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are forming good or bad habits, and cherishing
ORAL INSTRUCTION. virtuous or vicious dispositions in half a million
(Communication from the author of the 'Young Friend.') of youth within our own borders? Is there not reason to distrust the wisdom, piety and patriot- Half a century ago, there were very few books ism of those, who, unable to deny their impor-Il especially designed for the young. The author of tance, refuse all sympathy and co-operation in life, the Graad Cyrus and the Fool of Quality
Sandford and Merton declared that in his early the reformation of these seminaries of a na. were the only ones with which a young mind tion?
could be entertained, after the manner most agree
able to a child. Now we all know that children " It is our fashion," says Plutarch, " to dis- of the present day are not only supplied, but surcuss and to doubt whether virtuous habits and
feited. Curious to learn what instruction might
be contained in the history of the Persian prince, opright living are things which can be taught;"|
taugat; llwe took up the English Xenophon-one of the and it would seem to have remained a matter of|| cheap volumes of Harper's Classical Library, doubt to the present day, from the general wantli and found in the Cyropædia, one of the most inof " fit methods” in our schools. To act from
teresting and moral books we have ever seen.
It would be highly edifying to boys-not to ex. right principles, with right motives and for rightclude girls—to read this life of a man who lived ends, is the object of education; and knowledge, five centuries before Christ, who, from the cra. however vast its range. or infinite its stored l dle to the grave was under the discipline of vir.
tue, and who died, being thankful that he had wealth, is worthless if it subserves rot virtue. Il fulklled the ends of life“ doing service and That it does not necessarily; that the greatest at- |pleasure to all, and hurt to none." tainments in science may exist in conjunction | Xenophon's Institution of Cyrus is the first
written fiction out of the province of parable, with utter ignorance of, or reverence for, those
poetry and the drama, that has come down to our moral principles which alone can rule in harmo. times; but it is one of the fictions founded in the By the discordant elements of knowledge, needs truth of nature, and therefore it affords wise lesno further comment than the horrors of that re
sons, not only to the young, but to those who have volution which leagxed the first scholars ofl|by a suggestion that arises from one of the prac
charge of them. The latter may be benefitted France with assassins. So uncertain is the rela- || tices assumed to have been followed in the education between knowledge and virtue: so important tion of the young prince. As there is no royal is it that they should not be severed in the schools
road to wisdom, the discipline of princes, well
conducted, is efficacious in all conditions. of life. And yet, instead of exercises, to devel. | “Cyrus,” says our version, “ was perhaps a op and invigorate the sentiments of truth, of little over-talkative; but this he derived partly justice and benevolence, to form those virtuous
from his education, his teacher obliging him to
give a reason for every thing that he did; and to habits, without which a rule of conduct'is utterly || hearken to the reason of others, when he was inefficient, to explain the nature and importance about to give his opinion on any subject; and beof filial, social, and civil obligations, and to lead || sides, being very eager after knowledge, he was
always asking those about him abundance of out the mind to right views of life and the means l questions how such and such things were how of making it useful and happy, the schools deal they existed, and of what use they were. And in barren generalities, whose relation to the pupils| when questioned himself, being of a ready and is unfelt, and whose rightful power over his ap
quick apprehension, he instantly answered; " so
ape | that from these things he contracted an over-talkpetites and passions is never established. The lativeness." child's feelings are untouched, his nobler nature The readiness of the boy's answers was doubt. unrecognized, while the mechanism of instruction
less facilitated by the manner in which his faculties
were cultivated, by the kindness and skill with goes on as regularly and artificially as the move.
which his natural curiosity was excited and satisments of a spinning jenny, and the thread of fied. But if such a course were to induce pertthought so drawn out, is oftentimes so worthlessness in a child, and encroaching conceit in a man, that if woven into the web of daily life it rarely
it were better let alone. Xenophon proceeds to say:
" It was not boldness and impudence that appear. gives it either strength or beauty.
ed in the freedom of his speech, but simplicity If Locke is right in saying " that nobody is | and good nature, so that those present with him,
were desirous rather to hear what he had to say, made anything by hearing of rules and laying|| th
ag ol rules and laying || than that he should be silent." The effect of them up in the memory," and if the teacher is this early habit is thus related: “ As years added anxious to convert dead rules into living princi- to his growth, he used fewer words, and became ples, remembering that the mind is not a store
full of modesty, so as to blush frequently in the
company of older persons; and thus his conver. house to be filled, but a spirit born of God, to be sation was extremely agreeable. In regard to trained for usefulness and happiness, this misera. his equals in age, he did not challenge, in emuble rote system will soon be abandoned, and me
lation, those whom he knew to be his inferiors,
but such as he knew to be superior;" fashioning thods calculated to attain these ends be introduced himself after their excellence. We assume that into these ourseries of a people.
