Glimpses Of Our Ancestors In Sussex - online book

With Sketches Of Sussex Characters, Remarkable Incidents &c

Home | Order | Support | About | Contact | Search

Share page  

Previous Contents Next

Self-Educated Sussex Men.
N a few years there will be no such thing as an uneducated boy in England, and then the race of self-educated men will have disappeared. When the State left children to themselves—and a great many parents followed the example of the State—there was, no doubt, a great deal of ignorance—a large tract of brain that lay fallow. But then, as if to compensate for this, here and there a boy or man took the work into his own hands— educated himself; and of all modes of education this, if not the best, is the most fruitful in results. For it can only be done, to follow out my rural simile, on " strong soils," where Nature has been prodigal of her gifts, and has given a decided bent in this or that direction. As a rule, this bent is followed in self-education (in enforced education it is often neglected or even thwarted), and the consequence frequently is, such a crop as you only get from virgin soil.
These self-educated men, in times gone by, made some amends for the general sterility: they vindicated the goodness of the native stock—the natural richness of the soil. But they were not a happy race of men. They had to fight against circumstances, and the jealousy of neighbours, and the doubts and indifference of friends and relations; above all, against the pride and superciliousness of " Society," which sets its face against irregular and erratic outbursts of talent, and closes
Previous Contents Next