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reliance on a smaller scale always please us; the and of the higher English studies. There can multitude of resources exhibited by Robinson arise here no discussion as to which is the great Crusoe, and by the Swiss Family Robinson, con-object in a good school, to train the mind or to stitute one of the chief charms of those narra- impart useful information; unless, indeed, some tives. one should assert, that, while studying princiPoorer people especially must learn to rely on ples, their application should remain unnoticed, themselves; of riches, and perhaps of friends, or that information often is important except they have not so much as others to rely upon. when centreing around some great principle. Their training should not only tend to enable Tell the embryo merchants in some high school them to resist temptation from without and from that in order to train their mental powers, they within, but to grapple with practical intellect- are to study Latin three years, and let their ual problems, and to fight, successfully if pos- English studies go, inasmuch as they can easily sible, the battle against want. Therefore, we get such knowledge when out in the world, and say, that the habit of self-reliance should be how many would stay any longer in school? encouraged by the teacher in his scholars, on Or say to the future ministers, lawyers, and all occasions; in the preparation of their studies, doctors, "Study for six months book-keeping in their recitations, in the practical nature of by double entry, it is splendid intellectual gymthe studies they pursue, and in their general in-nastics, and then the trigonometries will be just tercourse with each other in the school-room, what you'll need for the rest of the year," and and on the play-ground. would they not be startled? Now by just the To fight the battle against want there is needed, same process, and for the same reasons, our first, a strong body. School-life, then, should children are driven out of the higher classes of harm the system as little as possible, through grammar schools. impure air, and through seats, confinement and do them, they say, much good. They may be positions that distort the limbs; while something mistaken; I am not finding fault with the of positive good should be received through a schools, but rather asking, "Can they be betCould some well-devised system of calisthenics. Second, in- tered, and in what, and how?” dustrious habits should be encouraged; that a one point out a way to make the studies of the lazy boy often fails in his spelling lesson, does common schools more practical, while the pupils not tell the whole of the story; it may be the obtained the more tangible good, the subtler and explanation of future rags and beggary. Third, robler advantages would not escape them, and economy is sadly needed by most of our peo- they would then rely more on the public schools ple. Children should be taught it. Frequent to aid them in fighting their way through life. changes in books are needless, expensive and Afection might prompt a parent to solve the wasteful. School furniture should not be in- difficult examples, to analyze the more difficult jured, and as a matter of economy, scholars sentences, and to help write the composition; should be taught to be careful of their books and of their clothes.

Our public schools will never aid their pupils to the extent they might, till they aim more at

giving a practical turn to the studies there pur


The schools would not

but the good of the child holds the kind impulse in check, and there are also other ways of helping a child, by showing a daily interest in its studies, sympathizing with it in its difficulties, and there, some kind suggestion. And because and in its successes, and by throwing in, here

a child's welfare requires that it should learn to rely on itself, all aid from schoolmates, answers in arithmetics, and keys, as well as promptings, and leading questions in recitations, are far from desirable. That teacher even does better, who,

sued. It is, in part, because so little aid would be given them in getting a livelihood, that so many do not complete their grammar school course, that so few enter the high school, and that the love of the people for the schools, already great, is not greater. Aside from the daughters of the more prosperous members of by a hint to a boy puzzled by a hard sum, puts him on the right track, than he who works it the community, two classes of children enter the high schools; those who are preparing for a col-out for him on the slate.

legiate course, and those who are to enter com- But the play-ground is the place to teach selfmercial life; to which may perhaps be added a reliance. There all shams are laid aside as being third class, those who intend to become teach- of too thin a texture to bear the blunt remarks ers; and just what they want to help them on of out-spoken boys, whose keen insight instantis found there, good teachers of the classics, ly detects them and mercilessly exposes them.

Lessons from the War.

