The Parents' Review School, an output of the Parents Union, was, in the first place, designed to bring home schools, taught by governesses, up to the standard of other schools. A Training College for governesses, with Practising School, etc., was established later. Children may not enter the School under six; because we think the first six years of life are wanted for physical growth and the self-education which children carry on with little ordered aid. The Parents' Review School is conducted by means of programmes of work, in five classes, sent out, term by term, to each of the home schools (and to some other schools); and the same programmes are used in the Practising School. Examination papers are set at the end of each term.
The work is arranged on the principles which have been set forth in this volume; a wide curriculum, a considerable number of books for each child in the several classes, and, besides, a couple of hours' work daily, not with Books but with Things. Many of the pupils in the school have absorbed, in a way, the culture of their parents; but the children of uncultured parents take with equal readiness and comparable results to this sort of work, which is, I think, fitted, not only for the clever, but for the average and even the dull child.
Class Ia.––The child of six goes into Class Ia.; he works for 2 1/2 hours a day, but half an hour of this time is spent in drill and games. Including drill, he has thirteen 'subjects' of study, for which about sixteen books are used. He recites hymns, poems, and Bible verses; works from Messrs Sonnenschein and Nesbitt's ABC Arithmetic; sings French and English songs; begins Mrs Curwen's Child Pianist, learns to write and to print, learns to read, learns French orally, does brush-drawing and various handicrafts. All these things are done with joy, but cannot be illustrated here. Bible lessons, read from the Bible; tales, natural history, and geography are taught from appointed books, helped by the child's own observation.
Our plan in each of these subjects is to read him the passage for the lesson (a good long passage), talk about it a little, avoiding much explanation, and then let him narrate what has been read. This he does very well and with pleasure, and is often happy in catching the style as well as the words of the author.
Certain pages, say 40 or 50, from each of the children's books are appointed for a term's reading. At the end of the term an examination paper is sent out containing one or two questions on each book. Here are a few of the answers. The children in the first two classes narrate their answers, which someone writes from their dictation.
Q. Tell the story of Naaman.
A. (aged 6 3/4):––
"Naaman had something the matter with him, and his master sent a letter to the King of Israel, and the king was very unhappy and did not know what to do because he thought that he wanted to come and fight against him, and he rent his clothes. And he said, 'I can't cure him,' so he sent him to Elisha, and he told him to take a lot of presents and a lot of things with him. And when Naaman came to Elisha's door, Elisha sent Gehazi to tell him to dip himself seven times in the waters of Jordan, and he said to himself, 'I surely thought he would have come out, and I thought a lot of people would come out and make a fuss'; and he went back in a rage. And his servant said to him, 'Why didn't you go?' And he said, 'My rivers are much the best.' So his servants said, 'If he had asked you to do some great thing, wouldst thou have done it?' So he went and dipped himself seven times in the water, and when he came out he was quite all right again. And when he was coming home they saw Gehazi coming, so Naaman told them to stop the horses, and so they stopped, and Gehazi said, 'There are some people come to see me, please give me some money and some cloaks,' and they were very heavy, so Naaman sent some of his men to carry them, and when he came near the house he said to his servants, 'You can go now.' Elisha said, 'Because you have done this you shall have the leprosy that Naaman had.'"
Q. Tell a fairy story.
B. (aged 6 3/4):––
"When Ulysses was coming back from Troy he passed the Sirens. He could hear them, but he couldn't get to them, because he was bound. He wanted to get to them so as he could listen to them a long time, because a lot of people had come and listened to them, and they found it so beautiful that they wanted to stay there, and they stayed till they died. His companions couldn't hear them because they stopped up their ears with wax and cotton-wool. And this was the song they sang:––
Hither, come hither and hearken awhile,
Odysseus far-famed king,
No sailor has ever passed this way
But has paused to hear us sing.
Our song is sweeter than honey,
And he that hears it knows
What he never learnt from another,
And his joy before he goes.
We know what the heroes bore at Troy
In the ten long years of strife,
We know what happened in all the world,
And the secret things of life.'
And then they rowed on till at last the song faded away, and they rowed on and on for a long time, and then when they could not hear them nor see them, the wax was taken out of their ears, and then they unbound Ulysses."
Q. What have you noticed (yourself) about a spider?
C. (aged 7 3/4):––
"We have found out the name of one spider, and often have seen spiders under the microscope––they were all very hairy. We have often noticed a lot of spiders running about the ground––quantities. Last term we saw a spider's web up in the corner of the window with a spider sucking out the juice of a fly; and we have often touched a web to try and make the spider come out, and we never could, because she saw it wasn't a fly, before she came out.
"I saw the claw of a spider under the microscope, with its little teeth; we saw her spinnerets and her great eyes. There were the two big eyes in one row, four little ones in the next row, and two little ones in the next row. We have often found eggs of the spiders; we have some now that we have got in a little box, and we want to hatch them out, so we have put them on the mantelpiece to force them.
"We saw the circulation in the leg of another spider under the microscope; it looked like a little line going up and down."
Q. Gather three sorts of tree leaf-buds and two sorts of catkin, and tell all you can about them.
D. (aged 6):––
(1) "The chestnut bud is brown and sticky, it is a sort of cotton-woolly with the leaves inside. It splits open and sends out two leaves, and the leaves split open.
(2) "The oak twig bas always a lot of buds on the top, and one bud always dies. Where the bud starts there is a little bit of knot-wood. The oak-bud is very tiny.
(3) "The lime bud has a green side and a red side, and then it bursts open and several little leaves come out and all the little things that shut up the leaves die away.
(4) "Golden catkins and silver pussy palms of a willow tree. The golden catkins have stamens with all the pollen on them. They grow upwards, and two never grow opposite to each other. The silver pussy palms have seed boxes, with a little tube growing out, and a little sticky knob on the top. The bees rub the pollen off their backs on to the sticky knob."
Q. Tell about the North-West Passage. (Book studied, The World at Home.)
E. (aged 7):––
"People in England are very fond of finding things out, and they wanted to find out the North-West Passage. If people wanted to go to the Pacific Ocean, they had to go round Africa, by the Cape of Good Hope, or else round South America by Cape Horn. This was a very long way. They thought they might find out a shorter way by going along the North Coast by America, and they would come out in the Pacific Ocean. They would call this way the North-West Passage. First one man and then another tried to find a way. They found a lot of straits and bays which they called after themselves. The enemy they met which made them turn back was the cold. It was in the frozen zone, and the sea was all ice, and the ice lumps were as big as mountains, and when they came against a ship they crashed it to pieces. Once a man named Captain Franklin tried over and over again to find the North-West Passage, and once he went and never came back again, for he got stuck fast in the ice, and the ice did not break, and he had not much food with him, and what he had was soon eaten up, and he could not get any more, for all the animals in that country had gone away, for it was winter, and he could not wait for the summer, when they would return. A ship went out from England called the Fox to look for him, but all they found was a boat, a Bible, a watch, and a pair of slippers near each other. After looking a lot they found the North-West Passage, but because there is so much ice there the ships can't use it."
