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experience of science, would be the fittest in the world for the college-course; and, though such a youth might not appear so bright, or so talkative, as those who had learned the real principles and causes of some of the sciences, yet he would make a wiser man, and would retain a more lasting passion for letters, than he who, was early burdened with the disagreeable institution of effect and cause.
In history, such stories alone should be laid before them as might catch the imagination : instead of this, they are too frequently obliged to toil through the four empires, as they are called, where their memories are burdened by a number of disgusting names, that destroy all their future relish for our best historians, who may
be termed the truest teachers of wisdom. Every species of flattery should be carefully avoided; a boy who happens to say a sprightly thing is generally applauded so much, that he sometimes continues a coxcomb all his life after. He is reputed a wit at fourteen, and becomes a blockhead at twenty. Nurses, footmen, and such, should therefore be driven away as much as possible. I was even going to add, that the mother herself should stifle her pleasure, or her vanity, when little master happens to say a good or a smart thing. Those modest lubberly boys, who seem to want spirit, generally go through their business with more ease to themselves, and more satisfaction to their instructors.
There has, of late, a gentleman appeared, who thinks the study of rhetoric essential to a perfect education. That bold male eloquence, which often, without pleasing, convinces, is generally destroyed by such institutions. Convincing eloquence is infinitely more serviceable to its posséssor, than the most filorid harangue, or the most pathetic tones, that can be imagined ; and the man who is thoroughly convinced himself, who understands his subject, and the language he speaks in, will be more apt to silence opposition, than he who studies the force of his period and fills our ears with sound, while our minds are destitute of conviction.
It was reckoned the fault of the orators at the decline of the Roman empire, when they had been long instructed by rhetoricians, that their periods were so harmonious, as that they could be sung as well as spoken. What a ridiculous figure must one of these gentlemen cut, thus measuring syllables, and weighing words, when he should plead the cause of his client! Two architects were once candidates for the building a certain temple at Athens; the first harangued the crowd very learnedly upon the different orders of architecture, and showed them in what manner the temple should be built ; the other, who got up after him, only observed, that what his brother had spoken he could do; and thus he at once gained his cause.
To teach men to be orators, is little less than to teach them to be poets; and, for my part, I should have too great a regard for my child, to wish him a manor only in a bookseller's shop.
Another passion which the present age is apt to run into, is to make children learn all things; the languages, the sciences, music, the exercises, and paint. ing. Thus the child soon becomes a talker in all, but a master in none. He thus acquires a superficial fondness for every thing, and only shows his ignorance when he attempts to exhibit his skill.
As I deliver my thoughts without method, or con. nexion, so the reader must not be surprised to find me once more addressing shcool-masters on the present method of teaching the learned' languages, which is commonly by literal translations. I would ask such, if they were to travel a journey, whether those parts of the road in which they found the greatest difficulties, would not be the most strongly remembered ? Boys who, if I may continue the allusion, gallop through one of the ancients with the assistance of a translation, can have but a very slight acquaintance either with the author or his language. It is by the exercise of the mind alone that a language is learned ; but a literal translation on the opposite page, leaves no exercise for the memory at all. The boy will not be at the fatigue of remembering, when his doubts are at once satisfied by a glance of the eye; whereas, were every word to be sought from a dictionary, the learner would attempt to remember them, to save himself the trouble of looking out for them for the future.
To continue in the same pedantic strain, of all the various grammars now taught in the schools about town, I would recommend only the old common one; I have forgot whether Lily's, or an emendation of him. The others may be improvements ; but such improvements seem to me, only mere gram
matical niceties, no way influencing the learner ; but perhaps loading him with subtilties, which, at a proper age, he must be at some pains to forget.
Whatever pains a master may take to make the learning of the languages agreeable to his pupil, he may depend upon it, it will be at first extremely unpleasant. The rudiments of every language, there. fore, must be given as a task, not as an amusement. Attempting to deceive children into instruction of this kind, is only deceiving ourselves; and I know no passion capable of conquering a child's natural laziness but fear. Solomon has said it before me; nor is there any more certain, though perhaps more disagreeable truth, than the proverb in verse, too well known to repeat on the present occasion. It is very probable that parents are told of some masters who never use the rod, and consequently are thought the properest instructors for their children; but, thought enderness is a requisite quality in an instructor, yet there is too often the truest tenderness in welltimed correction.
Some have justly observed, that all passion should be banished on this terrible occasion; but I know not how, there is a frailty attending human nature, that few masters are able to keep their temper whilst they correct. I knew a good-natured man,
who was sensible of his own weakness in this respect, and consequently had recourse to the following expedient to prevent his passions from being engaged, yet at the same time administer justice with impartiality. Whenever any of his pupils committed a fault, he summoned a jury of his peers, I mean of the boys of his own or the next classes to him : his accusers stood forth; he had liberty of pleading in his own defence, and one or two more had the liberty of pleading against him: when found guilty by the panel, he was consigned to the footman, who attended in the house, and had previous orders to punish, but with lenity. By this means the master took off the odium of punishment from himself; and the footman, between whom and the boys there could not be even the slightest intimacy, was placed in such a light as to be shunned by every boy in the school.
E ON THE VERSATILITY OF POPULAR FAVOUR.
An alehouse-keeper, near Islington, who had long. lived at the sign of the French King, upon the commencement of the last war with France, pulled down his old sign, and put up that of the Queen of Hungary. Under the influence of her red face and gold. en sceptre, he continued to sell ale, till she was no longer the favourite of his customers; he changed her, therefore, some time ago, for the King of Prus. sia; who may probably be changed in turn, for the next great man that shall be set up for vulgar admiration.
Our publican, in this, imitates the great exactly ; who deal out their figures, one after the other, to the gazing crowd. When we have sufficiently wondered