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THE CHALLENGER EXPEDITION.

: ' {Daily' Nciß&) ' . In the,, section .between;, Bermuda, the Azores; and 'Madeira,the bottom temperature ' was ascertained nineteen tiroes) aiid" seventeen station series pf temperature spuiidings were taken at varioua5 'intervals and to different depths, but usually at intervals of 100 fathoms from- the surface to 1500.'>''> The bottom temperature was found to.be on the whole very uniform; " This section,* like the : first! between Teneriffe and- '■■ St.; Thpmas, is divided, intp;two trpugha, -this time;by the plateau,of Azores; but there seems every likelihood, that jthe. V Dolphin rise", of the .first/seQtipn is continuous with that plateau. The.-;eastern valley is .here, hpweyer, very much1 contracted, an A, the westerhi which includes'the littles pinnacle of Bermuda, is widened'to^ & corresponding.degreeV : :'! "Twienty^five'deep soundings were taken in this section, "and on each occasion: a sufficient sample* of -the bbttom was recovered. "- The depths between Bermuda and Madeira were not so great as in.tthe first, Bection, no single jSouncling; having reached 20QO fathoms. A number, of soundings in the western yalley gaye,a.calcareous1 ooze more or, less mixed witl^ t'redclay, containing many Eoramenjfera, biit'■;' nbt ia , preponderancei'^ pf, recogpisabie GlbbigerinEe ; '■' toI.this " 'Professor';: 'y? jville Thomson ?fias''given'the' ianie of ''grey ooze." Near the Azores'the'poze first becama mixed/With small lumps, of pumice, 'and aa the ship >;gofc in' among", the 'islandsfgave place; ;to ,;a! volcanic sand^ the product or the disintegratipni:pf. ( beds pf yplcaniorasli and of tracaytip arid dolerjtic layas. ?...;,';

,;, The deep, water dredging along 'this. line "was not very productive .so far as animal life is concerned^; thpugK" many ne^;: formi wer6' attded,/several of them pf great in* t'ere'sß ;Many pf the; species were identical witH-'those !deyeloped in the* Lightning and Porcupine,'?? and : in ' the ' Challenger in her northern ■ section ; and in the entire aasemblage certainly confirms the opinion that the deep-sea" fauna-is very uniform, and that its constituent; species are very widely distrijbuted.f Many °f the species which are found an, the^seas of .the A^oresat depths beyond ,1000 fathoms have a remarkable cbrrespondence. with northern types;, and Profesßor Thomson regards "thw as simply. additional evidence* of the wide extension of a deep-sea fauna' living under; conditions similar to those of lesser depths in higher latitudeß. 1 ; - On; Wednesday,* June: 18;- the ship was in • about :lat; 35 deg: JN"., and lon. 60 deg. W. In; this parfc of the voyage the absence of the ; higher fforms' of auimaT life was veryistrik.ing. The Challenger was now in the neighIbqurhopd of the Sargasso Sea, with which ] thpse on bpard : had now: become familiar, as : they T had; already nearly circumnavigated it. Not a sea'bird was to be.seeiji,, with pie exception of a: little flock 6£ Mother Carey's chickensi which kept playing round the ship, on the5 watch for food, every now and then, concentrating ; upon some ; jjeculiarly rich, store of scraps as it passed'astern,f and staying ;.by it while .the ship went on for a, quarter of a mile, fluttering above the water and daintily; touching it with, their feet aa they stooped and picked;up the;fl.oating crumbs, and then rising and scattering in the air to overtake us, and resume their watch.

The "sea itself in the bright weather, usually under" alight breeze, was singularly beautiful—of a splendid indigo blue of varying shadel'aa' it parsed-from: sunlight -into shadbwj 'flecked with curling white crests ; bub those on: board felt very solitary f.. day after day'went by withoufc-a single creature (shark, iporpoise, *' dolphin, -or turtle) being visible.; ■.' Some gulf weed* passed from time to time,; and, bunches f pf a species oi.Fuciis, evidently living and growing, and participating in,the wandering and pelagic, habits of Sargcyssum'.,.',The floating. islands' of the gulfweed are usually from a couple of feet'to two or threSijards in diameter^" sometimes" much, larger Yon' bne or'two occasions fields several acres in- Extent were' seei^ and sicn expanses are 1 probably more ; frequent: - fearer ■ the centre of itsarea of distribution."-"They consiatß:of * single' layer of feathery bunches •of ..the I weed .Sargassum bacciferum, I not matted together, but floating nearly free of ■pne another, only sufficiently entangled for the mass ~to keep ; together. The general .colour of, the mass of weed is thus olive in all its1 shades^.but the golden olive of the. young and growing branches greatly predominates. This colour is, however, greatly broken op by ;the?; delicate "branching of the Weed, blotched with'the ■ vivid white of the encrusting polyzoori; and riddled by reflecfions from the bright blue water gleaming through the spaces in the network. The general effect of a number of such fields and patohes of weed in abrupt and yet most harmonious contrast with the leaves of intense indigo which separate them is very pleasing. / These floating islands have inhabitants peculiar to them, which exhibit perfect examples of protective resemblance, i Animals drifting about on Ijhe surface of the sea with such scanty cover as the single broken layer 6f the seaweed must be exposed to exceptional danger from the sharp aea^birds hovering above them, and from the' huncrv fishes; searching,: for prey : beneath ; But one and allvof these creatures imitate in such an extraordinary way, both in,form and colouwng, their floating, habitat, .and consequently one another, that -it is easy to. imagine their deceiving both? the birds and n? e fi, slie^. ''-f pong .the moßt' curious of the gulf-weed animals is the grotesque little; fish Probably ; Antertnarim marmonthis^ which n,id,3 its; nearest English ally in tHe"« Qihxnl trog_fLophnuii£catonii*),oitQQ. thrown ud on thei coast of ;Bntain; and Conspicuous for the disproportionate size of its 7 head' and jaws, and for its general uglinees and rapa-

The;,first school^'erected by thti'Te^A School Board has been opened bvS^A^i Fairbairn, : the ■ obairtriaS^hVSit^MT school, which will accommodate 8(>O >vi dren, has been £10,000. The fJS * " ixo t kers^ol3^^|^^

, Mi-Preston, a reverend gentleman V*La „ The late season of pearl fislnVo-ir.+ii. •

t ,,, TEACHING HT3TORY,IH ; ;SCHOQLS.

;. . The: fpilpwing. : ,paperV,,pn ..theuiabove

l:- subject was read by;>M» Milne, of <D«ver-; ;'!;- : shailn^- at:the^^^grijblfl,y^mebtiflg^olf the, ~,-A ..■.lU\ebueinessof,',the,Jbiistorian is stated

