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become prepared to dignify your profession by doing your work in the very best manner possible. Brattleboro'.
MENTAL CULTURE. This goes hand in hand with Physical Culture. We do not believe that a sickly person can truly enjoy study. He may have a thirst for knowledge that urges him on, but every effort leaves him more exhausted, and less satisfied with himself. But he who has health, is prepared to take hold of study with a zest, to grapple with the difficulties that oppose his progress, and manfully to surmount them.
We have endeavored to show, in a former article, that Physical Culture should be so conducted as to develop the whole body, inducing and promoting strength and healthy action in every member. Precisely of the same thorough character should Mental Culture be. The mind is not a passive, india-rubber-liko recipient, into which knowledge may be stuffed to an indefinite extent ; it is a living, growing reality. As the growth of the plant, or the body, is promoted and sustained by healthy and nutritious food; so is the development of the mind promoted by careful nurture, by food adapted to its particular nature.
Among the means by which this right culture may be secured, a right beginning stands first. Who of our readers, does not mourn over the want of this means in his ourly instruction? The further we have advanced in mental culture, the more sensible does each of us become, of this defect. So many of our early years were so nearly wasted by false or careless instruction, we find it necessary to employ much valuable time, in undoing what was so badly done, and in digging down through the rulbish of these erroneous teachings, to the point of departure, that we may set our course anew and aright.
Şince language is the vehicle of thought, the study of it necessarily stands at the beginning of all culture of the mind. Indeed, the prime object of this culture, is to acquire the power to think. And how can we think without an accurate knowledge of, and a thorough acquaintance with, language, the medium of thought ? We be. lieve, then, that the careful, thoughtful study of language, is the most direct and fruitful source of true mental cul. ture. Let parents, then, who are the first, and only permanent, teachers, see to it, that their children are taught to pronounce accurately and distinctly the very first words they learn to use. Away with your baby-talk. Your children will learn the first lessons you give them more readily, and retain them longer, although they may be but the teaching of example, than many a one more laboriously taught by you in after years. Early childhood is the time, and home the place, to commence the study of language; or, of grammar,
you, our readers, will not be frightened at the idea of commencing the study of gram. mar at such an age. Our own experience at home and in the school room, fully sustains this position. We believe it to be scarcely possible for one who has learned a careless or incorrect use of language in early life, to acquire a free and accurate command of it, though he become an adept in all the subtic rules of the grammarian.
Again, at no time of life is the mind so inquisitive, and discriminating too, as during the period of childhood. Should it not be trained, then, to use this inquisitiveness, and this power of discrimination, in acquiring the ability to guide aright and at will this vehicle of thought? When the child comes to the parent with the question, "What is this?” or, “What is that?” will it not be as easy, and very much more to the advantage of the child, for the parent kindly to pause and answer the question in simple, intelligi. ble language, as to say, “Go away, I'm too busy to be puz. zled with your silly questions ?” When the child, thus repulsed, in its yearnings after the truth, becomes a few years older, and is sent to school, let not the parent complain of dulness, the legitimate fruit of such early training. Our own observation and experience in teaching, testify that scholars are quick to understand and thorough in their attainments at school, just in proportion to the accuracy and thoroughness of their home teachings. It is a mistaken notiof of many parents, that children and youth are educated at school. A very small part of their education is received there. It is at home, in the frank and unrestrained intercourse with the loved ones there; or, if love has been driven thence, it is in the street, amid the boon companions there, that the lessons are learned which make the decpest impression and are remembered the longest.
Then, how important that the parent begin this thorough and kind instruction in the elements of knowledge, before the child has left the home school in disgust, to find pleasure in the street school. The first word learned should be understood, as far as simple illustrations render it possible. The meaning of the first sentence should also be understood. Especially, do not exercise the memory without the understanding. It seems to us a poor policy, to store the memory with facts that the mind cannot comprehend. Every teacher can testify, that most scholars will memorize and repeat the words of the text-book, much more easily than they can clothe a single thought of the lesson in words of their own.
