Зображення сторінки
PDF
ePub
[ocr errors]

EDITED BY WILLIAM CHAMBERS.

TOBACCO SMOKING.

SONG-THE SPRING. There is an article much used in various ways, though

I KNOW where by Life's wayside not as an aliment, the deleterious effects of which on the

There is a crystal spring, assimilating organs require to be briefly noticed-namely,

Where sometimes I sit down and sigh, tobacco. Although confessedly one of the most virulent

But oftener sit and sing ; poisons in nature, yet such is the fascinating influence of

None tarry there so long as I, this noxious weed, that mankind resort to it in every mode

Or there so often be; they can devise to insure its stupifying and pernicious

For it for none does outward flow agency. Tobacco disorders the assimilating functions in

As it flows out for me. general, but particularly, as believe, the assimilation of the saccharine principle. I have never, indeed, been able to

In the dryest days of summer trace the development of oxalic acid to the use of tobacco;

Its current sweeps along : but that some analogous and equally poisonous principle

The winter brings no ice to freeze (probably of an acid nature) is generated in certain indivi

The measure of its song ; duals by its abuse, is evident from their cachectic looks,

And like a good thought of the soul and from the dark and often greenish-yellow tint of the

That wanders out to bless, blood. The severe and peculiar dyspeptic symptoms some

It every day but deeper grows, times produced by inveterate snuff-taking are well known;

Instead of growing less. and I have more than once seen such cases terminate

Ask you where by Life's wayside, fatally with malignant disease of the stomach and liver.

On what enchanted ground, Great smokers also, especially those who employ short

This crystal spring, so sweet and rare, pipes, and cigars, are said to be liable to cancerous affec

Is ever to be found! tions of the lips. But it happens with tobacco as with de

Look down into your heart, my love, leterious articles of diet-the strong and healthy suffer com

As I into your eyes, paratively little, while the weak and predisposed to disease

And while I trace the outward flow, fall victims to its poisonous operation. Surely if the dic

You may behold the rise! tates of reason were allowed to prevail, an article so inju- - New York Literary World. rious to the health, and so offensive in all its forms and modes of employment, would speedily be banished from

LOSS OF STRENGTH. cominon use. -Prout on Stomach Diseases.

The loss of our strength is much oftener occasioned by GOOD FOR A GOOSE.

the vices of our youth than by the ravages of age; il k The Rev. Cæsar Otway, in his recently-published paper

early intemperance and licentiousness that consign to old on ‘The Intellectuality of Domestic Animals,' gives the

age a worn-out constitution.-Cicero. following anecdote, which is by far too good not to receive the benefit of a wider circulation :-At the flour mills of

CHAMBERS'S Tubberakeena, near Clonmel, while in the possession of the late Mr Newbold, there was a goose, which, by some acci

LIBRARY FOR YOUNG PEOPLE dent, was left solitary, without mate or offspring, gander

A SERIES OF SMALL BOOKS, AT ONE SHILLING EACIL. or goslings. Now it happened, as is common, that the miller's wife had set a number of duck-eggs tinder a hen, which in due time were incubated ; and of course the MY DEAR BOYS AND Giels, ducklings, as soon as they came forth, ran with natural

My brother and I have often been asked to instinct to the water, and the hen was in a sad pucker publish some small books for your special instruction and amuseher maternity urging her to follow the brood, and her sel ment; but for a number of years, we have had so many other fishness disposing her to keep on dry land. In the mean things to do, that we have never yet been able to comply with the while up sailed the goose, and with a noisy gabble, which request. We now intend, however, to issue a few books of this certainly (being interpreted) meant, leave them to my care, kind. The subjects of some of the volumes will be of an instructive she swam up and down with the ducklings; and when they nature; one, at least, will be poetry; but the greater number wil were tired with their aquatic excursion, she consigned consist of moral and religious tales, written for your entertainment them to the care of the hen. The next morning, down and benefit. The first which appears will be a story by Miss came again the ducklings to the pond, and there was the Edgeworth, a lady who has written many tales for youth, and goose waiting for them, and there stood the hen in her who has kindly assisted in the present undertaking. Mas Ilalu great flustration. On this occasion we are not at all sure

and some other ladies have also promised to write for these books; that the goose invited the hen-observing her maternal and from the French of Madame Guizot, EUGENIE FOA, and trouble—but it is a fact that she, being near the shore, the others, will be procured some interesting new translations, 1: hen jumped on her back, and there sat, the ducklings may be agrecable to your parents to know, that the subjects will swimming, and the goose and hen after them up and down the pond.

