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mer. But persons that live by sight, as the selfish do, can only live by works; although in this case they live more by other men's works than their own; and hence they despise all not seen, and all that seem not to be externally active and bustling. And yet whence shines the light by which the practical work? Comes it not from the speculative? And are not the thinkers the ones that lay out the work for the doers ? True, the servants often sneer at the poverty of their masters; but that poverty exists only because speculative men prefer the refined and absorbing delight of the abstract world, to money-inaking, or money-spending, or money-hoarding, the main pleasures of the mere practical. But how is it when accident or experiment sends down from his height a well disciplined speculative man, to apply his own rules to works? Does not such, and cannot such always contend the best on the arena, and carry away with comparative ease every important prize from the host of ordinary competitors ?

The abstract may, indeed, be without the practical, but the practical cannot long be without the abstract. When light from the sun lingers a few minutes after that luminary has sunk below our horizon, it would be no more absurd to exclaim while we rejoiced in the farewell rays, “Oh! sunshine is the thing! but what is the use of a sun ?" than it is to cry out,—“Oh! practice is the thing! but what is the use of thinking?"

The time, perhaps, once was, when speculative philosophy considered it degradation to descend to practice, especially in mechanic arts, but that time passed long since. In these days science keeps open house, and with princely munificence offers from her treasury to all comers, magic wands, elixirs of life, and philosopher's stones, nay, to suit the impatience and impertinence of this money-loving, and labour-saving age, science has turned quack, and extracting the quintessence of all libraries, and all subjects, has put up morals, physics, politics, literature-in short every thing and for every body-in nice, convenient, portable forms, properly labelled, with directions to suit; so that any body by duly swallowing the filtered condensation, although a mere child, becomes in an hour or two, on any given subject, considerably wiser than his grandmother. And yet the selfish recipients of all these good things, bray against and kick at their benefactors. For a time, too, when the world began to roll in thundering majesty over levelled mountains, and elevated valleys, accomplishing the journey

of weeks and days, in hours and minutes, it was supposed, by an easy transfer to the mind, of what pertained to the body, that the general mind was moving then faster, by far, than that of any former period; and, indeed, so very fast that they who could sneer at Fulton, upon the slight failure of a first experiment, soon lost sight of him and all other mere thinkers, left behind in the dim distance.

Practice, so improperly separated and unduly honoured, was very naturally followed by many and radical errors in elementary education. For if the practical is the main thing, and if practical purposes are innumerable, not only must our training refer to practice in general, but to all the ways and means by which a living is made, wealth sought, or pleasure expected.

Hence the sudden growth of countless schemes and plans, the Analytical, the Synthetical, the Inductive, the Productive, the Commercial, the American, the North American, &c. &c. Schools, too, now become mere nurseries, where children, fed on hashes, and minced meats of most potent essence, composed of all travels real and supposed, of all history that ever was, or is to be, or might be, are by this patent fattening, bloated out, in an incredibly short time, to the requisite practical dimensions.

Look, too, at the school books of the practical age. Well may it be said " of making books there is no end!” For truly books now are rather made than written : and booksellers, if they would take the trouble, could make them as well as the compilers, so unnecessarily paid for the jobs. The whole thing has become an affair of money-making: and well may the name of one system of schools, and books, be applied here--the Productive. Most books for beginners-(and nearly all are for beginners, for we never end, except where we begin, now-a days, in the "beggarly elemenis”)--most are half pictures and half questions, and some actually all questions. The same stuff too, is hashed and served up in a dozen different ways, either by the same bookseller or book-maker, or some of the firm; the pictures being sometimes at the top and the questions at the bottom of the page, and sometimes in the reverse order, and again the picture being near the middle, in a frame of crabbed looking questions in small type—utterly destructive of all independence and ingenuity in the disciple, even when regarded by him, and a vexation to the teacher that needs them,-unless the poor soul has a key to the questions, as he sometimes

has. For it should be noted, that very benevolent regard is often observable in school books, for the intellectual shallowness of modern pupils and teachers : as for instance, in the minute directions how, and how often, certain lectures are to be read over: in the tender appellations given to the pupil, and the coaxing and winning addresses to undertake an occasional up-hill labour, and the smiling approbation with which such efforts are afterwards rewarded : in the ingenious machinery for doing literary labour, as that for writing composition, when if one only turns the crank judiciously, outcome essays, and even pamphlets, as easily as you may make a gridiron or a pair of tongs : and lastly, for fear that after all, these shallows may be too deep yet, for itinerating and peddling school masters, in that exuberant carefulness which furnishes such books with keys.

