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a decent dress; and, in a city where rags are so uncommon as in New York, this qualification is nothing like so severe a one as it would be with us. The dresses of the pupils varied from silks and broadcloth to the commonest stuffs and velveteen--but they were all scrupulously clean. There is no religious instruction given, so that children of all sects come equally; but, at the commencement of the day's work, a few verses of the Bible are read, and, I believe, the Lord's Prayer is repeated. The teachers in all the classes, except two or three of the highest boys' classes, are women. All of them struck me as intelligent, and many were very pretty and ladylike. Their salaries vary from about 501. to 1001. ; and, as their work is finished by 3 P. M. the pay seems liberal enough. The average age of the girl-pupils is from seven to seventeen; that of the boys from seven to fifteen, after which the ablest boys are sent from the schools, to receive a classical education at the Free Academy. Reading, writing, ciphering, geography, grammar, history, book-keeping for the boys, and moral philosophy for the girls, were the staples of instruction : and I could not discover that any foreign lan guage was ever attempted to be taught.
I came in to the classes as a casual visitor, and therefore saw the working of the system in its every-day aspect. The children apparently understood very well what they were taught. I know that I heard a number of those mysterious questions asked, about what the price of a silk dress would be, containing I am afraid to say how many yards and fractions of yards, supposing that threeelevenths and five-seventeenths of a foot of silk cost so much. I believe that the answer was given rightly, and I am sure that the children explained very distinctly why they gave the answer which they did give. What struck me most was the look of intelligence and the orderly behaviour of the children. In some classes there were nearly fifty children, and yet the one mistress appeared to have no difficulty in maintaining order, almost without punishment of any kind.
The highest class of girls were engaged, when I was taken to their class-room, in the study of what was called intellectual philosophy, and were set, in my presence, to discuss the theme, whether the imagination can create, or only combine. I admit freely that they talked as much nonsense as any score of young ladiesor boys too, for that matter-always do, when they begin discussing the question of innate ideas; but they obviously knew and understood all the stock common-places and appropriate illustrations which it is proper to quote upon the subject. The teacher was obviously a strong abolitionist in her views, and propounded a question to her class, whether a New England minister, who preached pro-slavery doctrines, could be right subjectively. Nine-tenths of the class disposed of the question with more feeling than logic-by an enthusiastic negative. Indeed, the vote was unanimous, with the exception of one lazy, fat-looking girl, who had been amusing herself, during the discussion on innate ideas, by tickling her neighbour's neck with a pen, and who woke up at this question, with the remark, “Well, I guess he'd be about right anyhow." At these schools, by the way, coloured children are not admitted.
Besides the State schools, there are several free public schools, kept up by voluntary contributions. The Roman Catholics have large schools, to which they try very hard to attract the children of their own creed, as they look with great, and from their own point of view not unfounded, jealousy on the free schools. The “ House of Industry” schools, too, at the Five Points, which I went over, are chiefly maintained by the Episcopalians, and seem to be a very useful institution. Situated in the very lowest quarter of New York, they are designed to educate children of a class too low to find admis. sion elsewhere. They are, in truth, Ragged Schools; and, in order to induce the parents to let their children come, the school feeds them during school hours. In the classes I went through, there was scarcely a child born of
American parents. There were representatives of almost every foreign nation, but the majority were Germans, Irish, and Negroes; for the poor about the Five Points are too wretched to care for colour. Of course very little can be taught to such a class of children, but still they learn to read and write, and, for children, they sing beautifully. By these and similar schools, as far as I could learn, one half of the children of the “Arab” population in New York receive some kind of education, so that the proportion of the rising generation in this city which will grow up without any education is but small. In the other Free States, where there are not the great difficulties of an enormous city to contend with, the spread of education is even more universal than in New York.
To this free general education I attach extreme importance in relation to slavery. If, as seems probable, the North subjugates the South, I cannot believe that the next generation of the North (educated as it will be to an extent to which no generation in the States has been educated yet), will long submit to the stigma of slavery. Hereafter the North will have the power, and, I trust, will have the will also. There are already signs of a great change. In New York, the black population is relatively very small; and, from the connexion of the city with
the South, its pro-slavery sympathies were stronger than those of any other Northern town; but, since the secession began, public feeling has changed. I was present the other night at a meeting in aid of the slaves deserted by their masters at Port Royal. The room was crowded. There were probably some three thousand well-dressed people present, who cheered enthusiastically every expression of abolition sentiment; but what struck me most was that, sitting amidst the crowd, were numbers of blackmen and women-a thing which a few years ago would not have been tolerated at a New York meeting. Again, abolition papers are now popular; abolition lectures are frequent; the negro Douglas can lecture in the city to crowded audiences ; and modified abolitionism is the fashionable opinion of polite society. There are stern facts, too, to be quoted also, as well as sentiments. An American slaver-captain has just been hung in New York, after forty years virtual suspension of the law against the slave-trade, and any attempt to excite popular sympathy in his behalf failed signally. It would be well if our own politicians, who are so fond of demonstrating, on abstract grounds, that the war going on in the Union has no bearing on the question of slavery, could look more to facts and less to theories.
BY THE AUTHOR OF “JOHN HALIFAX, GENTLEMAN."
Post tempestatem tranquillitas.
Epitaph in Ély Cathedral.
THEY lie, with uplift hands, and feet
Stretched like dead feet that walk no more, And stony masks oft human sweet,
As if the olden look each wore,
BY HENRY KINGSLEY, AUTHOR OF “ GEOFFRY HAMLYN."
now becomes my duty to use all the re
sources of my art to describe Charles's CHARLES MEETS HORNBY AT LAST. emotions at the first sight of Sebastopol.
