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XVI. FREE ACADEMY AT NORWICH, CONN.
We continue in this number, the account of the inauguration of the Free Academy at Norwich, because the liberality of the founders, and the suggestions made by the speakers on the occasion, are worthy of the attention, of all interested in the establishment and organization of schools of this class.
The Norwich FREE ACADEMY occupies a central and eligible site.
The Grounds comprise an area of about six acres, perfectly level in front, and terminating in the rear in a beautiful and elevated woodland.
The Academy building is a brick structure 87 feet in length by 77 in width, three stories high, with a projection in front of 24 by 12 feet, surmounted by a tower or observatory. The basement is dry and will finish 12 feet in the clear.
In the BASEMENT, beside the rooms for furnaces and coal, there will be two play-rooms for wet weather, each 40 by 51 seet, with a Chemical Laboratory 30 feet by 19, connected by stairs with the Philosophical Lecture room on the first floor.
On the First Floor there are, as will be seen from the Engraving, three entrances. Two of these are appropriated to the scholars, one to each sex. They open into spacious dressing rooms 19 by 15 feet, and are supplied with wash-bowls set in marble, looking-glasses, and such other conveniences as are essential to cieanliness and comfort. The front entrance opens into a hall 12 feet in width, and extending through the entire building. On either side of this spacious hall are the Philosophical Lecture-room and the Library-each 51 feet by 34.
The Library has been fitted up in chaste and elegant style, and endowed with a fund of $5,000 by Mrs. Harriet Peck Williams, which, in honor of her father, the late Capt. Bela Peck, she denominates the Peck LIBRARY.
The Philosophical room is well furnished and a good foundation has been laid in a choice selection of apparatus, manufactured by E. S. Ritchie, of Boston.
On the Second Floor there is a school-room, 81 feet by 51, capable of liberally accommodating 200 pupils; two recitation rooms each 19 feet by 15, and the Principal's room 28 feet by 18.
On the Third Floor the arrangement of rooms is the same as on the second. It is used at present as a hall for the public exercises of the Academy.
The building is warmed by furnaces and ample provision is made for ventila ion.
The building is supplied with water by an aqueduct from a spring on the elevated ground in the rear, and is lighted by gas.
The cost of the building, furniture, and apparatus, exclusive of the lot was about $37,000.
The architect was Evan Burdick, Esq., of Norwich.
A.--Teachers' Entrance B.--Boys' Hall. C.-Girls' Hall. D.--Boys' Clothes-room. E. Girls' F.-Lecture Room. G.-Library H.-Hall. 1.-Platform. a. a.-Stairs, 6.6.-Wash-stands. C.C.C.-Porches. d.d.-Teachers' Closets. 2.—Laboratory Stairs. f.-Ventiducts. g.g.-Seats. h.-Iron Columns. i.-Apparatus. k.-Book Case.
REMARKS AT THE INAUGURATION OF THE NORWICH FREE
Rev. Dr. Wayland, late President of Brown University, remarked in substance as follows:
I have been impressed during the delivery of the address to which we have listened, with the truth and beauty of those words of Christ, “It is more blessed to give than to receive.” Who of these donors does not to-day feel amply repaid for all that he has given to this Institution? Who would cancel the gift, if he could? We hear much of investments. In the language of the stanzas which have been read,
li There's many kinds of stock, they say,
That tempt the speculators ;-) Some of these stocks are permanent investments, sinking the capital far out of sight. Sometimes we doubt the character of this sort of proper. ty. Sometimes we have high confidence. But who doubts the character of this stock? Would any of the gentlemen who have contributed to these funds, with the scenes of this day around them, with this noble monument of their liberality before them, and in the enjoyment of the rich satisfaction they are now experiencing, exchange the investment made here for the best stock in the market ? Have you not proved it to be more blessed to give than to receive ?
I regard this enterprise as important in a moral point of view. It is a great example. Young men are here to-day who are learning from it the true use of wealth. And so long as the Institution stands, it will continue to teach the same lesson. It is a magnificent instance of liber. ality, and while it challenges admiration, will compel imitation.
In respect to the literary and educational relations of the enterprise it is hardly possible to be extravagant. The Institution is of great importance both in its connections with the schools below it, and the institutions above it, and in the influence it will exert both in this town and elsewhere. All the friends of educational progress must rejoice in its establishment.
I regard with special interest the announcement that young men are to be fitted here for the practical employments of life. Perhaps I entertain peculiar views on this subject of practical education. I look upon the practical arts as a great triumph of the human intellect. We hear much of the genius exhibited in poetry. Our admiration for this sort of talent is legitimate. We do well to revere the genius of Milton and Dante and Gæthe. But there is talent in a cotton-mill as well as in an epic. And I have often been deeply impressed as I have stood in the midst of its clattering machinery, with the thought, -How great an expenditure of mind has been required to produce those spindles and looms and engines !
Besides we shall do well to remember that the agencies which have revolutionized society and advanced civilization, have been inventions in the mechanical arts. I rejoice therefore that the studies in this
No. 8.—[VOL. III., No. 1.]-13
school are to be, in part at least, of a practical cast. It will do a great and noble work if it shall foster and develop practical genius to be engaged upon practical things.
You are to have a library also. I rejoice in this. I regard it a very important feature in the enterprise. With the endowment you have secured you will be able to make a choice collection of books. The influence of such a library as you will establish here, will be most happy, not only upon the students in the Institution but upon the community at large.
Upon a review of the whole enterprise, in all its parts, my confidence in it is confirmed, and my hopes of its future usefulness are strengthened; and I close as I commenced, sure of your hearty response to the sentiment—“It is more blessed to give than to receive.”
PRESIDENT WOOLSEY, of Yale College, New Haven.
Mr. Chairman :-I spent my time this morning, in wandering over your beautiful city, and found that it is hard to get to the jail, but easy to get to the schools. This I believe, is, and will be symbolical of the character of Norwich. It will be hard for any of its inhabitants to get to jail and easy to go to school. To such a people I do feel it to be inappropriate for me to offer my advice. I think rather, that I am called here as a person concerned in one of the highest institutions of learning in the state, to express the feeling of concord and sympathy, which subsists on our part, towards the schools. It has sometimes been thought that the colleges are essentially aristocratic in their spirit; their studies, which are preparatory to the learned professions rather than to the walks of life in general, and the fact that the higher, more advanced, branches of science give a certain sort of superiority to those who pursue them, furnish a plausible ground for this opinion. But, Mr. Chairman, we disclaim such a feeling, we regard ourselves as parts of one system with the academy and the school; we can not prosper withont them. We are links of one chain; no link can arrogate to itself independence or superiority to the rest. Nor do we want to have those who make up our colleges exclusively, the children of the rich. A college so constituted would soon perish, and above all in our country would not fulfill the end for which it is founded, which is to mould alike, to suse together, to re-fuse together all classes of society so that there may be a whole society, or persons out of the whole, under the same elevating influences, and the children of the poor may have the chance, which good morals, industry and energy hold out, of gaining any place for which they are qualified. In religion and letters it is alike true that "the rich and the poor meet together, the Lord is the maker of them all.” As it is inconsistent with the genius of Christianity, which invites us all to approach a common Father through a common Savior; to have one church for the rich, and another although reared by the charities of religious persons, for the poor ; as the gospel calls on us all to meet together before God, and feel that we are bretheren, so I think it holds with institutions of learning; they ought to be for all, to include all classes and conditions. With this feeling I rejoice that this school is free; indeed I love every thing free but