« VorigeDoorgaan »
And thus, when the pupil in more advanced life is taught the science in its strictly logical form, his mind being stored with these useful definitions, distinctions, and relations, “ he must not only hear with pleased wonder, but grasp the truth, reflect on it, and apply it.” †
5. — Guide for Writing Latin ; consisting of Rules and Ec
amples for Practice. By John P. KREBS. From the German, by S. H. Taylor, Principal of Phillips Academy. Andover : Allen, Morrill, and Wardwell. 1843. 12mo. pp. 479.
We look upon the publication of Mr. Taylor's “Guide for Writing Latin as an important contribution to the means of obtaining a more thorough and complete classical education in this country. The aids for our young students in acquiring such a knowledge and command of the Latin language as to be able to write it with correctness and ease have, hitherto, been few and insufficient. Neither the books used nor the method of instruc. tion have generally been calculated to accomplish the object. The
young American scholar, moreover, is without that stimulus which operates strongly in Europe, - the circumstance, that Latin, though no longer the means of communication between diplomatists and politicians, is still the peculiar language of those who have received an academic education. It is there presumed, that every one who has enjoyed this advantage is able to communicate his thoughts in Latin, whether by word of mouth or in writing. Hence every one who intends to maintain a respectable place in the republic of letters endeavours to qualify himself in this respect. This state of things operates on even the elementary schools. The acquisition of a sufficient command of the language is considered as something not merely possible, but necessary.
With us it is otherwise. The occasions for using the Latin language, either orally or in writing, are few, and are known to be few; and the productions called forth by these occasions are generally labored and far from successful. Being thus deprived of the motive by which the young European is impelled to greater exertion in this field, it becomes incumbent upon us to supply the deficiency by redoubled zeal and attention, at school and in college, and by appropriating to our use such aids as other countries atford, or by creating them among ourselves.
* Theory of Teaching, p. 87.
# Ibid., p. 96.
Books designed to afford assistance in writing Latin are, even in Europe, of comparatively modern origin. The task of acquiring a correct style was formerly left, in a great degree, to the exertions of the individual. The situation of the in this respect was very much like that of a person arriving in a foreign country without a knowledge of its language. Necessity forced him to acquire the accomplishment of writing and speaking Latin as best he might. We do not mean to say, that the schools furnished no assistance whatever ; but the assistance given was practical more than theoretical, casual rather than systematic. As the art of instruction advanced, this branch was not overlooked. It was perceived, that, by the aid of system and method, the same amount of knowledge and practical skill might be gained in a more expeditious, and at the same time, more complete manner.
The earliest productions, intended to aid in the formation of a good Latin style, were either deficient in systematic completeness, or designed for the more advanced stages of the art, leaving the elementary stages to the former imperfect mode of instruction. Laurentius Valla may be considered as the founder of this branch of instruction. As early as the fifteenth century, he endeavoured to facilitate the acquisition of a correct Latin style, by the publication of his work : “ De Linguæ Latina Elegantiis Libri sex.” The book, rich in clever remarks' on grammatical points, synonyms, and phraseology, is deficient in method. After him, Erasmus, H. Stephanus, G. J. Voss, and many others, furnished contributions in the same department, without doing more to systematize the materials.
The first attempt at a systematic instruction was made in 1671, by J. Stark, in his “ Institutio philologica et rhetorica de Stilo,” but with little success. Far superior was the work of J. L. Prasche,“ Rosetum sive Præcepta Stili Latini,” published in 1676. Of the many who succeeded Prasche, we will mention a few only : J. G. Heineccius, in 1720, C. H. Weiss, in 1724, J. G. Scheller, in 1770, C. D. Beck, in 1801. The work of F. W. Doering has been of great service in Germany; for, though imperfect and incorrect in particulars, it pursued the right course. This accounts for the fact, that the work, the first edi. tion of which appeared in 1801, has gone through at least eleven editions, and still maintains its place in many schools in Germany, notwithstanding the great number of books, in many respects far superior, which have appeared within the last twenty years in that country. Among these the work of Krebs, of which Mr. Taylor has now given us a translation, is distinguished for its excellence.
The translation of Mr. Taylor is executed with great care and correctness, evincing everywhere the judgment and experience of a practical instructer. We make this statement of our opinion after a careful perusal of the whole work. The judgment and learning of the translator appear especially in those portions of the book, which had necessarily to undergo some change, in consequence of the different positions of the English and the German student as regards translating into Latin. Thus, for example, the English scholar easily comprehends the Latin construction of the ablative absolute, his own language making a similar use of the participle, while it is altogether unknown to the German language ; on the other hand, the German finds little difficulty in mastering the rules concerning the oratio obliqua. The changes, both by omission and addition, show that Mr. Taylor has fully comprehended the object of the book and the intention of its author; they are such as the author would himself have made, if he had prepared the work for English instead of German students.
Having received this valuable addition to our stock of school. books, we hope ere long to see some such work as that of Zumpt,* or Weber,t and a translation of the work of Grysar, or the still better one of Hand, on Latin style. For, after having attained some expertness in the application of the several rules of grammatical syntax in single sentences, the next step is to practise in translating continuous pieces. Exercises of this kind are indispensable for obtaining a familiarity with the Latin mode of combining sentences into periods, one of the most distinguishing characteristics of the language. After these preparatory exercises, the student is prepared to enter upon free composition, at first, in prose, and later, if aided by poetic talent, in verse.
