« PreviousContinue »
25 and how improperly he conducted him- conductors of the former. Parents who self is not to the present purpose. It is cannot pay for their children's schooling elear he had nothing to do with the in- enjoy the benefits of the same instruction vention of the Madras, or new system of gratuitously. I really do not perceive education; for even the practices which he how the new system can render old adopted as improvements upon it being schools incapable of improvement, unless, founded in the ignorance of its true by exhibiting its matchless superiority, spirit, and of the nature of learning, instead of emulation it produces despair ; and of children, tended rather to impede nor how it renders them unable to supits production of useful ends, than to port respectable masters, unless those accelerate its success. . It is highly im- masters possess other qualities of a less proper, therefore, and unjust to call the commendable nature. As to the petty new systein of education, indefinitely nurseries of filth and vice, those night that of " Lancaster and Bell," or in the schools, and winter meetings, their anwords of your correspondent to say ; nihilation would be highly conducive to
“ The new school system of Lancaster the preservation of good morals. Yet and Bell will soon remove every hope of after all, if masters of new schools, and improving the old schools, by rendering private respectable teachers were to do them incapable of supporting respectable their duty, they would have no reason schoolmasters."
to complain. It is not the capaciousness In 1811 The National Society for of the new school-rooms, nor the novelty the Education of the poor in the of the plan, nor the distress of parents, principles of the established church was but the want of arrangement, the defiinstituted, and in 1817 it was incor- ciency of progress, the comparative unporated. This society resolved to adopt happiness of the old schools, which the system into their schools, and Dr. render them incapable of supporting reBell being requested to act as superin- spectable masters. If those masters cantendent, without receiving any remu not in old schools, for which they have neration, the Institution immediately so much attachment, procure, in a popucommenced its labours. Having inves- lous neighbourhood, a sufficient maintigated the state of education amongst tenance, it is to be feared they would the poor, and determined as the best not be more successful in retaining their means to restore virtue and content- scholars even on the new plan. With ment, to erect and enlarge schools for respect to masters of the national schools, the proper training of poor children; though there are many who are commultitudes of infants were found desti- paratively illiterate, and of no strength tute, uncultivated and irreligious, and of mind, yet I am far from yielding that though there were schools on the old plan, they, in general, are inferior either in they were totally inefficient to afford in- moral conduct, or acquirements, to those struction to those who were in need of who have been accustomed to teach the it. Thousands of families were found, children of the poor. Many of them are who, struggling with the greatest diffi- far superior in ability, activity, and culty to obtain a scanty pittance, were integrity. But your correspondent obstill desirous that their children, thongh serves that, meanly clothed, should be taught to read. “Under the plausible pretext of teachThese were the objects of the society: ing all, all are reduced to the same state and Schools were not built, until they of ignorance." Having explained the were, too truly, found necessary. If the sort of children it was the primary obestablishment of a school, in a populous ject of the National Society gratuitously neighbourhood, has the effect of de- to instruct, and feeling how comparapriving respectable men of their sub- tively restricted the adoption of the syssistence, I can only regret that those tem is in schools for the higher orders, schoolmasters should so long continue in I understand “teaching all," to mean prejudice, and not adopt that method of all the children of those parents who are teaching, which, by drawing the children of themselves unable to give them a from their own schools, proves its ex- proper education. By “a pretext of cellence. For let it not be thought that teaching," your correspondent must parents who can pay for education are mean a profession, an appearance of not practical judges of their children's teaching, but in reality no teaching. progress at school: and if they take This profession of teaching may again them from other seminaries and apply be resolved into the communication of for admission into charity sehools, I knowledge considered abstractedly; and should think it no recommendation of the the erection of schools, appointment of NEW NOXTILY MAG-No. 35.
