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"A good deal of the bad morals, bad manners, and absurd prejudices, which we find amongst our population, are perpetuated by the example of the teachers and their associates. It was sometimes difficult to get questions answered. To the inquiry as to the method in teaching arithmetic several of them replied, Why th' graidley owd-fashioned road.'
One of the masters, whose head was bound up with a dirty rag, and whose house, in a back street, seemed never to have been cleaned, told me, in answer to the question whether he was educated for the employment, that he was so educated, adding, My feyther larnt eight parts of speech besides English, and parson Fonds toud him tin he could teych him no feer. Upon my remarking that I supposed he would also have been liberally educated, he said, 'Oh yes, I larnt accidents and grammar.' His occupation he said had been that of a navigator, or, as he explained the term, he had worked at making lodges and reservoirs. Necessity, not fitness, seems in almost every instance to have been the cause of the teacher's adopting this employment, as is evident by a perusal of the answers which they have given on being asked what inducement led them to undertake the profession of a school-master. Old age, and to get a living,'- My husband left me with four small children, and I undertook it to get a living,'- My husband could not keep me, so I took this because I could get nothing else.' One man gave as his reason that he had lost his left arm, and a woman that she had lamed her foot. Another old woman said she kept a Dame-school because she geet poor and was a widow.'
Among the Dominies in Bolton there thus appears to have arisen an unknown tongue of frightful singularity. It may not be out of place here to observe, that the Return made to government in 1833, on the State of Education in England, has been found to be exceedingly defective. There have indeed been frequent occasions on which the Statistical Section of the British Association has been obliged to pronounce the statistical tables founded on inere estimates unworthy of reliance, and that nothing short of direct observation and close inquiry can be confided in.
A Report of the Committee appointed by the Association to investigate the State of Education in the city of York was read at the last Meeting; but as it is to be published by the Manchester Statistical Society, one of the most efficient and active bodies of men that ever undertook a philanthropic cause, we shall not refer to its contents at present, farther than to say that here also the Government Returns in 1833 were extremely inaccurate, and that although in some respects the schools for children of operatives be superior to those found in mercantile towns, the defects are still frightful.
There was a Report read by Mr. Walmsley, "On the State of Crime in the Borough of Liverpool," which was intended as an answer to that of Mr. W. R. Greg's Paper "On Statistical Desiderata," read at the Bristol Meeting of the Association. We quote a part of the Report.
"The report gave, as the result of rigid inquiry, a criminal population
to this town of 4200 females and 4520 males, 2270 of the latter being professional thieves, and the remainder occasional thieves, living by a combination of labour and plunder; and the whole was set down at upwards of 700,000. This does, at first sight, appear incredible; but an investigation, pursued with much labour, and not unattended with obloquy, convinced me the statement contained no exaggeration.
"A more recent inquiry, carried on by better means, afforded by a more experienced police force, not only confirms these details, but leaves an impression that the number of criminals was underrated. In an inquiry of this kind an approximation to accuracy is all that can be expected, and all I purpose to do is to furnish the society with the most accurate data which is accessible.
"I hold in my hand two or three returns, about the correctness of which there can be no doubt. They contain the number of persons brought before the magistrates, and the number committed; the number of felons apprehended, and the number committed; they also give the age of the juvenile felons. In the year 1835, there were taken into custody 13,506 persons, of whom 2138 were committed. In 1836, there were taken into custody 16,830, of whom 3343 were committed. Up to the 13th of the present month, the number taken into custody in eight months was 12,709, of whom 2849 were committed. From July 1835 to July 1836, the number of juvenile thieves, under eighteen years of age, apprehended was 924, of whom 378 were committed. From July 1836 up to the present day, the number of juvenile thieves taken into custody was 2339, of whom 1096 were committed. There were in custody, during the same period, upwards of 1500 well-known adult thieves.
"In our report, juvenile thieves were set down at 1270; it now seems that the number was very greatly underrated, for the most expert officer does not pretend to say that one-half were taken into custody.