-/?<-by M^oauiay toribei'? toieixtract, the philo-•■i7-v sophy- of -&i3tory>'Mo direct our j iidgment of events and men, and to draw from the occurrences' of fornrertimes general lessons '• Mi'story," says'' Bblirigbrokej' "is >#J^ philosophy Reaching by. examples ho W;tb.' J oureeives in all the. situations:: of y" priva^ 'aiM.public iife: History is a colss! * leetibh'-'of the journals-'of' those who have travelled through the same country, and: 'tv t'beeii^ipdsedto'the same-accidents, and *;;" tlibir good and'their ill-success are equally (Vi instructive;'-' 'All'hiatory' that,dea'c6nds to^ '■ ■"'' -a sufficient'detail, of human actions and' 7;' u[ .characters is .useful to'bririjS;:'us acquainted '.1?* spjecies^ nay,' with ourselves. tpach,!and'.''to,.inculcate,.tbe"general ,^ *. principles] of 'virtue, arid the general rules ■'«'• '■-■ ) oi' wisdom and^good.po.icy, which result .from such details; of actions andcharac-, n>: .ters,. comesfor t the most.part,- and should '■"''■' always come/ expressly arid directly into i :, ithe design of those who are capable of -: such;details." >l ;'■'';..' . ' jt.m 'Buch, according to these: high'''authbri--~'-r;ties,,is the object ,of history ;' and if we f"' ".consider the purpose .of education to '. be' =' y\ the. j^ormS,fion pf! character,''', it is cvi- *;„' dent! that no,subject ,pf..soudy can more lj- f .-:effoc'tiv.eiy conduce,toithat end- than his.- > f Hi:tory.!si; 3'he jformation ; of character im>, Esrupliea.the training of the, whole, inan—ofj ; ?; V ,'all. his 'iacultieß, • mental and :moral, or, ■fM< v according to Lawrie, *'instruction in those jtm Hiabrai preceplsarid duties which it behoves *?}■'. v hM id:-know'arid to practise." To stijdy' "I 1"; '' thff great events. of aiicient and iritdefn* tmes!| ,to' trac6. the" causes which' have i :'pro<iuQ^d.'niheni'; "to .pass under review; , .^thei^.'leafiingiactors,, and the motives ;by Ijv' : v been, actuated ; to. anaf^.^Jyserfche'ir\characters t and motives ;to k*t the lofty and the good onfthe one side, and the-low-and-selnsh-on-the other ;; to -//•investigate! the cpi^setiueijces which-have '.'■'"foiiowed.^ on the worid^at,large, on the happiness or misery of the liuntan race ; to. trace their' '- y'::- affect 1 oritheactors, when,arid how virtue ' f '''' ' 3ias ' Bubcessf ul,. arid, its authoif'diily^ "■';'? r^ewardeci' •. wHen i'i'ce is put dowii, 3 and ' (V 'iik , Hi3tigatqr /punishfjd—is . the highest ; fj*j:;■ secuiar F ,aJLm'whieH. A.man can set before -°;!? \ himself ij^ this life. Such a study would bring iittO operation every faculty of the •At humaa mind.fi; The memory, 'the power' i •" ~:.of;<ab^traotibnj' the judgment,' the irioral' ai-y. adinsej would , eachr.be called' into' active' .Y^jeier'cise ; :eacbl faculty^ would' itself; be u*f imptfovedy\aricif would in' turn improve; '"■■' the ritter^'wKU'eHhe^esul^'df'.the'.iyhole; y.; fwuuid''B'e.,_thatIt3i : e student would ,become '.I' }!'\ ,a,.bett^- nian and a better,citizen. ' Talte f ''■ "■' any event:pf B^^M ai°ryr-a^ study it.. , -, ; r j. in ;3.U '.ife. ibearings, what; an,^amount of: '■''■;, >,inteJlectiial wprk is required to master it,;; piVi* and/what, an ;admirable -mteritaL discipline < v» ; doea Tit;form. ;;Take,-tfor-instance,' the life ■ ?'.iti»nd! tim63 ' of' Oliver Grqmwell. "'■■: --' W& '''-■ sHc)tird; have !to! 'consider"the".state bfi y"'-;'society at the time,' socialj political,'arid/ •*■*: religious, arid ho* tliat state had beeri- %^ br6ug.^t .;about; v the. ! connection, be-. /; j.,: ;:tween;\tfee Religious; liberty," .obtained ;!'.''^v.a^'the''Bei - orm^tion,;,(for.'tihe right of pri-: judgment;is a great liberty), and the ; ;■; : strotigi.dpsire whicji ! sopn isprang up foe, ;■>-,:political liberty. i <We. -.should have further j;:,i;;.to^corisider%the effects of ■ the diffusion of: .?■-'-■ j; learning, and>of >the:Tise;and'spread of■: Puritanism./. We'sliould' also, haye to in-I'!,q\iireV'why,;'wlii|e'-'tli^;^ kirr ty^^^ading''amb^ the Ea!'J"a.eßirev |3^ i'absolu:te^ ppwer was, B.ecqmiagV V^ 4; vheer^*arid strbnger^.in,' the bpspms of fl; \' A |^Stewiarts, aridJw^s^iildTSayßjpiWeigb * ? r,( thetefeefcof jill these on, the pharacters of . /H s^rgipwell .;.and i,.hi3 .cpntemp.oraries, as; r'|,f ideteicmining .the; course of{eventsirom the. - :;>i itiine-;he ;iodk<a leading- part in-the affairß ' I vof 'ithe nation. •:: We should- 'have further ■■/■;r. ,;'toi-• trace?*the: causes'; -of the revulsion of-. •; /; < f efeling? took place the Reßtpration, • ■' ! -MHow a' people/-pare" arid' even auVfere in 't;- ::'^lieir iiibrals^ passed'in a very short time '"'5 fr(in4!that! state. tp/otie of iiceritibusness, t'..":.'. : ,haTO,to.examine ' "racter/ipff:Gharieß;,the".JFirst, an,d of his; ;:«;■ . cavalieis^; and, the effect.;pf; his death on : ; '. "ft the diberty of the country pahd crossing; s*c" • ithe-iAtlantic, we.l should have to]look at. >' i "the^results which'liave followetl'the plant* '•'";, itig^kii 't\ie' American: ■Gplonies tof ; that* si >i ■:', periods 'We could; riot, separate'tliat porir \- / tibri" of Jotir' histdfy frotri; that of the' pre- ■•*': ■l'c¥dirig'!9'eritu^y and^a-lialfj'ripr' frpiri the i >',; riati6'ri'al[; histbfy frpm; that : time.. till the ' l^i-t'VP-?P?®!*^fv.4 ayri .-';-'W®'' h "slibuld.>^iay;e' ; 'to'.Btu.4y'.' J';l.Vjt|ie/ v d^^Vaote^s;qf.'sQIm l e of jihe .be,st and g]T %I'rl some v pf'..the^.yprst^ men of pur.country.; "V. ; and,w,e-should have to:; exerciae;our juiig- . 3 amenta; on the-characters of some whos& .••■;* ■■;.-, place-in history is not yeb fixed, * but who ',y''are: placed sometiiiies in! One class and '•'■'"■'^Bbmetim'eEC'in'theflther:'-- ;--^-iy^-'^-- .-•>-■■. ' ? -:: To;aid°in'the formation both of our own charaoters arid.of the 'jharacters of ■'■ 'those'entr^ist'e'd to' our charge,..ii.>vpuld; ! .".'be^b'f, gYe'at importance for, us tp have con- , stantiy before qur .iiairid's eye.'a r model or. .'''■'./ standard byr whiclf.to measure ourselves ,;.,, aridrijthose ,we -wer^ /^training.' .:;Such a v, ..model, .would be very jhard/ito find in j.i!i English History;-;-The'Americans have *■■ -.-their. Washii)gtnn-i-"'Eirst in peacei first ■•■■■"' in war,- and -first in ;the ;rliearts r6f his' it ■' couhtryirieii.'v"'His'character is'iri their

