Puslapio vaizdai
[ocr errors]

few attempt to do so. And further, no heart of the world, and the slowing or man dares to predict confidently the im- quickening of its pulses is reflected on the mediate triumph of one or the other of bourses of the nations of the earth. With the many remedies suggested by those who all the internationalizing of finance which believe the situation needs remedy, or of has come about in recent years, England the policies suggested by those satisfied still keeps tight hold upon the pursewith present conditions, but who view strings. The London bank rate is a govwith apprehension the decreasing margin of erning factor from New York to Peking. distance between the England of to-day- England has been for generations and still the greatest trading nation of the world- is the great creditor nation. More than and her active pushing rivals, hopefully £200,000,000 is scattered abroad annufollowing on apace.

ally. It is her money which builds the There is no sign of decadence in Eng- pioneer railroads, opens mines, dams the land. By contrast with the rapid develop- waters, and finances the lesser nations. ment of Germany and of the United From all these enterprises her people take States, she seems, however, to be progress- their toll and seek new outlets for this ining but slowly. It needs but a glance at crement. That too much money and too her vast figures of foreign trade, encom- many men have been sent abroad attracted passing as they do the world-wide field of by promise of greater returns is probably human endeavor and industry, to gain true. She has bled herself too freely, and some understanding of what has yet to be the heart now shows some signs of weakaccomplished to retire her to second place. The rivalry of younger and more To British ports come vessels of every na- daring and strenuous peoples for the trade tion and to every seaport in the world are of the world is a severe test of her seasoned sent British-owned vessels on trading mis- strength. sions. Millions of tons of staples are That she will yield in time may be true, bought by England in the country of their and probably is, for history repeats itself. origin, loaded on British ships, and deliv- If the empire shall fall to pieces, it will ered to her customers elsewhere without be not in decay, but rather as the proud touching British ports. In the warehouses mother of many children reluctantly witalong the Thames and elsewhere are con- nesses the departure of her sons and daughcentrated the supplies of the world in ters into the battle of life, their inheritance many notable articles of commerce. The one of courage, strength, self-confidence, ivory of India and Africa are first brought and capacity for self-government; each here. The furs of the world are sold by with a notable share of the gold which has auction in the London fur market. Ma- come to the parent purse from all quarters hogany logs lie on the London docks await- of the globe, and upon the investment of ing transshipment to countries much nearer which is founded the prosperity and credit to their native growth than England. In of these new nations, once upon a time brief, this little island is the commercial England's dependent colonies.







THE Elgrand of all classes, has changed that age.

THE elementary education of children seven, but now he is able to do so before

in England, of all classes, has changed so entirely in the last thirty or forty years In England, among the upper classes, that we of the older generation can hardly we do not send a boy to school, unless in realize or understand the ease and facility exceptional cases, till after he is eight, or with which instruction is now imparted. even older if he is delicate. On leaving The dry, hard, unsympathetic course of the nursery, he goes to the school-room lessons, which made the early days of and receives his education under the superchildhood a very dreary memory, have vision of a governess, who also teaches the altogether disappeared and a picturesque other children of the family. He begins and fascinating curriculum has taken its to learn arithmetic and the rudiments of place. Education is now carried out by Latin (which all English governesses observation on the part of the pupil, and teach). The kindergarten system is largely demonstration by the teacher, and the pro- used in the school-room when, as is somecess is an unconscious one, which entails times necessary, children are sent at an no mental strain, no laborious attempt to earlier age than five, to learn obedience grasp even the elementary difficulties of and habits of discipline, which cannot be learning.

observed so strictly in the nursery.

In Education begins virtually in the nurs- the well-to-do English home the schoolery and there is no better teacher than a room is a delightful spot. It is generally nurse who has all the affection of the child, one of the best rooms in the house, chosen whom she leads naturally and pleasantly for its brightness, its pleasant aspect, and step by step to the school-room where the general convenience, and in the lives of first serious work of instruction begins. most children it is a place of real happi

The books of the nursery are number- ness, and to the girls of the family full of less; they are of every kind and on every delightful memories. subject; and the child overcomes not only

