Symud i'r prif gynnwys
Cuddio Rhestr Erthyglau

8 erthygl ar y dudalen hon

--iltbtttos.

Newyddion
Dyfynnu
Rhannu

iltbtttos. REMAKKS UPON THE REPORT OF THE COMMISSIONERS ON THE STATE OF EDUCATION IN NORTH WAI,ES. By an Unpaid Inspector. Bangor: printed and published by Hugh Williams, 1848. 0 THIS pamphlet was intended to have been addressed to the editor of the North Wales Chronicle, but like many a pro- duction on tho notorious Blua Books it grew rather too lengthy for the columns of our contemporary. It was there- fore resolved to publish it separately. Its principal value is derived from the fact that it is written by an Englishman and a Churchman. The Churchmanship is easily discerned, and the criticism of the author on the Welsh language proves him to be a royal Saxon. But we believe that he has diligently endeavoured to improve himself in Welsh, though perhaps not with very great success. For instance, he ascribes to the Welsh a difficulty which is universally "felt by Englishmen in regard to the right use of the pro- noun lie and she. Wo know well that when the English begin to speak Welsili they sadly confound the gender. A Merionethshire magistrate, speaking of his wife, said, Un earw iawn fo am hela, a fo neidio tros y clawdd licfo'r eeifvl, lies y fo tori'i wddw ryw diwrnod." Now a Welsh- man could hardly be guilty of such confusion. Notwith- standing this and similar inaccuracies the pamphlet is a gene- rous defence of the Welsh people, and the state of education among them. The difficulties which Welsh children have to compete with others are thus pointed out;- ,j Imagine a case in some obscure country school, amidst the mountains of Wales a school situated in a parish, in length twelve miles, in breadth two, or another embracing within its boundaries 30,000 acres, more extensive, but more compact! (for such parishes theie are) in such cases, the children of the mist" are often mist when they should be present. Can you wonder, sir, that the Atlantic, borne upon the wings of the winds, and bearing down upon the huts of David Davies and Jane Jones, for six, sometimes twelve, and even eighteen hours together, should deter these persons from sending their children two, three, or fuur miles, to meet the pelting of this pitiless storm, this drwg hin," or dryc hin" (which you may translate ducking), with no omni- bus in the eye, no umbrella in hand, no house by the way, with no living object, either animal or vegetable, to console them, save a hush not big enough to hide a bird, or a patient cow, with her tail turned to the tempest, or the lowly sheep sheltering under the, projection of a shelving stone; or some haeL bent birch brooms, few and far between, the counterfeit presentment"1 of a would-be wood, to stand or sit all day in his wet clothes, and his bread and butter in his pocket, reduced to pudding, or to paddle, or to pulp! Or again; suppose the weather is bright; has the poor cottager, or the l'ttle farmer, who is, indeed, little more than a cottager, nothing to do which renders, the assistance of his children necessary? Where is Owen Owens to-day? says the master. She is gone to Carnedd Dafydd, or Trawsfynydd (as it may be), if you please, says William Williams, to look after the slicepi a tog has tored wan of a sheep, legs very pad t- her is lame, and she is bringing him home. The master again inquires, Where is Grace Griffith ? He is gone to brought some ool (wool) from little way up Bryncryri (Sncwdon, about 3,000 feet), and she say he will sure come in morning. The Inspector enters at this moment; the children are not quite collected in their classes some are standing, leaning with their backs to the wall, for they have not had the advantage of being drilled in St. James's Park, under the eye ot the Secretary of the Council of Education, nor have they been under a regularly trained master from Westmin- ster. Again; these children have walked two or thrpe miles over rocks and morasses, through bogs and briers, woods and water- courses and may, possibly, be somewhat fatigued thus circum- stanced then they are found not quite in an upright posture, with all their appointments in order, when the Inspector enters. The master, however (who by the way is passing rich with thirty pounds a-year, together with a cottage, for which boon his wife instructs the children in needlework), as the Inspector enters, calls his children to order, exhorting them, perhaps, in the following iii,Liiiier:-For the sake of goodness, why do you not all stand upon your own beads? Meaning, in the Welsh idiom, standing upright or supporting themselves by their own means. The In- spector wonders at the order but would cease to wonder, if he was told, what he ought to have known, that the British think in their language, and in translating their ideas into English, convey the idiom of their own language into that into which their ideas arc transfusd, This is the case In all languages, of which many instances might be given., But the Inspector has entered; and having entered, with his attendants, armed with books, pencils, &c., and all the artillery of scholastic warfare when the scholars are told this gentleman has come from London, and has been sent by the Queen to examine them; when these urchins, who liardiy ever saw a gentleman, except a tourist, i,ho has given them a penny for showing him the way, or twopence for a piece of Snowdon crystal, or sixpence for a woollen Welsh wig, by wllieIl he hail won their confidence. When this London gentle- man, commissioned by Queen Victoria, steps up to the first class ü: these country urchins, and peremptorily demands of them, as one having authority, answers