« PreviousContinue »
the principle of lotteries, exhibited But, to learn the kindred of these in another form, human society have two systems, observe the proneness placed their stamp of reprobation which they have toward each other. There is a practice, well known Numberless adventurers, entering in the world, having the samne end the highway by means of lotteries, and operation as I have ascribed to have come to their limit at the lotteries,--to transfer property un- gaming tables. And wherever the der the direction of chance ; and former have gained a footing, they which finds its moving principle collect around themselves the arts in the desire of getting gain with of the latter, which, under the difout labour. This, though exhibit- ferent forms of betting and insured in many forms of more concealed ance, connect them by insensible or more open profligacy, has at- gradations with the lowest species tracted the particular aversion of of this corruption. And to learn mankind in the characters of those the similar character of the paswho make the gaming table their re- sions by which the two subsist, if sort. Now from somecause or other, it be not plain already, go to the from some perception of its immor- dealer, read his notices, observe al nature-or some experience of his arts, note his customers, and the malignity of its influence, all you will have a very practical esmen call the gamester's character timate of the moral dignity of the base; and, in denouncing gambling, men who can be affected by such irresistibly they pour contempt means, and the moral dignity of the on lotteries, if it can be shown, means which can operate on such that the evils of the one extend to the other; and that the passions There is no hazard, therefore, which sustain both are alike. in saying, that lotteries will be in
On the mention of these propo- famous. But when I say will be, sitions, after what has been proved, my mind is rather turned towards the mind of every man will outrun lamenting the reasons which have all course of argument, and spring kept them from being so already. to a conclusion before logic can de- One cause and illustration of the duce it. For, on the score of was- general indifference I see, in the ted privileges, discontented hopes, fact, that some individuals of seriruined habits, the two maintain, be- ous character uphold them by their yond all litigation, intimate affinity. interest as adventurers: and anOnly one difference can be named; other, in the fact, that legislatures that, at the gaming table, waste and give sanction to them, by public ruin are concentrated, miseries acts. The last, in a measure, brought on at a throw ; while from makes the other inaccessible to corthe lottery-office, the evils issue rection. For, surely, “one ticket more diluted, yet more diffused. If will not add to the evil
, already this circumstance form a pallia. established. It will be bought by tion, it cannot a specific distinction. another if not by me."-Such is Indeed, when the extension of dam- the reasoning which leads many to age to greater numbers is consid- believe that they may venture, withered, the question of precedence, out the responsibility of upholding though not important, is not clear. the practice. Though they may A few dishonest culprits, despised feel the dreadful character of the and driven from society, are less system, when brought before them formidable than a mode of tem- in public statements, yet the fascinpered dishonesty, insinuating itself ating chance of being a winner, throughout men's dealings. upheld by the argument of general
prevalence, is too strong a tempta
tion ;--the hand is reached forth judge will not more surely come and the forbidden fruit gather- upon their heads, than the evils ed, whose taste always brings the which distress a people, through knowledge of evil, rarely, the knowl- the neglect of upright administraedge of good.
tion, shall array themselves against In the connection, therefore, of their promoters. If this be evithis subject with the private and dent, the cause of public morals, public obligation of our citizens, it whether it carry the majority or is important to remark; that, if the minority in the “ voice of the peoduty of individuals, with regard to ple,” has an appeal reaching forlotteries, be clear, that of the State ward beyond the limits of time; authorities is equally so. The looking to the day when truth cause of public morals and of gen- shall assume her sceptre over eral happiness demands their abo- men and nations when obligalition. It is not an undertaking tions, once thought too empty for that need embarrass our public regard, shall fall with the weight bodies in the execution. It is not of mountains; and when truths even to repeal past acts; but only which might seem very harmless on to decline new ones.
And if a the lips of mortals, like the seven word could reach them, on the thunders of the Apocalypse, shall throne of legislation, they might “ utter their voices." AHE. be asked to look around and see, if the wide spread evil do not require their interference.--You sit
CONTINUATION OF REMARKS ON to guard the rights of the people:
COMMON SCHOOLS. will you look unconcerned upon the devastation of those morals ELEMENTARY books are another which alone can make their rights important means for promoting edworth having? You are entrusted
ucation. These we rejoice to see with the general happiness : will multiplying at the present day, even you listen to the clamors or accept to superabundance. They are at the gifts of interested men, who
once an indication of the interest will injure it ? To enlarge the
excited in the community, and a revenues by encroaching on the facility for accomplishing its ends. virtue of the nation, what is it but
Where competition is so great, imto “ do evil that good may come”?
provements may reasonably be exAnd when those revenues are seen pected. These improvements will to impoverish, in the end, the pub- finally be embodied, and very exlic treasuries, the act has an as
cellent works will be the result. pect of more unmingled harm. It In the mean time, for our present is no longer doing evil, that good
exigency, we must select the best may come; it is doing evil, that of those before us. EVIL may come.
