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good verbal memory is not without its uses fice it to say that a good conscience is all that when enlisted in the service of an active, vigor- is requisite to put a stop to the mischief, and ous intellect. How mortifying, when requested yet leave our natural sympathies their full play. to give the precise words of an author, to halt, Would it not then be well when about to repeat to stammer out broken sentences, and finally a remark concerning the conduct, habits or culconfess that your memory fails you. You wish ture of another, to be careful not to add to nor to interest a friend in some favorite poet and take from the statement? Otherwise the rebegin to give an extract, but the treacherous mark becomes your own, and you must be rememory will not serve its turn. Public speak-sponsible for it.

ers find it a great advantage to readily remem- In respect to things perceived by the senses, ber their notes, and by this means they can of daily experience shows us how liable we are to ten impart to studied productions some of the be mistaken. As a noted instance of an error brilliancy and fire of extempore efforts. that sharp eyesight might have corrected, I

The per

a belief

A child comes into the school-room, crying.
What is the matter?" inquires the teacher,
Who hurt you, and why?" What patience,

Another phase of verbal memory is, to readily would cite the once widely spread belief, still, recall the names of persons to whom an intro- in places, entertained, that the whippoorwill duction has been had, the names of plants, of and the night-hawk are the same; places and of animals one has seen before. How which no respectable ornithologist of the preseasily these names recur to tl e tongues of some, ent day would for a moment countenance. while others have wholly lost them. When a meteor of uncommon size flashes sudson who remembers names, may easily forget denly on the evening sky, how different are the dates, which are generally considered the hard-accounts given of it, even by those residing in est of all things to remember. There are others the same village. To one it seemed a mile from again who remember the substance of what the earth, to another a few rods only. To one they have read or heard, but forget the words. it appeared as large as the moon; another says They will give you a sketch of the last lecture, it was twice as large. One thinks it was in a summary of the latest news, the gist of a sci-sight a few minutes, another a few moments entific article, and can recognize at once the only. faces, plants, animals, and places they have seen before. But while quick perception is given to " them, an easy command of language is denied He of the good verbal memory never is at a loss discrimination and perseverence are needed to for a term, never offends an acquaintance by forgetting his name, and never gives an enemy occasion for exultation, by misstatement of fact. He who remembers great principles and important facts mainly, not burdened with a weight of words, keeping the gold, throws away the sand. That memory however that accurately retains the word and the idea, is to be desired. How vexatious to study for years, yet be liable to trip at any moment, for a word or a date has escaped you. How unsatisfactory to recall the name of a plant, or of an insect, and forget its family, its relations, its habits and its proper

ties.

elicit from the clashing accounts the occasion and the course of the quarrel. It seems difficult, at times, to believe that deliberate falsehoods have not been told, though facts do not always justify that conclusion. Excited feelings and angry passions interfere with the normal action of faculties, as yet indifferently trained, and increase the errors of observation. The same discrepancy may be noticed in accounts of battles, resulting often from the same causes.

Here arises the mistake of confounding inference with fact. "He smokes, for I saw him carrying home a box of cigars." "Did you see the cigars?" "No, but I saw the Lox, and he was just coming out of a store." Now the box was empty, and had been bought to keep in

The interest itself which we feel in human beings prompts us to repeat to friends and neighbors the remarks heard and statements made sects in. in regard to others. This it is that through In Iron Mine Hill, Cumberland, R. I., there thoughtlessness degenerates and becomes gos-are nearly fifty excavations, from which were sip. It would be long to tell what are the va- mined, in former times, yellow copper pyrites, rious impulses and mental peculiarities that lead which were taken for gold, which they much the memory astray, heedlessness, love of the resemble. They look like gold, therefore they marvellous, personal dislike, envy, want of sym- are gold; and it is estimated that more than pathy with the feelings of the speaker, &c. Suf- half a million of dollars must have been ex.

pended in these fruitless researches for the pre- But defective memory and careless observacious metals." tions work their greatest harm, when their testiWhen any strong emotion masters us, our mony is received as true data by the acute lohopes and fears are strangely blended with what gician. Errors that were harmless before, taken we see; jealousy and love not only tinge with into his mill, turn out false conclusions, which their own hues what they look upon, but the stand like mountains in the way of further things feared or desired by each seem already progress. The reasoner's well-known ability realities. By this action of the feelings on the and great fame only make the triumph of truth senses can be explained the panic that seized on the more difficult. The chain that connects his the French soldiers at Solferino, where thou- conclusion with his premises is so strong that it sands of brave men fled for miles, forgetful alike cannot be broken, however honest, zealous and heedless of all things able is the talent arrayed against it. The only They saw a few half- way to rescue the hidden truth, is, by renewed starved and wounded Austrian soldiers who observations, to remove the mass of false data rose out of the bushes to surrender to them; under which it lies buried. they thought they saw a whole army in ambush ready to fall upon them.

of honor and of duty,

save their own safety.

