« AnteriorContinuar »
strife for the prize he overlooks or forgets the minds of the young the true object of life, will true object of study, and not unfrequently the prove unworthy and insufficient. Let teachers, gaining of a prize is regarded as an end, rather therefore, strive so to influence their pupils as than as a mere incitement. We have always to make their highest motive a desire to become doubted the expediency of giving prizes, and at true men and true women, and to inspire them a future time may give reasons. Now we mere- with a determination to answer life's great end ly say that we do not regard it as one of the by acting “well their part" in all the relatious highest and best motives to study.
of life. 2. The Love of APPROBATION. This may be used to a certain extent. It may be regard. From the Connecticut Common School Journal. ed as a worthy motive within certain limits, Importance of a More Thorough Training in but should never be held up as the true end,
Elocution in our Schools. either for good scholarship or deportment; and yet it may, very properly, be used as an inciden- BY PROF. MARK BAILEY, OF YALE COLLEGE. tal motive. If made too prominent, it may tend to promote a spirit of vanity. spirit of vanity.
The desire EVERY study is valuable in proportion as it to merit approbation of teachers and friends is tends to develop and cultivate the mind and very laudable,-and only objectionable when it person of the learner, and to furnish him with is made an end for all effort.
the best means and incitements for his great 3. The Fear of PUNISHMENT. This is more
life work of self-culture. The best incitement
to any work, and the most permanent, is the unworthy than either of the preceding. It may
personal interest of the scholar in it. prove effectual in securing present attention to
The natstudy and deportment, but will not, in itself,
ural activity of any of his faculties yields some
satisfaction. The mere acquisition of knowprove permanently salutary. A boy who is compelled by fear of punishment to learn cer..
ledge is pleasing; the exercise of his mind, of tain lessons, or to refrain from bad habits, will"
to will reason especially, is gratifying ; but the connot thereby be made either truly studious or ;
sciousness that his whole being is growing - that truly good,—and will only do what is required
he is acquiring new personal power to think, to of him because compelled to do so; and when feel and to express, affords one of the noblest the pressure of this compulsion is removed, he
and sweetest enjoyments of a rational being. will be prone to yield to reactive influences. Hence that special study will be comparative.
4. Another unworthy motive is the desire to ly the best, which, together with the most usebe at the head of the class.--or the best scholar ful knowledge and the best mental discipline, in school. A desire to excel in scholarship may furnishes the richest means of personal culture, be laudable if such desire is connected with thus enlisting in its service the self-love and enright motives ; but if it comes simply from a thusiasm of the pupil, the most potent incitedesire to outdo others, it is wrong. A desire to ments to that hard work which alone can secure excel for purposes of good would be different, great excellence in anything. but a mere desire to be a good scholar, or to be Measured by the above tests, why should not correct in deportment, for the sole purpose of the art of elocution rank among the foremost excelling others, is an unworthy and selfish mo- studies in all our schools, instead of being kept tive.
in the back-ground, as it usually is the priWe have thus briefly alluded to the above mary and middle classes hastening over the because we feel that such motives are too often mere outside forms of expression, and older used in the school-room as ends rather than as classes neglecting even these ? aids. Teachers should aim constantly and earn- What other study may be of such primary estly to impress upon the minds of their pupils and life-long use to the scholar, including, as it the great object for which they are obtaining an does, the most accurate knowledge and use of education. It is that they may be taught how to the language we speak, quite as much as the live, and so to perform their several parts in life manner of reading, nay, more, embracing a most that the world may be made the better through minute study of ideas which alone give mean. their influences. The true motive should be a ing to words and tones. All the agents of exdesire to gain knowledge in order to do more pressioni must be studied in connection with the good, - to fill up the measure of life usefully; things or ideas expressed ; they cannot be mas. and any motives which fail to impress upon the'tered abstractly; they would be of po use it
they could. The sculptor molds a more beauti- notonous and passionless, that we should never ful statue because in addition to his skill in ex. dream they had souls, but for the catechism, or ecution, he has a more exact knowledge of the that human form. The great painter excels not by “There is in souls a sympathy with sounds." his finished coloring alone; he has, as well, a
I What but a more thorough elocutionary trainmore definite knowledge of the landscape he
sing through the whole course of instruction can copies. And so he who would excel in vocal
supply this great want of personal culture, and expression of ideas in reading or speaking, must,
"redeem our schools from the crime of a heartbesides his superior vocal culture, be more fa-11
less and voiceless education ? miliar with all the exact lights and shades in
As one of the extrinsic incentives to this the meaning and relation of words, and with
work, call to mind the historic fact, that the exthe relative worth and beauty of ideas and emo
pressive arts have always been held in the hightions.
