Friday, March 12, 2010

11Dec1871, Too English

Monday, December 11th, 1871.
—Our only quarrel with the life in this lovely fairyland is that they treat one in too English a fashion : English hours and English food and English dinner parties at 8 ! We were 12 at dinner to-night ; however, one is glad to see people and pick their brains. Mr. Brooks took us to see the school, a nice little building, with a view of views from its open door, and delightful air coming thro' the unglazed jalousied windows. The creatures sat all round the walls—black, brown, coffee-colour, yellow, sallow, white ; but the quite black much predominate, and are very comical and rather bewitching at 3 or 4 arrayed in one skimp white garment, with a bright handkerchief round their noddles. The schoolmaster (a black one trained at Mico) seemed both modest and intelligent ; the reading and writing of the best children were quite up to an English average, and the arithmetic not bad. They say there is no difficulty in getting the parents to send their children or to pay the 1d. a week fee ; but industrial teaching is only just beginning to go down, as they say "Pickaninny no slave—no learn to work."

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