« НазадПродовжити »
directed away from the real issue of course, has this double drawback, it namely, whether the candidate at the leads sometimes to the rejection of a moment before them is the most fit a good man, and this happening once and proper person available to repre- or twice makes it difficult to defeat a sent their interests and serve them in really bad one, whose character should whatever position he may happen to entirely shut him out from confidence. covet. I repeat that any deed which, We want not merely greatness but in a fair view, would make part of his goodness in our public men, not merely qualification or disqualification may ability but morality, and if the object rightly be raked up. But the educa- of the professors of billingsgate was to tional influence of public conflicts secure this, whatever might be said of must remain small so long as party or the means they employ, their motive personal victories are won not by rea- would at all events be respectable. soning but by vituperation. Unfor- But we may be sure no favour would tunately the evil from an educational have more reason to dread the repropoint of view is not solely negative; it duction here of the censor of the old is positive also; and the mind of the Romans than those who, hired with people is not merely left untrained as money or maddened by envy, rush out to right thinking and right feeling,
from the kennels of party, howling but an appetite is created for garbage, defaming mendacities. an appetite which grows by what it The most serious of all the pracfeeds on, and like the craving for al- tical evils which follow from the tone cohol, not only cries ever more, more,' of public discussions, is that highbut destroys the desire for, and the minded, able, but sensitive men are kept power of assimilating, wholesome food. out of public life, thus allowing peoIt is impossible to conceive anything ple of inferior stamp to crowd into it more degrading to a people, than to -a circumstance which has many and be fed on slander, and amused by viru- far-reaching consequences, including lent and defaming contests compared lowness of tone which, however, is by with which gladiatorial exhibitions no means the gravest result. When are civilized and bull fights ennobling. people without intellectual power go
The lesser evils which follow the into public life, they very soon learn argument from scandal will appear that they have no career, and the posmore practical. Public offenders are sibilities of their future having no allowed to go unexposed, because the bracing influence on them, in nine cases tactical time has not come to strike, out of ten, they determine to make poand month adds itself to month and litics pay. But in the case of a man of year to year, and the public are allow- real ability, where avarice is not as it ed to listen to the wild and unscru- sometimes is, though happily not pulous utterances of a contemptible often, his master passion, the public demagogue, whose game should have have in his hopes and promise hostbeen spoiled long before. This course ages for his good behaviour.
His is one that would be deemed unworthy greatest desire will not be 'to have a by those who feel that a real claim to nice thing,' to add house to house and public trust, on the ground of ability field to field, but will be in accordance and faithfulness, is the only basis on with that which has inspired so many which a man should care to stand. lives that are among the noblest monu
When a case arises where it is a ments of human sacrifice and endurduty to expose the conduct of an as- ance and greatness -- the generous pirant, then the force of the statement ambition to hold a large place in the is impaired by suspicion of want of consideration of his countrymen, begood faith. So that the argument from cause of services which were not only scandal, when resorted to as a matter efficient in a coarse direct sense, but
also elevating to public life, and it 'was afraid I should offend some of my may be at the same time tending to friends,' and each honourable gentleexpand and enrich human thought. man laughed complacently as though When a man of poor intellect is sent conscious of having acted exceedingly to parliament or raised to power, in
well. Such are your practical politithe one case he degenerates into a cians,' who to borrow the language of voting machine and depresses the par- Lord Lytton, know the world and take liamentary standard, or perpetrates it as it is, do not ask five legs of mutton rhetorical and legislative escapades, from a sheep, and are determined that wholly inconsistent with his duty and no modern cynic, lantern in hand, and the efficiency of the legislature; in the bent on an arduous search, shall find other case he becomes a mere medium them. and the public have an ostensible But why dwell on a state of things minister without power, and a real which all acknowledge and deplore? minister without responsibility. His- The only course worth taking is to tory then repeats itself, and the roi point out the remedy, though there fainéant and the maire du palais are may be little hope of its adoption by revived. The public, therefore, want the people, for the ancients well said, and should obtain, not merely men one may show to others, but cannot who can vote, but who can also deli- pluck for them the Hesperian fruit. berate, and who cannot only deliber- The true remedy is to introduce into ate, but can say “no, a thousand times our discussions the element of criticism no !' when asked by whomsoever to and a higher class of men into public support sop measures and bribing life, and this can never be done largely expedients, injurious in a two-fold and successfully while the chosen weasense to the country, striking at its pon in the political struggle is, not the honour and its purse.
