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other principle. It is astonishing how soon a fellow without education will learn to cheat. He is impervious to any ray of liberal knowledge; his understanding is
“ Not pierceable by power of any star”but it is porous to all sorts of tricks, chicanery, stratagems, and knavery, by which any thing is to be got. Mrs. Peachum, indeed, says, that “ to succeed at the gaming-table, the candidate should have the education of a nobleman.” I do not know how far this example contradicts my theory. I think it is a rule that men in business should not be taught other things. Any one will be almost sure to make money who has no other idea in his head. A college-education, or intense study of abstract truth, will not enable a man to drive a bargain, to overreach another, or even to guard himself from being over-reached. As Shakespear says, that
to have a good face is the effect of study, but reading and writing come by nature:” so it might be argued, that to be a knave is the gift of fortune, but to play the fool to advantage it is necessary to be a learned man. The best politicians are not those who are deeply grounded in mathematical or in ethical science. Rules stand in the way of expediency. Many a man has been hindered from pushing his fortune in the world by an early cultivation of his moral sense, and has repented of it at leisure during the rest of his life. A shrewd man said of
my father, that he would not send a son of his to school to him on any account, for that by teaching him to speak the truth, he would disqualify him from getting his living in the world!
It is hardly necessary to add any illustration to prove that the most original and profound teachers are not always the most successful or popular writers. This is not merely a temporary disadvantage; but many great philosophers have not only been scouted while they were living, but forgotten as soon as they were dead. The name of Hobbes is perhaps sufficient to explain this assertion. But I do not wish to
farther into this part of the subject, which is obvious in itself. I have said, I believe, enough to take off the air of paradox which hangs over the title of this Essay.