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never have engaged in her service. In the case of Merton and Magdalen Colleges in Oxford, a peculiar and most beneficial relation was established between the exhibitioners and the Masters of Arts, Fellows of the College, in that, to one or other of them each poor scholar on his first entrance was assigned, sleeping in his room, attending upon him in the college hall, and receiving from him, in return, direction as to his studies, and advice as to his conduct—all of this valuable and systematic according to the character of the individuals, but in no case destitute of more or less moral influence upon the mind of the young students.
Such then was the state of the case up to the middle of the seventeenth century, that such is the case, alas, no longer, it is needless to prove. Mr. Carlisle's pages, and those of the Reports of the Charity Commissioners, present the sad picture, one after another, of Grammar Schools and their dependent Exhibitions falling into desuetude and decay. But except for the purpose of specific redress it is useless and invidious to particularize; nor is there any reason why we should single out any class of men for censure. When the importance of these institutions ceased to be recognized, the colleges, as a natural consequence, ceased to exercise with vigilance their visitatorial power, trustees appointed masters carelessly and partially, masters when appointed neglected their duty. All the tendencies of the last century were towards comfort and respectability, not to selfdenial and humbleness, nor consequently to a poor and devoted order of clergy. The will of a benefactor to the grammar school at Exeter, bearing date 1745, contains the following sentence :—" I admit boys of larger fortune to enjoy this exhibition, that they may have some depth of soil of their own, and grow up and flourish in it, that I may not, by making it a mere charity, increase the number of starved priestlings." What a contrast is here to the direction of the Vicar of Lewisham, just a hundred years earlier, that his free scholars (who were to “ take upon them the function of the Ministry'') were to be “ destitute orphans, the children of mean Tradesmen, painful Husbandmen, or of any other honest and godly poor persons." As an illustration of the same change of feeling I may mention a fact communicated to me by the Fellow of a College, on which several country schools are dependent, that frequent entries occur in his college books of exhibitioners sent up from these schools, at different periods, till within 100 years ago, but that after that time such entries altogether cease.
I have now given you my ideas of the ancient mode by which persons not of gentle birth were enlisted in the service of the Church. The consideration of how far the same course of action is within our own immediate power, and if not, what may be the best substitute for it, I hope to be allowed to offer next month, and will now subscribe myself, Dear Sir, faithfully yours,
S. F. W.
THOUGHTS FOR SCHOOLMASTERS.-No. I. Politics.
THE Schoolmaster-like every other man, from the peer to the peasant, who knows that he has an appointed calling, and that it is his duty to work in that calling-feels that his own work is the most important to him; that he must make it the first business of his life; that he must look at all other things as bearing upon it; that he must consider them as interesting and valuable to him in proportion as he can make them further this main end. If he can really do this—if he can thus concentrate the whole energies of his heart and mind and whole life upon his work, what a manly vigour of character will he attain to—with what strength and wisdom will he do his duty!
II. The Schoolmaster is a man and an Englishman, and all the manifold thoughts and feelings which belong to those glorious names are his birthright and inheritance: he may enter into possession when he pleases, and the more he spends of his riches the more they will multiply.
To possess and enjoy this inheritance, to make all thoughts and feelings and interests minister to the business of life, are the same thing. That it is a good thing, that it is most practical, and most practically connected with the every-day work of school-keeping, will pot be denied by the schoolmaster who feels how high and honourable his office is: but he may ask, How is it to be realized ?
IV. I answer, By a habit of REFLECTING upon all that passes within and without you,-by reflecting upon it in reference to your daily duties. If you will only believe that there is a bond of unity, by which all things in heaven and earth are held together, if you will believe that all the events and circumstances of your daily life have a relation to each other, and to you yourself as the proper centre of them, you will soon begin to see the proofs of that relation, the traces of that bond, and they will become continually more and more plain to you, and their practical influence upon your mind and actions more powerful and steady. I will illustrate my meaning by a few words on the subject of our commonest talk-that of politics—and show how living and practical a relation it has to education,
V. All Englishmen are politicians. We may have what theories we please about its being right or being wrong, but the fact always remains the same, and like every other fact should be turned to account by a practical man. First, then, the Schoolmaster, because he is an Englishman, is, and is certain to remain, a lover of politics : and, secondly, all his scholars are for the same reason sure to be politicians also, as they grow up, without any aid of his. And therefore, unless there be a real and practical relation between education and politics, a great part of the most earnest thoughts and feelings of the master are unconnected with a work which, whether we consider its dignity or its difficulty, may fitly claim his entire devotion, and are inevitably dissipated on this subject of politics : while on the other hand the boy has received a training which has no reference to, no bearing upon, the like thoughts and feelings of which the germs are already in his mind, and which will assuredly break forth in the earliest dawn of manhood into exuberant life-it may be into rank and baneful life.
VI. If the link between politics and education, which we thus seem to want for the purposes of our ordinary work, really exists, it is clear that we must look for it in some other region than that of newspapers, and debates, and party excitement. I should perhaps suspect the working abilities of the man who is afraid of the noise and dust which these make-for to complain of these seems to me very much as if a man were to object to the commerce of London because it makes the Thames dirty—but unquestionably they must not be allowed to penetrate into the school, or the schoolmaster's study. True wisdom is never found but in the retirement and silence of the heart; and only be who habitually gives himself up to its calm and holy influences can hope to see those influences active in his school. If the master must first know whatever his scholars are to know, still more needful is it that he should first be whatever he would have them become.
The following thoughts are gathered from writers who have risen above the turmoil of party strife, to dwell in that quiet and religious region of light, and who have there seen the real and intimate relation of politics and education.
VII. A Nation, like an individual, grows-physically, intellectually, and morally: it has a childhood, a boyhood, and a manhood; it attains its full stature only in many centuries; and though many nations have perished, it has been through the diseases of national wickedness, not from any inevitable decay.
That which makes a nation out of wild and savage tribes, is the giving it the heart of a man, as the prophet Daniel says : and this heart was given to our nation by the preaching of the Gospel to our British and Saxon ancestors. Thenceforth we discern a conscience in the nation by which it could distinguish between right and wrong, between righteousness and crime, between order and disorder, between justice and injustice; and which, calling to its aid the intellectual powers which it thus first awakened, enacted laws for the maintainance of these distinctions. We see this conscience not only recognising the relations and duties of the several members of the nation to each other, but at the same time acknowledging that all these are connected with, and dependent upon, the relation of the nation to God. So the nation became religious as well as orderly: it not only had kings and laws, but acknowledged that God was its invisible King, and Lawgiver, and Judge, and that its several earthly princes were His representatives, and that by His grace they ruled and decreed justice. It also instituted national worship as the highest and most practical acknowledgment of this fact of God's government of the land.
VIII. The education—the gradual and orderly development of the whole character and mind of the boy, is only carried on amidst many discouragements and failures; he again and again yields to innumerable temptations which he was bound to resist; he too often seems to choose evil rather than good; he many times goes back instead of forward ; and in all these things the master who is faithful to his charge feels continually that it is only God's might which can at last bring the work to a successful issue. And just so is it in the history of the growth of our nation, and of its education by kings and lawgivers, and clergy, and patriots of whatever rank or name. I need not give instances : English history is full of them; nay, the growth and education of the nation, and the progress it has made, by God's blessing, amidst all the obstacles of its own ignorance and sinfulness, even during the period of our own generation-the way in which these things have threatened it with destruction, and in which God has enabled it to resist and triumph over these vices in its constitution may be not obscurely traced, if we only accustom ourselves to look for them.
Though a nation may-nay, if it deserve the name of a nation, mustbe religious as well as moral, must worship God as well as have just laws, yet it properly and essentially belongs to the earth and to this life. It worships God because He is the Lord of the earth; it is religious and moral, because religion and morality' have the promise of the life that now is.'
X.The State has the greatest interest in the education of its whole people, because nothing else is sufficient to make them orderly, obedient, and patriotic subjects : but it is to make them these-to insure their being good citizens of this their earthly country—that a state or nation is bound to promote education. It is not bound to desire that they should be ' members of Christ, children of God, and inheritors of the kingdom of heaven;' this is not its business, and if it attempts to meddle with this, confounding its own office with that of the Christian Church, it only ends with persecution, and every violation of all the rights which Christianity requires to be held most sacred.
