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The R. J. Schoolmaster.
For the Schoolmaster.
grammar-classes a constant tendency to pass The Art of Grammar and its Philosophy. through the prescribed routine without much
thinking. They perform their exercises like maThe school-boy pronounces grammar - dry." chines. They deal much with abstractions also, His teacher finds the greatest difficulty in awak- and the mind almost always prefers the conening that enthusiasm which is essential to suc- crete. A name is a noun, and a noun is a name, cess. The former displays his lack of interest and “what's in a name?” Surely little, to by making unaccountable and unnecessary mis- many a school-boy. Now, anything that will takes, giving to a noun tense, and to a verb case. make words objects of interest, give them perparsing John as first person feminine, and so on; sonality, life, will be of great advantage. Most frequently showing that his mind is not fully of them are such when rightly considered. The concentrated upon the subject of which he is growth of a tree from the germ, or the formaspeaking. This is rather saddening to the teach- tion of a crystal from its atoms, is not more er, and, if faithful, he will often ask himself the curious than the development of many words. question : How can I throw a charm around There is power in all these which might well be this study and stir up so much activity in re- called their life, and the life of the word is the gard to the subject as its importance demands ? idea that it contains. Vitality implies action, There is not this in difference in his other classes ; therefore the proper question to be asked in – whether they deal with the combinations of teaching, is : What does this word, phrase or arithmetic, the descriptions of geography, or the clause do in the sentence before us : The thought wonders of natural science. Why this differ- that in every well-formed proposition each word ence? Is it not because, in the one, there are has its appropriate office, bears a relation to othso many technicalities and so little philosophy, er parts, and is not there by chance, has conwhile in the others curiosity is gratified, effects stantly to be kept in mind. are traced to their causes, and many things in- Nothing has done more to show this connecteresting and valuable are brought to light? In tion and mutual dependence of the different other words, is not grammar taught too much parts of sentences than the study of analysis, as an art and not enough as a science? Every and not until this and grammar are united side oge knows that, according to our dictionaries, by side, shall we have the best system for exit is both; yet one would hardly infer so from plaining the true philosophy of language. The the m'thod sometiines pursued in teaching it. present mode of “parsing" is frequently quite As an art it teaches us, as we know, to write unreasonable. Phrases and clauses may do the and speak correctly ; as a science it shows the same as words, and in that case should be clasorigin and changes of words and develops prin- sified accordingly; yet their real relation is at ciples which are common to all'anguages. One times quite neglected. To illustrate; In the illustrates the other, and both are necessary to sentence, A strong wall was built, “ strong," of a proper understanding of the subject. An art course, is an adjective qualifying “wall.” A must have fixed rules, and hence we find in' wall of strength was built. Does of strength" describe wall as before, and should we not call tor; Tantalize, from the poor king of Lydia, it by the same name: Again: A wall, which Tantalus, who was condemned to be plunged was strong, was built. Here a sentence, “which in water, whilst delicious fruits and cooling was strong,” modifies wall and ought to be draughts might pass before his eyes, touch his called an adjective, as in analysis. Indeed, is lips, but never enter to satisfy his hunger and there any other proper way, if scholars are to thirst; Homeric, Jonsonian, Augustan, and understand the rationale” of parsing? This many other words of similar character, have is not confined to any one element. There is really much of romance and not a little history common sense in grammar, as in other studies, bound up with them. Might not the teacher, and when the scholar sees that all is not arbi- then, as he deals with these proper adjectives, trary, but reasonable, he is pleased.
sometimes profitably allude to their origin? The relations shown by prepositions are too They would then have a charm not possessed frequently disregarded. Our text-books say
before. that they “ connect words and show the rela. It is instructive to observe the changes which tions between them,” but they do not pause to attend the introduction of words from one lantell what these are. Perhaps this is left to the guage into another. Sometimes they are taken ingenuity of the student. The engine is moved without any change, as "desideratum," "final," by steam ; The house of Johnson; I found him "interregnum"; again, they experience a metain the house. Here 6 by," "of,” “in,” show morphosis not unlike that by which the tadpole relations respectively of agency, possession, and ceases to be such and becomes a frog, following place, which ought to be pointed out. The strict analogy by losing the tail first. The transnumber of relations shown is quite large, and formations are frequently very slow, yet are the habit of giving them will awaken thought they constantly going on, and thus, little by litand add interest to a recitation. Grammar only tle, is the cow.plicated structure of language becomes a delightful study when it examines strengthened and perfected. The introducwords as the representatives of ideas, and is re- tion of a word very often marks an epoch in hisgarded as “the logic of speech even as logic is tory"; some great invention or discovery must the grammar of reason.”
have a name, some decided change comes over If enthusiasm can be awakened it will be- society. Walter Scott gives an illustration in come more easy of acquisition, more interesting Ivanhoe, in the conversation which took place to both teacher and taught. This, therefore, is at the tournament between the Saxon nobles, an important inquiry :- How can the teacher Cedric and Athelstane. The latter, when asked obtain a love for our native tongue, and how if he would not break a lance for the honor of can he arouse a lively activity in the minds of old England, replied that he did not wish, then, his pupils ? Much will, necessarily, depend up- to join in the "melee"; at which the proud on the character of the latter ; few, however, Cedric was very wroth to think that he had usare so small, ur so little advanced, that they ed a Norman word, but this indicated the bewill not exhibit considerable interest, perhaps ginning of that union between the Saxon and more than one would imagine, as the philoso- Norman language which was afterwards so happhy of language is from time to time explained. pily completed.
Investigations carried on in almost any de. How many who are studying English grampartment of knowledge usually begin with indi- mar ever pause to think where they derive the viduals. As the plant, animal and flower is English? Would it not be well some day to each the representative of classes, so a word is carry the scholar back to that interesting period the type of many words. Whilst, however, it when the relative position of Saxon and Norbears relation to all, it has an individuality which man was shown by their different languages; is frequently quite noteworthy. Dean Trench, when hog, ox, pig, sheep, colt, and, in general. in his excellent little work on - The Study of things rude and vulgar belonged to the former ; Words," has given a large number whose origin whilst veal, beef, mutton, pork, venison, received and history have been as interesting as the bi- their names from the Norman lord who ate them? ography of Guliver. Such will sometimes oc- Their “ house" was the home of the conquered, cur to us. Surely Herculean would have a new and “palace” was the mansion of the conquerinterest to the grammar scholar after he had or. Then the peasant wore shirt, breeches, hose, learned its derivation ; Stentorian, from the shoes, hat, (Saxon,); and the noble dressed in deep-voiced herald of the Grecian camp, Sten- gown, coat, boots, mantle, cap, (all Norman). It
might be profitable also to glance at the battles The Importance of Normal Schools. which ensued between these two tongues and their final agreement to unite their fortunes un- In his annual report to the Board of Educader a common name, the English. Since that tion, the New York City Superintendent of time, however, they have had many contests, nor is the struggle for supremacy yet finished, “There can, as it seems to me, be no reasonthough the issues are now somewhat changed. able doubt of the absolute necessity of a NorThe “irrepressible conflict between the lan- mal School, for the specific education and proguage of serf and baron, high-life and low-life, per preparation of teachers for the important kitchen and parlor, country and city, practice and responsible duties devolving upon them, and theory, nature and art, still continues. Each under a system so vast and comprehensive as contributes something to the other, but they at ours. No amount or degree of mere instructimes appear as bitter rivals.
tion in our grammar Schools can supply the Life thoughts, agitating ideas, common im- want of this special and professional training, pressions, are sometimes expressed in pithy
under teachers competent to illustrate it in all phrases or sentences, and these contain the
its diversified branches. It is clearly not so compact gold, from which the foil” is ham- much the knowledge or the attainments which mered. They are struck out when the soul is
the teacher possesses as the practical ability to on fire. We hardly know their origin, yet they
communicate that knowledge to pupils of every are in the lips of all. Some party, sect, or na
grade, which is needed in the proper discharge tion begins with a purpose, and must first em
of the duties of the school room; and this body that purpose in a motto :
practical ability can only result from long and
· Death to the Paimin"; "No bishop no king"; "By this
varied experience or be conferred by a thorough
and comprehensive course of instruction, esconquer"; Carry the war into Africa”; and
pecially and exclusively devoted to that object. now that little Jacksonian sentence which thrills
This principle is fully recognized, and unievery American heart, “ The Union must and
versally acted upon in all other professions, shall be preserved,” all have one day been trades or callings. Neither the clergyman, the watchwords. The connection between thought attorney, the physician, the merchant, the ofand expression is more intimate; they have a ficer, the artist, the architect or the mechanic, reflex influence upon each other. If there is a is deemed competent to enter upon his specific struggling emotion in the human soul it will
profession or business without a previous have utterance in some way. Perhaps a Massa- special preparation for its duties. Why, then, chusetts regiment, with slow and soleinn step, should we expect or permit the teacher, to marches through the streets of the metropolis, whom we commit our most cherished and valsinging a weird-like song about a brave “ soul” luable interests, to enter upon his important which in the body fought for freedom and still avocations, and pursue them for years, without is “marching on"; soon “ John Brown” is any of those professional qualifications which heard on the banks of the Potomac, among the his position demands ?” cotton fields of South Carolina, and on the dis. tant prairies of the West, because it has in it At the annual Junior exhibition at Haver“ the elements of a revolution.”
ford College, Pa., on Thursday last, New EngBut how strangely this war creeps into every- land was represented in the salutatory English thing; no matter what one begins to talk about, oration, “ The Life and Times of Horace," by he ends with that. This article was intended to Thomas J. Battey, of Burrillville, R. I.; and in show that the teacher might profitably pay more the valedictory English oration, “A Compariattention to grammar as a science, to the philo- son between Ancient and Modern Civilization,” sophy of language; that by so doing he would by Jos. G. Pinkham, North Vassalborough, open to himself a field of study at once varied Me. The Philadelphia Press reports that the and profitable, and that then the scholar would exercises were marked by justness of thought become more deeply interested. Of course the and clearness and elegance of expression, and mind must not be burdened with nice distinc- must be gratifying to the friends of the pertions, or too much learning; yet, surely the formers. “A manly and appropriate style of faithful instructor may, by timely allusions and elocution prevailed, and, altogether, the young familiar illustration, show the real life and beauty of a study which too often, improperly taught, gentlemen acquitted themselves in a manner, becomes dry and wearisome to all concerned.
which spoke well for the character of their Alma Mater.”
J. T. E.
Temperature of the Earth.
parts of the surface of the globe. A height no Ix Asia, said Prof. Guyot in a recent lecture, difies climate as much as a degree of latitude.
greater than some of the European steeples mothe greatest mass of land on the surface of the globe, there is the most rapid reception and radiation of solar heat. There is a difference of
From the Wisconsin Journal of Education. 1050 between the mean January and July tem
What will the War do for us, in an Educa
tional Point of View P peratures in the northeastern part of the conti. nent. The winter of this region is the coldest
Our present national struggle has a deep inon the globe, but the summer is the warmest in tellectual and moral significance, apart from its that latitude. The mean barometrical heights political one. The latter aspect of the question in this part of Asia, if interpreted as in insular we leave to the statesman; we shall, in a few localities, would indicate, in summer, a depres- paragraphs, consider what the war may, and sion of the surface of the country below the level we trust will, do for the country, in the former. of the ocean; in winter, an elevation to the level of table lands. The capital of Siberia has a
There are many particulars in which, for a mean annual temperature 200 below freezing number of years past, the nation has been repoint, but the mean heat of its short summer, ceiving either a defective education, or no eduwhich seldom exceeds two months in length, is cation at all. We refer, now, not to the educa58° or 60° above zero. The earth is frozen, in tion imparted in schools ; but to that education some places, to the depth of six hundred feet. of circumstances, of civil and social polity, and In summer this frozen soil, thawed to the depth domestic life, which form, by far, the largest of about three feet, produces barley and other element in the culture of a people. The great varieties of the cereal grains. The growth of majority of our population have unjustifiably vegetation is so rapid when it begins as to jus- wasted the highest use of their powers upon tify a saying of the Russians, that you can hear getting and spending. The people rule : that the grass grow.
In a region seemingly so in- was the theory; and yet, it must be confessed, hospitable are built three hundred cities and that this popular sovereignty extended little, villages. That this soil has been frozen for practically, beyond the unsubstantial privilege ages was long since shown by a beautiful geo- of periodically electing one set of candidates and logical discovery. In the frozen gravel which rejecting another, Then there was that other composes the banks of the Lena there are found theory, that democratic institutions are managthe icy remains of a mastadon ( Elephas Plemi-ed for the people in a spirit of perfect openness genius), even the flesh of which is so well pre- and fairness, and that the citizens of such a served that when thawed, dogs devour it with government are eagle-eyed in their scrutiny of avidity. Europe, on account of its peninsular public men and measures. This was very fine; character, experiences no great extremes of cli- but, unfortunately, our later history would only In winter the American limate is con
serve to show how far practice, even in a repubtinental, in summer, maritime.
lic, may be divorced from theory. It is not easy The coldest summer temperature observed is to conceive how state affairs could be adminis. near the mouth of Baffin's Bay, where the ice- tered more corruptly, or with more culpable bergs of the north are driven down by the cur- concealment, in Austria or Japan, than they rents of the Arctic Ocean. Careful observa- were, for a time, with us.
We have seen, on tions show that the mean temperature of the the one side, officers sacrificing great public inwhole globe is not the same for every season of terests to personal or party ends; and, on the the year. In July, the average temperature of other, the blindest popular credulity. Party the northern hemisphere is 710, while the south- leaders were unscrupulous and irresponsible ; ern hemisphere has, in the same month, an av
the people, merely captious and querulous. erage temperature of 64°, giving a wean for the Now, the government of a state, like the gove whole globe of 62o. In January, the southern ernment of a school, has a two-fold office: it hemisphere has a mean of 590, the northern of should not only preserve order and administer 490, making an average of 54°; thus showing public concerns, but also contribute to the mena difference of go in the warmth of the atmos- tal and moral advancement of its citizens. The phere of the whole globe in those two months. latter is not less important than the former funcAnother element influencing the distribution of tion; but, until quite recently, no successful heat, is the difference of elevation of different attempt was made to discharge it. Hence, one
of the most valuable formative influences has said the patriot: that was ennobling the sentibeen lost to the mind of the nation.
ment of patriotism and elevating country to the So also, for years, social and domestic life plane of the absolute and unchanging. Still have not yielded the highest educational pro- more, we shall learn that liberty is worth whatduct. Society had come to be a sort of recoy- ever life is worth. “Give me liberty or give nized warfare, notwithstanding a certain exte- me death,”- those words of Henry will live rior polish and fineness. Instead of bodies, it again in the heart of the nation as they have was hearts that were smitten. Children, receiv- not lived for three quarters of a century. And ing their training for this social campaign, were they will live, nut in empty declamation merely, taught, so far as society taught at all, not so but in the sublimest action and suffering. If much to be pure, holy, modest, self-denying, to there were those who believed the time gone by seek lofty ends by noble means, as to be cun- for making heroic sacrifices for liberty, they ning. arrogant, violent - in fine, to make every may see, in the fall of an Ellsworth, a Winthing bend to the self-urged claims of "No. 1." throp, or a Lyon, that liberty is worth as much The simplicity, manliness and stern integrity of in this generation as it ever was, and is to-day our earlier times had given place to mere fox- bought with as high a price as ever before in like sharpness, and facile versatility. The stan- the history of man. dard of public morals was shifted from the ab.
We shall learn, too, a deeper reverence for solute to the expedient; and, by a most unhap- law. Carlyle, writing, some years since, of py perversion, accident stood, in social educa- American institutions, characterized our governtion, where fixed character alone ought to stand.
ment as “anarchy plus the street constable.” The sacred associations of home were little more The present grand vindication of the dignity than traditions of the past ; we cherished few and authority of law, must set the malignant of the tender memories which cluster around charge at rest forever. It is law which has what, to every unperverted heart, must always drawn the sword against lawless revolt. It is be the dearest spot of earth.” Even the pro-law which has called half a million men from found instincts of patriotism were sleeping a the avocations of peace and the tranquillity of sleep akin to that of death.
home, to the hardships of the camp, and the But, let us thank heaven, all this is broken terrors of the battle-field. It is law which has up. The deep places of the nation's heart have made the hearts of twenty millions of people as been reached in time to save all that is best and one strong, brave, rich heart, to give, to pray, worth saving. With the firing of the first gun to do and to suffer. If what we see on the side upon that southern fort commenced the hour of all loyal citizens, at the present time, be not and the work of our regeneration. We shall bowing low before the supremacy of law, then not be slow learners now, and here are some of we cannot read the movements of the human the lessons which we shall either learn for the heart. And this deep feeling will not pass away first time, or learn anew, or for which we shall with the causes which excited it. It will be inperceire new uses and applications.
wrought into the national character. Every We shall learn the worth of liberty. I think man who has teaching to do, in the future, may We of the present generation did not know its stand up erect, and, without compromise or full value. We enjoyed its blessings uncon- abatement of demand, assert the claims of law. sciously, as we drink in the air or sunlight; The nation herein is setting a glorious example and though this, generally, was a very good for all ages. She has put on her beautiful, if way to enjoy them, still, it would seem necessa- terrible, garments, and she stands to-day, where
for intelligent appreciation, that we shoula Gabriel and Michael stood, in the primal time, know the ground on which we stood. We shall to smite down this latest and not least of the prounderstand soon, if we do not now, that liber- geny of the great Anarch and Seceder. Hencety is worth whatever country is worth. It is forth, it will be one of the sharpest popular inby liberty that man has a country, in the true stincts, that the man who lifts his hand against sense. It is by liberty that he has rights; it is law and order is the greatest foe to liberty, his by rights that he has obligations; it is by obli- country and humanity. gations that he is a citizen and a patriot. The But we shall learn, also, the virtue of subor. idea of country is a moral idea, and love of dination. Here, I think, we had much to learn. country is not a sensual but a spiritual affection. In the intense individuality which republican "Wherever liberty is, there is my country," institutions develope, there spring up a temper