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but there is also a difficulty connected more than an intellectual significance ; with it that cannot be ignored. The fixed it interferes as well with his moral de schedule of study is fixed for all; the long velopment. If one believes that there courses are, with few exceptions, unmodi- are certain definite laws for the growth fied for the slow or the quick minds. The of the soul, which have been discovered only reply the writer has been able to se- by the world's great teachers, he ought cure to the question, “ What can be done also to believe that the violation of these to remedy this ?” has been, " There is laws in the training of children must reno escape from it, except in a few cases act on the moral as well as on the mental where very unusually bright children are life of those who can least afford to pay promoted more rapidly than the others.” the penalty. The destruction of indi. The time taken for many children of viduality brutalizes a nature, and there more than average ability to complete is constant danger of this where mere a subject is unreasonably long; but the system is conspicuous and becomes the nature of the child must bend to the sys- controlling element. It is exceedingly tem, the system little or not at all to the difficult for an instructor to hold the inpeculiarities of the pupil. Now, nothing terest and develop the enthusiasm of a is more important, in creating and pre- pupil after an appropriate amount of time serving “unconscious rectitude,” than the has been given to any one subject; and element of spontaneity, and there can be although it is true that the teacher is no doubt that many children who pass the most important factor in connection · through the long years spent in the pub- with the system, and that sing-song recilic schools lose in this respect rather than tations and pure memorizing will, under gain. The kindergarten is obviating this any condition of affairs, produce unscidanger somewhat; but wherever there is entific results, yet the best teacher is a suppressed mental life there must ex- influenced by the system under which he ist, in some degree at least, a suppressed teaches. There can be no doubt that moral nature : there is a logical connec- many children who pass through the long tion between the inflexible system that years of continuous school life lose in holds a responsive, sensitive child in its some degree the quality of spontaneity, grasp for years, and mental reactions and that the loss of it is accountable for that too often develop into moral weak- the lack of some of those finer sentiness, and occasionally into vice. This ten- ments that have always been the glory dency is, no doubt, not entirely the fault and the beauty of human life. of the system, as a hard-and-fast system, No discussion of the moral problems but in a large degree of those unscien- of the public school system would be tific methods which merely tax the mem- satisfactory if reference were not made ory, stunt rather than develop the reason- to what has, perhaps somewhat exaging faculty, and usually make the child geratedly, been called "the pauperizing unhappy, and sometimes morbid. Presi- tendency of the public school system.” dent Eliot has shown that there is a waste Free tuition has led to free textbooks, of time in the student life by keeping until the principle has been clearly laid pupils too long on subjects that should be down that the State must furnish, withcovered in a much shorter period. But out charge, to all its children whatever this loss of time has a more important education they desire. Especially in the bearing than the one which he considers. West has this been carried to its logiThe attempt to save time is important; cal extreme, and the state university is the attempt to save the moral nature is asked to provide the highest special edufar more important. The destruction of cation not only without charge for tuition, interest and enthusiasm in a child has use of buildings and apparatus, but in



some cases with free rooms that are fur- Impurity may not be a greater evil in nished and warmed at the expense of the public than in private schools ; but there State. In other words, it is claimed that are certain conditions in the democratic no money equivalent should be given for commingling of children in the former the benefit received and the service ren- which make it more than a possible evil. dered. Parent and pupil can take from There can be little or no social distinction the State, but, except in what the pupil except that growing out of the location of may return through his better preparation the school buildings. There is the “ up for citizenship, nothing is to be given for town” and the “ down town

school; that which has been bestowed; and with but if a pupil is admitted into the schools large numbers of persons there is no at all, there can be no law requiring him sense of obligation whatever in the mat- to be in one building rather than in anter. It is said by those who oppose the other, except the regulation that arises extreme form which this theory has taken from residence in a particular locality; that it carries the paternal feature of govo

and even this is not enforced in some ernment to a dangerous extent; that it cities and towns. The very idea of the makes the citizen selfish and grasping; public school makes any classification that it may, and in many cases undoubt- upon social and ethical grounds an imedly does, minister to that spirit which possibility. There are localities where characterizes much of our American life, this evil of impurity is nothing more

the spirit that ever asks, What shall we than a potential danger ; but there are have? and seldom, What shall we give? very many others where it is a real evil. and which is the bane of our present so- On the part of teachers there is a growcial order. It is further claimed that the ing intelligence concerning it, and a results of this are already apparent in greater vigilance in guarding against it. our national life; that the spirit which Those who do realize its enormity, and made our pension system is encouraged meet it aright, have secured results that and developed by the “pauperizing ten- ought to encourage all others; but there dency in the public school system.” should be a most stringent requirement

