+ ~ -
Please report pronunciation problems here. Select and sample other voices. Options Pause Play
Report an Error

dream that a real red-tape official goes up daily to
the Vatican, and is closeted for hours with the
Cardinal Secretary of State, arranging English
interests with that person, and playing a little at
diplomatic chess.

Meantime, company pours in fast and thick.
Court Suits are overborne utterly, and finally
break down, having at last to make no more
than a feint of going through their office.
French colonels are brought up in clusters,
and go through their bowing with a finished
grace. Enter profusely the gold dolls,
brethren of the cloth: and when envoy meets
envoy, then comes the tug of wrist and
industrious shake of welcome. The heads
plenipotential keep jerking downward towards
each other with the spasmodic motion of robins
and canaries slaking their thirst. I am told
that both these motions, in proportion to their
length, are demonstrations of extravagant
diplomatic affection.

Liveried retainers in the uniform (temporarily
I suspect, for a reason to be mentioned
presently), come struggling by, freighted with a cool
load of ices, and cut their bright way through.
The ices are fashioned into pleasing configurations
of plump yellow pears and scored tortoise
backs. More perilous is that heap of bonbons,
macaroons, and such toothsome delicacies, piled
high upon a tray, in a slippery and uncertain
cohesion, borne also by a daring menial into the
very thick of the crowd. Broad hands are
plunged into the dainty heap, and return with a
rich booty. It seems to me that each succulent
item is detached according to the delicate
manipulation which can alone secure success at the
exciting sport of Jack Straws. How the whole
was not overthrown and swept overboard by
redundant cuffs and flaps, strewing the carpet
with luscious d├ębris, is to me a source of the
strangest speculation.

In this fashion, then, is the noble baron
at home until close upon midnight; the polyglot
company, remaining firmly compact, eddying
and fluctuating, and at the same hothouse
temperature, until that hour when it begins to

There remains only this pregnant fact to be
appended by way of moral. The noble baron has
a book in which you are invited to subscribe
your name (not without a certain overstrained
courtesy and anxiety on the part of the book-
holders): with a view, it is to be presumed, of
his knowing who had done him the honour of
waiting on him. With another view, also: to
be discovered betimes on the morrow

Certain gentlemen in shabby cloaks, and very
shabby cocked-hats, will come round officially
to your hotel, and send up by waiter their desire
that you would enrich the hand that last night
presented the ice, hat, or coat. These are
ducal or baronial menials: so we think we must
not wound their nicer feelings by a poor
honorarium. But this is pure weak-mindedness, and
a mistake. Any humble offering will suffice.
Date obolum! Two Pauls, say, and you will have
their prayers. But I think it is not handsome
on the part of the noble baronat least not
conducive to the honour of the noble nation he


IT would be a good thing for the taught, if
teachers fairly understood that, among the young
always, and among the old most commonly, the
relation of ten hours' learning to five hours' learning
is not as ten to five. We understand that
Mr. Edwin Chadwick has been engaged lately in
researches among teachers and scholars in
national schools, factory schools, and elsewhere,
which, when their results are detailed, will
demonstrate what reason alone might suffice to
establish as a truth, that the children of the working
classes who study books only for three or
four hours a day and give the rest of their time
to play and active labour, have brighter wits and
more true knowledge than those who are at
school both in the morning and the afternoon,
and spend their evenings in preparing lessons.
Employers of intelligent labour in the manufacturing
districts have discovered the superiority of
half-time scholars. In the agricultural districts,
let a boy work half the day at school and half
the day in the fields, and he brings energy of
health to studies never followed with a jaded
mind, while he has time enough out of school
for the digestion of his mental food, and it
becomes, not a weight to be borne on his mind's
back, but part of its life and growth, source of
new strength. A boy's or a girl's body thrives
by food given at about four hour intervals, and
the mind only is made sickly by incessant stuffing!
Intellectual growth depends not upon
quantities devoured, nor very much on the sort
of nourishing and wholesome food that may be
taken, but on that strength of the digestive
power which is certainly destroyed by gluttony.
"I read fourteen hours a day," said a proud
working student to a famous scholar. "Indeed,
sir!" was the reply; "and pray when do you

The practical issue of Mr. Chadwick's
inquiries is to show that without laying any more
bricks upon bricks, we can almost double the
school accommodation, while we improve the
efficacy of instruction for the masses. Grant that
three hours a day of energetic study in the
schoolhouse, with the hour or two of home preparation
it demands, gives to a child's brain as much of
that particular form of diet as it can digest, and
we throw open the national schoolroom or the
factory school every day to two bodies of
scholars. A hundred may be taught where there
was only space for fifty, and at the end of the
year the hundred will have sounder knowledge,
brighter wit, and, at the same time, healthier
frames, than would have been given to the fifty
with cramped bodies and crammed heads.

Many teachers, we know, honestly believe
that the young mind has no digestive power;
that its stomach is, so to speak, a sack of
unlimited size and elasticity which is to be stuffed
with knowledge, likelyor not at all likelyto be