■'!;;' ''''eses'-perfccfu)jt.''.< TE& possession df'su'ch. a :"'^character4s::of'immense; advantage to a ■*'"'^.people.' .ifiiil, though rib'Buch,£erfectchaf I..'■'.'ratter."may .exist'ln jEngliis, K{History, ,-we' [''-".'._ -e^nffjirm one. fpr')btirselvps v ,.' Wb can. . take s x>art iJEnitn, one and..part,from. an r • r,;otljer~6ne virtue f mm. this nian,. another !.- ..:■ Jromttiaty and build up.tlve various parts ■u?i* into one unanimous whole-. .'Energy and i>'! oarnfeatn.ess" i-f purpose we: might draw ■r: from Nelson, devotion to duty1 from'Wei* ? '■■' lingfion,- chivalrous feeling from ''^Raleigh, -• ■■" "hunjauity frbtti.'Sir ;Ehilip^ 1 Sydney, phi-. *~ " lanilirb^y;^from Howard,; arid, so. on till ' *we had; finish'ed;a''^in6aei to, ',p"nr " safcisf ac- ' :. .'jfcidn.q The formation. q£; such,? a model ;/_ require ,the\-pliilpspphicaV;st.udy of If. 4}ie; character;.ofVeach, individualrr-pf. the ,';'.-..':wiiiole a^oJUw^cter^of-<:'&erman'r'.in!:'all:i'ts: ■ of the circumstances;in Much "■• ■■-., be -was. placed joihe- temptations; to which--:'■■■■■■'h^watfiexp'bsed; and^the'mea n g (he1 adopted x:.: : Itbs(3Vbrc6me them. '''We ■■■should; require. to, enter, • asWwef ej,' into Ms life, *t6 rweigh t^^i^yet^^orie^bt'KiS'-Mfs^^o'^se'^afete. the "f1' gos'd"! 'fr*?rn* ?^tye^.'l^ad;,' "t^'exfract; tliS ;pat';' ':r:;';!iticvil^r r'r oiuii]ity, ; , <>?JmmoV'rai^djtb; our' ;.;'i.''.:mj( : iilel,--:aiifl , fQ c;^t;the!^esija4'j|e!.; ..■.^ihi» i '", 'in' itself ..w.ould form., an excoUenjk course ,':^;.-o'f; inentalirainirsg,. and by, the:.time ;we v; T'liad.compleied/our model,'O.urLQWiv-cha-. :/ i racter would gradually and imperceptibly {■■ .have come to bear a r very ; close resem- ;■ : ' blance'to it.' ' r— ■' ;•.-"■■"■; ■■■■'''''■ '"' :!- ----*•-"..-■•: Thesdj 'theti,: are some'"of the1 advan- •';■-■■ tages * td."be'.<)btained by a proper study of: ■■ j history;.''; Icpme .'next to consider iii:how v far ''our'pupils derive the^e t advantages ;, ifrom it as taught by us. Ido iipt intend " ' nayremarlcs to apply to pupilslnsecpnd,y ary schools, or even to the most-advanced - : ip»pi's.-in primary schools, ■ but, l .would , -•; certainly apply them-f.to every-pnpil who ": .could mot: pass creditably in. the Sixth Standard at home or in the Victorian schools." -•■•'■';.■■.■•