"In the returns made by the old watchmen, the number of houses of ill-fame was set down at 300; but this return referred only to the notorious ones. A full and complete return has since been made, and the real number is 655, exclusive of private houses in which girls of the town reside. In all the houses of ill-fame females reside, and, allowing an average of four to each house, the number residing in such places only would be 2620.
"This return is further confirmed by the fact, that in the year preceding the inquiry, there were apprehended 1000 females of a particular description. Mr. Bacheldor, now the excellent governor of the Borough Gaol, was then our principal bride well-keeper; he gave it as his decided opinion, and no one was more competent to give one, that not one-fourth of the females has been apprehended. In this opinion the heads of the police, deriving their knowledge from a different source, coincided.
"Another return has been placed before me, which, though not absolutely bearing on the subject, is not without interest. Of 419 individuals now in the gaol, 216 profess the religious creed of Church Protestants, 174 Roman Catholics, 8 are Methodists, 17 are Presbyterians, 2 are Unitarians, 1 Baptist, and 1 Independent. 141 can neither read nor write, 59 read imperfectly, 38 read well, 127 read and write imperfectly, and 56 read and write well."
It is to be remarked that many impressions as to the amount of crime, or the state of education, which have been generally trusted to, are found on actual and close examination to be fallacious. The increase of Statistical Societies, and the earnestness which these are beginning to exhibit in their researches, promise to bring to light affecting truths that cannot but awaken a national interest in behalf of the destitute and the degraded. Mr. Walmsley said, "I am glad to see that so great an interest is now taken in Criminal Statistics. One of our worthy magistrates, a few days since, observed that people were wont to go in search of the picturesque, but that now they come in pursuit of crime. Like Sancho Panza's hare, they start up where least expected; but the subject being disagreeable and repulsive, there is no danger, I apprehend, of this kind of research becoming mischievously fashionable."
Many papers and notices were elicited at the last Meeting of the Association, connected with the moral and social statistics of various parts of England, that possessed an extraordinary interest. None of these, perhaps, were so important as a "Report of the Condition of the Working Classes in Manchester, Salford, Bury, Dukinfield, and Staly Bridge." These inquiries were made by a Committee of the Statistical Society of Manchester, occupying seventeen months, in the years 1835-6, and costing 1751. The agents appointed by the Committee to pursue the necessary inquiries were for the most part well received, and the questions readily answered, excepting when wages and hours of labour came to be spoken of. We shall do little more than give the titles of the various tables which have been drawn out at length; but the value of the Report, and the labour it must have caused, may hence be apprehended.
Table 1st. Number and Condition of the Dwellings examined. The agents profess to have visited every house belonging to the working population in the towns enumerated; but the Committee felt less confident in the completeness of the Manchester visitation than of the other districts. It may also be stated, that houses were reported as well furnished which contained a table and chairs, a clock, and chest of drawers, and a fair stock of necessary domestic utensils.
Table 2nd. Weekly rent of the Houses inhabited by Operatives. Table 3rd. Number of Families, and of Persons resident in the Dwellings, examined.
Table 4th. Number of Grown-up Persons and Children, and Number of Children receiving Wages.
Table 5th. Occupations, but considered of suspicious accuracy. Table 6th. Religion as professed by the Heads of Families and Lodgers in the Dwellings examined.
The number of those making no religious profession is great, but then some of these did not attend a place of worship, because they
had not proper clothes, others were included in the Table because they declined to say to what sect they belonged.
Table 7th. The Country of the Heads of the Families examined. Table 8th. Comparison, in each Family, of the Number of Individuals, with the Number of Beds.
This Table has led to some extremely interesting disclosures and suggestions, although it is to be regretted that it did not engage the attention of the Committee until the Manchester inquiry was completed.
