to pafs fentence, that fentenc'd him to be beheaded, 
becaufe he was a gentleman, being it feems the third 
fon of a laird (or country efquire) in that country. 

The young gentleman laugh'd, but faid nothing, and 
gave the print to one of the clergy-men to read, and 
he fmil'd, but lay'd down the paper wifely declining to 
take any notice of it, becaufe he fear'd it might embroil 
the two brothers again. 

But the elder brother perceiv'd there was fomething 
extraordinary by their fmiling, and afk'd his brother 
what he laught at. He endeavour'd to put it off, and 
fo did the minifter but he would not be anfwer'd 
fo. However, not being able to get any anfwer from 
them that was fatiffaclory, he takes up the paper 

/. 19 6. When he comes to the ftory, too, he laught as they 
did and mows it the chaplain. " Here," fayes he, " fee 
how civil they are to young brothers in Scotland." 

The clergyman reply'd : " No, Sir, it was not a 
civillity as he was a younger brother, but as he was a 

" I don't kno'," fayes he, " I think flri&ly fpeaking 
younger brothers fhould not be call'd gentlemen." 

" Your fervant, Mr. Elder Brother," fayes the young 
gentleman, " Pray how, then, come you to call yourfelf 
a gentleman ? I think your father was a younger 



" And your fervant, Mr. *Cadet," fayes the elder. " He 
was the eldefl when he came to the eftate ; or elce how 
did he claim the inheritance." 

(N.B. * Cadet is the French word for the younger 
fon of a gentleman's family.) 

Younger : " So that according to you a man may be 
a gentleman and no gentleman, both in a quarter of an 

Elder : " Yes, yes ; if I were hang'd you would be 
a gentleman ; there's no queftion of that." 

Younger : " If you pleafe to walk into Scotland, you 
fee you may fecure yourfelf from being hang'd, be as 
wicked as you will." 

" But, Sir," fayes one of the clergymen, " I have 
heard that in Scotland, if a gentleman is executed for 
murther, the blood is attainted and his heirs are, ipfo 
facto, deprived not of the eftate onely, but of the title 
of a gentleman as 'tis here in cafes of treafon." 

Younger : " So then, that facred thing call'd a gentle- 
man is forfeited^ by crime." 

Elder : " I don't think that very juft ; 'tis punifhing 
the children for the father." 

Younger : " But it ferves to my point exactly : if 
crime may unmake a gentleman, why fhould not vertue 
and education conftitute a gentleman ? " 

Elder : " You talk like a younger brother, indeed." 

Younger: "Well, then I don't talk like a fool." 

Elder : " No, no ; the younger brothers have all 
the witt ; it fhould be fo becaufe they are younger 

Younger: "I fuppofe that's the reafon you would 
have no younger fons be call'd gentlemen." 

Elder : " I underftand you as I fuppofe you under- 
ftand yourfelf. Your elder brothers are all fools ; you 
would have them be fo." 

Younger : " No, I would not have all the elder 



brothers be fools, but I would have all the fools be 
among the eldeft fons, and I think a good fhare of them 
are Co." 

Elder: " Well ! well ! I the eftate and you the wit. 
I won't change with you." 

Younger : " Nor I with you for your eftate, if it 
were more than it is." 

Elder : " But if I were hang'd you'd be the eldeft 
fon, and then you'd be a fool too, of courfe, wouldn't 

Younger: "Afk my father that queftion, I tell you 
he was a younger brother." 

/. 20. Elder : " The younger fons fhould have all the wit ; 
fometimes they have nothing elfe to liv on." 

Younger : " I'd run the venture of the laft if I were 
fure of the firft." 

Elder : " The heir you kno' has no need of the wit, 
if he has but the eftate." 

Younger : " If you think fo, you are happy." 

Elder : " Ay, ay. I am very well fatiffy'd ; the 
eftate's enough for me." 

Younger: "Moft eldeft fons are of your mind, and 
that makes us fee fo many heirs that can't write their 
own names." 

Elder : " No matter ; if they can but read their own 
names in the deeds of their inheritance." 

Younger : " 'Tis a bleffed character of the Englilh 
gentry ; there's fcarfe one in five of them can fpeak 
good Englifh." 

Elder: "I have heard you talk of fuch and fuch 
familyes and gentlemen, that fuch a one was a good 
fchollar and fuch an one was a man of fence : and yet 
they had good eftates." 

Yoimger: "Yes, I do remember four that I ufd to 
name, but three of them were bred up younger fons or 

elce they had been " 



Elder: " Blockheads like the reft of the gentry." 

Younger: "You fpeak more truth than your fhare, 

Elder: " And you fomething lefs." 

Younger: "I fpeak nothing but what I believ to be 
true ; and if it was to be enquir'd into, I believ it 
would appear that, thro'-out England, take thofe few 
of our gentry and nobillity who are men of learning 
and wit, men fit for minifters of State, honours and 
employment, and you may find two thirds of them 
were younger fons and fo had their parts cultivated 
by liberall educacion, as it were by accident." 

Elder : " I hope the eldeft fons may be born with 
as much wit and fence as the youngeft. The gifts of 
nature are not learnt at fchool." 

Younger : " They are improv'd at fchool : thofe rough 
diamonds are polifhed by the fchools and by the help 
of books and inftruccion." 

Elder: "And fometimes as well without: a good 
genius will improv itfelf." 

Younger : " Why ifn't it fo then ? Where is there 
an eldeft fon in 20 bred to Letters? How many do 
we fee at the Univerfities ?" 

Elder : " A great many." 

Younger : " Not a great many compar'd to the 
number : of thirty thoufand familys of noblemen and 
gentlemen of eftate which may be reckon'd up in this 
kingdom, I venture to fay there is not 200 of their 
eldeft fons at a time to be found in both our Univer- 
fitys. At the fame time you fhall find ten times that 
number of their younger fons." 

Elder : " And what's done with the eldeft fons then ? 
What, are they taught nothing?" 

Younger: "Very little truly. They are bred at/. 21. 

Elder : " They are bred like gentlemen." 

Younger : 


Younger: "Yes, yes, they are bred like gentlemen 
and taught like gentlemen, that is, taught nothing." 

Elder: "They have tutors and preceptors kept to 
wait on them." 

Younger : " Kept to play with them you fhould 

Elder : " Ay, and to teach them too." 

Younger: "Yes, to teach them to be wicked, inftill 
the love of their pleafures into them very early, teach 
them to waft their firft houres in which the mind is 
mofb capable of improvment till at laft 'tis too late and 
they pufh into the world juft as they happen to be 
form'd by nature, rough and unpolifhed and either 
coarfe or fine, knowing or ignorant, juft as it happens. 
And this is the generall cafe with moft of our gentle- 

Elder : " And yet they are the compleateft gentle- 
men in the world." 

Younger : " I don't grant that, I affure you." 

Elder : " I hope you grant they are the richeft." 

Younger: "Perhaps, take them one with another, 
they may be the richeft ; but what does that argue in 
their favour ?" 

Elder : " Well then, they will allwayes be the beft ; 
I fee nothing in it ; if we have but the eftates, let all 
the reft of your fine jingle fall as it will ; for my part 
I don't value it a ftraw. I have the better of you 
there, brother." 

Younger : " I don't envy you. I tell you I would 
not change with you." 

Elder : " Change ? prethee what hav you to change ? 
Givme the eftate; what have you to offer in exchange? 
Your fcraps of Latin, your fhreds of wit, your pretences 
to fobriety. If you could part with them, carry them 
to market and fee if they would yeild you money to 
buy a horfe to ride on." 

Younger . 


Younger : " You talk like yourfelf ftill. If I had all 
thofe things you defpife, as learning, witt, fence, and 
vertue ; as they are not to be fold, fo remember they 
are not to be bought ; all your eftate won't purchafe 

Elder : " I wouldn't giv you my fox-hounds for all 
your vaft colleccion of books, tho' my father was to 
give you his library to joyn with 'em." 

Younger : " And I won't giv my books for you and 
your fox-hounds put together." 

Elder : " You couple us well ; that's fomething like a 
younger brother, I confefs." 

Younger : I have yourfelf for my author ; it was but 
yeflerday when you were fwearing at your huntfman 
for going out a little before you ; did not you damn 
him for not taking all the pack together ? and when he 
very innocently told you he had all the pack, but your 
Worfhip was not ready, did not you very wittily damn 
him for not joyning his words better together ? " 

Thus far the two brothers went on between jeft and / 22 . 
earnefl, and the two clergymen fat by very uneafie 
for fear of mifchief between them ; for they afterwards 
fell to words again about fome of their family broils, 
which do not relate to our prefent bufmefs, nor is it fit 
to be made public ; at length, however, they parted 'em ; 
and the efquire called his man to bring him the French 
horn, and began to make a blufter and a noife in the 
houfe ; which being very difagreeable to his brother 
and the two minifters, they dropt out one by one and 
left him. 

After they were gone, he fends for two or three 
townfmen, mean, forry fellows, but fuch as the place 
afforded and fuch as ufually hung about him, flattering 
and praifmg him and withall ufually fpung'd upon 
him for what they could get ; with thefe he goes to 
the next houfe, which was an inn and tavern, as is 



ufuall in the country, and there he gets fomething to 
eat, fitts after dinner with his fots till he got very 
drunk, and then fends his horfes home and orders the 
coach to fetch him : and fo ended the day like a 

I might giv you many examples of this kind to 
illuftrate the character of this born gentleman ; but 
we fee it fo frequent in every place, in all company, 
and allmoft on all occafions, that it would be needlefs. 
I mail however have occafion to fpeak to feverall other 
parts of it as I go on. 


CAP. II. 1 

F the introduccion of gentlemen were in all 
nacions and in all ages the fame, and 
we had nothing fingular to our felves 
in it ; if our gentlemen were brought 
up and introduced into focyety in the fame manner 
as it is in other nacions ; or, which is the lovvefl and 
meanefh ftep we can take in their favour, if the gentle- 
men of other nacions were manag'd juft after the model 
of ours, I had little or nothing to fay, at leaft we 
fhould have nothing left us but to complain of the 
generall calamity of humane nature, and that the age 
was entirely given up to pride and ignorance, that the 
gentry were levell'd with the commonalty, the great and 
the noble with the mean and the bafe, and, in a word, 
there was now no difference between the lord and his 
footman, the landlord and his tennant. For as the 
body is without the head, fo is the head without the 
brains ; as the fhip is without a helm, and the helm 
without the fteers-man and the fleers-man without a 


1 The following heading has been struck out : 

Of the great miftakes in the firjl mannaging the children of 

gentlemen, and of the horrible cor rup don of blood from thefuckling 

them by thofe [three words thickly scratched out]. 

That the ignorance and the badeducacion of gentlemen ofquallity 

and fortune is no where in Chriftendome fo entirely negletted as in 

this nation, andfome thing of the confeqnences of it. 


pilot, fo is the man that has brains, without his books, 
or with his brains and his books, without a teacher to 
inftruct. Of what ufe is it to a man that he has a 
tongue to fpeak, that he has books to read, if he has 
no ear ? if he cannot hear he can never fpeak, at lead 
/. 23. can not be faid to have the ufe of fpeech ; he can 
not judge of founds, nor can he form the common 
ideas of what he fees for want of knowing the names 
of things and the ufes to which they are applyed. 

What is all the mufick in the world, all the harmony 
of founds to a deaf man ? all is loft while the organ is 
clofed up, and the veffells which form the ear can not 
difcharge the functions of their office. 

To me an untaught, unpolifh'd gentleman is one of 
the moft deplorable objects in the world. Tis a noble, 
ftately and beautifull organ without the bellows to fill 
the harmonious pipes and form the found. The foul 
of fuch a perfon feems to be like a lyon in a cage, 
which, tho' it has all the ftrength, the beauty, the 
courage of a lyon, is yet furrounded with unpaffable 
barrs and a checquer-work of reftraints, and can 
neither exert its ftrength or its fwiftnefs, or fhow its 
terrors among the four footed world as, if he were at 
liberty, nature would di6late to him to do. 

What fecret unaccounted for pofeffion can it be, then, 
that has thus feiz'd upon the fences of our gentry, more 
than upon others ? 'Tis no compliment upon our nativ 
country to fay of it that we have as illuftrious a 
nobillity and as numerous a body of gentry as any 
nation in Europe. To this we may add, and all 
Europe will acknowledge it, that our nobillity and 
gentry, even in fpite of immoderate profufion, which 
for fome yeares was a kind of an epidemick diftemper 
upon them, are ftill at this time the richeft, and have 
the greateft and beft eftates, and hold them upon the 
beft tenure, of any nation in the world. 



It may be true that there are fome few perfonal 
excepcions in the world as to wealth, that is to fay, 
that in fome nations there are certain particular perfon- 
ages who have greater eflates than any fmgle or par- 
ticular perfon or family in England ; the excepcions 
are very few, and therefore I may venture to name 

1. In Spain and Italy, and perhaps in moft Popifh 
countryes, the clergy are richer, that is to fay the 
archbifhops and bifhops and fome abbots have greater 
revenues than any of our proteftant clergy of lik rank, 
as efpecially in Spain, where feverall of their arch- 
bifhops and bifhops have from 10,000 to 50,000 
fterling per annum revenue, and a bifhop of 20,000 
peices 1 of eight is reckon 'd but an indiffrent thing. 
Such as thefe are the Archbifhop of Toledo, of Seville, 
of Mexico, of Naples and others, and the Bifhops of 
Granada, of Malaga, and of Los Angelos. The firft of 
thefe is faid to be worth above 80,000 a year fterling, 
and the laft about 25,000 a year, and fo in their 
degree of others ; and they reckon in general! in Spain 
ten Bifhops whofe revenue is from 10,000 a year 
upwards. As to the revenue of the cardinals 2 which 
are generally made up by plurallityes of livings, fuch 
as abbyes and bifhopricks, there are few of them who 
do not enjoy from 10 to 20,000 a year revenue, and 
fome of them 30 to 40,000 fterling. 

2. Likewife fome of the nobillity in Spain, efpecially 
fuch as have been Viceroys of Mexico, Peru, formerly 
of Naples or Sicily ; fuch alfo as have been governors 
of the Manillas, of Chartagena, S fc Jago in Chili, and 
fuch places as are eminent for wealth. Moft of thefe /. 23 b. 
are indeed immenfly rich. It is the like among the 
princes of the Blood in France, fome of whom have 
from 50,000 to 150,000 piftols revenue, likewife fome 

1 MS. ps., as often. 3 MS. 'Cd. 


who have acquired great eftates by public fervices, as 
fome of the Marefchalls of France, particularly the 
Marefchall Duke of Luxemberg, Villeroy, Villars, 
Vendofme, Berwick, the old Duke de Nemours, Count 
de Tholoufe, Duke of Noailles, and fome others. 

But thefe eftates are all either raif'd in the fervice 
and by infinite advantages of the war, of which our 
Marlbro', Cadogan, and others may be called examples 
at home, or fuch as depend upon the abfolute will and 
pleafure of the king, which they call His Majefty's 1 
bounty and confifts of penfions, which they call in the 
princes of the Blood appennage, and governments which 
are places of honour with the profits annex'd. 

But to go back, take the eftates of the Englifh no- 
billity and gentry, as ftated before, and except onely, 
as I have faid, a few forreigners, and I infift, as above, 
that our nobillity and gentry out-do the nobillity and 
gentry of any nacion in the world. 

How many private gentlemen might be nam'd in 
England who enjoy eftates of from 5 to 1 5 ooo pound 
fterling value per annum, and all in, or as good as, 
freehold land ! How many eftates which do not rate 
at abov ;iooo per annum rent, have 40 to 50 to 
60,000 pounds in timber upon them, which may be 
valued upon them, and do the woods no hurt to have 
it fell'd ; and other eftates have mines, minerall quar- 
ryes, coal pits, etc., in proporcion. 

Add to this that which is the glory of the Englifh 
gentry abov all the nacions in the world, (viz.) that 
their property in thefe eftates is in themfelves ; that 
they are neither fubjecl: to the frowns or the caprices 
of the foveraign on any diflike or diffatiffaccions ; that 
they inherit their lands in capite, abfolutely and by 
entail, which even treafon it felf can not forfeit or cut 
off any farther than for the life of the delinquent ; that 

1 -M in MS. 


they are not fubjected to any homages or fervices by 
their tenures. All the knight's fervice and vaffallage 
is abolifh'd, they are as abfolutely pofeff'd of their 
mannours and freehold as a prince is of his crown. 
Nor can they be oppreff'd with taxes, arbitrary im- 
pofitions, quartring of foldiers, or any of the ordinary 
oppreffions of fubjects in ufe under arbitrary govern- 
ments ; nothing can be levyed on them but by confent 
in Parliament, where choofing their own members 
every man may be faid to giv his own confent before 
he can be tax'd, that is, in fhort, to have the giving of 
his own money ; all which particulars being confidred, 
a gentleman's eftate in England is worth 5 times the 
income in penfions or governments which are at the 
will of the granter, or than lands, however fettled or 
entail'd, that are fubjec~l to the taxes, impofitions, 
quartring of foldiers and other ravages of the Sove- 
raign, I fhould have faid, the tyrants, which is the con- 
dicion of allmoft all the inheritances in Europe. 

The conclufion of all this revolvs upon us with great 
difadvantage in the cafe before me, becaufe all this 
felicity is attended with the unhappinefs of a voluntary 
and affected flupidity and ignorance, which, being the 
cafe of a fet of gentlemen who by all their other cir- 
cumftances 1 are quallifyed to be the mod compleatly 
happy of any people in the world, and to be made, 
nay to make themfelves, the envy, the admiration, and 
the example of all the gentry in Chriftendome, 2 are yet 
made defpicable by their own choice, miferable in the 
midft of the higheft humane felicity, and are become 
the feoff and contempt of their inferiours even in the /. 24. 
fame country, as well as of their equalls in all the 
neighbouring countryes that know them ; and to add 
to the abfurdity of this, like the Mufcovites they 
fupport the praclife with an obftinacy not to be 

1 Abbreviation in MS. * Xdome. 


defcrib'd but by the example of that ftupid people 
who, fond of their old follys, would rather dye than 
be made wifer, who thought it was a difshonour to 
learn any thing from other nacions, however juft, 
humane, prudent, or agreeable to their reafon. 

With what obftinacy will fome of our ignorant 
gentlemen argue againft learning ; with what contempt 
do they treat the bookifh part of the world, infift upon 
it that their dogs and their horfes, their fport, and their 
bottle are the proper buffmefs of a gentleman ; that his 
pleafures are appointed to him for his full employment ; 
that Heaven gave them eftates to enjoy them, as they 
call this way of living, to fatiate their fouls with good, 
and to remove them from all the dull unpleafant part 
of life called buffmefs and applicacion. 

They tell us that they do not feem to underftand 
the bleffing defign'd for them if they don't kno' what 
ftacion they are plac'd in ; that the world is given them 
to taft the fweet of it, and to fill themfelves with its 
delights, and that they are to underftand it as Provi- 
dence 1 underfhood it when he gave it them. 

They fubjoyn to this that the language of Heaven 
to them is, " Eat, drink and be merry ! Have not I 
given thee that which anfwers all things ? " that 
honours are for the ambitious ; their fphere is like the 
glorious fun to mov in their own circle, that they may 
indeed fhine upon others and warm others by charity 
and doing beneficent things among their neighbours 
and tennants, but that to go out of their orbit of happy- 
nefs is below them. 

As for wars, let beggars and mercenaryes be knock't 
on the head for wages : they have money to pay 
foldiers. What buffmefs have they to hazard their 
lives, harrafs and expofe themfelves when they may 
flay at home and be eafie ? Let the ambitious wretches 

The MS. has a D with a dot in the middle. 


hunt for fame and to wear feathers in their caps. 
Their fame is written over their doors, viz., that 
there lives an Englifh gentleman of an antient family 
and a good eftate, and their buffmefs is to hunt the 
ftag and the fox with their own hounds and among 
their own woods ; that their fame is in the field of 
pleafure, not the field of battle. Innocent delights 
take up their time, ranging the country for their game, 
not ravaging the country for fpoil, not murthering the 
people and turning the pleafant world and the fruitfull 
fields into defolation. 

As to books and reading, 'tis a good, dull, poreing 
work for the parfons and the pedants. They don't fee 
that all the learning in the world makes men better, 
but they generally learn more knavery than honefty : 
the fbatef-men ftudy bribery and corrupcion to carry 
on faccion and parties ; the phyfitians learn to pick 
pockets one way, and the lawyers another ; fcience and 
arts, what do they aim at, and where do they end ? 
All iffues in the art to get money : and what has a 
gentleman to do with all this ? Heaven has given 
him money, and he has enough ; 'tis below him to get 
money, his bufmefs is to fpend it. He has enough, 
and he that has enough can be no richer, if he had 
twice as much. If he at laft fhould grow covetous 
and pretend to encreafe his wealth, why, 'tis but 
retrenching a little, and his efhate will encreafe it felf. 
A gentleman of 2000 a year may be as rich as he 
will ; let him but lay up one thoufand pound a year, and 
in twenty year his efbate will double, and in twenty more 
it will double again, and fo on from father to fon, till /. 25. 
in two generacions the family fhall have twenty thou- 
fand pound a year, or as much more as he pleafes. 

" And what am I the better " (faid the fame warm 
gentleman I mencioned juft now) "for all this faving 
and fcraping ? Da ... m all your good hufbandry. 

E It 


It is given me to fpend, and I'll fpend it. I'll not 
fpend beyond it. No ! No ! I abhorr to be dun'd. 
I'll ne're run in debt neither. I'll leav my fon as well 
as my father left his fon. I'll warrant I won't leffen 
it ; but for the reft, let the uferer lay up his money, 
'tis my proper buffmefs to fpend it ; 'tis my calling ; 
Heaven has given it me that I fhould enjoy it, and it 
would be a fin in me to lay it up. Let the money 
circulate, and let the poor be the better for it. I have 
heard my old grandfather fay that they that hoarded 
money injur'd the Common Wealth, that money was 
made round that it might wheel about the world, roll 
from hand to hand, and make the world glad : and yet 
my grandfather, tho' he was a merry old knight, left 
the eftate better than he found it, and planted a thou- 
fand acres of woods, that are now full of good timber, 
and I may cut them down when I will." 

This is a kind of merry rhetorick, and is fo un- 
happily calculated to pleafe and humour our gentle- 
men, that it is next to impoffible to anfwer it, I mean to 
anfvver it fo as to convince them that they are in the 

Tis in vain to quote the examples of the wife and 
the great ; they defpife it all. They delire to be no 
wifer or greater than they are. Mother-wit they tell 
you is enough to keep them out of harm's way, that is, 
from bites and fharpers ; and as for other learning, they 
fee nothing in it. 

Thus admirably did Solomon draw the picture of 
this kind of a gentleman in a few words, when he tells 
us, The fool has no delight in underftanding. Thefe 
people have no taft of things, no relifh for improvements 
either of their underftandings or eftates. 

When the late Czar of Mufcovy was upon his travells 
and often times lookt into the Univerfityes, the libraryes, 
the labratories of the men of learning and art, he ufed 



to turn himfelf about to Monfieur 1 Le Fort, his great 
favourite, and fmiling would fay, " When fhall I bring 
my ftupid people to underftand thefe things ? " 

It was very remarkable that in all his vaft and 
populous city of Mofcow they had not a printing prefs ; 
and when he fet one up among them, the Boyars faid, 
"And what fygnifyed reading books to us ? What is it 
to us how the reft of the world live ? we kno' how to 
liv at home." Their beft furgeons knew nothing of 
anatomy ; their beft aftronomers knew nothing of 
ecclypfes ; they had not a fkeleton in the whole 
empire, except what might be natural in their graves ; 
their geographers had not a globe ; their feamen not a 
compafs (by the way they had no fhips), even their 
phyfitians had no books. Experiments were the hight 
of their knowlege, and fo we may fuppofe when a prac- 
tifer had killed 4 or 500 he might pafs for a doctor. 

Even their handicrafts had no tools ; there was not 
a Ruffian clock-maker or watch-maker to be found in 
the whole empire : if there were fome Germans at 
Mofcow who had fome tolerable fkill, the Ruffes, tho' 
they might buy a clock of them, would never learn to 
make one, or put any of their fons to the trade ; to 
travell abroad, to fee the world and encreafe their 
knowlege by the experience and example of other 
nacions, was reckon'd fcandalous, was below the dignity 
and quallity of the gentleman ; and when the Czar 
himfelf did it the learned clergy (with pardon for the 
flander) reproach't him with it as a fin ; and when he 
return'd and endeavour'd to conform his people to the 
beft cuftoms of other nations, and efpecially when he 
fet up fchooles to inftrucl: the children in languages 
and in arts and fciences, and oblig'd the Boyars, that is, 
the country gentlemen, to fend their children to them 
and teach them to write and read, they protefted againft 

1 Monf. 


all thofe innovations, ay, and at laft raif'd a rebellion for 
the liberty of being ignorant. 

/. 25 1. It may be true that this is an example of brutallity 
and meer obftinacy, and the worfe, as their cufbomes 
were inconfiftent with common fence : and it is true it 
is fo. 

But I can not but think 'tis very appofite to the cafe 
before me, notwithftanding 1 that for the obftinate reject- 
ing fo glorious an improvement as that of giving 
learning to a gentleman of fortune, is in my notion of 
it as diffagreeable with common fence as the groffeffc 
peice of brutallity infifted on by the poor Mufcovites, 
and that with fome aggravacions to the diffadvantage 
of the paralell on our fide, and which makes our pra6life 
be the greater fcandal of the two. 

1. That our gentlemen have inumerable examples 
at their very door of the advantages of learning, of 
the difference between a liberall education and the 
meer old woman litterature of a nurfe and a tutor : 
they may fee the demon ftracion of it even in their own 
familyes, where the bright and the dull, the blind and 
the clear, the man of fence and learning and the block- 
head, is as often to be diffcern'd as the heir and the 
cadet are feen together, where one is untaught and 
good for nothing becaufe he is to have the eftate, and 
the other is polifh'd and educated becaufe he is to make 
his fortune ; the laft is to be prepar'd to liv by his 
witts, and the other is to have no wits or, at beft, no 
learning, becaufe he can liv without them, as if educa- 
tion like an apprentice-fhip was for no body but they 
that were to trade with it and make a trade 2 of it. 

2. Another thing in which we are more to be re- 
proacht than the Mufcovite is, that ignorance in Mufcovy 
is generall and nationall, and they have no encourage- 
ment for learning, nay, it may be faid they have no ufe 

1 Abbreviated. 2 MS. T. 


for it ; they neither fee the benefit or the beauty of it : 
where-as here the obftanacy is continued in fpight of 
conviccion, nay, in fpite of its being fcandalous to 
themfelves, and even to the meaneft of the people 
about them. 

While this was fo, 'tis not to be wondred at that the / 2g - 
gentry, the nobillity, and the beft and wealthyeft of the 
people in thofe countries, were in lov with the fordid 
ignorance they were bred in, and fond of going on in 
the fame grofs cuflomes which their darke guides led 
them in by their example : and this is the reafon of my 
giving the Mufcovites for a paralell. For what we find 
here among our gentlemen is I think more inexcufable 
and more fcandalous than the worft of it. 

For here our gentlemen are brought up in the moft 
obftinate ignorance and folly, and fill'd early with the 
moft riveted averfions to learning and improvement in 
the very face of an improving and knowing age, in 
fpite of the encouragement every-were given to polite 
learning ; where arts and fcience flourifh before their 
faces, and when the age they live in and the country 
they liv in is particularly fam'd over the whole Chriflian 1 
world for the higheft improvements in the fublimeft 
fhudyes, and where our mafters of fcience are juftly 
allow'd to have out-gone all that ever went before them 
in the world, fuch as Sir Ifaac Newton, Mr. Lock, the 
great and truly honorable Mr. Boyl, who was not a 
gentleman onely, not a man of birth and blood as to 
antiquity onely, but in degree alfo, being of noble blood 
and of one of the familyes that has the most enobl'd 
branches of any in England and Ireland. 

I could name many more who by illuftrious birth 
and their more illuftrious merit one would think have 
fhown the world fuch examples, and trac'd out fuch 
paths of virtue, of learning and fuperlativ underftanding, 


1 MS. X. 


that it were enough to have brought learning and good 
fence into fafhion among us, and to have fham'd the 
ignorance and illiterate blindnefs of the age out of the 
practife of the gentry. 

But I am told, even while I am writeing thefe fheets, 
that if I expect to make any impreffion upon the age 
in this way of arguing I muft change my method ; that 
to talk to the gentlemen of learning and improvement 
after they have tailed the fweets of idlenefs and plea- 
fure is to talk gofpell to a kettle-drum ; that after they 
have follow'd the dogs and the hawks, and eaf'd their 
fateagues of the chafe with the bottle, there is no room 
for inftruccion ; but they go on, then, by the impetu- 
ofity of their own guft, following one game with another 
till the habit is rooted, till the blockhead and the heir 
are blended together and become infeperable ; that then 
the ignorance is feated in the blood as well as in the 
brain, and the brute becomes naturall to the man, fo 
that there's no good to be expected that way ; but 
that, if I expect to attack this fhamefull peice of negli- 
gence, I muft run it up to its original, and turn my pen 
/ 27. from the gentlemen, who are now paft inftruccion, and 
talk to the ladyes, who are the firft inftruments of in- 
ftruccion, and who have the particular power as well as 
opportunity of printing the moft early ideas in the 
minds of their children, who are able to make the firft 
impreffions upon their imagination and perhaps the 
ftrongeft and moft durable ; for the moft early and 
timely hints given in a fuitable manner to the under- 
ftanding of a child, have generally a vaft advantage, 
take the deepeft root in the minds, and are hardly ever 
forgotten : Here, they tell me, I fhould applye ; that the 
ladyes alone are the agents who have the fate of their 
fons in their power and can write them fools and fops 
or men of brains and fence as they pleafe ; that thefe 
have them in their arms and upon their knees at the 



very moments when the moft early hints are to be given 
to the mind, when the genius, like a peice of foft wax, 
may be moulded up to what form, and to reciev what 
impreffions, they pleafe, and when, a few obftinacyes 
and meer incapacityes of nature excepted, a child may 
be form'd to be a man of fence or a brute which they 

I acknowlege this to be a juft obfervacion in many 
and indeed in moft cafes, efpecially where the lady- 
mother has the heir in her own tutelage ; and while fhe 
has him fo, 'tis not to be queftioned but fhe has an 
immoderate fhare of his fate in her difpofe, and that it 
is very much, I had allmoft faid too much, in her power 
to make him a wife man or a fool, a good man or a 
good-for-nothing man, as fhe thinks fit ; and it would 
be happy for the next age, tho' the prefent race is paft 
this remedy, if the ladyes would fliow a little concern 
about it ; that they would have fome pity upon their 
pofterity, and not give 'em up fo very early, and, at 
leaft, not fo entirely to the negligence of thofe mur- 
therers of a child's moralls, call'd tutors. 

It is indeed too true that this wealthy age is fo 
entirely given up to pleafure, and it prevails fo much 
among the ladyes as well as among the men, that it 
grows a little unfafhionable for the mothers to give 
them felves any trouble with their children, after they 
have 'em, but to order their drefs and make them fine 
and to make a fhow of them upon occafion. 'Tis 
below a lady of quallity to trouble her felf in the 
nurfery, as 'tis below the gentleman of quallity to 
trouble himfelf with a library. 

To talk to a lady at this time of day of medling 
with her children's educacion, forming their young 
minds by the moft early inftruccions, and infufing infant 
ideas of religion and morall virtue into their fouls, 
ridiculous fluff ! You may as well talk of fuckling 



them, a thing as unnatural now as if God and Nature 
had never intended it, or that Heaven had given the 
ladyes breafts and milk for fome other ufe. 

I do not lov digreffions at all, efpecially long ones, 
and fhall let you fee it by making this, that ought to 
be and would bear a chapter by it felf, the fubject of 
fo few words. 

I have been told that Queen Anne (the Firft I might 
call her), I mean Queen Anne, wife or confort to 
King James the Firft, and daughter of the King of 
Denmarke, fuckled all her own children ; that, when it 
was obje<5ted to her that it was troublefome to her and 
below her dignity, Her Majefty anfwered with a kind of 
an admiration, Troublefome ! No, it was fo far from 
troublefome that fhe thought it a pleafure beyond all 
pleafures, becaufe they were her own. " Befides (fayd 
Her Majeftie) will I let my child, the child of a king, 
fuck the milk of a fubject, and mingle the royal blood 
with the blood of a fervant. No ! No ! the fon of a 
king fhould fuck none but the milk of a queen ; and if 
it is not below me to bear children, 'tis not below me to 
feed them." This is the fentence for which I quote 
the cafe, and make what I call a digreffion. 

Here was a true queen-mother, and it is left on 
record that fhe was a moft excellent princefs. Now are 
our ladyes fo nice in their diftinccions of familyes ? do 
they fcorn fo much to mix as they call it, the blood of 
a gentleman with the race of a mechannick, and think 
it below their quallity to match with any thing but a 
gentleman ? and yet, when they have children will they 
fuffer them to fuck in the milk, which is no other than the 
half digefted blood of a mechannick, nay, and that (as is 
generally the cafe) of the meaneft of the mechannicks, 
for they generally feek for nurfes among the farmers' 
and plowmen's wives on pretence of ftrong, healthy, and 
wholefome women. Nay, they often choofe the pooreft 



of them, too, whofe food is courfe and their drink hog 
\vafh and belch, not generous wines as the lady her felf 
drinks. Nor are they aware, befides the abfurdity of 
the thing, I fay they are not aware of the juft 
reproach they tacitly throw upon their own familye and 
even upon themfelves ; / mean tJte mother, as if, when 
fhe had brought forth a child, perhaps in the prime and 
vigor of her youth and ftrength, her own milk was not 
as wholefome, as nourifhing, and efpecially as natural 
to her child as the milk of a ftranger, or that the plow- 
man's wife gave better milk than my Lady. 

Some of the fuggefttons which would naturally 
follow this practife are too courfe for me to throw upon 
the ladyes, and I would fay nothing that is Shocking 
to them upon fuch an occafion. I wave that part there- 
fore that refpects health and conflitution, and ftick to 
thofe juft arguments which Nature dictates from the 
ladyes' own mouths, particularly that of mixtures of 

That the milk in a woman's breafts is a mofh noble 
fluid, of the fineft digefture, ftrain'd thro' its proper 
veffells by the admirable operation of nature ; that it 
is nothing but the beft concock'd aliment, and confti- 
tuted in the fame manner from the fame principles as 
the blood it felf, and fo is a part of the blood. Its 
difference of colour is nothing, feeing we fee the 
limbecks of nature in the ftomach and other veffells 
gives colour and takes away colour in all the digefting 
operations, and when in the milk dyet we drink nothing 
but white, the blood is neverthelefs of the fame crimfon, 
and fo of the reft. And not to enter into anatomicall 
defcripcions, which to the ladyes may on many accounts 
be indecent, it may be granted that, as the milk is in a 
true fence the blood of the nurfe, fo when taken in, it 
is mixt with the blood of, the child much more 
effectually than any other of the mixtures of generation, /. 2 s. 



and this deferves their reflection who are fo chary about 
mixing the blood of familyes, as they call it, by matching 
with inferiors. 

In a word, 'tis evedent they very little confider, or 
very little underfland, what they talk of, when they fet 
fuch a value upon the preferving the race, as they call 
it, and taking care that their pofterity fhouid have none 
but the blood of a gentleman in the family ; when, to 
gratifye their own pride or pleafures, they expofe the 
heir to drink in the blood of a Have or a drudge, the 
blood of a clown and a boor, the worft of mechanicks ; 
fcorn to marry 'em among citizens and tradf-men 
however perfonally accomplifh'd, however furnifh't with 
beauty, wit, modefty, breeding, and fortune, but let 
them fuck in the life blood of a dary wench or a wool! 
comber, nay of a cook maid of the family marry'd per- 
haps to a carter or other flave, people but a few degrees 
abov beggars : if the woman looks but wholefome and 
has a good full breaft, a pair of dugs like a cow and 
a tollerable fkin, 'tis all well ; fhe's deem'd wholefome, 
and all other fcruples give way to the lady's nicety. 

Nor do thefe ladyes trouble themfelves to enquire 
into the temper of the woman, little knowing perhaps, 
and lefs confidering, that her fon lhall drink in the 
paffions, the temper, nay indeed the very foul of the 
woman whofe milk he fucks in, not to fpeak of her 
bodily infirmitys, which after all their enquiry and 
fearch may be lurking in her blood, hidden too far out 
of their reach to difcern, nay, fometimes are hereditary, 
and the poor woman her felf does not kno' them. 

Here the young gentleman is ruin'd at once if the 
woman be a fiery, hot fpirited, little paffionate devil ; 
for the poor have their difference of tempers as well as 
the rich, the dary woman as well as the dutches. What 
follows ? The gentleman carryes it away in his blood, 
and he's a fury by blood, by the blood of his nurfe, as 



certainly as he is a gentleman by the blood of his 
father ; and not to carry you too far into Nature's 
arcana and amufe you with fpeculations, 'tis certain, 
and phyfitians will tell you fo and explain it, too, 
that a child's temper is more influenc'd by the milk 
he fucks in than by all the other conveyances of nature. 
We draw life from our progenitors by the order of 
nature, and 'tis true, too, that we inherit infirmity too 
much that way ; but we draw tempers and paffions 
more from the milk we fuck than from all the gene- 
rating powers either in father or mother. 

And this is a certain and unanfwerable evedence 
that the fuckling a child is abfolutely making a 
mixture of the blood of the nurfe with the blood of 
the child : nay, the fineft, the beft of the animall fpirits 
and juices are deriv'd and reciev their nourifhment 
from this aliment, the milk ; and that is the reafon 
that the temper, the difpofitions, the paffions, the 
affeccions, nay the crimes of the nurfe are often con- 
vey'd this way. I might fwell this work to an un- 
reafonable bulk by giving you the feverall little 
hiftorys of this kind, even within the reach of memory, 
but 'tis needlefs : Nature tells it. If the nurfe has 
been of a leud and loofe difpofition, the heir is ruin'd 
in his virtue, and 1 over-runs the country with his vices : 
if fhe is drunken, he inherits her unquenchable apetite ; 
if fhe is a termagant, he is a bully ; if a fcold, he 
becomes talkativ and a rattle ; if a lyar, he feldome 
proves a man of fincerity ; if fhe's a hypocrite, he's 
very rarely a faint ; and what is ftill worfe, he draws in 
all thefe in a little and narrow mechanick degree, like 
the contracted foul he deriv'd them from. 

If there is fuch a thing as the blood of a gentleman 
that diftinguifhes men one from another ; that a true 
greatnefs of foul, a broad heart, noble and generous 


1 Instead of and, the MS. has the abbreviation for the. 


principles, all flow in the veins from the pure fountain 
of an unmix'd race : what then are the ladyes doing 
/ 29. who decline affifting nature when fo well furnifh'd on 
the father's fide ? Why fhould they not add to the 
noble ftream from their own well defcended fountain, 
that the father's blood and the mother's milk may 
joyn to compleat the true born gentleman ? Whence 
is it that fo many gentlemen defcended from antient 
families, that can boafh of a race of worthyes in their 
line, men of gallant principles, brave in the field, able 
in the council, here an eminent lawyer, there a judge, 
here a ftatef-man, there a generall, here a patriot, 
there a divine : and the degenerate heir of all this fame 
an empty, weak, rattling fop, or a raving, outrageous 
bully, a fwearing, drunken, debauch't wretch, and, in a 
word, all that's weak and wicked ? 

Either the boaft of birth and blood is all a cheat, 
and there is nothing at all in it, nothing convey'd from 
the noble fpring by the channells of nature, which I 
cannot grant neither, tho' I do not fo much tye down 
vertue to race and defcent as fome would have us do ; 
but I fay, if there is any thing in the veins of a gentle- 
man influenc'd from the blood of his anceftors, then 
there muft have been fome accidentall interrupcion in 
the conveyance, fome hetrogenious mixture, fome bafe 
alloy in the birth or in the nutriment of the fons of 
fuch heroes in this age. 

Whence elce does that degeneracy proceed ? and 
how is it that we fee the offfpring of the fober, the 
grave, the learned, the good, anceftor degenerated into 
rakes, cowards, bullies, and mad men ? How comes 
the race of the ftatef-men and politicians, the brightefl 
men of genius and politefh parts to deviate and dwindle 
away into empty blockheads and worthlefs fools, 
fluttering fops or empty headed beaus, who have 
nothing valuable about them, referv nothing of their 



anceftors but the name, to make us believ they are of 
the race ? Where are the remains of the famous 
familyes of the Veres, the Ceciles, the Ruffels, the 
Whartons ? Into what are they tranfform'd, and except 
the fame of their great anceftors, what have we left to 
boaft of in them ? Their forefathers were the glory of 
the Englifh nacion, and what their pofterity may be we 
kno' not ; but how low is the noble channel ebb'd out ! 

Sure, fome of the prefentgentry we might name, never 
fuck't in the milk of the race, never were brought up 
with the breaft of thofe that bare them, but Romulus 
like, if that ftory be not a fibb, feem to have been 
fuckl'd by the wolf or fome other untam'd furious 
creature (beafh). How elce is it poffible, if birth and 
blood are concern'd in thefe things, and if any good 
qualHtyes defcend in the line : I fay, how is it poffible 
fuch fons fhould be any way akin to fuch anceftors ? 

What a promifing line did the laft age fee rifmg up 
for glory and great things from the antient blood of 
two familyes 1 in the north, known by their inheritances 
for ages beyond the reach of hiftory, nam'd from the 
lands they were born to, or the lands nam'd from the 
well approv'd pofeffors, not before the Conqueft onely, 
but even before the Romans, if we may believ the moft 
antient records ! And where are the degenerated ifue ? 
How funk even below fatyr into pity and contempt, 
and that not by the chance and changes of fortune 
and the world, but by meer degeneracy of the race, 
into all that was foolifh, wild, and wicked, and how are 
the antient patrimonys, the inheritances of fo many 
ages fold and felling, divided and parcell'd out, as fate 
and purchafers prefent, paffmg into new poffeffors, and 
the name of familyes no more to be remembr'd by the 
names of the lands, except it be to lament the fall of 
their fortunes and write an exit upon their graves ! 


1 M.S. family. 


/. 29 & Did thefe men fuck the milk of their mothers? or 
do they owe the degeneracy of their principles, the 
narrownefs of their fouls, their vitiated blood, and their 
naturall attachment to crime, to fome vile coagulated 
nutriment drawn in with the milk of fome tainted 
ftrumpet unhappily recommended to the lady for a nurfe ? 

I cannot but think it worth the confideration of the 
ladyes, if they have any regard to the familyes they are 
joyn'd to, and are at all concern'd with Solomon's wife 
woman, who builds up her houfe while the foolifh 
woman pulls it down with her hands ; I fay, 'tis well 
worth their confidering how they debauch the noble 
blood of a gentleman and corrupt their own race by 
mingling the blood of a flav and a fcoundrel (as above) 
with the nourimment and life of their own progeny. 

The ladyes had much better, if they find it incon- 
venient to fuckle their own children, for fome can not 
do it, I fay, they had much better have them fed by 
the fpoon, or, as 'tis call'd, brought up by hand ; then 
they are fure they have no corrupt, tainted particles 
mixt with their nourifhment and convey'd from thence, 
and difperft thro' the veffells appointed for the purpofe, 
into the nobler parts, mingl'd by the animal fecrecion 
with the vitals, and affecting not the temperament of 
the body onely, but the very paffions of the foul. 

I have nothing to do here with the reafons given by 
the ladyes why they do not, or can not, or care not, to 
fuckle their own children. This work is not defign'd 
for a fatyr upon the fex, what ever room there is for it. 
But here is an alternativ offred, which they can never 
come off if Queen Ann's faying may be a maxim for 
them. The fon of a king fhould fuck none but a 
queen, the fon of a gentleman fhould fuck none but a 
lady ; and if they will not come in to that part, then 
the alternativ I propofe is in two parts thus : 

(i.) Let them bring up their fons by hand, as abov. 



Let them take drye nurfes into the houfe to tend and 
feed and bring up the young offfpring, and let them be 
nourifh'd by the fpoon, as it is very eafie to do, and 
experience proves it to be fufficient, and confequently 
is the next beft to the mother's breaft ; or 

(2.) If they will put them out to nurfes, let them lay 
down the fcruple about difhonouring their familyes and 
mixing the blood of a gentleman with a mechanick ; 
for if they value not the mixture in the child, there's 
no room to fcruple it in the man ; for he may call him- 
felf a gentleman as much as he will : while he has the 
blood of a paifant in his veins, 'tis all a cheat ; he is but 
a mongrell 1 breed begat by a gentleman, fuckl'd by a 
mechanick, a fcrub, a what you pleafe ; for 'tis juft what 
they pick up among the poor. 

And turn this a little upon the fex, too, another way : 
the ladies are fuppof'd to be as nice this way as the 
gentlemen, and in fome cafes they are nicer too ; they 
fcorn to difhonour their family and to marry below them- 
felves, and efpeciallynot to marry a tradefman, who they 
call a mechanick, let his employment be what it will. 

But if they will be fure to marry a gentleman, they 
ought to enquire where he was nurft, and whofe milk 
he fuck't ; for fuppofe his father was a gentleman, if he 
fuck't a fow he will be of the hog kind as certainly as 
if he was one of the litter. 

It will be an eternal fatyr upon the pride of our/ 30- 
gentry that at the fame time that they boaft of their 
blood, their antient defcent, and that they abhorr dif- 
honring their blood to match with the cannaille as they 
call it, yet at the fame time they will let their children 
be nurft by the meaneft of the labouring poor, and 
fuck in the blood of the wretched and the miferable. 

The inconfiftency is not to be reconcil'd to their 
fences ; if the blood is once mix'd, 'tis mix'd for ever, 

1 MS. mongeU* 


and efpecially if mix'd in the childhood ; in the early 
nourifhment it is difperft into every branch of the man ; 
the contaminacion is grown up with him, and, as above, 
it is more effectually mix't fo than in the birth it felf. 
To fay a man has good blood in his veins, noble blood, 
and antient blood, and inherits generous principles 
from his anceftors, that he is a gentleman by blood, and 
fuch, 1 as is the common jargon of the times, and yet own 
he was fuckl'd by a fhe-bear upon a mountain, as Jov 
they fay was nurfh upon the top of Mount Ida in the 
Ifle of Crete or Candia : we mufl firft call the poor 
milk woman that nurft him a gentlewoman, you mufl 
dub the gardner's wife or the coachman's wife, or the 
farmer's wife a lady, and call her a perfon of a good 
family, and then indeed it may be made out ; but elce 
I would recommend it to our gentry to throw open the 
fence, take down the pale, and feperate no more from 
the mobb, for they are but all of a breed, or at leaft all 
of a blood, and the good honeft tradefman, whofe 
virtuous, diligente wife takes due care of her family, 
and fuckles and inftructs her own children, and takes 
a perfonall care of their learning afterwards, preferves 
the breed and brings up better gentlemen than the beffc 
lady in the land (as I fhall fhow at large in its place) 
that puts out her children among Haves and beggars. 

Nor will all the fine things that are or can be done 
for the young efquire or the young baronet afterwards, 
attone for this capitall miftake in the firft part of their 
bringing up ; for, as the phyfitians fay, an error in the 
firft concoction is not rectifyed in the fecond. The 
degeneracy of the blood is found in the very firft pro- 
greffion, the child fucks in the poifon, if it be fuch, with 
allmoft its firft breath, and the mechanick is blended 
with the gentleman in its firft aliment ; and as they 
take root together, they grow up together. A plant 


1 TA.$.f itch fluffy butJZupis struck out. 


or flower taken out of a rich foil and remov'd into a 
poor foil, will be weak and degenerate and run fingle, 
influenced and ffcinted by the poverty of the fecond 
foil, partaking little of that which it was raifd in ; fo 
take a plant raifd in a poor or barren ground, and 
tranfplant it into a better and richer foil, it flourifhes, 
fhoots up, doubles and fpreads to a wonder, influenc'd 
and nourifht by the ftrength of the ground without 
regarding the barren cold foil it came out of. 

Tis the fame thing with the child. Take it from 
the mother, a gay, vigrous, fprightly, beautifull young 
lady, and put it to fuck to a weak, decaying, or dif- 
temper'd woman ; for thofe things call'd confumtiv 
malladyes are not always difernable in young marryed 
women ; and what's the confequence of this ? The 
child, however healthy, however prepar'd by Nature 
and the firft foil for a ftrong, noble conftitution, tranf- 
planted to the meaner poor nourimment of the weak 
foil, takes root in proporcion to the nourifhment it 
recieves, and becomes languid and confumtiv in the 
meer confequence of the diflemper'd creature of whofe 
blood it partakes. 

It is the fame thing in the cafe of the quallity of 
the perfon, if the woman is a mechanick, fuppofe a /. 31- 
farmer's wife or a plowman's wife, for fuch we are fond 
of, forfooth, becaufe they are what they call wholefome 
and found. But what's that to the point in debate ? 
She's not a gentlewoman, but a forry, poor, unbred 
wretch, the blood of a cobler or a tinker, no matter 
what, a branch of the noble mobbe of the true level! 
with the ftreet, the meaneft of the rabble. 

This woman mufh give nourifhment to the gentleman. 
This gentleman when grown up muft fcorn 1 to debafe 
this woman's blood forfooth, which being mingl'd with 
his own is become noble and generous, and what not. 

1 MS. Aw*. 


They have but one plea to foften this and remov 
the fcandal ; and 'tis a very poor one, and will confound 
all the reft of the argument ; and this is that they tell 
us the blood of the poor mechanick woman receives a 
new tincture, and is enobPd and made generous by the 
blood of the gentleman which it is mix'd with ; that, as 
the tide from the fea flowing up a fine frefh water 
river, tho' at firft pufh'd on by the wind or by the 
hight of the fea, it rufhes in with violence and carrys 
its fait and brackifh waters a good way, tainting the 
purer ftreams of the river for a while, yet it is at laft 
conquer'd, its waters fweetn'd and made frefh, the 
falin particles being repulfd and driven back by the 
frefh ftream that comes down upon it : fo the bafe 
blood of the mean woman, tho' it may mix at firft its 
courfer alloy with the more pure and refin'd principle 
of life in the veins of the child, yet that it weares out 
with time, the vigour of his fpirits overcomes it, and 
in a few yeares the child is reftor'd to its firft conftitu- 
cion, and is all gentle 1 again, as compleatly as he was 
the firft hour he was born. 

