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of Commons, rather than by private communications in the lobbies. The consequence of the mode which was followed has been, that the original plan has never been discussed at all; that the public only learn that it was altered; but of the grounds, and the scope of those alterations there is no account but what is to be found in the learned Chairman's own publications. How faithful that account, it has been our endeavour in some degree to shew. But a subsequent shewing is comparatively without effect-it is too much like a justification. The Bill, as first framed in the intention of the mover, ought, in our opinion, to have been taken to pieces before the eyes of the world in its earliest stages. The public would then have gone with the government in the process of the alterations, and would have heard and appreciated the reasons for them as they arose. If delicacy towards the mover, and a desire to avoid mixing politics with charity were (as we verily believe) the motives of this forbearance, the Government see their reward. But they had yet a higher duty to perform. At the same time that they obviated misrepresentation, and rendered such an impression against themselves as has been attempted to be created, impossible; they also would have exhibited in the Bill, as originally conceived, a scaring specimen of the monstrous projects which (when the times are unhappily favourable for such conjunctions) political ambition begets upon popular
The Commission which has been appointed will, we trust, be found to have entered with exemplary diligence upon the business allotted to it; and we anticipate from its labours the most satisfactory results. We think it not improbable that the range of its inquiry may be beneficially extended, although, to occupy this wider field of action, and at the same time to assign to its labours any reasonable limits, it seems necessary that its number should be enlarged. We can easily understand why three should be a better (as it is a more usual) quorum than two, in any matter involving the probability of difference of opinion; of all the alterations indeed which were made in the bill by the House of Lords, that which extended the quorum from two to three (the whole number of commissioners remaining the same) appeared to us the most questionable.
As to the object with which these inquiries should be pursued, we fear we shall continue to differ essentially from the Honourable Chairman of the late Committee. To bring back the application of diverted revenues to the original purposes of those who bequeathed them, is, in our view, the only legitimate object; not to seize them into the hands of the state, and parcel them out anew according to the lights of modern refinement. We have stricter notions of property. The misapplication, or even the abuse of a 003
trust fund by its trustees does not, in our opinion, put the public in the place of the testator's heir at law.
As to the intention announced of moving the new parliament early in the session, to re-appoint the Committee on the Education of the Lower Orders,' with additional powers-for the express purpose of touching' the Universities and Great Schools, which are exempted from the jurisdiction of the Commission; of summoning other Heads of Colleges in Oxford and Cambridge to undergo the same sort of treatment as Dr. Wood; of printing their different statutes, from perfect or garbled copies, (as it may happen,) and interpreting them with the same fidelity as those of Trinity College; and of publishing their account-books at the national expense, to be audited by the world at large :-harmless as these purposes may be, we confess we are not reconciled to them by the assurance that it is not intended to follow them up with immediate measure. We have seen how well an interval of repose can be employed in pronouncing sentences of abuse and malversation, without or against evidence; and we see that all persons who, from whatever cause, are inimical to the two Universities, and to the Established Church, of which they are the two main supports, contemplate the prospect with extreme delight.
So confidently do they anticipate success, that they have already begun to differ upon the division of the spoil. Mr. Jeremy Bentham, in his late lucid work upon CHURCH-OF-ENGLANDISM, is of opinion that the Colleges should be appropriated to the support of superannuated officers of the land and sea-service, whose half-pay might in consequence be saved to the country. A more recent writer in the Monthly Magazine, looks forward to the expected 'Parliamentary Visitation' as the means of planting the dissenters in the two Universities. But these gentlemen seem to be counting the fruits of victory before the battle has been won, or even fought. Buonaparte, before the battle of Waterloo, when he beheld the Duke of Wellington stationed on the opposite height, exclaimed, Ah! pour le coup-je les tiens donc-ces Messieurs Anglais!"
We yet trust that the new Parliament will not put the Universities and Great Schools upon their trial. It is not seemly that the venerable establishments for ENGLISH Education should be called to plead for their existence (an existence in many instances as old as that of Parliament itself, in all perhaps as deeply interwoven, with the habits and interests of this country); and to stand an inquiry, not whether they answer the purposes of their institution, but whether those purposes might not be advantageously changed. We are satisfied that these establishments, with all their faults, do mainly contribute to make England what it is. We do not presume to disparage the more material, statistical, metaphysical erudition of our neighbours. We meddle not with them: we beg only that
they will not meddle with us. We assure all whom it may concern that the ample revenues of our Royal and Christian foundations shall never (while we have life to struggle for them) go to the support of schools for the professors of no particular religion. They must be contented to see still flourish in our schools the old heresies of classical and biblical learning, with enough of the exacter sciences, but very little of Ontology or Cosmogony. They must endeavour even to tolerate the abomination of long and short, and the divinity of the Church by law established. Within these limits is it worth their while to reform us? Out of these limits, they will attempt to force us in vain.
But if we cannot be improved, we hope we shall not be given up to be insulted. It is not seemly, we say, that these magnificent establishments should for no stateable object, and for no assignable crime, be exposed, in the persons of their most eminent conductors, to the scornful interrogatory, to the ungenerous insinuation, and, worse than all, to the humiliation of vapid pleasantries, as disgusting to good taste as to just feeling.
Thus England's monarch once uncover'd sat,
While Bradshaw bullied in a broad-brimm'd hat. Once-but not again. We trust indeed that the 'attachment' of the nobility and gentry of England to the scenes of their early instruction, an attachment' stigmatized as 'romantic,' but not more 'romantic' than wise, will rescue those seats of liberal learning from a second disgrace and persecution; seeing, as they cannot but see, the spirit in which that persecution originates, and remembering that for high establishments, as well as for exalted individuals, there is but one step from degradation to destruction.
In Art. IV. of our Thirty-sixth Number, on African Discoveries,' is the following passage: The last victim (would he might be the last!) that we have to mention is LIEUTENANT STOKOE of the Navy. This brave officer was severely wounded when our little squadron so gallantly defended itself against an overwhelming force on lake Erie; and when taken prisoner was marched several hundred miles into Kentucky, handcuffed like a felon.'
From a letter to the editor of a reprint of our Review in America, it would seem that this passage has given offence to the friends of Captain Perry. This officer and his friends however may be assured that none was meant. Whatever necessity there might have been to march Lieutenant Stokoe into the interior, we could not suppose Captain Perry to have been his conductor; but the fact is precisely as we have stated it; and when the unfortunate officer above alluded to rejoined Admiral Sir Henry Hotham, the marks of violence were apparent, and his wrists were still swelled, and suffering from the fetters.
The friends of Captain Perry will do us the justice to believe that we never confounded him, even in thought, with the Porters and Jacksons of his country, whom he regards, perhaps, with little less detestation than ourselves. On the contrary, we believe him to be a brave and humane officer; and it is this persuasion alone which has induced us to recur to a circumstance which was wrung from us, in the first instance, by a sense of duty, and which we now desire finally to dismiss from our minds.
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