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of higher criticism, our language never has produced his equal. He tells us that his early life was employed much upon words, and that, when the master told him to keep his eyes upon his books, he did not know that he was turning them off for the very purpose of fixing his lesson more firmly. This early training gave promise of his astonishing later skill, so that he was as much at home amid old records, as many are in those whose dates and authors the slightest thought may settle, always treading on firm ground, and making his opponents before he left them as sure as he. Independently of these examples, we all know the worth of a good memory in everything that relates to the facts of history, the close familiarity with the literary treasures of both poetry and prose. The eye of the scholar should be always fixed upon this facility of remembering. We would have these lessons so mastered that they will not be a mere patchwork, one third the scholar’s, one third the author's, and one third that which the teacher supplies. It were well if our scholars could become a reflection of the endlessly brilliant Macaulay, who could repeat (it is said) the whole of " Paradise Lost;" or of Humboldt, who was never
“ known to forget anything; or of the retentive old lady who, when her minister treated her to a sermon that she had faithfully listened to years ago, took his hand most cordially as he went out, and said, “Parson, why did you not tell the story you told before, which I thought was the best part of the sermon.”
We do not mean to depreciate the judgment. It is only the order of development of which we write. In some exercises of the school-room, both memory and judgment will be collaterally used in producing the best scholarship. We are sure that the education of the Commonwealth, its normal system of training, has done a good service in applying the judgment to those points where we can do nothing without it. The mathematical scholar without a well-disciplined judgment is an impossibility. Sir William Hamilton says that mathematical science is the easiest thing to the judgment; that moral abstractions give it its severest exercise. His familiarity with abstruse metaphysics may have called him away somewhat from the higher processes of calculation, and prejudiced him concerning the proper relation which each has in testing the mental strength. We are sure that the long details of mathematical problems, the higher points of the calculus, form the " thought-lands” that most thinkers do not venture upon, and where the boldest intellects only are found. The scholar must think largely if he would calculate long. Whether he shall pass from the rule to the practice, and from that to the principle, or from the principle to the rule, may be a question. But there can be no question that he must understand the principle upon which the rule is grounded, or his progress will be like the chariots of Egypt from which the wheels were taken, and which drove heavily. This makes teachers necessary who are not confined to a mere repetition of words and figures ; who may not always be required to range farther, but who can do it when occasion calls. But with such teachers, the best in the world if they understand themselves and the human mind, the danger is that the things which call for the judgment will be pressed into the period which God has appointed for the memory, and thus the judgment be forced at the future expense of the scholar. These tasks for the judgment, whether they be moral or mathematical, had better come in later rather than that this should be done.
There are times and seasons for everything. There is a history which may early be taken up ; and a philosophy of that history which may enrich a later period of study. “You must
a repent of your sins,” (said the negro to his master) " before you can tell what Paul means in the Romans.” There is something to do besides the great work of teaching the mind to think for itself. It is to be replenished with the mighty thoughts that have been flowing along the tide of time, many of which have flowed out from the throne of God; which systematically stored away are ready for the future refining processes of the reason, and being fused in the alembic of one's own intellect shall start forth again in new and brilliant forms, with a wider range and a quicker impulse. There is an hour when the mind is to be a vast sensorium of impressions, where the leaves of the book, like the leaves of the trees, are to drop their treasures, and the flowers of human and divine thought, like the flowers of the field, are to yield up their fragrance for this absorptive soul ;
VOL. II.-NO. VII.
when the whole array of things and beings stands ready to impress its image upon a seemingly passive substance. Then an hour will come when this well-furnished being shall begin to react upon the universe which has been acting so powerfully upon himself; to mark the book with the lines of his own thought, and add to the worth and beauty of another's conception the rich finish of his own; to create new spheres for others to range in, that the processes of reception and creation may keep repeating themselves, while time shall last. To-day, the mother has spoken to her child the simple word, “ Be good.” All which is included in that “good,” may be very indistinctly
" conjectured; but it will come along with the varied occasions of life, and will range itself under the sentiment which a mother's love so richly and warmly embedded. Our higher courses of education often postpone matters to a late period which require the exercise of the judgment in its riper forms. Some of the colleges of the country require no English composition till the last term of the second year; none, until the second year. Most of them always have deferred the studies for which a mature judgment is demanded as far along in the course as is practicable. The reason is, that the materials
may be gathered upon which the understanding shall act. While our age is advancing, it must not forget the lessons of experience, or be inattentive to the demands of human nature.