sword of reason, used in accordance There is indeed abundant need for with honourable rules of fence, but the seeking to raise the tone of public life, tomahawk of scandal wielded from amand it is to be hoped that the next bush with savage recklessness, and Local House will be an improvement from motives of the basest kind. Hison its predecessor. Probably every one tory near and remote teems with illushas had an experience more or less trations of the dangers which attend like this. Entering Osgoode Hall one distaste, on the part of the best citizens, morning, I said to a legal friend for public life, a distaste which is the 'I suppose Blank is to be one of the inevitable consequence
of making judges.' 'I dare say' was the reply. that life loathsome by excluding from "He will be better on the bench, in fact it all that elevates man in his own and
is too honest for a politician,' his fellows' esteem, and by making it and the prevailing tone in which poli- a terror to the sensitive and refined. ticians are spoken of is like that one The present timeis eminently favourwould use in speaking of a band of able to a new start, for there is abroad sbirri
. Chatting with two legislators —especially is this true of the young of opposing parties, I discussed a men—the backbone of the country of measure on which I thought public to-morrow—a feeling that our feet are money had been thrown away. They touching larger years, a generous agreed with me. Why then’ I asked and wise desire to pour oblivion over 'did you both vote for it ?' * Because,' what was unsatisfactory in the past, answered one, I had my own axe to and to greet the future with untroubled grind.' And I,' replied the other, memories and noble purpose.
ART EDUCATION-A PLEA FOR THE ARTIZAN.
BY L. R. O'BRIEN,
Vice-President of the Ontario Society of Artists.
ON the 5th of February last there the purse power of the legislatures and
was an important gathering in school trustees; and, secondly, that it Washington, being the annual meet- is a unanimous and formal acceptance ing of the Educational Association of of a revolution in the whole plan of the United States. At this meeting education, which has, for some years Professor Walter Smith, state director and against strong opposition, been of Art Education in Massachusetts, quietly progressing. read an able and very interesting pa- If in this article reference is principer on Technical Education,' which pally made to the course of education has since been published, after which now being adopted in the United the following resolution was passed States, it is because the circumstances unanimously &
of that country, its opportunities, its • Whereas this Convention of state, requirements, and its educational macounty and city superintendents of chinery, are so like ours that its action schools recognises the necessity of in- affords us an apter exemplification, and dustrial education in the public schools more useful illustration, than that of of America ; and whereas, if a part of any other; besides which, from its the time now given to writing in day contiguity the United States must alschools were devoted to drawing, the ways be our great industrial competiwriting would be better, and the tor, and industrial progress there can power of drawing a clear gain, there- only be met by a corresponding defore,
velopment here. Resolved,- That industrial drawing, Forordinary purposes, technical educonsisting of geometrical drawing, free- cation, practical education, art educahand drawing, elementary design, being tion, mean the same thing. The ordinnow regarded as the common basis of ary conception of art is something far technical education, should be taught removed from its true signification : in the public day schools as an ele- to wit,-Application of knowledge to mentary part of all general education; practical purposes '-'power of doing and that industrial drawing, model- things acquired by experience, study, ling, and applied design for trades and or observation.' manufactures, should be taught to Advocacy of Art Education does persons of both sexes in free evening not mean that people should be taught classes for those who are not in at- or incited to make pictures or statues, tendance at day schools.'
but that they should be fitted for The full significance of the passage whatever they may have to do of pracof this resolution and preamble may tical work in after life, and that they be gathered from the following consid- should be trained not only to acquire erations:- First, that the men com- knowledge, but to apply it to practical posing this convention control and
purposes. Drawing is the foundation direct the free public school education of practical education, as reading and of the United States, subject only to writing are of a literary education,
and it is the only universal language. ation, or power to take in and assimTo draw anything we must study it ilate what is so well set before them, with a purpose and thus come to or perhaps because the process is so know the thing itself-reading only thorough and elaborate that the poor tells us something about it.
little brains getaddled in going through careful drawing of a fuschia or geran- the mill; but, granting all this, does ium and you will know more about our much vaunted and costly free eduplant form than could be learned cation fit the children for the occupafrom volumes of botany without illus- tions that most of them have to foltrations. In a recent address upon low as soon as they leave school ? Does this subject the necessary fundamen- it interest them in those occupations, tal branches of education are put and cultivate the faculties and percepthus :
tions upon which they most chiefly * There are now four fundamental rely for success? We must frankly studies required to fit children for admit that, with the largest number practical life, namely:
and with the most important class, the 1. leading, because it is the means workers with their hands, it does not. of teaching and acquiring knowledge. That it fails in this respect, and that it
"2. Writing, because it is the means tends to make the pupils despise manof expressing knowledge.
