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for literature and knowledge founded having a masculine termination are yet to our certain knowledge solely on feminine, &c.) the second to teach the the stupidity and false methods of irregularities of nouns as to number the teacher, who alike in what he (i. e. which want the singular, which knew or did not know was incapable the plural), the third to teach the of connecting one spark of plea- irregularities of verbs (i. e. their desurable feeling with any science, by viations from the generic forms of the leading his pupils' minds to re-act preterite and the supine): this is upon the knowledge he attempted what they profess to teach. Suppose to convey. Being thus important, then their professions realized, what how shall a love of knowledge be is the result? Why that you have created? According to the Experi- laboriously anticipated a mentalist, first of all (p. 97—to the anomaly which, if it do actually ocword “ zest" in p. 107) by com- cur, could not possibly cost more bining the sense of obvious utility trouble to explain at the time of its with all the elementary exercises of occurrence than you are thus prethe intellect :-secondly (from p. 108 mising. This is as if a man should to the word “rock” in p. 114) by sit down to cull all the difficult cases matching the difficulties of the learner of action which could ever occur to exactly with his capacity :-thirdly him in his relations of son, father, (from p. 114 - to the word “atten- citizen, neighbour, public functiontion", in p. 117) by connecting with ary, &c. under the plea that he would the learner's progress the sense of thus have got over the labour of discontinual success :-fourthly (from cussion before the case itself arrived. p. 117—to the word “ co-operation" Supposing that this could be accomin p. 121) by communicating clear, plished, what would it effect but to vivid and accurate conceptions. The cancel a benevolent arrangement of first means is illustrated by a re- providence by which the difficulties ference to the art of learning a lan- of life are distributed with tolerable guage—to arithmetic—to surveying, equality throughout its whole course, and to the writing of “ themes." and obstinately to accumulate them Can any boy, for instance, reconcile all upon a particular period. Suffihimself to the loathsome effort of cient for the day is its own evil: dislearning “ Propria quæ maribus" by patch your business as it arises, and any the dimmest sense of its future every day clears itself: but suffer a utility ? No, we answer with the few months of unaudited accounts, Experimentalist: and we go farther or of unanswered letters, to accumueven than the Experimentalist is dis- late; and a mountain of arrears is posed to do (p. 98); for we deny the before you which years seem insuffiexistence of any future utility. We, cient to get rid of. This sort of acthe reviewer of this book, at eight cumulation arises in the shape of years of age, though even then pas- arrears : but any accumulation of sionately fond of study and disdain- trouble out of its proper place,-i. e. ful of childish sports, passed some of a distributed trouble into a state of the most wretched and ungenial of convergement,-no matter whedays of our life in “ learning by ther in the shape of needless anticiheurt," as it is called, (oh ! most iro- pation or needless procrastination, nical misnomer !) Propria quce mari- has equally the practical effect of bus, “ Quæ genus,” and “ As in pro- converting a light trouble (or none at senti,” a three-headed monster worse all) into a heavy and hateful one. than Cerberus: we did learn them ad The daily experience of books, actual unguem; and to this hour their ac- intercourse with Latin authors, is cursed barbarisms cling to our me- sufficient to teach all the irregularities mory as ineradicably as the golden of that language: just as the daily lines of Æschylus or Shakspeare. experience of an English child leads And what was our profit from all him without trouble into all the anothis loathsome labour, and the loath- malies of his own language.. And, some heap of rubbish thus deposited to return to the question which we in the memory? Attend, if you put What was our profit from all please, good reader : the first pro- this loathsome labour?” In this way fesses to teach the irregularities of it was, viz. in the way of actual exHouns as to gender (i. e. which nouns perience that we, the reviewer of
this book, did actually in the end tango, and then am reminded (whilst come to the knowledge of those irre- forming the preterit) that tango makes gularities which the three elegant not tanri but " tetigi.” Such a use poems in question profess to commu- therefore I might by possibility denicate. Mark this, reader: the logic rive from my long labours: meantime of what we are saying—is first, that, even here the service is in all proif they did teach what they profess, bability doubly superfluous : for, by they would attain that end by an ar- the time that I am called on to write tificial means far more laborious than Latin at all, experience will have the natural means: and secondly taught me that tango makes tetigi ; that in fact they do not attain their or, supposing that I am required to end. The reason of this-is partly write Latin as one of the earliest the perplexed and barbarous texture means for gaining experience, even of the verse, which for metrical pur- in that case the very same dictionary poses, i. e. to keep the promise of which