20 APRIL 1850, Page 7


Dr: Tait bade. farewell to Rugby School on. Thursday week; and the event was celebrated by. the formal presentation of addressee and gifts, testifying the affectionate respect entertained for him by all the master& and, scholars. A large body of- "-old. Rugbeans" were present, and took part both in the ceremonies of presentation =dia the speechmaking. Dr. Tait returned acknowledgments with affeotionate earnestness: he avowed his belief, that in tqking part in the great and noble system of the school, he had learnt far mare than he had taught.

reekebire is emulating Lancashire in the Eilneation_movement. Three meetings, on the subject have been held at Leeds within a week. The finst.was summoned by the working men of.Leeds, to consider the subject of public non-sectarian education; the_ second_ was called_ on. a memorial signed by Dr. Hook, among others, to consider the extension of education on some basis of impartiality towards all sects; the third was demanded by' Mr. -Edward Baines and the. advocates of 'Voluntary education, to con- efder-the objections against. State interference.

At the first meeting, held on the llth instant, the Mayor impartiallY initiated the proceedings, and then surrendered the elniir to Mr. Hamer Stqnsferd.; and. the latter effectively launched. the essential. business, in a speech which concluded with:these-earnest remarks— "Get knowledge, my friends and you will get power: None will then deny you the suffrage. Get. ku.Owledg,e and. you will be better able to judge which of the.many- ways.you are told lead to salvation is the right way. It is a lamentohlereViotuof view in: which this educational struemle is by some regarded—that • • Unbar to the progress of education. The supposition. is a libel on that ho y and sacred cause. It isnot reJiginn that is to blame, but sectarianism—principles almost opposite in, their natures. It is the intent and purpose of Christianity to.. draw us together and to teach us to love one another. It *, alas ! the tendency of sectarianism to produce the very opposile.results. I would myself that the pure spirit of the Christian religion were interwoven with every thought and-word and- deed of man, and' cense- (-monde-should prefer the combination of =sectarian religion with education: but should the working classes prefer. a purely secular scheme, and that the religious part should be left to the' care and attention of the parents and of the ministers of religion, and to the action of the, voluntary. principle, which its, advocates maintain is quite adequate, I would trust them."

Dr. Smiles declared that he goes for a national system, locally managed,. paid, and controlled; because the ignorance of the people and the necessity for educating them are admitted, and because the present system or want of.systeraluis foiled, and the proposed one has the most rations/ promise of success.

The intellectual activity among us has raised the country to the first place: in the civilized world as regards the accumulation of wealth and all the luxuries of wealth; but if we look beneath the' magnificentwealthy and in- tellectual activity that characterize the upper strata of our social system, we shall find a larger amount of stolid ignorance and of squalid misery than dis- graces any other civilized country. About one-half of our poor can neither read: nor write.. The test of signing the name at marriage 18 a very imper- fect absolute test of education, but it is a very good relative one : taking that test, how stands Leeds itself in the Registrar-General's returns ? In Leeds,. which is the centre of the movement for letting education.remain as it is, left entirely to chance and charity-to supply its deficiencies, how do we find the fast.?: This. that in 1846, the last year to which these returns are brought down, of .1,850 marriages celebrated in. Leeds and Ilunslet, 508. of the men and 1,020 of the women, or considerably more than one-half of the latter, signed their names with marks. "I have also a personal knowledge of this fact—that of 47 men employed upon a railway in this immediate neighbourhood, only ltmen can sign their names in the receipt of their wages ; and this not because of any diffidence on their part, but positively because they cannot write." Andonly lately, the Leeds ilferoury itself gave a. most striking instance of' ignorance among persons from Breotitm Pudsey : of 12 witnesses, "all of respectable appearance, examined before the Mayor of Bradford at the Court-housethere, only ale man could sign his name, and that indifferently.'' Mr. Nelson has clearly shown, in statistics of crime in England and Wales from 1834 to 1844, that. crime isinviuiably the most prevalent in those districts where the fewest numbers in, proportion to the impulution can read' and write. Is it not indeed' beginning at the wrong end to try and reform men after they have become criminals ? Yet you cannot begin with children, from want of schools. Poverty is the result of ignorance, and then ignorance is again the unhappy result of poverty. "Ignorance makes men improvident and thoughtless—women as well as men;' it makes them blind to the future—to thw future of this life as well as the life beyond. It makes them dead to higher pleasures than those of the mere senses, and keeps them down to the level of the mere animal. Hence the enormous extent of drunkenness throughout this country, and the frightful waste of means which it involves." At Bitten, amidst 20,000 peeple, there are but two struggling schools—one haa lately ceased; at Millenliall, Darlaston, and Pelsall, amid a teeming, population, no school whatever. In.Oldham, among 100,000, but one public day-school for the labouring classes ; the others are an infant school, and some dame and factory schools. At Birmingham, there are 21,824 children at school, and 28,176-at no school; at Liverpool; 50,000 out of 90;000.at no school ; at Leicester, 8;200,out of 12,500; and at Leeds itself; in 18441, (the. date- of the. latest returns) some 9,600 out of 16,400, were at no wheal! whateven. It is- the same in_ the °aunties.. "I have seen it stated,. that a woman. for some time had to officiate as clerk in. a church. in. Norfolk, there being no adult male in: the parish able to read and write." For a population of 17,000,000 we have but twelve normal schools ; while. in Massachusetts they have three such schools for only 800,000 of popula- tion. Every broken tradesman in this country thinks himself, and is thought by others, good enough. to- set up for a, beechen. The Sunday school ma- ch' ry, excellent in its kind, is valueless to impart secular education : and it is ineffioiant- in its special religious aims in strict proportion; for it is.a notorious feet, that the great obstacle which a Sunday school teacher meets lathe dense ignorance of the child, in rudimentary secular knowledge. If, then, the present system has failed,, shall we have charity schools, on public schools Not the. former, firstly, .rana the charitable have been. those which have failed; secondly, because it iS unjnat that the benevolent only should be asked to try ; thirdly, because- education is the right of-the peo- ple, due to them from justice and not from charity. As to the cost, about which some people are frightened—why, whatever system you- have, the education will cost money. But by the proposed. plan there is hope that the loos-will be saved in the diminished cost menial eruperism and ammo; and in how many-ways would the people yaine-in cal strength,. moral eleva- tion, political liberty!. "Of all the signs of the present times,, this warns* me among the clearest--the steady. advance of the democratic) element in society. It is absolutely inevitable; and the fact is universally admitted—.. by some with joy and exultation, by other with profound sorrow and alarm. It is only a question, of time, or perhaps of opportunity. The next great revolutionary wave which rolls across Europe may bring-the suffrage within the reach of the whole adult people of England, as it has already placed it within the possession of those of Germany and France, who a little more than two years ago seemed far further from it than we were. While the education of the rest of Europe is advancing with such rapid strides, and giving new life to the productive activities of the Continental states, it seems clear to methat if England. does not educate ahead them, she must inevitably lose her present supremacy among the nations. To the already. enfranchised classes Iwould aay,Educate the people in time, that yrou.may have an intellj- gent and reasonable- people to des] with, instead of a blind, ignorant, an exasperated. one ; and to those not enfranchised I would say, Get educatio that you may obtain the means of employing your new power to the greatest possible advantage, and for the common benefit of all."

