Page images

in the formal reading of them, when that train is no longer kept up in the memory, so as to warm the imagination. The extempore method, also, brings the mind of the speaker into closer contact with that of ibe bearer; accommodates itself more easily to the wants of the latter; enables the teacher to repeat what has not been fully conceived, to change the mode of illustration, to relieve the attention, to excite the curiosity, and to direct, anticipate, and assist the students in a great variety of ways, which are in vain to be expected from the reader of a written lecture.

The practice of reading has another bad effect, in as much as it precludes, almost entirely, the intercourse of looks and feeling which should subsist between the professor and his students, during the delivery of the lecture; for it would make but little difference, provided be were distinctly heard, if the reader were concealed altogether, and pronounced bis discourse in a contiguous apartment. When, on the other hand, lectures are delivered extempore, as ibe expression comes warm from the active thought and animated feelings of the teacher, there is produced in the moment a species of sympathetic influence between him and his pupils, which it is not easy to describe, but of which the effects are well understood. He, too, who speaks extempore can look around with freedom, and form an estimate not only of the attention wbich is bestowed, but also of the interest with which the lecture is received. He perceives, froin the expression of the countenance and the attitude of the body, whether the mind of the student is caught and carried along by the argument, or whether he is left bebind and laboring to keep up with the progress of the discussion. The advantages arising from this intercourse between the mind and the eye, in a numerous class, composed principally of very young men, are neither few nor unimportant. They have been appreciated less or more by all teachers, and turned to a practical use by such as had sufficient skill to mark their tendency.

I have heard, from the celebrated Adam Smith, who was long professor of moral philosophy in this university, that almost every ses. sion there were some of his students, from whose countenances and general behavior he was enabled to judge whether his lectures were fully understood. There was an intelligent and composed posture of the body which he could easily distinguish from that which denoted a doubtful or unsatisfied mind. 5* One session,” said he, “I observed an intelligent student who generally sat in the same place, with his back to the wall. When be perfectly understood the lecture, be sat with his body bending forwards, in the attitude of animated attention ; but whenever he found me above bis level, he threw his body back to the wall, and continued in a careless posture. That was a signal to me. I instantly retreated, look up the subject in another form ; and never ceased my efforts till my marksman bent forward, and was restored to his attentive position. Then we went on harmoniously 10gether."

The second part of professor Jardine's work is devoted to a par

[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small]

ticular account of his method of conducting the business of his class; and to some valuable suggestions for improvement in this and other departments of university business.

The leading peculiarity of the professor's method, was a progressive series of compositions or themes on the subjects of his lectures. These afforded a useful exercise in recalling and considering the subjects which the professor investigated, and thus training the mind to the invaluable habits of attention and reflection. But this was not the only benefit of such exercises: they cultivated, at the same time, a facility and accuracy in writing, which was farther aided and improved by the collateral exercise of recapitulating, orally, the substance of each lecture-a practice which tended greatly to facilitate the habit of extemporaneous address. Another valuable exercise consisted in giving, in presence of the professor and the class, an oral abstract of whatever author a student might happen to be reading at his leisure hours; another in giving full and accurate definitions on subjects proposed without premeditation; and another, in mutual instruction applied to composition and criticism.

Professor Jardine's discipline and general management were peculiarly happy. An account of these may be found in the United States Literary Gazette, for December 1st, 1825.

The character of professor Jardine as an instructer cannot be more justly or more happily given, than by applying to himself a passage from his own work.

• The possession even of professional knowledge, and the art of communicating it successfully to others, are two very different things ;though the former, as bas just been remarked, is often beld as an apology for the want of the latter, or even as superseding the necessity of such a qualification. The professional art, however, so to call it, comprehending that of managing a numerous class of young persons, requires an assemblage of qualities which are not always found united. An ardent and diligent search for the particular knowledge required the arrangement and adaptation of it to the purposes of those to whom it is to be communicated--the kind, prudent, and discreet management of different characters--the wise administration of discipline-firmness and self possession in bestowing praise and inflicting censure-readiness to meet unexpected demands for information—the removing of obsta; cles, and the solving of difficulties are all, in their turn, required of the teacher of philosophy.'

In all these characteristics of an accomplished instructer, professor Jardine was a model of excellence which, if we are at liberty to use the term, when speaking of human beings,—we might justly call perfect. It has seldom, perhaps, fallen to the lot of

[ocr errors]

man to labor so long in a useful office, or with so distinguished success, or with so profound respect and heart-felt gratitude from those for whom he labored. The good old age of this venerable man differs but little from his earlier years. Though in retirement, he is still zealously employed as a reformer in education-still enjoys the light of a serene and cheerful mind, beaming a pure and exalted happiness on all within its sphere of intercourse.

The Moral Characters of Theophrastus, in the Graeca Majora, lit

erally translated into English, to which are subjoined Explanatory and Philological Notes. For the Use of Students. Andover: 1826. 8vo. pp. 36.

The author of this little work has acquitted himself ably of the task he has undertaken. The translation, though literal, is in general neat and classical, and much of the vigor and spirit of the Greek satirist may be found in the corresponding English.

The general remarks on translation, contained in the preface, are we think, just. An ambitious and industrious student will make such a work useful, without permitting it to be necessary to himhe will judge of it, as of the original, for himself, and will render it subservient to his views, without an undiscriminating adherence to its decisions. Employed in this way, a translation, instead of doing harm, will be productive of much good; and to those who would abuse one by making it the substitute for exertion, the apologies and means of negligence are ever abundant. To students therefore who wish to become familiar with the meaning of this agreeable writer, we cheerfully recommend our author's work, as a judicious auxiliary to their efforts for this purpose.

