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scientious parent, before he consents. One of the supposed advantages to expose his children to them. .of a publick school, is the greater
This system also gives to the el. knowledge of the world which a boy - der boys an absurd and pernicious is considered to derive from those opinion of their own importance, situations; but if, by a knowledge which is often with difficulty effaced of the world, is meant a knowledge by a considerable commerce with of the forms and manners which are the world. The head of a publick found to be the most pleasing and school is generally a very conceited useful in the world, a boy from a young man, utterly ignorant of his publick school is almost always ex. own dimensions, and losing all that tremely deficient in these particu. habit of conciliation towards others, lars; and his sister, who has remainand that anxiety for self improve. ed at home at the apron strings of ment, which result from the natural her mother, is very much his supe. modesty of youth. Nor is this con- riour in the science of manners. It ceit very easily and speedily gotten is probably true, that a boy at a pubrid of. We have seen (if we mistake lick school has made more observa. not) publick school importance last. tions on human character, because ing through the half of after life, he has had more opportunities of strutting in lawn, swelling in er- observing, than have been enjoyed mine, and displaying itself, both by young persons educated either ridiculously and offensively, in the at home or at private schools; but haunts and business of bearded this little advance gained at a pubmen.
lick school, is so soon overtaken at There is a manliness in the ath- college or in the world, that, to have letick exercises of publick schools, made it, is of the least possible conwhich is as seductive to the imagi. sequence, and utterly undeserving nation as it is utterly unimportant in of any risk incurred in the acquisiitself. Of what importance is it in tion. Is it any injury to a man of after life, whether a boy can play thirty or thirty-five years of age; to well or ill at cricket; or row a boat a learned serjeant or a venerable with the skill and precision of a wa- dean, that at eighteen they did not terman ? If our young lords and know so much of the world as some esquires were hereafter to wrestle other boys of the same standing? together in publick, or the gentle. They have probably escaped the men of the bar to exhibit Olympick arrogant character so often attendgames in Hilary term, the glory at ant upon this trifling superiority; nor tached to these exercises of publick is there much chance that they have schools would be rational and impor. ever fallen into the common and tant. But of what use is the body of youthful errour of mistaking a prean athlete, when we have good laws mature initiation into vice, for a over our heads, or when a pistol, knowledge of the ways of mankind: a postchaise, or a porter, can be and, in addition to these salutary hired for a few shillings? A gentle. exemptions, a winter in London man does nothing but ride or walk; brings it all to a level; and offers to and yet such a ridiculous stress is every novice the advantages which laid upon the manliness of the exer. are supposed to be derived from cises customary at publick schools, this precocity of confidence and poexercises in which the greatest lish. blockheads commonly excel the According to the general prejumost, as often render habits of idle- dice in favour of publick schools, it ness inveterate, and often lead to would be thought quite as absurd foolish expense and dissipation at a . and superfluous to enumerate the more advanced period of life. illustrious characters who have been
bred at our three great seminaries on morals and metaphysicks, it was of this description, as it would be not the system of publick schools to descant upon the illustrious cha which produced Bacon, Shaftesbury, racters who have passed in and out Hobbes, Berkley, Butler, Hume, of London over our three great Hartley, or Dugald Stewart. The bridges. Almost every conspicuous greatest discoverers in chymistry person is supposed to have been edu. have not been brought up at publick cated at publick schools, and there schools; we mean Dr. Priestly, Dr. are scarcely any means (as it is ima- Black, and Mr. Davy. The only En. gined) of making an actual compa- glishmen who have evinced a rerison; and yet, great as the rage is, markable genius, in modern times, and long has been, for publick for the art of war; the duke of Marlschools, it is very remarkable, that borough, lord Peterborough, general the most eminent men in every art Wolfe, and lord Clive, were all and science have not been educated trained in private schools. So were in publick schools; and this is true, lord Coke, sir Matthew Hale, and even if we include, in the term of lord chancellor Hardwick, and chief publick schools, not only Eton, Win- justice Holt, among the lawyers. So chester, and Westminster, but the also, among statesmen, were lord Charter-house, St Paul's School, Burleigh, Walsingham, the earl of Merchant Taylors, Rugby, and eve- Strafford, Thurloe, Cromwell,Hampry school in England, at all conduct. den, lord Clarendon, sir Walter ed upon the plan of the three first. Raleigh, Sydney, Russel, sir W. The great schools of Scotland we Temple, lord Somers, Burke, Shedo not call publick schools; because, 'ridan, Pitt. In addition to this in these, the mixture of domestick list, we must not forget the names life gives to them a widely different of such eminent scholars and men oharacter. Spenser, Pope, Shak- of letters, as Cudworth, Chillingspeare, Butler, Rochester, Spratt, worth, Tillotson, archbishop King, Parnell, Garth, Congreve, Gay, Swift, Selden, Conyers, Middleton, BentThomson, Shenstone, Akenside, ley, sir Thomas Moore, cardinal Goldsmith, Samuel Johnson, Beau. Wolsey, bishops Sherlock and Wil. mont and Fletcher, Ben Johnson, kins, Jeremy