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It has been justly objected, with regard to material and the most elaborate forms that the public idea of the means of literary culture mere pride and vanity can compass or devise. in our country, that we are too fond of building And this is not mere empty talk or æsthetic our colleges of brick and stone, instead of lay- dreaming. The higher and more perfect the ing their more solid foundations in professors cultivation of mind and taste which the Ameriand students. We certainly do practically give can traveller carries with him into the western our assent to the vulgar notion that showy country, the more of true and touching beauty buildings are of the first importance in our will he see in the log schoolhouse that greets seminaries of learning, able teachers only of him, in some little unexpected clearing, as he the second. Funds that would bring talent takes his solitary way through the forest. He from another hemisphere, or call it into action has passed, it may be, many a noble farm, within our own borders, are often buried in with its fenced fields and ample barns, its monstrous fabrics, which wait useless for years woodlands resounding with the axe, and its until new means can be raised for filling them chambers vocal with the spinning-wheel; he with the teachers and pupils who are their ulti- has seen the owner amid his labourers, sharing mate object; and state pride is strangely grati- or directing their profitable toil; he has sat at fied by gazing at these memorials of one of the hospitable boards, spread with the luxury of many blunders of our materialism.

rural comfort thus provided, and inspected But there is a class of educational edifices to mills and factories, promising as Californian which no such objection can be made. The log rivers; but all this had reference only to the schoolhouse in the deep woods, is a far nobler material and the perishable. This was only proof of intellectual aspiration than any huge the body whereof that uncouth log schoolhouse empty college building of them all. Its gro- typifies the soul. The soul can do without the tesque outline has, for the eye of the thoughtful body, but the body becomes a loathsome mass patriot, a grace that mere columns and arches without the soul. Indeed all this smiling plenty, can never give—the grace of earnestness, of a this warm industry, this breat! quiet, is the purpose truly lofty in its seeming humility. A fruit of the log schoolhouse, for did not public log schoolhouse is the veritable temple of learn- spirit, general intelligence and piety emanate ing and religion, without the remotest idea of from that humble source ? paltry ornament; devoted, in naked simplicity,

We will not say that as soon as the settler to an idea which is its consecration and its has a roof over his head he thinks of a schoolbeauty. Do the people need place to pray, house in which public meetings may be held, and calls to hear His word ?" says Ruskin, in for in truth he ascertains the probability of that delightful latest book of his, * " then it is such a building, before he selects a site for his no time for smoothing pillars or carving pul- homestead. As soon as a tree is felled, a schoolpits ; let us first have enough of walls and house is thought of, and the whole neighbourroofs"—and no doubt a truer dignity attends hood are at once, and for once, of one accord the roughest erection that has a truly high in erecting it. It is a rough enough thing when purpose, than can be expressed in the richest it is done, for your backwoodsman looks only

to the main point in everything, and dreams * The Seven Lamps of Architecture.

not of superfluity. He means that the roof

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shall shed rain, and the piled sides keep the , derous trunks and green embracing arms in wind out, and the floor afford dry footing. He the midst of which it generally stands. But, acputs in windows for light, and benches to sit cepting literally the poet's idea—“the groves upon, and a pulpit or rostrum from which a were God's first temples," we cut down the speaker may be well heard. Then there is a grove to make our temple, yet inconsistently great stove for the long winter, and sometimes, clear” the space about it, partly for the sake —not always, unfortunately,—some shelter for of the necessary fuel, partly to make the place waiting steeds. But a thought of symmetry, look civilized! It is hard to get a few trees of smoothing, of decoration-never intrudes. left for the children to sit under in the summer Architecture, which begins after every purpose noon-spell. There is a savage rudeness in this, of mere use in a building is provided for, but it is in accordance with the leading idea of out of the question here. Whoever would ad-“subduing" the country, and there is no surer mire the log schoolhouse, must bring the beauty way of putting a western settler in a passion, in his own mind.

