Skip to content
Read our Accessibility Statement
FALVEY MEMORIAL LIBRARY
FALVEY MEMORIAL LIBRARY
Chambers's London Journal
Chambers's London Journal of History, Literature, Poetry, Biography, and Adventure, v. 2, no. 56, Ju...
Switch to old viewer
Chambers's London Journal of History, Literature, Poetry, Biography, and Adventure, v. 2, no. 56, June 18, 1842.
Blanchard, Edward Litt Leman.
11 October 2015
London: W. Strange ... W. Clements ... and G. Berger
Disclaimer of Liability
Disclaimer of Endorsement
l ‘. v i . “ nv EDUCATION MEN nncoata Iliait T0 LEAD, BUT DIIIICUL1‘ 1-o DRIVE-EASY To GOVEIN, BUT IMPOSSIBLE TO ENsLAvE."-Loan Iinouctinhh NUMBER 56. Fireside Conversation. EEING so. xiv. or -run EXPERIENCES or acruaiziu TIIUEETEEL, ESQ. Astoria the noble faculties which distinguish man from the lower animals is the gift of speech. By it is the invisible intelligence of the mind expressed: by it is the mental dignity of knowledge and wisdom engrnfted on the nobility of the human frame, and he who of all creation alone stands upright before his God made the ossessor and exponent of a portion of His sublimities. eprived of this organ of the senses, of the ability to explain his wants, or the power to express the yeariiings of his heart, the aspirations o is min dread doubts and lofty hopes of his immortal monitor, man would move through life untaught, and W0-lllil be found, after centuries of progression, at the 0ll!ShIl'l.S‘0f human improvement. Of what avail would be heroic prompt- ings if they could awaken no echo amongtlie oppressed --of what delight would be the natural beauties ap- parent to our vision ifthey were not coloured by atom- parison with the ideas of others 1 U-n-gifted vrlith speech, man would possess no social qualities: society would have no attractions: home no endear-meiits: art would have slulnbered in the lap ofignomnce, nakedness been the distinguishing characteristic of our race, and silence, like acloud have enfolded truth forever. I What the’ hand is to the body, speech is to the mind; instruments oflabour granted to no other created thing, they shall be the witnesses against man 5 works when the day of reckoning has ‘come. Useful beyond limit, incapable of arrest in their career ofculture, how often are these glorious attributes profaned ! It is not essen- tial that every band should p0SS.t'1SS,l.lle, same ciinning ability of workmanship, that the intricacies of skill, and the nimbleness ofdigital labour, should be acquired by all alike: the most willing are not alwayst omoat perfect: he who makes the unwieldy hammer obedient to his pur- poses need not become master of the needle; he who carves in marble need not envy himvvho exerts his skill on gold: the bricklayer is as useful as the lapidary. So that it is not idle, so that it is stretched out in use ul- ness, and fulfils its purposes in the acquireiiieiit of an in- dependence, the hand shall not aslicime its possessor. It is amanly pride, it isn boast worthy of all honour, for nman to say that his ten fingers are a mine of wealt i, an inexhaustible store of riches. May such as cherish these ‘ ' ,‘ ',' 7: , '1 "mes 9“J‘7.l' the op ortunit of exerting Ellen’. skill, and command the highest possible return for their labour! the same manner, it is not necessary that all mankind should be orators. It is not ncedful to humin wants or pleasures that we should all possess t e fount.-iiti flow of eloiiuence, and speak in polished and ctic strains. Our minds may rise in “0WIlIf.’,', ecstacy beneath the exposition of the preacher, our feelings may be led captive by the declamuiion of the rlietoriciaii, and our impulses burst the bonds of silenca when we read the impassioned throes which wrung the poet's soul, and yet be all unable to imitate their excellence. We may stand in fancy amongthe movingmass which were tossed to and fro, like waving grain, the scorning denuncia- tions ofthe unsurpassed Athenian: ,ourschool-boy ardour may return when we see on the pictured-page the invi- tation, " Letus march against Philip-let us conquer or .1,'ey we may feel the hot flush of fear and wrath burning on our check as the eys 903123195 T“l,l.Vi5 W0l‘dS of fire vvhenhe spoke to Cataline of his conspiracy. Or, ming nearer home, we may rouse our hearm by the dissiiasive appeals of Chatlinm; l’Y “)9 “'"”‘"E dis‘ closures of Burke, by the indi5‘“,”“ '.