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which Mr. Greeley himself would hardly make bold to call in question; while, on the other hand, it would appear to him that any man not naturally an idiot is capable of being instructed in the cultivation of potatoes, as the example of the Irish peasantry fully shows, who excel in that cultivation, though very poorly off for intellectual endowments. Hence the conclusion would not unnaturally follow, that the knowledge of Greek and Hebrew was in itself a stronger evidence of a man's being something out of the common than the knowledge of raising potatoes, and therefore more valuable to a man in giving him a start in life.
Further, as education must be admitted, from the nature of the case, to have some effect on the material subjected to its influence, our reader will be induced to ask, how far the study of Greek and Hebrew, on the one hand, and the learning to raise potatoes on the other, respectively improve a man or a nation, morally or mentally. And here, I think, the result of his investigations will be, that the study of Greek and Hebrew has been generally allowed to improve the intellectual faculties—what faculties it improves, or to what extent, may be a mooted point, but that it does improve some of them, and in some appreciable degree, is almost universally conceded, and that nations famous for their knowledge of Greek, such as the Germans and English, hold a high intellectual rank in other respects ; whereas in the culture of potatoes there is nothing that necessarily improves a man intellectually or morally, and in the case of a nation devoted to it, the Irish aforesaid for instance, it has been
allowed on all bands to retard the moral, mental, and even physical improvement of the nation ; so that here again he will be apt to conclude that the Greek and Hebrew have the best of it.
But there is another light in which the student may view the question.
look at it as a mere matter of dollars, and those dollars gained by no indirect process, but the immediate fruit of the two pursuits. To be sure this is a dreadfully low way of regarding the subject, but we had better come down to it for the satisfaction of those who profess to be nothing if not practical. Even weighed in this balance, I think the Greek will preponderate over the potatoes. Putting out of the question any other mode of " realizing" his literary acquisitions, a good scholar can always get his living as a teacher; I do not say a thoroughly
Ι comfortable living or as good a living as he ought to have in all cases, but a better living than a man can get by raising potatoes; and in any civilized country can command the services of more than one potatoe-raiser. Many a scholar may have difficulty in helping himself in some of the most ordinary occurrences of every-day life, and still be driving a very lucrative trade by his scholarship. I knew a Senior Wrangler so green in all apparatus relative to horses, that once when we were riding out together and his curb-chain unfastened, he very soberly set to work to refasten it over the animal's nose ; but this very man was making more money at the time than the sharpest hostler at the most frequented livery stable ever did.
And this brings on one question more; in what condition of society will the knowledge of raising potatoes be of more pecuniary advantage to its possessor and more value to the community generally than the knowledge of Greek and Hebrew ? And the answer is most obvious : in the very first and primitive stage—in an unsettled country—in the backwoods of a newly discovered territory-among that shipwrecked crew on a desert island whom Locke took as an example of his fancied “state of nature.” There all men are hewers of wood and drawers of water, tillers of the soil, shooters of wild beasts or savages. There all elegancies of mind or body are out of place and premature, because every one's attention is absorbed in satisfying the immediate wants of life. There the confectioner and the scholar, the French milliner and the German metaphysician are alike useless drones; the carpenter is a prince (as he was in Homer's time), and the historical painter cumbereth the earth. There and there only is Mr. Greeley's assertion a correct one.
By the time the student has carried his speculations thus far he will be able to appreciate pretty correctly the comparative value of the Greek preferred by his humble servant the author, and the potatoe-raising commended by Mr. Greeley; and he will also have had a neat illustration of a position maintained by many wise and good men—that Socialism tends to put the lowest kind of work above the highest, and therefore, so far from advancing, as it pretends to do, the course of civilization, goes directly to pervert and retard it, and to throw the world back to the ages of barbarism.
Returning from this partial digression and turning to a much higher being in the scale of animated nature than Mr. Greeley, we find this idea in the lectures of Professor Maurice, of the London University; that from all the various systems and definitions of education ever proposed may be evolved three distinct doctrines ; the first, that the end of education is development of the faculties ; the second, that it is the restraint of certain faculties; the third, that it is the giving of information.* (This is not the order in which he enumerates them, but as it is their historical order, I prefer stating them so.) For illustrations of these three principles carried out purely—so far as it is possible to keep them unmixed-he refers to Athens, Sparta, and the modern Utilitarian school.
This division I am disposed to accept as an important first step in our investigation.
The first and second of these principles appear to be in direct contradiction, but it is the first and third which really clash, for the second looks chiefly to a particular set of faculties, different from those which are the main object of the first. In other words the idea of development has more reference to our intellectual ; that of restraint more to our moral education. As a general rule there are more mental faculties that require developing, and more moral propensities that require restraining. The illustrations chosen by the Professor show this ; the Athenian education wonderfully sharpened the intellect at the expense of the morals, the Spartan education left the intellect untouched; it is no exaggeration to say of the Lacedemonians that they were illiterate on principle ; whatever in their education was not physical, was moral. Such being the case, I put out of question for the present the second principle, not because a man's moral nature is not, in my estimation, of infinitely more importance than his intellectual, but for the same reason that in examining the other two principles I shall set aside the questions of physical development and of information on subjects pertaining expressly to the physique of the student, although I hold that the body is the very first thing to be attended to, for if a man's body is not in good working condition, he will seldom be able to apply himself so as to improve his mind to the best advantage; and if his physique is much out of order, his morale is very apt to be injuriously affected. But I regard the improvement and education of the mind as the special business of a College or University ; just as I would say that the special business of one particular Faculty—a Law school, for instance, is to teach law; and I should expect the graduates of a given College or University to be men of more intellectual power and refinement than the mass of the community ; if they were not, I should immediately conclude there was something wrong in the University course ; but if they were not stronger or healthier, or more moral men than the rest of the community, I do not say that I should be perfectly satisfied, but I should be inclined to withhold my censure so long as they did
* See his Lectures on Education ; first Lecture or Chapter.