صور الصفحة
النشر الإلكتروني


to take part in the concerns of active life, how much fill the middle ranks. Yet amongst these ranks the assistance do they derive from classical literature ? charm of the fiction has immense power. It haLook at the House of Commons. How much does descended from Universities to Boarding-schools of this literature contribute to a member's legislating thirty pounds a-year; and the parent complacently wisely upon questions of Political Economy, of Ju- pays the extra “ three guineas,” in order that his risprudence, of Taxation, of Reform? Or how boy may “learn Latin." We affirm that the know. much does it contribute to the capability of any ledge of Latin and Greek is all but useless to these other class of men to serve their families, their boys, and that if the knowledge were useful they do country, or mankind? I speak not of those pro- not acquire it. What are the stations which ihey fessions to which a dead language may be necessary.

are about to fill? One is to be a manufacturer, and A physician learns Latin as he attends the dissecting one a banker, and one a merchant, and one a shiproom: it is a part of his system of preparation for owner, and one will underwrite at I loyd's, and one his pursuits in life. Even with the professions, in- will be a consul at Toulon. Nay, we might go lower deed, the need of a dead language is factitious. It and say, one will be a tanner, and one a draper, and is necessary only because usage has made it so. one a corn-factor. Yet these boys must learn Latin, But I speak of that portion of mankind who, being and perhaps Greek too. And they do actually spend exempt from the necessity for toil, fill the various day after day, and perhaps year after year, upon gradations of society from that of the prince to the " Hic hæc hoc,”—“ Propria quæ maribus,"--"As private gentleman. Select what rank or what class in præsenti,”—“ Et, and ; cum, when ; " and the you please, and ask how much its members are in- like. What conceivable relationship do these things debted to ancient learning for their capability to bear to making steam-engines, or discounting bills, discharge their duties as parents, as men, or as citi- or shipping cargoes, or making leather, or selling zens of the state—the answer is literally, “ Almost cloth? None. But it will be said, What relationnothing." Now this is a serious answer, and involves ship does any merely literary pursuit bear! Or serious consequences. A young man, when he enters why should a merchant's son read Paradise Lost ? upon the concerns of active life, has to set about Such questions conduct us to the just view of the acquiring new kinds of knowledge, knowledge to- case; and accordingly we answer, Let these young tally dissimilar to the greater part of that which his persons attend to literature, but let it be literature s education"

gave him;

and the knowledge which of the most expedient kind. Let them read Paraeducation did give him he is obliged practically to dise Lost. Why? Because it is delightful, and forget—to lay it aside: it is something that is not because they can do it without learning a langure adapted to the condition and the wants of society. in order to acquire the power : if Paradise Lost is. But for what purpose are people educated unless it isted only in Arabic, I should think it preposterous be to prepare them for this condition and these to teach young persons Arabic in order that they wants ? Or how can that be a judicious system might read it. To those who are to fill the active which does not effect these purposes ?

stations of life, literature must always be a subordi. That no advantages result from the study of an- nate concern ; and it would be vain to deny that cient classics it would be idle to maintain. But this our own language possesses a sufficient store for them is not the question. The question is, Whether so without learning others to increase it. many advantages result from this study as from But indeed the children of the middle classes do others that might be substituted; and I am per- not learn the languages. They do not learn them suaded that we shall become more and more willing so as to be able to appreciate the merits and the to answer, No. With respect to the sum of know- beauties of ancient literature. Ask the boys themledge which the works of antiquity convey, as com- selves. Ask them whether they could hold an hour's pared with that which is conveyed by modern lite- conversation with Cicoro if he should stand before rature, the disproportion is great in the extreme. them. The very supposition is absurd. Or car To say that the modern is a hundred times greater they read and enjoy Cicero as they read and enjoy than the ancient, is to keep far from the language Addison ? No. They do not learn the ancient of exaggeration. And, to say the truth, the majority languages. They pore over rules and exercises, of those who are educated at college leave it with and syntax and quantities; but as to learning the but an imperfect acquaintance with those languages language, in the same sense as that in which it may which they have spent years in professing to ac- be said they learn English, there is not one in a quire. There are some men skilled in the languages; hundred, nor probably in ten thousand, who does it. there are some

