« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »
sassinated their masters." They laud where the splendor of the shogun's ed the primitive simplicity of the mi- ramparts filled his soul with wrathkados, revealed its decline under cover and when he reached Kioto and saw of imposing ceremonies, and showed the ruinous residence of his decrepit how, under the influence of outlandish god, and realized his utter abandonnotions, power had passed from their ment, he fell upon his knees and bowed hands into those of their servants. So his forehead in the dust, and subsefar as I can judge, these philosophers quently returned home with a heart were but poor logicians;-their meta so torn by compassion that he died of physics at once childish and preten- it. The example of this melancholy tious. But they went back to the mortal proved exceedingly affecting.' sources of the nation's life, and re The exactions of the daimios, the frevived in the minds of their hearers and quent occurrence of famines and fires, their readers a story of which the the cataclysms of nature, tae general memory had long been effaced by the relaxation of discipline, which filled almost exclusive study of the Chinese the country with robbers and other annals. The hidden sense of their adventurers, the universal presentiment dicta, the political doctrine which these of some vague and mysterious agonyinvolved, gave to the oldest of old saws all these things predisposed the popua youth and vivacity which recom
lar mind to incarnate its desires in mended them to the minds of men. In
that unknown and captive emperor, fine, the reformers endeavored to illu whose disgrace appeared more pitiful minate that drowsy chaos with a slen- than its own misery. A new sentiment der beam of true wisdom. They were compounded of tenderness and rever. honest souls and the common people ence--that exquisite devotion which the heard them gladly.
oppressed can feel for a fainting deity In the year 1840 a poor samurai -was awakened here and there in the named Tokayama travelled half the heart of the masses. Pity that circum. length of Japan to see the palace of the stances had not given this sentiment emperor. He went by way of Yeddo- time to mature!
André Bellesort. Revue des Deux Mondes.
(To be concluded.)
FOR THE BOOKPLATE OF A MARRIED COUPLE.
A book our eyes have glanced on
A path our feet have trodden
On springy turf or sodden.
Ford M. Hueffer.
TOWN CHILDREN IN THE COUNTRY.
The Board of Education has recently or imply knowledge, but mainly de. issued a Circular which enables man manded observation and intelligence. agers and teachers in the Rural Ele But sending papers and printed letters mentary schools to take their scholars did not exhaust our efforts to make our for school walks in the country, and little plan known. Mrs. Franklin of there to teach them something of natu- the "Parents' National Educational ral history, surrounded by the sights Union,” to whose inspiration the plan and sounds which should excite ob owes its birth, and two other ladies servation and awaken intellectual curi were so good as to visit certain schools osity. But this is not all. The De and (having secured the sympathy of partment has also arranged, in the Code the teachers) to explain to the children of this session, changes in view of in simple talks some of the beauties which it may be of some value to tell they were to seek, or something of the of a small experiment made last sum pleasures such seeking would bring to mer to stimulate an interest in Nature them. in the minds of a few of the 32,000 On the 27th of July some 16,000 hapchildren who were sent by the Chil py children trooped into the country; dren's Country Holiday Fund into the two weeks afterwards another 16,000 country for a fortnight's holiday. The took their places. All were back by methods adopted were simple. A letter the 26th of August, and by the 10th was written, printed and sent to every of September our questions were in London teacher whose scholars were their hands-ten easy questions for going into the country, to many school Standards III and IV, and ten quesmanagers, and to the clergy and others tions on the same lines, but demanding who were likely to come in contact closer observation, for Standards V with the children. In this letter we and VI. told our aim, asked for the aid of the Children from 470 London Schools teacher's sympathy and were careful to were sent into the country. Fifty-two explain that
schools applied for our questions, tak
ing 1,161 copies; but only twenty-seven Our hope is not so much that the schools sent in replies, as only 330 chilchildren should learn certain facts dren had tried to answer in writing. about Nature so that they can pass an
But still, inadequate as was the reexamination, but that they should learn to observe; for we believe that in so
sponse to the amount of effort which doing they may find pleasure and profit, had been put forth, neither Mr. R. E. and that by degrees observation will S. Hart, the Assistant-Secretary of the develop both reverence and care.
Children's Holiday Fund (who had
done most of the work), nor I felt disWe also wrote a letter to be given to couraged. We had made a beginning, those children who might wish to join and now that the same aim is adopted in the plan after hearing about it from by the Government for the country the teachers, and to this letter we add children, and that greater publicity ed an imaginary examination paper, will show up the object and simplicity which served to show the kind of ques- of the plan, it is hoped that an increastions which we were planning to ask, ing number of children will this sumquestions which did not require study mer begin to observe, and will find a
truer joy in seeing and a wider range babies: horse, goat, cow, fox, dog, cat, of subjects to see.
sheep, frog, rabbit, deer. To the children in all the standards
Thirty-two children out of 127 who we gave questions about trees and flowers, asking the younger ones,
sent in papers were right as to the way
sheep rise. Twenty only realized the "What is your favorite tree-an oak difference between a pig's grunts and or an elm, a beech or birch, a lime or a squeals, one girl generalizing her obsycamore?" and "Say why you like best servation in the sentence that “The the one you choose."
grunt is the nature of the pig," and
another outstepping her by the stateTo this from several children we got
ment that “the pig grunts when he is the stereotyped but out-of-date reply
mad." The large majority of that they liked the oak best, because
young nature-observers "the ships are made from it what de
vinced that little pigs were devoted to fends Englard.” The prettiest flowers
each other, eighteen only being doubta child in the third standard saw were
ful on the point. But the ignorance "nosegays" and "tegtoes and garpees"
shown of the names of the creatures in a garden; but a boy in the fourth
was often surprising. I will give only standard had observed "Vemane, piney,
a few instances: purtunee, genastee and a stursion"
A baby horse is a ponny. growing. This botanical collection was
A baby fox is an ox-a thorn. however, improved on by a girl
A baby deer is a reindeer-a oxen. in the sixth standard, whose fa
A baby frog is a tertpol-a freshervorite flowers
a toad. hats" and "Break your
A baby sheep is a bar lamb. heart," two specimens which, alas!
A baby rabbit is a mammal. savor more of town and alley mem
of the children in the fifth and sixth ories than country pleasures. Another
standards we asked: child in the same standard had enjoyed “Minarets, Holy-oaks and Chame ois
(6) Did you see any rabbits? Do ters"-where, it is not said, but per
they run? If not, will you describe haps in Canon Lester's garden, which their movements? Have you ever nowas declared by a juvenile critic to be ticed a rabbit 'wobbling its nose'? Why the prettiest "cottage garden” he "had do you think he does it? What do rabever seen.”
bits drink? What animals are the enThe questions about animals excited
emies of rabbits?
(7) Do sparrows and rooks walk much genuine interest, but showed that
alike? Tell me something about the the faculty of observation had still to
movements of various birds which you be cultivated. Of the children in Stan- have noticed. What gestures have dards III and IV we asked:
chickens when they drink? Does any
other bird drink in the same way? How (7) When sheep get up from lying many times do crows fold their wings down, do they rise with their front or after alighting? their hind legs first?
(8) Do you think that the big pigs It would take too long to detail the grunt as an expression of pain, or answers so as to be fair to the writers, pleasure or both? Do the little pigs but the idea of the rabbit “wobbling its show any sign of affection to each
nose" appealed to the children, and other? (9) Give the names by which we call
many and various were the causes asthe following animals when they are signed for it.
"To make holes in the ground,” wrote "The moon is the shadow of the earth one child.
on the clouds." "To account for the formation of its “The eclipse of the sun." head,” was the philosophy of another "The clouds." one.
Is it possible? and this from fifth and "It does it when it does what a cow sixth standard children! does, digests it food," is a profound The pity of such answers is not the but an unsatisfactory explanation. ignorance but the knowledge they
"Its washing its face,” shows more show. The children have in one way credulity than observation; while an- been taught too much; their minds have other discarded reasons, and declared been filled with scraps, while their unin a large round text-hand, regardless derstandings have not been strengthof grammar: “I have seen a number of ened. rabbits wobblings its nose!"
