Well, Page, I do wish the Devil had old Cooke, for I am sure I never was so tired of an old dull scoundrel in my life ... But the old-fellows say we must read to gain knowledge; and gain knowledge to make us happy and be admired. Mere jargon! Is there any such thing as happiness in this world? No...
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a lively and lasting sense of filial duty is more effectually impressed on the mind of a son or daughter by reading King Lear, than by all the dry volumes of ethics and divinity that ever were written.
experience hath shewn, that even under the best forms, those entrusted with power have, in time, and by slow operations, perverted it into tyranny; and it is believed that the most effectual means of preventing this would be, to illuminate, as far as practicable, the minds of the people at large,...
Books may be classed from the Faculties of the mind
with respect to the distribution of your time the following is what I should approve. from 8. to 10 o’clock practise music. from 10. to 1. dance one day & draw another. from 1. to 2. draw on the day you dance, and write a letter next day. from 3. to 4. read French. from 4. to 5. exercise...
life is of no value but as it brings gratifications. among the most valuable of these is rational society. it informs the mind, sweetens the temper, chears our spirits, and promotes health.
what are the objects of an useful American education? classical knowlege, modern languages & chiefly French, Spanish, & Italian; Mathematics; Natural philosophy; Natural History; Civil History; Ethics.
I think by far the most important bill in our whole code is that for the diffusion of knowlege among the people. no other sure foundation can be devised for the preservation of freedom, and happiness.
preach, my dear Sir, a crusade against ignorance; establish & improve the law for educating the common people.
besides the comfort of knowlege, every science is auxiliary to every other.
ours are the only farmers who can read Homer
music, drawing, books, invention & exercise will be so many resources to you against ennui.
5. Travelling. ... when men of sober age travel, they gather knowlege which they may apply usefully for their country
above all things lose no occasion of exercising your dispositions to be grateful to be generous, to be charitable, to be humane, to be true, just, firm, orderly, couragious etc. consider every act of this kind as an exercise which will strengthen your moral faculties, & increase your worth.
be good, be learned, & be industrious, & you will not want the aid of travelling to render you precious to your country, dear to your friends, happy within yourself. I repeat my advice to take a great deal of exercise, & on foot. health is the first requisite after morality.
the study of the law is useful in a variety of points of view. it qualifies a man to be useful to himself, to his neighbors, & to the public.
I join you therefore in branding as cowardly the idea that the human mind is incapable of further advances.
I am among those who think well of the human character generally. I consider man as formed for society, and endowed by nature with those dispositions which fit him for society. I believe also ... that his mind is perfectible to a degree of which we cannot as yet form any conception. it is...
the field of knolege is the common property of all mankind
we defer therefore till this time twelve month to avail ourselves of the instruction of that place, and particularly of your kindness in the two branches of Botany and Natural history to which we wish him particularly to apply.
letters are not the first, but the last step in the progression from barbarism to civilisation.
in the spring he will attend your botanical course. his natural turn is very strongly to the objects of your two courses of lectures, and I hope you will have reason to be contended with his capacity & character.
the boys of the rising generation are to be the men of the next, and the sole guardians of the principles we deliver over to them.
I endeavor to keep their attention fixed on the main objects of all science, the freedom & happiness of man.
no one more sincerely wishes the spread of information among mankind than I do, and none has greater confidence in it’s effect towards supporting free & good government.