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likewise at Frederick's Oord an excellent inn, a large house for the Directors, stabling, store-houses, &c.; and at Wellem's Oord, a church for Protestants and Catholics, a large school-house, sub-director's house, manufactory, hall, &c. erected by the Society, paid for from their funds, and constituting a part of their property. With the characteristic prudence and foresight of Dutchmen, they appear to have laid a permanent foundation for the sure though gradual accomplishment of a most important and most extenstve moral improvment in the state of society. So far were they from failing or abandoning it, that the writer was shown land which had been reclaimed from the sterile heath only the year before, bearing excellent crops of clover, and other land in the process of amelioration.
"To each of the first fifty cottages erected at Frederick's Oord was assigned an allotment of three and a half morgen of land, equal to about seven English acres. Such a portion of land was found on trial to be, on several accounts, the most proper quantity to be attached to each cottage; and it further appeared, that the method at first instituted of stall-feeding the cattle and sheep kept by each family, was indispensably requisite. The same experience, however, convinced the mangers that the original method of cultivating the land required alteration. At first, about one-fourth, and sometimes only a fifth, of each allotment was kept in grass, and each family was furnished with two cows, or one cow and ten sheep, which were stall fed (or kept on, what is termed in England, the soiling system,) for the double purpose of raising a sufficient quantity of provision for their stock from a much more limited portion of land than would be required in the usual method of feeding practised by farmers;* and of obtaining a far larger quantity of manure than could be procured by any other kind of management. But it was found, from the results of several accurately-conducted experiments, carried on for some years, and most minutely recorded, that this quantity of land in grass was insufficient; that one moiety of the seven acres must be kept in grass;and that three cows, and three sheep, or a number of the latter equivalent to any deficiency in that of the former, (reckoning ten sheep to furnish as much manure as one cow,) besides a pig for the cottage family, were essential to the full success of the plan. The system now pursued, therefore, is to lay down three acres and a half in grass, to sow one acre with what they call wheat (but which was really rye), and plant one acre with potatoes, usually after a crop of green-cut rye; the remaining acre and a half being appropriated to the culture of flax, mangel-wurzel, clover, cabbages, and such other vegetables as the cottager may think most advantageous. About a quarter of an acre was always observed to be laid out as a kitchen-garden; extending in front and on each side of the dwelling-house, frequently planted with fruit trees, and sometimes inclosed by low hedges.
Though the cottoger is thus left at liberty in some degree, to choose what articles he will cultivate, he must cultivate and manure the land properly, being bound to lay eighteen tons of manure per annum on each acre of land in his occupation. However large this quantity may appear, it is found that, owing to the adoption of their peculiar soiling system, each family is easily enabled to furnish the requisite amount. Every fresh dressing renders it more easy for the cottager to raise a sufficient quantity of fodder for his live stock,
*This vast produce from so small a piece of land may at first appear very problematical; but experience and good management will soon convince the dairyman that he may realize the advantage, great as it may appear. To enable the meadow to support this exhaustion from the scythe, it should be cleared at the end of every autumn, from all kinds of weeds and rubbish, and fresh grass-seeds of the best kinds, cast upon the bare places. A coat of good rotten manure should then be allowed, consisting of all that can be collected from the household, or procured elsewhere, mixed up and augmented with virgin earth.
and food for his family, and also, with the assistance of his wife and children, to keep the three acres and a half of his digging land fully cropped and in excellent cultivation. He thus, too, has it in his power, without inconvenience, to devote the required portion of labour to the lands of the Society; for each head of a family, until he is out of debt, is obliged to work three days in a week for the Society; for which he is paid by piece work, without having to pay back to the Society anything for labour done to his own farm, which, by the rules, he would be obliged to do, if his land is not properly cultivated by himself and family.
"Two or three immense advantages were stated by the Directors to result from this plan of increasing the quantity of land in grass.
The writer made himself acquainted with a variety of interesting particulars regarding the management and rearing of live stock, which he has detailed with considerable accuracy. He has also depicted the social state of the cottagers, and the means taken for their intellectual and moral improvement. There is one peculiarity with regard to the payment of the labourers, quite in the spirit of Dutch economy. The author says—
“All those descriptions of work, as that of every other kind, and the whole of the labour performed by the colonists in their respective trades, or at their homes, is done at piece work, not according to time, but according to the quantity of work executed, which is paid for by the Society to their labourers at the same rate as is paid by other persons in the neighbouring districts, for work of a similar description. The attention of the writer to this part of the plan was first excited by observing a number of boys very hard at work; for on his remarking to the superintendant how heartily the boys were occupied in wheeling the soil dug out of a canal to some of the heath land adjoining one side of it, which was undergoing a first improvement, apparently without any superintendance, the officer remarked: 'Oh, that is nothing; each boy is working for himself, and the more work he performs, the more he earns; each boy has so many roods of ground marked out, on which he must throw so many loads of sand and turf, for which he will be paid a certain sum.' On inquiring more particularly, it was stated that every thing done was reckoned for at piece work. 'How should we be able,' said the superintendant, to see after the people by day work? we should want as many overlookers as labourers. Besides, if we paid by day work, what encouragement would the people have to become industrious, clever, and alert? all here are paid for work performed; not for passing away time.'
"The writer subsequently found that even the inferior officers, or superintendants, were paid on the system of piece work; for each of the quarter masters receive fourpence a week for every family under his care and instruction, provided he attends to them in such a manner that their land is properly cultivated, their stock in a state of improvement, that they live prudently, not getting behind hand, but paying to the Society the required portion of the expense of their establishment."
We were gratified at the excellent provision made for the education of youth in these Colonies; the children are instructed in reading, writing, and arithmetic, the elements of useful knowledge, and singing by notes. Speaking of one of the finest of their institutions of this kind he observes
They have another and a larger establishment, called Veenhuizen, in which twelve hundred poor orphan children are boarded and educated, who,
for the greater part, earn their own subsistence by agriculture, and the trades connected with it; manufacturing their own tools and implements, growing the materials for their own clothes, and making them up. At this establishment, the Society have about two thousand acres of the same kind of heath and bog land, as at Frederick's Oord, of which they have brought nine hundred acres into excellent cultivation. Besides the large building required to accommodate so many children, nine farm houses have been erected, after the same fashion as the cottages and barns at Frederick's and Wellem's Oord, though of larger dimensions. Each farm contains fifty Dutch morgen of land (about 100 English acres) and is under the management of a farmer and his family, residing in the farm house, who, by practising the soiling system, are enabled to keep twenty cows, one hundred sheep, and two horses, on the hundred acres. These farms are usually cultivated on the same plan, viz. 40 acres in grass, 16 in potatoes, 20 in clover, and the remaining 24 in various kinds of grain.
"Ten years only have elapsed since the commencement of this great Orphan Asylum, and it more than probable, that in less than ten years more, the other eleven farm houses will be built, and the rest of the land (1100 acres) brought into cultivation. And these beneficial purposes will be in a great degree effected by the labour of orphan children, who thus not only contribute so essentially towards their own support, but from the useful education, and industrious habits they are acquiring, bid fair to become most valuable members of society.
"The manner of bringing up the orphan children at Veenhuizen appeared most admirable. In this asylum, all but those of tender age contributed to their own support; every one being employed during some hours every day in either agriculture, gardening, carpentering, weaving, baking, &c. or in domestic labour, knitting, sewing, making clothes, cooking, washing, &c. according to their respective ages, sex, and strength; and thus they assisted to prepare among themselves every thing required for their own use, or for the use of the colony. The plan that seemed to be generally adopted was to place nine or ten children, to be instructed in some one occupation, under the control of an elderly person, assisted by a child of maturer years; and they were thus taught first the easiest and most simple domestic duties, next those more difficult, and so on, till both boys and girls were rendered expert in those offices and employments most suitable for their sex, and their proficiency in which was calculated to qualify them for their several stations in society. Their occupations were so contrived as to furnish the means for their rewards and gratifications. Every child, whether boy or girl, was paid in proportion to the work individually performed. Those in the first or youngest class were at school a certain number of hours, employed in working during certain hours, and allowed so much time for recreation; and each child belonging to this class was expected to earn a quarter guilder, or 5d. a week. Those children in the second, or next eldest class, earned half a guilder a week; those in the third class, did not go to school, and were expected to earn a guilder a week; and those in the fourth class, a guilder and a quarter, or 25 pence a week. As they increased in years their school and play hours diminished; but, as furnishing at once a stimulus and a reward for labour, all their earnings above these sums were their own; one half of which surplus they might expend in the colony as they thought proper, and the other moiety was placed in a savings bank for them, and repaid to them with interest on their attaining the age of twenty, when they are free to quit the colony.
"The living and eating rooms of the children were lofty, spacious, and particularly clean. They are unoccupied during the time the children are at school, at work, or at play; so that they get properly ventilated and
prepared for them at their meals, and their hours of sleeping. Each child has a bed, or rather hammock, to itself, which during the day is drawn up within a yard of the ceiling. At the back of the large building, in a yard overlooking the open country, is on one side the hospital for boys, and on the other side the hospital for girls. Each of them is a large, lofty room, very homely, but excessively clean, with small wooden moveable bedsteads, or cribs, to hold one only, and painted white inside and out, consequently easily washed, which, as well as the bedding, it was stated was always done on every child quitting the hospital. There were six girls and nine boys in these hospitals at the time they were visited in 1833; of these patients only four were confined to their beds.
"To these settlements are attached plain churches, for both Protestants and Catholics, with dwelling houses for their clergymen, who, judging from the conduct and demeanour of the settlers, must be men who labour sincerely and earnestly in their vocation. Their salaries are paid by the government; there are no tythes; and the Society's lands and property are exempted from taxes of every kind."
We have given a faint outline of the Pamphlet, and the subject of which it treats. It is one of the most interesting tracts which have been published for some time: interesting to all who would wish to improve the condition of the labouring classes in this country; and affording many valuable hints of cottage and rural economy. The work is illustrated by three plates, the first being a representation of the cottages and gardens of the colony at Frederic's Oord; the second of the Dutch home colonies for poor children at Veenhuizen; and the third of the home colonies for poor families at Veenhuizen. These plates are worth the money of the book, the only fault of which is, that it is too cheap.
NOTICES OF SCHOOL BOOKS.
The Infant Teacher's Assistant, by T. Bilby and R. B. Ridgeway, Masters of the Chelsea and Kent-Street Infant Schools.
Or all the manuals or books of instruction for infant teaching this is the best, because it is the most practical. It contains a vast variety of subjects for instruction, hymns, poems, and general information on the first steps of science, and the simpler elements of religious instruction. Some scripture lessons are treated in the interrogative manner, and the whole is set forth in such a clear and perspicuous form as to be of infinite use to the teacher as a text book, as well as to the little ones for whom its contents are designed. A series of poems on various animals and their habits, with a reference, and moral for the children, are very interesting; and many points of conduct are forcibly illustrated by verses brought down to the capacities of the young. The whole volume is really a useful production, and will be exceedingly serviceable in parental tuition; to such, we should as cordially recommend it as we do to the public teacher. We cannot refrain from quoting a part of some very plain reasons for the failure of Infant Schools, as it admirably accords with our first article:
SOME CAUSES OF THE FAILURE OF INFANT SCHOOLS.
"It is with regret that we are sometimes constrained to hear of the failure of these important and highly useful institutions, and with very few exceptions, they have been traced, or may be ascribed, to some one or more of the following causes :
1. Want of care in the selection of the Teachers; such as a desire to reward an old servant, or assist a friend in reduced circumstances, without considering for one moment whether such persons possess even one of the many necessary qualifications so essential in Teachers of Infant Schools.
2. Selecting a person, because he is what the world calls an accomplished man and a good scholar; not considering that the chief requisites are, decided piety, and an aptness to teach.
3. Employing a person to organize the school and instruct Teachers in the system at the same time. This plan is decidedly bad; and although there are individuals who through self-interest applaud and practise it, we unhesitatingly affirm, that, committees who adopt this plan will find that they pay dear at a time when, probably, they can least afford it; and the Teacher himself acquires but a very imperfect knowledge of the system, and that only of its mechanical part. We would recommend, that when suitable persons are found, they be sent to some well-conducted school for a month or six weeks; let them see the system in all its bearings on the infant mind; take a practical part in the school; make their own observations; and then open and organize their own school.
4. Aiming at things too high, and neglecting the first principles in the education of the little ones-burdening the memory with unmeaning sounds-and neglecting the Scriptures and the moral culture of the heart. These create dissatisfaction in the minds of the subscribers, and consequently the school suffers more or less thereby.
5. Looking for and expecting impossibilities—or, in other words, employing a Mistress, where a Master and Mistress are needed. We are sorry to see to what an extent this error has spread and to convince the advocates of such a system of their mistake, we would only respectfully urge such to take the charge of 120 children, and do their duty diligently in the school for one month, and we have little doubt but that in less than half that time, they will acknowledge that they erred through ignorance of the trying and laborious duties of the conscientious Infant Teacher. We are bold to affirm that few females, if any, are competent to the charge and instruction of more than sixty or eighty children. Above that number will require a Master and Mistress.
6. Combining the Infant and National Systems; and thus spoiling both. Infants and elder children cannot with advantage work together; as each will require a different mode of treatment.
7. Making the school free. This may appear to some, at first sight, a weak and simple argument; and cause them to exclaim-how could this lead to the falling off of a school? Simple as it may appear, experience has confirmed it as a fact. Parents have felt some degree of degradation in sending their children to a free-school-their pride has been touched, and the school neglected, if not despised. But on a change of this system, and a small weekly charge of two-pence being introduced, these same parents have willingly sent their children, and the school has prospered.
8. An expensive outfit of lessons and apparatus; perhaps to the amount of 201. or 30l., when one-third of that amount would have sufficed. At the commencement of a school, the teacher does not require so large an assortment; the children are not ready for them, unless to destroy them--and the committee are burthened with an expense which probably may occasion some after discouragement.