W.F. Markwick.

The True Citizen, How to Become One online

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This book, intended as a supplementary reader for pupils in the seventh
and eighth grades of school, has been prepared with a view to meeting a
real need of the times. While there are a large number of text-books,
and several readers, dealing with citizenship from the political point
of view, the higher aspects of citizenship - the moral and ethical - have
been seriously overlooked.

The authors of this work have searched in vain for something which
would serve as an aid to the joint development of the natural faculties
and the moral instincts, so as to produce a well-rounded manhood, upon
which a higher type of citizenship might be built. The development of
character appears, to us, to be of far greater importance, in the
preparation of the youth for the discharge of the duties of public
life, than is mere political instruction; for only by introducing
loftier ethical standards can the grade and quality of our citizenship
be raised.

It is universally conceded that ethics and civics should go hand in
hand; and yet pupils pass through our schools by the thousand, without
having their attention definitely called to this important subject; and
only an honest desire to aid in improving this state of affairs, has
led to the preparation of these pages.

The plan of the book is simple in the extreme. It consists of
thirty-nine chapters, - one for each week of the school year; - to eachof
which has been prefixed five memory gems; one for each school day.
Especial care has been taken to use only such language as will be
perfectly intelligible to the pupils for whom it is intended.

The largest possible use has been made of anecdote and incident, so as
to quicken the interest and hold the attention to the end. These
anecdotes have been selected from every available quarter, and no claim
of originality is made concerning them or their use.

Into each of those chapters which have to do directly with the
development of the natural faculties, or the moral powers, a "special
illustration" has been introduced; this being clearly marked off by the
insertion of its title in bold-faced type. To these special
illustrations a brief bibliography has been added, in order that a
fuller study of the character presented may be readily pursued where
deemed desirable. It is hoped that these special illustrations will not
only serve to increase the general interest; but that, by thus bringing
the pupil into direct contact with these greater minds, ambitions and
aspirations may be aroused which shall prove helpful in the later life.

A careful presentation of each separate theme by the teacher, will not
only increase the interest in the work of the schoolroom; but, by
developing a higher type of citizenship, will be a real service to our














Every man stamps his value on himself. - Schiller

No capital earns such interest as personal culture. - President Eliot

The end and aim of all education is the development of character.
- Francis W. Parker

One of the best effects of thorough intellectual training is a
knowledge of our own capacities. - Alexander Bain

Education is a growth toward intellectual and moral perfection.
- Nicholas Murray Butler

Education begins in the home, is continued through the public school
and college, and finds inviting and ever-widening opportunities and
possibilities throughout the entire course of life. The mere
acquisition of knowledge, or the simple development of the intellect
alone, may be of little value. Many who have received such imperfect or
one-sided education, have proved to be but ciphers in the world; while,
again, intellectual giants have sometimes been found to be but
intellectual demons. Indeed, some of the worst characters in history
have been men of scholarly ability and of rare academic attainments.

The true education embraces the symmetrical development of mind, body
and heart. An old and wise writer has said, "Cultivate the physical
exclusively, and you have an athlete or a savage; the moral only, and
you have an enthusiast or a maniac; the intellectual only, and you have
a diseased oddity, - it may be a monster. It is only by wisely training
all of them together that the complete man may be found."

To cultivate anything - be it a plant, an animal, or a mind - is to make
it grow. Nothing admits of culture but that which has a principle of
life capable of being expanded. He, therefore, who does what he can to
unfold all his powers and capacities, especially his nobler ones, so as
to become a well-proportioned, vigorous, excellent, happy being,
practices self-culture, and secures a true education.

It is a commonplace remark that "a man's faculties are strengthened by
use, and weakened by disuse." To change the form of statement, they
grow when they are fed and nourished, and decay when they are not fed
and nourished. Moreover, every faculty demands appropriate food. What
nourishes one will not always nourish another. Accordingly, one part of
man's nature may grow while another withers; and one part may be fed
and strengthened at the expense of another.

In Hawthorne's beautiful allegory, the "Great Stone Face," you remember
how the man Ernest, by daily and admiring contemplation of the face,
its dignity, its serenity, its benevolence, came, all unconsciously to
himself, to possess the same qualities, and to be transformed by them,
until at last he stood revealed to his neighbors as the long promised
one, who should be like the Great Stone Face. So in every human life,
the unrealized self is the unseen but all-powerful force that brings
into subjection the will, guides the conduct, and determines the

"The early life of Washington is singularly transparent as to the
creation and influence of the ideal. We see how one quality after
another was added, until the character became complete. Manly strength,
athletic power and skill, appear first; then, courtesy and refined
manners; then, careful and exact business habits; then, military
qualities; then, devotion to public service."