This brings us to the real harm resulting from inaccuracy of observation and memory. PerIn all excited discussions on political, refor- ception gives us the phenomena within its field. matory and religious subjects, where principles Phenomena are to us the signs, or tokens, of and interests dear to us are involved, if we the workings of laws. Laws are the flow, or would deal fairly with our opponents, if it be the currents, of thoughts through the all-perwell to look at their arguments, in order to right- vading spirit. As food is the desire of hunger, ly estimate their strength, from their point of so are laws the desire of the intelligence, which view as well as from ours, it is necessary to no- itself is one door through which the Deity intice carefully what they say, to follow closely vites us to enter and know of him. Do laws their reasoning, and not confound what we im- come under the category of phenomena? They agine they say with what they do say. Thus do not, but are by means of the memory, judg shall we be open to correction, if in error, and ment, reason and reasoning obtained from them. can ascertain if their position be stronger than Perception gives you its photographs, good ones Often do we hear that this politician ad- or poor, of things seen; the phenomena vanish, vocated such a ruinous or unrighteous measure, but memory lays the pictures of them aside in and that reformer shocked all time-hallowed her gallery, and often, when called on for them, associations; when, if closely looked into, it is brings forth the wrong ones. The judgment found that these are only the surmises of inat- compares them with others taken before or since; tentive listeners; they suspect that such was the intuitive and the discursive faculties take a meant by what little they heard. And so there survey of the whole; but the order of succesare misunderstandings, bitter feelings and recri- sion supposed to be found existing among them, minations, each fostering the other; while the which shall range them all in harmony, strung truth, settling on neither side, flies elsewhere on the golden thread of law, does not tally for refuge. with what is seen in nature. The observations must be taken anew, the memory must be questioned again, before the secret of nature is discovered.

ours.

When we consider how many good men there are in the different religious denominations, how many patriotic ones in each of the political parties, how many men of ability for or against But whatever be the inaccuracies resulting, certain proposed reforms, must we not conclude either directly from the defective workings of that, through want of conscientious accuracy, the mental faculties, or indirectly from their each does injustice to the interests, motives and mutual action, they will all be exhibited, in arguments of the others, and too highly exalts their different shades and degrees in our lanhis own? Would they calmly review their re- guage. This would be true, were language a spective positions, it would often be found that perfect instrument, and had every one a full all are laboring for the same ends, that their command of it. As it is, the words of most hostility is a delusion and they should embrace men, not fully, or very incorrectly, expressing as brothers. Besides, what a source of self-re- their thoughts, the complication of mistakes in proach to a good man, that through his heed- the use of them and of misapprehensions of the lessness, this animosity has been deepened. meanings in which they are used, is sadly com

plicated. The many different significations pos- To yield to this oligarchy is to imperil the sessed by the same word are often one cause of free institutions of the North. It is not alone our losing an author's meaning. Thus he says, to furnish a greater scope for slavery, but to extherefore this he means; or, they say the same tend the barbarism of the South-its" pecuthing, then they think alike, are conclusions at liar institution," based on ignorance and brute times not sustained by fact. Another cause, is force, over the whole land; to place the slavethe narrow choice of words imposed upon us, code and the code of honor over justice and by limited opportunities for study, and by the God's eternal right; to swamp morality, intellistern demands of our daily duties. Our know- gence, self-respect, under the seething waves of ledge of words is limited by our knowledge of bestiality, ignorance and base eringing to usurthings. The vocabulary of some men comprises pers. Free schools must not be tolerated bebut a few hundred words, of none more than a cause they tend to elevate "mud-sills" above few thousand. The phrase, then, used by one the F. F. V.'s," who took such pains to imto convey an idea, is not that appropriated by press on the correspondent of the London Times another; and the words being strange, their that noble blood, "gentle" blood, flowed in meaning is vaguely apprehended. their veins. Besides they tend to abridge the

64

It is not proposed here to mark out a course freedom of these would-be nobles, by abolishof study necessary to obtain a good knowledge ing dram-drinking and other incentives of the of the language, but to call attention to the baser passions of men, and so interfering with lack of, and the desirableness of, accuracy in the social hospitalities of the South; by abolthe use of it. Frequent composing conduces to ishing the pistol and bowie-knife, and thus definiteness of thought and of expression, while blunting the keen edge of Southern chivalry; in conversation our words have more of the and by inculcating self respect and freedom of freshness of thought and the glow of emotion; thought, forever throttling the twin shams: that yet more care is needed in the spoken than in minorities should rule, and that capital should the written word, though it is distasteful when own labor. apparent. Behold, then, what is requisite to an accurate use of language:—close observation, a ready memory, good judgment, keen intuitions and good logical powers, all improved by training and sustained by intense application.

