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subject. In the first place, in what state is sacred music in this country as compared with others ? Music being such an essential part of the service of the Roman-catholic Church, it is not to be wondered at that, in their churches, particularly in large towns, they should be at great pains to make it effective. In Italy the people are naturally more musical than we are, but it must be remembered that this extends to the lower orders, in whose rudest songs we find abundance of harmony. Some voices are of course indifferent, but we seldom if ever find them out of tune or time. Proceed to Germany,– it is much the same; they have in their towns musical societies which do much for the cultivation of music. Let us now turn to ourselves. Our cathedral service is beautiful, therefore the fault to be found is not in the music, but in the manner of its performance, and there are but few cathedrals or churches in which it is performed as it ought to be. One reason may be, the situations of choristers are worth something, consequently they are not always given away according to the merits of the voice: hence the miserable voices that you too frequently hear. Another reason is, that the choristers themselves are slovenly in their performance of the music allotted to them, often being observed talking, laughing, or taking snuff, all which detract from the solemnity of the performance; they seem to forget that there is any service, or prayers uttered. Another reason is, that no one of the canons understands or cares enough about the music to see to these minutiæ. In our metropolis there may no doubt be found instances of good devotional psalmody, as at Meter Chapel and the Foundling, but there are plenty of instances to the contrary. I cannot help mentioning the Temple church, where there is a beautiful organ, but wretched psalmody. At this church a voluntary is played after the Psalms, chiefly, I should imagine, to shew off the powers of the instrument and the execution of the organist, (a blind one,) but is this right? Why is any voluntary permitted to be played, as it is in many churches, (St. George's, Hanover-square, for instance,) in the middle of the service? Surely it forms no part of it, and if the clergyman is in want of rest, a psalm is the proper devotional exercise. In what organists call “playing people out of church," there can be no objection to a voluntary of some sort, but what good reason can be given for its being in the middle of the service ? Such being the state of music in London, what is it in the country? How different from the Germans and Italians! In many places, it really would be a mercy to spare the ears of the congregation and not sing at all. But, say some people, the badness of the choir ought not to interfere with your devotions. How can it be otherwise, when you hear all sorts of instruments, all sorts of voices, knowing little of, and caring still less for, time and tune, each self satisfied and ambitious; moreover this said choir often choose to murder some of the most difficult compositions, (for murder it must be called,) when they cannot hardly sing one tune correctly. And yet how often we hear this; and how well is it known to every clergyman. Whence, then, the objection to improve or remove it? Not because such a noise as this really helps

devotion, but because the correction of these self-important gentry is a difficult matter, for fear they should indignantly withdraw their services altogether, and so the clergyman be left without any rest at all. Sooner than lose this slight rest from his duties, he often tolerates the most execrable singing. Often have I had the question put to me, '“I don't understand music, and how am I to improve it ?” It is precisely in answer to these common queries that my hints may be of service. Erecting an organ is the best way to remedy these defects, but as there are several things that must be attended to in this, for the present I will not trespass on your time further, but give them in my next, if you think them worthy of insertion.

R.

ON THE NUMBER OF SCHOOLS IN UNION WITH THE BRITISH AND FOREIGN SCHOOL SOCIETY ; AND "ON THE EXTENT OF POPULAR IGNORANCE,”

AS STATED BY THAT SOCIETY.

