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See the shining dew drops,
I praised the earth in beauty seen,
God might have made the earth bring forth,
Death and Heaven :
Leaves have their time to fall,
Friend after friend departs,
There is a calm for those who weep,
The Better Land.
Duty to God should not be overlooked.-The following are inserted by Babu Peary Churn Sircar, who may be regarded as a good authority as to Hindu feeling :
Art thou my Father? Let me be,
A meek obedient child to thee;
And try in word, and deed, and thought,
Art thou my Father? I'll depend
A CHILD'S MORNING PRayer.
I thank the Lord, for quiet rest,
Oh, let me through this day be blest,
Oh, let me love Thee; kind thou art
To children such as I;
Give me a gentle, holy heart,
Be thou my Friend on high.
Help me to please my parents dear,
And do, whate'er they tell;
Bless all my friends, both far and near,
And keep them safe and well.†
*Third Book, p. 72.
† Second Book, p. 23.
And now another day is gone,
But how my childhood runs to waste!
I lay my body down to sleep;
And, through the hours of night, can keep
With cheerful heart I close my eyes;
For God is still above;
And in the morning let me rise,
Rejoicing in His love.*
In "The Boy's First Book of Poetry," edited by "Peary Lall Shome," the following evening hymn, attributed to Coleridge, is inserted:
Ere on my bed my limbs I lay,
God grant me grace my prayers to say:
An innocent and grateful heart.
Both Hindus and Muhammadans will approve of the above. The only protest will come from Bradlaugh and his followers, who should not be allowed to regulate Government education in India. There should also be a variety of school songs, e. g.
Twinkle, twinkle, little star,
Work while you work,
There is a bird of plumage rare,
*Third Book, p. 16.
I'll never hurt my little dog,
How beautiful is the rain,
Well may fare the cotton tree,
There is an English song, "Weave, brothers, weave." Corresponding songs are required for India, for gardeners drawing water, for boys driving cattle home, for women weeding, harvest songs, wedding songs, &c.
Most of the English originals proposed for translation contain ideas equally intelligible all the world over. Any peculiarly English should be altered. An oriental air will be given to them by adapting them to favourite native tunes. This is of great importance. Every civilized people has its national music which it prefers. Another argument is that it is more easily taught.
Sufficient attention has not yet been paid to Indian music. The favourite tunes in each language should be carefully collected. Some are apparently common to different parts of the country, but probably others are peculiar.
The late Rev. J. Parsons prepared a collection of Hindustani airs in European notation.* Two or three works have been published in Bengali. The writer has seen a Telugu book on native music, probably translated from the Sanskrit. The notation
resembles what is called Curwen's system in England.
Some of the native airs are very beautiful. The favorite children's hymn, "There is a happy land," is sung to an Indian air.
Still, while a commencement should be made with native tunes, a knowledge of suitable European music should 'gradually be introduced. Though the latter is not appreciated by the common people, children who have been taught both kinds of music not unfrequently prefer European tunes. In examining vernacular Mission Schools, the writer has often said to the children, "Sing two or three of the tunes you like best." In South India, a Tamil hymn adapted to the tune, "We wont go home till morning," has had perhaps most votes. Of course, the Tamil hymn had no association with the English words. There are favourite children's hymns which have made the circuit of the globe, translations being sung everywhere to the same airs.
Prizes should be offered for the best poems suitable for schools. Intelligibility must be specially insisted upon. It may be objected that poetry cannot be written to order, but though the first attempts may be poor, attention will be directed to the want, and really good poetry will eventually be obtained.
* Printed at the Medical Hall Press, Benares.
