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facility of learning is incalculably hension, that the great cause itself augmented to children of every may suffer by a protracted discusclass, and a vast saving of time se- sion among persons, who, having the cured, even to those whose circum- same benevolent object in view, stances may put economy of money should exert themselves in perfect out of the question; while the faci- harmony to attain it.

; lity of teaching is so much increas- The subject now before us, the ed, that, within almost any given extension of popular education, time, an indefinite number of in- gives rise to two distinct questions. structers can be provided. This me- It has, unhappily, been contended thod, which, from its regular form by some persons, that no good can and successful, experimental im- result from promoting the instrucprovements, we may well denomi- tion of the bulk of the community. nate a practical system, having, They have even pretended to fore. from the first, attracted considerable see a variety of evils, as likely to attention, has of late (owing, in some originate in the greater diffusion of degree, to certain hostile demonstra- knowledge; and, combining with tions on the part of the bigoted and their fanciful anticipations of danpersecuting classes of society) in- ger, views of past events just as creased in popularity, and shown fanciful, have not scrupied to raise signs of spreading, we would fain apprehensions of anarchy, tumult, hope, over the whole empire. It is and revolution, from the progress of with the view of contributing our information among the people. The aid to so great and good a work, first question, then, and one of a and of recording the history of the preliminary nature, is raised by system, that we now again bring those persons; and, should their obthis subject before our readers, af. jections be successfully obviated, ter an interval of three years; during there follows, of course, the inquiry which, the new doctrines have been as to the best means of diffusing working their way, through the af- education; which involves the matfected contempt of some, and the ters in dispute between the patrons feeble and forgotten resistance of of the different plans now under others.

consideration. We have, on former occasions The general objections to edu(see Select Reviews, vol. I, page cating the poor need not, surely, de73] explained the principles of tain us long. Had they not received this plan of education, and traced a higher sanction in the authority their operation in practice; and we of some eminent statesmen, than refer the reader to those articles, they usually claim from the charac. and to the excellent writings of Mr. ter of their ordinary supporters, we Lancaster and Dr. Bell themselves, should willingly have left them to for a full elucidation of the system. their fate. They are certainly not of We purpose, at present, to consider a modern date; and the following the questions connected with its passage from Mandeville will show more general diffusion; and it is that they are not purely of clerical with unfeigned regret, that, in the origin. After expatiating upon the outset of this inquiry, we find our- uses of poverty in society, and the selves involved in a controversy, necessity of keeping up, by all pos- . which we heartily wish we could sible means, the stock of poor peoavoid, on every account; from our ple, this licentious writer proceeds: respect for the excellent persons Go To make society happy, and peoengaged on both sides; from a ple easy, under the meanest circumnatural dislike of all such disputes; stances, it is requisite that great but more especially from an appre- numbers of them should be igno

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rant, as well as poor. Knowledge him upon it." | It is, no doubt, exboth enlarges and multiplies our actly so. The pressing motive of desires; and the fewer things a man want alone could make any man wishes for, the more easily his ne- work as a day-labourer; nor will all cessities may be supplied."* Now, the learning of the schools lessen were it not trifling with our readers that motive, unless knowledge shall to answer such positions, we might somehow or other acquire the proa observe in passing, that his two ar. perty of filling the belly or covering guments in favour of ignorance and the back. Nor, again, is it educated of poverty, are altogether at vari- men alone to whom Dr. Mandeance with each other; for, the more ville's remark applies, unless he can contented a poor man is, the less also show that, without reading and will he work; and you have no surer writing, a man cannot tell whether way of getting him to labour, than or not he wants food and clothing. by multiplying his desires; that is, And then, if it be said that a learned by enlarging his knowledge. Dr. peasant will neither do without eatMandeville always supposes, like ing, nor work to gain his bread, it his orthodox followers in modern must follow, that the love of labour, times, that, by increasing the know- for its own sake, is natural to man, ledge of a poor man, you give him, and that it requires deep learning to not merely new desires, but new make him prefer plenty and ease. supplies, without labour, both of But let us look to his other arguthose necessities which he always ments; for it does so happen, that had, as well as new gratifications of this pious author has anticipated all his newly acquired desires. In this the topicks which have lately illustrain he proceeds: “ The welfare minated some of our pulpits, exand felicity of every state and king- cepting the common addition of the dom, require, that the knowledge of French revolution, which is, now-athe working poor should be confined days, added to every argument within the verge of their occupa- against improvement, as regularly tions, and never extended (as to as the money counts, or the names things visible) beyond what relates of two distinguished legal characto their calling. The more a shep. ters, are to certain parts of a record. herd, a ploughman, or any other Dr. Mandeville pursues his reasonpeasant, knows of the world, and the ing thus: “Reading, writing, and things that are foreign to his labour arithmetick, are very necessary to or employment, the less fit he'll be those whose business requires such to go through the fatigues and hard- qualifications; but, where people's ships of it with cheerfulness and livelihood has no dependence on content.”+ The answer to all which these arts, they are very pernicious is so singularly apt, in a subsequent to the poor, who are forced to get passage of the same work, that we their daily bread by their daily lashall save our own time by placing bour. Few children make any prothem together. “A man, ," he ob- gress at school, but, at the same servés, 6 who has had some educa- time, they are capable of being emtion, may follow husbandry, by ployed in some business or other; choice, and be diligent at the dirti- so that every hour those sort of poor. est and most laborious work; but people spend at their book, is se then the concern must be his own; much time lost to the society."'S TO and avarice, the care of a family, or which the answer is obvious: Either some other pressing motive, must put instruct children at so early an age,

