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is, we think, this, that it is made much more an object to fill, than to strengthen the mind. The memory does more than its share of work ; the pupil should have tasks to be learned by rote, but he should too be often urged to an active and vigorous exertion of the intellect generally. History, geography, perhaps languages, and the elements of some sciences are taught, and the pupil is thought to become sensible, just in proportion as he becomes knowing: while in fact no one faculty of the mind is profited by such a course of study, excepting the memory. All the things which are now learned should

certainly be taught, but they should not be considered, either by learner or instructer, as chiefly good in and for themselves. It must be always remembered by the master, and, if possible, distinctly explained to, and strongly impressed upon the pupil, that facts are principally and indeed almost solely valuable, when they are made materials for thought. It is one thing to add to the stores of the intellect, and another to enlarge its resources. Not unfrequently have minds of ordinary strength been weakened and cramped by the unwieldly mass of knowledge heaped upon them. It is dangerous to a common mind to have authorities constantly at hand, leading-strings at every step; for the exercise of judgment is an effort which will not be made, unless there be a call for it, and the power of judgment, if left unemployed and inactive, will sleep and die. No matter how much learning be acquired, but more should be done by exercises in composition, or in some similar way, to methodize and turn to good account the knowledge which is gained ; to enrich and chasten the imagination, to sharpen the judgment, invigorate the power of ratiocination, and give force and activity to the whole intellect. By the present system, or rather by that exclusively in use some years since, a sensible boy or girl might pass the most improving and important years of life at school, and be very industrious there, and yet come home possessed of less intellectual power, than when they went ;-because, during the greatest part of that time, the imagination and the judgment, the power of combining ideas and of examining truths, so far from being assisted and cultivated, were not even suffered to have their natural growth, but were carefully repressed and kept in a state of forced inaction, lest the attention should be impeded in its endeavour

fasten fac upon the memory. And this may be one reason


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why a boy's success at school is a very unsafe criterion, by which to judge of his future intellectual rank ; a strong mind will act, will put forth its power in some direction or other, and a child, who is gifted with an ardent imagination and an active mind, may find it far more difficult to direct and fix his attention upon an object which does not interest him, and to chain down his other faculties, than a boy who is really duller and weaker. If the object of education be general improvement, there can be no doubt which of these systems should be adopted, unless improvement means the palsying, rather than the strengthening of the mind, the accumulating, rather than the using of knowledge, and if its object be to increase our power of amusing, interesting, and influencing those about us, there can be as little question. So far as colloquial talent is a good thing, we all know what exceeding dull work it is to listen to a conversation made up of other men's shreds and patches, and how gladly we fly from one who talks truisms and sage remarks, which he can neither appreciate nor maintain, to intercourse with a mind which acts for itself in fearlessness and independence; which habitually forms its own opinions, and knows upon what grounds. Intellectual strength and intellectual wealth generally go together in some degree, for the strongest mind cannot act without materials, and none but a mind of some strength can make large acquisitions, but they are not identically the same thing, and but little experience in life is needed to teach, that force and activity of mind are far more efficient in giving their possessor eminence and power, than a mere abundance of knowledge. When Bacon said, • knowledge is power,' he referred to its effect upon mankind at large, and it is true that scientific and philosophical knowledge have given man a mastery over the elements, and bowed to his bidding earth, sea, and air, but the maxim certainly will not bear a very close application to individuals,

We might have given our readers more amusement by making this article consist rather more of extracts, but it would be difficult to give, by a few instances a fair impression of Mr. or Miss Edgeworth's manière de raconter ; and after all the book will owe much of the popularity it must acquire to the anecdotes, with which it abounds, and which are exceedingly well told, and illustrative of the characters of many singular or celebrated persons. We believe and hope that it

will be reprinted in this town, and then our readers can judge for themselves of its character and profit by the various talent it displays.

ART. XVII—Report of the Committee, who were directed to

take into consideration, whether any, and if any, what measures ought to be adopted, in consequence of the state of things resulting from the separation of Maine from this Commonwealth, with leave to report by bill or otherwise, Boston, 1820.