Steadily, but rapidly, the transforming work went on, until the man was
complete; the ideal was realized. Henceforth, the character, the man,
appears under all the forms of occupation and office. Legislator,
commander, president; the man is in them all, though he is none of them.

Half the blunders of humanity come from not knowing one's self. If we
overrate our abilities, we attempt more than we can accomplish; if we
underrate our abilities we fail to accomplish much that we attempt. In
both cases the life loses just so much from its sum of power.

He who might wield the golden scepter of the pen, never gets beyond the
plow; or perhaps he who ought to be a shoemaker attempts the artistic
career of an Apelles. When a life-work presents itself we ought to be
able from our self-knowledge to say, "I am, or am not, fitted to be
useful in that sphere."

Sydney Smith represents the various parts in life by holes of different
shapes upon a table - some circular, some triangular, some square, some
oblong - and the persons acting these parts, by bits of wood of similar
shapes, and he says, "we generally find that the triangular person has
gotten into the square hole, the oblong into the triangular, and a
square fellow has squeezed into the round hole."

A fundamental need is to find out the elements of power within us, and
how they can be trained to good service and yoked to the chariot of
influence. We need to know exactly for what work or sphere we are best
fitted, so that when opportunities for service open before us, we may
invest our mental capital with success and profit.

Self-knowledge must not be confused with self-conceit; for it implies
no immodesty or egotism. Even if the faithful study of one's self
reveals a high order of natural gifts, it is not needful to imitate the
son of the Emerald Isle who always lifted his hat and made an
obsequious bow when he spoke of himself or mentioned his own name.
George Eliot hits off pompous self-conceit happily when she likens its
possessor to "a cock that thinks the sun rises in the morning to hear
him crow."

Margaret Fuller wrote: "I now know all the people in America worth
knowing, and I have found no intellect comparable with my own." Even if
she did not overrate herself, such self-estimate implied no little
boldness in expression. We also read in Greek history, how, when the
commanders of the allied fleets gave in, by request, a list of the
names of those who had shown the highest valor and skill at the battle
of Salamis, each put his own name first, graciously according to
Themistocles, the real hero of the day, the second rank.

Not a few come to know themselves only through failures and
disappointments. Strangers to their own defects - perhaps also to their
own powers - they see how they might have succeeded only when success is
finally forfeited. Their eyes open too late. A Southern orator tells of
a little colored lad who very much wished to have a kitten from a
newborn litter, and whose mistress promised that, as soon as they wer
old enough, he should take one. Too impatient to wait, he slyly carried
one off to his hut. Its eyes were not open, and, in disgust, he drowned
it. But, subsequently finding the kitten lying in the pail dead, but
with open eyes, he exclaimed, "Umph! When you's alive, you's blind. Now
you's dead, you see!" It will be a real calamity to us if our eyes only
open when it is too late to make our life of any use.

All true life-power has a basis of high _moral integrity_. Far higher in
the scale than any life of impulse, passion, or even opinion,
is the life regulated by principle. The end of life is something more
than pleasure. Man is not a piece of vitalized sponge, to absorb all
into himself. The essentials of happiness are something to love,
something to hope for, something to do - affection, aspiration, action.

We must also educate our dispositions. Some one has said: "Disposition
is a lens through which men and things are seen. A fiery temper, like a
red glass, gives to all objects a lurid glare; a melancholic temper,
like a blue lens, imparts its own hue; through the green spectacles of
jealousy every one else becomes an object of distrust and dislike; and
he who looks through the black glass of malice, finds others wearing the
aspect of his own malevolence. Only the cheerful and charitable soul
sees through a clear and colorless medium, whose transparency shows the
world as it is."

Disposition has also its concave and convex lenses, which magnify some
things and minify others. The self-satisfied man sees every one's
faults in giant proportions; and every one's virtues, but his own,
dwarfed into insignificance. To the fretful man others seem fretful; to
the envious man, envious; and so with the well-disposed, gentle, and
generous; sunshine prevails over shadows. The world is different to
different observers, largely because they have different media through
which they look at it.

Cheerful tempers manufacture solace and joy out of very unpromising
material. They are the magic alchemists who extract sweet essences out
of bitter herbs, like the old colored woman in the smoky hut, who was
"glad of anything to make a smoke with," and, though she had but two
teeth, thanked God they were "_opposite each other!_"

Goodness outranks even uprightness, because the good man aims to do
good to others. Uprightness is the beauty of integrity; goodness is the
loveliness of benevolence. The good man visits the hut of misery, the
hovel of poverty, leaving in a gentle and delicate way, a few comforts
for the table or wardrobe, dainties for the fevered palate of the sick,
or such other helps as the case may call for, as far as his means and
circumstances will allow.