than talking to him about sparing a few trees, Yet it is hardly fair to say so, either. Letting for any purpose. He will plant them, perthe inside go, with its cave-like roughness, the haps, but he will never consent to leave them outer aspect is not altogether devoid of the standing where nature placed them. When he beauty which the artist loves. As to colour, sits in the schoolhouse on Sunday, listening to nothing can be finer, after a year's mellowing. the sermon with his ears, while his mind, perWhen the tender spring green clothes the trees haps, strays off into that unseen which the around it, its rich brown and gray earthy tints week's cares and toils are apt to banish, or make the most delicious harmony, and its un- finds itself still entangled in those cares and dulating outlines no discord. If log houses toils, he loves to look through the windows, or have not yet come well into pictures, it is be- the chinks, at the distant woods. Distant, they cause no artistic imagination has yet been please and soothe him; he feels, if he does not warmed by them. We remember one, in a pic-hear, their soft music; he sees their gentle ture of Cole's, but it was the poorest, nakedest waving, and appreciates in some degree the thing that could be, more literal than reality power of their beauty; but near, the associaitself. It was as different from the true-i. e. tion is unpleasant. His hands yet ache with the ideal log house—as a builder's draught of the week's chopping, which must be forgotten the Parthenon from a Raffaelesque picture of that Sunday may be Sunday; and the vicinity it. Such cold correctness is death to typical of huge trunks is suggestive only of labour. A beauty, for it does not recognise a soul in the wide bare space about the building has, to his inanimate. The painter had only seen log imagination, the dignity of a field of triumph. houses, he had never felt them, as he had the It seems to afford sanction to the Sabbath repose. woods and waters that he painted so well. A Within, neither paint nor plaster interferes Daguerreotype representation of a log house with the impression of absolute rusticity. would be, to all intents and purposes, a libel, Desks of the rudest form line the sides, makfor every tint of earth and sky has peculiar ing a hollow oblong, in the middle of which business in a true picture of this exquisitely stands the stove, surrounded by low, long characteristic and interesting object in western benches for the little ones. On week-days scenery. Ruskin talks of Paul Veronese's these are filled with pinafored urchins, who painting, not, like Landseer, a dog “wrought sit most of the time gazing at the pieces of sky out with exquisite dexterity of handling, and they can discern through the high windows, or minute attention to all the accidents of curl playing with bits of stick or straw, too insigniand gloss, which can give appearance of reality, ficant to attract the keen, stern eye of the while the hue and power of the sunshine, &c., master, who would at once pounce upon a are utterly neglected”—but “the essence of button or a marble. One by one these minims dog;” now we want a painter who can give us are called up to be alphabetized, or spell “c-a-h, the essence of log house, and particularly of pussy,” in the picture-book. Spelling and log schoolhouse, or we would as soon see a arithmetic are decidedly the favourite studies in wood-pile painted. That the Swiss chalet should most district schools; writing is troublesome, have proved more inspiring to American paint- and reading is expected to come by nature. A ers, shows the blinding power of prejudice, or half wild, half plaintive sound fills the air, the the illusion of strangeness; though, to be sure, sound of recitation, which is generally an irkwe have not Alps to tower above our primal some business on both sides, the teacher too edifices.

often conscious of utter incompetency and The enmity felt by the backwoodsman against hating the task, the pupil feeling the incompetrees too often exhibits itself in the vicinity of tency of the teacher, at least enough to be certhe schoolhouse, which ought to be shaded in tain that he himself is in hopeless circumsummer, and shielded in winter, by the pon- Istances as far as “ book-larnin'” is concerned.

Girls and boys usually wear an equally sad rather prejudiced against books, like other uncountenance, for there is too wide a chasm be- educated people. We lately heard an intellitween the home occupations and those of the gent Russian say, that children are sent to the school-room, to allow any familiarity with the public schools in Russia because the Emperor themes of the latter. With the greater part of wishes it; the parents saying that they consider the scholars it is such up-hill work, that both what is learned, beyond counting and signing they and their parents deserve much credit for one's name, rather a disadvantage than a good. persisting in efforts, the result of which is dis- The rough, hard-working American forms the tant, at least, if not uncertain. A few happy, same estimate; and this is the less to be wonbright spirits flash out in spite of the dull in- dered at, when we see highly instructed people, fluences, and they are apt to absorb the atten- who may be supposed to have full knowledge tion of the teacher, leaving still less hope for of the benefits of cultivation, adopting these the unready.

