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why attempt a moral, if the narrative does not convey it?
nothing that was printed-his care for producing lyrics, never very diligent, seeming utterly gone. Matters soon reached the worst, and he would cry as a heart-broken man, and talk miserably of the prospects of his children. London at last had nothing in it to detain him, and he disappeared back into the Scottish weaving-world, and was heard of no more. Yes, it was known that he had gone to Dundee ; and, some time in 1850, a notice ran through the newspapers that Thom, the Inverury Poet, had died and was buried in that town. The moral of his fate seems to be-But
A FRENCH ETON.
FEBRUARY is beginning ; in a day or two Parliament will assemble; the report of the Public School Commissioners will, it is said, be presented almost immediately; and then all the world will have before them Eton, Harrow, Rugby, and the rest of the dissected nine. The probable results of that autopsy I am not going to discuss here. I am sure the exhibition will be very interesting; I hope it will prove very useful. But, for the champions of the true cause of secondary instruction, for those interested in the thorough improvement of this most important concern, the centre of interest is, I repeat it, not there. At this last hour, before the English mind, always prone to throw itself upon details, has completely thrown itself upon what, after all, in this great concern of secondary instruction, is only a detail, I return to the subject, in order to show, with all the clearness and insistance I can, where the centre of interest really lies.
Let me take for granted that the reader has still in his mind the account which I gave of the Toulouse Lyceum and of the Sorèze College ; or that, if he has not, he will do me the honour to cast his eye over it. Then I say, for
the serious thinker, for the real student of the question of secondary instruction, the knot of that question is here :- Why cannot we have throughout England, as the French have throughout France, as the Germans have throughout Germany, as the Swiss have throughout Switzerland, as the Dutch have throughout Holland, schools where the children of our middle and professional classes may obtain, at the rate of from 201. to 501. a year, if they are boarders, at the rate of from 5l. to 15l. a year, if they are day-scholars, an education of as good quality, with as good guarantees, social character, and advantages for a future career in the world, as the education which French children of the corresponding class can obtain from institutions like that of Toulouse or Sorêze ?
There is the really important question. It is vain to meet it by propositions which may, very likely, be true, but which are quite irrelevant. “Your French Etons," I am told, “are no Etons at all; there is nothing like an Eton in France." I know that. Very likely France is to be pitied for having no Etons, but I want to call attention to the substitute, to the compensation. The English public school produces the finest boys in the world; the Toulouse Lyceum boy, the Sorèze College boy, is
not to be compared with them. Well, this reduction amount to ? A boon-in let me grant all that too. But then some cases a very considerable boon—to there are only some five or six schools those who now frequent these schools. in England to produce this specimen- But what will it do for the great class boy; and they cannot produce him now in want of proper secondary instruccheap. Rugby and Winchester produce tion? Nothing: for in the first place these him at about 1201. a year ; Eton and schools are but two, and are full, or, at Harrow (and the Eton school-boy is per- least, sufficiently full, already; in the haps justly taken as the most perfect second place, if they were able to hold type of this highly-extolled class) can- all the boys in England, the class I speak not produce him for much less than 2001. of would still be excluded from thema year. Tantæ molis erat Romanam con- excluded by a cost of 1001. or 1502., dere gentem—such a business is it to just as much as by a cost of 120L or produce an article so superior. But for 2001. A certain number of the prothe common wear and tear of middling fessional class, with incomes quite inlife, and at rates tolerable for middling adequate to such a charge, will, for people, what do we produce? What do the sake of the future establishment of we produce at 301. a year? What is their children, make a brave effort, and the character of the schools which un- send them to Eton or Rugby at a cost of dertake for us this humbler, but far 1501. or 1001. a year. But they send more widely-interesting production ? them there already, even at the existing Are they as good as the Toulouse Lyceum higher rate. The great mass of middling and the Sorèze College ? That is the people, with middling incomes, not havquestion.