Class lb.––In Class lb., the children are usually between seven and eight, but may be nine. They have fifteen 'subjects' (perhaps twenty-three books). The subjects which do not lend themselves to illustration are a continuation of the work in Class la. But by this time the children can usually read, and read for themselves some, at any rate, of their books for History, Geography, and Tales. In Class lb. the children narrate their lessons as in la., and, also, their answers to the examination questions. They appear to enjoy doing this; indeed, the examinations which come at the end of each term are a pleasure; the only difficulty is that small children want to go on 'telling.' Their words are taken down literally. One is struck by the correctness and copiousness of the language used; but young children delight in words, and often surprise their elders by their free and correct use of 'dictionary words.' One notices the verve with which the children tell the tale, the orderly sequence of events, the correctness and fulness of detail, the accuracy of names. These things are natural to children until they are schooled out of them.
Q. Tell all you know about St Patrick. (Book studied, Old Tales from British History.)
A. (aged 7):––
"St Patrick was the son of a Scotch farming clergyman, and one day some Irish pirates came and took Patrick with them to make him a slave; and they sold him to an Irish nobleman. And the Irish nobleman made him a shepherd to take care of his flocks, and shepherds have a lot of time to think when they are out guarding their flocks by night. And Patrick was very sorry that the poor Irish were heathens. One day he slipped off and got into a boat with some sailors, and after a great adventure, for their food ran short, they arrived safely in Scotland. And Patrick was still thinking about the Irish, so he went off in a boat of his own, with a few followers, to Ireland. A shepherd saw them coming, and told his master the pirates were coming. So he armed his servants and went down to meet the pirates, but when he heard the errand they were on, he offered them to come into his house. Now Patrick settled in Ireland, but some heathen priests rose up against him, and a wise man said, 'What is the good of killing him? Other Irish people are now Christians, and they will teach too.' So he saved his life. And Patrick gave him the book of Psalms written by his own hand. One day Patrick asked a rich man if he might have a little plot of land on the top of a hill, but the rich man refused him, but gave him a little plot of land at the bottom of the hill. And there Patrick built a church, and a house for himself and servants to live in. Then the rich man got ill, and was just about to die, but got better, but as he thought Patrick was like a wizard, who could foretell his fortune, he thought he'd better try to please him. So he sent him a brass cauldron, enough to hold one whole sheep, and Patrick said 'I thank you, master.' The rich man was angry, and sent for the cauldron back again, and Patrick said, 'I thank you, master.' So the rich man was ashamed, and brought back the cauldron, and said he could have the little plot of land on the top of the hill. So they went up to measure it. Then a roe-deer dashed out of the thicket, but left her fawn behind her, and the men were going to kill the fawn, but Patrick took it up and carried it down the hill; the mother followed, for she saw he was doing no harm to it. On that place he built a fine church, which is still standing. And Patrick died on a journey, and was buried at a place called Downpatrick after him."
Q. Tell what you know about Alfred Tennyson. (Book studied, Mrs Frewen Lord's Tales from Westminster Abbey.)
B. (aged 7 1/2):––
"Alfred Tennyson was born in 1809, and he loved the country very much. One Sunday when they were going out to chapel, except Lord Tennyson as he was very young, his brother Charles gave him his slate to write about birds and flowers, and when they came back he had filled his slate with his first poem. He and his brother used to make up stories that sometimes lasted a month. He was very shortsighted, and when he was looking at anything it looked as if he were smelling it. He had good ears, for he could hear the shriek of a bat. Alfred Tennyson wrote The Revenge and The Siege of Lucknow, and Sir John Franklin's poem:––'
'Not here; the white North hath thy bones,
And thou, heroic sailor soul,
Art passing on thy happier voyage now,
Toward no earthly pole.'
And he also wrote the May Queen and Cradle Song. Because his poetry was so good the Queen gave him a name and knighted him. He says that if you tread on a daisy it will turn up and get red. He was 83 years old when he died––the year he died in was 1892. He was buried in Westminster Abbey, in Poets' Comer.'
Q. What is a hero? What heroes have you heard of? Tell about one.
C. (aged 7):––
"(1) A hero is a brave man. (2) Count Roland, Huon at Bordeaux, the Horatii and Curatii. (3) Once there was a brave Emperor called Charlemagne, and he was fighting with the heathen King of Saragossa. Just a wee bit of land was left to the heathen king, so he sent a messenger to speak about peace. They pretended that they would have peace, so they went back to Charlemagne and asked him to leave Roland behind to take charge of the mountain passes. So Charlemagne said that he would leave Roland behind because there was none so brave as him, so that when Charlemagne had turned his army they should come in great numbers to fight against Roland. And Roland stayed behind with twenty thousand men, and Oliver heard a great noise by the side of Spain, and then Oliver climbed on a pine tree, and he saw the arms glimmering and the spears shining, and then he said to Roland that there were a full hundred thousand, and that they just had so few, and that it was much better to sound his horn and Charlemagne will turn his army. Roland said he would be mad if he did that. Oliver said again to sound his horn, and Roland said he would lose his fame in France if he did it. Then Oliver said again, 'Friend Roland, sound thy horn and Charles will hear it, and turn his army.' Then all the mountain passes were fuIl of the enemies, and when they came nearer they fought, and they fought, and they fought, and at last the Christians were falling too, and when there were only sixty left he blew his horn, Charlemagne heard it and said he must go, and Ganelon said he was just pretending, but then Charlemagne heard it fainter, and knew that it was true that he must go, and then fainter again, but Charlemagne was nearer and so heard it better. And Roland said, 'Ride as fast as you can for many men have been killed, and there are few left.' Then Charlemagne bade his men sound their horns, so that they knew that help was near and then the heathen fled away. There were just the two left, Roland and the Archbishop, and Roland said to the Archbishop that he would try to fetch the dead bodies of the braver soldiers. Then the Archbishop said to Roland, 'Quick, before I die.' Then Roland went and brought them before the Archbishop and laid them down there. Then he went and searched the field again, and under a pine tree he found Oliver's body, then he brought it too and laid it in front of the Archbishop. Then Roland fainted to the ground, then the Archbishop tried to bring some water for Roland, and he fell down and died. Then Roland put the hands over the chest of the Archbishop, then he prayed to God to give him a place in Paradise, and then he said that the field was his. Before he died he put his sword and his ivory horn under him, and laid himself down on the ground, so that Charlemagne, when he came, would know that he was the conqueror. And God sent St Michael and another saint to fetch his soul up to heaven."
Q. Gather three sorts of tree leaf-bud and two sorts of catkin and tell all you can about them.
E. (a cottage child aged 9):––
"Beech Twig.––It has rather a woody stalk, and it is a very light grey-browny stalk, and it is very thin, and the little branches that grow out are light brown and it is thicker where the buds are and it is a lighter brown up at the top than it is at the bottom, and the buds are a light reddy-brown and very pointed, and they are scaly. The bark is rather rough and there is a lot of little kind of brown spots on it.
