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very true. We do not object either to boxing or bull-baiting; but the history of Robinson Crusoe is compatible with them, or, if not, is at least a very fair and innocent rival to set up against them. Village sports are necessarily of rare occurrence. Reading is always accessible, and is permanently opposed to the permanent temptation of beer. The comforts and conveniences of life would be somewhat increased, if every person in the state were educated. In agriculture, in manufactures, and among domestic servants, every body has felt more or less of inconvenience, from the deficiencies of his dependants in reading, writing, and accounts. It is frequently found impossible to put very clever servants in the best situations, from their ignorance in these partiJars; and masters are forced to place superiors over them, in other respects not qualified. The sum of these inconveniences is worth attention.
Nature scatters talents in a very capricious manner over the different ranks of society. It is not improbable but a general system of education would rescue some very extraordinary understandings from oblivion.
Education raises up in the poor an admiration for something else besides brute strength and brute courage; and probably Tenders them more tractable and less ferocious. A mob might issue forth to murder a man,--all of whom could read, write, and work sums in compound multiplication and the rule of three. This certainly might be; but it is not quite so probable an occurrence, as if they had employed their youth in scampering through the streets of London, and in small pilfering. The education of the poor is as waluable for what it prevents, as for what it teaches. A boy remains two years at Lancaster's school. What would he have been doing, if he had not been there? What sort of habits and principles would he have contracted ? Apply this to St Giles, to Liverpool, Manchester and Birmingham. In villages, the question, perhaps, is, whether a boy is to be a stupid animal, or an intelligent animal ? There, temptations are so few, that his moral and religious character will remain the same; but, in towns, the alternatives are, intelligence and virtue, or ignorance and vice. In such scenes of activity, a child will do, and learn something. If you do not take care that it is good, he will take care that it is evil. A THOUSAND boys educated in the heart of the metropolis! How is it possible to doubt if such a thing be useful? It is the fashion now to say, that a mode of education is provided by the State, and that children may listen to the oral instructions of clergymen in the pulpit. A clergyman preaches fifteen minutes in a week. Has he the very unusual and valuable talent of commanding attention ? Will the church hold the thirtieth or for
tieth part of his parish? If it will hold them, do they come ? in the short period dedicated to instruction, can he instruct children of six years old, and grown up people at the s..me time? Is this possible? Will he do it, if it is possible ?--We really have not the slightest intention of sneering at the exertions of the clergy; it is quite clear, that if their exertios in the pulpit were ten times as great as they are, that no oral instruction, delivered under such circumstances, could possibly supply the place of other education. And when such things are talked of in London, and in large cities, it is really too absurd to merit an answer. When we are availing ourselves of the most recent inventions in every thing else, why are we to revert to the rudest machines in education ?
It is said that the poor, proud of their attainments in learning, will no longer submit to the drudgery to which they have been accustomed in their state of ignorance. In the first place, if every body can read, no one will be more proud of reading than they are of walking now, when every body can walk. But if every poor man in England were as proud as Lucifer, he must either work or starve. Labour depends not upon opinion, but upon the necessity of eating and drinking. Truly miserable indeed would the condition of mankind be, if society were such a papier maché machine as these sort of reason.ers make it to be; if, by any change of fashions, men were to cease to resent, or to fear, or to love, or to toil, or to govern. The great passions and appetites are interwoven in our very being; and all the important and indispensable operations of life rest upon the great paspions, and are as eternal as the foundations on which they are placed.
Reading multiplies the power of getting at the opinions and arguments of others. In the end, the good opinion, and the sound argument, prevail. The standard books among the poor tould not encourage disaffection, but the contrary. Seditious pamphlets would sometimes get among the poor, but they would mect with a firmer body of opinion than they do now; and the rommon average books would be of a very different description. What is read by the classes immediately above the poor, is nei'ther treason nor impiety. With them, the notions in ordinary circulation, about government and religion, though trite, are, in general, useful, just, and respectable. In the ferment of political opinion, through which we have recently passed, the Scorch, and the people of London and Westminster, were sot endangered by their education, nor the Irish protected by their ignorance. The English, rank for rank, are governed with greater justice, and live with greater happiness, than any other people in the world. If this is as true as we believe it to be, why will not such a welcome and important truth be at length diffused by the diffusion of knowledge? What is the dreadiu! secret the poor are to find out when they have learned to read and write ? We have often seen guzzling, semi-in-briated coun'ry gentlemen, nod and wink with a very pregnant wisdom, when the education of the poor was mentioned. We bear them no malice for their stupid prejudices, but with, on the contrary, with the utnost fincerity, that the accomplishments of reading, writing, and cyphering, were more generally diffused among thefe gentlemen; and that they were taught, by enjoying these bietliigs themselves, to appreciate them more justly for others.
There are now, perhaps, one million more of persons who can read and write, than there were before the revolution. His this increase of knowledge produced any increase of diffection? If ignorance is useful to a ftate, to what degree is it ufcful? Or, where has the argument any limit?
The expense of education is not to be mentioned. A boy learns reading, writing and accounts, for fourteen thillings, who would, in hedge-breaking, or picking pockets, colt the county double the money in the same time.
The investigation might be pushed on to a great length. These are a few of the principal advantages which appear to us to refult from education; from which we do not expect miracles, or believe that it would put an end to mendicity, and render the executioner's place a finecure. But we do molt firmly believe, that it may be made the means of rescuing thousands of human beings from vice and misery, of teaching the blessings of rational religion, of improving the character, and increasing the happiness of the lower orders of mankind. And for these reasons, the cause of education shall never want our feeble aid, nor the friends of it our good word, from the poor Quaker whose system we have defcrib. ed, to the King who has conducted himself towards this deserving man with so much goodness and feeling; and for which thousands of ragged children will pray for him and remember hiin, long after his Majesty is forgotten by every Lord of the Chamber, and by every Clerk of the Closet.
Thus much for education itself. The manner of introlucing it into, and encouraging it in a country, are totally feparate queltions. How far it may be exp dient to providie natonally for the education of the poor, against the prejudices of the upper clilis, and without any cordial wilh to that purpose on the part of the poor themselves, is doubtful,---if it be polliük. At all events, we must express our most sincere regret, that the late plan was ever Conected with so many doubtful, and so many compicati d nadfures; and that its worthy authorpeared to be so moierrini, 11
formed on the general subject of the poor, and fo little aware of the powerful prejudices which exist againft their instruction ; for ignorant we must conceive him to have been upon this point, if he supposed it possible to force down fo extensive a plan of education over the whole community.
In the year 1797, Dr Bell, a clergyman of the Church of England, published an account of an institution for education at Madras, to which Mr Lancaster is certainly indebted for some very material parts of his improvements,-as, in the early editions of his book, he very honestly and plainly owned himself to be. To this valuable information, received from Dr Bell, Mr Lancaster has made important additions of his own, quite enough to entitle him to a very high character for originality and invention. We sincerely hope Dr Bell will not attribute to us the most distant in. tention of depretiating his labours, when we say that he has by no means taught Mr Lancaster all, though he has taught him much. We are so far from wishing to undervalue the labours of Dr Bell, that it gives us great pleasure to express our warmest admiration at what he has done for education. He is unquestionably the beginner in an art, which we trust will be carried to still greater perfection; and we hope he will reap from his present patron those rewards for which he never could have looked, to which he is eminently entitled, and which, if ever they are bestowed, will honour the giver as much as the receiver.
It has pleased the present Archbishop of Canterbury to establish a large school, for the instruction of the poor of the established church, under the care of Dr Bell. If the thing is done at all,—if the education of the poor goes on,—we are content. We only interfered in the cause to say, education is a great good; and to shelter from calumny a friendless man, who sat himself down (like a drop of healing oil in an ulcer) in the worst parts of the metropolis, to diffuse the word of God, and the rudiments of knowledge among the lowest of mankind. If, in so doing, we have been compelled to treat with severity a lady of real piety and of estimable character, let that lady remember, that had we found her in her own proper department of an instructress of youth, which she has so long and so respectably filled, we could not but have mentioned her with credit, if it had fallen within the plan of our work to mention her at all
. But we found her acting the part of a judge and a critic, and, above all, of a religious accuser,--a part never to be taken up but with extreme reluctance, and exposing him, and still more her who assumes it, to the most severe responsibility,—a part which, of late years, has been played so often, and paid so well, that it is not respectable even in the hands of so honest and conscientious a per
son as Mrs Trimmer. We have been a little alarmed by obo serving, that Dr Bell, after all he has wrote and done, calls in question the propriety of teaching the poor to write and to cypher. We hope that he will value his deserved reputation above every thing else, and not lose thať originality which has brought him itito notice. The sartettory of the Archbishop of Canterbury may be venerable and respectable--but it is not sacred : at least we believe this term is never employed upon such occasions.
ART. V. The Principles of Botany and of Vegetable Physiology.
Translated from the German of D. C. Willdenow, Professor of Botany and Natural History at Berlin. PP. 508. 8vo.
8vo. W. Blackwood, Edinburgh; and "T. Cadell and W. Davies, Lon
don, 1805. We have not kitherto had any introductory botanical treatise
which comprehends all the branches of botanical knowledge. Lee's Introduction to Botany, which has been longest in use in this country, contains merely an explanation of the system of Linnæus, and of the terms employed by him. Berkenhout's Bo- ' tanical Lexicon, is nothing more than an explanation of the Linnaan terms, arranged in alphabetical order. Bat the author beforé uś, besides explaining the Linnwani method, and the terms ufed by its followers, likewife gives a very full account of the different natural and artificial syitems that have been proposed by different Boranists previous and fubsequent to that of the Knight of the Polar Star; together with vegetable physiology, explained according to principles established on the latest difcoveries in chemistry; the diseases of plants, and the history of botany. In short, his work, which we understand has fuperseded all other elementary treatifes on the Continent, contains almost every thing connected with botany.
His introduction contains fome remarks on the study of botany, together with good and ample directions for forming a Hortus šircus. In his Terminology, he gives a very full enumeration of the various terms used in botany, which are, in general, very well defined, but not fo judiciously arranged. He diftributes them as they are applicable to the root, the stem, the leaves, the props, the flower and the fruit. Many of the terms that are applicable to one part, may likewise be applied to others; confequently it becomes neceffary, not only to repeat the same term under different heads, but likewise to repeat their definitions. Thus we find Maltifidum filamentum, when it is divided into many