K.

Such is the contest of to-day. Allied to it is the coming contest, which requires no great forecast to perceive in the distance. Ignorance, which has been content to be left alone, - free to eat, drink, hunt and swear—has never loved the Free School system. It did not wish to be taxed, for it hated the schools, and so thwarted, when it could, free schools by squandering the funds, or otherwise crippling the laws. "FOREWARNED is forearmed," is a trite say- Hand in hand with bestial ignorance has been ing, which is worthy of repetition now. The grasping avarice, which has, if ever it has a nation is in the throes of death, or a new birth, melting mood, shed tears of agony over the pitwhich depends on the supremacy of mind over tance wrung from it for the "education of poor mere brute force-of the grand, God-given people's children!"

From the Journal of Progress.
The Coming Contest.

principles of Truth and Justice over cunning, This element of opposition to common schools fraud, falsehood and despotism. On the one in many of our States is not so despicable as hand are the graduates of Free Schools of the would seem at first sight. It has paralyzed North, rushing as one man to the defence of free schools in southern Illinois; instigated and the principles of self government; on the other obtained the decisions in the Supreme Court of hand, the insolent oligarchy of the South, driv- Indiana, which wrecked the free school system ing to battle the ignorant masses whose educa- of that State; and was the hidden agent which tion has been gotten mostly at shooting match- impelled Missouri to rob the school fund and es, gaming and drinking hells, varied with an close the schools for the purpose of sustaining occasional entertainment at street-fighting, slave the dominion of ignorance and despotism. In catching or mobbing Northern men. Whatever our own State (Ohio) the snake is scotched, not is low, bestial, bigoted in their nature has been killed. Troops of demagogues will attempt to cultivated, till they are fit tools for the despots ride into office on the devil's plea of economy! who hate freedom and right, and delight in They will pity "the dear people" who have usurpation and fraud. such heavy taxes - incidental to the war

--

threatening them.

By plausible arithmetical and victoriously, and speed on the redemption calculations, they will foreshadow how they will of the race by the development of the hightest lift this nightmare of debt and taxation from and holiest powers of man.

"the dear people."

66

From the Connecticut Common School Journal.

The Study of English Classics.

Once in office, and insatiable for place and power, they will strike the axe of retrenchment, not at the governmental expenses, but at the It is within the province of the Journal to school system very much on the principle of point out and develop the instruments and methose quacks who give calomel and opium for thods by which a broader and more generous every case, because nothing is so handy!" culture may be the possession of every teacher. Salaries must not be reduced, because who To call attention to this subject, and more parwould have the State so act as to lose the op- ticularly to a means which has received but litportunity of securing the best administrative tle attention, will be our present endeavor. We talent and win the reputation of being nig- need to say nothing on the benefit and absolute gardly and parsimonious? Equally plausible necessity of a liberal education to every teacher, reasons against retrenchment elsewhere will be as these are conceded points. But while great found, and as the last resort, the school-tax and due attention has been given that all the must be lessened, the fat salaries of teachers re- best methods of instruction and government duced to a reasonable" amount - while the should be imparted to every teacher, and a cry advantage and beauties of home-education will has gone through the land against ignorance in be the theme on which the swelling notes of these matters, we have had no equal outery their eloquence will delight to dwell. against as great an evil,- the low standard of

-

If men reasoned, always, there would be less scholarship which prevails among the teachers cause for fear. But between the baseness of of this country. The establishment of Normal party leaders, the despotism of party tactics, Schools, &c., has been the only great move made. and the clap-trap by which the masses are man- Of general remarks there have been plenty, but aged, cool thought is driven from the field, and little has been done, if we consider what ought demagogues rule. True this war has, for the to have been done. One needs only to take an time being, shivered party lines, and restored average of the acquirements of those within his the inasses to an appearance of independence. personal observation, to see the meagreness of But it also, by increasing the military spirit of the general acquirements. Whoever has had an the nation, has roused its excitability and so les- opportunity to study the statistics of European sened the capability for calm reflection. While education, or even has read the second volume there is much pure, noble patriotism, there is of this Journal, in which that subject is somealso evident a latent ambition which seeks a what discussed, can not fail to see that we are military reputation as a stepping-stone to gov- deplorably behind the continental teachers. ernmental position. Hereafter, as heretofore, Even now, improved as we are over twenty men will base their claims for office on their years ago, the majority of teachers, taking the military services, and will be successful to an country throughout, are not even thoroughly extensive and ruinous degree, unless checkmat- grounded in the elementary branches. Still the ed by an increase of intelligence among the peo-idea has not fully grasped the public mind, that ple. it is a miserable and short-sighted policy to Men must be led to subordinate impulse to think that a man needs only what will enable reason, to cultivate broad and comprehensive him to go through his daily round of instrucviews of education, enduring heavy burdens tion. He needs to be a man in and beyond his now, for the welfare of future generations. The profession; with not the culture of a teacher cultivation of the mental, moral and religious only, but that of a man to whom all knowledge nature of the youth must go on, if we would is an unsealed book. For a teacher has special save the nation from the supremacy of vice and need of such a culture and reaps especial adrecklessness and brutality which follow in the vantages from it.