"Lime Twig.––It is called Ruby-budded Lime because the buds are red, and they are fat rather, and they have got some green in as well, and they come rather to a point at the top, they grow alternately and the little stalk that they grow out of is reddy-green, and the top part of the stalk is green, and it is woody, and it is rough, and it is a reddy-green at the bottom. Where the buds come out it is swelled out, the bark has come off and it has left it white and woody. At the top of one of the stalks the bud has come off.
"Sycamore Twig.––Well, the back is very woody, and it is a brown stalk and it is rough and there is a little weeny bud growing out of the side, and the buds grow out two and two, and there are a lot of little buds.
"Willow.––Well, the stalk is a dark brown, and is very smooth and it will bend very easily, and the buds when they first come on the stalk are little brown ones, and then a silvery-green comes out and there is a scale at the bottom, and then they get greyer and bigger with little green leaves at the bottom, and then it comes yellow, and there is a lot of pollen on it. If you touch it the pollen comes on your finger.
"Hazel.––Well, the stalk is a dark brown, something the colour of the willow, and it bends easily, and the buds are green and there is little scales, and then the catkins come and they grow very long, and there is a lot of little flowers in one, and there is pollen in that, and the stalk is rather rough, and there are some big buds at the top just bursting, and the leaves are coming out, and the buds are very soft and glossy, and the scales are at the bottom."
Q. What have you noticed about a thrush? Tell all you know about it.
F. (aged 8):––
"Thrushes are browny birds. They eat snails, and they take the snail in their mouths and knock it against a stone to break the shell and eat the snail. I found a stone with a lot of bits of shell round it, so knew that a thrush had been there. Where we used to live a thrush used to sing every morning on the same tree. The song of the thrush is like a nightingale. We often see a lot of thrushes on the lawn before breakfast or after a shower. They have yellow beaks and their breasts are specked with lovely yellow and brown. Once we found a thrush asleep on a sponge in a bedroom and we carried it out and put it on a tree. Thrushes eat worms as well as snails, and on the lawn they listen with their heads on one side and go along as the worm gets under the ground, and presently, perhaps, the worm comes up and they gobble it up, or they put their beaks in and get it. Thrushes build their nests with sticks at the bottom and line them with little bits of wool they pick up, or feathers, and they like to get down very much."
Class II.––In Class II. the children are between nine and twelve, occasionally over twelve. They have twenty-one 'subjects,' and about twenty-five books are used. They work from 9 to 12 each day, with half an hour's interval for games and drill. Some Latin and German (optional) are added to the curriculum. In music we continue Mrs Curwen's (Child Pianist) method and Tonic Sol-fa, and learn French, German (optional), and English songs. But I cannot here give details of our work, and must confine myself to illustrations from seven of the subjects on the programme. Children in Class II. write or dictate, or write a part and dictate a part of their examination answers according to their age. The examination lasts a week, and to write the whole of their work would be fatiguing at this stage. The plan followed is, that the examination in each subject shall be done in the time for that subject on the time-table.
I should like to say a word about the Greek and Roman History. Plutarch's Lives are read in Classes II. and III., and as children are usually five years in these two classes, they may read some fifteen of these Lives, which I think stand alone in literature as teaching that a man is part of the State, that his business is to be of service to the State, but that the value of his service depends upon his personal character. The Lives are read to the children almost without comment, but with necessary omissions. Proper names are written on the blackboard; and, at the end, children narrate the substance of the lesson. The English History book used in Classes II. and III. is extremely popular; it is Mr Arnold-Forster's (of about 800 pages), and is well known as a serious, manly, and statesmanlike treatment of English History; in no case is there any writing down to the children. Mrs Creighton's First History of France is also a favourite, though I should have thought there was hardly enough detail to make it so. Contemporary periods of English and French History are studied term by term. For Natural History, Miss Arabella Buckley's Fairyland of Science and Life and Her Children, Mrs Brightwen's books, etc., give scientific information and excite intelligent curiosity, while out-of-door nature-study lays the foundation for science. The handiworks of Class II. are such as cardboard Sloyd, clay modelling, needlework, gardening, etc. These, field-work, piano practice, etc., are done in the afternoons or after tea.
Q. "Ah! Pericles, those that have need of a lamp, take care to supply it with oil." Who said this? Tell the story. (Book studied, Plutarch's Lives: Pericles.)
D. (aged 11 1/2), answer dictated:––
"Anaxagoras, the philosopher, said these words to Pericles.
"Pericles was the ruler of Athens, and Anaxagoras had taught him when a boy. Being ruler of Athens, he led a very busy life, attending to the affairs of State, and so was not able to give much time to his household affairs. Once a year he collected his money, and could only manage his income by giving out an allowance to each member of his family and household every day: this was done by Evangelus, his steward.
Anaxagoras thought this a very wrong way of arranging matters, and said that Pericles paid too much heed to bodily affairs, because he thought you ought to mind only about philosophy and spiritual doings, and not about the affairs of the world. To give an example to Pericles he gave up all his household and tried to live entirely on philosophy. But he soon found his mistake when he found himself starving and penniless, with no house. So he covered his head up and prepared to die. Pericles, hearing of this, went immediately to his rescue and begged him to live; not because he thought death a misfortune, but that he said, 'What shall I do without your help in the affairs of State!' And then Anaxagoras uttered the words which are above, meaning, of course (though putting it in a clever way), that Pericles was to keep him. On the other hand, he might have meant that he had been mistaken in his philosophy."
Q. Tell the history of 'F.D.' on a penny. (Book studied, Arnold-Forster's History of England.)
C. (aged 10), answer written by child:––
"The letters 'F.D.' stand for the Latin words Fidei Defensor, meaning 'The Defender of the Faith.' Henry VIII. had a little while ago written a book on the Pope (who was Clement VII.) saying that the Pope was the true head of the Church, and everyone ought to obey him. The Pope was so pleased that he made Henry Fedei Defensor. It must be remembered that the king had married his brother Arthur's1 widow, a Spanish princess, namely, Catherine of Aragon (sic), and as they had no son Henry wished to divorce her, but the Pope would not anow him to, as he had given Henry special leaf (sic) to marry her. At this Henry was furious, and began to think about the Pope's words, 'Defender of the Faith.' He would not act as he thought till someone suggested it. So two men, called Cromwell and Cranmer, came forward, telling the king to take the Pope's words, not as he meant them, but as they really were, as they stood. The king was delighted, and made Cranmer a bishop and Cromwell his wisest counsellor1. In 1534 Parliament* was called upon to declare Henry head of the Church. All said he was, except two men, Sir Thomas More and Fisher, bishop of Rochester; these would not agree, and were executed in 1535. If we look on a penny we see the letters 'F.D.,' which shows from the reign of Henry VIII. till now the Pope has not been allowed to interfere with England. In order to spite the Pope, Henry allowed the Lutherans and learned men to come into England."
