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ternal judgment and free agency in family management, an interference far more demoralising to the human mind than the ignorance of the arts of reading and writing, strengthens the side of the Catholic clergy with a portion of the liberal interest. Catholicism is, in fact, the only barrier at present in Prussia against a general and debasing despotism of the state over mind and action.

The Catholic population of Prussia has, besides, its separate grievances to complain of. The primary or other low schools may have Catholic schoolmasters where the majority of the inhabitants are Catholic; but where they are mixed, and less than a majority, although very numerous, and the Catholic population is much mixed in that way in some districts, they must send their children to be taught by schoolmasters of a different faith; and for higher education, they complain that no proportionable or suitable provision is made. Two universities, Bonn and Breslau, are mixed universities in which Catholic professors and students are on an equal footing with Protestants. But this is considered no adequate provision for the higher education of the upper classes of five millions of people, of whom 1,750,000 inhabiting the Rhenish provinces are the most industrious, enterprising, and wealthy of the subjects of Prussia. They complain, too, that Catholics are not impartially dealt with in advancement to the higher functions under government; that scarcely a Catholic colonel of a regiment can be found in the military establishment of the country, or as the chief of a department or bureau in the civil. This seems no unreasonable complaint, considering that the Catholic population of Prussia exceeds the whole population of some Protestant kingdoms, of Scotland, Sweden, Denmark, Hanover, Saxony, or Wirtemburg; but this very exclusion from office, if true, is perhaps the cause, in a great measure, of the superior industry and advance in trade and manufacture of the Rhenish provinces.

A more justly felt, and to Catholic feelings more re

volting grievance, is, that the youth studying for the priesthood in the Catholic church are subject, like other young men, to serve for three years (commutable by special favour to one year) in a regiment of the line; and the only exemption in their favour is, that they may be allowed to postpone the commencing their military service until their twenty-fifth year; and then, if they have actually become members of the priesthood, and have taken sub-deacon's orders, they are exempt altogether: but all depending upon the good finding of a commission of Protestant military functionaries. The clerical student in our Protestant church follows a course of study, and of life, which fits him for every social duty, as much as or more than other men; and if military or other social duty is required by the state, no good reason can be shown why he should be exempt more than other citizens, if he have no clerical duties, or status in the church. But the Catholic priest must be bred from infancy to his vocation, like a little girl to the duties of her sex,must be bred like a female to abstinence, chastity, purity, self-denial of all appetites and indulgences, and kept, like the well-brought-up female, in ignorance of the vice and mental contamination familiar to men. To put a man so bred into the ranks of a regiment, and to live in barracks and guard-rooms for three years, or one year, or even one day, is demoralising the individual, and tainting the purity of mind required for his peculiar social position as a popish priest devoted to a life of celibacy; and whether that position be right or wrong on religious, social, or moral grounds, it is tyranny in a government to disregard what its subjects do regard. These are but trifles; but that such trifles are complained of by more than a third of the whole population of the country, shows that Prussia carries a Catholic Ireland in her bosom. It shows, too, that governments which seek to extend their powers beyond the legitimate objects for which government is established in human society, the protection of person and property, and the regulation

of the material interests of men for the general good, and to embrace within their authority the religious, moral, and intellectual action of the human mind by state establishments, and state interference in religious education and free agency, stand upon dangerous ground, and exist only by the patience of the people.

CHAP. VIII.

NOTES ON THE PRUSSIAN EDUCATIONAL SYSTEM CONTINUED. ITS EFFECTS ON THE SOCIAL AND MORAL CONDITION AND CHARACTER OF THE PEOPLE.

The

THE voice of history in praise or reproach of kings is not heard amidst the whispers of courtiers, or the hurra of armies. Her note comes to the ear of posterity from the cottage and the footpath of the common man. upper and educated classes in Prussia live upon the industry of the people entirely, by the appointments under the government, either as military officers, civil functionaries, clerical or educational officials; or if they derive their living direct from the people, and not from the hand of government, still they derive the privilege to exercise this means of living, be it in the law, in medicine, in trade, or any branch of industry, from the constituted authorities. These classes are loud enough in their adulation of the government of the late monarch, and of the social economy of Prussia, of its military system, its educational system, its functionary system, and of all that emanates from the higher powers. No wonder. They are strangers to individual free agency in society, and they hold their appointments and means of living, and look for their bread, or that of their children, from the hand of government. Their voice alone is heard in the literary world on Prussian education, religion, social economy and affairs; and their voice is one shout of praise. But the future historian of this age, judging from purer sources, from facts and principles, will regard the Prussian social economy established by the late monarch as an attempt,

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now that the power of the sword and of brute force in civilised communities is gone, to raise up an equally despotic, irresponsible power of government, by enslaving the habits, mind, and moral agency of the people through an educational, military, and religious training, and a system of perpetual surveillance of functionaries over every individual from his cradle to his grave. The attempt will probably fail, because it involves inconsistencies. It is a struggle of contradictions. A rigid censorship of the press, and a general education of the people; a religious population, and an interference of government with, and a subversion by its edicts of, the religious observances, forms, and prayers of a church for which their forefathers had shed their blood in the battle-field; a moral people, and an intermeddling of the hand of government in the free action of man as a moral agent, in the sanctity of family duty and management, and during the most precious period of human life for forming the moral habits and character, -a barrack-room education for all classes; a wealthy and happy people, and a ruinous yearly demand upon that time and labour out of which alone national wealth and wellbeing can grow, for the sake of an idle and unfounded display at reviews and parades of a military strength not efficient, in reality, from the nature of its materials, for military purposes; these are incompatibilities which even Prussian discipline cannot make to march together. The reign of the late monarch will be regarded as an attempt to hold fast by autocratic irresponsible power; but to shift the ground which supported it from sheer military force to a power founded somewhat like the Chinese, the Mahometan, or the Russian, upon the education, habits, and religion of the people, all of which were to be Prussian, under the guidance of government, and subservient to its support. He will be judged of by posterity as a well-meaning, but weak man, tenacious of what he deemed power (as all weak men are), and which (as is often the case) was in reality not power; who forfeited his word to his

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