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in the same county, but because he was the first did teach worthy Doctor Whitaker ? nor do I honor the memory of Mulcaster* for anything so much, as for his scholar, that gulf of learning, Bishop Andrews. This made the Athenians, the day before the great feast of Theseus, their founder, to sacrifice a ram to the memory of Conidas, his schoolmaster that first instructed him.
1728—1774. We shall have occasion to notice some of the peculiarities in Goldsmith's own education, and of his experience as a teacher in the republication in a future pumber of his admirable Essay on Education, in which he claims to have anticipated some of the suggestions of Rousseau in his Emilius. The portraitures in the Deserted Village, whether drawn from Irish or English life, are among the classic characters of our language.
THE VILLAGE SCHOOLMASTER.
Beside yon straggling fence that skirts the way
With blossom furze unprofitably gay,
There, in his noisy mansion skill'd to rule,
The village master taught his little school
A man severe he was, and stern to view;
I knew him well, and every truant knew.
Well had the boding tremblers learned to trace
The day's disasters in his morning face ;
Full well they laugh'd, with counterfeited glee,
At all his jokes, for many a joke bad he ;
Full well the busy whisper circling round,
Convey'd the dismal tidings when he frown'd.
Yet he was kind; or, if severe in aught,
The love he bore to learning was in fault.
The village all declared how much he knew :
Twas certain he could write and cipher too;
Lands he could measure, terms and tides presage;
And e'en the story ran that he could guage.
In arguing too the parson own'd his skill,
For e'en tho' vanquished, he could argue still ;
While words of learned length, and thund'ring sound
Amaz'd the gazing rustics rang'd around;
And still they gaz'd ; and still the wonder grew,
That one small head could carry all he knew
But past is all his fame; the very spot
Where many a time he triumph'd, is forgot.
JAMES DELILLE, 1738–1813. James Delille, was born in Auvignon, in 1733, educated in Paris, and made Professor at Amiens, in 1760, and afterward in Paris,-
translated Virgil's Georgics into French verse, and afterward composed an original work of the same character, entitled Jardins. Driven from France by the revolutionary outbreak, he afterward resided in Switzerland and Germany. In 1792, he published the Country Gentlemen, (Homme des Champs,) a poem in five cantos, in which he depicts country life in various characters and aspects--and among others, that of the school and the schoolmaster. We copy the last in an English translation by John Maunde. Some of the finest strokes are borrowed from Goldsmith's picture—unless both are copied from the same original. He died in 1813.
THE VILLAGE SCHOOLMASTER.
Descend, my muse, nor yet debate thy strain,
And paint the pedant of the village train.
Nor that suffice, but let thy prudent lay
Attach due honor to his useful sway.
He comes at length in consequential state,
And self-importance marks his solemn gait.
Read, write, and count, 'tis certain he can do;
Instruct at school, and sing at chapel too;
Foresee the changing moon and tempest dread,
And e'en in Latin once some progress made :
In learned disputes still firm and valiant found,
Though vanquished, still he scorns to quit the ground;
Whilst, wisely used to gather time and strength,
His crabled words prolong their laggard length.
The rustic gaze around, and scarce suppose
That one poor brain could carry all he knows.
But in his school, to each neglect severe,
So much to him is learning's progress dear,
Comes he? Upon his smooth, or ruffled brow,
His infant tribe their destiny may know.
He nods, they part; again, and they assemble :
Smiles, if he laughs; and if he frowns, they tremble.
He soothes, or menaces, as best befits,
And now chastises, or he now acquits.
E'en when away, his wary subjects fear,
Lest the unseen bird should whisper in his ear
Who laughs, or talks, or slumbers o'er his book,
Or from what hand the ball his visage struck.
Nor distant far the birch is seen to rise-
The birch, that heeds not their imploring cries.
If chance the breeze its boughs should lightly shake
With pale affright the puny urchins quake.
Thus, gentle Chanonat, beside thy bed,
I've touched that tree, my childhood's friend and dread ;
That willow-tree, whose tributary spray
Amid my stern pedant with his sceptered sway.
Such is the master of the village-school:
Be it thy care to dignify his rule.
The wise man learns each rank to appreciate ;
But fools alone despise the humbler stale.
In spite of pride, in office, great or low,
Be modest one, and one importance know,
Be by himself his post an honor deemed ;
He must esteem himself to be esteemed.
ROBERT LLOYD, 1733—1764. ROBERT LLOYD was born in London in 1733. His father was upder-master at Westminster School, and after completing his education at Cambridge, became usher under his father, without bringing to the work that moral fitness and love for teaching, without which it becomes intolerable drudgery. He soon left the occupation in disgust, and tried to earn a subsistence by his pen. He died poor in 1764.
Were I at once empowered to show
My utmost vengeance on my foe,
To punish with extremest vigor,
I should inflict no penance bigger,
Than, using him as learnings' tool,
To make him usher in a school.
For, not to dwell upon the toil
Of working on a barren soil,
And laboring with incessant pains
To cultivate a blockhead's brains,
The duties there but ill-befit,
The love of letters arts or wit.
