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put either a verb or an accusative condemn either Miss Blimber or case.”
that governess who is forced to a Example of them, “ Balbus certain extent to take her for a murum ædificabat.” Poor little model by the circumstance that mortal! in that “Balbus murum she is bound to carry out the ædificabat” was possibly comprised wishes of—dare we use the exhis whole knowledge of the Latin pression ?–an injudicious parent.
. language :
it his stock-in- With all due humility we venture trade, in virtue whereof the fond to offer to the parent and govfather fancied that he had sired erness our own idea of what we a Latin scholar, just as the phrase should like a boy of nine to be “ Pax vobiscum
able to do : thing which qualified Wamba and 1. To read an easy book articuCedric the Saxon to play the lately and with intelligence, and friar.
to be able to point out the parts Whether poor little tallow-face of speech of every word in a short passed his examination, the kindly given passage. parson never had the courage to 2. To write a bold round hand, inquire. We trow not, for alas! crossing t’s and dotting i's; and to ingenuity of that stamp is too be sufficiently up in the laws of often, like virtue, its own ,
re- spelling to do a simple piece of ward.
dictation with not more than two But with all due sympathy for mistakes in ten lines. Paul Dombey as well as for that 3. To know his tables, and tallow-faced boy, we
to be able to do multiplication, utterly and altogether condemn addition, division, reduction, subMiss Blimber's time-table and traction. that for the simple reason that “But,” says the mother with it bears an irritatingly ridiculous conviction, “my child knows all resemblance to the curriculum of that already.” If, madam, you a preparatory school, and that on have taught him yourself, or even the minds of a good many boys constantly examined him yourself, as they leave these establishments we may accept your conviction. much the same effect in the way But if your conviction is only of confused impressions may have based a governess's report, been produced as existed in the pray try the following test. Go to mind of Paul Dombey. We can, some hard-hearted man, a schoolhowever, plead extenuating cir- master for choice, and ask him to cumstances, and say that we are give you two papers,—one a piece obliged to be subservient to those of dictation (and in addition to higher powers the Public Schools. doing that dictation, he must name And some of these, if we may what parts of speech each word in judge from the papers set in their the first ten lines is), the other an entrance examinations, apparently easy arithmetic paper. Shut the favour an olla - podrida of un- boy up in a room with yourself, digested knowledge in preference away from the governess ; put to few subjects thoroughly yourself on your honour not to known. Indeed, if the preparatory give any help, far less to peep at schoolmaster is to take a fair the answers like our friend the place in the competition - wallah, parson; and then send the result he too, like Miss Blimber, must off to the hard-hearted man; and be - forcer rather than a if he be an honest as well as teacher. We will not, then, wholly hard - hearted friend, his opinion
will have more weight with us out a few stray nouns or verbs, than your conviction.
and here and there an adjective, Another objection we can easily but that beyond these three his anticipate is, that nothing has been ideas have been so extremely vague said about history or geography. that he might as well at once have To this we would answer, that to been armed with a pepper-pot full an intelligent child no story book of the terms "conjunction," "ad
has such a fascination as the his- verb,” &c., and scattered the contorical story book; that the name tents broadcast 'over his paper. of these is legion; and that if the And we may add that to this day, selection be judiciously made, the pace Mason, Morris, and other celechild will learn more about history brities, we have never unearthed than at his age he would ever ex- an English grammar which was tract from a dry manual. And the slightest help to a dull boy. we will add, that short historical A Harrow master has for some stories told by word of mouth- years past, with the view of enand who can tell stories of this sort couraging a knowledge of history better than an educated woman !- in preparatory schools, offered often make a more lasting impres- prizes for competition, and sent sion on a child's mind than any- round a series of papers A, B, C. thing he reads himself. It may be A is for all competitors, but only a somewhat lazy form of acquiring a boy who answers A well is knowledge, but not unfrequently offered paper B, and only a select the same feeling of curiosity which few who satisfy the examiner in leads a man to look at the last B arrive at the dignity of having page of a novel for the dénoue- their names printed and circulated ment, will make a child search out and being allowed to enter the the original story of which he final stage C. has heard the outlines. So-called Let us employ the same system, curiosity in a child
appe- and now, as our young disciple has tite for legitimate as well as ille- passed the qualifying stage A, we gitimate knowledge.
will promote him to B. We will suppose that the boy has Let us then allow in our B a satisfied the hard-hearted friend, little more advanced history, comand that the mother is triumphant. prising the names and dates of the “There,” she says, “I told you kings and queens of England, in so.” Well and good, madam. In itself a good effort of memory ; the first place, we congratulate some idea of the causes of our you on your governess, and would great wars, as well as the names recommend you to raise her salary, of the principal battles and comand to do anything in your power manders; and let all this be done to retain her until all your boys with the aid of a historical atlas, have gone to a preparatory, or, as
which shall have not a great we really do not want to press that many names marked, but simply point, a public school. And in the the names of the really important second place, we congratulate you places. And let him once a-week on being the mother of a distinctly give on paper in his own language intelligent child.
