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Author: Stuart, Janet Erskine
Title: The Education of Catholic Girls
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Title: The Education of Catholic Girls


Author: Janet Erskine Stuart

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THE EDUCATION OF CATHOLIC GIRLS


     *     *     *     *


   PUBLIC SCHOOLS FOR GIRLS. A Series of Papers by Nineteen
     Headmistresses dealing with the History, Curricula, and
     Aims of Public Secondary Schools for Girls. Edited by
     SARA A. BURSTALL, Headmistress of the Manchester High
     School, and M. A. DOUGLAS, Headmistress of the Godolphin
     School, Salisbury. Crown 8vo, 4_s_. 6_d_.
   THE DAWN OF CHARACTER. A Study of Child Life. By EDITH E.
     READ MUMFORD, M.A., Cloth-workers' Scholar, Girton
     College, Cambridge, Lecturer on 'Child Training' at the
     Princess Christian Training College for Nurses,
     Manchester. Crown 8vo, 3_s_. 6_d_,
   NOTES OF LESSONS ON THE HERBARTIAN METHOD (based on
     Herbart's Plan). By M. FENNELL and Members of a Teaching
     Staff. With a Preface by M. FENNELL, Lecturer on
     Education. Crown 8vo, 3_s_. 6_d_.
   SCIENCE OF EDUCATION. By T. P. KEATING, B.A., L.C.P. With
     an Introduction by Rev. T. A. FINLAY, M.A., National
     University, Dublin. Crown 8vo, 2_s_. 6_d_. net.
   TALKS  TO TEACHERS ON PSYCHOLOGY AND TO STUDENTS ON SOME OF
     LIFE'S IDEALS. By WILLIAM JAMES, formerly Professor of
     Philosophy at Harvard University. Crown 8vo, 4_s_. 6_d_.
   EDUCATION AND THE NEW UTILITARIANISM, and other Educational
     Addresses. By ALEXANDER DARROCH, M.A., Professor of
     Education in the University of Edinburgh. Crown 8vo,
     3_s_. 6_d_. net.
   EDUCATION   AND PSYCHOLOGY. By MICHAEL WEST, Indian
     Education Service. Crown 8vo, 5_s_. net.

   Longmans, Green  and  Co.,
   London, New York, Bombay, Calcutta, and Madras.


     *     *     *     *


THE EDUCATION OF CATHOLIC GIRLS

by

JANET ERSKINE STUART

With a Preface by Cardinal Bourne
Archbishop of Westminster

Longmans, Green and Co.
39 Paternoster Row, London
Fourth Avenue & 30th Street, New York
Bombay, Calcutta, and Madras

Fourth Impression
1914







Nihil Obstat:
F. THOS. BERGH, O.S.B.

Imprimatur:
FRANOISOUS CARD. BOURNE
ABCHIEPOS WESIMONAST,

die 1 Januarii, 1912.


PREFACE

We have had many treatises on education in recent years; many
regulations have been issued by Government Departments; enormous sums
of money are contributed annually from private and public sources for
the improvement and development of education. Are the results in any
degree proportioned to all these repeated and accumulated efforts? It
would not be easy to find one, with practical experience of education,
ready to give an unhesitatingly affirmative answer. And the
explanation of the disappointing result obtained is very largely to be
found in the neglect of the training of the will and character, which
is the foundation of all true education. The programmes of Government,
the grants made if certain conditions are fulfilled, the recognition
accorded to a school if it conforms to a certain type, these things
may have raised the standard of teaching, and forced attention to
subjects of learning which were neglected; they have done little to
promote education in the real sense of the term. Nay, more than this,
the insistence on certain types of instruction which they have
compelled has in too many cases paralysed the efforts of teachers who
in their hearts were striving after a better way.

The effect on some of our Catholic schools of the newer methods has
not been free from harm. Compelled by force of circumstances, parental
or financial, to throw themselves into the current of modern
educational effort, they have at the same time been obliged to abandon
the quieter traditional ways which, while making less display, left a
deeper impress on the character of their pupils. Others have had the
courage to cling closely to hallowed methods built up on the wisdom
and experience of the past, and have united with them all that was not
contradictory in recent educational requirements. They may, thereby,
have seemed to some waiting in sympathy with the present, and
attaching too great value to the past. The test of time will probably
show that they have given to both past and present an equal share in
their consideration.

It will certainly be of singular advantage to those who are engaged in
the education of Catholic girls to have before them a treatise written
by one who has had a long and intimate experience of the work of which
she writes. Loyal in every word to the soundest traditions of Catholic
education, the writer recognizes to the full that the world into which
Catholic girls pass nowadays on leaving school is not the world of a
hundred, or of fifty, or of even thirty years ago. But this
recognition brings out, more clearly than anything else could do, the
great and unchanging fact that the formation of heart and will and
character is, and must be always, the very root of the education of a
child; and it also shows forth the new fact that at no time has that
formation been more needed than at the present day.

The pages of this book are well worthy of careful pondering and
consideration, and they will be of special value both to parents and
to teachers, for it is in their hands and in their united, and not
opposing action, that the educational fate of the children lies.

But I trust that the thoughts set forth upon these pages will not
escape either the eyes or the thoughts of those who are the public
custodians and arbiters of education in this country. The State is
daily becoming more jealous in its control of educational effort in
England. Would that its wisdom were equal to its jealousy. We might
then be delivered from the repeated attempts to hamper definite
religious teaching in secondary schools, by the refusal of public aid
where the intention to impart it is publicly announced; and from the
discouragement continually arising from regulations evidently inspired
by those who have no personal experience of the work to be
accomplished, and who decline to seek information from those to whom
such work is their very life. It cannot, surely, be for the good of
our country that the stored-up experience of educational effort of
every type should be disregarded in favour of rigid rules and
programmes; or that zeal and devotion in the work of education are to
be regarded as valueless unless they be associated with so-called
undenominational religion. The Catholic Church in this and in every
country has centuries of educational tradition in her keeping. She has
no more ardent wish than to place it all most generously at the
service of the commonwealth, and to take her place in every movement
that will be to the real advantage of the children upon whom the
future of the world depends. And we have just ground for complaint
when the conditions on which alone our co-operation will be allowed
are of such a character as to make it evident that we are not intended
to have any real place in the education of our country.

May this treatise so ably written be a source of guidance and
encouragement to those who are giving their lives to the education of
Catholic children, and at the same time do something to dispel the
distrust and to overcome the hostility shown in high quarters towards
every Catholic educational endeavour.

FRANCIS CARDINAL BOURNE,
ARCHBISHOP OF WESTMINSTER.




CONTENTS

PREFACE
INTRODUCTION
CHAPTER
    I. RELIGION
   II. CHARACTER. I.
  III. CHARACTER. II.
   IV. THE ELEMENTS OF CATHOLIC PHILOSOPHY
    V. THE REALITIES OF LIFE
   VI. LESSONS AND PLAY
  VII. MATHEMATICS, NATURAL SCIENCE, AND NATURE STUDY
 VIII. ENGLISH
   IX. MODERN LANGUAGES
   X. HISTORY
   XI. ART
  XII. MANNERS
 XIII. HIGHER EDUCATION OF WOMEN
  XIV. CONCLUSION
       APPENDIX I
       APPENDIX II
       INDEX




Pair though it be, to watch unclose
The nestling glories of a rose,
Depth on rich depth, soft fold on fold;
Though fairer he it, to behold
Stately and sceptral lilies break
To beauty, and to sweetness wake:
Yet fairer still, to see and sing,
One fair thing is, one matchless thing:
Youth, in its perfect blossoming.
                      LIONEL JOHNSON.




INTRODUCTION

A book was published in the United States in 1910 with the title,
EDUCATION: HOW OLD THE NEW. A companion volume might be written with a
similar title, EDUCATION: HOW NEW THE OLD, and it would only exhibit
another aspect of the same truth.

This does not pretend to be that possible companion volume, but to
present a point of view which owes something both to old and new, and
to make an appeal for the education of Catholic girls to have its
distinguishing features recognized and freely developed in view of
ultimate rather than immediate results.




CHAPTER I.

RELIGION.

"Oh! say not, dream not, heavenly notes
   To childish ears are vain,
That the young mind at random floats,
   And cannot reach the strain.

"Dim or unheard, the words may fall.
   And yet the Heaven-taught mind
May learn the sacred air, and all
   The harmony unwind."
                                          KEBLE.

The principal educational controversies of the present day rage round
the teaching of religion to children, but they are more concerned with
the right to teach it than with what is taught, in fact none of the
combatants except the Catholic body seem to have a clear notion of
what they actually want to teach, when the right has been secured. It
is not the controversy but the fruits of it that are here in question,
the echoes of battle and rumours of wars serve to enhance the
importance of the matter, the duty of making it all worth while, and
using to the best advantage the opportunities which are secured at the
price of so many conflicts.

The duty is twofold, to God and to His children. God, who entrusts to
us their religious education, has a right to be set before them as
truly, as nobly, as worthily as our capacity allows, as beautifully as
human language can convey the mysteries of faith, with the quietness
and confidence of those who know and are not afraid, and filial pride
in the Christian inheritance which is ours. The child has a right to
learn the best that it can know of God, since the happiness of its
life, not only in eternity but even in time, is bound up in that
knowledge. Most grievous wrong has been done, and is still done,
to children by well-meaning but misguided efforts to "make them
good" by dwelling on the vengeance taken by God upon the wicked, on
the possibilities of wickedness in the youngest child. Their
impressionable minds are quite ready to take alarm, they are so small,
and every experience is so new; there are so many great forces at work
which can be dimly guessed at, and to their vivid imaginations who can
say what may happen next? If the first impressions of God conveyed to
them are gloomy and terrible, a shadow may be cast over the mind so
far-reaching that perhaps a whole lifetime may not carry them beyond
it. They hear of a sleepless Bye that ever watches, to see them doing
wrong, an Bye from which they cannot escape. There is the Judge of
awful severity who admits no excuse, who pursues with relentless
perseverance to the very end and whose resources for punishment are
inexhaustible. What wonder if a daring and defiant spirit turns at
last and stands at bay against the resistless Avenger, and if in later
years the practical result is--"if we may not escape, let us try to
forget," or the drifting of a whole life into indifference, languor of
will, and pessimism that border on despair.

Parents could not bear to be so misrepresented to their children, and
what condemnation would be sufficient for teachers who would turn the
hearts of children against their father, poisoning the very springs of
life. Yet this wrong is done to God. In general, children taught by
their own parents do not suffer so much from these misrepresentations
of God, as those who have been left with servants and ignorant
teachers, themselves warped by a wrong early training. Fathers and
mothers must have within themselves too much intuition of the
Fatherhood of God not to give another tone to their teaching, and
probably it is from fathers and mothers, as they are in themselves
symbols of God's almighty power and unmeasured love, that the first
ideas of Him can best reach the minds of little children.

But it is rare that circumstances admit the continuance of this best
instruction. For one reason or another children pass on to other
teachers and, except for what can be given directly by the clergy,
must depend on them for further religious instruction. This further
teaching, covering, say, eight years of school life, ten to eighteen,
falls more or less into two periods, one in which the essentials of
Christian life and doctrine have to be learned, the other in which
more direct preparation may be made for the warfare of faith which
must be encountered when the years of school life are over. It is a
great stewardship to be entrusted with the training of God's royal
family of children, during these years on which their after life
almost entirely depends, and "it is required among stewards that a man
may be found faithful." For other branches of teaching it is more easy
to ascertain that the necessary qualifications are not wanting, but in
this the qualifications lie so deeply hidden between God and the
conscience that they must often be taken for granted, and the
responsibility lies all the more directly with the teacher who has to
live the life, as well as to know the truth, and love both truth and
life in order to make them loved. These are qualifications that are
never attained, because they must always be in process of attainment,
only one who is constantly growing in grace and love and knowledge can
give the true appreciation of what that grace and love and knowledge
are in their bearing on human life: to _be_ rather than to _know_ is
therefore a primary qualification. Inseparably bound up with it is the
thinking right thoughts concerning what is to be taught.

1. To have right thoughts of God. It would seem to be too obvious to
need statement, yet experience shows that this fundamental necessity
is not always secure, far from it. It is not often put into words, but
traces may be found only too easily of foundations of religion laid in
thoughts of God that are unworthy of our faith. Whence can they have
come? Doubtless in great measure from the subtle spirit of Jansenism
which spread so widely in its day and is so hard to outlive--from
remains of the still darker spirit of Calvinism which hangs about
convert teachers of a rigid school--from vehement and fervid spiritual
writers, addressing themselves to the needs of other times--perhaps
most of all from the old lie which was from the beginning, the deep
mistrust of God which is the greatest triumph of His enemy. God is set
forth as if He were encompassed with human limitations--the fiery
imagery of the Old Testament pressed into the service of modern and
western minds, until He is made to seem pitiless, revengeful,
exacting, lying in wait to catch His creatures in fault, and awaiting
them at death with terrible surprises.

But this is not what the Church and the Gospels have to say about Him
to the children of the kingdom. If we could put into words our highest
ideals of all that is most lovely and lovable, beautiful, tender,
gracious, liberal, strong, constant, patient, unwearying, add what we
can, multiply it a million times, tire out our imagination beyond it,
and then say that it is nothing to what He is, that it is the weakest
expression of His goodness and beauty, we shall give a poor idea of
God indeed, but at least, as far as it goes, it will be true, and it
will lead to trustfulness and friendship, to a right attitude of mind,
as child to father, and creature to Creator. We speak as we believe,
there is an accent of sincerity that carries conviction if we speak of
God as we believe, and if we believe truly, we shall speak of Him
largely, trustfully, and happily, whether in the dogmas of our faith,
or as we find His traces and glorious attributes in the world around
us, as we consider the lilies of the field and the birds of the air,
or as we track with reverent and unprecipitate following the line of
His providential government in the history of the world.

The need of right thoughts of God is also deeply felt on the side of
our relations to Him, and that especially in our democratic times when
sovereignty is losing its meaning. There are free and easy ideas of
God, as if man might criticize and question and call Him to account,
and have his say on the doings of the Creator. It is not explanation
or apology that answer these, but a right thought of God makes them
impossible, and this right thought can only be given if we have it
ourselves. The Fatherhood of God and the Sovereignty of God are
foundations of belief which complete one another, and bear up all the
superstructure of a child's understanding of Christian life.

2. Eight ideas of ourselves and of our destiny. It is a pity that evil
instead of good is made a prominent feature of religious teaching. To
be haunted by the thought of evil and the dread of losing our soul,
as if it were a danger threatening us at every step, is not the
most inspiring ideal of life; quiet, steady, unimaginative fear and
watchfulness is harder to teach, but gives a stronger defence against
sin than an ever present terror; while all that belongs to hope
awakens a far more effective response to good. Some realization of our
high destiny as heirs of heaven is the strongest hold that the average
character can have to give steadiness in prosperity and courage in
adversity. Chosen souls will rise higher than this, but if the average
can reach so far as this they will do well.

3. Eight ideas of sin and evil. It is possible on the one hand to give
such imperfect ideas of right and wrong that all is measured by the
mere selfish standard of personal security. The frightened question
about some childish wrong-doing--"is it a mortal sin?" often indicates
that fear of punishment is the only aspect under which sin appears to
the mind; while a satisfied tone in saying "it is only a venial sin"
looks like a desire to see what liberties may be taken with God
without involving too serious consequences to self. "It is wrong"
ought to be enough, and the less children talk of mortal sin the
better--to talk of it, to discuss with them whether this or that is a
mortal sin, accustoms them to the idea. When they know well the
conditions which make a sin grave without illustrations by example
which are likely to obscure the subject rather than clear it up, when
their ideas of right and duty and obligation are clear, when "I ought"
has a real meaning for them, we shall have a stronger type of
character than that which is formed on detailed considerations of
different degrees of guilt.

On the other hand it is possible to confuse and torment children by
stories of the exquisite delicacy of the consciences of the saints, as
St. Aloysius, setting before them a standard that is beyond their
comprehension or their degree of grace, and making them miserable
because they cannot conform to it.

It is a great safeguard against sin to realize that duty must be done,
at any cost, and that Christianity means self-denial and taking up the
cross.

4. Eight thoughts of the four last things. True thoughts of death are
not hard for children to grasp, to their unspoiled faith it is a
simple and joyful thing to go to God. Later on the dreary pageantry
and the averted face of the world from that which is indeed its doom
obscure the Christian idea, and the mind slips back to pagan grief, as
if there were no life to come.

Eight thoughts of judgment are not so hard to give if the teaching is
sincere and simple, free from exaggerations and phantoms of dread, and
on the other hand clear from an incredulous protest against God's
holding man responsible for his acts.

But to give right thoughts of hell and heaven taxes the best
resources of those who wish to lay foundations well, for they are
to be foundations for life, and the two lessons belong together,
corner-stones of the building, to stand in view as long as it shall
stand and never to be forgotten.

The two lessons belong together as the final destiny of man, fixed by
his own act, _this_ or _that_. And they have to be taught with all the
force and gravity and dignity which befits the subject, and in such a
way that after years will find nothing to smile at and nothing to
unlearn. They have to be taught as the mind of the present time can
best apprehend them, not according to the portraiture of mediaeval
pictures, but in a language perhaps not more true and adequate
in itself but less boisterous and more comprehensible to our
self-conscious and introspective moods. Father Faber's treatment
of these last things, hell and heaven, would furnish matter for
instruction not beyond the understanding of those in their last years
at school, and of a kind which if understood must leave a mark upon
the mind for life. [1 See Appendix I.]

5. Eight views of Jesus Christ and His mother. For Catholic children
this relationship is not a thing far off, but the faith which teaches
them of God Incarnate bids them also understand that He is their own
"God who gives joy to their youth"--and that His mother is also
theirs. There are many incomprehensible things in which children are
taught to affirm their belief, and the acts of faith in which they
recite these truths are far beyond their understanding. But they can
and do understand if we take pains to teach them that they are loved
by Our Lord each one alone, intimately and personally, and asked to
love in return. "Suffer the little children to come unto Me, and
forbid them not," is not for them a distant echo of what was heard
long ago in the Holy Land, it is no story, but a living reality of to
day. They are themselves the children who are invited to come to Him,
better off indeed than those first called, since they are not now
rebuked or kept off by the Apostles but brought to the front and given
the first places, invited by order of His Vicar from their earliest
years to receive the Bread of Heaven, and giving delight to His
representatives on earth by accepting the invitation.

It is the reality as contrasted with the story that is the prerogative
of the Catholic child. Jesus and Mary are real, and are its own
closest kin, all but visible, at moments intensely felt as present.
They are there in joy and in trouble, when every one else fails in
understanding or looks displeased there is this refuge, there is this
love which always forgives, and sets things right, and to whom nothing
is unimportant or without interest. Companionship in loneliness,
comfort in trouble, relief in distress, endurance in pain are all to
be found in them. With Jesus and Mary what is there in the whole world
of which a Catholic child should be afraid. And this glorious strength
of theirs made perfect in child-martyrs in many ages will make them
again child-martyrs now if need be, or confessors of the holy faith as
they are not seldom called upon, even now, to show themselves.

There is a strange indomitable courage in children which has its deep
springs in these Divine things; the strength which they find in Holy
Communion and in their love for Jesus and Mary is enough to overcome
in them all weakness and fear.

6. Eight thoughts of the faith and practice of Christian life. And
here it is necessary to guard against what is childish, visionary, and
exuberant, against things that only feed the fancy or excite the
imagination, against practices which are adapted to other races than
ours, but with us are liable to become unreal and irreverent, against
too vivid sense impressions and especially against attaching too much
importance to them, against grotesque and puerile forms of piety,
which drag down the beautiful devotions to the saints until they are
treated as inhabitants of a superior kind of doll's house, rewarded
and punished, scolded and praised, endowed with pet names, and treated
so as to become objects of ridicule to those who do not realize that
these extravagances may be in other countries natural forms of peasant
piety when the grace of intimacy with the saints has run wild. In
northern countries a greater sobriety of devotion is required if it is
to have any permanent influence on life.

But again, on the other hand, the more restrained devotion must not
lose its spontaneity; so long as it is the true expression of faith it
can hardly be too simple, it can never be too intimate a part of
common life. Noble friendships with the saints in glory are one of the
most effectual means of learning heavenly-mindedness, and friendships
formed in childhood will last through a lifetime. To find a character
like one's own which has fought the same fight and been crowned, is an
encouragement which obtains great victories, and to enter into the
thoughts of the saints is to qualify oneself here below for
intercourse with the citizens of heaven.

To be well grounded in the elements of faith, and to have been so
taught that the practice of religion has become the atmosphere of a
happy life, to have the habit of sanctifying daily duties, joys, and
trials by the thought of God, and a firm resolve that nothing shall be
allowed to draw the soul away from Him, such is, broadly speaking, the
aim we may set before ourselves for the end of the years of childhood,
after which must follow the more difficult years of the training of
youth.

The time has gone by when the faith of childhood might be carried
through life and be assailed by no questionings from without. A faith
that is not armed and ready for conflict stands a poor chance of
passing victoriously through its trials, it cannot hope to escape from
being tried. "We have laboured successfully," wrote a leading Jewish
Freemason in Rome addressing his Brotherhood, "in the great cities and
among the young men; it remains for us to carry out the work in the
country districts and amongst the women." Words could not be plainer
to show what awaits the faith of children when they come out into the
world; and even in countries where the aim is not so clearly set forth
the current of opinion mostly sets against the faith, the current of
the world invariably does so. For faith to hold on its course against
all that tends to carry it away, it is needful that it should not be
found unprepared. The minds of the young cannot expect to be carried
along by a Catholic public opinion, there will be few to help them,
and they must learn to stand by themselves, to answer for themselves,
to be challenged and not afraid to speak out for their faith, to be
able to give "first aid" to unsettled minds and not allow their own
to be unsettled by what they hear. They must learn that, as Father
Dalgairns points out, their position in the world is far more akin to
that of Christians in the first centuries of the Church than to the
life that was lived in the middle ages when the Church visibly ruled
over public opinion. Now, as in the earliest ages, the faithful
stand in small assemblies or as individuals amid cold or hostile
surroundings, and individual faith and sanctity are the chief means of
extending the kingdom of God on earth.

But this apostleship needs preparation and training. The early
teaching requires to be seasoned and hardened to withstand the
influences which tend to dissolve faith and piety; by this seasoning
faith must be enlightened, and piety become serene and grave,
"sedate," as St. Francis of Sales would say with beautiful commentary.
In the last years of school or school-room life the mind has to be
gradually inured to the harder life, to the duty of defending as well
as adorning the faith, and to gain at least some idea of the enemies
against which defence must be made. It is something even to know what
is in the air and what may be expected that the first surprise may not
disturb the balance of the mind. To know that in the Church there have
been sorrows and scandals, without the promises of Christ having
failed, and even that it had to be so, fulfilling His word, "it must
needs be that scandals come" (St. Matthew XVIII. 7), that they are
therefore rather a confirmation than a stumbling-block to our faith,
this is a necessary safeguard. To have some unpretentious knowledge of
what is said and thought concerning Holy Scripture, to know at least
something about Modernism and other phases of current opinion is
necessary, without making a study of their subtilties, for the most
insecure attitude of mind for girls is to _think they know_, in these
difficult questions, and the best safeguard both of their faith and
good sense is intellectual modesty. Without making acquaintance in
detail with the phenomena of spiritualism and kindred arts or
sciences, it is needful to know in a plain and general way why they
are forbidden by the Church, and also to know how those who have lost
their balance and peace of mind in these pursuits would willingly draw
back, but find it next to impossible to free themselves from the
servitude in which they are entangled. It is hard for some minds to
resist the restless temptation to feel, to see, to test and handle all
that life can offer of strange and mysterious experiences, and next to
the curb of duty comes the safeguard of greatly valuing freedom of
mind.

Curiosity concerning evil or dangerous knowledge is more impetuous
when a sudden emancipation of mind sweeps the old landmarks and
restraints out of sight, and nothing has been foreseen which can
serve as a guide. Then is the time when weak places in education show
themselves, when the least insincerity in the presentment of truth
brings its own punishment, and a faith not pillared and grounded in
all honesty is in danger of failing. The best security is to have
nothing to unlearn, to know that what one knows is a very small part
of what can be known, but that as far as it goes it is true and
genuine, and cannot be outgrown, that it will stand both the wear of
time and the test of growing power of thought, and that those who have
taught these beliefs will never have to retract or be ashamed of them,
or own that they were passed off, though inadequate, upon the minds of
children.

It is not unusual to meet girls who are troubled with "doubts" as to
faith and difficulties which alarm both them and their friends.
Sometimes when these "doubts" are put into words they turn out to be
mere difficulties, and it has not been understood that "ten thousand
difficulties do not make a doubt." Sometimes the difficulties are
scarcely real, and come simply from catching up objections which they
do not know how to answer, and think unanswerable. Sometimes a spirit
of contradiction has been aroused, and a captious tendency, or a love
of excitement and sensationalism, with a wish to see the other side.
Sometimes imperfect teaching has led them to expect the realization of
things as seen, which are only to be assented to as believed, so that
there is a hopeless effort to _imagine_, to _feel_, and to _feel
sure_, to lean in some way upon what the senses can verify, and the
acquiescence, assent, and assurance of faith seems all insufficient to
give security. Sometimes there is genuine ignorance of what is to be
believed, and of what it is to believe. Sometimes it is merely a
question of nerves, a want of tone in the mind, insufficient
occupation and training which has thrown the mind back upon itself to
its own confusion. Sometimes they come from want of understanding that
there must be mysteries in faith, and a multitude of questions that do
not admit of complete answers, that God would not be God if the
measure of our minds could compass His, that the course of His
Providence must transcend our experience and judgment, and that if the
truths of faith forced the assent of our minds all the value of that
assent would be taken away. If these causes and a few others were
removed one may ask oneself how many "doubts" and difficulties would
remain in the ordinary walks of Catholic life.

It seems to be according to the mind of the Church in our days to turn
the minds of her children to the devotional study of Scripture, and if
this is begun, as it may be, in the early years of education it gains
an influence which is astonishing. The charm of the narrative in the
very words of Scripture, and the jewels of prayer and devotion which
may be gathered in the Sacred Books, are within the reach of children,
and they prepare a treasure of knowledge and love which will grow in
value during a lifetime. Arms are there, too, against many
difficulties and temptations; and a better understanding of the
Church's teaching and of the liturgy which is the best standard of
devotion for the faithful.

The blight of Scriptural knowledge is to make it a "subject" for
examinations, running in a parallel track with Algebra and Geography,
earning its measure of marks and submitted to the tests of
non-Catholic examining bodies, to whom it speaks in another tongue
than ours. It must be a very robust devotion to the word of God that
is not chilled by such treatment, and can keep an early Christian glow
in its readings of the Gospels and Epistles whether they have proved a
failure or a success in the examination. In general, Catholic
candidates acquit themselves well in this subject, and perhaps it may
give some edification to non-Catholic examiners when they see these
results. But it is questionable whether the risk of drying up the
affection of children for what must become to them a text-book is
worth this measure of success. Let experience speak for those who know
if it is not so; it would seem in the nature of things that so it must
be. When it is given over to voluntary study (beyond the diocesan
requirements which are a stimulus and not a blight) it catches, not
like wild fire, but like blessed fire, even among young children, and
is woven imperceptibly into the texture of life.

Lastly, what may be asked of Catholic children when they grow up and
have to take upon themselves the responsibility of keeping their own
faith alive, and the practice of their religion in an atmosphere which
may often be one of cold faith and slack observance? Neither their
spiritual guides, nor those who have educated them, nor their own
parents, can take this responsibility out of their hands. St. Francis
of Sales calls science the 8th Sacrament for a priest, urging the
clergy to give themselves earnestly to study, and he says that great
troubles have come upon us because the sacred ark of knowledge was
found in other hands than those of the Levites. Leo XIII wrote in one
of his great encyclicals that "Every minister of holy religion must
bring to the struggle the full energy of his mind and all his power of
endurance." What about the laity? We cannot leave all the battle to
the clergy; they cannot defend and instruct and carry us into the
kingdom of heaven in spite of ourselves; their labours call for
response and correspondence. What about those who are now leaving
childhood behind and will be in the front ranks of the coming
generation? Their influence will make or unmake the religion of their
homes, and what they will be for the whole of their life will depend
very much upon how they take their first independent stand.

It is much that they should be well grounded in those elements of
doctrine which they can learn in their school-days. It is much more if
they carry out with them a living interest in the subject and care to
watch the current of the Church's thought in the encyclicals that are
addressed to the faithful, the pastorals of Bishops, the works of
Catholic writers which, are more and more within the reach of all, in
the great events of the Church's life, and in the talk of those who
are able to speak from first-hand knowledge and experience. It is most
of all fundamental that they should have an attitude of mind that is
worthy of their faith; one that is not nervous or apologetic for the
Church, not anxious about the Pope lest he should "interfere too
much," nor frightened of what the world may say. They should have an
unperturbed conviction that the Church will have the last word in any
controversy, and that she has nothing to be alarmed at, though all the
battalions of newest thought should be set in array against her; they
should be lovingly proud of the Church, and keep their belief in her
at all times joyous, assured, and unafraid.

Theology is not for them, neither required nor obtainable, though some
have been found enterprising enough to undertake to read the _Summa_,
and naive enough to suppose that they would be theologians at the end
of it, and even at the outset ready to exchange ideas with Doctors of
Divinity on efficacious grace, and to have "views" on the authorship
of the Sacred Writings. Such aspirations either come to an untimely
end by an awakening sense of proportion, or remain as monuments to the
efforts of those "less wise," or in some unfortunate cases the mind
loses its balance and is led into error.

"Thirsting to be more than mortal,
I was even less than clay."

Let us, if we can, keep the bolder spirits on the level of what is
congruous, where the wealth that is within their reach will not be
exhausted in their lifetime, and where they may excel without offence
and without inviting either condemnation or ridicule. The sense of
fitness is a saving instinct in this as in 1 every other department of
life. When it is present, first principles come home like intuitions
to the mind, where it is absent they seem to take no hold at all, and
the understanding that should supply for the right instinct makes slow
and laborious way if it ever enters at all.

To know the relation in which one stands to any department of
knowledge is, in that department, "the beginning of wisdom". The great
Christian Basilicas furnish a parallel in the material order. They are
the house of God and the home and possession of every member of the
Church militant without distinction of age or rank or learning. But
they are not the same to each. Every one brings his own understanding
and faith and insight, and the great Church is to him what he has
capacity to understand and to receive. The great majority of
worshippers could not draw a fine of the plans or expound a law of the
construction, or set a stone in its place, yet the whole of it is
theirs and for them, and their reverent awe, even if they have no
further understanding, adds a spiritual grace and a fuller dignity to
the whole. The child, the beggar, the pilgrim, the penitent, the lowly
servants and custodians of the temple, the clergy, the venerable
choir, the highest authorities from whom come the order and regulation
of the ceremonies, all have their parts, all stand in their special
relations harmoniously sharing in different degrees in what is for
all. Even those long since departed, architects and builders and
donors, are not cut off from it, their works follow them, and their
memory lives in the beauty which stands as a memorial to their great
ideals. It is all theirs, it is all ours, it is all God's. And so of
the great basilica of theology, built up and ever in course of
building; it is for all--but for each according to his needs---for
their use, for their instruction, to surround and direct their
worship, to be a security and defence to their souls, a great Church
in which the spirit is raised heavenwards in proportion to the faith
and submission with which it bows down in adoration before the throne
of God.




CHAPTER II.

CHARACTER I.

"La vertu maitresse d'aujourd'hui est la spontaneite
resolue, reglee par les principes interieurs et les
disciplines volontairement acceptees."--Y. LE QUERDEC.

The value set on character, even if the appreciation goes no further
than words, has increased very markedly within the last few years, and
in reaction against an exclusively mental training we hear louder and
louder the plea for the formation and training of character.

Primarily the word _character_ signifies a distinctive mark, cut,
engraved, or stamped upon a substance, and by analogy, this is
likewise character in the sense in which it concerns education. A "man
of character" is one in whom acquired qualities, orderly and
consistent, stand out on the background of natural temperament, as the
result of training and especially of self-discipline, and therefore
stamped or engraved upon something receptive which was prepared for
them. This something receptive is the natural temperament, a basis
more or less apt to receive what training and habit may bring to bear
upon it. The sum of acquired habits tells upon the temperament, and
together with it produce or establish character, as the arms engraved
upon the stone constitute the seal.

If habits are not acquired by training, and instead of them
temperament alone has been allowed to have its way in the years of
growth, the seal bears no arms engraven on it, and the result is want
of character, or a weak character, without distinctive mark, showing
itself in the various situations of life inconsistent, variable,
unequal to strain, acting on the impulse, good or bad, of the moment;
its fitful strength in moods of obstinacy or self-will showing that it
lacks the higher qualities of rational discernment and self-control.

"Character is shown by susceptibility to motive," says a modern
American, turning with true American instinct to the practical side in
which he has made experiences, and it is evidently one of the readiest
ways of approaching the study of any individual character, to make
sure of the motives which awaken response. But the result of habit and
temperament working together shows itself in every form of spontaneous
activity as well as in response to external stimulus. Character may be
studied in tastes and sympathies, in the manner of treating with one's
fellow creatures, of confronting various "situations" in life, in the
ideals aimed at, in the estimate of success or failure, in the
relative importance attached to things, in the choice of friends and
the ultimate fate of friendships, in what is expected and taken for
granted, as in what is habitually ignored, in the instinctive attitude
towards law and authority, towards custom and tradition, towards order
and progress.

Character, then, may stand for the sum of the qualities which go to
make one to be _thus_, and not otherwise; but the basis which
underlies and constantly reasserts itself is temperament. It makes
people angry to say this, if they are determined to be so completely
masters of their way in life that nothing but reason, in the natural
order, shall be their guide; but though heroism of soul has overcome
the greatest drawbacks of an unfortunate physical organization, these
cases are rare, and in general it must be taken into account to such
an extent that the battle against difficulties of temperament is the
battle of a lifetime. There are certain broad divisions which although
they cannot pretend to rest upon scientific principles yet appeal
constantly to experience, and often serve as practical guides to
forecast the lines on which particular characters may be developed.
There is a very striking division into assenting and dissenting
temperaments, children of _yes_ and children of _no_; a division which
declares itself very early and is maintained all along the lines of
early development, in mind and will and taste and manner, in every
phase of activity. And though time and training and the schooling of
life may modify its expression, yet below the surface it would seem
only to accentuate itself, as the features of character become more
marked with advancing years. Where it touches the religious
disposition one would say that some were born with the minds of
Catholics and, others of Nonconformists, representing respectively
centripetal and centrifugal tendencies of mind; the first apt to see
harmony and order, to realize the tenth of things that must be as they
are, the second born to be in opposition and with great labour
subduing themselves into conformity. They are precious aids in the
service of the Church as controversialists when enlisted on the right
side, for controversy is their element. But for positive doctrine, for
keen appreciation, for persuasive action on the wills of others, they
are at a disadvantage, at all events in England, where logic does not
enter into the national religious system, and the mind is apt to
resent conviction as if it were a kind of coercion. There are a great
number of such born Nonconformists in England, and when either the
grace of Catholic education or of conversion has been granted to them,
it is interesting to watch the efforts to subdue and attune themselves
to submission and to faith. Sometimes the Nonconformist temperament is
the greatest of safeguards, where a Catholic child is obliged to stand
alone amongst uncongenial surroundings, then it defends itself
doggedly, splendidly, and comes out after years in a Protestant school
quite untouched in its faith and much strengthened in militant
Christianity. These are cheerful instances of its development, and its
advantages; they would suggest that some external opposition or
friction is necessary for such temperaments that their fighting
instinct may be directed against the common enemy, and not tend to
arouse controversies and discussions in its own ranks or within
itself. In less happy cases the instinct of opposition is a cause of
endless trouble, friction in family life, difficulty in working with
others, "alarums, excursions" on all sides, and worse, the get
attitude of distrust towards authority, which undermines the
foundations of faith and prepares the mind to break away from control,
to pass from instinctive opposition to antagonism, from antagonism to
contempt, from contempt to rebellion and revolt. Arrogance of mind,
irreverence, self-idolatry, blindness, follow in their course, and the
whole nature loses its balance and becomes through pride a pitiful
wreck.

The assenting mind has its own possibilities for good and evil, more
human than those of Nonconformity, for "pride was not made for men"
(Ecclus. x 22), less liable to great catastrophes, and in general
better adapted for all that belongs to the service of God and man. It
is a happy endowment, and the happiness of others is closely bound up
with its own. Again, its faults being more human are more easily
corrected, and fortunately for the possessor, punish themselves more
often. This favours truthfulness in the mind and humility in the
soul--the spirit of the _Confiteor_. Its dangers are those of too easy
assent, of inordinate pursuit of particular good, of inconstancy and
variability, of all the humanistic elements which lead back to
paganism. The history of the Renaissance in Southern Europe testifies
to this, as it illustrates in other countries the development of the
spirit of Nonconformity and revolt. Calvinism and a whole group of
Protestant schools of thought may stand as examples of the spirit of
denial working itself out to its natural consequences; while the
exaggerations of Italian humanism, frankly pagan, are fair
illustrations of the spirit of assent carried beyond bounds. And those
centuries when the tide of life ran high for good or evil, furnish
instances in point abounding with interest and instruction, more
easily accessible than what can be gathered from modern characters, in
whom less clearly defined temperaments and more complex conditions of
life have made it harder to distinguish the characteristic features of
the mind. To mention only one or two--St. Francis of Sales and Blessed
Thomas More were great assentors, so were Pico de Mirandola and the
great Popes of the Renaissance, an example of a great Nonconformist is
Savonarola.

The old division of temperaments into phlegmatic or lymphatic,
sanguine, choleric, and nervous or melancholy, is a fairly good
foundation for preliminary observation, especially as each of the four
subdivides itself easily into two types--the hard and soft--reforms
itself easily into some cross-divisions, and refuses to be blended
into others. Thus a very fine type of character is seen when the
characteristics of the sanguine and choleric are blended the qualities
of one correcting the faults of the other, and a very poor one if a
yielding lymphatic temperament has also a strain of melancholy to
increase its tendency towards inaction. It is often easy to discern in
a group of children the leading characteristics of these temperaments,
the phlegmatic or lymphatic, hard or soft, not easily stirred, one
stubborn and the other yielding, both somewhat immobile, generally
straightforward and reliable, law abiding, accessible to reason, not
exposed to great dangers nor likely to reach unusual heights. Next the
sanguine, hard or soft, as hope or enjoyment have the upper hand in
them; this is the richest group in attractive power. If hope is the
stronger factor there is a fund of energy which, allied with the power
of charm and persuasion, with trustfulness in good, and optimistic
outlook on the world, wins its way and succeeds in its undertakings,
making its appeal to the will rather than to the mind. On the softer
side of this type are found the disappointing people who ought to do
well, and always fail, for whom the _joie de vivre_ carries everything
before it, who are always good natured, always obliging, always
sweet-tempered, who cannot say no, especially to themselves, whose
energy is exhausted in a very short burst of effort, though ever ready
to direct itself into some new channel for as brief a trial. The
characters which remain "characters of great promise" to the end of
their days, great promise doomed to be always unfulfilled. Of all
characters, these are perhaps the most disappointing; they have so
much in their favour, and the one thing wanting, steadiness of
purpose, renders useless their most beautiful gifts. These two groups
seem to be the most common among the Teutons and Celts of Northern
Europe with fair colouring and tall build; perhaps the other two types
are correspondingly more numerous among the Latin races. They are
choleric, ambitious, or self-isolated, as the cast of their mind is
eager or scornful and generally capable of dissimulation; the world is
not large enough for their Bonapartes. But if bitterness and sadness
predominate, they are carried on an ebbing tide towards pessimism and
contemptuous weariness of life; their soft type, in so far as they
have one, has the softness of powder, dry and crushed, rather than
that of a living organism. In children, this type, fortunately rare,
has not the charm or joy of childhood, but shows a restless straining
after some self-centred excellence, and a coldness of affection which
indicates the isolation towards which it is carried in later life.
Lastly, there is the unquiet group of nervous or melancholic
temperaments, their melancholy not weighed down by listless sadness as
the inactive lymphatics, but more actively dissatisfied with things as
they are--untiringly but unhopefully at work--hard on themselves,
anxious-minded, assured that in spite of their efforts all will turn
out for the worst, often scrupulous, capable of long-sustained
efforts, often of heroic devotedness and superhuman endurance, for
which their reward is not in this world, as the art of pleasing is
singularly deficient in them. Here are found the people who are "so
good, but so trying," ever in a fume and fuss, who, for sheer
goodness, rouse in others the spirit of contradiction. These
characters are at their best in adversity, trouble stimulates them to
their best efforts, whereas in easy circumstances and surrounded with
affection they are apt to drop into querulous and exacting habits. If
they are endowed with more than ordinary energy it is in the direction
of diplomacy, and not always frank. On the whole this is the character
whose features are least clearly defined, over which a certain mystery
hangs, and strange experiences are not unfrequent It is difficult to
deal with its elusive showings and vanishings, and this melting away
and reappearing seems in some to become a habit and even a matter of
choice, with a determination _not to be known_.

