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To ask, to guess, to know, as they commence,
As fancy opens the quick springs of sense,
We ply the memory, we load the brain,
Bind rebel wit, and double chain on chain,
Confine the thought, to exercise the breath,

And keep them in the pale of words till death.

I think it is a poor and imperfect conception of education that should limit it to the learning of any languages whatever; but surely if we are to make language the whole or a part of education, it should be the language which we are most concerned with; and I must be permitted to say that in my science of ponderation I think English has a prior claim over Latin and Greek. I do not disparage Latin or Greek; but I am speaking of what is most important to be taken first; and I think it is melancholy to consider the ignorance of our own language in which the best educated of our young men are brought up. Latin is, of course, of great use. It is the only means of opening up a great store of information which is locked up in it, and which is not to be found elsewhere. It has a noble literature of its own, and it is the key to most of the modern languages, and therefore it is a study of very great importance. But we must remember that those persons who spoke a language which was the most marked by felicity of expression, and which is the model of all literature-the inhabitants of Greece, I mean-knew no language but their own. The Romans knew just enough Greek to make them neglect their Latin, and the con sequence is their literature is inferior to that of the race that came before them who knew one language. And only see how you set about learning these lan'guages. Learning the language is a joke compared with learning the grammar. The grammar is one thing, and the language another. I agree with the German wit, Heine, who said-"How fortunate the Romans were that they had not to learn the Latin grammar, because if they had done so they never would have had time to conquer the world." Montaigne, 300 years ago, saw this, and pointed it out most forcibly, and by learning the language colloquially, “without a lash, without a tear," he became able to speak it by being talked to in Latin, But that would not answer the purpose. Because it is said "you must discipline the mind," therefore a boy is put through torture of elaborate grammars, which he is forced to learn by heart, and every syllable of which he forgets before he is twenty years of age. There seems something like a worship of inu. tility in this matter; it seems to be considered very fine to learn something that can not by possibility do any body any thing of good—

The languages, especially the dead,

The sciences, especially the abstruse-
The arts, at least all such as could be said

To be the most remote from common use.

It is an idea that a thing can not be good discipline for the mind unless it be something that is utterly useless in future life. Now, I do not think so. There is no doubt that Greek is a language of wonderful felicity of expression; but what is more beautiful, more refined, or will exercise taste better than to study the best modern French prose to be found in M. Prevost Paradol, Sainte Beuve, and other French writers? There is nothing that can approach it in the English language. If a man wishes to exercise himself in these things he can not possibly have a better subject than French prose. The discipline of the mind is quite as good, and it has this advantage, that when he goes to Paris he will be

able to go to a hotel and make known his wants without becoming a laughing. stock to everybody; but this would be too useful, and therefore this must be put aside for some discipline in the Greek language, which he is sure to forget before he is thirty. It depends upon what you mean to make men. If you want to make them a race of sophists, poetasters, and schoolmasters, we are going about it in the right way; but for the business of life we have a little too much Latin and Greek, and if we are to have them taught, they ought to be taught on a very different system. There is nothing more absurd than to attempt to untie knots that have never been tied. If language had been made on a set of general principles-if it had been laid down by the wise men of all nations that the nominative should always agree with the verb, and a verb should always govern the accusative-and language had been made like Euclid -every one of these rules which had been tied we could untie, and a language having been put together in that way we could analyze it into rules. But, gentlemen, language was not so made. Language grew we know not how-like a tree or a plant; it was not made under general rules, and therefore, when you are trying to form general rules for it, you are sowing the sand-you will never attain to what you want; and the result is that when you come to reflect, you will find that you have wasted much time, and the best years of your life have been made miserable by studying rules, whose exceptions are often as numerous as their illustrations, and of which you never know whether they apply or not.

Latin Versification.

