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showing her the book, “O mama, mama," she said, “
Then Mrs Fairchild gave the book back to Lucy and told her to continue every day to keep an account of what passed in her heart, that she might learn more and more to know and hate her own sinful nature. After this Mrs Fairchild and Lucy knelt down and confessed before God the exceeding vileness of their hearts as follows.
(Here follows a prayer entitled, 'Confession of the exceeding vileness of our hearts.')
One of my correspondents in writing of this book says: "The Fairchild Family used to send me to bed when I was a little child, to dream of an angry God and a torturing hell before I knew what wickedness was." A loving and gentle father told his only child, a contemporary and friend of my own, that he clearly remembered that at the age of six or so (which would take us back to about 1815) he used to contemplate his arms and legs and reflect on the probability of their burning in hell'. So late as the year 1868 his daughter remembers hearing him exhort his Infant School children (he was a Scotch minister) to do the same. This sort of teaching, with the unlimited and indiscriminate reading of the Bible, no doubt strongly influenced children of an imaginative or sensitive turn.
In a booklet, published privately in 1881 and entitled The Little Girls of Fifty Years Ago, we have a record of an English child between 1820 and 1830. In this booklet reference is made to a conscientious father who forces himself to take his little girl to see a criminal hung as a lesson against crime in general. The child fainted and suffered acutely from the experience. We may thus infer that the example of Mr Fairchild and the teaching of Dr Watts bore fruit of a bitter kind for children. What strikes one, indeed, in the first fifty years of the century,
1 Cp. Calvin's vision of children in hell a span long.
is the place which, educationally, fear held. The Scotch minister already mentioned used to quote, in proof of his baby daughter's sensitive conscience, how that he had found her, at the age of two and a half, sitting in the middle of the room "in an agony-but a perfect agony of conscience" because she had thoughtlessly run near a window which she had been forbidden to approach. From whatever cause, we of to-day have to deal with a race of practically fearless infants,-fearless, that is, in the sense of having few or no terrifying illusions. An infant between three and four years old in an elementary school in London recently gave it as his opinion that "bogies were things to frighten kids with." This attitude towards the unknown has, I believe, in very large part superseded that of Charles Lamb towards Witches and other night fears."
With all these terrors awaiting wrong-doing, it must be owned that children of the Fairchild type were, when once they began a downward course, naughty in no temperate measure. Here is an abstract of a right royal day of childish wrong-doing as they conceived it. The record is made the more complete when we remember that the parents had been obliged to leave home for the day, and consequently the children were doubly naughty in being naughty.
I. They over-ate themselves at breakfast with buttered toast, after having played in their bedrooms and neither washed their faces, combed their hair, or prayed.
2. They began to learn lessons, but had eaten too much to do so. They quarrelled.
A little pig was seen in the garden.
4. They chased it over a spring and got up to their knees in mud.
5. They ran on to a farm kept by Mr and Mrs Freeman, with whom they were forbidden to associate.
6. Mrs F. saw them, brought them in, and dried their clothes. 7. Mrs F., finding them unwilling to stay all day and play with her children, gave them cake and cider.
8. They all became tipsy and fell down in the lane: their heads ached, and they sat down by the road and there John found them.
9. They told lies as to where they had been, and were locked in their playroom till dinner.
10. They made good resolutions.
11. They dined on apple dumplings, and were then told to play in the barn and not to leave it till supper.
12. They spied a forbidden swing tied up, and loosed it, Henry tearing his coat as he did so.
13. Emily, insisting on being swung higher and higher, fell out and bled from mouth and nose.
14 John to the rescue. Emily's nose, eye and lip were swelled and two of her teeth were out.
15. John tied Lucy and Henry with his blue pockethandkerchief to the kitchen table, and placed Emily in a little chair by the kitchen fire.
