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• of any country in the world, England herself not excepted ? • This, Sir, would really be expecting too much. If, however, • such expectations are, unfortunately for us, entertained by • those under whose control we are placed; if nothing less than ' an implicit conformity with Orders in Council, the ruinous
effects of which are published almost daily in the Gazettes of 'a neighbouring colony; if, in short, a plan has been already
organized for our destruction; if it is determined that we • shall be the victims of fanaticism, prejudice, and injustice, we • must submit ; but neither threats nor persuasion will ever in• duce us to put the finishing hand to our own political, per• haps natural existence; and we have too much reliance on " the justice of our beloved Sovereign, to believe that he ever 6 will.
• As I fear,' says the Governor of Grenada, there are • points which seem to your Lordship indispensable to be add• ed to the bill, which, after the most serious and mature con• sideration, the Legislature of this island hare deemed it (at • least for the present) impossible to comply with, namely, the • total prohibition of the whip as an instrument of correction • of females, and the right of slaves to purchase their free• dom.' The Speaker of the Assembly of St Vincent describes their act, as ó evincing a desire to go to the utmost li
mits, nay, almost beyond the limits of what seems safe and prac• ticable, to meet the wishes of those persons in England who « have the true interests of the colonies in view. And the Tobago Assembly speaks still more plainly. They profess their readiness to adopt certain measures (and we have seen the extent of that readiness); but they add, that “ they yield rather from a sincere desire to conciliate public opinion and • Trans-Atlantic prejudices, than from any conviction that the
proposed alterations can in any way be beneficial to the slaves, • or claimed as due to the rights of humanity. But in so do• ing, they beg leave respectfully, but firmly, to declare, that • concessson will then have reached ils utmost ; and a deep
of their public duty bids them implore his Majesty's • Government to consider and reflect on the earnest appeal • now made to their wisdom, discretion, and justice, by this the
Legislative Council of Tobago, against any further altera• tions, or proposals of alteration, which a mistaken zeal in • the cause of humanity may still consider requisite to be « effected in our Slave Laws, without due deliberation on • the rights of property, which such interference must de
stroy. And then comes a very precise declaration, that they will do no more.—They must also declare they have there• in stated their ultimatum. Vo consideration will induce them to
• advance one step further, in sacrificing those political rights
which they acquired when, under the Royal Authority, power
was given them to judge of, and make all laws necessary for • themselves. No consideration whatever will induce them, fur
ther than they have stated, to fritter away and tamper with • those rights of property which they conceive rest on no less • solid a foundation than the pledged faith of Great Britain, • which, as they know it is yet untarnished, they are confident 6 will not first be sullied in their instance.
If any man, after this examination of the conduct held by the Islands, and these warnings given by themselves, continues to indulge the hope, that they will ever reform the system confided to their administration, we can only say, that man has himself to thank for the certain disappointment which awaits him. The proceedings in Parliament, last Session, upon this important question, disappointed the expectations—the just and pious expectations of the country, in a manner which we dare not trust ourselves with describing. Upon the ground of often repeated evasions, and new marks of open contumacy, the people were asked once more to lend their confidence to those who had once more deceived them, and were beginning even to dispense with the forms of courtesy in their determination to follow their own course. No new confidence, indeed, was reposed, in answer to this appeal; but the Government and the Legislature incurred a heavy responsibility when they made it, and delayed for another year applying the only effectual remedy.
Art. VIII. The Consequences of a Scientific Education to the
Working Classes of this Country pointed out, and the Theories of Mr Brougham on that Subject Confuted, in a Letter to the Marquis of Lansdown. By a Country GENTLEMAN. 8vo. pp. 77. London. Cadell, 1826.
The he alarm which seems to have seized the author of this
pamphlet, we had hoped, might pass over speedily, and be confined to a small part of the community. He appears, however, to become more apprehensive, the longer he broods over the subject, and he intimates that his fears must be shared by all • who will not consent to such an extensive change as • shall alter the character of the Nation and the style of the • Government'-that is, as he immediately adds, by ninetenths, nay, by ninety-nine hundredths of the community.' We feel quite confident that our own estimate is much beyond the truth, when we say that he is in a minority of one in the hun
dred, in point of numbers—its weight, as far as understanding goes, we had better leave to be illustrated by himself.
This country gentleman’determined to sift the matter to the bottom, and to begin at the beginning, first proposes to inquire into the nature of the Being to whom this style of educa
tion is vouchsafed,'--next into the character of the Government under which he lives; and, thirdly, into the situation he fills under that government. His solutions of the three problems are short and oracular, and not likely to be much disputed. In · reply to these queries (says he), I affirm—the Being is Man "-the character of our Government is what is called a limit
ed Monarchy ;-and, lastly, the persons alluded to belong to a description of persons called the Working Classes of So' ciety.? (p. 3.) This theory of our Government is of a geometrical nature; and he ingeniously derives its properties from those of the Pyramid.
