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Manual of Educational Requirements necessary for the Civil Service. The Commissioners' Report on the Examinations for Employment in the Civil Service of the Crown. Reprinted by permission. With a Preface by Richard Dawes, M.A., Dean of Hereford.' Pp. 84. (London: Groombridge.) Mr. Dawes has not overrated the value of the above-named document to schoolmasters and parents, as well as to intending candidates. The latter will find information on the nature of the examinations established by the various departments; the former will gather from the Report "what that kind of education is, and in what it consists, which fits youth for those employments in which the middle and lower classes seek a livelihood.”
Mr. Dawes puts forward for consideration the value of Euclid as a training for the reasoning powers and accuracy, and advocates strongly modern languages. There is something to blush for in the education of our country, when we see in the Report the number of candidates who have failed in writing, spelling, and arithmetic,
Smith's Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography. Part XV. Pp. 689—880. (London : Walton & Maberly, and John Murray, April, 1856.) It is announced that this work will be completed in the autumn: it will then, beyond question, take its place as the first of its kind. About 150 pages of the present part are devoted to the article “Roma.” When reading it, we forget that we are reading an article in a dictionary; ancient Rome and her ruins are brought before us.
NECESSITY OF PHYSICAL ACCESSES TO MENTAL IMPROVEMENT.-" The next thing to which I would briefly draw your attention, as a means of diminishing cases of sickness among the poor, is the improvement of their dwellings. It matters little to say in this case, any more than in the former, that the poor care little or nothing whether their abodes be clean or dirty, dark or light, close or well ventilated, damp or well drained and dry. It is not what they desire, but what is good for them, which ought to be our aim ; and although some of the labouring poor may prefer a miserable hovel at a low rent, before a comfortable dwelling, for which they must pay a little more, yet this ought not to be encouraged ; and the wages of labour ought to be equal to the decent wants of the labourer, of which this is one. * Let none suppose this to be a matter of little moment,-it is of the greatest. If the lower classes are to be uplifted from their moral degradation, improve their dwellings, insist on those physical arrangements which are indispensable to decency, cleanliness, and health ; thus open the way for moral agencies, induce tastes for the beauties of nature, and they will be more disposed and better qualified for the perception of the beauty of holiness. Let a taste be acquired for other pleasures than those of a mere animal kind ; let the education of the poor be such as to render them capable of enjoying them; and though I do not say that these necessarily produce true religion in the mind, yet it will be confessed that they are, to say the least, a better preparation for it than the opposite habits of vice and of intemperance.”—From Dean of Hereford's excellent Sermon on the Evils of Indiscriminate Charity.
LORD JOHN RUSSELL’s resolutions met with a decisive defeat. It is so obviously premature to attempt a national rate, when the voluntary principle and present system are so capable of extension, that we heartily rejoice at this decision. Besides, what can be unfairer than to saddle a national duty on a section of the community ? Nine-tenths of all classes are opposed to any such measure.
The Government have withdrawn their Bill for appointing a VicePresident of Education. There was no occasion to do so. Such a measure is needed, is popular, and would have been assuredly carried, in spite of Mr. Hadfield's not very formidable opposition.
THE UNITED ASSOCIATION OF SCHOOLMASTERS. ORDINARY General Meeting, held in St. Martin's Hall, London, on the 5th of April.
The Chair was occupied by Mr. TILLEARD. Mr. Murby, Teacher of Music in the Borough Road Normal College, read a paper on the Method of Teaching Singing.
Mr. Tate, in moving the thanks of the Meeting to the Lecturer, stated his opinion, that although in scientific subjects first principles should form the basis of all instruction, yet music, like drawing, must be taught from the development of the art, that course being more in accordance with the nature of the subject.
Mr. Simpson considered it the duty of teachers to weigh the subject practically. What was it possible to effect with young children with the limited time at their disposal ? Túnes must be taught very early to obtain the necessary attention, without which it were vain to expect a love for the art.
Mr. Bentley spoke favourably of the Tonic Sol-fa method. He had found it better adapted to give children an insight into the principles of music than any other method. He thought that those who had failed with this system had not given it a fair trial, but had turned aside to find a royal road, instead of persevering in the track indicated by Mr. Curwen. The Tonic Sol-fa method was not intended merely to teach tunes, although they were numerously introduced. Mr. Bentley thought that the Lecturer had erred in supposing that a mental effect was attributed to a single sound irrespectively of time. He heartily commended the system to the attention of teachers.
Mr. Burn suggested that a combination of the lineal and literal notations might be useful ;-and in general he approved of the system of Mr. Curwen for children.
Mr. Murby, in reply, explained that he never intended to separate the art from the science, principles from practice. He was an advocate for doing well whatever was attempted, and having that little thoroughly understood, so as to lay a solid foundation for future progress.
W. H. SMITH, Minuting Secretary. The next General Meeting will be held in St. Martin's Hall, at 6 o'clock on Saturday, the 3rd of May, when the Rev. C. R. ALFORD, Principal of Highbury Training College, will read a paper on “The Character of the Teaching of our Lord.”
Obituary. Biggs.—On the 3rd of April, at the Hotwells, Clifton, near Bristol,
Mr. Thomas Biggs, late Master of St. George's School, Sheffield.
Notices. Orders and Advertisements must be sent ONLY to MESSRS. GROOMBRIDGE, 5, Paternoster Row; the latter, from strangers, must be accompanied by a remittance, according to the following scale :- If under 40 words, 4s.; for every additional ten words, 6d. ; a whole page, £2. 28. ; a half-page, or one column, £1. 58. No deductions are made.
The JOURNAL will be sent, free of postage, for one year on receipt of 68. 6d., in advance.
** This Journal is now Registered for Transmission to Foreign Countries, if Stamped.
TO CORRESPONDENTS. W. S. had better get Lyle's “Government Situations Handbook," Pigot, publisher, Aldine Chambers. Write also to Secretary of Civil Service Commission, Westminster. O'Gorman's work is good.
*** Our next will contain far more practical matter. For the future, we shall admit few essays.
DISCIPLINA REDIVIVA-No 13. SOME REMARKS ON THE CULTIVATION OF TASTE.--Continued. IN our earlier discussion of taste we have spoken of it in its elements, 1 and in the light of those active qualities of mind with which it is connected. It is a principle of repose in itself; but the way thereto leads through a discipline of active powers, and a replenishment of mental resources. To this view of it our design, as we before remarked, obliges us. “We perceive," says Cousin, “how many conditions are put upon the artist, and we should be dismayed at them if we did not know the number of qualities that Cicero demands for an orator. It is not only necessary that the artist cultivate his reason, his representative faculty, and his sentiment of the beautiful ; he is also bound not to neglect the material procedure of his art. In fact, he ought not only to contemplate beauty, but to express it objectively. ... The artist, in handling matter, makes it give forth the spiritual, whether he employs words, sounds, lines, or colours. Words are the matter of the poet, as sounds are of the musician, as lines are of the architect and of the statuary, and as colours are the matter of the painter. . . . In vain do you mix colours, do you combine sounds, do you arrange lines, if you do not make them express something. If you do not know how to work with matter, you can never unfold your ideas. ... Form and idea, the physical and the moral, the real and the ideal, are the two aspects of art are the two poles which the artist should touch.”
In proof of the distinctive character of true art, we may speak of photography. Photography has a high service to render, but it is not high art ; and we mistake its character and its use if we expect from it more than it is qualified to yield. There is no place for spiritual or moral influences in the disposition of the subject. Its portraits seldom. please us. They lack ideal (and so far real truth of) character. We have the features conveyed to us ; but those features are not the portrait of him whom we know or love as our friend, of him whom we know to be kind, or intellectual, or good, and whose face expresses so much, on every occasion, perhaps, but that unfortunate one on which “ the subject” is submitted to the momentary but confounding influence of dazzling light. There is none of that genial influence which resides in the eye and manner of the true artist, and which is calculated to call into expression the highest and best nature of the man. To this expression the genius of the artist can give life and endurance, through the free and conscious medium of true art, whether that art be painting or sculpture ; whilst, at the best, the artificial medium of photography must be content with one fixed, and that, by a thousand chances, not an ideal or characteristic expression.
The assertion that photographic portraits will never displace the high art of the painter, is a true one ; but it is untrue seriously to allege as the reason for this, the humorous on dit of an academician, that "Photography cannot flatter." There is a part for the artist to play in the exhibition of human character which is spiritual, and partakes of mind, of genius. An inanimate process will never accomplish what is a prerogative of man as distinct from matter. The light of the sun will never kindle what the fire of genius alone can create and animate. Genius contemplates, arranges, grasps the multiform unity of nature ; and living art VOL. X. NO. 114, N.S.
expresses that unity in a true but complex ideal-taste accepts and admires the finished work ; and so, then, the difference between true art as the work of genius, and the dead cold art which is merely artificial, is in expression, as the sign of all that is involved in the previous processes of mind, and as the adequate manifestation and result of these processes in their highest and most suggestive form to the world. In studying the composition of pictures, or sculpture, or poetry, we try to find out this ars celata of the artist; and this is a step in cultivation of the taste, not taste itself, but the process qualifying us for its exercise. In this work we analyze, and construct, and complete, rendering the other half corresponding to the artist's expressed half, according to our several powers and aptness for the task.
And now, then, we may go on to speak of one office of photography, which exalts it to the dignity of an assistant to genius and taste as the faithful servant of genius, as the convenient ally of taste. It is not in representing living nature in her fitfulness of feature--to this it is not equal—but in copying for us the completed works of great painters, and sculptors, and architects in their exactness (saving colour in the case of painting),—in presenting us with a delineation more accurate, and so fitter for the purposes of study, than any other, that its peculiar value lies.
We have before us beautiful photographic copies of the “ Transfiguration” of Raphael, and the “Apollo Belvidere.” Each of them is, to a sufficient extent, a faithful representation of the original, so far at least as form and expression are concerned. Each is a perfect study, we might almost say an education, in the branch of art which it represents. We will quote a passage from Cousin, in which he gives us Winkelmann's analysis of the latter of these great works. It will explain what is meant by the creative genius of expression, as beautifully summed up in the writer's few words of criticism upon the great antiquary's judgment; whilst the analysis itself affords an example of that genius, akin to the creative genius of the artist, of which we have before spoken. “ Place yourself before the statue of Apollo, and observe attentively what strikes you in this master-piece. Winkelmann—who was not a metaphysician, but an artist, who was gifted with the highest genius, and who understood the procedure of art-Winkelmann has made an analysis of the Apollo. It is interesting to study this analysis, and perceive by it how physical is blended with spiritual beauty. That which first of all struck Winkelmann was the character of nobleness, pride, and divinity impressed upon every line of the statue. The forehead is that of Jove, whence sprang the goddess of wisdom ; it is unchangeably calm : indignation swells the nostrils ; scorn rests upon the lips ; the attitude of the body, the arms and feet, all proclaim the vanquisher of Python. The tranquil and disdainful joy felt in triumphing over a contemptible enemy, the delight of victory, the slight effort that victory has cost, these shone forth upon the eyes of Winkelmann from the glorious statue. The analysis of this artist is a hymn to spiritual beauty, but, strange to say, he has not perceived it; he has not seen that all that beauty, whose traits he has collected with such affection, is but the manifestation of an internal beauty, that it was incorporeal beauty which shone through its veil ; in a word, that the beauty of the Apollo Belvidere can be summed up in the word expression.
Let us pass now from a cold and inanimate statue to a living, real