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adopted; and this diversity the teachers ought particularly to study.
There is emulation, for example. On one seat there sit two dull and coarse boys, sluggish in mind, and little interested in anything except what concerns the body. They are void of ambition, and all your efforts to awaken a love of any intellectual pursuits are vain. They saunter listlessly to and from their seats. They sit there, gazing into vacancy, or leaning upon their elbows; and when you are describing to them how to shape their letters in their writing, or to perform their arithmetical operations upon the slate, their wandering eyes, and uneasy postures, show you that you get no hold of the intellect at all.
Here now, perhaps very safely and successfully, try emulation. Suppose you offer a prize, a gaudy little picture book, for example, which you promise to give to that one of the two who shall write the best for the two days ensuing. The stimulus will, very probably, be just the thing to reach and move them, and may be just sufficient to give their sluggish souls the impulse they need. On the other hand, lay a prize of equal value before those two bright, and sensitive, and eager girls, who sit together at another part of the room, and the result would be mischievous in the extreme. They are already full of ardor and zeal. Interested in their studies, excitable in their temperament, eager for the good opinion of their teacher, and of their parents,--the hope of your incidental praise is as great a stimulus as they can bear. Offer them a prize, and you excite an agitating and intense desire to win, which suffuses their cheeks with excitement, and engrosses their whole souls. It changes them from friends to irritated rivals, and in the result, fills the soul of the winner with feeling of vain glorious triumph, and sends away the loser to a solitary corner, with tears of grief, vexation, and anger. So important is it to understand the nature of the discase, and the constitutional conditions of the patient before applying the remedy.
The intelligent and observing teacher will be struck with observing how different the effects of ridicule, used as a corrective for faults, are upon different individuals. It is like opium, which, in some constitutions acts kindly, in others it only produces irritation and injury. We all see this among our friends. One will bear jesting with, and another will not; and we soon learn to govern ourselves accordingly. It is very important to study the idiosyncrasies of children in this respect, and use ridicule only where we see it accomplishes its purpose without corroding the soul. It ought to
oy be used very cautiously and sparingly in all cases.
There is the same diversity in respect to the effects of praise and rewards on the one hand, and reproof and punishment upon the other. A teacher will sometimes try a long time in vain to get a scholar up to his duty by rebukes and punishment, and he only grows more reckless and more hardened. At length, in some moment of despair, he concludes to try a different system. He tries to find something or other to praise,--and watching his pupil's conduct with a view to the little that is right, instead of to the great deal that is wrong, he tries the effect of leading him on by encouragement and approbation. The effect in some cases is astonishing. Again, on the other hand, there seem to be some, who, after all the attemps you could make to lead them, utterly failed, would go very well, as soon as you begin in earnest to drive. Perhaps these effects are due in part to the novelty of the regimen they come under by the change, or in other words, it is the change which gives the new motive its power. And yet we cannot but be convinced that there is a vast diversity among different minds in regard to their susceptibility of influence from censure, and from praise.
But I must close. It is only the general outlines of the subject which can be touched in a single lecture. A scientific exhibition of some of the leading forms which the moral and intellectual constitution of children assumes, under existing circumstances at the present day, would be of great interest, and of great practical value to the teacher, as a guide in his efforts for the modification of character. But such an exhibition cannot yet be given. The necessary investigations, with this point in view, have probably not been made. So that each teacher must explore her own field, unaided, excepting by her own sagacity and good sense.
We must not however exaggerate the importance of attending to these diversities. A parent may manage each child as an individual, but a teacher, with from thirty to fifty pupils, cannot. A school must be a system. General laws and
general measures, based on averages, must prevail to a great extent. And this is not an evil resulting from the large number of pupils which most teachers have it—is good resulting from that cause. If it were practicable to educate all children as princes are educated, each by himsell, it would not be well. They would turn out, probably, much such scholars as princes and princesses commonly are. The man is to spend his life as a part of the great system of the social community, and it is important that he should be accustomed to the workings of system in his early years. He should become used to general arrangements, planned for the general good, and which furnish frequent occasions upon which his own particular convenience must give way.
In urging, therefore, the importance of studying the diversities of character, and adapting one's self to them, we must by no means imagine that the bonds of classification and system by which a school becomes one, are to be dissolved, and each pupil to be put under his own particular regimen. The teacher whose views incline her to this, only brings herself into endless mazes of perplexity.
Still a knowledge of these diversities will influence the administration of the school, and that in two ways,-in the formation of the general arrangements themselves, and also in the individual and personal intercourse which must exist, to a great degree, between the teacher and the several pupils, however complete the system may be.
Art. IV.-MEMOIR OF BARON SILVESTRE DE SACY."
(Abridged for the Annals, from the Asiatic Journal for Oct. and Nov. 1833. /
ANTOINE ISAAC SuvestRE DE SACY was born at Paris, 21st September, 1758. His father, Jacques Abraham Silvestre, exercised the honourable profession of a notary. M. de Sacy had two brothers; in conformity with a practice common among the citizens of the capital, the elder retained the name of Silvestre ; M. de Sacy, who was the sccond, received that of Silvestre de Sacy, while the third was named Silvestre de Chanteloup.
* Notice Historique et Litéraire, sur M. le Baron Silvestre de Sacy, lue a la Seance Generale de la Societe Asiatique, le 25 Juin, 1838, par M Reinaud, Membre de l'Institut, 'Eleve de M. de Sacy, et son Successeur dans la chaire d' Arabe, al' Ecole Special des, LL. Oo.
At the early age of seven, M. de Sacy had the misfortune to lose his father. His mother, a sensible and most affectionate woman, supplied to the utmost of her power this irreparable loss. M. de Sacy, after learning to read and write, was initiated into classical studies, which, from the delicate state of his health, were directed by a tutor under the maternal roof. His progress in these studies was very rapid, as appears from the perfect knowledge he acquired both of Latin and Greek literature; a knowledge, indeed, which would have sufficed to establish the reputation of a man who had not higher claims to celebrity.
From twelve years of age, M. de Sacy was in the habit, during his hours of recreation, of walking with his tutor in the garden of the Abbey of St Germain des-Pres. The Abbey was at that time occupied by the Benedictines of the congregation of St Maur, who devoted themselves especially to the cultivation of letters, and whose name recalls so many noble monuments in honor of religion and science. One of its inmates was Dom Berthereau, who was then engaged in preparing a collection of such Arabian historians as have written on the Crusades. M. de Sacy was already remarkable for that character of prudence and decision for which he has since been distinguished. Dom Berthereau conceived a kindness for him, and inspired him with a taste for oriental languages.
M. de Sacy having finished his classical studies, immediately entered upon that career, in which he was destined to enjoy so much renown. He began with the study of the Hebrew, in order to attain a more intimate knowledge of the Sacred Scriptures. His mother was a woman of great piety, and had educated her children in the principles of genuine religion. From Hebrew, M. de Sacy proceeded to Syriac, Chaldee, Samaritan, and thence to Arabic and Ethiopic. These six languages are of the same stock, and as the nations that spoke them are descendants of Shem, the son of Noah, they have received the general designation of Semitic. When one or two are acquired, there is less difficulty in mastering the rest. In Hebrew and Arabic, M. de Sacy took lessons of a very learned Jew, who happened to be then at Paris. To increase his familiarity with Hebrew, he is said to have been in the practice of reading in the Hebrew original the prayers of the Church which are borrowed from the Old Testament.
To studies so difficult, M. de Sacy joined that of the Italian, Spanish, English and German languages. Time, which is so fugitive with the generality of men, was lengthened to him by the way of life he led. His mother, continuing a widow, and centering all her affections in her children, accustomed them not to quit her roof. M. de Sacy, by way of creating to himself a kind of social recreation, is said to have taught a canary to pronounce some Italian words.
Unfortunately he was not satisfied with devoting the day to study; his books were not laid aside during the night. This excessive ardor was well nigh being attended with the most fatal consequences. His health, which had never been robust, gave way; his stomach became deranged, and his sight was weakened. It became necessary to impose restraints upon himself, and thenceforth he gave up nocturnal studies; but he continued ever after to feel the effects of this shock.
It was impossible, however, that a man with such endowments as M. de Sacy's should long continue unknown to the learned world. At this period the originals of the Sacred Scriptures were submitted to a critical examination. Hebrew manuscripts were collated with one another; the Hebrew text was compared with the Greek of the Septuagint; and it was an object of inquiry whether such or such a version, whether Syriac or Chaldee had been made from the Greek or the Hebrew. Several periodical publications were devoted to these researches. As soon as an orientalist had discovered an important manuscript, he sent a notice of the volume to one of these publications, which immediately announced the fact to the learned world. The chief of these publications was the Repertorium, published at Leipsic, and conducted by the celebrated Eichhorn.* A German orientalist, visiting Paris, had observed in a Syriac MS. in the Bibliotheque Royale, a Syriac version of the fourth book of Kings; the translation appeared to have been made from the
* The complete title is Repertorium fur Biblische und Morgenlandische Litteratur.