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ed an enormous Highland broadsword. It was Burns. He received them with great cordiality, and asked them to share his humble dinner; an invitation which they accepted. On the table they found boiled beef with vegetables and barley-broth, after the manner of Scotland, of which they partook heartily. A'ter dinner, the bard told them ingenuously that he had no wine to offer them—nothing better than Highland whiskey, a bottle of which Mrs. Burns set on the board. He produced, at the same time, his punch-bowl, made of Inverary marble; and mixing the spirit with water and sugar, filled their glasses, and invited them to drink. The travellers were in haste, and besides, the flavor of the whiskey to their aoulhron palates was scarcely tolerable: but the generous poet offered them his best, and his anient hospitality they found it impossible to resist. Bums was in his happiest mood, and the charms of his conversation were aliogcther fascinating. He ranged over a great variety of topics, illuminating whatever he touched. He related the tales of his infancy and his youth; he recited some of the gayest, and some of the tenderest of his poems: in the wildest of his strains of mirth he threw in some touches of melancholy, and spread around him the electric emotions of his powerful mind. The Highland whiskey improved in its flavor; the bowl was more than once emptied, and as often replenished: the guests of our poet forgal the flight of time and the dictates of prudence ; at the hour of midnight they lost their way in returning to Dumfries, and could scarcely distinguish it, when assisted by the morning's dawn."
On his farm at Ellisland, Burns continued some few years; but the novelty of his situation soon wore off, and then returned the irregularities, to which, from his warm imagination, and his love of society, and his independent turn of mind, he was so strongly predisposed. Fearing that his farm alone would be insufficient to procure for him that independence, which he had hoped one day or other to attain, he applied for and obtained the office of exciseman, or as it was vulgarly called guager, for the district in which he lived. About the year 1792, he was solicited to contribute to a collection of Scottish songs, to be published by Mr. Thompson, of Edinborough. Abandoning his farm, which, from neglect and mismanagement was by no means productive, and receiving from the Board of Excise an appointment to a new district, with a salary of 70/. per annum, he removed to a small house in Dumfries, and commenced the fulfilment of his literary engagement wiih Mr. Thompson. His principal songs were written during this time, and day after day was adding heighth and durability to the towering and imperishable monument, which will hand down his name and fame to many generations.
But now commences his rapid and melancholy decay, the fast withering consumption of his mental and physical faculties. His had been a short but brilliant course in literature—a short and melancholy one indeed, in other respects. Defeated in his hopes, mortified in the discovery that of the two classes of friends who offered him their society and their example in the oulset of his career, he had chosen the lenst improvim; and efficient as his guides and counsellors—he fast declined into that common receptacle of dust which covers alike the remains of the gifted and the simple, the prudent and the weak. He was worn with toil and poverty, and disappointed hope.
"Can the laborer rest from his labor too soon?
Imprudent in the declaration of his political sentiments, Burns lost the path to preferment in the line of his political duties; easily enticed beyond the sway of his sober and virtuous resolutions, he became broken in
health, and destitute of resources; too proud to beg and too proud to complain, his temper became irritable and gloomy, and at length a fever, attended -with delirium and debility, terminated his life in the thirty-eighth yearof his age. Leaving a widow, who is still living in the house where he died,* and four sons, of whom three are also at present living. Thus died Robert Burns, "poor, but not in debt, and bequeathing to posterity a name, the fame of which will not soon be eclipsed."
Burns, though he sometimes forgot his homage to the purer and brighter and more enduring orbs of heaven, in chasing the ignis faluus lights of earth, must ever interest us as a poet and a man. A great many considerations may be properly urged in answer to the too common, and fur from just charges upon his moral character. I am of opinion, that his own declaration, made not many months previous to his death, is capable of full and complete support and proof, by a reference to all the circumstances of his life. When accused of disloyalty to his government, he says, in a letter to a distinguished friend—
"In your hands, sir, permit me to lodge my strong disavowal, and defiance of such slanderous falsehoods. Be assured—and tell the world, that Burns was a poor man from his birth, and an exciseman from necessity; but—I uill say it'. the sterling of hi" honesty, poverty could not debase, and his independent British spirit, oppression might bend, but could not subdue!"
