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The School LIBRARY, 121 vols., published by the Sunday REMARKS MADE AT THE DEDICATION OF TIIE NEW School Union, Philadelphia. These works are intended main
SCHOOLHOUSE IN DISTRICT NO. 6. ly for juvenile reading, and have been long before the christian public.
It is good and proper for us to be here, and I am happy in THE CHRISTIAN LIBRARY, 45 vols., published by the Amer- being able to accepi the invitation of your committee to be ican Tract Society, N. York. This set is intended to meet the present and take part in such exercises as have been deemed wants of the young and the old for a higher order of moral appropriate to the opening of a new schoolhouse, so retired, and religious reading, than is embraced in works of history, attractive, and convenient as this. biography, travels, &c., which are usually selected for school There is an intrinsic propriety in the sacredness of the puror public libraries.
pose, for which this edifice was erected, the physical, intellec. The Christian Library was presented to the District, by tual and moral culture of every child in this community, to Governor Ellsworth, as a testimony of his continued interest call for its consecration in prayer, as has just been done in the in the moral and intellectual improvement of his native dis- presence of parents, teachers and children, to the cause of trict. This act will cause his name to be remembered with truth, justice, patriotism and religion. But important as this delight, by many of the old and the young, in present and fu- occasion is in itself
, and to this district
, not only in the presture generations who may have access to the pleasures and con- ent, but in the future generations of children, I cannot but solations which these volumes are calculated to impart.
feel that the completion of such a schoolhouse, combining so Besides the above sets there are thirty or forty miscellaneous many advantages in respect to location, construction, and involumes, and among them the works of Milton, Cowper, &c. ternal arrangement and furniture, will help to awaken a spirit presented by Erastus Smith, Esq., of Hartford.
of inquiry and improvement in this and other departments of
our school system, far beyond your immediate limits; and thus The following regulations have been adopted by the district. restore it to its proper place in the regards of the patriot, the 1. The District Committee for the time being shall be held res- ties I have had occasion to visit and examine more than one
philanthropist and christian. In the discharge of official duponsible for the preservation of the Library, and shall cause to be thousand school houses, scattered through the eight counties, made out one or more catalogues of the books, to be kept by the in more than two thirds of all the towns, and in every variety Librarian, and to be open to the inspection of the inhabitants of the of district as to wealth, territory and population, and every District at all reasonable times. II. The Teacher for the time being, or any other person residing as you have introduced here. The health, manners, morals
where there is a pressing necessity for just such improvements in the district
, may be entrusted with the charge of the Library, and and right education generally of the children, require it. To held responsible for the preservation and delivery of the books, un. der such regulations as the District Committee may prescribe not
satisfy you of this, before passing to a consideration of what inconsistent with the regulations of the District.
parents, teachers and children must do to make this a model (II. The Library shall be open for the delivery of books on
school, I beg leave to dwell briefly on some of the principal Wednesday and Saturday of each week, unless otherwise directed, features of this schoolhouse, compared with what you and at such hour as the District Committee may designate.
every one who has turned any attention to the subject, know IV. Any inhabitant of the District, who shall express a willing to exist too generally, not only in this vicinity, but all over the
state. ness to comply with the regulations which may from time to time be prescribed by the district, and has paid up all fines duly imposed,
1. Location. Thanks to the good sense and good taste of and any minor rosiding in the district, whose parents, guardian, or your committee, and to the public spirit of the original proprieany other inhabitant, will become responsible for any fines which tor of the land, the house is located on a dry, elevated, and in may be imposed for the damage or detention of books taken by every respect a healthy site. It is removed some sixty feet (such minor, shall be entitled 10 ihc privileges of the Library. from the noise and dust of the highway, and from all sights
V. Every person entitled to the privileges of the Library may and sounds of idleness and dissipation. While there is amdraw one book, and one only at a time, and retain the same for two ple room in front for all to occupy in common for recreation weeks and no longer ; but the same person may, after returning a and sports, there is in the rear of the building a separate yard book to the Librarian, take it again, unless application has been made for either sex. When spring returns it will deck the green for it by some one who had not previously borrowed the same, who sward properly enclosed, and nourish, I trust, some elms, oaks shall in that case be entitled to its use.
and maples, which will in a few years throw their sheltering VI. Any person who shall detain a book longer than fourteen shadows over house and play ground in summer, and break the daye, shall forfeit and pay to the Librarian two cents for each day's inclemency of the storm in winter. detention, until the fine shall equal the value of the book, and at the How striking and mournful the contrast presented in the expiration of such time, due notice shall be given by the Librarian location of most of our district schoolhouses. Go where to the borrower, to return such book within three days, and in case you will, you find them on or rather in the public road, and of its longer detention, the full value of the book, or of the set to not unfrequently in the public roads, where the attention of which it belongs, shall be charged to the borrower, and on the pay. the scholars is' disturbed by every passing object. I have ment of such fine, the book or set may be claimed and taken by the visited them perched on the bleakest spoi io the district, borrower,
where all the winds and all the ways meet, on low marshy VII. Any person, who shall injure, or deface any book belong. ground, or in the midst of minutely grained sand-spots which sessed by the District Committee or the Librarian, with the liberty no prudent farmer would occupy with a barn or a pig pen, or of appeal to the District Committee ; provided the sum so assessed a mechanic with his workshop, if they could be had free of shall not exceed the full value of the book, or of the set, if it belongs expense. But bad as the location too often is, there is no provisto one ; and all fines either for detention or damage of books shall ion made for play ground, shade irees or outdoor arrangements be applied to the benefit of the Library.
of any kind. It is the want of such arrangements which VIII. No book shall be taken away from the Library, until the makes the schoolhouse an annoyance to the neighborhood name or the number of the book, the name of the person taking it, where it is placed, and the common school objectionable to and the day on which it is taken, are entered in a book to be pro- that class of parents who regard the health, 'manners and vided for that purpose, and every person shall be held responsible morals of their children as too precious to be exposed by the for any book charged to him, until he sees the above entry erased, shameful neglect of the districts. or crossed, on his returning the book to the Librarian,
2. Construction and Material. This house is built accord. IX. Such books as may have been or may hereafter be given to ing to rules of good taste, of durable materials, and in a workthe Library with the understanding that they were to be accessible manlike manner. The brick are not likely to be washed out to teachers or other persons, residing without the district, will be by the rain, or the woodwork to shrink in the heat of the stove to such extent excepted from the operation of the rules and regu- or sun, so as to leave knot holes, and cracks for the "crannylations, and such books as the District Committee may specially ing winds" to whistle through. It is protected from cold bedirect to be retained in the Library, shall not be delivered to any neath by a solid foundation of stone and mortar, a well matchperson, without a written permission from the Committee. ed floor, and a ceiling of wood as high as the window sills.
X. The District Committee shall the close of their official The woodwork in the interior is "oaked" so as to give a finish year, and at such other times as may be required, make a report and respectability to its appearance which entitle it to the care to the district on the condition of the Library.
and respect of the children, that I doubt not, it will receive.
But how is it in these respects with our schoolhouses gen- of the windows, the maps suspended around the walls, and erally? It would be difficult to classify the prevalent style of the appropriate color of the wood work, must strike every eye building with any of the received orders of architecture. favorably, compared with the dingy, prison-like aspect of most Each building is a class of itself, or rather belongs to what of our district schoolhouses. The area of the floor, including Mr. Mann has happily called, the sixth order of architecture, the recess for the teacher's platform and library, is about 474 the wicker-work order,-summer houses for winter residences. feet, and allows 16 feet for thirty scholars, or 14 feet for thirtyMany of them are so bunglingly constructed, the shingles and six scholars. The additional height of six or seven feet, clapboards are so loose, the floor and ceiling so badly match- given to this room, over the low ceilings so universal elseed, the under pinning so open, that it would seem as if they where, while it adds but a trifle to the expense, gives a symhad come together by a fortuitous concourse” of materials. metry to the proportions of the building, and almost doubles I must except here two venerable structures, which give un- the quantity of air which would otherwise be allowed to each equivocal evidence of design in respect to protection from the individual.' That is, it gives 250 cubic feet of air to each cold beneath. They are forlorn specimens at best, of what pupil in a school of thirty, and 209 feet to each in a school of has been called in prose and verse, the “moral beauties” of 36, instead of an allowance of 40 to 60 cubic feet under the Connecticut. Their origin dates back beyond the memory of same circumstances. As will be seen by what I shall soon the oldest inhabitants. The storms of half a century, it say of the philosophy of ventilation, this is a prime considerawould seem, have left their dingy stains on the shingles, and tion. the roof of each is hent down under the weight of years. As Third.-Space and appropriate accommodation for teacher the clapboards near the ground disappeared, either from decay, and scholar are here secured. From this raised platform the or other causes, the districts, although situaled thirty miles teacher can survey the whole school at a glance, and conduct apart, have resorted to the same expedient, to supply their the reading and recitations of his classes arranged, either implace. They have banked up the schoolhouse with earth, mediately around him, or which is far more preferable, along until, with the exception of the windows, they are nearly two the opposite end of the room. In the last position, those who thirds under ground, and here the “district school” goes into read or recite must of necessity speak loud and distinct in orwinter quarters. The teacher of one of them said it had the der to be heard, while the attention of the rest of the school, rare merit of being cool in summer and warm in winter. I will be less likely to be disturbed, as the ear only will be atpropose to have a sketch of one of them made and deposited tracted by what is going on. Directly back of the teacher with the Historical Society as a specimen of “the district are cases, for books and apparatus, already to some extent proschoolhouse in 1840."
