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Suddenly, up through the forest gloaming,
I saw you as you passed
O close the door and mark
THE EDUCATED PERSON
BY EDWARD YEOMANS
BECAUSE you believe in a good cause, perience as a practitioner in the schools. said Dr. Johnson, is no reason why you He has been engaged in the workshop should feel called upon to defend it, for and market-place and, like any man by your manner of defense you may do so employed, has gone about on all your cause much harm. This, however, kinds of errands and has met all kinds of is a case where, in multitude of counsel, people, in the cities and in the counthere may be some wisdom. Some kind try and in small towns-magnates, busiof answer may evolve from the discus- ness people, professional people, teachsion of the above topic, which will be ers, skilled and unskilled workmen, better than a pontifical statement from and children. a person who has no doubt at all about The public schools and the parochial his qualification to give an irrefutable schools are engaged in pouring out milopinion, like the old Doctor himself. lions, -and have been for years, -and
And if nothing does emerge; if there the private schools and colleges and is no precipitate which you can filter out technical schools, thousands; and any from the cubic contents of words, and man going his way in and out among weigh; and if that precipitate is not some the inhabitants of the earth meets kind of yeast which, added to the pres- them, talks to them, dines with them, ent educational dough, will help it to employs them; and in all sorts of ways rise, then let us admit that something gets the taste of them, and a good many ex cathedra is needed.
cross-sections for careful examination. This contributor pretends to no ex- He sees them in offices, in shops, in
of a person,
schools, in clubs, in churches, on trains
II and on street-cars and on street corners, and in their homes — city, suburban, The most comprehensive sentence in and country.
H. G. Wells's Outline of History - the Each one registers. They 'punch sentence which ‘pulls the whole picture your time-clock,' so to speak, and on the together,' as the painters say is this: dial there is an impression. It is a dial 'It has always been a race between eduyou have fixed up for yourself - an old cation and catastrophe.' one, with the old marks on it pasted This is biologically, ethnologically, over with new ones; and there are two and nationally proved. And it can be main divisions, one marked ‘satisfac- individually proved, if, by education, tory,' and the other, 'unsatisfactory.' you mean something fundamental,
Some people have the words ‘useful' something intrinsic, something almost and ‘not useful' (to them); and some instinctive, and do not mean something have the words ‘interesting' and 'unin- external, something decorative, someteresting'; and, perhaps, some, 'edu- thing pinned on. cated' and 'uneducated'; and a few And if this is true, then what constimay go so far as to divide their dial into tutes an educated person'to-day is an 'good' and 'bad.' But that is about the exceedingly important question, both limit of presumption.
for the individual and for his nation. But if you have ‘satisfactory' and If an educated person is just any kind ‘unsatisfactory,' that means, of course,
say a person with a rea
sonably well-built exterior, and that And when, therefore, you say that exterior decorated with mosaics in patyou find that 90 per cent of the product terns, and pictures classical, scientific, of schools and colleges whom you meet
historical, grammatical, or linguistic; have registered under “unsatisfactory, but the interior more or less unventiit does not follow at all that they would lated and unlighted, with the dampness register that way on any other dial - of prejudice and provincialism, heredwhich is only a very roundabout way of itary or acquired, making the walls saying that you disclaim any superior- clammy, and the creeping things of esity for your 'time-clock.” You found it sential meanness and self-interest and nailed to the wall of your vestibule when conceit going and coming through the you' were old enough to look about at foundation cracks, – then that person the furniture which had been bequeath- is marked for destruction. If you had ed you, and which you have been dust- looked closely enough at the spiritual
and patching up ever since. You and intellectual house in which each of are entitled to use this clock, and you those eighty German professors lived get a great deal of exhilaration in using who signed that statement of their faith it; but that you should insist on any- at the beginning of the war, you would body but yourself believing in its records have found the words marked on it: would be not only foolish but exceed- 'Delenda est.' The man who lives in a ingly cruel, though not unusual. house marked for catastrophe does not
If you want something to believe, know it. From his youth up he has kept said old Samuel Butler, I will tell you the rules, passed the examinations, rewhere to find it. It is in the thirteenth ceived the degrees, secured the offices chapter of Paul's first Epistle to the and the emoluments and the privileges. Corinthians. At any rate, don't believe But he is an offense and catasme.
trophe is his portion, and the portion
also of the man by whom the offense ment in his letter inviting me to the cometh, who taught him that exteriors ‘party,' as he called it. He said, 'How were as important as interiors, that de- can you decide what is the best way of corations were more useful than good educating a boy until you know what homespun, that meat was more than the kind of man you want?' life, and raiment than the body. Which I am the more ready to do this bethings were not directly taught, — oh, cause it has, for a long time, seemed to no, but were
too much implied; me that the kind of man produced by were the by-products of his total expe- our educational machinery is mostly a rience at home, in school, and in college. poor kind; that therefore this machine,
I say, “at home,' and I ought to say, with its highly complicated gyrations, 'particularly at home.' You and I know with many curious and intricate gears, enough about homes to know that it is eccentrics, clutches, adjustments, acasking of schools and colleges a very celerators and retarders, lubricators great deal to ask them to correct the and frictions, is a good deal like the implications of the home atmosphere great modern printing press, with a with which their pupils are necessarily folding and addressing attachment on saturated.
