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We went into the play-ground of the
junior department, where more than a hundred
and fifty children were assembled. Some
were enjoying themselves in the sunshine,
some were playing at marbles, others were
frisking cheerfully. These children ranged
from four to seven years of age. There
are some as young as a year and a half in the
school. The greater number were congregated
at one end of the yard, earnestly watching
the proceedings of the master who was
giving fresh water to three starlings in cages
that stood on the ground. One very young
bird was enjoying an airing on the gravel.
Two others were perched on a cask. The
master informed us it was a part of his
system to instruct his charges in kindness
to animals by example. He found that the
interest which the children took in the
animals and in his proceedings towards
them, was of service in impressing lessons
of benevolence among them towards each
other. The practical lessons taught by the
master's personal attention to his feathered
favourites, outweighed, he thought, the theoretic
inconsistency of confining birds in cages.

The play-ground is a training school in
another particular. On two sides grew several
currant trees, on which the fruit is allowed to
ripen without any protection. Though some
of the scholars are very young, there do not
occur above two or three cases of unlawful
plucking per annum. The appropriate punishment
of delinquents is for them to sit and see
the rest of their school-fellows enjoy, on a day
appointed, a treat of fresh ripe fruit whilst
they are debarred from all participation.

The personal appearance of the pupils was
not prepossessing. Close cropping the hair
may be necessary at the first admission of a
boy, but surely is not needed after children
have been for some time trained in the
establishment, in habits of cleanliness. The tailors
of the establishment (its elder inmates), are
evidently no respecters of persons. Measuring
is utterly repudiated, and the style in vogue
is the comic or incongruous. The backs of the
boys seemed to be Dutch-built; their legs
seemed cased after Turkish patterns; while
the front view was of Falstaffian proportions,
some of the trousers are too short for the legs,
and some of the legs too short for the trousers.
The girls are better dressed. Amongst them are
some of prepossessing faces, intelligent appearance,
and pleasing manners. Here and there
may be discerned, however, vacancy of look,
and inaptness to learn. Among the boys,
sometimes, occurs a face not quite clean enough,
and a shirt collar that seems to have suffered
too long a divorce from the wash-tub.

During the time we spent in the play-
ground, sundry chubby urchins came up to
the master with small articles which they
had found; it being the practice to impress
on each, that nothing found belongs to the
finder unless, after due inquiry, no owner can
be discovered. One brought something looking
like liquorice; another produced a
halfpenny, which the master appropriated.
Perhaps, the master had dropped the halfpenny
to test the honesty of some of his pupils.
One little fellow was made happy by permission
to keep a marble which he had picked up.

The children obeyed the summons to school
with pleasing alacrity. This is owing partly
to the agreeable mode of tuition adopted, and
in some measure to the fact that the lessons
are not allowed to become tedious and oppressive.
As soon as any parties give unequivocal
signs of weariness, either there is some
playful relaxation introduced, or such children
are sent into the play-ground. On the present
occasion, as soon as the master applied his
mouth to a whistle, away trooped the children
in glad groups to an ante-room. Here,
arranged in five or six rows, boys and girls
intermixed stood with eyes fixed on the
master, awaiting his signals. At the word of
command, each alternate row faced to the
right, the others to the left, and filed off,
accompanying their march with a suitable tune;
their young voices blending in cheerful
harmony, while they kept time by clapping their
hands, and by an occasional emphatic stamp
of the foot.

To enliven the routine of school duties, the
master's cur takes part in them. He is a
humorous dog, with an expressive countenance,
and a significant wag of the tail. In
the intervals of lessons, his dutywhich is
also his pleasureconsists in jumping over
the benches or threading the labyrinths of
little legs under them. Now he darts with
wild glee into a spelling class; now he rushes
among an alphabet group, and snarls a playful
"r-r-r-r," as if to teach the true pronunciation
of the canine letter; now he climbs up
behind a seated urchin, puts his forepaws on
the favourite's shoulders, and, with a knowing
look towards the master, recommends his
friend for promotion to a monitorship.

It was surprising to find that the pupils
took not the slightest notice of the antics of
the master's dog. They heeded nothing but
their lessons; but we learned that the dog
was a part of the discipline. He accustomed
the children to startling eccentricities and
unexpected sounds: he presented a small,
extraneous, but wholesome difficulty in the
pursuit of Knowledge. He, and the currant
bush, the pretty treasure-troves, and other
contrivances, were intentional temptations
which the children were trained to resist.
We beg very pointedly to recommend the
study of these facts to the attention of the
inventors and advocates of the Pentonville Model
system. They involve an important principle,
and a principle equally applicable to adults
as to children. The morals of the young, or
the penitence of the criminal, which result
from a system depriving the pupil of every
possible temptation to do otherwise than right,
will assuredly lapse into vice when incentives
to it are presented. Evil exists very plentifully

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