tion of the young to the permanency of our government and free institutions, is every day gaining a firmer hold upon the convictions of the public mind. Whilst this is the case, there must ever be an increasing demand for talent in this department of labor, - a demand which can be supplied only by the offer of liberal compensation. We venture the assertion, therefore, that few callings offer so liberal and especially so sure inducements, in the way of compensation, as this. We respect it; there is no one of the learned professions in which a man of fair talents and determined spirit may more confidently expect a competence than in that of teaching. With the generous and noble-minded, this will suffice; whilst those who lack these qualities we care not to lead farther in their inquiries.

Again, this profession is an eligible one because it is an honorable one. And here let me express the hope that no one will smile at my simplicity, for I said an honorable, not an honored, one. I know, indeed, that the calling, as a calling, has not been held in the very highest esteem, even in this land of schools. There are not a few, even at this late day, who regard the teacher as a mere harmless drudge, destitute of the spirit of a man, and unworthy the respect due to humanity. Geniuses, it is true, have sometimes been compelled, from the necessity of their circumstances, to serve their turn in this intellectual purgatory; but they have afterward spared no pains to inform the world that their aspirations were awfully checked, their intellects cramped, and their magnanimous souls vexed, past endurance, by tha petty foibles and nameless caprices of childhood.

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We have even seen the biography of a man, by some esteemed a martyr to the cause of humanity, set off most sadly at the expense of this much-abused profession. Indeed, the simple, unvarnished state of public opinion on this subject seems to have been, that if a man were too. stupid for any other business, then he might reasonably devote himself to school-keeping ; — as a life-business, of course, I mean; for even a man of spirit and abilities might follow it occasionally, or for a short time, provided he did it only as a means to some more exalted and praiseworthy pursuit; provided, also, he manifested the utmost impatience to get out of the employment, and took every possible occasion to express the utter contempt in which he held the business. But this, after all, has been but a public opinion ; and public opinion, aside from the merits of the question, is really worth nothing at all. No man of sense will graduate his views of the dignity of any calling by the rank assigned it by the multitude, or measure its claims upon his attention by the present applause to be gained thereby. It is notorious that, with the great mass of men, pomp and display are in vastly higher repute than the most substantial good; and more than five out of every ten will esteem you more for a laughable anecdote, than for the most inestimable moral precept or valuable information. It surely is not to be wondered at, then, that the office of the teacher should have been considered one of no special dignity, save the mock dignity of caricatured pedagogues.

But, fortunately, the day of such factitious distinctions is passing away; and the time is not far distant

when every man shall owe his standing in society to his own personal efforts for the general good, and every profession shall be ranked according to the benevolence of its aim, and the actual benefit conferred on humanity. When that day shall have fully come, the teacher shall no longer blush to own himself such in the company of the learned and great of other professions ; nor shall every ignorant, indolent, and insolent limb of the law swell with assumed importance, and demand and secure precedence of his more learned and more useful neighbor in another profession.

The time has been when the business of the teacher was limited, at least in the expectation of the public, to the mere training of the intellect. This, though an object of incomparably greater importance than the mere acquisition of wealth, or scramble for honor and office, is now pronounced but one part of a teacher's duty. He who takes the infant mind in its ignorance and weakness, who stores it with useful knowledge, and imparts to it an unquenchable thirst for indefinite increase, surely does a noble work. But he who imparts a love of virtue as well as of knowledge, who teaches the youth not only to store his mind, but to lay it, with all its acquisitions, upon the altar of his country and of humanity, does far more, and far better. He deserves, and shall receive the lasting gratitude of those whom he has thus benefited. Nay more, the world shall yet bear witness to the true dignity of his calling, and advance him higher in honor than she has heretofore elevated her heroes and statesmen.


The original talents of Washington were, doubtless, not superior to those of many others who have been less distinguished in history; by nature he was no more patriotic. Much of what he was, he owed, it is true, to himself, and to the circumstances in which he was placed during his eventful life. And yet, so apparently trifling are the events which shape one's course and make the man, who will dare say that this country is not indebted to the early training of that great man, for the institutions which are now our pride and boast ? To have furnished but one stone, and that a necessary one, for the perfection of such a structure as is exhibited in his character, were glory enough for one man's life. To be sure, not all the boys who frequent our schools, will ever become Washingtons, either in ability or patriotism, however perfect their education shall be. Nature has not given them the capacity: the circumstances of the country may give them no opportunity; and, in this world of idleness and sin, the best efforts may fail to arouse the intellect or form the virtues. But every teacher has more or less of talent committed to his care, and he may succeed in producing the most illustrious characters; and the bare possibility of such a result, in a few cases -- nay, in one case, even, is enough to confer the highest dignity upon the profession. But the true dignity of the office depends not on the uncertain contingency of bringing out a few illustrious characters. To save from the thraldom of ignorance, to rescue from the jaws of vice and immorality, to awaken to a consciousness of their intellectual being, and of their moral and social capacities, a host of youth

who are just starting upon their career of immortality, is an achievement of the noblest order. And who, with fair abilities, a pure heart, and indomitable purpose, may not hope to accomplish thus much?

All this may be admitted in the abstract, and yet it may be objected, after all, that such considerations are not available in the choice of a profession, because young men, who are proverbially alive to the estimation in which they are to be held, will be influenced not so much by the real intrinsic dignity of the profession, as by that degree of importance actually accorded to it in the community. As a matter of fact, with reference to the past, the force of this objection must be admitted ; 'and, were we addressing purely selfish beings, we could not deny the universal validity of it. But we have presumed that we were not addressing such auditors. We had supposed that all who approach this subject would bring to its consideration such a sense of justice as to scorn the idea of receiving from others a meed of praise which they should not fairly have earned by their own personal services; that they would disdain to expect commendation and esteem, where they should confer no benefit. Still more: we had hoped to find some inquirers who were prepared to look beyond themselves, and consider the intrinsic merits of the profession, aside from the immediate personal benefits to those who fill it ; who could value and practise virtue and benevolence for their own sakes, rather than for the applause to be thereby secured; who would scorn to be found among those grumbling philanthropists, who are ready to abandon the objects of their benevolence, and

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