We nay tell his ideas of some great man, and you that our experience has gene- let not the style be quite so laconic rally been that, if we asked a boy as that of our author of “ The Life to write down the grammatical of Moses." name of each word in six lines of In geography, too, he should be an easy book, he has indeed picked able to put together one of those
admirable piece-maps of England ence, who talk glibly of our long and of Europe, which will give holidays and short hours, and at him an idea of the position of the same time have only a very counties and countries, while as hazy notion of what
our work an exercise of memory he may really is. Briefly, then, we may learn the capitals of each.
say that our hours of work are And in this stage B, as he has from sunrise to sunset, and then now mastered the elements of his from sunset to sunrise — not all own language, let him, if you like, teaching hours, we grant you, but go on to French and to Latin, and hours every one of them in which if he really knows the verbs avoir a matron may come and rouse us and être in the one, and the declen- from our light slumber to tell us sions in the other, he may be sent that Master Dombey has got the to a preparatory school with the croup, or Master Toots has deperfect certainty that he is, if not veloped a rash. Light our slumbers more apparently advanced, at any always are; for on the shoulders rate more thoroughly grounded of the preparatory schoolmaster, than nine - tenths of the new- from the very first to the very last comers he will meet there.
hour of the school term, rests that And it follows that to map out anxious responsibility—the care of all that would come under the other people's children, for each heading C, would be for us a work one of whom he has to take, in of supererogation.
the absent parent's interest, more But-oh, how often have we thought and more precautions than been asked that question !—which any man would ever dream of takstyle of Latin pronunciation, the ing for his own child. We are as
or the old, do you recom- a class far less dependent on the mend? There was a time when parents than the parents as a class that question really and truly did are upon us.
The coal strike lately excite our expectations and raise paralysed the industry of the counour hopes. Now, alas ! habit and try: a combined strike of preparainurement dictate evasive tory schoolmasters would have an answer; for when that question even more startling effect.
We is asked, we have an inward con- are quite willing that for the viction amounting almost to a whole
round the parents certainty, that when young hope- should have the full and undisful comes to school, the extent of puted benefit of the society of that his Latin knowledge will be two vivacious young gentleman, who declensions badly learnt and badly even now bores them so intensely taught. Provided the boy can before the end of the vacation. transcribe mensa and annus with- But whereas in the present for out a single mistake, both he and some two-thirds of the year they his instructors may, so far choose to employ our agency, and we are concerned, pronounce the are often careful to impress upon words in any way their fancy may us their own views of what boys dictate.
should know when they leave our We feel that we are a sort of care, we in our turn have ventured fungus on the tree of civilisation, to give some idea of what we should creatures at least as much of other like the boys to know when they people’s necessities as of our own first come to us :choice; that, like Ginx's babies,
Semper ego auditor tantum? Nunwe are not even cordially accepted
quamne rcponam by the real authors of our exist- Vexatos toties rauci Theseide Codri?"
THE PROTECTION OF WILD BIRDS.
