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Analogy replies and instructs. The great popular re. forms of the age are carried on, in part at least, through public gatherings and the living voice. Agriculture and various other material interests are evidently advanced by associations and extemporaneous speech, and by more familiar conference of man with man. Common schools and Sunday-schools are improved by conventions and institutes, and the personal interchange of ideas and experiences. The same methods can be adopted in behalf of the family, wherein not only the smaller evils, but the gigantic wrongs, of society mostly have their unnoticed origin. The experiment, indeed, has already been tried, and an auspicious opening been made. In numerous cities, towns, and villages, chiefly in New England, meetings and discussions have been held. There has been generally a full, and sometimes a crowded attendance; and with the most encouraging results. Even some very intelligent parents have acknowledged their obligations to them as the source of new or clearer ideas, and a wider comprehension of the subject. The young have seemed as much interested as the heads of families themselves. They have felt that they were thus most essentially preparing to make and deserve happy homes of their own in the future. The numerous illustrative anecdotes have attracted the curiosity and touched the hearts of children, while they have fastened principles and ideas on the memories of the mature.
Further, during three consecutive Legislative sessions, beginning with that of 1858, a series of meetings has been conducted by the undersigned at the State House, in Boston, in behalf of those deepest and broadest foundations of the Commonwealth,—the Homes of the people. His excellency, Governor Banks, presided on the initiatory occasion; and he also opened the course of the second season. Some of the most eminent men in the communi. ty took part in the discussions, or made addresses. To this it may be added, that the Governors of New Hampshire and Vermont have each presided at a meeting, in the same behalf, at the Representatives' Hall of their respective States. Thus, for the first time in history, it is believed, the cause of home responsibility, care and culture, has been carried into the Capitols of States, and made to look forth upon the people, and speak to them under the highest auspices.
A LETTER TO THE SCHOOL TEACHER. Respected Fellow-Laborer :—Nobody more clearly perceives and more deeply feels the need of family reform than the teacher. With confidence and hope, therefore, I seek your co-operation. Will you see at once that the measure stated in the preceeding article is started in your locality? If you cannot bring the people generally together, please introduce the subject into your school. I will give you an encouraging illustration. A few boys, from fourteen to seventeen years of age, not long ago, spent weekly, for several months, an evening hour at my house, discussing, under my direction, questions pertaining to home education, and their own discipline and best welfare, just as parents might do themselves. The good sense and keen discernment manifested were surprising. They abounded in anecdotes of the family and the school. Indeed, they were all aglow, and repeatedly declared that it was the happiest hour of the whole week. Could young ladies have participated, no doubt they would have been equally interested and benefitted, and much would have been added to the zest of the occasions. Now, with such an example, will you not set apart a little time, once a week at least, for conversation with your pupils on simi: lar topics? I believe they will take hold of them with a relish and an improvement which have scarcely as yet been imagined. I am satisfied, that if the young could be instructed in their relations to parents and teachers, and in the philosophy of their own natures and duties, and
this more especially by their own mental action, it would make an astonishing difference in their characters and conduct. Furthermore, after this easy, conversational discussion of a topic, it might be made the regular theme for composition. The writers would have the advantage of each other's thoughts and illustrations, as far as remembered, but each working them over, and inter-weaving fresh material, according to the individual diversity of taste and talent. A selection from these essays might be read aloud in the school; or, what would be much bet. ter, one evening in the week might be appropriated to the reading, at the school room. Then the parents might be invited to listen. Indeed, the children, having an educational question as an exercise from week to week, would be very likely to bring it up at home, and to seek matter for reply from their more experienced fathers and mothers. Thus would arise much family talk; and thought would be stirred and practical wisdom brought out, for the first time perhaps, where before there had been apathy and neglect and their many unhappy results. As another consequevce, parents would eagerly attend the evening school-room gatherings. Indeed, out of these interesting occasions might grow such meetings as were at first proposed, embracing the whole shool-district, or possibly the whole town. I again earnestly beg you to make the trial, and see what may be the effect. Your ever-faithful friend,
WARREN BURTON. Salem, Mass., March 1, 1861.
A SINGULAR SENTENCE.
"Sator arepo tenet opera rotas." 1. This spells backward and forward all the same. 2. Then taking all the first letters of each word spells the first
3. Then taking all the second letters of each word spells the secund word.
4. Then all the third, and so on through the fourth and fifth.
5. Then commencing with the last letter of each word spells the last word.
6. Then the next to the last of each word, and so on through.
WHY WE HAVE POOR SCHOOLS.
From a Superintendent's Report. Just now there are but few experienced teachers in the market. We have been obliged during the year to approve of those of no experience, many very young, some with qualifications at a very low mark, because this was all the material at hand. Rejecting them would have left many of the districts without a teacher. The fact is, the business of teaching, in town, does not compete with other business as to pay. We cannot expect that our enter. prising young men and women will qualify and offer them. belves as teachers at a price less than they can command elsewhere. Most that have offered themselves for teachers the past year have been too young to go into perma. nent business. If they were older, they would be away bidding for a place in the factories, or some of the various trades or agencies, where they can get a more liberal compensation than in the school-room. It should not be for. gotten that wages in almost every department of business have increased largely within a few years, and there must be a corresponding increase in the compensation of teachers, or our best young men and women will not look to teaching as a permanent business. If they teach at all, it is only to fill up a little time until a more liberal offer is presented. They know that other business will bid higher for them. They do not look to this as a permanent thing, and of course have little ambition or interest for a reputation as a teacher.
There has, too, come into existence within a few years, a variety of employments that call for agents, that engage many who should be teachers. There are special schools for writing, music, drawing and painting ; lectures on geography, history or astronomy. These all pay liberally, as a general thing. And those that should be teachers in the common school are engaged here, because they can get a more liberal compensation. Districts will be oblig. ed to pay more liberally, or they cannot command in the market our most enterprising young ladies and gentlemen as teachers. But few of the lady teachers for the summer schools have received wages above the Irish girls in the families. A young man on the farm now commands wages quite equal to most of the teachers of our schools. Money being the standard of worth, in the common senti. snent, teaching is degraded in the town. Our best teachers feel it. They will not bid for business that is under par. It is simply a competition in business. The town does not hold its own in that competition, so as to com. mand the best article in the trade, as teachers.
Other employments have been run up in pay, so as to shame the business of teaching in the common school. Let a teacher in music or dancing, or a lecturer on geog. raphy or history, offer his services, and he will command from $2,50 to $3,50, and often more, for an evening of two or three hours, while the best of our teachers in the common school, laboring six hours a day, do not receive inore than one dollar-many of them not more than sev. enty five cents. Let a lady with graceful airs, (no matter whetber she has any education,) come into the town and put up her advertisements as a teacher in painting, or worsted work, and she is the teacher that commands the attention and generous pay. She would think her services poorly appreciated if she did not realize from one to two dollars per day; while the lady teachers in the dis. trict school are put off with little attention, with twentyfive, thirty, or forty cents per day,—a majority of them, in the summer schools, with only twenty-five cents. It is folly to think of respect for the business of teaching in the common schools, in face of this disparagement. Parents must pay less for instruction elsewhere, or more for the common schooi. A teacher that is capable of appreciating his position at all, will feel that his services are, or ought to be, of more worth, and command more atten. tion, than those of the teacher of music, or writing, or drawing. He will not, if he has any self-respect, be out