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discussions as these, of names which we acknowledge to be glorious, but in which the Colleges have no reason to glory, that of Bacon, who reprobated their fundamental constitution; of Dryden, who abjured his Alma Mater, and regre ted that he had passed his youth under her care; of Locke, who was censured and expelled; of Milton, whose person was outraged at one University, and whose works were committed to the flames at the other!
That in particular cases an University education may have produced good effects, we do not dispute. But as to the great body of those who receive it, we have no hesitation in saying, that their minds permanently suffer from it. All the time which they can devote to the acquisition of speculative knowledge is wasted, and they have to enter into active life without it. They are compelled to plunge into the details of business, and are left to pick up general principles as they may. From all that we have seen and heard, we are inclined to suspect, in spite of all our patriotic prejudices, that the young men, we mean the very young men, of England, are not equal as a body to those of France, Germany, or Russia. They reason less justly, and the subjects with which they are chiefly conversant are less manly. As they grow older, they doubtless improve. Surrounded by a free people, enlightened by a free press, with the means of knowledge placed within their reach, and the rewards of exertion sparkling in their sight, it would indeed be strange if they did not in a great measure recover the superiority which they had lost. The finished men of England may, we allow, challenge a comparison with those of any nation. Yet our advantages are not so great that we can afford to sacrifice any of them. We do not proceed so rapidly, that we can prudently imitate the example of Lightfoot in the Nursery Tale, who never ran a race without tying his legs. The bad effects of our University system may be traced to the very last, in many eminent and respectable men. They have acquired great kill in business, they have laid up great stores of infor mation. But something is still wanting. The superstructure s vast and splendid; but the foundations are unsound. It is evident that their knowledge is not systematised; that, however well they may argue on particular points, they have not that amplitude and intrepidity of intellect which it is the first object of education to produce. They hate abstrac
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reasoning. The very name of theory is terrible to them. They seem to think that the use of experience is not to leaɗ men to the knowledge of general principles, but to prevent them from ever thinking about general principles at all. They may play at bo-peep with truth; but they never get a full view of it in all its proportions. The cause we believe is, that they have passed those years during which the mind frequently acquires the character which it ever after retains, in studies, which, when exclusively pursued, have no tendency to strengthen or expand it.
From these radical defects of the old foundations the London University is free. It cannot cry up one study or cry down another. It has no means of bribing one man to learn what it is of no use to him to know, or of exacting a mock attendance from another who learns nothing at all. To be prosperous, it must be useful.
We would not be too sanguine. But there are signs of these times, and principles of human nature, to which we trust as firmly as ever any ancient astrologer trusted to the rules of his science. Judging from these, we will venture to cast the horoscope of the infant Institution. We predict, that the clamour by which it has been assailed will die away,
that it is destined to a long, a glorious, and a beneficent existence, that, while the spirit of its system remains unchanged, the details will vary with the varying necessities and facilities of every age, that it will be the model of many future establishments that even those haughty foundations which now treat it with contempt, will in some degree feel its salutary influence, and that the approbation of a great people, to whose wisdom, energy and virtue, its exertions will have largely contributed, will confer on it a dignity more imposing than any which it could derive from the most lucrative patronage, or the most splendid ceremonial.
Even those who think our hopes extravagant, must own that no positive harm has been even suggested as likely to result from this Institution. All the imputed sins of its founders are sins of omission. Whatever may be thought of them, it is surely better that something should be omitted, than that nothing should be done. The Universities it can injure in one way only by surpassing them. This danger no sincere admirer of these bodies can apprehend. As for those who, believing that the project really tends to the good
of the country, continue to throw obloquy upon it — and that there are such men we believe to them we have Loth. ing to say. We have no hope of converting them; no wish to revile them. Let them quibble, declaim, sneer, calumni. ate. Their punishment is to be what they are.
For us, our part has been deliberately chosen- and shall be manfully sustained. We entertain a firm conviction that the principles of liberty, as in government and trade, so also in education, are all-important to the happiness of mankind. To the triumph of those principles we look forward, not, we trust, with a fanatical confidence, but assuredly with a cheerful and steadfast hope. Their nature may be misunderstood. Their progress may be retarded. They may be maligned, derided, nay at times exploded, and apparently forgotten. But we do, in our souls, believe that they are strong with the strength, and quick with the vitality of truth; that when they fall, it is to rebound; that when they recede, it is to spring forward with greater elasticity; that when they seem to perish, there are the seeds of renovation in their very decay · and that their influence will continue to bless distant generations, when infamy itself shall have ceased to rescue from oblivion the arts and the names of those who have opposed them, the dupe, the dissembler, the bigot, the hireling the buffoon and the sarcasm, the liar and the Hel
SOCIAL AND INDUSTRIAL CAPACITIES OF
(Edinburgh Review, March, 1827.)
Ir was not till a short time back that we entertained the slightest intention of criticising the speculations of Major Moody. We had supposed that they would of course pass in their infancy to that Limbo which is ordained for Laureate Odes, old Court Kalendars, and Sermons printed at the request of Congregations. That a Commissioner should write a dull Report, and that the Government should give him a place for it, are events by no means so rare as to call for notice. Of late, however, we have with great surprise discovered, that the books of the Major have been added to the political canon of Downing-Street, and that it has become quite a fashion among statesmen who are still in their novitiate, to talk about physical causes and the philosophy of labour. As the doctrines which, from some inexplicable cause, have acquired so much popularity, appear to us both false and pernicious, we shall attempt, with as much brevity as possible, to expose their absurdity.
There are stars, it is said, of which the light has not yet travelled through the space that separates them from the eye of man; and it is possible that the blaze of glory which dazzles all the young politicians between Charing-Cross and Westminster Hall may not yet have reached our more
ART. VI. 1. Papers relating to Captured Negroes. No. I. Tortola Schedules. Ordered by the House of Commons to be printed, 16th March
2. Further Papers relating to Captured Negrces. No. II. Separato Report of JOHN DOUGAN, Esq. No. III. Separate Report of Major THOMAS MOODY. Ordered by the House of Commons to be printed, 16th
Ordered by the House of
3. Second Part of MAJOR MOODY's Report. Commons to be printed, 24th February 1826. 16
remote readers. In order, therefore, that our remarks on the Report of Major Moody may be clearly understood, we shall give a short account of the circumstances under which it appeared.
By the Act which abolished the trade in slaves, the King was empowered to make regulations for the employment and support of Negroes, who, under the provisions of that Act, or in the course of hostilities with foreign States, might be rescued from their kidnappers. Some of these liberated Africans were, in consequence, admitted into the army and the navy. Others were bound apprentices in the colonies: and of these last many were settled at Tortola.
In the year 1821, the House of Commons presented an address to the King, requesting that commissioners might be sent to ascertain the condition of these people, and to report it to the Government. Major Moody was selected for this purpose by the Colonial Office. Mr. Dougan, a gentleman to whose talents and integrity the Major bears the highest testimony, was joined with him in the commission. But Mr. Dougan, whatever his good qualities may have been, was under the influence of some unhappy prejudices, from which his colleague appears to have been wholly free. He had been led to adopt the extravagant notion that the Africans were his fellow-creatures; and this delusion betrayed him into errors which Major Moody, to his eternal honour, endeavours to palliate, but which a less candid and amiable censor would have stigmatized with the severest reprehension. Our readers will be shocked to hear that an English gentleman actually desired a black apprentice, during a long examination, to take a seat and they will be touched by the delicacy and generosity of the Major, who mentions this disgraceful occurrence "only," as he says, " to show the bias on the mind of his colleague when one of the African race was concerned with a white person." "1
At length some female Africans in the service of a person named Maclean, were brought before the Commissioners. By their statement, and by the confession of the master himself, it appeared that they had been cruelly treated. Macleau, too, it appeared, had no legal right to them: for they had been originally apprenticed to another person, and the
First Part of Major Moody's Report, page 108.