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must 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 !" We cannot welcome it. We see in this formalistic plan 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 of what has been! There is no advance. It has no susceptibility of progression. It never can be greater, by the All Hail, Hereafter !
Poor Louis, from his Bed of Justice at Versailles, declared his "resolve to establish, in every part of his kingdom, that unity of design and system, that correspondence of the parts with the whole, without which a great State is only weakened by the number 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 project brought him to the prison and the block.
Such uniform education binds and tethers a people. It leaves generation after generation in the same hopeless state. It allays discontent, but it is by stopping all progress: it is the gain of slavish supineness at the loss of immortal craving: you, for the sake of the citizen, forego the man. The pendulum does not describe an arc of more unvarying measurements, nor sweep a succession of more tiresome vibrations.
But even now the reaction comes. The State and the Church of France cannot act together, nor agree as to the proper share of each in this business. The Minister of Public Instruction, in this present year, (1844,) has brought in his Education Bill, establishing liberty of instruction for all individuals, and the right of parents to educate their children in their own way,-securing perfect control for the government only in all public establishments. The Monarch, on opening the present Session of the Chambers, announced his wishes to give freedom to education. The meaning is plain. The Church would overawe the Civil Power, and claimed, for this end, the training of the people: the Civil Power perceives that it must abandon some portion of its former pretensions, in order to hold in check the haughty purposes of the Church. The Univers, the organ of the hierarchy, furiously assails the Bill. Between these fierce encounters, which shall be the greater tyrant and divide the larger ascendancy, State or Church, the only hope arises, that the youth of France may escape being brought into bonds by both! Such struggles, if not the 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 tam.
perings, 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 by-word 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 superstition. 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 beheld, 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 be made to cringe to the Gonfalon of Rome !
The proportion of education in Italy ought to be very great. The luxuriance of the soil, the brightness of the sky, secure abundance and invite recreation. The land is full of classic monuments and archives. The people are intelligent and quick. All have some knowledge, most have some accomplishment, of art. With this fertility, this leisure, this genius, what should they not be ? Look at the elementary schools, and the
numbers in them. Through the Roman States it is 1 in 50: in Lucca 1 in 53: even in Tuscany 1 in 66.
The Jesuit Institute, that ever sleepless power, now struggles to seize the mind of Europe, and to wholly direct it. The expression of an ancient General of that Order may not now be heard : “Sint ut sunt, aut non sint."* But why? Because the people are not ignorant as they were. These tricksters would reduce them to that state. It is replied, that their Professors are learned and cannot teach ignorance. But their learning, making use of the arts of knowledge, is to suppress enquiry and to sophisticate truth.
“Partagez donc,” cries the eloquent Quinet, “multipliez donc, le pain de l' ame; c'est une obligation pour la science aussi bien que pour la religion ; car, il est certain qu'il y a une science religieuse, et une autre qui ne l'est pas. La premiere distribue, comme l' Evangile, et repand au loin ce qu'elle possedi; la seconde fait le contraire de l'Evangile. Elle craint de prodiguer, de disperser ses privileges, de communiquer le droit, la vie, la puissance, a un trop grand nombre. Elle éléve les orgueilleux, elle abaisse les humbles. Elle enrichit les riches, elle appauvrit les pauvres.
C'est la science impie, et celle dont nous de voulons pas.”+
*“If men continue as they are, I had rather that they should not exist at all."
+ Des Jésuites, vi Leçon, de M. Quinet. “Share then, multiply then, the food of the mind; it is as much the duty of learning as it is of religion ; for it is clear that there is one kind of knowledge which is religious, and that there is another which is not. The First resem
Far be it from us to invoke vengeance upon these men, so long the curse of earth! We join not in the present cry against them. In some countries we detect a sinister policy, in others a most persecuting outrage, which prompt that cry. But their crimes must have been monstrous to have awakened so many resentments against them.
What fountain of confidence have they not poisoned ? What bond of slavery have they not riveted ? What recesses of affection have they not violated ? What schemes of melioration have they not destroyed ? Never can domestic, social, civilized, man be safe while such a vigilance, itself unseen, scowls over all, and such a power, noiseless in its visitation, is every where active.
Their history is that of violent and indignant exile from every civilised land. They were banished from Venice in 1606 : from Bohemia in 1618: from Naples and Brabant in 1622: from the Indies in 1623: from Russia in 1676: from Portugal in 1759 : from France in 1764: from Spain in 1767: from Rome in 1773. And now France hurls them forth again!
It is not a dim pathway which leads into the glorious future. It is not by a crooked course that we can enter it. The development of national mind may be but bles Christianity in its liberality, seattering wide its treasures; the second runs counter to the spirit of that religion. This latter is afraid of being lavish, of making common its advantages, of extending right, life, and influence, to too great a number. It exalts the proud, and casts down the lowly. It enriches the rich, and impoverishes the poor. It is an impious art, which we will not endure."