[Aug. 1, miasters and exercise of children. Now, take ; no house was near, but I heard if there have been no schools erected, no voices; I waited; a group of boys and children trained, no instruction commu- girls, with dinner baskets under their nicated, then it is proper to call vain arms, approached ; I had little hopes professions---" a plausible pretext.” But that they would understand me, as I the National Society only, for I speak had frequently before been disappointed. not of those societies who have not “ Which is my road, said I to the first, adopted the pure system of Dr. Bell, has to M-?" "That way," said he, pointing officially announced, that there are now to the right. I was proceeding in his reported as directly united to the society direction, "Where do you want to go?" and instructed in conformity to its princi- suddenly cried a round faced, chubby ples, one hundred and sixty-five thousand cheeked boy from the crowd. “To children. The education those children M—" I again replied, pleased with the receive is not pretended to be either lively bluntness of the lad. “ That's the classical or mathematical, and therefore nearest way (pointing straight for. if those branches of instruction be ex- ward) through Broughton.” I recolcluded in the profession as well as in the lected the name, and by this lucky inperformance, it is not just to denoininate stance of acuteness my whole route was the exertions of the pious and loyal, decided. These children were coming “a plausible pretext." They do perform from a national school; they were clean, what they profess. Their object neat, cheerful, and happy; and, what is “education in the principles of the is so seldom the case, could speak a established church ;" and the principles little English. These instances deserve of that church are taught." In con- no more notice than as tending to shew nection with that object there are many the superiority of children, who are in points which have engaged the anxious the way of being instructed above those attention of the visitors; with reading, who, though there may be respectable writing, religious knowledge, and arith- masters in the parish, with few scholars, metic, the habits of industry, activity, are suffered to wander in negligence subordination, regularity, cleanliness, and unlawfulness, without conduct, and and value of time, are most carefully without knowledge. To examine, in such instilled. These effects on the children a country as Wales, the interior of a and their parents are most gratifying; national school, if tolerably governed, real poverty and meanness of situation, as I had the pleasure of seeing, some, though once in rags and squalidness, and and then to compare the scene with the ignorance and wickedness, may, by the rude, half civilized beings, who are under method pursued in those schools, be con no regular discipline, would indeed be verted into cleanliness, order, neatness, a sufficient answer to the charge of using sobriety, obedience, decorum. This is “a plausible pretext of teaching."- If learning consummated. A little ob “ the state of ignorance" here expressed servation on the children of the lowest mean an absence of all classical and maorder, in the streets and at home, may thematical knowledge, I concede that they frequently discover the effect of the are not taught in national schools :* not Madras discipline. The principle is in- because the system is, in any respect, visible, in the mind, but it has evident disqualified to teach them ; but they are demonstration in the conduct. Enjoy- omitted in a poor man's education, on ing a pedestrian excursion, a few days account of their comparative inappliago, through the wild and mountainous cability to the common purposes of life. tracts of North Wales, I could not but What the National Society professes to lament the general deficiency of edu- teach, “is taught, and taught in such a cation. Walking early in the morning way as was never taught before,” not however from Caernarvon to Bangor 1 reducing all to ignorance, but advancing was much pleased with the behaviour of all to useful knowledge. some children on the road. About a The next assertion is one of more mile further, I was still more delighted, importance, and by the generality and when I read over the door of a neat cot- latitude of expression more indetertage, “National School,” to which minate in its application—"The vicious these children were repairing. Another instance of the improvement making in
* Many superior schools, hoth public the state and disposition of the children and private, have adopted the national may be mentioned; one evening I found system, the Charter House, the Newark myself at the juncture of two roads, free grammar school, Clergy Orphan without having any idea which I should school, &c. &c.
27 and the idle are put on the same level tutors and pupils. The tutor becomes with the honest and industrious." The answerable for his pupils' progress and whole strength of the passage lies in that behaviour to the assistant, he to the indefinite phrase, “put on a level." It teacher, the teacher to the usher, the olearly contains a charge incoinpatible usher to the master, and he to the superwith justice, and prudence, and common intendent. Need I say fewer faults, sense. But what is that charge ? If it fewer crimes, less idleness, less insuborbe meant that a good boy is placed in dination, and more of every excellence the same class with a bad one, it may be must be iced by this plan, partijust. This, however, can be no more cularly, when the mode of communicating reprehensible in national schools, than knowledge is so accordant. Constant in any other. There always will be employment prevents, at least while in different characters in every school, and school, a wicked boy corrupting his they must of necessity be, as to place, companions. The numbers in school near one another. But does it mean that prevent close combinations, the vigilance the treatment of both is the same? On of every officer ensures diligence. In comparing the general arrangements of each class, and in each division of the the new and old schools, the probable school are distinctions of rank. The result may be gained. The classes of the head of a class is a place of honour, an inold schools, I would speak of those for ferior place a station of dishonour. All the lower orders, seldom contain more is justice : even a vicious boy, when he than two or three scholars each, all upon behaves himself properly in school enjoys an equality as to rank. They are com the reward of his diligence, by being repanions in study, and generally in play- moved to the place his abilities and eximbibing the same principles, and nursing ertions have procured. But he retains the same habits. Now, if one of those it no longer than his good conduct be an idle boy, is there not danger that prevails. Should any signs of idleness he will delay his companion ? If he be or unsteadiness appear, he is instantly addicted to lying, will he not corrupt reminded, loses his place of honour, and him? If he be otherwise vicious is there is vigilantly watched. But “
