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life is steeped in lethargy, whose influence on the world cannot yet be determined, and who may perhaps be destined to enslave the nations of the world, including even the Slavonians. It is to this feeling M. Hilferding attributes the significant fact that, in reproducing his argument that " The future of the Slavonians can never be established without the co-operation of the Russian people," the organ of the Slovaks rendered it"The Slavonians can only be saved by a Slavonic policy."
There is also considerable force in the argument that it is mainly the indifference of Western Europe to the Slavonic movement, and the continued belief in the vitality of the present Austrian and Turkish monarchies, that favour the influence of Russia among the Slavonian nations. The policy of the Czar is to promote the establishment of small Slavonic States on his borders out of the ruins of Austria and Turkey, while that of the western and southern Slavonians is to create a large confederate State, strong dictation, however careful, can cover the enough to maintain its independence against area of the English language, and in Engthe encroachments both of Russia and Ger-lish the sound of words is not only no guide to their spelling, but is a direct source of error, while the principles of the art cannot be reduced to formulas. It is only by reading that real accuracy can be attained, and at least half of mankind will not voluntarily read. Even readers, unless they take some interest in etymology, or have a liking for accuracy, or are moved by that idea of caste- which, in England, is fortunately on the side of correct spelling, and which protects our etymology better than any Academy could do - find the burden of so many words too much for their memories. A few boys and girls acquire the art by some process which seems intuitive, and spell perfectly years before they can by possibility have read half the words they are ultimately required to use. The writer has known a child of eight to whom a blunder in spelling seemed an impossibility, who would spell with instant readiness words of which he had never previously heard; but that is a faculty, like the faculty for rhythm, sometimes found in children who are totally devoid of what is technically called "ear." The majority have to learn spelling as they learn arithmetic, and a minority uninterested in the study defy the efforts of their teachers, and to the end of their days need dictionaries for any lengthy composition. Printers all know how very little the spelling even of the best educated is to be trusted, and we have reason to believe that if English journalists were weeded by an examination in which etymological accuracy was
The Czechs do not, however, expect to obtain their ultimate object without a war in Europe; but whatever may be the chances of such a war, of complications in the East, of the passiveness of united Germany, or of agreement for federal purposes between the Magyars, Bohemians, Poles, and other Slavonians, it cannot but be acknowledged that the political agitation of which Prague is now the centre is worthy of the most serious attention, organized as it is by men of high rank, as well as of great intellectual attainments, and embracing as it does, in a hitherto passive conspiracy, the majority of that part of the population of Austria which contributes the largest half both of the Imperial taxes, and the Imperial troops.
dates for commissions rejected for the same want of knowledge is nearly or quite as great, and the managers of banks, insurance offices, and other establishments requiring good clerks can supply almost incredible instances of students' blunders in writing the commonest sentences. The same complaint is made in America, especially about second-rate schoolmasters; and judged by this test, middle-class schools in both countries greatly need reform. We have some doubt, however, whether the test is a very fair one, whether the defect is not oftener in the scholar than in the school. It would seem the easiest thing in the world to teach spelling, but it is really exceedingly difficult, so difficult that we suspect spelling to be of the few things which cannot be taught, in the proper sense of that word, which must be acquired mainly by the exertions of the pupil himself. No amount of practice which school-time will allow, and no system of
From The Spectator, 20 March. 1 LITTLE IGNORANCES.
