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the despotic governments of Europe, schools are open for every child without distinction; and not only the elements of reading and writing, but music and drawing are taught, and a foundation is laid for future progress in history, geography, and physical science. The greatest minds are at work on popular education. The revenues of states are applied most liberally, not to the universities for the few, but to the common schools, Undoubtedly, much remains to be done ; especially a new rank in society is to be given to the teacher ; but even in this respect a revolution has commenced, and we are beginning to look on the guides of the young as the chief benefactors of mankind.
Thus, we see in the intellectual movements of our times, the tendency to expansion, to universality; and this must continue. It is not an accident, or an inexplicable result, or a violence on nature ; it is founded in eternal truth. Every mind was made for growth, for knowledge; and its nature is sinned against, when it is doomed to ignorance. The divine gift of intelligence was bestowed for higher uses than bodily labour, than to make hewers of wood, drawers of water, ploughmen, or servants. Every being, so gifted, is intended to acquaint himself with God and his works, and to perform wisely and disinterestedly the duties of life. Accordingly, when we see the multitude of men beginning to thirst for knowledge, for intellectual action, for something more than animal life, we see the great design of Nature about to be accomplished ; and society, having received this impulse, will never rest till it shall have taken such a form as will place within every man's reach the means of intellectual culture. This is the revolution to which we are tending : and without this, all outward political changes would be but children's play, leaving the great work of society yet to be done.
ARNOLD. [The opinions of so eminent a man as the late Dr. Arnold on Classical Education must always command the attention of every candid inquirer. Those who advocate the general education of the People are somewhat too apt to say that Latin and Greek are useless things. There cannot, in our view, be a greater instance of narrow-mindedness. It is the abuse of the study of Latin and Greek that alone is to be condemned. Arnold was the model of a sensible teacher: and the following extract from an account of his own school at Rugby, which he published in the Quarterly Journal of Education,' in 1834, puts this question of Classical Education on the surest footing. Thomas Arnold was born at Cowes, in the Isle of Wight, in 1795; he died of spasm of the heart in 1842; having devoted the greater part of his useful life to the instruction of the young. As an author he is best known by his · Roman History. But the great beauty of his character was never generally understood till the publication of his Life and Correspondence. The following account of his mode of living at Laleham, where he received private pupils from 1819 to 1828, is from the pen of one of those pupils :-and it eminently shows the great cause of Arnold's unrivalled success as the Head Master of a Public School, in which capacity he closed his too short career :
“ The most remarkable thing which struck me at once on joining the Laleh am circle was, the wonderful healthiness of tone and feeling which prevailed in it. Every thing about me I immediately found to be most real; it was a place where a new-comer at once felt that a great and earnest work was going forward. Dr. Arnold's great power as a private tutor resided in this, that he gave such an intense earnestness to life. Every pupil was made to feel that there was a work for him to do that his happiness as well as his duty lay in doing that work well. Hence, an indescribable zest was communicated to a young man's feelings about life; a strange joy came over him on discovering that he had the means of being useful, and thus of being happy; and a deep respect and ardent attachment sprang up towards him who had taught him thus to value life and his ownself, and his work and mission in this world. All this was founded on the breadth and comprehensiveness of Arnold's character, as well as its striking truth and reality; on the unfeigned regard he had for work of all kinds, and the sense he hed of its value both for the complex aggregate of society and the growth and perfestion of the individual. Thus, pupils of the most different natures were keenly stimulated : pone felt that he was left out, or that, because he was not endowed with large powers of
derful power of making all his pupils respect themselves, and in awakening in them a consciousness of the duties that God had assigned to them personally, and of the consequent reward each should have of his labours, was one of Arnold's most characteristic features as a trainer of youth; he possessed it eminently at Rugby; but, if I may trust my own vivid recollections, he had it quite as remarkably at Laleham. His hold over all his pupils I know perfectly astonished me. It was not so much an enthusiastic admiration for his genius, or learning, or eloquence which stirred within them; it was a sympathetic thrill, caught from a spirit that was earnestly at work in the world—whose work was healthy, sustained, and constantly carried forward in the fear of God-a work which was founded on a deep sense of its duty and its value; and was coupled with such a true humility, such an unaffected simplicity, that others could not help being invigorated by the same feeling, and with the belief that they too in their measure could go and do likewise.
"In all this there was no excitement, no predilection for one class of work above another; no enthusiasm for any one-sided object; but an humble, profound, and most religious consciousness that work is the appointed calling of man on earth, the end for which his various faculties were given, the element in which his nature is ordained to develop itself, and in which his progressive advance towards heaven is to lie. Hence, each pupil felt assured of Arnold's sympathy in his own particular growth and character of talent; in striving to cultivate his own gifts, in whatever direction they might lead him, he infallibly found Arnold not only approving, but positively and sincerely valuing for themselves the results he had arrived at; and that approbation and esteem gave a dignity and a worth both to himself and his labour."]
A reader unacquainted with the real nature of a classical education, will be in danger of undervaluing it, when he sees that so large a portion of time at so important a period of human life is devoted to the study of a few ancient writers, whose works seem to have no direct bearing on the studies and duties of our own generation. For instance, although some provision is undoubtedly made at Rugby for acquiring a knowledge of modern history, yet the History of Greece and Rome is more studied than that of France and England; and Homer and Virgil are certainly much more attended to than Shakspere and Milton. This appears to many persons a great absurdity; while others who are so far swayed by authority as to believe the system to be right, are yet unable to understand how it can be so. A Journal of Education may not be an unfit place for a few remarks on this subject.
It may be freely confessed that the first origin of classical education affords in itself no reasons for its being continued now. When Latin and Greek were almost the only written languages of civilized man, it is manifest that they must have furnished the subjects of all liberal education. The question therefore is wholly changed, since the growth of a complete literature in other languages; since France, and Italy, and Germany, and England, have each produced their philosophers, their poets, and their historians, worthy to be placed on the same level with those of Greece and Rome.
But although there is not the same reason now which existed three or four centuries ago for the study of Greek and Roman literature, yet there is another no less substantial. Expel Greek and Latin from your schools, and you confine the views of the existing generation to themselves and their immediate predecessors; you will cut off so many centuries of the world's experience, and place us in the same state as if the human race had first come into existence in the year 1500. For it is nothing to say that a few learned individuals might still study classical literature; the effect produced on the public mind would be no greater than that which has resulted from the labours of our oriental scholars ; it would not spread beyond themselves, and men in general after a few generations would know as little of Greece
and Rome, as they do actually of China and Hindostan. But such an ignorance would be incalculably more to be regretted. With the Asiatic mind we have no nearer connection and sympathy than is derived from our common humanity. But the mind of the Greek and of the Roman is in all the essential points of its constitution our own; and not only so, but it is our mind developed to an extraordinary degree of perfection. Wide as is the difference between us with respect to those physical instruments which minister to our uses or our pleasures; although the Greeks and Romans had no steam engines, no printing presses, no mariner's compass, no telescopes, no microscopes, no gunpowder; yet in our moral and political views, in those matters which most determine human character, there is a perfect resemblance in these respects. Aristole, and Plato, and Thucydides, and Cicero, and Tacitus, are most untruly called ancient writers; they are virtually our own countrymen and contemporaries, but have the advantage which is enjoyed by intelligent travellers, that their observation has been exercised in a field out of the reach of common men; and that having thus seen in a manner with our eyes what we cannot see for ourselves, their conclusions are such as bear upon our own circumstances, while their information has all the charm of novelty, and all the value of a mass of new and pertinent facts, illustrative of the great science of the nature of civilized man.
Now when it is said, that men in manhood so often throw their Greek and Latin aside, and that this very fact shows the uselessness of their early studies, it is much more true to say that it shows how completely the literature of Greece and Rome would be forgotten, if our system of education did not keep up the knowledge of it. But it by no means shows that system to be useless, unless it followed that when a man laid aside his Greek and Latin books, he forgot also all that he had ever gained from them. This, however, is so far from being the case, that even where the results of a classical education are least tangible and least appreciated even by the individual himself, still the mind often retains much of the effect of its early studies in the general liberality of its tastes and comparative comprehensiveness of its views and notions.
All this supposes, indeed, that classical instruction should be sensibly conducted; it requires that a classical teacher should be fully acquainted with modern history and modern literature, no less than with those of Greece and Rome. What is, or perhaps what used to be, called a mere scholar, cannot possibly communicate to his pupils the main advantages of a classical education. The knowledge of the past is valuable, because without it our knowledge of the present and of the future must be scanty, but if the knowledge of the past be confined wholly to itself, if, instead of being made to bear upon things around us, it be totally isolated from them, and so disguised by vagueness and misapprehension as to appear incapable of illustrating them, then indeed it becomes little better than laborious trifling, and they who declaim against it may be fully forgiven.
27.--SIR ALEXANDER BALL.
COLERIDGE. [The following most interesting account of an eminent naval commander is from Mr. Coleridge's Collection of Essays, “The Friend. There are few better specimens of genuine English prose, employed to do honour to a genuine English character.)
Sir Alexander Ball was a gentleman by birth: a younger brother of an old and respectable family in Gloucestershire. He went into the navy at an early age from his choice, and, as he himself told me, in consequence of the deep impression and vivid images left on his mind by the perusal of Robinson Crusoe. It is not my intention to detail the steps of his promotion, or the services in which he was engaged as a subaltern. I recollect many particulars indeed, but not the dates with such distinctness as would enable me to state them (as it would be necessary to do if I stated them at all) in the order of time. These dates might perhaps have been procured from other sources ; but incidents that are neither characteristic nor instructive, even such as would be expected with reason in a regular life, are no part of my plan ; while those which are both interesting and illustrative I have been precluded from mentioning, some from motives which have been already explained, and others from still higher considerations. The most important of these may be deduced from a reflection with which he himself once concluded a long and affecting narration ; namely, that no body of men can for any length of time be safely treated otherwise than as rational beings; and that, therefore, the education of the lower classes was of the utmost consequence to the permanent security of the empire, even for the sake of our navy. The dangers, apprehended from the education of the lower classes, arose (he said) entirely from its not being universal, and from the unusualness in the lowest classes of those accomplishments, which he, like Dr. Bell, regarded as one of the means of education, and not as education itself. If, he observed, the lower classes in general possessed but one eye or one arm, the few who were so fortunate as to possess two would naturally become vain and restless, and consider themselves as entitled to a higher situation. He illustrated this by the faults attributed to learned women, and that the same objections were formerly made to educating women at all ; namely, that their knowledge made them vain, affected, and neglectful of their proper duties. Now that all women of condition are well educated, we hear no more of these apprehensions, or observe any instances to justify them. Yet if a lady understood the Greek one-tenth part as well as the whole circle of her acquaintances understood the French language, it would not surprise us to find her less pleasing from the consciousness of her superiority in the possession of an unusual advantage. Sir Alexander Ball quoted the speech of an old admiral, one of whose two great wishes was to have a ship's crew composed altogether of serious Scotchmen. He spoke with great reprobation of the vulgar notion, the worse man, the better sailor. Courage, he said, was the natural product of familiarity with danger, which thoughtlessness would oftentimes turn into foolhardiness; and that he had always found the most usefully brave sailors the gravest and most rational of his crew. The best sailor he had ever had, first attracted his notice by the anxiety which he expressed concerning the means of remitting some money which he had received in the West Indies to his sister in England ; and this man, without any tinge of Methodism, was never heard to swear an oath, and was remarkable for the firmness with which he devoted a part of every Sunday to the reading of his Bible. I record this with satisfaction as a testimony of great weight, and in all respects unexceptionable : for Sir Alexander Ball's opinions throughout life remained unwarped by zealotry, and were those of a mind seeking after truth in calmness and complete self-possession. He was much pleased with an unsuspicious testimony furnished by Dampier. “I have particularly observed," writes this famous old navigator, “there and in other places, that such as had been well-bred, were generally most careful to improve their time, and would be very industrious and frigal where there was any probability of considerable gain; but on the contrary, such as had been bred up in ignorance and hard labour, when they came to have planty would extravagantly squander away their time and money in drinking and making a bluster." Indeed it is a melancholy proof how strangely power warps the miode of ordinary men, that there can be a doubt on this subject among persons who have been themselves educated. It tempts a suspicion, that unknown to themsites they find a comfort in the thought that their inferiors are something less than
or that they have an uneasy half-consciousness that, if this were not the case, they would themselves have no claim to be their superiors. For a sober education mturally inspires self-respect. But he who respects himself will respect others; and he who respects himself and others, must of necessity be a brave man. The great importance of this subject, and the increasing interest which good men of all denominations feel in the bringing about of a national education, must be my excuse for having entered so minutely into Sir Alexander Ball's opinions on this head, in which, however, I am the more excusable, being now on that part of his life which I am obliged to leave almost a blank.
During his lieutenancy, and after he had perfected himself in the knowledge and duties of a practical sailor, he was compelled by the state of his health to remain in England for a considerable length of time. Of this he industriously availed himself for the acquirement of substantial knowledge from books; and during his whole life afterwards, he considered those as his happiest hours, which, without any neglect of official or professional duty, he could devote to reading. He preferred, indeed he almost confined himself to, history, political economy, voyages and travels, natural history, and latterly agricultural works : in short, to such books as contain specific facts, or practical principles capable of specific application. His active life, and the particular objects of immediate utility, some one of which he had always in his view, precluded a taste for works of pure speculation and abstract science, though he highly honoured those who were eminent in these respects, and considered them as the benefactors of mankind, no less than those who afterwards discovered the mode of applying their principles, or who realized them in practice. Works of amusement, as novels, plays, and the like, did not appear even to amuse him ; and the only poetical composition, of which I have ever heard him speak, was a manuscript poem, written by one of my friends, which I read to his lady in his presence. To my surprise he afterwards spoke of this with warm interest; but it was evident to me, that it was not so much the poetic merit of the composition that had interested him, as the truth and psychological insight with which it represented the practicability of reforming the most hardened minds, and the various accidents which may awaken the most brutalized person to a recognition of his nobler being. I will add one remark of his on knowledge acquired from books, which appears to me both just and valuable. The prejudice against such knowledge, he said, and the custom of opposing it to that which is learnt by practice, originated in those times when books were almost confined to theology and to logical and metaphysical subtleties; but that at present there is scarcely any practical knowledge, which is not to be found in books : the press is the means by which intelligent men now converse with each other, and persons of all classes and all pursuits convey, each the contribution of his individual experience. It was therefore, he said, as absurd to hold book-knowledge at present in contempt, as it would be for a man to avail himself only of his own eyes and ears, and to aim at nothing which could not be performed exclusively by his own arms. The use and necessity of personal experience, consisted in the power of choosing and applying what had been read, and of discriminating by the light of analogy the practicable, and probability from mere plausibility. Without a judgment matured and steadied by actual experience, a man would read to little or perhaps to bad purpose ; but yet that experience, which in exclusion of all other knowledge has been derived from one man's life, is in the present day scarcely worthy of the name—at least for those who are to act in the higher and wider spheres of duty. An ignorant general, he said, inspired him with terror: for if he were too proud to take advice he would ruin himself by his own blunders; and if he were not, by adopting the worst that was offered. A great genius may indeed forni an exception; but we do not lay down rules in expectation of wonders. A similar remark I remember to have heard from an officer, who to eminence in professional