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as well as the fortifications. These shelter the virtues which once it was vogue to praise. These garner the most ample fruits of that abject and unreasoning contentment which even bards have been inspired to sing. There is a criterion, however, before which pleasant illusions and brilliant enchantments are compelled to flee. It is more sudden in its potency than Ithu
A table of facts and numbers breaks the spell. In that which was prepared by the eminent Dr. Cooke Taylor concerning the state of Crime in Manchester, guided, in part, by the Pamphlet of Mr. Neale on Juvenile Delinquency in that. town, and based upon details furnished by Sir Charles Shaw, we find the ratios between offences and ignorance set forth in a most convincing manner. What is the result ? Eleven - twelfths of Crime in that dense population are committed by the uneducated, and principally by those who are útterly so, not knowing how to read. One-twelfth is left, and includes all those offenders who have been educated, whether more liberally or only just at all. In a southern county, Sussex, forty-nine prisoners were arraigned for incendiarism, principally of stacked corn. The crime itself seems only capable of being committed by the most deplorable fatuity. It would forewarn us how sottish must be the ignorance of those who could perpetrate it. More than forty could neither read nor write. Only two could both read and write. The gaol of Taunton, according to the account of its Chaplain, and according
to the announcement of a candidate for the senate on the hustings of the adjoining county, received during two years alone three hundred prisoners, and these chiefly youths, who knew not any meaning connected with the names of Jesus, save for profane execrations. Of course, these could not read a word.
In the Tables which have been furnished from the Prisons of the Country, we may see the degrees of instruction received by those who have been committed to them. The three last years may be selected. The per cent of these respective differences is as follows:
1840. 1841. 1842. Unable to read and write
33:32 ... 33:21 ... 32:35 Able to read and write imperfectly . 55:57 56.67 58:32 Able to read and write well
8:29 ... 7.40 ... 6.77 Instruction superior to reading and writing well .....
.22 Instruction could not be ascertained 2.45 ... 2:27 ... 2:34
The man, whose mind is stored with knowledge, is acquainted with a source of peculiar pleasures. They lie within himself. They are independent of common accidents. They are indulged without reproach. They invigorate and cheer the spirit. They bring no satiety with them. They raise above the low pursuit and sordid taste. They tend to polish the manners, and refine the habits, of life. We are anxious not to be misunderstood. We do not say that they must be associated with virtue, that they may not be degraded
to vice. But we do affirm, that then their true character is changed. We do not say that they tend to the quest of true religion. We do not confound the Tree of knowledge and the Tree of life. But we do affirm that, things being equal, knowledge will always be more favourable to that end than ignorance. The eccentric genius may lower himself: the man, flattered or excited into a self-esteem of mental power, may never have cast off his base and ruinous propensions. Who can, however, doubt, that the enquiring and instructed peasant is happier in his little cupboard library, than he would be at the vulgar resort of dispute and drunkenness? It is now that he feels the true self-respect. He is not likely to divide himself between purer joys and grosser indulgences. He is not the probable subject of those alternations which have confessedly been witnessed in some of the ranks of science and literature. He feels himself a captive disenthralled. He sees an onward path before him, with ever-enlarging and brightening prospects. His is the gladness, his the sweetest triumph the mind can know, of newly-awakened powers. His is the elevation of a higher mental taste. He discriminates, compares, reasons, reflects. “Wisdom is better than strength," and "weapons of war.” Moral habits are almost necessary to it. With “the lowly,” and “ the well-advised,” is “wisdom.” It “dwells with prudence." By it a house is built." “He who hath it understandeth his way." He, indeed, is rich and
puissant who finds, in knowledge the most simple, those achievements over space and time and death which Euripides describes : “I have determined the proper antidote to forgetfulness, defying Lethe itself, in the humble art of conjoining what may be, and what may not be, pronounced, vowels and consonants, into words, so that my most distant friends, far off beyond the seas, may have accurate knowledge of every thing which happens here at home; and the dying may unbosom themselves in a few sentences to their children, by bearers unconscious of the message : even the calamities which arise from contention may be thus retrieved, and a scrap of writing prevent the triumph of fraud."*
The mere justice of educating the poor, --it being supposed that the education of the other classes
may confidently be relied on,-is apparent from that equal obedience which is required from all by our laws. Each subject is supposed to know them. But not
* Stobæi Loci Communes, pag. 707. It is an extract from the Palamedes, a lost drama of that tragedian.
« Τα τε Ληθης φαρμακ' ορθωσας, μονον
Αφωνα, και φωνoυνα συλλαβας τιθεις,
only should every man be generally acquainted with them, but there are lines of distinction, and principles of conduct, which are superior and antecedent to them. The man of moral perceptions may know little, and remember less, of particular statutes : but he cannot offend. His mind is transfused with right sentiments and dispositions. His honour and rectitude are as the instincts of his soul. And it is in this manner that all ought to be instructed. Lycurgus wrote not his laws, because he loved to read them in the rudiments of public opinion and conduct. The poor have this claim upon us. Found their habits and train their ideas on great convictions of justice. Let them see the manifold evils, , as well as guilt, of every encroachment on property. Demonstrate that law is for their protection. Show them its constant, quiet, and universal benefit. Awaken the glow which even they may feel. Their person is as sacred as that of the proudest noble: the strongest battlement is not more impregnable than their lowly thatch. Nor will it be difficult to teach them the fitness of certain arrangements which are embraced in our great constitutional polity. It will be as necessary, as it is just, to explain them. The first appearance of these settlements cannot be satisfactory to the humbler class. Whatever may be their abstract theory, their asserted balance, the poor feel not the positive advantage. They must labour and suffer still It is not unnatural that they should think