vided, and that indispensable article, a large blackboard, is so I would not be understood to say that Connecticut deserves arranged with weights, as to be of convenient access, always a bad pre-eminence in this respect. In a neighboring state, an within sight of the reciting class, and of the whole school, eye witness makes the following statement in print. “I have and yet, in the way of no one. good reason for remembering one of another class of school Each'scholar, young and old, is provided with a seat and desk, houses, where on every cold day the teacher was obliged to of appropriate height, and easy access. of them and the compromise between the sufferings of those who were expos- mode of their arrangeinent, I will speak presently. ed to the cold of the windows, and those who were exposed Besides the space occupied by the platform of the teacher to the heat of the fire, by not raising the thermometer of the and the seats and desks of u:e scholars, there are aisles, conlatter above ninety degrees until that of the former fell below veniently arranged in reference to the doors and the evolutions thirty A part of the children suffered the arctic cold of the school. The space, especially in the centre and around of Captains Ross and Parry, and a part the torrid heat of the sides of the room, can, on occasions like this, or of the the Landers, without, in either case, winning the bonors of a visitation or examination of the school, be occupied by chairs, discoverer. It was an excellent place for the teacher to illus- or benches, for the accommodation of parents and friends trate one of the facts in geography; for five steps would have who may be disposed to come is. carried him through the five zones. Just before my present The size of school rooms, in reference not merely to the circuit. I passed a schoolhouse, the roof of which on one side proper seating and necessary evolutions of the scholars, but was trough-like; and down iowards the eaves there was a to the cheerfulness, comfort and health of the inmates, has large hole, so that the whole operated like a tunnel to catch been strangely overlooked with us. Districts and committees all the rain, and pour it into the school roon. At first I did have acted apparently on the principle of packing away as not know but it might be some apparatus designed to explain much live matter as possible in a given space. They have the deluge. I called and enquired of the mistress if she and thereby saved money in an outlay which is not to be repeated her little ones were not sometimes drowned* out. She said oftener than once in a generation, only to entail upon parents she should be, except that the floor leaked as badly as the roof, and guardians from year to year a much larger expenditure and drained off the water. And yet a healthful, comfortable for ill health, engendered in low, contracted, unventilated schoolhouse can be erected as cheaply as one which, judging school rooms.' This subject however is now better understood, from its construction, you would say had been dedicated to and a wiser practice is slowly gaining ground. The building the evil genius of deformity and soffering."
committee of this district bave only applied the principle laid 3. Size.—Most of the considerations which should deter- down by the best authorities on the subject, and introduced, mine the size and internal arrangements generally of a school- not only into structures of this character, but into every hoshouse, have been properly regarded here, although it is to be pital and prison, which has been recently erected. Mr. Lanregretted that the dimensions on the ground were not a little caster, who consulted the most rigid economy in his plans of more liberal, so as to allow more space for the evolutions of schoolhouses for the children of the poor, allowed an area of the school, and a separate room for recitations and other useful nine feet, and 150 to 180 cubic space to each pupil. Dr. Alpurposes, back of the teacher's platform.
