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on the hit-or-miss principle, while others, | He was chief butler to Faro and told is whose brains have become more or less dreams. He married Potiffers dortor, addled under the pressure of “memory, and he led the Gypshans out of bondage work,” will evolve from their unbalanced to Kana in Gallilee, and there fell on his inner consciousness replies fearfully and sword and died in sight of the promised wonderfully made.
land.” Some of the " exam." stories current in “ Moses was an Egypshion. He lived educational circles, though characteristic, in a hark made of bulrushes, and he kept and possibly " founded on fact,” have an a golden calf and worshipt brazen snakes, air of belonging to the too-good-to-be-true and he het nothing but kwales and manner category. A number of these are told for forty year. He was kort by the air of against — and, if invented, were probably his ed while riding under the bow of a invented by – undergraduates. Thus tree and he was killed by bis son Absolon so the story goes - an undergraduate was as he was hangin from the bow. His end asked to name the minor prophets, and, was pease.” not having “got them up," neatly and Of the numerous stories told in connecpolitely replied that he would rather not tion with diocesan inspection “exams.”in make invidious distinctions. Another public elementary schools, the two followuniversity man, called upon to give the ing are perhaps the best known and most parable of the Good Samaritan, did so worth quoting. At one of these exams., correctly enough until he came to the a boy, asked to mention the occasion passage where the Samaritan said to the upon which it is recorded in Scripture innkeeper: “When I come again I will than an animal spoke, made answer: repay thee,” to which he added, " This he “ The whale when it swallowed Jonah.” said, knowing that he would see his face The inspector, being something of a huno more.” Perhaps, however, the exam. morist, maintained his gravity and asked: inee upon this occasion was a conscious" What did the whale say?" To which humorist, and had in mind the worldly- the boy promptly replied: “Almost thou wise saying, that there are a great many persuadest me to be a Christian.” Anpeople willing to play the part of the other inspector, finding a class hesitating Good Samaritan, less the oil and the two- over answering the question, " With what peoce.
weapon did Samson slay the Philistines ?” Something of the same stamp must and wishing to prompt them, significantly have been the candidate for a degree, tapped his own cheek, and asked, “ What who, asked to state the substance of St. is this?" and his action touching "the Paul's sermon at Athens, said that it was chords of memory," the whole class in“crying out for two hours, 'Great is Diana stantly answered: “ The jawbone of an of the Ephesians.'” With variations, that ass. is the substance of a great many sermons, A good example of the manner in which and of other discourses beside sermons. students who are "in" for several “ sub
Such stories as the above may or mayjects” at the same time get their ideas not be rather broadly illustrative than mixed, is that of the youth who having to strictly true, but in any case they can be answer the question, “Who was Esau ?” pretty well matched by others, about the replied: “ Esau was a man who wrote truthfulness of which there is no doubt. fables, and sold the copyright for a bottle Every year a certain proportion of the of potash.” Here the confusion thrice children of the London board schools confounded of Esau and Æsop, birthright enter into a competitive examination in and copyright, and pottage and potash, is Scriptural knowledge, for the “ Peek really admirable in its way. Prizes,” which consist of handsomely As might be expected, the examinations got-up Bibles and Testaments. They are of medical students afford some good paper work” examinations, and the fol- stories true or otherwise.
As might lowing are a few of the many curious also be expected, some of them are wit"hash" answers that have at various tily impudent. For instance, a “badgtimes been put in at them.