It has been remarked by an elegant and learned writer* upon classical education, ibat " translations are the bane of scholarship.”. But this general truth, to which all scholars will heartily assent, may have its exceptions ; for there are studied at our colleges, extracts from, at least, one Greek author, at a time when the studerit, from bis limited knowledge of Greek, cannot fully understand them, without something more than the ordinary facilities of grammars and lexicons. This author is Theophrastus. From the abruptness of his style—from the present corrupted state of bis text from his frequent allusions to customs, festivals, and religious rites—and from bis using words and

Shepherd, Joyce, and Carpenter's Systematic Education, Vol. I. Introductory Essay.

phrases not found in any other author ; or, if found, not used in the same sense, I am convinced, from my own observation, that it is sel. dom that a student at college, in his Freshman year, understands this author thorougbly, or relishes biin with taste. I have therefore presented to bim a literal English version of the extracts from The Mor. al Characters of this author in the first volume in the Graeca Majora; and bave subjoined to it, numerous critical and explanatory notes. For having done this, I do not deem it necessary to offer any apology to the instructers of our youth. For while they cannot deprecate, more than myself, a general and free use of translations among students ; as tending to destroy critical scholarship, independence of thought, pa: tient and laborious research, and one of the great benefits derived from the study of the dead languages—the sbarpening and disciplining of the mental powers; they must be aware, that the peculiarities of Theophrastus require peculiar aids. For to understand his frequent allusions to local customs, reference must be made to many books, to which few students have access.

In the translation, I have endeavored to be as literal as possible, without doing violence to our own language; and to give to every Greek word, its best and most appropriate word in English ; and whenever the sense of a word in the Greek, cannot be expressed without using three or four in English, these are connected together by hy. phens. It would have been a much easier task to bave written an elegant and free translation of this author ; for in that case, one would not be restrained by the peculiarities of his style, but would take bis thoughts, and mould them into what form he pleased. Such a version might bave sounded better to an English ear--but would not bave been Theophrastus.

The extracts from Longinus, in the Majora, I have partly prepared in the same manner. But as the difficulties of this author consist, chiefly, in bis language and thought, they may be surmounted by patient and vigorous application. I have therefore hesitated to complete and publish this work, thinking that it might not subserve the cause of Classical Literature.'

The hesitation of the translator, in this case, is creditable to bis diffidence of his own judgement; but we hope, it will not have an ultimate influence on his decision. The truth had better be frankly told at once, that in many seminaries in this country, not only the pupil but the teacher needs such helps as are afforded by translation and copious explanatory notes. If judiciously used, these will be highly beneficial ; and if not, the blame does not lie with the translator. A translation and a collection of notes, such as are appended to Theophrastus, if carried through a large proportion of the harder authors, would be serviceable, in a high degree, to the efforts both of learners and teachers.

The arrangement of the text, translation, and notes, in the pres, ent publication are remarkably convenient, and the execution of the work, by its beauty and accuracy reflects credit on its publishers.




A numerous and respectable meeting of persons resident at the East End of the metropolis was recently held to take into consideration the practicability of forming a Branch Establishment of the London Gymnastic Institution for those resident in this part of London.- Dr. Gilchrist was called to the Chair.

The Chairman said that if the practice of the ancients, and the successful cultivation of gymnastic exercises in Gerinany, and various other parts of Europe, were not decisive of the utility and practicability of such Institutions, they had now the decisive fact that such an Institution bad been successfully introduced in this metropolis. The projectors have, in consequence of the distance of the Gymnasium from persons resident in that district, desired to try the practicability of a Branch Institution for the Eastern part of the metropolis. Upwards of seven hundred respectable young men had experienced the benefits of the parent Institution. He had lately been informed by Mr. Hume, that efforts would, in a short time, be made to form a Branch Establishment in the west end of the town, and he had no doubt that another would be instituted in Surrey. He concluded by adverting to the testimony of persons of high medical reputation as to the benefits that must be derived in crowded cities from the pursuit of such exercises.

Dr. Black, in moving the first Resolution, declaring the beneficial nature of gymnastic exercises, stated that the advantages were self evident.

The seconder of the motion spoke from experience of the great effects of the system. He had been a poor, emaciated, hungry looking figure of a man, with most weak hams, and the exercises of the Gymnasium had given him bulk and strength and respectability of appearance. A few morning's exercise had put to flight a complaint brought on by sedentary habits, which medicine bad failed to remove, and be stood forth like one regenerated. It was generally supposed that early rising, and walking or riding, would fully suffice—this was a mistake. The Gymnasium had put into motion muscles which were never disturbed by ordinary exercises. It was, besides, no easy matter, especially for a young man, to pursue any solitary exercise for any length of time. It was supposed, most erroneously, by some, that the exercises were of a pugilistic nature. No better proof could be adduced than the fact, that many of the society of Friends were members, and most zealously performed their exercises. The resolution was carried unanimously.

Captain Morrison, of the R. N., proposed the resolution, declaring the neces. sity of a Branch establishment for that part of the Metropolis. Dr. Paris, who bad ably written on the subject of public health, had expressed great pleasure at the prospect of such institutions being established in the Metropolis. He could, with the gentleman who had last spoken, bear the testimony of his experience to the efficacy of the system of gymnastics, and to the highly pleasurable nature of the exercise.

Mr. Jones, in seconding the motion, said, that no higher authority would be produced for the adoption of these exercises than that of Dr. Birkbeck, whose skill in his profession was unrivalled ; that gentleman was prevented by his engagements from attending, but he had written a letter on the subject, one passage of VOL. J.


« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »