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"or Draught of it laid before him, to strengthen "his Memory, in which he takes a particular "Delight. Some of these Pictures, lying be"fore him, while I was there, upon turning one "of them, which happen'd to have a Piece of an "old Map of Lower Germany pafted behind it, to "ftiffen it, I was greatly furpriz'd to hear him of "himself cry out; O! there's Lubeck, there's Ro"Stock; and being ask'd how he knew that? he "anfwer'd, why is not that the Baltick? (or Eaft"Sea, near which both those Cities are fituated.) "Monf. von Sch lamented, that the Circum"ftances of the Weather, and the State of Health "the Child was in, would not then fuffer him to "be long in the Garden, which was the Place he "had taught him chiefly in. He ventur'd it, in
deed, for a short Time; on which Occafion, the "Child not only pointed to the four Cardinal "Points of the Compafs, but gave us an Account of "the principal Countries, which are fituate to the "Eaft, West, North and South of us. In Genea"logy, we made a Trial with the Houfes of "France, Denmark, and Slefwick-Holstein, in which " he gave us fuch Satisfaction, as could not be ex"pected from a Child of his Age. He could ❝ name almost every Thing we happen'd to men
tion in Latin, nay, even where German Words could be exprefs'd by more than one Word in "Latin, he gave us to understand he knew them "all, of which we had Inftances of the Word "Thür (Door) and the like. He likewife repeats
a pretty large Number of Latin Moral Sen❝tences. A Picture being fhewn him, which he
had not feen before; and being told, it was a "very pretty one; he immediately faid: Eft aliquid * præclari. Out of the Catechism, he repeated "the ten Commandments, &c. very readily; and likewife many chofen Texas of the Bible. He
"foon after took a Fancy to fing, and thereupon
was fomething very extraordinary in this Child, "who can comprehend more by a bare Verbal "Relation of Things, than many Thousands of << other Children can be brought to a Knowledge
of, with great Labour. I ask'd Monf. von "Sch by what Means he first observ'd so uncommon a Memory, and fo peculiar a Capacity in this Child? To which he answer'd, that, "as foon as he began to fpeak, being fiting by "him, near the Stove, the Child ask'd him what
"was the Meaning of the Figures on the Stove ? * " and he having explain'd them to him in the "Manner he thought the moft adapted to his "Comprehenfion, and mention'd several Circum"ftances relating thereunto; he was furpriz'd to "hear the next Day,that he repeated all he had told " him to his Sifters, and that almoft in the very "fame Words. Upon this he begun to teach him "fome Scripture Hiftories; and as he readily re"tain'd them in his Memory, and he obferv'd "daily a greater Defire (which yet continues) in "him, of hearing fomething new, he, for his "Diverfion, taught him the moft neceffary Points "of other Sciences, which he happily attain'd "to a Knowledge of. When, at any Time, he " is out of Humour, and will give no Answer to "the Questions ask'd him, they lay before him "the Example of the Watchman (whom, as he "fleeps but little, he often hears, and asks after, "in the Night-time,) who is reprefented to him. "as an ignorant Wretch, not capable of giving "an Answer to what is defir'd of him, tho' he, "as a Child can do it. When he hears this, he "complies, and feems to take Pleasure, in mak"ing the Watchman afham'd, as it were, of his "Ignorance. Hitherto he has taken no Sufte
nance, but his Nurfe's Milk, nor will he be 66 brought by any Means, to accuftom himself to any other Food. But it is to be lamented, that "there is fo little Hopes of his Life: For feting "afide the Power of the Almighty, in all human "Appearance, it is not poffible for him to live long.
The Stoves they make use of, in this Part of Germany, are made of a Sort of white Tiles, with blue Figures, not unlike the Dutch Tiles us'd in Chimnies here, but larger.
"And therefore the faying Quod cito fit, cito perit; "will be verified in him. *"
THUS far the Letter communicated to me by my Fellow Traveller; and we have here a memorable and furprising Inftance, on the one Hand, of the Power of Nature, and, on the other, of the Effect of Diligence, and the reasonable Method of an ingenious Inftructer. They both furpafs what we generally meet with in the World; and yet I can't but think it may be accounted for, without the Expence of a Miracle; or, if duly confider'd, thinking it fo very wonderful in itself, as it is uncommon. It is hard to fay what human Nature is not capable of, with Diligence and Application, and the Difference between a good or bad Method, is perhaps as great as between any two Things in the World of the fame Kind. Not that I would, by any Means, be for encouraging fuch Attempts as this; on the contrary, I am very apt to think, that the Want of Sleep, and feeble State of Health, taken Notice of by the LetterWriter, of this Child, and its Death, which enfued not long after, were, in fome Measure, at leaft, occafion'd, by a too great Application, which exhausted the Spirits defign'd and requir'd by Nature for the Support of Life; and no Wonder it had this Effect on fo tender a Plant, when we find many Instances of the like on Trees arriv'd to their full Growth; I mean on Men of Learning, who in the best of their Years, have ruin'd their Health and Conftitution, and, at Length, loft their Lives, by a too intense Study and Application. I should
* What the Writer of this Letter fays of the early Knowledge of this extraordinary Child is very true; and as I have had the Opportunity of feing it more than once, I could add many Circumstances here omitted; but thefe may serve to juftify the Reflections our Author makes on the Whole.
have been fo far from ufing the Stratagem of the Watchman, that I fhould rather have difcouraged than encouraged fo great a Forwardnefs and Propenfity to Learning in this Child. Had he been amus'd with an Intermixture of Trifles, and the Memory not over burden'd with fo great a Variety of ferious Matters, at one and the fame Time, he might poffibly have retain'd his Health and Strength, and have learn'd all this and more, with Eafe and Conveniency, and to more Advantage, by the Age of feven or eight, of which I have known many Instances. Thefe Reflections put me in Mind of a Method as abfurd (I had almost faid as cruel) on the other Hand; I mean that of our Schools, and more particularly of our large and famous Schools, where they think it beneath them to take a Lad under ten Years of Age, and then make him drudge on feven or eight Years to learn the Latin and Greek Tongues, which they might as well do in half the Time, neglecting, in the mean while, the more useful Sciences, in the general Commerce of Life, (efpecially to those who are not intended immediately to follow either of the three learned Profeffions) Hiftory, Geography, Genealogy, Philofophy, the Mathematicks, a Knowledge of the Modern Tongues, and the History and Knowledge of Men and Letters in general, but above all, thofe Principles of Religion, Morality and Humanity, which alone can render them useful and valuable in this World, and happy in that to come; all which they might, by a well digefted, reasonable Method be inftructed in, at the fame Time they are attaining to the learned Tongues, without overburdening the Memory, or a too intenfe Application; nay, the very Exercises in the latter, may, and ought to be, fubfervient to the former. How many of thefe over grown SchoolBoys (Blockheads I had like to have faid) have not