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XIII. THE POPULAR SCHOOL AND THE TEACHER.
IN ENGLISH LITERATURE.
The character of the school and the teacher at any given period, is to some extent reflected in the popular writings of the day, and is to a still greater extent perpetuated by such representation. As part of the History of Popular Education, we shall republish from time to time in this Journal, not only the elaborate dissertations by the best writers and thinkers of different countries and ages, on the principles and inethods of education, but we propose to reproduce the portraitures which have been drawn in prose and verse of the school, the schoolmaster and the schoolmistress, by writers of established reputation-especially in the English language. We shall add a few notes and annotations for the benefit of readers who may not be familiar with the authors quoted, or the names and customs referred to. THOMAS FULLER, D. D.
1608-1661. Dr. Thomas FULLER was the son of a clergyman in Aldwinkle in Northamptonshire, where he was born in 1608,—was educated at Queen's College, Cambridge,-preached in London,-published his History of the Holy Wur in 1640, bis Holy State in 1642, his Good Thoughts in Bad Times in 1645, and his Church History in 1656,and died in 1661. His Worthies of England, the labor of many years and a fund of biographical information, was not printed till after his death. His writings are full of learning, composed in a quaint and witty style, and abound in admirable maxims characterized by sagacity and good sense, and expressed in language always pithy, and frequently irresistibly humorous. His Holy and Profane States contain beautifully drawn characters, of which the following is an admirable specimen.
THE GOOD SCHOOLMASTER.
THERE is scarce any profession in the commonwealth more necessary, which is so slightly performed. The reasons whereof, I conceive to be these: first, young scholars make this calling their refuge, yea, perchance before they have taken any degree in the University, commence schoolmasters in the country, as if nothing else were required to set up this profession but only a rod and a ferula. Secondly, others, who are able, use it only as a passage to better preferment, to patch the rents in their present fortune, till they can provide a new one, and betake themselves to some more gainful calling. Thirdly, they are disheartened from doing their best with the miserable reward which in some places they receive, being masters to the children, and slaves to their parents. Fourthly, being grown rich, they grow negligent, and scorn to touch the school, but by the proxy of an usher. But see how well our schoolmaster behaves himself.
His genius inclines him with delight to his profession. Some men had as lief be schoolboys as schoolmasters, to be tied to the school, as Cooper's dictionary and Scapula's lexicon are chained* to the desk therein; and though great scholars, and skillful in other arts, are bunglers in this: but God of his good. ness hath fitted several men for several callings, that the necessity of church and state in all conditions may be provided for. So that he who beholds the fabric thereof may say, “God hewed out this stone, and appointed it to lie in this very place, for it would fit none other so well, and here it doth most excellent." And thus God mouldeth some for a schoolmaster's life, undertaking it with desire and delight, and discharging it with dexterity and happy success.
He studieth his scholars' natures as carefully as they their books; and ranks their dispositions into several forms. And though it may seem difficult for him in a great school to descend to all particulars, yet experienced schoolmasters may quickly make a grammar of boys’ natures, and reduce them all, saving some few exceptions, to these general rules.
1. Those that are ingenious and industrious. The conjunction of two such planets in a youth presage much good unto him. To such a lad a frown may be a whipping, and a whipping a death; yea, where their master hips them once, shame whips them all the week after. Such natures he useth with all gentleness.
2. Those that are ingenious and idle. These think, with the hare in the fable, that running with snails (so they count the rest of their schoolfellows) they shall come soon enough to the post, though sleeping a good while before their starting. Oh, a good rod would finely take them napping.
3. Those that are dull and diligent. Wines, the stronger they be, the more lees they have when they are new. Many boys are muddy-headed till they be clarified with age, and such afterward prove the best. Bristol diamondst are both bright and square and pointed by nature, and yet are soft and worthless; whereas, Orient ones in India are rough and rugged naturally. Hard, rugged and dull natures of youth acquit themselves afterward the jewels of the country, and therefore their dullness at first is to be borne with, if they be diligent. That schoolmaster deserves to be beaten himself, who beats nature in a boy for a fault. And I question whether all the whipping in the world can make their parts, which are naturally sluggish, rise one minute before the hour nature hath appointed
4. Those that are invincibly dull and negligent also. Correction may reform the latter, not amend the former. All the whetting in the world can never set a razor's edge on that which hath no steel in it. Such boys he consigneth over to other professions. Shipwrights and boatmakers will choose those crooked pieces of timber, which other carpenters refuse. Those may make excellent merchants and mechanics which will not serve for scholars.
