Изображения страниц
PDF
EPUB

said she, as I gave the finishing touch to the drawing. She had comprehended — the clever woman ! — so well comprehended, that, five minutes after, she entered the room with an umbrella all open. "There!" said she. I threw a glance upon my unfortunate drawing—the resemblance was perfect!

ORIGINAL TRANSLATION FROM DUMAS

LXXXI. — THE CAVERN BY THE SEA.

1. There is a cavern in the island of Hoonga, one of the Tonga islands, in the South Pacific Ocean, which can be entered only by diving into the sea, and has no other light than what is reflected from the bottom of the water. A young chief discovered it accidentally while diving after a turtle, and the use which he made of his discovery will probably be sung in more than one European language, so beautifully is it adapted for a tale in verse.

2. There was a tyrannical governor at Vavaoo, against whom one of the chiefs formed a plan of insurrection; it was betrayed, and the chief, with all his family ancTkin, was ordered to be destroyed. He had a beautiful daughter, betrothed to a chief of high rank, and she also was included in the sentence. The youth who had found the cavern, and kept the secret to himself, loved this damsel; he told her the danger in time, and persuaded her to trust herself to him. They got into a canoe; the place of her retreat was described to her on the way to it. These women swim like mermaids. She dived after him, and rose in the cavern. In the widest part it is about fifty feet, and its medium height is guessed at the same; the roof is hung with stalac'tTtes."

3. Here he brought her the choicest food, the finest clothing, mats for her bed, and sandal-wood oil to perfume82 herself; here he visited her as often as was consistent with prudence; and here, as may be imagined, this Tonga Lean'der" wooed and won the maid, whom, to make the interest complete, he had long loved in secret, when he had no hope. Meantime he prepared, with all his dependants, male and female, to emigrate in secret to the Fiji" islands.

4. The intention was so well concealed, that they embarked in safety, and his people asked him, at the point of their departure if he would not take with him a Tonga wife; and accordingly, to their great astonishment, having steered close to a rock, he desired them to wait while he went into the sea to fetch her, jumped overboard, and, just as they were beginning to be seriously alarmed at his long disappearance, he rose with his mistress from the water. This story is not deficient in that which all such stories should have to be perfectly delightful, — a fortunate conclusion. The party remained at the Fijis till the oppressor died, and then returned to Vavaoo, where they enjoyed a long and happy life. This is related as an authentic tradition.

LXXXII.— THOUGHTS ON EDUCATION.

1. Air And Exercise. London Quarterly Review.

Special attention should be given, both by parents and teachers, to the physical development of the child. Pure air and free exercise are indispensable, and wherever either of these is withheld the consequences will be certain to extend themselves over the whole future life. The seeds of protracted and hopeless suffering have, in innumerable instances, been sown in the constitu tion40 of the child simply through ignorance of this great fundamental physical law; and the time has come when the united voices of these innocent" victims should ascend, "trumpettongued," to the ears of every parent and every teacher in the land. "Give us free air and wholesome exercise; give us leave to develop our expanding energies in accordance with the laws of our being; give us full scope for the elastic and bounding impulses of our youthful blood!"

2. Education1' In The United States. Webster.

That which is elsewhere left to chance, or to charity, we secure by law. For the purpose of public instruction," we hold every man subject to taxation in proportion to his property," and we look not to the question whether he himself have or have not children to be benefited by the education for which he pays. We regard it as a wise and liberal system of police," by which property and life and the peace of society92 are secured. We seek to prevent, in some measure, the extension of the penal" code,E' by inspiring a sal'utary and conserVative principle of virtue and of knowledge at an early age.

We hope to excite a feeling of responsibility, and a sense of character, by enlarging the capacity" and increasing the sphere80 of intellectual enjoyment. By general instruction, we seek, as far as possible, to purify the whole moral atmosphereto keep good 0

sentiments uppermost, and to turn the strong current of feeling and opinion, as well as the censures of the law and the denunciation of religion," against immorality and crime. We hope for a security, beyond the law, and above the law, in the prevalence of enlightened and well-principled moral sentiment."

Education, to accomplish the ends of good government, should be universally diffused. Open the doors of the school-house to all the children of the land. Let no man have the excuse of poverty for not educating his own offspring. Place the means of education within his reach, and if they remain in ignorance be it his own reproach. If one object of the expenditure of your revenue be protection against crime, you could not devise a better or cheaper means of obtaining it. Other nations spend their money in providing means for its detection and punishment, but it is for the principles of our government to provide for its never occurring. The one acts by coercion, the other by prevention. On the diffusion of education among the people rest the preservation and perpetuation of our free institutions.

3. •t;r Common Schools.Everett.

