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Since that time ten years have now nearly elapsed, during which the Bequest has been exerting its influence. It might hence be concluded, that its effects, if any, upon the education of the District which comes within its sphere should now be apparent. The Trustees accordingly hope that influence has been beneficial, and its effects salutary. They can claim—and for themselves they claim no more—an unbiassed and earnest desire to do their duty, and to carry out the benevolent intentions of the Founder; and they cannot but fondly hope that—through the exertions of their Clerk, and the willing co-operation, generally speaking, of Presbyteries and individual Clergymen, as well as of the Schoolmasters themselves their desire has been fulfilled, and the funds left at their disposal have been so distributed as to prove effectual, in some degree to promote, as was intended by Mr. Dick, the elevation of the literary character of the Parochial Schoolmasters and Schools in the Counties of Aberdeen, Banff, and Moray.
It was the wish of the Trustees that the present Report should not only embrace a statement of the present condition of the Schools which enjoy the benefit of the Bequest, but also give a view of the object of the Trustees in its management and distribution, and of the means by which
it was hoped that object had been to some extent attained.
The Trustees wished also, with a view to the benefit and improvement of the Teachers, that the Report should go more fully than might seem absolutely necessary in such a document, into the views and observations which had occurred to their Clerk upon the general subject and science of Teaching. He has, accordingly, in compliance with that wish, given such views and observations; and although the Trustees are aware that they have been the production of only such portions of his time as he could occasionally spare from the active pursuits of business, and cannot hence pretend to the maturity and completeness of a systematic Essay on the subject, they yet trust that they will fulfil their intention, and be found useful and instructive by those Teachers, for whom they were more immediately intended, and whose proceedings are more immediately embraced in the Report. They believe, too, that these remarks may likewise be perused with advantage by others occupied in the same important duty of giving public instruction.
The Trustees, actuated by that belief, have resolved to give the Report a wider circulation than
would have been attained even by the distribution which they contemplated among the Clergy and Schoolmasters of the Counties which are benefited by the Bequest. They have therefore directed that the Report should be offered for general sale.