Изображения страниц

said, “never," but that he thought the practical improvements of Mr. it requisite to allow for possible Wood; particularly with regard to cases, under the present absence of the process of elementary instrucpreliminary training to good habits tion in English, in which the excelby milder means; his own opinion, lencies of his system especially confirmed by large experience, being appear. The whole detail is too that it is quite feasible to carry on long for citation, and cannot be education without the infiction of intelligibly abridged. Mr. Wood's bodily pain. If in any case it is to own account is also before the pubbe allowed, he would at least con- lic; and to it we refer our readers, fine it to cases of moral delinquency, for much important information reand never permit it as a stimulus to specting the art and mystery of literary exertion. We most heartily conducting a public school for the concur in this suggestion ; and we poorer classes of society: and the fully believe that the time is not general principles apply equally to distant when it will be utterly ba- schools of a more select character, nished from every well regulated and we trust they will be widely school.

experimented upon throughout the The third maxim is, That a teacher kingdom. is so to arrange the business of his As we cannot quote largely, we school that no child shall ever be will select for notice some of those idle; a proposition easily admitted, parts of the book which explain the but which, in the skilful hands of peculiar and distinguishing excelour author, furnishes, as do the two lencies of Mr. Wood's system. The former, materials for much valuable work is the more entitled to attention and philosophical remark, which as being not a mere statement of every person concerned in education principles, but also a record of an will do well to weigh with serious actual experiment in successful opeattention. The writer also discusses ration. The effects of the system the causes which have prevented are conspicuous in awakening the the improvement of scholastic edu. attention of the boys, in exciting a cation in Scotland, such as the fol- lively interest in their pursuits, in. lowing : the want of public provision calling forth and cultivating their for the education of schoolmasters; mental powers, and in communica. the want of suitable books for school ting to them a large stock of valureading; the little countenance shewn able knowledge, as regards both to parish teachers by persons of in- natural and spiritual things. fluence in their neighbourhood; their The general principles upon which depressed condition, and inadequate the conductors of the Sessional emolument; and the prejudices of School proceed are briefly stated parents, especially their aversion to as follows: the monitorial system, and the habit of estimating the value of a school by which all the advantages of superior

“ To open up a royal road to learning, by the number of the hours of at- education might be attained, without any tendance. We could earnestly wishe trouble on the part either of the teacher that the work had been of a religious or scholar, undoubtedly never for a single

moment entered into their contemplation. as well as philosophical cast. True

But they were by no means on that acphilosophy loses nothing and gains count less anxious, to do every thing in much by making the Bible its stan- their power, to render the duties of both dard ; and on no subject is this more as easy, as pleasing, and profitable as posnecessary than on that of education.

sible ; and particularly to study the capa

city and the inclinations of the learner. Mr. Pillans illustrates his sug. In all their arrangements they have regestions respecting the intellectual garded their youngest pupil, not as a matraining of children, by an interesting

chine, or an irrational animal, that must account of the far and justly famed

be driven, but as an intellectual being

who may be led ; endowed not merely Sessional School at Edinburgh, and with sensation and memory, but with per.

ception, judgment, conscience, affections, nent and highly important. In order to and passions; capable, to a certain degree, answer them, it will be necessary to keep of receiving favourable or unfavourable in recollection, that there are more senses impressions, of imbibing right or wrong than one, in which we may be said to unsentiments, of acquiring good or bad ha- derstand a thing. We are said, for exambits; strongly averse to application, where ple, to understand the narrative of any its object is unperceived or remote, but, remarkable phenomenon, when we have on the other hand, ardently curious, and received a just conception of the appearinfinitely delighting in the display of every ances described, though neither ourselves Rew attainment which he makes. It has, nor the narrator have the slightest notion accordingly, been their anxious aim to in- of the cause of these appearances. A phyterest no less than to task,--to make the sician is said to understand his profession, pupil understand (as much as possible) when he knows the circumstances, under what he is doing, no less than to exact which certain remedies ought to be apfrom him its performance,--familiarly to plied, in order to effect a cure, and the illustrate, and copiously to exemplify the method of their application, though he principle, no less than to hear him repeat may not in many cases be able to account the words of a rule,--to speak to him, and for the mode of their operation. We may, hy all means to encourage him to speak, in short, perfectly understand a thing, in in a natural language, which he under- so far as we have any concern in it, while, stands, rather than in irksome technicalis in other respects, it is itself involved in ties, which the pedant might approve, obscurity. This is a distinction, which to keep him while in school not only cannot be too much attended to in the constantly, but actively, energetically em- religious instruction of children, and we ployed,- to inspire him with a zeal for might also add of those of riper years, for excelling in whatever is his present occu. all in this imperfect state are at best but pation, (whether it be study or amuse grown children. We ought ever to rement,) and, even where he is incapable of member, that, in the department of reliexcelling others, still, by noticing with gion, no less than of nature, there are approbation every step, however little, secret things that belong unto the Lord which he makes towards improvement, to our God, as well as things which are delight him with the consciousness of ex revealed, that belong unto us and our celling his former self.

