Of All The Public Schools I Have Ever Seen - By Public
Schools I Mean Schools For The People At Large Maintained At Public
Cost - Those Of Massachusetts Are, I Think, The Best.
But of all
the educational enactments which I ever read, that of the same
State is, I should say, the worst.
In Texas now, of which as a
State the people of Massachusetts do not think much, they have done
it better: "A general diffusion of knowledge being essential to the
preservation of the rights and liberties of the people, it shall be
the duty of the legislature of this State to make suitable
provision for the support and maintenance of public schools." So
say the Texans; but then the Texans had the advantage of a later
experience than any which fell in the way of the constitution-
makers of Massachusetts.
There is something of the magniloquence of the French style - of the
liberty, equality, and fraternity mode of eloquence - in the
preambles of most of these constitutions, which, but for their
success, would have seemed to have prophesied loudly of failure.
Those of New York and Pennsylvania are the least so, and that of
Massachusetts by far the most violently magniloquent. They
generally commence by thanking God for the present civil and
religious liberty of the people, and by declaring that all men are
born free and equal. New York and Pennsylvania, however, refrain
from any such very general remarks.
I am well aware that all these constitutional enactments are not
likely to obtain much credit in England.
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