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ON THE

TENDENCY OF CERTAIN CLAUSES

IN

A BILL NOW PENDING IN PARLIAMENT

TO

DEGRADE GRAMMAR SCHOOLS,

WITU

CURSORY STRICTURES

ON THE

NATIONAL IMPORTANCE OF PRESERVING INVIOLATE

THE

CLASSICAL DISCIPLINE PRESCRIBED BY

THEIR FOUNDERS.

« NAM VETUS ILLA DOCTRINA EADEM VIDETUR ET RECTE FACIENDI ET BENE DICENDI MAGISTRA."

CICERO.

BY VICESIMUS KNOX, D. D.

[Continued from No. XXXVII. p. 272.)

SECOND EDITION:

Altered and corrected exclusively for the PAMPHLETEER.

LONDON:

ANIMADVERSIONS,

&c. &c.

It would be a public and most deplorable loss to degrade the grammar schools of the metropolis from being, what they are, fit places to educate the most illustrious of the land; and to turn them into schools, to teach paupers, what paupers can better learn at every parish school; that sort of school, which was instituted and maintained by voluntary contribution, raised, for the most part, by the sermons of the officiating clergy, who learned the laudable arts of persuasion, at the very grammar schools, thus unjustly and unnecessarily threatened with degradation. Ought not those ancient societies which are the patrons and trustees of these noble foundations, to petition and remonstrate against this barbarous innovation? Ought not the whole city to petition and remonstrate against it? The whole city is most deeply interested in preserving them in their present state. They are not only excellent seminaries, similar in every part of their plan and discipline to the most favored schools of fashion, but possessing also fellowships, scholarships, and exhibitions at both universities, more in number, and greater in value, than most of the endowed schools in the United Kingdom. And shall these be degraded at last, and one portion of them become schools for reading, writing, and arithmetic; and can practice and the rule of three, qualify for exhibitions, and fellowships and degrees at the university? Will merchants' accounts raise bishops, judges, philosophers, and scholars of the first order, men eminent in the art of healing, and every other art, either useful or honorable? The registers that enrol the names of scholars of these schools, exhibit men who were the glory of their times, and the ornaments of the human race. And shall half the instruction of such schools become merely preparatory to trade, while day

schools, academies, and parish schools abound, particularly calcu. lated for this very purpose, and, in their distinct line and order, highly valuable and truly respectable.

The exemption of Eton, Westminster, and a few more, from the degradation proposed by the bill for most of the other schools of the same kind throughout the kingdom, is itself an avowal, that the grammar schools in their original and unadulterated state, are the best places of education; since these favored and exempted schools are to be preserved by the bill in question undegraded, solely because the rich, the great, the fashionable, who can choose their schools, are in the habit of sending their sons to them? It is, we know, a sort of nobility to many persons, to have been at one of these favored and exempted schools. An Etonian tells you of the honor, in a few minutes after your first meeting him, during the whole course of his life. Whatever pardonable vanity there may be, when those who have little els to boast of, build their fame upon the school or college of which they happened to be members; their glorying in that circumstance, proves that they deem the place and mode of education which they enjoyed, of a SUPERIOR KIND. They would not boast, but be ashamed of having been bred, as it is called, at a writing and ciphering school, or a school where writing and ciphering formed part of the plan established by law, and superadded to the original foundation. The rich, the great, the fashionable, would as soon send their sons to be taught, fed, and clothed at the economical schools in Yorkshire, as to Eton, if Eton were to be degraded to a writing and ciphering school, and to admit such boys, as would then fill it, and to whom writing and ciphering would be the whole of the education required. The method of education at all the old undegraded grammar schools in England, is the same as that of Eton and Westminster. Then why may not all the grammar schools in the kingdom be preserved, in the state which their founders, in the most solemn manner, ordained; since in that state, they are productive of the same good effects, as those of Eton, Westminster, and the rest; and since in a degraded state, they would become incapable of allowing a due attention to classical literature. · The Latin and Greek

languages, and the compositions required as exercises, at classical schools, demand all the attention of both master and scholar during the school hours, and a great portion of the scholar's attention after the school hours. Nothing pre-eminently great will ever be acquired in these, without such an attention; and that attention must be continued during several years. The application and time bestowed by the scholar on writing and ciphering, taught in the school, as a part of the founder's plan, must be borrowed from that which is absolutely necessary to the study, and

VOL. XIX. Pam. NO. XXXVIII. 2 E

full comprehension of the fine authors of antiquity, and to an imitațion of them, as an exercise in daily composition, The MEMORY too, it must be considered, in favor of the old grammar schools, is there constantly exercised; not indeed by the multiplication table, but by the daily recitation of the finest passages in poetry; to prepare for which, consumes much time, after the school hours have elapsed.

