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See Justice bearing broken scales ; Honor, and Truth seemed dead,
Then at his hand a massive coil of ponderous chains I saw ;
Then burst one thundering peal of joy, from all the gathered host,
MEANS AND CHANCES OF SUCCESS IN LIFE.
BY HORACE GREELEY.
To do good is the proper business of life-to qualify for earnestness and efficiency in doing good, is the true end of Education. The sum of all true knowledge in the child is a consciousness that he lives not for himself, but for his Creator and his Race. Let him but comprehend and accept this destiny, and all formal lessons of morality, all decalogues and criminal codes, become to him matters of small account. He needs no admonition not to steal, to lie, to covet, nor to slay; no doctor of divinity nor professor of ethics to decide whether slave-holding and war be right or wrong; if he has but received into his inmost heart the primal, central truth, that the human family live for and through each other, and that, in the abasement or exaltation of any, each is abased or exalted. “All the law and the prophets” may still be useful as counsel, as wisdom, as guidance; but no longer as conducing to whatever is intrinsic and essential. The one commandment, welcomed and obeyed in the sunlight of its manifest reasonableness and necessity as an elemental law of the universe, supplants or dwarfs all others. Know but that this is no barren abstraction, no oriental exaggeration, but the simplest dictate of heaven and nature, beaming alike from the loftiest star and from the humblest blossom, and all beside that philosophic lore, and pious exhortation, or even sacred writ, can convey to you, is subsidiary and incidental. "Love God with all thy heart and thy neighbor as thyself,' is the sun of the moral universe, in whose presence the brightest stars become dim and invisible.
Well were it if the education of the heart could precede and prepare for the education of the mind and the body, but this may not be.
With the earliest development of sensation and of muscular energy, while the child is still apparently unsusceptible of any thorough and enduring moral culture, come swarming shoals of perverted and misleading passions, untamed appetite, imperious temper, ungovernable will. The consciousness of self, of individual wants, sufferings, enjoyments, is felt with the first dawn of intellect; the knowledge of our relations and duties to others is the slow acquirement of maturer years. And, as distortion or misdevelopment in one sphere very surely induces
defects and perversions in others, it is hardly possible to overstate the disturbing, deranging, blighting influence which moral obliquity exerts upon the education of the physical and intellectual being. From a chaos of moral infirmities, intellectual deficiencies and physical perversions in the child, is to be deduced the thoroughly informed, enlightened, wise, energetic, sternly upright, self-denying, all-loving, effective, healthy man.
Into the midst of this chaos, the true teacher fearlessly casts himself, the Van Amburgh of every-day life. It is his mission to grapple with all the elements of moral and mental disorder, and bid them stand ruled.' As out of the nettle Danger, we pluck the flower Safety,' his task is to pluck from the unweeded garden of wayward childhood, the rich fruit of a true and genial manhood. The marvels of chemical transmutation are tame compared with those he is required and expected to perform. To render the froward gentle, the reckless considerate, to dignify the degraded and spiritualize the clod, such are among the arduous requirements of his sphere and calling. That he should often fail is inevitable; the wonder is that he should ever succeed.
No engineer, no mathematician, is required to make allowance for so many disturbing and conflicting forces as he, the moral Leverrier, who is required not inerely to discover but seemingly to create the Franklins and Washingtons of the time. His theories, be they what they may, must often give way to unwelcome but stubborn facts. He may, for instance, have adopted the principle that human beings are not to be constrained to do right by violence, but won to the love and practice of all virtue by attraction, by instruction, by admonition, by gentleness, by fervent love. That this is the true theory, I trust few at this day will dispute. But the public teacher often finds himself confronted with apparently insuperable difficulties in attempting to conform to this theory implicitly. For his instructions, his discipline, form at best but a small portion of the motley superstructure which composes the child's education; the lessons of the fireside and the wayside have been potential before his; are more numerous and pervading now than his; will be vivid and powerful after he and his are forgotten. He tries the virtue of moral suasion upon one who from the cradle has known no other power than physical force; no other dread but that of bodily pain; no influence but that of the appetite or the rod. To a mind so trained, all appeals to the heart or the conscience are flummery; the disuse of the rod can only seem the dictate of weakness or cowardice; and where penalty stops anarchy begins. How can any general rule be arbitrarily laid down to cover such cases as this? Invest the teacher with the authority and the intimacy of a parent; let the child be constantly under his super
vision and care, and he may hope by patient endurance to translate and commend the principles by which he is guided to the apprehension of the most hardened and stolid. But while his lessons of six hours per day are contradicted by those of the other eighteen, especially with the immense advantage of several years' start to the latter, what shall the teacher do? How adapt the new wine to the old bottle? and to the bottle-imp confined therein ? The system of discipline which eschews the infliction of physical pain as the penalty of moral aberration is undoubtedly the true one wherever its subject can be steadily exposed to its undisturbed influences; but where violence rules the hours out of school, as it has ruled the years before school, what is the teacher to do? What can we say more than that he must do the best he can ?
