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Speak to her, Hamlet.
How is it with you, lady ?
do bend your eye on vacancy,
Ham. On him! on him! Look you, how pale he glares !
Queen. To whom do you speak this ?
you see nothing there?
No, nothing, but ourselves.
Queen. 0 Hamlet! thou hast cleft my heart in twain.
And live the purer with the other half.
162. SOCIETY THE GREAT EDUCATOR.
OCIETY is the great educator. More than universities,
more than schools, more than books, society educates. Nature is the schoolhouse, and many lessons are written upon its walls; but man is the effective teacher. Parents, relatives, friends, associates ; social manners, maxims, morals, worships, the daily example, the fireside conversation, the casual interview, the spirit that breathes through the whole atmosphere of life—these are the powers and influences that train the mass of mankind. Even books, which are daily assuming a larger place in human training, are but the influence of man on man.
2. It is evident that one of the leading and ordained means by which men are raised in the scale of knowledge and virtue, is the conversation, example, influence of men superior to themselves. It seems, if one may say so, to be the purpose, the intent, the effort of nature—of Providence, to bring men together, and to bring them together, for the most part, in relations of discipleship and teaching.
3. The social nature, first, draws them to intercourse. Perpetual solitariness is intolerable. But then, much of their intercourse is on terms of inequality. Equals in age, people in society, seldom meet, but one is able to teach or tell something, and the other is desirous to learn it. The lower are strongly drawn to the higher. Children are not content to be always by themselves; curiosity, reverence, filial affection draw them to their superiors. In the whole business of life—tillage, mechanism, manufacture, merchandise-a younger generation is connected with an elder, to be taught by it.
4. Barbarous tribes go on forever in their barbarism, till they are brought into the presence of superior culture. The Chinese exclusion has kept that people stationary, though civilization has been knocking at their gates for more than three centuries. And it is better-I speak of mere results, not principles—that the way for light should be opened into that country by English cannon balls, or the rending asunder of the empire, than never to be opened.
5. But such a fixed barrier to civilization is a solitary phenomenon in històrý. Nations, the barbarous and civilized, by some means or other, in the everlasting fer'ment of human interests and passions, are thrown into communication and interfusion-if by no better means, by war, by subjugation, by capture : for Providence, if one may say so, will have them come together. Human injustice and cruelty are not to be abetted in this matter. There are better ways, which Christian civilization ought to learn-travel, trade, missions of light and mercy ; but, some way, the nations must mingle together, or the ignorant will never be enlightened, the savage never civilized.
6. Where are the ruder peasantry of Europe now resorting, for work and for subsistence? To the heart of England and America. Many an enlightened man, building a railroad, or improving his estate, many a refined woman in her household, is made their teacher-little suspecting the office, perhaps. It were fortunate, I think, for both parties, if they did ; it might make the relation more kindly and holy; but any way, the work will be done. How fine and delicate and penetrating is this power of man to influence his kind! A word, a tone, a look-nothing (nŭth'ing) goes to the depths of the soul like that. The dexterous hands, and the embracing arms, the commanding eye and the persuasive lips and the stately presence are fitted for nothing more remarkably than to teach.
7. Traveling on a railroad, one day, I saw a little child in the
company of some half a dozen affectionate relatives. From hand to hand it passed-to be ămūsed, to be soothed, to be taught something from moment to moment—to receive many lessons, and more caresses, all the day long. "Here," I thought with myself, " is a company of unpaid, loving, willing, unwearied teachers. Such governesses could scarce be hired on any terms." Well, it was not a nobleman's child; it was not a rich man's child, that I know : the same thing, substantially, is passing in every house where childhood lives, every day.
8. How sharp, too, and jealous, is the guardianship of society over the virtue of its members ! How preventive and corrective are its sõrrow and indigna.ion at their failures! A parent's grief is such a warning and retribution as prisons and dungeons could not bring upon his erring child. And then it is to be observed that the grosser and more ruinous vices are such as soon betray themselves, and can not be lõng concealed. The police of society is vēry likely to find them out. 9. And selfishness, covetousness, vanity, do not escape.
