Front Page Titles (by Subject) CHAPTER V: education and instruction - Law in a Free State
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CHAPTER V: education and instruction - Wordsworth Donisthorpe, Law in a Free State 
Law in a Free State (London: Macmillan and Co., 1895).
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education and instruction
To be in a position to pass judgment on the State methods of education at present employed, we must first know what education really is. If all discussions began with clear definitions of the subject in question, much wasted breath would be saved. And here as usual we are met on the threshold by an all-pervading misconception. Education is commonly regarded as synonymous with Instruction. This confusion of two very distinct ideas is probably at the root of much of the evil about to be exposed. Let me illustrate the difference by analogy. The difference between the art of education and that of instruction is precisely analogous to the difference between the art of a physician and that of a cook. The one is concerned primarily with the organism, the other with the food which is to afford nutriment to that organism. Both tend towards the same consummation, the maintenance of equilibrium between the organism and its environment; but whereas one deals chiefly with the organism itself, the other is concerned primarily with the surrounding material, and the analogy holds good throughout; for just as the cook may occupy himself in the preparation of the most dainty and luxurious dishes to pander to the morbid appetite, and be none the less an excellent cook; so may the instructor teach the most useless and despicable subjects and be none the less a clever and excellent instructor; whilst on the other hand the physician who should encourage the acquisition of a perverted appetite, and the educator who should foster a desire for aimless and unwholesome information, would alike be regarded as wicked and foolish. For example, the educator who should create in the mind of a pupil a desire to be skilled in the composition of Greek verse would be a most unwise educator, but the desire having once taken root, the instructor who should impart the requisite knowledge most rapidly and most completely would be the best instructor.
We may now attempt a preliminary definition of education. Education is the art of training the organism, physically, intellectually and morally, so as to enable it to conform to the conditions in which it is situated. Instruction is the art of methodically arranging and presenting facts to be known, so as to render their knowledge easy of acquisition. Education deals with the machine-the human mind. Instruction deals with the material to be operated upon by the machine. A child may, therefore, be well instructed and badly educated, or vice versa. Which is the more important of the two?
Two astronomers set to work to make observations with crude, imperfect telescopes. The first spends some years in improving his telescope, rendering it achromatic, more easily adjustable, and increasing its power: the second commences at once to observe the heavenly bodies. No doubt he will get a considerable start of his competitor, but will his superiority last? No, in a short time the better telescope will tell, and its possessor will shoot far ahead of the other, and will be able to make discoveries utterly out of the reach of the ill-developed telescope, even though it should be directed towards the same quarter of the heavens for a millennium.
So it is with that greatest of scientific instruments, the human mind. Two children commence life together: one is well instructed, well crammed with all kinds of knowledge, and admired by all its relatives as a prodigy; the other is educated to exercise its own faculties: facts and information are left to take care of themselves, and all the world is shocked at the poor child's ignorance of the stock subjects of schoolroom lore.
It has often been remarked, by some with surprise, that precocious children generally turn out failures: at fifteen or sixteen they begin to fall off, and finally slip back into the rank and file of ordinary youth. The ignorant child, on the other hand, to the amazement of all, after passing first for a dunce, and then for an eccentric, is sometimes discovered to be a genius. Little Francis Bacon did no good at school; at college he hated his studies, and left in consequence; in the chapel of that college his statue may now be seen alongside that of Isaac Newton. Henry Buckle is another example, and in the front ranks of literature and science are many who, up to the age of twenty and upwards, were set down by their neighbours as blockheads.
Not that the well - instructed, badly - educated youth invariably turns out a useless man. Led on by some association of ideas, he often becomes an ardent lover of some science of which he knows much; but beyond making enormous collections of specimens and detailed observations, he seldom advances that science a single step. The grand generalisations, the new theories, the glorious discoveries, are left to the man of genius, who makes use of the very facts so laboriously accumulated by others, to weave for himself a crown of glory.
Even a moderately complete methodical instruction is incompatible with the sound education of the young, for the simple reason that a good education implies such development of the faculties as to create a desire for knowledge. If you would strengthen a child's body, you are not continually stuffing food down its throat; you rather encourage it to take plenty of exhilarating exercise, so as to acquire an appetite keen enough to induce it to demand, and to enable it to digest, a fair amount of wholesome nutriment. To adopt the other course is to treat the children like the famous geese of Strasburg-to confine them in baskets, so as to prevent them from working off by exercise the imbibed force, and then to gorge them to suffocation.
