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language of the chroniclers; Thucydides in that of Bacon or Hooker, while Demosthenes, Cicero, Cæsar and Tacitus, require a style completely modern-the perfection of the English language such as we now speak and write it, varied only to suit the individual differences of the different writers, but in its range of words, and in its idioms, substantially the
Thus much has been said on the subject of translation, because the practice of construing has naturally tended to bring the exercise into disrepute and in the contests for academical honours at both Universities, less and less importance, we have heard, is constantly being attached to the power of viva voce translation. We do not wonder at any contempt that is shown towards construing, the practice being a mere folly; but it is of some consequence that the value of translating should be better understood, and the exercise more carefully attended to. It is a mere chimera to suppose, as many do, that what they call free translation is a convenient cover for inaccurate scholarship. It can only be so through the incompetence or carelessness of the teacher. If the force of every part of the sentence be not fully given, the translation is so far faulty; but idiomatic translation, much more than literal, is an evidence that the translator does see the force of his original; and it should be remembered that the very object of so translating is to preserve the spirit of an author, where it would be lost or weakened by translating literally; but where a literal translation happens to be faithful to the spirit, there of course it should be adopted; and any omission or misrepresentation of any part of the meaning of the original does not preserve its spirit, but, as far as it goes, sacrifices it, and is not to be called free translation,' but rather imperfect,' 'blundering,' or, in a word, bad translation.'
In the statement of the business of Rugby School which has been given above, one part of it will be found to consist of works of modern history. An undue importance is attached by some persons to this circumstance, and those who would care little to have their sons familiar with the history of the Peloponnesian war are delighted that they should study the Campaigns of Frederic the Great or of Napoleon. Information about modern events is more useful, they think, than that which relates to antiquity; and such information they wish to be given to their children.
This favourite notion of filling boys with useful information is likely, we think, to be productive of some mischief. It is a caricature of the principles of inductive philosophy, which,
while it taught the importance of a knowledge of facts, never imagined that this knowledge was of itself equivalent to wisdom. Now it is not so much our object to give boys ' useful information,' as to facilitate their gaining it hereafter for themselves, and to enable them to turn it to account when gained. The first is to be effected by supplying them on any subject with a skeleton which they may fill up hereafter. For instance, a real knowledge of history in after life is highly desirable; let us see how education can best facilitate the gaining of it. It should begin by impressing on a boy's mind the names of the greatest men of different periods, and by giving him a notion of their order in point of time, and the part of the earth on which they lived. This is best done by a set of pictures bound up together in a volume, such, for instance, as those which illustrated Mrs. Trimmer's little histories, and to which the writer of this article is glad to acknowledge his own early obligations. Nor could better service be rendered to the cause of historical instruction than by publishing a volume of prints of universal history, accompanied with a very short description of each. Correctness of costume in such prints, or good taste in the drawing, however desirable if they can be easily obtained, are of very subordinate importance: the great matter is that the print should be striking, and full enough to excite and to gratify curiosity. By these means a lasting association is obtained with the greatest names in history, and the most remarkable actions of their lives: while their chronological arrangement is learnt at the same time from the order of the pictures; a boy's memory being very apt to recollect the place which a favourite print holds in a volume, whether it comes towards the beginning, middle, or end, what picture comes before it, and what follows it. Such pictures should contain as much as possible the poetry of history: the most striking characters, and most heroic actions, whether of doing or of suffering; but they should not embarrass themselves with its philosophy, with the causes of revolutions, the progress of society, or the merits of great political questions. Their use is of another kind, to make some great name, and great action of every period, familiar to the mind; that so in taking up any more detailed history or biography, (and education should never forget the importance of preparing a boy to derive benefit from his accidental reading,) he may have some association with the subject of it, and may not feel himself to be on ground wholly unknown to him. He may thus be led to open volumes into which he would otherwise have never thought of looking: he need not
read them through-indeed it is sad folly to require either man or boy to read through every book they look at, but he will see what is said about such and such persons or actions; and then he will learn by the way something about other persons and other actions; and will have his stock of associations increased, so as to render more and more information acceptable to him.
After this foundation, the object still being rather to create an appetite for knowledge than to satisfy it, it would be desirable to furnish a boy with histories of one or two particular countries, Greece, Rome, and England for instance, written at no great length, and these also written poetically much more than philosophically, with much liveliness of style, and force of painting, so as to excite an interest about the persons and things spoken of. The absence of all instruction in politics or political economy, nay even an absolute erroneousness of judgment on such matters, provided always that it involves no wrong principle in morality, are comparatively of slight importance. Let the boy gain, if possible, a strong appetite for knowledge to begin with; it is a later part of education which should enable him to pursue it sensibly, and to make it, when obtained, wisdom.
