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hedgehogs for clothes brushes, and prepare them for it by starving them to death: our method of sweeping chimneys is not more ingenious, and little less inhuman. The practice, however, is not, as has been asserted, peculiar to England, nor is it of so modern an origin as has been supposed. The first chimney-sweepers in Germany came from Savoy,Piedmont, and the neighbouring territories, the only countries where chimney-sweeping for a long time was followed as a trade ; and from hence Beckmann conjectures that chimneys were invented in Italy. M. Jaubert had drawn the less reasonable inference that the Savoyards had learnt the art of climbing from the marmots, as if the art of climbing were not learnt by boys wherever there are trees or crags to climb. The greater part of the chimney-sweepers in Paris, according to Beckmann, are still Savoyards. The earliest mention that we have found of this trade in England, is in Beaumont and Fletcher; and the broken English which they have put into the mouth of Monsieur Black, as they call him, indicates rather a *Savoyard than a Frenchman, but proves that the trade was imported into this country, and originally exercised by foreigners. If, however, we have not the sin of having invented it, it may be feared that we have carried it to a more brutal extent than any other nation ;-for, half a century ago, girlsf were employed in this disgusting and cruel occupation. This certainly would not be tolerated now by popular feeling; nor ought the trade itself to be tolerated longer. Children cannot be compelled to learn it, frightful and perilous as it is, without cruelty : it induces a peculiar and fatal disorder, so common, as to be called the chimney-sweeper's disease; and the boys, who escape the disease, and are neither killed by filth nor hard usage, outgrow the employment, when they shoot into manhood, and find themselves adrift upon the world, without any means of getting a livelihood; for, notwithstanding the consumption of life, the trade does not afford a maintenance for one in seven
of those who are apprenticed to it. The consequence,' says Sir Thomas Bernard, is, that the greater part of these boys are driven to a profligate and vicious course of life by the want of education and protection : that of about two hundred master chimney-sweepers in London, there are not above twenty who can make a decent livelihood by it; and that in most instances the master is only a lodger, having one room for himself, his wife and children, and another (generally a cellar without a fire-place (for his soot and his apprentices, without any
* Ma litla, litla frera, and e, chante frare chante.--Monsieur è have dis for votra barba, ple ta vou Monsieur. Broken French was never written thus.
+ Fawkes has an epithalamium upon the marriage of a cobbler and a female chimney-sweeper.
means of providing for their comfort, health, or cleanliness, and without any other bed for them than the soot-bags which they have been using in the course of their day's work. A recent case of atrocious barbarity, in which a child was killed in such a manner that the law could not pronounce it murder, though the act was committed, and the guilt in its worst degree incurred, has called the public attention strongly to this subject. It is some years since the Adelphi Society granted a premium for the invention of a machine, which supersedes the necessity of employing human creatures in this shocking manner. An act of parliament should be passed to abolish the present trade, and public benevolence would, beyond all doubt, find suitable provision for the little slaves who would thus be emancipated.
A man of wit, seeing the chimney-sweepers in their May-day trappings, observed that he had often heard of the majesty of the people, and these were doubtless some of the young princes. But with what feelings will a good man contemplate these wretched beings in their every-day state, when he thinks of the majesty of human nature, the capacities with which it is endowed, and the immortality for which it is created? When he reflects upon the condition of these 'most forlorn and pitiable of his species, and upon the far greater numbers who are working at unwholesome occupations in hot and offensive rooms, debarred the natural en. joyments which childhood instinctively requires, deprived even of fresh air, destitute of all moral, intellectual, and religious education, and habituated from their earliest years to whatever can corrupt the imagination and defile the heart-with what feelings will a Christian call to mind the words of his Lord and Redeemer
Suffer little children to come unto me, and forbid them not; for of such is the kingdom of heaven! It is not in respect to his Creator alone that man is as clay in the potter's hands : human institutions make the difference between the Englishman and the savage; and in the same country between the happiest members of an enlightened age, and the veriest wretch in St. Giles's, whose life displays at once the extremes of degradation and of misery. Ambition has received so memorable a lesson in these late years, that it will probably be long before another war be undertaken in Europe for the mere purposes of conquest. Let us hope that the time is not far distant, when the first object of every Christian government will be to better the condition of the people, and remove as many as possible of the factitious evils which flesh is heir to. The first great and indispensable measure is to provide for the instruction of the people, by training up the children in the way they should go.
About five years have elapsed since some remarks were submitted to the public, in this journal, upon the Origin,* Nature, and Object of the New System of Education. At that time an attempt had been made, with matchless effrontery, to give the merit of the discovery to an impudent pretender, and to vilify the real author, as one who recommended that the poor should be kept in ignorance. We exposed these calumnies, and proved by official documents, the authenticity of which could not be called in question, that the system originated at Madras, where the principle of selftuition, having been accidentally resorted to in practice, was first perceived as a principle, and as such applied, and carried into full effect. Since the publication of our essay, time, by whom all controversies are finally decided, has gope far towards deciding this.-Joseph Lancaster has disappeared from the Lancasterian schools which his partisans founded ; "and as they begin to be ashamed of the name, as well as of the man, the name is disappearing also. Meantime the Madras system has been exhibited under the auspices of the National Society; and all who have visited the Central School are witnesses that the process of education is carried on to the greatest possible advantage of the pupils, and with the greatest possible ease, expedition, and economy. When the last Annual Re. port of the Society was published, there were about 700 schools conducted under their auspices, and the number of children comprised in these schools exceeded 100,000. Promising, however, as this is, and great as is the good which has been effected, it is little in comparison with what might be done. It rests upon no stable foundation. The more zealous and munificent benefactors may leave none to supply their loss, when they drop off in the course of nature, and it must not be expected that individual liberality will always keep pace with the demands which are made upon it. But a business of such momentous interest should not depend upon casual means alone ; nor ought government to rely upon private benevolence for the performance of one of the most imperative and important of all public duties.
