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them. Yet the child shews that it has e these impressions, and strives to make Hence a kind of restlessness which we vents the little creature from receiving impart; which we are afraid to check pacities whereby these lessons are herea practical remedy, I thought, lay in tha has bestowed in so large a measure u this, we lead them gradually to ackno which they see and handle, there is which they cannot see or handle. W their senses from being oppressive to the save them from losing the feeling of tri construct a little world after a plan of t
No one will say that boyhood is mere sions. That the senses are awake in often far less awake than in the chil turbed by this circumstance. The livel becomes the shy, lumping, yet restless which you most wish him to take notice scarcely ever says a clever thing—his gre
-running, jumping, climbing, are to hi were five or six years before. This is apparent exceptions of the sickly, the e girls, will be found if rightly considere least to be explained by it. In every desire to act and to find opportunities i of this period. The little savage may b the exceedingly precocious, unnaturall satisfied with unceasing exercises of the the appetite for doing ; if either is oblig is restless and discontented. We may those who, in this second stage of life, for mere reading: but I believe we are i is an active exercise of sympathies and from an impulse of his own, merely for tion. Those who have a strong bias to with intense delight books which have i they draw out their own energies and a is most congenial to them. Those wh dencies, at least in any strong degree, n and pleasure, but it will be such bo their fellows, exhibiting men at wo which they would like to be busy.
These are very obvious remarks wh but they are not the less important ont far to look for the principles which sh education, when some fact, which lie meeting us every day, may really be us to them. I do not mean, however
h a s mgeni de stad: to set, testi,
rected to him salaist the same things
pealent, and leads to infinite m akes
in our grammar-schooseens to me most hey. t ratus pats; lan not state that beats of
latur tiem, esantas de to the understan
When histories do not speak to the imagination, i t the living acts of living men, another charge,
ble one, which has been brought against our
degeneracy when those who administered it
its spirit, becomes immediately true. We are s sh and blood English boys, dry records and
who have been in their graves these two e. Our great classical masters, if they will be , have positively to choose between one of these
They must either boldly encounter the first, ; that they do use their poetical studies upon t purpose of cultivating and directing a faculty, to be cultivated and directed, for its own sake he rest, nay that they, in some sort, look upon
those which explain the use and meaning of must either do this, or else they must quietly ughtful as well as by foolish people, that they
to acquire information of no use now, which ed by artificial stimulants to retain, and which to operate, they will forget altogether. Nothing as a classical grammar school, where this purgotten; nothing degenerates into such a dull nd, how exactly do studies of this kind seem to action, and sympathy in action, which we obow happily they redeem these cravings, from and mischievous in them, by connecting them ast, as well as with orderly and painful study.
this way to that longing for fellowship, which but which he did not know had its root in syn. is own race or had been felt by them, till he contact with men living in so different a world how much the passion for freedom is gratified, th men in other days who were inspired by it, but ing down of the prison doors which confine us es and scenes of a particular period ! How much nearty and manly in our English young men all that has not belonged merely to their classved them from being completely crushed by the onceit, haughtiness, exclusiveness, which have
irly attributed to this awakening of their imaheir countrymen of the middle and lower classes
bless the day when Eton and Westminster shall naturely imparting scraps of information, or even proper objects, might be a really valuable scientific orn lad will then have nothing to make him feel e an Englishman, or a Man—that which distiner Englishmen and Men will be all he cares for. bject is to consider how the boys of the middle
the blessings which have hitherto been in a eir superiors. Let it be granted that they
bulwark. How some of these objects have been compassed in our old system of education, and how our poorer schools may adopt the essential maxim of this system while they depart from its details, has been sufficiently explained by yourself and by your other correspondents. I need not repeat what you and they have said so well about the study of language as at once the best exercise of the intellectual powers, and the soundest discipline for them-or about the way in which merely English schools may avail themselves of it. I need not show how the school itself becomes the means of satisfying the craving for friendly intercourse with those of the same age, while that sense of confidence and reverence, which a just master awakens in his pupils, makes age honoured, and yet leaves the want in the mind of something, which only the names of parent and home can supply. I need not show how severe and righteous discipline may be used as much in the schools for the poor as for the rich, to curb that lust of independence which makes the boy a slave of his own animal nature ; nor how the religious culture which begins under the parent's roof, and is continued in the school, while it sanctions this discipline, yet shows it to be only an instrument for removing some of the obstacles to that spiritual freedom which the Gospel promises and bestows. But I wish to show you how essentially all these profound and practical arrangements of our old School Education are combined with the cultivation of the imagination, and how very little it will profit us to adopt them, if that cultivation be neglected.
