The Age Of The Prophets
( Originally Published 1921 )
WE have seen in the last chapter how the State, confronted with the task of organising secondary education, refused to take the leap. For forty years secondary schools, many of them, it is true, revived by the State, were conducted independently. During most of this period the headmasters regarded State interference as an overhanging peril which they must spend every effort to avert. Englishmen judge institutions as they work; and, judged by the working of a State department in the sphere of elementary education, the headmasters had reason on their side. From 1861 till the nineties, elementary education groaned under a tyranny of mechanical routine. The official view was that elementary education was synonymous with the "three R's." It was something in which the formation of character, broadening of outlook, rousing of intellectual activity, training of mental habits —everything which the universities and public schools set forth as their aim—had no part. It could be judged by "results," which, as Matthew Arnold said, "were an illusion." The State had succeeded in subordinating teaching to an examination which did not test, in driving out every subject which could give nutriment to the mind, in deadening the pupils' intelligence, in making drudges of the teachers, and in inventing a training for them based on the idea that, till you had turned a man into a machine, he would decline to do the machine-like grind which the Department expected of him. This was State education as it presented itself to Thring when he resisted it as the "dead hand."
It has been said that a nation generally gets the government which it deserves, and we suppose this is true of its education. How then came England to "deserve" such an education as this? Matthew Arnold, Ruskin, Maurice, Kingsley and the other prophets supply the answer. There was much that was noble in Victorian England; but it co-existed with a self-complaisance which it will be impossible for future generations which have not grown up in it to understand. It was truly an age of prophets; for everyone to whom the gift of vision had been granted could find abundance of material against which to take up his parable.
The nineteenth century accepted class distinctions as axiomatic. In this point at least all classes were agreed. Beyond it, the current of thought in Victorian times can only be understood by taking as a starting-point the inherited tradition of the three great classes into which Matthew Arnold divided the nation. The working class was still prone to take its ideas from the other two classes, whom Matthew Arnold named the "barbarians" and the "philistines." Now-a-days we would fain believe that we have shaken off the belief in class distinctions. We are lavish in our use of the word "snobbishness." It would be nearer the truth to say that we wish that we had shaken ourselves free of the belief, but feel that we have not. The modern phenomenon of an inverted snobbishness, the "class consciousness" of Marxism, is one proof among many that we have not. It is not easy therefore to treat the Mid-Victorian ideals in a dispassionate historical spirit; but the true background of educational difficulties in the middle of the nineteenth century cannot be understood except by realising the good and bad features in the ideals of the "barbarians" and the "philistines" and their attitude to one another and to the working class.
The "barbarian" set of ideals had a long pedigree. Feudalism, chivalry, the "courtly ideal" of Queen Elizabeth's age, the feelings of the cavaliers, the toryism and high churchmanship of Queen Anne's time, had all left their mark upon it. This mode of thought had extended far beyond the landed aristocracy. It pervaded the Church, the professional classes, and the universities. The "philistine" ideals were of later growth. They owed something to earlier Puritanism; but in their Victorian form they became recognisable only after the industrial revolution had created a powerful manufacturing class. Speaking generally, they were the ideas alike of the wealthy manufacturer, the shop-keeper, and the clerk. All nonconformists were "philistine" and not "barbarian," though all "philistines" were not nonconformists. Most "philistines" were liberal in politics, and their liberalism was more usually of the "Manchester" brand than radical; most " barbarians " were conservatives, but, if they were liberals, it was almost always of the Whig brand.
It cannot be said that the intellect made any great appeal to Victorian Englishmen as a body, whatever their class. When we speak of the educational ideals of a class, we are therefore thinking of a small minority of that class. In this sense the public school of 1868 represented the educational ideals of the " barbarians." Though the House of Commons tended to be dominated by the ideals of the philistines," the Royal Commissions, through the powerful part played by the Church and the universities in educational matters, tended rather to represent the "barbarian" point of view. We might therefore have expected that the "barbarian" would wish to educate other people's children on the same lines as those on which he educated his own : and this is very much what in the long run has come to pass, for the "barbarian" code is at bottom based. on the native instincts of the Englishman, developed in freedom from the restraints of circumstances and untrammelled by opposing ideas.
Why then did this not occur? Because of the exclusiveness of the unintellectual majority in the class. The exclusiveness of the "barbarians" may not have been half so potent for evil as the race for wealth among the "philistines": the country squire did not alienate the workers to anything like the same degree as the self-made capitalist. All the same it cannot be denied that, tempered though it might be by Christianity, by patriotism, and by fellowship in sport, there was in the "barbarian" something of the old Greek feeling that the highest life was one which could be lived free from " banausic " labour and that the hand-workers existed to make such a life possible for his own class. Their claim to a share in the good things of body and soul as a fair reward for accomplishing their raison d'être was recognised—though they were too prone, as a class, to close their eyes to the evils of an industrialism with which few of them came into direct contact—but What the land-owning and professional classes never recognised was the claim of boys and girls born in the hand-working classes to the good things of the intellect. Possibly it was because the majority of "barbarians" did not appreciate them very much themselves. But in this respect the Victorian era contrasts unfavourably with the Middle Ages, when the Church gave an opportunity for a poor boy to rise to the highest rank which a subject could hold, an archbishopric, and to be the companion of kings.
