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not by design, stops but a second or minister, or change the system of his two; in the course of which looks are politics. Ungainly as his external exchanged, which, though you cannot man is, and detached as it seems from translate, you feel must be of most business, and incapable of thought, it important meaning. After these, the is the case of perhaps the most curieyes are sheathed up again, and the ous, and certainly the most powerful figure resumes its stony posture. calculating machine, that ever existed. During the morning, numbers of visit The prodigies of calculation which ers come, all of whom ineet with a have from time to time been exhibited, similar reception, and vanish in a simi.. all sink into nothing before this one. lar manner; and last of all the figure They could play with numbers, in a itself vanishes, leaving you utterly at manner wonderful enough, no doubt ; a loss as to what can be its nature and but their play was unproductive, was functions.
nothing but a meteor marrel to be That singular figure is Nathan soon forgot ; but this wields the purse Myers Rothschild, the Jew, who holds of the world, and by means of that, all the purse to all the kings on the Con- the powers in it. Along, too, with tinent, and opens or closes it just as the intuitive magic of numbers which he lists; and who, upon certain occa- this singular being possesses, there sions, has been supposed to have more must be a magic over the passions of influence in this country than the men ; but what it is, or how it works, proudest and most wealthy of its no- the possessor will not tell, and nobody bles—perhaps more influence than the else can. two Houses of Parliament taken to Even this secresy, however, forcigether. He takes that post, to be in ble and fell as it is, cannot last forthe midst of his scouts ; those visiters ever. The former high priests of who appear to come casually, are all Mammon have suffered reverses, have there by appointment. They com been swept of all their wealth, driven municate their information, receive to despair, and perished by their own their instructions, and hasten to act; hands; and therefore the man who and probably at each application of lives upon the produce of his daily inthem to the grand calculating machine, dustry, must be more happy, and may it was willed that a million of money be more secure, than Rothschild the should change masters, or that a po- Jew, amid all his wealth and power. tentate who calls himself absolute, So much for the very acme of the should alter his purpose, dismiss his remnant of Jacob.
EDINBURGH SESSIONAL SCHOOL.*
[The subject of education has recently received much attention in the United States, as well as in other countries, and beneficial changes have been made in the methods of instruction practised in many places; but there is still room for great improvement, especially in our common schools. If the account of the system exhibited in the Edinburgh Sessional School can furnish any new and useful hints to those who are desirous that education should be conducted on principles agreeable to reason and common sense, instead of being confined to a daily mechanical task, the detestation of which by the pupil is equalled only by the folly which enjoins it, we shall rejoice that the following article has received in our pages an increased circulation.]
Let every man who wishes to do his and rapid in its effects, pay visitsheart good by witnessing a system of one, two, three, and as many more as education, at once rational in its he can, to the Edinburgh Sessional principles, powerful in its machinery, School. In this age of base, blind,
* Account of the Edinburgh Sessional School, and the other Parochial Institutions of Education established in that City in the year 1312; with Strictures on Education in General. By John Wood, Esq. Edinburgh, 1828.
and blundering quackery, when Igno- erted, too, in such a cause-could, rance, Folly, and Infidelity, seek to by no possibility, belong to any one usurp the instruction of the young, but a good citizen, a good man, and such a school is deserving of especial a good Christian. admiration and support.
And may it
Before entering on an account of become the model of hundreds of the method of instruction pursued in others, all over the land in town and The EDINBURGH PAROCHIAL INSTIcountry, till presumption and igno- Tutions, Mr. Wood, in an introducrance be ousted from all their many tion admirably well written, speaks strong-bolds, or fortressesminisnam- generally of the principles on which ed schools—and wise Art lend her that method of instruction is framed ; aid to a wiser Nature, while the and we cannot deny ourselves the samighty Mother, according to her own tisfaction of quoting an excellent rules and laws, is gradually extend- passagem ing and enlightening the feeling and “ In all their arrangements they the intelligence of her children, of have regarded their youngest pupil, high and of low degree-from hut and not as a machine, or an irrational aniball-bred in the lap of affluence, or mal, that must be driven, but as an _“ breathing in content
intellectual being who may be led ; The keen, the wholesome air of poverty, endowed, not merely with sensation And drinking from the well of lowly life." and memory, but with perception,
Let those who cannot visit the judgment, conscience, affections, and Edinburgh Sessional School and passions ; capable, to a certain dethose, too, who can-buy this little gree, of receiving favorable or unfainvaluable four-and-sixpence volume. vorable impressions, of imbibing right We do not hesitate to say, that Mr. or wrong sentiments, of acquiring Wood is absolutely a man of genius. good or bad habits ; strongly averse His whole spirit seems possessed by to application, where its object is unhis beneficent scheme of education, perceived or remote, but, on the other of which, though not the inventer, he hand, ardently curious, and infinitely is assuredly such an improver, that his delighting in the display of every new name will forever be united with the attainment which he makes.
It has, Institution now flourishing under his accordingly, been their anxious aim to unwearied superintendence, and exhi- interest no less than to task,—to make biting, throughout all its departments the pupil understand (as much as -really with no defects of much con possible) what he is doing, no less sequence that we can perceive, though than to exact from him its performbe himself admits there may be many ance,-familiarly to illustrate, and co-a most beautiful exemplification in piously to exemplify the principle, no practice of a system which, in theory less than to hear him repeat the too, bears the indisputable marks of words, of a rule,—to speak to him, an original mind. But in this world, and hy all means to encourage him to the head can achieve nothing great or speak, in a natural language, which difficult without the heart; and nobody be understands, rather than in irksome who knows Mr. Wood, either in his technicalities, which the pedant might school-for we shall call it his or in approve,-to keep him wbile in his book-(of his character elsewhere, school not only constantly, but activeariable and estimable as it is in all ly, energetically employed, -to inspire relations, it belongs not to us to him with a zeal for excelling in whatspeak,) does so without also knowing ever is his present occupation, (whethat what his head clearly conceives, ther it he study or amusement,) and, his heart earnestly feels, and his eren where he is incapable of excelhand energetically executes. Indus- ling others, still, by noticing with aptry, perseverance, resolution, zeal, probation every step, however little, and enthusiasm, such as his—all ex which he makes towards improvement,
4 ATHENEUM, VOL. 2, 3d series.
to delight him with the consciousness upon the nature of the scaffolding or of excelling his former self.”
building apparatus, however skilfully We venerate the benevolent Bell— devised and admirably adapted to its he has done as much good as most own purpose, that the beauty or usemen of his generation—but it is a fulness, or stability of the future fapity he should ever have so far forgot- bric is to depend ; nor will he suffer ten the necessary and inevitable im. himself to forget, how often it bas perfection of all things human, as to happened, that on the removal of the have said of his system, in his Ma- scaffolding, some deformity or flaw nual, “ that the art of man can add in the structure itself has been disnothing to it, and take nothing from closed, which the apparatus had hiit.” Now, the Sessional School is not therto concealed from the eye of the in Utopia--but in the Old Town of spectator. From inattention to this Edinburgh; and Mr. Wood, if not fundamentally important truth, how wiser than Dr. Bell, and we do not large a proportion, unfortunately, of say he is, is certainly much more mo the schools instituted even upon the derate-much
