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learning, is principally confined to reading, writing, arithmetic, and needlework, nothing more will be absolutely required in a master or mistress of such schools, than a perfect knowledge of those branches of instruction; even a moderate degree of learning on the partof the master, provided he possess the higher qualifications, will be sufficient. But it is still highly desirable that every teacher should constantly endeavour to increase his stock of useful knowledge, by availing himself of every opportunity consistent with the due discharge of his duties, for the improvement of his mind. He may thus extend the sphere of his usefulness, and be enabled to see more distinctly where improvements may be suggested. Besides its beneficial effects upon the children, a kind and benevolent disposition in the master, will operate favourably upon the parents of the children. The master should take opportunities to pay them friendly visits, and secure as much as possible their co-operation with him, in training the children to habits of cleanliness, diligence and virtue. Such conduct would also make a favourable impression upon those who visit the school, and dispose them to assist in its support. Those who devote themselves to the education of youth, should be deeply sensible that they are undertaking a highly responsible charge. Upon them, to a considerable extent, will depend the habit and character of the men and women of the next generation; and if they discharge their trust conscientiously, they may fairly be considered as most useful members of society; and whether they receive their merited reward from men or not, they will not fail of what is infinitely more valuable, the approbation of Heaven."
Besides the schools for children of six years of age and upwards, others have been lately formed for the reception of children from eighteen months to six years. These are called Infant schools; and are likely to be productive of singular advantage both to the parents and to the children. A suitable room being provided capable of holding from sixty to one hundred children, and a matron chosen of proper dispositions and character who has been a mother of children, the parents are to pay three-pence per week for each child; and when the school is full, the pay is sufficient to support the matron. The children are left at liberty to exercise themselves; they are taught to love one another; all risings of the angry passions are to be checked; they are to be taught to speak the truth upon all occasions, and not to covet what belongs to another. They are to be taught their letters and to spell, rather as a matter of amusement than a task; and thus, while they are withdrawn from the influence of that bad example which some of them might have witnessed at home, they will be gradually prepared for admission in the higher schools when they shall have attained the proper age. It would be possible by economical arrangements to feed the children during the six days they were at school, if the parents were to pay about one shilling per head every week with each child. The advantage to the parents would be great indeed; their children being secured and provided for, they would be at liberty to earn more money than they would have to pay with them in the infant school,
and the children would be out of the way of being corrupted by exposure in the streets. It is highly desirable that every school upon this plan, as well as girls' schools, should be under the notice of a committee of Ladies of the neighbourhood.
The methods now recommended for ameliorating the condition of the poor, and improving their morals, have been eminently snccessful as far as they have been acted upon; and it will be our business to bring forward, from time to time, for the encouragement of those who may be labouring in this great and good work, an account of its progress in particular places, not only in this country but in every part of the world. The harvest is great, nothing is wanting but labourers.
The main object of every government, and the end of its institution, is to provide for the security of the public, and to promote the general welfare and happiness. Hence laws are made to protect the community from the outrages of the wicked, and to discourage and repress crime; but the wisest laws will fail to produce their effect, unless means are found for putting them into execution. These means are, to a considerable extent, within the power of most governments; but they are not likely to answer the purpose completely, without the cordial co-operation of the well-disposed members of society at large. Whenever, therefore, from disinterested motives, and purely with the desire of doing good, these unite together to discountenance vice and to promote the cause of morality, virtue and religion, upon liberal principles, they will tend to secure the accomplishment of the ends proposed by the laws, even to the minutest ramifications of society. Combinations such as these, while they are a support to the Government, will have a good moral effect upon the minds of those who are engaged in them; for, when a person gives up a portion of his time and his property singly with a view to promote the comfort and happiness of his fellowcreatures, the inward satisfaction derived from such conduct may be expected to strengthen the virtuous dispositions which he had before; while his example as a shining light may encourage others to go and do likewise. Young people in an especial manner should be introduced with older persons as members of societies for benevolent purposes; upon them the hopes for the next generation repose. Let them early be taught that the unrestrained gratification of their passions in self-indulgence, imbrutes the faculties of the soul, and, is only a momentary pleasure to be followed by lasting regret; while the appropriation of a part of their leisure, to promote the instruction of the ignorant, and thus cut off one of the sources of vice and misery-to visit the prisons and unite in efforts to reform the criminal-to dry up the tears of the widow and fatherless-to promote industry and frugality among the poor-and to remove from
about them as far as practicable the temptations to vice, will yield them a pure gratification, pleasures of the highest order, not transitory like those of sense, but subjects of pleasing reflection through the whole course of their lives. There is a sort of immortality in our actions they will stand as facts to the end of time :—if bad, they will be a constant subject of regret; if good, a perpetual source of delight.
It is then by means of benevolent associations, founded upon the principle of love to God and to man, that the hands of Government will be most materially strengthened; that the condition of the poor will be substantially ameliorated; that crime and misery will be diminished; while by training the youth of both sexes of the middle and upper ranks in the exercise of the best feelings of the heart, we shall be providing for the period when the present labourers in the cause of virtue and benevolence shall be removed from works to rewards.
ART. II. On the State of Ireland.
T is singular how little is known upon Irish affairs, beyond the heavy details of official reports, and the unsatisfactory generalities of political declamation. Complaints are continually made of this dearth of information: nor do these complaints appear unreasonable; for, though much has been written, so many of the publications on the subject of Ireland are perverted by party views, or tainted by personal animosities, that a reader who seeks for truth is induced to trust to what he has himself seen, or can in conversation collect, and to dismiss alike from his consideration the flippant pamphlet and the ponderous quarto. A literary as well as a political distaste towards all discussions on Irish affairs, has also most unfortunately arisen. Why should this be the case? Is England yet to learn that, "whatever she has heard to the contrary, Ireland is larger than the Isle of Wight?" Does she require to be told, that within twenty leagues of her shores there is to be found an island containing twenty millions of acres, seven millions of inha bitants, and carrying on an export trade of 11,000,000l. annually? Is she yet to learn, that Ireland, in strength, resources, fertility and capacity of improvement, exceeds any of the secondary states of Europe; that from Ireland the British fleets and armies have been recruited, and that from thence a vast and augmenting supply of all the necessaries of life continues to be drawn? On the mere selfish grounds of policy, it is clear that to no other part of the empire ought a more vigilant and unremitting attention to be directed. The politician, whose views are formed upon statistical tables, who calculates
calculates the number of recruits he can expend in war, the commerce that can be carried on in peace, and the maximum of taxation that can be borne at all times, is not to be justified in overlooking a part of the empire presenting such resources to his ambition and his cupidity. It is not by such inducements that we hope to excite the attention of our readers. We seek to act upon higher and better motives; we wish to call into play that sympathy, that practical benevolence, which blesseth him that gives and him that takes. We seek to prove that in Ireland there is a field open for enlarged nioral exertion, and that when so directed, moral exertion is likely to meet with a full and glorious reward. If we can contribute to impress on the public mind a conviction that peace, good order, and tranquillity may yet be introduced into Ireland; that the virtues of the people may be developed, public opinion created, and the great cause of happiness advanced, we feel no doubt that "those streams of benevolence which have their exhaustless fountains in Great Britain, and which are fertilizing so many distant regions of the earth," may at length be turned towards an island with whose prosperity all the best interests of England are closely identified. We are convinced that the day is not distant when Ireland may be considered an object of as much interest as Loochoo, or Pitcairn's island; and when an attempt to improve her internal condition may be viewed with as much anxiety as an expedition to the North Pole, or a journey to Timbuctoo.
Nor does the argument rest here. In most other analogous cases, benefits may, it is true, be conferred; but, in Ireland, injustice is to be repaired. Ages of misgovernment and oppression have passed away; but their consequences still exist, and may be traced in the character of the Irish peasant, and in the state of his distracted country. If nations, as well as individuals, are bound to feel contrition, and to make amends, for past offences, the government, the legislature, and the people of England, should direct their best energies to repair the mischief which to a considerable degree has originated with themselves.
We admit that it is at times impolitic, and often ungracious, to recur to former offences: we admit that nations must frequently grant an indemnity for the past, if they wish to enjoy any security for the future. But it is difficult to consider the present state of Ireland disconnected from her early history: and so much depends upon establishing her right to the best exertions of England on the principle of justice, that we cannot, without abandoning our strongest argument, omit looking back upon events which otherwise had better be forgotten.
Our readers need not apprehend that we shall detain them, or perplex ourselves, with the dreams of Irish antiquarians. We shall
not attempt to prove from the works of the learned Edmund Campion, "sometime fellowe in St. John's Colledge, Oxenford," that Ireland was inhabited one year after the division of tongues+; nor that the Irish language had continued unaltered for 1700 years preceding the invasion of Henry Fitz Empresset. Neither shall we republish the gazettes extraordinary of the wars between Bartholinus Languinius and Salanus, "cousins to Nimrod §, very active. stout gentlemen," and certain "Gyants descended from Cham, whose bodily force was answerable to their hugeness of bulk." We do not intend to illustrate the early state of religion in the Isle of Saints, by appealing to the authority of that learned divine Meredyth Hanmer, D.D., who informs us that St. Molva converted the wolves "by making them ¶" a huge feast, and washing their feet; neither shall we relate classically
miracula quædam Auxiliante Deo Fynbarrus quæ faciebat:
all this we leave to more curious inquirers, and proceed to details which belong to the less poetical parts of history.
The first connexion between the two countries was undeniably a conquest undertaken on false pretences, and without a shadow of right. It was succeeded by a government of violence, which did not seem to possess either the wish to civilize, or the power to subdue. "The whole ordinance and institution of that realm's government was both at first when it was planned, well plotted, and also sithence, through other men's oversights, come more out of square to that disorder which it is now come unto; like as two indirect lines, which the further drawn out, the further they get asunder |." Ireland was considered a place where all the violent and ungovernable spirits of Britain were encouraged to seek a home, where rapine and injustice might seize their richest booty. The native inhabitants were treated like the North American Indians, and either driven into the woods, or induced to barter the inheritance of their ancestors for brandy and glass beads. Yet, despised and outraged as were these unfortunate beings, the settlers themselves seem, by å retributive justice, to have fallen in one or two generations to the same level with, or even lower than, the oppressed,- Hibernis ipsis Hiberniores**. The English conquerors very quickly adopted the language, manners, and feelings, of the conquered, and sacrificed the half enjoyments of imperfect civilization, to the wild freedom of barbarous life. It was thus that several very ancient Norman families assumed the names of Irish septs, and that the Fitz Ursulas
Dublin, 1653. § Campion, p. 33, 34.
+ Id. p. 17. Chronicle of Ireland, 1571, p. 122.
Spenser's View of the State of Ireland, 1596, p. 149. ** Sir J. Davies.
VOL. I. NO. I.
+ Campion, p. 16.