I have advanced the opinion that the crisis of Burns'! fate was his visit, his first visit to Edinborough. From that event may be dated the complete establishment of his character during his after life; and with those who received him there, and undertook the task of doing what they, in their wisdom, thought expedient for the cultivation of his genius, and for his advancement or settlement in life, must, I think, rest the credit or the blame of much—of almost all his future excellence or failure. Burns went into the midst of that gay and literary circle, ready and liable to receive the most striking impressions, as the guides of his opinions and the regulators of his actions. It was another world! It had all the freshness of a new existence in the eyes, and to the mind of the rustic Ayrshire bard. Strongminded and high-hearted as he was, he could not but look up to his new friends and patrons, as exemplars for his own imitation: and although he was not TisHij perplexed with the flashings of these new and unaccustomed lights, yet he was, at heart, led astray by them. They were like the fabled corpse-fires, which danced merrily before the wildered eyes of the traveller, luring him onward to his doom—a grave! He had left the "bonnie banks of Ayr," a young plant, shooting luxuriantly up into a tall and rugged, but healthful tree; and it was upon the nets soil, into which it had been transp'anted, that this beautiful exotic received an inclination which was destined to be a final one. And yet I would not throw upon the fame of such men as Stewart, and Blair, and Robertson, and McKenzic, the imputation of design, or even of imprudence, in thus being accessory to the melancholy ruin, which followed the victim's acceptance of their kind, and really benevolent patronage. It is only to be lamented that upon his arrival at Edinburgh, he was not introduced at once, and alone, into that circle, which might reasonably have been designated as the only one, in which such a genius and
* Since deceased.
chancier as Burns's could be duly appreciated and cultivated. But the secret is, he was regarded by them, not as a being for their sympathy, but a thing for the indulgence of their curiosity. In the language of another, "Brine great he was treated in the customary fashion; entertained at their tables and dismissed: certain modica of pudding and praise are, from time to time, gladly exchanged for the fascination of his presence; which exchange once effected, the bargain is finished, and each party goes his several way."
Instead of treating with him, as a man, whose genius entitled him to a stand upon their own proud and distinguished level, all uncultivated and unpolished as that genius was—they universally spoke to him, and o/him, as an object of patronage—as something that was to become valuable to the world, only through their instrumentality. This feeling, this mode of treatment, are not to be objected to, in themselves considered: their existence was natural, and, rightly conducted, might have been made productive of much good, and lasting happiness to him, who was their subject. But Burns was not the man to rest quietly under the most oppressive burthen that a proud man can ever feel— Patronage. And thus his relative situation to his literary friends could not but be viewed by a mind so sensitive as his own, in its true character. And we find (as soon as the novelty of a "ploughman-poet" had worn off—as every fashionable novelty will wear off in time,) that our poet began to remember that " a life of pleasure and praise would not support his family," and having experienced a portion of these reverses, which they, who depend on popular favor and flattery, must ever find inseparable therefrom—we see him stocking his little farm, and soon after adding the emoluments of tbe office of exciseman for the district of Ayr, to his scanty income. And here he might have been
"Content to breathe his native air,
but for his kind yet misjudging friends, " the patrons," as they were called, "of his genius" Unfortunately for his future peace, each new arrival at his little home of Ellisland, of those who had known him at Edinborough, furnished proof that his old habits of conviviality were only interrupted, but by no means broken: And it was only by the frequency of these opportunities of good cheer in the society of the gay companions of his city life, that he became inattentive to his agricultural concerns, and that he finally lost the composure and happiness, which were the attendants of his new situation, and with these was lost his inclination to temperate and assiduous exertion.
I would not be understood as denying, in this argument, a previous, perhaps a natural tendency in the character of Burns, to undue and intemperate excitement: but the impression upon my own mind is strong, that this bias might have been checked and regulated, and turned to good account by the noble and learned patrons of his genius. Tried by the statutes of strict morality, a man like Burns has many things to plead in his own defence, which those of less mind and dimmer intellect cannot justly claim as their own: and it is in the unwillingness to make this distinction, that the world are, too often, unfair judges in cases of character. A distinguished writer thus elegantly remarks, upon a similar subject.