SIR,—It is strange that the British Society does not publish a list of schools on their “system," and their “principles ;” it is strange that they cannot, at least that they do not, furnish an account of the places to which they have contributed money, or other aid ; it is strange that they do not particularize even the objects of their annual outlay. We find in the abstract of last years' accounts, items of large amount, such as, “ Grants of money and school materials, and other expenses incurred on behalf of schools in England and Wales, {equally] 6811. 15s. 10d." The National Society, in stating their annual “Grants,” are always careful, besides the summary in the cash account, to specify and to publish “ the place, population, existing provision, new schools,” and the sum voted, in so many separate columns, so that the details of every vote may be ascertained at one view. Why does not the British Society do the same? And why do they not state the places and purposes in Foreign parts, to which they have voted the sum of 5331.3s. 10d.? Where have they expended their money? How many schools, and children, and under what superintendence or regulation ? Again ; why do they not explain more fully the following item, to which there is nothing analogous in the accounts of the National Society? “ Expenses attendant on formation of auxiliaries, agent's salary, travelling expenses, &c. &c., 3931. 10s. 9d.How many auxiliaries have been formed, and where? What are the travelling expenses? What are the particular duties of the Agent? Is he stationary, or itinerant ? What is his object? and what is the distinction between his office, and that of the London Inspector, who also imposes a charge of 1601. 11s. 6d. upon the Society ? Here is the sum of 5541. 2s. 3d. expended in exciting public attention, and in visiting about 140 schools. What is the duty of the “ travelling agent,” Lieut. Fabian? I do not perceive any report from him of the state of the Society's schools which he has visited. But why should there be any concealment? Men of “liberal” notions make mighty great denunciations against anything

which borders upon mystery. Had the National Society followed the example in withholding a list of the places annually assisted, or the neglecting to present to the public periodical lists of their schools in union, observations might with reason have been made on its “exclusiveness.” I, therefore, shall hazard a conjecture. I regard the insertion of a school on the list of the National Society as a pledge, or declaration, that such school thus publicly avows its concurrence with the principles of the Society, and its obligation to conform to them, and to be judged by them. Now, my opinion is, that the British and Foreign School Society dare not make out a list of schools united with it, because that would imply that all those schools were conducted on its“ principle;"—viz., not to allow “any catechism, or peculiar religious tenets to be taught in the schools," nor any “note or comment to be made on the Scriptures : and the Society is well aware that scarcely one school in the kingdom acts up to the spirit, or even to the letter, of the original regulation. If, therefore, they were to put those schools on their list, which are now become regular seminaries of various denominations, in which catechisms and peculiar notions are unscrupulously inculcated, any one who visited the schools would have an opportunity of convicting them of inconsistency.

But what is alleged by the officers of the British Society as the reason which prevents them from drawing up a list of their schools ? How do they account for neglecting to do this with respect to their few schools, when the National Society every year gives a summary, and at certain fixed periods gives a catalogue, of every one of the large number in its connexion. The National Society has nothing to conceal : its principles and its practices are before the world, and it challenges the most jealous scrutiny. But the British Society neither favours its subscribers with the details of the money expended, nor does it furnish any information, as far as I can learn from the report, as to the schools, which, receiving aid, are conducted on its principle. And why? The Secretary is asked by the Committee of the House of Commons

“304. What number are there throughout the country ?-I have no means of answering that question correctly.

6 305. Can you not give a general impression ?-I could not feel much confidence in any number that I might state.

We could obtain a correct list of all the schools on our system only by corresponding with every town and village in the country. The expense has hitherto deterred the Committee from undertaking it. Some years ago they applied to have their letters franked for that purpose, but the Post-office did not see it right to allow the privilege."

The Committee recur again to the subject

“ 346. If your request had been granted, you would have been enabled to obtain much more complete information as to the number of the schools conducted on your system ?-Yes. It was by that means the National School Society obtained the greater part of their information relating to the church of England schools ; that privilege was, however, withdrawn.

VOL. VIII.-Oct. 1835.

31

“ 347. Was it withdrawn before they had completed their list ?They enjoyed it till they had nearly completed their returns.

“348. In point of fact, they do not enjoy such privilege now ? They do not now, I believe."

But, supposing the above to be true, the National Society, with all its branches, continues still, though it has no privilege of franking, to communicate to the public an authorized statement of all their schools, as it did, I believe, before it had the privilege of franking. They are anxious to afford every proof-1. Of the extent of their exertions and union. 2. Of the faithfulness with which they distribute the money entrusted to them on specific terms. 3. Of the responsibility of the parties assisted. And 4. Of the consistency of their principles and practice. The expense of the correspondence is no object to them compared with the public character of their integrity. They could not subject themselves to the charge of obscurity, or of making secret rotes of money for unknown purposes, or to irresponsible persons : they afford no ground for any suspicious partiality. The places and amount of every grant are annually published, so that all the world may see what is done with the money. Now, turn to the proceedings of the British Society. 1. They have not a list of schools on their system, or in connexion with them; and can form no notion of the number. They cannot afford to pay

