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"Who know their rights, and knowing, dare maintain them," but yet respecting the rights of others, we must widen the channels by which the streams of knowledge are conveyed to them. The times in which we live are times in which opinions are greatly unsettled. Manifold changes have been worked among us, and are still working, All that is good in those changes, and I do not affect to conceal my own belief that the greatest part of them is good,-has been produced by the advance of knowledge. If there be any evil in reserve for us, it will probably arise out of the desire of change going forward more rapidly than the increase of intelligence. I am satisfied, that the progressive amelioration of our social condition depends a great deal more upon the right of judgment of the people themselves, than upon any efforts that a government, even the wisest and honestest, can make in anticipation of the growing information of the people. Many of the public questions upon which we all have not only to think, but to act in our individual capacities, are extremely complicated. It is, in my mind, absolutely necessary that these questions should be thoroughly understood, in all their great bearings, by every one who has a voice and influence in society, (and who has not?) before what is wanting can be built up, what is decayed can be restored, and what is goodly can be strengthened, in our social edifice.

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cise of these very virtues, in connexion with a desire for
that improvement of the understanding which, to a large
extent, is independent of rank and riches.
But while I hold that the power of acquiring knowledge,
involving as it does the elevation of the feelings and the
purifying of the taste, has a tendency to make the humblest,
who properly strive after this power, contented with their
lot; I will not conceal that it also facilitates, to a very con-
siderable extent, the ability even of these humblest to pass
upward out of the station in which they were born. It has
always been considered a proud distinction of this country,
that her highest offices are accessible to the lowliest of
her sons; and it is a distinction that will be more and more
remarkable as the poor man more and more seizes upon
the intellectual weapons which all founders of their own
fortunes must wield. Combined with this new power of
attaining knowledge, which very much breaks down the
barriers impeding the rise of the honest, the energetic, and
the skilful, is the power which every man now possesses of
finding a secure investment for the smallest of his savings.
I know of no advantage, within the compass of a reasonable
ambition, which a frugal and industrious youth, possessed
of talent and information, who resolves to save, for a few
years of his life, before he becomes involved in the deep
responsibilities of the husband and the father, may not
propose to himself to attain. Those who are born to com-
petency are certainly before him in the race; but they are
not, therefore, the most sure of first reaching the goal.
Indolence and improvidence throw many of the more appa-
rently fortunate classes back into the ranks of the poor;
while industry and economy carry an equal or a greater
number onwards out of the condition of the labourer into
that of the capitalist. Nor do I conceive these alternations
to be injurious to society; on the contrary, I think them
most beneficial. The prizes which are constantly turning
up in what is commonly called the lottery of life, but which
circumstances reasoning men better refer to certain and
unalterable causes in which chance has little to do, assist
in diffusing a general spirit of content over those whose
probable course is that of unvarying labour. But they also
teach the weathy, that "riches make unto themselves
wings, and fly away," if they are not guarded by temperance
and discretion. Give, then, the people of any country a
sound general education; afford them facilities, by cheap
publications and public libraries, for improving the acquire
ments of their early years, and there is no evil in the laws
of the state which will not be gradually ameliorated, and
no abuse of the necessary distinctions in the social scale,
that will not eventually give place to a frank and courteous
intercourse between man and man, founded upon mutual
respect and mutual charity.

