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APPENDIX. No. I. - Jeremy Bentham, The Works of Jeremy Bentham, vol. 8 (Chrestomathia, Essays on Logic and Grammar, Tracts on Poor Laws, Tracts on Spanish Affairs) 
The Works of Jeremy Bentham, published under the Superintendence of his Executor, John Bowring (Edinburgh: William Tait, 1838-1843). In 11 vols. Volume 8.
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APPENDIX. No. I.
Chrestomathic Proposal: being a proposal for erecting by Subscription, and carrying on by the name of the Chrestomathic School, a Day-School for the extension of the new system to the higher branches of Instruction and ranks in life.
Occasion of this Address.
The matchless excellence, as well as novelty, of the New Instruction System, is a matter too universally recognised, to need mention in any other way than that of simple allusion. Of its applicability to the higher, not to say the highest, branches of intellectual instruction, the fullest persuasion is, over and over again, expressed in the works of its illustrious inventor, whose anticipations have, in every point, received such ample and undisputed confirmation from experience.
In common with so many others, the proposed conductors, or superintendents, undermentioned, had for a long time been entertaining the wish, not unaccompanied with the expectation, of seeing, in some mode or other, and by some means or other, so desirable an extension carried into effect; meaning, of course, on the ordinary terms, and by professional hands; and that too, in respect of the extent of the field of instruction, upon such a scale as would be suited to the efficiency of the novum organum, now placed within the reach of human industry, and the amplitude of the prospect opened by it to the public view.
Upon a more attentive consideration it appeared, however, to several of them, that, for a first experiment of this kind, more requisites were necessary, than could naturally be looked for in any single hand, or even in any number of hands uniting together upon any such ordinary ground; and of this conception the result has been an Association entered into by them for this purpose.
Not to speak of probity and pecuniary responsibility—qualities, of which, though both are so indisputably requisite, yet neither can, in such a case as the present, be spoken of as appropriate; a commanding acquaintance with the whole field of that intellectual instruction, the communication of which is the object of this design; a detailed acquaintance with the several distinguishable component elements and sources of public welfare (the great and universal end to which all art, all science, all language, is, or ought to be directed;) husbandry, manufactures, trades, money, and in particular with the practical details of trade as carried on in that vast metropolis, from which almost exclusively the destined partakers of the proposed benefit can, for some time, be expected: all these various endowments will at first view present themselves, if not as being in every instance indispensably necessary, at any rate as being eminently desirable. All these endowments, in common with the whole public in the most essential instances, and with an ample portion of it in every other instance, the Members of the Association, the proposed Conductors, had the satisfaction of seeing united in their whole body; a satisfaction which, upon inquiry, or without need of inquiry, an ample share will be received by every individual, who, either in the character of proposed patron of the institution, or parent, or guardian of a child to which the benefit of it is proposed, feels any interest in the design.
The person by whom, without the communicated desire of any one of them, and without the privity of any more than one, this paper has been drawn up and sent to the press, has not, nor can have, the honour of being of the number: he may, therefore, with the less difficulty and reserve, speak of the title, which on this occasion, and to this purpose they will, every one of them, be found to possess, to the requisite public confidence.
Primary requisite, a SCHOOL-HOUSE: proposed to be built by Subscription.
In the nature of the case, the first requisite, on which everything depends, and in the non-existence of which the chief cause of retardation may be found, is a School-house, an appropriate School-house, and that, in its dimensions, of an amplitude suited to that magnitude of scale on which, not only in respect to cheapness and extent, but in respect of efficiency, the New Instruction System so essentially depends.
For the attainment of this requisite, a pecuniary advance, and that to no inconsiderable amount, was obviously necessary; and for this purpose the proposed Conductors all presently agreed to become contributors, in such proportions as should be suited to their respective circumstances and convenience at the time of the commencement of the expense: an agreement which was the more readily entered into, by reason of the assurance they all saw reason to entertain, that whatever should be there bestowed would be no more than an advance, of which the reimbursement (which was all that by any of them has ever been looked for, or will be accepted,) might not unreasonably be depended upon, on condition of a few years patience.
It is for the completion of the sum requisite for this purpose that the present proposal is put into circulation.
Proposed Field and Plan of Instruction.
This proposal has for its accompaniment a collection of papers, drawn up by a friend to the proposed Institution, who, though declining to take any part in the management, has in this manner, as well as by his contributions, manifested his desire to see it carried into effect.
These papers have for their general title, Chrestomathiá; and for their design, the giving a view of the field and means of Instruction, proposed for the proposed Chrestomathic Day-School.
Partly for the sake of compression, partly for the accommodation of any persons who may be disposed to look into it with attention, the main body of this Sketch is comprised in two Synoptic Tables, digested into the form of Text and Notes.
In Table I. the matter is arranged under the following general heads: viz. Advantages, from Learning as such, as well as from Learning in the particular shapes here in question; Stages of Instruction; Grounds of Priority, in relation to the branches herein included; and Grounds of Omission in relation to Branches not included.
In Table II., under the two following: viz.
I.Principles constitutive of the New Instruction System, considered as applicable to the several ulterior Branches of Art and Science-Learning (Language-learning included.)
II.Exercises, by the performance of which, such learning is obtained or obtainable. In the instance of these principles, by means of the simultaneousness of the view, which, as above, is given of them, the connexions and dependencies of the several parts of the admirable whole, will, it is hoped, be the more readily observed, and correctly and completely comprehended.
On these considerations, in the instance of this last mentioned Table, (this happening to be the first of the two that was completed,) the whole matter, Notes as well as Text, was, in the first instance, brought together, and compressed into one side of a single sheet; and in this form copies, to a considerable number, have been printed off. Observations, however, having been made, that, while by the unavoidable closeness, added to the smallness, of the type, it could not but have been rendered afflictive to many an eye, it was by its still unavoidable bulk rendered in no inconsiderable degree unwieldy and formidable, another impression has since been printed off, in which the Text alone is in the Tabular-form, the accompanying Notes being in the ordinary Book-form; and in this manner alone—viz., Text in the Tabular, Notes in the Book-form—has Table I. been printed.
To the principal matter as contained in these two Tables, other papers are added in the form of an Appendix. The contents have for their object, partly a statement of some of the promises of ulterior success which are already known to have been furnished by experience,—partly a view of some ideas, which to the hope of utility, are supposed to add in some degree the character of novelty, and which, such as they are, the present design has been the means of calling forth.
Site for School-House secured.
A requisite, the procurement of which might naturally have presented still greater difficulty, than any that is expected to attach upon the raising of the comparatively moderate sum necessary for the expense, was a spot of ground, sufficiently adapted, in respect of situation as well as extent, to the purpose of serving as a site for the erection. But this difficulty they have the satisfaction of declaring to be already removed.
Females proposed to be received,—Why?
Their wish being as above, to give to so great a benefit, and that in every direction, the utmost extension in their power, the female sex could not fail of being comprehended in their views.
In the whole of the proposed field of instruction, as marked out in the above-mentioned paper, scarcely will there be found a spot, which in itself, custom apart, will not be, in respect of the information presented by it, alike useful to both sexes: some parts (and more especially those which concern Domestic Economy, and the care of health, as applied to the more delicate sex, and to both sexes, at the time of life during which they are almost exclusively subject to its care,) will even be found more useful to females than to males. By an experienced as well as eminently intelligent disciple of Dr Bell’s,* it is mentioned as a “well-known fact, that girls are more docile and attentive than boys;” and that accordingly, in that part of their school-time, which remains after subtraction of that which is applied to occupations appropriated to their sex, the degree of proficiency which, at the end of the year, they have attained, is not inferior to that which, in the whole of that same school-time, has, within that same period, been attained by the boys.
In the case of the middling classes, to whatsoever other branches of instruction the labour of female children be applied, needle-work will certainly not be regarded as one that can be omitted; and though, for the practice of this art, there would remain several hours of the four-and-twenty, yet what may naturally be expected is, a general wish to see some portion of the school-time allotted to such works.
Dancing, Music.—By these fascinating words are presented two accomplishments, the possession of which will, by all that belong to the higher classes, be regarded as indispensable; and, by many of those that belong to the middling, as being, if not indispensable, at the least desirable. For neither of these, it is evident, can any place be found in the proposed school. For uniting its benefits with those accomplishments, there remain therefore but two expedients; viz. the deferring of the accomplishments, either to a later hour, or a later age.
Number proposed to be built for.
Under the National Institution, the number built for in the Westminster Free School is observed to be 1000; viz. for males 600, for females 400. The same total, viz. a thousand, is, in case of a sufficiency of funds, the number here proposed to build for; in case of a deficiency, the number built for must of course be proportionably reduced.
