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[196] that it is extremely rare to find a person who cannot read and write, and who has not pretty good, shrewd general ideas; but here comes a great hiatus in the means of education; for while the Universities of Alcala, Salamanca, etc., are so fallen that nobody pretends to go to them but as a matter of form, to have permission to be an advocate or a physician, or some other privileges that were anciently attached to their degrees, the capital has not only done nothing to supply their places, but has even destroyed two institutions of a very useful character, and left nothing for the intermediate steps in education but loose lectures on botany at the Botanic Garden, lectures on physics at the Gabinete, and similar disjointed instructions, that make up no system, and lead to no distinct end. . . . .

The law is not taught at all, being left entirely to the monks of Alcala and Salamanca, and the kind decree of Mr. Garay, who permits every man to become a lawyer that will pay a certain inconsiderable sum to the Treasury. The healing art is very ill taught at their dirty hospital by five professors, for medicine, surgery, anatomy, chemistry and clinics; but it is only necessary to go there and see their collections of filthy preparations, antiquated instruments, and books out of all date and repute, to know that everything is bad and wrong here in medical instruction. . . . .

There are a few institutions for education here that should be separately mentioned; because, though useful, they have no fixed position in the general system. In the first place, there is the school for the deaf and dumb. It should be remembered, in speaking of this, that the world owes the power of teaching them to Spain, for it was Bonet—to whom Lope de Vega has addressed one of his sonnets —that first invented it. The present institution is not a large or an old one. It was established on the return of the king, who gives to it 2,500 of the 4,500 dollars it costs yearly, and contains only twenty-seven pupils. They are well taught to read, write, etc., and, what is more, to speak intelligibly. One fact I witnessed, and knew therefore personally, which is extremely curious. Not one of the pupils, of course, can ever have heard a human sound, and all their knowledge and practice in speaking must come from their imitation of the visible, mechanical movement of the lips, and other organs of enunciation, by their teachers, who are all Castilians; yet each speaks clearly and decidedly, with the accent of the province from which he comes, so that I could instantly distinguish the Catalonians and Biscayans and Castilians, while others more practised in Spanish felt the Malagan and Andalusian tones. How is this to be explained, but


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