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The evil incidental to such a practice is aggravated by threatening. A young teacher had given out the same lesson on two successive days to her little class in spelling. It was neither too long nor too difficult, but they failed through idleness, for it was a review, and they were “sure they knew it.” Not knowing what to do, she said, “ Children, you may take this lesson again to-morrow, and I shall punish any one who misses two words.” In the class was a conscientious, delicate, thoughtful little boy, who had not missed on either of the two days. He carried home his book and studied that afternoon and evening, and was up early the next morning at his lesson. He loved his teacher dearly, and had never been willing to be absent a day, but as school time drew near, he grew anxious and nervous, and at last burst into tears, and begged to stay at home from school. His mother pressed him for a reason, and he finally told her that his teacher had said she should punish all who missed two words, and “I know," said he, “that I shall miss two, I can't help it." His dread was so great that his mother allowed him to stay at home, and when she saw the teacher she told her the reason. The teacher, however, was in no danger of rashly threatening again, for the promise had no sooner passed her lips than she regretted it, feeling that she might be obliged, in order to keep her word, to punish some of her most faithful and conscientious pupils.
We do not think, either, that it often happens that a child who is disinclined to study is brought to a studious mood through fear. In the writer's own childhood, she attended a private school, under a genial and judicious teacher, till in her ninth year, when she entered a public school. It was one of the old régime where fear and harshness reigned.
One Saturday forenoon, a task was set for the first class, of six verses of Scripture to commit to memory, the pupils selecting their own lessons.
Ours was the first six verses of the second chapter of the Gospel of John. It was short enough and easy enough, if we could have studied, but we could not fix our attention, though we knew that a failure would bring certain punishment. Perhaps it was our breakfast that was in fault; however that may be, when the class was called out, we had learned but three verses perfectly.
The class was large, and extended round three sides of the room, and our place was near the middle of the class. It was weary waiting with aching limbs, while each pupil recited six verses, or was called out for punishment, and our heart quailed, for we had never been struck a blow in the school-room. At last, our turn came, and with faltering and hesitation, we got as far as the “six water-pots of stone,” and there we broke down. A stentorian voice bade us “Come out in the floor," - but, terror-stricken, we stood still till a strong hand swung us to the place of execution, and there, with hand strained high above our head, blow after blow came down upon the quivering palm; and sundry shakes and cuffs added bewilderment to our already confused brain. So, to our dying day, the beautiful story of the marriage in Cana of Galilee will be associated with the painful memory of our only whipping at school. Perhaps the friends who are waiting to argue the affirmative side of the question will discover herein our reason for taking the negative. We leave it to them if it is not a striking reason.
But, be this as it may, we think punishment for failure should only be administered after persistent idleness, and then the pupil should understand that it was for idleness.
It will be asked, perhaps, by young teachers, “ What shall we do, then, in case of imperfect recitations ?" Experiencing in our own case the difficulties of those who have a given amount of work to do in a given time, we can only reply by recommending to others, and practising ourselves, the old rule deemed so very applicable to children, “ Try, try, again,” with positive patience to-day, comparative patience to-morrow, and superlative patience next day; remembering our own childhood, with its vexations and tasks, and the unreasonableness of our elders; and see to it that we lay up in no youthful heart a store of bitter memories. But rather let us enable each to carry from our school-rooms grateful recollections, of all healing and genial influences, to gladden future hours, when life shall lay on them its heavy discipline.
H. T. W.
A TRUE GENTLEMAN. — A gentleman is not merely a person acquainted with certain forms and etiquettes of life, easy and self-possessed in society, able to speak and act and move in the world without awkwardness, and free from habits which are vulgar and in bad taste. A gentleman is something much beyond this; that which lies at the root of all his ease and refinement, and tact and power of pleasing, is the same spirit which lies at the root of every Christian virtue. It is the thoughtful desire of doing in every instance to others as he would that others should do unto him. He is constantly thinking, not indeed how he may give pleasure to others for the mere sense of pleasing, but how he can show respect for others—how he may avoid hurting their feelings. When he is in society, he scrupulously ascertains the position and relation of every one with whom he is brought into contact, that he may give to each his due honor, his proper position. He studies how he may avoid touching in conversation upon any subject which may needlessly hurt their feelings— how he may abstain from any allusion which may call up a disagreeable or offensive association. A gentleman never alludes to, never even appears conscious of, any personal defect, bodily deformity, inferiority of talent, of rank, of reputation, in the persons in whose society he is placed. He never assumes any superiority to himself — never ridicules, never sneers, never boasts, never makes a display of his own power or rank or advantages — such as is implied in ridicule or sarcasm or abuseas he never indulges in habits or tricks or inclinations which may be offensive to others. He feels, as a mere member of society, that he has no right to trespass upon others, to wound or annoy them. And he feels, as a Christian, that they are his brothersthat, as his brothers, they are children, like himself, of God — members, like himself, of Christ - heirs, like himself, of the kingdom of heaven.— Quarterly Review.
