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ral. It was forced on them originally, and, when it was given to them, it was properly bestowed. But they have continued to hold the appointment and the profit; and really we cannot blame them, for no man willingly surrenders power, wealth, and influence. It is another question, whether we are to suffer them to retain their place for ever. If we do, the blame will be with us. Circumstances have changed, somewhat wonderfully, since that day; and if the objects of education ought to be changed with the mode, so it is fully time to change those by whom it is conducted. We ought to change them, at least unless they can prove that they are as fit for the office now as they were in days of yore; we ought to change them, unless we are determined to go on for ever in scanning and parsing; or till, at least, they prove that they can do somewhat more than parse and scan.
It is true that there are interlopers, and that they are increasing every day. It is fortunate that it is so; or we might now be a nation of monks and commentators, in place of what we are. Yet such is the force of usage, such the blindness of habit and acquiescence, that no sooner is a school, a foundation, or a college, talked of, than there rises to the eye, a dean, an archdeacon, a rector, or a curate. If there be a prince or a princess to be taught the art of governing, or of being quietly governed, we seek for a bishop as the preceptor, and a very, or less very, reverend, for the sub-preceptor. They may possibly execute their respective offices well; but it is not an inevitable consequence for every, or any, bishop of the twenty-four, to have studied the art of educating princes, or the knowledge in which princes ought to be educated. The choice, too, it is barely possible, may light on an elegant person, or a friend of royalty, or on him behind whom are arranged a long line of ancestry, or of Cornish boroughs. Thus may all the choice light, provided it be an office worth taking.
The wants of society now demand a civil education, not a monastic and a scholastic one; and unless we exert ourselves to change the system, it will be long yet before we shall rescue ourselves from the trammels and pedantry of centuries, it will be long before we shall acquire in youth what we are to want in age. And be the clergy what it may (and we are willing to grant much), we shall not be rescued from Greek and Latin, till we are rescued from the domination of the clergy in education. Men teach what they know: we cannot blame them; and how, indeed, should they teach any thing else? The system and the directors of it are inseparably entwined; the system must teach two dead languages, and nothing else, because its conductors can teach those languages, and can teach nothing else. But the elergy is, perhaps, prepared to prove that it is competo teach politics, and law, and economy, and sciences, and arts, t society wants and is about to demand. An ill-natured ays that it has not yet, at least, produced the proofs. That as examined its printed works, for there the test lies, and finds no proof. It would be extraordinary if it should; for the education of the clergy is not a secret. If the clergy does really understand Greek and Latin better than the lay order of society, let it teach Greek and Latin, when and where Greek and Latin are shown to be the proper objects of education. We are content that it should teach theology, because this is its trade, which it ought at least to understand. The question of religious instruction is somewhat intricate, as matters now exist in our country, and therefore we pass it by for the present. If there is any thing else which the clergy can teach better than the other parts of society, we have not the least objection to accept of them as teachers, for we bear them no ill-will.
But if there be any thing of which they are not the best teachers, if there be any knowledge which is better known by others than by them, we desire but the same right of choosing our preceptors among such persons. He who knows best, will, other circumstances being the same, form the best teacher, as experience shows every day, as common sense would have taught us without it. We choose our professors of medicine from physicians, and place our sons intended for law under special-pleaders; just as we bind an embryo Stultz apprentice to some hero of the needle. But we choose a clergyman to give our sons education, that abstract and unintelligible thing called education; and, knowing nothing, nothing, therefore, can he, or does he, teach. If we had sense enough to select as the tutor of our child, a lawyer, he might learn law; if a merchant, accounts; in any case he would be worth something to society; he would be so though his tutor were a carpenter. Now, he is taught Greek and Latin; and learns horseracing
Oxford and Cambridge are conducted by the clergy, because they are monastic establishments. Westminster and Eton, for reasons equally valid. By their fruits we have long known them. But we should be pleased to have it demonstrated, why the private tutorage of every boy who can afford a private tutor, should be consigned to a clergyman; why every clergyman who has nothing, or not enough, to do, who chances to have friends, and who has less money than he wants, should also maintain his little Westminster and little Eton, in some “genteel neighbourhood," where pupils are to be occupied, at three, or five hundred pounds a-year, in making themes and measuring prosody. We know these also by their fruits. We expect to reap, and forget that we ought to sow; we never ask ourselves, what are to be the future pursuits and duties of our son, but we have given him an “expensive education," and discharged our consciences. Expensive, indeed, it shall prove, in the future as in the past.
This, too, is one of the evil results of the system, and it is a part of the monopoly. We have already used the term monopoly, and we shall use it again: but we use it without any feelings of acrimony. The present clergy of England did not create it; they found it established to their hands, and if they are content, or desirous, to keep and perpetuate it, we think them fully justified. The very basis of social prosperity is, that every man should pursue his own interests; and therefore, we, pursuing ours, shall do what in us lies to break up this monopoly. We do not expect that any efforts of the present generation will succeed in this, or will reduce our public institutions to a form of proceeding suited to the present state of society; but it is something if we can lop off all those roots and branches which have shot out, like excreseences, from the main trunk; if we can persuade our generation that there is something for youth to learn, and that there are per sons who can teach it; if we can open their eyes to the just value of prosody, and clergymen, and clerical schools, and clerical tutors. Whatever is cut off from Westminster and its spawn, whatever interlopers we can introduce, thus much is clear gain. A day will come when the people will be educated, in spite of Westminster and Oxford; and it is by heresy and rebellion that we shall at last shame and reform, if we do not succeed in abolishing, the monopoly. While it remains, we shall never learn but what our fathers have learned; for the Greek, the system, the church, the monopoly, are but one.
