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before it was considered to be a fit model for the permanent gallery. It should be mentioned, that the ages of the children were from seven to eleven or twelve. At last the following plan was decided upon, and found to answer every purpose :
There are a few peculiarities about this gallery, which it may be as well to point out.
It is by no means so steep as galleries are commonly made for children of these ages, who of course require higher seats than infants ; it rises, however, sufficiently to enable the teacher to see the full face of every
child. With this view it might be worth while to have the seats marked with a line of paint so as to keep each child in such a position, that the upper part of his person might be seen between the heads of the two children in front of him. The reduction in height is made by raising the seat at each step
four inches higher than the footboard behind it (see section). By this means, supposing the seat-board to be one inch thick, a space of three inches is secured beneath the hinder part of it as an addition to the foot-board of the row above. For instance, the children on the lowest seat but one have a foot-board of 151 inches ; that is, three inches under the seat in front,--the bottom seat of all, and 12} in. besides, of which 124 inches one is under the edge of their own seat. Each seat, except the top one, projects one
inch in front, and 3 in. behind. This arrangement answers other good purposes besides saving of room and height; it keeps the seat from being trodden upon, wards off the feet of the row above, and affords a comfortable as well as clean kneeling-board just high enough for children, and that without turning their faces out of sight.
It will be observed, that the seats vary in height and breadth, and foot-room, the lowest part being adapted for children of 7 years of age, and the highest, for those of 11 or 12.
At both ends of the gallery a passage should be left for the children to pass up and down by. On no account should they tread upon the seats. The width of the passage need not be more than 13 inches, with a flapseat to correspond.
It might have a lighter appearance, if the supports of the seats were of iron with open work, instead of wood, as in the model we have copied in the engraving. The latter, however, was preferred as cutting off all communication by filling up the space, which, besides, could not very easily be kept clean. This last point is of consequence in a school-room, and decided us in other matters, e. g., in having only a plain hand-rail at the sides.
The economy of space is worthy of remark. The above gallery affords comfortable sitting, standing, and kneeling room for above 200 children, where previously not more than 40 could be accommodated in square classes on the floor. In point of fact, there is a great saving of room in many ways, as the space underneath makes an excellent lumberplace, if the builder be careful to make the supports as simple as possible. There may be doors made at the two sides, or, if it fills up the end of the room, a door outside the building. The under-part may easily be divided into compartments ; the highest portion for cloaks, umbrellas, &c.; another for coals ; another for brooms and other utensils for cleaning the room ; another for black-boards, stands, forms, &c., not in use; and the rest for the stowage of many other articles that would be much better out of the way.
The highest seat, as dotted off in fig 1, may easily be made into cupboards for slates, books, and other smaller articles used in the school.
The Gallery projects into the room, from back to front, 15 ft. 4 in.; the width is 23 ft. 8 in.; the highest seat is 7 ft. 3 in. above the floor. The whole should be built of the hardest deal; all edges and corners to be rounded. And it would be no great expense to have it put together with screws (bed-screws) so as to admit of its being taken down for any special occasion, and put up again in a few hours.
ON CULTIVATING THE IMAGINATION OF POOR
CHILDREN. My dear Sir, In your prospectus you say that it will be one of your aims, in your new magazine, to show how the cultivation of the taste and the imagi. nation may assist that of the reason and intellect. I am afraid that some of our friends among the national schoolmasters may have suspected that these words were symptoms of a departure from the rule which you have laid down for yourself, to make them the principal object of your labours. They will say, that the taste and imagination have more to do with Eton and Winchester than with the central school at Westminster, or even with Stanley Grove.
I suspect, however, that when you wrote these words you were thinking more of schools for the lower orders, than of those for the higher; at least, I hope this was the case, for I am strongly of opinion that nothing is so desirable for our poor boys and girls as a more steady and methodical training of the imagination. It seems to me, that they have a right to ask this of us, and that we cannot, without failing in a great duty, refuse to give it them. And I think, moreover, that instead of laying any new burden on our schoolmasters, by urging them to fit themselves for this work, and by putting them in the way of carrying it on, we are doing what in us lies to diminish their toils, or, at any rate, to make their toils more cheerful and self-rewarding. Perhaps you will allow me to occupy a page or two in giving my reasons for this opinion, and then, in throwing out a few hints, which, though they may not materially assist the master, may call forth other contributors who will be really helpful to him.
When I say that it is desirable to treat the children in our national schools as creatures having a faculty of imagination, which may be called forth, I fully expect to be answered, “ Desirable ? no doubt it is desirable. It would be very desirable that our girls should be taught ornamental work, if they had time for it, and it were not much more needful that they should learn knitting and sewing: but as they must leave school often at twelve or thirteen, and the boys sometimes quite as early, it is surely just as well to leave finery out of the question, and to occupy their needles and their slate pencils with something else than embroidering and verse-making.” How far it would be expedient for plain young women to abandon plain work under any circumstances, and if they had ever so much leisure, I leave to the judgment of wiser people. Certainly, if I supposed that the imagination had merely to do with what is ornamental, I should be as little anxious to urge the cultivation of it upon one class of boys as upon another. I wish to see the boys of our upper classes acquiring a good, sound, robust, English constitution, with as few fine gentleman airs as may be. To give them such a constitution, and not to give them any such airs, is, I believe, the reason why our forefathers made their studies of such a kind as were especially likely to influence their tastes and imaginations. I desire to see a similar culture (of course not the same) applied to our humbler boys, for just the same reason; that they may be more manly, more free, and may work better at their callings. I want them to have something which shall not withdraw them from the plough and the loom, but shall make the plough and the loom tolerable to them.
I believe, Sir, there is very much in what our farmers still say, and in what our country gentlemen used to say, about the unprofitableness of school-learning to those who are afterwards to be engaged in the toil and business of life. Of course I do not agree with them : of course I
see abundance of confusion and prejudice in their language upon this subject. But in all blunders and prejudices there is a vein of truth, and it is just as well that we should recognise it, both that we may be less uncharitable, and that we may separate the ore from the dross. Here, it seems to me, the ground of the complaint is not difficult to discover; the only thing is to make use of the discovery in our practice. The squires and farmers find, that the ploughboys who have been taught to read and cypher, have often times not as much life in them as the one who has spent all his time in the fields, frightening crows and doing mischief. The latter has a hold for realities, which the other sometimes wants. The well-trained, well-flogged boy, has no doubt penetrated into a mine of which his neighbour knows nothing, and out of which he might bring most precious stores ; but the other boy knows more of the upper air, he seems more in friendship with actual things. What is wanted to bring the two gifts into reconciliation ? What is wanted to give the schoolboy a grasp of human and natural things ? I answer, our school training ought to have an especial reference to this object. In some sense this seems to be admitted ; the schools where industrial training is connected with book training, are meant to obviate the complaint I speak of. But even if this resource were available in all schools, which is certainly not the case, it does not meet my demand ; it connects the school with the after life, but it does not connect the studies with it. In the best managed industrial school, these may still be mere unintelligible additions to the direct practical business. Nor does it avail, as experience has proved, to put arithmetic forward, because that will help the boy so much in casting accounts for his father or his master. No doubt it ought to help him very much, and in some cases it does ; but the farmer and the labourer discover even here a chasm between the wisdom of the schools and of the world. They think there is a sort of way of making out scores upon the door, which is more directly efficient, and that the learned youth, with his great apparatus of Walkingame's rules, is bewildered when he is asked to apply them to the use of their ordinary dealings. Therefore, I say, we want some other resource, and though the objectors to school education might be utterly astounded if they heard the proposition, I believe that resource is the training of the imagination.
For, so far am I from considering this faculty as the one which merely embellishes and refines, (although it may by accident, or even as one of its necessary effects, produce a remarkable refinement of mind and character,) that it seems to me to be the very power which brings every thing out in its substantial reality. It is that which causes common things not to be dead things; which abates the restless longing for novelty and paradox, by imparting a meaning and an interest to that which is most ordinary and habitual; which causes that words should not merely be composed of letters, but should get, what Luther said they had, “hands and feet;" which makes the schoolroom a real living world, and makes the world still a schoolroom. Do not say a word to the farmers about it, but really take pains to quicken this power within your scholars, and I am satisfied that we shall not hear what we have been used to hear about the dull heavy boys, who say their lessons so well, but who cannot do the commonest job of work which is set them. Such boys will not have left all their wits in their spelling-book and their copies; they will carry them about; they will have an open eye to see the broad heaven over their heads, and hands to handle their mother earth. They will be far less prosy, yet they will not be at all more sentimental. If their place is in a town and not in the country, in a factory and not in a farm-they will not abuse their destiny, and fancy that there is nothing about them which has any beauty or life in it. They will find beauty and life in all things, and especially in the human creatures with whom they are brought into contact. Their books will still be the dear friends of their leisure moments, but dear because they interpret to them what they see, and again receive an interpretation from it. And even apart from all moral considerations, they will have that which will make them utterly intolerant of the Penny Satirist and the Weekly Dispatch.
I said, moreover, that it seemed to me this was a kind of cultivation to which the poorer classes have a right, and of which we have no right to deprive them. I press this point, because I am sure if it be admitted, the schoolmasters will perceive such cultivation must be possible in some way or other; and so they will be more ready to listen when I shall tell them, which I shall not be able to do in this number, how I think it is possible.
I have no sympathy with that notion, which Mr. Derwent Coleridge has so ably exposed in his Letter to Mr. Sinclair, that education is to be carried on by translating words into mere images presented to the sight. Far rather, I would say, that by the genuine living study of words, we are able to discover that which is lurking under the mere sensible images, to see its meaning, and so not to worship it as an idol. But in that feeling, which I suppose the benevolent persons to entertain who have wished to get rid of words, and put sensible things in their place, I can sympathize ; for I suppose it is the feeling, that the sensible world cannot be set before us for nothing; that rich and poor alike are sharers in it; and that it has a very important connection with all that is more truly and properly human knowledge. Assuredly the universe of sights and sounds does belong to the peasant as well as the prince, and one would think that each had a property in the sense and meaning of it. We have proofs enough in our own history, and in the history of all nations, that the faculty by which this sense or meaning is apprehended, is not in the least confined to any rank or any set of circumstances. We call it "genius," and a very good word it is, seeing it is that which begets, quickens, makes alive; which first perceives the life in things, and then animates new forms with it. But if we think by the word "genius” to persuade ourselves that it is something not common, not universal, and therefore not meant to be awakened except in a few choice individuals, we are abusing our language and drawing a conclusion, which there is nothing whatever to warrant. The peculiar gifts which enable a man to express himself in poetry, or in any other class of compositions belonging to the sphere of the imagination, are of course limited to a few. The ambition to possess them, like the ambition in other matters to go out of our own sphere, and choose a path