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on which he is examined, and therefore no dunce need hope for an easy deliverance there; but yet if the students were more restricted in the amount of their allowances, their expenditure scrutinised, and kept within decent bounds, and their time so arranged that more of it could be devoted to study than at present, much good would result: therefrom. It is during that period of youth in which attendance on the University usually commences, that good or bad habits are formed; and the vices of dissipation and extravagance acquired there, are often such as fill with anguish the hearts of the parents, and embitter the future lives of the thoughtless youths themselves, while the greater portion of the student's time being taken up with dressing, dining, and attendance on prayers, there is little leisure left for sober study. The education of the working-classes has been objected to by many intelligent individuals, on the ground that it will make them discontented with their lot in life, but if this is made referable to their simple situation as operatives, no surmise was ever more unjust, as far as my own observation goes, having remarked, that in all the in stances of well-educated low life which came under my notice, the only difference it made consisted in a greater degree of personal pride being evinced by the individuals, causing them to assume a sort of superiority over their more ignorant assolo ciates, and a distaste for their low and vulgar pleasures. If inquiry was made into the opinions of all those individuals in humble life who of late have evinced such abilities and knowlege by their speeches at Manchester and elsewhere, which have beena lauded leven in parliament, it will, I have little doubt, be found that they are just as little infected with discontent at their situation in life, as the more ignorant multitude around them. It may very naturally be supposed that education will render individuals more vain, proud, and discontented with their humble lot, when seeing the great body in their own line of life at such an abject distance in mental improvement below them; but whatever truth may attach to this supposition (which, however, my own observation does not warrant), it is evident that the moment all the working classes become 'equally enlightened, these feelings will cease to exist. If, however, it be said that education would have the effect of making the working-classes discontented with their present political degradation, no surmise could be more just; and probably this is the secret cause of the opposition professed by many to this philanthropic attempt; while others again may feels jealous that those moving in so very inferior a sphere to themselves should be their equals, if not their superiors in point of knowlegesls for it is one of the base principles implanted in our nature; that? few are possessed of sufficiently generous or elevated sentiments!
VOL. XXVIII. Pam. NO. LV.
to witness equals rise to be their superiors, or inferiors to be their equals, without feelings of malignant 'envy breaking forth. The education of the working-classes will therefore naturally tend not only to elevate their moral condition, but to raise them from their political degradation by causing the legislature to respect the jusi tice of their claims, and pay more attention to the rights of this class of the community than they hitherto have done. This will always be the case, wherever one interest is allowed to predominate over another; and as the working-classes have not their intérests represented in the British legislature, it is no wonder they should be so generally sacrificed to those of the rich. It is true, that there is always the most humane professions and sympathetic feelings expressed in parliament for the cause of the poor, but then generally all the solid advantages of their measures tend towards the benefiting of the rich; and compassion is but a sorry substitute for food to a hungry man, though it is astonishing how often human gullibility is imposed on by this unsubstantial fare. In educating the multitude, however, a mere smattering of reading and writing is not enough, for an imperfect peep into the arcana of any profession will stand as great a chance of making a man mischievous as of making him useful ;“ a little knowlege is a dangerous thing,” being a truth-bearing maxim but too well founded in the history of human actions. The education ought to be such also as will elevate the thoughts and expand the mettal powers, so that the perceptive and reasoning faculties may be excited to further observation and investigation, and be with a greater chance of success enabled to extract truth from their inquiries; while a due sense of religious feelings and sentiments, and of moral obligations being instilled at the same time into the youthful and pliant mind, will remain indelibly fixed there during the remainder of the pupil's life. : Education should therefore, in every state, be conducted under the superintendence of the clergy; and probably in the Bell system of instruction lately introduced will be found the best foundation of any code of that nature which could be devised, religion and morals forming an integrant part of it; while the institution of monitors and mutual instruction rear the pupils up in habits of observation and criticism, and the selections from Scripture (that form a considerable portion of the reading lessons) not only instil many moral maxims and sublime truths into their minds, but inculcate along with these a simple and noble mode of expression, with which no other works, except the volumes of sacred history, abound. While the mind, however, is storing 'with useful knowlege, exercises that give health, vigor, and a 'manly gait and elasticity to the body, inspire the individual with a contempt of danger; and initiate him into the system of self
defence, ought by no means to be neglected. Thus various gymnastic exercises, such as wrestling, running, leaping, swimming, single sticks, and boxing, should either partly or in whole form a portion of the code ; but above all, the military drill system ought to be strictly carried through for by means of this, boys not only acquire a manly and dignified attitude, but their health is materially promoted by the freer play given to the chest, while the scientific mode in which they are instructed, to step out, and the measured steady pace they are taught to acquire, enables them to perform journeys more expeditiously and with less fatigue than those who have never passed through the like ordeal. Another most material point too is that by being habituated to, military manoeuvres and fire-arms in their youth, they would a ways be capable, when they attained the age of manhood, of being quickly formed into disciplined battalions, when their country's liberties were threatened by foreign or domestic enemies, which could be done in one-fourth of the time required by those previously ignorant of the military exercise; and the curtailment of time in the perfectment of discipline is at all times an important point, but doubly so when any sudden and unlooked-for danger threatens, which demand measures equally sudden to resist it. It requires some time to elapse before the generality of our recruits are taught not to stand in fear of the musket, the half of them shutting their eyes on drawing the trigger for a considerable period at commencement ; but by being made familiar with a musket in youth, they would return to it in manhood with as little alarm as any other of their boyish sports.
