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profited as he expected by the long extemporáneous' prayers to which they listened night and morning, the sad sabbaths which they were compelled to observe, and the soporific sermons which closed the domestic religiosities of those melancholy days? Ask him if this discipline has prevented them from running headlong into the follies and vices of the age ? from being birdlimed by dissipation; or caught in the spider's web of sophistry and unbelief? “ It is no doubt a true observation,” says Bishop Patrick, " that the ready way to make the minds of youth grow awry, is to lace them too hard, by denying them their just freedom."
Ask the old faithful servant of Mammon, whom Mammon has rewarded to his heart's desire, and in whom the acquisition of riches has only increased his eagerness for acquiring more-ask him whether he has succeeded in training up his heir to the same service ? He will tell you that the young man is to be found upon race-grounds, and in gaming-houses, that he is taking his swing of extravagance and excess, and is on the high road to ruin.
• Ask the wealthy Quaker, the pillar of the meeting-most orthodox in heterodoxy,—who never wore a garment of forbidden cut or colour, never bent his body in salutation, or his knees in prayer,--never uttered the heathen name of a day or month, nor ever addrest himself to any person without religiously speaking illegitimate English, -ask him how it has happened that the tailor has converted his sons ? He will fold his hands, and twirl his thumbs mournfully in silence. It has not been for want of training them in the way wherein it was his wish that they should go.'
By-the-by, is the writer quite logical in thus confounding the way in which a man should go, with that which either a Christian Pharisee,' or a ' faithful servant of Mammon,' or a pillar of the Meeting,' may have wished his child to follow? The author proceeds :
• You are about, Sir, to send your son to a public school; Eton or Westminster; Winchester or Harrow; Rugby or the Charter House, no matter which. He may come from either an accomplished scholar to the utmost extent that school education can make him so; he may be the better both for its discipline and its want of discipline ; it may serve him excellently well as a preparatory school for the world into which he is about to enter. But also he may come away an empty coxcomb or a hardened brute-a spendthrift-a profligate-a blackguard, or a sot.
• To put a boy in the way he should go, is like sending out a ship well found, well manned and stored, and with a careful captain ; but there are rocks and shallows in her course, winds and currents to be encountered, and all the contingencies and perils of the sea.
• How often has it been seen that sons, not otherwise deficient in duty toward their parents, have, in the most momentous concerns of life, taken the course most opposite to that in which they were trained to go, going wrong where the father would have directed them aright, or taking the right path in spite of all inducements and endeavours
for leading them wrong! The son of Charles Wesley, born and bred in methodism, and bound to it by all the strongest ties of pride and prejudice, became a papist. This indeed was but passing from one erroneous persuasion to another, and a more inviting one. But Isaac Casaubon also had the grief of seeing a son seduced into the Romish superstition, and on the part of that great and excellent man there had been no want of discretion in training him, nor of sound learning and sound wisdom. Archbishop Leighton, an honor to his church, his country, and his kind, was the child of one of those fire. brands who kindled the Great Rebellion. And Franklin had a son, who, notwithstanding the example of his father (and such a father!) continued stedfast in his duty as a soldier and a subject.'
The vanity of independence leads many young persons, on entering the world, to embrace the opposite opinion in religion or politics to what had found favour with their parents or guardiansand the same principle may be seen acting still more frequently in respect of mere matters of taste. But the Mess-room, the Circuit-club, the House of Commons, or the general rub of society in town or country, soon teaches every man, who is worth any teaching, to moderate bis juvenile estimation of himself; and nature has provided beautiful means for the revival of the best affections of youth, in the proper relations of advancing life. The careless and disrespectful son is apt to undergo a great and a permanent change when he finds himself a father; and often reverts, with even more than the warmth of infantine feelings, to the gentle influences which, in the season of hot blood and seething brains, he had undervalued or forgotten. For all minds not naturally coarse and base, the great and sure lesson of time is modesty; and inay it not be, with submission, suggested—that when the Hebrew sage bids us train the child in the way he should go,' he does not follow up his precept by a promise that the stripling will be prudent, chaste, and sober of spirit, but points to the rational hope, that the fruits of early culture may be visible in the reflective autumn of the man?-But to come to a less serious part of the same chapter.
I am sometimes inclined to think that pigs are brought up upon a wiser system than boys at a grammar school. The pig is allowed to feed upon any kind of offal, however coarse, on which he can thrive, till the time approaches when pig is to commence pork, or take a degree as bacon ; and then he is fed daintily. Now it has sometimes appeared to me that in like manner boys might acquire their first knowledge of Latin from authors very inferior to those which are now used in all schools-provided the matter was unexceptionable and the Latinity good; and that they should not be introduced to the standard works of antiquity till they are of an age in some degree to appreciate what they read.
• Understand Understand me, Reader, as speaking doubtfully,--and that too upon a matter of little moment; for the scholar will return in riper years to those authors which are worthy of being studied; and as for the blockhead-it signifies nothing whether the book which he consumes by thumbing it in the middle and dog-earing it at the corners be worthy or not of a better use. Yet if the dead have any cognizance of posthumous fame, one would think it must abate somewhat of the pleasure with which Virgil and Ovid regard their earthly immortality, when they see to what base purposes their productions are applied. That their verses should be administered to boys in regular doses, as lessons or impositions, and some dim conception of their meaning whipt into the tail when it has failed to penetrate the head, cannot be just the sort of homage to their genius which they anticipated or desired.'
We are much inclined to concur in the opinion which the abovequoted passage evidently implies; nor do we at all admit the validity of what the writer himself modestly suggests on the other side of the question. It is very true that • the scholar will return in riper years to those authors which are worthy of being studied ;'. but these riper years are in most cases, we suspect, late ones ; and we cannot forget that Lord Byron, when he was penning
Childe Harold,' had not yet overcome the disgust with which the drilling of Harrow had made him regard the very name of Horace. Selections from Erasmus's Dialogues, and the like, appear to us to be the proper school-books for lads who have their Latin vocabulary and grammar to acquire. How absurd to make boys pore over Virgil, whom their masters would never imagine to be capable of comprehending Pope! It would be hardly more injudicious to give a little girl one of Raphael's cartoons for the copy of her sampler.
We are, however, far from quarrelling with our author as to the doctrine he lays down a little lower-viz., that it is ridiculous
to expect a child to understand everything it reads. Our meaning is simply, that students ought to master a foreign language so as to be able to read it with facility, before they are introduced to. those books in which that language appears in its most perfect graces. And, observe, it is only as to the ancient languages that the reverse is commonly practiced; no young man is ever advised to begin his study of French with Athalie, or of German with Wallenstein.—The forgotten tome of Johannes Ravisius Textor was accordingly the Latin manual of young Daniel Dove; and • The intellectual education which he received at home was as much out of the ordinary course as the book in which he studied at school. Robinson Crusoe had not yet reached Ingleton. Sandford and Merton had not been written, nor that history of Pecksey and Flapsey and the Robin's Nest, which is the prettiest fiction
that ever was composed for children, and for which its excellent authoress will one day rank high among women of genius, when time shall have set its seal upon desert.* The only book within his reach, of all those which now come into the hands of youth, was the Pilgrim's Progress, and this he read at first without a suspicion of its allegorical import. What he did not understand was as little remembered as the sounds of the wind, or the motions of the passing clouds; but the imagery and the incidents took possession of his memory and his heart. After a while Textor became an interpreter of the immortal Tinker, and the boy acquired as much of the meaning by glimpses as was desirable, enough to render some of the personages more awful by spiritualizing them, while the tale itself remained as a reality.
" What, Sir,” exclaims a lady, who is bluer than ever one of her naked and woad-stained ancestors appeared at a public festival in full dye,—“what, Sir, do you tell us that children are not to be made to understand what they are taught ?” And she casts her eyes complacently toward an assortment of those books which so many writers, male and female,-some of the infidel, some of the semi-fidel, and some of the super-fidel schools,ếhave composed for the laudable purpose of enabling children to understand everything. " What, Sir," she repeats, “ are we to make our children learn things by rote like parrots, and fill their heads with words to which they cannot attach any signification?”
