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DEVON AND EXETER ASSOCIATION.
At the Monthly Meeting of this Society on Saturday, November 15th a large assembly of Schoolmasters and Mistresses were collected together from various parts of the county of Devon. Matter for discussion as introduced by Mr. Austin on "Associations in a very able and elaborate discourse, which was succeeded by an interesting and instructive disquisition.
On Saturday, December 20th, a paper was read by Mr. England on relative duties of School-Managers, Masters and Pupil Teachers.
THE DORKING ASSOCIATION.
At the Annual Meeting at this Association on Saturday, November 1st a paper was read by Mr. Howard of Mickleham on the expediency of establishing a Teachers' Benevolent Institution. The paper which was listened to with much attention showed the necessity existing for such an Institution, the insufficiency of Benefit Societies, Deferred Annuities, and Life Assurance, to meet the cases contemplated, the duty of Teachers to provide for such necessity, the nature of the Institution required, namely, a fund for the temporary relief of Teachers' families in time of sickness, or other urgent necessity, the providing a home for aged and infirm teachers of both sexes, and the establishment and support of an Asylum for their orphans and offering some suggestions and calculations showing how these objects might be accomplished. It was shewn that if the teachers of this country in connection with the church of England would unite in this good work, the first of these objects might be accomplished by a penny weekly subscription, while if a proportion equal to three-fifths of the whole body of Teachers would pay a monthly subscription of one shilling the second object might be provided for in the space of three years, and the third, the Orphan Asylum might also be accomplishdd by a perseverance in this course for a few years longer. The propriety of establishing a Training College in connection with an Orphan Asylum was strongly urged, it being deemed most appropriate that the orphan children of Teachers should be trained to the same pursuits, and which would moreover entitle the institution to the patronage of the Government.
Resolutions in favour of this object were unanimously passed by the members present.
TESTIMONIAL OF RESPECT.
To Mr. William Pinder, on resigning his situation, as master of Fondale Mines National School, by the parents of the children and friends, an elegant silver tea and coffee service. Also by the Pupil Teachers and children, Expository Readings from the Book of Revelation, by the Rev. Dr. Cumming.
THE PARENTS' DUTY IN REGARD TO SCHOOL MATTERS.
First-Be careful to send your children to school regularly, and at the appointed time; irregularity of attendance is opposed to a child's progress, for what he learns in one day, if not kept up, may be forgotten the next. Let nothing short of sickness induce you to keep your child away from school; although you may find little advantage to yourself by making use of him for odd jobs at home, recollect that in doing so you would be depriving him of his time the only time he may ever have for being under wholesome discipline and religious training and teaching. Recollect that what your child now loses, after years cannot restore to him: many things can only be acquired in youth, and the age will soon arrive, when he will be forced to work for his daily bread. Now, therefore, is the child's time; do not rob him of it, it is sinful to do so; you had better suffer any inconvenience and even loss, than rob your child of that only period in which his mind and soul may be cultivated for time and for eternity.
Second-Take care that your children return home when the school hours are over. Why? Because if they stop to play, they may take up with bad habits and get into mischief. All that the school teacher may do for them, in the way of moral training, by a morning's labour, may be overthrown by a very short ramble with bad companions. In every town or village there are numbers of loose boys; the roughs and blackguards of the place, prowling about to tempt others to idleness and wickedness. If you suffer your children to have the greater part of the time between school hours to themselves, the probability is, that all your efforts at home, as well as those of the teacher at school, will prove useless, and that they will grow up swearors, liars, and thieves. "Evil communications corrupt good manners, "Whoso meddleth with pitch shall surely be defiled," says the proverb. One bad companion is sufficient to ruin any child, even the best; for as I told you before, children are great copyists-they fall into vice as they do into virtue, by imitation. What folly it must be in a parent, to think that his children can play with the profane, the idle, the passionate, and the impious lads in the streets, without defilement. No my friends, if you value your own peace or your children's happiness, you must resolutely keep them from the streets, and from the society of improper characters. If you do not do this, expect to spend your oid age in mourning over the ruin of their bodies and souls, with the bitter reflection that the fault is yours.
