Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB

Ed. He accepted them.
Pr. And risked ?
Ed. Yes; kindly and manfully.

Fr. Well done! I did not think there was so much of ready pluck in any publisher in your large city.

Ed. Nonsense.

Fr. I begin to think better of it, in a literary point of view, already. Stay, though—perhaps you showed him a subscription list of some hundred or so--the names of friends?

Ed. Not one: of conrse I told him that I thought I could command a few.

Fr. Only-you thought.
Ed. That was my word.
Fr. Good-put my name down for half-a-dozen copies.
Ed. Thanks. But why for half-a-dozen-why not one?
Fr. Well, one dozen, if you please; and for a year.
Ed. No, no; I meant not that. I meant one copy.
Fr. Ho, ho ! I see—one copy?

Ed. Ay, what would you do with six ? There is no use; your : name for one is as welcome as for six.

Fr. Ask your publisher-I must see him—he will decide. But come, you mentioned of a digest of your scheme, where is it; is it printed? Can I have one?

Ed. Here it is, in proof; but I shall send one shortly.

Fr. Thank you. Can you not read me that one, the proof, just now! Ed. O yes, with pleasure.

[Educator reads Prospectus.] It is proposed to establish a Monthly Magazine devoted mainly to the interests of Education, which shall comprehend discussions upon all those civilising influences which affect humanity. This wide definition of our subject-matter enables us to appeal for support in our undertaking to all classes of the community.

It will be our constant endeavour to uphold those Educational principles which have been tested by experience. What we believe to be true in the old forms will be conserved; what we may find to be corrupt will be reformed; what we may be able to demonstrate as false will be exposed. The facts and principles of Physical, Mental, Moral, and Religious Development, with all that bears directly or indirectly upon these, will be treated not in the exclusive tone of system or of sect, but in the broad, manly manner which the civilisation of the times demands. It will be our earnest endeavour to make our Organ speak out boldly what we honestly think to be the truths which urge man forward in his career of life, and which truths we may briefly summarise as contained in the Volume of Nature and the Gospel of Revelation.

As our Magazine is not intended to be a class periodical, it will not trench upon ground peculiar to Scholastic Educational organs. In their direction it will rather aim at advocating the means by which routine teaching may be elevated into thorough Educating, and timid instructors into independent yet responsible Educators.

It will treat of Education as a science and as an art, and enlarge freely on those truths in Medical Science which furnish educational data; and that for the purpose of awakening parents, guardians, and others, to a deep sense of the vast importance of the subject. It will, then, emphatically address itself to the

Heads of Families, who are, first and last, so deeply interested in the inquiry of -how best to secure for their Children that Education which shall lead out and maintain "a sound mind in a sound body.” And what else is the truo Educator but the head of a family; or rather of many families for the time being ? Hence, what we address to parents is as much the concern of masters, in this, their true function of representatives; to whom also we look for encouragement and zealous support.

The scheme of National Education which it is prepared to alvocate, would at first limit its provision by the State to the very poorest classes of British subjects; in short, it will plead for an immediate and liberal scheme of education for those who cannot educate themselves. Moreover, as the Educator must be recognised as the great leavener of this mighty mass of human life, it follows that we cannot be too careful or too liberal in providing men of the largest and most zealous minds for the great and good work ;--and hence we will argue for an extension of the University Curriculum over the Three Kingeloms, so as to embrace the Calling of the Educator as a distinct Profession; providing specially for such a change, additional Professors, such as for the English Language, English Literature, British Philosophy and History, the Art of Speaking, or Eloquence coupled with criticism ;-besides, such a modification of the Medical Classes, as would include a special course of Instruction in the Anatomy of the Human Frame, along with Comparative Anatomy; Physiology in all its ramifications; Pathology, very specially that of the Brain and the Nervous and Muscular systems.

Our project is extensive, and affects the dearest interests of man, individual, social, and political. That which involves such results ought to be more established and certain than it now is, and mainly to accomplish this—to found the art, which every human being must daily practisc, upon a firm basis of scientific facts, and to exhibit the principles which direct the application of these facts, is the purpose of “THE EDUCATOR.”

