Sidebilder
PDF
ePub

BY CHARLES MACKAY.

preparation for a great world without.- ENGLISH SCHOOL TEACHING, A lad who has spent two months in breaking stones learns to take his place at the “Cook's Quarto Geography,” recently roadside, but a boy at Mettray is taught published in London, by a gentleman of all the duties of a citizen. "He is even considerable pretensinos--gives some valtaught to assist in putting out a fire, to uable information to “Young England" in chant in the church service, to use a pencil regard to this country. It teaches that sufficiently for the purposes of trade, to in the isle of Orleans, at the mouth of the practise gymnastic exercises, to march Mississippi, is the town of New Orleans, to the sound of music, to swim, to cook, the capital of Louisiana.” The young to wash, to manage cattle, to keep ac- men of Virginia are gamblers, fighters, counts, and to assist, is fit for it, in the and horse-jockeys. Their passion for management of the rest. Indeed, it strikes these diversions, not only inhumanly one that there are fer of us who would barbarous, but beneath the dignity of a not learn something from a course at Met- man of sense, is so predominant that they tray; and that at least, the raw recruits even advertise their matches in the public of our army would be better qualified papers." But of New Englanders, it for service by a little of the multifarious declares that; “From laziness, inatteninstruction there imparted. There are tion and want of aquaintance with manvery few people who have not some kind, many of the people have accustomcharge or other to bring against those ed themselves to peculiar phrases, and to who had the conduct of their education pronounce certain words in a drawling on the score of some serious omission.— manner.” The people of Maine, "accordA laborer or an artisan would hardly find ing to appearances, are wretched in the a want in the school at Mettray." extreme. Their chief provision is a dirty,

dark-colored rye meal, and if they use SONG OF THE SEASONS. any meat, it is on account of preventing

their sheep from becoming more numer

ous than they desire, rather than for the I heard the language of the trees,

pleasure of a good meal. Their common In the noons of the early summer;

beverage is grog or a mixture of rum and As the leaves were moved like rippling seas By the wind--a constant comer.

whiskey with water. This state (MassaIt came and it went at its wanton will ;

chusetts) is the only one in which there And evermore loved to dally,

[hill are no slaves." With branch and flower, from the cope of the To the warm depths of the valley.

DR. KANE.
The sunlight glowd; the waters flow'd:

The birds their music chanted,
And the words of the trees on my senses fell

The secret spring of all his energy is By a spirit of Beauty haunted :

in his religious enthusiasm-discovered Said each to each, in mystic speech :

alike in the generous spirit of his adven“ The skies our branches nourish ;- tures in pursuit of science; in his enthuThe world is good,—the world is fair,- siastic fidelity to duty; and in his heroic Let us enjoy and flourish !”

maintenance of the point of honor in all Again I heard the steadfast trees;

his intercourse with men. The wintry winds were blowing;

In his deportment there is that mixture There seem'd a roar as of stormy seas, of shyness and frankness, simplicity and

And of ships to the depths down-going fastidiousness, sandwiched rather than And ever a moan thro' the woods was blown, blended, which marks the man of genius

As the branches snapp'd asunder, {arms And the long boughs swung like the frantic and the monk of industry. He seems

Of a crowd in affright and wonder. confident in himself but not of himself. Heavily rattled the driving hail!

His manner is remarkable for celerity of And storm and flood coinbining, movement, alert attentiveness, quickness Laid bare the roots of mighty oaks Under the shingle twining.

of comprehension, rapidity of utterance

and sententious compactness of diction, Said tree to tree, “ These tempests free Our sap and strength shall nourish;

which arise from a habitual watchfulness Tho' the world be hard, tho' the world be cold against the betrayal of his own enthusiWe can endure and flourish!"