train of war. The teacher needs to feel in his The present is preeminently the age of eclecinmost soul the full import of his calling, and ticism. From every subject, however abstruse to consecrate himself with the fervor of religious or however common-place, additions are being faith to do the work which now lies before him. made to the sum total of human knowledge. Thus shall he meet the coming contest boldly The human mind seems to have become gifted

with the power of Ithuriel's spear. Whatever and dictionary will not make us master of it. it touches, the latent light of knowledge breaks It might as well be expected to know the power forth, and new and wonderful things stand re- and construction of the body from seeing the vealed. And the still happier characteristic of dry bones and disjointed fragments,- in both the age is that all this light is brought to a focus cases the charm of life and the highest of all and sheds a revealing radiance over the broad beauties, that of perfect adaptation and use, fields of man's knowledge, even to their dim would be wanting. The art of word-painting boundaries, and shows the hidden connection is no more to be learned thus than painting can which links all science and art and learning to be from the mere knowledge of pigments. Nor gether. Facts do not stand alone, but bear up- can we fail to reap this advantage, as it is an on one another. The teacher, of all others, essential in a classic to possess beauty of style. gains a new power by this, and consequently The lack of this debars many an author from should know not only what he would teach, an envied rank. Words, though necessary conbut every thing collateral and as much that is veyers of thought, are subordinate to thoughts, beyond as he can. These collaterals include all and so is style to matter. But there are not the sciences and arts and much of all learning. instances wanting where both are combined and There is no limit of what he should acquire set each other forth. as a brilliant mind and but opportunity. handsome body do the man. The blades of Damascus were the keener for the elaborate work

The great profit which arises from the study of classics has been a recognized fact for hun-ing of the metal which gave them their famous

beauty.

writers.

well as amusement.

dreds of years, and it is a part of every system of liberal education. This is consequent on It seems hardly necessary that we should artheir nature,—a classic implying an author of gue the existence of English Classics, and yet the highest rank in whom power of thought and their existence, if known, is generally ignored. elegance of style are combined. In the first place Cominon parlance limits the term to ancient thought is prolific and engenders thought. We Our own great authors are not so presume that all have noticed that the essential considered, and rarely receive the study which difference in books is in their suggestiveness. they claim, as being a source of instruction as The great fault and power to do harm in periThe merest superficial odical literature and what goes under the name reading is all they receive, while to Latin and Greek of light reading, lies in their being in such a years of hard study are cheerfully given. form and in being so easy to read. This can While we do not quarrel with this, we must renot be the case with classics. No one can read gard it as a poor honor to a literature unsurBacon's Essays as he does the last Monthly. passed by any, either ancient or modern. The They compel reflection, for they are full of the English have always been thinkers, striving seeds of things. Simple contact with such with much of their rude physical vigor to enminds is strengthening and vivifying. They large the boundaries of their knowledge. With lead us into such far-reaching trains of thought, what subject of science or of art, of philosophy and such profound depths of reflection as with- or of learning, have they not grappled. How out their aid we could never attain to, and many beautiful and sublime utterances have which are thenceforth followed with ease. As gone up from every field of thought, while wars Peter was borne up by his Master and enabled and commotions the most antagonistic to mento walk the sea with him, so we are borne by tal progress shook their little isle to its centre. the great masters of thought into heights and They have wrestled often in the dark, with mendepths where, unaided, we would sink tal and moral truths, until, like Jacob of old, less, and are quickened into a strength which they received the blessing. The Greeks, who enables us to carry further their daring flights. are their greatest rivals, never penetrated so far The school-boy knows and demonstrates what into theological and metaphysical subjects, which a few years ago tasked the most powerful minds, were the favorite studies of both.

power

and was received by the world with admiring The Greeks were a nation of speakers. Wingwonder. To every one who reads, their ultima ed words were their delight, and many of the thule becomes the starting point, and their most valuable remnants of their philosophy strength is transfused into his veins. We fur- were only saved to us by being most fortunatether have in the study of their style the only me- ly written from memory. No nation was ever thod of learning the use of language. Grammar so grievously afflicted with the cacoëthes scriben

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