Although it has been difficult to secure in this matter in defining the teacher's accurate information in regard to the re- duties. In some of the best normal sults of this “ free element” in educa- schools the students have the plainest tion, it has become only too evident that and clearest instruction upon this submany parents look


the teachers as ject. They are told the habits for which if they were servants ; demanding every- they are to watch, and the best ways to thing from the school without any idea meet the evil of impurity in whatever that they owe anything in return. Such form it is present among children. But facts as these - and there are many oth- such preparation is far from universal. ers which might be cited — indicate some Not many years ago, a graduate of one of the evil results of the plan, and make of these schools said that the teacher it very clear that here is an actual dan

who gave her class instruction on this ger to the higher ethical conditions. We subject asked its members how many of should carefully guard our national life them had not known of at least the at this point.

existence of a vile vocabulary of words There seems to be no escape from this among their schoolmates. All but two free element and its logical results. All of the large class replied that during that can be done is to ward off the


their early life in the public schools they sible danger by constantly holding be- had heard what they could never forget, fore the pupils the idea that they must though no words could express the longrepay the State in good citizenship. ing they felt to blot it from their memories ; and in looking back from their more It is difficult to say how this is to be mature standpoint, it seemed to them that accomplished, but certainly the most efthe teachers must have felt no special fective method will be along the line of duty in the matter. These were young the general improvement of the system. women from the public schools of one This improvement will be brought of the older States. There is no doubt about by the divorce of the control of however, that each year our public school the schools from partisan politics ; by the teachers have an increasing sense of re- appointment of teachers for merit only, sponsibility for purity in thought and merit in which force of character should word of the children under their care. be regarded as a sine qua non ; by the in

The difficulties with which they have troduction of scientific instruction to the to contend are very great. The two or exclusion of mechanical methods ; and three children who, with an air of mys- by constantly making prominent the idea tery, bring information in regard to forms that the pupils are being fitted for citizenof impurity have great power for mis- ship and actual service. Something could chief, especially when they put a base also be said in regard to the necessity of interpretation upon things that are in a larger number of teachers, in order that themselves pure ; and the quick imagi- the element of personal influence may be nation of a child, together with the fact greater and more immediate. that this information is not guarded, as As this paper is only a statement of it would be if it came from an older the ethical problem of the public schools, and a wise person, makes it doubly dan- and not an attempt to solve it, it is not gerous. The testimony of one teacher, within its province to discuss the many which has been repeated by many, is to possible remedies that have been suggestthe effect that the large majority of chil- ed by teachers and others who are study. dren in the public schools know, theoret- ing this question. Few hesitate to say ically, as much about the forms of impu- that there are defects in the system, and rity at twelve and fourteen as they ever possible moral dangers associated with will. Thus the situation calls for teach- it, against which our national life should ers wise in heart and head, watchful in be guarded with great wisdom and perregard to this danger, and skillful in sistence. meeting it; for the sense of disgrace that The public school stands in close relacomes to many children from the mere tionship to every moral problem in the acquisition of this information is a blow republic. The problem of municipal to that peculiar delicacy of feeling which government is pressing upon thoughtful exists with the highest morality. In

In citizens to-day, and many schemes are many cases the inherent force of home devised to make it impossible for distraining preserves the child from radical honest politicians to practice their disinjury; but some children never escape honesty and selfishness; but a radical the wrong that is done them, others are cure of this and all other evils in the led into practices that seriously modify body politic can be effected only by the their usefulness, while still others are creation of upright citizens. A majorruined.

ity of the voters receive their only trainThe public school is a normal out- ing in the public schools. If low and growth of our social and political order, selfish aims rule their conduct; if they and its tendencies are the logical out- lack the possibility of enthusiasm for a come of this order. Its dangers are high purpose ; if, in short, their lives are those that exist in this democratic state, wanting in principle, it is not enough to but it lies in the power of the schools to say that demoralizing influences overeradicate much of the evil in the state. throw the good wrought within the


schools, because the business of the gerous element in the social problem. schools is so to establish morality that It is the bane of that partisanship that it cannot be overthrown by evil circum- is ever willing to sacrifice the state for stances in after life. For, as has already party supremacy; it is the moral oblibeen pointed out, the church and the quity of the pauper and the criminal, home of the present day are not able to who are ever seeking to get something perform this work, and therefore the without rendering a fair and just equischools, because of the very idea which valent. Is the public school laying its underlies their foundation and secures foundation deep enough? Has it struck their continued support, and because of its roots into the moral nature of these the amount of time which the child ne- thirteen million children? These are the cessarily spends in them, must be held questions that serious and earnest people largely responsible for the foundation of are asking. There is a striking similarity character ; in other words, for the train between the excellencies in our national ing of upright and patriotic citizens. life and the excellencies in our public This, as has just been said, is their busi- school system. There is also a striking ness. School boards and teachers are similarity between the evils in both. Can needed who realize this important fact, it not then be said that the eradication of and who are willing and able to make the evils in the public schools will have the development of principle the central very much to do with their eradication point in their work.

in the life of the state ? No one who examines carefully the To touch the springs of action in these present political and social order can fail pupils is to touch the very sources of to notice that there is a spirit of self- power in the national life; and there is seeking abroad that is destructive of the no opportunity to be compared with that noblest virtues and the highest ethical offered by the public schools. The inconditions ; that vast numbers of citizens stitution is so sacred, so far reaching in are controlled by the passion for getting its influence, that it must be rescued from rather than for giving. This is the dan- political strife and partisan narrowness.

