« FöregåendeFortsätt »
not think of sitting down to such a labor. be better if all their resources should He would often discover the deepest sen- be concentred on a few renowned sibility when any allusion was made to seats of learning, which are all the the deeds or fame of Washington, and country requires. Honors and degrees his own contemplations on the wishes would then cease to be “as plenty as of his heart seemed to break down all blackberries," instead of being given the energies of his mind, and unfit him for the common duties of life. Every at the mere asking to men notoriously day his misfortunes were making inroads unworthy of them. Even those who upon his slender form, and hurrying him are trained for the learned professions to the grave. He viewed his situation are urged on bya precipitate haste without dismay, only fearing that he very consistent with the genius of the should die before he had written the Life people, but incompatible with a finished of Washington. The winter had now education. A year or two at the drawn nearly to a close ; still nothing grammar-school prepares them for the had been definitely arranged in reference college, from which they are disto the subject. He renewed it again and charged, in three or four years at the again.
From the moment he most, with its highest honors, although learned my determination to meet his many are unable to read iheir own requirements in the prosecution of his diplomas. Whatever courses of study work, his gloom and low spirits forsook yet remain, are disposed of in the same him, and he appeared like a new being. “I now visited his house for the first ed at, then, that when the foundations
summary way. How can it be wondertime. I shall not attempt a description, nor do I exaggerate when I say, that his are so slightly laid, a structure should worldly goods and chattels of all descrip- fail to be raised which is either durable tions could not have been sold for the sum
or imposing ? Our primary schools are of thirty dollars. Clothing for himself numerous, each professing to have its and family was now ordered, and at the own system, but we have no uniformend of his term, arrangements were made ity, no one standard, no aim in our for the removal of himself and family to education. A system of drilling, such Dayton, on the Miami, sixty miles from as prevails at Harrow, in England, is Cincinnati, where he immediately set not practised in this country. How about his work; and ere the close of the many of our graduated youths could following winter the whole was pleted. At this period I paid him a found in the “Arundines ?” On the
compose Latin verses such as are visit, and received from him the manuscript. His request was most earnest that work will bear a pretty rigid
score of quantity of words, we imagine that the result of his labors might be published. I promised him it should, and scrutiny. Yet this particular, to transhave never seen him since; and though gress in which is considered a grievous years have rolled around, I have never, sin among English scholars, is almost until the present moment, had leisure to wholly disregarded among us. There attend to its publication or to redeem the are scarcely any scholars at our univerpromise I had made to its author.” sities, who, as regards quantity, could
read a single passage in an ancient We think that the heart of the author without outrage :o the most editor who writes thus must visit him unscrupulous ears. We believe that with some reproaches, for when he we are stating nothing more than the had tardily fulfilled his word to the truth on this subject. We know it from poor scholar, it was but raising a personal observation, and regret that monument to the dead. We have in it is so, only hoping that the time may our mind several examples equally not be far distant when candor may be sad, and could record some hard-won, enabled to render a better verdict. noble triumphs in the same field; but There are too few among us who individual cases of good scholarship pursue learning for its own sake. But and zeal in the pursuit of learning perhaps the cause for this is to be stand only in stronger relief amid the sought in the peculiar stage of adgeneral deficiency. We have many vancement to which we are arrived. colle but they fail to keep up a The nation, as such, is poor, and the succession of ripe scholars. It would whole energy of the people is natu
* Columbia College, in New York, forms, as we believe, a solitary exception to above remarks.
rally bent on the development of the despised grave, it leaves the legacy of great resources of the country, and, tears and toil to others. But a new true to their English origin, on the race has arisen, not born to labor. promotion of individual weal. Arts Witness then the transfusion of the and the refinement of letters are second- gold. Wealth speaks the word, and ary, and riches and all luxury but the whatever we choose to imagine is representatives of so much mortal toil. accomplished. Nature and Art submit Wealth is accumulated first, and then, to the allegiance of taste. The very overflowing, it summons to its aid the fields are regulated in their wild luxuresources of genius, and delights in riance, and the landscape is neat with the treasures of art. But until it culture. Painting, sculpture, architecwaves its magical wand, the Muses ture, embellish the splendid cities. are found in a sacred privacy. Men Music breathes voluptuously. The live in their unadorned dwellings. Theatre reflects the manners of the There are few among them to give age, which a higher education polishes. the language of Fancy utterance, to The lofty mansion bespeaks pride. embody in enduring forms the delicate Lines of ancestors are on the walls. creations of an old mythology, whose It may be a very museum, where Art essence was a passion for the Beau- has collected her most precious gems; tiful, the very religion of the Greeks. every nook contains some triumph, Where shall we look for the three and every niche a masterpiece. The forms of Art, which are, in fact, one, humane letters indeed may flourish and may be comprised under the name under every discouragement. Penury of Poei? For the marble and the and cold neglect cannot make the canvass are creative, and eloquent as genius dim which struggles to shine. “thoughts that breathe,” or “words But every congenial element must be that burn." But as yet few worship brought io bear to raise up a body of art. There is no Claude to diffuse his learned men, and to make ihe seats of delicious tints over the canvass, no learning rival those of old renown. In artist to sculpture the lovely Venus the meantime let us as far as possible from the stone, no genius to upheave correct what is deficient, and plant the dome which makes infinity com- the seeds at least of good systems, prehensible, no Angelo to hang the in hopes that time shall develope their Pantheon in air. Å few ages pass fruits, and that the treasures which away, and sordid gain has amassed its are now attainable by a few, may be treasures, where, sinking into its diffused among the many.
TEARS AND DIAMONDS.
The maiden bent her o'er the stream
That ran beside the soft green sward;
For she has met with love's reward;
But her evil star is keeping
Vigil for her ruin's sake,
Weeping, as ber heart would break;
Weeping in the brimming lake,
Sighing on the voidless air,
In our hope or our despair;
For the tears that leave her eyes
There compelled to crystallize, While, attired by unseen hands, She a royal virgin stands. Glittering myriads seem to press
Where but now was solitude.
To a palace in the wood;
Now her high behest is heard,
Strive to catch her slightest word;
To decide a nation's fate-
With her beauty and her state;
And she hunts right royally;
Who can curb his rage as she?
Yes, they hold the stag at bay;
One a shot hath chanced to slay;
How she lies upon the ground,
Staunching with her hands the wound! Oh! it is not royal blood, But her life is in that flood. What a change comes o'er her now!
Her lips have no command to speak; The mystic jewels leave her brow,
And melt once more upon her cheek ; The broken-hearted girl is seen, But where has flown the haughty queen ?
Court and courtiers fade away,
For she neither sees nor hears;
Her only treasures are her tears;
Thus the blight upon her came
For whom brightest hopes had blushed;
Throne, or court ? her heart was crushed.
"Quæque ipse miserrima vidi."
MR. EDITOR:- In the search after curiosity of its food. There is a meTruth, in the general struggle to en. dium between too much of this feellarge the boundaries of human know- ing, and too much of its opposite; the ledge, the effective agents are divided, truest friend of knowledge is he who doubtless providentially, into two dis- is willing to believe, but who desires tinct and dissimilar, but eventually also to establish his belief by a sifting coöperating parties. One set of men of facts and investigation of evidence. are essentially innovators, another Allow me a few pages for an essay in essentially conservatives. One set are this vein, as nearly as I can hit it, for proving all things, another only which I am led to offer, from a strong for holding fast that which is good. feeling of dissent from the general One party bring in the harvest, by the tone of the Article in your last on other it is winnowed and the chaff is Neurology. driven off and rejected. One party are
The world has been strangely peseager but undiscriminating caterers; tered of late, with imaginary new they bring into the family mess, all sciences and great discoveries; and sorts of suitable and unsuitable mate with the reputations of imaginary great rial, fish, flesh and fowl, wood, hay and men their authors, fog built, on fog stubble, tough sea-weed and fungus, foundations. None of the men who and ocean foam and unsubstantial bub- have gained notoriety in this way, have bles. The others arrange and assort shown themselves capable of doing it in all this, prepare the good for use, and any other ; none of them have been reunrelentingly kick the rubbish out of markable at all for anything, but each doors.
for his one contrivance. This latter task, though by no means Mesmer, Gall, Spurzheim, Combe, et the least necessary, is decidedly the hoc genus omne, what were they when least popular of the two. For there dismounted from their particular is something in positive assertion, broomsticks? which interests the feelings of men in « Ambubaiarum collegia, pharmacopolæ, favor of the assertor; there is an im
Mendici, mimi, balatrones.” petuosity, a life, a movement about it, which is naturally more agreeable to Men of lively imaginations, and that us all than resistance and doubt, whose is all. None of them have left, or slow analytic processes seem to have given, any proofs of great learning or no object but to deprive our excited genius; none of them have done any
thing that the world has heard of, but say it in one word, the whole medical the following out of their own day- world? Who hears of these things in dreams with ingenious talk and char- Bedlam, or the hospitals? or anywhere latan experiments. All of them have where practical use might be made of done an injury to the inquiring world, them, if they were real; or anywhere by giving such specious names to airy at all, but in books and lectures, or now nothing, as to induce the unwary often and then in a newspaper; where to waste their time in studying it; and some one case, said to be authentic, all of them by the acquisition of repu- but by no means authenticated, is tation, or at least of notoriety, at little vamped up for the day instead of a cost of study, have set a bad example dreadful accident. Science spreads ; to the rising generation, and suggested its usefulness when once proved beto many aspiring minds, that the forg- comes general; but quackery remains ing of counterfeit sciences may be an in the hands of its professors. They easier path to distinction, than the prove it over and over ; every day the mastering and advancing the true. proofs evanesce, and must be reinforced
But it is not only true, that these in fresh lectures, and paid for with apostles of quackery, have none of additional half-dollars. But how do them taught us anything else; it is the men treat this, who really have a true, too, ihat among those who have mission and a destiny ? They who added something to our knowledge, have driven ignorance and darkness they have made no converts; at least some steps backward, and have added they have gained no advocates. What some territory, permanently to the thought Franklin ? What thought realm of knowledge and light. They Sir Humphrey Davy? What thinks think of it, as the commander of a Arago ? of any of these inventions? steam-frigate may be supposed to think When Daguerre had made a great dis- of the automaton chess-player; a covery, Arago announced it to the clever plaything, doubtless; but he Institute, and the men of the highest does not wish to apply the principle, to distinction in France contended for make himself a helmsman or engineer. the honor of being present at the early The great men I have named above, experiments, and for the pleasure of and others I might name, Malthus, seeing the earliest proofs. It was a Senior, Babbage, Faraday, Geoffroy thing that could be proved ; and a de St. Hilaire, and all this class, stand thing which being proved once, re- apart like Cæsar and Napoleon, comquires no farther argument; it could pared with whom the others are at then be laid down as a truth, and made best but as Kean, Macready, and Gaa stepping-stone to further discoveries. briel Ravel. Observe, however, in It was TRUE, and not FALSE; it was the this comparison, that the actor inresult of years of study,
structs and amuses, and may improve
and refine us; but the herald of a false “Of length of watching, strength of toil theory makes an onslaught on the limand skill,
its which keep falsehood back from the In knowledge of the fathers.”
fields of truth, and on the wholesome
rational spirit which distinguishes beIt was not the cobweb construction of tween possible and impossible : a day-dream, spun out by some fool into apparent symmetry, and plausi
« Quid possit oriri, bly attached here and there, and made Quid nequeat, finita potestas denique cuito correspond to some points in external
que nature; not because the man who did Quanam sit ratione atque alte terminus it, had any mission to enlighten or in hærens." struct us, but solely because he had the time upon his hands, being really fit For in fact and in truth there is, and for nothing better.
must be, such a thing as impossibility. Would Ålibert and Majendie have let There is a feeling or a principle, the phrenology lie idle in all their vast and growth of all our past experience, curious investigations, if it had been which enables us sometimes to say, an instrument fit for use? Would when we hear a lie, that that thing they have neglected Animal Magne- cannot be, and without examining tism ? they, or Sir Astley Cooper, or to evidence or discussing proofs, that the