For one, it hurts me to the soul,
To brook confinement or control;
Still to be pinioned down to teach
The syntax and the parts of speech;
Or perhaps what is drudgery worse,
The links and points, and rules of verse :
To deal out authors by retail,
Like penny pols of Oxford ale;
Oh'tis a service irksome more,
Then tugging at a slavish oar !
Yet such his task a dismal truth,
Who watches o'er the bent of youth,
And while a paltry stipend earning,
He sows the richest seeds of learning,
And tills their minds with proper care,
And sees them then due produce bear;
No joys, alas ! his toil beguiles,
His own is fallow all the while.
“ Yet still he's on the road, you say,
Of learning.” Why, perhaps he may;
But turns like horses in a mill,
Nor getting on nor standing still;
For little way his learning reaches,
Who reads no more than what he teacher.
THE SCHOOL AND THE TEACHER IN LITERATURE
WILLIAM SHENSTONE, 1714-1763. WILLIAM SHENSTONE was born at Leasowes, in the parish of HalesOwen, Shropshire, in 1714. He was taught to read at a
dame school,” the house, and teacher of which, have been immortalized in his poem of the Schoolmistress-spent four years at Pembroke College, Oxford, and then impoverished himself in embellishing a small paternal estate, which he made the envy of men of wealth, and the admiration of men of taste. His poems, essays, and lectures, were collected and published after his death, which occurred in 1763. His "Schoolmistress," a descriptive sketch in imitation of Spenser, ranks in poetry, with the paintings of Teniers and Wilkie, for its force and truthfulness to nature, as well as its quiet humor.
THE SCHOOLMISTRESS. (1.)
Ah, me! full sorely is my heart forlorn,
To think how modest worth neglected lies ;
'While partial fame doth with her blasts adorn
Such deeds alone as pride and pomp disguise ;
Deeds of ill-sort and mischievous emprize;
Lend me thy clarion, goddess ! let me try
To sound the praise of merit ere it dies;
Such as I oft have chanced to espy,
Lost in the dreary shades of dull obscurity.
In every village mark'd with little spire,
Embowered in trees, and hardly known to fame,
There dwells, in lowly shed and mean attire,
A matron old, whom we schoolmistress name,
Who boasts unruly brats with birch to tame;
They grieven sore, in piteous durance pent,
Awed by the power of this relentless dame,
And oft-times, on vagaries idly bent,
For unkempt hair, or task unconn'd, are sorely shent.
And all in sight doth rise a birchin tree, (2.)
Which learning near her little dome did stowe,
Whilom a twig of small regard to see,
Though now so wide its waving branches flow,
And work the simple vassals mickle woe;
For not a wind might curl the leaves that blew,
But their limbs shudder'd, and their pulse beat low
And as they looked, they found their horror grew,
And shaped it into rods, and tingled at the view.
So have I seen (who has not, may conceive)
A liseless phantom near a garden placed;
So doth it wanton birds of peace bereave,
Of sport, of song, of pleasure, of repast;
They start, they stare, they wheel, they look aghast ;
Sad servitude ! such comfortless annoy
May no bold Briton's riper age e'er taste !
Ne superstition clog his dance of joy,
Ne vision empty, vain, his native bliss destroy.
Near to this dome is found a patch so green,
On which the tribe their gambols do display;
And at the door imprisoning board is seen,
Lest weakly wights of smaller size should stray,
Eager, perdie, to bask in sunny day!
The noises intermixed, which thence resound,
Do learning's liule lenement betray;
Where sits the dame, disguised in look profound,
And eyes her fairy throng, and turns her wheel around.
Her cap, far whiter than the driven snow,
Emblem right meet, of decency does yield;
Her apron, dyed in grain, as blue, I trowe,
As is the hare-bell that adorns the field;
And in her hand, for scepter, she does wield
Tway birchen sprays, with anxious fears entwined,
With dark distrust, and sad repentance filled,
And steadfast hate, and sharp affliction joined,
And fury uncontrolled, and chastisement unkind.
Few but have kenned, in semblance meet portrayed,
The childish faces of old Eol's train;
Libs, Notus, Auster; these in frowns arrayed,
How then would fare on earth, or sky, or main,
Were the stern god to give his slaves the rein?
And were not she rebellious breasts to quell,
And were not she her statutes to maintain,
The cot no more, I ween, were deemed the cell,
Where comely peace of mind, and decent order dwell.
A russet stole was o'er her shoulders thrown;
A russet kirtle fenced the nipping air;
'Twas simple russet, but it was her own;
'Twas her own country bred the flock so fair;
'Twas her own labor did the fleece prepare ;
And, sooth to say her pupils, ranged around,
Through pious awe, did term it passing rare;
For they in gaping wonderment abound,
And think, no doubt, she been the greatest wight on ground !
Albeit ne flattery did corrupt the truth,
Ne pompous tiile did debauch her ear;
Goody, good-woman, n'aunt, forsooth,
Or dame, the sole additions she did hear;
Yet these she challenged, these she held right dear;
Ne would esteem him act as mought behove,