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the 5th chapter " quam in rem,' is translated "whereupon,”—“ concerning which" we suggest as preferable. In the 8th chapter "edicti de criminibus" is translated "criminal edict;" an expression, which excites an ambiguous idea, and for which might be substituted penal edict, or edict concerning crimes.
But upon the whole the translation, though somewhat too precise, is very correct the style as flowing and easy, as a jurisprudential style well can be, and the entire execution of the performance such as to command full approbation. We strongly recommend every man who has read Lee, as soon as possible to read Duponceau. To such as have
FROM THE EDINBURGH REVIEW.
read neither; to the statesman and the politician, the lawyer and the jurist, the merchant and the man of leisure, we recommend this work, as containing, in a convenient space, more useful knowledge of the laws of war and peace, that is to say of the laws of nations-a more satisfactory exposition of those principles, which however for the moment dri ven out of view, must reappear, grow with the growth of reason and good sense, and particularly strengthen with the strength of the United States of America, certainly than any other in the English language, and probably in any language
Remarks on the System of Education in Publick Schools, 8vo. London, 1809.
THERE is a set of well dressed, prosperous gentlemen, who assemble daily at Mr. Hatchard's shop; clean, civil personages; well in with the people in power; delighted with every existing institution; and almost with every existing circumstance; and, every now and then, one of these personages writes a little book; and the rest praise that little book, expecting to be praised, in their turn, for their own little books; and, of these little books, thus written by these clean, civil personages, so expecting to be praised, the pamphlet before us appears to be one.
In arguing any large or general question, it is of infinite importance to attend to the first feelings which the mention of the topick has a tendency to excite; and the name of a publick school brings with it imme diately the idea of brilliant classical attainments. But, upon the impor tance of these studies, we are not now offering any opinion. The only points for consideration are, whether boys are put in the way of becoming good and wise men by these schools; and whether they actually gather,' there, those attainments which it pleases mankind, for the time being, to consider as valuable, and to decorate by the name of learning.
By a publick school, we mean an endowed place of education, of old standing, to which the sons of gen-. tlemen resort in considerable num❤, -bers, and where they continue to reside, from eight or nine, to eigh teen years of age. We do not give this as a definition which would have satisfied Porphyry or Duns-Scotus; but as-one sufficiently accurate for. our purpose. The characteristick fea
The subject of it is the advantage of publick schools; and the author, very creditably to himself, ridicules the absurd clamour, first set on foot by Dr. Rennel, of the irreligious tendency of publick schools. He then proceeds to an investigation of the effects which publick schools may produce upon the moral character; and here the subject be comes more difficult, and the pamphlet worse.
tures of these schools are, their antiquity, the numbers, and the ages of the young people who are educated at them. We beg leave, however, to premise, that we have not the slightest intention of insinuating any thing to the disparagement of the present discipline or present rulers of these schools, as compared with other times and other men. We have no reason whatever to doubt that they are as ably governed at this, as they have been at any preceding period. Whatever objections we may have to these institutions, they are to faults, not depending upon present administration, but upon original construction.
At a publick school (for such is the system established by immemorial custom) every boy is alternately tyrant and slave. The power which the elder part of these communities exercises over the younger, is exceedingly great, very difficult to be controlled, and accompanied, not unfrequently, with cruelty and caprice. It is the common law of the place, that the young should be implicitly obedient to the elder boys; and this obedience resembles more the submission of a slave to his master, or of a sailor to his captain, than the common and natural deference which would always be shown by one boy to another a few years older than himself. Now, this system we cannot help considering as an evil, because it inflicts upon boys, for two or three years of their lives, many painful hardships, and much unpleasant servitude. These sufferings might, perhaps, be of some use in military schools; but, to give to a boy the habit of enduring privations to which he will never again be called upon to submit, to inure him to pains which he will never again feel, and to subject him to the privation of comforts, with which he will always in future abound, is surely not a very useful and valuable severity in education. It is not the life in miniature which he is to lead VOL. V.
hereafter, nor does it bear any relation to it. He will never again be subjected to so much insolence and caprice; nor ever, in all human probability, called upon to make so many sacrifices. The servile obedience which it teaches, might be useful to a menial domestick; or the habits of enterprise which it encourages, prove of importance to a military partisan; but we cannot see what bearing it has upon the calm, regular, civil life, which the sons of gentlemen, destined to opulent idleness, or to any of the three learned professions, are destined to lead. Such a system makes many boys very miserable; and produces those bad effects upon the temper and disposition, which unjust suffering always does produce; but what good it does we are much at a loss to conceive. Reasonable obedience is extremely useful in forming the disposition. Submission to tyranny lays the foundation of hatred, suspicion, cunning, and a variety of odious passions. We are convinced that those young people will turn out to be the best men, who have been guarded most effectually, in their childhood, from every species of useless vexation; and experienced, in the greatest degree, the blessings of a wise and rational indulgence. But even if these effects upon future character are not produced, still, four or five years in childhood make a very considerable period of human existence; and it is by no means a trifling consideration whether they are passed happily or unhappily. The wretchedness of school tyranny is trifling enough to a man who only contemplates it, in ease of body and tranquillity of mind, through the medium of twenty intervening years; but it is quite as real, and quite as acute, while it lasts, as any of the sufferings of mature life: and the utility of these sufferings, or the price paid in compensation for them, should be clearly made out to a con
scientious parent, before he consents to expose his children to them.
This system also gives to the elder boys an absurd and pernicious opinion of their own importance, which is often with difficulty effaced by a considerable commerce with the world. The head of a publick school is generally a very conceited young man, utterly ignorant of his own dimensions, and losing all that habit of conciliation towards others, and that anxiety for self improvement, which result from the natural modesty of youth. Nor is this conceit very easily and speedily gotten rid of. We have seen (if we mistake not) publick school importance lasting through the half of after life, strutting in lawn, swelling in ermine, and displaying itself, both -ridiculously and offensively, in the haunts and business of bearded
There is a manliness in the athletick exercises of publick schools, which is as seductive to the imagination as it is utterly unimportant in itself. Of what importance is it in after life, whether a boy can play well or ill at cricket; or row a boat with the skill and precision of a waterman? If our young lords and ésquires were hereafter to wrestle together in publick, or the gentlemen of the bar to exhibit Olympick games in Hilary term, the glory attached to these exercises of publick schools would be rational and important. But of what use is the body of an athlete, when we have good laws over our heads, or when a pistol, a postchaise, or a porter, can be hired for a few shillings? A gentleman does nothing but ride or walk; and yet such a ridiculous stress is laid upon the manliness of the exercises customary at publick schools, exercises in which the greatest blockheads commonly excel the most, as often render habits of idleness inveterate, and often lead to foolish expense and dissipation at a more advanced period of life.
One of the supposed advantages of a publick school, is the greater knowledge of the world which a boy is considered to derive from those situations; but if, by a knowledge of the world, is meant a knowledge of the forms and manners which are found to be the most pleasing and useful in the world, a boy from a publick school is almost always extremely deficient in these particu lars; and his sister, who has remained at home at the apron strings of her mother, is very much his supe. riour in the science of manners. It is probably true, that a boy at a publick school has made more observations on human character, because he has had more opportunities of observing, than have been enjoyed by young persons educated either at home or at private schools; but this little advance gained at a publick school, is so soon overtaken at college or in the world, that, to have made it, is of the least possible consequence, and utterly undeserving of any risk incurred in the acquisi tion. Is it any injury to a man of thirty or thirty-five years of age; to a learned serjeant or a venerable dean, that at eighteen they did not know so much of the world as some other boys of the same standing? They have probably escaped the arrogant character so often attendant upon this trifling superiority; nor is there much chance that they have ever fallen into the common and youthful errour of mistaking a premature initiation into vice, for a knowledge of the ways of mankind: and, in addition to these salutary exemptions, a winter in London brings it all to a level; and offers to every novice the advantages which are supposed to be derived from this precocity of confidence and polish.
According to the general prejudice in favour of publick schools, it would be thought quite as absurd and superfluous to enumerate the illustrious characters who have been
bred at our three great seminaries of this description, as it would be to descant upon the illustrious characters who have passed in and out of London over our three great bridges. Almost every conspicuous person is supposed to have been edu cated at publick schools, and there are scarcely any means (as it is imagined) of making an actual comparison; and yet, great as the rage is, and long has been, for publick schools, it is very remarkable, that the most eminent men in every art and science have not been educated in publick schools; and this is true, even if we include, in the term of publick schools, not only Eton, Winchester, and Westminster, but the Charter-house, St Paul's school, Merchant Taylors, Rugby, and every school in England, at all conducted upon the plan of the three first. The great schools of Scotland we do not call publick schools; because, in these, the mixture of domestick life gives to them a widely different character. Spenser, Pope, Shak speare, Butler, Rochester, Spratt, Parnell, Garth, Congreve, Gay, Swift, Thomson, Shenstone, Akenside, Goldsmith, Samuel Johnson, Beaumont and Fletcher, Ben Johnson, Sir Philip Sidney, Savage, Arbuthnot, and Burns, among the poets, were not educated in the system of English schools. Sir Isaac Newton, Maclaurin, Wallis, Hamstead, Saunderson, Simpson, and Napier, among men of science, were not educated in publick schools. The three best historians that the English language has produced, Clarendon, Hume, and Robertson, were not educated at publick schools. Publick schools have done little in England for the fine arts, as in the examples of Inigo Jones, Vanburgh, Reynolds, Gains borough, Garrick, &c. The great medical writers and discoverers in Great Britain, Harvey, Cheseldon, Hunter, Jenner, Meade, Brown and Cullen, were not educated at publick schools. Of the great writers
on morals and metaphysicks, it was not the system of publick schools which produced Bacon, Shaftesbury, Hobbes, Berkley, Butler, Hume, Hartley, or Dugald Stewart. The greatest discoverers in chymistry have not been brought up at publick schools; we mean Dr. Priestly, Dr. Black, and Mr. Davy. The only Englishmen who have evinced a remarkable genius, in modern times, for the art of war; the duke of Marlborough, lord Peterborough, general Wolfe, and lord Clive, were all trained in private schools. So were lord Coke, sir Matthew Hale, and lord chancellor Hardwick, and chief justice Holt, among the lawyers. So also, among statesmen, were lord Burleigh, Walsingham, the earl of Strafford, Thurloe, Cromwell, Hampden, lord Clarendon, sir Walter Raleigh, Sydney, Russel, sir W. Temple, lord Somers, Burke, Sheridan, Pitt. In addition to this list, we must not forget the names of such eminent scholars and men of letters, as Cudworth, Chilling. worth, Tillotson, archbishop King, Selden, Conyers, Middleton, Bentley, sir Thomas Moore, cardinal Wolsey, bishops Sherlock and Wilkins, Jeremy Taylor, Isaac Hooker, bishops Usher, Stillingfleet and Spel man, Dr. Samuel Clark, bishop Hoadley and Dr. Lardner. Nor must it be forgotten, in this examination, that none of the conspicuous writers upon publick economy which this country has as yet produced, have been brought up in publick schools. If it be urged that publick schools have only assumed their present character within this last century, or half century, and that what are now called publick schools, partook, be. fore this period, of the nature of private schools, there must then be added to our lists, the names of Milton, Dryden, Addison, &c. &c. and it will follow, that the English have done almost all that they have done in the arts and sciences, without the aid of that system of education to
which they are now so much at tached. Ample as this catalogue of celebrated names already is, it would be easy to double it; yet, as it stands, it is obviously sufficient to show that great eminence may be attained in any line of fame, without the aid of publick schools. Some more striking inferences might, perhaps, be drawn from it; but we content ourselves with the simple fact.
The most important peculiarity in the constitution of a publick school is its numbers, which are so great, that a close inspection of the master into the studies and conduct of each individual is quite impossible. We must be allowed to doubt, whether such an arrangement is favourable either to literature or morals.
Upon this system, a boy is left almost entirely to himself, to impress upon his own mind, as well as he can, the distant advantages of knowledge, and to withstand, from his own innate resolution, the examples and the seductions of idleness. A firm character survives this brave neglect; and very exalted talents may sometimes remedy it by subsequent diligence. But schools are not made for a few youths of preeminent talents, and strong characters; such prizes can, of course, be drawn but by a very few parents. The best school is that which is best accommodated to the greatest variety of characters, and which embraces the greatest number of cases. It cannot be the main object of education to render the splendid more splendid, and to lavish care upon those who would almost thrive without any care at all. A publick school does this effectually, but it commonly leaves the idle almost as idle, and the dull almost as dull, as it found them. It disdains the tedious cultivation of those middling talents, of which only the great mass of human beings are possessed. When a strong desire of improvement exists, it is encouraged, but no means are taken to inspire it. A boy is cast in among
five or six hundred other boys, and is left to form his own character; if his love of knowledge survives this severe trial, it, in general, carries him very far; and, upon the same principle, a savage, who grows up to manhood, is, in general, well made, and free from all bodily de fects; not because the severities of such a state are favourable to animal life, but because they are so much the reverse, that none but the strongest can survive them. A few boys are incorrigibly idle, and a few incorrigibly eager for knowledge; but the great mass are in a state of doubt and fluctuation; and they come to school, for the express purpose not of being left to themselves (for that could be done any where) but that their wavering tastes and propensities should be decided by the intervention of a master. In a forest, or publick school for oaks and elms, the trees are left to themselves; the strong plants live, and the weak ones die. The towering oak that remains is admired; the saplings that perish round it are cast into the flames and forgotten. But it is not, surely, to the vegetable struggle of a forest, or the hasty glance of a forester, that a botanist would commit a favourite plant. He would naturally seek for it a situation of less hazard, and a cultivator whose limited occupations would enable him to give to it a reasonable share of his time and attention. The very meaning of education seems to us to be, that the old should teach the young, and the wise direct the weak; that a man who professes to instruct, should get among his pupils; study their characters; gain their affections; and form their inclinations and aversions. In a publick school, the numbers render this impossible; it is impossible that sufficient time should be found for this useful and affectionate interference. Boys, therefore, are left to their own crude conceptions, and ill-formed propensities; and this neglect is