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That th' authors of them are unknown,
Invention's humorous and nice,
Hence 'tis that some, who fet up
In the large General Dictionary, or Bayle's enlarged by Mr. Bernard, Birch, and Lockman, we are told by the learned editors, under the article Hudibras, that they were personally informed by the late Mr. Longueville, That amongst the genuine remains of Butler, which were in his hands, there was a poem, entitled Tbe History of Learning.--To the fame purpose is the following passage, cited from The Poetical Register, vol. II. p. 21.
.-" In justice to the public, it is thought proper to declare, that all the manuscripts Mr. But“ ser left behind him are now in the custody of Mr. “ Longueville (among which is one, entitled The Hifto"ry of Learning, written after the manner of Hudi
« bras) and that not one line of those poems lately *“ published under his name is genuine."
As these authorities must have given the world reason to expect, in this Work, a poem of this fort, it be'comes necessary for me to inform the pablic-that But
Assume the legal right to disengage
ler did meditate a pretty long fatire upon the imperfection and abuse of Human Learning ; but that he only finished this first part of it, though' he has left very considerable and interesting fragments of the remainder, some of which I shall subjoin.
The Poet's plan seems to have consisted of two parts ; the first, which he has executed, is to expose the defects of human learning-from the wrong methods of education from the natural imperfection of the human mind- and from that over-eagerness of men to know things above the reach of human capacity:The second, as far as one can judge by the Remains, and intended parts of it, was to have exemplified what he has asserted in the first ; and ridiculed and satirized the different branches of human learning, in characte. rizing the philosopher, critic, orator, &c.
Mr. Longueville might be led, by this, into the miltake of calling this work A History of Learning; or perhaps it might arise from Butler's having, in one plan, which he afterwards altered, begun with these two lines,
The history of learning is so lame,
That few can tell from whence at first it came. What has been said will, I fatter myself, be a fuffi. cient apology for the printing an imperfect work, if the many good things to be met with in it does not make one unnecessary:-However, for this reason, I did not think fit to place it amongst his other Satires, which are perfect in their different ways.
Take true or false for better or for worse,
For Custom, though but usher of the school
Though children, without study, pains, or thought, Are languages and vulgar notions taught, Improve their natural talents without care, And apprehend before they are aware, Yet as all strangers never leave the tones
25 They have been us’d of children to pronounce, So most men's reason never can outgrow: The discipline it first receiv'd to know, But renders words they first began to con, The end of all that 's after to be known,
3 And sets the help of education back, Worse than, without it, man could ever lack ; Who, therefore, finds the artificial'ft fools Have not been chang’d i' th' cradle, but the schools, Where error, pedantry, and affectation,
35 Run them behind-hand with their education,