« ПретходнаНастави »
husband out of an ox hide which he himself has tanned and softened. But this, so far as the man is concerned, is only for the piping times of peace, when the family smoke Dutch tobacco out of smokehorns and exhilarate themselves with snuff. When the Zulu goes forth to "wash his assegai" he leaves leopard skins and belts at his kraal. His tribe have made themselves respected by the British in open fight, and the secret of his warlike respectability are his "impis" and his “ gais."
The Zulu "impi" is a tactical and disciplinary formation of about one thousand warriors on foot. In battle, the impi charges in solid formation, like the Macedonian phalanx, each warrior covering his body with a shield about 27 inches by 18 at the widest part, made of one thickness of ox hide.
Each impi is permanently under the command of an induna. The principal offensive weapon of the Zulu warriors, the "assegai," is a light spear, sometimes as long as five feet, sometimes not longer than three, the long, flat head of iron, beaten into the shape of a willow leaf, bound to the haft with ox hide thongs. At close quarters the assegai may be used for stabbing, but it is more effective when used as a missile that will kill at two hundred yards, its penetrating power being due to the rotary motion, like that of a rifle bullet, which is imparted in the act of hurling by a peculiar hook of the little finger. It is said that no white man has ever thoroughly learned the Zulu trick of hurling an assegai or the Zulu way of pronouncing the name of Cete
PRINCE EDWARD ISLAND.
OH, for a romp through that blissful land,
The Isle of the summer sea,
Where Nature appears in her fairest dress, Where the days are cool, and no heats oppress, And the heart must dance with glee.
Land of the hill, the vale, the glen,
Where the brooklet runs in silvery stream,
Give me an hour in that haven of rest,
And peace sleeps in the sea.
G. J. McCormac.
By Sir Joshua Fitch.
NE of the strongest arguments which justify the recent popular. ity of manual training is that, by means of it we are able to offer an opportunity for the development of special talents and aptitudes for which there is no adequate scope in the ordinary school course. Every school numbers among its scholars some who dislike books, who rebel against merely verbal and memory exercises, but who delight in coming into contact with things, with objects to be touched and shaped, to be built up and taken to pieces-in short, with the material realities of life. And a school system ought to be so fashioned as to give full recognition to this fact. We cannot permit ourselves, of course, to be wholly dominated by the special preferences and tastes of individual scholars; but we ought to allow them fuller scope than has usually been accorded to them in educational programmes. Every wise teacher knows that in the most perverse and uninteresting scholar there are germs of goodness, aptitudes for some form of useful activity, some possibilities even of excellence, would men observingly distil them out; and that it is the duty of a teacher to discover these, encourage their development and set them to work. We make a grave mistake if we suppose that all good boys should be good in one way, and that all scholars should be interested in the same things, and reach an equal degree of proficiency in all the subjects of our curriculum. This is, in fact, not possible. Nor, even if it were possible, would it be desirable. So one of the strongest arguments in favour of the recognition of manual and artistic exercises in our schools is that by them we call into play powers and faculties not evoked
by literary studies, and so give a better chance to the varied aptitudes of different scholars. School-boys do not always like the same things. The world would be a much less interesting world than it is if they did. A school course, therefore, should be wide enough, and diversified enough, to give to the largest possible number of scholars a chance of finding something which is attractive to them and which they will find pleasure in doing.
I think, too, that a legitimate argument in favour of more handwork in schools may be found in the fact that by it we may, if it is wisely managed, overcome the frequent and increasing distaste of many young people for manual labour. In progressive countries there is often a vague notion that such labour is in some way servile and undignified, and less respectable than employments of another kind. In America, especially, this feeling prevails even to a larger extent than in this country. Perhaps the stimulating climate, the general restlessness and eagerness with which life is carried on, the numerous opportunities for rapidly acquiring wealth, have had a tendency to discourage young and aspiring men and to repel them from handicrafts. There is much in our common conventional phraseology which implies that physical labour has been imposed on man as a curse, and is a sign of the degradation. It is hard under these conditions, to awaken in any activeminded community a true respect for the dignity of labour. How is it to be done? Mainly, in my opinion, by associating manual work with intellectual work; by recognizing in our systems of education that all art, even the humblest, rests ultimately on a basis of science and that handwork, when guid
Reading from Educational Aims and Methods. By Sir Joshua Fitch, M.A., LL.D.
