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IMPATIENCE THE VICE OF THE AGE.
The eager desire to press forward, not so much to conquer obstacles as to elude them; that gambling with the solemn destinies of life, seeking ever to set success upon the chances of a die; that hastening from the wish conceived to the end accomplished; that thirst after quick returns to ingenious toil, and breathless spurrings along short cuts to the goal, which we see every where around us, from the Mechanic's Institute to the stock market-beginning in education with the primers of infancy, deluging us with “Philosophies for the million,” and “Sciences made easy ;' characterizing the books of our writers, the speeches of our statesmen, no less than the dealings of our speculators, seem, I confess, to me, to constitate a very diseased and very general symptom of the times. I hold that the greatest friend to man is labor; that knowledge without toil, if possible, were worthless; that toil in pursuit of knowledge is the best knowledge we can attain; that the continued effort for fame is nobler than fame itself; that it is not wealth suddenly acquired which is deserving of homage, but the virtues which a man exercises in the slow pursuit of wealth -the abilities so called forth, the self-denials so imposed : in a word, that Labor and Patience are the true schoolmasters on earth.-Bulwer.
The following beautiful illustration of the simplicity and power of truth, is from the pen of S. H. Hammond, formerly editor of the Albany State Register. He was an eye witness of the scene in one of the higher courts:
A little girl, nine years of age, was offered as a witness against a prisoner who was on trial for a felony committed at her father's house.
“Now, Emily," said the counsel for the prisoner, i pon her being offered as a witness, “I desire to know if you understand the nature of an oath ?”
"I don't know what you mean," was the simple answer.
“There, your honor," said the counsel, addressing the court, “is any thing further necessary to demonstrate the validity of my objection? This witness should be rejected. She does not comprehend the nature of an oath." “Let us see," said the Judge. “Come here, my daughter." Assured by the kind tone and manner of the Judge, the child stepped
toward him, and looked confidingly up in his face, with a calm, clear eye, and in a manner so artless and frank, that went straight to the heart.
“Did you ever take an oath ?” inquired the judge. The little girl stepped back with a look of horror, and the red blood mantled in a blash all over her face and neck as she answered:
“I do not mean that,” said the judge, who saw her mistake, “I mean were you ever a witness before ?"
“No, sir; I never was in court before,” was the answer.
“Well, place your hand upon this Bible, and listen to what I say," and he repeated, slowly and solemnly, the oath usually administered to wit
“Now," said the judge, “you have sworn as a witness, will you tell me what will befall you if you do not tell the truth ?"
“ I shall be shut up in the State Prison," answered the child.
The child took the Bible, and turning rapidly to the chapter containing the commandments, pointed to the injunction, “ Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor.” “ I learned that before I could read."
“Has any one talked with you about your being a witness in court here against this man?" inquired the judge.
“Yes, sir,” she replied. “My mother heard they wanted me to be a witness, and last night she called me to her room, and asked me to tell her the Ten Commandments, and then we kneeled down together, and she prayed that I might understand how wicked it was to bear false witness against my neighbor, and that God would help me, a little child, to tell the truth as it was before him. And when I came up here with father, she kissed me and told me to remember the Ninth Commandment, and that God would hear every word that I said."
“Do you believe this?” asked the judged, while a tear glistened in his eye, and his lip quivered with emotion.
“Yes, sir,” said the child, with a voice and manner that showed her conviction of the truth was perfect.
“God bless you, my child,” said the judge, "you have a good mother. This witness is competent,” he continued. Were I on trial for my life, and innocent of the charge against me, I would pray to God for such witnesses as this. Let her be examined.”
She told her story with the simplicity of a child, as she was, but there was a directness about it which carried conviction of its truth to every heart. She was rigidly cross-examined. The counsel plied her with infinite and ingenious questioning, but she varied from her first statement in nothing. The truth as spoken by that little child was sublime. Falsehood and perjury had preceded her testimony. The prisoner had entrenched himself in lies, till he deemed himself impregnable. Witnesses had falsified facts in his favor, and villainy had manufactured for him a sham defense. But before her testimony, falsehood was scattered like chaff, The little child, for whom a mother had prayed for strength to be given her to speak the truth as it was before God, broke the canning devices of matured villainy to pieces like a potter's vessel. The strength that her mother prayed for was given her, and the sublime and terrible simplicity-terrible I mean to the prisoner and his associates—with which she spoke was like a revelation from God himself.
BY CHARLES SWAIN.