The wicked opinion, that it is good policy for a government to keep the people in ignorance, has been exposed by Sir William Davenant, in arguments which the circumstances of his own age suggested; and which are but too applicable at present :- A maxim,' he says, ' sounding like the little subtlety of one that is a statesman only by birth or beard, and merits not his place by much thinking. For ignorance is rude, censorious, jealous, obstinate, and proud; these being exactly the ingredients of which disobe
Vol. VI. No. XI. Afterwards enlarged and published separately under this title.
VOL. XV. NO. XXIX.
dience is made : and obedience proceeds from ample consideration, of which knowledge consists; and knowledge will soon put into one scale the weight of oppression, and in the other the heavy burden which disobedience lays on us in the effects of civil war; and then even tyranny will seem much lighter, when the hand of supreme power binds up our load, and lays it artfully on us, than disobedience, (the parent of confusion,) when we all load one another, in which every one increases his fellow's burden to lessen his own. Such was the judgment of a wise man in evil times, when the unhappy temper of the age seemed to admit no medium between absolute power and anarchy: it was his opinion, that the wisest policy, even for a despotic government, was to instruct the people ; -how much more, then, must it be the interest of a government wisely constructed, justly administered, and perfectly free, like ours, especially when its internal enemies are continually labouring to bring it into disrepute by imposing the shallowest sophistry, the grossest misrepresentations, and the most impudent falsehoods, upon the ignorance of the vulgar!
The recent parliamentary inquiry has shown that there are from 120 to 130,000 children in the metropolis without the means of education; between three and four thousand of whom are let out by their parents to beggars, or employed in pilfering,--and thus trained up for profligacy, the prison, and the gallows! A like proportion would be found in all large cities, and throughout the manufacturing districts a far greater. It is not necessary to dwell upon the impolicy and evil consequences of suffering so large a part of the community to grow up in ignorance, it is not necessary to point out the political danger and the moral guilt: these points will not now be disputed; all parties are agreed upon the duty and necessity of educating the people. The point which is disputed is, whether upon any great and general plan of national education, the children should or should not be instructed in the principles of the established church. But if governments are secure in proportion as the great body of the subjects are attached to the institutions of their country, it necessarily follows that national education ought to be conducted in conformity to these institutions. No proposition in geometry is more certain than this ; no inference is more inevitable. Upon this principle our public schools and colleges have all been founded institutions which are unrivalled in the rest of the world. The very sects in condescension to whom we are required to exclude the doctrines of the church from public education, would be the first to acknowledge the unreasonableness of the request, if they were not aware of its consequences, as tending to sap and subvert the establishment which they detest. Ask
the Quakers or the Romanists so to regulate their seminaries, and accommodate the mode of instruction, that the children of churchmen may not be excluded; and they will laugh you, and deservedly laugh you to scorn! The very Romanist would silence you by an appeal to the Bible-Train up a child in the way that he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.
The cost of national education is rendered so trifling, by Dr. Bell's intellectual steam-engine, that the expense would present no obstacle; but it is only by the legislature that this good can be rendered permanent, and extended to the whole nation. Fain would we see a system of parochial schools connected with the church establishment, and fencing it like a line of outworks, and the parish clerks raised into respectability by being made the parish schoolmasters, when a race of men had been fitted for the office. Among the queries which the excellent Bishop Berkley proposed to the consideration of the public, are the following: Whether it be not of great advantage to the church of Rome, that she hath clergy suited to all ranks of men, in gradual subordination from cardinals down to mendicants ? Whether her numerous poor clergy are not very useful in missions, and of much influence with the people? Whether, in defect of able missionaries, persons conversant in low life, and speaking the Irish tongue, (he is here referring particularly to Ireland,) if well instructed in the first principles of religion, and in the Popish controversy, though for the rest on a level with the parish clerks, or the schoolmasters of charity-schools, may not be fit to mix with and bring over our poor illiterate natives to the established church? And whether in these views, it may not be right to breed up some of the better sort of children in the charityschools, and qualify them for missionaries, catechists, and readers? Berkley published his Querist about eighty years ago; these hints which he then threw out for the benefit of Ireland, might have excited some useful reflections in England also; and if the heads of the English church at that time had been actuated by a spirit like that of this excellent prelate, the zeal of Wesley and Whitfield, 1 instead of being inflamed and exasperated by ill-judged and illegal resistance, might have been conciliated, regulated, and so wisely directed, that these extraordinary men might have been to the Establishment what Dominic and Loyola were to the Romish Church, instead of becoming the founders of a schism. No person can contemplate the organization and the rapid increase of the Methodists, without perceiving the imminent danger with which the national church is threatened: but a full sense of these dangers, and a full perception of the evils which they have done, and the heavier evil to be apprehended from their further success must not prevent us from acknowledging that they have done good also, and