corner of the world. In general, the richest 
and best endowed universities have been slowest 
in adopting those improvements, and the 
most averse to permit any considerable change 
in the established plan of education. Those 
improvements were more easily introduced into 
some of the poorer universities, in which 
the teachers, depending upon their reputation 
for the greater part of their subsistence, 
were obliged to pay more attention to the current 
opinions of the world
But though the public schools and universities 
of Europe were originally intended only 
for the education of a particular profession
that of churchmen; and though they were not 
always very diligent in instructing their pupils
even in the sciences which were supposed 
necessary for that profession; yet they gradually 
drew to themselves the education of 
almost all other people, particularly of almost 
all gentlemen and men of fortune. No better 
method, it seems, could be fallen upon, of 
spending, with any advantage, the long interval 
between infancy and that period of life 
at which men begin to apply in good earnest 
to the real business of the world, the business 
which is to employ them during the remainder 
of their days. The greater part of what is 
taught in schools and universities, however, 
does not seem to be the most proper preparation 
for that business. 
In England, it becomes every day more and 
more the custom to send young people to travel 
in foreign countries immediately upon their 
leaving school, and without sending them to 
any university. Our young people, it is said, 
generally return home much improved by their 
travels. A young man, who goes abroad at 
seventeen or eighteen, and returns home at 
one-and-twenty, returns three or four years 
older than he was when he went abroad; and 
at that age it is very difficult not to improve 
a good deal in three or four years. In the 
course of his travels, he generally acquires 
some knowledge of one or two foreign languages
a knowledge, however, which is seldom 
sufficient to enable him either to speak or 
write them with propriety. In other respects, 
he commonly returns home more conceited, 
more unprincipled, more dissipated, and more 
incapable of any serious application, either to 
study or to business, than he could well have 
become in so short a time had he lived at 
home. By travelling so very young, by spending 
in the must frivolous dissipation the most 
precious years of his life, at a distance from 
the inspection and controul of his parents and 
relations, every useful habit, which the earlier 
parts of his education might have had some 
tendency to form in him, instead of being riveted 
and confirmed, is almost necessarily 
either weakened or effaced. Nothing but the 
discredit into which the universities are allowing 
themselves to fall, could ever have brought 
into repute so very absurd a practice as that 
of travelling at this early period of life. By 
sending his son abroad, a father delivers himself, 
at least for some time, from so disagreeable 
an object as that of a son unemployed, 
neglected, and going to ruin before 
his eyes. 
Such have been the effects of some of the 
modern institutions for education
Different plans and different institutions for 
education seem to have taken place in other 
ages and nations
In the republics of ancient Greece, every 
free citizen was instructed, under the direction 
of the public magistrate, in gymnastic exercises 
and in music. By gymnastic exercises
it was intended to harden his body, to sharpen 
his courage, and to prepare him for the fatigues 
and dangers of war; and as the Greek 
militia was, by all accounts, one of the best 
that ever was in the world, this part of their 
public education must have answered completely 
the purpose for which it was intended
By the other part, music, it was proposed, at 
least by the philosophers and historians, who 
have given us an account of those institutions
to humanize the mind, to soften the 
temper, and to dispose it for performing all 
the social and moral duties of public and private 
In ancient Rome, the exercises of the Campus 
Martius answered the same purpose as 
those of the Gymnasium in ancient Greece
and they seem to have answered it equally 
well. But among the Romans there was nothing 
which corresponded to the musical education 
of the Greeks. The morals of the Romans
however, both in private and public 
life, seem to have been, not only equal, but, 
upon the whole, a good deal superior to those 
of the Greeks. That they were superior in 
private life, we have the express testimony of 
Polybius, and of Dionysius of Halicarnassus
two authors well acquainted with both nations; 
and the whole tenor of the Greek and 
Roman history bears witness to the superiority 
of the public morals of the Romans. The 
good temper and moderation of contending 
factions seem to be the most essential circumstances 
in the public morals of a free people
But the factions of the Greeks were almost 
always violent and sanguinary; whereas, 
till the time of the Gracchi, no blood had 
ever been shed in any Roman faction; and 
from the time of the Gracchi, the Roman republic 
may be considered as in reality dissolved
Notwithstanding, therefore, the very respectable 
authority of Plato, Aristotle, and 
Polybius, and notwithstanding the very ingenious 
reasons by which Mr. Montesquieu endeavours 
to support that authority, it seems 
probable that the musical education of the 
Greeks had no great effect in mending their 
morals, since, without any such education
those of the Romans were, upon the whole, 
superior. The respect of those ancient sages