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*THE ill-directed infant mind is the root of the tree of Idleness, out of whose multitudinous branches comes forth the fruit of Pauperism, in all its varieties of forms.'
The consideration of this subject leads us at once to the education of children. As long as the means employed to relieve mankind are directed toward the adult portion of the population alone, they will only produce a temporary relief: it is trying to cure an evil without first attacking its source. The effect, it is well known, will continue the same, while the cause is but partially removed. Missionaries in every department of benevolence have succeeded in bringing about permanent reforms, and obtaining proselytes, only so far as they have included the education of young children in their system of efforts.
All this is well known; we are fully aware that there is nothing new in the ideas expressed above; but are these truths acted upon ? We think not. The Jesuits are the only association who as a body have made it a fundamental principle to take possession of the infant mind. In all countries, and at all periods of their existence, they have selected the best location for their seminaries of learning, and secured the greatest proportion of pupils. If they observe an individual of powerful intellect among the youth committed to their charge, they are prevented by no obstacle from bringing him over to their interests : they flatter, they allure, they take hold of him with the strong bands of kindness and love; if necessary, they even supply his temporal wants; and thus acquire one more disciple and devoted tool. Much could be said on this subject in proof that this is the method by which the Roman Church has perpetuated its sway over the nations of the earth ; but we see the palpable consequences of the system in the prosperity which
has attended the order of the Jesuits, and even in their very existence at this day, although successively persecuted, hunted down and expelled from every country of Europe.
If then you would permanently ameliorate the condition of the poor, it is not by founding alms-houses nor by forming societies to convey relief to the home of the indigent, and other like institutions and associations, which, although good in themselves, and serviceable to the present individual, do not fulfil the expectation once entertained in regard to the good influence that they were supposed to be able to exert on the masses. What, then, must be done ? We would say, take the children ; educate them to some useful purpose. Although your Sabbath-school and free-school systems are admirable, as far as they go, they are not sufficient : another addition must be made to the free-school, where book-lore is imparted. Let each school, beside the usual course of instruction, contain one or more departments devoted to the teaching of a trade or a profession, and let the entrance into the operative department be GRANTED as a recompense to the good scholar. Thus you create emulation, and give to labor its own honorable place. The influence imbibed in that way would follow one and all through life; as, having been accustomed from infancy to regard it as a distinction to be permitted to labor, they would never be ashamed of it. We believe it will be conceded that the greater number of paupers are brought to their misery either from a want of knowledge of work, or from a false pride, which prevented them from putting what knowledge they dià possess to use. Paupers are not born such, as a class; they sink gradually to that condition from the higher steps of the social ladder, influenced , by a false sense of their pretended dignity, and fearing it would be impaired by such manual labor as might have supplied honorably all their wants. That false dignity can be done away with by bringing up the children in due reverential spirit toward labor; but do you say that this is Utopian; that we can never bring boys to consider it as a recompense to go to the carpenter's bench and work out their hours of recreation ? This would be a mistake, and we are convinced that there does not exist a parent who cannot make the trial and prove it to be such. Man, of his nature, is imitative, and chillren are most especially so; a little girl is never more happy than when she imitates the work of her mother with her doll; so does the little boy imitate the father in his work, avocation, or vices. Let a merchant say to his little son, that if he behaves well he will be permitted to go to the bank and carry his book to have his account brought up. Who doubts that the boy will be proud and happy of the responsibility entrusted to him, and will strive to be thought worthy of the trust ? Let the mechanic say to his child, that if he brings home a testimonial of satisfaction from his schoolteacher he will be permitted to work with his father's tools. If the trial is made, and succeeds in inducing the two boys to win the right and privilege of being useful, then are we not wrong in stating that work-actual and profitable labor- can be introduced as a branch of education, and be made attractive by being held out as a privilege and recompense to those who deserve them. In times far back from our present enlightened era, manual labor was the main occupation of the multitude, and book-lore the privilege of the few. The benevolent efforts of civilization have placed the last within the reach of all, at least in our blessed land; but the first has been unduly thrown back, as unworthy of keeping pace with the labor of the mind. This is wrong. God has so arranged our natures that we shall always find happiness in the discreet use of our faculties, but misfortune and ruin in the abuse. We must blend the manual with the intellectua. labor, or we place ourselves in the anomalous position of a man who would make use of only one arm, which would grow strong in the exercise, while the other would become puny and useless. The wise man developes the strength of both body and mind; they are twin brothers, and one never thrives at the expense of the other, but that it is made to suffer from a future reäction. A nation or a com. munity must, in order to attain the healthy equilibrium of mental and physical strength, from which alone public as well as private happiness and prosperity result, take care to cultivate the body as well as the mind, and give an undue preference to neither. The public schools, with the present organization, supply the wants of the mind, but not those of the physical faculties; hence the distaste of the pupils for manual labor, which is the first cause of pauperism.
It is true that the good consequences of the plan we wish to suggest, even if adopted now, cannot be felt immediately; it is true that we must at least wait fifteen years, or perhaps longer, for its happy results to be fully appreciated; but man as an individual is able to do but little ; his life is too short to accomplish any one object fully. It is only when we have the good of the race in view that we can hope for complete success. There are difficulties in the
way cuting this plan; no work of man is without them. God has placed them in our path as remembrancers of His curse, once pronounced against our race; but, as a kind Father, He places the remedy always near the evil, and He has attached an unspeakable happiness to the realization of our plans, the hope of which makes us bear with patience the difficulties we encounter.