The last question for all standards Seven only answered the question was set to test the individual tastes of rightly; but one child, although no in- the children. quiry was put concerning dogs, volunteered the information that “French (10) Will you write and tell us about puddles are kept for fancy, Irish ter
the thing which you liked best during riers as ratters, but the boerhounds are
your holiday? It may be a walk, or a
drive, or a sunset, or an auimal, or a kept for hunting the Boers," our sad
party, or a game, or a person. Whattrouble in South Africa being then on ever you liked very much we should the horizon, and in the minds and like to hear about. What books have mouths of many people.
you read during your country visit? Some of the people to whom I submitted our questions for helpful criti And certainly it did not fail. Among cism objected to the last paragraph of things enjoyed most were: this question:
“The country boys taught me to
swim.” (9) When did you see the moon dur "The head lady, who was Mrs. Macing your holiday? Was it a new moon; Rosee, what paid for me at the sports." a full moon or a waning moon? What makes the moon give light?
“The drive a gentleman gave us in
his carriage." The children, they argued are taught “The food I had.” this in the schools. It does not encour "A game called 'Sister come to Quak. age observation or nature-study, and ers meeting.'" you will merely get a repetition of text "A laddie where I stayed. She was book sentences; but I felt it might help a kind and gentle laddie." the children to connect their coun "The party which Mrs. Cartwright try pleasures with what they were
gave us." taught in school, and so the six words "Paddling at a place called flood were left in. “What makes the moon gates.” give light?"
"Watching a woman milking a cow. Here are some of the replies:
She held a can between her knees and "Electricity causes the moon to pulled the milk out of the cow. I shine."
should like,” adds this observer, "to be “The moon revolving round the sun, a farmer." which gives light by unknown planets." “I also liked the way in witch I was "It is the darkness which shows it treated, and also liked the respectabil
ity of Mrs. Byfield my charge," writes
one young prig; but many, both boys attractions and no temptations for and girls wrote the same sentiment in children under sixteen, for she has simpler language--a delightful tribute written that "what I liked best all the to our working-class homes.
time was that I met a brewer"-a kind Other children, again, evidently en man seemingly, who gave her a ride. joyed rare experiences. “I enjoyed But if I tell more of this sort of anmost a Drive to market in a cart with swers I shall give a wrong impression four pigs in it. ... There I saw men of the value of the work done by the pulling the pigs about by their tails.” children or convey an untrue idea of Inappropriate handles, one would think. the success of the plan. On the whole Another child showed more sympa the papers were encouraging. They thetic feeling for the beasts, for her were exceedingly varied-some deserygreatest pleasure had been "a drive in a ing the adjective "excellent," some unbrake when I sat in front and was glad questionably bad, their value depending I was not a horse."
on the trouble taken by the teachers, Two expressed real appreciation of or the interest shown by the school beauty and a perception of the spirit managers, to some extent on the localof the country. "The thing I liked ity and on the care of the ladies who, best,” wrote a fourth standard child, by the organization of the Country "was a lot of cornfields with their Holiday Fund, overlook the children stalks waving in the wind;" and the during their visits in the villagers' cot. other said, “We were half a mile from tages, acting as outside hostesses. It home it was so quiet and lonely except is always difficult to generalize with for the birds music, and that walk I accuracy, but almost without excepenjoyed most."
tion more originality was shown among But very few children replied as to children in the younger standards and whether they had read any books. One, from Voluntary schools. In the upper however, gave a list which should standards and from the Board schools awaken us all to serious thought: there was less variety, the replies being
“The books I read in my two weeks,” more stereotyped, the children from the writes a boy of twelve, "was 'Chips,' same school often bearing the impress 'Comic Cuts,' 'The World's Comic,' of the training received rather than the ‘Funny Cuts,' 'The Funny Wonder,' development of their own individuality "Comic Home Journal.'” Those of us in tastes and interests. who know the vulgarity and irrever of the drawings asked from children ence which make up half the fun of of Standards V and VI several were adsuch serials must regret the absence of mirable, giving evidence of both delithe guiding word in the choice of litera cate discernment and certainty of ture which was given to another lad, stroke. But when animals were atwho thus had read “The Vicar of tempted they showed more likeness to Wakefield" and "Treasure Island." the cheap toys "made in Germany,"
One child could not have been exact which are the heritage of the poor, ly a desirable guest, not, that is to say, than to the creatures of the freer moveif she frequently indulged in what she ments on the common or in the farmliked best, which was "to lay in bed yard. Some six or eight of the collecand sing songs all the night!" And tions of grasses were good, evincing there is a record of a fourth standard care and choice; but others again merechild which, on the other side, is as ly exhibited the desire to get a lot, valuable as Lord Salisbury's recent quite regardless of their varieties or statement that the public-house had no their interest. One child had observed