Abbildungen der Seite

tion of a new power—the liability to use it indiscreetly, presumptuously, or unfeelingly. Against any such proud or wanton abuse of an educated power, we must unceasingly guard, not only to escape censure, but from the higher motives of Duty, Rectitude, Manliness. As we would cherish self-respect in our own eyes, and esteem in the hearts of others, let us beware of so vicious—so very hateful a tendency. And here we may very profitably pause and sharpen our eyes to a true perception of the moral ugliness of so pernicious a habit.

Take we a further illustration from a mainly physical art—that of Fencing :-An art, by the way, as aptly conducive to the general development of the bodily powers, as Eloquence to the mental ones; and like it, on the whole, universally slighted and neglected. “What is the use of fencing to me?" says one, “ I shall never require to fight.” Possibly not; but you have lungs and muscles to develop, a spine to keep straight, and a chest to expand, if you would be fully the man that God and Nature intended-framed you to be; and as the practice of fence is, on the best authority, excellent to this end, whoever has the opportunity to acquire it and neglects it, takes advantage of himself by perilling, in a greater or less degree, the growth, build, and healthfulness of that tabernacle in which the Divine Being has chosen to lodge the immortal soul : binding it to that frail and perishing, but still wondrous structure, by a bond so closely reciprocal that it becomes a sacred duty to learn to know the extent of this dependency; not only to know how intimate and strong this connection is, but above all to act upon it.

When God made man, He said not “Let there be !"
As He to earth, and air, and ocean, said;
But to the work put His own holy hand,

And moulded man after His own full image! Again, a parent will say, and in one sense with some show of reason -“I am afraid to send my son to learn fencing; he is pugnacious enough already, and I have my fears that he might turn this art of defence into an art of offence, and thereby bring himself into mischief or disgrace.” To which it may be answered that such a result does not by any means necessarily follow. The true aud faithful educator of the physical powers, has his code and practice of morals, in their generous use and direction, as well as those who train the mental powers of youth. If it be responded, “But is such really the case with our physical instructors ?” we can only answer, “It should be somit eminently admits of it—and if this element be overlooked, the pearl of price to be found in every truly useful acquisition, is buried or lost.” And here it may be remarkedto be commented upon hereafter—that this deficiency in the attention to instil practical morals into the every action of youth is the great drawback, the culpability—we had almost said the eyesore, the curse of our modern system of instruction. There is too much cramming of the memory with a dormant, unquickened knowledge—the livelier and finer powers of the young mind are never touched-learn, learn, learn, says the master-cram, cram, cram,

[ocr errors]

does the boy—think, think, think, is scarcely thought of, and comes upon the youth as an after thought, or may be! One thing is certain, that unless this genuine moral be made to become an active living principle, and be inserted as a very heart into the breast and body of all our acquisitions, we cultivate a power for good or evil, and leave to circumstance, or chance, or the uneducated force of nature, which form they may assume.

As, therefore, the prime moral couched under the acquisition and right practice of ‘fence' is the healthful play and development which it gives to the vital functions and bodily powers-conferring on its cultivators a larger measure of strength, symmetry, and grace—in the furnishing with a skill ready to foil or repel wanton or unprovoked attacks-powerful to protect the innocent, shield the weak, defend the injured, punish the cruel: Even so, but in a higher degree, the leading moral couched under the acquisition and practice of Eloquence is in its opening up, directing and enlarging the capacity of the mind -spreading over its mien greater majesty and grace-giving to its thoughtful eye a greater fulness, and brilliancy, and sweep-presenting goodness in its most attractive, its most winning, fairest lightrecommending the noblest and most generous virtues, justice, friendship, the love of our country, and of mankind, in the warmest and strongest manner. The power of Eloquence thus contributing so potently to strengthen and elevate the mind, to raise and unfold all its talents, begets through its possession and right use, a higher idea of the dignity of human nature.

