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and faithful discharge of them. The few who would be thus prepared might find employment at a fair price, without any legal provision to secure it to them.
There may be some difficulty in getting this subject fairly before the minds of those on whom we must rely. A very simple arrangement would try the principle, however, and perhaps some existing organization would afford every facility that could be expected. A central body, with corresponding branches, seeking mainly to collect, digest, and diffuse information, might be all that would be required at first. Local laws and circumstances must, of course, modify any action on the subject. The leaven must be introduced wherever there is an opening, and must be left to the silent and invisible process by which the whole mass is leavened.
We are the more sanguine in our confidence that such a movement would be favourably regarded, from the opinions of many highly respectable gentlemen, in different parts of the country, to whom the subject has been opened.
In conversations we have recently held with some of the most intelligent and influential friends of popular education, particularly in New York, Pennsylvania, and Ohio, they expressed their conviction of the necessity of such a voluntary co-operation as we have attempted to describe; they say that the practical value of existing systems of education among us has never yet been determined by an examination of them in the minute details of their operation; and they say that persons who, from prejudice or misapprehension, oppose themselves (violently perhaps) to every principle of sound, moral education, when proposed in the abstract, will, nevertheless, cheerfully entrust the administration of the system, in any particular district, to one or two men, in whose intelligence and uprightness the public have confidence. If these views are correct, we may hope that, even at this late hour, the whole machinery of popular education may be brought within the control of good and wise men, if they are disposed to put their hands to it. They must be willing, however, to occupy the very humblest place among the operatives. They must condescend to labour unseen and unknown. They must try every part of the system by the only true test of its utility, viz. its power to lay hold of the minutest fibres of human society, and, by developing, and combining, and leading these, direct the course. of the spreading branches, and even the towering trunk, in whatever direction they choose.
Something must be done-and there is not an hour, not a moment to lose. We may traverse the wide range of modern experiments in the science of education, from the military infant school, of which we lately read an account in a newspaper of one of our southern cities, to the college for the gradual
approximation of the sexes, which is a more northern scheme, and we shall find but here and there one which promises well for the future usefulness or happiness of those upon whom it is tried; and, on this subject, and at this time, every failure is peculiarly weakening to the cause, and disheartening to its friends. Who will undertake to estimate the sums which have been expendedof time, labour, and money-on what were called gymnasia, or high boarding-schools for boys—such, we mean, as once existed at Northampton and Amherst, (Massachusetts,) and New Haven, (Connecticut.) Among those by whom they were founded and sustained, were gentlemen of eminent talents and literary attainments; but they must have looked very incautiously into the nature of our institutions, and the habits and associations of our people, if they supposed their enterprise was practicable; and even if they had succeeded, they would but have fitted a handful of boys for a station in life, from which a single reverse of fortune (as it is called) might for ever exclude them.
Yet we shall find, upon enquiry, that our wealthy and intelligent men, whose sons were put upon that elevated, expensive, and probably inappropriate training, were never at the town or district meetings, where the public school-money was raised and apportioned. They took no interest in the appointment of the school commissioners, or the schoolmasters. They never dreamed of going into the schools, after they were established, as citizens and patriots, interested in the welfare of the future possessors of the soil, and inheritors of the richest patrimony that the sun shines upon, to see whether they were conducted wisely and profitably. The language of their conduct was— “I am a rich man. I can provide for the education of my sons among the sons of other rich men. You poor labouring neighbours of mine must get such schools as you can, and get whom you can to oversee and sustain them. It is enough for me that I take care of my own children, and pay my school-tax when the collector calls for it.”
We say this is the construction which the popular mind will put upon their course of proceeding. And then, forsooth, when these same boys come up into the ranks of apprentices and journeymen, without the intelligence or moral restraint which a good education would have supplied, and are found at the head of mobs, and strikes, and trades' unions; speechmakers at riotous assemblies, and ringleaders of agrarian and atheistical clubs; when war is made upon the peace and order of communities, and law, with all its forms, and sanctions, and ministers, is set aside; and especially when the hand of their lawless violence is laid on the mansions, and luxuries, and treasurehouses of the rich; the arm of power must be raised, and held up by military force; the police dockets must be crowded; and,
in the direct and remote influence of such a state of things, our prisons and penitentiaries will overflow, and the public purse be emptied for the support of their degraded and miserable tenants.
And where shall we find the sons of the rich, who, but a little while since, were so well provided for without loss of caste? Are they soberly engaged in some useful and honourable employment-preparing to take the paternal business and estates, and wisely improve them? Or are they at the races, the billiard-rooms, and the brothels—becoming familiar with vice in her most odious and repulsive forms, and wasting, in riot and debauchery, the remnant, perhaps, of a shattered fortune, character, and constitution? The records of our police courts will tell the history of some of them; but the more dreadful and heart-rending history of others will be found written in letters of fire on the scathed and burthened heart of many a tender mother.