He seems to fear that he is boring

asm.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]

yon, and is always discovering his unwil- uttered. This instance, he says, conlingness "to sit” for your admiration. tributes to make it even probable that If you question him about the handsome all thoughts are in themselves imperishaofficial acknowledgments of his services ble; and that if the intelligent faculty by the British and American governments, should be rendered more comprehensive" or in any way endeavor to turn him upon--and that this is probable, the instance his own gallant achievements, he hurries cited above from the Opium Eater shows you away from the subject to some point conclusively—“it would ire only a of scientific interest which he presumes diff'rent and apportioned organizationwill more concern and engage yourself; the body celestial instead of terrestialor he says or does something that makes to bring before every human soul the colyou think he is occupied with his own lective experience of his whole past exinferiority in some matter which your istence. And thisthis, perchance is conversation presents to him. One is the dread Book of Judgment in whose obliged to struggle with him to maintain mysterious hieroglyphies every idle word the tone of respect which his character is recorded. Yea, in the very nature of and achievements deserve; and when a living spirit it may be more possible the interview is over, a feeling of disap- that heaven and earth should pass away, pointment remains for the failure in your than that a single act, a single thought, efforts to ransack the man as you wished, should be loosened or lost from that liv. and to render the tribute which you owed ing chain of causes, to all whose links, him.-Dr. Elder.

conscious or unconscious, the free will,

our only absolute self, is co-extensive and DO WE EVER FORGET.

co-present."

It is no idle question—“Do we ever A poor servant-girl in a German town, forget ?”Harper's Mag. was attacked by a violent fever. She was unable to read or write, but during “THE DESIRE OF THE MOTH." the paroxisnis of her disease she became possessed-so the priest said--by a very Golden-colored miller! polyglot devil. She would keep spout

Leave the lamp, and fly away: ing forth in a loud and monotonous voice

In that flame, so brightly gleaming, unconnected sentences of Latin, Greek

Sure, though smiling, death is beaming,

Hasten to thy play! and Hebrew. Sheet after sheet of these

Nearer ?--foolish miller! ravings was taken down; but those who

Look !-thy tiny wings will burn : attempted to find the elucidation of some

Just escaped !---but soon 't will reach thee. deep mysteries in this Babel of unknown

Ah! can dying only teach thee
tongues, got their labor for their pains.

Truths thou wilt not learn ?
At length her physician determined to Didst thou whisper, miller ?
trace out her antecedents. He succeeded Something like a voice and sigh
in ascertaining that, many years before,

Seemed to say—“In all thy teaching,
while a mere child, she had been employ-

Is there practice, or but preaching?

Docst thou more than I ?ed as a servant by a learned ecclesiastic

Wisest little miller! whose habit it was to pass up and down a

I, indeed, have hung too long passage in his house, communicating with

Round a flame more wildly burning, the kitchen, and read aloud his favorite

And, with heart too fond and yearning, books. These scattered and unconnected

Heard no charmer's song!
phrases, caught in the intervals of her la- Blinder than a miller,
bor, were now reproduced by her, after Hovering with devoted gaze,
an interval of many years. Passage after Where such visions vain I cherish;
passage of the notes taken down from Either they or I must perish
her feverish lips was identified among the

Like that flickering blaze.
old priest's favorite authors; so that not

But the moonlight, miller, the least doubt remained as to the origin

Better far befits our mirth :

That calm, streaming light is given
of the girl's “possession."

From the silent depths of heaven.
Coleridge, in speaking of this case, adds

Fire is born on earth.
to it one of the weightiest comments ever

-Putnam's Monthly.

EDUCATE.

REPORT

Of the Board of Education and the SuWhat has produced the great changes, the remarkable developinent of power

perintendent of the Public Schools of

I vlison, for the yelly 1953— 11in. B. and activity exhibited in our collntry Jurris Ch'rt., IV. 1. hite, Clerk, D. within the last twenty years? The answer Y. Kilgore, Superintendent. is, the better and more cilicient -ystems of Education have exerted an important

Frou this report we learn that there agency in producing these grand results.