teaches me what is Latin for metre to the mere technical scansion, « touch" teaches me what is the iris obliged to abandon all those na- regular preterite and supine of tango. tural beauties of metre in the fluent And thus the "upshot” (to use a connexion of the words, in the rhyth- homely word) of the whole business mus, cadence,cæsura, &c. which alone is that an effort of memory, so recommend metre as a better or more great as to be capable otherwise di, rememberable form for conveying rected of mastering a science, and knowledge than prose: prose, if it secondly (because directed to an unhas no music, at any rate does not natural composition, viz. an arrangecompel the most inartificial writer to ment of metre, which is at once the dislocate, and distort it into non-in- rudest and the most elaborately artitelligibility. Another reason is, that ficial), so disgusting as that no acces“As in præsenti” and its compa- sion of knowledge could compensate nions, are not so much adapted to the injury thus done to the simplicity of the reading as to the writing of La- thechild's understanding, by connecttin. For instance, I remember (we ing pain and a sense of unintelligible will suppose) this sequence of “ tan- mystery with his earliest steps in go tetigi" from the “ As in P.” knowledge,--all this hyperbolical Now, if I am reading Latin I meet apparatus and machinery is worked either with the tense « tango,” or for no one end or purpose that is not the tense" tetigi.” In the former case, better answered by a question to his I have no difficulty; for there is as tutor, by consulting his dictionary, or yet no irregularity: and therefore it is by the insensible progress of daily eximpertinent to offer assistance: in the perience. Even this argument derived latter case I do find a difficulty, for, from its utter uselessness does not according to the models of verbs however weighi so much with us as the which I have learned in my gram- other argument derived from the want mar, there is no possible verb which of common sense, involved in the wilcould yield tetigi: for such a verb as ful forestalling and artificial concentetigo even ought to yield tetixi : here trating into one long rosary of anotherefore I should be glad of some malies, what else the nature of the assistance; but just here it is that I case has by good luck dispersed over obtain none: for, because I remem- the whole territory of the Latin lanber “ tango tetigi” in the direct or guage. To be consistent, a tutor der, it is quite contrary to the laws of should take the same proleptical association which govern the memory course with regard to the prosody of in such a case, to suppose that I re- the Latin language: every Latin member the inverted order of tetigi hyper-dissyllable is manifestly actango-any more than the forward re- centuated according to the following petition of the Lord's prayer ensures law: if the penultimate be long, that its backward repetition. The practi- syllable inevitably claims the accent; cal applicability of “ As in præsenti” if short, inevitably it rejects it-i. e. is therefore solely to the act of write gives it to the ante-penultimate. The ing Latin: for, having occasion to determining syllable is therefore the translate the words “ I touched ” I penultimate ; and for the due reading search for the Latin equivalent to of Latin the sole question is about the English word touch-find that it is the quantity of the pemltimate. Ac.
cording to the logic therefore which conceiving his dignity involved in could ever have introduced “ As in the assertion of his own impeccabipræsenti,” the tutor ought to make his lity. Now whence came the little pupilscommit tomemory every indiri- girl's error and its correction? Foldual word in which the quantity was lowing blindly the general analogy not predetermined by a mechanical of the language, she formed her plurule--(as it is e. g. in the gen. plural ral by adding an s to the singular : Orum of the second declension, the afterwards every body about her beērunt of the third per. plurals of the came a daily monitor-a living Propreterite, &c. or the cases where the pria quæ maribus, as she is in her vowel is long by position). But what turn to her brother, instructing her man of sense would forbear to cry out that this particular word “ in such a case" Leave the poor swerved, as to this one particular child to his daily reading : practice, point, from the general analogy of the under correct tuition, will give him language. But the result is just as insensibly and without effort all that inevitable from daily intercourse with you would thus endeavour to com- Latin books, as to the parallel anomunicate through a most Herculean malies in that language. In proporexertion.” Whom has it cost any tion as any case of anomaly could trouble to learn the accentuation of escape the practical regulation of his own language? How has he such an intercourse, just in that prolearned that? Simply by copying portion it must be a rare case, and others--and so much without effort, less important to be known : whatthat the effort (and a very great ef- soever the future experience will be fort) would have been not to copy most like to demand, the past exthem. In that way let him learn the perience will be most likely to have quantity of Latin and Greek penul- furnished. All this we urge not timates. That Edmund Burke could against the Eton grammar in partiviolate the quantity of the word cular: on the contrary, as grammars “ Vectigal” was owing to his tu- go, we admire the Eton grammar; tor's ignorance, who had allowed and love it with a filial partiality him so to read it; that Lord North, from early associations (always exand every other Etonian in the house, cepting, however, the three leadknew better-was owing not to any mines of the Eton grammar,