modest, when most justly celebrated systems, have speaking of his own achievements. been allowed to become little better Indeed, we have seldom, if ever, met than mere pieces of mechanism, pretso modest an enthusiastic man as Mr. ty enough indeed in external appearWood appears to be-as he is—both ance, but comparatively of little use, in his school and in his book. Attri- in which the puppets strut with wonbuting to himself—and to his worthy drous regularity and order, and with and able coadjutors—no other merit all that outward pomp and circumthan that of good intentions strenuous- stance,' which are well calculated to ly carried into practice, and common catch a superficial observer, but in sense—he does not write a dozen which all the while the mind is but pages without making his readers feel little exerted, and of course little, if that he is no such ordinary man—but at all, improved.” is gifted by nature with very rare en There is also much sound sense in dowments. What these are will ap- what Mr. Wood says about the liabipear in our analysis, often in his own lity of the scheme adopted in the words, of his most interesting Book. Sessional School, to the imitation of
After a candid admission that there injudicious and hurtful admirers. The are defects in the system, especially servile and slavish copyist, destitute in the working of it, which its con of sense and feeling, may imitate all ductors are incessantly laboring to the forms, without catching the spirit, supply-he observes, that he is anxious and thus exhibit a miserable mockery, to guard his readers against the erro or, say rather mimicry, of the Sessionneous notion that the success of any al School scheme. For what artifiseminary can ever depend entirely, or cial contrivance can ever supersede even principally, upon its machinery, the necessity of diligence and zeal, or external system of arrangement. earnestness and kindliness, on the part The systems of Bell and Lancaster of the instructer! Pupils are not auhave, by the facilities they have given tomata, neither can you cram them to this department, greatly contributed with knowledge, like turkeys with to the cause of general education. drummock, to fatt them into mature
Every judicious conductor of an scholars. The great object of the establishment for education, accord- Instructer is to inspire the taste for ingly, will be at the utmost pains to knowledge, and to cultivate the power render his system in this respect as of acquiring it. The boy who repeats perfect as he can. But, when this is rules by rote with a slavish precision, done, he will keep in remembrance, is a parrot, and will continue a parrot; that the weightier matters remain be- and of all parrots the most absurd is hind. He will consider, that it is not the methodist, who pronounces with
formal tone and measured cadence and excellence, or still purer love of knowinflection, a mere jargon of words, to ledge, or love of duty, superior to eiwhich, of course, the creature has ne- ther. Without these no good can be ver learned to attach the slightest sig- done ; but they always need support, nification. Heavens! in a school, and they receive that support from how palsying and deadening to the every part of the system. whole nature of youth is a dull, cold, There is another danger to which lifeless routine !
this method of education is exposed, Nothing can be more common-place and which it requires knowledge and than remarks like these ; but people wisdom in the instructer to guard forget the most important common- against and avoid. Children must not places, and often continue all their be treated like men, any more than life long to look on placidly and well- like machines. The mind of a child pleased at the most hideous and fatal is wondrously powerful—far more so abuses and perversions of “good old than shallow or superficial observers rules”-all the while believing that have any idea of ; but it is only powthey see something else, the very re- erful when exerted on the right mateverse of what is before their eyes ; nor rials—that is, the materials which naare they aware of the mischief done ture herself spreads out before it. both to the souls and bodies of chil- All other nutriment is as poison. dren, though it is as obvious as pale Children must be fed on milk, not sickly faces can be, yawning jaws, on meat.” “ Above all, they must sleepy eyes, and a general lassitude. not be crammed,” says Mr. Wood,
But besides-Mr. Wood, hating all “ with the strong meats" either of the quackery, wishes that there should be theologian or the philosopher. no exaggeration of the character or “ Great care must be taken, to disoperations of his scheme; and says, tinguish between the kind of informawith much liveliness—" Struck with tion and mode of communication apthe alleged success of the system as plicable to the younger children, and exhibited in the Sessional School, one those which may be employed in the may investigate every its minutest de- more advanced classes of the same semitail with no less punctilious care than nary. A single year at the opening of that of the poor savage, who, restored life, it ought ever to be remembered, on one occasion to health by the ad- makes a prodigious difference in the ministration of a particular drug, ever capacity of the human mind. So also afterwards fondly treasures up in his in Schools, where children are retainmemory, with a view to the recur- ed till they arrive at twelve or fourrence of a similar exigency, the re- teen years of age, a much wider collection of the day of the moon, the range of information may be attempthour of the day, the position of his ed, than would be at all proper where own body at the time of receiving the they leave it at eight or nine. In a medicine, and every other little ad- school, also, for children of the humventitious concomitant of his case." bler ranks of life, whose whole educaThe application is obvious.
tion is in all probability to be confined Still the externals of the system are within its walls, it may be advisable to necessary to the preservation of its crowd a greater quantity of useful inspirit. Neither monitors, nor all the formation into a narrow space, than other arrangements of Bell and Lan- will be either necessary or expedient, caster for facilitating mutual instruc- in the case of those more highly fation, can, it is true, of themselves in- vored individuals, whose circumstances sure success to any seminary. But hold out to them the prospect of a Mr. Wood believes that the Sessional more protracted education, and leiSchool could never have attained its sure for a more gradual, extensive, present character without them, by and systematic course of study. But the mere operation of a purer love of nothing, in short, can be more injuri
ous to the young, draw down greater quirements—of ladies instructed only ridicule on any system of education, in the ordinary branches of female or give more countenance to the old education of lads, whose sole educaand pernicious practice of learning by tion was obtained within the walls of rote, than a teacher indulging his own the Sessional School and even of vanity, or that of his pupils and their boys, who are still themselves scholars friends, by allowing'them to converse, to in the seminary. read, or to write, upon subjects altoge All the Edinburgh Parochial Instither beyond the capacity of their years.” tutions, of which the Sessional School
Mr. Wood also alludes to a com now forms an important branch, derivmon,--and very silly,-even base in- ed their appropriate origin from our sinuation, which one bears thrown out Church. In the winter of 1812 the by stupid people against all new insti- streets of our city were the scenes of tutions or schemes of any kind, that atrocious riot and bloodshed—and a are seen working wonderfully well, lamentable disclosure was then made and producing happy effects on the of the extent of the depravity of the well-being of society. “Oh! it is all youthful population. The clergy very well here, as long as the system looked to stem the torrent of vice by is under the direction of Mr. So-and. the best-the only means—the educaSo, for he is a singularly able inan, tion—especially the religious educaand full of zeal for the success of his tion, of the poor. Dr. Inglis, ever own scheme; but depend upon it, it alive to the promotion of every plan will never do generally-for where for the good of his fellow-creatures, will you get a Mr. So-and-So in the suggested a committee, consisting of town of What-do-you-call-it, or the Drs. Davidson, Brunton, and Flevillage of You-know-where?” This ming—and the committee sent to the is very pitiful and contemptible-yet consideration of their brethren the not barmless-it often does evil. scheme which they had prepared. Now Mr. Wood says well, that while “ By this scheme a school was to the mode of tuition in the Sessional be opened in each of the parishes of School undoubtedly affords ample the city, for the Religious Instruction, scope for the exercise, under judicious on the Lord's Day, of the children of control, of the highest qualifications, the poor, under a teacher to be speit seems no less certain, that there is cially appointed for that purpose by none, in which the most moderate ta- the kirk-session of the parish, who was lents and acquirements can be employ- also to accompany his pupils to the ed to greater advantage.
parish church during the hours of diBut Mr. Wood is not under the ne vine service, at least in those parishes, cessity of confining his appeal to ex- where the church contained sufficient perience, in proof of the excellence of accommodation for their reception ; the scheme, of its working in the Ses- the expense to be defrayed by an sional School alone—though there, we annual contribution from the inhado verily believe, owing to his own bitants; and the whole to be under admirable exertions, its working has the superintendence of ten Directors, been-we shall not say wonderful- five of whom to be Ministers and fire for we pitch our tone to his—but more Elders, being a uninister, or elder, efficient than in almost any other semi- from each kirk-session, to be appointnary. But in many other establish- ed according to a mode of rotation ments it has been introduced with the thereby prescribed.” greatest and most permanent success. Scarcely had the teachers entered Its leading principles have been upon their duties, when it was foundadopted in some private schools—in hear this, all men—it was found, that public schools and hospitals—and in even in the metropolis of Scotlanddomestic circles, under the tuition of the land that has so long prided bermen of the highest talents and ac- self (pride is blind) on being the very