This is a fine fpeculation indeed, but has no foun- 
dacion either in the fact or philofophy ; and the reafon 
and nature of the thing is againft it : for, firft, 'tis beg- 
ing the queftion in the moft egregious manner poffible ; 
the fact is not capable of evedence, much lefs of 
demonftration by any means whatfoever ; on the con- 
trary, it is not fo much as probable ; for, as I faid 
before, the mixture being made in the beginning of 
the child's progreffion, the constitution is form'd upon 
that mixture, as the root and the natures grow up 
together ; nay, as in a graft the fcyon and the flock 
grow together, and the fcyon being fixt upon the 
flock, tho' the flock is the firft in nature, the fruit is 
allways after the fcyon which is grafted in, fo here, 

1 MS. G. 


tho' the gentleman is in the flock, yet, the mixture 
being in the blood, the engraftment takes place, and 
the fruit pertakes of both, but is denominated from 
the laft. 

But there is a mifffortune in nature, too, which 
attends us all and which is ftronger againft this plea 
than all the reft, (viz.) that the evil! part allwayes 
makes deeper impreffion than the good, and if the 
mixture of blood has any thing in it, the bad is rather 
moft likely to prevail. 

All this while I do not grant that there is really any 
degeneracy of blood in either the marriage or the fuck- 
ling, except in cafe of diftemper ; and then I am fure, 
and infift upon it, that the danger is chiefly in the fuck- 
ling part ; but I take the argument as the gentlemen 
and as the ladyes lay it down for us, and as they pre- 
tend it fhould be taken, whether it is fo in fact or no, 
viz., that the blood of a gentleman is a mighty article 
in the family, and that to marry with a mechanick is a 
corrupcion of the blood, which difhonours the line and 
caufes a degeneracy in the race; that the next genera- 
cion or the iffue of the marriage is not truly gentle 1 
or truly noble, but a mixt breed, half gentle, 1 half 
fcoundrel, like the mule among the horfes, and ought 
not to rank with the gentry ; as in the Old Inflitution, 
when God refolv'd to keep his people pure and unmix'd 
in blood, he forbid the children 2 of Moab or of 
Ammon the entring or being recieved into the con- 
gregation to the third generation. 

Thus it is apparent there is a mixture ; and to fay the /. 31 b. 
mixture is worn out by time is faying what can not be 
prov'd ; and befides the affirmativ being unprov'd, I fay 
the rational part is againfl it, becaufe the plant took its 
root in the time of the firft mixture, and every grain, 
every ounce of flifh that is grown up fmce, is grown up 

1 MS. G. * Abbreviation. 


from the fame mixt nutriment, which the root muft yield : 
and no root can giv any nutriment but what it felf con- 
tains, fo that once mixt and ever mixt, once corrupted 
and ever corupted ; and there is no man in Nature can 
be call'd a gentleman born, in the true acceptacion of 
the word, as thofe people would have it be taken, but 
fuch as never fuckt in the milk of a mechanick. 

That this is abfolutely and litterally true I believ 
will be granted ; if not, I would be very glad to fee 
upon what folid foundacion it can be contradicted ; how 
to remedye it, I mean for the future, for what is pafft 
can not be cur'd, but how for the future it may be 
remedyed, is for the ladyes to confider of. 

In the mean time, were it pufh'd home at our gentle- 
men, who value themfelves fo much upon their blood, 
the line of the families, and at the unmarry'd ladyes,, 
who rate themfelves above the higheft fortunes, who 
want the advantage of birth : I fay, were it pufh'd home 
at either fex, they would be oblig'd to procure as good 
proof of who nurft them as who bore them, whofe milk 
they fuck'd, as whofe race they came of, and to prove 
the quallity, the blood, the high birth, of the lady nurfe, 
the poor woman that fuckl'd them, as of the father that 
begot them. 

I think I need fay no more to the ladyes upon this 
fubject. But I can not quit it, till I have put the gentle- 
men a little upon the tenters about it, too ; for they are 
the principal parties concern'd. 

That the gentlemen of England are at this time 
under a wretched fcandal is mofl certain ; and the re- 
proach lyes indeed not onely, or not fo much, upon 
their moralls as upon their underftandings ; even their 
genius and capafcities are queftioned. They are not 
fo much told of their want of being learned, for that 
may be their inftructor's fault, but of their being un- 
capable of learning, of a rugged, untractable, undocible 



difpofition, when young, dull and impenetrable and 
not to be taught. Now this is to my purpofe, for it 
allmoft naturally puts us upon enquiring into the 
reallity of the extraccion ; not whether they are really 
true born, and are the fons of gentlemen ; that would 
be rude to the ladyes, their mothers ; but whether the 
blood of a gentleman has not been degenerated in 
their veins by vile mixtures fmce their birth ; and how 
can that be but in the manner I have alleag'd, viz., 
by drinking in the grofs, heavy, four particles of the 
plebeian blood in their firft alyment, nourifhing the 
plant with courfe, inflam'd, or corrupted juices, by which 
the very kind may be altred, the fprightly, aery, 
refin'd animal fpirits, which naturally flow'd in the in- 
fant veins be loaded and oppreft with thick, crude, 
clumfey, and heavy particles, which change the very 
motion as well as the confbitution of the child, and make 
him a blockhead by the meer confequence of Nature. 

It would be a happy difcovery, could we come to be 
clear in the point, and would go a great way to 
convince me that the notion we have of a gentleman 
being ftrictly oblig'd to preferv the dignity of his birth 
and blood has fomething of reallity in it, even in the 
highefl and ftricleft fence ; if it could be made appear 
that all the unmixt race, the pure true born familyes 
of gentlemen among us, who had preferv'd the blood 
entire, were men of honour, of fence, of learning and 
virtue, and that all the degenerate, vitious, debaucht 
lines, and all the empty, untaught, ignorant, good-for- 
nothing gentlemen were fuch whofe blood was at 
firft tainted with the impure mixtures of the rabble by 
fucking in the milk of thofe fcoundrell, mean, defpicable 
things, call'd nurfes. 

It would be an unanfwerable plea for all the diftin- 
cion and difference not onely that we do, but that we 
could, make, and it would be the care of all the good 



families in England to take the bringing up of their 
fons into their own hands, to prevent their going to the 

D in the meer confequence of their being nurfd 


On the other hand, all the generous minds, the 
vigorous fpirits, the bright exalted fouls, all the men of 
genius and wit, of bravery and of great thoughts, that 
have drunk in learning, as a fifh drinks water, and have 
treafur'd up knowleg and princeples of virtue, as mifers 
do gold ; who are born fhining and have improv'd a 
polite genius by a polite education : thefe to the honour 
of their anceftors would carry their teftimonials in 
their very faces, that they were their genuine pofterity, 
true gentlemen of unmix'd race, of an untainted blood, 
heroic fons of hero anceftors, and that, what ever their 
fathers excell'd in that was good and comendable, they 
were prepar'd to imitate and would ftriv to exell. 

But this is not to 1 be expected ; and as it is not fo, 
it leaves us prepar'd to enquire from what purer fpring 
this glorious ftream call'd the blood of a gentleman 
derives, and I doubt not but by a due fearch we lhall 
foon find it out ; but of that by itfelf. 

In the mean time, as the phyfitian muft firft fearch 
into the difeas before he can prefcribe the remedy, fo 
we muft go a little farther in laying open this wound 
and making due enquiry into the fact ; we fhall elce 
be told I have drefft up a man of ftraw to fight with, 
have form'd an imaginary figure to talk of, for the fake 
of the fatyr, expofd a thing of nothing that is not to 
be found ; and, in a word, the fact is not true any more 
than the reafon of it is rational. 

I muft therefore, as above, eftablifh the premifes, or I 
can never expect to fupport the conclufion. The 
charge lyes, in a few words, thus : 

I . That our Englifh gentlemen, generally fpeaking, 

1 to omitted in MS. 


are not men of learning, men of heads, of genius and 
wit, whether naturall or acquir'd. 

2. That the great defect lyes not in their families 
or in their blood, not in their intellect or capafcities, 
but in the error of their educacion. 

3. That, tho' wit and genius are the gifts of nature, / 33- 
yet that for want of a liberal educacion even thofe 
fhining parts may fuffer a total eclypfe. 

4. That a love of pleafure being fubftituted early 
in the minds of children born to fortunes and 
eftates extinguifhes the love of learning, which might 
otherwife by early inftruccion have been kindled in the 

5. That an early lov of pleafure is an invincible 
obftacle to a love of vertue as well as to a love of 
learning ; and that as one makes them fimple, fo the 
other makes 'em wicked. 

6. That folly as well as learning may be acquir'd, 
and men become fools by the help of educacion juft as 
others learn to be wife. 

7. That taking tutors to teach young gentlemen is 
not onely the ruine of their heads, but of their moralls 
alfo ; and that as tutors are generally mannag'd or 
rather mannage themfelves, they are rather playfellows 
to the children than inftructors. 

8. That tutors, as the youth grow up, rather prompt 
their pleafures than their learning, and that they muft 
do fo or lofe their places. 

9. That all the mifcheifs of a young gentleman's 
education are occafion'd by a neglect of the moft early 
inftruccions : The principles of vertue, religion, and 
fubjeccion to government are to be planted in the 
minds of children from the very firft moments that 
they can be made capable of recieving them, that they 
may be fure to have the firft pofeffion of their minds, 
and may have fome time to take root, before the taft 



of pleafures and a loofe to levity and folly can have 
accefs to fupplant them. 

Upon the foot of thefe principles both the grievance 
will be explain'd, the caufes of it found out, the 
fcandal of it expofd, and the remedy for it be 

The 1 gentlemen of England will have no room to 
be offended at this work ; it is neither written to 
expofe them or infult them, much lefs to wrong and 
abufe them. Either the thing is true, or it is not. If 
it is not, I fhould indeed be greatly injurious, and 
Ihould merit the refentment not of the gentlemen 
onely, but of all mankind, as having raif'd a reproach 
upon my nativ country, and miffreprefented the highefb 
rank of the befb men in it, wrote a fatyr upon virtue, 
and made a complaint without a crime : in a word, I 
fhould be call'd a falfe accufer, and fhould merit the 
name, tho* it be one of the titles fmgular to the 
D . 

But I am not affraid of the cenfure, nor do I believ 
the gentlemen of England will be in the leaft difpleaf'd 
with either the defign, or with the method. As to the 
cafe being true in fact, I am content to appeal to the 
gentlemen themfelves ; they are too much gentlemen 
to withftand it ; and if the fact is true, the fatyr is juft ; 
and the remedyes propof'd I am fure are kind, fo that 
I have truth, juftice, and kindnefs in every part of the 

Nor is there any occafion for me to make an ex- 
cepcion for the great number of bright, accomplifh't, 
polite gentlemen that are among us ; who are the glory 
/. 33 & of their country, and indeed keep up the very name of 
gentlemen among us ; who are at this time the orna- 
1 Here the MS. has the note, Here a new Cap. 


ments of their country for learning, wit, fcience, and 
virtue, patterns of good breeding and of good manners. 

Thofe gentlemen do not want to be told that they 
are excepted here ; they except themfelves, as they 
diffcinguifh themfelves by their conduct, and as at this 
time they are diftinguifht by all the world for the moft 
accomplifht people in the Univerfe. 

This ftill returns with an irrefiftible force of argument 
upon the reft, upon the untaught, unpolifhed, unim- 
prov'd part which remain, and who being the mafs or 
bulk of the gentry have the mifffortune to be left 
behind, groveling in the dirt of ignorance, and learning 
no thing but to glut themfelves in plenty, wallowing in 
wealth and in the groffefb part of what they call 
pleafures, not capable of enjoying the fublime and 
exalted delight of an improv'd foul ; I fay not capable, 
that is, they have no taft of them, becaufe they do not 
underftand them, no guft to books to read the accions 
of great men or to tread in the fteps of glory and 

The improv'd part of mankind have nothing left but 
to pity thofe unhappy gentlemen, who fit content and 
felicitate them felves in that which is the worft of mifery, 
ignorance ; and who, could they look without themfelves 
a little, would be furprif'd to think how unnaturally 
they were treated by their anceftors, who gave them 
money without riches, eflates without treafure, and 
titles without heads, and who have no happynefs left 
'em with all their fortunes but the meer flupidity of 
being eafie in the lofs, willing to be fools, and, as we 
may fay, not defiring to be otherwife, becaufe they 
kno' 1 no better. 

The world recognizes the wifer part of our gentry, 
they who by the felicity of their educacion have been 
early introduc'd into a lov of vertue, learning, and all 


1 knd is omitted in MS. 


gentlemanly improvement. How is our nation at this 
time made illuftrious thro' all Europe for fome of the 
greateft men that ever the world produced, exquifite in 
fcience, compleat in the politeft learning, bright in witts, 
wife in the Cabinet, brave in the field ; no fcience, no 
comendable ftudy, no experimentall knowlege, no 
humane attainment, but they excell in and in fome go 
beyond all man kind, and are, I fay, the glory not of 
England onely, but of the world ! 

I fhould be ignorant, as the men I talk of, if I fhould 
think thefe gentlemen ought to have been mencioned 
by way of exception ; there's no need of it. Thefe 
are the paterns for the other to be fham'd by ; thefe 
are the ftandards that young gentlemen fhould be 
form'd 1 by and who they fhould ftriv to imitate. 

Thefe are the proofs given to the abuf'd gentlemen 
I fpeak of, to prove that they might have 2 been like 
'em, if it had not been for the fondnefs of mothers, the 
ignorance of fathers, the negligence of nurfes, and the 
treachery of tutors. Thefe are the glorious examples 
which fhould, barring religious prohibicions, fhould 
make our gentlemen curfe their no-educacion, reproach 
their unkind anceftors, and hang themfelves, to be out 
of the fcandal of it. 

Their onely proteccion is their ftupidity, as I have 
faid above. They neither look in, or look out, or look 
up ; if they look'd in, they would fee what empty, 
what weak, what unform'd things they are ; if they 
look'd out, that is, look'd round them, they would fee 
how bright, how beautifull learning rendred other men, 
/34- and what they might have been, if they had had 
juftice done them in their educacion ; as to the laft, 
their looking up, they that cannot look in can feldome 
look 3 up : They that can not contemplate themfelves 
can very ill contemplate their Maker ; and as for 

1 MS./o/w. * MS. ha, as often. ' MS. look look. 


looking round them, this they do indeed in there own 
confm'd manner ; they look into their parks and gar- 
dens, their lands and revenues, and fee with joy the fund 
they have, to carry on their life of pleafure and floth ; 
but they feldome or indeed never 1 can look round them 
enough to fee how near a life they liv to that of a 
brute, in how different a manner fuch and fuch gentle- 
men live, how much more fuitable to the life of a 
gentleman, as he is a man and a rational creature as 
well as a Chriftian, and that perhaps with a fmaller 
eftate ; nay, which is Hill worfe, they do not looke 
upon the man of fence and wit, the man of learning 
and of parts, to imitate him, but to defpife and contemn 
him, becaufe forfooth he is no gentleman, and in this 
fence they may be properly faid not to look round 
them at all. 

in MS. 



Of the generall ignorance of the EngliJJt gentry and the 
true caufes of it in the manner of their introduction 
into life} 

[FTER what has been faid of the weaknefs 
and, what is worfe, the ignorance that 
fp reads, at this time, among our gentry, 
'tis time to examine the fa6l and enquire 
into the truth of things ; for it would be a terrible 
reproach upon this work, and would take off the edge 
and force of all the wholefam truths that are ftill 
behind, if, when all thefe refleccions are made, the thing 
fhould not be fo. 

But I am far from being affraid of fuch a charge. 
I have too many vouchers at hand, too many witneffes 
to produce. What town, what county in England can 
we come into where thefe unfledg'd animals are not to 
be feen ? 


1 After the heading are the following lines, which are, however, 
accompanied by the remark, This for another place , and by a delea- 

What deep concerne the anxious mothers JIww, 
For fear the generous heir fhould learn to kno\ 
Indulged in cafe, in ignorance, andpride^ 
And many a forry, filly thing befide, 
Brought up to nothing at a waft expenfe. 
And while they feed his honour ftarv his fence : 
Thus for the park and manfion hs madefit^ 
And bred a fool infpite </ mother- wit. 


Ecce Platonis homo ! 

Who bear the figure of the man are not to be dif- 
tinguifh't by their perfons, their fhapes or faces, except 
that fome times they are apt to go with their mouth 
open, an 1 unhappy fignature placed by filent Nature 
to direct our guefs, whence we have an old fignificant 
proverb a gaping fool, of which again in his order ; for 
I am not now upon the variety of the forts of fools 
but their number, and indeed 'tis a little frightfull to 
engage, when a man is allmoft forrounded before the 
battle. But courage ! it muft be done, we mufh fight/. 35. 
our way thro'; the danger may indeed be fomething, 
but the difficulty is nothing. 

It was a faying father'd upon King Charles II., tho' 
it was a little too harfh for him, who had a world of 
witt and not one grain of ill nature, that if there were 
not both fools and knaves return d, (I fuppofe there 
might be an election in hand at the time) the nation 
could not be triily reprefented. 

As to the knavery among our gentlemen in England, 
I will not flatter them there may be fome long heads 
among them too ; but I'll do them the juftice at the 
fame time as to fay I believ the fhort heads have 
infinitely the majority, efpecially among the elder 

I have heard of holding eftates in England by 
antient tenures, old antiquated cufbomes, and fervices ; 
fome are held by the fword, fuch as fervice in the 
field, knight's fervice, and efquire : but I never found 
a manner held in England by the weight of the brain. 
We are told that in fome of the iflands of the Archi- 
pelague they had fome very odd cuftomes, as at Zia 
or Zea, that if any man prefum'd to cumber 2 the place 
abov 80 year he fhould be voted an invader of his 


1 MS. an an. 

2 MS. cuumber^ corrected from another word. 


heirs, and they fhould bury him, whether he was pleafed 
to dye or no, becaufe, as there was but juft provifions 
enough in the ifland for the ordinary inhabitants, it 
was unreasonable that they fhould devour it who were 
of no manner of ufe to the public. 

In another ifland , namelefs for divers good 

reafons, they tell us it was a cuftome that, when any 
man of fortune dyed, his efbates were to be divided 
among his children not according to the primogeniture, 
but according to the quallity or degree of their learning 
and underftanding, of which the Senate of the country 
were judges, and they had infallible rules to determine 
it by. Some hold lands indeed by ftrength of hand, 
and fome by ftrength of face ; but 'tis the knaves onely 
that hold by ftrength of wit I doubt indeed 'twould 
be a mellancholly article among us heirs, if want of 
brains fhould be made a want of title to our eftates, 
and men were to fhare the land in proporcion to their 

But as things now ftand, it feems to be the reverfe 
in our country, efpecially if, as a certain author 
pretends, Nature has made the divifion with equity 
and upon weighty confideracions. 

Elder and younger Jliare the goods of fate. 
This all the brains inherits, that tJJ eftate. 

Happy Conftitution ! glorious England ! where the in- 
heritance defcends in tayl, and the head has no fhare 
in the claim ; where fools enjoy their juft privileges 
and an eldeft fon enjoys the land by birthright, be 
the heir a baronette, the juftice of peace, the member 

of , ay, and any thing elce that Nature has 

furnifh't him with a title to, or with money to purchafe. 
Nor can his want of fence be pleaded in bar of his 
fucceffion, provided he is but one degree above being 
beg'd, etc. 



As fools, then, are not out of rank, fo neither are they 
out of fafhion, and there is fome convenience in that, 
too, efpecially where the number is fo confiderable ; 
for now a man, let his head be as weak as you will, 
may come into company, fit upon the bench and at 
the board, take a commiffion, be chofen mayor, alder- 
man, common council man, as well as feverall other 
reprefenting advances, and not be oblig'd to blufh and 
hold his tongue. 

Nay, if nature has been deficient in other cafes, and 
his tongue fhould be a little too big for his mouth, 
fo that he fhould be addi<5ted to fpeech-making fome 
times, and that in public, too, he may yet come off 
tollerably well, becaufe the men of more wit have 
generally good nature enough to bear it and fay 
nothing, and 'tis ten to one but the majority may 
underftand it as little as himfelf. 

There are, doubtlefs, fome advantages to the empty 
gentlemen from their numbers, and theyr being fo much 
in fafhion is none of the leaft of them. How often 
when they tell nofes do the fools out-poll their neigh- 
bours ! how often fall in with partyes and run down 
all by their numbers ! Thofe are the gentlemen who in 
former dayes were call'd the DEAD WEIGHT in a certain 
Houfe. The reafon was plain when the party kings 1 
were equally divided. Who ever got the f . . . . s on 
their fide were fure to carry the queftion ; and this 
made the miniftry in thofe days (for I fpeak now of 
things 40 year ago) get a roll of thefe folks under pay, 
and thence we deriv'd the name and perhaps the ufe, 
too, of a Penfion Parliament. 2 But thofe things are out 
of doores now; and tho' the fools, I doubt, are not leffen'd 
in number now, yet they may be honefter, perhaps, than 
they were then, or, what is flill better, thefe are honefter /. 3 6. 
times ; and tho' bribery may be out of fafhion tho' the 

f s 

1 Party 'K in MS. 2 P in MS. 


f . . . . s 1 are not : Heavens grant that may be the 
true Hate of the cafe. AMEN. 

But to come back to the thing in difpute as it lyes 
before us, the propoficion is plain that our Englifli 
gentlemen are not men of learning. I had fome thoughts 
of entring upon the proof of it, but I am happily 
prevented by the generality 2 of the thing, and the 
honefty of the partys ; for really the gentlemen con- 
fefs it themfelves. Some indeed are afham'd, and would 
fain conceal it ; but they are the fmalleft number. 
Some again ingenuoufly own it, and tell you honefbly 
they don't pretend to learning ; they were not bred to 
books they fay, and have no notion of them : fo they 
don't mind them. They liv as they are, that is to fay, 
not like men of learning, but like gentlemen. They 
enjoy their eftates and their pleafures, and envy no- 
body. If they had been well taught, they fhould have 
been glad of it now; and 'twas none of their fault ; but 
that's paft and it can't be help'd ; they mufh be con- 
tent, they have a good eftate and no great need of it; 
and fo 'tis well enough. 

Thofe are indeed the beft of the race, and are a 
teftimony that the ignorance of the gentlemen lyes 
indeed in their education, not in naturall defficiencys; 
and that they are fools, not for want of capafcity of 
being taught, but for want of teaching. 

But we have another fort or two to fpeak of, and 
they indeed are among the incorrigibles of nature. 
Nothing is to be done with them. Thefe are 

(i) thofe that in fpite of ignorance and unfufferable 
dullnefs are opinion wife. It would take up a little 
volume to giv a full defcripcion of this kind ; it 
muft be confefft they feem to be a fpecies by them- 
felves ; that their intellectualls are form'd in a differing 


1 "F in MS. 2 Or it might be generallityes. 


mould from the reft of mankind. They fpeak and a6l 
upon a feperate foot, and walk in a feperate track ; 
they neither do well or fay well, and yet will have it 
that all they either do or fay is beft ; they are a modern 
fort of Ifhmaelites, for they laugh at all the world and 
all the world laughs at them ; they think all the world 
fools to them, and all the world thinks them fools of the 
groffeft kind. As to their knowlege, whether natural 
or acquir'd, 'tis in their own opinion fo every way com- 
pleat, and their heads fo well furnifh'd, that they cannot 
believ a word of their want of better inftruccion, but 
think they kno' every thing and kno' it, too, better than 
their neighbours. Nor are they ever fatiffied, 1 if you 
don't chime in with them and acknowlege all they 
fay ; and to compleat their impertinence they are noify 
with their nonfence, maintain the groffeft abfurdi- 
tyes, oppofe the plaineft evedence, difpute principles, 
and argue even againft demonftracion. Generally 
fpeaking, they carry a ftock of ill nature about them 
and a want of temper, if not a want of good manners. 
Nothing pleafes them ; they contradict every body, rail 
at every body, giv characters of every body, and, in a 
word, tyre every body. Nothing is more frequent with 
them then to pafs their judgement upon the learning 
as well as wit of others, tho' they have fo very little of 
their own ; nay, tho' they read no books, but perhaps 
the title page and the Jim's of fome few, yet borrowing 
fcraps from other men they pafs their cenfure in the 
grofs, and damn the worke, as we fay, unfight unfeen. 
Indeed, as they pafs their cenfure in the grofs, fo, if you 
will pardon me a pun, 'tis generally a grofs cenfure, 
ignorant, weak, courfe, and perhaps rude, too ; for fuch 
men very feldom abound in manners. Or, (2) we have 
another fort, and thefe come home to you with argu- 
ment. They don't (like the other people) deny the 

1 Abbreviation. 


charge and believ themfelves to be men of learning, 
reading, and travell, and the like, and put their nonfence 
upon you for wit ; but, on the contrary, they own the 
fact, but denye the deficiency : they grant they have 
no learning, but they fay it ought to be fo ; they 
ought to be bred up juft as they were ; that 'tis a mif- 
take ; 'tis not ignorance in them not to underftand 
languages any more than 'tis that they can't make a 
watch or a clock or a pair of fhoes ; that fchollars and 
men of books are handicrafts and mecchannicks made 
to work for gentlemen, as joyners and carpenters are, 
and books are to them nothing but their tools, their 
compaffes and hammers, their planes and augurs to 
exercife their art with ; that thefe things are below a 
gentleman ; that he has no buffmefs with them : that 
if any man afkt his fon what fchool he went to, what 
books he was in, and how he went on in his ftudyes, 
he fhall anfwer : " School, Sir ? I don't go to fchool. 
/. 37 . My father fcorns to put me to fchool. Sure I an't to 
be a trades-man ; I am to be a gentleman : I an't to 
go to fchool." 

Then he runs on with a common place of rallery 
againft learning and learned men after the manner 
of the elder brother mencion'd before ; how ufelefs 
and how ridiculous it is to trouble a gentleman with 
fcience and books ; that Nature had form'd them for 
other things ; that they were born for enjoyment, fmgl'd 
out to form a degree of men above the ordinary rank ; 
that learning and improvements were for the inferior 
world, to recomend them to employment and buflinefs 
that they might get their bread ; that gentlemen were 
above all thefe things and above the people that were 
matters of them ; that men of books are the drudges 
and fervants of the gentry, and when ever they had 
occafion for them, they could have them for their 
money, as princes entertain interpreters and therefore 



never learn languages themfelves ; that thofe were 
made to ferv for wages, and the gentlemen 1 are thofe 
that hire them and pay them ; that 'tis ridiculous to 
put the gentlemen upon reading and learning languages ; 
they have other employment and are born to better 
things. Befides, they tell you it would be injurious 
to the Common Wealth and take the bread out of the 
mouths of the younger brothers ; that learning and 
languages were manufactures* and employ'd the poor 
(fchollars), and it would be very hard to take the 
employment from them which they get their bread 
by ; that fchollars like fiddlers are to be hir'd to make 
mufic to the gentry ; that thefe are to pipe, and the 
other are to dance, becaufe they pay the piper ; that 
gentlemen are no more to trouble them felves with 
books than with the bag pipes ; that would be to ftarv 
the poor fchollars and bring them as a charge upon 
the parifh. 

Thofe two claffes of gentlemen are, indeed, the 
exalted heroes of ignorance and floth, who this dif- 
cours is chiefly pointed at ; and thofe are the gentlemen 
I mean alfo when I fay their number is fo great that, 
if they came to tell nofes, they would out-pol their 
neighbours. I confefs the laft out-do the former, too, 
becaufe they have a kind of a harden'd eloquence in 
their way of talking, which confirms them in their 
folly the more they talk of it, and fhows that, like 
men bred up in any particular error or opinion of 
religion, who afterwards maturely cleav to thofe errors, 
they are not onely hereticks by the prejudice of edu- 
cacion, but have formally recogniz'd that educacion 
by a mature, deliberate profeflion, making that which 
was before their necefllty 3 be their choice. 

This way of talking in the matter of education, like 
atheifms in religion, is not to be fupported without a 


1 MS. G. 2 'M with a stroke over it. z Abbreviation. 


vaft flock of affurance ; I had almoft given it a harder 
word, but that, as I am talking of gentlemen, I would 
treat them as fuch. This is certain, it can not be 
carry'd on without fome face, as men talk firft athe- 
iftically, then, working up their paffions to a hight, 
run it on to down-right blafphemy. I do not doubt 
but that fometimes they are fencible of, and feel with 
regrett, the defficiency of their own educacion ; but 
learning gradually to be contented with it, and to 
accept of the eafe and pleafure of their fortunes as 
diverfions inftead of it, come at laft to approv as by 
choice what they are plung'd into by neceffity, having 
learn'd by habit and by length of time to applaud 
what was the crime and neglect of their parents, as a 
wife part acted in their introduccion into the world ; 
infifting upon it as what was beft for them ; decrying 
all improvements and blafpheming fcience as atheifts 
do religion ; declaring themfelves ignorant by meer 
open fuffrage and confent ; defpifmg knowlege like 
Solomon's fool, of whom among many other charecters 
to kno' him by I think this is the moft pointed and 
elegant, as well as concife, that they hate knowlege, 
by which I can not doubt but that the wife man 
meant that none but fools do fo. 

I can not reprefent the unhappynefs of thefe unedu- 
cated gentlemen more to their diffadvantage than in 
the confequence we fee it has in their own families, 
among their fervants and tennants, and even among 
their children. 

I had occafion but a very few yeares ago to be 
prety much in the family of a gentleman who I had 
long had an intimacy with ; he was himfelf a man 
that knew the world, had been bred much abroad in 
Germany, France, and Italy, and had a great flock of 
converfacion-knowlege, tho' no learning. He was of 
the firft rank, as I may call it, for eflate and antient 



blood, and, tho' not enobl'd, might claim an undifputed 
title to that of gentleman. He had but one fon, the 
heir and hopes of his family ; and his being the onely 
fon was one of his reafons, why he would not part with 
him abroad when he came to grow up ; but his other 
reafon, which he kept much to himfelf, and which was 
the true reafon, indeed, was that he thought his fon by 
his mother's tendernefs had been bred too foft and eafie, 
too much fwallow'd up in his pleafures, fo that he was 
not to be fo much trufled with himfelf, and that, as he 
faid afterwards, he was fencible it would be his entire 
ruine to fend him abroad. Alfo his having been bred 
up without learning he lay'd to the charge of his 
mother, as above. It was true, he did not feem to 
think that any great lofs to his fon, and would often 
fay he would have no need of it ; that a little learning 
was enough for a gentleman that had an eftate above 
the need of raifing himfelf higher, and that reading 
and book knowlege did but ferv to form vaft defigns 
in men's heads, fend them up to Court, embark them in /. 38. 
politicks, embroil them with partyes, and by placeing 
them at the head of factions in the State, involv them 
in frequent mifchiefs, and fome times bring them to 
ruine and diftruccion ; that, he faid, he had rather 
follow him to the grave early, and build an hofpitall 
with his eftate, than break his heart for him 20 or 30 
years later, when he fhould hear of his coming to a 
fcaffold ; that without ambicion he would be a fafe 
man, and might be as happy as this world could make 
any body ; that all the learning in the world could not 
add to it, but that no man was too high to fall, and the 
higher the more dangerous ; that he had 12000 pound 
a year clear eftate to leav him, and fome money, and 
his three fifters provided for, fo that he had neither 
mother's joynture or fifters' portions to pay out of it ; 
that if he had a mind to liv gay and fpend the whole 



income, yet if he did not fell nor mortgage, he thought 
it was enough, and that he had no occafion to encreafe ; 
but that if he fhould prove a good mannager, and had a 
mind to grow over-rich, he might live in a figure equall 
to a nobleman, and yet lay up 5000 pound a year, 
with which he might encreafe his eftate to allmoft what 
degree he pleaf 'd ; but if he had ten times as much he 
might be no richer than before and, perhaps, not half 
fo happy. 

I confefs the argument about his way of living was 
juft and well enough : A gentleman of fuch an eftate 
can't propofe much to himfelf in this world which fuch 
an eftate could not help him to, and nothing can be 
fuppof'd to fpend more than fuch an income without a 
crime, I mean without a criminal profufion ; but of that 
by itfelf. 

Nor is there any great difference in the article of 
humane felicity, between his fpending half of it or all 
of it : Tis very certain that, barring ambition, fuch an 
eftate was enough to bound any modrate man's defires, 
and whatfoever prompted his ambition muft be danger- 
ous to him, as his father well obferv'd. 

The late ever glorious King William uf'd frequently 
to fay that, if he was not a king, and Providence 1 had 
mercifully plac'd his ftacion of life in his choice, he 
would be an Englifh gentleman of two thoufand pounds 
a year. 

His Majefty gave many very good reafons for the 
narrow compafs of his defires, and one which I thought 
was very fignificant was this : that it was the ftacion of 
life that gave the leaft room for difquiet and uneafynefs 
in the world, and the greateft opportunity of calm 
and content ; that there were 2 very few comforts among 
man-kind which fuch an eftate could not giv, and that to 
have more rather encumbr'd a gentleman with fervants 

1 D with a dot in the middle. 2 were is omitted in MS. 


and buffmefs to look after them, than gave any addi- 
tion to his enjoyment, unlefs a man could fit ftill and 
fee himfelf cheated by his ftewards and upper fervants, 
and fuffer all manner of diforders in his under fervants 
with- out any concern at one or diflike of the other ; 
which he thought no man of fence could be capable of. 

As the thoughts His Majefty had upon that fubject 
were very nice, fo, no doubt, they were grounded upon 
the beft principles and were fuitable to the trueft 
nocions of humane delight, I mean virtuous pleafures, 
enjoyment without criminal excurfions ; and fo the 
King often expreff't himfelf, adding there was no 
pleafure at all in ftoring up mellancholly reproaches 
and refleccions for old age. 

It will be hard for any man to chalk out a way, 
how and in what particular figure of life a gentleman 
could live up to fuch an eftate and fpend ^12000 a 
year without being guilty of fome criminal excurfions, 
that is, exceffes in himfelf, or allowing, and conniving 
at, them in his family and among his retinue, unlefs 
he will employ his whole time in fetting up a mean 
and unfafhionable difcipline in his houfehold, and, like 
a Vice Chancellor in the Univerfity, eflablifh his regula- 
cions for their manners and houres, and even then, as 
he has no legal authority to punifh, he can do no /. 39 
more than diffmifs the refra6lory, ungovernable fellows 
and take others as bad in their room. 

In a word, as His Majefty faid in the cafe before 
mencion'd, a gentleman of fuch an eftate has a weight 
of buffmefs upon him equall to a tradefman in his 
fhop or a merchant in his compting houfe. 'Tis a 
full employment to him to audit his accompts, to be 
checqing his fteward's books, bargaining with his ten- 
nants, holding his courts, granting leafes, and hearing 
caufes between tennant and tennant and between 
fervant and fervant, fo that it was a drudgery too 



much for a gentleman, would make him allways un- 
eafye, and, in his opinion, overballanc't the benefit of 
the eftate it felf. 

As I have quoted fo extraordinary a perfon for this 
opinion, fo I mufb add that the King made this judg- 
ment not from ignorance of the world or want of 
knowing how to liv in a fuperior figure, but juft the 
contrary ; for as he was born a prince fully quallifyed 
for the government of nacions, fo he was perfectly 
accomplifh'd in all the needfull parts of governing his 
houfehold, which was allwayes great, and he fpoke this 
not from an empty fpeculacion, but from a long 
experience in the manner of living publick and the 
ftate and pomp of a great houfehold. 

He faw that with a little compact eftate of 2000 a 
year he had his time unengrofft, his head unencumbr'd ; 
he needed no fteward, no reciever ; he could look over 
it all himfelf with pleafure, and had onely to defire it 
might be let out in large farms to as few tennants as 
poffible, five or fix was enough, fuch farmers being 
generally men of fubftance, that pay their rents with- 
out any trouble ; whereas with a larger eftate a gentle- 
man is allways engag'd with the wrangling of tennants, 
their complaints of the ftewards, or by their knavery 
or poverty is oblig'd to be allways ruining and tearing 
them to peices for his rent, fo that he is neither well 
uf'd by them or belov'd by them. 

Now, tho' the living criminally profufe was a thing 
not unworthy the confideration of a King, yet I do not 
fee it makes any impreffion among our gentlemen, 
efpecially fince 'tis of late fo much the fafhion. Every 
gentleman feems to be willing to liv as gay as he can, 
and we fee the fad confequence of it among them at 
this time, namely that moft of our gentry in England 
with their ignorance and their other defects of head are 
alfo in but very indifferent condicion as to family cir- 



cumftances, 1 and many even of the greateft eftates are 
overwhelm'd in debt, which it muft be confeff t feems 
to be fome reproach upon their underftanding, as well 
as upon their prudence, and intimates that their purfes 
are empty becaufe their heads are fo ; for it would 
hardly be thought poffible that men's pockets fhould 
be light, if their brains were not light alfo, when they 
have perhaps from 500 to two, nay to four, ten, and 
even to 20,000 a year reall eftate. But of this I 
fhall find occafion to talk farther by it felf, when I come 
to the extraordinary mannagement of our gentry in the 
ceconomy of their familys and fortunes, which, as reafon 
requires, muft fupply us with a chapter by it felf. 

But I come back to the gentleman as defcrib'd 
above. He is fuppofd to be heir to a great eftate, no 
lefs than 10 to 12000 a year, and this is given for a 
reafon why he fhould not be well taught ; he muft not 
go to fchool ; no, his father fcorns to put him to fchool, 
becaufe he is, or rather is to be, a gentleman. Pre- 
pofterous reafoning ! as if the man were really better 
ignorant and unpolifh'd, than beautify'd and fet off 
with the embellifhments and improvements of learning 
and knowlege ; as if the diamond was more valuable 
while it was rough and unpolifh'd, as it came out of the 
mine, than after the diamond cutter had by his art 
brought it to a good fhape, a true brilliant, taken out 
all its flaws and fcarrs, and that you fee a perfect water ; 
as if the filver of Potofi was better in the oar than in 
the ingot, and that gold were equall in the river among 
the oufe and the fands, than cleanf'd and wafh't out. 

Let fuch people run a little paralell between the 
heir and his eftate, and let them learn to fee the 
abfurdity of this ill form'd notion there. How carefull 
are the gentlemen of their parks, their woods, their 
lands, that their wafts be enclof 'd, the timber preferv'd, 


1 Abbreviated. 


their farms well tenanted, the tennants bound up to rules 
of hufbandry, to lay the plough'd lands fallow at due 
times, to preferv the paftures and break them, up with 
the plow, and, in a word, to pra6life good hufbandry 
for improving the eftate, to commit no waft, make no 
trefpafs, keep up the fences, and clear the ditches and 
water-courfes, keep the farm-houfes in due repair : how 
carefull, I fay, are our gentry in all thefe things. 

In a word, nothing is forgotten to improv the eftate, 
/ 40. nothing entirely neglected but the heir, as if his eftate 
was to be improv'd, but not his head, and his land was 
to be duly cultivated, but not his brains. Did the wit 
defcend, indeed, with the wealth, and the heir come to 
his learning, as he came to his lands, by inheritance, 
there were then, 'tis true, fome thing to be faid for this 
folly. Then learning and books would be of no ufe to 
the eldeft fon till fuch and fuch a time. Then, indeed, 
inftruccion and education would be out of the queftion, 
and we fhould have no objeccion againft letting the 
heir play away his prime and go a hunting inftead of 
going to fchool. On the other hand, it would be an 
abfurdity to do otherwife. 

But fmce it happens to be otherwife, and that the 
heir muft be taught, or he can not learn ; that knowlege 
does not grow upon the trees, or wifdome follow and 
attend the inheritance ; fmce fcience does not defcend 
with the honour, and learning like an eftate is not 
entail'd on the heirs male ; 'tis evedent that young 
gentlemen muft acquire knowlege, or go without it. 

It is true, there is fuch a thing as a natural genius, 
there is a mother wit, a vivacity of fpirit, that in fome 
particular perfons is born with them ; that they are 
ftored before-hand, made bright at the firft, and, as 'tis 
faid of fome that they are born poets, fo fome are born 
with great fouls, vaft capafcityes, and a fund of nature, 
as it may be call'd, is given them even by original 

donation ; 


donation ; and much of this is boafted of in thofe 
ordinary expreffions of being born a gentleman, have- 
ing good blood in the veins and haveing deriv'd 
generous principles from the line, that he came of fuch 
a family and of fuch a blood, and that the young off- 
fpring muft be all that is great and fine, becaufe he is 
of the family of fuch a great man, in a word, becaufe 
he is a gentleman ; as if Rhehoboam was one jot the 
lefs a fool for being the fon of a Solomon, or the fitter 
to reign becaufe his father was a king : the contrary 
was apparent. He neither had the prudence of the 
King, nor the fence of an ordinary man, for nothing 
that had had an ounce of braines in his head would 
have given fuch an anfwer as he did to the people, who 
came to pray him to abate their burthens or redrefs 
their grievances ; any thing but a fool would have 
treated them gently, and given them good words, at 
leaft at firft, till he had been acknowleg'd for king 
and had been well feated in the throne ; and then he 
might have turn'd tyrant or anything, as 'tis plain his 
father had done before him. As it was then, fo it is 
ftill : We fee that brains do not allways defcend, no, 
not to the greateft ; fence and underftanding is no 
appennage to the prince, nor is wifdome entail'd upon 
the crown. A king may laye his claim to the govern- 
ment of his kingdom by hereditary right from his 
anceftors ; he may have his crown that way : but he 
muft have his governing quallifications by other 
methods, namely by applicacion, by inftruccion, by 
example, and by experience. 

It is the fame with us all. The gentleman may 
have his eftate from his anceftors, nay, the beauty of 
his body may in part defcend from his parents, and the 
health of conftitution may owe much to birth and 
blood, and, if we may believ the learned, it is not a 
little advantage to be born of a healthy, vigrous race ; 



but the brains are the matter in queftion, and there we 
fee generacion very little concern'd in the cafe ; the 
wife man begets the fool, and the fool gives a wife 
man to the world. Nature feems to have very little 
concern in the intellecluall part, that feems guided by 
fome other influence ; nor is it any reproach to our 
underftanding to fay we know not how or by what 
fecret operation 'tis wrought ; how comes a fool to 
convey ftrong capafcities, and an empty weak head 
deliver a full capable genius to the world ; of which 
alfo hereafter. 

But to give up this point, I am content to allow 
that, as fome men are born dull and that 'tis ordinarily 
faid of fuch a man he is a natural fool, fo, on the 
other hand, fome are born bright, have a fprightly wit, 
a great genius, a capacious foul, deep reach and clear 
thoughts even from their birth, I won't fay from their 
parents ; for fome times 'tis fo when the father, nay, 
perhaps all the fathers from feverall generacions part 
have been fools. 

But what is all this to the thing before us ? In a 
great wood if a fine well grown oak prefents it felf 
to the eye, we fay there is a fine tree ; that's true, 
and Nature obtains the praife fo farr. But when it 
comes to ufe, it muft be cut down, the bark ftript 
off, the knotty limbs taken away, the fawyers cut it 
out into plank, the carpenter fquares it with his rule, 
/. 41. and then 'tis fmooth'd with the plain, groov'd with one 
tool, carv'd with another, and then 'tis fitt to be fet up 
againft the wall, and wainfcott the Hall of Audience, or 
the Prefence Chamber of a prince, or the State Room 
of a pallace. But till all thefe pains are beftow'd upon 
it, it is onely potentially good and ufefull ; 'tis not 
naturally finifh'd and perfe6l : it muft be fhap'd and 
fquar'd as art requires. It is alfo to my purpofe to 
obferv, carrying on the metaphor, that even the mod 



crooked, out of fhape tree in the whole wood is capable 
by the help of the fame art to be brought to the fame 
perfection in its degree, and onely with this difference, 
that the crooked ftick requires more workmanfhip, 
more hewing and cutting, makes more chips, and 
fuffers more waft, before 'tis brought to take place 
among the ornaments of the pallace, whereas the fbrait, 
well fhap'd tree is finifh'd with lefs trouble, lefs diffi- 
culty, lefs workmanfhip and art. In a word, the ftrait 
tree is wrought with lefs pains than the crooked, but 
both require fome. Thus the bright genius, the 
naturall beauty of the mind, the parts, the witt, the 
capafcities given by Nature to one youth, caufe him to 
be polifh'd and cultivated with more eafe, and he is 
finifh'd with fewer hands in lefs time and with much 
lefs difficulty than another crooked, knotty, ftubborn 
difpofition, which being naturally dul and awkward 
requires much more hewing and fhapeing and dreffmg. 

But ftill, as above, both thefe require fome: the 
brighteft muft be polifh'd and fmoothed ; fome labour, 
fome aplication is requir'd in the brighteft genius, and 
this is what I am pleading for. If we fee a youth 
among the poor people of good natural parts, quick 
thought, ftrong memory, fharp wit, as it often happens, 
we are generally apt to fay 'tis pity the boy fhould 
not be put to fchool, 'tis pity he fhould not be well 
taught ; and fome times fuch a youth has been pick'd 
up and taught in meer charity by fome man of learning 
and eftate who has fo pityed his circumftances ; and 
fome great men, who I could name if it were proper, 
have been raif'd in the world from fuch beginings. 

But ftill this bright genius muft be made brighter 
by art. What are the quick parts, the naturall wit, 
the ftrong memory, the great capafcityes ? what are 
they, and what are they given for ? } Tis evedent they 
are given for fome ufes, which they are not wholly 



fitted for but by the applicacion of other fuitable 
helps. They are receptible of all the glorious things 
which fcience, learning, and acquir'd knowlege can 
furnifh, but they are perfectly unquallify'd to act alone. 
A deaf child has the capafcity of fpeech and all the 
wit and vivacity of foul, and, perhaps, a thoufand times 
more than another child born of the fame parents ; but 
of what ufe are they all, when for want of fpeech, 
which is learning, for it can not be attain'd without 
hearing and imitacion, it can take in no ideas, knows 
nothing by its name, underftands not the nature of the 
things it knows, much lefs their end, can form no 
confequences, knows no found, and, in a word, half 
the world is, as it were, of no ufe to him, and half 
his naturall powers are ufelefs, becaufe unimprov'd. 

I obferv that we often miftake in this very cafe about 
young gentlemen, and call their naturall capafcityes 
learning ; at leaft we think them equivalent to learning, 
and that fuch ftand in need of no affiftance, but that 
time and converfation will be fufficient, and they are 
men of parts, of courfe, having alfo good eftates to 
fupply the main deficiency. 

But thefe people miftake not the fac~l onely, but the 
true defign of Nature, and even of the Author of Nature. 
It is apparent that treafure of wit and parts is given 
from Heaven to be cultivated and improv'd ; and as 
God fet Adam to till the ground after the fall, and 
told him, if he did not do it, ay, and labour and fweat 
at it, too, he mould have no bread, and it fhould bring 
forth nothing but briars and thorns to him without 
tillage and cultivation : fo it is in his brains and under- 
/. 42. ftanding to this day, if he will kno' he muft learn. 

I will not difpute with thofe who affirm that, if 
Adam had not fallen, his pofterity would have been 
compleat, not onely in their parts and capafcityes of 
knowing, but in knowlege it felf; that as he was 



created in a perfeccion of wifdome, fo his pofterity 
would have come into the world finifh'd as he did, and 
as we fee the brutes do to this day, that their naturall 
fagacity, caution for fafety, care for their food, and 
knowlege in diftinguifhing it, grows up with them. 
But as to man, it is evedent, what ever it was before 
the fall, it is not fo now ; what ever brightnefs of parts, 
what ever genius, wit, and capacity the man is naturally 
furnifh'd with, it is requir'd that thofe Jewells fhould be 
polifhed, that learning be apply'd to them, that rules 
and inftruccions be layd before them, and that hiftorys 
and examples of times and perfons be recommended 
to them, and that all this be enforc'd by the authority 
of inftructors, parents, fchoolmafters, etc. 

And what will all the natural capafcities of a child 
amount to without teaching ? What ufe will nature 
dire6l him to make of them ? None of the beft you 
may venture to fay ; for tho' nature is the beft fund, 
yet the dictates of nature are not the beft guides. The 
learned may talk of the rectitude of Nature and of 
natural religion in bar of the principle which others 
infift upon, that nature is originally deprav'd : I am for 
putting it to the generall iffue, if they can tell me by 
any one example when nature of its meer undirected 
inclination guided mankind to make the beft choice of 
things, and rejecting the pleafmg objects of fence led 
him to choofe vertue by a meer propenfity of will 
without inftruccion or example ; then I may come 
into the notion of natural rectitude with fome appear- 
ance of reafon. 

But while, on the contrary, I fee nature acting the 
reverfe of all this, and that men are in their youth 
hurry 'd down the ftream of their worft affeccions by the 
meer infenfible impetuofity of nature : I fay while it 
is 1 thus, and that not generally onely, but univerfally, 


1 is omitted in MS. 


I can not but conclude that there is fomething of 
originall depravity in nature more than thofe gentle- 
men think of. 

And what does all this import (to bring it down to 
my prefent purpofe) but that Nature is not able to 
accomplifh the gentleman without the help of outward 
application ? Nature works by its Maker's direccion, 
and can not go beyond it felf. Nature will fometimes 
go out of its way, as I may call it, and work without 
its ordinary means, and, when it does fo, it produces 
monfters ; but Nature can not act beyond its given 
powers ; for example, Nature forms the organs of 
fpeech, but 'tis evedent Nature teaches no body to 
fpeak, and if a child is not taught it would never fpeak 
at all, and therefore we fee in children taught to fpeak 
they yet fpeak no more languages than they are 
taught, and if they are defirous to fpeak other tongues 
they muffc apply to it with labour and diligence, 
ftrength of memory, books and mailers, or go over 
into the countrys where thofe tongues are fpoke, and 
learn them there by mimickry and imitacion, as chil- 
dren learn to fpeak ; for all firft fpeaking is mimickry 
and no other. 

It is the fame in fcience and every kind of knowlege 
in its degree. Nature would be but a poor inftructor 
in art, in philofophy, in the mathematicks, without the 
helps of teaching and inftruccion. How far could 
Nature go to teach a poor uninftru6led head the doctrin 
of the fpheres, the mocion of the planets and of all the 
heavenly bodyes ? How long is it ago fmce the Muf- 
covites gather'd about a Scots gentleman's lodging 
who had fome knowlege of aftronomy, at Mofco, and 
would have mobb'd him and torn him to peices for a 
forcerer for telling them before-hand that fuch a day 
at fuch an hour and minute the fun would be ecclypf d, 
how much it would be darken'd, and how long it 



would hold ? 'Tis not many years fince, for the 
gentleman is ftill alive. /. 43 . 

The meer knowlege attain'd by uninftructed nature 
is a poor dark lanthorn light, that glares in the fight 
of thofe that look at it, rather blinds them than helps 
them to fee, and is onely ufefull to thofe that ftand 
behind it. 