Taking these groups as a rough classification for observation of
character, it is possible to get a fair idea of the raw material of a
class, though it may be thankfully added that in the Church no
material is really raw, with the grace of Baptism in the soul and
later on the Sacrament of Penance, to clear its obscurities and
explain it to itself and by degrees to transform its tendencies and
with grace and guidance to give it a steady impulse towards the better
things. Confirmation and First Communion sometimes sensibly and even
suddenly transfigure a character; but even apart from such choice
instances the gradual work of the Sacraments brings Catholic children
under a discipline in which the habit of self-examination, the
constant necessity for effort, the truthful avowal of being in the
wrong, the acceptance of penance as a due, the necessary submissions
and self-renunciations of obedience to the Church, give a training of
their own. So a practicing Catholic child is educated unconsciously by
a thousand influences, each of which, supernatural in itself, tells
beyond the supernatural sphere and raises the natural qualities, by
self-knowledge, by truth, by the safeguard of religion against
hardness and isolation and the blindness of pride, even if the minimum
of educational facilities have been at work to take advantage of these
openings for good. A Catholic child is a child, and keeps a childlike
spirit for life, unless the early training is completely shipwrecked,
and even then there are memories which are means of recovery, and the
way home to the Father's house is known. It may be hoped that very
many never leave it, and never lose the sense of being one of the
great family, "of the household of faith." They enjoy the freedom of
the house, the rights of children, the ministries of all the graces
which belong to the household, the power of being at home in every
place because the Church is there with its priesthood and its
Sacraments, responsible for its children, and able to supply the wants
of their souls. It is scarcely possible to find among Catholic
children the inaccessible little bits of flint who are not _brought_
up, but bring up their own souls outside the Church--proud in their
isolation, most proud of never yielding inward obedience or owning
themselves in the wrong, and of being sufficient for themselves. When
the grace of Q-od reaches them and they are admitted into the Church,
one of the most overwhelming experiences is that of becoming one of a
family, for whom there is some one responsible, the Father of the
family whose authority and love pass through their appointed channels,
down to the least child.

There is no such thing as an orphan child within the Church, there are
possibilities of training and development which belong to those who
have to educate the young which must appeal particularly to Catholic
teachers, for they know more than others the priceless value of the
children with whom they have to do. Children, souls, freighted for
their voyage through life, vessels so frail and bound for such a port
are worthy of the devoted care of those who have necessarily a
lifelong influence over them, and the means of using that influence
for their lifelong good ought to be a matter of most earnest study.
Knowledge must come before action, and first-hand knowledge, acquired
by observation, is worth more than theoretic acquirements; the first
may supply for the second, but not the second for the first. There are
two types of educators of early childhood which no theory could
produce, and indeed no theory could tell how they are produced, but
they stand unrivalled--one is the English nurse and the other the
Irish. The English nurse is a being apart, with a profound sense of
fitness in all things, herself the slave of duty; and having certain
ideals transmitted, who can tell how, by an unwritten traditional
code, as to what _ought to be_, and a gift of authority by which she
secures that these things _shall be_, reverence for God, reverence in
prayer, reverence for parents, consideration of brothers for sisters,
unselfishness, manners, etc., her views on all these things are like
the laws of the Medes and Persians "which do not alter "--and they are
also holy and wholesome. The Irish nurse rules by the heart, and by
sympathy, by a power of self-devotion that can only be found where the
love of God is the deepest love of the heart; she has no views,
but--she knows. She does not need to observe--she sees' she has
instincts, she never lays down a law, but she wins by tact and
affection, lifting up the mind to God and subduing the will to
obedience, while appearing to do nothing but love and wait. The stamp
that she leaves on the earliest years of training is never entirely
effaced; it remains as some instinct of faith, a habit of resignation
to the will of God, and habitual recourse to prayer. Both these types
of educators rule by their gift from God, and it is hard to believe
that the most finished training in the art of nursery management can
produce anything like them, for they govern by those things that
lectures and handbooks cannot teach--faith, love, and common sense.

Those who take up the training of the next stage have usually to learn
by their own experience, and study what is given to very few as a
natural endowment--the art of so managing the wills of children that
without provoking resistance, yet without yielding to every fancy,
they may be led by degrees to self-control and to become a law to
themselves. It must be recognized from the beginning that the work is
slow; if it is forced on too fast either a breaking point comes and
the child, too much teased into perfection, turns in reaction and
becomes self-willed and rebellious; or if, unhappily, the forcing
process succeeds, a little paragon is produced like Wordsworth's
"model child":--

"Full early trained to worship seemliness,
This model of a child is never known
To mix in quarrels; that were far beneath
Its dignity; with gifts he bubbles o'er
As generous as a fountain; selfishness
May not come near him, nor the little throng
Of flitting pleasures tempt him from his path;
The wandering beggars propagate his name.
Dumb creatures find him tender as a nun,
And natural or supernatural fear,
Unless it leap upon him in a dream,
Touches him not. To enhance the wonder, see
How arch his notices, how nice his sense
Of the ridiculous; not blind is he
To the broad follies of the licensed world,
Yet innocent himself withal, though shrewd,
And can read lectures upon innocence;
A miracle of scientific lore,
Ships he can guide across the pathless sea,
And tell you all their cunning; he can read
The inside of the earth, and spell the stars;
He knows the policies of foreign lands;
Can string you names of districts, cities, towns,
The whole world over, tight as beads of dew
Upon a gossamer thread; he sifts, he weighs;
All things are put to question; he must live
Knowing that he grows wiser every day
Or else not live at all, and seeing too
Each little drop of wisdom as it falls
Into the dimpling cistern of his heart:
For this unnatural growth the trainer blame,
Pity the tree,"--
     "The Prelude," Bk. V, lines 298-329.

On the other hand if those who have to bring up children, fear too
much to cross their inclinations, and so seek always the line of least
resistance, teaching lessons in play, and smoothing over every rough
peace of the road, the result is a weak, slack will, a mind without
power of concentration, and in later life very little resourcefulness
in emergency or power of bearing up under difficulties or privations.
We are at present more inclined to produce these soft characters
than to develop paragons. But such movements go in waves and the
wave-lengths are growing shorter; we seem now to be reaching the end
of a period when, as it has been expressed, "the teacher learns the
lessons and says them to the child." We are beginning to outgrow too
fervid belief in methods, and pattern lessons, and coming back to
value more highly the habit of effort, individual work, and even the
saving discipline of drudgery. _We_ are beginning, that is those who
really care for children, and for character, and for life; it takes
the State and its departments a long time to come up with the
experience of those who actually know living children--a generation is
not too much to allow for its coming to this knowledge, as we may see
at present, when the drawbacks of the system of 1870 are becoming
apparent at last in the eyes of the official world, having been
evident for years to those whose sympathies were with the children and
not with codes. America, open-minded America, is aware of all this,
and is making generous educational experiments with the buoyant
idealism of a young nation, an idealism that is sometimes outstripping
its practical sense, quite able to face its disappointments if they
come, as undoubtedly they will, and to begin again. In one point it is
far ahead of us--in the understanding that a large measure of freedom
is necessary for teachers. Whereas we are, let us hope, at the most
acute stage of State interference in details.

But in spite of the systems the children live, and come up year after
year, to give us fresh opportunities; and in spite of the systems
something can be done with them if we take the advice of Archbishop
Ullathorne--"trust in God and begin as you can."

Let us begin by learning to know them, and the knowledge of their
characters is more easily gained if some cardinal points are marked,
by which the unknown country may be mapped out. The selection of these
cardinal points depends in part on the mind of the observer, which has
more or less insight into the various manifestations of possibility
and quality which may occur. It is well to observe without seeming to
do so, for as shy wild creatures fly off before a too observant eye,
but may be studied by a naturalist who does not appear to look at
them, so the real child takes to flight if it is too narrowly watched,
and leaves a self conscious little person to take its place, making
off with its true self into the backwoods of some dreamland, and
growing more and more reticent about its real thoughts as it gets
accustomed to talk to an appreciative audience. With weighing and
measuring, inspecting and reporting, exercising and rapid forcing, and
comparing, applauding and tabulating results, it is difficult to see
how children can escape self-consciousness and artificiality, and the
enthusiasts for "child study" are in danger of making the specimen of
the real child more and more rare and difficult to find, as
destructive sportsmen in a new country exterminate the choice species
of wild animals.

Too many questions put children on their guard or make them unreal;
they cannot give an account of what they think and what they mean and
how far they have understood, and the greater the anxiety shown to get
at their real mind the less are they either able or willing to make it
known; so it is the quieter and less active observers who see the
most, and those who observe most are best aware how little can be
known.

Yet there are some things which may serve as points of the compass,
especially in the transitional years when the features both of face
and character begin to accentuate themselves. One of these is the
level of friendships. There are some who look by instinct for the
friendship of those above them, and others habitually seek a lower
level, where there is no call to self-restraint. Boys who hang about
the stables, girls who like the conversation of servants; boys and
girls who make friends in sets at school, among the less desirable,
generally do so from a love of ease and dislike of that restraint and
effort which every higher friendship calls for; they can be _somebody_
at a very cheap cost where the standard of talk is not exacting,
whereas to be with those who are striving for the best in any station
makes demands which call for exertion, and the taste for this higher
level, the willingness to respond to its claims, give good promise
that those who have it will in their turn draw others to the things
that are best.

The attitude of a child towards books is also indicative of the whole
background of a mind; the very way in which a book is handled is often
a sign in itself of whether a child is a citizen born, or an alien, in
the world for which books stand. Taste in reading, both as to quality
and quantity, is so obviously a guiding line that it need scarcely be
mentioned.

Play is another line in which character shows itself, and reveals
another background against which the scenes of life in the future will
stand out, and in school life the keenest and best spirits will
generally divide into these two groups, the readers and the players,
with a few, rarely gifted, who seem to excel in both. From the readers
will come those who are to influence the minds of others here, if they
do not let themselves be carried out too far to keep in touch with
real life. From the players will come those whose gift is readiness
and decision in action, if they on their side do not remain mere
players when life calls for something more.

There are other groups, the born artists with their responsive minds,
the "home children" for whom everything centres in their own home-world,
and who have in them the making of another one in the future; the
critics, standing aloof, a little peevish and very self-conscious,
hardly capable of deep friendship and fastidiously dissatisfied with
people and things in general; the cheerful and helpful souls who have
no interests of their own but can devote themselves to help anyone;
the opposite class whose life is in their own moods and feelings. Many
others might be added, each observer's experience can supply them, and
will probably close the list with the same little group, the very few,
that stand a little apart, but not aloof, children of privilege,
with heaven in their eyes and a little air of mystery about them,
meditative and quiet, friends of God, friends of all, loved and
loving, and asking very little from the outer world, because they have
more than enough within. They are classed as the dreamers, but they
are really the seers. They do not ask much and they do not need much
beyond a reverent guardianship, and to be let alone and allowed to
grow; they will find their way for they are "taught of God."

It is impossible to do more than to throw out suggestions which
any child-naturalist might multiply or improve upon. The next
consideration for all concerned is what to do with the acquired
knowledge, and how to "bring up" in the later stages of childhood and
early youth.

What do we want to bring up? Not good nonentities, who are merely good
because they are not bad. There are too many of them already, no
trouble to anyone, only disappointing, so good that they ought to be
so much better, if only they _would_. But who can make them will to be
something more, to become, as Montalembert said, "a _fact_, instead of
remaining but a shadow, an echo, or a ruin?" Those who have to educate
them to something higher must themselves have an idea of what they
want; they must believe in the possibility of every mind and character
to be lifted up to something better than it has already attained; they
must themselves be striving for some higher excellence, and must
believe and care deeply for the things they teach. For no one can be
educated by maxim and precept; it is the life lived, and the things
loved and the ideals believed in, by which we tell, one upon another.
If we care for energy we call it out; if we believe in possibilities
of development we almost seem to create them. If we want integrity of
character, steadiness, reliability, courage, thoroughness, all the
harder qualities that serve as a backbone, we, at least, make others
want them also, and strive for them by the power of example that is
not set as deliberate good example, for that is as tame as a precept,
but the example of the life that is lived, and the truths that are
honestly believed in.

The gentler qualities which are to adorn the harder virtues may be
more explicitly taught. It is always more easy to tone down than to
brace up; there must fist be something to moderate, before moderation
can be a virtue; there must be strength before gentleness can be
taught, as there must be some hardness in material things to make them
capable of polish. And these are qualities which are specially needed
in our unsteady times, when rapid emancipation of unknown forces makes
each one more personally responsible than in the past. It is an
impatient age: we must learn patience; it is an age of sudden social
changes: we have to make ready for adversity; it is an age of
lawlessness: each one must stand upon his own guard and be his own
defence; it is a selfish age, and never was unselfishness more
urgently needed; love of home and love of country seem to be cooling,
one as rapidly as the other: never was it more necessary to learn the
spirit of self-sacrifice both for family life and the love and honour
due to one's country which is also "piety" in its true sense.

All these things come with our Catholic faith and practice if it is
rightly understood. Catholic family life, Catholic citizenship,
Catholic patriotism are the truest, the only really true, because the
only types of these virtues that are founded on truth. But they do not
come of themselves. Many will let themselves be carried to heaven, as
they hope, in the long-suffering arms of the Church without either
defending or adorning her by their virtues, and we shall but add to
their number if we do not kindle in the minds of children the ambition
to do something more, to devote themselves to the great Cause, by
self-sacrifice to be in some sort initiated into its spirit, and
identified with it, and thus to make it worth while for others as well
as for themselves that they have lived their life on earth. There is a
price to be paid for this, and they must face it; a good life cannot
be a soft life, and a great deal, even of innocent pleasure, has to be
given up, voluntarily, to make life worth living, if it were only as a
training in _doing without_.

Independence is a primary need for character, and independence can
only be learnt by doing without pleasant things, even unnecessarily.
Simplicity of life is an essential for greatness of life, and the very
meaning of the simple life is the laying aside of many things which
tend to grow by habit into necessities. The habit of work is another
necessity in any life worth living, and this is only learnt by
refraining again and again from what is pleasant for the sake of what
is precious. Patience and thoroughness are requirements whose worth
and value never come home to the average mind until they are seen in
startling excellence, and it is apparent what a price must have been
paid to acquire their adamant perfection, a lesson which might be the
study of a lifetime. The value of time is another necessary lesson of
the better life, a hard lesson, but one that makes an incalculable
difference between the expert and the untried. We are apt to be always
in a hurry now, for obvious reasons which hasten the movement of life,
but not many really know how to use time to the full. Our tendency is
to alternate periods of extreme activity with intervals of complete
prostration for recovery. Perhaps our grandparents knew better in a
slower age the use of time. The old Marquise de Gramont, aged 93,
after receiving Extreme Unction, asked for her knitting, for the poor.
"Mais Madame la Marquise a ete administree, elle va mourir!" said the
maid, who thought the occupation of dying sufficient for a lady of her
age. "Ma chere, ce n'est pas une raison pour perdre son temps,"
answered the indomitable Marquise. It is told of her also that when
one of her children asked for some water in summer, between meals, she
replied: "Mon enfant, vous ne serez jamais qu'un etre manque, une
pygmee, si vous prenez ces habitudes-la, pensez, mon petit coeur, au
fiel de Notre Seigneur Jesus Christ, et vous aurez le courage
d'attendre le diner." She had learned for herself the strength of
_going without_.

One more lesson must be mentioned, the hardest of all to be
learnt--perfect sincerity. It is so hard not to pose, for all but the
very truest and simplest natures--to pose as independent, being eaten
up with human respect; to pose as indifferent though aching with the
wish to be understood; to pose as flippant while longing to be in
earnest; to hide an attraction to higher things under a little air of
something like irreverence. It is strange that this kind of pose is
considered as less insincere than the opposite class, which is rather
out of fashion for this very reason, yet to be untrue to one's better
self is surely an unworthier insincerity than to be ashamed of the
worst. Perhaps the best evidence of this is the costliness of the
effort to overcome it, and the more observation and reflection we
spend on this point the more shall we be convinced that it is very
hard to learn to be quite true, and that it entails more personal
self-sacrifice than almost any other virtue.

In conclusion, the means for training character may be grouped under
the following headings:--

1. Contact with those who have themselves attained to higher levels,
either parent, or teacher, or friend. Perhaps at present the influence
of a friend is greater than that of any power officially set over us,
so jealous are we of control. So much the better chance for those
who have the gift even in mature age of winning the friendship of
children, and those who have just outgrown childhood. In these
friendships the great power of influence is hopefulness, to believe in
possibilities of good, and to expect the best.

2. Vigilance, not the nervous vigilance, unquiet and anxious, which
rouses to mischief the sporting instinct of children and stings the
rebellious to revolt, but the vigilance which, open and confident
itself, gives confidence, nurtures fearlessness, and brings a steady
pressure to be at one's best. Vigilance over children is no insult to
their honour, it is rather the right of their royalty, for they are of
the blood royal of Christianity, and deserve the guard of honour which
for the sake of their royalty does not lose sight of them.

3. Criticism and correction. To be used with infinite care, but never
to be neglected without grave injustice. It is not an easy thing to
reprove in the right time, in the right tone, without exasperation,
without impatience, without leaving a sting behind; to dare to give
pain for the sake of greater good; to love the truth and have courage
to tell it; to change reproof as time goes on to the frank criticism
of friendship that is ambitious for its friend. To accept criticism is
one of the greatest lessons to be learnt in life. To give it well is
an art which requires more study and more self-denial than either the
habit of being easily satisfied and requiring little, or the querulous
habit of "scolding" which is admirably described by Bishop Hedley as
"the resonance of the empty intelligence and of the hollow heart of
the man who has nothing to give, nothing to propose, nothing to
impart."

4. Discipline and obedience. If these are to be means of training they
must be living and not dead powers, and they must lead up to gradual
self-government, not to sudden emancipation. Obedience must be
first of all to persons, prompt and unquestioning, then to laws, a
"reasonable service," then to the wider law which each one must
enforce from within--the law of love which is the law of liberty of
the kingdom of God.

These are the means which in her own way, and through various channels
of authority, the Church makes use of, and the Church is the great
Mother who educates us all. She takes us into her confidence, as we
make ourselves worthy of it, and shows us out of her treasures things
new and old. She sets the better things always before us, prays for
us, prays with us, teaches us to pray, and so "lifts up our minds to
heavenly desires." She watches over us with un anxious, but untiring
vigilance, setting her Bishops and pastors to keep watch over the
flock, collectively and individually, "with that most perfect care"
that St. Francis of Sales describes as "that which approaches
the nearest to the care God has of us, which is a care full of
tranquillity and quietness, and which, in its highest activity, has
still no emotion, and being only one, yet condescends to make itself
all to all things."

Criticism and correction, discipline and obedience--these things are
administered by the Church our Mother, gently but without weakness,
so careful is she in her warnings, so slow in her punishments, so
unswervingly true to what is of principle, and asking so persuasively
not for the sullen obedience of slaves, but for the free and loving
submission of sons and daughters.




CHAPTER III.

CHARACTER II.

 "The Parts and Signes of Goodnesse are many. If a Man be
Gracious and Curteous to Strangers, it shewes he is a
Citizen of the World, And that his Heart is no Island cut
off from other Lands, but a Continent that joynes to them.
If he be Compassionate towards the Afflictions of others,
it shewes that his Heart is like the noble Tree, that is
wounded to selfe when it gives Balme. If he easily Pardons
and Remits Offences, it shewes that his minde is planted
above Injuries, So that he cannot be shot. If he be
Thankfull for small Benefits, it shewes that he weighes
Men's Mindes, and not their Trash. But above all, if he
have St. Paul's Perfection, that he would wish to be an
Anathema from Christ, for the Salvation of his Brethren, it
shewes much of a Divine Nature, and a kinde of Conformity
with Christ himselfe."--BACON, "Of Goodnesse."

No one who has the good of children at heart, and the training of
their characters, can leave the subject without some grave thoughts on
the formation of their own character, which is first in order of
importance, and in order of time must go before, and accompany their
work to the very end.

"What is developed to perfection can make other things like unto
itself." So saints develop sanctity in others, and truth and
confidence beget truth and confidence, and the spirit of enterprise
calls out the spirit of enterprise, and constancy trains to endurance
and perseverance, and wise kindness makes others kind, and courage
makes them courageous, and in its degree each good quality tends to
reproduce itself in others. Children are very delicately sensitive to
these influences, they respond unconsciously to what is expected of
them, and instinctively they imitate the models set before them. They
catch a tone, a gesture, a trick of manner with a quickness that is
startling. The influence of mind and thought on mind and thought
cannot be so quickly recognized, but tells with as much certainty, and
enters more deeply into the character for life. The consideration of
this is a great incentive to the acquirement of self-knowledge and
self-discipline by those who have to do with children. The old codes
of conventionality in education, which stood for a certain system in
their time, are disappearing, and the worth of the individual becomes
of greater importance. This is true of those who educate and of those
whom they bring up. As the methods of modern warfare call for more
individual resourcefulness, so do the methods of the spiritual
warfare, now that we are not supported by big battalions, but each one
is thrown back on conscience and personal responsibility. Girls as
well as boys have to be trained to take care of themselves and be
responsible for themselves, and if they are not so trained, no one can
now be responsible for them or protect them in spite of themselves.
Therefore, the first duty of those who are bringing up Catholic
girls is to be themselves such as Catholic girls must be later on.
This example is a discourse "in the vulgar tongue" which cannot
be misunderstood, and example is not resented unless it seems
self-conscious and presented of set purpose. The one thing necessary
is to be that which we ought to be, and that is to say, in other
words, that the fundamental virtue in teaching children is a great and
resolute sincerity. Sincerity is a difficult virtue to practise and is
too easily taken for granted. It has more enemies than appear at first
sight. Inertness of mind, the desire to do things cheaply, dislike of
mental effort, the tendency to be satisfied with appearances, the wish
to shine, impatience for results, all foster intellectual insincerity;
just as, in conduct, the wish to please, the spirit of accommodation
and expediency, the fear of blame, the instinct of concealment, which
is inborn in many girls, destroy frankness of character and make
people untrue who would not willingly be untruthful. Yet even
truthfulness is not such a matter of course as many would be willing
to assume. To be inaccurate through thoughtless laziness in the use of
words is extremely common, to exaggerate according to the mood of the
moment, to say more than one means and cover one's retreat with "I
didn't mean it," to pull facts into shape to suit particular ends, are
demoralizing forms of untruthfulness, common, but often unrecognized.
If a teacher could only excel in one high quality for training girls,
probably the best in which she could excel would be a great sincerity,
which would train them in frankness, and in the knowledge that to be
entirely frank means to lay down a great price for that costly
attainment, a perfectly honourable and fearless life. [1--"A woman,
if it be once known that she is deficient in truth, has no resource.
Have, by a misuse of language, injured or lost her only means of
persuasion, nothing can preserve her from falling into contempt of
nonentity. When she is no longer to be believed no on will take the
trouble to listen to her...no one can depend on her, no on rests
any hope on her, the words of which she makes use have no meaning."
--Madame Necker de Saussure, "Progressive Education."]

It sometimes happens that the realization of this truth comes
comparatively late in life to those who ought to have recognized it
years before. Thinking along the surface of things, and in particular
repeating catchwords and platitudes and trite maxims on the subject of
sincerity, is apt to make us believe that we possess the quality we
talk about, and as it is impossible to have anything to do with the
education of children without treating of sincerity and truthfulness,
it is comparatively easy to slip into the happy assumption that one is
truthful, because one would not deliberately be otherwise. But it
takes far more than this to acquire real sincerity of life in the
complexity and artificiality of the conditions in which we live.

"And we have been on many thousand lines,
And we have shown, on each, spirit and power;
But hardly have we, for one little hour,
Been on our own line, have we been ourselves.

     *     *     *     *

"Our hidden self, and what we say and do
Is eloquent, is well--but 'tis not true!"
          MATTHEW ARNOLD, "The Buried Life."

Sincerity requires the recognition that to be honestly oneself is more
impressive for good than to be a very superior person by imitation. It
requires the renunciation of some claims to consideration and esteem,
and the acceptance of limitations (a different thing from acquiescence
in them, for it means the acceptance of a lifelong effort to be what
we aspire to be, with a knowledge that we shall never fully attain
it). It requires that we should bear the confusion of defeat without
desisting from the struggle, that we should accept the progressive
illumination of what is still unaccomplished, and keep the habitual
lowliness of a beginner with the unconquerable hopefulness which comes
of a fixed resolution to win what is worth winning. Let those who have
tried say whether this is easy.

But in guiding children along this difficult way it is not wise to
call direct attention to it, lest their inexperience and sensitiveness
should turn to scrupulosity and their spontaneity be paralysed. It is
both more acceptable and healthier to present it as a feat of courage,
a habit of fearlessness to be acquired, of hardihood and strength of
character. The more subtle forms of self-knowledge belong to a later
period in life.

Another quality to be desired in those who have to do with children
is what may--for want of a better word--be called vitality, not
the fatiguing artificial animation which is sometimes assumed
professionally by teachers, but the keenness which shows forth a
settled conviction that life is worth living. The expression of this
is not self asserting or controversial, for it is not like a garment
put on, but a living grace of soul, coming from within, born of
straight thinking and resolution, and so strongly confirmed by faith
and hope that nothing can discourage it or make it let go. It is a
bulwark against the faults which sink below the normal line of life,
dullness, depression, timidity, procrastination, sloth and sadness,
moodiness, unsociability--all these it tends to dispel, by its quiet
and confident gift of encouragement. And though so contrary to the
spirit of childhood, these faults are found in children--often in
delicate children who have lost confidence in themselves from being
habitually outdone by stronger brothers and sisters, or in slow minds
which seem "stupid" to others and to themselves, or in natures too
sensitive to risk themselves in the melee. To these, one who brings
the gift of encouragement comes as a deliverer and often changes the
course of their life, leading them to believe in themselves and their
own good endowments, making them taste success which rouses them to
better efforts, giving them the strong comfort of knowing that
something is expected of them, and that if they will only try, in one
way if not in another, they need not be behind the best. At some
stage in life, and especially in the years of rapid growth, we all
need encouragement, and often characters that seem to require only
repression are merely singing out of tune from the effort to hold out
against blank discouragement at their failures to "be good," or to
divert their mind forcibly from their fits of depression. To be
scolded accentuates their trouble and tends to harden them; to grow
a shell of hardness seems for the moment their only defence; but if
some one will meet their efforts half-way, believing in them with a
tranquil conviction that they will live through these difficulties and
_find themselves_ in due time, they can be saved from much unhappiness
of their own making, though not of their own fault, and their growth
will not be arrested behind an unnatural shell of defence.

The strong vitality and gift of encouragement which can give this
help are also of value in saving from the morbid and exaggerated
friendships which sometimes spoil the best years of a girl's
education. If the character of those who teach them has force enough
not only to inspire admiration but to call out effort, it may rouse
the mind and will to a higher plane and make the things of which it
disapproves seem worthless. There are moments when the leading mind
must have strength enough for two, but this must not last. Its glory
is to raise the mind of the learner to equality with itself, not to
keep it in leading strings, but to make it grow so that, as the master
has often been outstripped by the scholar, the efforts of the younger
may even stimulate the achievements of the elder, and thus a noble
friendship be formed in the pursuit of what is best.

Educators of youth are exposed to certain professional dangers, which
lie very close to professional excellences of character. There is the
danger of remaining young for the sake of children, so that something
of mature development will be lacking. If there is not a stimulus from
outside, and it is not supplied for by an inward determination to
grow, the mental development may be arrested and contented-ness at a
low level be mistaken for the limit of capacity. A great many people
are mentally lazy, and only too ready to believe that they can do no
more.

Many teachers are yoked to an examination programme sufficiently
loaded to call for a great deal of pressure along a low level, and
they may easily mistake this harassing activity for real mental work,
and either be indeed hindered, or consider themselves absolved from
anything more. The penalty of it is a gradual decline of the unused
powers, growing difficulty of sustained attention, dislike for what
requires effort of mind, loss of wider interests, restlessness and
superficiality in reading, and other indications of diminution of
power in the years when it ought to be on the increase. Is this the
fault of those who so decline in power? It would be hard to say that
it is so universally, for some no doubt are pressed through necessity
to the very limits of their time and of their endurance. Yet
experience goes to prove that if a mental awakening really takes
place the most unfavourable circumstances will not hinder a rapid
development of power. Abundance of books and leisure and fostering
conditions are helps but not essentials for mental growth. If few
books can be had, but these are of the best, they will do more for the
mind by continued reading than abundance for those who have not yet
learned to use it. If there is little leisure the value of the
hardly-spared moments is enhanced; we may convince ourselves of this
in the lives of those who have reached eminence in learning, through
circumstances apparently hopeless. If the conditions of life are
unfavourable, it is generally possible to find one like-minded friend
who will double our power by quickening enthusiasm or by setting the
pace at which we must travel, and leading the way. There may be side
by side in the same calling in life persons doing similar work in like
circumstances, with like resources, of whom one is contentedly
stagnating, feeling satisfied all the time that duty is done and
nothing neglected--and this may be true up to a certain point--while
the other is haunted by a blessed dissatisfaction, urged from within
to seek always something better, and compelling circumstances to
minister to the growth of the mind. One who would meet these two again
after the interval of a few months would be astonished at the distance
which has been left between them by the stagnation of one and the
advance of the other.

Another danger is that of becoming dogmatic and dictatorial from the
habit of dealing with less mature intelligences, from the absence of
contradiction and friction among equals, and the want of that most
perfect discipline of the mind--intercourse with intellectual
superiors. Of course it is a mark of ignorance to become oracular and
self-assured, but it needs watchfulness to guard against the tendency
if one is always obliged to take the lead. Teaching likewise exposes
to faults perhaps less in themselves but far reaching in their effect
upon children; a little observation will show how the smallest
peculiarities tell upon them, either by affecting their dispositions
or being caught by them and reproduced. To take one example among
many, the pitch and intonation of the voice often impress more than
the words. A nurse with a querulous tone has a restless nursery; she
makes the high-spirited contradictory and the delicate fretful. In
teaching, a high-pitched voice is exciting and wearing to children;
certain cadences that end on a high note rouse opposition, a
monotonous intonation wearies, deeper and more ample tones are
quieting and reassuring, but if their solemnity becomes exaggerated
they provoke a reaction. Most people have a certain cadence which
constantly recurs in their speaking and is characteristic of them, and
the satisfaction of listening to them depends largely upon this
characteristic cadence. It is also a help in the understanding of
their characters. Much trouble of mind is saved by recognizing that a
certain cadence which sounds indignant is only intended to be
convincing, and that another which sounds defiant is only giving to
itself the signal for retreat. Again, for the teacher's own sake,
it is good to observe that there are tones which dispose towards
obedience, and others which provoke remonstrance and, as Mme.
Necker de Saussure remarks: "It is of great consequence to prevent
remonstrances and not allow girls to form a habit of contradicting and
cavilling, or to prolong useless opposition which annoys others and
disturbs their own peace of mind."

There are "teacher's manners" in many varieties, often spoiling
admirable gifts and qualities, for the professional touch in this is
not a grace but puts both children and "grown-ups" on the defensive.
There is the head mistress's manner which is a signal to proceed with
caution, the modern "form mistress's" or class mistress's manner, with
an off-hand tone destined to reassure by showing that there is nothing
to be afraid of, the science mistress's manner with a studied
quietness and determination that the knife-edge of the balance shall
be the standard of truthfulness, the professionally encouraging
manner, the "stimulating" manner, the manner of those whose ambition
is to be "an earnest teacher," the strained tone of one whose ideal
is to to be overworked, the kindergarten manner, scientifically
"awakening," giving the call of the decoy-duck, confidentially
inviting co operation and revealing secrets--these are types, but
there are many others.

Such mannerisms would seem to be developed by reliance on books of
method, by professional training imparted to those who have not enough
originality to break through the mould, and instead of following out
principles as lines for personal experiment and discovery, deaden them
into rules and abide by them. The teacher's manner is much more
noticeable among those who have been trained than among the now
vanishing class of those who have had to stand or fall by their own
merits, and find out their own methods. The advantage is not always
with the trained teacher even now, and the question of manner is not
one of minor importance. The true instinct of children and the
sensitiveness of youth detect very quickly and resent a professional
tone; a child looks for freedom and simplicity, and feels cramped if
it meets with something even a little artificial. Children like to
find _real people_, not anxiously careful to improve them, but able
to take life with a certain spontaneity as they like to take it
themselves. They are frightened by those who take themselves too
seriously, who are too acute, too convincing or too brilliant; they do
not like people who appear to be always on the alert, nor those of
extreme temperatures, very ardent or very frigid. The people whom they
like and trust are usually quiet, simple people, who have not
startling ways, and do not manifest those strenuous ideals which
destroy all sense of leisure in life.

Not only little children but those who are growing up resent these
mannerisms and professional ways. They, too, ask for a certain
spontaneity and like to find a _real person_ whom they can understand.
Abstract principles do not appeal to them, but they can understand and
appreciate character, not in one type and pattern alone, for every
character that has life and truth commands their respect and is
acceptable in one way if not in another. It is not the bright colours
of character alone which attract them, they often keep a lifelong
remembrance of those whose qualities are anything but showy. They look
for fairness in those who govern them, but if they find this they
can accept a good measure of severity. They respect unflinching
uprightness and are quick to detect the least deviation from it. They
prefer to be taken seriously on their own ground; things in general
are so incomprehensible that it only makes matters worse to be
approached with playful methods and facetious invitations into
the unknown, for who can tell what educational ambush for their
improvement may be concealed behind these demonstrations. They give
their confidence more readily to grave and quiet people who do not
show too rapturous delight in their performances, or surprise at their
opinions, or--especially--distress at their ignorance. They admire
with lasting admiration those who are hard on themselves and take
their troubles without comment or complaint. They admire courage, and
they can appreciate patience if it does not seem to be conscious of
itself. But they do not look up to a character in which mildness so
predominates that it cannot be roused to indignation and even anger in
a good cause. A power of being roused is felt as a force in reserve,
and the knowledge that it is there is often enough to maintain peace
and order without any need for interference or remonstrance. They are
offended by a patience which looks like weariness, determined if it
were at the last gasp to "improve the occasion" and say something of
educational profit. To "improve the occasion" really destroys the
opportunity; it is like a too expansive invitation to birds to come
and feed, which drives them off in a nutter. Birds come most willingly
when crumbs are thrown as it were by accident while the benefactor
looks another way; and young minds pick up gratefully a suggestion
which seems to fall by the way, a mere hint that things are understood
and cared about, that there is safety beyond the thin ice if one
trusts and believes, that "all shall be well" if people will be true
to their best thoughts. They can understand these assurances and
accept them when something more explicit would drive them back to bar
the door against intruders. All these are truisms to those who have
observed children. The misfortune is that in spite of the prominence
given to training of teachers, of the new name of "Child Study" and
its manuals, there are many who teach children without reaching their
real selves. If the children could combine the result of their
observations and bring out a manual of "Teacher Study" we should have
strange revelations as to how it looks from the other side. We should
be astonished at the shrewdness of the small juries that deliberate,
and the insight of the judges that pronounce sentence upon us, and we
should be convinced that to obtain a favourable verdict we needed very
little subtlety, and not too much theory, but as much as possible of
the very things we look for as the result and crown of our work. We
labour to produce character, we must have it. We look for courage and
uprightness, we must bring them with us. We want honest work, we have
to give proof of it ourselves. And so with the Christian qualities
which we hope to build on these foundations. We care for the faith of
the children, it must abound in us. We care for the innocence of their
life, we must ourselves be heavenly minded, we want them to be
unworldly and ready to make sacrifices for their religion, they must
understand that it is more than all the world to us. We want to secure
them as they grow up against the spirit of pessimism, our own
imperturbable hope in God and confidence in the Church will be more
convincing than our arguments. We want them to grow into the fulness
of charity, we must make charity the most lovable and lovely thing in
the world to them.

The Church possesses the secrets of these things; she is the great
teacher of all nations and brings out of her treasury things new and
old for the training of her children. A succession of teaching orders
of religious, representing different patterns of education, has gone
forth with her blessing to supply the needs of succeeding generations
in each class of the Christian community. When children cannot be
brought up in their own homes, religious seem to be designated as
their natural guardians, independent as they are by their profession
from the claims of personal interest and self-advancement, and
therefore free to give their full sympathy and devotion to the
children under their charge. They have also the independence of their
corporate life, a great power behind the service of the schoolroom in
which they find mutual support, an "Upper Boom" to which they can
withdraw and build up again in prayer and intercourse with one another
their ideals of life and duty in an atmosphere which gives a more
spiritual re-renewal of energy than a holiday of entire forgetfulness.

It is striking to observe that while the so-called Catholic countries
are banishing religious from their schools, there is more and more
inclination among non-Catholic parents who have had experience of
other systems to place their children under the care of religious. And
it was strange to hear one of His Majesty's Inspectors express his
conviction that "it would be ideal if all England could be taught by
nuns!" Thus indirect testimony comes from friendly or hostile sources
to the fact that the Church holds the secret of education, and every
Catholic teacher may gain courage from the knowledge of having that
which is beyond all price in the education of children, that which all
the world is seeking for, and which the Church alone knows that she
possesses in its fulness.




CHAPTER IV.

THE ELEMENTS OF CATHOLIC PHILOSOPHY.

"E quosto ti sia sempre piombo ai piedi,
  Per farti mover lento, com' uom lasso,
  Ed al si ed al no, che tu non vedi;
Che quegli e tra gli stolti bene abbasso,
  Che senza disfcinzion afferma o nega,
  Nell' un cosi come nell' altro passo;
Perch' egl' incontra che piu volte piega
  L' opinion corrente in falsa parte,
  E poi l' affetto lo intelletto lega.
Vie piu che indarno da riva si parte,
  Perche non toma tal qual ei si move,
  Chi pesca per lo vero e noil ha l' arte."
          DANTE, "Paradiso," Canto XIII.

The elements of Catholic philosophy may no longer be looked upon as
out of place in the education of our girls, or as being reserved for
the use of learned women and girlish oddities. They belong to every
well-grounded Catholic education, and the need for them will be felt
more and more. They are wanted to balance on the one hand the
unthinking impulse of living for the day, which asks no questions so
long as the "fun" holds out, and on the other to meet the urgency of
problems which press upon the minds of the more thoughtful as they
grow up. When this teaching has been long established as part of an
educational plan it has been found to give steadiness and unity to the
whole; something to aim at from the beginning, and in the later years
of a girl's education something which will serve as foundation for all
branches of future study, so that each will find its place among the
first principles, not isolated from the others but as part of a whole.
The value of these elements for the practical guidance of life is
likewise very great. A hold is given in the mind to the teaching of
religion and conduct which welds into one defence the best wisdom of
this world and of the next. For instance, the connexion between reason
and faith being once established, the fear of permanent disagreement
between the two, which causes so much panic and disturbance of mind,
is set at rest.