There is another thing I enter my protest against, and that is Latin verses, I do not think the history of poets is so prosperous that the end and object of mankind should be to make as many young people as possible poetasters. One of the least profitable of the little talents that a man can have is that of scrib bling verses, and yet years of our lives are taken up in the attempt to teach us to write Latin verses, which, after all, are a mere cento of expressions stolen from different authors, the meaning of which we may not ourselves know. I know that I have been highly commended for verses I could not construe myself. This of course gives a most unfair predominence to boys who have been early taught how to use a gradus. The knack is so absurd and repulsive that no one ever acquired it late in life. It must be taught early if at all. I have known men of high classical attainments who have not got honors because they have not had the knack of stringing words together, called doing Latin verses. There is a movement going on against the system, and I hope we shall get rid of it. Another absurd thing is this-I think that a man knows a language when he can read with fluency and ease a good, plain, straightforward author, who writes grammatically and sensibly. This may very soon be done in Latin and Greek; but that is not half enough. There is no torture in that— that is very simple. But what you must do is to take a place that is hopelessly corrupt, where the amanuensis has gone to sleep, or has been tipsy, or has dropped a line, or something or other; you must read two or three pages of notes by everybody who has read at these places, written in bad Latin, stating their idea of how they ought to be reformed and translated. If Æschylus came to life again he would be easily plucked in one of his own choruses; and as for Homer, I am quite certain he did not know the difference between the nominative and accusative case; and yet the best hours of our lives are spent

in this profitless analysis of works produced by men utterly unconscious of the rules we are endeavoring to draw from them.

Ancient History.

Ancient history is a very important matter, and a very beautiful study; but it is not so important as modern history, and it does not bear nearly so much upon our transactions. Consider what it is. Ancient history has but two phases the one is a monarchy, the other is a municipality. The notion of a large community existing by virtue of the principle of representation—of a popular government extended beyond the limits of a single town-is a thing that never entered into the minds of the ancients, so that the best years of our lives are spent in studying history in which that which makes the difference between modern history and ancient-the leading characteristic of our society -that principle of representation which has made it possible in some degree to reconcile the existence of a large country with the existence of a certain amount of freedom-was utterly unknown. The Roman Empire was established, from the necessity of the case, because when Rome became too large to be a municipality, the ancients knew of no other means than to place a Cæsara tyrant-over the whole of it, and the idea of sending, as we should do, representatives of the different provinces to meet in Rome, and consult upon the general welfare of the Empire, never occurred to them. That was not known at that time. That was a discovery of many hundred years later. And yet to study all this history, which wants the one thing that is the leading characteristic of modern history, the best time of our life is devoted. I do not say that the time is thrown away, but it is melancholy to reflect that this history is taught, not as an adjunct but as a substitute for modern history. If a man has a knowledge of modern and mediæval history, it is important that he should have this knowledge of ancient history with which he has to compare it; but if he has no modern history he has not the means of comparison. It is useless then by itself. That state of things has utterly passed away. It perished, never to return, with the fall of the Roman Empire, and on its ruins sprung up a new state of things-the feudal system and the polity of the Middle Ages, which ripened into the present state of things. Of all that our youth are taught nothing—they know nothing of it. The subject is never brought before them, and their study is limited and confined to the wars and intrigues of petty republics, the whole mass of which would hardly, perhaps, amount to as many people as are in this great city. There is a well-known passage in a letter by Servius Sulpicius, one of Cicero's friends, in which he endeavors to console him for the death of his daughter Tullia. This is a translation of it:-"Behind me lay Ægina, before me Megæra, on my right Piræus, on my left Corinth; these cities, once so flourishing, now lie prostrate and demolished before my eyes. I thought, 'Are we little mortals afflicted when one of us perishes, whose life must at any rate be brief, when in one place lie the corpses of so many towns?'" Well, that is one way of looking at the question. I have been in the same place, and also had my thoughts, and I thought how many irretrieva ble years of my life have I spent in reading and learning the wars, and the intrigues, and the revolutions of these little towns, the whole of which may be taken in at a single glance from the Acropolis of Athens, and would not make a decently-sized English county. I think that reflection must force itself on the mind of any one who has gone to Greece, and has seen the wonderfully

small scale on which these republics are laid out, to which the earlier years of his life were almost exclusively devoted.

Idea of Progress Wanting.

