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mate the books and paper on this plan at less than 100l. a year, being 10s. a boy; so that 900l. must be required to clear all expenses. But, call it only 800l. which is allowing nothing for rent and other expenses of the room; the result is, that Dr. Bell’s plan educates the children of the poor at four pounds a head by the year, which is three times as much as the expense of the first grammar school in Scotland; and, instead of being a very cheap, turns out to be a very costly education. Nay, were we to deduct the superintendant’s salary, the expense would be, allowing only 50l. for the room, 380l. or 388. a head, which is half as much again as the High School of this city. In truth, the want of economy is inherent in Dr. Bell’s system; even in its latest state of improvement; for many of the expenses increase exactly with the number taught. Thus rewards, books, and writing materials, form a large item for each boy, not less than 14 or 15s. at the lowest computation; and the proportion is the same in a school of one thousand, and in one of one hundred. The beauty of Mr. Lancaster's principle is, that it diminishes this, like every other expense of education, in proportion as the numbers taught are increased; while, even to the smallest schools, it brings those charges far below the estimates of the other scheme. Of this, even sir Thomas Bernard seems to have been sensible; for, he says [p. 101] “Upon the last article, the economy of a school, Mr. Lancaster is above all praise. In this respect, he will be found to surpass Dr. Bell, even when the
misconceptions which have been entertained by some persons, respecting his Madras school, shall have been entirely done away;” an admission, which, like most of his valuable tract, does much honour to the worthy baronet's candour; though we lament, that he should have, from an oversight, added a few words, rather underrating the point of economy, in which, truly, the whole, or nearly the whole, question between the two plans lies, and the whole, or flearly the whole, merit of either, as compared with the old system, is comprised.* We have now only to resume the history of the two plans, in order to complete this comparative view, both of their several merits, and of the grounds upon which the two inventors assert their claims to originality. And, to say the truth, our preference of Mr. Lancaster to Dr. Bell (since we are compelled to contrast men who ought always to have been regarded as fellow labourers, and not as rivals) rests, if possible, yet more confidently upon the material points already established. It has already been observed, that Dr. Bell retired to a distant part of the country, as soon as his pamphlet was published. There he remained occupied with the sacred duties of his profession, and, for above eight years, appears to have done nothing towards carrying the Madras method into practice. He drops a hint once about a Sunday school in his parish; but, had it contained any exemplification of his principles, he would, no doubt, have described that institution. In the end of December, 1806, we are informed, that, one month before, a school on his plan had been begun at Swanage; and this is the first and the last time that we hear of it. Afterwards, he refers us to two other schools on his principies, as instances of their application to practice. But one of these, the Mary-le-bone, seminary, was visited by Mr. Fox; and he found, to his no small surprise, that this school had been organized by Mr. Lancaster, on his own firincifiles, and that a vote of thanks to him, on that account, had been passed by the subscribers, the worthy dean of Westminster being in the chair; the other, at Whitechapel, was then just set on foot. The Barrington school, very recently established, under Dr. Bell’s immediate superintendance (for he enjoys a large salary as master of Sherborne hospital, and has, we are informed, no other occupation than the care of the school”) educates, or is intended to educate, 120 boys. Such have been the actual, fractical exertions of Dr. Bell to propagate the system of popular education. He did nothing till Mr. Lancaster's schools were bestowing education on thousands; were known by reputation cvery where; and admitted, by all who saw them, to be a completely successful experiment on a very large scale. He then began to establish some seminaries on the Madras plan; and, in five years, he has set a going three, one of which we know nothing about, except that, when it was a month old, we were told it had been begun; another of which is still in its first infancy; and is supported by every sort of costly patronage and gratuitous endowment;t and the whole of which put together, do not profess
* In another passage of his work, sir Thomas repeats the same inaccuracy, rather more in detail. He objects to Mr. Lancaster's method of making one book serve for the whole school; and gives us his reason, that a book is a gratification to a child. It is,” says he, “property to them; it is a crown and a sceptre to them.” [p. 94] forgetting that the question is, whether the child can afford to have the crown and sceptre. And as for the assertion which follows, that 20s. a year will supply books to a whole school of 100 boys; it proceeds on the assumption, that only one little book shall be used, and that, at the price at which a religious society distributes it from a peculiao * It is a painful, but necessary part of all controversies, that the disputants must be ever putting the bystanders on their guard against listening to undue insinuations. We, therefore, desire, once more, to have it understood, that we view the preference bestowed on Dr. Beli as equally honourable to his patron and himself.
