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When and how this is to be done, becomes, therefore, a question of grave import, when we consider the subject of education in its broader signification. That it should not be postponed till the pupil has left the school, to be attained in middle and after life, as many things are, through the intercourse and discipline of adult years, is at once obvious, when we remember that a young man enters, as a matter of course, upon the stage of citizenship, with all its responsibilities, at the early age of twenty-one years. His vote counts just as much in selecting the ruler and the law-maker as the wisest and most experienced, and his opinion goes to swell that aggregate of public sentiment which at times becomes all but omnipotent. Though no man can be said to have completed his education while he lives, no matter how many may be the years of his sojourn here, the period when the mind is open to new and deep impressions, when the training of its powers goes on at the same time that it is acquiring the knowledge which it afterward applies in the business of life, is circumscribed by a brief space between the opening of childhood and the claims of early manhood upon his physical activities. Whatever education a young man receives is ordinarily crowded into a few years, when he lays aside the habits of the school for the shop, or the farm, or the duties of active life. It is from this that the practical educator draws many a useful hint in the prosecution of his work. He learns to plant the germ early. He knows, if it is ever to bring forth fruit, it is to be tended and cared for. If he hopes to develop the mind of his pupil by the processes of the school, he must begin with the rudiments, and carry out the mastery of elementary principles into the various branches which he attempts to teach. I have referred to these familiar truths that I might apply them to the subject of civil polity. My aim will be to show, that it not only may, but that it should, form a part of the elementary training and instruction of a child. Its place is, indeed, under the statute, among the branches assigned to the higher order of schools. But I have studied the minds of children to little purpose, or it is in the power of every respectable teacher to make this study of civil polity not only intelligible in many of its principles to the mind of his younger pupils, but to excite in them something beyond a mere desire to reach a certain standard of accuracy in their recitations. The subject is so immediately connected with our ideas of right and wrong, it enters into so much of what goes to make up our national characteristics, and the institutions which we are taught from our infancy to respect, that the child, as soon as his attention is directed to it as something to be studied and learned, begins to perceive that he has an interest to serve, and a curiosity to gratify, by the teachings of such a science. Nor is it too much to say, that, in its bearing upon the ultimate condition of the nation, in its moral strength and vigor, the diffusion of sound political knowledge, and the cultivation of a national spirit in the minds of the young, would do more to give strength and perpetuity to our government than a hundred armies of mercenaries in the field. Instil into the mind of every school-boy some accurate notion of what his country is, and what her claims are upon the regard of her sons, and it would grow into a sentiment, which would become all but instinctive in his thought and action.

Without dwelling any longer upon the question at what age a topic like this may be taught, I shall assume that there are some in

every be made to understand something of the theory and working of our government. And if I am sustained in this, it is not difficult to show that the State owes it to itself, as well as to every pupil in its schools, to promote a knowledge of our civil polity by the instruction which is there imparted. Will it be said that the number of those who can profitably apply this instruction is too small to make it the subject of a class exercise in our schools; that it is too abstract, too much in the nature of a metaphysical speculation, to be comprehended and applied by young minds? I say nothing whether this is true, with the text-books that we now have. If it is a subject susceptible of

school who may being taught, there is little doubt that suitable aids, in this respect, may readily be supplied as soon as a demand for such a work shall have been created.

What I wish to establish is, that, of so vast and comprehensive a subject, there is much that is neither abstract in its propositions, nor speculative in its application, and, instead of being something outside of the practical things of life, it may be brought home to the capacity and apprehension of almost every one who is competent to understand the ordinary teachings of a school. How old, for instance, must a child ordinarily be, in order to understand something of what goes

to make the rules of law? Can any one remember when he first began to understand the distinction between what was his own and that of another - when the first idea of property and right and of a remedy for a wrong first became clear in his mind? I apprehend this first lesson in law is learned before the child is able to analyze the principle upon which the idea of a separate ownership of the things he sees, rests. Nor is this the only lesson which he thus early masters. He soon discovers that there is such a thing as rules of action and conduct emanating from a superior, and to be obeyed by a subject under the sanction of consequences which render the disobedience of such rules inconvenient or painful. And yet what is law or government to an adult mind, but a mere growth or expansion of the germ that is thus early developed in the mind of a child ?

Wherein consists the difference, in principle, between a child's idea of ownership of his toy, or his share of an apple or an orange, and that of one who holds an invoice of a ship’s cargo, or the deed of a princely estate? Can any one tell me when he first began to discriminate between a separate ownership of the beautiful earth that lies stretched out before him, and that of the blue sky that overhangs it, or the sunlight that gladdens whatever it shines upon ? And yet, though he may be said always to have made this distinction, because he cannot recall where it begun, it is an educated idea. It had no archetype in nature. It is one of those thoughts that assume a specific form and character in the growth and progress of human experience. And it is so with that something which we call government, and the relation there is between it and the peace and security which one enjoys under its protection. What child in our country does not, at a very tender age, learn that there are such things as rulers — men holding place and power? or which of them does not take an interest in the selection of one man or another for office because of his father's preference, or because he is named as the candidate of a party of which his father or guardian is a member?

I am dealing in homely illustrations; and if we apply them to other parts of civil polity, we shall find them equally palpable. Take, for instance, the

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