And this is the reafon why we have fo much 
ignorance among all the bright men of this age, 
that fome of our gentlemen who have the cleaneft 
parts, the pureft naturall wit, and the beft capafcityes 
that are to be feen any where, are yet the moft 
ignorant dark creatures in this part of the world. 
The cafe carryes its evedence in it felf. They are 
untaught : where fhould they raife it ? Nature is a 
fund of fence, but inflruccion onely is the fund of 

I can not but obferv here a kind of an alternativ in 
the evedence of the thing before me. One fide of the 
queftion anfwers the other, and they are a demonftra- 
tion of one another. The ignorance and weaknefs 
of our gentlemen are a teflimony of the defficency of 
nature unpolifh'd by inftruccion ; and the weaknefs 
and incapacity of nature to fupply the want of 
litterature and inftruccion, is a reafon of the ignorance 
and weaknefs of the gentry. 1 They are without 
doubt men of as good naturall capafcityes and 
furnifh'd with as much mother wit ; at leaft many of 
them, and as many of them in proporcion to their 
number as in any nation in the world ; and where 
they are well taught they are equall, if not out-do, 
mofh men in the world, as is evedent by the excellency 
of their ftudyes and the perfeccion fome have come to 
in the moft critical parts of learning, of which I have 
faid fome thing all-ready ; and yet where is there fo 


1 G. 



little improvement, where fo much blunder and non- 
fence, where fo much pride and felf opinion, as among 
thefe men of Nature, thefe people call'd gentlemen, 
who are faid to lay claim to l bright genius and to be 
polite finifh'd perfons ? 

If a man was to travell thro' Poland, a country 
famous over Europe for the moft numerous body of 
gentlemen : no nacion comes up to them for great 
families and for a like number of them, and tho' there 
are fome ill quallityes or rather fins of cuftome which 
attend them, which 'tis forreign to my buffmefs to fpeak 
of here, yet 'tis certain they don't fail here, viz., that 
they are all fchollars, all bred at the feverall Univer- 
fities either of their own or neighbouring countryes, and 
tho' they do not fpeak fafhionably, as we do, that is, 
do not fpeak French (for they defpife it), yet they all 
fpeak Latin, and a man that can talk Latin may travel 
from one end of Poland to another as familiarly as if 
he was born in the country. 

Blefs us ! what would a gentleman do that was to 
travel thro' our country, and could fpeak nothing but 
Latin. One would be afham'd to fay to him that he 
would find no body to converfe with but here and 
there a parfon and a pedagogue ; nay, he would find 
it very difficult to afk for any thing he wanted and for 
finding the road from one place to another. I muft 
lament his condition ; for if he was once loft, one could 
hardly conciev how he would do to enquire his way, 
efpecially if the town or city to which he was going 
had a proper name which was fome thing different in 
its found in the Latin from its vulgar tone in the 
Englifh ; for example, fuppofe him in the forrefh of 
Dean and travelling towards Worcefter, what would a 
country gentleman fay to him that he 2 was to meet and 
he fhould afk the way ad civitatem Wigornenjls (!}, or in 

1 to is omitted in MS. 2 he is omitted in MS. 


the bifhoprick of Durham, ad civitatem Dunhelmenjls (!), 
or Novum Caftrum, to Newcaftle, and the like of many 
other places ? The poor ftranger would be in great 
danger of being loft, as for his food, indeed, fome 
fignals might be fubftituted in flead of fpeech, as 
pointing to the mouth, and the mocion of drinking, 
and efpecially producing the money to pay for it ; but 
for the reft we muft fay, Mercy upon him ! 'Twould 
be a bold venture for him to travel without an in- 
terpreter ; he might allmoft as well fpeak Arabick or 
Sclavonian or the Rufs or Chinefe as Latin, which is 
underftood by a few happy younger brothers, who have 
been bred up upon another foundation, that is to fay, / 44- 
to get their bread, and came to the eftates by the mifffor- 
tune of the family and the untimely death of the heir. 

That this is the cafe, and that I do the gentry 1 no 
wrong, as I am dealing with men of honour, I fhall 
not go out of my way for vouchers ; I appeal to them- 
felves. They will not offer to denye the fact, nay, 
'tis the greateft favour I can afk of them not to boaft 
of it, value themfelves upon it, and flye out in the 
moft contemptible farcafms upon the fcandalous thing 
call'd reading and bookifhnefs as unfafhionable, un- 
gentile, and below a gentleman. 

I have indeed been oblig'd in difcourfe with fome 
gentlemen of my unlearned friends to giv up that 
queftion and grant the great article infifted on, viz., 
that to be a fchollar is out of the way in the life of a 
gentleman, that learning is for the meaner people, who 
are to get their bread by it, and the like, as before. 
But then I allwayes held them faft to this, that if they 
would not learn Latin and Greek, and would not put 
their children to fchools or to the Univerfities, or have 
them taught languages, yet methinks they might 
teach them Englifh ; they might allow it needful to 


1 G. 


teach them to read and write, and particularly to fpell,, 
that, they might not be afham'd to anfwer a letter,, 
nay, to write but the fuperfcription of a letter, which is 
fometimes done in fo weak, not to fay filly, a manner 
as allmoft tells us what we are to expect in the infide 
by what we fee on the outfide. 

It is with much difficulty, indeed, that I could bring 
them to this, and it is with as much regret that I muft 
take notice here how few gentlemen in England are 
mafters even of the Englifh tongue it felf. Horrid 
ignorance ! yet to our fhame how notorious is it t 
how many juftices of the peace have we allmoft in 
every county that know not how to make a mitti- 
mus or write a warrant, nay, that can hardly write 
their names to the warrant or mittimus when their 
clark has drawn it up. 

This article fuffers fo much enquiry into it, and caryes 
fo much jufh fcandal in that enquiry, that, were I not 
forced to it in the courfe of neceffary obfervation, I 
would cover it in filence for the fake of my nativ 

And yet I do not lay the ftrefs of this complaint fo- 
much upon the writing part, tho' 'tis a fcandalous thing 
enough to fee gentlemen of fortunes and families, and 
who value themfelves upon their birth, quallity, and 
eftates, that can hardly write their own names, at leaft 
that can't write legibly, fuppofe they had a letter to 
write upon the moft extraordinary occafion. 

But the great fatyr of it is that, when they do write, 
and fuppofing they could write a tolerable hand, they 
can neither write ftile nor Englifh ; in a word, they 
can't fpell their mother tongue. It would furfeit a 
man to read the Englifh that fome gentlemen write, 
and that not the weak and foolifh ; for of them no 
other would be expected ; but fome who make a good 
appearance in company, talk well enough, and feem to 



be men of underftanding. How dull did it look for a 
gentleman of fence and of tollerable good difcourfe, too, 
upon an accidental diffafber in his family but the other 
day, to write to his friend that there was a mollin- 
kolli accidence be happened in his houfe ; it feems one 
of his fervants had drown'd himfelf. 

A gentleman from Tunbridge writes a letter to his 
fteward in Hartford-mire in the following extraordinary 
Englifh, which with the moft comicall fcrawl of a hand 
that can well be imagin'd might giv us fome teft of the 
fkill in writing as well as the orthography of a juflice 
of peace and a gentleman of 1 200 a year efbate, bred, 
too, within thirty miles of the capital city. /. 45 . 

Here the letter? 

Another from the Bath writes a letter to the major 
domo of his family, who was left behind to take care 
of his houfehold affaires. 

Here the other? 

N.B. I can fo well vouch the fact of thefe two letters, 
and that they are genuine, not the product of my in- 
vention, that I have the originals to produce upon 

I might giv innumerable inftances of the like weak- 
nefs in gentlemen of extraordinary quallity in our own 
country, at the fame time acknowleging that I have 
not met with the like abroad. I can affure you that 
the gentlemen of other countryes feem to be otherwife 
educated ; and even to go no farther than the northern 
part of our own ifland, it is quite otherwife, and you 
find very few of the gentry, and I may fay, none at all 
of the higher rank of them, either ignorant or un- 
learn'd ; nay, you cannot ordinarily find a fervant in 
Scotland but he can read and write. 


1 No letters are preserved. 


When I was mencioning this to an Englifh gentle- 
man of the untaught clafs, and makeing a companion 
between the Englifh gentry and thofe of Scotland, of 
Holland, and of Germany, he laught and told me it 
was becaufe they were all poor and univerfally had the 
advance of their fortunes in view, which the Englifh 
gentry 1 had not ; that this confirm'd what he had faid 
and what I but juft now mencioned, (viz.) if he had 
been a younger brother his father would have fent him 
to fchool, and that he did fo himfelf with his younger 
fons, becaufe they had their fortunes to make ; that he 
intended to buy his fecond fon a regiment of horfe (if it 
could be had) and to recommend him to His Majeftie's 
favour for the firft foreign fervice, and he did not doubt, 
if war happen'd in the world, but he might fee him be a 
generall officer and, perhaps, lay the foundacion of a 
collaterall branch in his houfe, adding that then his 
eld eft fon would have no more need of books than his 
grandfather had. 

Then he told me that he had fent his third fon to 
the Univerfity allready, and was refolv'd to breed him 
to the Law, and by the fame rule hop'd to fee him made 
a judge ; fo that I might fee he did not fo much 
undervalue learning as fuch ; he allow'd it to be mighty 
ufefull where there was a family to be raif'd and 
fortunes to be made, but as for his eldefl fon he could 
not fee of what ufe it would be to him, becaufe, as he 
had faid above, that it was doing juft nothing, that it 
would be throwing away his pleafanteft yeares mauling 
and beating his brains to learn what had no fignifica- 
tion to him when he had it. I thought it was fome- 
thing natural to anfwer that the fword is no friend to 
the gown, that the armys were generally no feminaryes 
for learning, nor were the Univerfityes underftood to be 
nurferies for foldiers ; that ignorance and arms feem'd 


1 G. 


rather to be of kin to one another than the book and 
the fword, and that his fecond fon had much lefs need 
of a ftock of letters than his eldeft. I afkt him why 
diamonds were fet in filver and fome times in gold but 
to fet off the luftre and add to the beauty, and that, 
doubtlefs, learning to a man of quallity and fortune 
was an admirable embellifhment, as virtue was fet off 
by beauty, and beauty illufbrated by vertue. 

He anfwer'd me I miftook the cafe, as well as the 
fimily ; that perfect virtue or perfect beauty were 
incapable of additions ; that the error was in our eye- 
fight ; like hanging paintings over fine tapefbry, it was 
eclypfing one ornament to let another fhine ; that a 
great eftate was a perfect glory, it could reciev no 
addition, and wanted no helps to the enjoyment of it ; 
that all thofe things I talk'd of were to be bought 
with money, and he that had the money had them all 
in his pocket ; that, as to learning, it was no more an 
ornament to a gentleman than mufick, in which, after 
the longeft labring at it that a gentleman could be 
fuppof'd to allow, a common fiddler or an ordinary 
trumpeter fhould out do him ; that 'twas enough to 
him to hear good mufic without fetting up to be an 
artift, that is to fay, a mechanick ; that Nero was an 
admirable finger, and that the late Emperor Leopold 
of Germany play'd excellently well upon the violin, 
and that all the addition he got to his titles was that 
the great Louis XIV. it feems ufed to call him the Old 
Fiddler of Vienna ; and " Pray," fayes he, " which is 
worft of the two ? d'ye think I had not as liev my 
eldeft fon fhould be call'd a fool as a fiddler ? " 

He run on thus a great while, and I faw there was 
no dealing with him by argument as to that of learn- 
ing, for the averfion was riveted ; fo I engag'd him 
upon the head of writing and of fpelling and under- 
ftanding Englifh ; and I afk'd him if he did not think 



it was a (hamefull thing to fee an Englifh gentleman of 
the higheft rank, and that might upon public occafions 
be fociety for the King or the Prince, and yet upon any 
neceffity, let it be of what kind it would, was not able 
to write a letter, much lefs write either a good ftile or 
good fence, no, not in his mother tongue, and, what 
was ftill worfe, was not capable of fpelling the words 
in any manner fit to be feen or poffible to be read. 

This, indeed, pinch't him a little ; he confeff't that 
was too often the cafe with gentlemen, and was too 
much his own, and was allmoft ready to giv it up to 
me ; but then he call'd to mind what he faid he had 
heard his grand-father fay, who ferv'd abroad in the 
wars in Germany under Guftavus Adolphus, that there 
were three Scots generalls, all of the name of Lefly, in 
the king's army, whofe names were famous, nay, even 
terrible, at that time over the whole world for bravery 
and conduct, and raif'd themfelves by their extraor- 
dinary fkill in military affaires as well as their courage 
and experience ; yet not one of the three could either 
read or write ; but that they had a particular ftamp, 
which, dipt in ink, would mark the whole name at one 
imprefs, as a feal does a coat of arms in wax, and that 
/. 45 * with this ftamp they fign'd orders, warrants, capitula- 
cions, and all public acts needfull for a governor of a 
province or a general officer. 

This was fhrange I confeffd, and might, perhaps, be 
true, tho' I fuppofd he could not be fure of it ; but 
when I afk'd whether he thought the ftory was any 
addition to their fame or rather the contrary, he fmil'd, 
and faid he own'd it made their preferment to fuch 
great employment be the more flrange, and that he 
could not recommend the patern ; but then he added 
that this was nothing to the cafe, and that, as he had 
granted that the youngeft fons onely fliould go into the 
war, fo he thought it was very proper they fhould be 



well taught, becaufe, as before, they were to gain their 
bread and raife their fortunes. As to learning Latin 
and Greek, he would not allow a word of that ; there 
he was pofitiv, yet he could not denye but a gentleman 
fhould be taught to write and read and fhould be able, 
if poffible, to fpell, that is, as 'tis ordinarily call'd, to 
write good Englifh ; but he acknowleg'd alfo that he 
did not fee how the latter was to be done without 
hooking him in for Latin and Greek too, which he 
faid was intolerable ; fo I found upon the whole that 
rather than to be troubl'd with any learning of tongues 
he would fubmit to have even his mother tongue left 
out alfo, and that the heir fhould neither be able to 
underftand good Englifh, or to fpell it, much lefs to 
write it. 

Thus, as I faid before, the gentlemen of this nation 
are drag'd up ; I can't call it bred up. They are left 
utterly untaught and fo far from underftanding the 
ordinary fchool languages of Greek and Latin, that 
they are not able to write or fpell true Englifh. How 
they fhould fpeak it, remains to be enquir'd into. 

As in all languages there is a beauty of fhile, a 
cadence and harmony in the expreffion, fo in the 
Englifh much more than any other vulgar fpeech in 
the world. The late Earle of Rofcommon, the moft 
exact writer and the befl judge of polite language in 
his time, 1 confirms my opinion, and I need no better 
a teftimoniall. Speaking of the French, which was 
boafted of at that time as a polite and beautifull 
language, he fayes : 

For who did ever in French authors fee 

The comprehenjlv EngliJJt energie ? 

The weighty bullion of one Jlerling line 

Drawn to French wire would thro' whole pages fliine? 

1 MS. tine. * JJiine not in MS. 


Allowing then our language to be beautifull, ftrong, 
expreffiv, and polite, as it certainly is above all the 
vulgar tongues, what fhall we fay to the grofs ig- 
norance of our gentlemen, who flight not the language, 
for that is abov the contempt not of them onely but 
of all the world, but flight themfelves fo as not to be 
able to either fpeak, write, read, or fpell the beauti- 
fulleft and beft improv'd language in the world, and 
that with this miferable addition that at the fame time 
they can fpeak no other neither, no, nor write or read 
any other ? 

I think I may, without any prefumcion, challenge 
the world to fhow a ftupidity equall to this ; and yet 
thefe perfons boaft of their birth, their fortune, their 
families, then call themfelves gentlemen, and learn to 
contemn all the world as inferiour and below them. 

I can fee nothing like it in all the converfible 
world. I will talk no more of Ruffia and the Muf- 
covites. I do not, indeed, reckon them among the 
converfible world, at leaft not till very lately; but 
their being fo unconverfible is all owing to this very 
kind of pride, namely, an affected pride of ignorance 
and valuing themfelves upon the groffeft ftupidity and 
fo refolvedly brutal as to abhor learning and contemn 
the improvement of all the reft of the world. 
/. 4 6. After infifting on this particular teftimony of the 
obftinate ignorance of our untaught gentry, it would be 
no novelty to give a thoufand examples of the weak- 
neffes, the impertinences, and odd things that come from 
them as the confequence of this ignorance and the 
effect of their great want of education. Sir A. B. is a 
gentleman of a great eftate and of a mighty antient 
family, belov'd in the country where he lives to an 
extravagance. Every body, man, woman, and child, 
gives him a good word : the beft humour'd, beft bred 
gentleman in the world, fo kind, fo courteous, fo 



charitable, the beft neighbour, the beft landlord, the 
beft mafter. All the country pray for him, nay, they 
allmoft pray to him ; they are ready to worfhip and 
adore him. They tell you he does every body good 
and never did any wrong to poor or rich. 

A few yeares ago, he built a noble manfion houfe 
for the family, enclof'd his park with a brick wall, 
enlarged his gardens and canals and fifhponds ; nay, he 
fpent a world of money more than he intended, meerly 
that he might fet the poor at work, it being the dead 

At Chriftmafs, if he is oblig'd to be at Court or at 
the Parliament or both, he never fails to make a trip 
into the country on purpofe to call all his poor neigh- 
bours and tennants together to make their hearts glad 
with his open houfe-keeping, and to fee them all merry 
according to antient cuftome and the ufage of his 

'Twould fill a book to publifh all the good things 
the country fay of this gentleman, and which he really 
deferves from them. It happened once upon finifhing 
his fine houfe and being juft fettling its furniture that 
he carryed another gentleman, a particular friend of 
his, to fee it. This other gentleman was a man of 
letters, had liv'd abroad, feen abundance of the fine 
pallaces in France, in Italy, in Germany and other 
places, but acknowleg'd that all was admirably well 
here, and even out-did the forreigners, efpecially for 
our manner of building in England, where neat compact 
boxes are the ufage of the country, not vafl pallaces to 
be finifh'd in appartments by the heirs for fiv or fix 
generacions to come and as the efbate will allow the 

He affur'd him his houfe out-did many larger 
pallaces that he had feen, that the fituacion was well 
chofen, the waterworks well ferv'd, the apartments well 



fuited and with the uttmoft convenience ; that the viftas 
and the avenues were proper and well planted, the 
gardens well defign'd ; that every thing was perfectly 
well finifh'd, and, in a word, that it was a charming 
houfe and a feat fitt for a man of his quallity. 

Then he admir'd the furniture, which was rich, new, 
and very well fitted : but " Sir," fayes he, " will you 
giv me leav to make an objeccion or two?" The 
gentleman told him, with all his heart. " And will you 
not take it ill ?" fayes his friend. 

"So far from that," fayes the gentleman, "that I 
fhall take it very well ; 'tis the kindeft thing you can 

" I kno'," fayes his friend, " fome gentlemen are not 
pleaf'd with that freedome." 

"I affure you, Sir," fayes Sir A. B., "I am the 
reverfe of that humour, and you can not oblige me 
more. Pray be fo free with me." 

" Why, Sir," fayes his friend, " you want fome good 
paintings ; pictures are a noble ornament to a houfe. 
Nothing can fet it off more." 

" Why, you fee my great flaircafe is tollerably full," 
fayes he, " and I have fome more a-comeing down for 
the hall." 

Friend : " I don't find any defect in the quantity," 
fayes the friend. 

Gentleman : " What then ? pray, are they not good 
peices ? Why, they are all originals and fome by the 
beft mafters which they fay are to be heard of." 
/. 47- Friend: " I would not meddle with it ; 'tis none of 
my buffmefs." 

Gentleman : " Nay, pray, be free with me ; you may 
do me a fervice." 

Friend: "Let me put the previous queftion then, 
as they fay in the Houfe : Did you buy them your 

Gentleman : 


Gentleman : " Why truly, 'tis an important queftion ; 
to tell you the truth, I did not." 

Friend: " I thought fo indeed." 

Gentleman : " Nay, if I had, it might have been 
worfe ; for I do not underfland them at all. I love a 
good ftory in a picture and a battle or a fea peace (!) ; 
but as for the performance, the painting, I have no 
notion of it ; any body may impofe upon me." 

Friend: " And I doubt you have been impofed upon, 

Gentleman : " I hope not, for I trufted a very good 

Friend: "Ay, he might be a friend; but had he a 
good judgement himfelf?" 

Gentleman : " He is mighty curious that way, I 
affure you, and fayes no man can deciev him." 

Friend: "Nay, they muft have deciev'd him, if they 
fold him thofe peices for originals ; or it muft be 

Gentleman : " I underftand you I believ ; but I have 
an entire confidence in my friend ; he would not impofe 
upon me himfelf." 

Friend: " Nay, he muft have impof'd upon you one 
way or other." 

Gentleman : " How do you mean ? I don't under- 
ftand you now." 

Friend: " Why, if he has not impof'd on you in the 
price, he has impof'd on you by telling you he had a 
good judgment ; for it is apparent either he has abuf 'd 
you, or has been greatly abuf'd himfelf. I hope they 
coft you but little." 

Gentleman : " You furprife me, I affure you ; they 
coft me a great deal of money." 

Friend : " I am fure you furprife me ; for there is not 
three peices of them that deferv the name of pictures, 
or that are fit to be feen in fuch a houfe as this." 

Gentleman : 


Gentleman : " Well you do me a fervice, indeed ; 
for I had given him order to buy a great many 
more at an au<5tion that is to begin in a very few 

Friend ': " But, perhaps, he may do better for you. 
Pray, don't let me hinder any body." 

Gentleman : " Not hinder any body cheating me ? 
Say no more of that; I find I am cheated enough 
Already. Why he has had 300 of me, and now may 
call for as much more ; for I have not ftinted him." 

Friend: " What's 300 to you ! " 

Gentleman : " Nay, hold there ! tho 5 .300 won't hurt 
me much, yet I hate to be cheated. I had rather giv 
^500 away to an honeft man than be cheated of one." 

Friend: "I confefs I fhould not like to be impof'd 

Gentleman : " A man not onely lofes his money, but 
is taken for a fool, too, by the very man that cheats 
him. Now, I am fool enough in many things, but I 
hate to be thought a fool, and loofe my money, too. 
I'll fend him a letter imediately, if the poft is not gone, 
to prevent his buying any more." [He calls a fervant 
who comes in imediately y\ " Here, Watley." 

Gentleman: "Go, call the ftewart hither, bid him 
come this moment." 

Servant : " Yes, Sir." [His fervant goes out, and he 
calls him back^\ 

Gentleman : " Hold, Watley, come hither. Is the 
poft gon by ? " 

Servant : " I believ not, Sir. Tis not his time by 
an hour, and I think he has not call'd, I did not hear 
him." [Note : The poft boy going alhvays by his door 
bloitfd his horn as he came near, and then caWd at the 
gate to kno* if they had any letters^ 

Gentleman : " Well, call the fleward then." 

Servant ; 
1 MS. imedately. 


Servant : " Yes, Sir." [He calls thejleward, who comes 
in immediately^ 

Gentleman : " Here M r , go and write a letter 

to M r W . . . . immediately, and forbid him buying me 
any more pictures till farther orders." 

Steward : " Shall I write it in my own name as by 
your order, or will your worfhip pleafe to fign it ? " 

Gentleman : " I'll fign it. Write it in my name 
pofitiv, but do it immediately before the poft is gone." 

Steward: "Yes, Sir. I'll bring it prefently." 

[ The fteivard goes out. 

Friend: "Had you not better write it your felf? 
He may perhaps think you are the more in earneft." 

Gentleman : " If I fet my hand to it that's as well. 
Befides, / write letters ? No, no, you miftake me very 

Friend ' : " I beg your pardon, Sir; indeed, I fhould 
have known better. What need you trouble yourfelf ! " 

Gentleman: "If that were all, I fhould not think fo/. 48. 
much of the trouble. But you miftake the cafe I tell 
you. I can't write ; I don't write a letter once a year, 
nor wou'd not do it once in feaven years, if I cou'd 
help it." 

Friend: "How can you live? Why, you can't cor- 
refpond with your friends." 

Gentleman : " That's true, and I don't correfpond 
with 'em for that reafon, or but very little." 

Friend: "Then you lofe the greateft pleafure of 

Gentleman : " It is fo, indeed ; but I can't help it." 

Friend: " I wonder fuch an a<5liv, brifk, fpirited 
gentleman as you are can be fo. Why, 'tis nothing 
but meer indolence." 

Gentleman : " Hufh ! Never mencion it any more. 
I am afham'd to hear it, but 'tis no indolence I affure 
you. I never was a lazy fellow in my life." 

Friend ' : 


Friend: "What can it be then ? You write a good 
fair hand." 

Gentleman : " I write indifferently. I can fet my 
name, and that's enough for a gentleman." - 

Friend : " I think I have feen letters from you." 

Gentleman: "I don't kno'; if you have, it has been 
but very feldome." 

Friend: "I kno' you country gentlemen don't love 
any trouble. You kno' nothing but pleafure in the 

Gentleman : " You Ihould fay you kno' that we 
country gentlemen are good for nothing and bred to 
nothing but to be meer country bl s." 

Friend: "No, not fo ; the gentlemen are not all- 
ways fchollars, but then they have lefs need of learn- 
ing ; for they have good eftates, and fo have the lefs 
need of it." 

Gentleman : " I differ from you in that part ex- 
tremely. I think we have the more need of it, becaufe 
we have the greater opportunityes to improv it and 
make ufe of it." 

Friend: " You are rich, and the eftate makes up the 
lofs to a vaft advantage." 

Gentleman : " Yes, we are rich and f . . . . s. 
There's a rare ballance. 1 Heaven is righteous not to 
giv his bleffings in unequall fhares, as I read lately 
an unlucky verfe or two made upon two fool gentle- 
men in this country, much fuch a one as I am : 

Wife Providence to poife the town thought fit \ 
Gave them eftates, but bated it in wit" 

Friend : " You are too keen upon your felf. Tis 
none of your character, I am fure, what ever it may be 
of your neighbours." 

Gentleman : " You are very kind to judge the beft ; 

1 MS. ball*. 


but you don't remember that my father, according to 
the laudable practife of the time, divided his bounty 
betwen his two fons, gave my brother Jack the brains, 
and me the eftate." 

Friend ' : " I don't underftand you." 

Gentleman : " You are not fo dull, onely you are fo 
mannerly, you can't fpeak plain. I tell you he bred 
Jack to be a fchollar and a man of fence, fent him to 
Winchefter School and from thence to Oxford, and 
now he is as bright a fellow as moft in the country ; 
he's fit for the Court or the State or the camp or any 
thing ; and for me, he left me to be brought up to 
nothing, that is fay, to be a gentleman." 

Friend : " A gentleman, well ; and can you be 
better ? Han't you a vaft eftate ? An't you rich ? " 

Gentleman : " Yes, I am rich ! Did you ever read / 49 . 
the Bible?" 

Friend: "The Bible? Why, what does that fay to 
the cafe?" 

Gentleman : " Why, it tells you that the rich glutton 

went to the D . I wonder where the rich fools 

muft go." 

Friend: "You are pleaf'd to be merry, but you are 
too keen upon your felf." 

Gentleman : " Merry with my own diffafters ! the 
more of a fool ftill ; but hold, here's the letter come." 

[ The fteward brings the letter, and he reads it, 
but does not like feme part of it, and made him 
add or alter fomething in it ; then gave him 
direccions for the fuper-fcripcion, and feting his 
hand to the letter fent him out again. 

Friend: "Why, now, Sir, in my opinion you have 
had allmoft as much trouble about this little note, for 
it is not above threer (Jic) or four lines, as if you had 
written it yourfelf." 

Gentleman : " So I have, and I would not have put 

I my 


my felf to all that trouble, if I could have done it 
my felf." 

Friend : " It is all a myftry to me. I don't under- 
ftand it" 

Gentleman : " Why, then I'll explain the mighty 
difficulty to you. The plain truth is I can't fpell ; I 
can't write true Englifh." 

Friend: " I'm anfwer'd. That's a defecl: I confefs." 
Gentleman : " And fuch a defecl: as I am afham'd 
of, but I can't help it ; 'twas no fault of mine." 

Friend: "But, Sir, 'tis fo generall a defecl;, too, 
that it need not afflict you ; for where is there one 
gentleman in ten that can write good * Englifh ? " 

Gentleman : " That may be ; but not one in ten of 
them that write bad Englifh, write it fo bad as I do ; 
but I take care no body fhall know it." 

Friend : " But you mufl write fome letters, and one 
will difcover it as well as one thoufand." 

Gentleman : " But I have a way for that too ; for 
if I am oblig'd to write a letter I diclate the fubftance, 
and then make the fteward write it, who, as you fee, 
writes very fine and fpells well too ; fo, when he is 
gone and thinks his letter is fent away, I go into his 
room, and coppye it over carefully, and fend it away, 
as if it were my own, and fo I learn to fpell." 
Friend : " That's very troublefome to you." 
Gentleman : " It is fo ; but what can I do ? " 
Friend : " Do ? why, I'd write, let it be how it will ; 
'tis what many gentlemen do as well as you, and 'tis 
reckon'd no difgrace to them." 

Gentleman : " No, I can't do that. I kno' fo much 
of the defecl:, and how fcandalous it is ; I can't do it. 
I would not write a letter to brother Jack for ^500." 

Friend: " You have mannag'd well, to conceal it 
from your own brother all this while." 

Gentleman : 
1 In MS. a shorthand abbreviation. 


Gentleman : " I have taken an effectuall way, for I 
never write to him at all." 

Friend : " I can not think but with a little pra&ife, 
obfervation, reading, and remembring, you would get 
over that difficulty." 

Gentleman : " No, never ! Befides, I have no memory 
for fuch things." 

Friend: "Engaging your mind a little would bring 
the memory. Any body may learn to fpell by frequent 
reading and writing, obferving how words are fpelt, and 
remembring it." 

Gentleman : " Then I lhall never learn to fpell I'm 
fure ; for I hate reading. But befides if I could write 
true Englifh, ftill I fhould write no letters." 

Friend : " That mufl be all rneer indolence ; it can 
be nothing elce." 

Gentleman : " O you are quite miftaken. Still 
there's another reafon worfe than all that" 

Friend : " I am left to guefs, indeed, but I fee 
nothing to guefs from ; it muft be that you would not 
take the pains : it can not be that you would not 
converfe with your friends." 

Gentleman: "No, indeed, 'tis neither of them, 
much lefs the latter ; for I fhould love to converfe with 
my friends by letters extremely." 

Friend: " I think 'tis one of the great pleafures of 

Gentleman : " I think fo too, and I envy the 
pleafure of it to others, becaufe I can not enjoy it 
my felf." 

Friend: "I do not underftand you. I don't doubt 
your friends write to you fometimes. You can not 
but write again." 

Gentleman : " They did write to me formerly, but 
they don't now. I have tyr'd them out with not 
anfwering them." 



Friend: "Tis all owing to the life of pleafure you 
liv ; you are too volatile. I kno' feverall gentlemen 
are juft the fame, tho' they can fpell well enough, too ; 
but they hate to write : they can't fit flill long 

Gentleman : " Well, but that is not my cafe ; but 
fmce you will have my dark fide, you muft ; and to tell 
you the truth, I have another defect worfe than want 
of fpelling : I don't underfland things ; I write no ftile, 
I han't words. I am afham'd to tell you what nonfence 
I write." 

Friend : " You may have a meaner opinion of your- 
felf than you fhould have. You are too modefb ; you 
can not want words when you kno' the fubftance of 
what you would fay." 

Gentleman : " I tell you I can't exprefs things ; I 
kno' what I mean ; but is it not poffible to underftand 
myfelf, tho' I can't exprefs it in proper language ? " 

Friend : " Yes, I allow that if you were to write to 

/. 50. great perfons or upon publick affairs and things of 

great importance ; but in ordinary converfation any 

thing will do. Familiar friends are wrote to in a 

familiar flile." 

Gentleman : " Look you, I ought allways to write 
like my felf, that is, like what I fhould be, not what I 
am. In fhort, who ever I write to I fhould not write 
like a fool." 

Friend : " You can't write like a fool." 

Gentleman : " I muft write like what I am, and 
therefore I don't write at all." 

Friend : " If you write like what you are, you muft 
write like a gentleman." 

Gentleman : " Yes, like an untaught, ignorant gentle- 
man, that, as I told you, has been bred to nothing but 
idlenefs and pleafure ; is not that to be a f. ... ?" 

Friend ' : " Well, Sir, you may fay what you pleafe of 



your felf ; but the world does not take you for what 
you are pleaf'd to call your felf. Every body knows 
you to be a man of fence." 

Gentleman : " That is to fay I am no idiot, not a 
drivler ; but I kno' my weak part, tho' I conceal it as 
artfully as I can ; but I tell you I am an ignorant, 
untaught, uneducated thing ; and that I call a fool in 
a gentleman, tho' I may not be what you call a meer 
natural fool." 

Friend : " The very fence of your deficiency is a 
token of a vafl capafcity ; how elce should you fee it ? 
Reall fools always think them felves wife enough." 

Gentleman : " You take fome pains to have me think 
my felf lefs a fool than I am ; but that does not reach 
my cafe. Let me have what genius or what naturall 
capafcities I will, I have the mifery of feeing myfelf a 
fool, thus far namely, that I have been taught nothing. 
You fee I can't fpell my own mother tongue. My 
father " 

Friend: " I believ, indeed, it lyes all there. Your 
father did not do his part : 'twas no fault of yours." 

Gentleman : " My father did as other gentlemen do. 
He took care to leav his fon a good eftate, and that 
he thought was enough for a gentleman : my grand- 
father did the fame by him, and rny great ^grand-father 
the like, fo that we have been a generation of " 

Friend: "Dear Sir, hold! let the dead be as the 
dead fhould be, I mean, forgotten ; they have done 
noble things for you other wayes. ^3000 a year ! is 
not that enough to make up all and to ftop the mouth 
of all complaint ? " 

Gentleman : " No, it is not. What is an eftate when 
the heir is a blockhead ? A full purfe with an empty 
head ; much money, no brains. I would freely now part 
my eftate into two, and giv half of it to my brother 



Jack to have half his learning and fence and knowlege 
of things in the room of it" 

Friend: "I doubt not but he would come into it, if 
it were practicable." 

Gentleman : " No, indeed, you wrong him there too. 
He values his educacion I affure you. His learning is 
not fo ill beftow'd on him ; he would not be a fool for 
all my eftate." 

Friend: "But, Sir, you that have fuch a fence of 
the defect of your education and of the want of learn- 
ing, might in my opinion retriev it very much, at leaft 
fo much as to fupply the more ordinary ufes of it 
in writing and converfacipn ; you are not an old 
man ! " 

Gentleman : " Which way ? How is it poffible ? 
Tho' I am not an old man, I am too old to go to 

Friend : " There are wayes to recover fome part of 
what has been loft with-out going to fchool, and this 
puts me in mind of another thing that I thought was 
/. 51- wanting in your new houfe, and 1 which, indeed, was 
what I meant when I faid at firft there was fome thing 

Gentleman : " What was that, pray ? a chappel ? I 
kno* you are fo devout. You would have God's houfe 
and the manfion houfe be all but one roof." 

Friend: "It may be f o ; but you miftake me. I 
kno' the parifh church is but juft at your elbow. I 
think you have a door out of your garden into the 
church yard." 

Gentleman : " Nay, I have a door out of my very 
houfe into it. They won't have farr to carry me to 
my laft lodgeing with my anceftors. But you fay you 
did not mean a chapell ; pray, what was it then ? " 

Friend: "Why, it is a room for your library." 

Gentleman : 
1 MS. an. 


Gentleman : " O dear, my library ! now you banter 
me to fome purpofe." 

Friend : " Indeed, I did not defign it fo, and I hope 
you will not take it that way ; but as it is what all 
gentlemen that ever I converft with have, I did not 
doubt but you would have the fame." 

Gentleman : " Yes, my library deferves a room on 
purpofe. I think I'll fhow it you by and by. Why, 
I have no books. What fhould I do with them?" 

Friend : " But your father Sir 1 Anthony had a library, 
I don't doubt." 

Gentleman : " Yes, I'll giv you a catalogue of them. 
There was a great Bible, the regifter of the houfe, 
where all the nativityes and the burials of the family 
were recorded for about a hundred years paff't, with 
three mafs books ; for my grandfather was a Roman 
Catholic ; and not to leav out the moft valuable things : 
there was the old ballad of Chevy Chace fet to very 
good mufic, with Robin Hood and fome more of the 
antient heroes of that kind ; an 2 old bafe viol, two 
fiddles, and a mufic book ; there was alfo four or fiv 
folio Common Prayer Books, which ufed to lye in our 
great feat in the church, which I took away and put 
new ones in their room, and the old Book of Martyrs 
lyes in the church ftill." 

Friend: "But I hope you have added to the ftock 

Gentleman : " Not I ! What fhould I do with books ? 
I never read any. There's a heap of old journals and 
news letters, a bufhell or two, I believ ; thofe we have 
every week for the parfon and I to talk over a little, 
while the doctor fmokes his pipe." 

Friend : " O but, Sir, no gentleman is without a 
library. 'Tis more in fafhion now than ever it was." 

Gentleman : " I hate any thing that looks like a cheat 


1 ^. ~ am MS. 


upon the world. What ever I am, I can't be a hypocrite. 
What fhould I do with books that never read half an 
hour in a year I tell you ? " 

Friend: "But, Sir, if a gentleman or any relation 
comes to your houfe to ftay any time with you, 'tis an 
entertainment for them, and a gentleman fhould not be 
without it, indeed ; befides 'tis a handfome ornament." 

Gentleman : " Why, if any of my friends come to fee 
me, I entertain them with a good table and a bottle of 
good champaign ; and for their diverfion I fhow them 
fome fport. We have allwayes fome thing or other in 
feafon in the field, either hunting or fhooting, or fetting 
or riming. We never want game of one fort or other, 
and if they are men of books and talk learnedly, that's 
out of my way ; and I fay to 'em, ' Come let's go vifit 
the vicar ;' fo away we go to the parfonage, and the 
Doctor has a good library, and, what is better than all 
his books, keeps a cup of good liquor, as he calls it, for 
fecond rate drinking, and if we think of wine I fend 
home for the butler, and he fupplyes, fo that the parfon 
has the credit of it." 

Friend: "That's very kind to the Doctor, indeed." 

Gentleman : " I mould not be a true patron if I 
ftarv'd the incumbent." 

Friend : " This is a good way I confefs to divert 
your friends, but yet a gentleman of your figure fhould 
not be without a library. Befides you may have fons 
to bring up. I fancy you will not be for bringing them 
up without learning, you have fo much fence of the 
/. 51 b. want of it yourfelf." 

Gentleman : " No, indeed, I have but one boy yet 
tho' I may have more : but if I have twenty I'll make 
them all fchollars if I can." 

Friend : " You are very much in the right of it. 
The eftate will not become them the lefs." 

Gentleman : " I am refolv'd in that. I'll be the laft 



dunce of the race. We have had ignorant heires 
enough allready." 

Friend : " Well, Sir, than 'tis but buying a parcell 
of books a few yeares before-hand ; for your fon will 
underftand them, and delight in them too, perhaps, 
tho' you don't ; and he may never kno', it may be, that 
his father did not neither." 

Gentleman : " You are in the right there, indeed ; 
well I am refolv'd to get fome books when I go up 
to London. I think I'll lay out the money in books 
that I intended to lay out in pictures ; for tho' I 
underftand neither of them, I can't be cheated fo much 
in the books as I have been in the other." 

Friend : " No, no. The price of books is generally 
prety well known. Any bookfeller will direct you in 
what will foit 1 your library." 

The gentleman and his friend had more difcourfe of 
this kind and of other things remote from my purpofe, 
which I therefore omit ; but the jeft of all this is ftili 

Some time after this vifit the gentleman being in 
London and going thro' S 1 Paul Church Yard, he was 
put in mind of his former defign for a library by the 
feverall bookfellers' fhops which he faw there ; fo he 
walks gravely quite thro', looking earneftly into every 
fhop, but went into none of them. Faffing into 
Ludgate Street he remembr'd that he had feen feverall 
of the fame trade in Pater Nofter Row ; fo he turns up 
Ave Maria Lane, and comes to Pater Nofter Row. The 
firft fhop on his left hand was the famous Mr. 
Bateman's, a fhop well known for old and fcarfe books 
of learning and antiquity and in moft languages ; but 
looking into the fhop and finding the books were 
generally old and dufty and lay in heaps on the 
counters and on the floore, out of all order, he did 



not like them by any means ; fo walks on and thro* 
the Row, and comes into the Church Yard again at 
the east end of it, next to Cheap-fide. 

At length feeing a large fliop and well ftor'd with 
books, he ftopp'd and look'd earneftly at them ; and a 
grave, fober-look'd, gentleman-like bookfeller being in 
the mop, he invited him in with the ufuall compliment, 
" Will you pleafe to walk in, Sir, and fee if I have any 
thing you have occafion for ? " The gentleman goes 
and fitts down, takes up a book or two, and look'd on 
them ; but, as he faid himfelf, he look'd more at the out- 
fide than at the infide, but lay'd them down again, and 
all this while faid nothing. 

After fome time and looking pretty much round 
him, he gets up, and takeing a turn or two in the mop 
he calls to the matter of the mop. " Pray, Sir," fayes 
he, " what fhall I giv you for all the books upon that 
fide of your fliop." It feems the books look'd all fair 
and new, and were moft of them or many of them 
guilded and letter'd on the back. 

The book-feller was perfectly furprifd at firft, and 
could not tell what to make of it. He faw he look'd 
/. 52. like a gentleman, had two foot-men with him and a 
fword, and he was loth to afk him if they were for fale. 
He did not look like a bookfeller, fo that the man was 
at a lofs what to anfwer and ftood mute for fome time. 

Upon this the gentleman afks him again, and point- 
ing out the fhelves with his cane fhow'd him in 
particular what books he defign'd. " Sir," fayes the 
bookfeller, " there are duplicates of many of them, and 
I fuppofe you would not have them unforted fo as they 
lye there." 

It was an unhappy anfwer in the cafe, the gentle- 
man not underftanding what he meant by the word 
duplicate ; but to put off 1 difcourfing of that or any 

1 o/'m MS. 


thing elce that might difcover his ignorance, but 
obferving the quantity, and that they would make a 
handfome fhow in a library, he turns fhort, and, as if 
he had been a little angry, he fayes to the book-feller : 
" Look ye, Sir, it's no matter what they are or what 
I am to do with them ; my quefbion is what you will 
take for them all together juft as they ftand." 

The bookfeller replyes with the uttmoft civillity, 
being you may be fure mighty willing to take his 
money, that he afk'd his pardon for what he had faid ; 
if he pleafd to giv him leav juft to run them over 
and cafl them up, he would tell him the value of them, 
but that he could not well make an eftimate of them 
at a lump. 

"Well," fayes the gentleman, "then I'll come again 
to-morrow morning." 

" No, Sir," fayes the bookfeller, " you need not giv 
your felf that trouble ; if you pleafe to fit down and 
read any thing you like, I'll look them over enough 
for me in a quarter of an hour." 

N.B. The bookfeller was loth to part with fuch a 
cuftomer, leaft he fhould not come again ; otherwife he 
would have been glad to have had him gone and come 
again, that he might have fhifted fome other books into 
the place that he was very willing to put off with the 

But, in a word, the gentleman fits down very 
paciently, made as if he read a book, but chiefly eyed 
the book-feller to fee how he mannag'd the taking 
account, which he, knowing moil of the books by their 
out-fides, was not long about, but came to his place 
behind the counter, and cafting up the value, "Sir," fayes 
he, " the books will come to a great deal of money." 

"Well," fayes the gentleman, "if you are for fright- 
ing me away, I can go to another fhop. Pray, how 
many thoufand pounds do they come to ?" 



" No, Sir," fayes he, " not to thoufands neither ; but 
they are the better half of my fhop." 

" Well, well," fayes the gentleman. " I am no book- 
feller, and fo you may fuppofe I don't underftand them. 
But I have l feen a bookfeller's fhop before now." 

N.B. This he faid to amufe the book-feller, as he 
afterwards expreff't it, that he might not fuppofe him 
fo ignorant as he really was, and that he might fuppofe 
he knew what he was doing, tho' in reallity he did not. 

After fome preamble and his preffing the bookfeller 
to let him kno' what he demanded, the man very 
gravely anfwer'd him that they came to 346 pound. 

" Come, come," fayes the gentleman, " lay your 
hand upon your heart, and tell me the laft price you 
will make and of which you will abate nothing." 

" Sir," fayes the bookfeller, " upon a fuppofition of 
ready money which at this time is a fcarfe thing with 
tradefmen, I'll abate you the odd fixpounds." 

"Look you, Sir," fayes the gentleman, for he was 
willing to make ftill a fliow of underftanding things, 
" let me fee j^our catalogue of them." 

" Alas ! Sir," fayes the bookfeller, " you can't read it, 
'tis onely made up in our fhop marks, which will be all 
Arabick to you. No man aliv can read them but our 

/. 53- " Come then," fayes the gentleman, " I'll make fhort 
work with you. As for credit and trufting, you fhali 
not truft me very long : I fhall giv you fatiffaccion 2 upon 
that head quickly ; but tell me upon your honefty and 
the word of an honeft bookfeller, Have you rated the 
books at a fair price, fuch as they are 3 ordinarily 
fold at." 

"Yes, indeed, Sir, I have, and I will appeal to any 
one's knowlege of the trade." 


1 have is omitted in MS. 
. 2 Abbreviated. s In MS. are is omitted. 


" Why then, Sir," fayes the gentleman, " there's 330 
for you," so he gave him bank notes 300 of the 
money and the reft in gold, and abated him no more 
than fixteen pounds of what he afk'd. 

The bookfeller hum'd and haw'd a little by way of 
grimace at abateing the ten pound, but after a very few 
words took his money. The books were taken down, 
pack'd up in cafes, and went down by fea to South- 
ampton, 1 and from thence by land to the gentleman's 
fine houfe ; where a room haveing been appointed 
before hand for that purpofe, they were all in a very 
few dayes fet up in their order in preffes made on 
purpofe with glafs doores before them, that they might 
appear in all the extraordinary forms of a library. 

How the honeft, well meaning gentleman was con- 
vinc't of the weaknefs of his mannagement, how amam'd 
he was when it was difcovr'd to him, and above all, 
with what modefty and caution, to prevent any public 
refleccion, the difcovery was made to him by his 
honeft, ingenuous friend, the fame who had prevented 
his being abufed in the buying his pictures : all thefe 
for brevity fake I omit as being not fo directly to 
my prefent purpofe, tho' otherwife they would make a 
very agreeable and diverting part in the ftory. 

I might fill up this whole work in examples of this 
kind, and make the undertaking be a meer fatyr upon 
the Englifti gentry, expofing the miftakes in their 
educacion by the confequences in their behaviour and 
illuftrating the propofition which I am upon, namely, 
that our gentry, 2 I mean our born gentry, 2 as they call 
themfelves, are really fcandaloufly ignorant and un- 
taught, weak in parts, becaufe unafifted by early and 
prudent inftruccion, and weak in conduct, becaufe 
not early warn'd and caution'd by the counfel of their 
guides to avoid the follys and errors of life, and weak 

1 MS.S Hmpton. 2 G. 


in morals for want of being eftablifh'd early in good 
principles and brought to a regular life by the difcipline 
and authority of their inftru6lors. 

But it is not the defign to expofe even thefe 
miftakes, 1 however fcandalous and offenfiv, any farther 
than is absolutely neceffary to reform them and to 
bring the unhappy practice out of ufe among us ; that 
the gentlemen of England may not have that alloy to 
their felicity to be the onely men in the world that 
are compleatly happy and compleatly miferable at the 
fame time, bleft and unbleft, empty and full, the 
glory and pride of their familyes, and yet the fhame 
and reproach of their country and of themfelves too. 

It is true, 'tis an evill that can not be remedy'd 
for the prefent generacion, I mean, for the heires in 
pofeffion ; the mifchief has taken root there too deep 
to be remov'd ; there's no fending the gentlemen 
to fchool after they are marry'd, or giving them 
tutors when they have gott tutoreffes ; that would be 
a kind of begging them, as 'tis call'd, for ideotifme, 
and bringing them back to a ftate of infancy and 
pupillage, which will hardly be found practicable. 

Befides, a profeff'd contempt of knowlege and 
learning has fo far engroff 'd the minds of the people, 
I fpeak of them as after their being, as it were, 
brought up in an indulg'd indolence from the cradle, 
that 'tis not to be attempted ; it would be abfurd 
but to mencion it ; you muft firft convince them that 
'tis a defect, before you can hope to prevail on them 
to fupplye it ; and you will find that as hard to do 
as to perfwade a negro that a white woman can be a 
beauty. In-bred vice will never relifh exotic virtue ; 
if the gentleman can not firft believ his ignorance is 
an infelicity, he will be very hardly brought to defire 
a change and far lefs to endeavour it. 

1 MS. mi/lake. 


But one would think it might not be fo hard 
to perfwade the prefent age to reform this evil for 
their pofterity, and to prevail with them that their 
children may not curfe the memory of their fathers 
for not furnifhing their heads as well as their pockets, 
as too many of the gentlemen of this age have 
allready done by thofe that went before them ; and 
this may be part of the fubje6l of the next chapter. 



/ 55- Of what may be the imJiappy confequences of this generall 
defect in the education of our gentry, and a rational 
propofall for preventing thofe confequences. 

IS I faid in the conclufion of the laft 
chapter, the evill is too far fpread to be 
corre<5led in the prefent generation, fo that,, 
in fhort, I doubt we mufl giv up this age 
(as the officers of Bedlam do in the cafe of obftinate 
lunacy) for incurable. 

Hence I fhould have laid afide all the fatyr upon 
their conduct ; for to what purpofe fhould we talk to 
people of what is pafft remedy, what is too far gone 
to be cur'd, and what is out of their power to help ? 
/. S3 b. But there is a particular reafon in this cafe, which 
comes in the way of our good nature and makes it 
neceffary to expofe thefe things, how ever hard it may 
feem to run upon the perfons and whoever the cenfure 
may light upon ; and this is the reall danger of the 
fpreading of this contagion. Nothing is more naturall 
than that it fhould go on from father to fon, if fome 
remedy be not applyed ; and what remedy can be 
apply'd, if the pacients difpife the phyfick ? In a word, 
the pra&ife, however fcandalous, will never be cur'd, if 
the naked part of it be not expof'd, fo that we are 
bound to fhow the fcandal of what is paft, to prevent 



the mifchief of what is to come. Their eyes, there- 
fore, muft be open'd to the abfurdity of the fathers' 
conduct that it may be reftifyed by the children. 

