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allude to the total disbelief of almost children to know exactly what they all the absurd and mischievous ought to know, and are capable of opinions which degraded the minds knowing, at their time of life; and of our ancestors, and wbich still that along with this knowledge is retained their hold not half a cen- insinuated into their minds, and in. tury ago
There is scarcely a pea- pressed on their feelings and hearts, sant or an old woman, in the re- whatever will render them useful motest parts of the kingdom, who and good and bappy in future life. would credit all the absurdities to So far, therefore, as the first wbich the great Bacon gave belief; foundation of knowledge and conand the superstitious and ridiculous duct is concerned, children of the opinions of Dr. Johnson have now present age are much more fortunate fallen to be the almost exclusive than those of any preceding period. creed of the very lowest and most It may, however, be doubted, wheignorant orders.
ther, after they have passed the These facts are sufficient to prove period when their sole or principal that knowledge is much more instruction is derived from the widely extended at present than it works to which we have alluded, ever was before ; and that this they are equally in the way of knowledge has produced its genuine reaping similar advantages. We effects, in freeing the mind from think not: for the plan and printhe influence of superstition, taking ciple on which Mrs. Barbauld and that word in its most comprehensive Miss Edgworth have evidently consense.
structed their works for children, Let us next consider the means are abandoned too often in their and causes which have brought future education. Too much is about this favourable change. In aimed at, and far too short a time the first place, education, from the is devoted to the attainment of very earliest years, possesses oppor- knowledge. The boarding schools tunities and advantages to which it of the present day cannot carry on was utterly a stranger half a century the improvement of the mind at ago.
Wherever the admirable the same rate, or with such success, books of Mrs. Barbauld, Miss Edg- as the works of these authors did. worth, &c. are used under the in- Indeed it is not doing justice to struction and superintendence of children who have profited by these careful and judicious persons, they works, to send them afterwards to cannot fail most bighly to benefit large schools : the profits gained by children. The benefits, indeed, reading them will be best carried which their works are calculated on in the same line, and most safely to produce, are by no means con- and certainly to the same end, by fined to the minds of children ; for private instruction. This remark they not only supply such mental applies most strongly to females. food as must nourish, strengthen, But to return from this digression. and expand all the faculties exactly After every allowance, it must be at the proper time, and in their due acknowledged that education, as at proportion, but they mix up with present conducted, opens up to mental culture the formation of the young people a much wider field of temper and conduct. It is their information than it ever did before ; peculiar excellence, that they teach and that education extends much
further downward in society. The views and Magazines constitute anocauses of increased literary informa- ther source from which the literary tion, and more extensive literary attainments and habits of the pretent habits, have begun to operate only age are drawn. It is contended, within these very few years ; con- indeed, that they make superficial sequently all their effects cannot readers; but we conceive that it is yet be seen or appreciated: but it better, in every respect, that the is easy to foresee what they must mass of a nation should read super
It is too much to expect that ficially than not at all ; and though the great mass of the people in most who read in this manner may England will ever acquire that in- never feel a desire, or acquire a tellcctual character by which the habit of reading in a more solid and mass of the people in Scotland are useful manner, yet tbere can be no so honourably distinguished: for doubt, that many have, by means of the intellectual character of a na- Reviews and Magazines, been intion, as well as its moral and poli- troduced to works of greater utility, tical character, is the result of and been led to cultivate their causes and circumstances that have minds with diligence and effect. been existing and operating for The great number and extensive many generations; and besides, the circulation of newspapers form anosystem of education to which the ther source from which the literary Scotch people are indebted for their habits and attainments of the preintellectual eminence, is more plain, sent age are drawn. It is not to be solid, judicious, and practical, than supposed, that even the lowest orcan be introduced and established ders who read the newspapers, can in England, in the present frame read them with any satisfaction, and babits of society.
without acquiring a superficial acIn the second place, the literary quaintance with the geography of habits and attainments of the pre- the places that are mentioned in sent age, the origin of which we them; and the habit of reading have endeavoured to trace to the them must produce, not only more advantages of education now information, but a greater portion generally enjoyed, have been fur- of intellect tban they could otherther formed by the ample means wise have attained to. of information so widely scattered On the whole, therefore, to what. in all parts of the country.
We ever class in society we look, we are well aware of the evils that shall find it possessed of more inoften result from circulating li- formation, and with its faculties braries; and that by far the largest more exercised and improved, than portion of their contents are calcu- the same class could boast of at any lated only to enervate the mind, former period : so that, even after injure the character, and waste the making a most ample allowance time of those who read them. But, for all the disadvantages and bad after all, we apprehend that the op- consequences that result from the portunities of information, which rage for learning a little of every even the worst of them afford, will species of literature and science, counterbalance the mischiefs that we may safely pronounce, that they produce.
the people of Britain have adThe number and variety of Re- vanced very considerably beyond
their ancestors in discarding error, home to society,-of domestic duin the attainment of truth, and in ties and pleasures, to the duties and every species of useful and orna• pleasures of public life ;-—by a most mental knowledge.
true and exquisite relish for the vaThe principal object of this Re- rious scenery of nature ;-by a pre
a trospect will have been attained, if ference of what is solid and practiwe have succeeded in proving that cal, to what is merely superficial in all the various departments of and speculative ;-by a fondness literature, and even in some of the for communion with their own departments of science, the charac- thoughts, always serious, and not teristic features of British intellectunfrequently tinged with melanmay be traced ;—that these strongly choly ;-by a strong and compreresemble the features of the na- hensive grasp of intellect ;-by a tional character ; and that both are pure and correct, rather than a very principally distinguished from the refined and elegant taste;---and by intellect and general character of a high sense of honour and moral other nations, by a preference of obligation.
ARTICLE I.-ANECDOTes of the Life of RICHARD Watson, Bishop of
Landaff, wrilten by himself at different intervals, and revised in 1814. Published by his son, Richard IVatson, LL.B. Prebendary of Landaf und Wells.
THIS work possesses none of the and merit, and even the public be
more graceful and delightful nefit, weigh little with statesmen ; charms of Biography: it contains and that the ministers of the Estabscarcely any incidents of the bishop's lished Church are too often drawn early life; it does not exhibit him, aside, by the connexion of that except when dressed out and pre. Church with the State, from the pared for his duties as a dignitary of high and rigid disdain of the powthe Church, or a politician. It dis- ers and honours and wealth of this appoints us even with regard to world, which the Christian reliliterary anecdotes; for of these gion so pointedly and uniformly inthere is scarcely one: and to the culcate. bishop's literary friends we are never With respect to the bishop's introduced. Tbe mode in which it own character, its lineaments were is written, too, is entirely destitute strongly marked, and he has drawn of that ease, frankness, and fami- them so that they cannot be misliarity, which often compensate for taken. He had a very high opinion paucity, or want of importance, in of his own merits ;-both of his the materials of Biography. merits arising from his intellectual
Its merits are of quite a different powers and acquirements, and from kind: they arise from the insight his private and public conduct. He which it gives us into the political professed himself an independent 'intrigues of the day, and into the man, and that he would always act, bishop's own character. This work in his religious and political capaconfirms the popular belief (if it city, from principle. He was senneeded confirmation), that gratimde sible that 'thus he could not be
useful or acceptable to ministers; such as served them. In short, he and yet his book is full of angry and seems to have been possessed of unmanly expressions of disappoint- considerable vigour of mind, -to ment, that niinisters did not patro- have rated his own merits suffinize and advance him in the Church. ciently high-to have been rather He seems to have wished to have haughty and ambitious,—and to had all the praise from the public, have had principle enough to be that could result from independence independent, but not strength of and consistency, and at the same mind and principle sufficient to be time, a due portion of those ho- independent and content at the same nours and emoluments which he time. Our Extracts will justify the himself knew ministers reserved for character we have give! of him.
DR. WATSON APPOINTED A Bishop.
On coming home (July 2, 1782) of Grafton or the duke of Rutland; from creating the doctors in the but I made no application to either Senate house, I was informed that of them ; I called however at Euston Lord Rockingham had died the on the following Monday, in my day before. This would have been way to Yarmouth. a dreadful blow to a man of ambi- The duke of Grafton then told tion, but it gave me no concern on me that the bishop of Landaff my own account; for though he (Barrington) would probably be had flatteringly told me, that he was translated to the See of Salisbury, so perfectly satisfied with my public which had become vacant a few conduct, that he should be glad of days before the death of lord Rockan opportunity of serving the coun- ingham, and that he had asked try in serving me, yet I had no ex- lord Sheiburne, who had been appectation that he had then an in- pointed first Lord of the Treasury, tention (as I was afterwards told by to permit me to succeed to the lord John Cavendish he had) of bishopric of Landaff, This unsopronioting me to a bishopric. I licited kindness of the duke of sincerely regretted the great lossGrafton gratified my feelings very which the public sustained by his much, for my spirit of independdeath; for he was a minister of ence was ever too high for my cirgreater ability than was generally cumstances.-Lord Shelburne, the believed, and he possessed that in- Duke informed me, seemed very tegrity of constitutional principle, well disposed towards me, but withont which the greatest ability is would not suffer him to write to calculated only to do great mischief. me; and be had asked the Duke
When lord' John Cavendish in- whether he thought the appointformed me of lord Rockingham's ment would be agreeable to the intention towards me, he informed duke of Rutland. Notwithstanding me also, that I might apply with this hint, I could not bring myself probable effect either to the duke to write to the duke of Rutland,