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and where they may have the means of becoming acquainted with those with whom they are to be ronuected or associated during the greater part of iheir lives. , With these views and fetlings, 1 certainly do not regret that the college at Calcutta has not been permitted altogether to maintain that great and splendid position which it originally occupied. In passing, however, from the plan of a seminary in India to that of a seminary in this country, I feel myself immediately crossed by a question to which I have already adverted. Why, it is said, should you be at the expense of supporting any institution whatever? Why not publish a standard of the qualifications required, and form your judgment of the proficiency of the young men by examination?
In considering this important subject, I beg leave, in the first place, distinctly to observe, that tlieeducation pointed out by Lord Wellesley as necessary for the Com ■ pany's civil servants, is not of an ordinary nature. It seems, indeed, to be tacitly admitted, by almost all, that no institution exists in this country capable of affording, within the same compass of time, and to youths of the same age, exactly the species of training required. I am aware that the conhary has been asserted, but I am well persuaded it has been asserted without foundation, and will never be proved. There areseminaries which would afford parts of the properly European instruction, none which would give the whole, still less which would enable the student to combine these with the due pursuit of the oriental languages. It was justly observed by Lord Wellesley, that "no system of education, study, or discipline, then existed, either in Europe or India, founded on the principles, or directed to the objects described" in his minute; and the proposition holds with little abatement of force, even when the object of oriental literature is in part excluded. Nor is this a matter of any surprise, since the education necessary, in the present case, is allowed to he of a singular and appropriate nature. There being uo public institutions, then, capable of answering the ends proposed, will It be argued that private tuition might be resorted to for the purpose of supplying the desideratum i Will it be contended that the families who might be fortunate enough to procure appointments in the Company's service — families dispersed throughout the country, and many of whom, however respectable in character, might probably not be overburdened with the goods of this life—would be universally able to command the requisite instruction? Have the cost and charge of giving to young persons so extensive and peculiar an education been properly considered? And, after all, even supposing them able
to encounter such an expense, would no difficulty be experienced iu procuring efficient teachers? I will venture to say that the speculation is utterly preposterous—it is totally impossible to cany the idea into execution. 1 go further—I assert that it involves a grievous hardship. I have heard much of the difficulties imposed on families, by compelling them to send their sons to Hertford college. I have heard pathetic descriptions of parents weeping over the dire necessity of placing their children at that nobleestablishment. What must I think, then, of the substitute now proposed—a substitute which would change those alleged inconveniences into something worse than Egyptian bondage r For surely the proverbial cruelty of that task-master who called on his vassals to complete their usual tale of bricks without giving them the necessary materials, would be the tenderest of mercies, compared with the tyranny of the directors, were they to insist on the stated production of qualifications, the means of attaining which, it is allowed, do not exist in this country ; and if, when those qualifications did not appear, they were immediately to dismiss those whose failure, under the system they had devised, was inevitable.—(Hear ! hear !)
