14 FEBRUARY 1880, Page 14



SIB,—Allow me, as a teacher, to thank you for your article on " Writing." I rejoiced to find even a side-blow struck at that potent power which seems well-nigh absolute in " education,' even with people otherwise, to all appearance, intelligent,. Nature appearing at times to them like a perturbed spirit,— alas, poor ghost! I rejoiced at the faint hope your article en- couraged of the soul within the child being recognised and being expected to come out, and the child's individuality being invited, in courteous terms, to make its appearance.

I regretted, however, to find even yon, in company with most teachers, adopting, as I venture to think, a grave educational fallacy. You seem to give countenance to the idea that the pupil imitates "the copy." I pointed out some years ago, in a paper read before the College of Preceptors, that what the pupil strives to put on paper (in writing or drawing) is not the copy, but the mental image suggested by "the copy,"---a thing of the child's own. I need hardly show how great is the- difference,—how the teacher may throw away, as the child soon does, to the ignorant teacher's disgust, "the copy ;'r how the teacher addresses himself, not to the dead " copy," but. to the living mental condition ; how he studies its history, growth, and character, and aims at its guidance ; how he him- self becomes an artist in the most delicate, the most intricate,. the most subtle, and the most lasting and momentous of all material; and finally, how the so-called "mechanical studies of drawing and writing may become, in his hands, the means

of educative influence, of culture, and refinement. am,.

Sir, &c., C. H. LARY. " Tfrithernclen" School, Caterham Valley, Surrey.

P.S.—I am writing to a well-known publishing firm, with a view to give your valuable suggestion a practical shape.