sentiment, and a passive power, such as stems the tide of fashion and frivolous opinion, belong, as their ordinary characteristics, to homebred men; and especially to such of this class as are mainly self-taught. Now we affirm that, whatever may sometimes be the rigidness or the uncompliant sternness of persons of this stamp, yet that a serious, and perhaps a fatal damage would be sustained by the community, if' it were entirely deprived of' the moral and political element which they bring into the mass. As the social machinery must come to a stand if' all possessed so fixed an individuality as to think and act without regard to the general bent of opinion; so would it acquire too much momentum, if none were distinguished by habits of' feeling springing altogether from within. In schools, and especially in large schools, the two les, sons learned by boysmsometimes by two classes of' tem- pers, but often by the same individuals at different stages of their course, are the lesson of domination, and the lesson of abject compliance with tyranny. Even the degree in which, of late, public attention has been directed toward the evils whence so much mischief has been proved to arise, has not availed to alleviate them more than to a very small amount; nor can it be doubted but that, as well the habit of tyrannizing, as the habit of' yielding servile sub, mission, notwithstanding the correction they may receive in entering upon life, must, more or less, continue to affect the dispositions of men, and in a real, if not in a very con-. spicuous manner, exert an influence over the political tern? per and movements of the community. But a very difibrent class of feelings belongs to young persons educated at home, and who, although perhaps they may not be prompt to contend for the foremost positions in society, are wholly unprepared to cringe before arro-. gance and oppression. They have moreover acquired in seclusion that decisive individuality of temper which impe!a
Page:Home Education by Isaac Taylor (1838).djvu/29
This page needs to be proofread.