cott, in his Prize Essay on schoolhouses, recommends a space First.–There is a separate entry for boys and girls, by not less than four feet square to each, which with the ordinameans of which much rudeness, confusion and impropriety of ry height of school rooms would make the same allowance of conduct will be avoided. A scraper and mat for the feet, air. Mr. Woodbridge, to whom the cause of education owes hooks and shelves for outer garments, and a wash basin and so much, supposes thai 150 cubic feet of space is the smallest towel for dirty hands and faces, (if such things should ever which should be allowed to each individual. Mr. Mann, in be found among pupils so neat and cleanly, as those before me, his report on schoolhouses, the latest and best exposition of have been or will be provided, and thus the health, manners, the whole subject, without fixing on a minimụm of space, as well as proper habits of neainess and order be secured. handles with great severity that miserable economy, or over
Second.-The school room is spacious, cheerful and sight, which would stint children in the use of pure air, which
The best European writers on hospitals, deem it indispensaenquiry whether there was any opening in its ceiling for the in pure air which 600 cubic feet, and the best institutions of this kind have ed, " that if such air could get out where water could get in, there were openings Worcester, space equal to 800 cubic feet is allowed to each
once been breathed to escape, the teacher of the school referred to, remark-nearly twice that allowance. In the Lunatic Asylum at enough." Those who would see a specimen of the district schoolhouse as it is, would do well to extend their walks io the schoolhou se referred 10.-Eds. patient. Besides this liberal allowance of room, each apart
ment is furnished with the most perfect system of ventilation, necessary to our growth, health and comfort, than food or by the introduction of pure warm air, heated by a furnace, and drink, and which our beneficent Father, has furnished pure, the escape of the air which has once been breathed by means without money and without price to our very lips, and so abunof openings into flues which conduct it into an attic, and dantly that we are, or should be if we did not prevent it, literhence into the open air.
ally immersed in it all our lives long. Let me bespeak your In the Penitentiary of Philadelphia, 1300 cubic feet of air particular attention to a familiar exposition of some of the are allowed to every prisoner in solitary confinement. In the scientific and practical principles connected with this subject, State Prisons at Sing Sing, Auburn, Concord, and Wethers- and which have been to some extent regarded in the arrangefield, each cell contains a space equal to 171 cubic feet besides ment of this room. being ventilated by an opening in most instances, at the top The atmosphere which surrounds our earth to the height of and bottom into a flue which leads out into the open air. In forty-five miles, and in which we live, and move, and have the new county prisons at Hartford and Norwich, each cell our being, is composed mainly of iwo ingredients, oxygen and has a space of 350 cubic feet, and in addition to an opening nitrogen, with a sli,ht admixiure of carbonic acid. The first of four inches square at the top and bottom of each cell, the is called the vital principle, the breach of life, because by whole body of cells is surrounded by a spacious area, well forming and purifying the blood it alone sustains life, and suplighted and ventilated. I have no hesitation in saying that ports combustion. The fact that we breathe, and that the fire there is not a district schoolhouse in the state, not even except- burns, is proof that there is oxygen in the atmosphere of this ing the new one of which I am speaking, so well ventilated, room, and that we breathe freely, and the fire burns brightly, as either of these County Prisons. No one thinks now-a-days that it is here now in its due proportion. But to sustain these of stiating criminals in the allowance of pure air. No one processes there is a constant consumption of this ingredient thinks of compelling them to work in such an atmosphere as going on, and as you will see by the facts in the case, ihe fornineteen twentieths of all the children and teachers of the mation and accumulation of another ingredient, carbonic state are required to study in. Nature however takes her re- acid, which is deadly hostile to animal life and combustion. venge, and the children do not study, and cannot study to This gas is sometimes found in wells, and will there extinany useful purpose long before muscle, nerve and mind fainis guish a lighted candle if lowered into it, (and which should aland expires under its deleterious influences.
ways be lowered into a well before any person ventures In 40 out of 200 schoolhouses of which I have obtained down) and is not an uncommon cause of death in such plaaccurate measurements, taken indiscriminately from the whole ces. It is almost always present in deep mines and at the nuniber, the average space allowed to each scholar is less than bottom of caverns. Near Naples there is one of this descrip70 cubic feet.
