ePub 版

But we object to turning the school-room into a mere house of correction, and of using a low, mean, cowardly fear, as the chief means for securing order. Use the best means first; learn scholars to respect and govern themselves; sterling moral worth is not developed by mere eye service.

Corporal punishment may be well in special cases, but, in many schools it is too frequently administered, and boys of tender years and slender physical development are apt to receive more than their share of this cheap discipline. If it is necessary in our grammar and district schools, we do not see why it is not, as well, in our high schools, boarding schools and colleges; (we think if it is needed anywhere it is in our colleges ;) if it is essential for boys, we do not see why it is not as essential for girls; and, if its influence is so salutary on young people, we do not see-well we do not see why some of the ideas of our Puritan ancestors were not about right. But our thoughts are wandering, and we will stop just here.



DOUBTLESS many of our readers will be somewhat surprised to learn that Daniel Webster, the great expounder of the Constitution, the Demosthenes of the American Senate, ever wrote poetry. Yet, if history is truthful, he did. The following beautiful lines were written by him while in London, in 1839:


"If stores of dry and learned lore we gain,

We keep them in the memory of the brain;

Names, things, and facts-whate'er we knowledge call,
There is the common ledger for them all;

And images on this cold surface traced

Make slight impressions, and are soon effaced.

"But ne'er a page more glowing and more bright,
On which our friendship and our love to write;

That these may never from the soul depart,
We trust them to the memory of the heart.
There is no dimming-no effacement here,
Each new pulsation keeps the record clear;
Warm, golden letters all the tables fill,

Nor lose their lustre until the heart stands still.

From the above, it would seem that in some cases the great intel

lect of the logician and the delicate sensibilities of the poet may be united in the same individual.-Indiana School Journal.


We love biography. A dreamy romance creeps over us as we read the history of men of genius and action; we seem to dwell amid departed scenes; other springs bloom around us, other summers shine upon us, other autumns throw their weird beauties around the closing


We love the impressive lessons of closing life. We love to scan the thoughts of man when the lights and shadows of the past come back again in the final recollection of what he has been, when wealth and pleasure and ambition can promise him nothing further, when he is compelled to estimate himself and his conduct in the presence of eternity, and before the very bar of God. We then think—so 'twill be with us, one day.

Delightful pictures of the Delectable Mountains and the land of Beulah almost always satisfy our anticipations as we peruse the pages that speak of the last days of men, eminent for piety and usefullness. There is a mild celestial light in life's evening- a glory lingering when the feverish heat of life has passed, and the sun of life has set.

"A setting sun should leave a track

Of glory in the skies."

But there is one scene in biography that always brings to our mind a train of most melancholy reflections—a providence that seems to us so mysterious, that we can only say with the inspired writer "Be still, and know that I am God."

We refer to the sad end of that brilliant and poetic Scotchman Hugh Miller. His works are a blaze of genius, a flow of marvellous ideas, a march of words harmonious as music, and every page bears the impress of a living faith in God. He was a wonderful worker as well as thinker-the maker of his own fortune, the builder of his own imperishable fame. He overtaxed his brain in life's hard struggle, and in a moment of mental aberration he put a period to his life. He left a note for his wife:

"Dearest Lydia:-My brain burns. I must have walked. A fearful dream rises upon me, and I cannot bear the horrid thought. God the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ have mercy upon me. My dear wife and children, farewell."


We copy from memory. Our eyes grow moist, and our heart becomes prayerful whenever we think of those sad words. We commit our way unto God. We trust also in him, believing he will bring

it to pass.

Hugh Miller in his early manhood, presented his future wife with a pocket Bible, and with it a most beautiful poem. We give it entire :


Lydia, since ill by sordid gift

Were love like mine expressed,

Take Heaven's best boon, this Sacred Book,

From him who loves thee best.
Love strong as that I bear to thee,
Were sure unaptly told

By dying flowers, or lifeless gems,
Or Soul-ensnaring gold.

I know 'twas He who formed this heart
Who seeks this heart to guide;
For why? He bids me love thee more
Than all on earth beside.

Yes, Lydia, bids me cleave to thee,
As long this heart has cleaved;
Would, dearest, that His other laws
Were half so well received!

