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THE PROSPECTS OF THE ANNALS.'
«« EDUCATION” again! one of the “ eternal subjects," and the necessity of “ a periodical on education!” It has been talked of, and written about, and inculcated, and explained, and illustrated,' (some of our readers will perhaps exclaim ) until we are weary of it. We are called upon to attend to an essay on this worn-out, tedious subject; and this is only the first article of the first number of the fifth volume of a work, which we are also to read, or to consult, or if we do neither, to pay for, as a means of promoting education!
And what shall we do on receiving such a greeting, at this season of compliments,-neither the “Happy new year!' nor the equally cordial reply, 'I wish you many!'--and all for what? Because it is our lot to present a subject so important that it requires attention every month, so loug talked of, that it has become wearisome to the ear, so familiar that it is thought every one understands it, and yet so imperfectly known, to discuss it, in the view of many, is only to convert a matter of plain common sense, into a science of impenetrable mystery, or an art of unattainable intricacy.
We have often wished we could discover or invent, in place of the hackneyed word education, some new term which should not drive away our readers by the very title of a work or an essay. But after all, we should probably only fare like those who attempt innovation in the technics of religion, and be branded as “new lights,' while we should be obliged to present the old truths under the new disguise, and perhaps incur the charge of double dealing, and fall to the ground between opposing parties. We should still be compelled, like the religious teacher, to impose serious and selfdenying duties, to demand close and careful attention to our subject, and to require the warmest feelings of the heart, the most vigorous efforts of the mind, for a distant, and as many regard it, an uncertain good. It is here, in truth, that our great difficulty lies. “Business,' stocks,' and interest,' are terins which never tire the eye or the ear of those who are seeking wealth ; or if they excite a momentary sensation of weariness, it is soon overcome by the ruling passion. The politician is seldom weary of reading speeches, or of attending meetings; nor does the word 'politics,' or “measures,' or 'office,' ever fail to rouse his mind to action, and his heart to emotion. But education is a paralyzing word, because it brings with it either the idea of a profession too little honored, or of duties too unostentatious, too burdensome, to gratify vanity, or ambition, or the love of ease. While our subject is thus destitute of the attractions which belong to most of the every day topics, it is not invested with the authority which di. vine revelation gives to all the principles and precepts of religion. We