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By an act of parliament, passed in Society,' established in 1816; since the 28th
year of Henry VIII. cap. 15, which time it may be said to have kept and subsequently confirmed by other the public mind in a state of unusual statutes, every incumbent, on his in- ferment; and, like all its predecessors, duction, is obliged to take an oath to to have failed of its object. It has the following effect :- I do solemnly frequently been imputed to this soswear that I will teach, or cause to be ciety,' says the Report, that their real taught, an English school within the object is to make converts froin the vicarage or rectory of
as the Roman Catholic to the Protestant relaw in that case requires.'
ligion. Nofact has come to our knowNotwithstanding this solemn obli- ledge that leads us to doubt their own gation, there are few or no such repeated disclaimers of having any such schools as the statutes contemplate; intention.'t Yet, at page 58, we are and the clergyman, adroitly enough, told, by the sanie Report, that 427 of avoids the legal consequences, by pay- their schools were in conjunction with ing forty shillings per annum to his other societies, whose object, the comclerk, or any person that may happen missioners say, is proselytism!!! to keep a school in his parish. But, The whole number of schools which in most instances, even this precau- owe the society any obligation was, in tion is not taken; and we can see no 1824, according to a very doubtful cause for attaching blame to the clergy; statement, 1,124 ; nearly one-half of for, what would be the use of opening which were proselyting, nurseries. a school where there existed no Pro- Now, either the society intended to testant scholars ? and all others they make converts from the Catholic to are prohibited from teaching. The the Protestant religion, or their conlaw, and not the church, is deserving duct has been gressly negligent. We of censure.
at the conclusion of the Old Watson, the bookseller, of Ca- commissioners; for, even from the pel Street, Dublin, seeing, in 1792, evidence they have given, we should that there had not been quite as many have drawn a very different inference, proselytes from Popery as a Protes- Throughout that part of the Report tant bigot wished, originated a society devoted to this Society, there are for discountenancing vice, and pro- many tacit proofs of conflict between moting the knowledge and practice of the commissioners. Statements of the Christian religion,' which was in- interested parties, highly injurious to corporated by act of parliament in the Catholic clergy, are given as facts; 1800; since which time it received while, in the very next paragraph, we annual grants, and went on doing are told the whole was a mere hearmuch mischief, and enriching one, at say. The writer, it would appear, laleast, of its founders.
boured to criminate the priests, while The education of poor Paddy was some superintending authority caunext taken into consideration by some tioned him to be just. Such a supporeligious fanatics, who associated in șition is necessary to explain the sinLondon, in 1806, under the cognomi- gular mixture of accusation and acnation of The London Hibernian So- quittal which we meet with; and, ciety; and the commissioners bave although there was not a shadow of candidly stated, that, after examining direct evidence against a single Catho, a pair of witnesses, Messrs. Gordon lic priest, we meet in the Report, and Pringle, * they are convinced p. 57, the following observations :proselytism is the object of this We have stated instances, which we society, The Baptist Society is stated have heard, of clergymen proceeding to have the same object in con- to imprecate curses on the parents templation; and their origin and la- who should send their children to fora bours are unworthy of particular bidden schools; such a practice, we observation.
hope, has been very rare. We have The next education mart is that already stated that it is condemned, in usually called " The Kildare Street the strongest terms, by the Roman
* Whoever wishes to see a fine specimen of absurdity need only turn to the examination of this precious pair, given in the Report.
† Page 48.
Catholic prelates whom we examined It is, in these times, nearly as neon the subject.'