ual labour and endeavour by all means '3. Arithmetic, because it is the to escape it, is admitted and regretted means of computing knowledge and by some of the ablest teachers. values; and
The child of the red Indian is better • 4. Drawing, because it is the lan- educated for his future life than our guage of form in every branch of in- children are for theirs. Every sense dustry, from the most simple to the and faculty that he requires to use is most complex.'
trained and cultivated to the utmost As our schools are paid for by a keenness ; fleet of foot and strong of general tax, and are intended for the arm, with a true eye and certain hand, use of all the people, it is essential versed in the ways of birds, and beasts, that the interests of no important and fishes, knowing the signs of naclass should be ignored, and knowing ture in the sky and in the woods, and what must be the occupations of the delighting in his knowledge ; having great majority of the scholars in adult learned to see things and to do things, life the scheme of instruction should he is for his place perfectly educated. be so arranged as to prepare for them ; Can we not in some degree follow this and further, as necessity compels a example? Do we not owe it as a duty large number of children to leave to the working man, whose hands are school and go to work at an early age, his sole patrimony, to give him the the instruction given in the first stages kind of education that will help him should be complete as far as it goes, to do his work skilfully and well, and be such as can be put in use at so that his trained intelligence may once and before it is forgotten.
find legitimate scope in bringing to I have no wish to undervalue the perfection all that he does, and that he popular education of the day, for in the may hope to rise by excellence in direction in which it goes, as literary his work, rather than by shirking it to education, it is admirable. The teach- seek for some easier mode of living or ers are experts in teaching, their sys- advancement ? tem is very good, and their manner and We see every day the brightest and enthusiasm in carrying it out are be. most intelligent of our youths, those yond all praise. If the children of who have profited most by their edu. to-day fail in acquiring knowledge, it cation, leaving the ranks of productive is because they lack the time, inclin- industry, deserting the workshop or the farm, to become schoolmasters, ance—food for man and beast is cheap shopkeepers, bookkeepers, anything and plentiful—every kind of raw mawhere they think they can use their terial, animal, vegetable and mineral, heads rather than their hands, and is in profuse supply. All manufacfailing because there is nothing for tured products are abundant, superthem to do. For hard labour they have abundant and cheap. Money accumuno aptitude, for skilled labour they lates in the coffers of the bankers, and have no skill, the manliness has been with all this there is wide-spread diseducated out of them, and they have tress, poverty and steadily increasing no weapon to use in the battle of life pauperism. The rich have grown but the pen, which is in most hands a richer and the poor are growing poorfeebler instrument than even the sew- | er. Colossal fortunes stand more than ing girl's needle. Is it surprising that ever conspicuous among populations our cities are crowded with useless, suffering from insufficient employment starving, well-educated men, who can- and revolving the most startling social not dig and are ashamed to beg? and communistic theories. If we have
The working man is now so sought suffered less in Canada from these after, and flattered and befooled by evils than older countries have, we politicians and demagogues for the may well be thankful, but the outlook - sake of his vote, that we are apt to over the world at large is grave think of him as having been really and enough and is the more serious as aflargely benefited by the gift of the fording little present prospect of relief. franchise, instead of having been The extent to which machinery has mocked by the vision which he took taken the place of hand labour is evifor a substantial boon. Artizans also dently one of the causes both of this get less sympathy from their employ- distress of the poor and of the accumuers, and less general sympathy from lation of capital in a few hands. It the public, than their hardships should is within a very short period, scarcely entitle them to, because they cannot more than one generation, that this themselves move for improvement of wonderful introduction of machinery their position without combination, and has taken place. Machines at first in combination they do not seem able to used as aids to the labourer, doing act without putting themselves in the heavy work beyond his power to atwrong, or at least without much incon- tempt, such as pumping mines, drawing venience and annoyance to the public. loads and lifting weights, have by de The rich have the power still, as they grees been so perfected as to supplant always have had it, and having the him in the finest and most delicate power it behoves them to use it in all operations, beating him in regularity, possible alleviation of the condition of in precision, and above all in rapidity the poor, and in wise and kindly atten- and cheapness of production. It is tion to their just aspirations.
little wonder that the instinct of the It is worth our while to consider workmen has been so bitterly hostile to what is the present position of the machinery--they had nothing but their working classes, with respect to their labour to live by, and the machines work, and how it has come about. were invented avowedly to do their
The hard times' which press so un- work and do it cheaper. The steam enpleasantly upon us just now have some gine is to the artizan of the nineteenth remarkable and paradoxical features century what the Chinaman is to the which seem to indicate that inequality white labourer of the Pacific Coast, but in the distribution of wealth is one a far more powerful rival. You may great evil we have to contend with. keep out the Chinese or send them Everything required for the supply of back to the flowery land, but the man's material wants is in an abund- steam engine is hopelessly domesticat