est esteem among cultivated peoples, and markIn mental discipline, what other branches of led success in any of them has received supreme education equal such a thorough training in honor. To give fit expression in some outward elocution as I am advocating ? What else em-forms or colors, words or sounds, to the inmost ploys at once in harmonious action so many feelings of humanity, has ever been regarded as faculties, intellectual and emotional, as well as the consummate triumph of genius and culture. expressive? Insight to see the precise meaning What lavish praise is justly bestowed on the of what is to be read — the ideas. Judgement few immortal names," who have enriched the to weigh their relative importance for correctly world with the great works of art - in sculpdistributing the expressive lights and shades of|ture, painting, poetry and music. Yet the wonemphasis. Sympathy in appreciating the kind
drous merit of these master artists was simply and degree of feeling. Taste in giving proper that they gave perfect expression to what their rythm and melody. Imagination in making realladmirers only see and feel. and present all the circumstances of character, Thus the simplest lesson in reading which is time and place, with all the modulations of what it should be, an endeavor to give perfect voice necessary to express naturally these valexpression to some idea or sentiment, is radi. ried thoughts and feelings, and when in decla-cally connected with the proudest of the fine mation or recitation we add the practice of me- laris. mory and appropriate gestures, what is there
"A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in picleft of the “ whole man" that is not being cul.
tures of silver." tivated in this single exercise of elocution?
| Let teachers and pupils once appreciate this But the crowning grace of education is per- ennobling relation, and much of the mecha sonal culture as distinguished from mere learn. I cal drudgery of teaching and learning would ing and intellectual power, that rare culturelbe changed to delightful labor, for they would of the eye, the ear, the voice, the hand, of the then see with Shakspeare's love-inspired Ferdi. whole person, by which the intellectual and and that their emotional seem to shine through the physical
"Most poor matters point to rich ends.." man and spontaneously express their ever pass. ing shade of thought and feeling. A little mu-But is not all this long introduction about sic and drawing are doing something toward the fine arts and expressive culture, practically educating the ear, the eye, the hand, in a few considered, all " highfaluten"? Can children of our schools. Yet the great lack of emotional be taught to feel and express as well as to know and expressive culture, every enlightened obser. and to think? Can elocution, like arithmetic, ver must see, is the most lamentable feature of be thoroughly taught in our common schools? our American education. With here and there Why not? Is there any thing wanting on the an eloquent exception, our educated men who part of the pupils ? have graduated at our best common schoois, Children all talk before they come to school; our high schools and colleges, and our semina- they have ideas about a great many things; ries of sacred learning, intellectual as they are, they have words and voices to utter their ideas are so utterly destitute of this emotional and in conversation, and even before they have expressive personal culture, that they read and words at all, they have most expressive tones speak of the most exciting themes ever revealed and gestures, by which they make known their to man, with a voice and manner so dull, mo- feelings. They instinctively understand the
tones of love and hate, of reproof and praise, quainted with the science of elocution. They the frown and smile, the gesture of welcome do not understand the simple principles of exand repulsion,--all are perfectly understood by pression, and cannot give intelligent instruction children long before the usual age for entering even if they could read well; they can only the school; imagination, too, at an early age, is teach the young idea to "shoot" at random most busy and vivid, transforming the merest without definite aim or effect. rag into the living doll, chairs and tables into Without clear principles, which alone make men and women, and each character in the im- any study intelligible and easy and interesting, agined play made to converse with a natural- teachers are obliged to call in the help of such ness that puts to shame the affected efforts of arbitrary rules as avaricious publishers preface many older players.
their reading books with, to gull the uninitiated Now what material is wanting here for the who are to commend and introduce them -a most complete success in reading and recitation multitude of arbitrary, impractical rules which if wisely worked and cultivated : They can neither enlighten nor interest pupils, which have understand simple ideas and feelings; they have, as many exceptions as observances, and like the or can easily be taught to have, appropriate manners of Denmark, words and tones for telling them ; vivid imagi- « Are more honored in the breach than the obsertnation to realize all the circumstances ; strong ance.” and ready feeling, flexible voices usually, and the fundamental principles of any science are sometimes native gesture, felicitously suited to
very few, and like the law o gravity, which in the idea ; all these essential elements of eloquent
the same way controls atoms and worlds, are as vocal expression most children have in abund-/
simple as they are comprehensive. They have no ance out of school in conversation and play. I
exceptions, and when once seen are sure guides. Are the conditions of successful culture, so Principles bring order out of chaos ; they apfar as the scholars are responsible, in any other peal in their constant recurrence and applica. study so complete and ripe for use? Why is it tion to the reason and sympathy of the scholar, then, with all our boasted improvements in the not to his bare memory; they grow out of the philosophy and art of teaching, with so many accidental forms as rules may; and by leading excellent teachers anxious to do their best, and the reader constantly back to the spirit, which successful in so many other things; why is it alone should control the voice, they tend to in. that there are so fero who learn to read decent-Ispire and preserve that beautiful naturalness in ly, so few who learn at school even to enunciate elocution which is the consummation of Art: the elementary sounds of our natire language as Lowell finely expresses it. with their proper fullness and clearness ; so few .