~ .,' Before, consideririg the'subject generally; I wish to bring forward an objection to teaching history -atfall in.'Govern--i jii'int sciLOols at the present time, arid Tvliieli has already caused its exclusion ■'•'•frbin the schools of other Colonies similarly circumstanced as New, Zealand,"and "tliat'iaj'tiie religious .objections. Ido ' not thiTik that, in a truly national,sys- ■ ■ie.ni/ Itne history of, such a country as England : can be t&ught without, giving oflVace.-/It wmy.be said that it can be " done, and is done at home ; but we must remember that the home system, both ißneHsh and Scotch, is in many respects ■; denominational, and evn if -it was not, ; ?tnia people? are not so mixed aa m; the •'Colonies.1.",-'- ,'"'_. i ~. ....'. ■tii'""'^

secniarise, the teaching pf history.., ? r The religion of..any people eriters,very largely into the formation of the character of that ipeople; and without considering the nature and effects of religion, an estimate of that character must be deficient. Again, religiori orecclfsiasticism enterssp largely into th c history of our own country, both internally, and in its relations with f oreignpo wers, that due' coDsideratiori must be .given to'its influence; The politipal tendencies. 9|.'the! religion and of .its leaders mupt ;be t weighed, and this cannot be. done, without giving pffence c tp. the pareivts of the , children.- How is it possible-f or any teacheryProtestant or. Roman Catholic, to teach the history of the Reformation to a mixed class without offending the opposite partyi arid the younger the class, the more likelyWould offence be rtaken, as the pupils,5 tinable to follow the instructibris as a whole, would get hold of detached expressions used by. thei master, and turn them to a very different, perhaps the very opposite,, purpose to"that;,for which they were in-, tended^ And what Fo.uld the history jof the-Tudor Period, or even of Mr Gladr stone's administration for the»last few years, beiwithout the religious element ? !Doubtless an attempt has' beeri made. in some text-bookdy' notably iri the one: in commori f!u^ein otir schools, to make such history palatable" to: both parties ; but it is merely, a "sqftening of hard words—a praiseworthy^endeavour to abstain from calling eV.ch :other names. The, great events of the/Reformation and their.conaequences cannpti.be gotoyer, nor cantlie cruelties exercised,-by,each in turn agafr st the .other, be-softened down, nor blotted out from the page. '• : Again,1 most teachers hold strong views on religio-his'torical questions, and cannot - help, occasionally "giving expression to such^ and ,^3,11 dp sb everi. unwittingly to themselves.jKand if %.'.teacher can at : all "times . exerqise sufecient self control; tb keep-.these. ■y l ie.ws..in; the.backgrcund, his teaching becomes cold, formal, and lifeless. ~'.:Hi'rheat-t is notinits work. He, is conscipus-fthat; he ;s compelled to act the part' bf-'a hypocrite, and he may-be thankful. if ;his, pupils dp^no^^make the isame discovery. I consider it very wrong toplace a,teacher in such a position, and to expect' him" to be impartial iri it ia to look- for'; something 'more'--than humarif Our greatest, historians have failed-in this res-pect;, arid how can perfection be looked for in a* poor schoolmaster ?'The -aijitt/eccresiasticaT views of Gibbon, ihe hjgli preroga.tiye tendencies of,Hume, ,and the pf.yMacaulay are well known. A .teacher ,whp ?VP^d .dare to find fajultvyrftk ' the mariagemerit' 'of . ecclesiastical Sfrvri^'g'eV4ral^,''''or'-tq''"Bfty tliat'eyery chiirchnvan Ji:frotn • Archbishop' 'Dimstan ;downwards' wKo'has meddled in political 'matters ;'has "sown religious ■discorjii" and thrown mattters into cpiifusion, would, without enquiry'as to the truth of ;his pqaitipn, bja., branded, as a heretic by-both parties^ ; It.is needless to'enquire how far this dimculty.-wonli be obviated by deno - ; minatipnaUiSahools,,. I believe,. if, it,were, ; removed- frbmc|the steadier, ■ leaving, him free? to.-acfc accordin^.tb his ownieelingß. •the evil:- would !b'e intensified tenfold to society by'the i narrow sectarian views of -history'inculcatedby -sucha. system.