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appealed to.' How far this may be desirable, must depend on the age at which the pupils enter. If memory and observation only are exercised, they would need to come when they begin to speak, and leave the division at the age when boys are usually sent to school. We differ here in some degree from our author. We think that education, from its commencement, should be an exercise of observation, memory, and reasoning, and this, because it is expedient that a child should learn to do everything well from the moment when he begins to do it at all. Now, as children of the tenderest years draw inferences, well or ill, a school which neglects the culture of this power until the memory shall have been well stored, and the power of observation sharpened, is only furnishing food for the bad habit of reasoning, which will grow up in the process. If any one should smile at our talking of the reasoning of a child, let him recollect that any process by which two ideas give rise to a third, is what we mean by reasoning, and this being understood, let him talk for five minutes with the next child of four years old who comes in his way. In order to exercise the thinking power, we are of opinion that arithmetic should be taught as a demonstrative science from the very beginning. There is no period of boyhood at which the child is not capable of some reasoning on numbers; and however feeble the attempts, or however trifling the process may appear to maturer age, the formation of habits of thinking may thus be made coeval with those of accurate observation. On the same grounds we would introduce the study of geometry, not necessarily of Euclid, but of geometry, which the author recommends with some hesitation. Not that much would be necessary at this early stage; thirty propositions might be sufficient if they were really made exercises of reasoning, and not of memory; and the gain thus accruing to the pupil should not be measured at first by the number of facts which he has learnt, but by the state to which his faculties have been brought by learn. ing them. There is ample time for the acquisition of the greater part of present education after the age of ten or even twelve years. If the previous period were spent in teaching a small quantity well, and in directing attention to the various relations and comparisons which a good teacher can draw from a small store of facts, the pupil would find himself well repaid by the facility which would be afforded to his future studies.

In one point we entirely agree with the author of the pamphlet, viz., in the introduction, at the earliest period, of studies which exercise the faculty of observation. Those

which he has selected are botany and drawing; we should be inclined to substitute for the former the elements of natural history in general, as far as they can be exemplified by objects which fall under the daily notice of the pupil. No great collection is necessary for this purpose; common plants and common animals would be amply sufficient. With regard to drawing, we submit whether, under skilful direction, nature herself would not furnish the best copies. The great desideratum in this study is the correct delineation of outline and the formation of just conceptions of distance, which are more likely to be gained from the objects themselves than from their copies *. With regard to the exercise of memory, surely the leading facts of geography and history, together with the study of a foreign language, would afford sufficient materials.

The naval school, now in process of formation, is limited to the system of Dr. Bell, by the consent of its founders, who have accepted a most munificent donation of 10,000l., offered by that gentleman, on condition of the establishment of his system in the school. The leading feature of Dr. Bell's plan is the method of mutual instruction, or the employment of the more advanced pupils in the instruction of the rest. By this system, boys are most unquestionably taught something; it only remains to see what they are taught, and how. As stated by our author, it is merely a system of tuition by which the abilities of the quick are turned to account in the instruction of the slow; and if it will teach one thing, it will another. Like any other mechanical arrangement, however, its efficiency will depend always on the quality of its prime mover; and if the fires are blown out, even the steam-engine will cease to work.' Here we are most decidedly at issue with the respectable author of the pamphlet. We should rather be inclined to compare instruction of this kind to the transmission of light through a series of plates of glass, no one of which can render all that it has received. No man can teach any subject well unless he knows a great deal more than he is required to teach, except it be mere routine. One boy might certainly teach another the practice of the rule of three, but we question if he could well explain the principle, unless he were more familiar with it, and had acquired a greater power of illustration, than any boy can be supposed to possess. The greater part of that which is usually learnt in schools, might, we allow, be equally well taught by an

*We would reverse the notions of our author on this subject. He recommends drawing in the inferior school as an accomplishment, and in the higher as a 'means of fixing external impressions,'

intelligent pupil; not on account of the aptitude for giving instruction which such a tyro possesses, but because the knowledge itself, being either the mere words of a dead language, or the method of working a question in arithmetic, is not of a character to lose much in the transmission. If the Royal Naval School be not destined for better things than this, it is of very little consequence what method is adopted; but if the heads of men who possess so many rational notions on the subject of education as our author, are to be laid together to form a system, we should be sorry to see the execution of it committed in any great degree to the pupils themselves. It is said that boys communicate knowledge to one another with ease, and this is certainly true where that which passes from one to the other is knowledge in the person from whom it comes. But the half-formed conception of a principle, if principles are to be taught; the crude notions of the boy, on any subject requiring thought, which only deserve the name of knowledge when they have been digested and arranged by time and experience; these are not in a state to be communicated with advantage to the person who receives them. Such an exercise would be profitable to the teacher only, and the system would benefit the quick' to the destruction of the slow,' on the principle of the experimentum in corpore vili. We conceive, however, that a compromise of this description might be made, which would ensure the whole benefit of mutual instruction, and under such limitation it would not be trifling. Let the mutual instruction be confined to the actual enunciation of facts, and facts only; and let all reasoning, comparison, deduction of inferences, or by whatever name it may be called, be the work of the master alone. The routine, which now constitutes almost the whole of school-business, would thus fall in a great measure into the hands of young instructors; while the higher parts would be placed in the hands of those who, being thus relieved of much drudgery, would have more time and energy for the task. Admitting the principle of Dr. Bell's system to a certain extent, we are convinced that it is not sufficient, and that the part which it leaves undone is of the most consequence to the future habits of the pupil. If this cannot be provided against, and if the proposed institution be bound by contract to the use of one system, without the liberty to improve, or the power to modify, we are of opinion that 10,000l. is a very poor compensation. But we hope that matters are otherwise arranged.


When the plan of education has been formed, if it at all correspond to the ideas of our author, it will evidently be

necessary to procure masters of no small attainments and talents. The various branches of knowledge which are proposed, and still more, the manner in which they are to be taught, requires even more than this. The whole cannot work in the way proposed, unless to talents, acquirements, and industry, the teacher unites a mild temper, a copious power of illustration, and unwearied patience. The union of all these gifts is no ordinary matter, and it follows that the institution can only succeed, as far as masters are concerned, by holding out every inducement to the best men to offer themselves, and to remain and spend the most vigorous part of their lives in its service. The last part is of great importance, since no place of education can thrive in which there is a continual change of teachers; least of all one in which a system is taught, of which, in all probability, the masters will be ignorant at the moment when they enter upon their duties. The situation of teacher in the Royal Naval School should be one of honour and comfort, and these points should be the more attended to, as the salaries, though they would be liberal for the general run of subordinate teachers, will not alone be very tempting to such men as the institution requires. Let us see the means by which our author proposes to accomplish these ends. In the first place he recommends that the masters should be unmarried, which is as effectual a way of providing for continual change as could well be proposed. The consequence will be that a master, who has determined to marry, will accept a situation elsewhere, though it be of less emolument than the one he actually holds; and thus the institution will be deprived of his services just at the period when they are most valuable. He then proposes that no situation in the house, from the governor down, shall be permanent; but that all shall be subject to the form, and, in cases of insufficiency, to the substance also, of an annual competition with other candidates.' And it is stated in a note that the easiest and most delicate way' of effecting an expulsion is to consider all the masters as only appointed for one year, and to re-elect, at the expiration of each year, those who are to be allowed to remain. But at all events, he contends for the principle of easy amoveability, on sufficient, even though not very important grounds.' On this we must remark, that it is the prevailing error of committees of management to overrate the confidence which men are inclined to place in them. They imagine, that it is sufficient to appeal to their private character, and the estimation in which they are held in their own circles, in defence of their public measures, and because



civility stops the mouth, when this argument is brought forward, they assume that there is conviction in the mind. In nine cases out of ten they are abetted in their overweaning opinion of themselves by their constituents, who will usually back them in all their proceedings, from a dislike of the trouble which would attend the performance of their duty. But those whose occupations and pursuits may tempt them to put themselves in the power of a committee, do not place much reliance on the conduct of men acting in bodies, with divided responsibility. They see from daily experience, that the honourable principles which actuate men in their private capacities, are not always shewn in the result of their combined deliberations; hence any man, who feels that he has a character worth taking care of, will demand some little security for his reputation before he places himself, bound hand and foot, at the mercy of any committee whatever. Our author's argument that, curacies, managements, secretaryships, usherships, tutorships in private families, &c., are daily accepted on the same terms,' appears to us inconclusive, since all of them which apply to the present case, are private transactions between man and man, and in any matter affecting character, there is but the word and the judgment of one man against that of another. If the matter should come to issue, both parties are nearly on equal terms, and a fair field can be afforded. Add to which, that the private nature of such transactions, and their frequency, render them objects of no interest in the eye of the world at large. But the case is widely altered, when a public body, for such must the committee of the proposed school be called, ejects a man from a situation in which he has the eyes of many people upon him. If he be wronged there is no redress; for who or what is he, that his complaint should weigh against the respectable names which are placed in array against him? Unless the treatment he has received be so bad, as to take the case completely out of ordinary rules, he is disgraced and ruined; for expulsion by a public body will stick to him as long as he lives. It is most unjust that it should be so; for were it necessary to pronounce between the two, it might safely be said that ejection by a single individual, acting in a public capacity, and responsible to public opinion, ought to be more disgraceful than the same censure from a public body, for reasons above stated. But if the fact be as we have represented it, it is incumbent upon committees to give more security for their good conduct than can reasonably be expected from private individuals, and no alternative, short of absolute starvation, should induce a man of character

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