I said little of books in my last letter, for I assumed what I think is the general opinion to be the true one, that a child's chief business is not with books. Whether our modern makers of children's tales and lessons are right in taking such pains that a book for them shall not be a book but merely a picture, or a plaything, is another question altogether: I suspect that a child would rather have a true thing of its kind, be it picture, or book, or plaything. But the feeling, which leads to the bringing forth such hybrid productions, is no doubt a right one, that a child should be brought into direct contact with actual things, and that words are to it a mysterious region, lying in the back-ground, into which it is only beginning to enter. Now the boy has fairly entered into this mysterious region; the study of words is to him the most important and, I believe, also the most congenial of all studies : to say, therefore, what books should be presented to him is almost the same thing as saying how he should be educated. When I speak thus, I do not mean that the most important thing is to give him an index expurgatorius, to tell him what books he is to abstain from reading; a notion which I am afraid is very prevalent, and leads to infinite mischief. I mean that it is most important to choose such books for the regular studies of a boy as shall at once make those studies suitable to his age, and shall give the tone to his miscellaneous reading. In both these points of view the selection in our grammar-schools seems to me most happy. The boys read historians, orators, poets ; I am not aware that books of any other kind are set before them, except as helps to the understanding of these. The two last classes of books, it will be admitted, appeal directly to the imagination. It has been the great complaint against our grammar schools that they do so; but the charge is equally good against the first class. When histories do not speak to the imagination, when they do not exhibit the living acts of living men, another charge, and a far more reasonable one, which has been brought against our system, in times of its degeneracy when those who administered it were not entering into its spirit, becomes immediately true. We are merely imparting to flesh and blood English boys, dry records and dates respecting people who have been in their graves these two thousand years and more. Our great classical masters, if they will be judged by public opinion, have positively to choose between one of these imputations or the other. They must either boldly encounter the first, saying that it is even so; that they do use their poetical studies upon principle, for the distinct purpose of cultivating and directing a faculty, which they think ought to be cultivated and directed, for its own sake and for the sake of all the rest, nay that they, in some sort, look upon these poetical studies as those which explain the use and meaning of the other studies; they must either do this, or else they must quietly submit to be told by thoughtful as well as by foolish people, that they are forcing their pupils to acquire information of no use now, which they can only be induced by artificial stimulants to retain, and which when these have ceased to operate, they will forget altogether. Nothing is so utterly unmeaning as a classical grammar school, where this purpose of education is forgotten; nothing degenerates into such a dull farce. On the other hand, how exactly do studies of this kind seem to meet that craving for action, and sympathy in action, which we observed in the boy. How happily they redeem these cravings, from that which is irregular and mischievous in them, by connecting them with reverence for the past, as well as with orderly and painful study. What a play is given in this way to that longing for fellowship, which the boy is conscious of, but which he did not know had its root in synpathy with beings of his own race or had been felt by them, till he was thus brought into contact with men living in so different a world from ours! Above all how much the passion for freedom is gratified, not only by converse with men in other days who were inspired by it, but still more by the breaking down of the prison doors which confine us within the circumstances and scenes of a particular period ! How much of all that has been hearty and manly in our English young men of the upper class of all that has not belonged merely to their classof all which has preserved them from being completely crushed by the temptations to self-conceit, haughtiness, exclusiveness, which have beset them-may be fairly attributed to this awakening of their imagination at school. Their countrymen of the middle and lower classes will have no cause to bless the day when Eton and Westminster shall become places for prematurely imparting scraps of information, or even of what, if directed to proper objects, might be a really valuable scientific culture. The high-born lad will then have nothing to make him feel that he is meant to be an Englishman, or a Man—that which distinguishes him from other Englishmen and Men will be all he cares for.