Imagens da página
PDF
ePub

112

SCHOOL NOT FOR THE RICH ALONE.

must more or less take your thoughts off from your studies. You must think beforehand what you intend to purchase; you must go and get it, and you must use it after obtained ; all of which must occupy thought and attention. But this is not all. The majority of those who are with you in school are not able to spend money thus : at any rate, a school, to be a good and useful instrument of benefiting the human race, ought to be so constituted that those who are not rich can be educated at it. Now no one ought to do what will make others feel uneasy because they cannot do the same, or what would make the standard of expense in a school so high as to make it burdensome to the rest. School is the place for study and for mental discipline, and not the place for display, for costly dressing or ornaments.

Fashion ought to be shut out here, so that if, with her patterns and measures, and collars and boxes, she knocks at your door, she may hear a stern voice bidding her begone. No young man is respected any more at college for his dress; and a free use of pocket-money there is al

DANIEL WEBSTER'S CONGRATULATION.

113

most certain ruin; and I presume that display and expenditures, to any great amount, are incompatible with scholarship in a ladies' school. Worth grows in rough places. Poverty is no hindrance to intellectual or moral worth,

“I congratulate you,” said Daniel Webster to a lame student at Yale College, “I congratulate you on being lame !" And that lame student came out the first scholar in his class. Somebody beautifully remarks, that Spain, which has the best land in the world, has the poorest farmers; and Scotland, which has the poorest land in the world, sends out the best gardeners. If you happen to be among the favoured whose inheritance is your character and not property, do not be ashamed of your poverty nor be disheartened by it. It will most likely make your character. We need to feel the iron hand of necessity pressing hard upon us before we really accomplish much. Some of the most valued things ever written were wrung out by poverty.

Set it down as settled, that there can be no situation without temptations and trials which we must meet. We cannot shun them, we

H

114

EAST WINDS MUST COME.

cannot go round them, we must meet and look them in the face. There must be north winds and east winds, cloudy days and cold storms in our way, as well as clear sunshine and soft breezes. They are all in the providence of God; and when you go to school, expect to meet them; and when they come, do not waste your strength in wondering over them, nor yet in mourning over them. Meet them gently as you please, but firm as a rock. Courage will rise as you approach the trial, if you will advance steadily. Two young officers were sent, under Wellington's own eye, to make a charge upon a body of French cavalry in Spain. As they rode together, one grew pale, trembled, and his feet shook in the stirrups. His companion, a fine,

a bold fellow, observed it, and reproached him.

“ You are afraid," said he.

“That is very true," said the other, “I am afraid, and if you were half as much afraid as I am, you would turn your horse's head and ride back to the camp.

As they had not advanced far, the other, indignant, returned to Wellington to tell the story, and to ask for a worthier companion. “Clap

[ocr errors]

COWARD WON THE DAY.

115

spurs to your horse," was Wellington's reply,

or the business will be done by your cowardly companion before you get there.” He was right. The business was done ; the coward swept down upon the enemy like a whirlwind, and scattered them like chaff !

a

CHAPTER VII.

READING.

The Tedious Day. How to read. Now is the Time to be

gin. Nothing to build with. One Dish at a Time, Great Men raised up in Times of Commotion. One hundred and twenty-four Volumes. A Book read in Six Months. Books of Pewter and of Bank-notes. Starving on Jellies. Changing Horses at Paris. Convent in Portugal. Chain of Memory. Three Hours a Week. Let nothing interfere. Poetry its own Reward. None, safest. Giant cracking Nuts. Phosphorus and Honey.

DR FRANKLIN thinks that he must be a very wretched man who is shut up of a rainy day and knows not how to read. It seems to me that he must be more wretched who is thus shut up and does know how to read, but who has nothing to read. The world contains a vast amount of the mind and the thought that have lived before us; not all, to be sure,

« AnteriorContinuar »