Taylor, Isaac Hooker, Sir Philip Sidney, Savage, Arbuth- bishops Usher, Stillingfleet and Spel. not, and Burns, among the poets, man, Dr. Samuel Clark, bishop were not educated in the system of Hoadley and Dr. Lardner. Nor must English schools. Sir Isaac Newton, it be forgotten, in this examination, Maclaurin, Wallis, Hamstead, Saun- that none of the conspicuous writers derson, Simpson, and Napier, among upon publick economy which this men of science, were not educated country has as yet produced, have in publick schools. The three best been brought up in publick schools. historians that the English language If it be urged that publick schools has produced, Clarendon, Hume, have only assumed their present and Robertson, were not educated character within this last century, or at publick schools. Publick schools half century, and that what are now have done little in England for the called publick schools, partook, be. fine arts, as in the examples of Inigo fore this period, of the nature of priJones, Vanburgh, Reynolds, Gains- vate schools, there must then be borough, Garrick, &c. The great added to our lists, the names of Mil. medical writers and discoverers in ton, Dryden, Addison, &c. &c. and it Great Britain, Harvey, Cheseldon, will follow, that the English have Hunter, Jenner, Meade, Brown and done almost all that they have done Cullen, were not educated at pub in the arts and sciences, without the lick schools. Of the great writers aid of that system of education to which they are now so much at, five or six hundred other boys, and tached. Ample as this catalogue of is. left to form his own character; if celebrated names already is, it would his love of knowledge survives this be easy to doubie it; yet, as it standsă i severe trial, it, in general, carries it is obviously sufficient to show that him very far; and, upon the same great eminence may be attained in principle, a savage, who grows up. any line of fame, without the aid of to manhood, is, in general, well publick schools. Some more striking made, and free from all budily deinferences might, perhaps, be drawn fects; not because the severities of from it; but we content ourselves , such a state are favourable to animal with the simple fact. . : life, but because they are so much
The most important peculiarity in the reverse, that none but the strong. the constitution of a publick school est can survive them. A few boys : is its numbers, which are so great, are incorrigibly idle, and a few in-.. that a close inspection of the master corrigibly eager for knowledge; but into the studies and conduct of each, the great mass are in a state of doubt individual is quite impossible. We and fluctuation; and they come. to. must be allowed to doubt, whether school, for the express purpose not such an arrangement is favourable of being left to themselves (for that either to literature or morals.
could be done any where) but that .Upon this system, a boy is left their wavering tastes and propensi. almost entirely to himself, to im- , ties should be decided by the inter- ; press upon his own mind, as well. vention of a master. In a forest, or. as he can, the distant advantages of publick school for oaks and elms, knowledge, and to withstand, from the trees are left to themselves; the his own innate resolution, the exam- , strong plants, live,. And the weak ples and the seductions of idleness. ones die. The towerinig oak that A firm.character survives this brave , remains is admired; the saplings. neglect; and very exalted talents that perish round it are cast into the may sometimes remedy it by subse.' flames and forgotten. But it is not, : quent diligence. But schools are not surely, to the vegetable struggle of made for a few youths of preemi, a forest, or the hasty glance of a nent talents, and strong characters; forester, that a botanist would coinsuch prizes can, of course, be drawn mit a favourite plant. He would but by a very few parents. The best naturally seek for it a situation of school is that which is best accom- less hazard, and a cultivátor whose modated to the greatest variety of limited , occupations would enable characters, and which embraces the him to give to it a reasonable share greatest number of cases. It cannot of his time and attention. The very be the main object of education to meaning of education seems to his render the splendid more splendid, to be, that the old should teach and to lavish care upon those who the young, and the wise direct the would almost thrive without any care weak; that a man who professes to at all. A publick school does this instruct, should get among his pueffectually; but it commonly leaves pils; study their characters; gain the idle almost as idle, and the dull their affections; and form their inclialmost as dull, as it found them. It nations and aversions. In a publick disdains the tedious cultivation of school, the numbers render this imthose middling talents, of which possible; it is impossible that suffionly the great mass of human beings cient time should be found for this are possessed. When a strong de- useful and affectionate interference. sire of improvement exists, it is Boys, therefore, are left to their own encouraged, but no means are taken crude conceptions, and ill-formed to inspire it. A boy is cast in among propensities; and this peglect is.. tion.
called a spirited and manly educae : before their entry into the world,
they can then only be looked upon In by far the greatest number of as evils of the greatest magnitude, cases, we cannot think "publick however they may be sanctioned by schools favourable to the cultivation opinion, or rendered familiar to us of knowledge; and we have equally by habit. strong doubts if they be so to the .The vital and essential part of a cuitivation of morals, though we school, is the master; but, at a pubadmit, that, upon this point, the most lick school, no boy, or, at the best, striking arguments have been pro- only a very few, can see enough of duced in their favour...