There is a certain risk at the outset of these studies that girls
will take the pose of philosophical students, and talk logic and
metaphysics, to the confusion of their friends and of their own
feelings later on, when they come to years of discretion and realize
the absurdity of these "lively sallies," as they would have been
called in early Victorian times--the name alone might serve as
a warning to the incautious! They may perhaps go through an
argumentative period and trample severely upon the opinions of those
who are not ready to have their majors "distinguished" and their
minors "conceded," and, especially, their conclusions denied. But
these phases will be outlived and the hot-and-cold remembrance of them
will be sufficient expiation, with the realization that they did not
know much when they had taken in the "beggarly elements" which dazzled
them for a moment. The more thoughtful minds will escape the painful
phase altogether.

There are three special classes among girls whose difficulties of mind
call for attention. There are those who frisk playfully along, taking
the good things of life as they come--"the more the better"--whom, as
children, it is hard to call to account. They are lightly impressed
and only for a moment by the things they feel, and scarcely moved
at all by the things they understand. The only side which seems
troublesome in their early life is that there is so little hold upon
it. They are unembarrassed and quite candid about their choice; it is
the enjoyable good, life on its pleasantest side. And this disposition
is in the mind as well as in the will; they cannot see it in any other
way. Restraint galls them, and their inclination is not to resist but
to evade it. These are kitten-like children in the beginning, and they
appear charming. But when the kitten in them is overgrown, its playful
evasiveness takes an ugly contour and shows itself as want of
principle. The tendency to snatch at enjoyment hardens into a grasping
sense of market values, and conscience, instead of growing inexorable,
learns to be pliant to circumstances. Debts weigh lightly, and duties
scarcely weigh at all. Concealment and un-truthfulness come in very
easily to save the situation in a difficulty, and once the conduct of
life is on the down-grade it slides quickly and far, for the sense of
responsibility is lacking and these natures own no bond of obligation.
They have their touch of piety in childhood, but it soon wears off,
and in its best days cannot stand the demands made upon it by duty; it
fails of its hold upon the soul, like a religion without a sacrifice.
In these minds some notions of ethics leave a barbed arrow of remorse
which penetrates further than piety. They may soothe themselves with
the thought that God will easily forgive, later on, but they cannot
quite lose consciousness of the law which does not forgive, of the
responsibility of human acts and the inevitable punishment of
wrong-doing which works itself out, till it calls for payment of the
last farthing. And by this rough way of remorse they may come back to
God. Pope Leo XIII spoke of it as their best hope, an almost certain
means of return. The beautiful also may make its appeal to these
natures on their best side, and save them preventively from
themselves, but only if the time of study is prolonged enough for the
laws of order and beauty to be made comprehensible to them, so that if
they admire the best, remorse may have another hold and reproach them
with a lowered ideal.

In opposition to these are the minds to which, as soon as they become
able to think for themselves, all life is a puzzle, and on every side,
wherever they turn, they are baffled by unanswerable questions. These
questions are often more insistent and more troublesome because they
cannot be asked, they have not even taken shape in the mind. But they
haunt and perplex it. Are they the only ones who do not know? Is it
clear to every one else? This doubt makes it difficult even to hint at
the perplexity. These are often naturally religious minds, and outside
the guidance of the Catholic Church, in search of truth, they easily
fall under the influence of different schools of thought which take
them out of their depth, and lead them further and further from the
reasonable certainty about first principles which they are in search
of. Within the Church, of course, they can never stray so far, and the
truths of faith supply their deepest needs. But if they want to know
more, to know something of themselves, and to have at least some
rational knowledge of the universe, then to give them a hold on the
elements of philosophical knowledge is indeed a mental if not a
spiritual work of mercy, for it enables them to set their ideas in
order by the light of a few first principles, it shows them on what
plane their questions lie, it enables them to see how all knowledge
and new experience have connexions with what has gone before, and
belong to a whole with a certain fitness and proportion. They learn
also thus to take themselves in hand in a reasonable way; they gain
some power of attributing effects to their true causes, so as neither
to be unduly alarmed nor elated at the various experiences through
which they will pass.

Between these two divisions lies a large group, that of the "average
person," not specially flighty and not particularly thoughtful. But
the average person is of very great importance. The greatest share in
the work of the world is probably done by "average" people, not only
for the obvious reason that there are more of them, but also because
they are more accessible, more reliable, and more available for all
kinds of responsibility than those who have made themselves useless by
want of principle, or those whose genius carries them away from the
ordinary line. They are accessible because their fellow-creatures are
not afraid of them; they are not too fine for ordinary wear, nor too
original to be able to follow a line laid down for them, and if they
take a line of their own it is usually intelligible to others.

To these valuable "average" persons the importance of some study of
the elements of philosophy is very great. They can hardly go through
an elementary course of mental science without wishing to learn more,
and being lifted to a higher plane. The weak point in the average
person is a tendency to sink into the commonplace, because the
consciousness of not being brilliant induces timidity, and timidity
leads to giving up effort and accepting a fancied impossibility of
development which from being supposed, assumed, and not disturbed,
becomes in the end real.

On the other hand the strong point of the average person is very often
common sense, that singular, priceless gift which gives a touch of
likeness among those who possess it in all classes, high or low--in
the sovereign, the judge, the ploughman, or the washerwoman, a
likeness that is somewhat like a common language among them and makes
them almost like a class apart. Minds endowed with common sense are an
aristocracy among the "average," and if this quality of theirs is
lifted above the ordinary round of business and trained in the domain
of thought it becomes a sound and wide practical judgment. It will
observe a great sobriety in its dealings with the abstract; the
concrete is its kingdom, but it will rule the better for having its
ideas systematized, and its critical power developed. Self-diffidence
tends to check this unduly, and it has to be strengthened in
reasonably supporting its own opinion which is often instinctively
true, but fails to find utterance. It is a help to such persons if
they can learn to follow the workings of their own mind and gain
confidence in their power to understand, and find some intellectual
interest in the drudgery which in every order of things, high or low,
is so willingly handed over to their good management. These results
may not be showy, but it is a great thing to strengthen an "average"
person, and the reward of doing so is sometimes the satisfaction of
seeing that average mind rise in later years quite above the average
and become a tower of steady reflection; while to itself it is a new
life to gain a view of things as a whole, to find that nothing stands
alone, but that the details which it grasps in so masterly a manner
have their place and meaning in the scheme of the universe.

It is evident that even this elementary knowledge cannot be given in
the earliest years of the education of girls, and that it is only
possible to attempt it in schools and school-rooms where they can be
kept on for a longer time of study. Every year that can be added to
the usual course is of better value, and more appreciated, except by
those who are restless to come out as soon as possible. No reference
is made here to those exceptional cases in which girls are allowed to
begin a course of study at a time when the majority have been obliged
to finish their school life.

As the elements of philosophy are not ordinarily found in the
curriculum of girls' schools or schoolroom plans, it may not be out of
place to say a few words on the method of bringing the subject within
their reach.

In the first place it should be kept in view from the beginning, and
some preparation be made for it even in teaching the elements of
subjects which are most elementary. Thus the study of any grammar may
serve remotely as an introduction to logic, even English grammar
which, beyond a few rudiments, is a most disinterested study, valuable
for its by-products more than for its actual worth. But the practice
of grammatical analysis is certainly a preparation for logic, as logic
is a preparation for the various branches of philosophy. Again some
preliminary exercises in definition, and any work of the like kind
which gives precision in the use of language, or clear ideas of the
meanings of words, is preparatory work which trains the mind in the
right direction. In the same way the elements of natural science may
at least set the thoughts and inquiries of children on the right track
for what will later on be shown to them as the "disciplines" of
cosmology and pyschology.

To make preparatory subjects serve such a purpose it is obviously
required that the teachers of even young children should have been
themselves trained in these studies, so far at least as to know what
they are aiming at, to be able to lay foundations which will not
require to be reconstructed. It is not the matter so much as the
habits of mind and work that are remotely prepared in the early
stages, but without some knowledge of what is coming afterwards this
preparation cannot be made. In order of arrangement it is not possible
for the different branches to be taught to girls according to their
normal sequence; they have to be adapted to the capacity of the minds
and their degree of development. Some branches cannot even be
attempted during the school-room years, except so far as to prepare
the mind incidentally during the study of other branches. The
explanation of certain terms and fundamental notions will serve as
points of departure when opportunities for development are accessible
later on, as architects set "toothings" at the angles of buildings
that they may be bonded into later constructions. By this means the
names of the more abstruse branches are kept out of sight, and it is
emphasized that the barest elements alone are within reach at present,
so that the permanent impression may be--not "how much I have
learned," but "how little I know and how much there is to learn." This
secures at least a fitting attitude of mind in those who will never go
further, and increases the thirst of those who really want more.

The most valuable parts of philosophy in the education of
girls are:--

1. Those which belong to the practical side--logic, for thought;
ethics, for conduct; aesthetics, for the study of the arts.

2. In speculative philosophy the "disciplines" which are most
accessible and most necessary are psychology, and natural theology
which is the very crown of all that they are able to learn.

General metaphysics and cosmology, and in pyschology the subordinate
treatises of criteriology and idealogy are beyond their scope.

Logic, as a science, is not a suitable introduction, though some
general notions on the subject are necessary as preliminary
instructions. Cardinal Mercier presents these under "propaedeutics,"
even for his grown-up scholars, placing logic properly so called in
its own rank as the complement of the other treatises of speculative
philosophy, seen in retrospect, a science of rational order amongst
sciences.

The "notions of logic" with which he introduces the other branches
are, says the Cardinal, so plain that it is almost superfluous to
enumerate them, "_tant elles sont de simple bon sens_," [1--"Traite
Elfementaire de Philosophie," Vol. I, Introduction.] and he disposes
of them in two pages of his textbook. Obviously this is not so simple
when it comes to preparing the fallow ground of a girl's mind; but it
gives some idea of the proportion to be observed in the use of this
instrument at the outset, and may save both the teacher and the child
from beguiling themselves to little purpose among the moods and
figures of the syllogism. The preliminary notions of logic must be
developed, extended, and supplemented through the whole course as
necessity arises, just as they have been already anticipated through
the preparatory work done in every elementary subject. This method is
not strictly scientific nor in accordance with the full-grown course
of philosophy; it only claims to have "_le simple bon sens_" in its
favour, and the testimony of experience to prove that it is of use.
And it cannot be said to be wholly out of rational order if it follows
the normal development of a growing mind, and answers questions as
they arise and call for solution. It may be a rustic way of learning
the elements of philosophy, but it answers its purpose, and does not
interfere with more scientific and complete methods which may come
later in order of time.

The importance of the "discipline" of psychology can scarcely be
over-estimated. With that of ethics it gives to the minds of women
that which they most need for the happy attainment of their destiny in
any sphere of life and for the fulfilment of its obligations. They
must know themselves and their own powers in order to exercise control
and direction on the current of their lives. The complaint made of
many women is that they are wanting in self-control, creatures of
impulse, erratic, irresponsible, at the mercy of chance influences
that assume control of their lives for the moment, subject to
"nerves," carried away by emotional enthusiasm beyond all bounds, and
using a blind tenacity of will to land themselves with the cause they
have embraced in a dead-lock of absurdity.

Such is the complaint. It would seem more pardonable if this tendency
to extremes and impulsiveness were owned to as a defect. But
to be erratic is almost assumed as a pose. It is taken up as if
self-discipline were dull, and control reduced vitality and killed
the interest of life. The phase may not last, stronger counsels may
prevail again. In a few years it may be hoped that this school of
"impressionism" in conduct will be out of vogue, but for the moment it
would seem as if its weakness and mobility, and restlessness were
rather admired. It has created a kind of automobilism--if the word may
be allowed--of mind and manners, an inclination to be perpetually "on
the move," too much pressed for time to do anything at all,
permanently unsettled, in fact to be _unsettled_ is its habitual
condition if not its recognized plan of life.

It is not contended that psychology and ethics would of themselves
cure this tendency, but they would undoubtedly aid in doing so, for
the confusion of wanting to do better and yet not knowing what to do
is a most pathetic form of helplessness. A little knowledge of
psychology would at least give an idea of the resources which the
human soul has at its command when it seeks to take itself in hand. It
would allow of some response to a reasonable appeal from outside. And
all the time the first principles of ethics would refuse to be killed
in the mind, and would continue to bear witness against the waste of
existence and the diversion of life from its true end.

Rational principles of aesthetics belong very intimately to the
education of women. Their ideas of beauty, their taste in art,
influence very powerfully their own lives and those of others, and may
transfigure many things which are otherwise liable to fall into the
commonplace and the vulgar. If woman's taste is trained to choose
the best, it upholds a standard which may save a generation from
decadence. This concerns the beautiful and the fitting in all things
where the power of art makes itself felt as "the expression of
an ideal in a concrete work capable of producing an impression
and attaching the beholder to that ideal which it presents for
admiration." [1--Cardinal Mercier, "General Metaphysics," Part iv.,
Ch. iv.] It touches on all questions of taste, not only in the fine
arts but in fiction, and furniture, and dress, and all the minor arts
of life and adaptation of human skill to the external conditions of
living. The importance of all these in their effect on the happiness
and goodness of a whole people is a plea for not leaving out the
principles of aesthetics, as well as the practice of some form of art
from the education of girls.

The last and most glorious treatise in philosophy of which some
knowledge can be given at the end of a school course is that of
natural theology. If it is true, as they say, that St. Thomas Aquinas
at the age of five years used to go round to the monks of Monte
Cassino pulling them down by the sleeve to whisper his inquiry, "quid
est Deus"? it may be hoped that older children are not incapable of
appreciating some of the first notions that may be drawn from reason
about the Creator, those truths "concerning the existence of God which
are the supreme conclusion and crown of the department of physics, and
those concerning His nature which apply the truths of general
metaphysics to a determinate being, the Absolutely Perfect."
[1--Cardinal Mercier, "Natural Theology," Introduction.] It is in the
domain of natural theology that they will often find a safeguard
against difficulties which may occur later in life, when they meet
inquirers whose questions about God are not so ingenuous as that of
the infant St. Thomas. The armour of their faith will not be so easily
pierced by chance shots as if they were without preparation, and at
the same time they will know enough of the greatness of the subject
not to challenge "any unbeliever" to single combat, and undertake to
prove against all opponents the existence and perfections of God.

For instruction as well as for defence the relation of philosophy to
revealed truth should be explained. It is necessary to point out that
while science has its own sphere within which it is independent,
having its own principles and methods and means of certitude, [1--De
Bonald and others were condemned and reproved by Gregory XVI for
teaching that reason drew its first principles and grounds of
certitude from revelation.] yet the Church as the guardian of revealed
truth is obliged to prosecute for trespass those who in teaching any
science encroach by affirmation or contradiction on the domain of
revelation.

To sum up, therefore, logic can train the students to discriminate
between good and bad arguments, which few ordinary readers can do, and
not even every writer. Ethics teaches the rational basis of morals
which it is useful for all to know, and psychology can teach to
discriminate between the acts of intellect and will on the one hand
and imagination and emotion on the other, and so furnish the key to
many a puzzle of thought that has led to false and dangerous
theorizing.

The method of giving instruction in the different branches of
philosophy will depend so much on the preparation of the particular
pupils, and also on the cast of mind of the teachers, that it is
difficult to offer suggestions, except to point out this very fact
that each mind needs to be met just where it is--with its own mental
images, vocabulary, habit of thought and attention, all calling for
consideration and adaptation of the subject to their particular case.
It depends on the degree of preparation of the teachers to decide
whether the form of a lecture is safest, or whether they can risk
themselves in the arena of question and answer, the most useful in
itself but requiring a far more complete training in preparation. If
it can be obtained that the pupils state their own questions and
difficulties in writing, a great deal will have been gained, for a
good statement of a question is half-way to the right solution. If,
after hearing a lecture or oral lesson, they can answer in writing
Borne simple questions carefully stated, it will be a further advance.
It is something to grasp accurately the scope of a question. The
plague of girls' answers is usually irrelevancy from want of thought
as to the scope of questions or even from inattention to their
wording. If they can be patient in face of unanswered difficulties,
and wait for the solution to come later on in its natural course, then
at least one small fruit of their studies will have been brought to
maturity; and if at the end of their elementary course they are
convinced of their own ignorance, and want to know more, it may be
said that the course has not been unsuccessful.

It is not, however, complete unless they know something of the history
of philosophy, the great schools, and the names which have been held
in honour from the beginning down to our own days. They will realize
that it is good to have been born in their own time, and to learn such
lessons now that the revival of scholastic philosophy under Leo XIII
and the development of the neo-scholastic teaching have brought fresh
life into the philosophy of tradition, which although it appears to
put new wine into old bottles, seems able to preserve the wine and the
bottles together.




CHAPTER V.

THE REALITIES OF LIFE.

"He fixed thee mid this dance
Of plastic circumstance,
This Present, thou, forsooth, wouldst fain arrest:
Machinery just meant
To give thy soul its bent,
Try thee and turn thee forth, sufficiently impressed."
                        BROWNING, "Rabbi Ben Ezra."
"Eh, Dieu! nous marchons trop en enfants--cela me fache!"
                        ST. JANE FRANCES DE CHANTAL.

One of the problems which beset school education, and especially
education in boarding schools, is the difficulty of combining the good
things it can give with the best preparation for after life. This
preparation has to be made under circumstances which necessarily keep
children away from many of the realities that have to be faced in the
future.

To be a small member of a large organization has an excellent effect
upon the mind. From the presence of numbers a certain dignity gathers
round many things that would in themselves be insignificant. Ideas of
corporate life with its obligations and responsibilities are gained.
Honoured traditions and ideals are handed down if the school has a
history and spirit of its own. There are impressive and solemn moments
in the life of a large school which remain in the memory as something
beautiful and great. The close of a year, with its retrospect and
anticipation, its restrained emotion from the pathos which attends all
endings and beginnings in life, fills even the younger children with
some transient realization of the meaning of it all, and lifts them
up to a dim sense of the significance of existence, while for the
elder ones such days leave engraven upon the mind thoughts which
can never be effaced. These deep impressions belong especially to
old-established schools, and are bound up with their past, with their
traditional tone, and the aims that are specially theirs. In this they
cannot be rivalled. The school-room at home is always the school-room,
it has no higher moods, no sentiment of its own.

There are diversities of gifts for school and for home education; for
impressiveness a large school has the advantage. It is also, in
general, better off in the quality of its teachers, and it can turn
their rifts to better account. A modern governess would require to be
a host in herself to supply the varied demands of a girl's education,
in the subjects to be taught, in companionship and personal influence,
in the training of character, in watching over physical development,
and even if she should possess in herself all that would be needed,
there is the risk of "incompatibility of temperament" which makes a
_tete-a-tete_ life in the school-room trying on both sides. School has
the advantage of bringing the influence of many minds to bear, so that
it is rare that a child should pass through a school course without
coming in contact with some who awaken and understand and influence
her for good. It offers too the chance of making friends, and though
"sets" and cliques, plagues of school life, may give trouble and
unsettle the weaker minds from time to time, yet if the current of the
school is healthy it will set against them, and on the other hand the
choicest and best friendships often begin and grow to maturity in the
common life of school. The sodalities and congregations in Catholic
schools are training grounds within the general system of training, in
which higher ideals are aimed at, the obligation of using influence
for good is pressed home, and the instincts of leadership turned to
account for the common good. Lastly, among the advantages of school
may be counted a general purpose and plan in the curriculum, and
better appliances for methodical teaching than are usually available
in private school-rooms, and where out-door games are in honour they
add a great zest to school life.

But, as in all human things, there are drawbacks to school education,
and because it is in the power of those who direct its organization to
counteract some of these drawbacks, it is worth while to examine them
and consider the possible remedies.

In the first place it will probably be agreed that boarding-school
life is not desirable for very young children, as their well-being
requires more elasticity in rule and occupations than is possible if
they are together in numbers. Little children, out of control and
excited, are a misery to themselves and to each other, and if they are
kept in hand enough to protect the weaker ones from the exuberant
energy of the stronger, then the strictness chafes them all, and
spontaneity is too much checked. The informal play which is possible
at home, with the opportunities for quiet and even solitude, are much
better for young children than the atmosphere of school, though a
day-school, with the hours of home life in between, is sometimes
successfully adapted to their wants. But the special cases which
justify parents in sending young children to boarding schools are
numerous, now that established home life is growing more rare, and
they have to be counted with in any large school. It can only be said
that the yoke ought to be made as light as possible--short lessons,
long sleep, very short intervals of real application of mind, as much
open air as possible, bright rooms, and a mental atmosphere that tends
to calm rather than to excite them. They should be saved from the
petting of the elder girls, in whom this apparent kindness is often a
selfish pleasure, bad on both sides.

For older children the difficulties are not quite the same, and
instead of forcing them on too fast, school life may even keep them
back. When children are assembled together in considerable numbers the
intellectual level is that of the middle class of mind and does not
favour the best, the outlook and conversation are those of the
average, the language and vocabulary are on the same level, with a
tendency to sink rather than to rise, and though emulation may urge on
the leading spirits and keep them at racing speed, this does not
quicken the interest in knowledge for its own sake, and the work is
apt to slacken when the stimulus is withdrawn. And all the time there
is comfort to the easy-going average in the consciousness of how many
there are behind them.

The necessity for organization and foresight in detail among large
numbers is also unfavourable to individual development. For children
to find everything prepared for them, to feel no friction in the
working of the machinery, so that all happens as it ought to, without
effort and personal trouble on their part, to be told what to do, and
only have to follow the bells for the ordering of their time--all this
tends to diminish their resourcefulness and their patience with the
unforeseen checks and cross-purposes and mistakes that they will have
to put up with on leaving school. As a matter of fact the more perfect
the school machinery, the smoother its working, the less does it
prepare for the rutty road afterwards, and in this there is some
consolation when school machinery jars from time to time in the
working; if it teaches patience it is not altogether regrettable, and
the little trouble which may arise in the material order is perhaps
more educating than the regularity which has been disturbed.

We are beginning to believe what has never ceased to be said, that
lessons in lesson-books are not the whole of education. The whole system
of teaching in the elementary schools has been thrown off its balance by
too many lesson-books, but it is righting itself again, and some of the
memoranda on teaching, issued by the Board of Education within the last
few years, are quite admirable in their practical suggestions for
promoting a more efficient preparation for life. The Board now insists
on the teaching of handicrafts, training of the senses in observation,
development of knowledge, taste, and skill in various departments which
are useful for life, and for girls especially on things which make the
home. The same thing is wanted in middle-class education, though parents
of the middle-class still look a little askance at household employments
for their daughters. But children of the wealthier and upper classes
take to them as a birthright, with the cordial assent of their parents
and the applause of the doctors. It is for these children, so
well-disposed for a practical education, and able to carry its influence
so far, that we may consider what can be done in school life.

We ourselves who have to do with children must first appreciate the
realities of life before we can communicate this understanding to others
or give the right spirit to those we teach. And "the realities of life"
may stand as a name for all those things which have to be learned in
order to live, and which lesson-books do not teach. The realities of
life are not material things, but they are very deeply wrought in with
material things. There are things to be done, and things to be made, and
things to be ordered and controlled, belonging to the primitive wants of
human life, and to all those fundamental cares which have to support it.
They are best learned in the actual doing from those who know how to do
them; for although manuals and treatises exist for every possible
department of skill and activity, yet the human voice and hand go much
further in making knowledge acceptable than the textbook with diagrams.
The dignity of manual labour comes home from seeing it well done, it is
shown to be worth doing and deserving of honour.

Something which cannot be shown to children, but it will come to them
later on as an inheritance, is the effect of manual work upon their
whole being. Manual work gives balance and harmony in the development of
the growing creature. A child does not attain its full power unless
every faculty is exercised in turn, and to think that hard mental work
alternated with hard physical exercise will give it full and wholesome
development is to ignore whole provinces of its possessions. Generally
speaking, children have to take the value of their mental work on the
faith of our word. They must go through a great deal in mastering the
rudiments of, say, Latin grammar (for the honey is not yet spread so
thickly over this as it is now over the elements of modern languages).
They must wonder why "grown-ups" have such an infatuation for things
that seem out of place and inappropriate in life as they consider it
worth living. Probably it is on this account that so many artificial
rewards and inducements have had to be brought in to sustain their
efforts. Physical exercise is a joy to healthy children, but it leaves
nothing behind as a result. Children are proud of what they have done
and made themselves. They lean upon the concrete, and to see as the
result of their efforts something which lasts, especially something
useful, as a witness to their power and skill, this is a reward in
itself and needs no artificial stimulus, though to measure their own
work in comparative excellence with that of others adds an element that
quickens the desire to do well. Children will go quietly back again and
again to look, without saying anything, at something they have made with
their own hands, their eyes telling all that it means to them, beyond
what they can express.

With its power of ministering to harmonious development of the faculties
manual work has a direct influence on fitness for home and social life.
It greatly develops good sense and aptitude for dealing with ordinary
difficulties as they arise. In common emergencies it is the "handy"
member of the household whose judgment and help are called upon, not the
brilliant person or one who has specialized in any branch, but the one
who can do common things and can invent resources when experience fails.
When the specialist is at fault and the artist waits for inspiration,
the handy person conies in and saves the situation, unprofessionally,
like the bone-setter, without much credit, but to the great comfort of
every one concerned.

Manual work likewise saves from eccentricity or helps to correct it.
Eccentricity may appear harmless and even interesting, but in practice
it is found to be a drawback, enfeebling some sides of a character,
throwing the judgment at least on some points out of focus. In children
it ought to be recognized as a defect to be counteracted. When people
have an overmastering genius which of itself marks out for them a
special way of excellence, some degree of eccentricity is easily
pardoned, and almost allowable. But eccentricity unaccompanied by genius
is mere uncorrected selfishness, or want of mental balance. It is
selfishness if it could be corrected and is not, because it makes
exactions from others without return. It will not adapt itself to them
but insists on being taken as it is, whether acceptable or not. At best,
eccentricity is a morbid tendency liable to run into extremes when its
habits are undisturbed. An excuse sometimes made for eccentricity is
that it is a security against any further mental aberration, perhaps on
the same principle that inoculation producing a mild form of diseases is
sometimes a safeguard against their attacks. But if the mind and habits
of life can be brought under control, so as to take part in ordinary
affairs without attracting attention or having exemptions and allowance
made for them, a result of a far higher order will have been attained.
To recognize eccentricity as selfishness is a first step to its cure,
and to make oneself serviceable to others is the simplest corrective.
Whatever else they may be, "eccentrics" are not generally serviceable.

Children of vivid imagination, nervously excitable and fragile in
constitution, rather easily fall into little eccentric ways which grow
very rapidly and are hard to overcome. One of the commonest of these is
talking to themselves. Sitting still, making efforts to apply their
minds to lessons for more than a short time, accentuates the tendency by
nerve fatigue. In reaction against fatigue the mind falls into a vacant
state and that is the best condition for the growth of eccentricities
and other mental troubles. If their attention is diverted from
themselves, and yet fixed with the less exhausting concentration which
belongs to manual work, this diversion into another channel, with its
accompany bodily movement, will restore the normal balance, and the
little eccentric pose will be forgotten; this is better than being
noticed and laughed at and formally corrected.

Manual employments, especially if varied, and household occupations
afford a great variety, give to children a sense of power in knowing
what to do in a number of circumstances; they take pleasure in this, for
it is a thing which they admire in others. Domestic occupations also
form in them a habit of decision, from the necessity of getting through
things which will not wait. For domestic duties do not allow of waiting
for a moment of inspiration or delaying until a mood of depression or
indifference has passed. They have a quiet, imperious way of commanding,
and an automatic system of punishing when they are neglected, which are
more convincing that exhortations. Perhaps in this particular point lies
their saving influence against nerves and moodiness and the
demoralization of "giving way." Those who have no obligations, whose
work will wait for their convenience, and who can if they please let
everything go for a time, are more easily broken down by trouble than
those whose household duties still have to be done, in the midst of
sorrow and trial. There is something in homely material duties which
heals and calms the mind and gives it power to come back to itself. And
in sudden calamities those who know how to make use of their hands do
not helplessly wring them, or make trouble worse by clinging to others
for support.

Again, circumstances sometimes arise in school life which make light
household duties an untold boon for particular children. Accidental
causes, troubles of eyesight, or too rapid growth, etc., may make
regular study for a time impossible to them. These children become
_exempt_ persons, and even if they are able to take some part in the
class work the time of preparation is heavy on their hands. Exempt
persons easily develop undesirable qualities, and their apparent
privileges are liable to unsettle others. As a matter of fact those who
are able to keep the common life have the best of it, but they are apt
to look upon the exemption of others as enviable, as they long for gipsy
life when a caravan passes by. With the resource of household employment
to give occupation it becomes apparent that exemption does not mean
holiday, but the substitution of one duty or lesson for another, and
this is a principle which holds good in after life--that except in case
of real illness no one is justified in having nothing to do.

Lastly, the work of the body is good for the soul, it drives out
silliness as effectually as the rod, since that which was of old
considered as the instrument for exterminating the "folly bound up in
the heart of a child," has been laid aside in the education of girls. It
is a great weapon against the seven devils of whom one is Sloth and
another Pride, and it prepares a sane mind in a sound body for the
discipline of after life.

Experience bears its own testimony to the failure of an education which
is out of touch with the material requirements of life. It leaves an
incomplete power of expression, and some dead points in the mind from
which no response can be awakened. To taste of many experiences seems to
be necessary for complete development. When on the material side all is
provided without forethought, and people are exempt from all care and
obligation, a whole side of development is wanting, and on that side the
mind remains childish, inexperienced, and unreal. The best mental
development is accomplished under the stress of many demands. One claim
balances the other; a touch of hardness and privation gives strength of
mind and makes self-denial a reality; a little anxiety teaches foresight
and draws out resourcefulness, and the tendency to fret about trifles is
corrected by the contact of the realities of life.

To come to practice--What can be done for girls during their years at
school?

In the first place the teaching of the fundamental handicraft of women,
needlework, deserves a place of honour. In many schools it has almost
perished by neglect, or the thorns of the examination programme have
grown up and choked it. This misfortune has been fairly common where the
English "University Locals" and the Irish "Intermediate" held sway.
There literally was not time for it, and the loss became so general that
it was taken as a matter of course, scarcely regretted; to the children
themselves, so easily carried off by _vogue_, it became almost a matter
for self-complacency, "not to be able to hold a needle" was accepted as
an indication of something superior in attainments. And it must be owned
that there were certain antiquated methods of teaching the art which
made it quite excusable to "hate needlework." One "went through so much
to learn so little"; and the results depending so often upon help from
others to bring them to any conclusion, there was no sense of personal
achievement in a work accomplished. Others planned, cut out and prepared
the work, and the child came in as an unwilling and imperfect sewing
machine merely to put in the stitches. The sense of mastery over
material was not developed, yet that is the only way in which a child's
attainment of skill can be linked on to the future. What cannot be done
without help always at hand drops out of life, and likewise that which
calls for no application of mind.

To reach independence in the practical arts of life is an aim that will
awaken interests and keep up efforts, and teachers have only a right to
be satisfied when their pupils can do without them. This is not the
finishing point of a course of teaching, it is a whole system, beginning
in the first steps and continuing progressively to the end. It entails
upon teachers much labour, much thought, and the sacrifice of showy
results. The first look of finish depends more upon the help of the
teacher than upon the efforts of children. Their results must be waited
for, and they will in the early years have a humbler, more rough-hewn
look than those in which expert help has been given. But the educational
advantages are not to be compared.

A four years' course, two hours per week, gives a thorough   grounding
in plain needlework, and girls are then capable of beginning
dressmaking, in they can reach a very reasonable proficiency when they
leave school. Whether they turn this to practical account in their own
homes, or make use of it in Clothing Societies and Needlework Guilds for
the poor, the knowledge is of real value. If fortune deals hardly with
them, and they are thrown on their own resources later in life, it is
evident that to make their own clothes is a form of independence for
which they will be very thankful. Another branch of needlework that
ought to form part of every Catholic girl's education is that of work
for the Church in which there is room for every capacity, from the
hemming of the humblest _lavabo_ towel to priceless works of art
embroidered by queens for the popes and bishops of their time.

"First aid," and a few practical principles of nursing, can sometimes be
profitably taught in school, if time is made for a few lessons, perhaps
during one term. The difficulty of finding time even adds to the
educational value, since the conditions of life outside do not admit of
uniform intervals between two bells. Enough can be taught to make girls
able to take their share helpfully in cases of illness in their homes,
and it is a branch of usefulness in which a few sensible notions go a
long way.

General self-help is difficult to define or describe, but it can be
taught at school more than would appear at first sight, if only those
engaged in the education of children will bear in mind that the triumph
of their devotedness is to enable children to do without them. This is
much more laborious than to do things efficiently and admirably for
them, but it is real education. They can be taught as mothers would
teach them at home, to mend and keep their things in order, to prepare
for journeys, pack their own boxes, be responsible for their labels and
keys, write orders to shops, to make their own beds, dust their private
rooms, and many other things which will readily occur to those who have
seen the pitiful sight of girls unable to do them.

Finally, simple and elementary cooking comes well within the scope of
the education of elder girls at school. But it must be taught seriously
to make it worth while, and as in the teaching of needlework, the
foundations must be plain. To begin by fancy-work in one case and
bonbons in the other turns the whole instruction into a farce. In this
subject especially, the satisfaction of producing good work, well done,
without help, is a result which justifies all the trouble that may be
spent upon it. When girls have, by themselves, brought to a happy
conclusion the preparation of a complete meal, their very faces bear
witness to the educational value of the success. They are not elated nor
excited, but wear the look of quiet contentment which seems to come from
contact with primitive things. This look alone on a girl's face gives a
beauty of its own, something becoming, and fitting, and full of promise.
No expression is equal to it in the truest charm, for quiet contentment
is the atmosphere which in the future, whatever may be her lot, ought to
be diffused by her presence, an atmosphere of security and rest.

Perhaps at first sight it seems an exaggeration to link so closely
together the highest natural graces of a woman with those lowliest
occupations, but let the effects be compared by those who have examined
other systems of instruction. If they have considered the outcome of an
exclusively intellectual education for girls, especially one loaded with
subjects in sections to be "got up" for purposes of examination, and
compared it with one into which the practical has largely entered, they
can hardly fail to agree that the latter is the best preparation for
life, not only physically and morally but mentally. During the stress of
examinations lined foreheads, tired eyes, shallow breathing, angular
movements tell their own story of strain, and when it is over a want of
resourcefulness in finding occupation shows that a whole side has
remained undeveloped. The possibility of turning to some household
employments would give rest without idleness; it would save from two
excesses in a time of reaction, from the exceeding weariness of having
nothing to do, the real misery of an idle life, and on the other hand
from craving for excitement and constant change through fear of this
unoccupied vacancy.

One other point is worth consideration. The "servant question" is one
which looms larger and larger as a household difficulty. There are
stories of great and even royal households being left in critical
moments at the mercy of servants' tempers, of head cooks "on strike" or
negligent personal attendants. And from these down to the humblest
employers of a general servant the complaint is the same--servants so
independent, so exacting, good servants not to be had, so difficult to
get things properly done, etc. These complaints give very strong warning
that helpless dependence on servants is too great a risk to be accepted,
and that every one in ordinary stations of life should be at least able
to be independent of personal service. The expansion of colonial life
points in the same direction. The "simple life" is talked of at home,
but it is really lived in the colonies. Those who brace themselves to
its hardness find a vigour and resourcefulness within them which they
had never suspected, and the pride of personal achievement in making a
home brings out possibilities which in softer circumstances might have
remained for ever dormant, with their treasure of happiness and hardy
virtues. It is possible, no doubt, in that severe and plain life to lose
many things which are not replaced by its self-reliance and hardihood.
It is possible to drop into merely material preoccupation in the
struggle for existence. But it is also possible not to do so, and the
difference lies in having an ideal.

To Catholics even work in the wilderness and life in the backwoods are
not dissociated from the most spiritual ideals. The pioneers of the
Church, St. Benedict's monks, have gone before in the very same labour
of civilization when Europe was to a great extent still in backwoods.
And, when they sanctified their days in prayer and hard labour, poetry
did not forsake them, and learning even took refuge with them in their
solitude to wait for better times. It was religion which attracted both.
Without their daily service of prayer, the _Opus Dei_, and the assiduous
copying of books, and the desire to build worthy churches for the
worship of God, arts and learning would not have followed the monks into
the wilderness, but their life would have dropped to the dead level of
the squatter's existence. In the same way family life, if toilsome,
either at home or in a new country, may be inspired by the example of
the Holy Family in Nazareth; and in lonely and hard conditions, as well
as in the stress of our crowded ways of living, the influence of that
ideal reaches down to the foundations and transfigures the very humblest
service of the household.

These primitive services which are at the foundation of all home life
are in themselves the same in all places and times. There is in them
something almost sacred; they are sane, wholesome, stable, amid the
weary perpetual change of artificial additions which add much to the
cares but little to the joys of life. There is a long distance between
the labours of Benedictine monks and the domestic work possible for
school girls, but the principles fundamental to both are the
same--happiness in willing work, honour to manual labour, service of God
in humble offices. The work of lay-sisters in some religious houses,
where they understand the happiness of their lot, links the two extremes
together across the centuries. The jubilant onset of their company in
some laborious work is like an anthem rising to God, bearing witness to
the happiness of labour where it is part of His service. They are the
envy of the choir religious, and in the precincts of such religious
houses children unconsciously learn the dignity of manual labour, and
feel themselves honoured by having any share in it. Such labour can be
had for love, but not for money.

One word must be added before leaving the subject of the realities of
life. Worn time to time a rather emphatic school lifts up its voice in
the name of plain speaking and asks for something beyond reality--for
realism, for anticipated instruction on the duties and especially on the
dangers of grown-up life. It will be sufficient to suggest three points
for consideration in this matter: (1) That these demands are not made by
fathers and mothers, but appear to come from those whose interest in
children is indirect and not immediately or personally responsible. This
may be supposed from the fact that they find fault with what is omitted,
but do not give their personal experience of how the want may be
supplied. (2) Those priests who have made a special study of children do
not seem to favour the view, or to urge that any change should be made
in the direction of plain speaking. (3) The answer given by a great
educational authority, Miss Dorothea Beale, the late Principal of
Cheltenham College, may appeal to those who are struck by the theory if
they do not advocate it in practice. When this difficulty was laid
before her she was not in favour of departing from the usual course, or
insisting on the knowledge of grown-up life before its time, and she
pointed out that in case of accidents or surgical operations it was not
the doctors nor the nurses actively engaged who turned faint and sick,
but those who had nothing to do, and in the same way she thought that
such instruction, cut off from the duties and needs of the present, was
not likely to be of any real benefit, but rather to be harmful.
Considering how wide was her experience of educational work this opinion
carries great weight.




CHAPTER VI.

LESSONS AND PLAY.

   "What think we of thy soul?

     *     *     *     *

"Born of full stature, lineal to control;
   And yet a pigmy's yoke must undergo.
Yet must keep pace and tarry, patient, kind,
With its unwilling scholar, the dull, tardy mind;
Must be obsequious to the body's powers,
Whose low hands mete its paths, set ope and close its ways,
   Must do obeisance to the days,
And wait the little pleasure of the hours;
   Yea, ripe for kingship, yet must be
Captive in statuted minority!"
            "Sister Songs," by FRANCIS THOMPSON.