How fhall we perfwade thofe gentlemen not to bring /. 55. 
their fons up in the fame ignorance, which they think 
is fo far from being a fcandal, that 'tis the ornament of 
a gentleman ? How fhall we prevail with them to giv 
their eldefb fons any learning, while they think 'tis 
below their quallity ? In fhort, while they infift that 
it is a degrading and difhonour to their elder children 
to go to fchool, to fubmit to difcipline and government, 
to be tyed up to the College orders and the regular 
living at the Univerfities ; that books are the work- 
men's tools, and that the profeffors of the fublimeft fci- 
ence are but the mechannicks and workmen that make 
ufe of them: I fay, while this madnefs reigns, what/. 53*- 
can we pretend to do with them, and what hope can 
we entertain of the next age ? except it be this, that 
the modern gentry, of whom I am yet to fpeak, will in 
time fhame them out of it and bring learning and good 
educacion fo much in fafhion, that they muft come into 
it at laft or be voted infamous, be hiff 't off of the ftage 
of life, be diffown'd for meer ignorance, and be no more 
rank't among the gentry : a happy time, which I have 
good reafon to think is not very farr off. 

It is true, the obftinacy of the prefent age is a 
terrible obftacle, and intimates that they will make a 
very great refiftance in defence of antient ignorance. 
The party is ftrong, and the error, however grofs, is 
deep rooted. They feem not onely willing to liv and 
dye f . . . s, but to encorporate the privelege of continu- 
ing fo among the Englifh liberties, which they fay they 
are bound to hand down to their pofterity facred and 
untouch't, as they reciev'd 1 them from their renowned, 
untaught, rough hewen anceftors. 


1 MS. raV, as often. 


This riveted averfion, then, to inftruccion and to all 
forts of improvment being fuch, and we feeming fo 
tenacious of it that we will take up arms for it and to 
defend it even againfl common fence and in fpite of 
the importunityes of our reafon : it feems neceffary 
to combat the mifchief in its prefent ftate of obftinacy ; 
if poffible, to weaken its defences, and take fome of its 
caftles and fortificacions, that it may be the better 
dealt with in the open field and in a generall battle. 

Nor will anything elce do it. How fhall it be 
poffible to make the next age wife men if their fathers 
refolv they fhould be fools ? How fhall the pofterity 
learn if the anceflry won't fend them to fchool ? Tis 
a neceffity therefore that we fhould begin here firft. If 
/. 55. the begining is wrong, how can we hope to be right in 
the conclufion ? In a word, while we can not cure the 
prefent age of this madnefs, is it likely, or indeed 
poffible, we fhould prevent the contagion fpreading to 
the ages to come ? Fools encreafe folly, as dwarfs 
beget pigmies. The grievance I complain of is a kind 
of national lunacy ; it fpreads in the climate, and feems 
, to be as peculiar to our ifland as the wool is to our 
fheep. It grows up with us from father to fon, has 
defcended to us from our anceftors from the Conqueft ; 
'tis an hereditary ftream of folly, and we are wedded to 
it juft as the Ruffes were to their beards and long 
petticoates, which when the late Czar oblig'd them to 
cut off, and drefs and fhave like all the other Chriflian 
nacions, they call'd it an odious tyranny and begg'd the 
officers to fhoot them rather than make them change 
the cuftomes of their forefathers ; or like the Irifh that 
took arms againfl the Englifh government (tyranny 
they call'd it alfo), becaufe they might not draw their 
liorfes by the tayls till they murther'd the poor beafts, 
but oblig'd them to ufe harnefs, in which the creatures 
could draw fiv times as much and with pleafure, 



whereas the other was putting them to work in pain 
and torture. 

It is in vain to complain that we injure the gentle- 
men of England, when we call it an obftinacy equally 
abfurd with thefe. The event will beft fhovv their 
reluctance at the change ; and as for the abfurdity it 
felf, I think 'tis evident theirs is infinitely worfe : to 
efpoufe ignorance on pretence of quallity, what can be 
like it in the world ? No Ruffian ftupidity was ever 
more grofs in its nature or half fo bad in its con- 

Befides, it is entailing an eternal fotifm upon their 
race by the meer right of pofeffion without giving 
their children leav to choofe, as men that purchafe 
eftates fettle them as they think fit. We complain of/. 53*- 
tyranny and arbitrary government, if we find our 
felves oppreffd by the foveraign, and prefently we 
talk of the naturall rights of fubject ; that our libertyes 
are our birth-right and that no government has a 
power to diffmherit us ; that we are fubject to the 
Government we live under, where they govern accord- 
ing to law ; but that the laws of God and Nature are 
fuperior to all regal authority ; that we are certainly 
entitul'd by an indefeizible right to the grants of 
original power and can not be diverted of them with- 
out the greatefl injufbice : and this is all very right, 
and all this argues much ftronger in the cafe before 
us. Tis very hard that it fhould be in the paternal 
monarchy what it is not in the national, and that the 
patriarchal authourity, which, by the way, has been 
fome thoufands of yeares abolifh'd, fhould place an 
abfolute power in the head of the houfe to doom his 
fubjects, that is his children, to be fools or wife men 
by his meer arbitrary will, and, what adds to the in- 
juftice, mould among the line of his pofterity determine 
arbitrarily, this fhall be a fchollar and this a block- 


head, or, to fpeak it in groffer terms, this fhall be the 

wife man, and this a gentleman. 

y- 5 g Befides, here are two a6ls of violence comitted, 
which I muft infill are really not unjuft onely, but an 
infult upon Heaven it felf ; and that cannot be found 
in the patriarchall power, which was an inftitution 
imediately from Heaven and, therefore, could not be 
attended with fuch a commiffion. 

1. Here's a violence upon the free will of the 
perfon ; for the child has certainly a right of option, 
and the father has no juft authourity to deprive him 
of it. 

2. Here's a violence upon Nature, which I call an 
infult on Heaven, and think it very well merits to be 
call'd fo. Here is a kind of rape committed upon the 
genius of the child, impofing a negativ upon him, 
dooming him to ignorance in fpite of a capafcity given 
for knowlege. 

i. A perfonal violence and injuftice to the child. If 
we put a boy out apprentice, nay, tho' it be a charity 
child, 'tis generally left to the lad to choofe his trade ; 
'tis thought a peice l of juftice due to him that his 
genius and inclination may be confulted, becaufe 'tis 
fuppofed he will allwayes improv beft in fuch buffmefs 
as fuites with his capafcities, and that Nature is all- 
wayes the beft judge for it felf. 

Is the poor mechanick, who is born to be a drudge 
and by the imediate fubjeccion to its benefactors 
might be thought bound to fubmit to what they direct; 
I fay, is this flave allowed the freedome of choice in his 
introduccion into the world, and not the gentleman ? 
Should he choofe whether he will be a cobler or a 
barber, a weaver or a butcher, and fhould the heir of 
an eftate, the young gentleman who is by entail to 
inherit thoufands, and perhaps thoufands by the year, 

1 MS. ps, as often. 


fhall he onely be tyed up, and that in the moft 
effential part of life ? 

Shall he that may be fuppof'd to fhare the govern- 
ment with his foveraign, to reprefent his country in 
Parliament, to be cloth'd with commiflions of the peace 
and, perhaps, of war, he that is by birthright a magif- 
trate and a man of quallity, mould he alone not be 
allow'd to choofe whether he fhall be a man of fence or 
a fool ? 

2. Tis a violence upon Nature, and indeed that 
way the hardfhip is in its kind unfufferable, as it is in 
its practice unjuft. If the child has a genius, if Nature 
has furnifli'd him with a fund of fence, with large 
capafcityes, clear thought, a ftrong memory, juft 
images ; if his foul is adapted to inftruccion, receptible 
of due impreffions, and, as it were, prepar'd for know- 
lege of the higheft and befb things ; fhall fuch a head 
be deny'd teaching ? fhall all the parts and capafcities 
of fuch a foul be like a blank book feal'd up that it 
cannot be written upon, or like hard wax, that not 
being brought to the fire can reciev no impreffion ? I 
fay the hardfhip is unfufferable ; and if ever fuch a 
child comes, by any kind turn of life, to attain to fuch 
other improvments as may be attain'd without the 
help of fchools, and after the feafon of fchool learning . 
is, by the parents' neglect, paff't over, the windows of 
the foul come to be open'd, and the perfon fees its 
own defect: : how difmall are the confequences, how 
unhappy is the life ! Unhappy did I call it ? I fhould 
rather have faid, how compleatly miferable is fuch a 
gentleman in the middle of all his hight of fortune ! 

How does he look back for the caufe, and with 
paffion enquire, How came I to be thus ? What, every 
body taught but I ? My brother made a fchollar, fuch 
a mean perfon's fon well taught, well furnifh'd with 
learning, and I onely abandon'd ! Nay, there's fuch a 



poor farmer has bred his fon at the Univerfity, and he 
is now to be a clergy- man, is allready a man of worth, 
and keeps company with the beffc gentlemen ; and I 
am juft now going to giv him fuch or fuch a living 
that is in my gift, becaufe he is a man of extraordinary 
merit and of a great character for his learing and 
fobriety. None bred up fools but I ! I that have the 
inheritance ! I have the eftate, indeed, but what elce 
have I ? How unfinifh'd, how unfurnifh't ! How do I 
look among Gentleman ! How ignorant, how empty, 
when other men much my inferiours come into my 
company ! How handfomely do they difcourfe ! How 
do they reafon and argue upon the niceft things, and 
how acceptable in company of the men of learning ; 
and how do I fit and fay nothing, becaufe I can fay 
nothing to the purpofe, and becaufe knowing my 
infirmity I am loth to expofe my felf, and have juft 
fence enough to avoid faying any thing, that I may 
not talk like a fool ! 

And was my father the occafion of all this ? and 
that willfully, too, on pretence that I was the gentleman 
and muft be the heir ! What ! did my father think 
learning below my quallity ? Can that be below a 
gentleman that is an ornament to a prince ? Is it 
/ 57* poffible my father could be fo ftupid ? Why, then, 

my father was a , was not fit to bring up a 

family, not fit to be trufted with the education of his 

own children, and fhould have been begg'd for a . 

Here he falls out in a rage, rails at the memory of all 
his anceftors, and at even the mother that bore him, 
and like Job in the agony of his affliccion, curfes the 
day in which he was born, and 'tis not feldome that he 
curfes father and mother, too, as I have many times 
feen when the paffions, being raifd by the reproach of 
it, have 1 carry'd him beyond bounds. 

1 MS. has. 


I cou'd giv abundance of examples of this very 
particular part which in the compafs of my own know- 
lege and converfation I have met with ; but I'll fumm / 56 J. 
them up all in the long debate which I my felf had 
with a perfon of diftinccion and of a very antient and 
noble family, whofe cafe really was very moving and 
was the firft and great occafion of this whole work. 

I had the honour frequently to converfe with him on 
other occafions relateing to fome of his family affaires, 
wherein he was attack'd by a parcell of thofe worft of 
thieves call'd projectors, who found abundance of 
chymerick fchemes for the improvement, as they 
call'd it, of his eftate, dreyning fome lands, erect- 
ing manufactories l in fome towns where his eftate 
lay, on pretence of doing good to the country, employ- 
ing the poor, and the like ; but which upon examina- 
cion all appear'd to be meer projects to pick his pocket 
and draw him into things which he did not underftand 
and which really had nothing in them and were onely 
calculated to draw him in and abufe him. 

Thefe projects I unravell'd for him, convinc't him, 
firft, of their being impracticable in their nature, and 
then, put him in a method how to get rid of their 
importunityes by giving them in return fuch a propofall 
as they were not able to anfwer, and which, if comply'd 
with, deftroy'd their whole defign. The fum of the 
matter was this : 

They propofed (i) erecting manufactories 1 in fuch a 
part of the country where his Lordfhipp's eftate lay, 
and employing the people in fuch a manner that fhould 
not onely reliev them, but be a vaft profit to his Lord- 
fhipp for the advance of his money. 

2. They propof'd dreining a large peice of land of 
near 1000 acres, which by reafon of its flat, low fitu- 
acion was generally under water fix or feaven months 


1 MS. M. 


of the year, and, being by that means rendr'd cold and 
wet, was of little ufe and lefs value ; but they propof d 
to make it worth ^500 a year. 

To carry on this profitable undertaking they propofd 
to his Lordfhipp advancing 5000 onely, and that the 
profits fhould be all his own, allowing a very modeft 
fhare to the undertakers. 

The propofall was very fpecious, and if it was 
probable, very well deferv'd the rifque 1 of 5000 ; but 
as I forefaw that the rifque of its being perform'd lay 
all upon my Lord, that their profit was certain and no 
certainty of its being practicable, I drew up the follow- 
ing propofall to be made to them in return to their 
offer, and which I mencion here as a pattern for all 
honeft gentlemen to get rid of projectors by, and on 
that account onely it is to my purpofe in this work ; viz. 

That his Lordfhipp took very well their offer of 
improving his efhate and doing good to the poor, both 
which were things very agreeable to him ; that he was 
very ready to clofe with their propofall, onely with 
fome fmall variation, and that, as he conciev'd, greatly 
to their advantage ; as follows : 

1. That he was ready to advance the ^5000 
demanded, with this difference onely, (viz.) that his 
Lordfhipp thought it too fmall a fum for fo great an 
undertaking, and therefore was willing to advance 
;i 0,000 with-out intereft, that it might be carry'd on 
with the more credit and certainty of fuccefs. 

2. That as his Lordfhipp defir'd none of the 
profitts, which they affur'd him would be fo exceeding 
great, contenting himfelf with the having ferv'd the 
country and helped the poor, fo he was very willing 
they fhould reciev the whole profits of the undertaking, 
and that they mould alfo have the lands when 
fecur'd upon a long leafe at 250 per annum rent, 

1 MS. 


being onely half of what they propof'd, onely defiring 
that he fliould be fecur'd the repayment of the 10,000 
at the end of fo many yeares (I think it was 5 year). 

This was fo fair they could make no objection to 
it, and yet fo clenching upon them that they whofe 
defigne was onely to get the money into their hands, 
that they were wholly diffappointed and had no more 
to fay ; and fo his Lordfhipp got rid of them. 

As this is a digreffion from our fubject, I had not / 54 ?> 
mencion'd it but, as I fay above, that I think it may 
be of ufe for a ftanding direccion to men of quallity 
and eftates, how to mannage themfelves when they 
are befeig'd by projectors with their pickpocket 
fchemes, as this noble perfon was and as gentlemen of 
eftates often are. 

It perfectly delivr'd this noble perfon from the fnare 
of the propofall it felf, which, tho' fpecious in its pretence, 
was really no other than a fraud ; and it delivr'd him 
alfo from the importunity of the people ; and if gentle- 
men, who I fay are generally furrounded with fuch 
people, would take the fame method, (viz.) giv up the 
main of the imaginary profits to the propofers, onely 
infifting to have fecurity for the money to be advanc'd, 
and for fo much of the advantage as is reafonable to 
be referv'd, they would foon fee the projectors would 
forfake them. But I return to the cafe in hand. 

This noble perfon I have mencion'd was born of an 
antient Englifh family, and if it may be call'd fo, had a 
noble eftate alfo. He had likevvife a good genius, fine 
thoughts, a bright, clear head, a great memory, and, in 
a word, was capable of anything ; but, as he faid, in /. 57. 
fpite of the nobillity of his birth, the greatnefs of his 
fortune and family, had the miffortune by a totall neglect 
of his educacion to be robb'd in his youth of all the 
Jewells and ornaments of his birth, as he juftly call'd 



There happened one day to be two very polite and 
well educated gentlemen at his Lordfhipp's table (for 
the difcourfe begun while they were at dinner). They 
had talk'd with his Lordfhipp, while they were eating, 
in the ufuall family chat, and of indifferent things. 
But after the cloth was taken away, or they remov'd 
into another room, being both very good fchollars, they 
fell into difcourfes of more weight, and particularly 
upon fome nice aftronomical difputes much in debate 
at that time in the world, about the appearing of 
comets, and upon the occafion of Dr. Halley's having 
difcovred a comet in our hemifphere. The debate was, 
whether their mocions were in certain and fix'd orbits, 
or whether in the waft of infinite fpace they rang'd 
about as chance directed, till they were burn't out and 
exhaufted like a torch, which being wafted expires and 
is feen no more ; or, laftly, and which, they both inclin'd 
to think, whether they are like the fun conftant and 
continued, and fo may be expected to be vifible juft in 
the fame manner as they were before at the fixt periods 
of their ordinary revolutions, which they concluded 
might not, in fome of them, be till feverall hundred 

They had many fine obfervations of thefe and of 
other different kinds, as well upon this as other fub- 
jects, all finely interfperf d with their difcourfe ; and it 
was exceeding pleafant and diverting to his Lordfhipp 
and the reft of the company to hear them. 

But in the middle of all the difcourfe his Lordfhipp 
turn'd to me having the honour to fit next him : 
" Now, what would I giv," fayes he (afide), and fetch'd 
a deep figh, " to have but one thoufandth part of the 
fence, the knowlege, the wit, and learning of either of 
thofe gentlemen ! " 

" My Lord," fayes I, " as for the fence and wit, your 
Lordfhipp, without any flattry, can not complain ; but 



as to the learning and the improv'd knovvlege which 
they have, 'tis true, they are very ingenious men, and 
they talk well, admirably well : but your Lordfhipp is 
plac'd abov all thefe things. You have no need of 
them.' 3 With that he pull'd me by the fleev : " Come 
hither to me," fayes he ; fo making a fhort excufe to 
the two gentlemen we walk'd into another room. 

" What," fayes my Lord with fome warmth, " are 
you, Mr .... ," and call'd me by my name " one 
of thofe people that think gentlemen of quallity are 
above being taught ? that learning is a diffhonour to 
their dignity and their birth, and that they are to be 
brought up fools, onely becaufe they are rich and have 
eftates or perhaps honours and dignityes ? 

"What the devil," added he, and began to be 
very hot, " muft we be curfd with ignorance becaufe 
we are advanc'd in rank, be made fools becaufe 
we have mony ? Muft none be left untaught and 
uninftructed but we that have eftates? Are lords 
made for fport to the world ? " There he added 
fome hot words, and a hearty curfe or two upon 
the horrid praclife, as he call'd it, all which I leave 

" No, my Lord," faid I, " you can't apply it to your 
felf in fuch a fence as that ; fome men of honour may 
have the mifffortune of weak capafcities in common 
with other people, but your Lordfhipp can not be plac'd 
among that number." 

" What ! " fayes his Lordfhipp, continuing ftill very 
warm, " you mean I am not a naturall fool ; perhaps 
not ! and when you have faid that, you have faid all. 
But I fuppofe my father tooke me for fuch, or elce he 
would certainly have taught me better ; he concluded 
to be fure that I was born a blockhead, and that in- 
ftruccion would make no impreffion upon me, that I 
had no naturall powers and was not capable of learn- 


ing any thing ; or elce, furely, he would have had me 
bred up to fome thing." 

7.58. " Your Lordfhipp is too fevere upon your father," faid 
I, " he cou'd not think fo of you." " What could it be 
then ? " faid he. 

" Be, my Lord ? " faid I, " why, your Lordfhipp knows 
what is the common notion of men of quallity to this 
hour ; and I make no queftion but his Lordfhipp your 
father and, perhaps, your grandfather alfo, were of the 
opinion as others were and are ftill ; that learning is 
of no ufe to a gentleman, that a noble man or a 
gentleman of a great fortune is born for enjoyment, 
born for his pleafures ; that they are plac'd above all 
thefe things, that the world is given them to range in 
with a full ftream of all poffible fatiffaction 1 ; that they 
have nothing to do but eat the fat and drink the fweet, 
to enjoy the fullnefs of all things, gratifying and in- 
dulging themfelves with the abundance 2 of delights; 
that all other things are fubfervient to them ; that 
nature itfelf is directed to flow in upon them with a 
full ftream of felicity ; and they can want no more." 

"You have made a fine brute of a lord, indeed," 
fayes his Lordfhipp ; " I think you have been drawing 
my picture to the life." 

" How can your Lordfhipp entertain fuch a thought," 
faid I ; " there's no manner of fimillitude, I hope, in 
the cafe." 

** I don't fay you intended it fo," fayes my Lord ; 
" but, indeed, I think there is too much fimillitude in 
the circumftances 3 ; the thing is extremely appofite. 
You defcribe my condicion moft exactly. I am one 
of thofe very happy, wretched things ; you have 
painted me out to the life. I am happy, indeed, jufl 
in fuch a manner ; wondrous happy, indeed ! " 

" My Lord," faid I, " I think you are very happy." 

" Happy ! " 
1 Abbreviated. 2 MS. abund a . 3 Abbreviation. 


"Happy?" faid my Lord. "What, happy in being 
ignorant ? a happy fool ? I kno' no fuch animal in 
all God Allmighty's > family." 

"But, my Lord," faid I, "you can not be call'd 
ignorant, much lefs a fool ; that's none of your char- 

" Well, fuppofe for once you mould diflinguifh of 
fools," faid his Lordfhipp, " and that my father was 
miftaken, that is, that I am not a natural, not an ideot, 
as I fuppofe he tooke me to be : yet I am an ignorant, 
an untaught, an uninformed creature. I call fuch a 
man a fool, you may call him a lord, or what you 
will ; the thing is the fame." 

" I think quite otherwife," faid I. " Your Lordfhip is 
fo 2 far from being a naturall, that you can't call your 
felf unhappy on that account ; you have a fuperiour 
genius, a clear thought, a good judgment : you kno' 
the world, have a noble fortune, and may call your 
felf happy on a thoufand occafions that I care not to 
repeat becaufe I would not feem to flatter you." 

" And yet am with all an illiterate, uneducated 
thing, call me what you pleafe. There's two gentle- 
men a talking within in the parlour like two angels : 
why I can't put in a word among them. It is all 
above my underftanding. What was I, or what devil 
pofeff 't my father, that I mould forfeit all inflruccion ? 
why was I forgot when thefe men were taught ? Did 
my father think the dogs and the huntfmen were to 
teach me ? or was I to be inform'd by revelacion and 
infpiration becaufe I was a lord ? I have reafon to 
curfe the memory of thefe things, and the ill fate of 
having a lord to my father. Heaven ! that I had been 
the fon of a private man, fo he had been but a man of 
fence ; then I had been taught like thefe gentlemen ; 
but now I muft be an ignorant creature, becaufe I 


1 MS. almighty's. * fo is struck out in MS. 


was the fon of an ignorant creature. I hate the fon of 
a fool. I had rather have been the fon of a \vhore." 

" My Lord," faid I, " you are in a paffion." 

" It makes me mad," faid he, " to fee the happynefs 
of other men, and the mifery I am condemn'd to. 
They are men of fence, and I am damn'd to non-fence 
and ignorance." 

"You may not have fo much learning, my Lord," 
faid I, " as they ; but you have your happynefs of 
another kind ; and 'tis abundantly made up to you." 

" Yes," fayes my Lord, " I am a very happy fool. 
Why, a ftagg in my 1 park is juft fuch a noble, 
happy creature as I am. He .lyes all the heat of 
the day ftretch't out in the cover, as I do upon my 
couch ; enjoys his full eafe and the uttmoft fatif- 
faccion*; he has grafs in abundance up to his eyes, 
there's wealth. He knows no fuperior, there's honour 
and dignity. He is never difturb'd either with dogs,, 
or guns, or huntfmen, or horn. He is above all fear 
and knows no want ; he difpifes all the creatures 
about him, even the keeper himfelf fears him and 
fhuns the danger of his terrible crefl ; he is proud, 
haughty, fierce, tyrannicall, and to fum up all moft 
compleatly ignorant, and therefore wonderfull happy ;: 
for if he knew his ftation in life, the end of his prefent 
felicity, namely that he is fed up for my table and to 
grace my entertainment, and, abov all, the fate that 
attends him would be an end of all his pleafure at 
once ; if he knew that after all his eafe, his floth, his 
pleafure, when the feafon comes about when he is fatt 
and, as we fay, in good order, his fate will be that he 
is to be run down, and worry'd with dogs ; that his 
death is to be the fport of the family, and even of my 
huntfmen and fervants ; that we fhall all found the 
French horn at his fall and tryumph in his deflruccion - r 

1 Over in my, Red Deer is written. - Abbreviation. 


and that his fine fpread horns are to grace my hall ; 
and that, however innocent he may be, his head will 
be fet up like a traytor's to be flar'd at by the world : 
did he know all this, what would become of all his 
enjoyment, his eafe and pleafure, his pride and 
haughtynefs ? On the contrary, he would pine him- 
felf to death. What would become of his happynefs ? 
Ignorance is, indeed, his uttmoft felicity, and fo you 
feem to defcribe myne too." 

"All things in this world," faid I, "are happy or 
unhappy, great or little, of fhort or long continuance, 
as they are taken in perfpective and feen in a diftant 
or comparativ light. Your Lordfhipp is now made 
uneafie by comparing yourfelf with thefe two gentle- 
men in refpe6l to accquir'd advantages, learning, phylo- 
fophy, and the benefit of education, and in that you 
find they excell. Now you think yourfelf unhappy, 
but you do not bring all your other felicitys into 
the ballance and weigh them together ; but, like 
the generall ufage of the world, you flight the 
fuperior happynefs which you enjoy, onely on account 
of fome fmaller thing which you may think you 

" A pretty extenuating way you have got," faid my 
Lord. " What is all accquir'd knowlege, the fhudy of 
the fublimeft wifdome, the improvement and brightning 
the foul of a man ? Are thefe your fmaller things, and 
is the fence of my own emptynefs, which I fee is reall 
and feel the deficiency of, is this onely thinking I 
want them ? Come, come, my friend," fayes his Lord- 
fhipp, " talk fence, and be plain and honeft. You fee 
thofe gentlemen are men of learning ; they have a vafl 
fund of fublime knowlege, fine thoughts, beautifull 1 
expreflion ; their heads are fill'd with fence ; they 
have, in fhort, all the accomplifhments both of nature 


1 MS. beatifull. 


and education ; and what do I look like among 

"They are men of learning," faid I, "that is plain, 
/ 59- my Lord ; but you have a degree of knowlege, too, 
and that fufficient, tho' not equall to fome." 

"Sufficient?" fayes my Lord, and made a kind of 
flop. " What do you mean by fufficient ? No man 
has fufficient knowlege while there is any thing left to 
kno'. You mean, perhaps, I have knowlege fufficient 
for a lord ? " And with that his Lordfhipp fmil'd a 

" No, my Lord, I cou'd not mean fo. I beg your 
Lordfhipp," faid I, " not to think me rude ; but you 
are pleafd to fix the happynefs of man in certain 
degree of knowlege ; and if fo, there is no man com- 
pleatly happy, unlefs he knows every thing that is 
to be known, or, at leaft, if any man knows more 
than he." 

" And fo I do," fayes my Lord, " with fome few ex- 
cepcions. A man ought never to fit ftill in the uttmoft 
fearch after perfect wifdome any more than in the 
uttmoft fearch after perfeccion of vertue. Can any 
man be happy while he fees another man be mafter of 
fome thing in knowlege which he wants and ought to 
know ? " 

" Then no man on earth can be happy," faid I, " and 
fo your Lordfhipp has brought it to a point that onely 
they are moft happy that have the moft compleat 
knowlege, and fo all are unhappy in wanting fome- 

" Well, and in fome fence it is fo," faid he. 

" But then your Lordfhipp would do well," faid I, 
" to caft up your enjoyment and fee whether you have 
not enough to denominate your felf happy. There are 
few men on earth that want fo little of any thing." 

" You are gone from the point," fayes my Lord ; " I 



have fome things you call enjoyments, and you may 
call them by as great names as you will. Make up 
the account with all the fine words you can, but words 
will never make up things : one is imaginary, the other 
reall. I tell you I want that one thing that is worth 
them all, and that I would now give them all up in 
exchange for ; and that is learning and knowlege : thefe 
I want." 

" Your 1 Lordfhipp," fayes I, "values learning and 
knowlege very juftly in faying they are equall to all 
worldly enjoyments, and fo they are in their fbacion ; 
but then you under-rate the equivalents you have, and 
which have plac'd you out of the reach of other men 
and out of the want of any thing the world can give 
you ; and to talk of an exchange is out of the way, 
becaufe, tho' learning joyn'd with honour and fortune 
would be a great ornament to it, yet feperated from it 
the rate of it would fink in proporcion." 

" You muft giv them their due feperate value for all 
that, and I tell you that learning infinitely over-rates 
the honour. Learning will allways comand honour, but 
titles and , eftate can never accquir wifdom. The rich 
fool may dye a fool and ftill be rich and great, but the 
learned, poor, wife man may dye a lord, and many 
have done fo ; nay, more men in the world have rifen 
from low beginings to the hight of glory by the merit 
of virtue, learning, and great accquirements, than have 
rifen from meer quallity and hereditary honour without 

" I am far, my Lord," faid I, " from endeavouring to 
under-rate the accomplifhments of the mind brightn'd 
by polite educacion ; but, my Lord, I would not have 
your Lordfhipp depreciate the accomplimments you 
have, becaufe you have not the uttmoft attainment of 


1 This and the next paragraph are marked for deletion, but are 
not struck out. 



learning, or of all that is or can be attain'd ; you have 
more than many, and many ways enough for your 
ftacion and dignity. They are gentlemen of learning, 
good fchollars, and men of parts, and you are " 

" I am," faid my Lord haftily and interrupting me, 
" I kno' very well what I am and what they are. 
They are men of fence and learning, glorious parts, and 
wit, and nobly educated; and I am an animal with gay 
titles and high birth, a good eftate, and taught nothing ; 
/ 60. no learning, no acquir'd knowlege, brought up among 
fools and flatterers, taught to take the moft early 
pleafures inftead of drinking in early wifdome, taught 
to talk to dogs and horfes inftead of men, and the 
brutal languages inftead of Greek and Latin." 

" You run too hard upon your felf," faid I, " your 
Lordfhipp has been taught well enough." 

" Well enough for a lord," fayes he, " I fuppofe you 
mean fo. I tell you I have been taught nothing, and 
I kno' nothing compar'd to thofe gentlemen. What a 
noble ftudy is that of aftronomy, the motions and revo- 
lucions of the heavenly bodyes, the great order of the 
fuperior world ! What is it all to me but one univerfall 
blank ! I am left to meer nature, and to the groffeft 
and courfeft concepcions of thofe things in the world, 
and to make the wildeft gueffes at them, fit for wifer 
men to laugh at, like the country-man that being afk't 
by a learned man what he thought all the glorious face 
of the heavens which he faw in a clear ftarlight night 
might be, anfwer'd, it was a great blew blanket all full 
of ilett holes, that it was all fire beyond it, and the fire 
fhone upon us thro' thofe holes, in fome places bigger 
and fome lefs, as the holes were larger and fmaller ; 
as we might fee by that great hole bigger than all the 
reft which was fo wide that the fire came thro' in an 
extraordinary manner ; and he knew it to be all fire, he 
faid, beyond, becaufe he could feel the very heat of it." 



" That a country-man," faid I, " had a very great 
fhare of thought I warrant him." 

"Yes," faid my Lord, "and juft fuch may I or 
another be ; but what is it all without learning, without 
inftruccion ? 'Twas all nature." 

" Nature even uninftructed," faid I, " will go a great 
way fome times." 

" Yes," faies my Lord ; " but nature inftrucled is the 
perfeccion of wifdome." 

" It is an addition," faid I ; " I never intended to crye 
down the advantages of learning, but to move your 
Lordfhipp not to look upon your felf fo defectiv as to 
be unhappy for want of it, when you have fo many 
things about you to make up your felicity." 

" An addition do you call it," fayes my Lord, " an 
addition ? Yes, ignorance is a deprivation of learning, 
as darkness is a deprivacion of light." 

" But Nature," faid I, " is the foundacion of knowlege, 
and there you abound. The foundacion is lay'd, and 
your Lordfhipp may build." 

" Nature a foundacion ? Yes, but if it is not dug 'tis 
no foundation ; 'tis what we may call a found bottom 
to lay a foundacion on ; but 'tis no foundacion, till it is 
dug and the bottom found and levell'd and lay'd out ; 
in a word, Nature is darknefs and Learning is light ; 
Nature is a deep, Learning is the lead and line to found 
and fearch out the depth by. Nature is the virgin 
bride, Learning is the bridegroom. Nature produces 
nothing till fhe is marryed to Learning and got with 
child of Science. In a word, Nature is ignorance, and 
Learning is knowlege ; and that's the ftate of the cafe 
between thefe gentlemen and me." 

" Your Lordfhipp," fayes I, " does not talk like what 
you call yourfelf." 

" Prethee," fayes my 1 Lord, " hear them talk, and here 

1 MS. may. 


me talk ; and then judge. They kno' every thing, and 
I onely kno' that I kno' nothing ; and I think you kno' 
as little as I ; elce you wouldn't call birth and quallity 
an equivalent for wifdome and learning, when at the 
fame time, one is filver and the other is gold ; one is 
the cafe and the other the Jewell, or, if you will, one is 
body, the other foul." 

"Well, my Lord ; then ftill you allow," faid I, "that 
tho' they have the gold, your Lordfhipp has the filver." 

" Yes, yes, I have the filver, but the text fayes of 
Wifdome, Her merchandize is better than Jilver, Prov. 
In a word, you may fee it plain enough : they have 
the brains, I have the fcul ; they the fullnefs, I the 
emptynefs ; they are the learned gentlemen, and I am 
/. 60 b. the fool lord : and that is the whole of the account ; 
and I think I have reafon enough to think my felf 
miferable with all the equivalents. I am furpriz'd at 
your talk. Is there any equivalent for being a fool ? 
When Nature has taken away the underflanding, can 
me giv an equivalent ? " 

" But, my Lord," faid I, " thank God, you are not in 
that clafs. You want no brains." 

" I think otherwife," faies my Lord. " But fuppofe 
- it was not fo, and remove the cafe from a charge upon 
parent Nature to the jufter charge upon an unnaturall 
parent. Suppofe Nature like a good parent had given 
the capafcity, how unnatural are our reall parents when 
they withold or denye educacion and erudicion ! Can 
they giv an equivalent ? What is an eftate to the 
entail of wifdome and knowlege ? Is that your 
equivalent you talk'd off?" 

" Thoufands of ftarving fchollars, my Lord, and 
hungry phylofophers would think it fo," faid I, " and 
be very glad of the exchange." 

" As to being a hungry phylofopher and a ftarving 
fchollar, I do not underftand it. If I was the fchollar 



or the phylofopher, I think I could never ftarv or 

" But we find many men, my Lord," faid I, " in ex- 
treme want that are men of learning." 

" Then," faies my Lord, " they muft have very great 
defects fome other way. I never giv any thing to a 
ftarving fchollar. Sometimes I meet with a poor, fhabby, 
ragged fellow without a pair of fhoes begging in Latine ; 
and the other day one came to my door that con- 
founded us all, tho' I had my chaplain and two 
phyfitians in the houfe, for he beg'd in Greek. I never 
like them." 

" I hope your Lordfhipp reliev'd him, for he muft 
be fomething extraordinary." 

" It was a long time before we could make any thing 
of him or kno' what language he fpoke ; we were fain 
to fend for M r . . . . , the M after of our Free School, 
and he underftood him prefently, and told us he fpoke 
very good Greek and as good Latin." 

" What could be the meaning of his poverty ? " faid I. 

" Why, the meaning," faid my Lord, " juft the fame 
as I allwayes take fuch to be. We found him out 
prefently ; and as the fchool-mafter faid at firft that he 
belev'd he was fome worthlefs, indolent, idle fellow, fo 
we foon found that his darling vice was that he was an 
incorrigible drunkard and withall an intollerable lyar." 

" I hope, my Lord," faid I, " you help'd the poor 
fellow however." 

" Yes," faies my Lord, " I did fomething for him ; and 
had he been good for anything, I would have took him 
in and maintain'd him handfomely. It came into my 
head immediately that I might learn fomething of him." 

" It was pity fo much learning fhould be fo ill 
beftow'd," faid I. 

" I never reliev'd any of thofe fellows but I repented 
it : 'tis all thrown away ; they would not be poor if 



they were not incorrigibly idle or incorrigibly wicked ; 
and the more learning they have, the worfe. But what's 
all this to the cafe ? " faid my Lord. 

" It was brought in," faid I, " to make it out that 
many would giv their learning up for an eftate, becaufe 
your Lordfhipp objected againfh its being an equivalent 
for an eftate, honour, titles, and the goods of Fortune." 

" That is," faid my Lord, " becaufe, tho' they may 
have a ftock of fchool learning, they have not made a 
right judgement of the value of it, and what is more, 
have not a jufh fence of the advantages of it. Thofe 
are a fort of good-for-nothing people, who you call 
meer fchollars." 

I added, " And perhaps are pinch'd with their prefent 
diftrefles, poverty, and even to want of bread." 

" Yes," faies my Lord very readily, " fo Efau fold his 
/ 6l * birthright, being, as the text fayes, perifhing for hunger." 

" No body knows the diftreffes of fuch," added I, 
" but thofe that feel it, as in the cafe your Lordfhipp 
named juft now ; for as Efau faid, What good fhall this 
primogeniture do me if I am ftarv'd ? what is all their 
Latin and Greek to them if they perifh for want of 

My Lord reply'd prefently: " It was allways charg'd 
as a crime upon Efau, and he was call'd a prophane 
perfon for it ; I kno' not what to fay, indeed," added 
his Lordfhipp, " as to ftarving ; but elce I would never 
fell my learning ; if I had the knowlege of letters and 
languages, books and antiquity, I would never fell 
them whatever I wanted ; but, in fhort, if I had 
learning I would never want, I could not." 

" But your learning," faid I, " could not giv you the 
dignity, my Lord, and the honours you now enjoy; it 
could not giv you the primogeniture of a noble houfe, 
and make you be the eldefb and chief of your family." 

" I don't kno' that," fayes my Lord ; " learning and 



true merit has raif'd many a family from nothing, that 
is, from an obfcure birth, to the night of honour and 
even to nobillity itfelf." 

" But what is become of birth and blood then," faid 
I, " and the antiquity of a family which fome people 
lay fo great a ftrefs upon, that they think there is 
nothing great or honourable in the world without it ? " 

" Thofe people," fayes my Lord very gravely, "value 
them felves upon what they do not underftand. 
Nobillity is founded in virtue. I fhould in fuch a 
cafe, perhaps, be the firft of my race, the beginner of 
an antient family; for time would make it antient, and 
all families began fome where. Better be the firft of 
a great young family, and found it in vertue and on a 
ftock of true merit, than the laft of a great old family 
and fink it by my own vice and degeneracy. Pray, 
which is the moft to be valued ? 

" Don't we reckon up fuch or fuch an antient worthy 
recorded for a man of merit ? I fay, don't we honour 
the memory of him as the father of fuch or fuch a 
race, the founder of the family, the firft of the blood ? 
Such, then, I would be in the front of a new race, and 
think my felf as much honour'd as in humane affairs 
it was poffible for any man to be." 

" My Lord," faid I, " you have a different opinion 
of thefe things from moft of the gentlemen that I 
converfe with ; they lay the main ftrefs of their families 
upon the antiquity of them, their antient race, the 
blood of the Talbots, the Veres, the Howards, the 
Darcyes, the Haftings, and the like." 

" Well," faid my Lord, " and I like it very well, 
provided I am fomething that is equall to my anceftors, 
and that by my merit I can maintain the honour of the 
houfe ; that I fhow my felf worthy of my birth, and 
that I do not difhonour my titles ; am not a fcandal to 
an antient family; but if I am a degenerate branch of 



an antient ftem, a difgrace to the root of the family, 
what then ?" 

" But," faid I, " that is an uncertain way of ftating 
the point ; for, my Lord, what fhall we call honouring 
or difhonouring our family?" 

" I'll tell you what I call it," fays my Lord. " Dif- 
honouring them is when I behave in fuch a manner as 
that my great anceftor 100 or perhaps 500 year ago, 
being himfelf a man of honour and virtue, would be 
afham'd to own me for one of his name, not think me 
worthy of calling me a kinfman of his blood. On the 
other hand honouring it is when by my own proper 
merit and by fome confpicuous virtue I add to the 
luftre of my family and to the roll of honrable 
anceftors, raifmg a juft fame and acquiring a character, 
fhining in acts of vertue and goodnefs, fuch as good 
men will value and all wife men approve, and in which 
I ftrive to excell. This I call being worthy of my 

" I grant all this, my Lord," faid I, " but at this rate 
no man can rightly value himfelf upon his family and 
birth but he that by fome honourable accion does 
/ 62. fomething to add to the illuftrious race, fomething that 
out-does all of his line and out-fhines thofe that have 
gone before him. This may be hard for a man 
to do." 

" Well," faid my Lord, " and that is the cafe in fome 
degree : for as every age adds to the roll of the family, 
fo every branch ought to add fome thing to the hiftory 
of the race, fome thing that may do it honour, fome 
thing that may enlarge its hiftory, fome thing that may 
read well in the annalls of the family and may ftand 
for an example worth the imitacion of pofterity. I 
do not fay it muft be critically more in degree than all 
that went before : for tho' 'tis certain that every truly 
great foul ftrives to excell, yet every man has not 



equall opportunity: but there ought to be fomething 
bright in every chara<5ter." 

" But who then diffhonour 1 their anceftors ? " faid I, 
" and how muft we diftinguifh here ? for the merit will 
lye one way or other." 

" I anfwer'd that part," faid my Lord, " at the firft 
appearance of the queftion ; but I'll explain it a little, 
as my own cafe ferves to explain it; and it is thus, 
when the heir as I may be now the head of the 
race, or the chief, is uneducated, an uncultivated brain, 
a thoughtlefs, indolent, uncapable wretch, taught 
nothing and bred to nothing, and confequently knows 

I return J d warmly as if offended a little: "You run 
too hard upon your felf, my Lord ; you can not raife 
fuch a blaft upon your character without injuftice to 
your felf and to your whole family. You are not an 
ignorant perfon, a fool, one that knows nothing, and 
all thofe things. You would be very angry if another 
man fhould call you fo." 

My Lord replyed merrily, " Don't be angry with 
me and for me both together. I underftand very well 
what you mean. Perhaps I fhould not like it if another 
man told me fo, becaufe he has not the fame right to 
fay it of me as I have to fay it of my felf ; but I hardly 
kno' how I could reafonably refent it neither, when I 
could not denye the fact I could not tell him he ly'd ; 
for my confcience would tell me 'twas every word true. 
I might tell him he was a faucy, 2 rude, and unmannerly 
fellow and core6l him for his ill language, but could 
not call him a lying fellow, becaufe the fact is all 

I anfwer'd, " No, my Lord, with your pardon, it is 
not all true neither; it is not litterally fact You may 
be ignorant comparitively, and kno' nothing compari- 

1 DifJIionours in MS. 2 MS./ucy. 


tivly, and who is not fo ? Where is the man that no 
body goes beyond ? " 

" Come, come," replyes me Lord, " don't make me 
any thing but what I am. The cafe is plain, I am 
nothing that I ought to have been. I have had no 
education fuitable to what I was to be or to what I 
might have been. My father did me no juftice ; my 
mother brought me up among the peticoates and in 
the nurfery, till, if I had been fent to fchool, I fhould 
have been thro' my grammar. My tutor cheated me ; 
and they cheated my father that propof'd him for a 
tutor. The man had learning, but he was a man of 
pleafure himfelf and gratifyed himfelf and me, too, in all 
the little excurfions of a youth, when he fhould have 
kept me ftrictly to books and languages ; and thus the 
moft valuable houres of life were loft, and, inftead of 
being finifh'd for the college and for travell, I came out 
into the world a finifh'd blockhead, fit for nothing ; and 
when I came to the eftate, which was too foon too, 
that entirely ruin'd me ; I ought indeed to have been 
fent to fchool then, to be made fit to enjoy it." 

I found by this difcourfe we fhould run back into 
the fame exclamacions where his Lordfhipp began, 
and not being able to denye the juftice of his reflexions 
I endeavour'd to turn his thoughts off to fome other 
fubjec~b, and put his Lordfhipp in mind that the two 
gentlemen in the parlour would think us long. Upon 
that he ftop't ; but before we went in, my Lord faid, 
" I muft have fome further difcourfe with you upon 
this fubje6l ; for I am refolv'd," added he, " not to liv 
and dye a blockhead all my dayes. Is there nothing 
to be learn't after a man is 40 year old ? " 

I told him it was a queftion of importance, and I 
defir'd him to explain himfelf a little upon it that I 
might giv him a fuller anfwer. 

. He anfwer'd, " I will do fo by and by, but we'll go 



in to fee our friends for the prefent, leaft they fhould /. 63. 
take it ill." So this agreeable converfation ended. 

I return to the title of this chapter, namely, What 
are the l confequences of this neglect ? And without 
morallizing in a formall way upon that long and yet 
undecided queftion whether want of education is not 
opening the door to a life of vice and extravagance 
and whether the learned or the unlearned world are the 
wickedeft ; I fay, without entring upon this, the more 
evedent and undeny'd confequence of it, and what is 
point blank to the fubject before me, is this : 

That as the neglecl: of the laft age has entail'd 
ignorance upon the prefent, fo the ignorance of the pre- , 
fent age, if not wifely confidred of, will not fail to bring 
on the like neglecl; for the next : and this the ground 
plat, the ichnography of my whole undertaking. 

Our fathers, bred up in family pleafure and here- 
ditary indolence, plac'd the whole weight of their glory 
upon the long pedegree of their houfes, the race of 
great men who bore the name before them, whofe 
titles, honours and wealth they pofeft, no matter 
whether their own merit legitimates the claim, or no ; 
upon this imaginary honour they elate their minds to 
the uttmoft extravagance, value themfelves as exalted 
in birth above the reft of the world, and look down 
upon all mankind as plac'd below them juft within the 
reach of their foot and born to be fpurn'd at and 
kick't by the gentry as meer foot-balls for their 
exercife and diverfion. 

This hereditary pride defcends as naturally from 
father to fon as the eftate, and as if the entail of it was 
as certain and unalienable, 'tis infuf'd early into the 
heads of the young heirs before the beft of their 
inftruccion, and they learn to kno' they are gentlemen 
long before they learn that they are men, learn the 


1 the omitted in MS. 


leffon of family pride before their ABC, and to kno' 
they are above being corre6led at fchool, before they 
are big enough to go thither. 

" Dam it, Madam," faid a young heir to his mother, 
"I have 10,000 a year eftate, and I won't be con- 
tradicted." The young gentleman was not abov 9 
year old or thereabouts, and had been flatter'd by the 
nurfes and wenches that waited on him, and told 
what he was to be too foon, as well as with too little 
difcretion ; and this was the product of it. I know the 
family very well. 

This door being open'd and early vice thus in- 
troduc'd with the mother's milk, no wonder 'tis riveted 
in the mind too faft for education it felf, if that moft 
probable remedy were apply'd to remove it. But that 
being likewife neglected and even defpif'd from the 
fame unhappy principle that 'tis difhonourable and 
below the quallity of the child, as above : all fubfequent 
applications are render'd 1 perfectly ufelefs, and the 
miferable gentleman, miracle excepted, is damn'd to 
ignorance and repentance. 

And what do I fpeak of repentance in a cafe where 
the opinion of its being no defect, but an ornament, fhuts 
the door againft all regret at the thing its felf! Men 
never repent of any thing which they do not think 
was wrong : if it is no miftake, how can they repent of 
it ? befides, how can they repent of it and glory in it 
at the fame time ? 

This brings me to the great and moft fatal con- 
fequence of all, and what, as I have faid above, this 
work is calculated on purpofe to expofe, viz., this 
notion of its being no error to omit the educacion of 
their eldeft fons, as it was the reafon of bringing up 
the prefent generation of gentlemen in ignorance and 
indolence without learning, without erudition, without 

1 MS. rend d . 


books, empty of all accquir'd knowlege, and without a 
taft of the blefling of it It infallibly preferves the 
entail, and hands on the obftinate ignorance to the 
next age, and fo on in aeternum. 

How fhould an uninftru<5led generacion inform their 
posterity ? By what ftrange infpiration from abov fhould 
the next age be lovers of learning, applye themfelves 
to ftudy, read books, drink in knowlege, and learn 
wifdome, when their inftruflors have it not to furnifh 
them ? Ignorance can not deviate into fence, or dull- 
nefs into wit ; 'tis the lov of knowlege in parents 
or the fence of their own difBciency 1 that moves them 
to inftruct their children. Now thofe people are fo 
far from believing that their ignorance is a defect, that /. 6 4 . 
they glory in it, value themfelves upon it ; and I once 
heard a gentleman of a good eftate fay that to be above 
all accquirements was the uttmoft accomplifhment of a 
man of fortune ; that he ought to follow Nature in all 
the plain roads of her meer inftitucions ; that, for a 
gentleman, to go out of her way was but like a man of 
wealth amaffmg treafure, whereas he can be no richer, 
let his additionall thoufands be as many as they will. 

This wretched phylofophy however efpouf'd ferves, 
in my opinion, for no manner of ufe but to crowd the 
world with fools of fortune ; and indeed it is to this 
extraordinary logic that we owe the generall ftupidity 
of the age, which is the fubjecl: of this prefent complaint. 

However, were this all, I fhould fay no more than 
that it is fo, and tell you the occafion of it ; but that it 
fhould ftill go on, that in this enlightn'd age, when 
polite learning is fo much in vogue, and fo many, how 
juftly I will not enquire here, pretend to it ; that it 
fhould go on, I fay, in fpite of example, and entail 
that fame ignorance and obfbinacy upon the next age : 
this is unfufferable. 


1 MS. defiency. 


One would think, if it was nothing elce but that 
learning is a little more in fafhion than it uf'd to be, 
education fhould be fo too. But it muft be confeff't 
that fact is uncertain, at leaft to me it is fo ; there is 
indeed a kind of a noife about polite wit, and men 
being mafters of fcience and of learning, and raifmg 
their fortunes by their being fo. 

That fome gentlemen by their parts and under- 
flanding, whether natural or accquir'd, have raif 'd their 
fortunes in this age of craft and corrupcion, may be 
true ; but I denye that this is a teftimoney of the men 
of fortune and the heads of families being any wiler 
and farther taught in generall than their anceftors, or 
any better learned. 'Tis rather the contrary ; for how 
fhould the beggarly and mercenary part of mankind 
accquire wealth and get eftates by their wit and 
cunning, if the men of eftates, the antient families, and 
great fortunes, were not the dupes who are impof'd 
upon and mannag'd, as we fee 'tis under the other that 
this mannagement prevails ? And were the nobility and 
gentry of this kingdom 1 univerfally men of learning 
and parts, as they are of fortune, high birth, and 
honour, they would never be influenced, led, over- 
rul'd, bought, or fold by any fet of flates-men or poli- 
titians in the world. 

