« ÎnapoiContinuați »
tumbling down stairs, some break their backs, others their legs, or some other limbs, and to this cause alone, perhaps, may be traced a vast number of cripples that daily appear in our streets. When the poor parents return from their daily labour, they sometimes have the mortification of finding that one, or probably two, of their children, are gone to an hospital—this of course makes them unhappy, and unfits them to go through their daily labour. This dead weight which is continually on the minds of the parents, is frequently the cause of their being unable to please their employers, and in consequence they are frequently thrown out of work allogether; whereas, if the parents were certain that their children were taken care of, it is most likely that they would proceed to their daily labour cheerfully, and be enabled to give more satisfaction to their employers than they otherwise would be enabled to do." Importance of Educating Children, p. 100.
“ I have mentioned in a former part of this work, that many children are burnt to death, or run over for want of proper care. It is likewise astonishing, what numbers are lost by strolling into the fields, and falling into some pond, are drowned. In short, they are surrounded by so many dangers, that it becomes a public concern, and speaks to the hearts of all the pious and humane, and calls loudly upon them to unite their efforts to rescue this hitherto neglected part of the rising generation from the imminent dangers by which they are surrounded.” Inportance of Educating Children,
“ A foreign gentleman was walking up Old-street-road, and when he came to the corner of one of the streets, he was surrounded by three or four boys, saying, Please, Sir, remember the grotto.'
Go away, I will give you none.'— Do pray Sir, remember the grotto.'-No, I tell you I will give you nothing.'• Do Sir, only once a year.'-At length I believe he put something into one of their hats, and thus got rid of them, but he had scarcely gone two hundred yards, before he came to another grotto, and out sallied three more boys, with the same importunate request ; he replied, I will give you nothing, the devil have you and your grotto ! The boys still persevered, till the gentleman, having lost all patience, gave one of them a gentle tap, to get out of the way, but the boy being on the side of the foot-path, fell into the mud, which had been scraped off the road, and in this pickle followed the gentleman, bellowing out, “That man knocked me down in the mud, and I had done nothing to him. In consequence a number of people soon collected, who insulted the gentleman very much, and he would certainly have been roughly handled, had he not given the boy something as a recompence; he increased his enemies, by calling all the English a set of beggars, and after bestowing various other epithets upon our country, which I cannot name, called a coach, declaring he could not walk the streets in safety.
“ Those who know what mischief has arisen from very trifling causes, in times past, will perceive the necessity of checking this
growing evil in time ; for this man went away with
unfavourable impressions concerning our country, and would no doubt prejudice his countrymen against us, and make them suppose we are worse than we are." Importance of Educating Children, p. 118.
After such specimens of philanthropy, patriotism, and good sense, the reader will not be astonished at the ingenuousness of Mr. Wilderspin.
Many of the children were in the habit of bringing marbles, tops, whistles, and other toys to the school, which often caused much disturbance; for they would play with them instead of at. tending to their lessons, and I found it necessary to forbid the children from bringing any thing of the kind. And after giving notice two or three times in the school, I told them that if any of them brought such things they would be taken away; in consequence of this, several things fell into my hands, which I did not always think of returning, and among other things a whistle from a little boy.
The child asked me for it as he was going home, but having several visitors at the time, I put the child off, telling him not to plague me, and he went home. I had forgot the circumstance altogether, but it appears the child did not, for some time after this, while I was lecturing the children upon the necessity of telling truth, and on the wickedness of stealing, the little fellow approached me, and said, Please, Sir, you stole my whistle !" - Stole
whistle!' said I ; • did I not give it you again ?'No, teacher ; I asked you for it, and you would not give it to me.' I stood self-convicted, being accused in the middle of my lecture, before all the children, and really at a loss to know what excuse to make, for 1 had mislaid the whistle, and could not return it to the child : I immediately gave the child a halfpenny, and said all I could to persuade the children that it was not my intention to keep it. However I am satisfied that it has done more harm than I shall be able to repair for some time.” Importance of Educating Children, p. 148.