be designed to influence the conduct and feelings, and that the And this was not a solitary event: day after general aim will be to make you better and happier. day the hen was seen on board the goose, attending the ducklings up and down, in perfect contentedness and good-ance of these books. It is to be something different from that of

You will probably be anxious to know what is to be the appear humour ; numbers of people coming to witness the circumstance, which continued until the ducklings, coming

children's books generally. I remember, when a boy, being med to days of discretion, required no longer the joint guardian pleased with a variety of little volumes published by the red ship of the goose and hen.

Mr NEWBERY, at the corner of St Paul's Churchyard.' I intend

to revive Mr. NEWBERY'S style of publication. His books were VALUE OF AN OLD COAL-PIT ROPE.

not thin soft covered things, but real volumes with hard boards, Among the numerous worn-out and often considered the sort of books which I am going to prepare; only they will be

brilliantly ornamented with figures in colour and gold. There are worthless materials which the ingenuity of man has dis much more beautiful; and each will be illustrated with a frontis covered means of remanufacturing, and rendering of equal piece. It is proposed to publish only a small number; one to certa value with the original substance, are old tarred ropes, out every month till all are issued. The price of each will be which have been long in use at coal-pits. Our readers will be surprised when we inform them that out of this dirty

shilling. The first book will appear towards the end of Dæember, (and apparently unbleachable) substance is produced a

so as to be adapted for a Christmas and New Year's gift. Perhaps tissue paper of the most beautiful fabric, evenness of sur

your papa or mamma may present you with a copy, and also order face, and delicacy of colour—a ream of which, with wrap

a volume to be afterwards sent home every month; by this means per and string, weighs only two and a half pounds. It is

a row of elegant little books, at a small expense, will be procured principally used in the Potteries, for transferring the vari

for the nursery library.

W.C. ous patterns to the earthenware, and is found superior to

EDINBURGH, Nor. 10, 1847. any other substance yet known for that purpose. It is so tenacious, that a sheet of it, twisted by hand in the form of a rope, will, as we are informed by Mr Fourdrinier,

Published by W. & R. CHAMBERS, High Street, Edinburgh. Also the manufacturer, support upwards of a hundred weight.

sold by D. CHAMBERS, 98 Miller Street, Glasgow; W. S. OER, Truly we live in an age of invention.--Mining Journal.

147 Strand, London; and J. M'GLASHAN, 21 D'Olier Street, Dublin. —Printed by W. and R. CHAMBERS, Edinburgh.

CONDUCTED BY WILLIAM AND ROBERT CHAMBERS, EDITORS OF CHAMBERS'S INFORMATION FOR

THE PEOPLE,' 'CHAMBERS'S EDUCATIONAL COURSE,' &c.

No. 206. New SERIES.

SATURDAY, DECEMBER 11, 1847.

PRICE 11d.

sions, and comfortable and commodious farmhouses. A NIGHT ADVENTURE ON LAKE SIMCOE.

In the social organisation of Canada, wealth has not as The rigour of a Canadian winter is such as to enchain yet marked out a very numerous class for its own; but in icy bonds, for several consecutive months, the second the shores of Lake Simcoe are destined to be the future rate lakes of the continent. In the higher latitudes of retreat of the wealthy and refined class, to which the the province, the ice acquires an almost incredible progress of the colony will give rise. In less than fifty thickness, defying for a long time the influences of years it will be encircled with the villas and country spring; and when it yields at length, about the month mansions of those whom circumstances will enable to of May, choking up the rivers, by which it attempts to retire from the bustle and activities of life. Already descend in crowded and fantastic masses, and causing have many English families with limited means settled inundations, at all times inconvenient, and sometimes in its neighbourhood, and the axe of the husbandman fatal both to life and property.