cessary to learn to read as to learn to Why condemn by implication, when walk; and that which is so easily acthere was no proof? Why hope such quired, and so ruinous to want, will a practice is very rare, when there be procured by all without
assistwas no evidence of such a practice at ance from the state or associations. all, particularly when the Catholic pre- Wherever these needlessly step in belates disclaimed it? Alas ! men can- tween the parent and his duty, they not forget their prejudices, even in the commit an outrage on human nature; discharge of a solemn duty: and Mr. and, while they degrade the child, Blake had neither the talents nor the they deprive his natural protector of firmness to control his colleagues. : future love and gratitude. Besides,
The last education project was, that the parent, being released from a of empowering the lord-lieutenant pleasing charge and a wholesome reto issue sums of money from the con- sponsibility, is indirectly encouraged solidated fund, in aid of various kinds to become thoughtless and impruof schools. Abuse soon crept in here; dent; and those who know any thing and the commissioners recommenda of the poor must be aware that their different application of the funds. earnings and expenditure are gene
Thus we find that some millions rally suited to each other; so that, if of public money have been grossly excused from the payment of a few misapplied; and Ireland affords an- pence weekly for the education of other instance of the folly of legisla- their children, they would uniformly tors attempting to do for individuals spend it in the gin or whisky shop. what individuals would have done for Still we are aware that in large themselves.
towns, such is the profligacy and misNational schools must be support- fortune of many, thousands of chiled either by the state, or the charita-dren would remain untaught, unless ble donations of private persons. If there existed places for giving gratuiby the first, corruption and inatten- tous instruction. Under such circuintion are sureto make a part of the sys- stances, we are far from depreciating tein :. and, if by the second, we may their utility. On the contrary, we are expect to find the pupils—such as a persuaded that their existenoe should virtuous man would never wish to see not be allowed to depend on the caprice -juvenile slaves ; for, how can that of individual bounty, but derive support natural and necessary independence- at once from the legislature ; and, that that seed of every virtuous action-be they might be rendered efficient, every more effectually subdued, than by place of public worship should have making the school-boy, a pauper? an institution attached for the educa. Slaves may have exalted minds, but tion of poor children, who profess the all mendicants are the same-degrad- religion taught there. Such unhappy ed in their own estimation, and despi- beings peculiarly require religious cable in the eyes of mankind.
superintendence; and who so likely Unhappily there are occasions when to bestow it as their respective clergy? both individuals and the state are The benefit to be derived from educatcalled upon to protect and educate the ing children of different religious friendless; but, fortunately, instances creeds in one school is very probleof this nature, though individually matical; and, most of all, where the numerous, are comparatively small, scholars are poor. Respecting the when considered with reference to the country parts, these schools are selbulk of society; and the great error dom needed. The fledge Schools, as lies in confounding poverty with pau- they are erroneously called, are open perism-the children of living parents to all, and those who are unable to with the orphan. A wholesome dis- pay are never excluded. Perhaps crimination should be made between the method of instruction may not be those who are and are not able to pay: the very best in the world; yet it must while parents, in no instance, should be admitted that the pupils are more be.compelled, by the influence of their healthy and active; are sooner taught superiors, to send their children to the rudiments of knowledge, and charity schools.
always make more useful members of Voi. J.-No. 5,
society than those who are brought but the other parts of their project are up in the best-regulated charity too complicated. They propose emschools in Ireland. The books* read ploying two teachers, a Protestant and there are certainly not by Mrs. Trim- a Catholic; and devoting a portion of mer; neither are they like those used two days in each week to religious in English academies. They do not instruction, under certain regulations, inculcate hatred or contempt of those which they detail. We will not say who profess a different religion, like that they have any but the best of many school-books, published by Sir motives; but, when we recollect that Richard Phillips, and others, in Lon- the government must desire to see don. We are no advocates for immo. Catholics Protestants, that local paral publications; and we speak with trons will be over-zealous, and bigots out the fear of contradiction when obtrusive, we are not presumptive in we say no place in the world is freer giving it as our opinion that the plan from such books than Ireland. The is defective. In fact, the Report bears advocates for Bible-reading in school ample testimony to the discordant should show that its absence has been materials which compose the Irish attended with bad consequence; that community; and we need only refer the Irish peasantry are more immoral to what has already happened to the than the English ; and that crime has Kildare Street Society, as a proof of diminished since the establishment of what is likely to happen to any future scripture-reading schools. This they society, even more liberally consticannot show; for the records of the tuted." We are aware of the difficulty last fifty years declare to the con- of the task imposed upon the commistrary.
