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her school. There cluster her sympathies, and there centre her warm affections. For her school is her flower garden, devoted to the culture and florescence of the soul;
- her studio, where God is recognized as the Supreme Artist, and each individual form, and soul, is invested with higher dignity, and regarded with deeper interest, because His handiwork, and predestined to embody and illustrate a divine idea ;her Bethel, where angels linger, and the child-loving Immanuel abides.
REWARDS OF THE TEACHER. The teacher who is true to her mission, receives an abundant reward for all her self-sacrificing toil, — not pecuniary remuneration, but the high moral recompense which ever attends a faithful performance of duty, and the conscious fulfilment of a mission; not the fleeting treasures of earth, but the less perishable wealth of childhood's clinging love; not the honor and applause of the world, but the approbation of conscience, and the esteem and grateful remembrance of her pupils. Children do not soon forget a devoted teacher, one who is uniformly gentle and kind, conscientious and faithful. Involuntarily they give her a large place in their hearts, and a generous share of their affections.
And often in after life when they suffer from the rude jostlings of a selfish world, and seriously question if there be such a principle in human nature as justice or disinterested love, they fondly revert to the beloved teacher of their early youth, whose character was a living personification of truth and justice, and whose heart a deep fountain of love, pure and never failing; and check their incipient misanthropy, and forget their sorrows, in the sweet remembrance of her gentleness, fidelity, and love.
A yet higher reward awaits her, when she closes her mission, quits the field, and rests from her labor ; for then the angels do greet her as their fellow laborer and friend, and welcome her with delight to their society and home ; then she hears a voice from the excellent glory, saying, “Well done, good and faithful servant,” and enters with triumph into the joy of her Lord.
Upon her tombstone no panegyric need be written ; for upon the tablet of many a juvenile heart, she has traced her character in a living inscription, more honorable and enduring than was ever written upon the monument of sage or conqueror. Of her life no obituary need be given, for her surviving pupils are her living epistles, where may be read, in her own autograph, the transcript of herself. Many characters has she stamped with the impress of her own, in lineaments too deep for time to efface, too abiding for eternity to obliterate. Many minds has she guided along the pleasant paths of wisdom, virtue, and piety, toward Heaven; and thither her “works do follow" her. — Ages roll away, - still joyfully she gathers, in the broad fields of Paradise, the rich harvests of her earthly toil.
REMINISCENCES OF AN OCTOGENARIAN.
(It is a rare privilege to receive from a living man an account of what he himself saw and was a part of, eighty years ago; to be carried back with the vividness of personal narrative, and the interest of personal sympathy, nearly a century of the world's progress, and that a century so fraught with change, and thickly studded with great events, as the last. Through what throngs of inventions, discoveries, adventures, compositions, wars, battles, dynasties, and revolutions, must memory force its way to reach the year 1776! We are thus transported by the following extract, which, through the kindness of its venerable author, we are permitted to make from a Lecture delivered before the Hampden County Teachers' Association, by the Rev. Timothy Mather Cooley, D.D., of East Granville. We find a brief sketch of its author in the valuable - History of Education in Western Massachusetts," by Mr. Parish, of Springfield.
• Through the first 150 years or more of the educational history of Western Massachusetts, much instruction was given by ministers. Of one who still remains, Rev. Dr. Cooley, of Granville, an interesting chapter might be given. His school education commenced in 1776. He says, the only school books were Dilworth's spelling book, the primer and the bible. The furniture, as I recollect, was a chair for the master, a long hickory, and a ferule. Reading, spelling, a few of the business rules of arithmetic, the catechism, and writing legibly, was the amount of common school education for sons; and for daughters, still less. The luxury of a slate and pencil I never enjoyed till I entered college. Previous to 1796, no academy existed in Western Massachusetts, except a well endowed institution at Wiliamstown. In the autumn of 1796, I commenced my family school. Probably as many as 800 have been under my tuition, and as many as 60 or 70 have entered the ministry; others have been high in office and members of Congress, &c. I have had between 20 and 30 under censure (rusticated) from colleges. A few lads have been sent me that were irreclaimably reckless. Almost without exception they died in their teens!' Dr. Cooley had a remarkable tact in influencing those under his care by moral suasion and kind address. He has performed a great work as a teacher as well as minister.”
The Rev. Dr. Cooley, as we are informed by one who is well versed in the philosophy, history, and biography of education, was born in East Granville, March 13, 1772. His mother was Sarah Mather, of Windsor, Ct., a descendant of Rev. Richard Mather, of Dorchester. He graduated at Yale College in 1792, and was ordained pastor of the church in his native town, February 3, 1796. He continued his pastoral charge nearly sixty years, - until May, 1855. In the very year of his settlement, he added to his ministerial labors, the work of preparing young men for college or for active business, to which allusion is made in the extract above. He also did much to stimulate and assist the young of his parish in the acquisition of useful knowledge. He procured a library of valuable reading, and those whom he instructed in a Bible Class on Sunday had the privilege of drawing books in the week. He has been rewarded by the eminent success and gratitude of many of these. He has served as a member of the School Committee of Granville forty-eight years. Can New England furnish another case of equal length of service He has also, during most of his public life, been a faithful Trustee of a neighboring Academy, and of Williams College, having, it is said, never failed, notwithstanding the mountain range which intervened, to attend Commencement at the latter, with one exception when his class after their long separation held a meeting in connection with the Yale Commencement. What an envied life of abundant and varied usefulness !