This is but a hint ; let them take the coat who fit 
the meafure of it. 'Tis thus far to my purpofe : if the 
younger brothers are to liv by their witts, let them do 
fo honeftly and make the befl of it, but let the elder 
brothers have the fame fhare of learning and witt given 
them with their eftates as the other have to raife 
eftates by. I believ the firft would keep their eftates 
better than they do, and the laft find it lefs eafie to 
rife by bribery and corrupcion. 

The wretched defeccion in fome ages we have gone 

i MS. K . 


through, the bying and felling their country, their 
libertyes and priveleges in Popifh dayes and party- 
making dayes, what has it been owing to but the 
mercenary fpirit among the poorer gentry 1 and the 
ftupidity and ignorance of the rich ? 

There could be no danger of the polititians breaking 
in upon the libertyes and eftablifh'd priveleges of this 
free nation, if the nobillity and gentry of Britain, who 
are the bulwark of thofe libertyes, were, as they might 
all be, men of learning and men of wealth. 

Want of learning makes them eafie, indolent, man- 
ageable, thoughtlefs, and extravagant. Want of learning 
makes them incapable, breaks their ceconomy, and ex- 
pofes them to a thoughtlefs luxury ; the confequence 
of which is reduccion of eftates, neceffitous circum- 
' fiances, 2 and even beggary ; and the naturall confequence 
of that is being fubject to all manner of currupcion, 
eafily purchaf 'd for parties and faccion, and by penfions 
and places to betray themfelves and their country, and 
giv up all to the crafts-men of the Court. 

It is the felicity of the prefent age that we liv / 64 b 
under a Government that defires no frauds, that has 
no corrupt views, no tyrannick defigns to carry on, 
no deftructiv ends to anfwer ; if it were otherwife, the 
miferable indolence and ignorance which we now fee 
our nativ country labour under, and fome of our 
gentlemen of the beft, moft noble and antient familyes 
abound in, nay, be vain of, and afFe6l a kind of fatif- 
faccion 2 in, would giv us but a mellancholly profpect 
for the fafety of our pofterity. 

From hence I infift that it is of the uttmoft confe- 
quence, if poffible, to put a flop to the manner of 
bringing up our gentry in ftupidity and ignorance, with 
out the advantages of education and without polifhing 
the parts and capafcities Nature may have given them, 

1 MS. G y. 2 Abbreviated in MS. 


that the next age, what ever this is, may be furnifh'd 
with fome helps, fome aid and affiftance from their own 
fence to fee into the depths of thofe fons of Hell who 
would debauch and corrupt them. 

To inforce this part of my reafoning, I alfo infift 
upon the following obfervations as maxims in nature, 
which we may fee confirm'd in practife every day. 

1. That want of learning and polite education in 
the nobillity and gentry of England makes them be 
neglected and, as it were, lay'd afide in the mannage- 
ment of public affairs, when knaves and polititians 
happen to be in truft, mercenaryes and fcrew'd up 
engins being made ufe of in their room. 

2. It makes them eafie and blind, and not able to 
fee themfelves flighted and neglected, as they would 
otherwife do, and confequently to refent it. 

3. It makes their refentment of lefs value where it 
is met with, the number of thofe that have the fence 
to fee and refent being fo fmall, and their intreft confe- 
quently fmall in proporcion. Let any man look back 
to the figure the barons of England made in the 
reigns of King John, Henry III., and other princes 
of thofe times, and compare them with the ages of a 
few reigns paff't, and let them tell us if the Englifh 
gentry were to be mannag'd by Prime Minifhers and 
polititians then, as they have been fince, and what 
was the end of fuch favourites who ventur'd to make 
the attempt. 

4. The weaknefs of the parts, the defect of the 
underftanding, and the want of erudition, which is fo 
much the fafhion among our gentry has been the true, 
if not the chief, reafon of their prefent poverty and bad 
circumftances, 1 leffening their eftates and ruining their 

5. Their want of learning being the caufe of their 

1 Abbreviated in MS. 


luxury and extravagance, and that luxury reducing 
them to neceflitous circumftances, 1 thofe neceffities 
bring 2 them into a readynefs of being corrupted, brib'd, 
and drawn in by partyes to efpoufe thofe intrefts for 
money which at other times they would abhorr, and 
which are ruinous to their country's liberties and to 
their pofterity. 

6. Ignorance is an enemy to temperance, to fru- 
gallity, to honefty, and to the practife of all morall 
vertues. In a word, for want of learning a man of 
quallity, however great, noble, rich, powerfull in his 
intreft and his eftate, is render'd unquallify'd for the 
fervice either of himfelf, his family, or his country. 

7. Ignorance expofes the gentlemen not onely to 
the ribaldry and jeft of the Courts and of the politi- 
tians, but makes tools of them, makes them engines 
and inftruments for the ufe of the mannagers on all 
occafions, and even in their worft defigns upon the 
libertyes of their country as above. 

N.B. Innumerable examples of this might be given f. 65. 
in the times before the Revolution. What has been 
fince we have no room to fpeak of at this time of 

It would be endlefs to undertake a generall colleccion 
of all the confequences of this want of education among 
the gentlemen of England ; and yet if nothing fhould 
be faid to it, how fhall we bring the gentlemen now 
labouring under the miffortune of it to a temper capable 
of rectifying the error ? 

I fhall add, therefore, two or three things, which I 
think are very material, and which will certainly weigh 
with the gentry 3 even of this age, if they pleafe to 
confider them, and but meafure themfelves upon the 
fquare with fuch other men as Heaven has plac'd upon 
a level with them, I mean other gentlemen of quallity 


1 Abbreviation in MS. 3 MS. bings. 3 G. 



and fortune as they are, and who differ from them in 
thefe particulars onely. 

I. 1 The want of learning and educacion places 
them below even their inferiours, and renders them 
defpicable every where, even at home and among their 
very fervants. 

2. If thefe uneducated gentlemen fhould think of 
comeing up to London, appearing at Court, or looking 
out for buffmefs (as that is called), whether by choice 
or upon any family diffafter, as the beft may be fubject 
to fuch things : if they have no letters, no learning, 
they can never recomend themfelves to any thing. 

3. If they fhould, by intreft and favour, be able, 
to obtain any thing, of what ufe can it be to them ? 
They can execute no office fuitable to their quallity ; 
they can fill up no poft of honour either for the Govern- 
ment or for their private concern. The favourite may 
giv them a compliment ; but how fhall fuch a perfon 
anfwer it ? Can he go thro' the office of a Secretary 2 
of State or a Secretary 3 of War, a paymafter of the 
Navy or Army, a Commiffioner of Trade 4 and Planta- 
cions, or the like ; or to come lower, to a Commiffioner 
of the Navy, the Excife, or the Cuftomes ? All thefe 
mufh be men of letters and men of figures. They 
muft be men of learning and languages ; or what are 
they fit for ? The country gentleman can do nothing 
among them. It is one of the moll honourable parts 
of a perfon of quallitye's character that he is fitted for 
the fervice of his country, fit to be a Privy Counfellor, 
a Secretary 3 of State, a Lord 5 of Trade, or any other 
place in the adminiftration or the houfehold ; and what 
figure muft fuch a gentleman make in any of thefe 
publick pofts that has no educacion, no litterature, no 
knowlege of languages, of hiftory, or of the world ! 


1 No number in MS. 2 MS. Secret. 

3 MS. Sec. * MS. T. 5 MS. L d . 


It is true, I am to be anfwer'd, as above, in a way of 
rallery, that the gentlemen we are fpeaking of are 
above all thefe things : they fcorn pofts and places, 
thofe civil badges of human drudgery ; the private 
ftacion is the poft of honour, and an hereditary pofeffion 
the beft penfion ; that they are kings of their own and 
governors of themfelves ; that we may fee all the 
Minifters of State and favourites of allmoft every reign 
making their court to them, inviting them up, and 
careffmg them upon every occafion, defiring to make 
ufe of their intreft, and if they find it practicable, 
wheedling with them to fide in with their Party. 

If by their fway in the country and their intreft in 
the towns, of which fometimes they have feverall that 
are their own, they are, in fpite of bribery and corrup- 
cion, chofen members of Parliament, what tricks, what 
artifice, are ufed to bring them in-to buffinefs, as 'tis 
modeflly call'd ! If they happen to be above 'em, out 
of the reach of art, and that neither money or flattery 
or honours and titles will make any impreffion, how 
are they reckon'd dangerous, and how are they fenc'd 
againft as men of importance, and how are the courtiers 
in the uttmoft concern, leaft fuch men as thefe mould 
make themfelves known, get a Party in the Houfe, 
and oppofe the mannagers in their great affaires of 
, &c.! 

But bring all this to the cafe in hand. It is true 
that this is often fo where the country gentleman is a 
leading man, either in the place where he dwells, or in 
the houfe, and when they find him capable of great 
things. But then, who are the men, what are the 
gentry that are thus rendred confiderable ? that are /. 66. 
the terror of Court partyes and the envy of the politi- 
tians ? what character do they bear, and what foot do 
they ftand upon in the country where they live ? 

Giv me leav to fay thefe are not the ignorant, the 



illiterate, the weak headed, uneducated gentlemen we 
are talking of, but they are, generally fpeaking, men of 
fence, men of learning, that kno' the world, that under- 
fband the intrefts of their country, and if they appear 
in public, giv the ftates-men room to take umbrage at 
their growing capafcities. 

They are not the men of pleafure, bred up to the 
dogs and the game, that wallow in their wealth and 
kno' nothing but to liv at home and enjoy that furfeit 
every day with their pleafures, and are onely fick for 
want of variety ; who rolling in a kind of naturall indo- 
lence are unactiv for meer want of fome thing to do, 
who rife in the morning to go to bed at night, and 
whofe whole hiftory is fum'd up in that diftich : 

They're lorn, they liv, tJtey laugh, tJiey knoiv not why; 
They Jleep, eat, drink, get heirs, grow fat, and dye. 

Thefe are the country gentlemen indeed, but thefe are 
not the men I fpeak of; thefe are not the formid- 
able, dangerous things that, as King Charles 1 II. faid of 
the Country Party, were men of importance and very 
confiderable in the Common Wealth, for they could 
make kings think and keep courtiers honeft. 

Thefe are not the leading men, that carry a party 
with them where e're they go, whofe vote is a noun of 

multitude, and, as was faid of Sir H., he was 

call'd No. 50 when ever they mencioned him in cover, 
that is when they talk'd of him, but did not think fit to 
name him ; the meaning was that when ever he voted 
he had 50 more that follow'd him, let him take which 
way he wou'd. 

No ! No ! Thole gentlemen I fpeak of are not as 
the man call'd No. 50, but as the 50 that blindly voted 
after him, and as he voted right or wr . . g. 

Fortunate ignorance ! that fo often fall in with honeft 

leaders ; 
i MS. Cha. 


leaders ; but how unhappy is it for their country, when 
thefe gentlemen are miffled, as is but too poffible and 
has been too frequent ! 

How miferable is that nation that is reprefented by 
men who, in a body, are to be led by a few, if that few 
guide wrong ! who go up honeft but ignorant, who 
continue allways the laft (ignorant), but are onely the 
firft (honeft), as they fall into good or bad company ; 
yet how many fuch have in time paft (now Heavens 
be praifd for the change 'tis quite otherwife) been 
trufted with the fate of their country, and how fad is 
the fate of that country which is thus reprefented ! 
but that by the by. 

Of 1 thefe gentlemen or fuch as thefe I met with the 
following paffage from one of their own number. A cer- 
tain perfon was employ'd to draw up a cafe (") for fome 
merchants, who having fet up a particular manufactory 
in the country applyed to their mafters, the Houfe of 
Commons, then fitting, for fome particular priveleges 
neceffary to them for the carrying on the buffmefs they 
were engag'd in and which they alleaged was a prodi- 
gious improvement to trade and an advantage to the 
whole country. 

In order to explaine to the gentry the great fervice / 103. 
the undertaking would be to the nacion in generall, the 
propofall gave a calculation of numbers that were em- 
ploy'd by them on feverall occafions, 2 as 1 5000 families 3 
in the copper mines in Cornwall and Devon, 10,000 
familyes in digging and carnage of coales in another 
county, fo many thoufand upon another work in another 


( a ) So they call the papers drawn up by fuch as have petitions 
depending in the Houfe of Commons, and which are to make good 
the allegacions of their peticion. 

1 This passage, beginning Of thefe and ending to the whole 
country -, as well as foot-note ( a ) are struck out in MS. 

2 MS. occafion, * MS.fawtfes. 


part of England, and fo on, till they made it up 1 50,000 
families, then reckoning 8 to a family they multiply'd 
the number by 8, which made up the foot of the ac- 
count be a million and half, which was all caft up in 
figures very regularly and exactly at the bottom of the 

In this form, the fcheme was drawn up, printed, and 
delivred to the gentlemen to read and confider of it, 
in order to obtain their favour and vote, when the cafe 
was to come upon the carpet. 

But in a day or two, when the printed memorial 
came to be read, a certain gentleman, a M . . . . , who 
was in the intreft of the peticioners and had ftirr'd for 
them among his fellow reprefentatives, 1 came to them 
in a great paffion and with a mouth full of hard words, 
calling them f . . Is for offring fuch a paper as that to 
the Houfe. 

In a word, not to enter too farr into the particulars 
for the fake of public fame and of who it was that 
raif'd the objeccion, I fay, in a word, the paper was not 
legible, and the poor peticioners were oblig'd to be at 
the charge of printing it over again in words at length, 
after having been reprimanded very warmly by their 
faid friend for their impudence in fo much as fuppofmg 
that gentlemen would giv themfelves the trouble to 
read their figures into words. 

Accordingly the paper was reprinted, and inftead of 
10,000 it was faid at large ten thoufand, and in ftead 
of 150,000 one hundred and fifty thoufand, inftead 
of 1,500,000 was printed at large one million fiv 
hundred thoufand, and fo of the reft ; this being done 
the prefumcion of the firft paper was pardon'd, the 
gentlemen were good friends again, and the pititioners 
carryed their point. 

It is indeed very rude to accoft gentlemen in an 

1 MS. repreprefentatives. 


illegible or unintelligible chara6ler and a language they 
don't underftand, and therefore to fill a paper with 
long rows of unites, tens, hundreds, thoufands, tens of 
thoufands, hundreds of thoufands, and the like, and 
prefent it to men who never learnt that way of telling 
nofes, how prepofberous muft it be ! The merchants 
peticioners were therefore very much in the wrong and 
had they loft their caufe by it, they might have thank't 
themfelves ; for that indeed they ought to have known 


CAP. V. 

/ 66. That it is not to late to put a flop to this national defect 
of learning and that the gentlemen of England^ 
generally f peaking^ may in a great meafure retriev the 
lofs of their education by a little voluntary applicacion ; 
and an account of fome proper and very eafie methods ', 
for the doing it I have heard. 

/ 10I ^f^Z^S HAVE heard fome nice people obferv that 
pride was a neceffary virtue to man- 
kind and the happyeft man in the world 
is the proud man. The nocion may 
have fome remote truth in it, but then it wants ex- 
planacion ; for it is a fatyr in it felf, and points at 
the very cafe I am fpeaking of. It grants that the 
gentlemen are uneducated and ignorant and wretchedly 
untaught. The caufe or occafion of this they fay was, 
at firft, pride, which was fo far a vice as it appear'd 
in fcorning the fchools, hateing inftruccion, defpifing 
languages and learning as mean and mechanick things 
below their quallity. There I fay pride is acknow- 
leg'd to be a vice, a child of the meer Devil without 
any difguife. 

Now if the man was fencible of the defects of his 
education, he would be miferable to the laft degree, 
fay thefe criticall enquirers ; would curfe his parents 
that fhould have been his inftruclors, curfe the hour he 
: was 


was born ; and, fick of his defpicable life, perhaps, would 
hang himfelf out of it. But here his pride fteps in, and 
it faves his life, keeps him from the knowlege of his 
mifery, keeps the fence of it from his heart, perfwades 
him he is happy, and makes him like a man in Bedlam 
dance in his chains ; perfwades him to be vain of his 
ignorance and to value himfelv upon his being above 
all improvment ; that he is a prince, nay a king in 
his manfion houfe or pallace, who has all learning and 
all knowlege in penfion under him ; that fchollars are 
onely bound to his fervice and ufefull to him on par- 
ticular occafions, as interpreters are to princes and to 
ambaffadors, fo that he is ftill great and happy even in 
his ignorance ; that his imperfections are no imperfec- 
cions to him : and all by the meer confequence of his 
pride, which is thus far a virtue to him. 

But to pafs thefe fpeculacions and to leav them as 
we find them : The want of knowlege and inftruccion, 
let our pride infmuate what it will to the contrary, is 
certainly an infelicity in life, efpecially where the de- 
pravity is rooted and the cafe rendred incurable ; but 
I am of a quite differing opinion as to the circum- 
fhances 1 of the thing. I am far from looking upon 
the defeas as incurable, and there the notion of their 
pride being a vertue is all funk and loft at once ; for 
the pride is a delufion not a vertue, as lunacy is a 
dilirium in the brain, fhowing things in a falfe and 
borrow'd light and in a differing fituacion from what 
they really are. 

The want of learning, the deficiency of education is 
a difeas. 'Tis a deprivation of knowleg, a weakning 
of the underftanding, a diftemper in, or rather an 
accident upon, nature. But I enter my caveat againft 
the pacient's being given over by his phyfitians. Nil 
defperandum : as in other diftempers, while there is life 


1 Abbreviated. 


there is hope, fo in this difeafe of the underftanding, 
/. ic2. while there are brains there is hope. If the youth to 
be taught has been indeed an idiot ; if the defect is in 
nature and he has no genius, no power to reciev in- 
formacion, that's quite another cafe. Then if he had 
had all the education the world could giv, he would 
have come out the fame original block-head that he 
went in ; and it is equally to no purpofe to talk of re- 
trieving it in fuch a perfon when he is grown up. 

But what is this to the cafe before us ? This is not 
the condicion of our gentry. Idiotifm is none of the 
defect. Our gentry are not what we call born fools. 
There may be fome natural incapafcitys, but that is 
not the national defect. They have generally naturall 
powers, but the grand deficiency is want of erudition, 
want of teaching, want of the helps of art to cultivate 
the foil and improv the head : and this makes me fay 
as before, Nil defperandum. The cafe is all retriev- 
able ; the difeas is to be cur'd. If there is but a flock 
of head it may be all recovr'd. If there is but a fpark 
in Nature the fire may be fbill kindl'd. There are 
methods of inftruccion to be found out which are 
neither below the quallity of a gentleman to make ufe 
of, or unfuitable to his yeares, fuppofe him to be a 
man grown : for a man is never too old to be made 
wife if capable of recieving and retaining the impref- 
fions of learning ; and yet I am not for fending them 
to fchool in their adult ftate, and putting gentlemen at 
30 or 40 yeares of age to learn their accidence. I 
fhall propofe nothing unbecoming them as men or as 
gentlemen. They fhall be their own preceptors, their 
own tutors, and themfelves fhall inftruct themfelves. 
What little helps they fhall ftoop to make ufe of fhall 
neither be below them or irkfome to them, but fuch as 
fhall make it all a pleafure and the moft delightfull 

thing in the world. 



The firft thing to be enquir'd into in this cafe is this : 
is the gentleman fencible of his defficiency ? Is he 
wife enough to kno' he is ignorant, or is he weak 
enough to think himfelf wife when he is really other- 
wife ? In a word, is he a Czar of Mofcovy 1 ? Is he 
humble enough to be taught and fencible enough of his 
want of learning to defire to learn ? 

Here indeed lyes the whole weight of the cafe. If the 
man is bloated up with pride, that worft of folly, that 
vice of the brain, which fome, as abov, would have call'd 
a virtue ; if he is not fencible of his weaknefs, his being 
unquallifyed for the company of men of fence, unfit for 
publick appearance or public employment, or to ferv 
his country or his family ; if he is one of that fort 
indeed as the Scripture fayes in another cafe, There 
is more hope of a fool than of Jiim : fuch a creature 
is inflexible and harden'd ; 'tis to no purpofe to 
meddle with him, or fo much as to talk to him of it ; 
as a Tick perfon that refufes phyfic is, in the confequence 
of that obftinacy, to be efteem'd as incurable as he in 
whom the difeas is too ftrong for the medicine : the 
very obftinacy is a defeas worfe than the feaver and the 
man dyes becaufe he will dye. 

On the other hand, if he is fencible of what other 
men have that he wants, and abov all, that it is not too 
late to recover the lofs ; if he beares the defe<5l of his 
underftanding as a diftemper and is willing to trye all 
poffible remedies for a cure : fuch a man, in my opinion, 
may be cur'd ; that is, in a few words, let him not 
repine at his not being a fchollar and not being 
well educated. He fhall yet be a man of learning 
in fpite of all the time loft, and that without the 
fateague of the fchool, without hammering feaven year 
at the Latin and the Greek, and without tormenting, 
loading, and overloading his memory with the meer 


1 MS. Mofco\ 


dead weight of words. On the contrary, he fhall 
m after all the needfull ftudy of fcience without it. He 
fhall judge of true learning by the ftrength of nature ; 
reafon fhall be his guide into the ftudy of Nature as 
nature fhall be in the purfuit of his reafon, and he 
fhall be a man of knowlege with eafe and delight. 

I fhall lead you into a more imediate underftanding 
of what I mean, by giving a fhort hiftory of fact in a 
converfation upon this fubject with a perfon who is 
the living exemplificacion of the thing, whofe ftory 
pleafe to take partly from his own mouth in the 
following relation. 

/. 103. I was talking of this very ferioufly once to a gentle- 
man who was under the mifsfortune of this hereditary 
ignorance or defect of learning, and was none of thofe 
who valued themfelves upon it. On the contrary, it was 
the very plague of his life, and, as he faid, it tormented 
the very foul within him; I repeat his own words. He 
uf'd to fay he was entr'd a block-head from his cradle, 
and his mother doom'd him to be a coxcomb before 
fhe knew whether he had wit enough for the character 
or no. " And refolving," faid he, " that I fhould be a 
fool of one fort or another, fhe anticipated my want of 
brains by my want of education ; that if I would not be 
a fool by nature I fhould have the happynefs of being 
fo by art ; and if I did not want brains, I fhould want 
teaching how to ufe them, which was the fame thing ; 
for," adds he, " idem eft non effe et non apperire" 

" But harke ye, Sir," faid I, " if you were never 
taught, how come you to underftand Latin ? " 

" O," fayes he, " as a true penitent abhorrs the ftate 
of wickednefs he liv'd in before his repentance, and 
can't be faid to have repented if he does not, fo it was 
/. 104. impoffible for me to be, as I tell you, plaagu'd and 
tormented with the refleccion upon the ruine of my 
education, and not do fomething to recover it." 



" I am very glad to hear you fay fo," faid I, " becaufe 
I kno 1 feverall gentlemen in the fame condicion ; but 
they all fit down and defpair. They fay 'tis too late, 
they are too old, the prime of youth, which is the time 
to learn, is paft, and there is no room for it ; and fo 
they fit down with their ignorance and defficiency till 
it grows habitual." 

" Why, then," faid my friend, " they are habitual 
fools, and I had been fo to this day if my father had 

" How, your father ? Why, was the old gentleman 
againft your learning?" 

" He was one of them that," faid he, " thought there 
was no great occafion for it in a gentleman, that it 
fill'd their heads with great thoughts, wandring ambi- 
tions, afpiring defires, and fent them abroad from their 
eftates and from their tennants and neighbours, where 
they might live mery and fafe, happy and belov'd all 
their dayes, and made them run into the armys, to 
hunt after honour and be knock'd o' th j head for a 
feather in their caps call'd fame ; or to Court, where 
they turn'd harpies and blood fuckers upon their 
country and learnt all the vile ways of recieving a little 
for giving a great deal, felling their country and coming 
home beggars : and thus the old gentleman was for 
keeping his fon at home a fool for fear of his going 
abroad to be a knave." 

" Well, Sir," faid I, " but you have liv'd at home, and 
yet kno' the world as well as thofe that have been 
abroad. You have been taught nothing, and yet you 
kno' every thing. You are illiterate, and yet you talk 
Latin and French and Italian. You call your felf a 
fool ; pray, what kind of a fool muft we call you ? " 

" Why, I'll tell you my cafe," fayes he. " My father 
dyed young, and I came to the eftate at two and 
twenty, a young untaught, half educated thing. I 



might indeed be faid to read and write, and that's all ; 
for I did both very ignorantly and forrily, and farther 
than that I did nothing and knew nothing, and what 
was ftill worfe, I was as well pleaf'd with my ignorance 
as my father was ; and haveing often heard his dif- 
courfes upon that fubject I began to talk the fame 
language, till I fcorn'd learning, defpifd books, thought 
my felf above teaching ; in a word, I was compleatly 
come up to Solomon's ftandard of a fool : / had no 
delight in understanding. 

" It happen'd one day that being at the wedding of 
a neighbouring lady, a near relation of mine, who 
was marry'd to a truly complete young gentleman and 
of a good efhate, I obferv'd there was a great deal 
of good company and a great deal of mirth, and I was 
as gay as my neighbours. The v/edding was kept at 
the ladye's mother's houfe, who was the widdow of a 
barronet, and her fon (the heir) being under age, the 
family remain'd in the manfion houfe, which was very 
large and fine. As there was mirth enough among the 
young people, fo there was chat and difcourfe among 
the graver gentry, fome of one kind, fome of another ; 
but in all their little companies as they feperated into 
fmall committees in the feverall parlours and gardens 
and walks of the houfe, as ufuall, I obferv'd allmoft all 
the difcourfe, as well among the relations of the lady as 
others, was taken up in the extraordinary character of 
the bridegroom, what a fine gentleman he was. 

" The young ladys admir'd him : he was fo hand- 
fome, fo genteel, danc'd fo fine, fo charming a fhape, 
talk'd fo finely, and the like ; the older ladyes lik'd 
him : he was fo modeft, fo corteous, had fuch a character 
for being fo obliging to the pooreft and meaneft of 
his neighbours, fo good to his tennants, fo univerfally 
belov'd. They all concluded the lady would be com- 
pleatly happy ; and indeed me was fo. The young 



gentlemen were exceedingly pleaf'd, too, but they had 
the leaft to fay of him, for he was above their clafs ; 
and one of them in the hight of good humour faid, ' I 
like my new coufin wonderfully, but d . . . . him, he 
is too learned for me, he is fitter to be an arch-bifhop 
than a fpoilt man ; and yet he's a good humour'd, merry 
fellow too ; he's fit for any thing ; ' and at laft it came 
out : ' Would I had half his fence, tho' he had half my 

" Among the graver gentry for there were feverall / 104 /-. 
of them, too it was the fame thing in a more folid 
degree. They had his character up in a ftrain fuitable 
to themfelves, and particularly one fet that I was plac'd 
among a good while, being all my neighbours and 
gentlemen I was acquainted with, talk'd very particu- 
larly of him. 

" Thefe came into all the fentiments of the younger 
people, viz., that he was every way a complete gentle- 
man ; but a certain clergyman that was among them, 
a man noted for his learning and of a very good 
character alfo, faid he had had a great deal of conver- 
fation with him. ' I was never more delighted,' faid he, 
' in any gentleman's company in my life. He has 
traveird over fome of the world in perfon and over all 
the reft in books. He fpeaks five or fix languages ; 
particularly,' faid he, 'he talks Latin and French as if 
they were his native tongues ; he is perfectly acc- 
quainted with the cuftomes and manners of all the 
nations he has been in ; and yet his difcourfe is fo 
modeft, fo grave, fo free from a noifie rattling way, 
which is fo common in the world, that 'tis a pleafure to 
be in his company/ 

" Another gentleman, who is call'd a virtuofo in our 
country and is alfo a noted phyfitian, he took it from 
the minifter. ' It is fo, indeed,' faies he, ' he is a finifh'd 
fchollar. I never met with fo much wit, fo much folid 



judgement, and fo much polite learning in any gentle- 
man of his age in my life. We were talking phylofophy 
the other day with him ; why he has treafur'd up a 
mafs of experiments of the niceft nature that I ever 
met with ; he has the Phylofophic Tranfaccions allmoft 
by heart, he has brought fomething in his head from 
every place where he has been, and has a vaft memory ; 
and then for afbronomy,' fayes the doctor, 'he talks of the 
ftarrs and of the planets as if he was born there, and of 
their diflances, mocions, and revolutions, as if he had 
travell'd with them and knew his way back again."' 

"This was a new comet, fure, among the country 
gentlemen," faid I ; " but didn't fuch a character make 
the untaught gentlemen diflike him, or did they envy 
him ? " 

" I don't kno' what they did," faid my friend, " but 
I'll tell you what I did. I look'd upon him with a 
kind of furprize. I faw every thing in him that they 
faid of him with a great deal of pleafure ; but I went 
away with a proporcion'd chagrin upon my mind, and 
all the way it run in my thoughts : ' Ay, this is educa- 
cion, indeed, this is learning,' faid I. ' Here my father 
might fee whether learning fits well upon a gentleman, 
whether a gentleman is above being well educated. 
Why, if I had been taught, all this might have been 
my character as well as his.' " 

" Thefe were juft refleccions," faid I ; " but to what 
purpofe ? Seeing your fate, as you fay, was determin'd, 
and that you were paff't attaining thofe things which 
were onely to be had by an early liberall education, 
you ought not to carry it too far, and make the want 
of what you cou'd not obtain embitter the comforts 
you had pofeffion of and you ought to enjoy with as 
much fatiffaction 1 as you can." 

He return'd warmly upon me, and told me I was 


1 Abbreviated. 


quite miftaken. " All my eftate," added he, " would 
have been nothing to me, nor did I enjoy one hour's 
fatisfaction, till I entred into meafures for recovring 
what I had fo miferably loft, tho' it was not loft by 
my own fault, nor fhould I have enjoyd myfelf to this 
day, if I had not perfued the meafures which were 
happily dictated to me by a learned man of my 
accquaintance to recover in fome degree the curfed 
darknefs of my uncultivated youth, and gain'd fome 
little light, at leaft more than I had before." 

" Why," faid I, " you were a ftrange convict, you 
were a profelite to learning by meer miraculous in- 
fpiration ; the impreflion was ftrook at a heat ; you 
were a meer Czar of Mufcovy, a foul infpir'd with a 
true afflicting fence of your want of knowlege, and 
refolv'd at any expence to retriev it." 

"I was fo indeed," fayes he ; "and you fhall find, if/ 105. 
the ftory is not too long for your pacience, what 
courfe I took with my felf, and what fuccefs I had." 

"I fhall be very glad to hear it," faid I, "upon 
many accounts. Perhaps, I may make ufe of it to the 
advantage of fome other gentlemen of my accquain- 
tance, who are under the fame mifsfortune and with as 
little fatisfaclion 1 as you were, but do not fee their way 
out of it, nor I for them." 

" I'll make the account as fhort as I can," fayes he, 
"but the tranfaccion was tedious, and tho' I hate a 
long ftory I fear you will think it fo ; let me make it 
as fhort as I will. To begin then where I left off, I 
fpent two or three dayes at home tormenting my mind 
about this young gentleman and talking to my felf of 
what a fot I was ; how I was not fit to be feen in his 
company, or quallify'd fo much as to converfe with him. 
I knew that I was oblig'd, in regard to my neece who 
he had marryed, to giv him an invitacion to my houfe 


1 Abbreviated. 


but I thought I fhould be afham'd fo much as to talk 
with him." 

I told my friend I thought he was too humble, that 
he lay'd himfelf lower than he had any reafon to do, 
and that, tho' he was not taught much and had not the 
advantage of education which others had, yet he was far 
from a fool ; that as he need not be afham'd to go into 
any company, fo no company would be afham'd of him. 

"Well," fayes he, "you did not kno' me then. I 
am but fo fo now," added he, " but I was a down-right 
country blocked then, with this excepcion onely, viz., 
that I believ I thought of my felf as I ought to think ; 
for all I thought of my felf I knew of my felf, and 
none knew it better. I, in fhort, knew nothing better 
than that I was a fool and knew nothing." 

" And," faid I, " that was a foundation to build all 
upon that was to be known ; for there is no learning 
any thing till we are humble enough to fee we want 

"Well," fayes he, "but to go on, my neece came 
and din'd with me, and her hufband with her, and I 
kept them there a week ; for indeed I was fo charm'd 
with the young gentleman, that I could not part with 
him. He difcourfd of every thing with fuch an 
agreeable plainefs and clearnefs, and with all was fo 
fmcere in every thing, fo modeft, fo humble, and yet fo 
ftrong in his reafoning, that it was all mufick. I was 
charm'd with him, and, in fhort, he charm'd all the 
gentry about ; for feverall came to fee me while he was 
there, and all were delighted with him." 

"Sir," faid I, "you giv a character of him that 
would tempt a phylofopher ; can't you giv a friend the 
felicity of feeing fuch a morning ftarr, fuch a genius as 
hardly ever was feen before." 

He anfwer'd, if I would come down into the country, 
he would go and make him a vifit and carry me with 

him ; 


him ; which fome time after this we did, and I found 
all he faid to be very juft with refpect to the gentleman ; 
but that is not to our purpofe, unlefs it be to fhow how 
glorious an embellifhment learning and bright parts are 
to a foul when they meet in the perfon of a gentleman ; 
but of that by itfelf. I defir'd him to go on with his 
ftory, which he did thus. 

" After he had been with me fome dayes," fays my 
friend, " I had by many tokens perciev'd I might with 
fafety open my felf to him. I afk'd him one morning 
to take a walk and told him I wanted to have a little 
chat with him ; fo we went out together into the garden, 
and I unbofom'd my felf to him without any referv. 

" c Coufin,' faid I, * 'tis the mifsfortune of many, nay, 
of moft gentlemen in this part of the country, and I 
doubt riot but you have taken notice of it in other 
places, that we for I may name my felf among them 
are brought up in ignorance, are taught nothing. 
Our fathers thought it below them to put us to fchool, 
and fo indeed we are below all learning ; as we are 
taught nothing, fo we kno' nothing, but live like the 
bear in the forreft, wild and not to be tam'd, rough and 
not to be fmooth'd, courfe and not to be polifhed.' /. 106. 

" He began to compliment me about putting my felf 
among them ; he could not denye but it was fo in gene- 
rall, but would have made an excepcion for his uncle. 

" ' No, no, nephew, don't flatter me/ fayes I. * 'Tis 
even fo with me in common with my neighbours. My 
father had that curfed notion that is fo univerfally 
receiv'd, that learning is a kind of mechanifme, that 
'tis ufelefs to a gentleman, and that to go to fchool is 
below his quality ; and fo we that are eldeft fons are 
bred for fools by the meer courfe of Nature. 

" ' But/ faies I, ' my nocions J of things, however 
ignorant, are different from many people ; I can not 


1 MS. nocion. 


think but that, tho' we were not made fchollars when 
we were boys, we need not go block-heads to the grave. 
Is there nothing to be learnt now, becaufe we learn't 
nothing then ? Is there no learning in the world, 
coufin, but Greek and Latin ? ' 

" He anfwer'd after fome very modeft apologies for 
talking fo to me : yes, there was certainly a great 
many good things to be learn't that had no great 
relacion to the tongues ; that, 'tis true, the tongues were 
ufefull helps, but that there were feverall things very 
needfull for the knowlege of a gentleman that allways, 
or at leaft generally, were taught in Englifh, and that 
fome of the greateft m afters of them in their time had 
not fo much as underfbood Latin or Greek. 

" ' Well, nephew/ faid I, ' now you come to me. 
Pray then, without any ceremony or appology, be fo free 
with me as to tell me what thofe things are ; what is 
the propereft method to apply to them, and which of 
them are proper for, and mofh ufefull to, a gentleman ; 
for fmce I have not been taught what I fhould have 
learnt in the time of it, I am refolv'd to learn what I 
can, tho' out of feafon.' 

" ' Sir,' faid my nephew, ' it is true that cufbome has 
prevail'd fo at our Univerfities in favour of the tongues, 
that all the publick exercifes in the fchooles are per- 
form'd in the learned languages, but it is acknowleg'd 
there is riot an abfolute neceffity of it other than that 
of preferving the ufe and knowlege of thofe tongues in 
the fchollars that perform them. But 'tis certain that 
a courfe of phylofophy as well naturall as experimental, 
as alfo of the mathematicks, of aftronomy and of moft 
of the fciences properly fo called, is to be taught in the 
Englifh tongue, if the tutor or mafter pleafe to read his 
lectures in thofe fciences in Englifh to his pupils.' 

" ' Say you fo, nephew ?' faid I, * and is there then 
no fuch tutor to be found that will read his lectures, as 



you call them, in the Englifh tongue ? and may I not 
make my felf mafter of fome degree of knowlege in the 
world, tho' I do not meddle with Latin and Greek.' 

* Yes, Sir,' fayes he, 'without doubt, you may; befides 
there are fome things, as I faid before, which are never 
taught in Latin or Greek, or very rarely, and which are 
in themfelves noble ftudyes and very agreeable to the 
genius and temper of a gentleman, extremely ufefull to 
him in converfation, and fuited to his inclinacion as a 
man of quallity, and efpecially as a man of fence.' 

" ' Pray, what are they, coufm ?' faid I. 

" ' Sir,' fayes he, ' the firft and moft valuable is the 
ufe of the globes, or to fpeak more properly the ftudy 
of Geography, the knowlege of mapps, as alfo fo much 
of Aftronomy as may giv him a theory of the univerfe, 
particularly as far as relates to the motion and diftances 
of the heavenly bodies, the eclypfes, conjunctions, re- 
volutions, and influences of the planets, comets, fix'd 
ftarrs, and other phseriomena of nature.' 

"'May all thefe be learned in Englifh ?' faid I. 

"He return'd : ' Sir, as I faid before, they are very 
feldome taught in Latin except in the Univerfities, and 
there it is done fo meerly as it was the antient cuftome, 
and I think none of the beft cuftomes neither.' 

" ' Why fo, nephew ? ' faid I. /. 107 

"'Becaufe, Sir,' faid he, 'it feems to confine the 
knowlege of thofe ufefull fbudies to the fchooles and 
to the men of letters exclufiv of other men, whereas 
abundance of men do, and more might, underftand 
them who are not train'd up at the colleges, and whofe 
fortunes would not admitt a liberall education ; and 
confining thefe moft neceffary branches of fcience to 
thofe onely who can read and underftand Latin is 
tying up knowlege to a few, whereas Science being a 
publick bleffing to mankind ought to be extended and 
made as difufiv as poffible, and mould, as the Scripture 



fayes of facred knowlege, fpread over the whole earth, 
as the waters cover the fea.' 

" c I think you are very right there, nephew,' faid I, 
'and in particular your difcourfe is very agreeable to 
me ; for according to your notion, then, I may learn 
all thefe things ftill, tho' I don't go to fchool again like 
a boy.' 

" * Sir,' anfwer'd my nephew, ' fo far from going to 
fchool again like a boy, that thefe things are feldome 
learnt till we are men ; and as the feafaring men are 
generally well accquainted with thefe ftudyes, let any 
one examine how few of them underftand Latin or 
Greek ; nay, the very Mailers that teach them do not 
allwayes underftand thofe tongues and have no occafion 
for it, as I think I hinted before ; and if Latin and Greek 
was neceffary to a ftudy of Aftronomy, Navigation, and, 
in generall, feverall other branches of the Mathema- 
ticks, what would become of Navigation in generall ; for 
where is there a fea-faring man in twenty that under- 
ftands Latin, and yet fome of them the compleateft 
artifts in the world.' 

" * Well ; but, coufm,' faid I, ' you intimated, I think, 
that there were two reafons why you thought the 
cuftome of the Univerfities in confining their fchollars 
to read all the fyilems in the Latin tongue was not the 
beft method : pray, what was the other reafon ?' 

" ' Truly, Sir, my other reafon was becaufe it throws 
the Englifh tongue fo entirely out of ufe among them, 
excluding it from all the Colleges, and out of every 
courfe of their teachings, that many gentlemen come 
from the Univerfity excellently well ikill'd in the 
fciences, Mailers, nay, criticks, in the Oriental languages 
and in moil parts of ufefull learning, and can hardly 
fpell their mother tongue, at leail 'tis frequent that, tho' 
all their performances are at lail to iffue in the original 
mother Englifh, yet being loft out of all their fchool 



readings and out of all the ledlures of their tutors and 
all their own performances, they have no ftile, no diftion, 
no beauty or cadence of expreflion, but are fo dull, 
fo awkward and fo heavy in delivring themfelves, that 
'twould be a fhame to hear one of them declaim in 
Englifh, who, perhaps, would gain an univerfall applaufe 
if it were perform'd in the Latin tongue.' 

" c This is ftill o' my fide, coufm,' faid I, ' and 'tis a 
very great fatisfaction to me to hear it ; for by your 
account of the thing 'tis very poffible for me, tho' not 
a boy, and tho' I have no Greek or Latin, to be mafter 
of fome parts of learning, at leaft ; if I can not be a 
fchollar I need not be a fool.' 

" ' Sir,' fayes my nephew, * I am of opinion that the 
world has a very wrong notion of what they call a 
fchollar. I think 'tis a miftake that a man can not be 
call'd a fchollar, unlefs he be mafter of all claffick 

learning. There's Mr , a gentleman who you 

know very well, and we all think him an extra- 
ordinary perfon.' 

" ' Why,' faid I, 'is not Mr a fchollar ? I 

wifli I were as good a fchollar as he, I would defire no 
better a flock of learning. Why, I have heard him dif- 
courfe with you, nephew, I thought it was in Latin.' 

" ' No, Sir,' fayes he, ' he does not fpeak Latin at all. 
He was taught Latin, and underftands it tollerably well 
to read it, but not enough to difcourfe in it.' 

"' What was it then you talkt?' faid I. 

" ' It was Italian, Sir,' faid he. 

" ' Well then,' faid I, * he underftands fome tongues. 
Will nothing make a man a fchollar but Latin and 
Greek ?' 

" * Some tongues, Sir,' faid my nephew, ' why, he / 109. 
underftands allmoft every thing but Latin and Greek, 
and yet we will not, we muft not, allow him to be a 

" ' Every 


" ' Every thing,' fayed I, ' pray, what do you call 
every thing ? It feems they won't allow him to under- 
ftand any thing.' 

" ' Why, Sir,' return'd he, ' I think I may fay every 
thing that's needfull to be known and that makes a 
man fit for the converfation of the beft men, for 

"' i. He fpeaks French as fluent as the Englifh. 
He fpeaks Spanifh and Italian and fomething of the 
Sclavonian, for he has converf t very much among the 
Poles and Mufcovites, and he has alfo fome thing of 
the Portuguefe : and yet he is NO SCHOLLAR. 

" ' 2. He is as good a proficient in Experimental 
Phylofophy as moft private gentlemen and has a nice 
colleccion of rarities : yet he is NO SCHOLLAR. 

" ' 3. He is a mafter in Geography, has the fituacion 
of the world at his fingers' ends. You can not name 
any country in the known part of Europe but he can 
gtv you extempore an account of its fituacion, latitude, 
rivers, chief towns, its commerce, and, nay, and fome 
thing of its hiftory and of its politicall intrefts : yet he 

" ' 4. He is as well fkill'd in all -aftronomicall know- 
lege, the motions and revolutions of the heavenly 
bodies as moft mafters in that fcience, that ever I have 
met with, and I have heard feverall men of great 
judgement in thofe things fay the fame of him : but he 

" ' 5. He is a mafter of Hiftory, and, indeed, I may 
fay he is an univerfall hiftorian, efpecially of all the 
hiftorys that are written or tranflated into the Englifh 
tongue, and thofe that are not, he has read them in 
French or Italian : but he is NO SCHOLLAR. 

" ' 6. For his own country he is a walking map ; he 
has travell'd thro' the whole ifland, and thro' moft 
parts of it feverall times over ; he has made fome of 



the moft criticall remarks of feverall parts of it, fo that 
he could not be charg'd, when he went abroad, to have 
known much of other countryes and nothing of his own 
as is the juft fcandal of moft Englifh travellers : and 
yet this man forfooth is NO SCHOLLAR.' 

"'This is extraordinary. Pray then/ faid I, 'what/. 107*. 
do you call a fchollar ?' 

" ' Truly, Sir,' faid my kinfman, ' I am afham'd almoft 
to tell you what they call fchollars. A man may be a 
fchollar in their fence and be good for nothing, be a 
meer pedant, a Greek and Latin monger. I think our 
meer fchollars are a kind of mechanicks in the fchools, 
for they deal in words and fyllables as haberdafhers 
deal in fmall ware. They trade ! in meafure, quantityes, 
dactyls, and fpondaes, as inftrument-makers do in 
quadrants, rules, fquares, and compaffes ; etymologyes, 
and derivations, prepofitions and terminations, points, 
commas, colons and femicolons, etc., are the product 
of their brain, juft as gods and devils are made in 
Italy by every carver and painter ; and they fix them 
in their proper ftations in perfpectiv, juft as they do in 
nitches and glafs windowes.' 

" * You make ftrange fellows of them, indeed,' 
faid I. 

" ' I make nothing of them/ faid my nephew, ' but 
what they are. They are meer psedagogues, they feem 
to be form'd in a fchool on purpofe to dye in a fchool.' 

" ' They are good for linguifts/ faid I, ' are they not ? 
or, I fuppofe, for interpreters and tranflators ?' 

" ' No, indeed, Sir/ fayes he, ' they are fcarfe good 
for interpreters ; and as for tranflators, they are not fit 
by any means, for there is not one in twenty of them 
underftands Englifh, they have been fo fwallow'd up in 
Latin and Greek, Hebrew 2 and Syriac and Arabick, and 
value themfelves fo much upon their exotick phrafes, 


i T. ' Heb. 


crabed expreffions, and harfh unfonorous words, that 
they wholly difregard the Englifh, in which they ought 
principally to ftudy to be plain and intelligible.' 

" ' Is it poffible, coufm,' faid I, * they fhould under- 
ftand all languages and not their own ?' 

" ' I do not fay, Sir,' faid he, ' that, that they don't 
underftand it ; but they have no ftile, no fluency, no 
polite language in their expreffion ; nay, they fcarfe 
fpell it right. You would be afham'd to fee the Englifh 
fome of them write ; nay, fome of them are fo fencible 
of it that they are afham'd of it themfelves, and there- 
fore hardly write at all/ 

"'What's the meaning of all this, coufm?' faid I, 
' what is to be done, then ? May a man be a fchollar 
and a fool too ? That's ftrange. Who would be a 
fchollar then ? Why, my father was in the right then 
to make a blocked of me the eafyeft way, if it would 
have been fo after hard ftudy ; this way's the beft a 
great deal.' 

" ' Sir,' anfwer'd my kinfman with a fmile and 
abundance of good humour in his face, ' you are too 
hard upon your felf. No queftion but learning is a 
beauty and an ornament to the very foul ; but the 
fined Jewell ill fet can not fhine. Thefe men mifhake 
the end and defign of learning. I think they let their 
very fouls ruft under the weight of thofe particular 
materialls which are given to polifh it. Learning is an 
ornament to a gentleman ; but like Saul's armour upon 
little David, 'tis a meer cafe of iron to a cynic, morofe, 
four temper ; it makes 'em ftalk about and go ftifT as 
if they were fit for nothing but to be fcrew'd up into 
Greek and Latin like a fkeleton in a prefs, to fcare 
folks and be frightfull.' 

/. 108. " * Well, coufm,' faid I, 'but how muft we underftand 
the extream ? What is learning then ? and who would 
be a fchollar to be fo much as in danger of this madnefs ? ' 



" ' Sir,' faid he, merrily, ' we mufl diftinguifh between 
a man of polite learning and a meer fchollar : the firft 
is a gentleman and what a gentleman fhould be ; the 
laft is a meer book-cafe, a bundle of letters, a head 
ilufft with the jargon of languages, a man th,at under- 
ilands every body but is underflood by no body, a 
creature buryed aliv in heaps of antients and moderns, 
full of tongues but no language, all fence but no wit, 
in a word, all learning and no manners.' 

" ' But what then fhould I be, coufm,' faid I ; ' for I 
would fain be fome thing that I am not.' 

" He anfwer'd, ' I fee nothing you want, Sir, but a 
little reading.' 

" ' I differ from you there, coufm,' faid I, ' I doubt 
you are miftaken ; 'tis a great deal I want. I would 
be glad to read a little.' 

" ' Perhaps, Sir,' faid he, ' 'tis not fo much as you 
imagine. I diflinguifh, as I faid, between a learned 
man and a man of learning, as I diflinguifh between a 
fchollar and a gentleman. You have a polite educacion 
as a gentleman allready.' 

" ' An ignorant education, coufm,' faid I, ' do you 
call that polite?' 

" ' No, Sir,' faid he, ' all that you call ignorance would 
vanifh prefently with a little application to books.' 

" ' What can I do,' faid I, ' and what will reading do 
for me that can read nothing but Englifh.' 

" ' Reading, Sir, in Englifh,' faid he, ' may do all for 
you that you want. You may ftill be a man of reading, 
and that is in a large part of the fence of that word, a 
man of learning ; nay, it is the more gentlemanly part ; 
you may in a word be a gentleman of learning? 

" ' Your remark I believ is very jufl, nephew,' faid I, /. 109. 
* about a gentleman and a meer fchollar ; but it puts a 
new thought into my head. Is it poffible for me to 
furnifh my felf with all that treafure of knowlege as 



you fay Mr is matter of, who they fay is no 

fchollar : tho' I kno' nothing of Greek and Latin ? for 
I am no fchollar in the groffeft fence of that faying.' 

" ' Yes, Sir,' faid my nephew, ' I make no doubt of it.' 
f. 108. " ' You begin to put new life into me, coufm,' faid I, 

1 why, I defire to be no better a fchollar than Mr 

All the gentry in the country admire him, the moft 
learn'd and beft educated among them ! Even the 
clergy-men fay he is a moft accomplifh'd complete 
gentleman. I wifh I was but half fuch a fchollar.' 

" ' Sir,' faid my nephew, ' he had it not by educa- 
tion ? ' 

" ' What do you mean by that,' faid I, * not by 
education ?' 

" * No, Sir,' faid he, ' he knew nothing, comparativly 
fpeaking ; he was bred at home being a gentleman ; 
they thought it a difhonour to fend him to fchool, juft 
as you are pleaf'd to fay of yourfelf.' 

" ' But how did he get it all then ?' faid I. 