Besides this lower motive there was another aspect of "barbarian" exclusiveness which we must not overlook. Classes are always afraid of losing their ideals and are far more prone to keep their children segregated from those of other classes than to remain in isolation themselves. The "barbarian" really had much which we can admire, which he wished to hand on to his sons. The Hanoverian type, with which the present age can have little sympathy, was dying out. His Victorian successor was far superior. We know Tom Brown's father : admiration for his type leavened Charles Kingsley with an element of toryism, despite his zeal for social reform; Disraeli's policy was to appeal from the mercenary instincts of the manufacturers to the sense of fair-play which he believed he could find in the squires. Honour and duty sum up the better side of their tradition. On this foundation the religious leaders of the century following the Wesleyan and Evangelical revivals sought to build a more self-conscious morality. Thomas Arnold had set himself to make the public schools instruments in accomplishing this task. In those days, when such men as he talked of "a gentleman and a Christian," they meant one in whom a sense of honour and a sense of duty had taken root from his earliest years and in whom the other virtues had been more consciously developed by Christian influences from this starting-point. If we had similarly to pick out the special virtues of other classes, we should probably select honesty and industry as the virtues of the "philistine," and helpfulness to distress as that of the worker. In a vague kind of way we believe that the "barbarian" felt that a mixture of classes might result in the complex possessing the virtues of none and the faults of all. Headmasters had learned how to build on the virtues of the young " barbarian" and wanted him segregated so that they could accomplish their task.
The average "barbarian" was not much given to abstract thought, and it rarely occurred to him to consider how the young "philistine" and young worker ought to be educated. The public school headmaster had carried him away by force of character. Even the careless boy usually respected the " head" ; and, when he grew up, even if he was a man of no great moral zeal, he wished his son to be educated by a man whom he respected. Members of parliament had thus a clear idea what the school to which they would send their own sons must be like. But they were not convinced that the same kind of schooling would suit any other class. As regards the young worker, they found an easy way out of their difficulty; they handed the matter over to the clerical members of their class, who had inherited the notion that what was needed was the Bible and the Catechism. It never seemed to occur to the clergy that the direct teaching of religion played only a small part in the Arnoldian "Christian education": they went on valiantly struggling on the platform for religious teaching in the elementary school, regardless of the fact that it provided no counterpart for the other elements in Arnold's training. Arnold emphasised the close connection of intellectual and moral education; but the moralising effect of broadening the intellectual horizon, outside the shape which it took in the public schools, was still to seek. The public school class on the whole saw through the pathetic fallacy, in which many "philistines" believed, that the knowledge of reading was by itself a moralising agency, but they had nothing more to offer.
As regards the education of the young "philistine" the "barbarian" was completely at a loss. He could not hand this over to the clerical members of his class; for the young " philistine's" parents were as often as not nonconformists, sometimes were free-thinkers, and nearly always took a point of view which the "barbarians" could not under-stand.
What then of the standpoint of the adult "philistine"? On the whole he had more definitely formulated ideas than the "barbarian." Unfortunately they were often narrow. Instinct is often a surer guide to conduct than ideas, especially second-hand ideas. The intolerance of a far-back age and the conservatism of recent days had denied the nonconformist, who constituted the backbone of the "philistine" class as far as strength of character and conviction was concerned, a share in such liberal education as was provided in the recognised places of learning. The "philistines" of early Victorian days consequently lacked among their numbers the counterpart of the public school headmasters. Their ideas were largely borrowed and crude. The traditions of Puritanism rendered Art and most Literature suspect. Political ideas were borrowed freely from continental liberals; but other intellectual ideas from this source were tainted with infidelity. John Stuart Mill probably influenced the Oxford of the seventies and the small number of working men who were able to educate themselves by their own efforts far more than he influenced the genuine "philistine." The result was to leave the "philistine" class divided and educationally powerless. Many were won over by Arnold's religious zeal to a belief in the public school system. Some were adherents of new and transient forms of education like George Combe's. The majority were frankly utilitarian and kept their children at school no longer than was necessary to teach them commercial arithmetic and a little of informational subjects. As regards the education of the young workers the "philistine" was a firm believer in the three R's, and as regards that of the young "barbarians," he washed his hands of it. Of the great movements in thought which reacted on education, the scientific movement was consequently the only one with which the "philistines" had any noteworthy connection.
Finally, can the workers be said to have evolved any educational ideas? Of course we must expect to find a much smaller proportion of this class possessed of ideas than of the other two ; for it required the sternest grit for a worker to find opportunity for getting them. This small hard-headed minority displayed great interest in education : Mechanics' Institutes,Working-men's Colleges, the cooperative movement, and the educational side of the Chartist movement are evidence enough. But the time had not yet come when their policy could look beyond the elementary and lower technical sphere. They would support an educational leader, when they found one, through thick and thin. They were more ready to set prejudices aside than either of the other classes. But for the present the leaders in working-class educational movements came from outside.
This analysis of the educational ideals of the three classes into which for this purpose Victorian society may be divided is sufficient to explain why the State was unable as yet to establish a system of secondary education. The public school system was the only system worthy of the name; the public schoolmen gloried in having produced it without State interference ; and the system of State education which the" barbarians " and " philistines " had between them imposed on elementary schools was its direct anti-thesis and filled secondary schoolmasters with alarm. Obviously a very different attitude of mind all round must be produced before State secondary education could be a success. Hence the next stage requires explanation by forces which lay outside the school walls. We must ask ourselves what new elements have been added to the mental outfit of all classes which were lacking when Queen Victoria came to the throne, and it is convenient to label the process by which each of these elements was added as a "movement."
