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interpreters the instructions of Solomon were po meta• pbor. They believed sincerely, that « The rod and re
proof give wisdom;" that w foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child, but the rod of correction shall draw it from him," and that “ Tie that spareth the rod hateth his son.” Believing this, their works corresponded to their faith. Hence, the efficiency of family discipline. No one will question the power of correct principles and good example, in moulding the mind and heart. The child is apt to read character and quick to imitate the good or bad that developes itself in the conduct of the parent. He may not understand his principles, but he will catch the moral sentiments that flow from them. He may not be able to distinguish between the old and new schools of philosophy and divinity, but he will know whether the life is consistent with the great ideal of purity and love. And when the gems of truth are set on the golden tablets of parental hearts and are made to glitter and shine amid the glowing affections, a heavenly radience falls upon the family circle, and tender hearts yield to its subduing influence. In such a family and under such discipline and example, the happiest results are realized. Children are fitted for the school, for usefulness in socie ty and for the service of a better life. Who would not say, then, that the richest legacy ever bequeathed to a child on earth, is a father's pious instructions and a mother's prayers. · And what a fearful responsibility rests upon parents in the great work of education. How alarming the fact that multitudes of the present generation are growing up without restraint, and under the influence of profane and ungodly example. And these must become pupils in our schools, and citizens in our community, and must bear the impress of their education upon the brow of immortality.
The true teacher never tires-never grows old.
PUBLIC vs. PRIVATE SCHOOLS.
In our first article we stated quite at large the reasons which may be urged in favor of private schools. We did this because we wished they should make as large a show as possible. The argument, as there set forth, is like a pocket telescope with all its tubes extended for the sake of getting the full power of the glass. Let us see if these several divisions cannot be shut up one within another, and so the whole thing made portable, if not pocketable.
Eleven reasons were assigned why private schools should be preterred; but, on examination, it will be seen that Nos. 1, 2, 4 and 11, (all referring to morals, religion or manners) may easily be reduced to une head. So Nos. 5,6, 8 and 9, (all referring to progress in learning) have so very close connection with each other that they can best be treated together. The eleven heads being thus reduced to five, we will see what can be done with them.
And first, in respect to the social, moral and religious advantages claimed for the private over the public schools, we are exceedingly incredulous; nay, we are inclined to deny them altogether. We do not deny that some public schools are inferior to some private schools, but that the good public school, the model public school, is inferior to the private school. We know very well that the class of children who attend the public school is not always so select, nor is their dress so elegant, nor their language and manners so exceptionable, as of the pupils of the private schools ; but we are of opinion, nevertheless, that when the balance is struck in each, the preponderance of good influence will be found to be decidedly on the side of the institutions supported by the
But are not the numerous and stringent rules laid down in private schools admirably suited to the training of young people ?
No, we think not. We are of opinion that their num
ber and strictness is but a temptation to the wanton transgression of them. The poor child is so hemmed in by regulations that they constantly annoy him. He knows that the thing forbidden is not wrong in itself, and cannot be convinced that the doing of it will work him any injury. He knows that the prohibition is purely arbitrary, and against a rule, for which there is no reason, bis free young spirit rebels. The "thou shalt not” is a temptation to do just the thing interdicted, and so the rules are broken, just for the sake of breaking them.
The influence of these multiplied rules is very well il. lustrated in a letter we have just received from a boarding school miss, in which, after sundry confessions, she says : “ Very proper conduct you will think this for young ladies, but we have to do something once in a while that isn't just so. We must let off, occasionally.” And who blames them if they do?
Besides, the young mind must have a perpetual consciousness of these arbitrary rules, in order to avoid breaking them. It can at do time be left free to act out itself, and, as a consequence, its true, spontaneous development is, not seldom, sadly checked. It grows, not like a tree left to send out its branches in obedience to the sun and wind and its own principle of life, but like a tree in some fantastic garden, dwarfed and pruned into a griffin or a pyramid. Girls especially, are often haunted with a sense of propriety, whieh not only turns their thoughts too much upon themselves, making them intensely self-con. scious, thoughtful of things about which they need not think at all, but converts them into those unnatural and eminently disagreeable characters known as young ladies, very uncomfortable themselves, and very likely to make other people so."
Now, if any where that government is best which governs least," it is best in the school room. The scholar's self-respect is to be trusted, in order that it may be culti. wated. He may be given to understand that his own cofr science and good sense are to be his guides in all things • which concern manners and morals. His judgment in these matters may be presumed to be the same with that of the rest of the school, with that of the teacher, with that of the community. A certain manliness (womadliness) of character is generated and fostered in this way, which cannot be induced by specific rules and penaltiex. You will have a natural and genuine character, spontaneously right, instead of an artificial and composite character, working by rule, and 80 needing still and always to be consciously guided by rules. The unconsciously noble character is the only noble character. The constant introspection and oversight of self induced by these superfluous rules is almost certain to induce a morbid and unhealthy tone, both mental and moral. “Wo be unto him who creates a crime?" Yet this is done when things perfectly harmlegs and proper are stringently forbidden. The yonthful conscience, being needlessly bardened, and afraid to regard as right that which it yet knows is wrong only by enactment, is exposed to severe temptations which might well be spared it. Its sense of right and wrong is tampered with, and it will be a miracle if that "conscience" be not thereby "defiled."
What we have said above applies to both classes of schools, but more especially to those conducted by individuals. We are confident that the degree of freedom usually enjoyed at the Common and High Schools is better than the unintermitting oversight of Private Seminaries, which leaves no single quarter of a waking hour free from rules and duties. The young conscience is taught to stand alone, to act for itself, (yet not without stimulus and guidance, where these are needed) and learns by constant exercise how to make its way independently and without bladders—as all must at last-through the inevitá. ble sea of worldly temptation.
DUTIES OF SCHOOL DISTRICTS TOWARDS
THEIR TEACHERS.No. 5. There sbould be a deep and permanent interest in the school on the part of the parents and friends, and even the daily routine of scholastic exercise should possess sufficient interest to insure their frequent presence in the school room. There is, perhaps, no motive so powerful to excite diligence in study, as the consciousness of acting under the eye of a parent, and the laudable desire of parental approval. When the school room is visited often by the parent, the pupil feels that the duties of the school are important, and his own estimate of their value will be in exact proportion to the interest manifested by his parents. But alas ! how little of this interest is ever exbibited? How many teachers are left to toil on through the term, oppressed by the cares which none but a teacher can understand, without a single visit to their schools, and with scarcely a word of encouragement or sympathy to cheer them in their labors. The prudent husband and indulgent father, while he attends personally to the bodily wants of his children, with perfect self-complacency com: mits to other hands the care of their minds, and congratu. lates himself upon having discharged his duty, when he has filled out a prescription for a certain number of text books, and “got them started off to school.” He visits his barns daily, to ascertain if his horses and cattle are properly cared for; he carefully scrutinizes the conduct of those in his employ, to satisfy himself that they are faithful to the duties assigned them; but seldom, if ever, does ho visit the school room where his children are receiving impressions as lasting as life, to learn for himself the character of those impressions, or to ascertain if the person he employs to cultivate the minds of his children, is doing his duty. If he engages a man to labor on his farm, he is careful to know that the man is competent to do the work ho wishes done, and is ready to give him a fair equivalent