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as merely to form a sort of interlude between their manifold and all-engross ing sports.


have been silent pioneers in the great short-time movement, of which, in recent years, the surgings and reverberations have made so great a stir in all departments of the world of industry. And they have enjoyed two large advantages over their followers in the curtailment of working time. They have had no formidable array of employers or capitalists to stem. the tide of their exactions: the boys (to a man) are all on their side. With such odds in their favour they have felt strong enough to slight the occasional protests of dissentient fathers, and to close their ears to the repinings of disconsolate mothers, who pathetically, but vainly, deplore "the dreadfully long holidays." Female suffrage, with dual voting for ladies, would speedily bring about more work and less idle time for school-boys.

Schools for all sorts and conditions of boys, except those for whom parliamentary subsidies are voted, seem to be rapidly drifting into a system of holidays after the model of Eton. But Eton holidays are condemned as excessive even by Eton masters; and the Royal Commissioners prove their full concurrence in the objection, by their 63d Recommendation, "That no ex"tension of the holidays should be ever "allowed, except in obedience to Royal "Command."

The Commissioners were too loyal to propose a limitation that would trench on the Queen's prerogative. But for this restraint they must have suggested that royal marriages have ceased, in recent years, to be events of so much rarity, or high national importance, as to warrant the giving, in celebration of them, an extra week's holiday to Eton boys. Had the late Joseph Hume (of strictly economic memory) been a member of the Commission, he would not have overlooked the pecuniary aspects of the question. An extra week's holiday for 850 Eton boys, whose expenses in a school year of thirty-six weeks

amount to an average of not less than 1807. each, or 5l. per boy per week, involves mulcting the parents in an aggregate sum of over 5,000l. (including school and home expenses), besides the loss of education.

The cost of education, like that of a host of other necessaries and luxuries, has in these latter days been very sensibly augmented. This fact is exhibited in a strong light when we contrast the time consumed in a school and college course in the Victorian era with the shorter period which formerly sufficed for the same purpose. It takes longer time by at least two years to pass through the English Public Schools and Universities than in the latter years of George the Third's reign. (Report of Public Schools Commission, 1864, vol. ii. p. 540, Winchester, Dr. Moberly's evidence.) Lord Westbury, who was born in 1800, passed to Oxford in his early teens, and took his B.A. degree with all but the highest honours when under the age of eighteen.

If we go still further into the past, we find that education in the Public Schools usually ended with a boy's fifteenth or sixteenth year-frequently earlier still. Thus, Milton passed from St. Paul's School to Cambridge (1624) at the commencement of his sixteenth year. Andrew Marvell entered Trinity College, Cambridge, in his fourteenth year (1633); and notwithstanding a considerable break in his stay there, he took his B.A. degree at the age of eighteen. Addison passed from the Charterhouse to Oxford (1687) at the age of fifteen; at seventeen he became a demy of Magdalen; before twentyone he had taken his M.A. degree. But, in the reign of Queen Victoria, the great public schools keep their pupils till the end of their eighteenth or nineteenth year. The attainments of the great mass of those who, at that age, pass to Oxford and Cambridge, are found to be so low that their first two years at the Universities have to be given up to mere school-work-work proper for the upper forms of a large school.

"The point which is now reached by

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Many boys come to the University from school knowing next to nothing." ... "A valuable year or "two is wasted at school." (Replies by Rev. W. Hedley, late Fellow and Tutor of University College, Oxford, and Public Examiner, in Report of Public Schools Commission, 1864, vol. ii. pp. 16, 17.)

"The University course of teaching "is much hampered by the crude state "of the men subjected to it, and by "the necessity of supplementing the "shortcomings of school education."... "The length and cost of education "have been steadily growing for a long "time." (Rev. G. W. Kitchin, M.A. Junior Censor of Christ Church, Oxford, ibid. pp. 11—13.)


