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their sake and for his own, he may interfere, and, by a wise reproof, prevent the continuance of such improper and hurtful conduct.
When strangers enter the school, he does not stare rudely in their faces; but is as attentive to his lesson as if no one were present but the master. If they speak to him, he answers with modesty and respect. When the scholars in his class are reading, spelling, or repeating any thing, he is very attentive, and studies to learn by listening to them. His great desire is to improve, and therefore he is never idle,—not even when he might be so, and yet escape detection and punishment.
He minds his business as well when his teacher is out of sight, as when he is standing near him, or looking at him. If possible, he is more diligent when his teacher happens for a little to be away from him, that he may show “all good fidelity” in this, as in every thing else. 'He is desirous of adding to the knowledge he has already gained, of learning something useful every day. And he is not satisfied if a day passes, without making him wiser than he was before, in those things which will be of real benefit to him.
When he has a difficult lesson to learn, or a hard task to perform, he does not fret or murmur at it. He knows that his master would not have prescribed it to him, 'unless he had thought that he was able for it, and that it would do him good. He therefore sets about it readily; and he encourages himself with such thoughts as these: “ My parents will be very glad when they hear that I have learned this difficult lesson, and performed this hard task. My teacher, also, will be pleased with me for my diligence. And I myself shall be comfortable and happy when the exercise is finished. The sooner and the more heartily I apply myself to it, the sooner and the better it will be done."
When he reads, his words are pronounced so distinctly, that you can easily hear and understand him. His copy book is fairly written, and free from blots and scrawls. His letters are clear and full, and his strokes broad and fine. His figures are well made, accurately cast up, and neatly put down in their regular order; and his accounts are, in general, free from mistakes.
He not only improves himself, but he rejoices in the improvement of others. He loves to hear them commended, and to see them rewarded. “If I do well,” he says, “I shall be commended and rewarded too; and if all did well, what a happy school would ours be! We ourselves would be much more comfortable; and our master would have a great deal less trouble and distress than he has on account of the idleness and inattention, of which too many of us are guilty."
His books he is careful to preserve from every thing that might injure them. Having finished his lesson, he puts them in their proper place, and does not leave them to be tossed about, and, by that means, torn and dirtied. He never forgets to pray for the blessing of God on himself, on his school-fellows, and on his teacher; for he knows that the blessing of God is necessary to make his education truly useful to him, both in this life, and in that which is to come.
And, finally, it is his constant endeavour to behave well when he is out of school, as well as when he is in it. He remembers that the eye of God is ever upon him, and that he must at last give an account of himself to the great Judge of all. And, therefore, he studies to practise, at all times. the religious and moral lessons that he receives from his master, or that he reads in the Bible, or that he meets with in the other books that are given him to peruse; and to “walk in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord, blameless."
The good Schoolmaster.-FULLER.
THERE is scarce any profession in the commonwealth more necessary, which is so slightly performed, as that of a schoolmaster: the reasons whereof I conceive to be these. First, young scholars make this calling their refuge; yea, perchance, before they have taken any degree in the university, commence schoolmasters in the country, as if nothing else were required to set up this profession, but only a rod and a ferule.
Secondly, others, who are able, use it only as a passage to better preferment, to patch the rents in their present fortune, till they can provide a new one, and betake themselves to some more gainful calling.
Thirdly, they are disheartened from doing their best with the miserable reward which, in some places, they receive;
being masters to the children, and slaves to their parents. But see how well our schoolmaster behaves himself.
He studieth his scholars natures as carefully as they their books, and ranks their dispositions into several forms. And, though it may seem difficult for him, in a great school, to descend to all particulars, yet experienced schoolmasters may quickly make a grammar of boys' natures, and reduce them all (saving some few exceptions) to these general rules :
1. Those that are ingenious and industrious. The conjunction of two such planets in a youth prěsa'ges much good unto him. To such a lad a frown may be a whipping, and a whipping a death; yea, where his master whips him once, shame whips him all the week after.
Such natures he useth with all gentleness.
2. Those that are ingenious and idle. These think, with the hare in the fable, that, running with snails, (so they count the rest of their school-fellows,) they shall come soon enough to the post; though sleeping a good while before their starting. O, a good rod would
finely take them napping. 3. Those that be dull and diligent. Wines, the stronger they be, the more lees they have when they are new. Many boys are muddy-headed till they be clarified with age, and such afterwards prove ibe best. Bristol diamonds are both bright, and squared, and pointed, by nature, and yet are soft and worthless; whereas orient ones in India are rough and rugged naturally. Hard, rugged, and dull natures of youth acquit themselves afterwards the jewels of the country; and therefore their dulness is at first to be borne with, if they be diligent. That schoolmaster deserves to be beaten himself, who beats nature in a boy for a fault.