Wthere is a true instructiveness in this example, because it must have been drawn from experience and the final destiny of the human soul; and thus by the friend of Socrates; and we quote it as a he will call out the powers, and enlarge the cawise monition to all that are interested in the for-1 pacity for the enjoyment and usefulness of all mation of character.
entrusted to his care.
. It takes us back to oral instruction as the aid, || Men plant and water, but God giveth the in not the source, of the best education. In this crease, and that increase is given after known paper we generally speak of the public education; || laws. There may be, indeed must be, counterthat which is to be given in help of all other, || acting influences that restrict the operation of that is good; in counteraction of all that is bad; I gentle and wise training and all good counsel, and in defect of any other, good or bad. Webut men have not yet been so thoroughly disci. would now inquire how far oral instruction can plined as children of the state to disprove the as. and ought to assist that imparted by the book, I sertion of Solomon, "Train up a child in the and obtained by diligent use of it in our common way he should go, and when he is old he will schools, for the service of all our children? not depart from it." Let our schools do this all The first qualification of a teacher, before he
over the land. Let them inculcate the righteous. enters a school at all, is that he have knowledge||ness that exalteth a nation; let the book teach sufficient for his duty-that thus qualified, hell as much as it can; and let the teacher teach as may teach nothing false and foolish, nor be defi.
much more as he can without in the least supersed. cient in any point that he may be called to illus. Il ing the industry that is the first condition of acquir. trate; and next he must have the dignity of cha- | ing, not only knowledge, but every object that is racter, the natural authority that shåll command good, that is sought wisely, or turned to good ac obedience; which keeps order in a school, and
count in possession. This is the function of oral which, by its influence, compels children to in
teaching; it is “a light to the feet, and a lamp dustry, to continued attention, and patient thought.
chill to the path"—the voice of the guide; it is no subWe will suppose such a person, male or fe.
stitute for toil of the learner; it only helps him,
that he may the more effectually help himself male, surrounded by children of different ages, different capacities for the attainment of know. AN ARISTOCRATIC EAGLE. dón ledge, different measures of knowledge already attained, and different degrees of curiosity. This A writer in Silliman's Journal, giving an acteacher is supplied with books that teach letterscount of the birds of Connecticut, thus describes and the elements of popular science; and also an Eagle, domesticated in his yard. It was some that inculcate sound morals and a just lite. what Audubon calls the “ Washington Eagle." rary taste; and he has, besides, the faculty to “This noble bird was shot in New Canaan, make his pupils persevering in the use of these in April, 1821, and was sent to me in Stratford, books, so that they become acquainted with by Mr. J. Silliman. He soon recovered from them to the whole extent of the letter. Now if|his wound, and became perfectly domesticated. the master or mistress of a school, thus furnished, ll I kept him a while confined, but soon found it that is, with weight of character and suitable in-ll unnecessary, because, if he left my premises, he struments for his or her work, has no qualifica. I would return to the stand at night. I have tion beyond authority, no various information, ll known him to eat fourteen birds, mostly king no ready talent to communicate such information, I birds, and then he was satisfied for a week. He no faculty of interpretation, no art of question. || appeared to prefer this mode of living, and paid ing, no fine perception of what passes in the no attention to a daily supply. He, however, . minds of various pupils, he or she will not do forl in the course of the summer, became so mischie. those under cultivation, half that might be done; Il vous among the young ducks of my neighbors, but our teacher is thus endowed, and will pro- l that I was compelled to kill him. A single an duce a superadded effect through such ability. Hecdote of his conduct may not be uninteresting.
