Imagini ale paginilor
PDF
ePub

66

when the alligator is painted particularly eve of an election, to preach, but few relarge on the outside of the canvass, I am Hecting men will candidly endorse it.apt to infer that its undne proportions Almost everything great and noble in are intended as an offsett for a some:what this world is in a minority-Christianity, diminutive specimen within. I may hand wisdoin, philanthrop-roefully in the over my dime to the door-keeper, and the minority. And yet, I have an abidokeying the injunction of the fast boys in ing faith in the propriety of universal the vicinity, "Goin," but, under the cir- sutirage, as it exists in this country—the cumstances, I would not complain of any expression of the people at the ballotamount of subsequent pressure. The box. The majority may not be right.genial and beneficent agencies of nature The better cause may suffer a temporary are silent and unobtrusive; the light-overthrow. But there always remains an ning leaps like a swist and terrible beast appeal back to the people again. If they frem its lair, to shatter and destroy, or to have not reached the proper point of enwaste itself in the empty spaces of the lightenment this year, they may the next. heavens, but softly, noiselessly, by beau- There is always hope. There is always tiful degrees, glides in the gentle dawn, the confidence that, except those di"scattering the rear of darkness thin," rectly interested in a contrary result, it and ushering in the splendor of the day. is their desire to do right. If they err,

As a patriot, the teacher's duties are it is through ignorance or misapprehennot less high and responsible. În a gov- sion. Whoerer is confident of the justice ernment like ours, based upon the pop- of his cause, of the purity of his motives, ular will, everything connected with its can afford to wait." If we cannot trust permanence and well-being depends upon the people, I know not where we shall go. the general diffusion of intelligence among There is no other depositary of power so the masses of the people. In just the safe, so removed from personal ambition, proportion that they are educated and selfishness, and the abuses that spring imbued with a veneration for just princi- from these besetting sins of humanity. ples, will the government, and those llere, again, the importance of the recharged with its administration, reileet lations subsisting between the teacher credit upon its founders and supporters, and the intelligence and general moraliand will encourage other peoples to fol- ty of the people is apparent. We have low our example. We hear endless com- already scen the extent of the power plaints and bickerings over the corruption which is placed in his hands to mould or imbecility of our public servants, and direct the sentiments of the succeedThe old adage that where there is a great ing generation. He stands as one of the smoke there must be some fire, is doubt- pillars on which rests the temple of our less true in this case. But it may be free institutions. He is admitted to the safely said that their public servants are adytum--the inner shrine--and brought as good as the average of the people dc- into direct intimacy with the ultimate

In most instances they are about depositaries of all civil power—with the a fair exponent of the average moral sen- conservators of liberty, and lays his hands timent of the community. The evil is upon the secret springs of anarchy and radical, and we must commence at the good order, of war and peace. foundation if we would build up a fairer There is another and higher point of structure. If narrow minded, selfish men, view from which the office of the teacher unqualified for any responsible position, may be regarded. There are few men, by means of a low cunning, which their be they what they may, whether belierbetters would disdain to use, if they pos- ers in natural or revealed religion, whose sessed it, are most successful in obtaining hopes do not extend beyond this fieeting official honors, it is an evidence of a lack existence. Without some such hope, laof proper intelligence, and a high stand- tent or active, man could do nothing. In ard of morals among the people. I am the jostle and hurry of busy life we may not a believer in the infallibility of major- momentarily lose sight of the great fact ities. I reject the doctrine of the plenary that our interest in all material things is inspiration of the ballot box. That may of but a passing nature. But there comes do for the mousing demagogue, on the to erery man and woman, in their calm

serve.

[ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors]

