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man-of-war. Why, with a cane the man could have hewn a beadle to the chine, and with a birch have minced us mannikins to collops. I wonder if he had an ancestor at Bannockburn : such an one, I could imagine, with a great two-handed sword, would have chopped off English heads like turnips. I have an indistinct idea of there having been something very soft and tender in the domestic relations of that biggest and best of ushers.
But, farewell! good, kindly Usher ! and farewell! good gentlemen of the Under Form !-ye deserved a better fate than the fate of Sisyphus Æolides."
Or take, again, the following not unkindly and not unreasonable complaint
“And now, Reader, I would willingly draw you on with me through an initiatory course of Greek; and show you how interesting and amusing may be made the study of its regular declensions and conjugations; how the bare branches of its rudiments may be clothed with green leaves; how with the besom of common sense we should sweep aorists and polysyllables underneath the schoolroom grate. Or, leaving grammar on the ground-floor, I would fain carry you along with me up our Greek staircase to Plato and Æschylus and Aristophanes in the drawing-room, or to exercises in prose and iambics in the garret. But, Reader, how can I hope to retain you so long, when I fail to retain my own pupils ? If I begin my march at Penna with half a hundred little privates, before the march is ended my company has been eight times decimated, and a sorry decade is left for the closing of the campaign. Some have fallen by the way, and been buried in lawyers' offices, or counting-houses, or beneath bankcounters. Some have deserted, and gone to serve commanders, who gave them a finer uniform and less toilsome work.
“I met the other day a former pupil, whose school-fellows are still under me: he stopped to shake me by the hand, and I was delighted to see him, for, though his talents were below mediocrity, he was a well-conditioned, manly little fellow. If he were still in his old schoolclass, he would probably be a successful candidate for the last place
I asked him what he was now engaged in, and he told me, somewhat nervously, that he was attending the class of Logic and Metaphysics. And this reply of his set me thinking, Reader, of that wondrous chain of gold that binds to one another all things in nature, animate and inanimate; how the green grass grows upon the idle hills to feed the silly sheep; how the silly sheep browse thereupon to fatten you and me; and how the great round world, with its green hills, and its silly sheep, and all its boys and schoolmasters, is bound by the chain of gold fast to the throne of Zeus. So, looking into that frank and pleasant face, I thought : Well, my boy, thou art not living altogether in vain. When thou quittest this thy bleating-ground, thou wilt leave some tags of wool behind thee. And the fleece of thy modest fees will cover with an over-coat the learned form of a most excellent professor.'
We must quote one passage of a “higher mood," to show that
Specimens of the Style of the Book.
our author is a master of pathos as well as of humour, and that “ the schoolmaster” has a warm human heart as well as a fervid enthusiasm :
Meanwhile, at the end of the last bench upon my class sat a boy who was very backward in his learning. He was continually absent upon what seemed to me frivolous pretences. These absences entailed upon me much additional trouble. I had occasionally to keep him and a little remnant in the room when the others had gone out to play; to make up to him and them for lost time. And on one occasion my look was very cross, and my speech very short; for it seemed to me provoking that children should be so backward in their Latin. And when the work was over, and we two were left alone, he followed me to my desk; and said : “ You have no idea, sir, how weak I am.' And I said: 'Why, my boy, you look stout enough.' But he answered : 'I am really very weak, sir ; far weaker than I look !' and there was a pleading earnestness in his words that touched me to the heart; and, afterwards, there was an unseen chord of sympathy that bound the master to the pupil, who was still very dull at Latin.
“ And still he would be absent; at times, for a day or two together. But it excited no surprise. For the boy seemed to sit almost a stranger among his fellows; and in play-hours seemed to take no interest in boyish games. And by and by he had been absent for some weeks together. But I was afraid to ask concerning him ; thinking he might have been removed, as many boys had been, without a letter of explanation, or his shaking me by the hand. And one morning I received a letter with a broad black edge, telling me that he had died the day previously of a virulent, contagious fever.