In conclusion, we would again press upon the attention of our readers the deep and earnest purpose to which this noble art of reading and speaking well may be applied — namely, to quicken and ripen to flower and fruit the various faculties of the mind. We have carefully weighed the ignorant, though well meaning objections against the study of Eloquence, and have allowed that it may be enlisted on the side of vice; but we have advocated that it is our duty to choose that it shall be on the side of virtue.

IT IS A POWER—and, as a power, must be respected and taken good heed of. We have granted that it may sway to evil as well as good, but we have shown that so do all our faculties; and it is for us to note the excellence of the power, virtuously employed, and secure and direct it with the whole energy of our nature to THAT END—or assuredly our remissness strengthens with a mighty force the evil tongue which arms itself with this prevailing weapon. The mere parrotry and mountebankism of the pretended art we would discard, and hold to the creed-esteeming it to be the only true one—that the art of speaking well can only be got at truly through the art of thinking well. We hold this to be the great primal root of all excellence in speech or discourse; and maintain that true Eloquence is the offspring of manliness of mind-cultivated, refined, ennobled by the study of whatever comes under our observation or within the sphere of our attainment-science, art, philosophy ;-above all, our knowledge of human nature, the deepest and most important of all our studies

[ocr errors]

a life-long study, which involves all the charities of social life, and a true estimate of ourselves; for, “Man, Know THYSELF,” comprehends the world within and without. Thus, then, adding to a knowledge of the art, observation and practice, we have it in our power to secure the whole field of Eloquence; and, provided Nature has endowed us with a fine genius—and no one knows truly whether she has or not, until his faculties be put to the test, (in which test of labour and perseverance so much of true culture and progress lies) with such gifts and qualities, he may safely anticipate meritorious, if not finished, excellence in the art. Nor let any one think that he is incapable of gathering and assorting thus the riches of his mind. Despite the multifarious knowledge collected under the shade of great learningevolved in a limited though still glorious fraction of time—have we not the great Book of Nature open to the humblest? Let us, then, sharpen our God-given powers—for all are of God and designed to be progressive beings, through the laws of self-development inwoven with our frames, and which will not be denied culture and application to unfold and perfect them.

WIEN frowns the world and friends grow cold,
And life itself, like garment old,
Clings chilly to my shivering frame-
I syllable thy blessed name;
And lo, the magic charm prevails!
Through all my heart flow summer gales,
And flowers of love and beauty spring
By lucid fountains murmuring.
O how could pain assail my head,
Thy gentle bosom for its bed!
Upturned towards thy heavenly mien,
A radiant never-tiring scene,
Where two bright orbs in glory shine
With lustre more than stars divine,
Where all thy soul-born beauty smiles,
And all my heart of grief beguiles.
O I could ever on them gaze,
And bask my spirit in their rays-
But hark! the trump of Duty sounds,
Which nerves my spirit while it wounds;
Adieu-adieu-yet hence I bear
In fancy thy perfections fair
To soothe my soul in trying hour,
And shed o'er troubled thoughts their power.


( Continued from page 251.)


LEAVING the case of our Principles" in the hands of the Grand Jary of Public Opinion, it remains for us to devote a few concluding observations, to the demonstration that they, and consequently the scheme of National Education we have propounded for Great Britain, would be equally applicable to any other nation. The only point calling for notice in this connection is what we have advanced in Principle No. 6, as to the kind—and that the only kind-of religious instruction a Government may lawfully give, if it be deemed expedient. Is this principle of universal applicability ? This will not be doubted, if regard be had to such nations as are simply “nations," and not at same time the conquerors or protectors of other nations. There was no difficulty in the way of its application to Great Britain Proper, nor would there be as to France, Russia, Spain, Portugal, Denmark, Turkey, etc. etc., considered in the same manner.

