Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 45.djvu/592

This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.

the future of the American university, the author assumes that it must become the representative of dynamic culture. The university should have much to do with social reforms, political regeneration, and correction of errors in the treatment of criminals. Social and political reform will be impossible without moral regeneration, in which, as the work must begin with the individual, the university has a noble part to perform. "The fact is, the American people need a tonic of the most active kind. Partly as a result of the spoils system and partly in consequence of the unnatural industrial and political conditions produced by the civil war, we have been brought to a very low plane of public morality. 'It is a familiar fact,' says Herbert Spencer, 'that the corporate conscience is ever inferior to the individual conscience.' Indeed, it seems to me that a nation is in evil straits when the standard of public morality is very much lower than the standard of private morality, and that is precisely the case with the people of the United States. Never, perhaps, has there been a greater disparity between political and private ethics. A double system of morality is a dangerous possession for any nation. Our ideal of public conduct must approximate more nearly to our ideal of private conduct if we would ever attain the best in the higher life."

Remaking our Boys.—"Boys, as they are made," as contemplated by F. H. Briggs, of the State Industrial School, Rochester, in an address concerning them, are not the boys who have home privileges and careful, competent home training, but the boys of the slums, and of the poor and the degraded. The question, How to remake them? is one that the public school should have an important part in answering. For the childboy, in the author's view, the kindergarten should be substituted for the home and street during the day, and one should be established, where all will be treated with equal consideration, in every locality where the poor abound. "The kindergarten gives the child the mental, physical, and moral exercise that it needs. . . . But what about the boys who are beyond the kindergarten age now, and about the boys who have passed through the kindergartens? Put them into manual training schools. . . . What should be the instruction in these schools? That which in a natural way develops the physical, mental, and moral faculties. The workshop should form an inseparable concomitant of every school. Children delight in doing. This is why the kindergarten is so effective as an educational agent." Our school for the boy should have drawing for its corner stone; and modeling should accompany it, that by the test of actual contact the correctness of the perceptions of size and form may be tested, and the love of the beautiful more fully gratified. Then the use of woodworking tools—the one thing that a boy always delights in. "It helps a boy to find out what square means. When he can saw to the line every time, he has a greater respect for truth. When he habitually becomes exact in the use of tools the great battle is won. Your skilled mechanic is not usually a liar. His respect for exactness makes him hard to the line in his speech. These three, then, drawing, modeling, and woodworking in its various forms, should form the foundation upon which our remaking structure should rest." And they should add development and symmetry to the whole. "These things lie at the very basis of all handicraft. They enable one trained in them to see things in new ways; to see their parts, their forms, their beauties; in fact, as training for the perceptive and conceptive faculties they have no equal. No scheme of education is complete that leaves music out." Nature has a warm place in every child's heart. It is ever presenting some new form for contemplation; "and as bud, leaf, flower, and fruit appear they challenge the child's attention and invite study. . . . Why has Nature been so long a closed book to the masses? Why is so much that is beautiful and ennobling denied to the famishing souls of little children? Why should natural history and science wait for the high-school or college course that the great mass of people never reach?"

Town Refuse as Fuel.—Experiments in seeking to utilize the refuse of towns as fuel have been carried so far that a plant, known as the Livèt plant, has been set up in Halifax, England, with which it is intended to supply electric energy. The successful