Though the State needs education for its own national and temporal ends, it has not, and cannot have, any machinery of its own which will answer the purpose of supplying such an education: for a state can only deal with the outward tangible acts which are the results of a moral or immoral habit of mind and heart in the people, and will in vain try to reach the mind and heart themselves. Therefore it must call in the aid of the Catholic Church, to be the Educatrix of the people. This our nation has done from the earliest times of English history. The Church came into this country to preach the Gospel, to bring men into the spiritual kingdom of Christ, and to train them so to live in this world that they may at last inherit eternal life. And though the State did not for its own purposes want these things taught, yet it was so certain that in teaching them the Church would make men good English citizens and subjects as well as good Christians, that it incorporated this Catholic Church into a national institution, of which the very office (as far as the state was concerned), should be to educate the nation, and to conduct national worship by which its moral life is sustained. The Church, and the Church only, could do the work the State wanted, and it alone can do it now: if it does it effectually the State has no concern with what it may do besides for its own purely spiritual ends.
INFANT SCHOOLS IN TUSCANY.
My dear Sir,- If in your opinion“ a Visit to the Schools in France" may have suggested some useful hints to the English Educationist, you will perhaps deem the following brief account of Infant Schools in Florence not less worthy of being inserted in your journal.
In Tuscany, indeed, with much more reason than in this country, the moral and physical degradation of a part of the labouring class has long been a subject of painful observation and reflection to the philanthropist ; but if there the consistent, and for several years continued, endeavours, of some of the leading gentry have been successful, far beyond expectation, in remedying the evil complained of, we might surely hope, that a nearer acquaintance with the plan they have adopted, and a conviction that such benefits do really arise from it, would lead us, not only to admire, but to imitate them.
About twelve years ago, several distinguished individuals, among whom it will perhaps be sufficient to name the Marquises Torrigiani, Rodolphi, Guicciardini, Count Demidorff, and i Signori Enrico Meyer, Franceschi, and Vaissieux determined to make some effort to improve the condition of the population in Florence and its vicinity; for, whilst ignorance and superstition had debased the mind of the mass, poverty of living, scrofula, low fevers, and opththalmia, had increased the weekly bills of mortality, leaving the convalescent survivors too often a burden to themselves, their families, or the state. The comparatively recent establishment of Infant Schools in England and Germany suggested the first attempts ; but, as a two-fold object was to be attained, both to induce the parents to send their children where they might be morally, religiously and intellectually trained, and to strengthen the constitution of the little scholars, there was offered to each child who attended the school a good substantial midday meal of soup, thickened with vermicelli, macaroni, or some other of the Italian “ paste:”—and although this last part of the plan, upon the liberal scale adopted, was doubtless attended with much expense, it did not deter these gentlemen, whose incomes were in many cases very moderate, from making the sacrifice required.
As the infant schools in Florence, Pisa, and Leghorn, whether for boys or girls, are conducted very much upon the same model, it will be sufficient to give a description of one of them. An“ asilo infantile," then, as they are named, consists of five separate rooms, in which the children are classed according to their ages, or (what is very nearly the same) corresponding capacities. The age of admission is the same as in England, but the boys are retained in the school till they are eight years old, and the girls, for whom no other school is provided, till they are ten or twelve. To the upper class of boys alone is there a master appointed, the female mind being considered as best adapted for the instruction of very young children;-—and to each other room or class a mistress, who seldom undertakes any other department than that first assigned to her. The simultaneous method of instruction is preferred in the “ asili;” but at eight years old at latest, the boys are transferred to a school on the monitorial system, (" di mutuo insegnamento”) whilst the girls, on the contrary, are encouraged, as was before mentioned, to remain until they go out to service.
With regard to the books used, the method of questioning, &c, the German and English models have been followed, so that the chief points of difference between the Infant Schools in this country and in Italy may be said to consist, first, in the entire separation of the sexes from the very earliest age (in my opinion, not only unnecessary, but ill-advised); secondly, in the greater number of mistresses employed (for the reason stated above, and also because in each school five or six