But should his education, as is often the case, be cut short by circumstances, so that he never receives its finishing lessons, will he not feel the want of more direct information and instruction in its earlier stages? The answer is, that every thing has its proper season, and if summer be cut out of the year, it is vain to suppose that the work of summer can be forestalled in spring. Undoubtedly, much is lost by this abridgment of the term of education, and it is well to insist strongly upon the evil, as it might, in many instances, be easily avoided. But if it is unavoidable, the evil consequences arising from it cannot be prevented. Fulness of knowledge and sagacity of judgment are fruits not to be looked for in early youth; and he who endeavours to force them does but interfere with the natural growth of the plant, and prematurely exhaust its vigour.
In the common course of things, however, where a young person's education is not interrupted, the later process is one of exceeding importance and interest. Supposing a boy to possess that outline of general history which his prints and his abridgments will have given him, with his associations, so far as they go, strong and lively, and his desire of increased knowledge keen, the next thing to be done is to set him to read some first-rate historian, whose mind was formed in, and bears the stamp of some period of advanced civiliza
tion, analogous to that in which we now live. In other words, he should read Thucydides or Tacitus, or any writer equal to them, if such can be found, belonging to the third period of full civilization, that of modern Europe since the middle ages. The particular subject of the history is of little moment, so long as it be taken neither from the barbarian, nor from the romantic, but from the philosophical or civilized stage of human society; and so long as the writer be a man of commanding mind, who has fully imbibed the influences of his age, yet without bearing its exclusive impress. And the study of such a work under an intelligent teacher becomes indeed the key of knowledge and of wisdom: first it affords an example of good historical evidence, and hence the pupil may be taught to notice from time to time the various criteria of a credible narrative, and by the rule of contraries to observe what are the indications of a testimony questionable, suspicious, or worthless. Undue scepticism may be repressed by showing how generally truth has been attained when it has been honestly and judiciously sought; while credulity may be checked by pointing out, on the other hand, how manifold are the errors into which those are betrayed whose intellect or whose principles have been found wanting. Now too the time is come when the pupil may be introduced to that high philosophy which unfolds the causes of things.' The history with which he is engaged presents a view of society in its most advanced state, when the human mind is highly developed, and the various crises which affect the growth of the political fabric are all overpast. Let him be taught to analyse the subject thus presented to him; to trace back institutions, civil and religious, to their origin; to explore the elements of the national character, as now exhibited in maturity, in the vicissitudes of the nation's fortune, and the moral and physical qualities of its race; to observe how the morals and the mind of the people have been subject to a succession of influences, some accidental, others regular; to see and remember what critical seasons of improvement have been neglected, what besetting evils have been wantonly aggravated by wickedness or folly. In short, the pupil may be furnished as it were with certain formulæ, which shall enable him to read all history beneficially; which shall teach him what to look for in it, how to judge of it, and how to apply it.
Education will thus fulfil its great business, as far as regards the intellect, to inspire it with a desire of knowledge, and to furnish it with power to obtain and to profit by what it seeks for. And a man thus educated, even though he
knows no history in detail but that which is called ancient, will be far better fitted to enter on public life than he who could tell the circumstances and the date of every battle and every debate throughout the last century; whose information, in the common sense of the term, about modern history, might be twenty times more minute. The fault of systems of classical education in some instances has been, not that they did not teach modern history, but that they did not prepare and dispose their pupils to acquaint themselves with it afterwards; not that they did not attempt to raise an impossible superstructure, but that they did not prepare the ground for the foundation, and put the materials within reach of the builder.
That impatience, which is one of the diseases of the age, is in great danger of possessing the public mind on the subject of education; an unhealthy restlessness may succeed to lethargy. Men are not contented with sowing the seed unless they can also reap the fruit; forgetting how often it is the law of our condition, that one soweth and another reapeth.' It is no wisdom to make boys prodigies of information; but it is our wisdom and our duty to cultivate their faculties each in its season, first the memory and imagination, and then the judgment; to furnish them with the means, and to excite the desire, of improving themselves, and to wait with confidence for God's blessing on the result.
GERMAN HIGH SCHOOLS.
Gymnasium at Bonn.
In the first number of this Journal, our readers will find some account of one of the high schools in Germany, which was drawn up with the intention of showing the plan of instruction pursued in that country, and of proving, at the same time, that a much wider field was traversed there, than is yet generally thought necessary in our principal seminaries. We pride ourselves on being a highly religious people, and yet we do not take the same pains to instruct our youth in the doctrines of Christianity, and to make them comprehend the chief duties of morality, as they do in Germany. Our readers will observe in this Gymnasium at Bonn, that they have found no difficulty in uniting pupils of different religions in the same school; while their moral and intellectual education is carried on together, their religious instructors do not seem to encroach on the domain of each other, nor does