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Chap. city which is necessary to turn them to any good purx' pose; and that, amidst all our admiration of their genius, 1820. we are £oo often reminded of the elegant allegory told of the Duke of Orleans, that every fairy invited to his christening sent him a gift of person, genius, or fortune; 1 Pari. Deb. but that one old fairy, to whom no invitation had been loss.' given, sent one fatal present'—that he should be unable to make any use of them.1
One of the first measures adopted by Government, with Increase of the sanction of Parliament, was the increase of the yeor^forcT1D" manry force, which was so much augmented that before the end of the year it amounted to nearly 35,000 men, all animated with the best spirit, and for the most part in a surprising state of discipline and efficiency. Without doubt, it takes above a year to make a good horsesoldier; but it often excites the wonder of military officers how quickly men of intelligence and spirit, such as usually compose the yeomanry corps, if previously able to ride, acquire the rudiments of skill even in the cavalry service; and still more, how quickly their horses learn it. The Duke of Wellington recommended that the militia should be called out throughout the kingdom; but this was thought not advisable, probably because it was doubtful how far, in the manufacturing districts, such a force could be relied on. Two thousand men, however, were added to the marines, which rendered disposable an equal amount of the regular force stationed in the garrison seaport towns. Such was the vigour of Lord Sidniouth in following up the measures for the increase of the yeomanry force, that the king happily said of him, "If England is to be preserved England, the arrangements he *i82o°43fg' nas made will lead to that preservation."2 Without doubt, ^°?Hth'' the powerful volunteer force, organised especially in the Deb'iPiYo7 manufacturmg districts at this period, and the decisive newVerie«.' demonstration it afforded of moral and physical strength on the part of the Government, was the chief cause of Great Britain escaping an alarming convulsion, at the Chap. time when the spirit of revolution was proving so fatal to x monarchy in so many of the Continental states. l820
The revenue for the year fell considerably short of what had been anticipated, the natural consequence of the The budget
f r 1820
general distress which prevailed in the country. Mr or Alderman Heygate, who had so strenuously resisted the resumption of cash payments in the preceding year, did not fail to point out the contraction of the currency as the main cause of that deficiency.* Great disputes as usual took place as to the real amount of the revenue, as compared with the expenditure ; but it appeared upon the whole evident that the revenue had fallen above a million short of what had been anticipated, and that instead of the expected real sinking fund of £5,000,000, no reduction in the public debt had taken place, as the unfunded debt had decreased £2,000,000, and the funded debt increased by exactly the same sum. The revenue for 1820 and 1821 exhibited, without any change in taxation, and the most strenuous efforts at economy on the part of Government, decisive evidence of the labouring state of the finances of the country, and took away all hopes of making, during peace, any serious impression on the public debt.1 The details are of little practical importance in a j P^Debwork of general history; but the result is so, as demon-1174.' strating how entirely the effects had corresponded to what
* "Let the House contrast the quantity of the circulating medium which was floating in the country in May 1818, with the amount in circulation in the same month in the present year. In the issue of Bank of England notes there had been a diminution of £4,000,000; in the issue of country banknotes thero had been a diminution of £5,000,000. The total diminution in that Bhort period had been £9,000,000, a sum amounting to more than onesixth of the whole circulation of the country. The state of the exchange during that period had been almost uniformly in our favour, but not a single piece of gold had made its appearance to replace the notes which had been withdrawn. Three-fourths of the distress of the country was to be ascribed to the haste with which so large a proportion as £9,000,000 had been withdrawn from the circulation."—Mr Hbtoatb's Speech, June 19, 1820; Pari. Debatei, i. 1178, new series.
Chap, had been predicted as to the effects of the currency bill _ passed so unanimously in the preceding year by both 1820. uouses 0f Parliament.*
The Parliamentary debates of 1820 embrace fewer topics than usual of general moment, in Cod sequence of the engrossing interest of the proceedings regarding the Queen, to be immediately noticed. But three subjects of
* The revenue of Great Britain and Ireland for 1820 and 1821 stood tli us:—
lasting importance were brought forward—namely, that Chap. of general education, introduced by Mr Brougham; the X' disfranchisement of Grampound, by Lord John Russell; J8ao' and Free Trade, by Mr Wallace of the Board of Trade. Important On the first point it is superfluous to give the speeches, detain"' even in an abbreviated form, because the subject is oneihi'teiaioaupon which the minds of all men are made up. It is no more necessary to prove that the sun's rays will give light and warmth, than that the lamp of knowledge will illuminate and humanise the mind. But the subject, as all others in which the feelings of large bodies of men are warmly interested, is beset with difficulties; and Mr Brougham's speech was replete with valuable information on it. His project, which was for the establishment, as in Scotland, of a school, maintained by the public funds, in every parish, failed chiefly from its proposing to connect the schools with the Established Church, which at once lost for it the support of all the Dissenters. But the facts which he had collected were of lasting value i. 2cs.mean' in the great cause of moral and social improvement.1 *
According to Mr Brougham's statement, there were then 12,000 parishes or chapelries in England; of these, 3500 statisticson had not a vestige of a school, endowed or unendowed, Engiumi""1 and the people had no more means of education than the by'ju*188' Hottentots or the CafFres. Of the remainder, 3000 had aTM"gfc»n>endowed schools, and the remaining 5500 were provided only with unendowed schools, depending entirely on the
* "No scheme of popular education can ever become national in this country, which gives the management of schools and appointment of masters to the Church, while Dissouters constitute a large proportion of the inhabitants in almost every district, and especially in the most populous, whore the Dissenters bear their full share in such education as already exists. This difficulty was immediately fatal to Mr Brougham's measure, and has been so in every scheme proposed in succeeding years; the members of the Established Church insisting on direct religious instruction as a part of the plan, and the Dissenters refusing to Bubject their children to the religious instruction of the Church, or to pay for a system from which their children are necessarily excluded."—Miss Mabtineau'b Thirty Yean of Peace, i. 265.
Chap. casual and fleeting support of the parents of the children x' attending them. The number of children annually re1820- ceiving education at all the schools, week-day and Sunday, was 700,000, of whom only 600,000 were at day-schools, where regular attendance was given and discipline enforced. Fifty thousand were estimated as the number educated at home, making in all 750,000 annually under tuition of one sort or another, which, taking the population of England at 9,540,000, the amount by the census of 1811, was about one-fifteenth of the whole population.
But in reality the population of England was proved, by the census taken in the succeeding year, to be considerably greater that he supposed, for it amounted to no less than 11,260,000, besides 470,000 in the army, navy, and mercantile sea-service. Thus the real proportion receiving education was not more than one-seventeenth of the entire population; a small figure for a country boasting so great an amount of intelligence and civilisation, for in many countries with less pretensions in these respects the proportion was much higher. In Scotland the proportion at that period was between one-ninth and onetenth ; in Holland it was one-tenth ; in Switzerland, oneeighth; in Prussia, one-tenth; in Austria, one-eleventh. In France—to its disgrace be it said—the proportion was still one-twenty-eighth only, though 7200 new schools had been opened in the last two years. But though England presented a much more favourable aspect, yet there the deficiency was very great; for the total children , pMi Deb requiring education were about 1,000,000, and as 750,000 H.6I.66, only ^ere at any place of education, it followed that
June 28, * J *
1820; Ann. 250,000 persons, or a quarter of the entire juvenile Mjii.820' population, were yearly growing up without any education whatever.1 *
* Mr Brougham stated that in endowed schools 165,432 children were educated, and 490,000 in unendowed, besides 11,000 who might be allowed for the unendowed schools in 150 parishes, from which no returns had been obtained.