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SCHOOLMASTERS AND THE EDUCATION QUESTION. No one, probably, will find fault with schoolmasters for taking an interest in the education question. It is oiie of those great public controversies which must necessarily involve their real or supposed privileges, and, to use a popular expression, tread upon their toes. We can hardly expect them to be altogether silent while the whole kingdom is busily disposing of the question, and arriving at something like a definite conclusion. A conference of schoolmasters, however, met in solemn assembly to determine what sort of education the child of the British workman shall henceforth receive, is almost a joke, and too good a joke to be lost sight of. We have had a few such conferences of late, and fine things they have been. Tney are intended to let the public understand what these great authorities, the schoolmasters, have to say upon the question. There was a meeting of the kind held in London the other day, and now we are informed that the South Wale3 schoolmasters assembled, in all the majesty of office, at Swansea, on Saturday last. Whether or not they went to the Town Hall in procession, preceded by a venerable body of lictors carrying the fasces—in the shape of a bundle of birch rods --our informant does not say. But they did meei., and were composed, as we are told, of all denominations." It is not said who represented the "Latter-Day Saints," who spoka for the "Recreative Religionists," who expounded the views of the "Sandemanians," or who stood up for the "Free Grace Gospel Christians," or the "Christian Eliasites." We are simply informed that all denominations were there. It must have been a very happy spectacle, scarcely to be sur- passed by the prophetic vision of the ca!f and the young lion in cordial embrace. YI e are afraid, however, that "all denominations" were not so fairly represented as one might suppose. At all events, the Principal of the South Wales Training College occupied the chair, and we know that that college is one of those institutions from which s'.varm the whole hive of National Schoolmasters— the most subservient race of educated men to be found anywhere on the earth's surface. They are very respectable men in their private capacity, ex- cellent men in moral conduct, but officially the mere second self of the parson. They scarcely know whether to nod or wink, until his reverence t has issued the command. Their opinions are, therefore, of very little importance. They are only an echo from the pulpit. hen the parsons shout Bah these knights of the white rod act as a great earth-mound, echoing and re-echoing the note all over the land. It is not said how many of these dependents of the parish priest helped to constitute the 120 who are said to have met on this grand occasion. We may surmise that they formed the majority. Indeed, it can never be a difficult matter to get a majority of National school- masters at any meeting of teachers, in which the rich have their ministers endowed by the State, while the poor have not only to pay a share of these endowments, but to support their own ministers into the bargain. Thus met, these wise luminaries passed a resolution to the effect that "the existing arrangements for religious teaching have, in the experience of the masters forming this 1 meeting, rarely or never been object-d to." Quite so. John Jones can hardly afford to object to the Church catechism and doctrines, though he does not believe in them. He cannot starve, and may therefore allow his child to profess to have been regenerated by means of a nostrum invented by spiritual quacks. He knows that the whole trick will be exposed without mercy by his own minister in the hearing of the very child who is thus de- ceived. If he does not object to a few doses of the catechism being administered to his hopeful offspring, it is either because he needs his bread and cheese, or because he can find an antidote close at hand which will soon produce nausea sufficient to dispose of a whole bundle of catechisms. In teaching the children of Dissanters to repeat the church catechism, the national schoolmasters of Wales have taught more of positive immorality, and done more to undermine love of truth, than any other class of men. An unbaptised child may Dot object to say, under the birch, that he received his name in baptism but the man who teaches him to say it is corrupting the child's heart, and doing what he can to make the sin of lying a reli- gious exercise. If no objections should be offered to such teaching under these circumstances, it must be on the same principle that children do not ob- ject to swear, or to steal, when their parents teach them so to do. As to the other resolutions passed by this senate, we may leave them alone. It is enough for us to observe that schoolmasters mis- take their business when they begin to prescribe a system of education for the children of this country. As British subjects, they are perfectly entitled to have their say along with the rest, but as school- masters they have no right whatever to interfere. It is for the nation to tell them what sort of edu- cation it wishes the rising generation to receive, and if they do not choose to supply the kind of education demanded by the people, they can go about their business. This may sound harsh when spoken of a class of men to whom our country is at least as much indebted as to any other class, but when men assume airs, and run riot beyond the Rubicon, they must listen to plain and homely truth. We suppose we may next of all expect a meeting of cabinet makers to decide what kind of chairs the people of Great Britain are henceforth to use. They will be telling us that three-legged stools will suit the drawing-room best and, pro- I bably, the tailors will follow suit, and agree that coats with one swallow-tail must henceforth be I worn at balls. But the public will have its own way for all that, and if the customer wishes four I legs to his seat, or two tails to his coat, the manu- facturer of the article must make according to >rder, orgo without employment. In like manner, n ichoolmasters must teach what is wanted. People 1 Lre not likely to consult them as to whether time- ], ;able conscience clauses, or any other inventions of f ;he sort, are wise or foolish. They will tell them what they want, and will insist on having it too But, after all, the independent schoolmasters of u this country are too sensible to take part in passing t the resolutions of the Swansea conference, it is a iifferent with those who must assemble at can of the parson's horn. They will cut and carve as the v parson wills, and any amount of disregard to the i demands of the popular will, or to those of religious j; freedom and equality, may therefore be expected of ) them. i t