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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
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 renders 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 same 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 exertions 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 reasoners 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 passions, 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 would not encourage disaffection, but the contrary. Seditious pamphlets would sometimes get among the poor, but they would meet 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 Scotch, and the people of London and Westminster, were not 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 fuch a welcome and important truth be at length diffufed by the diffufion of knowledge? What is the dreadful fecret the poor are to find out when they have learned to read and write? We have often feen guzzling, femi-in-briated coun ry gentlemen, nod and wink with a very pregnant wifdom, when the education of the poor was mentioned. We bear them no malice for their ftupid prejudices, but with, on the contrary, with the utmoft fincerity, that the accomplishments of reading, writing, and cyphering, were more generally diffufed among thefe gentlemen; and that they were taught, by enjoying thefe biefl ngs themselves, to appreciate them more justly for others.
There are now, perhaps, one million more of perfons who can read and write, than there were before the revolution. Has this increase of knowledge produced any increafe of difaffection? If ignorance is ufeful to a state, to what degree is it ufeful? 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, coft the county double the money in the fame time.
The investigation might be pushed on to a great length. Thefe 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 refcuing thousands of human beings from vice and mifery, of teaching the bieflings of rational religion, of improving the character, and increafing the happiness of the lower orders of mankind. And for thefe reafons, the caufe of education fhall never want our feeble aid, nor the friends of it our good word, from the poor Quaker whofe fyltem we have defcrib ed, to the King who has conducted himself towards this deferving man with fo much goodness and feeling; and for which thoutands of ragged children will pray for him and remember him, long after his Majefty is forgotten by every Lord of the Chamber, and by every Clerk of the Clofet.
Thus much for education itfelf. The manner of introducing it into, and encouraging it in a country, are totally feparate queftions. How far it may be expedient to provide nationally for the education of the poor, against the prejudices of the upper cl. ff ́s, and without any cordial with to that purpofe on the part of the poer themfelves, is doubtful,-if it be poflible. At all events, we muft exprefs our moft fincere regret, that the lite plan was ever connected with fo many doubtful, and fo many complicated meafures; and that its worthy auther appeared to be fo modernly infornted
formed on the general fubject of the poor, and fo little aware of the powerful prejudices which exift againft their inftruction; for ignorant we must conceive him to have been upon this point, if he fuppofed it poffible to force down fo extenfive a plan of education over the whole community.
In the year 1797, Dr Bell, a clergyman of the Church of Eng land, 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 intention 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 observing, 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 that originality which has brought him into notice. The sanction 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 Phyfiology. Tranflated from the German of D. C. Willdenow, Professor of Botany and Natural Hiftory at Berlin. pp. 508. 8vo. W. Blackwood, Edinburgh; and T. Cadell and W. Davies, London, 1805.
WR E have nor hitherto had any introductory botanical treatise which comprehends all the branches of botanical knowledge. Lee's Introduction to Botany, which has been longeft in use in this country, contains merely an explanation of the fyftem of Linnæus, and of the terms employed by him. Berkenhout's Botanical Lexicon, is nothing more than an explanation of the Linnæan terms, arranged in alphabetical order. But the author before us, befides explaining the Linnæan method, and the terms ufed by its followers, likewife gives a very full account of the different natural and artificial systems that have been propofed by different botanifts previous and fubfequent to that of the Knight of the Polar Star; together with vegetable phyfiology, explained according to principles eftablifhed on the lateft difcoveries in chemistry; the diseases of plants, and the history of botany. In short, his work, which we understand has fuperfeded all other elementary treatifes on the Continent, contains almoft every thing connected with botany.
His introduction contains fome remarks on the ftudy of botany, together with good and ample directions for forming a Hortus Siccus. In his Terminology, he gives a very full enumeration of the various terms ufed 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 ftem, 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 fame term under different heads, but likewife to repeat their definitions. Thus we find Multifidum filamentum, when it is divided into many