Obrazy na stronie

Hints on Education.

1068 i. 9. and the figures of these were wrought good men, who have not to bless the wise in the tabernacle, Exod. 25. By the fiery and affectionate care of their parents, for sword we vnderstand most sharpe and that peace and pleasure, which virtue ever two-edged swords which the Angels in ensures to her votaries. If this be the case, the forme of men did shake, by the of what vast importance is it, that every aid which shaking and swift motion the swords which care can bestow, and every help that did seem to Adam to glister like firee, for experience or wisdom can suggest, should more terror, lest he should attempt re- be brought into requisition, to form the entrance there; the Angels also have ap- youthful mind, and render it capable of peared at other times with swords in their resisting those torrents of temptations, with hands, as we read, Numbers 22, of the which the individual is sure to be assailed, Angel that met Balaam; and of that so soon as he shall be called to start into Angel that Daniel did observe with a active life. sword in his hand, 1 Chron. 21. 16.

Laxity of rule is an evil so notorious, Quest. Why are these Angels called that every one not buried in total seclusion, Cherubins ? Ans. Because they did must have noticed and lamented it. It may appeare with wings in the Tabernacle and appear to many, provided they are careful the Temple, they were wrought with two to instil into the minds of their children wings ; they appeared to Esay, seraphims, moral principles and religious truths, that because they are inflamed with the love of this laxity, as it regards their immediate rule God! they appeare with wings, to signifie over them in minor concerns, cannot affect their swiftnesse and diligence in executing their moral or religious state. The fallacy God's commandments.

of such an opinion will be clearly illustrated by the following reasons.

No sooner does a child begin to evince HINTS ON EDUCATION.

active signs of thought and reflection, than

he instantly needs the guidance of his AMONG the numerous subjects, that have parents. His inclinations in childhood (as for their object the good of mankind, none they are in after life) would constantly be can be of greater importance than that of leading him into danger and misfortunes, education, since it equally affects them, whe- if they were not as constantly checked by ther viewed as a community, a family, or parental interference. The commands of as individuals. That these premises, on his parent appear all alike to him, since he which the following remarks will be founded, can no more perceive why he should not are correct, the history of all the nations of be permitted to play on the brink of danthe world will abundantly prove; for we ger, than he can understand the reason for invariably find, while sweeping our eye a prohibition merely relative to decorum over the historic page, that in an exact pro- or propriety. Now the great evil of the portion to the care which was exercised in present day is, that whilst parents enforce the education of their youth—the nation commands of a momentous kind, they easily whose history we may be reading, was give up to their children, out of mere indulprosperous or otherwise; and hence all

gence to their caprices, in affairs which they wise lawgivers have bent their chief atten- consider of little importance, but which are tion to this important subject.

of the utmost consequence when viewed in It is not intended, in the survey we at. connexion with the habit such a laxity of tempt to take of education in the present rule will form in the mind. day, to examine its various branches, but to A child brought up by parents who feel confine ourselves to its most important end, it their duty from his earliest infancy to i.e. the manner in which it can be brought | impress his mind with pure maxims of to bear on the moral and religious state of morality; and, so far as they are able, mankind, and in this view there is great imbue it with the holy feelings which our cause for censure and lamentation.

blessed religion is so calculated to inspire, No man who is accustomed to watch the yet who in ordinary affairs frequently perever-stirring and fertile working of his mind, imit their commands to be successfully opthe feelings that are most easily excited, posed, and so far overlook this opposition, as and the train of ideas for which it ap- to visit it with no proper mark of their dispears to possess the greatest aptitude and pleasure, insensibly acquires a habit of delight, but must be astonished in how making the dictates of his own will the many instances he can trace their source to guide of his actions. A child, on the conthe early impressions of youth, connected trary, where the parents, equally alive to the with the circumstances in which he was importance of moral and religious instructhey placed; and few are the instances of tion, in an affectionate yet decided manner


