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92. Public Instruction.

189

Our statesmen, who survey with jealous dread all plans for the education of the lower orders, may be thought to proceed on the system of antagonist muscles; and in the belief, that the closer a nation shuts its eyes, the wider it will open its hands. Or do they act on the principle, that the status belli is the natural relation between the people and the 190government, and that it is prudent to secure the result of the contest by gouging the adversary in the first instance. Alas! the policy of the maxim is on a par with its honesty. The Philistines had put out the eyes of Sampson, and thus, as they thought, fitted him to drudge and grind

“Among the slaves and asses, his comrades,
As good for nothing else, no better service.”

But his darkness added to his fury without diminishing his strength, and the very pillars of the Temple of Oppression—

“With horrible convulsion, to and fro,
He tugged, he shook— till down they came, and drew
The whole roof after them, with burst of thunder,
Upon the heads of all who sat beneath,
Lords, ladies, captains, counsellors, and priests,
Their choice nobility !

Sam. Agonistes.

The error might be less unpardonable with the statesmen of the continent,… but with Englishmen, who have Ireland in one direction, and Scotland in another; in the one ignorance, sloth, and rebellion, in the other general information, 191industry, and loyalty; verily it is not error merely, but infatuation.