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We will give but one more quotation from this interesting work, in a verse that points to one great cause of England's prosperity, with which we must conclude this brief notice.
The world is a beautiful garden,
The Panorama of History. By Mrs. Smyth. Pp. 138. London: Darton
and Co. 1857. MRS. SMYTH is the lady principal of the St. John's Wood Educational Institute. She has done a good work in publishing this Panorama of History, which, as the title page tells us, is intended as a “class book for the pupil, a hand book for the governess, and a help to mothers in family reading.”
The plan of the work, which contains two useful maps, is as follows: Ancient History, with its divisions : Mediæval History, with its divisions : Modern History, with its divisions. Jewish History occupies the centre column of the map: contemporaneous Gentile History, that of the East on the right, that of the West on the left, until the destruction of Jerusalem, after which separate columns are not used. The accounts of various incidents in history are much condensed, but still are not divested of interest: but important events are not handled as they deserve to be. Nor is it possible to do so in the space to which the authoress confines herself. Imagine the revocation of the Edict of Nantes, the League of Augsburg, and the abdication of James II. knocked off in a single page! Of the two we much prefer the Annals of England. They are terse, but they do justice to the subjects they treat of. We dislike any history, however, which lumps together short notices of all kinds of events, with no other classification than their chronological order. The philosophy and rationale of history are entirely sacrificed to dates which cannot be remembered.
The book is handsomely and very creditably got up.
The Book of Recitations. By Charles William Smith. We recommend this book to all young persons. The selections from the different poets are well chosen. Shakespere, Byron, Macaulay, Longfellow, Campbell, Coleridge, Mrs. Hemans, Milton, Dryden, Wordsworth, and Southey are among the best authors. Among the dramatic recitations, at the close of the volume, are “Rienzi's address to the Romans," “Brutus' Oration over the body of Lucretia," “ Cato on the Immortality of the Soul," "Tell's Address to the Alps," and others. We hope it may be generally used in schools.
The Rationale of Arithmetical Teaching. By John Blain, late Vice-Principal of the Winchester Training School. London: Longmans, 1857. A very good work on the subject, more particularly so as Mr. Blain will not trust to the child's understanding without each subject being well explained until he is thoroughly master of it.
Intelligence. OPENING OF THE CHARTER HOUSE ST. THOMAS'S SCHOOLS. ADDRESS TO HIS ROYAL HIGHNESS PRINCE ALBERT ON THE OCCASION OF HIS
OPENING THE St. Thomas CHARTERHOUSE GOLDEN LANE SCHOOLS. May it please your Royal Highness,
It devolves upon me, as the Treasurer of these schools, to approach your Royal Highness, on the part of the promoters, with every sentiment of affection and loyalty, offering you our most grateful thanks for the honour you have conferred upon us in consenting to come amongst us to-day, and to preside at the opening of our schools. This day, sir, will long be remembered by the inhabitants of this locality. Indeed, we may almost say, it is an era in the history of this country; for you who represent the highest rank in the land, have condescended to come into one of the poorest districts. Your influence has ever been exerted in aid of education and enlightenment; but we feel your presence here this day will also tend to augment the interest which it is so desirable that the more elevated and wealthy classes should take in the wants of the more necessitous, and that the poorest will be comfort:d by the assurance that their welfare is studied by one who occupies the highest position in the country.
This district, sir, is perhaps one of the poorest and most destitute in London. The inhabitants consist for the most part of people who get their livelihood in the streets ; few of them rising above the small retail dealer, and utterly incapable from their own resources of instituting religious and educational establishments for themselves; and twelve years ago there were no schools at all for these poor people. Our beginnings were small; at first a few children were collected together in a blacksmith's deserted shed. This shed was soon found insufficient, and we built a fair parochial school. This was soon filled to overflowing, and now our small beginning has swelled by degrees into a great establishment, and school accommodation has been provided for 1,400 children in good substantial buildings, secured for the purposes of education for ever. The cost of these erections, including some class rooms added last summer, amounts to nearly £10,000. There are 977 scholars in the day schools, 500 in the evening schools, 300 in the Sunday schools, exclusive of the day scholars who attend on Sunday, making in all 1,777. Attached to this establishment is a drawing school, well supplied by the department of art with all necessary models and examples, and instructed by masters from Marlborough House. The success of this has been very signal.
One great feature in these schools is, that though children are drawn from the poor and working classes, they are for the most part self-supporting. The rate of payment varies according to the position of the parent and the education of the scholar from two pence per week to £1. per quarter, the total sum paid by scholars' fees alone amounting last year to nearly £900, so that we have done more than build schools and teach children we have taught parents to value the work and to make great efforts to help it. When we consider these facts, sir, we cannot but feel that an immense amount of good must arise from these schools. From nine in the morning till ten at night, there is a continual influx of scholars, who previously to the establishment of them had no place of education, but who are now receiving as good a one as can possibly be imparted in a public school of this description; an education, too, based upon the soundest principles though thoroughly liberal (for none are excluded, whatever be their religious creed) conducted too by teachers who have been carefully trained, who have been religiously brought up themselves, and are anxious to bring up those who are intrusted to their charge, in the same principles. We rejoice to think that this must be a powerful agency for good in this crowded and populous district.
But the promoters have not been content with this; they have felt that the total amount of good which these schools might effect had not been brought out. They have not been able to disguise from themselves the fact that there was still a very large class which their efforts had not reached, and that class one which has particular claims upon
the Christian and the statesman, since it needs beyond all other classes the help of those who stand above it. The promoters felt that here, where the poor are collected in such large numbers and within so small an area, something more was needed to improve their condition than the machinery of ordinary ragged schools. Such schools are sometimes useful pioneers in preparing the way for a better system and gradually fitting the lowest classes to mingle on a level of equality with those immediately above them in their own station. But some more powerful and permanent agency was necessary to lay hold at once of such a population when it consisted of several thousands, and when the object was, to teach the grave duties of life as they ought to be taught.
It was determined therefore to erect schools of such size and completeness, and to maintain them in such thorough efficiency as would secure even to the poorest as good an education as can be brought within the reach of any; and (though no compulsion will be used to give religious instruction to which parents may object) our purpose is to make the children Christians, and to fit them to do their duty in that state of life to which it has pleased God to call them.
With this design the promoters represented the wild condition of these children, and their inability to attend the existing schools to the Lord President of the Council; and on his lordship’s recommendation, the Committee of Council on Education was pleased to vote an extraordinary grant of two-thirds of the expenses of erecting a new building for the purpose of extending the benefits of education to the poorest class.
These aditional schools are those your Royal Highness will pronounce opened to-day, erected at the cost of £8,500. and capable of accommodating 1,000 children. The total sum thus expended in school buildings in this district amounts to upwards of £18,000, and accommodation is provided for 2,500 scholars. To these schools the poorest class will be admitted for the small fee of a penny per week; and even this is asked of them only because we de not consider our work complete unless we can induce the parents to show in some substantial manner an interest in the welfare of their children. And now all classes in this neighbourhood will have the benefit of a sound education. In the evening lectures will be given on subjects of a religious as well as educational character. Å reading room will be opened and adults will be taught to read.
Thus, sir, we anticipate from this day new light will dawn upon this poor and almost unknown district, and that it may be henceforward pointed at as a model of what may be done by the exercise of perseverance and good intentions. And we hope that what has been accomplished here, and has now received the sanction of your Royal Highness will lead other districts to follow the example, and other men of rank and station to foster the good work.
In conclusion, sir, we beg once more to tender our best thanks to your Royal Highness for the honour you have conferred upon us in consenting to inaugurate these schools. Now allow us to add that while we offer up our prayers to Almighty God, beseeching him to bless the work of our hands upon us, we shall not fail to pray also that you may long be spared, to be a comfort to our Sovereign Lady the Queen, and to further with your countenance and support those works of benevolence with which your name is now, and has long been, identified in the mind of every Englishman.
THE PRINCE'S REPLY.
I thank you heartily for your kind and cordial welcome. I rejoice at the opportunity which has this day been afforded to me of visiting this noble establishment. “My satisfaction in doing so is increased by the circumstance that my visit occurs at a period of its existence when the state of useful development to which by your exertions it has attained is about, by a continuance of the same exertions, to receive a still wider extension.
In the progress of these schools, struggling I may say from the most lowly and humble beginnings up to their present noble dimensions, we find a striking exemplification of the divine truth, that the principle of good once sown is not destined to lie dormant, but that like the grain of mustard seed, it is calculated to extend and develope itself in an ever increasing sphere of usefulness. And we may confidently hope that what you have now effected, following this universal law, will not be limited in its results to the immediate objects, of your charitable exertions; but that it will prove the means of diffusing untold blessings amongst remote generations.
For you, Mr. Rogers, who have been mainly instrumental, and at great personal sacrifices in bringing about this great good; and for those who have stood by you and
contributed by their support to the success of your efforts, there can, I am sure, be no higher source of gratification than the contemplation of our own work. The reflection that you have been the instrument under divine providence of conferring upon the poor and needy of this district that greatest of all boons--the means of obtaining for their children the blessings of education and of religious instruction, without which any lasting success in life or any permanent amelioration of their lot would seem hopeless. And still further, the feeling that this inestimable blessing will be secured, and in a yet higher degree, to their children's children, will carry with it its own best reward.
Still it will be a source of legitimate pride and satisfaction to you to know that your labours have not been unobserved, but that your noble and Christian-like exertions to benefit those who cannot help themselves, have attracted the notice and admiration of your Sovereign, and of those who are deputed under Her, to watch over and promote the education and moral welfare of Her people. The means which you have adopted to effect your work of benevolence appear no less deserving of commendation than the object itself. You have not been content with the bare attempt to force perhaps upon unwilling recipients a boon, the value of which might not be appreciated, but you have wisely sought to work upon the convictions and natural feelings of the parents of the children you wished to benefit, by extending your assistance to those only who by a small contribution out of their hardly-won earnings, have proved that they are awake to the sense of the vast importance it is to their offspring that the means of being fitted to pass successfully through life, and by bonest industry to better their worldly condition, should be brought within their reach.