I observe, with pleasure, that the doors of your library are thrown widely open to persons of all classes. The lowly and the exalted have long each stood upon a common ground-that of the Faith which knows no distinctions of persons. I venture to believe, that they should meet in the same manner upon the common ground of knowledge. The more this platform of opinion is extended, the more it will be acknowledged, that distinctions of rank and of property must prevail in the world; that it would be impossible to remove them, even for a single day; and that such a removal would be profitless and deeply injurious, even if it were possible. But at the same time I feel, that while sound knowledge will tend to keep up the real importance of these distinctions, it will also lessen the artificial pretensions which are engrafted upon them. A great deal of the unhappiness of the world proceeds from our not forming a correct estimate of our own position, and of the position of our neighbours; and thus, one man is too inclined to envy another for some possession which he wants himself, and to look down upon another because he himself possesses what another wants. I think these jealousies and heartburnings will be considerably removed as we all become more instructed. The great bulk of the people in the most prosperous state of society must labour. Labour is the condition by which we live. It is the scaffolding and the building of all private and public wealth. Without its constant exercise there would be no sustenance It is not my intention to enter into any examination of for the day, and no accumulation for the sustenance of the the peculiar features of your institution; nor to attempt morrow. In the eye of reason the humblest workman who any suggestions for its proper management. Those who puts a spade into the ground, and the highest functionary have local experience are the best qualified to regulate who watches over the just appropriation of the produce of local establishments. But I have very much at my heart, his labour, are equally promoting, each in their several that an institution like yours, conducted, as it appears to stations, the public happiness and prosperity. It appears me, upon such right principles, should furnish in all to me, that there will be a prodigious increase of social respects a model for similar establishments. I think that comfort when men universally come to feel the real dignity you ought to be prepared to render some assistance to a of all useful employments, and when it is understood that humbler and more numerous class of subscribers than those a toilsome occupation is not necessarily connected with a even who have the use of your library at the lowest rate, servile and ignorant mind. There will be great differences I mean the out-door apprentices and unmarried mechaof talent, and of all other power, in the pursuit of our vari-nics, who, in towns like Windsor and Eton, must form a ous employments; but the more the bulk of the people very numerous class. I should like to see, as a branch of advance in knowledge, the more will he be respected who your establishment, a room provided, furnished with benches does his duty, in whatever station his lot may be cast. and a table, supplied with light and fire in the winter, and The proud man's contumely" is, I fear, one of the many fitted out with a very few well-selected books, into which causes that make youth and inexperience impatient under every lad of decent conduct might find admission from a course of mechanical drudgery. The influence of such seven till ten o'clock every work-day evening. Those who narrow assumptions of superiority will greatly abate when know anything of the course of a working lad's life must the proud man learns that his supposed inferior is treading understand the difficulties he feels, under the greater hard upon his heels in all that constitutes the real distinc- number of circumstances, of enjoying an hour of quiet after tions between the brethren of the family of mankind-our the labour of the day. He probably has no paternal home; greater less advances in knowledge and virtue. The object and at his humble lodging he is surrounded with everyof the general diffusion of knowledge is not to render men thing disagreeable. He seeks his pleasures amongst lads discontented with their lot-to make the peasant yearn to similarly situated; and their evening companionship gene become an artisan, or the artisan dream of the honours and rally terminates in the alehouse. I think you might do a riches of a profession-but to give the means of content to great good by offering such young men a warm and silent those who, for the most part, must necessarily remain in retreat for a few hours: strictly interdicting the use of any that station which requires great self-denial and great liquor, and affording no inducement but the opportunity of endurance; but which is capable of becoming not only a reading. You might do this at the charge to each of not condition of comfort, but of enjoyment, through the exer- more than twopence a week, perhaps less. If there be any

good desires in the working youth of these towns, they would be called out by such an opportunity; and if you save only one in twenty from the temptations which so easily beset the young and inexperienced, you will have your reward.

The inducements which might be thus held out to the young to associate together in the pleasant task of mental improvement, would not, in the natural course of affairs, present an attraction for many years. The great purpose which the industrious man proposes to himself, and a most wise and virtuous purpose it is, is to become the head of a family. If he enter upon this career of duty with fit preparation, and with adequate resources, his chances of happiness are as complete as may be granted to right resolves and pure desires. It appears to me, that in the first few years of the wedded life of the working man, before the cares of the world press too heavily upon himself and his companion, institutions such as yours may be of signal advantage. The books which you lend, to form the solace and the amusement of the cottage fire-side, may lay the foundation of that correspondence in tastes which doubles the best enjoyments of two persons united by the closest and dearest ties. Society must surely derive the most unspeakable advantage from any circumstances that will assist in the elevation of the female character. The lessons and the examples of a mother indelibly fix themselves in the hearts of her children. Their characters are chiefly formed by her most cherished influence; their wills are moulded in great measure by her most powerful pattern. The poet has made it the attribute of the female,

· To study household good,

'And good works in her husband to promote.' She performs both duties when she unites with him in that culture of the understanding which, associated with the congenial cultivation of a humble, contented, and pious spirit, will fit them for happiness themselves, and lay a foundation of happiness for their children.