is rapidly transforming the whole aspect of the circumAs soon as these great bodies of fresh-water are jacent country. Like other lakes of its class in these frozen, an active intercourse immediately strikes up latitudes, Lake Simcoe yields to the rigours of winter, between the different points on the shores of such of and becomes perfectly ice-bound for several months in them as have become either wholly or partially en- the year. circled with an industrious population. Districts of In the month of December 184-, in company with country which, in the summer season, are only acces- two friends, I undertook the passage of the lake upon sible to each other by toilsome and circuitous journeys, the ice, which had then been formed for several weeks. thus experience, when winter sets in, all the advan- We started without dreaming of danger, inasmuch as tages of a direct intercommunication. It is during the roads, which had been marked off in various directhe winter season that the traffic and intercourse be- tions across its surface, had been traversed for some tween the rural districts and the towns reach their time with perfect safety. For two or three days pregreatest height, the majority, particularly of the more viously, the thermometer had ranged at from 10 to 15 distant farmers, reserving their visits to the different degrees below zero; but a marked change had suddenly markets of the province until the smoother and more taken place in the temperature, the mercury having direct roads of winter can enable them to perform their risen several degrees. Our object was to cross from journeys with greater speed and less toil.

the Holland Landing, the nearest point of the lake to Fearlessly as it is generally undertaken, a journey Toronto, to the town of Bonie, on Kempenfelt Bay on across one of the great frozen masses of the North the opposite side, and lying in a north-westerly direcAmerican continent is not always unaccompanied with tion from us. Night was fast setting in when we danger. The following incident will exhibit, to some started; but as the moon was then about full, and the extent, the nature and amount of the peril which is sky clear, we set out with every anticipation of a pleathus occasionally encountered.

sant sleigh-ride over the broad and glistening expanse Amongst the American lakes of the second class, of the fettered lake. With a good horse, a couple of Lake Simcoe ranks as one of the largest. Its extreme buffalo robes, and with ample provision for man and length is about forty miles ; its width, at some points, beast-for we had a journey of about thirty miles bebeing nearly thirty. It is situated in the midst of a fore us, and there were no inns on the road-we wanted beautiful and fertile district lying between Lakes Huron nothing that could minister to our comfort. No road and Ontario ; its distance from the latter, due north of life, however, is smooth, even though it should be from the city of Toronto, being forty miles; whilst its over ice; and we had scarcely emerged from the low northern extremity approaches to within five-and- and sedgy banks of the Holland River, which was twenty miles of the former, into which its superfluous quietly emptying itself into the lake under our feet, waters are discharged by the river Severn, whose short when we encountered one of those rents or chasms course is frequently interrupted by successive cascades which so frequently permeate large masses of ice, and and brawling rapids. The shores of the lake are such which sometimes serve effectually to interrupt the road, as to strike every beholder with their beauty, being unless the traveller is provided with the means of overindented with numerous bays, some of which run far coming them. These rents are formed by the inability up into the land, and retreating at many points, in of the ice to sustain its own weight; and when they graceful undulations from the water, crowned with occur in the winter covering of large masses of water the beech and the maple, the birch, the hickory, and like Lake Simcoe, they frequently extend from one end the live oak of Canada. It is approached from the of the lake to the other. The water, with which they capital of Canada West by a fine macadamised road, are immediately filled up, seldom freezes; and when on either side of which the forest has been cleared the ice is covered with a thin sprinkling of snow, the away, the whole route being lined with elegant man- | eye can trace them for miles, like the blue veins which

overcome.

underlie a clear and brilliant complexion. Although across its disk of a small cloud, dark and watery-lookthey are not always of sufficient width to offer any ing in the centre, but fringed with lighter and fleecy serious impediment to a journey, it is nevertheless a vapours. It passed swiftly by, and its shadow sped matter of prudence in the traveller to possess himself over the frozen lake, as if it marked the flight of an of adequate means of crossing them. This is generally eagle. In its lower strata, the air was motionless as done by attaching to the bottom of the sleigh two or three before; but the winds were madly careering aloft, 29 planks, which can be thrown over the chasm, should was plainly indicated by the rapid and fitful motions : there be need, in the form of a temporary bridge, over the clouds, which now mottled the eastern half of the which the vehicle can be easily pulled or pushed, the sky, whilst the horizon beyond was shrouded in a horse being in the meantime detached from it, and impervious screen of dark stormy vapour. We were having to trust for his gaining the opposite side to the sufficiently acquainted with the climate to know wha: powers of leaping with which nature may have endowed this sudden change in the aspect of things portended ; him. The propriety of providing ourselves with the and as we had still many miles before us, we became necessary materials for putting such a device into exe- anxious for the termination of our journey. The road cution, was made manifest to us by this our first inter- was but here and there slightly traced; and should the ruption, the rent which we encountered being suffi- night become dark, our position would be very unconciently formidable to call into exercise all our pontoon fortable, to say the least of it. It is usual for those accomplishments. We got safely across, without fur- who traverse the lake, to stop about half way and bai: ther cost than that of a little delay, and proceeded their horses on the ice; but we bad no longer time merrily on our journey, occasionally enlivening our way to spare for such a detention, and proceeded at an acwith a song, and satisfied that we could have but little celerated pace. We had already encountered several to complain of if all our obstacles should be as easily chasms, similar to that which had first obstructed on:

