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very much checked by one of those acts for the suppression of knowledge, which were passed in 1819, although one of its rules was not to allow the venders of its works to sell any book on the political controversies of the day. The only part of this plan which appears at all objectionable is the restriction upon politics."-" Why, then, may not every topic of politics, party as well as general, be treated of in cheap publications ?"-" The abuses which, through time, have crept into the practice of the constitution-the errors committed in its administration, and the improvements which a change of circumstances require even in its principles, may most fitly be expounded in the same manner. And if any man, or set of men, deny the existence of such abuses, see no error in the conduct of those who administer the government, and regard all innovation upon its principles as pernicious, they may propagate their doctrines through the like channel. Cheap works being furnished, the choice of them may be left to the readers."
For the italics contained in this extract, we are accountable; our readers will divine our reasons for employing *them.
Mr Brougham's pamphlet is expressly addressed to the working classes and their employers; its subject is that delicate and ticklish one, the education of the people, and still he here lauds a speech in favour of that which was so long the stalking-horse of revolution, and gives his readers to understand that the enactments which the deplorable events of 1819 rendered necessary, were acts for the suppression of knowledge." So impossible it is for party-bigots to touch any question without tainting it with party-politics. We need not say that his doing this is perfectly gratuitous, and it is not necessary for us to hold it up to the disgust of every honest friend to the education of the people.
We are so far from being hostile to the instruction of the working classes in general politics, that we think it a matter greatly to be desired. We wish from our souls, that every man in the nation would be made acquainted with the principles and working of the constitution, with the points of difference between it and the forms of government of other states, and with public interests generally. Every scheme of
education for adults which shall withhold information on these things will be highly defective: to prove this, we need only point to the pernicious misrepresentations which are daily dealt out to the people respecting them, and which can only be rendered harmless by proper knowledge. We would, however, confine this instruction strictly to general politics. It should consist wholly of naked facts, of accurate description, of things untouched by, and above the reach of, controversy. It should not comprehend a single word belonging to party; it should be instruction, and nothing else.
Our worthy lawyer, however, insists that, to educate the working classes, they must be made acquainted with every topic of party-politics by means of cheap publications. He maintains this by the most wretched reasoning that was ever employed in aid of a doubtful proposition. Our refutation shall be decisive. What is education? To educate a man, we must communicate to him knowledge-we must place before him truths, demonstrations, things that are not controverted -we must treat him as a pupil, and not as a judge. If we fill him with errors and falsehoods, we delude, but we do not educate him. Now, what are party-politics at the best? Controversies, disputes; when a matter loses its controversial character, it belongs no longer to party-politics. They are the weapons with which bodies of men contend against each other for personal benefit, and they notoriously comprehend a vast portion of gross misrepresentation and falsehood on those points on which it is of the first importance that all men should be correctly informed. Yet, in Mr Brougham's judgment, party-politics, that is, the ignorance and profligacy, the scurrility and untruth, the dangerous schemes and doctrines of our factious writers, are to be crammed down the throats of our ignorant working classes as education; to educate the working man, we must put into his hands the writings of such people as Leigh Hunt, Cobbett, and Carlisle, Brougham, Bentham, and Bowring.
Every one knows that party-politics are not now what they were formerly. They no longer leave untouched the constitution, laws, and religion-the institutions and general principles of the country. The questions which
they raise, are, in amount, whether these shall or shall not be altered, reversed, or destroyed. Before the lower orders are instructed-while they are, even according to the admission of Mr Brougham and his friends, in the most deplorable ignorance-they are to have publications put into their hands which will make them furious partizans on questions like these. Our ploughmen, weavers, tailors, shoemakers, &c. after finishing the labours of the day, are to congregate together in the even ing to educate themselves by deciding, not merely upon public abuses, and the errors of the ministry, but upon the changes necessary to be made in the principles of the constitution. If these changes do not mean revolution, they can have no meaning; the constitution would indeed be a miraculous thing if its principles could be changed without changing its shape and letter. If Mr Brougham be a political authority, the term "unconstitutional," which is so eternally used by our politicians, ought to be no more heard of: it is commonly employed to point out something that is contrary to the principles of the constitution, and behold! these principles are themselves erroneous. If Mr Brougham be a statesman and a philosopher, those who are grossly ignorant of men and things, who are the most destitute of means of information, who are in the highest degree credulous and passionate, and who comprehend the physical strength of the country, are most fit and proper persons to be employed in taking to pieces and re-casting the laws and constitution. The learned individual does not say that these uneducated and of course ignorant mechanics, are to hear both sides, oh, no! The existence of the abuses, the errors, and the necessity for the changes, he assumes to be free from doubt; if, however, any man, or body of men, deny it, they may oppose to the cheap works that assert it, other cheap works containing their denial, and then-what? "Cheap works being furnished, the choice of them may be left to the readers." The readers may choose between, but not read both; they may be made partizans, but they must not take measures for ascertaining the truth.