MR. FORSTER in his speech on Monday on the second reading of the Endowed Charities' Bill, mentioned, as a proof of the badness of many middle-class schools, the number of men "spun" in some examinations for defective Spelling. He quoted the evidence of Dr. Gull as to medical students, nearly half of whom fail in this respect, and there is scarcely a professor in the country who would not endorse Dr. Gull's remarks. The proportion of candi
the sine quâ non, the profession would lose | beyond her capacity, and ten minutes after some very competent members. One oc- discuss a foreign budget with keen intellicasional contributor to this journal, a man gence; and that is not an extreme case. whose education has been of a singularly The most extreme we ever knew was that perfect kind, and who is a true scholar in of an Oxford M. A., head master of a gramhis way, never sends in a contribution mar-school, and an almost unrivalled maswithout half a dozen etymological errors, ter of Greek lyrical poetry, who was honand there are double-firsts who would estly unable, and confessed himself unable, rather trust themselves in Greek than En- to do the simplest sum in simple addition glish without a pocket dictionary. It is a who, to get an account right, would put the curious proof of the accuracy of this view, actual coins on the table, and always called that the commercial schools which profess a boy to verify the weekly statistics of the to teach, and do teach, spelling, do not school. There must have been some odd turn out spellers half as accurate as the loathing for figures in him, as well as want public schools, which profess to teach noth- of interest, resembling the loathing some ing of the kind, and that hundreds of per- lads have for Euclid; but we should like to sons learn to spell, or rather begin to spell try the House of Peers with a stiff bit of well habitually, only in manhood, that is, notation. Not one in six would put down when the attention has at last been aroused. the figures right, and of their wives, not Whether the extreme case, that of a man one in sixty; yet they and all those we have of high culture, who absolutely could not mentioned have, at some time or other, learn to spell ever happened, we are un- learned these things, and are ignorant of certain; but almost all men who have to them only because their interest has never read much manuscript believe it, and a kin- been excited. It is just the same with dred inability, that of recollecting dates geography, of which educated and compeand figures, certainly does exist. But an tent men often do not know the simplest inability to spell, arising from a certain facts, though they have all learned them in failure of interest in words, is a distinct a way, as one usually learns things of no characteristic of English minds, and one interest, that is, without learning them. which it requires extraordinary effort to They have to learn them again when they eradicate, more especially among women. want them, and meanwhile are just as ignorant as medical students are of spelling. We should just like to make the English Members in the House of Commons draw each for himself a skeleton map of Ireland, and see how many of the maps bore a fair ig-resemblance to the truth. Yet they were taught about Ireland as well as England, and at the same time. No doubt, the English method of teaching geography, even in the very best schools, is ludicrously bad, very few masters ever thinking that distances and areas ought to enter into their teaching, and leaving pupils under a happy belief that they know all about Arabia if they can draw its outline, though they do not know whether it is as big as Yorkshire or as Europe. But still, most educated men once knew much more of geography as lads than they do as men, the reason being want of interest in the subject. To test them on it would not be fair to the schools, wretchedly bad as their system is, any more than it would be to test most girls schools by their old pupils' knowledge of figures. They have been taught them fairly enough, but the memory, unstimulated by any interest, refuses to retain its load. The real failure is not in these things, but in the entire absence of any attempt to secure the main end of teaching, which is not the communication of knowledge, but
Spelling, however, is not the only deficiency of this kind, though it is, of course, the one most observed, and owing to the curious caste feeling mentioned above, a feeling entirely absent a hundred years ago, it is the one most resented. The norance of many cultivated men of arithmetic is frequently astounding We feel sure, from our own experience, that hundreds of what are called well-educated men, and thousands of accomplished women, could not do a rule-of-three sum if their fortunes depended upon it; while a number, presumably less, but still very large, cannot do any calculation on paper at all. We venture to say the majority of middle and upper-class women are worried by the simplest question about interest, and to a very large proportion the simple adding-up of household accounts is a wearisome labour, very inaccurately performed, while if the calculation is in foreign money they are hopelessly bewildered. They do not understand compound addition, while as to compound division, or any problem of any sort involving fractions, they frankly decline to make the attempt. We have personally known a lady, mistress not only of four languages, but of their literatures, give up the effort to discover what the fourth of a seventh was as something wholly
the development of the powers of the mind. | our interference in Afghanistan, and the conHalf an hour's chat by a shrewd good-tem- sequences to which such interference may pered arithmetician with a lad on the rule lead, will be considered on a future occasion. of three, its principle and its management, Here we merely desire to say a few words will give the student a more perfect control on the other question, and to express our of that invaluable machine than years of unqualified approbation of the attempt, sums" done by cram rules without the tardy and partial though it be, to recover smallest notion why those rules yield accu- some of our lost ground in Persia. rate results. We know a child of eight, a girl, whose acquaintance with geography is far greater than that of most men, whose study of the subject was induced by the accidental awakening of an interest in the shapes of the different counties on the map, arising originally from some grotesque remark about the likeness of Britain to an old lady dandling Ireland on her lap. The teachers even in commercial schools are not such bad machines as they are described; but then they usually are machines, and we need intelligent teachers instead. Mere practice will not even enable boys to spell, and it is practice only which is required of them.
The general feeling in England is, no doubt, unfavourable to Persia. She is regarded as a weak, vain-glorious, faithless, and intriguing Power; greedy of gain; pliant and docile to Russia; restless and encroaching towards India; and there is a certain broad colouring of truth in all the features of this picture. But, whatever Persia may be in her political aspect to England, she is what we have made her. In turn we have bribed and bullied, courted and neglected her; and it is just as reasonable now to complain that she is not to be depended on, as it would be to complain of the waywardness of a spoilt child, or the want of tone of a worn-out musical instrument. Persia cannot be naturally unfriendly to England. She has been obliged, it is true, not unfrequently to truckle to Russia, because we have left her absolutely at the mercy of that Power; but, on the other hand, she has shown on many late occasions how much she values our friendship, and how anxious she is for our support. The Indian telegraph traverses her territory and is efficiently protected by her. She is prepared to give concessions to English capitalists for a bank for railways and for mines. She applied only recently for English officers to organize a naval force for her in the Persian Gulf, and she now invites the same assistance to put her army on an efficient footing. Are we, then, to neglect the opening, merely because the old Herat grievance rankles in our hearts, or because Russian influence of late years has been paramount in the country?
It has been recently announced in the Indian newspapers and on inquiry the statement has been confirmed in this country that the Government has consented to revert to the old system of furnishing British officers to the Persian army. This decision is not only sound, but it is most significant, for, taken in connection with the recognition of Shir Ali Khan of Cabul, and the restoration to him of his father's subsidy of £120,000 per annum, which measures have also been authoritatively reported, it shows that the policy of "masterly inactivity," a policy described in the Edinburgh Review by Sir John Lawrence's ablest and In real truth, the deputation of British ofmost consistent advocate as "folding our ficers to Persia is of more importance than hands and doing nothing," has been defi- at first sight appears. It is not that a score nitely abandoned. Whether the late Gov- of officers, commissioned and non-commisernor-General has been converted at the last sioned, can achieve any great results in ormoment by the force of circumstances, organizing or disciplining the many thousands whether, in sending arms and money to Ca- of ill-paid and half-clad Sirbáz" who bul, he merely yielded to pressure from the form the Persian army. In a purely miliHome Government, is really of no conse- tary point of view the employment of our quence. It is sufficient to know that we officers must be, as it always has been, a are now committed to certain definite meas- failure; but, politically speaking, there is ures of external preparation and defence, every reason to anticipate a great success. instead of remaining stubbornly on our own In former times, when our officers served ground, and inviting aggression by a gra- for thirty years continuously with the Pertuitous declaration of immobility. The ef- sian army (from 1808 to 1838), it is notorifect which is likely to be produced on the ous that they most powerfully seconded the spot by the somewhat hurried character of efforts of our diplomatists to keep the Per
From The Pall Mall Gazette.
EMPLOYMENT OF BRITISH OFFICERS IN
sian Government attached to our interests. | abandon their professional prospects in InIn those days the names of Christie, of dia and adventure on a foreign service; but Lindsay, and of Hart were echoed through there should be no difficulty, when so imthe land, as the guardians and upholders of portant an object is at stake, in supplying Persia's honour; and even to the present this inducement, either from the Persian hour an Englishman in his travels in the Treasury or our own. country will not unfrequently feel the benefit of the old traditions, and be treated with attention and respect in token of the hold which his countrymen formerly possessed upon the affection of the nation.
