Manual Labor Days 79
of our colleges, at least, "it would ever tend to diminish the influence,
circumscribe the effects, and soften the inveteracy of the worthless
and vicious passions of man." Manual labor is honorable-consider
Cincinnatus and Washington. Again with the energy of body
produced by manual labor will come vigor of intellect, strength and
accuracy of thought and promptness and perserverance in action.
"Now extend the facilities of instruction which this system affords, so
that every youth may receive its benefits, we shall have a race of
hardy, perservering, enterprising men who would never rest until the
State should be a garden possessing all the advantages of
communication which the improvements of the day so felicitously
confer." "With skillful management the youth of our State may be
well educated, with an expense so very trifling that the most indigent
of our citizens may furnish themselves with all its advantages."37
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37
Mr. Armstrong closed his lecture with the following roseate picture: "Let us now place a
youth at one of those institutions, accompany his progress, and follow him into the station
which he shall occupy in active life. On entering he is immediately introduced to the modus
operandi of the establishment. Seven hours of the twenty-four will suffice for sleep, three will
be required for labor on the farm; fourteen will remain, from which the principal will select
for the purposes of study and instruction, leaving whatever remains to be appropriated by the
student himself to reading, amusement or labour. In the literary department, he becomes
familiar with books and sciences; he gathers strength to comprehend the thoughts of others
and to master his own. The treasures of mind are spread out before him-he is taught to select
from the thought of others, and to think himself. He is led over the broad fields of science-the
objects, as they command his attention, furnish him with employment in examining and
analyzing and comparing their various forms and nature, their peculiar usefulness and
importance. And as his views extend over the infinitude of the region through which he is
progressing, he feels his capacity to receive expanding, and his taste to admire improving. He
is conducted into the garden of literature, in which he may regale himself upon the brilliant
and the sombre, the gay and the melancholy-he may feast upon its dainties, or philosophise
upon its productions. In the agricultural department he
becomes familiar with the seeds
and with grains, the nature of the soil and the process of cultivation. The progress
and results of experiments perform their wonders before him-a feeble and sickly
soul under kind nursing, grows vigorous and fertile; and fills the hand that
nourished it into health. He will make the discovery, though it be contrary to all the
instruction which he may have received from his fathers, that poor lands, like poor
men, become rich from activity, and not from resting. Having finished his course of
instruction, with a mind enlightened by science, accomplished by literature, and en-
riched by practical knowledge, with a body vigorous from healthy labor, our
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