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same thing ;* and they learn precisely what they please, and no more. Corporal punishment is not permitted; indeed, if we are to judge from an extract I took from an American paper, the case is reversed.
The following “ Rules” are posted up in New Jersey school-house :—
“ No kissing girls in school time; no licking
the master during holydays.”
* M rs.Trollope says: “ At sixteen, oflen much earlier, education ends and money making begins; the idea that more learning is necessary than can be acquired by that time, is generally ridiculed as absolute monkish bigotry: added to which, if the seniors willed a more prolonged discipline, the juniors would refuse submission. When the money getting begins, leisure ceases, and all thelore which can be acquired afterwards is picked up from novels, magazines, and newspapers.”
Captain Hall also remarks upon this point:—“ I speak now from the authority of the Americans themselves. There is the greatest possible difliculty in fixing young men long enough at college. Innumerable devices have been tried with considerable ingenuity to remedy this evil, and the best possible intentions by the professors and other public-spirited persons who are sincerely grieved to see so many incompetent, half-qualified men in almost every corner of the country.”
At fifteen or sixteen, if not at college, the boy assumes the man; he enters into business, as a clerk to some merchant, or in some store. His father’s home is abandoned, except when it may suit his convenience, his salary being sufficient for most of his wants. He frequents the bar, calls for gin cocktails, chews tobacco, and talks politics. His theoretical education, whether he has profited much by it or not, is now superseded by a more practical one, in which he obtains a most rapid proficiency. I have no hesitation in asserting that there is more practical knowledge among the Americans than among any other people under the sun.*
*' Captain Hamilton very truly observes—“ Though I have unquestionably met in New York with many most intelligent and accomplished gentlemen, still I think the fact cannot be denied, that the average of acquirement resulting from education is a good deal lower in this country than in the better circles in England. In all the knowledge which must be taught, and which requires laborious study for its attainment, I should say the Americans are considerably inferior to my countrymen. In that knowledge, on the other hand, which the
individual acquires for himself by actual observation, which
It is singular that, in America, every thing, whether it be of good or evil, appears to assist the country in going a-head. This very want of parental control, however it may affect the morals of the community, is certainly advantageous to America, as far as her rapid advancement is concerned. Boys are working like men for years before they would be in England ; time is money, and they assist to bring in the harvest.
But does this independence on the part of the youth of America end here ? On the contrary, what at first was independence, assumes next the form of opposition, and eventually that of control.
The young men, before they are qualified by age to claim their rights as citizens, have their
societies, their book-clubs, their political meet
which bears an immediate marketable value and is directly available in the ordinary avocations of life, I do not imagine that the Americans are excelled by any people in the world.”
VOL. II I. 0
ings, their resolutions, all of which are promul
ated in the newspapers ; and very often the young men’s societies are called upon by the newspapers to come forward with their opinions. Here is opposition. Mr. Cooper says, in his “ Democrat” (p. 152)—
“ The defects in American deportment are, notwithstanding, numerous and palpable. Among the first may be ranked, insubordination in children, and a great want of respect for age. The former vice may be ascribed to the business habits of the country, which leave so little time for parental instruction, and, perhaps, in some _ degree to the acts of political agents, who, with their own advantages in view, among the other expedients of their cunning, have resorted to the artifice of separating children from their natural advisers by calling meetings of the young to decide on the fortunes and policy of the country.”
But what is more remarkable, is the fact that society has been usurped by the young people,
the married and old people have been, to a
certain degree, excluded from it. A young lady will give a ball, and ask none but young men and young women of her acquaintance; not a chaperon is permitted to enter, and her father and mother are requested to stay up stairs, that they may not interfere with the amusement. This is constantly the case in Philadelphia and Baltimore, and I have heard bitter complaints made by the married people concerning it. Here is control. Mr. Sanderson, in his “ Sketches of Paris,” observes— “They who give a tone to society should have maturity of mind; they should have refinement of taste, which is a quality of age. As long as college beauw and boarding-school misses take the lead, it must be an insipid society, in whatever community it may exist. Is it not villainous, in your Quakerships of Philadelphia, to lay us, before we have lived half our time out, upon the shelf? Some of the native tribes, more merciful, eat the old folks out of the way.” However, retribution follows: in their turn