“So when school was over, I made my way to his whilome lodging; and stood at the door, pondering. For the fever, of which the child had died, had been to me a Death-in-life, and had passed like the Angel of old over my dwelling, but, unlike that Angel, had spared my first-born and only-born. And because the latter sat each evening on my knee, I was afraid of the fever, and intended only to leave my card, as a mark of respectful sympathy. But the good woman of the house said: 'Nay, nay, sir, but ye'll see the Laddie;' and I felt drawn by an influence of fatherhood more constraining than a father's fears, and followed the good woman into the small and dim chamber where my pupil was lying. And, as I passed the threshold, my masterhood slipt off me like a loose robe; and I stood, very humble and pupil-like, in that awful Presence, that teacheth a wisdom to babes and sucklings, to which our treasured lore is but a jingling of vain words. And, when left alone, I drew near the checrless and dismantled bed, on which my pupil lay asleep in his early coffin. And he looked very calm and happy, as though there had been to him no pain in passing from a world where he had had few companions and very little pleasure. And I knew that his boyhood had been as dreary as it had been short; and I thought that the good woman of his lodging had perhaps been his only sympathizing friend at hand. And I communed with myself whether aught I had done could have made his dulness more dull. Aud I felt thankful for the chord of sympathy that had united us, unseen, for a little while. But, in a strange and painful way, I stood rebuked before the calm and solemn and unrebuking face of the child on whom I had frowned for his being backward in his Latin."
These specimens will justify the admiration we have expressed for the style and spirit in which this book is written. We differ considerably from many of Mr. Thompson's views and theories; but we hope we have not failed in appreciating the enthusiasm and love which he shows for everything connected with his calling, and the fine kindly temper in which he urges
his We are satisfied that the book will do good, as well as afford very pleasant reading. It will co-operate with other influences to call attention to the teaching and endowments of our schools in Scotland. And this is the point on which all persons who are interested in what is called “the higher teaching" should, for some time, concentrate their efforts, if they want to carry out successfully the University reforms, which have lately been inaugurated. It will also give a stimulus to improvement in classical instruction. The old complaints against the study of “the dead languages” are now no longer heard. But they have done good in modifying the spirit in which classical education, in its higher branches, is carried on. If, for instance, any one will look at the Oxford Examination Papers for the last ten years or so, he will see that they are intended to test the thought and general culture called out by the study of the classics,—which thought and culture may be made equally available in dealing with the philosophical, religious, political, and literary questions and interests of the day, rather than to encourage a special aptitude for mere linguistic attainments. The appreciation of the value of classical study is as high as it ever was, and it is, at the same time, more general and more intelligent, than it used to be. But schools and universities are now beginning to see, what educated men of the world have long seen, that (to use Mr. Thompson's words) Latin and Greek must“ take their part with other studies in rendering" a student“ an accomplished man," instead of being “ used in excess for the purpose of stuffing him into a useless University Prize Pig." In accordance with this conviction, a change is coming over our methods of teaching both at school and college ; and though we do not expect or desire to see so radical and perhaps visionary a reform as that advocated in these pages carried out in our higher schools, yet we should have no fear of the future education of our country, if there were many men taking part in it who had the same love for their work and the same liberal turn of mind which we recognise in the author of "bis volume.
ART. VI.-1. Christian Missions, their Agents, and their Re
sults. By T. W. M. MARSHALL. Second Edition, 2 vols.
London, 1863. 2. A Brief Review of Ten Years' Missionary Labour in India.
By Jos. MULLENS, D.D. London, 1864. 3. The Missionary Life and Labours of Francis Xavier, taken
from his own Correspondence, etc. By the Rev. HENRY VENN, B.D., Honorary Secretary of the Church Missionary
Society. London, 1862. 4. History of the Propagation of Christianity among the Heathen
since the Reformation. By the Rev. Wm. BROWN, M.D.
