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science has now left her retreats, her shades, her selected company of votaries, and with familiar tone, begun the work of instructing the race. Through the press, discoveries and theories, once the monopoly of philosophers, have become the property of the multitude. Its professors, heard, not long ago, in the university or some narrow school, now speak in the Mechanics’ Institute. The doctrine that the labourer should understand the principles of his art, should be able to explain the laws and processes which he turns to account; that instead of working as a machine, he should join intelligence to his toil, is no longer listened to as a dream. Science, once the greatest of distinctions, is becoming popular. A lady gives us conversations on chemistry, revealing to the minds of our youth vast laws of the universe, which, fifty years ago, had not dawned on the greatest minds. The school-books of our children contain grand views of the creation. There are parts of our country (the United States) in which lyceums spring up in almost every village, for the purpose of mutual aid in the study of natural science. The characteristic of our age, then, is not the improvement of science, rapid as this is, so much as its extension to all men.
The same characteristic will appear, if we inquire into the use now made of science. Is it simply a matter of speculation ? a topic of discourse ? an employment of the intellect? In this case, the multitude, with all their means of instruction, would find in it only a hurried gratification. But one of the distinctions of our time is, that science has passed from speculation into life. Indeed it is not pursued enough for its intellectual and contemplative uses. It is sought as a mighty power, by which nature is not only to be opened to thought, but to be subjected to our needs. It is conferring on us that dominion over earth, sea, and air, which was prophesied in the first command given to man by his Maker; and this dominion is now employed, not to exalt a few, but to multiply the comforts and ornaments of life for the multitude of men. Science has become an inexhaustible mecha. nician ; and by her forges, and mills, and steam cars, and printers' presses, is bestowing on millions, not only comforts, but luxuries which were once the distinction of a few.
Another illustration of the tendency of science to expansion and universality may be found in its aims and objects. Science has burst all bonds, and is aiming to comprehend the universe, and thus it multiplies fields of inquiry for all orders of minds. There is no province of nature which it does not invade. Not content with exploring the darkest periods of human history, it goes behind the birth of the human race, and studies the stupendous changes which our globe experienced for hundreds of centuries, to become prepared for, man's abode. Not content with researches into visible nature, it is putting forth all its energies to detect the laws of invisible and imponderable matter. Difficulties only provoke it to new efforts. It would lay open the secrets of the polar ocean, and of untrodden barbarous lands. Above all, it investigates the laws of social progress, of arts, and institutions of government, and political economy, proposing as its great end the alleviation of all human burdens, the weal of all the members of the human race. In truth, nothing is more characteristic of our age than the vast range of inquiry which is opening more and more to the multitude of men. Thought frees the old bounds to which men used to confine themselves. It holds nothing too sacred for investigation. It calls the past to account; and treats hoary opinions as if they were of yesterday's growth. No reverence drives it back. No great name terrifies it. The foundations of what seems most settled must be explored. Undoubtedly this is a perilous tendency. Men forget the limits of their powers. They question the infinite, the unsearchable, with an audacious self-reliance. They shock pious and revering minds, and rush into an extravagance of doubt, more unphilosophical and foolish than the weakest credulity. Still, in this dangerous wildness, we see what I am stating, the tendency to expansion in the movements of thought.
I have hitherto spoken of science, and what is true of science is still more true of literature. Books are now placed within reach of all. Works, once too costly except for the opulent, are now to be found on the labourer's shelf. Genius sends its light into cottages. The great names of literature are become household words among the crowd. Every party, religious or political, scatters its sheets on all the winds. We may lament, and too justly, the small comparative benefit as yet accomplished by this agency; but this ought not to surprise or discourage us. In our present stage of improvement, books of little worth, deficient in taste and judgment, and ministering to men's prejudices and passions, will almost certainly be circulated too freely. Men are never very wise and select in the exercise of a new power. Mistake, error, is the discipline through which we advance. It is an undoubted fact, that, silently, books of a higher order are taking place of the worthless. Happily, the instability of the human mind works sometimes for good, as well as evil, men grow tired at length even of amusements. Works of fiction cease to interest them, and they turn from novels to books, which, having their origin in deep principles of our nature, retain their hold of the human mind for ages. At any rate, we see in the present diffusion of literature the tendency to universality of which I have spoken.
The remarks now made on literature, might be extended to the fine arts. In these we see, too, the tendency to universality. It is said, that the spirit of the great artists has died out; but the taste for their works is spreading. By the improvements of engraving, and the invention of casts, the genius of the great masters is going abroad. Their conceptions are no longer pent up in galleries open to but few, but meet us in our homes, and are the household pleasures of millions. Works, designed for the halls and eyes of emperors, popes and nobles, find their way, in no poor representations, into humble dwellings, and sometimes give a consciousness of kindred powers to the child of poverty. The art of drawing, which lies at the foundation of most of the fine arts, and is the best education of the eye for nature, is becoming a branch of common education, and in some countries is taught in schools to which all classes are admitted.