The exercise of INVENTION likewise, in the intervals of school business, occupies many hours in the Jay; but, indeed, instead of an irksome labor, this is an amusement, for the pleasure of which, the ingenuous and ingenious scholar, is often tempted to relinquish his cricket, that he may finish his thenie, and give the last polish to his epigram or ode.

It is indeed right, on many accounts, that there should be schools of a very different kind from those of the old foundation. The old foundation schools are not numerous enough to admit all those boys whose parents are properly anxious to give them the knowledge necessary to entering into business at fourteen, for the acquisition of money, as the pursuit and object of a whole life. The diffusion of wealth, and the increase of the opulent population, requires what are called ACADEMIES, or schools for the shop, the warehouse, the counting-house, and the manufactory.

The limitation of numbers is a great lure which private seminaries hold out; making the greatness of the price countervail the paucity of the pupils. So far all is well; for many parents who are able, are pleased with the idea of paying a great price. Some perhaps have an opinion, that Latin and Greek, sold at a high price, are of a superior quality, a sort of superfine, or patent Latin and Greek; at least, the high price keeps away the poor and vulgar, which is copsolatory to aspiring gentility. But Latin and Greek, though advertised as a part of the system, form but a small portion of the instruction afforded at many of these establishments. Science, in the present times, seems to be the fashion every where, as it was lately in France: hence, on entering the modern Lyceums, we see an imposing apparatus ; a pair of globes

a stands prominent, then microscopes, telescopes, electric machines, air pumps, and the instruments and requisites for lectures in chemistry and experimental philosophy; all which, to boys of twelve or thirteen, are indeed pretty play-things : but, it is to be feared, that the sciences are above the comprehension of children, and that this mode of education, to the exclusion of the classical, is ultimately deceptive. To make any very valuable proficiency in science, requires mature years and masculine powers of intellect. The tricks played by boys, like tricks on cards, with the

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tackle required in physical experiments ; and the use of the globes, so much vaunted, only serve to deceive parents of a certain description. The Encyclopædia is indeed professed at the academy, but all this avails but little, if there is no foundation, or a very slight one, of grammatical or classical literature. The despised and neglected Latin and Greek, those dead languages, so often abused by superficial and ignorant persons, are the surest foundation for the superstructure of science. The, sciences have been built upon them. The very terms of the sciences, as well as of the arts, are almost entirely Latin and Greek, with slight variations. But, however superficial the attainments in classics, at the scientific, mathematical, and arithmetical, academies, all defects are supplied, in the opinion of the money-making world, by the superior excellence of dancing, French, drawing, fencing, and music masters, all of them far fetched and richly remunerated. These instructors fill the academy with pupils, and the grammar schools are comparatively deserted. Though it should be remembered, that in most grammar schools all such masters, and masters also in writing and ciphering, hired by the master and altogether under his control, are actually employed, at this moment, in the HORÆ SUBSECIVÆ, in the intervals of classical study.

The education of the great and fashionable, in days of yore, was chiefly grammatical. The word grammatical, however, in its true sense and etymology, it should be remembered, is synonymous with literary. A grammar school (ypappa, signifying litera) is a literary school, in contradistinction to a scientific. When Elizabeth swayed the sceptre, there was a remarkable display of ability among the great and fashionable, and the reason was, that they were educated universally, in literary or grammar schools, or colJeges, where the plan of such schools was closely pursued, and which were, to under-graduates, actually grammar schools. Bacon went to Trinity College, Cambridge, at twelve years old, and there probably studied and performed exercises, as boys study and perform exercises at a free school. The recent revival of letters, in that age, had excited a most ardent love of them ; and it would have been deemed barbarous to have sought any other education than the literary or classical. The queen herself, and the first ladies of her court, derived additional dignity of character from their knowledge of Latin and Greek ; and their acquaintance with Plato and Cicero gave strength, beauty, and harmony to their writings in their own language.' Nerre and vigor mark the style of those days ;

'It is not meant to recommend Latin and Greek to ladies of the present times, in imitation of the court of Elizabeth ; since they, by the elegance of their writings, have shown that they are capable of affording models, instead of seeking them. Witness a Barbauld, a D'Arblay, a More, an Edge

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