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Man a lord - not a tyrant.
Is it not so ? Must it not be so ? Otherwise, what mean these moans as sincere as they are plaintive - about oppression, and tyranny, and cruelty in distant regions of the earth, while the domestic dog, and cat, and cow, and horse aye, and your dwellers in cages, too —- send forth their moans now and then, nearer home, on account of cruel kicks, and stripes, and pounding, and starvation, and other still more intolerable tortures ? Beyond and above this, what mean those occasional blows, not only with the flat hand, but with the fist, and even with wooden weapons, across the tender cranium, or the scarcely less tender trunk of the human being ?
Were there no human inconsistency on the subject before us, why should we find such a want of harmony in our feelings and our attachments, and in the bestowment of our tender mercies? Why should a pet dog, aged, dirty, indolent, be taken into his mistress's parlor, for fear he should be cold, or into her carriage, to the annoyance of several friends, lest he should be tired; while the female domestic must be turned off with a scarcity of fuel, which endangers her health ; and must trudge her very life away to contribute to our comfort and that of our dear friend, Jowler? Nay, still worse, why should our tens and hundreds of dollars a year be spent on pet horses, and dogs, and monkeys, to the denial of our own children, whom we value as the apple of our eye, not merely of a full supply of bread to sustain animal life, but also of any supply at all, unless it be obtained by accident or stealth, of bread to that immortal mind, which is believed, professedly so at least, to be worth a thousand bodies ?
We are unfriendly to any sort of oppression, or tyranny, or cruelty, foreign or domestic, human or brutal. We believe most fully, that God has instituted governments and relations, not that tyrants or masters may abuse their fellow men, or even their own children, but that they may conduce, by a few well directed arrangements, to the public good. We believe that the Creator has made man lord over the other animals ; but not that he should hurt them, unnecessarily, any more than he would his children. Indeed, they are, in a sense, his adopted children ; or if not, he is at least their appointed guardian. He is bound to make no movements which will tend to injure any one of them, directly or indirectly; as well as to make every movement in his power which will, directly or indirectly, promote their happiness.
When these views are not only understood, but acted out every where in life ; when the parent and teacher, on all cccasions and under all circumstances, come to set a consistent living example to all around them, not only of piety to God, but
of that evidence of piety, which consists in well ordered arrangemients, not merely for the happiness of domestic men — if such there must be—but of domestic animals, and to evince a love to them as to brethren; when, in one word, man becomes as strikingly a saviour, as he has hitherto been a destroyer of his race, and of the other races over which he is placed as overseer, then, indeed – perhaps not sooner - shall we find consistency, and mercy, and charity flourish in the earth ; and inconsistency, and tyranny, and oppression, and hatred, begin to hide their heads.
In that bappy day, instead of violently thrusting aside, in a fit of anger, the poor dog and cat, who have faithfully served us for years, or kicking them headlong from a door or elsewhere, a rod or more, and beating the very breath from their bodies; or throwing a shovel or a pair of tongs at a domestic fowl, because it entered a foot within the parlor door, or in a heat of passion, knocking down the horse or ox, or plunging a sharp instrument into his side, or kicking across the room, with all the vengeance and half the malice of a fiend, the dearest child the Creator has given us - our own eyes have witnessed these or similar abuses in that happy day, we say, instead of blows and bruises, we shall have kind words and favors ; and instead of oaths and imprecations, prayers. When will prayer begin to ascend before the Throne of Mercy in behalf of brute animals? When will the voice of prayer even begin to be heard in our dwellings in behalf of those whom we are accustomed to think no more of than if they were brutes ? When will one juvenile mind and heart be formed under the hallowed influence of a truly rational and consistent Christian example ?
After all, we have left unsaid much that ought to be said on this subject. We have scarcely alluded to the permanent influence which the cruelty, or even the neglect of birds in our cages, or animals in our cribs, has upon the disposition, and temper, and affections of those who constantly witnesss it. It would take a volume instead of a single essay, to develop the subject in all its length and breadth ; and to speak, in proper terms, of all its enormities.
HOW TO PREVENT YOUTHFUL CRIME.
FROM "an address' of some sort - we have forgotten its object - recently sent us from Albany, we collected the following remarkable statement. “In England, one half of the offenders
What School Teachers may do.
against the laws of their country, are under twenty years of age.'
Reader, is this true? Are you a father, a mother, a teacher, and can you believe such a sentiment and not have your ears tingle? Is England unlike all other countries in the world ? Are your children or pupils unlike all others ? Are they not exposed, without your most earnest fostering care, to make shipwreck of that which you hold most dear — their reputation? What guaranty hast thou, parent, that thy son, long ere he is twenty, shall not be an outcast, a beggar; and what is worse still, I had almost said infinitely so, a penal offender against the laws of his country?
