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XVII. Mr ALEXANDER WATSON, formerly usher, who filled the office very ably, till August 5. 1790, when his health becoming impaired, he resigned; the council allowing him an annuity of L. 60 during life, in consideration of his long and faithful services. He was succeeded, on October 11. 1790, by,
XVIII. Mr WILLIAM Dick, from St Andrew's, who still continues to exercise that office in a manner calculated to support the character and celebrity this Seminary has so long and justly enjoyed.
Maný gentlemen in town and country having expressed their wish for an Academy in Perth, the town-council, on the 24th of September 1760, came to the following reso. lution : “ Having considered the great utility it would be to the youth of this place and the neighbourhood, that an Academy for Literature and the Sciences should be esta blished in Perth, they recommend to the present and suca ceeding Magistrates, to make inquiry on what footing these Academies are in other places, and to report the most proper plans to the Council.” In consequence of this resolution, upon the 17th of November following, a memorial drawn up by Mr James Bonar, one of the ministers of Perth, was read in council, in which he says, that,
“In an age so much enlightened, it is needless to say any thing in support of learning in general ; only it may be proper to observe, that the powers and capacities of the human mind are perhaps much more upon a level than is commonly thought, so that the surprising difference which we observe between one man and another, is not so much owing to any natural superiority, as it is to a more careful cultivation, and more happy occasions of exercise and improvement.
" It has indeed been the misfortune of some ages to have education either entirely neglected, or to run in a very improper channel. Thus in times not long past, all learning was made to consist in the grammatical knowledge of dead languages, and skill in metaphysical subtilties, while what had an immediate reference to life and practice was despised.
" But Providence has cast our lot in happier times, when things begin to be valued according to their use, and men of the greatest abilities have employed their skill in making the sciences contribute not only to the improvement of the physician, lawyer, and divine, but to the improvement of the merchant, mechanic, and farmer, in their respective arts. Must it not, then, be of importance, to put it into the power of persons in these stations of life, to reap that advantage science is capable to afford them.
“ Although our different universities are at this time filled with men of distinguished abilities, yet both the time necessary for completing a course of education there, and the vast expence of such attendance, must prove an insurmountable bar in the way of the greater part who have both inclination and capacity for these studies.
“ The people of England have been so fully convinced of this, that we find private academies established almost in every great town, where not only the languages, but those sciences which are of the greatest use in life, are taught ia a compendious and practical manner.
“ Theexample, however, has not been sufficiently attended to in Scotland, where scarce any institution of that kind is to be found, al hough the advantage of it must appear from the following scheme of education, which is imagined might be easily executed in the space of two years."
1. A short view of natural history in its different parts, viz. the constitution of the material world, the nature and property of the elements, and vegetable, mineral, and animal economy, as a proper introduction, is well calculated to fix the attention and awaken the curiosity of young people, being all illustrated by experiments.
II. To this should succeed an accurate instruction in the arithmetic of integers, with the use and application of vulgar and decimal fractions.
III. This prepares the way for the study of the first six books of Euclid.
IV. Plain trigonometry:
V. Practical geometry in its different parts, such as mensuration, surveying, dialing, fortification, &c. in theory and practice.
IX. Navigation, with the use of the instruments necessary to a sailor.
X. The practical part of conic sections, with the doctrine of projectiles.
XI. The general principles and most useful problems in astronomy.
XII. In this year an hour to be spent, on the Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, in the study of the English language, and an hour each Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday, which hour shall be additional to the stated hours in the Academy for the Sciences.
1. The business of this year might be very properly in
troduced with some lectures upon the history of philosophy, and the rise and progress of the arts and sciences.
II. A course of natural philosophy should follow, or practical mathematics, illustrated by experiments on the mechanic powers, and their applications and uses in life.
III. To be succeeded by a practical course of geography, as an introduction to civil history, which should then follow.
IV. The history of commerce, and a short view of its present state in the different nations, particularly in Bri. tain.
V. A short and practical system of logic should now be taught, that the young gentlemen may be instructed in the nature of composition, and in the proper method of studying and reasoning
VI. The whole course to be concluded with a short and distinct account of the principles of religion and duty, which ought to regulate our conduct in every station and condition of life.
N. B. All the teaching in the academy, and exercises, dught to be in the English language.
To carry this plan into execution,
I. Two masters must be provided, men of character and sufficiency, who are not only knowing in their respective provinces, but also capable of communicating their sentiments with ease, and of giving the necessary application and attendance.
II. Each shall have a salary of L. 50 Sterling per annum.
III. Each shall teach three hours every day, except Saturday, when some public exercise shall be performed in the common school.
IV. The session shall continue ten months, viz. from the first of October to the first of August. V. The Magistrates, with the Managers of the Acade