I really like this poster. The imagery is truly iconic. On the left you  see  large groups of children from lower social strata, lead by a single modestly clad woman, awkwardly leaning forward.  The background is dark and dreary. On the right, a well-dressed lady with a rather aristocratic posture extends an invitation to a better life in a bright space filled with toys and symbols of learning. The poster is for the 1891 National Hygiene and Education Exposition in Milan.

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This odd bit is from a nineteenth-century book: The Jest Book: The Choicest Anecdotes and Sayings by Mark Lemon.

A SCHOOLBOY being asked by the teacher how he should flog him, replied, “If you please, sir, I should like to have it upon the Italian system — the heavy strokes upwards, and the down ones light.”

Indeed, the Italian educational system of that time appears to have been very soft on misbehavior. In all fairness, the school system that inquires of students how they would prefer to be punished in also not without merits.

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