the postage of the letters from the country--the places where they have schools being so numerous ! Yet what do they? They have an agent abroad, who travels through parts of Greece, and sends them full particulars of their ruined schools there! They obtain correct reports of every school at the Cape of Good Hope, &c. &c. Does all this cost nothing? Then they have an agent actually travelling through this country? Do they not pay him? Could he not collect some information ? Lastly, they have a paid inspector for schools in the metropolis, and by his means they are enabled to produce a list of the schools which he inspects. They say,

“ these schools are on the British system—will they be so good as to tell me whether they are on the “ British principle.But, I now say, it does seem odd to me that, with means for employing, at least, three itinerant officers, they should not contrive to pay the postage of few letters! Have they 50, 100, 200, or 300 schools in England on their original principle? What would the postage come to ? They need write to those only which are in actual connexion with them; they have no business with others. Have they any in bona fide union? Or does the Society consist only of a body of men advancing a certain object under cover of a certain profession, but without requiring from those whom they assist any pledge or obligation to abide by that profession ? To what parties were the 1000 circulars sent about the parliamentary grant? Who paid for them and their answers ? These are questions which passing events require to be answered. 2. But supposing that all the schools in union should not be ascertained, can they not tell what schools have made application to them for assistance ? Can they not tell to what places, or to what persons, they have sent money, or

lessons, or books, or slates, or other school gear”? Can neither the secretary nor the treasurer furnish a schedule of the places which have been benefited, and the sums which have been granted ? Why are they not published ? Is it not usual for every society distinctly to name, with scrupulous exactness, the purpose, amount, and destination of every sum of money, that its subscribers and friends may judge of every case? 3. But if it be thought too much to require the society to go back to former years—let me ask for the particular places, and the details of the last year viz., for the sums of 6811. 158. 10d., 5331. 3s. 10d., and 3931. 10s. 9d. = 16081. 10s. 5d. This is the amount, in their cash account, which has been expended in English and Foreign schools, and in forming auxiliary societies. I do not throw out the least doubt that the money has been correctly applied; but it would be satisfactory to have a list of the places and sums in England,—in Foreign countries, and the names of the auxiliary societies formed yearly. And for the future, as the Society have opportunity, I should wish them to imitate the National Society, and thus give the world a chance of doing them justice, which their present practice does not allow. I have pointed out this extraordinary silence of the Society, as to the numbers in connexion with them, because of the paltry reflection on the privilege they would have the public believe the National Society enjoyed; the deprivation of which, on their parts, prevented them, as they groundlessly allege, from doing that which their public duty required to be done.

In the year 1816, Mr. Allen (the treasurer then and now) was enabled to give to the Committee of the House of Commons a list of 200 boys' and 74 girls' schools—the number attending which he calculated to be, on an average, from 150 to 200. If we multiply 274 by 175 we shall produce 47,950. Have they as many children in connexion now ? But this average of scholars is clearly larger than the fact would warrant. The present secretary, Mr. Dunn, does not think that the increase of their schools has been great.—(309.) But what is the real number? And where ?

If, then, these reflections meet the eye of the authorities, they will perceive how desirable it will be for them to afford proofs of the real efficiency and fidelity of the Society, by declaring the particulars of their schools and grants.

There is another point, in some way connected with this, to which a few moments' attention may be directed. In their last report, which is the only one I have seen for many years, the committee make some observations the extent of popular ignorance,” with a view to prove that “they have put forth no exaggerated statements for the sake of exciting public sympathy." What the statements alluded to may be, I know not. There can be no doubt that the destitution in large towns, with respect to daily education, is very “lamentable,” especially in places where dissenters abound.' They rail against the bigotry of others ; they magnify the deficiency around them; but they will neither do anything themselves, nor allow others to do it peaceably. If they are so rich, so numerous, and so charitable, as they would have us believ ?-what have they done for the education

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