There is another great fault in this exclusive direction of the mind of youth to antiquity, and that is, that their conception of knowledge wants entirely that which is our leading conception in the present day. I do not think that you will find any where in the study of antiquity that which is now in everybody's mouth-the idea of progress. The notion of the ancients was that knowledge was a sort of permanent fixed quantity-that it could not be increased that it was to be sought for; and if a man wanted to seek for knowl edge he did not sit down and interrogate Nature, and study her phenomena, and also analyze and inquire, but he put on his seven-leagued boots and traveled to Egypt or Persia, or as far as he possibly could, in the expectation of finding some wise man there who could tell him all about it. That was the case with Plato, and almost all the great men of antiquity. Now it is no small fault of the modern system of education that it withholds that conception, the key of modern society-that is, not to look at things as stationary, but to look at the human race as, like a glacier, always advancing, always going on from good to better, from better to worse, as the case may be an endless change and development that never ceases, although we may not be able to mark it every day. That conception is entirely wanting in the antique world; and therefore it is not too much to ask that that idea should be imparted to youth before we give so much time to study the state of society in which it is wholly wanting. I won't detain you with any discussion in this place on the morals and metaphysics of the ancients. I suspect that they knew as much of the mental sciences as we do now-neither much more nor much less; and, without speaking disrespectfully of them, we may say this, that no two of them had the same opinion on the same subject. Then we are dosed with the antiquities of the ancients. Every man is expected to know how many Archons there were at Athens, though he does not know how many Lords of the Treasury there are in London; he must know all the forms of their courts, though he knows hardly the names of our own. He must be dosed with their laws and institutions—things excessively repulsive to the young mind—things only valuable for comparing with our own institutions, of which he is kept pro foundly ignorant.

Ancient Geography.

A large portion of time is spent in studying divisions of countries that have long ceased to exist, or have any practical bearing on the world. Of course, if you are to study the language of the ancients, these things must be learned; but is it not melancholy to think how much modern geography is sacrificed to this knowledge? There is nothing in which young men are more deficient than in geography. I shall just mention a few things within my own knowledge. Take, for instance, Australia. It is very rare to find a person who knows where the colonies of Australia are. The island of Java is said to have been given up by Lord Castlereagh at the Treaty of Vienna to the Dutch because he could not find it in the map, and was ashamed to confess his ignorance. I remember a very eminent member of the House of Commons indeed ---I will not mention his name-who made a speech in which it was quite

manifest to me that he thought that Upper Canada was nearest the mouth of the St. Lawrence, and Lower Canada was higher up the river. If I were to ellt you his name you would be astonished. Well, we are going to make an expedition to Abyssinia. The whole thing depends upon the nature of the country. Now, what do we know about it? There is a great deal to be known about it. A great many men have traveled there, and a great deal has been written about it. It is as much as most men can do to find it on the map, and very few know a single town in it. I have amused myself trying to see how few men know where Gondar, the capital of this country, is situated on the map; and as the prisoners we are going to attempt to rescue can probably only be reached by going there, and so to Magdala, it is nearly as important to know where it is as to know that Halicarnassus was the capital city of Caria, or that there were twenty-three cities of the Volscians in the Campagna of Rome. There is another illustration I may give. The name of the place is in the Bible, and we might have hoped better things. You will remember that Mr. Bright in last session of Parliament denominated certain gentlemen by a name derived from a cave. Well, I assure you, gentlemen, there was not one person in twenty whom I met who knew any thing about the Cave of Adullam, and I was under the melancholy and cruel necessity of explaining it to them, and of pointing the arrow that was aimed against my own breast. After all, gentlemen, education is a preparation for actual life, and I ask you though no doubt the memory is exercised and the faculties are sharpened by these studies in some degree-whether they really in any degree fulfill that condition. I say there is nothing so valuable for a man as to avoid credulity. If he discounts a man's bill, he should inquire before he does it. But what we are taught by this kind of study, our attention being so much placed upon words, is to take every thing for granted. We find a statement in Thucydides, or Cornelius Nepos, who wrote 500 years afterwards, and we never are instructed that the statement of the latter is not quite as good as the former. And so with other things. The study of the dead languages precludes the inquiring habit of mind which measures probability, which is one of the most important that a man can acquire.

Deficiencies in the Education of a Public School or University Man.

I will now give you a catalogue of things which a highly-educated man-one who may have received the best education at the highest public schools, or at Oxford-may be in total ignorance of. He probably will know nothing of the anatomy of his own body. He will not have the slightest idea of the difference between the arteries and the veins, and he may not know whether the spleen is placed on the right or the left side of his spine. He may have no knowledge of the simplest truths of physics, and would not be able to explain the barometer or thermometer. He knows nothing of the simplest laws of animal or vegetable life. He need not know, he very often does not know, any thing about arithmetic, and that ignorance sticks to him through life; he knows nothing of accounts, he does not know the meaning of double entry, or even a common debtor and creditor account. He may write an execrable hand; good clear writing-perhaps the most important qualification a gentleman or man of business can possess is totally neglected. He may be perfectly deficient in spelling. I knew an eminent person who got a first-class honor, and in his essay-a most excellent English essay-there were forty-six

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