The proceedings insulted in the adoption, by all the meeting "but feu/ or five pensona," of resolutions.embodying without specific nominal retest- ewe the. principles and plans of the Lancashire Public Schools Association.

Of the setondmeeting at Leeds,. held on Tuesday, no detailed! report hag yet reached us. It. was attended:by three or four thousand persons, not. withstanding a drenching rain. Mr. Baines made a great speech,, full of figures, against Mr: Fox's bill ; and was answered: by Mr. Councillor Ban- ker, at the length: of nearly two hours, iii favour of national education.. The proceedinga lasted six hours and a half ; and resulted in the adoption of Mr. Hamer Stanafeld's amendment against Mr. Baines's voluntaryr plans, by. a considerable majority, and afterwards in pasting almost imam., mously a, substantive motion in. favour of secular education, founded' on local management and taxation and. under local control.

Meetings at Hull and Derby have, made similar declarations in. favour of secular education.,

The Leeds Intdligencor states that the proposition. which M.t Fenrand made-to the farmers of the Pontefract polling-district, that they should form a. " Farmers- Wool League,. "isnausing great excitement in Yorkshire. "A requisition fromithe farmers,, inviting him to meet them in Doncaster on the. 20th, Min: course of signature in that pollings-distriet. Meetings are being arranged. for the Beverly polling-district on. the 27th; for the Melton polling-district on the 4th of May ; and it is expected that meet- ings will take place in quick succession at Richmond, Smith; Selby, Wetherhy, Ripon, Knaresborough, Thirsk, and other agricultural' towns. in this extensive county."

Again there are reports of incendiary fires, from Cambridgeshire and Nor- folk. At Dry Drayton, the fifth, attempt to fire the farm-steading of Mr. Thompson succeeded sr:0hr that a largo quantity of produce and divers out- buildings were destroyed. John Wing has been sent to prison for. causing the fire ; the evidence against him is strong. At Lanbeach, a haulm-stack was burnt : this was the third fire in the vicinity within a few weeks. At Witham, a number of beasts, sheep, buildings, and farm-produce, were de- stroyed on. Wickham Hall Farm. A second. fire in Norfolk happened. at South Weald.

The insubordination: among some of the convicts in the hulks at Ports- mouth continues. The violence on board the Stirling Castle, set on foot by the arrival of very bad characters from Woolwich, extended to the York hulk, but it was soon quelled there by the Superintendent's ordering two of the rioters tube well flogged.. It would seem that he has no power to order corporal punishment on board' the- other vesseL The disturbances originated in pretence that the felons had not sufficient food. One account hints that they have been too well treated, while the power of' the officers to punish has

they too much curtailed.

Elias Lucas and Mary Reeder were hanged at Cambridge on Saturday, for the murder of the wife of Lucas by arsenic. Lucas had admitted that he might have "told Mary to do it when he was in a passion ; for Wish& at. times was poison to him." There was a vast crowd at the execution,. aad. some persons were trampled upon and hurt. It appeared at the examination of the two ruffians accused.of murdering- an old woman near Newport, that they mistook their victim for another wo- man who had sold a cow at Newport market. The men accused each_ other of the crime. The Magistrates committed them both for trial on the capital charge.

Charles Holden, a labourer of Laleham in Middleeer, has accused himself of a murder committed twenty years ago. He says he then "kept company" with a girl ; one night, while crossing a field between Chertsey and We- ham, they quarrelled, he struck her under the ear, and the blow killed her. He says he buried the body in a plantation belon to Lord. Lump.: in No- vember last, a skeleton was found in that place. e MR111288 been examined by the Staines Magistrates, and remimded.