Fr. A worthy, weighty, and noble scheme; but, my dear friend, between ourselves, in serious earnestness, tell me do you really think the public mind, or even a goodly section of it, is ripe or even disposed to adopt such views ?

Ed. Why as to that, results alone can show; but truly I do think that if not ripe, it is at least disposed. If I should fail

Fr. Talk not of failure

Ed. —to make the due impression that constrains to listen to the truths which Nature speaks and Reason, I shall chide more my own want of skill than men's inclining; for sure, unless this world be all a mock, and men's professions but one monstrous lie of deep and base hypocrisy--surely of all things human they must most desire to know how best to rear and educate their children.

Fr. I grant you; but you know how strong the force of custom, especially in such a city as this, where, as I am told, buying and selling, giving and getting gain, watching the markets in their rise and fall, and all the thousand business cares that come full laden with the inexorable condition—consumpt of time—are such as to demand -absorb the whole man.

Ed. Something too much of that there is in this good city, but it has store of men with nobler views of man's true end, and dignity, and duty. I trust to them--and fear not, but for my own shortcoming.

Fr. A wholesome fear that will prevent the coming of any other issue than success. Bit come, you speak of having your viows and

a

schemes drawn out at greater length—are they at hand ? Come, give me a foretaste ere the public lip them.

El. Willingly, with all my heart; and see you scruplo not to check me when I trip or tire your patience. Fr. Freely, as I do ever-else were I not your friend.

[Eduortor reads. ] Ed. The subject of Education has of late years been so common, so universal a topic of discourse, that it must be deemed indeed a very fertile, if not an inexhaustible theme. The very commonness of engaging so earnestly in disputations upon this subject is an argument, and a very strong one too, for our belief in there existing in the public mind a felt want of a something in Education which they either wish to realise or covet as a sterling commodity--having which, they esteem themselves rich, great, noble, or all together; wanting which, they deem themselves poor, mean, and undistinguished. But amid the widely-differing ideas of what constitutes this courted wealth—for few minds are equally clear on this point, as we see some are busy in rejecting what others are gathering in as the only true and pure gold—whoever could furnish a test or touchstonebecome public assayer, as it were, for the weighty and true which should enter into the composition of the strengthy back-bone or the elegant, so to speak, of the mind of the true man or the true woman, would confer upon society and human progress a deep and lasting benefit.

Thus, while it is the prevailing nature of man to decide according to his reason—80 much so indeed that there seems to be an imperative necessity to be convinced on some ground, how slight soeveryet no man prefers the owlish light of opinion or hearsay to the pure ray of experiment, or the full light of open every-day experience: no man prefers moony beliefs or starry dim traditions to the truths in Nature vouched for in the light of the eternal laws of the unchangeable and glorious God.

That so momentous a subject as that of Education should have been left so long to the random haphazard thought and direction of anybody and everybody, may become a fit theme for wonder to somo ingenious mind to employ its thoughts during the longest winter night, and ruminate on the cause or causes which have hid from man's otherwise penetrating prescicnt mental eye the regulating moving springs of that amazing mechanism of Nature's creation and adaptation, which man vainly measures by his mechanical skill and knowledge, and pronounces unsurpassable and incomprehensible. Unsurpassable are God's works, and more especially the framework and brain of man. Incomprehensible, but scarcely on that account the less appreciable, is the mind of man—the immortal particle whose in-coming and out-going mortal vision has not been gifted to see, and therefore can only guess at through his reason, and reflectively affirm the distinctiveness of its existencewhile the bond of consciousness and accountability, so subtly and so swayingly inwoven with all our powers and capacities, irresistibly impels us to hold firm by that belief, that faith which proclaims its immortality.

Having no other end to serve than the cause of truth and the public good—if the public will receive such independent service at our hands according to the measure of our faculties, and the warm inclinings and honest labours of indefatigable and fearles hearts, it follows that a certain out-spokenness will unavoidably characterise many of the writings, and may stir up to hasty and intemperate conclusions, which, if we foresce aright, will be but short-lived and end in our permanent existence as the first periodical that attempted (may we yet with the suffrages of our readers be able to say--succeeded) to INSTAURATE—as the immortal Bacon has itEDUCATION AMONG THE SCIENCES.