The first was the scientific movement already discussed in Chapter v. It offered a new form of intellectual education; it presented education to the workers and to lower middle class parents in a form in which it seemed to be of practical "use"; it held out prospects to the manufacturers, whose influence was perhaps stronger than that of any other class in the House of Commons, of obtaining more competent managers and more efficient "hands"; it came as a relief to politicians who were expected to do something to maintain England's commercial superiority. If Science was associated with a somewhat narrowly utilitarian view of education, it was partly because it turned into adherents of education persons who otherwise would not have been educationalists at all. Thus we see how it came to pass that for a time Science was regarded as solving the problem of educating the young "philistine" while it hardly affected the education of the young "barbarian" for several decades.
The second movement was the aesthetic. Matthew Arnold and Ruskin may be taken as its representatives. It was a reaction against "philistinism." Puritanism had tended to regard all pleasures as evil. In the long run the "higher" pleasures were the losers. The ordinary man would not believe, for instance, that it was his duty to abstain from the pleasures of the table, which a heathen philosopher would certainly have classified as "lower "—besides, was not fasting a Romish superstition? But he was quite willing to abandon music, painting, sculpture, and architecture—besides, were not these the vehicles of Romish worship? Even literature should only be enjoyed within the narrow limits where it made for edification; and the love of natural scenery, though not formally condemned, shared in the general loss of the aesthetic sense. Evangelicalism in its origin was not like Puritanism, based on a mixture of legalism and asceticism ; planted in a different soil, it would naturally have encouraged Luther's love of music and St Francis's feeling for nature : but most Evangelicals inherited a strain of Puritanism in their spiritual pedigree. Moreover, the base purposes to which art and literature had been put wherever neo-Paganism had prevailed since the Renaissance blinded them to their nobler uses; while a suspicion of Romanism prevented the use of art by religion, without which it first became . secularised and then demoralised.
Matthew Arnold (1822–1888) is peculiarly interesting to us because he was both educationalist and prophet and because he succeeded in influencing the education of the succeeding generation by his work as a prophet, whereas he failed to influence that of his own generation by his professional work as an educationalist. His educational views were the direct outcome of his attitude as a prophet, and they can be read in the present age with approval. But they were in advance of his time and, though what he wrote was highly valued by Royal Commissions and by educational reformers, as far as immediate effect on educational legislation and administration was concerned he was a voice crying in the wilderness. What better proof can we have that educational advance is due to the efforts of individuals than this instance of the State appointing a man of genius as one of its educational officials and then finding that he re-shaped educational ideas during his leisure hours devoted to literary criticism, while his official work largely consisted in ineffectively denouncing the policy of his official superiors !
Arnold was, as we might imagine, a thorough product of the classical movement, and came under many of its varied influences. His schooling at Rugby was responsible for the serious attitude to life which underlay a somewhat light and bantering mode of expression; to it may be attributed that view of literature as a criticism of life which at first sight appears more consonant with the outlook of a moralist like Plato than of an apostle of beauty like Arnold. As scholar of Balliol and fellow of Oriel he came under the more critical elements in the many-sided humanistic movement: above all he was filled by enthusiasm for the Greek spirit and set its love of "sweetness and light" in opposition to the unlovely compound of Puritanism and money-making for which he employed the undying name of "philistinism." Chance made him an educationalist by profession; for, after a short career as an assistant master at Rugby, he was offered the post of private secretary to the Marquis of Lansdowne who, as Lord President of the Council, was responsible for education; and in 1851 he was appointed an inspector of schools. His vigorous attacks in his Reports on Elementary Schools upon the system of payment by results at a time when examination was an obsession in the minds of educational administrators almost brought about his resignation; but this part of his work belongs to the volume on the history of elementary education. In secondary education he was one of those who, in their reaction against British insularity. strove to awake the country to the superior merits of continental systems. He was employed by the Royal Commissions to investigate continental education on the spot; the task was highly congenial to him, and he became the recognised authority in England on the subject. His publications were Popular Education of France (1861), A French Eton (1864), and Schools and Universities on the Continent (1868). We have seen how his conclusions as to the grave deficiency of middle-class schools and the need of State intervention as the only means of supplying it were adopted by the Schools Inquiry Commission but fell on deaf ears in Parliament and failed to produce any immediate result. Though very necessary at the time, this tendency to look abroad for educational guidance was not an unmixed blessing at a later date; for it tended to substitute imitation for thought and to place industrious compilers in the seats of authority over public opinion where creative genius was needed. It also irritated the teachers of the older universities and public schools to be constantly told that all good things in education were made in France and Germany; and conservatism was fostered by the failure of some of its opponents to see that a national education must be based on a foundation of national aspirations and traditions.