To secure some pleasing poetry of a wholesome tendency, is of peculiar importance in India. Mr. Long says of Bengali songs: "The Bengali songs do not inculcate the love of wine, or like the Scotch, the love of war, but are devoted to Venus and the popular deities; they are filthy and polluting."*
The Indian Mirror bears similar testimony:
"Is there no patriot to sing the glories of his country, the wrongs of his mother-land? No poet to paint in words the lilies of the field? Alas! no. Wherever you go, you are tired of hearing these wretched love songs which corrupt the young, the grown up and the old. The dancing girl, the music master, the lover of music, whoever that is known to sing, will be found to touch the same chord. Nor is any other sort of music felt generally desirable." 1st March, 1873.
The value of music as an instrument of moral instruction is thus shewn by Laurie:
"It is on the fact that it is a direct moral and religious agency that Music (by which is meant mass and part singing from notation) rests its claim to rank first among the subsidiary subjects of instruction. The united utterance of a common resolution of perseverance, heroism, love of truth and honesty, or of a common sentiment of worship, gratitude, or purity, in song suited to the capacities of children's minds and to the powers of children's voices, devotes the young hearts which pour forth the melody to the cause of morality and religion. The utterance of the song is, in some sense, a public vow of self-devotion to the thought which it expresses. The harmony of the singers falls back on the ear and seems to reiterate the sentiment with which the music has been associated, in accents pleasing and insinuating, not harsh and preceptive. The morality and religion of song thus drop gently, and without the parade of formal teaching, into the heart of the child, and in this form they are welcome.
"But Music is not only in itself a direct moral agency and a medium for direct moral teaching; it is also the best auxiliary to the other moral and religious instruction of the school, because it repeats what has been already conveyed in a dogmatic or illustrative form, and it does so with melodious and grateful associations, which suggest, if they do not reveal, the inner harmony of the spiritual life. Nay more, may we not say that the musical utterance of a sentiment suggests to the young mind the fundamental union of goodness, truth, and beautyan union dimly apprehended it may be, but perhaps none the less deeply felt ? If this be so, there are the beginnings of a true culture in school-music."+
Currie, one of the best English writers on education remarks: Every good song which is made familiar to a school is a
*Bengal Records, No. XXXII, p. xlviii.
Primary Education, pp. 123, 124.
pleasant and powerful source of influence over a large number in behalf of the virtue or sentiment which it embodies."*
In Government Middle and Lower Class Schools, the day may fitly begin with Literature and Morals, and close with Singing. Arrangement of Subjects in Reading Books.
It may appear impossible to include in Reading Books all the subjects which have been mentioned. This depends upon the method in which they are treated. A rough estimate may be formed of the space available. The "School Board Readers" of Messrs. Griffin contain the following pages :
1st stand. 2nd stand. 3rd stand. 4th stand. 5th stand. 6th stand. Total. 96 1.28 160 192 256 320 1,152 Supposing Literature and Morals to receive five-eighths and Science three-eighths, the latter would have about 430 pages in the school course. If this space, equal to about five of the Science Primers," were judiciously employed, some of the leading facts might be stated. The giving up the text books for the entrance examination would enable two additional Readers to be employed -one on Literature and Morals, the other on Science.
The allotment of space to each science would require much thought and judgment. The matter is complicated by the fact that scholars are continually dropping off. Some do not get beyond the Primer; others the Second Book: and so on. If a subject is not noticed at all till the highest Reader, only a small per-centage of the pupils will be benefited.
As already mentioned, in the school course, the object is scientific information, not training. The pupils should acquire sufficient knowledge to understand, in some measure, the allusions to science and art of every-day occurrence in the public journals. For this purpose a general acquaintance with the salient points of all, is preferable to a comparatively full knowledge of one or two of them. In the University course, the system would be the
The lessons on agriculture would be inserted in the Reading Book for village schools. In the Reading Book for Zenanas, the management of children and the preservation of health would receive special attention.
The poetry should be included in the Reading Books, but it would be convenient for the teacher to have what is suited for singing collected in a small volume.
The mode in which the lessons should be arranged in the Reading Books requires to be considered. Those on Literature and Morals should be intermixed. The question is about the
* Principles of Education, p. 464.