children for ever.' Thus we are bound to " These obvious principles may be make those entrusted to our care under grafted on a variety of systems of external stand as a revealed truth, that by the arrangement, adapted to the particular death of Christ pardon has been secured circumstances and object of each indivi- to sinners, and to point out to them the dual seminary; but, for any defect of the authority upon which we make this stateprinciples themselves, or of a due sense ment-to shew them no less clearly, by of their paramount importance, we con- the same authority, that in the benefits of

the same authority, that in the d ceive that no system of external arrange- his death, no impenitent siuner

his death, no impenitent sinner can ever ment, however beautiful-no selection of have the slightest hope to participatebooks, however judicious-no talents or and to render them well acquainted with accomplishments on the part of the in the appointed means by which these bestructor, however brilliant and transcend nefits may be made available to them, ent, can ever in any degree compensate." selves. But it is quite unnecessary, and pp. 2, 3.

would indeed be bighly improper, to per

plex their minds with any subtle and idle Mr. Wood is a strenuous advocate inquiries about the method, in which this for the good old Scottish custom, sacrifice, so clearly revealed, can operate now too much neglected both north for salvation.” pp. 56, 57. and south of the Tweed, of catc.

The system of explanation perchising: but he insists strongly upon vades all the pursuits of the school, the necessity of the children' being especially reading. Its object is made to understand what they re

threefold : first, To render more peat. He thinks also that children easy and pleasing the acquisition of may be made to comprehend the the mechanical art of reading; setruths of religion much sooner and condly, To turn to advantage the more easily than is generallysupposed. particular instruction contained in “But it may be asked, "What is meant

every individual passage which is by making a child understand the truths read; and, above all, thirdly, To of religion ? Hath not an Apostle ac give the pupil, by means of a minute knowledged, that “great is the mystery of analysis of each passage, a general godliness," and what he found to be mys command of his own language. The tery shall we pretend to make plain even to the conceptions of children?' Such

following illustration will shew the questions we admit to be at once perti. application of the system in practice : “For example, if in any lesson the been accustomed to speak. In scholar read of one having done an un- explaining, in the early stages of precedented act,' it might be quite suff. cient for understanding the menning of



instruction, it is a special instruction that single passage, to tell him that no to the monitors, never to exact any other person had ever done the like;' but regular definition, but to be satisthis would by no means fully accomplish fied with any explanation given by the object we have in view. The child would thus receive no clear notion of the the child himself, which indicates word unprecedented, and would therefore, his knowledge of the meaning, in all probability, on the very next occasion though it be conveyed in his own of its recurrence, or of the recurrence of ordinary or homely language. other words from the same root, be as much at a loss as before. But direct his

mere signs. A little child is not attention to the threefold composition of laughed at for defining an ox “a this word, the un, the pre, and the cede. muckle coo ;” or saying that us Ask him the meaning of the syllable un means you and me. But, says Mr. in composition, and tell him to point out wa to you (or, if necessary, point out to him) any other words, in which it has this sig “A young teacher, who had heen sent to nification of not (such as uncommon, un visit our school, on witnessing this part of civil), and, if there be leisure, any other our proceedings, turned round, observing syllables which have in composition a with a sneer, · Who gives the children similar effect, such as in, with all its modis such definitions as those ?' • Sometimes,' fications of ig, il, im, ir, also dis and we replied, 'they are given by themselves; non, with examples. Next investigate the sometimes by their monitor ; sometimes meaning of the syllable pre in composition, by the master.' They are no definitions and illustrate it with examples (such as at all.' • Perhaps not : but which of them previous, premature). Then examine in do you object to ?' •To all of them.' like manner the meaning of the syllable Have the goodness to specify one which cede, and, having shewn that in compo. you consider most objectionable.' • Us, sition it generally signifies to go, demand for example.' Well! what did they the signification of its various compounds, say of us ?' 'You and me : that is no precede, proceed, succeed, accede, recede, definition. What would you have had exceed, intercede The pupil will in this them say?' Oh, I certainly never should · manner acquire not only a much more dis have taught them that.' . What, then, tinct and lasting impression of the significa would you have taught them ?" "I would tion of the word in question, but a key also have told them it was a pronoun !!!' • That to a vast variety of other words in the lan child' (probably not above five years of guage. This too he will do far more plea age) would certainly have been made singly and satisfactorily in the mannerwhich much wiser by what you call a definition.'" is here recommended, than by being en. pp. 181, 182. joined to commit them to memory from a The education at the Sessional vocabulary at home as a task. The latter School is religious: the business practice, wherever it is introduced, is, we know, regarded by the children as an irk