But it was as the author of Culture and Anarchy (1869) and in his various critical writings that he did his most real educational work. His influence was quite as strong in intellectualising the "barbarians" as in leavening the "philistines " with sweetness and light. He thus tilled the soil in which the educational seeds which he sowed could ultimately take root. He lived in the heyday of the scientific movement—if we mean by the movement the crusade for spreading the teaching of science rather than the results of that crusade. His criticism of the movement was far more effective than the opposition of theologians or the academic opinions of faculty psychologists, because there was nothing obscurantist in his ground of attack. He approached the problem from the point of view of the pupil who had to be educated, a point of view which was liable to be disregarded so long as attention was fixed on the character of the subject-matter. His experience brought him into contact with elementary school pupils and students in training as teachers, so that the humanities had for him a wider meaning than the classics of the public schools. He was the first man insistently to voice the need of a literary element in the training of working men and the middle classes. "The only use the Government makes of the mighty engine of literature in the education of the working classes amounts to little more, even when most successful, than giving the power to read the newspapers1." "The animation of mind, the multiplying of ideas, the promptness to connect in the thoughts one thing with another and to illustrate one thing by another, are what are wanted; just what letters, as they are called, are supposed to communicate2." In 1876 he ended his report by replying to a speech made on behalf of the teaching of science at the meeting of the British Association. "What-ever else," the speeches had said, "a man may know, viewed in the light of modern necessities, a man who is not versed in exact science is only a half-educated man, and, if he has substituted literature and history for natural science, he has chosen the less useful alternative." Matthew Arnold replies by quoting paraphrases of a passage in real educational work. His influence was quite as strong in intellectualising the "barbarians" as in leavening the "philistines " with sweetness and light. He thus tilled the soil in which the educational seeds which he sowed could ultimately take root. He lived in the heyday of the scientific movement—if we mean by the movement the crusade for spreading the teaching of science rather than the results of that crusade. His criticism of the movement was far more effective than the opposition of theologians or the academic opinions of faculty psychologists, because there was nothing obscurantist in his ground of attack. He approached the problem from the point of view of the pupil who had to be educated, a point of view which was liable to be disregarded so long as attention was fixed on the character of the subject-matter. His experience brought him into contact with elementary school pupils and students in training as teachers, so that the humanities had for him a wider meaning than the classics of the public schools. He was the first man insistently to voice the need of a literary element in the training of working men and the middle classes. "The only use the Government makes of the mighty engine of literature in the education of the working classes amounts to little more, even when most successful, than giving the power to read the newspapers1." "The animation of mind, the multiplying of ideas, the promptness to connect in the thoughts one thing with another and to illustrate one thing by another, are what are wanted; just what letters, as they are called, are supposed to communicate2." In 1876 he ended his report by replying to a speech made on behalf of the teaching of science at the meeting of the British Association. "What-ever else," the speeches had said, "a man may know, viewed in the light of modern necessities, a man who is not versed in exact science is only a half-educated man, and, if he has substituted literature and history for natural science, he has chosen the less useful alternative." Matthew Arnold replies by quoting paraphrases of a passage in Macbeth written by students in a training college as a proof of what a failure to teach English may produce. He adds that to make people obey the laws of health a knowledge of science is not enough. "To have the power of using (which is the thing wished) these data of science, a man must in general have first been in some measure moralised, and for moralising him it will not be found easy, I think, to dispense with those old agents, letters, poetry, religioni."
It is doubtful, however, if Matthew Arnold had been in the position of an educational dictator and had been able to impose on the schools the means which he thought necessary to effect his aims, whether he would have been successful. He still clung to the old faculty psychology enough to believe that English grammar was needed in elementary schools to fill the place of Latin in secondary schools; and surely science has rarely been so little of a civilising agent as the technicalities of so-called English grammar usually are. He firmly believed in making children and students in training colleges learn poetry by heart, regardless of the fact that such a course may inspire a life-long hatred of poetry in the victims. And, when his campaign had won examining bodies to his side and English literature became a regular subject in secondary schools, what a travesty of his intentions did it become! It is probably true that far more valuable study of literature took place in public schools in the old days when classics were the only regular subject of the curriculum, when examinations were unknown and when boys were guided in their leisure reading, than is usually found in any type of boys' school—in many girls' schools it is happily different—where English is taught as an examination subject. The truth is that, given a teacher who really loves literature, whether he has ever passed an examination in it or not, his pupils will read and read in the right way; but that, given a teacher, however high honours he may have taken in English, who approaches it as school "business," it would be much better that he should not "teach literature" at all. Arnold's real glory is in having spread a love of literature amongst many who would never other-wise have felt it and so increased the probability of the right kind of teachers being found.
Ruskin (1819-1900), albeit that his direct educational views are fanciful, was in some ways the greatest indirect force on education during the century. It is almost true to say that before his time art was to the "philistines" a stumbling-block and to the " barbarians " and the workers foolishness. Of course he neither created the Gothic revival nor the pre-Raphaelite school of painters. But he did some-thing far wider. From the Renaissance art had been aristocratic and in England confined to a small minority of the aristocracy. Since it had been taken from the religious soil in which it had flourished in the Middle Ages it had been a hothouse exotic. Deep in the English heart is a love of nature : classicism had for over a century divorced art from nature: and what the romantic movement did for literature, that Ruskin did for art. Here then are the three things which Ruskin did; he re-united art to craft, he reunited it to religion, he re-united it to the love of nature. The "fine arts " were no longer to be regarded as a hobby of ostentatious princelets and idle aristocrats, but as the invention of artist artisans. They were to be associated not with the Quartier Latin and its bohemianism but with the builders of cathedrals in the ages of faith. Art was not artificiality; it was to be won by studying the trees of the forest and the flowers of the field. Ruskin treated art as Matthew Arnold treated literature—as one of the moralising agencies. As soon as this change of attitude became at all general, art was bound to become an instrument of education. The earlier teaching of drawing and of arts and crafts had been purely utilitarian, and confined to those to whom skill and a sense of beauty were to become commercial assets. Henceforward it was to be a part of the education of all, necessary to a full development of human nature, to the enjoyment of life, and to the banishing of sordid, morbid and petty attitudes, and, like language, a medium of expression and a carrier of thought and feeling.
