Изображения страниц
PDF
EPUB

a remedy for this evil, if, in the midst of so many new systems of education, the national majority, o. which the government, after all, is but the highest expression,-the majority, that constituted, acknow. ledged, and sovereign, authority, in all other matters, dared not, or could not, proclaim itself sovereign also in education ?” + The spirit and the scope of these quotations are explicit. We blame them for no disguise. But we indignantly ask, What must be the state of the country which can endure them, which can applaud them 2 The right of private judgment, of unbiassed enquiry, of moral independence, is blotted from their charter by the citizens themselves. Public education is abused for the avowed purpose of this disfranchisement. It is to be employed for the very end of a universal assimilation. The modifications of mind are thus sought to be destroyed. The religious individuality of man, the most solemn thought which can possess him, that which is the “whole of man,” is not recked of His present social condition and subserviency is the total view and care. His “large discourse, looking before and after,” is erased. He must think only through one medium. His patriotism consists only in a Procrustean denaturalization. And should it not be a warning, like that of the Treble Woe, how we indulge the theory of a Public Edu

* The Author is indebted for both extracts to the Pamphlet before quoted, “Reasons against Government Education,” &c.

[ocr errors][ocr errors]

ations as: But wo he cound them? enouiry, r chartel cation is ranchise. and of 3 mind are individu. hich can n," is not subserge disl. He triotism And Treble : Edu

'amphlet &c.

cation, an education by the fashionable agency of
central board and stipendiary inspection ? The lite-
rary information and taste of such a people can
never be exalted: but however great could be their
proficiency, the most accurate knowledge would be
no substitute for the sense of personal accountability.
Their minds might be filled with the curves of geo-
metry and the wonders of physiology, to say nothing
of poetry and romance; and yet the Plague of Dark-
ness might be upon them, the more portentous that it
was not felt.
Would we know what France anticipates as its
millenium, its euthanasia, its apotheosis, we need but
consult the Book of its Royal Schools, or, according
to the second title of that beautiful publication, “L’
Avenir De La Jeunesse.” That high hope is founded
upon certain institutions for cadets. The youthful
candidates for fortune are trained in them. They
almost all point to the public service,—Polytechnic,
Naval, Staff, Charters, Verduring, Mining, Cavalry,
Road and Bridge construction, Engineering and Artil-
lery, and even Veterinary ! There are also establish-
ments for the Fine Arts, for Law, for Medicine, and
for Music. The normal school is the most honoured
of all. It is the “Pepiniere” of a universal influence.
It is the centre and ganglion of a universal distri-
bution. Oh how unlike the spontaneous, the origi-
nal, the vigorous, outworking of our country's mind
How artificial, tame, monotonous, compared with the

naturalness and independence of our people ! The arts and professions cease to be liberal; and the soil, over which government sets its army of mercenaries and espials, resounds with the one step, or— rather tramp, of a mechanical uniformity. All mus be stunted to be made equal, and be rigid to be made even. The trees of the forest must be clipped to one pattern. The windings of the river must be straightened to the most undeviating line. “Avenir '" Wes. cannot welcome it. We see in this formalistic plans. no seeds of power, no auguries of glory ! The nation, so handled and worked into its shape, never can be-, illustrious ! Its generations can only be cycles off. what has been There is no advance. It has now susceptibility of progression. It never can be greater, by the All Hail, Hereafter Poor Louis, from his Bed of Justice at Versailles, I declared his “resolve to establish, in every part of his kingdom, that unity of design and system, t' correspondence of the parts with the whole, with which a great State is only weakened by the numi. and extent of its territories.” He, therefore, would!: put down the various parliaments of his kingdom. He must centralise ! He provoked the nobility and || clergy against him, as well as the people. The pro-so ject brought him to the prison and the block. l Such uniform education binds and tethers a peo. i ple. It leaves generation after generation in th same hopeless state. It allays discontent, but it is h I by stopping all progress: it is the gain of slavish i supineness at the loss of immortal craving : you, for , the sake of the citizen, forego the man. The penduP. lum does not describe an arc of more unvarying meato urements, nor sweep a succession of more tiresome vibrations. , , But even now the reaction comes. The State and to the Church of France cannot act together, nor agree was to the proper share of each in this business. The Minister of Public Instruction, in this present year, off (1844.) has brought in his Education Bill, establishin ing liberty of instruction for all individuals, and the is right of parents to educate their children in their is own way,+securing perfect control for the governoment only in all public establishments. The Monarch, on opening the present Session of the Chambers, oil announced his wishes to give freedom to education. a The meaning is plain. The Church would overawe t’ ł Civil Power, and claimed, for this end, the training | he people: the Civil Power perceives that it must A ndon some portion of its former pretensions, in oulsorder to hold in check the haughty purposes of the in Church. The Univers, the organ of the hierarchy, anfuriously assails the Bill. Between these fierce encounters, which shall be the greater tyrant and divide the larger ascendancy, State or Church, the only hope

rises, that the youth of France may escape being

[ocr errors]

)00th rought into bonds by both ! Such struggles, if not

, is he happiest means, are, perhaps, the surest earnests, of liberty! When Pope and Emperor contended, then only was the breathing time for liberty,+then only was Europe free

And this is a warning to us of prophetic menace. The ambition of the Papal See is unappeasable. The Order of Jesuits sought, by every ingenuity, to impose its yoke upon the mind of nations. It began its tamperings, wherever it could worm itself, with the simplicity of youth. Its aggressions soon became so daring, that Europe drove it from court and college, a hissing and byeword of beguilement and oppression. Strange is it that its treachery is so generally overlooked. Its self-inconsistency surely might be trusted to condemn it. Its boasted poverty has ever contrasted with its mighty wealth, its affected meekness with its aggrandising cupidity, its averred submission with its sovereign independence. But it is not always that power itself perceives the danger. It stoops to be the abject instrument of the Papal super. stition. So is the Sorceress seen still sitting on the Beast, (the symbol of tyrannic polity,) with its head and its horns, curbing it to her will. The people succumb also. And she is seen, therefore, sitting upon many waters, (the emblem of popular, multitudinous, interests,) ruling also their surging violence. Shall there be no end ? Resign education to the national governments, and it will not be long ere the banners of every country shall cringe to the Gonfalon of Rome !

« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »