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Their Results to the Community.
will raise the tone of literary interest and ambition among pupils, and relieve the dull routine of mere elementary instruction, by the pleasures of entertaining and useful knowledge. It will be a kind of connecting link, to unite the school with society around, and will naturally forin the nucleus of an extended popular library, which, by subsequent yearly additions, will contain the materials for a general acquaintance with all subjects of interest and benefit to the community.
4. It seems necessary, in order to carry out and complete the work of school education, to provide some such supply of the means of reading. The elementary branches taught in the classes, are rather the instruments by which knowledge is to be acquired, than the acquisition itself. They constitute the preliminary training of the mind; and when this is, in some good degree accomplished, how important that the pupil should have opportunity to employ his powers, in exploring the field of knowledge. The school teaches the boy to read; and gives him some elementary knowledge of various kinds, which enables bim to understand books. When this is acquired, we must give him the books, or our work is incomplete.
5. Such a library of simple, interesting and instructive works, would exert a vast influence in preserving the morals of the community. An entertaining book is one of the strongest keepers a child can have. Its chain is invisible, and it neither chafes nor annoys the wearer. But it is more effectual than almost any other restraint. How many hours would such libraries rescue from idleness; from wicked conversation ; from open dissipation and vice? how many from noisy broils and savage fights ? And this, too, just in the most important crisis ; for, if a young man's character is saved till he is twentyone, it is in general saved for life. This plan, also, by providing a source of enjoyment and improvement for all the members of a family at home, will strengthen the domestic relations, and tend to revive and restore the love of domestic pursuits and pleasures. The experience of ages shows that mankind can exist safely and in happiness, only in the form of a vast congeries of families ; and the more we can strengthen the love of home, and bring means of improvement and happiness to every man's fireside, and keep the inmates of the household at home, the better for the virtue and solid happiness of the community.
6. It will be a very effectual mode of supplying the population generally with the means of knowledge. Through the scholars, the books will find their way, in constant rotation, to all the families around ; and many circumstances will conspire to cause them to be extensively read, by the adult population.
Character of the Volumes.
Parents are always specially interested in their children's pursuits, and often like to read, themselves, what their children are reading. And the interesting nature of the subjects, the simplicity and directness of the style, and the practical utility which will every where be aimed at, will fit these works peculiarly to the wants of a large class of our population, too much engrossed with cares, or wearied with the toils of life, or of too little mental cultivation to engage in more extended studies.
7. The plan is a very economical one. The amount of use. ful result is very large, when compared with the expenditure. A book sold to an individual is commonly read but by few, and is then laid aside idle and useless. These books, on the contrary, will circulate continually, and be used by new readers in succession, till worn out. An edition of 1000 copies, in the ordinary way, will reach perhaps 5,000 or 10,000 minds. But on this plan, circulating among the families of a thousand districts, they will have opportunity to reach several hundred thousand minds. Indeed, if it were desired to make known a narrative of facts, as extensively as possible to the mass of a community, what cheaper or better mode could be devised, than to place a copy in every school, to be loaned to the scholars in rotation? A sum not exceeding the ordinary endowment of a professorship in one of our colleges, will found such a National Library ; and enable the society to perpetuate its blessings indefinitely among the rising generation in our country. Tens of thousands, in our day, hundreds of thousands, millions, yet unborn,---would have their minds expanded, and their characters formed under its benignant influence. Such a library, placed in every school in our country, would seem to be one of the most effectual and desirable measures for the general diffusion of knowledge and the improvement of society, that could possibly be devised. Its benefits would be incalculable.
[The character and design of the works, is further described in the Prospectus, as follows.]
The library is intended to consist in the outset of fifty volumes, to be increased from time to time, as circumstances may require, until each school is furnished with perhaps two hundred volumes, comprising the following classes of works:
1. History, Ancient and Modern. The whole to contain a condensed but lively and spirited view of the history of the world; its settlement; the distribution of its inhabitants; the families of nations, and of languages; the rise and fall of empires; the present great powers of the earth, and their connection with the past.
Their Character, continued.
2. Voyages and Travels, to be compiled from the works of the most celebrated travellers : Anson, Cook, Kotzebue, Humbolt, Drake, Chateaubriand, Bruce, Park , Saussure, Peyrouse, Vancouver, Parry, Franklin, &c. The whole to be so arranged, as to bring all parts of the world before the reader, and to convey a general but accurate idea of the various regions of the earth, as they present themselves to the eye of the traveller ; and prepared in such a way, as to impart as much information as possible, in respect to the history, geography, and manners and customs of the countries visited.