Now, what makes Mr Brougham, one of the most intolerant of men towards those who differ from him, so
excessively liberal as to permit his "students" to choose between the rival cheap works? He knows perfectly well which side they would take. In party-politics one party professes to be the exclusive friend of the working classes; it pretends to watch over their interests, and to fight their battles; it is constantly their sycophant and the slanderer of the upper ranks, and it always represents its opponent to be their enemy. This opponent, though it calls itself the friend of the lower orders, ever stands forward as the defender of the upper ones. In addition to this, the sentiments of the one side are far more palatable to the ignorant than those of the other. This has produced its natural effects. Tory publications have no circulation whatever among the working classes, and they cannot, in the nature of things, obtain any. Mr Brougham is well aware of this; he knows that the lower orders have been separated from, and filled with party-enmity towards, the upper ones; and that it is as certain that they will prefer the Whig and Benthamite cheap works to the Tory ones, as that the Whig will prefer the Morning Chronicle to the Cou rier, or the Catholic, Cobbett's Register to John Bull. If evidence of this were necessary, the pamphlet furnishes it. Mr Brougham says of Hume's History-"It is to be regret ted that any edition of this popular work should ever be published without notes, to warn the reader of the author's partiality when moved by the interest of civil and ecclesiastical controversy, and his careless and fanciful narrative, when occupied with other events." Now the very man who thus declares that a sober historical work of high reputation, a work relating to past times, not misrepresenting for individual or party benefit, and only exhibiting a comparatively slight tinge of party-colouring, ought not to circulate, even among the educated, without notes to warn the readers of the author's party-bias-the very man who does this, insists at the same moment that the Edinburgh and Westminster Reviews, the Examiner, &c. &c. publications which display all the slander, misrepresentation, and falsehood, that party-spirit is capable of produ cing, which are very often written to gratify private animosity, and serve
personal and party cupidity, which notoriously emanate from the most furious, unscrupulous, interested, and fanatical party-men, which relate to the present, and which labour to produce political changes of the most sweeping and dangerous characterought to be put into the hands of the uneducated-of the working classeswithout a single note to warn the readers of the party-feelings of their authors. The reason is-Hume's party-bias happens to clash with that of the Edinburgh Reviewers. It is actually astonishing, that any imaginable degree of party-fanaticism could have led such a man as Mr Brougham into an inconsistency so astounding and humiliating as this. Nothing more can be necessary to prove, that if he were not confident that the "students" would reject every Tory publication without exception, he would protest with all his might against their being suffered to read a line of partypolitics.
The working classes are now peaceable, but how long are they to continue so? Mr Brougham says, in this very pamphlet, that the present course of things is daily tending to lower wages and profits, and place these classes in opposition to their employers. Most people believe that a crisis is approaching. The principles of free trade, and the free circulation of tradesecrets, machinery, and workmen, must necessarily give the market to those who can sell the cheapest; they must necessarily produce the utmost degree of competition, and the utmost degree of competition must necessarily sink wages and profits, rents not excepted, to the lowest point. The lowest of wages and profits always have been, and, in spite of all the political economists in the world, always will be, attended with pretty general poverty and privation. Competition, poverty, and privation, have the most terrible effects on morals. Within the compass of a few years, the labouring orders have been greatly distressed, at one time by the scarcity of work, and at another by the lowness of wages, although work could be obtained. Now, if they are formed into reading societies, and are to have partypolitics served out to them in cheap works, what will they read in the hour of distress? Let the history of
late years answer the question. Mr Brougham, no doubt, imagines that his scheme will fill their hands with the writings of his own party, but he is mistaken. The writers who will go the farthest, always will be, as they have ever been, the favourites of the multitude; and the "people," when they are embarked in party-politics, will ever turn in contempt from Brougham and Place, to read Cobbett and Carlisle. That a man who has lived in this country during the last seven years, should argue, that to educate the working classes, we must put into their hands such cheap works on party-politics as they may choose, is incomprehensible-it is so much so, that it is scarcely possible to avoid suspecting him of being the friend of revolution.
If party-politics were now what they were formerly; if they did not affect the attachment of the people to the political and social system of the country, and merely related to the superiority of one system of policy, or one Ministry, over another; still they would be very improper things to enter into the edu cation of the working classes. Mr Brougham, we think, must know, from personal experience, that they have an irresistible tendency to engender feuds and animosities-to array friend against friend, and connexion against connexion-to blind the understanding and corrupt the heart to divert the attention from wise and necessary pursuits
and to exercise the most pernicious influence over the fortunes. He admits that the working classes can only spare an hour or two every other day for reading, and he cannot possibly be ignorant, that if they acquire a taste for party-politics, these will engross the hour or two to the exclusion of other subjects. We need not say how this would operate upon the "education of the people."
Political economy has hitherto formed a part of party-politics, and it does this still to a certain degree. In it Mr Brougham asserts the working classes ought to be instructed-we believe to a certain extent in political economy, for it comprehends a number of old stale truths, which were familiar to all men before the name was ever heard of; but we say, that it combines with these truths many falsehoods, that it joins to some sound theory a great deal that is erroneous, and that, as a whole,
it will ruin this empire if reduced to practice by the government.
In addition, the political economists themselves are fiercely at issue, touching some of its leading doctrines. These doctrines bring into question a very large portion of our political system; they strike at some of the main pillars of British society; they seek the destruction of many sentiments and regulations, which in our judgment are essential for binding man to man, and class to class-for cementing together and governing the community. They are in their nature democratic and republican, hostile to aristocracy and monarchy, and they are generally taught by people who virtually confess themselves to be republicans. This is sufficient to convince us, that a large part of political economy is yet any thing but knowledge, and that it is therefore unfit to be taught to the working classes. We say nothing against the tuition Mr Brougham mentions respecting population and wages, save that it is useless. The puffs which were lately bestowed on a lecture delivered at Leeds, amused us excessively. The worthy lecturer gravely stated to the working classes, that when work was scarce, wages were bad, when it was plentiful they were good, and that labourers had the best times when there were too few rather than too many in number. This was of course delivered in the jargon of the economists. It may be thought to be a very brilliant discovery by lawyers and newspapereditors, but we are very sure that every labouring man in Yorkshire was acquainted with it before political economy existed.
We will now look at what Mr Brougham recommends in addition to party-politics and political economy, for the education of the working classes. This is almost wholly scientific instruction. In truth this education is generally called by its friends scientific education. He is silent touching the books which are read at his institutions, but he informs us that lectures on the following topics have been delivered at them: In London, on Chemistry, Geometry, Hydrostatics, the application of Chemistry to the Arts, Astronomy, and the French Language: In Edinburgh, on Mechanics, Chemistry, Architecture, and Farriery. The Lectures delivered at other places have been of a similar character. This has
no doubt a magnificent appearance on paper. An English labourer not only a statesman, but a chemist, a geometrician, an amateur in mechanics, an astronomer, a linguist, and we know not what beside!-Mr Brougham must be the greatest of all conjurors. We are, however, cui bono men, and therefore we must have something more than this splendid surface to excite our admiration.
