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this process has gone far enough, and that it may be well to exchange our grand idealism for a little common sense and practical statesmanship. The passport seems to be the only available means of restricting immigration so as to exclude that which is undesirable. No scrutiny by a commission in our ports will turn back any considerable number. The restriction must be made before the journey hither begins. For this purpose the consulate could easily be employed.* It is not proposed to prohibit foreign immigration; but it is proposed to make it, at least, not so easy a matter as it is at present. To this end it is suggested that laws be enacted requiring every person to show before an American official his fitness to become an American citizen, laws strong on the negative side, shutting out the grossly degraded and ignorant, the physically degenerate, the criminal; and still stronger on the positive side, requiring some inceptive preparation for entering into American life, and some real intention to
* Since these pages were written, the subject has engaged the attention of Congress, and bills have been introduced which call for the use of the consulate to determine the fitness of emigrants. The press, and especially the New York" Evening Post" in its able columns, criticise this feature of the bills as unworthy of consideration on the ground of the utter inability of consuls to do the required work. I would not insist upon this or any other specific method, but only that some method shall be adopted which will shut out a part, at least, of the undesirable and already illegal immigration. It would seem that a commissioner in the ports of departure would find no greater difficulty than a commission in the ports of arrival; that it is as easy to determine embarkation as disembarkation. It would also seem that a consul or a commission in Queenstown could more easily ascertain if Irish emigrants are discharged criminals than a commission in New York. The difficulty in all cases would not be with the consul or commission, but with those who are required to produce the proper and sufficient cer
fall into the current of the national life and to support its institutions.
We are aware that a government cannot do everything that needs to be done for its people; also that human society, as distinct from government, must work out many of its problems without the aid of law, and that, being an organism, it is fitted to do this. We are also aware that social regeneration must be largely left to science and ethical teaching and religion. Society has laws and forces of its own which work towards the elimination of evil and the creation of good and require no aid from the civil law. But these social forces presuppose a normal constitution of society,— potentially, at least. When society is suffered by law, or by the absence of law, to become abnormally constituted,- heterogeneous, illbalanced, overweighted with bad elements alien to itself, then civil law may be invoked to take off the hindrances, and thus make the way clear for society to enforce its own redemptive methods.
tificates of good character,- that is, the emigrants themselves.
An "Ex-Consul," in the New York "Evening Post" (December 24), ridicules the use of the consulate for the purpose named, but suggests that "it might be well to require of every one [emigrants] a certificate of good conduct from the local authorities of the place from which he came, and this might be legalized by the consul at the place of shipment, or the consul nearest the place from which he came, as in the case of merchandise."
The suggestion is well worthy of consideration as suggesting the ground upon which a consul or commission might grant a passport. The humanity of checking paupers and insane in the ports of departure rather than in ports of arrival is too obvious to need mention.
I will add that this paper was written nearly two years ago, and before the suggestions as to the use of the consulate, now so frequently heard, were made. T. T. Munger.
TOPICS OF THE TIME.
"English as She is Taught."
individual. So this assumption becomes the foundationstone of our public-school system,- that what one can HEN last year, in the April number of this maga- do another must. The practical result is, that if the
was must the next best
editorial notice of the article was taken, it was hoped that something for the good of the schools might come from the discussion. Unfortunately, not many of the letters received have been of a character to justify the faith. They have been, as a rule, either hopelessly acquiescent or helplessly resentful. Many teachers have sent us similar lists of answers, but few have made suggestions; others have admitted that such lists might be made by any teacher, but protest against the conclusions drawn from them. The range of protestation has been wide, and some fierce minds have even accused us of attempting to overthrow the publicschool system of the country and of unpatriotic criticism of one of the elements of our national greatness. Tacitly, and often irritably, the teachers who have taken exception to "English as She is Taught " have recognized the fact that it is not the child, but the system and, indirectly, the teacher that these examination-results bear most severely against. Briefly stated, the main points of their arguments run in this wise: Such answers as Miss Le Row has collected - annotated by Mark Twain in “ English as She is Taught" - are valueless, because they can in no sense be considered representative of the character of the work done in our public schools. They are, they claim, the attempts of exceptionally dull or careless pupils; of pupils absorbed in thoughts of sport or completely unnerved by the examination; or of those few found in every school who have a genius for misapprehension and misstatement. Instruction in our schools, they say, is of necessity given by classes, and examinationpapers must have reference to the average capability or advancement of the class examined. In each class may be found pupils of all degrees of capacity, individuality, and environment, and the surprising results of Miss Le Row's collection must be ascribed to the incompletely assimilated elements in these incongruous masses. Therefore, they add, in order to obtain from examination-papers any trustworthy information as to the quality of the teaching, one must take into consideration all the answers of the child who makes one absurd error, and the answers of his classmates, and must know, besides, the temper and condition of the children's minds.
All this is true, but it does not entirely satisfy. Now, at the very beginning, it may be admitted that the public schools have many difficulties with which to contend. In the city there is overcrowding; in the country there is a multiplicity of classes. This demands too great an amount of mere police duty of the teacher, and renders individual teaching, with too great ambition, impossible. Straightway mechanical methods creep in, and the child is treated as one of an average, and not as an
is to appear to do it. So long as a teacher feels that his reputation, popularity, and position depend in a great measure upon his ability to "pass" nearly all of his class, the temptation to promote thoroughly incompetent pupils, from motives of policy or cowardice, or from a desire to get rid of stupid or troublesome pupils, is too strong to be wholly disregarded in considering the causes of failure in the working of our school system. Now, much as may be said of the share of the dull and careless pupil in the poor work of Miss Le Row's collection, it is painfully apparent that the questions are too ambitious and that the children are beyond their depth. No one who has watched our schools in the past ten years can fail to note the influence of a growing class of teachers who are working out results that are steadily becoming better and better; but improvements in our schools have too often been the heaping of accretion upon accretion, the multiplying of studies. We attempt too much; we strive for all knowledge, and we load childhood with a jargon of confused facts and theories that disciplines nothing, that effects nothing, that is forgotten as soon as the brilliant hour of its parrot-like repetition has passed. The truth is that most of what we teach is simply thrown away; and, were it not for the negative evils that keep step with all this misdirected direction, it would not matter. We have too little sense of proportion, and entirely lose sight of the fact that thought and expression should be the first qualities to develop in a pupil. The child — not examinations, not promotions, not courses of study — should be the objective point in all teaching. Develop habits of strict attention, and you have gone far towards developing powers of thought and quick comprehension.
The fatal element about such answers as, "Mendacious, what can be mended," and "Parasite, the murder of an infant," is, that the words are but sounds to the child, and the effort to express them and their meanings is but a dull, unreasoning groping after a set of sounds committed to memory in a perfunctory way. And in the answer, "The chyle flows up the middle of the backbone and reaches the heart, where it meets the oxygen and is purified," it is evident that the pupil has no understanding of the matter, though it is manifest that he has gone through the form of studying the subject. He is simply the victim of a stupid theory that we are trying to harbor; namely, that a wide acquaintance with facts and phenomena means education, and that examination-papers are the highest expressions of culture. A wise man might be glad to know that a boy of his, in a walk with him through the fields, could correctly name the beech and *See "The Public-School Problem," in "Open Letters."
the white-oak, could spy out greenstone and granite, and could tell which was snakeroot and which saxifrage, or name the bird whose song was heard in the green hedge beyond, if his knowledge were the natural growth of healthy methods; and if he found that his words were to the point and his sentences well constructed and idiomatic, that he knew his vocabulary thoroughly and could write it automatically, unhampered by ignorance of words or expressions, he would have but a large and kindly fellow-feeling for him if he knew that he had defined quaternions as "a religious convention held every hundred years," and he would certainly wonder why a child were asked such a question; and if he found that the boy had been taught to think, and bore himself well, he would not be greatly troubled if he knew nothing about the chyle, and had a very fleeting knowledge of Chaucer and Addison. Now, it would be well enough to let the boy learn of Chaucer and Addison, of Bryant and Byron, and the host of other names of whom he had committed dreary and barren paragraphs, if it were the beginning that would lead him up to literature and wide reading. But too often it is the end, so far as public-school teaching goes. There is no beyond to such teaching. It bears with it a sense of completeness; it incites to nothing; it is content with low results and incompleteness; it has no high aims; it is satisfied with itself.
The Growing Independence of American Journalism. WHILE there are phases of current journalism which are discouraging, there are others which are most hopeful. Chief among these is the remarkable development of the spirit of independence. Until comparatively recent times the party newspaper - and every political journal in the old days was a party newspaper — was an organ, which made it a part of its regular business to praise every action of its own side and to condemn whatever was done by the opposition. To admit that the other party had nominated an unexceptionable candidate, or had taken a praiseworthy position on some issue, was a thing not to be thought of.