WILLIE,” said a doting parent, at the breakfast table, to an abridged edition of himself, who had just entered the grammar class at the high-school, “ Willie, my dear, will you pass the butter?" "Thirtainly, thir-takthes me to passthe anything. Butter ith a common thubthantive, neuter gender, agreeth with hot buckwheat caketh, and ith governed by thugar--molatheth underthood.”
SCIENCE.-Science distinguishes a man of bonor from one of those athletic brutes, whom, undeservedly, we call heroes. Cursed be the poet who first honored with that name a mere Ajax, a man-killing idiot - Dryden.
RETRENCHMENT-WHERE SHALL IT BEGIN?
Economy is always a virtue, but retrenchment is not always economy. And in such times as these, when ev. ery man sees the desirableness of avoiding all unnecessary expenses, it becomes a question of practical importance, where shall retrenchment begin? It will serve our purpose better, to take a negative view of this question. Where then must retrenchment not begin? No truth is more plain and important in this connection, than that expressed in the Proverbs ; " There is that scattereth, and yet increaseth; and there is that withholdeth more than is meet, but it tendeth to poverty.” Some in. terests in the family and community cannot be neglected, some expenses cannot be reduced, without ruinous consequences. Prominent among these, are the interests and expenses of education. We may deny ourselves, and withhold from our cbildren, the luxuries of life; we may properly save the expenses of much of the pleasure-seek. ing in which we have indulged; we may cut off entirely the cost of dissipation, and greatly to the advantage of all concerned; we may wear plainer clothing, and eat more simple food; we may deny our children their usual allowance of candy and other ruinous indulgences, but we cannot safely retrench their expenses for a thorough, practical education. “ That withholdeth more than is meet and tendeth to poverty.” Suppose all the money which is annualsy spent in Vermont for useless amusement and ruinous indulgences, were now to be devoted to the defense of our common country, would not the war be sustained, and without additional taxes upon the people? Or should this alone be made a fund for the support of our Common Schools, Academies, Seminaries and Colleges, would they not be well sustained? Yea, much better than ever before. In the city of New York, as often as $8000 are expended for bread, $10,000 are worse than wasted for the single article, cigars ! And may not the cost of tobacco and rum actually consumed in Vermont every year, bear as large
a proportion to the expense of providing necessary food ? Surely, if we may include the expenses of prisons, courts and “ doctor's bills," made necessary by such indulgence. Where, then, shall retrenchment begin? Can any candid person hesitate to answer, with these facts before him? Should not the war brought upon us by the selfishness, ignorance and vices of our enemies, be carried on to a successful termination by a tax upon our own follies and vices ? And where must retrenchment not begin? I answer again, it must not withdraw the means for the education of our children. At least one of the Southern States has already withdrawn its school fund and appropriated it to the support of the rebellion. Would this be a wise policy, even in a better cause? Do we not see in this suicidal act a misjudgment that had its origin in the want of popular education at the South? No system of common school education like our own has ever been enjoyed there. Hence, the ignorance, the semi barbarism that prevails. Shall we adopt this theory and allow the war to consume the means that should be devoted to educational purposes? There is no danger that Vermont will appropriate the school fund to carry on the war, but there is danger that our citizens in the midst of this excitement will lose, in a measure, their interest and withdraw their cordial support from our schools. It is unnecessary; it is extremely undesirable. As necessary as food is to the life and health of the body, so is education to the future welfare of our children. Our common schools are the fountains from which flow the rills of morality and intelligence that enrich the hillside and fertilize the plain. They are the source of our only hope of future freedom, greatness and prosperity as a state. Can we afford, can we consent to feel less interest in the cause of education than heretofore, during the existing war ? Can we afford to make less liberal appropriations for books, apparatus, and well qualified teachers in our schools? Can parents consent to withdraw their sons and daughters