ing for their children's future establishSuppose that the recommendations of ment in life plans which make a public the Public School Commissioners bring school training indispensable, will not about in the great public schools all the make this effort, will not pay for their reforms which a judicious reformer children's schooling a price quite disprocould desire;-suppose that they pro- portionate to their means. They demand duce the best possible application of a lower school-charge—a school-charge endowments, the best possible mode of like that of Toulouse or Sorèze. election to masterships; that they lead And they find it. They have only to to a wise revision of the books and open the Times. There they read ad. subjects of study, to a reinforcing of vertisement upon advertisement, offerthe mathematics and of the modern ing them, “conscientiously offering" languages, where these are found weak; them, in almost any part of England to a perfecting, finally, of all boarding which suits their convenience, “ Educaarrangements and discipline ;- nothing “tion, 201. per annum, no extras. Diet will yet have been done towards pro- “unlimited, and of the best description. viding for the great want the want of “ The education comprises Greek, Latin, a secondary instruction at once reason “and German, Frencb by a resident ably cheap and reasonably good. Sup “native, mathematics, algebra, mapping, pose that the recommendations of the “ globes, and all the essentials of a firstCommissioners accomplish something “rate commercial education.” Physical, even in this direction—suppose that the moral, mental, and spiritual, all the cost of educating a boy at Rugby is wants of their children will be sedureduced to about 1001. a year, and the lously cared for. They are invited to cost of educating a boy at Eton to an “Educational Home," where “i disciabout 1501. a year-no one acquainted “ pline is based upon moral influence and with the subject will think it practi- “ emulation, and every effort is made to cable, or even, under present circum “ combine home-comforts with schoolstances, desirable, to effect in the cost of " training. Terms inclusive and modeeducation in these two schools a greater « rate." If they have a child with an reduction than this. And what will awkward temper, and needing special
management, even for this particular probably survive the most strenuous child the wonderful operation of the efforts for its destruction. In secondary laws of supply and demand, in this education the impotence of this pringreat commercial country, will be found ciple of supply and demand is as signal to have made perfect provision. “Un- as in elementary education. The mass “ manageable boys or youths (up to of mankind know good butter from “ twenty years) are made perfectly bad, and tainted meat from fresh, and “ tractable and gentlemanly in one year the principle of supply and demand " by a clergyman near town, whose may, perhaps, be relied on to give us “ peculiarly persuasive high moral and sound meat and butter. But the mass “ religious training at once elevates," of mankind do not so well know what &c. And all this, as I have said, is distinguishes good teaching and trainprovided by the simple, natural opera- ing from bad, they do not here know tion of the laws of supply and demand, what they ought to demand, and, therewithout, as the Times beautifully says, fore, the demand cannot be relied on “the fetters of endowment and the to give us the right supply. Even if interference of the executive.” Happy they knew what they ought to demand, country! happy middle classes ! Well they have no sufficient means of testmay the Times congratulate them with ing whether or no this is really supsuch fervency; well may it produce plied to them. Securities, therefore, are dithyrambs, while the newspapers of needed. The great public schools of less-favoured countries produce only England offer securities by their very leading articles; well may it declare publicity ; by their wealth, importance, that the fabled life of the Happy Islands and connexions, which attract general is already beginning amongst us.
attention to them; by their old reputa· But I have no heart for satire, though tion, which they cannot forfeit without the occasion invites it. No one, who disgrace and danger. The existence of knows anything of the subject, will the Royal Commission now sitting is a venture to affirm that these “educational proof, that to these moral securities for homes" give, or can give, that which the efficiency of the great public schools they “conscientiously offer." No one, may be added the material security of who knows anything of the subject, occasional competent supervision. I will seriously affirm that they give, or will grant that the great schools of the can give, an education comparable to Continent do not offer the same moral that given by the Toulouse and Sorèze securities to the public as Eton or schools. And why? Because they want Harrow. They offer them in a certain the securities which, to make them pro- measure, but certainly not in so large duce even half of what they offer, are measure : they have not by any means indispensable—the securities of super- so much importance, by any means so vision and publicity. By this time we much reputation. Therefore they offer, know pretty well that to trust to the infar larger measure, the other security, principle of supply and demand to do the security of competent supervision. for us all that we want in providing With them this supervision is not occaeducation, is to lean upon a broken sional and extraordinary, but periodic reed. We trusted to it to give us fit and regular; it is not explorative only; elementary schools till its impotence it is also, to a considerable extent, became conspicuous; we have thrown authoritative. it aside, and called upon State-aid, with It will be said that between the the securities accompanying this, to “educational home ” and Eton there is give us elementary schools more like a long series of schools, with many what they should be; we have thus gradations; and that in this series are founded in elementary education a sys- to be found schools far less expensive tem still, indeed, far from perfect, but than Eton, yet offering moral securities and living fruitful—a system which will as Eton offers them, and as the “educational home” does not. Cheltenham, successful private school cannot venture Bradfield, Marlborough, are instances much to exceed. which will occur to every one. It is After all, it is the “educational home, *** true that these schools offer securities; and not Bradfield or Marlborough, which it is true that the mere presence, at the supplies us with the nearest approach to head of a school, of a distinguished that rate of charges which secondary master like Mr. Bradley, is, perhaps, instruction, if it is ever to be organized the best moral security which can be on a great scale, and to reach those who offered. But, in the first place, these are in need of it, must inevitably adopt. schools are thinly scattered over the People talk of the greater cheapness of country; we have no provision for foreign countries, and of the dearness of planting such schools where they are this ; everything costs more here, they most wanted, or for