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its appearance, than it was greeted with a storm of popular dissatisfaction. Although a very full selection, and drawn from the Protestant version of the Bible, Protestants of various names discovered that passages to them of essential doctrinal significance had been omitted. The demand for "the whole Bible" was so loud that the men who, by adopting the selections, had hoped to quiet sectarian strife found that they had unwittingly fomented it. That separate schools in Ontario will be abolished as the Equal Rights Party desires is highly improbable. Such privileges as the Catholic minority enjoy are guaranteed to them by the fundamental law of Canada; and furthermore, were these privileges annulled what could prevent reprisals in Quebec on the Protestants who are the minority there?

In Manitoba, the northwestern province adjoining Ontario, and the territories extending to British Columbia, the separate school system prevails, and here too the Catholic population is but onesixth, and from the sparseness of settlement the separation of schools is particularly burdensome. During last February the Federal Parliament at Ottawa was the scene of a protracted contest as to whether the separate system, as well as its allied importation from Quebec, the official use of French as well as English, should not be abolished. After debates of the angriest, parliament relegated the question to the Manitoban and territorial legislatures where it is now being discussed, with the probability of abolition. The extreme Protestant party insists that the religious exercises in the public schools which are to be, must be of Protestant form, a stretch of intolerance which is not likely to carry. Clearly the difference between Protestants of this type and ultramontanes is not in the fact of dogmatism, but only in its

content.

In Nova Scotia one-fourth of the inhabitants are Catholics; public sentiment has always sternly opposed a separate school system, and the Church of Rome has never seriously thrown herself into the attempt to plant it there. It has been otherwise in the contiguous province of New Brunswick where one-third of the people are Catholic, and where in some districts they preponderate. This field a few years ago, the Church determined to enter with the intent of establishing the Quebec plan. Disregarding all their political differences, the entire Protestant vote united itself in support of the public schools, and they remain undisturbed by any formal enactment. In practice a noteworthy degree

of separation has come about. In some schools all or nearly all the pupils are Catholic, and naturally Catholic children gravitate to these schools. Religious instruction, after a method which originated in Germany, is given after school hours. Every school without exception is opened with the Lord's prayer, and by reading a portion of the Bible, either in the Douay or Protestant version. Children need not arrive until after the scripture reading is over. At first the Catholics objected vehemently to the law, but it was enforced nevertheless, and now everybody concerned has settled down into acquiescence. The battle in New Brunswick over the school question was most bitter, and no good citizen wishes to see it renewed. One point in the contest deserves mention. Public school supporters again and again asked their opponents to show wherein Catholic instruction, even when sustained for generations,.had developed moral character in any way higher than that of pupils from public schools. No satisfactory reply to this was made.

To sum up the lesson which Canada has for the United States in this matter of public schools: Should Catholics become a majority in any state, through immigration from Canada or Europe a separate school system will in all probability be at once demanded. Protected by a secret ballot there may be a sufficiency of Catholic votes adverse to the proposal to defeat it, provided the Protestant vote is solidly united. As long as the priests lead a minority, they can only conquer by division. They have skill in the diplomacy which enables a compact organization to turn the political scale by playing off one party against another. Before the struggle comes to the ballot-box much can be done to weaken the attack upon the public schools by improving them to a degree impossible of rivalry by parochial education. That patriotism demands the jealous protection of the American public school system is proved by Canada's experience. Within her borders two races of diverse faith grow year by year farther and farther apart. Last year the premier of Quebec startled the people of the other provinces by boldly declaring Quebec's destiny to be that of a French and Catholic nation. Of the alienation from the rest of Canada, of which this is the final outcome, separate schools have been cause as well as sign. The pledge of American national unity is in her national scheme of education. That scheme has in the Church of Rome an unrelenting foe whose growing power it is folly to ignore.

A PHASE OF LITERATURE WORK IN THE HIGH

IT

SCHOOL.

BY E. J. MACEWAN, A. M.

I.

