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admit, done no harm and much good. Nobody
is ruined by it, and many men find it their interest,
as it is their humane and generous wish, to
make the education given to their young half
time workers, half time learners, really good.
By that one of the Factory Acts which enforces
education of the hands in cotton mills, as it
passed the Commons, there was a power given
to the inspectors which would have enabled
them to secure efficiency of schoolmasters. The
House of Lords changed the enabling into a
permissive clause granting no powers at all, and
making it, therefore, of no more use to a factory
inspector than it would be to a Cham of Tartary.
The consequence is that a large number of the
schools which give certificates are not schools.
"I have been," says Mr. Homer, "in many
such schools, where I have seen rows of children
doing absolutely nothing; and this is certified
as school attendance, and, in statistical returns,
such children are set down as being educated."
Old men and dames who can barely read and
write, sometimes a dame who can read, with a
man who spares time to set writing copies upon
slates, maimed factory hands converted into
teachers by the thoughtless kindness of mill
ownersin cellars, in bedrooms among the beds,
in kitchens where all household work is going on,
receive forty, sixty, or eighty children. The
inspector has no power to refuse a schoolmaster's
certificate except on the ground that he cannot
teach reading or writing; those are indefinite
terms, and give, in fact, no power at all of

But there are many good schools formed and
sustained by our millowners, and although
nothing can be said for the larger, and in one
half of the half time school system to which we
have referred, yet in the case of all the reasonably
good schools there is a marked success.
As we have said in a former number, when
discussing half time before, the children in the half
time schools actually learn more, understand
what they learn better, and get sounder habits
of study with more quickness of apprehension,
than is usual among children who go to school
every day for the usual six hours. At the same
time their half day's factory work becomes the
brisker and the better. Languid attention
is a loss rather than a gain in education. That
three hours a day of thorough schooling, for
the rich as for the poor, are better than four,
four better than five, Mr. Hammersley, the
headmaster of the Manchester School of Art,
says, that in Manchester and its neighbourhood,
he had in every case, with one exception, found
the short time schools giving the most satisfactory
results. " I was able," he adds, " in these
schools, to eliminate a large number of successful
works, out of which to select the prize
students, and the general character of the drawing
was better, and in every case the drawing
was executed with greater promptitude. When
I examined the Rochdale School, these
peculiarities were startlingly evident. The discipline
was excellent, the regularity of action and the
quickness of perception such as I was in no
wise prepared for, and at the time I could not
have resisted (even if I had wished to resist)
the conviction, that this mainly arose from the
feeling possessing the whole of the children, that
time was valuable and opportunity passing." In
every form of education, this confining of the
study to the period of vigorous cheerful attention,
seems to have the same result which we
should have expected of it in a less degree, but
may not have been prepared to expect in the
form of emphatic evidence, that giving sound
morning work a perpetual state of half holiday
from the schoolmaster is a more royal road even
to knowledge than incessant drudge. The vast
importance of a full perception of this truth to
the practical dealing with unsolved questions of
national education is most obvious. The school
room has space for two different sets of young
learners, as the field and factory may have two
sets of young workers. Wherever the worth of
the child's labour depends on painstaking, the
half day's industry for wages may approach
closely to the value of a whole day's work,
while all that can be desired is yet given to the
securing of another generation against some of
those sharper miseries which are the plague of
ignorance as fevers are the plague of filth.


NOTHING surprises readers of Oriental stories,
such as the Arabian Nights, more than the rapid
changes of feeling exhibited by the chief actors,
and the frequent inadequacy of the motives
assigned to produce such changes. Thus, the tyrant
suddenly relents on his hearing his intended victim
recite some moving lines from a Persian poem,
or some moral text from the Koran; the bad
man casts his slough of cruelty and selfishness,
and appears in the radiance of complete virtue,
for no better reason than that he has listened to
a good story or a witty saying. Justice is
disarmed by an epigram; the burglar abandons his
booty on accidentally " tasting the salt" of the
householder; the genie is your friend or enemy
according as you possess or lose some magic
ring or lamp; and lovers and loved ones (but
this, perhaps, is common to the whole world)
are at the mercy of all kinds of vicissitudes,
that change the current of a life in the turning
of an eye. The East has been called the land of
unbending conservatism; but it is also the land
of violent revolutions, and this unstable element
seems not only to affect the fate of thrones, but, to
modify the character of the various peoples. The
Persians, in particular, are remarkable for their
impulsive and fickle character, as any one may
see in the wonderful collection of tales which
has given to the West its chief impressions of the
East; for the book beloved of our childhood is
really more Persian than Arabian, despite its
title, the manners depicted being those of the
cultivated dwellers in Bagdad and Shiraz, not
those of the solitary and sullen wanderers in
the deserts of the great Red Sea peninsula.

The story which we are now proceeding to
relate is a story of actual Persian life at the