Imatges de pÓgina

struction over and above practical exercise: the whole three appliances are requisite; the verbal explanation, the precept aloue, will do nothing; with example added it will do a little; but, by the three means, of precept, example, and exercise combined, the end is completely gained. Now there is no exception of any faculty by this law; kindness and compassion are enlarged only by a long course of actual practice of kindness and compassion; while justice is strengthened by the habit of fairness and candour, just as much as shoemaking is improved by shoemaking."

In addition to this it is observed, that the exercise of one faculty will only improve that faculty, and is not adapted to improve any other. This we are not disposed to admit; on the contrary, the exercise of one faculty has a tendency to improve others, as it is impossible to use a single faculty separately. It is, however, true in degree; and, that all the faculties should be exercised, therefore follows.

Education should be divided into physical, moral, and intellectual, we have already said; on these three divisions the following remarks are offered, and they are of the utmost importance to the mother and the teacher.

P. 130.-" By physical education is meant the improvement of the bodily powers and functions. There is much useful instruction in medical writers on this subject; but from this very circumstance, not only its theory, but its practical application, is too much held to be a medical, more than a popular object, and therefore is apt to be lust sight of altogether. This is a great error, the physician may be required to direct the cure of actual disease; but, the condition of preserving health and preventing disease are in our own hands, and depend upon our knowledge of them; this is not the place to impart that knowledge, but only to urge the necessity of its being imparted, and of the teacher of youth being able to impart it, so that the pupil should not only acquire the habit of a judicious attention to health, in the different and very simple requisites of air, temperature, clothing, diet, sleep, cleanliness-all as concerning himself; but should be able to apply his knowledge to the treatment of the infant, of which he may afterward become the parent. This last office concerns particularly the other sex: the physical education of the infant necessarily begins at birth, and the mother and all employed about it, should not only be disabused of all gossip absurdities, such as swathing, rocking, and the like; but should know, and apply as a matter of easy practice certain rules as to temperature and clothing, avoiding cold and too much beat, attention to the skin, and ablution from tepid water gradually to cooler, but never cold till a more advanced period ;-food, from the mother's milk, to other aliments; air, light, sleep, exercise, with avoidance of all positions and premature movements hurtful to the limbs, the spine, and the joints;-dentition, &c.

"This care will occupy two years; when the child, quite able to walk alone, will commence a course of exercise, in which he will have more to do himself than is done for him. His habits ought still to be well watched, and judiciously directed in all the matters of air, exercise, food, sleep, cleanliness, clothing, temperature, &c.; and the advantages of attention to these so strongly and practically impressed upon himself, as to become a permanent habit for life-a maniere d'etre, the contrary of which would be an annoyance and prevention. Temperance and moderation in all excitements should be inculcated and practised; sedentary employment should be relieved by regular daily exercise in the open air, and that so contrived by judicious gymnastics, as to exercise and strengthen all the muscles. As will afterwards be stated, health may be benefited by the useful exercise of judicious manual labour

in the open air. On the whole, physical education will depend on knowledge of physiology, of the parts of the body and their functions, which, as will appear in the sequel, should form a part of education.

"MORAL EDUCATION embraces both the animal and moral impulses; it regulates, as has already been shown, the former, and strengthens the latter. Whenever gluttony, indelicacy, violence, cruelty, greediness, cowardice, pride, insolence, vanity, or any mode of selfishness, shew themselves in the individual under training, one and all must be repressed with the most watchful solicitude and skilful treatment. Repression may at first fail to be accomplished, unless by severity; but the instructor sufficiently enlightened in the faculties will, the first practicable moment, drop the coercive system and awaken and appeal powerfully to the higher faculties of conscience and benevolence, and to the powers of reflection. This done with kindness-in other words a marked manifestation of benevolence itself, will operate with a power the extent of which in education is yet to a very limited extent estimated. In the very exercise of the superior faculties, the inferior are indirectly acquiring a habit of restraint and regulation; for it is morally impossible to cultivate the superior faculties without a simultaneous though indirect regulation of the


"INTELLECTUAL EDUCATION imparts knowledge and improves reflective power, by exercising the proper faculties upon their proper objects. Moral training, strictly distinguished, is a course of exercise in moral feeling and moral acting; yet from the nature of the faculties, moral and intellectual exercise must proceed together: the highest aim and end of intellectual improvement being moral elevation, which is the greatest happiness in this life, and an important preparation for the future. Yet nature and necessity point to an earlier appliance of direct moral than direct intellectual training; because there is but one time for moral training, and that is infancy. I hope to make this manifest."

