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above you, instead of raising you, keeps you down. Too frequent doses of original thinking from others restrain what lesser portion of that faculty you may possess of your own. You get entangled in another man's mind, even as you lose yourself in another man's grounds. You are walking with a tall varlet, whose strides outpace yours to lassitude. The constant operation of such potent agency would reduce me, I am convinced, to imbecility. You may derive thoughts from others; your way of thinking, the mould in which your thoughts are cast, must be your own. Intellect may be imparted, but not each man's intellectual frame.
As little as I should wish to be always thus dragged upward, as little (or, rather, still less) is it desirable to be stunted downward by your associates. The trumpet does not more stun you by its loudness than a whisper teases you by its provoking inaudibility.
Why are we never quite at our ease in the presence of a schoolmaster? Because we are conscious that he is not quite at his ease in ours. He is awkward and out of place in the society of his equals. He comes like Gulliver from among his little people, and he cannot fit the stature of his understanding to yours. He cannot meet you on the square. He wants a point given him, like an indifferent whist-player. He is so used to teaching that he wants to be teaching you. One of these professors, upon my complaining that these little sketches of mine were anything but methodical, and that I was unable to make them otherwise, kindly offered to instruct me in the method by which young gentlemen in his seminary were taught to compose English themes.-The jests of a schoolmaster are coarse or thin. They do not tell out of school. He is under the restraint of a formal or di
dactive hypocrisy in company, as a clergyman is under a moral one. He can no more let his intellect loose in society than the other can his inclinations. He is forlorn among his coevals; his juniors cannot be his friends.
"I take blame to myself," said a sensible man of this profession, writing to a friend respecting a youth who had quitted his school abruptly, "that your nephew was not more attached to me. But persons in my situation are more to be pitied than can well be imagined. We are surrounded by young and, consequently, ardently affectionate hearts, but we can never hope to share an atom of their affections. The relation of master and scholar forbids this. How pleasing this must be to you, how I envy your feelings!' my friends will sometimes say to me, when they see young men whom I have educated return, after some years' absence from school, their eyes shining with pleasure while they shake hands with their old master, bringing a present of game to me or a toy to my wife, and thanking me in the warmest terms for my care of their education. A holiday is begged for the boys; the house is a scene of happiness; I, only, am sad at heart. — This fine-spirited and warm-hearted youth, who fancies he repays his master with gratitude for the care of his boyish years-this young man, in the eight long years I watched over him with a parent's anxiety, never could repay me with one look of genuine feeling. He was proud when I praised; he was submissive when I reproved him; but he did never love me; and what he now mistakes for gratitude and kindness for me is but the pleasant sensation which all persons feel at revisiting the scenes of their boyish hopes and fears; and the seeing on equal terms the man they were accustomed to look up to with reverence. My wife,
too," this interesting correspondent goes on to say, "my once darling Anna, is the wife of a schoolmaster.- When I married her—knowing that the wife of a schoolmaster ought to be a busy, notable creature, and fearing that my gentle Anna would ill supply the loss of my dear, bustling mother, just then dead, who never sat still, was in every part of the house in a moment, and whom I was obliged sometimes to threaten to fasten down in a chair to save her from fatiguing herself to death-I expressed my fears that I was bringing her into a way of life unsuitable to her; and she, who loved me tenderly, promised for my sake to exert herself to perform the duties of her new situation. She promised, and she has kept her word. What wonders will not woman's love perform? My house is managed with a propriety and decorum unknown in other schools; my boys are well fed, look bealthy, and have every proper
accommodation; and all this performed with a careful economy that never descends to meanness.
But I have lost my gentle, helpless Anna! When we sit down to enjoy an hour of repose after the fatigue of the day, I am compelled to listen to what have been ber useful (and they are really useful) employments through the day, and what she proposes for her to-morrow's task. Her heart and her features are changed by the duties of her situation. To the boys, she never appears other than the master's wife, and she looks up to me as the boy's master, to whom all show of love and affection would be highly improper, and unbecoming the dignity of her situation and mine. Yet this my gratitude forbids me to hint to her. For my sake she submitted to be this altered creature, and can I reproach her for it?”—For the communication of this letter, I am indebted to my cousin Bridget.
Hail to thy returning festival, old Bishop Valentine! Great is thy name in the rubric, thou venerable archflamen of Hymen! Innmortal go - between! who and what manner of person art thou? Art thou but a name, typifying the restless principle which impels poor humans to seek perfection in union? or wert thou, indeed, a mortal prelate, with thy tippet and thy rochet, thy apron on, and decent lawn sleeves? Mysterious personage! like unto thee, assuredly, there is no other mitred father in the calendar; not Jerome, nor Ambrose, nor Cyril, nor the consigner of undipped infants to eternal torments, Austin, whom all mothers hate; nor he who hated all mothers, Origen; nor Bishop Bull, nor Archbishop Parker, nor Whitgift. Thou comest attended with thousands and ten thousands of little loves, and the air is
“ Brushed with the hiss of rustling wings.” Singing Cnpids are thy choristers and thy precentors; and instead of the crosier, the mystical arrow is borno before thee,
In other words, this is the day on which those charming little missives, ycleped Valentines, cross and intercross each other at every street and turning. The weary and all forspent twopenny-postman sinks beneath a load of delicate embarrassments not his own. It is scarcely credible to what an extent this ephemeral courtship is carried on in this loving town, to the great enrichment of porters, and detriment of knockers and bell-wires. In these little visual interpretations, no emblem is so common as the heart—that little, three-cornered expo
nent of our hopes and fears-the bestuck and bleeding heart. It is twisted and tortured into more allegories and affectations than an opera-hat. What authority we have in history or mythology for placing the headquarters and metropolis of God Cupid in this anatomical seat rather than in any other, is not very clear; but we have got it, and it will serve as well as any other. Else we might easily imagine-upon some other system which might have prevailed for anything which our pathology knows to the contrary- -a lover addressing his mistress, in perfect simplicity of feeling, "Madam, my liver and fortune are entirely at your disposal; 19 or putting a delicate question, “Amanda, have you a midriff to bestow?" But custom has settled these things, and awarded the seat of sentiment to the aforesaid triangle, while its less fortunate neighbors wait at animal and anatomical distance.
Not many sounds in life, and I include all urban and all rural sounds, exceed in interest a knock at the door. It "gives a very echo to the throne where Hope is seated." But its issues seldom answer to this oracle within. It is so seldom that just the person we want to see comes. But of all the clamorous visitations the welcomest in expectation is the sound that ushers in, or seems to usher in, a Valentine. As the raven himself was hoarse that announced the fatal entrance of Duncan, so the knock of the postman on this day is light, airy, confident, and befitting one that bringeth good tidings. It is less mechanical than on other days. You will say, "That is not the post I am sure." " Visions of Love, of Cupids, of Hymens! -delightful eternal commonplaces, which, "having been, will always be;" which no schoolboy nor schoolman can write away; having your irreversible throne in the fan