Page images

draught may be seen drawn upon the public, by the Reverend Secretary, for the requisite competent stock of ungrounded faith. Established by nobody, on no day, at no place,-signed by no. body, not even by T. T. Walmsley, Sec.,—not so much as garnished by the words NATIONAL SOCIETY-Central School-stationed at the head of the preceding paper, instead of a date,-they stand, in other respects—these “ Rules"-or these “ Rules and Regulations”-upon exactly the same imaginary ground as the form of Certificate for Masters.

In Report III. pages 176, 177, under No. X. (by inadvertence put instead of No. VIII.) this paper stands reprinted word for word.

Of these Rules, the main body is foreign to the present purpose. Not altogether so either the Introductory passage, or the first of the Rules.

“ The conduct and improvement:" it begins with saying—“ The conduct and improvement of “ the Masters being objects to which the very par“ ticular attention of the Committee" (viz. the imaginary Committee) “is directed, it is ordered

“ That a book shall be kept, to be called The Report of the Masters, which shall be a faithful “ register of their conduct, and be laid weekly be“ fore the Committee, during whose sitting every “ master is required to be in waiting.”

The case being (as, long before this, must, it is believed, have been clear enough to every body)

the case being, that no real Committee is ever sitting,-how is it that, in this way, an intercourse is thus constantly kept up between two assemblages of persons—the one visible, composed of the Schoolmasters—the other invisible, composed of the illustrious, but never-assembled masters of those same Schoolmasters.

Another look, and you will see how it is :-i. e. how it cannot but be.Somewhere or other in the building, conceive a room, called the CommitteeRoom :-in that same building conceive another room, called the Waiting-Room : conceive, more. over, a third room, called the Secretary's Room. The Committee-Room is the supposed seat of the many-headed Idol.-T. T. Walmsley, Sec. is the High Priest.

When a Schoolmaster comes, he is ordered to the High Priest, by whom he is sent to the WaitingRoom, where he sits kicking his heels with his fellows. If at that time so it happens that a special order is to be given to him,-in goes the High Priest, shuts himself up with his invisible God, -takes his Godship's pleasure, and delivers to the bowing Master,or, if his Lordship of London is understood to form one person of the godhead, the “ prostrate" master,—the result of it.

Do what I preach, and not as I do, is an old adage, put into the mouths of such Reverend Gentlemen as do preach. According to the above rule, the book kept by the Masters is to bea faithful Register of their conduct :-of the conduct of these same Masters.—Faithful ?-In what sense and manner faithful?_In the same manner as these Reports, which are so regularly published by the Secretary, and for which, when published, he is at the motion of the Most Reve. rend President so regularly thanked ?—Alas! no; but in the opposite manner. In the way of contrast, however,--should it ever happen to a copy of this work to meet the eyes of any one of these Masters,—in the way of contrast the conduct of the real conductors of the institution might be of use to him. To the National Society's Schoolmasters, the peep here given behind the curtain a lesson of faithfulness,”-as the deportment of the Helots when in a certain state, was made to afford a lesson of sobriety to the children of their masters.

may afford

§ VIII. Securities against Spuriousness-Cause of

the Omission of them, Necessity and Design-not Inadvertence.

So many tokens of authenticity, so many instruments of authentication, so many securities against spuriousness. Of the use or value of these securities, is it that the authors of these Reports were unapprized or insensible ?-Not they indeed.

If in any case they have omitted to exhibit them, it is because,- with a few inconsiderable ex

ceptions, which will here be brought to view,in all cases, from first to last, in the case in question among the rest, they have found themselves unable to exhibit them : and the cause why they have found themselves unable to exhibit them isthat, without a glaring falsehood, these securities could not have been exhibited :-a falsehood, which, if uttered, would have been recognized as such :-recognized by a number of persons so considerable, that all prospect of its remaining ultimately concealed from the eye of the public at large would have been manifestly hopeless.

The falsehood in question, in what then would it have consisted ?-Answer. In this : viz, in the assertion, that, on such or such a day, such or such an act received the sanction of a certain number of members of the governing body in question, styled The General Committee of the National Society,-assembled together in one room, in one or other of two characters,—viz. that of Members of the General Committee acting as such (total number of these who had a right to meet, 52) or that of Members of one or other of the Sub-Committees, formed out of that same number, and acting under the authority of that same General Committee.

If, on any determinate daysay 1st January, 1813-the case was, that, on that same day, no meeting of the General Committee was held,-any portion of discourse, by which intimation were given, that, on that same day, an act of such

[ocr errors]

or such a tenor received the sanction of the General Committee, would be a palpable, and, sooner or later, a universally notorious, falsehood,and, unless by some accident too extraordinary to be repeated, a wilful falsehood.

In this then may be seen the reason—the sole reason why, with very few exceptions indeed, in every instance, in which the act in question is, on the Report represented as being the act of the General Committee, -or of a Sub-Committee, acting under the authority of that governing body,—no day is mentioned as being the day on which such act received the sanction of the one or the other of these same bodies respectively: the act being, in each such instance, the act either of some one individual, or some small number of individuals, not competent to the formation of those same bodies respectively.-Being exercised by, or by or under the orders of, some one individual, or incompetent number of individuals respectively, -it could not, without a palpable falsehood, have been stated as having, on this or that determinate day, received the sanction of either of these same bodies respectively; and, therefore, it was, that to the statement, by which it is represented, as if it had received that sanction, no determinate day was ventured to be assigned.

Follows now the proof-that the omission in question—the non-exhibition of these securities

« PreviousContinue »