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ing health, it cannot be said to be idle. With health comes strength of body, and with strength of body strength of mind.
“ If you wish to impose upon stupid people, be very mysterious and unintelligible. The less you are understood, the more highly will you rise in their estimation. The great secret of the success of many popular preachers, consists in bamboozling their hearers. Sensible, intelligible preachers are seldom popular. This may be received as an uncontrovertible fact.”
“When a man is offended at being called a blockhead, it is a proof that he is so in reality. Clever men only laugh at being so denominated."
“ There are some people upon whom it is impossible to affix a nickname: there is a propriety or force of mind about them, which repels the soubriquet, and makes it recoil with shame upon the contriver, There is an essential want about a man upon whom a nickname is easily fastened; he is either very weak, or has some very absurd point in his character."
“ If you see a man extremely and systematically grave, the chances are that he is a blockhead, who, conscious of his deficiencies, wishes to make his gravity pass for profound wisdom. None have less gravity than men of genius. They are not afraid to unbend and become playful and sportive, as is the case with the pompous and the stupid." ”
“ Never praise or talk of your children to other people, for, depend upon it, no person except yourself cares a single farthing about them.”
“ Two servants who have much Combativeness and Self-esteem in their dispositions seldom agree together. A sharp colloquial fire, with a graceful touch of Billingsgate, may, in such a case, be expected between the parties. One servant, however, of this temperament, and one who is not, may not only live in the most perfect harmony, but come to like each other very much, the milder unconsciously giving way to, and acknowledging the supremacy of the stronger spirit.”
6. There is perhaps not an instance of a man of genius having had a dull woman for his mother, though many have had fo thers stupid enough, in all conscience. Talent, therefore, is much more communicable to the offspring from the maternal side than from the other. If a man wishes to have clever children, this may perhaps serve him as an apology for marrying a woman of talent, should all other excuses be wanting"
“ A story-teller, or dealer in anecdote, is an abomination that ought to be expelled from all well-regulated societies. A man of an original and truly powerful mind never deals in anecdotes, unless it be for the purpose of illustrating some general principle Weak-minded people are all addicted to the vice. If a person of this description begins to annoy a company with his or her twaddle, a good cure for it is to affect deafness-a very convenient infirmity at times. Another is—as soon as he begins to tell a story, pretend that you have already heard, and are familiar with all its particulars. A dose or two of this is a sickener.”
“ Cleverness imposes much more upon an ordinary person than talent. The former is a light, smart, manageable commodity, and can shew to advantage in a hundred situations, where the latter cannot be brought to bear. A clever man is smart, lively, talkative, and self-conceited: a man of talent is seldom either the one or the other. The former is more popular with the million, because his intellect approaches more nearly to the caliber of their own." 11
“ The English have obtained the reputation of being the most suicidal nation in Europe. This is inaccurate : our neighbours, the French, are infinitely more addicted to the crime of self-murder. Let any one who doubts this visit the Morgue in Paris."
ARTICLE V. NECESSITY OF POPULAR EDUCATION, AS A NATIONAL OB
JECT ; WITH HINTS ON THE TREATMENT OF CRIMINALS, AND OBSERVATIONS ON HOMICIDAL INSANITY. BY JAMES Simpson, Advocate. Edinburgh : A. & C. Black; and Longman & Co. London. 1834. '12mo. pp. 402.
EDUCATION has for many years been a favourite study with Mr Simpson : it is a subject on which he has read, and thought, and written much ; while, at the same time, as an active Director of the Edinburgh Infant School, and the father of a family, he has bad ample opportunity of submitting his opinions to the ordeal of experience. It was Phrenology which first directed Mr Simpson's attention in a particular manner to education ; and from that science have been derived his most important views. The present work is phrenological throughout; but the author has carefully refrained from alluding to Gall and Spurzheim, and from employing technical terms, in order that the phrenological notions might find their way without obstruction into quarters from which prejudice would otherwise have completely debarred them. He lays no claim to originality of thought, but only to the merit of arranging and putting together scattered materials previously in existence. " The reader," says he, “ who is familiar with works on education, will scarcely discover in these pages a thought which in substance he has not met with before ; but if he shall find known thoughts in combinations different from any in which he may hitherto have recognised them, and better adapted to the great end to which they were directed, the utmost success for which the author dares to look, will have attended his humble labours. A new combination, for a beneficial end, of existing constructions, is an invention entitling to the royal patent. Every one is welcome to claim for himself, or any one else, any such stray idea, if he detects it in the following work; all the author asks is the use of it.” Notwithstanding this modest declaration, many valuable original suggestions are to be found in the work.
In the first chapter Mr Simpson discusses the effects of ignorance on the condition of the labouring population. Of this class he describes successively the physical, intellectual, moral, and religious condition. “ The physical condition of the whole class of manual labourers,” he truly observes, " is much worse than it might be rendered, and rendered by themselves, if they were more enlightened than they are." By neglecting ventilation, cleanliness, and properly regulated exercise, their health is seriously injured, and their enjoyment of life diminished ; and when to all this, says Mr Simpson, is superadded the curse of ardent spirits, “ the physical degradation of the manual labourer is complete.” To crown the evil, the ruined constitutions of parents descend to their children, whose treatment during infancy, being dictated by ignorance, is eminently calculated still farther to destroy their health.
