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pray you. Let us never forget that the business of an instructor begins where the office of a book ends. It is the action of mind upon mind, exciting, awakening, showing by example the power of reasoning, and the scope of generalization, and rendering it impossible that the pupil should not think; this is the noble and the ennobling duty of an instructor.

2. These remarks will enable us to correct an error which of late has done very much evil to the science of education. Some years since, I know not when, it was supposed, or we have said it was supposed, that the whole business of education was to store the mind with facts. Dugald Stewart, I believe, somewhere remarks that the business of education, on the contrary, is to cultivate the original faculties. Hence the conclusion was drawn that it inattered not what you taught, the great business was to strengthen the faculties. Now this conclusion has afforded to the teacher a most convenient refuge against the pressure of alınost every manner of attack. If you taught a boy rhetoric, and he could not write English, it was sufficient to say that the grand object was not to teach the structure of sentences, but to strengthen the faculties. If you taught him the mathematics, and he did not understand the Rule of Three, and could not tell you how to measure the height of his village steeple, it was all no matter-the object was to strengthen his faculties. If, after six or seven years of study of the languages, he had no more taste for the classics than for Sanscrit, and sold his books to the highest bidder, resolved never again to look into them, it was all no matter, he had been studying to strengthen his faculties, while by this very process his faculties have been enfeebled almost to annihilation.

Now, if I mistake not, all this reasoning is false, even to absurdity. Granting that the improvement of the faculties is the most important business of instruction, it does not follow that it is the only business. What! will a man tell me that it is of no consequence whether or not I know the laws of the universe under which I am constituted ? Will he insult me, by pretending to teach them to me in such a manner that I shall, in the end, know nothing about them ? Are such the results to which the science of education leads? Will a man pretend to illuminate me by thrusting himself, year after year, exactly in my sunshine? No; if a mau profess to teach me the laws of my Creator, let him make the thing plain, let him teach me to remember it, and accustom me to apply it. Otherwise, let him stand out of the way, and allow me to do it for myself.

But this doctrine is yet more false; for even if it be true that it matters not what is taught, it by no means follows that it is no matter how it is taught. The doctrine in question, however, supposes that the faculties are to be somehow strengthened by “going over,” as it is called, a book or a science, without any regard to the manner in which it is done. The faculties are strengthened by the use of the faculties; but this doctrine has been quoted to shield a mode of teaching, in which they were not used at all; and hence has arisen a great amount of teaching, which has had very little effect, either in communicating knowledge, or giving efficiency to mind.

Let us, then, come to the truth of the question. It is important what I study: for it is important whether or not I know the laws of my being, and it is important that I so study them that they shall be of use to me.

It is also important that my intellectual facnlties be improved, and therefore important that an instructor do not so employ iny time as to render them less efficient.

3. Closely connected with these remarks is the question, which has of late been so much agitated, respecting the study of the ancient languages and the mathematics. On the one part, it is urged that the study of the languages is intended to cultivate the taste and imagination, and that of the mathematics to cultivate the understanding. On the other part, it is denied that these effects are produced ; and it is asserted that the time spent in the study of them is wasted. Examples, as may be supposed, are adduced in abundance on both sideş; but I do not know that the question is at all decided. Let us see whether anything that we have said will throw any light upon it.

I think it can be conclusively proved, that the classics could be so taught as to give additional acuteness to the discriinination, inore delicate sensibility to the taste, and more overflowing richness to the imagination. So much as this must, we think, be admitted. If, then, it be the fact that these effects are not produced—and I think we must admit that they are not, in any such degree as might reasonably be expected-should we not conclude that the fault is not in the classics, but in our teaching? Would not teaching them better be the sure way of silencing the clamour against them ?

I will frankly confess that I am sad when I reflect upon the condition of the study of the languages among

We spend frequently six or seven years in Latin and Greek, and yet who of us writes-still more, who of us speaks them with facility ? I am sure there must be something wrong in the mode of our teaching, or we should accomplish more. That cannot be skilfully done, which, at so great an expense of time, produces so very slender a result. Milton affirms, that what in his time was acquired in six or seven years, might have been easily acquired in one. I fear that we have not greatly improved since.


Again, we very properly defend the study of the languages on the ground that they cultivate the taste, the imagination, and the judgment. But is there any magic in the name of a classic ? Can this. be done by merely teaching a boy to render, with all clumsiness, a sentence from another language into his own ? Can the faculties of which we have spoken be improved, when not one of them is ever called into action ? No. When the classics are so taught as to cultivate the taste and give vigour to the imagination, when all that is splendid and beautiful in the works of the ancient masters is breathed into the conceptions of our youth, when the delicate wit of Flaccus tinges their conversation, and the splendid oratory of Tully, or the irresistible eloquence of Demosthenes, is felt in the senate and at the bar-I do not say that even then we may not find something more worthy of being studied, but we shall then be prepared, with a better knowledge of the facts, to decide upon

the merits of the classics. The same remarks may apply, though perhaps with diminished force, to the study of the mathematics. If, on one hand, it be objected that this kind of study does not give that energy to the powers of reasoning which has frequently been expected, it may, on the other hand, be fairly questioned whether it be correctly taught. The mathematics address the understanding. But they may be so taught as mainly to exercise the memory. If they be so taught, we shall look in vain for the anticipated result. I suppose that a student, after having been taught one class of geometrical principles, should as much be required to combine them in the forms of original demonstration, as that he who has been taught a rule of arithmetic should be required to put it into various and diversified practice. It is thus alone that we shall acquire that δυναμις αναλυτικη, , the mathematical power which the Greeks considered of more value than the possession of any number of problems. When the mathematics shall be thus taught, I think there will cease to be any question whether they add acuteness, vigour, and originality to mind.

I have thus endeavoured very briefly to exhibit the object of education, and to illustrate the nature of the means by which that object is to be accomplished. I fear that I have already exhausted your patience, I will, therefore, barely detain you with two additional remarks.

I. To the members of this convention allow me to say, gentlemen, you have chosen a noble profession. What though it do not confer upon us wealth!- it confers upon us a higher boon, the privilege of being useful. What though it lead not to the falsely named heights of political eminence !-it leads us to what is far better, the sources of real power; for it renders intellectual ability necessary to our success. I do verily believe that nothing so cultivates the powers of a man's own mind as thorough, generous, liberal, and indefatigable teaching. But our profession has rewards, rich rewards, peculiar to itself. What can be more delightful to a philanthropic inind than to behold intellectual power increased a hundred fold by our exertions, talent de

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