As to the whole of the Report, it is quite clear, although it cannot lead to any general conclusions until fortified and corrected by similar returns from other parts of the country, that it offers an admirable model, and is calculated to open the of the commueyes nity to many crying evils which may, to a considerable extent, be cured. One thing was forcibly and justly reiterated in the Section as drawn from the above Tables-that hardly can any measure lead more certainly to moral amelioration than to get the poor to improve their dwellings. But we must leave off, having, we trust, made it manifest that to the British Association science and civilization are already deeply indebted; nor is the hope visionary when we express our confidence that its future achievements will be such as must throw all its past triumphs in the shade.
ART. III.-Voyages up the Mediterranean and in the Indian Seas; with Memoirs, compiled from the Logs and Letters of a Midshipman. By JOHN A. HERAUD. London: James Fraser. 1837.
THE reader of this volume is informed that it has been "faithfully compiled from the Logs and Letters of the Midshipman whose Memoirs it professes to preserve. Mr. William Robinson was an enthusiast in his profession, and at an early age fell a martyr to his zeal. It is not too much to claim for him the character of being the 'Kirke White' of the Navy. His career, though brief, was honourable, and he yet lives, in the influence which his memory continues to exercise, over those who shared with him the adventures of a naval life. The present work was projected to perpetuate the benefit of his example; and the Editor has aimed at no meaner end than to make it, so far as he had ability, a Manual for the Conduct of a Sailor, who would rise in the noble profession of his choice." Such is the appropriate and correct account which introduces these Memoirs; and while, as a literary production, it possesses much elegance, whether we consider the compiled matter or the framework in which it is set, entitling it to be classed along with some of the most esteemed of our minor biographical narratives, it exhibits more than the ordinary characteristics of an adventurous sailor's
life, for the juvenile hero whose history it traces was endowed with superior natural parts which had been assiduously cultivated, and was fortunate in having accompanied Captain William Henry Smyth, on the occasion of that gentleman's survey of the Mediterranean shores, thereby obtaining access to scenes and personages which few of the profession enjoy. There is thus some interesting descriptions given independent of the attractions of the youth whose pen detailed them; still the principal charm of the work arises from the ingenuous spirit of the writer, the ardour of his heart, and the vivid natural character of his sketches. A few extracts will show that the Logs and Letters of William Robinson ought to be heartily welcomed by every youth who makes choice of the Navy for a profession, and by every parent who would have a son follow an admirable model in that honourable department.
The subject of these Memoirs was the eldest son of William Robinson Esq., LL.D. of the Middle Temple, London, Barrister at Law, and was born in July, 1804. The legal profession had been selected for him by his father, but a delicate constitution and uncertain health led to another direction, the navy having all along been the object of the youth's fancy, although he had for a considerable time refrained from expressing his wish, lest he should cause uneasiness to his parents.
It is justly observed by the Editor, that although the life of a sailor be one of physical hardship and much privation, yet sometimes the feeblest constitutions are the most ardent in the performance of the duties of their perilous profession. It is well known that England's greatest naval hero was so weak, that his uncle, Captain Suckling, was unwilling that one so frail "should be sent to rough it out at sea." In William Robinson's case, though the flesh was weak, the spirit was strong; earning in the name "Jack Robinson," with which his fellow mids dubbed him, a testimony of their hearty appreciation of his zeal and ability.
From the very first our Midshipman was pleased with his profession, and ready to picture favourably many things which disgust others. He, at the very outset, seemed to rejoice in the hope that was set before him, rather than to brood on the pain of being separated from his family. There was, however, in all Letters evidence of a fine healthy feeling towards his kindred and homely scenes. Here is a specimen in one of his earliest communications.
"This morning (August 9,) in beating through the Gut of Gibraltar, there were nearly a hundred porpoises about the bows of the ship; and as I was bathing in a cot, there was a dolphin which the boatswain struck with a harpoon, but by mismanagement in hauling it on board, it disengaged itself, and escaped. My mother thought we should have nothing to eat but salt meat. I dare say you will be astonished when you hear, that during the time I have been on board, I have had nothing but goose,