« PreviousContinue »
3. With what countries would commercial treaties be most desirable ?
4. In those treaties, what articles would be the most important to attend to, as the cotton, woollen, linen, iron, stone ware, and glass manufactures ?
5. Do you concur in the doctrine, that a commercial intercourse is beneficial to a country, even where the exports exceed the imports?
6. Are you of opinion, that it is for the commercial prosperity of a country, to endeavour entirely to exclude importation, or to restrict it within very narrow bounds ?
To prove the superiority of an import above an export trade, in point of revenue, it appears from authentic documents, that whilst the net produce of the custom-house duties on goods exported from Great Britain, Anno 1812, yielded only 587,279l., the revenue produced by the customs and excise, on goods imported, amounted to no less a sum than 16,687,6721. To prevent importation, therefore, would be sacrificing revenue, the real source of national strength, to the ideal advantages of commerce.
HENRY BROUGHAM, ESQ. M. P.
A MASTER OF ARTS OF QUEEN'S COLLEGE, OXFORD,
BEST METHOD OF RESTORING DECAYED GRAMMAR SCHOOLS.
“ If, according to the plan, every boy to be brought to the school was to be taught the learned languages, and the circumstance that these other sciences were to be taught, would induce persons to send boys to the school to learn Greek and Latin also; that purpose might have a tendency to promote the object of the foundation."
Lord Eldon, in Attorney General v. Whiteley, 2 Vesey, 249.
The letter to Sir Samuel Romilly had not appeared when the following pages were written. A Chancery suit to rescue a Grammar school from decay, induced the author to consider the facts he founds his observations upon, many months before the Committee of the House of Commons was appointed. He has a higher aim than to be an imitator; but he cannot fail to be gratified at having happened to coincide with some of the sentiments of Mr. Brougham: perhaps the best apology for the expression of opinions which are felt to be obvious, will be found in the pertinacity with which men in eminent stations are heard to contradict them. The writer is more apprehensive that the style in which his views are set forth will not be thought suitable to the subject; and it seems peculiarly inexcusable that a treatise on Grammar schools should be written incorrectly, or want good taste. He trusts, however, that defects here will be compensated by the value of the conjectures in his letter, which he has persuaded himself will be found worth great consideration. If he be not altogether under mistake, and his attempt do not entirely fail, the consequence of its being made will be so speedy å production of good scholars, capable of better things, that errors of composition will hardly be a ground of reproof.
HENRY BROUGHAM, Esq.
Chairman of a Committee upon the Education of the Poor
in the late House of Commons.
SIR, The subject of the following remarks is within the limits of an inquiry, which the country owes chiefly to you. Whether it will be pursued with success, depends essentially upon the support the public may be induced to give to your further labors; and I am sure that the meanest assistance will not be useless in the struggle which you may anticipate.
What I shall say has reference in a great measure to my own views. only; but no discussion can fail of evincing the necessity of legislative interference. That the present system has been so long permitted is not surprising, although a very little reasoning will show its inexpediency.
It is remarkable, that an examination of some of the Grammar schools of the metropolis, by the “Committee of the House of Commons for inquiring into the state of education, among the lower orders,” was slightly objected to. Open resistance seems not to have been attempted; but an opinion clearly now prevails in respectable quarters, that an appropriation of their endowments to the higher orders of the people is not, upon a fair construction of the intention of founders, an abuse. If considerable numbers of boys are studying the classics under the endowed masters, their purpose is supposed to be fully answered. The expense those boys are put to, independently of the funds, is never weighed; and something of good being evidently produced, the management of the foundations is, without more reflection, exonerated from suspicion. So far as relates to the great schools, changes are not, undoubtedly, to be admitted without much thought; but it is of more importance that they should not shrink from the closest inspection, if representations are loudly repeated unfavorable to their character. Where, however, the funds are confessedly a sinecure, we must entertain different views.
From the best sources of information we may collect, that in England and Wales nearly 500 free schools are now in existence. Of these Eton, Westminster, Winchester, Merchant Taylors, and many others, cannot be satisfactorily examined. It is impossible to estimate perfectly the merits of such establishments, without an exact acquaintance with funds and documents. Founded in remote times, and subsequently increased, their general character must depend upon the rules of various benefactors. But, eminent as they are, the features of charity can be but faintly traced upon them now; very few, indeed, of the 470 boys at Eton receive a gratuitous education. Westminster seems still more peculiarly the resort of the sons of the richer gentry. At Winchester the expenses are perhaps universally great; and Merchant Taylors is said to be voluntarily supported out of the private stock, and subscriptions of its liberal governors. The consequence of all this is, that the 1040 boys who attend these four schools, cost their parents, at the lowest calculation, 12,0001. per annum for tuition alone, whilst 100,0001. more will not in other réspects support them. What are their respective funds, in addition to these sums, for the annual education and bringing up of the boys, can at present be known to those persons only who administer them. By the specific directions of the founders, 280 of the 1040 are entitled to the chief advantages of the several establishments; and the increase of the value of the estates, has doubtless rendered admissible more of the classes originally intended to be so benefitted. The law, in such events, looks distinctly to an enlargement of the number of objects. But it is evident that the expenditure abovementioned, must exclude the mass of these from seeking their right. The “poor and indigent” will not be ready candidates for Eton; and but few counties in England will produce parents hardy enough to send even one possessor or expectant of an inheritance of only 601. a year to Westminster. Merchant Taylors seems less objectionable on the grounds of expense;
but poor mens' sons” will not find it a prudent scene of education; while the father of a “poor scholar” of Winchester will be grievously disappointed, if he has formed his expectations of modern bills by extracts from the terms of early admission. The extension of these schools to others, not on the several foundations, seems to be perfectly con. sistent with their early practice; nor are the “ foreigners.”