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Franklin in a tallow-chandler's shop. I think Abraham Lincoln had never been sent to a gilt-edged academy, and never graduated at a college of a thousand genera tions. I am speaking in a nation where overy soldier carries a marshal's baton in his knapsack, and it is so speaking that I am takivg it for granted that this city of St. Louis, which has so weil forecast tho futuro in a hundred enterprises, highly resolves to-night that in the future, in this business of books, the ration of the private who is tramping on foot with his musket on his shoulder shall be the same ration which the Secretary of War is to digest to night, or the commander in chief of the great Army. It is two hundred and fifty years since the real people of this country highly resolved that every child born into it should be tauglīt to read and writo, and should share at the common charge in the effort for education, which other countries had made only for their priests and their rulers. It is two centurios and a half since such people as there were in this country highly resolved that for them, and with us and with our children, church and state should be ruled by tho people of America. When they resolved this they meant that all America should be what we now call a school for the training of soldiers; that all America should be as a divinity school for the training of priests, so that every man might be lis own priest, and hold his own personal relation to God; that all America should be a school for the education of sons and daughters of the King, so that the meanest brat born in the meanest hovel might be able to read the Word of Life, or the law of life, as well as the child shaded under purplo curtains in tho palace of an emperor. Truo, when the fathers mado this high decision they did not anticipate to-day. There had not been so many words printed in the world when the United States was founded as were printed in America yesterday, either in the form of journals or of separate volumes. The fathers who founded universal clucation, therefore, did not in tho same statutes establish universal public libraries. But, if they could have forecast the future of type and stereotype and power presses, the futuro of to-day, they would have founded public libraries for every body. And we, who are in that future-we who know what a book is, and how many books there are—we have no idea of limiting any son of God or daughter of God to the 5, 10, or 50 books which he can bring together in his own home. We have learned the great lesson that books are the universal property of the world, and that the light which is lighted is to be put upon a candlestick; it is not to be shut up under any bushel.
We, who are not ashamed of the name of nationalists, do not expect the great victories of cooperation in life to be wrought in one hour, in one year, or in one century. We observe, however, that they have been won already-in a steady evolution. We see with gratitude that this nation has from the beginning been ready to strengthen the hands of its Government whenever anıl wherever the Government acted for each and for all in the establishment of popular education. Thus the fathers determined that one child should havo the same chance as another child. Gradually, in the establishment of their armies, they determined that every man must bear a gun, and that not the one military class, but the whole nation must serve the state. It followed, when they came to questions of suffrage, that they gave the suffrage to every man who had carried the firelock and had riskeil his life for his country. So when, in any city, one wanted to fulfill the Saviour's demand, and give the cup of cold water to the brother who was in need, the people of the American cities, as by instinct, saw that this water must be cold water, that it must be pure water, that it must be God's water, not defiled by human filth or iniquity. And, without asking under what power they did this, tho great cities, as by one step, marched forward, so that the beggar might wash in water as pure as that which flowed for the baths of a palace. The American law is that, if the necessity is a necessity for each chill of God, and is the same for each child of God, to each child of God it shall be given, at the public charge.
That child may be blind; still the state will see that he is taught to read. He may be deaf; still the state devises the method by which he shall be taught to hear. Poor thing, he may be deaf and dumb and blind; still the state folds him in her arms, soothes him on her bosom, and you find that by some magic or miracle she has taught him how to speak, how to remember, how to think, and low to live. In sucli determination that the meanest and the worst shall be nursed and cherished as the noblest and the best, the state does not know the meaning of the word “extravagance.”
