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was established in perpetuity, with ample authority to make, alter, and repeal the regulations which were to govern its procedure and its judgments. (A. D. 1335.) It had hardly received this extension of its powers, when it carried them into decisive effect, for the purpose of suppressing the last fruitless attempt on the domination of the hereditary aristocracy. The attempt to which we advert, is the celebrated conspiracy of the Doge Falier; whom they had placed in the ducal throne, at the advanced age of eighty, to obviate the probability of such an incident, and to deter his successors from similar enterprises; had studiously degraded, by an insult which in every age must be insufferable, and, in that, could only be expiated in the blood of the offenders. After his execution, the president of the council of ten appeared at a window of the ducal palace, holding a sword in one hand, and displaying the trunkless head of the old man in the other; and proclaimed to the assembled multitude, that the traitor had but paid the penalty justly due to his crime. (A. D. 1355.)
Henceforward, the body of the nobles acted in strict unison, without perceiving that their power was gradually arrogated by a narrow oligarchy, which, with all possible diligence, proceeded, at the same time, to abridge the authority of the Doge, to hold him up to the people as a fit object of jealousy, and to make him responsible for every error of the government. Falier was held unworthy of that sepulture in the church of St Mark with which his predecessors had always been honoured; and the privilege itself was thenceforward abolished, to the prejudice of those who should succeed him. The law which forbade the Doges to take wives not natives of Venice, was extended to their sons, who were also excluded from every place in the magistracy, and were requited for these incapacities by the empty title of Cavalieri del Doge. So long as he lived, the family arms were displayed upon the ducal palace, but might not be affixed, like those of other patricians, upon the family mansion. A fine was imposed upon any who should address him, by writing or orally, in any other style than that of Messer Doge. Every one employed about his person, of whatever rank he might be, was excluded even from the lowest office connected, directly or indirectly, with the government. (A D. 1400.)
These restraints, however severe they may appear, were still not strict enough in the eyes of the aristocracy. Whilst the naval and military force of the Republic was no longer placed at the disposition of the Doge, every war in which she engaged was ascribed to him as its author : by this subtle policy, the popular indignation was drawn down upon him by a doubtful or unsuecessful issue. Nor can it be inferred from this description, that this miserable throne was only filled by vain-glorious aspirants, since no one, when elected, could refuse to accept the office, nor, having accepted, could resign it. Another change went hand in hand with the degradation of the ducal authority. For the people were deprived, even in appearance, of that power of confirming the appointment of the Doge, of which they had been despoiled in substance at the election of Pietro Gradenigo, about a century before this period. On that occasion, the nobility ventured, for the first time, to announce to the people, without waiting for the appropriate reply,—“ The Doge is elected—if you approve him." But, during the period to which we have just adverted, the nomination of Francisco Foscari was proclaimed to the people in this more concise and less respectful formula, “ The Doge is elected.” (A.D. 1423.)
Nor did the encroachments of the oligarchy stop here. The despotism of the last-named Doge sufficiently evinces, that it afterwards assumed the power of making, as well as of unmaking, the head of the state : though it so shrouded its usurpations under cover of the State Inquisition, which was established on this very occasion, that Venice, to appearance, remained under the government of a large and liberal aristocracy.
We have now arrived at the end of the ten first centuries of the Venetian history, and at the commencement of that constitution, which, owing to the impenetrable secrecy wherewith it veiled its conduct, was preserved from any violent shock during nearly four centuries more, and only ended with the destruction of the state itself.
To examine and illustrate this intricate and interesting subject, would lead us beyond the limits which are assigned to writers in periodical works. Probably, in a future article, we shall exhibit somewhat at large, the structure and policy of the Oligarchical State Inquisition : A body which, though it checked or stifled the internal prosperity of the Republic, yet saved her from the causes of dissolution wherewith she was beset externally ; skilfully concealed the progress of her decay, and covered her intrinsic weakness, down to the hour of her agony, with a specious and imposing appearance of strength and dignity.
Art. IV. 1. Moral Statistics of the Highlands and Islands of
Scotland ; compiled from Returns received by the Inverness Society for the Education of the Poor in the Highlands. Inver
ness, 1826. 2. Statement and Representation respecting the Parochial School
masters of Scotland. Dumfries, 1825. 3. Considerations on the System of Parochial Schools in Scotland,
and on the Advantage of establishing them in Large Towns. By
Thos. CHALMERS, D.D. Glasgow, 1819. 4. Statement of the Experience of Scotland with regard to the Edu
cation of the People. Dumfries, 1825. 5. Returns-on Parochial Education in Scotland, -ordered by the
House of Commons to be printed. 1826.
ew things are more curious in the history of any rude na
tion, than the early and persevering efforts of the government of Scotland to promote the Education of the People. So far back as the fifteenth century, when the barbarism of the country might well be supposed to have extinguished all ambition of learning, there were statutes which made it imperative on the higher ranks to instruct their children in classical literature; and it was not long after this, that the first dawnings of the systematic education of the people at large began to appear. It was fortunate, that the attention of our Parliaments, instead of being dissipated in vague speculation or experiment, was directed from the first to the precise object of Parish schools. During the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, new measures were repeatedly devised for maturing these institutions, and for fixing them in the practice of the country; and as soon as men's minds were emancipated by the Reformation, the Ecclesiastical power co-operated vigorously with the political, in promoting the diffusion of that popular light which was fatal to the ancient faith. The poverty of the country, however, and the disorders of the times, constantly obstructed the views of both, and it was not till the Revolution that the system was established on a firm and general basis. In the year 1696, the memorable act of Parliament was passed, which declared, that there should be “a “ school and a schoolmaster appointed in every parish,” and provided salaries for the teachers.