course ; but owing to their no great width, and ailed The shadows of evening had scarcely closed around by the light of the moon, we easily passed them. To us, ere the moon rose in her full-orbed splendour. Ade- overcome them in the dark, however, would be quite quately to describe the scene which her silvery light another matter; and darkness was now fast stealing displayed to us is next to impossible. The sky was around us. without a cloud. As night advanced, the eastern ho The angry horizon rapidly unfolded its rapours, and rizon was bathed in that glorious flood of pearly lustre, the moon was at length completely obscured. No soone: which the moon, in the clear atmosphere of America, had the last gleam of light forsaken the sky, than the pours over earth and heaven. To the westward, the wind began to beat around us in fitful and ediying sky gradually darkened into the deepest blue; imbedded gusts. The snow, which lay lightly upon the ice, was in which, the far-off stars twinkled with a brilliancy lifted up and thrown rudely against our faces. Our unknown in our murky climate. The loneliness and position was every moment becoming more and more stillness of the scene were absolutely oppressive. Had discouraging, and we at length began to give way to I been alone, the conviction would easily have settled apprehensions for our safety. Land was, in every upon me that I was that unhappy wretch—the last direction, many miles distant, and we were hemmed in man. Not a sound stirred in the air, except that of by treacherous chasms on every side. This was no our own voices, which we sometimes strained to the pleasant predicament in which to be overtaken by the uttermost, to catch, if possible, an echo; but in vain

wling tempests of a boisterous winter night. The our appeals met with no response, and all around us darkness which had so suddenly succeeded to the bril was as still as death. As far as the eye could reach, a liant moonlight, was now nearly complete, and to adi belt of spectral pines lined the shore, whose sombre and to our discomfiture, the wind was almost directly is dusky forms contrasted strongly with the glistening ice. our teeth. Nothing was wanting to impart a climar to Their branches were heavily laden with snow, and our perplexity but a blinding fall of snow; nor was this gleamed in the moonlight with myriads of pendent wanting long. A few large and ominous flakes spoticicles. The more distant shores of the lake looked ting the buffalo robes in which we now wrapped crur ghastly and shadowy; whilst towards the north, in the selves, gave token of its approach ; after which the direction of its greatest length, the vast plain of ice storm rapidly progressed in its fury, when the gloon which we were traversing appeared to stretch to in- cast upon our spirits was only exceeded by the still finity, merging into the horizon, as if it led to heaven. deeper gloom which reigned around us. Faster and A lovelier night never shone on earth-a more beauti- faster fell the drifting snow, and more dismally honlei ful and impressive scene was never witnessed.

the wintry wind as we crawled along, feeling our steps, As we were in no hurry, we proceeded at a leisurely in momentary expectation of encountering another rent pace, guided in our course by a wide breach, which was in the ice, which our present position would have per: observable in the broad shadow that lay under the dered dangerous in the extreme. It seemed as if the high bank forming the castern shore of the lake, and elements had conspired to torment us; for the snow, which we knew indicated the entrance to Kempen- which now beat against us in masses, when it fell felt Bay. It was but natural that our conversation, as refused to lie, but mounted again on the wings of the we proceeded, should turn upon the prospects, social, tempest, to mingle with the falling flakes ; and it was political, and economical

, of the magnificent country not until it had been whirled about for some time iz which spread around us, and which, with few excep- furious eddies, that it was at length deposited in factions, still rioted undisturbed in all the wild luxuriance tastic drifts upon the ice. of nature.

