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motives, than by his own earnest conviction of the truth and importance of the doctrines he was defending. An ardent and generous mind cannot reason dispassionately under these circumstances. Logic runs into rhetoric; refutation gives place to invective; declamation is substituted for plain statements of fact; and the whole argumentation becomes vicious and unsound.
It is painful to charge even these involuntary mistakes upon the Secretary; but having censured so explicitly and severely the conduct of the teachers, it is due to them that the whole truth should be told. We have already quoted the opinion of Mr. Emerson respecting the fourth portion of the “Remarks," on the subject of school discipline. The following is a specimen of the manner in which Mr. Mann speaks of this portion of the schoolmasters' pamphlet:
“I have read most of what has been written in the English and French languages on the subject of education, besides many of the multitudinous works issued from the German press; and I say, deliberately and advisedly, that if all the unfeeling and cold-hearted doctrines contained in so much of the school litera. ture of these several languages as I have seen were collected together, it would not equal a tithe of what is to be found in the last forty pages of the • Remarks.?” Reply, p. 142. This is strong language to be used “deliberately and advisedly”; it is in striking contrast with the opinion of Mr.' Emerson, and we must avow our own conviction, that it is wholly unjust.
We will add another citation from the same part of the “Reply,” as it contains Mr. Mann's comments on a sentence which we have once before quoted.
" The · Remarks' say, where the spirit of opposition is too strong to be overruled by those higher and more refined motives upon which we should always rely when they are active, we are left without resource unless we appeal fear.' I deny that any Christian man, or any enlightened heathen man, is left without resource, under such circumstances, unless he appeals to fear.' He has the resource of conscience, which is no more extinguished in the child's soul by the clamorous passions that, for a time, may have silenced its voice, than the stars of heaven are annihi. lated by the cloud which for a moment obscures them from our vision. He has the resource of social and filial affections. He has the love of knowledge and of truth, which never, in all its
forms, is, or can be, eradicated from a sane mind. If the teach. er is what he ought to be, he has the resource of a pure and lofty example in his own character; and he moves before the eyes of his pupils as a personification of dignity and learning and benevolence. What a damning sentence does a teacher pronounce upon himself, when he affirms that he has no resources in his own attainments, his own deportment, his own skill, his own character ; but only in the cowhide and birch, and in the strong arm that wields them!” — Reply, p. 135.
This is very strange. What are appeals to "conscience,” to the social and filial affections," to the love of knowledge and of truth,” to “pure and lofty example,” but attempts to influence conduct by “those higher and more refined motives upon which we should always rely when they are active"? It is difficult to see how a teacher pronounces a “damning sentence” on himself, who never attempts to excite sear till he has vainly tried all these gentler and purer means.
The Teacher makes some comments on a fact stated in the “ Seventh Annual Report,” that, in the course of the writer's visits to the Prussian schools, he “never saw one child undergoing punisbment or arraigned for misconduct.”' The Teacher observes :
“ Should the Prussian Minister of Public Instruction see fit to honor the schools of this country with a visit, we presume he would not be shocked with a single exhibition of cruelty or anger. The teachers, we doubt noi, would find other means of entertaining him. And even if some thoughtless pupil should need a word of caution, it might effectually be given, without appearing to a stranger, and especially to a foreigner, as an angry word. The mildest terms may portend dire consequences to ihe disobedient.” — Remarks, p. 110.
On this brief, and, as it seemed to us, quite inoffensive, remark, Mr. Mann makes the following comment:
“ The case supposes the presence of a visiter, to whom a fair outside is to be exhibited. It supposes also that, under such cir. cumstances, some thoughtless pupil' may need a word of caution ; and it avers that this might be effectually 'given, without appearing to be an angry word.' It is then added, • The mildest terms may portend dire consequences to the disobedient.' In common acceptation, as well as by lexicographical definition,
• dire' means "dreadful,' horrible,' evil in a great degree.' • Hydras, and gorgons, and chimeras dire,' says Milton; and the Diræ' of the ancients were the Furies of hell. By what conventional rules, by what settled laws of custom and usage, in the thirty-one Grammar and Writing Schools of Boston, or in any of them, has it come to pass, that the mildest' accents of gentleness and love - and those intended to appear' such to a stranger's should shake the heart of a pupil with consternation, for the dire consequences' they portend'? Whence this profanation of the words and tones of affection; whence this execrable hypocrisy, and this open, unblushing avowal of it ? Was the utterer of this sentiment unconscious of its baseness, or did he so far mistake the moral sense of this community as to suppose it could pass without rebuke? How has it come to pass, that when a teacher passes round among his pupils, in the presence of visiters and strangers, and, to all outward appearance, says cheeringly, and in the mildest tones, to, a young master, 'Well, my fine fellow,' or My dear, to a young miss, they should know that, as soon as those visiters are in the street, their limbs will be girdled with stripes? If this sentence, about the mildest terms' being por. tentous of dire consequences,' were read to the Thirty-one, without rousing a dissenting voice, then I believe they are the only thirty-one men to be found in the city of Boston who could hear it unmoved. Let me say, that it is doctrines on the subject of School Discipline' like those contained in the • Remarks, and practices conformable to them, which, in so many places, have degraded the sacred name of school teacher ; and made that most intrinsically honorable of all appellations a hissing and a by-word among men.” — Reply, pp. 157, 158.
