Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

was

Queen," an ode on the Federation of the mere business of destruction is Australia. In a different and higher another. Mr. Kipling's poem "The class rank "The Burial” (lines on the Destroyers" (one of the best written tomb of Cecil Rhodes), and, of course, things in the volume), which describes "Recessional," which comes at the how an English torpedo-boat attacks close of the volume. That was writ. and shatters a hostile convoy, recalls ten in 1897. It is melancholy to think disagreeably the jubilant forecasts in that the man who wrote it should be the English press of what lyddite was capable now of publishing, not merely going to do, or of the work which cavsuch doggerel as "The Lesson" (dog. alry would make among the Boers. gerel has a justification in its appeal Verses in this tone come ill from the to those who will read nothing else), author of "Recessional.” Mr. Kipling, but such wordy and ungrammatical however, would doubtless urge that bombast as "The Reformers.” Here is this poem is a mere piece of byplay-a how Mr. Kipling says that it is well concession to that impulse which for a rich young man to volunteer for makes the small street boy delight to military service

carry a pistol--and sets us imagining

what we as a nation could do with the Happy is he who, bred and taught

weapons we have in our pocket. (Qui By sheer sufficing circumstance Whose gospel

nolunt ocoidere quemquam posse volunt). the apparelled thought,

He would probably say that the poems Whose gods were Luxury and by which he should be judged are Chance

those which glorify the martial spirit Sees, on the threshold of his days,

and inculcate the soldierly qualities. The old life shrivel like a scroll, Let us consider how he does it. He is And to unberalded dismays

very angry with his countrymen beSubmits his body and his soul.

cause they "grudge a year of service

to the lordliest life on earth." The fatted shows wherein he stood

Now,

does Mr. Kipling seriously mean to asForegoing, and the idiot pride, That he may prove with his own blood

sert that the year which any soldier All that his easy sires denied- has to spend "in learning his trade,

parade," is a lordly life? If he does, Ultimate issues, primal springs,

any conscript in any European army, Demands, abasements, penalties-

or (nearer home) any gentleman ranker The imperishable plinth of things Seen or unseen, that touch our peace.

of his acquaintance will contradict him

flatly. A soldier's life is lordly, if ever, Remark in passing the last rhyme, only when he gets his chance to put which, bad as it is, is made worse by training to the proof-and that doubt. the unspeakable bathos of the words less is what Mr. Kipling means. He "that touch our peace." If we are to resents the slowness of his countrymen bave rhetoric, let us at least get it to fit themselves for this privilege, and good.

the slackness of their response when To turn to the prophet. Mr. Kip- the opportunity of real fighting offered. ling starts with the faith that war is In the pinch, as he says, they "fawned not only necessary but desirable as a on the younger nations for men who factor in national existence. That is could shoot and ride." If a pro-Boer perhaps a questionable faith, but it is had written this, what names he would one which the writer of this review have been called! And even a prohappens to share. Yet to hold this Boer may be allowed to hint that Mr. doctrine is one thing, to gloat over Kipling is less than fair to the English,

ECLECTIC. VOL. LXXIX. 555

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

If invasion of England actually threat- by preference a town dweller-I should ened there would be no want, I think, rather resent Mr. Kipling's contempt of volunteers. It is easy to say that for the “street bred people." Is, after this would be late, but General Graut all, the man of the veldt-whether Boer in the American War was asked how or Colonist-superior, say, to the Sunlong at a pinch it took to make an in- derland artisan? The assumption that fantryman, and he answered, “About a he is underlies the writings not only of week." And at present the average Mr. Kipling, but of a host of lesser Englishman does not contemplate in- prophets. Yet it does not follow that vasion as a serious possibility. Mr. a man who lives in a big space is Kipling would urge that an invasion bound to have a big soul-or even a of Natal was the same thing, morally big body. speaking, as a landing in Kent; but it Speaking as an outsider, I find it is obvious that his countrymen did not easier to admire the patriotism of Tenfeel it to be so. And further, there nyson, which delighted to glorify the was a very marked difference in men's traditional qualities of Englishmenwillingness to come forward between great love of personal independence, a the days when the war had a defensive prepossession in favor of liberty for character and the later time, when it others-than to sympathize with Mr. became undisguisedly a war of conquest Kipling's imperialist sentiment, which and annexation. This is a distinction desires apparently to see every good which Mr. Kipling does not seem to Englishman engaged in the business of understand, but nevertheless it lies governing some one who is not Eng. deep. Englishmen may reasonably lish, and thereby liberated from the hope that they would fight to defend stunting circumstances of English life. their liberty, as the Boers did, to a The Englishman whom he holds up to man. They do not all learn the use of glory is the Englishman anywhere out arms as Frenchmen or Germans do, of England. Such Englishmen as are because they do not, like Frenchmen misguided enough to remain are in and Germans, feel it necessary for the duty bound to shake off that stolid defence of their country. But Mr. Kip- composure and self-satisfaction (which ling wants Englishmen to show self- many of us have thought to be Engsacrifice, not for the maintenance of land's best asset) and live so far as liberty but for the aggrandizement of possible in a perpetual panic. The empire. Now I confess that my zeal whole thing seems to me part of a disfor the soldierly qualities depends a position to substitute bigness for greatgood deal on the cause in which they are displayed.

In the meantime, actual war seems But there is one thing quite obvious. (as usual) a poor inspiration (Æschylus Mr. Kipling may be entitled to blame was the only man who ever wrote his countrymen for not turning out in real poetry about contemporary war) full strength as did that "little people, and the "Service Songs" in this volfew but apt in the field.” He has, ume are none of them so good as, for however, no right to find fault, if un- instance, the ballad of "The Grand der South African conditions one Boer Trunk Road." “The Dirge of Dead was worth several Englishmen. You Sisters" is better than these laborious cannot breed cowboys in Kent or exercises in a dialect where cockney mounted infantry in Manchester. And slang is overlaid with purple patches; frankly, if I were a modern English- and much better is “Bridge Guard in man-that is to say congenitally and the Karroo." But what madness in

ness.

duced Mr. Kipling to include the verses reason why England's authority does which he calls (most inaptly, by the not stand to-day, perhaps, at its high way) "Et Dona Ferentes ?” They would est point. One thinks of all Mr. Chamdo well enough in an undergraduates' berlain's speeches and the English journal at Oxford or Cambridge, or for press before the war, or, indeed, of that matter in any not too lite ry Mr. Kipling's

much applauded newspaper. However, as they are line “Sloven, sullen, savage, secret, un. there, one may observe that the refrain, controlled,” which described those who "But oh! beware, my country when were not yet the enemy. my country grows polite,” suggests a

Stephen Gwynn. The Pllot.

Own

AN EDUCATIONAL CONCORDAT.

The history of education in this Eng. the conveyancer, but for the fact that land of ours is an extraordinary one, the statute now being cited was reand, like Paradise Lost, proves nothing, pealed in 1863) "shall be free to set though it illustrates, admirably their son or daughter to take learning enough, man's fallen state. The old at any school that pleaseth them withcommon law, which is still our best in the realm." This bold statute, inheritance, and (what is left of it) our though it did not apply to Lollards, poblest contribution to the civilization the only then known form of Dissent, of the West, was sound as a bell on displeased the clergy, always prone to the subject of education-sound, that consider education as their annexe, and is to say, so far as it went. By the many efforts were made to obtain its common law every free person had an repeal or modification, but unsuccessunlimited right to education, though fully. Four years later, in 1410, it was children born in villeinage could not held, in the Gloucester Grammar School be educated without the consent of case (Year Book Henry IV., p. 4), “to their feudal lords. It has been sug. be contrary to reason that a master gested to me, in private conversation, could be disturbed from holding school by a conveyancer of Lincoln's Inn, where he pleased, save in the case of that, inasmuch as servile tenures have a University, Corporation, or a school never been abolished by statute, the of ancient foundation." Mr. Justice child of a copyholder even to this day Hill declared that “to teach youth is a has no right to receive education with- virtuous and charitable thing to do, out the consent of the Lord of the helpful to the people, for which a masManor. But as this point was not ter cannot be punished by our law." taken in the House of Commons it is This was the state of the law until not likely there is anything in it. we reach the disquieting and uncom

By 7 Henry IV. c. 17 (1406), it was fortable times of expressly enacted that "every man or

the majestic lord, woman of what state or condition that

That broke the bonds of Rome. he be” (tbis language would by itself be enough to destroy the contention of Henry VIII. was the most highly edu

re

cated man (unless indeed Mr. Lowe Her age was not an age of religion, could dispute the title with him) who but of religious differences. It is an has ever played the part of President atmosphere familiar to all of us, and of the Board of Education, and he, still congenial to many. instead of a Code, set forth a Gram- Archbishop Laud had things his own mar, to be used by all schoolmasters way in education for a while (and it and teachers throughout the land; thus would be wicked to deny his genuine for the first time forging a link be- love of letters), and then came the tween the Crown and the elementary swing of the pendulum. The Puritans schools of the country.

carried the country, not by leaflets and Tests for teachers began in Eliza- public meetings, but by hard fighting bethan days, when the oaths, both of on many a stricken field. supremacy and allegiance, were re