Every trace of the road was now blotted out ; and as Engaged in this manner, we were insensible to the no distant landmarks were discernible for our guidance

, indications which were accumulating around us, that we proceeded for some time in an uncertain course, the repose of the elements was soon likely to be dis- with nothing to guide us but the direction of the win? turbed. The first that we observed was the momen- which we knew to be easterly. We had every now and tary obscuration of the moon, caused by the passage then to encounter heavy snow drifts, that had rapily

accumulated in our path, through which we penetrated the cold in an ample feed of oats, which we placed bewith some difficulty ; but consoling ourselves with the fore him. We then sat down, enveloped in our buffalo reflection that, if they were toilsome, they were not skins, under the shelter of the sleigh, in which posture dangerous, like the yawning chasms, of which we stood we determined to remain until returning light should in constant dread. We exerted ourselves to the utmost enable us to pursue our journey. to proceed; but at length, weary and benumbed with We were obliged, however, frequently to spring to cold, and unable any longer to face the pitiless storm, our feet, and move briskly about, in order to counteract we came to a halt, without a tree or bush to shelter us the insidious and benumbing effects of the cold, to which from the tempest. Our first care was to do all in our one of my companions, despite of remonstrance, was power to protect both our horse and ourselves from fast giving way. Determined to rescue him from the its fury, which we did by turning our vehicle in the dangerous lethargy which was stealing over him, and contrary direction to that of the wind. We had but two finding persuasion useless, I resorted to the device of buffalo robes along with us, one of which we threw provocation. By degrees I managed to rouse him into over the horse, huddling under the other in the sleigh a towering passion, which restored his languid circulafor warmth and shelter. There we remained for some tion; and saved him, by arousing him to a state of phytime, in the hope that the storm would ere long abate sical activity. The weary hours at length crawled by, somewhat in its fury. Nor were we disappointed in this and a dull, grayish light in the east betokened the aprespect. After waiting for about twenty minutes, it proach of morning; but with it came no abatement of sensibly relaxed. It was still almost pitchy dark, but the tempest. The thick air was still oppressed with its the wind had fallen considerably, and the snow fell more heavy burden of snow, of which it seemed vainly endeasparingly than before. We resumed our journey--if vouring to rid itself. But the approach of light had crawling along, one leading the horse, the other moving deprived the scene of nine-tenths of its horrors, and we cautiously a little in advance, to ascertain that the ice lost no time in preparing to resume our journey. was safe, can be called a resumption. Thus we pro The cold had by this time, however, so enfeebled us, ceeded for some time, in utter uncertainty as to the that it was with difficulty we succeeded, by our conjoint point to which our weary footsteps were leading us; efforts, in restoring the sleigh to its right position. I and almost sickened at the thought, that, on the most held the horse, whilst my companions proceeded to refavourable calculation, fully four miles of treacherous connoitre the chasm, to select the most favourable point ice yet intervened between us and land.

for crossing it. Whilst they were so engaged, I had to We had made but little progress in this way, when, shout occasionally to them, with all the strength that to our dismay, the wind began once more to increase remained to me, to enable them to rejoin me, for the in violence, and we were compelled again to seek light was still faint, and the heavy snow, mingled with what shelter we could by coming to a dead halt. We the drift, soon hid us from each other. The noise thus had scarcely done so, however, when our alarm took a occasioned, or something else, which it is not now nenew direction. We were startled by a dull deep sound, cessary to ascertain, caused the horse to become restive. resembling a heavy but smothered crack, which arose I tried to soothe him, but failed, and my hand was not to our left, and apparently in the vicinity of the shore ; strong enough long to retain the rein. Finding himand which, after a moment's cessation, was repeated, self at liberty, he darted off, and ran past my compaand, growing louder and louder, seemed to approach the nions, who made a vain effort to stop him. We folspot where we stood, and to which we were now rivetted lowed him for a few seconds in the direction he had with terror. For a few moments we listened, uncon- taken, until at length a heavy splash warned us that scious of its cause, but recognised it, as it came nearer further pursuit might be as dangerous as it was useless. and nearer to us, bellowing like thunder. It seemed to We cautiously approached the spot whence the sound pass swiftly about a hundred yards in advance of us ; proceeded, but on reaching the chasm, could find no and although still in fear, we could not refrain from trace of the poor animal, save a little blood, which the mutual congratulations on having escaped the danger. feeble light enabled us to discern staining the snow on As it receded to our right, it became fainter and fainter, the opposite side, and which showed that his head had until at length it resembled the sound of musketry come in violent contact with the ice in tumbling into heard at a distance, and finally died away amongst the the water. bays and promontories at the upper end of the lake. We had now no alternative left but to prosecute our The whole proceeded from the occurrence of one of the journey on foot. To cross the chasm, it was necessary to physical phenomena of these wintry regions. The ice resort to our planks; but these were no longer at our comhad, in fact, opened another seam; and in doing so, it mand, being by this time buried under a heavy wreath roared as if it had been racked with pain. As it swept of snow. We made several ineffectual efforts to recover by, we clung instinctively to the sleigh, for the chasm them, and at last gave up the attempt in despair. Our might have opened beneath our feet.