Mr Brougham, we assume, will concede to us, that education should be to the working classes a thing of use rather than ornament-that it is valuable in proportion to its usefulness; and that in it the useful ought to have the greatest, and the merely ornamental the least, share of attention. The education of these classes ought evidently to be divided into two partsmoral and professional. The same moral education will do for all, but the professional education must vary in its character to almost every individual. The moral education must precede, and form the foundation of the professional. Morals form the most precious gift that can be given to the labouring man, whether we look at his own interest or at that of the state. The working classes must be moral, or they will not devote their " hour or two" of leisure to "scientific education." We, however, here mean the term moral education to include, not only what relates to morals in the more strict sense of the word, but such parts of general instruction as are not scientific. The knowledge which implants good principles of conduct, which details the feelings, habits, and modes of thinking, of the upper ranks, which dissipates ignorance, and gives a general acquaintance with men and things-with the world, which strengthens the reasoning powers, and enlarges the comprehension, and which forms what is understood by the term a sensible, well-informed, respectable man-This is the knowledge of which the working classes stand the most in need; and it must be given them, or scientific education will be to them almost wholly worthless.
Mr Brougham, however, neglects moral education almost altogether. He, indeed, speaks in favour of morals, and says, that they may be taught, but he neither recommends, nor makes any provision for such tuition. Very many of his institutions exclude re
ligious books altogether; and what he is principally anxious about is, instruction in the physical sciences-in other words, instruction in the mechanical callings of life.
This is a capital error. Mr Brougham and the world call our ploughmen and mechanics ignorant. Why? Although they perhaps do not know a letter of the alphabet, speak in the most barbarous dialect, display the most uncouth manners, and have never been at school, college, or mechanics' institution, they are still, to a certain extent, men of education and science. If they have not been taught at these places, they have been taught in the field and the work-shop. The ploughman, notwithstanding the savage figure which he cuts in the eyes of the townsman, and although he is thought to be little better than a brute, is, in reality, a person of very considerable skill, and knowledge. In his calling there is but little division of labour; he must be able to plough, sow, mow, stack, &c.; he must know the different qualities of soil, and the different modes of cropping; he must be a judge of grain and cattle; he must be acquainted with the management of all kinds of live-stock. If all which the ploughman knows were printed, it would astonish those who are in the habit of laughing at his ignorance; it would comprehend no contemptible portion of several arts and sciences, and it would even display knowledge of which Mr Brougham himself is ignorant. From the division of labour, the mechanic knows far less than the ploughman; but, nevertheless, he is possessed of a great deal of what is in reality knowledge and science.
Why, then, are the ploughmen and mechanics called ignorant? Because they have not drawn their knowledge from schoolmasters and professors because they know little of booksbecause their manners and habits are different from those of the people who call themselves so-because they possess little of what is called general knowledge. In reality, a man who is a lawyer, a chemist, an astronomer, or a mathematician, and nothing else, is as ignorant as they are. He is skilled in one kind of knowledge, they in another their knowledge has perhaps required as much time and capacity for its acquisition as his, and perhaps it is quite as useful as his to society.
Unfortunately, what he knows is comprehended in the term education, but what they know is not. Very many of the most learned and scientific of men are, in truth, most ignorant and incapable men, in everything save a single department of learning and science. A sailor seems to landsmen to be the most ignorant, uncouth, and idiotic, of human beings, and yet he possesses a respectable share of what is knowledge and science. The laugh is not all on one side. The ignorance and incapacity of the upper classes are a standing topic of derision with the lower ones. If strict justice were done if every man in the state had credit given him for the extent and value of the knowledge that he possesses-the most ignorant part of the people would not be found among those whom Mr Brougham seeks to educate.
Now the learned gentleman seeks to educate the working classes, principally in those matters in which they have been educated already. He may carry this education a little farther in respect of theory, but we fear not in respect of practical benefit. Every mechanical, chemical, and other branch of knowledge that can be of use in the practical concerns of life, is already taught them by better teachers than he can supply. We will ever back the master and the workshop against the lecturer and the mechanics' institution, for communicating practical knowledge. In his system he has discovered that which the whole world has hitherto declared could never be discovered, viz. a Royal road to science. Thus, in teaching the working classes geometry" enough will be accomplished if they are made to perceive the nature of geometrical investigation, and learn the leading properties of figure." We need not ask the man who is acquainted with geometry, what kind of a geometrician that labouring man would make who should be thus taught. Every boy receives a much greater share of instruction in geometry than this, even at a village school, who is intended for a calling in which a knowledge of it is necessary. Algebra, mechanics, &c. &c. are all to be taught in the same expeditious manner; they are to be taught, too, by books, and with little or no aid from schoolmasters.
What will those who are acquainted with these dry and abstruse sciences