A spelling-book by Mr. Sears, is Could those who have the op
one out of many of the same kind portunity feel the importance of recently published. Whether this urging the weight of this subject, in its proper place, there would no
* From page 89. longer be cause for papers to proclaim it. Legislators must feel,
+ As this work is now urging its way, that the tie which binds them to and with some success, for general adop
tion into our common schools, perhaps a their high duties has something like criticism on its merits from a disinterestsolemnity. I am one who believe, ed individual, may not be untimely, nor that the wrongs of the oppressor wholly foreign to the general object of and the corruption of the unjust the Christian Spectator.
work should have the preference those for reading: and a child will of all its recent competitors, I can- be much more likely to attach a not certainly say, as I have not ex- correct idea to each one found in amined them all. In a variety of a phrase, than when separate. respects, it is manifestly better ad- The author has also interspersed apted to the instruction of children many usesul hints to teachers in than the one we have generally the course of his work. After used in New England. The selec- what I have said above, it may tion and arrangement of the read- easily be supposed I approve in ing lessons, are enough to give it a the strongest terms of these. They decided preference, provided it supply, though very feebly, the were equal in all other respects. want of more thorough instruction They are extremely simple and on school keeping. I presume, such as to render it difficult, for a from the improvements above notichild to read them with a “ school ced, that Mr. Sears has himself tone." At any rate, with a very taught school; else, I do not belittle care, on the part of the teach- lieve he could have made so good er, where this is the primary book, a book in these respects. The that worst bane of common schools, more learned a man becomes, and may be expelled. The lessons for the more abstracted from juvenile spelling appear also quite improved intercourse, the less is he capaciboth in selection and arrangement. tated to understand what is and There is a larger proportion of what is not adapted to the capacity words in common use, and a much of a child. In one or two other smaller proportion of those which respects, however, as I may have neither the pupil nor the teacher occasion to show from the work will understand, or ever see except before us, the accomplished philolin the spelling book. Nothing can ogist has the decided advantage be more absurd than to task a boy in constructing a primary book of to learn the spelling of words for this kind. which he will never have occasion Mr. S. professes to follow Walkin practice. So far as a judgmenter's pronunciation, and has given a can be formed of the probability, notation throughout, which will be no word should be introduced into a sufficient guide to the teacher if a spelling lesson which there will not to the pupil. Of this improvenot be occasion for the pupils to ment, though deemed perhaps the use in writing. Any spelling book greatest by the author, I think but I have yet seen, I should think ma- slightly. For children take their terially improved by striking out pronunciation from the living voice one fourth or one half of the words of those about them—not from in the tables. Indeed I am by no books. Nor in fact should I much means sure of the utility of spelling care whether they follow Walker lessons at all, as the reading lessons implicitly or not. may be used for the same purpose. After having found so much to Such simple reading lessons as Mr. commend, I am sorry I cannot Sears places first, are admirable give an unqualified approbation of to begin with, both for the purpose
this book. Were it faultless, it of reading and spelling. The cat would prove an invaluable blessing, runs--the dog barks—are phrases But there is one very serious and which every child can understand; very unaccountable blemish. I reand perhaps it is of nearly as much for to his adoption of an obsolete importance in its ultimate bearing spelling of quite a large number of on the mind, that the words for words. I say it is unaccountable, spelling should be understood, as for I can surmise but two possible
reasons for it, neither of which is it is the simple business of the orvalid. The first is a manifest de- thographer of the present day to sire to follow Walker implicitly in report the fact just as it now stands, all things: the second, a desire to whether he is pleased or displeased differ from Webster as much as with the alterations that have been possible. This last I presume Mr. made. Had Dr. Johnson given us s. will promptly disavow, as he the spelling, employed in the age cannot be willing to injure the use- of Chaucer, it would not have been fulness and the sale of his book, a whit more absurd in principle through personal antipathy. It re- than for Mr. S. now to give us the ñains for me then only to argue spelling of Johnson in those words with him on the point of Walker's which decided custom has since authority. This trouble I assume, altered. The old maxim of Horin the faint hope of inducing him ace must forever remain the true so to alter his very valuable book and only guide on such a pointas really to fit it for use, and give Usus, quem penes arbitrium est, et it general currency.
