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A PRACTICAL TREATISE
An Entire Plan
FOR ORGANIZING AND CONDUCTING
WITH THE VARIOUS METHODS OF DISCIPLINE CONNECTED
MASTER OF THE INFANTS' SCHOOL, CHELTENHAM,
TO WHICH IS ADDED,
A COLLECTION OF ORIGINAL POEMS.
Price 38. in Boards-in Strong Covers 2s. 6d.
Entered at Stationers' Hall.
SOLD BY HATCHARD AND SON; HAMILTON, ADAMS AND CO.; SUTER
SOME few years have now elapsed since Infant Schools were first introduced into this kingdom; it would be needless, therefore, to speculate upon what good might result, convinced as I am that incalculable good has already been produced, and what may hereafter be done, it will be for future àges to determine. Generations yet unborn will reap the advantage when the present patrons and friends will have been reduced to their primitive atoms, and gone to their reward. Many children have passed through the Cheltenham Infants' School, and are now at various schools in the town; I have followed them there with more, I trust, than enquiry and found, to my comfort, the good received under the blessing of Almighty God while under my care, is not like water spilt upon the ground which cannot be gathered.
Before I went to organize a school in Wales, I felt it my duty to gather some information to lay before the friends of that school, as to the benefit derived by the children who had passed into other schools, and as exemplified in their conduct there. I therefore wrote to the several parties concerned, and I have received, in answer, a much more encouraging account than I could have expected; all giving this pleasing testimony "that children from the Infants' School appear far more intellectual than others of a more advanced age who have not been so privileged; that they are more teachable, (some observing it is a pleasure to teach them,) and that the affection displayed to their
schoolfellows is proverbial." I would observe that this testimony was given by the Treasurer and Rev. Secretary of the National School: by the Master of the British and Foreign School; by the Masters of the National and Branch Schools; and by the Superintendants of the principal Sunday Schools in Cheltenham, as to the benefit arising to society. Let the reader follow the children to their fire sides: he would there very often find the drunken or swearing parent or relative reproved, and many useful precepts sounded in their ears, to which they were before total strangers. Illustrative of this-one morning a poor man entered my school, desiring to see the plan on which I taught the children;-after staying some time, he observed-" Sir, I am thankful I have two children in this school-the eldest under God has taught me what never knew before;" he clasped my hands, and with an emphasis said "I wish I could do something for you, but this I will do, I will go and pray for you," and without waiting any reply, suddenly left me. I shall not soon forget all I saw in his countenance as the tear rolled down his face. This circumstance tended very much to strengthen my hands, and not a little to impress my mind with the responsibility of the duty I was called to fulfil. Our school, when this circumstance took place, had not been in operation but a few months. At the end of this work will be found some well authenticated facts illustrative of the good effects produced under God by the plan which the children are, and have been, taught at the Cheltenham Infants' School.
TO THE READER.
ALTHOUGH the Author of this little work has not designed to supersede any other already published on the system, he has thought it his duty to lay down an entire plan, by which Infants may be taught, and Infant Schools formed, and conducted in any part of the world, giving full directions, and practically illustrating the method by which every part of the system may be carried on.
Perfectly aware, too, of the total absence of all literary pretensions, he humbly hopes that the utility of the design will apologize for the defectiveness of the execution.
The Poetic Pieces were composed expressly for the use of the children attending the Infant School in Cheltenham, and without any design of publication. That they are now printed is owing to the requests that are continually made by Friends and Visitors for copies of particular Pieces sung in the room; a compliance with which is found to be attended with much trouble.
Published under these circumstances, it is hoped that no one will regard them as subjects of criticism, for which they are altogether unfit. If they possess any merit, it is chiefly perhaps in their adaptation to the tunes for which they were composed; and it will be found that they are much more suitable for using, in conjunction with those tunes, than for perusing merely.