" ' Sir,' faid my nephew, * he never began to look 
into books till he was 20 year old at leaft, and then, 
the ftory is too long to tell you, he fell upon a volun- 
tary ftudy, and with fome very few helps from a 
chaplain of his father's, who was a man of learning and 
had travell'd abroad, I fay, by his afliftance and his 
own application, he became what now we fee he is : 
and you may without doubt do the fame and more if 
you pleafe.' 

/. 109. " I was furprif'd at his difcourfe. A fecret joy 
fpread over my whole foul. I was quite another man 
than I was before, and I refolv'd from that moment 
that if it was in nature, if I had any morall powers, 
any capafcities, I would put them to the uttmofl 
ftretch ; that I would learn every thing that was to be 
taught and get every thing that was to be got, that 
I might no more pafs for a blockhead in company 



and look fo much like a fool, as I thought I did and 
as I concluded others muft needs think of me too. 

"The next morning after this, I took my nephew 
afide again, and ask't him if he thought a man might 
be found out that was capable of putting me into a 
method for thofe things we talkt of the night before, 
and that would undertake it. 

" He told me he did not doubt but he might hear 
of fuch a man either at London or at the Univerfity, 
tho' he did not yet kno' of any ; but he feem'd to 
doubt my part as to the applicacion.' 

"'Don't doubt that, coufm,' faid I, 'for I'll lock 
my felf up for feaven year for it, if that be needfull. / "o. 
My time is of no value to me till I know how to 
employ it better than I do now, and I am fure I can't 
employ it better now, than to learn how to employ 
it better here after. Befides, I mall hang my felf or 
be wifhing to do it every day to liv in this ftate of 
primitiv nature, when it is evedent I may, by a little 
applicacion, bring my felf out of it.' 

" Thus, Sir," faid my friend, " I have given you an 
account of the firft a<5t of this comedye. I doubt I 
have wearyed you with the length of it." 

I was moft agreeably furprif'd with this little 
hiftory, and afterwards when I had fome converfation 
with the young gentleman, his nephew, upon the fame 
fubjecl:, he told me a great many particulars more of 
their difcourfe, which his own modefty would not fuffer 
him to mencion and which are too many and too long 
to be repeated here. 

Upon the whole it was happily propof d by his 
nephew ; for feeing his uncle, my friend, fo much in 
earneft and that, as he faid, the thing it felf was fo 
much to his reall advantage in the profpecl of it, he 
was refolv'd he would not be wanting in promoting fo 
good a defign ; fo he went up to London and after- 


wards to Cambrige, where he found out a grave 
gentleman eminent for learning and one of a very good 
chara6ler for his moralls, and who was an excellent 
tutor, but out of employment and not in very good 
circumftances. 1 

This man he brought home to his uncle, who, firft 
difcourfmg with him upon the defign of his taking him 
and finding he approved of it and thought it practi- 
cable, foon agreed with him ; and he was firft brought 
to the houfe on the pretence of fetting his books in 
Y order, and fo was call'd his library keeper. Tho' the 
gentleman, my friend, had no great quantity of books 
before, fufficient to be call'd a library, yet by the 
direccion of his new tutor he foon furnifh'd himfelf 
with books proper for his ftudy, and had in lefs than 
two year a very good colleccion, not chofen after the 
manner of the perfon mencion'd before, but carefully 
and fkilfully chofen as his reading and his proficiency 
in ftudy call'd for them. 

He allow'd this library keeper very handfomely 
at his begining ; but as he found him not onely a 
capable man for his buffinefs, but a moft agreeable 
perfon in his converfation and a worthy good man 
many other wayes, he added to his allowance and to 
his conveniences alfo ; for he took him and his wife 
(he had no children) into his family, allow'd him ;ioo 
per annum falary and a table furnifh'd from his own 
kitchin ; and afterwards having built a feperate appart- 
ment for his books the library keeper had a very hand- 
fome appartment for himfelf, wife, and a maid fervant, 
and the gentleman's family chaplin eat with them. 

Here he fhut himfelf up four houres every day : 
that was his ftated time, and to which he confin'd him- 
felf ; befides diverting himfelf at fpare times with read- 
ing hiftory and fuch other matters as beft pleafd his 

1 Abbreviated. 


fancy and as were recomended to him by his library 

This courfe he held four year and a half, during 
which time he ftudyed fo hard and with fuch applica- 
cion, and his teacher mannag'd his inflruccions with 
fuch fuccefs, that in fhort he might be faid to mafter 
the fciences. He run thro' a whole courfe of Phylofophy, 
he perfectly compaff d the ftudy of Geography, the ufe 
of the maps and globes ; he read all that Sir Ifaac 
Newton, Mr. Whifton, Mr. Halley had faid in Englifh 
upon the nicefb fubjecls in Aftronomy and the fecrets 
of Nature ; he was extremely delighted with Sir Ifaac's 
opticks and all his nice experiments, feparacion of 
colours, and other writings ; for what he could not 
come at in Englifh, his laborious teacher tranflated for 
him in leffons and abridg'd lectures, fo that in a word in 
thofe 4 yeares and half he was a mathematician, a 
geographer, an afbronomer, a philofopher, and, in a 
word, a compleat fchollar : and all this without the 
leaft help from the Greek or the Latin. However not 
content with all this, the laft half year of his ftudyes 
his diligent tutor form'd a compendious method to 
teach him Latin, and made fuch a progrefs in it, that/m. 
the gentleman, my friend, began to underftand it toller- 
ably well, could read and underftand any Latin author 
pretty well, and by talking it conftantly with his tutor, 
as it were by rote, had learn'd it as a fpeech as well 
as learnt the rudiments and rules of grammar. 

But at the end of this fuccefsful progrefs, his pain- 
full library keeper dropt off and dyed, to his inexpref- 
fible affliccion and lofs. 

He was fo kind to the memory of his tutor, who he 
allways call'd father^ that he continued his wife and 
her maid in his family, as fhe was before, allow'd her a 
table as in her hufband's time, and 20 a year for cloths 
and her maid's wages, expences, etc., till after about eight 



year more the widdow delivr'd him of that beneficence 
and dyed too. 

This fmall hiftory I have mencion'd here and been 
the more particular in, that all our gentlemen who 
are, as many pretend to be, fencible of the defe<5ls 
of their educacion and of the unhappynefs of their 
paternal ignorance may fee, if they are fincere in their 
concern about it, a fair way to recover the deficiency 
of their educacion, and may foon let the world fee that a 
gentleman may be a fchollar without Greek or Latin. 

Nor is it abfolutely neceffary that every gentleman, 
however defirous he may be of recovering him felf in 
the improvement of his knowlege, fhould purfue it with 
fo much application and in fuch a laborious manner as 
my friend did. He was, indeed, an extraordinary 
example, and is fo recommended ; but then he had an 
infatiable thirft after the thing call'd learning, and was 
refolute in the purfuit of it, unwearyed in his ftudy and 
never fatisfyed with knowing, and exceeding delighted 
alfo in the fuccefs. 

I muft add here that it would be a happy encour- 
aging ftep towards the improving young gentlemen in 
fcience and in the ftudy of all the liberall arts, as they 
are juftly call'd, if they were taught in Englifh and if 
all the learned labours of the matters of the age were 
made to fpeak Englifh, to be levell'd to the capafcities 
of the more unlearn'd part of man-kind, who would be 
encourag'd by that means to look into thofe happy dif- 
coveryes in Nature, which have 1 been the ftudy and 
labour of fo many ages. 

I have often heard gentlemen complain that the 
Univerfities feem to lock up the knowlege of Nature, 
as the Papifts the cup in the Eucharifl, from the ufe of 
the vulgar, as if they were afraid the unlearned part of 
the world fhould grow wifer, and thofe that kno' but 

1 MS. has. 


little for want of inftruccion fhould be farther inform'd 
by the help of reading. 

Knowlege can never be too diffufiv, nor too many 
men drink at her flreams. 

The French are particularly to be applauded for 
this ; they have made allmoft all the learned labours 
of the Antients their own by tranflateing them into 
their own language and teaching all the phylofophy 
and wifdome of both the firft and laft ages in their own 
tongue to the infinite advantage as well as pleafure and 
fatisfaccion of the people who defire knowlege. 

The learned languages, as they are properly call'd, 
are no other way valuable to us in the article of know- 
lege than as they give us the reading of the antient 
hiftorys and of the wifdom and the phylofophy of the 
Antients, which is written in thofe languages, as Plu- 
tarch, Herodotus, Xenophon, Homer, and others, in 
the Greek ; and of Ovid, Horace, Virgil, Saluft, Livy, 
and abundance of other authors of the Antients ; and, 
in a word, the labours of all the primitiv fathers, 
doctors of the Church, and other authors either religious 
or phylofophick, who have written in thofe languages. 
Had the learning of the Romans and Grecians been 
taken from other antient authors, as ours is from them, 
and been to be ftudyed in other languages, how few 
learned writers fhould we have had efpecially among 
the Romans. All the authors we learn from, all the 
poets, phylofophers, phyfitians, and hiflorians, wrot in 
their mother tongue and in the very language they 
learnt to fpeak and fpell in, whereas we are fain to 
learn the language of the author firft and then take in 
his fence and underftanding. 

Now if thofe writeings which are the labours of the 
learned were handed down to us in our own tongue, if 
the phylofophy, the geography, the aftronomy of as 
well the antient as the modern writers were made 

O familiar 


familiar to us, and all liberall arts and fciences taught 
in our mother tongue, it muft be granted men might 
be made fchollars at a much eafier expence as well of 
labour as of money than now, and men might be 
term'd truly learned and yet kno' nothing of the Greek 
or the Latin. 

It is faid, indeed, that a man that will be a fchollar 
ought to be able to examine the tranflacions of all 
books with the originalls, to fee that he is not impofed 
vpon by the tranflator ; that no man of fence cares to 
read a tranflation that can read the originall ; and in 
fome things it may be very well to be able to do fo. 

But is it worth any gentleman's while, as Oldham 
fayes, to go feaven year to the Grammar Bridewell (the 
fchool) and there beat Greek and Latin, as whores 
beat hemp ? Is it worth all this labour to make a man 
able to read and compare the originals, when he can 
read and may depend upon the juftice of the tranflation ? 
If a man may be a good Chriftian, tho' he can not 
compare all the tranflations of Scripture which are the 
foundation of his Chriftian knowlege, with the originals, 
and trye all the various readings with the text ; that is, 
in a word, with out being able to read the polyglott 
/. in. Bible : why may he not be allow'd to be a fchollar who 
has gone thro' all the fciences, pafft a courfe of naturall 
and experimentall phylofophy, and read over all the 
works of the beft mailers in thofe ftudyes, tho' he has 
not read them in the originals but in the tranflation 

It is faid of the learned Mr. Cambden that, in order 
to quallifye himfelf for his great Itinerat or Survey of 
England, he found himfelf under an neceffity to ftudy 
and make himfelf mafter of the old Welch or Britifh 
tongue and alfo of the Saxon, and to be able to read 
both the Britifh and Saxon character. The reafon was 
plain : there was no tranflation of all the Britifh proper 



names of perfons, places, and families, no authors who 
had rendred thofe words into Englifh or into Latin ; 
for he wrote his Brittannia in Latin. 

Had there been any tranflation of thofe things into 
Latin or Englifh, Mr. Cambden would never have 
beftowed the fruitlefs labour to learn a language which 
after his book was finifhed he knew would be of no ufe 
to him ; and yet Mr. Cambden was no lefs a fchollar 
and a learned man before than he was afterward. 

We have, no queftion, a great many learned men 
among us, and whofe reputacion for learning fuffers no 
diminution, altho' they can not read the Chaldee para- 
phrafe l of the Bible, or the Arabic or Syriac coppies of 
it, or tho' they can not read the Mufcovite, which is 
the Sclavonian language, or the Chinefe, which is 
worfe to find out than all the refb. 

Suppofe a gentleman whofe character as fuch is un- 
difputed, who thinks it worth his while to ftudy naturall 
phylofophy, to dip into the abyffe of wifdom and 
artfull knowlege call'd aftronomy, or any other of thofe 
happy ftudyes which, being mafler'd, fo juftly denomi- 
nate a man a fchollar or a man of a lib'rall educacion ; 
I fay, why muft this gentleman take the drudgery upon 
him of learning that language meerly to quallify him- 
felf for the ftudy, when he knows that the books which 
are needfull for underftanding that fcience are allready 
made Englifh, and that he may as well learn every 
branch of fcience in Englifh as in Latin. 

Upon the whole, the ftudy of fcience is the original 
of learning ; the word imports it. Tis the fearch after 
knowlege. Latin and Greek are indeed great helps to 
make the work eafie, all the antient learning being 
found in thofe languages, which are therefor call'd the 
learned languages. 

But doubtlefs, Latin and Greek onely propagate " 


1 lilS.paraphafe. 8 MS.propogale. 


themfelves in it, feeing by the help of univerfall tranf- 
lation it is poffible a diligent man may, tho' with fome 
difficulty, furnifh himfelf with all neceffary knowlege 
without them. 

The knowlege of things, not words, make a fchollar. 
If you are to be no phylofopher, unlefs you can read 
the phylofophy of the Ancients, and read it too in the 
languages they were written in, then tranflation is out 
of doores, is all labour loft, and learning and phylofophy 
is all lockt up in Latin and Greek, as money in an iron 
cheft, which no man can come at without the key. 

My friend who ftudyed thus hard for four year and 
a half, that according to Solomon he might be truly 
faid to feek for Knowlege as for filver and to fearch for 
her as for hid treafure, laugh'd at all this. " Why am 
I no fchollar ? " fayes he, " feeing I have hunted out 
Learning in all her deepeft and darkeft receffes, and 
have found her. I have made all the Greek and Latin 
that is extant in the world fubfervient to my inquiry, 
and, by the help of my never failing library keeper, 
have had them tranflated and abridg'd for me, and fo 
have made them my own, and now," fayes he, " I am a 
/. 112. fchollar in the ftri&eft fence." And fo without all doubt 
he was. It is true, this gentleman follow'd the enquiry 
after Wifdom with an unufuall applicacion ; he purfued 
her with an unwearyed dilligence, and he conquer'd the 
difficulty by the extreameft labour both of him felf and 
his faithfull inftru6tor. 

He had alfo a treafure in that honeft and dilligent 
afliftant. He was a fund of all kind of learning ; he 
was to him a dictionary for the Latin, a lexicon for the 
Greek, an oracle in all difficultyes, and an interpreter 
on all languages ; and as he often faid, he was a 
fountain of knowlege to him, for the flreams were all 
his own ; and as he had him entirely to himfelf, fo he 
thought he could not buy him too dear. 



The pains that worthy inftru<5lor took with him and 
for him ; the dilligence he ufd, to find out proper and 
fuitable fubje6ls to pleafe, as well as inftrucl: him, that 
he might make his ftudy a delight to him ; his labour 
in tranflating and abridging things which were not to 
be found in the English ; in a word, the fmcerity and 
fuccefs of his endeavour were fuch, and the gentleman 
was fo fencible of it, that he lov'd him as a father and 
call'd him fo, as long as he liv'd, and thought he could 
never do enough for him ; and that made him, as I 
have faid, take him and his wife and maid fervant into 
his family, and when he built his library, build him 
an appartment and furnifh it and allow him a feperate 
table with the chaplain onely as his gueft, all which 
was over and above his firft agreement ; for at firft he 
onely allow'd him an hundred pounds a year, and his 
lodging was in a farmer's houfe hard by. 

I mufb take notice here that I do not by this ex- 
ample intimate a contempt of the learned languages 
or difcourage any gentleman from fending their fons 
to the fchools fo early that they may make themfelves 
mafters of thofe languages in the feafon of them ; and 
it is not to be denyed but that 'tis greatly to their 
advantage to be able to read the antient as well as 
modern labours of the greateft men in the languages 
in which they were written. 

But the example is brought that thofe gentlemen 
who have had the mifsfortune of being neglected when 
they were young, and, whether by the pride of being 
thought above it, or by the indolence of their inftruft- 
ors, or by what ever accident, have loft the oppor- 
tunity of that help to erudition, may yet fee that 
they are not entirely loft to the world and to them 
felves by the lofs, but that with applicacion and taking 
proper methods they may retreiv the great diffadvan- 
tage they are under, and may ftill mafter the mod 



ufefull parts of knowleg and be yet good fchollars to 
all the ends and purpofes of learning, notwithftanding l 
the lofs they have fuftain'd. 

It is evedent by this example that all the fciences 
may be taught in the Englifh tongue ; all phylofophy 
whether of the Antients or Moderns may be, nay, 
much of it allready is, written in Englifh ; and many 
Englifh gentlemen, men of learning and of the greatefl 
capafcityes, who have firft publifh'd their labours in 
Latin have thought fitt to tranflate them into Englifh 
them felves and publifh them again, for the making 
knowlege the more extenfiv and doing a generall good 
to the world. Thus we fee Mr. Cambden's Britannia, 
Mr. Burnet's Theory of the EartJi, and fome other 
valuable things written firft in Latin and made Englifh 
by their authors being fencible that there might be 
men of learning fufficient for the reading and under- 
ftanding thofe very learned difcourfes and accounts of 
things, which yet might not be mafters of the Latin fo 
as to be able to read them in the originall with fluency 
and eafe. 

This is a teflimony to the world that a man may be 
phylofopher enough to underftand, and judge of, the 
whole theory of the earth, which I might in that par- 
ticular refpect call the theory of Nature, and yet not 
be accquainted either with the Latin or the Greek ; and 
this is the reafon of my quoting Mr. Burnet. If he 
had not been affur'd of this, and that his work would 
.be profitably underftood by many judicious readers 
who could not underftand it or perhaps not read it in 
/. 113- the Latin tongue, he would not have taken the pains 
to have written it over again in Englifh, and he gives 
a very good account of the reafon of it in his intro- 
duccion to that elaborate work. 

In his dedication to the late King William he has 

1 Abbreviated. 


this extraordinary expression, which is directly to my 
prefent purpofe and fully confirms my notion, that 
men may be fchollars without Latin, and phylofophers 
without Greek. His words are as follows ; having 
first briefly defcrib'd the fubject he had written upon, 
he adds : 

" Thefe l things, Sir, I propofe and prefume to prove 
in the following treatife, which I willingly fubmit to 
Your Majefty's judgment and cenfur, being very well 
fatisfied that if I had fought a patron in all the lift 
of kings, your contemporaries, or in the roll of your 
nobles of either order, I could not have found a more 
competent judge in a fpeculation of this nature. Your 
Majefty's fagacity and happy genius for Natural Hif- 
tory, for obfervations and remarks upon the Earth, 
the Heavens, and the Sea, is a better preparation for 
inquiries of this kind then all the dead learning of the 

If then a naturall fagacity and a happy genius 
quallifyes a man for obfervacions and remarks upon 
the hiftorys of Nature and the fyftems of the Heavens 
and the Earth, then thefe things may be enquir'd into 
without the helps of languages and the ufe of tongues, 
and a man by the helps of Nature may be a compleat 
mafter of Naturall Phylofophy, of Naturall Hiftory, and 
in a word may be really a phylofopher without the 
helps of the learned languages, and may be truly call'd 
a fchollar without Latin or Greek. 

In his introduccion, as above, he has alfo this farther 
expreffion, which agrees fo exactly with the thing I am 
reafoning upon, that I could not omit the quotation. 
Like him I am far from depreciating the labour of the 
fchools or running down the value of learning ; but 
neither muft we be fuch bigots to the languages to 


1 This extract, ending with learning of the fchools^ is in a different 


wrap up all learning in their fwadling cloths and de- 
termine the world to the bondage of their tyranny or 
to irretrievable ignorance. Tis the hight 1 of pedantry to 
confine learning to a rule and fcale, out of the fquare of 
which nothing is to be known, or to infift that nothing 
that is known by meer nature fhould be acknowleg'd 
valuable in the world. Mr. Burnet is very particular 
to this purpofe. Thus this work being chiefly philofo- 
phical, reafon is to be our firft guide. 

"Neither 2 does it fo much require book-learning and 
fcholar-fhip as good naturall fence to diftinguifh true 
and falf and to difcern what is well proved and what is 
not It often happens that fcholaftick education like 
a trade does fo fix a man in a particular way, that 
he is not fit to judge of any thing that lyes out of that 
way, and fo his laming becomes a clog to his natural 
parts, and makes him more undocile and more uncap- 
able of improvments and new thoughts then thofe that 
have only the talents of nature ; as mafters of exercife 
had rather take a fcholar that never learn'd before, than 
one that hath had a bad mafter, fo generaly one would 
rather choofe a reader without art, than one ill inftructed 
with learning but opinionative and without judgment. 
Not that it is neceffary they fhould want either. Learn- 
ing, well placed, ftrengthens all the powers of the mind. 
To conclude, juft reafoning and a generous love of truth, 
whether with or without erudition, is that which maks 
us moft competent judges of truth and makes it eafie 
and plain to us." 

From this truth and from fo great a man fome juft 
inferences naturally arife in the cafe before me; (i) 
that as a meer knowlege of the tongues is not the fum 
or fubftance of all learning, fo without leffening the 
value of that knowlege at all I am to add that the mind 
may be receptiv of much knowlege and be capable of 

1 MS. highth. 2 This quotation, too, is not written by Defoe. 


true learning, and even larger degrees of it, as well in 
Natural Phylofophy as in many other branches of 
Science, without what Mr. Burnet very juftly calls the 
dead learning of the fchools. 

2. That our gentry are in the wrong, who place their 
ignorance in generall to the account of their fathers in 
neglecting their education and not fending them to 
fchool ; let the reafons of that neglect be what they 
will for that : in fpite of all that neglect and omiffions 
they have it in their power to inftruct themfelves in 
all manner of fcience and humane knowlege, the meer 
fimple knowlege of the tongues excepted. 

All the Phylofophy whether of the Antients or of 
the Moderns fpeaks Englifh to them ; all the Mathe- 
maticks are taught in Englifh ; all the Geography, 
Geometric, and the navigating arts fpeak to them in 
Englifh ; many of the bcft fyftems of Natural Phylo- 
fophy are publifh'd in our mother tongue. What excufe 
is the not being able to read fome men's works againfl 
their reading others which are as good ? What occafion 
have they for the originals when they have unexcep- 
cionable tranflations ? Let them but go thro' a courfe 
of Philofophy, a courfe of Aftronomy, Geography, 
Hiftory, etc., as far as the Englifh tongue will carry 
them ; and let us fee whether their knowlege of 
Phylofophy and all the other fciences will not deno- 
minate them fchollars, or whether any man after that 
will venture to call them men without learning, ignorant, 
and untaught. I conclude therefore that, notwithftand- 
ing 1 all the unhappy nocions of the gentry and ladyes 
in England that their fons must not be fent to fchool, 
yet the eldeft fons in England, who are generally the 
fufferers in this cafe, have no room to complain that/ 1130. 
they are ignorant and untaught, becaufe, if they are fo, 
it muft be their own faults and none other. 


1 Abbreviated. 


It may be true that their fathers and mothers deny'd 
them the dead learning of the tongues and that they 
were not taught as they fhould and ought to have 
been when they were boys, and they have no knowlege 
of Latin or Greek ; but Science and Phylofophy are the 
ftudyes of men, not of boys, neither are they any part 
of the learning of the grammar fchooles. There's no 
time left for thofe things, nor is the lofs of the learned 
languages any juft obfbruccion to the accquirements 
of thefe kinds. The knowlege of Philofophy may be 
obtain'd in a due method without them. 

I once was accquainted with a tutor of unqueftion'd 
reputacion for learning and who was himfelf a critick 
in the learned languages and even in all the oriental 
tongues, as the Syriac, Chaldee, Arabic, Hebrew ; and 
none could object that he did it for want of (kill, but 
being fencible of the great defficiency I have been 
fpeaking of, and how our gentlemen were dropt, as it 
were, out of the converfation of the learned world, he 
fet up what he call'd an Englifh Accademy. 

He firfl publifhed his juft complaint againft the 
fchool learning and their locking up, as I have call'd it, 
all fcience in the Greek and Latin, compelling all their 
pupils to learn the fciences in thofe languages or not at 
all, and to perform all their public exercifes in Latin or 
Greek ; by which means many young gentlemen, even 
the greateft and beft proficients in learning, as they 
underftand the word, came finifh'd, as they call'd it, out 
of their hands, and yet had no tail of the Englifh 
tongue, could neither exprefs themfelves fluently upon 
any fubject or write elegantly in their mother tongue. 

To rectify e this great miftake of the fchools, he fet up 
his little Accademy, wherein he taught Phyficks, that is 
to fay, Natural Phylofophy, with a fyftem of Aftronomy 
as a feperate fcience, tho' not exclufiv of the general! 
fyftem of Nature ; he taught alfo Geography and the 




ufe of the maps and globes in a feperate or diftincl: 
clafs : in a word, he taught his pupils all the parts of 
accademick learning, except Medicine and Surgery. 
He alfo had a clafs for Hiftory, ecclefiaftic and civil. 
And all this he taught in Englifh. He read his lectures 
upon every fcience in Englifh, and gave his pupils 
draughts of the works of Khiel and Newton and others, 
tranflated ; alfo he requir'd all the exercifes and per- 
formances of the gentlemen, his pupils, to be made in 

He had a clafs for eloquence, and his pupils declaim'd 
weekly in the Englifh tongue, made orations, and 
wrot epiftles twice every week upon fuch fubjects as 
he prefcrib'd to them or upon fuch as they themfelves 
chofe to write upon. Sometimes they were ambaffa- 
dors and agents abroad at forreign Courts, and wrote 
accounts of their negotiacions and recepcion in forreign 
Courts directed to the Secretary of State and fome 
times to the Soveraign himfelf. 

Some times they were Minifters of State, Secretaries 
and Commiffioners at home, and wrote orders and 
inffcruccions to the minifters abroad, as by order of the 
King in Council and the like. Thus he taught his 
pupils to write a mafculine and manly ftile, to write 
the moft polite Englifh, and at the fame time to kno' 
how to fuit their manner as well to the fubject they 
were to write upon as to the perfons or degrees of 
perfons they were to write to ; and all equally free and 
plain, without foolim flourifhes and ridiculous flights of/. 114. 
jingling bombafh in ftile, or dull meaneffes of expreffion 
below the dignity of the fubjecl or the character of the 
writer. In a word, his pupils came out of his hands 
finifh'd orators, fitted to fpeak in the higheft prefence, 
to the greatefl affemlies, 1 and even in Parliament, 2 
Courts of Juftice, or any where ; and feverall of them 


1 I.e., affemblies. 2 P. 


came afterward to fpeak in all thofe places and capaf- 
cityes with great applaufe. 

It is my opinion that we greatly want fuch an 
accademy at this time for the recovery of our younger 
gentry from that unhappy ignorance which the negli- 
gence of their opinionated anceftors and inftructors left 
them in, and which is occafion'd by the groffeft and 
fimpleft of all foolifh nocions, namely, that going to 
fchool was inconfiftent with their honour, and that 
learning was needlefs to a gentleman ; that is, in fhort, 
that a man of fortune was abov being a man of fence, 
that it was an indignity for the child of a gentleman, the 
heir of the family, to be fubjeft to the mechanifme of 
letters and the difcipline of teaching. I wonder indeed 
they would vouchfafe to let him be learnt to fpeak or to 
kno' his letters, to learn his ABC, and to read Englifh ; 
which indeed fome of them can hardly be faid to do. 

The way of learning I am recommending would 
certainly retriev all this lofs and bring a gentleman to 
be a man of fence, in fpite of all the D . . . . has done 
to make him a fool, will accomplifh him in all the 
beauties of learning and oratory and make him be 
acknowleg'd for a man of learning even among the 
befh and wifeft of men, and that without the learned 
languages, feeing they can not be had. 

How many noble artifts have we in the greateft and 
beft branches of the Mathematicks, (viz.) in Aftronomy, 
in Geometry, in Arethmitick as well vulgar as decimal, 
in Algebra, in the doctrines of the Spheres, the ufe of 
the globes, the art of navigation, and in feverall other 
things, who kno' very little or nothing of the learned 

Again how many gentlemen and travellers, mer- 
chants, and even feamen, that is to fay, navigators or 
commanders of fhips, are there at this time to be found 
who are men of generall knowlege, fpeak and write 



feverall languages, as I may fay, to perfeccion, and yet 
kno' nothing of the Latin or Greek : are none of thefe 
to be call'd fchollars ? 

I had occafion to be in the company of two merchants, 
even while I was writing this tract ; (i) the one had 
liv'd 20 yeares in the northern and north eaft parts 
of Europe in the Courts of Ruffia and Poland, and he 
fpoke the Ruffian, the Sclavonian, and Polifh tongues 
as now in ufe in Mufcovy, Poland, Tartary, and 
Hungary. Alfo he fpoke the High Dutch, and that 
in the feverall dialects of Pruffia, Danemark, and 
Sweden, and with all he fpoke French as the common 
fpeech at Court all over Europe, and, laftly, he fpoke 
Englifh as his mother tongue : and yet this gentleman 
had no Greek or Latin. 

2. The other was what we call a Turkey merchant, 
and had liv'd at Aleppo, at Conftantinople, and at 
Grand Cairo. This gentleman, for fuch he was by 
blood, tho' by his profeffion a merchant, he fpoke the 
Arabic in all its feverall dialects as fpoken by the 
Turks at all thofe places ; for their language is certainly 
a general! Syriak and Arabic jargon, neither of them 
feperately. He fpoke alfo Italian, French, Low Dutch 
and Englilh, but neither Latin or Greek, except fuch 
Greek as the people call'd Greeks now fpeak in the 
Morea and at Zant, where he had alfo liv'd fome time, 
but which, as he faid, did not deferv to be call'd by the 
name of Greek. 

Now, neither of thefe men in the language of our 
times were to be call'd fchollars or men of learning, 
and yet they had feperately, and much more together, /. 115. 
fuch a fund of knowlege of hiftory, of perfons and 
things, of the intreft of nacions, and of the languages 
of nations from one end of the known world to the 
other, that not a man of learning in Oxford or Cam- 
bridge but would have been delighted in their converfa- 



tion, and would have efteem'd them as living treafuryes 
of knowlege and learning. 

But fuch is the vanity of the times, fuch the humour 
or ufage of the day, that nothing but claffic reading is 
call'd litterature ; Homer and Virgil and Horace and 
Ovid, Livy and Saluft, Cicero and Tacitus, thefe are, 
and fuch as thefe are, in our modern acceptacion, are 
the founders of knowlege, and no man is learned with- 
out them ; nay, unlefs he is mafher of the very letter, 
has them by heart, and can bring them out peice meal 
and in fragments in all his difcourfe. 

It is the vanity of this perticular kind that has 
brought it into a proverb to the fcandal of our nation,, 
that an Englifhman has his mouth full of borrow'd 
phrafes, that he is allwayes borrowing other men's 
languages and quoteing other men's fentences in Latin,, 
but faies none of his own ; not an author writes a 
pamphlet, not a poet a coppy of verfes, no, not to his 
miftrefs, tho' fhe knows nothing of the matter, but he 
draws a bill upon Horace or Virgil or fome of the old 
chiming train, and talks as familliarly of them as if they 
had been brought up together. 

And what is there in all their claffic learning which 
is not made Englifh or made French, by which, tho r 
the beauty of the verfe is not, and indeed can not, be 
preferv'd, the fubftance of the author is convey'd to us 
either expreffly or complexly and really and fub- 
ftantially, fo that the gentlemen that can not be faid 
to have a taft of them in the beauty of their original! 
languages can not however be faid to be wholly ignorant 
of them ? 

On the other hand 'tis evedent from what has been 
faid, that fcience is generally unconcern 'd 1 in them. A 
gentleman may go thro' a whole courfe of Phylofophy 
whether natural or experimental ; he may be a compleat 


1 MS. un-cernd. 


matter of the Hiftory and Geography of the whole world; 
he may have furvey'd the whole abyffe of learning and 
knowlege call'd the Mathematicks, and have fearcht into 
every creek and corner of it, and yet have never open'd 
a book or read a line among the claflicks. 

He may have fludyed Divinity, practical and 
polemick, div'd into all the facred myfteries, and made 
himfelf mafter of all the controverfies, judg'd of all the 
herifyes and doctrinal errors from Ebion and Cerinthus 
down to Toland and Emlin, and yet not have been 
concern'd among any of the Roman and Graecian 
heathen writers, nor have been able to have look'd over 
the Polyglott, the Septuagint, or the Talmud. 

All thefe things have been laborioufly tranflated and 
faithfully rendred in the Englifh tongue, and thefe 
tranflations and rendrings have been fo often and fo 
dilligently revifed and compar'd with the originals, 
that a dilligent and underftanding Englifh reader can 
not be faid to be at a lofs in underftanding them and 
may be properly faid to be thoro'ly mafter of the true 
meaning of them. 

It would be very hard with us all if it might not be 
faid that a good Chriftian may fully underftand the 
Scriptures, which are the greateft and beft and trueft 
originall of all religious knowlege in the world, without 
being fkilled in the original! Hebrew and Greek, in 
which thofe facred books were firft written. If then a 
man may be learned in all the wifdome and knowlege 
of God fo as to be a complete Chriftian, and that with- 
out the knowlege of either Latin or Greek, I fee no / n6. 
reafon to fcruple faying he may be a complete phylo- 
fopher or a complete mathematitian, tho' he has no fkill 
in the learned languages. 

The dilligence of the learned would hav chang'd this 
fcene, and have made it poffible by the helps of their 
labours and on the fhoulders of their learning in tranf- 



lating the antient and modern writings, that men may 
be really fchollars and compleatly learned without 
knowing 1 the originalls by the meer reading and 
ftudying thofe tranflacions. All that can be objected has 
been the fidelity of the tranflators and the juftice of the 
tranflations, and this is to be anfwer'd for feverall ways. 

Firft, the character of the men as well for fkill as 

Second, the criticall examination they have pafft in 
every age. 

I. The character of the men ; and here without 
giving a lift of the tranflators as well of the prefent as 
of the paft ages, we may fay their fidellity as well as 
their fkill has this tryall, (viz.) that as they have been 
varyed by feverall hands, fo they have generally agreed 
in giving the fence of the authors they have tranflated. 
What difference is among them is chiefly in the lan- 
guage of the tranflation, the Englifh ftile having been 
faid to have 2 vary'd more between this age and the laft 
50 or 60 yeares than in a hundred yeares before. 

I need not enter into particulars here or enquire into 
the differing manner of writeing : 'tis too well known 
by men of learning ; and this may have been the 
reafon why moft of the Roman and Greek authours 
have fuffr'd the hardfhip of feverall tranflations ; and 
even thofe books which were tranflated very well, nay 
beft, in the laft ages, have been done over again in this, 
and that, as we fuppofe, greatly to advantage, as Virgil, 
Juvenal, Ovid, Caefar, Saluft, 3 Livy and feverall others 
among the Latins, Plutarch, Herodotus, Homer, Seneca, 
Jofephus and others among the Greeks. 

But in all thofe tranflacions, tho' the tranflators have 
given us a differing taft of their wit, learning, and good 
language, and the lateft are efteem'd the beft, yet they 
all appear candid and genuine, giving the fence of the 


1 MS. howing. '* have is omitted in MS. 3 MS. Sulujl. 


authors fmcerely according to the ordinary underftand- 
ing of the times, nor is there any confiderable variation 
among them in matters of fact, which fhew that they all 
purfued the defign of tranflators, honeftly and uprightly. 

Hence a man may be as well fkill'd in all the Roman 
and Grecian hiftory, to fay nothing of the reft, by read- 
ing thefe learned authors as they are tranflated onely, 
as if he had been able to have examin'd them all by 
the originalls and had read them critically in the Latin 
and the Greek. 

This being the cafe, then, no gentleman ought to 
throw up the point and grow defperate becaufe he was 
not fent to fchool, as he ought to have been, in his child- 
hood, and been made mafter of the learned languages 
in the time of it, feeing it is never too late ; and he may 
ilill form his genius with the fublimeft ftudyes, and ftore 
himfelf with all the learning neceffary to make him a 
complete gentleman. 

If he has not travell'd in his youth, has not made 
the grand tour of Italy and France, he may make the 
tour of the world in books, he may make himfelf mafter 
of the geography of the Univerfe in the maps, attlaffes, 
and meafurements of our mathematicians. 1 He may 
travell by land with the hiftorian, by fea with the navi- 
gators. He may go round the globe with Dampier and 
Rogers, and kno' a thoufand times more in doing it than 
all thofe illiterate failors. He may make all diftant 
places near to him in his reviewing the voiages of thofe 
that faw them, and all the paft and remote accounts 
prefent to him by the hiftorians that have written of /. 117- 
them. He may meafure the latitudes and diftances of 
places by the labours and charts of thofe that have 
furvey'd them, and know the ftrength of towns and 
cityes by 2 the defcripcions of thofe that have ftorm'd 
and taken them, with this difference, too, in his know- 


1 MS. mathemalida. 2 MS. be. 



lege, and infinitely to his advantage, viz., that thofe 
travellers, voiagers, furveyors, foldiers, etc., kno' but 
every man his fhare, and that fhar but little, accord- 
ing to the narrow compafs of their owne actings. But 
he recievs the idea of the whole at one view. 

The ftudious geographer and the well read hifborian 
travells with not this or that navigator or traveller, 
marches with not this or that generall, or making this 
or that campaign, but he keeps them all company ; he 
marches with Hannibal over the Alps into Italy, and 
with Csefar into Gaul and into Britain, with Belifarius 
into AfTric, and with the Emperor Honorius into Perfia. 
He fights the battle of Granicus with Alexander, and 
of A6lium with Auguftus ; he is at the overthro' of 
the great Bajazette by Tamerlain, and of Tomombejus 
and his Mamaluks by Selymus ; he fees the battle of 
Lepanto, with the defeat of the Spanifh Armada with 
Drake ; with Adrian he views the whole Roman Empire 
and, in a word, the whole world ; he difcovers America 
with Columbus, conquers it with the great Cortez, and 
replunders it with Sir Francis Drake. 

Nothing has been famous or valuable in the world, 
or even the ruines of it, but he has it all in his view ; 
and nothing done in the world but he has it in his 
knowlege, from the feige of Jerufalem to the fiege of 
Namure, and from Titus Vefpafian to the greater King 
William : he has it all at the tip of his tongue. 

Nor are thefe ftudyes profitable onely and improving, 
but delightfull and pleafant too to the laft degree. No 
romances, playes, or diverting ftoryes can be equally 
entertaining to a man of fence ; nay, they make a man 
be a man of fence ; they give him a tail who had 
none before ; they teach him how to relifh fuperior 
knowlege as he looks up to the heavenly bodyes, whofe 
mocions he learns to underftand in his aftronomicall 
readings ; he is charm'd with the harmony of the 



fyftem and with feeing their direct, as well as retro- 
grade mocions conform exactly with the calculacions 
of them by books. 

When he fees the ecclypfes, conjunccions, and oppofi- 
tions of the plannets, thofe folemn teftimonyes of the 
verity of Aftronomy, happen exactly in time and 
quantity, fituacion, and degree, I fay exactly to the 
moment foretold by the artifts, he is fir'd with defires 
of fearching farther into the glorious circle of wonders, 
the hemifphere, the arch of which appeares continually 
revolving in the moft beautifull order, exactly as 
defcrib'd by his Ephimeris 1 and as he can read it 
upon the celeftial globe. 

He has the like delightfull view of the terreftrial 2 
globe when reading all the moft antient, as well as 
modern hiftories of the world ; he can turn to his maps 
and fee the very fpot where every great accion was 
done, however remote either in place or in time. 
Every fcene of glory is there fpread before him, from 
the great overthro' of Senacharib's army at the gates 
of Samaria, or from the defeat of the Ethiopian army 
of a thoufand thoufand to the yet more well fought 
battles of Leipfick, Blenheim, and Malplaquet. 

How agreeable a diverfion is it to him to read the 
public prints with his colleccion of maps and charts 
before him, where he can fee the Britifh Squadron 
blocking up the Spanifli 3 Plate Fleet at Porto Belo, 
and imediately turn his eye and fee another Britifh 
Squadron, awing the Ruffian Navy at Revell and Narve, 
and they, tho' double in number, not daring to put to 
fea to fuccour the Spaniards. 3 The next moment he 
has turn'd over a leaf, and the like chart prefents 
Gibraltar to his view, and the Spaniards battering 
themfelves to peices inftead of the town, and wafting 
their army in a fruitlefs, unfkillfull feige without fo 


1 MS. Ephineris. * MS. terrejlial. J S. 


much as comeing near enough to draw a fword in 
the whole war. There alfo he fees another Englifh 
Squadron keeping the feas open and convoying troops 
/. us. and relief dayly to the place and affifting that one 
fmall town in overmatching all the forces of Spain, 1 
whether by land or by fea. 

When armies march or fleets fail he can trace them 
with his eye, fee all their mocions, and fome of them 
even before they are begun, can tell where they are to 
day, and make a probable judgement where they will 
be to morrow. 

I might enlarge experimentally upon the delightfull 
fearch into naturall hiftory and the rarityes difcover'd 
daily in the vegitativ world, like wife into experimental 
as well as naturall phylofophy the moft agreeable as 
well as profitable fhudy in the world. 

All thefe things lye before him ; he may turn his 
head to them as he fees fit ; his having been abufed in 
his child-hood and not having been fent to fchool may 
prefent nothing difcouraging to him for thefe are the 
ftudyes of men, not of boys. The ladyes can not put 
him off of them by faying they are below his birth ; for 
thefe are improvments for gentlemen, not mechanicks, 
nay, even for the higheft rank of men. 

But to go farther yet, the inquiries and improv- 
ments of this kind are fitted for the brighteft genius, 
the moft clear underftanding, the moft difcerning heads ; 
men exalted in their curious fearch after knowlege 
above the ordinary fort of people look into fuch things 
as thefe. The king himfelf might glory in the acc- 
quirement, nor is it beneath the dignity of an emperor 
to underftand them. 

How weak then is it for a gentleman to fit down in 
a ftate of ignorance and indolence, on pretence of his 
having loft his firft teachings of the fchools. Thefe are 


1 S. 


ftudyes not to be begun till thofe claffic inftruccions are 
over, and may be fet about and maftr'd, tho' thofe 
teachings had been wholy omitted. 

I could giv many more examples of the fuccefs of 
thefe Poft Entries, as they might be call'd, in learning, 
and of the eafynefs of gentlemen in making the happy 
attempt upon themfelves : I fliall however, for the 
prefent, content my felf with what has been faid, onely 
adding one thing, which I think is particularly remark- 
able and which may be depended upon, (viz.) that fuch 
voluntary ftudents, fuch gentlemen, who thus being 
fencible of the deficiency of their educacion have 
applyed themfelves by a voluntary ftudy to recover the 
lofs, make a fwifter progreffion by many degrees than 
thofe who are taught young and under the discipline 
of paedagogues and domineering matters, who think to 
drive Greek and Latin into them with a beetle and 
wedges, as men clear blocks, and who, in a word, fpoil 
as many fchollars as they make. 

On the contrary, here, befides the difference of yeares, 
a man learns by choice, knows fomething of the ufe of 
what he learns, and more of the want of it, before he 
begins. He reads as hungry men eat, not with the 
guft, appetite onely, but with a fence of profit and under 
the anguifh of neceffity. He knows what it is to be 
without knowlege, and is eager to take it in ; and what 
is ftill beyond all, he will be as eager to retain it. 

'Tis a pleafure to teach thofe that make it a pleafure 
to learn ; he that reads thus, teaches himfelf and learns 
from himfelf; an inftructor has little more to do than 
to tell him what books he fhall read, and anfwer fuch 
enquiries as he fhall make. The gentleman that reads 
will neceffarily inftruct himfelf, he needs only a tutor 
like a Lexicon Technician to be at his hand to refolve 
difficultyes, explain terms, and ftate the world to him as 
it comes in his way. 



Let him no more afflict himfelf, then, at the loft 
houres of his child-hood. 'Tis a lofs indeed and, as it 
/. 119. were, a fetting him back in point of time, and 'tis a lofs 
of the tongues. Don't leffen it as if it were no injury 
to him ; but 'tis no fuch injury but it may be repair'd. 
He may recover the greateft and moft fatal part of the 
lofs ; he may mafter all the polite part of learning ; he 
is fully quallifyed for the ftudy of Nature ; he may 
mafter all thofe branches of fcience in which reafon is 
the guide and Nature the book ; he may, in a word, be 
every thing which a gentleman need to be, and kno' 
every thing that a gentleman need to kno' and that 
is neceffary to deliver him from the fcandal of being 
ignorant and untaught. 

As to the advantages 1 which the meer knowlege of 
the tongues may be to fuch a gentleman fo taught, 
they need take up none of our time here. There are 
feverall things which would recomend the ufe of the 
languages to us ; and if they were learnt in their feafon, 
it would be in its kind a great addition ; but to talk as 
if a man could have no complete knowlege without 
them is to carry their rate much higher than the 
intrinfick worth, 2 as a man may value his gold, at ;io 
an oz. when 'tis not worth above four. 

Nor is Latin and Greek of fo high a price as it has 
been in the world of litterature ; as when our American 
collonies were firft difcovred, the drugs, the furs, the 
fugars, nay, even the tobacco were of three times the 
value they are at now ; but by large importacions and 
doubling the cultivacion and bringing other plants and 
drugs from other parts, and which, perhaps, ferv to the 
fame ufes, the rate is fallen, and they are not fo eftem'd 
as before. 

We find the Moderns begin to gain upon the Antients 
extremely, and fome parts of knowlege fhine brighter in 

1 MS. advantage. 2 worth not in MS. 


Englifh than ever they did in Latin. Our phylofophers 
have exploded the Ancients in many things, fuch as in 
the mocion of the heavenly bodyes, 1 the ufe of the 
magnet, and the improvements of navigacion, which 
are all modern, and feverall other things ; likewife the 
circulacion of the blood in phyfickal experiments, and 
abundance of modern experiments not to be nam'd 
with the other ; likewife the improvments in the 
mathematicks, fortificacion, incampments, intrenchings, 
millitary difcipline, befeiging and defending towns, in 
all which and many other the knowlege and experience 
of the prefent age is infinitely beyond what ever went 
before them. 

Now all thefe ftudyes are made in the Englifli 
tongue, and are neceffarily to be receiv'd there, and in 
no other. Greek and Latin has nothing to do with it, 
nor are fome of the beft matters in thefe ufefull parts of 
knowlege accquainted with them. 

1 Over h. b. is written New Philofophy. 


/. .. CAP. VI. 


Of tJu gentleman's government of himfelf, his family 
and fortune. 

I . Of the government of himfelf. 

F the gentleman we are treating of can not 
govern himfelf, how fhould we expect any 
good 1 ceconomy in his houfehold ? how 
fliall he direct his family or mannage his 
fortune ? and why is it that we fee fo many good 
familyes fink in the world and both their eftates and 
pofterity fuffer an irecoverable decay but for want of 
this neceffary thing call'd ceconomy or good * govern- 
ment and mannagement of the family ? Where can 
the neglect or omiffion of it all lye but in the head 
of the family ? Who we find too often letting the reins 
loofe to his vices or at beft to his pleafures, thinks it 
below him to mind his other affaires, either to regulate 
his family or to mannage and improv his eftate. 

Let us confider thefe three heads apart. The 
gentleman's government of himfelf. It muft be con- 
feff't there is a great, I had allmofb faid an univerfall, 
defficiency among our gentlemen in the government of 
themfelves ; their moralls and manners are deprav'd 
and vitiated in a manner hardly to be defcrib'd, at lead 
not fully. Whether this generall depravity of manners 

1 Abbreviated. 


is more the caufe of the defe<5l of education or the 
confequence of it, is not eafily determin'd ; but 'tis 
manifeft that it works both wayes, tho' with different 
effe6ls, as in the father 'tis the caufe why the fon is 
not well taught and inftructed, and in the fon 'tis the 
effec~l of his father's not inftructing him. 

Firft, his vicious, debauch't father omited the inftrucl:- 
ing or inducting his fon ; the uninftruc~led, untaught fon 
grows vicious and debauch't, becaufe he is untaught 
and uninftructed in the wayes of wifdome and knows 
not the beauty and excellency of learning and of virtue. 
In a word, ignorance is the feed of levity, and a fool 
turns proffligate by the meer deprivation of wit ; the 
weaknefs of his moralls derives from the weaknefs of 
his head, and he follows mean and fcandalous vice 
from his meer ignorance of virtue and true wifdome. 

In confequence of this, when he comes to have a 
family of his own, he does the fame, and his heir 
fucceeds to the mifhakes as well as the eftate of the 
family. The fame increafe of ignorance and decay of 
virtue follow from the fame fund of naturall depravity. 
Thus vice begets ignorance, and ignorance nurfes up 
wickednefs in the meer courfe of things. 'Tis all 
caufe and confequence, meer nature, and it can be no 
otherwife. The alternativ is as neceffary, and fucceeds 
to it felf as naturally as light and dark, death and life ; f. 122. 
where one precedes, the other muft fuccede, it can not 
be otherwife. How hard it is that Nature mould thus 
tye us up to the fatal confequence that becaufe I am 
a fot my fon muft be a fool ! If I am wicked and vile 
for my felf, it is nothing but to my felf, and when I 
am gone the world is well rid of me. But to think I 
fhould entail a defcent of folly and vice, ignorance and 
wickedness, upon my whole pofterity, that I fhould 
bring a race of fools into the line, and that they fhould 
go on curfmg me, the great progenitor of all their 



wicked gradations, and that there fhould be an 1 alter- 
nate fucceffion of fool and and knav in all my genera- 
cions for a hundred ages to come : this indeed is very 
mortifying ; that I, becaufe I am indolent and debauch't, 
muft beget an ignorant fon, he not knowing better 
leaves his heir like his anceftor, indolent and a defpifer 
of that learning he was never taught to value ; from 
which he runs on to the fame excefs of floth and 
ignorance that I was wrapt up in at firft. Thus 
wickednefs fucceeds Hell ; and Hell, wickednefs, take it 
which way you pleafe. 

/. 121. I might very profitably enlarge here upon the 
neceffity the compleat gentleman is under in the 
government of himfelf, to regard his moralls and that 
the generall gart of his perfonall conduct fhould de- 
nominate him a man of virtue in meer compaffion to 
his pofterity ; but it would be too tedious a digreffion. 
Allow me, however, to recommend it with relation to 
himfelf perfonally. 

It is a great miftake to fay that a proffligate, vicious 
life is confident with a compleat gentleman ; virtue is 
fo far from being below the quallity of a gentleman, or 
even of a nobleman, that ftrictly fpeaking a man can 
not be truly noble or compleatly a gentleman without 
it ; and tho' I were to take no notice of religion in 
this difcourfe, but confining my felf to thofe we call 
morall virtues onely, yet the thing is true in the mod 
abftracted fence. A gentleman giving himfelf a loofe 
in all manner of vice and extravagance, what is he to 
be efteem'd in life ? how can he be call'd a gentleman 
without making a juft excepcion for his ill government 
of himfelf? 

