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for the evolutions of the school, and that the seats and desks should be commodious and comfortable for the children of all the different ages, likely to occupy it.
XV. That the discipline should be uniform and perfect, the product of love and reason, rather than of fear; and that it should be supported by constant appeals to the Conscience.
XVI. That the school-discipline founded on love has a beneficial, and that sounded on fear, an injurious, effect on the whole community.
XVII. That the discipline of the school should receive the sanction of the prudential committee.
XVIII. That the legitimate design of punishment is not vengeance, but the melioration of the offender, and the example to the community.
XIX. "That the discipline of schools should be uniform, systematic, and impartial.
XX. That punishments should be mild, but always effectual, administered with calmness, and with a due regard to the motives of the offender.
XXI. That promises of future amendment should neither be exacted nor received.
" What is a map,
Shakspeare. Among the various popular errors, which tend to retard the improvement of society, there is none, perhaps, more pernicious, than the opinion, that the main object of school education should be the acquisition of knowledge. The cause of this mistake is the notion, universally prevalent, that school learning, instead of being merely one of the means of acquiring an education, is education itself. This is an error, the removal of which imperatively calls for the united efforts of intelligent philanthropists ; for, until this is effected, our schools can never even approach to that degree of improvement, which they ought to attain. The chief, may we not say the sole, concern of man on earth is EDUCATION ; and the great business of schools and colleges is, to prepare him to enter on this course of education with ease and effect. To do this properly, three things are requisite.
1. He must be taught to read. Reading is the great key to knowledge. He, who has properly acquired it, has all the stores of learning, which have been accumulating for nearly six thousand years, completely at his command. There is no art or science, of which he may not make himself master. Whenever he pleases, he can converse with Moses, Socrates, Seneca, Cicero, or Jesus. He can summon before him the founders of nations, all the warriors and mighty monarchs of antiquity, and question them as to their actions and motives. The philosophers and cultivators of science, of all ages and of all climes, are constantly in waiting, ready, at his call, to throw all their stores at his feet. He may acquaint himself with all the productions of Nature and art to be found on the globe. He can make himself familiar with the most trifling, as well as the most valuable, stone, or flower, or fruit, from the furthest region of the earth, at his own fireside. Nor is his knowledge confined even to the globe he inhabits. Without leaving his own house, he can examine, through Herschel's great telescope, the planetary worlds, rolling around him, and he can call on Lalande and Laplace to explain all the wonders of the heavenly bodies, and all the seeming intricacies of their motions.
Reading makes a man a denizen of all nations, a contemporary of all ages. Carlyle, in bis "Sartor Resarus,' says, “ Fortunatus bad a wishing-hat, which, when he put on, and wished himself any where, behold he was there. By this means had Fortunatus triumphed over space, annihilated space ; for him, there was no Where, but all was Here. Were a batter to establish himself in the Wahngasse of Weissnichtwo,* and make felts of this kind for all mankind, what a world we should have of it ! Still stranger, should, on the opposite side of the street, another hatter establish himself; and, as his fellow-craftsman made space-annihilating hats, make time-annihilating! Of both would I purchase, were it with
last groschen ; but chiefly of this latter.
To clap on your felt, and, simply by wishing that you were any where, straightway to be there! Next, to clap on your other felt, and, simply by wishing that you were any when, straightway to be then! This were, indeed, the grander ; shooting, at will, from the fire-creation of the world to its fire-consummation ; here, historically present in the first century, conversing, face to face, with Paul and Seneca ; there, prophetically in the thirty-first, conversing also, face to face, with other Pauls and Senecas, who, as yet, stand hidden in the depth of that late time !"
