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Memories Grave and Gay
Forty Years of School Inspection by John Kerr LL.D (1903)



Download Chapters 1 to 5 in pdf format
Download Chapters 6 to 10 in pdf format
Download Chapters 11 to 15 in pdf format
Download Chapters 16 to 20 in pdf format
Download Chapters 21 - 25 in pdf format
Download Chapters 26 - 29 in pdf format

Chapter I.
Bury St Edmunds—A walking feat—Unintentional injury to a bishop in posse—Appointed inspector—Rev. Dr Montagu Butler—Professor Jack.

Chapter II.
Educational awakening—Government aims—First experiences—A "pheesical" impossibility.

Chapter III.
Wide range of travelling—The devil like a roaring lion—Horseback and saddle-bags—An involuntary swim on horseback—Unsatisfactory buildings—Primitive railway management.

Chapter IV.
Five stages of Code development — History repeating itself—Elasticity and higher general level — Lord
Balfour of Burleigh and Sir Henry Craik—The aim a return to the ideal old parish school — Dullards, like the poor, always with us—Early general reports represent the principle of recent changes—Dull and
clever alike provided for.

Chapter V.
Dr John Brown's estimate of a kindly joke—One of an inspector's first duties—Cases in point—Why one
should not go to Berlin—" Glad to see your back " —14 He disna ken there's twa Dees"—A pilgrim defined — "A gutsy brute"—"Are ye the Goaverment?"—Mistaken for some one else.

Chapter VI.
Gratuitous visits and their results—Inspection before the Code—Act of 1861 for increase of salaries of parish teachers and removal of the incompetent—An amusing case—"I jist fushed too mich".

Chapter VII.
The Revised Code an injury to Scottish education—The "beggarly elements" supreme — Intelligence disregarded—Unfair to Scotland because based exclusively on the character of English schools—Education levelled down not up—Many teachers and some inspectors educationally demoralised by it—A proof that English officials did not know Scottish schools.

Chapter VIII.
Effects of kindly encouragement and words in season—Rev. Dr Mackenzie of Kingussie and education in the north—Sympathetic patience of teachers of the blind and dumb—Abnormal development of special faculties.

Chapter IX.
Old parish schools—Candlemas—Changed customs—M. Biot's estimate—Parish schools' relation to the University— First Scottish Code — "No use pumping when the well's dry"—Scottish and English graduates compared—"A stickit minister".

Chapter X.
James Beattie — Lessons from a shoemaker's stool: "Bairns maun like their books"—"She has a dreadfu' memory" — "Read as weel's ye can do"— "What! are ye keekin'"—" Hoo could I charge fees?"—"Eh! man, Bell's deid".

Chapter XI.
Sheriff Nicolson—J. F. Maclennan—D'Arcy Thompson— Swearing in Latin — A reading party — Alexander Smith—4 Punch ' to the rescue—P. P. Alexander.

Chapter XII.
Changes in graduation and bursaries in Edinburgh and Glasgow—Aberdeen, why different—Dick Bequest—Graduation and bursaries fifty years ago and now—University no place for poverty of both purse and intellect — Bursaries, wherever possible, should be open to free competition—Crooked answers from examination papers.

Chapter XIII.
Orkney—Kirkwall cathedral—" Picts* houses " and standing-stones—Rents sixty years ago, " I sud pay a hen " —" The haithens ate Tam " I thocht I was needin' a snuff" — North Ronaldsay — Shapinsay — Colonel Balfour—Maeshowe and the antiquaries—Professor Aytoun—Cologne cathedral.

Chapter XIV.
Shetland — Fair Isle—A purpose of marriage—Foula—A running commentary on the last Chapter of Ecclesiastes.

Chapter XV.
General hospitality—The minister's man—Rev. Dr Hanna — "Rael coamfortable" — "She tak's a bit blaw
hersel'"—"Ca' ye't naething to be forced to gang to the kirk ilka Sunday?"—"Ye hadna your purse oot here"—Pathetic contrast—Three dinners.

