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[286] knowledge of its nature and action. A good opportunity came to me without my seeking it. The King of Prussia had sent Dr. Julius, of Hamburg, to this country, for the purpose of collecting information concerning our prisons, hospitals, schools, &c. I happened to meet the doctor in a literary party in London, and he asked me to become his room-mate on board ship. I did so, and for forty-one days was with him listening to his descriptions of German and Prussian systems of instruction. I was resolved to attempt the introduction of several parts of the system into the United States. I formed my plan, and commenced operations by a public announcement, and an address at Hingham. I found some who understood and appreciated my views, and I worked on with a new convert's zeal. In 1835, I wrote and published; but few read, and fewer still felt any interest. I was considered a dreamer, who wished to fill our republican commonwealth with monarchial institutions. There were some amusing caricatures of me published, to ridicule my labors. These did me more good than harm. I worked with precious few encouragements. I occupied Thanksgiving Day of 1835 in advocating, in a public address, my plan for Normal Schools. I took my stand upon this Prussian maxim, “As is the teacher, so is the school.” I thought the whole philosophy was summed up in that single phrase; and I think so still. I accordingly wrote all my lectures with reference to the establishment of Normal Schools. I now began to lecture before lyceums and conventions, and had many stormy debates, and a wonderful scarcity of compliments. The noise and dust of battle began at last to bring many to the comitia, until we got quite a respectable campus martius. I thought there was one place where I could rely on intelligence and patriotism; and there I resolved to go. I accordingly published in the newspapers, that a convention would be gathered at Plymouth, in court-week, “to discuss the expediency of establishing a Normal School in the Old Colony.” The friends of common schools assembled, and a private room held us all! But soon the truth spread; and my friends in Hingham and Plymouth came up generously to the work. We felt that the two great ideas of the church and the schoolhouse, which our Pilgrim Fathers brought to this shore, were to be carried out, and ever trusted in God they would.

But this narrative is growing too long. In a few words, then, let me add, that I found conventions to be the best missionaries of the truth; and I gathered them in Plymouth, Duxbury, New Bedford, Bridgewater, Kingston, Hanover, Hanson, &c. The Old Colony was ready to take the lead; and we began with petitions and memorials to the Legislature, all recommending the establishment of Normal Schools. How many hundred pages I wrote on this subject, during 1834-6, I dare not say. It was the subject of my thoughts and prayers. The wisdom of the Prussian scheme recommended itself to the reflecting; and, as I had studied it, I was

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