by a not danger that his partner will be more daring and successful attempt atleaffected if they are both idle and velling” does your correspondent mean wicked, as there is no immediate and in- that the religious principles of the chilseparable connection between them and dren, who attend national schools, are the master, what an encouragement to all reduced to a particular standard? If licentiousness does it afford ! As boys, so, as no religious tenets are, I underwhen there are few of them, are more stand, exclusively taught in those schools intimately acquainted one with another, which style themselves Lancasterian, it is not more evil likely, if there are bad shews the impropriety of D-t uniting, characters among them, to be produced, so indiscriminately, the names of Lanthan where from the numbers and caster and Bell," who differ so materially flactuation of a large school a continual in their principles and actions. And it diversity and variety of school-fellows also contradicts his second assertion ; is taking place? Here, in the old school, for if no system has ever been so sucthe good and the bad are “put on the cessful in levelling, that is, in inculcating same level” with regard to classification, the principles of the established church, and treatment, and station, and oppor- how are the conductors of those schools tunity of - instruction. Consider now guilty of “a plausible pretext of the arrangement of the new school. 1st, teaching ?" First it is said, the system into classes of thirty or forty children: “ reduces all to a state of ignorance," 2d, over each class an assistant teacher, then, if I have rightly understood the who superintends the order, regularity, term, it is more successful than any erer and behaviour of his class: cd, the was, in preserving uniformity of faith teacher who instructs his class, and is and worship. It is, undoubtedly true, responsible for its discipline and im- that in national schools, both good chilprovement: 4th, ushers of different parts dren and bad are allowed the opportunity of the school inspecting the conduct and of gaining religious instruction, and that preserving the diligence of the teachers : no other tenets than those of the 5th, the master and superintendent. established church are taught. I deem Thus there is a regular gradation of it a great excellence that we should have office, and a regular connection between it in our power to preserve pure and unevery individual ; for in almost every polluted, the doctrines, and at the same exercise each class is again divided into time, retain the rising congregations of
[Aug. 1, our church in infant uniformity. All year he lost his sight by the small pox. parents know what principles are taught His wife died of the same distemper, and in our schools; and though no parent is the following year our poet married a asked, what faith, what doctrine he pro- young woman who supplied to him the fesses, it is always understood that the visual faculty by unremitting, tender atchild, by partaking of the benefits, tentions. He met with her in a parish should also conform to the appointed he never had visited, till as an itinerant rules of the institution. In this there musician he travelled thither. The meis no illiberality. All are admitted on lody of her voice, and the sprightly manvoluntary application, without ques- ners and good sense of her conversation tions as to their belief. I wish this to be charmed him, and she was fascinated by more generally known; for when the his poesy and his bag-pipe. She preDissenters establish a school they raise ferred him to junior admirers, though a flame about liberality of opinion and her tocher in cattle, sheep, and goats was religious freedom, and boast of their 80 ample that the bard settled at home educating children of all religious deno- upon a croft allotted for the laird's minations without teaching the peculia- piper. His first wife had no children. rities of sects; at the same time imply- The next brought him a son, and he being, if not expressing, the tyranny and moaned, in many pathetic lays, the calabigotry of the church of England schools, mity which deprived him of the joy of
rhich, say they, receive none, educate beholding the boy. He often passed his none, but those of its own profession. hands over the child's face, and proThat all are taught her principles is nounced he would be very beautiful; nor true ; but that all are of her commu was the augury erroneous. He was nion is false. If applicants yield to the about five years old, when having led his economy of the school, to whatever father to a wooded hillock, near a small church or
faith they belong, they are ad- river, he laid himself down and fell mitted. Two-thirds of the children are asleep. The father sat ruminating on frequently Dissenters.
past times, till tears overflowed his If I have misunderstood the asser. cheeks; and absorbed in his own tions of D-t, and have reasoned on thoughts, he did not perceive a neighfalse constructions, I beg that he will bour until spoken to by him. The bard statc more plainly what his objections to reproached this intruder for coming the new system are; and then my an- upon him like the slow creeping deer swers may be more intelligible. I de- stulker, and the intruder apologised, by sire not to pursue any idle controversy. assuring him, he had no intention of apIf D-t will tell me, and I earnestly re- proaching as a spy; but he had lost his quest he will
, how the operations of the only pair of shoes, and had nearly lost National Society deprive respectable his life at sea. He came to relate his masters of their subsistence; how its adventure, and to intrcat the bard to exertions by a plausible pretext of teach- clothe it with the ever-enduring drapery ing all reduce all to the same state of of song. This man maintained a large ignorance ; how in the new school the family by fishing with a small boat, and honest and industrious are put on the by brewing whiskey, which he conveyed same level with the idle and vicious, then to other districts in his little bark. He shall I have reason to think his charges was the most daring seaman on the are the result of observation or examina- coast, passing from the main land to the tion, or experience, and not what those Isles, with no help but his son, a lad not assertions at present appear, the gene-fourteen years old, though they must ral and indeterminate censures of a pre. sometiines sail or row very near the judiced mind.