T is assumed in this discussion, (1) That young people who have learned to glean ideas from the printed page, will as a rule, habitually read some sort of literature. The chances are, that unless some wise direction is given them in the choice of reading matter, they will content themselves with what is inferior, even if they do not select what is positively worthless. The authors, publishers and purveyors of cheap, frothy, sensational trash, are wide awake and enterprising; and their wares flood the markets, hiding from view much that is superior. (2) High schools usually offer several parallel courses of instruction, in only one of which the sytematic study of literature is pursued; and this course is chosen by only a small minority of all pupils in attendance. (3) Pupils in the classical and scientific courses should have some direction as to what to read, and how to read, and be put in a way to learn the essentials of the various forms of literature. (4) Literature is the most important study pursued in any school. It is lifelong. No matter what occupation men and women follow after leaving school, they continue to read. Foreign languages are usually abandoned with study hours. Mathematics is seldom thought of, save by a few. Scientific principles are rarely reverted to except by specialists. But all alike read. The influence of literature upon the mind of the reader is more powerful than that of any other study. The mind rises or sinks, to the level of its accustomed society. The quality of what is read, affects by reaction, the quality of the reader's thought. Continual familiarity with the grandest thoughts and most lofty, delicate, and refined sentiments of the good and wise of all ages, cannot fail to enlarge the mind, cultivate the taste, and elevate the ideals of the reader. The only certain cure for the evils arising from no reading, as well as from the reading of pernicious literature, is the development of a taste for, and power to appreciate and appropriate what is best in books.

II.

Concerning the work of the regular literature classes, little need be said here. Two things, however, should be borne in mind. (1) A clear understanding of what constitutes literature must be had at the outset, that teachers may intelligently plan, and pupils intelligently and profitably pursue the study; (2) the minimum of literary history and biographical facts should be given, and the maximum of good, entire, representative texts be made the subjects of careful, critical study. Because most subjects, in the public schools are taught from a single book, pupils are liable to think, that having "gone through" an elementary history of literature, they have finished the subject. Cases are not unknown, where pupils have thought the contents of such manuals to be literature. It cannot be too clearly stated and persistently repeated, that literature is the sum of the great thoughts and worthy sentiments of all men in all lands and in all ages, thoughts and sentiments of universal interest expressed in a style suitable for their permanent preservation. With this notion clearly in mind, pupils will see that the pursuit of literature is not the business of a few brief school terms, but of a lifetime.

III.

A start may be made in this study, if for all grades, if literature is made the basis of the rhetorical exercises. Most pupils will confess a genuine horror for the old style rhetorical day. Few teachers will need to be put on the rack to make the same confession. What teacher does not remember having practically to write the graduating themes of pupils who, for years, have regularly declaimed and written compositions every month? In the method proposed, teachers will find enjoyment, growth, and satisfaction; and pupils, while becoming familiar with a few literary masterpieces, may directly and indirectly acquire greater elocutionary skill and develop a more excellent style than by much more work and worry in the old way. This plan of work involves. a consideration of three things: the teacher, the text, and the method of study.

One reason for the uniformly unsatisfactory results of rhetorical work is that it is usually considered a sort of "addendum,” and is distributed to various teachers who have neither taste nor tact in this direction. Like the pupils, they consider declamations and essays a bore, and contribute their share toward making them

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such. The first step toward reform is to put this work on the same basis as any other school work, to give it a regular place in the daily program like other studies and commit it to a teacher selected for special skill. The teacher, to be successful, must have a wide knowledge of literature, so as not to depend on the common compilations for his material to work with, but be able to select material for himself. He must have taste, tact and skill. He must appreciate a good thing himself, and have the ability to interpret it to his pupils. Above all, he must be enthusiastic to the limits of his physical energy, and possess the power of communicating his enthusiasm to his class. Add to these qualifications the energy which never flags, the courage that never falters, and patience to wait for results, and one condition of successful work is met.

The next step is the selection of suitable literature as a basis for the work. No mere "extracts" should be used, but entire masterpieces. Nothing should be chosen that is not interesting and valuable in itself, excellent in thought, sentiment and style. Every selection should be typical of some special form of literature. So perfect that from it may be deduced the laws governing its kind of composition. Every thing read should afford suitable material for elocutionary practice, declamation or recitation, as well as for reproduction or imitation. No single volume compiled for aid to rhetorical exercises presents such material; but the world of literature is full of it. Such a teacher as has been described may easily find it and easily adapt it to age and grade. Few teachers of mathematics, science, or languages dead and alive to whom a share of rhetorical work is usually committed, can find time to make themselves sufficiently acquainted with general literature to do the best service here, even had they the taste for such work.

The method of study will have much to do with the measure and kind of results. First, the selection may be used as an ordinary reading and language lesson, attention being given to details of pronunciation, accent, definition, and allusion, and perhaps somewhat to construction and rhetorical figure. The first object to be attained is a clear, definite, adequate understanding of the piece. The thought and sentiment of the author must be made clear to the class. Then, the teacher may tell enough about the author, and the occasion and circumstances of the composition of

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