Surely we may say, with the gentleman to whom we are indebted for these facts, that Dr. Cooley, if any man living, “ has a right to speak on the subject of Education.” Those who had the privilege of listening to his Lecture, must have felt as did the Greek host when, as Homer tells us,
“ Slow from his seat arose the Pylian sage,
Who thus with mild benevolence began."} My own common school education commenced, I suppose, in '76,- the memorable year of our country's strife for independence. Not far from the nation's birth-day, was my first day at school. The first rude-built school-house, probably the first erected on the Green Mountain range, I remember well; and can describe it. The building was limited in dimensions, low and narrow; and had no clapboarding without, or plastering within, to give comfort to the scholar during the intensity of cold in winter. In one corner stood the rough stone chimney, where one cord of wood a week would scarcely suffice. A long table, with a bench upon each side, was the privilege of the class of writers. The other furniture was a low bench for the abecedarians, a more elevated one for the next older classes, a swing table for the master, a broom,-seldom used, - a ferule, and a fearful rod of correction.
The burning of the master's ferule was an incident among my early reminiscences. One morning, the master was detained from school. It was a cold winter morning, and a large fire was glowing on the hearth. It was decided by the older scholars, to burn the ferule; but who could dare do such a deed ? No one would take the responsibility alone. As many as could take hold of it at once, united; and, thus dividing the responsibility, the ferule was committed to the fire.
The result I do not remember. But I remember another case. A scholar who had some taste for the languages, learned the Latin phrase for asking leave to go out.
Instead of employing it himself, he suggested it to a coeval, who, much demine?"
lighted, went to the master with his “Licetne mihi exire, Do
The master took it as an insult, and inflicted a scourging, which even the spectators would never forget. Years after, the master died in the poor-house; and the reckless scholar had long before gone down to the drunkard's grave.
It would amuse you to hear a class read the spelling-book in the antiquated style :-"A by itself, a, b-a-se, base, abase. I by itself, i, d-0-1, dol, idol. A by itself, a, m-a-ezzard-e, maze, amaze, m-e-n-t, ment, amazement." Perhaps there will be a smile at the ludicrous in these early arrangements for educational purposes ; but if the picture looks dark and ludicrous, I present it as it was three score and eighteen years ago.
There are, however, light shades of a serious and delightful character. In all my recollections of the common school, there was no instance of vulgarity or profanity. And if an old man with silvery locks passed near the play-ground, it was not :-"Go up thou bald head, go up thou bald head!” All noise was hushed ; and the lads and misses, arranged in order and stillness, paid their tokens of reverence to the old man.
The standard books in school were Dilworth's Spellingbook, the Primer, and the BIBLE. First of all, the Bible, especially the discourses and the acts of the Saviour, poured forth their heavenly instructions upon the school-room, every hour in the day. Every child, in every day of life, was thus imbued with the teachings of Him who “spake as never man spake.” The Saturday catechising, in the best uninspired system of doctrine and duty, was the closing exercise of every week.
My respected friends, it was such schools and such nurturings, that formed the 60,000 soldiers, furnished by Massachusetts alone for the army of the Revolution. They furnished the men who fell at Lexington, at Bunker Hill, and in the bloody massacre at Stone Arabia. Not a few of the army at Ticonderoga,* at White Plains, at Princeton, and in the last decisive action at Yorktown, were the sons of the Pilgrims Many fell without leaving a stone to designate the spot of the soldier's sepulchre. Early common schools were also the nursery of such mighty spirits as Franklin, Hancock, the Adamses, Sherman, and many others in civil life; and of such luminaries in the church as Shepard, the Mathers, Stoddard, the Edwardses,
“Whose fame will spread from shore to shore,
Till moons shall wax and wane no more.”
*The wife of the speaker was thus left an orphan at the age of six months. He was
At a later period, the books of Noah Webster, his First, Second, and Third Part, were introduced, and gave a new character to common schools. Other books were added, and new studies were introduced. The simple expedient of the blackboard has imparted a new impulse to the business of teaching the exact sciences.
Sixty years ago, a district school was opened in a respectable town in Connecticut, the brief history of which may cast light on the subject. The number of scholars was thirty-six, between the ages of six and fourteen ; and the school was kept for one year. In reply to some inquiries of the teacher, the Committee remarked that there would be no difficulty, except that one reckless lad must be punished every day. A brother of President Dwight had kept the school the preceding year, and found this to be the only course. The school opened. The bad boy was noticed the first day, and distinguished by his small, flashing eye, his long and quick step, and rapid movements.
The boy was twelve; and now, if ever, was the time to save him. The teacher resolved on a different course. treated with kindness, and even favoritism. There was little danger of suspicion of odious partiality, in this case. The poor, reckless boy was won and saved. Another year, under the old discipline, would probably have sealed his fate forever. He yielded to kindness, though he could never be made to yield to the scourge. The teachings of scripture, on this subject, are perfect. The child, before he can speak or go along, is to be subdued, effectually and permanently, by the rod of correction. This hopeless lad became one of the best scholars of the thirty-six. Twelve years after, he graduated, at a New England College, with the first honors of his class. He became an attorney at law, and was at the head of the bar. He was afterwards a judge. He is a professor of religion, “an honest man, the noblest work of God.”
You may have a curiosity to hear the biography of a district school, kept sixty years ago. I can give it in part. One of the pupils died during his second year in college. One was Governor of a State. One, as you have heard, was a judge ; one a State senator ; one a physician. One became a maniac. He entered a school-room where was a young lady, the teacher, and inflicted upon her wounds, with his pen-knife, which nearly proved mortal. Afterwards, in a new town, out West, he snatched an infant from the cradle, and taking it to a stump, with a hatchet severed its head from its body. One stole a Bible from the college chapel, and carried it home and present