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blood and flesh and muscle, and even skin are wanting. But it is at least but fair to inquire how far the promise made has been carried out. The elaborate wordings of the constitutions made by the French politicians in the days of their great revolution have always been to us no more than so many written grimaces; but we should not have continued so to regard them had the political liberty which they promised followed upon the promises so magniloquently made. As regards education in the States, ---at any rate in the northern and western States,—I think that the assurances put forth in the various written constitutions have been kept. If this be so, an American citizen, let him be ever so arrogant, ever so impudent if you will, is at any rate a civilized being and on the road to that cultivation which will sooner or later divest him of his arrogance. Emollit mores. We quote here our old friend the colonel again. If a gentleman be compelled to confine his classical allusions to one quotation, he cannot do better than hang by that.
But has education been so general, and has it had the desired result? In the city of Boston, as I have said, I found that in 1857 about one-eighth of the whole population were then on the books of the free public schools as pupils, and that about one-ninth of the population formed the average daily attendance. To these numbers of course must be added all pupils of the richer classes, those for whose education their parents chose to pay. As nearly as I can learn, the average duration of each pupil's schooling is six years, and if this be figured out statistically, I think it will show that education in Boston reaches a very large majority-I must almost say the whole—of the population. That the education given in other towns of Massachusetts is not so good as that given in Boston I do not doubt, but I have reason to believe that it is quite as general.
I have spoken of one of the schools of New York. In that city the public schools are apportioned to the wards, and are so arranged that in each ward of the city there are public schools of different standing for the gratuitous use of the children. The population of the city of New York in 1857 was about 650,000, and in that year it is stated that there were 135,000 pupils in the schools. By this it would appear that one person in five throughout the city was then under process of education, which statement, however, I cannot receive with implicit credence. It is, however, also stated that the daily attendances averaged something less than 50,000 a day-and this latter statement probably implies some mistake in the former one. Taking the two together for
what they are worth, they show, I think, that school teaching is not only brought within the reach of the population generally, but is used by almost all classes. At New York there are separate free schools for coloured children. At Philadelphia I did not see the schools, but I was assured that the arrangements there were equal to those at New York and Boston. Indeed I was told that they were infinitely better ; - but then I was so told by a Philadelphian. In the State of Connecticut the public schools are certainly equal to those in any part of the Union. As far as I could learn, education – what we should call advanced education -- is. brought within the reach of all classes in the northern and western States of America,--and, I would wish to add here, to those of the Canadas also.
So much for the schools, and now for the results. I do not know that anything impresses a visitor more strongly with the amount of books sold in the States, than the practice of selling them as it has been adopted in the railway cars. Personally the traveller will find the system very disagreeable,-as is everything connected with these cars. A young man enters during the journey,--for the trade is carried out while the cars are travelling, as is also a very brisk trade in lollipops, sugar-candy, apples, and ham sandwiches,—the young tradesman enters the car firstly with a pile of magazines or of novels bound like magazines. These are chiefly the Atlantic, published at Boston, Harper's Magazine, published at New York, and a cheap series of novels published at Philadelphia. As he walks along he flings one at every passenger. An Englishman, when he is first introduced to this manner of trade, becomes much astonished. He is probably reading, and on a sudden he finds a fat, fluffy magazine, very unattractive in its exterior, dropped on to the page he is perusing. I thought at first that it was a present from some crazed philanthropist, who was thus endeavouring to disseminate literature. But I was soon undeceived. The bookseller, having gone down the whole car and the next, returned, and beginning again where he had begun before, picked up either his magazine or else the price of it. Then, in some half-hour, he came again, with an armful or basket of books, and distributed them in the same way. They were generally novels, but not always. I do not think that any endeavour is made to assimilate the book to the expected customer. The object is to bring the book and the man together, and in this way a very large sale is effected. The same thing is done with illustrated newspapers. The sale of political newspapers goes on so quickly in these cars that no such enforced distribution is neces
sary. I should say that the average consumption of newspapers by an American must amount to about three a day. At Washington I begged the keeper of my lodgings to let me have a paper
I regularly,-one American newspaper being much the same to me as another, and my host supplied me daily with four.
But the numbers of the popular books of the day, printed and sold, afford the most conclusive proof of the extent to which education is carried in the States. The readers of Tennyson, Thackeray, Dickens, Bulwer, Collins, Hughes, and—Martin Tupper, are to be counted by tens of thousand in the States, to the thousands by which they may be counted in our own islands. I do not doubt that I had fully fifteen copies of the 'Silver Cord thrown at my head in different railway cars on the continent of America. Nor is the taste by any means confined to the literature of England. Longfellow, Curtis, Holmes, Hawthorne, Lowell, Emerson, and Mrs. Stowe, are almost as popular as their English rivals. I do not say whether or no the literature is well chosen, but there it is. It is printed, sold, and read. The disposal of ten thousand copies of a work is no large sale in America of a book published at a dollar; but in England it is a large sale of a book brought out at five shillings.
