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sassinated their masters." They laud- where the splendor of the shogun's ed the primitive simplicity of the mi- ramparts filled his soul with wrathkados, revealed its decline under cover and when he reached Kioto and saw of imposing ceremonies, and showed the ruinous residence of his decrepit how, under the influence of outlandish god, and realized his utter abandonnotions, power had passed from their ment, he fell upon his knees and bowed hands into those of their servants. So his forehead in the dust, and subsefar as I can judge, these philosophers quently returned home with a heart were but poor logicians;—their meta- so torn by compassion that he died of physics at once childish and preten- it. The example of this melancholy tious. But they went back to the mortal proved exceedingly affecting. sources of the nation's life, and re- The exactions of the daimios, the frevived in the minds of their hearers and quent occurrence of famines and fires, their readers a story of which the the cataclysms of nature, tue general memory had long been effaced by the relaxation of discipline, which filled almost exclusive study of the Chinese the country with robbers and other annals. The hidden sense of their adventurers, the universal presentiment dicta, the political doctrine which these of some vague and mysterious agonyinvolved, gave to the oldest of old saws all these things predisposed the popua youth and vivacity which recom- lar mind to incarnate its desires in mended them to the minds of men. In that unknown and captive emperor, fine, the reformers endeavored to illu- whose disgrace appeared more pitiful minate that drowsy chaos with a slen- than its own misery. A new sentiment der beam of true wisdom. They were compounded of tenderness and reverhonest souls and the common people ence--that exquisite devotion which the heard them gladly.
oppressed can feel for a fainting deity In the year 1840 a poor samurai --was awakened here and there in the named Tokayama travelled half the heart of the masses. Pity that circum. length of Japan to see the palace of the stances had not given this sentiment emperor. He went by way of Yeddo time to mature!
André Bellesort. Revue des Deux Mondes.
(To be concluded.)
FOR THE BOOKPLATE OF A MARRIED COUPLE.
A book our eyes have glanced on
A path our feet have trodden
On springy turt or sodden.
Ford M. Hueffer.
TOWN CHILDREN IN THE COUNTRY.
The Board of Education has recently or imply knowledge, but mainly de. issued a Circular which enables man- manded observation and intelligence. agers and teachers in the Rural Ele- But sending papers and printed letters mentary schools to take their scholars did not exhaust our efforts to make our for school walks in the country, and little plan known. Mrs. Franklin of there to teach them something of natu- the “Parents' National Educational ral history, surrounded by the sights Union,” to whose inspiration the plan and sounds which should excite ob- owes its birth, and two other ladies servation and awaken intellectual curi- were so good as to visit certain schools osity. But this is not all. The De- and (having secured the sympathy of partment has also arranged, in the Code the teachers) to explain to the children of this session, changes in view of in simple talks some of the beauties which it may be of some value to tell they were to seek, or something of the of a small experiment made last sum- pleasures such seeking would bring to mer to stimulate an interest in Nature them. in the minds of a few of the 32,000 On the 27th of July some 16,000 hapchildren who were sent by the Chil- py children trooped into the country; dren's Country Holiday Fund into the two weeks afterwards another 16,000 country for a fortnight's holiday. The took their places. All were back by methods adopted were simple. A letter the 26th of August, and by the 10th was written, printed and sent to every of September our questions were in London teacher whose scholars were their hands-ten easy questions for going into the country, to many school Standards III and IV, and ten quesmanagers, and to the clergy and others tions on the same lines, but demanding who were likely to come in contact closer observation, for Standards V with the children. In this letter we and VI. told our aim, asked for the aid of the Children from 470 London Schools teacher's sympathy and were careful to were sent into the country. Fifty-two explain that
schools applied for our questions, tak
ing 1,161 copies; but only twenty-seven Our hope is not so mucb that the schools sent in replies, as only 330 chilchildren should learn certain facts dren had tried to answer in writing. about Nature so that they can pass an
But still, inadequate as was the reexamination, but that they should learn
sponse to the amount of effort which to observe; for we believe that in so doing they may find pleasure and profit had been put forth, neither Mr. R. E. and that by degrees observation will S. Hart, the Assistant-Secretary of the develop both reverence and care.