- ' '" Coming'ribw:;to history, as it is taught, "anda3riit c&n in our district schools." 1 maintain that" it "is tw |all intents and purposes practically useless ; pr;": at any rate tlie results are, not at all epmraenaurate with;the time and trouble ■bestowed,upon.it.;. I believe that.few, if any";; of ouriteaohers have given sufiici|ent time to the study of history vto be able to 'teach;it'in a philosophical spirit ;■ nor even if b'urteachers;are able tq; do-80, are the minds of our jpupils" sufficieritly 'expanded to receive sucli.'instructions; 'be^ 'able tii Vtes<4 r9t^4y)'; 7s W(?,u^ T. e<l"?:^ to have more philqspphical niin.ds than imanjj'of'us 'areendpwed yfith, 'and to de; vote'inore \iircie-. and rese.arch to the .it jdy than it ip in onrpower.tp do. We should have to masterj not ;.ono history, but many ; in short; we should: have.tp bo brigirial.' 'We have noi complete; history of Englandi1' Ohr best histories are tb a large extent: fragmentary, an d, as I* have rio'ticed, i'Vißf'/'are far from; being impartial.', From' these disjointed; materials, %en| -yve shoulfl require to form a h'istorj7 "oipur.^own v^ This .might be : done ;by a, Prpfe'sspr tin."a, ."Upiversity,/but.npfc by ja teacher .■'.of & priniary, ;sbhopl, -who has many: other things of more importanqe to attend to, and who, ibesidesj has : neither tlme^noroneans to. devote to the study. Wouid-'any--one*: among ua presume to analyse the: character of Oliver Cromwell; arid to cqiivey to a class pf children under fqurtee'n' years of a^ge a" proper estimate of that*character l : and without fully cqniprehehdirig, .arid', enabling; our pupils ■to comprehenjd- the. character., of the .man, can we J comprehend the events of ,that . important periudl? I;The mere \ facts niay be stored up in the memory, but. that is

Such, being the! state of ourselveSj 1113----loricalJy, what assistance do we receive from our text-books ?; What are they? Mere •compilation s^ dry registers of'facts or stnecdotes, the bcat'qf which might !be got up byany hack tb'keeb; himself out of 4 as I?r Morrison remarks., They form a, mere gajsefte, of what the compiler may consider important events, set dpwHi, in a chronological order., Laur>e, says,' •''tA.:dim loutliue of royal genealogies', :of dates, the between which are full of plottings, and of counter•plottinga',' and; bf facts;,- which,1 however capable of iriterpretatibh by the ■ matured capacity, ' are,' to- thej' raw;: experiencel of 6he child/or the boy, little more than an exhibition, (if , the worst"!passions that afflict humanity; and all these epitomised hito BniaAl -compass, , and, only partially and . fra^mentarily acquired tt- such is school history,"-. I hold then, that for teaching histury.as it. ought to be taught, we derive no assistance: from our textbooks whatever. In later'histories we have what is a decided improvement— brief sketches of the manners and customs bf ; the people in different ages.. These occupy but 9. small portion of the book, but are the only: readable parts of it,; at all events,. the • only .parts'' ; that children - will read .otherwise than as a task., !The remainder of the book will be: read and Jearned [from various -motives—-. the hope of obtaining a prize,^ of keeping : a good place in the; class, from the fear of pnnishihent,'orsfrom: a" sense' of duty, but never from choice.' ' -'■ "■ ■;: •• '■ :":

'But,''supposing that we were :able to teach iiistory properly, and that we had suitable text-books, are the minds of our pupils .'Sufficiently- expanded %q receive Buch instruction ? "I' .think, this ecarcely admits of discusaipn... The mental ;powers ~of children are not sufficiently cultivated to. enable them to study it to any advantage; It .'is too difficult food for children to masticate,; let alone digest. It must be' swallowed whole*; and so unpalatable is it that it is very apt to give children such a surfeit that ' they■ will hevfer afterwards read a historical work. _ I hav^been frequently told by people'when recommending them to read some particular history, that they had had enough of history at school.

