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nor in the continuance of that course beyond the sixth standard, is there anything beyond the reach of the Department even as it stands, The teachers are, as a whole, quite competent for the task if they are encouraged to undertake it, the inspectors are all men of education and ability, and no one questions the efficiency of the Department itself to do what it thinks worth the doing. The weakest link in the chain of agencies is doubtless the teacher, but this instrument also is under the powerful hand of the Whitehall officials. For it is the Department that really controls the training colleges while deftly managing to get gratuitous administration and twenty-five per cent. of what is properly State expenditure, out of the pockets of the churches in exchange for an illusory right of management. But this is a a large question, and we shall not enter on it here.

We would only add, that if popular education means what we think it means, the training of teachers is a matter of prime import

If it means what Lord Sherbrooke thinks it means, then the arguments urged for expending public money on training fall to the ground, the present remuneration given to teachers is absurdly high, and their claim to social recognition, in consequence of their presumed high social function, disappears. Female ex-pupil teachers can do all the national work that Lord Sherbrooke desires to see done, and if there be difficulty as to their maintaining discipline in boys' schools, this difficulty could be easily overcome by requiring the frequent presence of the local policeman.

We conclude then that while more advanced teaching and the so-called higher subjects have no place in the primary education either of poor or rich, they have an easily defined place up to the age of fifteen in the primary school, and that, in so far as the Department is feeling its way towards this result, it is in accord with all the best feeling of the country, and promoting the ends which a national educational system is intended to subserve. We are glad to think that there is no fear that the present heads of the Department will fail in carrying out this liberal view of their duties. Both Lord Spencer and Mr. Mundella have at Sheffield strongly expressed their opinion that the spread of elementary education necessarily produces the desire for higher instruction, to which all the children of the country' have a claim according to their needs, capacities, and prospects;' and further, that it is the duty of the State to provide such instruction, 'not only thoroughly, but generously and with an unstinting hand. The Duke of Argyll has shown, moreover, that in Scottish schools attention to higher instruction has not resulted in the neglect of the general instruction of the main body of the school. As a mere matter of fact, the blue-books nowhere show so high a percentage in the ordinary subjects of the Code as in those parts of Scotland where instruction is carried furthest. Nay, it is found that the existence of advanced classes, and a consequently higher standard, in public schools, has a stimulating effect on the intelligence of the whole school, and thus all are gainers—master and pupils alike. The same system rightly understood and applied would produce similar results elsewhere. A higher and more intelligent spirit would then arise in all our public schools, and Lord Sherbrooke would have no longer any reason to complain that a boy who had passed the sixth standard could not read satisfactorily. If he and his fellow Peers interested in education would direct their attention to the improvement of the Code in respect both of substance and form, they would further the cause which they have no doubt at heart far more than by the mere negative criticism in which they indulged during the recent debate in the House of Lords.

A BATIER'S IDEAL.

OF

F the Four Elements each can in her own way be gracious in turn

and terrible to man. Each has her own gifts and her own manner of giving. Earth gives us harvest and vintage; Fire warms our hearths. But these benefit us at a distance, as it were, and indirectly. Fire keeps us at arm's length under instant penalty, and Earth is hard and cold to the human touch. Not so with Air, for her embraces are sweet indeed; when she greets us on moorland or on the beachëd margent of the sea, hastening from west or south to clasp us with kisses so pure and fresh that for the moment we could cheat ourselves to believe that she has been keeping them all the way for us alone. But though we know her presence, it is as the dying Hippolytus knew the presence of his queen Artemis : invisible, unarrestable, she mocks our sight; she is as an enchanted mistress whom her lover may meet only in the dark.

Most kind and loverlike of all these is the fourth sister, friendly Water. Her we can both feel and see; not Earth nor Fire can appear to us in more glorious form; not Air can come closer to our embrace, or clasp us more lovingly and well. For this is her prime title, to be called the Friend of Man; she gives him indeed good help in turning his mill-wheels, in watering his pastures and his flocks, but in these offices a material, a commercial element preponderates; they are concerned with things, not men, and often basely recompensed by sordid pollution and desecration. It is in ministering to the health and seemliness, the rest and vigour of the personal man that Water finds her inost gracious and honourable office. In our climate for at least half the year the service is of necessity rather than of joy, useful rather than glorious—there is no poetry, sometimes little pleasure, in the inorning bath that confronts one in the winter twilight. But as Air grows kindlier with the revolving hours, so does ber visible sister; and at last beneath some upward-opening sky of spring or early summer the Genius of Bathing finds one unaware by some steep brink, with the fair Water flowing persuasively beneath, the old-new charm returns, and the glad act is accomplished.