It is dangerous in extreme, that the teacher | While he had possession of my front yard, occu. should do the work of the child-that study and pying the centre as his stand, (the walks making labor should do less, because the teacher does a semicircle to the door,) he would remain per more. There is no germinant operation in that rectly quiet if gentlemen or ladies entered; but seed which, being good, is sown in sand-in if a person with tattered garments, or such perminds that do not operate in harmony and con- ll sons as were not accustoined to come in at the tinuity with the influence attempted to be exerted front door, entered the yard, it was actually upon them. Therefore we assume that the dangerous for them, and they could only escape teacher, (such an one as has been described,) Il the tremendous grasp of his talons by running with proper appliances, (he can do next to nothing || with their full strength and shutting the gate without them,) first induces the pupil to ministerafter them. Facts of this kind often occurred, to himself by the sober and thorough use of his and I was occasionally compelled to release frora books, and next is able to give clear expositions his grasp such individuals as he had taken cap. of them in all their suggestions and even to gotive. With one claw in the sward and grass, he far beyond them, and that he will make or find would hold quietly any man with the other. occasions perpetually to inform and exercise the My domestics, both male and female, often selt mind of the pupil. He will direct his observa- || this power of his talon and grasp. He would tion to the economy of nåture, to the contents of not allow their passing in that yard, and long such miscellaneous books as he may know the acquaintance did not change his temper towards child to make use of; as, for instance, those in them. If, however, such persons passed by him the District School Library; to the actions and in the adjoining yard, to the door in the rear of conduct of great men, to the general conduct of the house, he made no complaints. What ren. men in different ages of the world, and to the ders this truly remarkable, was, he had no special duties of the individual in his own social training to this purpose while in my possessiowy, and moral relations, to the providence of God,lland was wild when I received him," pune
CAUTIONS AND COUNSELS.
to be changed by the first counter-suggestion of
a friend; who fluctuates from opinion to opinion, [The following admirable suggestions are from and from plan to plan, and veers like a weather
cock to every point of the compass with every Potter's Hand Book, and must recommend the||
breath of caprice that blows, can never accom. work to all interested in the subject of general|plish anything great or useful. Instead of being education. As the precise object of the book is progressive in anything, he will be at best sta
tionary, and more probably retrogade in all. It not explained by its title, it may be important to
oll is only the man who carries into his pursuits that state, that it is intended as a help to individual great quality which. Lucan ascribes to Cæsar, associations, school districts, and seminaries of|| nescia virtus stare loco, who first consults wise learning, in the selection of works for reading, in- ..
rodinein i ly, then resolves firmly, and then executes his
-l purpose with inflexible perseverance, undismay. vestigation, or a professional study.” Its author, led by those petty difficulties which daunt a wea. A. Potter, D. D., guarantees, by a reputation ker spirit, that can advance to eminence in any honorably earned and firmly established, the char. I line. Let us take, by way of illustration, the
|case of a student. Ue commences the study of acter of the work.-Ev.)
the dead languages; presently comes a friend, 1. Always have some useful and pleasant book who tells him he is wasting his time, and that, ready to take up in “odd ends” of time. Ainstead of obsolete words, he had much better good part of life will otherwise be wasted. “There employ himself in acquiring new ideas. He is," says Wittenbach, “no business, no avoca- changes his mind and sets to work at the mathetion, whatever, which will not permit a man who matics. Then comes another friend, who asks has an inclination to give a little time every day || him, with a grave and sapient face, whether he to the studies of his youth." .
intends to become a professor in a college; be. 2. Be not alarmed because so many books are cause, if he does not, he is misemploying his time; recommended. They are not all to be read at and that, for the business of life, common matheonce, nor in a short time. “Some travellers," matics is quite enough of the mathematics. He says Bishop Hall, "have more shrunk at the map throws up his Euclid, and addresses himself to than at the way; between both, how many stand some other study, which, in its turn, is again re. still with their arms folded.”