We have frequent examples of this in the ordinary 
acceptacion of a gentleman, where nothing is more 
frequent than to fay fuch a nobleman or fuch a gentle- 
1 MS. afuccejjlon alternate, corrected to a alt.fucc. 


man is a very fine perfon, has a thoufand good qualli- 
tyes, but he is this, but he is that, mencioning fome 
immorallitie, fome impropriety, which he unhappily 
mingles with his character, and then they conclude, 
what pity it is that fuch a fine gentleman, fuch a 
noble perfon, fuch an extraordinary man fhould fully 
his character in fuch a manner. Perhaps, it is a mif- 
trefs or two, perhaps an open profeff't atheifme, 
perhaps a habit of fwearing, or that he is given to 
exceffiv drinking, perhaps violently paffionate, or the 
like. His favourite vice is allwayes brought in as an 
excepcion to his character otherwife unfpotted. 

On the contrary, we never find a gentleman's 
being fober, modeft, wife, religious, temperate, learned, 
virtuous, I fay, we never find thefe brought in as 
exceptions againft, but as ornaments of, and addicions 
to, his character, and as things which in the univerfall 
opinion of mankind ferv to illuftrate and brighten his 
fame. Even the men of crime themfelves, who want 
the virtues which addorn his character, will recognize the 
value and beauty of them in the virtuous gentleman, and 
frequently reproach themfelves with the want of them, 
like Baalim wifhing to dye the death of the righteous. 

It muft remain upon record in honour of the 
memory of the late Queen Ann that Her Majeftie ufd 
to fay fhe thought there was not a better lecture of 
morallity to be read in the world, than might be read 
in the vifible differences between the meer figure or 
appearance of a gentleman or noble-man of virtue and 
a rake of the fame quallity as they ordinaryly fhew'd 
themfelves at Court, and that they might be read at firft 

I muft therefore lay it down as one of the moft 
neceffary accomplifhments of a compleat gentleman 
that he takes an efpeciall care of his moralls ; that he 
takes good principles into his family as his efpeciall 



favourites and domefticks ; that he guard his virtue with 
the uttmoft caution and care ; and that he never thinks 
it below him to be efteem'd as a man of modefty, 
fobriety and temperance, nor a man of religion too, as 
things without which his character will be allwife markt 
with an afterifme or * when it is mencion'd in converfa- 
cion, having an excepcion allways attending his good 
name and allways mencioned with him in company. 
/. 121 1. If the unhappy gentleman has been ill taught or un- 
taught, the thing I have been reprefenting as the firft 
mifsfortune in his houfe and efpecially in himfelf, let 
him confider that defect as the firft to be repair'd ; and 
he has this for his encouragement, that this part is 
to be recover'd without a teacher. No man need be 
taught to abandon his vices and reform his manners, as 
Nature will dictate one part of it, confcience will dictate 
the other. He wants nothing but to be convinc't that 
it ought to be done ; and it would be needlefs to preach 
moralls to him any long time. Let him but appeal to 
himfelf, and he will find teachers in his own breaft, 
that will tell him it is not onely neceffary to be done, 
but eafie alfo, and that without it he not onely is ruin'd 
himfelf, but his pofterity alfo. 

For take him in the meer ftate of nature, as I may call 
it, namely juft as he came out of his ignorant, immorall 
father's hands, that is to fay, uneducated, uninftructed, 
and confequently foolifh, wild, vicious, and immorall : 
how unhappily, but unavoidably, unlefs thus prevented, 
does he propogate ignorance and vice, and hand them 
down from his ancefhors to his pofterity by the meer 
courfe of humane generacion ! 

/. 122. But now to return to my argument. How fhall the 
gentleman govern himfelf? As we learn fpeech from 
the imitacion of our forefathers, fo, in a word, we learn 
vice or virtue from the like imitacion. We fee the 
method of the family has been to entail ignorance and 



immorallity upon the race ; and how fhall that race fo 
initiated introduce the practife of virtue ? 

The example is layd down in the foregoing chapter. 
If the gentleman who thus had the diffafter of a vicious 
introduccion into life, abandon'd to ignorance without 
education and without inftruccion, comes by meer Provi- 
dence 1 or fence, call it what you will, to fee his own 
deficiency and to be virtuoufly inclined, tho' whence it 
fhould come is fome thing hard to fay, but if it fhould 
happen fo, the way is lin'd out for him : let him fett 
about the work of informing and inftructing himfelf 
with fuch helps and fuch affiftance as I have faid abov 
may be had as well from books as from men of learning, 
and 'tis evedent from experience and from the example 
I have given that the cafe may be retriev'd and the 
want of early teaching be very much repair'd, if not 
fully fupply'd ; for, in a word, tho' the defects of parents 
and the want of early inftruccion is great, yet 'tis wilfull 
ignorance and obftinate contempt of, and averfion to, 
learning, that is in generall the fin of the day. 

That our gentlemen are illiterate and untaught is 
true ; but 'tis as true that where there is one gentleman 
who complains of it and thinks himfelf the worfe for it, 
there are 20 that boafb of it, value themfelves upon it, 
think their ignorance fits well upon their quallity, and 
that contemn the men of letters and books as below 
them and not worth their regard ; who think learning 
unfafhionable, and, at beft, ufelefs to them, and that to 
write their names is enough for men of fortunes, that 
they have nothing to do but fit ftill and enjoy the 
world and roll in the abundance of it, that the reft is all 
buffmefs and buftle, that 'tis below them and not worth 
their notice. 

This pride, however prepofterous and however incon- /. 123. 
fiftent with common fence, is the ruin of the Englifh 


1 Abbreviated. 


gentry at this time ; for tho' the ignorance it felf is a 
criminal folly and admits of no excufe, but that unhappy 
one of laying it upon their fathers, yet valuing them- 
felves upon it and perfifling in it as a matter of choice, 
is ftil worfe. Ignorance is a crime in it felf, but 
obftinate, affected and refolv'd ignorance is tenfold 
more criminal. To be untaught and to have our 
education neglected is one thing ; but to boaft of it,, 
value our felves upon it and, in a word, to choofe it, is 
another ; to be uneducated is a mifsfortune, to choofe 
to be fo is a folly : but to boaft of being fo is the 

Now let us look a little into the family of this felf- 
wife, but uneducated creature. We are to fuppofe he 
is the head of the houfe and on that account ought to 
be the beft governed thing in it ; but how does he 
behave ? Directly contrary to an extrem in every 
capafcity, without government, without rule, ignorant 
and obftinately fo. 

1. Take him as a mafter : he is haughty, imperi- 
ous, and tyrannick, or elce foft, eafie, and capable of 
being wheedl'd, impofd upon and drawn in by every 
fharper and into every bubble, till firft he is expofd 
and then undone. 

2. As a hufband : he is froward, furly, humorous, 
and uneafy, teizing every body and perplexing himfelf r 
unconftant in temper, untradlable, pofitiv, and wants 
every thing that denominates a gentleman to be a man 
of fence ; in a word, as a fool is certainly the worft of 
hufbands, fo an illiterate, untaught, concieted, felf 
opinionate hufband is the worft of fools. 

3. As a father : Fatal relativ ! Here he is cut out to 
have his children curfe him ; he neither knows how to 
be a father, nor how to teach them to be children ; he 
breeds them up to defpife him, and yet to imitate him. 
They can learn nothing good from him, and what's bad 



they are fure to have his example for. As he contemns 
the learning he wants, he is fure to let his children 
want the learning he contemns. He educates his fons 
at the ftable door, inftead of the Grammar School, and 
his huntfman is Head Tutor ; he teaches them to fwear 
with a particular applicacion, and his own valuable ex- 
ample is their introduccion ; his daughters are bred at 
the affembly and at the card table, and the Quadrill is 
the hight of their accquir'd knowlege. He entails vice 
and ignorance upon his eldeft fon in honour to his 
primogeniture, and if he does giv his younger fons a 
little clergy, 'tis meerly to put them off with a few 
letters inftead of an appenage, and giv them a 
grammar for a porcion. 

4. Take him in publick ftacion, fuppofe as a magif- 
trate in the country. He makes a tollerable juftice, 
becaufe he has little or nothing comes before him. If 
he is plac'd where buflinefs comes in, he gets a better 
learn'd dark, and leaves the matter to him, and the 
warrant money is his wages, fo makeing good the old 
proverb that the dark makes the juftice, while the mafter 
does juft nothing. 

5. Take him at London, that is to fay, at Court. 
If he has the honour to be fent up to Parliament, he 
enters himfelf among the dead weight of the Houfe, 
makes one of Sir T. Ha . . . r's 50, and does juft what 
other men bid him. If he has wit enough to get in 

for a little fecret fervice money, 'tis the hight of his /. 124. 
attainment ; but 'tis much oftner that he is made a 
property without it, being every way quallify'd for that 
advanc'd poft in nature, a fool for nothing and a fool 
gratis. If he gets a penfion, he comes readily into all 
fchems and meafures, his part being excellently well 
fuited to his capafcity ; for he has nothing to do but 
to follow as he is led, and fay Ay and No, juft as they 
bid him. When he goes home from London, he may 



be truly faid to have fold himfelf (that is, his country) 
and run away with the money. 

Enough of a fool. Now let us view his contrary, who 
this foil ferves to illuftrate. The compleat gentleman 
is the reverfe of all this. As he governs himfelf by the 
rules of vertue and good fence, fo his family appeares 
diftinguifh't among all the families about him for their 
excellent order, their generall and particular conduct 
under his government. 

His conjugal life is all harmony and mufick, peace 
and joy ; tendernefs and affeccion are the fum of their 
united enjoyment. 

She knows no felicity but what fhe finds in him, and 
he centers his uttmoft fatiffaction in her. She is com- 
pleatly 1 happy in him, and he is compleatly happy in 
her. If fuitable focyety is a heavenly life, 'tis here in 
the uttmoft perfeccion that humane affairs can produce ; 
for here every thing appeares agreeable in it felf and 
to one another. 

From this conjugal harmony all the beauty of a 
Heaven upon earth is to be feen. Every ftacion of life 
is fill'd up. Virtue and honour diffufes their luftre 
thro' every fcene of life, and fill up every relation. He 
is, in confequence of this excellent conduct, the beft 
father, the beft mafter, the beft magiftrate, and the beft 
neighbour ; in a word, he is a bleffmg to his family, to 
his country, and to himfelf ; he is kind to all, belov'd 
by all, has the prayers of all; the rich honour him, the 
poor blefs him, vice trembles at him, and none but 
the devil envyes or hates him. 

Let us look back that, upon the government of him- 
felf in particular, he is frugal without avarice, man- 
naging without rigor, humble without meannefs, and 
great without haughtynefs ; he is pleafant without 
levity, grave without affectacion ; if he has learning, his 

1 MS. compleaty. 


knowledge is without pedantry and his parts without 
pride ; modefby and humility govern him, and he 
applyes his learning purely to do good to others and 
to infbruct himfelf farther in the good government of 

If thro' the error of cuftome his father left him 
unfmifh'd and he loft the bleffmg of a liberal educacion, 
he fees the miftake with a fecret grief, and accordingly 
applyes himfelf with the uttmoft dilligence to retriev 
the lofs and finifh himfelf ; and in particular, he follows 
Solomon's rule, he feeks after knowlege as for Jilver, 
and fearches for her as for hid treafure, Prov: 1 1, 4. 
In a word, he labours for improvment with an un- 
wearied applicacion, and never gives over the purfuit 
of it till he has compleatly fitted himfelf for converfa- 
tion and for appearing in the world as a compleat 

II. Of the government of his children. 

Take him next in his family capafcity ; for he fills up 
every relativ fbacion. If he has childre'n, 1 his principal /. 125. 
care is their educacion ; the knowlege he had of his own 
defect and of the lofs he fuftain'd by the miftake of his 
father in neglecting his education fills him with a happy 
anxiety for the timely inftruccion of his eldeft fon ; and 
it is obfervable that he takes a particular care of his 
learning for that very reafon for which other gentlemen 
difpife it, namely, becaufe he is a gentleman and becaufe 
he is to be the heir. He fees how glorious a thing 
learning is to a man of quallity and what a luftre it adds 
to his family ; how well it becomes him in every figure 
he makes in life ; how it fets off his other virtues, as 
fine Jewells fet off a beautifull face. 

For the reft, he refolves his children ftiall not curfe 
the memory of their father either for wafting their 

1 Abbreviated. 


patrimony or ftarving their genius. He is as carefull 
to fill their heads as their pockets and to fit them for 
the world in every ftacion of life which fate may deter- 
mine for them. 

To this purpofe he very early caufes his fons, the 
eldeft as well as the reft, to fubmit to difcipline and to 
kno 5 the reafon and nature of government and fubordi- 
nation, as well family government as national. He in- 
culcates as early as poffible good principles into their 
minds that fo they may become good Chriftians, 1 as 
alfo modefty, humillity, and every branch of good 
moralls into their heads, in order to fitt them for a life 
fuitable to their birth, and that they may be made 
good men as well as good gentlemen, making it the 
ftated, eftablifh't foundation of all good inftruccion 
that Manners makes the Man and that modefty and 
virtue and humillity are the brighteft ornaments of a 

After he has eftablifh't them in an early lov of virtue 
and in earneft defires after knowlege, he then ftores 
their heads gradually and in its due order with all 
kinds of ufefull learning, diftinguifhing them in the 
manner of their inftruccion as Nature has directed. 
The eldeft fon is airways regarded as the eldeft fon, 
even in the manner of his fchool government, and yet 
with due government alfo ; and this is carry'd on to 
all the needfull degree of learning as fuites their 
capafcityes and as they will take it in. As they 
advance in learning, the eldeft fon efpecially is re- 
mov'd from the fchools to the college, where he caufes 
him to finifh his ftudyes in a manner fuitable to what 
he is and is to be. There he goes thro' a courfe of 
phyficks, I mean phylofophy, not medicin ; for he is to 
be a gentleman, not a doctor, 2 a proficient, not a 
graduate ; having gone thro' a courfe of aftronomy, 

1 MS. X. 2 D". 


geography, hiftory, and fuch other parts of needfull 
knowlege as are peculiar beauties in the life of a 
gentleman, he furnifhes him with a proper perfon ex- 
perienc'd for the purpofe, in whofe agreeable and im- 
proving converfacion he fmifhes him with the advan- 
tage of travell, and thus he comes out into the world a 
compleat gentleman. 

To return to the father, his next care is of his 
younger fons ; and to thefe he is fure alfo to giv the 
uttmoft ftore of learning fuited to their refpectiv genius 
and inclination, and fo to prepare them for what ever 
figure or ftacion in life they fhall turn their thoughts /. 126. 
to, whether to the Church, the Law, the Court, the 
Camp, the Fleet, or whatever other thing fuitable to their 
quallity and confiftent with a life of virtue and good 
fence they feem inclm'd to ; withall not forgetting by 
the well mannaging his own fortune to make fuch pro- 
vifion for his younger children, the collateral branches 
of his family, as that they may not be turn'd loofe to 
make their fortunes by neceffity and wander thro' the 
world ubi fata vacant ; but that they may have their 
proper figure to make in the ftacion he fhall leav 
them without difgracing his family, depending upon, 
and incumbring, the heir, or hanging about the 
Court for bread, the moft fcandalous of all human 

Thus he does not ftarv his younger fons to effcablifh 
the family in the heir, nor embarras the heir and load 
his eftate to fupport and provide for his younger 
children ; but all have a proporcion'd bleffing from the 
provident father to keep up their figure as his children 
and to place them in the world independent of one 

The like he does by his daughters, if he has any or 
many ; and tho' it is true a numerous family will make 
a kind of a depredacion upon an eftate, however large 



it may be and however prudent the head of the houfe 
may be, yet a wife and well mannaging father begins his 
concern for them fo foon by retrenching moderately 
his own expences and even the manner of his living, 
that he enables himfelf to provide fuitable fortunes for 
the young ladyes, and this without abating any of the 
neceffary parts of their educacion or of their ornaments, 
equipages, etc. ; for there are allwayes fo many lefs 
neceffary things in the figure of a great family, which 
may be retrench'd and abated filently and unperciev'd, 
that the prudent head of the houfe will not be oblig'd 
to abate thofe neceffary things without which the 
credit of the family can not be fupported or by which 
the educacion of the children may be neglected or the 
inheritance of the heir leffen'd or incumbr'd. 

Under this good government of himfelf and family 
the compleat gentleman proceeds in the mod happy 
and fuccefsfull manner to eftablifh his family, direct his 
affaires and to introduce his children 1 into the world 
with all poffible advantage, well furnifh'd, well finifh'd, 
and compleat like himfelf, till at laft he leaves the 
family growing in wealth and reputacion by his 
example, and himfelf fleeps with his fathers like old 
King David full of dayes, riches, and honour. 

III. Of the government of his eftate. 

I come now to the government of his fortune or eftate. 
Next to the firft and great mifbake among our gentry 
of which I have fpoken at large, viz., that it is below 
the quallity of a gentleman of fortune to meddle with 
learning and books, the next and in its kind as prepof- 
terous, and fometimes as fatall, is this, viz., that it is 
below them alfo to audit their own accounts, let their own 
lands, mannage their own revenues, or, in fli^rt, to look 

1 Abbreviated. 


after their eftates. Unhappy and miferable pride ! the 
never failing way to poverty and difgrace ! What 
havock has this abfurd Spanifh temper made among 
our nobillity and gentry ! How many flourifhing 
woods has it cut down ! How many manours has it 
par'd off from the inheritance ! How many entails 
has it dock't, that is, cut off from the familyes ! In a 
word, how has it brought the ftewards to be richer/ 127. 
than the lords, the bailyes than the gentlemen ! and 
how many flourifhing eftates are at this very day run- 
ing to ruine, and the familyes who pofeff't them to 
decay, under the miferable confequences of this fatally 
indolent temper. 

It is true, this unhappy thoughtlefs cuftome is not 
the fame every where, nor is it carry'd up to fuch a 
hight in all familyes ; yet there is a degree of it to be 
found allmoft every where ; and it fhows it felf remark- 
ably in this generall, viz., the new fafhion'd and pre- 
vailing extravagance 1 and expenfiv living, which at 
this time runs allmoft thro' all the familyes of the 
gentry, not confidering or, at leaft, not fufficiently con- 
fidring whether their expence out-runs their income or 
no, or what proporcion their yearly payments bear to , 
their anual rent. This is in fhort the fame thing 
which, as above, I call not auditing their own 

Now, without entring into a full enquiry into all the 
fatal confequences of this ill mannagement, this, in 
fhort, is the generall effect of it, namely, that at this 
time if you take the familyes of the meaner gentry 
(efpecially) all over England you will find a great part 
of them, I might fay the moft of them, are allwayes in 
neceffitous circumftances, 2 bare of money, borrowing 
rather than lending, and what we ordinary exprefs by 
an apt, tho' courfe Englifh faying, they are run behind 

1 Over extravagance, Defoe has written luxury. 2 Abbreviated. 


hand ; in the country you have it in a ftill courfer way 
of fpeaking, viz., they are out at heels. 

By the meaner gentry here I would be underftood 
to mean thofe familyes of gentlemen as have eftates 
from 500 a year and under, to 100 or 200 a year, 
and yet liv wholly upon thofe eftates without what we 
call employment or buflinefs ; for of fuch we have other 
things to fay. 

Of thefe familyes the generall circumftance is fuch 
as this : 

1. The gentlemen are often times of very good 
houfes of antient defcent, ally'd to feverall other 
familyes, perhaps of the fame name but of fuperior 
fortune, to fome by intermarriages, fome by imediate 
relacion, collateral branches, younger brothers, and the 
like, and perhaps intimate by the accidents of neigh- 
bourhoods and the like ; all which circumftances 1 oblige 
the gentlemen, or at leaft the family, to an extraor- 
dinary expenfiv living in drefs, equipages, fervants and 
dependences, treats, entertainments, houfe-keeping, &c., 
moftly upon the weak and foolifh pretence that they 
may, as 'tis call'd, look like other people. 

2. This extraordinary way of living muft neceffarily 
exhauft their fubftance, being, as is fuppof'd, abov the 
income of their revenue ; all which tends as naturally to 
poverty, as a confumcion of the vitals in the 2 humane 
body tends to death. It is a certain axiom in matters of 
this nature that every wife mannager will proportion his 
layings-out to his comings-in^ fo as that allways he may 
lay up fome thing. He that fpends but one hundred 
pounds a year lefs than his eftate brings in, muft grow 

/. 128. rich of courfe, as naturally as that he that fpends ^100 
a year more than his income muft certainly be poor. 

From this unhappy cuftome of living abov them- 
felves, which at this time more than ever prevails 

1 Abbreviated. 2 the is left out in MS. 


among our gentry, it comes to pafs that, as I faid abov, 
almoft all the gentry in England of moderate eftates 
are kept low and in neceffitous circumftances. 1 I do 
indeed place it chiefly upon the clafs of familyes from 
500 a year downward, and I believ it is more gene- 
rally fo among the gentry of that rank. But I am told 
I need not confine my felf to them, for that it is fo 
(with a very few excepcions) even to the gentry of the 
greatefl eftates, lords, carles, and dukes, of which 
many examples might be given, if I would make the 
fatyr perfonal and bring examples of particular people ; 
but that is no part of my prefent defign. * 

I return to thofe I call the meaner gentry ; their 
cafe is thus. Suppofe a gentleman of 400 to 500 a 
year efhate, and fuppofe him living in the country upon 
the eftate and in the manfion houfe upon the fpot, the 
antient feat of the family to which he has or has not 
a park adjoyn'd, and other ufuall advantages as it 
may happen. 

His firft advantage is that he payes no rent, that 
his park having fome meddow grounds within the pale, 
few parks are without it, affords him grafs and hay for 
his coach horfes and faddle horfes, which goes alfo a 
great way in the expence of the family ; befides that, 
he has venifon perhaps in his park, fufficient for his own 
table at leaft, and rabbits in his own warren adjoyning, 
pidgeons from a dove houfe in the yard, fifli in his own 
ponds or in fome fmall river adjoyning and within his 
own royalty, and milk with all the needfull addenda to 
his kitchen, which a fmall dary of 4 or 5 cows yields 
to him. 

All thefe are vaft helps in houfekeeping to a frugal 
family, and giv my lady, his Mayor Domo, opportunity 
to keep a very good houfe upon very reafonable terms, 
and which, if the gentleman was inclin'd to mannage 


1 Abbreviated. 


with prudence, would go a great way towards living 

But let us look a little within doors. Perhaps the 
lady, as a late author has it, having bred in her young 
dayes like a tame pigeon, they have now a flock of 
children 2 fons and 4 daughters, and thefe are now 
grown up. The eldeffc fon writes gentleman, and he 
muft appear as fuch in the country. He has his 
fervant and a couple of hunters, and he follows his 
fport with his neighbours either with his father's hounds, 
if he keeps a pack of dogs, or if not, with the next 
gentleman that does. 

The young gentleman begining to keep company 
muft have a good equipage and money in his pocket, 
that he may appear as other gentlemen do and may 
keep the beft company, and this cannot be done 
without a large allowance ; and this makes the firft 
hole in the father's cafh, and fometimes the fon calls 
for it fafter than the father can fupply him, which 
often times caufes fome chagrin and difcontent in the 
family, and fome times is of bad confequence, makes the 
young efquire l warm and uneafie, and away he goes up 
to London, gets into bad company and is undone 

But we will fuppofe the beft, and that it does not 
go that length, but he goes on as above. We come 
next to the daughters. The young ladyes are genteel 
and hand fome ; the father is vain of them, and the old 
lady, their mother, breeds them up to the hight of the 
figure the family in generall allwayes ufed to make. 
They drefs rich, are gay, are taught to do nothing but 
ride in the coach and vifit my Lady on this fide, the 
Countefs of .... on that Jide, and my Lady Dutchefs 
on the other fide, being all neighbours. There they 
dance, play at Quadrille, and being agreeable young 



ladyes, the countefs and the dutchefs and their 
daughters are mighty fond of their company, and come 
and vifit them again, the honour of which extremely / 129. 
elevates them ; and thus they learn to taft the pleafure 
of living high, in which they muft imitate as far as 
poffible all the cuftomes, nay, and even the very drefs 
of the ladyes of quallity with whom they kept company ; 
and how far this will agree with ^500 or 600 a year, 
you lhall find in the confequence. 

By this improvident and thoughtlefs way of living 
the gentleman, the head of this ill goverend family, 
gets into debt, and finds himfelf embarraff't. One 
tradefman afks him for money, another fhop keeper 
fends in his bill, and he cannot raife money for them ; 
till after fome time they grow rude and impertinent, 
faucy, and threatning. 

Impatient and perplext at this, poor gentleman ! he 
knows not what to do. He can not bear to be dunn'd, 
but making his complaint to Mr. Gripe, a country 
attorney, or to Mr. Sharp, a fcrivener at London, he 
prefently tells him he muft make himfelf eafie by 
taking up a little money upon the eftate, that he ought 
not to let his credit in the country fink and that he 
has 1000 at his fervice, adding as a farther kindnefs 
that he will do it for him fo privately, that no body in 
the country lhall kno' any thing of it. 

From this moment the gentleman is undone, his 
revenue is now leffen'd by ^50 a year, I mean, the 
intreft of this ;iooo, his expence goes on at leaft the 
fame; and tho', while the 1000 lafts, he fits prety 
eafie ; yet that wafts, and at laft he fees himfelf wafting 
and falling into the fame embarraff't condicion as 
before, and this fits clofe to his heart. 

I am loth to carry on the cafe to the winding off 
the bottom and bring the family to ruine, which muft 
be the end of all, if the gentleman lives many yeares ; 



but I'll break it off here and fhow you the confequence 
of but one ftep downwards. 

Juft at the end of the firft 1000 the old gentleman, 
who begins to fee, tho' too late, the growing ruine 
of his family, becomes mellancholly, and, in a word, 
breaks his heart and dyes, having firft made his will 
as follows : 

Firft, his eldeft fon muft have the eftate ; that he can't 
avoid, for it is generally entail'd, and if it was not, the 
honour of the family requires it : the houfe muft be 
kept up. But as the reft of the family muft not ftarv, 
fo his younger brother muft have 1000 to buy him 
a commiffion, and his 4 fifters each of them Soo to 
marry them as well as they can, perhaps to fome 
indifferent body ; for that fortune will go but a little 
way with a gentleman, and they are bred too high to 
take up with a tradefman, or indeed for a trades-man 
to venture upon them ; fo, if they marry at all, 'tis a 
great hazard but they are ruin'd and undone, for they 
have little elce before them. 

But we leav the ladyes to mannage their own good 
or bad fortune, and return to the heir, the eldeft fon ; 
for he is the flay of the family ; he comes to the eftate 
in very unhappy circumftances. 1 His eftate, which was 
500 a year befides the manfion 2 houfe and park, which 
/". 130. to carry every thing up to the higheft pitch you may 
call ;ioo a year more, is heavily loaded, as follows 3 : 

In the firft place, his mother, during her life, keeps 
200 a year from him, which was her joynture, 
and muft be out of his hands while fhe lives. How- 
ever, to make the beft of things, we'll fuppofe the 
good lady, loth to ftand long in the way of her fon's 
profperity, drops off and dyes alfo, and fo the whole 
eftate falls into his hand, which then ftands encumbr'd 
as follows : 

i. A 

1 Abbreviated. * MS. ntafion. * MS./*//. 


1. A mortgage for money borrowed 1000 

2. The younger brother's appennage, 

which muft be paid off, for he 
can not flay for it ; his prefer- 
ment depends upon the money: 1000 

3. Four fiflers' porcions of 800 each, 

due as faft as they marry, and the 

ladys to keep in the mean time 3,200 


So that in fhort the unhappy young gentleman is 
incumbr'd to the tune of 5200 with the intreffc of 
the firfl 2000 to pay in the mean time, fo that indeed 
he has but 400 a year to fupport the family and 
maintain his four fiflers. 

In this condition what courfe does he take ? The 
firft thing he has before him is to marry ; if he gets a 
fuitable match, we will fuppofe 5000 porcion, then his 
happynefs (lands thus : The gentleman pays away all 
his lady's fortune to clear his eilate, and then he has 
the comfort of begining juft where his father did before 
him, namely, that he has juft the family eftate that his 
father had, that is to fay, a good manfion houfe and 
park (proper tools to ruine him by leading him to liv 
in too great a figure), 500 a year land and no money 
in his pocket ; fo that as, I fay, he began juft where his 
father began, fo he is in a fair way to end juft where 
his father ended and leav his heir and family embarraft 
juft as he found it ; and all this is fuppofmg the gentle- 
man to be a fober man too, a man of moralls and 
virtue, onely unhappy, as I have faid, in his circum- 
ftances. 1 If he proves ever fo little extravagant, 
immorall, drunken, like other men, that alters the 
cafe exceedingly, of which in its place ; but firft 
fpeaking of him as a man of virtue, let us then take 


1 Abbreviated. 


the ordinary alternativ here, that frequently happens in 
this cafe, that, to begin with the beft part, it may happen 
that this gentleman may drop into the city, and falling 
into a merchant's family or fome other wealthy trades- 
f. I3I> man's, 1 he meets with a young lady of fortune, that 
being willing to marry a gentleman and fond of a title, 
and with all the gentleman being perhaps handfome, 
well educated and a man of addrefs, fhe takes a fancy 
to him, and he gets 10 to 20,000 with her. If this 
be the cafe, he is made eafie at once ; he makes her a 
joynture of the whole eftate, pays off the incumbrances, 
purchafes ^500 a year more, and adds to the eftate, 
keeps >$ or 4000 ready money in his pocket, and 
efpecially if the lady be a good mannager, too, as fome- 
times happens, efpecially among the city ladyes, to their 
fame be it fpoken. Thus the gentleman lays up fome- 
thing every year, and, in a word, the family is made, his 
fortune is doubl'd, his houfe is fettled, he is thoro'ly 
delivred, and he is a rifing man. 

But where and how often is this black fwan to be 
found ? Let us look at the reverfe of it, which is much 
oftner the cafe. 

Suppofe on the other hand one of thefe two cafes 
are his lot : 

1. That infhead of the lady with a fortune, as abov, 
nay, inftead of the lady with a fuitable moderate for- 
tune, 5000, as abov, he cripples his fortune in the 
begining, marrys below himfelf, and takes a woman 
with a mean fortune, or what is worfe, with no for- 
tune ; or 

2. Suppofe he has 2 marry'd, as abov, with a fuitable 
fortune, and has paid of the incumbrances and, as I 
have faid, begins juft where his father began ; but that, 
not having his father's prudence, he runs out by fome 
extravagance of his own, and plunges himfelf by fome 

1 TM-. 2 MS. having instead of he has. 


imorrallityes, ill habits, bad company, and the like, and 
fo runs back. 

In either of thefe cafes, be it which it will, he is infal- 
libly reduc'd, and having once dip'd, that is, mortgaged 
his eftate, he never retrievs it, and all comes to ruine. If 
death or any intervening help fteps in, to put a flop to 
the diffafter before all is loft, yet the family is reduc'd ; 
and if the remainder of the eftate comes out at one 
hundred or two hundred pounds a year, juft to keep the 
family from mifery, which indeed is more than there is 
room to expe<5l, 'tis a favourable end ; and in the clofe 
the children are beggars, the fons muft run into the 
army, the daughters, put off with 300 or 400 pound 
fortune, are oblig'd to run abroad, marry trades-men 
or, perhaps, a clergy man or two among the neighbour- 
hood, and, in a word, are brought to very mean things ; 
what is left to the eldeft fon is a callamity, not an 
eftate, and ends, as we often fee, in a fhaddow of a 
gentleman, not a family, till it dwindles at laft into 
nothing, is loft and forgot in the country. 

It is true, in great eftates we have feen examples of 
it, when a frugal fon has recovr'd the depredacions 
which a drunken, extravagant anceftor has made in the 
inheritance ; and fome times the very fame pofeffor that /. 132. 
has run out and exhaufted the fortune of the family, has 
taken up, retrencht his expences, fequeftred himfelf, and 
liv'd retir'd, till the eftate, by time, has out-grown the 
wounds it has receiv'd, and the family has recovred ; 
but this muft be in great eftates, where, the family 
refolving to liv in a narrow compafs, the remainder of 
the eftate will work out it felf, and even this is very 
difficult ; but where the eftate is fmall and the incum- 
brances together with meer fubfiftance for the family 
rife too near to a ballance of the eftate, there it is 
impoffible, and therefore the wound is mortall in fuch 
families, and it can not be done. 



Thus you have a view of the ordinary fate of the 
middling gentry and the diffafters by which they are 
often reduc'd. I forbear to giv examples, tho' I could 
illuftrate this difcourfe with a great variety, and whofe 
fborys, were it not that the relacion might feem to be a 
perfonall fatyr and touch fome houfes too near, would 
be very diverting and inftructing, too ; but I purpofely 
avoid expofing families and gentry and making thefe 
miftakes exemplar, which perhaps may yet be recovred, 
and if not, are too tragicall to be entirely conceal'd. 

It is enough to add here that the compleat gentle- 
man I am fpeaking of avoids all thefe miftakes and 
leaves his houfe eftablifh'd on the foundacion of his 
own prudence and good conducl beyond the power of 

It is no fcandal upon a gentleman of the higheft 
quallity or of the greateft eftate to mannage his own 
affairs with prudence and judgement : on the contrary, 
there is no manner of reputacion either of judgment or 
underftanding raifed upon the foundacion of an un- 
thinking, indolent temper ; as 'tis no credit to a man 
of quallity to do little things unworthy of himfelf to 
fave his money, fo neither is their [!] any credit in ex- 
travagance ; doing mad things will rather mark a man 
for mad than for a man of thought ; a man of fedate 
judgement will judge fedately and act wifely. 

Bring this home to the cafe in hand : 'tis no credit 
for any man to fquander away his fubftance ; by fquan- 
dring I am to be underftood fpending it imprudently, 
unwarily, and beyond the limits of his income, without 
regarding the due proporcion between the expence and 
the fund ; on the contrary, it tends to poverty if a man 
fpends but 20 a year more 1 than his income. He is 
from that moment a declining man, and his fortune is 
in a confumcion, and at length he muft decay. 

1 MS. le/s. 


The gentleman I am recommending the character of 
confiders this ; and as he abhorrs being poor, as who 
does not, fo he refolvs never to waft the capital. If he / 13= 
layes up nothing, he will fink nothing ; if he has a 
capitall eftate, he may alleage that he has no occafion 
to increafe it, and fo may be doing good with it to the 
full extent, and fo far his not improving may at leaft be 
excuf'd ; but no man has any occafion to leffen his 
eftate or to fink his revenue meerly becaufe it is too 
bigg, feeing a leffning the capital is in its kind a decay 
upon his family. 1 

1 In MS., be follows vStex family. 


/ 123. 


CAP. I. 

Of the fund for the encreafe of our nobillity and gentry 
in England, being the begining of thofe we call Bred 
Gentlemen, with fome account of the difference. 

HAVE mencioned fome thing of our antient 
gentry, their originall, the value they put 
upon themfelves, the unhappy methods 
they take in bringing up and introducing 
their pofterity, and how the poor unhappy heirs of the 
fortunes of the beft familyes are abandon'd to ignorance 
and indolence, till they are become obje6ls of pity 
rather than worfhip and homage, and how they are 
plac'd below their inferiours in all the virtues and 
accomplifhments which fhould render them valuable in 
their ftacion. 

I have alfo, as the end of the whole difcourfe, 
evedently directed them how they fhall recover the 
lofs, retriev the unhappy funk reputacion of their un- 
derftandings, and at leaft place themfelves where Nature 
has plac'd them and where by education they ought to 
have been plac'd, I men, 1 in the true elevation of a 
complete gentleman. I now proceed. 

1 I.e., mean. 


Law, trade, war, navigation, improvement of flocks, 
loans on public funds, places of trull, and abundance 
of other modern advantages and private waves of get- 
ting money, which the people of England in thefe laft 
ages have been accquainted with more than formerly, 
have joyn'd, I do not fay confpir'd, together for fome 
yeares paft to encreafe the wealth of the commonalty, 
and have raifd a great number of familyes to not 
onely profperous circumflances, 1 for that I am not 
fpeaking of, but to immenfe eftates, vail and, till of 
late, unheard of fumms of money amaff 'd in a fhort time 
and which have, in the confequence, raifd fuch families 
to a ftacion of life fome thing difficult to defcribe and 
not lefs difficult to giv a name to. 

We can not call them gentlemen ; they don't infill 
upon it themfelves as the word gentlemen is underflood 
to fignify men of antient houfes, dignify'd with here- 
ditary titles and family honours, old manfion houfes, 
old advoufions [!], the right of patronage to churches, 
efhablifh'd burying places, where they fhew the monu- 
ments of innumerable anceftors, names deriv'd from the 
lands and eftates they poffefs, parks and forrefbs made 
their own by prefcripcion and ufage time out of mind, 
and fuch like marks of the antiquity of the race. 

Thefe things they have no claim to, but as a rich 
merchant anfwer'd to an infolent country efquire who 
upbraided him that he was no gentleman : " No, Sir," 
fayes the merchant, " but I can buy a gentleman," fo 
thefe have the grand effential, the great fund of families, / X 34- 
the money, if they have no more, and very often they 
really have no more. You fee I am willing to giv up 
the firft money getting wretch, who amaff'd the eftate, 
tho' he rod in his coach and four and, perhaps, coach 
and fix, wore a fword (the latter I think our laws 
fhould reflrain) ; in fhort, perhaps he had all the enfigns 


1 Abbreviated. 


of grandeur that a true bred gentleman is diftinguifh'd 
by, yet the ftock jobber, the 'Change Alley broker, the 
projector, or whatever low priz'd thing he was, may be 
allow'd to hang about him too much for the firft age 
to give him fo much as the fhaddo' of a gentleman. 
Purfe-proud, infolent, without manners, and too often 
without fence, he difcovers his mechanick quallifi- 
cacions on all occafions ; the dialect of the Alley hangs 
like a brogue upon his tongue, and if he is not clown 
clad in his behaviour, 'tis generally fupplyed with the 
ufuall air of a fharper and a bite, and he can no more 
leav the ravening after money, Fas aut nefas, than an 
old thief can leav off pilfering, or an old whore leav 
off procuring. 

But when I fay I thus giv up the founder of the 
houfe, I muft yet open the door to the politer fon, and 
the next age quite alters the cafe. Call him what you 
pleafe on account of his blood, and be the race modern 
and mean as you will, yet if he was fent early to 
fchool, has good parts, and has improv'd them by 
learning, travel, converfation, and reading, and abov 
all with a modeft courteous gentleman-like behaviour : 
defpife him as you will, he will be gentleman in fpite 
of all the diflinccions we can make, and that not upon 
the money onely, and not at all upon his father and 
family, but upon the beft of all foundations of families, 
I mean a ftock of perfonall merit, a liberal education, 
a timely and regular difcipline and inftruccion, and a 
humble temper early form'd and made the receptible of 
the beft impreffions and fubjected to the rules and laws 
of being inftrucled. 

By thefe things the fucceffors to, and fons of, the 
over-rich fcoundrel, call him as you will, become 
gentlemen and are without hefitacion receiv'd for fuch 
among the beft families in Britain ; nor do any of the 
moft antient families fcruple to form alliances with 



them by intermarriages, or efteem their blood at al 
difhonour'd by the conjunccion. 

To fpeak truth the antient families are fo reduc'd or 
fo many of them extinct, that we find abundance of the 
manfions and parks and eftates and inheritances of the 
moft antient extinct families bought by citizens, mer- 
chants, lawyers, etc., and the old race gone and for- 
gotten ; and for the decay'd families of our gentry, 
nay, and even of the nobillity, we find the heires flye 
to the city as the laft refort, where by marrying a 
daughter of fome perfon meaner in dignity, but fuperior 
in money, the fortunes of the family are reftor'd, the 
eflates, dipp'd and mortgag'd and in danger of being 
loft and devoured, are recovr'd, the fame and figure of 
the family reftor'd ; and the pofterity make no difficulty 
to own the defcent of fuch a line, or think their race at 
all difhonour'd in blood by the mixture. 

His grace the D .... of was a perfon of the 

firft rank ; he had fome of the beft blood of England 
in his veins ; he quarter'd the arms of an incredible 
number of antient familyes in his efcutchean 1 of arms; 
his father had enjoy'd fome of the greateft places of 
honour and truft in the kingdom ; 2 there had been 
two or three blew ribbons in the family, and he was 
himfelf a young prince that had a thoufand good qual- 
lities to recomend him. 

But my Lord Duke was unhappy after all : His 
eftate was low ; his father loft prodigious fums in the 
Civil Warrs by his loyalty and gat no amends upon the 
reftoracion except titles and a blew ribband. He was 
a generous-hearted noble-man, and liv'd above his 
fortune, fo that he brought the eftate into great 
encumbrances, and even the great houfe and the eftate 
adjoyning had ; 17,000 mortgage upon it and fome 
yeares intreft. 


1 Ws.Efutchean. 2 A'. 


Two other eftates of about 4000 per annum each 
were dip'd alfo and the intreft unpaid for a long time, 
fo that my Lord Duke had very little left clear and 
was glad to accept a penfion of 2000 a year from the 
royal bounty to fupport his dignity. He had liv'd 
frugally and retir'd, if poffible, to bring the eftate to 
work it felf out of debt, and he had cut down near 
;6o,ooo worth of timber to help deliver himfelf, and it 
had made fome progrefs ; but alafs, he was in fo deep 
it would require an age to retriev it, and the uttmoft he 
could expect was to leav a good eftate to his heir, if 
he fhould have one ; for he muft not expect to get 
thro' it till 40 or 50 year hence. 

Under thefe difficultyes he heares of a certain lady 
in the city ; her father indeed was but a trades-man * 
and of no family, but he is dead, and the lady is well 
educated, being left in the hands of a guardian, a mer- 
chant, who bred her up to what fhe might be fuppof'd 
to come to, not what her father was ; and the merchant 
has been fo juft to her, that he has encreaf'd her 
fortune exceedingly fince the father dyed. To fum up 
all, the lady is agreeable, very beautifull, virtuous, 
well bred, and has 80,000 fortune, befides a rever- 
fion or two, which, if they fhould fall in to her in 
any reafonable time, may encreafe it farther very con- 

In fhort, my Lord Duke heares of her, gets himfelf 
handfomly introduc'd to her, makes very honourable 
propofalls to the guardian, fettles 4000 a year joyn- 
ture upon her, part of her fortune paying off 2 0,000 
mortgage which lay upon it with 8500 intreft left 
unpaid, and on this fettlement marrys the lady. 

She comes into the family with a flowing ftream of 
wealth. My Lord Duke is a man of honefty as well as 
honour ; he cleares all his eftate with this fortune, and 


1 TM- 


has 20,000 left in cafli. He ufes his lady, as her 
merit as well as fortune deferv'd, with all the kind- 
nefs, refpect, and affection imaginable, and particularly 
honours her as if Ihe had been born a princefs. She 
on the other hand by an extraordinary behaviour wins 
the regard not of his grace onely, but of all the perfons 
of quallity both in the country and the Court alfo, and 
this, I fay, by a behaviour unexepcionable and allmoft 
unexampled. She brought his grace 4 fons and 2 
daughters, and nobody leffens their quallity or blood on 
their mother's account. How many familyes of noble- /. 135- 
men, gentlemen, and perfons of the beft characters, 
who having been plung'd in difficultyes as this noble 
perfon was, raif'd by fuch matches! If this was a 
difhonour to the antient blood, how few familyes are 
there to be found in England untoucht that way ! For 
example : 

How are the prefent ducal houfes of Beauford and 
Bedford intermarry'd with the daughters and grand 
daughters of Mr. Child and Mr. Howland ; and how 
many, if it were not an offence to reckon them up, 
might we bring forth of a meaner produccion, where 
inferiour ladyes are marry'd to perfons of rank and dig- 
nity, and others where ladyes of noble families match 
with private men and hardly with gentlemen. 1 

1 On folio 134 b is the following list : 

Duke Argyle . . . with Mrs. Duncan 

Earle Ifla . . . . with Mrs. Whitfield, a baftard 

Earl of Buchan .... Mrs. Fairfax 

Lord Onflow Mrs. Knight 

Earl of Excefler .... Mrs. Chambers 

Duke of Beaufort . . . Mrs. Child 

Duke of Bedford . . . Mrs. Howland 

Duke Hamilton .... Mrs. Stangeways 
old Duke Hamilton . . . .Mrs. Gerrard 

Duke Wharton . . . .Mrs. Holmes 

Lord Tankerville . . . Mrs 



But tho' this is a confirmacion of the thing with 
respect to the mixtures of blood, yet this is not the 
main article on which I found the ballance which I 
am ftating. It is evedent all family honour begins 
fome where, either in trade, virtue, favour of the prince, 
all affifhing to the advance of fortune. Some rife by 
pofts and places either in the armies or fleets or courts ; 
others by civil employments, profeffions or pofeffion, 
'tis no matter as to our purpofe which of thefe. 

In every age fome of thefe form new houfes, as acci- 
dents in life remov familyes from one clafs into another. 
We find in moft ages mortallity or other incidents 
frequently remove great, antient, and even honourable 
families from the ftation they were in, and they are ex- 
tinct and gone as effectualy as if they had never been. 
I could name feverall antient and illuftrious families 
whofe names onely live in ftory, but whofe place, as 
the text fayes, knows them no more, as the Peercys, the 
Veres, Mohuns, and feverall others of the nobillity and 
a multitude that might be nam'd among the gentry. 

As we fee thefe families wear off, we at the fame 
' time fee a fucceffion of modern families who, raifd to 
eftates by the accidents nam'd abov, purchafe the old 
manners and manfion houfes of the extinguifh'd race 
and rife up as new families of fortune and make new 
lines of gentry in their ftead. Thefe fupply the roll of 
Englifh gentry, and in a fucceffion or two are receiv'd 
as effectually, and are as effentially gentlemen, as any 
of the antient houfes were before them. 


Lady Compton .... to Mr. Gore 

Lady Ruffel to Sir Tho. Scawen 

Lady Churchil to Sir Ja. Bateman 

Lady to Pattee Bing 

Lady Narbro' to Cloudily Shovell 

Countefs Dowager of 

Warwick to Mr. Addiffon 

cum alijs 


This is efpecially to be obferv'd in the feverall 
countyes adjacent to London, where, in fhort, you have 
very few of the antient gentry left, as in the countyes 
of Effex, Kent, Surry, Middlefex, Hartford, etc. Take 
the two great countyes of Effex and Kent in particular : 
how few of the antient families are to be found, but 
the eftates are pofefft and the new pallaces built all by 
modern houfes, the pofterity of trades-men, merchants, 
foldiers, and feamen ; and one particularly accquainted 
with both the cafe and with the perfons affur'd me that 
in the two countyes of Kent and Effex onely there was 
not one fifth part of the antient families remaining, and 
that he could name near 200 houfes of merchants and 
trades-men fettled in thofe counties with immenfe 
wealth and eftates, having purchaf'd the eftates of the 
antient gentry and erected a new race of gentry in 
their ftead, whofe originals begin allready to be for- 
gotten and who gain either by merit or money, 
and perhaps by both, to pafs for good families and 
for unqueftioned blood as much as any before them, 
and in a few yeares more will pafs for antient families /. 136. 
alfo. 1 

How many antient eftates are purchaf d in thefe two 
counties* by citizens and merchants of London within 
thefe few yeares paft, and fine houfes built upon them, 
equall to the pallaces of fome princes abroad. 

Sir Richard Childs, now 

Lord Caftlemain . at Wanftead, Effex ; 

Sir John Ifles . . . near Rumford ; 

Sir Nath. Mead . . near the fame ; 

Chefter . . near the Rye ; 


1 On folio 134 b the following families are named: In Effex the 
families of Child, Rebow, Creffner, Afhurft, Weftern, Rawfon, 
Martin, Mead, Ifles, Tyffon, Daval, Lethulier, Houblon, Chefler, 
Webfter, Blunt, Coward, Collier, Brookbank, Gould, Howard, 
Shovel, Page, Papilon, Furnis or Furnefe, Lethuliere, Cock at 
Charleton, De la Port. 


Sir Gregory Page . . on Black Heath ; 
Sir Robert Furnefe . near Deal. 
Thefe I name as extraordinary great capital houfes of 
the firft rate. The number of other buildings and which 
would be call'd pallaces if not ecclypft by thefe, are not 
to be reckon'd up, nor are the families which pofefs 
flourifhing eftates with them to be number'd, whofe 
names are yet not to be found in the books or rolls of 
the antient gentry ; and what will be the confequence 
of this but that the next age will acknowlege thefe 
all to be gentlemen, without enquiring into the length 
of time when their houfes and lines began ; nay, the pre- 
fent age does reciev them as fuch even allready. 

There is alfo another thing not much thought of in 
this cafe, which however affifts to eftablifh thefe modern 
houfes ; viz., fmce trade, by the encreafe and magnitude 
of our commerce in generall, raifes fo many families to 
fortunes and eftates, abundance of our antient gentry 
have not thought it below them to place out their 
younger fons in the families of merchants and over- 
grown tradefmen, and fo to mingle not the blood, but 
the name alfo of the gentry with that of the mechanick, 
breeding them up to buffmefs and getting of money, as 
what they efteem no way unworthy their character or 

By this means many of thefe younger fons raife 
themfelves eftates alfo, as other men of buffmefs do, 
and bettering their fortunes, as above, by fome happy 
turn in trade, they return into the clafs of gentlemen 
from whence they began. 

Thus we fee abundance of trades-men 1 whp deriv 
from families of the befl gentry in the nation : whether 
our niceer obfervors of the untainted blood of familyes, 
as they call it, will pretend that fuch men lofe the 
claim which they had before to the name of gentlemen 

1 TM. 


and are, being once levell'd with the meaner people, 
allways of the rank with them : I fay, whether they 
will pretend to this or not, I kno' not any more than 
I do whether they have any authourity for fuch pre- 
tenfions or no. 