vortex of Corryvekan. This late voyage With many thanks for your kind at was interrupted by descrying at a distention to the subject of education, I tance a ship which he took for a king's remain, Mr. Editor, sincerely yours,
cutter. He hastily put in to an uninJune 23, 1818. PuilaCKIBOS.
habited islet, and landed his keys of whiskey. In this precipitate work he neglected to fasten his boat securely;
she slipped from the stones where he THE bard who composed the song of had tied the rope, and in desperation he which the following is a defective trans- threw off his cloaths and swam after lation, was a musician, hunter, fisher, her. A violent gale arose, and he and hoatman, highly gifted by nature in would have been drowned but for the person and mind; but in his fortieth presence of mind of his son, who had
A SONG FROM THE GAELIC.
29 observed pasturing in the island a horse, aid. It is the gift of song to preserve which only in the beginning of spring for unborn generations the deeds of had been sold by a man who lived near their fathers. The flashings of renown his father's dwelling. The animal had for the hero-the boast of the hunter often been fed with grains from his for the ranger of rustling woods, or the father's small brewery. The lad called bounding traverser of the hills-the to him, as he was wont, to intimate that patient fisher of gliding waters, a mess awaited him. He galloped to through the heaving sea - all, all borrow the spot. The boy mounted him, and their fame from the bard, without him rode through the billows till the horse they are remembered no more. must betake himself to swimming. The The bold rider of the waves plunges Fouth continued shouting till his father to the briny waste, to snatch his bark attended to the sound. He understood from the pointed rocks, and from the the intention; repeated this call to the overwhelming billowy gulf. ley chillhorse. The animal swam to him, and ness rushes over his manly frame, but suffered him to seize his mane. The lad the heat of a dauntless spirit glows in by dint of swimming regained the shore, every vein. Round and round he and invited the horse in his usual strain. swims, and tries to ascend to the floatHe and the boatman got to land in ing habitation of safety. He repeats safety--but the shoes washed and repeats on all sides the daring strife away by a flowing tide.
against a sweeping tide, that bears away Thus sang the sightless bard :-The the last hope of escape from a grave sweet breath of summer comes wafted among the caverns of the deep. Hail to on morning gales ; while, resting upon the youth of the ready thought! it shall a sunny knoll, the sightless bard retraces be his to conquer in the hour of peril. days of other times, gone by, never to This voice invites the neighing steed ; return. Then his eyes were fountains the steed well broke to cross from shore of delight. He could rejoice in the to shore, by the efforts of his own rising sun, or gaze on many tinted sinewy limbs. Steed of the high heart! clouds, till the spirit of song kindled in green be thy pasture on the plain. Full his breast. Now he rises in darkness be thy manger beneath the sheltering from his heathy couch. The bright roof; and may the daughters of beauty bearning noon-day is to him a moonless caress thee and say, Thou hast gained night, and even the lovely face of his the prize of swimmers - thou hast saved son is a stranger to his view. More sad the husband and the father in the mothan all-manhood wrapped in gloom, ment of extremity--thou hast granted like the dark fogs of cheerless winter, his dearest wish to the son of sons; and sinks in showers of grief. The tears he when mirth and jollity sparkle at the hoped to shed unknown to all have been bridal feast, the joy of clans, or the observed by a fearless rider of the waves. friendly cup refreshes the strangerHe comes as the slow creeping stalker of we drink to the rider of the deep, to the mottled deer, and the welling tide of son of suns, and to the mighty steed. G. voe is no longer poured out in deep secresy. But he came not as the base MORAL DEFICIENCY OF METHODISM. spy of hidden cares ; he came to tell his MR. EDITOR, tale of dangers. He intreats the record We are much disposed to assume crcof deathless song, and a glorious sun
dit to ourselves as a nation for the strikes his light through the soul of the numerous institutions which prevail in bard. Rider of the waves! thou couldst this land, having the moral and religious guide the prow-thou couldst defy the improvement of the lower classes for baffetting surge—thou hast braved the their direct object. I have sometimes tumbling, foaming, howling Corridekan, indeed heard grave divines in the midst and the yelling blasts of the hills-the of their lamentations over the prevalence hurried leaping of the heart; the wild of immorality, derire consolation from bitterness of despair, when death, in the the reflection that though our enorghastliest form, assailed thy strangling, mities may be of a portentous magnigasping, stifing breath-these and all tude, the public charities which abound the hollow roarings of contending cur and the zeal of religious societies are of rents thou hast overcomc-but it is not, a nature to cover a multitude of síns. given thee to describe thy mighty strug. Far be it from me to undervalue anv gles, thy sufferings, or thy triumph over thing which contributes to the glory of fear and jeopardy. There the blind bard, my country, yet when I look around in the light of his soul, must gire thee and see that crimes and wretchedness