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MARIUS* SEATED ON THE RUINS OF CARTHAGE.
MRS. CHILD. [The pupil may scan the following piece, and tell the kind and form of verse to which it belongs. See Construction of Verse, p. 212 and 213.)
1. Pillars are fallen at thy feet,
Fanes quiver in the air ;
And thou alone art there.
2. No change comes o'er thy noble brow,
Though ruin is around thee;
As when the laurel crowned thee.
3. It cannot bend thy lofty soul,
Though friends and fame depart;
Nor crush thy Roman heart.
4. And genius hath electric power,
Which earth can never tame;
Its flash is still the same.
5. The dreams we loved in early life,
May melt like mist away;
Like Carthage in decay;
* Ma'ri-us, (Caius,) a distinguished Roman general. He was made consul seven times; but, in consequence of dissensions between him and Sylla, he was obliged to fiee from Rome. After wandering from place to place, he landed in Africa, and in his melancholy state of mind, seated himself on the ruins of Carthage.
+ Carthage, an ancient city in Africa, near the present site of Tunis. It was lestroyed by the Romans 146 B. C.
6. And proud hopes in the human heart,
May be to ruin hurled,
Heaped on a sleeping world :
7. Yet there is something will not die,
Where life hath once been fair;
Some Roman lingers there!
MODERN EDUCATION. - Anon. [Characters. --A PRECEPTOR of an academy and PARENT of an of fered pupil. See Personation and the Rule for reading dialogues, p. 202.)
[Preceptor alone.] I am heartily sick of this modern mode of education. Nothing but trash will suit the taste of people at this day. I am perplexed beyond all endurance with these frequent solicitations of parents, to give their children gracefi irs, polite accomplishments, and a smattering of what they call the fine arts; while nothing is said about teaching them the substantial branches of literature. If they can but dance a little, fiddle a little, flute a little, and make a handsome bow and courtesy, that is sufficient to make them famous in this enlightened age. Three fourths of the teachers of those arts, which were once esteemed most valuable, will soon be out of employment at this rate. For any part, I am convinced, that if I had been a dancing-master, music-master, stageplayer, or mountebank, I should have been much more refpectod, and much better supported, than I am at present.
[Enter Parent.) Parent. Your humble servant, sir. Are you the principal of this academy?
Precep. I am, sir.
Par. I have heard much of the fame of your institution, and am desirous of putting a son, of about twelve years of age, under your tuition. I suppose you have masters who teach the various branches of the polite arts.
Precep. We are not inattentive to those arts, sir, but the fame of our academy does not rest upon them. Useful learning is our grand object. What studies do you wish your son to pursue ?
Par. I wish him to be perfected in music, dancing, drawing, etc., and as he possesses a promising genius for poetry, I would by all means have that cultivated.
Precep. These are not all the branches, I trust, in which he is to be instructed. You mention nothing of reading, writing, arithmetic, language, etc. Are these to be wholly neglected ?
Par. Why, as to these every-day branches, I cannot say I feel very anxious about them. The boy reads well now; writes a decent hand; is acquainted with the ground rules of arithmetic, and pronounces the English language genteelly. He has been a long time under the care of Mr. Honestus, our town schoolmaster, who has taught him all these things sufficiently ; so that I think any more time devoted to them would be wasted.
Precep. If he is such an adept that there is no room for his progressing in those arts, yet I think at least there is need of practice, lest, at his age, he should forget what he has learned.
Par. That I shall leave to your discretion. But there is one branch of great importance, which I have not yet mentioned, and to which I would have particular attention paid ; I mean the art of speaking. You will find him not deficient
in that respect; though perhaps it requires as much practice to make one perfect in that, as in any art whatever. He has already learned by heart a great number of pieces, and has acted a part in several comedies and tragedies with much applause. It has been the custom of our master to have an exhibition at least once a quarter; and my son has always been considered as one of his best performers. He lately took the part of Jemmy Jumps, in the farce called “ The Farmer;" and acted it to universal acceptation.
Precep. I must confess, sir, that your account of your son does not appear to me to be very flattering.
Par. Why so, pray? have you not an ear for eloquence?
Precep. Indeed, I have, sir. No man is more charmed than I am with its enrapturing sounds. No music rests sweeter on my ear than the melodious notes, proceeding from the month of a judicious, well-instructed, and powerful orator. But I must tell you plainly, that I am by no means pleased to see parents take so much pains to transform their children into monkeys instead of men. What signs of oratory do you imagine you can discern in a boy, rigged out in a fantastical dress, skipping about the stage like a baboon, in the character of Jemmy Jumps, Betty Jumps, or any other jumper?
Par. Do you not approve of exhibitions then ?
Precep. Not much, I confess, in the way they are generally conducted. A master who has four in a year, must necessarily rob his pupils of one quarter of that time, which in my opinion, might be much better employed in attending to what would be useful for them in life.
Par. What can be more useful for a child, under such a government as ours, than to be able to speak before an audience with a graceful ease, and a manful dignity? My son, for ought I know, may be a member of Congress before he dies.
Precep. For that very reason, I would educate him differently. I would lay the foundation of his future fame on the irm basis of the solid sciences, that he might be able in time to do something more than a mere parrot or an ape, which is capable only of speaking the words, or mimicking the actions of others. He should first be taught to read. He should likewise be taught to compose for himself; and I would not be wanting in my endeavors to make him a speaker.
Par. Surely, Mr. Preceptor, you must be very wrong in your notions. I have ever pursued a different plan with my children ; and there are none in the country, though I say it myself, who are more universally caressed. I have a daughter that has seen but fourteen years, who is capable of gracing the politest circles. It is allowed that she can enter, and leave a room, with as much ease and dignity as any lady of quality whatever. And this is evidently owing altogether to her polite education. I boarded her a year in the capital, where she enjoyed every possible advantage. She attended the most accomplished masters in the ornamental branches of science; visited the genteelest families, and frequented all the scenes of amusement. It is true, her letters are not always written quite so accurately as could be wished; yet she dances well, plays well on the piano-forte, and sings like a nightingale.
Precep. Does she know the art of making a good pudding? Can she darn a stocking well? or is she capable of patching the elbows of her husband's coat, should she ever be so lucky as to get one? If she is to remain ignorant of all such domestic employments, as much as I value her other accomplishments, and as much as I might be in want of a wife, I would not marry her with twice her weight in gold.
Par. Her accomplishments will command her a husband as soon as she wishes. But so long as a single cent of my property remains, her delicate hands shall never be so unworthily employed.