I fear that I have trespassed too long upon your patience. Allow me to repeat my sincere wishes for the prosperity of this institution; and for that of every other establishment which, like this, is calculated to advance the moral and intellectual character, and thus improve the social condition of the inhabitants of Windsor and Eton.


willingness to do the institution service, or more sanguine feelings with regard to the importance and success of its future operations.

In furtherance, then, of the views of the committee of management, the scope of the following essay will be1st. To explain the objects contemplated in the formation of the "Sydney Mechanics' School of Arts." 2nd. To specify the means by which it is intended to promote these objects, endeavouring, at the same time, to form an estimate of their adequacy. 3rd. To meet such objections as have been taken against the establishment of such institutions. And, 4th, To trace the bearing which the universal spread of knowledge is calculated to have upon the mental and moral relationships of social life.


It was agreed upon at the first general meeting, held here on Friday, the 22d of March last, that "the object of this institution should be the diffusion of scientific and other useful knowledge, as extensively as possible, throughout the colony of New South Wales."

The diffusion of knowledge generally, without specification of any particular sort or system of information,-is of itself sufficiently important to justify a combination of efforts for the sake of its more effective accomplishment. None seem more likely to admit the truth of this observation than they who come in daily contact with savage life, and, above all, they who are familiar with the appearance and habitudes of the miserable aborigines of this colony. Whether there be other differences among the members of the great family of man, than such as are created by the acquisition of different degrees of knowledge,—is a question which reasoning does not allow us to decide. Yet we dare affirm, notwithstanding the comparatively trivial differences which may be traced in the physiological character of different races, that the different degrees of civilization observable among different tribes of this world's population, must result solely from the different stages of advancement in knowledge which have been made by each ;-if this be not, in truth, an identical proposition. In the intellectual as well as in the civil history of nations, it is observable that there are periods of advancement and retrogression. One nation which in one age extorted the undivided homage zation and refinement, is found at a subequent epoch, destiof the world, for its superior position in the scale of civilitute of all claims to its former right of priority; whilst others whom, in its period of intellectual glory, it designated and treated as barbarians, have gained in the world's eye every title to that meed of intellectual homage which, in the course of time and under the influence of circumstances, had been altogether lost through a nation's degeneracy. So vast, indeed, are the differences unequivocally reIt is with feelings of high and heartfelt satisfaction sulting from different degrees of mental culture, that on the that I make my appearance thus in public upon the pre-negative side of the above question, are to be found names sent occasion. It has been my good fortune, for some time of the first rank among philosophical thinkers. Without, back, to act in concert with a number of right-minded however, embracing an opinion sanctioned by names so illusmen, with the view of laying firm the foundation of an trious as those of Helvetius and Sir W. Jones, we may well institution fraught, I trust, with cumulative blessings to feel on sure ground, in advocating the vast importance of the remotest generations of this colony's inhabitants. In educating, to the highest possible point, all ranks of the the course of preliminary measures which have come human race. The apothegm of Lord Bacon-now so under discussion at the commencement of this undertak- trite, but nevertheless so true, and withal so profounding, various observations have been made, as coming from that knowledge is power"-supplies a sufficient reason most respectable quarters, calling in question the real why every thinking and philanthropic man should be ready utility of the establishment of a "Mechanics' School of at all times to further the universal dissemination of knowArts" in Sydney, and implying the entertainment of doubts ledge. If the differences between savage and civilized life with regard to the needfulness, policy, and beneficial ten-be the results of education only, the man who entertains dency of the measure. With a view of meeting all such scruples of this nature as may be entertained by any class of the community, and at the same time for the purpose of allowing the public to judge how far their proceedings in this matter are the offspring of sound and patriotic views, it has been deemed advisable by the committee of management, that the appropriate operations of their institution should commence by a public lecture, explaining the objects contemplated in its establishment.