THE youth of our country are unexpectedly

Each one ranks for what he is, as the best, or the worst, batter, runner, wrestler, skater or jumper in the crowd; as fair or mean, kind or cross, generous or selfish, whether he be young called to learn some new lessons relating to the or old, tall or short, rich or poor, a smart or a evils of intemperance and we may say of moddull scholar. There each boy can measure him- erate drinking, and also of the blessings of temself with others, and learn where, in the ranks of perance. In a time of profound peace, when of his fellow men, his place will be. There the men are left to lazying about their own quiet rich find that riches will not suffice them in their homes or to be engaged in the ordinary toils of wrestlings one with the other, but that native the farm or work-shop, it were bad enough to energy and good training always win; while the become the victims of the cup; but the injury poor find that their estate is not counted in in is confined to a small circle and unattended with mitigation of their heedlessness or of their base. tragic enterprises; and men will say too, temThe conceited learn that others may be perance is well enough, but not of much conseas good as themselves, the vain cease to long for quence; but now when there is war, and young what nature has not given them, pride is hum- men are called to leave home and those who bled, meanness rebuked, and doing and daring naturally care for them, and become exposed to praised. There can be no better preparation for heat and cold, to damps, and poor food, and him who is to be a citizen in a great republic, hard service, and wounds from the enemy; where violent and opposing views in regard to politics, to religion, and to social theories coëxist, whose existence he cannot ignore if he would.


Dainty and Discontented.


when they are driven into forced marches and terrific conflicts with stalwart men, the dangerous results of indulgence in strong drinks, losing the balance of the mind or enfeebling the body and rendering it incapable of fatigue, and the value of strict temperance are felt as they never ONE of the first and most important princi- were before. Letters which come from the army ples to be instilled into children is, that they tell how glad the writers are that they are temshould like everything that is good. They perance boys, and what comfort they have in should never be permitted or encouraged to say, associating with temperance boys and singing "I don't like this or that"-but should be temperance songs. One young man, a Son of taught a liberal, universal acceptance of all the Temperance, recently died at Alexandria, and good things God has made. We should abolish Sons of Temperance gathered around him and the dainty, narrow spirit that can be satisfied became a great support to him. Such young only with certain things, and is always picking men die greatly beloved; while others who enand choosing. The first manifestation of this gage in drunken brawls and are put under guard, spirit is generally in reference to food. Child- are a disgrace to the army, and often come to ren if allowed will take an aversion quite un- an untimely end. If you ever want, boys, to reasonably to some kinds of food that common make good soldiers and serve your country, you use pronounces good and acceptable. This must prepare for it by battling down strong dainty habit will grow upon them - and follow drink and all effeminacy and self-indulgence. them through life, and extend from things to Each Band of Hope will now do well to subject persons, so that at last discontent is sure to be- itself to a little military discipline, to gymnastic come a chronic thing with them. Their sources exercise, to muscular development, to severe of happiness become exceedingly small-they endurance. Temperance and peace are twin require continual change or special arrangement sisters; and rowdy boys who drink and smoke of circumstances to give them satisfaction. and swear, say there is no fight in these temWhereas, if the contrary spirit is encouraged perance boys; there is indeed no quarrel, and and prevails, a universe of good will be found so much the better for that, but let them come right around us, untold sources of enjoyment to self-defence, let them be called out to defend will be seen in common things in everything their country, then see who can best bear fatigue, indeed which God has made. We shall not and best stand the shock of battle; then see need to travel or change about to find happi- who come home to do most honor to their coun ness; this interior perception of good will give try.-Youth's Temperance Advocate.

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us contentment just where we are. We should

begin with our children, and abolish the first California is very nearly sixty times as large as beginnings of daintiness and discontent in them. the whole of Massachusetts.

Natural Science.

of observation and analysis, and like Hunter, the scholar, the philosopher, the Christian, is content that he does not altogether comprehend the im

COMMUNICATIONS for this Department should be ad-maculate theme. Life," he said, "is a property dressed to I. F. CADY, Warren.

Extracts from the Address of Gov. Banks,

NOV. 13, 1860.

To investigate and determine the circumstances and conditions of animal life; to dissect and com

we do not understand-we can only trace the necessary steps leading to it."