Such an opportunity for the display of Ou for the whispering woodlands of beautiful language should not be let Devna ! Oh for the quiet summer slip. I could do it capitally by buying evenings above the lakes, looking far a copy of Mr. Russell's “War," or even away at the white-walled town on the by using the correspondence I have on distant shore! No more hare-shooting, the table before me. But I think you no more turtle-catching, for you, my will agree with me that it is better left dear Charles. The allies had determined alone. One hardly likes to come into to take Sebastopol, and winter in the the field in that line after Russell. town. It was a very dull place, every B alaclava was not such a pleasant one said ; but there was a race-course, place as Devna. It was bare and rocky, and there would be splendid boat-racing and everything was in confusion, and the in the harbour. The country about the men were dying in heaps of cholera. town was reported to be romantic, and The nights were beginning to grow chill, there would be pleasant excursions in too, and Charles began to dream reguthe winter to Simpheropol, a gayer town larly, that he was sleeping on the bare than Sebastopol, and where there was hill-side, in a sharp frost, and that he more society. They were not going to was agonisingly cold about the small o move till the spring, when they were to his back. And the most singular thing advance up the valley of the Dnieper to was that he always woke and found his Moscow, while a flying column was to dream come true. At first he only used to be sent to follow the course of the Don, dream this dream towards norning; but, cross to the Volga at Suratow, and so as October began to creep on, he used to penetrate into the Ural Mountains and wake with it several times in the night, seize the gold mines, or do something of and at last hardly used to go to sleep at this sort; it was all laid out quite all for fear of dreaming it. plain.
Were there no other dreams ? No. Now, don't call this ex post facto No dreams, but one ever-present reality. wisdom, but just try to remember A dull aching regret for a past for ever what extravagant ideas every non- gone. A heavy deadly grief, lost for a military man had that autumn about time among the woods of Devna, but what our army would do. The mi- come back to him now amidst the cold, nister of the King of the Dipsodes and the squalor, and the sickness of never laid down a more glorious cam- Balaclava. A brooding over missed paign than we did. We have had our opportunities, and the things that might little lesson about that kind of amuse- have been. Sometimes a tangled puzzled ment. There has been none of it in train of thought as to how much of this American business, but our good this ghastly misery was his own fault, friends the other side of the Atlantic and how much accident. And above all are worse than they were in the time of a growing desire for death, unknown the Pogram defiance. Either they don't before. file their newspapers, or else they con- And all this time, behind the hili, sole themselves by saying that they could the great guns, which had begun a fitful have done it all if they had liked. It muttering when they first came there, often dying off into silence, now day by shot screamed loudest, where the shell day, as trench after trench was opened, fell thickest, with his shako gone, with grew louder and more continuous, till his ambrosial curls tangled with blood, hearing and thought were deadened, and with his splendid gaudy fripperies soiled the soul was sick of their never-ceasing with dust and sweat, was Hornby, the melancholy thunder.
dandy, the fop, the dicer ; doing the And at six o'clock on the morning of work of ten, carrying out the wounded the 17th, such an infernal din began as in his arms, encouraging the dying, no man there had ever heard before, cheering on the living. which grew louder and louder till nine, “I knew there was some stuff in when it seemed impossible that the ear him,” said Charles, as he followed him could bear the accumulation of sound, into the Crown battery ; just at that and then suddenly doubled, as the Aga- time the worst place of all, for The memnon and the Montebello, followed Twelve Apostles had begun dropping redby the fleets, steamed in and lay broad- hot shot into it, and exploded some side-to under the forts. Four thousand ammunition, and killed some men. And pieces of the heaviest ordnance in the they had met a naval officer, known to world were doing their work over that Hornby, wounded, staggering to the hill, and the 140th stood dismounted rear, who said “that his brother was and listened.
knocked over, and that they wanted to At ten o'clock the earth shook, and a make out that he was dead, but he had column of smoke towered up in the air only fainted.” So they went back with above the hill, and as it began to hang him. The officer's brother was dead motionless the sound of it reached them. enough, poor fellow ; but, as Charles and It was different from the noise of guns. It Hornby bent suddenly over him to look was something new and terrible. An at him, their faces actually touched. angry hissing roar. An hour after they Hornby did not recognise him. He heard that twenty tons of powder were was in a state of excitement, and was blown up in the French lines.
thinking of no one less than Charles, Soon after this, though, there was and Charles's moustaches had altered work to be done, and plenty of it. The him, as I said before. If their eyes wounded were being carried to the rear. had met I believe Hornby would have Some cavalry were dismounted and told known him; but it was not to be till the off for the work. Charles was one of 25th, and this was only the 17th. If them.
Hornby could only have known him, if The wind had not yet sprung up, and they could only have had ten minutes' all that Charles saw for the moment was talk together, Charles would have known a valley full of smoke, and fire, and all that we know about the previous sound. He caught a glimpse of the marriage of his grandfather, and, if that spars and funnel of a great liner above conversation had taken place, he would the smoke to the left; but directly after have known more than any of them, they were under fire, and the sickening for Hornby knew something which he day's work began.
thought of no importance, which was Death and horror in every form, of very important indeed. He knew where course. The wounded lying about in Ellen was. heaps. Officers trying to compose their But Charles turned his face away, faces, and die like gentlemen. Old and the recognition never took place, Indian soldiers dying grimly as they Poor Charles said afterwards that it was had lived, and lads, fresh from the i You must send your memory back ten plough last year, listed at the market months to remember a very important circumcross some unlucky Saturday, sitting up stance about Ellen and the priest in the wood. staring before them with a look of terror
That is not my fault. If the public choose to
take eighteen months about reading a book and wonder more sad to see than either.
which should be read in two days, I am not to But everywhere all the day, where the blame.