« הקודםהמשך »
by, both construe and parse it over again; so that it may appear, that the child doubteth in nothing that his master taught him before. After this, the child must take a paper book, and sitting in some place, where no man shall prompt him, by himself, let him translate into English his former lesson. Then showing it to his master, let the paster take from him his Latin book, and pausing an hour at the least, then let the child translate his own English into Latin again in another paper book. When the child bringeth it turned into Latin, the master must compare it with Tully's book. ....
“ In these few lines I have wrapped up the most tedious part of grammar, and also the ground of almost all the rules, that are so busily taught by the master, and so hardly learnt by the scholar in all common schools; which after this sort, the master shall teach without all error, and the scholar shall learn without great pain ; the master being led by so sure a guide, and the scholar being brought into so plain and easy a way. And therefore we do not contemn rules, but we gladly teach rules, and teach them more plainly, sensibly and orderly, than they be commonly taught in common schools. For when the master shall compare Tully's book with the scholar's translation, let the master at the first lead and teach his scholar to join the rules of his grammar book with the examples of his present lesson, until the scholar by himself be able to fetch out of his grammar every rule for every example, so as the grammar book be ever in the scholar's hand, and also used of him as a dictionary for every present use."
Mr. Long has followed the guidance of Sturmius in selecting epistles of Cicero for the volume of which I speak. Ascham advises that the scholar should go on in this way through the first book of the collection of Sturmiųs, and a part of a comedy of Terence, and after the scholar has acquired “a ready perfectness in translating,” he goes on to say: “ Then take this order with him; read daily unto him some book of Tully, as the third book of epistles chosen out by Sturmius, De Amicitia, De Senectute, .... some comedy of Terence, . ... Cæsar's commentaries, .... or some orations of T. Livius. ....
“ These books I would have him now read a great deal at every lecture; for he shall not now use. daily translation, but only construe again and parse, where ye suspect is any need; .... and for translating, use you yourself every second or third day to choose out some Epistle ad Atticum, some notable commonplace out of his orations, or some other part of Tully by your discretion, which your scholar may not know where to find; and translate it you yourself into plain natural English, and then give it him to translate into Latin again, allowing him good space and time to do it both with diligent heed and good advisement.
“ Here his wit shall be new set on work; his judgment, for right choice, truly tried; his memory for sure retaining, better exercised, than by learning anything without the book; and here how much he hath profited, shall plainly appear. When he bringeth it translated unto you, bring you forth the place of Tully; lay them together, compare the one with the other; commend his good choice and right placing of words; show his faults gently, but blame them not over sharply. .... For here shall all the hard points of grammar, both easily and surely be learned up ....— by this way prescribed in this book, being straight, plain and easy, the scholar is always labouring with pleasure, and ever going right on forward with profit,. .. .. for, he hath construed, parsed, twice translated over by good advisement, marked out his six points" — respecting peculiar idioms, phrases, synonyms, and the like—“ by skilful judgment, he shall have necessary occasion to read over every lecture a dozen times at the least. . . . And this oft reading is the very right following of that good counsel which Pliny doth give to his friend Fuscus, saying, “ Multum non multa.' ...
“When by this diligent and speedy reading over those forenamed good books of Tully, Terence, Cæsar, and Livy, and by this second kind of translating out of your English, time shall breed skill, and use shall bring perfection: then ye may try, if ye will, your scholar with the third kind of translation: although the two first ways, by mine opinion, be not only sufficient of themselves, but also surer, both for the master's teaching and scholar's learning, than this third way is.”
The third way is for the master to write an English letter or to give the scholar some simple passage from an English author, to turn into Latin, taking care to keep within the compass of the scholar's former learning in words and sentences. Ascham adds:
“ And now take heed lest your scholar do not better in some point than you yourself, except ye have been diligently exercised in these kinds of translating before.
“ I had once a proof hereof, tried by good experience, by a dear friend of mine, when I came first from Cambridge to serve the Queen's Majesty, then Lady Elizabeth, lying at worthy Sir Anthony Deny's, in Chester. John Whitney, a young gentleman, was my bedfellow : who willing by good nature, and provoked by mine advice, began to learn the Latin tongue after the order declared in this book. We began after Christmas; I read unto him Tully de Amicitia, which he did every day twice translate, out of Latin into English, and out of English into Latin again. About St. Laurence Tide after, to prove how he profited, I did chuse out Torquatus' talk de Amicitia, in the latter end of the first book De Finibus; because that place was the same in matter, like in words and phrases, nigh to the form and fashion of sentences, as he had learned before in De Amicitia. I did translate it myself into plain English, and gave it him to turn into Latin; which he did so choicely, so orderly, so without any great miss in the hardest points of grammar, that some in seven years in grammar schools, yea, and some in the University too, cannot do half so well.”