He is able, diligent, and methodical in his teaching; not leading them rather in a circle than forward. He minces his precepts for children to swallow, hanging clogs on the nimbleness of his own soul, that his scholars may go along with him.
He is, and will be known to be an absolute monarch in his school. If cocker. ing mothers profler him money to purchase their sons an exemption from his rod, (to live as it were in a peculiar, out of their master's jurisdiction,) with disdain he refuseth it, and scorns the late custom in some places of commuting whipping into money, and ransoming boys from the rod at a set price. If he hath a stubborn youth, correction-proof, he debaseth not his authority by contesting with him, but fairly, if he can, puts him away before his obstinacy hath infected others.
He is moderate in inflicting deserved correction. Many a schoolmaster better answereth the name παιδοτρίβης! than παιδαγωγός, rather tearing his scholars' flesh with whipping, than giving them good education. No wonder
* The practice of chaining the Dictionary to the master's desk, to be there consulted, ex. isted in the early Grammar Schools of this country See Parker's History of the Free School of Roxbury.
† BRISTOL DIAMONDS are small and brilliant crystals of quartz found in the vicinity of Bristol, England, and occasionally used for ornamental purposes. Brande.
maidotoiß ns-a teacher of wrestling or gymnastics. maldaywyos-strictly the slate who rent with a boy from home to school and the gymnasium-but used to designate one who teaches and trains boys.
if his scholars hate the muses, being presented unto them in the shape of fiends and furies. Junius* complains "de insolenti carnificina" of his schoolmaster, by whom "conscindebatur flagris septies aut octies in dies singulos." Yea, hear the lamentable verses of poor Tusser in his own life:
From Paul's I went, to Eton sent,
At once I had.
To me poor lad." Such an Orbiliusf mars more scholars than he makes: their tyranny hath caused many tongues to stammer, which spake plain by nature, and whose stuttering at first was nothing else but fears quavering on their speech at their master's presence; and whose mauling them about their heads hath dulled those who in quickness exceeded their master.
He makes his school free to him, who sues to him "in forma pauperis.” And surely learning is the greatest alms that can be given. But he is a beast, who, because the poor scholar can not pay him his wages, pays the scholar in his whipping. Rather are diligent lads to be encouraged with all excitements to learning. This minds me of what I have heard concerning Mr. Bust, that worthy late schoolmaster of Eton, who would never suffer any wandering begging scholar (such as justly the statute hath ranked in the forefront of rogues) to come into his school, but would thrust him out with earnestness, (however privately charitable unto him,) lest his schoolboys should be disheartened from their books, by seeing some scholars, after their studying in the University, preferred to beggary.
He spoils not a good school to make thereof a bad college, therein to teach his scholars logic. For besides that logic may have an action of trespass against grammar for encroaching on her liberties, syllogisms are solecisms taught in the school, and oftentimes they are forced afterward in the University to unlearn the fumbling skill they had before.
Out of his school he is no whit pedantical in carriage or discourse; contenting himself to be rich in Latin, though he doth not jingle with it in every company wherein he comes.
To conclude, let this amongst other motives make schoolmasters careful in their place, that the eminencies of their scholars have commended the memories of their schoolmasters to posterity, who otherwise in obscurity had altogether been forgotten. Who had ever heard of R. Bond, in Lancashire, but for the breeding of learned Ascham, his scholar? or of Hartgrave, in Brundly school,
FRANCIS JUNIUS, who died in 1602, professor of divinity at Leyden, whose autobiography contains brief notices of his school and schoolmasters-is probably referred to. He was the author of Commentaries, Hebrew Lexicon, Translations of the Scriptures, etc.
