Compare an American boy at eighteen with a German or even an English boy of the same age; which is it that has originality, impulse, initiative?
That quality which makes us develop early and assume leadership while others are under tutelage seems ingrain in the transplanted race.
In writing on the history of the old Salem (Massachusetts)
sea-captains the other day, I was amazed to discover the youthfulness of the men whose daring adventure created that vast East India
trade which for a few years astonished the world.
These men penetrated into unknown and chartless seas, opened new channels of commerce, defied treacherous natives and ruthless pirates, baffled England
during the wars of Napoleon
; yet they were almost always under twenty-five, often under twenty-one. Captain Richard J. Cleveland
sailed on a dangerous voyage when neither he nor his first nor second mate was of voting age. An American system of education has to adapt itself to this precocity of type.
Moreover, it has to train to action as well as to learning; and, for something midway between learning and action, it has to train to the power of expression.
Here is where the German system stops short; the German scholar obtains vast knowledge, but he ordinarily does it as a hewer of wood and drawer of water, until the cultivated French
or American mind has applied to it the art of