We are all agreed that England, with its bird-life undiminished, and its flowers un-uprooted, may be Merry England still, but we have not recognised that it will be thoughtful England also…. (p. 210)

How are we to keep this precious heritage of bird’s song and flower’s beauty for the generations yet unborn?  It is a hard task.  Thirty-two varieties of birds are, we are told, in a fair way to become extinct in the British Isles….  The King Fern, or royal fern, has ceased to exist in a valley that thirty years ago was full of it, and pari passu the flowers that dare to show their heads when the tourists flood the Lake district are disappearing…. (p. 210)

And yet from time to time we are horribly shocked to find such ghastly doings at rabbit courses, as Col. Coulson exposed by the banks of coaly Tyne among the men of Northumberland last year.  We are troubled by the barbarity that sometimes attends the royal stag hunt, and we are perplexed by the want of humanity which, it is to be feared, allows hecatombs of victims to be tortured in the name of humanity and scientific desire to alleviate pain…. (p. 211)

Where shall we begin? with English girls and boys; nay with English infants, say I.  Let us do what we can in our schools – National, Board, Voluntary – to teach and preach the elementary duty of kindness.  Let prizes be given for essays from year to year on this subject to the scholars.  Let the old May festivals be revived throughout the land, and the May Queen publish her edict against cruelty to animals each year upon her coronation day.  Let the reading books used in our schools be chosen because some of the chapters deal with this subject.  But most of all let us call out the powers of “the eye that cannot choose but see,” and stimulate the habits of observation of the children in the direction of Natural History. (p. 211)

Why not encourage the scholars to know the flowers of the neighbourhood, their habitat, their time of coming and going, their nature, their mode of propagation?  Why not give some little prize to the scholar who first notes the arrival of this or that migrant…. (p. 211)

Is it asking too much of County Councils to help us to have little patches of experimental gardening near our schools, and a drawing class wherein children may be encouraged to draw accurately the plant and animal life of their districts? (p. 211)

In this way the gentle life of our scholars may be educated, for the observer of natural things will love as he or she learns to observe.  In this way the rabbit-courses will cease to be.  Will the Selborne Society take up this work?  It is not enough that it cries down righteously the wearing of egret plumes in ladies’ bonnets – we want it to cry up the white flower of a blameless gentle life for the growing village boy and girl throughout the land. (pp. 211-212)

(Nature Notes, 1892, November, vol. III, no. 35, pp. 210-212)