ering examiner asked a student what “ Abraham was the father of Lot, and means he would employ to induce copiad tew wives. One was called Hishmale ous perspiration in a patient, and got for and tother Haggar, he kept wun at home, answer: "I'd try to make him pass an and he turned tother into the desert where examination before you, sir.” The most she became a pillow of salt in the day frequently cited anecdote of this kind is time, and a pillow of fire by night.” that of the brusque examiner — said by
"Joseph wore a koat of many garments. I some to have been Dr. Abernethy — who,
losing patience with a student who had | The gall-bladder throws off juice from the answered badly, exclaimed: “Perhaps, food which passes through it. We call sir, you could tell me the names of the the kidneys the bread-basket, because it muscles I would put in action if I were to is where all the bread goes to. They lay kick you ?” “ Undoubtedly, sir," came up concealed by the heart.” the prompt reply; "you would put into mo. Domestic economy, as nowadays taught tion the flexors and extensors of my arm, to “children of the elementary school for I should knock you down." On the class,” embraces a good deal of physiosame lines as this was the retort made to logical knowledge, or rather, as applied to M. Lefebvre de Fourcy, a French exam- such children, physiological jargon. It is iner, celebrated, not only for his learning, a subject which affords hosts of amusing but also for his severity and rudeness. answers, though, from considerations of He was examining a youth, who, though space, two or three must here suffice for well up in his work, hesitated over answer. specimens. Thus, in reply to the quesing one of the questions put to him. Los- tion, “ Why do we cook our food ?” one ing temper at this, the examiner shouted fifth-standard girl gives the delightfully to an attendant: "Bring a truss of hay inconsequent reply:
“'Their of five way's for this young gentleman's breakfast." of cooking potatoes. We should die if we “Bring two," coolly added the examinee. eat our food roar." Another girl writes : "Monsieur and I will breakfast together.” “ The function of food is to do its proper Of such alleged answers by students as work in the body. Its proper work is that the pancreas was so named after the to well masticate the food, and it goes Midland railway station, that the bone of through without dropping, instead of being the upper arm (humerus) was called the pushed down by the skin.” A third do humorous, and was so styled because it mestic-economy pupil puts in her exam. was known as the funny-bone; or that the ination paper that “food digested is when ankle-bone (tarsus) was so called because we put it into our mouths, our teeth chews St. Paul walked upon it to the city of that it, and our tonge roll it down into our name — of such alleged answers as these body. . . . We should not eat so much it is charitable to suppose that they must bone-making foods as flesh-forming and be weak inventions of the enemy.
warmth-giving foods, for if we did we Many of the comicalities in the way of would have too many bones, and that examination answers recorded by her would make us look funny.” On the sub. Majesty's inspectors of schools, the ex. ject of ventilation, one student informs us aminers in the School Board Scholarships that a room should be kept at ninety in competitions, and other the like official the winter by a fire; in the summer by a personages, go a long way to prove that thermometer: while a classmate writes : in examination blundering, as in many “ A Thermometer is an instrument used other matters, truth is sometimes stranger to let out the heat when it is going to be than fiction. At least, it seems to us that cold.” Another girl sets down: “When no invented story — supposing examina: roasting a piece of beef place it in front tion stories ever are invented — could of a brisk fire, so as to congratulate the equal for “nice derangement” the follow outside.” But an answer -- still in doing written answer which was actually mestic economy that better, perhaps, given at an examination in the “specific than any of the above illustrates the jarsubjects ” in a public elementary school goning ihat comes of the cram system, is within the metropolitan area. The spe. the following: “Sugar is an amyloid, if cific subject taken was physiology, and you was to eat much sugar and not noththe children “presented”in it were asked ing else you would not live because sugar to “describe the processes of digestion,” bas not got no carbon, hydrogen, oxy. which one of them did in this wise : “ Food gen, nitrogen. Potatoes is another amyo. is digested by the action of the lungs. lids." Digestion is brought on by the lungs have The definitions sometimes given by ing something the matter with them. The children in reply to examination question. food then passes through your windpipe ing, are, to say the least of it, original. to the pores, and thus passes off your Aiter a reading of Gray's “ Elegy by a body by evaporation, through a lot of little fourth-standard class, the boys were asked holes in your skin called capillaries. The what was meant by “fretted vaults,” and food is nourished in the stomach. If you one youth replied: “ The vaults in which were to eat anything hard you would not those poor people were buried; their be able to digest it, and the consequence friends came and fretted over them.” would be you would have indigestion. | Asked what he understood by “elegy,"
