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has been reposed in the man of undivided authority, than in the school where a senate of gentlemen were permitted to interpose with their suggestions, bints, and modifications: for people have, after all, very little respect for those institutions of their own with which they can. tamper at pleasure. The proprietary schools have languished, and, after having been stages for the experiments of the common sense of average English gentlemen, have been whistled down the wind, and are now many of them as obsolete as any other worn-out playthings. We do not speak of this by any means as settling the question before us, but we do speak of it as tending to make us cautious of the interference of what is called the intelligence of the day, when set against, or set over, the experience of practical men.

We think that the effect of a somewhat lax state of discipline at schools, is discernible in the condition of the junior students at our Universities. The requirements at the first public examination are very moderate, quite within the compass of the most ordinary intellect. Yet, as was observed in a letter from a public examiner, to this journal a few months back, the deficiency of the candidates in a great many cases is shameful. Many of these young men have managed to wriggle through their respective schools, with the most successful evasion of common grammatical knowledge, and have entered College ignorant, not of that which has been learnt and forgotten, but of that which has never been acquired. School books are better ; nasters are generally better, at least in attainment, than they were formerly; but we question whether, even with these facilities, the general run of students is as good as it used to be when the Busbys of former times were accustomed more resolutely to confront idleness, and subdue it by more coarse and cogent means; when there was more of the firm lesson, and less of the loose lecture than is the fashion now. But, if, in the case of classical acquirement where masters must be well aware that their scholars are likely to be submitted to a public test, they still allow so many to pass from their hands in a state of miserable deficiency, what in all reason may we suppose is likely to be the case with those branches of study which the teacher well knows are never likely to be brought to any public or positive trial at all? If such a trial were, or could be made, we verily believe it would be found that there is more hollowness, more what handicraftsmen call “scamping” work, in the scholastic line, than in any trade or profession which could be mentioned ; and that a great deal of this hollowness is owing to interference in matters of discipline.

It will have been observed in the passages extracted from the writings of great men of former days who have been adverse to corporal punishment, that they do not adduce the intellectual advancement of their own times as an element in the question, though they no doubt gave to their own age quite as much credit for mental progress as we do to ours. This is a modern absurdity : in the punishment of grown men indeed, as in the case of the army and navy, the educational advancement of the age may make the greatest difference, and public cpinion may here interpose itself beneficially either to change principles, or to prevent excesses ; for the more fully men have been educated, the more they are likely to be influenced by moral motives ;

but, in the case of childhood, and early youth, with their almost inherent faults, one age varies very little from another. The only thing that could possibly make such a difference in this respect as to affect the present argument, would be some decided and ascertained improvement in the training and management of early childhood. Of this we confess we see no symptoms, at least in the middle ranks of life ; if anything, the comparison would probably be greatly in favour of our ancestors. There may have been pets, with coats of many colours, in all ages, but, only to take one instance, the present very general practice of fostering the vanity of little children, by tricking ihem out with feathers a yard and a half long, and other finery, tells a tale of indulgence to children, and self-indulgence in parents, which cannot be very easily misunderstood. A highly civilized age like ours is indeed necessarily one of numerous and ready gratifications, of which the young have their full share ; and that which under such circumstances would be most likely to maintain the tone and vigour of national character would be a firm code of home and school discipline: but few are willing to have recourse to such a preservative.

We are rather disposed to alloy with indulgences the very education which should counteract their effect; indeed education in its methods and subjects appears to have adjusted itself wonderfully to a weak and faltering discipline; nor musi many instances of intense individual application and consequent advancement, mislead us in our estimate. The multifarious and superficial knowledge which makes a show in society, and which is now so much in request, is acquired with far less labour, with less resolute exertion, than was necessary for the few sound acquirements considered essential in a former day. The call upon mental energy for thoroughly and sincerely mastering one of the dead languages, is far greater than that which is made for picking up the elements, and a few of the main facts of the physical sciences; or for gaining such a knowledge of the modern languages as is generally attained in our schools. Insist on the steady and continued exercise of a pupil's powers in some one direction, and in your effort, reluctance, and very often determined resistance must and will in many instances be encountered, and must be overcome: from this the theories of the present day shrink. Coax, talk, facilitate, vary your subjects, dip your difficulties in honey, which in no metaphorical sense you may require yourself, for you will probably be hoarse enough. This will please parents ; but to tell a boy this is difficult, but I will help you to master it, and I will make you do so ; this is forbidden.