An Introductory Lecture, delivered at the Opening of the Sydney
Mechanics' School of Arts, New South Wales, April 23, 1833.
By the Rev. Henry Carmichael, A.M., Vice-President of that

To my individual feelings, the honour of having been chosen to fulfil the wishes of the committee on this head, I need scarcely say is altogether gratifying. It is true that abundant proof has been afforded, during the deliberations which have brought this institution into form, that the task might have been committed to far abler hands; yet none, I feel sure, could have brought to its execution greater


the slightest reservation with regard to the propriety of promoting, by every means advisable, the spread of knowledge to the utmost, virtually allows the superiority, under some view or other, of barbarism over civilization, which is, in other words, giving a preference to wrong over right. In cases where such reservation is professed, any form of justification which may be employed in defence of the feeling, may easily be shown to be based either on ignorance or sophistry. Throughout the whole round of human intercourse, where is there an instance of any man employing another in the performance of any one operation, however trivial, who does not (other things being equal) give infallibly the preference to the man who has such knowledge as will enable him to perform the operation in question best? Even in the case of the savage, it will readily be granted that, in furnishing himself with his fish

hook or his spear, he will have common sense enough to make, or otherwise procure, such as he considers best adapted to his purpose. And the observation might be carried round the whole range of human employment. Whenever one man wishes the aid of another, that aid infallibly is sought (other things being equal) which is believed to be most effective. That is, throughout the whole range of human operations, from the most important to the most trivial, every man in his hourly practice-whatever at times may be his professions to the contrary acknowledges, unequivocally the importance of superior knowledge. And when, besides, we learn, from the history of the world, that, to the spread of knowledge, we owe outr political freedom, our civil privileges, our religious liberty, -that all which is worth enjoyment in every grade of life, beyond the mere gratification of our animal nature, is the result of the gradual advancement of the species in knowledge; we have abundant sanction for deeming it the duty and interest of every right-minded lover of the human race, to promote, by every means possible and proper, the unlimited spread of knowledge throughout every department of the doings of men.

The more specific object of this institution, however, is to afford to those practising the mechanical arts in this colony, facilities for acquiring a knowledge of the principles upon which their practical operations are founded, and by which they ought always to be regulated. It is to provide adequate means, and to present sufficient inducements, for leading them to an acquaintance with science, as well as with art. It is to furnish them with opportunities of acquiring a knowledge of the theory at the time whilst they are busy with the every-day practice of their various occupations.