Lessons and play used to be as clearly marked off one from the other as
land and water on the older maps. Now we see some contour maps in which
the land below so many feet and the sea within so many fathoms' depth
are represented by the same marking, or left blank. In the same way the
tendency in education at present is almost to obliterate the line of
demarcation, at least for younger children, so that lessons become a
particular form of play, "with a purpose," and play becomes a sublimated
form of lessons, as the druggists used to say, "an elegant preparation"
of something bitter. If the Board of Education were to name a commission
composed of children, and require it to look into the system, it is
doubtful whether they would give a completely satisfactory report. They
would probably judge it to be too uniform in tone, poor in colour and
contrast, deficient in sparkle. They like the exhilaration of bright
colour, and the crispness of contrast. Of course they would judge it
from the standpoint of play, not of lessons. But play which is not quite
play, coming after something which has been not quite lessons, loses the
tingling delight of contrast. The funereal tolling of a bell for real
lessons made a dark background against which the rapture of release for
real play shone out with a brilliancy which more than made up for it. At
home, the system of ten minutes' lessons at short intervals seems to
answer well for young children; it exerts just enough pressure to give
rebound in the intervals of play. Of course this is not possible at
school.

But the illusion that lessons are play cannot be indefinitely kept up,
or if the illusion remains it is fraught with trouble. Duty and
endurance, the power to go through drudgery, the strength of mind to
persist in taking trouble, even where no interest is felt, the
satisfaction of holding on to the end in doing something arduous, these
things must be learned at some time during the years of education. If
they are not learned then, in all probability they will never be
acquired at all; examples to prove the contrary are rare. The question
is how--and when. If pressed too soon with obligations of lessons,
especially with prolonged attention, little anxious faces and round
shoulders protest. If too long delayed the discovery comes as a shock,
and the less energetic fall out at once and declare that they "can't
learn"--"never could."

Perhaps in one way the elementary schools with their large classes have
a certain advantage in this, because the pressure is more self-adjusting
than in higher class education, where the smaller numbers give to each
child a greater share in the general work, for better or for worse. In
home education this share becomes even greater when sometimes one child
alone enjoys or endures the undivided attention of the governess. In
that case the pressure does not relax. But out of large classes of
infants in elementary schools it is easy to see on many vacant restful
faces that after a short exertion in "qualifying to their teacher" they
are taking their well-earned rest. They do not allow themselves to be
strung up to the highest pitch of attention all through the lesson, but
take and leave as they will or as they can, and so they are carried
through a fairly long period of lessons without distress. As they grow
older and more independent in their work the same cause operates in a
different way. They can go on by themselves and to a certain extent they
must do so, as o n account of the numbers teachers can give less time
and less individual help to each, and the habit of self-reliance is
gradually acquired, with a certain amount of drudgery, leading to
results proportionate to the teacher's personal power of stimulating
work. The old race of Scottish schoolmaster in the rural schools
produced--perhaps still produces--good types of such self-reliant
scholars, urged on by his personal enthusiasm for knowledge. Having no
assistant, his own personality was the soul of the school, both boys and
girls responding in a spirit which was worthy of it. But the boys had
the best of it; "lassies" were not deemed worthy to touch the classics,
and the classics were everything to him. In America it is reported that
the best specimens of university students often come from remote schools
in which no external advantages have been available; but the tough
unyielding habit of study has been developed in grappling with
difficulties without much support from a teacher.

With those who are more gently brought up the problem is how to obtain
this habit of independent work, that is practically--how to get the will
to act. There is drudgery to be gone through, however it may be
disguised, and as a permanent acquisition the power of going through it
is one of the most lasting educational results that can be looked for.
Drudgery is labour with toil and fatigue. It is the long penitential
exercise of the whole human race, not limited to one class or
occupation, but accompanying every work of man from the lowest
mechanical factory hand or domestic "drudge" up to the Sovereign
Pontiff, who has to spend so many hours in merely receiving,
encouraging, blessing, and dismissing the unending processions of his
people as they pass before him, imparting to them graces of which he can
never see the fruit, and then returning to longer hours of listening to
complaints and hearing of troubles which often admit of no remedy: truly
a life of labour with toil and fatigue, in comparison with which most
lives are easy, though each has to bear in its measure the same stamp.
Pius X has borne the yoke of labour from his youth. His predecessor took
it up with an enthusiasm that burned within him, and accepted training
in a service where the drudgery is as severe though generally kept out
of sight. The acceptance of it is the great matter, whatever may be the
form it takes.

Spurs and bait, punishment and reward, have been used from time
immemorial to set the will in motion, and the results have been
variable--no one has appeared to be thoroughly satisfied with either, or
even with a combination of the two. Some authorities have stood on an
eminence, and said that neither punishment nor reward should be used,
that knowledge should be loved for its own sake. But if it was not
loved, after many invitations, the problem remained. As usual the real
solution seems to be attainable only by one who really loves both
knowledge and children, or one who loves knowledge and can love
children, as Vittorino da Feltre loved them both, and also Blessed
Thomas More. These two affections mingled together produce great
educators--great in the proportion in which the two are possessed--as
either one or the other declines the educational power diminishes, till
it dwindles down to offer trained substitutes and presentable
mediocrities for living teachers. The fundamental principle reasserts
itself, that "love feels no labour, or if it does it loves the labour."

Here is one of our Catholic secrets of strength. We have received so
much, we have so much to give, we know so well what we want to obtain.
We have the Church, the great teacher of the world, as our prototype,
and by some instinct a certain unconscious imitation of her finds its
way into the mind and heart of Catholic teachers, so that, though often
out of poorer material, we can produce teachers who excel in personal
hold over children, and influence for good by their great affection and
the value which they set on souls. Their power of obtaining work is
proportioned to their own love of knowledge, and here--let it be owned--we
more often fail. Various theories are offered in explanation of this;
people take one or other according to their personal point of view. Some
say we feel so sure of the other world that our hold on this is slack.
Some that in these countries we have not yet made up for the check of
three centuries when education was made almost impossible for us. And
others say it is not true at all. Perhaps they know best.

Next to the personal power of the teacher to influence children in
learning lessons comes an essential condition to make it possible, and
that is a simple life with quiet regular hours and unexciting pleasures.
Amid a round of amusements lessons must go to the wall, no child can
stand the demands of both at a time. All that can be asked of them is
that they should live through the excitement without too much weariness
or serious damage. The place to consider this is in London at the
children's hour for riding in the park, contrasting the prime condition
of the ponies with the "illustrious pallor" of so many of their riders.
They have courage enough left to sit up straight in their saddles, but
it would take a heart of stone to think of lesson books. This extreme of
artificial life is of course the portion of the few. Those few, however,
are very important people, influential in the future for good or evil,
but a protest from a distance would not reach their schoolrooms, any
more than legislation for the protection of children; they may be
protected from work, but not from amusement. The conditions of simple
living which are favourable for children have been so often enumerated
that it is unnecessary to go over them again; they may even be procured
in tabular form or graphical representation for those to whom these
figures and curves carry conviction.

But a point that is of more practical interest to children and teachers,
struggling together in the business of education, and one that is often
overlooked, is that children do not know how to learn lessons when the
books are before them, and that there is a great waste of good power,
and a great deal of unnecessary weariness from this cause. If the cause
of imperfectly learned lessons is examined it will usually be found
there, and also the cause of so much dislike to the work of preparation.
Children do not know by instinct how to set about learning a lesson from
a book, nor do they spontaneously recognize that there are different
ways of learning, adapted to different lessons. It is a help to them to
know that there is one way for the multiplication table and another for
history and another for poetry, as the end of the lesson is different.
They can understand this if it is put before them that one is learnt
most quickly by mere repetition, until it becomes a sing-song in the
memory that cannot go wrong, and that afterwards in practice it will
allow itself to be taken to pieces; they will see that they can grasp a
chapter of history more intelligently if they prepare for themselves
questions upon it which might be asked of another, than in trying by
mechanical devices of memory to associate facts with something to hold
them by; that poetry is different from both, having a body and a soul,
each of which has to be taken account of in learning it, one of them
being the song and the other the singer. Obviously there is not one only
way for each of these or for other matters which have to be learnt, but
one of the greatest difficulties is removed when it is understood that
there is something intelligible to be done in the learning of lessons
beyond reading them over and over with the hope that they will go in.

The hearing of lessons is a subject that deserves a great deal of
consideration. It is an old formal name for what has been often an
antiquated mechanical exercise. A great deal more trouble is expended
now on the manner of questioning and "hearing" the lessons; but even yet
it may be done too formally, as a mere function, or in a way that kills
the interest, or in a manner that alarms--with a mysterious face as if
setting traps, or with questions that are easy and obvious to ask, but
for children almost impossible to answer. Children do not usually give
direct answers to simple questions. Experience seems to have taught them
that appearances are deceptive in this matter, and they look about for
the spring by which the trap works before they will touch the bait. It
is a pity to set traps, because it destroys confidence, and children's
confidence in such matters as lessons is hard to win.

The question of aids to study by stimulants is a difficult one. On the
one hand it seems to some educators a fundamental law that reward should
follow right-doing and effort, and so no doubt it is; but the reward
within one's own mind and soul is one thing and the calf-bound book is
another--scarcely even a symbol of the first, because they are not
always obtained by the same students. This is a fruitful subject for
discourse or reflection at distributions of prizes. Those who are behind
the scenes know that the race is not to the swift nor the battle to the
strong, and the children know it themselves, and prize-winners often
become the object of the "word in season," pointing out how rarely they
will be found to distinguish themselves in after life; while the steady
advance of the plodding and slow mind is dwelt upon, and those who have
failed through idleness drink up the encouragement which was not
intended for them, and feel that they are the hope of the future because
they have won no prizes. It is difficult on those occasions to make the
conflicting conclusions clear to everybody.

Yet the system of prize distributions is time honoured and traditional,
and every country is not yet so disinterested in study as to be able to
do without it; under its sway a great deal of honest effort is put out,
and the taste of success which is the great stimulant of youth is first
experienced.

There is also the system of certificates, which has the advantage of
being open to many instead of to one. It is likewise a less material
testimonial, approaching more nearly to the merited word of approval
which is in itself the highest human reward, and the one nearest to the
heart of things, because it is the one which belongs to home. For if the
home authorities interest themselves in lessons at all, their grown-up
standard and the paramount weight of their opinion gives to one word of
their praise a dignity and worth which goes beyond all prizes. Beyond
this there is no natural satisfaction to equal the inner consciousness
of having done one's best, a very intimate prize distribution in which
we ourselves make the discourse, and deliver the certificate to
ourselves. This is the culminating point at which educators aim; they
are all agreed that prizes in the end are meant to lead up to it, but
the way is long between them. And both one and the other are good in so
far as they lead us on to the highest judgment that is day by day passed
on our work. When prizes, and even the honour of well-deserved praise,
fail to attract, the thought of God the witness of our efforts, and of
the value in His sight of striving which is never destined to meet with
success, is a support that keeps up endurance, and seals with an evident
mark of privilege the lives of many who have made those dutiful efforts
not for themselves but in the sight of God.

The subject of play has to be considered from two points of view, that
of the children and ours. Theirs is concerned chiefly with the present
and ours with the future, far although we do not want every play-hour to
be haunted with a spectral presence that speaks of improvement and
advancement, yet we cannot lose sight of the fact that every hour of
play is telling on the future, deepening the mark of the character,
strengthening the habits, and guiding the lines of after life into this
or that channel.

Looking at it from this point of view of the future, there seems to be
something radically wrong at present with the play provided for children
of nursery age. In a very few years we shall surely look back and wonder
how we could have endured, for the children, the perverse reign of the
Golliwog dynasty and the despotism of Teddy-bears. More than that, it is
pitiful to hear of nurseries for Catholic children sometimes without
shrine or altar or picture of the Mother of God, and with one of these
monsters on every chair. Something even deeper than the artistic sense
must revolt before long against this barbarous rule. The Teddy-bear, if
he has anything to impart, suggests his own methods of life and defence,
and the Golliwog, far worse--limp, hideous, without one characteristic
grace, or spark of humour--suggests the last extremity of what is
embodied in the expression "letting oneself go." And these things are
loved! Pity the beautiful soul of the child, made for beautiful things.
_II y a toujours en nous quelque chose qui veut ramper_, said Pere de
Ravignan, and to this the Golliwog makes strong appeal. It is only too
easy to _let go_, and the Golliwog playfellow says that it is quite
right to do so--he does it himself. It takes a great deal to make him
able to sit up at all--only in the most comfortable chair can it be
accomplished--if the least obstacle is encountered he can only give way.
And yet this pitiable being makes no appeal to the spirit of
helpfulness. Do what you can for him it is impossible to raise him up,
the only thing is to go down with him to his own level and stay there.
The Golliwog is at heart a pessimist.

In contrast with this the presence of an altar or nursery shrine, though
not a plaything, gives a different tone to play--a tone of joy and
heavenliness that go down into the soul and take root there to grow into
something lasting and beautiful. There are flowers to be brought, and
lights, and small processions, and evening recollection with quietness
of devotion, with security in the sense of heavenly protection, with the
realization of the "great cloud of witnesses" who are around to make
play safe and holy, and there is through it all the gracious call to
things higher, to be strong, to be unselfish, to be self-controlled, to
be worthy of these protectors and friends in heaven.

There is another side also to the question of nursery play, and that is
what may be called the play-values of the things provided. Mechanical
toys are wonderful, but beyond an artificial interest which comes mostly
from the elders, there is very little lasting delight in them for
children. They belong to the system of over-indulgence and
over-stimulation which measures the value of things by their price.
Their worst fault is that they do all there is to be done, while the
child looks on and has nothing to do. The train or motor rushes round
and round, the doll struts about and bleats "papa," "mama," the
Teddy-bear growls and dances, and the owner has but to wind them up,
which is very poor amusement. Probably they are better after they have
been over-wound and the mechanical part has given way, and they have
come to the hard use that belongs to their proper position as
playthings. If a distinction may be drawn between toys and playthings,
toys are of very little play-value, they stand for fancy play, to be
fiddled with; while playthings stand as symbols of real life, the harder
and more primitive side of life taking the highest rank, and all that
they do is really done by the child. This is the real play-value. Even
things that are not playthings at all, sticks and stones and shells,
have this possibility in them. Things which have been found have a
history of their own, which gives them precedence over what comes from a
shop; but the highest value of all belongs to the things which children
have made entirely themselves--bows and arrows, catapults, clay marbles,
though imperfectly round, home-made boats and kites. The play-value
grows in direct proportion to the amount of personal share which
children have in the making and in the use of their playthings. And in
this we ought cordially to agree with them.

After the nursery age, in the school or school-room, play divides into
two lines--organized games, of which we hear a great deal in school at
present, and home play. They are not at all the same thing. Both have
something in their favour. So much has been written of late about the
value of organized games, how they bring out unselfishness, prompt and
unquestioning obedience, playing for one's side and not for oneself,
etc., that it seems as if all has been said better than it could be said
again, except perhaps to point out that there is little relaxation in
the battle of life for children who do their best at books indoors and
at games out of doors--so that in self-defence a good many choose an
"elective course" between the two lines of advantages that school
offers, and do not attempt to serve two masters; they will do well at
books or games, but not at both. If the interest in games is keen, they
require a great deal of will-energy, as well as physical activity, a
great deal of self-control and subordination of personal interest to the
good of the whole. In return for these requirements they give a great
deal, this or that, more or less, according to the character of the
game; they give physical control of movement, quickness of eye and hand,
promptitude in decision, observance of right moments, command of temper,
and many other things. In fact, for some games the only adverse
criticism to offer is that they are more of a discipline than real play,
and that certainly for younger children who have no other form of
recreation than play, something more restful to the mind and less
definite in purpose is desirable.

For these during playtime some semblance of solitude is exceedingly
desirable at school where the great want is to be sometimes alone. It is
good for them not to be always under the pressure of competition--going
along a made road to a definite end--but to have their little moments of
even comparative solitude, little times of silence and complete freedom,
if they cannot be by themselves. Hoops and skipping-ropes without races
or counted competitions will give this, with the possibility of a moment
or two to do nothing but live and breathe and rejoice in air and
sunshine. Without these moments of rest the conditions of life at
present and the constitutions for which the new word "nervy" has had to
be invented, will give us tempers and temperaments incapable of repose
and solitude. A child alone in a swing, kicking itself backwards and
forwards, is at rest; alone in its little garden it has complete rest of
mind with the joy of seeing its own plants grow; alone in a field
picking wild flowers it is as near to the heart of primitive existence
as it is possible to be. Although these joys of solitude are only
attainable in their perfection by children at home, yet if their value
is understood, those who have charge of them at school can do something
to give them breathing spaces free from the pressure of corporate life,
and will probably find them much calmer and more manageable than if they
have nothing but organized play.

There are plenty of indoor occupations too for little girls which may
give the same taste of solitude and silence, approaching to those
simpler forms of home play which have no definite aim, no beginning and
ending, no rules. The fighting instinct is very near the surface in
ambitious and energetic children, and in the play-grounds it asserts
itself all the more in reaction after indoor discipline, then excitement
grows, and the weaker suffer, and the stronger are exasperated by
friction. If unselfish, they feel the effort to control themselves; if
selfish, they exhaust themselves and others in the battle to impose
their own will. In these moods solitude and silence, with a hoop or
skipping-rope, are a saving system, and restore calmness of mind. All
that is wanted is freedom, fresh air, and spontaneous movement. This is
more evident in the case of younger children, but if it can be obtained
for elder girls it is just as great a relief. They have usually acquired
more self-control, and the need does not assert itself so loudly, but it
is perhaps all the greater; and in whatever way it can best be
ministered to, it will repay attention and the provision that may be
made for it.

One word may be merely suggested for consideration concerning games in
girls' schools, and that is the comparative value of them as to physical
development. The influence of the game in vogue in each country will
always be felt, but it is worth attention that some games, as hockey,
conduce to all the attitudes and movements which are least to be
desired, and that others, as basket-ball, on the contrary tend--if
played with strict regard to rules--to attitudes which are in themselves
beautiful and tending to grace of movement. This word belongs to our
side of the question, not that of the children. It belongs to our side
also to see that hoops are large, and driven with a stick, not a hook,
for the sake of straight backs, which are so easily bent crooked in
driving a small hoop with a hook.

In connexion with movement comes the question of dancing. Dancing comes,
officially, under the heading of lessons, most earnest lessons if the
professor has profound convictions of its significance. But dancing
belongs afterwards to the playtime of life. We have outlived the grim
puritanical prejudice which condemned it as wrong, and it is generally
agreed that there is almost a natural need for dancing as the expression
of something very deep in human nature, which seems to be demonstrated
by its appearance in one form or another, amongst all races of mankind.
There is something in co-ordinated rhythmical movement, in the grace of
steps, in the buoyancy of beautiful dancing which seems to make it a
very perfect exercise for children and young people. But there are
dances and dances, steps and steps, and about the really beautiful there
is always a touch of the severe, and a hint of the ideal. Without these,
dancing drops at once to the level of the commonplace and below it. In
general, dances which embody some characteristics of a national life
have more beauty than cosmopolitan dances, but they are only seen in
their perfection when performed by dancers of the race to whom their
spirit belongs, or by the class for whom they are intended: which is
meant as a suggestion that little girls should not dance the hornpipe.

In conclusion, the question of play, and playtime and recreation is
absorbing more and more attention in grown-up life. We have heard it
said over and over again of late years that we tire a nation at play,
and that "the athletic craze" has gone beyond all bounds. Many facts are
brought forward in support of this criticism from schools, from
newspapers, from general surveys of our national life at present. And
those who study more closely the Catholic body say that we too are
sharing in this extreme, and that the Catholic body though small in
number is more responsible and more deserving of reproof if it falls
from its ideals, for it has ideals. It is only Catholic girls who
concern us here, but our girls among other girls, and Catholic women
among other women have the privilege as well as the duty of upholding
what is highest. We belong by right to the graver side of the human
race, for those who know must be in an emergency graver, less reckless
on the one hand, less panic-stricken on the other, than those who do not
know. We can never be entirely "at play." And if some of us should be
for a time carried away by the current, and momentarily completely "at
play," it must be in a wave of reaction from the long grinding of
endurance under the penal times. Cardinal Newman's reminiscences of the
life and ways of "the Roman Catholics" in his youth showy the temper of
mind against which our present excess of play is a reaction.

"A few adherents of the Old Religion, moving silently and sorrowfully
about, as memorials of what had been. 'The Roman Catholics'--not a sect,
not even an interest, as men conceived of it--not a body, however small,
representative of the Great Communion abroad, but a mere handful of
individuals, who might be counted, like the pebbles and detritus of the
great deluge, and who, forsooth, merely happened to retain a creed
which, in its day indeed, was the profession of a Church. Here a set of
poor Irishmen, coining and going at harvest time, or a colony of them
lodged in a miserable quarter of the vast metropolis. There, perhaps, an
elderly person, seen walking in the streets, grave and solitary, and
strange, though noble in bearing, and said to be of good family, and 'a
Roman Catholic.' An old-fashioned house of gloomy appearance, closed in
with high walls, with an iron gate, and yews, and the report attaching
to it that 'Roman Catholics' lived there; but who they were, or what
they did, or what was meant by calling them Roman Catholics, no one
could tell, though it had an unpleasant sound, and told of form and
superstition. And then, perhaps, as we went to and fro, looking with a
boy's curious eyes through the great city, we might come to-day upon
some Moravian chapel, or Quaker's meeting-house, and to-morrow on a
chapel of the 'Roman Catholics': but nothing was to be gathered from it,
except that there were lights burning there, and some boys in white,
swinging censers: and what it all meant could only be learned from
books, from Protestant histories and sermons; but they did not report
well of the 'Roman Catholics,' but, on the contrary, deposed that they
had once had power and had abused it. ... Such were the Catholics in
England, found in corners, and alleys, and cellars, and the housetops,
or in the recesses of the country; cut off from the populous world
around them, and dimly seen, as if through a mist or in twilight, as
ghosts flitting to and fro, by the high Protestants, the lords of the
earth." ("The Second Spring.")

This it is from which we are keeping holiday; but for us it can be only
a half holiday, the sifting process is always at work, the opposition of
the world to the Church only sleeps for a moment, and there are many who
tell us that the signs of the times point to new forms of older
conflicts likely to recur, and that we may have to go, as they went on
the day of Waterloo, straight from the dance to the battlefield.




CHAPTER VII.

MATHEMATICS, NATURAL SCIENCE, AND NATURE STUDY.

     "The Arab told me that the stone
(To give it in the language of the dream)
Was "Euclid's Elements"; and "This," said he,
"Is something of more worth"; and at the word
Stretched forth the shell, so beautiful in shape,
In colour so resplendent, with command
That I should hold it to my ear. I did so,
And heard that instant in an unknown tongue,
Which yet I understood, articulate sounds,
A loud prophetic blast of harmony."
              WORDSWORTH, "The Prelude," Bk. V.

Mathematics, natural science, and nature study may be conveniently
grouped together, because in a study of educational aims, in so far as
they concern Catholic girls, there is not much that is distinctive which
practically affects these branches; during the years of school life they
stand, more or less, on common ground with others. More advanced studies
of natural science open up burning questions, and as to these, it is the
last counsel of wisdom for girls leaving school or school-room to
remember that they have no right to have any opinion at all. It is well
to make them understand that after years of specialized study the really
great men of science, in very gentle tones and with careful utterance,
give to the world their formed opinions, keeping them ever open to
readjustment as the results of fresh observations come in year after
year, and new discoveries call for correction and rearrangement of what
has been previously taught. It is also well that they should know that
by the time the newest theory reaches the school-room and textbook it
may be already antiquated and perhaps superseded in the observatory and
laboratory, so that in scientific matters the school-room must always be
a little "behind the times."     And likewise that when scientific
teaching has to be brought within the compass of a text-book for young
students, it is mere baby talk, as much like the original theory as a
toy engine is like an express locomotive. From which they may conclude
that it is wiser to be listeners or to ask deferential questions than to
have light-hearted opinions of their own on burning questions such as we
sometimes hear: "Do you believe in evolution?--I do." "No, I don't, I
think there is very little evidence for it." And that if they are
introduced to a man of science it is better not to ask his opinion about
the latest skeleton that has been discovered, or let him see that they
are alarmed lest there might be something wrong with our pedigree after
all, or with the book of Genesis. One would be glad, however, that they
should know the names and something of the works and reputation of the
Catholic men of science, as Ampere, Pasteur, and Wassmann, etc., I Who
have been or are European authorities in special aches of study, so that
they may at least be ready with an answer to the frequent assertion that
"Catholics have done nothing for science."

But in connexion with these three subjects, not as to the teaching of
them but as to their place in the education of girls, some points
regarding education in general are worth considering:--

1. Mathematics in the curriculum of girls' schools has been the subject
of much debate. Cool and colourless as mathematics are in themselves,
they have produced in discussion a good deal of heat, being put forward
to bear the brunt of the controversy as to whether girls were equal to
boys in understanding and capable of following the same course of study,
and to enter into competition with them in all departments of learning.
Even taking into consideration many brilliant achievements and an
immense amount of creditable, and even distinguished work, the answer of
those who have no personal bias in the matter for the sake of a Cause--is
generally that they are not. Facts would seem to speak for themselves if
only on the ground that the strain of equal studies is too great for the
weaker physical organization. Girls are willing workers, exceedingly
intense when their heart is set upon success; but their staying power is
not equal to their eagerness, and the demands made upon them sometimes
leave a mortgage on  their mental and physical estate which cannot be
paid off in the course of a whole lifetime. In support of this,
reference may be made to the [1 Appendix to "Final Report of the
Commissioners (Irish Intermediate Education)," Pt. I, 1899.] report of a
commission of Dublin physicians on the effects of the Intermediate
Education system in Ireland, which has broken down many more girls than
boys.

Apart from the question of over-pressure it is generally recognized--let
it be said again, by those who have not a position to defend or a theory
to advance in the matter--that the aptitude of girls for mathematical
work is generally less than that of boys, and unless one has some
particular view or plan at stake in the matter there is no grievance in
recognizing this. There is more to be gained in recognizing diversities
of gifts than in striving to establish a level of uniformity, and life
is richer, not poorer for the setting forth of varied types of
excellence. Competition destroys cooperation, and in striving to prove
ability to reach an equal standard in competition, the wider and more
lasting interests which are at stake may be lost sight of, and in the
end sacrificed to limited temporary success.

The success of girls in the field of mathematics is, in general,
temporary and limited, it means much less in their after life than in
that of boys. For the few whose calling in life is teaching, mathematics
have some after use; for those, still fewer, who take a real interest in
them, they keep a place in later life; but for the many into whose
life-work they do not enter, beyond the mental discipline which is
sometimes evaded, very little remains. The end of school means for them
the end of mathematical study, and the Complete forgetfulness in which
the whole subject is soon buried gives the impression that too much may
have been sacrificed to it. From the point of view of practical value it
proves of little use, and as mental discipline something of more
permanent worth might have taken its place to strengthen the reasoning
powers. The mathematical teacher of girls has generally to seek
consolation in very rare success for much habitual disappointment.

The whole controversy about equality in education involves less
bitterness to Catholics than to others, for this reason, that we have
less difficulty than those of other persuasions in accepting a
fundamental difference of ideals for girls and boys. Our ideals of
family life, of spheres of action which co-operate and complete each
other, without interference or competition, our masculine and feminine
types of holiness amongst canonized saints, give a calmer outlook upon
the questions involved in the discussion. The Church puts equality and
inequality upon such a different footing that the result is harmony
without clash of interests, and if in some countries we are drawn into
the arena now, and forced into competition, the very slackness of
interest which is sometimes complained of is an indirect testimony to
the truth that we know of better things. And as those who know of better
things are more injured by following the less good than those who know
them not, so our Catholic girls seem to be either more indifferent about
their work or more damaged by the spirit of competition if they enter
into it, than those who consider it from a different plane.

2. Natural science has of late years assumed a title to which it has no
claim, and calls itself simply "_Science_"--presumably "_for short,_" but
to the great confusion of young minds, or rather with the effect of
contracting their range of vision within very narrow limits, as if
theology and Biblical study, and mental and moral, and historical and
political science, had no place of mention in the rational order where
things are studied in their causes.

Inquiry was made in several schools where natural science was taught
according to the syllabuses of the Board of Education. The question was
asked, "What is science?"--and without exception the answers indicated
that science was understood to mean the study of the phenomena of the
physical world in their causes. The name "Science" used by itself has
been the cause of this, and has led to the usual consequences of the
assumption of unauthorized titles.

Things had been working up in England during the last few years towards
this misconception in the schools. On the one hand there was the great
impetus given to physical research and experimental science in recent
years, so that its discoveries absorbed more and more attention, and
this filtered down to the school books.

On the other hand, especially since the South African war, there had
been a great stir in reaction against mere lessons from books, and it
was seen that we wanted more personal initiative and thought, and
resourcefulness, and self-reliance, and many other qualities which our
education had not tended to develop. It was seen that we were
unpractical in our Instruction, that minds passed under the discipline
of school and came out again, still slovenly, unobservant, unscientific
in temper, impatient, flippant, inaccurate, tending to guess and to jump
at conclusions, to generalize hastily, etc. It was observed that many
unskilful hands came out of the schools, clumsy ringers, wanting in
neatness, untidy in work, inept in measuring and weighing, incapable of
handling things intelligently. There had come an awakening from the
dreams of 1870, when we felt so certain that all England was to be made
good and happy through books. A remedy was sought in natural science,
and the next educational wave which was to roll over us began to rise.
It was thought that the temper of the really scientific man, so patient
in research, so accurate and conscientious, so slow to dogmatize, so
deferential to others, might be fostered by experimental science in the
schools, acquiring "knowledge at first hand," making experiments,
looking with great respect at balances, weighing and measuring, and
giving an account of results. So laboratories were fitted up at great
expense, and teachers with university degrees in science were sought
after. The height of the tide seemed to be reached in 1904 and 1905--to
judge by the tone of Regulations for the Curricula of Secondary Schools
issued by the Board of Education--for in these years it is most insistent
and exacting for girls as well as boys, as to time and scope of the
syllabus in this branch. Then disillusion seems to have set in and the
tide began to ebb. It appeared that the results were small and poor in
proportion to expectation and to the outlay on laboratories. The
desirable qualities did not seem to develop as had been hoped, the
temper of mind fostered was not entirely what had been desired. The
conscientious accuracy that was to come of measuring a millimetre and
weighing a milligramme was disappointing, and also the fluent readiness
to give an account of observations made, the desired accuracy of
expression, the caution in drawing inferences. The links between this
teaching and after life did not seem to be satisfactorily established.
The Board of Education showed the first signs of a change of outlook by
the readjustment in the curriculum giving an alternative syllabus for
girls, and the latitude in this direction is widening by degrees. It
begins to be whispered that even in some boys' schools the laboratory is
only used under compulsion or by exceptional students, and the wave
seems likely to go down as rapidly as it rose.

Probably for girls the strongest argument against experimental science
taught in laboratories is that it has so little connexion with after
life. As a discipline the remedy did not go deeply enough into the
realities of life to reach the mental defects of girls; it was
artificial, and they laid it aside as a part of school life when they
went home. Latitude is now given by the Board of Education for "an
approved course in a combination of the following subjects: needlework,
cooking, laundry-work, housekeeping, and household hygiene for girls
over fifteen years of age, to be substituted partially or wholly for
science and for mathematics other than arithmetic." Comparing this with
the regulations of five or six years ago when the only alternative for
girls was a "biological subject" instead of physics, and elementary
hygiene as a substitute for chemistry, it would seem as if the Board of
Education had had reason to be dissatisfied with the "science" teaching
for girls, and was determined to seek a more practical system.

This practical aspect of things is penetrating into every department,
and when it is combined with some study of first principles nothing
better can be desired. For instance, in the teaching of geography, of
botany, etc., there is a growing inclination to follow the line of
reality, the middle course between the book alone and the laboratory
alone, so that these subjects gather living interest from their many
points of contact with human life, and give more play to the powers of
children. As the text-book of geography is more and more superseded by
the use of the atlas alone, and the botanical chart by the children's
own drawings, and by the beautiful illustrations in books prepared
especially for them, the way is opened before them to worlds of beauty
and wonder which they may have for their own possession by the use of
their eyes and ears and thoughts and reasonings.

3. But better than all new apparatus and books of delight is the
informal study of the world around us which has grown up by the side of
organized teaching of natural science. The name of "nature study" is the
least attractive point about it; the reality escapes from all
conventionalities of instruction, and looks and listens and learns
without the rules and boundaries which belong to real lessons. Its range
is not restricted within formal limits; it is neither botany, nor
natural history, nor physics; neither instruction on light nor heat nor
sound, but it wanders on a voyage of discovery into all these domains.
And in so far as it does this, it appeals very strongly to children.
Children usually delight in flowers and dislike botany, are fond of
animals and rather indifferent to natural history. Life is what awakens
their interest; they love the living thing as a whole and do not care
much for analysis or classification; these interests grow up later.

The object of informal nature study is to put children directly in touch
with the beautiful and wonderful things which are within their reach.
Its lesson-book is everywhere, its time is every time, its spirit is
wonder and delight. This is for the children. Those who teach it have to
look beyond, and it is not so easy to teach as it is to learn. It
cannot, properly speaking, be learned by teachers out of books, though
books can do a great deal. But a long-used quiet habit of observation
gives it life and the stored-up sweetness of years--"the old is better."
The most charming books on nature study necessarily give a second-hand
tone to the teaching. But the point of it all is knowledge at
first-hand; yet, for children knowledge at first-hand is so limited that
some one to refer to, and some one to guide them is a necessity, some
one who will say at the right moment "look" and "listen," and who has
looked and listened for years. Perhaps the requirement of knowledge at
firsthand for children has sometimes been pushed a little too far, with
a deadening effect, for the progress of such knowledge is very slow and
laborious. How little we should know if we only admitted first-hand
knowledge, but the stories of wonder from those who have seen urge us on
to see for ourselves; and so we swing backwards and forwards, from the
world outside to the books, to find out more, from the books to the
world outside to see for ourselves. And a good teacher, who is an
evergreen learner, goes backwards and forwards, too, sharing the work
and heightening the delight. All the stages come in turn, over and over
again, observation, experiment, inquiry from others whether orally or in
books, and in this subject books abound more fascinating than fairy
tales, and their latest charm is that they are laying aside the pose of
a fairy tale and tell the simple truth.

The love of nature, awakened early, is a great estate with which to
endow a child, but it needs education, that the proprietor of the estate
may know how to manage it, and not--with the manners of a _parvenu_--miss
either the inner spirit or the outward behaviour belonging to the
property. This right manner and spirit of possession is what the
informal "nature study" aims at; it is a point of view. Now the point of
view as to the outside world means a great deal in life. Countrymen do
not love nature as townsmen love it. Their affection is deeper but less
emotional, like old friendships, undemonstrative but everlasting.
Countrymen see without looking, and say very little about it. Townsmen
in the country look long and say what they have seen, but they miss many
things. A farmer stands stolidly among the graces of his frisky lambs
and seems to miss their meaning, but this is because the manners
cultivated in his calling do not allow the expression of feeling. It is
all in his soul somewhere, deeply at home, but impossible to utter. The
townsman looks eagerly, expresses a great deal, expresses it well, but
misses the spirit from want of a background to his picture. One must
know the whole round of the year in the country to catch the spirit of
any season and perceive whence it comes and whither it goes.

On the other hand, the countryman in town thinks that there is no beauty
of the world left for him to see, because the spirit there is a spirit
of the hour and not of the season, and natural beauty has to be caught
in evanescent appearances--a florist's window full of orchids in place of
his woodlands--and his mind is too slow to catch these. This too quick or
too slow habit of seeing belongs to minds as well as to callings; and
when children are learning to look around them at the world outside, it
has to be taken into account. Some will see without looking and be
satisfied slowly to drink in impressions, and they are really glad to
learn to express what they see. Others, the quick, so-called "clever"
children, look, and judge, and comment, and overshoot the mark many
times before they really see. These may learn patience in waiting for
their garden seeds, and quietness from watching birds and beasts, and
deliberation, to a certain extent, from their constant mistakes. To have
the care of plants may teach them a good deal of watchfulness and
patience; it is of greater value to a child to have grown one perfect
flower than to have pulled many to pieces to examine their structure.
And the care of animals may teach a great deal more if it learns to keep
the balance between silly idolatry of pets and cruel negligence--the hot
and cold extremes of selfishness.

Little gardens of their own are perhaps the best gifts which can be
given to children. To work in them stores up not only health but joy.
Every flower in their garden stands for so much happiness, and with that
happiness an instinct for home life and simple pleasures will strike
deep roots. From growing the humblest annual out of a seed-packet to
grafting roses there is work for every age, and even in the dead season
of the year the interest of a garden never dies.

In new countries gardens take new aspects. A literal version of a
_garden party_ in the Transvaal suggests possibilities of emancipation
from the conventionalities which weary the older forms of entertainment
with us. Its object was not to play in a garden, but to plant one.
Guests came from afar, each one bringing a contribution of plants. The
afternoon was spent in laying out the beds and planting the offerings,
in hard, honest, dirty work. And all the guests went home feeling that
they had really lived a day that was worth living, for a garden had been
made, in the rough, it is true; but even in the rough in such a new
country a garden is a great possession.

The outcome of these considerations is that the love of nature is a
great source of happiness for children, happiness of the best kind in
taking possession of a world that seems to be in many ways designed
especially for them. It brings their minds to a place where many ways
meet; to the confines of science, for they want to know the reasons of
things; to the confines of art, for what they can understand they will
strive to interpret and express; to the confines of worship, for a
child's soul, hushed in wonder, is very near to God.




CHAPTER VIII.

ENGLISH.

  "If Chaucer, as has been said, is Spring, it is a modern, premature
Spring, followed by an interval of doubtful weather. Sidney is the very
Spring--the later May. And in prose he is the authentic, only Spring. It
is a prose full of young joy, and young power, and young inexperience,
and young melancholy, which is the wilfulness of joy; . . .

  "Sidney's prose is treasureable, not only for its absolute merits, but
as the bud from which English prose, that gorgeous and varied flower,
has unfolded."--FRANCIS THOMPSON, "The Prose of Poets."

The study of one's own language is the very heart of a modern education;
to the study of English, therefore, belongs a central place in the
education of English-speaking girls. It has two functions: one is to
become the instrument by which almost all the other subjects are
apprehended; the other, more characteristically its own, is to give that
particular tone to the mind which distinguishes it from others. This is
a function that is always in process of further development; for the
mind of a nation elaborates its language, and the language gives tone to
the mind of the new generation. The influences at work upon the English
language at present are very complex, and play on it with great force,
so that the changes are startling in their rapidity. English is not only
the language of a nation or of a race, not even of an empire; and the
inflowing elements affirm this. We have kindred beyond the empire, and
their speech is more and more impressing ours, forging from the common
stock, which they had from us, whole armouries full of expressive words,
words with edge and point and keen directness which never miss the mark.
Some are unquestionably an acquisition, those which come from States
where the language is honoured and studied with a carefulness that puts
to shame all except our very best. They have kept some gracious and rare
expressions, now quaint to our ear, preserved out of Elizabethan English
in the current speech of to-day. These have a fragrance of the olden
time, but we cannot absorb them again into our own spoken language. Then
they have their incisive modern expressions so perfectly adapted for
their end that they are irresistible even to those who cling by
tradition to the more stable element in English. These also come from
States in which language is conscious of itself and looks carefully to
literary use, and they do us good rather than harm. Other importations
from younger States are too evidently unauthorized to be in any way
beautiful, and are blamed on both sides of the ocean as debasing the
coinage. But these, too, are making their way, so cheap and convenient
are they, and so expressive.