the end; and when — as a gentleman I If these implications are second-rate, met the other day remarked — you unare low-grade, - if the instinct of the fold the product, so neatly and accufamily is for property as against hu- rately wrapped in a diploma and delivermanity, for instance; for closeness' as
ed at your door after graduation day, against generosity; for self-interest as you find that you have something very against disinterestedness, in social and much like the Sunday Supplement. political things, - then those are the That I considered an aspersion, and I latent instincts of the children.
believe he admitted that it was; but he But schools and colleges can be asked said it was due to his having listened too to begin, not to teach these moralities, much lately to the conversation in unibut to make it perfectly clear that they versity clubs. But even if the product are invariable corollaries of all that is is more like the daily paper, it is still taught, and that a boy or girl who has true that a very beautiful piece of mechnot distilled this by-product from his anism and a very expensive plant have books and his teachers is, up to that been used to turn out something that time, uneducated, however high his ought to have been very much better marks may be. He may know English and more worthy of the time and investspeech and other speech, modern and ment and craftsmanship involved. classical literature, engineering, law, or The man talks well, — indeed, almost medicine, and remain uneducated, una- too well, - and he knows what 's going wakened, because the only valuable on, and makes a decidedly distinguishqualities in him have been left interred ed effect in the smoking-room of Pullthere, like lazarus, -'bound hand and man cars and elsewhere. You may recall foot with grave clothes,' — no irresisti- such a man, perhaps, to whom Faithble voice, to stir those emotions which ful came on his pilgrimage. alone make life worth continuing, having ““Well, then,” said Faithful, “what reached them.
is that one thing that we shall at this
time found our discourse upon?" III
* Talkatire. What you will. I will talk I am taking my cue, in answering the of things Heavenly or things Earthly; query of the editor, from his own com- things moral or things evangelical;
things sacred or things profane; things vacuity, this elemental hollowness? past or things to come; things more es- And as time goes on, must we expect sential or things circumstantial; pro- this to continue, that so large a proporvided all be done to our profit.
tion of men from universities shall fall "Now did Faithful begin to wonder; so unfavorably under Emerson's exand stepping up to Christian (for he clamation, ‘With what you are thunwalked all this while by himself), he dering in sour] ears, how can (we) said to him (but softly), –
hear what you say?' ““What a brave companion have we got! Surely this man will make a very
IV excellent pilgrim.”
‘At this Christian modestly smiled And who are 'we'? We the and said, “This man, with whom you people who are paying the bills. “We' are so taken, will beguile with this are the folks who are working while tongue of his twenty of them that know you are having 'time off' in which to him not.
be educated. The man does well, too, because he We have a big stake in your educahas a good working knowledge of the tion, because we actually have to pay thing he is working at — the thing that for it; and we are entitled to say that makes what he calls his career and his want a different kind of
person to come reputation, and gives him his standing. out of universities. We want men who He can build good buildings, or good have regard for hands as well as for machinery, is diabolically clever on heads, - an equal regard, — for people 'Change, in administration of business, as well as for profits. Having put the in court, in the operating-room, and ef- oil in your lamp, -as Graham Taylor fective in the pulpit.
said the other day, we want light, His college takes much pride in his and a much better light than we are success and even invites him to talk getting. to the boys on the rules for success. He And let no university call its men is a trustee, and helps her to turn out educated until they understand that we more men something like himself, - the men and women who pour
into thinking that the more of that kind of factories every morning and out every men there are in the world, the better night; who ride back and forth in the for it.
reeking trolleys, and live in the obscure But what the man actually is – how parts of cities; who follow ploughs and ignorant in those great spaces between harrows in the country and stoke boilhis stellar abilities where he should be ers at sea; whose labor makes the buildwise; how cynical where he should have ings, the books, and the salaries of the faith; how timid where he should ad- professors possible — that we must be venture; how indifferent where he should the beneficiaries of your training, and be passionate; how critical where he not, to so large an extent as now, its should be devoted — have n't we seen victims; and must,
be this sort of thing very close-up recent- taken into your confidence, and into ly? have n't we seen too many 'educa- your esteem — and even into your ted men' of America failing completely brotherhood. in discrimination and even in decent If the war has not taught this simple courtesy, not even respecting the bur- thing, then, among all the dead losses den of the bent and broken workman? which can be inventoried, here is the
Who or what is responsible for this deadest.