Third-Never give heed to any complaint made by your children against the teachers, till you have had an opportunity of making a proper enquiry. Nothing is more common than for children to come home and make complaints against their teachers, and the better the disipline of the school, the more prone troublesome children are to do so; they dislike correction, they do not like tasks or control, and they frequently come home with gross misrepresentations, tending to excite the ire of their parents. In all cases of complaint, therefore, go to the schoolmaster or schoolmistress, speak in a mild and friendly manner and let him or her fully understand that you do not come there to find fault, but to enquire. At the same time shew your readiness to support them in their duties, if you think they are properly performed. If you do this, the teacher will listen to anything you have to say, and you will co operate together cordially and happily for the benefit both of your children and yourselves.
Fourth-Make a point of holding communication with the school-teachers from time to time. Let them see that you are anxious for your children's im provement-shew your readiness to assist them in their labours to the best of your power-ascertain from them not only the intellectual progress your children are making, but their moral behaviour also-don't conceal their faults from them, but ask their assistance in correction. Do not interfere with the school-teachers in their duties-often undertaken, be it remembered, from the purest motives, and carried on with the warmest zeal, under the prospect of a very inadequate reward; the school teacher, as I have already told you, is one of your best friends.-Extract from How do you manage your Young Ones.
NOTES ON MILTON.
The division of a country's literature into periods is often fallacious. Though we may speak correctly enough generally of this or that age, an author's writings will often have to be classed among those of some earlier generation than his own. In Milton's case it happens so. Cowley, Waller, and Marvell were certainly the popular poets of his day, and may fairly be taken as representing the taste of the age. Milton's poetry has little in common with theirs, and whereas Dryden worked that vein onward, and showed himself a true child of the generation that crowned Waller as the maker and model of melodious verse.' Milton rather stept back into the company of the Elizabethan poets.
Dryden in the preface to one of his poems says, "Milton has acknow ledged to me that Spenser was his original." On these points certainly Milton cordially sympathised with Spenser in his admiration and imitation of the Italian poets, in his attachment to a Gothic subject and story, in his blending of chivalry and reli. gion, and in his Platonism. This sympathy is most evident in his earlier poems. L'Allegro, Il Penseroso, Lycidas, and the sonnets are Italian in their structure and spirit. Comus is
formed on the model of the Italian masque, and the lover of Plato recog nizes in it the most delicate dreams of "the divine philosophy." Again, Milton's love for Gothic romance almost tempted him to choose, as Spenser had done before him, Prince Arthur for his hero, and, even after he had made choice of his more solemn subject, was continually leading his imagination away captive, and perhaps also had its share in making him, as Mr. Campbell conjectures it made his predecessor
lean towards words of the olden time." Not only, however, was his mind of a more earnest and religious cast than Spenser's, but other influences had done their work upon him before, in the well-earned leisure of his life, he pondered his greatest poem; so that he could not quite rest among the flowers of medieval legend. In
ture manhood he had left the "quiet and still air of delightful studies" to plunge into the excitement of the civil war; he had been mixed up with the sternest practical questions that an English statesman has ever been called upon to solve: he had aided their solution with all the power of his vigorous mind; he had taken the most active interest in all the religious controversies of those restless times;
than divine, and more than human, but yet not separable compounds of human and divine.
he had, though we are apt to think of him onlyas a poet, been the foremost and the successful champion of spiritual, intellectual, and civil liberty. So trained to the task he sat down, as ever under the great Task-master's eye, at the age of fifty, to meditate a poem "such as the world should not will ingly let die."
His treatment of scenery is in the same spirit. He suggest enough to enable our minds to realise its beauty, and bring us into its presence, but we never feel that he is painting from memory, nor find ourselves reminded Of Milton's learning much, but not of particular spots, nor can even say too much, has been said. The direct that the garden of Eden is of any imitations of Homer, Virgil, or Dante, country. A noticeable instance of the the classical or medieval allusions, power he possessed of laying his learnthese are but a small part of it, and iug under contribution, while seembut the simple embroidery of scholar-ingly indulging his imagination only, is in the passage where Adam answers Eve's most natural and womanlike question, why the stars shine, while they two, earth's only inhabitants, are asleep. For the glory of God, he tells her, and for the sake of those who shall be born hereafter; also he adds, Darkness would regain her old possession, and the life of things, which their soft fires cherish and gently prepare to receive the sun's fiercer heat, would perish in the night. Now, to one who knew nothing of the Manichæan and earlier Gnostic fancies about the kingdoms of light and darkness, and nothing about the speculations of Milton's contemporaries on the chemistry of nature, this would appear but as a beautiful original thought.