ed and controlled by knowledge, becomes ennobled and takes a rank among the liberal employments of life, even among the pursuits of a gentleman. Take a single example. A century or two ago blood-letting was part of the business of barber-surgeons. They were tradesmen, and their trade was not one of the highest repute. But in time it came to be understood that the operation of bleeding was one which ought neither to be recommended nor practised by any but a properly qualified surgeon; and the art, such as it was, ceased to belong to a trade, and became part of a profession, and in this way lost all ignoble associations. And, in like manner it is argued with some truth that, when you make manual dexterity and the right use of tools a part of general education, and duly connect it with a study of form, of beauty, of the properties of the materials employed, and of the laws of mechanical force, you are doing something to surround handicraft with new and more honourable associations, to disarm vulgar prejudice and to impress the young with a true sense of the dignity of skilled labour.
Such are some of the considerations which justify the fuller recognition of finger-training and sense-training generally as parts of a liberal education. But these very considerations are, at the same time, well calculated to warn us not to expect too much from such training if it is not duly co-ordinated with discipline of another kind. The true teacher will not seek to make physical training a rival or competitor with intellectual exercise, but will desire rather to make the whole training of his pupil more harmonious. He will hold fast to the belief that, after all, mental culture is the first business of a school, and ought never to be permitted to become the second. The reaction from excessive bookishness, from the rather abstract character of mere scholastic teaching, is, on the whole, well justified. But the opposite of wrong is not always right; and it would be very easy to make a grave mistake by emphasizing too strongly
the value of manual exercise by making too great claims for it.
What, after all, is the main function of the teacher who is seeking to give to his pupil a right training and a proper outfit for the struggles and duties of life? It is, no doubt, to give a knowledge of simple arts, and of those rudiments of knowledge which; by the common consent of all parents and teachers, have been held to be indispensable; but it is also to encourage aspiration, to evoke power and to place the scholar in the fittest possible condition for making the best of his own faculties.
If this be so, we have to ask what, among all possible exercises and studies are the most formative and disciplinal? It has been before shown that, by the law of what are called "concomitant variations," there is such a relation between powers and organs that the cultivation of one leads, by a reflex action, to the strengthening of the other; you cannot, in fact, call into active exercise any one power without, pro tanto, making the exercise of other powers easier. But here we must discriminate. This correlation and this mutual interchange of forces do not act uniformly. Take an example. You want, it may be, to give a large number of recruits, none of whom have had any previous practice, a knowledge of military evolutions, the power to handle a rifle and to do the duties of camp life. Say that half of them are clowns fresh from the plough, and the other half are men of similar age who have had a liberal education. Both groups are equally unfamiliar with what you have to teach, but there is no doubt as to which group will learn most quickly. The clowns will need hard work to bring them into discipline. They will misunderstand commands and be clumsy in executing them. The greater intelligence of the second group will be found to tell immediately on the readiness with which they see the meaning of the manœuvres, and on the promptitude and exactness with which they perform them. Here the mental training
has been a distinct help to the mere physical exercise. But it cannot be said in like manner that the handicraftsman is a likelier person than another to take up intellectual labour with zest, and to be specially fitted to do it well. Intelligence helps labour much more than labour promotes intelligence.
Ever since the time when Socrates paid his memorable visit to the workshops of Athens it has been a familiar fact of experience that your mere workman may, though skilled, be, so far as his understanding is concerned, a very poor creature, "borné" right and left by the traditions of his craft and by rules of thumb, and with very confused and imperfect ideas about matters outside the region of his own trade. The truth is that the constant repetition of the same mechanical processes, when practice has enabled us to perform them without further thought, may be rather deadening than helpful to the personal intelligence and capability of the work
The use of tools, though a good thing, is not the highest nor nearly the highest thing to be desired in the outfit of a citizen for active life. The difference between a handy and an unhandy man is no doubt important all through life; but the difference between an intelligent, well-read man and another whose mind has been neglected is fifty times more important, whatever part he may be called on to play hereafter. It is quite possible so to teach the use of tools that the teaching shall have little or no reflex action
on other departments of human thought and activity, that it shall appeal little to the reflective, the imaginative, or the reasoning power, and that it may leave its possessor a very dull fellow indeed.