““Je5‘7 Ff "'9 9”" Grattan, by the graceful ratiociuation of; (irey, or by the fierce, the Isaiabic warnings of Bi-oiig iam-wem';.y do all this. and hear the answering Wl">‘P9,’5,"f 5 VEIC9 within, and yet be utterly irIC3P3‘b1‘3 "ii g‘""‘=’ ‘9 " 3 fitting utterance-of showing what we feel, of 5-"."l“ls' what we think, of communicating the intrepid purposes which rise and depart like shadows in the unexplored recesses of our minds. No. as. Vol. II. SATURDAY, JUNE 18, 1842. But not for these deficiencies should the human voice be dumb-not for these common incapacities should the godliko ualities of expression be prostrated to the im- pieties o profaneness, to the looseness of unbecoming de- bauchery, to the antipathies of slander, the vulgar impu- rities of slang. We have a language made up of the better parts of many: it is not deficient in expletives, yet is it replete with adjectives of beauty, kindness, elegance, and of that neat inobtrusive propriety which alike becomes the conversation of the learned and of those whose polish lies beneath a natural roughness. Purity and delicacy of thought will never emit itself in rude or obstreperous words : the tenderness and holiness of truth cannot be evinced by loud, course, or sarcastic ob- aervation : nor 0 straining attempts at wit, or vulgar dragging in of inappropriate phrases, produce that winning influence which candour, modesty, and is softened style at all times command. A desire to shine is incompatible with a wish to please : to show learning is not to convey instruction : to mimic othersis to admit our deficiency : to repeat, in parrot phrase, the opinions of others, is to display the shallow and sandy shores of our intellect: but to speak, with uncurbed tongue, of unlicensed acts, of indelicate topics, or vulgar ti-ides, is to prove that the knighthood of speech has been con- ferred on one who can never be a gentleman-that a sword has been placed in s trembling hand, more likely to injure itself than others. ' ere can a man rid himselfof a rude habit of de- meaning talk-where can his exercises in improvement be made to have the most edect upon himself, as well as to reflect refinement on those who may have caught the contagion of his vulgarity! Where canan uninstructed woman acquire, with least shame for past neglect, that endearing and elevating power, that subduing and con- trolling iniluence, whic makes her words precious as pearls, pure as the drops that glisten in ati"ection’s eye, fond as the beatings of a loving mother's heart, delec- table and durable as the unbroken promises of truth! Where can the foibles ofchildheod be most easily moulded into discretion, and the growing desires of youth di- rected in the paths of honour? Where can a family grow up in the nurture of happiness, and expand in the luxuriant bloom ofmental loveliness, in the strength and beauty of intellectual health, in the gorgeous adorn- ments of the mind, in the practical possession of all that is useful. elegant, and excellent, and grow up as living ' urit and peace, of hopeful well-doing, ufirreproachableand praisewortli y conduct’. Where can al this safely and securely be eifectedl Where but around the family hearth, when the father is actuated by high desires, the mother prompted by maternal long- ings, and the children swayed by the unchecked influ- ence of a good example. And who shall be the teacher’! -“ The tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison.” The most rank and deadly poisons which Nature has strewn among her products have been made, by mere human skill, subservient to beneficial purposes : the thunderbolt has been arrested, and conducted in its harm less way towards annihilation : the growthofplsnts has been forced, and the decay of trees prevented: steam has wrought its miracles: the air has been separated, and its rarest and most ascending particles confined; it has been led to the bottom of the ocean where diving adventurers may breathe, and it has been made a current through which the aeronaut may look down upon the clouds: all the elements have been subdued: the wildest animals have been broken in their rage, and mode to crouch at the feet of the tamer. ls man, who has etfected all these wonders, and is capable of more, unable to control a slimy, solitary member ofbis frame, the very position of which, encased and imprisoned by dental bars, shut up in darkness, and chained in its recess, shows that it is a prisoner, and ought to be taught the severities of continual discipline. Let us begin its scholastic duties, and