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to educate more boys than one of Lancaster's schools used to do, before he had extended his subscription, and enlarged his plan in 1805. During the same five years, Mr. Lancaster's system has been advancing with the steadiness derived from the firm construction of all its parts, and their artist-like combination. He devised the principles, and executed the mechanism with his own hand; and the invention derives a vast portion of its merits from the master having shown all mankind how he himself uses it. By his indefatigable activity, he has trained numberless persons fit to carry the practical benefits of his discovery over the whole world; and he has made the tour of nearly the whole island, every where exciting the friends of humanity to cooperate with his honest zeal, and establishing, by their means, in all parts of the country, seminaries, which may at once educate the poor in their immediate neighbourhood, and serve as patterns for the imitation of other districts, but which all the pamphlets that could be printed would never have founded, nor even encouraged men to attempt, without the marvellous stimulus communicated by an able and accomplished enthusiast, and the well grounded confidence inspired by having the actual inventor for a fellow labourer. Had Dr. Bell’s plan been published twenty years ago, in its last and most perfect form; nay, had it even coincided entirely with the other, and had no man but he, alone, ever pretended to any invention of methods, or discovery of principles; if, in such circumstances, we were now called upon to say who founded the new system of education, and to record, for the veneration of posterity, the man who had made the blessings of knowledge as common as the light of the sun, we could not cast our eye for one moment over the last fact that has been unfolded, without pronouncing the name of Joseph Lancaster. We deeply regret to find, that Dr. Bell has not had the prudence and good sense (we say nothing of generosity or courage) to allow this simple minded and most deserving man, a merit which he cannot, by any stretch of self complacency, pretend to dispute with him. And herein lies the charge, which, we are unwillingly compelled to admit, has sunk most in our minds against that reverend person. We could have pardoned the senseless distinction between teaching writing and reading, and passed over the alarm, lest the minds of the lower orders, « who are doomed to the drudgery of daily labour,” should be too much elevated by instruction. In favour of so considerable a benefactor of society, we could have done a little violence to our suspicious habits; and imputed such doctrines to sincere, though groundless fears, and to the remains of narrow minded notions. We could have exercised a similar charity towards his most ludicrous rant about “throwing aside the hornbook of our ancestors;” and refrained, or endeavoured to refrain from tracing, in the various insinuations against liberal opinions, which his writings contain, a fellowship of feeling, if not of motives, with the Daubenies, the Trimmers, and the Sprys. But when we find Dr. Bell printing book after book, to explain his system; years and years after Mr. Lancaster had, by the most unwearied exertions, we will only say of bodily labour, succeeded completely in carrying every one principle of that scheme into comflete
† There are houses and gardens at the Barrington school, for a number of boys, on a foundation; and a perpetual provision made for this, by the munificence of the right * Unless, indeed, at the foot of one nag ö, where he alludes to his pamphlet, in order
fractical effect, and in spreading the beneficial use it over the whole island; and when, in those books, Dr. Bell does not even make mention of Mr. Lancaster;” offers him no acknowledgment for his corporeal fatigues (we go no further) tenders him no thanks for having, we will call it, taken the trouble of adopting and disseminating his doctrines; presents to him no gratulations upon the unhoped for success which had attended his preaching and his practice of those doctrines; nay, deigns not even to record the fact, so important to his own fame, that the Madras system had wonderfully prospered in England, under the management of one Joseph Lancaster (need we clear our position by any further admissions: tail we strip the one man any closer, in order to try the other's conduct, and scrutinize his motives 2) truly this silence is too unnatural even to be mysterious, and, in our ears, do all we can to shut them, to stop them up with the remembrance of the man’s former merits, it loudly rings a distinct charge against the reverend gentleman, of pitiful jealousy towards one whom he may be desirous of thinking his imitator, but towards whom he thus betrays the feelings of a disappointed rival. But if the jealousy be denied, then it is time to infer a still graver accusation; for, in that case, Dr. Bell must be considered as leagued in most unnatural union with the combination of bigots and timeservers, against one of the greatest benefactors of his species. The efforts of that combination were, as we before observed, most unfortunately aided by the accident of Dr. Bell’s right reverend patron's calling him from his retirement to bring forward his claims to originality, and to assist in the establishment of schools. The clamour which had gone forth partially, and with
to speak slightingly of it.
little success, against Mr. Lancaster, was now renewed, under the form of ascribing all the merit to Dr. Bell; lavishly applauding his method, and decrying his competitor's. The attempt, however, to obstruct Mr. Lancaster’s course, failed so signally, that we shall spare ourselves the trouble of again alluding to the facts. The royal and noble patronage” still stood in the way of any very gross violations of decency towards his principles and character, and whatsoever was to be thrown out against the tendency of his system, or against his motives, behoved to be guardedly conveyed by insinuation, rather than launched in the common shape of a cry. Mr. Lancaster was stigmatized as a quaker; the tenets of that innocent and amiable sect were abused; and then, in order to heighten the charge against Mr. Lancaster, at the expense of consistency, as well as truth, he was said to be a person whom his sect renounced. But the expected success of Dr. Bell’s plan, from the patronage he had recently met with, soon gave a new turn and a bolder form to the argument; and the watchmen of the church (as these unquiet persons are fond of calling themselves) now openly sounded the alarm of danger to the establishment, from the system of the man whom the royal head of the church had graciously deemed worthy of his peculiar favour and protection.