Spectral Illusion.



invariably maintain their authority, so as he should endure, by being for ever shut to make that child feel himself under an out from happiness and God. imperative obligation to do whatever they

F.G. L. command, although their commands will be sure in a great many instances to be opposed to his own feelings, will as readily acquire a habit of giving up his own in- (From the Phrenological Journal.) clinations, and making the will of others The following very distinct and interesting the guidance of his conduct.

narrative was read to the London PhrenoThus distinctly taught, when those chil- logical Society, and kindly communicated dren leave their homes, and merge from for insertion in the Phrenological Journal, their parents' jurisdiction, the allegiance by its learned author, a member of the they owed to them, and under which they English bar ;are supposed to have been acting, is trans- “In December, 1823, A. was confined ferred to their heavenly Father. Against his to his bed by inflammation on the chest, laws there are a thousand inclinations con- and was supposed by his medical attend stantly awakening in their minds; but as ants to be in considerable danger. One the one has formed a habit of following his night, while unable to sleep from pain and own desires, and the other of acting in fever, he saw sitting in a chair, on the left opposition to his own feelings at the wish side of his bed, a female figure, which he of his superiors; any person conversant immediately recognized to be that of a with the power of habit, will easily perceive young lady, who died about two years the great disadvantage of the former, when before. His first feeling was surprise, and compared with the condition of the latter ; perhaps a little alarm; his second, that he even should they both have an equal desire was suffering from delirium. With this to obey the dictates of their conscience, and impression he put his head under the bedthe voice of Almighty God. These ob- clothes, and after trying in vain to sleep, as servations may, and perhaps, to give them a test of the soundness of his mind, he their full force, should be more extended, went through a long and complicated probut enough has been said to suggest a train cess of metaphysical reasoning. He then of reflections to any mind that is likely to peeped out, and saw the figure in the same benefit from them.

situation and position. He had a fire, but In this age of refinement and improve- would not allow a candle or nurse in the ment, it is to be lamented, that a relation

A stick was kept by his side, to so important as that of a parent, should in knock for the nurse when he required her so many instances be entered on, and that attendance. Being too weak to move his by serious people too, with so little apparent body, he endeavoured to touch the figure concern, and with so little care as to their with his stick; but upon a real object being capacity for properly fulfilling it. It is put upon the chair, the imaginary one disdifficult to conceive how any individual, appeared, and was not visible again that with ordinary powers of mind, and the least night. degree of seriousness, can look upon a dear « The next day he thought of little but little child frisking his innocent gambols, in the vision, and expected its return without all the happiness of untasted wo, and not alarm, and with some pleasure. He was feel an intense anxiety as to his condition not disappointed. It took the same place in time to come; can view him launched as before, and he employed himself in on the stage of eternal existence, as a being observations. When he shut his eyes or that must sail down the stream of time, turned his head he ceased to see the figure ; and then be carried into that ocean of by interposing his hand, he could hide part ages, the termination of which is for ever of it; and it was shown like any mere matelost in the mist of obscurity and distance; rial substance, by the rays of the fire which and not feel the very awful responsibility fell upon and were reflected from it. As that devolved upon him, as his instructor the fire declined, it became less perceptible, and parent.

and, as it went out, invisible. A similar Surely if there be one picture of imagi- appearance took place on several other nation more fraught with horror than an- nights, but it became less perceptible, and other, it is that of a child recognizing his its visits less frequent as the patient recoparent in the gloomy caverns of despair, vered from his fever. and mingling with the bitter cup of his “He says the impressions on his mind torment all the imprecations and curses that were always pleasing, as the spectre looked we can fancy would come from a soul, on at him with calmness and regard. He beholding the author of all the misery never supposed it real, but was unable to


On the Preeminence of Poetry.

1072 account for it on any philosophical princi- the most easily administers gratification. ples within his knowledge.

