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Alas! my friends, how I flattered myself at one time with the deceitful hope of always living on this earth! how magnificent were the cells I had hollowed out for myself! what confidence did I put in the firmness of my limbs, and in the elasticity of their joints, and in the strength of my wings! But I have lived long enough for nature and for glory, and none of those I leave bebind me will have that same satisfaction in the century of darkness and decay that I see about to begin.
VERPLANCK. Mr. VERPLANCK is a living American writer, who, like many of the most distinguished authors and scholars of the United States, has filled situations of political responsibility.
It has been to me a source of pleasure, though a melancholy ope, that in rendering this public tribute to the worth of our departed friend, the respectable members of two bodies, one of them the most devoted and efficient in its scientific enquiries, the other comprising so many names eminent for philanthropy and learning, have met to do honour to the memory of a Schoolmaster.
There are prouder themes for the eulogist than this. The praise of the statesman, the warrior, or the orator, furnish more splendid topics for ambitious eloquence; but no theme can be more rich in desert, or more fruitful in public advantage.
The enlightened liberality of many of our state governments (amongst which we may claim a proud distinction for our own) by extending the common school system over their whole population, has brought elementary education to the door of every family. In this State, it appears from the Annual Reports of the Secretary of the State, there are, besides the fifty incorporated academies and numerous private schools, about nine thousand school districts, in each of which instruction is regularly given. These contain at present half a million of children taught in the single State of New York. To these may be added nine or ten thousand more youth in the higher seminaries of learning, exclusive of the colleges.
Of what incalculable influence, then, for good or for evil, upon the dearest interests of society, must be the estimate entertained for the character of this great body of teachers, and the consequent respectability of the individuals who compose it?
At the recent general election in this State, the votes of above three hundred thousand persons were taken. In thirty years the great majority of these will have passed away; their rights will be exercised, and their duties assumed by those very children, whose minds are now open to receive their earliest and most durable impressions from the ten thousand schoolmasters of this State.
What else is there in the whole of our social system of such extensive and powerful operation on the national character ? There is one other influence more powerful, and but one. It is that of the MOTHER. The forms of a free government, the provisions of wise legislation, the schemes of the statesman, the sacrifices of the patriot, are as nothing compared with these. If the future citizens of our republic are to be worthy of their rich inheritance, they must be made so principally through the virtue and intelligence of their mothers, It is in the school of maternal tenderness that the kind affections must be first roused and made habitual—the early sentiment of piety awakened and rightly directed—the sense of duty and moral responsibility unfolded and enlightened. But next in rank and in efficacy to that pure and holy source of moral influence is thất of the schoolmaster. It is powerful already. What would it be if in every one of those school districts which we now count by annually increasing thousands, there were to be found one teacher well-informed without pedantry, religious without bigotry or fanaticism, proud and fond of his profession, and honoured in the discharge of its duties! How wide would be the intellectual, the moral influence of such a body of men! Many such we have already amongst us--men humbly wise and obscurely useful, whom poverty cannot depress, nor neglect degrade. But to raise up a body of such men, as numerous as the wants and the dignity of the country demand, their labours must be fitly remunerated, and themselves and their calling cherished and honoured.
The schoolmaster's occupation is laborious and ungrateful; its rewards are scanty and precarious. He may indeed be, and he ought to be, animated by the consciousness of doing good, that best of all VOL. I.
consolations, that noblest of all motives. But that, too, must be often clouded by doubt and uncertainty. Obscure and inglorious as his daily occupation may appear to learned pride or worldly ambition, yet to be truly successful and happy, he must be animated by the spirit of the same great principles which inspired the most illustrious benefactors of mankind. If he bring to his task high talent and rich acquirements, he must be content to look into distant years for the proof that his labours have not been wasted—that the good seed which he daily scatters abroad does not fall on stony ground and wither away, or among thorns to be choked by the cares, the delusions, or the vices of the world. He must solace his toils with the same prophetic faith that enabled the greatest of modern philosophers, amidst the neglect or contempt of his own times, to regard himself as sowing the seeds of truth for posterity and the care of Heaven. He must arm himself against disappointment and mortification, with a portion of that same noble confidence which soothed the greatest of modern poets when weighed down by care and danger, by poverty, old age, and blindness, still
He must know, and he must love to teach his pupils, not the meagre elements of knowledge, but the secret and the use of their own intellectual strength, exciting and enabling them hereafter to raise for themselves the veil which covers the majestic form of Truth. He must feel deeply the reverence due to the youthful mind fraught with mighty though undeveloped energies and affections, and mysterious and eternal destinies. Thence he must have learnt to reverence himself and his profession, and to look upon its otherwise illrequited toils as their own exceeding great reward.
