27 FEBRUARY 1886, Page 13


Fro THE EDITOR OF THE "SPECTATOR?'] 8111,—In several articles of late, you have expressed your regret at what appears to you to be the irresolution of "the 'people." Bacon (" Advancement of Learning," I., ii., 1), tells us that one of the objections made to learning in his day was "that it doth mar and pervert men's dispositions for matter of government and policy in making them too curious and irresolute by variety of reading." Further on (ii., 4) he combats this view by saying that "if by a secret operation it make men perplexed and irresolute, on the other side, by plain precept, it teacheth them when and upon what ground to resolve." It seems to me that by the spread of education the bulk of the voters in the United Kingdom to-day are in the first-mentioned state, "perplexed and irresolute." They apprehend more clearly than did their fathers the difficulties and dangers which may arise in any given course ; but by reason of a certain superficiality in their

education, because in their reading of history what attention they have bestowed has been upon bare facts, and not upon the relation between cause and effect, they have not received that benefit which Bacon assigns to a knowledge of " examples."—I am, Sir, &c.,

43 Duke Street, Southport, February 218t. E. SHORROCK.