I love stepping back in time.
Do you doubt me?
Do you doubt it can’t be done?
My favorite doorway into history is fragile, thread bound, sometimes ink stained, original editions books… (before the politically correct crowd has had a chance to get their little hands on them.)
Back in 2007 I was doing research for a local history project and wanted to immerse myself in the 1830’s….
On a lark I purchased an assortment of original edition school textbooks from 1833 up until late 1800’s …McGuffy Readers, Ray’s Arithmetic, etc. on e-bay.
And it worked. I was able to re-enter the world of 1839 through the eyes of a teacher, and the scholar. (Students were called “scholar” back then.)
Well, the last few nights I have been pulling the First Class Reader compiled by B.D. Emerson 1833 off the shelf and discovered several keepers.
I am an educator.
Not formally trained but, an educator, never the less.
A teacher friend of ours, who has a degree, and who has sat in my class room on numerous occasions, once said something to me about my teaching ability that removed all doubt in my mind of that concern. (Could I teach?)
Anyway, back to the book…I wanted to share a portion of a poem by Jane Taylor ( link) entitled The Philosopher’s Scales… (She died in 1824. She was a prolific writer and poet, most famous for her poem Twinkle Twinkle Little Star. 🙂
I’m going to only share part of it. Some of the words and her analogies may require a little digging on your part if you want to suck the marrow out… DM
The Philosopher’s Scales
What were they? – you ask:
you shall presently see;
These scales were not made to weigh sugar and tea;
O no; – for such properties wondrous had they,
That qualities, feelings, and thoughts they could weigh,
Together with articles, small or immense,
From mountains or planets to atoms of sense;
Nought was there so bulky but there it could lay,
and nought so ethereal but there it would stay;
And nought so reluctant but in it must go: –
All which some examples more clearly will show…….
Next time he put in Alexander the Great.
With a garment that Dorcas had made- for a weight;
And though clad in armor from sandals to crown,
The hero rose up, and the garment went down….
By further experiments (no matter how)
He found that ten chariots weighed less that one plough.
A sword, with gilt trappings, rose up in the scale,
Though balanced by only a ten penny nail.
A Lord and a lady went up at full sail,
When a bee chanced to light on the opposite scale.
Ten doctors, ten lawyers, two courtiers, one earl,-
Ten counselor’s wigs full of powder and curl,-
All heaped in one balance, and swinging from thence,
Weighed less than some atoms of candor and sense;-
A first-water diamond, with brilliance begirt,
Than one good potato just washed from the dirt;-
Sometimes I wrestle with whether or not my life is accounting for much….compared to, let’s say, someone in politics, certain professions, etc. And after immersing myself in a poem (like this one) my heart is again re calibrated, and tracking as it should.
(Like when you take your car into your mechanic and he does a front end alignment.)
Question for you the reader….
Are there certain authors, poets, books, poems, quotes etc. that you love, that helps you to stay on track? I would love to hear about them. If you have a link, post it. DM