tive to religious instruction. She was always remarkable for her strict observance of the Sabbath, and would not engage in light, trifling conversation on that day. "The old beech tree is still remembered which stood behind a school house in Ashfield, on whose crooked trunk, in a season of religious interest, she used to sit during the school intermissions, and tell those who gathered around her, of the way of salvation, as she had been. taught by her parents, though she had not then herself begun to tread in it.

"It is not known that she has left any record of her mental conflict while under religious conviction. Some of her early friends know that the first exercises of her mind, which she was led afterwards to look upon as indicative of a savory change, took place in 1816, under the plain, simple explanation of Bible truth under Elder Enos Smith, the brother of her grandmother. The day which she afterwards regarded as probably the one on which her heart was renewed by the Holy Ghost, was the Sabbath. The sermon to which she had been listening, was on the character of God; and as she walked in the fields on her return home, reflecting on his glorious attributes, her mind was filled with a sweet sense of his love, and her affections seemed for the first time, to flow out towards that Being whom she had reverenced, and whose character she had approved from her earliest recollection.

"In 1810 her mother married again. Mary, with her only brother, remained on the homestead. For a year previous to this brother's marriage, in 1812, being about fifteen years of age, she took charge of housekeeping, and rendered herself so useful that he paid her one dollar a week for her services to aid her in the prosecution of her studies. From this time until 1819, when her brother removed to the state of New York, her home continued to be in his family.

"From the time of her brother's marriage little is known of her, except that she occasionally attended school, and commenced her career as teacher near Shelburne Falls, Massachusetts, receiving as compensation, at first, seventy-five cents per week with board.

"It was in the autumn of 1817 that she first entered Sanderson Academy, at Ashfield, between four and five miles from her birth-place. She was there emphatically nature's dhild. Those who knew her only at Ipswich or South Hadley, can realize but little of the Mary Lyon of those days. One remarked of her then-She is all mind; she does not know that she has a body o care for.' But a warm and true heart soon gained the confi

dence of her associates. Her whole appearance at that time was so unique, her progress in study so unprecedented, her broad intelligent face so inviting, that no one who was a member of the Academy at that time will ever forget her; nor how the scholars used to lay aside their books when she commenced to recite. Here she found friends to encourage and assist her in her search for knowledge.

"The slender means which she had collected by services to her brother, by spinning, weaving, etc., were soon expended. She was about to return to her old employment, when the trustees gave her the free use of all the advantages of the Academy. It is supposed that this was the time when she resolved to devote herself particularly to teaching. She collected her bedding, table linen, etc., constituting the full amount of her household treasures, and exchanged the whole at a boarding house for a room and a seat at the table. Nothing could exceed the eagerness with which she engaged in the prosecution of her studies. It was judged by the family where she boarded that she slept, on an average, not more than four hours in twentyfour; and all her waking moments, except the time occupied by her hurried meals, were spent in study. The Academy in Ashfield, although it may at times have enjoyed more prosperity, yet never has had collected within its walls, at any other time, minds more fitted to bless the world by their influence. But distinguished as some of them have been for talents and acquirements, no one was able to keep up mith Mary in her recitations; and one additional study after another was given her by her teacher, partly as a clog, to keep her within reciting distance of her classes. But all proved insufficient for the purpose. The more her powers were taxed the more she seemed capable of performing. At last her teacher gave her Adams' Latin Grammar, directing her to omit her extra lessons while committing it to memory, only keeping up with her regular classes in their studies. This he supposed would employ her some time. But within three days she had committed and recited all those portions which students then commonly learned when first going over the work. Her teacher preceded her to the spirit-world, but he was frequently heard to say, that he never knew the Latin Grammar more accurately recited; and there are many now living who heard the recitations, and can bear the same testimony.

"Her services as teacher soon began to be eagerly sought, and wherever she could find an opportunity to improve herself and others, she would take a class of pupils. When she had

thus obtained sufficient means to justify it, she would go to some. place and receive instruction on particular subjects, in which she found herself deficient. No one was more ready to set about and accomplish an improvement in any respect when convinced it was necessary.

"At one time she might be found in a family school in Buckland, teaching all the variety of studies necessary or desirable for an intelligent group of sons and daughters. At another time she resided in the family of Rev. Edward Hitchcock, then pastor of a church in Conway, (the author of this memoir,) learning from him the principles of natural science, and from his wife the arts of drawing and painting. In this place she also taught a select school with ability and success. Then we find her for one term in Amherst Academy, when, for the first time, she encroached on the small patrimony left her by her father. Again, we find her, for a short time, placing herself under a teacher who was known to excel in penmanship, in order that she might improve her hand-writing, which hitherto seems to have been deficient.