The course of the press since the advent of the present Administration at Washington shows that a change has occurred which amounts almost to a revolution. We have only to refer to the support given by a large part of the Republican press to certain of President Cleveland's vetoes during the Forty-ninth Congress. There has been remarkable independence, too, among Republican party papers in the reception of the views of the President on the surplus as given in his Message to the Fiftieth Congress.
The Southern press, being very largely Democratic, has not had such opportunity as that of the North for the display of fairness towards a political opponent in the White House. But the leading newspapers in the South have manifested of late years a spirit of independence quite as striking and even more creditable. Throughout the whole period of the renaissance in that region the conductors of the chief journals, as a rule, have been far in advance of their readers. They early saw that the new South must learn the necessity and dignity of labor; that it must drop the "code," and abandon the false social theory upon which the code was based; that it must make the education of blacks
as well as whites the corner-stone of its future, and must tax itself to provide schools for the children of the men and women whom under slavery it had been a crime to teach the alphabets To a large element in their constituency—in some cases, at first, probably to a majority — this was an unwelcome gospel, which it required no little courage and faith to preach. It is now so generally accepted that we are in danger of forgetting that there has really been a revolution in public sentiment throughout a great region within a score of years, and that the chief element in bringing it about so quickly has been the independence of a small number of journalists, who were brave enough to speak frankly to those upon whom they depended for support.
It is thus evident that a spirit of real independence characterizes the press of the whole country more generally now than at any previous time in our history. Discouraging as certain manifestations of journalism may appear, they are offset by this pronounced drift in the right direction of the underlying motives of action.
American Architecture in English Eyes.
"THE progress of American architecture has been remarkable within the last few years, and though there is much that is bad, vulgar, and pretentious, it has begun to exhibit artistic and peculiar features of a very high order. The best specimens are scholarly and refined in detail, but adhere less slavishly to precedent than European work. New combinations are introduced, dictated by, and growing out of, the necessities of the building, without violating the character of the style. The best work is accordingly living and interestingless the production of a dry-as-dust archæology, and more in accordance with the true principles of all great architecture.”
These words sound like an echo of many that have already been printed in these pages, but gain a new significance from the fact that they were spoken by an Englishman and an architect. At the annual meeting of the Royal Institute of British Architects in March, 1886, Mr. John B. Gass, an Associate of the Institute, submitted full reports upon the architectural works which he had seen during a recent trip through the United States and Canada, and exhibited a collection of pictures representing many among them. He also read a paper in which the results of his observations were summarized, and it is from an abstract of this (as published in the Institute's official report) that the foregoing sentences have been quoted. The mere fact that his journey had been thought worth making speaks a great deal for the growing reputation of American art; for he made it, not as a tourist seeking private pleasure, but as the holder for 1885 of the Godwin Bursary—a prize which entails upon its recipient the obligation to study for a time foreign works of sufficient importance to promise that his report shall be of interest and profit to the profession at large.
Most of Mr. Gass's address was devoted to the consideration of American methods of construction, to which he gave great praise, especially as regarded fire-proof construction and systems of ventilation. In the discussion which followed, and in which several eminent architects took part, his views in regard to these matters were echoed with emphasis. Mr.
John Slater, for example, remarked: "It appears to me that with regard to the structural methods of America there is a boldness, a thoroughness, a directness of aim, and lack of conventionality which are extremely refreshing. Whether the same lack of conventionality on the art side is a success is open to question, but as to the structural part there can be no doubt of the success attained"; and Professor Kerr said: "With regard to ingenious construction the Americans, in their own language, beat all creation. The whole population of America seems to grasp the necessity for new inventions, and when an invention is brought to bear fully upon any requirement it seems to be done, not in the rough-and-ready way as we are too much accustomed to think it is, but in a precise and practical way which, to my judgment, shows the Anglo-Saxon intellect at its very best. I have no doubt in my own mind that in the course of the next generation American inventors in respect of building will do a great deal, for there is a great deal to be done. We seem in this country to be too much trammeled with old traditions; we do not seem to get beyond the instruction that we received at school. throw all that to the winds and strike out for themselves." The Americans As regards the purely æsthetic side of American art there was less unanimity of almost unmixed praise, But enough praise was here also given to fill us with a righteous pride. Most of the speakers had visited America themselves, and spoke, therefore, with full knowledge of the relative proportion which our good works bear to our bad, and of the rate of speed at which the former are increasing. Mr. Thomas M. Rickman remarked: "Seeing the buildings in Canada and the United States, one sees in all their phases a very great change from the architecture of this country. One sees the survivalism which we have here, which has been transplanted, and also buildings in every style corresponding to our own; but one also sees, when one gets to the United States, a class of buildings altogether different. There architects have thrown aside survivalism and have worked according to their own ideas. Now, one thing I noticed when there was, that, though there were buildings most objectionable according to any canon of taste, one was not so much struck with the bizarrerie of their appearance as was to be expected." The President of the Institute, Mr. Ewen Christian, spoke in a similar strain: "Nobody can pass through any city of America without learning at every step. He will see much that will disgust him, no doubt, because people who go ahead in the way the Americans do, do a great many things that we should be ashamed of here in matters of art. But the impression that I derived from what I saw in America was that there was a great revolution going on, that a great deal of bad work had been done, but that there was a foundation of good work laid, and that a grand future was before its architects."
