« VorigeDoorgaan »
THE FIRST REPORT OF THE ROYAL COMMISSION ON SCIENTIFIC
It would be a curious study of national trained in that school, and examined character to inquire how it has hap- in mineralogy or mining, not more on pened, that whilst Englishmen have the average than three per annum are been during the last 150 years, beyond up to the present time employed in all doubt, the leaders of the great the mines and metal works of this industrial revolution by which all country. Indeed, the whole nuniber the conditions of human existence of science students of those special subhave been changed, they have as yet jects, and of metallurgy, is incredibly done so little to promote the study small. The laboratory of Dr. Percy will of the physical sciences and their not accommodate more than eight or application to the arts on the part of nine workers ; and yet when it is prothose who intend to devote their lives posed in the Report of the Royal Comto technical pursuits. .However this mission on Science to provide him with may be, our engineers and manufac more spacious and appropriate accomturers are at last becoming convinced modation elsewhere, he, and some of his that the great natural advantages which colleagues, as if content with their we possess—and the greatest of these "sleepy hollow," protest; and the is the constructive genius of our people, Times, in an inspired leader, fears that -are insufficient to secure
the very limited influence which the eminence, unless we apply to their School now exerts will be further curdevelopment the knowledge of prin- tailed, or entirely extinguished, if it ciples by the cultivation of which our should be removed from its present continental neighbours are deservedly habitation. advancing, in spite of inferior resources, Happily there is a somewhat brighter to a level with ourselves.
side to the picture. The Royal College Even now the Institution of Civil of Chemistry in Oxford Street-founded Engineers, in its recent report, describ twenty-five years ago by the late Prince ing the schools for the education of its Consort, Sir James Clarke, and a few continental brethren, adds no word of other far-seeing men -is full to overblame or of warning to the bare state- flowing, and furnishes a list of hundreds ment of the fact that our own young of its late students, usefully employed engineers receive, as a rule, no scientific in our great chemical and metallurgical training whatsoever.
works, many of them distinguished by The creation of the Royal School of inventions like those of Perkins and Mines, a graft on the Geological Survey, Nicholson, by which new industries of crowded into a few spare rooms of its the greatest value have been created. Jermyn Street House, now urgently The extension of Owens College at Manrequired for the work of the Survey chester by the munificence of the leading itself, and the display of its col Lancashire engineers and manufacturers, lections,—was, it is true, determined the foundation of a chair of Civil on so early as the year 1851 by a Engineering at Edinburgh by Sir David memorial from gentlemen connected Baxter, the active steps now in progress with mining ; but even in that instance at Newcastle-on-Tyne for the establishthe desire for scientific teaching cannot ment of a High School of Science to be have been widely diffused or deeply affiliated to the University of Durham, felt, otherwise it would not have are signs of a new order of ideas in happened that of the number of men the provinces and in Scotland, on the
First Report of the Royal Commission on Scientific Instruction. 149 relations which should exist between are distinct, the instruction in metalpractice and science. We do not speak lurgy and chemistry to the pupils of the of the progress of science in the Uni
Naval School is nearly as defective as is versity of Oxford, with its new physical that of the Mining School in mathematics laboratory just opened by Professor and engineering. Clifton, nor of Cambridge, to whom its About twelve years ago the managers noble Chancellor has made a similar of the Kensington Museum were algift, as it is doubtful whether the older lowed by the Government to encourage Universities will be able to exert more the establishment of Elementary Schools than an indirect, though not on that of Science for Artizans, by paying to account an unimportant, influence on teachers of certain subjects a bonus in the scientific education of our industrial respect of the numbers of students population. The Jermyn Street School under instruction who should pass a itself, which, though called a School of satisfactory examination. We may find Vines, embraces a wider field, has an occasion before long to describe the furnished the Geological Survey with organization and operation of the soits admirable staff; and the services called Science Classes which have thus rendered there by Professor Huxley to arisen in connexion with the Science and the students of natural history, in spite Art department. It will be sufficient of the absence of a biological laboratory, for us in the meantinie to state that the are too well known for us to dwell upon system has spread over the country, them. It may be that, even in its until in May, 1870, there were 34,283 proper technical department, the School persons under instruction; that in the of Mines would have been more fre interval from the latter date to last quented if its courses had been less Christmas 300 additional classes have incomplete. The School being without been established ; and that, in the estia mathematical chair, and the pupils mation for the year 1871-72, a sum as a rule coming up, and remaining, of less than 26,0001. is asked for ignorant of mathematics, there can be
payments to teachers
on results.” no instruction worth naming in theo The printed examination papers are retical mechanics, and the whole course prepared and looked over by men of of applied mechanics—including the the greatest eminence in their respective steam-engine, water-engines, the strength departments of science; but although of materials, and the construction of the large amount which we have named arches, roofs, and girders—is compressed will be paid on their certificates, these into one of the six terms which a examiners are compelled to admit that, in student passes
in the School. Such spite of every endeavour on their part being the instruction, it is fortunate that to detect and discourage mere bookwe already possess the Cornish pumping work and cramming, the result of inengine and the steam-hammer, for the capable or dishonest teaching, this is not Jermyn Street students in mining and altogether in their power.