The great work incumbent on him in this connection, however, is that of dispelling from the pupil's mind a false notion of the nature of Law and of implanting a true one in its stead. Law, to the apprehension of the ignorant and the vicious, is but the exhibition of a will as capricious and as selfish as their own, differing thence only in that it is stronger and more imperious. To the confutation of this error the teacher should sedulously devote himself. He should have as few prohibitions as possible; far better let two real offences pass unreproved, unnoticed, than punish one act which involves no real culpability. He should devote all the time necessary, no matter how much, to demonstrating, even to the huniblest capacity, the most perverse nature, the reasonableness of, the necessity for, every requirement and prohibition. As the exponent and minister of Law, it is his first duty to cause every subject to realize that Law is no arbitrary despot, no blind, remorseless fate, but the loving, genial friend and guardian of all, himself included, and that it smites but to heal. Next to and consequent upon the love of God and man, the love of Law as a divinely appointed guide, monitor, and beacon-light, is to be inculcated and implanted with the most devoted assiduity.
But this can never be consummated if the pupil finds himself hedged about with innumerable arbitrary and unreasonable commands and injunctions: if a look aside from the lesson, a smile at some passing drollery or incongruity, a movement of the weary muscles, is to be watched for and reprehended as a crime. To render authority respected and obedience general, it is essential that Law should confront Inclination on the fewest points possible. We may not, indeed, be able to render the reasonableness and necessity of every separate command perfectly obvious to the infantile apprehension, but we can do this by adequate effort and earnest assiduity with the great majority of our inhibitions, and so create and justify a strong presumption
that those whereof the reason is not so fully understood are equally well grounded in a regard for the subject's enduring welfare. When a child has once realized profoundly that the laws he is required to obey are founded in a thorough knowledge of his own nature and its requirements, and are calculated to increase the sum of his personal good, and not rather to subtract from the measure of his enjoyments in order to expand or secure those of others, his future government will be a work of guidance merely, and can cost but very little trouble.
As with government or discipline, so with the more immediate business of Education itself. The teacher's first point is to impress thoroughly on the pupil's mind the truth that whatever of irksomeness or weariness of the flesh may be experienced by either in the process of instruction is encountered primarily and mainly for the learner's own sake, and not for that of his rela: tives or his monitors. He must feel that he is not fulfilling a useless task but securing an indispensable treasure. To grudge the youthful hours abstracted from the acquirement of useful knowledge as the spilling of some priceless fluid on the thirsty and remorseless sands of Sahara, is the feeling with which every pupil should be sedulously imbued and animated.
Of course, no one fit to be a teacher is likely to fall into the error of deeming the rudimental culture of certain well nigh mechanical functions of the intellect Education, although the poverty of language and a colloquial convenience may tempt to such an accommodated use of the term. In the larger, truer sense, Education implies the development, drawing out, of the whole nature, moral, physical, intellectual, social. The acquisition of the mechanical facility of reading, writing, computing, &c., the sharpening of the youthful intellect on the rough grindstone of letters, is no more education than is learning to mow or to swim. The direct inculcations of the class can but supply the pupil with a few rude implements of education, the axe wherewith he may clear, and the plow wherewith to break up the rugged patrimony which has fallen to him in its state of primal wilderness. These are most valuable, nay, indispensable, but they must be taken for what they are, and for nothing more. The youth who fancies himself educated because he has fully mastered ever so many branches of mere school-learning, is laboring under a deplorable and perilous delusion. He may have learned all that the schools, the seminaries, and even our miscalled universities, necessarily teach, and still be a pitiably ignorant man, unable to earn a week's subsistence, to resist the promptings of a perverted appetite, or to shield himself from such common results of physical depravity as dyspepsia, hypochondria, and nervous derangement. A master of Greek and Hebrew, who knows not how to grow potatoes and can be tempted