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* Fable of the Dees, vol. 1. p. 256. (Essay on Charity, and Charity Schools.) * Id. Ibid.

# Ibid.
p. 258.

$ Ibid. p. 257.

facility of learning is incalculably augmented to children of every class, and a vast saving of time secured, even to those whose circumstances may put economy of money out of the question; while the facility of teaching is so much increased, that, within almost any given time, an indefinite number of instructers can be provided. This method, which, from its regular form and successful, experimental improvements, we may well denominate a practical system, having, from the first, attracted considerable attention, has of late (owing, in some degree, to certain hostile demonstrations on the part of the bigoted and persecuting classes of society) increased in popularity, and shown signs of spreading, we would fain hope, over the whole empire. It is with the view of contributing our aid to so great and good a work, and of recording the history of the system, that we now again bring this subject before our readers, after an interval of three years; during which, the new doctrines have been working their way, through the affected contempt of some, and the feeble and forgotten resistance of others.

We have, on former occasions [see Select Reviews, vol. I, page 73] explained the principles of this plan of education, and traced their operation in practice; and we refer the reader to those articles, and to the excellent writings of Mr. Lancaster and Dr. Bell themselves, for a full elucidation of the system. We purpose, at present, to consider the questions connected with its more general diffusion; and it is with unfeigned regret, that, in the outset of this inquiry, we find ourselves involved in a controversy, which we heartily wish we could avoid, on every account; from our respect for the excellent persons engaged on both sides; from a natural dislike of all such disputes; but more especially from an appre

hension, that the great cause itself may suffer by a protracted discussion among persons, who, having the same benevolent object in view, should exert themselves in perfect harmony to attain it.

The subject now before us, the extension of popular education, gives rise to two distinct questions. It has, unhappily, been contended by some persons, that no good can result from promoting the instruc tion of the bulk of the community. They have even pretended to foresee a variety of evils, as likely to originate in the greater diffusion of knowledge; and, combining with their fanciful anticipations of danger, views of past events just as fanciful, have not scrupled to raise apprehensions of anarchy, tumult, and revolution, from the progress of information among the people. The first question, then, and one of a preliminary nature, is raised by those persons; and, should their objections be successfully obviated, there follows, of course, the inquiry as to the best means of diffusing education; which involves the matters in dispute between the patrons of the different plans now under consideration.

The general objections to educating the poor need not, surely, detain us long. Had they not received a higher sanction in the authority of some eminent statesmen, than they usually claim from the character of their ordinary supporters, we should willingly have left them to their fate. They are certainly not of a modern date; and the following passage from Mandeville will show that they are not purely of clerical origin. After expatiating upon the uses of poverty in society, and the necessity of keeping up, by all possible means, the stock of poor people, this licentious writer proceeds: "To make society happy, and people easy, under the meanest circumstances, it is requisite that great numbers of them should be igno

rant, as well as poor. Knowledge both enlarges and multiplies our desires; and the fewer things a man wishes for, the more easily his necessities may be supplied.' "* Now, were it not trifling with our readers to answer such positions, we might observe in passing, that his two arguments in favour of ignorance and of poverty, are altogether at variance with each other; for, the more contented a poor man is, the less will he work; and you have no surer way of getting him to labour, than by multiplying his desires; that is, by enlarging his knowledge. Dr. Mandeville always supposes, like his orthodox followers in modern times, that, by increasing the knowledge of a poor man, you give him, not merely new desires, but new supplies, without labour, both of those necessities which he always had, as well as new gratifications of his newly acquired desires. In this strain he proceeds: "The welfare and felicity of every state and kingdom, require, that the knowledge of the working poor should be confined within the verge of their occupations, and never extended (as to things visible) beyond what relates to their calling. The more a shepherd, a ploughman, or any other peasant, knows of the world, and the things that are foreign to his labour or employment, the less fit he'll be to go through the fatigues and hardships of it with cheerfulness and content." The answer to all which is so singularly apt, in a subsequent passage of the same work, that we shall save our own time by placing them together. "A man," he observes, "who has had some education, may follow husbandry by choice, and be diligent at the dirtiest and most laborious work; but then the concern must be his own; and avarice, the care of a family, or some other pressing motive, must put

him upon it." It is, no doubt, exactly so. The pressing motive of want alone could make any man work as a day-labourer; nor will all the learning of the schools lessen that motive, unless knowledge shall somehow or other acquire the property of filling the belly or covering the back. Nor, again, is it educated men alone to whom Dr. Mandeville's remark applies, unless he can also show that, without reading and writing, a man cannot tell whether or not he wants food and clothing. And then, if it be said that a learned peasant will neither do without eating, nor work to gain his bread, it must follow, that the love of labour, for its own sake, is natural to man, and that it requires deep learning to make him prefer plenty and ease.

But let us look to his other arguments; for it does so happen, that this pious author has anticipated all the topicks which have lately illuminated some of our pulpits, excepting the common addition of the French revolution, which is, now-adays, added to every argument against improvement, as regularly as the money counts, or the names of two distinguished legal characters, are to certain parts of a record. Dr. Mandeville pursues his reasoning thus: "Reading, writing, and arithmetick, are very necessary to those whose business requires such qualifications; but, where people's livelihood has no dependence on these arts, they are very pernicious to the poor, who are forced to get their daily bread by their daily labour. Few children make any progress at school, but, at the same time, they are capable of being employed in some business or other; so that every hour those sort of poor people spend at their book, is so much time lost to the society "§ To which the answer is obvious: Either instruct children at so early an age,

*Fable of the Bees, vol. 1. p. 256. (Essay on Charity, and Charity Schools.) + Id. Ibid. Ibid. p. 258.

§ Ibid. p. 257.

that the loss of their labour is not
worth the trouble of reckoning; or,
if you teach them when they might
be employed in earning their sub-
sistence, take care to let their pa-
rents maintain them all the while;
and educate no one for nothing, un-
less his parents can, at the same
time, afford to support him. This
check will affix limits, within which
the gratuitous assistance of the
higher classes never can, by possi-
bility, either diminish the industry
of the lower orders, or in the small-
est degree derange the general
structure of society. And let it be
observed, that this remark presup-
poses no material benefit to be de-
rived from the education of the
children in question; nothing to be
communicated which is worth the
value of their labour.
1 The reverend author, whose work
we are consulting, then brings for-
ward another, and one of the most
favourite of the modern topicks:
"Reading and writing," he says,
"are not attained to without some
labour of the brain, and assiduity;
and before people are tolerably
versed in either, they esteem them-
selves infinitely above those who are
wholly ignorant of them; often with
as little justice and moderation, as
if they were of another species.”*
To this also, the answer very com-
monly given, seems quite irrefraga
ble; that if all men were well edu-
cated, no one would be vain of his
acquirements, any more than any
man is, in this country, vain of wear-
ing a hat; which, nevertheless, is,
in some countries, a distinction con-
fined to the prince; and, of course,
an object of great vanity. Akin to
this, is the notion, that the educa-
tion of the poor would be hostile to
subordination; an argument much
used in the present day, and mixed
up with the "French revolution;"
but fully expounded by our venera-
ble author, although without that

* Id. Ibid.

addition: "When obsequiousness and mean services are required, we shall always observe, that they are never so cheerfully, nor so heartily performed, as from inferiours to superiours; I mean inferiours, not only in riches and quality, but likewise in knowledge and understanding. A servant can have no unfeigned respect for his master, as soon as he has sense enough to find out that he serves a fool. When we are to learn or to obey, we shall experience in ourselves, that the greater opinion we have of the wisdom and capacity of those that are either to teach or command us, the greater deference we pay to their laws and instructions. No creatures submit contentedly to their equals; and should a horse know as much as a man, I should not desire to be his rider."t But, surely, it does not follow, that, because the poor learn something, the rich may not learn more. Nor, even if it did, would there be any proof given, that his learning must needs make a poor man despise his equals in knowledge; for, by the argument, they are only put on an equality. However, we utterly deny the whole of the facts on which this argument rests. As long as a man cannot live without labour, he will work, and no longer; whether he be ignorant or well informed. As long as servility is necessary to some men's livelihood, they will obey others who can support them. As long as servility is conducive to the fortunes, or supposed interests of some men, or to their gratification, they will truckle and fawn to their superiour, we much fear, without inquiring exactly whether he is their equal in learning or abilities. It is truly lamentable to see how far a theory will carry some people. Had Dr. Mandeville lived in a cloister (we ought, perhaps, rather to say a hermitage; or, at least, a convent where there was no supe† Id. p. 258.

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