They give the keys of knowledge to the mass of the people. I think it may with truth be said, that the branches of knowledge taught in our common schools, when taught in a finished, masterly manner, — reading — in which I include the spelling of our language — a firm, sightly, legible hand-writing, and the elemental rules of arithmetic, — are of greater value than all the rest which is taught at school. I am far from saying that nothing else can be taught at our district schools; but the young person who brings these from school can himself, in his winter evenings, range over the entire field of useful knowledge. Our common schools are important in the same way as the common air, the common sunshine, the common rain, — invaluable for their commonness. They are the corner-stone of that municipal organization which is the characteristic feature of our social system; they are the fountain of that wide-spread intelligence, which, like a moral life, pervades the country. From the humblest village school there may go forth a teacher who, like Newton," *hall bind his temples with the stars of Orion's" belt, — with Herschel," light up his cell with the beams of before undiscovered planets, — with Franklin, grasp the lightning.

4. On Pampering The Body At The Soul's Expense. Everett. What, sir! feed a child's body, and let his soul hunger! pamper his limbs, and starve his faculties! What! plant the earth, cover a thousand hills with your droves of cattle, pursue the fish to their hiding-places in the sea, and spread out your wheatfields across the plain, in order to supply the wants of that body which will soon be as cold and senseless as their poorest clod, and let the pure spiritual essence within you, with all its glorious capacities for improvement, languish and pine! What! build factories, turn in rivers upon the water-wheels, unchain the imprisoned spirits of steam, to weave a garment for the body, and let the soul remain unadorned and naked!

What considerate man can enter a school, and not reflect, with awe, that it is a seminary" where immortal minds are training for eternity? What parent but is, at times, weighed down with the thought that there must be laid the foundations of a building which will stand when not merely temple and palace, but the perpetual hills, and the adaman'tlne rocks on which they rest, have melted away! — that a light may there be kindled, which will shine, not merely when every artificial beam is extinguished but when the affrighted sun has fled away from the heavens!

5. True Estimate Of The Teacher's Calling. Charming.

One of the surest signs of the regeneration of society will be, the elevation of the art of teaching to the highest rank in the community. When a people shall learn that its greatest benefactors" and most important members are men devoted to the liberal instruction of all its classes, — to the work of raising to life its buried40 intellect, — it will have opened to itself the path of true glory.

There is no office higher than that of a teacher of youth; for there is nothing99 on earth so precious as the mind, soul, character, of the child. No office should be regarded with greater respect. The first minds in the community should be encouraged to assume it. Parents should do all but impoverish themselves, to induce such to become the guardians and guides of their children. To this good all their show and luxury should be sacrificed.

Here they should be lavish, whilst they straiten themselves in everything else. They should wear the cheapest clothes, live on the plainest food, if they can in no other way secure to their families the best instruction. They should have no anxiety to accumulate property for their children, provided they can place them under influences which will awaken their faculties, inspire them with pure and high principles, and fit them to bear a manly, useful, and honorable part in the world. No language can express the cruelty or folly of that economy," which, to leave a fortune to a child, starves his intellect, impoverishes his heart.

^ LXXXIII. — COLUMBUS AND HIS DISCOVERY.

1. In the last quarter of the fifteenth century, an Italian mariner, a citizen of the little republic of Genoa," who had hitherto gained a livelihood as a pilot in the commercial service of different countries, made his appearance successively at various courts in the south and west of Europe, soliciting patronage and aid for a bold and novel91 project in navigation. The idea of reaching the East by a voyage around the African continent" had begun to assume consistency; but the vastly more significant idea, that the earth is a globe, and capable of being circumnavigated, had by no means become incorporated into the general intelligence of the age.

2. And thus to reach the East by sailing in a western direction, this was a conception which no human being is known to have formed before Columbus," and which he proposed to the governments of Italy, of Spain, of Portugal, and of England, and for a long time without success. The state of science was not such as to enable men to discriminate between the improbable and the absurd. They looked upon Columbus as we did thirty years ago upon Captain Symmes." But the illustrious adventurer persevered. Sorrow and disappointment clouded his spirits, but did not shake his faith nor subdue his will. His well-instructed imagination had taken firm hold of the idea that the earth is a sphere.60

3. What seemed to the multitude even of the educated of that day a doubtful and somewhat mystical theory," — what appeared to the uninformed mass a monstrous paradox," contradicted by every step we take upon the broad flat earth which we daily tread beneath our feet, — that great and fruitful truth revealed itself to the serene intelligence of Columbus as a practical fact, on which he was willing to stake all he had, — character and life. And it deserves ever to be borne in mind, as the most illustrious example of the connection of scientific theory with great practical results, that the discovery of America, with all its momentous consequences to mankind, is owing to the distinct conception in the mind of Columbus of the single scientific proposition,—the terraqueous" earth is a sphere.

4. After years of fruitless and heart-sick solicitation, after offering in effect to this monarch and to that monarch the gift of a hemisphere, the great discoverer touches upon a partial success. He succeeds, not in enlisting the sympathy of his countrymen at Genoa and '7enice" for a brave brother-sailoi ; not in giving a new direction to the spirit of maritime adventure which had so

« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »