Imágenes de páginas

career. That God will prosper him according as he follows his bet

. ter conviction, is my prayer! While we see our faults, let us correct them, and not forget that our way is downward. While we stand upon the bank of a river, let us not look at our feet where the reactionary eddies drift backward, but let us look beyond where the mighty current in the center flows on, and on, with a momentum that carries all before it. Our destiny is a hopeful one, and there is in spiration in faith in each other.

In closing I want to say something to which all teachers will agree. Teachers are not paid enough. In proportion to the order of talent required and the amount of labor to perform, you are the most inadequately paid of all the professions, — pardon me, except lawyers. But now is the time to stand to your post and not desert, for you are fast teaching society to appreciate you.

When you are known as you deserve to be, which will be ere long, the successful teacher can fix his own compensation. Teachers, you are greater than the British Parliament, the German Reichstag, the French Chambers, the American Congress! You mold a public sentiment, and legislation harmonizing with it is

is almost needless, and legislation antagonizing it is almost

is almost useless. Without the sanction of public sentiment, laws are a dead letter upon the statute-book! Teachers, you must hold in your care those who are to initiate the Twentieth Century; may it be greater and grander for the human race than all that have gone before! The world looks to you as the ministers of education, that agency which has converted mankind from primitive savagery to a civilization whose grand phenomena startle us with new surprises every day. You direct that educational force that makes monarchy no longer absolute, but lim. ited and constitutional ; that melts aristocray into democracy, and desires offices no longer hereditary, but elective ; that destroys the tyranny of statecraft, and the superstition of priestcraft ; that dethrones the monarch, and crowns the freeman ; that takes from the favored few their prerogatives, and blesses the many with self reliance and independence; that diminishes followers, and multiplies leaders; that levels all castes, and makes franchises universal ; that uproots all ancestral, patrimonial, accidental. and fancied distinctions, and creates the peerage of the common people.






[ocr errors]

What Sir Richard Steele said in the Tatler, of Lady Elizabeth Hastings, “ To love her was a liberal education,” may well be applied to living at Oxford. To walk about her streets, rich with the romance and pathos of ten centuries; to read daily in the Bodlean Library, with its 400,000 books and 26,000 choice manuscripts; to breathe an atmosphere promoted with the best thought of twenty-four colleges; to linger in St. John's five acres of flowers ; to see day by day the places where Addison walked, and Locke, Bacon, Coleridge, Shelly, Southey, Froude, Ruskin, Gladstone, and others laid the foundation of eternal fame ; to live in such a place is well nigh a university education.

Oxford never seemed so beautiful to me, as when, last year, I went down from London to see her colleges for women, Somerville Hall and Lady Margaret Hall. The railroad passes for sixty miles through a picture-like country ; through great fields of yellow Italian clover, or white daisies, or red poppies, while far away through the luxurious green of the trees rise white, chalky cliffs. Oxford is especially attractive in summer. Nature, with her flowers and ivy, seems to link the crumbling walls of a past age to the life and hope of the present. We sat for sometime in the grounds at Balliol, the second oldest college at Oxford. The grass was like a pink carpet, so covered was it with the fallen blossoms of the horse-chestnut trees. This college, the first perhaps in intellectual progress at Oxford, it is expected that every graduate will take honors, — was founded 600 years ago by John Balliol, who left his wife, Devorgilda, to carry out his plans. As late as 1870, a lady gave $45,000 to the college, be

. sides endowing ten scholarships. Had she lived till 1880, she might possibly have given it to help her own sex. Most of the Oxford colleges are rich.

Christ Church College posseses 29,959 acres of land, and the Dean's yearly income is $15,000. New College, founded in 1379, owns 17,057 acres, and the Warden's salary is about $11,000. The President of Magdalen receives nearly $12,000. From the beautiful tower (150 feet high) of this college, which stands in a grove of 100 acres, every May morning at five o'clock a Latin hymn is sung, while hundreds gather below to listen. Some think the custom originated in the saying of Mass for Henry VII. ; others, that it is a relic of the sun-worship of the Pagans.

As we passed along the street, hundreds of students, in their black gowns and flat caps, gave the place a unique appearance, –a fashion

-a which I hope may never prevail in America, where there should be no class distinctions by reason of education. It should be our boast and pride in the future, that nobody can live in our midst and be ignorant.

At last we reached Somerville Hall, named for Mary Somerville, a large, homelike building, covered with wisteria and honeysuckle, set back from the street, as is the English custom, in the midst of three acres of ground. The property was purchased of St. John's College, for $35,000, and $25,000 was soon raised for a new building, just completed. The rooms are tasteful and the occupants seem very happy. There are very few rules. The first term began in the fall of 1879, with 15 students. After two years study under Oxford professors, the young ladies took the “ University Local Examinations for women over eighteen." One gained a first-class in Honors in Modern Languages, and two others, a second-class; another took a second-class in Modern History, while in the First and Pass Examinations not one failed. To take honors requires two previous examinations, a First and a Pass. The First necessitates an examination in English, any two languages, Latin, Greek, French or Italian, German, Arithmetic, Euclid and Algebra. The Pass has six sections, and the candidate must give satisfaction in languages, and at least one of the other five sections. An Honor in classics means to read the Georgics and Æneid of Virgil, Horace, Cicero, Pliny's Letters, twelve books of the Odyssey, four pages of Sophocles, four of Euripides, the De Corona of Demosthenes, and Eschines in Ctesiphontem; to read Greek or Latin at sight, and to prepare papers on the philology, grammar, and composition of the languages. An Honor in Modern Languages means, in German, a paper on several of Wachernagel's works, Schiller's Wallenstein, Wilhelm Tell, and others; Goethe's Faust, Lessing's Nathan the Wise, Laocoon, etc. In French, Joinville's Mémoirs, Molière, Corneille, Racine, Voltaire, and Sainte Beuvé, or Spanish or Italian. These “examinations correspond in point of difficulty with the University examinations,” says Miss Shaw Lefevre. The able principal of Oxford University will doubtless eventually offer to women the same examinations which she gives to men, as does Cambridge.