The mind of the masses has been stiin- are 1602 persons in Marlison entitled to ulated by the animating power of educa- instruction in the Public Schools; that cation, and the benefits are hourly being the whole number who have attended unfolded before us. Good schools not school during the past year is 750; the only increase the value of property, but the value of human life. And although average daily attendance is not stated. their agency in enhancing the value of There are four teachers employed. The property and in developing the physical Superintendent remarks :resources of the country may not be so visible to some persons as that of build- the attendance of pupils, which is an evil

“ There has been great irregularity in ing railroads, plank roads, improving of too great magnitude to be overlooked. harbors, or entering lands, yet it is even If parents were fully aware of the effects greater and more certain. Their intlu- of keeping their children out of school one ence is like that of the dew, and the show

hour each day, or one or two days cach ers and the sunshine, quiet and almost week, they would, I am sure, abandon imperceptible; but let them cease to the practice. Habitual irregularity rediffuse their benefits and their blessings, sults in the loss of a scholar's standing in and devouring famine would not more his classes, in consequence of which his surely come in the one case, than a deadly ambition tags, and his proficiency in blight upon our prosperity and happiness in the other. To abandon then, the

stuly is greatly diminished.

"The habitual tariliness of many of idea of free public schools, is to turn back

the pupils has been a source of much rehalf a century to that crude system of education which every step of modern gret, and a great obstacle in the way of progress, and every result of modern task to furnish their children with written

progress.

Parents may find it an easy improvement unite in condemning as unsuited to the times in which we live: - able to eradicate the evil effects of tardi

excuses to the teachers, but will they be We might almost as well recall from the

ness upon

the character." past, its obsolete system of finance, its iron forms of government, its slow modes

The Superintendent calls the present of commerce, and its bloody superstitions. School-house accommodations “shame

The idea of universal education is the ful"-states that large sums have been grand central idea of the age. Upon this subscribed to build a theatre, and sugbroad and comprehensive basis, all the experience of the past, all the crowding

gests the propriety of erecting suitable phenomena of the present, and all our school-houses. He farther remarkshopes and aspirations for the future, must "When we have embracel the truly rest. Education prevents and diminishes (lemocratic idea that the property of the crime; gives security to property, lessens State should be taxed to educate the the expenses of the poor-rates, prisons, minds by which it is to be controlled, we penitentiaries, and police establishments; do weil; but this faith will avail but litit dispels the gloomy superstitions of ig- tle, except it be accompanied by corresnorance;

it evokes the innate energies of ponding works. It is a duty to make genius; it quickens and retines human en- Public Schools superior to any private injoyments, and it finds out the mighty stitutions, where the rich and the poor physical energies of nature, and applies may possess equal eclucational privileges. them to the service and comfort of man. I know there are a few who fear some --Dubuque llerald.

physical or moral contagion, where the

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

NUMBER ONE.

sons and daughters of poverty are per- Communications,
mitted to associate with children of the
wealthy and refined. They send their
children to select schoo's, to the detri- COURSE OF INSTRUCTION FOR OUR

[For the Journal of Education. ment of the Public Schools, in which they

SCHOOLS. take no interest, and for the elevation of which they make no efforts. This would be unwise, even if all they feared was reality. In this country the top of the First in the course of instruction must wheel of fortune is very likely to descendi

, come Reading. It lies at the foundation while that part which has borne the Weight will just as surely rise. An aris- of all education. It is the mouth of the tocracy of wealth is the least reliable, and mind, through which must be received to instil its notions into the mind of a nearly all its nourishment. By it we are child, is unpardonable.

to become acquainted with the thoughts The different classes will come in contact, in active life, after they leave the of others, and thereby develope our own; the school-room, and how much better to through it we are brought into direct conhave the influence of retinement and vir- tact with the minds of those who are our tue, exerted upon the uncouth and vicious superiors, and receive therefrom a mold at an age the evil habits are so casily cor- and direction absolutely essential. The rected. At this period of forming character, evils may be prevented, by proper design of education is twofold, having reattention and discipline, which, left to ference to the happiness of the individual themselves, would become part and par- possessing it, and to the good of others cel of the man, binding the noblest nature with whom he associates. Mind in chains of adamiant.

be

may Place the neglected child of want orig- strengthened by imparting as well as by norance where promotion depends upon receiving. Hence, Reading is important in merit alone, and how much more likely

a double sense. It improres by acquaintis he to reform, if vicious, and strive to be something-something noble-son- ing with the ideas of others and strengthTINING GOOD. in honorabie ambition may ens by imparting ideas to others. By be thus awakened, which may result in Reading I mean not that practice of incalculable good to mankind, in the case.

