are often written to by Superintendents and Clerks requesting copies of the School Law. Those wishing them must apply directly to the State Superintendent, Madison, as we have no copies of the law and are not agents for its distribution.


Mr. BCRDick and Lady, who have taught very successfully at Ilazel Green for the past year, are engaged at Waupun for the ensuing year.

The people of Lancaster are about establishing an academy under the direction of Mr. Page, recently from New England. A hall is in progress of erection for the accommodation of pupils.

The High School edifice at Prairie du Chien is completed, handsomely furnished, and they have their teachers engaged for the year.

Mr. Dean, who has been teaching at Eureka, is engaged at Omro for the coming year.

Mr. J. M. Fry is re-engaged at Wautoma, Waushara County.

[blocks in formation]


This popular series of reading books bas been carefully revised and remodeled, and one entirely new book (the high school reader) added to the list, making in all seren books, which are now designated and known as McGuffey's New Electic Readers. Those teachers who have used the old series will fully appreciute the merits of the new when we assure them that thoy are improyed in matter, typogr:phy, and general appearance, presenting a carefully graded and interesting collection of reading lessone of a high literary and moral character. Published by Winthrop B. Smith & Co., Cincinnati, and Clark, Austiu & Smith, No York.


Though not exactly in our line, we feel it to be our duty to call the attention of our roaders to this valuable and interesting monthly. There is not a farmer in the State but would realize enough benefit from the careful perusal of one number to pay for a year's subscription. We are glad to learn that its merits are appreciated by the public, and we trust thnt notwithstanding the "hard times," its circulation will be largely increased the coming year. Published at Madisca, Ly Bowers & Hoyt, at one dollar per year.

[ocr errors]

THE ATLANTIC Monthly, for December, more than fulfills the expectations excited by the first number. It rivals “ Putnam" in its palmiest days and will soon be regarded not as a luxury, but as a necessity in the intellectual life of the progressive American mind. We have not space to point out the best things, but advise our readors to send three dollars to the Publishers, Messrs. Phillips, Samson & Co., 13 Winter street, Boston, which will pay for the “ Atlantic" for one yeur.

[blocks in formation]


The festivities common to this season of the year remind us that wo are social beings. Is there not in the good school house and its accompaniments a fand of social wealth? We can not prize too highly that department of our being which calls for kindred souls to share our joys and divide our sorrows. The cheerful fire burning brightly on the hearth is reflected from the happy faces of the “ Home Circle," all the more bappy when intelligence finds expression there. Nothing adds more to the comforts of home and the social joys of friends, than a body in whose every feature health discloses itself—a mind well stored with useful knowledge, and a heart beating with love to God and man. In the language of one of America's most talented writers “A cultivated man of reasoned opinions, of sober views and a considerate benevolence, is a spring of living waterthe earth is greener and the air sweeter about him.” A people devoid of intelligence is devoid of homes. To our system of education we owe much of our social elevation, I care not what a man's condition in life inay be, or what his occupation, his labor is sweeter to him, when he enters upon it with the feelings of a schoiar as well as of a man, and his rest at night will be the more welcome and refreshing, if he find it in the bosom of a family, whose very look beams with intelligence. Who find delight in haunts of vice forgetful of home? Answer, and you will strengthe en my assertion.

It has been said that schools are very much what home is. It is true, bat schools make the homes, and homes will therefore be very much what

[ocr errors]


schools are. As we value the blessings of social life, the joys of our firesides, and the love of our friends, it becomes us to look well to the source of these blessings, these joys, this love, to guard well the fountain of kuowledge, our common schools. In the protection and perfection of our sehools, no more important agency is used than a good attractive School House. But aside from this indirect influence, comes another direct and powerful. Man's thoughts are fashioned much by objects of sense around him. Confine any person from infancy in dens of filth, and his mind and heart will be overrun with vermin. Let him inhale foul air and noxious vapors, and he will exhale foul thoughts and curses. Let his eye rest upon nothing but what is disagreeable and unholy, and he will see in every fellow man an object of hate and scorn. Let all he comes in contact with be squalid and filthy, and he will go forth into the world a leprous soul shunned and shunning all. Just in proportion as these circumstances at. tend him, will evil consequences follow. But the direct influence of a good school house can not be better illustrated than by that beautiful story in a copy of the Massachusetts Teacher of "Freddy Gerrish and the Scraper.” It is briefly this. Freddy Gerriah, constrained by the Scraper and Mat and other like arrangements at the renovated school-house, procures a piece of hoop which shall serve as a scraper before the door of the house of his careless and intemperate Father. A piece of sheep-skin serves as a mat. A cleaner floor procures white wash for the ceiling and walls, which, to prevent incongruity calls for and obtains paint for the outside. Closets are constructed and the uncleanly hovel becomes a tidy cottage. Its owner lured thither by the home-like air leaves his haunts of dissipation, and is saved to his family, because, as he expressed it—"Freddy's scraper had a tail to it.” This may be an extreme case, but who can doubt that such results may flow and do flow from sources as trifling as s “scraper.” Who has not seen the tobacco-chewer, who could, without any compunctions of conscience, discharge his filth upon an unwashed floor, run round as if nearly crazy, to find, in a neatly carpeted room, a place suitable for a puddle of tobacco juice. Not that carpets or well washed floors are always safe, but they are so in a majority of cases. Neatness begets neatness. Let the school house be ever neat and attractive, and its silent influence will be ever felt. It will appear in the outward manners and make its impress surely and firmly upon the inward thoughts. Neatness demands order, and both are absolutely essential to intelligence, refinement and virtue, without which there can be no social enjoyment.

