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Mr Fellenberg by no means recommends. A charity founded on rational principles, as well as proceeding from amiable feelings, is alone patronized and exemplified at Hofwyl. The real good of the poor is consulted, and not their temporary relief; the task of maintaining them, or teaching them to obtain a maintenance by industry and frugality, is prescribed to the rich, and not the momentary gratification of compassionate feelings. This charity may truly be said to bless the giver as well as the receiver; it requires only his care and attention, without diminishing his resources; and the objects of it are rendered valuable to the community, happy in themselves, and grateful to benefactors, who have made them at once industrious and independent. The poor children live quite separate from the rich; but they are daily scen by them; and the progress of their improvement and their labour is noted. The method of reclaiming and of training them is taught; and unquestionably few of Mr Fellenberg's wealthier pupils will be likely to leave his Institution, without having imbibed a strong desire to carry principles into operation in their own country:
We cannot help expressing our earnest wish that some more practical and minute knowledge of the system were obtained by our own countrymen than any which can be gleaned from such general descriptions as books afford. The translation of some of the works of which we have prefixed the titles to this article, would be of use; and we are not without hopes, that the statements in the foregoing pages may call to the subject the attention of the public. But much remains to be learnt, after all that books can tell, of methods necessarily consisting in minute details. These can only be well understood, so as to) e transferred and adopted here, by being studied daily upon the spot. For example, the admirable system of economy which prevails, and enables Mr Fellenberg to do so much with such' limited means, resolves itself into an endless variety of expedients; each trifling, when viewed separately,—but all of which, taken together, constitute the method required. In like manner, the plan pursued for reforming and training the poor children, consists of various processes and methods of treatment, which can only be learnt by actually seeing their operation. The pupils from Germany are sure to carry a practical knowledge of these matters into their own country; and if the system is only adopted in one instance, that knowledge will soon spread in proportion to its manifest usefulness. It is much to be wished that some of our countrymen, whose public spirit is proportioned to their means of serving the community, would devote a season or two of recreation from other employments, to the important and not uninteresting business of visiting Hofwyl. It appears, from Mr Brougham's evidence, that they would be most cordially welcomed by Mr Fellenberg, who offered him every accommodation, when he intended to remain there a few weeks, for the purpose of studying the system minutely. A residence, however, of five or six months, would be necessary thoroughly to understand all the details; and the sending two or three young persons to the academy, would probably be the best means of importing a knowledge of all Mr Fellenberg's improvements into this country. Such an experiment would, at all events, be safe as well as easy. If it led to no practical results in favour of the poor, or the agriculture of this nation, it would be attended with no risk nor expense to the individuals. The boys would receive, perhaps, one of the best educations that Europe affords, at a very moderate price; and the strictest regard would be paid both to their health and their morals. There is much difficulty, however, in obtaining admission for pupils; and Mr B. mentions a journey undertaken, while he was in Switzerland, by the present King and Queen * of Wirtemberg, chiefly for the purpose of prevailing upon Mr Fellenberg to take one more youth from Germany, a young person of the highest rank, under his care. But it is to be expected that he may be induced to receive one or two English pupils, of whom he has hitherto had none, in the hopes of extending to this country the knowledge of those principles, the success of which he naturally fels a very warm anxiety to promote. We may add, that as German appears to be the language spoken in the Establishment generally, any person resorting thither only for a few months, to examine the methods used, will do well to make himself master of it first: but if boys are sent over, they will of course very soon learn it sufficiently to follow the routine of instruction.
In this article we have given our opinion as it really is, very much in favour of the principles upon which Mr Fellenberg proceeds. We deem them to be just and rational in themselves ;and in their application, we perceive, by the evidence of facts, that they have been practically successful. At the same time, we by no means intend to assert, that an attempt should all at once be made to carry them into effect upon a large scale; especially in populous, and, above all, in manufacturing and commercial districts, where their adoption must needs be limited, by various circumstances that do not enter into the calculations at Hofwyl.
* Formerly Grand Dutchess of Oldenberg, and sister of the Eme All we desire is to see the principles, which are unquestionably both just and practical, received as they deserve, and applied with the necessary variations prescribed by diversities of situation. It
may not be possible to effect-it may not be desirable to attempt-doing as much for the poor on a large, as Mr Fellenberg has done upon a small scale : But he has clearly shown how much may be performed for their improvement, not only without extravagant cost, but with a profit exactly proportioned to the benefit bestowed upon the objects of his care.
Art. VIII. Plan of Parliamentary Reform, in the Form of a
Catechism; with Reasons for each Article: With an Introduction, showing the Necessity of Radical, and the Inadequacy of Moderate Reform. By JEREMY BENTHAM, Esq. 8vo. pp.
London. R. Hunter, 1817.
