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as the air we breathe ?. It is not necessary to drag forward books and studies as witnesses of our erudition. The presence of fire is known, (even when concealed,) by the genial heat. it diffuses around it; and the weary pilgrimn is conscious of the vicinity of water by the coolness of the gale- that fans his brow. The iron furnace, through which no flame can penetrate, gives out a more radiating warmth than the blazing hearth ; and even in the drakness of night, we know when the silent dew is refreshing the herbage and the flowers. The simplest remark uttered with dignity, propriety and grace, may give evidence of the informing power within, and its presence once acknowledged, frivolity, levity and evil report will fly from before it, like unholy shades, from the day-star's beam. If the unbounded influence ascribed to woman be true, if her peculiar sphere be the social circle and the fire-side of home, is it not through her conversation this influence is to be exerted ; is it not the medium through which her soul must shine forth ?
If this be admitted, how vast must be the importance of that system which would lead to the full cultivation of the faculty that distinguishes us from brutes, and assimilates us to angels ? What words could speak the value of that institution, formed on principles calculated to develop all the powers, moral, intellectual, and social,—which not only furnished the richest material for thought, but taught the art of throwing over those thoughts, the ample drapery of imagination, of arranging the folds in every graceful form, whether falling in the grandeur of ancient magnificence, or wreathed in the light festoons of modern taste ?
It may be asked, in what manner an art can be taught in schools, which seems to depend so much upon impulse and opportunity ? A class being formed and a subject previously selected, the pupils might be required to give their sentiments individually, and then the teacher, receiving their ideas, could give them back to them, clothed in more graceful and expressive words, explaining their meaning and application, and adding synonyms to be used on future occasions. Millions of topics might be selected to rouse the attention, excite the sensibility, and stimulate the curiosity of the youthful mind. The dim chronicles of past ages, the great events of the present, the biographies of illustrious individuals, the immortal works of genius, the wondrous inventions of art, the bold. discoveries of science, the untiring labors of man—and then, nature, all-glorious nature—unbounded in her riches, exhaustless in her mysteries, harmonious in her operations, sublime in her results; -how innumerable are the subjects to be presented to the young reasoners, as food for reflection and exercises for conversation ! Christianity too, that high and holy theme, so generally confined to the altar of God and the chamber of the devotee, might be brought in with all its pure and elevating influences, nor need its heavenly robes be soiled ; because the lips of innocence are per
mitted to breathe upon their whiteness. Imagine, for a moment, an institution where exercises like these áre daily practised. Behold a teacher, surrounded, not by mere mechanical, beings set in motion by the springs of memory, but by a class of listening, thinking, speaking pupils. He may hold in his hand, perchance, the divine pages of Milton; he quotes some glowing passage, directs the attention of the young critic to its various beauties, calls upon them for their own original opinions, correcting their language, exalting their ideas ; and in the midst of the rich stream of melody, flowing into their ears from this piinstrel of Paradise, pointing out to them every noble and majestic sentiment, swelling like roeks through the gushing waves. He brings before their mind's eye, the inspired bard, in the sublimity of his flowing locks and sightless eyes, with one hand opening the gates of Heaven,
“ Harmonious sound, .
On golden hingës turning, with the other, unfolding the portals' of hell, and unveiling the unutterable mysteries of eternity. He dwells on the mighty power, that, while the doors of vision are closed, can fill with “bright effluence, of bright essence increate," the chambers of imagination ; and draws men towards his Maker in near and ineffable communion, as when our first counsellor walked with him in the groves of Eden. Can they rise from a lesson like this, without being warmed by the triumphs of geníus, without looking into their
own souls, to see " if eyes are planted there, and praying for a spark of the same celestial fire, a glimpse of the same intellectual glories ? One day, the music of poetry may breathe its sweet tones into their hearts, calling for the responsive harmonies ;another, the same guiding hand may lift them up the starry heights of philosophy, and pausing on the summit, lead them to converse of all they have studied to revive the great truths they have learned, and to separate the gold of instruction from the dross with which it may have been mingled. Would not họúrs thus employed, impart an elevated tone to the character of the pupil ? Daily required to express his own thoughts, on the noblest themes, to those he most reveres, he will endeavor to clothe them with decency and grace. He will thus learn to communicate with his own heart, and become conscious of the wealth of his own re
The youth, accustomed to hold such converse with his teachers, will not shrink from the companionship of gifted mindsin the bashfulness of silence, and the sullenness of reserve. He will take his station with modest confidence in the ranks of 80ciety, improving every fitting opportunity of showing by the propriety, purity and power of his language, that he has been educated to think, to reason, to feel, and to converse, Conversation thus cultivated would no longer degenerate into idle words, unmeaning badinage, or covert blasphemy. It would assume its original dignity ; the pure communication of glowing hearts and immortal minds; the interchange of elevated thoughts and glorified aspirations. The social circle, formed of beings thus educated, would present a seene that purer intelligences might witness with delight. There the music of the human voice attuned to harmony and love, uttering only thoughts of beauty, clothed in words of purity and grace, would fulfil the purposes
of Him who formed the eternal melody of the spheres.