This statute completed what had long been struggled for-the general establishment of Parish schools under the positive injunction and protection of Law. No sound opinion can be formed of the possible improvement or future condition of these invalu
able institutions, without being aware of the principles on which they have hitherto operated.
Of the three modes of providing for popular instruction, that in which the scholars pay everything, and the public nothingthat in which the public pays everything, and the scholars nothing-and that in which the burden is shared by both the exposition given by Dr Chalmers, in the “ Considerations on the “ System of Parochial Schools in Scotland,” in favour of the last, appears to us to be unanswerable. When people know that they can get their instruction for nothing, they care very little about it, and are so apt to wait till the proper period for education be gone, without seeking it at all, that we perfectly agree with this most accurate observer of the habits of his countrymen, that “ one consequence of charity schools with us has been a dimi“ nution in the quantity of education.” On the other hand, when they have to pay for the whole of it, they generally find it too dear; and when part of it is defrayed by private bounty, the continuance of this assistance is always precarious, and is often felt as a degradation. All these effects were avoided in the original plan of the Scotch schools; where the expense was not altogether taken from those who were taught, but was only diminished by the salaries of the masters being paid out of a legal assessment upon the land, where the existence of the school was not left to chance, but was permanently fixed upon the parish by law ;-and where, instead of depending upon the casual or offensive generosity of individuals, its patronage proceeded from the state, and was thus connected with the other ecclesiastical and literary institutions of the country.
66 There is more,” says Dr Chalmers, “ than may appear at “ first sight, in the very circumstance of a marked and separate “edifice standing visibly out to the eye of the people, with its “ familiar and oft-repeated designation. There is also much in “ the constant residence of the teacher, moving through the “ people of his locality, and of recognised office and distinction “ amongst them;—and there is perhaps most of all in the tie “ which binds the locality itself to the parochial seminary, that “ has long stood as the place of repair for the successive young “ belonging to the parish;—for it is thus that one family bor“ rows its practice from another; and the example spreads “ from house to house, till it embrace the whole of the assigned “ neighbourhood; and the act of sending their children to the “ school, passes at length into one of the tacit but well under“stood proprieties of the vicinage; and new families just fall, " as if by infection, into the habit of the old ones—so as, in “ fact, to give a kind of firm mechanical certainty to the opera
“ tion of habit, from which it were violence and singularity to “ depart.”
The “ Statement of the Experience of Scotland, with regard to “ the Education of the People," contains a view of the past effect of this system. We understand that the author is a most respectable clergyman; and we must refer to his pamphlet for a detailed exposition of the very important matter which he unfolds. It is full of intelligence and sound views, and is everywhere marked by the right feeling of his subject. We shall only observe, that this country was very happily placed for exemplifying the influence of popular education, and that the success of the experiment has been as complete as the limited scale on which it has been tried admitted of. bably never was a nation where a taste for education was less to have been expected than in Scotland at the time of the Revolution. Utter poverty, long persecution, and every species of internal disorder, seemed to make the country the natural abode of general and continued ignorance. Its disturbances, however, were no sooner settled, than the seed, which had been scattered abroad, began to spring, even on that stony soil. A process was set at work in every parish, which prepared all ranks for the coming harvest. There being few other objects of literary ambition at home, successive races of persons, distinguished by virtue and learning, were attracted to the profession of teaching, not so much by its emoluments, as by the honour in which it was held. Under the intellectual and moral tuition of those excellent men, the district in which each of them laboured was gradually reclaimed. Amidst the various outlets which opened to a poor but enterprising people, it was soon made evident that education was its own reward; and the success of every individual, who either raised up a name for himself in his own country, or returned to it enriched with foreign wealth or honour, increased that appetite of knowledge, which was not merely indulged in as a luxury, but valued as one of the most certain and cheapest means of worldly advancement. As the public establishment had never been complete, private schools arose to supply its deficiencies; but the excellence of the parochial seminaries-secured chiefly by the respectability of the men who found it their interest to devote themselves to their duties—enabled them in general to triumph over all competition. The example of a right school was thus kept up in every parish; and, each rival copying that visible model, the whole system of education throughout the country was maintained steadily and quietly. The result realised almost all that the reasonable philanthropist could wish. More good, we are verily persuaded,