Children's Holiday Fund (who had
done most of the work), nor I felt disWe also wrote a letter to be given to couraged. We had made a beginning, those children who might wish to join and now that the same aim is adopted in the plan after hearing about it from by the Government for the country the teachers, and to this letter we add. children, and that greater publicity ed an imaginary examination paper, will show up the object and simplicity which served to show the kind of ques- of the plan, it is hoped that an increastions which we were planning to ask, ing number of children will this sumquestions which did not require study mer begin to observe, and will find a
babies: horse, goat, cow, fox, dog, cat, sheep, frog, rabbit, deer.
truer joy in seeing and a wider range of subjects to see.
To the children in all the standards we gave questions about trees and flowers, asking the younger ones,
"What is your favorite tree an oak or an elm, a beech or birch, a lime or a sycamore?" and "Say why you like best the one you choose.”
Thirty-two children out of 127 who sent in papers were right as to the way sheep rise. Twenty only realized the difference between a pig's grunts and squeals, one girl generalizing her observation in the sentence that "The grunt is the nature of the pig," and another outstepping her by the statement that “the pig grunts when he is mad." The large majority of our young nature-observers were CODvinced that little pigs were devoted to each other, eighteen only being doubt. ful on the point. But the ignorance shown of the names of the creatures was often surprising. I will give only a few instances:
A baby horse is a ponny.
A baby frog is a tertpol-a freshera toad.
A baby sheep is a bar lamb.
Of the children in the fifth and sixth standards we asked:
To this from several children we got the stereotyped but out-of-date reply that they liked the oak best, because “the ships are made from it what defends Englard.” The prettiest flowers a child in the third standard saw were "nosegays" and "tegtoes and garpees" in a garden; but a boy in the fourth standard bad observed "Vemane, piney, purtunee, genastee and a stursion" growing. This botanical collection was however, improved on by girl in the sixth standard, whose vorite flowers were "Policeman's hats" and “Break your
mother's heart," two specimens which, alas! savor more of town and alley memories than country pleasures. Another child in the same standard had enjoyed “Minarets, Holy-oaks and Chame oisters"-where, it is not said, but perhaps in Canon Lester's garden, which was declared by a juvenile critic to be the prettiest "cottage garden” he “had ever seen."
The questions about animals excited much genuine interest, but showed that the faculty of observation had still to be cultivated. Of the children in Standards III and IV we asked:
(6) Did you see any rabbits? Do they run? If not, will you describe their movements? Have you ever noticed a rabbit 'wobbling its nose'? Why do you think he does it? What do rabbits drink? What animals are the enemies of rabbits?
(7) Do sparrows and rooks walk alike? Tell me something about the movements of various birds which you have noticed. What gestures have chickens when they drink? Does any other bird drink in the same way? How many times do crows fold their wings after alighting?
(7) When sheep get up from lying down, do they rise with their front or their hind legs first?
(8) Do you think that the big pigs grunt as an expression of pain, or pleasure or both? Do the little pigs show any sign of affection to each other?
(9) Give the names by which we call the following animals when they are
It would take too long to detail the answers so as to be fair to the writers, but the idea of the rabbit “wobbling its nose" appealed to the children, and many and various were the causes assigned for it.
“To make holes in the ground," wrote one child.
"To account for the formation of its head,” was the philosophy of another
"The moon is the shadow of the earth on the clouds."
“The eclipse of the sun." “The clouds."
Is it possible? and this from ifth and sixth standard children!
The pity of such answers is not the ignorance but the knowledge they show. The children have in one way been taught too much; their minds have been filled with scraps, while their un. derstandings have not been strengthened.
The last question for all standards was set to test the individual tastes of the children.
"It does it when it does what a cow does, digests it food,” is a profound but an unsatisfactory explanation.
"Its washing its face,” shows more credulity than observation; while another discarded reasons, and declared in a large round text-hand, regardless of grammar: “I have seen a number of rabbits wobblings its nose!"
Seven only answered the question rightly; but one child, although no inquiry was put concerning dogs, volunteered tbe information that "French puddles are kept for fancy, Irish terriers as ratters, but the boerhounds are kept for hunting the Boers," our sad trouble in South Africa being then on the horizon, and in the minds and mouths of many people.
Some of the people to whom I submitted our questions for helpful criticism objected to the last paragraph of this question:
(10) Will you write and tell us about the thing which you liked best during your holiday? It may be a walk, or a drive, or a sunset, or an auimal, or a party, or a game, or a person. Whatever you liked very much we should like to hear about. What books have you read during your country visit?