Third Edition, 4 vols. Edinburgh, 1854. 5. Lectures on the Tinnevelly Missions, etc. By the Rev. R.
CALDWELL, LL.D. London, 1857. 6. History of the London Missionary Society. By WM. ELLIS.
Vol. i. London, 1844. 7. Annals of the Propagation of the Faith. Vol. xxii. London. 8. A History of Christian Missions during the Middle Ages.
By GEORGE FREDERICK MACLEAR, M.A. Cambridge and
London, 1863. 9. Memoir of Bishop Mackenzie. By HARVEY GOODWIN, D.D.,
Dean of Ely. Cambridge, 1864.
WERE the literature of missions as noble as the theme, it would be a pleasing task to extend farther the list of books at the head of this article. We have given only a selection of those we have been compelled to read; but even these, we fear, will prove too many. For this kind of literature is not generally "easy reading," and it is still more difficult to digest. When Xavier wrote home to the Society in Europe, his official letters were not a little different from his private correspondence.
They were not so much meant to tell the exact truth, as to “edify believers.” The great Jesuit could, when he chose, both see clearly, and tell plainly what he saw; but he could also pen epistles that gave as little real insight as some of Cromwell's speeches. Nor has Xavier been the only offender in this way. How many letters are to be found, in the missionary records of all the churches, of this highly edifying kind, prepared for that purpose by the writers, and still further cooked perhaps by secretaries and committees at home; and when the reader has carefully, even painfully, got to the end of them, and asks what is the sum of the whole matter? has he not often felt that there was no fruit of all his labour, except that a kind of vague and generally edifying mist somehow dimmed his vision ? One wants to see what is actually doing; but that is scarcely the object of missionary reports-or if it be, the good men manage somehow to “darken counsel" by the multitude of good words. Let any reader take up the mission record of any church, and when he has gone through it, let him tabulate the result, and estimate the precise amount of light he has thus acquired. If his photometer does not register zero, he may count himself fortunate in his magazine. Yet we do not blame the missionaries, nor even the home committees, secretaries, and editors altogether. The root of the evil lies in the traditionary idea that edification, rather than information, should be the aim of these reports.
Nor will the inquirer find his path much clearer, when he turns to the more formal histories of missions. Perhaps no books bearing the name of history require more careful sifting to get at the simple truth, hid under euphemisms, under sectarianisms, under particular theories, and under the special interests of “the Church,” the “Connexion," or the "Society." Take the large book of Father Marshall, which he evidently reckons to be also a great book, comparable to Bossuet's Variations, though his modesty but suggests the comparison in order to decline it-only nobody else would ever have thought of it at all. This Jesuit Father has laboured, with paste and scissors chiefly, but also not without a certain faculty of plausibility, to produce what, he hopes, will be accepted universally by his own church, and also by isl-informed persons out of it, as the veritable story of Christian missions among all nations of the earth. For this end, with a profuse and superlative candour, he summons Protestant witnesses only whenever it is at all possible to get them. Out of their own mouth they shall be judged; and even by their verdict shall the Romish Church be vindicated. But the observant reader will no doubt be a little startled to find Miss Harriet Martineau quoted as a Protestant witness, and the New York Herald as an influential organ of Protestantism” in America. In fact everybody is a Protestant who does not happen to be a Roman Catholic, or a Hindoo, or a Mohammedan ; which is a convenient classification. Then too, if a bilious missionary happens to write a dyspeptic sentence of despondency, as missionaries will do now and then, it is carefully quoted as the final issue of all his labours and prayers. If a bit of discreditable gossip exists in mission literature, Father Marshall scents out the carrion, and serves it up as the natural result of Protestantism, not without effort to make it as offensive as possible, smiling, of course, with sublime candour all the time. Moreover, the art is sadly overdone in this controversial history. All missionaries of the Church of Rome are saints, martyrs, heroes; whatever they do is right, wise, and holy; but all