"The world is habitually unjust in its judgments: It ia not the few inches of deflection from the mathematical orbit, which are so easily measured, but the ratio of these to the "hole diameter, which constitutes the real aberration. With the world, this orbit may be the planet's, its diameter the breadth of the solar system: or it may be a city hippodrome, nay, the circle of a mill-course, its diameter a score of feet or paces—but the inches of deflection, only, are measured; and it is assumed that the diameter of the mill-course, and that of the planet, will yield the same ratio when compared with them. Here, then, lies the root of the blind, cruel condemnation of such men as Robert Burns, which one never listens to with approval. Granted—the ship comes into harbor with her shrouds and tackle damaged, and is the pilot therefore blame-worthy, because he has not been allwise and a//-powerful ? For us to know how blame-worthy he is, tell us how long and how arduous his voyage has been."
But, after all, it is chiefly with Burns as a poet that we have to do^it is in this light that posterity will regard him, and it is into the hands of this tribunal that he must, finally, be resigned. I would that time had allowed me to refer more particularly to the works of this delightful bard, than I have been enabled to do on the present occasion. They began with his earliest, and were continued until his latest years. Scattered along his devious, and often gloomy path, they seem like beautiful wild flowers, which he threw there to cheer and animate the passer-by, with their undying bloom and sweet fragrance. "In the changes of language his songs may, no doubt, suffer change—but the associated strain of sentiment and of music will perhaps survive, while the clear stream swecp3 down the Vale of Yarrow, or the yellow broom waves on the Cowdenknowes."
I have had occasion, in the course of this essay, to remark, that the songs of Burns are, by far, the most finished productions of his muse: and his admirers may safely rest his fame upon them alone, even if his longer and more elaborate poems should fail to secure him the immortality he deserves. The celebrated Fletcher somewhere,says, " Give me the making of a people's songs, and let who will make their laws I" And Burns has, in the composition of his songs, placed himself on an equality with the legislators of the world! for where, in the cottage or the palace, are they unsung? Whose blood has not thrilled, and whose lip has not been compressed, as the noble air of " Scots! wha hac wi' Wallace bled I" has swelled upon his car? Who cannot join in the touching and beautiful chorus of his "Auld lang syne?" Who has not laughed over his "Willie brewed a peck o' maut," nor felt the rising tear of sympathetic sadness whilst listening to his "Farewell to Ayr!" and his celebrated "Mary in Heaven?" In all these, and many more, which are familiar as very proverbs in our mouths, the poet has shown such a versatility, and yet such an entircness of talent—such tenderness and delicacy in his sorrow—yet withal, so pure and delightful a rapture in his mirth; he weeps with so true and feeling a heart, and laughs with such loud, and at the same time such unaffected mirth, that he finds sympathy wherever his harp is strung. The subjects he chose, and the free, natural style in which he treated them, have won him this praise—and it shall endure, the constant and lasting tribute of generation after generation.
But it has been beautifully said, (and who will not agree in the sentiment?) that " in the hearts of men of right feelings, there exists no consciousness of need to plead for Burns. In pitying admiration, he lies enshrined in all our hearts, in a far nobler mausoleum than one of marble: neither will his works, even as they are, pass away from the memory of men. While the Shakspeares and Miltons roll on like mighty rivers through the country of thought, bearing fleets of traffickers and assiduous pearl-fishers on their waves, this little Vauclusa Fountain will also arrest the eye: For this also is of nature's own and most cunning workmanship, and bursts from the depths of the earth with a full, gushing current, into the light of day. And often will the traveller turn aside to drink of its clear waters, and muse among its rocks and pines."
For Heaven, sweet bard! on thee bestowed
A boon, beyond all name:
With its own native flame.
Soft may thy gentle spirit rest,
Sweet poet of the plain!
Till it's illum'd again!
If by my childhood's humble home
1 chance to wander now, Or through the grove with brambles grown,
Where cedars used to bow,
Some little trifling thing
When life was in its spring,—
A something new and strange; Time's iron hand on them and me
Hath plainly written—Change.
My pulse beats slower than it did
My cheek, and colder, calmer now
The stars I gazed with rapture on,
With sterner years have seem'd to change
And moonlit nights are plenty now—
How few they used to be! When, with my little urchin crew,
I shouted o'er the lea.
I've sought the places where we play'd
Our boyish " hide and call,"'
A common stock of all—
That lea and all its bloom:
To think of Change and Doom!