It is with the mode of acquisition after all, far more than with the subjects of instruction in the present day, that we are dissatisfied, and we have always looked to the classics as our mainstay in education ; when soundly taught they demand steady application, thought, and effort; if they are not soundly tauglit, the inference is to us plain, because the age sickens at the thought of firm and unflinching discipline with its accompaniments.


The first annual report of this school induces us to resume a subject, to which we were led in the month of April, by the appearance of Mr. Munro's pamphlet on Agricultural Colleges. No question connected with the education of the poor, is more difficult than how to bring boys of from thirteen to eighteen years of age within the sphere of any good moral influence.“ These boys," as the Cambridge report

. observes, “ are too old for the national school, and are expected by their parents to be earning their daily bread; and for those who are able to obtain regular employment, nothing better can be desired,” that is, we would add, in respect of their daily occupations. As regards their lodging and superintendence when their work is over, we think with Mr. Munro, that it would be indeed most desirable if some such plan as that which he has proposed could be carried into effect. But this does not form a part of the professed object of the Cambridge Industrial School, That object is to assist those who are unable to obtain regular employment, because their families may be very far from respectable; or because, when quite young, they were idle, and now, though they may see their error, find it difficult to gain cmployment; or because, having lost one occupation from misdemeanour, they may find it difficult to recover themselves; or, as often happens, because their work may be uncertain, and they may often have 10 spend three months at a time in idleness. Not only the outlying parishes of large towns, such as Cambridge, but many of our agricultural villages abound with strong and active lads of this description, whose time is chiefly employed in playing at pitch-halfpenny, and the like games, at the street-corners and other haunts of the idle and unemployed. We need not look to police reports to learn that young persons, thus exposed by poverty and idleness to every kind of temptation, form a large proportion of the criminals in our gaols. But even if the commission of crime were not the result of such a state, these boys, when thus lest to themselves, are growing up without acquiring any skill whereby to command employment; they are forgetting the knowledge they may have gained at school, and are under no good religious or moral influence. For these evils it was determined at Cambridge about four years ago to attempt to provide a remedy, by endeavouring to establish an industrial school, that is, " an institution in which boys might be instructed in field-work, and in some of the common kinds of handicraft, so as to be assisted in gaining their own livelihood, and in which they might also be brought under the influence of moral and religious culture."

It was conceived that such a scheme, if judiciously carried out, might operate well in the following ways :

"(1.) Boys leaving the national school, and not immediately obtaining employment, might be enabled to find occupation, and fit themselves for work whenever an occasion should offer itself; while at the same time they would be prevented from losing the knowledge, both religious and secular, which they had acquired in the national school.

(2.) Boys who have irregular work, and are at particular seasons of the

year, for several months together, without occupation, might find temporary employment, and improve their time instead of wasting it in sheer idleness,

“(3.) Boys who from idleness or from the commission of some petty offence have lost their good character, and therefore find it difficult to obtain employment, might in such an institution have the opportunity of earning a character, and acquiring such habits of industry as should enable the managers of the school to recommend them to employers.

“(4.) Boys who acquire skill in tield and garden work, and have learned to use their hands, e.g. in mending their own clothes and shoes, knitting their own stockings and the like, will have a great advantage in after life in providing for the comforts of a family, and will be able to employ many spare hours in adding to their comforts, which probably would be much less profitably spent.

(5.) And the encouraging of this kind of training would probably have a much wider influence than that pertaining to the school itself: because the effect would most likely be to raise the general'standard of industrial acquirement, and so incite the poorer classes generally to bring up their chil. dren with a better knowledge of useful occupations.

(6.) And, lastly, the working of such an institution might be most important with reference to emigration. The kind of training which was proposed in the industrial school appeared to be exactly what is required to make a poor man a successful emigrant; and the increasing importance of the subject of emigration makes this view of the institution by no means the least worthy of attention.”

In these ways the first proposers of the scheme imagined that good might be done. Upon inquiry, they found schools more or less resembling that which they had imagined, but none which appeared to combine all the qualities which they desired to unite. They felt therefore that their attempt must partake of the nature of an experiment; but they thought that that experiment, in order to be generally beneficial, could be nowhere better made thian at Cambridge. Accordingly in December, 1847, a public meeting was held, and a provisional committee, composed of members of the University and Town, was formed. After some delay, the committee obtained and accepted the offer of a piece of freehold land for building purposes, with the power of hiring six or seven acres of ground contiguous, on a lease, for the purposes of a field-garden, in a position well suited for the outlying parishes of the lown. Plans were prepared for a schoolmaster's house, school-room, and workshops, which were approved by the Committee of Council on Education, who agreed to grant 1061. 10s. in aid of the undertaking. The property was vested in the Bishop of Ely and his successors, by his lordship's kind permission. The buildings were not in a habitable state until Lady-day, 1850, when the school was opened, under the direction of a committee of management of the school, which committee had been appointed at a general meeting of the subscribers, in accordance with the provisions of the trust deed. At the opening of the school the following provisional rules were adopted by the committee:

“ The number of boys to be restricted at present to twenty; the number to be allowed to rise from that to the full number proposed, namely fifty, as the committee may see fit.

“ Each boy to pay 2d. per week ; the money to be paid in advance each Monday morning.

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“The boys to be provided with a dinner each day at the expense of the school.* " The following is the provisional time table :


Industrial occupation.
8-9 Breakfast.
9-10 Reading, Writing, &c. in school.
10—12Industrial occupation.
121—2 Dinner and recreation.

2-3 School.

3-5 Industrial occupation. The attendance of boys on the first opening of the school was not so great as the committee had anticipated: the design of the institution was probably not well understood by those for whose benefit it was intended, and many prejudices were to be overcome. The subjoined table exhibits the average weekly attendance for each month of the year during which the school has been open :1850.




December 16


Harvests August. 9


September. 10


24 “ It will be seen that the restriction of numbers which the Committee thought it necessary to make, in order to render the institution manageable in the first instance, was by no means required; it will be seen also that during the last month the restriction has been removed, the Committee not thinking it necessary in the present more settled state of the school to adhere to their original restriction.

* At present there are twenty-eight boys upon the books of the school; their ages are as follows: two of twenty years; one of sixteen; five of fifteen; eleven of fourteen; and nine of thirteen years of age. The total number admitted since the opening of the school is thirty-six.

“On the first opening of the school, the industrial occupation of the boys was entirely confined to gardening ; but in the month of May the Committee engaged the services of a shoemaker who should instruct the boys in his trade, especially upon such days as were unfavourable for out-door occupations. Tools and apparatus were purchased for six boys. Since the introduction of shoemaking, the shoes of the boys have been repaired by themselves.

“In the month of December, the Committee further introduced the services of a tailor, who should attend in like manner as the shoemaker, but chiefly on days unfavourable for out-door occupation.t Apparatus was provided

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* The following is a specimen of the diet-table for one week :

Monday.-Meat and vegetables.
Tuesday.-- Pea-soup, bread and vegetables.
Wednesday.-Bread and cheese, and beer.
Thursday.--Salt-pork, and vegetables.
Friday.—Rice, with sugar; and vegetables.

Saturday.-Bread and cheese, and beer.
The expense is found to average about 18. 2d. per week for each boy.

+ The general rule for attendance is as follows: the shoemaker on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, the tailor on Monday and Tuesday. But this rule is liable to variation in consequence of the weather.

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