Page images
[blocks in formation]

Journal of Proceedings. List of Officers. Annual Report. Introductory Discourse, by Elipha White. Lecture 1, by John Mulligan, on Classical Education. Lect. 2, by Joshua Bates, ou Moral Education. Lect. 3, by Jobn L. Russell, on the Study of Natural History. Lect. 4, by Theodore Edson, on Public and Private Schools. Lect. 5, by David Fosdick, Jr., on Elocution. Lect. 6, by Jasper Adams, on College Discipline. Lect. 7, by Charles Brooks, on Teachers' Seminaries. Lect. 8, by R. G. Parker, on Teaching Composition. Lect. 9, by Thomas H. Palmer, on Improvement in Common Schools. Lect. 10, by Williain Russell, on Reading and Declamation.


First ANNUAL REPORT OF American PhysioLOGICAL Society. Boston. Marsh, Capen & Lyon. 1837. 12mo. pp. 148.

We have already spoken of the existence of a Physiological Society in this city, and described, briefly, its character and objects. This is the Society to whose annual report we now refer.

The Report contains, besides a short account of the origin and history of the society, 1. A list of cases of recovery from diseases by adopting the vegetable system of living; 2. Cases of recovery, by the same means, from disease, even in old age; 3. Experiments inade by persons in health, and by laborers ; 4. Cases of bringing up on the vegetable system ;-added to which are about sixty pages of remarks, most of which have an intimate bearing on the physical and moral education and management of the young. It is the latter part of the pamphlet with which, as friends of education, we have chiefly to do ; and this we cannot refrain from commending to every one of our readers. It contains some thoughts which they will hardly find elsewhere ; but which they would probably deem very valuable.

The Family Nurse, or Companion of the Frugal Housewife. By Mrs Child. Boston. Charles J. Hendee. 1837.

From the great popularity of the Frugal Housewife, we think this little volume likely to have an extensive circulation, and to do extensive injury. Not that we question, for one moment, the good intentions of the author, or doubt the value of some parts of the work ; but we do believe and know, that much she says will tend to promote and extend that system of family quackery—that dabbling with medicine—which is already nearly universal, and which produces, sooner or later, three times as much disease as it cures. It is, indeed, a work on physical education ; but it tends to promote, as we fear, what the late Joseph Emerson was accustomed to call bad education ;-an article already too abundant in the market, as well as too popular.



MARCH, 1838.


"The tongue can no man tame,' says a writer of highfauthority; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison.' And again, it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature.' And another of the same class of writers observes, :I said in my haste all men are liars.'

Now this testimony in regard to the tongue, as it was two or three thousand years ago, under the mode of training then in vogue, and as it still is in the nineteenth century, notwithstanding all our talk about improvements in education, must, and does mean something. The tongue is 'an unruly evil ;' and if we ought not to say

that no man

cun tame' it, we have at least too much reason to believe with St. James, that it never yet hath been tamed.'

We mean not to say in our deliberation, what David said in haste-that all men are liars—at least, we do not say they are intentionally and maliciously so. We hope better things; we believe better things. But we need not a Mrs Opie to tell usat least if we have our eyes open to what is going on around us —that lying, in some one or more of its various forms, and in a higher or lower degree, is, even in the best society, almost universal.

We have headed our article, Education of the Tongue. But with the foregoing preamble, and the illustrations which follow, every one will discover our meaning. It is no part of our object to treat, at present, of that part of the education of this little member, which pertains to the earlier and later management


Teaching Lying to the Young.

of the voice and speech, however important a figure it makes in accomplishing these results. We have fulfilled that part of our task in our volume of last year, at page 171. Our present business is, in short, with the vice of lying.

This vice is, indeed, acquired by the individual long before he can use the tongue ; and in various ways, too, which do not necessarily involve the use of the tongue in others. There are lies told to children, by hundreds and thousands, long before they can speak; and often without our speaking to them. We may lie by our looks and our actions, as well as by our words. And some little children, long before they can speak, acquire the habit of acting out falsehoods.

He who has thought much on this subject, needs none of our illustrations ; nor even those of Mrs Opie. But as some, in this busy age, and especially in our own busy cominunity, may not have time to think, at least they believe so, it may be well to present a few plain examples of the evils to which we refer.

How often, before the infant is a year old, do parents-the best of parents-indulge it in certain things, when they theinselves are good-natured, or, when it is perfectly convenient to them, and yet deny him those indulgences under circumstances which, for aught the child can discover, are the very same, their own convenience alone excepted !

We are at table, drinking our tea for example; the child, from sympathy or imitation, or both, manifests a disposition to taste with us, and is indulged. Perhaps the indulgence is repeated, again and again. But soon we take it into our heads, or somebody gives us the hint that tea is bad for children ; and it is prohibited. The child pleads, but no; he must not have it. We tell him it is injurious, and succeed in making him understand our meaning. But the good-natured, indulgent fit again returns, and, the monitor being forgotten, the child again has the tea. But the cloud returns at length, or we are too busy for indulgence, and with it the prohibition—to him perfectly arbitrary, were it not for the significant shrugs, scowls, or shakes of the head-assuring him that it is bad for him. How long does it take a child to learn that we are governed, in the whole matter, not by a regard to his good, but solely by our own feelings at the time? If he had doubts on the subject, they would be dissipated by seeing us drink so freely, what we deny him. Young as he is, he is old enough not only to discover our inconsistency-nay, our falschoods—but also to make the natural and often rational inference, that what affords us so much gratification, cannot be very pernicious to him.

Nearly related to this, are scores of prohibitions, which as the

Ways in which Lying is Taught.

99 child grows older, are imposed on him. We tell him of many things which, we say, will injure him ; which yet he sees us do, or use. Sometimes, indeed, what we say may be true. There are articles of food and drink, as well as modes of conduct, more proper for adults than for children. In general, however, a parent would be wise in doing nothing in the presence of a child, which the latter has power to do, which it would be unsafe for him to repeat. The child cannot often discover the soundness of our objections, or the correctness of our discriminationshowever reasonable. He concludes, as is too often the fact, that we are deceiving him. And when he has learned the sad lesson, that he cannot trust those whom he most loves, how dreadful the consequences! And what, on earth, can hinder his imitating their example ?

You have something on your table or about your person, which your child manifests a desire to obtain. You tell him it is not fit for him, or attempt to conceal it. How long will it be ere he will begin to conceal from you something which it is not very convenient for him to yield ? And when he has reached this stage of lying, how long will it be before he will take another degree in the same crati, and attempt to deceive you in words? It is but a step from the lie in countenance to the lie in action ; and but another step from the lie in action to the lie in word or in deed.

We will give another example. The child is ill. We wish him to take nauseous medicine. He is assured that it is agreeable to his taste. We sip a little, and assume a cheerful appearance and countenance. But he soon learns that he has been deceived; and how long will it be ere he loses all confidence in our veracity ; and not only so, is encouraged to repeat, in his way and sphere, our own unhappy example ?

As a child grows older, and becomes more and more acquainted with society, especially that part of society which ought to be known to him most favorably, does he find a more strict adherence to truth in those around him ? Rather does not every thing, in this respect, wax worse and worse? Does he not find falsehood current every where, and on almost all occasions ?

The parent makes promises to him or to some other member of the family, and does not perform them. Brothers and sisters promise, and, if not convenient, do not perform. He soon learns the lesson and imitates.

Parents, brothers and sisters smile and look kindly to visiters, and urge them to stay longer or call again soon; with a thousand of the like assurances of friendship; and yet how common is it, as soon as they are out of hearing, not only to criticise their


Mirs Opie's Practical Lying.

character and manners, but to show by our looks and actions, if we do not say it in words, that we are 'glad they are gone.' Of lying, by saying 'not at home,' when we are so, and requiring children or domestics to say the same, it is scarcely necessary that we should speak ; so obviously evil are its consequences.

A guest is invited ; and is seated at our table. The food is served with a thousand apologies at almost every dish or course, for its being no better ; but urged to eat beyond his ability notwithstanding. He praises the food, whether he likes it or not. How soon does a child see through all this 'game!' How soon does he find, when the guest is gone, that the food was the very best in its kind ; and that the guest, though urged so anxiously to eat more, is regarded as a very glutton !--How often do children hear a lady's furniture, or dress, or work, praised to her face, and as soon as she is absent, hear her abused and perhaps laughed at for her negligence, her slovenliness, or her credulity! How often do they hear the pleasing yes-even though they know it as hollow as it can possibly be—to such questions as · Is not my dress pretty ? Is not my bonnet becoming ? Is not the color beautiful? Is not this a fine child ?'

One sort of lying remains to be mentioned, which, in some of its forins and degrees, is almost or quite universal, even among the better sort of the community. According to Mrs Opie, it is practical lying. But whether it deserves this name or not, we know its tendency on the young is most unhappy. Ile has but half lived in the world, who cannot see that if it be not lying, it leads to it. Mrs Opie thus describes it.

It has been said that the great art of dress is to CONCEAL DEFECTS and HEIGHTEN BEAUTIES ; therefore, as concealment is deception, this great art of dress is founded on falsehood ; but certainly, in some instances, on falsehood, comparatively, of an innocent kind.

• If the false hair be so worn, that no one can fancy it natural; if the bloom on the cheek is such, that it cannot be mistaken for nature; or, if the person who “conceals defects and heightens beauties," openly avows the practice, then is the deception annihilated. But, if the cheek be so artfully tinted, that its hue is mistaken for natural color; if the false hair be so skilfully worn, that it passes for natural hair ; if the crooked

person, or meagre form, be so cunningly assisted by dress, that the uneven shoulder disappears, and becoming fulness succeeds to unbecoming thinness; while the man or woman, thus assisted by art, expects their charms will be imputed to nature alone; then these aids of dress partake of the nature of other lying, and

« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »