Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

147

[ocr errors]

dorot was dead :

ar stood,
pomy leader's mood.
vrass was hung,
Harness rung;

ed buckler shone,
- feet were thrown.
owning plume descends,
Po'er his shoulder bends ;

!1le all around, elate
"", or wrinkled black with hate,

the martial crew,
and a craven hue.

th' unusual colour came, ied, nor consuming shame :

se had interest or control ; norror is upon his soul !*

harp ring his flagging spirits on?
the harper that could soothe is gone :
p rejected for the vengeful brand,
of Jesse leads the hostile band.t

of the Lord departed from Saul, and an evil spirit

im. 1 Samuel, c. xvi. v 14.

assed on in the rearward with Achish." (1.

derness, they see him steadily pursuing a straight forward and elevated path, and becoming a good and an eminent man--and to mourn, with unaffected sorrow, over those who have fallen by the way, disappointing the hopes of their parents and friends, turning to naught the counsels and cares that have been bestowed upon them, and inflicting pain and misery upon all who felt an interest in their welfare. Experto crede, is the maxim of the law; and it is no less the maxim of common sense. Why is it not to be applied to the case under consideration, as it is to all others which are to be determined by evidence? The sneering and vulgar insinuation sometimes hazarded by those who find it easier to sneer and insinuate, than to reason, that teachers, as a body, have a peculiar interest of their own, sufficient, upon questions which concern their vocation, to bring into doubt the integrity of their judgment, and thus to make them incompetent to be witnesses, if rightly considered, is not so much an insult to this useful and honourable, and I may add, in general, faithful class of men, as it is to the parents who entrust them with their children. What judgment shall we form of their intelligence-what shall we say of their regard for their offspring, if, at the most critical period of life, they place the forming intellect in the hands of men of more than questionable integrity, to be fashioned by them into fantastic shapes to suit their own purposes, or gratify their own whims? The truth is, that it is an appeal to ignorance, which can succeed only with those who are unable or unwilling to think, and is employed chiefly for want of solid argument.

The circumstances of our country, it must be admitted, have encouraged and have favoured an early entrance into life, and so far have been averse to extended education. This cause has naturally, and to a certain extent, justifi

4

ably, induced parents to yield to the restless eagerness of youth, always anxious to escape from the trammels of discipline, and confide in the strength of their untried powers.

Pride, too, a false and injurious pride is apt to lend its assistance. Instead of measuring the child's progress by his advancement in learning and in years, the parent is too much inclined to dwell only upon the advance he has made in his classes, and to note, with peculiar gratifica- | tion, the fact, that he is the youngest of the graduates. Often, when it is evident to the teacher, that the pupil's lasting interest would be promoted by reviewing a part of his course, the very suggestion of being put back, is received as an affront, and indignantly rejected, though offered from the kindest and best considered motives. It is a mistake, a great mistake. To hurry a youth into college, and hurry him out of it, that he may have the barren triumph of extraordinary forwardness, is to forget the very end and object of education, which is to give him the full benefit of all that he can acquire in the period, which precedes his choice of a pursuit for life. What is gained by it? If, as frequently happens, he be too young to enter upon the study of a profession, there is an awkward interval when he is left to himself; he is almost sure to misapply and waste his precious time, and is in great danger of contracting permanent habits of idleness and dissipation. But even should this not be the case, of what consequence is it to him, that he should enter upon a profession a year sooner or later, compared with the loss of the opportunity of deepening, and widening, and strengthening the foundations of character, which are then to be laid in a seminary of learning. This opinion is not without decided support. Many intelligent parents have been observed to adopt it in practice, voluntarily lengthening

out the education of their children beyond the ordinary limits. Such an improvement as has now been alluded to, ought unquestionably to be aimed at. The progress of liberal education ought to bear some proportion to the rapid advances our country is making in other respects, and to the character and standing which her wealth, her strength, and her resources require her to maintain. It is especially due to the nature of our republican institutions, in order to win for them still higher esteem with mankind, that their capacity should be demonstrated, to encourage and produce whatever is calculated to adorn and to improve our nature, and to contribute our full proportion to the great society of learning and letters in the world. It would be much to be regretted, if the multiplication of colleges were to have the contrary effect, of lowering the standard of education, or of preventing its progressive elevation. Let the competition among them be, not who shall have the most pupils within their walls, but who shall make the best scholars!

SAUL'S LAST DAY.

BY DR. R. M. BIRD.

That day the spirit of the monarch fled,
His hand was nerveless, and his heart was dead :
Around him thousands in their armour stood,
And, marvelling, watched their gloomy leader's mood.
On his strong limbs the jointed brass was hung,
The tempered falchion on his harness rung ;
Strapped to his arm, the plaited buckler shone,
And

spear and jav'lin at his feet were thrown.
From his dark front the frowning plume descends,
On his brow waves, and o'er his shoulder bends ;
And such a brow ! while all around, elate
With triumph shone, or wrinkled black with hate,
His, his alone of all the martial crew,
Retained a ghastly and a craven hue.
Yet not from fear th' unusual colour came,
Nor deadly hatred, nor consuming shame :
No longer these had interest or control ;
The fit, the horror is upon his soul !*

Shall the harp ring his flagging spirits on?
Ah no! the harper that could soothe is gone :
The harp rejected for the vengeful brand,
The son of Jesse leads the hostile band.t

* But the spirit of the Lord departed from Saul, and an evil spirit from the Lord troubled him. 1 Samuel, c. xvi. v 14.

+ “ David and his men passed on in the rearward with Achish.” (1

« AnteriorContinuar »