« PředchozíPokračovat »
SKETCHES OF THE PROGRESS OF EDUCATION IN ENGLAND,
EARLY LIVES OF CELEBRATED BRITISH AUTHORS, PHILO80-
JOHN TIMBS, F.S.A.,
FROM THE LONDON EDITION.
M DCCO LX.
TO THE READER.
To our admiration of true greatness naturally succeeds some curiosity as to the means by which such distinction has been attained. The subject of “ the School-days of Eminent Persons,” therefore, promises an abundance of striking incident, in the early buddings of genius, and formation of character, through which may be gained glimpses of many of the hidden thoughts and secret springs by which master-minds have moved the world.
The design of the present volume may be considered an ambitious one to be attempted within so limited a compass; but I felt the incontestible facility of producing a book brimful of noble examples of human action and well-directed energy, more especially as I proposed to gather my materials from among the records of a country whose cultivated people have advanced civilization far beyond the triumphs of any nation, ancient or modern. In other words, I resolved to restrict my design to BRITISH WORTHIES.
I had no sooner sketched the outline of my plan than the materials crowded upon me with an excess “whose very indices are not to be read over in an age.” I then resolved to condense and select from the long line of Educated Worthies, rather than attempt to crowd the legion into a few hundred pages. Thus additional interest was gained; for the smaller the charmed circle of light, the more intensely will it point upon the reader.
The present volume is divided into two Sections. The first is historical as well as biographical: it sketches the PROGRESS OF EDUCATION, commencing with the dark age of our history, when knowledge was wrapt in the gloom and mysticism of the Druidical grove; and thence the narrative travels onward and upward to the universal teachings of the present time. In this section are portrayed the Education of each Sovereign, his early habits and tastes, which often exercised powerful influence upon the people. In each reign I have described the foundation of the great Schools, and sketched the Educational customs of the period. The teaching of its illustrious men is also incidentally recorded ; and wherever such men have proved benefactors by the proposition or establishment of special Schools or Systems of Education, their lives and plans are narrated with fuller