A true education should cover all these points, and many others also;
but it must never be allowed to destroy the pupil's individuality. It
must teach that a person can be himself, and study all the models he
pleases. Webster studied the orations of Cicero so thoroughly that he
could repeat most of them by heart; but they did not destroy or
compromise his individuality, because he did not try to be Cicero. It
has been said that Michael Angelo, who was the most original of ancient
or modern artists, was more familiar with the model statues and
paintings of the world than any other man. He studied the excellences
of all the great works of art, not to copy or imitate them, but to
develop his powers. "As the food he consumed became bone and muscle by
assimilation; so, by mental assimilation, the knowledge he acquired by
art-models entered into the very composition of his mind."

The more thoroughly a man's nature is developed under the influences of
a good education, the more justly does he claim the liberty of thought
and action, and a suitable field whereon to think and act. The
materials of useful and honorable life - of life aiming at great and
noble ends - are within him. He feels it, he knows it to be so; and a
denial uttered by ten thousand voices would not check the ardor of his
pursuit, or induce him to surrender one atom of his claim. His claim
involves a right. He is as conscious of it as of his existence. His
mind has acquired the power of observing, reasoning, reflecting,
judging, and acting; and he feels that, like a pendulum, the action of
his mind is capable of giving activity, force, and value, to a large
body of well-compacted machinery, of which he is a part.

It is the mind that acts as the universal pendulum; and if its liberty
of action be circumscribed, and its vibrations consequently fall short
of the mark, then its power will be crippled, and the life, as a whole
will be imperfect and incomplete.




We get out of Nature what we carry to her. - Katherine Hagar

Fools learn nothing from wise men, but wise men learn much from fools.
- Lavater

The non-observant man goes through the forest and sees no firewood.
- Russian Proverb

Some men will learn more in a country stage-ride than others in a tour
of Europe. - Dr. Johnson

The world is full of thoughts, and you will find them strewed
everywhere in your path. - Elihu Burritt

All conscious life begins in observation. We say of a baby, "See how he
_notices!_" By this statement we really call attention to the fact
that the child is beginning to be interested in things separate from and
outside of himself. Up to this time he has _seen_ but not
_observed_, for to observe is to "see with attention"; to "notice
with care"; to see with the mind as well as with the eye. There are many
persons who see almost everything but observe almost nothing. They are
forever fluttering over the surface of things, but put forth no real
effort to secure and preserve the ideas they ought to gather from the
scenes through which they pass.

Every boy and girl in the land, possessing a good pair of eyes, has the
means for acquiring a vast store of knowledge. As the child, long
before he can talk, obtains a pretty good idea of the little world that
lies within his vision; so may all bright, active boys and girls
obtain, by correct habits of observation, a knowledge that will the
better fit them for the active duties of manhood and womanhood.

The active, observing eye is the sign of intelligence; while the vacant,
listless stare of indifference betokens an empty brain. The eyes are
placed in an elevated position that they may better observe all that
comes within their range. These highways to the soul should always stand
wide open, ready to carry inward all such impressions as will add to our

No object the eye ever beholds, no sound, however slight, caught by the
ear, or anything once passing the turnstile of any of the senses, is
ever again let go. The eye is a perpetual camera, imprinting upon the
sensitive mental plates, and packing away in the brain for future use,
every face, every plant and flower, every scene upon the street, in
fact, everything which comes within its range. It should, therefore, be
easy to discern that since mere seeing may create false impressions in
the mind, and that only by careful observation can we gather for future
use such impressions as are thoroughly reliable, we cannot well
overestimate the importance of its cultivation.

It is beyond question that childhood and early youth are the most
favorable periods for the cultivation of this faculty. Not only is the
mind then more free from care, and, therefore, more at leisure to
observe, but it is also more easy to interest one's self in the common
things, which, while they lie nearest to us, make up by far the greater
portion of our lives. Experience also proves that a person is not a good
observer at the age of twenty, in ninety-nine cases out of a hundred he
will never become one. "The student," says Hugh Miller, "should learn to
make a right use of his eyes; the commonest things are worth looking at;
even the stones and weeds, and the most familiar animals. Then in early
manhood he is prepared to study men and things in a way to make success
easy and sure."

Houdin, the magician, spent a month in cultivating the observing powers
of his son. Together they walked rapidly past the window of a large toy
store. Then each would write down the things that he had seen. The boy
soon became so expert that one glance at a show window would enable him
to write down the names of forty different objects. The boy could easily
outdo his father.

