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A glance thrown clandestinely upon his mother reveals in him a comic mixture of gravity which he wishes to preserve as an actor, and of the gaiety which he participates. Soon, animated by success, he carries his part still higher and higher, and at the end there is nothing in him but a little buffoon who seeks to amuse. Nevertheless, he did not begin by pleasantry, but thought in good faith that he was setting himself about a serious occupation.'

One of the most remarkable chapters of the second book, has for its title, How children learn to speak. The author submits to a learned analysis this new privilege of our species, and the curious apprenticeship which the child makes in it; and she throws light upon the march of his intellectual development, by the order in which he makes use of the different parts of speech. There are three sorts of words which the child pronounces before others. These are, nouns, verbs, and adjectives; which form the matter, and as it were the body of discourse. They express his chief interests in the midst of this world to which he is still a stranger, viz: to distinguish exterior objects by names, to define his own impressions by adjectives, and, in fine, to express his determinations by verbs.

Two words which the child learns very readily, the particles yes and no, are translations of gestures. They designate the material act of repelling and of receiving, and thereby become verbs they are velle and nolle, to will and to will not.

'There are next some adjectives which introduce themselves into his head. They are those which express lively and frequent sensations. Pretty is soon of this number, so great with him is the need of testifying his admiration.

'Those vestiges of animal language which have been preserved in our idioms, those cries which have been received into human language under the name of interjections, the child siezes upon and applies to a wonder. Never is the Oh! of disagreeable astonishment confounded with the Ah! of pleasure, nor the sentimental O of prayer. How much time must roll away before one could explain all this to him philosophically! But the young bird has learned the song of its mother.'

On the subject of general nouns and of abstract ideas, the author combats in some points the opinion of Locke and Condillac. It seems to us that these philosophers have never denied that the mind begins by purely individual notion of objects; and perhaps they would have found no difficulty in admitting, with the author, that general terms are not, to the child, the expression of an abstract idea already conceived, but that they will be the instrument which shall enable him to conceive them.

Already two women of superior mind had written upon education, Madame de Remusat and Madame Guizot. The work of Madame Necker is destined to take an honourable rank among these labours so useful. We find in it the alliance of an exalted reason with that delicacy of perception which seems more particularly given to the female mind. It will be read and consulted with profit by all mothers, and we may add, by philosophers, who will find therein a collection of facts and experiments, new and curious, upon our nature. Besides the elegance and grace of the style, that which makes its charm is that it breathes throughout that love of the beautiful and that purity of moral sentiment, which are the emanation of an exalted soul.

[For the Journal of Education.]

ART. VIII.-Cursory Remarks on the Influence of Novels.

WE are aware that we have taken a subject which would harldly come within the limits of education, according to the usual acceptation of the word. By education is commonly understood, nothing beyond the direct instruction afforded to the young. But it appears to us that it is time that this word should have a broader meaning-that it should be made to embrace whatever tends to the formation of the character of an individual, whether it proceed from the direct efforts of the instructer, or from those influences which are imperceptibly changing the state and condition of society. Regarding the word in this extended sense, there is much more of education that is latent, than there is apparent-and surely it is not useless thus to regard it, since a knowledge of the secret causes, which are giving a tone and character to almost every mind, is certainly not unimportant to the application of suitable external aids to its development. The husbandman may cultivate his soil, simply from experience, and in total ignorance of those sciences, of which his vocation affords such ample illustration-but when you reveal to him the laws of nature you infuse new life into his calling, and his mind seems to form a connecting link between the secret inward power of growth, and the external means of cultivation. So it is with education. The disease of the infant must sometimes be cured by changing the quality of the milk of its mother. Let the instructer become acquainted with the power which is working within, and he will be able to work

with it, and if it bring forth good fruit to cherish it, if bad to. correct and root it out.

Thus it is, that when particular causes become so universal in their influence, as to impart a new hue to the common mind of society, their consideration becomes important to the instructer; for his labours are not entirely of an absolute, but of a relative character. He ought to be well acquainted with all that goes to constitute the moral and intellectual condition of the people; for this condition is exerting a secret influence on the object of his care, of which it should be his aim to derive all the advantage and to avoid all the evil. The education of the heart is certainly not less important and more difficult than that of the understanding. For the latter, the field of science. is ample, and its laws are fixed immoveably and many of them are clearly demonstrated. Thus what is true may be defined and made apparent, but what is good in the affections is not so easily measured. Different people also have very different views of what is good. That the love of parents for their offspring should often be of such a quality as to become a curse rather than a blessing, is no less true than deplorable. They sometimes seem in their children to see themselves as it were projected before them, and to make the poor little sufferers both the depositaries and the victims of their own pride. Thus the love which should be the purest and the most useful, may become the most selfish and the most deadly in its effects; and that embrace which should protect and preserve, may in its violence suffocate and destroy. Parental affection is designed by Providence to have for its object not merely the health and preservation of the body but that of the mind also; and it is most deeply to be regretted, that it is so frequently unable to discriminate between the good and evil tendencies in the subjects of its care. The secret, imperceptible influence of religion, however, on all classes and ages of society, though immeasurably short of what it is designed to be, is still of immeasurable importance. The mind of the child requires the heat and light which descend from another world, not less than the objects of nature do those which warm and illumine this. Without the education of the heart, that of the understanding must be a lifeless and useless thing. Knowledge without principle seeks not to enlighten, but to enslave the world. It would hide its treasures from the common eye of man, that it may the better turn them to its own purposes. The gold becomes dim that is grasped for such a purpose, and the possessor in the attempt to de58


stroy others, is sure to destroy himself. The circle of his vision is contracted to the narrow sphere of his own interest, not his real good, but his apparent interest. It is truly of little consequence to impart treasures whether of gold or of knowledge, without first imparting the disposition to use them in the service of mankind, and while the instructer is anxiously watching the progress of the object of his care, his mind should be turned inward with still more anxiety to that central power, where the slightest false movement, which may be then almost imperceptible, is sure some day to become visible in the disarrangement of all the other parts. While his understanding is applied to the understanding, his heart also should rest on the heart of the child; warming the atmosphere about it, that its young affections may come into existence in health and safety. But it is time for us to proceed to the few remarks, we have to make more directly on the subject.

It cannot have escaped the notice of our readers, that a vast proportion of the reading of the present day is that of novels, and that they are silently exerting an influence on the character of the age, almost unparalleled in the history of the world. Of these there are some, though we are happy to believe they are becoming less common, where immorality is not only not discountenanced, but is set off in such relief with the more attractive qualities of human nature, as to leave no doubt of their dangerous tendency with the youthful unguarded mind. It is not our object to speak of works of this character. They should be banished with the seducer from all decent society. We would shut our doors against that literature under whatever form it may appear, which would come into our dwellings 'rouged like an harlot, and with the harlot's wanton lear.' Novels of this description are the legitimate offspring of infidelity, and, like the writings of infidels, have no claim to the attention of the lover of true religion-for he that hath been permitted to feel and to see the truth of Christianity, and the eternal foundation of justice and judgment, can no longer admit these subjects as debatable ground, and ought not to have his peace disturbed by such intruders.

The majority of our novels, however, must certainly be regarded as of a very different character from that to which we have alluded; and though we might hesitate to pronounce them as absolutely good in themselves, there is no reason to doubt their being remedial in the existing state of society. They have been regarded by religion as an open enemy, or at best a

doubtful friend; but they appear to us to be intimately connected with the existing state of religion and science in the world, and by no means an unfair representative of them. Religion regards its subjects as immortal; by denying immortality to the strongest feelings by which we are influenced, she gives to the novelist, that which she will at some future period remand as her own property, and which when rightly used in her service will work miracles indeed in changing the moral condition of the world. Religion has left us no less to the imagination than the novelist; and when the distant prospects of happiness and misery which she has held forth, shall be lost in the view of the good and bad affections which exist at present, then also may the stories of romance subside into the actual enjoyments of domestic life. The literature of the day is in fact the offspring of the religion of the day; and that it is not acknowledged as such, argues as unfavourably of the chastity and purity of the latter, as of the former.

We have no occasion to tell to either sex, the secret of the power of novels. They call into action that strong love which may be chastened and purified, but before which even religion itself may be in danger, when, as has sometimes been the case, she rashly attempts to eradicate it. There must be a hero and heroine, and the object of the story is to make the interest in their union stronger and stronger in the mind of the reader. This is effected by presenting them in the most attractive light; by leaving the result in obscurity; by thickening difficulties in the way of a happy issue; and by a variety of incidents by which the interest is increased, and the desire strengthened by being continued and directed to the same end. When the novelist has succeeded in calling into excitement this master-passion of the human breast, it is not difficult for him to put into requisition all the servants of the household. The reader is prepared to look with new pleasure on the scenery of nature; to listen with rapture to the music which seems to fall on his ear; to travel over seas and through forests; to mingle with all ranks and classes of society, and to listen to the pages of history when she condescends to appear in the garments of fiction.

Thus it is that novels operate on the feelings rather than the understanding. They are performing a work at the present day on the heart, scarcely less important than that which scientific researches are effecting on the intellect; nor do we discover more of irreligion in the looseness of the one, than in

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