This is the grand object of natural science. It is the great cause to which our museum is dedicated. It is a pursuit that exhausts the highest capacity and satisfies the noblest ambition. "We trace the steps leading to life," might well stand as the motto of the naturalist, the statesman, the

scope, how exhaustive of human power in the inquiry! The full realization of the divine purpose, exemplified by a perfect comprehension of the gradual and systematic development of the steps leadeval in existence with time itself, were permitted ing to life. would be as if some human being, coto follow the courses of the ages, independent of the conditions that run with the destiny of mortals, and by presence and suggestion instruct the sucand inorganic being, in the mysteries of animate cessive generations of men in the laws of organic

pare the organs, through the agency of which the philosopher and the Christian. How infinite in animals exist; to trace their effect upon the habits, capacities and destiny of the creatures themselves; to arrange them into groups upon principles of similarity of structure and function; to ascertain the laws that regulate their distribution over the earth's surface; to show the services they render and the uses they subserve in the general economy of nature; their adaptation to purposes and their possible contribution to the necessaries and the luxuries of domestic life; their importance to commerce, manufactures and arts; and the advantages of this species of knowledge in every department of education-these things certainly constitute a branch of natural science that challenges

attention, that justifies labor, and compensates for great individual sacrifices and large public expen


But the name of the institution, I apprehend, but faintly indicates the purposes or the expectations of its founders. It has a broader aspect than brick walls, scientific collections, or legislative charities suggest. In imagination, at least, I see rising before me a structure of such harmonious outline and magnificent proportions, that its avowed purpose hardly covers the threshold. Instead of guarding the domain of zoological inquiry, it| must penetrate and subdue the three kingdoms of the animal, mineral and vegetable creation; and every step in its progress will mark the bounds of original attainment and discovery, in these allied existences, though it may not gather or preserve all its evidences of research.

and inanimate existences.

duties assigned to me, to set forth the technical It is not my purpose, neither is it in the line of advantages to be derived from the study of natural

science. My duties are completed if I but call attention to the incidental advantages to be derived

from this institution.

It is hardly to be denied and it were scarce an advantage if denial were possible—that a feeling is creeping upon the minds of men and scholars, not merely of indifferent but interested men, that our methods of school and colleagiate instruction are not, in all respects, best calculated to develop the superior qualities of body, mind, or conscience. It is a problem as ancient as civilization, whether acquired or native powers are more valuable, and the policy and the theory of education or non-education are sometimes made to depend upon suppositious advantages of one or the other of these powers. A similar diversity of opinion grows out of what is called self-culture, as compared with that conferred by educated institutions; or, in Whatever exhibits life, whether in the dullest other words, that which comes early in life, with form of vegetable creation or in the animating sub-most favored opportunity, or that which comes tleness of sense and intellect, must attract the at- limping later, with such advantages only as accitention and receive its knowledge. To suggest dent vouchsafes.

life as the subject of contemplation and research, It is an error, in my judgment, that identifies whether of organic or inorganic form, is to sum- education exclusively with acquired information, mon the faculties of man to the noblest, though it or contrasts acquired capacity with natural powers, may be a limitless, investigation, comprehending as evincing the utility or non-utility of scholastic the animate and the inanimate, the material and institutions. That man may misapprehend its nathe immaterial, the finite and the infinite, the be- ture and abuse its privileges is apparent. To reginning and the end of all things. gard mere acquisition of fact, the treasures of at

From the contemplation of a subject so far-reach-tainment, as education; to seek the culture of the ing and vast, the mind instinctively shrinks from mind at the sacrifice of bodily vigor; to estimate the expectation of compassing an end. Begin-memory as the equivalent of the powers of obsernings in this inquiry exhaust the subtlest powers vation, analysis and the faculty of reason; to con

sider, because a young man has won collegiate of other institutions, and contribute to establish honors, and is therefore qualified for every pursuit the true theory of mental culture.

of life, useful or ornamental, that he is thereby From such a system of education, pervading disabled for any pursuit, except a few over-crowded families as well as schools and colleges, we may professions, is both to misapprehend the nature hope to attain the highest advantages of popular and abuse the privileges of true education. But intelligence-accustomed to contemplate the subthese things, so common among us, so demarcat- tleties of nature, which, as Lord Bacon says, "so ing the line between what is called self-education far exceed the subtleties of sense and intellect"; and other education, if such a thing were possible, our scholars will avoid the errors of the scholastic are no more the result of a true system, than—to age, and our people escape the quicksands of preborrow a bill of fare from Emerson-"than the judice and error that have swallowed so many of flesh of dried grass and the broth of old shoes" our predecessors. constitute high living.