both commences and concludes some drudgery; the former, on the con- every day with prayer. All the trary, is an amusement." pp. 145, 146. books used in the school contain a

To carry the experiment into large proportion of religious and effect, an elementary book was pre. moral instruction. The earliest of pared and printed, containing no them are in a great measure comunmeaning sounds, but words only posed of little incidents selected which were familiar to the children, from Scripture history. From the and which they were called upon to time that the children are able to explain. No sooner was it intro- read it with tolerable ease, the Bible duced, than its good effects in in- itself is put into their hands : it is spiring animation and activity, where thenceforward read as a part of their all had hitherto been cold and spirit. daily instructions, along with any less, were immediately apparent, other exercises which may be reand excited no small astonishment, quired of them; and, while they both among the elder pupils and remain in the school, it never ceases the visitors of the seminary. The to form an important part of their children were greatly delighted in studies. The plan of the daily finding themselves already able to religious exercises appears to be read the words which they had very judicious.

The plan of teaching grammar is not derogate from the fame of Dr. by viva-voce communication and Bell, or the success of his labours examination in the course of their in England, that Madras children daily reading, without using a gram. wrote on sand for ages before he mar. It appears to be very effective, was born. The inventor, to all and teaches the children to reflect practical purposes, is the man who upon what they read. In arithmetic develops and applies an important their attainments greatly excite the principle. Gas lights would have admiration of visitors, particularly been only a philosophical experi. from the quickness and accuracy ment, had not Winsor introduced with which they perform sums men- them into our streets: the plan of tally. Their exertions in this de- mutual instruction, though no new partment may have had an important invention, had never been worked effect in promoting habits of close into a system, or spread over the attention, and in strengthening their civilized world, had not a Lancaster mental powers. In geography, the been found to press it upon the chief peculiarity in the plan of attention of mankind : and to a teaching is making them draw maps similar honourable fame is Mr. on blank boards.

Wood entitled for the happy exWe have thus cursorily noticed a periment of the Sessional School, few of the features of Mr. Wood's which bids fair to inoculate with system :—we call it his; for though sound principles the whole of Scotthere is, perhaps, no portion of it tish, and, we trust, English and which may not have been partially Irish parochial education. We dif. adopted elsewhere, yet to him fer from his opinions on some points, chiefly is the merit due of form. but we will not derogate from the ing the scheme into one consistent effect of the general impression of whole, and bringing it before the the preceding statements and expublic in the shape of a palpable tracts by minor criticisms. and successful experiment. It does


&c. &c.


the forty-sixth chapter of Jeremiah, which In the press, or preparing for publication: Mr. Penn considers unintelligible in the

Select Works of the British Poets; by present Hebrew text, and in every version R. Southey, LL.D.;- Travels in Russia ; except the Greek of the Septuagint, xlvi. by E. Morton ;--The Political Life of 17, derives all its obscurity from a fruitless Mr. Canning; by his private Secretary, attempt to interpret as Hebrew a clause Mr. Stapleton ; - Hindoo Society; by in that verse which is not Hebrew, but Lieut.-Col. Stewart ;-La Place's System pure Egyptian : which Egyptian clause of the World; Translated, with Notes, by the Alexandrian interpreters have correctly the Rev. H. H. Harte ;-The Nature and preserved and transmitted, as it was oriAffinity of Ancient and Hindu Mythology; ginally written by the Prophet himself in by Lieut.-Col. Kennedy ;-Elements of Egypt. The writer argues, that the clause Hebrew Grammar; by W.T. Phillips; was introduced by the Prophet into his Christus in Colo; by the Rev. J. Brown; denunciations against Egypt for the pur-Obedience ; by Mrs. Sherwood. pose of affixing on its sovereign, Pharaoh

