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Education does not commence with the alphabet; it begins with a mother's look, with a father's nod of approbation, or sign of reproof; with a sister's gentle pressure of the hand; a brother's noble act of forbear. ance; with handful of flowers in green dells, or hills, and daisy meadows; with birdsnest admired, but not touched; with creeping ants and almost imperceptible emmets; with humming bees, and glass bee hives; with pleasant walks in shady lands, and with thoughts devoted, in sweet and kindly tones and words, to nature, to beauty, to acts of benevolence, to deeds of virtue, and to the source of all good-to God himself.
He (man) would look round upon the world without, and the thought would arise in his mind—" Where am I ?" He would contemplate himself, his form so curious, his feelings so strange and various; he would ask—" Whut am I?" Then reflection would begin to stir within him, and reviewing the world without and within, and pondering upon the mystery of existence, he would exclaim—“ Why am I?” And the replies to these three questions compose the entire circle of huinan knowl edge, developed in its natural order.
W. Cox. The Advocate, his Training.
I believe, that what it is most honorable to know, it is also most profitable to learn ; and that the science which it is the highest power to possess, it is also the best exercise to acquire.
And if this be so, the question as to what should be the material of education, becomes singularly simplified. It might be matter of dispute what processes have the greatest effect in developing the intellect; but it can hardly be disputed what facts it is most advisable that a man entering into life should accurately know.
I believe, in brief, that he ought to know three things:
First. Where he is.— That is to say, what sort of a world he has got into; how large it is; what kind of creatures live in it, and how; what it is male of, and what may be made of it.
Secondly. Where he is going. That is to say, what chances or reports there are of any other world besides this; what seems to be the nature of that other world; and whether, for information respecting it, he had better consult the Bible, Koran, or Council of Trent.
Thirdly. What he had best do under those circumstances.—That is to say, what kind of faculties he possesses; what are the present state and wants of mankind; what is his place in society; and what are the readiest means in his power of attaining happiness and diffusing it. The man who knows these things, and who has had his will so subdued in the learning them, that he is ready to do what he knows he ought, I should call educated; and the man who knows them not,, uneducated, though he could talk all the tongues of Babel.
Education does not mean merely reading and writing, nor any degree, however considerable, of mere intellectual instruction. It is, in its larg. est sense, a process which extends from the commencement to the termination of existence. A child comes into the world, and at once his education begins. Often at his birth the seeds of disease or deformity are sown in his constitution—and while he hangs at his mother's breast, he is imbibing impressions which will remain with him through life. During the first period of infancy, the physical frame expands and strengthens; but its delicate structure is influenced for good or evil by all surrounding circumstances-cleanliness, light, air, food, warmth. By and by, the young being within shows itself more. The senses become quicker. The desires and affections assume a more definite shape. Every object which gives a sensation; every desire gratified or denied; every act, word, or look of affection or of unkindness, has its effect, sometimes slight and imperceptible, sometimes obvious and permanent, in building up the human being; or, rather, in determining the direction in which it will shoot up and unfold itself. Through the different states of the infant, the child, the boy, the youth, the man, the development of bis physical, intellectual, and moral nature goes on, the various circumstances of his condition incessantly acting upon him—the healthfulness or unhealthfulness of the air he breathes; the kind, and the sufficiency of his food and clothing; the degree which his physical powers are exerted; the freedom with which his senses are allowed or encouraged to exercise themselves upon external objects; the extent to which his faculties of remembering, comparing, reasoning, are tasked; the sounds and sights of home; the moral example of parents; the discipline of school; the nature and degree of his studies, rewards and punishments; the personal qualities of his companions; the opinions and practices of the society, juvenile and advanced, in which he moves; and the character of the public institutions under which he lives. The successive operation of all these circumstances upon a human being from earliest childhood, constitutes his education ;-an education which does not terminate with the arrival of manhood, but continues through life, -which is itself, upon the concurrent testimony of revelation and reason, a state of probation or education for a subsequent and more glorious existence.
Joun LALOR. Prize Essay. The appropriate and attainable ends of a good education are the possession of gentle and kindly sympathies; the sense of self-respect and of the respect of fellow-men; the free exercises of the intellectual faculties; the gratification of a curiosity that “grows by what it feeds on," and yet finds food forever; the power of regulating the habits and the business of life, so as to extract the greatest possible portion of comfort out of small means; the refining and tranquilizing enjoyment of the beautiful in nature and art, and the kindred perception of the beauty and nobility of virtue; the strengthening consciousness of duty fulfilled, and, to crown all, “ the peace which passeth all understanding."
BIOGRAPHY OF ROGER ASCHAM,
We shall commence in our next number the publication of Roger Ascham's great work—“ The Schoolmaster;" one of the earliest and most valuable contributions to the educational literature of our language. As an appropriate introduction, we give a sketch of the author's life drawn mainly from Ilartley Coleridge's “Northern Worthies," and the “ Biographical Dictionary" commenced by the Society for the Diffusion of Useful knowledge.
Roger Ascham was the third son of John and Margaret Ascham, and was born in the year 1515, at Kirby Wiske, near Northallerton in Yorkshire, where his father resided as steward to the noble family of Scroope. His parents, who were highly esteemed in their station, after living together for forty-seven years, both died on the same day and nearly at the same hour. Their son Roger displayed from his childhood a taste for learning, and was received into the family of Sir Anthony Wingfield, who caused him to be educated with his own sons, under the care of their tutor, Mr. Robert Bond ;* and in the year 1530, placed him at St. John's College, Cambridge, then the most flourishingt in the University. Ascham applied himself particularly to the study of Greek, to which a great impulse had recently been given by the dispersion of the learned Greeks throughout Europe, in consequence of the taking of Constantinople. He made great proficiency in Greek as well as Latin, and he read Greek lectures, while yet a youth, to students still younger than himself. He took the degree of A. B. in February, 1534, and on the 23d of the next month was elected f fellow of his college, through the influence of
** To conclude, let this, amongst other motives, make schoolmasters careful in their place, that the eminences of their scholars have commended their schoolmasters to posterity, which otherwise in obscurity had been altogether forgotten. Who had ever heard of R. Bond in Lancashire, but for the breeding of learned Roger Ascham, bis scholar ?" Fuller's Ho'y and Profane Stales-The Good Schoolmaster.
† Dr. Grant in his " Oratio de vila et obitu Rogeri Ascham” thus compliments Sir John's College :-* Yea, surely, in that one college, which at that season, for number of most learned doctors, for multitude of erudite philosophers, for abundance of elegant orators, all in their kind superlative, might rival or outvie all mansions of literature on earth, were exceedingly many men, most excellent in all politer letters, and in knowledge of languages.”'
1" Dr. Nicholas Medcalf”-writes Ascham later in life, " was a man meanly learned him. self, but not meanly affectioned to set forth learning in others. He was partial to none, but indifferent to all; a master of the whole, a father to every one in that college. There was none so poor, if he had either will to goodness, or wit 10 learning, that could lack being there,