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or commission, that he attaches no value to it as a part of instruction. So long as Tubal Cain confines himself to his province of an “ institutor of artificers” in arts and sciences, all is well enough; but when he sets up for a
' guide to the blind, a light to those which are in darkness, an instructor of the foolish, a teacher of babes,” a raiser of character, then something more is wanted than chemistry or party politics. If we allow that these things should be done, yet ought he not to have left the other undone. “Wo unto you, ye lawyers, for ye have taken away the key of knowledge. Ye entered not in yourselves, and them that were entering in ye hindered.”
Mr. Brougham somewhere extols in high terms the admirable system of Fellenberg of Houwfl; but can he have overlooked, that Fellenberg makes religion the very basis and essence of his whole plan? “ Religion, practical agriculture, reading, writing, arithmetic, a little elementary geography, and natural history,” constitute the course of the instruction of this celebrated teacher, which is begun at the age of five, and continued until twenty-one. “ Pour les pauvres,” says he, “ c'est en dirigeant vers le travail à la fois leur main, leur esprit, et leur cæur, qu'on les conduire à l'aisance et à l'amour de la vertu, et que leur cour soit ouverte aux douces et salutaires impressions de la religion et de la morale.'
Mr. Brougham's long residence in Scotland, and his acquaintance with the state of its public morals and education, ought not to have permitted his falling into so gross an error as to the value of a good foundation of Christianity for the lower classes. Here it is, above every other part of the world, that religion is paid the strictest regard to. The schools for the poor are absolutely an integral part of the church discipline, being constantly visited by the clergy, and the scholars examined, at stated periods, as a bounden part of their duty. What is the consequence? In after life the moral conduct of this people is proverbial, and keeps pace with their advancement in every other kind of improvement. What is it but the pains which are taken with their religious instruction,
early begun, and steadily enforced through life, which obtains for the Scotch the proud distinction of having their country quoted on all occasions as an example among nations of every useful virtue? and by none quoted more emphatically and frequently than by Mr. Brougham himself.
While earnestly recommending the people to form themselves into conversational clubs, Mr. B. observes, “ the only considerable evils which they will have to avoid, are being too numerous, and falling too much into debate;” and, rather foreseeing the tendency of these conversaziones to degenerate, he, as we have noticed, limits the entré to between twenty and thirty, preferring rather the former than the latter number. But will not a good deal depend upon the place of meeting ? and if an ale-house, the quality and the quantity of ale, the question in debate, and the state of parties? Supposing his scheme to take very generally, and to occupy all the vacant moments of every sort of workman and labourer who can
spare an hour every other day,” what recipe has he in readiness against the ordinary frailties of such unpractised orators, and the too probable preference of the argumentum bacchalinum? Has the possibility never occurred to him, that two or three Irishmen might throw all the fat in the fire, if their “ character were raised a little too high” on the Catholic question ? Mr. Brougham, methinks, might make some allowance himself for a little indiscretion on SO seductive a topic as the queen's trial; nor would it be easy to answer for how far even cautious Sawney might be carried, if touched a little in the raw on the honours of the modern Athens. The debating club is certainly a most pugnacious idea. Why may not party po-. litics," asks Mr. Brougham, quite sure of his case, as well as general, be treated of in cheap publications ?” to which I answer, why may not whiskey be cheapened to the purse of every man who has a taste for it?”ut vinum ægrotis (for vinum read whiskey), quia prodest rard, nocet sæpissimè, melius est non adhibere omnino, quam spe dubiæ salutis in apertam perniciem incurrere.'
That popular education requires regulation and direction, as much as other benefits bestowed on the people, there can be no doubt. To leave the choice of books and studies arbi. trary, I conceive very objectionable. There are, perhaps, two-thirds of mankind doomed to drudgery for existence; and to such it is of the last consequence, that none but the most necessary and useful kind of knowledge should occupy their time, during the few hours of the week which they may be able to snatch from their sleep or their toil. If the cargo must be very small, it ought for that reason to be of the very best quality that can be had. quaintance with the Bible, and his religious duties, are the most that a drudge of this description can be expected to cultivate, if he is even able to do so much : but while no restraint is put upon the kind of books he chooses to read, it is obvious that his valuable moments may as readily be squandered upon things unprofitable as the contrary.
Mr. B. calculates a great deal upon the odd Franklin and Watts he may be able to hew out