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ractacos, Alfred, Talbot, and Marlborough, besides thousands more. There is not an art or science which was known to the ancients that has not been carried to its highest perfection in England; and the laws, those sacred securities of lives and properties, are a thousand times superior to any system eyer devised by the Greeks or Romans.
The history of Britain is naturally divided into the sol. lowing parts: 1. Its state at the arrival of Julius Cæsar, and the different improvements made here whilst we were sabject to the Romans. In this period we are to be solely directed by the classic authors, as the most ancient British 'writer is Gildas, who lived at the time the Romans lelt this island. Here we cannot help reflecting on the hayock made by time of ancient monuments. Without doubt there were many valuable writers in Britain during that period, but they have been long irrecoverably lost.
-2. Under the Saxons, until the arrival of William the Norman. This is a very important period, as the fundamental principles ofour constitution were then first formed, which, to use the words of a noble author, “is the glory of this, and the envy of all other Luropean nations.”
We are happy in a variety of writers during this period; even the great Alfred himself was one; but they may all be summed up in the Saxon chronicle.
3. From the Norman conquest till the first union of both kingdoms under James I. Here we find the constitution underwent a variety of changes. There was a continual struggle betwixt tyranny on the one hand, and a predominant love of liberty on the other. Many of our princes en. deavoured to trample on those laws by which their conduct was bounded; but their designs were happily frustrated, and they generally perished in the attempt. In this period we find Popery raised to its almost height, and by a wonderful interposition of Divine Providence the whole fabric is thrown down, and Christianity restored to its primitive purity: The darkness which had so long.overspread the human mind, was gradually dispelled by the invention of printing, and the arts and sciences brought to a perfection unknown to the ancients. 4. From the accession of James I. to the present time. The nearer we approach to the times wherein we live, his. tory becomes so much the more important. In the study of ancient history we often wander in the dark; without evea.
moon-light to guide us; we are bewildered in uncertains ty, and scarcely know how to form rational conjectures; but as we approach nearer our times, light breaks in upon uss. and we see things in their genuine colours;- such is the present period lam now writing of. It is full of great* events, and ought to be well attended to by every one who would desire to make a proper use of history, yea, by every free-. born subject in Britain. In this period we find the same struggle of liberty, in opposition to the designs of weak in fatuated princes. One king is brought to be scaffold by his own subjects, another, is, driven from the seat of so-vereignty, and forced to seek refuge in another nation.
There is something very remarkable in the càre which Providence has always had of British liberty. The neighbouring nations around us were once as free as ourselves, but they have gradually become slaves to despotic tyrants, whereas every attempt to overthrow the laws of England, has proved fatal to all concerned in it, and freedom has been even enlarged in consequenceofthe plots laid for its destruction. These are only a few of the outlines of ihis impora tant period. To descend to particulars I must refer you to the history itselt. The bistories of England have, of late years,' been so multiplied, that the term of human life is not sufficient to go over them. You will have occasion to peruse several; but, after all, as the occurrences are so vam gious and different, it will be proper to have an epitome or : abstract of the whole in order to refer to, and refresh your : memory occasionally. The best I know for this purpose is. Egerton's New History of England, in verse. In my next: I shall finish the plan which I have laid down for yours studying the history of other nations, and am...
Your sincere friend.
From the same..
ITHOUTconsidering your question concerningbiogya
history of other nations. After you have proceeded in the manner I have already pointed out, and acquired a tolerable knowledge of your own country, I would advise you to begin with the most ancient, I mean the Jews. This is a very important subject, as to them were the oracles of God commitied. It is true,!hat the most authentic part of their history is to be found in the Old Testament; but great lights are thrown on the more obscure passages by Josephus. Having proceeded so far, it will be necessary to peruse the whole in one continual narrative, where the history. is-sepresented to you in one continued series of facts. And here: I am happy in having it in my power to recommend to your perusal the best book ever yet published on that subject, I mean Kimpton's History of the Holy Bible.
In reading the History of Ancient Greece you will be led into the knowledge of that of the Persians... Greek. writers are models for all succeeding ages to copy, aster; they may be imitated, but they cannot be excelled.