But this is certain, whether thofe people will allow 
it or no, that thofe gentlemen are of the true blood of 
their reall anceftors ; ftill their having been merchants 
or fa6lors or trades-men, whole-fale or retail, did not 
cut off the entail of blood any more, than it cut off the 

Now fuppofe a merchant of the family and blood of 
the Ruffells, an antient and noble, now ducal, houfe, or 
a wholefale grocer of the name of Rowland or Crefner 
or Blacket, ancient families of the gentry : I fay, fuppofe 
a trades-man 1 born of thefe antient families comes, after 
a long courfe of trade, to accquire an eftate, and they 
leav off vaftly rich to the tune of 30 to 50 to 100,000 
in a man, and purchafe an eftate in proporcion to that 
fortune, and live in the country for an age or two ; it 
fhall be remembred hereafter, and the heralds fhall 
allow it, that this new family came from, or were of, 
the line of the antient houfe of Rowland or Crefner or 
Blacket, and the interval of time in which he, the new 
family, apply'd to trade and got that eftate fhall be 
loft and forgotten : fo the man is a gentleman of an 
antient family with-out any referv, and is allow'd for /. 137. 
fuch without the leaft hefitacion in ages to come ; nor 
indeed can we affign any juft reafon why it ihould not 
be allow'd fo in the fame age, tho' the circumftance 2 
was known. I fee no reafon why the younger brother 
fhould lofe the honour of his family for having gotten 
an eftate by his witts, as we call it, that is, by induftry 
and applicacion to buffmefs, fuppofe it an honourable 

buffmefs, any more than the Duke of mould lofe 


1 T M. 2 Abbreviated. 


his honour and dignity for marrying the daughter of a 
mean perfon. 

But be that as the heralds and the criticks in 
blazonry and the rights of blood fhall adjuft it, this is 
certain, that as trade, efpecially in this country, raifes 
innumerable families from the duft, that is to fay, from 
mean and low beginings to great and flourifhing eftates, 
fo thofe effcates exalt thefe families again into the rank 
or clafs of gentry ; and from fuch beginings it may be 
faid that the greateft part of the families among us has 
been raif'd, and moft of the gentry in the fucceeding 
ages are like to be of the fame flock. 

It muft be acknowleg'd that the wealth and eftates 
of thefe rifing families is very particular in this age, 
more than ever it was before, and that men are not 
now counted rich with twenty or thirty thoufand 
pounds in their pockets, as was the cafe fome ages 
agoe ; but trades-men leav off now with immenfe wealth, 
not lefs than two or three hundred thoufand pound, 
nay with half a million in their pockets, a fum of 
money truly call'd immenfe in a private man's pocket, 
and which was rarely heard of in former times. The 
pofterity of thefe men appear not purchafing eftates 
of three or four hundred pounds a year, as was then 
thought confiderable, but of three or four, nay up to 
ten and twelv thoufand pounds a year, and fome times 
much more, as was the cafe of the late Sir Jofiah Child, 
Mr. Tyffon, Sir James Bateman, Sir Tho. De Vail or 
Daval, Sir Wm. Scawen, and feverall others that are 
gone, and is like to be the cafe of many now in view, 
who I refrain nameing becaufe they are fo, but they 
are eafie to be pointed out. 

Now fuppofe any of thefe gentlemen to be defcended 
from antient families of gentry, however brought up 
in buffmefs : mail fuch gentry as thefe be rejected by 
the pretenders to antiquity and blood of families, onely 



becaufe they have beftow'd a few vacant houres to get 
eftates by their own application, when their great an- 
ceftors could not get it for them. 

If they are thus defcended from antient families one 
would think there could no objection lye againfl them, 
for they have the blood and the eftates too. What can 
be offred againfl them ? They have the families and 
the fortunes joyned together, and can onely be charge- 
able with the crime of getting the money. Muft their 
defcending to buffmefs in order to recover the miff- 
fortune of being a younger brother be a forfeiture ? 
This would be flretching the firing up to a higher pitch 
than ever I met with yet, and would break into the 
pedigree of mofl of the great and antient families in 

'Tis hardly worth digreffmg thus far upon the foolifh 
part. I proceed therefore to the matter of fa6l and 
to trace our gentry to their proper beginings, whether 
antient or modern, whether to original branches or 
collateral. I believ we fhall find the luflre of the 
Englifh gentry not at all tarnifh'd by their flock of 
the old race or by the addition of the new. 

As thofe gentlemen who have thus defcended to com- 
merce claim a rank, as abov, by blood, fo thofe raifd 
meerly by the help of fortune claim the fame advantage 
with the help of time ; that is to fay, the merchant or 
the trades-man whofe applicacion thus bleff't has lay'd 
the foundacion of a family in his accumulated wealth, 
as he feldome arrives to the hight, till he is, as we 
fay, advanc't in yeares, fo the race as gentlemen feldome 
begin in him. He may be call'd the founder of the 
family, but his poflerity are the gentlemen, as is merrily 
faid of the great anceflor of the family of the Foleys now 
illuflrious, He was tJie workman, aluding to his trade, 1 tJiat 
built the houfe. But we admit the branches of the houfe, 


1 T. 


who ever built it, into the higheft rank of our gentry 
without the leaft hefitation. 

By the laft mencioned methods thoufands of families 
are revived or new raif'd in the world, and, as they 
deferv, are rank'd among our gentry ; and whether they 
come in by the door or over the door, 'tis the fame 
thing ; as they are raifd to the dignity by the proper 
addition of fuch vaft eftates, thofe elevations are 
thoro'ly well accepted by the world, and in one age 
they are acknowleg'd as gentry to all intents and 
purpofes as effectually and as unoppofed as it could 
have been done had their title to it been as clear as 
poffible from antiquity. 

y. I3 8. It comes of courfe now to enquire into the ufuall 
education of the eldeft fons of thefe familyes ; and firft 
I am to tell you they generally out-do the born gentle- 
men all over the Kingdom, I mean in educacion. 

I can affure you they are not thought to be above 
educacion. Their parents never think learning or going 
to fchoole a difgrace to them or below their quallity. 

And thus I am brought down to the terms of ad- 
miffion, as I may call them, vpon which the modern 
families of our gentry rank with the antient ; and I 
think they are very fairly reduc'd to two heads: I. 
Great eftates, whether raif'd by trade or any of the 
ufuall improvments of the meaner people, fuppofmg 
them onely to be without a blot of fcandal, which I 
may explain in its turn. 2. A remove or two from the 
firft hand or, as 'twas call'd above, the workman that 
built the houfe. Thefe, and thefe onely, are the poftu- 
lata requir'd, or at leaft that I infift upon as neceffary. 

Sir A .... C .... is a baronet ; his father was Lord 

Mayor of London, and kept his fhop in Street 

many yeares, a worthy honeft citizen of long ftanding, 
and liv'd to be father of the city, was belov'd by every 
body, had an extraordinary good name, and deferv'd 



very well, having been a fair trades-man, juft in all his 
dealing, and had a wonderfull good reputacion, and 
vaftly rich. 

He bred up his eldeft fon to no buffmefs, having fo 
great an eftate to give him, but fent him to Eaton 
School, where he made fuch a proficiency that at 1 8 
year old he was fent to the Univerfity ; there he 
ftudyed fome time, when at his own requeft and with 
his father's confent he went abroad to travell. 

His two younger brothers were brought up to their 
father's trade, and the old gentleman left it wholly to 
them ; and they are very rich allready, having great 
flocks given them by their father at firft, and they 
being complete trades-men encreafe it every day, grow 
rich appace, and may be as good gentlemen as their 
eldeft brother in a few yeares, or at leaft, may lay a 
foundation of the like greatnefs in the next age by 
educating their eldeft fons fuitable to the breeding of a 
gentleman and giving them eftates to fupport it. 

Their eldeft brother being juft come home from his 
travels, the good old baronette his father dyed, and 
having purchaf'd an eftate of 3000 a year in Hamp- 
fhire, befides leaving him a vaft ftock of money in the 
Bank of England, the South Sea 1 and other public 
funds and fecurityes, enough to purchafe 3 or 4000 a 
year more. He is gone down to the manfion houfe in 

fhire to put it in condicion, he having refolv'd 

to fettle there and to liv upon the fpot. 

When he came there, he fell imediately to work 
with the eftate, look't over the leafes, talk't with his 
father's bailies and ftewards and with tennants too, 
making himfelf mafter of the condicion the eftate was 
in, as well as of the eftate itfelf, ordring new leafes 
where the old ones were expir'd, ordred the farm 
houfes and barns to be repair'd, and fome new ones to 


1 S Set. 


be built, raifd feverall cottages for the poor, which were 
old and fallen down, and, in a word, did everything to 
encourage the tennants and improve the eftate, letting 
his tennants kno' that he intended to come and fettle 
among them. 

Then he goes to work alfo with the manfion houfe 
or family feat ; and firft he ordr'd the park to be wall'd 
about, the old pale being very much decay'd ; and as 
the earth was in many places proper for brick making, 
he caufes the bricks to be made upon the fpot, having 
fome of his owne tennants who were brick makers, and 
fo agreed with them by the thoufand, he rinding them 
earth to make them and wood to burn them. 

Then he fetts men to the pulling down the out- 
houfes which were decay'd, and builds a very handfome 
fett of ftables, coach-houfes and offices, a large dog 
kennell, with a little dwelling houfe for his hunts-man, 
and having ftock'd his park with deer of an extraordi- 
nary kind, he builds two lodges in his park, with other 
conveniences for the keepers ; and all thefe things are 
/. 139. done with a magnificence fuitable to his fortunes, and 
to the figure he intended to liv in, and yet with a pru- 
dence and frugallity as to the manner of it that was 
admir'd by every body ; there was no want of any 
thing, and yet no needlefs fimple profufion or ignorant 
weak extravagance ; and particularly he took care that 
ready money was allways paid for every thing that was 
bought, and that all the workmen were punctually pay'd 
their wages. 

In all this Sir A .... does not think it below him- 
felf to direct and lay out every defign and to be his own 
Surveyor General!. If the workmen commit any mif- 
take or prefume to dictate, as fuch men will, contrary 
to his fchemes, he fees it imediately and corrects the 
error, caufes it to be pull'd down and done his own way, 
and is not affraid to let them kno' that he dares truft 



to his own judgment and will have his orders ftriftly 

It happen'd one day that fome neighbouring gentle- 
men riding by and feeing the works going forward in 
this manner, halt to fatisfye their curiofity. " Let us go 
in," fays one of them, " and fee how the buildings go 
on here, and what they are a-doing." When they had 
view'd every thing and enquir'd of the workmen or, 
perhaps, of the head workman what this or that par- 
ticular part was or was to be, and fee the admirable 
order in which all was begun, and how every thing is 
defign'd, and for what, they were furpriz'd ; firft, they 
were fhow'd the ftables for his coach horfes in one 
place, for his runing horfes in another, and for his 
hunters in a third ; here the ftack yards, there the 
barns and hay lofts ; here the granaries, there the wood 
yards ; here the ayrings and riding places ; then they 
were fhow'd the offices for the family, fuch as the dairys, 
the cow houfes, the yards, the laundryes, and the 
lodgings over them for women fervants, and how to be 
wall'd in and enclofd from the other offices of the 
Ecurie or ftables, with particular inlets to the kitchens 
and other appartments of the houfe when built : I fay, 
when they had fully view'd and obferv'd all thefe 
things, the gentlemen go away exceedingly pleafed, 
and difcourfing among themfelves faye one of them. 

Firft gentleman ; " I affure you, Sir A. will have a 
fine dwelling here when 'tis all done." 

Second gentleman : " Yes, indeed ; they finifh every 
thing very handfomly as they go." 

Third gentleman: "Ay, and 'tis all well defign'd 
too, admirably well ; who ever is his furveyer under- 
ftands things very well." 

Firft gentleman : " I obferv every thing looks great 
and magnificent, and yet not gay and taudry, as if built 
for oftentacion." 



Second gentleman : " No, indeed; here is the grandeur 
without the vanity, her's no pride ; 'tis all ufefull, all 

Third gentleman : " Ay, and wonderfully ftrong and 
fubftantial ; 'tis built for the family. Why, 'twill fland 
for ever. I want to kno' who is his head mannager ; I 
want fuch a man." 

Second gentleman : " What, for your own building, 
Sir James, that you are going upon at the Grange ? I 
can fatisfy you in that point, and particularly that you 
can't have his help." 

Third gentleman : " Why fo, pray ? I would not take 
him from Sir A., if I could ; but I might talk with him 
and have fome direccions from him ; I would pay 
him for it." 

Fir/I gentleman : " I underftand Mr It is true 

you can't have him, indeed ; why, Sir A. is his own 
furveyor ; he layes out all the defigns himfelf, and gives 
the workmen all the fcantlings and dimenfions from his 
own draffts. 

Third gentleman : " You furprife me ! Why, they fay 
he was bred a trades-man, a meer citifen. His father 
was a grocer or a " 

Second gentleman : " Let his father be what he will, 
'tis apparent he underftands very well how to be a 

Firft gentleman : " Ay, and intends to liv like a 
gentleman too ; that's evedent by all the defign." 

Second gentleman : " I affure you he has had as good 
/. 140. an educacion as moft gentlemen, for he was bred at 
the Univerfity ; he was fiv year at Cambridge." 

Firft gentleman : " And has been three year abroad 
upon his travells." 

Third gentleman : "Nay, then he'll be too learned 
and too proud for his neighbours, that are better 
gentlemen than himfelf." 



Firft gentleman : " No, indeed ; you wrong him. He 
is the moft courteous, free, fociable gentleman that 
ever you kept company with in your life." 

Third gentleman : " And is he not allways telling 
you of his travells, and what he has feen, and where 
he has been ?" 

Second gentleman : " Not at all ; indeed, unlefs any 
body enquires and afks him queftions about it for their 
own informacion." 

Firft gentleman : " Nor then neither any more than 
juft to giv a direct anfwer." 

Third gentleman : " And ifn't his mouth full of 
fcraps of Latin and of Italian, and fuch out of the 
way things?" 

Second gentleman : " Not a word ; he is the beft 
humour'd, humbleft, and merryeft thing that ever you 
faw in your life." 

Firft gentleman : " Nay, and he's a compleat fportf- 

Third gentleman : " Indeed, he feems to love the 
fport by his building fuch conveniences for his dogs 
and fuch a houfe for his huntf-man." 

Second gentleman : " He is but every thing that a 
man of fortune Ihould be." 

Firft gentleman: "He is indeed a complete gentleman." 

Third gentleman : " But fo much fchollarfhip ! 
D . . . . it, I hate thefe learned gentlemen ; a man 
can't keep 'em company ; he muft have fuch a care of 
'em for fear he fhould look like a fool." 

Second gentleman : " I fee no need of it in his com- 
pany ; he is above fuch little things. If a man makes 
a little flip, he is fuch a mafter of good manners, he 
never takes the leaft notice ; in fhort, he is a clever 
gentleman. You would be charm'd with his company." 

Firft gentleman : "When does he come down to liv 
among us ?" 

S Third 


Third gentleman : " I muft needs fay I don't defire 
it. ; for I have no accquaintance with him." 

Firft gentleman : " O you'l be foon accquainted with 

Third gentleman : " I accquainted ? No ! no ! he is 
above me." 

Second gentleman : " What do you mean by that ? 
Is any gentleman above Sir James ?" 

Firft gentleman : " He is above no body, and will be 
belov'd by every body." 

Third gentleman : " But he is too well read for me, 
he is above me in converfation ; I can't cary on fuch 
an acquaintance." 

Firft gentleman : " If you won't be accquainted with 
him, he will be accquainted with you. It's impoffible 
you fhould avoid it ; you will be acquainted with him 
before he has been here a fortnight." 

Second gentleman : " Ay, and be as fond of him as 
any body, too ; you have too much fence not to 1 love 
fuch a man ; and he'll be as well pleaf'd with you, too, 
Sir James. I can tell you that, for he loves a man of 
fuch an open, free, generous converfation as you are." 

Third gentleman : "But I have no learning. I was 
an unhappy dog ; I was born to the eftate, or elce I 
had been taught ; but I muft be a blockhead for footh, 
becaufe I was to be the gentleman. There's Jack, my 
youngeft brother ; they gave him Latin and Greek as 
/. 141. much as he could carry upon his back, and the D . . . 1 
and all of other learning befides, and now he's (a P . . . 
Pocket) a lawyer I would fay ; and there's Will, my 
fecond brother ; now he's commander of a man of war 
and knighted a'ready, and all by his being a mathe- 
matical dog. Ther's ne're a blockhead in the family 
but me." 

Firft gentleman : " Come, don't run down your felf, 

1 MS. to to. 


Sir James ; there's no body takes you for a blockhead 
but your felf." 

Third gentleman : " I have the moft reafon to kno' 
what I am." 

Second gentleman : " Well, well, Sir A .... won't 
take you for fuch." 

Firft gentleman : "He can make a better judgment 
than fo, I tell you ; he'll be delighted with you." 

Third gentleman : "Yes, and I fhall hang my felf. 
I wifh my father had been a right worfhippfull whole- 
fale grocer or draper or brandy maker, what d'ye call 
them, diftiller, or any mechanick thing with but money 
in his pocket ; then I fhould have been " 

Second gentleman : " What ? what would you have 
been ? an arch-bifhop, would you ? Are you not better 
as you are ? What would you have done with all this 
eftate and a gown upon your back ?" 

Firft gentleman : " Aren't you Sir James , 

Knight and Baronette, and 5000 a year? What 
would you be better?" 

Third gentleman : " I'll tell you. I would not per- 
haps have been an arch-bifhop ; I fhould have made 
but a forry prieft ; but I fhould have been a man of 
reading, a man of letters, and a fchollar, and I muft 
own that becomes a gentleman. I'de give half the 
eftate for it with all my foul." 

This difcourfe happen'd upon a curfory view onely of 
Sir A.'s buildings ; and the fubftance of it is to obferv 
how well a young well educated fon of a citifen or 
tradef-man knows how to be a gentleman, if he has 
an eftate to fupport it ; and how foon the pofterity of 
fuch eftablifh themfelves among the gentry, and are 
accepted among gentlemen as effectually as if the 
blood of twenty generations was runing in their veins. 

I could giv you fo many examples of this kind that 
it would be tyrefome to the reader ; but as fome variety 



is neceffary, befides thofe whofe particular families are 
fo well known to us and who it is not for that reafon 
proper to mencion, take the following hiftory, which 
may be depended upon for truth. 

Sir B F is another family now flourifh- 

ing and eminent in the country. His father was an 
eminent city knight, a tradef-man or merchant with- 
out family, without race or name in antient ftory, and 
what is ftill worfe, without fortune, an accidental blow 
or blaft of fortune overthrowing the old knight in the 
ordinary difafters of trade, fuch as are frequent among 

He had educated his fon during his better circum- 
ftances 1 with all the advantages that a birth fortelling a 
rifing family could defire, and as his flowing wealth 
could well affoard. He was a comely perfon, had an 
agreeable behaviour, perfectly good humour'd, and, in 
a word, was every thing that could be defir'd in his 
out-fide. His head was furnifh'd with a great ftock 
of common knowleg by travell, and having feen the 
world he fpoke feverall languages. He had a tollerable 
fhare of fchool learning too, and had read much and 
feen more ; and what added to it all, he had a mind 
fortify'd with virtue and folid judgement againfl the 
fopperies and follyes of the age ; and this fupported him 
under the difappointment of his father's diffafters fo 
that he carryed it with an equall fteadynefs of temper, 
not affraid of a figure below what he was bred for, and 
/ 142. yet not infencible and thoughtlefs, indolent, and care- 
lefs ; but as he was defign'd for a gentleman by his 
father, when in condicion to have fupported it, and 
was furnifh'd as well by Nature as by education to 
be what his adverfe fortune feem'd to forbid, yet he 
refolv'd to maintain the temper and behaviour of a 
gentleman in proporcion to his circumftances 1 and 

1 Abbreviation. 


to let the world fee that, if fortune had deny'd him 
the advantage of appearing in the brighter figure for 
which he was fitted, that yet he would fhine in what 
ever orbit he mov'd in. 

This equanimity of his temper gain'd him an uni- 
verfall efteem. Every man lov'd him, every man fpoke 
well of him ; he was the fubject of difcourfe at the tea 
tables, at the affemblyes, at the meetings of all kinds 
among either the gentlemen or the ladyes ; and tho' he 
was not treated as an object of charity recomended to 
the gentlemen for their fupply, yet all the difcourfe 
generally ended with a kind of acknowlegement that 
he was a gentleman that deferv'd a better fortune. 

C da was a maiden lady, well known in 

the country. She was an heirefs in reverfion to a very 
great fortune, and had a handsome eftate in pofeflion ; 
fhe was well bred, of an antient family, and tho' not 
a celebrated beauty, not the toaft of the country, yet 
far from being ordinary, fhe was very genteel and per- 
fectly agreeable. 

As fhe had a very good eftate and was well defcended, 
fhe had not wanted the addreffes of feverall gentle- 
men in the country, fo that if fhe was not marry'd at 
23 it was no bodye's fault but her own. Prudence 
and a very good judgment kept her from takeing up 
below her felf or with the worthlefs empty beaus of 
the adjacent town, tho' of equall fortunes; and it was 
her receiv'd maxim that fhe would rather never marry 
than be match'd with a fool, however great his eftate. 

At a particular affembly of ladyes, where being by 
themfelves they made themfelves amends upon the 
men for the fcandalous freedom which they on the 
other hand often, I might fay allways, take with the fex, 

they had among others the character of Sir B 

upon the carpet. 

Not one of the ladyes had fo much as a hard or un- 


kind word for him. Every body faid he was a compleat 
gentleman ; in the blow which his father's miftake had 
been to his fortunes, how modeftly did he behave! 
how humble and, yet how eafie ! how chearfull, how per- 
fectly mafter of his own felicity ! how did he fhew that, 
not deprefft with the disappointment of what he had 
before to expect, he was able to compofe his mind to 
a perfect enjoyment of what he had loft ! 

" To prov," fayes one lady, "that he knew how to have 
been a gentleman with a good efbate, he fhows that he 
can behave like a gentleman without an efbate." 

" Such a foul as his," fayes another, a maiden lady 
of a great fortune, "moves in an exalted fphere above 
the low, clouded, ecclypft regions of common life ; it can 
fhine from its own luftre, and has all its merit in it felf." 

From this kind of difcourfe they began with fome 
tendernefs to fpeak of his paft circumftances, 1 and efpe- 
cially concerning the blow he had received ; how he 
vifited and ailifted his father as far as he was able ; 
and abundance of foft things fuitable to the goodnefs 

of the fex were faid. At laft C da took up the 


" I have heard much of this gentleman," fayes 
fhe. 2 

1 Abbreviation. 2 End of MS. 


PAGE 6. Mothers are frequently blamed for their inter- 
ference in their sons' education. Cf. Peacham, "Compleat 
Gentleman," p. 32 ; and J. Gailhard, "Compleat Gentleman" 
(1678), p. 16. 

PAGE 15. Sir William Craven was Lord Mayor of London 
in 1611. His son William was made Earl of Craven, and 
died in 1697, aged 88, thus being contemporary with Aubrey, 
twentieth and last Earl of Oxford, who died in 1702. It 
seems almost certain that these are the persons. But Defoe 
has confused the Earl's genealogy; Aubrey's father was 
Robert (pb. 1632), the nineteenth Earl. Robert was the son 
of Hugh, son of Aubrey, who was the younger brother of 
John (pb. 1562), the sixteenth Earl. The seventeenth Earl was 
his son Edward (pb. 1604). The eighteenth Earl was Henry 
(pb. 1625). Another younger brother of John, the sixteenth 
Earl, was Geoffrey, who had two sons, Sir Francis (died 1608) 
and Horatio de Vere. Nevertheless, the story seems to be 
true. (Bickley.) 

PAGE 18, 1. 22. After he the printer has erroneously taken 
out the mark 1 which refers to the foot-note. Fol. 8 of the 

MS. begins thus: he finks Plabeii* [here is a mark 

for an insertion, which is lost] really ought .... has fet 

Venice and Poland 

PAGE 25. The quotation is from Andrew Marvell's poem, 
" A Dialogue between Two Horses." 

PAGE 30. Thomas Thynne, known as "Tom of Ten 

a8o NOTES. 

Thousand," succeeded to Longleat, and lived there in great 
magnificence. He was basely assassinated while in his coach 
in Pall Mall, Feb. 12, 1687, by the connivance, as it is 
believed, of Count Konigsmark, a Swedish nobleman, who was 
tried for the crime, but was acquitted; his associates, who 
actually committed the murder, were hanged. (Burke, 
" Peerage and Baronetage.") 

The following extract from Kennet, " History of England," 
iii. 402, will correct Defoe's mistake as to the nationality of 
Captain Vratz : " The chief of the murderers readily confess'd 
the whole fact, said his name was Vratz, that he was a German 
and a Captain of Foot. His servant, who was a Polander, dis- 
charged his musquetoon upon Mr. Thynne." 

PAGE 32. Charles Stourton, seventh baron, having com- 
mitted a foul murder upon a person of the name of Hargil and 
his son, was tried, convicted, and executed in a halter of silk at 
Salisbury, in March 1557. (Burke, "Peer, and Bar.") 

Mervin Lord Audley, Earl of Castlehaven in Ireland, having 
had three indictments found against him at Salisbury Assizes, 
for a rape upon his own wife and for sodomy, was tried by his 
Peers in Westminster Hall on April 25 ; and, being found guilty 
of those abominable sins in their aggravated form, was sentenced 
to death, and soon after executed. (Kennet, "History of 
England," iii. 59.) He was the second Earl of Castlehaven. 
The execution was on the i4th of May 1631, on Tower Hill. 
(Burke, " Peer, and Bar.") 

PAGE 32. Balthasar Gerard, assassin of the Prince of 
Orange, 1558-1584. 

PAGE 32. John Felton assassinated the Duke of Bucking- 
ham at Portsmouth, August 24, 1628. 

PAGE 33. &fmodean is a blunder \ it should be Afmonean 
race viz., the family of the Asmoneans, who ruled over the 
Jews for about one hundred and seventy years. 

PAGE 34. After as to the true and proper means of obtaining 

fame (line 2), the following long passage has been struck out : 

I might go on here, and that very fuitably to my prefent purpofe, 

NOTES. 281 

to mencion the follys of other nacions, who value themfelves upon 
the antiquity of their race and upon the blood of their anceftors ; 
but there is one country in particular, and not the leaft famed for 
pride neither, who are fo unhappily corrupted by the meaneft of all 
mixtures, I mean that of Moors and Arabs, Turks and Mahom- 
etans, that they begin to quit the claim to the antiquity of their 
blood, and claim their honour from the modern advances of their 
families, and choofe to run up their pedigree to fome foreign 
familyes, if poffible fo to fhun fo much as the probability of their 
being traced back to the Morofcoes or fome other race of flaves, 
negroes, or barbarians. Thefe are the Spanifh and Portuguefe. 
It is true it is not much lefs than three hundred yeares fmce the 
Moores were expelled from the footing they had in Spain and 
Portugal alfo, being oblig'd after the battle of Xeres to abandonne 
the whole country and leave it to the Spaniards. 

It is true alfo that no longer ago than the year 1500 or thereabout 
the King of Spain banifh'd all thofe people call'd the Marofcoes, 
being the offspring of thefe Moores, and mofl of whom, rather than 
quit the country, had turn'd and quitted the mahometan religion 
and began to call themfelves Spaniards, but who for reafons of 
State, which I confefs I think were no reafons, were, I fay, at once 
expelled the Kingdom to the number of near a million of people, 
and to the great impoveriming of the country as well in that 
which is the main wealth of any nacion, viz. their people, as their 
money. But with all this, as the Moors, who were all Mahometans 
and the fpurious, promifcuous race of Goths, Vandals, Arabs, 
Negroes, and Mauritanians, amongft whom no diflincion of blood or 
families are made, were poffefft of the whole country for above 700 
yeares, till the time of King Ferdinand, who, by the taking of the city 
of Granada and the great battle of Xeres above, entirely conquer'd 
them and drov them over into Africa ; I fay, as they poffefft the 
whole country in property and government fo many years, you hardly 
find a family of any antiquity beyond the year 1400 to 1500 who are 
not of Moorifh original, or whofe blood has not been blended with 
the meanefl of all corrupted originalls, the Moors ; except fuch 
familyes as have fettled in Spain from other countryes under the 
Spanish government. 

PAGE 35. The quotation is from Defoe's "True Born 

PAGE 40. On the back of fol. 14 is the following sentence, 
which, however, is struck out : 
'tis for younger brothers to travell, ftudy, and accomplifh them- 

282 NOTES. 

felves ; the eldeft fon of the family is abov it all, thofe things are 
utterly needlefs to him. 

The quotations from Rochester on this page and the next 
are from his " Letter from Artemisia in the Town, to Chloe in 
the Country." 

PAGE 61. On fol. 22b is the following list of the revenues of 
Spanish bishops and archbishops : 

A.B. of Toledo, 300,000 pieces of eight ; A.B. of Seville, 120,000 ; 
A.B. of Mexico, 60,000 ; A.B. of Lima, 30,000 ; Granada, 40,000 ; 
Cordova, 40,000; Placenza, 40,000; A.B. Saragoca, 45,000; A.B. 
Valencia, 30,000 ; Cuenza, 50,000 ; A. Burgos, 40,000 ; Seguenzo, 
40,000 ; Segovia, 26,000 ; Ofma, 26,000 ; Pampelona, 28,000 ; Sala- 
manca, 24,000 ; Coria, 26,000 ; Jaen, 40,000 ; Malaga, 50,000 ; 
Murcia, 24,000 ; Los Angelos, 1 50,000. 

PAGE 63. The word than in line 15 is a slip made under 
the impression that the beginning of the sentence was five 
times more. 

PAGE 68. After for the liberty of being ignorant (line 2), the 
following paragraph has been struck out : 

Nay, when the Czar caufed a high way to be cut thro' the woods 
and forrefts, broad and ftrait, pav'd and folid, to pafs the nearefl way 
from Mofcow to Peterfburg, tho' no man was injur'd by it, tho' it 
was clean and fair, and the old way was full of floughs and for many 
months unpaffable, tho' it was a ftrait road by a line and con- 
fequently much nearer, the old way being above 30 German miles, 
that is, 120 Englifh miles about ; tho' he built inns and houfes of 
entertainment at moderate diftances for fupply and convenience, 
and bridges for paffmg the rivers, whereas before they were oblig'd 
to crofs deep and dangerous rivers and often to fwim their horfes, 
or, if frozen, venture upon the ice ; yet they were fo farr from accept- 
ing the publick good that becaufe it was among the reft an innova- 
tion, they murmur'd at, and for a long time would not travell that 
way or make ufe of the houfes of entertainment provided for 

PAGE 69. After of the people aboitt them, the following long 
passage has been struck out : 

In Mufcovy the clergy are no more able to inftrucl the people or 
mew them examples of polite learning and a liberall educacion, 
that they are as groftly ignorant as the reft, perfectly untaught, 
infinitely fuperftitious and oppofd [to] all improvements, as above, 

NOTES. 283 

underthe notion of innovacions and fmfull being a conformity to other 
nacions of differing churches, pretending there is no falvation out 
of the communion of the Greek Church, in which their religion is a 
meer heap of confufion, a lump of ceremony and fuperftition, 
nonfence and contradiccion ; abhorring images of Saints, yet wor- 
miping their pidures ; keeping 5 lents in a year, and abflaining 
from flefh till they are allmoft flarv'd, but getting drunk every day 
for the reliefs of nature and an empty flomach. 

The learning requir'd in a clergyman is to fmg well and be able 
to fay what they call their Mafs, which is neither fo good as the 
Miffal of Rome or quite fo bad as the old one of the Pagans, out 
of which both are deriv'd. 

As for preaching or exuofition of the Scripture, they neither 
perform or underfland it, neither is there a man among them that 
was ever taught to preach, expound, or difcourfe to the people in a 
pulpit to the congregation. Their whole office is perform'd in the 
defk,and their churches are rather like pageants and piclu re shops 
than places of worship. They can rail at other people's religion 
indeed, when they cannot underfland their own, raife mutinyes and 
rebellions againfl innovations, for fear any body mould open the 
people's eyes and make them too wife for their inflruc~lors ; and in 
the late rebellion of the Strelitzes there was near 200 of the priefls 
among them animating the foldiers to cut their Emperor's throat for 
defiring to introduce learning and the knowledge of ufefull arts 
among them. 

PAGE 72. That ladies of rank ought to suckle their own 
children is also recommended by other writers on education ; 
e.g., Braithwait, "The English Gentlewoman," 1631, p. 161. 

PAGE 74. Cf. Elyot, "The Governor" (ed. Croft), i. 29. 
For, as fome auncient writers do fuppofe, often times the childe 
oukethe the vice of his nouryfe with the milke of her pappe. 

PAGE 77. On the opposite page the names of the two 
families are given : Wharton and Darwentwater. 

PAGE 114. That Defoe himself was doubtful as to the Latin 
names of these towns is apparent from the mark for " query " 
which he has added in the margin. 

PAGE 117. We need not believe Defoe's assertion as to the 
genuineness of the two letters which he meant to insert 

284 NOTES. 

PAGE 120. The three Leslys. In the other work contained 
in the MS., "On Royall Educacion," fol. 72-74, Defoe speaks 
only of two such generals ; but he is not quite accurate in either 
place, as only two of the family served under Gustavus Adolphus, 
and as only one of these could not write. In the " Historical 
Records of the Family of Leslie," by Colonel Leslie, I find that 
no less than four members of the family served in Germany 
during the Thirty Years' War. 

1. Sir Alexander Leslie of Balgony was general of the Swedish 
army in Westphalia (cf. "Records," vol. ii. 103). Gustavus 
Adolphus raised him to the rank of lieutenant-general and field- 
marshal. In 1626 he was sent to take command of Stralsund, and 
successfully resisted the siege of that place by Wallenstein (iii. 356). 
He is reported to have been absolutely illiterate. 

2. David Leslie (iii. 198), first Lord of Newark, born 1601, entered 
the service of Gustavus Adolphus during his wars in Gennany. 
There he attained the rank of colonel of horse, and acquired the 
reputation of being an excellent officer. When the civil war broke 
out in Scotland, he was called home by the Covenanters in 1637. 
He greatly contributed to the defeat of the royal army at Marston 
Moor, 1644. But he was not illiterate, as is shown by a letter printed 
in the " Records," and which he wrote himself. Defoe's error as to 
number seems to be caused by the two other members of the same 
family who also fought in Germany. 

3. Walter (iii. 241), first Count Leslie, founder of the family of the 
Counts Leslie of the Holy Roman Empire, born 1606 ; he entered 
the Imperial service, in which he served with great distinction and 
honour in the war against the Swedes. He was created Count 
Leslie and Lord of Neustadt in Bohemia. He became a field- 
marshal and Governor of Sclavonia. He was one of the partisans 
of the Emperor who murdered Wallenstein. 

4. George Leslie^ second son of George Leslie, went to Germany, 
entered the army, attained the rank of colonel. He was killed at a 
siege (iii. 356). 

PAGE 121. These verses, which Defoe quotes also in his 
" Essay on Projects," are taken from Roscommon's " Essay on 
Translated Verse." 

PAGE 178. Swift, in his "Essay on Education "(" Works," 
1841, ii. 290), shows at length how after the Restoration 
the Crown lay under the necessity of handing over the chief 

NOTES. 285 

conduct of the public affairs to new men merely for want 
of a supply among the nobility. He gives a long list of 

PAGE 180. Sir H., mentioned again on page 239 as 

Sir T. Ha . . . r, is probably Sir Thomas Hanmer, born in 1676, 
son of William Hanmer, Esq. He was returned to Parliament, 
at the accession of Queen Anne, for the co. of Flint, elected 
in 1707 for the co. of Suffolk, and chosen Speaker of the 
House of Commons in 1712. He sat more than thirty years 
in the House of Commons. (Burke, " Peer, and Bar)." 

PAGE 1 8 1. After but that by the by the following lines 
have been struck out : Of whom the famous Andrew Marvell 
fings merrily : 

But thanks to the w who made the King dogged. 

For giving no more the fools were prorogued* 
Then follows the heading of Chapter V. (page 184), after 
which comes the deleted paragraph beginning Of thefe gentle- 
men (p. 181). 

PAGE 184. At the beginning of fol. 101 is a different head- 
ing to Chapter V., but is struck out : 


Of what is properly to be call'd learning in a gentleman ; of the 
affliction it is ibmetimes to gentlemen of quallity, whofe genius and 
capafcityes are equally perfect with thofe of the moft learned, to 
find themfelves, as it were, wholly excluded from the fociety of the 
beft men by the neglect of their parents in their educacion ; and of 
the great miftake they are guilty of in being afflicted at it and not 
takeing (and of the eafy and) [added over tine] proper meafures to 
retriev it. 

PAGE 184. After without anydifguife, the following passage 
is struck out : 

When the fabrick is thus built and that the foundation lay'd in pride 
is grown up in ignorance, 'tis ftill fupported by the fame prepofterous 
notion : the gentleman fcorns the fcandal of being learned, is vain 
of his ignorance, calls it a life of pleafure, glories in it, and is happy 
onely as not kn . . . ? He is blinded by his pride not to fee that he 
is compleatly miferable ; and here his pride is evedently a vertue, 
fay thofe criticall enquirers. 

286 NOTES. 

PAGE 186. After when he is grown up, the following passage 
has been scored through : 

His matters, his parents, his inftruclors, who turn'd him into 
the field an afs, would never have taken him up a horfe, had he 
fed in the befl patture in the world ; and to have bellow 3 d teaching 
upon one that could not learn had been fomething like a covetous 
man who, carrying gold to the refiner's to be melted, put lead into 
the crucible to encreafe the quantity, not doubting but being melted 
with the pure metal it would all come out gold together, but found 
his lead was but a lump of lead ftill and could not incorporate with 
the gold. 

But this is onely where I fay the youth is incapable by meer 
naturall defects, where he has no power, and is not receptiv of learn- 
ing ; then, indeed, the parents had been in the right and it had been 
the befl thing they could do to let the underftanding run wild. Why 
mould they make vain attempts to hamer in learning where the 
ttrokes would make no impreffion ? 

But if there are fuch natural powers ; if the youth was forward 
to learn, had a genius, a memory, an inclinacion, all fuited to reciev 
the impreffions of early education, there it mutt be acknowleg'd 
'twas an unfufferable injury to deny teaching and to withold the 
helps which nature indeed, as it were, openly calFd for. 

PAGE 207. W. Whiston, 1667-1752 : " A New Theory of the 
Earth ; wherein the Creation of the World in Six Days, the 
Universal Deluge, and the General Conflagration, as laid down 
in the Holy Scriptures, are shown to be perfectly agreeable to 
Reason and Philosophy," Lond. 1696, 1718, 1725, 8vo. 

PAGE 210. John Oldham, 165383. 

PAGE 214. Dr. Thomas Burnet, d. 1715 : " Telluris Theoria 
Sacrae," Lond. 16819, 2 vols. 4to ; Arast. 1699, 4to. Trans- 
lated into English by himself, Lond. i684_9, 2 vols. fol. 

PAGE 218. In writing this, Defoe perhaps thought of his own 
schoolmaster, Charles Morton, to whose excellent teaching he 
has borne testimony on another occasion. 

The first schoolmaster who advocated the study of English 
was Richard Mulcaster (1582), as has been pointed out by 
Mr. Quick (ed. of Mulcaster's " Positions ") and Dr. Furnivall 
(p. Iviii of his article mentioned in the Introduction). 

PAGE 219. Khiel is doubtless a wrong spelling for Keill 

NOTES. 287 

(John), the name of the author of the " Introductio ad Veram 
Astronomiam," ed. 2 nda , Londini, 1721. There is a Flemish 
historian and poet, Cornells van Kiel or Cornelius Kiliamts, 
I 53(?)~ I 6o7 ; but he can hardly be meant. 

PAGE 223. -John Toland, a deistical writer born in Ireland, 
1670-1722. Thomas Emlyn, an English Nonconformist 
theologian, 1663-1743. 

PAGE 223. Epiphanius and Tertullian derive the name of 
the Ebonites from Ebion, a disciple of Cerinthus. Others 
derive it from the Hebrew Ebionim, i.e. t poor people. 

PAGE 225. Capt. Woods Rogers: "Voyage to the South 
Seas and round the World," 1708-11; "Cruising Voyage 
round the World," Lond. 1712, Svo. 

PAGE 244. In a book entitled " The Country Gentleman's 
Vademecum," by G. Jacob, Gent., 1717, it is shown at length 
what the annual expense in the country was, at Defoe's time, 
of a nobleman's family comprising about twenty-five or thirty 
persons, "to be maintained genteelly and plentifully." The 
total expense is estimated at ^1200 to ^1500. The wages 
for the twenty servants amount to only 170. 

PAGE 266. After pointed out, the following words have been 
struck out : 

fuch as Mr. Edwards, Sir John Eyles, Sir Gilbert Heathcot, and 
many more. 

PAGE 268. After hejitation, the following passage has been 
struck out : 

Nay, (hall thefe be rejected, when 'tis evedent that fome of them 
fhall come in and be received without fuch a ceremony, when the 
huckflers of partyes and families fhall upon the rnoft foolifh pretence 
fhut them entirely out ? 

PAGE 268. No Lord Mayor's son of the name of Sir 

A C .... is known ; the two persons are either fictitious 

or disguised under wrong initials. (Bickley.) 

PAGE 276. No baronet with the initials B and F, suiting the 
circumstances related here, can be identified. (Bickley.) 


ACADEMY, an, where everything was taught in English, 218 

Adam, 37, no 

Addison, 262 

Adrian, 226 

jEsmonean (MS. ^smodean) race, 33 (see the note) 

^Ethiopians, 12 

Alexander the Great, 226 

Ammon, the children of, 83 

Anne, a saying of the late Queen, 235 

Anne, wife of James I., suckled her own children, 78 

Archangel, 37 

Argyle, Duke of, 261 

August I., Elector of Saxony, 30 

Augustus, 226 

Ave Maria Lane, 237 

BACKSWORD men, 12 

Bajazet, 226 

Bar Jesus, 33 

Bateman, Sir James, 262, 266 

Bear Garden, 32 

Beauford, Duke of, 261 

Bedford, Duke of, 261 

Belisarius, 226 

Ben Gorion, 33 

Bing, Pattee, 262 

Blacket, the family of, 265 

Blenheim, 227 

Blunt, 263 

Boyars 227 


290 INDEX. 

Boyle, 69 

Braganza, the Royal House of, 34 

Bridewell, 210 

Brookbank, 263 

Buchan, Earl of, 261 

Burnet, 214 

Caesar, 4, 226 
Cambden, 210, 214 
Carthage, 39 

Castlehaven, Lord, 32 (with a note) 
Castlemain, Lord, 263 
Catharine I. of Russia, 35 
Ceciles, the, 77 
Cerinthus, 223 
Cham of Tartary, 29 
Chambers, Mrs., 261 
Charles II., sayings of, 25, 93, 180 
Chester, 263 
Chevy Chase, 135 

Child, a modern family in Essex, 263 
Child, Mr., 261 
Child, Sir Josiah, 266 
Childs, Sir Richard, 263 
Churchil, Lady, 262 

Classic, value of the, languages, 209 ; nothing but classic read- 
ing is now called literature, 222 
Clergymen, position of the, 46 
Cock at Charleton, family in Essex, 263 
Collier, 263 
Columbus, 226 
Compton, Lady, 262 
Cortez, 226 
Coward, 263 

Craven, Sir William, and his son, 1 5 (with a note) 
Cressner, 263, 265 

Darcyes, the, 167 
Darwentwater, note to p. 77 
Daval, 263 
David, 25 

INDEX. 291 

Dead- weight, the, in the House of Parliament, 95 

Defoe, his knowledge of Latin, note to p. 1 14 

De la Porte, family in Essex, 263 

De Vail, Sir Thorn., 266 

De Vere, 14, 77, 167 

Drake, 226 

Drinking, the habit of excessive, with gentlemen, 70 

Duncan, Mrs., 261 

EBION, 223 (see the note) 

Education of the born gentleman, mistakes committed by his 

mother and aunts, 6 (and note), 7, 92 ; by his father, 9, 10 ; 

he is not sent to school, 7 ; very few elder sons are sent 

to the Universities, 55, 118; elder sons are above study, 

note to p. 40 

Edwards, Mr., note to p. 266 
Emlin, 223 
English, the study of, recommended, 219 (see also note to p. 


Excester, Earl of, 261 
Eyles, Sir John, note to p. 266 

FAIRFAX, Mrs., 261 
Fawkes, Guy, 32 
Felton, 32 (with a note) 
Ferdinand of Castile, 35 
Foleys, the, 267 
Franks, 22 

French horn, the, 44, 57, 158 
Furnese, Sir Robert, 264 
Furnis, family in Essex, 263 

GARTER, Knight of the, 28 

Gentleman, distinction between the born gentleman and the 
bred gentleman, 3, 4, 257 seq. ; the complete gentleman, 
3, 4, 5 ; derivation of the word, 1 1 ; its meaning, 13. 1 5, 46, 52 ; 
a Scotch gentleman sentenced to be beheaded instead of 
being hanged, 52 ; how a day is spent like a gentleman, 57, 
58 ; manners and occupations of the country gentlemen 
and their ignorance, 39, 64 seq., 86 seq.\ conversation of two 
brothers on the meaning of the word " gentleman," 43 seq. 

Gerrard, Balthazar, 32 (with a note) 

Gerrard, Mrs., 261 

Gore, Mr., 262 

292 INDEX. 

Goths, 22 
Gould, 263 
Grand Seignior, 29 
Gustavus Adolphus, 14, 120 

H ALLEY, Dr., 154, 207 

Hamilton, Duke, 261 

Hanmer, Sir Thomas (called No. 50), 180 (see the note), 239 

Hannibal, 226 

Hastings, the, 167 

Hawking, 70 

Heathcot, Sir Gilbert, note to p. 266 

Holmes, 261 

Honorius, 226 

Houblon, 263 

Howard, 263 

Howards, the, 167 

Howland, Mr., 261, 265 

INCOMES of the Spanish and Italian clergy, 61 (and the note) ; of 

the English gentry and nobility, 60 
Irish custom, an, 146 
Isla, Earl, 261 

Isles, a modern family in Essex, 263 
Isles, Sir John, 263 
Italian gentlemen, 1 1 

Jove, 80 
Judas, 33 

KHIEL, 219 (see the note) 
Knight, Mrs., 261 

LEARNING despised, 7, 44 seg., 64, 65, 98 seg. 

Le Fort, 67 

Leipzig, battle of, 227 

Leopold, Emperor of Germany, called the old fiddler of Vienna by 

Louis XIV., 119 

Lesly, three Scotch generals, 120 (see the note) 
Lethulier, 263 
Library, a catalogue of books in a country gentleman's, 135 ; how 

a country gentleman bought a library, 137 seq* 

INDEX. 293 

Locke, 69 

London in ruins, 39 
Louis XIV., 119 
Ludgate Street, 137 


Marlborough, 62 

Marshals, French, 62 

Martin, 263 

Marvell, Andrew, 25 (seethe note), and note to p. 181 

Mead, 263 

Mead, Sir Nath., 263 

Menchikoff, the Deputy-Czar, 35 

Milton, 20 

Moab, the children of, 83 

Mohuns, the, 262 

Moors, 34 

Muscovites, ignorance of the, 63, 112, 122 

NARBRO', Lady, 262 
Narva, 227 

Nebuchadnezzar, 17, 1 8 
Nero, 119 
Newgate, 32 
Newton, 69, 207, 219 

Nobility, enormous wealth of the English, 60-63 ; Spanish, 
61 ; French, 61 ; Venetian, 21-26 ; Polish, 114 

OLDHAM, 210 
Onslow, Lord, 261 
Oxford, Earl of, 14 

PAGE, family in Essex, 263 

Page, Sir Gregory, 264 

Papilon, family in Essex, 233 

Pater Noster Row, 137 

Patricii of Rome, 1 1 

Pension Parliament, 95 

Percys, the, 262 

Peter the Great, 35-38, 66, 187, 193 

Pharisees, 12, 17 

Plebeij, 18 

Polanders, 21, 29-31 

294 INDEX. 

Polish gentlemen are all of them scholars, 114 

Poltcot, 32 

Porto Bello, 227 

Portuguese nobility, 34 (see also the note) 

Rawson, 263 

Rebow, an Essex family, 263 
Reval, 227 
Rhehobeam, 107 
Robin Hood, 135 
Rochester, the poet, 40, 41 
Rogers, 225 

Romans, the, n, 18, 22 
Roscommon, Earl of, 121 
Russel, Lady, 262 
Russels, the, 77, 265 

Russian nobility, 35, 67-69 ; Russian stupidity, 12, 63, 147 ; Russian 
clergy, note to p. 69 


Salisbury, cathedral of, 32 

Saul, 25 

Scawen, Sir Thorn., 262 ; Sir William, 266 

Scholar, description of a, 201 

Schoolmasters despised, 7, 9 ; their severity, 7 

Schools, 7 ; Eaton, Winchester, Westminster, Felsted, Bishop 

Stortford, Canterbury, 8 ; Winchester School, 129 ; going to 

school is below a gentleman, 7, 98 
Selymus, 226 
Senacharib, 227 
Shovel, family in Essex, 263 
Shovell, Cloudsly, 262 
Simeon, 33 
Simon Magus, 33 
Solomon, 37, 78 
Southampton, 141 
Southsea, 269 
Spaniards, 12, 34 (and the note) ; revenues of Spanish bishops, 

note to p. 61 

Spelling, bad, of gentlemen, 117 
Stangeways, Mrs., 261 
Stourton, family of, 32 (with a note) 

INDEX. 295 

Suckling of children, 70 (and note to p. 72) 

TALBOTS, the, 167 

Tamerlan, 226 

Tankerville, Lord, 261 

Thynne, Thomas, Esq., assassinated by Capt. Vratz, 30 (with a 

Titus Vespasian, 226 

Toland, 223 

Tomombejus, 226 

Transactions, Philosophical, of the Royal Society, 192 

Translations, value of, 223 seq. 

Travelling, 38, 39 

Tunbridge, 117 

Tutors generally are only the play-fellows of their pupils, 87 ; 
besides, they ruin their morals, 87 ; and this they are com- 
pelled to do, 87 ; they are the " murderers" of a child's 
morals, 71 ; their salary, 206, 213 

Tysson, family of, 263 

Tysson, Mr., 266 


Venetian nobility, 21-28 

Veres, the, 262 

Vratz, Captain, assassin of Thorn. Thynne, Esq., 30 

WARWICK, Countess Dowager of, 262 

Webster, 263 

Welsh gentlemen, 2 1 

Western, 263 

Wharton, Duke, 261 

Whartons, the, 77 (see also the note) 

Whiston, 207 

Whitfield, Mrs., 261 

William the Conqueror, 4 

William III., saying of, 102 ; a greater king than Titus, 226 

ZlA, strange customs in the island of, 93 




JAN 24 1983