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The earliest statistics by which the progress of popular education may be measured are contained in the Parliamentary returns of 1813, when there were in England and Wales nearly 20,000 day schools, with about 675,000 scholars, giving the proportion of 1 in 17 of the population. There were also 5,463 Sunday schools, with 477,000 scholars, or 1 in 24 of the population. Lord Kerry's Parliamentary returns for 1833 showed the number of day schools and scholars to be nearly doubled, and the proportion to be 1 in 11 of the population. The Sunday schools, during the same period, were trebled in number, and also in the aggregate of children attending; while their proportion to the population was 1 in 9the population having in the interval increased 24 per cent., the day scholars 89 per cent., and the Sunday scholars 225 per cent. Up to this time (1833) the work of education was conducted by private liberality, incited mainly by religious zeal, and acting through the agencies of the two great societies, the British and the National. In that year Government came to their aid, and a meagre grant of 20,000 a year continued to be made till 1839, when it was increased to 30,000. This was shared between the two societies,[426] representing two educational parties. The principle of the British and Foreign School Society, chiefly supported by Dissenters, was, that the Bible should be read without note or comment in the schools, and that there should be no catechism admitted, or special religious instruction of any kind. The schools of the National Society, on the other hand, were strictly Church schools, in which the Church Catechism must be taught. The total number of schools in 1841 was 46,000, of which 30,000 were private. These statistics indicate an immense amount of private energy and enterprise, the more gratifying from the fact that the greater portion of the progress was due to the working classes themselves. Great improvements had been effected in the art of teaching. Both the British and the National Societies from the beginning devoted much attention to the training of efficient teachers. In 1828 the former sent out 87 trained teachers; in 1838 as many as 183. The National Society commenced a training institution in 1811, and after forty years' progress it had five training colleges, sending out 270 teachers every year.

When Buonaparte, early in the morning of the 18th, mounted his horse to reconnoitre Wellington's position, he was rejoiced to observe so few troops; for many were hidden behind the height on which Wellington took his stand. One of his staff suggested that Wellington would be joined by Blucher; but so wholly ignorant was Napoleon of the settled plan of the two generals that he scouted the idea. "Blucher," he said, "is defeated. He cannot rally for three days. I have seventy-five thousand men: the English only fifty thousand. The town of Brussels awaits me with open arms. The English opposition waits but for my success to raise their heads. Then adieu subsidies and farewell coalition!" And, looking again at the small body of troops visible, he exclaimed, in exultation, "I have them there at last, these English!" General Foy, who had had ample experience of "these English" in Spain, said, "Wellington never shows his troops; but, if he be yonder, I must warn your majesty that the English infantry, in close fighting, is the very devil!" And Soult, who had felt the strength of that infantry too often, confirmed Foy's assertion.

Two of the workmen from Butterley Foundry entered the "White Horse," which was kept by a widow Wightman, whose son George was deep in the foolish conspiracy into which Oliver and this his blind, savage tool, the Nottingham Captain, were leading him. They found Brandreth with a map before him, and telling them there was no good to be done, they must march up to London and overthrow the Government. He said all the country was rising; that at Nottingham the people had already taken the castle and seized the soldiers in their barracks, and were waiting for them. This shows that he had come straight from Oliver, who, on the 7th, was at Nottingham, attending the meeting there, and who knew that the meeting in Yorkshire had been prevented. Yet he had allowed the people of Nottingham to believe that the Yorkshire men were coming, according to agreement, in thousands; and he allowed Brandreth to go and arouse Derbyshire, under the belief that Nottingham that night would be in the hands of the insurgents. On Monday night, the 9th of June, Brandreth and a knot of his colleagues proceeded to muster their troop of insurgents for the march to Nottingham. They roused up the men in their cottages, and, if they refused to go, they broke in the doors with a crowbar, and compelled them to join them. Most of these unwilling levies slipped away in the dark on the first opportunity. At South Wingfield he assembled his forces in an old barn, and then they proceeded through the neighbourhood demanding men and guns. An old woman had the courage to tap the "captain" on the shoulder, and say"My lad, we have a magistrate here;" and many of the men thought Brandreth must be mad or drunk. At the farm of widow Hetherinton he demanded her men and arms, and when she stoutly refused him, he put the gun through[127] the window and shot one of her men dead. As the day dawned, Brandreth and his infatuated troop appeared before the gates of Butterley Foundry, and demanded the men; but Mr. Goodwin, the manager, had been apprised of their approach, and had closed the gates. Brandreth had planned to take Butterley Foundry, and carry away not only the men but a small cannon kept there; but Mr. Goodwin went out and told Brandreth he should not have a man for any such insane purpose, and seeing an old man that he well knew, Isaac Ludlam, who bore a good character, and had been a local preacher amongst the Methodists, he seized him by the collar and pushed him into the foundry court, telling him not to be a fool, but stay at home. Ludlam, however, replied, "he was as bad as he could be," rushed out, and went onto his death; for he was one of those that were executed.

In 1831 there were in England and Wales 56 parishes containing less than 10 persons; 14 parishes containing but from 10 to 20 persons, the largest of these, on the average, containing 5 adult males; and there were 533 parishes, containing from 20 to 50 persons, the largest of which would give 12 adult males per parish. It was absurd to expect that such parishes could supply proper machinery for the levying and collecting of rates, or for the distribution of relief. It was found that a large number of overseers could only certify their accounts by signing with a mark, attested by the justice's clerk. The size of the parishes influenced materially the amount of the poor-ratethe smallest giving the greatest cost per head. For example, the hundred absolutely largest parishes, containing a population of 3,196,064, gave 6s. 7d. per head; the hundred intermediate parishes, containing a population of 19,841, gave 15s. a head; while the hundred smallest parishes from which poor-rate returns were made, with a population of 1,708, gave 1 12s. a head. The moral effects were still more remarkable. In the large parishes 1 in 13 was relieved; in the intermediate, 1 in 12?; and in the smallest, 1 in 4, or 25 per cent. of the population, were paupers. Hence arose the necessity of a union of parishes with a common workhouse and a common machinery, and with paid permanent officers for the administration of relief. He next attacked and took Montereau from the Allies, but at a terrible cost of life. Finding then that the Austrians and Prussians were once more contemplating a junction, he sent an answer to the letter of the Allied sovereigns, but it was addressed only to the Emperor of Austria, and its tenor was to persuade the Emperor to make a separate peace. "Only gain the Austrians," he had said to Caulaincourt, on sending him to Chatillon, "and the mischief is at an end." The Emperor sent Prince Wenceslaus of Liechtenstein to Napoleon's headquarters, and it was agreed that a conference should be held at Lusigny, between him and Count Flahault, on the 24th of February. But Buonaparte did not cease for a moment his offensive movements. On the night of the 23rd he bombarded Troyes, and entered the place the next day. The Congress at Chatillon still continued to sit, Caulaincourt amusing the sovereigns and the ambassador of Great Britain, Lord Aberdeen, with one discussion after another, but having secret instructions from Buonaparte to sign nothing. At length he wrote to him, on the 17th of February, saying, "that when he gave him his carte-blanche it was for the purpose of saving Paris, but that Paris was now saved, and he revoked the powers which he had given him." The Allies, however, continued till the 15th of March their offer of leaving France its ancient limits, and then, the time being expired, they broke up the conference. It is said that as Caulaincourt left Chatillon he met the secretary of Buonaparte bringing fresh powers for treating, but it was now too late. On the 1st of March the Allies had signed a treaty at the town of Chaumont, pledging themselves to combined action against Napoleon, should he still prove to be obstinate.