Our reliance is in the virtue and intelligence of The error, rather of practice than of theory, is, the people, and not in constitutions nor in schools, that we identify education with attainment, and re- nor in great men, alone. Rome had her orators ly almost exclusively for instruction upon the con- and her statesmen, Greece had her academies of tents of books. It is assumed that students know learning and her schools of philosophy. Erudition something because they are taught that other men poured forth her treasures to the multitudes in the know something. Men think they see, when in groves and in the public walks. Philosophy unfact they are only looking on. If the acquisition burdened her mind of its richest stores, in the of facts were the exclusive object of education, streets and in the forum. The great of the age, books would be a safe reliance, provided that the Homer, Demosthenes, Cicero, Cæsar, answered, in first men were authors. But in our age the first person, the many-voiced call, and spoke face to men make newspapers, steam engines, arguments, face with the giant multitude. They had their street railways; they plant cities, command ar- constitutions and their laws, whose theoretic simmies, give men powers to empires, solve problems plicity won the emulation of the ages. The sister of life and death, have little time to read, much less to make books.

arts, poetry and painting, music and sculpture, hand in hand with the lore of the schools, and the I welcome the creation of the museum because progress of the sciences, passed from perfection to it opens to its students the book of nature. Read- perfection, approaching the standard of ideal exing and writing are important to them because they cellence and transcending the fame of after ages. are enabled thus to ascertain what was known be- Yet Greece and Rome as free governments lasted fore them, and to record their own discoveries and but for a day. The fair form of a fictitious repubadditions to the stock of human knowledge. Ob-lic arrayed in the panoply of freedom — adorned servation and comparison are their reliant powers. by the elegance of the arts, and protected by the When a student contemplates a naked stone plac- supernatural powers of their philosophy - could ed in his hand until he is able, by study, to disco- not long withstand decay. The frail but beauteous cover its laws and analyze its character, new facul- vesture could not hide her mortality. The edifice ties of mind are given him, which our theories of had no sufficient foundation. The vesture of the education rarely or never contemplated. people the soul-was wanting. Who does not

Mr. Kohl tells us of a picture in one of the Flor- pray that America may escape a like desolating entine galleries, which represents a monk seated end? Who does not welcome an institution, in in one of the cells of a monastery intently gazing the benefits of which so many participate, that upon a black letter volume, his hands resting upon opens new avenues and new methods for the disits pages. Not a ray of light makes darkness vis-covery of truth? ible, until, from intensity of study alone, from his INTELLIGENCE OF THE LARK.—A pair of larks finger's end gradually breaks a faint glimmer, which gradually strengthens, until the black letter page returns the reflection, the folds of his garments become translucent, and the cell is filled with the light of his intellect. This is educationthe education of the faculties. It proceeds from the student to the work, and does not come from from the book to the man.

had built their nest in a grass-field, where they hatched a brood of young. Very soon after the the field was forced to set the mowers to work, the young birds were out of their nest, the owner of state of the weather forcing him to cut his grass sooner than usual. As the laborers approached the nest, the parent birds seemed to take alarm, and at last the mother laid herself flat upon the ground with outspread wings and tail, while the male bird took one of her young out of the nest, An institution in which this theory of instruc- and by dint of pushing and pulling got it on its tion is daily practiced, which is frequented by stu-over the fields, and soon returned for another. mother's back. She then flew with her young one dents of the university and teachers of the public This time the father took his turn to carry one of schools-which cannot fail to become the model the offspring, being assisted by the mother in getof scientific establishments on this continent, and ting it firmly on his back; and in this manner they carried off the whole brood before the mowers had will equal, if it does not surpass, the renowned reached their nest.-Routledge's Illustrated Naturmuseums of Europe-must renovate the customs al History.