The lovely lawn where roses grew,
And half my little playmate crew
Till Change itself shall cease to be,
And one successive scene Of stedfastness immutable
Remain where Change hath been.
It may sometimes make old men glad
To see the young at play;
When thoughts of their decay
Of what my own hopes were— When Hudson's waters and my youth
Did mutual friendship share.
MANUAL LABOR SCHOOLS.
[Their importance as connected with Literary Institutions.*] The proper connection of physical, moral, and intellectual culture, in a course of education, is a subject which, judging from the defective systems that have almost universally prevailed, has hitherto been but imperfectly understood, and whose importance has been but superficially estimated. Man is a being possessed of a compound nature, which consists of body, mind and spirit. In other words, he has animal, intellectual, and moral powers. He is destined for existence and action in two worlds—in this, and in that which is U come. He is formed for an earthly, and an immortal state. Any system of education, therefore, which restricts attention to either of these constituent portions of his nature, is necessarily and essentially defective. It is the cultivation which assigns to each its appropriate share, that constitutes the perfection of education. But few appear to admit, at least practically, the importance of improving the mind to any great extent by the aids which Literature and Science bestow. Fewer stiil arc in favor of making religious instruction a distinct arc indispensable part of their plan. Yet smaller is the number of those who would allow any suitable prominence to be given to the cultivation of the physical powers: and probably by far the most diminutive of all is the proportion of those who would contend for a just and equable combination in the improvement of the whole man, body, mind, and spirit.
The monitory experience of past ages, which, if duly heeded, might prevent a recurrence of serious disasters that have befallen other generations, is overlooked or disregarded, as the devotees of a worldly pleasure discredit the assurance of the sage, that "all is vanity and vexation of spirit," and each in its turn, and for itself, must try the experiment which wisdom had beforehand decided to be folly. Vanity seeks the preferment arising from novel discoveries; and inflated with an apprehension of superior knowledge, disdains ta receive the instructions of former ages, and in spite c:" experience, gives an unrestrained indulgence to wild and hurtful extravagances. Enough has long since been disclosed in the history of mankind, if they were sufficiently docile and apt, to have demonstrated, to the satisfaction of all, that on the early and assiduous irtcul
» This Address was delivered by the Rev. E. F. Stanton, btfore the "Literary Institute" of Hampden Sidney College, at its annual commencement in September last, and is now published, for the first time, at the request of the Institute.
cation of religious principle, depend the temporal, to say nothing of the eternal welfare of individuals, and the peaeeand prosperity of nations. The world, by this time, ought to have known, even if Revelation had not proclaimed it, that righteousness, by which I mean relipm, is the stability and safeguard of nations—that it cannot be dispensed with—that no substitute can be made for it—and that no government can be prosperous or lasting without it. Devoid of religious principle, the educated are but madmen; and the more extensive and brilliant their talents, whether natural or acquired, the more completely are they accoutred for the work of mischief. Within the recollection of the present generation, South America, and Greece, and France, where Romish corruptions and infidel perfidy have obtained the ascendancy, and rooted out a pure Christianity, have alternately struggled for the establishment of freedom. Our own nation, so deeply enamored of the "fair goddess," have looked on with an intensity of interest that bordered on inebriation, and have hailed them as brethren of the republican fraternity. But how soon have our hopes been disappointed, and our exultation proved to be premature. The despotism which has been thrown off, has been speedily succeeded by another which was scarcely less odious and intolerable. Their temple of freedom was not reared on the rock of religious principle, but on the sand. The tempest of ungoverned passions, which righteousness only has the power to allay, beat vehemently upon it, and it fell; and great has been the fall of it. Better that a p'pulntim deficient in virtue, (the virtue which a pure religion only can impart,) be also deficiei t in knowledge. There is no regenerating or transforming influence in literature and science. The reverse of this, however, is the practical creed of most politicians. Religion with them, if not an odious and obsolete affair, is regarded as of secondary or inconsiderable importance; and all the attention which, in their estimation, it deserves, is to leave it for a spontaneous development. But the issue of such an f xperiment is sure to result in an absence of the fear of God, and an exuberant growth of noxious and destructive passions. If no plan can be devised, which in its operation shall secure an inseparable connection between literature and religion in our American academies and colleges, their demolition were devoutly to be desired, and our youth might better be reared in ignorance and barbarism.