Many are the forms of bathing, and each has a charm of its own. There is a wild joy in battling with the sea waves, and a luxurious calm in lying motionless and supine on the dense salt water in a windless cove. Pleasant also is the mild persistent force of a broad river, of Thames or Isis, against which one leans confidingly, swimming with a grateful sense of resistance not too easily overcome, and whose banks perhaps one finds thronged by the shapely forms of athletic youth, or echoing the laughter of eager boys. Pleasant again

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is the broad mountain lake, inviting longer swims from shore to shore, while in silent progress through the water one may watch the clouds drift and wreathe themselves among the solemn many-folded hills.

But the sea-brine is clammy to the skin, the plain-fed river is seldom absolutely pure, even the limpid lake we sometimes feel too stagnant for the full renewal of our force. Better than all these is a clear deep mountain stream-not a turbid glacier torrent, though these can be grateful indeed to a tired climber, but a stream such as Scotland and the English lake country and Wales give lavishly, pellucid as the very air, or, if tinged at all, then with a clear amber that breaks in the sunlight with a radiance of liquid gold. To know the full glory and mystery of his delight, let the bather follow upward such a stream through a summer afternoon, from where it flows in obvious comeliness and charity on the plain, making some broad meadow fresh and green, and lending itself to the thirsty flock-upward toward its cradle on the moor. As he climbs the hill by its side, its voice begins to call to him, but it hides itself shyly from his sight. Rock and wood overshadow and sometimes almost bury it, it takes sudden turns, it spreads in a film of spray over a wide steep ledge, or splits itself between tiny islands, or gurgles low among mosses and bracken, and maidenhair and parsley-fern. Often does some deep pool tempt the seeker to stay and be content; but he presses onward and upward, still searching for the absolute good. At last he finds his reward. As he turns a corner he hears the noise of a waterfall : he looks up and sees, some thirty yards before him, the water pouring over a ledge twice or three times his own stature in height. Between him and that falling foam lies his paradise. Amid steep walls of grey rock runs the emerald water ; it runs swiftly on one side, with the beaded bubbles' springing joyously to the surface, children of the Air that are bathers themselves, and plunge by hundreds into the rapturous foam ; on the other side it eddies gently round in dimpled coils, stealing back once more to the delicious hurrying flow. The red berries of the mountainash droop toward the stream and are reflected there, and red-leaved oak bushes such as hung about the Bandusian spring are mingled with the silvery glimmer of the birch, the lady of trees. Grasses and ferns shoot in tufts from the crevices of the rock, and the floating spray is faintly scented with their fragrance. But the bather's first mood is too eager to note in detail all the charms that make up the perfection of the place that he feels intoxicate him. He chooses some broad ledge, low or high as he will above the water, and throws aside the clothes that have encumbered him in his hot upward journey. As he stands up free, his bare feet on the smooth warm stone, he feels such half-scornful pity for his clothed fellow men whom he has left behind, as the naked Greek in the palæstra felt for the barbarian of the East to whose grossness such simplicity seemed a shame. One moment he gazes into the clear depths : through fifteen feet of water he could count every stone of the gravel

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that lies undisturbed below; the sparkling bubbles seem to shoot up laughingly to greet him; then his hands rise and clasp each other above his head, he stoops, he takes the plunge, his clenched hands, his head, his body, his straightened knees meet and cleave the embracing water ; then, after one moment of intense, almost unconscious joy, he rises amid millions of new-born bubbles, and strikes out blithely against the torrent, breasting the foam close under the beating fall. Let him come again after long rains have swollen the streams, and he shall find a still more intoxicating rapture, when the current is beyond his strength to stem, and he can only hurl himself into the foam below the fall, to be swept down the whole length of the deep water in glad abandonment, until he can catch some rising rounded boulder, and check his rush before he be dashed among the stony shallows. But this is a day for more various pleasures; the stream, with all its vitality, is not too impetuous to dally with him by the way; it seems to have wished for him, as he for it; for his fancy tells him that in his person for this happy bour Man is reconciled and made one with Nature.

Other plunges, now higher, now lower, will he take through the slow-waning afternoon, and between them, as he lies on the shelving rock with cooled and dripping limbs, he will drink in the beauty of the place, and think over the fair waters of like sort which glimmer and murmur eternally through song and story-of the gentle Phæacian river that heard the prayer of Odysseus as he swam in from his three days' battle with the tossing waves, and washed the brine from his tired limbs; of the pool where the well-beloved Hylas sank; of woodland waters whence the Naiades would emerge, or the bapless sweet Undine. He sees the young trout play in the stream with a joy like his own, and is well content to think that his pleasure has not been born of other beings' pain. Then at last he slowly dresses and departs. A few steps, and the noise of the waterfall is dulled to a murmur; the nook of Paradise is invisible, only to be detected by accident, or by a familiar eye. But as he descends in the cool evening air amid the shadows lengthening on the slopes, he may well ask himself if he knows any pleasure so perfect and so pure, one that so combines rest and refreshment with muscular effort, sensuous enjoyment with refined imaginative delight, which so steeps his spirit in the holy enchantment of solitary Nature, and at the same time brings home o him her sweet companionship with Man.

ERNEST MYERS.

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