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upon which they immediately suspend their hats round their necks by a string provided for that purpose. When the young children write in sand, they all look attentively to their monitor, waiting for the word, and intantly fall to work, with military precision, upon receiving it. All these little inventions keep children in a constant state of activity, prevent the listlessness so observable in all other institutions for education, and evince (trifling as they appear to be) a very original and observing mind in him who invented them.
The boys assembled round their reading or arithmetical cards, take places as in common schools. The boy who is at the head of the class wears a ticket, with some suitable inscription, and has a prize of a little picture. The ticket-bearer yields his badge of honour to whoever can excel him ; and the desire of obtaining, and the fear of losing, the mark of distinction, creates, as may easily be conceived, no common degree of enterprise and exertion. Boys have a prize when they are moved from one class to another, as the monitor has also from whose class they are removed. Mr Lancaster has estat lished a sort of paper currency of tickets. These tickets are given for merit : two tickets are worth a paper kite; three worth a ball; four worth a wooden horse, &c. &c. &c.
“ It is no unusual thing with me to deliver one or two hundred prizes at the same time. And at such times the countenances of the whole school exhibit a most pleasing scene of delight: as the boys who obtain prizes commonly walk round the school in procession, holding the prizes in their hands, and a herald proclaiming before them: “These good boys have obtained prizes for going into another class.” The honour of this has an effect as powerful, if not more so, than the prizes themselves."
A large collection of toys, bats, balls, pictures, kites, is suspended above the master's head, beaming glory and pleasure upon the school beneath. Mr. Lancaster has also, as another incentive, an order of merit. No boys are admitted to this order but those who distinguish themselves by attention to their studies, and by their endeavours to check vice. The distinguishing badge is a silver medal and plated chain hanging from the neck. The supe. riour class has a fixed place in the school; any class that can excel it may eject them from this place, and occupy it themselves. Every member, both of the attacking and defending classes, feels, of course, the most lively interest in the issue of the contest.
Mr. Lancaster punishes by shame rather than pain ; varying the means of exciting shame, because, as he justly observes, any mode of punishment long continued loses its effect.
The boys in the school appointed to teach others are called monitors. They are in the proportion of about one monitor to ten boys. So that, for the whole school of 1000 boys, there is only one master. The rest of the teaching is all done by the boys themselves. Besides the teaching monitors there are general monitors, such as, inspectors of slates, inspectors of absentees, &c. &c.
In what Mr. Lancaster says upon the subject of religion, it is clear that he has no desire to convert, and no intention to be converted. Either let the religion of quakers be taught, if a quaker school is founded upon this method of teaching writing and reading; or, I will contine myself to those general practical principles which are suitable to all sects, if you choose to found a general school for the instruction of indigence; or, I will meddle only with the temporal instruction of my pupils, and you may confide their religious instruction to whom you please." So says the member of a religious sect, thich, of all other religious sects, has showed itself the least desirous of making converts. This is so moderate, and so reasonable, that, if we are
rightly informed, Mr. Lancaster has, at last, not only succeeded in allaying the jealousy of some of the rulers of the English church, but has even raised himself up some patrons out of their numbers.
These we believe to be the leading features of this establishment. For the many interesting particulars which, in so short an abstract, we have been compelled to omit, we refer to the book itself. It is not badly written, though somewhat quaint and quakerish ; but we have no objection to the Obadiah flavour, and do not wish that quakers should write books like other people: there is something interesting and picturesque in their singularities.
The improvements which Mr. Lancaster has made in education, are, in the cheapness of schools, their activity, their order, and their emulation. The reading, cyphering, and spelling cards, suspended for the successive use of three or four hundred boys; the employment of sand and slate instead of pen and ink; and particularly of monitors instead of ushers, must, in large seminaries, constitute an immense saving. The introduction of monitors, an extremely important part of the whole scheme, is as great an improvement in schools, as the introduction of noncommissioned officers would be in army which had before been governed only by captains, majors, and colonels. They add that constant and minute attention to the operations of the mass, without which the general and occasional superintendence of superiours is wholly useless. An usher hates his task, and is often ashamed of it. A monitor is honoured by it, and therefore loves it. He is placed over those who, if their exertions had been superiour, would have been placed over him. His office is the proof of his excellence. Power is new to his : and trust makes him trustworthy : a very common effect of confidence, and exemplified in the most striking manner in Mr. Lancaster's school. Nor is the monitor at all detained by teaching to others what he has already learnt; at least not unprofitably detained ; for, if a boy be at the head of the first spelling class, it is clear that a delay of six or eight weeks in teaching to others what he has already learnt, will perfect him in his new acquirements, and rivet them in his memory. After this, he is made a private in some superiour regiment, and his post becomes an object of honour and competition to the lads whom he has taught. He is very wisely allowed to have a common interest with the boys whom he instructs; and to receive a prize equal in value with any prize obtained by any individual among them. In some instances, the monitor teaches and learns at the same time; for, in dictating the sum, as in paragraph (C) the monitor is furnished with a key ; and therefore, in dictating, only reads what others have written for him ; but in so doing, it is plain his attention must be exercised, and his memory impressed as much, if not more, than those of any boy in the class; and, whatever good is produced in others by that mode of instruction must be produced in him in an equal, or superiour degree The extraordinary discipline, progress, and economy of this school, are, therefore, in a great measure produced by an extraordinary number of noncomiissioned officers, serving without pay, and learning while they teach.
When we consider the very dull and distant motives for improvement which have hitherto been presented to children, it is not surprising that education should be often so unsuccessful- always so tedious. The day is fine, the sun shines brightly through the window, and a fine young animal, with his veins quivering with health and activity, is not only forbidden to trundle a newly purchased hoop, but set down before a black slate to do a sum in tare and tret; or, in greater schools, to make a copy of Latin verse about Troy and Eneas. What are his motives for undergoing
this present misery? Has he a wife and family to support, like the thresher who goes to his daily task? Is he refreshed by immediate fees, like the accomplished pillulist, who drives from fistula to fever, and from ague to atrophy? Is he certain, like an author, of losing his dinners for the ensuing week, if his task is incomplete? The only motives held before him are, that he will please his father, and be a great man in after life ; and that Latin and Greek are necessary accomplishments for a gentleman. Alas, the eternity of six months must elapse, before the parent is made acquainted with the general progress he has made ; that fourteen years should pass away, and he himself arrive at man's estate, is quite impossible; and, if it is possible, he has an uncle or a cousin of large fortune, universally respected, and powerful at the quarter sessions, who
does not know whether Brutus killed Cesar, or Cesar Brutus ; and who believes Tully and Cicero to be two distinct persons. Such are the remote and powerless motives with which children have hitherto been stimulated. The bats, balls, and kites of Mr. Lancaster, we conceive to be admirable auxiliaries of education, and to afford that strong and present stimulus which best overcomes the vis inertia, and establishes the difficult and unnatural habit of application. It is all very well to talk about studying from a sense of duty. Mature, bearded men, who fall into this cant, require the immediate stimulus of a guinea; or, at least, a return for their labour in a month or a year ; expecting, in the mean time, that the poor child for whom they cant, the miserable and inexperienced cantee, should exert himself for benefits which it is very doubtful whether or not he will reap when half his life is elapsed. Nothing, in our opinion, can be so preposterous as the objections made to an order of merit in a school. In what way are such extraordinary services erer obtained from mankind at so cheap a rate ? Tie two guineas worth of gold to a red riband, and call it the order of the golden cannon, or the golden swivel, or what not ;--and in every battle you will have a thousand young men of spirit performing the most daring actions to obtain it. A garter is vacant_or, in other words, the privilege of telling the passer by, by means of a bit of gold at the knee, and a bit of silver on the belly, that you are a man of high birth and large fortune. The cabinet, however, sit in grave consultation on the distribution of this honour; the greatest men of the country are sleepless in their palaces, and the minister loses or gains the lord of a province by his gift ;-and yet we are half angry that a breechless boy should struggle day and night for a shining lump of tin, which tells the passer by that he is diligent and good. We do not mean, by these observations, to express the slightest degree of disrespect for the established honours of the country :- quite the contrary. We are convinced, that such institutions are thoroughly founded in good sense, and knowledge of human gature ; and that they are eminently useful. We approve, in the most decided manner, the courage and originality of that man who has carried into education those institutions, which, in the business of the world, are the most powerful of all motives. Vanity is the word on which all these objections are founded ; and it unfortunately happens, that we have no word in our language to signify the good and useful love of praise ; for, that the love of praise is, under certain regulations, one of the most beneficial passions to society, will not, it is presumed, be denied ; nor ought it to be characterized by the inculpative term of vanity, except when its object is frivolous, or when it is the sole and absorbing passion.
It must not be forgotten, that, in Mr. Lancaster's school, every boy is every moment employed. It is obvious, that in the class assembled round the suspended card for reading and spelling, the wand of the monitor
pointing to the particular letter,—the taking places, the hopes of obtaining a ticket,-must keep the children constantly on the alert. When they read, spell, and write at the same time, as in paragraph (A) or when the monitor dictates sums, as in (C) it is impossible for any individual to be inattentive. In common schools, the scholar is set to learn his spelling, or his cyphering, by himself; and, after a certain time, the master hears him his lesson, and judges of his attention by his readiness in performing it. The learning part of the business is left entirely to the boy himself, and his time often whiled away in every species of idleness. The beauty of Mr. Lancaster's system is, that nothing is trusted to the boy himself; he does not only repeat the lesson before a superiour, but he learns it before a superiour When he listens to the dictating process in arithmetick, and adds up, as he is commanded, he does that under the eye and command of a master, which, in other schools, he would be trusted to do by bimself. In short, in these troops the appointed officer sees that the soldier shoulders his musket twenty times a day, who, by doing it often, cannot avoid doing it well. In other troops, the officer tells the soldiers how it is to be done, and leaves them to practise by themselves,—which they do, of course, very unwillingly, and very imperfectly, if they do it at all. Such are the principles upon which Mr. Lancaster has planned his improvements in the education of the poor, and carried them into execution with such success, that one thousand boys may now be educated in reading, writing, and arithmetick, by one person, at an expense not exceeding 3001. per annum. A more beautiful, a more orderly, and a more affecting scene, than the school of Mr. Lancaster, it is not possible to behold The progress of the children is rapid beyond all belief; and evinces, m the most gratifying manner, the extraordinary effects which are produced upon the human mind by the arts of cultivation.
When a poor lad is educated, many valuable principles of religion, morals and politicks, may be fixed on his mind, which could not be conve. niently taught to him by any other means. At school he is under the influence of the master; for some years afterwards at home, under the influence of the parent, They have an interest in directing his newly acquired power aright, and in turning the bias of his mind to what is good; and this, at a period which generally decides the character of the future man. It is very trite to say, that reading multiplies the innocent resources and amusements of the poor; but we cannot see why this is not very true. We do not object either to boxing or buli-baiting ; but the history of Robinson Crusoe is compatible with them, or, if not, is at least a very fair and innocent rival to set up against them. Village sports are necessarily of rare occurrence. Reading is always accessible, and is permanently opposed to the permanent temptation of beer. The comforts and conveni. ences of life would be somewhat increased, if every person in the state were educated. In agriculture, in manufactures, and among domestick servants, every body has felt more or less of inconvenience, from the deficiencies of his dependants in reading, writing, and accounts. It is frequently found impossible to put very clever :ervants in the best situations, from their ignorance in these particulars; and masters are forced to place superiours over them, in other respects not qualified. The sum of these inconveniences is worth attention.
Nature scatters talents in a very capricious manner over the different ranks of society. It is not improbable but a general system of education vould rescue some very extraordinary understandings from oblivion.
Education raises up in the poor an admiration for something else besides brute strength and brute courage ; and probably renders them more tractable and less ferocious. A mob might issue forth to murder a man,-all of whom could read, write, and work sums in compound multiplication and the rule of three. This certainly might be ; but it is not quite so probable an occurrence, as if they had employed their youth in scampering through the streets of London, and in small pilfering. The education of the poor is as valuable for what it prevents, as for what it teaches. A boy remains two years at Lancaster's school. What would he have been doing, if he had not been there? What sort of habits and principles would he have contracted? Apply this to St. Giles, to Liverpool, Manchester and Birmingham. In villages, the question, perhaps, is, whether a boy is to be a stupid animal, or an intelligent animal? There, temptations are so few, that his moral ard religious character will remain the same ; but, in towns, the alternatives are, intelligence and virtue, or ignorance and vice. In such scenes of activity, a child will do, and learn something. If you che not take care that it is good, he will take care that it is evil. A ThouSAND boys educated in the heart of the metropolis ! How is it possible to doubt if such a thing be useful ? It is the fashion now to say, that a mode of education is provided by the state, and that children may listen to the oral instructions of clergymen in the pulpit. A clergyman preaches fifteen minutes in a week. Has he the very unusual and valuable talent of commanding attention? Will the church hold the thirtieth or fortieth part of his parish? If it will hold them, do they come? In the short period dedicated to instruction, can he instruct children of six years old, and grown up people at the same time? Is this possible? Will he do it, if it is possible? We really have not the slightest intention of sneering at the exertions of the clergy. It is quite clear, that, is their exertions in the pulpit were ten times as great as they are, no oral instruction, deli. vered under such circumstances, could possibly supply the place of other education. And when such things are talked of in London, and in large cities, it is really too absurd to merit an answer. When we are availing ourselves of the most recent inventions in every thing else, why are we to revert to the rudest machines in education ?
It is said that the poor, proud of their attainments in learning, will no longer submit to the drudgery to which they have been accustomed in their state of ignorance. In the first place, if every body can read, no one will be more proud of reading than they are of walking now, when every body can walk. But if every poor man in England were as proud as Lucifer, be must either work or starve. Labour depends not upon opinion, but upon che necessity of eating and drinking. Truly miserable indeed would the condition of mankind be, if society were such a papier maché machine as these sort of reasoners make it to be ; if, by any change of fashions, men were to cease to resent, or to fear, or to love, or to toil, or to govern The great passions and appetites are interwoven in our very being; and all the important and indispensable operations of life rest upon the great passions, and are as eternal as the foundations on which they are placed.
Reading multiplies the power of getting at the opinions and arguments of others. In the end, the good opinion, and the sound argument prevail. The standard books among the poor would not encourage disaffection, but
the contrary. Seditious pamphlets would sometimes get among the poor ; | 5at they would meet with a firmer body of opinion than they do now; and
ihe common average books would be of a very different description. What