Stout Skippon hath a wound; the cenquired to be taken by all schoolmasters

tre hath given ground: and public and private teachers of

Hark! Hark! What means the trampchildren. Nor did they stop here—nor ling of horsemen on our rear? could they have done, for we have Whose banner do I see, boys? 'Tis he, now reached the time of a “Religion"

thank God! 'tis he, boys

Bear up another minute, Brave Oliver (Church of Englandism) by law estab

is here. lished. Acts of Parliament now quired that every schoolmaster em

Neither “Brave Oliver” nor his Parployed by any person or persons, body liaments were minded to leave the edupolitic or corporation, should attend

cation of the young in the hands of the Church services with regularity, "scandalous" schoolmasters; and comand teach "the established religion." missioners were appointed personally The Privy Council instituted a search

to examine both ministers and schooling inquiry as to the “backwardness"

masters as to "ignorance or insuffiof schoolmasters in teaching the “re

ciency," and to eject those who failed ligion now established by the laws of

to pass this examination, allowing the the realm." No case, however, arose

ejected ones, if they went peacefully for "passive resistance" on the part of

away, a fifth of their year's income. the public, since no rate or tax was

No ejected schoolmaster was allowed raised for the cost of education,

to set up a school in the place from The bishop first appears on this scene whence he had been ejected. Parliain the reign of James I., when it was

ment did not hesitate to define what it provided by statute that no person meant by “scandalous." A scandalous should keep a school or be a school

schoolmaster was not only the holder master, "except he were licensed by

of “blasphemous and atheistical opinthe bishop."

ions,” a curser and swearer, a Papist, This is the high-water mark of An- an adulterer, a drunkard, a dicer, a glicanism.

breaker of the Sabbath-day, but also It would be unfair not to add, that "such as have publicly and frequently the toleration of the common law read or used the Common Prayer which we have seen destroyed by stat- Book," or reviled "the strict profession ute, was more apparent than real. As

or professors of Religion, or Godli. soon as the Lollards, our first Dissent. ness," or "have declared or shall de ers, appeared, toleration disappeared. clare by writing, preaching, or otherTo have expected Queen Elizabeth to wise publishing, their disaffection to allow a Popish recusant to keep a the present Government."

The same school would have been unreasonable. Act of Parliament (1654, ch. 45) provided that ministers and schoolmasters Act, gradually became respectable and should keep the chancels, churchyards, wealthy bodies. Some of their acadand schools in as “good and sufficient emies in different parts of the country repair" as the same buildings were "at were famous places. The greatest of the time of their being placed there- all Anglican bishops, the celebrated in."

Butler, was educated in a Dissenting The schools referred to in this Crom- College. From time to time, Acts of wellian legislation were the endowed Parliament were passed in favor both schools, but it may safely be assumed of Dissenting and Catholic teachers, that, during the Puritan supremacy, and by the middle of George the as during the Anglican supremacy, se- Third's reign it may fairly be said vere tests of "conformity" were ex- that, although excluded from the Uniacted from all schoolmasters and versities and the old Endowed Schools, teachers. But no taxes were levied to and still required to go to Church to maintain schools or to provide educa- be married, Protestant Dissenters were tion for the poor.

left alone to worship God as they When King Charles came back to chose, and to teach and to be taught bis own, his Church "as by law estab- (at their own charges) as best they lished" returned with him, and, in the might be. teeth of the monarch's pledged word, There is matter for thought even in the Act of Uniformity was passed this brief retrospect, but I must leave which (among other things) required it to take up another line.' every schoolmaster and tutor to sub- Our old common law made for freescribe the declaration of conformity to dom rather than for what is now called the Litany as by law established; and culture. Whilst allowing anybody to in 1665 the Five Mile Act expressly for- teach, it did not require anybody to bade any Nonconformist to teach in be taught. There was no duty on a ang public or private school.

parent, at common law, to educate his The pendulum has swung back offspring in either sacred or profane again; but a new spirit, or at any rate learning. You had to feed your child, a new way of looking at things, is now and clothe him according to your stabeginning to be noticeable. A series tion; but more was not demanded of judicial decisions restricted ecclesi

In the eye of the law, eduastical jurisdiction over education to cation was a charity; in the eye of the grammar schools, and the bishop's li- Church it was a religious duty. Every cense was declared unnecessary when mass-priest was required, even in Anthe schoolmaster was the nominee of glo-Saxon times, to have a school in the founder or of a lay feoffee. Between his house; whilst to found a grammar the Bench and the Church there used school has always been an act of charalways to be a healthy jealousy.

ity, protected by the law, and supportBy a statute of Anne (13 Anne, c. 7, ed by public opinion. 1714), the teaching of reading, writing, Contrast for a moment the different arithmetic, and so much of mathemati- fortunes that have befallen these two cal learning as related to navigation, central propositions of the common was freed from all restraints.

law on education—the freedom to teach Protestant Dissenters, under the and the freedom from being taught. grudging provisions of the Toleration The first had always to struggle for

"I take leave to refer to the admirabi published at the Cambridge University Press. History of my friend Mr. Montmorency "state Intervention in English Education,

of you.

1902.

« AnteriorContinuar »