I. “Making nature more natural by Art.” who pronounce the commonest words with any refined accuracy, fewer who express intelligibly 3d. Teachers are less successful in elocution the ideas with their relative lights and shades than in other studies, because they have no such of meaning and worth, fewer still who make progressive system of instruction as they have any attempt to express the feelings in what is in arithmetic, commencing with the unit of the read, the heart and soul of the thoughts! Is it child's intelligence and feeling, and gradually not plainly and solely because -
unfolding more and more difficult lessons as the lst. Most teachers themselves are not as well mind and heart and voice of the child unfold. cultivated in the art of elocution as they should The greatest care is needed at every step of be; they are not trained in the quick analysis progress, to adapt the given lesson as near as of the thoughts and sentiments to be read ; possible to the understanding and appreciation they are not masters of their own feelings or of of every reader ; lest you should forever divorce their own voices for expressing them, and there- expression from sense and feeling ; this last is fore cannot train their pupils in vocal culture, the unforgivable sin in teaching reading. Bet. and arouse their feelings by the electric charms ter the scholar never hear of such an art as eloof emotion in their own voice, cannot give prac-cution, than that he be permitted to acquire the tical illustrations and corrections, and hence habit of formal utterance, that is not prompted lose the most potent agents of all teaching and from within. learning, example by the teacher, and imitation In arithmetic, if a pupil fails to comprehend by the scholars.
any one important step, any one principle, he is 2d. Because most teachers are not well ac- 'stopped, perhaps put back in a lower classs, so
essential to further progress is his clear mastery if we had as many professors of this stamp of every point deemed.
among us as Germany can boast of? But in reading, though unmindful of both There are odd sticks among them; there are the sense and the spirit, and innocent of any thousands of dull book-worms, whose converthought of the existence of a principle, if he sation is as dry and spirítless as the very dust “ puts through” the right number of words on that accumulates on their ponderous folios. a high key with a loud voice, he is blissfully The less we have to say of the latter, the better left to believe he has done a “big thing." and for us and our friends. Let the dust remain ! to wait impatiently the time when he shall as- Disturb not its sacred repose ! tonish the world with his oratorical genius.
One of the most singular of all German pro
fessors was the great and good Neander, whose From the New York Chronicle.
amiable spirit and singleness of heart endeared German Professors.
his čery oddities and infirmities to his pupils. I have before me a sketch of his manner in the
lecture-room, written by a gentleman who was MISTAKEN notions prevail to a great extent on intimate terms with him and his constant pu. in America in regard to German professors. By pil for several months. From this I am per. persons who ought to be better informed, they mitted to make the following extracts: “ Imare lumped together, in general, as walking en-agine me in the lecture-room, waiting for the cyclopædias of dry knowledge, living compen- eloquent professor to make his appearance. diums of transcendental philosophy, which no About three hundred pupils are assembled, preone understands or pretends to, as destitute of paring their pens and paper, and the hum of every kind of practical ability, - mere book their voices fills the spacious room. Suddenly worms, without knowledge of the real world a general hiss (a strange but here the universal around them, and no interest in the every-day mode of commanding silence and attention) reconcerns of life, unsocial, odd in manners and sounds through the room, and looking towards in dress, and ignorant of all the elegance of po- the door we see an uncouth figure, attired in a lite society. That this conception has too much a long, loosely-fitting frock coat, thick, clumsy foundation in fact, no one who has ever passed boots drawn over his trowsers, and reaching & week in a German University town, will be nearly to his knees, making his way with a boid enough to deny ; but like most general hastý'and awkward step in search of his desk,statements of the kind, it is altogether too broad a bundle of books under his left arm, and both and sweeping. It is grossly exaggerated. It hands spread out as if to aid him in the search; would have fitted closer fifty or even forty years for his eyes seem to be of little use to him in ago; for it is a notorious fact, although the Ger- this respect. He is so very near-sighted that mans dislike to acknowledge it, that the pres. he must hold a book close to his face, and then ent generation of professors owe much of their reads with difficulty. The moment he reaches culture and refinement to the influence of French his desk he literally throws himself upon it, ideas, which have crept into society and the and hastily tearing open his Greek Testament church, and greatly modified the University without taking the slightest notice of his audisystem. It may still be trưe enough of a large tory, instantly begins at the very sentence where proportion of the professors, who ate, it must the bell interrupted him at the previous lecture. be allowed, the most terrible book-worms in But before the sentence is finished, perhaps, he the world. But it requires little knowledge of is interrupted by a loud and angry hiss, and German literary society, to know that the truly looking round for the cause, we see an unlucky great thinkers and philosophers, the master- student, who is belated, endeavoring to shut the minds of the nation, have almost always been door without disturbing the auditory, and blushsocial and genial men, with odd manners, per- ing with embarrassment at his uncourteous rehaps, and in many cases very unpractical no- ception. If a second interruption occurs, the tions. The liveliest man I ever met, the most offender is greeted with a still louder and more polite too, is a Heidelberg professor, a man of angry hiss, like the rage of so many serpents. inexhaustible learning. He never forgets what Now, and then an individual of firmer nerves he has once read; and being a man of wit, and will slam the door in defiance, which generally tact at quotation, his stores of reading always secures him a more quiet reception. If students come well into play. It would be well for usl who do not belong to the class thus intrude
themselves, the hissing and stamping, repeated
The Celestial Army, over and over, is almost deafening. In the
BY THOMAS B. READ. meantime the good-huinored lecturer takes no notice of the intrusion or of the interruption, otherwise than by pausing till his voice can be
I stood by the open casement,
And looked upon the night, heard again. But no pause is made in his lec
And saw the westward going stars ture for the benefit of his hearers; it is a con
Pass slowly out of sight. tinuous flow of thought, illustration and argument, pronounced with an earnestness and fer
Slowly the bright procession vor that chains the attention. It is only when
Went down the gleaming arch,
And my soul discerned the music some reference, or a Hebrew quotation, or a
Of their long, triumphant march ; proper name indistinctly heard, produces a general hissing or stamping (the authorized usage
Till the great celestial army, in such cases) that he pauses, and repeats his
Stretching far beyond the poles,
Became the eternal symbol words with more deliberation. If only some
Of the mighty march of souls. dozen or twenty voices call for the interruption he proceeds without noticing it. .
Onward, forever onward, " Neander's manner is singularly uncouth,
Red Mars led down his clan;
And the moon, like a mailed maiden, and to a stranger annoying and even repulsive. He had the habit of bruising and crushing a
Was riding in the van. pen between his fingers when engaged in speak.
And some were bright in beauty, ing, and was entirely lost without that custom
And some were faint and small, ary support. His pupils always laid a pen or
But these might be in their greatest height,
The noblest of them all. two on his desk before he came in, and not unfrequently one was handed to him in the course
Downward, forever downward, of his lecture. Another habit of his is to put Behind earth's dusky shore,
They passed into the unknown night, his foot against the wall behind him and push his desk forward until it almost pitches over.
They passed and were no more. It seems as if he must cling with his foot, in No more? O, say not so! some way, like a fly. But his most annoying|
And downward is not just ; habit is spitting. For this he is not to blame,
For the sight is weak and and the sense is dim,
That looks through heated dust. as he suffers from a rush of saliva. He actually throws it out, first on one side, then on the The stars and the mailed mood. other, in a kind of sputter, incessant and copi-|
Though they seem to fall and die, ous, until the floor looks as if a watering.cart|
Still sweep with their embattled lines had passed through the room to lay the dust.
An endless reach of sky, « But all these defects of manner are forgot
And though the hills of death ten as soon as the hearer becomes engaged with May hide the bright array, him in his subject. His power of argumenta
The marshaled brotherhood of souls tion is wonderful, and often rises into earnest
Still keeps its upward way. eloquence."
S. s. C.
Upward, forever upward,
I see their march sublime, Women as TEACHERS.-Every well educated And hear the glorious music girl feels perfectly conscious that, under favor or the conquerors of time. able circumstances, she can conduct, upon an
and long let me remember, average, nineteen of her twenty little innocent
That the palest, faintest one, pupils into an honorable existence. Give her a May, to diviner vision, be strong arm for discipline, and a wise head for A bright and blessed sun. advice, and her labors fix a divinity upon the face of society. I believe in the infinite sus. CHILDREN'S TEMPER.--Here are some sensible ceptibility of children, and also in the moral hints which should be heeded : The sugges. omnipotence of women, their natural teachers; tion, · Never fear spoiling children by making and there are no evils in society, however deep them too happy," is an important one. Some seated, that may not be removed by a wise ap-1 plication of their powers. A highly cultivated pa
parents are constantly teaching their children woman is God's antidote for sin and suffering. to look on the dark side of their own character, -T. B. WAIT.
and their teaching soon fixes the habit upon the