3. Biography. The lives of great and good men, who have acted a conspicuous part on the great theatre of this world ; and especially the lives of those from whose history good moral lessons may be drawn. Columbus, Washington, Franklin, Jay, Bacon, Newton, Howard, &c.
4. Natural Science, in its various departments, with a view to impart a general but systematic acquaintance with objects of interest and utility in the three great kingdoms of nature.
5. Intellectual and Moral Philosophy, exhibiting just views of the intellectual and moral constitution of man; the grounds of human obligations, and the nature and claims of duty.
6. Political Philosophy, presenting the nature and objects of government and law; the principles of civil polity and political economy; the rights and duties of citizens ; and various subjects of general interest, affecting the welfare of society.
7. Agriculture. To consist of a series of volumes, on the nature and properties of soils; the products of the vegetable kingdom ; the culture and use of all trees, plants and vegetables, usually cultivated for food or profit; on the bistory, nature and management of the different domestic animals and their productions; in short, on all subjects connected with the pursuits of husbandry, designed to furnish the sons of the farmer, in a country destined to such high agricultural interests as ours, the best facilities for acquiring all necessary and desirable knowledge connected with their employments, their interests, and their happiness.
8. Manufactures and the Arts. A series on the various substances used in manufactures and in the arts; on the application of science to the common purposes of life; the description of processes, inventions, machinery and its results, calculated to be useful to the artizan, and interesting to every intelligent mind.
9. Commerce. Its history, and progress. Articles of commerce. Distribution and consumption. The nature of value,
Case, for a School Library. illustrating the principles of traffic and the office of the merchant.
10. Literature and Education. Comprising a collection of standard works, in English classics, with which every family should be acquainted. Works on education, giving its history, its progress and prospects, the philosophy of its principles, in a way calculated to extend and deepen the interest in universal education.
It will be the object of the society to embrace in the range of the publications all subjects of general interest and utility,
and their greatest care that the whole be pervaded and characterized by such a spirit of Christian morality as shall fit it to refine and elevate the moral character of our nation.
The volumes are designed to be of about 250 pp. 12mo. ; to be bound in a uniform and very thorough manner, and boxed in sets, so as to be bought, sold and transported with the convenience and safety of bales of merchandise; and the box to be so constructed as to answer the purposes of a case, when it reaches its final resting place in the school room.
It is, as will be perceived, by examining the above engraving, a flat box, two feet long, one foot wide, and six inches deep, divided by partitions which become shelves when the box is placed upright, into four compartments. The cover is to be attached by hinges, so as to become a door when the box is opened.
Account of a Teacher.
SACRIFICES BY TEACHERS. No. I.
Much is said, at the present day, of the want of teachers in this country, and of the unfitness of many of those now employed, for the performance of their duties. They are also represented as being actuated by low and unworthy motives—the love of ease, or emolument; or by a desire to use the employment merely as a stepping-stone to something of more importance.
Teachers, we acknowledge, are very far from being the perfect men and women that they ought to be. Few, very few, as we have abundant reason for believing, enter the profession, from the mere love of it, or from the pure desire of doing good. And yet such teachers there are. We know a few such. We have known them to make sacrifices for the common school, which are seldom exceeded by men of any other profession—the apostles of the cross in foreign lands not excepted.
We knew a man who, having spent some half a dozen winters in teaching district schools, had acquired a high reputation in this department of human labor. But this was wholly unsatisfactory to himself; he felt more and more his deficiencies, and sighed more and more for an opportunity to qualify himself for a station of such high responsibilities as that of directing not only the young “idea,' but the young mind and heart.
He had hitherto ' taught school in the winter only; for it was not customary in that part of the country where he resided, to continue a man's school through the summer. He was sometimes even tempted to relinquish teaching altogether, and to engage in mercantile business. Public life had also its charms, and besides being already spoken of as a member of the State Legislature for his native town, he held several responsible town offices.
But his great desire was to realize his own idea of a good school-, master; and one spring, at the conclusion of his winter's school, he formed the resolution of devoting himself to the profession of teaching for life. He had no sooner formed this determination, than he proceeded to put his plan into execution.
There were, however, many serious difficulties. The greatest was to obtain a school permanently. The usual wages of the best male teachers of the largest schools, for about four months of the winter, were only twelve or fifteen dollars a month in addition to board ; and of a female, six dollars a month, for four or five months of the summer, with the same additions. This