« 上一頁繼續 »
It is a fair and interesting subject of speculation to inquire what may be the manner, fifty years hence, of accounting for the peculiar condition of Missouri at this period. When the historian shall then have finished the annals of each member of this republic on the other side, and shall have crossed the Mississippi, to take up the history of what will then be termed "The Mammoth State," he must begin with an expression of unaccountable wonder, why it was that a people, made up of emigrants from the older states, should so long content themselves without a seminary of learning instituted, or, at least, patronised by the state; with no currency which could be called their own; and without a single blow of the hammer in the construction of internal improvements. In what language can our progeny apologize, half a century hence, for our omissions to seize upon all the advantages that the improvements of the age have offered us, or which the intelligence of Missouri now urges upon us for adoption? It cannot be pretended that there exists a human being in the state, who is insensible to the advantages of education; who is not aware of the absolute necessity of the currency that banks afford, or who can doubt the advantages resulting from such improvements, as secure to the projectors the fame that none but public benefactors ever enjoy. Will the historian traduce us, or will tradition with justice reflect on us for having permitted our representatives to trifle away their time and exhaust their talents in party conflict, or employ their energies on unimportant subjects of discussion, such as road-laws, stray
laws, &c., while they strayed away from more important objects of legislation? To whatever cause philosophic reflection may, in after ages, attribute our present destitution, we are, and we have been, hitherto, patient sufferers for lack of many advantages that the people of our sister states happily indulge in, and proudly boast. That we are destitute of a state seminary, the fountain-head of learning, may be attributable to the opinion that prevails extensively, that common-school education is sufficient for all the sober purposes of life. This opinion is plausibly supported by a knowledge of the fact, that many of our eminent men have, in early life, been limited to common-school education, or thrown upon the resources of their own minds for the acquisition of learning. But it should be borne in mind, that these eminent men, made so by their own exertions, would have become eminently useful much sooner, to a greater extent, and without the embarrassing toil to which they have been subjected, if they had been committed to the care of able professors, when their native genius at first began to develop its excellence. It must be admitted that the continuance of our political institutions must depend on a thorough knowledge of government, as exercised from the period when restraints were at first imposed on men; and to preserve and to extend human knowledge, there must be in the midst of us a repository of learning-a place where books shall be collected and preserved, and where men of genius and learning shall feel it a duty, and hold it the highest human enjoyment, to impart the learning and science they have toiled to accumulate. Although every individual of the class of young freemen who are approaching manhood shall not be able to say, when he puts on the toga virilis, that he is the graduate of a seminary, the character of which shall be a passport to the best business and social circles, yet all the youth of the land may derive indirect advantage from the institution proposed, and which will be speedily established. Every man of learning knows, and the unlearned will readily understand, that no one is well qualified to teach the first rudiments of commonschool education without the previous qualifications that are secured by classical learning. A state seminary will be the ve
hicle of communication to the people, by which they will acquire the just mode of pronunciation, and correct rules of orthography. Provincialisms, and sectional errors of writing and speaking, will be removed by its influence. The refinement of civilized life will draw large contributions from the storehouse of learning, that shall be liberally endowed and steadily supported by the government of the people. This institution will furnish large remuneration for the care and expense bestowed, in scores of schoolmasters, who will issue from its classic halls, stored with learning that ages have accumulated. The learned professions will be made beneficial, instead of lending a mischievous influence to communities, so often afflicted with quackery of all professions. When those who, professing to be the devout followers of the Redeemer of mankind, shall attempt to be teachers, they will always fulfil the sacred duties of their profession with more perfection when sustained with the learning of the age, the country, and the language of Christ. A man of sense and learning may find followers without the arts of imposture, when he
"Points to heaven, and leads the way."
The physician who mends our bodies, as well as he who administers to a broken spirit, should have a mind stored with the history of all diseases "that flesh is heir to," and be able, by the help of much learning, to place "the bane and antidote both before" the object of his care. Since science, instead of charms, is allowed by all to form the basis of medical skill, it is obviously the interest of all men in Missouri to contribute to the institution, where science will be preserved and advanced.
So long as commercial transactions shall continue to promote the interest of any community, it will be essential to have those who practise the profession of the law educated upon a high and liberal plan. This will lessen litigation, add security to property, and preclude the imposition of "forked counsel." The security of our liberties and lives likewise depends on the acquirements of our judges and lawyers. The moral influence that a pure and spotless judge may have on the community where