"The education generally given at "schools does not give a satisfactory grounding in those subjects which "form the especial studies of this University, and the large majority of young men who enter College show

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a very superficial knowledge of Latin "and Greek, while of English Literature, English History, and English "Composition they are deplorably igno66 rant. For eighteen years I have found employment in Cambridge in "supplementing as a private tutor the "deficiencies of school education, and "in teaching the simplest rudiments of Arithmetic, Algebra, and elementary "Mathematics, and in preparing in "Latin and Greek candidates for the pre"vious examination. The greater part

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my pupils are from public schools, and I cannot but think that I teach "them nothing but what they ought to "have been thoroughly taught at school." (Rev. W. H. Girdlestone, M. A. Christ's College, Cambridge, ibid. p. 30.)

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"It follows that, with the great mass "of men, school education-and that "education which barely enables them at last to construe a Latin and Greek book, poet and orator, chosen by "themselves; to master three books "of Euclid, and solve a problem in "quadratic equations-is prolonged to

"the age of twenty or twenty-one." (Report, vol. i. pp. 24, 25.)


The shorter holidays, and longer days of work, in earlier times, bore fruit in an earlier completion of the school and college course. In Dean Colet's ordinances for the government of St. Paul's School, the holidays were limited to one month in the year; and the hours for daily attendance were fixed at from seven to eleven in the morning, and from one to five in the afternoon. Merchant Taylors' statutes adopt the same hours for daily work, and allow twenty working days in the year for holiday. The Shrewsbury School statutes, imitated from Dean Colet's model, give somewhat more vacation, with an average of ten hours per diem for work. The other public schools similarly restricted holiday to four or five weeks in the year, and exacted eight or nine hours of daily work in school. At the present time, school-work fills an average of about five hours daily, and the periodical vacations and numerous special holidays reach an aggregate from three to four times greater than in the pristine period of English public school education. The day, the week, the year of school work, have all been shortened : the cost of schooling has undergone a contrary process. As medieval Jews clipped and sweated the coinage of the realm, making each golden angel yield a tribute, so now are the golden hours of school-life clipped and curtailed to increase the leisure of instructors of middle-class youth.

No one wishes to restore the severe régime of Dean Colet and his brother founders of the great public schools. No one desires to see boys compelled to carry candles to school, to light them at their early morning tasks, as in days still well remembered by many a surviving Pauline. But there is a wide spread and growing conviction that schoolmasters have gone too far in their curtailment of time for work. Schooling fills up more years in a boy's life, and indeed trenches well into early manhood, while it is a moot point whether scholarship has advanced.

Vacation consumes sixteen or more weeks out of the fifty-two, and the remaining thirty-six weeks, spent at school, are laid under heavy contribution for holidays and half-holidays on multifarious occasions.


If the questionable privilege of unlimited holiday were a fashion peculiar to schools for the highest ranks of society, the evil result would be of comparatively little moment. Boys of the aristocratic class have ample resources for the profitable disposal of long vacations. Childe Harold's Pilgrimage covers barely as much ground as the travels accomplished in two or three summer excursions of Eton, Harrow, and Rugby boys of the present day. The "grand tour," which formed the climax of an English gentleman's education in the last century, was certainly less extensive than the foreign travel of which the scions of opulent families now have experience before mencing their University career. It is quite a common-place occurrence for fourth and fifth-form boys to traverse France, Germany, Switzerland, and Italy in their summer vacations. Youths under eighteen are often met with who have visited all the countries bordering on the Mediterranean. Some few of that age have sailed on the Nile, scaled the Pyramids, and from their giddy height looked down with Napoleon's witnesses, the forty silent centuries; have glanced at the Red Sea and Bosphorus, and fished the Scandinavian lakes and rivers. Even Niagara Falls, the prairies, and the cities of mushroom growth, a thousand miles inland from the American seaboard, are now easily comprised in a vacation-tour of six weeks' duration. The giant Steam, in alliance with the magician Gold; hotels afloat, yet fraught with all the luxuries of palatial homes; ubiquitous express trains, -such are the ways and means wherewith youths in their teens now visit the scenes of history, chivalry, fable, and poetry, or of the marvellous achievements of enterprise and energy in a nation not yet a century old.

For boys blessed with the gift of

fortune, whose position in life is secured in advance for them, and calls for no exertion on their part, no better substitutes for interrupted book-work could be found than foreign travel in summer, and, in the winter, social intercourse with the highest society within reach of their ancestral halls. But long holidays, which are appropriate to the case of the favoured few, are ill-fitted to the circumstances of the masses. These latter have no facilities for field-sports in the murky weather comprised in the long Christmas and Easter holidays. Foreign travel in summer is a luxury beyond their most ardent hopes. Many of them

"Long in populous city pent, Where houses thick and sewers annoy the air,"

pass through their school-boy days without once visiting the coast or the country. The City of London School, and others attended by children of the trading and the less wealthy professional classes, afford abundant samples of boys after this type. For such boys a long term of enforced idleness each year is a serious injury, and leads to a pernicious distaste for intellectual effort. reading of the most trashy character is the mental pabulum to which such boys betake themselves.


The pupils of a day-school have not the same need for long holidays as boys living away from home. If the Eton, Harrow, Shrewsbury, or Winchester boy has long holidays, he is, at any rate, absent from his family and home throughout the school-terms. Not so the boy at the City of London or the Dulwich Schools, who returns once or twice each day to his home, and has only five whole days of schooling in each week. Yet Dulwich boys (to quote an example) cannot make more than one hundred and seventy-five complete days of schooling, even if they miss no single halfday when the school is opened. Their holidays, half-holidays, and Sundays amount to a hundred and ninety days in the year. More work and less play is clearly needed here; but the practice

of the great public schools is copied without regard to the widely differing circumstances and prospects of the pupils. Boys whose destination is the desk, the warehouse, the shop, or one of the infinite variety of industrial pursuits, cannot afford to spend a large section of the year in mere pastime or listless idleness. The masters of these metropolitan and suburban day-schools have not the same need of long vacations that can be pleaded for their fellowworkers in boarding-schools. An Eton, or Rugby, or Harrow master is more or less engaged with his pupils from early morning till late at night, and even his Sundays are not days of rest. Yet the Head-Master of Eton holds that such duties, filling ten or twelve hours every day, involve no severe mental labour. The masters in large day-schools have only half as many hours of work each day, and no Sunday work. Yet four months out of the twelve are claimed by the masters of middle-class day-schools as indispensable to the recruiting of their exhausted energies. If this claim be just, it follows that Eton and Rugby masters, who work twice as long, should get eight instead of four months' vacation. It is only in England that such a claim is set up. Schools of similar character in Scotland, Prussia, and other countries where education is best attended to, give less holiday by six or eight weeks in the year. One conspicuous result of the shorter holidays in Scotland is the frequent success of Scotch boys in competition against the ablest youths from the English public schools. In schools aided by Government grants, the number of complete days' work in the year is frequently two hundred and twenty or two hundred and thirty, and that, too, without including the Sundays, which also are working days in most instances for both teachers and scholars. Few teachers in middle-class day-schools have so heavy a day's work as the certificated master of a school under Government inspection, who, in addition to his six hours of real hard work at methodical oral teaching, has one and a half or two No. 92.-VOL. XVI.

more hours occupied in the private instruction of his pupil-teachers, and the keeping of an elaborate set of schoolregisters. Other odd duties often fall to him, and his Sunday work is no sinecure.

Enough has been stated to show that the interests of middle-class boys attending the town and suburban day-schools, demand a substantial increase in the days for work. The practice of the earlier part of this century, still observed by many excellent schools, should be re-established-namely, a total of two months, or, at the utmost, ten weeks. Shorter vacations might carry with them the compensation of diminished daily tasks for evening hours at home. Many a parent would be glad to see his children relieved of part at least of the drudgery imposed upon them in the shape of excessive evening work. More work should be performed at school; less at the domestic hearth.

