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characterises some of their writers—in many respects highly instructive and useful—who have dealt with history. They may be saved from the still more dangerous habit of supplying the want of principles by exaggerations of the fancy. The temptation to do this arises from no indifference to reality. One may see in the most outrageously sensational novel, written by a female pen, what a desire there is to dwell on all the little points which convey the sense of reality and minister to the craving for it. But the powerlessness to group the scparate facts and the different personages, to find out some living and intelligible connection between them, suggests desperate experiments for making them cohere: by fair means or foul human life and every one's own life must be contemplated as a whole. If we are desirous that the means shall be fair and not foul, that there shall be some discovery of the actual relation between facts and between human beings, we must not confide the education of girls exclusively even to those who would most faithfully impress them with the superiority of the smallest fact to the most elaborate fiction. We must put them in communication with those who have, even to excess, the habit of referring all particular cases to some principle ; at all events, who are always in search of some principle to which they may be referred. . I have admitted fully that as much is taken by the instructor as he gives; that the action and reaction exactly correspond; that just so far as he is profited by that disposition of an attentive pupil in which she differs from him, just so far she will gain by what he tells her. If this be a true statement, it may go some way towards settling certain questions which occasionally trouble us more perhaps than is necessary. The theoretical question about the relative capacity of men and women may be discussed, it seems to me, for ever, with very little result, whilst we repeat the phrases 'equality' or 'inequality,' and make the decision turn upon them. The necessity of each sex to the other, may be surely taken for granted as a preliminary. And if it is taken for granted, the inference would at least be probable à priori, if it was not established by evidence, that each had capacities which the other did not possess, and which could only be unfolded through the help of the other, that each had defects answering to those capacities, which can only be remedied by the same help. I am ashamed to utter such truisms; but if they are overlooked, much precious time is wasted from the neglect of them, some one or other must recall attention to them. The far more serious practical question, how many of the studies which boys are expected to pursue, should be demanded of girls, might perhaps stand over till we have settled what studies boys are expected, or should be expected, to pursue. While so many controversies are pending upon that subject, it must be premature to pronounce upon another which depends upon it. But these inferences would follow from what I have said : First, that the
difference in the capacity of boys and girls does not in the least involve a necessity for a difference in their studies. Secondly, that if the studies were exactly the same, the peculiar strength and weakness of the two sexes would undoubtedly reveal themselves in the manner in which they received the lessons that were imparted to them. Thus, if we take the study which has given the name 'Grammar’ schools to our schools for boys, there can be no doubt, I suppose, from boy experience, that there
I is a peculiar inaptitude in the English boy for receiving the sounds of any language except his own, even if he has been ever so much imbued with its etymology, its syntax, its prosody. There can be no doubt that girls, who find much difficulty in the etymology, and syntax, and prosody, have a hundred times the aptitude of their brothers for speaking any language, or singing in it, even though they acquire it in comparatively mature years, without any early assistance from a native. If this difference is referred to organisation, so let it be. But, besides this facility for learning the vocal part of a language, she apprehends the usages and idioms of it, all that belongs to daily converse, much more rapidly than boys or men do. Now, this faculty clearly demands cultivation. It can receive none so effectual, it seems to me, as that which proceeds from a man who, having had his lips accustomed from infancy to the language, has the grammatical knowledge and grammatical habit which the girl finds it so hard to acquire. Whether she ever has the same knowledge of grammar or not as the boy, it will do her at least as much good as it will do him. I should say it will do her more good. It will enable her to arrange the parts of the language which she catches so readily, to see a meaning and an order in them of which the boy, however well acquainted with rules, is not always conscious. This observation applies, no doubt, to strictly modern languages. But a girl, whose parents thought it desirable for her to learn Latin or Greek, would, I doubt not, bring the same keen perception to bear upon them. She would wish much more than we do in general to have the power of hearing and of speaking the words which she reads out of books. But she would enter often much more than we do into the force and life of the words. And this construction, however dry the explanation of it might be, would commend itself to her as a strange and wonderful order, which relieved her own language of a great many perplexities, and threw light upon the French or Italian, and any other which she had learnt. I have dwelt longer upon this instance, because it is the one most likely to occur to us, as marking the line between male and female education. I have alluded to it, also, because my remarks on it may show how much the musical education of girls—which I trust will never be less regarded than it is or has been, though we may hope that the method of imparting it may become less oppressive-bears heavy upon her other pursuits, that of language especially. One great means of making instruction in language effectual will be lost, if it is divorced from musical instruction. I trust some way will be discovered of bringing them into a closer relation with each other. I don't like to speak of physical science, being very ignorant of it. But I cannot help perceiving how much the study of physics, through books, without experiments, belonged to the monkish, celibate, and scholastic age; how the pathway of discovery, through the testing of facts, was marked out by laymen, who held free intercourse and communion with female intellects. Ever since that path was marked out, there has been the danger of the passion for experiment becoming empiricism, there has been the danger of the student retreating again into his cave. The taste of ladies for lectures on science may rather foster the first evil, tempting quacks to exhibit the results of painful investigations as mere glittering marvels; it may also promote the other evil, by leading hard thinkers to exalt their theories in contrast to these outward displays. But if the aptitude for observation and the taste for particular facts in girls, is cultivated by those who have the masculine habit of reflection and of combining facts, the benefit to both and to the progress of inquiry itself might be greater than we can at all imagine. My own lectures to girls have been either on history or English literature. I have alluded to the former subject elsewhere. I would say thus much about the latter; that the liveliest female intellects are most likely to make taste, which means their own taste or the taste of the circle that surrounds them, the standard of what is good in writings past or present, and are most likely at the same time to be entertained and moulded by a clever, fastidious criticism. They may meet with women whose tastes are pure and refined—much purer and more refined than those of most men ; they may receive from them sensible and acute praises of the best writers, and warnings against the ill-nature of reviewers. I do not underrate the very great advantage of the examples and counsels of such friends; they are most precious to the character as well as to the understanding of girls. But I believe a rough, masculine teacher, who has been wont, even rigidly and pedantically, to subject his taste to principles, who regards criticism as a study and an art for all time, not as an exercise of wit and skill which may be taken up at a moment's notice to gratify some particular fancy or spite, can do, for the regular education of girls, what the instinctive wisdom of the excellent teacher of her own sex cannot do. If, indeed, that were wanting, I should expect much from his lessons. They can, I think, fill up what is deficient in the feminine wisdom. And in this case, as in others which I have noticed, the peculiar aptitude of the pupil offers a most useful correction to the formality of the master, a most useful direction to the lessons that he imparts. He must come down from his stilts; he must be personal and biographical ; he must trust more to the words of his author than to his
own explanations of them, if he is to have the slightest influence on the minds of the girls to whom he speaks.
