« PreviousContinue »
The plans for the general education of the poor are making rapid
progress through the kingdom; and we cannot but anticipate the most happy results, when, as appears by the following Address, some of the most respectable and influential characters in the country have united in supporting and recommending this great work.
Address of the Committee for promoting the Royal Lancas.
terian System for the Education of the Poor.
The present address is made to those, who, possessing the common feelings of humanity, wish to see all the good bestowed upon the lower orders of their species, of which their place in society admits. To all those who are not strangers to so humane a sentiment, it is an invitation to ask their own reason, whether the education of the poor is not an advantage of this description; and to afford us their aid, if we can prove to them that it will be attended with the most beneficial effects.
We present to their consideration a plan for extending to the poor the knowledge of reading, writing, and common arithmetic, more efficacious, and more economical in respect to both time and money, than has hitherto been conceived to be within the sphere of possibi. lity. It is a plan which, while it calls upon the superior and middling classes for nothing that admits the name of a sacrifice, promises to bestow upon them more able and more trust-worthy associates in all the circumtances of life, in which we are dependent upon the cooperation and fidelity of our subordinate brethren. It is probably not sufficiently considered to what an extent that dependence reaches; the poor are our inmates, and our guardians. They surround our tables, they surround our beds, they inhabit our nurseries. Our lives; our properties; the minds, and the health of our children, are to an inconceivable degree dependent upon their good or evil qua. lities.
According to the system which Mr. Lancaster has not only esta. blished, but already reduced to practice, and of the practical efficacy of which the most satisfactory experience has now been obtained, the children of the poor, before they are old enough to work, can be completely taught the valuable acquirements of reading, writing and arithmetic, at an expense, even in the metropolis, of little more than five shillings per annum for each. It follows evidently from thin
most important fact, that by a combination requiring very slender efforts among the benevolent and public-spirited members of the community, those useful attainments may be extended to the whole of the rising generation, and the pious wish of the Sovereign be fully accomplished, "that every poor child in the kingdom should be able to read the Bible.”
The points of utility naturally connected with this event are of two kinds, and both in the highest degree important. The first res spects the purposes to which the faculties in question might be turned in the different offices which devolve upon the lower orders. The second respects the frame of mind which is created during, and by the acquirement.
1. It is surely unnecessary to point out the innumerable modes in which the faculties of reading, writing and accounting, render the lower orders more useful coadjutors to us on those occasions in which we stand in need of their services ; as domestics, as artisans, as manufacturers, as persons entrusted with the guardianship, the transfer, the improvement of our property in a thousand ways. It Is impossible that any man capable of recalling to his mind the number and importance of these occasions, can doubt of the prodigious advantage derived to society from so great an addition to the useful faculties of the operative members of the community.
2. But, high as this advantage ought evidently to be ranked, it is still very inferior to that which arises from the frame of mind created by the discipline of education; by the habits of order, and of the love of rational esteem, which it is its nature to engender. Let us but reflect upon the different modes in which the time required for education is spent by the children of the poor, when in a school like that of Mr. Lancaster's, and when at no school. If at no school, their time is for the most part at their own disposal ; it is spent with idle companions like themselves, in all the disorderly courses of which idleness is the parent. Their life is (upon their own scale) an exact picture of that irregularity in the grown man, which produces almost all the unprofitable and dangerous members of society; and it cannot, from the known laws of the human constitution, operate otherwise than as a most fruitful seminary of this unhappy description of persons. In a school of Mr. Lancaster's, on the other hand, the children are inured to habits of order and subordination. They are delivered from idleness, and from the daring and disorderly courses for which it gives a taste. They become habituated to strive with one another for superiority in useful arts, and to look for praise from the attainment of real excellence. Who sees not that in the one course of training there is every chance of rearing valuable members of society? Who sees not that in the other there is every chance of rearing pernicious ones?
For the particular methods pursued in Mr. Lancaster's plan of education, we must refer to his own publications. One regulation
it is necessary to state. In order to obviate the scruples which parents and guardians attached to any particular form of christianity might feel with respect to the religious instruction imparted in Mr. Lancaster's schools; and in order to extend the benefits of his plan of education to all the religious denominations of the community, instead of confining them to one or a few, it is an inviolable law to teach nothing but what is the standard of belief to all christians, THE SCRIPTURES THEMSELVES. The children are not only taught to read the bible, but are trained in the habit of reading it, and are left entirely to the explanations and commentaries which their parents or friends may think it their duty to give them at honie.
