Punch,  58 (1870), 3.

Cramming at Home and at School



Letter, Spoof


Mental Illness, Education, Scientific Practitioners, Genius

    Laments that Christmas is the 'season of cramming' the stomach and the mind, although the brain (especially the youthful one) cannot take as much cramming as the stomach. Noting the recent death of a student at Royal Military Academy, Woolwich, states that while there are cures for physical injuries there is none for 'brain fever'. Supports his case against cramming by noting that Francis Bacon (1st Viscount St Alban), Isaac Newton, Humphry Davy, and Michael Faraday 'never crammed', and by doubting whether any 'great poet or philosopher' is the product of cramming. Urges Mr Punch to tell 'Education-Councillors and Committee-men' whether 'genius and mediocrity' would 'gain by answering the kind of questions proposed by ordinary examiners'.

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