It is needful in educating children to remember that this strong
inflowing current must be taken into account, and also to remember that
it does not belong to them. They must first be trained in the use of the
more lasting elements of English; later on they may use their discretion
in catching the new words which are afloat in the air, but the
foundations must be laid otherwise. It takes the bloom off the freshness
of young writers if they are determined to exhibit the last new words
that are in, or out of season. New words have a doubtful position at
first. They float here and there like thistle-down, and their future
depends upon where they settle. But until they are established and
accepted they are out of place for children's use. They are contrary to
the perfect manner for children. We ask that their English should be
simple and unaffected, not that it should glitter with the newest
importations, brilliant as they may be. It is from the more permanent
element in the language that they will acquire what they ought to have,
the characteristic traits of thought and manner which belong to it. It
is not too much to look for such things in children's writing and
speaking. The first shoots and leaves may come up early though the full
growth and flower may be long waited for. These characteristics are
often better put into words by foreign critics than by ourselves, for we
are inclined to take them as a whole and to take them for granted; hence
the trouble experienced by educated foreigners in catching the
characteristics of English style, and their surprise in finding that we
have no authentic guides to English composition, fend that the court of
final appeal is only the standard Of the best use. The words of a German
critic on a Collection of English portraits in Berlin are very happily
pointed and might be as aptly applied to writing as to painting.

"English, utterly English! Nothing on God's earth could be more English
than this whole collection. The personality of the artist (_it happened
that he was an Irishman_), the countenances of the subjects, their
dress, the discreetly suggestive backgrounds, all have the
characteristic touch of British culture, very refined, very high-bred,
very quiet, very much clarified, very confident, very neat, very
well-appointed, a little dreamy and just a little wearisome--the precise
qualities which at the same time impress and annoy us in the English."

This is exactly what might be said of Pater's writing, but that is
full-grown English. Pater is not a model for children, they would find
him more than "just a little wearisome." If anyone could put into words
what Sir Joshua Reynolds' portraits of children express, that would be
exactly what we want for the model of their English. They can write and
they can speak in a beautiful way of their own if they are allowed a
little liberty to grow wild, and trained a little to climb. Their charm
is candour, as it is the charm of Sir Joshua's portraits, with a quiet
confidence that all is well in the world they know, and that everyone is
kind; this gives the look of trustful innocence and unconcern. Their
writing and talking have this charm, as long as nothing has happened to
make them conscious of themselves. But these first blossoms drop off,
and there is generally an intermediate stage in which they can neither
speak nor write, but keep their thoughts close, and will not give
themselves away. Only when that stage is past do they really and with
full consciousness seek to express themselves, and pay some attention to
the self-expression of others. This third stage has its May-day, when
the things which have become hackneyed to our minds from long use come
to them with the full force of revelations, and they astonish us by
their exuberant delight. But they have a right to their May-day and it
ought not to be cut short; the sun will go down of itself, and then June
will come in its own time and ripen the green wood, and after that will
come pruning time, in another season, and then the phase of severity and
fastidiousness, and after that--if they continue to write--they will be
truly themselves.

In every stage we have our duty to do, encouraging and pruning by turns,
and, as in everything else, we must begin with ourselves and go on with
ourselves that there may be always something living to give, and some
growth; for in this we need never cease to grow, in knowledge, in taste,
and in critical power. The means are not far to seek; if we really care
about these things, the means are everywhere, in reading the best
things, in taking notes, in criticising independently and comparing with
the best criticism, in forming our own views and yet keeping a
willingness to modify them, in an attitude of mind that is always
learning, always striving, always raising its standard, never impatient
but permanently dissatisfied.

We have three spheres of action in the use of the language--there is
English to speak, English to write, And the wide field of English to
read, and there are vital interests bound up in each for the after life
of children. As they speak, so will be the tone of their intercourse; as
they write, so will be the standard of their habits of thought; and as
they read so will be the atmosphere of their life, and the preparation
of their judgment for those critical moments of choice which are the
pivots upon which its whole action moves.

If practice alone would develop it to perfection, speaking ought to be
easy to learn, but it does not prove so, and especially when children
are together in schools the weeds grow faster than the crop, and the
crop is apt to be thin. The language of the majority holds its own;
children among children can express with a very small vocabulary what
they want to say to each other, whereas an only child who lives with its
elders has usually a larger vocabulary than it can manage, which makes
the sayings of only children quaint and almost weird, as the perfection
of the instrument persuades us that there is a full-grown thought within
it, and a child's fancy suddenly laughs at us from under the disguise.

There is general lamentation at present because the art of conversation
has fallen to a very low ebb; there is, in particular, much complaint of
the conversation of girls whose education is supposed to have been
careful. The subjects they care to talk of are found to be few and poor,
their power of expressing themselves very imperfect, the scanty words at
their command worked to death in supplying for all kinds of things to
which they are not appropriate. We know that we have a great deal of
minted gold in the English language, but little of it finds its way into
our general conversation, most of our intercourse is carried on with
small change, a good deal of it even in coppers, and the worst trouble
of all is that so few seem to care or to regret it. Perhaps the young
generation will do so later in life, but unless something is done for
them during the years of their education it does not seem probable,
except in the case of the few who are driven by their professional work
to think of it, or drawn to it by some influence that compels them to
exert themselves in earnest.

Listening to the conversation of girls whose thoughts and language are
still in a fluid state, say from the age of 17 to 25, gives a great deal
of matter for thought to those who are interested in education, and this
point of language is of particular interest. There are the new
catch-words of each year; they had probably a great _piquancy_ in the
mouth of the originator but they very soon become flat by repetition,
then they grow jaded, are more and more neglected and pass away
altogether. From their rising to their setting the arc is very
short--about five years seems to be the limit of their existence, and no
one regrets them. We do not seem to be in a happy vein of development at
present as to the use of words, and these short-lived catch-words are
generally poor in quality. Our girl talkers are neither rich nor
independent in their language, they lay themselves under obligations to
anyone who will furnish a new catch-word, and especially to boys from
whom they take rather than accept contributions of a different kind. It
is an old-fashioned regret that girls should copy boys instead of
developing themselves independently in language and manners; but though
old-fashioned, it will never cease to be true that what was made to be
beautiful on its own line is dwarfed and crippled by straining it into
imitation of something else which it can never be.

What can be done for the girls to give them first more independence in
their language and then more power to express themselves? Probably the
best cure, food and tonic in one, is reading; a taste for the best
reading alters the whole condition of mental life, and without being
directly attacked the defects in conversation will correct themselves.
But we could do more than is often done for the younger children, not by
talking directly about these things, but by being a little harder to
please, and giving when it is possible the cordial commendation which
makes them feel that what they have done was worth working for.

Recitation and reading aloud, besides all their other uses, have this
use that they accustom children to the sound of their own voices
uttering beautiful words, which takes away the odd shyness which some of
them feel in going beyond their usual round of expressions and extending
their vocabulary. We owe it to our language as well as to each
individual child to make recitation and reading aloud as beautiful as
possible. Perhaps one of the causes of our conversational slovenliness
is the neglect of these; critics of an older generation have not ceased
to lament their decay, but it seems as if better times were coming
again, and that as the fundamentals of breathing and voice-production
are taught, we shall increase the scope of the power acquired and give
it more importance. There is a great deal underlying all this, beyond
the acquirement of voice and pronunciation. If recitation is cultivated
there is an inducement to learn by heart; this in its turn ministers to
the love of reading and to the formation of literary taste, and enriches
the whole life of the mind. There is an indirect but far-reaching gain
of self-possession, from the need for outward composure and inward
concentration of mind in reciting before others. But it is a matter of
importance to choose recitations so that nothing should be learnt which
must be thrown away, nothing which is not worth remembering for life. It
is a pity to make children acquire what they will soon despise when they
might learn something that they will grow up to and prize as long as
they live. There are beautiful things that they can understand, if
something is wanted for to-day, which have at the same time a life that
will never be outgrown. There are poems with two aspects, one of which
is acceptable to a child and the other to the grown-up mind; these, one
is glad to find in anthologies for children. But there are many poems
about children of which the interest is so subtle as to be quite
unsuitable for their collection. Such a poem is "We are seven." Children
can be taught to say it, even with feeling, but their own genuine
impression of it seems to be that the little girl was rather weak in
intellect for eight years old, or a little perverse. Whereas Browning's
"An incident of the French camp" appeals to them by pride of courage as
it does to us by pathos. It may not be a gem, poetically speaking, but
it lives. As children grow older it is only fair to allow them some
choice in what they learn and recite, to give room for their taste to
follow its own bent; there are a few things which it is well that every
one should know by heart, but beyond these the field is practically
without limits.

Perfect recitation or reading aloud is very rare and difficult to
acquire. For a few years there was a tendency to over-emphasis in both,
and, in recitation, to teach gesture, for which as a nation we are
singularly inapt. This is happily disappearing, simplicity and restraint
are regaining their own, at least in the best teaching for girls. As to
reading aloud to children it begins to be recognized that it should not
be too explicit, nor too emphatic, nor too pointed; that it must leave
something for the natural grace of the listener's intelligence to supply
and to feel. There is a didactic tone in reading which says, "you are
most unintelligent, but listen to ME and there may yet be hope that you
will understand." This leaves the "poor creatures" of the class still
unmoved and unenlightened; "the child is not awakened," while the more
sensitive minds are irritated; they can feel it as an impertinence
without quite knowing why they are hurt. It is a question of manners and
consideration which is perceptible to them, for they like what is
best--sympathy and suggestiveness rather than hammering in. They can help
each other by their simple insight into these things when they read
aloud, and if a reading lesson in class is conducted as an exercise in
criticism it is full of interest. The frank good-nature and gravity of
twelve-year-old critics makes their operations quite painless, and they
are accepted with equal good humour and gravity, no one wasting any
emotion and a great deal of good sense being exchanged.

Conversation, as conversation, is hard to teach, we can only lead the
way and lay down a few principles which keep it in the right path. These
commonplaces of warning, as old as civilization itself, belong to
manners and to fundamental unselfishness, but obvious as they are they
have to be said and to be repeated and enforced until they become
matters of course. Not to seem bored, not to interrupt, not to
contradict, not to make personal remarks, not to talk of oneself (some
one was naive enough to say "then what is there to talk of"), not to get
heated and not to look cold, not to do all the talking and not to be
silent, not to advance if the ground seems uncertain, and to be
sensitively attentive to what jars--all these and other things are
troublesome to obtain, but exceedingly necessary. And even observing
them all we may be just as far from conversation as before; how often
among English people, through shyness or otherwise, it simply faints
from inanition. We can at least teach that a first essential is to have
something to say, and that the best preparation of mind is thought and
reading and observation, to be interested in many things, and to give
enough personal application to a few things as to have something worth
saying about them.

By testing in writing every step of an educational course a great deal
of command over all acquired materials may be secured. As our girls grow
older, essay-writing becomes the most powerful means for fashioning
their minds and bringing out their individual characteristics.

It is customary now to begin with oral composition,--quite rightly, for
one difficulty at a time is enough. But when children have to write for
themselves the most natural beginning is by letters. A great difference
in thought and power is observable in their first attempts, but in the
main the structure of their letters is similar, like the houses and the
moonfaced persons which they draw in the same symbolic way. Perhaps both
are accepted conventions to which they conform--handed down through
generations of the nursery tradition--though students of children are
inclined to believe that these symbolical drawings represent their real
mind in the representation of material things. Their communications move
in little bounds, a succession of happy thoughts, the kind of things
which birds in conversation might impart to one another, turning their
heads quickly from side to side and catching sight of many things
unrelated amongst themselves. It is a pity that this manner is often
allowed to last too long, for in these stages of mental training it is
better to be on the stretch to reach the full stature of one's age
rather than to linger behind it, and early promise in composition means
a great deal.

To write of the things which belong to one's age in a manner that is
fully up to their worth or even a little beyond it, is better than to
strain after something to say in a subject that is beyond the mental
grasp. The first thing to learn is how to write pleasantly about the
most simple and ordinary things. But a common fault in children's
writing is to wait for an event, "something to write about," and to
dispose of it in three or four sentences like telegrams.

The influences which determine these early steps are, first, the natural
habit of mind, for thoughtful children see most interesting and strange
things in their surroundings; secondly, the tone of their ordinary
conversation, but especially a disposition that is unselfish and
affectionate. Warm-hearted children who are gifted with sympathy have an
intuition of what will give pleasure, and that is one of the great
secrets of letter-writing. But the letters they write will always depend
in a great measure on the letters they receive, and a family gift for
letter-writing is generally the outcome of a happy home-life in which
all the members are of interest to each other and their doings of
importance.

What sympathy gives to letter-writing, imagination gives to the first
essays of children in longer compositions. Imagination puts them in
sympathy with all the world, with things as well as persons, as
affection keeps them in touch with every detail of the home world. But
its work is not so simple. Home affection is true and is a law to
itself; if it is present it holds all the little child's world in a
right proportion, because all heavenly affection is bound up with it.
But the awakening and the rapid development of imagination as girls grow
up needs a great deal of guidance and training. Fancy may overgrow
itself, and take an undue predominance, so that life is tuned to the
pitch of imagination and not imagination to the pitch of life. It is
hardly possible and hardly to be desired that it should never overflow
the limits of perfect moderation; if it is to be controlled, there must
be something to control, in pruning there must be some strong shoots to
cut back, and in toning down there must be some over-gaudy colours to
subdue. It is better that there should be too much life than too little,
and better that criticism should find something vigorous enough to lay
hold of, rather than something which cannot be felt at all. This is the
time to teach children to begin their essays without preamble, by
something that they really want to say, and to finish them leaving
something still unsaid that they would like to have expressed, so as not
to pour out to the last drop their mind or their fancy on any subject.
This discipline of promptitude in beginning and restraint at the end
will tell for good upon the quality of their writing.

But the work of the imagination may also betray something unreal and
morbid--this is a more serious fault and means trouble coming. It
generally points to a want of focus in the mind; because self
predominates in the affections feeling and interest are self-centred.
Then the whole development of mind comes to a disappointing check--the
mental power remains on the level of unstable sixteen years old, and the
selfish side develops either emotionally or frivolously--according to
taste, faster than it can be controlled.

There are cross-roads at about sixteen in a girl's life. After two or
three troublesome years she is going to make her choice, not always
consciously and deliberately, but those who are alive to what is going
on may expect to hear about this time her speech from the throne,
announcing what the direction of her life is going to be. It is not
necessarily the choice of a vocation in life, that belongs to an order
of things that has neither day nor hour determined for it, but it is
when the mental outlook takes a direction of its own, literary, or
artistic, or philosophical, or worldly, or turning towards home; it may
sometimes be the moment of decisive vocation to leave all things for
God, or, as has so often happened in the lives of the Saints, the time
when a child's first desire, forgotten for a while, asserts itself
again. In any case it is generally a period of new awakenings, and if
things are as they ought to be, generally a time of deep happiness--the
ideal hour in the day of our early youth. All this is faithfully
rendered in the essays of that time; we unsuspectingly give ourselves
away.

After this, for those who are going to write at all, comes the "viewy"
stage, and this is full of interest. We are so dogmatic, so defiant, so
secure in our persuasions. It is impossible to believe that they will
ever alter. Yet who has lived through this phase of abounding activity
and has not found that, at first with the shock of disappointment, and
afterwards without regret, a memorial cross had to be set by our
wayside, here and there, marking the place of rest for our most
enthusiastic convictions. In the end one comes to be glad of it, for if
it means anything it means a growth in the truth.

The criticism of essays is one of the choice opportunities which
education offers, for then the contact of mind with mind is so close
that truth can be told under form of criticism, which as exhortation
would have been less easily accepted. It is evident that increasing
freedom must be allowed as the years go on, and that girls have a right
to their own taste and manner--and within the limits of their knowledge
to form their own opinions; but it is in this period of their
development that they are most sensitive to the mental influence of
those who are training them, and their quick responsiveness to the best
is a constant stimulus to go on for their sakes, discovering and tasting
and training one's discernment in what is most excellent.

From this point we may pass to what is first in the order of things--but
first and last in this department of an English education--and that is
reading, with the great field of literature before us, and the duty of
making the precious inheritance all that it ought to be to this young
generation of ours--heiresses to all its best.

English literature will be to children as they grow up, what we have
made it to them in the beginning. There will always be the exceptional
few, privileged ones, who seem to have received the key to it as a
personal gift. They will find their way without us, but if we have the
honour of rendering them service we may do a great deal even for them in
showing where the best things lie, and the way to make them one's own.
But the greater number have to be taken through the first steps with
much thought and discernment, for taste in literature is not always easy
to develop, and may be spoiled by bad management at the beginning. We
are not very teachable as a nation in this matter--our young taste is
wayward, and sometimes contradictory, it will not give account of
itself, very likely it cannot. We have inarticulate convictions that
this is right, and suits us, and something else is wrong as far as our
taste is concerned, and that we have rights to like what we like and
condemn what we do not like, and we have gone a considerable way along
the road before we can stop and look about us and see the reason of our
choice. English literature itself fosters this independent spirit of
criticism by its extraordinary abundance, its own wide liberty of
spirit, its surpassing truthfulness. Our greatest poets and our truest
do not sing to an audience but to their Maker and to His world, and let
anyone who can understand it catch the song, and sing it after them. No
doubt many have fallen from the truth and piped an artificial tune, and
they have had their following. But love for the real and true is very
deep and in the end it prevails, and as far as we can obtain it with
children it must prevail.

Their first acquaintance with beautiful things is best established by
reading aloud to them, and this need not be limited entirely to what
they can understand at the time. Even if we read something that is
beyond them, they have listened to the cadences, they have heard the
song without the words, the words will come to them later. If there is
good ground for the seed to fall upon, and we sow good seed, it will
come up with its thirtyfold or more, as seed sown in the mind seems
always to come up, whether it be good or bad, and even if it has lain
dormant for years. There are good moments laid up in store for the
future when the words, which have been familiar for years, suddenly
awake to life, and their meaning, full-grown, at the moment when we need
it, or at the moment when we are able to understand its value, dawns
upon the mind. Then we are grateful to those who invested these revenues
for us though we knew it not. We are not grateful to those who give us
the less good though pleasant and easy to enjoy. A little severity and
fastidiousness render us better service. And this is especially true for
girls, since for them it is above all important that there should be a
touch of the severe in their taste, and that they should be a little
exacting, for if they once let themselves go to what is too
light-heartedly popular they do not know where to draw the line and they
go very far, with great loss to themselves and others.

One of the beautiful things of to-day in England is the wealth of
children's literature. It is a peculiar grace of our time that we are
all trying to give the best to the children, and this is most of all
remarkable in the books published for them. We had rather a silly moment
in which we kept them babies too long and thought that rhymes without
reason would please them, and another moment when we were just a little
morbid about them; but now we have struck a very happy vein, free from
all morbidness, very innocent and very happy, abounding in life and in
no way unfitting for the experiences that have to be lived through
afterwards. No one thinks it waste of time to write and illustrate books
for children, and to do their very best in both, and the result of
historical research and the most critical care of texts is put within
the children's reach with a real understanding of what they can care
for. A true appreciation of the English classics must result from this,
and the mere reading of what is choice is an early safeguard against the
less good.

Reading, without commentary, is what is best accepted; we are beginning
to come back to this belief. It is agreed almost generally that there
has been too much comment and especially too much analysis in our
teaching of literature, and that the majesty or the loveliness of our
great writers' works have not been allowed to speak for themselves. We
have not trusted them enough, and we have not trusted the children so
much as they deserved. The little boy who said he could understand if
only they would not explain has become historical, and his word of
warning, though it may not have sounded quite respectful, has been taken
into account. We have now fewer of the literary Baedeker's guides who
stopped us at particular points, to look back for the view, and gave the
history and date of the work with its surrounding circumstances, and the
meaning of every word, while they took away the soul of the poem, and
robbed us of our whole impression. We realize now that by reading and
reading again, until they have mastered the music, and the meaning dawns
of itself, children gain more than the best annotations can give them;
these will be wanted later on, but in the beginning they set the
attitude of mind completely wrong for early literary study in which
reverence and receptiveness and delight are of more account than
criticism. The memory of these things is so much to us in after life,
and if the living forms of beautiful poems have been torn to pieces to
show us the structure within, and the matter has been shaken out into
ungainly paraphrase and pursued with relentless analysis until it has
given up the last secret of its meaning, the remembrance of this
destructive process will remain and the spirit will never be the same
again. The best hope for beautiful memories is in perfect reading aloud,
with that reverence of mind and reticence of feeling which keeps itself
in the background, not imposing a marked per-Bonal interpretation, but
holding up the poem with enough support to make it speak for itself and
no more. There is a vexed question about the reading allowed to girls
which cannot be entirely passed over. It is a point on which authorities
differ widely among themselves, according to the standard of their
family, the whole early training which has given their mind a particular
bent, the quality of their own taste and their degree of sensitiveness
and insight, the views which they hold about the character of girls,
their ideas of the world and the probable future surroundings of those
whom they advise, as well as many other considerations. It is quite
impossible to arrive at a uniform standard, or at particular precepts or
at lists of books or authors which should or should not be allowed. Even
if these could be drawn up, it would be more and more difficult to
enforce them or to keep the rules abreast of the requirements of each
publishing season. In reading, as in conduct, each one must bear more
and more of their own personal responsibility, and unless the law is
within themselves there is no possibility of enforcing it.

The present Cardinal Archbishop of Westminster, when rector of St.
John's Seminary, Wonersh, used to lay down the following rules for his
students, and on condition of their adhering to these rules he allowed
them great freedom in their reading, but if they were disregarded, it
was understood that the rector took no responsibility about the books
they read:--

1. "Be perfectly conscientious, and if you find a book is doing you harm
stop reading it at once. If you know you cannot stop you must be most
careful not to read anything you don't know about."

2. "Be perfectly frank with your confessor and other superiors. Don't
keep anything hidden from them."

3. "Don't recommend books to others which, although they may do no harm
to you, might do harm to them."

These rules are very short but they call for a great deal of
self-control, frankness, and discretion. They set up an inward standard
for the conscience, and, if honestly followed, they answer in practice
any difficulty that is likely to arise as to choice of reading. [1--In
the Appendix will be found a pastoral letter by Cardinal Bourne,
Archbishop of Westminster, then Bishop of Southwark, bearing on this
subject and full of instruction for all who have to deal with it.]

But the application of these rules presupposes a degree of judgment and
self-restraint which are hardly to be found in girls of school-room
years, and before they can adjust themselves to the relative standard
and use the curb for themselves, it is necessary to set before them some
fixed rules by which to judge. While life is young and character plastic
and personal valuations still in formation, the difficulty is to know
what is harmful. "How am I to know," such a one may ask, "whether what
seems harmful to me may not be really a gain, giving me a richer life, a
greater expansion of spirit, a more independent and human character? May
not this effect which I take to be harm, be no more than necessary
growing pains; may it not be bringing me into truer relation with life
as it is, and as a whole?"

There will always be on one side timid and mediocre minds, satisfied to
shut themselves up and safeguard what they already have; and on the
other more daring and able spirits who are tempted beyond the line of
safety in a thirst for discovery and adventure, and are thus swept out
beyond their own immature control. Books that foster the spirit of
rebellion, of doubt and discontent concerning the essentials and
inevitable elements of human life, that tend to sap the sense of
personal responsibility, and to disparage the cardinal virtues and the
duty of self-restraint as against impulse, are emphatically bad. They
are particularly bad for girls with their impressionable minds and
tendency to imitation, and inclination to be led on by the glamour of
the old temptation; "Your eyes shall be opened; you shall be as gods,
knowing good and evil."

To follow a doubt or a lie or a by-way of conduct with the curiosity to
see what comes of it in the end, is to prepare their own minds for
similar lines of thought and action, and in the crises of life, when
they have to choose for themselves, often unadvised and without time to
deliberate, they are more likely to fall by the doubt or the lie or the
spirit of revolt which has become familiar to them in thought and
sympathy.




CHAPTER IX.

MODERN LANGUAGES.

"All nations have their message from on high,
Each the messiah of some central thought,
For the fulfilment and delight of Man:
One has to teach that Labour is divine;
Another Freedom and another Mind;
And all, that God is open-eyed and just,
The happy centre and calm heart of all."
             JAMES RUSSELL LOWELL.

We cannot have a perfect knowledge even of our own language without some
acquaintance with more than one other, either classical or modern. This
is especially true of English because it has drawn its strength and
wealth from so many sources, and absorbed them into itself. But this
value is usually taken indirectly, by the way, and the understanding of
it only comes to us after years as an appreciable good. It is, however,
recognized that no education corresponding to the needs of our own time
can be perfected or even adequately completed in one language alone. Not
only do the actual conditions of life make it imperative to have more
than one tongue at our command from the rapid extension of facilities
for travelling, and increased intercourse with other nations; but in
proportion to the cooling down of our extreme ardour for experimental
science in the school-room we are returning to recognize in language a
means of education more adapted to prepare children for life, by fitting
them for intercourse with their fellow-creatures and giving them some
appreciative understanding of the works of man's mind. Thus languages,
and especially modern languages, are assuming more and more importance
in the education of children, not only with us, but in most other
countries of Europe. In some of them the methods are distinctly in
advance of ours.

Much has been written of late years in the course of educational
discussions as to the value of classical studies in education. As the
best authorities are not yet in agreement among themselves it would be
obviously out of place to add anything here on the subject. But the
controversy principally belongs to classics in boys' schools; as to the
study of Latin by girls, and in particular to its position in Catholic
schools, there is perhaps something yet to be said.

In non-Catholic schools for girls Latin has not, even now, a great hold.
It is studied for certain examinations, but except for the few students
whose life takes a professional turn it scarcely outlives the
school-room. Girl students at universities cannot compete on equal terms
with men in a classical course, and the fact is very generally
acknowledged by their choosing another. Except in the rarest
instances--let us not be afraid to own it--our Latin is that of amateurs,
brilliant amateurs perhaps, but unmistakable. Latin, for girls, is a
source of delight, a beautiful enrichment of their mental life, most
precious in itself and in its influence, but it is not a living power,
nor a familiar instrument, nor a great discipline; it is deficient in
hardness and closeness of grain, so that it cannot take polish; it is
apt to betray by unexpected transgressions the want of that long,
detailed, severe training which alone can make classical scholarship. It
is usually a little tremulous, not quite sure of itself, and indeed its
best adornment is generally the sobriety induced by an overshadowing
sense of paternal correction and solicitude always present to check
rashness and desultoriness, and make it at least "gang warily" with a
finger on its lip; and their attainments in Latin are, at the best,
receptively rather than actively of value.

In Catholic girls' schools, however, the elements of Latin are almost
necessity. It is wanting in courtesy, it is almost uncouth for us to
grow up without any knowledge of the language of Holy Church. It is
almost impossible for educated Catholics to have right taste in
devotion, the "love and relish" of the most excellent things, without
some knowledge of our great liturgical prayers and hymns in the
original. We never can really know them if we only hear them halting and
plunging and splashing through translations, wasting their strength in
many words as they must unavoidably do in English, and at best only
reaching an approximation to the sense. The use of them in the original
is discipline and devotion in one, and it strengthens the Catholic
historical hold on the past, with a sense of nearness, when we dwell
with some understanding on the very words which have been sung in the
Church subsisting in all ages and teaching all nations. This is our
birthright, but it is not truly ours unless we can in some degree make
use of what we own.

It has often been pointed out that even to the most uneducated amongst
our people Latin is never a dead language to Catholics, and that the
familiar prayers at Mass and public devotions make them at home in the
furthest countries of the earth as soon as they are within the church
doors. So far as this, it is a universal language for us, and even if it
went no further than the world-wide home feeling of the poor in our
churches it would make us grateful for every word of Latin that has a
familiar sound to them, and this alone might make us anxious to teach
Catholic children at school, for the use of prayer and devotion, as much
Latin as they can learn even if they never touch a classic.

Our attitude towards the study of modern languages has had its high and
low tides within the last century. We have had our submissive and our
obstinate moods; at present we are rather well and affably disposed.
French used to be acknowledged without a rival as the universal
language; it was a necessity, and in general the older generation
learned it carefully and spoke it well. At that time Italian was learned
from taste and German was exceptional. Queen Victoria's German marriage
and all the close connexion that followed from it pressed the study of
German to the front; the influence of Carlyle told in the same
direction, and the study of Italian declined. Then in our enthusiasm for
physical sciences for a time we read more German, but not German of the
best quality, and in another line we were influenced by German literary
criticism. Now, the balance of things has altered again. For scholarship
and criticism German is in great request; in commercial education it is
being outrun by Spanish; for the intercourse of ordinary life Germans
are learning English much more eagerly than we are learning German. We
have had a fit of--let us call it--shyness, but we are trying to do
better. We recognize that these fits of shyness are not altogether to
our credit, not wholly reasonable, and that we are not incapable of
learning foreign languages well. We know the story of the little boy
reprimanded by the magistrate for his folly in running away from home
because he was obliged to learn French, and his haughty reply that if
foreigners wished to speak to him they might learn his language. But our
children have outgrown him, as to his declaration if not as to his want
of diligence, and we are in general reforming our methods of teaching so
much that it will soon be inexcusable not to speak one or two languages
well, besides our own.

The question of pronunciation and accent has been haunted by curious
prejudices. An English accent in a foreign tongue has been for some
speakers a refuge for their shyness, and for others a stronghold of
their patriotism. The first of these feared that they would not be truly
themselves unless their personality could take shelter beneath an accent
that was unmistakably from England, and the others felt that it was like
hauling down the British flag to renounce the long-drawn English
"A-o-o." And, curiously, at the other extreme, the slightest tinge of an
English accent is rather liked in Paris, perhaps only among those
touched with Anglomania. But now we ought to be able to acquire whatever
accent we choose, even when living far away from every instructor,
having the gramophone to repeat to us untiringly the true Spanish
"manana" and the French "ennui." And the study of phonetics, so much
developed within the last few years, makes it unpardonable for teachers
of modern languages to let the old English faults prevail.

We have had our succession of methods too. The old method of learning
French, with a _bonne_ in the nursery first, and then a severely
academic governess or tutor, produced French of unsurpassed quality-But
it belonged to home education, it required a great deal of leisure, it
did not adapt itself to school curricula in which each child, to use the
expressive American phrase, "carries" so many subjects that the hours
and minutes for each have to be jealously counted out. There have been a
series of methods succeeding one another which can scarcely be called
more than quack methods of learning languages, claiming to be the
natural method, the maternal method, the only rational method, etc.
Educational advertisements of these have been magnificent in their
promise, but opinions are not entirely at one as to the results.

The conclusions which suggest themselves after seeing several of these
methods at work are:--

1. That good teachers can make use of almost any method with excellent
results but that they generally evolve one of their own.

2. That if the teachers and the children take a great deal of trouble
the progress will be very remarkable, whatever method is employed, and
that without this both the classical and the "natural" methods can
accomplish very little.

3. That teachers with fixed ideas about children and about methods
arrest development.

4. That the self-instruction courses which "work out at a penny a
lesson" (the lesson lasts ten minutes and is especially recommended for
use in trams), and the gramophone with the most elaborate records, still
bear witness to the old doctrine that there is no royal road to the
learning of languages, and that it is not cheap in the end. In
proportion to the value we set upon perfect acquirement of them will be
our willingness to spend much labour upon foundations. By this road we
arrive again at the fundamentals of an educator's calling, love and
labour.

The value to the mind of acquiring languages is so great that all our
trouble is repaid. It is not utilitarian value: what is merely for
usefulness can be easily acquired, it has very little beauty. It is not
for the sake of that commonplace usefulness that we should care to spend
trouble upon permanent foundations in any tongue. The mind is satisfied
only by the genius of the language, its choicest forms, its
characteristic movement, and, most of all, the possession of its
literature from within, that is to say of the spirit as it speaks to its
own, and in which the language is most completely itself.

The special fitness of modern languages in a girl's education does not
appear on the surface, and it requires more than a superficial,
conversational knowledge to reap the fruit of their study. The social,
and at present the commercial values are obvious to every one, and of
these the commercial value is growing very loud in its assertions, and
appears very exacting in its demands. For this the quack methods promise
the short and easy way, and perhaps they are sufficient for it. A
knowledge sufficient for business correspondence is not what belongs to
a liberal education; it has a very limited range, hard, plain, brief
communications, supported on cast-iron frames, inelastic forms and
crudest courtesies, a mere formula for each particular case, and a small
vocabulary suited to the dealings of every branch of business. We know
the parallel forms of correspondence in English, which give a means of
communication but not properly a language. Even the social values of
languages are less than they used to be, as the finer art of
conversation has declined. A little goes a long way; the rush of the
motor has cut it short; there is not time to exchange more than a few
commonplaces, and for these a very limited number of words is enough.

But let our girls give themselves time, or let time be allowed them, to
give a year or two to the real study of languages, not in the threadbare
phrases of the tourist and motorist, nor to mere drawing-room small
talk; not with "matriculation standard" as an object, but to read the
best that has been written, and try to speak according to the best that
can be said now, and to write according to the standard of what is
really excellent to-day; then the study of modern languages is lifted
quite on to another plane. The particular advantage of this plane is
that there is a view from it, wider in proportion to the number of
languages known and to the grasp that is acquired of each, and the
particular educational gift to be found there is width of sympathy and
understanding. Defective sympathies, national and racial prejudices
thrive upon a lower level. The _elect_ of all nations understand one
another, and are strangely alike; the lower we go down in the various
grades of each nation the more is the divergency accentuated between one
and another. Corresponding to this is mutual understanding through
language; the better we possess the language of any nation the closer
touch we can acquire with all that is theirs, with their best.

A superficial knowledge of languages rather accentuates than removes
limitations, multiplies mistakes and embitters them. With a
half-knowledge we misunderstand each other's ideals, we lose the point
of the best things that are said, we fail to catch the aroma of the
spices and the spirit of the living word; in fact, we are mere tourists
in each other's mental world, and what word could better express the
attitude of mind of one who is a stranger, but not a pilgrim, a tramp of
a rather more civilized kind, having neither ties nor sympathies nor
obligations, nothing to give, and more inclined to take than to receive.
To create ties, sympathies, and obligations in the mental life, is a
grace belonging to the study of languages, and makes it possible to give
and receive hospitality on the best terms with the minds of those of
other nations than our own. This is particularly a gift for the
education of girls, since all graces of hospitality ought to be
peculiarly theirs. To lift them above prejudices, to make them love
other beauties than those of their own mental kindred, to afford them a
wider possibility of giving happiness to others, and of making
themselves at home in many countries, is to give them a power over the
conditions of life which reaches very far into their own mental
well-being and that of others, and makes them in the best meaning of the
word cosmopolitan.

The choice of languages to be learnt must depend upon many
considerations, but the widest good for English girls, though not the
most easy to attain, is to give them perfect French. German is easier to
learn from its kinship with our own language, but its grammar is of less
educational value than French, and it does not help as French does to
the acquirement of the most attractive of other European languages.

As a second language, however, and for a great deal that is not
otherwise attainable, German is in general the best that can be chosen.
Italian and Spanish have their special claims, but at present in England
their appeal is not to the many. German gives the feeling of kindred
minds near to us, ourselves yet not ourselves; with primitive Teutonic
strength and directness, with a sweet freshness of spring in its more
delicate poetry, and both of these elements blended at times in an
atmosphere as of German forests in June. In some writers the flicker of
French brilliancy illumines the depth of these Teutonic woods, producing
a German which, in spite of the condemnation of the Emperor, we should
like to write ourselves if the choice were offered to us.

But, notwithstanding the depth and strength of German, it is generally
agreed that as an instrument of thought French prose in a master-hand is
unrivalled, by its subtlety and precision, and its epigrammatic force.
Every one knows and laments the decadent style which is eating into it;
and every one knows that the deplorable tone of much of its contemporary
literature makes discernment in French reading a matter not only of
education but of conscience and sanity; but this does not make the
danger to be inherent in the French language; obliging translators are
ready to furnish us, in our own language and according to taste, with
the very worst taken, from everywhere. And these faults do not affect
the beauty of the instrument, nor its marvellous aptitude for training
the mind to precision of expression. The logical bent of the French
mind, its love of rule, the elaborateness of its conventions in
literature, its ceremonial observances dating from by-gone times, the
custom of giving account of everything, of letting no nuance pass
unchallenged or uncommented, have given it a power of expression and
definiteness which holds together as a complete code of written and
unwritten laws, and makes a perfect instrument of its kind. But the very
completeness of it has seemed to some writers a fetter, and when they
revolt against and break through it, their extravagance passes beyond
all ordinary bounds. French represents the two extremes, unheard-of
goodness, unequalled perfection, or indescribable badness and
unrestraint. Unfortunately the unrestraint is making its way, and as
with ourselves in England, the magazine literature in France grows more
and more undesirable.

Yet there is unlimited room for reading, and for Catholics a great
choice of what is excellent. The modern manner of writing the lives of
the Saints has been very successfully cultivated of late years in
France, making them living human beings "interesting as fiction," to use
an accepted standard of measurement, more appealingly credible and more
imitable than those older works in which they walked remote from the
life of to-day, angelic rather than human. There are studies in
criticism, too, and essays in practical psychology and social science,
which bring within the scope of ordinary readers a great deal which with
us can only be reached over rough roads and by-ways. No doubt each
method has its advantages; the laboriously acquired knowledge becomes
more completely a part of ourselves, but along the metalled way it is
obvious that we cover more ground.

The comparison of these values leads to the practical question of
translations. The Italian saying which identifies the translator with
the traitor ought to give way to a more grateful and hopeful modern
recognition of the services done by conscientious translations. We have
undoubtedly suffered in England in the past by well-meaning but
incompetent translators, especially of spiritual books, who have given
us such impressions as to mislead us about the minds of the writers or
even turned us against them altogether, to our own great loss. But at
present more care is exercised, and conscientious critical exactitude in
translating important spiritual works has given us English versions that
are not unworthy of their originals. [1--An example of this is the late
Canon Mackey's edition of the complete works of St. Francis of Sales,
which has, unfortunately, to be completed without him.]

There is good service to be done to the Church in England by this work
of translation, and it is one in which grown-up girls, if they have been
sufficiently trained, might give valuable help. It must be borne in mind
that not every book which is beautiful or useful in its own language, is
desirable to translate. Some depend so much upon the genius of the
language and the mentality of their native country that they simply
evaporate in translation; others appeal so markedly to national points
of view that they seem anomalous in other languages, as a good deal of
our present-day English writing would appear in French. It has also to
be impressed on translators that their responsibility is great; that it
takes laborious persistence to make a really good translation, doing
justice to both sides, giving the spirit of the author as well as his
literal meaning, and not straining the language of the translation into
unnatural forms to make it carry a sense that it does not easily bear.

The beauty of a translator's work is in the perfect accord of conscience
and freedom, and this is not attained without unwearied search for the
right word, the only right word which will give the true meaning and the
true expression of any idea. To believe that this right word exists is
one of the delights of translating; to be a lover of choice and
beautiful words is an attraction in itself, leading to the love of
things more beautiful still, the love of truth, and fitness, and
transparency; the exercise of thought, and discrimination, and balance,
and especially of a quality most rare and precious in women--mental
patience. It is said that we excel in moral patience, but that when we
approach anything intellectual this enduring virtue disappears, and we
must "reach the goal in a bound or never arrive there at all." The
sustained search for the perfect word would do much to correct this
impatience, and if the search is aided by a knowledge of several modern
languages so that comparative meanings and uses may be balanced against
one another, it will be found not only to open rich veins of thought,
but to give an ever-increasing power of working the mines and extracting
the gold.




CHAPTER X.

HISTORY.

"We have heard, O God, with our ears: our fathers have declared to us,
'The work thou hast wrought in their days, and in the days of
old.'"--Psalm XLIII.

"Thus independent of times and places, the Popes have never found any
difficulty, when the proper moment came, of following out a new and
daring line of policy (as their astonished foes have called it), of
leaving the old world to shift for itself and to disappear from the
scene in its due season, and of fastening on and establishing themselves
in the new.

"I am led to this line of thought by St. Gregory's behaviour to the
Anglo-Saxon race, on the break-up of the old civilisation."--Cardinal
Newman, "Historical Sketches," III, "A Characteristic of the Popes."

