THE HOUSE OF EDUCATION BADGE
his difficult ascent:
wash his face,
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we get the idea of the yielding rush incapable alike of selfassertion and of
receiving the wounds and scars of mortification. The waves that beat upon the
desert shores are the waves of our badge, and remind us of the “waves of this
troublesome world.” We look for the scriptural origins of Dante’s thought – how
St. Peter says, in his First
Epistle, “Yea, all of you, gird yourselves with humility, to serve one
another;” and we recollect that St. Peter had seen the pattern of the Divine
Humility girding Himself for lowest service on the last night of His human
life. Let us read the Divine Law about humility (St. Luke xxii., 24-29);
together with the saying of William Law, “There never was nor ever will be but
one humility in the whole world, and that is the one humility of Christ.” In
St. Matthew xviii., 1-7, we read how or Lord Himself recognizes the little
children as also “humble” 9because of His own indwelling); perhaps the offence
against children, of which such terrible condemnation is spoken, is to offend
against their humility in such a way as to make them lose this Chirst-like
quality. Consider what humility is; it is not relative but absolute; it does
not mean that we shall think small things of ourselves compared with this one
and that, but that we shall have eyes so steadfastly fixed upon our Master, our
duty, our sphere of service, that we shall have no moment left in which to
think of ourselves at all – a most blessed way to escape all wounds, and
wrongs, and injuries, and bitter mortifications. We consider that the Rush is
our most appropriate badge, because, though humility is binding upon every
Christian person, it is most especially so upon those who are called to feed
His lambs, the lambs whom He has Himself declared to be “humble,” like unto
“For the children’s sake”-a chance phrase in a letter from our Lady
Visitor-expresses the sentiment of our Badge. “For their sakes I sanctify
Myself,” said our Master.
THE EDUCATIONAL CREED OF “THE HOUSE.”
to modern thought in interpreting for us the harmonious and ennobling scheme of
education and philosophy recorded upon one quarter of what he calls the
“Vaulted Book,”* i.e., the Spanish Chapel attached to the Church of Sta. Maria
Novella, in Florence.
the left hand (of the roof) as you enter. The Madonna and Disciples are
gathered in an upper chamber: underneath are the Parthians, Medes, Elamites,
etc., who hear them speak in their own tongues. Three dogs are in the
foreground – their mythic purpose, to mark the share of the lower animals in
the gentleness given by the outpouring of the Spirit of Christ . .
. . .
. On this and the opposite side of the Chapel are represented by Simon
Memmi’s hand, the teaching power of the Spirit of God and the saving poser of
the Christ of God in the world, according to the understanding of Florence in
first. Beneath the pouring forth of the Holy Spirit in the point of the arch
beneath are the three Evangelical Virtues.
Without these, says Florence, you can have no science. Without Love,
Faith, and Hope – no intelligence. Under these are the four Cardinal Virtues
. . .Temperance, Prudence, Justice, Fortitude.
Under these are the great Prophets and Apostles. .
. . . Under the line of Prophets, as powers
summoned by their voices are the mythic figures of the seven theological or
spiritual and the seven geological or natural sciences; and under the feet of
each of them the figure of its Captain-teacher to the world
seven mythic figures representing the natural sciences, and with the figure of
the Captain-teacher of each. First we have Grammar, a gracious figure teaching
three Florentine children; and, beneath, Priscian. Next, Rhetoric, strong,
calm, and cool; and below the figure of Cicero with a quiet beautiful face.
Next, Logic, with perfect pose of figure and lovely face; and beneath her,
Aristotle-intense keenness of search in his half closed eyes. Next, Music, with
head inclined in intent listening to the sweet and solemn strains she is
producing from her antique instrument; and underneath, Tubal Cain, not Jubal,
as the inventor of harmony-perhaps the most marvelous record that Art has
produced of the impact of a great idea upon the soul of a man but
semi-civilised. Astronomy succeeds, with majestic brow and upraised hand, and
below her, Zoroaster, exceedingly beautiful-“the delicate Persian head made
softer still by the elaborately wreathed silken hair.” Next Geometry, looking down,
considering some practical problem, and her carpenter’s square in her hand, and
below her, Euclid. And lastly Arithmetic, holding two fingers up in the act of
calculating, and under her, Pythagoras wrapped in the science of number.
ages believed not only that the seven Liberal Arts were fully under the direct
out-pouring of the Holy Ghost, but that every fruitful idea, every original
conception, whether in Euclid, or grammar, or music, was a direct inspiration
from the Holy Spirit, without any thought at all as to whether the person so
inspired named himself by the name of God, or recognized whence his inspiration
direction of this Divine Teacher? The child’s faith and hope and charity-that
we already knew; his temperance, justice, prudence, and fortitude-that we might
have guessed; his grammar, rhetoric, logic, music astronomy, geometry,
arithmetic-this we might have forgotten, if these Florentine teachers had not
reminded us; his practical skill in the use of tools and instruments, from a
knife and fork to a microscope, and in the sensible management of all the
affairs of life-these also come from the Lord, which is wonderful in counsel,
and excellent in working. His God doth instruct him and doth teach him.
Recognising that “his God” doth co-operate with us in the act of giving
knowledge to a child, we approach the work of teaching with simplicity,
sincerity and reverence.
THE HOUSE OF EDUCATION CERTIFICATE
correct their own impressions by some words from the artist as to the meaning
of his work. The following is the reply of H. Wilson, Esq., the artist who
designed the beautiful certificate. (Mrs. Dallas Yorke’s generous gift to the
House of Education), to the numerous students who have asked for an explanation
of the design: –
Education. The stream figures the stream of knowledge, the river of mental life
flowing from beneath the foundations of the temple of the spirit in the middle
distance. The temple is circular,
symbolizing completeness and enduringness: above its altar is a lamp typifying
the sun, the source of physical life; the dome symbolizes the heavens, and
round the frieze are signs of the Zodiac. Behind the temple rugged mountains
thrust their peaks into the sky, the top of the tallest passes beyond the
picture to suggest that the highest peak is the unattainable – the ideal, and
moreover, that the ends of knowledge are hidden – that while we may grasp a few
threads, the end of the skein is beyond our reach. In the foreground Psyche
clothed with knowledge and winged is seated. She is just embracing one of a
group of children, to suggest that love is the inspiring and all-important
agency in Education, only at its touch does the birth of the soul begin. This
inspiring, inspiriting, inbreathing of the conscious soul is shadowed forth by
the butterflies hovering round the children’s heads. The figures themselves are
seated on a little eminence; beneath it is a little beach on which the children
are playing, some with shells, others with insects, with plants and flowers, or
with animals, to suggest that in play each child follows its own natural bent,
and gives not only a clue to its character, but valuable indices of the right
way of treating and educing the best side of that character. The border shows
the tree of knowledge, with children playing in the branches; above, in the
initial letter, is seated the mistress instructing her pupils; below are shown
the roots of the tree knowledge among the rocks, with flowers growing
everywhere; on the left are the battlements of the city which endures.”
certificate, is to keep down a natural tendency to allegorize to excess, and to
make, instead, as much as possible of the opportunity for a piece of pleasant
decoration. In the contriving of this the various ideas summarized above arose,
and I attempted to give them fitting expression. H.W.