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unjustifiable in a reviewer to betray such secrets. Dacre knows not the cause of Lady Emily's resolution; but a vague idea always haunted his mind that it was somehow connected with the idea of his illegitimacy; and this idea, perhaps, rendered him more active and persevering in his endeavours to trace out the secret. Some scenes of a tragic character succeed. The following observations on the Pontine Marshes, along which Dacre and his companion are pursuing the person whom they believe to be the possessor of the documents relative to his mother's marriage, are powerfully and happily expressed :
On they went, with all the speed which command, entreaty, bribery could effect. At each post-house they enquired what time had elapsed since the carriage had passed, which they supposed was conveying Harper. For the first two stages they seemed hardly to gain upon him; at the third the time was shortened between the arrival of the pursued and the pursuers; and they began to hope his speed might have relaxed as he got further from Rome.
They had now reached the Pontine Marshes. The moon was up, and its pale and sickly light came well in harmony with the plain of death they traversed. Herds of buffaloes and horses occasionally broke the low unvaried line of the horizon, whilst the shadows cast from the trees on the side of the road marked the straight line of their route. By daylight, it is here a saddening sight to see the earth decked out in all the brightness of its freshest verdure-to see the cattle grazing, and the horses, scarcely tamed by man, exert their speed in playful wildness. We think that scenes like these should tell of peace and plenty to the man who treads the soil; but we look around, and see disease has preyed on every form; and on every cheek seems set the pale cadaverous stamp of sure decay. We behold man, to whom all things were given for his use, thus droop and die where other creatures live, and vegetation thrives. Here are the condemned of prisons sent to delay the doom their guilt has sealed. It is fearful to watch the work of justice wrought by this slow-consuming poison; and still more shocking to gaze upon the mark of crime that sits with death upon the convict's face, reminding us, each moment, of the life that has unfitted him to die. But night drops a veil over sights like these; and onward the travellers dashed, with a speed that seemed to dare the swift arrow of the destroying angel. The horses' feet now scarcely touched the ground on which they passed, and in this excess of activity and life the thoughts of death and weakness were forgotten.'
Dacre, having succeeded at last in recovering clear evidence of his mother's marriage, sets out on his return; but at Geneva he receives a letter from Lady Emily, written apparently on her deathbed, which reveals the secret of her conduct-a solemn injunction from her dead father, Lord Kendal, never to marry any one to whom the stain of doubtful birth attached. Dacre flies homeward in despair, expecting to weep over her grave, and
arrives to find her recovering. The letter, which had seemed to him a message from the grave, and which had only been intended to be transmitted to him in the event of her death, had been prematurely despatched by her friend, who had believed her dying. After this, can any one doubt as to the conclusion?
We wish we could have spared time and space to extract some of the longer and more passionate scenes of this novel; but even from our extracts, short as they are, the reader will form some idea of the liveliness, sound sense, intelligence, tenderness, and sensibility both to natural and moral beauty, which pervade it. We beg, in conclusion, to congratulate Lady Morley on her editorial discernment, and to say, that if the work to which she has lent her sanction is, as we are inclined to think it is, a first production, it is beyond all question calculated to excite high expectations of future excellence.
ART. XII.-1. Code de L'Instruction Primaire. 8vo. Paris: 1833. 2. Returns respecting the appropriation of the Sums voted in the last Session of Parliament, to aid the Erection of Schools; and copies of Treasury Minutes for distribution thereof. (Ordered by the House of Commons to be printed, 26th March, 1834.)
MIDST the changes that have been going on in our social institutions, the most important, and hitherto the most neglected of them all, has not of late remained stationary. A year has scarcely elapsed since a grant of money was, for the first time, voted by Parliament in aid of General Education; and already has an account been rendered of the appropriation of that sum, an additional grant made to the same amount, and a select Committee of the House of Commons charged with an enquiry into the state of education among the poorer classes in England and Wales.
The object of last year's grant of L.20,000 was the erection of school-houses, and the principle adopted in apportioning it was, that no aid should be given till one-half of the estimated expense was raised by private contribution. The whole sum has been disposed of,-not, of course, without undoubted evidence, that an equal amount, at least, was collected from other sources; and the Lords of the Treasury express their satisfaction in perceiving that there exists throughout Great Britain the utmost anxiety, that the funds provided by Parliament for the purposes of education should be made generally useful; and that private
charity and liberality, so far from being checked, have been greatly stimulated and encouraged by reason of the public 'assistance afforded on the principles laid down in their Minute ' of 30th August, 1833.' So far, indeed, did private contribution outstrip the liberality of Parliament, that, on the 7th March last, the aid applied for, on the condition prescribed, amounted to L.31,016; while the sum then remaining at the disposal of the Treasury was only L.11,719, 6s. To meet this commendable zeal on the part of private contributors, their Lordships concurred in recommending the additional grant of L.20,000 for the service of the ensuing year.
The experiment, therefore, of last session, has been eminently successful. It has already added ninety-eight new schoolhouses to the educational apparatus of the country, at the joint cost of L.48,000; and it holds out the prospect of one hundred and eighty-seven other schoolhouses being speedily built. It has conferred a greater boon still, by demonstrating how ready the public are to second any well-directed effort of the Government; and thus relieving the apprehension, entertained naturally enough, and in the very highest quarters, that the interference of Parliament in the matter of national education might paralyze individual exertion, and materially diminish the amount of voluntary contributions.
The select committee appointed early in June, is now sitting; and their choice of Lord John Russell to be their Chairman, is a security to the public, that, on the one hand, the enquiry will be gone into fully and fearlessly, and with large and liberal views; and, on the other, that no act of rash and premature legislation on a subject so momentous and so complicated, will be recommended to the adoption of Parliament in any Report of theirs.
But while so much is in progress in this almost unexplored path of public economy, and while appearances seem to indicate that Government is about to take up the whole subject of national education, it cannot be disguised that a vital question which had long been considered as set at rest, has been mooted again on very plausible grounds. The strongest doubts have been expressed by persons whose opinion is entitled to respect, whether the moral condition of the great body of our labouring and manufacturing population be not deteriorated, rather than improved, by any process of teaching or intellectual training that can be applied to it. We have now, it is argued, the experience of one entire generation as to the effects of diffusing a certain amount of instruction, unequally, it may be, but still pretty widely and generally, among the lower classes. And what has been the result? Why, that increase of crime has kept pace with
VOL. LIX. NO. CXX.
the increase of knowledge. From 1810 to 1833, the period certainly of greatest illumination, there has been a progressive advance in the returns of offences at the sessions and assizes, amounting, in the last six years, to an average of thirty-one per
Facts, therefore, it is argued, come now in support of theory; and the conclusion is irresistibly forced upon us, that education, while it sharpens the wits of the poor man, multiplies also his X wants, without materially improving his means of honestly satisfying them; and that, accordingly, intellectual dexterity, acting as pander to the cravings of new appetites, leads to the more frequent perpetration of crime;-not, perhaps, in the shape of brute violence and bloodshed-for crimes of that description, it is admitted, are diminished in number and atrocity-but in all that numerous class of offences, the commission of which pre-supposes ingenuity and accomplishments. And thus it is considered that a case is made out, of cause and effect.
If we could lend ourselves for a moment to the melancholy and almost impious thought, that the more knowledge the people acquire, the less virtue will be found among them, we should be at a loss where to seek for consolation in looking forward to the future destinies of our country, or, indeed, of the human race. The appetite for knowledge has been created; it is spreading with unexampled rapidity, and will not be satisfied without its appropriate food; nor can any exertion or combination of human power now keep the supply, in Great Britain at least, much below the level of the demand.
But in all this, thank Heaven, there is matter to rejoice in, not to deplore. No sane mind will be induced by appearances, however alarming, or by reasoning, be it ever so plausible, seriously to believe, that the moral and intellectual training of a whole population is in itself an evil—and an evil, of which the further progress ought to be resisted, and the steps already taken retraced, by every means in our power. Before arriving at a conclusion so monstrous, it would be proper to estimate much more accurately than has yet been done, whether the increase of crime be real or only apparent; how much of it, as it stands recorded in the Calendar, is owing to the increased population, which implies a larger absolute amount of crime, even where there may be no relative increase ;-how much may be traced to the improvement of the criminal police, which has facilitated the detection and apprehension of the delinquent, and added of course to the catalogue, but not to the real amount of offences committed; how much to the growing abuses, now happily about to be removed, of the Poor Law system, which have been busier from
year to year in degrading the moral character of the English people, and either indisposing them to the humanizing influence of education, or placing it out of their reach;-how much is due to the constantly increasing influx of Irish labourers, enlarging considerably the proportion of the uneducated population, and consequently the number of indictable offences; how much to that alteration of the law which awards pecuniary indemnities in certain cases to the prosecutor, and thus multiplies the inducements to prosecute;-how much to the state of our prisons, which too often converts them into schools of iniquity; and how much to the successive relaxations that have taken place in the rigour of our Penal Code, which both encourage prosecutions, and secure more numerous convictions. These, and other circumstances in the condition of the country, altogether independent of the diffusion of knowledge, may swell the annual aggregate amount of recorded crimes and prosecutions, while the actual number of offences may be stationary, or even, as we honestly believe to be the case in our own end of the island, while it is yearly diminishing.
But even if it were proved, that, after every deduction which could reasonably be claimed, there still remained a balance of crime, increasing from year to year, and corresponding so accurately to the increased facilities for acquiring knowledge, that we could not help regarding the one as the cause of the other, the legitimate inference from such a state of things would surely be,not that education is a curse to the people instead of a blessing, but that it has been hitherto, either conducted upon erroneous principles, or exposed to frequent abuse and failure from inadequate means or imperfect machinery and management.
We are not disposed to deny that both these causes, error in principle, and defect in execution, have operated to a certain extent, in disappointing the sanguine hopes of the friends of popular education. In all that has yet been done, both in school and out of it, with a view to enlighten and direct the minds of the people, we will not say that the preference has not been too decidedly in favour of cultivating the intellect, and storing the memory, rather than in favour of laying deep and broad the foundations of moral principle, of cherishing good dispositions and kind affections, and of forming virtuous habits. We would apply this remark even to religious instruction, which may be, and very often has been, pushed too far with young minds. For, clear as our conviction is, that the moral training we speak of, can by no other means be so effectually accomplished, as by founding it on Christian truth, and giving it the support and sanction of Christian motives, we cannot but admit at the same time, that what is