Of the so-called secular subjects history is the one which depends most
for its value upon the honour in which it is held and upon the
standpoint from which it is taught. Not that history can be truly a
secular subject if it is taught as a whole--isolated periods 01
subdivisions may be separated from the rest and studied in a purely
secular spirit, or with no spirit at all--for the animating principle is
not in the subdivided parts but in the whole, and only if it is taught
as a whole can it receive the honour which belongs to it as the "study
of kings," the school of experience and judgment, and one of the
greatest teachers of truth.

In modern times, since the fall of the Western Empire, European history
has centred, whether for love or for hatred, round the Church; and it is
thus that Catholic education comes to its own in this study, and the
Catholic mind is more at home among the phenomena and problems of
history than other minds for whom the ages of faith are only vaults of
superstition, or periods of mental servitude, or at best, ages of high
romance. Without the Church what are the ideals of the Crusades, of the
Holy Roman Empire, of the religious spirit of chivalry, or the struggle
concerning Investitures, the temporal power of the Popes and their
temporal sovereignty, the misery of the "Babylonian Captivity," the
development of the religious orders--in contemporary history--the Italian
question during the last fifty years, or the present position of the
Church in France? These are incomprehensible phenomena without the
Church to give the key to the controversies and meaning to the ideals.
Without knowing the Catholic Church from within, it is impossible to
conceive of all these things as realities affecting conscience and the
purpose and direction of life; their significance is lost if they have
to be explained as the mere human struggle for supremacy of persons or
classes, mere ecclesiastical disputes, or dreams of imperialism in
Church matters. Take away the Church and try to draw up a course of
lessons satisfactory to the minds even of girls under eighteen, and at
every turn a thoughtful question may be critical, and the explanations
in the hands of a non-Catholic teacher scarcely less futile than the
efforts of old Kaspar to satisfy "young Peterkin" about the battle of
Blenheim.

What about Investitures?

     "Now tell us all about the war,
     And what they fought each other for?"

What about Canossa?

     "What they fought each other for,
     I could not well make out.
     But everybody said" quoth he,
     "That 'twas a famous victory."

What about Mentana or Castel-Fidardo?
     "What good came of it at last?"
     Quoth little Peterkin.
     "Why that I cannot tell," said he,
     "But 'twas a famous victory."

The difficulty is tacitly acknowledged by the rare appearance of
European history in the curriculum for non-Catholic girls' schools. But
in any school where the studies are set to meet the requirements of
examinations, the teaching of history is of necessity dethroned from the
place which belongs to it by right. History deserves a position that is
central and commanding, a scheme that is impressive when seen as a whole
in retrospect, it deserves to be taught from a point of view which has
not to be reconsidered in later years, and this is to be found with all
the stability possible, and with every facility for later extension in
the natural arrangement of all modern history round the history of the
Church.

During the great development which has taken place in the study of
history within the last century, and especially within the last fifty
years, the mass of materials has grown so enormous and the list of
authors of eminence so imposing that one might almost despair of
adapting the subject in any way to a child's world if it were not for
this central point of view, in which the Incarnation and the Church are
the controlling facts dominating all others and giving them their due
place and proportion. On this commanding point of observation the child
and the historian may stand side by side, each seeing truth according to
their capacity, and if the child should grow into a historian it would
be with an unbroken development--there would not be anything to unlearn.
The method of "concentric" teaching against which there is so much to be
said when applied to national history or to other branches of teaching
is entirely appropriate here, because no wider vision of the world can
be attained than from the point whence the Church views it, in her
warfare to make the kingdoms of the world become the kingdom of God and
His Christ that He may reign for ever and ever. The Church beholds the
_rational_ not the _sensible_ horizon of history, and standing at her
point of view, the great ones and the little ones of the earth,
historians and children, can look at the same heavens, one with the
scientific instruments of his observatory, the other with the naked eye
of a child's faith and understanding.

But the teaching of history as it has been carried on for some years,
would have to travel a long way to arrive at this central point of view.
As an educational subject a great deal has been done to destroy its
value, by what was intended to give it assistance and stimulus. The
history syllabus and requirements for University Local and other
examinations have produced specially adapted text-books, in which facts
and summaries have been arranged in order with wonderful care and
forethought, to "meet all requirements"; but the kind intention with
which every possible need has been foreseen between the covers of one
text-book has defeated its own purpose, the living thing is no longer
there--its skeleton remains, and after handling the dry bones and putting
them in order and giving an account of them to the examining body, the
children escape with relief to something more real, to the people of
fiction who, however impossible to believe in, are at least flesh and
blood, and have some points of contact with their own lives. "Of course
as we go up for examinations here," wrote a child from a new school, "we
only learn the summaries and genealogies of history and other subjects."
A sidelight on the fruit of such a plan is often cast in the
appreciations of its pupils. "Did you like history?" "No I hated it, I
can't bear names and dates." "What did you think of so and so?" "He
wasn't in my period." So history has become names and dates, genealogies
and summaries, hard pebbles instead of bread. It is unfair to children
thus to prejudice them against a subject which thrills with human
interest, and touches human life at every turn, it is unfair to history
to present it thus, it is misleading to give development to a particular
period without any general scheme against which it may show in due
proportion, as misleading as the old picture-books for children in which
the bat on one page and the man on the other were of the same size.

There must necessarily be a principle of selection, but one of the
elements to be considered in making choice ought always to be that of
proportion and of fitness in adaptation to a general scheme. It was
pointed out by Sir Joshua Fitch in his "Lessons on Teaching" (an
old-fashioned book now, since it was published before the deluge of
"Pedagogics," but still valuable) that an ideal plan of teaching history
to children might be found in the historical books of Holy Scripture,
and in practice the idea is useful, suggesting that one aim should be
kept in view, that at times the guiding line should contract to a mere
clue of direction, and at others expand into very full and vivid
narrative chiefly in biographical form. The principle may be applied in
the teaching of any history that may be given to children, that is to
say, in general, to Sacred history which has its own place in connexion
with religious teaching, to ancient history within very small limits, to
Greek and Roman history in such proportion as the years of education may
allow, and to the two most prominent and most necessary for children,
the history of their own country and that of modern Europe directed
along the lines of the history of the Church.

There are periods and degrees of development in the minds of children to
which correspond different manners of teaching and even different
objects, as we make appeal to one or other of the growing faculties. The
first stage is imaginative, the second calls not only upon the
imagination and memory but upon the understanding, and the third, which
is the beginning of a period of fruition, begins to exercise the
judgment, and to give some ideas concerning principles of research and
criticism.

The first is the period of romance, when by means of the best myths of
many nations, from their heroic legends and later stories, the minds of
children are turned to what is high and beautiful in the traditions of
the past, and they learn those truths concerning human life and destiny
which transcend the more limited truths of literal records of fact. In
the beginning they are, to children, only stories, but we know ourselves
that we can never exhaust the value of what came to us through the story
of the wanderings of Ulysses, or the mysterious beauty of the Northern
and Western myths, as the story of Balder or the children of Lir. The
art of telling stories is beginning to be taught with wonderful power
and beauty, the storyteller is turning into the pioneer of the
historian, coming in advance to occupy the land, so that history may
have "staked out a claim" before the examining bodies can arrive, in the
dry season, to tread down the young growth.

The second period makes appeal to the intelligence, as well as to the
imagination, and to this stage belongs particularly the study of the
national history, the history of their own race and country; for English
girls the history of England, not yet constitutional history, but the
history of the Constitution with that of the kings and people, and
further the history of the Empire. To this period of education belong
the great lessons of loyalty and patriotism, that piety towards our own
country which is so much on the decline as the home tie grows feebler.
We do not want to teach the narrow patriotism which only finds
expression in antagonism to and disparagement of other countries, but
that which is shown by self-denial and self-sacrifice for the good of
our own. The time to teach it is in that unsettled "middle age" of
childhood when its exuberant feeling is in search of an ideal, when
large moral effects can be appreciated, when there is some opening
understanding of the value of character.

If the first period of childhood delights in what is strange, this
second period gives its allegiance to what is strong, by preference to
primitive and simple strength, to uncomplex aims and marked characters;
it appreciates courage and endurance, and can bear to hear of sufferings
which daunt the fastidiousness of those who are a few years older;
perhaps it can endure so much because it realizes so little, but the
fact remains true. This age exults in the sufferings of the martyrs and
cannot bear the suggestion that plain duties may be heroic before God.
There is a great deal that may be done for minds in this period of
development by the teaching of history if it is not crippled in its
programme. To make concrete their ideals of greatness in the right
personalities--a work which is as easily spoiled by a word out of season
as a fine porcelain vase is cracked in a furnace--to direct their ideas
of the aims of life towards worthy and unselfish ends, to foster true
loyalty because of God from whom all authority comes--and this lesson has
its pathetic poignancy for us in the history of our English martyrs--to
show the claims that our country has upon the devotion of its sons and
daughters, and to inspire some feeling of responsibility for its honour,
especially to show the supreme worth of character and self-sacrifice,
all these things may and must be taught in this middle period of
children's education if they are to have any strong hold upon them in
after life. It is a stubborn age in which teaching has to be on strong
lines and deep ones; when the evolution of character is in the critical
period that is to make or mar its future, it needs a strong hand over
it, with power both to control and to support, a strong mind to command
its respect, strong convictions to impress it, and strong principles on
which to test its own young strength; and all those who have the
privilege of teaching history to children of this age have an
incomparable opportunity of training mind and character. The strength of
our own convictions, the brightness of our own ideals, the fibre of our
patriotism and loyalty will tell in the measure of two endowments, our
own spirit of self-sacrifice and our tact. Children will detect the
least false note if self-sacrifice is preached without experimental
knowledge; and as it is the most contradictory of all ages, it takes
every resource of tact to pilot it through channels for which there is
no chart. The masterpieces of educators are wrought in this difficult
but most interesting material.

Those who come after them will see what they have done, they cannot see
it themselves. With less difficulty perhaps, because reason is more
developed and the hot-headed and irritable phase of character is passing
away, they will be able to apply the principles which have been laid
down. With less difficulty, that is to say against less resistance, but
not with less responsibility or even with less anxiety. For the nearer
the work approaches to its completion and the more perfectly it has been
begun, the more deeply must anyone approaching to lay hand upon it feel
the need for great reverence, and self-restraint, and patience, and
vigilance, not to spoil by careless interference that which is ready to
receive and to give all that is best in youth, not to be unworthy of the
confidence which a young mind is willing to place in its guidance.

For although so much stress is laid upon the impressionability of first
childhood and the ineffaceable marks that are engraven on it, yet as to
all that belongs to the mind and judgment this third period, in the
early years of adolescence, is more sensitive still, because real
criticism is just beginning to be possible and appreciation is in its
spring-tide, now for the first time fully alive and awake. A transition
line has been passed, and the study of history, like everything else,
enters upon a new phase. The elementary teaching which has been
sufficient up to this, which has in fact been the only possible
teaching, must widen out in the third period, and the relative
importance of aims is the line on which the change to more advanced
teaching is felt.

The exercise of judgment becomes the chief object, and to direct this
aright is the principal duty of those who teach at this age. It is not
easy to give a right discernment and true views. To begin with one must
have them oneself, and be able to support them with facts and arguments,
they must have the weight of patient work behind them, and have settled
themselves deeply in the mind; opinions freshly gathered that very day
from an article or an essay are attractive and interesting and they
appeal very strongly to young minds looking out for theories and clues,
but they only give superficial help; in general, essay-writers and
journalists do not expect to be taken too seriously, they intend to be
suggestive rather than convincing, and it is a great matter to have the
principle understood by girls, that it is not to the journalists that
they must look for the last word in a controversy, nor for a permanent
presentment of contemporary history. Again, it is necessary to remember
the waywardness of girls' minds, and that it is conviction, not
submission of views that we must aim at. A show of authority is out of
place, the tone that "you must think as I do," tends without any bad
will on the part of children to exasperate them and rouse the spirit of
opposition, whereas a patient and even deferential hearing of their
views and admission of their difficulties ensures at least a mind free
from irritation and impatience, to listen and to take into account what
we have to say. They are not to be blamed for having difficulties in
accepting what we put before them; on the contrary we must welcome their
independent thought even if it seems aggressive and conceited; their
positive assurance that they see to the end of things is characteristic
of their age, but it is better that they should show themselves thus,
than through want of thought or courage fall in with everything that is
set before them, or, worse still, take that pose of impartiality which
allows no views at all, and in the end obliterates the line between
right and wrong. The too submissive minds which give no trouble now, are
laying it all up for the future. They accept what we tell them without
opposition, others will come later on, telling them something different,
and they will accept it in the same way, and correct their views day by
day to the readings of the daily paper, or of the _vogue_ of their own
particular set. These are the minds which in the end are absorbed by the
world: the Church receives neither love nor service from them.

Judgment may be passed upon actions as right or wrong in themselves, or
as practically adapting means to end; the first is of great interest
even to young children, but for them it is all black or white, and
characters are to them entirely good or entirely bad, deserving of
unmixed admiration or of their most excellent hatred, which they pour
out simply and vehemently, rejoicing without qualms of pity when
punishment overtakes the wrongdoer and retributive justice is done to
the wicked. This is perhaps what makes them seem bloodthirsty in their
vengeance; they feel that so it ought to be, and that the affirmation of
principle is of more account than the individual. They detest
half-measures and compromise. For the elder girls it is not so simple,
and the nearer they come to our own times the more necessary is it to
put before them that good is not always unaccompanied by evil nor evil
by good.

In the last two or three years of a girl's education all the time that
can be spared may be most profitably spent on the study of modern
history, since it is there that the more complex problems are found, and
there also that they will understand how contemporary questions have
their springs in the past, and see the rise of the forces which are at
work now, disintegrating the nations of Europe and shaking the
foundations of every government. There are grave lessons to be learnt,
not in gloomy or threatening forecasts but in showing the direction of
cause and effect and the renewal of the same struggle which has been
from the beginning, in ever fresh phases. The outcome of historical
teaching to Catholics can never be discouragement or depression,
whatever the forecast. The past gives confidence, and, when the glories
of bygone ages are weighed against their troubles, and the Church's
troubles now against her inward strength and her new horizons of hope,
there is great reason for gratitude that we live in our own much-abused
time. In every age the Church has, with her roots in the past, some buds
and blossoms in the present and some fruit coming on for the future.
Hailstorms may cut off both blossoms and fruit, but all will not be
lost. We can always hold up our heads; there are buds on the fig-tree
and we know in whom we have believed.

In bringing home to children these grounds for thankfulness, the quality
of one's own mind and views tells very strongly, and this leads to the
consideration of what is chiefly required in teaching history to
children, and to girls growing up. The first and most essential point is
that we ourselves should care about what we teach, not that we should
merely like history as a school subject, but that it should be real to
us, that we should feel something about it, joy or triumph or
indignation, things which are not found in text-books, and we should
believe that it all matters very much to the children and to ourselves.
Lessons of the text-book type, facts, dates, summaries, and synopses
matter very little to children, but people are of great importance, and
if they grasp what often they only half believe, that what they are
repeating as a mere lesson really took place among people who saw and
felt it as vividly as they would themselves, then their sympathies and
understanding are carried beyond the bounds of their school-rooms and
respond to the touch of the great doings and sufferings of the race.

It is above all in the history of the Church that this sympathetic
understanding becomes real. The interest of olden times in secular
history is more dramatic and picturesque than real to children; but in
the history of the Church and especially of the personalities of the
popes the continuity of her life is very keenly felt; the popes are all
of to-day, they transcend the boundaries of their times because in a
number of ways they did and had to do and bear the very same things that
are done and have to be borne by the popes of our own day. If we give to
girls some vivid realization, say, of the troubled Pontificate of
Boniface VIII, with the violence and tragedy and pathos in which it
ended, after the dust and jarring and weariness of battle in which it
was spent; if they have entered into something of the anguish of Pius
VII, they will more fully understand and feel deeper love and sympathy
for the living, suffering successor now in the same chair, in another
phase of the same conflict, with the Gentiles and peoples of the rising
democracies taking counsel together against him, as kings and rulers did
in the past, all imagining the same "vain thing," that they can overcome
Christ and His Vicar.

Besides this living sympathy with what we teach, we must be able to
speak truth without being afraid of its consequences. There was at one
time a fear in the minds of Catholic teachers that by admitting that any
of the popes had been unworthy of their charge, or that there had ever
been abuses which called for reforms among clergy and religious and
Catholic laity, they would be giving away the case for the Church and
imperilling the faith and loyalty of children; that it was better they
should only hear these things later, with the hope that they would never
hear them at all. The real peril is in the course thus adopted.
Surrounded as we are by non-Catholics, and in a time when no Catholic
escapes from questions and attacks, open or covert, upon what we
believe, the greatest injustice to the girls themselves, and to the
honour of the faith, was to send them out unarmed against what they must
necessarily meet. The first challenge would be met with a flat denial of
facts, loyal-heartedly and confidently given; then would come a
suspicion that there might be something in it, the inquiry which would
show that this was really the case; then a certain right indignation,
"Why was I not told the truth?" and a sense of insecurity vaguely
disturbing the foundations which ought to be on immovable bed-rock. At
the best, such an experience produces what builders call a "settlement,"
not dangerous to the fabric but unsightly in its consequences; it may,
however, go much further, first to shake and then to loosen the whole
spiritual building by the insinuation of doubt everywhere. It is
impossible to forewarn children against all the charges which they may
hear against the Church, but two points well established in their minds
will give them confidence.

1. That the evidence which is brought to light year after year from
access to State papers and documents tells on the side of the Church, as
we say in England, of "the old religion," and not against it. Books by
non-Catholics are more convincing than others in this matter, since they
are free from the suspicion of partisanship; for instance, Gairdner's
"Lollardy and the Reformation" which disposes of many mythical monsters
of Protestant history.

2. That even if the facts were still more authentic to justify personal
attacks on some of the popes, even if the abuses in the Church had not
been grossly exaggerated, even putting facts at their worst, granting
all that is assumed, it tends to strengthen faith rather than to
undermine it, for the existence of the Church and the Papacy as they are
to-day is a wonder only enhanced by every proof that it ought to have
perished long ago according to all human probability. With that
confidence and assurance even our little girls may hold their heads
high, with their faith and trust in the Church quite unabashed, and wait
for an answer if they cannot give it to others or to themselves at the
moment. "We have no occasion to answer thee concerning this matter,"
said the three holy children to Nabuchodonosor, and so may our own
children say if they are hard pressed, "your charges do but confirm our
faith, we have no occasion to answer."

It is impossible to leave so great a subject as history without saying a
word on the manner of teaching it (for in this a manner is needed rather
than a method), when it is emancipated from the fetters of prescribed
periods and programmes which attach it entirely to text-books.
Text-books are not useless but they are very hard to find, and many
Catholic text-books, much to be desired, are still unwritten, especially
in England. America has made more effort in this direction than we. But
the strength of historical teaching for children and girls at school
lies in oral lessons, and of these it would seem that the most effective
form is not the conversational lesson which is so valuable in other
subjects, nor the formal lesson with "steps," but the form of a story
for little ones; for older children the narrative leading up to a point
of view, with conversational intervals, and encouragement for thoughtful
questions, especially at the end of the lesson; and in the last years an
informal kind of lecture, a transition from school-room methods to the
style of formal lectures which maybe attended later.

Lessons in history are often spoiled by futile questions put in as it
were for conscience' sake, to satisfy the obligation of questioning, or
to rouse the flagging attention of a child, but this is too great a
sacrifice. It is artistically a fault to jar the whole movement of a
good narrative for the sake of running after one truant mind. It is also
artistically wrong and jarring to go abruptly from the climax of a
story, or narrative, or lecture which has stirred some deep thought or
emotion, and call with a sudden change of tone for recapitulation, or
summary, or discussion. Silence is best; the greater lessons of history
ought to transcend the limits of mere lessons, they are part of life,
and they tell more upon the mind if they are dissociated from the
harness and trappings of school work. Written papers for younger
students and essays for seniors are the best means of calling for their
results, and of guiding the line of reading by which all oral teaching
of history and study of text-books must be supplemented.

When school-room education is finished what we may look for is that
girls should be ready and inclined to take up some further study of
history, by private reading or following lectures with intelligence, and
that they should be able to express themselves clearly in writing,
either in the form of notes, papers, or essays, so as to give an account
of their work and their opinions to those who may direct these later
studies. We may hope that what they have learned of European history
will enable them to travel with understanding and appreciation, that
places with a history will mean something to them, and that the great
impression of a living past may set a deep mark upon them with its
discipline of proportion that makes them personally so small and yet so
great, small in proportion to all that has been, great in their
inheritance from the whole past and in expectation of all that is yet to
be.




CHAPTER XI.

ART.

  "Give honour unto Luke Evangelist:
   For he it was (the aged legends say)
   Who first taught Art to fold her hands and pray.
Scarcely at once she dared to rend the mist
Of devious symbols: but soon having wist
   How sky-breadth and field-silence and this day
   Are symbols also in some deeper way,
She looked through these to God, and was God's priest.

"And if, past noon, her toil began to irk,
And she sought talismans, and turned in vain
   To soulless self-reflections of man's skill,
   Yet now, in this the twilight, she might still
Kneel in the latter grass to pray again,
Ere the night cometh and she may not work."
                 DANTE GABRIEL ROSSETTI.

When we consider how much of the direction of life depends upon the
quality of our taste, upon right discernment in what we like and
dislike, it is evident that few things can be more important in
education than to direct this directing force, and both to learn and
teach the taste for what is best as far as possible in all things. For
in the matter of taste nothing is unimportant. Taste influences us in
every department of life, as our tastes are, so are we. The whole
quality of our inner and outer life takes its tone from the things in
which we find pleasure, from our standard of taste. If we are severe in
our requirements, hard to please, and at least honest with ourselves, it
will mean that a spur of continual dissatisfaction pricks us, in all we
do, into habitual striving for an excellence which remains beyond our
reach. But on the other hand we shall have to guard against that peevish
fastidiousness which narrows itself down until it can see nothing but
defects and faults, and loses the power of humbly and genuinely
admiring. This passive dissatisfaction which attempts nothing of its
own, and only finds fault with what is done by others, grows very fast
if it is allowed to take hold, and produces a mental habit of merely
destructive criticism or perpetual scolding. Safe in attempting nothing
itself, unassailable and self-righteous as a Pharisee, this spirit can
only pull down but not build up again. In children it is often the
outcome of a little jealousy and want of personal courage; they can be
helped to overcome it, but if it is allowed to grow up, dissatisfaction
allied to pusillanimity are very difficult to correct.

On the other hand, if we are amiably and cheerfully inclined to admire
things in general in a popular way, easily pleased and not exacting, we
shall both receive and give a great deal of pleasure, but it will be all
in a second and third and fourth-rate order of delight, and although
this comfortable turn of mind is saved from much that is painful and
jarring, it is not exempt from the danger of itself jarring continually
upon the feelings of others, of pandering to the downward tendency in
what is popular, and, in education, of debasing the standard of taste
and discrimination for children. To be swayed by popularity in matters
of taste is to accept mediocrity wholesale. We have left too far behind
the ages when the taste of the people could give sound and true judgment
in matters of art; we have left them at a distance which can be measured
by what lies between the greatest Greek tragedies and contemporary
popular plays. Consternation is frequently expressed at seeing how
theatres of every grade are crowded with children of all classes in
life, so it is from these popular plays that they must be learning the
first lessons of dramatic criticism.

There are only rare instances of taste which is instinctively true, and
the process of educational pressure tends to level down original thought
in children, as the excess of magazine and newspaper reading works in
the same direction for older minds, so that true, independent taste
becomes more rare; the result does not seem favourable to the
development of the best discernment in those who ought to sway the taste
of their generation. If taste in art is entirely guided by that of
others, and especially by fashion, it cannot attain to the possession of
an independent point of view; yet this in a modest degree every one with
some training might aspire to. But under the sway of fashion taste is
cowed; it becomes conventional, and falls under the dominion of the
current price of works of art. On the other hand it is more unfortunate
to be self-taught in matters of taste than in any other order of things.
In this point taste ranks with manners, which are, after all, a
department of the same region of right feeling and discernment. If taste
is untaught and spontaneous, it is generally unreliable and without
consistency. If self-taught it can hardly help becoming dogmatic and
oracular, as some highly gifted minds have become, making themselves the
supreme court of appeal for their own day.

But trained taste is grounded in reverence and discipleship, a lowly and
firm basis for departure, from which it may, if it has the power to do
or to discern, rise in its strength, and leave behind those who have
shown the way, or soar in great flights beyond their view. So it has
often been seen in the history of art, and such is the right order of
growth. It needs the living voice and the attentive mind, the influence
of trained and experienced judgment to guide us in the beginning, but
the guide must let us go at last and we must rely upon ourselves.

The bad effect of being either self-taught or conventional is
exclusiveness; in one case the personal bias is too marked, in the other
the temporary aspect appeals too strongly. In the education of taste it
is needful that the child should "eat butter and honey," not only so as
to refuse the evil and choose the good, but also to judge between good
and good, and to know butter from honey and honey from butter. This is
the principal end of the study of art in early education. The _doing_ is
very elementary, but the principles of discernment are something for
life, feeding the springs of choice and delight, and making sure that
they shall run clear and untroubled.

Teaching concerning art which can be given to girls has to be approached
with a sense of responsibility from conviction of the importance of its
bearing on character as a whole. Let anyone who has tried it pass in
review a number of girls as they grow up, and judge whether their
instinct in art does not give a key to their character, always supposing
that they have some inclination to reflect on matters of beauty, for
there are some who are candidly indifferent to beauty if they can have
excitement. They have probably been spoiled as children and find it hard
to recover. Excitement has worn the senses so that their report grows
dull and feeble. Imagination runs on other lines and requires
stimulants; there is no stillness of mind in which the perception of
beauty and harmony and fitness can grow up.

There are others--may they be few--in whose minds there is little room for
anything but success. Utilitarians in social life, their determination
is to get on, and this spirit pervades all they do; it has the making of
the hardest-grained worldliness: to these art has nothing to say. But
there are others to whom it has a definite message, and their response
to it corresponds to various schools or stages of art. There are some
who are daring and explicit in their taste; they resent the curb, and
rush into what is extravagant with a very feeble protest against it from
within themselves. Beside them are simpler minds, merely exuberant, for
whom there can never be enough light or colour in their picture of life.
If they are gifted with enough intelligence to steady their joyful
constitution of mind, these will often develop a taste that is fine and
true. In the background of the group are generally a few silent members
of sensitive temperament and deeper intuition, who see with marvellous
quickness, but see too much to be happy and content, almost too much to
be true. They incline towards another extreme, an ideal so high-pitched
as to become unreal, and it meets with the penalty of unreality in
over-balancing itself. Children nearly always pull to one side or the
other; it is a work of long patience even to make them accept that there
should be a golden mean. Did they ever need it so much as they do now?
Probably each generation in turn, from Solomon's time onward, has asked
the same question. But in the modern world there can hardly have been a
time in which the principle of moderation needed to be more sustained,
for there has never been a time when circumstances made man more daring
in face of the forces of nature, and this same daring in other
directions, less beautiful, is apt to become defiant and unashamed of
excess. It asserts itself most loudly in modern French art, but we are
following close behind, less logical and with more remaining traditions
of correctness, but influenced beyond what we like to own.

In the education of girls, which is subject to so many limitations, very
often short in itself, always too short for what would be desirable to
attain, the best way to harmonize aesthetic teaching is not to treat it
in different departments, but to centre all round the general history of
art. This leaves in every stage the possibility of taking up particular
branches of art study, whether historical, or technical, or practical,
and these will find their right place, not dissociated from their
antecedents and causes, not paramount but subordinate, and thus rightly
proportioned and true in their relation to the whole progress of mankind
in striving after beauty and the expression of it.

The history of art in connexion with the general history of the human
race is a complement to it, ministering to the understanding of what is
most intimate, stamping the expression of the dominant emotion on the
countenance of every succeeding age. This is what its art has left to
us, a more confidential record than its annals and chronicles, and more
accessible to the young, who can often understand feelings before they
can take account of facts in their historical importance. In any case
the facts are clothed in living forms there where belief and aspiration
and feeling have expressed themselves in works of art. If we value for
children the whole impression of the centuries, especially in European
history, more than the mere record of changes, the history of art will
allow them to apprehend it almost as the biographies of great persons
who have set their signature upon the age in which they lived.

As each of the fine arts has its own history which moves along divergent
or parallel lines in different countries and periods, and as each
development or check is bound up with the history of the country or
period and bears its impress, the interpretation of one is assisted and
enriched by the other, and both are linked together to illuminate the
truth. It is only necessary to consider the position of Christian art in
the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries, and the changes wrought by the
Renaissance, to estimate the value of some knowledge of it in giving to
children a right understanding of those times and of what they have left
to the world. Again, the inferences to be drawn from the varied
developments of Gothic architecture in France, Spain, and England are
roads indicated to what is possible to explore in later studies, both in
history and in art. And so the schools of painting studied in their
history make ready the way for closer study in after years. Pugin's
"Book of Contrasts" is an illustration full of suggestive power as to
the service which may be rendered in teaching by comparing the art of
one century with that of another, as expressive of the spirit of each
period, and a means of reading below the surface.

Without Pugin's bitterness the same method of contrast has been used
most effectively to put before children by means of lantern slides and
lectures the manner in which art renders truth according to the various
ideals and convictions of the artists. It is a lesson in itself, a
lesson in faith, in devotion, as well as in art and in the history of
man's mind, to show in succession, or even side by side, though the
shock is painful, works of art in which the Christian mysteries are
rendered in an age of faith or in one of unbelief. They can see in the
great works of Catholic art how faith exults in setting them forth, with
undoubting assurance, with a theological grasp of their bearings and
conclusions, with plenitude of conviction and devotion that has no
afterthoughts; and in contrasting with these the strained efforts to
represent the same subjects without the illumination of theology they
will learn to measure the distance downwards in art from faith to
unbelief.

The conclusions may carry them further, to judge from the most modern
paintings of the tone of mind of their own time, of its impatience and
restlessness and want of hope. Let them compare the patient finish, the
complete thought given to every detail in the works of the greatest
painters, the accumulated light and depth, the abounding life, with the
hasty, jagged, contemporary manner of painting, straining into harshness
from want of patience, tense and angular from want of real vitality,
exhausted from the absence of inward repose. They will comment for
themselves upon the pessimism to which so many surrender themselves,
taking with them their religious art, with its feeble Madonnas and
haggard saints, without hope or courage or help, painted out of the
abundance of their own heart's sadness. This contrast carries much
teaching to the children of to-day if they can understand it, for each
one who sets value upon faith and hope and resolution and courage in art
is a unit adding strength to the line of defence against the invasions
of sadness and dejection of spirit.

These considerations belong to the moral and spiritual value of the
study of art, in the early years of an education intended to be general.
They are of primary importance although in themselves only indirect
results of the study. As to its direct results, it may be said in
general that two things must be aimed at during the years of school
life, appreciation of the beautiful in the whole realm of art, and some
very elementary execution in one or other branch, some doing or making
according to the gift of each one.

The work on both sides is and can be only preparation, only the
establishment of principles and the laying of foundations; if anything
further is attempted during school life it is apt to throw the rest of
the education out of proportion, for in nothing whatever can a girl
leaving the school-room be looked upon as having finished. It is a great
deal if she is well-grounded and ready to begin. Even the very branches
of study to which a disproportioned space has been allowed will suffer
the penalty of it later on, for the narrow basis of incomplete
foundations tends to make an ill-balanced superstructure which cannot
bear the stress of effort required for perfection without falling into
eccentricity or wearing itself out. Both misfortunes have been seen
before now when infant prodigies have been allowed to grow on one side
only. Restraint and control and general building up tend to strengthen
even the talent which has apparently to be checked, by giving it space
and equilibrium and the power of repose. Even if art should be their
profession or their life-work in any form, the sacrifices made for
general education will be compensated in the mental and moral balance of
their work.

If general principles of art have been kept before the minds of
children, and the history of art has given them some true ideas of its
evolution, they are ready to learn the technique and practice of any
branch to which they may be attracted. But as music and painting are
more within their reach than other arts, it is reasonable that they
should be provided for in the education of every child, so that each
should have at least the offer and invitation of an entrance into those
worlds, and latent talents be given the opportunity of declaring
themselves. Poetry has its place apart, or rather it has two places, its
own in the field of literature, and another, as an inspiration pervading
all the domain of the fine arts, allied with music by a natural
affinity, connected with painting on the side of imagination, related in
one way or another to all that is expressive of the beautiful. Children
will feel its influence before they can account for it, and it is well
that they should do so--to feel it is in the direction of refusing the
evil and choosing the good.

Music is coming into a more important place among educational influences
now that the old superstition of making every child play the piano is
passing away. It was an injustice both to the right reason of a child
and to the honour of music when it was forced upon those who were
unwilling and unfit to attain any degree of excellence in it. We are
renouncing these superstitions and turning to something more widely
possible--to cultivate the audience and teach them to listen with
intelligence to that which without instruction is scarcely more than
pleasant noise, or at best the expression of emotion. The intellectual
aspect of music is beginning to be brought forward in teaching children,
and with this awakening the whole effect of music in education is
indefinitely raised. It has scarcely had time to tell yet, but as it
extends more widely and makes its way through the whole of our
educational system it may be hoped that the old complaints, too well
founded, against the indifference and carelessness of English audiences,
will be heard no more. We shall never attain to the kind of religious
awe which falls upon a German audience, or to its moods of emotion, but
we may reach some means of expression which the national character does
not forbid, showing at least that we understand, even though we must not
admit that we feel.

It is impossible to suggest what may be attained by girls of exceptional
talent, but in practice if the average child-students, with fair musical
ability, can at the end of their school course read and sing at sight
fairly easy music, and have a good beginning of intelligent playing on
one or two instruments, they will have brought their foundations in
musical practice up to the level of their general education. If with
some help they can understand the structure of a great musical work, and
perhaps by themselves analyse an easy sonata, they will be in a position
to appreciate the best of what they will hear afterwards, and if they
have learnt something of the history of music and of the works of the
great composers, their musical education will have gone as far as
proportion allows before they are grown up. Some notions of harmony,
enough to harmonize by the most elementary methods a simple melody, will
be of the greatest service to those whose music has any future in it.

Catholic girls have a right and even a duty to learn something of the
Church's own music; and in this also there are two things to be
learnt--appreciation and execution. And amongst the practical
applications of the art of music to life there is nothing more
honourable than the acquired knowledge of ecclesiastical music to be
used in the service of the Church. When the love and understanding of
its spirit are acquired the diffusion of a right tone in Church music is
a means of doing good, as true and as much within the reach of many
girls as the spread of good literature; and in a small and indirect way
it allows them the privilege of ministering to the beauty of Catholic
worship and devotion.

The scope of drawing and painting in early education has been most ably
treated of in many general and special works, and does not concern us
here except in so far as it is connected with the training of taste in
art which is of more importance to Catholics than to others, as has been
considered above, in its relation to the springs of spiritual life, to
faith and devotion, and also in so far as taste in art serves to
strengthen or to undermine the principles on which conduct is based. We
have to brace our children's wills to face restraint, to know that they
cannot cast themselves at random and adrift in the pursuit of art, that
their ideals must be more severe than those of others, and that they
have less excuse than others if they allow these ideals to be debased.
They ought to learn to be proud of this restraint, not to believe
themselves thwarted or feel themselves galled by it, but to understand
that it stands for a higher freedom by the side of which ease and
unrestraint are more like servitude than liberty; it stands for the
power to refuse the evil and choose the good; it stands for intellectual
and moral freedom of choice, holding in check the impulse and
inclination that are prompted from within and invited from without to
escape from control.

The best teaching in this is to show what is best, and to give the
principles by which it is to be judged. To talk of what is bad, or less
good, even by way of warning, is less persuasive and calculated even to
do harm to girls whose temper of mind is often "quite contrary."
Warnings are wearisome to them, and when they refer to remote dangers,
partly guessed at, mostly unknown, they even excite the spirit of
adventure to go and find out for themselves, just as in childhood
repeated warnings and threats of the nursery-maids and maiden aunts are
the very things which set the spirit of enterprise off on the voyage of
discovery, a fact which the head nurse and the mother have found out
long ago, and so have learnt to refrain from these attractive
advertisements of danger. So it is with teachers. We learn by experience
that a trumpet blast of warning wakes the echoes at first and rouses all
that is to be roused, but also that if it is often repeated it dulls the
ear and calls forth no response at all. Quiet positive teaching
convinces children; to show them the best things attracts them, and once
their true allegiance is given to the best, they have more security
within themselves than in many danger signals set up for their safety.
What is most persuasive of all is a whole-hearted love for real truth
and beauty in those who teach them. Their own glow of enthusiasm is
caught, light from light, and taste from taste, and ideal from ideal;
warning may be lost sight of, but this is living spirit and will last.

What children can accomplish by the excellent methods of teaching
drawing and painting which are coming into use now, it is difficult to
say. Talent as well as circumstances and conditions of education differ
very widely in this. But as preparation for intelligent appreciation
they should acquire some elementary principles of criticism, and some
knowledge of the history and of the different schools of painting,
indications of what to look for here and there in Europe and likewise of
how to look at it; this is what they can take with them as a foundation,
and in some degree all can acquire enough to continue their own
education according to their opportunities. Matter-of-fact minds can
learn enough not to be intolerable, the average enough to guide and
safeguard their taste. They are important, for they will be in general
the multitude, the public, whose judgment is of consequence by its
weight of numbers; they will by their demand make art go upwards or
downwards according to their pleasure. For the few, the precious few who
are chosen and gifted to have a more definite influence, all the love
they can acquire in their early years for the best in art will attach
them for life to what is sane and true and lovely and of good fame.

The foundations of all this lie very deep in human nature, and taste
will be consistent with itself throughout the whole of life. It
manifests itself in early sensitiveness and responsiveness to artistic
beauty. It determines the choice in what to love as well as what to
like. It will assert itself in friendship, and estrangement in matters
of taste is often the first indication of a divergence in ideals which
continues and grows more marked until at some crossroads one takes the
higher path and the other the lower and their ways never meet again.
That higher path, the disinterested love of beauty, calls for much
sacrifice; it must seek its pleasure on ly in the highest, and not look
for a first taste of delight, but a second, when the power of criticism
has been schooled by a kind of asceticism to detect the choice from the
vulgar and the true from the insincere. This spirit of sacrifice must
enter into every form of training for life, but above all into the
training of the Catholic mind. It has a wide range and asks much of its
disciples, a certain renunciation and self-restraint in all things which
never completely lets itself go. Catholic art bears witness to this:
"Where a man seeks himself there he falls from love," says a Kempis, and
this is proved not only in the love of God, but in what makes the glory
of Christian art, the love of beauty and truth in the service of faith.




CHAPTER XII.

MANNERS.

"Manners are the happy ways of doing things; each--once--a stroke of
genius or of love, now repeated and hardened into usage."--EMERSON.

The late Queen Victoria had a profound sense of the importance of
manners and of certain conventionalities, and the singular gift of
common sense, which stood for so much in her, stands also for the
significance of those things on which she laid so much stress.

Conventionality has a bad name at present, and manners are on the
decline, this is a fact quite undisputed. As to conventionalities it is
assumed that they represent an artificial and hollow code, from the
pressure of which all, and especially the young, should be emancipated.
And it may well be that there is something to be said in favour of
modifying them--in fact it must be so, for all human things need at times
to be revised and readapted to special and local conditions. To attempt
to enforce the same code of conventions on human society in different
countries, or at different stages of development, is necessarily
artificial, and if pressed too far it provokes reaction, and in reaction
we almost inevitably go to extreme lengths. So in reaction against too
rigid conventionalities and a social ritual which was perhaps
over-exacting, we are swinging out beyond control in the direction of
complete spontaneity. And yet there is need for a code of
conventions--for some established defence against the instincts of
selfishness which find their way back by a short cut to barbarism if
they are not kept in check.

