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HOW OLD THE NEW
JAMES J. WALSH, M.D., Ph. D., Litt. D.
Dean and Professor of the History of Medicine and of Nervous
FORDHAM UNIVERSITY PRESS
Xavier Alumni Sodality
MOST OF THE THOUGHTS CONTAINED IN THIS VOLUME WERE ORIGINALLY EXPRESSED AT OUR BREAKFASTS. IT SEEMS ONLY FITTING, THEN, THAT ON PRESENTATION TO A LARGER AUDIENCE THEY SHOULD BE DEDICATED TO YOU.
J. J. W.
Our Lady's Day, August 15, 1910
THE reason for publishing this volume of lectures and addresses is the persuasion that presentday educators are viewing the history of education with short-sighted vision. An impression prevails that only the last few generations have done work of serious significance in education. The history of old-time education is neglected, or is treated as of at most antiquarian interest and there is a failure to understand its true value. The connecting link between the lectures and addresses is the effort to express in terms of the present what educators were doing in the past. Once upon a time, when I proclaimed the happiness of the English workmen of the Middle Ages, the very positive objection was raised, "How could they be happy since their wages were only a few cents a day?" For response it was only necessary to point out that for his eight cents, the minimum wage by act of Parliament, the workman could buy a pair of handmade shoes, that being the maximum price established by law, and other necessaries at similar prices. If old-time education is studied with this same care to translate its meaning into modern values, then the very oldest education of which we have any record takes on significance even for our time.