DISPUTES concerning the right of suffrage were longer un
known, and have formed a more inconsiderable subject of political discussion in England, than in any other Free State. În governments altogether republican, the right of choosing lawgivers, or of making laws, and the distribution of political privileges among various Magistrates and Councils, form the principal subject of contest between the several orders which compose
the Commonwealth. But in England, which Montesquieu called “a Republic disguised as a Monarchy,' these contests were prevented, by the general jealousy directed against the dangerous, though necessary power of the Crown. The peculiar nature of our Constitution for a long time engaged the whole force of the Friends of Liberty in struggles against an enemy of a singular kind, whom it was necessary always to watch, very often to resist, and yet never to destroy.–From Henry III. to George 111. the grand question depending between the Crown and the People, has continued to be, whether the Government should be Parliamentary, or administered according to the judgment of one or more individuals, not amenable to justice, and often not answerable to public opinion, for their counsels and measures ?- This question is, in other words, whether Montesquieu's description of our constitution be just,—whether it is to be administered on the principles of Popular Government, or according to the maxims of an uncontrolled Monarchy? Thé dispute, indeed, has assumed various forms. Sometimes the very being of Parliaments was threatened; the Crown sometimes encroached on their legislative power, but more frequently sought
for pecuniary resources independent of parliamentary grant.-These contests were, however, occasional: But one regal pretension never ceased; the kings of England always endeavoured to maintain their right to follow their own judgment, or that of private advisers, in the choice of ministers and measures; whilst the Parliament, seconded by the People, with equal. constancy maintained that the prerogatives of the Crown, both in the choice of its servants, and in every other public act, was to be exercised by the advice of the Great Council which conveyed to the Throne the deliberate opinion of the Nation. This question arose in the most ancient times of our government. It was agitated for ages before those extravagant doctrines of Divine Right, Passive Obedience, and Indefeasible Inheritance, which flourished under the House of Stuart.
The original dispute has survived these absurdities. It now forms the indelible distinction between Whigs and Tories, and must continue to keep up similar parties as long as the British Constitution exists. In the course of this
of the Purse was the only pacific means, by which the House of Commons could establish or defend their authority as lawgivers, and their weight as counsellors of the Crown: and hence it has arisen that almost all our great disputes have immediately turned upon questions of pecuniary supply. On this ground, all the battles of Liberty have been fought, from the grant of the Great Charter to the declaration of American Independence.
It was not till after the victory of the Parliament over Charles the First, that symptoms of dissatisfaction with the constitution of the House of Commons began to manifest themselves. Complaints of the state of the representation, and projects for its amendment, were then employed by the agitators of the Parliamentary Army as a means of depriving the House of Commons of the popularity which was its main security against the Military Body.-It was on the 20th of January 1649, a few days before the death of the King, that the first plan of Parliamentary Reform was laid before the House of Commons, by some officers of the army, under the alluring title of An Agreement of the People. It was composed by General Ireton, a memorable person, of eminent capacity for civil as well as military affairs, and who did not declare for a republic until he was persuader that Charles had no intention but 'to regain by art what he had lost in fight.'*-In this paper it was proposed that the Commonwealth should be governed by a Re
* Hutchinson, 293.-For his determination to resist the ambition of his father-in-law, Cromwell, see the same excellent work, 325.
presentative Assembly of four hundred persons, biennially elected, by all housekeepers assessed to the poor--not being servants or receiving wages. The smaller boroughs (with some capricious exceptions) were to be thrown into the counties. The cities and more considerable towns, together with the unrepresented towns of Manchester and Leeds, were to have separate representatives.
This was the first plan of Moderate reform:--and it was speedily succeeded by one of a different description. On the 1st of May 1649, the Levellers, who were charged with designs for equalizing property, published, but did not present to Parliament, their scheme of Parliamentary Reform, by which • all men of the age of twenty-one years, not receiving alms or being servants, were, according to natural right, to have a voice in the election of Members of a Parliament to be annually chosen.' Thus arose the two systems; of which, the latter is the Radical Reform of our times, and the former proposes the most extensive of those changes, which are now comprehended under the name of Moderate Reform.
After the defeat of the revolts which followed the manifesto of the Levellers, the execution of their ringleaders, and the imprisonment of Overton and Lillburne, their project was speedily disregarded, and soon totally forgotten. The plan of Ireton was the groundwork on which the Parliament founded that system of representation, of which their dispersion by military force seems to have prevented the completion. Its principle was adopted by Cromwell's Parliament in 1654, but modified by the admission of many of the former boroughs and of the unrepresented town of Halifax.-The Parliaments were to be triennial :—Every man who had a real or personal estate of 2001. was to vote in counties, in addition to the forty-shilling freeholders; and the ancient rights were preserved in cities and towns. His second Parliament were elected according to this system, which they did not alter.
It is somewhat remarkable, that in the thirty succeeding years of agitation and change, this subject should have so little occupied the attention of the great political writers, who, to the discredit of our age, are now unreasonably and ungratefully undervalued. The favourite plan of Milton was, that the Com• monwealth should be ruled by a Senate chosen by the People
an estate of 2001. was necessary to entitle
any one to vote. That this is a mistake, appears from the Resolution of that very independent House of Commons, 27th November 1654.