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LISBURN LANCASTRIAN FREE-SCHOOL.
The managers of the Lisburn Freeschool present their townsmen with the plan and regulations of that institution, and earnestly appeal to their benevolence for its support. The subject of education has of late happily engrossed much of the public attention, and the advantages of disseminating its blessings among the poorer classes of society, have been so clearly demonstrated, not by theoretic reasoning alone, but by practical illustrations", that auy thing further said on the subject, would be superfluous.
The Free-school was opened on the 29th
of May, 1810, with 25 scholars-these in a few weeks increased to 60; and have since further increased to 115, their present number. They are taught reading, write ing, and arithmetic (had the managers a school-house sufficiently large, they could, number) on the following plan, chiefly the with the same trouble, teach double the invention of Joseph Lancaster.
The school is arranged into classes-each boy finds his own level, being promoted or degraded, from rank to rank, or class to class, according to his profici ency.
The benevolent Mr. Rakes, of Glocestershire, England, has stated, that during a period of 20 years namely, since the first establishment of Sunday-schools in that country, about 3000 children received instruction, and though he regularly visited the city and country gaels, he has only met with one instance of criminality in these 8000 persons. In like manner it is stated by Joseph Lancaster, that he has never yet learned that any one of 4000 children, whom he has educated in the Borough road school, though taken from the lowest
Each class has a monitor, and in some cases an assistant-monitor placed over it to keep all busy, and to teach, or rather see that the children teach each other, the lesson allotted for the class. The monitor tion, and is in general a smart boy, chosen wears a small medal by way of distinc from the next superior class to that over which he presides: While engaged in teaching, his time is not lost to himself, as some may suppose; on the contrary, it could not be employed more to his advantage: for, by enforcing the attention of others, he imperceptibly acquires a habit of attention himself, which materially advances his future progress.
A register of merit, and a register of daily offences are kept.-In the first, the names of such boys as distinguish themselves by diligence and good conduct, are daily entered: In the second, all accusations against boys, for transgressing the laws of the school, are registered: On the last day of the month, those whose names are found registered a stated number of times in the first, are rewarded with premiums: On Saturdays, those against whom accusations are found in the second, or black-book, as it is called, are tried by a jury of their peers, and punished according to their decision.
The whole school learn to spell from one book; this book is printed in a large classes of society in London, has been charged in any court of justice with any offence. Opposed to these statements, that of Sir Richard Philips, who when sheriff of London, ascertained, that out of 152 criminals then in Newgate, 101 could not write, and of the rer ining 51, 26 could only write their name in a fair hand, and 25 in a scarcely legible hand. Might we not add, that the unhappy victims to of- .. fended justice in our own country, almost invariably pour out their last breath las menting the want of early instruction!
type, on separate sheets, which are pasted on paste-board, and hung to the wall; round these the different classes assemble in semicircles, and study their lessons, under the direction of their respective monitors. Thus, all are employed at once. When studying their lessons, if a boy mistake in spelling or pronouncing a word, it is not the monitor's duty to rectify that mistake, but to let the next boy do it, who, if he can, then takes precedency above the other; if he cannot, the next gets a trial, and so on, by which means, the attention of both monitor and pupil is engaged continually-neither can be idle a moment undetected, and constant emulation, is kept up.
tuition adopted-it has surpassed the most sanguine expectations of the managers, and will, no doubt, appear considerable, to all who reflect on the difficulties with which they had to struggle; being till lately (that they were admitted to the use of the Court-house, by the benevolent directions of the Marquis of Hertford) without any proper school-room, proper desks, or fund, except what they advanced themselves, and a few charitable donations presented by visitors to the institution.
Of the present scholars, about 70 had the alphabet to learn when they came to the school of these, one class can now read, spell words of five and six syllables off book, and write round hand pretty neatly; another class spell words of four syllables; and another of three syllables, can read easy lessons also, and write large hand on the slate; two classes spell words of two syllables, and are beginning to write; others spell words of five, four, three, and two letters, and print them in sand. Of the boys who had been previously at other schools, none but seven or eight were able to spell words of more than one syllable, when they came to the Free-school:-Of these, two classes now read the Scriptures with tolerable correctness, write round-hand very neatly, and are got as far as addition of money in arithmetic.
