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“ But is the superior general usefulness of the Saxon, or workman of superior education, accompanied by any distinction of superiority as to moral habits ?-Decidedly so. The better educated workmen we find are distinguished by superior moral habits in every respect. In the first place, they are entirely sober ; they are discreet in their enjoyments, which are of a more rational and refined kind; they are more refined themselves, and they have a taste for much better society, which they approach respectfully, and consequently find much readier admittance to it; they cultivate music; they read ; they enjoy the pleasures of scenery, and make parties for excursions into the country; they are economical, and their economy extends beyond their own purse to the stock of their master; they are consequently honest and trustworthy. The effects of the deficiency of education is most strongly marked in the Italians, who, with the advantage of superior natural capacity, are of the lowest class of workmen, though they comprehend clearly and quickly, as I have stated, any simple proposition made or explanation given to them, and are enabled quickly to execute any kind of work when they have seen it performed once; yet their minds, as I imagine from want of development by training or school education, seem to have no kind of logic, no power of systematic arrangement, no capacity for collecting any series of observations, and making sound inductions from the whole of them. This want of the capacity of mental arrangement is shown in their manual operations. An Italian will execute a simple operation with great dexterity ; but when a number of them are put together all is confusion; they cannot arrange their respective parts in a complicated operation, and are comparatively inefficient except under a very powerful control. As an example of this I may mention that within a few years after the first introduction of cotton-spinning in Naples, in the year 1830, the spinners produced twenty-four hanks of cotton yarn from No. 16 to 20 per spindle, which is equal to the production of the best English hands; and yet up to this time not one of the Neapolitan operatives is advanced far enough to take the superintendence of the operations of a single room, the superinten. dents being all northerns, who, though much less gifted by nature, have obtained a higher degree of order or arrangement imparted to their minds by a superior education.”—p. 2. * * * * *
"We find that they (the Scotch) get on much better on the continent than the English, which I ascribe chiefly to their better education, which renders it easier for them to adapt themselves to circumstances, and es. pecially in getting on better with their fellow-workmen and all the people with whom they come in contact. Knowing their own language grammatically, they have comparatively good facility in acquiring foreign languages. They have a great taste for reading, and always endeavour to advance themselves in respectable society, which makes them careful of their conduct and eager to acquire such knowledge as may render themselves acceptable to better classes.
“Do you find these Scotch workmen equal to the Northern Germans and Saxons ?-As workmen they may, on account of their special and technical education, be superior, but as men in their general social condition they are not so refined, and have lower tastes; they are lower in school education, and have less general information than the Saxons or other Northern Germans.”—p. 4.
“ In the present state of manufactures, where so much is done by machinery and tools, and so little is done by mere brute labour (and that little is diminishing), mental superiority, system order and punctuality and good conduct_qualities all developed and promoted by education -are becoining of the highest consequence. There are now, I consider, few enlightened manufacturers who will dissent from the opinion, that the workshops peopled with the greatest number of educated and wellinformed workmen will turn out the greatest quantity of the best work in the best manner.”—p. 5.
“By education I may say that I throughout mean not merely instruction in the arts of reading, writing, and arithmetic, but better general mental development; the acquisition of better tastes and of mental amusements and enjoyments which are cheaper, whilst they are more refined.”—p. 7.
“William Fairbairn, Esq. • You are an engineer?-Yes.
“ What number of workmen do you employ ?-About 680 in Manchester, and between 400 and 500 persons in London.
“In respect to change of operations, do you experience any advantages traceable to the school education of the best workmen ?-Yes, we certainly find that those who have had a good school education have had a better conception of the organization and system implied in change of operation. It appears to require mental training in early life to enable a man to arrange a sequence of operations in the best manner for clear and efficient practical efforts. Men with such capacity we rarely find, except amongst those who have had a school education.”—p. 11.
“In all questions respecting wages we always find the best educated workmen the most reasonable in their demands, and the most peaceable in their behaviour, most readily assenting to proper changes, whether for or against themselves.”—p. 12.
“In respect to the conduct of workmen after their hours of labour, is there any expedient course which, upon experience, you can recommend for their improvement ?- The main thing, it appears to me, for their social improvement is to provide for the occupation of their leisure hours; the first of these is to make the home comfortable, and to minister to the household recreation and amusement: this is a point of view in which the education of the wives of labouring men is really of very great importance, that they may be rational companions for men. In this point of view also, I think it very important that whatever out-door amusements are provided, should not be provided for the men alone, but rather for the men and wives together, and their children.
“Do you at the Lyceum make any arrangements for carrying out this principle ? —Yes ; we make a particular point of it. For example, a few nights ago a tea-party was given, to which the wives and families of the members were admitted, and at which there were various amusements. There was an exhibition of the musical glasses ; there was also Vol. III. No. 14.—New Series.
a piano for some instrumental and some vocal music; there were reading and recitations from favourite authors, and very great entertaipment was given at a very cheap rate to 400 or 500 men, women, and children. The opening of public walks, which might be resorted to by the men and families in fine weather, and gardens, would, as appears to me, be very valuable additions to these means."-p. 15.
“ Speaking of the recreations which he had provided for the workpeople, he said, “Thou may think it strange for one of my persuasion,' (he is one of the Society of Friends,) · but it is true, I have paid for a big drum and some horns, to give them mirth after their hours of labour.'”-p. 18.
The chief point of present interest however is not so much to accumulate evidence on the value of education, for that is generally conceded.
But how is this important culture to be most extensively and efficiently given ? How is our labouring class to be raised in the scale of moral and social existence, to the point which individual attainment has shown to be practicable? To raise the class ought to be our object, not to enable individuals to leave that class for another, higher in rank, but not possessing greater means of happiness. For in what does the happiness of man in every class consist? In regular employment, labour of some kind, with a sufficient stimulus to its diligent performance; in freedom from anxiety as to the necessaries of life; in independence of mind; in the self-respect arising from a consciousness of important duties well performed; in the respect and esteem of those around us ; in domestic ties and duties; in intellectual and social pleasures; in the pleasures of beneficence; in the hopes and the present happiness of religious trust. What material of happiness has man in any class which is not comprised in one or other of these ? And which of these is not now possessed by many among the labouring class ? Which of them might not be placed within the reach of all ? All that Providence does for any of us is to place the materials of happiness within our reach: every individual must work out his own salvation here and hereafter. But we have unfortunately a class below labourers ; a class possessing few indeed of the materials of happiness, a class which the suffering sent as discipline to reform and elevate seems only further to degrade, in which “chastening” though grievous does not “yield the peaceable fruits of righteousness," a class which we cannot believe ought to be allowed to exist–Paupers. How is this class to be extinguished ? How are those born such to be raised to the rank of independent labourers,—to be made Intellectual, Moral, and Spiritual Beings? Immortal, they already are. In what direction are they to be set forward on their endless race? How are we, who consider ourselves Intellectual, Moral, and Spiritual, to impart a brother's portion of these greatest of blessings to those whom Providence has made so entirely depending on our faithful stewardship of their Father's bounties ?
There are now in our workhouses about 65,000 children under the age of 16. How are these to be trained ?
Our first feeling is, is it right that the children of drunken idle parents should be better educated than those of the self-supported labourer ? But a moment's thought will satisfy us that though “their clothes, food, and lodging should not be better than that which the labourer can provide for his child, yet whenever the community encounter the responsibility of providing for the education of children who have no natural guardians, it is impossible to adopt as a standard for the training of such children the average amount of care and skill now bestowed on the moral and religious culture of the children of the labouring classes generally, or to decide that their secular instruction shall be confined within limits confessedly so meagre and inadequate.”-p. 19.
That the State neglects one of its duties, to place a good edu. cation within reach of all, is no reason it should not fulfil another where no one else can supply the omission, and educate well those whose education it must regulate. Public feeling will not allow the schools for the labouring classes long to remain generally inferior to those for the pauper children. We want chiefly good models, schools which will show us what can be accomplished, and how to accomplish it. Besides, at the time when the children leave the workhouse one of two results must ensue:
“1. Either the child must at that period have acquired such habits of industry, such skill in some useful art, and such correct moral habits, as to render his services desirable; in which case he will go to service, and his dependence will cease,
“Or, 2ndly, by neglect, or by the adoption of a system of training not calculated to prepare them for the discharge of the practical duties of their station in life, the pauper children maintained in workhouses are not qualified for service, and then it becomes necessary to adopt the old expedient for the removal of the burthen created by the absence of a correct system of moral and industrial training, viz. to apprentice the children to a trade or calling by paying a premium to some artizan to instruct them in an art by which they may earn their subsistence.”
The latter was the alternative adopted under the old Poor
Law. The children grew up in idleness and ignorance, and melancholy are the answers to the first inquiry proposed by the Commissioners, viz. “ The state of the pauper schools under the old Poor Law.” The neglect of the workhouse was followed in too many instances, by entire disregard as to the character of the master to whom the child was apprenticed, to his ability to teach him a trade, or to the probability of the trade affording him support when it was acquired.
The distress of the hand-loom weavers of Spitalfields has been long notorious. The parent's inducement to employ his child in assisting him, supplies more workmen than the trade can support. The weavers pressed by want have been accustomed to seek relief by taking children as apprentices, with whom they received a premium of from £10 to £20. Mr. Christy, relieving officer of Bethnal Green, in which parish Spitalfields is situated, offered proof that from half to two-thirds of the indentures were afterwards cancelled, from the inability of the masters to support the children. Yet out of 199 children applying for apprenticeship from other parishes in 1835-6-7, he had successfully opposed only 39. Il treatment often relieved the master from all expense, by causing the child to abscond. The effect of the consequent destitution and bad company, both to boys and girls, was what might be anticipated. But we will turn from these painful features of the past, to the second part of the inquiry, viz., “the improvements which have been introduced into the pauper schools since the passing of the Poor Law Amendment Act.”
We had made copious extracts from the report of the largest of the improved schools, Mr. St. Aubin's establishment at Norwood, containing about 1,100 children, “ the refuse of the City of London,” but they occupy too much room; we must content ourselves with such brief abstract as we hope will induce our readers to turn to the report itself, which is only one of many full of interest and of hope.
The children spend six hours on alternate days, in the workshop, and in the school; classes of 50 tailors, 40 shoemakers, 3 or four blacksmiths, of 8 tinmen, 2 or 3 ostlers, 4 or 5 car. penters, and of about 30 mariners, are constantly receiving in. struction. Those under eight years of age learn straw plaiting, and basket making. The girls are employed in household duties, in washing, ironing, mangling, sewing, knitting, &c.
In the school the instruction has a direct bearing on their future duties and wants. Geography teaches them the seats of manufactures and commerce. They keep accounts, write inventories, sum up the expenses of a household, and note the best