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gion, I ventured to assert in an early chapter of this work. That healthful amusements for the mind, fatigued by study, business, or domestic cares, are as necessary as rest is for the body exhausted by labour, has long been satisfactorily established; and some philanthropists, bolder or more enlightened than their predecessors, have, of late years, ventured to extend this doctrine in favour of the working classes; maintaining that they, of all others, stand in need of mental recreation. Leaving this portion of the subject to those better able to advocate it, I shall confine myself strictly to that which comes within my own province.

Addison, after commending the exercise of virtue as the best of all possible modes of passing away time, not only while it lasts, but for its far extending influences, proceeds to observe, that the mind cannot always be in its fervours, nor strained up to a pitch of virtue, and that consequently it is necessary to find out proper employment for its relaxation. “I must confess,” says he, “I think it below reasonable creatures to be altogether conversant in such diversions as are merely innocent, and have nothing else to recommend them, but that there is no hurt in them.”

Since Addison's day, our catalogue of rational amusements accessible to the educated classes has been greatly extended, though all enumerated by him are good, and to the purpose. Scientific pursuits open a vast field to those whose inclinations

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tend in that direction. The higher and more general cultivation of the fine arts offers resources to less profound, but more imaginative minds; the multiplicity of books, in short, the greater diffusion of knowledge of every kind; and last, though not least, the increased and daily increasing love of the beauties of nature, for which we are in a great measure indebted to the glorious poetry of the present age;*—all these, and many more unenumerated, ought to be regarded as so many wellsprings of instruction and delight to those whose faculties have been awakened by education to a knowledge of their value.


For my own sex, I conceive those elegant accomplishments, acquired at the expence of so much time and money, to be chiefly, if not solely, valuable and desirable, as affording refined occupation for


Though Addison, by means of his series of criticisms in the “ Spectator," was the first to initiate the public into the merits of Milton's sublime poem, I think we may assert, that not until the present age, not until the poetry of Wordsworth, Coleridge, Scott, Campbell, and others of the anointed priesthood of Nature, directed attention to that pure source whence all true poets draw their inspiration, had the poetry either of Milton or Shakspere been so generally or so thoroughly appreciated as to give it its higher influence over the mind. The devotional spirit of the one, and the profound knowledge of mankind of the other, night be recognized; but scarcely that fine perception of the charms of inanimate nature, in them no doubt an instinct, which characterizes their writings. The spirit of the woods and streams and hills--the music that is heard and felt in the winds and waves, which breathes in the odour of flowers, and shines forth, as it were, in the radiance of the stars.

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leisure hours which most women in easy circumstances, whether married or single, have upon their hands. Every sedentary occupation must be valuable to those who are destined to lead sedentary lives; and every art, however trifling in itself, which tends to embellish domestic life, must be advantageous, not only to the individual herself and her family, but to society at large. As far as accomplishments can contribute to this laudable purpose, they must be proper objects of attention in education. The inclinations of children ought therefore to be directed to them early, not so much

tasks if it can be avoided, but as pleasurable pursuits; for I hold it to be a great error to suppose that the drudgery of a few years at a boarding-school can form those tastes which alone will enable the fine arts to be cultivated with any advantage as occupations of after life.

When accomplishments are considered merely as a means of increasing a young lady's marketable attractions, or as tickets of admission into fashionable circles, then indeed the less time expended upon their attainment the better; the external glitter may serve that purpose sufficiently well; but, as I have already expressed myself, I regard such as a prostitution of the fine arts, and that when cultivated, even scientifically, with such ends in view, they become worse than useless, pernicious.

Drawing is never rendered subservient to any of these unworthy purposes, in an equal degree with music, and it may pre-eminently be recom

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mended as a resource against ennui: nay, it is far more than that; wherever a taste and talent for it exists, it becomes an occupation affording the most intense delight. It has, moreover, the advantage of being an occupation peculiarly well-adapted to cheer a life of retirement, even of solitude. Music, except the performer be indeed an enthusiast, requires a listener to give it its full zest; but the artist will sit for hours wholly engrossed by his beloved pursuit, which is to him the best of companions.

A taste for drawing, combined with some practical skill, has yet another claim to our favour, which is probably seldom taken into consideration; so greatly does it quicken our perception of the beautiful in nature, and thereby so greatly does it extend the sphere of our intellectual enjoyments, that it is like the acquisition of another sense.

I do not believe that without it any one can fully enjoy or appreciate either a fine prospect in nature or a chef-d'ouvre of art. A thousand minute beauties, which afford exquisite pleasure to those possessed of some artistic knowledge, are lost upon such as have it not. For this reason alone, were there none other to recommend it, I would cultivate a taste for drawing in young persons of both


I doubt whether there be any condition of life, except the very low and menial, in which some knowledge of drawing might not be turned to good account; and I am inclined to think that there are very few children of ordinary capacity who would not draw, provided their attention were early directed to notice forms and colours of objects, the distribution of light and shade, and the simple laws of perspective. That imitative power, which all children possess in a greater or less degree, might easily be exercised in copying, however imperfectly, what they have thus been led to notice. I would supply them liberally with the materials requisite (cheap, if you will) for the prosecution of the art; and these, though they may appear at first unprofitably wasted, will ultimately prove not to have been so, but to have answered the end in view. Even should the reverse be the result, what cheaper toys can a parent provide for his child than a few sheets of paper and black-lead pencils? Without such inducements and facilities, the afterlessons of the drawing master, given at stated periods as school tasks, will do little towards creating a love of the art. It was a saying of Sir Joshua Reynolds, that few have been taught to any purpose who have not been their own teachers. The majority of young ladies who now learn drawing, do so merely because drawing is considered one of the many accomplishments essential to a modern fashionable education; but when the end has been attained for which they were educated, and they are married, every body knows that drawing is the first attainment to be laid aside as no longer of any use.

It is true that several of the most eminent

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