The power of observation in the American Indian would put many an
educated white man to shame. Returning home, an Indian discovered that
his venison, which had been hanging up to dry, had been stolen. After
careful observation he started to track the thief through the woods.
Meeting a man on the route, he asked him if he had seen a little, old,
white man, with a short gun, and with a small bob-tailed dog. The man
told him he had met such a man, but was surprised to find that the
Indian had not even seen the one he described. He asked the Indian how
he could give such a minute description of a man whom he had never seen.

"I knew the thief was a little man," said the Indian, "because he rolled
up a stone to stand on in order to reach the venison; I knew he was an
old man by his short steps; I knew he was a white man by his turning out
his toes in walking, which an Indian never does; I knew he had a short
gun by the mark it left on the tree where he had stood it up; I knew the
dog was small by his tracks and short steps, and that he had a bob-tail
by the mark it left in the dust where he sat."

The poet Longfellow has also dwelt upon the power of observation in the
early training of Hiawatha. You will perhaps recall the lines:

"Then the little Hiawatha
Learned of every bird its language,
Learned their names and all their secrets,
How they built their nests in summer,
Where they hid themselves in winter,
Talked with them whene'er he met them,
Called them 'Hiawatha's Chickens.'"

The most noted men of every land and age have acquired their fame by
carrying into effect ideas suggested by or obtained from observation.

The head of a large commercial firm was once asked why he employed such
an ignorant man for a buyer. He replied: "It is true that our buyer
cannot spell correctly; but when anything comes within the range of his
eyes, he sees all that there is to be seen. He buys over a million
dollars' worth a year for us, and I cannot recall any instance when he
failed to notice a defect in any line of goods or any feature that would
be likely to render them unsalable." This man's highly developed power
of observation was certainly of great value.

Careful observers become accurate thinkers. These are the men that are
needed everywhere and by everybody. By observation the scholar gets more
out of his books, the traveler more enjoyment from the beauties of
nature, and the young person who is quick to read human character avoids
companions that would be likely to lead him into the ways of vice and
folly, and perhaps cause his life to become a total wreck.


In 1828 a wonderful book, "The Birds of America," by John James Audubon,
was issued. It is a good illustration of what has been accomplished by
beginning in one's youth to use the powers of observation. Audubon loved
and studied birds. Even in his infancy, lying under the orange trees on
his father's plantation in Louisiana, he listened to the mocking bird's
song, watching and observing every motion as it flitted from bough to
bough. When he was older he began to sketch every bird that he saw, and
soon showed so much talent that he was taken to France to be educated.

He entered cheerfully and earnestly upon his studies, and more than a
year was devoted to mathematics; but whenever it was possible he rambled
about the country, using his eyes and fingers, collecting more
specimens, and sketching with such assiduity that when he left France,
only seventeen years old, he had finished two hundred drawings of French
birds. At this period he tells us that "it was not the desire of fame
which prompted to this devotion; it was simply the enjoyment of nature."

A story is told of his lying on his back in the woods with some moss for
his pillow, and looking through a telescopic microscope day after day to
watch a pair of little birds while they made their nest. Their peculiar
grey plumage harmonized with the color of the bark of the tree, so that
it was impossible to see the birds except by the most careful
observation. After three weeks of such patient labor, he felt that he
had been amply rewarded for the toil and sacrifice by the results he had

His power of observation gave him great happiness, from the time he
rambled as a boy in the country in search of treasures of natural
history, till, in his old age, he rose with the sun and went straightway
to the woods near his home, enjoying still the beauties and wonders of
Nature. His strength of purpose and unwearied energy, combined with his
pure enthusiasm, made him successful in his work as a naturalist; but it
was all dependent on the habit formed in his boyhood, - this habit of
close and careful observation; and he not only had this habit of using
his eyes, but he looked at and studied things worth seeing, worth

This brief sketch of Audubon's boyhood shows the predominant traits of
his character, - his power of observation, the training of the eye and
hand, that made him in manhood "the most distinguished of American
ornithologists," with so much scientific ardor and perseverance that no
expedition seemed dangerous, or solitude inaccessible, when he was
engaged in his favorite study.

He has left behind him, as the result of his labors, his great book on
"The Birds of America," in ten volumes; and illustrated with four
hundred and forty-eight colored plates of over one thousand species of
birds, all drawn by his own hand, and each bird being represented in its
natural size; also a "Biography of American Birds," in five large
volumes, in which he describes their habits and customs. He was
associated with Dr. Bachman of Philadelphia, in the preparation of a

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