One of those difficulties is that of bringing the children of the multitude into any school whatever; but we must bring them there. If laws are necessary for the purpose, let us make laws.
This would perhaps be a good opportunity for a discussion on the nature of true liberty; but as it would not be to the point, and we are not sure that we could do justice to the subject, we will take for granted that all reflecting minds agree to this, that license is not freedom.
It is in our opinion an abuse of freedom to permit the uneducated multitude to keep their children from school, not at home, but in the streets, to the great annoyance of the citizens of all large cities. That they are in the streets, instead of being kept at home, needs no proof, we believe.
There was a law in Connecticut in 17-,* which enforced a penalty
* THE exact date it is not in our power to give, but it is among the Blue Laws.'
on the parent who permitted his child to stay away from school. Why should not such a one be enacted and enforced in this State ? If public opinion calls for it we would soon have it, and the good example may be followed by our sister States. The system of our free-schools is excellent, so far as it goes,
but these must become boarding schools, before the plan is called perfect. For this, however, the time has perhaps not yet arrived. We should not omit our beautiful system of Sabbath schools : indeed, enough praises cannot be bestowed on the plan, for without the aid of religion what can a nation or a community do? What we would suggest would work in unison and harmony with those above named, for tickets of satisfaction from the Sabbath-school teacher would be counted as equivalent to those of the other teachers in gaining for the possessor admission into the privileged department.
Our suggestion then is this :
That the public schools be directed in such a manner that each may have one especial object in view in the instruction imparted to its pupils, and be connected with a department of manual labor. That these different departments be so arranged that the book instruction be made to agree with the manual labor; for example, the school whose book instruction directs its pupils toward the study of the law, may be connected with a laboring department of cabinet-furniture, carpenters and turners. Let the laboring department be separated from the school-room, and its direction be entrusted to the superintendance of a religious, conscientious mechanic, who, imbued with a spirit of the proper dignity invested in his office, will receive the tickets of admission with due deference and ceremony, and usher the young privileged one into the room with earnest congratulation. The mechanic teacher will permit the young boy to look at and handle the toy-tools arranged around the room, and if he seems to prefer the saw to the plane, (for predilections of that kind exist in all minds) let him be permitted to proffer all questions in relation to its use, varieties and history. The handling of the favorite instrument will be enough for the first lesson; the use of it will be for the next; and so on progressively, until the young apprentice is able to bring his work to the quarterly exhibition, which may be a box of square, long, or octagon shape, all planned and made by himself, or in the planing of which he may have been helped by one of his young companions, who may have first preferred the plane instead of the saw.
Thus of ivory or wood turning and all other branches. Care should be taken in all cases not to gratify every wish of the apprentice, for fear of the natural satiety to which the mind of children as well as man is subject, but on the contrary, always to send the boy away with some new wish ungratified, to be realizeil on the morrow. The mechanic teacher would very soon be able to derive assistance in teaching the beginners from the older pupils.
The school whose studies tend to make physicians by the study of botany, chemistry, natural philosophy, and other branches conducive to medical studies, may take as its department of manual labor, the art of dyeing stuffs in which chemistry is practically demonstrated ; also the fine cutlery, as being related to the surgical instruments they will be called upon to put to use ; again the box-making for those same instruments.
The school intended to prepare for the navy may have a noble department of manual labor for all things needed in a ship; from the sail-cloth to ship-building offers a wide field for selection. The school for those who prepare for the army may take for its labor department all that which is connected with the manufacture of arms, tents, soldier's clothes, etc.
By this arrangement we gain two points : first, you honor labor as it should be, and prepare the next generation for profitable industry; secondly, you give to society better physicians, lawyers, etc.; for when the time comes that those boys, having become young men, should take to the study of medicine, for example, they come to that study with all the preparatory knowledge necessary for rapid advance. The present book-knowledge extant in the world is too immense to be contained perfect in its different branches in any one man's head or mind; hence the necessity of selecting one of the branches, and of placing our children early in the path that leads to that selection. With the present mode of instruction, lawyers, physicians, warriors or ministers of the gospel, all receive the same identical book-instruction; and when they have finished their regular course of studies; that is, when they have learned, as it were, the mere names of ancient and modern authors and heroes, (for they do little more than that while they are at school,) they then enter into the special road of useful learning adapted to what is to be their profession for life. Now who but sees, on reflection, that this is a great loss of time, which might be much better employed in studies preparatory to the course that would initiate them in their profession ? We live . fast' in this our century; and all professional avenues are crowded with the votaries of Fame and Fortune. Time should be economized. Many paupers become such only after having tried faithfully, but in vain, to become masters of a profession or a trade for which they had not been properly brought up. A pauper becomes one only after trying all other trades. It costs his natural pride many struggles before he can adopt it. Give him a thorough knowledge of his trade, or profession, and he will not take the loafing' manner of living, which at last supplies all the alms-houses with tenants. Teach him when a child, and he will respect society when
The same may be said of schools for girls; but the limited space allowed for this paper forbids us even to touch the subject. Should our plans meet with the approbation of those who are the guardians of the public weal, we shall at a future period enter into all the particulars of the education of girls.
Having considered the cause of pauperism: namely, the want of knowledge of work and occupation, the distaste for it, and the undue want of respect for manual labor, and endeavored to point out what we considered its remedy, we will now try to suggest one mode of help to the generation nearer to us than the young children at school, that is, the youth in their teens, those who in a few years will be an orna