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complete developement of the system. His Emilius is full of these paltry stratagems. If his pupil only asks “ what is the use of geography, or astronomy,” the book is instantly closed, the maps are rolled up, the tutor and his pupil.sally out for a walk early next morning, the sage "makes believe” to lose their way; they are fatigued; noon arrives, and they have not broken their fast; but luckily recollecting that geography had said that Montmorenci was south of the forest, and astronomy that the sun is at the south at noon, the whole affair beams like lightning upon them; they arrive at home ; and the pupil values geography and astronomy to the last hour of his life. The reader will recollect a number of similar incidents in Rousseau's volumes; indeed it is almost a remark of course by that visionary author, in every conjuncture in which anything is to be taugħt, done, or suffered, “ I prepared the following artifice.” The writers of the imperial system before us have servilely copied Rousseau in this and some other respects without possessing his genius. The very next page to that just quoted, contains a story of losing the pupil in the woods, and keeping him out all night, “ choking with thirst, and famished with hunger,” but without any end that we can see to be answered by the experiment. Emilius did at least gain a geographical fact in exchange for his breakfast.
Against the whole of this system every honest man must strongly protest. To teach truth by falsehood, and ingenuousness by stratagems, besides being immoral in its tendency, is as absurd as to attempt “ to extract sun-beams from cucumbers." We strongly recommend to the admirers of such artifices, Mr. and Miss Edgeworth’s excellent chapter on “ Truth” in their “ Practical Education.” It is one of the best chapters in the whole work, and takes up the subject, if not on high, Christian principles, at least on those of strong moral feeling and the dignity of virtue. They justly reprobate both Rousseau and Mde. de Genlis, in this important article of education. “There should be no moral delusions," they remark, “no artificial course of experience; no plots laid by parents to make out the truth ; no listening fathers, mothers, or governesses; no pretended confidence or perfidious friends ; in one word no falsehood.” In fact such a system is as futile as it is immoral, for a child soon sees through these flimsy stratagems and learns to despise the inventor. “ It is in vain," remarks Miss Edgeworth,“ to expect by the most eloquent manifestoes, or by the most secret leagues offensive and defensive, to conceal your real views, sentiments, and actions, from children.” We add that it is as unchristian as vain to “ do evil that good may. come. How different the system projected for “ the infant King of Rome,” from that which was so benevolently and
wisely planned by an eminent country woman of our own for “a Young Princess;" a system worthy of herself to have devised and of a Fenelon to have carried into practice.
We must pass lightly over the remaining lessons. They are mostly founded on the same system of laying a trap of adventures to elicit the necessary moral. For instance : « pretending to be tired of their uniform way of life,” the tutor proposes an excursion; the first day they find no lodging; the second day they are without bread; the third they are insulted; the fourth they rescue a drowning child; who we presume was half drowned for the occasion as a part of the “artifice;" the fifth they arrive at home “weary and fatigued;" " but not without having given proofs of courage, acquired some valuable knowledge, and conferred some benefits.” A “justice of the peace,” before whom they had been taken in their rambles, “ turns out to be a distinguished man of letters;” and gives “a spirited and amusing account of our adventures in the newspapers.” The tutor reads this exquisite morceau to the prince, and tells him it is “the first blast of the trumpet of fame.” After this oracular speech he says no more for a week; but gives the newspaper to the prince who reads over the account of his own good qualities in secret. His attendants in the meantime are doubly assiduous; all the world is charmed with his courage and humanity; persons come from Paris and the villages to see him; and “ children kiss their hands to him for having saved the life of a child.” Ravished with his conduct,” the tutor
accosts him with an air of tenderness," as follows : “ Well prince ! what says your heart?” To this very sensible question the prince replies : " Ah Sir, what delight! It is pleasure of all kinds at once ;” a sort of pine-apple flavoured gratification we presume; and then follow the most delightful mutual congratulations! Happy sage! thrice happy pupil!.“ He turns his face aside to conceal his emotion; I clasp him in my arms, and press him to my bosom : ' Ah prince! I am the first of those whom you will make happy!”
But, would our readers think it ? amidst all these incentives to humility, pride and self sufficiency break out in this hopeful prince. He piques himself among his companions upon his excursion. But his sagacious master gives him the voyage Columbus to read; and immediately, oh the sanative properties of moral medicine !" he devours it, and returns it ashamed of his own vanity.”
But then the reader must remember that the tutor had the advantage of perfectible materials to work upon.
The prince is next taken to see the galley-slaves, whither our readers must follow him for a moment.
“ He hears the rattling of the chains and rings, that fetter, and couple together intentionally, the flagitious and the weak, the penitent
of and the hardened sinner. He sees their chains fastened, while, crouched on the
irons that hold them together, they take their meal of coarse food, seasoned with rancid oil, and always the same. He counts five thousand of these desperadoes, whose atrocious or sorrowful countenances terrify the spectator of their misery. (P.77.)
“• These wretches,' I say to him, "are not all hardened villains ; and are not even those who are, capable of being corrected?'
“ On this subject I inform him, that in the United States of America it has been attempted with success : and that no one is abandoned to his fate, but the obdurate culprit, on whom philanthropy has exhausted all its skill, and found all its endeavours frustrated.
“ The sages of that country, reflecting on the nature of the wicked, imagined they beheld in him merely a machine out of order, and capable of being repaired.
“ The sound sense, that had carried them so far, did not leave them there. They suspected, that depravity in man was nothing more than the last term of a series of misfortunes and bad habits, continually increasing ; and that this series might be made to decrease and turn back.
“ Struck with this idea, they endeavoured to derive from it the means of cure; and did this with so much success, that what was at first merely the dream of well-meaning men, has becoine a sure process, the truth of which is confirmed.
“ The prince is astonished; he is enchanted with the possibility of restoring to the paths of rectitude all these hardened criminals; a holy joyfulness seizes him, his heart expands, and overflows with expressions of the happiness I have conferred on him." (P. 78, 79.)
Our readers will judge how far it was likely that the imperial council of Napoleon, should trouble themselves about the prison at Philadelphia, which we presume is alluded to in the above extract. We are not sorry, however, that the young prince should learn a lesson from sages” who have set so good an example to the world ; though we trust those sages were too christian to suppose that “human depravity is nothing more than the last term of a series of misfortunes and bad habits.” If the author had said it was the “ first term,” he would have been nearer the truth. We are happy to know that there are many
sages now at work upon a similar reform in prison discipline both in our own country and on the continent, and especially in the Russian dominions, where, within the last few months, the system has been espoused, with great zeal and benevolence, under the patronage of an “Emperor,” and an " Imperial Council,” whose “ sageness never better evinced than when they joined heart and hand with some of their southern neighbours to expel from the world the alleged authors and the principles of the book before us.
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