If such are the difficulties and the discouragements — such the duties, the motives, and the consolations of teachers who are worthy of that name and trust, how imperious then the obligation upon every enlightened citizen who knows and feels the value of such men to aid them, to cheer them, and to honour them!
But let us not be content with barren honour to buried merit. Let us prove our gratitude to the dead by faithfully endeavouring to
elevate the station, to enlarge the usefulness, and to raise the character of the schoolmaster amongst us. Thus shall we best testify our gratitude to the teachers and guides of our own youth, thus best serve our country, and thus, most effectually, diffuse over our land light, and truth, and virtue.
69.-APOPHTHEGMS.—III. REAL COURAGE.--I have read of a bird, which hath a face like, and yet will prey upon, a man ; who coming to the water to drink, and finding there by reflection, that he had killed one like himself, pineth away by degrees, and never afterwards enjoyeth itself. Such is in some sort the condition of Sir Edward Harwood. This accident, that he had killed one in a private quarrel, put a period to his carnal mirth, and was a covering to his eyes all the days of his life. No possible provocations could afterwards tempt him to a duel ; and no wonder that one's conscience loathed that whereof he had surfeited. He refused all challenges with more honour than others accepted them ; it being well known, that he would set his foot as far in the face of his enemy as any man alive.-FULLER. Worthies.--Article, Lincolnshire.
PRECOCIOUS INTELLIGENCE.—Four merchants were sharers in a sum of a thousand pieces of gold, which they had mixed together, and put into one purse, and they went with it to purchase merchandise, and, finding in their way a beautiful garden, they entered it, and left the purse with a woman who was the keeper of that garden. Having entered, they diverted themselves in a tract of the garden, and ate and drank, and were happy; and one of them said, “I have with me some perfume. Come, let us wash our heads with this running water; and perfume ourselves.” Another said, “We want a comb." And another said, “We will ask the keeper; perhaps she hath with her a comb.” And upon this, one of them rose and went to the keeper, and said to her, “Give me the purse.” She replied, “When ye all present yourselves, or thy companions order me to give it thee.” Now his companions were in a place where the keeper could see them, and she could hear their words. And the man said to his companions, “ She is not willing to give me aught.” So they said to her, “ Give him.” And when she heard their words, she gave him the purse ; and he went forth fleeing from them. Therefore when he bad wearied them by the length of his absence, they came to the keeper, and said to her, “ Wherefore didst thou not give him the comb?" And she replied, “He demanded of me nothing but the purse, and I gave it not to him save with your permission, and he hath departed hence and gone his way." And when they heard the words of the keeper, they slapped their faces, and seized her with their hands, saving to her, “ We gave thee not permission save to give the comb.” She replied, “ He did not mention to me a comb." And they seized her and took her up to the Kádee; and when they presented themselves before him, they stated to him the case; whereupon he bound the keeper to restore the purse, and bound a number of her debtors to be answerable for her.
So she went forth perplexed, not knowing her way; and there met her a boy, whose age was five years; and when the boy saw her so perplexed, he said to her, “ What is the matter, O my mother ? ” But she returned him not an answer, despising him on account of the smallness of his age. And he repeated his question to her a first, a second, and a third time. So at length she told him what had happened to her. And the boy said to her, “ Give me a piece of silver that I may buy some sweetmeats with it, and I will tell thee something by which thine acquittance may be effected.” The keeper therefore gave him a piece of silver, asking him, “ What hast thou to say?" And the boy answered her, “ Return to the Kádee, and say to him, it was agreed between me and them that I should not give them the purse save in the presence of all the four.” So the keeper returned to the Kádee, and said to him as the boy had told her; upon which the Kádee said to the three men, “ Was it thus agreed between you and her ?” They answered, “ Yes.” And the Kádee said to them, “ Bring to me your companion and take the purse." Thus the keeper went forth free, no injury befalling her, and she went her way.-LANE. Notes to Arabian Nights.
DR. KETTLE.—Mr. - one of the fellows, (in Mr. Francis Potter's time,) was wont to say that Dr. Kettle's brain was like a hasty-pudding, where there was memory, judgment, and fancy, all stirred together. He had all these faculties in great measure, but they were all so jumbled together. If you had to do with him, taking him for a fool, you would have found in him great subtilty and reach : è contra if you treated with him as a wise man, you would have mistaken him for a fool. A