« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »
in the good work. A good beginning has already been made, for no less than three hundred persons had come forward to signify their intention to aid in the project, and they had evinced their sincerity by volunteering, to pay their subscriptions in advance. The honourable gentleman, having observed that he attached great importance to the fact of the rate of subscription for the contemplated Athenæum being very low, as in the case of the Lambeth Institute, exhorted his hearers to unwearying perseverance in the honourable task they had undertaken, and concluded by reminding them that though knowledge was power, ignorance was an antagonistic element of power also, exceedingly dangerous in its character, and which it was essential to the cause of civilisation and enlightenment to combat and to stifle.
Mr. APSLEY PELLATT, in proposing the first resolution, observed that the contemplated institution would be modelled on the plan of Dr. Birkbeck's establishment in Chancery-lane, and that the rate of subscription would not exceed 6d. a week. Several eminent literary men had, with great generosity, volunteered to give lectures gratuitously for a period. He had much pleasure in proposing the following resolution :-“That this meeting, impressed with the importance of the diffusion of knowledge, as tending to the moral and social improvement of all classes, views with extreme pleasure the proposal to establish an institution to be called the “Surrey Athenæum,' such institution to embrace readingroom and library, and to afford opportunities for literary and scientific instruction by lectures and classes, and being convinced of the necessity of the same in this populous district, pledges itself to use every exertion to effect its establishment."
Mr. J. S. BUCKINGHAM seconded the resolution, and dwelt in impressive terms on the necessity and importance of education.
The Rev. J. W. WATKIN alluded to the prospective advantages likely to be realised from the establishment of mechanics' institutes throughout the country, and concluded by moving the next resolution, authorising the appointment of a committee for obtaining patrons, vicepresidents, and subscribers, for engaging suitable premises, and for making, with as little delay as possible, such other arrangements as might be deemed necessary for carrying out the contemplated under taking.
Mr. SIMMONDS seconded the resolution, which was carried unanimously.
Mr. E. WILSON moved the third resolution-" That a subscription be now entered into for defraying the cost of the library, class-rooms, fittings, and other necessary expenses incidental at the commencement of such an institution.” He feared it was but too probable that the reputation which the building in which they were now assembled had unfortunately gained would render it a task of some difficulty to induce persons to subscribe; but when they were informed through the press of the real object now in view, which was one for the social and moral amelioration of the people, he was sure that many well-disposed and liberal-minded persons would cheerfully come forward to aid in the good work. Mr. A. W. HOGGINS seconded the resolution. The SECRETARY having made an announcement to the effect that the subscriptions received in the room amounted to £90, a vote of thanks was passed to the chairman, and the meeting separated.
BRITISH AND FOREIGN INSTITUTE.
At the Soirée held on the evening of July 2nd, a model of Mr. Brett's electric printing telegraph was also produced, and attracted considerable interest, as well by the marvellous mode of its working, as by the vast extent to which it is likely hereafter to be applied. This new and important application of electricity appears to be a considerable im. provement on the system upon which the existing electric telegraphs are constructed, inasmuch as it requires but a single line of wire, and also prints the intelligence which it conveys, without rendering the presence of an attendant necessary to decipher the marks made by it. The manager sits at a board furnished with keys similar to those on a pianoforte, and marked with the letters of the alphabet. Each key, on being touched, suffers a certain number of sparks to pass through the wire, and these, acting on a simple but ingeniou- mechanical contrivance at the other extremity of the line, causes the printing wheel to stamp a similar letter on a card. The plan appears perfectly practicable, and from being peculiarly practicable for oceanic telegraphs, is likely to be soon tried on an extensive scale.
The proceedings were kept up with great spirit till past midnight, and terminated one of the most crowded and brilliant soirées of the season.
THE UXBRIDGE YOUNG MEN'S IMPROVEMENT
"In the first place, we have a committee of twelve persons, chosen every twelve weeks from the list of members, the duty of each being to act as chairman for one week. We find the benefit of this plan to be a greater amount of order and regularity than when there is no one to preside. Our room opens at half-past six, and closes at ten. The routine of spending the time is as follows :-Monday night is devoted to the practice of music, vocal and instrumental—the vocal music according to Hullah's system ; Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday, to reading; Tuesday and Thursday evenings, till nine o'clock, reading, after which, conversation on some given topic. We beg to say that we find the conversation nights to be the most attractive and instructive. The majority wishing to join in the conversation, and not liking to come unprepared, read, and get prepared, and thus a great amount of instruction is communicated; and it frequently happens that different opinions are entertained, thus causing a spirited, and, in our humble opinion, a good discussion. But we must here state, that we carefully exclude all religious controversy and party politics from our room, so that we have in our society persons of almost every persuasion, without any jarring
or unpleasant feeling. We, like the Hampstead Society, pay twopence weekly, which more than covers our regular expenses ; thus showing that working-men can support such societies without assistance. There is a peculiarity in this society that we have not noticed in any other. According to our rules, each chairman is expected to enter in a book, provided for the purpose, a journal of the proceedings of the society during the week he is in office. We find this plan productive of good, not only because we are able to refer to any part of the society's past history, but also because of the improvement in writing, no one liking to write in the society's book unless it be in a fair hand. We have hitherto had quarterly tea-meetings, which we have found exceedingly beneficial in promoting the interests of the society, as it brings all the members together, and gives a warmer tone to the proceedings ; and it would not be egotistical on our part to say, that we have some tolerable speaking on such occasions from persons who could not, six months ago, stand up and say twenty connected words in the shape of a speech. We consider this improvement is owing to our conversation meetings, as all who join in the conversation are expected to do so standing.'