16. They remained so till nearly dark, when the parents returned, and Lucy fell on her knees and confessed.
The history of Sandford and Merton by Thomas Day cannot be passed over in silence. The author was an ardent admirer of Rousseau's Emile, and his book, published in 1783, ran through many editions. I have been using the 9th, published in 1801. It is "a work intended for the use of children," and follows the simple idea of establishing a strong contrast in health, happiness and intelligence between the rich man's family and that of the farmer. The rich man's son Tommy and the farmer's son Harry are confided to the care of Mr Barlow, the neighbouring clergyman, who declines to receive any money for his services. The teaching he gives is,-entirely à la Rousseau,―science, and moral precepts. The result is that Tommy, the rich boy, doffs his best shoe-buckles, combs the powder from his hair, forswears his curls, and informs his mother that "from this time I shall apply myself to the study of nothing but reason and philosophy: and therefore I have
bid adieu to dress and finery for ever." This determination on the part of an infant between six and eight years old leaves but little for formal educators to effect.
No account of ideas current as to children in the first half of the century would be even outlined which omitted the work of Wordsworth. To most of us he is known in this connection by his immortal Ode on the Intimations of Immortality from recollections of early childhood and by little else. The first four stanzas of the Ode were written two years before the rest and the whole dates from 1803-6. A new conception of childhood is here presented,—one entirely different from that which filled the minds of Dr Watts, Mrs Sherwood and the Taylors,— though the genius of Jane Taylor, if left to itself, would probably never have bowed before the sombre teaching of Dr Watts. "Simplification was the keynote of the Revolutionary time," says Mr John Morley in his introduction to the complete edition of Wordsworth, and he proceeds to show how Wordsworth was affected by it: "Simplification of life and thought and feeling was to be accomplished without summoning up the dangerous spirit of destruction and revolt." Of this simplification Wordsworth stands out as the literary and philosophic type and in the Prelude, begun in 1799, finished in 1805, and published in 1850, we have, as a recent writer' has pointed out, a very pregnant and significant study in education.
From poems such as "We are Seven," "To H. C., Six Years Old," the Ode already mentioned, Book III. of the Excursion and the lines entitled "Characteristics of a Child three years old," written in 1811, no less than from the Prelude, we may gather a new and consoling conception of childhood. Education to Wordsworth is no longer une tempête de l'esprit ; nor is it necessarily, as with Rousseau, a war on society. By 1803, Pestalozzi, that well-nigh divinely-inspired worker, had stumbled on to his best work. Between 1799—1804, while at
1 Wordsworth's Prelude as a Study of Education. James Fotheringham.
Burgdorf, he had found the true lines of his activity and had definitely decided that the elements of knowledge were three, number, form, language. It was to simplify these, and by so doing "to psychologise instruction" that he worked for the rest of his life, which ended in 1827. In 1799 Herbart, then a keen, young philosopher, visited Burgdorf and instantly saw the value of Pestalozzi's method and the significance of teaching by Anschauung. This, as bringing the child face to face with real objects, and as appealing directly to innate power, was, in the Pestalozzian School, to replace the older rotelearning the learning, that is, of other people's thoughts in other people's words. It was thus that the irresistible scientific movement of the Encyclopædists came to influence the schoolroom curriculum of the younger pupils, and it was thus that Rousseau's phrase, “the return to Nature," came to have a direct and fruitful bearing on the work of Pestalozzi. His poverty, his enthusiasm, his zeal, his imaginative conception of citizenship, all helped. Here were the poor and needy; here was the Fatherland: how unite them? Both suffered in isola
tion united they might both prosper. It is partly this enlightened view of teaching as a work which tends as no other does to solidify and raise the Fatherland, and partly that tender love for children which impelled him that makes Pestalozzi so grand and yet so pathetic a figure. Nothing quite spoilt him,—not even success,—not even crowds of visitors,
-among whom we English may reckon Miss Edgeworth and Dr Bell. He still stands there, indefatigably striving "to simplify the elements" for little children,--recording his conviction that "the leading principle of education is not instruction it is love."
The Pestalozzian method seems to have reached England early in the century, and to have influenced schoolroom traditions in the direction of teaching from things instead of merely by words. But, in education, as we all know, a method is one thing in one pair of hands and quite different in another. We