From The Spectator, 13 March.
But it may be asked, supposing the jeal- THE STATESMEN AND THE CRIMINALS. ousies and heartburnings of the last thirty LORD SALISBURY said, on Monday night, years to be obliterated, and supposing the in the House of Lords, that he never could halcyon days of Futteh Ali Shah and Abbas see what possible connection there was beMirza to be restored, how would it profit tween the diminution of crime and the us? Now the answer to this question is spread of education. Crime, he thought, very simple. Although Persia cannot be was a consequence of moral depravity,' of positive, she may be of much negative and though you might change the nature value to us. Although she cannot offer any of the crime by diverting the criminal's military resistance to Russia, she may op- tastes and powers into new channels, you pose to her a vis inertia of equal strength. would not diminish the "moral depravity" Assuming, indeed, that the contiguity of in him by altering the direction of his deRussia to India is an evil- and the whole ar- sires, and putting new and more powerful gument proceeds on this assumption- the tools into his hands. That is a very narrow tone and temper of Persia do become a very view of the noble Marquis's. We are very important matter; for it is quite certain that far indeed from thinking that crime is the without her co-operation, or at any rate her mere product of circumstances and tempconnivance, neither can the present position tations, or that, by altering circumstances of Russia upon the Oxus be duly consoli- and diminishing external temptations, we dated, nor would it be possible to extend could abolish crime, much less guilt; still, the Russian dominion towards Khiva on the no one who has studied his own heart in one side, or towards Mery and Herat upon the least has any doubt but that with a sufthe other. It must be further remembered ficiently unfavourable variation of the cirthat the only inconvenience we have hither- cumstances by which he has been, not to sustained, or are likely to sustain for made, but moulded, the evil of which he is some time to come, from the Russian pro- conscious in himself might, and most probceedings in Central Asia arises from the dis-ably would, have broken out in crime. quieting rumours that are circulated in the Does the noble Marquis suppose that he bazaars of India, rumours which invaria-himself, or any other of the members of bly associate Russia and Persia in one com- that distinguished branch of the Legislature, mon policy of hostility to us. Now if our is so exempt from all "moral depravity" officers were in acknowledged positions of that if he had not been educated at all, nor trust and responsibility with the Persian brought up amongst those who loved the troops, and the Teheran Court were cling- ideas and pursuits which are opened out ing hopefully to our alliance, such an impu- only by education, but, on the contrary, tation would be impossible, and the Rus- confined to the monotonous excitements sian bugbear would thus be shorn of half which appeal only to the heart and the its terrors. senses and an embryo intelligence, he would have been quite beyond the possibility of crime? We suppose that scarce any of us, if any, are beyond the possibility of guilt, and it is surely a mere question of circumstantial advantages or disadvantages whether guilt passes into crime or not. The Marquis of Salisbury himself admitted that though education could not diminish crime it might diminish pauperism. Well, what a vast admission is that! Can he assert for a moment that poverty does not make the difference in thousands of cases between that moral evil which never even
On these united considerations we earnestly hope that a pitiful economy will not frustrate a scheme which is pregnant with good, and which, after repeated failures, is now, we learn, on the eve of execution. If officers are sent to Persia at all, they should be very carefully selected, and should be men of a superior stamp; not mere soldiers, but with a large experience of the Oriental character, and with a proved capacity for inspiring confidence among their associates and subordinates. Such officers will undoubtedly require a strong inducement to
