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To this Comenius had intended to add a Lexicon Latino-latinum; which, however, did not appear.
V. THE CLASSICS. After the scholars had used, in their first year, the Vestibulum, in the second the Janua, and in the third the Atrium, as preparatory manuals, they were next, in a fourth class, to enter, from the Atrium, into the palace of authors. “For,” says Comenius,* " if we should not, through the Vestibulum, the Janua, and the Atrium introduce the scholars into the palace of authors, we should be as foolish as one who, after with much pains, seeking, finding and pursuing his road to the very gates of a city, should refuse to enter.” The scholars of this fourth class are, in their first quarter of a year, to practice the ordinary Latin style; in the second, speeches from the Roman histories, and the Ciceronians, for the sake of the oratorical style; in the third, to read Ovid, Horace and Virgil, to learn the poetical style ; and afterward to study the laconic authors, especially Seneca and Tacitus, and to begin studying the composition of letters, speeches
In his Methodus Novissima,f he gives fuller directions what authors to read and how to read them. His three text-books, he says here, enable the scholar to understand Latin, and to write and read it not uplatinistically. He must then proceed to the authors, in order from them to gain a fuller knowledge of real things, a better style, and practical readiness. He must not restrict himself to Cicero, as he neither contains all Latinity, nor all subjects. Terence and Plautus must be read with caution, on account of the immoral character of some of their contents. For speaking Latin, however, they are the best; as is Cicero for the construction of periods. For the laconic style, Seneca is the model, Virgil for the epic, Ovid for the elegiac, and Horace for the lyric. An acquaintance with real objects can be gathered from Pliny, Vitruvius, Cæsar, and others. Authors must be read thoroughly, and extracts and imitations may be written; this last in part by means of translations and re-translations; and then abridgments and continuations come, and finally the contents of the classics are to be transferred to other persons, relations, etc. For this purpose the scholar must adopt only a single model, Cicero for instance, and train himself to a style by daily and hourly exercisest
* This, he says in his treatise upon the school at Patak in three classes, the necessity of ad. ding a fourth, and its purpose. See below, Schola pansophica.
t Opp. did., 2. 199.
* " For he must feel himself so transferred into his author's spirit, that nothing will be grateful to his ears, which has not the sound of Cicero." Ib., 205.
upon that model. Yet he must be very careful lest he become a mere empty phraseologer.* Comenius
expresses himself with greater rigor against the heathen books, in his earlier Didactica Magna. “Our schools," he says, " are Christian only in name; Terence, Plautus, Cicero, rule over them. Therefore it is that our learned men, even our theologians, belong to Christ only in externals, while Aristotle has the real authority over them. Day and night they study the classics, and neglect the Holy Scriptures. Shall our boys, for the sake of a style, study the indecency of Terence, Plautus and the like? Shall we in this way cast oil upon the fire of men already lost? Although these authors have many good portions, still, the evil they contain sinks at once deep into the souls of the boys. Even the better of the classics, Cicero and Virgil for instance, have whole pages entirely unchristian. Yet, as Israel took the vessels of the Egyptians, I so many learned men of confirmed Christian character, make collections of extracts from the classics, which may be read by youth without danger. Perhaps Seneca, Epictetus and Plato, only, may be put whole into the hands of youth already confirmed in Christianity.” But to avoid any misunderstanding, as if he had forbidden without explanation, to read the classics, he refers to the promise of Christ, that believers shall be harmed neither by serpents nor by poison. Only boys who are yet weak in the faith, must not be exposed to such serpents, but fed with the pure milk of God's word.
He expresses himself in the strongest manner upon the study of the ancients, in one of his latest pedagogical works, which he has named “The Winnowing-fan of Wisdom."S Here he says, “ We have seen in very recent times frightful examples of kings and queens, who, seduced by heathen books, have despised the simplicity of the gospel. If such learned men as Lipsius and others, who have become drunk with the classics, should be examined, there would be found in them pothing like David's pleasure in the law of God, but on the other hand a disgust with it."
• "Not without reason did the wise Buchholtzer write, 'I dislike the Italian Ciceronians, because they speak only words; not things. Their rhetoric, for the most part, is kolekcvtik. It is a gloss without a text, a nut without meat, a cloud without rain. Their feathers are bet. ter than the birds themselves.'" Comenius was evidently acquainted with the Ciceronianus of Erasmus; and like him, he found especial fault with the paganism of Bembo and the other Italians. : Opp. did., 147.
* This same comparison occurs in Augustine's Confessions, (7, 9,) in relation to the read. ing of the heathen philosophers by Christians.
$ Ventilabrum sapientiae. Opp. did., 4, 47. A remarkable retractation. | Referring apparently to Christina of Sweden.
As to the reading of the ancients, Comenius was in the same perplexity with many other Christian teachers. He feared the influence of the heathen books upon youth; but at the same time these same Christian youth must learn thoroughly to speak and read Latin. Latin would be, without doubt, best learned by the repeated reading of Terence; but then again Terence is so indecent! How was this dilemma to be solved ?
VI. ORBIS Pictus. Besides the three school books with which we have become acquainted, the Vestibulum, the Junua and the Atrium, Comenius wrote a fourth. This is the Orbis Pictus, which, since its first appearance in the year 1657, has been, during nearly two hundred years, down to the present time, and in the most various forms, the favorite book for children. Comenius had deeply felt the imperfection of his school books in one respect. He desired that the beginning of teaching should be always made, by means of dealing with actual things; and in the school-room, there was nothing which could be thus used. “It may be observed,” he writes to the bookseller, Michael Endter, of Nuremburg, * " that many of our children grow weary of their books, because these are overfilled with things which have to be explained by the help of words; things which the boys have never seen, and of which the teachers know nothing." By the publication of the Orbis Pictus, however, he says, this evil will be remedied.