+ NICHOLAS UDAL, Head Master of Eton College, from 1530 to 1555, and of Westminster from 1557 to 1564, through the Schoolmaster of Roger Ascham, and Thomas Tusser's Account of his own life, seems destinell to an unenviable immortality for his flogging propensities. He was born in Hampshire in 1506, educated at Oxford, and died in 1564. He was the author of a " Moral play" entitled Ralph Royster Doyster.
: ORBILIUS PUPILLUS, was a native of Beneventum, where having received a good education, served as a soldier in Macedonia, taught for some time in his native place, until in the consulship of Cicero, B. C.63, he removed io Rome and opened a school, which was attended by Horace, who seems to have carried away with him a stinging remembrance of his llogging propensities, and for which he has made him infamous to all time. In his Epistle to Augustus, (Ep. 11. 1, 70.) he calls him plagosum-fond of flogging. Suetonius in his Libro de Illustribus Grammaticis describes Orbilius in these words: Fuit autem natura acerbe non modo in anti sophistas, quos omni sermone lacerarit, sed etiam in discipulus, ut Horalius significat, plagosum eum appellans, el Domitius Marsus scribens :
Si quos Orbilius ferula sculicaque cecidet. The ferula, the general instrument of punishment in school, was the stalk of a reed or cane of that name, in which Prometheus conveyed the spark of tire from heaven. Many teachers act as though they thought some of the divine fire had impregnated the stalk for future use. Scutica was a lash, and a more flexible and severe instrument of punishment, like the raio-hide, maile of untanned leather twisted.
Orbilius lived to be nearly one huudred years old, and must have had a more cheerful temper than Horace gave him credit for. His native city erected a statue lo his memory. He is said to have written a book on school-keeping.
in the same county, but because he was the first did teach worthy Doctor Whitaker ? nor do I honor the memory of Mulcaster* for anything so much, as for his scholar, that gulf of learning, Bishop Andrews. This made the Athenians, the day before the great feast of Theseus, their founder, to sacrifice a ram to the memory of Conidas, his schoolmaster that first instructed him.
1728-1774. We shall have occasion to notice some of the peculiarities in Goldsmith's own education, and of his experience as a teacher in the republication in a future number of his admirable Essay on Education, in which he claims to have anticipated some of the suggestions of Rousseau in his Emilius. The portraitures in the Deserted Village, whether drawn from Irish or English life, are among the classic characters of our language.
THE VILLAGE SCHOOLMASTER.
Beside yon straggling fence that skirts the way
JAMES DELILLE, 1738-1813. JAMES DELILLE, was born in Auvignon, in 1733, educated in Paris, and made Professor at Amiens, in 1760, and afterward in Paris,-
* RICHARD MULCASTEr was born at Carlisle, educated at Eton under Udal, and at Kings' College, Cambridge, and Christ Church. Oxford.--commenced teaching in 1559, and appointed first master of Merchant Tailors' School in 1561. where he served till 1596, when he was made upper master of St. Paul's school,-died in 1611. He was a severe disciplinarian, but received many marks of grateful respect from his pupils, when they came of age and reHected on his fidelity and care. He was a good Latin, Greek, and Oriental scholar. His Latin verses spoken on the occasion of one of Queen Elizabeth's visits to Kenilworth Castle, are considered favorable specimens of his Latinity. He made a contribution to the literature of his profession, under the title of Positions, isherein those primitive Circumstances be considered which are necessary for the training up of children, either for Skill in their books, or lealth in their Bodies. London, 1581."
translated Virgil's Georgies into French verse, and afterward composed an original work of the same character, entitled Jardins. Driven from France by the revolutionary outbreak, he afterward resided in Switzerland and Germany. In 1792, he published the Country Gentlemen, (Homme des Champs,) a poem in five cantos, in which he depicts country life in various characters and aspects--and among others, that of the school and the schoolmaster. We copy the last in an English translation by John Maunde. Some of the finest strokes are borrowed from Goldsmith's picture—unless both are copied from the same original. He died in 1813.
THE VILLAGE SCHOOL MASTER.
away, his wary subjects fear,
Nor distant far the birch is seen to rise-