. 'Of what value then.is .our teaching of history as :.a means.;of mental ■ or moral improvement I ■ The only mental faculty brought into active exercise is the memory,1 There is nothing to exercise the reason-ing-powers. Our text-books do not affect reason; We may ask why such an event took place; or'why such a line of conduct was pursued; and we get the answer, not from the reflection of the pupil, but in the words, or in the thought of the writer. It is memory, memory, memory. Take the history of any of our sovereigns or of any remarkable event, there is no opportunity given for the exercise of the thinking powers of the pupil- Bare facts are recorded, and conclusions given which he must take for granted, as he has no nieans of attempting to verify them ; and if the lesson has been prap'erjy learned, facts and conclusipas are stowed away in

ever called up, to be so only to show that he has learned history at school. As a moral .educator it is equally valueless. Children will learn very little from it how to eschew evil and. choose the good} Ido not know that there is a single character in English history which we could recommend as a wholes to our pupils for their imitation.. Individual - virtues we find in abundance, but while we. could recommend tp them such virtues as were. possessed by Nelsipn and Wellington^ can we advise them to iniitatei the former "in hating 'Frenchmen ;as th^y would the Devil^ or the latter;in prderirig the dragooriß,' in effect if riot iin words, to Tough-sharpen their swords on the grindstone and prepare to fall-uplon the people, tp prevent them .from obtaining that liberty which was their birthright? and , until they are able of their own judgment to separate the good frpm the evil, they are as unlikely to admire the latter as the former. Nor is the informatiori conveyed by our teaching of history in any respect more valuable. If there is any value in what we teach it is the chronology, not in the history. We have set down,,and are expected to teach, the descent of every sovereign, the dates of the beginning and end of his reign, his marriage, the number of his children, a few of the; leading events of the reign, mostly wars and battles; and at the conclusion, we have his character and his personal appearance summed up ill a few adjectives, of which, if the pupils learn the meaning, they will have derived more useful information than from all the rest of the reign put together. lido not know that. there is a single event in our history, which, if we knew no more of it than what is recorded in our textbooks, might not be blotted out without, any loss to the'country or the world; at large. Certainly no child is any better, or even wiser of knowing it.

Two objections to the discontinuance of the teaching of history may be brought forward. First—That it is necessary to give our children a knowledge of the country's history, in order to inculcate a spirit iof patriotism. I: doubt whether this is practicable in the Colonies, however desirable it niay be at home. I fear thatthe mother country will be to bur children a foreign land., It never canbe the land pf their birth—their native land. How they will in after years look upon Britain, .or, even upon New Zealand,: is very probiernatical. And how far do we ourselves possess the spirit of patriots ? I am inclined to think that the very fact of our leaving our native country of our own free will does not shew, a very, high degree of patriotism.-- Of this virtue as it exists in the Colonies, perhaps the less said the •better, 'i Iri many, if hot in most cases, the application of the Yankee maxim to our Colonial patriots' would riot be far amiss—" 'Tis sweet, to die for one's country, but sweeter far tb liye upon it." The other objection is that it is necessary "to teach history as an exercise pf the .memory. Doubtless the memory must be trained as well as the other faculties. Memoria excelendo augetur, ,-as those of us who have: learned Ruddiinan's Kudimehts will reriiember ; but can anything equally efficient for that purpose, and more practically! useful to the pupil in after life, be taught in place of 'it ? Ibelieve that one or more branches of natural science, zoology, botany, or phy-^ siology,includingthe:laws of health, even though taught empirically, would be equally useful as a memory-trainer ; and if the, same time and labour were be3towed upon it is upon'history, would be infinitely more advantagemta' in supplying both teachers and taught with; useful informa-. tiori. Iri many cases no further benefit would result from the one study than: from other;. but in many others habits of .observation and reflection would be formed, v/puld cling to, the indir vidual, through .life,' and be to him a source of enjoyment, a means of oultivatirig his mind^andi of laying up a stock of information of practical use to him iv the business of life. ' : ;

