Thursday, April 22, 2010

Charlotte Mason #21: A Lovely Thought

"[People need] the cultivation of the power to appreciate, to enjoy, whatever is just, true, and beautiful in thought and expression. For instance, one man reads--

'...He lay along,
Under an oak, whose antique root peeps out
Upon the brook that brawls along this wood;
To the which place a poor sequester'd stag,
That from the hunter's aim had ta'en a hurt,
Did come to languish;'--

"and gets no more out of it than the four facts of the reclining man, the oak, the brook, and the wounded stag. Another reads, and gets these and something over--a delicious mental image, and a sense of exquisite pleasure in the putting of the thought, the mere ordering of the words....If people are to live in order to get rich, rather than to enjoy satisfaction in the living, they can do very well without intellectural culture; but if we are to make the most of life as the days go on, then it is a duty to put this power of getting enjoyment into the hands of the young....But the press and hurry of our times and the clamour for useful knowledge are driving classical culture out of the field; and parents will have to make up their minds, not only that they must supplement the moral training of the school, but must supply the intellectual culture, without which knowledge may be power, but is not pleasure, nor the means of pleasure." -- Charlotte Mason, Formation of Character

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