wishes to infringe social arrangements, but | burglary, none of the crew would have been may even worship social arrangements with so violent against the "peelers," or a bitsomething like a very gross idolatry, and terer stickler for his share of the "swag." that moral evil which attacks social arrange- His old opponent in the Commons, on the ments unscrupulously as its most congenial other hand, Mr. Forster, the Vice-Presitask? As far as we have noted the bril-dent of the Council, had he been brought liant political career of Lord Salisbury, we up outside the world of education and sothink we can distinguish a very specific cial amenities, though he would have been modification and mollification of his moral quite as formidable as Lord Salisbury, tone as a debater and critic, coinciding would have been terrible in a different way. with the change of his external circumstan- He, it may be, might have been drawn into ces, in the passage from Lord Robert a Trade Union, and on behalf of such a Cecil to Lord Cranborne, and Lord Cran-brotherhood have become a desperate charborne to Lord Salisbury. As Lord Robert acter, a terrible picket against the "knobCecil he was one of the harshest and most sticks," an enthusiastic rattener, a stern brow-beating of the debaters of the Lower executioner of the unlawful laws of such an House, frequently and skilfully imputing ignorant and tyrannical Vehmgericht. Nay, to his opponents an unworthy class of mo- if we may let our imagination dwell at all tives, as, for example, to the party which on so very delicate a field as the possible wished for the Bill legalizing marriage with affinities of illustrious and intellectual men a deceased wife's sister that the agitation for different classes of transgression of the was simply founded on a wish for new op- law, had they had none of the advantages portunities of "giving way to the pas- which Lord Salisbury thinks so utterly sions," and objecting to the "inexplicable without bearing on crime or "moral debashfulness" of the clergy about subscrip- pravity," is it so absolutely impossible to tion, that it could be due to nothing else imagine that—in another and very much but absolute unbelief. If Lord Cranborne worse world, some disreputable double or Lord Salisbury has taken wider, more of Lord Derby, instead of taking a leap in generous, and more statesmanlike views in the dark "to dish the Whigs," might have debate, has that nothing to do with the made his enemy stand and deliver on speaker's external circumstances? If so, Hounslow Heath, on pain of receiving a how can he possibly maintain that at the couple of balls in his head, and ridden to lower end of the social scale, where the York in some incredibly short time to prove moral chasm between pauperism and re- an alibi? or that some unfortunate wretch spectability is infinitely greater than any with a strange whiff in him of Lord Russell, between the different shades of social dis- might have been charged with feloniously tinction at the upper end, the difference placing obstacles across the railroad with between education and ignorance may not intent to throw the up train off the rails, to account for much more than the difference gratify a grudge against some of the pasbetween legal innocence and legal guilt? sengers? Is there absolutely no conceivable world in which Mr. Bright might have been a prize-fighter, or Mr. Lowe a bodysnatcher, or Lord Westbury a devotee of vivisection practised in open contravention of the law against cruelty to inferior creatures, or Mr. Goschen an accomplished coiner, or Lord Stanley a dangerous tramp and beggar? Would Mr. Disraeli be quite unimaginable as a Leicester-Square con
For our parts, much as we respect the group of administrative statesmen of both parties, there is not one of them whom we cannot easily conceive, if born under less propitious circumstances, and brought up without education, as being liable, like all the rest of us, to fall into positive crime. Lord Salisbury, strong and able as he is, is undoubtedly a strong partizan, liable to very narrow views, witness this utter-spirator against foreign Governments under ance about education and crime, and not the guise of a melancholy pedler of steel indisposed to be arrogant and overbearing pens, or Mr. Gladstone as a promoter of in asserting them. Suppose he had no ed- bubble companies, or the Bishop of Oxford ucation, no means of living, and no social as a begging-letter writer? Is no conceprank to widen and soften him, does anybody tion more inconceivable than that some alias doubt but that he might have been one of of Mr. Walpole's should have been taken the dangerous classes, the very dangerous up for singing doleful ditties about the classes himself? His slight hardness in streets, with six starving children as his defence of property-rights might just as companions, and without strict adherence well have been excessive hardness in as- to history in his lugubrious narrative? or saulting them, they come from the same that some smiling bumpkin resembling a root at bottom, and if he had taken to village Granville should have been charged