So lasting was the impression which this circumstance made, that in his concluding account of the qualifications of a master, Mr. Wilderspin emphatically exclaims ; " I shall not easily forget, please, sir, you stole my whistle.'”
It is unnecessary to assure our readers that these extracts are not made with a desire of giving pain to Mr. Wilderspin. We are convinced that he is a sincere and charitable man, and we wish him all success in his well-meant labours. But what is to be said of our critical brethren who have puffed off these works to the public without giving any intimation of the Quaker's pomposity, or the School-master's simplicity? Can this conduct be attributed to better motives than a determination to patronize every establishment which disowns connection with the Church? Such is the case at Brewer's Green ; such is the case at Spitalfields; such is the case at Bristol. There are infant schools conducted upon other and better principles, and attended with as great or greater success, which have failed to call down the praises of Unitarian Senators or Northern Reviewers.
But we would ask the excellent Managers of the Institu. tions to which we allude, whether the time and trouble, and expence which are devoted to Infant Schools, might not be better employed? Such schools are only wanted in populous places; and of what populous place can it be said that its National and Sunday Schools might not be advantageously increased ? Mr. Brougham asserts that a fifth part of our population is still unprovided with the means of educating children between the ages of seven and fourteen; and proceeds immediately to waste his strength upon babies who can hardly speak. Such inconsistency is the privilege of. genius and must not be imitated by sober folks. The prac, tical philanthropist is bound to abstain from play-thing Seminaries, until he is satisfied that the great cause of NATIONAL EDUCATION is completely and permanently triumphant. When that grand point is gained, there will be another serious question to solve, Is it better to take care of the infant children of the poor, or to enable their parents to do it for us?
ART. XIII. Journey from Riga to the Crimea, by Way of
Kiev; with some Account of the Colonization, and the Manners and Customs of the Colonists of New Russia. To which are added, Notes relating to the Crim Tatars. By Mary Holderness. pp. 324. 10s. 6d. Sherwood &
Co. 1823. This fair authoress reminds us, in a puff preliminary, of the praises which we bestowed two years ago upon ber" Notes relative to the Crim Tartars.” The eulogy has produced a most unfortunate effect: for whereas ihe Notes were deservedly lauded for brevity and cheapness, it is now our painful duty to censure the "Journey” for the absence of these desirable qualities. The Notes which Mrs. Holderness has thought it necessary to republish form a third, and by far the best third of the book. Another third is devoted to a most uninteresting journey from Riga to Karagoss; and the remainder contains a meagre unsatisfactory account of the colonization and present state of New Russia. We have had some difficulty in selecting a passage that is worth transcribing, and we can assure our readers that the following is the best account in the volume.
“ The sameness of life in the Crimea, more especially to the proprietor resident in the country, is like the profound stillness of a lake, which is seldom interrupted, except by some passing bird,
which may delight the solitary observer on its shores, but little affects its peaceful inhabitants. The rejoicing of a festival among the villagers, or the accidental visit of some officer of the government, (who, finding it convenient to have a night's lodging on a couch, rather than in his calesk on the Stepp, therefore pays an occasional visit to the proprietor), are events of the greatest magnitude, and produce as much bustle in the family where they occur, as for the time may lessen the enjoyment of those members of it, who by long habitude are disposed to the continuance of inanity.
The Tatar, for reanimation, has recourse to his pipe; his wife to her holiday clothes, and a visit; the Russian to a drinking frolic, which once begun, may last for a week or two; there is no telling how long, or guessing how soon the fascination of the cup may cease, or reason be restored to her throne; but when she has regained her seat, he returns submissive, and with increased alacrity, to his duty, and will kiss the feet of his offended master. The German takes the same course, but not with equal success, for the electrical power has much less influence over him; he is naturally too stupid to be elicited, even by such means. The Greek, too, takes the cordial cup with almost as much zest as though it were the one which the fair Helen prepared for Telemachus; he drinks till he is merry, and then dances till he thirsts again. The Russian drinks brandy; the Greek, wine : the Russian drinks till he is senselesshe sleeps, recovers, and returns to drink again. The Greek drinks till his spirits are elated, and all around him seems gay; he takes his balalaika, the dancers assemble around him, quick as his spirits, pass his fingers over the strings, and the dancers' feet keep time to its simple tones.
The Russian proprietor will sometimes condescend to join the carousal of his vassals and tenantry; and his wife, with her female attendants, may be seen playing at blindman’s-buff, or moving about in masquerade, either in Greek or Tatar attire. The Greek merchant makes it holiday around him whenever he visits his estate, taking with him friends, to divest the country of its loneliness, and solitude of its terrors. His tenantry celebrate his arrival by bringing him presents of eggs, fruit, pastry, &c. The Tatar proprietor, accustomed to reside in the country, shuns with equal care a sojourn in the town, where his expences so much exceed his customary frugality, and his intermixture with society is so much, and unavoidably greater, than his peaceful habits are disposed to accord with. The English proprietor, in the midst of neighbours and de. pendants, yet feels a lonely sojourner there: his habits, totally different to all by which he is surrounded, he joins the festive group but as an observer; his heart partakes not in the church festival, nor in that outward pomp, which ill accords with the simple worship of that Spirit who requires to be worshipped in spirit and in truth: he sees with pain how much time is wasted without any laudable pursuit, or any object that can invigorate either mind or body; and he cannot fail to feel regret at observing the strictness which marks the refraining from work on the birthday of some inconsiderable saint, while that which God so merci
fully has appointed as a day of universal rest, is in every sense abused." P. 201.
“ The moral character of the peasantry of the Crimea is exceedingly depraved and vicious; and, excepting the Tatars, I never found it possible, by any good offices or kindness, to excite
any tachment in them, that the sight of a glass of brandy would not instantly surmount; and amongst the servants we have had, from nearly every nation, there, a gross immorality and inveterate love of drunkenness, were almost invariably the leading traits.
The different modes by which they manifested their regret at the time of my leaving Karagoss, were thus evinced: my Tatar neighbours were with me throughout the day previous to my departure, either sitting silent in my room, or assisting in the arrangement for the journey: but on the day of my departure few could see me; and when the children went to bid good bye to the women, they found them shut up, and really grieving. My two servants, one a Pole, the other a German, busily and attentively assisted ine throughout the preceding day; but when their duty was done, they took care to drown their sorrow in large libations of wine and brandy, which they had previously promised me they would not do. On the morning of my departure, they felt still more strongly the necessity of repeating that, which the preceding night had produced exhilaration ; and I fear, if not the ostensible, I was at least the nominal cause of a repetition of the same offence the following evening: and well was it if the evil stopped here." P. 205.
The Crimea, according to Mrs. Holderness, is a thriving colony—the land fertile—the peasantry happy--the govern. ment not unpopular--and its emperor, “who has honoured her little work with his condescending approbation,” sincerely anxious to promote civilization and extend genuine Christianity. As a singular proof of this fact, she informs us that his majesty graciously connives at a most iniquitous system of bribery and corruption--that all his magistrates sell justice, and that the inadequacy of their salaries makes it impossible to do otherwise. We doubt not that the extensive and fertile Stepps of the Crimea will be inhabited in the course of another generation by a numerous and wealthy nation. Whether that nation will continue subject to the Emperor of all the Russias, is a problem upon which Mrs. Holderness should have enabled us to speculate. By omitting to do so she has added an additional item to the long list of faults which may be fairly charged against this stupid piece of book-making:
MONTHLY LIST OF PUBLICATIONS. A Charge delivered on Wednesday, June 18, 1823, to the Clergy of the Episcopal Communion of Ross and Argyle: by the Right Rev. D. Low, LL.D. their Bishop. 8vo. 1s.