But then, sir, comes down upon us the whole doctrine of demand and supply, —consumption and production,—price and produce. Demand, it is said, will ever create supply; — consumption will ever command production. The Company, therefore, have nothing to do but to demand young men of talents, and they will, without doubt be supplied. Schools will rise up—private seminaries will be established—institutions fit for the education of their civil servants will be founded in every quarter.—Let them but give the word ; and all will be accomplished. Let them but state their wants; and their whole object will be answered, by the mere expense of an annual examination of the young candidates for writer ships. Nothing indeed can be conceived more simple or convenient than this doctrine; according to which, the accomplishments and qualifications of mind are as absolutely and exclusively an affair of supply and demand as the modifications of matter. The commercial principle of supply and demand regulates every thing j and, whether the Company require a fine camblet, or a fine genius, they have only to put their want into the shape of an adr vcrtisement. They have only to circulate printed statements, in the nature of pattern-cards, of the qualifications needed for their service, and are certain of a speedjf supply, without incurring any other expense than that of assorting the readymade article for the outward cargo. If ihese principles are just, (aud .cer.^ tainly on no other principles can the plan of a mere test be supported), on what absurd and antiquated principles are our great national foundations for the instruction of youth constitated! The Universities confer degrees Of various kinds; some, of which are not given without a severe previous examination; and the attainment of these degrees is in several lines of life useful, and in some absolutely necessary. On some of the occasions also of conferring degrees, the persons examined are classified according to their respective proficiency. But the Universities do more —not conteut with finding the young student an examination and a degree, they find bim the previous instruction also; and this is done at an enormous expense To the nation. It now clearly appears that all this expense, (in the words of the resolution before us) "might with great propriety be almost wholly saved." The splendid apparatus, therefore, of halls, colleges, and libraries,—the everlasting routine of chapel, lectures, and theses—in short, the total system of those gorgeous establishments, which overshadow whole towns with their bulk, and lock up the.revenues of entire counties in mortmain,—all those mighty structures, which the bigotry of our forefathers raised, and the unenquiring veneration of their posterity supports, all these, I say, may now be set aside as a most magnificent superfluity. A very simple process will serve the whole purpose. Nothing more is necessary than that the state be bHt pleased to declare, what qualifications are required for certain situations—what powers of mind should entitle men to particular honors—what scope of talent will raise an individual to competence or to dignity,—" the same to Decertified by gentlemen of known learning and ability, appointed for that purpose."—(Hear ! and laughter.)
But, what is very curious, Sir, it seems from the resolution before the court, that the opponents of the college have disposed of the building at Haileybury before they have got rid of the establishment. They have sold the skeleton, before they have executed the criminal. For the directors are desired to consider whether, as soon as the plan of a mere test and examination is substituted in the room of the establishment for the education of their civil servants, the Company's military seminary, now at Addiseombe, had not better be transferred to the more commodious building at Haileybury. Really, sir, the gentlemen forget their own principles. They forget that, as soon as ever this plan of a test is carried into complete eflfect,—as soon as ever these doctrines of demand and supply are established in all their glory,—the Company's military establishment mast inevitably
Asiatic Journ.—No. 17»
follow the fate of their civil establishment, and, instead of marching to Haileybury, must march to its grave. For, in the name of common reason, why are not . the Company to proceed on the same system, in the one case as in the other ? Why not advertise that they want a number of ingenious young gentlemen for their military service, specifying the proper qualifications—the same to be certified by gentlemen of known learning and ability, appointed foV that purpose ?—(Hear ! and laughter.) When this system is once adopted, every thing will go on easily. The Company's military stores, and their military cadets, will both be delivered according to order—and, after being examined, or (to use a more appropriate word) proved, they may be sent out to India together.
1 should be sorry to appear to trifle with a proposition recommended by names of such respectability; but I really cannot undertake the serious refutation of a principle, which, if once admitted in its full extent, would attaint all the public institutions that have existed since the days of Lycurgns ; which would not onty do this, but would annul every wise law and salutary provision that has ever been formed in aid of education: for all these will be found equally unable to stand before the full force of that simple reason* ing—if certain qualifications and talents be necessary, they will be in demand; and, if they be in demand, they will asi suredlybe supplied. I will, however, ofr fer one or two brief observations for the purpose of showing why this idea of a mere test and examination, is peculiarly inapplicable in the present case. Nothing, I believe, can be more certain than that, if a test were instituted in our universities, of the nature now contemplated, it would, in no very long time, become a mere form. No reflecting person, who has studied the subject of our academical examinations, with opportunities at all adequate for the purpose, can have failed to observe that, as they grow out of the general system of education pursued, so it is from their union with that system tlraf they derive their chief force and efficacy. Sever them from their parent stock—deprive them of that vital connection with their native soil, to which they owe their, whole spirit—throw them into the hands of examiners, who, however respectable, have no intimate sympathy with the entire system, Bo keen feeling of fame or interest exciting them carefully to elicit and apportion the merits of the students; and 1 have little doubt that they would rapidly decline—I have little doubt that they would soon become, like many other examinations which still preserve their place on paper, purely formal and destitute of all vigour or meaning. But the examinations for the Company's service, as pro
Vol. III. 4 F
posed by the new plan, would probably decline by far quicker steps; or, to speak with more propriety, they would never decline, for they would never flourish. There are clearly no means—it will at least be admitted that there are no obvious means—of;providing the required qualifications, on the supposition that the present establishment is put down. Still, according to this plan, the Company are to insist that the required qualifications lie produced. In fact, it is on the firmness and peremptoriuess with which this demand is made, that the whole efficacy of the plan depends. For the very argument is, that the rigour of the demand will at all hazards force a supply. The project therefore can never be expected to succeed, unless the test be enforced with inexorable firmness, constancy, and impartiality. Now, Sir, only observe the consequence. If the test is at all what it ought to be— if a real and effective amount of qualification is exacted, then, since the means of providing that amount of qualification do not exist, since it must at least be universally admitted, that they are not common or abundant—nothing can be plainer than that many of the candidates, and probably, in the first instance, the great majority of them, would fail altogether. I ask, what is to be done with those persons? By your own plan of rigour,—by that which is the very essence of your plan—they must be excluded without mercy; I ask whether you mean this? I ask it in behalf of those parents, who have been described as kneeling and weeping at the Company's feet over the hardships of the present system. They would, then indeed, have reason to kneel and weep—they would then indeed have reason to remonstrate against your system— against the strange injustice of punishing men for not doing that, which, by the confession of all parties, could not be done.—(Hear, hear.)—Then would come a relaxation of the test, (and, to say the truth, with some appearance of reason,) by those who had introduced it; and thus our whole object is completely sacrificed. But, sir, I have a stronger objection to this plan. Suppose it to effect all that is hoped from it. Suppose it to develope great talents and create eminent qualifications—still you would have procured but half what you want; and, what is worse, the least important half of the two. What are the qualifications necessary for the civil servants of the Company? They are very accurately stated in the preliminary view of the college, given by the Directors themselves. In that plan, they observe, among other things, that " the cultivation and improvement of the intellectual power of the students; should be accompanied with such a course qf moral discipline, as may tend to ex
cite and confirm in them, habits of application, prudence, integrity, and justice." (A Proprietor asked, in a low tone, "Has the present establishment effected these objects ?")
Mr. R. Grant—" I shall come to that point presently.—(Hear.' hear !)—I shall meet that part of the question with perfect confidence. I shall come to it soon —and, if I do not egregiously fail in doing justice to the case, a great deal too soon for the hon. proprietor.— [Heart hear .')—It appears, then, sir, from what I have read, that the object of the directors, in forming this institution, and be it said to their honour, was not merely the infusion of learning and science, but the formation and development of character audconduct. They were less anxiousforthe intellectual than for the moral proficiency of their youthful servants. And this object, such an institution, if well organized aud well directed, is evidently calculated to secure. Under instructors of eminent reputation, appointed by the directors,—under the constant supervision of the directors themselves,—in a society of students, all destined for the same service, and whose mutual acquaintance is therefore to last for life,—under a system of collegiate discipline, forming a suitable medium between the absolute strictness, of a school and the perfect liberty which must inevitably be attained on an arrival in India,—it is manifest, not only that the young men have the best inducements and opportunities to form the proper habits, but that their proficiency in this highest of arts and sciences may be surely known by those whose interest and duty it particularly is to possess such information, but, on the plan of a mere test and examination, in what manner are the moral qualifications of the candidates to be ascertained? Are the directors to rely on testimonials sent, up from remote parts of the country? Are they to give credit to the certificates of village schoolmasters, or the statements of fathers of families, impartially attesting the excellent conduct and character of their pupils or their sons? Even supposing implicit reliance might be placed on such accounts, would the confined and secluded sort of life previously led by those young men, afford a proper criterion of their capacity to conduct themselves amidst the difficulties and temptations of a more public and stormy scene? If not, in what manner is the re*f-system to be applied to the fulfilment of this object? Are the virtues of the candidates to be tried by means of interrogatories, and their moral habits to be proved by examination? Must advertisements be issued, stating the minimum of " application, prudence, integrity aud justice," necessary in the administration of the Company's affairs,—«"l requiring that the young men shall undergo an examination as to their proficiency _ in these, the same to he certified by gentlemen of known learning and ability ?— (A laugh.)