and sober moments, a solemn sense of the compensation has been insignificant the great silence which must speedily compared with the rewards which the succeed all the wild turmoil and giddy talent and labor required could command excitement of this noisy generation. - in other fields of effort. This evil must There will still be clamor and tumult; in a great measure be corrected by teachbut in it this generation will have no ers themselves. They must learn first to part or lot. The pall of silence and blank respect their calling and to be worthy of oblivion will have settled over them and it. They must bear in mind its weighty their deeds. "The fever and the fretful responsibilities, its far-reaching influstir unprofitable,” will have passed away. ences, and spare no pains to acquit themIn the face of these stern realities we may selves creditably and to the best of their enjoy lucid intervals. Illusions vanish. ability in the discharge of their duty.The things which we pursue most eagerly The occupations in which men engage are stripped of their disguises and their are esteemed honorable in proportion to vanity revealed. We see how like the the difficulties to be overcome, the responbaseless fabric of a vision is much that sibilities to be borne, and the dignity and We are accustomed to regard as most solid importance of the objects which they inand substantial. We feel that we are in volve. Those which call into exercise the dim novitiate, preparatory to some mere untutored physical strength occupy higher condition ; that, after all, the the lowest scale; those which require great work of life is to grow in knowledge some dexterity of movement as well as and in good; to cherish and prize, above muscular strength, a higher; those which all things else, that which can alone sur-relate to the mind of man, to its training vive the destroying hand of time; not to and development, the highest of all. waste the golden moments wholly in the Among the latter class, and prominent in mere machinery of living and the details the scale of precedence, is the office of the of its culinary wants. Here again the teacher in our public schools, whose task teacher plays an important part. He is is to develope into harmonious action the not to teach creeds and dogmas. He is youthful and forming mind. There is no not to proselytize for this or that denomi- higher. It lies at the foundation of evepation; but to prepare the mind for the rything else. It is preparatory to everyreception and appreciation of truth. He thing that follows. Its object is to light can point out the beauty of virtue and up the intellect, and let in the glorious the repulsiveness of vice. He can desig- orld of thought and imagination upon nate to the pupil the great cardinal prin- the mind, to which it would otherwise ciples of morality, that, when once placed remain blind. The Statesman merely before it, are as clear to the mental vision throws up barriers and hems in the indiof childhood as to that of maturer age; vidual with restrictions. His work is and he can do this, morcover, without merely superficial, while that of the rendering them repulsive by the infusion teacher penetrates to the inner life, and of any of the incomprehensible refine. purifies the fountain itself. We cannot ments and technicalities of mere secta- enough insist upon the necessity of a due rianism. He furnishes the mental disci- preparation for this great work. There pline; he should both inculcate and set is need of men engaged in it with large the example in all the essentials of mo- discourse of reason—those who are gifted rality, gentleness and kindness; and leave to see the vitality of facts—who have the individual to choose his faith accord- some other idea of Education than the ing to his idiosyncrasies and attractions. mere cramning process, the Gradgrind In thus laying the foundation, to some method of burdening the memory with extent at least, of his pupils' character, facts—undigested, hard, pitiless facts.his influence attends him through life and This is simply a mechanical education, passes with him to what lies beyond. which withers the intelect while it dis

There has been much complaint that gusts the pupil. The object of education the importance of this calling has not re- is to inflame the mind with a love of ceived a proper recognition by the world knowledge and a passionate desire to seek in general. Narrow views respecting its and find truth; to impress the student duties and responsibilities have prevailed. with the idea that one chief object of ex

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

istence is self-culture; to furnish him has heaved up huge mountain chains, with the requisite training for that great whose peaks invade those regions discipline which shall continue on thro'

(nourished, life--a key that will open to the possessor

“ Where the treasures of delicious snow are the boundless treasuries of knowledge, And banquets of sweet hail," and supply him with “a perpetual feast to feed the flashing silver of the torrents of nectared sweets, where no crude sur- that troop singing down their sides, and feit reigns.”

