Page images
PDF
EPUB

Yes.

duce two arrow8. “Now, that's well done! Why do n't you study !" (with a pull at the uncombed hair) Oh please do n't! 1 hsint got any book." You bethink yourself. That boy told me the same story two weeks ago, and, through the multiplicity of cares, I forgot my promise of finding him one. Forgot! Your pupil lad to account for every idle moment. Forgot! That boy's mother earned every crumb of bread for herself and little ones by washing other people's clothes, while her own little darlings (for poor people have them) had to be neglected. Did you forget the white ribbon and pink flowers for your hair, the other evening. Ah, nol for with these you hoped to please the fancy of some triAing acquaintance.

“But”-you reason—" who is to blame for the want of a book ? Am I to furnish my pupils with books ? This boy, at least. Do without your pocket full of delicacies for a week, and buy the little fellow a book with the money,--I'll do it.” The book is purchased. Bubby, encouraged to keep his face, hair and clothes in better order, is praised with the other scholars, and -- and, so the foundation is reached. He comes to school at a reasonable hour, . gets his lessons, keeps his seat as clean as any boy, and his mother --God bless her, who is washing just across the street, makes it convenient to run over to tell you how thankful she is for your lindness—how she had labored to save a little ahead to buy a book for her little one, but the rent was to be paid, and little Mary at home had been sick, and the baby awfully troublesome; so she must have medicine, wood, and lights, and often she could n't go out to wash for two or three days. Of course it was all a mistake. Ah! reflects the teacher, if I had tried to remember, that little fel low might have been spared many a cross word, and I the thought ' of having neglected my duty. It was a little mistake; but how many such are yet unrectified in our schools,—and 'many a little makes a mickle,' as poor Richard says.

“Scholars, study your lessons over six times, and you may go home.” Two minutes expire, and all the scholars hold up their hands. "Have you studied it six times ?" Yes, ma'an.” How many of that numbers tell you the truth? Not all. Teacher, that lie is on your head, and you will have it to answer for.

"May Jim and me go out ? we'd rather go now than at recess. Yes, but you sha?n't go one inch at recess." Recess comes, and with it one of our lady friends to just consult with you a little. Those boys you said must stay in are always the most troublesome in school,—so you let them go with the others, to secure a few moments' uninterrupted conversation with your friend. How significantly they look at each other! They have tried that

game

be fore, and consequently have learned that they can have two recesses, and that their teacher--do n't start-is a liar.

What a reve; lation !

It is not a labor to instruct those little minds that jump to meet every suggestion, but a mere pastime, a pleasure as complete as can well be conceived ;-but to eradicate the wrong impressions, and to encourage and interest the less active minds, is as arduous as the stoutest mind can well accomplish. To do this, we must first reach the heart, then inspire confidence, and endeavor to implant right motives-go to the very root and establish sound principle.

Outward goodness is a mere shell--the shadow of a shade! There must be something within, or it has no substance. We must deny ourselves, and in this way prove ourselves worthy of the task we have undertaken. If we profess love and interest for our pupils, let us show it in such a way that they may know and be benefited by it. And if we instill such a principle of love and goodness, it will not fail in the hour of temptation. , As, in the oriental tale by Lord Bacon, where a cat was changed to a lady, and behaved very lady-like till a mouse ran through the room, when she

sprang down on her hands and chased it, --so with children; if their goodness is only an outward show, when temptation comes, they will down and follow. Give them right motives, sound principles, and they will be firm. In after life, the waves of affliction may

how! around them, but they will stand serene amid the tempest.

HENRY CLAY was distinguished for his politeness. Being once in the presence of a young lady and being greatly fatigued with the labors of the day, he asked for her definition of true politeness. * Perfect ease," she replied. “I have the honor to agree with you," said he, “and with your permission will take leave to assume the correctness of this position," at the same time spreading himseli out upon a sofa near her.

A Lesson on Home Education.

* What do you mean by such carelessness ?" said John Doring to his son William, a young lad of twelve years.

"Take that!" he added, striking the boy a heavy blow upon the side of the head; "and that, and that!" repeating the blows as he spoke, the last of which knocked the boy over a plow that was standing by his side: '"Get up now and go into the house and see if you can't keep out of mischief for a while, and stop that crying, or I will give you something to cry for!"

The boy started for the house, struggling to repress his sobs as he went.

“It is astonishing," said Doring, addressing a neighbor named Hanford, who was near in a barn, and of course had heard all that had passed, “how troublesome boys are. Just see those oats now that I have got to pick up for that boy's carelessness," and he pointed to a measure of oats which William had accidently overturned.