But Ruskin did something even greater than setting up art as the companion of literature in the sphere of education. He did more than any individual—though it is little that a single individual can do in this direction--to break down class exclusiveness. The basis of class distinctions is the belief that there is something "banausic" in manual work or that a life of leisure is necessary for developing the higher qualities in human nature. Ruskin did not succeed in showing how, under present conditions, it is possible for every man to develop his whole being. In the old Greek days when practically the only source of mechanical power, save for a little use of other beasts of burden, was man himself, slavery, open or disguised, was probably the one basis on which a cultured free society could be built up. Machinery would appear, from the point of view of purely mechanical science, to have solved the difficulty, by reducing the amount of muscular work which was necessary in the old days to manageable proportions. But, directly the laws of nature had been converted into allies, the laws of political economy seemed to spring up with hydra-like multiplicity; and the problem appeared more desperate than before mechanical sources of power had been discovered. In his titanic struggle with the economic hydra Ruskin wore out body and brain, and the end is not yet. He dared to contemplate and to feel in its fulness a problem which, fully realised, must make the head reel and, fully felt, must make the heart melt as wax, namely, that we do not yet know how to enable the bulk of mankind to be what we feel that their possibilities mean them to be and that, so far as we ourselves are able to approach the ideal, it is by the sweat of the brow, the deadening of the sensibilities, and the loss of the capacity of living, of other men. The agony of Ruskin's yearning cannot be realised by the "philistine" who does not know of these lost possibilities, by the revolutionary who believes that the favoured classes could give them if they would, or by the socialist who thinks he has a panacea which will shortly be applied. What Ruskin succeeded in doing was, first, to make his contemporaries see that we must never rest till the solution is found and that, in proportion as we recognise our duty, we shall cause society to approximate more closely to the ideal; secondly, to proclaim a ground of hope, to be drawn from the fact that, though most work is a bar to the higher life under present conditions, yet all idleness is a bar by its very nature. When God made man in His own image, He made him a creator; his instinct as a child is to create; and he can never properly see that the larger creation of God or the smaller creations of men are very good till he has in some measure exercised his creative powers. The notion that human superiority is to be based, not on capacity for intellectual work, which may make it quite desirable that a judge, for instance, should not spend too much of his time on manual work, but on the mere fact of never having done any serious manual work, was shown up as destructive of art, an ignoring of human nature, and blasphemy against God. The paganism of the Renaissance was now detected in its last hiding-place. While Jupiter feasted in his palace on Olympus, man was godlike in so far as he did the same. The Christian concept is, "My Father worketh...and I work." In some way or another the goal to which progress must tend is one where all work is done in the spirit of the artist, aims at the perfection of the artist, and arouses the joy of the artist. Then will the worker be the full perfection of manhood.
Obviously the first step towards the ideal, so far as educational machinery is concerned, lay with the elementary school; for little could be done with the adult workmen if the foundations were not truly and wisely laid. Hence he frequently returns to the demand for a free and compulsory education, physical, moral, and manual1. His idea of the school is, however, so bound up with his views of the relation of the State to industry that it would take too much space to consider it here. Secondary education has been influenced more by the corollaries from his teaching on the part which art, handicraft, and a love of nature should play in life than by deductions arising from his economic writings.
Amongst the corollaries which he himself definitely drew were the necessity of beautiful classrooms and the use of paintings in teaching pupils to understand the pasti; the teaching of a trade to boys of all ranks', a conclusion at which he would probably have arrived even if it had never been expounded before; the place of science in education, which we have discussed in a previous chapter; the value of nature-study3, at that time an unknown subject for which not even a name had been found; and the necessity of putting girls' education on a foundation on which it could build for real development and not for display4. He must have startled schoolmasters of that day by pro-claiming " all emulation to be a false motive and all giving of prizes a false means," another echo of Rousseau, and a view which almost necessarily goes with Ruskin's elimination of competition in the economic sphere. Emulation never receives fair treatment from men who have not played games; they have never felt it in its healthiest form. But these direct educational passages are of minor importance; Ruskin's real influence on education would have followed from his general outlook on life equally if he had not written a word directly on the subject.
Though we began considering Ruskin's work as a contribution to the aesthetic movement, it has led us on to a third movement, for which it is somewhat hard to find a name, which is represented by Frederick Denison Maurice and Charles Kingsley. It was a religious reaction against the individualism of Puritanism and even of Evangelicalism.
Industrialism had naturally fostered men's money-getting instincts; and, since money-getting is facilitated by banishing ease and living laborious days, persons of puritanical descent and tendency were generally well to the fore in the race for wealth and were inclined to "compound for sins they were inclin'd to by damning those they have no mind to." The continental conception of Englishmen as a race of hypocrites is of course a gross exaggeration : but it remains true that among the Victorians thrift, attention to business, and perseverance were as often degraded into vices as was an excessive love of ease. No time in fact was left for the higher pleasures: and the unvaried relation of competition was hardly likely to foster the generous instincts towards their fellow men. The results, in the case of the orthodox, were uncharitableness and gloominess in the less buoyant natures, and a restriction of outlook in all; while among those who were brought up in this atmosphere and found the yoke of orthodoxy too hard there was naturally a reaction towards the lower pleasures. Among the working classes too it created a tendency to regard respectability as a class code evolved for the furtherance of amassing capital in the hands of that class. Is it not a curious fact that in Mohammedan, Buddhist, and Jewish communities, and in Mediaeval Europe, a strict fulfilment of the accepted moral code has always earned a certain measure of respect from the laxer members of society, but in modern Western Europe alone has it been a cause of ridicule and contempt among many individuals of every class and a majority of individuals in particular classes? Surely the basis of the difference must be this: the laxer Mohammedan or Buddhist somehow feels that his more devout co-religionist is seeking his neighbour's good while the laxer Westerner suspects that he is seeking his own good.