to some questions in theology,chronology, geography, grammar, &c., couched in no very easy language, is it. not enough to make the stoutest heart among them quail, and lead thorn, astounded and stunned as they are, to say something lather than nothing ? and from mere sound and association to declare Paul (mennng Saul) to be the king of Israel! and Judas (mean- ing Judah) to be one of the sons of Jacob Or again not fully understanding the familiar ward made in all its acceptations, can we wonder that,, if the Inspector should ask a child of what, occu- p i!Km Jacob was, the child should answer, A tailor, because he ■i.i ~:dc■ his son Joseph a coat, of many colours i Or would you won- der if a little, g,rl, hurried and frightened, should transpose some 1 Hers, and for the passage, "sittit.g on twelve throncs." should read twelve thorns i Or, never having seen the word mystery, should read the p.issage which contains it thus Therefore sail a lave his lather and his mother, and sail dare to his strife, and they twain sail be one fist; this is a great misery I Or again, can you wonder if a Welsh child, though long under instruction, t-ii >u!d not always be able to give an English word for some fa- ir.: liar object of daily occurre: c-e ? I remember an instance of this A boy had answe: eft every question pat to him reading the his- t..ry of Lot's wife, the master asked him how slip was punished for her disobedience ? The boy answered, She was turned into a pill-tr of Here he hesitated, saying, I cannot say what M English, but the Welsh word .s said another boy. The fact was, that the boy could answer the most difficult ques- tions, but that familiar word sail was not 1amdiar with him. Such an aaee'dote as this will put foreigners in possession ot the difficul- ties which the Wei ,h have to overcome in learning a foreign lan- go age,'7 The purity with which the Welsh speak the English lan- guage is thus generously pointed out:— I have given a reason and have made an excuse for the Welsh cliiid iti using the letter k, when preceding the letter n, I wish I make as good an excuse for certain orders of the English, in the perpetual misapplication of the letter /t. From this fuult (the English shibboleth) the Welsh are entirely free. The Welsh child never perverts the meaning of words, nor alters the sense of passages, by omitting or supplying this letter. In the description of the awards made by Pharaoh to his servants, we are satisfied that the following version is correct as applying to the chief baker, «a-ul liim he hanged." I have however heard the following leading in England, Han ini e anged. No Welsh child was ever fTilly of such a perversion of the account of the baker's fate as would make him worthy of the same. "Exe is the lipre come, let iu kill ini." Accustomed as I am to hear the reading of the Weifih children, I confess that I have a prejudice in favour of the re<"h-ed version. The Welsh children do not crush heaven into (.?;; nor exalt earth into hearth. The do not mistake the letter i for hell; nor make all 11 lay heggs. They permit the owl to be an owi, since a hoot,, not a howl, is its natural cry. Every horse- ■man is not a norseman in the esteem of the Welsh child. The feabstantive ear is not the verb hear in his pans of speech; nor again, the substantive eye the adjective high. Nor is a, high hill necessarily a nigh ill, especially in. Wales. Now t .11 me where's this fancy bred, Not in the art nor in the cad No, 'tis hengender'd in the The meekest miiden of our Welsh Infant Schools could not be t;uiq;ht to sympathise with the London hairdresser, who lamented that the prevailing epidemic was in the hair; correcting-, how- ever, the mistake to which he had led his companion, by saying, Act the air of the cad, but the hair of the hat-mosphere. It must be allowed, however, that there is a close connexion between the huir and the ha\ In short, the Welsh children dare to say, and do, what the Eiiglidi children can neither say nor do. They can jeptat the following well known li!.e How high his highness holds his haughty head.' The boys can leave their houses, and mount their horses, and hunt the hare over the histh hedges,' holding their reins in their hands, as they hurry over hill and hollow, hallooing and hooping as they baste the harriers to their home. Nor, when they arrive there, are they so hungry, aS-of necessity to eat their own pokers, ovens, and teakettles. Nor is their lar 'er so lean or so ill stocked with j fish, flesh, and fowl as to constrain them to eat their heels at the fire, or to heat their eels upon the table. Their language is not, as it is in England, at one time a baseless fabric of a vision which leaves no It behind, and at another a baseless fabric which leaves each A behind." The following anecdotes arc also given in illustration of the same subject:— "A gentleman thus addressed his lady at dinner, 'My dear, your soup is hacid, and your heels are greasy.' A churchwarden put the following item in his accounts :—'For eating the church.' A lady, touring in Wales, took a car to convey her from Llan- rwst to Bettws-y-Coed. One side of the road is bounded by a hedge; on the other is a steep precipice overhanging the river Conway. The lady, being alarmed when she found herself so close to the edge of this precipice, directed the driver to keep close to the edge, meaning the hedge. The Welsh driver, conceiving that the English lady must understand her own language, took her direction literally, and persisted in drawing close to the edge, at the same time declaring that he kept as close to the edge as he could, for he was then within a foot of the precipice. The lady, by