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A Dominie in Doubt by Alexander Sutherland Neill

Produced by Al Haines

A DOMINIE IN DOUBT

BY

A. S. NEILL, M.A.

BY THE SAME AUTHOR

A DOMINIE'S LOG A DOMINIE DISMISSED THE BOOMING OF BUNKIE

HERBERT JENKINS LIMITED

3 YORK STREET ST. JAMES'S

LONDON S.W.1

MCMXXI

DEDICATION.

To Homer Lane, whose first lecture convinced me that I knew nothing about education. I owe much to him, but I hasten to warn educationists that they must not hold him responsible for the views given in these pages. I never understood him fully enough to expound his wonderful educational theories.

A. S. N.

FORFAR, AUGUST 12, 1920.

A DOMINIE IN DOUBT

I.

"Just give me your candid opinion of _A Dominie's_ Log; I'd like to hear it."

Macdonald looked up from digging into the bowl of his pipe with a dilapidated penknife. He is now head-master of Tarbonny Public School, a school I know well, for I taught in it for two years as an ex-pupil teacher.

Six days ago he wrote asking me to come and spend a holiday with him, so I hastily packed my bag and made for Euston.

This evening had been a sort of complimentary dinner in my honour, the guests being neighbouring dominies and their wives, none of whom I knew. We had talked of the war, of rising prices, and a thousand other things. Suddenly someone mentioned education, and of course my unfortunate _Log_ had come under discussion.

I had been anxious to continue my discussion with a Mrs. Brown on the subject of the relative laying values of Minorcas and Buff Orpingtons, but I had been dragged to the miserable business in spite of myself.

Now they were all gone, and Macdonald had returned to the charge.

"It's hardly a fair question," said Mrs. Macdonald, "to ask an author what he thinks of his own book. No man can judge his own work, any more than a mother can judge her own child."

"That's true!" I said. "A man can't judge his own behaviour, and writing a book is an element of behaviour. Besides, there is a better reason why a writer cannot judge his own work," I added.

"Because he never reads it?" queried Macdonald with a grin.


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