another boy in the same class answered: Gladstone as a great African traveller." “ Elegy is some poetry wrote out for the battle of Crecy was stated to have schools to learn like Gray's Elegy." A been fought in the reign of George the class of girls, who had read a passage Third, between the Britons and Romans, from “ Evangeline," were told to write out and “The Wide, Wide World” was 'the meaning of “the forge," and these named as Shakespeare's greatest work. were among the answers : "A firnest in a This last, however, was not so bad as the blacksmith's chop.”. “A firnest in a black history of a pupil-teacher, who informed smith.” “The village smithy's anvil.” the examiner that “Shakespeare lived in “The dust that rises from the floor of a the reign of George the Third, discovered blacksmith's.” A teacher, giving a read- America, and was killed by Caliban.” ing.lesson to his class in the presence of A schoolboy habit of placing upon a an inspector, asked the boys what was question some literal meaning other than meant by conscience - a word that had that intended by the examiner, often leads occurred in the course of the reading. to answers as curious as unexpected. The class having been duly crammed for Thus an inspector, testing a class upon the question, answered as one boy: “An their knowledge of the succession of the inward monitor.” “But what do you un kings of Israel, asked the boy to whose derstand by an ioward monitor ? put in turn it had come to be questioned : “And the inspector. To this further question who came after Solomon ?" To which only one boy announced himself ready to the youngest answered: “The Queen of respond, and his triumphantly given an. Sheba, sir.” Asked what were the chief swer was, “ A hironclad, sir.”
ends of man, another boy replied, “ His A few years back there was published, head and feet;" and a third, questioned as a curiosity in its way, the subjoined as to where Jacob was going when he was transcript from Cowper's poem on Alex. ten years old, replied that he was "going ander Selkirk, written (from dictation) by on for eleven." One specially unimaginaa fifth-standard boy at a government ex tive juvenile, called upon to say for what amination of a public elementary school. the Red Sea was famous, answered, “ Red “ I Ham Monac of hall I searve, there is herrings !” but, perhaps, the most startnone heare my rite to Dispute from the ling answer of this kind was that of the senter. Hall round to the sea I am lorde boy, who, when asked what was meant by of the fowls to the Brute all shoshitude an unclean spirit, responded : “A dirty ware are the charms that sages have sene devil, sir.” in thy face better Dewel in miste of a To the type of answers here in view, larms than in this moste horibel place. I belongs that of the little girl, daughter of am how of umity reach i must finish my a watchmaker, who having repeated that Jurny a lone never hear the swete music she “renounced the devil and all his of speach i start at the sound of my hone works,” and being asked, “ What do you the Beasts that rome over the place my understand by all his works?" answered: forme with indrifence see they are so “ His inside.” Something akin to this unocent with men such tamess is shocking was an answer given by boy whose to me.”
father was a strong teetotaler, and upon The examiner for the School Board whom it would appear home influence had Scholarships competed for in 1882, gives made a stronger impression than school the following among other equally strange lessons. “ Do you know the meaning
on historical matters. " When of syntax ?” he was asked. “Yes," he Commonwealth comes to the throne it is answered; “sin-tax is the dooty upon called Oliver Cromwell.” “ The treaty of spirits.” An inspector, who had been exUtrecht was fought between the Zulus plaining to a class that the land of the and the English.” “Lord Clive captured world was not continuous, said to the boy the Fiji Islands in 1624.” “ Cardinal Wol. who happened to be standing nearest to sey was a great warrior." • Walpole bim: “Now, could your father walk round translated the Bible.” "Walpole was an. the world ?” “No, sir," was proinptly other favorite of Henry the Eighth. He answered. Why not?"
“ Because he's was the chief man in helping Henry to dead," was the altogether unlooked-for get a divorce." “Chaucer wrote Æsop's response. As little anticipated, probably, fables.” In another of these scholarship was the answer made to another inspector, examinations, Jack Cade was described as who asked, " What is a bovel?" and was “a great Indian conqueror," Sir Chris met with the reply: “What you live in." topher Wren was set down as a discov. Another peculiarity of the schoolboy erer” and “an animal painter," and Mr./mind is to put things negatively. As for
example, a fifth-standard boy was asked | answered. " Quite right! Would you to write a short essay on pins by way of not like to be born again ?" He hesitated, an exercise in composition, and produced but being pressed, said that he would not, the following: “Dins are very useful. and asked why not, replied: "For fear I They have saved the lives of a great many might be born a lassie.” Alike astonishmen, women, and children - in fact, whole ing and amusing was an answer given by families." " How so?” asked the puzzled an adult examinee, who was sitting" for inspector, on reading this. “Why, by not a certificate as acting teacher. In the exswallowing them,” was the immediate re. amination to test general knowledge, he ply. On the same lines was the essay of was asked, “What is the age of reason ?' another schoolboy, on the subject of salt, and answered: “As many years as have which he described as : “ The stuff that elapsed since the birth of the person so make potatoes taste bad, when you don't named." It was also a certificate candiput any on.” A prettily humorous exam date who, in reading, rendered two lines ination story is that of the little Scotch from Goldsmith's “ Edwin and Angelina boy at the Presbytery examination. He thus: was asked: “What is the meaning of re- The wicket opening with a latch generation ?” “To be born again,” he
Received the armless pair.
CHINESE NOTIONS OF IMMORTALITY. - A , in certain constellations. This was due to the writer in a recent issue of the North China fact that the ideas of immortality had taken a Herald discusses the early Chinese notions of new shape, and that the philosophy of the immortality. In the most ancient times ances- times regarded the stars of heaven as the pure tral worship was maintained on the ground essences of the grosser things belonging to that the souls of the dead exist after this life. this world. The pure is heavenly and the The present is a part only of human existence, gross earthly, and therefore that which is and men continue to be after death what they purest on earth ascends to the regions of the have become before it. Hence the honors stars. At the same time hermits and other accorded men of rank in their lifetime ascetics began to be credited with the power continued to them after their death. In the of acquiring extraordinary longevity, and the earliest utterances of Chinese national thoughtstork became the animal which the immortals on this subject we find that duality which has preferred to ride above all others. The idea remained the prominent feature in Chinese of plants which confer immunity from death thinking ever since. The present life is light; soon sprang up. The fungus known as Polypothe future is darkness. What the shadow is rous lucidus was taken to be the most effica. to the substance, the soul is to the body; what cious of all plants in guarding man from death, vapor is to water, breath is to man. By the and three thousand ounces of silver have been process of cooling steam may again become asked for a single specimen. Its red color water, and the transformations of animals was among the circumstances which gave it its teach us that beings inferior to man may live reputation, for at this time the five colors of after death. Ancient Chinese then believed Babylonian astrology had been accepted as that as there is a male and female principle in indications of good and evil fortune. This all nature, a day and a night as inseparable from connection of a red color with the notion of each thing in the universe as from the universe immortality through the medium of good and itself, so it is with man. In the course of bad luck led to the adoption of cinnabar as the ages, and in the vicissitudes of religious ideas, philosopher's stone, and thus to the construcmen came to believe more definitely in the tion of the whole system of alchemy. The possibility of communications with supernat- plant of immortal life is spoken of in ancient ural beings. In the twelfth century before the Chinese literature at least a century before the Christian era it was a distinct belief that the mineral, In correspondence with the tree of thoughts of the sages were to them a revela. life in Eden there was probably a Babylonian tion from above. The "Book of Odes” fre tradition which found its way to China shortly quently uses the expression “God spoke to before Chinese writers mention the plant of thein,” and one sage is represented after death immortality. The Chinese, not being naviga"moving up and down in the presence of God tors, must have got their eas of the ocean in heaven.” A few centuries subsequently we which surrounds the world from those who find for the first time great men transferred in were, and when they received a cosmography the popular imagination to the sky, it being they would receive it with its legends. believed that their souls took up their abode
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