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reached Canada turning up in the old countries. For example, we are told that on Good Friday last, at the Church of All Hallows, Lombard Street, the boys of the Bluecoat School carried out an ancient and curious custom, dating from Catholic times, in compliance with the will of one Peter Symondes. Sixty of the youngest boys of Christ's Hospital attended service, where by order of the testator a sermon was preached on "The Passion of our Divine Master, and the boys instructed therein." At the conclusion of the service the terms of the bequest were complied with; it runs thus: "Each boy shall receive a bag of raisins, a new penny and a bun, and though the idea may be frivolous, yet the meaning is well known to me." So runs the bequest. The church-wardens supplement the bequest by giving each of the children of the schools a bun, etc.-At Rahere's old priory church, in West Smithfield, twenty-one old widows of the parish picked up a new sixpence from a tomb in the churchyard. It is said that this custom has prevailed for the last 500 years. The matter is shrouded in mystery, there being no documents in the parish registers which bear upon the matter, and until three years ago there were no funds to carry out the "gift." Mr. J.W. Butterworth then came to the rescue, and in order that the matter should no longer be left on the voluntary principle, provided funds, so that for all time twenty-one widows of the ancient parish of St. Bartholomew the Great will enjoy the Good Friday sixpence.
This is what our contemporary the Toronto Educational Journal says of the cadet movement when carried to an extreme. When Sir Adolphe Caron, Minister of Militia, was in Toronto a few weeks since he was waited upon by a deputation in which the Mayor and the city Inspector were included. The object of the deputation was to represent that there were in the Toronto public schools thirty-six companies of boys, who, it is claimed, are as well drilled as any of the volunteer regiments in Canada, and to request that these companies should be recognized by the Militia Department as entitled to the usual Government grant for equipment and drill instruction. Sir Adolphe said in reply, in substance, that he approved of the idea, and would advocate it before the Government. Personally he would like to give the boys of Canada a Military Education, such as that given in the schools of France, Germany, Switzerland, etc. We need hardly say that we hope the people of Canada will never consent to any such system. We can conceive of nothing better adapted than this military training of school children to keep up the barbarous and crushing system of national armaments and to perpetuate
the war-principles and war-practices for whose abolition all the nobler spirits of the race are hoping. We believe in plenty of gymnastics but no military drill for the children.
-An exchange makes the following plea for the bad boy. The bad boy is no more responsible for his existence, and natural mental and moral defects, than the good boy for the better gifts of his character and surroundings. Both are with us. Both have an equal claim upon parents and the community. Both should be given an equal opportunity, the one to improve and enlarge his good qualities, the other to correct and overcome his natural defects and wrong inclinations. For this reason every great institution of learning should be provided with a reformatory branch, so as not to shut out God's unfortunate ones, those deemed unfit, in a moral sense, for daily association with good children. These things should be borne in mind by those interested in the memorial to Congress asking for the donation to the State of the recently abandoned arsenal grounds in this city. What could be more desirable to the State than a great industrial institution with a reformatory branch situated upon those handsome grounds.
-Dr. Fitch contributes a letter to the New York Educational Review on contemporary educational thought in Great Britain, in which, among other topics, he deals with the training of elementary school teachers. He says:-"An important change has recently been made in the regulations of the English Education Department concerning the training of elementary teachers. It is perhaps not generally known in America that in this country no person is recognised as the head of any elementary school which receives aid from the Parliamentary grant, unless he or she has obtained a certificate of competency. This certificate has always been granted on examination by the authorities of the Department; candidates, whether proceeding from training colleges, or whether they have served two years satisfactory as assistants, being all subjected to the same examinations, the one at the end of the first and the other at the end of the second year, either of training or of service.
Literature, Historical Notes, etc.
The immaturity of the youthful mind is something which one cannot help being merry over at times, especially if there be no illnatured person at hand to refer such immaturity to the inefficiency of our teachers or our school system. Not long ago, many of the chiefest of our educationist-croakers" went into hysterics over
a series of mistakes made by children under examination, which had been collected by some humorist or other for the press. Many of these, it is supposed, the humorist had some trouble in passing current as bona fide mistakes, and not as the creations of his own wayward fancy, and when it was made known that he had actually coined many of them himself, the laugh was rather against the croakers, who claimed that there must be something radically wrong with our school system, something lamentably pernicious in our methods of imparting instruction. The following, however, are bona fide quotations made from some of the examination papers that have passed through the writer's hands, and it is to be hoped that those who read them will be more inclined to sympathize with the teachers who have to contend with the immaturity of thought they illustrate rather than blame them for not being able to overcome it. Besides it must be remembered that these answers are in the ratio of one to a thousand with the correct answers, and hence all the more are they selected merely to show how funny at times ignorance is, during the process of its development into knowledge. For example, a unique definition of the term emigrant is found in the statement: "Emigrants are children that are left mother and fatherless," or of the term civilization, in the assertion that "Civilization means a newly settled country." When adopting the test for geographical knowledge what examiner would not find his reward in laughter over such answers as these: "A watershed is a place near the railway track where water is kept," or, as another expressed it, "A watershed is a building built to keep boats, etc., in," According to some of the other budding geniuses examined, it is settled that "Louisbourg is in New York City," that " India is in the south of Europe," that "the Mackenzie River rises in the Gulf of Mexico and flows into the Arctic Ocean," and that "St. Petersburg is noted for having to build new houses every year because the frost renders them useless." These are morsels of information which the examiner could hardly have afforded to miss; and one can readily understand how a laugh had to be checked by a severe compression of the lips and danger to the whole nervous system as they read that "John the Baptist was a local preacher in the wilderness," that "Thomas à Becket was the first man born in England under the supremacy of the Romans," that "Murray was a general in the British army who served under Arnold at the capture of Louisbourg," that "Joan of Arc was the daughter of a pheasant," and that "John Wycliffe was a religious agitator and the founder
of the Methodist Church." From a brief paragraph on the great historical primate "first born under the Romans," there is a lesson in conciseness of composition if nothing else, when it is said that" Thomas à Becket was murdered, and a girl saved his life and afterwards he married her." Nor could the examiner's search for the good things in history be expected to be made less zealous when he asked the question: "In what way did the Earl of Essex come under the displeasure of Queen Elizabeth?" and obtained for answer: "He wanted to marry her, and she gave him a box on the ear." Nor would anyone think that his interest in geography would be diminished by learning for the first time that "Belfast is famous for its ginger ale," that "Astrachan is noted for its astrachan jackets," that "Ireland is one of the islands of Scotland," or that "Sahara is a desert in the north of Asia named after an Egyptian woman." The richest attempt at translation is not to be surpassed by this which was found in one of the French papers; where entendre un glas funebre is solemnly declared to mean "A large attendance at my funeral," nor as an incitement to laughter is it of more public value than the grammatical information that "language is the noise we make when we speak," or that "neuter gender is anything that can't speak." Among other facetia of this kind was found the definition of ammunition: "If you run short of anything, such as powder and shot, you call that ammunition ;" while, in answer to the question: "Name five of the Patriarchs," was the reply: "Noah, his wife and his three sons" but perhaps the climax to every specimen of immatured knowledge was reached when in one of the papers on physiology and hygiene it was said that "catarrh (which was spelled guitarrh) may be stopped by breathing through the nose and not blowing the nose too hard," and in another, "catarrh is caused by little poisonous insects and may be cured by putting kinds of medicine in your head or wherever the case may be to kill these insects." In giving these specimens, which might be multiplied had we space at command, we reflect upon no one, because there is really no one to blame for such comicalities in the nature of children, unless it be Nature herself. If any parents read this article, they may be induced to sympathize with our teachers a little more than they have done in the past, when they catch a glimpse through a series of such concrete illustrations of what the youthful intellect is, and come to perceive how difficult it is to prevent it from mixing up items of knowledge during the earlier stages of its development.
THE TEACHER'S SOLILOQUY.
To teach, or not to teach that is the question:
Or to let boys and girls assume command,
No more; and others while we please, we end
And makes us rather use some prompt incentive
Thus duty is our law, the right our guide,
And conscience mans the wheel that steers our way.
-D. E. C. (Revised). Practical Hints and Examination Papers.
-The relations existing between geography and history would seem to demand that one should not be taught to the exclusion of the other. Is it not possible that by teaching less of detail in geography, time may be found for training children to read and appreciate history? The two studies are properly complements of each other. The one is a description of the earth and the other a story of the people who have lived on the earth. If either is presented with no reference to the other it often becomes a dry and uninteresting subject. The teaching of geography for this reason has lacked life and color. Some