(9) When did you see the moon during your holiday? Was it a new moon, a full moon or a waning moon? What makes the moon give light?
The children, they argued are taught this in the schools. It does not encourage observation or nature-study, and you will merely get a repetition of textbook sentences; but I felt it might help the children to connect their country pleasures with what they were taught in school, and so the six words were left in. “What makes the moon give light?"
Here are some of the replies:
"Electricity causes the moon to shine."
"The moon revolving round the sun, which gives light by unknown planets."
"It is the darkness which shows it up."
And certainly it did not fail. Among things enjoyed most were:
“The country boys taught to swim."
“The head lady, who was Mrs. MacRosee, what paid for me at the sports."
“The drive a gentleman gave us in his carriage."
“The food I had."
"A game called 'Sister come to Quak. ers meeting.'”
"A laddie where I stayed. She was a kind and gentle laddie.”
“The party which Mrs. Cartwright gave us."
"Paddling at a place called flood gates.”
"Watching a woman milking a cow. She held a can between her knees and pulled the milk out of the cow. I should like," adds this observer, “to be a farmer."
“I also liked the way in witch I was treated, and also liked the respectabil. ity of Mrs. Byfield my charge," writes
one young prig; but many, both boys attractions and no temptations for and girls wrote the same sentiment in children under sixteen, for she has simpler language a delightful tribute written that “what I liked best all the to our working-class homes.
time was that I met a brewer"-a kind Other children, again, evidently en- man seemingly, who gave her a ride. joyed rare experiences. “I enjoyed But if I tell more of this sort of anmost a Drive to market in a cart with swers I shall give a wrong impression four pigs in it. ... There I saw men of the value of the work done by the pulling the pigs about by their tails." children or convey an untrue idea of Inappropriate handles, one would think. the success of the plan. On the whole Another child showed more sympa- the papers were encouraging. They thetic feeling for the beasts, for her were exceedingly varied-some deservgreatest pleasure had been "a drive in a ing the adjective "excellent," some unbrake when I sat in front and was glad questionably bad, their value depending I was not a horse."
on the trouble taken by the teachers, Two expressed real appreciation of or the interest shown by the school beauty and a perception of the spirit managers, to some extent on the local. of the country. “The thing I liked ity and on the care of the ladies who, best,” wrote a fourth standard child, by the organization of the Country "was a lot of cornfields with their Holiday Fund, overlook the children stalks waving in the wind;" and the during their visits in the villagers' cotother said, “We were half a mile from tages, acting as outside hostesses. home it was so quiet and lonely except is always difficult to generalize with for the birds music, and that walk I accuracy, but almost without excepenjoyed most."
tion more originality was shown among But very few children replied as to children in the younger standards and whether they had read any books. One, from Voluntary schools. In the upper however, gave a
list which should standards and from the Board schools awaken us all to serious thought: there was less variety, the replies being
“The books I read in my two weeks," more stereotyped, the children from the writes a boy of twelve, “was 'Chips,' same school often bearing the impress "Comic Cuts,' 'The World's Comic,' of the training received rather than the 'Funny Cuts,' 'The Funny Wonder,' development of their own individuality 'Comic Home Journal.'" Those of us in tastes and interests. who know the vulgarity and irrever- of the drawings asked from children ence which make up half the fun of of Standards V and VI several were ad. such serials must regret the absence of mirable, giving evidence of both delithe guiding word in the choice of litera
cate discernment and certainty of ture which was given to another lad, stroke. But when animals were at. who thus had read “The Vicar of tempted they showed more likeness to Wakefield" and "Treasure Island." the cheap toys “made in Germany,”
One child could not have been exact- which are the heritage of the poor, ly a desirable guest, not, that is to say, than to the creatures of the freer moveif she frequently indulged in what she ments on the common or in the farmliked best, which was “to lay in bed yard. Some six or eight of the collecand sing songs all the night!" And tions of grasses were good, evincing there is a record of a fourth standard care and choice; but others again merechild which, on the other side, is as ly exhibited the desire to get a lot, valuable as Lord Salisbury's recent quite regardless of their varieties or statement that the public-house had no their interest. One child had observed