It is a source of high personal gratification to me that I have been enabled by my presence here this day, and by that of the Prince of Wales, to mark not only my own appreciation of your labours, but also the deep interest which the Queen takes in the well being of the poorest of her subjects, and that gratification will be greatly enhanced if by this public expression of the sympathy of the Queen and of Her Family and Government, this noble cause shall be still further advanced.
Most earnestly do I pray that the same success which has hitherto blessed your labours, may continue to attend your future progress, and that your example may stimulate other localities to emulate your useful efforts.
EDUCATIONAL CONFERENCE.—A conference of the friends of the education of the working classes, on the “early age at which children are taken from school,” will be held in London on the 26th, 27th, and 28th of May, 1857.
THE COMMITTEE ARE, The Marquis of Lansdowne,
E. Baines, Esq. Lord Bishop of Oxford,
J. C. Colquhoun, Esq. Lord Littleton,
Henry Dunn, Esq. Lord Stanley, M.P.
Joseph Kay, Esq. The Right Hon. Wm. Cowper, M.P.
S. Morley, Esq. Sir James Kay Shuttleworth, Bart.
John Reynolds, Esq. Sir Thomas Phillips,
Rev. F. C. Cook, Very Rev. the Dean of Westminster,
Rev. William Rogers, Very Rev. the Dean of Salisbury,
Rev. F. Temple, Venerable Archdeacon Sinclair,
Rev. John Scott. Rev. Canon Moseley,
Alfred Hill, Esq. 1 The Rev. John G. Lonsdale. The first meeting of the conference will be held at Willis's Rooms, on Tuesday, the 26th, when the chair will be taken by
at three o'clock. On the second day of its meeting (Wednesday, the 27th,) the conference will be divided into four sections, each to meet at twelve o'clock.
SECTION A. Chairman: The Lord Bishop of Oxford.--Secretary: The Rev. F. Watkins. To inquire into the fact of the alleged early removal of children from school in the agricultural, manufacturing, and mining districts of England, Scotland, and Wales; and to inquire into the causes of such early removal and its results.
Chairman: Lord Littelton.
· SECTION C.
Secretary : The Rev. Nash Stephenson. To consider the expedients which have been proposed for keeping the children of the “ working classes " longer at school ; under the heads of
FIRST, CERTIFICATE SCHEMES.
In respect of which are to be considered Ist. The circumstances under which the certificates are to be granted. (a) The authority which is to grant them. (6) The qualifications of those who are to receive them.
2ndly. The means of giving effect to the certificates when granted. (a) By pledges from the employers of labour that they will give a preference to those candidates for their employment who hold the certificates. (b) By seeking out suitable situations for the holders of certificates, and watching over their interests when so employed; and with that view establishing corresponding committees in town and rural districts.
SECONDLY, PRIZE SCHEMES.
In respect to which are to be considered 1st. How the prize fund is to be raised. Whether by subscriptions to a common fund, or by local subscriptions applied for the benefit of the locality where, or the religious community by which, they are raised ?
2ndly. The conditions under which the prizes are to be awarded. (a) By what authority? (6) With what qualifications, as to age, character, and attainments. (c) By what means the qualifications are to be determined ?
3rdly. The nature of the prizes. (a) Whether money prizes; (b) Apprentice premiums; or (c) Books, clothes, tools, &c. &c. ?
Secretary : John Thackeray Bunce, Esq, To inquire into the merits of such other expedients as shall be proposed for the consideration of the conference, and particularly those known as
HALF-TIME SCHEMES. Being schemes for the occupation of children half their time at school, and half at labour; the same arrangement being proposed to be made by parents and employers voluntarily, as under the provisions of the Factory Bill is made in respect to certain children) compulsory. In respect to which are to be considered
1. What are the times to be prescribed for the attendance of the children at school certain hours of each day, or certains days of each week ?
2. Whether the time at school ought to be equal to the time at work, or less or more than it:
3. Whether a portion of the school time may be taken in the evening?
4. Whether the appeal in favour of the half-time scheme should be addressed to the parents or the employers of the children?
The FINAL MEETING of the conference will be held at eleven o'clock on Thursday, the 28th, at Willis's Rooms.
A summary of the proceedings of the sections will be laid before this meeting, and resolutions will be proposed to it founded thereon.
The discussion of every subject will be preceded by the reading of a paper on that subject before one of the sections. Gentlemen proposing to read papers are requested to communicate with the Honorary Secretaries at the earliest possible opportunity.
A subscription of one guinea has been opened, to defray the expenses of the conference. Subscriptions are received by the Honorary Secretaries, and may be remitted to them by Post Office Orders, payable at the Charing Cross Office.