The intellectual condition of the working classes is next described. This, says Mr Simpson, " we can scarcely expect, after what has been said of their physical, to find much more advanced ; it is in truth very low, and this I fear with fewer exceptions of importance. Who has not felt and deplored, in his intercourse with nearly the whole class, even what are deemed the most decent and respectable, the mass of prejudice, superstition, and general ignorance, which he is doomed to encounter ? The working man rarely knows how to better his lot in life, by rational reflection on causes and consequences, found. ed on early acquaintance with the simpler principles of trade, the state of particular employments, the legitimate relation between labour' and capital and between labourer and employer, the best employment of surplus earnings, the value of character, the marketable importance, to say no more, of sober and moral habits and intelligence, in short, on any practical views of the circumstances which influence his condition. On the contrary, he is the creature of impressions and impulses, the unresisting slave of sensual appetites, the ready dupe of the quack, the thrall of the fanatic, and, above all, the passive instrument of the political agitator, whose sinister views and falsehoods he is unable to detect, and who, by flattering his passions and prejudices, has power to sway him, like an overgrown child, to his purposes of injustice, violence, and destruction. He is told in
the harangue from the waggon, and he believes the demagogue's hypocritical slang, that his class, because the most numerous, are the most enlightened, and generous, and noble,—that they ought to make the laws, and rule the state ; nay that their will ought to be law, as their judgment is absolute wisdom. The poor man who believes this, will believe any thing, and will act on bis belief as a ready instrument of violence. Witness the peril of the merely accused, but yet untried and unconvicted, who chance to fall into his hands, and a single hint in the street will raise the mob againse an innocent person; witness, too, the eager destruction of machinery and property, and the mad burning of food. Can we forget, moreover, the fury and violence with which benevolently offered medical aid in the cholera was repelled, under the impression that the cloetors' induced the disease to obtain subjects for dissection, and went 'the length of poisoning the water'!"
Though we readily grant that this may be an accurate picture of the state of the 'mere rabble or scum of the working population in every part of the country, we cannot but regard it as much overcharged in relation to the great body of operatives in Britain. We believe it to apply literally to many of the cottonspinners in large manufacturing towns, such as Manchester and Glasgow; but, on surveying the tradesmen and mechanics of Scotland-and, we are inclined to add, of England too-it will be found that they have a 'much larger proportion of shrewd. ness and sagacity, and are by no means so much the creatures of impressions and impulses, the urrésisting slaves of sensual appetites, and the passive tools of every political quack, as Mr Simpson represents them to be. He admits, indeed, the existence of numerous exceptions; but if we know the condition of the labouring population, he mistakes the exceptions for the general rule. In describing the moral and religious degradation of this class, he seems to us to fall into the same error. There can be no doubt, however, that in religion and morality, the lower as well as the higher orders are still lamentably deficient, and that the improvement of their education is loudly called for. The inefficiency of the labours of the clergy is well commented on in the following sentences.
“ For none of our wánts is so much provision made as for our religious. There is error somewhere. Far indeed is it from my thoughts to impute blame to the excellent men who are labouring to excavate the people from the mass of heathenism in which they are so firmly imbedded. They have no power over an erroneous system, and one not of their own creating. But the application of their part of the process is premature. It is as if the metallurgist were to attempt to melt the gold before it is worked out of the vein; education is the only excavat
ing process; preaching, in its utmost conceivable perfection, is a defective engine for the purpose; purely doctrinal preaching is utterly impotent.
“If education shall elevate, as it will be shewn that education alone can, the intellectual and moral, and, by necessary consequence, improve the physical, condition of man, education is the human means which must greatly aid in preparing him to receive religious impressions in their genuine spirit, and to apply them to their intended practical ends. Before the sower went forth to sow, the soil was prepared. This previous preparation is so plainly pointed out in the parable, that it is surprising that any one can lose sight of it. He was on his way to prepared ground, when some seed fell by the uncultivated way-side. He did not expect to prepare the soil by the act of sowing the seed, else the seed would bave taken root by its own virtue on the bare wayside, and risen and ripened even among the thorns. I shall have occasion to return to the important subject of a legitimate use of human means; these are, in truth, God's means, for they are the working of the faculties which He hath bestowed that they may be employed, and as such must be perfectly reconcileable with a rational and scriptural view of spiritual influences, which some sincere but over-excited Christians regard as direct miracles. Alas! that their effeets should be so little visible, and so limited! What the desiderated educational preparation shall be which will aid in furnishing the impulses to Christianity, not only for Sunday, but for every day of the week, will appear when I come to treat of Infant Education.”
The author then adverts, to the glaring deficiencies of the present course of instruction, and to the grievous error of those who regard knowledge of reading, writing, and ciphering, as of themselves the marks of a well educated man. We cannot follow his excellent remarks in detail, and shall simply mention the conclusion at which he arrives; which is, that “if a national syslem of education is to stop at reading, writing, and ciphering, it would save much trouble, and often disappointment, not to attempt it at all.” In this sentiment we fully concur.
Having discussed in the first chapter the condition of the “ manual-labour class," Mr Simpson proceeds, in chapter second, to shew the effects of imperfect education on the condition of what are generally regarded as the “ educated elasses." The moderate amount of really useful and practical knowledge which ostensibly well-educated individuals most frequently possess, and the selfishness, pride, and incolerance which prevail amongst them, are strongly remarked upon ; after which the author notices, in his usual happy style, various other signs of barbarism yet exist. ing around us. "A catalogue of our sccial defects,” says he, “all referable to the education wherewith we are mocked, might