begin with the young. It is difficult to change the character of those who have reached mature age and become the subject of established habits. The oak which has struck its roots deep and strong into the soil, and whose branches are hardened by time, cannot easily be bent to new forms. It is the sapling alone that submits to be trained at the will of the cultivator.
These are the opinions of society; and who will deny that they are founded in truth, or say that they impute to education undue power ?*
* The following representations, from authentic sources, will show how few high crimes are committed by educated persons, and leave us to infer the corrective power of instruction.
According to statements taken from official reports, more than three-fourths of the convicts in the state prisons in New York have either received no education or a very imperfect one.
The chaplain of the Connecticut state prison, in his last report to the legislature, says, " Of all the convicts who have ever been sent to this prison, no one has had a liberal or classical education, or belonged to either of the liberal professions. Almost one-half, when committed to prison, were unable to write, and one-sixth were unable to read.'"
The chaplain of the Auburn prison, in his last report, says, " Of two hundred and twenty-eight convicts committed last year, fifty-six could read and write only, fifty could read only, and sixty could not read."
The warden of the new penitentiary in Philadelphia says, " Of two hundred and seventeen prisoners received during the year 1835, sixty-nine can read, eighty-five can read and write, sixty-three cannot either read or write. Most of those who can read and write, or read only, do it very indifferently."
The directors of the Ohio penitentiary say " that the whole number of convicts are below mediocrity in point of information ; and,