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adorn the tales of "Old Mortality" and "Ivanhoe." In like manner, but without presuming to hope for a like success, the writer of this article proposes to submit an old teacher's opinion on the subject of corporal punishment, which has already in this periodical been so ably, historically, and legally examined by previous contributors in the papers, entitled "Pedagogic Life" and "Pedagogical Law."

The glorious uncertainty of the aforesaid law might also be pleaded in justification of this article, for while the use of the ferule is permitted by the highest legal authorities of Vermont and Massachusetts, the coëqual authority of Indiana, with a wisdom surpassing that of Solomon's (if its conclusions are correct) asserts, and ex-Senator Dix, of New York, defends, the contrary opinion. Under these circumstances, well may the bewildered schoolmaster, or pedagogue, as he is termed in the papers before us, exclaim with the ill-fated Desdemona, "I do perceive here a divided duty;"

or, if irascible, as unfortunately some schoolmasters are, would he not be almost justified (on beholding, instead of a stable law, this Babel of conflicting opinions), were he to consign such uncertain sounds to oblivion, and do his duty according to his conscience, regardless of whatever unjust penalties might be imposed on him for so doing?

Therefore, with all due deference to the Supreme Court of Indiana, it is the purpose of the writer to contend for the right of all principals of schools to inflict reasonable punishment upon the children committed to their care; and to indicate the crimes for which, and the manner, the way, and the place in which such penalty should be inflicted. But before proceeding with the direct elucidation of the argument, it is right to say that this paper is written in defense of all schoolmasters, public as well as private. It is assumed that it is the intent, even of the State of Indiana, that all her children should be educated, and certainly those who lack such proper training at home are most in need of her especial care. The children of thieves, gamblers, swearers, and drunkards-if there be any such in Indiana-are obtaining one kind of education before they enter the doors of the school-house; but it is an evil one and must be eradicated. Before you can hope for a good crop, you must extirpate the weeds from your garden. It is often, alas! too often, necessary to punish the crime of the parent in the child. But instead of withholding from the teacher the power to exercise this necessary right, an experience of many years proves, to the satisfaction of the writer, that the sway of the teacher ought

rather to be extended, to enable him to reach thoughtless or vicious parents with a ferule of double strength. But this is a hopeless wish, though the present condition of the country painfully proves that the law, notwithstanding its multifarious ramifications, is as unable to prevent the extension of crimes of all kinds as it is to point out decidedly and accurately the path of duty to the schoolmaster. We now proceed to the elucidation of the subject in the order above mentioned, commencing with



1st. Rebellion or confirmed disobedience. No school can be rightly conducted in which the authority of the principal is not absolute. If the orders are incorrect, the teacher is amenable to the local powers and the law. "Will you study this lesson?" "I will not." There is no conquering this difficulty but by compulsory subjection. 2d. Repeated lying, repeated thieving, repeated swearing, and repeated gambling, after long and careful admonition for previous errors, demand the same treatment. These are acquired vices, sometimes learned by the child at its home, but there is no other effective remedy. The good teacher has duties to perform to the other children in the school as well as the delinquents, and for their sakes punishment is rendered necessary. Adult thieves are not punished by the law for a national amusement, but to proteet the innocent, and deter the unwary from committing the same crimes. These reasons hold good in the school.

3d. Per contra. Let the schoolmaster ever remember, before resorting to any punishment, the advice in the play above quoted :

"That his probation bear no hinge nor loop

To hang a doubt on. Or wo upon his life."

It is impossible to overrate the evil effect of one unjust corporal infliction; it is very frequently remembered for life, and often cultivates for years in the recipient the worst of human passions. It is a wise maxim in our courts of law to give the prisoner the benefit of every doubt. It should never be forgotten in our schools.



1st. The very first requisite of a schoolmaster is the perfect control of his own feelings and passions. It is the foundation of good govern


Punishment inflicted in anger is an absolute crime of the highest magnitude on the part of the teacher. From such infliction no good result can be expected; it is productive only of evil on both sides. The classics, the mathematics, and the arts can be and often are imparted to youth by delegate authority; but the power of government and the strictest self-command are absolute requisites on the part of all principals of schools.

