« ΠροηγούμενηΣυνέχεια »
To the Right Honourable the
First Lord Commissioner of the Treasury, Chancellor of the
Exchequer, Chancellor of the University of Oxford, and Knight of the most noble Order of the Garter.
MY LORD, DRESUMING on the friendship with which your lord
I ship honoured me in the earlier part of our lives, the remembrance of which I shall ever retain with the most lively and real sentiments of gratitude, under the sanction of your name I beg leave to introduce to the world the following letters.
I hope your lordship's approbation of a work, written by the late Earl of Chesterfield, on 60 important a subject as education, will not fail to secure that of the public : and I shall then feel myself happy in the assured merit of ushering into the world so useful a performance.
The usual style of dedications would, I am confident, be unpleasing to your lordship; and 1, therefore, decline it. Merit so conspicuous as yours requires no panegyric. My only view in dedicating this work to your lordship, is, that it may be a lasting memorial, how much, and how really, the character of the virtuous man is respected by the disintere ested and unprejudiced ; and hy none more than,
And most humble servant,
EUGENIA STANHOPE, Golden Square, March 1, 1774.
THE death of the late Earl of Chesterfield is so recent,
I his family, his character, and his talents, so well known, that it would be unnecessary to attempt any account of his lordship’s life. But, as these letters will probably descend to posterity, it may not be improper to explain the general scope of them, and the reason that induced him to write ou the subject of education.
It is well known, that the late Earl of Chesterfield had a natural son, whom he loved with the most unbounded affection, and whose education was, for many years, the chief engagement of his life. After furnishing him with the most valuable treasures of ancient and modern learning, to those acquisitions he was desirous of adding that knowledge of men, and things, which he himself had acquired by long and great experience. With this view were written the following letters; which, the reader will observe, begin with those dawnings of instruction adapted to the capacity of a boy, and rising gradually by precepts and monitions, calculated to direct and guard the age of incautious youth, finish with the advice and knowledge requisite to form the man ambitious to shine as an accomplished courtier, an orator in the senate, or a minister at foreign courts.
In order to effect these purposes, his lordship, ever anxious to fix in his son a scrupulous adherence to the strictest morality, appears to have thought it the first, and most indispensable object-oto lay, in the earliest period of life, a firm foundation in good principles and sound religion. His next point was, to give him a perfect knowledge of the dead languages, and all the different branches of solid learning, hy: The study of the best ancient authors; and also sucha a gene