Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 41.djvu/400

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ingly unapt and inexpert. The more machinery and the artificialities of life relieve the individual from the responsibilities of physical action, the more the faculties will suffer from atrophy, for the reign of the machine has a dulling effect upon the general acuteness of the physical faculties that must be progressively felt, unless education systematically counteracts its influence; and it is the function of industrial training to do this for the hand-worker."

But the greatest injury which comes to the body politic through neglect of training in the most impressionable years is the failure to impart moral ideas, and to secure habitual obedience to moral laws—lack of character-building. The half-time schools of England have been so long in operation that their statistics furnish conclusions of the highest value; and, that book-learning is no guaranty of the moral worth of its possessor, look at the criminal returns for London for one year. The education of some was "superior"; among the criminals there were more than a thousand clerks, forty-two lawyers, and many more who had received the usual middle-class, long-time education. The appearance of a half-timer trained on the mixed principle of physical and mental training is exceedingly rare, that of persons from some of the religious denominations equally so showing the thoroughness of their moral teaching; while the governor of one prison said, "The greatest rascal I have in custody can write out our Lord's prayer in seven languages." The ancient Jews—while still living in Palestine—had a maxim, "He who does not teach his son a trade teaches him to be a thief." Mr. Chadwick collected some facts that should bring great encouragement to those who have been moved to labor for the salvation of the slum-born children of the criminal classes. It was shown that in some of the long-time middle-class schools twenty per cent of the pupils were disqualified from obtaining positions by misconduct; while among pupils of low parentage in good half-time schools, these dismal failures averaged only two or three per cent; and that, too, where, before the establishment of such schools, the average had formerly been as high as sixty; and a manager of one of the district half-time schools stated that he had had cases of habitual criminality to treat that in a few months a great alteration in their characters had taken place through their industrial training. I asked if, say, a hundred such were committed to your charge, how many could you undertake to send to the good?" He said, "With fair support, I would undertake to send ninety per cent to the good."

Under the restraints of separate confinement in the prison the thoughts of the young criminal are not compunctious visitings for wrong-doing, but of his ill luck, and the chances of escaping