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Here, far from Life's unceasing riot,
With books and birds and flowers and friends ;
IN MY LIBRARY, Books are ever agreeable companions. Like their Authors, they are of various characters, but we may select them to suit our different moods. We may choose them as we choose our friends, for many different excellencies, yet each ministering to some peculiar want in ourselves, and producing a more symmetrical development than we could otherwise secure. When we have selected our friends in the library, they do not change nor forsake us, but are steadfast in their integrity.
They furnish us always the same faithful and sincere instructions. They are friends with whom we can converse in the loneliest solitude; they have often gladdened the spirit in the prison-cell, and in the most humble dwelling. They are sources of genuine pleasure-; in them the manifold scenes of life are painted, the affections are embalmed, the creations of the imagination are pictured, the beauties of Nature and the wonders of Art are portrayed, the noblest thoughts of the noblest minds, the best sentiments of the best hearts, are treasured.
Indiscriminate reading has been censured as unfavorable to mental vigor and originality. It has been said that the Ancients owed much of their excellence to the fact that they had fewer books than we and therefore read less and thought more.
Bacon was a great reader as well as a great observer and thinker, but he tells us the manner in which he avoid. ed any evil from this habit. "Some books," said he, are to be tasted, some swallowed, and some few chewed and digested.”
Without doubt, the most powerful minds have been dis. tinguished for extensive and varied research, combined with the most profound originality. Nature has provided an endless variety for the support of man, and it is not the scanty and unvarying use of her blessings that invig. orates; the healthy may enjoy them abundantly, if they are reasonably and temperately used.
However strong may be the objections to the use of miscellaneous books by students, they do not apply to the popular mind. The mass of the people have neither the disposition, nor opportunity for mental discipline. With them there is but one alternative, either to reap the slight improvements, but genuine pleasures, of occasional and desultory reading, or suffer the inanition or worse accompaniment of an almost habitual neglect of books. Though the improvement by this unconnected course may be slight compared with the results of systematic study, yet, in itself considered, it is vast.
The inert faculties are awakened, the tendency of the uniform and minutely divided mechanic arts to stint the mind is checked, the languid imagination is vivified, and the taste and judgment are exercised.
A Mechanic who is accustomed to spend an hour or two daily, in judicious reading, will show its effects in his whole bearing. It may awaken no peculiar energy; it may impart no new talent; but it will give a better tone to his ordinary powers; and greater purity to his common sentiments; and it will, almost invariably, distinguish him from the mass of his class.
The moral influence of popular reading is invalua!le. The maxim that “ A little learning is a dangerous thing,” may be true when applied to the scientific, and the wouldbe-learned, yet not without qualification even then; but it is not appropriate, as applied to popular intelligence. The people are not generally speculative or vain, they are frank, confiding, implicit.
Though the chief sufferers from religious or political errors, they are seldom the originators.
They generally have too little presumption to disbelieve received truths, and too much common sense to propound theoretical absurdities; if they cannot be learned, they may be intelligent without danger.
Their intelligence is the conservative virtue of society. It is not the influence of the highly educated which preserves a community from the evils of error, but the aggregate intelligence of the masses.
If religion is the salt of the earth, this is a part of its savor—it always co-exists with genuine religion, and cannot exist without it.
A. S. B.
· Messrs. Editors :-It appears by the Journal for Juno that “H” is still dissatisfied with the expression, " the rod should be the last resort."
I had supposed it good English, to say of a thing, which we never employ if we can avoid ; which we resort to only when it is apparent nothing milder will suffice, that it is a “last resort.”—And I did not suppose, that in order that a thing should be regarded as a “last resort," every other conceivable experiment, in every case, must first be tried. But "H" thinks otherwise. To his mind, a thing becomes a "last resort," only when “every thing else has been tried and has failed to accomplish the object.” For instance," In the healing art, the surgeon las resorted to dosing with drugs to save a mortifying limb, and after all has failed, and the disease has reached almost to the seat of life, he amputates the limb as a 'last resort.'” “ The mayor tries to persuude a crazy mob,” “ failing by such means, he orders a' blaze of musketry.'” The school teacher with “ a desperate case of recklessness and rebe! . lion,” “ tries this remedy and that, until he has exhausted all the punishments in his penal code:" "as a' last resort' he takes the rod.” In other words, to use the phraseology of“ H," a man never comes to the “last resort" until he has first shown himself an “ignoramus," a "quack," or a "fool.” To intelligent, sensible, energetic men, there is no such thing as “last resort.” So it lies in the mind of" H.” Does it lie so in the common mind ? Webster's definition of the phrase, “last resort," is "ultimate means of relief.” What is? After these have been tried and have failed, who will tell us what next? And because a remedy is the ultimate means," means to which, ordinarily, we resort only when milder remedies have failed, does it follow that in an extraordinary case it may not be employed as the first and only means? Is there no such thing as “ last resort,” “ ultimate means,” except to "fools" and "quacks?” Or is one thing a " last resort” just as much as another?
But I apprehend the difference between us is wider than I supposed. Few will question that the rod in schoolis“ legitimate,”and when properly used“ merciful.” But that in ordinary schools it is essential ” and should be "freely" used, many will deny. From an acquaintance with the schools and teachers of the state. not very limited, I am entirely confident that in a large majority of the best schools, common and high, public and private, a rod is seldom seen, and the more experienced and efficient the teacher, the more seldom is the rod in his hand. It is not used “freely," but sparingly, and when used, it is once for all. “ All mortifying limbs' are not "ampucancerous tumors
extirpated" with the knife. Skillful surgeons resort to these only in extreme cases, they are their “ultimate means of relief. Ordinarily, wilder remedies are safer, surer, better.
We are quite willing to put the rod in school discipline, with the knife in skillful surgery; leave it there. C. C. P.
THE PATH OF SAFETY.-It is one of the worst of er. rors, to suppose that there is any other path of safety except that of duty.-Nevins.
All hail to thee, bright Sabbath morn,
Thou precious day of holy rest,
Foretaste of the home of the bless
A quiet, pensive peacefulness
O'er the distant landscape lies,
With an influence from the skies.
And now there falleth on the ear
The music of the Sabbath bell,
It sinks and swells from out the dell.
And from their homes on hill and vale,
The rich and poor its call obey,
To worship God, to praise and pray.
Our Father in Heaven, bless us
On this, thy own and holy day;
From earthly joys and cares away.
May our holiest feelings rise,
Shall fill our weeping eyes.
Oh! grant that in our every heart
A Savior's love may dwell to-day,
Our every word and act may sway.
And may Thy spirit's influence
With all our days be blended,
Our earthly Sabbaths ended.
M. E. L.
SCIENCE AND POETRY.—In science, reason is the guide; in poetry, taste. The object of the one is truth, which is uniform and invisible; the object of the other is beauty, which is multiform and varied.- Colton.