Obrazy na stronie
PDF
ePub

man, of landlord and tenant, are crop he will now pitch. The very absorbed for a short and exciting spray of the coming storm scuds period in the yellow-labelled heaps on the newly awakened breeze that upon the warehouse floor, which is flying before it; and the red the auctioneer is knocking down to dust of the turnpike, as if its last local and foreign buyers,

at figures chance for a frolic had come, which vary so much from day to whirls this way and that in the day as to impart a flavour of spec- changing currents of the thunderulation to tobacco-raising that may laden air. Everywhere there is perhaps be one of its attractions. the hurry of preparation for the

Everything to do with tobacco coming storm. The Clover Hill doMar’se Dab loved with a heredi- mestics are hard at work rushing tary devotion to the time-honoured the family linen and mattresses off product of his native land. Still the front portico. Aunt Judy is tobacco-making," in his estima- racing after the young turkeys;

66 tion, had gone to the dogs. The the negroes have unyoked their very seasons had altered since the teams from the corn-rows, and are war; the sun seemed to shine hastening up to the barnyard, singless brightly; the moon to shed ing tearful dirges for joy at the a dimmer light (and Mar’se Dab “prospec' of a season.” The spring believed in the moon); the sum- calves in the yard are galloping mer dews to fall more sparingly hither and thither with their tails than of yore.

So at any rate in the air, like quadrupeds deMar'se Dab was thinking, when mented; and old Uncle Ephraim, we left him just now sitting upon at his cabin-door, is reminding the roadside, looking westward at Aunt Milly that “he'd bin lookin' the thunder-clouds.

fur weather" (inspired of course The tobacco-land is hilled up, by the sensations in his shoulder), but scarcely half of it as yet “but hardly reckoned it would cum planted. The young plants in the befo' sundown.” beds are pushing one another out Here, happy in the prospect of of the ground from their size at any rate planting out his toand vigour, however. The earth bacco-crop, we must leave Mar'se is dry and parched, and in two Dab. If he was obstinate and weeks it will be July—and upon prejudiced, there was no kinderJuly-planted tobacco, as everybody hearted man, as Uncle Ephraim in Virginia knows, no 'pendance, said, “north of Jeems river." as old Ephraim would say, can be he was loud-mouthed and boisterplaced. The great black cloud ous, and stormed at his hands in a comes nearer and nearer; woods way that made him conspicuous in and mountains are absorbed, and a place where these peculiarities vanish into the approaching gloom, are uncommon, it was, at the same while from the inky void there time, the confiding fashion in breaks gradually upon the silent which he supplied these very air the hoarse roar of waters dash- dependents with the necessaries ing upon a myriad leaves. Mar’se of life in advance from year to Dab's hopes have sed to ha year that hastened his downfall. even that slight element of uncer- His inability to refuse security tainty that is inseparable from the for all the bacon and corn-meal, word. “It's come this time, any- the cotton dresses and “pars o' way,” says he, as he turns home- shoes” that the inmates of the ward, full in his mind of the big twenty cabins on Clover Hill want

[ocr errors]

man

ed, or thought they wanted, at with all necessary Outbuildings, and Captain Topfodder's, no doubt 16 Cabins. Price $9500. Apply at swelled greatly the obligations the Office of this Paper. that finally crushed Mar’se Dab. A Philadelphia bought How the gallant Captain came out Clover Hill and commenced to among the creditors I never heard, farm the property.

A supreme for I left the neighbourhood before belief in himself, a boundless conthe great crisis occurred, and was tempt for everything Southern, so most happily spared the harrowing far as business was concerned, and spectacle of the sale.. The details a repudiation of all advice from his of this great occasion, however, neighbours, had the usual result. were of course fully communi- The place is now in the hands of cated. There was twelve months' a practical Virginian of the recredit given, and the prices were formed school. Clover once again, accordingly quite fabulous. How I have heard, has been induced to much was actually collected at spring upon its hillsides—or, at that remote future period is of any rate, some of them. The waycourse a matter I know nothing ward courses of Buffalo Creek and about. But, so far as paper went, its little feeders have been checked the bidding was so brisk and the with banks and walls; the deep prices so unprecedented that Major gullies have been filled with logs Hogshead, the famous auctioneer and pine-brush. In the bottomfrom Shucksville, had twice to go lands the horse-mower goes "clickbehind the stable for a drink_his ing" on June mornings through feelings were so much overcome. grass as heavy almost as that which

Poor Mar’se Dab, however, bene- bent the negroes' backs in old slavfited from none of these things. ery days. There are not, I hear, His chief creditor, a local Jew with half-a-dozen negroes on the place, a Scotch name, took over the place, and those that are there have got and here is the advertisement of to "work or quit.” There is sale, cut out of the local news, nothing left of Mar’se Dab's reign paper of that date, and kept all but the gullies, a few tenantless these years as a memento:

rotting cabins, the log walls of the

negro church that, in spite of FORhasee

, 13 miles from Shuckssale, on terms to suit pur- preacher Moses' endeavours and

sarcasm,

never achieved ville and 1 from school, store, and for want of funds, and the old mill, situate on the old Richmond

coloured burying-ground Pike, 924 acres of fine rolling land,

at the 100 acres original forest, 50 acres

corner of the brown-sedge pasture bottom - land ; fine brick Mansion, above the mill.

a roof SECONDARY EDUCATION IN SCOTLAND.

No apology need be made for by Mr Marshall, Rector of the directing public attention to the Edinburgh High School, to the question of Secondary Education Association of Secondary teachers in Scotland, and to the extent to in October last, that the public which the present supply of schools of the country specially secondary education and second- devoted to higher education have, ary schools, whether as regards as a whole, been starved, and are quantity or quality, is adequate unable to do their work properly to the requirements of the country. for want of means. In the matter of Elementary edu- It might have been supposed, cation, gigantic strides have been under these circumstances, that taken since the passing of the Act the need of the community for a of 1872. The country is now sup- higher education would have been plied from one end to the other met in another way; and that secwith an excellent system of ele- ondary schools outside the Governmentary schools; and the great ment system, maintained by prinecessities of the country, as they vate enterprise, and looking for existed fifteen years ago, may be their support to the higher classes said to have been adequately met. of the community, would have But the case is far otherwise as thriven in exact proportion to the regards secondary education and decline of those secondary schools secondary schools. The Act of which are under the management 1872 left the existing secondary of School Boards. But the fact schools of Scotland practically out has been the reverse. From all in the cold. The amending Acts parts of the country we hear comwhich have been passed since, and plaints on the part of managers of especially the Act of 1878, have such schools, that their scholars done much to enable the School are being drawn away from them Boards to equip and to maintain by a class of schools not specially adequately the Higher Class schools contemplated by the Educational under their charge ; but, as a mat- Acts, but which, in Glasgow and ter of fact, these schools have still elsewhere, has been brought into been left, up to the present moment, existence under the School Board almost entirely outside the current system. For although ready to of improvement. School Boards, neglect the higher-class schools as a rule, have been timid in de specially committed to their charge, voting to higher-class schools the the School Boards throughout the expenditure without which it is country are by no means willing impossible that a high standard of to confess that they are unable to education can be maintained. They provide the higher education dehave had the fear of the ratepayers manded by the country. On the ever before their eyes; and the contrary, they maintain that, by average ratepayer watches jealously the wording of the Education Acts, the expenditure of any money from there is no distinction to be drawn which he does not see that he de- in Scotland between elementary rives an immediate personal benefit. and higher education, and that it The result has been, as was well is their business in the present, as pointed out in the address delivered it was with the old parish schools in the past, to provide education the parent is informed that for a , of every grade, and to pass on their fee of £2, £3, or, in some rare best scholars continuously to the cases, £4 per annum, he may obuniversities. The higher educa- tain for his sons an education tion which they thus supply has which will fit them for the univerbeen mainly carried out under the sities or professional life, it is not system of “Specific Subjects"; and to be wondered at that he should there are many School Boards, and prefer the school recommended by some educationists, who maintain, arguments of so practical a charand probably many who honestly acter. Added to this, in the case believe, that the higher education of the Board School he feels that of the country can be adequately he has the advantage of an annual supplied by the cultivation of Spé- public inspection. The parent can cific Subjects alone. Under this see the reports; he finds that an system, scholars who have passed average of 96 or 98 per cent has the Sixth Standard are kept on in been passed in the ordinary subspecial classes as ex-Sixth schol- jects of instruction, and that, after ars, working through the stages passing the Standards, his son can of Latin, or Mathematics, or other be carried on to receive what is subjects included in the table of called “a higher education" by Specific Subjects; and it is a very means of Specific Subjects. What general belief that an eduation of such a result means, from a purely this kind may be considered the educational point of view, he does lineal successor of the old system not pause to inquire ; he not unnatof the parish schools, under which urally thinks that a public school, so many men in the olden time supported by a public authority, rose to distinction, both in the attested by public tests of efficiuniversities and in life. To the ency in matters on which he can ordinary public, who understand himself form a judgment, offers him little of the distinction between a greater guarantee of excellence higher and lower education, but than a school managed by private who comprehend very keenly the governors, conducted on a system distinction between higher and of the details of which he is unable lower fees, the attractions of a to form an opinion, and certified School Board school, equipped to by examinations which have, as carry out a “specific subject" sys- yet, no official character. tem, are very apparent. If they Thus the advantages on the side send their sons to the High School, of the genuine secondary school they will have to pay an average are visionary and uncertain, while fee of from £8 to £1o per annum. the arguments in favour of the If they send them to such schools public school are obvious and inas the Academies in Edinburgh, telligible; and the average parent, Glasgow, or elsewhere, they may who has no special means of formhave to pay a fee of £12, £15, ing an opinion as to the differences or even £18 a - year. On the which distinguish true secondary other hand, the Public School has education from that which is handsome buildings, it is admir- secondary in name only, prefers ably equipped, lighted, and venti- naturally the advantages which he lated. The external arrangements can see and understand, to those are probably more handsome to the which are