signs, at length, made him understand that by edge she meant hedge. Our limits will not allow us to multiply quotations. We can promise our readers, however, that the whole pamphlet is very readable and interesting. Though it advocates Go- vernment education, it does so in a style so harmless, that no injury can possibly follow front its circulation. It clearly points out the injustice of the appointment of the Commis- sion, and the unfairness with which the learned gentlemen prosecuted their work. The Commissioners must be bad off when thus assailed from every quarter, and by men holding every shade of opinions which prevail in the principality. THE CROSBY HALT, LECTURES OX EDUCATION. London: John Snow, 35, Paternoster-row. These able lectures are seven in number. As Mr. Bur- net's lecture was not written, it could not be included in the series. The first lecture is a masterly exhibition of "the Progress and Efficiency of Voluntary Education in England," by Edward Baines, Jun., Esq. If ample statistics, undis- puted facts, sound premises, and luminous conclusions will satisfy the reader, we can promise him that they will be found in abundance in Mr. Bilines's lecture. Indeed, so invincible are the statistics of the honourable gentleman that he has long ago turned to flight the armies of the aliens. In 1846", statistics were everything with the State Educationists. They had them at their fingers' ends. They met you at every turn of the argument in imposing array. With utmost propriety it might have been said to the Go- vernment men, these be thy gods, 0 Israel!" But long before the close of 1847, these gentlemen had discovered that statistics" arc next to worthless," and would if they could utterly abolish their former idols. But it is impossi- ble. The voice of statistics is the voice of truth. The second lecture, by the llev. Algernon Wells, on the Education of the Working Classes is able and earnest. The third, by Dr. Hamilton, on the Parties Responsible for the Education of the People is a lofty and magnificent oration. We would counsel sundry parties whose notions appear some- what dreamy on this subject to peruse with all the attention they may be able to command this masterly exposition. Perhaps they may thereby be led to the conclusion, very obvious to most men of common sense, that the State is not a parent—the Church is not a parent—and the Sect, is not a parent; and that the State, Church, and Sect, have enough to do iu minding their own legitimate business, without attending to that of Parents. We should be very happy for the sake of the Executive Committee of the Normal College for Wales, if all our countrymen were to study, the fourth lecture, by the llev. Andrew Reed, B.A., On Normal Schools for the training of Teachers." It is a masterly and eloquent production well worthy the attention of the whole people, and especially young men who may be disposed to enter a Government Normal school. The fifth lecture is on the Non-interference of Government with Popular Educa- tion," by Edward Miall, Esq., and it is one of the ablest disquisitions on the subject that, we have ever read. We do not know a single scribe iu favour of Government Education who has endeavoured to meet any of its powerful arguments. In fact, the writers on that side feel it exceedingly conve- nient to take for granted, that it is the duty of the State to educate the people. They beg the very question which they ought to prove. Our countrymen are already ac- quainted0 with the sixth lecture On the Progress and Effi- cacy of Voluntary Education, as exemplified in Wales," by our eminent countryman, the llev. H. Richard. If the Congre- gational Board had'done no more than publish this masterly defence of our educational and moral condition it would amply deserve the warmest support ofevery Welshman. But. in the support which has been given to the Normal School, there is an additional claim on our gratitude. We trust that this lec- ture will be extensively perused and attentively considered. It is one of the best, if not the very best, article that has appeared in reply to the Commissioners. The concluding lecture On the Educational Condition of the People of England, and Ihe position of Nonconformists in relation to its Advancement," is by the llev. Robert Ainslie. It is a theme worthy the attention of Dissenters, and we believe Mr. Ainslie has done it justice. We trust most of our readers will speedily possess them- selves of this volume. It is perhaps the best compendium and the ablest exposition of the great argument that has yet appeared. THE By ROBERT CLARK Gardener to Henry John Grant, Esq., Gnoll Castle, Gla- morganshire. London Longman and Co. Neath T. Thomas and W. Hibbert. # This is a very useful little work, containing plain and practical rules for cultivating the most useful vegetables, with directions respecting draining, trenching and cropping. The author was induced to publish it by witnessing the neglected state of cottage gardens. He anticipates that by careful attention to his instructions the cottager will find that at an expense of a few shillings a-year, and a very small amount of labour, he will not only make some profit of his little garden, but provide a source of great gratification for himself and family. The instructions are given in the alphabetical form, and are easy of comprehension. We trust Mr. Clark wiil be amply rewarded for his efforts to benefit the cottager, not only by a speedy sale of his little work, but by seeing its directions generally practised.

FRANCE.. ■

NATIONAL ASSEMBLY.

RUSSIA.

bITALY.

DENMARK.

GERMANY. _

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