The watchword then for early life is close, careful study. It will not, with ordinary care, be likely to injure us. odicals now complain of danger to the physical system from the pressure of the school-room. It is a dream that this waste of physical energy has arisen from too steady and long a strain of the mind; that is to say, if the strain has been upon the part which corresponds with the period of life that nature has reached. If we have misapplied the strain, used for close reasoning and nice judgment the hours which God meant for another purpose, - then, indeed, our scholars will need the long vacations, the lazy evenings and mornings, and the freedom from every such thing as prayer and reading the Bible, for which some of our periodicals and lecturers clamor. There is no danger, in all the study which is now required, of increasing New England's physical feebleness. People are rather dying for the want,
than the excess of mental application. The systematic development of the mind, the rising from large memories to wide and triumphant reasonings, multiplies the well-springs of life. If parents and guardians will take care of their homes, see to the proper food of their tables, the air of their chambers, the quiet of the nights, and the joyousness of the plays, the teachers may press the pupil to the studiousness of a Humboldt, with the prospect that, like his, it shall increase to the ninetieth year,
, leaving the eye undimmed and the natural force almost unabated. There is far more danger that the schools will send forth a generation that is not made strong by its deep and broad range of study, than that they will send forth one whose spirit is willing to study, but whose “flesh is weak.”
The loss to the world in the course of its education is that men have not been pressed successfully to thorough learning. The immortality of Burns would have been worthier had his mind been better stored. The genius is intense, illumining every subject with a light beyond and above its own, sparkling and flowing and sounding and whitening like some Montmorenci Falls amid the sunbeams it reflects and the spray it throws. But had his instruction been different, his youth allured into other learning than that which the banks of the Ayr supplied, what costlier trophies he might have won than those disclosed to him in the song of the blackbird, the sheltered wood, the cloudy winter's day, the flashing lightning, and the howling storm. What might not have been expected from him, had he found an entirely different professional teacher from the old cottager who (he says) was renowned for this, that she had the largest collection in the country of tales and songs concerning devils, ghosts, fairies, brownies, witches, warlocks, spunkies, kelpies, elf-candles, dead lights, wraiths, apparitions, cantraips, giants, enchanted towers, dragons, and other trumpery. A thorough education would not have fettered this magnificent genius, while it would have saved him from much of the waste of
power which his truest admirers must always lament. Milton's muse soared none the less loftily and beautifully for the exuberant learning with which he had covered its wings. Had Burns's muse been thus garlanded, though it could hardly have been more brilliant than in some of its circlings, yet it would
have sung nearer heaven's gate, and had no occasion to say as it took its flight to regions unseen by us, that it left much behind which was a matter of lamentation rather than joy. One of the honored names of English oratory is that of Brinsley Sheridan. He was a match for Pitt in some spheres of mental power. The exercise of the reasoning faculties was with him to
. a great degree spontaneous and easy ; but the working, storing period of memory had been almost lost. He would not study. Hence, in the most celebrated trials, he was obliged to confess to his employers that he knew but little ; that they must find him facts, and he would set and color them so as to carry the point with court and jury. He would have shaken a community to its very foundations, and carried resistlessly away the most intelligent assemblies, had his stores of knowledge borne any proportion to the brilliancy and force which he could give to a fact of every-day life. These cases cannot be claimed to show the unimportance of an attention to the period of memory: they prove convincingly just the contrary. With such persons talents are buried because they will not take the trouble to put them to usury at the period when that investment has the promise that it shall keep compounding itself to the end of their days.
It will be easy now to see where we should place the physical and religious culture of the school-room. They are both to be considered as collaterals or side-forces, to be employed in connection with the great primary intellectual object. The physical culture may be brief. External concomitants may be made to promote the correctness and clearness of thought. It is said that Washington Irving used to wash and shave himself, and put on his best clothes, when he wrote those pieces which shine as the light. We would keep the body from standing bent at right angles, not for its own sake, but for this — lest the angularity should be communicated to the thoughts ; and because there is a full supply now of angular beings to give a sufficient irregular variety to the mental world. We would insist upon a clear and free air, and moderate warmth, and blinded windows, not simply to save eyes and lungs and difficulties of the spine, but that we may have an unslumbering corps of scholars, prompt to hear, prompt to move at call,