And now having proclaimed in favour of education versus instruction, we must set about to inquire what studies and methods of study are the best as a means of education; the object of which is to bring the organism into harmony with Nature, including the highest development of Nature, Society. And how do we know when we are in harmony or equilibrium with Nature? What is the subjective interpretation of this relation? It is happiness. Happiness in some form or other is the end and aim of all voluntary actions - the universal motor. Whether it be the gratification of eating cheesecakes, or the gratification of the sympathetic faculty in making others happy, or the anticipation of happiness beyond the grave, it is all one, it is still happiness. And in order to act in conformity with Nature, so as to be in equilibrium therewith (i.e. happy), we must know the laws of Nature. We must avoid putting our hands in the fire, breathing infected air, swallowing arsenic, jumping off high bridges, and so on. And to know the laws of Nature thoroughly, exactly, quantitatively, this is Science. Every department of knowledge properly studied is a branch of Science; and so the true education is a training for Science.
Observe, a child soon learns by experience to keep its hand out of the fire. Man develops according to nature, if left to nature. It is the artificial conditions abounding which call for an artificial instruction at all. Thus by the invention of clothing, children are born in a climate with which, by nature and inheritance, they are out of equilibrium; the care of others is necessary to prevent their exposure to cold and damp, which they must learn to regard as injurious, even when experience does not tell them so. And as the environment becomes more and more artificial and complex, so must the organism. Hence instruction bids fair to take longer and longer, to subtract more and more from the individual life of every one as time proceeds; unless its methods improve Paripassu with other developments. Human beings remain children longer than any other species of animal. We have undergraduates finishing their studies at an average age of twenty-three.
Before proceeding to criticise, as tenderly as may be, the studies we all waded through as small boys, it may be as well to note that when we speak of the faculty of observation, the faculties of reason, of abstraction, of memory, the sympathetic faculty, and so forth, we must not be understood to assume that the mind has any separate faculties at all. The mind is a complex whole, though its various modes and manifestations admit, like everything else, of convenient classification. Ideas are but sensations not yet settled down, as the ripples on the water continue after you have ceased to agitate it. Memory is but the arousing into reconsciousness of an idea which has been compounded and overpowered by others, as we again distinguish the voice of the prima donna when the chorus ceases. Reason itself is but the outstripping of sensations by ideas in a race among the cerebral rhythms. But let us not wander off into psychology.
And now for the subjects of instruction as we find them to-day. The ordinary school curriculum varies, as is well known, for some undiscoverable reason, according to sex. Boys and girls both learn to speak their own mother-tongue and to read and write the same; they learn some arithmetic, a good deal of grammar, and what are called history and geography. Then girls start off on one track and boys on another. Girls begin to struggle at two modern languages, French and German; boys at two dead languages, Latin and Greek. Sometimes the girls substitute Italian for German, but the boys have no choice; Sanskrit is never taken up instead of Greek. The girls set off to perform on a musical instrument—almost invariably the piano. With ear, without ear; with taste, without taste; willy-nilly, to the piano they must go; and after a few years they are labelled, “Qualified to interpret to us the deep emotions of a Beethoven.” The boys, on the other hand, pass by the green fields of aestheticism, where the girls gather wild flowers according to rigid rules, and plunge into the sea of abstractions; into Algebra and pure Geometry, into the Calculus of Functions, and the Calculus of Operations.
Let us take these studies one by one, and turn them inside out. Talking comes first, and to do the children justice, they learn the art quicker and better than any that follows. Even when they begin to learn another language, their experience affords them little help; and (what is very singular) babies use verbs and nouns and adjectives without even knowing the meaning of such terms. Is it that mothers give private lessons to the babies in Syntax and Etymology? Else how could the poor little things ever get to talk at all? No one ever heard of a child learning Latin without beginning with grammar. However, this is a mystery! Then reading; this must not be confounded with knowledge in the sense of Science. It is only an invention for enabling us to listen to persons separated from us by space or time—by miles and by centuries; and thereby increasing our chance of learning the best that has been said on all subjects. Writing is the converse of this: it enables us to communicate our ideas to others separated from us by space and time, Reading and writing, then, are only useful instruments to enlarge our powers of observation, just as the telescope is a means of drawing nearer to us phenomena separated from us by intervals of space too wide for our unaided vision; as the microscope enables us to discern objects too small for the naked eye; and as the thermo-electric pile enables us to detect variations of temperature far too slight for our unaided sense, or even for the best thermometer.