An exhaustive scrutiny of a well-kept set of school registers would exhibit, for every boy in the long-holiday-giving schools, a total attendance in the year so small, that it would startle even the school authorities themselves. Besides their regular stated holidays-usually about seven weeks in summer (July to September), five at Christmas, twelve days or a fortnight at Easter, several days in Lent, as many or more days at Whitsuntide, sometimes a week or more after Speech-day-special holidays are sometimes given in celebration of births, marriages, and christenings in the families of masters. Successes attained in examinations by present and former pupils, whether at the Universities or at the Oxford and Cambridge Local Examinations, are also held to be fit occasions for special holidays. So also is the presence of distinguished guests on Speech-day. A few years ago the summer holidays of a large London school, already ample enough, were increased by two weeks, because a prince and princess, and half a dozen bishops, graced by their presence the achievements of Speech-day. Such practices are only maintainable on the ground


that school education is a bad thing, and therefore on any pretext the boys should be benefited by having less of it. The logical sequence is that the greatest benefit would be conferred on the boys by closing the schools altogether, and making each year of boyhood an entire long holiday. A day-school yields only five short days per week for work. Deduct its holidays of 7 weeks in summer, 5 at Christmas, 3 for Lent, Easter, and Whitsuntide, and 2 more for its sundry special holidays, or 17 in all, and there remain only 35 weeks of 5 days each, or a total of 175 days for work, against 190 days for holidays and Sundays. In other words, each period of 100 days is composed of 48 only for work, and 52 for rest and play; or, the year is divided into 25 complete weeks for work, and 27 for rest and play. It It may be urged that even in holidays some school work is given to the boys to prepare. But book-work, which infringes on play-time, finds few willing votaries among school boys. The advantages of sports have been so greatly extolled in this age of "muscular Christianity," that boys have come to look upon study as of secondary importance, and to give their whole hearts to games. In the case of many boys, cricket consumes in summer-time as

many hours per week as lessons. Athletic sports have their uses, but they may be easily abused. In such pastimes, duly regulated, boys mutually give and take a valuable part of education. Mind, however, is the superior of muscle: Apollo held higher rank than Hercules. The subjects of instruction are more numerous than formerly. In a competition for Indian or Civil Service appointments, failure in French and fractions cannot be condored by skill in flat-race or adroitness at foils; highleap is not yet an admissible alternative for Higher Mathematics; jumping in sacks is no set-off against halting in Science; good hurdle-racing does not excuse bad answers in History; the first place in long-leap is not a make-weight for limping Latin; the consolation race has no counterpart in

Woolwich or Sandhurst examinations. If anything beyond a mere smattering of many subjects, without thoroughness in one, is to be attained, the days for work should outnumber those for rest and play by a substantial majority.

Excessive holidays are given in most of the richly-endowed schools. Dulwich College gives six weeks more than the City of London School, and five more weeks than the London University College School-the two latter leaning more on fees, and less on endowment, than Alleyne's foundation." Parents often complain that even Christ's Hospital has greatly enlarged its vacation in recent years. But here again is a better case for abundant holiday than, for example, the Dulwich College Lower School, where less than half the 365 days of the year are given to work. The Charity Commissioners might render good service to education by requiring from all endowed schools, in addition to their usual yearly financial statement, a return from the school registers of the number of attendances made by each boy in the twelve months.

Schools which give 4 months' holiday in the year, yield only 8 months in the year for work. Schools which give a total of 2 months' holiday in the year yield 10 months of work. It requires 10 years of 8 months each, to afford as much schooling as 8 years of 10 months each.

So that a boy entering school at the age of 7, must now remain till 17 in order to get as much schooling as fell to the lot of his predecessors on the same benches between the ages of 7 and 15. In other words, two years more of idle time are now-a-days thrust upon boys of the middle and lower middle classes, in deference to the practice of Eton. Schoolmasters have not, in England, the skins of Ethiops, nor the leopard's spots which resist all mild detergent processes. They are open to conviction. If they are wilfully deaf to reasonable remonstrance, let parents address themselves to the governing bodies of those schools in which holiday exceeds the requirements or the necessities of the pupils in attendance.

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