Another invention of Lancaster's, by which the scholars learn to write and spell at the same time, has also been lately adopted in the Free-School, and fouud a vast improvement. A class, say of 12 boys, being provided with slates and pencils, the monitor takes a spelling book, and pronounces a word aloud-every boy, then, as Lancaster justly observes, is obliged to listen attentively, to catch the sound of every letter as it falls from his lips; again, they have to retrace the idea of every letter, and the pronounciation of the word, as they write it on the slates. This commands constant attention, and prevents all idleness and talking, while the boys have great practice in writing, without it interfering with their other studies. When commencing to write, the scholars learn to form the written cha racters, as they had before the printed ones, in sand: afterwards they are provided with slates and pencils, and are classed in pairs. one to write against another-this classification contributes not a Hittle to advance their progress, as it promotes constant emulation; each boy having his competitor beside him, exerts his utmost ability to excel him; and it is pleasing and amusing to observe the eagerness with which they show their copies, and the interest each takes in the decision on their merits.
Arithmetic is also taught on a new plan, invented by Lancaster, by which a boy, who knows nothing more of the science than numeration, can teach a class any rule as well as the most perfect master, and at the same time acquire a knowledge of it himself by teaching.In this manner several classes are making a rapid progress. Indeed the progress, that has been made by the scholars in general, fully evinces the excellence of the plan of
A few boys also who distinguished themselves by diligence and proper conduct, are making some progress in English grammar, the elements of which the managers intend teaching such as in like manner render themselves worthy of that distinction,
Rules of the Lisburn Free-School.
1. As the time the masters can devote to the school is but limited, every boy must attend punctually at the hour ap pointed, viz.-at 8 in the morning, and 5 in the evening in Summer-and 10 in the morning in Winter:-and in order that offenders against this rule may be promptly known and punished, each monitor shall call over a list of his class precisely at 5 minutes after the hour, and report the names of absentees.
2. Any monitor who, without sufficient reason, shall be absent when he should call over the list of his class, shall forfeit his rank.
3. A trusty boy shall be appointed to make inquiries after absentees, and any boy who shall be three times reported ab sent, without sufficient reason, shall be expelled the school.
4. Every boy shall have his hands and
10. No boy shall play at ball, marbles, kammon, or any such game on the Sabbath-day.
11. No boy shall at any time play at "pitch and toss," attend cock-fights, or engage in any species of gambling, under pain of expulsion from the school.
disturbing the peace of the town, and offending every chaste ear with foul or profane expressions:-now they regularly attend divine service at their respective places of worship; nor would any boy in the school be seen joining in unbecoming diversions during the day. Many boys, too, who were shocking swearers when they came to the school, seem now to have acquired such an aversion to that shameful practice, that if they are obliged to complain of another being guilty of it (which seldom happens, except it be against a new scholar), they will not mention the expressions, but spell or make some allusion to them!
12. No monitor, assistant, or pupil, shall, on any account, screen boys whom they may know guilty of transgressing the rules of the school; but shall faithfully report the same to the masters, under pain of being brought to trial (on discovery) for disobedience, and neglect of duty.
These rules are in general read and descanted on, on Saturdays, when the Blackbook is examined. Sundays, the managers principally devote to giving the children Scriptural instruction, and, without touching on the tenets peculiar to any church or sect, they endeavour to inspire them with a reverent regard for the Holy Scriptures, and every thing that relates to religion; and to impress their young minds with a sense of the continual superintendence of the Deity; His hatred of evil actions; and their certain accountability for all they do or say at a future judgment. And through the blessing of him, in whom is "all strength and fullness," they trust their feeble exertions have not been altogether fruitless. Previous to the opening of the Free-School, the greater part of the scholars spent the Sabbath-day at improper sports in the fields, or in running through the streets,
BELFAST MAG. NO. XXXIV.