linquished on some equally wise suggestion; and 3. Do not attempt to read much or fast. thus life is spent in changing his plans. You "To call him well read who reads many au- | cannot but perceive the folly. of this course; and thors," says Shaftsbury, "is improper." “ Non the worst effect of it is, the fixing on your mind refert quam multos libros," says Seneca, “sed | a habit of indecision, sufficient in itself to blast quam bonus habeas.” Says Locke, "This is that the fairest prospects. No, take your course which I think great readers are apt to be mista- wisely, but firmly; and, having taken it, hold upken in: those who have read of everything, are on it with heroic resolution, and the Alps and thought to understand everything too; but it is Pyrenees will sink before you. The whole emnot always so. Reading furnishes the mind only pire of learning will be at your feet, while those with materials of knowledge; it is thinking that who set out with you, but stop to change their makes what we read ours. We are of the rumi- | plans, are yet employed in the very profitable nating kind, and it is not enough to cram our business of changing their plans. Let your motselves with a great load of collections; unless we to be, Perseverando vinces. Practice upon it, chew them over again, they will not give us and you will be convinced of its value by the disstrength and nourishment."
tinguished eminence to which it will conduct A mistake here is so common and so pernicious, Il you." that I add one more authority. Says Dugald 6. Read always the best and most recent Stewart, “Nothing, in truth, has such a tendency | book on the subject which you wish to investi. to weaken, not only the powers of invention, but | gate. “You are to remember,” says Pliny the the intellectual powers in general, as a habit younger, “that the most approved authors of of extensive and various reading wiTHOUT RE- each sort are to be carefully chosen, for, as it FLECTION. The activity and force of mind are has been well observed, though we should read
adually impaired, in consequence of disuse; // much, we should not read many authors." and not unfrequently all our principles and opin-| 7. Study subjects rather than books: there. ions come to be lost in the infinite multiplicity || fore, coinpare different authors on the same suband discordancy in our acquired ideas. It re- ll jects; the statements of authors, with informa. quires courage, indeed (as Helvetius has remark. tion collected from other sources; and the conclu. ed), to remain ignorant of those useless subjects sions drawn by a writer with the rules of sound which are generally valued; but it is a courage | logic. “Learning," says Feltham, “ falis far necessary to men who either love the truth, or short of wisdom; nay, so far, that you scarcely who aspire to establish a permanent reputation." || find a greater fool than is sometimes a mere scho
4. Do not become so far enslaved by any sys- || lar." tem or course of study as to think it may not! 8. Seek opportunities to write and conderse be altered, when alteration would contribute toon subjects about which you read. “Reading," the healthy and improving action of the mind. says Bacon, “ maketh a full man, conference a These systems begin by being our servants; they ready man, and writing an exact man.” Anothsometimes end by becoming masters, and tyrannier benefit of conversation is touched upon by cal masters they are.
|| Feltham: “Men commonly write more formally 5. Beware, on the other hand, of frequent than they practice. From conversing only with changes in your plan of study. This is the be- | books, they fall into affectation and pedantry," setting sin of young persons “The man wholland he might have added into many mistakes. resolves," says Wirt, "but suffers his resolution\"He who is made up of the press and the per.
shall be sure to be ridiculous. Company and which I myself read about twenty-five years ago, conversation are the best instructers for a noble I remember one counsel there addressed to young nature.” “An engagement and combatting of men, but, in fact, of universal application. 'I wits,” says Erasmus," does in an extraordinary || call upon them,' said the author, to dare to be manner show the strength of geniuses, rouses them | ignorant' of many things; a wise counsel, and and augments them. If you are in doubt of any-ll justly expressed; for it requires much courage thing, do not be ashamed to ask, or if you have to forsake popular paths of knowledge, merely committed an error, be corrected."
upon a conviction that they are not favorable to 9. Accustom yourself to refer whatever you
the ultimate ends of knowledge. In you, howread to the general head to which it belongs, and lever, that sort of courage may be presumed; trace it, if a fact, to the principle it involves or illus- but how will you dare to be ignoraat' of many trates; if a principle, to the facts which it produ- || things, in opposition to the cravings of your own ces or explains. "I may venture to assert," says
mind ? Simply thus: destroy these false cravings Mr. Starkie, speaking of the study of the law, by introducing a healthier state of the organ. A and the remark is eqally applicable to other stu
good scheme of study will soon show itself to be dies, “that there is nothing which more effectu
such by this one test, that it will exclude as pow. ally facilitates the study of the law than the con- erfully as it will appropriate; it will be a system stant habit on the part of the student of attempt. Il of repulsion no less than of attraction; once thoing to trace and reduce what he learns by reading roughly possessed and occupied by the deep and or by practice to its appropriate principle. Cases | genial pleasures of one truly intellectual pursuit, apparently remote, by this means are made to you will be easy and indifferent to all others that illustrate and explain each other. Every addi- || had previously teased you with transient excitetional acquisition adds strength to the principle ||ment. which it supports and illustrates; and thus the To show that these counsels are neither no student becomes armed with principles and con- vel nor frivolous, the author has enforced each clusions of important and constant use in foren- one of them by the authority of some honored sic warfare, and possesses a power, from the uni- | name. ted support of a principle, fortified by a number of dependant cases and illustrations; while the
GRAMMAR desultory, non-digesting reader, the man of indi. ces and abridgments, is unable to bear in his
PRACTICAL LESSONS. mind a multiplicity of, to him, unconnected cases; || and could he recollect them, would be unable to! We shall publish a series of lessons, gathered make use of them if he failed to find one exact- l from various sources, suggestive of new and usely suited to his purpose."