Now, even in what I have said, you have observed, you could not but observe, that the very words which we use are all tangled in with our thoughts of what a free public library can do, and what this library is going to do for the people who will use it. Thus, when wo speak of “light” to-day, why, we hardly know whether we speak of the light which comes from one of Mr. Edison's incandescent burners, or whether we speak of the light which comes to a man as ho reads from his New Testament, as ho commits one of Tennyson's poems to memory, or as he follows along on the words of stimulus and suggestion which Georgo Eliot has written down for him, or William Thackeray, or any other mistress of life, or master. It is all light, and it shines for all. It is interesting, indoed, to see how, in the common talk and common thonglit of people, they have even como round to feel that the uso of these intellectual facilities presupposes moral excellence and spiritual retinement. We carry it farther than we ought to carry it. When we say of one of our neighbor's boys that he is a nuisance to the neighborhood, he is all the time in the street, we say of his brother, “There is a good boy; he always has his book and is sitting by the fireside reading." We really think that reading is virtue. This is because we have found out that in the training of the memory there comes in the training of the moral sense, and in the long run wo find ourselves more willing to trust the Watt, tho Franklin, the Edison, tho Lincoln, who have spent their time in diligent reacling, than those who have not concentrated thought, attention, memory, imagination, or any of the faculties of tho mind; those who havo let them go will, and perhaps result in nothing.
And we are sure that where street arabs, or dreaming ladies, or men of affairs are Inred into the crypts of our libraries wo are going to have a suffrago more pure, administration more strong, finance more simple. We know that, as fast and as far as we tempt them by our devices to eat wisely and well of the true tree of knowledge, they will eat of thie fruit of tho tree which is the good tree. The tree best named, the treo of life eternal!
Thero are some conditions of life which we tako as things of course; we see them always and we are not grateful for them. They do not surprise us. Here am I! I could stand on ono of your great bridges and look hour for konr on your great river as it flows by St. Louis. And perhaps there is not a man in this audience who could stand by my side there without being bored to death.
You are used to your river. To me, the miracle is wholly new. Now, just as you take the flow of your river, so does the average American, who knows what America is, take the happy, healthful flow of universal education. We tako it for granted that a man can read. If he can not read he may go and perish. “Served him right," is the verdict of the coroner. “Look out for the engine”—that is the warning to the traveler in all our willernesses, or whatever they may be called and whatever tho name of the engine. The warning is printed in large letters for him to read it. Vain for him to say, when he picks up the pieces of his carriage, when ho collects ono or two buckles of the harness, after the catastrophe which is only not fatal-vain for him to say that the letters above his head were unintelligible to him. “ Whose fault is it that he can not read !” “It is no fault of ours," wo say; "and he will know better another time.”
To learn the value of your river here you need to be on the top of a waterless ranch in Montana, with your dumb sheep or oxen gathering around you, begging you with their plaintivo oyes to give them a drop of cold water to cool their tongues. To know the value of universal oducation, you need to travel in some country, where not one man in ten knows A from 2, or whether the letters “b-o” spell “cat” or spell “mouse."
In Spain, which is like America, in that it is a country of gentlemen, I have said to a railway porter in his own language, “Chevalier, might I trouble you to tako that valise across the street to the hotel," to have the good fellow answer me as courteously, “Chevalier, I will take the valise with the greatest pleasure so soon as the chevalier yonder, who can read, will come and read to all fifteen of us the directions on the luggage.”
Till we have had some such experience, you and I do not know what it is to wait at a ticket window for a clerk to be called who can go through that mystic process which shall show how much four tickets will cost when all the company knows that 43 cents is the price of one. Our machine of life here runs on so steadily with our system of universal education that we do not stop to think how it would groan and falter if we had failed to oil the wheels.