situation was now more than ever hopeless. We had As this might prove a crowning difficulty to us, we not sufficient strength left us to overcome the chasm cautiously advanced to ascertain its extent. We had by a leap, nor were we in a condition to undertake a not proceeded far, when we heard the water beating in journey of five-and-twenty miles, which an attempt to small ripples against the newly-rent ice. It was so dis- retrace our steps would have involved. Exhausted and tinct, that even the horse seemed to recognise it; and benumbed, and in utter despair at our situation, we with unerring instinct, recoiled a step or two from the once more resorted to our buffalo skins, wrapped in danger. There was now no alternative before us but to which we again lay down under the shelter of the sleigh. retrace our steps, or to remain where we were until The storm raged wildly as before, and although the sun morning. Between the two, however, there could be no had been now more than half an hour above the horizon, hesitation, and we at once determined to remain. We the thick atmosphere seemed to absorb its struggling could gain nothing by retreating; for, to say nothing of beams, and nothing but a dull grayish twilight was the our having already crossed the greater portion of the result. It was again with extreme difficulty that we lake, there were dangers behind us similar to those be- prevented one another from yielding to that drowsy fore. The width of the newly-opened seam we ascer- lethargy which, under such circumstances, is the sure tained to be about four feet at the point where we stood. prelude to dissolution. Our powers of resistance would Dark and stormy as it was, half that width would have have sustained us but little longer, when hope again deterred us from attempting to cross it. We therefore shed its cheering light into our souls. A solitary gleam prepared to bivouac for the night. Retreating some of wan and struggling sunlight suddenly passed over distance from the chasm, we unharnessed the horse, us, but was instantly swallowed up again by the driftand turned the sleigh on its side, to protect us from ing clouds. It was an omen of good, and we hailed it the wind and the still drifting snow. The horse we with a feeble shout. With renewed prospects of life tied by the reins to the sleigh, and left him to forget and future happiness in store for us, our energies once

[ocr errors][ocr errors]

more revived, and we sprang instantly to our feet. The genial to the people of that classic land than to the spell of the storm was broken; it had spent its fury, and ruder spirit of the Gothic nations, and the destruction torn itself to pieces in its wrath. The vapoury masses, of the Greek Empire, by scattering abroad the learning which had shrouded the heavens and deluged earth with and the learned men of Greece, afforded facilities for snow, were rent asunder on all sides; the sky gradually acquiring a knowledge of the ancients which had before ! lightened of its burden; and in half an hour's time, over been unattainable. All the leading men of Italy were

HD the vast surface of the lake--to which the myriad snow seized with the passion for letters. Manuscripts were wreaths now imparted as stormy an appearance as its collected, libraries formed, and schools instituted for

11 unchained waters had ever worn when lashed into bil- the teaching of Latin and the study of the classics. lows by the wind-the shadows of the broken and fast- The step thus made was of immense importance, for a || drifting clouds were sporting themselves in the dazzling literature worth reading was reintroduced into Europe, sunlight.

