Accessible Archives Inc.

Page Image  |  Close

Collection: Godey's Lady's Book
Publication: Godey's Lady's Book
Date: July, 1872
Title: THE following sensible article we copy from the Philadelphia
Location: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania


THE following sensible article we copy from the Philadelphia Inquirer , and we commend it to the attention of all parents. It is a wrong that should be remedied:—
"LEARNING AT HOME, RECITING AT SCHOOL.— A cotemporary concludes an able and instructive article upon our defective educational system with the declaration that the great need of the time is for schools and not for mere recitation rooms. We suppose nothing could more surprise a stranger, conversant with the educational systems of Europe, than to be told that the great bare rooms of our school buildings are devoted to school purposes. They are as free from any evidence of such an object as human ingenuity can render them. There are deal desks and benches, a bare floor, and four bare walls. They suggest nothing whatever to the pupil doomed to sit in them during certain hours of the day. The absence of instructive objects is everywhere remarkable, and no one very seriously pretends that the school-room is a school-room, but one set apart for recitations of lessons already learned elsewhere.
"It is true that our common educational plan is not so old a one that perfection ought to be looked for in its development; but it is old enough to be less faulty than it now is. For instance, the school ought to be the teacher of the pupil, and not the mere hearer of lessons taught elsewhere, as it now is. The pupil carries daily to and from the dreary recitation-room (called something else) armfuls of books. The tasks, not graduated to the stronger or weaker intellect, but given to all alike, without discrimination, are to be learned at home, under the eye of the parent. The teacher in the recitation-room gives, at the close of one day, the lessons which the pupil recites on the next. There the teacher's duty, according to the plan ends; he or she sets the lesson, hears it, and then washes his or her hands of the whole business. The men and women who are paid to teach our children do not teach them; the teaching is all done at home and by others. A school ought to be a place in which a child should begin and end the course of studies. When he leaves it, at the close of the day, he should do so with the consciousness that his day's tasks were finished, and not with the feeling that he must employ all his own time and a large part of his parents' in preparation for the next day's recitations.
"The whole system is as hurtful to the child as it is onerous upon the parent. It takes from the former the feeling which every child should have of absolute rest from work during certain hours of the day. In the school-room the time is spent upon hard benches, where the mere sense of confinement without employment is torture to an active brain; but there can be no employment beyond an occasional recitation, because education does not go on in the school-room, but at home. Children learn readily to hate school, not because of the work that it requires of them there, but because it sits them down in the enforced idleness of the school-room during the sunshine, to compel them to study by night at home.
"The whole plan is so bad that it should be remedied. Teaching and learning should be done in school, and not out of it, and if recitations cannot go on in the same building, then by all means let them be heard at home, and the teaching and learning be pursued in the school. Or, in other words, let the present plan be reversed."


-----


A "DOLLY VARDEN Cough Elixir" is announced, Dolly Varden horseshoe, Dolly Varden dog collar, Dolly Varden razor strops, and, running the thing in the ground, are Dolly Varden metallic coffins.


-----


"THE new style of collar for gentlemen is simply terrific. They are an economical article, however, as with moderately long pantaloons they do away with all necessity for a shirt."
So says the Hartford Times . Said collar has not got to this city yet. It must be a local Yankeeism.


-----


A PLATE of ice cream taken leisurely, while seated at a table in pleasurable conversation, is a far safer quencher of thirst than a glass of ice water, or any other ice-cold liquid; the ice cream is, in addition, stimulating and nutritious, thus invigorating, cooling, and strengthening the system at the same time.
THE North American of this city says our Lolipop series is a fortunate advance in magazine illustrations.
"GODEY'S LADY'S BOOK for May advances Mrs. Lolipop's party to the ball— Mrs. Lolipop introducing; the music and dancers both at work; a few conversing, and pup occupying the front centre in a heaven of dogged amazement. The etching is not only correct, but highly expressive and well individualized. Without any mighty burden of any kind or any pretensions, this series is a most fortunate advance in magazine illustrations, and may, we trust, pioneer even better things. Marion Harland, S. Annie Frost, Mrs. Denison, Montgomery Preston, and G.B. are responsible for the stories. The work department, like all of its companions, is well filled."


-----


THE penalty of poor clothes:—
"'I can never get any bargains,' says a woman in the Indianapolis Evening Journal . I can scarcely get waited upon. If I ask for thread, it is, "What number?" and if for dress goods, I am invariably shown the poorest quality at the highest rates. A chit of a boy whom I asked for dress-braid, wanted to know "how many pieces?" At the same time, a fashionably-dressed woman (she was not a lady) came in, and three or four salesmen flew to wait on her. She tossed over hundreds of dollars' worth of silks and laces and did not buy a cent's worth. I had fifty dollars in my purse.' It may be some consolation for the fair protestant to know that such a method of treating plainly-dressed ladies is not confined to the Indianapolis store clerks."


-----


Is it not a reproach to Christianity that it takes an army of infidel Turks to keep the three Christian denominations from quarrelling at the Holy Sepulchre at Jerusalem? Only one of the Christian sects is allowed to worship in the temple at one time; otherwise fighting would take place and the Turks forced to interfere.