PRACTICAL ABILITY. - In the management of great and complicated negotiations, and also in those of lesser concern, where there are various interfering interests, requiring mutual adjustment and accommodation, often with little time to devise expedients, the man nowise substantially deficient in talents, who can only think or act according to a regular process, is completely outstripped by the ready use of those powers by which men conceive, judge and determine as by intuition. Many persons can make a set speech for a public assembly, if they have time for preparation, who are altogether thrown out if anything unexpected occur to derange their prepared train of thought, and their connected chain of reasoning; but how different is this slow and cumbersome . process, from the facility and dexterity with which the accomplished orator draws his materials, in the instant, from the most remote sources of his knowledge, or from the readiness with which the man of science supplies himself with appropriate arguments and lucid illustrations, to confirm his theory or his hypothesis !
Any system of education, therefore, which promotes the development of those intellectual energies, which tends to create presence of mind, a ready command of the faculties, a fertility of expedients, spirit in the attempt, and celerity in the execution, must prove of incalculable benefit. These important processes of mind are apt to be impeded, rather than improved, by the common discipline and the ordinary routine of our systems of public instruction. Many, indeed, have doubted how far these high intellectual energies are at all within the reach of education. But no fair trial has yet been made. Why should not the attempt be hazarded, instead of dreaming on forever, and slavishly following the beaten track, without any effort at improvement ?— Jardine's Philosophical Education.
DR. HENRY WARE AS A TEACHER.—Dr. Ware, you know, had a large family of his own, and, during a large part of his life, he used to have boys in his house to educate. He was considered very wise and successful in the management of them. He used to say that he hud no system about it, and never could arrive at any. Once, when asked by a parent to draw up some set of rules for the
government of children, he replied by an anecdote: “Dr. Hitchcock," he said “was settled in Sandwich; and when he made his first exchange with the Plymouth minister, he must needs pass through the Plymouth woods,-a nine miles' wilderness, where
travellers almost always got lost, and frequently came out at the point they started from. Dr. H., on entering this much dreaded labyrinth, met an old woman, and asked her to give him some directions for getting through the woods so as to fetch up Plymouth rather than Sandwich. “Certainly,' she said, I will tell you all about it with the greatest pleasure. You will just keep right on till you get some way into the woods, and you will come to a place where several roads branch off. Then you must stop and consider, and take the one that seems to you most likely to bring you out right.' He did so, and came out right. "I have always followed the worthy and sensible old lady's advice in bringing up my children. I do not think anybody can do better,—at any rate I cannot.” And yet he had some rules, practically, whether he knew it or not. One was, never to reprove a child at the moment, or in presence of other people, but to call him into the study afterwards for a solitary talk. No child, I suppose, ever left his study, on such an occasion, without increased love and reverence for him; but it was a formidable affair, though he used not many words, and was always mild in his manner. "I do wish," said one of his elder boys to another of them, “I do wish father would flog us, and done with it, but this talk, there is no standing that; it knocks a fellow up so entirely, and makes one feel so."
It was a principle with him to make but few points with a child, and avoid collision of wills, if practicable, but when he did take a stand, to abide by it, and prevail. But he was once known to surrender this principle, and acknowledge himself beaten. The boy got into a fit of passionate disobedience, and the Doctor, after a long contest, gave in. An elder member of the family wondered that he should yield. He said that some torrents were so violent that they had better be left to themselves than resisted; and besides, he said he did not wish to set the child an example of obstinate wilfulness, but would rather let him see that the strongest must and could yield sometimes.
He was kind to children, and had a happy influence with them. Two little girls, near neighbors of his, had imbibed a great terror of thunder, owing to the example of a grandmother who lived with them. She was accustomed, every summer afternoon without fail,