Civilized selfishness leads to a worse kind of barbarism than that of
rude and primitive states of society, because it has more resources at
its command, as cruelty with refinement has more resources for
inflicting pain than cruelty which can only strike hard. Civilized
selfishness is worse also in that it has let go of better things; it is
not in progress towards a higher plane of life, but has turned its back
upon ideals and is slipping on the down-grade without a check. We can
see the complete expression of life without conventions in the
unrestraint of "hooliganism" with us, and its equivalents in other
countries. In this we observe the characteristic product of bringing up
without either religion, or conventions, or teaching in good manners
which are inseparable from religion. We see the demoralization of the
very forces which make both the strength and the weakness of youth and a
great part of its charm, the impetuosity, the fearlessness of
consequence, the lightheartedness, the exuberance which would have been
so strong for good if rightly turned, become through want of this right
impetus and control not strong but violent, uncontrollable and reckless
to a degree which terrifies the very authorities who are responsible for
them, in that system which is bringing up children with nothing to hold
by, and nothing to which they can appeal. Girls are inclined to go even
further than boys in this unrestraint through their greater excitability
and recklessness, and their having less instinct of self-preservation.
It is a problem for the local authorities. Their lavish expenditure upon
sanitation, adornment, and--to use the favourite word--"equipment" of
their schools does not seem to touch it; in fact it cannot reach the
real difficulty, for it makes appeal to the senses and neglects the
soul, and the souls of children are hungry for faith and love and
something higher to look for, beyond the well-being of to-day in the
schools, and the struggle for life, in the streets, to-morrow.

It is not only in the elementary schools that such types of formidable
selfishness are produced. In any class of life, in school or home,
wherever a child is growing up without control and "handling," without
the discipline of religion and manners, without the yoke of obligations
enforcing respect and consideration for others, there a rough is being
brought up, not so loud-voiced or so uncouth as the street-rough, but as
much out of tune with goodness and honour, with as little to hold by and
appeal to, as troublesome and dangerous either at home or in society, as
uncertain and unreliable in a party or a ministry, and in any
association that makes demand upon self-control in the name of duty.

This is very generally recognized and deplored, but except within the
Church, which has kept the key to these questions, the remedy is hard to
find. Inspectors of elementary schools have been heard to say that, even
in districts where the Catholic school was composed of the poorest and
roughest elements, the manners were better than those of the well-to-do
children in the neighbouring Council schools. They could not account for
it, but we can; the precious hour of religious teaching for which we
have had to fight so hard, influences the whole day and helps to create
the "Catholic atmosphere" which in its own way tells perhaps more widely
than the teaching. Faith tells of the presence of God and this underlies
the rest, while the sense of friendly protection, the love of Our Lady,
the angels, and saints, the love of the priest who administers all that
Catholic children most value, who blesses and absolves them in God's
name, all these carry them out of what is wretched and depressing in
their surroundings to a different world in which they give and receive
love and respect as children of God. No wonder their manners are gentler
and their intercourse more disposed to friendliness, there is something
to appeal to and uphold, something to love.

The Protestant Reformation breaking up these relations and all the
ceremonial observance in which they found expression, necessarily
produced deterioration of manners. As soon as anyone, especially a
child, becomes--not rightly but aggressively--independent, argumentatively
preoccupied in asserting that "I am as good as you are, and I can do
without you"--he falls from the right proportion of things, becomes less
instead of greater, because he stands alone, and from this to warfare
against all order and control the step is short. So it has proved. The
principles of Protestantism worked out to the principles of the
Revolution, and to their natural outcome, seen at its worst in the Reign
of Terror and the Commune of 1871 in Paris.

Again the influence of the Church on manners was dominant in the age of
chivalry. At that time religion and manners were known to be
inseparable, and it was the Church that handled the rough vigour of her
sons to make them gentle as knights. This is so well known that it needs
no more than calling to mind, and, turning attention to the fact that
all the handling was fundamental, it is handling that makes manners.
Even the derivation of the word does not let us forget this--_manners_
from _manieres_, from _manier_, from _main_, from _manus_, the touch of
the human hand upon the art of living worthily in human society, without
offence and without contention, with the gentleness of a race, the
_gens_, that owns a common origin, the urbanity of those who have
learned to dwell in a city "compact together," the respect of those who
have some one to look to for approval and control, either above them in
dignity, or beneath them in strength, and therefore to be considered
with due reverence.

The handling began early in days of chivalry, no time was lost, because
there would necessarily be checks on the way. Knighthood was far off,
but it could not be caught sight of too early as an ideal, and it was
characteristic of the consideration of the Church that, in the scheme of
manners over which she held sway, the first training of her knights was
intrusted to women. For women set the standard of manners in every age,
if a child has not learnt by seven years old how to behave towards them
it is scarcely possible for him to learn it at all, and it is by women
only that it can be taught. The little _damoiseaux_ would have perfect
and accomplished manners for their age when they left the apartments of
the ladies at seven years old; it was a matter of course that they would
fall off a good deal in their next stage. They would become "pert," as
pages were supposed to be, and diffident as esquires, but as knights
they would come back of themselves to the perfect ways of their
childhood with a grace that became well the strength and self-possession
of their knighthood. We have no longer the same formal and ceremonial
training; it is not possible in our own times under the altered
conditions of life, yet it commands attention for those who have at
heart the future well-being of the boys and girls of to-day. The
fundamental facts upon which manners are grounded remain the same. These
are, some of them, worth consideration:--

1. That manners represent a great deal more than mere social
observances; they stand as the outward expression of some of the deepest
springs of conduct, and none of the modern magic of philanthropy--
altruism, culture, the freedom and good-fellowship of democracy,
replaces them, because, in their spirit, manners belong to religion.

2. That manners are a matter of individual training, so that they could
never be learnt from a book. They can scarcely be taught, except in
their simplest elements, to a class or school as a whole, but the
authority which stands nearest in responsibility to each child, either
in the home circle or at school, has to make a special study of it in
order to teach it manners. The reason of this is evident. In each nature
selfishness crops out on one side rather than another, and it is this
which has to be studied, that the forward may be repressed, the shy or
indolent stimulated, the dreamy quickened into attention, and all the
other defective sides recognized and taken, literally, _in hand_, to be
modelled to a better form.

3. That training in manners is not a short course but a long course of
study, a work of patience on both sides, of gentle and most insistent
handling on one side and of long endurance on the other. There are a
very few exquisite natures with whom the grace of manners seems to be
inborn. They are not very vigorous, not physically robust; their own
sensitiveness serves as a private tutor or monitor to tell them at the
right moment what others feel, and what they should say or do. They have
a great gift, but they lay down their price for it, and suffer for
others as well as in themselves more than their share. But in general,
the average boy and girl needs a "daily exercise" which in most cases
amounts to "nagging," and in the best hands is only saved from nagging
by its absence of peevishness, and the patience with which it reminds
and urges and teases into perfect observance. The teasing thing, and yet
the most necessary one, is the constant check upon the preoccupying
interests of children, so that in presence of their elders they can
never completely let themselves go, but have to be attentive to every
service of consideration or mark of respect that occasion calls for. It
is very wearisome, but when it has been acquired through laborious
years--there it is, like a special sense superadded to the ordinary
endowments of nature, giving presence of mind and self-possession,
arming the whole being against surprise or awkwardness or indiscretion,
and controlling what has so long appeared to exercise control over
it--the conditions of social intercourse.

How shall we persuade the children of to-day that manners and
conventions have not come to an end as part of the old regime which
appears to them an elaborate unreality V It is exceedingly difficult to
do so, at school especially, as in many cases their whole family
consents to regard them as extinct, and only when startled at the
over-growth of their girls' unmannerly roughness and self-assertion they
send them to school "to have their manners attended to"; but then it is
too late. The only way to form manners is to teach them from the
beginning as a part of religion, as indeed they are. Devotion to Our
Lady will give to the manners both of boys and girls something which
stamps them as Christian and Catholic, something above the world's
level. And, as has been so often pointed out, the Church's ritual is the
court ceremonial of the most perfect manners, in which every least
detail has its significance, and applies some principle of inward faith
and devotion to outward service.

If we could get to the root of all that the older codes of manners
required, and even the conventionalities of modern life--these remnants,
in so far as they are based on the older codes--it would be found that,
as in the Church's ceremonial, not one of them was without its meaning,
but that all represented some principle of Christian conduct, even if
they have developed into expressions which seem trivial. Human things
tend to exaggeration and to "sport," as gardeners say, from their type
into strange varieties, and so the manners which were the outcome of
chivalry--exquisite, idealized, and restrained in their best period, grew
artificial in later times and elaborated themselves into an etiquette
which grew tyrannical and even ridiculous, and added violence to the
inevitable reaction which followed. But if we look beyond the outward
form to the spirit of such prescriptions as are left in force, there is
something noble in their origin, either the laws of hospitality
regulating all the relations of host and guest, or reverence for
innocence and weakness which surrounded the dignity of both with lines
of chivalrous defence, or the sensitiveness of personal honour, the
instinct of what was due to oneself, an inward law that compelled a line
of conduct that was unselfish and honourable. So the relics of these
lofty conventions are deserving of all respect, and they cannot be
disregarded without tampering with foundations which it is not safe to
touch. They are falling into disrepute, but for the love of the children
let us maintain them as far as we can. The experience of past ages has
laid up lessons for us, and if we can take them in let us do so, if only
as a training for children in self-control, for which they will find
other uses a few years hence.

But in doing this we must take account of all that has changed. There
are some antique forms, beautiful and full of dignity, which it is
useless to attempt to revive; they cannot live again, they are too
massive for our mobile manner of life to-day. And on the other hand
there are some which are too high-pitched, or too delicate. We are
living in a democratic age, and must be able to stand against its
stress. So in the education of girls a greater measure of independence
must necessarily be given to them, and they must learn to use it, to
become self-reliant and self-protecting. They have to grow more
conscious, less trustful, a little harder in outline; one kind of young
dignity has to be exchanged for another, an attitude of self-defence is
necessary. There is perhaps a certain loss in it, but it is inevitable.
The real misfortune is that the first line of defence is often
surrendered before the second is ready, and a sudden relaxation of
control tends to yield too much; in fact girls are apt to lose their
heads and abandon their self-control further than they are able to
resume it. Once they have "let themselves go"--it is the favourite
phrase, and for once a phrase that completely conveys its meaning--it is
exceedingly difficult for them to stop themselves, impossible for others
to stop them by force, for the daring ones are quite ready to break with
their friends, and the others can elude control with very little
difficulty. The only security is a complete armour of self-control based
on faith, and a home tie which is a guarantee for happiness. Girls who
are not happy in their own homes live in an atmosphere of temptation
which they can scarcely resist, and the happiness of home is dependent
in a great measure upon the manners of home, "there is no surer
dissolvant of home affections than discourtesy." [1--D. Urquhart.] It
is useless to insist on this, it is known and admitted by almost all,
but the remedy or the preventive is hard to apply, demanding such
constant self-sacrifice on the part of parents that all are not ready to
practise it; it is so much easier and it looks at first sight so kind to
let children have their way. So kind at first, so unselfish in
appearance, the parents giving way, abdicating their authority, while
the young democracy in the nursery or school-room takes the reins in
hand so willingly, makes the laws, or rather rules without them, by its
sovereign moods, and then outgrows the "establishment" altogether,
requires more scope, snaps the link with home, scarcely regretting, and
goes off on its own account to elbow its way in the world. It is
obviously necessary and perhaps desirable that many girls should have to
make their own way in the world who would formerly have lived at home,
but often the way in which it is done is all wrong, and leaves behind on
both sides recollections with a touch of soreness.

For those who are practically concerned with the education of girls the
question is how to attain what we want for them, while the force of the
current is set so strongly against us. We have to make up our minds as
to what conventions can survive and fix in some way the high and
low-water marks, for there must be both, the highest that we can attain,
and the lowest that we can accept. All material is not alike; some
cannot take polish at all. It is well if it can be made tolerable; if it
does not fall below that level of manners which are at least the
safeguard of conduct; if it can impose upon itself and accept at least
so much restraint as to make it inoffensive, not aggressively selfish.
Perhaps the low-water mark might be fixed at the remembrance that other
people have rights and the observance of their claims. This would secure
at least the common marks of respect and the necessary conventionalities
of intercourse. For ordinary use the high-water mark might attain to the
remembrance that other people have feelings, and to taking them into
account, and as an ordinary guide of conduct this includes a great deal
and requires training and watchfulness to establish it, even where there
is no exceptional selfishness or bluntness of sense to be overcome. The
nature of an ordinary healthy energetic child, high-spirited and
boisterous, full of a hundred interests of its own, finds the mere
attention to these things a heavy yoke, and the constant self-denial
needed to carry them out is a laborious work indeed.

The slow process of polishing marble has more than one point of
resemblance with the training of manners; it is satisfactory to think
that the resemblance goes further than the process, that as only by
polishing can the concealed beauties of the marble be brought out, so
only in the perfecting of manners will the finer grain of character and
feeling be revealed. Polishing is a process which may reach different
degrees of brilliancy according to the material on which it is
performed; and so in the teaching of manners a great deal depends upon
the quality of the nature, and the amount of expression which it is
capable of acquiring. It is useless to press for what cannot be given,
at the same time it is unfair not to exact the best that every one is
able to give. As in all that has to do with character, example is better
than precept.

But in the matter of manners example alone is by no means enough;
precept is formally necessary, and precept has to be enforced by
exercise. It is necessary because the origin of established
conventionalities is remote; they do not speak for themselves, they are
the outcome of a general habit of thought, they have come into being
through a long succession of precedents. We cannot explain them fully to
children; they can only have the summary and results of them, and these
are dry and grinding, opposed to the unpremeditated spontaneous ways of
acting in which they delight. Manners are almost fatally opposed to the
sudden happy thoughts of doing something original, which occur to
children's minds. No wonder they dislike them; we must be prepared for
this. They are almost grown up before they can understand the value of
what they have gone through in acquiring these habits of unselfishness,
but unlike many other subjects to which they are obliged to give time
and labour, they will not leave this behind in the schoolroom. It is
then that they will begin to exercise with ease and precision of long
practice the art of the best and most expressive conduct in every
situation which their circumstances may create.

In connexion with this question of circumstances in life and the
situations which arise out of them, there is one thing which ought to be
taught to children as a fundamental principle, and that is the relation
of manners to class of life, and what is meant by vulgarity. For
vulgarity is not--what it is too often assumed to be--a matter of class,
but in itself a matter of insincerity, the effort to appear or to be
something that one is not. The contrary of vulgarity, by the word, is
preciousness or distinction, and in conduct or act it is the perfect
preciousness and distinction of truthfulness. Truthfulness in manners
gives distinction and dignity in all classes of society; truthfulness
gives that simplicity of manners which is one of the special graces of
royalty, and also of an unspoiled and especially a Catholic peasantry.
Vulgarity has an element of restless unreality and pretentious striving,
an affectation or assumption of ways which do not belong to it, and in
particular an unwillingness to serve, and a dread of owning any
obligation of service. Yet service perfects manners and dignity, from
the highest to the lowest, and the manners of perfect servants either
public or private are models of dignity and fitness. The manners of the
best servants often put to shame those of their employers, for their
self-possession and complete knowledge of what they are and ought to be
raises them above the unquietness of those who have a suspicion that
they are not quite what might be expected of them. It is on this
uncertain ground that all the blunders of manners occur; when simplicity
is lost disaster follows, with loss of dignity and self-respect, and
pretentiousness forces its way through to claim the respect which it is
conscious of not deserving.

Truth, then, is the foundation of distinction in manners for every
class, and the manners of children are beautiful and perfect when
simplicity bears witness to inward truthfulness and consideration for
others, when it expresses modesty as to themselves and kindness of heart
towards every one. It does not require much display or much ceremonial
for their manners to be perfect according to the requirements of life at
present; the ritual of society is a variable thing, sometimes very
exacting, at others disposed to every concession, but these things do
not vary--truth, modesty, reverence, kindness are of all times, and these
are the bases of our teaching.

The personal contribution of those who teach, the influence of their
companionship is that which establishes the standard, their patience is
the measure which determines the limits of attainment, for it is only
patience which makes a perfect work, whether the attainment be high or
low. It takes more patience to bring poor material up to a presentable
standard than to direct the quick intuitions of those who are more
responsive; in one case efforts meet with resistance, in the other,
generally with correspondence. But our own practice is for ourselves the
important thing, for the inward standard is the point of departure, and
our own sincerity is a light as well as a rule, or rather it is a rule
because it is a light; it prevents the standard of manners from being
double, one for use and one for ornament; it imposes respect to be
observed with children as well as exacted from them, and it keeps up the
consciousness that manners represent faith and, in a sense, duty to God
rather than to one's neighbour.

This, too, belongs not to the fleeting things of social observance but
to the deep springs of conduct, and its teaching may be summed up in one
question. Is not well-instructed devotion to Our Lady and the
understanding of the Church's ceremonies a school of manners in which we
may learn how human intercourse may be carried on with the most perfect
external expressiveness? Is not all inattention of mind to the
courtesies of life, all roughness and slovenliness, all crude
unconventionality which is proud of its self-assertion, a "falling from
love" in seeking self? Will not the instinct of devotion and imitation
teach within, all those things which must otherwise be learned by
painful reiteration from without; the perpetual _give up, give way, give
thanks, make a fitting answer, pause, think of others, don't get
excited, wait, serve_, which require watchfulness and self-sacrifice?

Perhaps in the last year or two of education, when our best
opportunities occur, some insight will be gained into the deeper meaning
of all these things. It may then be understood that they are something
more than arbitrary rules; there may come the understanding of what is
beautiful in human intercourse, of the excellence of self-restraint, the
loveliness of perfect service. If this can be seen it will tone down all
that is too uncontrolled and make self-restraint acceptable, and will
deal with the conventions of life as with symbols, poor and inarticulate
indeed, but profoundly significant, of things as they ought to be.




CHAPTER XIII.

HIGHER EDUCATION OP WOMEN.

"In die Erd' isi's aufgenommen,
Glucklich ist die Form gefullt;
Wird's auch schon zu Tage kommen,
Dass es Fleiss und Kunst vergilt?
  Wenn der Guss misslang?
  Wenn die Form zersprang?
Ach, vielleicht, indem wir hoffen,
Hat uns Unheil schon getroffen."
      SCHILLER, "Das Lied von der Gloeke."

So far in these pages the education of girls has only been considered up
to the age of eighteen or so, that is to the end of the ordinary
school-room course. At eighteen, some say that it is just time to go to
school, and others consider that it is more than time to leave it. They
look at life from different points of view. Some are eager to experience
everything for themselves, and as early as possible to snatch at this
good thing, life, which is theirs, and make what they can of it,
believing that its only interest is in what lies beyond the bounds of
childhood and a life of regulated studies; they want to begin to _live_.
Others feel that life is such a good thing that every year of longer
preparation fits them better to make the most of its opportunities, and
others again are anxious--for a particular purpose, sometimes, and very
rarely for the disinterested love of it--to undertake a course of more
advanced studies and take active part in the movement "for the higher
education of women." The first will advance as far as possible the date
of their coming out; the second will delay it as long as they are
allowed, to give themselves in quiet to the studies and thought which
grow in value to them month by month; the third, energetic and decided,
buckle on their armour and enter themselves at universities for degrees
or certificates according to the facilities offered.

There can be no doubt that important changes were necessary in the
education of women. About the middle of the last century it had reached
a condition of stagnation from the passing away of the old system of
instruction before anything was ready to take its place. With very few
exceptions, and those depended entirely on the families from which they
carae, girls were scarcely educated at all. The old system had given
them few things but these were of value; manners, languages, a little
music and domestic training would include it all, with perhaps a few
notions of "the use of the globes" and arithmetic. But when it dwindled
into a book called "Hangnail's Questions," and manners declined into
primness, and domestic training lost its vigour, then artificiality laid
hold of it and lethargy followed, and there was no more education for
"young ladies."

In a characteristically English way it was individual effort which came
to change the face of things, and honour is due to the pioneers who went
first, facing opposition and believing in the possibilities of better
things. In some other countries the State would have taken the
initiative and has done so, but we have our own ways of working out
things, "l'aveugle et tatonnante infaillibilite de l'Angleterre," as
some one has called it, in which the individual goes first, and makes
trial of the land, and often experiences failure in the first attempts.
From the closing years of the eighteenth century, when the "Vindication
of the Rights of Women" was published by Mary Wollstonecraft, the
question has been more or less in agitation. But in 1848, with the
opening of Queen's College in London, it took its first decided step
forward in the direction of provision for the higher education of women,
and in literature it was much in the air. Tennyson's "Princess" came in
1847, and "Aurora Leigh" from Elizabeth Barrett Browning in 1851, and
things moved onward with increasing rapidity until at one moment it
seemed like a rush to new goldfields. One university after another has
granted degrees to women or degree certificates in place of the degrees
which were refused; women are resident students at some universities and
at others present themselves on equal terms with men for examination.
The way has been opened to them in some professions and in many spheres
of activity from which they had been formerly excluded.

One advantage of the English mode of proceeding in these great questions
is that the situation can be reconsidered from time to time without the
discordant contentions which surround any proclamation of non-success in
State concerns. We feel our way and try this and that, and readjust
ourselves, and a great deal of experimental knowledge has been gained
before any great interests or the prestige of the State have been
involved. These questions which affect a whole people directly or
indirectly require, for us at least, a great deal of experimenting
before we know what suits us. We are not very amenable to systems, or
theories, or ready-made schemes. And the phenomenon of tides is very
marked in all that we undertake. There is a period of advance and then a
pause and a period of decline, and after another pause the tide rises
again. It may perhaps be accounted for in part by the very fact that we
do so much for ourselves in England, and look askance at anything which
curtails the freedom of our movements, when we are in earnest about a
question; but this independence is rapidly diminishing under the more
elaborate administration of recent years, and the increase of State
control in education. Whatever may be the effect of this in the future,
it seems as if there were at present a moment of reconsideration as to
whether we have been quite on the right track in the pursuit of higher
education for women, and a certain discontent with what has been
achieved so far. There are at all events not many who are cordially
pleased with the results. Some dissatisfaction is felt as to the
position of the girl students in residence at the universities. They
cannot share in any true sense in the life of the universities, but only
exist on their outskirts, outside the tradition of the past, a modern
growth tolerated rather than fostered or valued by the authorities. This
creates a position scarcely enviable in itself, or likely to communicate
that particular tone which is the gift of the oldest English
universities to their sons. Some girl students have undoubtedly
distinguished themselves, especially at Cambridge; in the line of
studies they attained what they sought, but that particular gift of the
university they could not attain. It is lamented that the number of
really disinterested students attending Girton and Newnham is small; the
same complaint is heard from the Halls for women at Oxford; there is a
certain want of confidence as to the future and what it is all leading
to. To women with a professional career before them the degree
certificates are of value, but the course of studies itself and its
mental effect is conceded by many to be disappointing. One reason may be
that the characteristics of girls' work affect in a way the whole
movement. They are very eager and impetuous students, but in general the
staying power is short; an excessive energy is put out in one direction,
then it flags, and a new beginning is made towards another quarter. So
in this general movement there have been successive stages of activity.

The higher education movement has gone on its own course. The first
pioneers had clear and noble ideals; Bedford College, the growth of
Cheltenham, the beginnings of Newnham and Girton Colleges, the North of
England Ladies' "Council of Education" represented them. Now that the
movement has left the port and gone beyond what they foresaw, it has met
the difficulties of the open sea.

Nursing was another sphere opened about the same time, to meet the
urgent needs felt during the Crimean War; it was admirably planned out
by Florence Nightingale, again a pioneer with loftiest ideals. There
followed a rush for that opening; it has continued, and now the same
complaint is made that it is an outlet for those whose lives are not to
their liking at home, rather than those who are conscious of a special
fitness for it or recognized as having the particular qualities which it
calls for. And then came the development of a new variety among the
unemployed of the wealthier classes, the "athletic girl." Not every one
could aspire to be an athletic girl, it requires some means, and much
time; but it is there, and it is part of the emancipation movement. The
latest in the field are the movements towards organization of effort,
association on the lines of the German _Frauenbund_, and the French
_Mouvement Feministe_, and beside them, around them, with or without
them, the Women's Suffrage Movement, militant or non-militant. These are
of the rising tide, and each tide makes a difference to our coast-line,
in some places the sea gains, in others the land, and so the thinkers,
for and against, register their victories and defeats, and the face of
things continues to change more and more rapidly.

It seems an ungracious task, unfair--perhaps it seems above all
retrograde and ignorant--to express doubt and not to think hopefully
of a cause in which so many lives have been spent with singular
disinterestedness and self-devotion. Yet these adverse thoughts are in
the air, not only amongst those who are unable to win in the race, but
amongst those who have won, and also amongst those who look out upon
it all with undistracted and unbiassed interest; older men, who look
to the end and outcome of things, to the ultimate direction when
the forces have adjusted themselves. Those who think of the next
generation are not quite satisfied with what is being done for our
girls or by them.

Catholics have been spurred hotly into the movement by those who are
keenly anxious that we should not be left behind, but should show
ourselves able to be with the best in all these things. Perhaps at the
stage which has been reached we have more reason than others to be
dissatisfied with the results of success, since we are more beset than
others by the haunting question--_what then_? For those who have to
devote themselves to the cause of Catholic education it is often and
increasingly necessary to win degrees or their equivalents, not
altogether for their own value, but as the key that fits the lock, for
the gates to the domain of education are kept locked by the State. And
so in other spheres of Catholic usefulness the key may become more and
more necessary. But--may it be suggested--in their own education, a degree
for a man and a degree for a girl mean very different things, even if
the degree is the same. For a girl it is the certificate of a course of
studies. For a man an Oxford or Cambridge degree means atmosphere unique
in character, immemorial tradition, association, all kinds of interests
and subtle influences out of the past, the impressiveness of numbers,
among which the individual shows in very modest proportions indeed
whatever may be his gifts. The difference is that of two worlds. Bat
even at other universities the degree means more to a man if it is
anything beyond a mere gate-key. It is his initial effort, after which
comes the full stress of his life's work. For a girl, except in the
rarest cases, it is either a gate-key or a final effort, either her
life's work takes a different turn, or she thinks she has had enough.
The line of common studies is adapted for man's work and programme of
life. It has been made to fit woman's professional work, but the fit is
not perfect. It has a marked unfitness in its adaptation for women to
the real end of higher education, or university education, which is the
perfecting of the individual mind, according to its kind, in
surroundings favourable to its complete development.

Atmosphere is a most important element at all periods of education, and
in the education of girls all-important, and an atmosphere for the
higher education of girls has not yet been created in the universities.
The girl students are few, their position is not unassailable, their
aims not very well defined, and the thing which is above all required
for the intellectual development of girls--quiet of mind--is not assured.
It is obvious that there can never be great tradition and a past to look
back to, unless there is a present, and a beginning, and a long period
of growth. But everything for the future consists in having a noble
beginning, however lowly, true foundations and clear aims, and this we
have not yet secured. It seems almost as if we had begun at the wrong
end, that the foundations of character were not made strong enough,
before the intellectual superstructure began to be raised--and that this
gives the sense of insecurity. An unusual strength of character would be
required to lead the way in living worthily under such difficult
circumstances as have been created, a great self-restraint to walk
without swerving or losing the track, without the controlling machinery
of university rules and traditions, without experience, at the most
adventurous age of life, and except in preparation for professional work
without the steadying power of definite duties and obligations. A few
could do it, but not many, and those chosen few would have found their
way in any case. The past bears witness to this.

But the past as a whole bears other testimony which is worth considering
here. Through every vicissitude of women's education there have always
been the few who were exceptional in mental and moral strength, and they
have held on their way, and achieved a great deal, and left behind them
names deserving of honour. Such were Maria Gaetana Agnesi, who was
invited by the Pope and the university to lecture in mathematics at
Bologna (and declined the invitation to give herself to the service of
the poor), and Lucretia Helena Gomaro Piscopia, who taught philosophy
and theology! and Laura Bassi who lectured in physics, and Clara von
Schur-man who became proficient in Greek, Hebrew, Syriac, and Chaldaic
in order to study Scripture "with greater independence and judgment,"
and the Pirk-heimer family of Nuremberg, Caritas and Clara and others,
whose attainments were conspicuous in their day. But there is something
unfamiliar about all these names; they do not belong so much to the
history of the world as to the curiosities of literature and learning.
The world has not felt their touch upon it; we should scarcely miss them
in the galleries of history if their portraits were taken down.

The women who have been really great, whom we could not spare out of
their place in history, have not been the student women or the
remarkably learned. The greatest women have taken their place in the
life of the world, not in its libraries; their strength has been in
their character, their mission civilization in its widest and loftiest
sense. They have ruled not with the "Divine right of kings," but with
the Divine right of queens, which is quite a different title, undisputed
and secure to them, if they do not abdicate it of themselves or drag it
into the field of controversy to be matched and measured against the
Divine or human rights of kings. "The heaven of heavens is the Lord's,
but the earth He has given to the children of men," and to woman He
seems to have assigned the borderland between the two, to fit the one
for the other and weld the links. Hers are the first steps in training
the souls of children, the nurseries of the kingdom of heaven (the
mothers of saints would fill a portrait gallery of their own); hers the
special missions of peace and reconciliation and encouragement, the
hidden germs of such great enterprises as the Propagation of the Faith,
and the trust of such great devotions as that of the Blessed Sacrament
and the Sacred Heart to be brought within the reach of the faithful. The
names of Matilda of Tuscany, of St. Catherine of Siena, of Blessed Joan
of Arc, of Isabella the Catholic, of St. Theresa are representative,
amongst others, of women who have fulfilled public missions for the
service of the Church, and of Christian people, and for the realization
of religious ideals: true queens of the borderland between both worlds.
Others have reigned in their own spheres, in families or solitudes, or
cloistered enclosures--as the two Saints Elizabeth, Paula and Eustochium
and all their group of friends, the great Abbesses Hildegarde, Hilda,
Gertrude and others, and the chosen line of foundresses of religious
orders--these too have ruled the borderland, and their influence, direct
or indirect, has all been in the same direction, for pacification and
not for strife, for high aspiration and heavenly-mindedness, for faith
and hope and love and self-devotion, and all those things for want of
which the world is sick to death.

But the kingdom of woman is on that borderland, and if she comes down to
earth to claim its lowland provinces she exposes herself to lose both
worlds, not securing real freedom or permanent equality in one, and
losing hold of some of the highest prerogatives of the other. These may
seem to be cloudy and visionary views, and this does not in any sense
pretend to be a controversial defence of them, but only a suggestion
that both history and present experience have something to say on this
side of the question, a suggestion also that there are two spheres of
influence, requiring different qualities for their perfect use, as there
are two forces in a planetary system. If these forces attempted to work
on one line the result would be the wreck of the whole, but in their
balance one against the other, apparently contrary, in reality at one,
the equilibrium of the whole is secured. One is for motor force and the
other for central control; both working in concert establish the harmony
of planetary motion and give permanent conditions of unity. Here, as
elsewhere, uniformity tends to ultimate loosening of unity; diversity
establishes that balance which combines freedom with stability.

Once more it must be said that only the Catholic Church can give perfect
adjustment to the two forces, as she holds up on both sides ideals which
make for unity. And when the higher education of women has flowered
under Catholic influence, it has had a strong basis of moral worth, of
discipline and control to sustain the expansion of intellectual life;
and without the Church the higher education of women has tended to
one-sidedness, to nonconformity of manners, of character, and of mind,
to extremes, to want of balance, and to loss of equilibrium in the
social order, by straining after uniformity of rights and aims and
occupations.

So with regard to the general question of women's higher education may
it be suggested that the moral training, the strengthening of character,
is the side which must have precedence and must accompany every step of
their education, making them fit to bear heavier responsibilities, to
control their own larger independence, to stand against the current of
disintegrating influences that will play upon them. To be fit for higher
education calls for much acquired self-restraint, and unfortunately it
is on the contrary sometimes sought as an opening for speedier
emancipation from control. Those who seek it in this spirit are of all
others least fitted to receive it, for the aim is false, and it gives a
false movement to the whole being. Again, when it is entirely
dissociated from the realities of life, it tends to unfit girls for any
but a professional career in which they will have--at great cost to their
own well-being--to renounce their contact with those primeval teachers of
experience.

In some countries they have found means of combining both in a modified
form of university life for girls, and in this they are wiser than we.
Buds of the same tree have been introduced into England, but they are
nipped by want of appreciation. We have still to look to our
foundations, and even to make up our minds as to what we want. Perhaps
the next few years will make things clearer. But in the meantime there
is a great deal to be done; there is one lesson that every one concerned
with girls must teach them, and induce them to learn, that is the lesson
of self-command and decision. Our girls are in danger of drifting and
floating along the current of the hour, passive in critical moments,
wanting in perseverance to carry out anything that requires steady
effort. They are often forced to walk upon slippery ground; temptations
sometimes creep on insensibly, and at others make such sudden attacks
that the thing all others to be dreaded for girls is want of courage and
decision of character. Those render them the best service who train them
early to decide for themselves, to say yes or no definitely, to make up
their mind promptly, not because they "feel like it" but for a reason
which they know, and to keep in the same mind which they have reasonably
made up. Thus they may be fitted by higher moral education to receive
higher mental training according to their gifts; but in any case they
will be prepared by it to take up whatever responsibilities life may
throw upon them.

The future of girls necessarily remains indeterminate, at least until
the last years of their education, but the long indeterminate time is
not lost if it has been spent in preparatory training of mind, and
especially in giving some resistance to their pliant or wayward
characters. Thus, whether they devote themselves to the well-being of
their own families, or give themselves to volunteer work in any
department, social or particular, or advance in the direction of higher
studies, or receive any special call from God to dedicate their gifts to
His particular service, they will at least have something to give; their
education will have been "higher" in that it has raised them above the
dead level of mediocre character and will-power, which is only
responsive to the inclination or stimulus of the moment, but has no
definite plan of life. It may be that as far as exterior work goes, or
anything that has a name to it, no specified life-work will be offered
to many, but it is a pity if they regard their lives as a failure on
that account.

There are lives whose occupations could not be expressed in a formula,
yet they are precious to their surroundings and precious in themselves,
requiring more steady self-sacrifice than those which give the stimulus
of something definite to do. These need not feel themselves cut off from
what is highest in woman's education, if they realize that the mind has
a life in itself and makes its own existence there, not selfishly, but
indeed in a peculiarly selfless way, because it has nothing to show for
itself but some small round of unimpressive occupations; some perpetual
call upon its sympathies and devotion, not enough to fill a life, but
just enough to prevent it from turning to anything else. Then the higher
life has to be almost entirely within itself, and no one is there to see
the value of it all, least of all the one who lives it. There is no
stimulus, no success, no brilliancy; it is perhaps of all lives the
hardest to accept, yet what perfect workmanship it sometimes shows. Its
disappearance often reveals a whole tissue of indirect influences which
had gone forth from it; and who can tell how far this unregistered,
uncertificated higher education of a woman, without a degree and with an
exceedingly unassuming opinion of itself, may have extended. It is a
life hard to accept, difficult to put into words with any due proportion
to its worth, but good and beautiful to know, surely "rich in the sight
of God,"




CHAPTER XIV.

CONCLUSION.

"Far out the strange ships go:
   Their broad sails flashing red
As flame, or white as snow:
   The ships, as David said.
'Winds rush and waters roll:
   Their strength, their beauty, brings
Into mine heart the whole
   Magnificence of things.'"
                              LIONEL JOHNSON.

The conclusion is only an opportunity for repeating how much there is
still to be said, and even more to be thought of and to be done, in the
great problem and work of educating girls. Every generation has to face
the same problem, and deals with it in a characteristic way. For us it
presents particular features of interest, of hope and likewise of
anxious concern. The interest of education never flags; year after year
the material is new, the children come up from the nursery to the
school-room, with their life before them, their unbounded possibilities
for good, their confidence and expectant hopefulness as to what the
future will bring them. We have our splendid opportunity and are greatly
responsible for its use. Each precious result of education when the girl
has grown up and leaves our hands is thrown into the furnace to be
tried--fired--like glass or fine porcelain. Those who educate have, at a
given moment, to let go of their control, and however solicitously they
may have foreseen and prepared for it by gradually obliging children to
act without coercion and be responsible for themselves, yet the critical
moment must come at last and "every man's work shall be manifest," "the
fire shall try every man's work, of what sort it is" (1 Cor. III).
Life tries the work of education, "of what sort it is." If it stands the
test it is more beautiful than before, its colours are fixed. If it
breaks, and some will inevitably break in the trial, a Catholic
education has left in the soul a way to recovery. Nothing, with us, is
hopelessly shattered, we always know how to make things right again. But
if we can we must secure the character against breaking, our effort in
education must be to make something that will last, and for this we must
often sacrifice present success in consideration of the future, we must
not want to see results. A small finished building is a more sightly
object than one which is only beginning to rise above its foundations,
yet we should choose that our educational work should be like the second
rather than the first, even though it has reached "the ugly stage,"
though it has its disappointments and troubles before it, with its daily
risks and the uncertainty of ultimate success. But it is a truer work,
and a better introduction to the realities of life.

A "finished education" is an illusion or else a lasting disappointment;
the very word implies a condition of mind which is opposed to any
further development, a condition of self-satisfaction. What then shall
we call a well-educated girl, whom we consider ready for the
opportunities and responsibilities of her new life? An equal degree of
fitness cannot be expected from all, the difference between those who
have ten talents and those who have only two will always be felt. Those
who have less will be well educated if they have acquired spirit enough
not to be discontented or disheartened at feeling that their resources
are small; if we have been able to inspire them with hope and plodding
patience it will be a great thing, for this unconquerable spirit of
perseverance does not fail in the end, it attains to something worthy of
all honour, it gives us people of trust whose character is equal to
their responsibilities, and that is no little thing in any position of
life; and, if to this steadiness of will is added a contented mind, it
will always be superior to its circumstances and will not cease to
develop in the line of its best qualities.

It is not these who disappoint--in fact they often give more than was
expected of them. It is those of great promise who are more often
disappointing in failing to realize what they might do with their richer
endowments; they fail in strength of will.

Now if we want a girl to grow to the best that a woman ought to be it is
in two things that we must establish her fundamentally--quiet of mind and
firmness of will. Quiet of mind equally removed from stagnation and from
excitement. In stagnation her mind is open to the seven evil spirits who
came into the house that was empty and swept; under excitement it is
carried to extremes in any direction which occupies its attention at the
time. The best minds of women are quiet, intuitive, and full of
intellectual sympathies. They are not in general made for initiation and
creation, but initiation and creation lean upon them for understanding
and support. And their support must be moral as well as mental, for this
they need firmness of will. Support cannot be given to others without an
inward support which does not fail towards itself in critical moments.
The great victories of women have been won by this inward support, this
firmness and perseverance of will based upon faith. The will of a woman
is strong, not in the measure of what it manifests without, as of what
it reserves within, that is to say in the moderation of its own
impulsiveness and emotional tendency, in the self-discipline of
perseverance, the subordination of personal interest to the good of
whatever depends upon it for support. It is great in self-devotion, and
in this is found its only lasting independence.

To give much and ask little in personal return is independence of the
highest kind. But faith alone can make it possible. The Catholic Faith
gives that particular orientation of mind which is independent of this
world, knowing the account which it must give to God. To some it is duty
and the reign of conscience, to others it is detachment and the reign of
the love of God, the joyful flight of the soul towards heavenly things.
The particular name matters little, it has a centre of gravity. "As
everlasting foundations upon a solid rock, so the commandments of God in
the heart of a holy woman." [1--Ecclus. XXVI. 24.]




APPENDIX I.

EXTRACT FROM "THE BLESSED SACRAMENT"
BY FATHER FABER.