In the Borough school alone 6000 children have been educated, whose parents were of the poorest description, and hitherto no instance has been noticed of any one of these children being since charged with a criminal offence in any court of justice.
The patronage which Mr. Lancaster has received, particularly from Their Majesties and the whole of the Royal Family, having contributed powerfully to the general adoption of his plans, schools are now established in every county of England; several have been erected in Scotland, and some in Ireland. As the advantages of the system are more generally experienced, more numerous applications continue to be made to Mr. Lancaster for assistance in the formation of schools; bringing along with them an additional burthen of expense, and a demand for more extended means. It is sufficiently evident, that, in order to disseminate in the most perfect manner the benefits of the scheme, persons completely trained in its practical details, are highly necessary to be employed in conducting the first operations of every newly-erected seminary. Among the youths who como under Mr. Lancaster's care, it is his object to select those who ap. pear best calculated for his purpose, and to train them up to become school-masters and school-mistresses in the new establishments which are successively formed. The instances which have already ap. peared, of youths of fourteen or fifteen years of age conducting with almost the regularity of a machine, schools containing several hun. dreds of children, and imparting to them, with unexampled rapidity, the elements of education, afford the most gratifying proofs of the adaptation of the expedients to the great object in view. The main. tenance, however, of the young persons intended for this office, dur. ing the time of their preparation, has been experienced to be the grand source of expense attending this institution, reaching far beyond the unaided exertions of any individual to supply.
in consideration of these circumstances, and in particular of the importance of the last great article of expense, the following noblemen and gentlemen have agreed, in aid of the indefatigable and meritorious exertions of the Founder of the system, to act as a com. mittee for obtaining subscriptions and superintending their appli. eation.
Jonathan Wathen Phipps, Esq. James Loch, Esq. John Maitland, Esq. M.P. John Merivale, Esq. James Mill, Esq. Basil Montagu, Esq. Daniel Moore, Esq. J. Petty Muspratt, Esq. Richard Phillips, Esq. William Phillips, Esq. William Foster Reynolds, Esq. Thomas Reynolds, Esq. Samuel Rogers, Esq. Sir Samuel Romilly, N.P, John Smith, Esq. M.P. Joseph Smith, Esq. William Smith, Esq. M.P. Honourable Captain James Stanhope. Henry Sterry, Esq. Joseph Fitzwilliam Vandercom, Esq, William Vaughan, Esq. John Walker, Esq. Samuel Whitbread, Esq. M.P. Samuel Woods, Esq.
Joseph Fox, Esq.
John Jackson, Esq. M.P. | Thomas Sturge, Esq.
HIS GRACE THE DUKE OF BEDFORD.
The Most Noble the Marquis of Lans.
William Allen, Esq.
Joseph Fox, Esq.
Subscriptions are received by the Members of the Committee, and by Messrs. Kensington, Styan & Adams, 20, Lombard-street, Bankers to the Trustees,
Messrs. Rapsom, Morland & Co. Pall-Mall,
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS TO CORRESPONDENTS.
The interesting Statement from Birmingham to appear in our next. The Remarks on the Character and Labours of the late John Howard will be attended to.
The Statement relative to the School-masters' Fund would have been inserted, had it not found its way into another Publication.
Of the Manners and Customs of the People of Cayor, Sin,
(Continued from page 210.]
Next to the religion, I may speak of the jurisprudence or of the law, as it exists in the country now under our consi. deration.
When Africa was first discovered, there were comparatively but few criminals, and these were punished in a manner proportioned in some degree to the seuse which the natives entertain of the nature of the offence. Hence to different crimes it was found that there were annexed different punishments. But since the introduction of the Slave T'rade by the Europeans, the African codes of law have been all of them altered. There is now in Cayor, Sin, and Sallum but one punishment, whatever the transgression be, and this is foreign slavery.
The crimes, or supposed crimes for which the inhabitants may be made to suffer are, murder, adultery, theft, and witchcraft.
Murder is distinguished into two kinds, either as it is premeditated or accidental. In the case of premeditated murder, it is of great consequence to the delinquent whether he be rich or poor. If the murderer be a man of condition, be must immediately on the perpetration of the act repair to the King. He must then throw himself at his feet and inake him an offer of the full value of a slave. By doing this he may make his peace. If poor, he is sure to be sold, and sometimes his family with bim. The probability of his family being sold at the same time depends much on the exigencies of the