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their end only, as more malleably subservient to them than the metals which they forge. But if we believe in the diversities of human intellect, that there lie deep in it the elements of various power, that education, as the word intends, is the appointed mode of drawing forth its mined stores, then, the system of batons and signals, —the fugle management of all, nothing discriminated, nothing adapted,—can only miserably fail in every exalted purpose, securing but the living machine and debased instrument. We seek to raise the individual, and also the nation, to “glory and virtue,” to “honour and immortality,” to “a heavenly calling,” to “a divine nature.” Training is a sorry word for such a destiny. A nobler evolution is supposed: a more celestial impulse is required. It is not an argument to be endured, that a quietness, that even a contentment, is engendered by this policy. This effect is not denied. But it is Oriental stillness. It is Chinese death. It is the destruction of whatever is peculiar to man. If all that is to be hoped of him, if all that can be attempted for him, be this acquiescence, we cannot impeach the means by which this end is attained. We, however, believe that there is an end far more glorious to which he is called. If it be to think, to act independently, to reason into things, to carry out influence upon others, such means can no longer subserve it. They resemble instruments which can effect great changes in insensate matter; but which can have no power over mental conviction and motive. Unthinking man may be happy, but not so thoroughly as the brute which is incapable of thinking: we desire thinking man to be happy, which he can only be by rising above the brute in the proportion to his capacity of thought. Nor can we imagine that the labourer will be the worse mechanic because he reasons. Even should he, like the bell-founder of Schiller's Lay, sing the very prophecy of his work, foreboding its alarum and knell, hailing its joy-peals and festive chimes,—the metal need not be, on that account, carelessly composed, nor the cone be misshapenly cast. In the classical ages of Greece and Rome, though the gymnastic exercises were recommended, they do not seem to have been enjoined. They were extolled, but not imposed. These and music were the rudiments of education. We know that the instruction of youth was most carefully studied, that the science of education was most diligently prosecuted; but government did not affect to legislate upon it. Once, and, perhaps, only once, was the liberty of teaching revoked. This is a sufficient proof that it was an understood and admitted right. In the 116th Olympiad, the period of • Polyperchon, a decree was passed in Athens, by which teachers were forbidden to set up any school, unless the liberty of doing so had been granted by the senate and people. A certain Sophocles, the son of Amphicileda, bears the execrable credit of instigating it. The very next year it was annulled, and its author was accused, by Philo, of a wicked outrage on the laws, and amerced in five talents, though Demochares, the nephew of Demosthenes, pleaded his cause. That interval which saw the suppression of educational liberty, was marked by the indignant retirement of Theophrastus, and the other philosophers, from the city.* It is recorded, that during the consulate of Caius Fannius, Strabo, and of Cnoeus Domitius Ahenobarbus, (A.U. C. 630,) a persecution arose against the philosophers, some accounts say, the Rhetoricians, and others, the Epicureans. But their perfect liberty would not have been denied, save on the allegation, that they were the corrupters of youth, to which their methods and opinions lent at least some colour of probability.f How pleasing are the touches of domestic tenderness and order, which some incidental passage, in a classical author, unfolds, as marking the Roman com
* Bergmann. The author has done his utmost to obtain this work. He has failed. He is compelled to do that which he most dislikes, quote a quotation. He finds, however, the following account of the same fact in the Biographie Universelle: “Pour 1 atteindre plus surement, et lui öter les moyens d’une juste défense, une loi ferma toutes les écoles, et interdit aux philosophes d'enseigner, soit publiquement, soit en particulier. En un instant, Athènes fut privée de toutes les voies de l’ instruction. Les philosophes s' éloignerent le même jour; les rhéteurs seuls eurent le privilège demeurer. L’effet de cette loi dura un an : elle fut alors rapportée, et son auteur condamné à une amende de cinq talents. Les philosophes rentrèrent aussitót dans Athènes.”
t Aulus Gellius, lib. xv. cap. 11. The author of the Attic Nights is evidently wrong in conjoining the name of Messala with Strabo.
mon life. We are accustomed to think of it only in its severer forms. We call up before our minds unrelenting sternness and stoicism. But the parental character was not despoiled of its nature. It was beheld in the most ardent desire to train offspring for all social duties. While it assiduously prepared them for the State, it resigned not that business to it. Thus, in the Adelphi of Terence, the wit of Syrus does not hide from us the parental influence in education: “Ut quisque suum vult esse, ita est.” Nor does the weakness of Demea conceal the indefatigable earnestness of that influence:
“Nil praetermitto: consuefacio: denique
An education not provided in this manner, an apparatus set up independently of all popular choice and control, can never be valued as it must be to be availing. If it be presented as a dole and boon, it will be depreciated by those who see in it no kind motive. If it be enforced by payments, the exaction will irritate the more that it is irresponsibly applied. The party stands neither in the capacity of the beneficiary nor the creditor. He must receive and he must contribute. It is well known that the simple gift is rarely estimated. Sweet is the bread of care. The proceeds of labour inspire a delightful independence. How many a Bible is treasured, towards which the little weekly instalment was devoted ! How manly is the feeling of many a frugal swain when he accounts with the village schoolmaster for the humble tuition of his children | An eleemosynary education, or that which is eked out by compulsory pittance, will never warm the heart into gratitude. In such a scheme of national instruction there is a boasted uniformity. But this is a property which eats out the core, which destroys the life, of every scheme of honourable competition. Repetition convicts no error, experiment opens no truth. The mind of every child is to be impressed in the same way. The next generation is to beat time to the step of this. But far different is the earnestness of the voluntary education for which we plead. The private teacher owes his success to studious thought and constant self-improvement. He must compare his plans. He must divine his pupils. He must revise his proceedings. He must advance with others. If he pause, he will lose the race. Education is his commodity and he must ply it. Empiricism will not be the unlikely consequence of this rivalry; but his greatest mistake cannot be so unsuitable as the success, his lowest effect cannot be so superficial as the triumph, of a national education. It is argued, with much of the air of an afterthought, that if little be achieved by this method in
* “Parents make the character of the child.”
+ “I omit nothing: I am always teaching: my chief injunction is, that he look into the lives of all, as in a mirror, and out of them select a pattern for himself.”—Act 3, sc. 4.