Puslapio vaizdai

work is not arduous and is generally speak French, and many German, while a "rushed through" in the last week of the large number take up other languages. holidays, it adds a heavy burden to the Girls are now allowed a much wider range already long educational bill. The ten

The ten- of literature than formerly. The foreign dency is to send boys to school as early as classics are open to them and the days are possible, so that the total cost of this past when they were forbidden to read education is a very expensive luxury; but Scott, Dickens, Thackeray, and George a hard struggle is always made, even by Eliot. In fact, in this endless supply of parents who are comparatively poor, to subjects the instructor is called upon to give boys a public-school training. The guide the pupil into some systematized standard of education and the average re- course so as to avoid the dangers of dessults are undoubtedly higher than hereto- ultory reading. fore, but it is a question whether by our There is and always has been in Engsystem we get the most out of our best land a deep-rooted objection to sending bovs.

girls to boarding-school, hence the need of The early training of girls from the a highly trained and accomplished governursery to the school-room is carried on ness. The supply is very good and large generally with their brothers, the same and the governess in an English family, governess supervising them all. The whether she be foreign or English, is spirit of emulation which a mixed class of usually remarkable in attainments and pupils creates is on the whole good. It character. In spite of contrary assertions, stimulates the girls to greater effort and English mothers are most anxious and acts as a spur to the boys, who realize the careful as to the person who must see indignity of being beaten by their sisters. more of their children than any one else.

A much more radical change has taken Indeed, in many cases English mothers place in the education of girls than in that are so anxious about the education and of boys. The whole curriculum of girls' ambitious for the success of their children study has been enlarged and the adoption that I think the pressure put on them to of the more serious side is now a sine quâ learn is sometimes excessive. There is no non in all families of whatever rank. The more “willing horse" than a keen, intellitraining begins in the nursery and little gent girl, and her inclination is always girls go into the school-room at about the rather to do too much than too little. The same age as their brothers. The subjects strain of education comes at a moment they learn are generally the same, for a when her health may be affected by the knowledge of Latin and advanced arith- changes incident to her sex, and she probmetic, as well as mathematics, is now con- ably requires all her strength to carry her sidered essential for well-educated girls. over a period during which, from a physiThe standard lesson books are of great cal point of view, she should take her life variety and the method of explaining and a little more easily. teaching is carried out as much as possi- We show more consideration in our ble by illustration and practical demon- treatment of animals than in our treatstration. The new methods of teaching ment of our girls and boys. We do not reading are not adopted in the school- expect our yearlings or two-year-olds to rooms of which I speak, as a girl has prob- perform any very arduous work during ably mastered the elements of reading be- the early part of their life: what work fore she leaves the nursery. The tendency they are called on to carry out is done of modern education is to concentrate a slowly, with distinct periods of rest, and girl's energies on those subjects for which is very carefully subdivided in its amount she has a distinct vocation. In these days and duration; but we ask of young people, no one wastes time on teaching music or boys and girls, at a period when they are singing to a child who has no inclination growing and their constitutions are formor ear for it, and drawing is taught onlying, to carry out a system of education to one who shows a distinctly artistic tal- which no one can characterize as easy. In ent. Much more time is now given to the the case of boys, the drawbacks are modistudy of languages and every girl can fied by the distinctly male instinct not to

1 The reader is reminded that Lady St. Helier is discussing her subject from the point

of view of the aristocracy and not of the upper middle classes.



do more work than they are compelled to; and any one conversing with a well-edubut with their sisters that consideration cated English girl of the class of which I hardly ever applies, and the standard of write, will find it very difficult to get her knowledge and the excellence of the work out of her depth. Many girls carry on done by girls in England are remarkably their studies long after they have done high. Though the instruction of girls in with the school-room and their reading is their early years is given by a governess, wide and diversified; they also embark on there are many excellent classes largely subjects which, for want of time, they attended held by some of our best profes- have been unable to take up earlier. But sors, not only in London but also in the the “pose” of the earnest but ill-informed large provincial towns. In London, some young and pretty woman is always amusof the classes are taught in French and ing, as well as the tender charity of their German, and during every term at the male adversaries. At present, the practice large colleges for women, such as Queen's of public speaking is fashionable and College and Bedford College, as well as weekly debating classes are held for girls at the London University and University at some of the houses of the leading politiCollege, lectures on special subjects are cal people in London, where they are given by the best authorities. These are taught not only how to speak and use the popular and are largely attended by girls voice, but to discuss and argue the quesbelonging to the professional and upper tion clearly and carefully from the point classes. The subjects of the lectures are of view which they have adopted. Woannounced and papers are prepared at men take so prominent a part in public life home by the students under the supervision in England that a certain amount of trainof the governess, and an examination at ing in elocution and public speaking is the end of each term is held to see what most valuable. progress has been made. The advantage It is now also becoming the fashion of such classes is no doubt a great one,

for English girls whose parents it creates a happy spirit of rivalry, and ap- afford the time and expense to spend a plies just the stimulus which is wanting year or more in some French or German in home instruction.

