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acquainted with many others to secure as a Head Master a man who is at once in Holy Orders and also in the very front ranks of University distinction. I hold it to be certain that during the coming century the chief posts at the Public Schools will be largely held by laymen. Nor would this prospect have any terrors for me if only it be understood by the coming generations, as it has been by our own, that one of the chief qualifications for a Head Master is to care for the spiritual growth of his boys, and if, in consequence of this belief, it be one of his recognized duties to speak to them constantly, if not weekly, from the Chapel pulpit. This has been done already by laymen from not a few pulpits, and with the happiest results. It is by extending this system far more widely, and, if necessary, removing any legal obstacles, that I seem to see the best guarantee for the maintenance of what has been, under God, one of the chief religious forces of our time.
A Head Master of a boarding-school who had no desire to speak habitually to his boys of God, of sin, of the words and works of Christ, of the consecration of their lives to Christ, both in boyhood and manhood, would in my judgment have mistaken his calling. A Head Master, whether lay or clerical, is a Pastor, or he is nothing. That lesson at least has been taught us by one aspect of Christian work in the reign of Queen Victoria.
SOME ASPECTS OF
MISS AGNES WARD.
[The writer desires to acknowledge the help derived from, amongst others mentioned in the text, The Child and his Book, Mrs Field; Child Life in Colonial Days, Mrs Morse-Earle.]
YEARS before the 19th Century dawned Saint-Cyran (that great, if sombre, genius who moulded Jansenism and withstood the Jesuits in the heyday of their power and success) defined the teacher's calling as une tempête de l'esprit. The phrase is significant. Uttered 100 years before Rousseau's decisive dogma, that in "the return to Nature" lay the universal panacea for all the ills of a rotting civilisation, SaintCyran's phrase went, sounding at once the knell of hope and ringing out that irresistible summons to pity and tenderness in dealing with the weakness and ignorance of childhood which sanctifies and irradiates the Jansenist conception of education.
Two hundred and fifty years have passed since Saint-Cyran's incisive phrase rang out: but whether its echoes are yet silent may well be doubted by those who note the confused and con
fusing ideas which inspire our theory and practice of education in the present day. The confusion probably lies rather deeper than at first sight appears. I hope to indicate what I take to be one of its causes, and, if I do not seem unduly optimistic, to suggest the lines on which some result more consoling, some vista more inspiring, may be reached.
When the 19th Century opened the child was still in disgrace, except from the point of view of the Revolutionary theorist. The costumes of children in the first half of our century are not without significance. They are in general abbreviated editions of those worn by their elders. Frills, feathers, reticules, sandals, shoe buckles, trousers and shortwaisted jackets remind the child at every turn that he is a growing animal, immature and therefore awkward-a being whose very clothes emphasize the antagonism between his physical instincts and the demands of conventionality. Clothes are, as a matter of fact, the first signs which a child understands from close personal experience of the restrictions imposed by an alien civilisation on his nascent liberty. Locke, as we all know, advocated bad shoes as a necessary part of that hardening practice which physically he desired: Rousseau, wiser amid all his extravagances than Locke, attacked swaddling clothes, heated rooms, unnatural diet, and eloquently and forcibly preached the duty and necessity of personal hygiene, of simple habits, of fresh air and activity, of a development of self-reliance in place of luxurious habits, dependence on others, and artificial standards of life. But in spite of teaching such as this, the Infant of the 19th Century was still tied and bound in garments which, however much they delighted adult relations, must have worried and heated and pricked and scratched the tiny, soft-fleshed, gelatinous baby. Conservatism in baby-clothes is, when we consider the point, still stubborn. In the Tudor Exhibition of some few years ago some babyclothes were exhibited. These were said to be the work of the Princess (afterwards Queen) Elizabeth for the expected child
of Mary Tudor. In fashion and execution they differed scarcely at all from the modern layettes with which the modern baby of well-to-do parents is greeted, and tortured. After infancy, clothes became for children much what they were for adults, but fashioned with a determined intention of hardening young lives and innuring them to extremes of temperature. Bare arms, necks, chests, legs, were the rule and a rigorous enforcement of early rising, chilly rooms, and cold water was common enough to make us believe that Charlotte Brontë's picture of Cowan Bridge is not exaggerated'. Indeed we need but turn to Arthur Young's Autobiography and read the touching pages which record the brief school experiences of his darling little daughter in 1797 to realise how, even in the case of the well-to-do, the physical helplessness of childhood was treated.
"I brought my dear angelic child (aged 14) with me (to London) who went to school in January in good health but never in good spirits for she abhorred school. Oh! what infatuation ever to send her to one. In the country she had health, spirits and strength, as if there were not enough with what she might have learned at home, instead of going to that region of constraint and death Camden House. The rules for health are detestable, no air, but in a measured formal walk, and all running and quick motion prohibited. Preposterous! She slept with a girl who could hear only with one ear, and so ever laid on one side; and my dear child could do no otherwise afterwards without pain; because the vile beds are so small that they must both lie the same way. The school discipline of all sorts, the food, etc., etc., all contributed. She never had a bellyful at breakfast. Detestable this at the expense of £80 a year. Oh! how I regret ever putting her there or to any other, for they are all theatres of knavery, illiberality and infamy! Upon her being ill in March I took her to my lodgings in Jermyn Street where Dr Turton attended her till April 12, when I carried her to Bradfield. He certainly mistook her case entirely, not believing in a consumption, and by physic brought her so low that she declined hourly; he stuffed her with medicine at a time when sending her at once to Bristol or even to Bradfield, she went little more than skin and bone, with prescriptions for more physicking under a stupid fellow at Bury till she was a spectre. On June 13, she went to the Smith's (Bradfield
1 See also Recollections of Life and Work, Louisa Twining, Chapter II.
S. M. L.
neighbours) and there complained that such a young girl as I who came for air and exercise should be thus crammed with physic.'
Poor thing! her instinct told her it was wrong, but she submitted." (Autobiography of Arthur Young. Edited by Miss Betham-Edwards, pp. 263—4.)
Thus far "that wise and honest traveller" as Mr John Morley calls Arthur Young. Charles Dickens writing of the state of boarding schools such as Dotheboys Hall probably did not exaggerate the general features of ignorance and neglect which marked too many. It was only between 1852—59 that Mr Spencer published his striking chapters on Education, and thus gave a vague currency to the idea of infancy as an age with physical requirements of its own. If these are ignored the later work of those whose profession it is to care for childhood is hindered in no slight degree. Far less by the intelligence of teachers than by the work of scientific men we may, I believe, claim that at least a glimmering consciousness of the child's right to live his own life more or less at his own pace is, physically speaking, conceded-now-a-days-by all who consider themselves enlightened.
As to formal education in the early years of the century it is difficult to choose the sources of our information. But perhaps we may safely take as our guides some of the writings designed especially for what are called Infant minds.
A little book (published in London 1778) called Lessons for Children of Three Years Old is before me. It is well printed, with good margins and bold type and is meant to be a first reading book. It served indeed as this to the great-grandfather of a friend of mine. What strikes the modern critic most in this and like booklets is the general formal courtesy of the language employed and that the difficulties of thought and language are neither graduated nor explained. There is (luckily) little or no explicit moralising but moral lessons of an unmistakable nature are enforced by stories: the child who is cruel to a robin is abandoned by his parents and friends and finally eaten