Surely, this is a very harsh construction of the Teacher's language. If a distinguished stranger — a foreign minister, for instance - should visit one of our Boston schools, we should think it was a proof, not of “execrable hypocrisy," but of decency and good taste in the master, not to annoy his visiter by any painful exhibition of the details of discipline, but to postpone the infliction of any punishment that might be necessary to a more convenient season. On occasion of a public visitation of a seminary, it is quite common to have the apartment swept and garnished with particular care, and the walls ornamented with some simple arrangement of flowers and green branches. Would it not be harsh to charge the instructer, on this account, with prac
tising hypocrisy and deceit, and laboring to give his visiters a false idea of the neatness and order commonly preserved in the establishment ? To dwell upon and exaggerate the meaning of the word “ dire,” by connecting it with horrible ideas of gorgons, and chimeras, and the Furies, is as ludicrous as it is unjust. Every reader gifted with common sense must perceive, that the phrase “ dire consequences ” is here used by the teacher in a half playful sense, implying a state of mind which is the very opposite of bitterness and severity.
In the notice which introduces the “ Remarks occurs the following sentence. " The teacher, who has stood for many years, bimself against a host of five or six hundred children from all ranks and conditions of society, thinks he may once ask a hearing before the public.” The morsel of a quotation in this sentence is not in very good taste, but it seems inoffensive enough. Fatigued and barassed by his unremitting duties, the teacher might well claim some sympathy, on the ground that he has so long stood alone " against a host” of children, though each one of his pupils, individally, was to him an object of strong affection. Few would think of inding in this casual expression any sign of opposition, loathing, or hostility towards those who were intrusted to his charge. Yet Mr. Mann comments upon it as follows :
“ Before the vestibule, in the outer court of this temple which the Thirty-one have reared and consecrated to education, is the following inscription : « The teacher who has stood for many years, " himself against a host ” of five or six hundred children.' Yes ; .against a host’! — not for, not with, but adverse. ly to ;- not as a guide and counsellor, but, “ for many years,' as a combatant and antagonist ! the whole presenting the image of belligerent forces and a hostile array, of whose fierce encounters the school-room is the battle-ground !” – p. 126.
This is the ingenuity of fault-finding run mad. Coming from any other person, we should at once pronounce it to be captious and unreasonable.
In considering the cases adduced by Mr. Mann, of large institutions successfully managed by moral suasion," or very mild means, the teacher properly takes a distinction between what he calls " sanative establishments" — such as almshouses, insane asylums, “ redemption institutes," prisVOL. LX. - No. 126.
ons, and the like
and the common schools of a great city. He argues very rightly, that the situation of the unfortunate inmates of such asylums necessarily creates in their ininds a sense of entire dependence and indebtedness, which renders them far more susceptible of control. He might have added, — the consideration being of still greater weight, – that these unhappy persons remain constantly within the walls, under the eye of their guardians, the system of management thus operating upon them without break, and without the admission of foreign and injurious influences ; while the boys of the Boston public schools are under the charge of their teachers for not more than a fourth part of the twenty-four hours, and, during the rest of the time, many of them are at home with vicious, soolish, or negligent parents, or are exposed to all the corrupting and hardening influences of the streets of a large city.
Whether the distinction here set up is broad enough to justify the use of physical coercion in common schools, after it is shown that " sanative establishments " can be managed without it, or without the use of equivalent means equally objectionable, we do not undertake to say ; probably it is not. But the distinction is evidently good as far as it goes ; it is a fair and inoffensive argument, which deserves to be candidly considered. Will it be believed, that Mr. Mann so far perverts this argument as to charge the Teacher with maintaining the monstrous doctrine, that kindness is the appropriate means of influence “ for thieves and_ vagabonds,” but not “for honest, noble-souled boys" ? But we will do the Secretary the justice, severe though it be, of quoting his own words.
“ A way, then, is open, one condition is still left, which you may save your children from the degradation of stripes, and the dastard crouchings of fear; and by which you may secure for them a government and training, whose means are active occupations, music, and Christian love,' — Chris. tian instruction and Christian benevolence.' Abandon them. Strip off the lineaments of love from your countenance, and put on those of a fiend. Let your words scorch instead of counsel. ling. For embraces, give blows. When night comes on, send them abroad for theft, instead of teaching them to bend their knees, and lift up their voices, in thanksgiving for the past blessings of the light, and the coming blessings of the darkness ;