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jury.” Now this inducement must have been either a public or a privalo advantage. The former it could not have been. There is no imaginable reason, if the professorial system were found absolutely or comparatively useless, why its abolition or degradation should not have been openly moved in convocation; and why, if the tutorial system were calculated to accomplish all the ends of academical instruction, it should either at first have crept to its ascendency through perjury and treason, or, after approving its sufficiency, have still only enjoyed its monopoly by precarious toleration, and never demanded its ratification on the ground of public utility. If the new system were superior to the old, why hesitate to proclaim that the academical instruments were changed? If Oxford were now singular in perfection, why delusively pretend that her methods were still those of universilies in general ? It was only necessary that the heads either brought themselves, allowed to be brought by others, a measure into Convocation to repeal the obsolete and rude, and to legitimate the actual and improved.
But as the heads never consented that this anomalous state of gratuilous perjury and idle imposition should cease, we are driven to the other alternative of supposing, that in the transition from the statutory to the illegal, the change was originally determined, and subsequently maintained, not because the surreptilious system was conducive to the public ends of the University, but because it was expedient for the interest of those private corporations by whom this venerable establishment has been so long administered. The collegial bodies and their heads were not ignorant of its imperfections, and too prudent lo hazard their discussion. They were not to be informed that their policy was to enjoy what they had obtained in thankfulness and silence; not to risk the loss of the possession by an allempl to found it upon right. They could not but be conscious, that should they even succeed in obtaining—what was hardly to be expected—a ralisicalion of their usurpations from an academical legislature, educated under their auspices, and strongly biassed by their influence, they need never expect that the state would tolerate that those exclusive privileges conceded to her graduales, when Oxford was a university in which all the faculties were fully and competently taught, should be continued to her graduates, when Oxford no longer allorded the public instruction necessary for a degree in any faculty at all. The very agitation of the subject would have been the signal for a Visitation.
The strictures which a conviction of their truth, and our interest in the honour and utility of this venerable school, have constrained us to make on the conduct of the Hebdomadal Meeting, we mainly apply to the heads of houses of a former generation, and even to them solely in their corporale capacity. Of the late and present members of this body, we are happy to acknowledge, that, during the last twenty-five years, so greal an improvement has been effected through their influence, that in some essential points Oxford may, not unworthily, be proposed as a paltern lo most other universities. But this improvement, though important, is partial, and can only receive its adequate development by a return to the statutory combination of the professorial and tutorial systems. That this combination is implied in the constitution of a perfect university is even acknowledged by the most intelligent individuals of the collegial interest-by the ablest champions of the tutorial discipline : such an opinion cannot, however, be expected to induce a majority of the collegial bodies voluntarily lo surrender the monopoly they have so long enjoyed, and to descend to a subordinate situation, after having occupied a principal. All experience proves, that universities, like other corporations, can only be reformed from without. “Voilà,” says Crevier, speaking of the last attempt at a reform of the University of Paris by itself-“ voilà à quoi aboutirent tant de projets, tant de délibérations : et cette nouvelle tentative, aussi infructueuse que les précédentes, rend de plus en plus visible la maxime claire en soi, que les compagnies ne se réforment point elles-mêmes, et qu'une entreprise de réforme on n'intervient point une autorité supérieure , est une entreprise manquéc." A Committee of Visitation has lately terminaled its labours on the Scottish Universities : we should anticipate a more important result from a similar, and'. far more necessary, inquiry into the corruptions of those of England.
EFFORTS OF THE IRISII CIIURCH FOR EDUCATION.
Plan for the Education of the Irish Poor.*
From the very beginning of our labours up to the present hour, ihere are two subjects of domestic interest to which we have never ceased to direct the allention of our readers—the question of general Education, and the State of our Fellow-countrymen in Ireland. Conceiving it at this moment to be peculiarly necessary io consider these subjects as they bear upon cach other, we propose, in the present article, to take a view of the Education of the Irish poor.
From the recent parliamenlary debates, and the inquiries still pending, - from the extraordinary scenes which have been lately exhibited in Ireland, by the various reverend performers who have appeared on the polemical stage,-and, above all, from the misconceptions which these proceedings have produced in the sister kingdom, we consider that the time is now come when à dispassionate inquiry into the true stale of the question may both engage more notice, and produce more beneficial effects, than at any former period. If we can soften existing animosities, by explaining the real state of the argument, and if, by clearing away the rubbish with which the clumsy workmen on both sides have encumbered the ground, we can bring our readers to perceive the exact object of this ecclesiastical contention, we shall be satisfied that a great and decisive advantage has been attaived.
