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to be despised or overlooked. Its large observation, its close and shrewd insight into men, its contact with stern realities that put all a man's mettle to the proof, and often call out giant energies whence they were least expected; all these give an education, such as the schools can never furnish, and without which, the teachings of the schools are often well nigh in vain. But important and essential as this discipline is, it is not the discipline of the schools, and cannot supply its place.
The true scholar is also more than one who is thoroughly qualified for a particular profession. A man may know enough to be useful and successful in one of the liberal professions, without a scholar's accomplishments and a scholar's power. He may be learned even, in his department, certainly he may be skilful and shrewd, and yet lack the method, the dignity, the force, and the nameless graces that are peculiarly scholarlike.
He is even more than a universal reader; more even than one acquainted with a vast variety of facts upon subjects in literature and science. A man may know the principles and facts in Geology, Mineralogy, Chemistry, Natural Philosophy, Zoology, Botany and all the sections of Natural History. He may speak“ of trees, from the cedar of Lebanon even unto the hyssop that springeth out of the wall.” He may know all that Chinese Chronologists would pass off for facts centuries before the world had any facts to record; and all that lying Zodiacs utter from Egyptian monuments. He may be decent in mathematics, and read in a certain way ten or twenty or fifty languages, and yet possess but little of a scholar's power, and possess but small claims to a scholar's
In short he may be as great a wonder for a man, as the learned pig is for his species, and be almost as far as that very learned animal from being a true scholar. The reason is that he might be all that has been described, and yet lack most of that which makes scholarship of priceless value, and which gives it its peculiar advantage. These are the scholar's method, that arranges all knowledge by its principles; his insight, that looks through a subject at a glance; his power, that scatters the arts of the sophist by a keen and fearless eye; his resources, by which he marshals the splendor and the force, the majesty and the might, that there is in human language, and gathering up all that he needs of illustration from the wide field of varied attainments, and condensing all into one resistless and eloquent argument, brings it to bear upon its point with the skill and energy of Napoleon or of Napoleon's great conqueror; and last of all his self-re
Characteristics of the Scholar.
spect that after achieving a triumph more memorable than that of Austerlitz or Waterloo, leaves the field that he has won, with the modest and simple bearing that the man of highest culture cannot but assume.
These peculiarities are the fruits of culture. They are the results of the discipline of the schools, and of that generous and life-long pursuit of literature, for which the schools are but the beginning. They are the matured and purple clusters, which hang from a vine of generous kind, that has been reared under the choicest cultivation.
The scholar then is one who, to the greater or inferior advantages of genius, of discipline in life, and of professional skill, adds the discipline and knowledge that is gained by a training in the schools, and a close and long continued contact with books.
I hardly need add, that the scholar is not necessarily a pedant, but that the more scholarlike are his feelings and his taste, the less of a pedant is he. Nor is he a recluse who cherishes a proud disdain of man's ordinary doings and interests, or gives but a cold sympathy to his ardent enterprises. He is and must be a man of solitary studies, but these studies are mainly interesting, as they cast light on the present and give him power to connect himself with it, and guide it to a more glorious future. It is by more than a figure that letters are called the humanities, from their humanizing tendencies, and their generous and elevating influence.
Nor is the scholar of necessity ignorant of men. He may be ignorant of the doublings of craft and the narrow and fox-eyed policy of selfish cunning. For such skill, his studies may give him deficiency both in taste and capacity; but it cannot be that the knowledge of man through books, renders a man unable to read living men, if he will but study them.
Least of all does eminent and thorough scholarship unfit for practical usefulness. The history of the world will show, that in all trying exigencies, in those sublime crises on which has tumed the destiny of ages, it is men who have been trained as scholars, who have given forth the oracles of profoundest wisdom, who have laid the wisest and most practicable plans, and have carried them through, by their skill and eloquence, by their faith and martyr-like devotion.
A product so rare and precious as the one I have described, the scholar as he ought to be, is from its very nature, the result of training. But youth is preëminently the season for educaVOL. III. No. 9.
tion of every kind, and of necessity the season for the education of the scholar. For some of the elements of a scholar's education, youth, early youth, is the peculiar and the only season. To establish this point I shall not linger, but trust that it will become apparent as I proceed to describe under several particulars, what the youth of the scholar should be.
The youth of the scholar should be early and largely employed in the study of language. Language is thought made visible and tangible. It is through language that it is seen and felt, in a great measure by the thinker to himself; entirely so from him to others. Language is to thought as the body is to the spirit, not only giving it shape and outward being; but contributing most efsectually to its development and growth, or hanging upon it as a heavy and clogging incumbrance. The study of language is the study of thought. The close analysis of a sentence in one's own or a foreign language, is to retrace step by step, the successive footmarks of the mind that constructed it. To be familiar with the writings of Plato and Demosthenes, of Milton and Burke, is to be familiar with the men themselves. As we do justice to their felicity of expression, to the power of their words, to the force and grace of their wondrous creations, so do we call into being the mind that shaped the structure, and the heart that breathed into it its fire.