Q. What did you see in the Seagull sailing up the Firth of Forth? (Book studied, Geographical Reader, Book II.)
G. (aged 9), answer dictated:––
"In sailing up the Forth we first of all see Leith, which is the seaport town of Edinburgh. Then we come to Edinburgh. The old and new Edinburghs are built on opposite hills, the valley in between is laid out in lovely gardens. One thing very odd about Edinburgh is that the streets look as if they are built one on top of the other. At one end of the town there is a castle which looks so like the rocks and mountains it is built on, one can hardly distinguish it. At the other end of the town there is Holyrood, where the ancient kings used to live. We do not see many merchantmen because there are no good harbours, there are a good many fishing smacks and pleasure boats. As we go along we see women with big baskets with a strap across their foreheads, and they are calling out 'caller herrings.'"
Q. "And Jonathan loved him as his own soul." Of whom was this said? Tell a story of Jonathan's love.
E. (aged 9), answer dictated:––
"This was said of David. Saul's anger was kindled against David; and Jonathan and David were talking together, and Jonathan had been telling David that he would do anything for him, and David said, 'To-morrow is the feast of a new moon, and Saul will expect me to sit with him at the table; therefore say, 'David earnestly asked leave of me to go to Bethlehem, his city, where there is a sacrifice of his family.' If Saul is angry, then I shall know that he would kill me, but if he is not angry, it will be all right.' Jonathan said, 'So shall it be, but it will not be safe for anybody to know anything about it; come into the field, and I will tell you what to do. Thou shalt remain hidden by the stone, and I will bring a lad and my arrows and bow, and I will shoot an arrow as if firing at a target; and if I say 'Run,' to the lad, is not the arrow beyond thee? go fetch it,' then thou shalt know that thou must flee from Saul.' David's seat was empty at the feast that night, but Saul said nothing. But the next day his seat was empty, and when Saul asked why, Jonathan told him what David had asked him to say. And. Saul's anger was kindled, so much so that Jonathan feasted not that day, for he was grieved; and next morning he went out with his bow and arrows, and the lad, and shot an arrow as if at a mark. Then Jonathan said to the lad, 'Run, is not the arrow beyond thee? haste.' Then Jonathan gave his artillery unto the lad and sent him back to the city ; and David came out of his hiding-place, and they made a covenant together, for Jonathan loved him as his own soul. Then David had to flee to Naioth in Ramah and Jonathan went back to the city."
Q. What do you know of Richelieu? (Book studied, Mrs Creighton's First History of France.)
E. (aged 10), answer partly written, partly dictated:––
"Cardinal Richeleu (sic) was brought to the French Court by the Queen mother, who thought he would do as she wished, but she was mistaken, for he no sooner was there than he turned against her, for Louse (sic) took him into his favour and made him Prime Minister after he had been there a few weeks. Richeleu (sic) was a devoted Catholic, and was determined to put down the Hugenots (sic), or Protestants as we call them, so he laid siege to La Rochelle, the chief town of the Hugenots (sic)2, who applied to the English for help. Charles sent a fleet to La Rochelle under pretence of helping the Hugenots (sic)*
but Admiral Pennington, who was in command of the ships, received orders when half way down the channel to take in French soldiers and sailors at Calais and to go to the French side. When Admiral Pennington ordered the ships to take in the soldiers, his men mutinied and he had to go back. Richelieu had thrown up earthworks across the harbour so that it was impossible to get in. Now Rochelle held out bravely, but at last it had to surrender, and out of 40,000, 140 crawled out, too weak to bury the dead in the streets. La Rochelle was razed to the ground, and never recovered its prosperity. One by one the Huguenot towns surrendered, and thus the Huguenots were destroyed. When Richelieu was made Prime Minister, the nobles did not like him, because they thought he had too much power, and now when Louis was ill, the Queen mother came to him, and in a stormy passion of tears begged Louis to send away his ungrateful servant. Louis promised he would do so, and Richelieu's fall seemed certain. Now all the nobles crowded to the Queen mother to pay their respects to her, as they thought she would now be the most important person in the Government. But one noble, who was wiser than the rest, went to Richelieu and begged to plead his cause before the King. The King promised he would keep him if he would serve him as he had done before. The Queen mother was foiled, and returned to Brussels, where she died."
Q. What towns, rivers, and castles would you see in travelling about Warwickshire? (Book studied, Geographical Reader, Book III.)
B. (aged 9 1/2), answer dictated:––
"Warwick, Kenilworth, Coventry, Stratford, Leamington, and Birmingham are all towns which you would see if you travelled through Warwick.
"The Avon stretches from north to south of Warwickshire. It has its tributary the Leam, upon which Leamington is situated.
"There is a castle of Warwick and Coventry and Kenilworth.
"Warwick is the capital of the county. It has a famous castle, whose high and lofty towers stand upon the bank of the river Avon.
"Coventry is a very old town. It also has a beautiful castle, where the fair Lady Godiva and her father used to live, about whom I suppose you have read.
"Stratford is called 'The Swan on the Avon,' because that is where Shakespeare, the great poet, was born and died, and this is a little piece of poetry about him;––
'Where his first infant lays, sweet Shakespeare sung,
Where the last accents faltered on his tongue.'
"The river Avon takes its rise in the vale of Evesham, then winds through pleasant fields and meadows till it comes to the south of Warwickshire, and then it becomes broad and stately and flows on up to Coventry, where the Leam branches off from it (!), and then it becomes narrower and narrower until it gets out of Warwickshire and stops altogether at Naseby (!)"
Q. How many kinds of bees are there in a hive? What work does each do? Tell how they build the comb. (Book studied, Fairyland of Science.)
F. (aged 10), answer dictated:––
"Three kinds. The drones or males, the workers or females, and the queen bee. The drone is fat, the queen is long and thin, the workers are small and slim. The queen bee lays the eggs, the worker bee brings the honey in and makes the cell, and the drones wait to be fed. On a summer's day you see something hanging on a tree like a plum pudding, this is a swarm of bees. You will soon see someone come up with a hive, turn it upside down, shake the bough gently, and they will fall in. They will put some clean calico quickly over the bottom of the hive, and turn it back over on a bench. The bees first close up every little hole in the hive with wax, then they hang on to the roof, clinging on to one another by their legs. Then one comes away and scrapes some wax from under its body, and bites it in its mouth until it is pulled out like ribbon, this she plasters on the roof of the hive, then she flies out to get honey, and comes home to digest it, hanging from the roof, and in 24 hours this digested honey turns to wax, then she goes through the same process again. Next, the nursing bees come and poke their heads into this wax, bite the wax away (20 bees do this before one hole is ready to make a cell). Other bees are working on the other side at the same time. Each cell is made six-sided, so as to take up the least wax and the smallest space. When the cells are made the bees come in with honey in their honey-bag or first stomach; they can easily pass the honey back though their mouths into the cells. It takes many bees to fill one cell, so they are hard at work."
G. (aged 9), written by child:––
Composition on 'The Opening of Parliament.'
"The opening of Parliament by King Edward VII and Queen Alexander (sic) was rather grand. First, they drove to the Houses of Parliament in a grand state carriage which had been used by George III, and then when they got there they had to robe in a certain room in great big robes, all edged with ermine fur, and with huge trains. Queen Alexandra had an evening dress on, and King Edward a very nice kingly sort of suit (which was nearly covered up by his robes), and then they walked along to the real Houses of Parliament, where the members really sit. Then the king made a speech to open Parliment (sic), and other people made speeches too, and everything was done with grandeur and stateliness such as would befit a king. May Parliament long be his!"
Class III.––In Class III. the range of age is from eleven or twelve to fifteen. The 'subjects': Bible Lessons and Recitations (Poetry and Bible passages); English Grammar, French, German, and Latin; Italian (optional); English, French, and Ancient History (Plutarch's Lives); Singing (French, English, and German Songs); Writing, Dictation, Drill; Drawing in Brush and Charcoal; Natural History, Botany, Physiology, Geography; Arithmetic; Geometry, and Reading. About thirty-five books are used. Time, 3 1/2 hours a day; half an hour out of this time, as before, for drill and games. There is no preparation or home work in any of the classes. The reader will notice from the subjoined specimens that the papers are still written con amore, and show an intelligent grasp of the several subjects. Though there are errors in many of the papers, they are not often the mistakes of ignorance or stupidity, nor are they those of a person who has never understood what he is writing about. 'Composition' is never taught as a subject; well-taught children compose as well-bred children behave––by the light of nature. It is probable that no considerable writer was ever taught the art of 'composition.' The same remark may be made about spelling: excepting for an occasional 'inveterate' case, the habit of reading teaches spelling. All the pupils of the Parents' Review School do not take all the subjects set in the programmes of the several classes. Sometimes, parents have the mistaken notion that the greater the number of subjects the heavier the work; though, in reality, the contrary is the case, unless the hours of study are increased. Sometimes, outside lessons in languages, music, etc., interfere; sometimes, health will not allow of more than an hour or two of work in the day. The children in the practising school do all the work set, and their work compares satisfactorily with the rest, though the classes have the disadvantage of changing teachers every week. Children in Class III. write the whole of their examination work.
Q. Describe the founding of Christ's Kingdom. What are the laws of His Kingdom?
A. (aged 13):––
"Christ came to found His kingdom. He preached the laws to His people. He taught them to pray for it: 'Thy kingdom come.' And He told His chosen few to 'go and preach the Gospel of the kingdom.' He founded His kingdom in their hearts, and He reigned there. He will still found His kingdom in our hearts. He will come and reign as King. The kingdom was first founded by the sea of Galilee. 'Follow Me,' said our Lord to Andrew, and from that moment the kingdom was founded in Andrew's heart. Then there were Peter, James, John, Phillip (sic), Nathaniel (sic), and the kingdom grew. From that moment Christ never stopped His work for the kingdom––preaching and teaching, healing and comforting, proclaiming the laws of the kingdom. 'Think not that I am come to destroy the law or the prophets. I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.' 'One jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law.' 'Whosoever shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, the same shall be called the least in the kingdom.' No commandment was to pass from the law, but there was a new commandment, a new law, and that was 'love.' 'Love your enemies.' The Pharisees could not understand it. 'Love your friends, and hate your enemies,' was their law. But Jesus said, 'Bless them that curse you, and pray for them that despitefully use you.' 'Give, hoping for nothing in return'; and, 'Whosoever shall smite thee on one cheek turn to him the other also.' Christ's law is the love which 'suffereth long and is kind. . . . seeketh not her own . . . never faileth . . . hopeth all things, endureth all things'; and 'now abideth faith, hope, and charity, these three, but the greatest of these is––love.'"
Q. Explain 'English Funds, Consols 2 3/4 per cent, 113.
And give an account of the South Sea Bubble. (Book studied, Arnold-Forster's History of England.)
B. (aged 14 1/2):––
"This means that when the South Sea Company first appeared, the Government gave them £113 on condition that the Company should give 2 3/4 per cent, which means £2 15s. on every £100 lent, for a certain number of years. In the reign of George I. the money matters of the country were in a very bad state. The Government was very much in debt, especially to those people who had purchased annuities, and had a right to receive a certain sum of money from the Government every year as long as they lived. Sir Robert Walpole, who was then Prime Minister, was most anxious to pay off part of this debt. He heard of a Company which had just been started, called the South Sea Company, whose object was to trade in the South Seas. This was what Walpole wished for. He suggested to them that they should pay off the debt due to the people who had bought annuities, and in return the Government would give them some priveleges (sic) and charts which would be useful to them. This the Company agreed to do, but instead of paying the people in money they gave them what were called 'shares' in the South Sea Company. These shares were supposed to be very valuable; and it was thought that the South Sea Company was really prosperous, and that those who had shares in it would have most enormous profit in the end. Thousands of people came to buy shares, and some of them were so anxious to get them that they spent enormous sums of money on these worthless pieces of paper. All was well for a time, but at last the people began to wish for their money instead of the shares, and claimed it loudly from the Company. It was then that the bubble burst. It was discovered then that the Company was quite unable to pay what was due, and that all this time they had been deluding the nation by promises and giving them shares, and that they had never been the rich and prosperous Company they made themselves out to be. Naturally, the most dreadful distress prevailed everywhere, and many were absolutely ruined, so that the Government had to help those who were most distressed. At this point Sir Robert Walpole came to the rescue. He made the Bank of England pay some of the debts, and behaved with such cleverness that he saved the country almost from ruin."
Q. What do you know of the States General? (Book studied, Mrs Creighton's First History of France.)
C. (aged 12):––
"The States General met in May, 1789. The people had long wanted reforms, and been talking about them, and now on the 5th of May, 1789, the States General met again for the first time since 1614. If the nobles sat in one bouse, and the people in another, as was the custom, they could never get tbe changes made. So the people with their leader, the Marquis of Mirabeau, declared that they would not leave the tennis court on which they were standing till it was agreed that they could sit together with the nobles. When Louis XVI. came down in State, and told them they were to sit apart, they said they would not leave their place except at the bayonets (sic) point. When he heard this he said, 'Very well, leave them alone.' So they sat together."
Q. Show fully how Aristides acquired the title of 'The Just.' Why was it a strange title for a man in those days? (Book studied, Plutarch's Lives: Aristides.)
D. (aged 13 1/4):––
"Aristides acquired the title of 'The Just' by his justice, and because he never did anything unjust in order to become rich or powerful. While many of the judges and chief men in Athens took bribes, he alone always refused to do so, and he also never spent the public money on himself. When, after having defeated the Persians, at Platae, the Greek States decided to have a standing army, it was Aristides who was sent round to settle how much each town should contribute. And he did this so fairly and well, that all the Greek States blessed and praised his arrangement. It is said that Aristides could not only resiste (sic) the unjust claims of those whom he loved, but also those of his enemies. Once when he was judging a quarrel between two men, one of them remarked that the other had often injured Aristides. 'Tell me not that,' was the reply of Aristides, 'but what he has done to thee, for it is thy cause I am judging, not my own.' Another time when he had gone to law himself, and when, after having heard what he had to say, his judges were going to pass sentence on his adversary without having heard him, Aristides rose and entreated his judges to hear what his enemy could say in his own defence. In all that he did Aristides was inflexibly Just, and many stories were told of his justice. Though he loved his country well, he would never do anything wrong to gain for Athens some advantage, and in all he did his one aim was justice, and his only ambition to be called 'The Just.' He was so just and good, that he was called the 'most just man in Greece.' In the times in which Aristides lived, men used to care more to be called great, rich, or powerful than just. Themistocles, the great rival of Aristides, used to do all he could to become the first man in Athens, and rich as well as powerful. He did not besitate to take bribes, and all he did for the Athenians was done with a view to making himself the head of the people, and the first man in the State. He used often to do unjust as well as cruel things in order to get his own ends. It was the same with most other men who lived at this time, they prefered (sic) being rich, powerful or great, to being distinguished by the title of 'The Just.'"
