Page images

strength of its poison, but only proves the strength of the constitution that resists it; and that strength, instead of being wasted in resisting the poison, might be expended in making the life of its possessor longer and more useful.

2. It is very expensive. The average cost of supplying a tobacco user for life would be sufficient to purchase a good farm, or to build a beautiful and commodious house, or to buy a fine library of books. Which course of life best comports with the dignity of a rational being; to puff and spit this value away, or to change it into garden and cultivated fields; into a nice dwelling, or into the embalmed and glorified forms of genius? What a difference it would make to the United States and to the world, if the Four Hundred Thousand acres, now planted with tobacco within their limits, were planted to corn or wheat.

3. Tobacco users bequeath weakened brains, irritable nerves and other forms of physical degeneracy to their children. The factitious pleasures of the parent inflict real pains upon his offspring. The indulgences of the one must be atoned for by the sufferings of the other; the innocent expiating the offences of the guilty. Nor, in regard to these personal and hereditary injuries to the mind, would the Committee stand merely upon the principle laid down by the Physician, who, when asked if tobacco injured the brain, replied promptly in the negative; for, said he, people who have brains never touch it,

4. Tobacco users are always filthy, and we read of an infinitely desirable kingdom into which no unclean thing can ever enter.

5. Tobacco users are always unjust towards others. They pollute the atmosphere which other men desire to breathe and have a right to breathe in its purity. A smoker or chewer may have a right to a limited circle of the atmosphere around his own person, but he has no right to stench the air for a rod around him and half a mile behind him. He has no right to attempt a geographical reproduction of river and lake by the artificial pools and streams he makes in steamboat and car.

6. A tobacco user is the common enemy of decency and good taste. His mouth and teeth which should be the cleanest, he makes the foulest part of him. When one sees a plug of nasty, coarse, liver-colored tobacco, he pities the mouth it is destined to enter; but when one sees the mouth he pities the tobacco.

7. The old monks used to prove the pollutions of tobacco from Scripture; for, said they, it is that which cometh out of the mouth that defileth a man.

8. It has been argued that the adaptation of means to ends which character. izes all the works of creation, intimates that snuff should never be taken; for had such been the design of nature, the nose would have been turned the other

end up.

9. It may be fairly claimed that if nature had ever designed that man should chew or smoke or snuff, she would have provided some place where the disgusting process could be performed systematically, and with appropriate accompaniments; but no such place or accompaniments have ever yet been discovered. Tobacco is unfit for the parlor; for that is the resort of ladies, and should therefore be free from inspissated saliva and putrified odors. It is not befitting the dining-room, where its effluvia may be absorbed or its excretions be mingled with viand and beverage. Still less does it befit the kitchen, where those culinary processes are performed which give savor and flavor to all the preparations that grace the generous board. It should not be carried into the stable, for that is the residence of neat cattle. And the occupants of the sty itself would indignantly quit their premises, should one more lost to decency than themselves, come to befume or bespatter or besnuff them. There is no spot or place among

animals or men which the common uses of tobacco would not sink to a lower defædation.

10. Swiftly tending to destruction as is the use of intoxicating beverages ; valgar, ungentlemanly and sinful as are all the varieties of profanity; unjust and unclean as are the effusions and exhalations of tobacco, yet their separate and distinctive cvils are aggravated ten fold when combined and coöperating. How abliorrent to the senses and the heart of a pure and upright man, is the wretch who abandons himself to them all. Physiology teaches us that as soon as alcohol is taken into the stomach, nature plies all her enginery to expel the invader of her peace. She does not wait to digest it and pass it away, as is done with the other contents of the stomach; but she opens all her doors and summons all her forces to banish it from the realm. She expels it through the lungs, through the mouth and nose, through the eyes even, and through the seven million pores of the skin. So let tobacco be taken into the mouth or drawn up, water-spout fashion, into the nose, and firemen never worked more vehemently at a fire, nor soldiers fought more desperately in a battle, than every muscle and membrane, every gland and emunctory, now struggles to wash away the impurity. Every organ, maxillary, lingual, labial, nasal, even the lachrymal, pour out their detergent fluids to sweep the nuisance away. Not a fibre or cellule, not a pore or sluiceway, but battles as for life to extrude the foul and fetid intruder. Hence expectoration, salivation, the anile tears of the drunkard and the idiot drool of the tobacco user,-all attest the desperation of the efforts which nature is making to defecate herself of the impurity. When people first begin to drink or chew or smoke, outraged nature, as we all know, often goes into spasms and convulsions through the vehemence of her conflict for escape. Finally, she succumbs, and all that constitutes the life of a man dies before death.

The Apostle enjoins his disciples to keep their bodies pure as a Temple of the Holy Ghost. But in such a body, what spot is there, what space so large as a mathematical point, which the Holy Ghost, descending from the purity and sanctity of heaven, could abide in for a moment! Surely, when a man reaches the natural consummation to which these habits legitimately tend, when his whole commerce with the world consists in his pouring alcohol in and pouring the impieties of profanity and the vilenesses of tobacco out,-gurgitation and regurgitation, the systole and diastole of his being,-he presents a spectacle not to be paralleled in the Brute's kingdom or in the Devil's kingdom ; on the earth or elsewhere."

Your committce submit the following Resolutions :

Resolved, That school examiners ought never, under any circumstances, to give a certificate of qualification to teach school to any person who habitually uses any kind of intoxicating liquors; and that school officers, when other things are equal, should systematically give the preference to the total abstinent candidate.

Resolved, That all school teachers should use their utmost influence to suppress the kindred ungentlemanly and foul-mouthed vices of uttering profano language and using tobacco.

On behalf of the Committee,




This is one of the principal features of the popular system of instruction at the present day. That it is an improvement upon the course pursued by oar ancestors, sew can doubt. The advantages of the system are too obvious to admit of any cavil or need any defense; but there are some evils attendant upon carrying it too far, which we may notice. In the first place, our schools are flooded with primary works on all sciences, including not only Arithmetic and Grammar, but Algebra, Geometry, Mental Philosophy and other abstract and difficult studies.

These books are intended for even very small children, and either urged by ambitious parents or injudicious teachers, they are set to studying these higher branches as soon as they can read with any degree of fluency, and even before. The consequence is, that they spend a great deal in acquiring a comparatively small amount of knowledge. For the primary work is at best but an abridgment of the work in its proper form, and in taking up the latter the pupil goes over all the ground that he did in the former, and, in addition, that which was left out. He also loses much of the pleasure and interest he might have had in the study if the ideas had been presented to him fresh, in their proper connection, at an age when he was capable of understanding them. There itre studies adapted to the infantile mind enough to keep it busy until the physical as well as mental powers are sufficiently developed to enable the young learner to take hold of more abstruse studies with pleasure as well as profit. If the mind of the young child is loaded with technical terms and indefinite ideas belonging to bard study and a more mature age, and his time taken up attending to them, it is unavoid. bly attended with deficiency in those simpler acquirements which are the found. ation of all good education. For instance, many pupils are pushed into higher Arithmetic and Algebra who cannot give an intelligent account of the method of notation and numeration, or even repeat the multiplication table. Or, they are led to study Astronomy and Natural Philosophy, without a sufficient knowledge of Orthography and Etymology to enable them to understand the language in which such works must be written if they contain any proper ideas upon the subjects they profess to teach-no matter how much they are simplified.

Not so were our first parents taught by the first and wisest of teachers. There was no attempt made to adapt to their newly awakened understanding the sci entific mechanism of the glorious natural system of which their world formed a part-to lead them back to the chemical or philosophical causes of all that they saw around them or to make them understand the geological structure of the earth on which they stood. Content to know that their Creator was the great First Cause, they learned or were permitted to give names to the objects around them, learned their uses, and thus went on step by step in the knowledge, not only of this lower world, but of the plan of salvation ; which, though designed from eternity by the Master Builder of the universe, was only unfolded to man as his strengthening capacities would adnit, without being weakened, diluted or simplified. First the blade, then the ear, then the full corn in the ear, is the law of nature. In the second place, if the child is properly trained in the first years of his school life, he needs, in order to the further development of his mental powers, to be made to work. It is evident that if he is led along with

every step made plain and smooth before him, rules all explained and half the solution of every difficult problem given, he may, indeed, find a graded path up the hill of science-a smooth and easy way—but when he arrives at the top he will not only find himself deficient in the strength of mind-the capability for originality of thought and self exertion, which the more rugged way would have given him; but he will have lost much of the magnificence and beauty of science-those rare flowers of knowledge, which are only given to those who are willing to climb.

