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old age, and the strictest obedience to the laws. The love of country and the sentiments of patriotism were assiduously inculcated, and a knowledge of the laws was conveyed by the most impressive lessons. Socrates imbued them with wisdom, Plato with philosophy, and Phidias with art.

Now, if it be true that history is philosophy teaching by example, what standard of education do we find at Athens to justify our own? Shall we do nothing but copy the Parthenon in our public edifices, and their tongue in our scientific nomenclature? A painter, who only copies, will never be a true artist, and one who only translates will never be a poet, and one who only imitates will never be a philosopher. A tree grows from the strength of its vitality, the propitiousness of soil, and the accidents of sunshine and rain in the spot where it is planted, and not from the growth and richness of a distant forest. The American boy is only half educated, or educated in one direction, that is, mentally, and scarcely at all in the direction which still makes Greece the silent companion and instructor of mankind. Even intellectual culture, itself, must depend upon the enrichment of the intuitive powers, and not upon imparted ideas; or, in other words, the capacity of deduction should not be sacrificed to verbalism and memory. It is the mission of a practical education not only to impart the elements of knowledge, but to draw forth the faculties, and train them to act intelligently and successfully in all the circumstances of life.

No one who studies the marvelous history of the public-school system of education in the United States, can fail to acknowledge its extraordinary influence upon the

welfare of the people. New England has been referred to as an example. Founded in our early settlements, its progress has been too slow to suit the fervent wishes of our critics. Undoubtedly important changes must be introduced, suited to the changed conditions of the age. But surely we can have no sympathy with the tendency to injure or destroy this vast agency for good, because it continues to do that good under circumstances that were not foreseen, and could not have been anticipated. Any candid observer will admit the process of improvement going on within the last few years. Not only are the pupils trained in the art of drawing, which lies at the foundation of all constructive industry, but they are imbued with the rudiments of popular science and mechanics; and these improvements demonstrate that the necessity of change has been accepted as a part of a valuable system; and a fair way is thus opened for still greater progress in making public education a fitting preparation for useful pursuits afterward. It is better to be a little behind the age than encounter the dangers of mere empiricism, and if some of our home critics declare the common school a great failure, let us remember that the best and greatest in our own land, and the most keensighted and intelligent in Europe, declare that there is no American institution that they so much admire.

It will not be supposed that, in referring to the deficiencies of the public-school system, there is any design to underrate its general effect, but rather that it should be reconstructed in a manner suitable to the times.

Let us state some of the main facts. We expend, say, in round numbers, $100,000,000 per annum upon the support of public schools. Our school property may be valued

at not less than $200,000,000. Splendid school-buildings five stories high, with libraries, and all kinds of conveniences and apparatus for literary education, grace and adorn the most beautiful spaces in our cities; and humbler ones are seen in all the rural districts of the North and West; and, notwithstanding this immense outlay, we are obliged to rely upon foreigners in nearly all the industrial arts that depend upon technical information.

Now, if the object of education is to prepare the pupils for useful and successful work, certainly our present system can not be the best preparation for the wide-working world of to-day. Great as this burden is, the American constituents bear it more cheerfully than they do any other public tax, for they thoroughly believe in the general excellence of public instruction; but the need of this kind of knowledge which it has failed to supply would seem to call for a deep and critical inquiry into the competency of our present system of education, with the view of still further extending, in the direction of present wants, the changes and improvements commenced, as we have seen, with great vigor in some quarters. All intemperate haste on this subject is out of place. The fact has attracted men's attention, and, no doubt, when the changes already made shall have had sufficient time to develop into practical results, more important improvements still will be extended where most needed. These schools have not been made: they have grown. They have become what they are through the course of ages, and they are still growing more and more into the active life of the people. Have patience, brother, and we will yet see the ideal school, or at least a near generation of our children will!

It is often said, in reply to suggestions of this kind,

that we are not to expect everything from the schoolmaster. This expression has become stereotyped. The family and the world are also teachers, and the lines of Goethe express the great truth that life is the school of manhood:

A noble man may to a narrow sphere

Not owe his training. In his country he
And in the world must learn to be at home,
And bear both praise and blame, and by long proof
Of contest and collision nicely know

Himself and others-not in solitude,
Cradling his soul in dreams of fair conceit.

A foe will not, a true friend dare not, spare him;
And thus in strife of well-tried powers he grows,
Feels what he is, and feels himself a man.

It is also true that the American citizen has other lessons than those imparted in the school-room. His mind is constantly called into exercise by the greatest of all teachers experience. He has to estimate the advantages and disadvantages arising from the administration of public affairs, and by this mental exercise he acquires much knowledge, and an expansion of ideas. He acts as a voter, a juror, and as an official; he is called upon to scrutinize the current events and the symptoms of the times; he keeps a sharp eye upon the markets, and discusses, or hears others discuss, the relations of labor and capital, and watches public movements with more or less attention; and thus he acquires knowledge on a great variety of topics, and his reflections embrace a wide field of observation. Perhaps there is no country in the world where so many books are sold. Newspapers are everywhere supported, and they dilate upon all branches of science, his

tory, politics, morals, poetry, art, philosophy, and woman's rights; and, notwithstanding all drawbacks, they perform their part in carrying on the great work of educating the public mind. While the churches are earnestly engaged in building temples, colleges, and schools for instruction in their various tenets, they also support a vast ministry, publish books and pamphlets for distribution, and so diffuse through almost all ranks of society a great amount of secular information, and a salutary influence upon the life and morals of the people. Then there are addresses upon public occasions, and popular lecturers who must keep up with the spirit of the times, and cultivate a cordial sympathy and understanding with the masses. To these means of informing and educating the people might be added public libraries, museums, congressional debates, literary and scientific societies, popular assemblies, and conventions for all conceivable purposes.

Such, in a general way, on the larger scale of practical life, is the education furnished by the intellectual activity of the age. It will be observed that, valuable as all this is, it affords little instruction in the elements of natural science, and almost none at all in the practice or technics of industrial vocations. Its effect is one of general utility, and possesses as little for the physician or the lawyer as it does for the engineer, the artist, or the artisan.

With regard to the public school, the same remark is almost applicable, for the system of education is there directed to acquirements of general utility. Its tendency and design are not only to train the intellect, but also to impart accomplishments which, in the main, are of a utilitarian character, and such as can be turned to some account in the active business of life. The general effect has been

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