The next in order of time is that of the Romans, which is full of as great events as ever happened on the theatre of this world. Here we see a band of lawless robbers, assembling together in a wood on the banks of the Tiber, and after ravishing their neighbours' daughters, gradually extendeing their conquests over the states around them. The great republic of Carthage is obliged to submit to their yoke. They extend their conquests to the east as far as Arabia; to the south into the deserts of Lybia, and northward into the middle of Britain. They were at last so filled with pride, as to boast that the sun rose and set in their dominions. But there is nothing permanent in this world, for as the poet says,
« All human things are subject to decay.". The same enormous empire which had been so long in forming, is swallowed upin its own greatness,.and for some ages past nothing has been left of it but the name. The body became too unwieldy for the head; and those barbarians whom the Romans had never been able to subdue, poured in upon them, and seized their territories, which they had long ruled with a rod of iron. But this did not happen till they had fulfilled the designs of Providence, and performed what the all-wise Governor of the world had appointed. This is beautifullyexpressed by the prophet Daniel when he represents the great king Nebuchadnezzar say-. ing, “ He doeth according to his will in the armies of "heaven, among the inhabitants of the earth, and none “can stay his hand.” After you have perused the Roman classics, you will be greatly assisted by reading Mr. Hook's and Dr. Goldsmith's histories of that celebrated republic.
The next part of history which claims your attention is the constitution, manners, and laws of those nations who overthrew the Roman empire, and established sovereignty. on its ruins.
In order to form a right notion of America, it will be necessary to consider the state of navigation before Columo bus lived. In forming a right judgment of those things, it will be necessary to peruse the best authors of voyages and travels, &c. For that'reason you must have recourse to a judicious system of Geography, where every thing necessary to be known is inserted; the latest and best of which is Bankes's, and I heartily recommend it to your perusal. There you will find the progress of navigation and commerce: from the most early period down to the present time.
Last of all, concerning biography, I answer, that it is a. part of history, and likewise ought to be studied; but not till you
have read the accounts of nations in general.. Geoneral history presents us with a view of the public conduct of great' men. The one presents us with a representation of things in general, the other leads us into a minute detailof particulars. Thus, sir, I have laid before you the same : plan which I used myself when I first undertook the study of history. You will find this method as beneficial as any. yet pointed out by the most learned, in either ancient or. modern times. I shall leave the whole to your considera-tion, and doubt not but you will improve it to your own advantage.
Iam, dear sir, your affectionate well-wisher,.
LETTER CXII. From a yo rung, woman to a lady, with whom she had for.
merly lived as a companion. Madam,
HE pret sipitate manner in which I left your family, may
seem ince insistent with the great tenderness you always treated me within Toremove, therefore, every imputation of
ingratitude, I embrace this first opportunity of appearing in my own vindication, although for your sake, I am sorry to descend to particulars, especially to mention names. But my reputation, which dearer to me than life itself, is at stake, and as a woman, I doubt not but you will bear with me.
When I first came into your service, I was determined to act in such a manner as not to give any offence to the meanest of your domestics; well knowing that good nature and affability always procure respect; and appeal to every person of your family, whether my conduct was not consistent with my plan. In this manner I remained, en. joying an uninterrupted state of felicity for some time. I obeyed your commands with alacrity; and even servitude became a pleasure. But this was too happy a state to last long without interruption. But I scarce know how to proceed. Whilst I am vindicating my own conduct to my most generous benefactress, I am obliged to impeach that of her dearest and most beloved relation.
When your son Sir George returned from the university, where he bad been finishing his studies, I had no thoughts that bę would ever have made any attempt on my virtue. But alas! I was wretchedly deceived. He had only been a few days at home, when he laid hold of every opportunity of being in my company. At first I did not take any notice, as I had not ihe least suspicion of his intentions. But I was soon convinced of my error, when he told me that in consequence of my prostituting myself to his unlawful pleasure, he would make me a handsome settlement. This, maa, dam, was a strong temptation, but blessed be God who preserved me innocent. You have often told me, that young women ought to flee from every appearance of sin ; and if so, how great was my necessity of avoiding the evil! had I laid snaresto entrap your son for a husband, it might have destroyed your own peace of mind, and been considered as a dishonour to your family. Had I submitted to his unlawful desires I should have forfeited every title to respect in the world, and highly offended that God who has graciously preserved me hitherto. He became'more and more assipluous, till for his, for yours, and for my own sake, I was obliged to retire in as silent a manner as possible. Tam now at the house of a distant relation in Millbank, who takes in plain-work, wbere I hope your ladyship will be pleased to