COMMUNICATIONS for this Departinent should be addressed to HENRY CLARK, Pawtucket, R. 1.

For the Schoolmaster.

A Few Thoughts on a Common Topic.



Hard-coal; Charcoal; Mining; Theory of Formation of coal in the Earth.


Procuring Gold; Its Coinage; Manufacture; Assaying; Evil Effects of its Misuse; Ancient Gold Coins; Jewelry; Counterfeit Coins; Means of Detecting do.; Where is Gold Found; Character of Countries where it Abounds; History of Gold-getting in California; In India; Its Forms in Nature; Supposed Natural Origin of Gold; AlTHE notion is all too common that a fine essay loys. must be written on a great subject. Let the learner I am inclined to place in the margin, part of a set be at once rid of this very ridiculous notion. If he of subjects that were at first written at random, selects "The Biography of General George Washbut that have actually passed the ordeal of the ton," remind him that an Irving or a Bancroft only can do justice to the theme, and suggest an easier school-room, and have been treated in the manner indicated above, by two classes of pupils; the first Does he place the title, "Natural Philosophy," at the head of his page? Tell him he knows a class of more advanced pupils, the second of little about the subject, and that a life-time of diligent study would scarce qualify him to write upon it. Besides, the scope of a volume would much better befit the discussion of such a topic than the


limits of a school-essay.

He knows all about "Skating," if he is a true

medium rank.*

more tears are shed at the prospect of the prepaWriting compositions is hard work. Possibly ration of his essay than on account of almost any other task a pupil has forced upon him. To fill out the allotted pages, he employs the longest

boy. He could tell a long story about "Maying." words, from fear of coming short of the space as

signed him, and fills three or four pages with the merest platitudes, scraps of sermons, trite state

If he rises early, he can describe "Sunrise"; if he makes an excursion with his friends, he can write on the topic, "A Pic-nic," "A Sail," "Aments of moral truths, remarks on the great imWalk," as the case may be. And there is still an portance of his subject and exhortations to his endless variety of themes to be found by the divi- readers to take heed to his remarks. sion of an elaborate subject into topics suited to his purpose. I have means at hand for an illus

tration of this statement:

And yet it is remarkable, though not at all strange, that after he begins to write letters, he gains power of expressing his thoughts not only easily and naturally but lucidly. For he writes in in a familiar letter only about what he knows; he must write something interesting to his correspondents, and in a manner so that he shall be under

History, Biography, Mathematics, Natural Science, indeed, all branches of learning, are mainly made known to us by means of books. So that the general subject of Books includes the special stood. topics of Biography, History, Mathematics and So it should be with school-essays. The pupil, Natural Science. Yet, under the general head, having selected only such subjects as he underBooks, the special topics just mentioned relate stands or may understand with study not too laboonly to the subjects of Books. Besides might rious, should be taught that he must write plainly, be mentioned The Manufacture of Books, Book- directly and clearly just what he thinks-no more, selling, the Benefits of Books, Forms of Books, no less-and last of all, to stop when he has finThe History of Book-Making, The Advantages of ished, whether he has written a line or a page, a Printed Books, An Inquiry into the Effects of paragraph or a dissertation. Books of Fictitious Nature, School-Books, BlankIt is a proverb that "Brevity is the soul of wit," Books, with a score of other classes. all under the but boys are slow to believe it. Yet it is neverthegeneral subject of Books. Each one of these spe- less true that simple truth when expressed most cial topics might be subdivided and the subdivi-vigorously is expressed most briefly. It is perhaps

sions also divided to an indefinite extent.


severe to say that an essay in a grammar school ought not to exceed two ordinary pages in length.

Subjects; Manufacture; Bookselling; Benefits of Books; Forms; History of Book-Making; Character, Forgiveness, Advantages of Printed Books; Good and Bad Ef-Pleasures, fects of Fiction; School-Books; Blank-Books. Vanity,

Steam Engines, The Horse,


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