The office of language is twofold. It aids in the discovery of truth. It makes truth known, when discovered. Or in other words, by language we express our thoughts to ourselves, and by language we express them to others.
It is by language, that we express our thoughts to ourselves. It is not uncommon for children to say “ I know the thing but cannot tell it. I have the thought, but cannot utter it.” We have now and then known grown-up children to say as much. But nothing is more false. No one, be he child or man, knows a thing in the sense of the scholar, until he can speak it. If he cannot say what he thinks, he has not fully mastered it. He may be conscious that he can find the thing, but he has not found it yet. If it be a subtle distinction, which he is certain should be drawn, there is a word for the distinction; but he has not made it till he has reached that word. Is it a grand conception or a glowing idea ? He has not reached it till he has formed the body and enshrined therein the spirit. Is it a cogent and resistless argument? He has not framed it, till he has found the words, and made the propositions, and linked the whole into an iron chain of resistless logic.
The Power of Words.
If this is true for one's own mind, how much more is it for the mind of another! If it be necessary for himself, that a man should put his thoughts into words, and thus bring himself out in visible shape before his own eyes; certainly must he do this, if he would influence others.
How wondrous is the power of words. There have been in. stances like this. A people that have long been groaning under the oppressions of Church or State, are beginning to feel their strength, and to sigh and half hope for deliverance. The wrong upon wrong which they have suffered, has waked a low murmur, that is now a half-stifled voice crying out all over the face of the land. In the noisy capital it mingles with the din of business, is muttered in the closed dwelling, and fiercely rages in the dark and under-ground gathering. The remotest hamlet hears it, and responds to it with a quiet but decided answer. The cottage that is perched high on an Alpine precipice, or that is shaken by the stroke of the thundering cataract, this too has heard it. But this murmur is waiting for a voice. It expects with fear, yet with impatience, to hear its own utterances spoken clearly forth and ring out as through the trumpet's brazen throat. It calls for the power of expression to give it embodiment. It finds it. obscure writer is penning a slight pamphlet. He traces sentence after sentence upon the sheets that swiftly fly from his hand, till it is done. The press scatters it as does autumn the falling leaves; secretly in mockery of the closest espionage, or openly in provoking defiance of gens d'armes and policemen. What is in this pamphlet? A few words of power, that simply declare the thoughts that every man has been thinking, but which till Dow, no one has fitly spoken; arguments concerning the rights of the citizen or Christian, which every one has felt, were convincing, but which no one has shown to be true; appeals glowing and fiery, which seem to gather and concentrate the fire that has been burning in ten thousand hearts, into one burning tongue of flame. What is the power of this pamphlet? The people are electrified, they rise, they are free!
Or the living speaker faces an assembled multitude. Their "aptured faces” inspire him with an energy well nigh superhuman, as he clothes with becoming words the thought that hves in every man's bosom, or gives back to each and every one his own glowing emotions in words that burn. They start from their seats, they stand upon their feet. If it is in a season of strong but misguided religious enthusiasm, they will march to the
rescue of the Holy Sepulchre from the hand of the Infidel. If a period of frenzied rage for liberty, they cry " à bas les nobiles," " à la lanterne;" if of purer love of country,“let us march against Philip.” Or which is best of all, the conscience wakes into life, responds to the voice that utters its own fears, the spirit is arroused to its nobler self, speaking from the mouth of God's ambassador; the man is redeemed, the soul is reconciled to itself and to its God.
We need not select uncommon instances, that occur but rarely on so grand a scale, to realize the influence of words that speak to the
purpose and with power. Instances of this influence, meet us at every turn. They are the most familiar events of life. Thus are decided the greatest and the least events in man's destiny.
This twofold power over language, it is the duty and glory of the scholar to attain. It is for him to use it with the highest effects in discovering and communicating truth. He must be the master of his own thoughts and through them, of the thoughts of others. He should rise from the point at which he feels unable to say anything that he knows, to the other, at which he knows nothing which he cannot utter in words appropriate and in words of power.
How shall he study language, so as to gain this power? The experience of centuries, of all the centuries in which modern scholars have been trained, answers, that the study of the classics, is the most perfect training in the study of language. A thorough and generons discipline in the ancient languages, and the literature which they embody, gives the scholar the highest power over language and the minds of men. This question thus settled, we do not propose to argue over again. Experiment has answered under every variety of its tests, that there is no sufficient substitute. The most confident and contemptuous efforts to find and employ one, have resulted in mortifying failures.
But while we do not give the reasons for this at length, one consideration we take leave to offer. The student of Latin or Greek, does by the very act most directly and thoroughly study his mother tongue. The very process of analysis and translation, is the bringing out in English all that corresponds to it in the Latin or Greek. If the usages and laws are the same in the English as in the Greek, the Greek is explained by calling up the English usage; if they are not the same but similar, the nearest English usage is referred to. But that which is used in explanation, must of itself be understood. The scholar not only