There is a solemn text in Scripture, which says, " for every idle word that is spoken, we shall render an account thereof at the day of judgment.”. This is not addressed alone to the bold blasphemer, who takes the holy name of God in vain, nor to the unthinking scoffer of the mysteries of Christianity-it refers to those who neglect as well -as abuse one of the noblest gifts of their Creator, and convert an instrument of glory into shame. Let the moralist reflect on the general use made by mankind of the blessing of speech, and ask if something ought not be done to redeem it from degeneracy. In this age of improvement, when the volant mind flies on the wings of invention, into untravelled regionswhen woman, awakened to the best purposes of her being, walks by the side of man in the paths of knowledge, with a listening ear and a kindling smile, may she not also be taught, with him, the clear and informing tongue ?
The materials of knowledge have long been supplied : It remains to teach the most exquisite workmanship. The marble dug from the quarry, does not shape itself into the stately structure, or the breathing statue; it must be hewn and polished by the hand of toil and skill, and arranged into those sublime forms that șise mid the ruins of time, as beacons of a past age.
There is an eloquence that sweeps in power over the ears of the listening throng, carrying the feelings irresistibly. on, as the strong gale the leaves of the forest
. This is the eloquence of oratory ;. and is, owned only by those master spirits who rule the destinies of others. There is another-persụasive, yet powerful, stealing froni heart to heart, and mind to mind, leaving a redolence, a greenness and freshness wherever it breathes, like the early breeze of spring, -and this is the eloquence of conversation. An eloquence that may be felt, far as the socialities of life extend, in the halls of wealth, at the festive board, round the fire-side of home, and at the stranger's hearth. Let the instrueters of youth endeavor to teach this divine art ; let it be made a subject of emulation and ambition ; brought before the mind as a daily study, and a source of nightly reflection ;-then, and not till then, will language become the true vehicle of thought and the medium of conversation. Let the chronological table, the mathematical problem, the compound syllogism, for a while be said aside ; and imagina
tion, taste, sensibility and genius be called up from their secret recesses, to give their gilding and decorating touches to the works that labor has wrought. The foundation has been laid, the temple reared, and the columns that give strength and duration to the fabric swell on the eye. Let imagination then come, and shed its moonlight radiance on the scene, taste twine around the pillars its graceful garlands, sensibility cover them with dewy gems; and genius, the great enchanter, people every aisle and arch with the shadowy images of the past, or the resplendent visions of a future world.
A renovating spirit is gone forth, and wherever it breathes, the waste places of society are made glad. and rejoice ; and the intellectual wilderness blossoms like the rose, The epicure leaves his banquet for a richer feast, and the bacchanalian his goblet for 'a more animating draught. The Amreeta cup of immortality, described in Scandinavian mythology, could hardly possess a diviner flavor than the sparkling flow of soul mingling with soul, in intercourse thus chastened and exalted.
Let the child of immortality appreciate and appropriate, as he ought, the gift of speech, the mark of his heavenly birth-right, the seal of the inspiration of God, then indeed he shall become a “ little lower than the angels, and be crowned with glory, and honor."
EDUCATION, AND THE BEST MEANS OF ACQUIRING IT.
T. S. REEVE.
GENTLEMEN : In obedience to the call of your venerable president, the writer begs leave to submit a few remarks upon the important subject of education.
These remarks will be the result of the writer's personal experience and observation, combined with that of others, who have been engaged in promoting the very worthy objects of your most valuable institution : most valuable, because it is endeavoring, in the only sure way, to perpetuate the infinitely rich blessings which this country enjoys, hy widely disseminating the seeds of knowledge, and preparing a halo of honor for the profession of teaching. All institutions which have a tendency to diffuse information, even to a favored few only, are useful and worthy of our country's regard; but that institution whose benevolent arms embrace the best interests of all, rich and poor, certainly deserves the richest encomiums, and highest esteem, which a grateful people can bestow. That the Western College is of this latter character is obvious from the fact, that its objects are to raise the standard of teaching to an eminence equal to the most distinguished profession, and to provide and qualify men for the interesting and momentous. employmeut of communicating knowledge to others.
In pursuing the subject under consideration, we shall institute