Granting that Greek and Latin did really produce a literary education, and that a literary education was the best of educations, by what right do the clergy assume the exclusive power of forming a pupil in literature? This ought to be the work of literary men by profession. Because clergymen possess more idle time than most other classes, that is not a reason for selecting them; since leisure is not capacity. It may be very convenient for them to be enabled to add somewhat to a scanty income, which, whenever it occurs, we deeply regret, and would most gladly see improved; but the generation demands our regard, still more imperiously, and we would infinitely prefer seeing the English clergy farming lands like the Scotch, than starving, or condemned, for a paltry gain, to assume the instruction of our youth. If it is to be their
property, let them at least acquire the means of executing these duties, and we shall object no longer. They belong to a stage of society fit to be trusted with this office, and their profession is one which ought to render them conscientious performers of perhaps the most important social duty which man has to perform: but their own education must first be changed ; a change which will not occur till the total system is abolished, or essentially repaired. It is for their own interests that it should be so, if they could but see it. Let them learn to educate, and education will scarcely be taken out of their hands; if they persist in opposing the common sense of the world, the world will shortly leave them to educate each other; as it is fast doing.
We are not now professing to examine into the details of our hools and colleges, because a few words would not answer our irpose; and it really is painful to us to say any thing whieh may
seem to reflect on the bona fides of those by whom our classical education is conducted: but we must say (and let the blame fall on the founders of Oxford and Westminster, not on their present respectable members) that the system is contrived to support the monopoly, as the monopoly in turn defends the system. It is a profitable trade.
We are not here going to praise the Greeks and Romans, as some of our predecessors have done, at our own expense; for it is most certain that education was there, also, a valuable trade; and that the orators and philosophers were not one jot less ingenious in protracting it and rendering it a mystery. We do not feel any indignation that those possessed of the monopoly should desire to preserve it; for this is wisdom, the worldly wisdom of the dexterous steward. We cannot fairly, perhaps, be angry with the monopolists for not teaching something else than Greek or Latin; because it is not in their power to teach any thing better. have a right to be angry that the system does not teach what it professes; and we have a very just plea for indignation, when, instead of showing any anxiety to shorten the period of education, to do the work which it has undertaken, in the shortest possible time, its methods and its details are so contrived as to render the acquisition of the learning which it professes, as tedious as possible; that so the greater profits should accrue. That, at least, those profits do so accrue, is evident.
Every one knows how he learns English; and every knows by what means, when left to his own guidance in after-life, he acquires Italian or French. Thus, also, he who never heard of Latin and Greek till he was twenty or thirty, would master Greek and Latin. But he would not attempt it by means of nonsense-verses; and if he knows what he intends, he will scarcely attempt it by learning to repeat “Propria quæ maribus.” In England, every thing is a trade, and every effort, every pursuit, is concentered in the art of making money, as money, for itself; since the sole desirable good on earth, on British earth, is wealth. The spirit of commerce pervades every thing, and it is the spirit which pervades and animates our system of school education. It is not considered how the pupil is to be best and most rapidly brought forward, how most effectually taught what he is to learn; but by what means the greatest sum of money can be obtained from his parents. Never, thought Locke long ago, and would have said if he had dared, was a better engine contrived for this end, than syntax; never, have said others, was there a more fortunate discovery for this purpose than nonsense-verses, themes, exercises, classes, every thing.
Never was a system better contrived not to teach a language. If Justus Lipsius composed a work in Latin at four years of age, it was not by means of prosody and parsing. The giants of that age were nursed on Latin and fed on Latin; on the language, not on its rules: on Latin authors and Latin matter, not on particles
education means. It is that which we have been attempting to tell him. He follows the road which his treacherous State has made and paved, and is satisfied. He is satisfied, because he has done what others do; because whatever is sanctioned by usage and the state, must be right. The personal sacrifice is not a trifle; to many, it is the difference between ease and poverty, or between wealth and difficulties. A whole family is rendered unhappy, its estates, perhaps, irrecoverably injured, and finally demolished, that one or more of its members may receive “a good education;" because a good education is better than wealth.
We do not dispute it. But we deny that the Latin and Greek, the ignorance confirmed, the habits of idleness and vice acquired, at school and college, are a better patrimony than the one or two or three thousand pounds, which the youth, equally ignorant and probably less injured, might have in his possession, to work his way with through the world, had it not been idly expended. The parent has sold his patrimony for that which is not bread, and the child must now labour, as best he can, in struggling through the desert before him.
SELECTED FOR THE MUSEUM.
SOUTHEY'S TALE OF PARAGUAY. We fear that Mr. Southey has greatly over-rated the merits of this poem, and that it is unworthy of his high genius and reputation. He takes his motto from Wordsworth
“Go forth, my little book,
Go forth, and please the gentle and the good.” Now, perhaps, Mr. Southey will not acknowledge those readers to be among the gentle and the good,” who are not pleased with his little book. For our own parts we have been pleased-considerably pleased with it—but our admiration of Mr. Southey's powers cannot blind us to that which the whole world, himself excepted, will pronounce to be a somewhat melancholy truth-namely, that the «i Tale of Paraguay” is, with many paltry, and a few fine passages, an exceedingly poor poem, feeble alike in design and execution.
If the opinion which we have unwillingly expressed of this poem be erroneous, we have furnished the public with ample means of convicting us of critical incapacity. Undoubtedly there is a good deal in it to please-even to delight" the gentle and the good.” But it is a faint, feeble, and heavy composition; and the “gentle and the good” will act prudently in perusing it before night-fall; for if read late in the evening, it will be apt to set the “gentle and the good” to sleep without a night-cap. Why will not our poets give us something very good?
-Mr. Bowles, we think, could have written a better Tale of Paraguay than Mr. Southey.