Mr. Simpson recommends, as might be supposed, the natural evidences, i. e. natural theology, on the principle, that every soul ought to know the obvious works of God, and the modes of his manifestation as a preparation for religious instruction: we hold, rather, that they ought to proceed together. The phenomena of nature, taught in this spirit, become full of religion;-taught without it, it would lead, we fear, to scepticism at least. The mind cannot fix, and will not repose, on these evidences alone; to teach them so would be to separate indeed that which is already joined together by the golden links of divine love.

Political information is endeavoured to be added. This is, indeed, an important feature in education, and as novel as it is important. If this can be done so as to give no bias to party opinions, well! but we should deem it to be impossible. As to "social rights" being taught, that would involve every variety of opinion: the social duties might be better communicated; but these require much caution and circumspection, or the demagogue will be produced. Of political economy, so called, it is well its first principles should be understood; but let its application be in household economy-the economy of management in common life.

The grand obstacle to the adoption of education on these principles, appear to be the want of books and teachers; of the first we have absolutely none of sufficient pith and cheapness, to bring into the work; with regard to the latter, the obstacle is indeed great. The masters of


our National and British Schools, particularly the latter, are paid less than even the common mechanic; consequently that body of men is composed of those who are either unfit for other occupations, or of those who fly to it in necessity, to keep them from starving. Their qualifications, as may be expected, are of the most humble kind; of knowledge, such as ought to be communicated, they know scarcely any thing; and they are held in the utmost disrepute by the patrons of their schools and by the parents of the children. Their extreme poverty and destitution bring them down to the common level of low life, and independence of character is scarcely known among them: they live in the perpetual fear of losing their income, slender as it is, and being utterly destitute. With minds so affected, and with circumstances so straightened, can we wonder that instruction, in too many cases, falls powerless from their hands; and that the schools they mismanage become only known for the rudeness, impudence, and general ignorance of the scholars. A teacher qualified to conduct a seminary such as Mr. Simpson would have for the education of the people, must be a man of mind;" he must not only possess knowledge, but must be able to communicate it. Such a man would be entitled to a high social place, and would be worth, and must have, an income sufficient to keep him respectable. It will be otherwise vain for National Schools to train young men and teach them the requisite knowledge for their profession; for so soon as they become well-informed and really good teachers, that is, capable of teaching the higher elements of knowledge, they will open private academies on their own account, unless a full and fair remuneration be afforded them for their labour.


We are sorry our space will not allow us to enter into a further analysis of Mr. Simpson's work; it is replete with much sound information, scattered indeed over a wide space, but which has a direct tendency to make the true principles and practice of education understood. We have objected where we felt it our duty to object, and our objections refer to a point, on which it is at all times difficult, but yet no less indispensable, to offer an opinion. Such a system as is here recommended, divested of some of its details, and modified to suit particular notions on unimportant matters, would be a vast improvement upon our national establishments for education; but, public opinion must be turned to it, and from the general feeling on the subject now abroad, we are led to hope, that at no distant period the principles here brought forward will form a very important part in the work of public instruction.

Practical Results of the Workhouse System, as adopted at the Parish of Great Missenden, Bucks, during the year 1833-4; with Remarks on the principal Details of the System, and the Benefits arising to the Poor from the Limitation of Charitable Efforts to the Encouragement of Industrious and Provident Habits. By the Rev. D. Capper, A. M. Curate of Great Missenden, Bucks.--pp. 79.

THE rich and poor are united together by reciprocal ties of obligationwhat affects the one will more or less also affect the other: as the prosVOL. I.-Jan. 1835.


perity of the higher classes gives labour and remuneration to the lower, so do the improvidence, vices, and demoralization of the poor trench on the pockets of the rich; nay, it has a greater effect upon them than even upon the poor themselves, who are too ignorant to perceive the dreadful consequence of their own destitution. For the permanent security, therefore, of their own enjoyment, it becomes the duty of the rich to interest themselves in the concerns of the humbler classes; and it will not only be necessary to endeavour to find a remedy for the social destitution that exists in those classes by the formation of better habits by education; but also by meeting the positive evils now felt, by remedies applicable and available at the present time-the question being not only as to its origin, but as to the best modes of dealing with it.