Let mental discipline more than the mere attainment of science become the object of our writers, if they wish to make their pupils such men as Fulton, Morse and Webster, and they will only simplify enough to remove unnecessary evils from the path and stimulate the pupil to greater exertion. There is no pleasure like that of original, earnest thought, and he who deprives his pupil of this by carrying him, as it were, through his studies, stints his powers and does him wrong. Again, these persevering road makers, in many instances, turn aside from difficulties that cannot be simplified, and make a winding path around them, and sometimes completely off the track. In other words, in their endeavor to simplify the matter, and at the same time preserve correct and philosophical language and ideas, they so mystify the pupil as to leave him neither room nor strength for thought or understanding. Indeed, I doubt whether it is possible to extend this graded and paved way over the whole ground to the portals of the temple of Truth, and those who attempt it may wind around the hill and never reach the top. This system of education is calculated to send forth men of undisciplined mental powers into all the departments of life : and in none is the evil more serious than in the very large class employed as teachers. Persons seek and obtain employment in our schools who are guided in their instructions implicitly by the text books they use. Such, of course, prefer the works that will give them the least trouble to explain, and if referred to for assistance they can easily read out of the book ; but if a question is asked a little out of the beaten track they are lost. They find the work of instruction a heavy and diff. cult task; and the work of studying to lead their pupils into new fields of thought is one for which they are unfitted by education and habit. Conse. quently, although many of them talk loudly about progress, they show but little inclination, even when they are placed in select academies, to progress with their pupils through a regular and efficient course of study. They had much rather change their pupils every term, and go over the same ground; trusting to the accommodating authors of their text-books for those instructions which they are unable to give and too indolent to acquire for themselves.

SODU8, N. Y., Jan., 1857.

[ocr errors]


GRADED Schools have just been established at Fort Wayne. Geo. A. Irvin, an experienced Teacher, has been appointed Superintendent. Miss Lakin, recently of the High School at Richmond, and Miss Lora Mills, of Mooresville, Morgan county, are among the Teachers employed there. A fine union schoolhouse has been constructed with accommodations for three or four hundred pupils. The school commences under favorable auspices, and there is every prospect of its permanence and success.

Mr. S. Boyce, a gentleman who studied at the Universities of Berlin, Prague, and Vienna, will be connected with the School at Greenmount after the first of April next.

M. C. Stevens, of Greenmount, has accepted a situation in the Friends' School, Richmond, Ind. Salary $900.-Indiana School Journal.


Ꭰ .


[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

The following abstract of the various statutes of the General Assembly of Obio, in aid of the school fund, and to which the attention of county officers, magistrates, etc., is specially invited, is taken from the Cincinnati Common School report for 1856. Moneys received into the County Treasury from Licenses, Fines and other sources, for the use and benefit of the Common Schools of the City and County, and to be distributed by the County Auditor, in accordance with the Acts of the Legislature, as found in Swan's Statutes, 1854. Swan's Statutes, (page 37.) “An Act to create a permanent Agricultural Fund.”

(page 879.) An Act to regulate Public Shows."
(page 880.) "An Act to amend an Act to regulate Public Shows."

By these acts no person is allowed to exhibit any natural or
artificial curiosity, horsemanship in a circus, or any public
show, without first obtaining from the County Auditor a
permit, for which not less than $20 shall be charged, one-
half to the School Fund of the County, and one-half to the

Agricultural Fund. (page 107.) "An Act to restrain Banks from taking Usury.

Any banking institution charging or receiving illegal interest, is liable in an action for debt, for the whole amount of the

demand on wbich such interest is charged. (page 290.) “An Act for the more effectual protection of En

closures.” Any person wantonly throwing down any fence,

gate or bars, liable to a fine of $100. (page 296.) “An Act for the prevention of certain crimes therein

named.” Administering medicine to produce abortion, and taking life, giving medicine when intoxicated, also avowing it

to be a secret, so as to endanger life. (page 437.) An Act more effectually to prevent gambling."

Persons keeping or renting any rooms for gambling, liable to a penalty of from $50 to $100. Keeping gaming devices, or

gambling for a livelihood, fine $500. (page 469.) “An Act for the inspection of certain articles therein

enumerated.” Importing fish without inspection-charges

and legal fees-to burn offals, penalty from $5 to $50. (page 475.) “An Act to provide for the inspection of salt.”

Selling or shipping salt before inspection, penalty one dollar on each barrel or cask; to be recovered before a Justice of

the Peace. (page 477.) “An Act to define the duty of manufacturers of

salt.” Draining and packing, kind of barrels, and marks. (page 598.) “An Act to amend an Act, entitled an Act granting

« PreviousContinue »