These observations are made in passing, to anticipate an impression which might arise in the minds of some who may accompany us in the sequel of this discussion, that we are for giving to the physical an importance over every other department of education. So far from admitting that this is the position which we intend to assume, we would here be distinctly understood to allow, if you please, that it is the least important of all, and sinks as far in comparison with the cultivation of the mind and the heart, as the body is inferior to the soul, or as the interests of time are transcended by those of eternity. But the body, though comparatively insignificant, is still deserving of special regard. The corporeal is a part of the nature which the infinite Creator has bestowed on us—a piece of mechanism " curiously wrought," and "fearfully and wonderfully made." The body is the casement of the mind—the tenement in which the soul resides—the " outer" in which dwells
the "inner man." With the nature of this union we are mostly unacquainted. We know, however, that it is close, and that the influences which body and mind exert on each other are reciprocal and powerful.
A gentleman of our own country, who has been at great pains to investigate this subject himself, and to collect the opinions of others on it, has embodied in a pamphlet, which has been published, a mass of information of th"1 most valuable kind; but the production to which I refer has been only partially circulated in this region, and therefore has probably attracted less notice here than almost any where else in the Union. And since I have ample evidence to believe that his observations, and those of others which accompany them, are better suited to subserve the purpose which I have in view, than any of my own which I might hope to offer, I shall indulge myself on this occasion in the liberty of making somewhat copious extracts from his labors.
The individual to whom I allude, was appointed the General Agent of ** the Society for promoting Manual Labor in Literary Institutions," which was formed in the city of New York in July of 1831, "under the conviction," as their committee, remark, "that a reform in our seminaries of learning was greatly needed, both for the preservation of health, and for giving energy to the character by habits of useful and vigorous exercise." Shortly after entering upon the prosecution of his object, in an extensive tour of observation in the northern and western states, the journey of the agent,' as his employers relate, was interrupted by serious accidents which befel him, one of which (and we notice the narrative as an apt and striking illustration of the excellency of that system of training to which he had been accustomed, and which it was the design of his agency to recommend,) was the carrying away of the stage in Alum Creek, near Columbus, in the state of Ohio. "The creek," as they inform us, " being swollen by the great flood, in crossing, at midnight, the swiftness of the current forced the whole down the stream, till the stage-wagon came to pieces, ni.d the Agent was thrown directly among the horses. After being repeatedly struck down by their struggles, he became entangled in the harness, and hurried with them along the current. At length, released from this peril, he reached the shore, and grasped a root in the bank; but it broke, and again the stream bore him on to the middle of the channel. At length he espied a tree which had fallen so that its top lay in the water, and by the most desperate efforts, fell encumbered as he was with his travelling garments, he succeeded in reaching a branch; but his benumbed hands refused their grasp, and slipped, and then he was swept among some bushes in an eddy, where his feet rested on the ground. Here in the dead of night, in the forest, ignorant whether there was a house or a human being within many miles, bruised and chilled in the wintry stream, he seems calmly to have made up his mind to die, sustained by the hopes of the religion which he professed. But Providence had determined otherwise, and reserved him for farther usefulness. His cries were heard by a kind hearted woman on the opposite side of the stream, who wakened her husband; and, after a few days detention, he pro
ceeded on his journey. From the accounts (the committee continue,) which are already before the public, it seems plain that nothing but a constitution invigorated by manual labor, and a soul sustained by the grace of God, could have survived the hardships of that night."
There are probably but few who will dissent from this decision; and we will add, that in our opinion, a preservation so extraordinary, exclusive of a Providential inlcrpositi in which some will think they discern in it, affords an argument for manual labor schools, or physical education, more pointed, and perhaps conclusive, than all which this indefatigable agent has said himself, or gleaned from the testimony of others, although this composes an amount of evidence of the most convincing kind.
In the report alluded to, the Agent himself observes that "God has revealed his will to man upon the subject of education. It is written in the language of nature, and can be understood without a commentary. This revelation consists in the universal consciousness of those influences which body and mind exert upon each other—influences innumerable, incessant, and allcontrolling; the body continually modifying the state of the mind, and the mind ever varying the condition of the body.
