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they are schoolmasters in their way, wife has never learnt that first, most and no bad ones: they have acquired necessary business, how to cook. two great human virtues—fortitude to What is the consequence? The unendure, and a gentle pity; and these satisfied husband is put out of they impart to a population about humour; he quits the house which them.* ' I call this education ; for has ceased to look like a home-and there has been experience; and so where does he go? Not far off is a large, that some judgment can scarcely public-house. À clean room, a sanded be wanting. “Learning is folly," floor, and a bright fire, are irresistible says the proverb, “ unless judgment temptations. He meets others there, have the use of it." And how is like himself driven out and tempted judgment acquired ? It is mother-wit in, and the very first day makes him sharpened, and able to decide by in- an incipient sot. Consider his case. tercourse with the bigger world. This Where else can he go? Is there any is training; it is showing a man what very cheap amusement wisely prohe is, by enabling him to compare vided for him out of a public-house ? himself with many others; and it None, in country or in town. If he teaches him the general human nature, loves a freer range, and the fields, he by seeing infinite varieties of char- is suspected as a poacher; and peracters; and not only by seeing, but haps from the exuberance of animal by mingling with them, and finding spirits, and the love of danger natutheir agreements and disagreements; ral to all (and long may it be so), and and thus the world's scholar learns to from the excitement of the publicthink, which is far better than to house talk and drink, a poacher he know, at least such things as are very becomes. If means of innocent amuseoften taught, and which never can be ment are not found for him, he will turned to any use. It was a happy find amusement of another kind for thought to set up schools to teach himself. Who can reasonably wonder “common things." Let us hope they if moral evils spring up and grow to will flourish, for they are sadly magnitude among us? And it is wanted. Therein is the foundation thought that this moral evil is to be of a good social education. And cured by books and lectures; and what is social education ? will be cramming unwilling and disobedient asked by some crotchety educa- beads, “ crassâ invitâque Minerva," tionists. It begins with home, and with the fopperies, puerilities, and widens in the circle of life. It is the crudities of learning, called knowledge. teaching the well-doing the duties that They who think so, know not human properly belong to home and to so- nature. Taste for book-learning never ciety. Very many are there who can be a general taste. How hard is think that modern teaching has taken it to give it any animation even in quite another and a worse direction, the higher classes-how difficult to set and that the mass of the people have a youth of any class to book-work. I deteriorated in the knowing and the suppose nature intends it should be doing these duties. The emulation irksome work, and that only a few encouraged in national schools bas too should be gifted with studious desires; much of the anti-national in it. And for it is surprising how few, of all this has had a very mischievous influ- who go through a public school, or ence among young women of the lower even a university, become readers in classes. They marry, and know not after-life, or have acquired anything how to keep their homes-how to like a stock of knowledge, according to cater in home-comforts. The hus- the educationist's interpretation of band comes to an unclean house, a knowledge. But it does not follow bad fire, an ill-dressed dinner-the that they have not acquired other know
* “ With some experience of the world in this matter, I have found myself a child. I never till now knew what a soldier really was. I never could have dreamt that the serious business of a soldier's life and death could develop such true nobility of character as I have lately witnessed. I have myself learnt the lesson letter by letter. Would that I possessed the power to impart it to others. It is one that forbids vicarious teaching," &c. &c.-S. G. OSBORNE, Times, January 2, 1855.