The movement, then, which we are considering protested against the conception of religion as a process of "saving one's soul "—that is saving it, not from selfishness and sin, but from their physical punishments in the hell of popular theology—and represented it as a process of developing love of God and love of one's neighbour through and by means of one another. It held up religion as something social. From a social state of mind social conduct must result. Social reform of all kinds was constantly in the minds of this school. Sanitation, housing, conditions of work, opportunities for recreation, thrift, all received their attention. To these men education had a new meaning which it did not possess to its ordinary clerical advocate. The latter divided education strictly into secular and religious; the former was only an indirect while the latter was a direct means of saving souls. Secular education had three uses: first, if administered in very small doses, it made a man a better economic producer; secondly, it gave him certain intellectual tools for understanding religious truths; thirdly, if education were given by the right per-sons, it exposed the pupil to the influences which would make for the acceptance of sound religious principles. But in itself it was no better to be educated than to be uneducated. To the school of Maurice and Kingsley secular and religious education were alike holy. They conceived Heaven as a state where every faculty which is born in man will be developed to a point beyond our present conceptions, in perfect harmony with every other faculty, and with the purpose of God and the blessedness of all His creatures; and, as Man is a "social animal," the social and altruistic faculties would constitute an important element in his redeemed manhood, in which intellect and the sense of beauty would somehow conduce ad maiorem gloriam Dei. Earth was a training school for Heaven; and men would only be able to enter the preparatory class in Heaven if they were sent there in a state of lop-sided development. "Whatsoever ye shall bind on Earth shall be bound in Heaven." The words had an awful significance to those who interpreted their priestly commission in this sense. Not merely do ignorance and the cramping of parts of our nature lead to sin; they are themselves JµapTla, a missing of the mark which man is meant to hit. So far as the Christian Church allows conditions to exist which cramp man's development and fail to educate him, it is "binding him on Earth."
This movement touched others at many points. It does indeed embrace a "social" movement in education, but it is so much wider that we have hesitated to call it by such a name. It touches the scientific movement, especially in the case of Kingsley—one of those natures to whom "the Earth is the Lord's," who was more likely to picture himself in Heaven with a geologist's hammer than with a harp, ever learning more and more, in Milton's phrase, "to know God through His works." It touches the aesthetic movement so closely as to turn the feeling of beauty into one of adoration. It touches the hygienic movement, for our bodies are "the temples of the Holy Spirit"; and Kingsley "wishes to think" with the mystics that somehow our minds create our bodies and not our bodies our minds.
F. D. Maurice was the son of a unitarian minister. He was educated at Cambridge in the days when it was possible for a nonconformist to study at that university but not to take its degree, which involved subscription to the Thirty-nine Articles. He spent the next few years in London as a journalist, but gradually came to a belief in the tenets of the Church of England; and it is characteristic of the man that he joined the Church at a time when he had no material benefit to derive from the act, though a few years earlier he could have retained his scholarship at Trinity Hall by subscription. He now went up to Oxford and in 1833, after taking his degree, was ordained to a country curacy at Bubbenhall in Warwickshire. It is strange to think that he was actually put forward as a candidate for the chair of political economy at Oxford by the Tractarians. As he was clearly not an evangelical, they concluded that he must necessarily incline to their own school of thought. On his real views becoming known, his name was hurriedly withdrawn. In 184o he was appointed professor of English literature and modern history at King's College, London; and in" 1845 theology was also assigned to him.
Hitherto his interests had been mainly religious and educational, but the Chartist movement of 1848 made a deep impression on him. Though doctrinally he was a convinced churchman, having definitely broken with the unitarianism in which he had been brought up and holding Calvinism in horror, he had not inherited the tory traditions which in these days were dominant among the clergy. He faced the situation in an attitude of fearless enquiry and came to the conclusion that the dissatisfaction of the working classes with the existing order was justified. He saw as clearly as his panic-stricken colleagues that Chartism was the lineal descendant of the French revolutionary movement and that the religious beliefs of most of its leaders were those of Tom Paine. But he believed, what his colleagues did not believe, that, though the Chartists did not support Christianity, Christianity supported them, and that the brotherhood preached by Christ was no more a form of words than the fraterri'ity proclaimed by the followers of Rousseau. He set himself the double aim of making Christians of Chartists and making social reformers of Christians. On December 7th began the meetings of that band of enthusiasts who acquired the name of Christian Socialists. From May he had been publishing a series of penny pamphlets entitled Politics for the People, to which Charles Kingsley contributed under the title of Parson Lot. He started an adult school in Little Ormond Yard, "a place so disorderly that no policeman liked to venture there alone at night," and Tom Hughes helped in the teaching. He threw himself vigorously into the co-operative movement. The following year came the cholera, and sanitation be-came an important plank in his social programme. In 185o the tailors formed a Working Men's Association, and a Society of Working Men's Associations was rapidly developed, the principles of which Maurice explained and defended in his Tracts on Christian Socialism. Soon after, his social activities were disturbed by an attack on his religious views arising out of his criticism of the prevailing belief in regard to eternal punishment. Maurice was victorious in so far as he obtained from the law-courts a decision that acceptance of the generally accepted belief was not required of clergy either by the Prayer-book or by any other lawful authority; but it cost him his professorships.
