31 JANUARY 1880, Page 2

Lord Derby made a good speech on Education on Monday,

before distributing the annual scholarships, prizes, and good- attendance tickets granted by the Liverpool Council of Educa- tion to the scholars of the public elementary schools. Lord Derby said that the great object of the Liverpool Council of Education, which depends for its means, of course, on the generosity of the town, is to smooth the work of the School Board, by render- ing it, as far as possible, unnecessary to apply the compulsory pro- visions of the Education Act. This they do by offering prizes for steady attendance, which really defray the cost of the education of those who gain them; and further, by helping those children who show anything like special capacity, to get the higher in- struction calculated to make the best of that capacity. Lord Derby declared that out of 1,500 offenders with whom he had had to deal as Chairman of Quarter-Sessions during twenty-three years, at least nine out of every ten had been distinctly brainless and stupid persons,—as much below the average of their class in in- tellect as they probably were in morality. Every intellectual taste, he said, tended to lift a man out of the region where the temp- ..tation to common crime is most powerfully felt. Of those who go to the bad, comparatively -very few, said Lord Derby, have any intellectual tastes. And this is no doubt true, if "going to the bad" means violence or theft. But if "going to the bad" means wasting life in any form, we should greatly doubt it. Do not as large a proportion of the middle-class go to the bad, in the sense of deteriorating itnd growing more selfish, more use- less, and more cynical, as they grow older, as of the least in- structed class of all ? Still, it is something, of course, to society,. though not to the individual, if going to the bad can be managed without breaking the law. But we must not for- get how supremely easy it is to go to the bad, without coming up before Quarter-Sessions at all.