It remains to consider the moral value of a Good School House. Conclusion next month.

P. PLATTEVILLE, Dec., 1857.


Its Motives, METHODS AND ENDS. An Address at the Anniversary of Wyoming Seminary, Kingston, Luzerne

Co., June 30, 1857.


I come before you to-day with no elaborate address prepared ; for I think the speech which will best suit the occasion, will be one inspired by the occasion. The theme is of course the one, the only one, which would be fitting here and now; I need scarcely name it—EDƯƠATION. Yet not as an advocate of Education am I here to address you; she needs no advocate here, or you would not be here to-day. All this vast multitude, gathered from distant homes, have come as her advocates. There is surely no need of dwelling on the value and importance of that which is the engross. ing theme of thought and interest, with all I see before me. The intelli. gence, beauty and attention here collected, the halls in view of which we are assembled, the addresses we have already heard, all the memories our young friends bear from this place, and all the hopes which beckon them to the future, are so many testimonials to the importance of Education, But, that we may bring our thoughts to some practical issue to-day, indulge me with your attention; and while my feeble voice can make you hear, and so long as your patience ought to be taxed, I will offer some remarks as the fruits of my reflection and experience, on EDUCATION,—ITS Motives, METHODS AND Ends.

The word Philosophy, in its proper and derivative meaning, denotes & love of wisdom or knowledge. But it is more commonly used in an accommodated and inaccurate sense, as indicating a system or circle of whatever pertains or ministers to the intellectual needs of man. Taking the word in this, now its almost universal sense, we may say that the world of Philosophy has produced two great thinkers, Plato and Bacon, who, above all others, have been and continue to be kings in the realms of thought. Plato was acknowledged as supreme dictator of the human intellect for ages before Bacon wrote; and, indeed, among scholars, in our colleges and academie, our systems of education, and the literary world at large, the philosophy of Plato still wields a paramount authority. We may say that nine-tenths of the thinking world bow to bim. These two names, then, raised on high, stand to-day as landmarks to all who go forth upon the sea of thought.

[ocr errors]

Plato's philosophy begins by contemplating the soul rather than the body. It views man more as a pure spirit than as an agent in the material world. It deems the noblest work of education to be, not so much the workman as the man. Its objects are inward, and its means, therefore, are chosen for their reflective action on bim who employs them, not for their power in the world. But while Platonism thus builds on intuition, Baconism seeks its foundation in reason. It begins with facts and ends with fruits. It rejects everything from the beginning but clear, proved facts, and calls forth all the energies of its disciples in the search for practical, useful results. The Baconian idea regards man as placed on earth to be a worker ; and the true education as that which best fits man for his work. It therefore cuts off from youthful training everything which gives no promise of being turned to account in manly work.

The civilized world, as I have said, sat for more than fifteen centuries at the feet of Plato; receiving his words with as implicit faith as was give en them in his own school at Athens. And still his ideas prevail in our scholastic systems. Ask an old school professor of to-day, why he insists 60 much on the general study of the higher mathematics, the dead lan. guages, and such other branches as have no practical work to do in the hands of his papils ; and he is sure to answer you as an orthodox Platon. ist: To discipline the mind. This is the great aim of our college and acad emy systems. But since the general diffusion of the art of printing, the opposite or Baconian idea has been steadily gaining ground. And now the great question in which the educational mind of our own age is engaged, is, whether this idea shall be adopted in the training system of the coming


Baconism, then, commences with a careful, intelligent observation of facts. It assumes nothing; proceeds by strict induction; takes nothing for granted; and postpones all theorizing until by an adequate interrogation of facts, we shall be pointed irresistibly to the conclusion. The model Baconian of our own nation, and of what we may call our own age, in comparison with the vast extent of history, was Benjamin Franklin, He was not, indeed, a model man; as a man his character had many faults ; but we speak of him now only as a thinker, and in this light, he was a model Baconian. Other illustrious disciples of this school, however, belong to these times; such as Fulton, Watt, Whitney, Morse, Daguerre, and many more. For this is the school of practical men who do the work.

Now I too, in my poor way, avow myself a follower of Bacon. I would apply his touchstone to all our processes of education. I would affirm that the mind is disciplined best by its own proper work; and not by making this discipline the great end. I would say to the farmer's son, poring over Greek verbs and Hebrew roots and accents; to the damsel of sixteen,

« ForrigeFortsett »