5. What might not that savage greatness of soul which appears in these poor wretches on many occasions, be raised to, were it rightly cultivated? And what colour of excuse can there be for the contempt with which we treat this part of our species? that we should not put them upon the common foot of humanity; that we should only set an insignificant fine upon the man who murders them; nay, that we should, as much as in us lies, cut them off from the prospect of happiness in another world, as well as in this, and deny them that which we look upon as the proper means for attaining it.
6. It is therefore an unspeakable blessing to be born in those parts of the world where wisdom and knowledge flourish, though it must be confessed there are, even in these parts, several poor uninstructed persons, who are but little above the inhabitants of those nations of which I have been here speaking; as those who have had the advantages of a more liberal education, rise above one another by several different degrees of perfection.
7. For, to return to our statue in the block of marble, we see it sometimes only begun to be chipped, sometimes sough hewn, and but just sketched into an human figure; sometimes we see the man appearing distinctly in all his limbs and features, sometimes we find the figure wrought up to a great elegancy, but seldom meet with any to which the hand of Phidias or Prixiteles could not give several nice touches and finishings.
The Disadvantages of a bad Education.
1. I was condemned by some disastrous influence to be an only son, born to the apparent prospect of a large fortune, and allotted to my parents at that time of life when satiety of common diversions allows the mind to indulge parental affection with great intenseness. My birth was celebrated by the tenants with feasts and dances and bagpipes; congratulations were sent from every family within ten miles round; and my parents discovered in my first cries such tokens of future virtue and understanding, that they declared themselves determined to devote the remaining part of life to my happiness and the increase of their estate.
2. The abilities of my father and mother were not perceptibly unequal, and education had given neither much advantage over the other. They had both kept good company, rattled in chariots, glittered in play-houses, and danced at court, and were both expert in the games that were in their times called in as auxiliaries against the intrusion of thought.
3. When there is such a parity between two persons associated for life, the dejection which the husband, if he be not completely stupid, must always suffer for want of superiority, sinks him to submissiveness. My mamma therefore governed the family without control; and except that my father still retained some authority in the stables, and now and then, after a supernumery bottle, broke a looking-glass, or china-dish, to prove his sovereignty, the whole course of the year was regulated by her direction; the servants received from her all their orders, and the tenants were continued or dismissed at her discretion.