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may now be taken to have treated these words as intended to facilitate the discharge of their duty, and to cover any variety of inquiries they might find it desirable to institute, but not to limit their discretion by defining what was to be understood as an endowment. Accordingly they adopted the principle of not considering any bequest of less than £100, unaccompanied by directions to invest, as constituting an endowment that they should inquire into. In the case of money left for school building, or expended on building school houses, they did not consider that alone as constituting an endowment, but when the site was permanently secured, they took such money into consideration as affording means of estimating the value of the endowment. The adoption of this principle is mentioned by the Commissioners with especial reference to bequests, but there can be no doubt that it was applied also to the case of donations; and “the general principle to be extracted from the tables of endowments would seem to be, that any sum from whatever source or how trifling soever, or any portion of land no matter how small, if permanently secured to school purposes, should be dealt with as an endowment. · The practical application of this principle had an appearance of strain at the outset, and to many was not quite intelligible. Country school-masters and country Clergymen, received the news that they were the masters and patrons of endowed schools, with almost as much surprise and incredulity as was shown by M. Jourdain when he learned that he had been speaking prose all his life, without knowing it. The effect of that rule, however, was not only to make the country acquainted with numerous small endowments, the sum of which is very considerable, but to lay bare the management of every class of schools, and every system of education at present existing in Ireland. This was done in most instances by sample only, but in some cases by a sample nearly equal to the bulk. Thus upon a rough estimate far more than a moiety of the Church Elucation Schools, and a large though not equal proportion of the National Schools was brought within the jurisdiction of the Commissioners; while several of the schools of the Christian Brothers, and a quite sufficient number of Convent Schools, were drawn under inspection, to warrant the public in forming an opinion upon the entire class. There is therefore the less reason to regret that the labours of the Com

mission so far outgrew the calculations of its original promoters, and doubtless of the Commissioners themselves. They have in truth done the work of more than one Commission, as far at least as the accumulation and tabulation of statistics are to be taken into account. It may be said without exaggeration, that there is no one class of schools, to which their inquiry has been directed, which would not of itself have supplied materials for an investigation such as theirs. They may all have erred in their conclusions, and probably have done so; the recommendations of some may be found to be impracticable, and the objections of others will be treated as frivolous; but however that may be, the public mind will have been informed by the labours of the Commissioners; henceforward there can be no room for doubt or mystification as to facts; the materials for judgment will be ready to every man's hand; and should the public fail of turning them to practical account, the blame will rest with the public itself.

For some time previous to the appointment of the Commission the public had manifested its sense of an admitted want; the want of secondary instruction for the young, promoted by the State according to its obvious duty. With the primary instruction, supplied by the National Schools, the nation had general reason to be satisfied, and it did not profess to have grounds of complaint against the instruction supplied by the universities to those for whom they were intended. But the State, it was alleged, had neglected its duty with regard to secondary education, either abandoning it altogether to private enterprise, or encouraging a few unduly preferred, and exclusive establishments, in fraud of the general interests of society and of education. It also occurred to the public, that notwithstanding the protection 30 given to those establishments, the results might be found upon inquiry to bear no proportion to the bounty of the State, even within the limited range assigned to that bounty. And further it came to be doubted whether those favoured schools were as exclusive in their constitution rightly understood as they had become in practice; whether they might not, in the spirit of their constitution, bemade available for general instruction ; whether from having been educational charities, they had not come to be educational jobs; and finally-whether it might not be possible to restore them to their original character. Those considerations were enforced as they had perhaps been suggested, by circumstances which had a plain and strong bearing upon them. The State, it was contended, had within a few years created and endowed two systems, one of primary, and the other of academical education. The third and intermediate system was yet wanting, the supplement to the former, the complement of the latter, and without which no national system in the broad sense, could be said to exist. But this was not all: the State was urged to deal with the question, upon the additional grounds that the State itself had diminished the resources of the country for secondary education, and an appeal was made to the State conscience for something like restitution. There can be no doubt that when the National Schools first came to be established, there existed, throughout Ireland, a number of schools in which a kind of secondary education might be had at small expense. Brinkley's Primer, the Eton Grammar, Tommy and Harry, Lord Chesterfield on Politeness, and Cicero's Offices, were learned under the same ferula, and not always ill. The establishment of the National Schools caused the almost total disappearance of schools such as we havementioned,and nothing was done or thought of to provide a substitute. Schools of a superior description were not of course in any way affected by the spread of the National Schools. Several of the State seminaries, if we may so call the Royal Schools, and several independent schools continued, as they still continue, to afford excellent intermediate education, but it was only available to those of considerable, even if not of affluent, means. The substantial country shop-keeper, the improving, though not absolutely extensive, farmer, who could not afford to send his sons to Portarlington or Dungannon if Protestants, or to Clongowes or Carlow if Catholics,had nothing better than the National Schools at or near their own doors. Now those people, it was argued, although thrifty, and perhaps over thrifty, were by no means averse to give their children the chance of promotion afforded by a good education, if such were to be had at home, and within their means. This would be no more than reasonable on the part of men so circumstanced, and of men whose well-considered wishes are entitled to as much consideration from the State as those of any other class in the Commonwealth. They it was,

undoubtedly, or those who acted in their interest, that gave its first impulse to the movement which resulted in the Commission. But then there was no reason why the inquiry should be conducted in their interest only, if other interests might require to be protected and advanced. There was reason to believe not only in the existence of endowments which might be made applicable to this and that purpose, but in the existence of endowments which had either been perverted from their legitimate and proper use, or which had been lost to all intents and purposes. There was likely to be question of endowments available perhaps for use, at the discretion of the State, but rendered unproductive by bad management. In other cases, where the State could not pretend to control over the administration of endowments, remedial or protective measures might be suggested for the security and rightful application of the fund. The system of education administered under existing endowments, and under special classes of endowments, would naturally and necessarily form part of any such inquiry; and as every class of citizen is or oughť to be equally prerious in the eyes of the State, an endowment for the support of a poor school was equally entitled to safety and purity of administration, with an endowment for a college or university. Sinccurism, and false pretence, and incapacity and meanness, would require to be stirred to their lowest depths, and much commotion and croaking might be expected to ensue.

For instance, the Rev. Pelobates Jones, endowed master of a disendowed school, would insist upon his right to walk in the mud, as his worthy father, Limnisius, had walked in the mnd, all the days of his life without reproach or molestation. Cousin Physignathus Jones would point to his own round cheeks and sleek person as proof that mud is a wholesome element, and conducive to the fullest development of the species; while Kraugasides, the orator of the family, would be prepared to lift up his voice, declaring the pillars of the state to be embedded in the very mud the Commissioners were seeking to disturb; and ready to topple over in shorter time than he had taken to foretel it, unless the disturbers were to desist from their insane attempt. But there were other şubjects of inquiry more alarming still. Corruption, fraud, breach of trust, negligence hardly less culpable, jobs of their original character. Those considerations were enforced as they had perhaps been suggested, by circumstances which had a plain and strong bearing upon them. The State, it was contended, had within a few years created and endowed two systems, one of primary, and the other of academical education. The third and intermediate system was yet wanting, the supplement to the former, the complement of the latter, and without which no national system in the broad sense, could be said to exist. But this was not all: the State was urged to deal with the question, upon the additional grounds that the State itself had diminished the resources of the country for secondary education, and an appeal was made to the State conscience for something like restitution. There can be no doubt that when the National Schools first came to be established, there existed, throughout Ireland, a number of schools in which a kind of secondary education might be had at small expense. Brinkley's Primer, the Eton Grammar, Tommy and Harry, Lord Chesterfield on Politeness, and Cicero's Offices, were learned under the same ferula, and not always ill. The establishment of the National Schools caused the almost total disappearance of schools such as we havementioned,and nothing was done or thought of to provide a substitute. Schools of a superior description were not of course in any way affected by the spread of the National Schools. Several of the State seminaries, if we may so call the Royal Schools, and several independent schools continued, as they still continue, to afford excellent intermediate education, but it was only available to those of considerable, even if not of afluent, means. The substantial country shop-keeper, the improving, though not absolutely extensive, farmer, who could not afford to send his sons to Portarlington or Dungannon if Protestants, or to Clongowes or Carlow if Catholics,had nothing better than the National Schools at or near their own doors. Now those people, it was argued, although thrifty, and perhaps over thrifty, were by no means averse to give their children the chance of promotion afforded by a good education, if such were to be had at home, and within their means. This would be no more than reasonable on the part of men so circumstanced, and of men whose well-considered wishes are entitled to as much consideration from the State as those of any other class in the Commonwealth. They it was,

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