And yet it need not be so with him. Solomon was only repeating what was so obvious to the eyes of common sense, that it had long before his time passed into a proverb, when he said, Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.
you wish your child to be respectable, useful and happy at twenty, rather than an outcast and a criminal, the way is open before you ; and it is a plain one. That is, it is plain if you do not get your eyes dazzled. Parents and teachers look at the glitter of this world until their eyes begin to dazzle, and they can no more see any thing truly plain and valuable, than they can aecomplish impossibilities. Nothing can interest their spoiled sight that is simple, or unadorned, or merely excellent. They will labor with all their might, it is true; nay, more than this, they will make slaves of themselves to promote the temporal welfare, as they call it, of their children. But what do such parents mean by the temporal welfare of their children? Do they not mean a state in which their eyes will become dazzled, just like their own? Do they not mean a state in which they will be compelled to obey implicitly the mandates of a tyrannical fashion, which bids its devotees toil and think fourteen, sixteen, or eighteen hours in twentyfour, to supply the present and future bodily wants of themselves and children ; and scarcely fourteen, sixteen or twenty minutes to supply the wants of the mind and soul?
DISTRICT SCHOOL MISSIONARIES.
DISTRICT school teachers in New England, are, for the most part, compelled to board in the families of their employers. During a term of four months, for example, they often reside
Anecdotes of a Teacher.
in fifteen, or twenty, or thirty families. In some, they spend two or three days, in others as many weeks; according to the whole number of their pupils, the number in each family, &c.
This boarding in the families of a district has been sometimes regarded as degrading. Teachers, it has been said, ought not to be compelled to beg their bread from door to door. And it cannot be denied, that the custom has its inconveniences. But it also has its advantages.
One principal advantage, afforded by this boarding in families, is, that it enables the teacher to act the part of a school missionary. The last volume of this journal contained several articles on the importance of missionaries of education. Now a finer opportunity cannot be desired by a missionary, who wishes to confine his operations, for a few months, to a single school district, than is afforded by boarding a few days with each of the proprietors and patrons of his school.
This suggestion is not the offspring of mere theory. We have seen and known missionaries of this description; and we have witnessed the happy results of the labors of a single term, extending through a series of years afterward. We propose to relate a few anecdotes of a school missionary whom we knew ; begging our readers to keep in mind the fact, that, as a general rule, whatever man has done, man may do.
The person to whom we allude, was a young man about twentyfour years of age, whom, for distinction's sake, we shall call Mr D. He had been a teacher, during the winter, for many years, and in many different places ; and had witnessed, with pain, the apathy among parents, which every where prevailed. He resolved to make one effort to awaken them.
Accordingly, he took the charge of a large school, situated in a central part of one of our most flourishing New England towns, and immediately entered upon the duties of his mission.
It may not be improper to say, that Mr D. was exceedingly fond of reading and study, and many other means of self-improvement. Few men that we have known, seemed to feel mere strongly the desire of progress. All this, however, he was determined to forego, to accomplish his purposes.
But what were the steps he took to awaken parents ?
He rose early. It was customary for teachers, in that region, to lie in bed late, to be out of the way. He obtained permission to rise as soon as he pleased, and make a fire for the family — for it was not usually the custom of families to keep more than one fire — and sit by it till the rest were up. But he was not long required to sit alone. The gentleman of the house, and sometimes the lady, would get up, and come and
His Efforts to awaken Parents.
sit with him. Of course, the conversation would turn upon the school and its concerns; wisich afforded an excellent opportunity of suggesting improvements.
Had this course been long continued, its novelty would probably have soon worn off, or perhaps settled into disgust with the whole subject. Mr D. seemed neither to know or think of any thing else but the improvement of his school. But as he seldom remained in a family more than one week, and often not more than three or four days, the conversation never became intolerable, and seldom uninteresting.
Instead of carrying his dinner,' and remaining at the school room during the intermission, he usually walked to his lodgings, whatever might be the distance. This gave him a fine opportunity of fifteen, twenty, or thirty minutes, for further conversation with the family on his favorite topic. — Added to this, he usually spent his evenings at his boarding place, conversing in the most familiar manner, either with the parents or the pupils.
Such devotion to his profession was altogether new in that region, and could not fail of exciting attention and interest. On one point, it was impossible for parents to mistake, which was, that the teacher was in earnest. This prepared them, in some measure, to listen to his suggestions.
But his efforts did not end in mere ' talk' with the parents and children. As soon as breakfast or dinner was over, he hastened at once to the school room. At evening, he remained there after the pupils were gone, as long as he could without being late at * tea.' Sometimes, too, he returned and spent his evenings there. If dinner or breakfast was too late at any time--and such an event sometimes happened during the short days of winterhe took his hat, and with nothing but the simple apology that the hour had arrived for him to go, went to the school room. This course, in one or two instances, gave a slight offence; but was not usually misinterpreted. He believed the neglect of punctuality, on the part of a teacher, to be a far greater evil than the loss of a single meal. No family permitted him to go to school without his accustomed meal but once.
One of his earliest efforts was to awaken in the minds of the parents of his pupils, the belief that the district school was worth something; that it was not merely a necessary evil, but, as a substitute for the family circle, a great and positive good. Next, he endeavored to convince them of the vast importance of a steady attendance, on the part of the pupils, and of an exact punctuality to the hours of opening the school. Then the subject of the school room and its furniture – the benches, desks, stove, books, &c. — would gradually come up.