Зображення сторінки

of the Clergy are of this opinion similar to that of Constable's Misthemselves; but the rust of indo- cellany, putting a good deal of letterlence-that disposition which in press into the sheet. The elements clines all men, whose incomes are of general history, an abridged fixed, to leave matters on the same system of geography, interesting footing as they find them, has un- biographies, (such as the life of doubtedly prevailed to a certain ex- Franklin,) accounts of the most usetent ainong them. This is the na- ful arts to which the Highlanders tural and necessary inference to be are strangers, such as those of printdrawn from this striking fact which ing, engraving, the steam-engine, is stated in the Report. Let us &c. might be given in successive hope that the Clergy will, with one Numbers. They should not be disheart, join to wipe off this reproach tributed gratis, but sold at a low from their body,-a reproach which price, that the publication might be we are sure has been attached to placed on a basis to support itself, them by the relaxed zeal of only a with as little aid otherwise as possismall portion of its members. It ble, although gentlemen might subgives us pleasure to observe, that, in scribe for their tenants and cottars. correction of this unfortunate ne- With a circulation of 2000 or 3000, glect, which, after all, may rather the publication would probably bear have arisen from want of means to its own expense. Some entire artikeep up the books, than from any cles should be Gaelic, to induce the other less worthy cause, it is part of Highlander to buy it, and others in the plan of the Committee of the English, to tempt him to learn the General Assembly to establish iti- latter language. A publication like nerating libraries in the Highlands this, coming out in small parts, at on the plan of those in East Lothian. pretty long intervals, is infinitely And we agree with a contemporary better suited, both to the pecuniary in the following observations on this means and the leisure of persons in subject, which we are tempted to in the situation of the Highlanders, troduce, even at the risk of making than one which appears in volumes. too long a digression from the im Such a Journal might be an instrymediate object before us:-“ We are ment of much good.” In these rerather surprised,” says the writer to marks and suggestions we most corwhom we refer, “ that after so many dially concur; but as the obstacles efforts have been made to teach the to be overcome, before such a JourHighlanders to read, little or nothing nal could be established, are both has been done to supply them with various and formidable, we do not the means of benefiting by the ac- expect, however desirable the object quisition. What is the use of read- may be, to see the attempt soon ing to people who have no books? made. We presume some Gaelic works will But, to return from this digresbe furnished, and these will, of sion, let us look to the state of educourse, require to be printed on cation in the Highlands in the bepurpose. We are strongly impress- ginning of last century, as detailed ed, however, with an opinion, that to us in the Report now under conone of the best modes for spreading sideration. About that period, in know ledge, and a taste for improve consequence of the exertions of the ment, in the Highlands, would be to General Assembly of the Church, establish a Gaelic and English Jour- the Highlands were finally subdinal; we mean a small pamphlet, in vided into parishes, nearly as they one sheet, like the Mechanics' Ma- now exist; and competent ministers gazines, to be published monthly, at and schoolmasters being placed in a low price, say twopence, to contain them, there remained no power, by articles both in English and Gaelic, law, to extend the number of paand to be sent by post free of stampo rishes and schools. But the vast duty. This small privilege Govern, and disproportionate extent of many ment would at once concede. In its of the parishes, so:ne of them stretchcontents, we would combine a little ing over limits as extensive as those public intelligence, with a collection of the smaller Lowland counties, of useful works or articles, on a plan the natural difficulties of a country