« Prodisproportionate effort of memory pria quæ maribus, &c. of which it directed to that particular word, as is not extravagant to say, that the though they had committed to me- author, though possibly a good sort mory a rule enjoining them to place of a man in his way, has undoubtedthe accent on the penultimate of the ly caused : more human suffering word vectigal: their knowledge no than Nero, Robespierre, or any other more rested on such an anticipation enemy of the human race). Our opby express rules of their own experi- position is to the general principle, ence, than Burke's ignorance of the which lies at the root of such treaquantity on the want of such antici- tisés as the three we have been conpation; the anticipation was need- sidering: it will be observed that, less-coming from a tutor who knew making a proper allowance for the the quantity, and impossible-com- smallness of the print, these three ing from a tutor who knew it not. bodies of absurd anticipations of exAt this moment a little boy (three ceptions, are collectively about equal years old) is standing by. our table, in quantity, and virtually for the and repeatedly using the word mans effort to the memory far more than for men : his sister (five years old), equal, to the whole body of the rules at his age, made the very same miso contained in the Accidence and the take: but she is now correcting her Syntax : i. e. that which exists on brother's grammar, which just at account of many thousand cases is this moment he is stoutly defending put on the same level of value and
• Indeed an Etonian must in consistency condemn either the Latin or the Greek grammar of Eton. For, where is the Greek « Propria quo maribus"_" Quæ genus's and “ As in præsenti ?" Either the Greek grammar is defective, or the Latin redundant." We are surprised that it has never struck the patrons of these three beautiful Idyls, that all the anomalies of the Greek language are left to be collected from practice.
burthen to the memory, as that which recorded in our memories: not exists on account of itself alone. through any exertion on our part, or Here lies the original sin of gram- in consequence of previous determimars, the mortal taint on which they nation on our parts that we will reall demand regeneration : whosoever member them: on the contrary, we would show himself a great artist in take no pains about them, and often the profound but as yet infant art of would willingly forget them: but teaching, should regard all arbitrary they stay there in spite of us, and taxes upon the memory with the are pure depositions, settlings, or sesame superstition that a wise law. diments, with or without our congiver should regard the punish- currence, from the stream of our ment of death: the lawgiver, who daily experience.--Returning from sets out with little knowledge (and this long excursus on arbitrary taxatherefore little veneration) of human tions of the memory suggested to us nature, is perpetually invoking the by the mention of " Progrria quæ mathunders of the law to compensate ribus,” which the Experimentalist obthe internal weakness of his own jects to as disgusting tochildren before laws: and the same spirit of levity they have had experience of the cases disposes inefficient teachers to put in which it furnishes assistance (but in motion the weightiest machi- which we have objected to as in any nery of the mind for the most tri- case barren of all power to assist), fling purposes : but we are convinced we resume the course of our analysis. that this law should be engraven on We left the Experimentalist insisting the title page of all elementary books on the benefit of directing the studies that the memory is degraded, if it of children into such channels as that be called in to deliver any individual the practical uses of their labours may fact, or any number of individual become apprehensible to themselves facts, or for any less purpose than -as the first mode of producing a love that of delivering a comprehensive of knowledge. In some cases he adlaw, by means of which the under- mits that the p:ipil must pass through standing is to produce the individual “ dark defiles, confiding blindly in cases of knowledge wanted. Where- his tutor’s “ assurance that he will ever exceptions or insulated cases are at last emerge into light:” but still noticed, except in notes, which are contends that in many cases it is posnot designed to be committed to me- sible, and where possible-right, mory, this rule is violated ; and the that he should " catch a glimpse of Scosch expression for particularising, the promised land.”