Page:The Scholar in a Republic.djvu/15

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THE SCHOLAR IN A REPUBLIC.

done for the world by its book-men. Education is not the chips of arithmetic and grammar,—nouns, verbs, and the multiplication table; neither is it that last year's almanac of dates, or series of lies agreed upon, which we so often mistake for history. Education is not Greek and Latin and the air-pump. Still, I rate at its full value the training we get in these walls. Though what we actually carry away is little enough, we do get some training of our powers, as the gymnast or the fencer does of his muscles: we go hence also with such general knowledge of what mankind has agreed to consider proved and settled, that we know where to reach for the weapon when we need it.

I have often thought the motto prefixed to his college library catalogue by the father of the late Professor Peirce,—Professor Peirce, the largest natural genius, the man of the deepest reach and firmest grasp and widest sympathy, that God has given to Harvard in our day,—whose presence made you the loftiest peak and farthest outpost of more than mere scientific thought,—the magnet who, with his twin Agassiz, made Harvard for forty years the intellectual Mecca of forty States,—his father's catalogue bore for a motto, "Scire ubi aliquid invenias magna pars eruditionis est;" and that always seemed to me to gauge very nearly all we acquired at college, except facility in the use of our powers. Our influence in the community does not really spring from superior attainments, but from this thorough training of faculties, and more even, perhaps, from the deference men accord to us.

Gibbon says we have two educations, one from teachers, and the other we give ourselves. This last is the real and only education of the masses,—one gotten from life, from affairs, from earning one's bread; necessity, the mother of invention; responsibility, that