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from an early age.*
This will not be so difficult to teach as many think; they may not, at the beginning, understand what they are doing, but the understanding of it will. come afterward of itself. Has God commanded that we shall offer him all firstlings, and shall we not offer him the firstlings of our thoughts, our speech, our efforts and actions ? The children should early be taught that not the present, but everlasting life, is the object of our being, that time is a preparation for eternity; so that their eyes may not be withdrawn by earthly cares from the one thing needful. Therefore, must they from their earliest youth, be led in the road which leads to God; in the reading of the Holy Scriptures, in attendance upon divine worship, and in doing good. “Oh may God give them grace," cries Comenius,t “to find the
which shall teach them well how to cast upon God all things with which our souls busy themselves, other than God; to cast upon God all the earthly cares in which the world is busied and buried, in striving after the heavenly life!"
Inwardly and outwardly, must they be trained to religion; outward training alone makes hypocrites, who fear God only in appearance; inward training alone makes fanatics, who fall into visionary views, disowning the ministry, and destroying the good order of the church.
II. JANUA RESERATA. The preface treats of the purpose and arrangement of the book.
Facts show, says Comenius, that up to this time, the proper method of teaching languages has not been understood in the schools ; after ten years and more have often been devoted to it without
any remarkable result. Youth have been occupied for several years with prolix and confused grammatical rules, and at the same time $ crammed " with the names of things, without the things themselves.” “But,” continues Comenius, “ although the names signify the things, how can they signify them to any good purpose, if the things themselves are not known ? A boy may be able to say over a thousand times a thousand
he has not the mastery of the things, of what benefit will all that multitude be to him ?'ll
It has been thought to remedy the evil, by the introduction of the • Perfrui conscientiae voluptate. Fruimur Deo in amore et favore ejus ita acquiescondo ut nihil nobis in coelo et terra optabilius sit Deo ipso.
+ Didact., 144. * The school plan which Comenius gives in his Didactica Magna, will be given further on; as well as extracts relating to Realism. 9 I shall quote indifferently, from the Latin and German texts of the Janua.
I Est enim nocentissimarum fraudum non postrema, quae humano generi, imo et doctorum vulgo, multum illudit, in linguarum scientia locare sapientiam. Thus says Comenius, in one of his latest works. Ventilabrum, opp. did., 450.
classics into the schools, with the idea that pure Latin and the knowledge of things could together be learned from them. “But this notion, how plausible soever, is in the highest degree harmful.” In the first place, the boys can not provide themselves with the classics, and in the second, they are not old enough for them. And even if “one had been through all the classics, he will still find that he had not attained his object, namely, a sufficient knowledge of the language; for the language does not treat of every thing, and even if it treated of all matters current in its time, it could neither treat of such as are current in our own times, nor know any thing about them; so that it would be necessary for him to read many more books, both of old and new authors; as, for instance, upon plants, metals, agriculture, war, and architecture; and, in truth, there would be no end to his accumulation of books.” How much time would be needed to learn a language in this way!
For this reason it is desirable " that a short compendium of the whole language should be prepared, in which each and all of its words and phrases should be brought together in one body, so as to be understood in a short time, and with less trouble, and so as to give an easy, appropriate and certain introduction to the authors who treat of the subjects themselves.” Just as it would be easier to take a survey of the beasts in Noah's ark, than if they had to be searched out all over the world; so it would be easier to learn all the words from such a compendium, than to gather them together from innumerable authors. Such a compendium had been made by a Jesuit some years before; he having published a Janua linguarum in Latin and Spanish, which contained, in twelve hundred proverbs, the most usual Latin words, so that, (particles excepted.) no word appeared more than once. This book was enlarged in 1615 with the English translation, afterward with German and French ones; and later, in 1629, appeared in eight languages.*
This book, however, did not fullfil its promise. First, many words were wanting in it, which are needed in daily use; and it contained many useless ones. Secondly, words of several significations appeared in it only once, and then only with one meaning. If this
Further information upon this Janua will be found, Didact. works, 2. 81, 270. Its title is, " Janua linguarum sive modus ad integritatem linguarum compendio cognoscendam maxime accommodatus; ubi sententiarum centuriis aliquot omnia usitatiora et necessaria vocabula semel comprehensa sunt, ita ut postea non recurrant.” Its author was an Irishman, W. Bateus, a Theatin at Salamanca. Isaac Habrecht, a physician at Strasburg, reprinted this Janua in Germany. Caspar Scioppius published it in 1627 in Latin and Italian, under the title of Mercurius bilinguis, and in 1636 at Basle, as Mercurius quadriliuguis. (Latin, German, Greek and Hebrew.) Bateus object was to promote the spread of Christianity by his book, by enabling the heathen to learn Latin easily by means of it.
meaning had been the first, simplest and radical one, an intelligent person could easily have guessed out the others. But this was not 80; most of the words being given in derived, metaphorical, metonymic, etc., meanings. Lastly, the work contains many sayings with no meaning, and others not edifying. For these reasons Comenius undertook to remedy these faults, from a “desire to promote the profit and piety of the young.” What he undertook to do was as follows:
"Since," he says, “I consider it an established law of the art of teaching, that understanding and speech must go in parallel lines, and that one should be able to express whatever he comprehends with the understanding, (since what difference is there between one who understands what he can not express and a mere dumb image ? and to speak without understanding is only parrotry,) I have come to the conclusion that all things in the world ought to be arranged in distinct classes, so that the boys can understand them; and what is to be expressed in speech, namely, things themselves, should be first impressed upon the mind.” Thus have arisen his “ hundred generic names of things.”
He thus brought together eight thousand words, in one thousand complete sentences, which he made at first short and more simple, and afterward longer and more complex.