ship. Attentive reading brings to light latent evidence of attainments such as one would have thought almost unattainable by one man. We know that he wrote Latin prose and verse as fluently, if not as well, as English; that he was master of the modern languages, and well read especially in Italian literature; that his daughter read Homer to him, and Euripides, his model in tragedy; that the Hebrew scriptures and Rabbinical lore were among his favourite studies; but besides these we come upon such countless traces of his acquaintance with the philosophical and religious speculations of all times preceding, with the history and geography of other countries then but little known, with Saxon Saint-legends, the details of life in the middle ages, aud mediæval works of art, together with the writings of his own countrymen, that we wonder that poetry can move under such a load. Yet all this acquisition did not destroy the freshness of his fancy. His learning furnished subsidies, but his imagination never gave up the command. His Adam and Eve are neither like the men and women of our work-a-day world, nor are they abstractions, but distinct creations. His fiends do not take after the vulgar conceptions of evil spirits, nor again follow Dante's type, nor yet reproduce the classic demi-gods. They are less
We have already said that his English is older than that of the poets of his time, and that this may have resulted partly from the bent of his earlier tastes. It was, however, mainly owing to his familiarity with Latin. The two periods in the history of our language when the accession of its Latin element mainly occurred were first, when the Normans were exchanging their own language for the English, the influx being then through the medium of the French, a Romanz or corrupted Latin language; and secondly, when ancient literature began to be studied, at which time we received largely from the Latin by way of
direct importation. This latter period, known as the revival of learning, we may understand to extend through the reign of Henry the Eighth and his immediate successors. Its influence of course has never disappeared, but has long since ceased to be operative to the same extent or in the same sense as we find it in the writing of the generations immediately succeeding Bacon, for instance, runs into Latin prose with very little violence to the phraseology or construction of his sertences. The same is true of Sir Henry Wotton, and Sir Thomas Browne. It is evident that they had the Latin idiom in their minds, and had studied Latin authors as models in composition. This fashion had by no means, therefore, died out, so far as the prose writers are concerned, in Milton's time. The writings of the two last mentioned, as well as those of Burton, Seldon, and Taylor, no less than Milton's own prose compositions could have been produced only by men daily familiar with Latin authors. The poetry of Milton's time, being mostly lyrical, spoke in Saxon, for Saxon, which is still, nothwithstand. ing its foreign alliance, the mothertongue, has always been to us the the language of the feelings. Milton also often speaks almost exclusively in Saxon, though his poetical language generally may be said to be more Latiu |
in words and idiom than that of any poet since the Reformation. Of this the Hymn on the Nativity, and most of his sonnets may be quoted as examples, backed by many long passages from the "Paradise Lost." In fact he was no great innovator in the matter of introducing foreign words or idioms. Many of his words have changed their meaning, and like current coins have had their image and superscription worn down by the attrition of conversation since his day, but he introduced but few, and comparatively few that he used have been since withdrawn from circulation. Let any one try to paraphrase his thoughts, and they will soon be convineed of the marvellous aptness of his language. From whatever source it has been fetched, they will generally find that there was reason for the election. It is not so idiomatic as Shakspere's, but the dramatist must needs be idiomatic to be natural, while meditative poetry, being removed from conversational association, is less bound by the limits of conversational language. He used the English tongue as a scholar who knew the value of every word as it came to mind; or rather as a skilled musician, who, with an instrument at command of vast compass, drew from it, as he was inspired, harmonies which for depth and strength and exquisite modulation have never been surpassed. Lates of Lessous.
WILLIAM THE CONQUEROR.-
In such Lessons it should be the teacher's object to draw from the history such moral lessons as it is calculated to teach.
I. The previous condition of England.
This will be partly recapitulation. Refer the children back to the year 1066, A.D. The people living here |
were called Saxons. Their King, who was called Edward, had just died, and was buried at Westminster Abbey. His character had been such that he had cared little for his kingdom, but had paid more attention to Catholic superstitions than to anything else. At his death his brother-in-law, Harold, took the crown, but he was