The archdeacon Daubeny once more ascended the pulpit, and raised again, within the walls of St. Paul’s, that voice of persecution, with which he had made Sarum echo. He warned his brethren to be on their guard against “the projected improvements in the education of the poor.” He accused Mr. Lancaster of excluding from his plan the peculiar doctrines of the gospel. The plan itself, he stigmatized, as “ calculated to answer no one purpose, so much, as that of amalgamating the great body of the people into one great, deistical comfound;” and he designated Mr. Lancaster as one, who, in these “ days of rebuke and blasphemy,” had become the author of “ a deceitful institution, the whole secret of which, for the shurshose of neutralizing the effect of all established opinions,” consisted in teaching “the rejection of all peculiar tenets,” and the adoption of “ a kind of fihilosophical deism;” an institution “which called to mind the crafty design of the afiostate Julian to confound Christianity, by encouraging dissension, as the best means of gradually extirpating the name of Christ from the earth.” Finally, this reverend person plainly stated, that the “archdeceiver” himself (meaning, as we conjecture, not Buonaparte, but only Satan) had an interest in the new system of education, inasmuch as this “industrious pro
* To enumerate the distinguished persons who have publickly given their support to
Mr. Lancaster and his system, would take up far more room than we can now spare for this subject. Yet we cannot deny, ourselves the gratification of recording, upon such an occasion, the name of the right reverend Dr. H. Bathurst, bishop of Norwich, who, to the many proofs of liberality, of mild and intrepid philanthropy which his pastoral life affords, has lately added that of a publick sermon in favour of Joseph Lancoter, and his plan of education. In Scotland, we are proud to say that it has hitherto met with no opposition from any party in our church; and that the established clergy in general have indicated a laudable zeal for its universal adoption. One clergyman, indeed, not of the establishment, and not the most esteemed of the very respectable communion to which he belongs, has emulated, as we understand, the archdeacon Daubeny, and made the pulpit the vehicle of his calumnies against Lancaster. As we do not apprehend any great mischief from his exertions, we have no wish that he should be made to expiate this, as he has expiated other calumnies.
moter of heresy would not fail to turn it to “the promotion of infidelity.” Let us hope that such topicks failed altogether of success. Nevertheless, it cannot be denied, that one charge is mixed up with them, which has attracted the notice of a few among the more worthy and rational portion of the churchmen; a charge, which, we grieve to say, for a short season, had some influence in creating alarm against the new system. This accusation resolves itself into a single point. Mr. Lancaster teaches no particular religious articles. To which the plain answer always has been, that he teaches reading, writing, and arithmetick. He gives his pupils a key, by which they may unlock all the stores of sacred knowledge. But, moreover, he teaches the scriptures; daily and hourly does he set before his scholars the history and the doctrines of Christ, as delivered by his apostles. There is not a word taught in his schools, that is not taken from the writings of the inspired penmen. All this is granted. No one can venture to deny it. His bitterest adversaries explicitly admit it. But, will it be believed, that this does not satisfy them : Will it be credited, that, in the nineteenth century, in a protestant country, in times signalized by nothing more than the zeal displayed against the Romish religion, and the daily sacrifices of every kind, which that zeal demands; will it be credited, that the very faction, whose outcries against
popery are the loudest, and whose demeanour towards its professors is the most intolerant, have not blushed to use the very worst arguments of the Romish bigots, and to proclaim the dangers of intrusting an unprepared multitude with the free use of the scriptures 2 To teach merely the bible, it seems, is to encourage dissent, heresy, latitudinarian principles, indifference, deism, infidelity, irreligion. And we grieve to say, that sir Thomas Bernard himself, whom we have found, in general, so candid towards the new system; so fair, and even liberal, towards Mr. Lancaster, in other topicks; so favourable even to his method of teaching the scriptures; lends a kind of sanction to this worst of popish abominations, in one passage of his tract, where he lays it down, that the bible should not be put into the hands of children, until after they have gone through a preparatory course of religious instruction.f How much more enlightened and rational an authority have we in the conduct of the king of Fngland; the patron of the Lancastrian system and how noble is the commentary upon it, which his own memorable speech to the author of the system, affords ! We allude to that exalted saying of his (which, we own, strikes us as infinitely finer than the celebrated wish of Henry IV. of France) that “he hosted to sce the day, when every floor child in his dominions should be able to read his bjöle I’’ When this truly Christian and
* In other tracts, the abuse of Mr. Lancaster and the quakers is still more unmeasured, particularly in a “Dialogue between a .5saster and . Apprentice,” supposed to speak pretty correctly the sentiments of the persons of whom we are treating. The quakers are there denominated “an antichristian sect.” It is said, that “the brood of them was of the most unpromising kind, from their first hatching.” The term bigot is stated to be “engraved on their door;” and, of the sect which destroyed the African slave trade, it is observed, that little good can be expected from their efforts, either
in church or state.
# The worthy baronet (we cannot too often commend him for it) boldly defends the religious part of Mr. oncaster’s course of tuition; but the reprehensible passage alluded to in the text, comes into his account of Dr. Bell’s course of reading. It may
possibly be an oversight,