“That the male teaching of girls should be, when it is possible, in classes, I think no one can dispute. I do not overlook the disadvantages which are incidental to all class teaching. But I do not reckon among those disadvantages the comparative ignorance which the master must have of the particular temptations, or even of the particular gifts, of his individual pupils. The ignorance, of course, will be least in the case of an experienced and sympathising observer of his pupils, a careful student of their answers and their looks. But where it is greatest there is a compensation. He speaks to something which is common in them all. His words find their own way to those for whom they are intended without those attempts to adapt them to special characters, which are often awkward, often dangerous, founded, it may be, upon false judgments in him who makes the experiment, promoting morbid selfconsciousness in the subject of it. On the other hand, I do not reckon it among the benefits of that teaching that it promotes rivalry or competition among the members of the class. Till I see more distinct good from that feeling among boys, I shall not desire it greatly to stimulate girls. I hope that the learning in class may have exactly the opposite effect often. I am sure it encourages sympathy and fellowwork. It gives a common interest in higher subjects to those who would only have their own narrow interests. It must make conversation less frivolous. One accidental evil I have found in my own class, to which I think those who understand class teaching better, and have more skill in making it catechetical, are less exposed. The girls appear to think that they shall improve their memories at the cost of their health, by leaning over a desk and writing for an hour as fast as their fingers can move, all that the lecturer says to them. The consequence is likely to be that at an examination they merely give him back his own sentences, sometimes with strange perversions or reversals of their meaning. That this result does not always come to pass ; that they do very often render the spirit of his instructions faithfully and wisely; that they even exercise their own faculties, and to his great pleasure show him that they have not arrived at his conclusions, I can testify. The vivacity of some minds is too great to be stifled by the most crushing processes. This scheme of perpetual note-taking, I fear, is a very crushing one.
“The pupils in a college for girls ought to have the male instruction which is its groundwork supported by all possible aid from the counsel of cultivated seniors of their own sex. They should have the help of young ladies somewhat above their own age, who will be to them what private tutors are to young men at the Universities. And there should be houses, under the care of experienced ladies, which can
be safely recommended to parents who send their daughters from a distance. But all these necessary provisions do not make up for the want of the actual family where it can be had. Day-schools for boys are rather contrived to meet a necessity, for those who are to work abroad in the world, and give them a tolerably early experience of it with home as the reward of their toil. I do not see how a similar trial can be desired for those whose business is to be chiefly domestic, whatever is of another character being additional or exceptional. For the sake of their studies, no less than their character—if they ever can be contemplated apart-I shall wish them to be surrounded with home influences whilst they are at college. They have need to be continually reminded of the connection between their books and their life, that both may not become dreary and unmeaning to them. An account of what I have learnt from an experience, however partial, would, I thought, be more acceptable to the meeting than any speculations of mine about the education of girls in the upper, middle, or lower class. The institution with which alone I have any acquaintance has nothing which limits it to any class. Its success or failure does not affect the maxims which I have been considering. They have been applied in various places, and each application of them ought to be carefully watched. authorised inspection of colleges for girls should be desired by all who take any part in them. An examination of those whom they send forth they have, I believe, asked for. If it proves unsatisfactory so much the more need is there for it. But I have not spoken of examinations lest I should confound them with education, or entertain the far too prevalent opinion that the education either of boys or girls is to be shaped in conformity with them. Examinations, or tests of what an education is, may be very precious; if they determine what it shall be they destroy the sincerity of the teacher and of the pupil. And we cannot too often impress upon ourselves the doctrine, which none would deny in terms, which all are tempted to deny in act, that any education which is not sincere, and which does not aim above all things else to make those who receive it sincere, is a curse, not a blessing, to men and women, boys and girls."
A paper by Miss Wolstenholme followed, in which she asks a preliminary question—“What is a true and complete education ? Shall we say that education is that combination of agencies or processes by which the human being is prepared to discharge worthily and wisely all the varied claims of personal and social duty, and to find in those duties occasion for the fruitful exercise of every faculty, and opportunity for the perfection of personal character? We need not here discuss the question, interesting as it may be, whether society exists for the sake of the individual, or the individual for the sake of society. All modern experience agrees in this—that the unsocially developed character fails of