::.. CHAP. IV. in ,, is ' Management of parish-rates--Views regarding improvements in the same-On fixing a uniform scale of wages, and benefits that would result therefrom.. 11 .
P. poyas Bonor . .. o It is universally admitted that select vestries, materially diminish the parish-poor rates, while at the same time all must allow the injustice of excluding any portion of the rate-payers from the management of a fund partly drawn from their own pockets.
The contentious wranglings and absurd proceedings which usually characterise common vestries, by driving men of sense from taking anvinfluential part in the superintendence of the poor, and in the economical expenditure of the parish rạtes, has mainly led to a partiality for select vestries among the reasoning part of the community ar but if a mode could be suggested whereby the whole of
the rate-payers would have a sufficient control over the poor fund, without impairing the necessary rigid and economical manage ment of the parish poor, and thus closing all the heart-burnings which invariably exist in parishes where select vestries have been instituted, a considerable source of irritation would be removed, and a corresponding benefit accrue to the community at large. This, I conceive, may be readily accomplished by passing a general vestry bill for all England ; to take effect in every parish ou the question being discussed and carried at three common vestries, and finally approved of by the signature of two-thirds of the ratepayers: the bill authorising the common vestry to elect from five to seven individuals to manage the general concerns of the poor for the two ensuing years, and also a collector and treasurer for the same period also, appointing an annual committee unconnected with those in office to inspect and remark on their accounts, and printing and distributing copies of them for the information of the rate-payers, without however admitting the common vestry to interfere with or dictate in any way to the select restry elected by them. Any interference of the common vestry would necessarily tend to embarrass and impair the others; but they might record an opinion of their conduct by a vote of thanks or of censure at their annual meeting, while they would by their votes, at the termination of the two years' period, show how far those deputed had given satisfaction by the re-election or rejection of them when proposed as candidates again. A simple but sufficiently comprehensive scheme of poor-rate accounts, applicable throughout England, would materially assist in affording the public more correct information regarding the poor money, and confer a great benefit too on the greater portion of the parishes, the accounts of which are often kept in no very intelligible manner. But one of the greatest ameliorators of the abject condition of the working-classes would be, fixing of a rate of wages sufficient to preserve them from the misery and degradation of want, without admitting an individual to spend much in profligate debauchery after his family wants are appeased. At periods when demands for goods are brisk, prices high, and workmen scarce, there is a competition among manufacturers who to give the highest prices, in order to be the first in the market; while again, when the demand is dull and prices fall, a sort of competition » ä contrary way seems to ensue, both equally injurious to the workman: for the overplus of money beyond what is required to support his family in the first instance, is almost uniformly spent in debauchery, and his own health and morals, and those also ol his family, injured thereby; while in the last instance, again, want and misery pave the way to dishonesty_thus both dourses teriding
to the same results. With agricultural laborers again wages are always sufficiently low, because the landlords exacting usually the highest possible rents from their tenants, the latter are by necessity compelled to grind down the wages of their laborers to be enabled to pay them, keeping the latter thus often in a state in which existence is barely sustained, and managing occasionally to have even a portion of their pittance of wages paid out of the poors' rate ; thus demoralizing the peasantry by keeping want con, stantly hovering round their door, and rendering them mean and beggarly in spirit, by reason of the parish alms thus thrust publicly on them, when their labor was fully equivalent to the value of the whole sum paid. • It is extraordinary that common sense should not have ere this
pointed out to landlords and employers of the laboring poor, how much more consonant it would be to their own interests to allow their dependants a sufficiency of wages to keep them honest, in preference to expending probably double what they save by their “ penny wise pound foolish” economy, in keeping up a force of police to detect the rogues whom starvation drives to stealing, and in expenses of prosecutions and gaol disbursements; not to speak of the greater comfort they would experience in living among a population who, by the sufficiency of their wages, had impressed on them the value of the not always truthful maxim, "honesty is the best policy,” than among such whose scanty pittance rendered the reverse of the above maxim the most politic course to pursue. The only attempt hitherto carried into effect in England to regulate wages by legal enactment was that, I believe, of the Spitalfields Act, enabling the justices to establish a regular scale for the master and workman to abide by, but liable to alteration as circumstances demanded. That this act afforded the highest satisfaction to the workmen, their anxiety for its continuance serves as the best testimonial, while that it was the means of maintaining great harmony and good order among the classes affected by it in that populous neighborhood, there is no matter of doubt ; but that it was unsatisfactory to the masters, we have the best evidence in their generally removing to places beyond the jurisdiction of the act. This unwillingness of the masters to submit, arose probably, in part, from the justices allowing occasionally higher wages to the workmen than the interests of the masters could admit of; but it was doubtless chiefly owing to the vexation and annoyance experienced in being dragged forth by their journeymen, on occasion of every trifling complaint, before the bench, and their interests and pursuits interfered with by a set of men totally ignorant of the subject they were deciding on. The plan, however, proposed by the journeymen for the body of the masters to regulate