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For the Schoolmaster.
companion than Nature. It is easy to believe "Our Daily Bread."
this in a general way, but as day by day we
grow older, how often does the morning seem We ask for it — we receive it; do we pause to lack the sunshine and the singing birds, when to consider what comes with it?
Do we re
once we drank in the " luminous hills" as, member awaking from sleep this morning, how
looking toward the east, we saw the “ source the arm was too nerveless to bear its own weight, of glory uncover his face.” It is not alone behe eye too dull to see, the ear too heavy to
cause we have graver troubles and cares, that hear the exquisite harmony and beauty which the brook which once sparkled and gleamed, waked to being with the morning light? But and was indeed laughing water to us, is now we sat down to the well-spread table, and pres- nothing but a chilly rivulet. But we feel ourently life and vigor flashed through the inert selves too old and too wise to learn as the child system. The active feet forced us out into the
learned. We are profiting so much from man's fresh air, the eye would wander over the earth
teaching, — from science, from literature and art, and heavens in search of beauty, the ear would that we cannot now afford time for the other. hear even the softest strains which nature was we scarcely think it worth while now to see pouring into it ; and muscle and nerve and whether a flake of snow is square or star-shapsinew knew no more of lassitude. It made us ed, a rock grey and rugged or draped with almost question our own identity. And was
moss, a tree tall and lithe or stiffly upright. Yet this energy hidden in the meat and drink of the notice of these might have scattered pleasant morning meal? We may find an answer in the
thoughts through all the day, keeping away words of another : “ In eating meat you are much of evil, while other species of knowledge eating hidden strength; out of it comes the fire
that we valued so highly were powerless to do of the eye and the strength of the hand. The
it. Who was that noble king of olden time, soldiers — they eat the blows that their food is whose language seems to us like the whispering going to enable them to strike. The painter's of leaves upon the far off tree-tops, or the callfood turns to pencil-strokes, and works out of
ing of deep unto deep; who strengthens himhis hand in color and form."
self by considering the strength of the hills, and Yet who can think of the “ daily bread” we who next to intercourse with his Maker drew are taught to ask for as referring only to bodily confidence from communion with His works ? sustenance, when our whole complex being, we cannot afford to be anything less than pawith its reasoning powers and its affections, tient, humble students here; — and if grandeur wearies and faints if left to feed upon itself?
awe us even to fear, - if purity and delicate Could He have so meant it who said that man
beauty shame our sullied minds, - if contrastshould not live by bread alone, and that Him
ed strength make us feel weak, - if decaying, self was the bread of life? Did not His eye withering life bring unwelcome thoughts of the rather meet all the glorious possibilities of an
last hour, yet let us still deeply ponder these answer which should make man's whole life
same lessons. If we want sweet, nutritious rounded, full and complete ? While we marvel
food, that which shall give tone and vigor to at the wonderful provision God has made for
the mental system, here we have it. Or if we sustaining the body here, let us learn the sweet, wish for more delicate morsels, — something to suggestive lessons this abundance would teach.
give wings to our fancy, something to etherialize If there is nothing the mind can fancy as plea
our emotions, — here is abundant supply. The sant to the taste or desirable for nourishment
very “wine of life" do the poet and artist draw but it may be plucked føõm the earth beneath from this source, but there is no drying up of our feet, brought up from the watery depths, or
the fountain. down from the airy heights, let us look confidently for full supplies for all our mental appe
There is an element, or rather the life of all tites and necessities. And if we use caution in true food elements — yet need we be reminded the selection of the bread which enters our of it? – that drawn from Revelation. We are mouth, let us eat discreetly of the food which not, cannot be, utterly neglectful of it, yet do is for the nourishment of our higher nature. we sometimes fail to draw from it that nourish
There is scarcely anything that to the thought- ment which should come from this " bread of ful mind just entering upon active life, seems to heaven." Could we daily bring our vitiated appromise more of comfort, happiness, food for petites to satisfy themselves here, we should reflection, and withal to be more of a joyful never know hunger more.