unenlightened sentiments. It will hardly be The disciplinary part has reference only to believed that men, not only of education but behaviour, delinquency in lessons being a fault of learning, once transplanted to the wood which the teacher is usually too honest or and forced into the hard struggle for the orditoo sympathetic to visit with much severity. nary comforts of life which occupies both head High offences are biting apples, rattling nuts

and hands there, are found to let their children or marbles, singing, whistling, making faces, grow up without even the cultivation within pinching and scratching. Cutting the desks their reach; so that among the most boorish of and benches is nominally an offence, but not

western youth, we see the sons and daughoften punished, because it can be done without ters of those who possess the power of impartnoise; once in a while, however, a confiscated ing the best instruction. This is more particuknife diversifies the row of nuts and apples on larly the case with transplanted Europeans, the teacher's desk. Modes of punishment are certainly, but it is not inapplicable to many of ingeniously varied. To be put on the boy's our own countrymen from the Eastern States. side is a terrible one for the little girls; to hold

In the Sabbath exercises the parents take up a slate, formidable to either sex. Standing their own personal share of the log schoolupon the bench, or, in summer, on the stove, is house, and it is a beautiful sight to see them equal to the pillory, especially when, as is assemble; hard, knotty, rough, bashful and sometimes practised, the whole school is en- solemn, all clean washed and dressed, though joined to point the finger at the delinquent. carrying the week's atmosphere of toil about Minor transgressions are occasionally atoned them, even in their Sunday clothes. The sexes for by wearing a piece of split quill on the top are divided, but sit facing each other, and the of the ear, or across the bridge of the nose, low benches, on week-days appropriated to saddle-wise; or carrying pinned to

back or

bread-and-milk scholars, are in meeting occushoulder, a piece of paper, on which a signifi- pied by mothers, with babies and younglings cant word is written. The rod is the last re- who enjoy the benefit of the open space for source, unless the teacher gets a dislike to manifold evolutions more amusing than edifysome unlucky boy, whose smallest fault ever ing. There is a curious mixture of extreme after looms large on his jaundiced eye. As it formality and familiarity on these occasions. is conscious weakness that instinctively has re- Countenances wear an unconscious and forbidcourse to force, it might naturally be expected ding gravity, as husbands and wives, parents that female teachers would be fondest of the and children, beaux and belles, look each other use of the rod, and experience proves the fact. full in the face across the house; but if a baby It serves as a substitute for the mental power is troublesome, the father will go and take it which commands respect. The master's brow from the mother, and returning gravely to his being by nature more terrible, he can afford to seat, toss it and play with it awhile and then reserve flagellation for great occasions. carry it back again. Children go into the pas

If the absolute knowledge acquired under sage for a drink; dogs sit gazing up at the these circumstances could be ascertained, its preacher, and fall asleep like Christians if the amount would probably be so small as to seem day is warm; the speaker stops sometimes to disproportioned even to these simple means. give directions about matters that need attenBut there are a thousand indirect advantages, tion, or even points his sermon directly at some both to children and parents, which make individual whose connexion with it is well themselves evident in due season, so that known. the difference between children who go to We remember an occasion when the preacher school and those who do not, is as patent as if began his discourse by a considerable dissertathe teachers were Dr. Arnolds and Hannah | tion on controversy, declaring his dislike to it, Mores. This general result is all that the and appealing to his auditors for confirmation farmer expects or wishes; he is, on the whole, of his assertion that he had always avoided it.

