Зображення сторінки
PDF
ePub

more or less directly, towards the same end is a circumstance not less encouraging, albeit at every step it becomes more plainly apparent that even in those paths wherein voluntary exertion is most appropriate, the active assistance of the State, operating through its official organs,

is essential to success. 84. To the statesman, the chief interest of every branch of the great question of educational reform must needs lie in its tendency to diminish that denser ignorance on the part of large masses of a community which constitutes the most formidable obstacle to all enlightened policy. But no man can contemplate this question in all its bearings without perceiving that every step in this direction is also a step towards a greatly improved education for all classes; or rather, for every individual in the community, irrespectively of all class distinctions whatsoever.

85. And at no period was ever a truly complete and generous education more wanted for all men than now. "We live under the dynasty of the understANDING, and this is its golden age.”* Everywhere we see triumphant the faculty of means to ends which are themselves medial. Everywhere man's dominion over brute matter is rapidly extending itself, but often at a cost which, for the time, is indeed fearful. As the struggle of daily existence becomes keener, and occupies thought and action more and more engrossingly, it surely becomes of gravest importance to make every possible provision for those highest faculties—the sovran REASON—the IMAGINATION—the soul.

86. But if such provision be made; if a truly qualificative education-qualificative not alone for time but for eternity bringing out that whole humanity which lies in every man-be placed within every man's reach,

[ocr errors][merged small]

as far as by human arrangements it can so be placed, then how wide and glorious the prospect opened up by this increasing subjection of the material forms of nature to the will of man! It were scarcely a bold figure to say that for us, as compared with the men of antiquity, time and space are almost annihilated. We, indeed, are cosmopolites, for we live less in England, or in Europe, than in the world, which we traverse at our will. We live too in intimate communion with the greatest minds of all past ages, and the records of those ages lie unrolled at our feet.

87. We are accustomed to think of Grecian sculpture and of Italian painting, as of that which it is hopeless to equal. The whole fabric of Grecian polity rested on the basis of a slave-class, oppressed, degraded, and hopeless; and the religion of Greece was a shadow. The Italian states at the time when their greatest painters flourished were often at the mercy of lawless mercenaries; civil dissension raged amongst them, and their religion, despite its holy origin, was corrupted by much superstition. Britain boasts herself a country of free men, the soil of which, for ages, no invader's foot has touched ;-boasts, too, that she possesses a religion pure and undefiled.

88. But Greeks and Italians were alike in this,-they were earnest men; they forgot not the purpose of life in the cares of living. They gave themselves, with their whole soul, to the work before them. They laboured less for reward than for honour and fame. But their country gave them both.

89. And why should not Britain follow this example? We have everything to stimulate; nothing to deter us. In other paths of human effort, we have exemplars, than which there are none more noble. In them we see everything that is lofty and profound in thought; rich and graceful in expression; ready and magnanimous in action. We are the countrymen of Newton and of Bacon, of Shakspeare and of Milton, of Raleigh and of Sidney. Truly, 'we come of earth's best blood.'

90. And who can tell what might be achieved by such a people universally educated ,-every man placed on the best vantage ground for the development of what should be within him. It were a spectacle the world has not yet seen.

To
prepare

the
way

for it, were to prepare the solution of the greatest problem in the destinies of humanity.

91. For any, the remotest, approximation to such an end, what were the expenditure which, well applied, should seem other than trivial and of no account? And what were the honour due to the monarch and the government which should adopt new means for its attainment? To some such means, hitherto greatly neglected, it has been the object of these pages to invite increased attention,

APPENDIX.

LIST OF APPENDIX.

Page

351

.

A. Copyright.-On certain of the details of Mr. Sergeant Talfourd's

Bill; and on the duration of copyright in books in the prin

cipal States of Europe B. Patents for Inventions.-On Lord Brougham's Act giving

power to Judicial Committee of the Privy Council to extend

term of Letters Patent in special cases B.* On the American law of Patents

355

358

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

.

[ocr errors]

C. Copyright and Patents. On the constitution of copyright
Tribunals

363 D. Application of Art to Manufactures. - On the French quinquennial Exhibition of National Industry

365 E. Public Galleries.-On the plan of the Pinacotheca and Glyptotheca of Munich.

368 F. On the plan of the Catalogues of some Continental Museums . 372 G. Extract from a recent report of the Royal Institution of Liverpool, on the effects of free exhibitions

373 H. Art-Unions.On the encouragement extended to Historical Painting by some of the German Art-Unions

374

[ocr errors]
« НазадПродовжити »