SHE who thinks a noble heart
Better than a noble mien
Though 'tis less in fashion seen;
She who deems that inward grace
Far surpasses outward show,
Than that charm the soul can throw;
She who knows the soul requires
Something more than lips of dew;
Love itself dies with it too;
"As well out of the world as out of the fashion," and Fashion rules the world” have long since passed into proverbs. The first I conceive to be scarcely true, but a sort of satire upon the prevailing desire to conform to custom in matters of dress, etiquette, &c. But perhaps fashion does rule the world. It would be a curious and no doubt an interesting study to trace the history of fashion and its connection with the moral and intellectual condition of the society in which the various forms, customs and costumes have prevailed. We are all in the habit of speaking more or less disdainfally of the control fashion has over the minds of others without once thinking that we ourselves are most willing subjects of Her Majesty. With nothing with which Her Royal Highness has to do, does she play more capricious pranks than with the pronunciation of the English language. At her nod, h-e-a-r-d becomes hurd, heerd or beord. But it would be useless to multiply examples. Every body knows how ever and anon “shibboleth” is well enough, but woe be to him who saith "sibboleth.” But in other matters her commands are not so harmless. To what but to fashion, do we owe the present ridiculons plan pursued in the school education of girls, especially, but seen also in thai of boys. It is the fashion to be educated now.a-days, and so there is a great rage for school-going. But girls do not as a general thing discover that this is the fashion until their mothers begin to notice that it is quite time to lengthen their dresses and dress their hair. They are quite too old now, of course, to attend to the rudiments of English grammar, and arithmetic, or to acquaint themselves with the vulgar particulars and realities of modern geography. Besides, what is the use ? Papa, be he millionaire or dayjaborer, is able to support them, “they guess.” They never expect to teach school for a living. And the "young lady,” as she christens herself, flies to Algebra and Geometry, and soon is initiated in the mysteries of these studies. She wisely tells her mother, that x plus y equals 25; and astonishes her with the assertion, the whole of a thing is greater than & purt; talks of the "powers," algebraio quantities and geometrical proportions, and her mother, to whom mathematics in all its branches is a sealed book, in wonder at her wisdom hastens her on to the pursuit of the languages. It is the height of fashion to study German now-a-days, so a teacher is procured, and speedily she can read and translate. No time
must be lost. She must study French. So with Ollendorf again in hand, she learns to speak a few sentences that a Frenchman would no more understand than so much Chinese. Well, Fashion bids her study Latin, and that which a man would only complete after months, and even years of patient study, she masters in as many weeks, and in triumph presents herself for her father's approval. He never heard of Ollendorf, never saw a Latin dictionary. "Amazement confronts him," and in rapture over the wisdom of the rising generation, he speeds her to a music teacher, and anon she graduates from one of the first seminaries, for wbile her education in music and the languages has been progressing, she has perused many a useful author, and it will not be at all strange if she can even write poetry. Fashion has one more important command, and with direct reference to this have all her less important behests been obeyed. The young lady must accept a husband. This done, she is ready to fill her niche in society. Ready, also, to rear up daughters who shall be women after her own heart, sons for the pulpit, the bar, and the assemblies of the nation. With no exalted views of life's duties, with no high purpose for good, with no yearnings of heart for the weal of humanity, she will pass through life, leaving no works of holy influence, of lofty self-denial or of patient endurance to follow her. Fashion, that "science of appearances," that "art which teaches us to seem, rather than to be,” has inade a Persian law, that this shall be the education of almost every woman, who does not with an effrontry which calls down the wrath of offended public taste, rebel from her authority. When will the great usurper give place to our rightful sovereign common sense? It will be when teachers and parents take up arms in the defence of the rights of their liege Lord. When with earnest, enduring purpose they smite the camp of the enemy with the sword of reason, and rear against her strongholds, the battering-ram of brave and potent example. You that are parents, educate your daughters to feel that it would be infinitely better to wash dishes all their lives then to fold their hands in listless idleness. Talk to them of what they will do when they they are women, and by showing them that a thorough knowledge of mental arithmetic and of modern geography is worth more than a sprinkling of Algrebra and the name of having studied the languages, make them ashamed of a sham education. Take the Scientific American and the New York Tribune for them that they may become intelligent, and keep up with the times, as well as Godey's Lady's Book, that they may get patterns for embroidery, and keep up with the fashions. Then shall the tyrant be driven from the sacred precincts she defiles, to her own citidel and throne.
E. L. B. Sheboygan.
PUBLIO SCHOOLS IN NEW YORK.-Out of 1,214,771 children in the State between the ages of four and twenty one, 832,735, or æty.nine per cent. of the whole, attend upon the public schools of the State, which are maintained at a cost to each pupil of 844 cents per month, or an aggregate per annum to the State of $3,299,898.