Ascham afterwards brings forward, as another example:
“Our most noble Queen Elizabeth, who never took yet Greek nor Latin grammar in her hand, after the first declining of a noun and a verb, but only by this double translating of Demosthenes and Isocrates, daily, without missing, every forenoon, and likewise some part of Tully every afternoon, for the space of a year or two, hath attained to such a perfect understanding in both the tongues, and to such a ready utterance of the Latin, and that with such a judg. ment, as they be few in number in both the Universities, or elsewhere in England, that be in both tongues comparable with her Majesty." .
Mr. Long says:
“ It would be thought a great thing if a teacher could accomplish what Ascham promises; and what, according to his own account,
he performed. At present, it cannot be said that children generally do learn either to understand or write the Latin tongue, much less to speak it. The writing and speaking of Latin are indeed not much used, but a great deal of time is spent over trying to understand the Latin tongue, and also to write it; and it is generally agreed that few out of many learn to read a Latin author with ease and profit, and fewer still, to write Latin well. ....
“ If teachers of Latin knew that language as well as a good teacher of French or of any other modern tongue knows his own language, the teaching of Latin would be comparatively easy. And yet the usual methods of teaching a modern language are bad, and the amount that is learned is often small for the time and labor; and this, mainly because teachers of foreign languages follow nearly the same methods that are followed in teaching Latin, many of which are bad. A man may wish to learn a foreign language, in order to be able to write it and speak it; but if he follow no other method than reading, he will never accomplish his object. If he will first acquire the power of writing and speaking a language, he can easily learn to read it. The power of reading or translating a foreign language does not give the power of writing or speaking it, not even in the smallest degree, as all who have tried know by experience. A man may have even a very exact knowledge of a foreign tongue for the purpose of reading and understanding, and yet may be unable to construct a single sentence or to utter a single phrase in conversation, which proves, that to learn to express a foreign language in our own tongue is only learning it under one aspect, and that to express our own language or our own ideas in another tongue is quite a different thing. ....
“It may be said that this system requires better teachers than the great majority of them who profess to teach. But if a teacher has not knowledge enough to teach on this plan, or some good plan, can he teach on a bad one? Can he teach by the aid of bad exercise books and indifferent helps of all descriptions, and in no other way? If he cannot teach on Ascham's plan, or on some good plan, he cannot teach at all. If it should be said that this method is more troublesome to the teacher, which I deny, the answer is, that he ought to do what he professes. Whether would a man of any sound knowlege, of any taste for learning, however small, rather work at this dull, eternal, unprofitable round of exercises, aids, and helps, or work at the authors themselves, the sole sources of our knowledge ?
“ The clear direct way to an improvement in our classical studies is to abandon the ordinary making of Latines '; to adopt Ascham's plan as soon as the boy is prepared for it, and to consider well how he should be so prepared; for that is really the only matter in dispute among good teachers. Further, to abandon all books of exercises which abound in multitudinous rules and fragmentary exercises; to choose as a book of rules to refer a boy to, (for I do not reject generalizations, but only the mode of using them), one which is plain and simple, with plenty of good examples well translated, whether such book be a grammar, or some well-arranged system of rules with both examples and exercises; and as to the endless niceties and curiosities of a language, to trust to careful reading and a good teacher, for they cannot be learned by rules. If I recommend Ascham's plan, it is not that boys may learn to write Latin; it is that they may learn to read it and understand a Latin author well." .
I have now given a general outline of Ascham's plan, with a part of Mr. Long's comments upon it. Any one who takes an interest in the subject will do well to refer directly to Mr. Long's preface and to the “Schoolmaster.” The best known edition of this latter work is that edited by James Upton, (London, 1711,) but it may also be found in the new edition of Ascham's complete works, lately published in England.*
J. A. W.
THE TEACHER'S CALLING. [We do not know the creed of our contributor, but do not think it necessary to exclude her article because there are traces in it of a peculiar theology.]
“ It shall be the duty of all ....... instructors of youth to exert their best endeavors to impress on the minds of children and
* [In J. Russell Smith’s Library of Old Authors. There is also a very neat little modern edition of Ascham's “Scholemaster,” edited with notes by J. E. B. Mayer, Fellow of St. John's College, Cambridge, London: Bell & Daldy. 1863. ED.)