« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »
belonging to different churches. There is a Collegiate Institution also, the Johanneum, with Professors of a very respectable rank. The power of the clergy to inspect, and very greatly to control, these establishments, is, perhaps, rather admitted than ordained. It does not seem vigorously exercised. One peculiarity ought to be noticed. The compulsion known in other countries is not sanctioned here. The only binding punishment of ignorance is, that no child can be confirmed who has not been educated consistently with his station. But the consequences of this privation are not light. Most of these remarks will apply to Bremen and Lubeck.
Denmark was not only an early patron of the normal system,—a sure criterion that popular education is active and extending,—but the monitorial plan of instruction has made such rapid progress, that from 1819 to 1829, seven schools had increased to two thousand six hundred and forty-six. If the pretension of Holland be just, that one in five of all its inhabitants is at school, Prussia and Saxony must yield to it. Norway is better educated than Sweden, upon a parochial scheme, — but less dependent upon the clergy than in the latter kingdom. The term is greater than usual, nearly ten years. It is made obligatory on each parent; and he may be punished even if he prematurely withdraw his child. Switzerland, the hill-country of freedom and independence, has pushed on in the race; but it is only in a few of its
cantons that it can boast its sixth in education. In 1828, Lord Brougham inferred, from extensive enquiries, that Vaud, with its capital Lausanne, containing nearly 200,000 inhabitants, was one of the best educated districts in Europe. One-seventh of the population was in the different seminaries. Fellenberg has not thought, without rousing his countrymen. When we consider the period in which he begun to move, the originality of his conceptions, his defiance of inexpugnable prejudices, his perseverance in plans so much in advance of his times, — we cannot withhold from him the highest praise. Such men are as daystars, breaking the night and hastening the dawn. At Hofwyl there are 6000 students. Pestalozzi, perhaps a bolder thinker, has created a centre of extraordinary power in Yverdun. Bavaria is worthy of high mention, as having emerged from the lowest condition of ignorance and moral corruption in a very few years : and by the strength of its educational organization, it is lifting no unworthy brow among surrounding nations. It has reached the eighth of its people in the number of its scholastic youth. The arts seem to form here a home. Hall after hall is dedicated to them. That noble Temple, the Valhalla, is but adorned with the images of the Teutonic Great,—the poet, the warrior, the artist, the sage: the education of a people so long debased, deserves a nobler monument, or, rather, already obtains it, not in fane and pillar, but in one whose perpetuity is lasting as that nation, and whose foundation is broad as that land. Who could have thought, a quarter of a century ago, that, on the banks of the Iser, there should enshrine itself the genius of æsthetic beauty, and that there, too, should enthrone itself the spirit of the Faderland ?
But of all countries, Austria, as exceedingly maligned, deserves the fullest justice. A foolish speech of its Emperor, Francis, is too well remembered, “I want not philosophers, but good subjects :” his virtues and his deeds of quiet usefulness are little recalled.
“The evil that men do lives after them ;
The good is oft interred with their bones.”* This powerful State preceded almost the whole of Europe in teaching the people. But its position was long stationary. It educated about three out of twenty. It has retrieved itself. More than 1,500,000 are in tuition. There are better proportions in some parts of the empire. In the Tyrol, 99,463 young mountaineers are taught out of 105,260. In Moravia and Silesia, the amount is 230,563 out of 250,749. Besides 1500 schools of industry, and 8000 supplemental schools in Hungary, there are 13,000 schools, lower and superior, in the empire, or one school to every two hundred and seventy-five families.
The provision of education for the city and canton of Geneva, is worthy of notice. It is most religiously
* Shakspeare. Julius Cæsar.
free. It is all but universal. The schools are partly at the charge of the State, and partly of the communes. The departments of secular and theological training are distinct. The former is placed under the direction of a council. Its establishments are general, auxiliary, and special. The general establishments are the academy, the colleges, and the primary schools. The academy resembles our universities, with its chairs of divinity, law, science, and literature. The course of study is four years in the first, but four years must be previously spent in philosophical and mental studies. The whole includes thirty-two professors. The next is the college, resembling our higher grammar schools. This reckons a principal and sixteen teachers. The primary schools are very multiplied. The interest of the commonwealth is given to the entire system. But the college seems to be the favourite. Every pageant is accorded to its examinations. The civil and military authorities enter the processions, and aid the distribution, of the prizes. The day is the gala of the year. Yet the sums given to the Faculties are mean. The numbers which attend them are not numerous. In the Divinity Hall of the academy, there are not generally more than eighteen students. Upon all its Institutes, the attendance does not attain to two hundred. The college may comprehend rather more than three hundred pupils. The machinery is immense for the number taught.
The cause of European education, at least, is secure. The petty State, which hates the light, bars itself against that beam in vain. Rampant tyranny and cowled bigotry offer a fruitless resistance. There is a security for it which no convulsion can sweep away. But were school, board, cabinet, to perish, the knowledge which they have communicated has entered living mind, taken fast hold of public opinion, and is an imperishable thing. It would be easier to unwind the Alp from its root, or to stifle Danube in its sources, than to overthrow the mighty work which has been founded, or to stem the vast intellectual and moral influence which has gone forth upon the spirit of the nations !
All these great educatory engines are national, legislative, and, with scarcely an exception, compulsory. They are accomplishing great results : in another part of these enquiries it may be our duty to decide whether these features ought to characterise popular education, and whether these external succours do not retard and vitiate it.
But there is another scene which invites our attention in these enquiries,-a New World unfolds itself to our view. Where, a few ages since, the wild Indian only reared his wattled wigwam and where his warwhoop rang, beneath the shadow of forests, old as the world, — where civilization had not set its foot, — where a book had been never seen, — where the white man was utterly unknown,-Europe has settled