The first subject of study which can truly be called knowledge is arithmetic; and even this is merely talking another language,—a conventional system of expression of identities in number. Thus 2 and 2 are 4 is not, properly speaking, a fact, it is merely a translation of expression, just as if we say that inensa is a table or chapeau a hat. No proposition concerning Nature is enunciated. The expressions 5, 4+1, 3 + 2 are merely convertible terms, and cannot be proved to be true except by mutual agreement, just as the expressions, cheval, pferd, horse, equus are various names for the same thing. This remark holds good throughout the whole field of mathematics. Consequently, the teaching of pure mathematics out of connection with concrete things is precisely as useful as teaching a complicated and powerful language without any reference to the objects or actions denoted by the words of which it is composed. It would be possible to teach a language after a fashion, without understanding a single word of it, and mathematics can after a fashion be so taught also; and it is so taught. The most abstract of sciences, then, is the first to be learnt.
Grammar comes next. Of this it may be observed that it is a mixture of two distinct highly-abstract sciences, logic and psychology; occupying the debateable ground between them. Whether a child should begin logic and psychology on its mother's knee may be doubted; but this may be confidently affirmed, that it is perfectly impossible to understand grammar before logic. We all remember the delightful muddle we got into about the difference between abstract and concrete names. Probably our instructor was as much bothered as any of us. “You see,” said he, “a concrete noun is the name of a thing you can take hold of, such as a table; an abstract noun is the name of a thing you can only think of, such as goodness, greenness.” “Which is a thought?” once asked a little boy. This was a stumper. After some hesitation came the answer that it is abstract, because you cannot take hold of it or measure it. “And the wind?” urged the urchin. “Oh, that is concrete, of course.” “But you cannot catch hold of the wind, or measure it?” “Well,” said the master, very much harassed, and wishing the inquirer far enough, “you could feel it if you confined it in a bag.” “Perhaps” was the reply, “perhaps you could feel a thought if you put it in a bag.” This was hailed as a lucky bit of impertinence, and concluded the discussion. One would like to ask some gerund - grinder whether heat is concrete or abstract; mind, language, number, etc. How many grown-up persons comprehend the true gist of the wars between the Nominalists, the Realists, and the Conceptualists? And yet these are grammar wars.
Certainly a few unintelligible rules are got off by rote, and forgotten soon after; but that is all we can say of children's grammar; as of their arithmetic, which certainly does enable them to shuffle through an addition sum a little earlier, and with far less understanding, than a child left to pick up the requisite skill by experience. The rule - guided mathematician may be likened to a person in society whose actions are determined by reference to a hand - book of etiquette. Both are equally conventional and awkward; and, under new conditions, completely at sea.
Now for what goes by the name of History. It consists of a mixture of dull and lively stories founded on fact, and based on events which occurred in a couple of peninsulas in the Mediterranean some two thousand years ago, and more recently in this country. We would deal gently with this subject for a reason usually overlooked; for although it is difficult to discern what good a child can derive from the knowledge that William II. came to the throne in 1087 A.D., or that Codrus was the last of the Athenian kings (if he was, for really one does forget even these things), or that a great many other dry and unimportant events occurred at certain dates; yet it must be confessed that the really adventurous stories in Greek, Roman, and English chronicles do make us feel acquainted with amusing and pleasing characters, just as novels do-no more; and consequently when, if ever, we begin actually to study real history, we meet our old friends at every turn, and the pleasure is enhanced by the association of ideas.
Of so-called Geography, little can be said that is kind. It certainly familiarises us with the shape of some countries which assume queer, vague resemblances in the eyes of children. Prussia and Turkey-in-Asia look like two animals walking, Austria like a big dog lying down, Italy like a leg, and some people say that England and Ireland resemble a little girl taking care of a baby-a very noisy baby. It also leaves the names of cities and rivers ringing in our uninterested ears. The colours used in maps have also a good effect on a child's mind, and to be allowed to colour maps is regarded as a pleasant exercise, if only those tiresome mountains might be left out; and surely they might. But to regard the other and sad side of the subject. Does it not seem absurd to force a child to learn the conformation of the watershed of the Danube before it knows where the stream running through its own garden either begins or ends? One knows by heart the name of every public building in Athens, and half the roads about Rome, before one has ever heard of the chief buildings or streets in London; just as we read Virgil before Shakespeare.
As for French, there is no need to theorise; what is the experience of all? After ten years of schoolroom study, of irregular verbs, of past participles ending in e, of genders, of idioms, and what not, did we, did any of us, know the language even tolerably? Did not six months in Paris do more for us than all the previous routine? And Latin! Do any of us know it at all? Can we speak it? Could we read it with sufficient ease to enjoy a three-volume Latin novel? We can write laboured prose and hideous verse, it is true; but is that knowing the language?
