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savages. Very few civilized men possess the faculty of finding their way home when they are lost in the midst of a great city. I remember a friend of mine who possessed that faculty in an extraordinary degree. We would occasionally walk together to the east of London, and sometimes entirely lose our bearings. I could never have found my way home, but my friend was never at a loss. No matter where he might be, he always struck out for home, and found his way back without any doubt.

Take another instance,-eyesight. I remem. ber Sir William Bowman, the oculist, telling me of some educated Zulus whose eyesight was so keen that they could read the Times newspaper at the distance of one wall to the other of his consulting room! Whether we could regain those lost faculties or not I do not know. We are crowded together in cities, a healthy country life is impossible to an increasing proportion of our people, and our physique is decaying.


"When I was in Yorkshire, some years ago. the friends with whom I was staying showed me one of their cherished relics, a long-bow, which, according to tradition, had been the weapon of Little John of the Robin Hood ballads. A little bit was broken off one end, but it was otherwise intact. That bow was as thick as my wrist. Just imagine a modern man set to draw such a bow. He could not move it; it would be absolutely impossible. How was it possible in those days? It was because the whole population was trained to the use of the bow. It was practiced with pleasure by everybody. Ask one of our modern toxophilites to handle such a bow, and he would laugh at you. I don't suppose we could restore the practice of archery in our country; but if we could, it would do more than anything else to restore the physique of our people. Bishop Latimer said in one of his sermons, he was taught by his yeoman father to throw the whole weight of his body into his bow hand. Evidently the aim was suddenly taken by the left hand; and in this way they of olden time launched the arrows which did such havoc at Crecy and Agincourt. You can easily conceive how it developed the chest, and strengthened the muscles of the arm, and perfected the physique. The modern rifle is a miserable substitute.




"I am inclined to believe," said Mr. Watts, that nothing would be better for the physique. and also for the morale of the population, than the adoption of some system of compulsory mili

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tary service. If every young man were to be subjected to two years of salutary discipline in the camp, and more especially in the navy, he would learn to obey, and be passed through a rigorous physical training. In Germany, at least, I understand that there is only one opinion as to the physical and moral benefits of military training."

I said my impression was that in France there were somewhat different opinions; that young men learned a good many things in the barracks that were anything but moral.

"I don't know," said he. "Probably they would have picked them up all the same if they had been scrambling round with nothing to do in their own villages.


"But I much prefer the training of a sailor to that of a soldier. It was my fortune to spend some time once upon a man-of-war. I was immediately impressed with the sailor's life. The sailor is trained first of all to observation, and observation is, after all, the root of education. Sailors are intelligent, resourceful men, full of vitality, genial, good-tempered men. I suppose

we must always have soldiers and sailors, if only to keep our own shores safe from attack. But if I had my way, I would make it compulsory for every soldier to spend a certain portion of his time on board ship, and at the same time I should let the sailor have every opportunity of learning to ride and shoot.


"We plume ourselves in England on being the best horsemen in the world, and I am not by any means sure that we are not the worst. To be a good horseman is much more than merely to be able to keep your seat in the saddle. Take, for instance, the question of the bit. You will constantly be told that you should always ride your horse with a snaffle and no curb, because then you don't hurt the horse if you pull him with the bridle. On the contrary, a sharp bit and a light hand, indeed, anything but a light hand with a sharp bit,-will not do, as the rider would soon find. A good rider depends upon his grip, knees, and movements of his body for the security of his seat and indications of his will, never depending on reins or stirrup at all for firmness in the saddle. No groom is

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Mr. Watts warmed to his subject as he spoke. "The education of the people," he continued, "that is the great question. Why do you not concentrate attention upon that? To educate your people, to draw out of them that which is latent in them, to teach them the faculties which they themselves possess, to tell them how to use their senses and to make themselves at home with nature and with their surroundings,-who teaches them that? Your elementary schools. don't do it. No; nor your public schools. Your Eton and your Harrow are just as much to blame, perhaps even more so. What is the first object which a real education should aim at? To develop observation in the person educated, to teach him to use his eyes and his ears, to be keenly alive to all that surrounds him, to teach him to see, to observe,-in short, everything is in that. And then, after you have taught him to observe, the next great duty which lies immediately after observation is reflection,-to teach him to reflect, to ponder, to think over things, to find out the cause, the reason, the why and the wherefore; to put this and that together, to understand something of the world in which he lives, and so prepare him for all the circumstances of the life in which he may be found. But observation! Was there ever any method less calculated to develop the habit of observation than the practice of cramming up boys with the Latin and Greek grammar?

"Heaven forbid !" said Mr. Watts, "that I should say a word against the learning of Latin or Greek. I am all in favor of mastering the language of the classics, especially Greek; but the knowledge of the language is but as an instrument with which you can unlock the treasures of thought of these people. What do you do? What do you do? You send your boys to school, and simply impress, as it were with a stamp, the rules of grammar, to them utterly meaningless, and till applied utterly without interest. The result is that in nine cases out of ten a boy never gets more than a smattering of the language, and forgets it as rapidly as he possibly can after leaving school.



