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SEQUEL TO FRANK
IN TWO VOLS.....VOL. I.
FOR THE TRUSTEES OF THE PUBLISHING FUND,
HILLIARD AND METCALF, CAMBRIDge.
Sold by Cummings & Hilliard, No. 1 Cornhill, Boston, and other
"Now look on him, whose very voice, in tone,
And say, 'My boy, th' unwelcome hour is come,
Must find a colder soil and bleaker air,
And trust for safety to a stranger's care.'
-Thou would'st not, deaf to Nature's tenderest plea,
Turn him adrift upon a rolling sea;
Nor say, Go hither! conscious that there lay
How these lines must strike any affectionate parent, who is going to send a boy to school! Yet, when the first effect of the flash and stroke of eloquence passes. away, as the mind subsides to calm, we question whether the danger be real or imaginary. The common reflection, that most of the great men of England have been educated at public schools, recurs to the father and
mother, or is suggested to them by some friend of the family who has himself been brought up in one of our great seminaries. They listen and are persuaded, if not convinced; for those, who are most readily alarmed by eloquence, are most easily relieved by assertion: ashamed of having been moved too far in the moment of alarm, they go directly to the contrary extreme of rash security. They laugh at the poetic peril of asps and quicksands, neglect to examine into the nature of the real danger, and dismiss at once all fear of the simile, and all care for the truth.
It is to be desired, that, on a subject of so much importance to their children and themselves, parents might feel something more than the evanescent effect of eloquence, and might be excited to a serious examination of the facts. But even those, who do not content themselves with a mere dramatic start or sentimental exclamation, and who are seriously aware of the danger, imagine, that the evils, if not necessary, are unavoidable. It must be sufficiently obvious, even to the most zealous friends of private education, that, from various circumstances of inexpediency and impossibility, vast numbers of children cannot be bred up at home; they MUST go to school, and to some of the seminaries which exist.
When it comes to the usual age for sending the boy from home, this sense of necessity presses upon the father and mother: they think, that all they can do is to choose for their son the school, of which they hear the best character: they know all have their faults;
they are sorry for it, but they cannot help it: whatever these faults may be, the individual parent cannot rectify them at the moment his boy is to go to school; and because they cannot do every thing, they are content to do nothing. They submit with indolent resignation to the plea of necessity, consoling themselves with the sophism of common-place philosophy.
They tell you, or they tell themselves, that if the power of new modelling our institutions were put into the hands of any of those who wish for their reform, they might not be able to satisfy themselves or others in the execution of new plans; that in the hurry and zeal of innovation they might run from evils that we know, to those we know not of. These considerations, obvious as they are, may afford some comfort under the impossibility of sudden change, and may reconcile us to the slow operations of time and truth, acting as they do irresistibly together. Though it cannot be hoped, that, by any combination of opinion and effort, a perfect school, such as anxious parents would desire, can, in our days, or perhaps ever, be realized, yet continual advances towards excellence may be made.
But, in the mean time, there is something which every parent can do, something more safe than sudden innovation; more manly, more becoming, more useful than indulgence in idle declamation or indolent despair. Every father, every mother, can by preparatory care, direct the home education of their boys before they send them to school.