As to expense, £5000, they observe to be stated as the expense of that building; furniture, as well as lodging, for Master and for Mistress included. That same sum, it is presumed, may be made to serve equally well for the here proposed school-house.
According to the indications afforded by experience, the above number of 600 is understood to be generally regarded as the greatest number that, in one and the same school-room, can be taught under the constant inspection of one and the same Master. But, on the plan on which it is here proposed to build, it will be evident, that, whatsoever be the dimensions of the apartment, in which that number can be sufficiently inspected by one person, several such apartments, containing, each of them, as much room as in that case, will in this case be inspectable by one and the same person, and that in a manner still more perfect than in that other case.
Moreover, in this same place, though no part of the room allotted to females, will, unless at some special time, or by special recorded order, and for special reason, be open to the view of any person stationed in the part allotted to males; yet, by means of a slight alteration, any redundancy in the quantity of room allotted to either sex may be applied to the supply of any deficiency which, in consequence of an increase beyond the calculated demand, may be found to have place in the quantity originally provided for the other.
Considering that, in the case of the Westminster Free School, a thousand was, in the judgment of the National Society, as large a number as it was advisable to build for; and this, although the class of scholars in view composed so much larger a portion of the juvenile population than that from which any scholars could be looked for to the proposed Day-School, a conclusion which may be liable to be drawn, is, that, in and for the here proposed School, no number so large, or nearly so large as the above, can reasonably be expected.
But, in the case of that Free School, free as it was and is, limits were set to the probable number of scholars, by several circumstances, none of which will, in the present instance, be found to have place. On the part of the parents, insensibility to the advantages of intellectual instruction, inattention to the future and lasting welfare of their children, inability to spare the time necessary to the conducting of the children, for the first part of the time, to and from the school, especially in the case of those whose abodes are in a considerable degree distant from it.
In the present instance, to obviate, as far as may be, the latter difficulty, an expedient, which the proposed Conductors have in view, is to comprise in one sitting the whole quantity of the school time; and by that means reduce to its minimum the time and attendance, consumed in the passage between school and home. In the Westminster Free School, the total quantity of school time,—in the season of longest light, six hours, in the season of shortest, light, five,—is divided into two portions, with an interval of one hour between the two. In private schools, however, instances are not wanting, in which, without any interval, the children are kept under instruction for so long a time as six hours. To so great a length, the proposed Conductors are somewhat afraid to stretch it; but to such a length as five hours they expect not to find any conclusive objection.
One circumstance they look to, as a source, though not of immediate, yet in case of success, of eventual, increase to the population of the proposed school. Against any such undertaking as that of a Boarding School, to be carried on, or commenced, under their own management or even superintendence, their determination is decided. But, in case of success, a result, which they cannot regard as by any means an improbable one, is, that parents, situated at too great a distance to admit of their sending their children from their own residences, may, for the purpose of taking benefit of the instruction there, and there only, to be obtained, find for their children, in the residence of some relative or other particular friend, or even of some person who may be disposed to afford the accommodation on the ordinary commercial terms, a residence sufficiently near to the School-House to admit of their receiving the instruction which it affords. On this plan it is, that, to the great public schools, scholars are sent from the remotest parts of the three kingdoms: and, should it appear that, in the proposed new school, useful instruction in much greater variety, as well as quantity, is to be had, than in any of those old established ones, and that too in much less time, and by every scholar without exception, instead of by no more than a portion more or less considerable of the whole number, they see not why, in the present instance, an equal, if not superior afflux, may not sooner or later be expected.
A circle of about two miles radius, having the site of the school for its centre, is the space, from the whole of which, on condition of keeping the length of school-time undivided, they regard themselves as entitled to look for scholars; and that without any change made for this purpose in their place of residence.
Ages, looked for, at Entrance and Departure.
Fourteen is the age at or before which they hope to see their intended course completed, by the scholars in general, in all its branches; and this too, upon the supposition that seven, and no earlier, is the earliest age at which children will be sent to take the benefit of it; fourteen, that being the age at which it is common for apprenticeships to commence; for, though no such views are entertained, as that of confining the benefit to such children as their parents may have destined to apprenticeships, yet it would be altogether repugnant to their wishes, if any child so destined should, on any account, find himself excluded from it.