sioners; and we are quite sure that The commissioners admit that no plan of education will ever prove these schools exist in profuse abun- efficient until the people are put in dance; that they are literally crowded possession of their rights. Expedients with scholars; and that the utmost will neverdo ; and the Catholics might harmony prevails in them between justly say, 'Give us emancipation, and Catholics and Protestants. Why then, leave us to educate ourselves. Until the we may ask, seek to destroy them people are put upon an equality, haror, ratlier, why not adopt some method mony can subsist neither in schools of making them more efficient? Erect nor public institutions; and the deschool-houses for qualified teachers, signs of the government, however well and authorize the Catholic clergy to intended, will be frustrated. have a complete control over them. wretched expedient, therefore, to asLet there be an annual bonus pro- sume the care of the child, while you portionate to the number of scholars, refuse justice to the father. and the poor will obtain adınission The Report, though partial in some gratis, while the pay of the wealthier instances, and defective in others, is, would be sufficient to secure the notwithstanding, calculated to disamaster's attention to the whole. buse the English mind of many im
The commissioners seem to have pressions unfavourable to Catholicity. been aware of the principles we have it bears testimony to the universality laid down; for they recommend that of education in Ireland; and very pupils, unless when particularly ex- distinctly declares that the education empted, should pay for their educa- afforded in Roman Catholic free tion. The principle is a good one; schools is the best. It disapproves
The commissioners adopt a catalogue of Burton books, published in a former Report; among which we find Rousseau's Eloisa, Tristram Shandy, Chevalier de Faubles, and several others, which a Dublin bookseller assures us he never met, although he is in the trade these thirty years.
+ In one of the schools, under the exclusive charge of the Brothers of the Christian Schools, the commissioners found between five and six hundred orderly pupils. On the desk, however, lay the History of Ireland, by Miss Young, a religious lady at Cork ; and, as it was an accurate statement of facts, the commissioners severely censured it. We protest against any system that goes to the concealment of truth ; and, if the annals of Ireland are calculated to arouse angry feelings, who are to blame? Certainly not the impartial historian.
It is a
of the Bible being made a school- sequence of what they call the ' evils book, yet places a proper value on a of separate education. For our own religious education ; but too much, parts, we can see no more evil in chilwe are convinced, on a system which dren of different persuasions going to would blend Catholic with Protestant. different schools, than in their parents We had,' say the commissioners, ‘in going to different places of worship; the course of our inspection, paid nor are we sure but that separate particular attention to three classes of education is the best ; particularly Roman Catholic schools ; we mean where the pupils are of the lower the schools of the Brothers of Chris- class. • Much of the prejudice existtian Doctrine, the schools of the ing in Ireland,' says the author of Nunst for the instruction of females, Tales of Irish Life,' in the tale of and the Roman Catholic free Lancas- Protestant Bill,' between Protesterian schools, generally attached to tant and Catholic, is engendered in chapels. These three classes appear- schools, because they are all unequally ed to be severally capable of extension, attended, from local circumstances and and to admit of the possibility of other causes; and the predominant forming the basis of a system of edu- party will always give occasion to the cation, which might readily be made ininor one to feel rancour and dissato comprehend a great majority of the tisfaction.' Roman Catholic children.'
When the Appendix is published, The obvious course pointed out we shall return to this important here, is, however, abandoned, in con- subject.
DAYS OF OLD.
Let Erin remember the days of old,
Bright flourishing through many an age
* In thirty schools attached to thirty nunneries in different parts of Ireland, the com missioners found 6,310 female scholars. •The nuns are the teachers,' say the commissioners,' and devote themselves to the duty of instruction with the most unwearied assiduity and attention, We were much impressed with the appearance of affection and respect, on the part of the pupils towards their teachers, which characterizes these institutions in a remarkable degree.' Yet these are the schools which they say are un. worthy of extension, for fear of the evils of separate education !
A patriot tribe from Sidon's* shore
oh! say, what mortal hand,
* So says O'Connor, in his Chronicles of Eri; the incredulous reader must at least allow the tradition to be not unpoetical.
+ Dermot AI‘Murrah, King of Leinster.