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to make some, though always a moderate impression on their feelings. Great care has been taken to accommodate such questions and little addresses as much as possible to their state of intellect, and knowledge, and feeling, and to give them that complexion which might be agreeable and interesting to their minds. When once, by the pursuit of this system, the child is brought to understand in a small degree what he reads, and to take some interest in it, the progress is astonishingly great. A course of this kind, pursued for only three quarters of an hour each Sunday, brought the children forward in their understandings, at a period when no assistance whatever was derived at any time from the regular master of the school, to such a degree as to enable the children who had been a year under it, to answer questions in general with ease and pleasure. Care is taken never to make ignorance any fault, except when accompanied with inattention or perverseness, but to proceed with kindness and good humour, and to support the child with encouragements, until the matter is understood. When this mode was first adopted, the common habit of taking places for good answers was practised; but it was soon found that this Ted to self-conceit and pride in some.of the ablest of the boys, and to depression of spirits and a consequent listlesness in a greater number of those whose faculties were inferior; this practice was in consequence discontinued.
Two striking instances of the iJl effects produced in two of the most able boys, contributed, probably, to draw my attention more immediately to this point. Since the change, I have found the progress in learning greater than before in the school at large, though less, probably, in a few of the more able boys; and I find no difficulty in keeping the attention alive, and in exciting sufficient interest in the bosoms of the scholars. We have proceeded without any of those bad effects which before we experienced, and we have now had the new plan, of not taking places, ten or twelve years in operation. With respect to rewards and punishments, we are not profuse in the former, and very sparing of the latter; our- punishments, if I may be allowed the expression, consist chiefly in the withholding rewards; corporal punishment is almost altogether avoided, and in strong cases resort is had to expulsion from the school. I have always found that the best mode of noticing faults is to talk in a friendly and rational way to the culprit, in the presence of hi; school-fellows, and that there are few minds on which a due impression may not be made in this manner; and a far better and more durable impression is produced upon the school nt large, than by any of tl»e common modes of punishment which were in use when I first knew the scltoul. I have not been desirous to carry on the chtklrea fast in mere reading and writing, wishing always to have them for several years in the school, and finding that the parent*, estimating their progress by their advancement in those mechanical parts of instruction, (the parts on which their own attention ts generally most fixed,) were not desirous of continuing them io it after their children had, to their apprehension, acquired sufficient attainments of that kind. 1 have wished to keep the children as long as I could in tl»e school for the sake of communicating to them a tolerably competent knowledge of religion, and of impressing on them a regard for the ScrttHures, and a respect, to say the least, for their doctrines; advantages which were scarcely to be attained, except they continued there for a considerable time. 1 have also thought jt of high importance that the habits acquired in the school should be well confirmed, esteeming them a very valuable part of school education,, namely, regularity of attendance on divine worship, cleanliness, deference to authority, civility, punctuality, method, and abstinence from disturbing others, and from talking when they ought to be silent. These, with other good habits, in my opinion, can scarcely become established parts- of the character, except the continuance at school be considerably prolonged. The affection also of the children for those who teach diem, if they are well taught, is a very important instrument to secure their good behaviour in futUfie life; it greatly softens their minds, and is a strong . barrier against conduct which they know will be highly displeasing to their former teachers; this affection will seldom become a settled habit of minri, except their schooling be continued during several years. I have also been averse to a very swift progress in those mechanical branches of learning, which the poor can best understand and therefore will most highly esteem, having found in some instances that it tended to intoxicate the minds both of the parent and the scholar: and conceiving the most important fruits of education to be those which regard the principles, the dispositions, and the habits, 1 have been very easeful to avoid any system, for accelerating the learning of the scholars, which might be adverse to such fruits- I have thought it desirable to make the attendance at school on Sunday as little burtuensome as might be, and therefore the children have been kept to their business only about one hour before church in the inwrning, one hour before church in the afternoon, and an hour, or an hour and. a half later in the evening. 1 have found no difficulty with respect to the children of Dissenters, though the children in this school learn the Catechism, and regularly go to church in a body: such children have cheerfully acquiesced in the general course pursued. I should not have objected to any of them going to the meeting with their parents, but have insisted on their going to church, on the ground of their probably spending their time in play instead of going to the meeting, if they did not go to the church. With respect to the Catechism, I do not believe any difficulty whatever has at any time occurred. In the explanations of Scripture given to the children, which are found to interest their minds more than any thing, controversial points are carefully avoided, and nothing is said which could be offensive to Dissenting parents, if repeated by the children on going to their homes. The Dissenters among the children are not numerous, perhaps a fifth of the whole, perhaps fewer. The children have an opportunity of learning to write gratis on the evening of one of the week days; and the very small ones, who are engaged in the manufactures at their homes, are permitted to go to a dayschool, when their parents find it most convenient to send them, which may be perhaps three days in a week upon the average, and they receive this education gratis till they can read a verse in the Testament without much difficulty. The whole expense of the school, which consists of between eighty and ninety, including every thing, may be about 105. per head. Some articles of dress are given or furnished at a cheap rate to the girls, but not to the boys. The general result of this mode of education, with respect to both, has been, I think, very favourable; they very generally leave the school with mild and modest dispositions, and such habits as suit their station in society.