Necho, or Necos, a taunting designation, Among the papers read before the in his own language, popularly descriptive Royal Society of Literature, is one by of his fugitive retreat into Egypt from the Mr. Granville Penn; the object of which armies of the king of Babylon, whose is to prove, that the seventeenth verse of territories he had invaded. He considers

that the import of the clause is readily raise it by unusual and far-fetched expresattainable, by resorting to the Egyptian sions. Dr. Johnson himself, from whose language for its interpretation, in which corruptions English style is only recoverit literally signifies intro-mutavit-viam; and ing, in eighty-seven words of his fine parthat the verse, as preserved by the Septu- allel between Dryden and Pope, has found agint, ought to be rendered, “ Call ye the means to introduce no more than twentyname of Pharaoh Nechao, king of Egypt; one of Latin derivation. The language of he turned his course inwards."

familiar intercourse, the terms of jest and We are happy to learn that this highly pleasantry, and those of necessary busirespectable literary institution has deter- ness, the idioms or peculiar phrases into mined to afford its support to a proposal which words naturally run, the proverbs, for publishing the ancient version of the which are the condensed and pointed Old Testament attributed to Wycliffe. sense of the people, the particles on That eminent man translated the whole which our syntax depends, and which are Bible into the vernacular tongue; and his of perpetual recurrence ;-all these founlabours are still happily preserved in manu. dations of a language are more decisive script, but only the New Testament has proofs of the Saxon origin of ours, than ever been printed. We trust that, in an even the great majority of the Saxon age like the present, encouragement will words in writing, and the still greater not be wanting to remunerate the labour majority in speaking. In all cases where and expense of collecting and publishing we have preserved a family of words, the these interesting and valuable remains of superior significancy of a Saxon over a our early biblical literature.

Latin term is most remarkable. "WellSir James Mackintosh, in the first being arises from well-doing,' is a Saxon volume of his History of England just phrase, which may be thus rendered into published, makes the following remarks, the Latin part of the language : Felicity which may offer a useful suggestion to attends virtue ;' but how inferior in force clergymen, in making their sermons intel. is the latter! In the Saxon phrase the ligible to unlettered hearers.--"From the parts or roots of words being significant Anglo-Saxons we derive the names of the in our language, and familiar to our eyes most ancient officers among us, of the and ears, throw their whole meaning into greater part of the divisions of the king- the compounds and derivations; while dom, and of almost all our towns and the Latin words of the same import, villages. From them also we derive our having their roots and elements in a language ; of which the structure, and a foreign language, carry only a cold and majority of its words, much greater than conventional signification to an English those who have not thought on the subject car. It must not be a subject of wonder would at first easily believe, are Saxon. that language should have many closer Of sixty-nine words which make up the connexions with the thoughts and feelings Lord's Prayer, there are only five not which it denotes, than our philosophy can Saxon : the best example of the natural always explain.” bent of our language, and of the words The committee of the Society for aboapt to be chosen by those who speak and lishing the cruel Practice of sweeping Chimwrite it without design. Of eighty-one neys by living Machines vouch for the truth words in the soliloquy of Hamlet, thirteen of the following dialogue and fact. There only are of Latin origin. Even in a pas. is, it seems, some peculiar disease incident sage of ninety words in Milton, whose to climbing boys.-"A cadet applied to a diction is more learned than that of any physician in Madras for advice, and was other poet, there are only sixteen Latin found by him completely out of health. words. In four verses of the authorized The following conversation took place :version of Genesis, which contain about Dr., 'I have a question I wish to put, but a hundred-and-thirty words, there are no am ashamed to ask it.' Cadet, I beg more than five Latin, In seventy-nine you will feel no delicacy.' Dr., Well, words of Addison, whose perfect taste I'll think of your case till to-morrow.' preserved him from a pedantic or con. The next day he was reminded of his strained preference for any portion of the inquiry, and, after a good deal of apology language, we find only fifteen Latin. In and preparation, said, • Were you ever a later times the language has rebelled climbing-boy?' Cadet, • I was stolen from against the bad taste of those otherwise my parents in England; I was too young vigorous writers, who, instead of ennobling to find them out, and they could not distheir style, like Milton, by the position cover me, and I worked four years as a and combination of words, have tried to chimney-sweeper.' Dr., I knew that

« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »