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quent intimacy. Dr. Darwin, though he took bis correspondent for a coach-maker, invited bin to his bouse. An explanation did not take place till after Mr. Edgeworth had been engaged for some time in conversation with his host. During this visit, he was introduced to the then beautiful and all-accomplished Miss Seward, and the other literati of Litchfield. About the same time commenced bis intimacy with the Author of Sandford and Merton, which ripened into a friendship that lasted, not withstanding the strong points of opposition in their characters, till Mr. Day's death. The character of this singular but benevolent man, presents a strange compound of good sense and great weakness, generosity and selfsbness. He was a man of extensive reading, and exceedingly fond of metaphysics and argumentation; he was, in a word, a philosopher of the Roussenu school, who thought his master the first of human-kind.' In a familiar letter to Mr. Edgeworth, he says, that' were all the books in the world to be
destroyed,' the second book he would wish to save, after the • Bible,' would be Rousseau's Emilius. This phrase-after the • Bible,' bas been applied to do honour to a great diversity of publications; but we question whether ever before so monstrous a juxta-position of things buman and Divine, entered into the mind of man. And what was this system that so powerfully fascinated the imagination of our philosopher? Let us bear it from himself. “To yield without murmuring to necessity, to exert properly the faculties of nature, to be unbiassed by prejudice, are the simple foundations of every thing that is great,
good, sublime-Excellent Rousseau !' And oli, rare Mr. Day Mr. Edgeworth tells us, that the Emilius had made a strong impression on his own mind, and that he formed a strong desire to educate bis son according to bis system.
• My wife complied with my wishes, and the body and mind of my son were to be left as much as possible to the education of nature and of accident. I was but twenty-three years old, when I formed this resolution ; I steadily pursued it for several years, notwithstanding the opposition with which I was embarrassed by my friends and relations, and the ridicule by which I became immediately assailed on all quarters.
• I dressed my son without stockings, with his arms bare, in a jacket and trowsers such as are quite common at present, but which were at that time novel and extraordinary. I succeeded in making him remarkably hardy: I also succeeded in making him fearless of danger, and, what is more difficult, capable of bearing privation of every sort. He had all the virtues of a child bred in the hut of a savage, and all the knowledge of things, which could well be acquired at an early age by a boy bred in civilized society. I say knowledge of things, for of books he had less knowledge at four or five years old, than most chil. dren have at that age. Of mechanios he had a clearer conception, and in the application of what he knew, more invention than any
child I had then seen. He was bold, free, fearless, generous; he had
s a ready and keen use of all his senses, and of his jurigment. But he was not disposed to obey : his exertions generally arose from his own will; and, though he was what is commonly called good-tempered and good-natured, though he generally pleased by his looks, demeanour, and conversation, he had too little deference for others, and he shewed an invincible dislike to control. With me, he was always what I wished; with others, he was never any thing but what he wished to be himself. He was, by all who saw him, whether of the higher or lower classes, taken notice of; and by all considered as very clever. I speak of a child between seven and eight years old, and to prevent interruption in my narrative, I here represent the effects of his education from three to eight years old, during which period I pursued with him Rousseau's plans. pp. 178, 9.
In a subsequent part of the narrative, Mr. E. with great candour acquaints us with the further resolt of his scheme. Ile took the boy, when almost nine years old, with him to France, where he was chiefly committed to the care of a tutor.
I had begun his education,' says the Father, upon the mistaken principles of Rousseau ; and I had pursued them with as much steadiness, and, so far as they could be advantageous, with as much success as I could desire. Whatever regarded the health, strength, and agility of my son, had amply justified the system of my master ; but I found myself entangled in difficulties with regard to my child's mind and temper. He was generous, brave, good-natured, and what is commonly called good-tempered; but he was scarcely to be controlled. difficult to urge hiin to any thing that did not suit bis fancy, and more difficult to restrain him from what he wished to follow. In short, he was self-willed, from a spirit of independence, which had been incul. cated by his early education, and which he cherished the more from the inexperience of his own powers.
I must here acknowledge, with deep regret, not only the error of a theory, which I had adopted at a very early age, when older and wiser persons than myself had been dazzled by the eloquence of Rousseau ; but I must also reproach myself with not having, after my arrival in France, paid as much attention to my boy as I had done in England, or as much as was necessary to prevent the formation of those habits, which could never afterwards be eradicated. I dwell on this painful subject, to warn other parents against the errors, which I committed. I had successfully reached a certain point in the education of my pupil; I had acquired complete ascendancy over his mind; he respected and loved me; but, relying upon what I had already done, I trusted him to the care of another, who, with the best intentions in the world, had no experience in the management of children, or any habitual influence over his particular pupil. The boy soon obtained the mastery.' pp. 273-5.
The sequel was less unfortunate than might have been feared : the youtlı was sent to a public seminary, where he discovered an invincible disinclination to scholarship; he ran away, went to
sea, and at length married and settled in America, where his family are still living.
To return to Mr. Day, whose portrait is highly worthy of being framed. At the time of Mr. Edgeworth's first acquaintance with him, bis exterior was far from prepossessing :' be
seldom combeci his raven locks, though lie was remarkably fond • of washing in the stream.' His temperament was grave and melancholy; he was romantic and yet cold; intent upon matrimony, but suspicious of the sex, and accustomed to descant, even in the company of women, on the evils brought upon mankind by love. Yet, strange to say, ' with a person neither ' formed by nature, nor cultivated by art, to please, he expected
that he should win some female wiser than the rest of her sex, who should feel for him the inost romantic and everlasting attachment.' After some unsuccessful adventures, heresolved '10 breed up two girls as equally as possible under his own eye, • hoping that they might be companions to each other while they
were children, and that, before they grew up to be women, be "might be able to decide which of them would be most agreeable "to bimself for a wife.' He accordingly selected from a number of orphans, one of remarkably promising appearance.
• It was necessary, that the girl should be bound apprentice to some married man. I was the person, whom Mr, Day named, and to me Sabrina Sidney was apprenticed. Mr. Day called her Sabrina from the river Severn, and Sidney from his favorite, Algernon Sidney. On his return to London he presented to me the little ward, who had been thus bound to me without my knowledge. I had such well merited confidence in Mr. Day, that I felt no repugnance against his being entrusted with the care of a girl, who had been thus put incidentally under my protection. In a few days he went to the foundling Hospital, in London, and chose another girl, to whom he gave the name of Lucretia. Ile placed his wards in a widow's house, in some court near Chancery Lane, and immediately applied himself to their education. They were eleven and twelve years old, good humored, and well disposed. Mr. Day's kindness soon made them willing to conduct themselyes according to his directions. But a lodging in London was not a convenient or an agreeable scene for such a plan as he intended to pursue ; he therefore determined to take his pupils out of England, that lie might avoid the inquiries and curiosity of his acquaintance. Ile accordingly removed from London, and shortly afterwards he sailed to France.'
214-6. lle resided with his pupils at Avignon for a considerable time; during which, not being over anxious to cultivate their understandings, lest he should injure the simplicity of their minds, he
taught them, by slow degrees, to read and write.' . By reasoning which appeared to me,' says Mr. Edgeworth, beyond their comprehension, and by ridicule, the taste for which might afterwards be turned against himself, he endeavoured to imbue them
with a deep hatred for dress, and luxury, and fine people, and fashion, and titles.” At his return to England, which happened, I believe, when I was out of that country, he parted with one of his pupils, (Lucretia,) finding her invincibly stupid, or, at the best, not disposed to follow his regimen. He gave her three or four hundred pounds, which soon procured her a husband, who was a small shopkeeper. In this situation she went on contentedly, was happy, and made her husband happy.'
Mr. Day was little more than twenty on his return from France; his favourite pupil, Sabrina, was then a very pleasing girl of thirteen. Having taken a house at Stow-Hill near Litchfield, he steadily pursued his plan of education; and,
wbat was something singular,' adds Mr. E., “all the ladies of the place kindly took notice of the girl, and attributed to Mr. Day none but ihe real motives of his conduct.'
• His superior abilitics, lofty sentiments, and singularity of manners, made him appear at Litchfield as a phenomenon ; his unbounded charity to the poor, and his munificence to those of a higher class who were in distress, won the esteem of all ranks; so that his breeding up a young girl in his house, without any female to take care of her, created no scandal, and appeared quite natural and free from impropriety. Sabrina, his ward, was received at the palace with tenderness and regard. She became a link between Mr. Day and Mr. Seward's family, that united them very strongly.'
At length, when she grew too old to remain under the bachelor's roof without a protectress, she was sent to boarding school; and, such is the fickleness even of philosophers, Mr. Day's intentions with regard to his pupil began soon afterwards to change: ' his mind turned towards Miss Honora Sneyd.' When she had refused him, it turned again-towards her sister, Miss Elizabeth Sneyd, who, smitten above all things with bis roman. tic generosity in educating a young girl for bis wife, thought she should like to spoil the philosophical romance by becoming Mrs. Day herself. Her lover, however, was first to undergo an ordeal-to go to France, literally to learn to dance, and to acquire those accomplishments which he was not to be permitted to despise—till be bad attained them! He passed the winter at Lyons.
• Here Mr. Day put himself to every species of torture, ordinary and extraordinary, to compel his antigallican limbs, in spite of their natural rigidity, to dance, and fence, and manage the great horse. To perform his promise to Miss Sneyd honorably, he gave up seven or eight hours a day to these exercises, for which he had not the slightest taste, and for which, except horsemanship, he manifested the most sovereign contempt. It was astonishing to behold the energy with which he persevered in these pursuits. I have seen him stand between two boards which reached from the ground higher than his knees; these boards were adjusted with screws, so as barely to permit him to bend his knees, and to rise up and sink down. By these means M. Huise proposed to force Mr. Day's knees outward, but his screwing was in vain. He succeeded in torturing his patient, but original formation, and inveterate habit, resisted all his endeavours at personal improvement. I could not help pitying my philosophic friend, pent up in durance vile for hours together, with his feet in his stocks, a book in his hand, and contempt in his heart.'
All was in vain, and Sabrina was for this time revenged. Notwithstanding the pains he had taken to improve his manners and person, the lady could not feel for him the attachment which
was necessary for her happiness and for his in marriage. In short, notwithstanding his great and good qualities, she could
not give him her heart.' What was to be done? When the shock of the disappointinent was over, the mind of the philosopher turned again; turned back to the lovely Sabrina, now no longer a child. Ile certainly was never more loved by any woman,' says his Biographer, than he was by her; nor do i • believe that any woman wag to him ever personally more agree• able.' And now for a consummate proof of our philosopher's great and good qualities. Every body expected that he was on the eve of marrying his ward: it seemed that the Fates would have it so; and with more reason it might have been thought that honour and manly feeling would have it so. But
He had left Sabrina at the house of a friend under strict injunc. tions as to some peculiar fancies of his own; in particular, some re. strictions as to her dress. She neglected, forgot, or undervalued something, which was not, I believe, clearly defined. She did, or she did not, wear certain long sleeves, and some handkerchief, which had been the subject of his dislike, or of his liking; and he, considering this circumstance as a criterion of her attachment, and as a proof of her want of strength of mind, quitted her for ever!'
One is really mortified to find after this, that he marriedmarried, and was not, as he deserved to be, miserable ; but found a paragon, who united, “in an unusual manner,' independence of sentiment with the most complete matrimonial obedience; could discuss, and reason, and keep up an argument with him, to his heart's content, upon any topic, from the deepest
political investigation to the most frivolous circumstance of daily life.' This was what Sabrina could not have done. But logic and metaphysics will not always please. Mr. Day bought an estate, and became an agriculturist; bought“ Ware's architec
ture," and plunged into brick and mortar; wasted bis property, and was in imminent danger of becoming a nisanthropist, when he was thrown from a horse he had undertaken to train, and never spoke afterwards. As for Sabrina, she was married to an old friend of Mr. Day's, Mr. Bicknell, who was, with his friend, the joint author of ihe “ Dying Negro.” Jie lived, however,