"With regard to Mr. Richardson's work" (which naturally had received the chief share of praise from more than one speaker), the President added, "I was never more surprised in my life than when I saw the tower of the church that he built at Boston. It is a tower that is a real pleasure to look upon on account of its enormous mass. It must be double the size of any tower with which I am acquainted that has been erected in modern times in England. . . . It is not a
lofty tower, but its grand square mass is very striking indeed. Then the plan of the church itself is very good. . . . I cannot say that I agree with Mr. Gass as to the details, because I do not think them up to the mark; but it is a question of growth. American art is a giant that has grown rather too rapidly, and therefore there is not the amount of finish about it that ever, we may quote Mr. R. Phené Spiers, who called esthere should be." As against these last phrases, howpecial attention to the photographs of Mr. Richardson's Harvard Law School, saying that they" contain a large amount of original and peculiar refinement mixed with extreme breadth and boldness of treatment. It would architect to have dared to go to that extent; he would have been impossible," he continued, "for an English have had against him all the criticisms of all those who are afraid of sinning against the laws of recognized archæology. I remember I could not help thinking one sense a happy man, because he would be able to that when Professor Ware went home he would be in found a style upon principles; his pupils would not always be bound by precedent, and he would be able to bring materials into use which we find it difficult to the work of his pupils." do in England. That has been borne out, I think, in
various speakers is that which refers to this same Not the least welcome part of the praise given by point of education. One gentleman said that he heard Mr. Richardson was not only producing exceedingly good work himself, but "doing one of the most useful things that can be done for American architecture in that he is training in his office men who will worthily succeed him"; and another referred to the course of study at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, because it seemed to him that "the student in that country has before him an opportunity of acquiring which is wanting here. . . . They are a young nation and [in respect to providing thorough courses of training]. we are an old one, yet they have done infinitely more "
supplementing home instruction by foreign study and The degree to which we recognize the necessity for travel was also commented upon with approval, and many judicious references were made to the strong influence which French architecture has had upon American in recent years. In some instances, however, the extent of this influence was exaggerated- as, for example, with regard to Mr. Richardson, who owed France received in her schools, but chose to owe her modern an enormous debt for the thorough training which he art a very small debt as regarded the conceptions, features, and details which he put to use in his subsequent work.
here because, as regards matters of art at least, we are It has seemed worth while to quote these verdicts still timid in estimating our own successes- we are still too apt to appreciate them and believe in their foreign critics. Many Americans certainly now appreprophecies only in proportion as they are indorsed by ings, the exceptional talent of our foremost architects, ciate the exceptional excellence of our best recent buildand the rapid way in which their influence is spreading through the profession at large. But the public as a ered, and is very far from knowing how great is their whole does not appreciate them, intrinsically considexcellence when judged by the standards set by contemporary work abroad. The praise of these distinguished
Englishmen may therefore do a useful work among us; but at least as useful a work ought to be done by the sentences of blame with which it was interspersed.