« The next step is, to inquire whether there be any thing in that limited monarchy under which we live, that should make any alteration in the question ? I think there is ; and to prove it, I shall beg your Lordship's attention to what I may call an outline of such a Government. From one hereditary chief Magistrate it proceeds, by gentle and scarcely perceptible gradations, to the great bulk of the people, which compose, if I may so say, the base of the constitution. It may be likened in fact to a Pyramid, which is the most lasting of all buildings, in much the same manner as a limited Monarchy is the most durable of all Governments. From an extended base, its superstructure is raised, gradually getting smaller and smaller, till it reaches a point; one part not being too heavy or too light for another ; the part below feeling not the weight of that above it; a correct proportion appearing throughout, and combining, as a whole, one mass of beauty and of strength. M. de Calonne says, that no where else in the world does such harmony subsist between the several ranks of citizens as in England; and the celebrated historian, * in commenting on the passage, calls “ this harmony the firm foundation on which the proud superstructure of the British constitution rests. Ranks vary as much, or perhaps more, than elsewhere ; but no one rank has that gigantic pre-eminence which can enable it to trample on its next inferior. In the scale of subordination the distance from top to bottom is great, but the gradation is scarcely perceptible, and the connexion intimate. Each rank, moreover, is interested in the support of the next superior; none are excluded from the hope of rising ; † and
+ • This is no such blunder as it may at first sight appear : the simile halts a little, but it is a mere trifle. In the change which takes place in society one rises and another falls; the character of the country remains unchanged, as one may suppose in a pyramid of cannon-balls, one removed for another, whereby the figure is not destroyed, nor its durability endangered!
of all the various ranks, the highest is most interested in the support of the whole.” What can bear a more correct resemblance to a pyramid ? At all events, a pyramid, nearer than any other figure, may be said to represent a limited monarchy, in the same way that a space, inclosed by four equal lines at right angles with each other, is called a square !
• Presuming this to be admitted, we come now to the consideration of what place in society do those persons, called the working classes, fill ? The answer is clear. They occupy that important part in the pyramid which is called the base, and on which the superstructure rests.
“We have thus seen that Man is a most imperfect being, swayed by inclination or passion, and that the constitution of the country is like a pyramid, of which figure the working classes form the base.'
This doctrine he illustrates by a diagram, representing two pyramids, with the classes of society, one above the other; and we are surprised to observe him place the gentry below both lawyers and merchants; which almost inclines us to suspect that he is not, after all, a true country gentleman, but something else, though in sheep's clothing, and acting the part, as far as learning and acuteness are concerned, in great perfection.
The sum of his argument, if such it can be called, even in courtesy, is, that by giving scientific education to the working classes, you destroy the proportion between them and their superiors, who will no longer be able to retain their more elevated station. If our author will only take the trouble to reflect upon the large portion of every working man's time which is necessarily consumed in providing for his daily wants, he will perceive how easy it must always be for the wealthy to keep far above their inferiors, in every pursuit of knowledge. Undoubtedly, when a taste for such noble acquirements as those he dreads sometimes, and sometimes contemns, pervades the the body of the people, the upper classes will naturally improve themselves as well as the rest; But a very little sacrifice of the indulgences incident to their station, will always suslice to maintain their superiority in this, as in the less valuable and dignified circumstances of life.
As for the topics resorted to by our author to vindicate his alarms, and support his unfavourable opinions of learning, they really consist either of misrepresentations of other men's positions-most innocent, no doubt, as arising from manifest misapprehension-or of scraps of instances misapplied-as the case of the Gnostics, who, he says, were ' great philosophers, • believing learning to be the summum bonum, and who main
tained,' he assures us, that · men, however vicious their
practice, would be saved by their learning'— and that of Lord Bacon, who. he says was also ó a great philosopher- and ' yet was mean, avaricious, and dishonest!' The dangers of a
little learning are easily traced in such errors as this writer has fallen into, and the arguments he supports them by. The following is a very fair average sample of the reasoning and declamation of which the 77 pages now before us consist. We believe it contains also about as rational views of the subject as are to be found in the lucubrations of most of the visionaries who rack their imaginations to furnish alarming topics, for the purpose of securing men from improvement.
• It surely is incumbent on Mr Brougham to let us know to what extent he would carry his mechanic's education; or, to be still more specific, to declare at once, if he would give the working classes as good an education as the Houses of Lords or Commons. If it falls short of that, it cannot bring about the blessed results of the learned gentleman's expectations ; it being well known, I believe, that he entertains a very humble opinion of those bodies. Nay, he has, I believe, accused them of intolerance, want of justice, want of principle, of corruption and selfinterest. Admitting, for the sake of argument, all this to be true ;—then, has education, advanced so far, not improved the man ! But, supposing that the working classes were superior to our senate in ability ? Are they to take their places ? Is it possible to suppose they will be satisfied with any thing less ? And having them, will they be satisfied without their estates ? It is absurd to think, that these enlightened mechanics will be such a heaven-born race as to have no passions, no prejudices like other people ; that they will be content to till the ground or mend the streets when they are able to instruct the Lords and Commons ; that they will feel so much gratitude to their superiors as never to meddle with the government, giving their advice, when called upon, without reward or hope of it; that they will live like labourers, work like labourers, but devote what time they can spare from working hours, to ascertain the longitude, to penetrate the dark recesses of science, or peradventure to find out the philosopher's stone. This, my Lord, it is next to impossible to suppose ; yet if they are not thus to act, their talents are of no use ; or being used, they will take the helm into their own hands, and steer the vessel of the state into the fanciful harbour of perfection. Hail glorious day! that shall witness “ this consummation so devoutly to be wished,” when man shall cast off his mortal infirmities, and with them the inclinations and passions inherent in our nature.
" At first sight, my Lord, I admit that it seems hard to deny our fellow-creatures what we confess to have derived considerable enjoyment from ourselves. But, with the same propriety, may the person that claims education from your Lordship on such terms, claim part of your estate!
Yet I know this is not unfrequently urged in favour of education. It does not deserve the name of an argument-it is but a superficial remark; and whatever is looked at superficially is, generally speaking, incorrect. The populace ever judge superficially ; the probability therefore is, that they are ever wrong: nor, with the little time they are able to devote to study, will all the education they can receive ever do