Let us revert for the moment to the experience of Socrates as it is recounted in the Apologia. "I betook myself," he says, "to the workshops of the artisans, for here, methought, I shall certainly find some new and beautiful knowledge, such as the philosophers do not possess. And this was true, for the workman could produce many useful and ingenious things." But he goes on to express his disappointment at the intellectual condition of the artisans; their bounded horizons, their incapacity for reasoning, their disdain for other knowledge than their own, and the lack among them of any general mental cultivation or of any strong love of truth for its own sake. He thought that mere skill in handicraft and mere acquaintance with the materials, and with the physical forces employed in a trade, could carry a man no great way in the cultivation of himself and might leave him a very ill-educated person; that, in fact, the man was more important even than the mechanic or the trader, and that in order to be qualified for any of the employments of life, and to be prepared for all emergencies, mental training should go on side by side with the discipline needed for the bread-winning arts.
GURRENT EVENTS ABROAD
W. Sanford Evans
AS the situation exists at the time of
writing, the Chinese question is likely to lose temporarily its absorbing interest for the British people. This is due to two causes. In the first place, it is not probable that there will be soon again any serious conflict of arms between the Chinese and the Allies, and the public do not follow with constant interest the slow and but partially revealed progress of diplomacy; and in the second place, the British policy, as far as it has been stated by Mr. Brodrick, is rather negative than positive, and so promises no clash with the other powers. Lord Salisbury has returned to London, but has not yet spoken, and the speech of Mr. Brodrick, the Under Secretary of Foreign Affairs, at Thorncombe, on August 29, stands as the latest official pronouncement. According to this, Britain will lend support to the Viceroys of South China, who have maintained order in their provinces, will preserve British trade with China, and will claim some penalty or indemnity for the damage wrought. No hint was given as to how British trade was to be preserved, and it is not easy to see just what is meant by supporting the southern Viceroys. On the broad question of foreign control of China Mr. Brodrick said:"Nevertheless we cannot undertake to govern China ourselves, or with the assistance of other powers." This may mean only that Britain will not enter into any scheme for joint control in China after the style of the joint control of Egypt; or it may mean that Britain will not even undertake to govern any large section of China which might fall to her share in case of dismemberment. Evidently Britain is not aggressive in China. If the British people do not wish to assume new and heavy responsibilities in the Far East, and are willing that other powers
should relatively increase their possessions and their influence in that quarter, then the Government may be trusted to steer a safe and moderate course. But we must accept the fact that Britain is not attempting to lead in China, nor is she ambitious to follow in all res ets the lead of the other powers.
Among the Allies, the United States, Russia and Germany have each in turn taken the initiative. In July the United States endeavoured to secure the adherence of the powers to an agreement not to alienate any Chinese territory and to preserve the open door, and she has ever since been working to this end. The prospects of success are not bright. A few years ago when Britain was contending for that very policy the United States gave no assistance, and now Britain probably thinks the time has passed when such a policy can succeed, while the other powers do not favour it. Russia next came forward with a proposition to withdraw from Pekin. In a circular dated August 25th, she declared her intention to withdraw both her legation and her troops to Pekin and invited the other powers to do the same. Before considering the other reasons for this move, it may be pointed out that it was, incidentally, a check on Germany. There has been a great deal of display about Germany's aggressiveness, although it might be more correct to speak of the German Emperor rather than of Germany. The appointment to the command of the German forces in China of Count von Waldersee, a soldier who would probably be Commander-in-Chief of the German forces in the event of a European war, was somewhat startling. The assent of the Allies was sought to his assuming command of all the forces in China.