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It cools_he sways the bammer till the earthen crust gives way;
A thousand hands have laboured, they have raised it to the tow'r-
So hollow is that Bell's loud note—so deep and wild its thrill-
They let the Bell remain, and there in gloom it still abides,
THE MONK OF HEISTERBACH.
FROM THE GERMAN OF WOLFGANG MULLER.
A YOUTHFUL monk of Heisterbach, in thought,
Once strayed beyond the convent-garden's bound;
The truth that in God's Holy Word is found.
He read what on St. Peter's page appears
“With God a thousand years are as one day, With Him one day is as a thousand years"
To fathom this in vain did he essay.
His path still deeper through the forest wound;
While musing, nought or saw or heard he there,
Tolled forth its distant call to evening prayer.
He hastened back as swiftly as he might,
The gate was opened by a stranger's band ;
And loud the voices of the holy band.
And so he entered, sought his well-known place,
But, lo! a stranger monk was seated there;
But strangers' glances met him everywhere.
Tbey, too, gazed wond'ring at the astonished man,
His name and what he sought they fain would hear ;
“ None these three hundred years was called so bere.
• The last to whom the brethren gave that name
A sceptic was: he perished in the wood,
He heard the tale, and shuddered as he stood.
the date, and named the abbot too,
Who for three centuries had disappeared.
He sank beneath the shock; to silver gray
His dark hair changed, and death came on apace ;
“God is not limited by time or space.
“What His Word leaves in mystery, nought clears
Save miracle. Bear this in mind alway,
A THOUSAND YEARS WITH HIM IS AS ONE DAY !"
Of all the questions which agitate the late years, have been principally conpublic mind, we believe none is des- fined to the public education of the tined to take a more prominent place, children of the poorer classes of our and that at no distant day, than the citizens, or, as we term them, when question of Educational Reform. The affectionately disposed, the masses. vastness of tbe subject, the interests This, we presume, is in accordance involved in it, and the difficulties con- with the ancient maxim " Experi. nected with it, while on the one hand mentum fiat in corpore vili.” We have they might well deter us from rashly been more anxious for the education meddling with it, yet, on the other of the children of the poor than of our hand, they call imperiously and press- own class; and in Ireland, at least, have ingly upon us not to shrink from the fought more earnestly for the right of discussion of the subject. We have, the poor man's child to read the Bible, like most inquirers, thought over this or not to read it, than, perhaps, under subject of education, and talked over like circumstances, we should have it, too, and fancy we have gained some done for our own flesh and blood. The information ; and so we are determined Government, as usual in this country, to let the public have the benefit, as has interfered in the question, and, as we consider it, of our information and usual, increased the difficulties by medreflections on this subject. As, how- dling. It is not long since the founever, we dislike writing apropos to no- dation-stone of an institution for train. thing, we shall relieve the dulness of ing masters for the education of the our remarks by introducing to the no- English poor was laid, with no small tice of our readers one of the books* stir and flourishing of the penny-trummost recently published, in accordance pets of the daily press : the trowel was with the ideas of the reformers of school wielded by a personage no less distineducation for the middle classes. guished by the peculiar military rank
The experiments in education, of which he holds, than by the enlighten
* * “ Reading Lessons. First Book." Edited by Edward Hughes, Head Master of the Royal Naval Lower School, Greenwich Hospital. London: Longman, Brown, Green, and Longmans. 1855.
ed views of education which he is sup- been divested of extraneous subjects posed to possess. The public money of discussion, and turned more directly was voted, was spent; the usual nomi- upon the systems of education them. nations and appointments were made selves. on the usual grounds; and yet such It cannot be denied, however, that was the want of intelligence, according these systems of education have been to some, or prudent foresight, accord- more or less connected with religious ing to others, of the great parties of controversies, and that the parties into the English Church, both high and wbich our Church is unhappily divided, low, and broad and narrow, that they have each advocated systems of educarejected the proffered boon, and pre- tion, supposed to be suited to develop a ferred their own system of educating tone of feeling and mode of thought in the children of the poor to that kindly the young, in unison with the religious forced upon them by the Government training to which they are respectively at Kneller Hall.
subjected. Notwithstanding this naThe education of the Irish poor is a tural connexion, the secular and relisubject upon which we have so often gious aspect of educational systems expressed our opinion, that it is unne- admits of being considered separately, cessary now to disturb the sufficiently- and it is to the former exclusively that troubled waters. The interference of we would now direct our attention. the Irish Government is known to all In the rapid sketch which we are our readers. Their indignation at the about to give of the more prominent rebellion of the Irish clergy; their re- of our educational systems, we shall be vengeful system of Church patronage forced to confine our attention alınost founded thereon, together with its na- exclusively to England, where the subtural fruits, have been sketched in ject of education is more attended to, these pages by able bands; and we and the experiments on it tried on a only allude to the subject at present, scale vastly exceeding the feebler efto illustrate the difficulties of this forts of our own country. branch of the subject of educational First on our list we find the gram.. reform.