of dexterity in handicraft or mechanical labour is acquired by reiterated attempts to imitate some model, either actually observed, or otherwise brought before the eye of the mind. Merely to imitate thus the actually observed model is what is usually denominated practice: to work in obedience to a conception of the operation formed from the idea of a more perfect model, is to work theoretically. To imitate an actually observed model is thus to work in obedience to a conception which is necessarily imperfect; inasmuch as, from the unavoidable derangements to which muscular action is incessantly subject, all human operations, even the best performed, fall short of absolute correctness. To work theoretically is to act in obedience to a conception which cannot be otherwise than correct; inasmuch as the very conception is the true model of the work to be done. The perfection of practice, it will be thus readily allowed, is merely to do equally well what is held up as having been done before. Beyond the degree of imitation necessary to accomplish this, practice, properly so called, cannot go. All beyond this is the result of theory; so that the practical man himself, if he harbour the slightest desire of improvement in the conduct of any of his operations, must theorize, however unconscious he may be of the process of thought implied. The value of theoretical knowledge may be thus considered as coextensive with that of the desire of improvement. The source of all improvement in the intercourse of society may be traced to that quenchless thirst for greater enjoyment of some sort or other, which is found to actuate the bosom of every individual of the species. The wish to be continually placed in circumstances which shall be, in some respect or other, more favourable than those already experienced, is one of those primary feelings which go to form the mental conIn stating the immediate object of the institution in stitution of man. It grows with our growth and strengthens these terms, it will be seen that the superiority of theo- | with our strength. It comes with us from the cradle, and retical knowledge over practical, is implied. But as this leaves us not till we have sunk into the grave. Now, to is an assumption which many well-meaning but ill-in-the gratification of this feeling in the breast of the meformed minds may not be inclined, all at once, to allow, it chanic, the acquisition of theoretical knowledge directly is of consequence to set the institution right with a portion conduces. Apart from the mere facility of performance of the public on this head. consequent on the repetition of muscular action, practice Nothing is more common than to hear, from the lips adds nothing to the efficiency of our labour, nor aids us in of seemingly sensible men, the announcement, that some the least degree in improving on the lessons which have certain proposition" may be right in theory, but is, un- been set before us to learn. The moment we acquire that doubtedly, wrong in practice." Theory can be opposed species of dexterity or skill in the performance of any to practice only by those whose interests are, somehow operation which is easily distinguished from the mechanior other, involved in the opposition, or by those who cal play of muscles under the training merely of habit and use the term in ignorance of its appropriate mean- imitation, our practice becomes properly theoretical. It ing. The relation which exists between theory and prac- is theory of some kind or other (that is, it is observation of tice is not that of opposition or contrast at all. It is facts, and a consequent classification of some sort or other) a relation of homogeneousness or comparison. That which which is at the bottom of every improvement, however is properly hypothetical may, indeed, be dignified with trivial, throughout the whole round of human operations. the name of theory; or it may be, that some import- For the performance of any mechanical operation, it is ant element is left out in the theoretical announcement; true, muscular facility is indispensable, and this facility but, in either case, the proposition propounded as theory is can be acquired only by repeated efforts. So far, thereimproperly so called. Theory, by all who use the term with fore, a certain amount of mere practice is absolutely necesunderstanding, is meant simply to designate generalised sary to the creditable performance of any operation whatpractice; or, in other words, the general principles of ever; but that facility once gained, the man who acquaints correct practice. Theory, therefore, without reference to himself with the theory of the operation, that is, who practice, is nonsense. The term theory, applied to that compares the results of his labours with other results so as which is not altogether practical, is a misnomer; and to connect the particular operation in question, as one of a they who use the word otherwise than as meaning it to more extensive class of operations, among which he has describe the best possible practice, use it unphilosophically; discovered some common feature of resemblance, is in a and, in so using it, are chargeable with ignorance or in- condition to apply his muscular dexterity more extensively consistency. The material distinction between the mean- than before, and hence becomes a more skilful, dexterous, ing of the terms theory and practice is, that practice de- and useful workman than before. This is the immediate scribes a set of operations or experiments not necessarily and obvious advantage which theoretical knowledge brings methodised; theory is the name under which any class of with it to the practical mechanic. He has only to court generalized or philosophically-arranged experiments may its acquisition, and the magnitude of the advantage will be comprehended. Practice indicates a certain method of be in proportion to the variety, amount, and quality of the acting, in relation to which the corresponding theory points knowledge consequently acquired. He becomes distinout the most excellent way. And hence, in opposition to guished for greater ability and skill than his fellow operathe common conception on this subject, it may be seen that tives, and consequently soon shoots ahead of them in the practice, unaided by theory, has only the chance of being career of comfort and independence. He is strengthened in right; whereas theory, properly so called, never can be following up that sleepless principle of his nature which is wrong. And thus it may be affirmed that practice which at the foundation of all progress in social as well as indiis not theoretical, that is, which is not altogether in accord-vidual enjoyment, and is thus rendered a better and more ance with theory, must be erroneous. It is theory thus dignified being than before. viewed-it is the philosophical sense of the term-which is meant to be upheld, when its importance is pressed upon the notice of practical men.

With this view of the subject, there will be little difficulty in comprehending in what respects a theoretical knowledge is advantageous to the practical mechanic. Every degree

But the mechanics, individually, are not the parties who alone are benefited by the spread of theoretical, in alliance with practical, knowledge: the community at large are gainers in proportion to the wideness of the dissemination. It is to be taken into account, that in all works requiring for their execution combined labour, the ability of the work

men is scarcely less important than the skill of the master. I corporeal gymnastics, will not be duly appreciated. It There may be cases, indeed, where the workman is, properly speaking, a mere machine; where the wheels, and pulleys, and levers, and cranks, which are under his guidance, require for their effective execution nothing beyond the application of such a moving force as an additional piece of machinery might supply. But in most cases, indeed, in all cases, where workmanship is worth notice as such, skill, discretion, and thought, in various degrees are requisite on the part of the workman. Masters may plan with adequate ability; but unless they also employ workmen of ability,-that is, men who can bring to the execution of their plans theoretical knowledge (properly so called) as well as practical, bootless in many instances would their plans and superintendence be. The general public are, therefore, concerned not only in having work--vying not merely with those stray pilgrims who may still men properly trained in the mere muscular or practical part, but in having them imbued with the science of their various occupations.