It would be well, for instance, if we should give ear to the note of warning struck by one speaker, who referred to Mr. Gass's statement that when he went to examine the ventilating-shafts which we had SO cleverly constructed, he most often found them all closed up. It would be well, too, if we could realize the pity of the fact that, despite most excellent opportunities for study, "the Americans cannot bear to go slowly. They will not give the time for studying which they ought to do." But it would be still better if we could distinctly realize and determine to remedy an unfortunate state of affairs to which the President of the Institute referred as "the universal tendency to jobbery' in public work. This he truly affirmed to be the most damaging thing with which we have to contend in our public buildings. "At Chicago," he explained, "I saw a great building in progress, and I do not know how many architects had been employed upon it. When the Government changes the architect changes, and the consequence is you get all kinds of styles mixed up, and a building which ought to be a fine one is utterly discreditable. There is only one comfort- that in a place like Chicago, where they think more of business than of beauty, they cover up the whole façade with such a net-work of telegraph and telephone wires that you cannot see it. This tendency to jobbery is a very serious matter for architecture: we are not entirely free from it in this country, but we are freer from it than they are."
In conclusion, a fact may be referred to which our visitors overlooked, or the unfortunate nature of which they were not in a position to understand. It is not only jobbery in municipal and State architecture which makes our public buildings inferior as a class to those built by private enterprise. It is not only because the architect of the United States Government is changed from time to time that the works for which that Government is responsible are so often discreditable. The whole system by means of which the Government manages such matters is a bad one bad not merely in the sense that it is not always well administered, but in the sense that it cannot be so administered as to result in an average of works which would rightly represent the standing of American architecture to-day. Until the system is radically changed-until the architectural business of the United States Government is put upon such a basis that it will tempt the hands of our very best architects, and will permit that many of them shall join in devoting to it a portion of their time -until this good day comes, American citizens may feel sure of being as well served (if they wish) as any individuals in the world, but the American people must be content with a worse service than any other nation accepts. It must be satisfied to put itself on record as too blind or too indifferent to see and appreciate and secure a quality of work which year by year excites an ever-growing admiration among our foreign visitors. It must submit to perpetuate the sins of a past generation of architects when it might be giving immense assistance to the virtues of the generation which is now at work and of those others which are to follow in its steps, if we may trust our English critics, with still greater freedom of effort and power and skill.
Landscape Gardening and Forestry.
A FEW months ago we spoke in these columns of the status and needs of the landscape-gardener's art in America. A little later we drew attention to the relative value of native and foreign trees for American planting. In both cases we believed that the subject would prove as interesting to the public as it certainly was important, and in both our belief has been justified. Many letters have come to us asking where further information could be obtained. Perhaps the most welcome have been those which showed a desire on the writers' part to study landscape gardening with a view to its professional practice. As was said before, few professions offer so good a future to the young Ameri can of to-day. There are few in which laborers are so scarce and in which a growing demand for intelligent labor is so clearly promised. The renewed interest with which New York City has turned to the improvement of its partly completed parks and to the establishment of others is but one hopeful sign among very many. The success of Tuxedo Park has already led to the projecting of other suburban resorts of the kind. A scheme is on foot in Boston to redeem the islands in the harbor from the deplorable state of nudity to which they have gradually been reduced. In Boston also and in many Western towns new parks are under way. Everywhere there seems to be a nascent desire to preserve or to restore the beauty of the water-fronts of cities. And to those who keep a keen eye upon such matters, private owners as well as corporations seem to be taking a new interest in the art. Senator Stanford, for instance, in establishing his great university for California has chosen a rural site, and has associated Mr. Olmsted with his architects in its arrangement; and the same artist's services were demanded not long ago for so purely utilitarian a scheme as the building of a new hotel near Salt Lake City.
One of the most encouraging facts to be mentioned, however, as affecting both the subjects discussed in our previous articles is the recent establishment in New York of a weekly journal devoted to the interest of horticulture, forestry, and landscape gardening. It is not a botanical journal properly so-called; but the name of its editor Professor C. S. Sargent of Harvard University-guarantees scientific accuracy to all its presentations of facts, and its special departments have been intrusted to gentlemen as well entitled to confi. dence as he. Its discussion of flowers, shrubs, and trees will supply a necessary basis for its discussion of the forest interests of the country and of the artistic aspects of the gardener's art. There is no place in America where this art can be studied as a whole. There is no place where preparatory teaching in its problems can be obtained except the office of one of the few artists who practice it with success. The books which relate to it are not very numerous and are sometimes hard to get, and the best of them are in foreign tongues. We have had no medium for popular instruction with regard to our existing forests or to questions of economic tree-planting, and no recognized organ for bringing such subjects to the notice of our legisla tors. All these wants "Garden and Forest" gives good promise of meeting in so far as they can be met by printed words. We have therefore called attention to it as the best way of answering our numerous correspondents.