There is at present no entrance-examination at Somerville Hall. No student is admitted under seventeen. The institution is undenominational in principle, the students being expected on Sundays to attend a place of worship chosen by themselves or their parents. The charge for board and lodgings is $315 for three terms of eight weeks each, and the lecture fees are $75 yearly. There are several scholarships of $150 and $200 a year,

When there are a sufficient number of ladies from both Someville Hall and Lady Margaret Hall to form a class in any subject, the lectures are given in class-rooms provided for women. If the number is small, as in chemistry, they recite with the young men, some lady from the Council accompanying them. This would of course seem unnecessary, either at Cambridge or in America. Oxford is as yet conservative, though she has many noble spirits working for the best good of women. Some University lectures are open to women; Christ Church College Science lectures, the University Museum lectures in Science and Mathematics, etc.


was founded in 1879 for those who desired “the protection and training of an academic house on the principles of the Church of Enyland, but with provision for the liberty of members of other religious bodies.” It is named in honor of Margaret Tudor, Countess of Richmond, founder of St. John's College, Cambridge. It is a beautiful stone building, recently enlarged by a $14,000 addition. The interior is in delicate blue and buff. The pictures show the love of art of the principal, Miss Wordsworth, who has traveled much in Spain and elsewhere. She is the daughter of the Bishop of Lincoln and a rela tive of the poet. The grounds in the rear are large, and on the day of our visit presented a most attractive appearance, with a party of girls in pink and white dresses, playing lawn-tennis. I never could see any reason why a girl who reads Greek and studies higher mathe. matics should not wear tasteful clothes and have a pretty face.

Family prayers are conducted at 8 A. M. and at 8.45 P. M., with two Bible classes weekly by Miss Wordsworth. Several young ladies have obtained honors. One has been appointed to the headship of Alexandra College, Dublin. The expenses of Lady Margaret Hall are $375 yearly, besides $75 for lecture fees. Each student has one room, a sitting-room and bed-room combined, and there is a common sitting-room.

At present there are about sixty young women attending lectures at Oxford. Several board outside the halls. Ten obtained honors in 1881 ; one a first-class in French and German, and five a second

class in Philology, History, English Language and Literature, or French and German. Miss Seward of Somerville Hall being under eighteen, and thus obliged to offer herself for the London University matriculation, received the Gilchrist exhibition of $150 for two years, awarded to the woman standing highest. Both Somerville Hall and Lady Margaret Hall have the respect and coöperation of the University, and are proving to the people that women need and profit by the best education the world has to offer. Perhaps half the students intend to teach, but whether they do or not it is certain that they will be better members of society from this training and broadening of their minds.

I have been asked how Girton and Newnham, London University and University College, St. Andrews, the Oxford colleges and others, compare

with our own institutions in physical training for girls, expenses, and advantages in scholarship. We are certainly not behind England in physical exercises as far as appliances are concerned. At Wellesley College the young women are required to spend an hour each day in boating, archery, walking, ball-playing, grace-hoops, or lawn-tennis. The Wellesley students, in their sailor suits trimmed in red or violet, in their colored boats, rowing and singing at sunset, make a picturesque scene. At Vassar, with its 200 acres and miles of gravel walk, and boating on its lake, there is admirable recreation. At Smith, as also at Vassar, there is a well-appointed gymnasium and bowling alley. At coëducation colleges, women have the same opportunities for physical development as men. At Girton and Newn. ham there are gymnasiums, but lawn-tennis and walking are greatly preferred. When our American girls can take a walk of eight or eighteen miles, in short, singly-trimmed dresses, as the English girls do, we shall have a more vigorous race.

Cambridge men usually walk or row from two until five o'clock. In University College, London, a course of lectures is given to women on hygiene, the causes of disease, the hygienic management of the body, the influence exercised by air, water, food, baths, exercise; the warming, lighting, and ventilating of dwelling-houses; the salubrity of towns, the prevention of epidemic and endemic diseases, — illustrated by models, diagrams, etc. A similar course should be given before every college in the country. We have spent a great amount of money in America to cure feeble women. In the next century we shall use the money to prevent their becoming feeble. There is no reason why girls should not play ball in pretty gymnastic suits, or swing clubs, as fortunately they are now doing in many of our high-school gymnasiums. Thousands have been sacrificed to a mistaken idea of

« AnteriorContinuar »