We have seen that Comenius was desirous that the text of his Vestibulum, long before, should contain pictures; but he could find no artists capable of designing the pictures, and cutting them on wood under his supervision. In the letter above alluded to, he most earnestly thanked Endter for having undertaken the designs. work,” he writes to him, “ belongs to you; it is entirely new in your profession. You have given a correct and clear edition of the Orbis Pictus, and furnished figures and cuts, by the help of which, the attention will be awakened and the imagination pleased. This will, it is true, increase the expense of the publication, but it will be certainly returned to you.” Comenius says further, that the book will be very welcome in schools, since it is entirely natural to look at pictures; and still more welcome, since now instruction may progress without hindrance, and neither learning nor teaching need delay, since what is printed in words may be brought before the eyes by sight, and thus the mind may be instructed without error.
The letter is dated at Lissa, 1655, and is printed before the edition of the Atrium issued by Endter in 1659.
I have thought it scarcely necessary to give a detailed description of this celebrated school book, for, as I have said, it has been published in innumerable editions, down to the present day. The old Orbis Pictus, varies little as to text, from the Janua reserata ; it is the Janua with illustrations. The cuts in the later editions are clearer than in the old; but the variations of the texts are not successful. The comparison is especially striking between the forty-second cut, entitled “Of the soul of man,” in the edition of 1659, and the same in the edition of 1755. In the first, the soul is very ingeniously represented in a bodily shape, by uniform points, without light or shade, like a phantom. The artist evidently wished to indicate that the soul, so to speak, was present throughout the whole body. In the Orbis Pictus of 1755, on the other hand, the picture is an eye, and on a table the figures I.I.II. I.I.II. It is difficult to recognize in this an expressive psychological symbol, and to explain it.
The Janua reserata of Comenius, notwithstanding its former great celebrity, is forgotten; the Orbis Pictus, on the contrary, is known and liked by many, if not in its old form, at least in a new one. The principle that the knowledge of things and of words should go hand in hand, was, it is true, laid down by Comenius in the preface of the Janua, but was not realized in the book itself. Hence, very naturally, the complaints of teachers and scholars, of the incompleteness of the book.
But in the Orbis Pictus this principle was found to be realized as far as possible; and many persons* said that they did not need the Vestibulum and the Janua, for that the shorter way in the Orbis Pictus, was enough. There was, it is true, a world-wide difference between what Comenius originally sought-an acquaintance with things themselves, before any knowledge of words relating to those things-and the actual use made of the scarcely recognizable pictures of these originals in the Orbis Pictus, in connection with the reading of the text. Yet this is at least a beginning; and who can tell what may be, in the course of time, developed from it? Basedow's elementary book is the Orbis Pictus of the eighteenth century. Chodowieck's pictures in this work, are much superior to the old wood-cuts of the Orbis; but in other respects, how far does the godless Elementary Book, filled with false explanations and superficial and materialistic realism, fall behind the ancient earnest and religious Orbis Pictus !
A very valuable commendation of the Orbis Pictus is to be found in the Isagoge of Joh. Matth. Gesner.f " For beginners in language," says Gesner, “ books are proper, from which, at the same time, a * Opp. did., 3, 830.
knowledge of things themselves may be gained. For the younger scholars, especially, the Orbis Pictus of Comenius, which I very much like. Not that the work of Comenius is complete; but we have no better."
I repeat, the Orbis Pictus was the forerunner of future development; and had for its object, not merely the introduction of an indistinct painted world into the school, but, as much as possible, a knowledge of the original world itself, by actual intercourse with it.
VII. COMENIUS' PLAN OF STUDY.
A. Three schools. Academy. Comenius, in his Didactica Magna, gives a general plan of study, which, upon comparison with the school ordinances of Saxony and Wurtemberg, already mentioned, appears to have been generally similar to existing ones. He proposes the four following classes of institutions; A. Schola materna, (mother's school;) B. Schola vernacula, (vernacular school ;) C. Schola Latina, (Gymnasium;) D. Academia, (University.)
A mother's school, he says, should be in every house; a vernacular school in every municipality; a Latin school in every city, and a university in each kingdom or large province.
Pupils are to remain in the mother school until their sixth year, from the sixth to the twelfth in the German, and from the twelfth to the eighteenth in the Latin, and from the eighteenth to the twentyfourth at the university. In the mother school the external senses especially are to be trained in the right apprehension of things; in the German school, the inner senses ; the imagination and the memory. Here, also, must the pictures of things which are impressed upon the mind through the external senses, be together brought out into expression, by the hand and the tongue, by reading, writing, drawing, singing, etc. In the gymnasium, the understanding and the judgment are to be trained by comparing, distinguishing, and the deeper investigation of things. In the university, the will is to be cultivated. After this Comenius proceeds to describe each of his four schools,
A. The Mother School. We should
pray for the Mens sana in corpore sano, but should use means for it also. Even during pregnancy, the mother should pray for the well-being of the embryo, should live upon suitable diet, and should keep herself as quiet and comfortable as possible. She herself must nurse the new-born child; it is a most injurious custom which prevails, especially among noble ladies, of employing nurses;