Does an original and profound thinker put forth a work leading up to the height and down to the depth and along the length and breadth of a subject ? Hark! the cry from “ down east,” is re-echoed from the "far west,"__"too difficult for beginners--too abstruse for practice--too ancient for republicanstoo dear for the poor." In due season, and almost simultaneously, forth come a score or two of nice, portable, cheap abridgments: and these, by less impudent plunderers, are in their turn, re-abridged and re-arranged, or re-pictured, or printed with new type and done up in patent binding, or something that may, if possible, elude an injunction, till the thing is made to suit the latitude of every college, academy, common school, normal school, primary school, infant school, and every high, low, and middle school, in the republic.

Once it was expected that teachers, at least of high schools, and more especially, professors, must be truly and extensively learned; but now, any one that can contrive to become tagged to a well-puffed system, may fly along with it, like bob-tail to kite; or he may purchase a right to administer the books numbered from one to six, since scholars are passive, like patients under Thompsonian doctors, and are more used to swallowing than to studying: and if the literary doses fail in constituting any person a scholar, it is owing to his want of capacity rather than lack of potency in the system. Professors, too, once rarae aves, are now more plentiful even than doctors of divinity; for the wisdom of the times, to prevent the overstocking of any one profession, multiplies the professions themselves to keep pace with the

increased demand. And these literati transmute men into philosophers, and mechanicians by the virtue of set phrases, subtle gases, and mechanical powers.

The active spirit of the practical age is indignant at the idleness even of mute vowels and dronish consonants, so that attempts are made to spell words as they are sounded and not as they appear, or to eject them in favour of the apostrophe. This figurative style would amount to thinking and talking in short-hand, and that is next to doing them by steam.

A class of narrow minded persons exists, who while disclaiming the intention of educating boys for mere merchants, or farmers, or lawyers, or girls for mere mantua makers, or stocking knitters, and the like, do still loudly contend for an education suitable for republicans. But of what, it may be asked, ought a true republican to be ignorant, if knowledge be so important? Is his knowledge to be restricted to the things of this continent? Must he be taught that all virtue is on this side the water, and all vice beyond it? Why must his education be in any respect less liberal than that of Europeans? And if a severely disciplined mind be necessary for the arduous duties of a free citizen, how can he be properly educated except by the best means of discipline?

Even formal lectures are delivered before public institutions, to prove that it is not proper for American youth to imitate ancient patriotism, as if such caution is of any avail with unregenerate men, who neglect the copious and decided instructions of the Bible. Our meaning is that it is taken for granted that nobody thinks in these days for himself; and therefore, that the thinking must all be done for him.

The argument employed by not a few, for the necessity of withholding classical studies, because of the injury weak minds may receive from misapprehension and misapplication of their sentiments and actions, is precisely the same with the argument of papists for withholding the scriptures from the common people: and perhaps, if we abandon the discipline of the mind as the true and only education, it may become necessary to take from the unthinking, every thing in the shape of an edge tool.

But admitting the false and narrow principle, that our systcm of education must be to form republicans, are we in no danger of mistaking even true republicanism? Different sections of our country have different standards of orthodoxy in politics as in religion; and hence we do actually find attempts

made to educate persons as southerners, as eastern men, as western men, and so forth. And the effect of this is to engender and cultivate prejudice not only towards other nations but towards the members of our republican family; to lay a foundation for lasting and secret dislikes and heart-burnings and often for open hostilities, as ruinous finally to our institutions as ignorance even, or as despotism.

Look, for instance, at certain school books compiled on patriotic principles. In such, a certain section of our country is assumed as the true centre and true meridian around which all others are made to revolve, and with whose climates, cities, people, and manners, all others are compared or contrasted; as if all these standards were so well known and allowed, as to render useless the language and instruments of science. And yet to many, alas for the self-complacency of some book-peddlers, these comparisons amount only to that of comparing the size of a stone to a lump of chalk. This presumption may do to laugh at; but what shall we do, when sometimes in such books an appeal is made to ignorance and prejudice ? Pictures, said to be a condensed representation of the leading features of a country, of its habits, its pursuits, its spirit, are, in some popular school books, which like the frogs of Egypt, infest every corner of our land, found representing the south by negroes under the lash, or planters on horse back, surrounded with dogs, to intimate that cruelty and idleness are its characteristics. And again, European nations are presented by pictures of nobles in sleighs, apparently ordering and approving the dexterity of the driver in upsetting half-a-dozen common folks into the deep snow, in spite of all their praiseworthy attempts to keep out of harm's way; or of pampered and lordly horses, most inconsiderately prancing on a prostrate beggar, sticking up his wooden leg in the most piteous and imploring attitude; and yet the hard-hearted urchin of the school oftener laughs here than cries.

Is this the true basis of republican education? Surely we need do nothing in schools or school books to foster prejudice of any sort, to promote any kind of political sectarianism; but we ought to do every thing to cultivate a deep and wide spirit of philanthropy. Grant us proper instructors, and such are of incomparably more value than any system of books, or any high sounding names of schools, grant us such, and in ten thousand ways, if the state will let us alone, our children in the course of a suitable intel

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