It may have been from such motives as “In the autumn of 1825, A.'s health was these, that poetry has been compelled to perfectly restored, and he had been free yield the precedence to her younger sisters. from any waking vision for nearly eighteen Yet if a correct estimate were to be made months. Some circumstances occurred which of their varied merits, we might be enab produced in him great mental excitement. in some measure to perceive the superiority One morning he dreamed of the figure, of the muse. Let us endeavour then which stood by his side in an angry posture, briefly to consider the three arts respecand asked for a locket which he usually tively, in their origin, nature, and effects. wore. He awoke, and saw it at the toilet We may naturally suppose, that poetry with the locket in its hand. He rushed out was the first emanation of a devotional of bed, and it instantly disappeared. Dur- mind, in performing daily worship to the ing the next six weeks its visits were inces- great Author of being. For we cannot sant, and the sensations which they pro- help conceiving that it originally arose duced were invariably horrible. Some years from that exalted feeling implanted in our before, he had attended the dissection of a nature for the adoration of Him who is woman in a state of rapid decomposition. supreme. In the first ages of the world Though much disgusted at the time, the it must have been most deeply enkindled subject had been long forgotten ; but it was within the bosom of man; for by frerecalled by the union of its purtrescent quent intercourse with beings of another body with the spectre's features. The visits sphere, the soul would necessarily receive were not confined to the night, but fre- an inspiration bordering on enthusiasm. quently occurred while several persons were To some whose feelings were more acute, in the same room. They were repeated at and marked with peculiar sensibility, this intervals during the winter; but he was able heavenly language and vividness of imato get rid of them by moving or sitting in gination would impart that sublimity of an erect position. Though well, his pulse genius which constitutes a poet, bailes was hard, and generally from 90 to 100. Music, which is so nearly allied to

A. is a person of good education, and poetry, sprang into existence at a later literary habits

. I have not the slightest peried, and undoubtedly was first designed doubt of his veracity. He never supposed to accompany those lofty strains that were the appearances above-mentioned other than dedicated to the praise of God. While illusions. He has always had a propensity poetry, was bursting forth with untarnished towards the supernatural, without any belief splendour, as the unshackled efforts of in it; and he ascribes these effects of the man in his rudest state, the progress of imagination to the perusal of tales of won- music was slow in arriving at a station der and other ghostly stories when a boy. where it could possess the same power of He will not allow me to lay before the soci. fascination that it does at present. ety an account of his head, as connected marked by a long and painful, infaney, with this statement, as he would not like to and waited to receive the hand of imbe called a dealer in the marvellous. I provement from more civilized times: may however say, that ideality is large, and whereas poetry ever remained the reflective faculties very good." polished indeed, and rendered more lovely

by the refinement of man. ugunean
€ If we contemplate the origin of painting,

and trace it through every gradation to its
presents elevation, we shall observezet


time was not only slow in bringing it into “O Poesy! thou dear delightful art : mot i existence, but that ages elapsed before

it of sciences - by far the most sublime ;a: to arrived at any degree of perfection To Who, acting rightly thy immortal part, no these observations, we may add the well

Art Virtue's bandmaid, censor stern of crime, Nature's high priest, and chronicler of time; known fact, that all historical and religious 16! The nurse of feeling the interpreter 19 truths were at first handed down, to pos

of prime In age, or infancy, alike canst stir

terity, solely by the means of songs

which The heart's mo secret thoughts."2914125 were transmitted from bard to bard. ut 02

Having seen the pre-eminence of poetry in its origin, namely, that

it not only It often happens that, in the opinions held claims the precedence in the scale of by mankind, prejudice supplants the place existence, but that it arose from feelings of reason, and that the meed of superiority almost divine let us examine the nature of is assigned not to merit, but to that which each of the three sisters. It ten


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On the Preeminence of Poetry.