educational center before they come out. Some girls take the Oxford and Cam- Some go to Paris, but the majority prefer bridge local examinations and go in for a Germany, where they can combine a furpass. The first examination is not very ther acquaintance with German literature severe, but the higher certificate is a stiffer and the study of music. In most cases undertaking, yet thousands of girls pass, they are sent under the charge of their with great distinction, every year. It is governess or live in a pension where no no unusual thing to see all the girls in a one speaks English and where they are family working for it. A story is told of obliged to converse in German. The intwo daughters (twins) of one of our most Auences of German life and education are eminent judges, who went up together for very powerful and leave a distinct impress the Oxford and Cambridge local exami- on a girl's mind. They possibly develop nation, as they did for everything else, and the romantic side of her character, but who generally came out equally successful. they also give her a breadth of view and a A great air of mystery however hung over wider aperçu of life, and remove the purely this examination, which caused much in- insular point of view from which we are terest among their friends. It became only too liable to regard other countries known only after some time that one twin and people. had passed and that the other had failed. Athletics also play an important part The subject was so painful and the broken in the life and education of English girls, record of mutual success so overwhelming, especially among those of the upper that the subject was never alluded to by classes, where the question of cost is not the family.

a consideration. Open-air life has done One characteristic of the education of more for their welfare and strength than English girls is the thoroughness with almost any other influence. It is undoubtwhich every branch of it is carried out; edly true that English girls are stronger there is no shirking, no compromise. and taller than formerly and possess a What they learn is learned thoroughly, greater fund of endurance than they have


ever enjoyed before, and this is largely due our cold uncertain climate has made it imto the outdoor life which they lead. In possible, and the pretty pictures one sees games such as croquet, golf, and lawn-ten- in Paris of a family group, consisting often nis, they can hold their own with boys of of grandparents, parents, and children, are the same age. Even cricket is getting to unknown with us. What is true of our be more widely played, but until some working-classes, is more distantly modification of the skirt is arrived at it characteristic of our higher classes. The is a game in which a woman must always love of family and children is not one bit be at a disadvantage. The playing of less deep in England, but we are a regames has not unsexed our girls, nor in- served, undemonstrative race. It may be jured their health, as was prophesied when our insular arrogance which has always they first adopted open-air sports and ath- caused us to regard the open, demonstraletics once the monopoly of their brothers. tive affection of foreigners to their chil

As the intellectual side of girls' lives dren, as sentimental, that has made us err has become more developed, the more in the opposite direction. Every English homely and wifely occupations of their mother knows, however, the pang with mothers and grandmothers have lost favor, which she leaves the school at which she and needlework and the domestic interests has deposited her beloved boy for the first of life have taken a back place. It was time, and the effort it costs her to say inevitable that such should be the case, but good-by to him without letting her tears it is in many ways unfortunate that these mingle with those that are so nearly gushoccupations have fallen into desuetude. ing from his eyes, but it is not “good Few of the girls I speak of can cook a form,” in boyish parlance, to cry, and the chop, make an omelet, darn a stocking, mother has to live up to the standard of put on a patch, or make a buttonhole. self-control of the little hero of perhaps Perhaps in time housewifery may become seven or eight years of age. part of their curriculum, as it is now in The separation during these early years our elementary education scheme. A good certainly intensifies the affection of boys knowledge of housekeeping, of the man- for their mother, and the holidays are a agement of servants, of the keeping of bright spot in the year. There is always, accounts, and of cooking goes a long way I think, a shade of fear of his father in a to secure domestic happiness.

boy's heart, even of the most indulgent I think in England we are satisfied that, but time dispels that, and though there with certain limitations, our system of may be a sort of feeling that "the goveducation for the classes of which I write ernor is a little out of date” when he is laid on fairly good lines. We have cer- vetoes some of the youthful suggestions tainly uprooted and changed the whole during the holidays -- the feeling of friendscheme of education which existed, but the ship and equality grows as time goes on, new one has the merit of developing the and there are no truer or stancher friends individuality of each child, of teaching it than an English father and his son. self-reliance and courage. It does not in The effect of education and life in Engany way cramp or confine the bent of its land has no doubt helped to diminish painclination or study, but it brings out, we rental control and strengthen the indepenhope and believe, what is best and strong- dence of the young, but the love and revest in its character.