Q, Describe a journey in Northern Italy. (Book studied, Geographical Reader, Book IV.).
E. (aged 12):––
"I am about to go for a tour round the northern part of Italy, and after I have taken a train to Savoy, which is about the south-east of France, I enter into Italy by the Cenis pass, which is very lofty, about 7,000 feet above sea level.
"On arriving in Italy, I come into the province of Piedmont, which has three mountain torrents or streams running through it. These streams join at Turin, the capital of Piedmont, and form the Po river, which flows out on the east coast of France into the Gulf of Venice, On the banks of the three mountain streams are some Protestants by the name of Waldenses, who say they are followers of the disciples, but if you ask any outsider, they will say, 'Oh! the Waldenses are followers of a good man, by the name of Waldo, who fled out of France in the 12th century!
"We will now go and see Turin, and the first thing we say is, 'What a clean town,' and so it certainly is, for it is quite the cleanest town in Italy, as the people have only to turn on the fountain taps to clean their paved streets. And after we have looked at Alessandria, where Napoleon gained his great victory, we leave Piedmont and follow up the river Po, until we come to its next tributary, the river Ticino, which runs up north into the Lake Maggiore, which is five to six miles wide and about sixty miles in length, This lake has four islands, which are named after Count Borromeo and so called the Borromean Islands, which are cultivated like gardens with terrases (sic) for resting places.
"Now let us go to Milan, which is so well known by its beautiful cathedral of white and black marble which have (sic) no less than 4000 sculptures of white marble, with pillars of Egyptian granite. Milan is famous for silks and lace to provide for the numerous palaces.
"We will now go back to the next lake, Lake Como, which is surrounded by mountains, and supposed to be the most beautiful of all lakes. At the south it goes out in a fork, and between the fork is a beautiful piece of land called Bellagia (sic).
"The next lake we come to is the Garda, the largest of all the lakes, and then we go on to the smallest of lakes called Lugano.
"We now having visited all the lakes, take a look at Lodi, the famous cheese market in Italy; after which we visit Verona, where Pliny the naturalist was born, also Paul Veronese. Shakespeare lays the scene of his play 'Romeo and Juliet' in Verona. The short time we have we spend at Venice, the queen of the Italian citys (sic) with its wonderful canals and the marvellous cathedral of St Mark's, also the dark, gloomy palace of the Doge."
Q. How are the following seeds dispersed:––Birch, Pine, Dandelion, Balsam, Broom? Give diagrams and observations. (Book studied, Mrs Brightwen's Glimpses into Plant Life.)
F. (aged 13):––
"The seeds of the Birch are very small, with two wings, one on each side, so that in a high wind numbers of them are blown on to high places, such as crevises (sic) on the face of a rock, or clevises (sic) on a church tower, or the tower of an old ruin. They are so light that they are carried a long way.
"The seeds of the Pine are very small, and the veins in the seed are wriggly, so that the seed is curly, which makes it whirl rapidly in the air, and the whirling motion carries it along a little way before it rests on the ground. It has two small wings.
"The seeds of the Dandilion (sic) are large, with a kind of silky parashute (sic) attached, so that when they fall off they do not fall to the ground, but are carried a little way because the wind catches the under part of the parashute (sic). The seed has a little hook at the top of it which prevents'lt from being pulled out of the ground by the parashute (sic) after it is once in.
"The Balsam seed case splits when the seeds are ripe and sends them flying in all directions, so they are far enough dispersed, and need no wings or parashutes (sic) to help them.
"The Broom seed case is a carpel, more like that of the sweet pea. When the seeds are ripe the two sides of the carpel split open and curl up like springs and send the seeds flying out, so they are dispersed without needing wings or parachutes."
Q. Describe the tissue of a potato and of a piece of rhubarb. (Book studied, Oliver's Elementary Botany.)
G. (aged 13):––
"The tissue of Rhubarb is very fibrous indeed. In fact, it is almost entirely made up of vessels. These are cells which have become tubes by the dividing cell-wall being absorbed. These vessels are very beautiful when seen under a microscope, for their walls are all thickened in some way, in order to make them strong enough to bear the weight of the leaf. Some are thickened by a spiral cord, which goes round and round the wall of the vessel. In some vessels this is quite tightly twisted round the wall, that is to say, the rings do not come far apart; in others it is quite loose and far apart. Another kind of thickening is by rings, which just go round the tube and are not joined to each other. Other vessels, again, have little knots in them like what there are in birch bark.
Q. Give a diagram of the eye, and explain how we see everything. (Book studied, Dr Schofield's Physiology for Schools.)
H. (aged 13):––
"The eye can be likened to a camera, and the brain to the man behind the camera. The image enters at the hole, passes through the lens, is reflected on the plate, but the camera does not see, it is the man behind the camera who sees. In the same way, the image passes in at the pupil and through the lens, both sides of which are curved, and can be tightened or slackened according to the distance of the image. Then the image passes along the nerve of sight to the two bulbs in the brain which see. If you hold a rounded glass between a sheet of paper and the image at the right distance (for the glass cannot tighten or slacken like our lens), you will see the image reflected upside-down on the paper. This is the way the lens acts. There is a small yellow spot a little below the middle of the back of the eye; here the sight is more acute, and so, though we can see lots of things at one time, we can only look at one thing at a time. There is a blind spot where the nerve enters the eye (which shows that the nerve of sight itself is blind) so that some part of every image is lost, like a black dot punched in it. But we are so used to it that we cannot see it.
Q. Describe your favourite scene in Waverley.
I. (aged 12 1/2):––
"A Highland Stag Hunt.--The Highland Cheifs (sic) were in various postures: some reclining lazily on their plaids, others stalking up and down conversing with one another, and a few were already seated in position for the sport. MacIvor was talking with another Cheif (sic) as to what the sport would be; but as they talked in Gaelic, Edward had no part in the conversation, but sat looking at the scene before him. They were seated on a low hill at the head of a broad valley which narrowed into a small opening or cleft in the hills at the extreme end. It was hemmed in on all sides by hills of various heights. It was through this opening that the beaters were to drive the deer. Already Waverly (sic) could hear the distant shouts of the men calling to each other coming nearer and nearer. Soon he could distinguish the antlers of the deer moving towards the opening like a forest of trees stiped (sic) of their leaves. The sportsmen prepared themselves to give them a warm reception, and all were ready as the deer entered the valley.