This, however, left him the more free to carry on his social programme, and in 1854 he formed his Working Men's College. The Mechanics' Institutes, which have been described in a previous chapter, had passed their zenith. They had struck on the rock which prevented Maurice's own institutions from becoming a permanent part of the educational machinery of the country, the lack of previous training. Both movements left behind them a certain number of institutions which in modern times, when this difficulty had been removed, have been absorbed in the technical system of later days. But, even had they been still flourishing, they would not have fulfilled Maurice's purpose. Their aims were too utilitarian and informational; Maurice sought rather those studies which would humanise and moralise. The "College" was taught by volunteers such as Ruskin, Alexander Monro, Woolner, Lowes Dickinson, Rossetti, Frederic Harrison, W. J. Brodribb, C. H. Pearson and Grant Duff, a list sufficient to show that it was animated by no spirit of religious exclusiveness. He was helped by a stream of young men from the universities such as at a later time carried on the work of Toynbee Hall or the Oxford House in Bethnal Green. Maurice's boldness in refusing to compromise with convention, where compliance was opposed to what he believed to be the truth or the general welfare, is shown in his stand on the matter of Sunday pursuits and recreations, which was a very vital question in the case of manual workers who were hard at work all the week. His attitude is so much commoner to-day that it is hard to realise that no "respectable" person, unless he were inspired by deep religious conviction, would then venture to attack Sabbatarianism. A hard-drinking, hard-swearing, loose-moraled, gambling mid-Victorian would have regarded anyone who suggested playing cricket on Sunday as outside the pale. Maurice never sought conflicts but, when the success of any cause which he prized was at stake, he never flinched from them : and in this case he felt that he was following not merely the general tenour of his Master's principles, but His direct precedent on at least three occasions. "I have felt," he wrote, "that a Working College, if it is to do anything, must be in direct hostility to the Secularists—that is to say, must assert that as its foundation principle which they are denying. But to do this effectively it must also be in direct hostility to the Religionists—that is to say, it must assert the principle that God is to be sought and honoured in every pursuit, not merely in something technically called religion."
Maurice's work was twofold. With the exception of St Francis there is hardly any man since the first three centuries of Christianity of whom it is as true to say "To the poor the gospel is preached." Hanoverian official religion was exploded. The difference between an evangeli-cal like Westcott and a high-churchman like Gore in succeeding days is a trifle compared with the gulf which yawns between them and a Georgian pluralist. His second task, however, was to put education in the forefront of the social movement. When society is all wrong and seditious discontent is rife, education is almost the last thing which the dissatisfied demand. More food, better clothes, more pay, less work, more amusement, all come first. Yet in a sense education is both the means to these things and their end. By increasing a man's value as a worker it helps to improve his material position. When he has acquired means of sustenance and leisure, it enables him to enjoy his leisure. It enables him to live fully; and without this knowledge increased wages are of little value. Changes in wages only alter the distribution of the good things of life: education actually multiplies them. We are at the present time sufficiently familiar with kinds of unrest which, while searching to produce universal happiness, run the risk of producing universal misery; but, if the unrest of the "fifties" had not been turned into a healthier direction, we might now be in the condition of Russia. Christian Socialism did not create much in the way of educational machinery, but it produced an attitude of mind. Governments came to realise that, though education was not what the workers were consciously seeking, it would, when once they had obtained it, do more than many more popular demands to satisfy their unconscious cravings; and working men themselves came to aspire after it. The foundation was laid of the belief that is now becoming widespread that no human being's education should end with the elementary school.
The fourth movement for us to consider is the hygienic. It was immediately occasioned by the bad sanitary conditions which resulted from the uncontrolled growth of towns after the Industrial Revolution and especially by the visitations of cholera. But it has a wider significance; it represents the passing of an age-long attitude of mind and the spread of an attitude which, except to small intellectual minorities, had been previously unknown, but once accepted, alters the whole mode of looking at the physical world. This is the scientific aspect of the movement. Of course in all ages, man has been compelled, in order to adjust himself to his natural environment, to acknowledge some sort of uniformity in nature; empirical agriculture and empirical medicine both imply such a belief. But, the further we go back, the more we find mankind believing in a multitude of variable factors entering into the result along with a few invariable uniformities. The weather and disease are so elusive that popular opinion continued to regard them as such variables long after it had acknowledged many of their companions as subject to law. We would hesitate to define the scientific spirit in terms which suggested that it totally denied such variable factors—the existence of conscious beings by itself introduces one such factor: nor, in regard to disease, does the scientific spirit, in the best sense, deny the effect of mental condition on bodily health. The scientific attitude of mind, however, believes that, apart from such mental influences, disease will obey physical laws as fully as a material body, apart from the operation of the human mind on human muscles, will obey the law of gravitation. It is an attitude totally opposed to two beliefs, one or other of which has satisfied popular thought in all past ages, that the weather and disease are either the sport of "chance" or else in a special sense "acts of God." But pure intellect has no driving-power (voi oÚ8iv ravel) ; as a cold philosophic belief the uniformity of nature would have made few converts among the masses. Yet cholera showed the need that it should be believed; it soon became apparent that the most serious obstacle to the adoption of hygienic habits was the incapacity of the bulk of the population to think in a scientific manner. Unless people are habituated to think in terms of cause and effect all round, they will not do so in regard to some one specific matter where at any particular moment it is needed. Thus it came to pass that a movement which originated in science became associated with the social and philanthropic activities and the religious opinions of Maurice and Kings-ley. With the theory of chance science could deal easily, for, while it had many adherents, it had no devotees. But with the theory of "act of God" it was different ; strange as it seems now, there were in those days many who regarded sanitary measures as a direct attempt to resist the decrees of Providence.. Against such Kingsley was the best fighter who could be found. The cause enlisted two of the strongest elements in his nature—his social sympathies, and his enthusiasm for mens sana in corpore sano as the ideal of the entire man. Born a naturalist, a sportsman, and a lover of the country, he detested equally the view that science is irreligious, the identification of bodily feebleness with spiritual strength, and the existence of slums. His attitude on the second point was so specially his own that it was accepted as his main contribution to contemporary thought; he was spoken of as the inventor of "muscular Christianity." It is easy to see that the popular imagination would easily be seized at the sight of a parson playing cricket on Sunday afternoon with the lads to whom he had preached in the morning, or setting out in the middle of service at the head of his congregation to put out a fire in the pine woods.