Such are the benefits which have already resulted from this infant institution-benefits which the superintendants doubt not will forcibly plead for its support, with the benevolent and humane. They will perceive from the foregoing statement, that the success of the plan of tuition adopted, principally hinges on the system of emulation and rewards :-of the latter, any that have yet been dispensed, have necessarily been of a trifling nature; but the managers venture to hope, that they will be enabled to present a few of the most deserving of the scholars with some articles of clothing at the commencement of winter; in this particular, many persons who have families, could material. ly benefit the institution at a small pecuniary expense, by sending donations of their children's left-off clothes, &c. to the school-house, or to either of the managers, by whom they will be most thankfully received.
It is gratifying to remark, that while the male children of the poor have been thus admitted to a share of education, the female are not likely to be excluded. The girl's-school, founded by some young ladies in August last, consists at present of upwards of fifty scholars, who are taught reading and spelling in the Lancastrian manner, and also useful needlework:-and the progress they have made, sufficiently evinces the attention paid to them by their benevolent patroness: several having already got through Lancaster's Spelling-book, though part of their time was necessarily devoted to needlework. What, however, particularly strikes the attention of visitors of this institution, is the extreme cleanliness of the little girls, habits of which necessary and too much-needed virtue among the Irish poor, the ladies judiciously encourage, by appro priating premiums to that purpose. LII
From April 20, till May 20.
Soon after the last report went to the press, a very considerable change in the wea ther took place. For nearly four weeks, there were few days in which a good deal of rain did not fall, and it now appears, that in many parts of the country, theoccupiers of land were prevented from sowing either oats or flaxseed, until about the 15th inst. when the weather became dry; and even what was sown before the alteration, was so drenched with wet, and dried so suddenly, that in most of the strong clay soils, a crust was formed on the surface of the land, extremely prejudicial to the crops;—where this has been the case, the only remedy is to harrow and roll the ground.
Some will no doubt be prevented from trying this experiment, by a fear of tearing up the corn, but if they are induced to make the trial, they will find it succeed beyond their expectations, A single stroke of a harrow will break the crust, and set the plants at liberty without hurting them, and the roller will fasten any root that may have been a little loosened, and break the crusted earth into dust.
It is more difficult to point out what ought to be done for the relief of the flax, in such a situation. It is a tender plant, and will not come up through a crusted surface; and althongh the roller may probably break some of the tender buds, yet as there appears no other mode of relief, the trial ought to be made.
Provisions continue at a moderate price, and potatoes in particular have latterly been sold at a rate which will scarcely pay the farmer the original expense.
Wheat has advanced in price, but barley and oats keep stationary.
The grass lands in general look well, and the appearance of the meadows give us reason to expect a plentiful supply of hay.
That bank-paper, whether of the national banks, or of private banks, is depre ciated, is a fact forced on public notice, and virtually admitted by both sides in the late debates in the house of Commons, on the report of the Bullion committee. The admission of the fact is general, although attempts are made to disguise the consequences, and even ministers admit there can be no remedy for what they allow to be an evil, while the present system of immense foreign military expenditure is continued. They think they touch a sympathetic chord in the public mind, when they declaim on the impossibility of carrying on the war, without a large supply of paper-money. If the people were wise, such a mode of reasoning would be the best refutation of their own system, but to a war loving nation, it flatters their prejudices, and causes them to submit to any inconveniences, rather than give up what they have been taught, without proof, to consider as necessary to their safety, if not to their existence as a nation. Thus the mania of war receives additional strength, and is more deeply fixed by the craft used to persuade the nation to their undoing. Stocks may fall, additional loans made, immense taxes laid on, and to these the evils of a depreciated currency is added, but all must be borne, because the people are taught to consider their safety lies in carrying on a war, which has already produced all these evils, and if persevered in, is likely to entail many more. In the sober eye of reason, safety appears to lie in the opposite course, and peace is contemplated as better calculated to produce safety, and add to our strength, both political and commercial.
We have now a new era in the war, and in commerce. To look steadily forward to the consequences, and to calculate the final result, requires a strong head and a cool judgment. It was foreseen by a few of clearer discernment in 1797, at the time of the passing of the act to suspend payments in cash at the national banks, that the consequences which have followed, must take place, but the multitude passed over the signs of the times unregarded. When the national banks were exonerated from paying in specie, the inducement to send out large issues, both for political and commercial purposes, was clearly foreseen, When they were not under an engagement to pay in specie, they were freed from the necessary checks on their issues. Private bankers being bound to pay only in paper of the banks of England or Ireland, were only liable to such checks, as arose from the facility or difficulty with which such
paper could be procured, and by the restriction act, all checks to pay in specie have thus been removed from public and private banks.
Gold Bullion is 30 per cent. above the coinage price. That such a state arises from local circumstances affecting this empire, is evinced by an assertion made in the house of Commons, that the value of Bullion on the continent has fallen in the proportion of 11 to 7. It is also asserted, that the price of silver, although risen in England, has fallen in France, according to the following facts: The old French crown, now no longer a legal tender, has fallen from 5s. to 4s. 10d., while in England, the stampt dol lar, intrinsically worth 4s. 6d., has lately been raised from 5s. to 5s. 6d., and even passes higher frequently in private circulation. It has long passed in Ireland as a bank token, at 6s. Irish.
In England, it has been ruled in the court of Common Pleas, that bank notes are not a legal tender to set up against judgment of execution, although both there and in Irẻland, a tender in national paper is good against issuing a writ in what is technically called the mesne process. The legislature has adopted this middle course, well knowing that if bank-notes are made a legal tender, they would speedily share the fate of the continental money in America, and the assignats in France. Bank-notes may answer to pass from hand to hand in all recent transactions, when the depreciation cannot be felt in the short period between taking them, and passing them in other payments. But in all old contracts, the effect of making them a legal tender, would be to benefit the debtors, and defraud the creditors, as payment would be then made in a depreciated currency. Rent is a debt due generally on an old contract, and landlords are creditors under such circumstances. The case requires much consideration, that justice may be done to both parties. It is a hardship on landlords, to take their rents in bank-notes, or at any fixed rate of discount, as the depreciation may increase. Tenants will soon find it impossible to procure guíneas, and their case is thus made extremely difficult. It is to be hoped that some compromise, on sound principles, will be adopted by landlords and tenants. The discussion which has so far appeared in the public prints in this country, on this subject, has been all on one side, and consisted merely of declamation on the part of tenants, against landlords. The subject requires dispassionate consideration, and a careful looking to both sides of the question, on broad comprehensive principles of equal justice to the claims of debtors and creditors.
To show how superficially the subject is frequently treated, it may be noticed, that in the commercial report of a respectable London publication, a paragraph has slipped in, probably carelessly selected from the public papers, that "their fabricated paper money is at a heavy discount in France." Such is "the stuff of which dreams are made," and such the systematic deception practised on the credulity of the public, willing to be deceived in all points which flatter their prejudices. In France, the most authentic accounts state they have not any paper-money in circulation. They smart under the remembrance of their former sufferings during the system of assignats.
Discount on bank notes rates at from 12 to 12 per cent.
The peace and good order of this country are in danger of being disturbed by an association among the cotton weavers. They have an organization of committees, treasurers and secretaries to control the trade, as a branch of the regular association in England, and Scotland, which is formed into affiliated societies, in those places in which the cotton trade is established. Combinations are of very hurtful consequences, they unhinge the fabric of civil government, and by the habits of insubordination and excesses practiced on those occasions are extremely injurious to morality. Even when they are successful, the losses by waste of time and the expense of intemperance to which they often lead, generally more than compensate the gains obtained by an advance in prices. In this country their present objects appear to be to restrain weavers from taking more than a certain number of apprentices, and to prevent workmen from taking webs to weave at less than the prices they have thought proper to fix. In many parts of the country, great numbers have been thrown out of employment by their being forced to return the pieces in the loom unwrought. In the present state of the cotton trade, high prices cannot be afforded for weaving. It would be surely better to leave trade to find its own level, and if high prices cannot be procured, let weavers individually make the best bargain they can with their employers. If trade mends, prices of themselves by a fair competition would also mend, and such a mode would be far preferable to the present illegal and injudicious practice of throwing the weavers idle, and by combinations attempting to