Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 74.djvu/99

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95
THE SCHOOL AND THE FAMILY

be experts in some one line; they would do this special work as well as it could be done and be alert to improve the methods. Prentices would be trained who could carry expert skill to other neighborhoods.

The master and the mistress would have ample time. Four hours a day might be devoted to the children of the school, in work only partly sedentary. The wife could be spared when higher duties demanded, and the man could devote himself for a time to the completion of some pressing work. Both could have some trade or profession in addition to the teaching. It might be only the care of the school and garden—the postoffice would naturally be there—or the village shop might be added, or one of them might be skilled in carpentry, plumbing or surveying. They might edit and print the country newspaper, or a special journal whose edition of four hundred would go to all quarters of the world. One or both of them might be physicians, promoting hygiene and public health, knowing their own limitations and the limitations of the profession, able to refer patients to the best specialists within reach. Or one might be himself a specialist, spending part of the year at the university and city hospital, carrying forward researches in experimental medicine. The teacher might—could the Jangling of the creeds be hushed—be the village clergyman; or he might be the lawyer, drawing up deeds and wills, suppressing lawsuits, showing the ways of justice and mercy. The teachers might be devoted to science, letters or art, perhaps applying the better methods to agriculture or industry, writing verses for the country papers, or training the choir; but here and there would be one able to move forward the boundaries of science, to write what would be read far off and long after, to create art in touch with the emotions of the people.

Five hundred thousand families, continually increasing in numbers, engaged in learning and in teaching, would give to this country a true democratic aristocracy. Into it would be taken the best elements of all the people, and from it would be chosen leaders in every department of human activity. Sons and daughters would return to carry forward the work of their parents; family sanctions and traditions would be maintained from generation to generation. Children would always be the chief concern in a home and in a school such as this. There would be no pathological, no economic, no psychological conditions at work for their extermination. Mothers fit to bear and nurse their young would be selected and trained. Children would not only be the chief treasure sought; they would also add to the material wealth of the family. Those who did not want children would be cast aside as little better than the abortionist and the infanticide. In all the world there is nothing more ultimate than the primitive voices of the two Rachels; Rachel weeping for her children, not to be comforted, because they are not; Rachel who said: Give me children, or else I die.