"Every man who has marked the reciprocal action of body and mind, surely need not be told that mental and physical training should go together. Even the slightest change in the condition of the body often produces an effect upon the mind so sudden and universal, as to seem almost miraculous. The body is the mind's palace; but darken its windows, and it is a prison. It is the mind's instrument; sharpened, it cuts keenly— blunted, it can only bruise and disfigure. It is the mind's reflector; if bright, it flashes day—if dull, it diffuses twilight. It is the mind's servant; if robust, it moves with swift pace upon its errands—if a cripple, it hobbles on crutches. We attach infinite value to the mind, and justly; but in this world, it is good for nothing without the body. Can a man think without the brain ?—can he feel without nerves ?—can he move without muscles? The ancients were right in the supposition that an unsound body is incompatible with a sound mind. [They looked only for the mens sana in corpore sano.] He who attempts mental effort during a fit of indigestion, will cease to wonder that Plato located the soul in the stomach. A few drops of water upon the face, or a feather burnt under the nostril of one in a swoon, awakens the mind from its deep sleep of unconsciousness. A slight impression made upon a nerve often breaks the chain of thought, and the mind tosses in tumult. Let a peculiar vibration quiver upon the nerve of hearing, and a. tide of wild emotion rushes over the soul. The man who can think with a gnat in his eye, or reason while the nerve of a tooth is twinging, or when his stomach is nauseated, or when his lungs are oppressed and laboring; he who can give wing to his imagination when shivering with cold, or fainting with heat, or worn down with toil, can claim exemption from the common lot of humanity.
"In different periods of life, themind waxes and wanes with the body; in youth, cheerful, full of daring, quick to see, and keen to feel; in old age, desponding, timid, perception dim, and emotion languid. When the blood circulates with unusual energy, the coward rises into a
hero; when it creeps feebly, the hero sinks into a coward. The effects produced by the different states of the mind upon the body, are equally sudden and powerful. Plato used to say that all the diseases of the body proceed from the soul. [With more of propriety, we think, it may be said, that at least three-fourths of the diseases that afflict humanity, arise from an injudicious treatment of the body. But be this as it may, the fact is too obvious to be disputed, that the mind acts powerfully upon the animal frame] The expression of the countenance is mind visible. Bad news weaken the action of the heart, oppress the lungs, destroy appetite, stop digestion, and partially suspend all the functions of the animal system. An emotion of shame flushes the face; fear blanches it; joy illuminates it; and an instant thrill electrifies a million of nerves. Powerful emotion often kills the body at a stroke. Chilo, Diagoras, and Sophocles died of joy at the Elcan games. The news of a defeat killed Philip V. One of the Popes died of an emotion of the ludicrous, on seeing his pet monkey robed in pontificals, and occupying the chair of state. The door-keeper of Congress expired upon hearing of the surrender of Cornwallis. Pitickney, Emmet, and Webster arc recent instances of individuals who have died either in the midst of an impassioned burst of eloquence, or when the deep emotion that had produced it had suddenly subsided. Indeed, the experience of every day demonstrates that the body and mind are endowed with such mutual susceptibilities, that eachis alive to the slightest influence of the other. What is the common-sense inference from this fact? Manifestly this—that the body and the mind should be educated together.
"The states of the body are infinitely various AL! these different states differently affect the mind. They are causes, and their effects have all the variety which mark the causes that produce them. If then different conditions of the body differently affect the mind, sr.tno electrifying, and oglers paralyzing its energies, what duty can be plainer than to preserve the body in that condition which will most favorably offect the mind? If he Maker of both was infinitely wise, then the highest permanent perfection of the mind can be found only in connection with the most healthful state of the boely. Has infinite wisdom established laws by which the best condition of the mind is permanently connected with any other than the best condition of the body? When all the bodily functions are perfectly performed, the mind must be in a better state than when these functions are imperfectly performed. And now I ask, is not that system of education fundamentally defective, which makes no provision for putting the body in its best condition, and for keeping it in that condition? A system which expends its energies upon the mind alone, and surrenders the body either to the irregular promptings of perverted instinct, or to the hap-hazard impulses of chance or necessity? A system which aims solely it the development of mind, and yet overlooks those very principles which are indispensable to produce that development, and transgresses those very laws which constitute the only ground-work of rational education? Such a system sunders what God has joined together, and impeaches the wisdom which pronounced that union good. It destroys the symmetry of human proportion, and makes mat) a monster. It reverses the