« learned” men; but the very cir- Yet unless a person does learn a language so as to cumstance that great skill procures celebrity, is an read it at least with perfect facility, what becomes evidence that great skill is rare. Amongst edu. of the use of the study as a means of elevating the cated laymen, the number is very small of those tasle? This is one of the advantages which are whose knowledge of Latin bears any respectable attributed to the study of the classics. But without proportion to their knowledge of their own language enquiring whether the taste might not be as well -of that language which they have hardly professed cultivated by other means, one short consideration to learn at all. If the London University should be is sufficient : that the taste is not cultivated by successfully established, it is probable that at least studying the classics but by mastering them-by one collateral benefit will result from it. The wide acquiring such a familiarity with these works as range of subjects which it proposes to embrace in enables us to appreciate their excellences. This its system of education, will possess an influence upon i familiarity, or any thing that approaches to this other institutions; and the time may arrive when familiarity, schoolboys do not acquire. Playfair the impulse of public opinion shall reduce the ma- makes a computation from which he concludes that thematics of one of our Universities and the classics in ordinary boarding-schools, “not above one in a of both, to such a relative station amongst the ob-hundred learns to read even Latin decently well; jects of human study, as shall be better adapted to that is, one good reader for every ten thousand the purposes of human life.

pounds expended.” “ As to speaking Latin," he If considerations like these apply to the preference adds,“ perhaps one out of a thousand may learn of classical learning by those classes of society who that: so that there is a speaker for each sum of one can devote many years to the general purposes of hundred thousand pounds spent on the language."*. education, much more do they apply to those who

Eng. Causcs of Decline of Nations, p. 224.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

Then it is said that the act of studying the ancient | English Grammar by joining in an hour's conversalanguages exercises the memory, cultivates the habit tion with educated people, than in poring for an hour of attention, and teaches, too, the art of reasoning. over Murray or Horne Tooke. If he is accustomed Grant all this. Cannot, then, the memory be exer- to such society, and to the perusal of well-written eised as well by acquiring valuable knowledge as by books, he will learn English Grammar though he acquiring a mere knowledge of words? Would the never sees a word about syntax; and if he is not memory lose any thing by affixing ideas to the words accustomed to such society and such reading, the it learnt? The same questions apply to those who grammar books” at a boarding-school will not urge the habit of attention, and to all those advo- teach it. Men learn their own language by habit cates of the study who insist upon the exercise which and not by rules; and this is just what we might it gives lo the mind. We do not question the utility expect; for the grammar of a language is itself of this exercise ; we only say, that while the mind is formed from the prevalent habits of speech and exercised it should also be fed. That such topics of writing. A compiler of grammar first observes advocacy are resorted to, is itself an indication of these habits, and then makes his rules; but if a perthe questionable utility of the study. No one thinks son is himself familiar with the habits, why study it necessary to adduce such topics as reasons for the rules? I say nothing of grammar as a general learning Addition and Subtraction.

science, because, although the philosophy of lanThe intelligent reader will perceive that the guage be a valuable branch of human knowledge, it ground upon which these objections to classical were idle to expect that schoolboys should understudies are urged is, that they occupy time which stand it. The objection is to the system of attempting might be more beneficially employed. If the period to teach children formally that which they will learn of education were long enough to learn the ancient practically without teaching. A grammar of Mur. languages, in addition to the more beneficial branches ray's lies before me, of which the leaves are worn of knowledge, our enquiry would be of another into rags by being “ learnt." I find the child is to kind. But the period is not long enough: a selec- learn that words are articulate sounds, used by tion must be made ; and that which it has been our common consent as signs of our ideas. Now, I am endeavour to show is, that, in selecting the classics, persuaded that to nine out of every ten who “ get we make an unwise selection.

this lesson by heart," it conveys little more inforThe remarks which follow will be understood as mation than if the sentence were in Esquimaux, applying to the middle ranks of society; that is, to They do not know, with any distinctness, what“ arti. the ranks in which the greatest sum of talent and culate sounds” means—nor what the phrase “com. virtue resides, and by which the business of the mon consent means-nor what “ signs of ideas” world is principally carried on. If we take up a means; and yet they know, without learning, all card of terms of an ordinary Boarding School, we that this formidable sentence proposes to teach. probably meet with an enumeration something like They know perfectly well that they speak to their this :-“ Reading, Writing, Arithmetic, English brothers and sisters in order to convey their ideas. Grammar, Composition, History, Geography, Use Again : “ An improper diphthong has but one of the of the Globes," &c.; besides the “ accomplishments,” | vowels sounded, as ea in eagle, oa in boat.” Does and French, Greek, and Latin. “ Education con- not every child who can spell the words eagle and sists in learning what makes a man useful, respec- boat know this without hearing a word about imtable, and happy in the line for which he is deg- proper diphthongs? This species of instruction is tined.” Useful, respectable, and happy, not merely like that of a man who, seeing a boy running after in his counting-house, but in his parlour; not merely a hoop, should stop him to make him learn by heart, in bis own house, but amongst his neighbours, and as that in order to run he must use, in a certain order, a member of civilized society. Now, surely the list flexors and extensors and the tendon Achilles. A of subjects which are set down above is, to say the little girl runs to her mother and says, Mary has least, very imperfect. Besides, reading, writing, given me Cowper's Task: This is what I wanted.” and arithmetic, what is the amount of knowledge But still the little girl must learn from her " gramwhich it conveys ? English Grammar :- This is, in mar book” how to use the word what. And this is fact, not learnt by committing to memory lessons in

the process :

:-“ What is a kind of compound relathe " grammar book.” Composition :- This is of tive, including both the antecedent and the relative, consequence; although, as school economy is now and is equivalent to that which, as, This is what I managed, it makes a better appearance on the mas- wanted !” It really is wonderful that such a system ter's card than on the boy's paper. History, Geo- of instruction should be continued-a system which graphy, and the Globe problems, are of great inte- most laboriously attempts to teach that which a child rest and value; and the great unhappiness is, that will learn without teaching, and which is almost such studies are postponed to others of compara- utterly abortive in itself. Children do not learn to tively little worth.

speak and write correctly by learning lessons like Since human knowledge is so much more exten- these. A gentleman told me the other day, that he sive than the opportunity of individuals for acquir- learnt one of Murray's grammars until he could acing it, it becomes of the greatest importance so to tually repeat it from beginning to end ; and he does economize the opportunity as to make it subservient not recollect that one particle of knowledge was to the acquisition of as large and as valuable a por- conveyed to his mind by it. tion as we can. It is not enough to show that a Whilst the attempt thus to teach grammar isso needgiven branch of education is useful ; you must show less and so futile, it occupies a great deal of a boy's that it is the most useful that can be selected. Re- time; and by doing this, it does great mischief, since membering this, I think it would be expedient to his time is precious indeed. He might learn a great dispense with the formal study of English Grammar deal more of grammar by reading useful and interes-a proposition which, I doubt not, many a teacher ting books, and by conversation respecting science and will hear with wonder and disapprobation. We learn literature with an educated master, than by acquirthe grammar in order that we may learn English; | ing grammatical rules by rote. Grammar would be and we learn English whether we study grammars or a collateral acquisition ; he would learn it whilst he not. Especially we shall acquire a competent know- was learning other important things. ledge of our own language, if other departments of In general, Science is proferable to Literature, our education were improved. A boy learns more the knowledge of things to the knowledge of words. '

[ocr errors]


[ocr errors]

vey ideas.

It is not by literature, nor by merely literary men, | reads, are the best teachers of words and meanings. that the business of human society is now carried on. He cannot help learning the meaning of words if “ Directly and immediately we have risen to the they frequently and familiarly occur; and if they station which we occupy, not by literature, not by rarely occur, he will gain very little by learning the knowledge of extinct languages, but by the columns of Entick. sciences of politics, of law, of public economy, of With this exclusion of some subjects of study, and commerce, of mathematics; by astronomy, by che- alteration of the mode of pursuing others, a schoolmistry, by mechanics, by natural history. It is hy boy's time would really be much more than doubled. these that we are destined to rise yet higher. These Every year would practically be expanded into two constitute the business of society, and in these ought or three. Let us refer then to some of the subjects we to seek for the objects of education."*

of Education which have been proposed. Yet at school how little do our children learn of In teaching Geography, too little use is made of these! The reader will ask, what system of edu- maps and too much of books. A boy will learn more cation we would recommend; and although the by examining a good map and by listening to a few writer of these pages can make no pretensions to intelligible explanations, than by wearying himself accuracy of knowledge upon the subject, he thinks with pages of geographical lessons. Lesson-learning that an improved system would embrace, even in is the bane of education. It disgusts and wearies ordinary boarding-schools, such topics of instruction young persons; and, except with extreme watchfulas these :

ness on the part of the teacher, is almost sure to de

generate into learning words without ideas. It is Reading--Writing-Common Arithmetic-Book-keeping. Geography - Natural History, embracing Zoology, Botany,

not an easy thing for a child to learn half a dozen Mineralogy, &c.

paragraphs full of proper names, describing by what History of Mankind, especially the History of recent times. mountains and seas half a dozen countries are boundBiography, particularly of moderns. Natural Philosophy, embracing Mechanics, Pneumatics,

ed. Yet with much less labour, he might learn Optics, &c.; and illustrated by experiments: and the facts more perfectly by his eye, and with less embracing also Chemistry with experiments—Galva- probability of their passing from his memory. The

nism, &c. Geology-Land Measuring-Familiar Geometry.

lessons will not be remembered except as they conElements of Political Science; embracing Principles of

Religious and Civil Liberty; of Civil Obedience; of
Penal Law and the general Administration of Justice; tory is a delightful studý. Zoology, if accompanied

To most if not to all young persons, Natural Hisof Political Economy, &c.

by good plates, conveys permanent and useful knowIf the reader should think that boys under sixteen ledge. Such a book as Wood's Zoography is a more can acquire little or no knowledge of these multi- valuable medium of education than three-fourths of farious subjects, he is to remember what the enume- the professed school-books in existence. ration excludes, and how vast a proportion of a boy's History and Biography are, if it be not the fault time the excluded subjects now occupy. The whole, of the teacher or his books, delightful also. Modern perhaps, of all his forenoons is now devoted to Latin times should always be preferred; partly because the ---Latin is excluded. An hour before breakfast is knowledge they communicate is more certain and probably spent in learning sentences in a book of more agreeable, and partly because it bears an inGrammar:--this mode of learning Grammar is ex- comparably greater relation to the present condition cluded. The amount of knowledge which a boy of men; and for that reason it is better adapted to might acquire during these hours is very great. prepare the young person for the part which he is The formal learning of spelling does not appear in to take in active life. If historical books even for our enumeration. In many schools, this occupies a the young possessed less of the character of mere considerable portion of every week, if not of every chronicles of facts, and contained a few of those day. Spelling may be learnt, and in fact is learnt,

connecting and illustrating paragraphs which a man like grammar, by babit. A person reads a book, of philosophical mind knows how to introduce, Hisand, without thinking of it, insensibly learns to spell: tory might become a powerful instrument in impartthat is, he perceives, when he writes a word incor. ing sound principles to the mind, and thus in meliorectly, that it does not bear the same appearance as rating the general condition of society. Both Biohe has been accustomed to observe. Some persons, graphy and History should be illustrated with good when they are in doubt as to the orthography of a plates. The more we can teach through the eye word, write it in two or three ways, and their eye the better. It is hardly necessary to add that a boy tells them which is correct. Here again is a con- should not “ learn lessons” in either. He should siderable saving of time. Nor is this all. I would read these books, and means should afterwards be not formally teach boys to write. I would not give taken to ascertain whether he has read them to good them a Copy Book to write, hour after hour, Re

purpose. ward sweetens Labour and Industry is praised; but, There is, according to my view3, no study that is since they would have occasion to write many things inore adapted to please and improve young persons in the pursuit of their other studies, I would require than that of Natural Philosophy. When I was a them to write those things fairly :--that is, once schoolboy I attended a few lectures on the Air more, they should learn to write whilst they are Pump, Galvanism, &c., and I value the knowledge learning to think. Nor would I formally teach them which I gained in three evenings, more highly than to read; but since they would have many books to any other that I gained at school in as many months. peruse, they should frequently read them audibly; Whilst our children are poring over lessons which and by degrees would learn to read them well. And disgust them, we allow that magazine of wonders they would be much more likely to read them well, which heaven has stored up to lie unexplored and when the books were themselves delightful than unnoticed. There are multitudes of young men and when they went up to the master's desk, to “read women who are considered respectably educated, their lessons.” Learning “ words and meanings," as who are yet wonderfully ignorant of the first printhe schoolboy calls it, is another of the modes in ciples of natural science. Many a boy who has which much time is wasted. The conversation to

spent years upon Latin, cannot tell how it comes to which a young person listens, the books which he pass that water rises in a pump; and would stare if . Art. 9. Outlines of Philosophical Education, &c. West.

he were told that the decanters on the table were not Rev. No. 7.

colder than the baize they stand on. I would

[ocr errors]

rather that my son were familiar with the sub- | dicated by the topics which are introduced into Mejects of Paley's Theology, than that he should sur- chanics' Institutes. These Associations seem almost pass Elizabeth Carter in a translation of Epictetus. instinctively to prefer science to literature, simply Respecting the propriety of attempting to convey

as such.

Perhaps it will be said that science is the any knowledge of Political Science, many readers branch of knowledge which is more peculiarly will probably doubt. Yet why? Is it not upon the adapted to their employments in life. But the sciengoodness or badness of political institutions that tific information which an individual acquires, usually much of the happiness or misery of mankind de produces little immediate effect upon his mode of pends ? And what means are so likely to amend working. The carpenter cannot put up a staircase the bad, or to secure the continuance of the good, the better for attending a lecture on Chemistry. as the intelligent opinion of a people? We know No: they prefer science because it is preferable : that in all free states like our own, Public Opinion is preferable, not for mechanics merely, but for man. powerful. What then can be more obviously true It is of less consequence to Man to know what than that it should be made as just as we can ! Nor Horace wrote, or to be able to criticise the Greek would it be to much purpose to reply, that every Anthology, than to know by what laws the Deity master will teach his own political creed, and only regulates the operations of nature, and by what Durse up ignorant and angry squabbles. The same means those operations are made subservient to the reason would apply against inculcating Religious purposes of life. Principles : yet who thinks these principles should A consideration of the kind of knowledge which be neglected because there are many creeds ? Be- education should impart, is however but one division sides, one of the best means of educing political of the general subject. The consideration of the truth is by enquiry and discussion, and these are best mode of imparting it, is another. Various likely to be rationally promoted by making the Ele- reasons induce the writer to say little respecting the ments of Political knowledge a subject of education. last-of which reasons one is, that he does not posTo say the truth, these elements are not really very sess information that satisfies his own mind; and abstruse or remote. Having once established the another, that it is not so immediately connected with maxiin—which no reasonable man disputes—that the the general purpose of the work. That great improper purpose of government is to secure the hap-provements have recently been made in the mode of piness of the community, very little is wanted in conveying knowledge to large numbers, is beyond applying the principle to particular questions but dispute. Whether, or to what extent, these improvehonest conscientious thought. The difficulties are ments are applicable to schools of twenty children occasioned not so much by the nature of the case, or to families of three or four, experience will be as by the interests and prejudices which habit and likely to decide. With the prodigious power of existing institutions introduce ; and how shall these giving publicity and exciting discussion which men interests and prejudices be so effectually prevented now possess, the best systems are likely ultimately from influencing the mind, as by the inculcation of to prevail. siraple truths before young persons mix in the busi- One observation may, however, safely be made Dess of the world?

that if two systems are proposed, each with appaThese are general suggestions : details are rently nearly equal claims, and one of which will be foreign to our purpose; but from these general sug- more pleasurable to the learner, that one is ungestions the intelligent parent will perceive the kind doubtedly the best. That which a boy delights in of education that is proposed. If such an education he will learn; and if the subjects of instruction were would convey to young persons some tolerable por- as delightful as they ought to be, and the mode of tion of the knowledge and the spirit of their age conveying were pleasurable too, there would be an and country," if it would tend to make them “ useful, immense addition to the stock of knowledge which a respectable, and happy” in the various relationships schoolboy acquires. We complain of the aversion of life, the objects of Intellectual Education are, of the young to learning, and the young complain of in the same degree, attained. So limited is the their weariness and disgust. It is in a great degree opportunity of the young for acquiring knowledge our own faults. Knowledge is delightful to the in comparison with the extent of knowledge itself, human mind; but we may, if we please, select such that, upon some subjects, little more is to be effected kinds of knowledge, and adopt such modes of im. during the years that are professedly devoted to parting it, as shall make the whole system not education, than to induce the desire of informa- delightful, but repulsive. This, to a great extent, tion, and the habit of seeking it. A boy cannot we actually do. We may do the contrary if we be expected to acquire very extensive information will. respecting the application of the mechanical powers ; but if he sees the value and the pleasure of study. There does not appear any reason why the edu. ing it, he may hereafter benefit his country and the cation of women should differ, in its essentials, from world by his ingenuity. Or a boy cannot be ex- that of men. The education which is good for pected to know more than the elements of che- human nature is good for them. They are a partmistry ; yet this knowledge may in future enable and they ought to be in a much greater degree than him to add greatly to the comforts and conveni- they are, a part—of the effective contributors to the ences of human life.

welfare and intelligence of the human family. In There are indications of a revolution in the intellectual as well as in other affairs, they ought to system of education which will probably lead both to be fit helps to man. The preposterous absurdities great and beneficial results. Science is evidently of chivalrous times still exert a wretched influence gaining ground upon the judgments and affections of over the character and allotment of women. Men the public

. Elementary books of Science are indeed are not polite but gallant: they do not act towards the familiar companions of young persons after they women as to beings of kindred habits and character, have left school. 'They lay aside tenses and parsing as to beings who, like the other portion of mankind, for “Conversations on Chemistry.” This is, so reason, and reflect, and judge, but as to beings who far, as it should be ; and it would be better still if please, and whom men are bound to please. "Essensimilar books had taken the place at school, of ac- tially there is no kindness, no politeness in this;

but cents and quantities, and cases and genders, and selfishness and insolence. He is the man of politelesson-learning by rote. This revolution is also in- ness who evinces his respect for the female mind.

[ocr errors]


He is the man of insolence who tacitly says, when he concluded, that if a portion equal to a fourtb or a enters into the society of women, that he needs not third part of those years which are afforded to that to bring his intellects with him. I do not mean to mighty subject, the education of the human mind, is affirm that these persons intend insolence, or are devoted to the acquisition of one manual art like conscious always of the real character of their this—more is devoted than any one who reasons habits: they think they are attentive and polite; upon the subject can justify. and habit has become so inveterate, that they really If then we were wise enough to regard women, are not pleased if a woman, by the vigour of her and if women were wise enough to regard themconversation, interrupts the pleasant trifling to selves, with that real practical respect to which they which they are accustomed. Unhappily, a great are entitled, and if the education they received was number of women themselves prefer this varnished such as that respect would dictate, we might hereand gilded contempt to solid respect. They would after have occasion to say, not as it is now said, that rather think themselves fascinating than respectable.“ in England women are queens,” but something They will not see, and very often they do not see, higher and greater; we might say that in every the practical insolence with which they are treated : thing social, intellectual, and religious, they were fit yet what insolence is so great as that of half a to co-operate with man, and to cheer and assist him dozen men who, having been engaged in an intelli- | in his endeavours to promote his own happiness, and gent conversation, suddenly exchange it for frivolity the happiness of his family, his country, and the world. if ladies enter.

For this unhappy state of intellectual intercourse, female education is in too great a degree adapted. A large class are taught less to think than to shine. If they glitter, it matters little whether it be the glitter of gilding or of gold. To be accomplished

CHAPTER XII. is of greater interest than to be sensible. It is of more consequence to this class to charm by the tones of a piano, than to delight and invigorate by intellectual conversation. The effect is reciprocally bad. Union of moral principle with the affections-Society-MoraAn absurd education disqualifies them for intellec

lity of the Ancient Classics- The supply of motives to vir.

tue-Conscience-Subjugation of the Will-Knowledge of tual exertion, and that very disqualification perpe- our own Minds--Offices of public worship. tuates the degradation. I say the degradation, for the word is descriptive of the fact. A captive is To a good Moral Education, two things are nenot the less truly bound because his chains are made cessary: That the young should receive information of silver and studded with rubies. If any commu- respecting what is right and what is wrong; and, nity exhibits, in the collective character of its fe- That they should be furnished with motives to ad. males, an exception to these remarks, it is I think here to what is right. We should communicate exhibited amongst the Society of Friends. Within moral Knowledge and moral dispositions. the last twenty-five years the public have had many I. In the endeavour to attain these ends, there is opportunities of observing the intellectual condition one great pervading difficulty, consisting in the imof quaker women. The public have not been daz- perfection and impurity of the actual moral condi. zled :--who would wish it? but they have seen in- tion of mankind. Without referring at present to telligence, sound sense, considerateness, discretion. that moral guidance with which all men, however They have seen these qualities in a degree, and with circumstanced, are furnished,* it is evident that an approach to universality of diffusion, that is not

much of the practical moral education which an found in any other class of women as a class. There individual receives, is acquired by habit, and from are, indeed, few or no authors amongst them. The the actions, opinions, and general example of those quakers are not a writing people. If they were, around him. It is thus that, to a great extent, he there is no reason to doubt that the intelligence and acquires his moral education. He adopts the no. discretion which are manifested by their women's tions of others, acquires insensibly a similar set of actions and conversation, would be exhibited in their principles, and forms to himself a similar scale of books.

right and wrong. It is manifest that the learner in Unhappily some of the causes which have pro- such a school will often be taught amiss. Yet how duced these qualities, are not easily brought into can we prevent him from being so taught ! or what operation by the public. One of the most efficient system of Moral Education is likely to avail in opof these causes consists in that economy of the so- position to the contagion of example and the influciety, by which its women have an extensive and a ence of notions insensibly, yet constantly instilled! separate share in the internal administration of its It is to little purpose to take a boy every morning affairs. In the exercise of this administration they into a closet, and there teach him moral and reliare almost inevitably taught to think and to judge. gious truths for an hour, if so soon as the hour is The instrument is powerful; but how shall that in- expired, he is left for the remainder of the day in strument be applied where shall it be procured-circumstances in which these truths are not recomby the rest of the public?

mended by any living examples. Not, however, that the intellectual education of One of the first and greatest requisites, therefore, these females is what it ought to be, or what it in Moral Education, is a situation in which the might be.

They, too, waste their hours over knowledge and the practice of morality is inculcated grammar books,” and “ geography books," and by the habitually virtuous conduct of others. The lesson books—over Latin sometimes, and Greek; boy who is placed in such a situation is in an effiand, if the remark can be adventured on, over cient moral school, though he may never hcar delistitching and hemming too. Something must be vered formal rules of conduct: so that, if parents amiss when a girl is kept two or three hours every should ask how they may best give their child a moday in acquiring the art of sewing. What that ral education, I answer, Be virtuous yourselves. something is--whether it is practised like parsing The young, however, are unavoidably subjected because it is common, or whether more accurate to bad example as to good: many who may see conproficiency is expected than reason would prescribe, I presume not to determino; but it may safely be

• See Et say 1, c, vi.

[ocr errors]
« السابقةمتابعة »