Another most important object contemplated in the formation of the "Sydney Mechanics' School of Arts" is, to provide adequate facilities for the supply of those deficiencies in early education, which have resulted either unavoidably from the want of means in the mother-country, or from the want of both stimulus and opportunity in the colony.

serves, indeed, to quiet these fears to know, that we have among us Australians actuated by far different feelings. One of these, a member of our committee of management, in the pursuit of scientific studies, to which he devotes a large share of his attention, has lately imported from London a choice assemblage of chemical substances and philosophical apparatus, which, in the hands of its liberalminded proprietor, may be regarded as a stock in store for the future instruction and gratification of the colonial public. Under the present circumstances, then, we have grounds for auguring the prevalence of a better spirit; and we may hence indulge in the hope, that in the progress of this society's operations, the children of Australia will shortly be seen fervent worshippers at the shrine of science, cherish some faint feelings of devotion in this land of their adoption, but joining in zeal with those who, in the old and honoured abodes of science and learning, are opening every now and then new avenues in the pathways of discovery, and gradually unravelling, for the admiration and benefit of the human race, mysteries and laws of Nature, which may have been hid from the knowledge of man since the foundation of the world. At all events, the importance of this result, as an object contemplated in the formation of this institution, cannot fail to be owned by all; whilst fervent prayers for its speedy accomplishment may be expected to issue from the heart of every philanthropic man, whether native or colonist.

From the growing increase of population in Great Britain compared with the demand for labour, the state of society there has long been such, that a struggle for a competent share of the good things of this life, on the part Another object of the institution merits especial consiof ordinary mechanics, has become oppressively severe. deration. It is contemplated, as one sure consequence of The consequence of this has been, that among those who the formation and proper conduct of the "School of Arts," have felt it their duty as honest men, and their interest as that there will be hence introduced and fostered among prudent men, to brave the pungency of those nameless feel-mechanics, who may have it in their power to save for ings which cannot but crowd the bosom of every intelligent themselves a small portion of time after the routine of their Briton, on the contemplation of leaving for ever the land of daily toil has been run, habits of intellectual intercourse his fathers, and who have thus been led to seek a home on and scientific investigation. these far distant shores;-there must be many whom the Those who have studied the nature of the human mind pressure of previous circumstances had debarred from em- will be best able to appreciate the value of such a considerabracing all those facilities of early education befitting their tion. In the case of individuals, if a man refuse to mingle condition in life, which are so ample within the circuit of with the living world-however much he may endeavour to their native land. To men thus circumstanced, in whose gain a knowledge of its history and its ways by the perusal minds it is natural to suppose extended acquaintance of books-he will infallibly fall behind in his aptitude to with the world has not lessened the estimate which discharge his social duties aright. He will lose cast in intelthey had formed at home of the value of education, it ligence as well as in virtue: he is sure to degenerate in cannot fail to be gratifying to find that some provision mental character. Nor is this effect limited to individuals is made here for the effective dissemination of those merely; it is perceptible in the case of nations also. Not kinds of information which their past experience may only is it found that an individual who separates himself have led them, now more than ever, to desiderate. After from society loses mental tension-it is observed that a sacrifice of feeling and a waste of time, which few tribes, also, which have departed in a state of comparative would willingly incur a second time, they may at length civilization beyond association or intercourse with other find themselves in circumstances, which will allow of their tribes, grow gradually into barbarism. So much has this devoting more time than before to the acquisition of know- been the case, that many men of talent and observation ledge. It is one of the objects of this institution to provide have been inclined to consider every instance of savage life the means of thus gratifying one of the higher propensities in the world as traceable to this cause. And most asof human nature, and hence to fit a valuable class of men suredly the traditions of all barbarous tribes, and many of for performing their social duties with more satisfaction to their customs and observations point to a period when themselves, and greater advantage to others than before. their ancestors must have ranked far higher in the scale of And with regard to native mechanics, who have hitherto civilization. Be this, however, as it may, it is, at all had comparatively few opportunities of improving them-events, obvious, that the circumstances under which any selves-whether mentally or mechanically—it would be class of emigrants leave their native land, are such as to difficult to conceive an object tending more directly to pro-involve the abandonment of many advantages upon the mote their most important interests. Education in the colony has hitherto been little else than a name. It is true that one or two most meritorious individuals have professed and conducted the business of education somewhat in accordance with the fashions of our forefathers, and in such wise as the practical wisdom of many generations has upheld, as best adapted to the powers and privileges of boyhood. Yet, till a very recent period, there has been no effective provision made for training the youthful mind, with a view to the spontaneous development of its energies, rather than the extortion of a given amount of task-work; and as to the teaching of science, properly so called, with the view of pointing out its utility in connexion with the practice of the various mechanical arts,-of this, hitherto, there has been none. It is, therefore, almost to be feared, that in consequence of the past habitudes of the colonial youth, in general, having been formed in the midst of circumstances, where their attention has been almost exclusively directed to less worthy but more exciting pursuits, the importance of an establishment which professes to uphold the superiority and advance the interests of mental over those of

enjoyment of which the advancement of their countrymen in civilization mainly depends. At the present moment, for instance, we are thus circumstanced. And in being separated, besides, from that mighty scene of competition which keeps every intellect on the stretch, and renders incessant activity, whether muscular or mental, altogether necessary throughout all the departments of industry, we are thereby thrown beyond the influence of some of the most powerful stimulants to individual exertion and social improvement. The object now particularized as involved in the proper working of our infant institution meets our condition in this respect. We are so placed that, but for perpetual intercourse with the mother-country, we run the risk of receding rapidly on the field of civilization. We have quitted the living world of mind, although we still may glance at the panorama of its movements as reflected to us in the literary and scientific publications of our “beloved father-land.' Yet, if we mean to rise in the scale of nations, we must possess a literature and science of our own: and what more likely means of accomplishing this end than by the establishment of an institution where the

ambition of ingenious men may be roused through mutual communication of thought and reciprocation of knowledge? There has hitherto been among us no intellectual bourse, or exchange, for the benefit of the general population, where, in the varied interchange of thought, men of all classes may meet together, and gather from the mental stores of each other supplies apportionate to their individual wants The importance of the object thus contemplated in the working of the present institution it is impossible to appreciate. It may aid, however, in forming adequate conceptions on the subject, to bring a few consi-nufacture of steam-engines in the colony? And here it derations more specifically under review.

utility and profit at no very distant day. And as one of the important results of the establishment and successful working of the present institution, we may surely consider the more speedy development of the still unknown resources of the territory. Who can doubt, for instance, that had there been earlier established here an institution such as has now been most auspiciously commenced, the iron and copper ores of the territory would have been smelted among us, especially since we have reached that point of progress where we begin to deem it expedient to commence the mamay be observed that in using charcoal from the wood of the colony for smelting the metallic ores, we should possess a considerable advantage over the iron smelters of the mother-country, as it is well-known that the greater purity of the iron and copper which are procured from Sweden, arises from the use of wood instead of coal in the process of smelting the ores.

As to the vegetable kingdom, too, although the botanical productions of this country have already contributed largely to the Flora of the world, yet the mercantile and domestic value of our native vegetation has not been fully investigated; whilst the known capacities of the soil and climate together, for bringing to maturity the varied vegetation of all other countries, are yet in a great measure to be taken advantage of. In this respect, the ability and zeal of our late colonial botanist, Mr. Frazer, the success of Mr. William M'Arthur, the earnest endeavours of Mr. James Busby, and the indefatigable industry of Mr. Shepherd, are not to be overlooked. Yet, in this department of exertion, there is still open to the various settlers in the territory the amplest field for pleasurable and profitable enterprise. Our industrious and intelligent townsman, Mr. Mackie, for instance, has succeeded in obtaining from the mangrove a sufficiency of appropiate alkali, for the purposes of his valuable mahis superior sagacity has richly merited. The late Mr. Kent, it is well known, suggested a preparation of mimosa bark, for the purposes of tanning, which accomplished an important saving in the freight of the manufactured article compared with that of the bark itself, and was justly rewarded by the Government with a large grant of land for this exercise of his ingenuity. And had a "Mechanic's School of Arts" been brought earlier into operation here, are we to doubt that, prosperous as our condition has been for some time past, we should at the present moment have been still much in advance, both in the value of our national productions, and in the number of our manufacturing processes. Would not greater attention have been paid to that important chemical process-the manufacture of colonial leather? Would not the manufacture of salt for the purposes of curing our colonial beef, have been conducted in such wise as to render it unnecessary to procure it from the mother-country? Had the gums of the colony been properly examined and analyzed, there is every reason to think that the discovery of some valuable article of commerce or of medicine would have been the result. Had the present illuminator of Sydney had the benefit of attending lectures in the theatre of a Mechanics' Institution, the town would, no doubt, long ago have been lit up with "blazing stars" of gas, more worthy of the designation far, than those which at present confer lustre on his name; and the manufacture of sperm besides, would have, long ere now, been turned to profitable and useful account. Had men been accustomed to meet together here, professedly for the purpose of discussing matters of science, and of devising the best modes of multiplying the comforts of society, the various departments of art would have been plied among us with much greater efficiency, and our colonial government been saved the trouble and odium of much equivocal legislation. With the aid of science, and under the play of free competition, for instance, the important processes of distillation and brewing would have been on a far different footing from that on which they stand at present; and our agriculturists would have found out remedies for the prevention of scab, much more effective and much more appropriate than legislative enactments.

So different, in many respects, are the physical features of this vast island from those of other lands, that some intelligent men have considered it to have been of much more recent formation than other parts of the earth. It has been held not unlikely that, besides our moon, there revolve other satellites round our earth which from the smallness of their masses-taking into consideration the distance of their orbits-must be to us invisible. It has been further conceived that, from disturbing causes, the nature and agency of which are not yet known, these bodies may be deflected from their orbits, so that their centripetal may overbalance their centrifugal force. On this idea the fall of meteoric stones has been considered as explicable, and to this class of phenomena the existence of New Holland itself has been referred. New Holland has been conjectured to have been one of those revolving bodies, drawn, some how or other, out of its orbit, so as to come within the range of the earth's immediate attraction. This fanciful and unsupported opinion is noticed here merely for the sake of bringing into view the fact that the physical characteristics of this country are acknowledged to be peculiar, and that there is, therefore, in their determination, a vast field open to the scrutiny of the physical observer. We have in this country an almost unexplored field of research,nufacture, and has been rewarded by that success which and we know not what discoveries await our investigations. Some progress, no doubt, has been made in the observation of natural phenomena; and we know, in consequence, just enough to quicken our anxiety to know more. Several important facts in geology, for instance, have come under observation. Our scientific and indefatigable President, Major Mitchell, has made a survey of that immense collection of fossil bones which have been found in the limestone caves of Wellington Valley. It has been found, it would appear, that these bones contain no animal matter, and may thus be considered as indicating an antiquity greater than can be claimed for those found in the rock of Gibraltar. Among the specimens of these fossil bones, which were taken to Europe by Dr. Lang, one, now in the possession of Professor Jameson, of Edinburgh, which was detached from the rock by Mr. Rankin, of Bathurst, has been pronounced by the celebrated Baron Cuvier to be part of the thighbone of a young elephant. In this department of research, therefore, we may yet have it in our power to produce ample facts for aiding the speculations of science. The mineralogical treasures of the country, however, are, properly speaking, yet to be ascertained, although several valuable products are well known to exist in abundance. We are all familiar with that excellent specimen of the coal-formation, which is brought to us so abundantly from Hunter's River; and we know that a beginning has already been made in the furnishing of our Sydney houses with beautiful chimney-pieces of Argyle marble. Both carbonate and sulphate of lime (common lime-stone and plaster of Paris) are found in great abundance in the district of the William and Hunter, which would admit of easy and profitable transportation for architectural and agricultural purposes here. Saltpetre, it is said, may be procured in any quantity from Lake George, and sulphur from the island of New Zealand: so that we may thus be considered as having within ourselves one of the essential elements of self-defence. The clay about Sydney is said, by competent judges, to be of the very best possible for the manufacture of pottery. Copper ore, of considerable richness, is found in the district of Wellington Valley. Specimens of magnetic iron ore have been brought from the William's River. All these are important facts in the mineralogical history of the colony; but they grow into still greater importance when they are considered as involving the assurance that, where these natural productions are found, others, of at least equal value, can be at no great distance; and that they, as well as many yet undiscovered, will be turned to

In proof of the propriety of these observations, it is allowable to state, that one of the members of our committee of management, to whom the institution is already highly beholden for the patience, perseverance, promptítude, and ability with which he has assisted in all the preliminary labours necessary at the outset of so important a

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