mouthing words as curs do mouthe of a single child. Let not then the rich and influential keep their children from bone," nor that equally detestable habit the Public Schools to avoid such associa- of sailing over words without giving the tions, through fear of contamination, when least idea of what lies beneath the surface, it is certain they will come in contact with these uncorrected vices, increased a thou- nor that limping through an article, breaksand fold by habit, and riveted into the ing by an irregular tread and heavy character by age. Better, far better strive crutches every semblance of an idea. I to make these schools what they should be-fountains of intelligence and virtue

mean by Reading, that use of the vocal sending refinement into every home and organs which will communicate to any joy into all hearts."

sensible person the exact idea of the auWe think there is at present a feeling thor read, or what, at least, the intelliin Madison, that will not allow the pres- gent reader conceives to be the idea. I ent state of things much longer to con- would include all use of the vocal organs tinue. We look confidently to sec erected, under this general head, for sake of brevthe present year, several suitable school ity. Such reading is important to the edifices, and we hope such a system of in- reader himself, as by it only can he be struction will be inaugurated as will be himself benefitted. alike creditable to the State and its Capital. As regards the length of time to be de

[ocr errors][ocr errors]

voted to this branch of study, I would by being intelligible, and at the same time say, no one need expect to make himself afford instruction upon matters of practimaster of it during the time usually allot- cal importance. Thus may we connect ted to school studies. Like most other with the exercise of Reading, the study branches I shall speak of, it begins but of Natural llistory. Thus may be learncannot end with the common school, nored much of the animal, vegetable and with the Academy or College. Its study mineral kingdoms, without devoting time can only end with the loss of the voice especially to those pursuits. At least, and the eye. The Common School is but the critical examination that should folan elemental school. It can only give di- low every Reading lesson will, under such rection to the first buddings of the tree. Teachers, as are worthy the name, impart Its power in reading must be shown in a knowledge of the fundamental princiteaching, to avoid bad habits, in devoting ples of natural science, which is all that much time to the elemental sounds of the can be looked for in the few years usually language, in training the voice to the ut- devoted to attendance upon Common terance of sounds with distinctness, that Schools. there be no chance for misuderstanding Our Reading Books are generally above through any uncertain sound, combining the comprehension of the pupils into the mechanical part with the intellectual whose hands they are placed. We need by selections adapted to the mental capaci- simple rariety ; variety to meet various ty of the pupil. Of the importance of read- degrees of intelloctual strength, enough ing, no one need be convinced, who has of biography to make virtue attractive sat for a half hour trying to swallow the and to render vice loathsome. Enough of murdered ideas of some interesting news- narration to store the mind with facts as paper article, as the words clothing them they can be digested—enough of poetry have been forcibly shaken out of the to cultivate the fancy and refine the taste mouth of some smart stu lent, who spent -enough of argumentation to strengthen in Philosophy or Chemistry the time due the reason and to feed the judgment. We to vocal culture, stolen from the Spelling esteem Reading as of the highest importBook and the First Reader.

Could it be properly appreciated Reading, as an exercise properly con- in its influence upon the mind and the ducted, is eminently promotive of thought,

morals, it would attract more attention on the basis of all education. Whether it

the part of our men and women. be the silent mode of acquiring information through the channel of the eye, or Platteville, Wis. the audible imparting of information to

(For the Journal of Education. others, it requires and should have the

UNIFORMITY OF TEXT BOOKS. mind for the time being, else it is a mere soulless muttering, productive of good to

Can we, under our present laws, secure no one. That the mind may have its a uniformity of Text-Books in the schools powers brought into active exercise, it is in this State ? important that the subject selected for The selection of Text-Books is left to reading lessons be easily comprehended the various District Boards throughout by the student. Simple narratives per- the State. Each Board is to decide for taining to objects of sense would serve a its respective District, and it cannot be double purpose. They employ the mind expected that three and a half thousand

ance.

J. L. P.

« ForrigeFortsett »