I am reminded, by this remark, of the most striking feature of our times, and showing its tendency to universality, and that is, the unparalleled and constantly accelerated diffusion of education. This greatest of arts, as yet little understood, is making sure progress, because its principles are more and more sought in the common nature of man; and the great truth is spreading, that every man has a right to its aid. Accordingly, education is becoming the work of nations. Even in the despotic governments of Europe, schools are open for every child without distinction; and not only the elements of reading and writing, but music and drawing are taught, and a foundation is laid for future progress in history, geography, and physical science. The greatest minds are at work on popular education. The revenues of states are applied most liberally, not to the universities for the few, but to the common schools. Undoubtedly, much remains to be done; especially a new rank in society is to be given to the teacher; but even in this respect a revolution has commenced, and we are beginning to look on the guides of the young as the chief benefactors of mankind.
Thus, we see in the intellectual movements of our times, the tendency to expansion, to universality; and this must continue. It is not an accident, or an inexplicable result, or a violence on nature; it is founded in eternal truth. Every mind was made for growth, for knowledge; and its nature is sinned against, when it is doomed to ignorance. The divine gift of intelligence was bestowed for higher uses than bodily labour, than to make hewers of wood, drawers of water, ploughmen, or servants. Every being, so gifted, is intended to acquaint himself with God and his works, and to perform wisely and disinterestedly the duties of life. Accordingly, when we see the multitude of men beginning to thirst for knowledge, for intellectual action, for something more than an animal life, we see the great design of Nature about to be accomplished; and society, having received this impulse, will never rest till it shall have taken such a form as will place within every man's reach the means of intellectual culture. This is the revolution to which we are tending: and without this, all outward political changes would be but children's play, leaving the great work of society yet to be done.
ARNOLD. [The opinions of so eminent a man as the late Dr. Arnold on Classical Education must always command the attention of every candid inquirer. Those who advocate the general Education of the People are somewhat too apt to say that Latin and Greek are useless things. There cannot, in our view, be a greater instance of narrow-mindedness. It is the abuse of the study of Latin and Greek that alone is to be condemned. Arnold was the model of a sensible teacher: and the following extract from an account of his own school at Rugby, which he published in the Quarterly Journal of Education,' in 1834, puts this question of Classical Education on the surest footing. Thomas Arnold was born at Cowes, in the Isle of Wight, in 1795; he died of spasm of the heart in 1842; having devoted the greater part of his useful life to the instruction of the young. As an author he is best known by his · Roman History.' But the great beauty of his character was never generally understood till the publication of his · Life and Correspondence. The following account of his mode of living at Laleham, where he received private pupils from 1819 to 1828, is from the pen of one of those pupils :-and it eminently shows the great cause of Arnold's unrivalled success as the Head Master of a Public School, in which capacity he closed his too short career :
“ The most remarkable thing which struck me at once on joining the Laleham circle was, the wonderful healthiness of tone and feeling which prevailed in it. Everything about me I immediately found to be most real; it was a place where a new-comer at once felt that a great and earnest work was going forward. Dr. Arnold's great power as a private tutor resided in this, that he gave such an intense earnestness to life. Every pupil was made to feel that there was a work for him to do—that his happiness as well as his duty lay in doing that work well. Hence, an indescribable zest was communicated to a young man's feelings about life; a strange joy came over him on discovering that he had the means of being useful, and thus of being happy; and a deep respect and ardent attachment sprang up towards him who had taught him thus to value life and his ownself, and his work and mission in this world. All this was founded on the breadth and comprehensiveness of Arnold's character, as well as its striking truth and reality; on the unfeigned regard he had for work of all kinds, and the sense he had of its value both for the complex aggregate of society and the growth and perfection of the individual. Thus, pupils of the most different natures were keenly stimulated: none felt that he was left out, or that, because he was not endowed with large powers of mind, there was no sphere open to him in the honourable pursuit of usefulness. This wonderful power of making all his pupils respect themselves, and in awakening in them a consciousness of the duties that God had assigned to them personally, and of the consequent reward each should have of his labours, was one of Arnold's most characteristic features as a trainer of youth; he possessed it eminently at Rugby; but, if I may trust my own vivid recollections, he had it quite as remarkably at Laleham. His hold over all his pupils I know perfectly astonished me. It was not so much an enthusiastic admiration for his genius, or learning, or eloquence which stirred within them; it was a sympathetic thrill, caught from a spirit that was earnestly at work in the world-whose work was healthy, sustained, and constantly carried forward in the fear of God—a work which was founded on a deep sense of its duty and its value; and was coupled with such a true humility, such an unaffected simplicity, that others could not help being invigorated by the same feeling, and with the belief that they too in their measure could go and do likewise,