"They looked very ferocious, as they advanced towards where Edward and the cheifs (sic) were standing and seemed as if they were determined to fight; the roes and weaker ones in the centre, and the bulls standing as if on defence. As soon as they came within range, some of the cheifs (sic) fired, and two or three deer came down. Waverly (sic) also had the good fortune (and also the skill) to bring down a couple and gain the aplause (sic) of the other sportsmen. But the herd was now charging furiously up the valley towards them. The order was given to lie down, as it was impossible to stem the coming wave of deer; but as it was given in Gaelic it conveyed no meaning to Edward's mind, and he remained standing.
"The heard (sic) was now not fifty yards from him; and in another minute he would have been trampled to death; but Maclvor at his own risk, jumped up and literaly (sic) dragged him to the ground just as the deer reached them. Edward had a sensation as if he was out in a severe hail storm, but this did not last long.
"When they had passed, and Edward attempted to rise, he found that besides a number of bruises he had also severely sprained his ancle (sic), and was unable to walk, or even stand. A shelter was soon made for him out of a plaid in which he was laid; and then Maclvor called the Highland doctor or herbalist, to attend him. The doctor approached Edward with every sign of humiliation, but before attending to his ancle (sic), he insisted upon walking slowly round him several times, in the direction in which the sun goes, muttering at the same time a spell over him as he went, and though Waverly (sic) was in great pain he had to submit to his foolery. Waverly (sic) saw to his great astonishment that Maclvor believed or seemed to believe in the old man's cantations (sic). At last, when he had finished his spells, which he seemed to think more necessary than the dressing, he drew from his pocket a little packet of herbs, some of which he applied to the sprained ancle (sic) and after it had been bound up, Edward felt much relieved. He rewarded the doctor with some money, the value of which seemed to exceed his wildest imaginations, for he heaped so many blessings upon the head of Waverly (sic) that MacIvor said, ' A hundred thousand curses on you,' whereupon he stopped."
Class IV.––Girls are usually in Class IV. for two or three years, from fourteen or fifteen to seventeen, after which they are ready to specialise and usually do well. The programme for Class IV. is especially interesting; it adds Geology and Astronomy to the sciences studied, more advanced Algebra to the Mathematics, and sets the history of Modern Europe instead of French history. The literature, to illustrate the history, includes the reading of a good many books, and the German and French books when possible illustrate the history studied. All the books (about forty) are of a different calibre from those used in the lower classes; they are books for intelligent students.
I think the reader will observe that due growth has taken place in the minds of the girls, both as regards judgment and power of appreciation. Not, I think, in intelligence,––
"Love has no nonage, nor the mind."
But as our concern is with boys and girls under twelve, it will be enough to show by two or three papers that this sort of education by books results in intelligence.
Q. For what purpose were priests instituted? (Book studied, Dr Abbot's Bible Lessons.)
A. (aged 15 1/2):––
"The system of the Jewish priesthood was almost entirely symbolical. God ordained it, we believe, to lead the primitive mind of his chosen people onwards and upwards, to the true belief and earthly comprehension of that great sacrifice, by the grace of which we are all now honoured to become 'kings and priests unto God.' In the earliest times of the patriarchs, there was in every holy and honourable Jewish family some voluntary priest to offer up the burnt offerings and yearly sacrifices. We have an example of this in Job the patriarch, who, we read, ministered to his family in the capacity of priest of their offerings. In the wilderness, however, God commanded through Moses the foundation of a separate and holy priesthood to minister in His Tabernacle and offer His appointed sacrifices. The tribe of Levi and the family of Aaron were set apart for this purpose, and in the building of the tabernacle, and the annointing (sic) of Aaron and his four sons, the cornerstone was laid to that great building which became a fit dwelling for the presence of God and the heart of Israel, until Christ came to change and lighten the world; and the symbol and the shadow became the truth."
Q. "His power was to assert itself in deeds, not words." Write a short sketch of the character of Cromwell, discussing the above statement. (Book studied, Green's Shorter History of the English People.)
B. (aged 15):––
"Cromwell was no orator. It has been said that if all his speeches were taken and made into a book, it would seem simply a pack of nonsense. In Parliament though, the earnestness with which he spoke attracted attention. His deeds proved his innate power, which could not express itself in words. He may be called the inarticulate man. In his mind, everything was clear, and his various actions proved his purposes and determinations, but in speaking, he simply brought out a hurried volume of words, in the mazes of which one entirely lost the point meant to be implied. Cromwell also was more of an administrator than a statesman, unspeculative and conservative. He was subject to fits of hypocondria (sic), which naturally had some effect on his character. He considered himself a servant of God, and acted accordingly. Undoubtedly he was under the conviction that he was carrying out the Lord's will in all he did. He was not in calm moods a bloody man, but when his anger was kindled he would spare no one. At times be would be filled with remorse for the part he had taken in the martyrdom of the king; then, again be would say it was the just punishment of heaven on Charles. In giving orders his words were curt and to the point, but in making speeches he adopted the phraseology of the Bible, which added to their ambiguity. One would think he was ambitious, for at one time he asked Whitelock: 'What if a man should take upon himself to be king?' evidently having in view the regal power, and yet according to his own assertion he would rather have returned to his occupation as a farmer, than have undertaken the government of Britain. But in this, as in other acts, he recognised the call of God, (as he thought) and obeyed it."
Q. What do you know of the Girondins? (Book studied, Lord's Modern Europe.)
C. (aged 17):––
"The Girondins were the perhaps most tolerant and reasonable of the revolutionary parties. They were a body of men who found the government of France under the king more than they could stand, and who were the first to welcome any changes, but were shocked and horrified at the dreadful riots and massacres which followed the fall of the throne. Such a party, representing justice and reform, could not be popular with the more violent Jacobins and like clubs. The day came when these latter were in power, and all the Girondins were thrown into prison.
"They were all taken from prison before the Court of Justice for trial, and placed before the judge, where they sat quite silently; they were one by one condemned to execution, receiving the sentence of death with perfect calmness. Only their leader was seen to fall down; one of his companions leant over him and said: 'What, are you afraid?' 'Non,' was the answer, 'Je mours,' he had stabbed himself with his dagger.
"As the Girondins marched back to their cells, condemned to die the next morning, they all sang the 'Marseillaise,' as they had arranged, to tell their fellow-prisoners what the sentence had been. When they reached the prison a splendid supper was placed for them, and they all sat down with great cheerfulness to eat it, none of them showing the least signs of breaking down. Towards morning priests were sent to them, and very early in the day they all marched to the foot of the guillotine, singing asthey went. They kept on singing a solemn chant when the executions commenced, which became fainter and fainter as one by one they were beheaded, until all were gone."
Q. Distinguish between arrogant and presumptuous, interference and interposition, genuine and authentic, hate and detest, loathe and abhor, education and instruction, apprehend and comprehend, using each word in a sentence. (Book studied, Trench's Study of Words.)