tion, called the Grotto del Carne, or the Grotto of the Dog, be4. Light.-By the arrangements in respect to windows here cause the guides who accompany strangers to the interesting adopted, --- large, elevated from the floor, and only on two sides spots in the vicinity of Naples, usually take a dog along with of the building, the north and south,--several desirable objects them to show the effects of this gas upon animal lite. Being are attained. An abundance of steady light, in clear weather, heavier than common air it flows along the boitom of the cavis secured from the north, the best possible for a school room, ern, and although it does not reach as high as the mouth or as well as the cheerfulness and warmth of a southern expo- nostrils of grown men, no sooner does a dog venture into it, sure. Any excess of light from the south can be modified or than the animal is seized with convulsions, gasps and would excluded, by blinds or curtains to be provided, or what would die if not dragged out of it into the pure air. When recoverbe better, softened by passing through ground glass. ed, the dog shows no more disposition to return to the cavern, The danger to the eye sight, and the inconvenience, resulting though called after his own name, than some children do to from windows behind the teacher or the pupils, is here avoid- go to places called schoolhouses, where experiments almost ed. The attention of a single scholar when in his seat, need as cruel are daily and hourly tried. I have seen such houses, not be diverted by any passing object in the street. This last where a dog would show very bad taste and very little regard object is secured, by the elevation, and distance of the building for his own safety, it he manifested any disposition to stay in from the street, by the arrangement of the seats so as to turn them any longer than was absolutely necessary, and did not the faces of the scholars in the opposite direction, and by in- scamper away with the same delighi that school children do serting the windows three feet and a half from the floor. when disimprisoned. If any of you should ever go to Naples,
5. Ventilation. The means of ventilating this school you will probably think as I did, that there is no occasion to room, and thus renewing the vital portions of the atmosphere go two or three miles out of your way to see the effects of which are constantly absorbed, and removing impurities which carbonic acid upon a poor dog, when you can see it tried any at the same time are generated by the breathing of teacher day of a long winter on thirty or forty children at a time in and pupils, and by the fire in the stove, are much better than almost any one of the district schools of Connecticut, espein njost structures of this kind. The size of the room more cially if you have been the subjects of such experiments for than trebles the usual allowance of pure air to begin with, and ten or twelve years yourself. But this gas, bad as it is in rewhich would therefore be kept purer than in most school rooms ference to animal life and fires, is the essential agent hy which by the imperfect and irregular supply of fresh air admitted at our earth is clothed with the beauty of vegetation, foliage and cracks, crevices, and open doors. The opening near the ceil- flowers, and in their growth and development, helps to create ing into one of the flues, allows of the escape of the impure, or rather manufacture the oxygen which every breathing creaoverheated air which rises to the top of the room. The open ture and burning fire must consume. The problem to be solvslove with the large pipe, will create a draft all around it to ed is how shall we least mar the beautiful arrangements of sustain the fire, in which the deadlier and colder impurities Providence, and appropriate to our own use as little as possinear the floor will be carried off. The windows and doors on ble of that, which though death to us, is the breath, and the opposite sides and.ends of the room, will further enable a judi- life blood of vegetation. cious teacher at the recess, and the dismissal of the school The air which we breathe, if pure, when taken into the at noon or night, to complete the thorough renewal of the at- mouth and nostrils, is composed in every one hundred parts, mosphere of the room, in which its proper ventilation con- of 21 oxygen, 78' nitrogen, and 1 of carbonic acid. After sists.
traversing the innumerable cells into which the lungs are The importance of some such arrangements, more perfect divided and sub-divided, and there coming into close contact even than these, to effect a constant supply of pure air, not with the blood, these proportions are essentially changed, and only in school rooms, but in any room where living beings when breathed out, ihe same quantity of air contaios 3 per congregate in numbers for business or pleasure, and where cent. Jess of oxygen, and 8 per cent. more of carbonic acid. If fires or lights are kept burning, seems to me to be strangely in this condition (without being renewed) it is breathed again, overlooked, to the inevitable sacrifice of health, comfort, and it is deprived of another quantity of oxygen, and loaded with all cheerful and successful labor. We practically defeat the the same amount of carbonic acid. Each successive act of beautiful arrangements of our Creator by which ihe purity of breathing reduces in this way, and in this proportion, the vital the air would otherwise be preserved by its own constant re- principle of the air, and increases in the same proportion that newal, and the harmonious growth and support of the animal which destroys life. But in the mean time what has been and vegetable world maintained. We voluntarily stint our- going on in the lungs with regard to the blood ? This Auid, selves in the quantity and quality of an article, which is more after traversing the whole frame, from the heart to the extremi
ties, parting all along with its heat and ministering its pour-jand this exemption was attributed to their better supply of ishing particles to the growth and preservation of the body, pure air. Humbolt in his Personal Narrative, mentions the returns io the heart changed in color, deprived somewhat of case of a seaman who was at the point of death, and was its vitality, and loaded wiih impurities. In this condition, for obliged to be removed from his hammock, which brought his the purpose of renewing its color, its vitality and its purity, face to within a foot of the deck, into the open air, in order to it makes the circuit of the lungs, where by means of innu- have the sacrament administered as is the custom on board of merable little vessels, inclosing like a delicate net work each Spanish vessels. In this place he was expected to die, but the individual air cell, every one of its finest particles comes into change from the stagnani, impure atmosphere in which his close contact with the air which has been breathed. If this hammock