Next comes music? O, that piano in the schoolroom, those five-finger exercises; then the scales and arpeggios; then some stififer exercises, and an air with variations on the same model. The air is never Pop goes the weasel! or Yankee Doodle, or anything children really understand, but usually a rather involved but easy selection from an Italian opera, diluted to the tasteless point with variations à la Richards. And from this point such progress is made that by the time they leave school our girls have ripened into the full-blown pianist—rushing, stumbling, thumping, and skipping over the keys of the instrument in such sort as to make us yearn for a barrel-organ, which cannot make mistakes if it tries. Is there not too much music taught in the upper classes of society? Music is the vehicle of the highest emotions, inexpressible by ordinary language, even in poetry. If so, is it possible or healthy for young ladies to be in an ecstasy for a third part of every day?
Most of us remember, when we were little, very much wanting to learn to draw and paint, and we have an equally vivid recollection of wanting to give it up again not long afterwards. No wonder. First came a tedious practising of straight lines—thin lines and thick lines: lining in: and that horrid thing we had to copy over and over again. Everybody knows it, or maybe something like it. It resembles a pineapple top perfectly symmetrical. If a Greek girl ever presented Euclid or Archimedes with a flower, he would have dreamt of something like this copy. It was a sort of half flower, half geometrical diagram. And then came perspective by rule, and long lines and rulers, and a circle of vision, and 60 degrees, and compasses, and all the rest of it; and then mechanical drawing to scale. The working of the machine is never explained, so that we never know what we are drawing. And so we get to hate it. As for Painting, at school it is seldom taught at all.
And this is the end of our list of subjects; in all of them we begin with the abstract and the general. Yet somehow or other we all know something more than is comprised in this programme. Nature will develop the mind naturally. Artificial instruction is required only to supplement Nature, not to stand in Nature's stead.
Before inquiring what education ought to be, let us see what Nature has done for us, and whether her mode is similar to that adopted by school tradition. Though we are now discussing intellectual education, not physical or moral, we are quite justified in reasoning from one to the other.
There can be no doubt that the skilful anatomist could devise a system of gymnastic exercises which would bring into play all the muscles in the body in proper proportion. Let one of the children be trained in these exercises day by day, the other allowed to be free, to play cricket, to run races, boat, swim, ride, according to his own unconscious impulse. Which of the two will turn out the healthier and stronger? Is it not the one whose actions and energies are accompanied with joy and high spirits and are voluntarily endured? Is not one day at football or grouse-shooting, though not calling for particularly varied or complex muscular movements, worth a whole week with the clubs, the dumb-bells and the parallel bars?
There is no drudgery in learning to talk; the child does it with pleasure, and even at an early age with manifest pride and excitement. It learns naturally. Should not we adopt the same method in teaching French and Latin? The baby does not begin with grammar; it learns to call green things green before it knows the meaning of abstractions, and before it knows the theory of refraction or reflection, or anything at all about optics. Somebody says in some work on education that to preface a language with grammar is as wise as to preface walking with an oral disquisition on the nature of the muscles and nerves of the legs. There is much truth in this.
We all learnt a little botany, a little zoology, mineralogy, and a very little astronomy of our own accord; but when we reached a certain stage, we suddenly ceased to increase our knowledge, and most of us now remain where we left off. We learnt to distinguish roses from dahlias and peonies and hollyhocks long after we distinguished these from cabbages and laurels, and all together from cows and horses; we classed robins and sparrows and geese and crows together, and distinguished them from pigs and dogs and mice. We knew the moon from the sun and stars, and sandstone from clay and limestone. How is it we never got much further, never got to distinguish insects from spiders, chalk from dolomite, mosses from lichens, and perhaps not even the planets from the fixed stars? Simply and solely because our self-instructing instincts were stifled, nipped in the bud, and we were thrust into tasks which we had no sympathy with and could not understand; and consequently, ended by acquiring neither one kind of knowledge nor the other. From acquiring greater fluency in conversation, from learning to employ more words intelligently, our attention was diverted to analysing or feigning to analyse what little language we did possess; and now, out of some 45,000 words in our own tongue, we make shift, most of us, with some 600 or thereabouts. Put down every word that is uttered at an ordinary dinner party, and you shall not find more than three hundred words employed.