I do not remember that I ever examined the rooms of an American without finding books or magazines in them. I do not speak here of the houses of my friends, as of course the same remark would apply as strongly in England, but of the houses of persons presumed to earn their bread by the labour of their hands. The opportunity for such examination does not come daily; but when it has been in my power I have made it, and have always found signs of education. Men and women of the classes to which I allude talk of reading and writing as of arts belonging to them as a matter of course, quite as much as are the arts of eating and drinking. A porter or a farmer's servant in the States is not proud of reading and writing. It is to him quite a matter of course. The coachmen on their boxes and the boots as they sit in the halls of the hotels, have newspapers constantly in their hands. The young women have them also, and the children. The fact comes home to one at every turn, and at every hour, that the people are an educated people. The whole of this question between North and South is as well understood by the servants as by their masters, is discussed as vehemently by the private soldiers as by the officers. The politics of the country and the nature of its constitution are familiar to every
labourer. The very wording of the Declaration of Independence is in the memory of every lad of sixteen. Boys and girls of a younger age than that know why Slidell and Mason were arrested, and will tell you why they should have been given up, or why they should have been held in durance. The question of the war with England is debated by every native paviour and hodman of New York.
I know what Englishmen will say in answer to this. They will declare that they do not want their paviours and hodmen to talk politics; that they are as well pleased that their coachmen and cooks should not always have a newspaper in their hands; that private soldiers will fight as well, and obey better, if they are not trained to discuss the causes which have brought them into the field. An English gentleman will think that his gardener will be a better gardener without than with any excessive political ardour; and the English lady will prefer that her housemaid shall not have a very pronounced opinion of her own as to the capabilities of the cabinet ministers. But I would submit to all Englishmen and Englishwomen who may look at these pages whether such an opinion or feeling on their part bears much, or even at all, upon the subject. I am not saying that the man who is driven in the coach is better off because his coachman reads the paper, but that the coachman himself who reads the paper is better off than the coachman who does not and cannot. I think that we are too apt, in considering the ways and habits of any people, to judge of them by the effect of those ways and habits on us, rather than by their effects on the owners of them. When we go among garlic-eaters, we condemn them because they are offensive to us; but to judge of them properly we should ascertain whether or no the garlic be offensive to them. If we could imagine a nation of vegetarians hearing for the first time of our habits as flesh-eaters, we should feel sure that they would be struck with horror at our bloodstained banquets; but when they came to argue with us, we should bid them inquire whether we flesh-eaters did not live longer and do more than the vegetarians. When we express a dislike to the shoeboy reading his newspaper, I fear we do so because we fear that the shoeboy is coming near our own heels. I know there is among us a strong feeling that the lower classes are better without politics, as there is also that they are better without crin-oline and artificial flowers; but if politics and crinoline and artificial flowers are good at all, they are good for all who can honest=" ly come by them and honestly use them. The political coachman is perhaps less valuable to his master as a coachman than he would be without his politics, but he with his politics is more valuable to himself. For myself, I do not like the Americans of the lower
orders. I am not comfortable among them. They tread on my corns and offend me. They make my daily life unpleasant. But I do respect them. I acknowledge their intelligence and personal dignity. I know that they are men and women worthy to be so called; I see that they are living as human beings in possession of reasoning faculties; and I perceive that they owe this to the progress that education has made among them.
After all, what is wanted in this world? Is it not that men should eat and drink, and read and write, and say their prayers ? Does not that include everything, providing that they eat and drink enough, read and write without restraint, and say their prayers without hypocrisy? When we talk of the advances of civilization, do we mean anything but this, that men who now eat and drink badly shall eat and drink well, and that those who cannot read and write now shall learn to do so,—the prayers following, as prayers will follow upon such learning? Civilization does not consist in the eschewing of garlic or the keeping clean of a man's finger-nails. It may lead to such delicacies, and probably will do so. But the man who thinks that civilization cannot exist without them imagines that the church cannot stand without the spire. In the States of America men do eat and drink, and do read and write.
But as to saying their prayers ? That, as far as I can see, has come also, though perhaps not in a manner altogether satisfactory, or to a degree which should be held to be sufficient. Englishmen of strong religious feeling will often be startled in America by the freedom with which religious subjects are discussed, and the ease with which the matter is treated; but he will very rarely be shocked by that utter absence of all knowledge on the subject, —that total darkness, which is still so common among the lower orders in our own country. It is not a common thing to meet an American who belongs to no denomination of Christian worship, and who cannot tell you why he belongs to that which he has chosen.
“But,” it will be said, "all the intelligence and education of this people have not saved them from falling out among themselves and their friends, and running into troubles by which they will be ruined. Their political arrangements have been so bad, that in spite of all their reading and writing they must go to the wall.” I venture to express an opinion that they will by no means go to the wall, and that they will be saved from such a destiny, if in no other way, then by their education. Of their political arrangements, as I mean before long to rush into that perilous subject, I