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"sounder arguments," by substituting the opinions of eminent and learned men for my own, as a slight return for his doubtless well-intentioned remonstrance and unsolicited criticism, I trust he will be satisfied; and probably feel convinced that even in writing an article for a magazine, on so simple (?) a subject as education, a little previous knowledge of the matter in hand is not altogether without its use; a circumstance not unfrequently overlooked by contributors to periodical literature.

Finally, if I be still in error, it is some consolation to err in such good company; with Bacon and Milton, with Locke and Johnson ; with the great and good of almost every age and country; who have all attained the eminence which gave them their ascendancy, and with it the enviable power of doing good to their species, by their indulgence of the motive so unsparingly reprobated by your correspondents. In conclusion, I would observe that it appears to have been more especially the main-spring of British excellence, and of all those glorious attributes which the poet ascribes to us, as a nation :

Hail! English merit ! where we find combined,
Whate'er high fancy, sound, judicious thought,
The ample generous heart, undrooping soul,
And firm, tenacious valour can bestow.

THOMPSON'S LIBERTY. Hoping that it will, by this time, be apparent, that I am far from exalting emulation to “ that bad eminence” which would bring it in contact with the incomparably superior motives which religion supplies ; but claiming for it a prominent place among those subsidiary means which human ingenuity, acting upon the principles of our common nature, has devised, for the furtherance of merely secular objects.

I am, dear Sir, &c., Winchmore Hill Academy.

S. SKINNER.

THOUGHTS FOR SCHOOLMASTERS.-No. III.

I. Be practical, be practical,” say the well-wishers of the Schoolmaster and the Schoolmaster's friends ; but they who are his actual fellow workers, and so know best what, and how weighty bis work is, say, “ Be not too practical.'

II.

Education is to form men, to bring out the lineaments of the image of God in their full proportions in the mind and character of the child; and this work cannot be done by mere practical expertness, such as alone is necessary for breaking in a horse or making a coat.

III. The child has indeed an animal nature, and in certain respects must be trained like the horse or any other animal; firmness, steadiness, perseverance, temperateness, quietness, self-control, exact maintenance of routine and rule, are not less needed in the one trainer than in the other; nor will the one find the results of his training less marked than the other. But the horse is a mere animal, a thing, and when man has made him a perfect living machine, there is nothing more to be done, nothing to undo that has been done. The child has a will, there is a human person within his animal nature, and you must train that, if you will not have it break through all your routine discipline, and prove your education to be a mockery and a sham.

IV. If even the horse or the dog cannot be trained by one of themselves, but only by a man exercising the powers of a man, how much more is it necessary that the trainer of men should himself deserve the name of a man—that in him should be found all moral and intellectual qualifications for his work, in their fullest development and highest vigour.

V. Action is truly one of the marks of a man, and he who has it not is a mere dreamer, however fine his dreams may be ; therefore, take heed to be practical. But then it must be guided by, and habitually united with, Thought; and he who has not this also is a mere mechanical drudge, doing less serviceable work than a horse or a steam engine ; therefore, take heed to add wisdom to practice.

VI. Let it not be forgotten, that the powers of the understanding and the intellectual graces are precious gifts of God; and that every Christian, according to the opportunities vouchsafed to him, is bound to cultivate the one and to acquire the other; indeed he is scarcely a Christian who wilfully neglects so to do. What

says the Apostle ? —“Add to your faith knowledge, and to knowledge manly energy.”Coleridge.*

VII. If other men, with inferior functions, can do their work by following a settled routine, it is at least certain that the Schoolmaster cannot. He can only hope to succeed in really educating children, in as far as he stands upon the ground of fixed principles, and with an enlightened eye looks forward, and clearly discerns the ends for which he is educating them. But he only can avail himself of principles who understands them--he only can have rational ends in view who reflects : there is no other possible way.

VIII. A reflecting mind, says an ancient writer, is the spring and source of every good thing. °It is at once the disgrace and the misery of men, that they live without forethought. As a man without forethought scarcely deserves the name of a man, so forethought without reflection is but a metaphorical phrase for the instinct of a beast.-Coleridge.

IX. A reflecting mind is not a flower that grows wild, or comes up of its own accord. The difficulty is indeed greater than many, who mistake quick recollection for thought, are disposed to admit; but how much less than it would be, had we not been born and bred in a Christian and Protestant land, few of us are sufficiently aware. Truly may we, and thankfully ought we to, exclaim with the Psalmist: “ The entrance of thy words giveth light; it giveth understanding even to the simple."----Coleridge.

It is worthy of especial observation, that the Scriptures are distinguished from all other writings pretending to inspiration by the strong and frequent recommendations of knowledge, and a spirit of enquiry. Without reflection, it is evident that neither the one can be acquired nor the other exercised. Coleridge.

Aids to Reflection

X An hour of solitude passed in sincere and earnest prayer, or the conflict with and conquest over a single passion or “subtle bosom sin,” will teach us more of thought, will more effectually awaken the faculty and form the habit of reflection, than a year's study in the school without them.Coleridge.

XI. Thought and action have their most perfect union, and stand together in the fullest rigour of each, in the faith of a Christian man. Look through the whole history of the world, and find, if you can, a man of the highest and manliest kind, of thought or of action, who was not religious,-in whom religion was not the root of his thoughts and of his deeds. Of second rate men too many have been irreligious ; but without faith in God there is no perfection even of the intellect, and no power of action which is not low and mechanical.

EDWARD STRACHEY.

FIRST LESSONS IN ENGLISH LITERATURE.

SIB-I had occasion a few days ago to reply to an inquiry, respecting the method I should pursue in instructing young ladies in the elements of English Literature and Composition. It has occurred to me, that even the scanty information I was enabled to give within the compass of a note might be useful to a portion of your readers, in calling their attention to the subject, and perhaps in eliciting from other quarters communications which I have no doubt would, in some cases, be as serviceable to myself as any I might furnish could be to the youngest and most inexperienced of those who might happen to peruse them. I have purposely avoided the task of revising and enlarging my reply, so as to make it less unworthy a place in your Journal, sensible that, if I did so, it would no longer possess the same claims to indulgence, and might, very probably, stand more in need of them.

Your obedient servant,

G, H. For the elements of Literature Mr. H. would consider it a main point that his pupils should read, with very much more than the average amount of attention and closeness, some of the easier portions of a few standard authors; and, in the first instance, he would select, in preference, a piece already familiar to the pupils, but which probably had not been very closely read ; he would endeavour to show how much had escaped their notice, for want of a nearer view than the one they had taken, and he would consider no insignificant portion of his task accomplished when this was thoroughly impressed upon their minds, accompanied by some wish for a better habit of reading, and a willingness to avail themselves of any assistance afforded them in acquiring it. He would, however, by no means confine himself to making remarks to his pupils on what they read; he would think it of far greater importance that they should be gradually brought to a certain degree of facility in making such remarks for themselves, or rather to an habitual perception of those many shades of significancy and beauty which the remarks would seek to place conspicuously before them; and this habitual perception he would prefer to a great facility in making remarks, inasmuch as it is less likely to raise or to foster, in the mind of the pupil, a tendency to conceit, a habit of exercising our critical ingenuity upon every thing that comes before us, and a readiness to apply as earnestly to the deficiencies of a placard as to the beauties of a poem. This kind of exercise for the elements of literature would, it is presumed, be of no small assistance as introductory to composition, since a habit of perceiving the fitness of expressions used by others is certainly a great step towards adapting our own to particular circumstances. Attempts at original composition, especially upon subjects not familiar to the pupil, Mr. H., as a general rule, is not prepared to recommend; he would substitute for them various grades of imitation, the more difficult, being in fact what is often practised by good writers themselves, with more success, of course, than can be expected from young students. Not only translations from a foreign language, but also many of the exercises which the pupils go through in other branches of knowledge, may be rendered exercises in composition by requiring them to give their answers in writing, and insisting upon great attention to clearness and conciseness ; the particular branch on which the answers are given being on these occasions the principal object, more than this cannot well be required; but to insist upon these qualities will often be found extremely conducive to the pupil's progress, in the branch on which the answers are written. Making young people give an account, either orally or in writing, of something they have lately read, accustoming them to give only

the pith of the narration, or at most such additional circumstances as have a very close connection with it, is likely to prove serviceable ; the same may perhaps be said of making them fill up elliptical sentences, prepared for the purpose, provided the omissions are neither so evident as to leave no real exercise for the pupil, nor such as to require an amount of thought from which they are almost sure to escape, by as good a series of conjectures as their previous practice in guessing may enable them to command.

Books.

For many books I care not, and my store
Might now suffice me, though I had no more
Than God's two Testaments, and therewithal
That mighty volume which the world we call.
For these well-look'd on, well in mind preserv'd,
The present age's passages observ'd;
My private actions seriously o'erviewed,
My thoughts recalled, and what of them ensued,
Are books, which better far instruct me can,
Than all the other paper works of man;
And some of these I may be reading too,
Where'er I come, or whatsoe'er I do.-George Withers.

ON THE EARLY FORMATION OF STUDIOUS HABITS. Ore great reason why there are so many individuals in the world who scarcely attain to mediocrity in the development and exercise of their mental powers, seems to be the neglect of cultivation at an early age. In large families this is especially apt to occur. While very young, the mind is allowed to follow its own bias, to acquire habits of indifference to study, and in many cases, from want of exercise, to lose the power of application. . Generally speaking it is only when a boy begins to attract notice by a native display of talent, or its opposite-an innate obtuseness of intellect, that attention to his progress is arrested. Then follows inquiry-too often disappointment. It becomes, perhaps, apparent that less has been acquired than his age might warrant his friends in anticipating. Decided measures for redeeming lost time are suggested, and hastily adopted. From the suddenness of the change disgust is too often produced, and if the same plan be persisted in, a fixed dislike of studious pursuits is the frequent result.

On the contrary, if in the early period of childhood, -I may almost say, in infancy-a taste for learning had been coupled with agreeable circumstances—amusement, praise, trifling indulgences, and the various sources of childish delight, which skilful mothers know so well how to apply-an incipient relish for books and literary occupations, exhibiting itself in a partiality for reading and intelligent conversation, and the display of a lively curiosity, terminating in a fondness for study and mental application, would, in all probability, have been the gratifying consequence.

It is not the amount of learning thus obtained, that should regulate our estimate of this important period; but the habits which this treatment is calculated to establish. As this is the time when the most permanent and salutary tastes and habits of mind are acquired, so, on the other hand, it shonld never be forgotten that the most confirmed dislike to study is often produced by a too great anxiety to promote the mental growth; and that, in addition to the debilitating effects on the mind of involuntary efforts, aversion not unfrequently follows premature excitement. It is not, perhaps, sufficiently borne in mind, that although intellectual exertion, when spontaneous, far from enfeebling, invigorates the mind ; yet when it is merely the effect of artificial or extraneous influence, while the good is only temporary, the pernicious effect is too often lasting.

The object, in this early stage of the educational process, seems to be rather to create an appetite for mental food than to satisfy it; to awaken rather than to gratify curiosity ; to inspire a taste for reading, rather than to impose tasks.

As well might we expect to invigorate the constitution by loading a deranged

or weak stomach with food, which it had not the power to digest, instead of previously strengthening it by suitable means, for the process which it had to perform, as to anticipate beneficial results from involuntary lessons and reluctant exertions.

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