insuring a due say, than it does abroad ; good education supply of them. Cheltenham, Brad- like everything else. I do not wish to field, and Marlborough are no more a dispute, I am willing to make some due provision for the Northumber- allowance for this plea; one must be land boy than the Bordeaux Lyceum careful not to make too much, however, is a due provision for the little Alsatian. or we shall find ourselves to the end of In the second place, Are these schools the chapter with a secondary instruction cheap ? Even if they were cheap once, failing just where our present secondary does not their very excellence, in a instruction fails—a secondary instruccountry where schools at once good and tion which, out of the multitude needing cheap are rare, tend to deprive them of it, a few, and only a few, make sacrifices their cheapness ? Marlborough was, I to get; the many, who do not like believe- perhaps it still is—the cheapest sacrifices, go without it. If we fix a of them ; Marlborough is probably just school-charge varying from 251. to 501. now the best-taught school in England; a year, I am sure we have fixed the outand Marlborough, therefore, has raised side rate which the great body of those its school-charge. Marlborough was needing secondary instruction will ever quite right in so doing, for Marlborough pay. Sir John Coleridge analyses this is an individual institution, bound to body into “ the clergy of moderate or guard its own interests and to profit by “contracted incomes” (and that means its own successes, and not bound to pro- the immense majority of the clergy), vide for the general educational wants “ officers of the army and navy, medical of the country. But what makes the “men, solicitors, and gentry of large school-charge of the Toulouse Lyceum “ families and small means." Many more remain moderate, however eminent may elements might be enumerated. Why be the merits of the Toulouse masters, are the manufacturers left out! The very or the successes of the Toulouse pupils ? rich, among these, are to be counted by It is that the Toulouse Lyceum is a ones, the middling sort by hundreds. public institution, administered in view And when Sir John Coleridge separates of the general educational wants of “tenant-farmers, small landholders, and France, and not of its own individual pre- “retail tradesmen,” into a class by themponderance. And what makes (or made, selves, and proposes to appropriate & alas !) the school-charge of the Sorèze separate class of schools for them, he College remain moderate, even with a carries the process of distinction and most distinguished and attractive direc- demarcation further than I can think tor, like Lacordaire, at its head ? It was quite desirable. But taking the conthe organization of a complete system stituent parts of the class requiring a of secondary schools throughout France, liberal education as he assigns them, the abundant supply of institutions it seems to me certain that a sum rangwith at once respectable guarantees and ing from 251. to 501. a year, is as much reasonable charges, fixing a general as those whom he enumerates can in mean of school-cost which even the most general be expected to pay for a son's
education, and as much as they need be Woodard says with great truth : “ It called upon to pay for a sound and “ may be asked, Why cannot the shopvaluable education, if secondary instruc “ keeper-class educate their own chiltion were organized as it might be. “dren without charity? It may be It must be remembered, however, that “ answered, Scarcely any class in the a reduced rate of charge for boarders, « country does educate its own children at a good boarding-school, is not by any “ without some aid. Witness the enormeans the only benefit to the class of “ mous endowments of our Universities parents in question-perhaps not even “ and public schools, where the sons of the principal benefit—which the organ- " our well-to-do people resort. Witness ization of secondary instruction brings « our national schools supported by State with it. It brings with it also, by “ grants, and by parochial and national establishing its schools in proper num- “subscriptions. On the other hand, the bers, and all over the country, facilities “ lower middle class” (Mr. Woodard for bringing up many boys as day- might quite properly have said the scholars who are now brought up as middle class in general)," politically a boarders. At present many people “very important one, is dependent to a send their sons to a boarding-school “great extent for its education on priwhen they would much rather keep “ vate desultory enterprise. This class, them at home, because they have “in this land of education, gets nothing no suitable school within reach. Opi- out of the millions given annually for nions differ as to whether it is best “ this purpose to every class except for a boy to live at home or to go away " themselves." In his sermon Dr. Hook to school, but there can be no doubt spoke, in his cordial, manly way, much which of the two modes of bringing to the same effect. him up is the cheapest for his parents; This was the grievance; what was the and those (and they are many) who remedy? That this great class should think that the continuation of home- be rescued from the tender mercies of life along with his schooling is far best private desultory enterprise ? That, in for the boy himself, would enjoy a this land of education, it should hencedouble benefit in having suitable schools forth get something out of the millions made accessible to them.
given annually for this purpose to every But I must not forget that an institu- class except itself? That in an age tion, or rather a group of institutions, when“ enormous endowments,"—the exists, offering to the middle classes, at form which public aid took in earlier a charge scarcely higher than that of ages, and taking which form public aid the 201. “educational home,” an educa- founded in those ages the Universities tion affording considerable guarantees and the public schools for the benefit, for its sound character. I mean the along with the upper class, of this very College of St. Nicholas, Lancing, and middle class which is now, by the irreits affiliated schools. This institution sistible course of events, in great measure certainly demands a word of notice here, excluded from them—that in an age, I and no word of mine, regarding Mr. say, when these great endowments, this Woodard and his labours, shall be mediæval form of public aid, have ceased, wanting in unfeigned interest and respect public aid should be brought to these for them. Still, I must confess that, as classes in that simpler and more maI read Mr. Woodard's programme, as nageable form which in modern societies I listened to an excellent sermon from it assumes—the form of public grants, the Dean of Chichester in recommenda- with the guarantees of supervision and tion of it, that programme and that ser- responsibility? The Universities remon seemed to me irresistibly to lead to ceive public grants ; for-not to speak conclusions which they did not reach of the payment of certain professors 1 by and that the conclusions which they did i These professors are now nominally paid reach were far from satisfying Mr. by the University; but the University pays