fuland interesting methods of teaching. Many of 10. Endeavor to find opportunities to use your knowledge and apply it in practice. “They
|| them will be well adapted to oral lessons in which proceed right well in all knowledge," says Ba- the whole school may, in concert, profitably take con, “which do couple study with their practice, part, during the last half hour of each day.-[Ep. and do not first study altogether, and then prac-ll The following is an account of an experiment tice altogether.”
ll in teaching the etymological part of English 11. Strive, by frequent reviews, to keep your Grammar, made in a district school with a class knowledge always at command. "What boot- of an equal number of males and females, between eth," says an old writer, " to read much, which the ages of ten and sixteen years; but generally is a weariness to the flesh; to meditate often, from twelve to sixteen. Owing to the inclemenwhich is a burden to the mind; to learn daily, ||cy of the season, the class consisted of only eight with increase of knowledge, when he is to seek or ten scholars. for what he hath learned, and perhaps, then, es- || Ten lessons were given, of about an hour and pecially when he hath most need thereof? With-ll a half each, and the whole time devoted to the out this, our studies are but lost labor.” “One subject, including the time occupied in studying of the profoundest and raost versatile scholars in three or four short lists of words at home, could England," says Mr. Warren, in his Law Studies, I not have been more than twenty-four hours. Yet “has a prodigious memory, which the author during this short period, nearly the whole class once told him was a magazine stored with wealth acquired a thorough understanding of the nature from every department of knowledge. “I am of an adjective, and the degrees of comparison; not surprised at it,' he added, nor would you be, liof a noun, and its gender, number, and case ; of or any one that knew the pains I have taken in |pronouns in general; of verbs and adverbs: also selecting and depositing what you call my some knowledge of transitive and intransitive wealth. I take care always to ascertain the verbs, of mood and tense, of government and value of what I look at, and if satisfied on that agreement, and of the nature of prepositions, con'score, I most carefully stow it away. I pay, be- | junctions, interjections, and articles. They could sides, frequent visits to my 'magazine, and parse etymologically, as well as the majority of keep an inventory of at least every thing impor-scholars (even of their ages,) can, who have studi. tant, which I frequently compare with my stores.ed grammar three months on the common plan. It is, however, the systematic disposition and ar- | More than this, what they did understand, they un. rangement I adopt, which lightens the labours of|derstood clearly; and they had associated none of memory. I was by no means remarkable for those painful ideas with the thought of English memory when young; on the contrary, I was | Grammar, which are too often found connected considered rather defective on that score,” | with it. Enough at any rate was done to convince
12. Dare to be ignorant of many things. "In the instructer of what he had long believed, that. a celebrated satire (the Pursuits of Literature), llif grammar must be studied by young children, much read in my youth," says De Quincy," and "there is a better mode than that of requiring them
to spend weeks and months in committing to "Now you have been present in schools where memory and repeating definitions and rules to grammar was studied; can any of you tell me which they cannot possibly attach any meaning. what a noun is?'' That the plan here detailed is the best, is not No one was able to repeat the language he had pretended. It is believed, however, that con-heard used in defining it. ducted in this spirit, and on these general princi
"Well, all the words which you have written ples, a more steady, rational, and, to the young down this evening are nouns. Nouns are the mind, a more healthful progress will be made names of things. There are many more of them. than on the usual plan. Sensible objects will aid You have written down the names of a small the mind in studying grammar as well as other part only of the things which the world contains. sciences : and there is no necessity arising from yet the names of all things in the world are nouns the nature of the English language, of making|Now have the goodness to take your spellingchildren miserable while they are studying this, books, and turn to those easy sentences on more than any other branch of knowledge. When il page — I will read the fourth line from the children have made considerable progress, books | top of the page. S., which are the nouns in that may be useful; but till that time I believe it bet. || sentence?" ter to pursue some plan like the following: giv-| The answer was given promptly and correctly. ing each pupil nothing but a slate, pencil, and Other questions of the kind were asked respectsponge, and directing him to the book of nature.ing other simple sentences, to which answers were
Some time before I commenced the following :| given.. course, I had mentioned to my scholars, that, as
(To be continued.) the school was large, and the people rather opposed to the introduction of grammar during the
[From the Newburyport Herald.] day, if they would bring each a slate and pencil, LETTER TO A PRIMARY SCHOOL TEACHER. we would commence a series of evening lessons, in January, in that branch. In January we com.