and it began to be thought necessary that men should
It is unnecessary to prolong the recital. After con- be able to read it. Once awakened to the advantages
siderable search, we discovered a point at which we of mental culture, the intellect of the age, elevated by
could safely cross the chasm which had so unseason the tuition of masters so superior to any previously
ably yawned across our pathway during the night. We known, expanded the more the more it was cultivated.
had not proceeded far on our way towards Bonie, when, So far the good done was unalloyed; but it did not long
to our inexpressible joy, we perceived a sleigh making remain so.
directly towards us. It was driven by our warm-hearted In looking back on the history of education, as it is
friend Mr to visit whom was the object of our understood now, and as it was spoken of till within a
journey. Aware of our intention to make a night pas comparatively recent period, we shall see that opinions
sage of the lake, our non-arrival, coupled with the have changed rather with regard to the theory than
storm which had occurred, gave rise to apprehensions the practice of this science. Every propounder of a
in his mind which induced him to start off in search of system of education, and every schoolmaster, however
us. The relief which his appearance gave us was more closely he may stick to the antiquated system in the
than seasonable. We jumped into his sleigh, and made method of teaching, will tell you that his ultimate
for land at as rapid a pace as the loose deep snow, with object is the general training and expanding of the
which the ice was now covered, would permit us. On mind, the strengthening and cultivation of the facul.
arriving at our journey's end, we inured ourselves gra- ties, and the fitting of the youth for the business and
dually, as was but prudent, to the warmth of the house; the duties of the man. As to the best means to this
and when, shortly afterwards, seated by the large, crack-end, we have many questions, but all agree that school
ling, blazing log-fire, which leaped and roared in the learning is only the means by which their object is to
ample chimney around which we were ranged, its com- be attained, not the object itself, and in that object they
fortable heat, together with the happy faces and cordial agree. This distinction, merely verbal though it may
welcomes of those around us, made us forget for a time at first appear, between the object and the mode of
the miseries of the night, and the painful apprehen- education, is not unimportant, since it is to the con-
sions of the morning.

founding of the two-in consequence of the overween-
ing admiration of the ancients entertained by the revi-

valists--that we are to ascribe all the inconsistencies SKETCHES OF THE HISTORY OF EDUCATION. which have infected education down to the present day,

rendering it a teaching of vocabularies instead of a

training of the mind. It was not perhaps wonderful, To give anything like a complete history of education, especially of the Italians, that an undue admiration such as should be in anyway suitable to the import- should have been aroused by those beauties of style ance of the subject, and the interest now attracted to and manner in which the classical authors so immensely it, would require a voluminous work. At present, no surpassed the crabbed theologians of the middle ages. thing more is proposed than a brief outline of the pro- Carried away by this appreciation of mere external gress of the science, and some account of the views of excellence, they exceeded the absurdities of later times, the more remarkable men who have thought and writ- and not only imagined that the study of the classics ten on the subject.

comprised everything necessary for education, but acThe history of intellectual education in Europe may tually thought that the attainment of a Latin style was be said to commence with what is generally termed the all that was to be looked to. Selecting one or two revival of letters in the fourteenth century. Up to this favourite authors, Cicero in particular, they directed tiine the nations of Europe were engrossed in warlike all their efforts to a slavish imitation of him; and the affairs. Few amongst the laity, and those only the sole object of education, both in theory and practice, most favoured by nature or position, attained even the was held to be, not even the learning of Latin as the rudiments of reading and writing, and the clergy were most valuable branch of knowledge, but absolutely the only less ignorant than the laity. Of vernacular litera- writing and speaking of Latin in the style of Cicero ture, properly so called, with the exception of ballads and --using no words, no forms of speech, except those romances, there was none; and the huge tomes, written found in his works. The lengths to which this childish in the barbarous Latin of the period, which occasionally idea was carried are almost incredible; and the least made their appearance, were occupied with the abstruse evil attendant on it was, that it not only led to the absurdities of the scholastic theology. The physical neglect of all which was really valuable in the uncouth | sciences, with the exception of such amount of empi- learning of the middle ages, but that the classics themrical chemistry as was hoarded up in secret by the selves, for which everything else was abandoned, were * alchemists and magicians,' were unknown, and natural not studied to the best purpose. history and geography were a mass of fables. Many of The theory of Ciceronianism, as this perversion of the principal authors of Rome, we may almost say all classicism was called, reigned omnipotent for nearly two those of Greece, were unknown even by name; and in centuries; but it was too absurd to endure for ever; and fact the language of the latter had disappeared from west as the learning of the Italians extended into other lands, ern Euror When, however, something like order had the pupils began to laugh at the folly of their masters. succeeded the anarchy of the middle ages, when cities It was in Germany that the first resistance was made ! arose and peace was occasionally enjoyed, men quickly to this education in shadows. It was maintained that turned their minds to intellectual pursuits. The revival the perfect imitation of the style of any author, bow

11 of letters began in Italy, in the golden days of the excellent soever, was not the only thing to be sought republics. The cities of northern Italy were at that for in education; and that classical studies would be of time both richer and more civilised than any other little value until they were entered on in a very diffeportion of Europe ; intellectual pursuits were more con- rent spirit. The celebrated Erasmus was the bitterest

ERASMUS-LUTHER-TROTZENDORF.

« НазадПродовжити »