It is typical of the how not-to-do-it way that is characteristic of all our education. It neither teaches a man to live, nor how to make the best of himself, nor how to make the most of his

surroundings. Look in any direction you please. You turn out hundreds of thousands of young men and young women from your schools to mate and to make homes for themselves without teaching the girl how to bake or how to cook, and the boy the best way to lay a fire or boil a kettle. Everything hinges upon this, they are not taught to observe; they are not taught to reflect; and education, instead of being the development of those faculties of the mind which enable them to use their senses, and to reflect on what they see, has given place to a mere mechanical stamping upon the memory of forms of words many of which have no relation to anything that they will have to see and do in their after-life.


"Contrast this with the education of a sailor. Oh, I wish," said Mr. Watts, "that you would endeavor to rouse public opinion on this subject, to point out the abominable waste that goes on of human faculties, the amount of misery that comes into the world from the fact that our young people are turned loose without any training that is calculated to make them happy and comfortable. The smaller their means, the more need there is for them to be able to make the most of them. But we have had an opportunity recently of seeing what can be done by giving something of the education of the sailor to our village lads. A boy in this neighborhood who was left without proper guardianship was sent to school for a little time, and then afterward sent to a training ship. He came back recently on a visit to the old village, and his people were surprised by the change that had been wrought in him. It was a transformation; the lad was respectful, alert, quick in movement, nice in his manners, and his faculties had been thoroughly trained. Now what an object lesson is that! Here is a great task that might surely be commended to the attention of those excellent ladies who are to be found all over the land who are anxious to do good, but who do not know exactly how to set about it.


"Why should they not endeavor to check the waste of child-life that is going on, and to recog nize in practical fashion the guardianship which the nation owes to these its wards? Have you ever thought how many children there are growing up in our midst who have either no parents, or worse than none,-children of tramps, the offspring of criminals, or orphans, disinherited even of parentage,-who are growing up, if not exactly nobody's children, nevertheless without adequate parentage? Why should we not recog


nize the redemption of these children as one of those sacred tasks which in every age have appealed to the chivalrous sentiment of people? I would not call them Children of the State. No; they are the Children of the Nation, and the nation should set itself to the task of their redemption. Here and there philanthropists, no doubt, have done excellent work; but still, after all that has been done, how many thousands of children at this moment are growing up unnurtured, untended, uneducated in the worst sense of the word, to swell the tide of human misery! It is a marvel to me. It only shows how good we were originally, that human creatures who have such an origin should not grow up positive fiends.


"There is, in fact, some goodness in human nature that seems ineradicable by circumstances. Even among the Hooligans and roughs of the slums you will find immense capacities for selfsacrifice, which are оссаsionally revealed when fires or accidents make a sudden appeal to the heroism of humble life. Why should we allow such rough dia

THE PAINTER AT WORK. (Mr. Watts uses neither palette nor maul-stick.)

monds to escape without giving them adequate setting? It seems to me that we should stud the coasts of our country with training ships in which we should give the best education in the world to these Children of the Nation who are growing up to be the scourge and despair of civilization. This is the most urgent reform, -the utilization of the waste of humanity. I remember my old friend Lord Aberdare telling me once of a stream in Wales which was polluted by the waste product of some factory that had been established higher up the hills. It was a beautiful stream before the poisonous chemical refuse was flung into the upper water, but after that it was poisoned. All remonstrances were in vain. The owners of the factory relied upon legal right, and went on polluting the stream,

until at last the dwellers down stream took counsel with some chemists. They intercepted the waste product of the factory, and found that it was possible, by chemical treatment, to convert it into a source of great revenue. So it is with us. This stream of neglected boyhood flows into the channel of our national life at present. neglected, waste, and poisonous material. But training ships would be as the crucible of the chemist, converting what had been a source of danger into a source of health, strength, and wealth to the community."

I ventured at this point to state the familiar objections to institutions for training children, and said I thought a very third-rate mother was better than the best head of a barracks. Mr. Watts said he did not argue in favor of huge institu

tions. His idea was training ships. When painting his memorial to the heroes in humble life he had been more and more impressed by the way in which the primal instincts of manly heroism burst out and flowered under most rough and rugged surroundings.


"How is it," I asked, "that human society always seems to go rotten at the top?"

It is a natural law," said the painter; "for the struggle for existence cannot be suspended without loss. The law of combat is the law of life. When a man is comfortable, and has all that he wants, his fibers become relaxed. He is no longer pressed by the daily and hourly contest which is the condition of a strenuous life. Hence all races tend to decay when they achieve comfort. And that law of combat," said he, suddenly giving the conversation a personal turn, "is what you ignore in your opposition to war. War is but the ultimate form,-gross, rude, hor. ribly painful, no doubt, but the culminating

point of the rock of combat which is the condition of progress."

I ventured to protest against that theory. "Logically," said I, "your principle, which I accept in certain aspects, would, if applied as you apply it, lead you to advocate the restoration of the Heptarchy or of the condition of internecine feud which prevailed in the Middle Ages. It seems to me that war between nations is simply a hideous waste of forces, which, if compelled to confine their combat within less barbarous bounds, would produce greater results for the good of the race."


Mr. Watts shook his head.

"You may be right, but the time for achieving that ideal is not yet come. You must learn to tolerate the universal law which governs the progress of mankind. It does not follow that when you go to war with people you hate them. I think that our soldiers in South Africa have demonstrated that. They have done their best to

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