was hung, to the fresh, purer atmosphere of the air has its due proportion of oxygen, the color of the blood deck, enabled the powers of life to rally, and from that mochanges from a dark purple to a bright scarlet; its vital meni he began to recover. Even the miserable remnant of warmıh is restored, and its impurities, by the union of the ox- the party who were confined in the Black Hole of Calcutta, ygen of the air with the carbon of blood, of which these im- sick as they were of a malignant, putrid fever, recovered on purities are made up, are thrown off in the form of carbonic being admitted to the fresh air of heaven, under proper mediacid. Thus vitalized and purified, it enters the heart to be cal treatment. But the history of this whole affair is a terrisent out again through the system on its errand of life and be ble lesson on this subject, which though often repeated, cannot neficence, to build up and repair the solid frame work of the be 100 often dwelt upon. Most of the children here, I dare say, body, give tone and vigor to its muscles and re-string all its have heard of the Black Hole of Calcutta. We meet with it nerves to vibrate in unison with the glorious sights and thril- in the newspaper and in daily conversation as a comparison, ling sounds of nature, and the still sad music of humanity. a proverb of terrible significance. This Black Hole is a
But in case the air with wbich the blood comes in contact, prison in Calcutta, 18 feet square, into which the Nabob of through the thin membranes that constitute the cells of the Bengal after the capture of Fort William from the British longs, does not contain its due proportion of oxygen, viz. 20 in 1756, thrust 146 English prisoners. The only opening, to or 21 per cent, as when it has once been breathed, then the the air, except the door was by two windows on the same side, blood returns to the heart unendued with newness of life, and strongly barred with iron. Immediately on the closing of the loaded with carbon and other impurities which unfit it for the door a profuse perspiration burst out on every prisoner. In purposes of nourishment, the repair, and maintenance of the less than an hour their thirst became intolerable, and their vigorous action of all the parts, and especially of the brain, breathing difficult. The cry was universal and incessant for and spinal column, the great fountains of nervous power. If air and water, but the former could only come in from the this process is long contioued, even though the air be but grated windows, and the latter, when supplied by the guards. slightly deteriorated, the effects will be evident in the languid without, only aggravated their distress. All struggled to get and feeble action of the muscles, the supken eye, the squalid near the windows, and in this death struggle as it were, many hue of the skin, the unnatural irritability of the nervous sys- were trampled under foot. In less than three hours several tem, a dis-inclination to all mental and bodily exertion, and a had died, and nearly all the rest were delirious and prayed for tendency to stupor, headache and fainting. If the air is very death in any form.' On the opening of the door at six o'clock impure, i.e. has but liúle or no oxygen and much carbonic in the morning, less than eleven hours after it was closed, acid, then the imperfect and poisoned blood will act with a death had indeed come to the relief of 123 out of the 146, and peculiar and malignant energy on the whole system, and es- the remainder had sunk down on their dead bodies sick with a pecially on the brain, and convulsions, apoplexy and death putrid fever. Now what did all this anguish, and murderous
results spring from? From breathing over and over again air Abundant instances of the beneficent effects of pure air, which had become vitiated and poisonous by passing repeatedand the injurions and fatal results of breathing that which is ly through the lungs, and by exhalations from the surface of impure, might be cited from the history of hospitals and pris- the bodies of the persons confined there. This terrible exons, and writers generally on health and education. In the ample,” says Dr. Combe in bis Principles of Physiology, Dublin Hospital, between the years 1781 and 1785, out of "ought not to be lost upon us, and if results so appalling arise 7650 children, 2944 died within a fortnight of their birth— from the extreme corruption of the air, results, less obvious that is more than one in three. Dr. Clark, the physician, sus- and sudden, but no less certain, may be expected from every pecting the cause to be an imperfect supply of pure air, caused lesser degree of impurity.” it to be introduced by means of pipes into all of the apart: "In our school rooms," says Dr. Bell, "churches, hospitals ments, and in consequence, during the three following years, and places of public evening amusements, and even in our only 165 out of 4242 died within the two first weeks of their private dormitories, we not unfrequently make near approachbirth-that is less than one in twenty. Dr. Buchan, at a little es to the summary poisoning process of the Black Hole at earlier date, by the same arrangement reduced the mortality of Calcutta.". We do not appreciate the magnitude of the evils children in a hospital in Yorkshire, from fifty in one hundred, produced by breathing frequently, even for a short period at to one in fify. In these two cases there was an immense any one time, a vitiated atmosphere, because the ultimate resaving of human life. But the good done by these intelligent sulis are both remote, and the accumulation of repeated exand observing physicians was not confined to these hospitals posures. Besides, the immediate effects may be not only for a few years. The results of their observation and la- slight, but may apparently disappear on our breathing again a bors led to the introduction of more perfect arrangements for free and purer air, so that we forget to appreciate the tempoa supply of pure air in all structures of a similar character rary inconvenience or suffering and to refer them to their true in England and elsewhere. And at this hour there are hos- cause. How often do we retire at night, perfectly well, and pitals in this country and in England, in which there is a rise up in the morning unrefreshed with sleep, with an aching larger dumber of cubic feet of air, and that kept pure by per- head, a feverish skin, and a sick stomach, without reflecting fect means of ventilation, allowed to each patient than is that ihese symptoms of a diseased system are the necessary contained in many school rooms in this state occupied by 20, effects of breathing the atmosphere of a chamber, narrow in 30, or 40 children, heated with a close stove, and provided its dimensions, closed against any fresh supply from without, with no means of venulation except such as time and decay and not unlikely made siill more close by a curtained bed, and have made.