From estimating by intuitive methods what sort of a strawberry crop we should have in our own little gardens, from the distribution of bloom (a calculation involving complex arithmetical calculations and much observation), we are drawn away to reckon up abstract figures which have no concrete embodiments, and which do not in the least interest us. Before as yet we have well begun to distinguish the wandering from the fixed stars, or to observe on which side of our own garden the sun rises, we are whirled away into disquisitions on the earth's orbit, the North Pole, the plane of the ecliptic, the lines of latitude, etc. While as yet we were digging in our thickets with excitement, wondering what was under the ground; while we compared every coloured earth with what we already knew, and every leaf of novelty with those with which we were acquainted, we were dragged into the schoolroom to learn off by heart answers to such questions as, What is a dicotyledon? Can you draw a petaloid perianth?
Another important truth about those Sciences at which we begin while yet babies to nibble is that they all belong to the class known as concrete- none to the abstract. Nature begins by developing our perceptive faculties, and then little by little, and not suddenly, leads up to abstract ideas and wider generalisations; and we should follow her example. Again, it is noticeable that Nature does not thrust herself upon the unwilling mind in the order of theoretic classifications. A child interrogates Nature, Nature does not preach to the child. Should not we do the same?
This brings us to the three modes of imparting instruction, (i) You may inform another in any order you please. This is the didactic method. (2) You may reply to another in any order he may desire. This is the natural method. (3) You may question another. This is the dialectic method; of which there are two species. Your questions may be of the nature of an examination; each of them independent and final, and meant to test the respondent's knowledge. Or they may be arranged in the form of an argument, so constructed as to lead him step by step into some absurd or desirable position. This was the mode employed by Socrates in opposition to that used by the Sophists. All these modes are good in their proper place, but the order of their suitability to the human mind is, first, that of Nature -answering questions; second, the dialectic; and third, the didactic, which includes lectures and books. In practice the last method is taken first, and the first is never employed at all.
So much for the mode; now for the matter. What subjects is it necessary for the child to study? When should it begin each? What extra subjects should be reserved for what is known as a liberal education in contradistinction from an elementary one?
The child should begin its artificial education after learning to talk a little, with botany, geography, and geology; at this stage it should begin painting, and some musical instrument (not to mention subjects of physical education, riding, swimming, and boxing). From and through painting an easy road is found to chemistry, the most important of all the sciences, both in its reaction on the student's mind, and also in itself; for the next great discovery will be made in this quarter.
During all this time, and parallel with these studies, stories of adventure and attractiveness should be told, when asked for, as a rule founded on historical and biographical incidents; and the drama should be allowed free play and stimulated. It is inherent in man to act. Children play at mammas and nurses with dolls; they play at horses, and they invent drawing-room conversations in feigned voices. All this is excellent, and should be encouraged in every way by attending and applauding the best specimens of acting, by turning the nursery or playroom upside down for a stage effect, and by providing unlimited rags for royalty. A few years later arithmetic and geometry may be brought in, and lectures with demonstrations on physiology may be attended, always short and well illustrated from Nature and diagrams. Optics, thermics, electrics, and pure mechanics should all be taught in conjunction with their practical applications. Then philology may commence, leading to logic, grammar, and psychology; but these, together with plutology, ethics and sociology, will be spontaneously seized upon by the mind trained so far after Nature's mode; and it may be doubted very much whether assistance would be required from others (so far as creating a desire for knowledge is concerned), after the first crossing over to the abstract sciences-a transition which requires care. Industrial arts and languages may be taught at any time, according to the means or profession of the parents. Nor will it take long to draw what line is to be drawn between a liberal and an ordinary education, for the plain and simple reason that no such line can or should be drawn. The only educational difference discernible between the classes should be that which results from superior opportunities of meeting persons of culture. Taste is infectious.
No doubt some will deride the imposing curriculum here sketched out for their children; but there is no reason to diminish it; and for purposes of education a little knowledge of all subjects is better than a great deal of one. The combination of various kinds of knowledge tends to form a philosophic mind. As for morality, it cannot be taught by precept or command. It is learnt only by a study of mankind, by experience and generalisation; it is a knowledge which grows with ourselves. Of religion little need be said. True religion is a yearning for the unknowable, an acknowledgment with humility of the impossibility of ever solving the wonderful riddle of existence, upon which theology and metaphysics have alike expended their mighty forces and failed utterly. The truly religious mind submits with resignation and emotion to the limits imposed by Nature on the intelligence of man, while the metaphysician still continues restlessly to reason round and round, as the tiger in his cage, by incessant repetition, vainly seeks an exit. Surely this truth each must rediscover for himself in order firmly to feel convinced of it.