jus et norma loquendi ;-not past, Mr. S. has completely mistaken but present use. Walker's authority on this point, if Walker, however, is of such modhe supposes himself to have follow- ern date that his authority is still ed it. He may have been led into good ; and had he chosen to exsuch a mistake by the orthography ercise it in modernizing the spelstill retained in what is called ling as he did the pronunciation Walker's dictionary. But the sim- of Johnson, we presume we should ple fact is, that so far as spelling have been spared the trouble of and definitions are concerned, it is the present remarks. As it is, it not Walker's dictionary at all. All will certainly be with an ill grace he professed to do was barely to in Mr. S., when informed of this rectify the pronunciation of John- authority, should he refuse to bow son's dictionary, leaving it in all to it, when at the same time he is other respects just as he found it. insisting so strenuously on our obWalker has, however, notwith- ligation to bow to the authority of standing he did not see fit to extend the same man, on the kindred topic his province to the correction of of pronunciation-and that too in Johnson in this particular, given a case in which we have not yet us bis authority against the cor- generally adopted the change, while rectness of Johnson in this partic- the change in spelling has received ular, as a standard at the present full currency. day, as I will soon show. Mr. S. Most of the words in which I may indeed adduce Johnson, and have noticed this obsolete spelling, all the lexicograpers of previous are such as formerly were termina. date, in support of this obsolete ted with ck, but from which the k spelling; and well he may, for at has since been dropped. Now for that time it was not obsolete but Walker's opinion on the point. In in full fashion. But their author his remarks on the consonant k he is now nothing in the cases before observes ; “It has been the cusus. It is just as absurd to refer tom within these twenty years to to a lexicographer of past ages for omit the k at the end of words when the current spelling of a word, as preceded by c.
After expressing to appeal to the patterns of some some groundless regrets for the antiquated tailor to determine the change which I shall presently nopresent fashion of garments. All tice, he adds ;- “ This omission of They can tell us is the fashion of k, is however too general to be their day. If it has since altered, counteracted, even by the authority, of Johnson." These declarations I have intimated that his regrets are seem sufficiently indicative of Walk- groundless, and will now proceed er's opinion as to the actual fash- to show it, in the hope of removing ion of spelling such words. But the like regrets in minds of less should a possibility of doubt remain, extensive observation, and less it must be precluded by a recur. readiness to comply with establishrence to almost any page of his ed usage, whatever it may be. He composition. Look, for instance, complains that the omission of k, at the 26th page of the introduc- “has introduced a novelty into the tion to his dictionary, and you will language, which is that of ending a see no less than seven instances in word with an unusual letter, and is which the k is omitted in words not only a blemish in the face of it; which retain it in the subsequent but may possibly produce some irvocabulary which he suffered to re- regularity in future formatives ; for main, literatim, as Johnson left it. mimicking must be written with the Didactic, gigantic, climacteric, gc., k, though to mimic is without it." are the words in question; and they As to the blemish in the face of our are almost the only ones found on language,” we should think the suthat page which could end in ck. perfluous k itself, and not its remoWalker's authority, then, as evin- val, were the blemish ; just as the ced by positive declaration and by useless addition of another nose on his own practice, is entirely against the human “ face," would be a Mr. S. And if so good a judge blemish. But of such things, men as he felt himself compelled, against are liable to judge chiefly from his own predilections, to pronounce their customary associations. But the change, even at that time, it is “ a novelty.” True; and what
too general to be counteracted improvement has ever been introdueven by the authority of Johnson ;'' ced into the language, which was not how can Mr. S. hope to counter- a novelty. But Mr. W. presents act it at the present time when the us with something more in the shape change has become much more of serious objection. “ It may posgeneral and more firmly established! sibly produce some irregularity in It is wisely remarked, that, "re- future formatives." Suppose it volutions rarely march backward ;” should, and the community by and least of all can this be expect. adopting them should give the ed in the improvements in the me strongest proofthat they are improvechanical part ofliterature which have ments. A future age will be gratebeen steadily progressive ever since ful for them. But let us look at the English has been a written lan- the case, and see if there is really guage. This same article of ortho- even a “possibility" of irregularity graphy is a perfect illustration of being introduced by droping the k the remark, both as to the resistless in all the formatives. Provided it progress and the benefit of the re- be found a fact that the greater provolution ; for who could even wish portion of derivatives from such it possible to bring us back to the words are now written without the awkward and cumbrous combina- k, it will be rather the introduction tion of silent vowels and teeth- of regularity than otherwise, to breaking consonants, in vogue but drop it from the remainder. As a few ages back. Even Mr. Walker this is a question of fart, any one we presume does not regret the may satisfy himself by recurrence changes effected previous to his to a dictionary. Take Johnson, if day, however naturally he may be you please, and you will find that loth to change a spelling to which even he has not retained the k in he had long been accustomed. one quarter of these formatives.