Billeder på siden

that she became an object of commiseration to all who knew of her misfortune.

Well might the "National Union" speak of "raising the social status of female teachers." Women there were then who by force of character and nobility of aim rose above all prejudices and carried on bravely and successfully the work which they were inspired to do. Even for them the difficulties were great; for the mass idleness was the only genteel occupation. The new schools have changed all that. The need for teachers created and encouraged the supply, and the modern spirit is all in favour of women undertaking not only teaching but any occupation, and adopting any profession for which by nature, capacity and training they are best fitted. Honour to work and to workers is the rule, and it is beginning to be fully realised that through her work, and because of her work, the modern woman claims and holds a position among those who are honoured in the land.

The High Schools and Colleges are sending out their pupils to be trained as Doctors and Nurses, Factory Inspectors, Poor Law Guardians, Sanitary Officers, Teachers, Lecturers, Examiners. In business and in professions and in the performance of their home duties, where these call them, they are justifying the confidence of those who have so nobly and strenuously advocated the right of every woman to receive the education best suited to her power and capacities, and who have borne the heat and burden of the day in putting this within her grasp.

Not the least of the peaceful revolutions of the 19th Century is that which has made English Schools places of real education and training, which has raised the ideal of woman's vocation, and which has brought home to thousands the conception of what is due from them to their homes and to their country and placed it within their power to realize their ideal.

It is to be remembered that there are High Schools of all kinds-good, bad, and indifferent. A school is not good

because it is called a High School. I do not claim that even our best High Schools are perfect. But I do assert that they are alive; that in them there is a constant reaching after improvement, a constant study of new principles and methods with a view to their adoption if proved better than the old. If the schools of to-morrow-they too offer a most fascinating subject for discussion but they do not come within the scope of this paper if the schools of to-morrow are consequently as great an improvement on those of to-day as these are on those of yesterday I for one shall be fully satisfied. I know that our best High Schools are better than any that have gone before, and that their influence on girls and women is for good. We live for our children,-to teach them and train them to be worthy citizens of a great country.







Analysis. (1) Connexion of the subject of the Lecture with the central topic of the Summer Meeting, "Life and Thought in England in the Nineteenth Century"-(2) The 'historical method' and the 'historical sense' distinguish this century from the 'à priori' philosophy and the unsympathetic treatment of the past which marked the Eighteenth-Examples of this tendency in the Theory of Government, in Theology, and in Literature and Art-The idea of development the central idea in the thought of this century—(3) At the opening of the century the striking feature of the studies of our Universities and Public Schools was, with certain exceptions, the supremacy of the single classical curriculum, as instituted at the Revival of Learning-This contained ‘implicit History,' although History was not taught as a separate 'subject'-(4) The Nineteenth Century is marked by the break-up of the single curriculum-History emerges as a substantive subject—attempt of Thomas Arnold to preserve unity in the scheme of a liberal education-History the central subject in his system of practice, as it was in Herbart's system of theory—(5) The last third of the century sees 'specialisation' dominate our studies-The treatment of History in every grade of our schools is unsatisfactory-(6) The great requisite for the progress of our education in the Twentieth Century is a simpler and clearer idea of a liberal education-Place of History in this idea.

It is sometimes made a point of objection to meetings such as the one that we are all attending during these weeks at Cambridge, that the lectures delivered at them are upon topics so various and so many that the effect is mainly to bewilder and to distract. The student, it is said, goes from discourses on Dante and the Nebular Hypothesis in the morning, to addresses on Bacteriology and the Music of Richard Wagner in the afternoon. His hasty and rather puzzled pilgrimages from one quarter of the town to another are, according to our critics, a fit symbol of his wandering attention; and the farrago of his note-book is a picture of the confusion of his mind. Such a criticism may have an element of truth in it, although it is based on an exaggerated disbelief in the power of the mind to deal with and to arrange the material which the mind receives. But we may claim that the Syndicate has on this occasion provided us with a core of thought round which we may group our ideas, and so has given a certain unity of action to our drama. "Life and Thought in England in the Nineteenth Century" is our unifying conception, in relation to which we are to arrange all the multiplicity of our notions on the many subjects of our Time-Table. It is a historical conception and therefore in intimate connexion with the special subject of my own lecture, which is that of the Teaching of History.

History in its widest sense is perhaps the most characteristic form of intellectual activity in the nineteenth century. Incalculable as has been the influence of the study of the natural sciences, it may be doubted whether after all the influence of history in all its different forms has not been greater still upon the life of the nation.

If one contrasts roughly the prominent type of mind towards the close of the eighteenth century with the prominent type in our own generation, one may question whether any difference goes quite so near the centre as this, namely, that in the eighteenth century the historical sense was in a great degree

absent or undeveloped. Take the chief spheres of national life and compare them, then and now. In the theory of government and law the eighteenth century dealt with its problems abstractly and metaphysically. Voltaire, Rousseau, Montesquieu, working out the suggestions of Hobbes, produced à priori doctrines on the nature of Sovereignty, on the Social Contract, on the Rights of Man, which were completely unhistorical in character. In England they had their counterpart in Bentham and the Utilitarian School. These theories profoundly influenced the great final movement of that century, the French Revolution, which was an organised attempt to abolish the history of a nation, and to create a new régime in a vacuum. On the other hand, the nineteenth century has seen the Theory of Government put upon a historical basis. Here, in Cambridge, Sir Henry Maine in his famous work on Ancient Law, and many other jurists have worked out the comparative study of politics and the origins of political ideas, and have given us the new conception of the State as a growth from primitive conditions and customs, a growth which, if it is to be healthy, must be gradual and continuous. The practical politics of the century have confirmed this historical conception those elements of the national life which à priori philosophy in France had sought to abolish by decree-the Monarchy, the Nobility, the Church-have proved to be living forces, which the new régime has to struggle with in a bitter war, whereof the issue at this moment hangs in the balance after frightful reverses and frightful victories for one side and the other. By contrast, in England the principal institutions of the State are in a position to-day of far greater security than a hundred years ago, because they are seen in a historical perspective, and their defence is based not upon logic but upon prescription.

The same general difference between the two centuries is observable in points of theology and religious practice. The Tractarian Movement in the second quarter of this century and

« ForrigeFortsæt »