Unfortunately, however, those best disposed to take up the poor man's cause, are rarely endowed with the qualities of mind capable of analyzing his character;-they are too frequently led astray by tales of destitution, and by the very act of relieving the apparently, and perhaps the really necessitous at the time, confer a positive evil on the individual as also upon society at large.

It generally happens in most parishes, that there exists a class of persons who feel it their duty to relieve human misery wherever they find it. Impelled by a high sense of Christian obligation, and a feeling of divine compassion for the sufferings of their fellow-creatures, they are found sedulously employed in visiting the abodes of misery, and offering both spiritual and pecuniary relief to those whom they think the most needy. In many cases they are led to deplore, from the accounts they receive, the want of feeling in parish authorities; and after those authorities have been at the trouble of ascertaining the real state, character, and wants of a family, they are found stepping in from time to time with such inconsiderate relief as totally to undo all that had before been accomplished, in the way of teaching the poor man not to depend upon others but upon himself.

Now we hold it as essential, that in all cases, it should be considered as a duty in the wealthier classes to go hand in hand with the parish authorities. It is true that too generally those composing the vestry of a parish, are of a class with which it is offensive to come in contact; and that the interminable squabbles, petty feuds, and coarse behaviour, witnessed in parochial meetings, are such as to disgust the man of education and refinement. But if it were as much the practice of the welleducated and the rich to attend these meetings as it is their practice to keep away from them, we should soon observe a vast difference in the conduct of the meetings themselves and a highly-important alteration in the objects it is theirs to investigate.

It is only by the exertions of the affluent operating through the instrumentality of the poor laws, that any great change in the present condition of the labouring classes can be effected. The poor laws themselves are now much better calculated than they formerly were to produce this change. But like all other laws, if they are not faithfully and duly administered by the concurrent operation of all parties concerned, and if the action of private individuals are in an opposite direction to their letter and spirit, the result must be, as it hitherto has

been-degradation and pauperism on one side, and alarm and apprehension on the other. The poor laws are not only for the relief of the destitute, but ought to be considered as the humane and Christian portion of the effective police of a country. If this definition was constantly borne in mind, the results of their administration would be very different. Those who are on the verge of starvation must either beg, steal, or be relieved. If the first be tolerated the second goes hand in hand with it; and if we are not considerate in an extreme degree in the application of the latter, we are producing a state of things almost as bad as if there were no poor laws at all. The poor, themselves, will ever remain stationary in their degradation, unless acted upon by the classes immediately above them; and these classes have yet to be taught that their own security and enjoyments are endangered by the misery and predial agitation by which they are surrounded.

It becomes then the first business of every one who has any property, to make himself master of the knowledge which will enable him to preserve that property in a state of security. In making this attempt, he will soon become convinced that it is only by the utmost prudence, the nicest management, and the most unflinching firmness that that can be done ;—and he must labour to teach by his demeanour and general conduct that the laws of the country must not be violated with impunity, that all kinds of distress, arising from want of prudence must be left to their natural punishment, and that no bounty will ever be granted upon imprudence, much less on clamour, violence, and impudence. At the same time this course is to be tempered with tenderness, benevolent feeling, kindness, and assistance to all, who, by the affliction of Providence, unavoidable misfortune, and old age, are rendered destitute.

In this spirit, the workhouse system at Great Missenden has been carried on with all the advantages which might naturally have been supposed; and through the exertions of one whose office has doubtless led him to feel it as one of his high duties towards God and man. The pastoral character is in perfect keeping with an exertion of the kind; he is indeed the shepherd of his flock, who not only endeavours to lead his sheep beside the rivers and waters of spiritual peace, but who extends his crook towards the heedless and unwary, and guides them to sure and certain pasturage.

The principles carried on at Missenden seem to be reducible to a few obvious rules: first, that no case of distress shall be eligible to relief, unless it be casual, unavoidable, and such as ordinary prudence could not foresee and avert; secondly, that able-bodied labourers shall not be eligible to relief merely because they cannot obtain employment; thirdly, that neither a wife nor child per se shall constitute a claim to parish allowance; fourthly, that in bastardy cases, whenever the mother shall apply for relief for her child, the law shall be strictly enforced. That no allowance be made in aid of wages, rate, or rent; that no permanent pensions be granted; that no relief be given to women lying in with the first or second child; that no money be given towards the expenses of funerals; that parish loans be granted; and that all

« AnteriorContinua »