But we have done. Our object has been to show that all the children in our land deserve to be well and seasonably educatedthey have a right to expect this at the hands of the governments under which they live, if they are to be held responsible for the discharge of the duties of citizenship. No man can escape from responsibility in this matter. Under such institutions as ours, we stand too near to be independent of each other, or to be indifferent to each other's interests. Not a child can come to years of maturity, uneducated, without harm to us—to you—to the whole republic. The interest of each is the interest of all; and hence we argue the obvious and indispensable duty of every good man in the land to look narrowly into our institutions of popular education, from the lowest to the highest, and do his full share of the labour of raising them to a proper elevation, and sustaining them there—upon the pledge of fortune, honour, and even life itself.
We have already occupied so much of the present number with this subject, that we must be satisfied with a simple introduction to our readers of the two volumes which stand at the head of this article.
Mr. Simpson has evidently examined the subject of popular education in its widest bearings, and with great care. He thinks (and well he may think) that there is, of late, an immense increase of popular power, and an immense extension of popular influence, without a corresponding increase of popular knowledge and virtue. He treats (and, for the most part, with great force and judgment) of the effects of ignorance on the working classes of the community-a distinctive title, by the way, of the appropriateness of which we have grave doubts and he traces to their proper origin the worst of the evils which we are now
suffering in this country from the false and narrow views, taken by the mass of the community, of the principles, relations, and obligations on which the social compact rests. No man can read Mr. Simpson's book without interest and profit; and the practical aspect of most of his positions is a singularly attractive feature of it.
The other is not without much merit, though it seems to have been prepared with less care than some of Mr. Dick's earlier productions. It wants system and arrangement, and this sensibly impairs its value as a manual. It abounds with useful hints, and, as a collection of facts, maxims, and suggestions, is highly valuable. It covers too much ground, however, and rather bewilders us with the variety and multiplicity of the topics of which it treats, than enlightens or guides us in our search for truth and wisdom. Marks of haste in the preparation of the volume frequently
As examples, it may suffice to say that, in the department of sacred geography, he recommends - Wells" as affording all necessary information on the subject, (page 303); and tells us, on the authority of a Mr. Stewart
, that no such custom as paying servants, chambermaids, ostlers, and boot-cleaners prevails in the northern states of America, and that it would be considered, in almost every instance, as an insult to offer such persons a gratuity for performing their duty, (page 411.).
No teacher, of any grade, should suffer Mr. Dick's book to lie unread a single month. It is a professional book. But Mr. Simpson's treatise, while it claims the attention of all classes of the community, is especially commended to those who touch the springs and balances in the machinery of the social state.
ART. IV.-1. Ship and Shore; or, Leaves from the Journal of a
Cruise to the Levant. By an Officer in the United States
Navy. New York: 1835. 2. Visit to Constantinople and Athens. By the Rev. WALTER
COLTON, U. S. N., author of Ship and Shore. New York: 1836.
The subjects of Mr. Colton's two books, though some of them have been much dwelt upon of late, never fail to excite a lively interest in the minds of readers. They commend themselves to the curiosity of mankind at large, as well as to the taste of scholars. Who loves not to read of the ocean, and the mariner's adventures ?-the ocean, with “its countless waves," and its dangers, vicissitudes, and charms, as countless ? The ship, that highest specimen of wonder and art, is not more laden with the varieties of every clime, than identified with the hopes and fears of human beings. We confess, for our own part, that we have never looked over a tolerable description of a prosperous voyage, a sea-fight, an ocean-storm, or a shipwreck, without participating in the delight, excitement, suspense, or despair of the scene, with an intenseness which seemed to us to be surpassed only by that of the persons who acted a part in the adventure, or suffered in the catastrophe. With the inmates of the buoyant structure, we have felt insulated from the rest of the world, and committed, as by the hand of destiny, to the happy or adverse events of the voyage. And then the shore, after the hazards of the deep are over, presents its agreeable and striking contrast. We come, as with our author, to some.“ Atlantic isles," or
range” some " Hesperian field,” and revel in fragrance, beauty, and brightness. Who delights not in these oases of the ocean these resting-places of the swift-winged ships? Presently, Europe breaks upon our view—that old world, where nations lie entombed. Passing at length the Pillars of Hercules, and sailing the sea, whose shores, on either side, exhibit equally the triumphs of early civilization and the ravages of time, we reach the coast of Asia Minor, and find ourselves amidst the scene of the Apocalyptic vision. Soon we gaze at Constantine's second Rome, a brilliant, but fading pageant-we wander over the plain where “fuit Jlium,” if it ever was—then we wind our gladsome way among the green prominences of the Ægeanand finally plant our footsteps on the fields of Marathon, and by the side of the Parthenon. We know that even the common sailor, unlettered as he is, and uninfluenced by the associations of the scholar, bears testimony to the surpassing beauty of these last-named regions. How then must they affect the classical student, whose feet press a soil where nature and art shine