What reasons we have for entertaining the idea that such a thing is now ready for the being drawn up and completed to something like a perfect state, and what earnest we can give of our being possessed of the powers to carry out to a satisfactory issue, interests of so grave and so vital an importance as the growth and well-being of the Human Body, and the educational enlargement and perfecting of the Human Soul, this, our first number, should in some decided measure indicate-should enable our readers to form a judgment of our ability, frankness, and resources. Whichever way this public judgment sways, we will be found ready either to retire, and leave the field for abler advocates, or to advance under our declared standard, and do battle in the good and great cause, till those victories over prejudice, and custom, and ignorance, be won, which will enable us to establish its empire on solid and humane foundations.

Fr. So far well-I like it; the diction laboured a little too heavily in parts, while at others I felt the true thrill.

Ed. I lack practice, as you know, in prose composition, and my ear is conscious betimes of a blank-verse echo in the style.

Fr. A defect which you will soon remedy_but it does give now and again an air of stiltedness to your style.

Ed. We are conscious that our assertions will be received by some as the offspring of an overweening and conceited confidence. Nor can we altogether blame them for such harsh and derogatory judgments; for when we patiently consider the magnitude of the position which we have presumed to take as resolving the simple but great questions of the How, the Why, and the Wherefore in this vital inquiry; we cannot reasonably take any very deep offence at such conclusions; or what avails that fortitude, inspired of the belief that we labour under the smiles and assurances of unmistakeable truth, which teaches us to bear and suffer patiently, wranglers and railers, jealousies, insults, and scornings, knowing full well that it is not against the truth these taunts and mockings are uttered, but against what such in their ignorance and forwardness take to be false. False ! why? Because it squares not, jumps not exactly with the inmediate, the apparent, the present opinions and belief of the majority of mankind, including their instructors; and hence they brand the promulgators of saving truths with the cruel branding-irons of Bigotry, or hale them to the stake--mad fanatics !--nor see not, nor hear not, the ministering angels to Truth's elect hymning their martyrdom!

Fr. So, then, I perceive you anticipate something like a bitter opposition to your views, and, what is still more galling, the misrepresentation of them?

Ed. Both are certain; for when I begin to beat the standing pool, how the croakers will croak !

Fr. Crush them as St Patrick did the vermin in the Green Isle.

Ed. That were a hard task; I'll leave them to the drought of sunnier weather. This city's atmosphere is close, and breeds them in plentiful abundance.

Fr. Despise them, then, and use them for your sport.
Ed. Nay, that were cruel; I shall pass them by.

Fr. Ay, that is best. But tell me now the sense in which you use the phrase, “ Establish Education on a scientific basis.” Will not this startle plain and unsophisticated readers? I do not quite see through it.

Ed. By “scientific basis," I mean data yielded by experience—facts furnished by observation, or deduced from comparative knowledge or direct experiment-truths, demonstrated to be such beyond a doubt, to any one endowed with an average faculty of reasontruths on which we may freely, fervently lay hold, and bind to our educational purposes by systematic method, resulting from close and yet large thought.

Fr. I comprehend you thoroughly-go on. Ed. Medical Science is the great laboratory in which the studenteducator must zealously and unremittingly work; and for this simple, cogent reason, that its processes and experiments, its experiences and reasonings, are mainly or altogether devoted to the eliminating of truths in connection with or wrapt up in our mental and physical constitution; and its practice and literature is deeply conversant with those infringements of the laws of nature which bring so much of public and private calamity in their train as daunts the most philanthropic, and half persuades the philosophic observer that there is a mysterious fatality hanging over the human being which he cannot resolve, and impressing the minds of the many, that following in the rut of custom is the only true and safe course whereby the majority of the ills and distempers which afflict our poor humanity are likeliest to be avoided.

We have not only the newest but the truest knowledge of all that pertains to the improving and conserving of the human frame; but our habits of life and action are antiquated and false. Our knowledge has been vastly increasing, but our practical deductions, and our shrewder applications of them, in regard to the more vital uses of life, in living, have been meagre and disproportionate in the extreme. We are much more knowing, but not much wiser in this respect than our forefathers. Our general prosperity and physical com

« ZurückWeiter »