BOOK III. SEC. VII.

Let us put aside the curtain of vindicative fire, and see what this pain
of loss is like; I say, what it is like, for it fortunately surpasses
human imagination to conceive its dire reality. Suppose that we could
see the huge planets and the ponderous stars whirling their terrific
masses with awful, and if it might be so, clamorous velocity, and
thundering through the fields of unresisting space with furious gigantic
momentum, such as the mighty avalanche most feebly figures, and thus
describing with chafing eccentricities and frightful deflections, their
mighty centre-seeking and centre-flying circles, we should behold in the
nakedness of its tremendous operations the Divine law of gravitation.
Thus in like manner should we see the true relations between God and
ourselves, the true meaning and worth of His beneficent presence, if we
could behold a lost soul at the moment of its final and judicial
reprobation, a few moments after its separation from the body and in all
the strength of its disembodied vigour and the fierceness of its penal
immortality.

No beast of the jungle, no chimera of heathen imagination, could be so
appalling. No sooner is the impassable bar placed between God and itself
than what theologians call the creature's radical love of the Creator
breaks out in a perfect tempest of undying efforts. It seeks its centre
and it cannot reach it. It bounds up towards God, and is dashed down
again. It thrusts and beats against the granite walls of its prison with
such incredible force, that the planet must be strong indeed whose
equilibrium is not disturbed by the weight of that spiritual violence.
Yet the great law of gravitation is stronger still, and the planet
swings smoothly through its beautiful ether. Nothing can madden the
reason of the disembodied soul, else the view of the desirableness of
God and the inefficacious attractions of the glorious Divinity would do
so.

Up and down its burning cage the many-facultied and mightily
intelligenced spirit wastes its excruciating immortality in varying and
ever varying still, always beginning and monotonously completing, like a
caged beast upon its iron tether, a threefold movement, which is not
three movements successively, but one triple movement all at once. In
rage it would fain get at God to seize Him, dethrone Him, murder Him,
and destroy Him; in agony it would fain suffocate its own interior
thirst for God, which parches and burns it with all the frantic horrors
of a perfectly self-possessed frenzy; and in fury it would fain break
its tight fetters of gnawing fire which pin down its radical love of the
beautiful Sovereign Good, and drag it ever back with cruel wrench from
its desperate propension to its uncreated Centre. In the mingling of
these three efforts it lives its life of endless horrors. Portentous as
is the vehemence with which it shoots forth its imprecations against
God, they fall faint and harmless, far short of His tranquil,
song-surrounded throne.

Pour views of its own hideous state revolve around the lost soul, like
the pictures of some ghastly show. One while it sees the million times
ten million genera and species of pains of sense which meet and form a
loathsome union with this vast central pain of loss. Another while all
the multitude of graces, the countless kind providences, which it has
wasted pass before it, and generate that undying worm of remorse of
which Our Saviour speaks. Then comes a keen but joyless view, a
calculation, but only a bankrupt's calculation, of the possibility of
gains for ever forfeited, of all the grandeur and ocean-like vastness of
the bliss which it has lost. Last of all comes before it the immensity
of God, to it so unconsoling and so unprofitable; it is not a picture,
it is only a formless shadow, yet it knows instinctively that it is God.
With a cry that should be heard creation through, it rushes upon Him,
and it knocks itself, spirit as it is, against material terrors. It
clasps the shadow of God, and, lo! it embraces keen flames. It runs up
to Him but it has encountered only fearful demons. It leaps the length
of its chain after Him, but it has only dashed into an affrighting crowd
of lost and cursed souls. Thus is it ever writhing under the sense of
being its own executioner. Thus there is not an hour of our summer
sunshine, not a moment of our sweet starlight, not a vibration of our
moonlit groves, not an undulation of odorous air from our flowerbeds,
not a pulse of delicious sound from music or song to us, but that
hapless unpitiable soul is ever falling sick afresh of the overwhelming
sense that all around it is eternal.

EXTRACT FROM "THE CREATOR AND THE CREATURE."
BY FATHER FABER.

BOOK II. CH. V.

Yet the heavenly joys of the illuminated understanding far transcend the
thrills of the glorified senses. The contemplation of heavenly beauty
and of heavenly truth must indeed be beyond all our earthly standards of
comparison. The clearness and instantaneousness of all the mental
processes, the complete exclusion of error, the unbroken serenity of the
vision, the facility of embracing whole worlds and systems in one calm,
searching, exhausting glance, the Divine character and utter holiness of
all the truths presented to the view--these are broken words which serve
at least to show what we may even 'now indistinctly covet in that bright
abode of everlasting bliss. Intelligent intercourse with the angelic
choirs, and the incessant transmission of the Divine splendours through
them to our minds, cannot be thought of without our perceiving that the
keen pleasures and deep sensibilities of the intellectual world on earth
are but poor, thin, unsubstantial shadows of the exulting immortal life
of our glorified minds above.

The very expansion of the faculties of the soul, and the probable
disclosure in it of many new faculties which have no object of exercise
in this land of exile, are in themselves pleasures which we can hardly
picture to ourselves. To be rescued from all narrowness, and for ever;
to possess at all times a perfect consciousness of our whole undying
selves, and to possess and retain that self-consciousness in the bright
light of God; to feel the supernatural corroborations of the light of
glory, securing to us powers of contemplation such as the highest
mystical theology can only faintly and feebly imitate; to expatiate in
God, delivered from the monotony of human things; to be securely poised
in the highest flights of our immense capacities, without any sense of
weariness, or any chance of a reaction; who can think out for himself
the realities of a life like this?

Yet what is all this compared with one hour, one of earth's short hours,
of the magnificences of celestial love? Oh to turn our whole souls upon
God, and souls thus expanded and thus glorified; to have our affections
multiplied and magnified a thousandfold, and then girded up and
strengthened by immortality to bear the beauty of God to be unveiled
before us; and even so strengthened, to be rapt by it into a sublime
amazement which has no similitude on earth; to be carried away by the
inebriating torrents of love, and yet be firm in the most steadfast
adoration; to have passionate desire, yet without tumult or disturbance;
to have the most bewildering intensity along with an unearthly calmness;
to lose ourselves in God, and then find ourselves there more our own
than ever; to love rapturously and to be loved again still more
rapturously, and then for our love to grow more rapturous still, and
again the return of our love to be still outstripping what we gave, and
then for us to love even yet more and more and more rapturously, and
again, and again, and again to have it so returned, and still the great
waters of God's love to flow over us and overwhelm us until the
vehemence of our impassioned peace and the daring vigour of our yearning
adoration reach beyond the sight of our most venturous imagining; what
is all this but for our souls to live a life of the most intelligent
entrancing ecstasy, and yet not be shivered by the fiery heat? There
have been times on earth when we have caught our own hearts loving God,
and there was a flash of light, and then a tear, and after that we lay
down to rest. O happy that we were! Worlds could not purchase from us
even the memory of those moments. And yet when we think of heaven, we
may own that we know not yet what manner of thing it is to love the Lord
Our God.




APPENDIX II

_From a Pastoral Letter of His Eminence Cardinal Bourne, Archbishop of
Westminster, written when Bishop of Southwark. Quinquagesima Sunday,_
1901.

...Every age has its own difficulties and dangers. At the present day we
are exposed to temptations which at the beginning of the last century
were of comparatively small account. It will be so always. Every new
development of human activity, every invention of human ingenuity, is
meant by God to serve to His honour, and to the good of His creatures.
We must accept them all gratefully as the results of the intelligence
which He has been pleased to bestow upon us. At the same time the
experience of every age teaches us that the weakness and perversity of
many wrest to evil purposes these gifts, which in the Divine intention
should serve only for good. It is against the perverted use of two of
God's gifts that we would very earnestly warn you to-day.

During the last century the power that men have of conveying their
thoughts to others has been multiplied incredibly by the facility of the
printed word. Thoughts uttered in speech or sermon were given but to a
few hundreds who came within the reach of the human voice. Even when
they were communicated to manuscript they came to the knowledge of very
few. What a complete change has now been wrought. In the shortest space
of time men's ideas are conveyed all over the world, and they may become
at once a power for good or for evil in every place, and millions who
have never seen or heard him whose thoughts they read, are brought to
some extent under his influence.

Again, at the present day all men read, more or less. The number of
those who are unable to do so is rapidly diminishing, and a man who
cannot read will soon be practically unknown. As a matter of fact men
read a great deal, and they are very largely influenced by what they
read.

Thus the multiplicity of printed matter, and the widespread power of
reading have created a situation fraught with immense possibilities for
good, but no less exposed to distinct occasions of evil and of sin. It
is to such occasions of sin, dear children in Jesus Christ, that we
desire to direct your attention this Lent.

Every gift of God brings with it responsibility on our part in the use
that we make of it. The supreme gift of intelligence and free-will are
powers to enable us to love and serve God, but we are able to use them
to dishonour and outrage Him. So with all the other faculties that flow
from these two great gifts. Beading and books have brought many souls
nearer to their Creator. Many souls, on the other hand, have been ruined
eternally by the books which they have read. It is dearly, therefore, of
importance to us to know how to use wisely these gifts that we possess.

The Holy Catholic Church, the Guardian of God's Truth, and the
unflinching upholder of the moral law, has been always alive to her duty
in this matter, and from the earliest times has claimed and exercised
the right of pointing out to her children books that are dangerous to
faith or virtue. This is one of the duties of bishops, and, in a most
special manner, of the Sacred Congregation of the Index. And, though at
the present day, owing to the decay of religious belief, this authority
cannot be exercised in the same way as of old, it is on that very
account all the more necessary for us to bear well in mind, and to carry
out fully in practice, the great unchanging principles on which the
legislation of the Church in this matter has been ever based.

You are bound, dear children in Jesus Christ, to guard yourselves
against all those things which may be a source of danger to your faith
or purity of heart. You have no right to tamper with the one or the
other. Therefore, in the first place, it is the duty of Catholics to
abstain from reading all such books as are written directly with the
object of attacking the Christian Faith, or undermining the foundations
of morality. If men of learning and position are called upon to read
such works in order to refute them, they must do so with the fear of God
before their eyes. They must fortify themselves by prayer and spiritual
reading, even as men protect themselves from contagion, where they have
to enter a poisonous atmosphere. Mere curiosity, still less the desire
to pass as well informed in every newest theory, will not suffice to
justify us in exposing ourselves to so grave a risk.

Again, there are many books, especially works of fiction, in which false
principles are often indirectly conveyed, and by which the imagination
may be dangerously excited. With regard to such reading, it is very hard
to give one definite rule, for its effect on different characters varies
so much. A book most dangerous to one may be almost without harm to
another, on account of the latter's want of vivid imagination. Again, a
book full of danger to the youth or girl may be absolutely without
effect on one of maturer years. The one and only rule is to be
absolutely loyal and true to our conscience, and if the voice of
conscience is not sufficiently distinct, to seek guidance and advice
from those upon whom we can rely, and above all, from the director of
our souls. If we take up a book, and we find that, without foolish
scruple, it is raising doubts in our mind or exciting our imagination in
perilous directions, then we must be brave enough to close it, and not
open it again. If our weakness is such that we cannot resist temptation,
which unforeseen may come upon us, then it is our duty not to read any
book the character of which is quite unknown to us. If any such book is
a source of temptation to us, we must shun it, if we wish to do our duty
to God. If our reading makes us discontented with the lot in life which
Divine Providence has assigned to us, if it leads us to neglect or do
ill the duties of our position, if we find that our trust in God is
lessening and our love of this world growing, in all these cases we must
examine ourselves with the greatest care, and banish from ourselves any
book which is having these evil effects upon us.

Lastly there is an immense amount of literature, mostly of an ephemeral
character, which almost of necessity enters very largely into our lives
at the present day. We cannot characterize it as wholly bad, though its
influence is not entirely good, but it is hopeless to attempt to
counteract what is harmful in it by any direct means. The newspapers and
magazines of the hour are often without apparent harm, and yet very
often their arguments are based on principles which are unsound, and
their spirit is frankly worldly, and entirely opposed to the teaching of
Jesus Christ and of the Gospel. Still more when the Catholic Church and
the Holy See are in question, we know full well, and the most recent
experience has proved it, that they are often consciously or
unconsciously untruthful. Even when their misrepresentations have been
exposed, in spite of the boasted fairness of our country, we know that
we must not always expect a withdrawal of false news, still less
adequate apology. Constant reading of this character cannot but weaken
the Catholic sense and instinct, and engender in their place a worldly
and critical spirit most harmful in every way, unless we take means to
counteract it. What are these means? A place must be found in your
lives, dear children in Jesus Christ, for reading of a distinctly
Catholic character. You must endeavour to know the actual life and
doings of the Catholic Church at home and abroad by the reading of
Catholic periodical literature. You must have at hand books of
instruction in the Catholic Faith, for at least occasional reading, so
as to keep alive in your minds the full teaching of the Church. You must
give due place to strictly spiritual reading, such as the "Holy
Gospels," "The Following of Christ," "The Introduction to a Devout Life"
by St. Francis of Sales, and the lives of the Saints, which are now
published in every form and at every price. It is not your duty to
abstain from reading all the current literature of the day, but it is
your duty to nourish your Catholic mental life by purely Catholic
literature. The more you read of secular works, the more urgent is your
duty to give a sufficient place to those also, which will directly serve
you in doing your duty to God and in saving your soul. Assuredly one of
the most pressing duties at the present day is to recognize fully our
personal and individual responsibility in this matter of reading, and to
examine our conscience closely to see how we are acquitting ourselves of
it.

Before we leave this subject, we wish to ask all those among you dear
children in Jesus Christ, who, whether as fathers and mothers, or as
members of religious institutes, or masters and mistresses in schools,
are charged with the education of the young, to do all in your power to
train those committed to you to a wise and full understanding of this
matter of reading, and to a realization of its enormous power for good
and harm, and, therefore, to a sense of the extreme responsibility
attaching to it. Make them understand that, while all are able to read,
all things are not to be read by all; that this power, like every power,
may be abused, and that we have to learn how to use it with due
restraint. While they are with you and gladly subject to your influence,
train their judgment and their taste in reading, so that they may know
what is good and true, and know how to turn from what is evil and false.
Such a trained and cultivated judgment is the best protection that you
can bestow upon them. Some dangers must be overcome by flight, but there
are far more, especially at the present day, which must be faced, and
then overcome. It is part of your great vocation to prepare and equip
these children to be brave and to conquer in this fight. Gradually,
therefore, accustom them to the dangers they may meet in reading. Train
their judgment, strengthen their wills, make them loyal to conscience,
and then, trusting in God's grace, give them to their work in life.




INDEX.

Abbesses, the great, 224.
Accent and pronunciation, 154.
Adolescence, impressionability of children in, 173.
Aesthetics, 68; principles of, 71-2; teaching of, 187.
Agnesi, Maria Gaetana, 222.
Aids to study, 103-4.
A Kempls on self-seeking, 197.
America: educational experiments in, 84; text-books in, 180.
American view on character, 22.
  --expressive phrases, 128,155.
Ampere, Catholic scientist, 115.
Amusements and lessons, 100.
Animals, care of, in education of children, 125.
Answers, irrelevancy in girls', 74.
Aquinas, St. Thomas, 72.
Architecture, Gothic, inferences from, 189.
Arnold, Matthew, quoted, 48.
Art, character and, 186-7; Christian, 188, 189, 197; for children,
   191-2; contrasts in works of, 189-90; in education of girls, 72, 187;
   French art, 187; history of, 188-9; study of, 190-1; aims of study in
   early education, 185, 196.
Assenting mind, the, 25.
Assentors, great, 26.
Athletic craze, the, 111.
  --girl, the, 219.
Atmosphere in education, 321-2.
Audience, English and German, contrasted, 193.
"Aurora Leigh," 216.
Average person, the, 64-6.

"Babylonian Captivity," the. 165.
Bacon, "Of Goodnesse," 45.
Balder, the story of, 170.
Barbarism, selfishness and, 199.
Basilicas, the Christian, 19-20.
Basket-ball for girls, 110.
Bassi, Laura, 222.
Beale, Dorothea, cited, 94.
Bedford College, 218.
Benedictine monks, cited, 92-8.
Boarding schools, 76; young children in, 78.
Boniface VIII, 177.
Books, attitude of child towards, 36; wealth of children's literature in
  England, 144-5
  --reaction against mere lessons from, 80, 119-20.
  --Sacred, jewels of prayer and devotion in, IS.
  --to avoid, 148.
Botany, 122-3.
British oulturs, characteristics of, 139.
Browning, E. B., cited, 216.
  --R., quoted, 76; "An incident of the French camp," cited, 136.

Calvinism, 4, 26.
Candour, charm of, in children, 130.
Carlyle, cited, 153.
Catch-words, abuse of, 133.
Catherine, St., of Siena, 223.
Catholic--
  Art, 189, 197.
  Atmosphere, effect on manners, 201.
  Body, at play, 111; and religious education, 1.
  Characteristics: belong to graver side of human race, 112,
  Child, the, characteristics of, 29, 30;  source of courage in, 9-10;
   in Protestant surroundings, 24; prerogative of, 9, 30.
  Children, and relationship with Jeaus and His Mother, 8; and religion,
   16-18; under influence of Sacraments, 29.
  Church, ideals for man and woman in, 118, 225.
  Citizenship, 39.
  Disabilities, Newman quoted, 112-3.
  Education, 220, 225, 230; and character, 39; and history, 116.
  Faith, gives particular orientation of mind, 232.
  Family life, 89, 93.
  Girls, and work for the Church, 89; and Church music, 193.
  Historical hold on the past, 152.
  Literature, 240.
  Men of science, 116.
  Mental life, 242.
  Mind: training of the, 197; and history, 165.
  Patriotism, 39.
  Peasantry, 211.
  Philosophy, 60-76; value of, in education, 61.
  Schools: manners in, 201; sodalities in, 78.
  Secrets of strength, 99.
  Teachers, 100; and truth in history, 178.
  Text-books, need of, 180.
  Women, duty and privilege of, 112.
Catholics and--
  Equality of education, 118; higher education, 220; duty In ing, 240;
   historical teaching, 176; Latin, 163; taste in art, 194
  --disabilities of, Newman quoted, 112-8.
Celts of N. Europe, types of character among, 97.
Certificates as aids to study, 1084.
Character, 21-3; essentials of, 40-1; evolution of, 60,179-3; study of,
   22, 29, 34-9; training of, 22, 29-34, 38-42, 46, 49-51, 58, 148, 210,
   221, 225-6, 230; means of training 42-4; types of, 26-9, 37.
  --influence of art on, 186.
  --in the teacher, 38, 46-59.
  --manners and, 209.
  --religion and, 6-7, 29.
  --the strength of great women, 228.
  --value of, appreciated by children, 56-8, 171.
Characters, modern, 26, 83; cardinal points in study of children's,
   34-7.
Characteristic cadence in speaking, 54. Characteristics, of the age, 39;
   of British culture, 130; of English style, 129-30; of girls' work,
   218.
Charges against the Church, 179.
Chaucer, 127.
Cheltenham College, 94, 218.
Child, attitude of, towards books, 36.
  --martyrs, 10.
  --study, 35, 57.
  --vocabulary of an "only," 132.
  --Wordsworth's "model child," 32-3.
  _See also_ Catholic Child.
Childhood, friendships formed in, 11.
  --impressionability of, 173.
Childishness in piety, 10.
Childlike spirit of Catholic child, 29.
Children, 30.
  --books for, 144-6; attitude to books, 36.
  --characteristics of, 36, 66, 56, 82-3, 109-10, 123; candour, 180;
   habits of mind, 126; sensitive to influences, 46; as critics, 136;
   like _real people_, 56-6; dislike compromise, 175.
  --delicate, 9, 50, 84, 86.
  --development of, 82; mental development, 140-1, 169-73.
  --eccentric ways in, 84.
  --groups observable among, 23, 26-8, 87, 62,125.
  --and lessons; a simple life essential, 100; do not know how to learn,
  101; answers, 102.
  --letters of, 188-9.
  --and love of nature, 124,126.
  --no orphans within the Church, 80.
  --and playtime solitude, 108-9. souls of, 200.
  --training of, 32-3.
Chivalry: age of, 202; religious spirit of, 165.
Choleric temperament, the, 26.
Church, the--
  Abuses in, exaggerated, 179.
  Ceremonial of, 205-6.
  Characterised as the Great Master who educates us all, 434; as the
   Guardian of Truth, 239; the Teacher of all nations, 58-9, 99.
  Example of, as teacher, 43; influence on Catholic taachers, 99-100.
  in France, 165.
  and history, 165.
  Ideals for man and woman in, 118, 225.
  Music of, 193-4.
  Needlework for, 89.
  the pioneers of, 92.
  as a teacher of manners, 200-3, 205.
  testimony to, from Non-Catholic sources, 59, 178.
Classes, advantages of large, 97.
Classical studies, 151-2
Classics, English, for the young, 145.
"Clever" children, the so-called, 125.
Colonial life, 92.
Common sense, 65.
Communion, First, 29.
Composition, oral, 138; written, 137, 139-42.
Concentric method in teaching, 167.
Confirmation, 29.
Contentment, 90.
Contrasts, method of, in teaching of art, 189.
Control and "handling" in training children, 200.
Controversies. _See_ Educational Controversies.
Conventionality, 198-9.
Conventions, code of, 199.
Conversation, 132-7; of girls, 182-4; principles in, 137.
Cooking, 90, 121. Correction, value of, 42. Cosmology, 68.
Countrymen and nature, 124-5.
Crimean War and women's work, 219.
Criticism and correction, 42-3; administered by the Church, 44.
  --evils of merely destructive, 183; reading lesson as an exercise in,
   136; of essays, 142.
Critics, gravity of children as, 136.
Cross-roads in a girl's life, 140.
Cruelty, 199.
Crusades, ideals of the, 165.
Curiosity concerning evil, 14; evil of curiosity in reading, 149.

Dalgairns, Fr., cited, 12.
Damoiseaux, in days of chivalry, 203
Dancing, 110-11.
Dante, "Paradiso," quoted, 60.
Death, right thoughts of, 7.
De Bonald, cited, 73.
De Ghantal, St. Jane F., quoted, 76.
De Gramont, Marquise, quoted, 41.
Degrees, different significance of, for man and woman, 220-1.
Democratic age, 5, 207.
Democracy in the nursery, 208.
De Ravignan, Pere, quoted, 105.
Devotion: requirements of, 10; to our Lady, 205, 218. _And see_
   Self-devotion.
Devotions of Blessed Sacrament and Sacred  Heart entrusted  to women,
   223.
  --to the Saints, 10.
Difficulties of mind, 61-6.
Discipline and obedience, 42.
Dogmatism in teaching, 53.
Domestic occupations, 81, 85-92, 93, 121.
Doubts and difficulties as to faith, 14.
Dressmaking, 88.
Drudgery, need of, 96, 98.
Duty and endurance, 96.

Eccentricity, 83-5.
Educated, a well-educated girl, 231.
Education--
  Aims in, 88, 89, 159, 230-1.
  Board of, 80-1, 95, 119, 120, 121.
  and character, 21, 231.
  Demands of girls', 77.
  A "finished," 230-1.
  Higher Education of women, 214-28.
  Home education, 77, 96, 97, 155.
  Intermediate, 87,116.
  Intellectual and practical, contrasted, 91.
  Last years of, 213.
  and lesson books, 80.
  Life the test of, 230.
  and material requirements of life, 86.
  Middle class, and practical work, 81.
  Mistakes in English, 119-21.
  the opportunity of the teacher, 229,
  Practical, 81, 91; practical aspect of, 122.
  Problems in, 76 _et seq_.
  Religious, 1-20.
  and religious orders, 58-9.
  State control in, 217.
  System of 1870, 34, 120.
  "Ugly stage" in, 230.
  of women, changes in, 215.
  of young children, 78-9, 96-7.
Educational advantages of personal work, 88.
Educational controversies, 1, 99, 116, 118, 151, 218.
  --experiments in America, 34.
  --pressure levels original thought, 184.
Educators, qualities in great, 99; fundamental principles of, 99, 156.
  --of early childhood, types of, 31-2.
Elementary schools, 97.
Elizabeth, the two Saints, 224.
Emerson on manners, 198.
Encouragement, need of, 50.
English characteristics, 180, 137, 216-7.
  --language, 128, 150; study of, 127-49; mathod in study, 131;
   characteristics of style, 129-30; American influences on, 127-8;
   traces of Elizabethan, in America, 128; new words in, 129; children's
   English, 129-31. _And see_ Composition, Conversation, Literature,
   Reading.
  --martyrs, 172.
  --portraits in Berlin, 129-30.
Essay writing, 138-42.
Ethics, 68, 70, 71, 73.
European history, 165, 166.
Eustoohium, St., 224.
Examination programme, a professional danger, 61.
Example, power of, 38, 46.
Excitement, evil of, 100, 231.
_Exempt_ persons, 86.

Faber, Father, on hell and heaven, 8, 233-7.
Fairness, children look for, 56.
Faith, and art, 189-90, 194.
  --Catholic, things which come with, 39.
  --child's soul hungry for, 200.
  --children as confessors of, 10.
  --dangers to, 11-14, 178, 240.
  --difficulties and doubts as to, 14-15.
  --mysteries in, 2, 15.
  --philosophy, a help and support to, 61, 72.
  --the Propagation of the, 228.
  --responsibility with regard to, 16-17.
  --right thoughts of, 10.
  --thoughts of, inspiring life, 6, 98, 104.
Family life, Catholic, 39, 93.
Fathers and mothers, symbols of God's love, 3.
Faults contrary to spirit of childhood, 50.
Feltre, Vittorino da, 99.
Fighting instinct in child, 109.
First aid, 89.
Fitch, Sir J., "Lessons on Teaching," cited 169.
Fitness, sense of, 19.
Flowers and children, 109, 128, 125-6.
Four last things, right thoughts of, 7-8.
France, literature in, 161.
Francis of Sales, St., cited, 12,17, 26; on care of the Church, 44;
   works of, 162 _n_., 242.
Frauenbund, 219.
Freemason, Jewish, in Rome, 11.
French: art, 187; language, study of, 163, 150, 169-60; litarature
   160-1; mind, bent of, 160; Revolution, 202.
Friend, the influence of a, 42.
Friendship and character forming, 42, 43.
Friendships, as indications of character, 86; a safeguard against
   morbid, 51; with the saints, 11.

Gairdner's "Lollardy and the Reformation" cited, 179.
Games, value of organized, 78, 107-8, 110.
Gardens for children, 125.
  --in a new country, 126.
Genesis, Book of, 115.
Geography, 122.
German, language, study of, 153-4, 169-60.
  --musical audience, 193.
Girl students at universities, 217-8, 226.
Girls' and higher moral education, 226-7.
  --answers, irrelevancy in, 74.
  --views of life at age of 18, 214; mental outlook at 16, 141.
  --work, characteristics of, 218.
Girton, 218.
"Giving way," 85.
God, child's soul near to, 126.
  --duty to, 1, 218, 241.
  --Fatherhood of, 3, 6.
  --on conveying right thought of, to children, 1-8.
  --truths concerning existence of, 72.
God's care for us, 44.
  --priest, Art, 182.
Golliwogg, the, 105-6.
Gothic architecture, 189.
Governess, a modern, 77.
Grammar, 67.
Gramophone in language teaching, 156.
Greek history, 169.
  --tragedies, 184.
Gregory XVI and De Bonald, 73.
Grown-up life, on anticipated instruction in, 94.

Habit of work, 40, 98.
Habits, 21, 22.
Handicrafts, teaching of, 81.
"Handling " in training in manners, 200-2.
Handy member of family, the, 83.
Hearing of lessons, 101.
Hedley, Bp., quoted, 43.
Hell and heaven, 8, 238-7.
Hidden lives, 227-8.
Higher education of women, 214-8; atmosphere for, non-existent 221, 226;
   and Catholic influence, 225; false aims in, 226; and realities of
   life, 226.
  --life, the, 228.
Historical teaching to Catholics, 176.
History, 164; position in curriculum, 166-7; value in education, 181.
  --European, centres round the Church, 165-7.
  --study, and the examination syllabus, 166, 168.
  --teaching: and periods in development of children, 170-6; aims in
   teaching, 172; method, 102, 167-9, 180-1; concentric method, 167;
   truth in teaching, 178; requirements in the teacher, 176-9.
  --text-books, defects of, 168.
Hockey, 110.
Holy family, the, 98.
  --Roman Empire, 165.
Home education, 77, 96, 97, 155.
  --happiness dependent on manners, 208.
Hooliganism, 199-200.

Imagination, 189-40.
Impressionism in conduct, 70.
Independence, 40, 92, 207, 232.
Influence. _See_ Example.
Insincerity, 47-8; in teaching, 14,178.
Inspectors on teaching by nuns, 59.
Investitures, struggle concerning, 166.
Irish Intermediate education, 87, 116.
Isabella the Catholic, 224.
Italian humanism, 25.
  --language, study of, 153, 159.
  --question, 166.

Jansenism, spirit of, 4.
Jesus Christ, right views of, 8-9.
Joan of Arc, Blessed, 223.
Johnson, Lionel, quoted, xiii, 229.
Judgment, right thoughts of, 7-8.

Keble, J., quoted, 1.
Kingdom of woman, 224.
Knighthood, training for, 202-3
Knowledge: at first hand, 123; before action, 31; love of, and influence
   of teacher, 99-100.

Laboratory science, 120-1.
Language. _See_ English.
Languages, modern, place and value in education, 150-1,156-8; social and
   commercial values of, 157-8; evil of superficial knowledge of, 158;
   attitude towards study of, 153, 154; choice of, 159-61;
   pronunciation, 154; methods in study, 155-7;  self-instruction
   courses, 156; translation, 161-3. Latin, 161-3; grammar, 82.
  --races, temperaments among, 27. Learning by heart, 135.
  --of lessons, 100-2.
Leo XIII, 17, 63, 74.
Lesson books and education, 80, 81, 119.
Lessons and play, 83,95-6,100.
  --from history, 176.
  --hearing of, 102; learning of, 100-2.
Letter-writing, 138-9.
Lir, children of, 170.
Literature, 142-6; wealth of children's books, 144-5.
Logic, 67, 68-9, 73; has no place in English religious system, 24.
Lowell, J. Russell, quoted, 150.
Loyalty and patriotism, 170.

Mackey, Canon, cited, 162.
"Mangnall's Questions," 215.
Mannerisms in teachers, 54-6.
Manners, 198-203, 210, 213; codes of, 205-6; derivation of word, 202;
   acquiring of, wearisome, 204-5, 210; neglect of, 205-6; effect of
   neglect to teach, 199-200; fundamentals of, 208-4; high and low
   watermarks in, 208-9; standard of, 203, 212; training in, 204-5,
   207-9; example not enough, 210; personal element in training in, 212;
   mistakes in training in, 208; truthfulness in, 211-2.
Manners and--
  Class of life, 211; home ties, 207-8; religion, 200-2, 205-6, 211;
   service, 211, 213; the life of to-day, 207.
Manual work, value of, in education, 82-3, 85, 86; a corrective to
   eccentricity, 83; domestic occupations, 85-93.
Mathematics, 114, 116-8, 121.
Matilda of Tuscany, 223.
Mechanical toys, 106-7.
Melancholic temperament, the, 26, 28.
Mercier, Cardinal, quoted, 69, 71, 72.
Metaphysics, 68.
Middle-class education, 81.
Mind, quiet of, 221, 231-2; habits of mind in children, 125; development
   of, 140-1, 169-73.
Minds: the best of, in women, 231-2; 5; classes of, 61-6.
Modernism, 13.
Montalembert, quoted, 88.
More, Blessed Thomas, 26, 99.
_Mouvement Feministe_, 219.
Music, place of, in education, 191-4; aims of study in, 193;
   intellectual aspect of, 192.
Myths, value in teaching history, 170.

Nagging, in teaching manners, 204.
Natural Science, 67, 114-6, 118-22.
  --Theology, 68, 72-3.
Nature Study, 114, 122-6; aims of, 122; books, 123-4.
Neoker de Saussure, Mme., quoted, 47-8, 54.
Needlework, 87-9, 121.
Nervs fatigue, 84.
"Nerves," women subject to, 70.
Newman, Cardinal, quoted, 112, 164.
Newnham College, 218.
Nightingale, Florence, 219.
Non-Catholic parents, and schools held by Religious, 59.
  --schools, 151, 166.
Nonconformist type of character, 23-6.
Nonentities, good, 38-40.
North of England Ladies' "Council of Education," 218.
Nuremberg, Pirkheimer family of, 222.
Nurse, the English and the Irish, 31-2.
Nursery shrine, the, 105, 106.
Nursing, 89, 218-9.

Obedience, training in, 43.
Observation of children, 35.
  --training in, 81, 119-26.
Oral composition, 138; oral lessons, 74, 180.
Organization and development, 80, 87.
Our Lady, right thoughts of, 8-10.
Oxford and Cambridge Degrees, 220.
  --girl students at, 218.

Painting and drawing, 191-6.
Parents: and teaching about God, 3; and teaching of manners, 208.
Pasteur, 115.
Pater, Walter, cited, 130.
Patience, value of, 40, 212; mental and moral, in women, 163.
Patriotism, 39, 170-1.
Paula, St., 224.
Peasantry, Catholic, simplicity of manners in, 211.
Penance, Sacrament of, 29.
People of great promise, 231.
Personal work, educational advantages of, 88.
Piety, childishness in, 10.
Philosophy, 60-75; method of study in, 66-74; relation to revealed
   truth, 73.
Phonetics, 155.
Physical exercise, 82.
Pico de Mirandola, 26.
Pirkheimer family of Nuremberg, 222.
Piscopia, Lucretia, 222.
Pius VII, 177.
Pius X, life of labour of, 99.
Plants, care of, for chilflren, 126.
Play, 104-5, 111, 112; and character, 86, 105, 107; of the nursery,
   105-6; and organized games, 107-8, 110; and solitude, 108-10; toys
   and playthings, 107; hoops, 110.
Poetry, 102; place of, 192; for children's recitation, 186.
Popes, the: in history, 177, 178, 179; of Renaissance, 26; temporal
   power of, 165; life of labour of, 98-9.
Popularity in matters of taste, 188-4.
Portraits, criticism of English, in Berlin, 129-30.
Pose, temptation to, 41; of being erratic, 70.
Practical education, 81.
Pressure in education, 97, 116-7.
Prize distribution, system of, 103-4.
Professional dangers in teaching, 61-7.
Pronunciation and accent, 154.
Proportion in studies, 191.
Protestant Reformation, effect on manners, 201.
  --school, Catholic child in, 24.
Protestantism, 25; and French Revolution, 202.
Psychology, 68, 70-1, 73.
Pugin's "Book of Contrasts," cited, 189.
Punishment, 99.

"Quack" methods in learning languages, 155.
Queen Victoria, 153, 198.
Queen's College, London, opening of, 216.
Querdeo, Y Le, quoted, 21.
Querulous tone, in the nursery, 53.
Question and answer lessons, 75, 180.
Questioning, manner of, 102; effect of too many questions, 36.
Quiet of mind, 221, 231-2.

Reading:  Cardinal Archbishop of Westminster on, 147, 238-43; and
   character, 36; for girls, 146, 148; without commentary, 145; value
   of, in education, 182-42.
  --aloud, 134, 136, 146; the best introduction to literature, 143.
Realities of life, 81, 87 _et seq_., 226.
Recitation, 134-6; gesture in, 136.
Recreation. _See_ Play.
Reformation, the Protestant, 201.
Religion, the teaching of, 1-20; aims in, 11, 17-18; periods in, 8.
Religious houses, foundresses of, 224; and manual labour, 98.
  --minds, difficulties of, 63.
  --orders, development of, 165.
  --teaching: qualifications for, 4; and manners, 201.
Renaissance, the, 25; Popes of the, 26.
Rewards, 99, 103, 104.
Reynolds, Sir Joshua, cited, 130.
Roman Catholics, disabilities of, 112-3.
  --history, 169.
Rossettl, D. G., quoted, 182.

Sacraments, the, as modifying temperamant, 29.
Sacred books, jewels of prayer in, 15.
Saints, devotions to the, 10-11.
Savonarola, 26. Schiller, quoted, 214. Scholastic philosophy, 74.
School: and home education, contrasted, 77-8; and preparation for life,
   76, 80, 91 _et seq_,; organization and individual development, 80.
  --education, drawbacks to, 78-9.
  --life, impressiveness of, 76-7.
Sohurman, Clara von, 222.
Science, experimental, 120-2, 151; misuse of the term, 118-9.
Scolding, 43, 60.
Scottish schoolmasters, old race of, 97-8.
Scriptural knowledge examinations, 16.
Scripture, devotional study of, 15.
Self-consciousness in children, 35.
Self-devotion, 31, 219, 224, 228.
Self-help, 89-90.
Selfishness, 84,199-200.
Servant question, 91.
Servants, manners in the best, 211.
Shrines, nursery, 105, 106.
Sidney, Sir Philip, 127.
Silliness, driven out by manual work, 86.
Simple life, the, 40, 92; for children, 100.
Sin and evil, right thoughts of, 6-7.
Sincerity, 41, 47-9.
Sodalities in Catholic schools, 78.
Solitude, value of, to children, 108-9.
South African War, reaction in education since, 119-20.
Spanish, study of, 154, 159.
Spiritualism, 13.
Sporting instinct in children, 42.
Stagnation of mind, 231.
Story-telling, 170; in teaching history, 180-1.
Strength, Catholic secrets of, 99.
Study, aids to, 103.
Suffrage movement, women's, 219.

Taste, 182, 196-7; and character, 182-4; independent, 184; self-taught,
   184, 185; trained, 185.
"Teacher Study," from child's point of view, 58.
Teacher's manners, 54-6.
Teachers, a large measure of freedom for, 34,
Teaching, a great stewardship, 3-4, 80; reality in, 122; qualifications
   in religious, 4.
  --orders of Eeligious, 58-9.
"Teddy Bears," 105, 106.
Temperament, 21-9; difficulties of, 32; division and classification of,
   23, 26-9; in religion, 28-5.
Tennyson, quoted, 216.
Teutons, types of character among, 97.
Text-books, 180.
Theatres and children, 184.
Theology: not for girls, 18; parallel with a great Basilica, 19-20;
   Natural, 72.
Theresa, Saint, 224.
Thompson, Francis, quoted, 95, 127.
Time, value of, 40.
Townsman, the, in the country, 124-5.
Toys, 107.
Translation from foreign languages, 161-3.
Transvaal, a garden party in the, 126.
Truthfulness, 47, 211.

Ullathorne, Archbishop, quoted, 34.
Ulysses, the wanderings of, 170.
University life for girls, 217-8, 226.
  --locals, 87, 168.
Urquhart, D., quoted, 208. Utilitarians in social life, 186.

Victoria, Queen, 153,198.
Vigilance, 42.
Vitality in teacher, 49.
Vocabulary of children, 132.
Vocation, choice of a, 141.
Voice, influence of tone of, 63; cadences in, 68-4; production, 184-0.
Vulgarity, 211.

Wassmann, Catholic scientist, 116.
Ways of learning lessons, 101-2.
Westminster, Cardinal Archbishop of, on reading, 147, 188-48.
Will of a woman,  strength of, 282.
Wisdom, the beginning of, 19.
Wollstonecraft, Mary, cited, 216. Woman, the kingdom of, 224; the
   mission of, 288.
Women, higher education of, 214-28; changes In education of, 316.
  --and manners, 203.
  --direction of influence of, 224.
  --mental characteristics of the best, 232.
  --tendency of, to impressionism in conduct, 70.
  --the really great, 223;  conspicuous in learning, 222; conspicuous in
   religion, 224.
Women's suffrage movement, 219.
Wordsworth, quoted, 32, 114, 135. Work, habit of, 40, 98.

Young ladies, education for, 215.

Aberdeen: The University Press



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