ledge. They assuredly have, and be- books mostly read? The history of come their stations. If this be so with Jack Sheppard, and such nice educathe higher classes, how are we to es- tional works. Nay, we know one grand pect better—if they be better things Athenæum where some members, dis—from the humbler classes, whom, in gusted with very blasphemous passages the first place, nature has endowed in a certain magazine, with great diffiwith other gifts, to fit them for their culty obtained a vote for its rejection; work? And even though they should but a violent opposition was formed, be gifted with literary capacities—as and the mischievous work was voted in now and then is unquestionably the again. And as to the library scheme case, for nature is above working by by a rate-in the first place, while books too exact a rule—what difficulties are so cheap, it is not wanted ; and must they encounter, and come to if it were, it is of impracticable workthe task with weary bodies and minds; ing. Who are they, after this Athenand how few can persevere, with @um specimen of-catering, who are to health to their bodies and satisfied select the works? Or, if every donaminds. These few will find their own tion be to be accepted, what a pretty way-will, as they have always done library would be put before the public, and there are eminent examples-edu- of sedition, immorality, and irreligion. cate themselves. Such few will learn It would be impossible to provide little from schools, and can furnish against these evils. Not that readingno argument for a system. Under, rooms should be considered in themthen, the discomforts of home from selves objectionable, if established by the lack of teaching the young women societies not too large-so that they of the lower classes the common may be regulated under unity, or things needful-if we would have something like unity, of opinion and their homes really homes, what is to principle. When too large, the misbe done to check the moral evils that chievous (who are generally the more are so damaging to our whole social active) are sure to govern. Make not system? First, then, teach common such societies like drag-nets, that take things. But that is not all. Find in fish of every kind, without power amusements for the people, and room to cast back the worse, and which for amusements. Circumscribe them only serve in the keeping to taint the not too much, that they cannot move others. No, Eusebius, the people want without a trespass. The teetotaller far other provision-amusements of a will say, put down the public-houses ; less dubious, and more certainly imand he may be partly right, inas- proving kind. much as he means, put down drunk You see how I am beating about enness. I would rather say, instead the bush ;-how I seem to shirk sayof putting them down, convert them ing what should be done ;--with what into something better; remove from care I mask my battery, as if afraid them the power of intoxicating. But of an enemy, and desirous of havthis putting down the public-houses ing him within range of the shot. is not the next step to be taken, nor Of course it is something very awful. a practicable one ; for until you can Be it so. find the people means of other amuse “ 'Tis dangerous to disturb a horments, you cannot put them down. net's nest." That which I would proThen it will be said, let them have pose has obtained the advocacy of the amusements; but of what kind would wise in all times, but has encountered you propose ? In towns particularly, the wrath of bigots; and the bigots but elsewhere also, have they not have been too many; and what then? Reading Societies, Book-lending Socie- - they have made for us " a sad ties, and Athenæums, and all those world, my masters." The bolder way sorts of things ?-and do we not mean is the best; so, in a few words, Euseto provide them more? And is there bius, will I out with the worst at not a bill now in Parliament for library once. Thus--I would that every vilrates? O yes! All mere folly. Who lage in England had a church at one has not seen the statistics of these end of it, and a theatre at the other. reading societies and lecture societies, A theatre at the other !! How with fine names? And what are the many hands and eyes, Protestant and protesting, we praised against this properly cared in a scrie cond-3 teatre Bat be so best senze ed not to
Licet, ad bare : Bae patizace Deat. There is noch i that: their wtie I expia brief You are Des de gits vere conta Ties fels Te so averse to tie thg 25 you is wan10- they stagished in imagese: you have it tat cc bare DA oc3Q-the good from the bad. tbe Dasse Sošs is DA to say bere. They learned at via to ani ni at but you rear have teatres, Dot 50 lat to weep TT c ited the decisted, Tiib sages ari s greater utaky to rise and crime, and sery pactise acts too. Ten by seeing bor . Teserosos these Hal. Tere is Bure actisg in the were to 21 arte n : uity van voitban takes its name professional timed ridde gentle satire, corVaasa kare been written, Lore rected the risc rice or their oma than ecuazazziast pass and Lindas. Now. Ensecins, it this theatre, sereas the sto sbocad erer Tas tree. or if it be in the satare hare be the abase of them. If of this s posebe, ter me if bere are Si pressi a of the thing is to for Dot means of edacio-era of ac20 arzu eat too its atzse, what cairicz knowledge :00 23 Bezlact