On these grounds, I acknowledge I would much rather assent at once to the principle of abolishing the college altogether, and of trusting in future to chance for the attainment of the objects in view, than adopt a system which would only involve the Company in expense and trouble, to disappoint them at last. My learned friend, however, has referred to the exa
'ruinations of persons desiring situations in the Company's marine service, for the purpose of shewing that you have already sauctioued the principle he now recommends. But that instance is totally inapplicable to the present case; for this plain and decisive reason—namely, that the very system on which your marine department proceeded, sends the candidates to a proper school for acquiring the qualifications requisite in their profession. They are subjected to a very effectual species of drill. By the regulations of the Company, they must complete a certain number of voyages, before they are eligible to a particular rank.
In fact therefore, and so far as the case admits, they are actually sent to an institution where they may not only acquire that nautical knowledge, but may be formed to those habits of discipline, which their profession requires. Nothing, then, 1 submit, can be more unfortunate than the precedent on which my learned friend has chosen to rest his proposal. When duly considered, it is a precedent directly against him.
I trust, Sir, it now appears that a specific institution is necessary, and if so, it will surely be admitted that a certain residence at that institution should be enforced on all the young men receiving appointments in your civil service. For it would be too much to expect that the Company should set up ap institution— that they should be at very great expense
• in supporting it, on the presumption that it was imperiously necessary—and that they are then to leave it to the option of those who should attend it, whether they would or would not employ the means of improvement thus placed within their reach. 1 have indeed heard the idea casually thrown out, that by erecting a seminary, but an open seminary, that is, one the attendance at which should be optional, and by at the same time subjecting all the young men going out to the test of an examination, we should auswer every purpose in view; since all those who could not otherwise qualify themselves, might resort to the seminary so established, while the rest are left to obtain an education at such place as they think pro
per. Now, sir, a good deal has been said respecting the expense of the college at Haileybury. I intreat you to observe how greatly that expense would be increased by acting on the system I have j ust mentioned. In that case, besides the expence of the college, the amount of which would, be greatly increased by diminishing the number of the students, you must have an additional establishment of examiners. It would clearly be unjust that the prou fessors of the college should be the examiners where the contest lay between young men educated at the college and those educated elsewhere. With regard to the comparative merits of their own students, when tried only against each other, the professors are by far the most competent judges. They then do only what is every day's practice in the colleges at our universities. But if they had to decide on the relative merits of persons formed by themselves, and rivals from other quarters, they would be placed in a situation most invidious. It is possible that they might perform the task with the strictest and most conscientious impartiality; and, I believe, in no hands could a duty so painful and delicate be reposed with more entire confidence than in those of the gentle-, men who manage the college at Haileybury. But with whatever fairness they might conduct themselves, the suspicion and jealousy which such a plan could not fail to excite, are decisive reasons against it. If, then, the suggestion of an open college is adopted, it is manifest, as I have already observed, that it would be necessary to have a double body of professors, one set to instruct, and another to examine. And, after all, our whole reliance is on the efficacy of the test; but, I trust, I have already shewn that, as far as even literary proficiency is concerned, such a reliance would be wholly nugatory with' respect to any test disjoined from a system of instruction; and it would be confessedly nugatory with regard to the infinitely more important object of morals.