_ - : I closed my last letter with a menced; and as far as I can recollect, the follow
promise to say something on the subject of venti. ing course was pursued. The scholars having
ning lation; a few words will redeem this promise. taken their seats, the instructer proceeded:
Were I able, you do not wish me to talk scien"Scholars, will you take your slates, pencils, || tifically about the composition of our atmosphere and sponges ?" They were immediately taken. -to tell you how it is made up of “ oxygen, ni. “Now please to write the name of this thing trogen, and carbonic acid gas,"—and how the which I hold in my hand, upon your slates." former of these is the “ vital air;" a fresh sup
Some wrote staff, others cane. Either was| ply of it being continually needed to support life. sufficient for my purpose. “Now you may write You have been in railroad cars-on board steam. upon your slates the names of all the things you boats-in“ market halls"-in parlors where the can see in this school-room."
windows 'are never opened, and the fumes of " There are but few things in the room." | breakfast, dinner and supper are condensed and "Well, you may write the names of those few." kept, as if on purpose to add to the impurity of
Contrary, however, to the expectation of the the atmosphere; you have been also in "best lad who remarked that there were but few things | chambers”-loo olten, with all their neatness of in the room, he thought of more than he could furniture and snow-white counterpanes, the worst write on one side of his slate. Many of the chambers, because never opened except to re. scholars remarked that they could not before ceive and give nightmare sleep to some poor vir. have believed that the room contained so many tim, who would willingly exchange all his glory things. When most of the class had extended and privilege as an honored visitor, for a little of their list of names as far as they could, I request beaven's fresh air. You have been in such veed them to count them. The number that any hicles and apartments enough to know how esindividual had obtained is not recollected, but it sential to comfort and health is a frequent change was considerable in several instances. They were
linstances. They were of air. “The immediate effects of breathing anested to pronounce severally the names impare air,” says Mr. Mann, in his last Annuai. they had written; and afterwards the instructer Report, which you must, and which all good corrected their orthography where corrections people ought to read and ponder,"are lassi. were necessary.
tude of the whole system, incapability of con. The next lessons were the names of flowers,
centrated thought, obtuseness and uncertainty of
the senses, followed by dizziness, faintness, and, trees, fishes, trades, articles of household furni
is long continued, by death." ture, &c.
Now very visible "What did I first do when I came into the
will be some of these effects, with the addition room this evening ?”
of extreme fractiousness and restlessness on the "You asked us to take our slates and write the
part of the pupils, and weariness and despondenname of the thing you held in your hand."
cy on your part, in your schoolroom, unless you
take pains to keep it well and thoroughly venti. "And what did you write?”
lated. If your apartment is not constructed so as " Cane."
to effect this object constantly, you must make, “What were you next required to do
as often as once an hour or thereabouts, an ap" To write the names of all the things in the paratus for the purpose; and that apparatus may school-room."
be the simple process of opening the doors and . " What next?"
windows, one and all, till the breezes have This question being answered, several other swept out, clean and entirely, all " pestilential questions were pat, of the same general charac- stuff," Be sure and do this; even if meanwhile ter, to which appropriate answers were promptlyi you are obliged to put on cloak and bood, or take given,
la run to keep yourself comfortable. It will be