The act of the last session of the General Court of Massachusetts, relating to the calling of a convention of delegates of the people for the purpose of revising the constitution, is frequently spoken of as an assumption of power, which can be justified only because it was necessary. This reason, or rather this apology for giving no reason, has of late years become too common. It is ordinarily designed by those, who use it, to conceal their real motives, or to save the trouble of explaining them; and they often succeed in stopping with it the mouths of their adversaries; but when urged by men not satisfied with mere words, to show to what end the measure they vindicate is necessary, and how it is so, they are sometimes driven to the confession of motives, which do them little 'honour, or to the allegation of pretexts, which are almost ludicrous. If a powerful n:ition attacks a faithful and unsuspecting ally, sets his capital on fire, and robs him of his navy, it is necessary. But why ?--To prevent the danger of his being robbed of it by his enemies. When a military sovereign invades nation after nation without a pretence of right, it is necessary-for his fame. And to descend to humbler instances, should banking corporations, after obtaining an extensive credit by the general circulation of their notes, refuse to redeem them, and set their creditors at defiance, at the same time declaring dividends of their profits, thus acknowledging that their property was more than soffi. cient to pay all their debts and to replace their capital, what name should we give to their conduct, if they did not find a justification for it in the whimsical necessity of gaining twenty per cent. a year by the violation of their contracts ? Or suppose it should by possibility happen that a particular class of men, manufacturers for example, haring increased in wealth and power so much more rapidly than the rest of the community, as to acquire in a few years an almost commanding influ. ence in the national councils, demanded that tax after tax should be imposed for their emolument, without laying down before hand any system or principle, by which the amount of those taxes should be regulated, or proposing any limitation of them but their wants, increasing with every supply, and appeared to think all ihat had been granted them nothing, while any thing remained to their fellow citizens, who would not be surprized and indignant at their rapacity, if it were not necessary-for the promotion of national industry? In this last case we admit the professed object to be laudable, and do not doubt but the measures proposed have some tendency to accomplish it ; for when enormous taxes are imposed on the public to support the great establishments of wealthy manufacturers, all other classes of society, such as farmers, tradesmen, and mechanics, oppressed as they will be by the burden, must be very industrious indeed to save themselves from starving.

It is not denied that a real necessity may exist for acts otherwise unjustifiable; but surely a people, who value their rights, will not suffer their public agents to shield themselves under the bare assertion of its existence. They will demand incontrovertible evidence of the fact, and listen to it with a jealous ear. This is the more requisite as the argument that any thing should be done, simply because it is necessary, is an admission upon the face of it that the measure is bad in itself; since if its necessity be the reason for adopting it, that reason failing, it ought not to be adopted ; and what ought not to be done when it can possibly be avoided, is not a good deed.

Though the act we are examining has now gone into operation, and the people have decided under it that a convention shall be holden, it may be not wholly uninteresting nor useless to examine the grounds of its alleged necessity. By some this is thus maintained. Since the separation of Maine, there are only ten districts in the Commonwealth, and from these only thirty-one senators are chosen, whereas the constitution provides that there shall never be less than thirteen districts, and that there shall be annually elected by the freeholders and other inhabitants forty persons to be



counsellors and senators. Hence it is argued that the thirty one persons elected this year do not constitute the Senate, and had no authority to administer the oaths of office to the present governor, who of course cannot administer them to the next legislature nor they to his successor, so that no public officer can hereafter be constitutionally qualified to act, and thus the government is dissolved, and cannot be reorganized without a convention.

This argument is founded on the assumption that a literal compliance with every direction relating to the choice of senators is a condition, on wbich the existence of the Senate depends. That such assumption is in the present case erroneous, is manifest from the fact that by a subsequent article of the constitution provision is made for supplying the deficiency in the Senate in case forty persons should not be elected by the people. It is contrary to analogy and to all sound rules of construction to consider any regulation of the election as a condition essential to the being of the legislature, unless it is declared to be so by the constitution itself. “The selectmen of the several towns shall preside and shall receive the votes of all persons qualified to vote.' If in a single instance they refuse to preside, or reject a legal vote, they may be punished, but the government is not therefore dissolved. So by the constitution of the United States, the Senate shall be composed of two senators from each state.

Should any one state elect no senators, is the government of the Union at an end ? Had one of the thirteen districts, into which the Commonwealth was divided, been swallowed by an earthquake or conquered by an enemy, the constitution would not, therefore, have been destroyed ; though it would have become the duty of the legislature to divide the state anew; and omitting to do this seasonably would have been a violation of that duty. If forty members be essential to the Senate, suppose that the inhabitants of a single district should refrain from voting, or that a sheriff should lose or destroy the returns, or that a senator chosen unanimously should die or decline the office, we should be reduced to a state of anarchy ; and thus the continuance of our government would depend on the fate or the caprice of an individual.

This is not the first time that the Senate has consisted of a smaller number than the constitution directs.

For three successive years no returns were received from the district of New Series, No. 4.


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