Зображення сторінки

branches. The erection of working sheds, with a supply of carpenter's tools, &c. in connection with schools, has been suggested, and there are various other ways in which this important object may be promoted. It is obvious that an education which would combine the training of the intellect with an improved manual dexterity, must be of the utmost value to the whole community. The situation of the poor children in the workhouses, many of whom have been made orphans by the present calamity, most imperatively calls for public attention. Hitherto the education given in the majority of the workhouses has been very defective. It is evident that efforts must be made to fit the youthful inmates for earning a livelihood; or else, when they leave the workhouse, they will be fit for nothing, and will be driven to crime in order to support existence. Mere reading and writing is not sufficient. Something additional is necessary to supply the loss of the varied information, which the children of the poor acquire in their own homes, both from the necessity of doing much to assist their parents in many ways, and also from constant communication with those who are working around them. Confined from infancy within the walls of the workhouse, secluded from intercourse with the industrious, and exposed as they must be, more or less, to injurious contact

with those, whom idleness, ignorance, or depravity have reduced to want, it is a question of extreme difficulty how to bring them up so that they may be likely to become industrious and well-conducted men and women. But it is also a question of great and paramount importance ; as, if they are not educated for good, they will surely be educated for evil, and will become a burden and an injury to society instead of a support and benefit. It is unnecessary to go farther into the subject, as it is one to which public attention is so strongly directed. Perhaps regular instruction in some handicraft trade, might very usefully form a part of the course of education required for these children. Something that may keep both mind and body actively engaged from an early age, seems essential to their proper training.” The attention of the government is naturally directed to the instruction of the mass of the people, some of whom claim the care of the state as paupers, while pecuniary assistance is required to aid in the instruction of others. But the nature and amount of the education bestowed on the middle and upper classes, has likewise a very important bearing on the well-being of society. Whilst the education of the poor in Ireland approaches nearer to the standard of the middle and upper classes than is the case in England, the education of the middle and upper classes themselves, is generally inferior to that of the corresponding ranks in Great Britain. This remark will not apply to the learned professions, whose members do not suffer by a comparison with the sister country; neither will it apply to many among the gentry and commercial classes, who are probably fully on a par in this respect with those of the same rank in England or Scotland; but it must be admitted that the general tone of society, the average amount of intellectual culture, is lower,

* The following remarks of Captain Huband, Assistant Poor Law Commissioner, when addressing the Board of Guardians of the North Dublin Union, are given in illustration of the observations in the text:

“They would never succeed in educating the only portion of their “inmates who were worth educating, which were the young, so long as “they were allowed to remain with the old paupers (hear, hear). In “every workhouse, the younger inmates were looked upon already as a “ nuisance, rather than any thing else (hear, hear, hear). The school“masters were generally persons of very inferior education themselves, “ and were engaged more for the purpose of keeping the boys in order and “out of mischief than for any other (hear, hear). Let them, however, “not forget to look after the morals of the boys (hear). Let them re“collect that when these boys went into the world to earn their bread,

“the persons to whom they offered themselves for employment would “not be content with inquiring into their fitness for employment, but “would also investigate their character for morality (hear, hear). So “long as they were permitted to mix with the old paupers, their morals “would be corrupted; but if they attended to this point, a most desira“ble result, which was heretofore impracticable, would be accomplished, “namely, persons would be found willing to take apprentices out of the “workhouse (hear, hear).—Saunders' News Letter, Nov. 18th, 1847.

both among the landed proprietors, the farmers, and the traders of Ireland, than among similar persons in Great Britain. The education of such parties must mainly depend on themselves; still, it may be desirable that government should afford assistance, by the establishment of schools and colleges for superior instruction. A step has already been taken in this direction, and it is to be hoped that more may yet be done towards supplying the deficiency.


English capital looked to by many as a means of improvement—Its introduction impeded by want of confidence—Irish capital largely invested out of Ireland–Difficulty of making suitable investments in Ireland–Evil results of non-residence of the landed proprietors— Causes of non-residence—A free sale of land the best remedy–Manufacturing industry in Ireland—The Linen manufacture has flourished in Ulster—The English factory system a cause of the decay of the Irish woollen manufacture—Has had less influence on the Irish linen manufacture—Injurious results of combination have been more felt in Ireland than in England—System of apprenticeship considered—Deficiency of home demand injurious to home manufacture—National importance to Ireland of the linen manufacture and the cultivation of flax—Fisheries might be much more extensively carried on.

The Introduction of English Capital has been relied on by many as an important means of promoting the prosperity of Ireland. We see the superabundant capital of England seeking for profitable occupation in every part of the world; it works mines, makes railways, advances loans to foreign states; no undertaking is too great or too distant, if it offer a fair chance of profit. Why then does so little of it come to Ireland, which is so near home, which offers so wide a field for its employment, and where it is so much wanted 2 The

« НазадПродовжити »