!l be safe? Pension itse soo1 ed, worse thun nepiected-east side, hare to be suppressed by acciana. with an i. Deme, as an * echoly too. Soch extravagance as this is thiag.* I would go furtha and say, like the foly of the teetate.zers, who that a natural wat is suppressed, and bare ruined their own good intentiúcs that Derer can be done with isperity. and a better cause by their total-sup- A Datural Tant-ses. Essetiss-in presei sa views. Cosa secse las its strictest sease. The curiosity to kicked tbeir tbeory oor of doors, wben know all about mantei, of which we they cba.ked the back of :bo form a part, is an instinct. The tok a piat of smali beer or a glass of reriest infant love the le story, wise as a dronkard. So, in perse- and to bare dramatisei to bin the Gring plays, instead of rectifying ways, the habits, of all creatures them, tbe paritans did their best to around him, and always Tib & cerpat down wbat was essentiaily good tain application to himself; bence the Its evil was its accident. Toe very chid's deizbt in fables. As the origin of the drama was religioas; child grows, be gatbers his little esand wben it first wandered from dis. periences into stories of his own maktire reizigas teaching, it still attach- ing. Groaps of young onas meet in ed itseif to tte virtues. They were byways of lanes and bedges, and, for then the old * moraities. The lack of larger dramas put before tbem, drama, progressing and accommodat- act their own. Erery village and ing itseif to waois or desires of the town bas multitudes of these unrecogpeople, assumed a more varied form, nised, unobserved * minor theatres." and took upon itself to extitit mad- Is not, then, the theatre an instinctive pers-to pourtray life as it is, in all want? We are imitative for its parits circumstances and accided:s; and pose. Nature impels us to the drama by so doing, it brought the world at as a means of acquiring knowledge, large, as it were, home to every man's and something better than knowledge, door, and provided thos a substitute as knowledge is understood. It is an for the means of acquiring kocwledge ally and adjunct to religion. Has by ubiquity-by that travel into the there ever been known a people among wider sphere denied to the masses of whom, in some form or other, the the people. The drama became a drama was not? The more civilised remedy against the narrowness and nations become, the stronger is its ignorance of circumscribed licalities; necessity. The Germans have a say. and they to whom occasionally good ing—"Bread and the theatre." They plays were brought home, knew some make it the second necessity of life. thing more of mankind and of them. The French carry it still higher--they selves, and bad both their hearts and make it the first, for they say-" The understandings enlarged. In this way theatre and bread." The wisest the drama was, as it ever might be if statesmen have encouraged it. The
Romans won the world by amusing it, "Show me your company and I will as well as by arms. Cæsar loved the tell you what you are," is a truth. comic, and encouraged the “mimes" The play has its good companionships. of Laberius and Publius Syrus. He Down went the play and down went would have the broad farce, think- king and bishops, and they were all ing that people could not laugh too restored together. Even John Milmuch — complaining that Terence ton,* who was never quite comfortable wanted somewhat more of the vis and at home in his puritanism, loved comica. To the Greeks the drama the drama, and wrote plays, both in was the all-in-all of life. It was their his youth and his mature and declinrefining process of cducation—their ing years; and thought it no profanaschool of virtues. Tragedy first, fortion to take his subject from the Bible. its heroic action, to raise the whole Hear with what respect he speaks of man-aud comedy, as a corrective the drama :of social vices. It is true the latter
“ Then to the well-trod stage anon, was sometimes abused; but what of If Jonson's learned sock be on; that? With us the drama reached Or sweetest Shakespeare, fancy's child, at one time its acme of abomination. Warble his native wood-notes wild." It was persecuted, and out of spite to Again its persecutors changed its true nature
“ Sometime let gorgeous tragedy and purpose. It would not be difficult
In sceptred pall come sweeping by, to correct the drama and make it a
Presenting Thebes’ or Pelops line, most useful teacher; and this has Or the tale of Troy divine; been the opinion of very wise and Or what (though rare) of later age good men. I will quote an appli Ennobled hath the buskin'd stage." cable passage from a sermon of Arch That is well said — “ennobled." bishop Tillotson. “To speak against Even in Puritan Milton's view, then, them (viz. plays) in general, may be (if Puritan he was the stage was thought too severe, and that which noble. And why may it not be noble the present age cannot too well brook, again? Subject as we are to all the and would not, perhaps, be so just joys and sorrows of life, it cannot be and reasonable, because it is very amiss to have an initiatory discipline, possible they might be so framed, and an imaginary and vicarious expegoverned by such rules, as not only rience of situations, in which we may to be innocently diverting, but in. in reality one day find ourselves, a structing and useful; to put some fore-trial of the virtue that is in us. vices and follies out of countenance, It is well to know the stuff we are wbich cannot perhaps be so decently made of, and pass judgment on our reproved, nor so effectually exposed and powers, through fictions true to life, corrected any other way." This sound before the day of the demand for judgment was given when theatres action. It is surely beneficial to have were perhaps in their worst state. our natures stirred to sympathiesThe last paragraph of the quotation is for these natural instincts lack use; of great weight, for it shows the link to take home to ourselves the luxury wanting in the sermon to connect the of our feelings, without their real pain. lesson of morality with real life. The Years ago, Eusebius, when we (that sermon may not descend to ridicule- is, you and I) were both of us not the drama may. The action in the ser- past the moulding days of our moral mon is confined and weak in description. life, we were not only roaders of The dramatis persone are no mere plays, but frequenters of theatres ; pictures; they show visibly, and to the and often have we since then looked life, what is good or what is odious. back, and studied our educational “Segnius irritant animos demissa per aures
process, through a public school and
the university; and agreed in this, Quam quæ sunt oculis subjecta fidelibus; et quæ
that we owe much, perhaps the best Ipse sibi tradit spectator."
portion of our moral culture, to The
* This is noticed in very pleasant irony by that amusing critic Dennis, in his ren to Collier, who wrote fiercely against the stage. The reply of Dennis is adın for its spirit. The reader will find it a very good defence of the stage.
VOL. LXXVII.-20. CCCCLXXIII.
Play. The strength and tenderness ing reading, writing, and arithmetic, of true manhood are growing together would be far better bestowed in some during the action of a good play. such scheme than for the absurd, Every play-goer must have noticed high-flown, useless education which how a generous sentiment has found the ingenuity of emnlous Governan electric passage to the hearts of ment inspectors unhappily invents. the spectators,-how noble action or A few good travelling-companies of pity has in an instant made all classes actors would very profitably disakin. How often, beyond the power place the whole roving company of of all other persuasion, has low vice inspectors. Actors have their digbeen at a moment convicted of its nity of title-** Her Majesty's serodiousness. Here is an instance. Our vants." Give them a due repate, and friend S. told me the other day that they will learn to keep it. There is, being at a theatre (I think at however, another quarter to which it Brighton), when Othello was acted, he may not be so unreasonable to look: noticed, with much satisfaction, the the country gentry. It would be adunanimous burst of approval from the mirable if, by themselves or profesaudience to Cassio's repentant con- sional actors, they would, in their demnation of drunkenness: “ O that little villages and towns, set up, with men should put an enemy into their care and forethought as to moral tenmouths to steal away their brains ; dencies, theatrical amusements - at that we should with joy, revel, plea- least occasionally during their visits sure, and applause transform our to their estates. Plans also of small selves into beasts." You told me, subscriptions might be devised in Eusebius, of a temperance society places less under the other influence, travelling the country with two so that very cheap admissions might dramatis persona, a confirmed and a be adopted. That was a right pleareclaimed drunkard - example and sant scheme set on foot by some of warning. If a fact, it is an incident our best literary men, when they of a dramatic kind, but wanting in the visited our towns, and acted so admircircumstance of a plot. I expect this ably, “ Vot so bad as we seem." I will be called the fair side of the sub- should like to see these amateur perject,- the best aspect. The question formances extended to our villages. should be, is it a true one? Has not Would not this general communion, the theatre this fair side? Let this this mutuality in amusement, tend then be considered its legitimate, its greatly to endear class to class? The uncorrupted beauty. Candour must aristocracy are lecturing-that is well admit the other view. But if it be and praiseworthy, and will have good an educational means, as I believe it effect; but the theatrical scheme to be, I would have it purified, cared would be far better teaching, and for, guarded. No sensible man give infinitely more pleasure. Bewould let loose the ribaldry of a de- sides, they confine their lectures to generate stage, to invade any educa- town Athenæums, where teaching and tional system. There should be a amusements are far less wanted. Let real effectual censorship. I know joy be diffused over the population, very well difficulties that seem insu- rural as well as town; it has worn a perable present themselves. But sad discontented aspect long enough. what good is not beset with difficul. There should not be & nook in Engties? The best theatres may be puri- land where something of Shakespeare fied with real advantage to them. should not be known, through his selves. It would be Quixotic indeed plays. If there were little theatres, to expect any government, in the under regulation, with attached teapresent state of things, of adverse and-coffee houses, all intoxicating opinions and prejudices, to set up drink probibited, our beer-shops and throughout the land theatrical amuse- disgraceful spirit pot-houses would ments, though they might do much find daily decreasing custom, and ulless rational things. Yet, Eusebius, I timately suppress themselves; for the firmly believe that all the public grantz lack of amusement is their encouragefor educational purposes, beyond ment-nay, their very life. what would be needful for the teach- Let any one, who has not much