: him to derive any considerable bene. It is contended by the friends to fit from his character, manners, and publick schools, that every person, information. It is certainly of emibefore he comes to man's estate, » nent use, particularly to a young must run through a certain career man of rank, that he should have of dissipation; and if that career is, lived among boys; but it is only so by the means of a private education, when they are all moderately watch, deferred to a more advanced period ed by some superiour understanding, of life, it will only be begun with The morality of boys is generally greater eagerness, and pursued into very imperfect; their notions of homore blamable excess. The time nour extremely mistaken; and their must, of course, come, when every objects of ambition frequently very man must be his own master; when absurd. The probability then is, that his conduct can be no longer regu- the kind of discipline they exercise lated by the watchful superinten- over each other will produce (when dance of another, but must be gui. left to itself) a great deal of mis ded by his own discretion. Emanci. chief; and yet this is the discipline pation must come at last; and we to which every child at a publick admit, that the object to be aimed at school is not only necessarily expo. is, that such emancipation should be sed, but principally confined. Our gradual and not premature. Upon objection (we again repeat) is not this very inviduous point of the dis- to the interference of boys in the cussion, we rather wish to avoid formation of the character of boys; offering any opinion. The manners their character, we are persuaded, of great schools vary considerably will be very imperfectly formed from time to time; and what may without their assistance; but our ob. have been true many years ago, is jection is, to that almost exclusive very possibly not true at the present agency which they exercise in pube period. In this instance, every pa- lick schools. rent must be governed by his own After having said so much in op. observations and means of informa. position to the general prejudice in tion. If the license which prevails at favour of publick schools, we may publick schools is only a fair increase be expected to state what species of of liberty, proportionate to advan school we think preferable to them; cing age, and calculated to prevent for if publick schools, with all their the bad effects of a sudden transi- disadvantages, are the best that can tion from tutelary thraldom to per actually be found, or easily attained, fect self government, it is certainly the objections to them are certainly a good, rather than an evil. If, on made to very little purpose. the contrary, there exists in these We have no hesitation, however, places of education a system of pre- in saying, that that education seems mature debauchery, and if they only to us to be the best, which mingles prevent men from being corrupted a domestick with a school life; and by the world, by corrupting them which gives to a youth the advantage which is to be derived from the He will be aware, that his object is, learning of a master, and the emu- to fit his pupil for the world; that lation which results from the society constant control is a very bad preof other boys, together with the af.. paration for complete emancipation fectionate vigilance which he must from all control; that it is not bad experience in the house of his pa- policy to expose a young man, under rents. But where this species of the eye of superiour wisdom, to education, from peculiarity of cir. some of those dangers which will cumstances or situation, is not attain- assail him hereafter in greater num. able, we are disposed to think, a ber, and in greater strength; when society of twenty or thirty boys, une he has only his own resources to de. dot the guidance of a learned man, pend upon. A private education, conand, above all, of a man of good ducted upon these principles, is not sense, to be a seminary the best a. calculated to gratify, quickly, the vas dapted for the education of youth. nity of a parent who is blest with a The numbers are sufficient to excite child of strong character and preemi. a considerable degree of emula- nent abilities. To be the first scholar tion, to give to a boy some insight of an obscure master, at an obscure into the diversities of the human place, is no very splendid distinc. character, and to subject him to the tion, nor does it afford that opportuobservation and control of his su- nity, of which so many parents are periours. It by no means follows, desirous, of forming great connexthat a judicious man should always ions for their children. But if the obinterfere with his authority and ad. ject be, to induce the young to love vice, because he has always the knowledge and virtue, we are inclimeans; he may connive at many ned to suspect, that, for the average things which he cannot approve, of human talents and characters, and suffer some little failures to pro- these are the situations in which ceed to a certain extent, which, if such tastes will be the most effecindulged in wider limits, would be tually formed. attended with irretrievable mischief.
FROM THE EDINBURGH REVIEW.
Fa Tsing Leu Lee; being the Fundamental Laws, and a Selection from the supplementary Statutes of the Penal Code of China; originally printed and published in Pekin, in various successive Editions, under the Sanction and by the Authority of the several Emperours of the Ta Tsing, or present Dynasty. Translated from the Chinese; and accompanied with an Appendix, consisting of authentick Documents and a few occasional Notes, illustrative of the Subject of the Work. By Sir George Thomas Staunton, Bart. F. R. S. 4to. pp. 581. London, 1810.
THE Chinese have not hitherto'love of paradox, and laudable zeal had very fair play in Europe. The to depreciate that part of their spe. first missionaries, from the natural cies with which they are best acpropensity of all discoverers to mag- quainted, eagerly took up and imnify the importance of their disco. proved upon the legends of the holy very, gave a most exaggerated ac- fathers, till they had not only exalted count of their merits and attain, those remote Asiaticks above all ments; and then came a set of phi. European competition, but had transhosophers, who, from their natural formed them into a sort of biped