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of his intellectual quarry, as repayment for a great deal of unproductive matériel. But if the same pains should be sufficient, with proper direction, to enlighten the great mass of the labouring classes in a knowledge of their duties to God and their fellow-creatures, would not these pains be better bestowed on such an object? If we were to have at the rate of a Franklin a year, or even an annual author of “ Practical Observations on Popular Education,” it would not be an equivalent for the neglected religious instruction of the class he belongs to. I say this without the most distant wish to disparage Mr. B.'s laudable intentions of benefiting the human race; but I think he would not do his duty, who, discerning the fact, should, from any feeling of delicacy, fail to tell him that he has already been too long occupying himself about things more specious than profitable. The more I reflect on the very wild idea of occupying the place of religious instruction by teaching algebra, or even his favourite Bacon's ethics, to the mob, had the thing come from any one of less
known discretion than Mr. B., I should have thought it furnished a case sufficiently clear for the Chancellor to take under his protection.
There is no opinion our modern educationists try to turn into greater ridicule, than that the giving scientific or refined instruction to any class of the people, should have the effect of making them idle, or tend to diminish their usefulness. The following passage from a volume which has just made its
entitled, Sketches in Persia,” will shew that this opinion is, however, not so very chimerical. Ispahan,” says the author, “ almost every man above the very lowest order can read and write; and artisans and shopkeepers are often as familiar as those of the higher ranks with the works of their favourite poets. The love of such learning seems, in some of the youth of this city, to degenerate into a disease. These Talib-ool-Ilm, or seekers of science, as the students are called, may be seen in crowds round the gates, or within the walls of their colleges, reciting stanzas, or discussing obscure dogmas or doctrines in their works on philo
sophy or religion ; and they often become, from such habits, unfitted for every other pursuit in life.” This is fact; and one page of fact is, at any time, worth a whole volume of practical observations which are not bottomed on practice.
A great deal of detail is taken up in the “Practical Observations," with the means of procuring lecturers, and debating-rooms, and books, and book-clubs, &c., all of which must cost much, both in money and trouble, and perhaps the supply, after all, none of the best. Why, then, to revert to the method pursued in France, should our Government not undertake the supply themselves, either in whole or in part? The State is the guardian of our religion. Is there any thing to forbid its extending some share of guardianship to adult education? What reasonable objection is there to libraries, lecture-rooms, and museums, being thrown open here, any more than in France ? If Mr. B. fears the blighting influence of patronage, and I think he is quite right to stand on his guard against it where there is any pro
bability of its operation, let the people defray part of the expense by a trifling subscription, so as to give them at once a right and an interest in the plan. The expense to each individual need not be one half what it would cost them for miserable accommodations of their own procuring, such as Mr. Brougham specifies, and which must imply a degree of continued and voluntary effort, that he may assure himself he calculates on very chimerically from the multitude,
Government could have elementary works printed at a very cheap rate in every science, with which not only the metropolis, but, as in France, every great town in the kingdom might be supplied. By adopting this plan, sources of instruction would be open constantly, so as to suit the purse of the humblest individual. A great deal of the success of Mr. Brougham's scheme must depend, as he admits himself,“ upon a right course being taken, proper rules laid down, fit subjects selected for lecture, good teachers, &c.” Now all these difficulties are easily obviated by the
proposal ir cresce. S mats the State provide both the tits and die erection, without giving the pecule de sus cable: ad in either case the price Indeedence, I concerte, mas be equally seorad Popular education, to be durable and easist, must be frosit accessible as matie: oirast, and eren i the State should shew a disposition to med. dic: thing in every was posi improbable,– it" i hi remembered that the people would still .11., 1 then more t wanaw, and adopt
measures thethire necessary. 3D tha while ready a retreat pun LE: 1X resources la 670 to them, the Guvernu wou na ni v sad as to interere, we hm u red by so duing. Even in iespuccinjares, museums, and libraries, are ce in the year round, and there has never bees attempt, that I know of, to meddle in any sape with the liberty of any class of readers, to apprach those fountains of knowledge, and to drink as
and as largely as they liked.