The seven years, reckoning from seven to fourteen, is the length of time, within which, as above, they expect to see the aggregate course completed; and, as a ground for that expectation, one of their endeavours has been to collect from the various education and intellectual-instruction establishments, in which instruction on any of the proposed subjects of the proposed scheme of instruction is administered, Public Schools, Universities, Hospitals, Public Institution-rooms, and Private Lecture-rooms not excluded—an account of the number of hours actually occupied in each; and this, to the end that the sum of the times so expended in all of them together, may be compared with the sum of the times capable of being allotted to the same subjects, in the proposed school; and though, of the information desired on this ground, the whole has not as yet been obtained, yet enough has been obtained to enable them, and with the requisite degree of confidence, considering the experienced force of the new instrument with which they will have to work, to speak of the above proposed length of time, as being fully sufficient, viz. for the aggregate of all the courses, according to the plan exhibited in the accompanying sketch; matters being, at the same time, as far as may be, so arranged, that, at several different stages, the scholar may take his departure, without leaving his instruction imperfect, in relation to any subject, in which he has begun to receive it.
When seven years was thus looked to as the probable duration of the aggregate course, the occupation had, however, for its basis the supposition that, at that age, in the situations in life in question, scholars might in general be found already in a sufficient degree instructed in those branches to which, in the free schools at present established, the New Instruction system is applied. But, consistently with that principle of universal comprehension, which they could not but adopt, no child whose parents, being desirous of obtaining for it a share in the benefit, were able and willing to pay for it at the necessary price, could, by the conditions of the undertaking, be excluded.
By this consideration it is, that they have been led to the persuasion which they entertain, of the necessity of comprising in their plan those arts of primary necessity and continual and universal application, (viz. reading and writing, and common arithmetic,) which are comprehended in the New Instruction system, in so far as already brought into practice. To this determination, an ample confirmation has been observed to be afforded by the observation made and repeatedly brought to view by Dr Bell himself (and which is no more than upon an attentive consideration of the case, might from the first have been previously expected,) viz., that in any of those arts, an imperfect degree of proficiency, obtained by instruction, administered in the ordinary mode, operate rather as an obstacle, than as a help to, an useful foundation, for instruction administered in this, incomparably more advantageous mode: learning, in the improved mode, having to an undefinable degree, for its necessary preliminary, the unlearning what has been learnt in the other ordinary, and ordinarily imperfect, mode.
Of one rule the necessity is, by the bare mention of it, rendered indisputable, and that is, not to admit or continue to receive any child who, whether on account of immaturity of age, or on any other, is so circumstanced as to require, in the school-room, more care and attendance than the quantity of each, which is at the command of the Establishment, can supply. As on so many other occasions, so on this, a rule which, while it thus bears on the face of it its own reason, and thereby its own explanation, is applicable with equal propriety to every individual case included in it, they cannot but regard as preferable to any rule, in which, by means of fixt and inflexible quantities, invariable provision is, in the Procrustes style, made for indefinitely varied exigencies.
In the Barrington School at Durham, at an age as early as three years, the New Instruction System, as is to be seen in the instructive and interesting account for which the public is indebted to Sir Thomas Bernard, has been found applicable with advantage;* and if, at an age still earlier, any child should be offered to the reading and writing form of the Chrestomathic School, there seems no reason why it should be rejected, on any other ground than that of an exclusion put upon it by the irrational rule just mentioned.
This but an Experiment—expected Sources of Continuance and Extension.
The proposed undertaking being but an experiment, the period which the proposed Conductors look to, as that of the completion of the experiment, is the time at which the whole of the proposed field of instruction, as marked out in the Chrestomathia, shall have been travelled over, by the whole number of such of the scholars, as have gone through the aggregate course. At that time, if not earlier, the expectation of the proposed Conductors is, that such of them as are then alive, will have the satisfaction of beholding a number of fit persons willing, and in every respect well qualified, each of them by himself, to take the whole of the business out of their hands. Well may it be—and this was the very consideration by which the association was produced—well may it be, that, at present, any such undertaking is too great, considerably too great, for any single individual. Accordingly, the engaging in no inconsiderable number, as well as variety, a set of Masters, for the administering of the instruction in the several branches, is among the measures, the necessity of which is in full view.
