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table resolution jf our own wills. Without this effort on our parts, all the means of instruction which this and all other ages nave devised are vain, worse than vain.
2. There is a vague notion widely prevalent that schools and ampler seminaries are able, by a power inherent in themselves, to fill the mind with learning; or that itys to be received inertly, like the influences of the atmosphere, by a mere residence at the places of instruction. But this is a sad mistake. Something, in this way, doubtless, may be effected. Something may be thus insensibly imbibed. A young person cannot pass his time, for years, in scenes like these, without catching something from the inspiration of the place. Intercourse, conversation, sympathy with his companions, will, without much voluntary effort on his part, convey some information, and mould, in some degree, the habits of his mind. But this, admitting it in its full extent, amounts to but very little. It is, moreover, too vague to be of any practical value.
3. The truth, after all, is, that the most elaborate and manifold apparatus of instruction can impart nothing of importance to the passive and inert mind. It is almost as unavailing as the warmth and light of the sun, and all the sweet influences of the heavens, shed upon the desert sands. "The schoolmaster," we are told by one, who, be it observed, is himself a prodigy of selfeducation, "the schoolmaster is abroad." The word has been caught up by the nations as prophetical of mighty changes. But the schoolmaster is abroad to little purpose, unless his pupils stand ready in their places to receive him with open and active minds, and to labor with him for their own benefit.
4. If all the means of education which are scattered over the world, and if all the philosophers and teachers of ancient and modern times, were to be collected together, and made to bring their combined efforts to bear upon an individual, all they could do would be to afford the opportunity of improvement. They could not give him a single valuable thought independently of his own exertion. All that could be accomplished must still be done within the little compass of his own mind; and they could not approach this by a hair's breadth nearer than access was made for them by his own cooperation. Nothing short of a miracle can teach a man anything independently of this. All that he learns is effected by self-discipline, and self-discipline is the mind's own work. We all are, under God, intellectually, the makers of ourselves.
5. Virtue, religion, as well as knowledge, must also be mainly the mind's own work. Here, too, external means are useless, without the earnest cooperation of the individual. The usual means of religious improvement, public r ..igious instruction, public worship, the solemn and tender rites of our religion, seasons of abstraction from ordinary cares for self-intercourse, and for communion of the soul with God, are valuable, most valuable, — valuable very far beyond the common estimate that is made of them, — so valuable, that they are the principal head-springs of public morals, and posse* a preventive and san'ative" influence over public sentiment, which is more effective in preserving good order, good institutions, civil rights, and private welfare, than any other influences which are brought to bear upon the community.
6. But how and why are they thus valuable? Simply and only as means and aids of personal exertion; simply and only by being brought into contact with the minds and hearts of men. Unless this is done, religious meetings and services and rites are a mockery. Worse, even, than this; they are a perversion of those overtures of mercy, and those means of improvement, which a gracious God has vouchsafed, to raise us from a mere earthly life, and make us partakers of a divine nature. What is prayer to him who does not pray? What is religious instruction to the vain, the frivolous, the indifferent, the preoccupied and foreclosed mind? What is the keeping of holy time to him, who, while he is ostensibly present at places of social worship, has yet left his thoughts and affections behind, to hold companionship with his business or his pleasures? Alas ! nothing. It is but as the vain oblations, the pageantry, and sacrifices of a darker age, without the excuse of ignorance to be pleaded in palliation. Under God, and by those spiritual aids which are ever vouchsafed in exact proportion to our endeavors to obtain them (how gracious and glorious is this truth !), we are morally and religiously, as well as intellectually, the makers of ourselves.
FltOM THE FRENCH OF DEGERANDO
Clii. — Fulton's First Steamboat.
1. It was in reference to the astonishing impulse given to mechanical pursuits, that Dr. Darwin, more than forty years ago, broke out in strains equally remarkable for their poetical enthusiasm and prophetic truth, and predicted the future triumph of the steam-engine:
"Soon shaU thy arm, unconquered steam, atar
2. What would he have said, if he had but lived to witness the immortal invention of Fulton," which seems almost to move in the air, and to fly on the wings of the wind? And yet how slowly did this enterprise obtain the public favor! I myself have heard the illustrious inventor relate, in an animated and affecting manner, the history of his labors and discouragements. When, said he, I was building my first steamboat at New York, tho project was viewed by the public either with indifference or with contempt, as a visionary scheme. My friends, indeed, were civil, but they were shy. They listened with patience to my explanations, but with a settled cast of incredulity on their countenances. I felt the full force of the lamentation of the poet,
"Truths would you teach, to save a sinking land,
3. As I had occasion to pass daily to and from the buildingyard, while my boat was in progress, I have often loitered unknown near the idle groups of strangers, gathering in little circles, and heard various inquiries as to the object of this new vehicle. The language was uniformly that of scorn, or sneer, or ridicule. The loud laugh often rose at my expense; the dry jest; the wise calculation of losses and expenditures; the dull but endless repetition of " the Fulton Folly." Never did a single encouraging remark, a bright hope, or a warm wish, cross my path. Silence itself was but politeness veiling its doubts, or hiding its reproaches.
