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2. The Convict Ship.
- away, and away!
Night on the waves ! - and the moon is on high.
Bosoms that sorrow and guilt could not sever,
Tis thus with our life, while it passes along,
T. K. HERVEY.
The above extract is from a poet of the happiest descriptive powers. He has placed before us two pictures glowing with the colors of mindbeautiful pictures — in which he has imbodied the material and the ideal. The first represents a sunrise on the ocean, with a ship gliding gallantly
and seeming as if freighted with the bright visions of hope. Again, in the calm moonlight, the same ship, like a phantom of beauty, spreading her wings on the bosom of night, floats smoothly on the shadowy main, seeming as if freighted with happiness, and bound to the regions of bliss. But “souls that are smitten lie bursting within.” In a beautiful and simple moral, like a dew-drop mirroring forth the universe, the poet has shown that such is life. With a few letters which the fingers of a child might write or blot, but which Time himself can never obliterate; with a few words, though breath when uttered, yet once uttered may never cease to be repeated; with these few words, arranged in the two following lines,
“ And the withering thoughts which the world cannot know,
Like heart-broken exiles, lie burning below," — the poet has presented to our minds a scene of unrivalled accuracy and trut- - a scene which calls up all that memory can recollect, all that prescience can forebode-- a scene which suggests all that fancy can reach, all that imagination can conceive -a scene, in fine, which touches the heart, stirs thought from its depth, and rouses resolve into ardent, earnest, healthful, virtuous exercise
3. What the Teacher should be.
In intellectual culture, it will be found, that the ripest knowledge is best qualified to instruct the most complete ignorance. It is a common mistake to suppose, that those who know little suffice to inform those who know less; that the master who is but a stage before the pupil can, as well as another, show him the way; nay, that there may even be an advantage in this near approach between the minds of teacher and of taught; since the recollection of recent difficulties, and the vividness of fresh acquisition, give to the one a more living interest in the progress of the other. Of all educational errors, this is one of the gravest.
The approximation required between the mind of teacher and of taught is not that of a common ignorance, but of mutual sympathy; not a partnership in narrowness of understanding, but that thorough insight of the one into the other, that orderly analysis of the tangled skein of thought, that patient and masterly skill in developing conception after conception, with a constant view to a remote result, which can only belong to comprehensive knowledge and prompt affections.
With whatever accuracy the recently initiated may give out his new stores, he will rigidly follow the precise method by which he made them his own; and will want that variety and fertility of resource, that command of the several paths of access to a truth, which are given by a thorough survey of the whole field on which he stands. The instructor needs to have a full perception, not merely of the internal contents, but also of the external relations of that which he unfolds ;
Approximation, approach or drawing near to any thing: ap, 10; ion, 96. -- Sympathy, feeling with : sym, 55. — Partnership, union or joint participation, state of being associated : ship, 121. -- Narrowness, want of extent or comprehension, state of being confined or contracted: ness, 113. Analysis, separation into first elements : ana, 13. — Masterly, skilful, like or suitable to a master: ly, 110. - Comprehensive, having power to under stand many things at once or together : com, 20; ive, 103. — Perception, power of seeing through, of perceiving or observing : per, 41; ion, 96.
as the astronomer knows but little, if, ignorant of the place and laws of moon and sun, he has examined only their mountains and their spots.
The sense of proportion between the different parts and stages of a subject, the appreciation of the size and value of every step, the foresight of the direction and magnitude of the section that remains, are qualities so essential to the teacher, that without them all instruction is but an insult to the learner's understanding. And in virtue of these it is, that the most cultivated minds are usually the most patient, most clear, most rationally progressive; most studious of accuracy in details, because not impatiently shut up within them as absolutely limiting the view, but quietly contemplating them from without in their relation to the whole.
Neglect and depreciation of intellectual minutiæ are characteristics of the ill-informed; and where the granular parts of study are thrown away or loosely held, will be found no compact mass of knowledge, solid and clear as crystal, but a sandy accumulation, bound together by no cohesion, and transmitting no light. And above and beyond all the advantages which a higher culture gives in the mere system of communicating knowledge, must be placed that indefinable and mysterious power which a superior mind always puts forth upon an inferior — that living and life-giving action, by which the mental forces are strengthened and developed, and a spirit of intelligence is produced, far transcending in ex cellence the acquisition of any special ideas.
In the task of instruction, so lightly assumed, so unworthily esteemed, no amount of wisdom would be superfluous and lost; and even the child's elementary teaching would be best conducted, were it possible, by Omniscience itself. The
Depreciation, the act of bringing a thing down to a lower price, or undervaluing: de, 23; ion, 96. — Minutia, small particulars. - Granular, pertaining to small, compact particles: ar, 73. — Accumulation, one thing heaped upon another: ad, 10. — Transmitting, sending through: trans, 66. – Transcending, climbing beyond, surpassing: trans, 56. — Superfluous, fuli of, flowing over, more than enough : super, 53; ous, 119.
more comprehensive the range of intellectual view, and the more minute the perception of its parts, the greater will be the simplicity of conception, the aptitude for exposition, and the directness of access to the open and expectant mind. This adaptation to the humblest wants is the peculiar triumph of the highest spirit of knowledge. MARTINEAU.
4. Value of Books.
No knowledge is more useful in life, nor is any furnished by human science more fitted to raise the mind to worthy thoughts of the Creator, than the knowledge of our own nature. This knowledge we obtain in part by consciousness; that is, by observing and reflecting upon the operations of our own minds.
But, as we can become acquainted in this way with our own minds only, and can learn nothing of the respects in which other minds may differ from our own, nor determine how far the characteristics observed belong to man as man, it becomes necessary to enlarge our acquaintance with our species. Hence the advantage of intercourse with others; and the more extensive this intercourse is, the better shall we discriminate between what is personal, local, or accidental in human character, and what is permanent, essential, and universal.
He who mixes promiscuously with men of various pursuits and parties, or who travels and observes men as they develop themselves in different countries and under different systems of government and religion, must have a much more liberal and enlightened acquaintance with man's nature, than if he had always associated with one class or lived only in one place.
Now, books serve, in a good degree, as substitutes for
Characteristics, those traits which distinguish one thing from another of its kind, or that which constitutes the difference between two similar objects. - Essential, literally, belonging to the being, al, 68; that quality or attribute of any object, which is necessary to its constitution or existence