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motive? And what are the practical tests' to be? Are we to let loose our army of qualified' persons on some Public Department, like the apprentices of a country dentist among the farmers on a market day? Let us recognise facts. Let us reduce our examinations in number if possible, let us carefully select our examiners, pay them well, and give them as much time as we can. But do not let us talk of abolishing or revolutionising competition. It is part and parcel of our democratic Constitution, and must stand or fall with it.
HAROLD ARTHUR PERRY.
To the EDITOR of THE NINETEENTH CENTURY.
SIR,-Your new departure and crusade against competitive examinations seems to me to have a very lame and impotent following.
Let me state the following facts, which should go far to disprove your case.
I have been successful in two open competitions: the appointments were for the Indian and Home Services, with 1,000l. and 5001. per annum respectively—the highest ever given direct in open competition.
I trust it will not be misunderstood when I say that I am the only person who has gained two open competitions, and I claim therefore a right to speak in the defence of the system.
Because, firstly, I left a small London day-school at fourteen years of age, and taught myself all I know after that in the evenings and anyhow; but I never had an hour's 'coaching' or 'cramming' from any one, and I was so poor that I never had the slightest interest or influence used in my favour in my life, and I did not even get a nomination for an appointment, which is simply a mockery of a fair and open competition.
I think it physically and mentally impossible to 'cram' as it is called, with a ten days' memory,' &c. &c., ad nauseam, because the mind of my fellow man is not like the liver of a goose, and it is mere abuse to detract from the merit of the successful competitors by such clipped-foxtail kind of argument—for the other foxes will have none of it. The jibes and sneers of the whole genus of Tite Barnacles will not prove a crammed man to be rammed so intellectually tight that he incontinently busts up'as soon as the cram ceases, and that they, the ever-victorious Tite Barnacles, are better men than those selected by competition, in consequence of adhering to the Red Tape Office with all the tenacity due to their low scale of intellectual vitality, and to the low jobbery and backstairs patronage by which they crawled into their ten-to-four sinecures.
Dickens might well have called the creatures the O'Mac Tite Barnacles-because the electoral difficulties in Celtic districts of the
Disunited Kingdom of Lesser Britain have filled our services with Celtic O'Macs of a type that the nation will regret in the hour of need when no English need apply.
To be brief, however, let me add a remedy for all the objections to the system of Competition v. Patronage, viz. let the examiners themselves be selected by OPEN competition.
Then we shall no more hear the laments of those who cannot wub two ideales togevah,' and who call it Scramming' if any one else scores higher than they do in examinations. I am too busy to go into the self-evident deductions from the foregoing.
I will, however, add this farewell shot, with advice to those who have gained open competitions, viz.: Directly you are appointed, resign. You will then be able, with your proved abilities, to make a much better position for yourself out of her Majesty's Services than ia them. Verb. sap. To say nothing of the very unfair conditions of the life, the O'Macs will make it hot for the average Englishmantoo hot to hold him, in fact.
Let biin rather try and get up a company entitled England for Englishmen, Unlimited.
I am, Sir, your obedient servant,
H. TEMPLE HUMPHREY,
Mem. Inst. C.E.
The Editor of THE NINETEENTH CENTURY cannot undertake
to return unaccepted MSS.
INDEX TO VOL.
The titles of articles are printed in italics.
Barnett (Rev. Samuel A.), A Scheme
Belief and Conduct, 372-389
Belief, Sins of, and Sins of Unbelief
Bent (J. Theodore), What St. John saw
on Patmos, 813-821
Beothuks, the, of Newfoundland, 899-918
Blackwood (Sir Arthur), The Public
contest of 1881, 785--786
the governorship of Queensland, 891-
Blake (Lady), The Beothuks of New-
Board schools, reports of the commis-
Boccaccio and Chaucer, 347–348
- effect of his popularity on Germany,
Brazil, Liberating the Slaves in, 94-105
lumination, quoted, 80
College, quoted, 496
George), Brown (Professor Colin) on Gaelic
į Bryce (General Lloyd S), Socialism
Co-operative Stores for Ireland, 410-418
Copleston (Dr.), Buddhism, 119–135
County Councils, Local Government
and, in France, 136-144
of the Unionists, 719-726
Central Africa, 439-450
ANTE, transfusions from, in Chaucer,
Dawson (Sir William), on St. John's
'Death, the First-born Son of,' 576-578
Demoniac possession, the belief in, 584-
Detaille (M.), his picture of the 'Dream,
Devils, forms for the casting out of, 580-
Distribution of British Intellect, 184-
to Congress on the Fisheries question, EAST London Labour, 161–183
Pages from a Work-Girl's
Ebstein cure for obesity, the, 200-201
Two Conflicting 'Reports' on, 863-
Technical, the Vague Cry for, 45–52