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THE PHILOSOPHY OF RAGGED

SCHOOLS.

INTRODUCTION.

IC

T is but a short time since we were all star

tled by the news that almost every throne in Christendom had been shaken or overturned by popular insurrection ; nor were these insurrections, as on former occasions, headed by persons influential in the State, whom the people followed as their leaders——they were not merely for the subversion of an unpopular party, or the removal of an oppressive law—they aimed at the re-construction of the whole system of society; but where successful, theories so wild were propounded and acted on, that it was at once perceivable that a class of persons very

little aware of the duties or the difficulties of government, had for the time taken the management of affairs,

B

This outbreak of popular discontent, ay, and this demonstration too, of popular power, which frightened all Europe from its propriety, is just now lulled: but is it quieted altogether? -has military execution sweetened the bitter cup of poverty, or can we expect that a tranquillity so procured will be lasting ? This is a question which all ask themselves, from the throne to the cottage:- can any one give a satisfactory answer? — Even while the writer is preparing these sheets for the press, events may solve the problem, and then, will England, whose anchors held firm during the strain of the last storm, ride out another equally well? The question is no light one, and deserves, not mare attention, but wiser attention than has yet been bestowed

upon it.

There are few probably who have not of late years become aware that the state of society is not a healthy one: that there is much of misery and vice, and of luxury and vice also in such close juxta position, that it can hardly fail to awaken discontent in the class which is subjected to the rigour of the law for offences of no deeper dye, though different in kind, from those daily perpetrated by persons of the socalled better classes. Furthermore, it has become painfully apparent that when these discontents reach a certain pitch, revolutions very distasteful to those better and higher classes, are apt to take place. Al this is well known, and a variety of remedies have from time to time been proposed for the social evils whose existence all acknowledge. Ireland was groaning under the effects of ignorance and faction : “ Give us Catholic Emancipation,” cried certain demagogues, and the cry was echoed by the people. Some persons ventured to suggest that whatever might be the abstract justice of the demand, the country was suffering from other evils than those produced by the disability to sit in Parliament, which prevented some thirty or forty gentlemen of the Romish faith from lending their aid to the national councils. These unenthusiastic persons, however, were disregarded ; -“ Catholic Emancipation ” was the one thing needful:that would quiet all disturbances, make a lawless population obedient to their rulers, and fill a starving people with bread. It was given ; what followed ? . Were the evils of Ireland cured? On the contrary ; they have increased ten fold; and the coffers of England have been drained to supply food for its famishing inhabitants, perishing under the

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