intersected everywhere by lakes and when a good translation was first mountains,--the extrempe poverty of published by this Society. In that the people,---their unsettled habits, year they printed 5000 copies, and, and the obstacles to improvement ata in 1807, 20,000 more. The long in tendant on their peculiar language, terval that elapsed between the gerendered great efforts still needful neral establishment of parish schools on their behalf. The Society for and the printing of the Gaelic Scrip. Propagating Christian Knowledge tures, may justly excite surprise. was formed for this purpose, under But this for a time was rather the the immediate protection of the As consequence of system than of su. sembly. The zeal and judgment pineness. The Members of the shown in the guidance of this ad- Society for Propagating Christian mirable Institucion have always se- Knowledge, and most of tbose who cured to it the public confidence, took an interest in the welfare of the and it still continues a noble monu. Highlands, long cherished a belief ment of benevolent enterprise. Its that the extirpation of the Gaelic expenditure, for the year ending in language was the very first step toMay 1825, was £.4200. Its success wards improvement. The teaching was signal at the very first. It be of Gaelic was therefore almost everygan, in 1709, with five schools for where forbidden, and English books English reading, writing, and the alone were used, their meaning elements of Christian doctrine; ten being sometimes conveyed by oral years afterwards, in 1719, it had 48 translation. It is unquestionable, schools, and in 1732, 109. At the that this system greatly paralyzed beginning of the present century, it the efficiency of the schools, and imhad 200 schools. At present it bas peded the improvement of the coun. 170 ; only 134 of these, however, try. are within the Highland limits. In the year 1725, the same mo1 In 1738 this Society extended its tives, which had formerly prompted plan, by the institution of schools of the formation of the Society for Proindustry, to instruct females in pagating Christian Knowledge, sugspinning, sewing, and knitting: of gested an application to Governthese useful schools the Society now ment for a fund to support assistant supports 89, of wbich 76 are in the preachers. The sum of £.1000 .northern districts. In 1780, the $o- year was accordingly granted, and ciety farther extended its usefulness, placed in charge of a Committee of by the appointment of several mis- the General Assembly, by whom sionary preachers and catechists. By twenty preachers, and the same the last Report it had, in the more number of catechists, were appointremote parishes, nine missionaries ed to the more destitute districts. and thirteen catechists.

" At a later period, this grant was - The year 1769 is memorable for doubled, and the Committee for the first printing of the Seriptures in managing the Royal Bounty, as the Gaelic. A translation of the New fund is called, now maintains thirtyTestament being then completed, one preachers, and twenty-four ca10,000 copies were printed in that techists*, year for this Society, and 21,500 For more than a century after the more in 1797. The whole Bible first establishment of the Society for was unknown in Gaelic until 1802, Propagating Christian Knowledge,

• The sums expended by Government for the purposes of education in Scotland do not appear very large, when contrasted with the importance of the object. Io. deed, they are utterly trifling, when compared with the munificent, but, we fear, osten ill applied, sums granted for the same purpose in Ireland. The sum of £.2000, above mentioned, is all that is given for schools in Scotland. The annual sum of £.5000, recently given to endow forty new churches, and a sum of about double that amount, to supply the deficiencies of stipends under 2.150, make the whole that is bestowed annually for the purposes of public instruction. The grants for the College of Edinburgh, with £.50,000 for the building of the new churches, and various small sums for the endowments of a few Professors' Chairs in the Universities, exhausts this enumeration.

the public efforts in behalf of the Glasgow. It was at first proposed Highlands were centered in it; but to be wholly auxiliary to that of when, after the lapse of so long a Edinburgh'; but the Glasgow Soperiod, it was found that an immense ciety being of opinion, that although proportion of the people, unable to Gaelic should be taught generally read their own language, were still in the first instance, yet that their buried in ignorance and poverty, and schools should not be devoted to that that the exclusion of Gaelic from the exclusively, it was determined, schools had frustrated the great ends subsequently, to endow ambulatory of education, without materially ex- schools of their own, in which Eng. tending the knowledge of English; lish reading, writing, and arithmetic, as the ordinary medium of inter- should be united with the Gaelic. course, it seemed time to try the The Glasgow Society, at the date of effects of another system. The po- their last Report, supported 48 pulation, too, of the Highlands and schools, containing, by computation, Islands had, in less than a century, 2600 scholars. This Society is also received an increase of 100,000. The maintained wholly by voluntary number of public schools of all contributions, having no funds in kinds, when the population was stock. Its expenditure for the year much less, had been, even if con- 1824 was £.476. ducted on the most faultless plan, The Report next proceeds to state far behind the necessities of the the origin and progress of the Incountry. But with a population so verness Society, by which it has been mach increased--a population, too, prepared. The inhabitants of the pånting for instruction-it was ma- northern counties had, till a recent nifest that renewed efforts were de period, been inactive spectators of manded, and that whatever could be these benevolent labours. But condone might still be insufficient. In siderations of the peculiar duty de the year 1811, therefore, the Gaelic volving on all residents within the School Society of Edinburgh was Highlands, gave rise, in 1818, to the formed. Its declared object was to Inverness Society. It has received teach Gaelic reading exclusively; the most distinguished support, both and that its funds might accomplish at home and in some of the colonies, the greatest possible good in the and auxiliaries in aid of it have been shortest time, it was resolved that formed in Aberdeen and Dumfries. the schools should be ambulatory, Latterly, its receipts have fallen far and that no school should be con- bebind its expenditure. Its plan is, tinued above two or three years in in most respects, like that of the one spot.

Glasgow Society. While the readThe good already done by this ing of the Gaelic Seriptures forms Institution is very great. The list its primary object, instruction in of schools, by the Society's last Re English reading, writing, and arithport, is 77, containing 4300 scholars. metic, are parts of its system. It The funds, which are raised by an- has at present a fund only equal to nual subscriptions, donations, &c. a few months expenditure. It de are expended as fast as they are re- pends, therefore, wholly on volun. ceived, no permanent fund being tary contributions. The highest laid up for the future. ' In this it number of schools maintained by it differs from the former Society, was 77. The present number is 68, which, having accumulated consider- containing above 3000 scholars. The able property, is not so dependent expenditure of the Society for the on voluntary contributions. The past year was £.1013, while the in yearly expenditure of the Gaelic come for the same period was only School Society, by their last Report, $.493.' It must therefore, unless was £.3100, of which £.1200 was liberally 'supported by the public, laid out in the purchase of Bibles, soon contract its establishment greatand in the purchase and printing of ly, or cease to exist altogether...! school-books.

Since the commencement of the Following the example of Edin present century, other efforts of vaburgh, a similar Institution was rious kinds have been made to beneforined in the succeeding year in fit the Highlands. The British and Foreign Bible Society has published its progress, instituted inquiries into several editions of the Gaelic Scrip, the general state of education ; but tures, amounting, in all, to 35,000 these inquiries were generally conBibles, and 48,700 New Testaments, ducted in a manner so loose, that no many of which have been circulated very definite results could be obtaingratuitously. Persons of learning ed from them. All accounts, down have translated several useful theo- to the latest period, agreed generally, logical works, amounting, in all, to that in the more remote districts an about twelve, and the Edinburgh immense proportion remained unTract Society has printed about educated; but none could show cortwenty little tracts in Gaelic. Among rectly, either what had been done or the books translated, we observe what remained to be done. The Blair's Sermons, Burder's Village Inverness Society, from its outset, Sermons, Doddridge's Rise and Pro- strove to collect accurate informagress of Religion, Boston's Fourfold tion; but its efforts failed, until it State, and Miss Sinclair's Principles entered on that course of investigaof Religion. These translations, tion, the plan and results of which with a few volumes of Poetry, com are presented to the public in the prise the whole extent of Gaelic Report now under our consideraliterature. Of late, some itinerant tion. missionaries have been sent through The investigation was undertaken the country, by various classes of in 1822, and was at once compreDissenters; and recently, Govern- hensive in its range and minute in ment has adopted the important its details. It related to the whole measure of building and endowing extent of the counties of Argyle, laforty new churches at the national verness, Nairn, Ross, Cromarty, expense. With all these means and Sutherland, Caithness, Orkney, and appliances, it is still to be deplored Zetland, and the Gaelic districts of that the Highlands and Islands are, Moray and Perth, comprehending and we are afraid must long con- 171 parishes, and a population, by tinue, defective in many of those the census of 1821, of above 416,000 subsidiary circumstances which pro- persons. The information was obmote instruction, and which are both tained chiefly by the agency of the the causes and effects of increasing Clergy, and by methods calculated knowledge. Some of these are stated to insure accuracy; and, with the in a note in one of the pages of the exception of those Reports laid be Report. The population living in fore the General Assembly a few towns, containing above 1000 in- weeks ago, may be considered as by habitants, does not make above one- far the most valuable series of statenth of the whole ; and these are tistical details of this description that chiefly on the eastern shores. Ex. has ever been produced in this councepting in these parts, there is hard- try. ly a circulating library or book The returns to the circulars and shop; and Inverness contains the schedules, sent to the parochial only printing-presses and newspapers Clergy, were filled up with care and in the Higblands. The system of accuracy, and merit the fullest conSunday-school teaching, so approved fidence. When the immense toil, of in the south, is almost unknown required to investigate personally the in the Highlands. There are no situation of every family in a wide local Societies for circulating tracts, district, is considered, the Report and none for promoting general edu. well observes, that the exertions of cation, excepting that at Inverness. many of the Clergy, in aid of the There are, it is true, Bible and Mise inquiry, must be pronounced as sionary Societies in the larger towns, meriting the highest encomiums. but no branches of these in the vil. It states, that these worthy indivilages or remote country parishes. duals bestowed the warmest approThere are only three Academies on bation on the plan of inquiry, and the eastern coast-at Inverness, Tain, that, troublesome as it was to themand Fortrose,