water, and enrich, and beautify the whole A kind Providenɔe has given us a glo- broad land. She has spread out green rious land in which to dwell. Never be- savannahs that only await the plow and fore was there presented to the patriot a the seed, to laugh with harvests. She country so worthy of his love, his solici- has veined the rocks with iron and gold, tude, his hopes. There is in its condition and stored them with treasures of coal. and prospects, matter to excite the most She has spread out broad lakes for inland opposite emotions; pride and shame ; des- commerce ; and seamed the continent pair and exultation. The imagination is with mighty rivers that bear upon their staggered at the prospect of its present shining backs the staple products of the greatness and future destiny. Its people, interior on to the ocean, thence to be disgathered from all quarters of the globe, tributed up and down among mankind. possessing the characteristic excellencies Ilere are all the elements of material and defects of their several races, are ex- greatness. The mind, overwhelmed by hibiting the grandest fision movement, the oceanic vastness of the prospect that to borrow from the political vocabulary-- dilates before it, as it looks down the vista ever witnessed. Freedom, toleration, of the coming years to the development equal rights, are the planks of the broad of these immense resources, shrinks back platform on which they stand-or are en- in utter impotence from the aitempt to deavoring to stand, for the actual perform-grasp it. What will be the precise charance seldom comes quite up to the prom- acteristics of the people to whom shall be ise in human affairs. We must be patient given this fair inheritance, it is, as yet, and learn to wait. The oppressive re- difficult to say. We are still in the strictions that cramp the genius and fet- gristle. The fusion is not complete. Our ter the energies of the subjects of the va- population is yet wanting in homogeneity. rious despotisms of Europe, are driving That the Anglo-Saxon blood will predomout the bone and sinew of its population. inate, however, there can be little doubt, They seek the New World. The active, or that the Anglo-Saxon energy and earthe enterprising, the hopeful, flock hither nestness will be among their characteristo rear their homes under a new heaven, tics. “We speak the tongue that Shaksand to infuse fresh vitality and added en-peare spake; the faith and morals hold ergy into the channels of American skill that Milton held.” But in the presence and enterprise. A whole broad conti- of all this material greatness and prospernent, reserved until the time was ripe, ity there is danger of our forgetting the has suddenly been opened up to the Cau- higher and more essential elements of casian race. They are turned loose into greatness. There is danger of becoming it; and given steamboats, locomotives, absorbed in the pursuit of the mere means electric telegraphs, printing presses and of life, forgetful of the end that should be Republican institutions. A new phase kept constantly in view. We need the of humanity is to be developed, Every- School-master abroad. We need the difthing is on a grander and vaster scale fusion of intelligence and just principles than the Old World ever knew. Nature through the community, to counteract has been prodigal of bounties. She has our material tendencies. These are the showered upon it her choicest gifts with forces that will bind this Union together, an unsparing hand. She has given it a as with hooks of steel, when the towsoil that seems of inexhaustible fertility; strings of compromises are consumed in the combined amenities of a delightful the blaze of sectional jealousies, ignited climate and beautiful and picturesque by the collision of jarring interests and scenery; and over it she has hung a sky antagonistic institutions. Extent of terwhose azure rivals that of Italy. She ritory, population, wealth, are not thə

With its motionless, golden vane;
And heard the cattle's musical low,

And the rustle of standing grain.
In the open casement a lingering bee

Murmured a drowsy tune;
Anıl, from the upland meadows, a song,

In the lulls of the afternoon, Had come, on the air that wandered by,

Laden with scents of June.

Our tasks were finished, and lessons said,

And we sat all hushed and still, Listeuing to catch the purl of the brook,

And the whirr of the distant mill; And waiting the word of dismissal, that yet

Waited the master's will.

The master was old and his form was bent,

And scattered and white his hair;
But his heart was young, and there ever dwelt

A calm and kindly air,
Like the halo over a pictured saint,

On his facc, marked deep with care.
His eyes were closed, and his wrinkled hands

Wore folded over his vest,
As wearily back in his old arm-chair

He reclined as if to rest;
And the golden streaming sunlight fell

On his brow and down his breast.

We waited in reverent silence long,

And silence the master kept, Though still the accustomed saintly smile Over his features crept;

[toil And we tho't that, worn with the lengthened

Of the Summer's day, he slept.

So we quietly rose and left our seats,

And outward, into the sun, From the gathering shade of the dusty room,

Stole silently one by one-For we knew by the distant striking clock,

It was time the school was done

And left the master sleeping alone,

Alone in his high-backed chair, With his eyelids closed, and withered palms

Folded as in prayer, And the mingled light and smile on his face,

And we knew not Death was there.
Nor knew that, just as the clock struck five,

His kindly soul away,
A shadowy messenger silently bore

From its trembling house of clay,
To be a child with the saints of heaven,
And to dwell with Christ alway!

--School Fellow.

THANKFULNESS.

elements that combine to form the highest type of national greatness. This every student of history knows. “ Thongh we siled with the Eagles, though

w struck the stars in rising, Though we wrapped the globe intensely, in one

hot, electric breath, 'Twere but power within our tether--no new

Spirit-power conferring, And in life we were not better men, nor braver

men in death." Send abroad the school-master then. Let the School-house be reared in every town and hamlet, and by the green lanes, amid the pastoral quiet of the broad country-North and South-everywhere, as is to-day the case in this young and rising Commonwealth of the North-West, whose public school system has been so munificently endowed. Let the teacher be encouraged. Let the dignity of his office be properly recognized. Let the sphere of his influence be widened, and no effort spared to elevate and improve the condition of those who, with a large measure of hope and patience, have determined to devote their energies to the service of the rising generation. Let every movement and organization, having this end in view, meet a ready sympathy and a hearty encouragement, should it prove worthy of it; and, finally, let us determine to regard our material prosperity and greatness as the towering Acropolis, upon which we will rear, in more than Grecian beauty of proportion and adorned with a grander than Phidean or Praxitilean art, a stupendous structure of intellectual and spiritual greatness, the majestic columns of which shall be hewn from the diamond quarries of principle, and its roof and walls and floor wrought from the pure gold of intelligence and manly worth.