6" You are a mother, Madam, and a good one. In caressing your infants you may perhaps think it unphilosophical to use what I should call the proper and natural language of the nursery. But doubtless you talk to them; you give some utterance to your feelings; and whether that utterance be in legitimate and wise words, or in good extemporaneous nonsense, it is alike to the child. The conventional words convey no more meaning to him than the mere sound ; but he understands from either all that is meant, all that you wish him to understand, all that is to be understood. He knows that it is an expression of your love and tenderness, and that he is the object of it. So, too, it continues after he is advanced from infancy into childhood. When children are beginning to speak they do not and cannot affix any meaning to half the words which they hear; yet they learn their mother tongue. What I say is, do not attempt to force their intellectual growth. Do not feed them with meat till they have teeth to masticate it. There is a great deal which they ought to learn, can learn, and must learn, before they can or ought to understand it. How many questions must you have heard from them which you have felt to be best answered when they were with most dexterity put aside! Let me tell you a story which the Jesuit Manuel de Vergara used to tell of himself. When he was a little boy he asked a Dominican Friar what was the meaning of the seventh commandment, for he said he could not tell what committing adultery was. The Friar not knowing how to answer, cast a perplexed look round the room,
* The little book here alluded to is one of Mrs. Trimmer's. VOL. LI. NO. CI
and thinking he had found a safe reply, pointed to a kettle on the fire, and said the commandment meant that he must never put his hand in the pot while it was boiling. The very next day, a loud scream alarmed the family, and behold there was little Manuel running about the room holding up his scalded finger, and exclaiming Oh dear, oh dear, I've committed adultery! I've committed adultery! I've committed adultery!'”
We are happy in having it in our power to give extended circulation to the passage which follows—the author's apology for his good story of Manuel de Vergara.
Of what use a story may be, even in the most serious debates, may be seen from the circulation of old Joes in Parliament, which are as current there as their sterling namesakes used to be in the city some threescore years ago. A jest, though it should be as stale as last week's newspaper, and as flat as Lord Flounder's face, is sure to be received with laughter by the collective wisdom of the nation : nay, it is sometimes thrown out like a tub to the whale, or like a trail of carrion to draw off hounds from the scent.
• The Bill which should have put an end to the inhuman practice of employing children to sweep chimneys was thrown out on the third reading, in the House of Lords, (having passed the Commons without a dissentient voice,) by a speech from Lord Lauderdale, the force of which consisted in, literally, a Joe Miller jest. He related that an Irishman used to sweep his chimney by letting a rope down, which was fastened round the legs of a goose, and then pulling the goose after it. A neighbour, to whom he recommended this as a convenient mode, objected to it upon the score of cruelty to the goose, upon which he replied, that a couple of ducks might do as well. Now, if the bill before the house had been to enact that men should no longer sweep chimneys, but that boys should be used instead, the story would have been applicable. It was no otherwise applicable than as it related to chimney-sweeping : but it was a joke, and that sufficed. The lords laughed: his lordship had the satisfaction of throwing out the bill, and the home negro trade has continued from that time, now seven years, till this day, and still continues. His lordship had his jest, and it is speaking within compass to say, that in the course of those seven years two thousand children have been sacrificed in consequence.
. The worst actions of Lord Lauderdale's worst ancestor admit of a better defence before God and man.
· Had his lordship perused the evidence which had been laid before the House of Commons when the bill was brought in, upon which evidence the bill was founded? Was he aware of the shocking barbarities connected with the trade, and inseparable from it? Did he know that children inevitably lacerate themselves in learning this dreadful occupation? that they are frequently crippled by it? frequently lose their lives in it by suffocation, or by slow fire? that it induces a peculiar and dreadful disease ? that they who survive the accumulated hardships of a childhood, during which they are exposed to every kind of misery, and