-----


WHAT ingratitude: "A rich old bachelor became tired of his state of single-blessedness, and wanted some one to nurse him when he had the gout." That is the way the victim's story begins, and now let us see how he gratified his ambition. "He met a fond mamma with many daughters. She divined his desire and sounded the praises of sweet Jemima, the eldest, who was renowned as a nurse. He was told that she was just out of her teens. He thought she looked thin, but was assured that she was only fatigued with nursing a sick relative who had the gout. He saw her only in dim lights; he wavered, he hesitated, he was lost. The bride spent her honeymoon nursing her gouty husband, who, as soon as she had cured him, turned around and sued the mother for fraud, inasmuch as she had passed her daughter off as a girl just out of her teens, when, in truth, she was over thirty, and had false hair, false teeth, etc. He recovered the damages he claimed, and also kept his wife, from whom he had no idea of parting."
We can only surmise that he did not get much nursing during his next attack of gout.


-----


ADVERTISEMENTS read very curious sometimes. Here is one evidently from a raw girl:—
"A Protestant girl wants cooking or chamber-work."
Here is another: "A girl wants washing." Why proclaim it in an advertisement? The thing is bad enough in itself. It is probable that she wants to get some clothes to wash.
Perhaps this goes ahead of the others:—
"Fifty dollars will be paid to any person who will, in a short time, convert a shy, low-speaking man, into an impertinent, loud talker. Address R.H."


-----


WHAT MAY BE EXPECTED.— The Southern papers speak of a young girl four years of age who can play any tune on the piano after having heard it once played. Won't they please keep her in the South?


PLEASANT PINE PLAINS, ALA., May , 1872.

MR. L.A. GODEY: It may surprise you to receive a letter from these parts, especially from one you are not at all acquainted with, but I hope you will not take it amiss when I give you my reasons for doing so, because I know it is a delightful task to you, Mr. Godey, to tell us all about the fashions. Well, one day last week Mrs. Humphreys gave a quilting, and invited all of us women folks about here, and we all went, of course, one and all, old and young, and we had a jolly time. Now Mrs. Humphreys, she's a highflier at fashion, like that Mrs. Boffin that Mr. Dickens writes about, and she takes the LADY'S BOOK. Mrs. Humphreys is a very portly woman, sure. Well, of course all of the girls must look at the LADY'S BOOK and discuss the fashions, and they are all mightily taken with the idea of having a Dolly Varden, but nobody here has got the patterns to make them, and the girls say if they go to work and make them by guess they are afraid they will make a botch of it. So they all chattered and chattered like a flock of blackbirds, and at last persuaded me to write to you, as they say I am the best letter-writer in the settlement, and ask you to send them the pattern to cut a Dolly Varden by. (And I think if you will accommodate them, that I can make up a club for the LADY'S BOOK here quicker than wink). They say there is plenty of curtain calico down to the store, and that Mr. Snipsus, the storekeeper, will sell it cheap, for it has been on his hands a long time, but now it will be just the thing to make Dolly Vardens out of. Some of it has large tropical leaves and flowers on it, and some has great bunches of magnified hollyhocks and peonies, and I don't know what all. Won't Mr. Snipsus be glad Dolly Vardens have come in fashion!
Old Miss Cally Salerhorn, who is always invited to the quiltings because she is a great quilter, spoke up and says she: "I think sech garments must be awful lookin' things, and it would be perfectly reedic'lous to wear 'em. If I was to see a passel of wimmen comin' to meetin' with them thar things on, I'd take to my heels." But shaw! nobody minds her, an old cross-grained, spiteful old thing! What does she know about the fashions? I suppose it would not look "reedic'lous" to "take to her heels."
The girls asked me to say to you also, Mr. Godey, please to inform them what sort of stuff is Peekay, because they don't know, for such a thing has not invaded Pleasant Pine Plains yet. Susan Littlegrow has been to visit her relations, and heard them talking about Peekay, but she would not ask them, because they might think she was ignorant. I told her it was my opinion that it was some kind of stuff with pictures of mountains, with sharp, high peaks all over it, and was intended to make Dolly Vardens out of, Sally Sapiens (now Sally Sapiens has been off to boarding-school, and thinks she knows lots of things) Sally Sapiens, she said that you, Mr. Godey, wrote about it in your LADY'S BOOK, and that it was spelt p-i-q-u-e, accent akew, or something, but I told her I knowed better, that word was called pika or picky, and if she had been off to school and studied French and larnt to play on the piano forty, somebody else had some common sense. I thought I would pluck her feathers a little, for I am a mighty plain spoken woman, Mr. Godey, but the little chit just laughed and laughed till I thought it was right impertinent and showed bad manners.
Now, Mr. Godey, be sure to send the patterns, for there is to be a wedding in the settlement soon, and all the girls want to wear Dolly Vardens to the infair, and then Mr. Snipsus would be in high spirits, I am sure.

Respectfully,
MARY ANN WORTHY.