learn it the humility of a pupil willing to be in- trusted, that it may afterwards become itself a professor Of good, and capable of returning, in a tenfold degree, PRICE THREE HALFPENCE. the care bestowed upon it, that it may be to ourselves, and all who look up to us for advice,a servant in t e riinrals of righteousness, an exponent of pure thoughts and chaste wishes-the comely nurse of kindness, instead of the betrayer of mischief. When the burden and heat of the day are past, and the sweet hour of rest and recreation approaches, should. it not be 3 question with the master of a household in what way he may best expend his leisure, to the plea- sure and profit of those for whom his toil is exercisedl It is not enough for a man to provide his amily against the animal wants of nature-it is as much his duty to decorate their minds in: to clothe their bodies: the task is more grateful and less expensive: a war in season is like the flowers in spring, which wave among the grass in simple majesty, and, though sprung fromptbe same soil, watered by.the some rain, and kin into life by the some sun, appear in brighter radiance because the seed was of a more cultivated class. Let us, there- fore, look upon a thoughtful father, seated in the quiet- ness ofhis own little domicile, surrounded by II host of smiling faces, each glowing with inquiry while listen- ing to liistales of honour or romanc of high-souled duty, of charity, of sympathy, oftlierules ofjuslice, and the decrees of fate. There is no uproar among the children, no discord amonw their voices, no haste upon their feet : the lustre of their features is reflected by the mother's placid smile, in which pride, hope, love, and confidence, are all delightfully and strangely mingled: even the sire is astonished at the value and extent of so cheap a pleasure; he feels, as it were, A glow of inspi- ration lighting up his mind as the word; How his li s in due regularity, and the difhdence he felt to assume the character of ii teacher altogether worn away. Such an hour as that shall produce its fruit in nfter years, and the greater their number while it is called to-day so shall the richness and extent of the harvest be, when the small shapes oftlie little ones are lost in the growth of iminhood. Such hours, passed in this holy and useful occupation, shall be like plant- ing trees in the desert's waste, i'o digging wells in the arched plains of arid sterility, which all who come after shall bless, and learn from the beauty and utility of the past to follow in the same career. Let us compare those useful lessons of a father, and the thoughtful qiiestioiis put to him by his children, with the idle carelessness which pervades the leisure hours of many. Let us compare llIt’IlI with the bitter words, the sad recriininntion, the loud curse, or the smothered words of hate, which are bred in the hotbed of disobedience, discontent, and carelessness. Let us suppose that even comfort and cleanliness support the weight ofplenty, and that robust health has forcibly expelled peevisli complaint from the dwelling, of what value can such things be if a bitter word, begun in 'est, or nscowling look, begotten of liery haste, should mar the pleasures of the time, infuse a desire to quarrel, and produce ii term 7 misery to tli .- inmates. Ofthe many brawls which disturb family quiet, how many have their origin in:unmeaning3est,in thoughtless phrases, or in a foul expression an wanii retort. which cooler reason seriously condemns. These axasperating Lndes are indeed blistering sores, wounds which may for a- time heal upon the surface, and give promise of ulti- mate nmendment; but the poison still remains, still doth it faster in the burning blood. only to break forth again more putrid than before. Better that a red-hot iron were passed through the filthy acre, and a painful eradication remove the bloaied germ. llotier that a man, instead of bushing up his family disquiet from his own rellections, would ponder deeply and dxedly on their source, gird up his determination to avoid their causes. and, by resolute and well-sustained improve- ment, show that his mind could control his impulse, and that a good purpose was not to be thwarted by the unintended expression of hot or vulgar words. If there is one way better fitted than another to bring the temper into subjection, to prune the speech of vul- gar phrases, and at the some time to protect it from ef- ...,.,..,.-.u..,M ,