selves, they entered on the execution Each of the Societies which have of it with the most cordial zeal and been mentioned, at some period of alacrity. In several instances, where

the population of parishes amounted gyle and the Highlands of Perth, 30 to 5000 widely dispersed, the cler. in the 100. In Orkney and Zetgymen performed alone the whole land, 12 in the 100. Above oneduty of personal inquiry, and enter- third of the whole population are ed the names of every family, with more than two miles, and many their own hands, in the schedules thousands more than five miles disa which had been sent to them by the tant from the nearest schools. Society, for the purpose of facilita- 2d. DIFFUSION OF THE SCRIPting their inquiries.

TURES. In the western parts of InOn compiling the facts respecting verness and Ross, all the Scriptures the whole number of parishes re- found existing are in the proportion turned, the following conclusions are of one copy of the Bible for every found authenticated :

eight persons, above the age of eight Ist. One-half of all ages above years'; and in the other parts of the eight years are unable to read. 2d. Highlands and Islands, including A third part of the families visited Orkney and Zetland, where reading are above two miles distant from the is very general, only one copy for nearest schools. 3d. A third part of every three persons. One-fourth the families visited were found to part of all the families in these disbe without copies of the Scriptures. tricts, or 100,000 persons, are still 4th. Gaelic is the language, exclu- wholly without Bibles ; and there ding Caithness, Orkney, and Zetland, are in this number several thousand of above three-fourths of the people families in which there are persons

There is reason to believe, that the who can read the Scriptures. necessities of the people are rather 3d. LANGUAGE. -Gaelic is the diminished than exaggerated, in the language of 300,000 of the people, returns from which these results are that is, of three-fourths of all the formed, as some who could only read population of the districts included imperfectly may be supposed," from in this inquiry. It is almost excluvanity, or ignorance of their own de- sively the language of the Hebrides, ficiencies, to have got themselves put and of the western and inland parts down as fully educated.

of Argyle, Inverness, Ross, and The whole mass of facts which Sutherland. It is also the more prewere furnished by the returned yailing language throughout the schedules are arranged in the Ap other parts of these counties. In pendix of the Report, in short sta. Orkney, Zetland, and on the coast tistical tables. Each parish is there of Caithness, English is spoken exgiven separately, all the parishes re- clusively. turned from a Presbytery forming By a comparison of the means of one general table; the Presbyteries education with the mass that exists being afterwards collected under the to be educated, it will be found that heads of their Synods, and the whole much remains yet to be done, to then brought together ultimately in bring within the sphere of instruca general summary.

tion the great body of those who · The following leading facts, pre cannot now have access to it. It has sented in the tables, may be held as been seen, that the Highlands and established by the investigations of Islands contain 416 inhabitants. this Society :

By the ordinary calculation of one 1.st. As to EDUCATION.-Half of in eight for a full attendance at all the Gaelic population are unable school, there should be schools for to read; or, in detail, taking all ages 52,200. Now, the whole of the above eight years, those who cannot public schools are only the followread are nearly in the following pro- ing: portions :- In the Hebrides, and

Parochial Schools, .........................171 other western parts of Inverness and

Society for Propagating Christian Ross-shires, 70 in the 100 cannot

Knowledge,.......... read. In the remaining parts of In- Gaelic School Society of Edinburgh, 77 verness and Ross, in Nairn, the Glasgow Society,........................ Highlands of Moray, Cromarty, Inverness Society, ................... 65 Sutherland, and the inland parts of Caithness, 40 in the 100. In ArVOL. XVIII.

4 S


In all,.......



« НазадПродовжити »