exhausted of even its small quantity of oxygen, by a burning The diminished mortality of prisons, and the almost entire fire or lamp? These same causes, a little longer in operation, disappearance of that terrible scourge, the jail fever, so fre- or a little more active, would produce death as surely, although quent before the days of Howard, is to be attributed mainly not as suddenly as a pan of ignited charcoal in the room. to the larger allowance and regular supply of pure air secured Who has not noticed that the fainting and sickness which so by improved principles of prison architecture and discipline. often visits persons, and especially females of delicate health There are instances on record, where the inmates of prisons in crowded churches and lecture rooms, only occurs after the have escaped the visitation of some prevalent sickness, solely air has become overheated and vitiated, by having been a long on the ground of their cells being better provided with pure time breathed, and that an exposure to the open air generally air, than the dwelling houses all around them. The prisoners restores the irregular or suspended circulation of the blood ? In in the Tolbooth, in Edinburgh, were unaffected by the plague, the relief and newness of life which we experience on emergwhich caused such dreadful 'mortality in that city, in 1645, ing frons such places of crowded resort, we forget that the
weariness and languor, both of mind and body which we suf- and uneasiness manifested, especially by the younger children, fered within, were mainly the depressing effects of the im- and exhaustion and irritability of the teacher, a demonstraperfectly vitalized blood, and that the relief is simply the reno- tion that the atmosphere of the room is no longer such as the vated life and vigor, which the same blood, purified of its car- comfort, health and cheerful labor of both teacher and pupils bon by coming in contact with the oxygen of the air imparts require. In this way the seeds of disease are sown broadcast to the whole system, and especially to ihe brain. But in spite among the young, and especially among teachers of delicate of our forgetfulness of the cause, or the apparent disappear-health. “In looking back," says the venerable Dr. Woodance of the temporary inconvenience and distress, which bridge in a communication on school houses to the American should warn us to beware of a repetition of the same offence Institute of Instruction, “ upon the languor of fifty years of against the laws of comfort and health, repeated exposures labor as a teacher, reiterated with many a weary day, I atare sure to induce or develop any tendency to disease, es- tribute a great proportion of it mephetic air; nor can I pecially of a pulmonary or nervous character in our constitu- doubt that it has compelled many worthy and pronuising tions, and to undermine slowly the firmest health. Who can teachers to quit the employment. Neither can I doubt, that look round on a workshop of fifteen or twenty females, breath- it has been the great cause of their subsequently sickly habits ing the same unrenewed atmosphere, and sitting perhaps in a land untimely decease.” A physician in Massachusetts, selectposition which constrains the free play of the lungs, and not ed iwo schools, of nearly the same number of children, belong. feel that disease, and in all probability, disease in the form of ing to families of the same condition of life, and no causes, that fell destroyer of our fair country women, consumption, independent of the circumstances of their several school houswill select from among those industrious girls, its ill starred es, were known to affect their health. One house was dry victims? The languor, debility, loss of appetite, difficulty of and properly ventilated—the other damp, and not ventilated. breathing, coughs, distortion of the frame, (fallen away from In the former, during a period of forty five days, five scholars the roundness natural to youth and health,) nervous irritabili- were absent from sickness to the amount in the whole of ty, and chronic affections of various kinds, so common among twenty days. In the latter, during the same period of time females in factories, even in our own healthy New England, and from the same cause, nineteen children were absent to or those who have retired from such factories to their own an amount in all of one hundred and forty-five days, and the homes to die, or wear out a dying life all their days, are the appearance of the children not thus detained by sickness innatural fruits of an exposure, day after day, 10 an atmosphere dicated a marked difference in their condition as to healıb. constantly becoming more impure from the vitiated breath of My own observation and inquiries in ihe school room has forty or fifty persons, and rendered still more unfit for respira- satisfied me, that much of the illness complained of by chiltion by dust and minute particles floating in it calculated to dren, especially in the winter season, is caused or aggravated irritate the already inflamed and sensitive membrane wbich by the impure air, combined with the extreme and frequent encloses the air cells of the lungs. To this exposure in the alternation of temperature in different parts of the room, and workroom should be added the want of cheerful exercise, and at different periods of the day. innocent recreation in the open air, and the custom of herd The pecessity of renewing the atmosphere, does not arise ing together at night in the small, unventilated sleeping apart- solely from the consumption of the oxygen, and the constant menis of our factory boarding houses.