The education of the young is clearly one of the most difficult, delicate, and responsible tasks which a human being can undertake. It requires a combination of qualities such as no other art calls for. It may almost be said that each individual child requires a special training. Even the children of one family cannot be all safely cast in the same mould.
The one defect (and perhaps the only serious defect) in our splendid English Public School system is due to the immense difficulty experienced by conscientious masters in studying and comprehending the character of each individual boy under their charge.
What then is the cure for this evil? Ask the socialist, ask the neo-radical or semi-socialist. He will tell you, “State Education.” If it is difficult to fit the boot to the foot, the simple remedy is to squeeze the foot to the boot. Let the youth of the nation be divided into five or six classes; and let every child be squeezed through one or other of the five or six mills provided for them, in the same way as Tommy Atkins adapts himself to the regulation army-boot. What could be simpler?
Perhaps it is unnecessary to offer any comment on this. Thoughtful persons need none: and burnt-offerings to a wooden idol are not less effective than rational arguments to the vainglorious and self-sufficient ignoramus who is ever ready to teach the gods how to improve the Solar System. Although State Education appears at present to be well intrenched and stronger for defensive purposes than most of the other socialistic positions, yet there is one point on which an unexpected attack is likely to be made with success. It is hardly to the Nonconformist conscience that individualists would look for help in this matter: but two amusing incidents, one in England and one in France, seem to point that way. In both cases Religion was for once on the side of liberty. It is clearly the duty of a private teacher to dissipate untruth as well as to inculcate truth. Hence, if the State is to take the place of the private teacher, it would certainly seem to be the duty of the State, and of the official to whom the people delegate the functions of public instructor, to do the same. So thought the French Government under M. Ferry. But no sooner was this policy adopted than the cry of religious persecution was raised from Dunkirk to Marseilles. Huguenots may be hunted and persecuted for generations, and freethinkers burnt at the stake; but touch these religious orders; venture to send an inspector into the convents, and straightway the cry is raised, “Down with Democratic despotism!” Now, sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander. If you will have State interference in such matters, you must leave the State to judge as to what is truth. That is to say, the majority must be permitted to prescribe, through officials, what the minority shall be taught in childhood, and, in short, what they shall think when grown up.
Then again, as luck will have it, the British Natural History Museum has fallen into the hands of Darwinians. The index department has been beautifully and admirably arranged under the most capable management. Little children run in and out, and without the knowledge or desire of their parents or guardians, grow up Evolutionists. Nothing could be better for the rising generation. One feels almost disposed to forgive the State for exceeding its functions and competing with the private schoolmaster, in consideration of the truly splendid manner in which its officials are acquitting themselves in this department. At the same time it must be admitted that a member of the teleological school would be justified in saying, “What is the meaning of this? Am I to be taxed for the support of a doctrine in which I do not believe?” Of course the British Public has not the faintest notion that its money is being spent in promoting the “pernicious doctrine of Natural Selection.” Adam's famous exercise in nomenclature dwindles away into an ordinary feat of arbitrary specification:—Cat, tabby-cat, Manx-cat, wild-cat, pussy-cat, and intermediate varieties according to taste and convenience. When the British Empire wakes up to the enormity of what is being done at its expense, the consequences will be frightful. Let us do what we can to fix its mind on the other pocket, from which money is flowing more freely, and in quite another channel. It is said that a certain religious society consoled itself for sending out a distinguished man of science on an exploring expedition, by the reflection that at least a dozen of its own agents would counteract the evil tendencies of his teachings.
We individualists must be allowed to have our chuckle at the State socialists. It is not often that we have the laugh on our side. We are more frequently joint-sufferers with our meddling friends. Our partners speculate, and we meet the creditors. But it is almost comical to see socialists taxing themselves for the teaching of individualism. This is really what it amounts to, when examined.
The fact remains, however, that the State should not be permitted to teach the Darwinian theory of the origin of species, at the expense of those who accept a special-creation hypothesis. It is not fair; and honest evolutionists have faith enough in the final triumph of truth, not to require or desire even the unconscious assistance of their adversaries. Let it be distinctly understood that evolutionists repudiate this petty fraud upon the simple taxpayer, but at the same time refuse to pay for the propagation of untrue theories.
On the whole, the reactionary forces of ignorance are likely to be found more and more on the side of liberty, as time proceeds and nonsense becomes the heritage of the few.