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right there is a correlative obligation. Men have a marvellous readiness to find out their rights, but their obligations they perceive less clearly. There is need, then, that political and civil obligations, on the observance of which the State's prosperity and ultimately its freedom depend, should be taught by its public teachers.

Thirdly. Parties, as they are managed now in our country, not only fail to inculcate duties on the humbler class of voters, but are positively corrupting and degrading. All common action, even in religion, exposes the persons involved in it to the loss of the sense of personal responsibility. The guilt of wrongdoing is divided, men seem to think, or lies exclusively on the leaders. But besides this danger to which political parties are eminently liable, they are conducted too generally with the least possible reference to a moral standard, either in the selection of candidates, or the adoption of measures, or in the means used to secure or to multiply their partisans. Platforms are laid down in many cases with no intention of observing them ; representations are intentionally made for the purpose of deceiving the ignorant, which have no foundation in truth; private character is vilified ; measures are adopted, and candidates selected, with no reference to anything except mere success; in short, the corrupting influences of parties are so great, that those men involved in political strife, who have access to all those influences which exalt the moral nature, feel themselves in constant danger of losing their truthfulness, their fairness, their justice, their kindness. How much more, then, must politics corrupt the classes to whom the party newspaper is the principal source of intelligence, and the political partisan the leading example.

Is it not evident, then, if the ballot box is to be kept pure, if universal suffrage is not going to be a pest and a ruin to this country, if politics can be anything but a degradation, that the children who are soon to have a vote must be taught that voting is not an expression of will merely, but a solemn duty; that no one who does not inquire how he ought to vote is fit to vote; and that the claims of the country on every inhabitant of its territory are not less sacred than the claims of father and mother?

There is another form in which a certain portion of the laws of morality present themselves — I refer to the rules of honorable conduct. Honor is a nice sense of what is due to us from others, and from us to them; or as Wordsworth expresses it in one of his sonnets :

“Say, what is honor but the nicest sense

Of justice which the human mind can frame?”

All have not that delicate sense, or at least have it not in exercise, which would be enough of itself,

without training or reference to an external standard, to avoid what is mean, base, and unworthy of a man. But all can learn to be honorable, when once a standard is set up by those who discern it of themselves. Now, these rules of honorable conduct we do not assert to be a substitute for the law of justice, or for the law of benevolence, for the law of the State, or for the law of God. But we do believe that within its narrow sphere, where it watches over that conduct towards others which the law of commercial justice or of the land cannot reach, the law of true honor, deriving its code not from the changeful opinion of mankind, but from a just notion of what human nature is and what it demands for itself, will be found an auxiliary to every other moral rule, and will dignify and ennoble religion itself. For instance, to the honest English mind, truthfulness, fidelity, to be above board, “ fair play,” the opposite of all intrigue, duplicity, and underhandedness, commends itself as admirable and beautiful, while the opposite is despised and hated. Law does not enforce such conduct. Commercial honesty does not necessarily cultivate it.

It is not the product of pride, although it may be apt to associate itself with pride. It is fostered by religion, because religion makes the moral sense nice and delicate, and cultivates the feeling of justice. Can any one doubt that this valuable auxiliary to all that is upright and noble in conduct ought to be specially cherished in our systems of education? Or can it be questioned that our country more than any other needs to have the sentiment of true honor recognized and appealed to, since here society is continually changing by the rise of new men, whose advancement is due to their own native abilities, strengthened by the invigorating influence of the common school alone, who are admirably fitted by their executive talent for the highest places of practical life, but who may never have had a fine sense of what is due to truth and justice awakened in their minds.

This last consideration touching the necessity of a fixed standard of honorable conduct may be extended

as to apply to the whole province of morality. There is the greater need that moral instruction in this country be given in the public school and to all classes, because the changes of society are so rapid and continual. If we had here higher classes and lower classes, which approached, as in Europe, somewhat to the immovable form of castes; if the child, as a regular thing, took the calling and position of the parent,—there would be a greater simplicity of moral instruction possible. Without fail, on that supposition, unchangeable habits of thinking, unalterable rules of conduct, would form themselves in each stratum of society, and instruction within each stratum would be confined practically to the correc

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tion of the errors that might there grow up. our country is, there are no fixed grades of society. All positions are open to all, and thus there may be brought by each new-comer to his new sphere of life some new opinion to correct, or to deprave the standard already existing. We must educate all, then, on the universal principles of morality applicable to all places in life, to the servant's place and the master's, to the citizen's and the legislator's, to the farmer's and the merchant's. If our boys go

from the country school and the plough to the city, and there rise to the highest mercantile standing, they must be forearmed, and made ready by sound principles for the new sphere of their activity. Nowhere do men change employments so often and so entirely as here. Nowhere, therefore, can we calculate so little on fixed habits within callings; nowhere can we be less sure that the moral tone will not degenerate. Happily, nowhere is there so much hope that the moral tone may improve.

2. From the importance of moral instruction in the public schools, I pass on to a brief consideration of what is now done in our schools to further this great object. So far as the primary rules of outward morality are concerned, it must be admitted by all, that the discipline of even tolerable schools reads a healthy lesson both to transgressors and to all the children ; and also that such discipline, being essential

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