Do you insist upon the children attending your own church, that is, the Established Church ?—I nave hitherto insisted upon the children of Dissenters going with the other children to church, because the meeting-house of the Dissenters is so situated that their actually going thither could net well be secured, and I feared that many who professed that they would go, would in fact play truant.
Then all'you require is, that they should go to some church ?—That is all I required in my own mind, though I never held it out to the school; but my language to the Dissenters, and respecting the Dissenters, has always been very conciliatory, and sucli as would prevent them from conwdering themselves objects of contempt or ill-will.
Do you find any repugnanco on the part of parents to allow their children to attend your church?—I never had an application from any parent to have his child released from going to church, nor from any of the children, except on one occasion, when two of the boys, slipping away from the school as it was passing to church, excused themselves on the alleged ground of their having gone to the meeting, and they expressed a wish to be permitted in future to go there. The man who was the parent of one of the children, and the master of the other (his apprentice) was a Dissenter. I do not exactly remember what I said to the boys, but more or less to the following effect; that I feared if 1 granted their request, they would be very slack in their attendance on the meeting; that my wish was that they should punctually go to a place of worship on the Sunday, and I did not know how to secure this but by carrying them to church with the other boys, and that this was my only reason for doing so. They have since attended the school and gone to church, apparently quite cheerfully, and 1 have had no remonstrance from the family to which they belong.
Do you conceive, from what you have observed of schools generally, that there would be an}' difficulty, with respect to Dissenters, in an arrangement of this sort; suppose a school in which the children were taught upon the plan of the National establishment, but such as belonged to sectarian parents were not compelled to attend divine service in church, but only required to satisfy the directors of the school that they shall attend some place of worship regularly f—1 think not, provided no offensive language whatever was used to them by the masters or directors of the school on the ground of their being Dissenters, or permitted to be used towards them by their school-fellows. If this course were not strictly followed, I should conceive that the greatest obstacles to the success of such a plan would arise.
With respect to the Catechism, do you from your experience apprehend that a mode might be fallen upon, of teaching all the poor children of the school that large proportion of doctrine in which the church and the sects are all agreed, and confining the instruction with respect to the remaining part of the doctrine, upon which they differ, to the children belonging to the Establishment, leaving the Dissentcrs-to instruct their own children in their own peculiar tenets?—If a ttifticulty were made by dissenting parents, as to teaching the Catechism, I question whether any such plan as that mentioned, would answer, for it is called the Church Catechism, and the name would set such Dissenters against any part of it being taught, even though they might have no objection to the religious truths contained in the parts proposed to be taught, if those religious truths were offered to their children under another title and in another form.
Do you apprehend that if Dissenters sent their children to a school upon the National plan, and such modifications of that plan were made, with respect to teaching the Catechism and church attendance, as to render this practicable, that the children would by degrees be allowed to attend the church, and would gradually fall into the Establishment r~— I should be of opinion that a considerable portion of them would ; what proportion I really cannot say. All the children of the school of which I have been speaking, receive a Prayer-book and Bible, as well us Watts's Hymns for Children, on leaving the school, and none of them object to the Prayer-book; nor do they object to the getting of a Collect by heart every Sunday, which is one of our practices, during the latter years of their attendance at the school, when they become old enough to do this. I believe they leave the school with a respect for the church and churchmen, even though they may return to the habit of frequenting the meeting-house with their parents; so that their prejudices as Dissenters appear to be so far softened as to pave the way for their entire removal. The success of such a system for conciliating Dissenters, must materially depend on the spirit in which it is carried on.
Mr. William Hargrave, catledin, and Examined.
WHERE do you live?—No. 1, Bishopsgate-street.
Are you acquainted with the state of the children of the poor in any part of the Metropolis, and what part?—In the North-east district, including Spitalfields, Shoreditch, and that neighbourhood.
What led you to this knowledge of the state of the poor ?— I am a member of a society which is entitled the Juvenile Benevolent Society, for clothing and promoting the education of destitute poor children, and improving the condition of the poor.
Arc there many poor children uneducated in those par.ts of the town ?—A great number.
Are they desirous of instruction?—They are very desirous.
State the limits of the North-east district ?—L think, as near as 1 can recollect, Hackney is the extent of it, bounded on one side by Bishopsgate.street, aud on the other by