The question has been, and is still asked, What is the use of writing Latin ? Without entering at present upon a discussion of this interesting and important subject, we will confine ourselves to one remark. Of the many reasons which have been adduced by the friends of the ancient languages in favor of the practice of writing them, most, perhaps, may be successfully controverted except this ; that, without writing, a thorough insight into the structure, and a complete appreciation of the spirit of the language is impossible, and consequently the acquisition of the language is incomplete.
Aufgaben zum Uebersetzen aus dem Deutschen ins Lateinische aus den besten neuern Lateinischen Schriftstellern gezogen.
| Uebersetzungsschule für den Lateinischen Stil.
TO ARTICLE IX. OF NUMBER 121.
WE have received from Dr. Olin the following letter, in reply to the article in which his "Travels " were reviewed in our last Number.
"To the Editor of the N. A. Review.
"THE brevity prescribed to this note so greatly enhances the difficulty of proving a negative, the task imposed on me by the criticism on my Travels' contained in your last Number, - that I shall attempt little more than to offer a full and unqualified denial of the charge of plagiarism and injustice towards Dr. Robinson's Biblical Researches,' preferred against me in that article.
"Dr. Robinson was in Jerusalem in 1838. I was there two
years later, in 1840. The Researches' were published in 1841. I saw them, for the first time, in January or February of 1842, when a large portion of my Travels' was ready for the press. Up to that time, I was entirely ignorant of their contents, the state of my health having compelled me to seclude myself from society, as well as from all intercourse with books and periodicals, during the fifteen months preceding November, 1841. I learned from Mr. Wheaton, in Berlin, in 1839, that Dr. Robinson had published a synopsis of the principal matters of the large work then in preparation; but neither he, nor Dr. Robinson himself, to whom I subsequently applied, could furnish me with a copy. To this moment, I am wholly uninformed as to the contents of that pamphlet. It was once handed to me by a fellow traveller, but under circumstances which compelled me to return it unread.
"A great part of my Travels' was written out, as they now appear, amid the scenes which they describe. The remainder, except when the contrary is avowed or manifest, was composed from full notes and observations always recorded on the spot. The numerous coincidences between Dr. Robinson's volumes and mine are only such as are natural or accidental, when writers, with similar ends in view, and the same guidebooks in their hands, describe precisely the same objects, and derive the information generally from the same sources, whether from natives, or resident foreigners, or prevalent traditions.
"I will now briefly notice the Reviewer's specifications, beginning with Mt. Sinai. I am charged with having adopted Dr. Robinson's arguments against the monkish Sinai, and in favor of
the true, and withholding all acknowledgment of his claims as the original discoverer of the holy mount. My account of Mt. Sinai, including these arguments, was written out in the convent of St. Catherine, nearly two years before I had any knowledge, that Dr. Robinson had argued the question at all. My subsequent perusal of the · Researches' was so hasty as to leave on my mind no recollection of any claim to original discoveries in this region. The situation of the plain of the encampment, on which the whole argument turns, was described by Carne, Laborde, and Lord Lindsay, who preceded Dr. Robinson as well as me. Lord Lindsay's argument against the monkish Sinai, which was shown me at the convent by Mr. Humphrey of Boston, is substantially the same as mine, alleged to be a literal copy of Dr. Robinson's. He discusses at length the respective claims of Jebel Mennagia and the monkish Sinai to be the true Sinai, deciding in favor of the former, for reasons which seemed to me far more applicable to Jebel Shereyk, the Sooksafa of Dr. Robinson, The situation of this mountain, and the arguments, were forced upon my attention by the perusal of Lord Lindsay's book. I had heard from an Austrian gentleman, that Dr. Robinson believed Sooksafa to be the real Sinai, without one word as to its situation or the grounds of that belief; but I was unable to find any person who had heard of such a mountain ; and it was not until two days after my own observations and Lord Lindsay's had satisfied my mind with regard to the subject, that I was told by the gentleman referred to, that a Bedouin boy had professed to know the Shereyk of Lord Lindsay by the name of Sooksafa. My account of Mt. Sinai is no more indebted to Dr. Robinson's, than his is to mine.
“I am next charged with doing injustice to Dr. Robinson's claims to the discovery of the true character of the arch of the bridge which connected the Temple with Mt. Zion, 'a discove ery uniformly ascribed to him in Jerusalem both by residents and travellers.' I stated, on the authority of the Rev. Mr. Nicolayson, the English missionary, that its existence has long been known to European and other residents and travellers, and that Mr. Catherwood recognized it seven years before, Mr. Nicolayson was my guide to this monument, and I recorded his statement and my own measurement at the time. I now declare, that I never saw or heard the name of Dr. Robinson connected with this subject in Jerusalem or elsewhere, until I read the · Researches' nearly two years after my visit. Have ing no reason to distrust my own information, I of course presumed Dr. Robinson was in an error in regarding himself as the original discoverer. Mr. Catherwood, who is a professional architect, and the author of Dr. Robinson's plan of Jerusalem, as