When a boy goes to a preparatory the elementary difficulties of learning to school, he may have to specialize: if he is read, but from the beautifully illustrated going into the Navy, he is generally sent nursery library he learns the elements of to some school where he is trained mainly zoology, geography, science, astronomy, for that profession, and prepares for the botany, and history. The picture books of examination which he must pass before he animals, flowers, the various countries of can be admitted to the Naval School at the world and their inhabitants, the armies Osborne. Thence, after four years, if he and navies of the world, are shown to him. works well and passes, he is sent to the So that the amount of unconscious know- Royal Naval College at Dartmouth. The ledge possessed by an intelligent child examination for admittance to Osborne is when it leaves the nursery at the age of not a severe one for boys of that age. It five or six years is considerable.

is held before a board of Naval Officers In former years, when learning was and its object is to select those boys who more tedious and the methods of impart- are not only above the average in mental ing it less agreeable, it was quite soon attainments, but who are physically and enough for a child to begin to read at generally qualified for this strenuous ca



reer. They are not subjected to an ex- and including extras, such as music, drawamination on any particular subject and ing, and dancing, amounts to nearly £300 are often nonplussed by the questions a year; in fact some are as costly as a pubwhich are asked them, many not bearing lic school. on their chosen profession, but all intended Outdoor life is a distinctive characterto show whether they are quick in percep- istic of all English schools, and many peotion, are ready in reply, and have a gen- ple complain that unnecessary attention eral sense of observation.

and time are given to games and that the Amusing stories are told of the curious tendency of to-day is to sacrifice intellecanswers made to the Board's questions tual training to physical development. which, while not showing a great intellec- The love of sport and games is one of the tual standard, prove that the youngsters strongest characteristics of an English boy, are quick and resourceful. One nervous and the hero of every school is not the lad who was asked by an Admiral on the greatest scholar, but the best man at cricket Board to tell him the names of the three and foot-ball, and the captain of the Eton greatest admirals of modern times replied, or Harrow eleven is the finest fellow in “Lord Nelson, Lord Charles Beresford,” the world. The saying that “the battle and being at a loss for the name of the of Waterloo was won on the playing-fields third-"and yourself, my Lord."

of Eton” is true in a sense. The love of The life of these lads at the Naval cricket and foot-ball, with its accompaniSchools is a hardy one and the training is ments and the healthy life which athletics excellent for their career, which is a very entails, has helped more than any other trying one in many ways, when one con- influence to keep the tone of our great siders the youth of the boys, and the public schools pure and high, and has change often from luxurious homes, but it trained the men who for generations past produces good stuff, and our young naval have laid and cemented the foundations of officers are among the best products of our Empire. The defects and shortcomour education.

ings of a wealthy society are influencing When the sailor boy leaves his home, our public schools and the stern simplicity his future is settled, but for other boys who and rigor of English school life is suffering choose their career at a more advanced from that cause. The temptation for the age, the home instruction is carried on so people to send their boys where they will as to fit them for a preparatory school, meet with lads in a higher position than usually chosen with a view to the public their own is becoming a very distinct evil school to which they are to be sent. There

in making public schools extravagant and are some schools which prepare for Eton, lowering their tone. Harrow, and Winchester, as well as other The increasing facilities for diminishing public schools. There is no examination the drudgery of education and making for admittance to preparatory schools but every subject, however abstruse, less diffisome are more popular than others, and cult, is overcrowding the curricula of all unless a boy's application is entered early schools to an alarming extent. It is alin his life, he may have to go elsewhere. most impossible to find time for the extra The preparatory schools of England are subjects which are now so numerous and ideal as to arrangement and comfort while varied in preparatory schools, where boys the standard of instruction is very good who have developed a taste for some suband many boys pass from them having ject not generally taught, are expected by won scholarships at the great public their parents to carry it on at a public schools. The greatest attention is paid to

school on the expectation that it may be health, food, sleeping accommodations of use to them in their future career. physical training, gymnastics, athletics, The length of the holidays at all schools and games. Many of the schools have ex- is one which causes great perturbation to cellent swimming-baths where swimming the paternal mind; six weeks or more in is taught and have as well many other the summer, a month at Easter, and a luxuries, while one or two have been nick- month at Christmas, make, altogether, a named the “House of Lords," in conse- large gap in the school year, as parents are quence of the exalted rank of most of the compelled to engage a holiday tutor or boys. The charge is correspondingly high, governess at home; and though the holiday

[graphic][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][merged small]
[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small]
« AnkstesnisTęsti »