But inanimate nature and an inspired revela- it was only yesterday that we fled as cowards tion are not the only sources whence our hun- on seeing lions in the way, when a glance at our ger may be satisfied. We see a fellow-being who neighbor's courage would have shamed us into has embodied noble principles, or who is the in- bravery ; - only last week that we ungratefully carnation of some beautiful theory, or one whose rebelled against the decrees of Providence, when soul-action is quick and powerful, or one who is the patient child-sufferer across the street might patiently self-denying. Here is something that have inspired us with true martyr-spirit. It is may well give us strength and inspiration. If not alone the beloved patriot, the heroic general, the mantie of such a spirit fall upon one, how who have power to sway men.
There are very often do we see that other rise up with renewed many in close proximity to us, who, if their life, as he did who, looking on ascending fiery soul-history were pondered, would excite in us chariots, caught the falling mantle of the prophet noblest aspiration and endeavor. How slow and went on his way with fresh inspiration. He are we to believe this practically. This one or speaks truly who says that there is nothing so that one may transfer to us his houses, his lands, exquisitely touches the soul as another soul. or the labor of his body, but we question wheth“ It is a most ineffable feeling one experiences er he has giving power over his mental posseswhen he is the target at which some mind sions ! strikes, not with a single faculty, but with the There is another well-spread table of proviwhole force of its its joy-bearing nature; or sion, and constantly before us. If our minds when one finds himself susceptible to some no. are not too narrow, our sight too earth-blinded, ble thought evolved by some noble mind in we may always be refreshed from it. Not only which such thoughts have fit cradle and issue. our own little experiences, but the world's es. A single flash of one mind carries the delight of perience,—its history, is ours. And this worldheaven to the soul oftentimes." But we clothe life stands in closest relation to our individual ourselves too much with soul-proof armor. life. Here we may see the extent and grandeur We sit side by side with so-called friends, but of plans and principles which had appeared continue strangers. We close the doors and puerile and imperfect. Here the trivial circum. windows of our hearts, shut ourselves in and stances around which clustered our hopes, fears then wonder that it is not our privilege to and aspirations, take new bearing and imporentertain angels unawares. There is much to tance, and become the foundations of national give us life and health and strength in our character, of the progress of civilization, of ovneighbor's thoughts, feelings and experiences, erturning of empires. Here we may trace order but we are too proud or too idle to attempt from apparent confusion, government from apan entrance to the storehouse. How would parent anarchy, and Divine Pruvidence from the child grow up to mental grace and beauty what seemed the darkness of fatalism. thus shut up within himself? And we of How many delicious little morsels come to us, older growth cannot afford to lose intercom- sometimes we scarcely know how, but upon munion with others. We are far too often like which we grow strong and vigorous. Trifles clouds pervaded through and through with elec- that seemed lighter than air affect us in the retric life, yet reposing apart and motionless be- sult deeply, and it can never be absurd to look cause of that dry, cool atmosphere which lies upon such trifles as leading events of our lives. between. We must overleap the barriers which Is it weakness in me to remember seriously the shut us out from the life of those about us. following circumstance ? There are centres of union between the most
I was waiting rather impatiently in a not uncongenial; and certainly those of us who strikingly pleasant school-room for a friend to profess to deal with mind have no right to dis
come in. It was a grey, chilly afternoon ; desks regaad them. Social restraints and ceremonies
were dusty and damp, and flowers which had make us less genial and loving, and there is thus been standing since the last examination were need of the more care. We lay too much stress falling to pieces. I sat down discontentedly, upon our own experiences. True, if a charac- feeling as teachers will sometimes feel — doleful. ter of unusual excellence comes under our ob- I took up a little prism lying on my desk, and servation, we may try to raise ourselves up to a raised it to my eye, expecting no coloring from higher standard ; but to the life-struggles, de- it, for clouds without had darkened everything. feats and conquests of our humbler friend or But in a trice desks and forms assumed a grace. acquaintance we are quite too indifferent. Yet sul semicircle, and each was covered with a quivering rainbow. The soiled white curtains, we can have only a one-sided, half-way vitality, scanty and torn, lengthened themselves and At times our mental sustenance seems to have took on flowing lines of crimson and gold in no life-giving properties, but is packed away