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ment of fraud ; so may bread, if discharged from the mouth of a cannon, be an instrument of death. *»
We had no riots in this part of the country in 1830; and in 1831 one case of fire only, which might have been accidental. All classes here are tolerably well educated in the Endowed Schools of the Netherby Estate; and this is considered one great cause of the country remaining undisturbed. t-(Cumberland.) Kirkandrews upon Esk. Andrew Armstrong, Assistant Overseer.'
“There is not one child in fifty,' continues Mr. Mill, who has not learned to make its cries and wailings an instrument of power-very often they are an instrument of absolute tyranny. When the evil grows to excess, the vulgar say the child is spoiled. Not only is the child allowed to exert an influence over the wills of others, by means of their pains ; it finds that frequently, sometimes most frequently, its own will is needlessly and unduly commanded by the same means, pain, and the fear of pain. All these sensations concur in establishing a firm association between the idea of the grand object of desire, command over the acts of other men, and the idea of pain and terror, as the means of acquiring it. That those who have been subject to tyranny are almost always desirous of being tyrants in their turn ; that is to say, that a strong association has been formed in their minds, between the ideas of pleasure and dignity, on the one hand, and those of the exercise of tyranny on the other, is a matter of old and invariable observation.'
Mr. Mill then goes on to cite the case of the Eton boys; but we may here, with equal propriety, refer to the case set forth in the portions of evidence last quoted. That evidence exhibits a striking view of the process which, under the effects of the bad education of both rich and poor, high and low, has been going on for a long succession of ages. The ignorant peasantry who composed the rioters and the rick-burners had been nurtured in the experience and acknowledgment of physical pain and terror as the principal, if not the only, spring of their actions. The pain and terror to them appeared at least coincident with pleasure and power to others. No wonder that in such men's minds a strong association was formed between the ideas of pleasure and power to themselves, and the ideas of pain and terror to those others, as the means. From the same cause have sprung all the burnings, the torturings, the murders, the massacres, that fill up, with scarce an interval, man's long dark history of crime and sorrow. What is the history of our race, at least that part of the history which is recorded and known, but a long, dreary, almost unvaried tale of alternate domination and slavery, brought about by the instrumentality of violence and pain? What else is it that swells the poet's proudest lay, and lends its deepest interest to the historian's pictured page? And thus the most popular poets and historians, partaking of the bad education of those whose actions they described, have tended to strengthen the pernicious association above alluded to, and so to perpetuate the curse wherewith mankind has been afflicted, and to carry down, through all generations, the degradation of humanity. Thus too it may perhaps be said, that much of the literature at present existing, that many of the books hitherto written, may become, in the hands of the unwary, as much an instrument of death as the bread spoken of, if discharged from the mouth of a cannon. It follow's, from the foregoing reflections, in connexion with a large portion of evidence in the vast Appendix to the Poor Law Commissioners' Report, that the lower classes, as they are called, are by no means the only classes that stand in need of education ; and further, that even the class which has hitherto exclusively rejoiced in the appellation of 'worshipful and 6 honourable,' will not much longer command any considerable portion of either worship or honour, unless they establish some better claim to such observances than they possess at present.
* Parliamentary Paper, (190) 1833, pp. 12, 13.
† Appendix (B), quest. 53, p. 111 c.
But the most conclusive, and at the same time most cheering evidence which is to be met with in this country upon this most important and interesting subject, is furnished from the state of a whole county, Northumberland.
In Northumberland the mal-administration of the poorlaws which has reached such a height in some of the southern and midland counties has made no progress, or so little that its effects have scarcely become discernible : consequently, the improved system of education which has of late years come into operation in Northumberland for the poorer classes, has not met with any very material impediment.
It should be remarked that the general tenor of the answers to the questions from Northumberland shows that the labourers are more skilful, as well as more industrious, than formerly. The following answers are particularly worthy of attention, as distinctly and specially indicating the cause of that improvement:
• Increasing and better workmen, because more intelligent, and not so much addicted as formerly to run after idle sports and games,
such as cock fighting, horse races, &c.'*--(Northumberland,) Whelpington (not Kirkwhelpington), consisting of ten townships. John Hodgson, Vicar.
• Much as formerly. No change, except in becoming more skilful and intelligent,'t-(Northumberland.) Wooler. Robert Jobson, Matthew Culley, Overseers.
It is thought that the labourers are more skilful workmen in consequence of being better educated.'1-(Northumberland.) Bothal. Edward Otter, Rector.
The industry of the multitude lis neither more nor less than it used to be, though, in many individual instances, it is increased, and all are decidedly better workmen, owing to a greatly improved system of agriculture, and to a very slight pressure of numbers ; for the spirit of independence being unbroken among the people, the competition tends to make them both more industrious and better workmen. Many are also looking forward to becoming proprietors of land in Canada, or tenants of farms at home; this stimulates them to save. It is also asserted that both masters and servants are more civilized-more polite” was one of the terms used to me ; and certainly their language and address are decidedly superior to that of the same class in the south of England. The colliers also are very much improved ; and the education of all, both male and female, is of a much better description than this class can usually command, and it is moreover paid for by themselves.” § -(Northumberland.) Ford. John Chalfont, Blackden.
The last remark is deserving of very particular attention, • It is moreover paid for by themselves. If any argument be necessary to support this practice, Dr. Chalmers may be quoted. He says:
• What is gotten for no value is rated at no value ; what may be obtained without cost in money is often counted unworthy of any cost in pains; what parents do not pay for the acquirement of, chil. dren will not be so urged to toil for the acquirement of; to be away from school, or to be idle at school when not a matter of pecuniary loss, will far more readily be a matter of connivance. There is no doubt a loss of other advantages; but these, under a loose and gratuitous system of education, will be but held in capricious demand and in slender estimation. The only way of thoroughly incorporating the education of the young with the habit of families, is to make it form part of the family expenditure ; and thus to make the interest, and the watchfulness, and the jealousy of parents, so many guarantees for the diligence of their children.'
The following view of what education may do for the labouring classes in an English parish will gratify not less than it will surprise those who have only had the means of
* App. (B.) Q. 37, p. 351, c. + App. (B.) Quest. 37, p. 352 c.
App. (B.) Q. 37, p. 347, c. l Second Report of Evidence on the State of the Poor in Ireland, 1836, p. 329.
judging of the English agricultural population from the specimens in the southern counties. It is extracted from a valuable communication made to the Poor Law Commissioners by the Rev. Mr. Gilly, Vicar of Norham, a part of the county of Durham which is situated on the banks of the Tweed, and printed in Appendix C. of their Report:
But what is still more worthy of notice, the large Bible, which, in many cases, has been transmitted from father to son, through several generations, and the shelf of serious books, show that the carefulness and comfort which reign within the labouring man's tenement have originated in principles inculcated by a Christian education, and by scriptural lessons of prudence and self-command. I scarcely know an instance in which the children of an agricultural labourer have not been sent to school, for the most part at his own expense. There are at this time eight village schools for daily instruction in Norham parish, containing 320 children (whose parents are paying for their instruction at the rate of 28. or 2s. 6d. a quarter), besides a free-school, containing 27. In all these schools the Scriptures are read daily, and religious instruction is imparted, so that the lessons taught are not on the side of mere scholarship only (although I know several boys of fourteen and fifteen, who have made advancement in the higher branches of arithmetic and in practical geometry in these village schools), but of reflection and religion. I believe the parents set a greater value upon that education the expenses of which they defray themselves: they watch their children's progress more narrowly.
• It is in these things that we discern the close and inseparable connexion between the moral and the outward condition of the agricultural labourer. From prudence and education results the prosperity of this district; and it is not here, as in some other places, that “ the absolute plenty of the land, and the relative poverty of the people who live in it, keep pace one with the other.” A high standard of character has raised the standard of comfort here, and for many years useful education, combined with Christian education, has been diffusing its blessings, and the present aspect of the district exemplifies the theory of Dr. Chalmers,
" that it is from the power of Christian education, and not from the devices of the economists, that our improvements are to come.'
There is one more piece of evidence that may be quoted in support of the position that, with such poor-laws as ours, education is a dead letter. The example of some of the North American States may be cited in proof of the dreadfully demoralizing, of the withering effects of the system of English poor-laws, even in the extreme case, under the most favourable circumstances, that can now be exhibited on the surface of the globe. It appears, from the following evidences, that even the great diffusion of education and the high wages of America are not sufficient to protect many of her citizens
from the influence of the strong temptation to eat and to drink without working, to live at ease like gentlemen,' held out by that system, which, in England, has been carried to such a height as to appear to establish the indolent and vicious pauper as the reckless and luxurious lord of the soil on which he was brought into existence.
• National Education. By the report of the secretary of state of New York, February 9, 1824, it appears that in the state of New York, one person in
220 is a pauper. Massachusetts, one in
68 Connecticut, one in
150 New Hampshire, one in
100 Delaware, one in
227' In a report made in the year 1825, from a committee on the poor-laws, which sat at Philadelphia, are the following passages expressive of the conclusions of the committee :
• Upon the whole, your committee are convinced that the effect of a compulsory provision for the poor is to increase the number of paupers,-to entail an oppressive burden on the country,—to promote idleness and licentiousness among the labouring classes—and to afford relief to the profligate and abandoned, which ought to be bestowed on the virtuous and industrious alone. That the poorlaws have done away the necessity for private charity—that they have been onerous to the community, and every way injurious to the morals, comfort, and independence of that class for whose benefit they were intended. That no permanent alleviation of the evils of the system can rationally be expected from the erection of poor-houses, or from any other similar expedient; and that the only hope of effectual relief is the speedy and total abolition of the system itself
. In this country, where there are no privileged orders, where all classes of society have equal rights, and where our population is far from being so dense as to press upon the means of subsistence, it is indeed alarming to find the increase of pauperism progressing with such rapidity.
“ We are fast treading in the footsteps of England.”
In the fourth report of the Boston Prison Discipline Society, 6th edition, p. 252, there is the following passage on the subject, inserted under the head, ' Connexion of Pauperism with Crime:
. This is a subject, too, which we have introduced in this part of our report, because we have become acquainted with the evils of it in consequence of what we have seen in Massachusetts. The state of Massachusetts appropriates; and has done it for many years, about 50,000 dollars annually as a state, besides what is done in the towns, for the support of paupers. In some of the larger towns, APRIL-JULY, 1834.