Full many a change, my only love,
On human life attends;

And at the cold sepulchral stone,
The uncertain vista ends.

How best to bear the uncertain change

Should weal or woe befall,

To love, live, die, this Sacred Book,
Lydia, it tells us all.

O, much-beloved, our coming day
To us is all unknown;

But sure we stand a broader mark
Than they who stand alone.
One knows it all: not his an eye
Like ours, obscured and dim;
And knowing us he gives this book,
That we may know of Him.

His words, my love, are gracious words,
And gracious thoughts express;

He cares e'en for each little bird

That wings the blue abyss.

Of coming wants and woes He thought,
Ere want or woe began;

And took to Him a human heart,
That he might feel for man.

Then O, my first my only love,
The kindest, dearest, best!
On him may all our hopes repose,-

On Him our wishes rest.

His be the future's doubtful day,

Let joy or grief befall;

In Life or death, in weal or woe,

Our God, our guide, our all.

The poem is touching and sad when viewed in connection with the unhappy end of its author; it is consoling also, for it shows a faith established on the Rock of Ages, a faith whose results the act of an hour of delirium could not alter.

A recent writer draws this conclusion: The death of Hugh Miller is a fearful warning not to overwork the mind, however laudable may be the ambition.



We have spoken in another article of the evils of an arbitrary school government. But we are no advocates of a loose and careless state of discipline. Between the two, the former is by far preferable, both for the present and future welfare of the scholar.

Hartley Coleridge, the son of the great poet, was a genius, and has left us some pleasant flowers of poesy. But he was an unstable man, a victim of temptation, and his life was a failure. Here is a picture of the school he attended.


Hartly spent his school days under a master as eccentric as he himself ever became. The Rev. John Dows, of Ambleside, was one of the oddities that may be found in the remote places of modern England. He had no idea of restraint, for himself or his pupils; and when they arrived, punctually or not, for morning school, they sometimes found the door shut and chalked with Gone a-hunting,' or ‘Gone a fishing,' or gone away somewhere or other. Then Hartly would sit down under the bridge, or in the shadow of the wood, or lie on the grass on the hill-side, and tell tales to his school-fellows for hours. He had this kind of discursive education, but no discipline; and when he went to college he was at the mercy of any who courted his affection, intoxicated his imagination, and then led him into vice."

Could better results have been reasonably anticipated from such training?

A school without order is worthless, but order should be secured, as far as possible, by the best, and not by the lowest means.



What a pity it is when there is in every child's mind such an inborn love of the beautiful, that our school studies and school routine should so neglect its culture, and so limit things to mere practical realities! Do we not commit a great mistake when we make schoolwork such dull drudgery. Do we think, as we ought, that each one has an æsthetic, as well as intellectual nature, that there is something in each one of us that mere intellect cannot satisfy, something that the flowers, the skies, God's pictures in earth and air, and man's strivings for the ideal as shown in pictures and statutes, only have language for? Do we think how the study and the love of the beautiful in art and nature, cultivate and refine one; how tender and earnest they make him; how this culture cannot help expressing itself in motion, in gesture, in speech, in a thousand ways? There seems, too, to be a connection between this culture and moral and spiritual culture. For is not all beauty but the spiritual shining through the material? and so the nearer we get to the beautiful, the nearer do we approach, and the more fully we comprehend the spiritual, the divine.

If teachers could do more to interweave this study with other studies, how much more should we truly educate our scholars, making them such reverent lovers and students of the beautiful, that when they leave our schools they shall know something of the wonders and treasures of art and nature, shall have better things to think of than fashion and gossip, and shall not stray through art galleries for no other reason than because it is fashionable to be seen there.

Nearly all studies need the assistance of this one. It would take too long to describe how it could be made to help all, but the one study of geography seems to need it most, and to get it least. For what is Geography? The description of the Earth, the beautiful Earth, that our Father has given us for an heritage, with its glory of mountain and plain, and river and ocean.

"The sea broad-breasted, and the tranced lake,
The rich arterial rivers, and the hills
Which wave their woody tresses in the breeze,
The snow-robed mountains circling earth

As the white spirits God the Saviour's throne."

The quiet lakes, the grandeur of mountains, the charms of scenery, the beauty of skies, day-time and night-time, are only open pages

« 上一頁繼續 »