Chapter XVI.
Amusing answers from Training Colleges and higher grade schools—"A while at every class"—"Lash
him"—Duck and hen—"Naked and not ashamed" —Leeches—French and German blunders.

Chapter XVII.
Before 1872 many parish schoolmasters in the North were divinity students—An occasional hitch—One troublesome—Prayed for four times in one day—Religious instruction—Homely estimate of Mary and Martha—Minister and teacher generally good friends—One exception—Relation of school board to teacher of more business but less sympathetic type than before —Apparently less interest on the part of parents—An amateur Sutherland examiner.

Chapter XVIII.
Farm-servants too often regarded simply as agricultural implements — Little encouragement or opportunity for self-improvement — Safeguards of a virtuous life broken down—Feeing markets—Too few two-horse farms as objects of ambition—Too few cottages on the farm for married men—An example worthy of imitation—This slackening of kindly relationship not confined to farmers and farm-servants.

Chapter XIX.
The Academy of Old Deer — Sir George Reid, Paul Chalmers, Robertson Smith, Sir David Gill—Large
dinner-parties a social mistake—A very clever cook.

Chapter XX.
"Watchie"—Advice on marriage—Parody of Tennyson's "Brook"— Brownlow North —A long quotation—
Spurgeon — Plain-spoken old ladies—An awkward elder.

Chapter XXI.
Professor Blackie—His versatility, vitality, and disregard of convention—Dinners at Blackie's and Calderwood's —The Hellenic Club presentation on his eightieth birthday— His ingenuousness—Masson—Maclagan—Christison—Norman Macleod—His breadth, force, humanity, and humour—The late Lord Inverclyde.

Chapter XXII.
Infant-teaching much improved—When should it begin—"D—n the cat I"—Great improvement in reading-
books—Reading the most valuable school product—Corporal punishment—Dr Melvin—Leather—Thomas Fraser of Golspie—An equestrian incident.

Chapter XXIII.
Not to be imposed upon — Praying for Queen Caroline — Rounds of toasts — Humorous certificates — A Nathaniel—Yon—Wattle Dunlop—Advice based on Biblical example—Providence and limited liability—"A divinity that shapes our ends".

Chapter XXIV.
Joint University and Normal School training—Necessary to maintain the tradition of the old parish school—Progress most satisfactory—Training College curriculum widened and raised—Attitude of Edinburgh Board towards practice in singing—Visits to English Training Colleges — Students' dinner scheme —Secondary schools—Organisation improved—Edinburgh Merchant Company set the example of reform—Lord Balfour of Burleigh's Endowed School Commission—Splendid results.

Chapter XXV.
The bitters latitude — Give it a good name — Sudden meteorological change — Bibulous Scotland — "He put too much water in his whisky"—Its preservative qualities—Spontaneous combustion—An awful risk— A Highland funeral — Roman Catholic rag-gatherers—The most dangerous form of drunkenness—Sabbath observance in the Highlands—Men—Superstitions.

Chapter XXVI.
Teachers with rare exceptions eminently faithful and trustworthy — No charity for cheating — Amusing mistakes—"My kingdom for a horse".

Chapter XXVII.
Failure of a red-herring scare—"I'm a fisher mysel'"—Different points of view—" Moral suasion perfect nonsense"—Examination in religious knowledge—A courageous minister—" Not big enough to haud a
sow!"—An athletic beadle.

Chapter XXVIII.
The typical fisherman—Inscriptions—Sir George Grove —Crofters and domestic animals—A ticklcsome car-driver—Irish bulls and repartees—Daniel Webster, the American orator —Sir John Macdonald — Fire-brigade drill.

Chapter XXIX.
Intercourse with the Department pleasant—My connection with it slackened, not broken—Relations with
managers and teachers.

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