William Frederick Slocum, Jr.


In his own person Henry Vaughan left Usk and the little Honddu, under the no trace in society. His life seemed to shadow of Tretower, the ruined castle slip by like the running water on which of his race, and of Pen-y-Fan and his he was forever gazing and moralizing, kindred peaks. What we know of him and his memory met early with the fate is a sort of pastoral : how he was born, which he hardly foresaw. Descended the son of a poor gentleman, in 1621, at from the royal chiefs of southern Wales, Newton St. Bridget, in the old house yet whom Tacitus mentions, and whose abode, asleep on the road between Brecon and in the day of Roman domination, was Crickhowel ; how he went up to Oxford, in the district called Siluria, he styled Laud's Oxford, with Thomas, his twin, himself the Silurist upon his title-pages; as a boy of sixteen, to be entered at and he keeps the distinctive name in the Jesus College ; how he took his degree humblest of epitaphs, close by his life- (just where and when no one can dislong home in the glorious valley of the cover), and came back, after a London revel, to be the village physician, though Vaughan, in his new fervor, did his best he was meant for the law, in what had

to suppress the numbers written in his become his brother's parish of Llansaint- youth, thus clearing the field for what fread; to write books full of sequestered he afterwards called his “ hagiography;" beauty, to watch the most tragic of wars, and a critic wonders what he found in to look into the faces of love and loss, his first tiny volume of 1646 or in Olor and to spend his thoughtful age on the Iscanus to regret or cancel. The turn in bowery banks of the river he had always his life which brought him lasting peace, known, his Isca parens florum, to which in a world rocking between the cant of he consecrated many a sweet English line. the Parliament and resurgent audacity And the ripple of the not unthankful Usk and riot, achieved for us a body of work was “distinctly audible over its pebbles,” which, small as it is, has rare interest, as was the Tweed to the failing sense of and an out-of-door beauty, as of the natSir Walter Scott, in the room where Hen- ural dusk, “ breathless with adoration,” ry Vaughan drew his last breath, on St. which is almost without parallel. Once George's Day, April 23, 1695. He died he had shaken off secular ambitions, exactly seventy-nine years after Shake- Vaughan's voice grew at once free and speare, exactly one hundred and fifty-five more forceful. In him a marked intelyears before Wordsworth.

lectual gain sprang from an apparently Circumstances had their way with him slight spiritual readjustment, even as it as with most poets. He knew the touch did, three centuries later, in one greater of disappointment and renunciation not than he, John Henry Newman. only in life, but in his civic hopes and in He was, in the only liberal sense, a his art. He broke his career in twain, learned man, full of lifelong curiosity and began over, before he had passed for the fruit of the Eden Tree. His thirty; and he showed great æsthetic dis- lines beginning, cretion, as well as disinterestedness, in “Quite spent with thought I left my cell," replacing his graceful early verses by the show the acutest thirst for hidden knowdeep dedications of his prime. Religious ledge ; he would “ most gladly die,” if faith and meditation seem so much a part death might buy him intellectual growth. of his innerinost nature, it is a little diffi- He looks forward to eternity as to the uncult to remember that Vaughan consid- sealing and disclosing of mysteries. He ered himself a brand snatched from the makes the soul sing joyously to the body: burning, a lawless Cavalier brought by “I that here saw darkly, in a glass, the best of chances to the quiet life, and

But mists and shadows pass, the feet of the moral Muse. Some time

And by their own weak shine did search the

springs between 1645 and 1653 he was seized

And source of things, by a sorely protracted and nearly fatal

Shall, with inlighted rays, illness; and during its progress his dear- Pierce all their ways ! est friends were taken from him. Nor His occupation as a resident physician was the execution of the king a light event must have fostered his fine

eye to so sensitive a poet and so passionate for the green earth, and furnished him, a partisan. Meanwhile Vaughan read day by day, with musings in sylvan soliGeorge Herbert, and his theory of propor- tudes and rides abroad over the fresh tional values began to change. It was a hill-paths. The breath of the mountains season of transition and silent crises, when is about his books. An early riser, he men bared their breasts to great issues, uttered a constant invocation to whoever and when it was easy for a childlike soul would listen, that “Weary of her vain search below, above,

manna was not good In the first Fair to find the immortal Love." After sun-rising ; far-day sullies flowers."


and ear

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