and uninteleye than those to be found in the ligible. best secondary schools; and when If this be a fair statement of

unseen

the facts, it is clear that there is the first upon different principles as yet no apparent appreciation in from that which is to terminate at the public mind of the distinction eleven or twelve. The celebrated between secondary and elementary educational ladder of which we schools, or of the fact that for have heard so much in Scotland, many years past all educational and which extends from the primauthorities, both in this country ary school to the university, is not and elsewhere, have been agreed to be formed simply by adding on that no system of education can to the upper end a few more rungs be satisfactory or complete which of the same shape and strength as is not founded upon a careful those which constitute its lower grading of schools, according to portion. Still less can its advanthe functions which they have to tages be attained by an attempt to discharge. In England, the prin- perform the gymnastic feat of fly. ciple that schools should be graded ing from half-way up the ladder to in accordance with the particular its top without any rungs at all. character and 'standard of educa- In the words of the late Secretary tion which they profess to supply, for Scotland, the Right Hon. A. has been long acknowledged. The J. Balfour, spoken in Edinburgh enforcement of this principle was in November last,the chief object of the report of

“I need not tell you that there is a the celebrated Schools Enquiry real necessity in any sound and comCommission; and the main work of plete educational system for good the Commissioners appointed un- secondary schools. You cannot do der the English Endowed Schools without them. Teach what extra Act of 1869 has been to effect its subjects you choose in your elemenrealisation. It is impossible to tary schools, carry them as far as you take up any book or paper which place of secondary schools. Compel

like, they will never really fill the deals with education on the Con- the university as you will to give tinent, without discovering that training to a large number of youths the educational systems of other of comparatively imperfect knowcivilised countries founded ledge, you may impair the efficiency upon a principle totally different of the university, but you will not from that which dominates the adequately fill the gap which should

be filled by the secondary schools." public mind in Scotland. They are organised upon the principle In Scotland alone of all counthat a secondary school supplies tries, the principle embodied in not only an extension of an ele- these wise remarks seems to be mentary school, but differs from it imperfectly understood.

If they essentially in kind, and must be were adequately realised by the taught and organised upon essen- public, it is impossible that the tially different methods. In the present state of matters as regards language of the Schools Enquiry secondary education in Scotland Commissioners, vol. i., pp. 178, could be allowed to continue. If 179, “ Instruction, when most suit- the public opinion of the country ably ordered, is not one continual recognised that Secondary Educapiece of which any length cut out tion was an essentially different at discretion shall yet be a whole." thing from Elementary Education, If the education of a boy is in- and that without an adequately tended to be continued until the equipped system of secondary inage of fifteen, sixteen, or seven- struction neither the university teen, it should be organised from nor the higher education of the

are

« PoprzedniaDalej »