The repulsive atmosphere of common feeling about the selfish man, the cold shădów in which the miser walks, the stinging criticisms upon the vain man, proclaim that society is not an idle
What does public opinion brand, what does literature satirize, all over the world, but the faults and foibles of men ?
10. Society has thrones for the good and noble, and purple and gold are but rags and dust in the comparison. Society has prisons and penitentiaries for the base and bad, and stone walls and silent cells are not so cold and death-like.
163. THE SCHOOLMASTER AND THE CONQUEROR. THERE is nothing (năth'ing) which the adversaries of im
provement are more wont (wŭnt) to make themselves měrry with than what is termed the “ march of intellect;" and here I will confess, that I think, as far as the phrase goes, they are in the right. It is a věry absurd, because a very incorrect expression. It is little calculated to describe the operation in question. It does not picture an image at all resembling the proceedings of the true friends of mankind. It much more resembles the progress of the enemy to all improvement. The conqueror moves in a march. He stalks onward with the “pride, pomp, and circumstance of war”_banners flyingshouts rending the air-guns thundering—and martial music pealing, to drown the shrieks of the wounded, and the lămentā'tions for the slain.
2. Not thus the schoolmaster, in his peaceful vocation. He meditates and prepares in secret the plans which are to bless mankind; he slowly găthers round him those who are to further their execution-he quietly, though firmly, advances in his humble path, laboring steadily, but calmly, till he has opened to the light all the recess'es of ignorance, and torn up by the roots the weeds of vice. His is a progress not to be compared with any thing like a march ; but it leads to a far more brilliant triumph, and to laurels more impērishable than the destroyer of his species, the scourge of he world, ever won.
3. Such men-men deserving the glorious title of Teachers of Mankind-I have found, laboring conscientiously, though, perhaps, obscurely, in their blessed vocation, wherever I have gone. I have found them, and shared their fellowship, among the daring, the ambitious, the ardent, the indomitably active French ; I have found them among the persevering, resolute, industrious Swiss; I have found them among the laborious, the warm-hearted, the enthusiastic Germans; I have found them among the high-minded, but enslaved Italians (i tăl'yănz); and in our own country, God be thanked, their number everyw abound, and are every day increasing.
4. Their calling is high and holy; their fame is the property of nations; their renown will fill the earth in after
proportion as it sounds not far off in their own times. Each one of those great teachers of the world, possessing his soul in peace, performs his appointed course ; awaits in patience the fulfillment of the promises; and, resting from his labors, bequeaths his memory to the generation whom his works have blessed, and sleeps under the humble but not inglorious epitaph, commemorating one in whom mankind lost a friend, and no man got rid of an enemy."
BROUGHAM. HENRY BROUGHAM, the distinguished philanthropist, orator, and statesman, was born in Westmoreland, England, in 1779. He received his preparatory education at the high school in Edinburgh, and in 1795 entered the university, where his course was a complete triumph. He was one of the projectors and chief contributors of the Edinburgh Review, and in 1803 published“ An Inquiry into the Colonial Policy of the European Powers," which at once called the attention of the public to its author. After his admission to the Scottish bar, he visited the north of Europe, and on his return commenced practice in the Court of King's Bench, London, where he soon gained both popularity and emolument. He first entered Parliament in 1810, and here the vastness and universality of his acquirements, his singular activity, and untiring energies rendered him very serviceable in the promotion of reforms. He was elected Lord Rector of the University of Glasgow in 1825, and was president of the “Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge,” established in 1827. He was appointed Lord Chancellor and elevated to the peerage in 1830. Since 1834 he has been contantly exerting his transcendent abilities in the House of Lords in favor of all neasures that are calculated to advance the best interests of society. Among