The Royal metallurgy could not have been likely Commissioners on Science state in their to produce them.
Report that they have taken evidence on And all the time there exists in this subject, and that "the quality of London another Government School in the instruction under the department which mathematics, mechanical drawing, would be greatly improved if the and engineering are admirably taught, teachers received practical instruction and which may be made accessible to in elementary science." The authorities the students of the School of Mines. of South Kensington have made a slight We speak of the School of Naval effort in that direction, by inviting a Architecture and Marine Engineering, limited number of teachers every year which has already turned out a number to short courses of laboratory instruction of well-instructed engineers. And, on in chemistry and other subjects; but the the other hand, because the two Schools influence of this effort on the mass of
First Report of the Royal Commission on Scientific Instruction.
incompetent teachers is, up to the pre
“The institution thus formed (hereinafter sent time, almost inappreciable.
called the Science School ') may be conIn this state of scientific instruction
veniently and efficiently governed by a
Council of Professors, one of that body acting. as offered to our industrial population
as Dean. with the Royal School of Mines, incom
“We have further heard evidence concernplete as to its courses, crowded into ing the buildings at South Kensington now small and unsuitable rooms coveted
nearly completed and intended for the recep
tion of a projected School of Naval Architecture by the Geological Survey; with the and Science; and we recommend that the Royal College of Chemistry crying out Science School should be accommodated in for more space and for laboratories those buildings. Wehavegiven careful attention
to the considerations in favour of the retention more appropriate to the advanced
in Jermyn Street of the technical instruction state of chemical science; with the in certain branches, but we are of opinion School of Naval Architecture asking that these considerations are outweighed hy to be removed from old buildings
the great advantages to be derived from
concentration. honeycombed with dry-rot, the roofs of
“We have further heard evidence concerning which cannot be kept watertight, and the Royal School of Naval Architecture and from a number of temporary sheds where Marine Engineering now conducted at South the students shiver in winter and grill Kensington ; and we recommend that the in summer, and which are a standing
theoretical instruction of that School should
in future be given in the Science School, danger of fire to the neighbouring the general instruction in Mathematics, buildings; with a pressing demand for Physical Science, and Mechanical Drawing more systematic instruction in science thus becoming common to both Schools.” to some, at least, of those who are in
They proceed to state that “the their turn to become teachers of the
Science School will be available for the artizans in our manufacturing districts
instruction of many science teachers the Science Commission had to consider
throughout the country," but they rewhat use should be made of a new
serve for a further report “ the condibuilding at South Kensington, erected, tions under which it shall be accessible” we had almost said, by stealth, capable to that class of students. of affording to all the students of the
In the Science School, which we sinNaval School, all those of the Mining cerely trust will be established in conSchool and more, and probably twice the
formity with this Report—the laboratories number of students of the College of of which, we may remark in passing, Chemistry, a series of noble labora
will be available for numerous investitories, lecture-theatres, and class-rooms. gations now conducted at great expense
They could arrive at only one con for various Government departments, clusion, and we will state it in their
the country will have for the first time a own words :
complete Polytechnic School, less impos“Without expressing any opinion, at pre
ing, it is true, than the great continental sent, as to the policy of Government Schools institutions bearing that name, but of Science, your Commissioners having to deal which will, we are convinced, be the with the Royal School of Mines and the College of Chemistry as institutions which
starting-point of a new era of industrial have existed for twenty years, and which
progress as much by its own work, as during that period have turned out a large by becoming a model for the various number of well-instructed students, consider schools certain to be founded, if not that such steps should be taken as may be necessary to render their teaching thoroughly
already growing up, throughout the efficient.
country. “ With this object we recommend that the
In conclusion, we would express the two institutions be consolidated ; that Mathe hope that the Metropolitan Polytechnic matics be added to the courses of instruction now given ; and that sufficient laboratories School may depend directly on a Minister and assistance for practical instruction in Phy
of Public Instruction. sics, Chemistry, and Biology be provided.
laid out in easy open seats, roomy in PART IV.