I conic riexfc to consider how, in my opinion, History'should be taught; and if the district school is to take any part in it, the school library;should, I think, be the means employed. ; The subject should be divided, into two ..parts—the history: of the present and/the -history of the past. The former can and ought to be-taught by means of periodicals, newspapers, magazines, &c. As soon as children take; an.' interest in the newspaper, they should be allowed to read it. A boy will derive more knowledge of the world in' which he lives, ' and in which he will have to fight his way, from the newspapers than from'all tlie school histories ever written; and he, will exercise his powers of thought; more ;°yer what he reads. At first, for such is the depravity of human nature, his taste will lead him to the perusal of thereportsof the EoliceGourt, of accidents, &c. By' and bye, local correspondence,, letters to the editor, passing notes, and. otbermatters, and lastly, leading articles will engage'his'attention. After the newspaper will follow the magfizinesrbfthe'dky. Nbi being bbiiged'to read these as a task they may not make so deep an impression on 'his memory as a lesson in history would, but they will evoke n, very .much ;greater amount p£ thought. Queer thoughts may arise sometimes, and questions may be put which it would' be very difficult' to answer; but there is thought, and there is also useful information. To the objection that newspapers are not fit to be put into the hands of; children, I would simply answer that we ought to admit, into our houses no journal which we,would have any hesitation in, allowing bur families^ to read. ...... ;

The child should be allowed to teach itself the history of the past in the same way—by ballads, romances, or historical novels and histories ; and if it is a sufficient length of tintie at school to enter upon the study of history, the instruction should be riot in history proper, but in the right way of studying history. ,

Ballads, in which the history of nations is written in the childhood of civilization, .are as attractive to children as they were to the people whose great deeds they record. I ; daresay most of us reliiember snatch es of ballads that we learned almost as far back as wecan carry the memory of ourselves. ii We have many very fine old ballads in the English language which our children will eagerly' read if they can only get the "opportunity.' !l . ; , After the. ballad wbnld come the romance or historical hovel. Of the writers of these lytacaulav' says :—" To make the pastpresetit, to bring.the distant near, to place us in, the society of a great man or on the eminence which overlooks a mighty field of battle, to invest with the reality of human flesh' and blood beings whom we are too much inclined to consider as personified qualities in an allegbry, to call up our ancestors before' us with all their peculiarities of language, manniers, and garb; to "show us over their houses, to seat us at their, tables, to rummage their old-fashioned wardi-obes, to explain the uses of their ponderous furniture, those parts, of. the duty which, properly belong to the historian, have been appropriated by the historical novelist." That is, the historical novelist has : to himself everything in history that children like to read. These novels, of which I might cite Scott's and Kingsley's as examples, have many advantages over school histories. They contain a hero, and generally a heroine, who, if they marry, do so, not from state policy, but from the purest motives. The hero usually concentrates in himself all the qualities which a boy admires, and which, as a general rule, he ought to imitate. There is a model character already made." It may be a product of the imagination, but to the boy it is a veritable reality, nor will its influence on his character be less than if it were real.

Following the historical hovel will come the history : not the bare compilation of feard, dry facts .and events, but the work i

from the.reading of a romance to such a work as Macaulay's England^ or to Presscott's works, is very easy and very natural. In due course less attractive histories will be read, for the sake of the information they contain., All this is to a large extent beyond the province of the schoolmaster, and. may be said to be mere fancy. Better that it should be fanciful than that the schoolmaster should have to be under the charge of having occupied a large portion of the time of his pupils in cultivating the single faculty of memory, and of giving them such a, disgust for history that they will never' read it afterwards. '' '• •, ' '■■;/- •■.•.' .' .:-■ ' -.. ,'■ .. r-. "' - ■

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http://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/ODT18731115.2.27

Bibliographic details

THE CHALLENGER EXPEDITION., Otago Daily Times, Issue 3676, 15 November 1873, Supplement

Word Count
4,950

THE CHALLENGER EXPEDITION. Otago Daily Times, Issue 3676, 15 November 1873, Supplement

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