2d. As a rule, no child after receiving chastisement, should be permitted to leave the presence of the schoolmaster until it is assured of his constant affection. This doubles the good effect, and should be a consequent of all punishment. On the part of the teacher this sympathy must be genuine, for almost all children can instantly detect that which is simulated. Affection is God's coin, if it be frankly given. It must and ever will be returned by youth in the same holy




1st. Firmly. A slight punishment is not only useless but positively injurious. It is an advantage gained by the child. A judicious teacher is very seldom compelled to use the assistance of the ferule. No punishment should be so frequently resorted to as to render it


2d. Probably the method of punishing on the hand is the best that can be applied, for two reasons: firstly, because it inflicts sharp pain ; and secondly, because it leaves no disfigurement. A jury of mothers will never agree upon the right spot on which to whip their children. Their feelings in this matter may be compared to those of the soldier who was undergoing the penalty of a military flogging from the hands of a friend. At first he said, Higher! higher! then, Lower ! lower! until his friend, whose patience was exhausted, exclaimed, "Confound you, Sam, there's no pleasing you!" It will ever be the same with parents.



1st. Always in private. A teacher has no right to degrade other children by a public exhibition of necessary brutality, unless they have been minor participators in the same crime. Even then it is very doubtful if it be politic. The skeleton at the feasts of the Egyptians

was only the more revolting because it was hidden by a veil. The same effect is produced by private punishment. A wise parent would not let his child behold the cruel flogging even of a brute. The hardening process of such an exhibition upon either children or men is very pernicious. It deadens the conscience, stimulates the cruelty, and brutifies the mind of the beholder. Nothing should be exhibited to either man or child which tends to lower the sacred value of humanity. For these reasons public flogging may be said to create rather than suppress crime.

In conclusion, the writer trusts that the reading public will weigh these statements, and not lightly sentence him as an advocate for unnecessary cruelty. A long experience in the field of education has given him a right to speak on a subject in the study of which he has passed thirty of the best years of his existence. He is quite willing to admit that in a small private school, in which the pupils have for sometime remained under the charge of a careful instructor, coporal punishment may be superseded by expulsion. But this paper is written for all classes of schools, more especially for the public schools of the States.-American Educational Monthly.

[Continued from page 202, October Number.]




There is another aspect in which the anomalous forms in question may be viewed. A brief glance at this may serve to start a new train of thought on this subject, even if it should be deemed unsatisfactory as a solution of the problem. I suggest it in the form of a query; and I ask, is there not in all such phrases as "the house is building," "the ship is loading," a latent element of the Greek Middle Voice. Are they not examples of reflex action, in which the agent acts or is supposed to act back upon himself or for himself? In the phrase "the ship is loading," is not the ship personified, and represented as acting on or for itself, taking on board or receiving the freight? So when we say "the house is building," "the fire is kindling," "the

sun is setting," there is action asserted; and that action terminates on the subject of the verb, while that subject is not repeated as the object of the action. This I suppose to be the distinctive character of the middle voice. When a man says "I am bathing," or "I am shaving," the action so clearly refers to himself, that unless such were his meaning, he would be obliged to add to these several verbs their proper object in order to make himself understood. Numerous other examples equally obvious might be adduced to prove that we have in every day use in our language the middle sense without the middle form. But omitting further illustration I submit the suggestion as presenting a grammatical principle, which may perhaps reconcile their supposed inequalities to the general laws of our language.


Just as I had finished the preceding sentence I remembered a discussion in Walker's larger Dictionary on the word "Mistake." Turning to it I find the author quoting Dr. Johnson as saying the word "mistake" "has a kind of reciprocal sense ;" and then adding, so have all neuter verbs of action, or as Dr. Lowth calls them intransitively active." So far as this remark goes, it seems to me to concede the principle which I have ventured to suggest, that of a middle sense without the form; for the peculiar mark of all this class of verbs is, that the action which they express is always limited to, or affects only their own proper subject. Of course in some of them the middle sense comes out more clearly than in others; depending on the nature of the action, and the closeness with which it connects itself with the subject of which it is affirmed.

Returning to the word, "mistake," we observe that its actual use is very abnormal; and that it seems to have caused our lexicographers not a little trouble. Webster says, "in the use of the participle, mistaken, there is a peculiarity which ought to be carefully noticed. When used of persons it signifies, to be in error; but when used of things, it signifies, misunderstood."

Walker seems to suppose that "mistaken" is the equivalent of "mistaking;" for he says "mistaken wretch" is used for "mistaking wretch;" and "I am mistaken for I am mistaking;" and adds that this is "what the Latins call a verb Deponent; an active verb with a passive form.”

Whether the rules laid down by these writers will stand the test of severe criticism or not, all will agree that the phrase, "I am mistaken," as commonly used, conveys an active not a passive sense; and

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