every direction. These and all the pasThe last of these papers,
sages were well carpeted, and the large I am mainly responsible, though not congregation came in noiselessly, and published until November was in type could worship in perfect comfort, withbefore the great fire at Chicago, other out aching backs or cramped legs. Nowise some word of sympathy for the thing could be better than the atmosufferers, and of respect for their bearing sphere, so that, apart from anything you under so fearful a trial, would surely might hear, it was physically pleasant have been spoken. I do not propose to attend the service. This was in the now to return in these pages, as I did ordinary Protestant form where no in fact, to Chicago, or to add any liturgy is in use, and consisted of description of the busiest and one of hymns, extempore prayer by the ministhe handsomest cities I was ever in, to ter, chapters from the Old and New the multitude of sketches which have Testament, and a sermon; but by no appeared during the past month; but I means in the ordinary spirit, if I may should like to put on record one little epi- judge by other services of different desode in my visit. I suppose
that all who
nominations which I have attended both have come across the notices of the Rev. at home and in America. These too R. Collyer's sermon, preached on the often remind one of the ironical paneSunday which intervened between the gyric of a New England humorist on first great fire and the destruction of the the performance of a celebrated preacher, city, on the text “ Think ye that those that his prayers were “the most eloquent Galileans on whom the tower of Siloam ever addressed to a Boston audience." fell were sinners above all that dwelt in Mr. Collyer's prayers produced an Jerusalem ?” will have been struck by entirely different impression. I do not this glimpse of the man and his work, know that I can illustrate it better than and will be glad to get another side-light by confessing that, as we stood up for thrown upon him and it. I had been the hymn before the sermon, the old advised in New England not to miss story of the west-country downs shepherd the chance of hearing him if I should came irresistibly into my head, who, happen to be in Chicago on a Sunday, when his new parson asked him what and accordingly inquired my way to his he meant by saying that there was going church, after breakfast at the Tremont to be such weather as pleased him, reHouse. The church was a fine, new, plied, “T'wull be zech, make zo bauld, modern Gothic building, fronting one of ez plaazes God A’mighty, and wut the broad shady avenues which ran from plaazes He plaazes I.” the business centre of the city towards Mr. Collyer took his text from Job, Lake Michigan. It had been quite lately chap. xxxviii. ver. 16:“Hast thou entered built for JÍr. Collyer by his congrega into the springs of the sea ? or hast thou tion, and certainly was one of the most walked in the search of the deep ?” commodious and comfortable, not to say and began by telling us, that he had luxurious, places of worship I was ever been spending his holidays by the sea, in. The whole of the floor, capable I and had come back full of thoughts should say of holding 1,500 people, was about it, which he was anxious to “get
off” to his own people. Then followed a quotation from Ruskin as to the fan tastic power, and terrible beauty, of the sea. This, he said, struck his key-note; for the feeling of mankind for the sea was not that of love, but of fear. No trace of love for the sea, but only of fear, can be found in the Bible; St. John in his Vision sees the New Jerusalem, in which “ there shall be no more sea :" and so it is with all the great poets. The same note runs through them all, even the English ; and he illustrated his position by quotations from Shakspere, Burns, Byron, ending by Dr. Johnson's saying, that a ship was a prison with the chance of being drowned. Even sailors don't look on the sea as home, but fear it, and weave all kinds of mystical notions round it. And yet the sea has its sweet and gentle side too, or it would not be part of God's creation. By its exhalations it requickens all nature, and nourishes every plant and flower that grows, and keeps the rivers sweet and running. Then, look at one of the exquisite little shells which you will find lying perfect on the shore after the fiercest storm, or at the delicate and beautiful sea-creatures and plants which float unharmed. The lashing of the storm has done them no harm, and there they are as perfect as if it had never been raging around them. And so the great stormy sea of life has its gentle and loving side for every one of us, so long as we trust in God, and just obey His laws and do His will, with clear consciences and brave hearts.
The barest outline this, of a sermon of three-quarters of an hour. The preacher never lost hold of us for a moment, a vigorous grey four square man, of middle age, with a wonderfully expressive face, full of the power and gentleness which he was painting. One felt that he was putting his whole self into his words, and all the moods through which he carried us, from broad humour to deep pathos, were fused into a white glow by the heat of the man's own simple earnestness. And there was a fearlessness in the way he laid hold of and used anything which
suited his purpose, which reminded me of the witty description of Theodore Parker's preaching in the “Fable for Critics.” It is too long to quote here more than the last lines. “Every word that he speaks has been fierily
furnaced In the blast of a life that has struggled in
earnest. There he stands, looking more like a plough
man than Priest, If not dreadfully awkward, not graceful at
least; His gestures all downright, and same, if you
will, As of brown-fisted Hobnail in hoeing a drill, But his periods fall on you stroke after
stroke, Like the blows of a lumberer felling an oak; You forget the man wholly, you're thankful
to meet With a preacher who smacks of the field and
the street, And to hear, you're not over particular
whence, Almost Taylor's profusion, quite Latimer's
sense.” I was proud to remember that the preacher was an Englishman born. Mr. Collyer began his life as a Yorkshire blacksmith, and his mission as a Methodist preacher, in England. He emigrated some twenty years ago, and has been at Chicago (I believe) fourteen years, which entitles him to call himself one of the oldest inhabitants. When his new church was built, one of his congregation made a pilgrimage to the Yorkshire village where the pastor's forge had stood, and bought the anvil on which he used to work. I saw it in one of the large rooms over which the church stood. A whole set of these, again most comfortably furnished, ran under the building, and were used for various congregational purposes. On my visit I found a number of the active members of the congregation with their pastor, talking over work of one kind or another, and from all I saw it seemed that the idea of the Independents, the separate life of each congregation as a kind of big family, was very strikingly realized here. I had a good deal of very interesting talk with Mr. Collyer on church matters; and, amongst other things, took objection to the luxury