Does not reading give us the possession of two felts, in a considerable degree resembling those for which our poetic historian was willing to part with his last groschen ? When we clap on both these hats, may we not, in an instant, transport ourselves into Athens, in the first century, to hear Paul deliver his celebrated speech before the Areopagitæ ? Then, by a wish, may not the time-annihilating hat place us some three centuries backwards, to listen, in the same city, to the philippics of Demosthenes ? and, two centuries further, to hear Herodotus recite his history at the Olympic games ? and anon, by the aid of both our felts, twenty centuries later, on the deck of the Santa Maria, on that important morning, whose dawn first disclosed to civilized man our Western world ? We hear the solemn Te Deum sung by the crews of the little barks on that joyful occasion, and join in their tears and mutual gratulations. When; ho ! presto! in the twinkling of an eye, we find ourselves seated amongst our countrymen, in a splendid steam-boat, gliding, as by magic, on a mighty river, amongst towering mountains, or whirled along by fire upon the land, in the rapid car. And, as soon as the slightest degree of fatigue is felt, hey! in an instant, we are at our own fireside, our whole family seated around us. Nay, have not our hats another wonderful property, which even that of Fortunatus did not possess? Are they not so expansible and elastic, as conveniently to accommodate any nunber required, beneath their ample shade ? Cannot we carry our family and friends along with us, in our miraculous excursions any where and any when ?
* Wahngasse of Weissnichtwo,-literally, Whimsey-street of Know-not-where. Carlyle appears to have fixed his amiable professor, Teufelsdröckh, (literally, Devil's drug ; Scotticè, Devil's dung ; assafætida,) in the same place where Scott located the Monastery over which the mild, peace-loving Abbot, Ambrosius, presided, viz., in Kennaquair, Anglicè, Know-not-where. Wonder if the professor never selected the ruins of its splendid abbey, as the site of his profound ruminations.
2. But, in order that all these advantages may be derived from reading, the faculty of attention must be fully developed. By constant exercise of this power, the scholar must be enabled, at any time, to bend his whole mind to the subject with which he is engaged, to the exclusion of all others. This is an indispensable requisite. It is from the want of this, that our schools have hitherto been, in a great measure, useless to the mass of the community. When completely acquired, i. e., when a child can merely read with attention, all the impediments to self-education are completely removed. He may make of himself what he pleases. It is attention which constitutes the great difference between the wise man and the fool ; it lies, indeed, at the foundation of all intellectual culture. Fortunately, this power, as will presently be shown, is easily acquired in early life. But the longer its cultivation is delayed, the more difficult its attainment, until, at length, it becomes almost impossible to acquire it to any degree of perfection.
3. The third indispensable requisite of school education, is the habit of observation. The difference in mankind, as to this important habit, is immense. Vast numbers of persons pass through life, without seeing or hearing any thing but what relates to the most gross and common concerns. As to every thing else, they seem to be in a state of dreamy unconsciousness. In the lan
guage of Scripture, “ Seeing, they see not; and hearing, they hear not; neither do they understand.” Others, again, seem to live with all their senses wide awake. The one has nothing in view but the acquisition of property, or the indulgence of the grosser propensities of bis
The other, without necessarily neglecting any of his more common duties, is not wholly absorbed in them. Nature appears to him in all her beauty, and continually converses with him in strains of the most exquisite poetry: What appears mere nakedness and ruggedness, to the one, is, to the other, a scene of sublimity and beauty. Hence, while the one sees the mere body, the husk, as it were, of Nature, the other looks inward, and converses with her soul;
“ Finds tongues in trees, books in the running brooks,
Sermons in stones, and good in every thing.” The faculty of observation, then, must be developed at school, in order to prepare the scholar fully to enjoy all the advantages offered in the great School of Nature.
These, then, are the three great requisites of intellectual education, in our common schools.
But these are, by no means, all. The whole of the intellectual faculties should receive such a training, as will bestow on the mind a proper degree of vigor, symmetry, and proportion.
A great deal of knowledge will, it is true, be acquired in every school that is properly conducted.
But still, this should be considered as incidental, not as the main object of the school. The teacher should not direct much of his attention to this point. The grand objects he should have continually in view, towards which he should unceasingly press forward, should be, to teach reading without bad habits, and to develope the faculties of observation, attention, reflection, reason, judgment, memory, imagination, and taste.
Nor will this be so difficult a task for the teacher, as may, at first sight, appear. The proper mode of teaching reading will be exhibited, in all its details, in a subsequent chapter ; a mode which will not only avoid the formation of bad habits, but which will, if fully carried