as place of their former wrinkles. The old door a dead mass. We have endeavored to feed our at the west end seemed, as I turned the glass, taxed, weakened powers ; have striven to bring to be formed of dissolving bars of sunset clouds. out well-rounded proportions. But in what And the withered flowers - the pale lily, the we have taken there was an element wanting. dingy daffodil, the dead rose, - how they start. Perhaps it was elastic hopefulness that gives ed into life and beauty — such life, such beauty spirit to dead thoughts; perhaps the thankful as no hot-house bouquet could Loust. So element; possibly the jubilant. We forget that I was cheered, invigorated. Since that time these are as vital air to us; and the sources of the school-room wears no dismal shading, and them are free and wide. Few indeed are so unI scarcely see the roughness of the walls and fortunate as not to have daily cause for hope floor, the coarseness of the furniture, for my and joy. If we cannot extract these elements mind has caught a glimpse of the beauty and from what is before us, it is because we have glory which shall irradiate some souls gathered not rightly sought for them. within it. I seem also to have a prism which It is hard for the pampered child to sit down sheds over them, notwithstanding present errors, to homely fare. It is hard, if we have been weaknesses and occasional thoughtlessness, a feeding upon our many excellencies, upon our soft coloring of grace. And thus seeing, I take snccesses, upon our superiorities, with occasioncourage.
ally some sweet poison drawn from another's It sometimes seems to us who teach that we defeats and disasters, to descend from this uphave need of more choice and varied ailment per-room and choice banquet to the lower-room than it is possible for us to obtain. Our strength and common fare. But there is nothing that so is for a time to be the pupil's strength; our fan- weakens and corrupts what is good and lovely cy to be for his fancy, our affection to be for his as self-indulgence and self-laudation. And if affection. And if we cannot be to them reason, we have already found these sweet to our taste, imagination, ambition, courage, how many of we should have a care, for they are poisoned them will fail to discover and develop these for morsels. themselves. Under what responsibility are we With such abundance of provision scattered as respects the growth of our every faculty, about us, we are apt to feel content with being since they will be called in requisition, we receivers rather than assimilators. We someknow not when nor how. To-day, ambition times feel as we used to when we sat down to (caught from our energies) sends one to labori- the Thanksgiving dinner — everything was so ous toil; to-morrow, affection (which had its good we believed it our special privilege and spring in our heart) leads another softly by the duty to eat the whole. We shall have little instill waters of knowledge. Here, emphatic truth crease of strength or stature from such a course. lodged in the mind prevails; there, the spirit of But we are not content to grow in stature; we eager questioning infused breaks up the hard must suddenly attain to the desired proportions. ground of indifference. And what resources We need — not idle patience — but that patience have we to meet this demand, unless we take which sometimes accompanies the most zealous daily bread for our mental repair and growth ;-toil, — which grows stronger and wiser from food which shall assimilate in our system till it former errors and defeats. After feeding upon work out in those sterling and attractive quali- good lessons, the next thing is to make them ties which shall form points of contact and in- available. It does not answer to muse upon fluence with their minds. Or, if we are only to pleasant, beautiful things all day long, but iediscover and nurture the germs of hidden pow- produce no pleasantness and beauty within. ers, how shall we make skillful discoverers and Honey is sweet, but of that we should eat only educators who have failed so to nourish our “ so much as is sufficient for us. The thought own minds as to develop the like powers ? It of beauty and harmony and strength must be is against reason to suppose that we shall give followed by immediate effort to attain to higher healthful food to others while we are starving level respecting these. Many a one imagines or poisoning the source from which it is to be himself cut off from the sources of intellectual obtained.
sustenance, who, if he would drop a line into There are some food-elements without which the depths of his own soul, would find abund. ant supply for his own refreshment and that of giving - astonishment at the change of our others. One thought settling through these relative position, and thanksgiving that I was depths might put them in delighted motion; not born to inherit wealth without toil. but everything is kept skipping about the sur- “ Those fathers provide best for their childface. And so, new thoughts are continually ren who leave them with the higher education, sought for and taken in which conceal the beau- the purer morals, and — the least money." tiful underplay of earlier ideas and experiences, that should have been kept up and observed.
From the Iowa Instructor. A lithe, muscular body is admired; we pity
“The Web of Life." the dwarf and the one whom disease makes an
We sleep, but the loom of life never stops ; unsightly object. We reject food which causes dullness and weariness of physical organs, or
and “ the pattern which was weaving when the
sun went down, is weaving when it comes up that stimulates to feverish life. How is it with dwarfed souls, diseased imaginations, misshap, We rest, or think to rest, from our life work,
to-morrow." Truly a “ life thought" is this. pen intellects!
Do we know with what food our inner life is sustained ? or, if we could look
but as the hours and days go by, the web of within, should we be surpsised at the weak
life is nearing its completion. This web is what we make it.
Each day we are weaving some ness, the defects, the deformities and the over
bright garland of good deeds, more beautiful, growths which would be exhibited ?
infinitely more precious, than earth's perishable The Two Heirs.
blossoms, or braiding in dark threads, with
which no bright ones are mingled; fashioning "I remember,” said a late. Postmaster Gen- branches from which no leaves shoot, no buds eral of the United States, “ the first time I vi- burst into blossoms and no fruit comes to persited Burlington, Vt., as Judge of the Supreme fection. From the first dawn of conscious beCourt. I had left it many years before a poor ing this web is begun, and stretches forward boy. At the time I left there were two families through eternity. of special note for their standing and wealth. “He who is false to present duty, breaks a Each of them had a son about my own age. I thread in the loom, and will find the flaw when was very poor, and these boys were very rich. he may have forgotten the cause." If in idle During the long years of hard toil which pass- dreams of future joy or future greatness, we ed before my return, I had almost forgotten neglect the duties of the present moment, we them. They had long ago forgotten me. make, not a cessation of our life-work, but a
· Approaching the court-house, for the first defect, which no future efforts can correct. time, in company with several gentlemen of the “ It is not painter or sculptor who is making bench and bar, I noticed, in the court-yard, a himself most nobly immortal. It is he who is pile of old furniture about to be sold at auc- making true impressions upon the mind of man ; tion. The scenes of early boyhood with which fresco for eternity, that will not shine out till I was surrounded prompted me to ask whose it the light of heaven reveals them.” If this be was. I was told it belonged to Mr. J. Mr. J.: true, then he to whose guidance young immorI remember a family of that name, very wealthy; tals are committed, is called to the performance there was a son, too : can it be he?' I was of a work more noble, more glorious than poet was told it was even so. He was the son of or statesman, a work calling into active exerone of the families alluded to. He had inher- cise the noblest powers of mind. He who ited more money than I had earned, and spent would be a faithful and efficient teacher must all; and now his own family was reduced to early learn that most difficult of all life's lesreal want, and his furniture was that day to be sons to rule his own spirit : love for his lasold for debt. I went into the court-house sud- bor must ever burn brightly; duty be ever his denly, yet almost glad that I was born poor. guiding star. It has been said, and truly, “ In I was soon absorbed in the business before me. earnest, man can move all things." The teachOne of the first cases called originated in a lower must be earnest — in all things seek the best drunken quarrel between Mr. H. and Mr. A. interests of his pupils ; make self the means, Mr. H., thought I, that is a familiar name. Can not the end, if he would accomplish good. it be? In short, I found it was the son of the Childhood is ever active, oft-times impatient other wealthy man referred to. I was over- of control. Be ever patient. Childhood is in. whelmed ulike with astonishment and thanks- quisitive - it would know all things. Check
not rudely these yearnings after knowledge, but bright woof, and laded the swift-fying shuttle seek to direct them into the right channel. with dark threads. The boy when asked by his Childhood is impressive — surround it with companion why a certain tree in his father's good influences. If you would understand the orchard was so deformed, answered, child, keep near your own childhood ; remem-body trod upon it when it was young.” We ber that you once trod these paths, and if they may thoughtlessly trample upon childhood, and were sough and thorny to your feet, so may so crush it, that in its maturity it may bear the they be to the little ones around you. Above marks of its destroyer. all, keep near Jesus. Many sacrifices the teach- We have all seen men with cold, hard feaer will be called upon to make; much self-de-tures; no light in the eye, no gentleness in nial to practice, but no situation in life is ex- tone. One such we remember well, who, in the empt from trial, and few labors bring so rich a presence of a little child, mentioned some incireward.