E. (aged 15):––
"A man who is 'arrogant' is a man who has right to what he wants, but who is harsh and exacting in taking it. A 'presumptuous' man is a man who expects more than is due and takes it. 'Judge Jeffries was an arrogant old man.' 'Charles II. was a presumptuous king, he thought he could have absolute power.' " 'Interference,' is not minding your own business, and meddling with other people's when we are not wanted. 'Interposition' is more the' doing good by interfering' as protecting a little boy from a bully. 'But for the interference of James all would have gone well.' 'Thanks to the interposition of Mary a quuarrel was averted.'
"Genuine' means real, true, what it seems to be a––'a real genuine ruby.' 'Authentic,' in speaking of a book, means really written by the author to which it is ascribed. 'Dickens' Oliver Twist is certainly authentic.'
"You would 'hate' a man who killed your father. 'Charles II. hated Cromwell.' You would 'detest' a man who had not done you any personal injury, but who (sic) you knew to be a murderer. 'Yeo detested the Spaniards.'
"You would 'loathe' a poisonous snake or a hypocrite. 'David Copperfield loathed Uriah Heep.' You would abhor a man inferior to you in intellect or principles, as a great king would 'abhor' a cringing coward, leave him behind, go on without him, refuse to listen to him. 'Napoleon abhorred the traitor.'
"'Education' is the lessons you receive as a matter of course, as French, writing, grammar. 'Instruction' is this, but more also, it includes moral teaching, the teaching of honesty, and the teaching of gentleness. 'Henry had a good education.' 'No well-instructed Britain (sic) is a coward.'"
Q. Give shortly Carlyle's estimate of Burns, showing what he did for Scotland, and what was the cause of his personal failure in life. (Book studied, Carlyle's Essay on Burns.)
F. (aged 17):––
"Carlyle looked upon Burns as one of the nicest of men and greatest of poets; rather a weak man, perhaps, but covering all his faults with his genius and kindness of heart, clever and persevering, and basely neglected and shunned by his contemporaries. It is quite extraordinary to read the world-famous poems of this poet, and to remember that he was a ploughman, and surrounded only by the most uneducated peasants and fellow-labourers, though, of course, the life of a ploughman in the hills of Scotland is far more likely to encourage poetry and reflection than the life of many a London dentist or hair-dresser far higher in rank; but it is easy to believe in fact, that Burns would have found inspirations for his genius in a flat sandy waste or a grocer's shop, and, as Carlyle says, a man or woman is not a genius unless they are extraordinary, not really inspired if such a person could have been imagined before. Robert Burns has provided Scotland for centuries at least, with plenty of national poetry, his poems are such as can be enjoyed, like flowers and trees and all things really beautiful, by old and young, stupid and clever, fishermen and prime ministers––surely that is a work of which any man would be proud!
"Burns (sic) chief fault, if fault it can be called, and the cause of his failure in life, seems to have been a sort of bitterness against people more fortunate than himself without the art of hiding it. This, real or affected, seems very common in poets, and such an inspired man, a man with a mind greater than kings, must have felt very deeply, almost without knowing it, the 'unrefinedness' of the people he loved best, and his own distance from the admirers who clustered round him later in life.
"All his life, it seems, he was in a place by himself, now spending his time with his own family, acting a part all day, trying to make his relations feel him an equal, pretending to take a great interest in what he did not care for––the pigs, and cows, and porridge, seeing his own dearest friends looking at him with awe, and feeling him something above them, thinking of his 'great' friends, and feeling embarrassed when he came, and more at ease without his presence.
"Now, on the other hand, associating with people, high in rank and education, enjoying their friendship and praise, but feeling, be they ever so kind and familiar, that he was not their equal by birth, and that they could not treat him quite as such, however hard they might try, turning familiarity in his mind into slights, and kindness into condescension. This to a proud man must have been misery, and Burns must have been very lonely in a crowd of companions, thronged with admirers, but without a friend.
"Nobody understood Burns; he shared his opinions with no one he knew. When, at the beginning of the French Revolution he expressed his delight and approval, the people who admired him were shocked, refused to speak to him, and regarded him either as mad or terribly wicked. His poems were not admired as much as they deserved to be, he had hardly any money, was never likely to get on in the world, was shunned and disgraced, and began, as a last resource,1 to drink too much. Ill health was one of his misfortunes, and this intemperance killed him.
"Thus died at the age of thirty-seven, poor, friendless, despised, the man who has given pleasure to thousands, and an undying collection of poems and songs to his country."
Q. Give some account, as far as you can in the style of Carlyle, of the Procession of May 4th. (Book studied, Carlyle's French Revolution.)
G. (aged 14 1/2):––
"See the doors of Notre Dame open wide, the Procession issuing* forth, a sea of human faces that are to reform France. First come the nobles in their gayly (sic) tinted robes, next the clergy, and then the commons, the Tiers Etats in their slouched hats firm and resolute, and lastly the king, and the Oeuil-de-boeuf, these are greeted by a tremendous storm of vivats. Vive le roi! Vive la nation! Let us suppose we can take up some coigne (sic) of vantage from which we can watch the procession, but with eyes different from other eyes, namely with prophetic eyes. See a man coming, striding at the head of the Tiers Etats, tall and with thick lips and black hair, whose father and brother walk among the nobles. Close beside walks Doctor Guillotin,1 learned Doctor Guillotin,1 who said, 'My friends (mes amis), I have a machine that will whisk off your heads in a second, and cause you no pain,' now doomed for two years to see and hear nothing but guillotin, and for more than two centuries after yonder a desolate ghost on this (sic) of the Styx. Mark, too, a small mean man, a sea-green man with sea-green eyes, Robespierre by name, a small underhand secretary walking beside one Dantun (sic) tall and massive, cruelty and vengeance on their faces. We may not linger longer, but one other we must note, one tall and active with a cunning air, namely, Camille Desmouellins (sic), one day to rise to fame and the next to be forgotten.
"Many more walk in that procession one day to become famous, Bailli, future president of a New Republick (sic), and Marat, with Broglie the War God and others.
"The Tiers Etats with Mayor Bailli march to the rooms where they are to sit, but the doors are shut: there is sound of hammering within.
"Mayor Bailli knocks, and wants to know why they are shut out? It is the king's orders. He wants his papers. He may come in and get them, and with this they must be content.
"They swarm to Versailles, the king steps out on the balconny (sic) and speaks. He says the room is being prepared for his own august presence; a platform is being erected, he says he is sorry to inconvience (sic) them; but he is afraid they must wait, and with that he retires. Meanwhile patriotism consults as to what had best be done. Shall they meet on the palace steps? or even in the streets? At length they adjourn to the tennis court, and there patriotism swears one by one to be faithful to the New National Assembly, as they now name themselves. This is known as the Oath of the Tennis Court."
I have placed before the reader examples of a portion of some thirty pupils' work to illustrate their education by books. It is not necessary to speak of their education by Things: that is thorough and systematic; but may I point out that what has been cited is average work. I do not know if the reader considers that I have proved my point, that is, that 'studies'––schoolroom studies––'are for delight, for ornament, and for ability.'