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The present Authority of the Prefets.


What will be the result when thousands are thrown at once into a country of which the old inhabitants will be scarcely more numerous than the strangers? The deportés are sent, not to exile, but to death.

The grief with which England contemplates the calamities of France is mixed with surprise. It is difficult to understand how a nation so jealous of authority, so impatient of control, and so careless of life, submits to an oppression of which there is no other example on this side of the Alps: to an oppression of which the European models exist only in Rome or Naples. We believe that the explanation is to be found in the terror inspired by deportation. Men who would affront the guillotine or the musket-ball shrink from the slow torture of the crowded convict ship and the pestilential prison. We have already stated that the number of persons undergoing or sentenced by these cruelties is believed to exceed 10,000. A hundred thousand more are supposed to be in the vaults and casemates which the French dignify with the name of prisons-often piled, crammed, and wedged together so closely that they can scarcely change their positions. This is about one in ninety of the adult males of France. This is as if in England four persons were seized in every parish. Over every one of these prisoners deportation is suspended. It is suspended indeed over the head of every Frenchman. We have before us a few of the procla mations of the prefects and generals, each of whom seems, like a Turkish pasha, to have within his district supreme legislative and executive power.

Thus, M. Pietri, the prefet of the Haute Garonne, declares that every person present at any meeting not authorised by M. Pietri himself shall be held to be a member of a secret society, and punishable as such.

That every one who in a commune in which he is not resident disseminates any political opinions [se livre a une propagande quelconque], shall be held a promoter of civil war.

The prefet of Valenciennes declares enemies of the country all who suggest doubts as to the sincerity [loyauté] of the Government, or of any of its acts.

The prefet of the Bas Rhin orders the arrest of all who distribute negative voting papers.

General d'Alphonse, the commander-in-chief in the department of the Cher, subjects to military execution —

Every person interfering in an election in a commune in which he does not reside.

Also every person spreading rumours or suggesting doubts tending to unsettle people's minds [inquieter les esprits].

The prefet of Bordeaux subjects to the same punishment all persons carrying weapons, unless specially authorised. Also all persons distributing [col-portant] printed or written


Also all persons who assist, or receive, or even supply with food, any persons pursued by the authorities.

For this last crime, we see in a Lyons paper of the 30th December, that one Brun was sentenced to ten years', and one Astier to twenty years', imprisonment in irons.

The natural result of such a tyranny is either a sudden and universal insurrection, or silent abject submission. There can be no middle course. The French have preferred the latter. They are bold, but not resolute. They are violent and impetuous, but not enthusiastic. The audacity with which the mob has from time to time risen against the garrison of Paris, murdered its outposts, stormed its barracks, and repulsed its assaults, is the fruit not so much of any love of freedom, or hatred of despotism, as of indifference to what they were hazarding. A life alternating between toil, vice, and debauchery, endeared by few social sympathies, ennobled by no ulterior objects, a mere struggle for existence and amusement, is readily risked, because it is scarcely worth preserving. The émeutier gambles with it, as he is ready to gamble with any thing else that he possesses; if he wins, he has a week or two of triumph and boasting and importance; if he falls, his troubles are over, and he quits a world in which he had to suffer far more than to enjoy. Such insurgents may sweep away by a sudden assault an unprepared or inadequate regular force. For one day, for two days, and it may be for three, they can repel from their barricades even a considerable army, but they are unfit for prolonged civil war. They want skill, they want combination, and, above all, they want pertinacity. As long as the army remains Napoleonist we hope nothing from the people. But that army is changed by one-seventh every year. Every year 60,000 conscripts join it, taken from the people, participating in its fears and its hatreds. How many of these will be the relations, or the friends, or at least the acquaintances, of those who have died or have been ruined in fortune or in health, or in both, in Louis Napoleon's dungeons or transports, or penal settlements? His prisoners are of course selected from among the most active and most influential members of their own circles. The heads of secret societies, the leaders of associated workmen, the village patriots, or at least the village demagogues, are just the victims whom a jealous tyrant would seize, and whose seizure would produce the deepest and widest discontent. With this dis


National Education.


content the army must every year sympathise more extensively, as every year a larger and larger proportion of its members will consist of those who, when they joined it, were in a state of irritation and disaffection. And it is obvious that when once he loses the support of the army, he is gone.

ART. II.-1. The Scheme of Secular Education proposed by the National Public Schools' Association, compared with the Manchester and Salford Borough Bill.

2. Some Thoughts about the School of the Future. By the Rev. F. B. ZINCKE. London: 1852.

3. The Educational Almanac for 1852.

4. Hints on an Improved and Self-paying System of National Education. By the Rev. RICHARD DAWES, Dean of Hereford.

WE E are inclined to think that the Education Question might be brought more within the reach of settlement than at this moment it seems to be, if, instead of advocating theories which in the present state of society are impracticable, or looking abroad for models such as few Englishmen care to follow, the leaders of parties would condescend to open the book of experience, which, though not yet covered with the cobwebs of ages, lies at their own door, and will quite repay the labour of consulting it. We express ourselves thus, because we should be loth to distrust the honesty of purpose by which they equally profess to be guided. Even Archdeacon Denison, puerile as many of his notions are, so far commands our respect, that we believe him to be sincere in his advocacy of them; while wiser men than he have become manifestly desirous of narrowing the space which has heretofore divided them, and of meeting, if it be possible, upon common ground. Consider, for example, the present aspect of the controversy between the Lancaster National School Association and the promoters of the Manchester and Salford Scheme, and compare it with what it was only twelve months ago. You cannot say now, as you might have said then, that it is any question concerning religious instruction which keeps them apart. The men of Lancaster no longer prohibit the reading of the Scriptures in their schools. They give, on the contrary, a ready sanction to this or to any other method of religious instruction, which the managing committees may prefer: indeed, it appears to us, that they refrain from enforcing such instruction, only because they are unwilling to accomplish by rule

that which they are satisfied that the people of their own accord will desire to have done. Meanwhile Manchester and Salford, assuming that education would not be acceptable to the people unless it were based upon religion, make religious instruction a sine quâ non in their curriculum. They do not, however, restrict it to such a routine as either the Church of England, or the Church of Rome, or any particular Non-conformist communion shall select. By no means. Schools resorted to by the children of Churchmen, superintended by Church Committees, and maintained out of Church contributions, are permitted, or rather required, to instruct religiously, according to the Church's formularies; while Romanists educate in Romish doctrines, and Protestant Non-conformists of every denomination, each in agreement with the dogmas which it inculcates. Now really, except so far as the one enjoins what the other is content to permit, we can discover no very wide difference, on religious grounds, between the fundamental principles of the rival associations. And as to other matters, have not both equally thrown the theory of voluntaryism overboard? Are they not alike convinced, that if the people are to be educated at all, funds for the accomplishment of so important a work must be provided by some surer and steadier process than the circulation of the begging-box? We cannot, therefore, but encourage a hope, that as far as these belligerents are concerned, the war waged up to a certain point will not be continued à outrance. For with all their blunders both in politics and philanthropy,—and in our opinion they have committed many, we think too well of the practical good sense of the leaders in the Lancaster scheme to doubt, that rather than risk the loss of an Education Bill altogether, they will postpone their own crotchet, at least for the present; and accept and support, next Session of Parliament, the measure of their rivals, if it be only in order to establish a principle which is common to both. Still the question recurs, why go to Parliament at all for a bill, or for bills, founded upon mere speculation, or the usages of foreign lands? Why not look round for some institution or system, not in America, nor yet in Holland, much less in France or in Belgium, but at home, which has over-ridden difficulties from which the workers out of systems usually shrink; and if they find that it does its work well, why not adopt it in whole, or so alter and enlarge it, as to render it suitable to the wants of the nation at large? We beg to assure them that such a machine is even now in full play, though it may have heretofore attracted less attention than it deserves.

And here, in anticipation of any possible reference to the

1852. Difference of Systems for England and Ireland.


National School System which has accomplished so much for Ireland, we are constrained, at the outset, to express our conviction that it is quite unsuited to the religious and political condition of England. The Irish are essentially a Roman Catholic people; they have not only no particular predilection for the ipsissima verba of Scripture, but they prefer being taught the substance of what Scripture reveals,-by the priests, and through the medium of books stamped with the priests' approval. The judicious men who concocted the Irish scheme, and compiled the text-books which form an essential ingredient in it, accomplished immense good. They contrived to intersperse among geographic and scientific details, extracts from Scripture, on the whole faithfully and skilfully rendered; every one of which sets forth the excellency of moral virtue, and expresses not alone the depravity, but the evil consequences, of vice. But it is exactly in its mode of handling this matter, that the Irish system, interwoven as it is with the Irish class-books, must fail to meet the wishes and the wants of the people of this country. England is essentially a Protestant country. Its inhabitants desire to drink their religious knowledge from the fountain-head. Neither Churchmen nor Protestant Non-conformists would be content to receive as divinely revealed, doctrines or precepts communicated to them on any other authority than that of the Bible: indeed, we question whether English Romanists themselves are not equally jealous of the authority of the Sacred Volume, however willing they may be to accept the interpretation of certain portions of it which the Church has sanctioned. But however this may be, it would not be just,-indeed we may go further, it is manifestly impossible,-to force upon a people essentially Protestant, the school-system or the school-books which do excellent service among a people essentially Romish. Still who will assert that a law of expediency, which has been applied to good effect in the case of the one country, ought not to be applied in that of the other? In Romish Ireland you require the Protestant minority to be satisfied with just as much of biblical instruction in their week-day schools, as the Romish majority will bear. You do not, indeed, offer violence to the conscience of either party. They are alike free to attend or to avoid the schools which Government has established and the Country supports. But you very properly refuse to such as reject your system, all participation in the endowments which have been granted to it, and to it alone. What is there to prevent your adopting, mutatis mutandis, a similar principle of action in your dealings with the Protestant majority and the Romish minority in England? For a scheme to be national, must accord with the genius, the temper,

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