dent of his boyhood. For a moment the child One who has fought manfully in some of life's gazed into the face of the man with a look of hottest battles, has beautifully said, “The bap- startled wonder, then approached him, and in a tism of suffering is sprinkled upon every lofty tone and with a look in which doubt and wonenterprise, and he is unworthy to engage in it der and sadness were mingled, asked, “were who timidly shrinks from bearing his part." you ever a child ?” and as the answer came, There are hours in the lives of all, when the “yes, as litt.e as you are,” the light went out heart sickens and the appointed life-work seems from the eyes, and the whole face was a prayer a weary task, but it is joy to know that such that it might never leave its childhood. seasons of darkness soon pass away, and the Dark shades were that hour woven into that sunshine of joy foods the soul, its light more child's life; shades so dark that their shadow brilliant, ite warmth more grateful, that we have would stretch all along life's web. But all are for a little season dwelt in darkness.
not so. Others there are who, though no longer Who does not love to watch the ever-varying children, still keep near their childhood. Little lights and shades in the face of a child ? each children will press around them and eagerly ask feature in itself a world, revealing the thoughts for some portion of their child-life, with no anu intents of the world within, but none so doubt, no wonder and no sadness in look or truthfully as the eye.
tone. Would'st thou know the heart's recesses ?
No accomplished phrenologist reads character 'Tis the eye that all confesses.
more readily, more accurately than the little
child. The teacher who is beloved and respectIf the mind has grasped some new truth, surmounted some difficulty, you may know it by teacher, for children will not give respect where
ed by his pupils, must be a faithful and efficient the deep, earnest light kindled in the eye; if the youthful soldier has gained some victory after those who love them not.
it is not due, neither will their affections go out over self, if the passions have been subdued and
The true teacher, the man who labors because the soul has rest, you may read this in the calm,
he loves his labor; he who, in all things, seeks still eye. It will not be the “ stillness of a soul that sleeps, but the quiet of life drawn from
the highest good of his pupils, is the most
precious gift that can be bestowed upon a genedeep fountains."
ration ; ” he is making impressions, not upon A child can think, think deeply. Life with all its deep mysteries is opening before it, and
perishable canvas, but upon mind, and that is
immortal. The pictures he paints will shine from its first awakening to the full conscious
clear and bright in the light of heaven. ness of being, it seeks to fathom these mysteries, and when one point is gained, a soul, a
For the future the poet lives and sings. He real soul, looks out from the eyes, and lights up soul already breathes his immortality ; but
writes with his eye fixed on futurity, and his every feature. If our efforts have awakened this joy, if we have brought the smile to lip and greater than poet is he who tunes the hearts of
others to sing the song which wells up from eye, we have woven a bright blossom into the
every true and pure spirit ; every mind from warp of life, which will grow into the perfect
which the dark veil of ignorance and error has print somewhere in life's web ; but, if we have
been removed : a song which is begun here but thoughtlessly checked these yearnings after
completed in heaven : breathed softly here, but knowledge, "stopped the mirth and stilled the breaking forth in purest melody around the song of the gentle child, we have broken thelthrone of God.
MISS H. X. HOWE.