I now come, sir, to the last of the general questions on which I purposed troubling you. If you are to have a seminary, should it be in the nature of a school or of a college? What, indeed, is exactly meant here by a school, I do not profess to have discovered. In the outset of this discussion much was said about the benefits of flagellation.— (No ! no !from Mr. li. Jackson.) I should be very sorry to misrepresent the learned gentleman. But I have had no means of information with respect to what passed on the first mention of this subject, excepting the leports in the public journals. If, then, I am mistaken in any of my references to the proceedings on that occasion, they must answer for it who dragged this question into public discussion, without any notice, or even hint, of their purpose—when HO person was provided to meet it, and when those who were most interested in the fate and character of the institution, were known to be not even present. We have been left to hunt for the heavy charges understood to be brought against the college, as we could, in the public papers; —and, after this, that we should be expected to be accurate,—and that complaints should even be made, as they have been made by the learned gentleman, of the misrepresentations he has sustained on the part of the college, is really rather too much. What is this but first to condemn men in their absence, and then to condemn tliem for not having been present? I am, however, very willing to admit, that the doctrine of the benefits derivable from flagellation, may not have been maintained in the court of proprietors. This I know, that it has been maintained with the greatest zeal in the public papers. Even letting that pass, what, 1 ask, is meant by a school? in the resolution before the court, all that is Said is, "That masters should attend at stated hours, having proper authority for the due enforcement of obedience, learning, and moral conduct." If by this proposition it is meant, that the students are to enter the college when of the same* age as at present, but that, while they are there, they shall be subject to the strictness of a scholastic system of discipline, I confess myself astonished that such a plan should be devised for the management of young men bordering on the age of manhood, and some of them already beyond that period. And what is to become of those youths in India, when, fresh from the hands of a schoolmaster, they are placed in a state of complete freedom, are encircled by temptations, and beset by low natives, ready and eager to purvey to all their vices? The plan appears to me most dangerous. I have ever thought that the great benefit of such an institution as that which we now posssss—a benefit far beyond that of literary improvement—is the opportunity which it affords to the young student for the growth of those habits of self-control and self-reliance, which can be adequately attained only under a liberal system of discipline. If it be contended, that it is impossible to form such habits at so early an age, I again demand, what is to become of your young writers, when immediately afterwards they are transported to the ordeal of a residence in India? From the same quarters, however, in which a school is recommended, we are asked why parents may not be permitted to educate their children at the universities of Scotland? Are those who put the question aware of the species of discipline that prevails in t he universities of Scotland 1 Lads souic
times enter those seminaries, not merely at the age of sixteen, as is the case at the Company's college, but as early as fourteen or fifteen ; and from the moment of their entering they are in a state of complete collegiate liberty. I do not speak so much with reference to the uuiversity of Edinburgh, where, although there is no sort of discipline whatsoever, yet the younger students generally reside with their families or friends, and are thus under the shelter and control of domestic authority. But go to Aberdeen or St. Andrew's, and you will find young students, and even of the age I have mentioned, living at large in lodgingB, or in private apartments within the walls of their college; stimulated Indeed to study, hut the use of the rod totally nnknown—nor, to say the truth, with the exception of a trivial fine, any punishment ever known but expulsion. I am not blaming this system ; exactly the reverse. I know that the system succeeds ; aud I therefore quote that fact as a strong practical proof against those who contend that, even at the age of eighteen or nineteen, pupils are to be managed only by the severe enginery of school-discipline.
But the proposition for a school may perhaps be intended to imply, what is, I believe, the opinion of some persons, that the Company's writers should be sent out at an earlier age than that at which they go on the present system; and indeed at an age so much earlier as to render a scholastic education exactly appropriate. They are, therefore, to be sent, for the two or three years immediately preceding their departure, to a school where they maybe initiated in the oriental laneuages. The bare statement of such a project sufficient ly condemns it. I say nothing as to its effect in narrowing the rai.ge of Indian patronage. 1 speak only of its inevitable effect on the service. Even as matters are, the time allotted by the youne writers to the acquisition of European literature, ia sufficiently crippled; and this new contri'vance would still further contract that period by two or three years. Is it possible to conceive a mot e unhappy arrangement? If it be said that the deficiency may be supplied alter the arrival of the young student in the East, then I answer, that, even if we could suppose it possible for boys just torn from a school, and thrown loose into the midst of Indian luxuries, to begin a course of European studies, still this is to adopt the most preposterous of all inversions. For what can better deserve that character than a system under which the young writer receive* the Indian part of his education in England, aud the English in India;—that is, under which he begins building at the tap of the edifice, and builds regularly down to the foundation >—(Lavg/iter.)