1074 We may perhaps define the nature of senses than of the mind. Education may poetry to be, the union of intellect and indeed impart a keener susceptibility of feeling; and as such, the medium through her charms, yet the most illiterate, having which man displays not only the concep- the feelings of nature implanted within tions of a lofty mind, but the finest- them, will find themselves roused by the wrought sensibility of which he is suscep- reality of her enchantment. Her effect tible. It has been in all ages a grand upon the passions is gigantic, for she can stimulus to devotional feeling, and a hal- give a correct representation of those oblowed casket for the reception of the most jects which inflame the feelings of human important knowledge :-thinking thus, we nature. may adopt the words of Denham, and There are likewise many more who are day:

capable of perceiving the beauty of paintTH' Eternal Cause in their immortal lines

ing and music, than there are, who can Was taught, and poets were the first divines,"

feel the charms of poetry. This proves That the muse is more refined in her what was before asserted, that while it nature than her sisters, we must allow, requires no exertion of intellect to be dewhen we consider the different manner in lighted with music or painting, education which they act upon man. Poetry, that and vigorous mental powers are in some is, the effusions of the present time, does measure necessary for the enjoyment of not always so powerfully excite the pas

the muse. Still more does the superiority sions as either music or painting. The of poetry appear, when we reflect that passions are those sensations which have the last mentioned is the combination of no necessary connexion with the mind. the two former-it unites the harmony of They are indeed feelings, many of which the one with the imagination of the other. belong more strictly to the animal than to Could aught but a poet's mind have conthe intellectual world. For we shall find ceived such subjeets as have been so that fear, anger, sorrow, joy, &c. are beautifully executed by a West, or called forth in almost as great a degree in Martin ! Could aught but the finethe brute creation as in man. It is only wrought genius of a poet have elicited the as the intellectual energies, or the strength fairy sounds of a Handel, a Mozart, or a of the passions, preponderate, that he is Weber ? Surely not; there seems then in shewn to be a reasonable creature. If these respects an obvious connexion : not then the passions are not only of a differ- that either an artist or a musical composer, ent nature, but even often opposed to the could produce at pleasure the polished powers of the mind, we shall see that strains of the muse; yet it frequently poetry, which must pass through the happens, that the greatest poets have medium of the mind to the heart, cannot minds more susceptible of music and excite the passions to the degree that painting than the generality, of mankind. either music or painting can, because it But as the nature of most things is best is more intellectual. Music is, indeed, known by their effects, we will briefly rather formed for the delight of those who glance over a few of those that are attached love sensual gratifications, than for those to these respective nymphs. who possess strong reasoning powers, or a The effect of music upon the mind is vigorous mind. Not that it is necessarily like that of the transient breeze of Arabian an instrument of pleasure to the basest of perfumes, with which the zephyr ravishes - feelings, but that it is capable, and, in fact, the senses. It calls up the most exquisite is too often made so; for music can feelings; but when the chord of melody inspire the bosom at once with feelings ceases, the fascinating charm is dissolved, noble and exalted, and render the heart even like a lovely scene of enchantment effemipate with every vice of luxury. in romance, which vanishes at the touch

Painting, by its richness of colour, of the magician's wand, Poetry, on the accuracy of description, and all the ma- contrary, though its powers may not be gical illusions of light and shade, can give so great at the moment, has a more lasting a more correct representation of any object, effect on the mind. It possesses a tanthan either of her sisters. By bringing gibility that proves its existence, and leaves so forcibly to the mind, the realities which an impression on the memory, which years we both know and feel, she elicits an indefinable delight. Who, indeed, can Music has a charm upon the soul of gaze unmoved upon the productions of a man, equal to that of a talisman. It can Guido, a Raphael, a West, or a Reynolds ? elate with joyful strains the sons of mirth, Yet, like music, the enjoyment of it is and it can soothe with delicious chords derived rather through the medium of the the child of sorrow. It can enkindle

132.-VOL. XI.

may retain.

3 z


On the Preeminence of Poetry.



within the bosom a resistless energy, and observed that it will inspire devotion more prompt to bold and warlike deeds; it can deeply than poetry. Yet this is rather an melt the rougher feelings, and soften nature animal excitation than the effusions of the with the song of love. In either of these, heart; for though it may enkindle rapit possesses a mighty influence; but this turous sensations, and soothe the mind into influence extends no farther. Though it a serious reverie, it can never instil, or call may inspire joy or melancholy, heroism or forth, those sentiments of the soul toward love, beyond that it possesses no control. its Creator, which constitute devotion. Even here the elation is such an evanes- But poetry can do this, and more than cence of feeling, that it is extinguished this. "It can fill the mind with the attrialmost as soon as excited. Whereas butes of the great Father of all; it can poetry, while it will at the same time as overpower us with thrilling truths, and powerfully infuse all these, leaves a lasting melt the most stubborn to conviction. impression on the mind.

Who has not felt the force of such pasWhat induced Edward to put the Cam- sages as these, beyond all that the most brian bards to death? Was it not because solemn music can effect ? “Lord, thou of the effect of their songs on the minds hast been our dwelling-place in all geneof their followers? But shall we say that rations. Before the mountains this effect depended more on the strains brought forth, or ever thou hadst formed that accompanied them, than upon the the earth and the world, even from eversongs themselves? We might as sensibly lasting to everlasting thou art God.” argue that a play owes more of its interest “O Lord, thou hast searched me and to the scenery, dress, &c., than to the known me. Thou knowest my downpoetry or action of the drama. Certainly sitting and mine uprising, thou underthe rich chords and masterly touches of standest my thoughts afar off.” “Like as a the instruments ensured the songs of the father pitieth his children, so the Lord bards a welcome reception; yet could pitieth them that fear him. For he music have recited a recollection of their knoweth our frame; he remembereth that country's wrongs, the tears of their kin- we are dust.” &c. &c. Yet these are only dred, a consciousness of the oppressor's the most exalted strains of an inspired tyranny, and of their own infamy ? Could poet. music bave roused and kept in a continual Before we conclude, it may not be imflame the cherished fire of patriotism in pertinent to the subject, to make a remark their hearts ? Surely not; this was the relative to poetry. task of poetry

In these days nothing is more common Painting embodies, perhaps, more of than to ridicule those who have been so reality than her sister arts; for by beauty unfortunate as to attempt the Parnassian of colouring, correctness of form, and heights. Every one is allowed, indeed it accuracy of expression, an object may be is esteemed as an indispensable accommore forcibly represented, than when it plishment, to make some attainments in entirely depends upon words for descrip- music or painting, but to cultivate an tion. Yet here its powers are limited; it inclination to poetry is accounted the cannot so well portray the feelings and extreme of folly. We should certainly passions as poetry. The inmost thoughts restrain the cacoethes scribendi as far as it of the mind, the strugglings of the heart, interferes with more important duties, but would be accurately portrayed by the when it is merely cultivated as an amusemuse, in addition to the countenance ment, it certainly merits something better being depicted as excited by such feelings. than contempt. As Mackenzie in his When to this we add the power of the Man of Feeling,' observes, “There is a imagination, in forcibly filling up these certain poetic ground, on which a man sketches, we can be no strangers to the cannot tread without feelings that enlarge superiority of poetry above painting. the heart : the causes of human depravity Imagination has such a gigantic effect on vanish before the romantic enthusiasm the mind, that when its vivid figures are he professes, and many who are not able called

the cold reality sinks into to reach the Parnassian heights, may yet nothing; and the bold graphic .sketches, approach so near as to be bettered by the with the indistinct shadowing of objects, air of the climate." Yet this cannot be described by the muse, leave an im- affirmed either of music or painting; and pression more indelible than those of the as neither of them, particularly the former,


has any necessary connexion with the Another remark with respect to music, mind or the heart, they can only be ought not to be omitted." It has been esteemed as inferior pursuits.


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