erence of children still remains, though The system on which the early educa- they undoubtedly regard their parents tion of children is carried out varies in from a much nearer and more familiar every country, and that in England can standpoint. It is impossible with our Engcompare in this respect with those of lish system of education that it could be France, Germany, and America. The otherwise. Children are our equals; they character, temperament, and mode of life criticize, discuss, and analyze us, and if differ so absolutely that the point of view we survive that ordeal- and it is a severe from which we regard the question must one-- we should feel thankful that, if the vary also. The English working-class awe and fear of the past has disappeared, family has never had any of the experience the new order of things has not diminished of the outdoor family life of the French; their deep love and affection.



"Age never droops into decrepitude while

Fancy stands at his side"

O Landor wrote, and so I quote,

And wonder if he knew; There is so much to doubt about,

So much but partly true!

Can one make points with stiffened joints ?

Or songs that breathe and burn?
Will not the jaded Muse refuse

An acrobatic turn?

There was a time when dancing rhyme

Ran readily to cantos;
But now it seems too late a date

For galliards and corantos.

One must beware, too, lest one's pace

Disgrace one's Roxalane,
For e'en decrepitude, my friend,

Must bend-in a pavane.

No!- on the whole the fittest rôle

For Age is the spectator's, Reclined in roomy stall behind

The "paters” and the “maters"

That fondly watch the pose of those

Whose thought is still creative, Whose point of view is fresh and new,

Not feebly imitative.

Time can no more past Youth restore

Or rectify defect;
But it can clear a failing sight

With light of retrospect.




Author of “ Life in an Indian Compound"

A ,

Cavendish was the man in question. There understood, is a thing like breath or was, in his opinion, little room for doubt air. You cannot follow it. You cannot that the Brahmans were discussing, in put your finger on it. Yet it is there, a their loathsome, Oriental way, the relareal and often an important thing. It was tions between George Cavendish and Anna with such a rumor that this story started. Harding, and, if so, he must force his own

The Padre, robed in a long white cas- mind to discuss them, too. sock, girded with a cord and tassel, He owned that, until now, although crowned by a mushroom topee, a plain they had been constantly together, he had black cross outlined against his breast, was thought little, if anything, about it. What passing through the Rayalpur bazaar when would you expect when a girl is pretty he saw a group of Brahmans, clad in ban- and a man is young in a country where it gles, discussing something with conspicu- is always either spring or summer? They ous zest. Heaped up between them, in had not, so far as he knew, been alone toravishing harmonies of hue, were piles of gether. Still, his conscience told him that ocher, saffron, sulphur, indigo, verdigris, with his wife and the wife of Captain vermilion, in shades that melted, one into Towers both in England, and with Caventhe other, like pigments ready to be mixed dish and Hawkins both unmarried, he, as for painting rainbows.

the shepherd and bishop of the station The voluptuous, copper-colored backs souls, should have been a little more on of the conversing Brahmans were toward guard. the Padre. They were speaking in their The natural handmaid to the Padre's convernacular, and he did not understand just science was the specter of his own responwhat they said, but, as he paused an in- sibility, an uncomfortable pair of twins stant to admire the marvelous prismatic with which to saddle a padre's soul in a beauty of the group, he distinctly heard country where the bars are down, where them mention Anna Harding's name. there is no beaten track for the morals of

The Padre was a Church of England youth to run in, no grand stand, no judge, chaplain and Anna Harding was a mem- but an open field of bunkers and pitfalls ber of his flock. Although he had been for the steed that has the bit in his teeth, ten years in India, he still had several the spur in his side of his own desire, the things to learn about the natives, but this grip on his bridle of his own headlong one thing he knew -- that the mention of a will. The Padre had seen youth's twoyoung girl's name in the bazaar is usually and three-year-olds “come a cropper" in the way of gossip, is usually in connec- more than once when released from their tion with the other sex, and is always snug little island paddock and turned loose undesirable. It disturbed him, therefore, into the great Indian pasture. The thing was not a little, to hear these unctuous and un- to head them off in their first gentle canclothed Brahmans using Anna Harding's ter, before they had felt the spur and the name,

grip-- to head them right in time. The The Padre had a quick, intuitive mind. Padre earnestly hoped that the rumor had He drew the inference at once that George not reached his ears too late for him to

« AnkstesnisTęsti »