THE INTIMATE CONNEXION BETWEEN PHYSICAL AND
By dwarfing and deforming the body, you mutilate no less the inward than the outward man. Physical education ought to be the foundation of all other education: and, if neglected or thwarted, it is vain to expect any grandeur or harmony of moral and intellectual development.
The Greeks attained their marvellous superiority in all that makes a people truly great, in no ordinary measure, from the natural life that they led-from the admiration that they cherished for physical symmetry and grace—from the attention that they devoted to the culture of the physical powers, so as to make the body the perfect and most flexile instrument of the mind—from existing almost entirely in the open air-and from encouraging and practising every game and exercise that could confer on even the humblest among them some. thing of the vigour of their Hercules, of the dexterity of their Mer. cury, of the beauty of their Apollo, of the majesty of their Jupiter.
So long as the governments of Europe are content to treat the physical education of their subjects as of no importance, so long will these remain immoral and ignorant, even though colleges and schools should cram every corner of the land. A people physically stunted, will be spiritually depraved, even though you make every second man a preacher or a schoolmaster. One principal cause of crime among the excessively indigent classes is, not merely the numerous temptations to which they are exposed, but, in an equal degree, the utter prostration of their corporeal capacities through a long exposure to want, cold, pain, and privation of every kind, which renders them
almost unfit for moral and intellectual progress, even if the worst temptations to which they are liable were withdrawn.
It is notable, also, my friends, that many of the most illustrious men in our own and other countries, have been remarkable for their physical beauty and for their physical strength and accomplishments. How striking are the features, even to him who knows nothing of their works or their history, of the four great Italian poets, Dante, Petrarch, Ariosto, Tasso. That there was as much meaning and poetry in Shakspeare's face as in one of his dramas, I need not inform you, for you all are familiar with its lineaments. His frame also, by its manly energy and its goodly proportions, seems not to have been unworthy of his mind. Milton in his youth was eminent for his beauty, and ex. celled in fencing and in all the accomplishments which were thought to become a gentleman two hundred years ago. Byron likewise was famous as well for his noble countenance, as for his skill in swimming and in other athletic exercises. Goethe, the most celebrated author that Germany has produced, was surpassingly beautiful, with a vigorous constitution, as is proved by the fact that when he died, rather more than a dozen years ago, he had reached the venerable age of eighty-three. The poet Campbell, when a young man, was renowned as much for the attractions of his person as for his “ Pleasures of Hope." Burns, though without pretensions to beauty in the ordinary sense of the word, yet had features that flashed forth all the fire of his soul, and his muscular strength was extraordinary. Walter Scott was tall, strongly formed, and delighted in field sports in which he braced alike his body and his mind. John Wilson, the author of the “Isle of Palms,"-one of the most remarkable men of our time, but who is not so much known as he deserves, whom, however, posterity will compensate for contemporary neglect,-is, whether as to face or form, one of the most beautiful men I have ever seen. And ere age had stiffened his sinews—for I do think it has chilled his blood-there was not a single game, or exercise, or sport, in which he did not surpass every competitor that came before him. In one of Hazlitt's interesting works, it is stated that the distinguished painter, West, who was formerly president of the Royal Academy, remarked, after seeing Napoleon, that he was the best-made man he had ever beheld. How strikingly, how classically beautiful, Buonaparte's features, you all know. I could easily swell my catalogue, my friends, especially if I were to go back to Greece and Rome; but the examples I have given suffice, I think, to establish that there is so close a connexion between the physical development and the moral and intellectual progress of the individual, that the physical education cannot be neglected without perilling the whole man ;-that, consequently, however good the seed you may be disposed to sow in the heart of those who suffer from protracted labour, you have already trampled the soil into utter barrenness by the pertinacious infliction of those numerous physical wrongs which never fail to accompany long hours of business.—Macall's Lecture on the Evils of Protracted Labour.
John Hasler, Printer, 4, Crane-court, Fleet-street.
ON THE CULTIVATION OF THE MIND. I lay it down as a first principle in the cultivation of the mind, that there can be no intellectual progress without studyan earnest, diligent, persevering application of the mental faculties. This is the only effectual means of making the mind powerful in itself. Mere accumulation of knowledge is not the thing most desirable. It is strength of mind : it is discipline more than acquisition. The faculties of the mind bear a close analogy to the powers of the physical frame. The muscles can acquire strength, firmness, and endurance, only on the condition of continual exercise. It is in vain that you nourish the body with the greatest variety of the most luxurious food. Sickness will be produced, not health ; weakness, not strength ; unless there goes with it powerful action-continual exercise. So mere desultory and miscellaneous reading is more apt to be pernicious than useful. It is more likely to enervate than strengthen the mind. Hence it is, that we often see intellectual and strong-minded men who have scarcely ever read a book. They have read men and things, not books, in this great world. What they have seen and experienced in life has been thoroughly digested by meditation, and been wrought into the very texture of a powerful and vigorous mind. On the presentation of a new subject (which, after all, is the test of a sound education), such a mind grasps it with a firm and tenacious hold. It sees what there is in it; it detects its strong and its weak points ; it is able to make up a solid judgment, to decide with promptness, and act with energy. Education is not a holiday dress to be put on only to shine and to dazzle: it is an armour of strong defence and solid weapons,