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After spending some fifteen minutes on this uninstructed people by controversial preachtopic, he announced that he had been request- ing. The pulpit is the most efficient instructor ed by a person then present to preach from a of the people, on other subjects besides religion, certain text, which he forth with read, and ap- and the advance in general intelligence must pealed to the person by name, as to whether it depend very much upon the competency of was the text he meant. An affirmative answer those who undertake the dispensation of ethical having been given by a deep bass voice in a truth. It is therefore greatly to be desired far corner, the speaker read some twenty verses that knowledge should be added to zeal, in by way of context, adding that if any person those who go westward in the hope of doing present wished him to read more he would do good. Too many who go are deficient in both, so, and upon request he proceeded to read and no one who has lived there will doubt that several verses more. Now preparing seriously the harm done, directly and indirectly, by such, for the work, by coughing, &c., he drew the is incalculable; but there is another class attention of his hearers by saying that there whose persuasions to religion, though honestly were only two kinds of isms that he contended meant, lead only to superstition and outward with-devilism and manism; but that if the observance, too common everywhere, but espegentleman who had selected the text found cially destructive in their influence on true Universalism in it, he was willing, for truth's piety in unenlightened communities. A consake, to show him his error. He thought some siderable portion of the religious teachers who people present would open their eyes, when officiate, self-elected, in the western wilds, are they found how little of that doctrine the pas- behind those they teach in general intelligence, sage in question really contained. He did not

and not much above them in familiarity with mean to back up his text with other portions religious topics, though they may possess a of Seripture; it could stand on its own legs. great flow of words, which pass for signs of He came “neither to criticise, ridicule, or ideas, but are not such, as it regards either blackguard anybody," but thought he was party. Some sermons are mere strings of right, and was willing to be shown if he was Scriptural phrases and well-known texts, often wrong. About half an hour had now elapsed, curiously wrenched from their authorized meanyet the sermon was not fairly begun. There

ing, to favour the purpose of the hour. The was plenty of time yet, however, for he went idea on these occasions seems to be, that the on more than an hour longer, warming with a people are to be touched, moved, excited, feeling of success, and ever and anon casting frightened, or persuaded into an interest in triumphant glances at the corner where sat his

religion, by any and every means that the opponents, as he felt that he had given a home Scriptures afford, and with so good a purpose thrust to their theological errors. This sermon it is lawful to make them afford whatever may was much praised, and pronounced by the promise to be effectual. Griesbach and Rosenschoolmaster of the day the most powerful müller would stare at some of the glosses of discourse he had ever heard.

our zealous preachers, and the learned Rabbi This sketch, however, represents an indi- who has been lecturing among us would find vidual, not a class. Ambition is not the pulpit his metaphysics far outdone in subtilty, by vice of the woods, and sermons are usually of certain constructions of the Old Testament histhe hortatory character, delivered with great tories, which read with such grave simplicity fervour. It must be confessed that doctrinal

and directness to the unlearned. sermons win the most respect, and are most With all deductions, however, an immense talked about; exhortation is deemed common- amount of good is done in various ways. Even place in comparison--mere milk for babes. A when the preacher is deficient, the hearers exsermon on original sin, which asserted that in

tract good in some shape from his blind teachfants of a day might be damned, and that souls ing; that is to say, seeking for good, they find in blessedness would be able to rejoice over it whether it is brought them or not. Who can the eternal misery of those they loved best, reckon the value of the rest, the change of because it vindicated Almighty justice, gave thought, the neat dress, the quiet, the holy asgreat, though perhaps not general satisfaction. sociations, which the Sabbath day brings with “Ah! wasn't it elegant!” we heard a good it in the country! A few persons are found woman say, coming out; “I haven't heard such

who make it rather a point to be seen in their a sermon since I came from the East !”

fields at work, or in the woods shooting, on The public taste turning thus toward knotty that day; but there is a broad line between points of divinity, the preachers, whose employ-them and all good citizens, for these habits are ment depends upon their acceptableness, natu- invariably found associated with irregular rally make polemics a large part of their little ones in other respects. The best touchstone of reading-an unhappy result, considering the valuable citizenship is found in the log schoolvery little good likely to be accomplished among house. He who feels no interest in that, feels none in anything that concerns the welfare of from its crazy platform, and a rough-looking the community.