In 1821 we find that Miss Lyon, with the avails of her labor and the remnant of her patrimony, went to attend the school of Rev. Joseph Emerson, at Byfield, Massachusetts. This gentleman seems to have had considerable influence in the formation of her character, especially as an educator, and in a religious point of view. Here her intellectual character was appreciated by all such as had any discernment. Mr. Emerson remarked several years afterwards to Miss Grant, with whom Miss Lyon was for a considerable time connected in teaching a female seminary, that he had instructed several ladies whose minds were better disciplined; but, in mental power, she was superior to any young lady that had ever been in his seminary.

In 1822 she became a member of the congregational church at Buckland. From this time forward to the end of her life, she remained a faithful and consistent follower of Jesus Christ, and adorned her profession by an humble walk and conversation. We have thus seen the difficulties through which this young lady passed in order that she might obtain a suitable education to render her useful in her day and generation. No obstacles could make her shrink back from the path which she had chosen. How encouraging is such an example to persons desirous of obtaining an education, similarly situated, as to means, with Miss Lyon. Let such not sit down in idleness until some favorable opportunity presents itself; but let them employ every advantage they may possess, however small it may be. Every


grain of knowledge you pick up is so much gained. If you not the means, labor or teach till you acquire them. And when persons see that you are in earnest, one and another will step in to your assistance.

In another article we design to give some account of the selfdenying labor of Miss Lyon, as an instructor.




Two leading motives seem to govern men in their desires and efforts to accumulate fortunes. Some are undoubtedly pushed on in their pursuits by an active, enterprizing spirit. They cannot be idle, but find a great pleasure in being employed, and in the success with which their efforts are crowned.

You will generally find this class of men liberal and openhearted. They are worldly, it is true, and are ever active in catching their chances of making money as these present themselves. And they also know how to take care of the results of their success; but they are not generally stingy. They are ready to feel for the miserable and unfortunate, and are always willing to open their hearts and their hands in relieving the distressed, and in helping those that are worthy of help. Their motto is, to take all that Providence is pleased to give them, in blessing their labors; and then to use these gifts for their own peace and well-being, as well as the good of others. There is no wrong connected with such a course in life by any means, providing those who are thus growing rich in the securement and possession of this world's goods, are also laying up a due portion in the world to come. If it is the tendency of such temporal prosperity to beget within them a feeling of love and thankfulness towards the Giver of all good gifts, and also a feeling of charity and kindness towards their fellows, then we say, that the mere fact of their busy attention to their worldly employments, and their success in these, is not improper nor condemnable. These men may be said to be using the world as not abusing it. They are attentive to their duties in the world because they cannot be idle; at the same time they are not so foolish as to make an idol of their possessions, and then bow down and worship it.

There is another class of the men of this world who seem to be moved by a different spirit and different motives in the mak

ing and keeping of money. They may be seen toiling very diligently and indeed laboriously in their pursuits. They arise early and retire late. They push on their plans with the utmost vigor. Their thoughts seem to be absorbed with the sole object of making and hoarding property. They make rapid haste to get rich, and show as much concern to keep what they make. With these there is no liberality-no fellow feeling. The calls of charity are unheeded; the welfare and prosperity of society is no object of concern with such. They are wrapt up in themselves, and care for no others. Even the interests of the soul are lost sight of in the noise and bustle of the wheels of mammon.

If now, we stop such men in their busy strides after gain, and enquire for whom or what they are so much concerned about this world, and why they are toiling, with such a greedy appetite, after its possessions; most probably the reply will be, that they are making fortunes for their children! They wish to leave their sons and daughters independent in the world, and this is the reason of their great concern in the securement of this world's goods. Of course we cannot endorse such a course of conduct in any man. We look upon those who are governed in their accumulations of property by such motives, as altogether one-sided and wrong. Not that we regard it as improper to put property into the hands of our children after we are no more; and not that we think it wrong to keep our eye fixed upon the future interests and welfare of our offspring, in our present worldly pursuits. Not by any means. If we are guided in this respect, by proper and sane principles and conditions, we may even be instrumental in securing and entailing much property with impunity. If, in making these provisions for our children, we see to it that they are being put into the possession of good moral and religious sentiments and truths, and that they are early made to employ their own hands and exercise their own talents in labor, and thus become acquainted with the way and manner through which property is made and secured; then we think that in putting fortunes at their disposal, after we are no longer here to see that they make a right use of them, we do not run that risk which we otherwise do run by neglecting these precautions. We do most sincerely think, that for any man to employ a whole life in toiling to get rich, so that he may have the power, on a dying bed, to leave large amounts of property to a family of sons and daughters, who perhaps have not learned the first lesson of industry and economy, is a course of downright madness. We recognize in this very course, of many heads of families, the fruitful source of

« 上一页继续 »