4. At length the day arrived when the experiment was to be put into operation. To me it was a most trying and interesting occasion. I invited many friends to go on board to witness the first successful trip. Many of them did me the favor to attend, as a matter of personal respect; but it was manifest that they did it with reluctance, fearing to be the partners of my mortifica tion, and not of my triumph. I was well aware that, in my case, there were many reasons to doubt of my own success. The machinery was new and ill made; many parts of it were constructed by mechanics unaccustomed to such work; and unexpected difficulties might reasonably be presumed to present themselves from other causes. The moment arrived in which the word was to be given for the vessel to move My friends were in groups on the deck. There was anxiety mixed with fear among them. They were silent, and sad, and weary. I read in their looks nothing but disaster, and almost repented of my efforts.
5. The signal was given, and the boat moved on a short distance, and then stopped, and became immovable. To the silence
, of the preceding moment, now succeeded murmurs of discontent, and agitations, and whispers, and shrugs. I could hear distinctly repeated, "I told you it would be so. It is a foolish scheme. I wish we were well out of it." I elevated myself upon a platform, and addressed the assembly. I stated that I knew not what was the matter; but, if they would be quiet and indulge me for a half-hour, I would either go on or abandon the voyage for that time. This short respite was conceded without objection. I went below, examined the machinory, and discovered that the cause was a slight mal-adjustment of some of the work. In a short period it was obviated.
6. The boat was again put in motion. She continued to move on. All were still incredulous. None seemed willing to trust the evidence of their own senses. We left the fair city of New York; we passed through the romantic and ever-varying scenery }f the Highlands; we descried the clustering houses of Albany * we reached its shores; and then, even thenH when all seemed achieved, I was the victim of disappointment. Imagination superseded the influence of fact. It was then doubted if it could be done again; or, if done, it was doubted if it could be mado of any great value.
7. Such was the history of the first experiment, as it fell, not in the very language which I have used, but in its substance, from the lips of the inventor. He did not live, indeed, to enjoy the full glory of his invention. It is mournful to say that attempts were made to rob him, in the first place, of the merits of his invention, and next of its fruits. He fell a victim to his efforts to sustain his title to both. Judge Stoky.
CLIII. — THE PASSAGE OF THE BERESINA."
1. On the twenty-fifth of November, 1812, the whole French af-my under Napoleon, reduced now to about twenty-eight thousand fighting men, and forty thousand stragglers, still encumbered with a quantity of baggage, were assembled on the banks of the Beresina, which they had to cross. The passage of this river was one of the most disastrous points in the retreat. The bridge of Bori'zof had been destroyed; a Russian army occupied the opposite bank of the river, and the passage appeared imprac* tieable. So desperate seemed the state of affairs, that Murat" advised Napoleon to leave the army to its fate, and make his own way to Paris. Napoleon, however, refused to listen to such a proposal, and occupied himself for two days in making such preparations as should enable him to cross the river, and at the same time deceive the enemy as to the exact spot at which he intended to cross it.
2. "What a frightful picture," says Labaume,11 "did such a multitude of men present! Our soldiers, pale, emaciated, dying with hunger and cold, having nothing to defend them from the inclemency of the season but tattered pelisses," and half-burnt sheep-skins, and muttering the most mournful lamentations, crowded the banks of this fatal river. Germans, Poles, Italians, Spaniards, Gro'ats, Portuguese, and French, were all mingled together, disputing and quarrelling with one another in their different languages; finally, the officers, and even the generals, wrapped in pelisses covered with dirt and filth, mingling with the soldiers, and abusing those who pressed upon them, or braved their authority, formed a scene of strange confusion, of which no painter could trace the faintest resemblance."
3. The passage of the river commenced on the twenty-seventh, two wooden bridges having been by that time hastily constructed. A considerable part of the army crossed safely during the forenoon and afternoon of that day; among the rest, Napoleon, with a division of about six thousand men, whfim he marched immediately to Zembir, leaving the remainder to follow. Unfortunately, many of the stragglers preferred remaining on the left bank till the morning of the twenty-eighth, loth to quit the fires which they had kindled. The delay proved calamitous. The Russian armies in pursuit had come up before daylight; and, in order to afford time for the stragglers and baggage to cross, the soldiers who remained on the left side had to interpose themselves between them and the Russians. A terrible carnage ensued: one whole division of the French was obliged to surrender, and the rest were exposed to an incessant fire.
4. Meanwhile the crowd was crushing along both bridges in the wildest confusion, — men, women, children, horses, baggage, — all struggling to be first. A heavy snow was falling; the weather was bitterly cold; large pieces of ice were floating down the river, and dashing against the frail wood-work; and the Russian bullets and cannon-balls were sweeping overhead. The scene became every moment more horrible. Here might be seen strong men, brutal in their selfishness, driving carriages through