gentleman, in a plaid neckcloth, had during a The Sunday-school is one of the most inte- whole evening thumped the teacher's desk till resting of all the occupations of the school- | it quivered again, in his endeavours to prove house, but it would require the graphic power all religion a device for the better subjection of of a Hogarth to describe it worthily. As there the people. A Sunday-school had been mainis no rod, and no authority but one founded on tained here for some time, at no small cost to sentiment, the erratic genius of the West has the good laymen who conducted it; for they full scope. The youth who would on week-days were obliged, in winter, to precede their schotell his teacher—“Scoldin' don't hurt none- lars by at least an hour, and make the fire and whippin' don't last long--and kill me you arrange the room, lest some petty discomfort darsn't !” would not probably be very lamb- should prove an excuse for absence on the part like under the instructions of the Sabbath ; of those whom they were most desirous of beneand the very proposition to teach for love, and fiting. Here, too, were singing-schools held, not for money, puts every one on his guard. and spelling-schools, and other solemnities reThey cannot exactly see the trap, but they are quiring space and benches; and the log schoolpretty sure there is one! Something very like house, spite of its rough aspect, was, as usual, bribery is necessary, in order to secure the at- a building in much request and high esteem. tendance of the class of scholars whom it is There was no “stated preaching" in it on most desirable to persuade-the children of Sundays, but clergymen of different denominaparents who do not frequent the schoolhouse. tions seemed to know by intuition or magSome of these hardly know the Bible by name, netism when it would be available, and their and others have heard it only scoffed at. But re- appointments dovetailed so nicely that its soligious teaching often exerts a wonderful power called pulpit was seldom unoccupied at the even over such, and they are apt to be con- hours of divine service. Once only, within the verted to a faith in disinterested benevolence memory of “the oldest inhabitant," did ten at least. The labour of teaching them is quite o'clock, Sunday morning, find the people asequal to that required for teaching in Ceylon, sembled,—the wagons tied outside, with their according to Dr. Poor; and the good mis- seats turned down as a precaution against fallsionary's whole description of the mission ing skies, and their patient steeds chewing schools in that far land, reminded us very “post-meat” for recreation-and no preacher much of certain western experiences.

forthcoming. A sort of extempore, self-constiBesides the uses we have mentioned, the tuted deacon, after much solemn whispering schoolhouse is the theatre of the singing-school, with the grave-looking farmers who sat near so dear to country beaux and belles; of the him, gave out a hymn, which was sung with a spelling-school, as exciting as a vaudeville; of sort of nervous slowness, and much looking at all sorts of shows and lectures, expositions and the door. A restless pause followed, and then orations. Even the ceremonies of the Catholic the deacon gave out another hymn, in six Church are found possible within those rude verses, with a repeat; this occupied a convewalls, and incense has won its way through the nient portion of time, and then came another chinks of warped oak shingles to the sky. The fidgety silence, during which, some of the most numerous sects are the Baptists and lighter members slipped out, and several of Methodists; but there is hardly one unrepre- the children went to the pail outside the door sented. We remember a Quaker sermon on a for a drink. The deacon then offered to read certain occasion, which produced perhaps as a chapter, and proposed if the clergyman did great a sensation as any doctrinal discourse of not arrive at that time, that some of the brethem all, though it partook very little of theo- thren should “make a few remarks.” The logy.

chapter was read, and the remarks duly inWe had occasionally met for public worship, vited; but this only made the silence deeper; in a lonely schoolhouse on the border of the indeed, it was such that you might have heard forest, where four roads crossed, and where, a pin drop in winter, a flooring of chips showed that the Nobody belonging to the town seemed to have seekers after learning were not behindhand in anything on his mind, and after a little pause, consuming the woods as fast as their great stove there were evident symptoms of a natural diswould assist them. This primitive temple, with solution of the meeting; when a Quakeress, its notched desks and gashed benches, was used who was on a visit in the neighbourhood, laid in turn by religio sts of every shade of belief aside her close bonnet, and standing up, preand no belief; even the Mormons had expounded sented to the view of the assembly a fair and their Golden Bible (by some of the neighbours, calm face, on which sat the holy smile of Chrisbelieved to have been typified by the Golden tian love and confidence. All was hushed, for Calf which led the people astray in old times), such a look has an irresistible charm.

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