"And it was for that trifle that you assaulted your boy and knocked him down ?" replied Mr. Hanford, in a sorrowful tone.

Doring looked up from the oats in surprise, and repeated :

"Assaulted my child and knocked him down! Why, what do you mean, neighbor hanford ?" Just what I

say:

Did you not knock the child over the plow?" .* Why--well--no. He kind a stumbled and fell over it," doggedly replied Doring. "Do you go against parental authority? Haven't I a right to punish my own children?"

“Certainly you have, in a proper manner, and in a proper spirit but not otherwise. Do you think that a father has a right to revenge himself on his child ?”

“Of course not; but who is talking about revenge ?"

"Well, friend Doring, let me ask you another question: for what purpose should a child be punished ?"

“Why, to make it better, and do it good, of course," quickly answered Doring.

" For no other?" quietly answered Hanford.

"Well, no, not that I can think of just now," replied Doring, thoughtfully.

"And now, my friend," kindly continued Mr. Hanford,“ do you suppose your treatment of your son a few minutes ago did him any good, or has increased his respect and affeotion for you? The boy, I venture to say, is utterly unconscious of having done any wrong, and yet you assaulted him suddenly with anger and violence, and gave him a beating which no penitentiary convict can be subject to without having the outtage inquired into by the legislative committee. But let me tell you a long story. You know my son Charles ?"

“ The one that is preaching in Charlestown ?".
“Yes; you have probably noticed that he is lame ?"

"I have noticed it, and asked him how it happened, and he told me he got hurt when a boy."

Yes," responded Mr. Hanford, with emotion, “the dear boy never could be made to say that it was by his father's brutality. But listen," he said, as he saw that Doring was, about to speak.

“ When Charles was about the age of your son William, he was one of the most active and intelligent boys I had ever seen.

I was fond of him, and especially of his physical beauty and progress. But unfortunately I was cursed with an irritable and violent temper, and was in the habit of punishing my children under the influence of passion and vengeance, instead of from the dictates of sea80n, duty, and enlightened affection.

“One day Charley offended me by some boyish and trifling misdemeanor, and I treated him almost precisely as you treated your son a few moments ago. I struck him violently, and he fell upon a pile of stones at his side, and injured his left side so badly that the result was, he was crippled for life," said Mr. Hanford, in the tones of the deepest sorrow and remorse, and covering his face with his hands.

A period of oppressive silence followed, which was at last broken by Mr. Hanford saying :

"When I saw that my boy did not rise again from the stones on which he had fallen, I seized him by the arm and rudely pulled him to his feet, and was about to strike him again, when something I saw. in his face, his look, arrested my arm, and I asked him if he was hurt.

"I am afraid that I am, pa," he mildly answered, clinging to my arm for support.

" Where?" I asked, in great alarm, for notwithstanding my brutality, I fairly idolized the boy.

" Here," he replied, laying his hand upon his bip. “In silence I took him in my arms and carried him to his bed, from which he never arose the same bright, active, glorious boy that I had so cruelly struck down on that pile of stones. Bot after many months he came forth a pale, saddened little fellow, bobbling on a crutch I"

Here Mr. Hanford broke down and wept like a child, and the tears also rolled down Doring's cheeks. When he resumed, Mr. Hanford said:

"This is a humiliating narrative, neighbor Doring, and I would not have related it to you had I not supposed that you

needed the lesson which it contains. It is impossible for me to give you an adequate notion of the suffering that I have undergone on account of my rashness to my boy. But fortunately it has been overruled to my own good, and that of my family also. The remedy, though terrible, was complete, and no other child of mine has ever been punished by me except when I was in the full possession and exercise of my best faculties, and when my sense of duty has been chastened and softened by reason and affection.

“ I devoted myself to poor Charley from the time he left his bed, and we came to understand one another as I think but few fathers and sons ever do.. The poor boy, never blamed me for blight. ing so much happiness for him, and I have sometimes tried to think that his life has been made happier on the whole than it would have been had I not been taught my duty through his sacrifice. Still, neighbor Doring, I should be sorry to have you and your son William pass-through a similar ordeal."

“I trust that we shall not,” emphatically and gravely rosponded Doring. “I thank you for your story, friend Hanford, and I shall fry and profit by it."

And he did profit by it, and we hope that every parent who is capable of striking his child in anger or petulance, that reads this sketch froin life, will profit by it.

Montesquieu says: “Education makes the man: that alone is the parent of every virtue; it is the most sacred, the most useful, and, at the same time, the most neglected thing in every country."

« PreviousContinue »