Further, he has endeavored to bring forward, to be first understood by the boys, all words in their proper and natural signification, "except a few." Words of several meanings he has given more than once, in their different meaning. Synonyms and words of opposite meanings he has given opposite each other, and has so arranged that each shall assist in the understanding of the others.”
At the same time he has so prepared the sentences that they are valuable as grammatical exercises.
This preface is followed by the one hundred chapters which treat de omni scibili, in one thousand sentences. The first is an introduction, in which the reader is saluted, and informed that learning consists in this: to know distinctions and names of things; and that to attain this is not so very difficult. In this short little book, the reader will find explained, "the whole world and the Latin language." If the reader should learn four pages of it by rote, he would“ find that his eyes were opened to all the liberal arts.” Then follows the second, which treats of the creation of the world, and so on to the ninety-ninth, which treats of the end of the world; the one hundredth is his farowell advice to the reader.
III. REALISM OF COMENIUS. Such, substantially, is the little book which was translated into twelve European, and several Asiatic languages. I shall, hereafter, speak of the subsequent revision and enlargement of it. If it is asked how came about so great a success, I reply, it was partly from the pleasure found in the survey of the whole world, adapted both to young and old, and at a day when no great scientific requirements were made. Many were amused by the motley variety of the imaginations and investigations of the book; by its old fashioned grammatical, didactic and rhetorical discussions, and its spiritual extravagances. The greatest influence was, however, exerted by the fundamental maxim of the book; that the knowledge of a language, especially of Latin, should go hand in hand with knowledge of the things explained in it. By this principle, Comenius is distinguished from the earlier pedagogues; and he sought to bring it into natural operation in many ways.
From his Physics, which appeared in 1633,* we may see how thorough a pedagogical realist he was. He received his first impulse in this direction, as he himself relates, from the well known Spanish pedagogue, Ludovicus Vives, who came out against Aristotle, and demanded a christian instead of the heathen mode of philosophizing. . It is not disputation which leads to any result, said Vives, but the silent observation of nature. It is better for the scholars to ask questions and to investigate, than to be disputing with each other. · Yet," says Comenius, “ Vives understood better where the fault was, than what was the remedy.
Coinenius received a second impulse from Thomas Campanella, who, however, did not satisfy him. “But when," he says “ Bacon's Instauratio Magna came into my hands, a wonderful work, which I consider the most instructive philosophical work of the century now beginning, I saw in it, that even Campanella's demonstration was wanting in that thoroughness which is demanded by the nature of things.
The preface was written at Lissa in 1632. The information following is from it. † Campanella was born in 1568, at Srilo in Calabria, and died in 1639 at Paris. He was a Dominican. Being accused of a state offense against the Spanish monarchy, he was imprisuned in 1599 and only released in 1626, at the request of Urban VIII. Of his works, those which had most influence upon Comenius, were his Prodromus philosophice restaurandae, Realis philosophia epilogistica, and Libri de rerum sensu.
1 I may here be permitted, in order to a complete characterization of Comenius, to repeat something of what I have already said of Bacon's influence on teaching. In this connection 1 shall quote the Opp. did., 1, 426, where he says, “ Non est nihil, quod Verulamius mirabili suo organo rerum naturas intime scrutandi modum infallibilenı delesit." And in another place, (p. 432,) he praises Bacon's " artificiosam induclionem, quae revera in naturae abdita penetrandi reclusa via est.” Elsewhere, Comenius cites Bacon, or uses expressions (E. 8., “ Infeliz divortium rerum et rerborum,”) and states views, which refer us to Bacon.
Yet again, I was troubled, because the noble Verulam, while giving the true key of nature, did not unlock her secrets, but only showed, by a few examples, how they should be unlocked, and left the rest to future observations to be extended through centuries." He goes on, in the preface to the Physics, from which these extracts are taken, to say that he is convinced that it is not Aristotle who must be master in philosophy for Christians, but that philosophy must be studied freely by the indications of nature, reason and books. “For," he continues, “ are we not as well placed in the garden of Eden, as were our predecessors ? Why can we not use our eyes, ears, and nose as well as they could ? And why did we need other teachers than these, in learning to know the works of nature ? Why, say I, should we not, instead of these dead books, lay open the living book of nature? In this there is much more to display than one person like myself can relate, and the display will bring much more, both of pleasure and profit." "Moreover," he adds, evidently following Bacon, we are so many centuries beyond Aristotle even in experience.”
From these extracts it is evident that Comenius, like Bacon, aimed at a real realism, not at a simply verbal one; at one which should operate by the direct observation of things by the senses, not by the narratives and descriptions of others. This appears clearly also, from many portions of his other works. Thus, he says, in the Didactica Magna: “To instruct youth well, is not to cram them with a mishmash of words, phrases, sentences and opinions, gathered from reading various authors, but to open their understandings to the things themselves, so that from them, as from living springs, many streamlets may flow.” Again : “ Hitherto, the schools have done nothing with the view of developing children, like young trees, from the growing impulse of their own roots, but only with that of hanging them over with twigs broken off elsewhere. They teach youth to adorn themselves with others' feathers, like the crow in Æsop's fables. They do not show them things themselves, as they are, but tell them what one and another, and a third, and a tenth, has thought and written about them; so that it is considered a mark of great wisdom for a man to know a great many opinions which contradict each other. Thus it has come to pass, that most scholars do nothing but gather phrases, sentences and opinions, and patch together their learning like a cento. It is of such that Horace says, 'O imitatorum servum pecus!' Of what use is it to vex one's self about others' opinions of things, when that which is needed is, the knowledge of the things themselves? Is all the labor of our lives to be spent in nothing except in running after others who are employed in all sorts of directions ? Oh ye