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the language; and the same wish leads him to apply vigorously to it. Of those who go to our universities, on the other hand, a large proportion are attracted, not by their desire to learn the things studied there, but by their wish to acquire certain privileges, which residence confers alike on the idle and on the diligent. same experiment with the French language. Erect the teachers of it into a corporation. Give them the power of conferring degrees. Enact that no person who cannot produce a certificate, attesting that he has been for a certain number of years a student at this academy, shall be suffered to keep a shop; and we will venture to predict, that there will soon be thousands; who, after having wasted their money and their time in a formal attendance on lectures and examinations, will not understand the meaning of Parlezvous Français ?
It is the general course of those who patronise an abuse to attribute to it every thing good which exists in spite of it. Thus the defenders of our universities commonly take it for granted, that we are indebted to them for all the talent which they have not been able to destroy. It is usual, when their merits come under discussion, to enumerate very pompously all the great men whom they have produced; as if great men had not appeared under every system of education. Great men were trained in the schools of the Greek sophists and Arabian astrologers, of the Jesuits and the Jansenists. There were great men when nothing was taught but School Divinity and Canon law; and there would still be great men if nothing were taught but the fooleries of Spurzheim and Swedenberg. A long list of eminent names is no more a proof of the excellence of our academic institutions, than the commercial prosperity of the country is a proof of the utility of restrictions in trade. No financial regulations, however absurd and pernicious, can prevent a people amongst whom property is secure, and the motive to accumulate consequently strong, from becoming rich. The energy with which every individual struggles to advance, more than counteracts the retarding -force, and carries him forward, though at a slower rate, than if he were left at liberty. It is the same with restrictions which prevent the intellect from taking the direction which existing circumstances point out. They do harm. But they cannot wholly prevent other causes from producing good. In a country in which public opinion is powerful, in which talent's properly directed are sure to raise their professor to distinction, ardent and aspiring minds will surmount all the obstacles which may oppose their career.
It is amongst persons who are engaged in public and professional life that genius is most likely to be developed. of these a large portion is necessarily sent to our English universities. It would, therefore, be wonderful if the universities could not
boast of many considerable men. Yet, after all, we are not sure whether, if we were to pass in review the Houses of Parliament and the English and Scottish Bar, the result of the investigation would be so favorable as is commonly supposed to Oxford and Cambridge. And of this we are sure, that many persons who, since they have risen to eminence, are perpetually cited as proofs of the beneficial tendency of English education, were at college never mentioned but as idle frivolous men, fond of desultory reading, and negligent of the studies of the place. It would be indelicate to name the living; but we may venture to speak more particularly of the dead. It is truly curious to observe the use which is made in such discussions as these, of names which we acknowledge to be glorious, but in which the colleges have no reason to glory, --that of Bacon, who reprobated their fundamental consitution, of Dryden, who abjured his Alma Mater, and regretted that he had passed his youth under her care; of Locke, who was censured and expelled; of Milton, whose person was outraged at one University, and whose works were committed to the flames at the other!
That in particular cases a University education may have produced good effects, we do not dispute. But as to the great body of those who receive it, we have no hesitation in saying, that their minds permanently suffer from it. All the time which they can devote to the acquisition of speculative knowledge is wasted, and they have to enter into active life without it. They are compelled to plunge into the details of business, and are left to pick up general principles as they may. From all that we have seen and heard, we are inclined to suspect, in spite of all our patriotic prejudices, that the young men, we mean the very young men, of England, are not equal as a body to those of France, Germany, or Russia. They reason less justly, and the subjects with which they are chiefly conversant are less manly. As they grow older, they doubtless improve. Surrounded by a free people, enlightend by a free press with the means of knowledge placed within their reach, and the rewards of exertion sparkling in their sight, it would indeed be strange if they did not in a great measure recover the superiority which they had lost. The finished men of England may, we allow, challenge a comparison with those of any nation. Yet our advantages are not so great that we can afford to sacrifice any of them. We do not proceed so rapidly, that we can prudently imitate the example of Lightfoot in the Nursery Tale, who never ran a race without tying his legs. The bad effects of our university system may be traced to the very last, in many eminent and respectable men. They have acquired great skill in business, they have laid up great stores of information. But something is still wanting. The superstructure is vast and splendid; but the foun.
dations are unsound. It is evident that their knowledge is not systematised; that, however well they may argue on particular points, they have not that amplitude and intrepidity of intellect which it is the first object of education to produce. They hate abstract reasoning. The very name of theory is terrible to them. They seem to think that the use of experience is not to lead men to the knowledge of general principles, but to prevent them from ever thinking about general principles at all. They may play at bo-peep with truth; but they never get a full view of it in all its proportions. The cause we believe is, that they have passed those years during which the mind frequently acquires the character which it ever after retains, in studies, which, when exclusively pursued, bave no tendency to strengthen or expand it.
From these radical defects of the old foundations the London university is free. It cannot cry up one study or cry down another. It has no means of bribing one man to learn what it is of no use to him to know, or of exacting a mock attendance from another who learns nothing at all. To be prosperous, it must be useful.
We would not be too sanguine. But there are signs of these times, and principles of human nature, to which we trust as firmly as ever any ancient astrologer trusted to the rules of his science Judging from these we will venture to cast the horoscope of the infant institution. We predict, that the clamor by which it has been assailed will die away,--that it is destined to a long, a glorious, and a beneficent existence,--that, while the spirit of its system remains unchanged, the details will vary with the varying ne cessities and facilities of every age, that it will be the model of many future establishments,--that even those haughtyfoundations which now treat it with contempt
, will in some degree feel its salutary influence, and that the approbation of a great people, to whose wisdom, energy and virtue, its exertions will have largely contributed, will confer on it a dignity more imposing than any which it could derive from the most lucrative patronage, most splendid ceremonia
Even those who think our hopes extravagant, must own that no positive harm has been even suggested as likely to result from this Institution. All the imputed sins of its founders are sins of omission. Whatever may be thought of them, it is surely better that something should be omitted than that nothing should be done. The universities it can injure in one way only-by surpassing them. This danger no sincere admirer of these bodies can As for those who, believing that the project really tends to the good of the country, continue to throw obloquy upon it—and that We have no hope of converting them; no wish to revile them. there are such men we believe- to them we have nothing to say.
Let them quibble, declaim, sneer, calumniate. Their punishment is to be what they are.
For us, our part has been deliberately chosen-and shall be manfully sustained. We entertain a firm conviction that the principles of liberty, as in government and trade, so also in education, are all important to the happiness of mankind. To the triumph of those principles we look forward, not, we trust, with a fanatical confidence, but assuredly with a cheerful and steadfast hope. Their nature may be misunderstood. Their progress may be retarded. They may be maligned, derided, nay at times exploded, and apparently forgotten. But we do, in our souls, believe that they are strong with the strength, and quick with the vitality of truth; that when they fall, it is to rebound; that when they recede, it is to spring forward with greater elasticity; that when they seem to perish, there are the seeds of renovation in their very decay.
MR. EMERSON'S FEMALE SEMINARY AT WETHERSFIELD CONNECTICUT."
Course of Instruclion. The course of instruction in the Seminary is designed to embrace three seasons of twenty-eight weeks each. It is expected, that or• dinarily, during the Junior Season, young ladies will prepare for the Middle class; and during the Middle Season, for the Senior. This, however, is not to be considered, as a matter of course. It may often be otherwise. Young ladies will rise from class to class, according to their proficiency. In cases of uncommon progress in knowledge and mental improvement, some may advance more rapidly, and possibly, from commencing with the Juniors, one season, may close with the Seniors, the next. And during the same season, it may perhaps be said to some, 'Go up higher. Yet, as it is intended, that none but thorough scholars shall ever ve a standing in the Senior class, it may sometimes be expedient for young ladies to remain two seasons in the same class; or to employ two years in passing from the Junior class to the Senior.
It is not to be understood, however, that young ladies must always have been members of the junior class, in order to join either of the others. If properly qualified, a young lady may become a member of any class, at any stage of its advancement.
This course of instruction is by no means so long as many ardent friends to female improvement may wish. It seems, indeed, desirable, that it should be very much protracted, so as to allow
* See intelligence in last Number.
a portion of time, equal to twenty-five complete weeks for studying, Arithmetic and Geometry; twenty-five for Geography and Chronology; forty, for the Bible; forty, for the Civil and Ecclesiastical History of our own country; sixty, for all other civil and ecclesiastical history, not contained in the Bible; thirty, for Grammar; thirty, for Rhetoric and Composition; twenty, for Natural Philoso phy and Chemistry; twenty, for intellectual Philosophy and Edution; twenty, for Moral Philosophy; fifteen, for the Poets, &c. &c. But the present state of our country seems not to justify the plan of so extended a course of female education, except perhaps for a small portion of our most opulent citizens. When our district schools become what they should be, all this and more, will undoubtedly be realised; and a common school education may then be better than a college education now. But this is for future and wiser generations to accomplish. If we cannot effect all we would we must try to content ourselves with doing what we can, rejoicing in prospect of the wonders which our successors are to achieve.
The humble plan of a course of eighty-four weeks, is the utmost which I now presume to adopt. And this plan, limited as it is, is something more than the plans which I have yet executed; and I cannot but hope, that it will prove some advance upon the plans of female education, which to any considerable extent, have been hitherto attempted; and that by this course, young ladies will be enabled to acquire an education, more thorough, more practical and more useful, than has been customary in this country, or any other.
Important advantages may be expected from the classification of the students. A considerable number, possessing nearly equal attainments, engaged in the same pursuits, and stimulated by various motives, cannot fail to animate each other in their literary progress. But by far the greatest advantage of this arrangement may be expected to result from the time and attention, which it allows the teachers to devote to their pupils. Ordinarily, a teacher will attend only one recitation in a half-day; and will thus be able to make special preparation for the discharge of this important duty. There will then be opportunity, not merely to hear the pupils repeat their lessons, but to ask them collateral questions, to ask question upon question, to add illustrations, and by actual example, to teach them to discuss and to investigate. This must be much more conducive to improve their reasoning powers, and make them logicians, than merely their learning the rules of logic.
It is hoped, that the lectures, given in connection, will not only be useful in themselves, but conduce to render the general course of study more interesting and beneficial.
Although in so short a course the students cannot make all the