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boys, at the very period when the buds of intellect begin to unfold themselves, are so accustomed to be told that they are dull and fit for nothing, that the most pernicious effects are necessarily produced. They become half convinced by the ill-boding song of the raven, perpetually croaking in their ears ; and, for the other half, though by no means assured that the sentence of impotence awarded against them is just, yet, folding up their powers in inactivity, they are contented partly to waste their energies in pure
ire idleness and sport, and partly to wait, with minds scarcely half awake, for the moment when their true destination shall be opened before them.
Not that it is by any means to be desired, that the child in his earlier years should meet with no ruggednesses in his way, and that he should perpetually tread “ the primrose path of dalliance.” Clouds and tempests occasionally clear the atmosphere of intellect, not less than that of the visible world. The road to the hill of science, and to the promontory of heroic virtue, is harsh and steep, and from time to time puts to the proof the energies of him who would ascend their topmost round.
There are many things which every human creature should learn, so far as, agreeably to the constitution of civilised society, they can be brought within his reach. He should be induced to learn them, willingly if possible, but, if that cannot be thoroughly effected, yet with half a will. Such are
reading, writing, arithmetic, and the first principles of grammar ; to which shall be added, as far as may be, the rudiments of all the sciences that are in ordinary use. The latter however should not be brought forward too soon; and, if wisely delayed, the tyro
himself will to a certain degree enter into the views of his instructor, and be disposed to essay Quid valeant humeri, quid ferre recusent. But, above all, the beginnings of those studies should be encouraged, which unfold the imagination, familiarise us with the feelings, the joys and sufferings of our fellow-beings, and teach us to put ourselves in their place and eagerly fly to their assistance.
HOW FAR OUR GENUINE PROPENSITIES AND VOCATION
SHOULD BE FAVOURED-SELF-REVERENCE RECOMMENDED,-CONCLUSION.
I KNEW a man of eminent intellectual faculties b, one of whose favourite topics of moral prudence was, that it is the greatest mistake in the world to suppose, that, when we have discovered the special aspiration of the youthful mind, we are bound to do every thing in our power to assist its progress. He maintained on the contrary, that it is our true wisdom to place obstacles in its way, and to thwart it: as we may be well assured that, unless it is a mere caprice, it will shew its strength in conquering
difficulties, and that all the obstacles that we can conjure up will but inspire it with the greater earnestness to attain final success.
The maxim here stated, taken to an unlimited extent, is doubtless a very dangerous one. There are obstacles that scarcely any strength of man would be sufficient to conquer.
“ Chill penury" will sometimes “
repress the noblest rage,” that almost ever animated a human spirit : and our wisest course will probably be, secretly to favour, even when we seem most to oppose, the genuine bent of the youthful aspirer.
But the thing of greatest importance is, that we should not teach him to estimate his powers at too low a rate.
One of the wisest of all the precepts comprised in what are called the Golden Verses of Pythagoras, is that, in which he enjoins his pupil to “ reverence himself.” Ambition is the noblest root that can be planted in the garden of the human soul: not the ambition to be applauded and admired, to be famous and looked up to, to be the darling theme of “stupid starers and of loud huz zas;" but the ambition to fill a réspectable place in the theatre of society, to be useful and to be esteemed, to feel that we have not lived in vain, and that we are entitled to the most honourable of all dismissions, an enlightened self-approbation. And nothing can more powerfully tend to place this beyond our acquisition, even our contemplation, than the perpetual and hourly rebuffs which inge
nuous youth is so often doomed to sustain from the supercilious pedant, and the rigid decision of his unfeeling elders.
Self-respect to be nourished in the mind of the pupil, is one of the most valuable results of a wellconducted education. To accomplish this, it is most necessary that it should never be inculcated into him, that he is dull. Upon the principles of this Essay, any unfavourable appearances that
may present themselves, do not arise from the dulness of the pupil, but from the error of those upon whose superintendence he is cast, who require of him the things for which he is not adapted, and neglect those in which he is qualified to excel.
It is further necessary, if self-respect is one of the most desirable results of a well-conducted education, that, as we should not humble the pupil in his own eyes by disgraceful and humiliating language, so we should abstain, as much as possible, from personal ill-treatment, and the employing towards him the measures of an owner towards his purchased or indentured slave. Indignity is of all things the most hostile to the best purposes of a liberal education. It may be necessary occasionally to employ, towards a human creature in his years of nonage, the stimulants of exhortation and remonstrance even in the pursuits to which he is best adapted, for the purpose of overcoming the instability and fits of idleness to which all men, and most of all in their early years, are subject : though
in such pursuits a necessity of this sort can scarcely be supposed. The bow must not always be bent; and it is good for us that we should occasionally relax and play the fool. It may more readily be imagined, that some incitement may be called for in those things which, as has been mentioned above, it
may be fit he should learn though with but half a will. All freaks must not be indulged ; admonition is salutary, and that the pupil should be awakened by his instructor to sober reflection and to masculine exertion. Every Telemachus should have his Mentor.—But through the whole it is necessary that the spirit of the pupil should not be broken, and that he should not be treated with contumely Stripes should in all instances be regarded as the last resort, and as a sort of problem set up for the wisdom of the wise to solve, whether the urgent case can arise in which it shall be requisite to have recourse to them.
The principles here laid down have the strongest tendency to prove to us how little progress has yet been made in the art of turning human creatures to the best account. Every man has his place, in which if he can be fixed, the most fastidious judge cannot look upon him with disdain. But, to effect this arrangement, an exact attention is required to ascertain the pursuit in which he will best succeed. In India the whole mass of the members of the community is divided into castes; and, instead of a scrupulous attention being paid to the early intima