. Thus, for exviz. condescending upon, becomes ap- ample, to construe the language he plicable in a literal sense : when the is learning-is an act of “some reEton grammar, e. g. notices Deus as spectability in his eyes” and its uses deviating in the vocative ease from apparent: meantime the uses of the the general law for that declension, grammar are not so apparent untilexthe memory is summoned to an un- perience has brought him acquainted reasonable act of condescension-viz. with the real cases to which it apto load itself almost as heavily for plies. On this account,-without one particular word in one particular laying aside the grammar, let him be case, as it had done by the whole advanced to the dignity of actual type of that declension (i. e. the im- translation upon the very minimum plicit law for all words contained of grammatical knowledge which will under it, which are possibly some admit of it. Again, in arithmetic, it thousands). But how then would is the received practice to commence we have such exceptions learnt, if not with “ abstract numbers:” but, by an act of the memory? Precise- instead of risking injury to the child's ly, we answer, as the meanings of intellect and to his temper by thus all the words in the language are calling upon him to add together learned: how are they learned? They “ long rows of figures” to which no are known, and they are remem- meaning is attached, he is taught bered: but how? Not by any act. “ to calculate all the various little or effort of the memory: they are problems which may be constructed deposited in the memory from daily respecting his tops and marbles, their intercourse with them: just as the price, and their comparative value.” daily occurrences of our lives are Here the Experimentalist turns aside
for about a page (from "while,” p.101 constructing maps and plans," that -to “ practicable," p. 102) to “ ac- a sudden revelation is made to the knowledge his obligations to what is pupils of the uses and indispensableealled Mental Arithmetic-that is, ness of many previous studies which calculation without the employment hitherto they had imperfectly appreof written symbols.” Jedediah Bux- ciated ; they also o exercise their ton's preternatural powers in this discretion in choosing points of obway have been long published to the servation; they learn expertness in world, and may now be found re- the use, and care in the preservation corded in Encyclopædias : the Expe- of instruments: and, above all,rimentalist refers also to the more re- from this feeling that they are really cent cases of Purson and the Ameri- at work, they acquire that sobriety can youth Zerah Colborn: amongst and steadiness of conduct in which his own pupils it appears (p: 54) that the elder school-boy is so often inthis exercise is practised in the morn- ferior to his less fortunate neighbour, ing twilight, which for any other who has been removed at an early study would not furnish sufficient age to the accompting-house.”—The light : he does not pretend to any value of the sense of utility the Exvery splendid marvels: but the fol- perimentalist brings home forcibly to lowing facts, previously recited at every reader's recollections, by rep. 16 and 17, he thinks may astonish minding him of the many cases in
those who have not estimated the which a sudden desire for self-educombined power of youth, ardour, cation breaks out in a few months and practice.”. The lower classes after the close of an inefficient educalculate, purely by the mind with- cation: “and what,” he asks, “ proout any help from pen or pencil, duces the change? The experience, questions respecting interest ; deter- however short, of the utility of acmine whether a given year be bissex- quisitions, which were perhaps latetile or not, &c. &c. The upper classes ly despised.' Better then“ to spare determine the age of the moon at any the future man many moments of given time, the day of the week painful retrospection," by educing which corresponds with any day of this sense of utility, “while the any month, and year, and Easter time and opportunity of improvement Sunday for a given year. They will remain unimpaired.” Finally, the square any number not exceeding a sense of utility is connected with the thousand, extract the square root of peculiar exercises in composition ; a number of not more than five 6 a department of education which we places, determine the space through confess” (says the Experimentalist) which a body falls in a given time, “has often caused us considerable the circumference and areas of circles uneasiness ;" an uneasiness which from their diameters, and solve many we, on our part, look upon as groundproblems in mensuration: they prac- less. For starting ourselves from the tise also Mental Algebra, &c. In same point with the Experimentalist mental, no less than in written, and the authority he alleges-viz. that Arithmetic,“ by assimilating the the matter of a good theme or essay questions to those which actually oc- altogether transcends the reflective cur in the transactions of life,” the powers and the opportunities for obpupil is made sensible that he is rising serving of a raw school-boyz-we into the usefulness and respectability yet come to a very different practiof real business. The imitative prin- cal conclusion. The act of compociple of man is thus made to blend sition cannot, it is true, create with the motive derived from the thoughts in a boy's head unless they sense of utility. The same blended exist previously. On this considerafeelings, combined with the pleasur- tion, let all questions of general speable influences of open air, are relied culation be dismissed from school upon for creating the love of know- exercises: especially questions of ledge in the practice of surveying. moral speculation, which usually furIn this operation so large an aggre- nish the thesis of a school-boy's esgate of subsidiary knowledge is de- say: let us have no more themes on manded --of arithmetic, for instance Justice-on Ambition-on Benevo-of mensuration—of trigonometry, lence-on the Love of Fame, &c.: together with “ the manual facility of for all theses such as these which