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man and child." The delicate, fanciful genius which created that exquisite "Dream Children,-a reverie," redresses the balance for us—the balance upset by the correctors of youth à la Trimmer or their instructors à la Barbauld. The moral and edifying tale is rare to-day; we have books for children which, without being written down to what we poor grown-ups suppose to be their level, do aim at delighting, refreshing, and interesting their readers.
Miss Martineau's Settlers at Home and the delightful Crofton Boys came before the century was fairly middle-aged : in its old age it was cheered by Alice in Wonderland, and in its dotage comes the Jungle Book.
In conclusion, the story of Infant Education in England during our century is, on the whole, one that moves us to hope, especially if we consider the starting-point. We need no longer stifle our courage by defining the work of education as une tempête de l'esprit; nor need we confuse ourselves by a vague phrase such as the "return to Nature." Mere altering conditions, even for the better, is not, and never will be, enough; that point certainly needs insistence to-day. Mr Fairchild was right so far about the human heart. But he, and all like enemies of the human race, were wrong, miserably, stupidly wrong, when they thought that to insult, to browbeat, to sermonise, to degrade human nature in its own eyes, was the curative plan. The opposite is, I believe, true: to ennoble, to encourage, to study, to elevate child-nature is the more excellent way-and in this more excellent way I believe that, after all deductions made, Pestalozzi and Froebel are still our best leaders. Limited here, impossible there, pedantic at times, confused at others, they are still the best, because they were not afraid they did not bluster, they did not coerce, they did not succeed as the world counts success: they took a little child and set him in their midst, and watching, helping, encouraging, they worked to free him and to give him the joy and delight of exercising in friendly surroundings his higher
powers and instincts. Self-mutilation as a means of saving one's soul had made of education in the past une tempête de l'esprit. Self-realisation for the nobler end of perfect service may effect a revolution even in the nursery and infant schoolroom of to-day. Meantime we who have won our scant measure of freedom with so great a sum may still, as we work for our children, find it possible (as we assuredly shall find it divinely refreshing), to "dream the dream of the soul's slow disentanglement."
S. M. L.
PRIMARY EDUCATION IN THE
SIR JOSHUA FITCH.
IT has been deemed desirable by those who have framed the regulations of this Summer Meeting to cause a brief survey to be taken of the principal influences which have affected intellectual progress in the century now coming to a close. To me has been assigned the humble and rather prosaic task of reviewing the history of our primary education during this period. But before doing so I must ask you to bear in mind the fact so often reiterated, that our country differs from most others in Europe and in America, in the manner in which it has approached and treated the subject of popular education. Our system if so it deserves to be called is the product of growth, not of manufacture. You cannot point to any statesman or thinker who has formulated its principles and has predicted the manner in which principles should be embodied in laws and ordinances. John Bull is in this and the like matters frankly empirical. He is impatient of theories, and has a chronic distrust of doctrinaires and philosophers. Carlyle put this fact in a rather brutal form when he said that the English as a race are logically very stupid, and wise chiefly by instinct. What we have achieved in the department of public
education has been gained by a process of gradual evolution, by experiment, by opportunities, by successes and failures, by compromises and concessions, and not by any predetermined plan or clear forecast of the future. There is a curious analogy between the life and growth of institutions and the history of a single human life. We start with more or less of a career before us corresponding to the predilections of our parents or ourselves. But new and unexpected conditions arise. What appeared to be openings full of promise prove to be closed; possibilities of honour and usefulness present themselves, which were never included in our programme; the 'divinity that shapes our ends' reveals itself in the form of environment, of new wants, of new possibilities, of new resources, and of constant occasions for adapting ourselves to new circumstances and needs. If we are wise we shall not rebel against these conditions; we would rather say with Wordsworth, when he looked back on the illusions of his youth and found they had vanished,
"Not for this
Faint I nor mourn nor murmur: other gifts
And so if by slow degrees institutions though they seem to be clumsy and unsymmetrical in form, prove to be convenient, and to suit well the peculiar genius, the traditions, the wants, and sentiments, and the religious convictions of the nation, we may be well content to use them, and to reconcile ourselves to their uncertain origin and to some at least of their inevitable defects and limitations.
Let us see how far these general statements are true in regard to primary education in England. I have enumerated roughly three or four of the main sources of the influence which has shaped our course, (1) Endowments, (2) Philanthropic and voluntary effort, (3) Legislation, and (4) Municipal and corporate action, and (5) Private adventure and enterprise.
It can hardly be said that primary instruction in England owes much to the first of these sources of assistance. Universities and secondary education indeed owe much to pious founders. In the 16th and 17th centuries many educational foundations were established, as a result partly of the general revival of learning and partly of the Reformation. They were generally intended to place a liberal education, founded especially on the ancient classical languages, within the reach of all who had the ability and the time to pursue them. The ancient Grammar Schools did not indeed fulfil all the hopes of their founders, but many of our most illustrious statesmen and writers owed all their early education to these schools. Although the present generation has found it necessary to alter some details in the original statutes, the spirit of Erasmus, of Colet, and of Lyly has survived in them to this day, and in the new shape which modern legislation has provided, the Grammar Schools of the 16th and 17th century are among the most potent factors in modern education. But the founders of Grammar Schools never contemplated what we call elementary education, nor did they provide any instruction specially designed to meet the needs of the poor. That task was left to an entirely new class of testators and benefactors, who after the Restoration period, and especially in the time of Queen Anne, established all over England what are generally known as Charity Schools. The religious struggles which attended the passing of the Act of Uniformity, Charles II., and the Toleration Act of William III. stimulated the conservative churchmen of that day to devise some plans by which the labouring classes might become attached to the Established Church; and the creation of schools exclusively designed for the poor was regarded as one of the effective instruments for the attainment of that object. But the educational aims of these schools were very low. Reading and writing and needlework, with a little arithmetic, and diligent enforcement of the Catechism, and of church attendance satisfied the intellectual ideal