Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 21.djvu/639

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unskilled gardener treats his plants. He puts them by a window, and pours over them a flood of light and life-giving rays. Instinctively they turn out toward the source of their strength. They put forth their leaves and budding promises, and, as we look at them from the outside, we mark their flourishing aspect and rejoice. But, if we look at the other side, we shall find them neglected, deficient, and deformed. What they want is more light light—on the other side. Were the sun always in the east, our trees would all grow like those on the edge of the forest, one-sided.

So in education, we must open new windows, or rather we must level with the ground all artificial barriers and let every luminous characteristic of modern life shine in upon our school-rooms. We must pay less heed to what the world was two or three hundred years ago, and regard with greater respect what the world is to-day.

The Arts of Expression.—Dr. Youmans recently said ("Popular Science Monthly," May, 1882): "The human mind is no longer to be cultivated merely by the forms or arts of expression. The husks and shells of expression have had sufficient attention; we have now to deal with the living kernel of truth. . . . Under the old ideal of culture, a man may still be grossly ignorant of the things most interesting and now most important to know. . . . Modern knowledge is the highest and most perfected form of knowledge, and it is no longer possible to maintain that it is not also the best knowledge for that cultivation of mind and character which is the proper (i. e., the highest) object of education."

I desire, for a moment, to direct your attention to the arts of expression. Next in rank to the ability to think deeply and clearly is the power of giving clear and full expression to our thoughts. This last can be done in various ways. As this brings me squarely upon a subject I wish to impress strongly upon you, I will illustrate it by a somewhat elaborate example:

A gentleman recently called upon me for my opinion concerning a certain automatic brake for freight-cars. The device was new to me, but it lay pretty clearly defined in the mind of my visitor. It was not original with him, but for the purposes of my illustration it might have been. Before I could pass judgment, the device must lie as clearly in my mind as, perhaps more clearly than, it did in his; so he set out to express his thought. He was what we call well educated, being a graduate of the oldest university in the land, and was well versed in the conventionalities of spoken and written languages. Accordingly, he proceeded to utter a succession of sounds. His lips opened and shut with great rapidity, and without intermission a series of sounds fell upon my ears. The sounds I heard were quite familiar to me, as I had been listening to them in one order and another for over forty years, and, as they had always been associated in my mind with certain concrete things and the relations of such things to each