Shall wo, however, set this great engine to running, and then giro it nothing to do Shall wo teach every man, woman, and child in the nation to read, and then give them nothing but baggage tags and danger signals for their reading? Is my boy to be initiated into the mystery of numbers, is he to get an idea of those intricate mysteries of algebra and geometry and what grew from them, and then is ho to be satisfied with calculating that 4 times 43 is 1727 Aro we to train dragoons, skirmishers, riflemen, and light infantry, and then shut them all up in a fortress and tell them that their duty is to police tho parade grounds of the garrison? These are the questions to which America has now come. These are the questions which Mr. Crunden and these gentlemen who have called us here are asking you to-night. It is not enough that the boys and the girls, the men and the women of the nation should read the placards in the streets, whether they advertise tragedies or comedies, mustard or pepper. It is not enough that they should be satistied with anything ephemeral, and even the daily newspaper, in its pride, has to acknowledge that it is nothing more. The time has come; nay, it camo long ago, when man, woman, and child had a right to claim the best for reading. Theirs shall be the gate to all past history, unlocked and thrown open. Theirs shall be the other gato, to yesterday's research and discovery, thrown wide open as well. We ought to open to them the path through the garden in which the poets shall sing for them, in which Shake
speare shall portray for them meu and women like themselves, in which Dante sball lead them through hell itself to purgatory and to heaven. Has any man found a philosophy which tells him how to live? Let it be theirs! Has any Columbus or Da Gama crossed oceans or deserts ? For them has he tried that adventure! Has any son of God spoken words which bring the Father nearer to His children? These are not gifts for any upper ten thousand of the world. These are not like diamonds and rubies, to be locked up in caskets or store chambers for the unhappy people who are imprisoned in palaces. They are the infinite bounty of God for all sorts anıl conditions of nien-as the rain descends upon the evil and the good; as the sunshine blazes for tho just and for the unjust. That tho dew may thus distill in the darkest corner and on the dryest soil, we establish and maintain our free public library.
All that I have said is absolutely commonplace. For that reason I said it. For I am now to rush in, as fools will you know, where even angels might fear to tread. I am to say now what only a stranger can say on an occasion like this and be excusable. You will please remember, then, that I am wholly a stranger to your councils. Since I arrived hero only yesterday, I may say I have taken pains not to inquire about your work in the past, or your plans in the future. Buton general principles, I can guess that Mr. Crunden on one hand has some plans of extravagant audacity, and that on the other hand he has some reserves which the public and even his friends can not account for, and which they say belong to the superstitions of his profession.
On the other hand, I can take it for granted without being told that in the board of trustees there are reverses and delays which the whole press of St. Louis ridicules, and yet that there are some audacious extravagancies lying latent which strike Mr. Crunden aghast when they are whispered to him. Of all this I know nothing, but that where bodies of honorable, intelligent, and courageous men are intrusted with a great public enterprise it must be so. I have repeated my commonplaces and compelled you to hear them, that here and now, on the birthday of this library, I may say one thing to everybody. It is the same thing to some errand boy or runner who shall carry a straw's weight of the responsibility of this library as to the gentlemen yonder who are going to draw up their wills before they sleep to-night, and leave to this library the legacy of their fortunes. The great truth is this: Books are made to read.
I give it to you as a motto to be printed in gold
Ou the main frieze of your largest hoki. They are not made to be locked up in bookcases.
Tho greatest credit to a library is its ability to report at the end of the year that a large number of its books have been worn out in clear and honest service. The Pharisees thought that man was made for the Sabbath, but the Savior taught them that the Sabbath was made for men. So there are Pharisees who think that books were made to be kept on shelves, but the truth is that shelves and cases and alcoves and corridors and stacks and catalogues and runners and desk clerks and assistants and librarians and trustees all exist so that books may be put into the hands of readers. The sooner a book is worn out the better, so that it be carefully handled and honestly used.
I do not say that the book must be taken outside the library walls. That depends. You are doing a good thing for students when you train them as the British Musenm trains them, that they must study where the books are. If one hundred men can consult a volume in one day, as in their almost matchless reading room, that book may do a hundred times as much good in a day as if it had been carried home by a student. This is mere matter of detail
. But I repeat the words, I care not how often, so I can fix them upon the memory of anybody who is responsible. “ Books are mado to read! Books are made to read! Books are made to read! They have no other purpose or object under heaven!”