The ultimale consequences of the great changes which are now in progress throughout the world have been often made the subject of speculation; and many a quiet observer has lately been tempted to wish he could be permitted to anticipate what aspect society would exhibit some twenty-five or thirty years hence, from the combined operation of General EducationFree Trade --Rail-roads - Gas Lights-Steam-engines-Phrenologyand Joint-stock Companies. It is not quite so interesting, we admit, to look back ward : but it has the advantage of being a good deal casier, -and almost as instructive. At all events, our prospective visions will undoubtedly gain a great deal both in clearness and in extent, in proportion to the compass and
* Fourteenth Report of Commissioners of Education, &c. &c.—Vol. xliii. page 197, November, 1825.
exactness of our survey of what is past. With regard to Ireland, in particular, the retrospect is of peculiar importance; although, on the present occasion, we do not propose to carry it unreasonably far.
By the census of 1821, the population of Ireland appears to have exceeded 6,800,000; and under the double excitements of the Potato, and the Insurrection Act, it seems to have doubled in thirty-three years. Two hundred thousand young While-boys are thus added annually to society in Ireland. On these calculations, the population of 1825 cannot be less than seven millions and a half ! And of this number it may safely be assumed, that 750,000 are within the age of education.* Such, at least, is the proportion which the children receiving instruction in Scotland, Holland, and Switzerland are found to bear to the entire population. By the last Educalion Report of Ireland, 500,900 children are stated to be in a course of instruclion. There remains, therefore, upwards of 250,000 children wholly destitute of education. It must not, however, be imagined, that these 250,000 children are lest altogether to nature. If proper schools are not provided for them, that great national instructor-Captain Rock, is at hand! In his ecole polytechnique he receives these pupils; he forms them for the high duties to which they may be called; and where we find that 250,000 children are left without education, we cannot feel very greatly surprised that 26,170 persons are committed for trial in a single year.
It may, perhaps, be supposed that the 500,000 scholars are pursuing a course of instruction likely to contribute either to individual or national improvement. But this, unfortunately, is far from being the case. Though not inclined to think that any course of education can exist which is not preferable to total ignorance, we believe it to be unquestionably true, that the mere village or hedge-school of Ireland is too frequently of the very worst description; and that, as such, it reduces the benefit of education to its lowest term.
" It is a fact,” observes the author of an excellent Address to the Roman Catholic Clergy, “ that the Irish are taught to read and write wherever the parents can pay a teacher. But wben this reading is acquired, it contributes very little towards the advancement of knowledge, there being scarcely any useful books in the hands of the poor. The school-books have hitherto been very few, and ill adapted to their end. A catechism committed to memory in childhood, and but ill understood, and a small prayer-book, seldom read but at mass, form the library of the poor Ca. tholic, unless he pick up from hawkers soine wretched trash of ballads and romances, which corrupt instead of improving him. This, generally speaking, being the state of the peasants education, it is no wonder that the great body of the people, notwithstanding their knowing how to read, are still ignorant.” S
Mr. O'Driscoll's statement is equally strong. “ Every village has its school, and there are few parishes that have not two or more, either permanent or occasional. Reading, writing, and some knowledge of arithmetic are in this way acquired by those who are able to pay a very small stipend to the master. But this kind of education, whatever may be its effect occasionally on individuals, produces no general good result. The people are not improved; their babits and manners continue unaltered. The country schoa! master is independent of all system and control; he is himself one of the people, imbued with the same prejudices, influenced by the same feelings, and subject to the same habits."
As the actual condition of the existing schools in Ireland has been made the matter of angry controversy, we shall add the following statement, made by Lord Fingall, Dr. Troy, and four other Roman Catholic Prelates, to Mr. Grant. “A vast majority of the poor children of Ireland are Roman Catholics, one half of whom, at least, are unprovided with any kind of
First Report, 1825,
* Mr. Brougham's Speech, 1820.
useful instruction in their youth; and a great proportion of those who are sent to schools profit lilile thereby, owing to a want of a good system of education, convenient school-houses, and competent schoolmasters.” Wo have thus established, on the best authority, two propositions; that, at the least, one third of the children requiring instruction in Ireland are wholly uneducated; and that the education of many of the remaining number is unprosilable, and in some cases mischievous.
It may be imagined, that this lamentable stalo of things proceeds from the indifference of the peasantry for instruction, or from the want of any pecuniary aid on the part of the Legislature and of the public. But nothing could be more untrue than cither of these suppositions: the efforts of the poor lo procure instruction are reported to be at once exemplary and affecting. In some instances the poorer parishioners have erected schoolhouses by a voluntary subscription among themselves; and a remarkable fact is stated, that a night-school has been kept to accoinmodale the children obliged to labour in the day.' The statuto law of the country, on the other hand, prescribes the organization of schools throughout Ireland, and a lavish expenditure of publio money has accordingly taken place, not in performing this national duty, but, as we shall endeavour to show, in increasing all the difficulties of the case, and impeding the progress of rational and liberal education.