A consistent application would induce the establishment of Romanist schools in France, Spain, and Portugal; of Greek Church seminaries in Russia ; of Protestant institutions in Denmark; of Mohammedan academies in Turkey—and of secular schools all the world over. But what of Algeria, of Cuba, of Mozambique, of Greenland, of the Danubian Principalities--anay, to come nearer home—of India, of Ireland ? Are the French interdicted from giving religious instruction unless it be Mohammedan-the Spaniards or the Portuguese unless it be according to the creed of the blacks of Cuba or of Mozambique—the Danes unless the majority of the Greenlanders dictate its character—the Turks unless it be agreeable to the tenets of the Greek Church-the East India Company unless it be in accordance with the formulas of Buddhism- own Government unless the schools it establishes in Ireland be Romanist seminaries ? To an unreflecting mind, such might seem to be the logical consequences of our Principle—an unbiassed judge would spurn them as monstrous and absurd, making an exception, perhaps, in favour of the last on the list, the much-lamented Ireland; while we must repudiate them entirely for the reasons now to be adduced, and also deny the justice of the exception which we have supposed to be made. Addressing ourselves, then, to the consideration of these two points, we would explain, with regard to the first, that, politically speaking, there no longer exists an Algerian, Cuban, Mozambique, Greenland, Moldavian, Hindoo, Irish nation. Will this be denied ? What, we ask, is the full signification of the term “Nation?" *“A people distinguished from another people ?”—that is too vague. +“ A body of people inhabiting the same country?”--this is not all. "A body

# of people united under the same Sovereign or Government ?”—much



+ Webster.


I Ibid,



more explicit. We have already styled it a “human community,” and perhaps we may be allowed to consider our own definition the best of all. There may be a people distinguished from every other people, and still not a nation—.g. the Jews. It is quite possible for a body of people to inhabit the same country without constituting a nation-e.g. the Australian colonists. The case may also occur of a body of people being united under the same Sovereign or Government while comprising two distinct nations—. g. Britain and Hanover

e. under William IV. The idea of a “ Nation" involves the existence of a common centre—whether it consist of common rights and privileges, of common interests, or, again, of common submission to the same laws and regulations. It must have a heart, and the expanse of the body politic is conditioned by the extent of the equable influence of this heart. Can it be doubted that, if man had retained his pristine perfection, a multiplicity of nations would never have been heard of? Who thinks of the angels as divided into nations ? Is it not the Christian's hope that there will one day be “neither Greek nor Jew, Barbarian, Scythian, bond nor free ?" And why? Because he looks for the universal kingdom of Christ, and for the restoration of equality, because of like perfection to all mankind. When do we first hear of the American nation? when, but after the declaration of independence! The English emigrants find a central point unaffected by the action of the heart of the mother country, and become a great nation. Another point to be considered, is that there may be subdivisions of nations into smaller societies, or States, with different institutions, so long as the bands of union be not broken. The United States furnish an instance taken from the present, the German empire one from the past. If we descend to a minor scale, we shall find this system exemplified in corporations, in families, and in all such subdivisions, according to the powers vested in them, common action may be exercised independently of any higher authority; while in matters reserved for the jurisdiction of the "ne plus ultra" community, these

“ subdivisions must but act as component parts. Bearing these premises in mind, it will be easily understood how we come to think of the British, French, Russian, Turkish nations, as the inhabitants of Great Britain and Ireland, of France, Russia, and Turkey Proper; the territories instanced being the areas equably animated by the heart of these several communities. If, again, we turn our eyes to India or Algeria, considered as colonies, we shall encounter institutions more or less independent, but still to some extent tied to the parent stems of Britain and France-a connection akin to that which a son, who has taken up house for himself, bears to his parents, inasmuch as he still retains the family name, and continues subject to the force of the fifth commandment. But what of India and Algeria viewed as countries—the former with upwards of a hundred million of inhabitants ? To what nation do these belong; what central point do they possess in common? Ay, what point? the answer must be “none;" they neither have one in themselves nor do they share one with the

« ZurückWeiter »