generation of carbonic acid, but from the presence of other desI should be glad io pursue this subject into its thousand iructive agents, and iropurities. There is a carburetted 'hydiversified forms of mischief, all more or less extensive, and drogen, which Dr. Dunglison in his Physiology, characterizes, always insidious, but must return briefly to its connexion with as very depressing to ihe vital functions. Even when largethe school room. Here the same poisoning process goes on ly diluted with atmospheric air, it occasions vertigo, sickness, day after day, and if the work is less summary, it is in the diminution of the force and velocity of the pulse, reduction of end more extensively fatal, than in the Black Hole of Cal- muscular vigor and every symptom of diminished power." cutta. True, we have no school rooms, quite so small, com- There is also sulphuretted hydrogen, which the same author pared with the number they are made to hold, as that prison says in its pure stare kills instanily, and in its diluted state, house, but I can point to many where the allowance of air produces powerful sedative effects on the pulse, muscles and to each person, is not twice as great. And in more than seven whole nervous systen. There are also offensive and destruceighths of all the school houses, the children are allowed a live impurities arising from the decomposition of animal and . less quantity of pure air than the inmates of the State Prison vegetable matter in contact with the stove, or dissolved in the at Wethersfield, or the County Jail, at Norwich and Hartford. evaporating dish. But I have dwelt long enough on the I know of but one school room, which can be said to be too agents which render it absolutely necessary to the health, comlarge, and that is in the basement room of a church, and is dark, ffort and cheerful labor of teacher and pupils, that the atmosdamp, and imperfectly ventilated. Every man and woman, phere of a school room should be constanıly renewed, or venwho received any portion of their early education in the com-lated. mon schools, can testify to the narrow dimensions, and low The objects to be attained are-lhe removal of such impuceiling of the school rooms, and to the discomfort arising oot rities, as I have referred to, and which are constantly generaonly from hard seats, and from frequent and extreme alterna- ted, wherever there is animal life and burning fires, and the tions of heat and cold, but from the close, stagnant, offen- due supply of that vital principle, which is constantly.consive atmosphere, which they are obliged to breathe. Who sumed by breathing and combustion. The first can be in no does not remember the comparative freshness and vigor or other way effectuaily secured, but by making provision for mind and body with which the morning's study and recita- its escape into the open air, both at the top and the bottom of tions were begun, and the languor and weariness of body, the the room. By an opening in or near the ceiling, into a fue confusion of mind, the dry skin, the flushed cheek, the aching leading into the open air, the warmer impurities, and air head, the sickening sensations, the unnatural demand for when warm, and especially when over heated will retain those drink, the thousand and one excuses to get out of doors, which noxious gases longer) which rise, will pass off. By an opencame along in succession as the day advanced, and especially ing near the floor into the smoke flue, or even into a flue conin a winter's afternoon, when the overheated and uprenewed structed for the purpose, the colder and deadlier impurities atmosphere had become obvious to every sense? These will be drawn in to supply the partial vacuum occasioned by were nature's signals of distress, and who can forget the deli- the ascending column of smoke and heated air above. Thus cious sensations with which her' holy breath, when admitted ibe common fireplace and chimney is an excelleni ventilator, on the occasional opening of the door, would visit the brow for there is a strong current of air pear the floor towards the and face, and be felt all along the re-vitalized blood, or the fire to support the combustion, and in this current the carbopic newness of life with which nerve, muscle and mind were en- acid, which as soon as it becomes a little cold, settles to the dued by free exercise in the open air at the recess, and the floor, is drawn along into the fire and up the chimney. There close of the school ? Let any one who is skeptical on this is however such an enormous want of heat in these fire places point visit any one of the 1700 or 1800 district schools in this and even when multiplied, they afford so variable a temperaState the school of his own district, where his own children ture, and cause such an influx of cold air ibrough every crevperhaps are condemned to a shorter allowance of pure air ice to supply the current always ascending the chimney, ibat than the criminals of the State, and he cannot fail to see in I cannot recommend their restoration to the school room, from the pale and wearied countenances of the pupils, the languor which they are now universally banished. But the chimney