To those who may be disposed to slight tho moral advantages of education, and to those who doubt whether society is bound to provide instruction for the poor, the economical argument against the present system will, wo apprehend; be conclusive. It will be a matter of some surprise to our readers to find, that this no education in Ireland has been supported at an expense to the nation of considerably more than one million and a half, voted by Parliament since the Union—a sum sufficient to have laid a foundalion for the most liberal and comprehensive scheme of public instruction. The grants to which we allude are the following, all made prior to the late Session. Protestant Charter Schools.
93,495 Lord Lieutenant's School.
£1,472,877 We do not state this invidiously-we do not regret that Parliament should, in its liberalily, provide for the education of the poor in Ireland : but we do think, that, in its wisdom, it should pay some altention to the mode in which its votes are carried into execution. We doubt not that the people of Great Britain, upon whom these taxes almost exclusively fall, will consider themselves unfairly dealt with, if it is demonstrated that such a lavish expenditure has taken place, without advancing the interests of the peculiar objects of national bounty.
Nor is this all. The Legislature, at a very early period, imposed certain duties on the Established Clergy,-anxious, no doubt, lo confide the education of youth to that class which might have been considered most anxious to contribute to the moral improvement of the people. To these
Eleventh Education Report, p. 6. Sessional Papers, 1821, No. 7-13. i Lords' Sessional Papers, 1824, N. 17.
duties, and to the mode in which they are performed, we now earnestly entreat the attention of our readers. In the preamble of an Act of the 12th Elizabeth, it is recited, “ that the greatest number of the people have lived in a rude and barbarous state, not understanding thal Almighty God hath forbidden the heinous offences which they spare not to perpetrate, and whose ignorance in the high matters touching their damnation proceedeth only from lack of good bringing up the youth of this realm, either in public or in private schools, where they might be taught to avoid these loathsome and horrible errors.” The statute proceeds to enact, that there shall be a school established in every diocese in Ireland, and that the expenses shall be divided between the Bishops and the incumbents ; one-third part being defrayed by the bishop, and the remaining two-thirds by the several incumbents. Here we have a declaration by Parliament, that the progress of crime and the ignorance of the people were attributable to the want of schools, and the clergy are required to avert these evils. Let us inquire how far this Trust has been fulGlled.
It appears that schools were originally established in several, if not all, the diocescs of Ireland; * and a commission was issued soon after the Resioration, directing the bishops to carry into effect the existing law. Subsequent statutes, passed in the reigns of Geo. I. and Geo. II. 12 Geo. I. 29 Geo. II.) increased the facilities given for the foundation of these schools. One of the acts of the Whig administration of 1806 was to issue a commission to inquire into the state of schools in Ireland; and the report of the commissioners then appointed will be read with surprise, we might almost say with indignation. This report is signed by the late Archbishop of Armagh, and by several eminent characters of the Irish Church. † These high authorities inform us,
“ That several dioceses are unprovided with proper school- houses, and some are without any and the general benefit of the whole institution is far from corresponding with the intention of the Legislature, or even the number of schools kept, or supposed to be so. Out of the whole number of 34 dioceses, only ten are provided with school-houses in tolerable repair. In three others the houses are either insufficient or out of repair, and the remainder are wholly unprovided for In some of the dioceses no diocesan school is kept at all, and in others no effective one. The whole number is only 13, with 380 scholars, inost of whom pay annual sums of from 251. to 304. for their education. In the greater part of the dioceses where no school is kept, there is no cortribution for the payment of a master ; but in some instances the salary is paid to a nominal master, who either keeps no school at all, or one on a different foundation, in which the diocesas is absorbed."
Such was the extraordinary, and we cannot avoid adding, the discreditable state in which the Commissioners of Education found these establishments in 1809; and it is almost inconceivable, that for many years subsequent to the publication of the Ath Report, neither the Legislature, the Government of Ireland, nor the Right Reverend personages most deeply concerned, took any efficient steps to supply these deficiencies, and to correet these abuses. This neglect becomes the more surprising, when it is considered that in 1813 a Board of Education was appointed by Parliamentary authority, under whose superintendance these day-schools were placed. In 1821 it appeared, that the number of diocesan schools had augmented from these 13 to 15; in other words, after a public and official exposure of the neglect here detected, there were found two bishops, who in the course of twelve years made some slight effort to perform their duly! In the
* Fourth Education Report, Reprinted Sessional Papers, 1813. # Fourth Report.
| 53 Geo. III. c 107.