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Suggested by E. H. Blashfield's Painting, "Graduation"
O Graduate, departing on Life's way,
Crowned with deserving laurel and applause, For thee, Today takes leave of Yesterday,
And from thy Destiny, now the veil withdraws. The glorious Host who have achieved renown,
Sit with expectancy at Wisdom's feet; They look to thee to add another crown
A worthier triumph, than today they greet. Upon the threshold of this dawning Day,
They question :-"Is thy quest for duty, pelf
THYSELF to sind, for all is in Thyself!"
That wait to lead thee to the paths of peace-
And Sympathy, who brings Despair's surcease;
Determination, whom no tempest veers;
Howe'er obscured by earthly doubts and fears;
To lead thee to God's presence. On the stair Waits Conscience, with the sword to turn thy feet
Back to the path, if thou afar shouldst fare.
The Alma Mater gives the Torch to light
The way, and charges thee :-"Give to men's need! Pledge all thy heart to loyalty and right,
And follow Conscience wheresoe'er she leads; “Take thou these guardian Angels to thy heart,
And make them boon companions of thy thought! They will Life's Secret to thy soul impart,
If thou wilt ever by their truth be taught. “Teach thou thine eyes to see life's beauty! Teach
Thy heart to heed earth's moan, to right earth's wrong! What depths can then restrain thy spirit's reach?
What tribulations, interrupt thy song?
“But most of all, keep bright the beacon lights
Of thine own Soul—those first Ideals of youth! For lo! it is the flame from Sinai's heights,
That fires these signals from the hills of Truth. "Companionship with these Ideals will lift
Thy Soul unto Imagination's height,Inspire the will to do—God's greatest gift,
And make thy life a blessing and delight. "Strive still, that this fair day's ‘Well done,' shall bend
Endeavor to the stretch till Heaven be won! Then shalt thou hear—when at thy journey's endThat still, small Voice-GOD'S welcoming, 'Well done!'”
James Terry White.
OF MR. BLASHFIELD'S PAINTING, “GRADUATION”
The pleasing impression produced by this August scene is caused by the colossal figure personifying Wisdom, which illuminates the entire picture. She is presented in a benignant mood and protecting and presiding. Her placid head, covered with a fold of her mantle, is lighted by the flame on the altar at her feet, which also strongly illuminates the globe which she holds on her knee, with its Western Hemisphere shown, indicating where the scene is laid.
Directly in front of the altar is Alma Mater in a Venetian mantle, holding the Scroll, and bidding the Graduate go forth into the world, bearing the torch which has just been lighted from the altar. Somewhat lower stands Conscience, holding a sword and scourge, who is to accompany him hereafter in all his wanderings.
On either side sit the great Universities, personified under characteristic forms, who have come to grace this ceremonial. The Universities represented are, from left to right:
Alexandria, a Cleopatra-like figure seen in profile;
On the other side of Wisdom:
Upsala, in the shadow of the pedestal;
Below sit the Immortals, ancient and modern.
Beginning just below Alexandria they are:
On the other side nearest Conscience are:
In the immediate foreground are the young men, the students on the one side, and the aspirants on the other, suggesting studiousness and athletics. In the luminous clouds above, to the right and left of Wisdom's head, are allegorical figures symbolical of the various Traits of Character.
Mr. Blashfield has long been known as one of the most scholarly of our living artists; but as a painter in the conception and the presentation of this great Tribunal,-—"when the light is silent all," he has risen to the heights of his genius.
-Adapted from William Walton's Description.
PUBLIC SCHOOLS AND HOME INSTRUCTION
BY JAMES TERRY WHITE
PREPARED IN RESPONSE TO THE GENERAL DEMAND FOR A BETTER MORAI
INSTRUCTION IN THE PUBLIC SCHOOLS
The aim of Moral Instruction is to form Character; and Character is the unconscious obedience to Conscience.-ABRAHAM LINCOLN.
THE CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT LEAGUE
70 Fifth Avenue, New York
THE CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT LEAGUE
Chartered Under the Laws of Congress
The object of the Character Development League is to devise the best means of training children of the Public Schools in the principles of morality, and assisting them to the formation of right character, and for enlisting the interest and coöperation of public-spirited individuals in every locality, to have such character teaching adopted by the local Public Schools.
The movement initiates a means for elevating and purifying the State, fully as important as colleges and universities, and so imperative and vital is it to the Nation, that the LEAGUE feels justified in asking the coöperation of all thoughtful men and women-the well-wishers of the race—as well as every principal and teacher, in its efforts to effectively place this method of Character Instruction into the schools of every city, town, and village in the land. Helping youth in this direction is helping Humanity; and it is a help that cannot be given with so much benefit at any other time in life.
PRESIDENT: JOHN W. CARR Supt. Public Schools, Bayonne, N. J.; Member of Committee on Moral Instruction, National Education Association
TREASURER: CYRIL H. BURDETT
The great question is how are ideals of right living to be impressed upon the child It is believed that the best means is through the intimate acquaintance with those wh have lived beautiful lives, and who have achieved the highest ethical ideals. Characte in its primary principle and groundwork is self-control and self-giving, and the only practical method of enforcing this upon the habit of children is to keep before then cxamples of self-control and self-sacrifice. Childhood is self-centered and selfish; but 10 every child there comes a time of awakening, when he realizes that there is in the world somebody else besides himself, and something to do for others, and he feels a stir and a desire to do some good thing. The first great object in teaching character is to awaken this realization, and then to foster and strengthen this sense of obligation. The practical and effective means of doing this is through concrete illustrations of self-devotion, self-sacrifice, etc., exemplified in others. Through these examples ideals are held up for inspiration and imitation. Embodied ideals are the supreme molders of youth.
One of the best text-books for character teaching is biography-which is example ; and the importance and value of biography are acknowledged by all educators. Biography brings out the beauty of character, and makes righteousness contagious. Dr. Jowett, the head master of Balliol College, Oxford, has stated, that "in future morals will be taught only through biography.” And the reason is that biography is concrete example—with the added quality of reality. Gladstone has said that one exo ple is worth a thousand arguments.
It is a psychological fact that what the mind admires, it unconsciously emulates and imitates. A trait of character which enlists our approbation, inevitably compels imitation; and when we read or hear of a noble deed or act of devotion, we are unconsciously impelled to repeat it. Prof. James says, “The Humanities—which is a name given to what is essentially taught in the colleges—means in a broad sense, literature; and in a broader sense, the study of master strokes. Literature not only consists of masterpieces, but is largely about masterpieces, being little more than an appreciative chronicle of human master strokes. This sifting of human creations means, essentially, biography. What our colleges ought to teach, therefore, is biographical history, which teaches us what types of activity have stood the test of time, and gives us standards (examples) of the excellent and durable, a feeling of admiration for what is admirable, and a sense of what superiority has always signified." In a recent address at Cornell University Dr. Andrew D. White stated, “The great thing needed to be taught in this country is truth, simple ethics, the distinction between right and wrong. Stress should be laid upon what is best in luography, upon noble deeds and sacrifices, especially those which show that the greatest man is not the greatest orator.” Lyman Abbott says, “as there are standards of art by which we educate taste, so there are standards of right and wrong by which we may educate conscience. That standard is founi in the wise words of wise men ; but better is it to be found in the great lives of truly great men.
Because character depends chiefly upon a man's own will and choice, it is the supreme teaching of biography. In the past “Plutarch's Lives” has proved an inspiration; but the ideals of Greek and Roman days are now changed, and the moral force—which is the peculiar advantage of the study of biography—is lost in such examples. What is needed is a “Plutarch's Lives” in terms of the present. In the following “Character Lesscns” there are presented three hundred notable examples of various phases of character taken from American biography, which Dean Stanley says, more than any other country of the world, furnishes examples of the finest men and women that have ever lived.
This series of "Character Lessons” subdivides character into thirty-one traits, which follow one another in logical sequence. Through a lucid INTRODUCTION, it presents definite ideals of each trait by which the child is led to perceive through his own intuitions the meaning and justice of the virtue, and to give it a name, which leads to its DEFINITION.