mar and cathedral schools and col. It is not our intention to enter upon leges of England, some endowed with this wide department of our subject; princely fortunes, and recognised as and we believe that this abnegation on the nurseries of our most brilliant our part will cause no inconvenience statesmen and most distinguished schoto our readers, who are already in pos- lars ; and others, almost unknown, session, or night easily become so, of labouring in solitude and poverty, neall the facts connected with a question glected, mismanaged, and almost forwhich has occupied so much of the gotten, excepting in the tenacious public attention.
memory of some reforming member of Our aim, on the present occasion, the House of Commons, who may prois rather to direct our readers' atten. pose annually the appointment of a tion to a branch of the subject of edu- Commission of Inquiry into the macation, much less understood, and nagement of the public schools. It is much more intimately affecting their but rarely, however, that he can obtain interests- we mean the education of a hearing for his grievance amid the the middle classes. As the wealthier complicated and interminable discusclasses of the community can afford to sions which illustrate the wisdom of pay for the blessing of religious edu- our parliamentary representatives, and cation for their children, and as there are supposed to conduce to the good are schools and colleges to suit every government of the country. Supposing shade of religious belief amongst us, our reformer, however, to be at length it has followed, as a natural conse- successful, and to attain his object--his quence, that the subject of religion is Commission is appointed, consisting of, not the subject around which the con- say, one archbishop, with a bag wig; troversies respecting middle-class edu- one ditto of Whig principles; one lord cation have clustered; and the atten. of similar principles and mechanical tion of reformers has been, in this in- tastes; an astronomer; two lawyers, stance, directed more exclusively to and a paid secretary-this Coinmission the literary side of the question. We sits upon the school grievance, which obtain one advantage from this cir- is not likely to be much benefited by cumstance that the controversy has the operation. It inquires-is resisted by the cathedral deans and dons ; is situated over a moss-grown Gothic invited by them to dine, but steadily gateway, nestling under the shadow refused all access to their coffers and of the cathedral; the access to this books. At length the Commission re- college consisting of a toilsome ascent ports and buries the results of its la- of a spiral stone staircase, in a dark bours in the usual blue book, which is and narrow turret. From the slender paid for by the House of Commons, slits, through which the sunbeams and forgotten ; but the conscience of creep, not unimpeded by green ivy the reforming member is relieved, and leavesinto the turret, alternate he turns to the contemplation of other glimpses are obtained of the sturdy grievances, and the appointment of oaks and broad fields, and of the Goother Commissions of Inquiry.
thic pinnacles and stained windows of It was our fortune once to visit an the old cathedral. Inside the college old cathedral town, of crooked streets there is a hum gf many boys, who and narrow lanes, where, however, look, and are, happy, notwithstanding the country so struggled for pre-emi. the unpromising symptom, that each nence with the town, that you could holds before him a Latin grammar, not decide to which it should be which book, alternately with the Englong. Its massive cathedral, with lofty lish Bible, forms the mental pabulum octagonal lantern, and beautiful west- of the schoolboys of our cathedral ern porch ; its bishop's palace and town. dean's residence, and college, marked Our Commissioners are shocked it as a town; but there was not a Go- and pleased. The savant is horrified thic window in its narrow streets at the absence of chemistry, geology, which was not overgrown with ivy, and botany, and naturally asks, what and from each corner of its crooked is the use of so much Latin in an agrilanes the green trees and yellow harvest. cultural district ? The lawyers comfields could be seen terminating the plain that the schoolboys are trained view; a clean and comfortable hostel, up in total ignorance of their country's adorned with a creaking signboard, laws, and of the glorious constitution representing either a golden lamb or a under which the little sinners bave the silver bell (we forget which), received happiness to live. The bishops, how. the weary stranger, whose comfort was ever, shake their heads, and express not disturbed by grinning waiters or their satisfaction that the Bible is so sulky Boots. On market-days this constantly and carefully taught, and inn was frequented by all that was incline to the opinion, that the Latin portly and comfortable of the sur- grammar as naturally accompanies a rounding farmers, who, after dinner, scriptural education as roast beef does seated behind long clay pipes, dis- plum-pludding. cussed gravely the prices of their From the quiet repose of the old neighbours’ farms, the prospects of cathedral town, let us pass to the sinking for clay beneath the peat, or hum and turmoil of busy London, the all-important question of drainage. whose public schools are endowed and Let us suppose our peripatetic Com- nurtured on a scale suited to the magmission to arrive at such a place, to nitude of the mighty Babylon. Hidinquire into the working of the cathe, den in the city in narrow lanes, where dral sehools, and having established almost every building is a wealthy themselves in the best rooms of the inn, warehouse, they reckon their scholars to sally forth in search of their object by hundreds, although many of their every person they meet can tell them nearest neighbours seem almost unconwhere the National School is, or the scious of their existence; they boast British, according as the dean happens of generations of scholars, honoured to be High or Low Church ; but the and rewarded for their learning at Cathedral School appears to be un- Oxford and Cambridge, and pride known. The farmers could tell them themselves on being still able to turn the latest price of superphosphate, but out the best Latin versemakers in do not appear to understand the geor- England ; in some, the number of gics of the mind. At length, a little the scholars is determined by the mysboy is met, with a square cap on bis tic number of the fishes taken by the head, and a Latin grammar in his seven disciples in the sea of Tiberias; hand, who shows them the way to the in others, by the good will and pleacollege, which consists of a few rooms, sure of the turtle-loving city alder
men. Do our readers wish an educa. sured by the puny standards of classical tion for their sons, holding out the pedants and found wanting. And yet prospects of success at college and in ihis system has its advocates ; and one life, difficult to obtain, coveted by of its most gifted defenders, now at many ? Let them seek for a nomina- rest, has declared that he would ra. tion in these princely schools. If suc- ther bis child should believe that the cessful, they will have the inexpressi- sun went round the earth, than devote ble gratification of seeing their dar- his life to the pursuit of physical ling hope figuring in a hideous cos- science. tume, oppressed with heat in summer, The hours of such ignorant asser. and chilled with cold in winter; his tions are numbered, and we believe thin and shivering legs coated with the assertors will soon become as rare yellow stockings, and inserted into as Tories who believe in the divine shoes resembling butter-boats, the right of kings, or Whigs who do not size of which is to be determined by love a job; pending, however, the the keeper of the wardrobe, not by the dissolution of the classical system of dimensions of the urchin's foot, but education, we must expect to see many by the date of his baptismal registry ; a fierce and furious contest amongst and should the unhappy boy have its expectant heirs. We bave almost overgrown his lawful age, his feet are as many systems as teachers in our pinched in purgatorial shoes ; private schools; and even in the public should he not have attained the nor- schools, conducted on a scientific basis, mal stature of Saxon boys, he is fitted there is far from unanimity as to the with appendages to his feet which foundations on which they should be would almost enable him to float, like laid. In many cases science is nar. a water-spider, on the mud of Cheap- rowed to the elements of mathematics, side. Costume, however, like other and in others, the natural and physical externals, is nothing; or it may be a sciences are taught in a manner too matter for difference of opinion; and often recalling to mind the experito the aldermanic eye, a pair of yellow ments and prodigies of the vendors of stockings may appear as proper for a quack medicine. schoolboy as to the Celtic peasant the In one of the hottest, smokiest, and purple shirt of his venerated prelate. blackest of the towns in the north of
Your boy, good reader, is placed at England we arrived, some years ago, school; your eye has grown used to the late at night, and were driven to the deformities of his dress ; and you con- nearest and, as it happened, the best hosole yourself with the hope that the tel. Swallowing a hasty supper, we reclothing of his mind will not bear any tired to bed, but not to rest ; the flicker. resemblance to the oddity of his dress. ing glare of the neighbouring furnaces You never were more mistaken, for his gleamed into our windows; the whiz dress is the exact counterpart of his of countless wheels in motion crept up education; your son will return home the walls and ran along the ceiling and to you skilled in making verses, but the floor; and the steady blows of perhaps unable to assist you in making heavy hammers, wielded by swarthy up your accounts; learned in the wars smiths, fell with wearisome regularity of Greece and Rome, but ignorant of on our ears. When we slept, we dream. the history of his own country; and it ed of the hotel on fire; when we wa. may even happen that almost the only kened, it was to undergo our former. useful knowledge he possesses he has
At last the wished-for morn, acquired by stealth, and out of the ing dawned, and we heard with plearoutine of school. If his taste lay sure the first and only natural sound not in the study of dead and weary which met our ears in this Cyclops' forge; languages, he was set down as slow it came from the throat of a Spanish of comprehension, and left to perish in cock, who was evidently, like ourselves, his ignorance ; he could not, and did not at home in a manufacturing town; not become a Grecian, and he must, the long, black feather which alone therefore, die a boor.
remained of his once proud tail, We could mention cases by the drooped down, and at intervals the score in which a capacity for mathema- drops of rain which trickled from tical or physical research existed of his back fell from his only feather no mean order, and was subsequently upon the wet flags; his comb was developed, in those who had been mea- draggled and torn at the base ; his