"Of course they are!” says everybody in this audience, and half the audience add the thought which they are too civil to express, “ What a fool the man is, to come all the way from Boston to tell us that! Or what fools the trustees were to invite him!" I beg your pardon. I have in other times been bullying a board of trustees who held that Pharisee doctrine. And one of them said to me, “Why! Mr. Hale, we hold this property in trust; we have receipted for it; we are like bankers whose stock. holders bave paid them $1,000,000 in gold for their capital.” And was I vot delighted when he gave me the simile; I hardly gave him time to finish his sentence. “Where would your bank be," I cried, “if yon had not lent that capital? Where wonld your stockholders be if you had tied their shekels up in napkius or, like that man in the other parable, if you had buried them under ground ?" And then I read him a lesson, which I trust in God he has not forgotten, how the soul of man is worth more than gold and silver. By so much should he be more enger that these precious ingots which we liave inherited from the mining and minting of all time should be freely sent and invested where their value is best known. When they return from one errand of beneficence, at the instant, if we can, we must send them out upon another. With what pride, indeed! with what heavenly glow of satisfaction, might librarianor custodian hold up before us to-night some tattered and tear-marked volume, the gift to us of prophet or of sage, and say, “This ragged book has comforted ten thousand mourners! I dare not tell yon of the tears which it has consecrated. No man can speak to you of the blessings which from that volume have been set flowing over tho deserts of the world.” It would be sacrilege to compare that glow of satisfaction with the vanity of the collector when he unlocks his safe and with dainty fingers hands to you the morocco and the paper whieh his particular agent, having carte blanche to draw from, bid in at thu Apthorp sale.
Books are made to read! They serve no other use under heaven. Do we indeed prize them as the marvels which they are! You and I go to a longdistance telephone; we listen, it may be, to a sweetheart's whisper, it may bo a brother's laugh; we catch the very accent. We recognize the tone, its humor, or its pathos. Weli inay we wonder; well may we thank God that we live in this day. She was with me in this little office; space was annihilated! Yes, and what is that marvel to the more familiar marvel! Mr. Crunden gives me this printed volume and I am sitting with Homer on the heights of Chios, and without a sound he whispers to me of the rage of Achilles or the tears of Andromache. Or I lio on the bank of anemones in Sharon, and David tells me how the heavens declare the glory of God and the firmament showeth his handiwork. Let me enter Mr. Crunden’s halls, and for me there is no space, there is no time!
If we highly resolve that for this generation, and the generations which follow, reading of the best books shall be the luxury and blessing of all sorts and conditions of men, the effort, the study, and the prayer which have combined to make this birthday of our library possible are answered and rewarded. If we know that books are made to read; if we highly resolve, as we lovo God and hope for heaven, that all men and women shall ono day come to read them, why, the future is sure! The details will determine themselves. And each new invention of Mr. Crunden, each new victory of your trustees, will bud and blossom in a hundred more. Of these I dare not prophesy. In the legends of that fabled city of Sybaris, it is said that there were no locks on the library doors; they could always be opened; and the reading room was open from midnight to midnight, from New Year to New Year, from century to century. Mr. Crunden knows, your trustees know, whether such matchless success be possible in St. Louis.
I am sure of this, because you people here are practical. I am sure no holiday will be too good for men to read in. În my own dear city, alas, we open the library for every day in the year when the people are at work, but we shut it in their faces on their few days of leisure. We let them read on Sunday, but not on their days of independence, fasting, or thanksgiving. I can not think you will imitate us. My partivg wish for you shall be, that from the beginning you shall know that no day is too good a day to read of Gol's Word or His works; that no festival is so sacred to iedependence but men may reap of the triumphs of the fathers; that no holiday of thanksgiving can be better spent than in praising God for the poets and the prophets. Surely it is not too much to ask of this central city, in that nation which is the central nation in the world, which is for our purposes the center of the uni
So fast as the choicest treasures of that universe are collected here you will give the fullest opportunity for each man, woman, and child to enjoy them and to
We give our child his name on his birthday. He is not only called “Library." He has two names-he is called “Public Library.” Not for one is he sent on his road, not for four hundred, not for the upper ten. He is a messenger to the public, to each and to all.