Medical science and "muscular Christianity" have between them had a considerable effect on education. Though it is a far cry to the Medical Inspection Act of 1907, men of science and followers of Kingsley both began to demand hygienic instruction in schools. Not that even now do we consider the problem has been solved. Matthew Arnold showed up the futility of the physiological teaching in elementary schools which was put in to satisfy the demand. Most of the modern teaching of hygiene is equally academic. The general diffusion of a scientific spirit through the whole of education appears to be doing more than the specific teaching of hygiene. Making games an integral part of education was an easier task. In the public schools they had grown up of their own accord; and the example of the public schools has infected the whole nation. The "barbarians " of course always loved sport. Before they rowed or played cricket, long before they played football, they had hunted and shot. At school they fought with their fists ; and that ardent muscular Christian Thomas Hughes was by no means ashamed that, as Tom Brown, he had fought with a future cleric, "Slogger Williams." But no headmaster of 1800 regarded school games as any-thing but a concession to human frailty which unfortunately would not allow boys of twelve to study at all hours when they were not sleeping or eating. The dangers of over-athleticism which we recognise in 1920 had not become pronounced during Kingsley's lifetime, and the headmaster of 186o had come to regard games not merely as excellent means of promoting health, or as a harmless way of occupying leisure hours, or as a safety-valve, but as a direct and important element in moral training. Dons were not quite so unanimous; but the unbelievers were dismissed as old-fashioned or as oddities or as admirers of things foreign, especially of German universities. By the eighties every player of Rugby football had come to believe at the bottom of his heart that the boy or man who had never dropped on the ball at the feet of an opposing rush, or found himself, two minutes before time and with a try to win, pushing in a scrum on his opponents' line, had never truly lived. Even though the war has made such things seem child's play, he probably still believes, that whatever the playing-fields of Eton (on which Rugby football was certainly not played) did for Waterloo, his game doubtless won this war. To the spectator from Mars all this would no doubt appear sufficiently absurd; but man is very human, and surely these deep, bedrock, primeval instincts, before which self-interest seems utterly forgotten and the thing to be done seems of transcendent importance, are not of the ape and tiger but of the man, not to be crushed but to be used, not something devilish but an inexhaustible hidden spring whence altruism, determination, nay heroism may be drawn.
It would doubtless be possible to mention other influences which helped to mould the attitude of different classes of Englishmen to education, but none, we venture to think, are as important as these four.
The High Church movement, for instance, might be expected to have had a wide influence through the many headmasters who have been devout high churchmen. These men have undoubtedly done much to spread both the sense of social duty which we have considered in connection with Maurice and the methods of school government associated with the name of Arnold; but it does not seem easy to fix on any specific educational ideal which we can associate with the followers of Newman and Pusey.
Nor does it seem possible to regard the democratic movement, apart from the social movement, as having produced as much effect as might have been expected. Properly speaking, democracy is a theory of government "by the people and for the people." A logical connection there certainly is between political democracy and social reform. A practical connection does not necessarily follow. Now that political democracy has been established for some little time, the Labour party is beginning to put forward an educational policy. But hitherto the influence of educational questions has been negligible at elections, except where the "religious difficulty" has been brought in; and, till the introduction of Mr Fisher's Bill of 1918, education debates were usually conducted in an empty house. Not until the working man had been given a taste of education was he likely to ask for more; and it was Robert Lowe, the very man who on the granting of the vote to the working man remarked "Now we must educate our masters," who showed as minister of education that his whole conception of schooling consisted in the " three R's." The truth is that you may be a democrat for one of two reasons. You may believe in the equal claims of all men to be able to develop their possibilities to the utmost, and you may regard the vote as a means to this end; but, if you believe this, you are an educationalist before you are a democrat; your democracy is a corollary. Or you may be a democrat because it is the line of least resistance, as for instance if you believe that you will ultimately have to choose between extending the franchise and a revolution. Then you are an opportunist democrat; and education needed zealots, not opportunists. Possibly we ought to add a third class, those who accepted democratic formulae as they accepted other facts and theories about which they had never thought. And it would be hard to find a Victorian statesman of the first rank whom an impartial judge would unhesitatingly put into the first division. Maurice, Kingsley, Ruskin he certainly would.
Indeed these four movements by themselves well-nigh cover the possible ground. The scientific movement has taught us that education is necessary to national efficiency in the economic sphere, the hygienic movement that it is necessary to individual well-being in the bodily sphere, and the other two movements that it is thus necessary in the spiritual sphere.