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IMPROVED SECULAR INSTRUCTION,
MAKING IT BEAR UPON
INTENDED FOR THE USE OF SCHOOLMASTERS AND TEACHERS IN
AN INTEREST IN NATIONAL EDUCATION.
REV. RICHARD DAWES, A.M.
VICAR OF KING'S SOMBORNE, HANTS.
Mens sibi conscia recti.Virg. Æn.
A good intention.
THIRD EDITION, WITH ADDITIONS.
DUBLIN : J. M'GLASHAN.
The reader must not expect anything like perfection in the following pages, or that the matter which they contain is arranged in the best possible order; they are intended to give an idea of what is taught in the school here, and the manner of teaching it; the Author feels that if anything of this kind had fallen in his own way when this school opened, it would have saved him much trouble ; however, without apologising for their imperfections, or attempting to point out their merits (the former of which others will but too readily see), such as they are, “he casts his bread upon the waters,” hoping that it may in some way or other advance the cause of education ; there will, no doubt, be found in it some chaff, but not unmixed, he is willing to hope, with some wheat also, which may be worth picking out: on the whole, as the man who purchased an axe of the blacksmith, which he wished to have all over polished like the edge, to which the latter agreed on condition that he would turn the grindstone, but finding the labour of so doing greater than he expected, said, he was not quite sure that he did not prefer a speckled axe to a bright one; so I feel myself obliged to let my axe go forth with many specks upon it; however, such as it is, take it, reader! profit from the bright spots, if it has any, and be lenient to the specks.
King's SOMBORNE; April 18, 1847.
The present edition has been considerably added to in the body of the work, and in the general remarks on the state of the rural population : an appendix of tabular matter of a useful kind has also been added, and the reader will find considerable additions to the introductory matter.
Geology . . . . 137
Value of labour in manu-
factured products 140, 141
A loaf of bread . . 143
The cottage fire . 144
Addison, in one of his numbers of the ‘Spectator,' tells us, that the common people of his day were very fond of a little Latin, and intimates that the reason of this was, because they did not understand it. Now the opinion I have formed of the people of the present day is, that they do not like a thing unless they do understand it; and although I have placed a few Latin words in the title-page of this book, this is not because I think the words will be approved of where they are not understood, nor from any wish to make the book appear more learned than it is, but simply for this reason,—that the words themselves briefly express, in a portable shape for the memory, what I wish to have credit for, in offering to the public a second edition of these 'Suggestive Hints on Secular Teaching,' viz. “a good intention ;” and however imperfect they may be in other respects, with this impression on his mind, the reader will, I trust, overlook many defects which he might otherwise be inclined to criticise, and see something of usefulness in what is well meant, although it may not in reality be all that he had expected.
It is from no love of authorship that I am offering these remarks-remarks, let it be observed, which have arisen entirely from experience in a parish school,—but from a wish to promote that kind of education among the middle and lower classes, which, at the same time that it bears upon their industrial pursuits, leads to an improved moral condition, by instilling in early life those feelings of self-respect and selfdependence, and those principles of honesty and truth, which ought to be the guide of every one who lays claim to the character of a Christian man.
I am the more induced to do this, from seeing that the rising generation about me, and with whom I am more immediately concerned, are made happier and better by this education,—that it leads to greater propriety of conduct in all the relations of life, and that those who have remained longest at school have generally turned out the best, and have given a