THERE are on view, at the pres- Scotland, has there sadly deteriorent time of writing, at Mr Row- ated in weight of body and spread land Ward's well-known estab- of horn, owing to the inclement lishment in Piccadilly, the only regions in which alone it finds a two full-grown specimens of Rhino- refuge. Besides these, there are ceros simus, the so-called white or but two spots in the British isles square-mouthed rhinoceros, that where this noble beast still lingers have ever reached this country. unconfined -Exmoor and KillarSecond only in size among terres- ney. trial mammals to the elephant, Meanwhile, those of us at home the immense and grotesque frames who may divert their thoughts of these old-world creatures are from clamant social and political built up and sustained by grass problems are beginning to be conof the field, and might be pressed, cerned about the impoverishment one would say, into the service of of our less imposing native fauna. the Vegetarian Society as notable We feel that somehow our wild examples of the result of a purely birds ought to receive better proherbivorous diet. But, in truth, tection, but we differ greatly there is a special melancholy in- among ourselves as to the means, terest connected with these colossal or even the possibility, of effecting forms, for the stuffed skins and this. It is not from neglect that the skeletons which once sustained they are suffering, but contrarithem are all that any of us shall wise from over-abundant attention henceforward see of a remarkable of several kinds. race of our fellow-creatures. If it is Some hold the simple faith that not yet true that the white rhino- the most desirable end is that wild ceros is no more, he is all but no birds should be protected from ex
It is believed that in termination in their native haunts, south-western Africa there exist so far as that is consistent with no more of this species than may the requirements of an ever-inbe numbered on the fingers of one creasing population. Others find band. Over these
a somewhat selfish, if sympathetic, “Annihilation waves his dusky wing ;"
solace in the care of captives, and
content themselves with observathey must fall before the insatiate tion of their habits, so far as these
ers who, under the griev- may be watched through the wires ous misnomer of sport, persecute of a cage; while a third, and, it those rare and brave animals which
is to be feared an increasing, class come under the head of “big regard stuffing the empty skins as game," and the white rhinoceros, the only method of preservation once so plentiful in one corner of worth attention. It may be of the mysterious continent of Africa, interest to examine how far the obmust share the fate of the Ameri- jects of these three classes may be can buffalo, and disappear before reconciled and regulated, consistimproved firearms and explosive ently with due regard to the liberty bullets. The sole survivor of na- of the subject. This liberty is tive British big game is the red- sometimes lost sight of in the deer, which, though still plentiful anxiety of those who, with the in the Highlands and Islands of best intentions, promote schemes
of legislation of which, while they counties at the present time, would see the merits, they are insen- become, if strictly preserved, insible to the defects. The diffi- conveniently common. Eagles, culty of legislating on some sub- kites, buzzards, peregrine falcons jects is often inverse to its and merlins, harriers and ravens importance, illustrating the old (all of which were named in the adage—De minimis non curat lex schedule of Sir Edward Grey's —the law cannot concern itself bill), are objects almost as with trifles.
familiar in English rural scenes as The most satisfactory outcome, the proverbial black swan was to so far, of awakening interest in the Roman populace in classical our native birds, is the solicitude times; but were it made penal to shown by certain landowners and molest them, the air itself would be others for the protection of harm- darkened with these birds of ravin. less or beneficent species, and this Grouse (the solitary species that has lately taken concrete form in we can claim as the exclusive prothe establishment of the Society perty of the British Isles) would for the Protection of Birds. This become very scarce, and the price society held its second annual of English partridges would rise meeting last February, and the far beyond the means of thousands principal subject of discussion was of householders who are able under the bill to amend and extend the present conditions to number the Wild Birds Protection Act (1880). little brown bird among the occaThis bill has been introduced in sional luxuries of their fare.
We four successive sessions of Parlia should be called on to sacrifice not ment. In the first two of these only the interests of field-sport, years it was in charge of Mr A. but the presence in numbers of Pease and Sir Edward Grey; in beautiful and edible birds, in order the last two it has fallen to to secure that of birds equally or Mr J. Pease and myself to con- more beautiful, but valueless to duct it. In its original form our comfort.
Nor is that all. the bill made penal the killing Pastoral industry in these islands of certain species, named in a is maintaining a mortal struggle schedule, in any part of the with foreign competitors. How United Kingdom. Now, the wis- would it be with hill - farmers dom of Parliament may be held to if they were commanded under be beyond dispute, but, if one may pains and penalties to abstain speak and live, it is neither omni- from defending their lambs from scient nor infallible; and to lay the cruel assaults of eagles and down a hard-and-fast rule in this ravens? Clearly it would be a matter, equally applicable to every gross act of tyranny to enact district—to the woodlands of War- such a law. wickshire and the crags of Caith
How beit, as these proposals ness, the heaths of Surrey and the have been abandoned, it avails bogs of Connemara—would be to not to discuss them further, bring the wisdom of Parliament though it seems well to point out into very hazardous repute. Not some of their objectionable feaonly do districts vary materially tures, lest, as may happen, they in their character and avifauna, should some day be laid again but some of the species named for before the House of Commons protection under the bill of 1892, when that assembly is in one of though exceedingly rare in some its melting moods.