But, at the period here in question, scholars, by dozens and by scores, may not unreasonably be expected to have learnt, in the Chrestomathic School, all the things whatsoever that will have there been taught. Viewing the matter at large, whatsoever it be, that a large number of persons have themselves learnt, supposing it well learnt, some proportion or other of the number will, by that same time, be not altogether unqualified to teach. But, at the period in question, under the New Instruction System, the scholars—no inconsiderable proportion of them—not only may reasonably be expected to be qualified to teach what they have learnt; but, during a length of time, more or less considerable, antecedent to that of their departure from the school, will actually have been employed in this same all-comprehensive work. At this time, if, in point of legal maturity of age, as well as in all other points, any one of them should be found competent to such an undertaking, so much the better. But even if, in respect of those requisites, the school should not happen to afford any individual who was, at that time, competent; yet, if so it were, that in point of intellectual maturity, as well as appropriate proficiency, any one such scholar should be found sufficient, the temporary legal deficiency might, as under the care of the already established Societies, find an adequate supply in the assistance of some trust-worthy friend.
Terms of Contribution, &c.
For the erection, fitting up, and furnishing of the School-house, with the necessary out-buildings and other out-works, the following are the terms and conditions on which the contributions of well-wishers are solicited:—
1. Contributions to be in shares of £10 each.
2. By any person any number of such shares may be subscribed for: several such shares are subscribed for by each of the above proposed Conductors.
3. For every such share, interest, at the rate of 5 per cent. shall eventually be allowed, as per Article 13.
4. Of the money, received as per Article 7, after defraying charges, as per Article 7, together with House expenses, and pay to Master, Mistress, and paid Teachers, the whole surplus, except such as shall be deemed necessary to be kept in hand for the contingencies of the year, shall, in the first month of every year, be invested in Government Securities, to serve as a sinking fund for the reimbursing to Subscribers, in equal proportions, the money respectively advanced by them: such reimbursements to be made, each time, by instalments of 10 per cent., so soon as the aggregate of the money so applicable shall have risen to that amount.
5. Any sum, of less amount than a share, will, if offered, be thankfully received: but, whether by itself, or added to the amount of a whole share, on no such additional sum will it be understood to be expected, that interest, or unless required at the time of the advance made, reimbursement money shall be paid.
6. Upon the amount of their respective contributions, the proposed Conductors of the Institution reserve to themselves, in the shape of interest and reimbursement money, the same advantages as, and no other than, those which, as per Articles 3 and 4, are promised to all other Contributors.
7. Of the School-money to be required, the exact amount cannot as yet be fixed. Four pounds is at present looked to as a minimum, eight as a maximum. The amount must, of course, be different, according as, in the terms of the undertaking, the expense of slates, pens, books, ink, paper, maps, charts, and other implements of instruction, together with the hire of such as need not, or cannot, be purchased, is or is not included. In general, parents would, it is presumed, be desirous of seeing themselves at a certainty, in regard to this and every other expense.
8. With or without subscribing for shares, another mode in which encouragement may be afforded is—by an engagement to send to the School, for and during a specified length of time, in the event of its being opened, one or more Scholars. In this way, with or without sending a child of his own, any person of opulence may, by engaging for the child of another, confer, at one and the same time, a public and a private benefit, at one and the same expense.
9. To afford to Contributors, and eventually to Parents and Guardians, the assurance, that the undertaking will not be hastily abandoned,—for the term of the first three years, to be computed from the time when the Parents or Guardians, of any number of scholars not less than fifty, shall have signed an engagement to pay, at such rate as shall at that time have been fixed, for and during such time as shall have been fixed, for the schooling of their respective children, the proposed Conductors engage, jointly and severally, to carry on the proposed School, and in case of loss, to charge themselves with such loss.
10. For this purpose, so soon as the School-house, with the appurtenances, shall be in readiness for the reception of scholars, notice of such readiness will be given by advertisements in the London daily papers. A space will be provided, in which, without interruption to the business, subscribers and parents of scholars, being recognised as such by recollection of their persons, or by transferable tickets, which will be given for that purpose, will have a perfect view of the whole business of the School as it is going on. If, from any persons at large, any admission-money be accepted, the amount will be no more than may be judged necessary to keep out noisomeness and mischievous wantonness; and will be applied to the use of the Institution, as above, Article 4.
11. Of all moneys received, and the disposition made of them, accounts will be published yearly, or oftener, and at any rate within the first week of each year, in some one or more of the London daily papers.
[* ] Village School Improved, by J. Poole, M.A., 1813, p. 16.
[* ] The Barrington School, London, 1813, p. 99.