4. Those that are invincibly dull, and negligent also, Correction may reform the latter, not amend the former. All the whetting in the world can never set a razor's edge on that which hath no steel in it. Such boys he consigneth over to other professions. Shipwrights and boatmakers will choose those crooked pieces of timber, which other carpenters refuse.
He is able, diligent, and methodical in his teaching; not leading them rather in a circle than forwards. He minces his precepts for children to swallow, hanging clogs on the nimbleness of his own soul, that his scholars may go along with him. He is moderate in inflicting even deserved correction.
Many a schoolmaster seemeth to understand that school. ing his pupils meaneth scolding and scoring them; and therefore, in bringing them forward, he useth the lash more than the leading strirg.
Such an Orbilius* mars more scholars than he makes, The týr'anny of such a man hath caused the tongues of many to stammer, which spake plainly by nature, and whose stuttering, at first, was nothing else but fears quavering oo their speech at their master's presence.
Attention and Industry rewarded.-BERQUIN. A RICH husbandman had two sons, the one exactly a year older than the other. The very day the second was born, he set, in the entrance of his orchard, two young apple-trees, of equal size, which he cultivated with the same care, and which grew so equally, that no person could perceive the least difference between them.
When his children were capable of handling garden tools, he took them, one fine morning in spring, to see these two trees, which he had planted for them, and called after their names; and, when they had sufficiently admired their growth, and the number of blossoms that covered them, he said, “ My dear children, I give you these trees : you see they are in good condition. They will thrive as much by your care, as they will decline by your negligence; and their fruit will reward you in proportion to your labour."
The youngest, named Edmund, was industrious and attentive. He busied himself in clearing his tree of insects that would hurt it, and he propped up its stem, to prevent its taking a wrong bent. He loosened the earth about it, that the warmth of the sun, and the moisture of the dews, might cherish the roots. His mother had not tended him more carefully in his infancy, than he tended his young appletree.
His brother, Moses, did not imitate his example. He spent a great deal of time on a mount that was near, throw. ing stones at the passengers in the road. He went among all the little dirty boys in the neighborhood, to box with them ; so that he was often seen with broken shins and black eyes, from the kicks and blows he received in his quarrels.
* Orbilius,-a grammarian of Beneventum, who was the first instructor of the poet Horace. He was naturally of a severe disposition, of which bis pupils often felt the effects.
In short, he neglected his tree so far, that he never thought of it, till, one day in autumn, he, by chance, saw Edmund's tree so full of apples, streaked with purple and gold, that, had it not been for the props which supported its branches, the weight of its fruit must have bent it to the ground.
Struck with the sight of so fine a tree, he hastened to his own, hoping to find as large a crop upon it; but, to his great surprise, he saw scarcely anything, except branches covered with moss, and a few yellow, withered leaves. Full of passion and jealousy, he ran to his father, and said, “Father, what sort of a tree is that which you have given me? It is as dry as a broomstick; and I shall not have ten apples on it. My brother you have used better : bid him, at least, share his apples with me.”
“ Share with you !" said his father : “so, the industrious must lose his labour to feed the idle ! Be satisfied with your lot; it is the effect of your negligence; and do not think to accuse me of injustice, when you see your brother's
“ Your tree was as fruitful, and in as good order as his : it bore as many blossoms, and grew in the same soil : only it was not fostered with the same care. Edmund has kept his tree clear of hurtful insects ; but you have suffered them to eat up yours in its blossoms.
“ As I do not choose to let anything which God has given me, and for which I hold myself accountable to him, go to ruin, I shall take this tree from you, and call it no more by your name.
It must pass through your brother's hands, before it can recover itself; and, from this moment, both it, and the fruit it may bear, are his property.
you will, go into my nursery, and look for another, and rear it, to make amends for your fault; but, if you neglect it, that too shall be given to your brother for assisting me in my labour.”
Moses felt the justice of his father's sentence, and the wisdom of his design. He, therefore, went that moment into the nursery, and chose one of the most thriving appletrees he could find. , Edmund assisted him, with his advice,
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