But, as I said, my mission is not one of advice, but of congratulation. When, in 1803, Robert Livingston, in many respects the first statesman, as he was the wisest prophet of his time, bought for $15,000,000 all the country between the Rocky Mountaino and the Mississippi, he wrote thus to his prudent and careful master, Jefferson:
“I know that the price paid is enormous. I have said to them that in a century we should not send ten thousand people across the Mississippi River.”.
Your fathers-nay, some of you-were among the first to disprove that prophecy. Their privilege and yours has been more than most men can boast to show what America is and is to be. Give her an object lesson, gentlemen and ladies, in tho central matter, in the central work of education, Establish here the freest and best public library in the world.
[From the report of State Supt. Addison B. Poland, for 1892-93.] STATE FUNDS SHOULD BE APPORTIONED ON THE BASIS OF NUMBER OF TEACHERS.
It is clear that somo steps should be taken to secure a larger percentage of increase in the teaching force of the State.
I would suggest here that a remedy can be found in adopting a different basis for the distribution of the State appropriation than that of school census, as now prescribed.
For instance, a district having a school population of 45 children or over draws from the Stato a sum not less than $375. One teacher only is required. Now, an increase, say, of 45 more children in the district will largely increase the amount of State appropriation received.
But no additional teacher is required; hence, the larger the number of children and the smaller the number of teachers the cheaper the cost of maintaining the schools of a district.
Now I beg to recommend that the law be so amended as to make it for the interest of a district having 50 or more pupils attending school to employ an additional teacher.
This can be oasily effected by apportioning a part of the school tax on the basis of so much per teacher employed. The State money is now appropriated wholly on the basis of number of children to be taught; how many are actually taught or how they are taught, whether by tens or by hundreds per teacher, makes no difference. This is essentially wrong. The school law needs to be remedied at this vital point.
THE NEW JERSEY SYSTEM OF GRADIXG RURAL SCHOOLS.
Under the New Jersey school law county superintendents have the power, by and with the approval of trustees, to prescribe a uniform course of study for their respective counties. For this reason, among others, a uniform State system has never been adopted. It has been thought best by my predecessors to leave the matter of grading entirely in the hands of the county and city officers, and to discourage the adoption of a uniform State system, on the ground that a uniform State system for rural schools is no more needed than a uniform State system for city schools. The county superintendent stands, mutato nomine, in the same position as the city superintendent. A careful comparison, then, of tho several county systems will show the following to be the essential features of them all:
(1) A course of study consisting of fire grades.— The first four covering all the work 1181ally done in the primary and grammar scliools of our best city systems; the last grade, the work of the first two years of the ordinary high school. This course is little more than a general outline of studies. It does not go into details in any subject. In no case does it give more than the proper sequence of topics. It aims also to fix only approximately the time at which the work of any grade may be completed.
This latter is important, since to fix definitely the time for the completion of a grade would be fatal to the system; it would not leave sufficient latitude for the special needs of particular schools. So also a detailed programme would tend to narrow and mechanize the work, as in some cities, where it is the bane of the system,
By creating few grades it becomes possible for both rural and city schools to work together under the same course, since any subclassification may be made within three grades that the local conditions or exigencies of each district or city demand. While thus serving in a measure to unify the schools of a county, this system of grading does not reduce them to the intlexible, cast-iron classification which is so objectionable in many of our city systemis.
In my opinion, this happy division of the course into five grades (four below the high school and one high school), each representing about two years' time for the average pupil, is the fundamental and saving feature of the New Jersey system. Eight or wine annual grades, as in the cities, would be impossible in rural schools; a greater number still more impossible. Such a classitication would give rise to annual or semiannual promotions, which are entirely out of the question in rural schools. But five grades, on the other hand, with no stated time for completion, break up this system of periodic promotions. Bright pupils not infrequently cover the whole four grades below the high school in six or even four years' time. So, also, a pupil may be at one and the same time in two or even three grades, according to his scholarship and capacity. It will be seen, therefore, that this grading by biennial periods interferes in no wise with the proper classification of pupils; it leaves the door open for all the intermediate grades or classes which local or accidental conditions make desirable or necessary. It is not necessary, for example, to find