A STORY OF SCHOOL,

BY WILLIAM R. HART.

The red light shone through the open door,

From the round, declining sun;
And fantastic shadows, all about,

On the dusty floor were thrown,
As the factory clock told the hour of five,

And the school was almost done.

The mingled hum of the busy town

Rose faint from her lower plain ; And we saw the steeple over the trees,

When thou hast trnly thanked thy God

For every blessing sent,
But little time will then remain

For murmur or lament.

SCHOOL GOVERNMENT. sce that it is done. Obtain obedience in

the best way you can, but be sure you Ability to govern a school well, seems have it in this one thing before you atalmost a matter of intuition. There is tempt to exact it in anything else. It is nothing in which the practice of one useless for you to suppose that you can teacher is of so little value to another as enforce obedience in forty particulars, in this. A method which with one per- many of which you have little opportuson may be in the highest degree success- nity to observe, if you cannot secure it ful, when adopted by another may result in a single one. The kind of obedience in total failure, and there is danger to the which you admit at first, will be to the young teacher in following the advice and scholars the type of what you expect in attempting to carry out the systems of from them afterwards. See to it then others, no matter how well the originators that this first step is right. Now is the themselves have succeeded in them. El- time to save yourself from tho care, anxements of character so modify any meth-iety, and vexation of a poorly governed od of government, that unless two persons school. Let the after-steps in your

dishave the same constitution and tempera- cipline be progressive, first taking those ment, they cannot both successfully fol- which are most easily enforced, and then low the same plans. Many of our best proceeding to those more difficult

. Your Educators and Disciplinarians have been trouble will be in the first few, and by stern and severe, but with this sternness the time you get to that most awful bugand severity there have been combined bear in school discipline of which so much some other traits of character, which have is said and written, “whispering," you so softened and smoothed these asperities will find that your pupils are ready to that they have succeeded in gaining the obey you in this as well as in other reesteem and affection of pupils, and yet, spects. I would not be understood to because they were loved and respected, say, that all whispering would be preit must not be supposed that we can vented. No teacher can say of his school adopt them as our models. Some teach- -“my scholars never whisper." He ers are familiar with pupils, join in their does not know. Ile may not see them. sports;

but it would not do for every one They are the only ones who can answer to attempt this. Some have greater pow- this question truly. Nothing but a high er than others in calling out the better moral standard, which it should be the and more kindly feelings.

tendency of ail government to produce, Now, every one must understand him- will ensure exact obedience in this parself, and let him not put on armor which ticular, where disobedience without posis not suited to him. With these general sibility of detection is so easy, but there remarks, we would venture one or two will be no whispering which will meet suggestions, which we think may be of the teacher's eye. All will recognize the some service to those to whom the au- necessity for obedience, and it will not thority of the school-room is new and be admitted as a practice in which the strange. If

you

would govern casily, better class of your pupils may allow govern well. Nothing so hard, so unsat- themselves to indulge. Ii whispering is isfactory, so vexatious, as half-govern- not wholly banished from the schoolment. Let your pupils learn your char-room, it will be under ban, and all will acter and the character of the obedience feel that it is a fault which none but those you expect, in the first requisition you who are evilly disposed can commit.make upon them. Let this be some sim- There must be a slyness about it which ple thing which you can most easily en- will mark it as mean. When this is the force, (provided you can enforce any- vase it will not trouble you, for there are thing), and still, let it be something few scholars in our schools who are disowhich will demand their frequent atten- bedient from positive desire and intention tion. It may be “that every one should to do wrong; they only lack the positive sit erect and still, the moment before re- desire to do right; and there are few, who cess is given or school dismissed," or it knowing what you desire and seeing that may be “that every pupil should be at you regard your own rules, will persist work by a given time." Whatever it be, sin disobedience.

« ÎnapoiContinuă »