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schulen,' because the mass of those who in, fective ; in mathematics and natural history commercial and manufacturing cities be- and physics, the staple of a good Bürger long to the 'Bürgher' or citizen class will, education, we can learn little from the anunder a well-ordered system, find their cients which will repay the trouble of study. most appropriate education in these schools. ing them; and the little that may be learn. Lastly, there is a class of persons in society once a man of profound science, a philosopher,
ed, is to be learned by him only who is al whose high privilege it is to work by mind and a scholar, not certainly by a merchant, an upon mind; to this class, statesmen, cler- agriculturist, or an engineer. gymen; teachers of youth, literary and “ As little weight are we disposed to allow scientific men of all kinds, belong. For the argument that Latin ought to be taught in those who are destined to put forth their Bürger-schools as a sort of preparation and energies in this sphere, a higher, more ex- test for those who may possibly be advanced tensive, and more speculative education, is from those schools to the gymnasia and the uni. For such the ‘Gymnasia' or for the sake of one or two to miseducate the
versities; for it is perverse and preposterous necessary. “Gelehrte Schulen' are open ; and open whole; and, besides this, an elementary innot as a finishing school, but merely as an struction in Latin is by no means in thing peintroduction to the universities.
culiarly calculated to afford such a preparation This threefold division of the great pub- and test as is supposed. Many a boy will lic schools in Germany being distinctly in make admirable proficiency in Latin vocables his eyes, the reader will now be prepared and paradigms merely because he is too dull to appreciate the justice of the author's dead words and formulas will find a ready en
and stupid for any thing more intellectual ; reasoning in the following extract. The
trance where the lack of sirong vital pulsaquestion discussed is a much controverted tions leaves the chambers of the brain empty. one in Germany, but not less so among our- There are many better ways of judging of a selves. Whether in schools destined for boy's aptitude for the higher briunches of learnthe sons of the middle classes, in the 'Bür-ing than by forcing him to tack a few Latin gerschulen,' the learned languages, and sentences together; and il parents have so especially the Latin, ought to be admitted cities as to send him to a Bürger-school, when
miscalculated their son's inclinations and capaas a subject of instruction.' Herr Beneke he ought to have been sent to a gymnasium, answers decidedly, ‘No ! and for the fol- they must just take consequences and go back lowing reasons :
to the stariing point.
“ But the Latin language, we are told fur“ Those who advocate the claim of the learn- ther, is in many views the only proper basis ed languages are wont to bring this forward in of all knowledge. To this I answer directly, the first place, that our modern intellectual name the branch of knowledge to the attainculture is historically so intimately connected ment of which Latin is now essential, to which with antiquity, that into any thorough course Latin is to such an extent the key, that the of education, going beyond the claims of mere profit to be obtained will stand in an intelliginecessity, at least one of the ancient languages ble relation to the litbor expended? That ought to be admitted. But the answer to this many technical phrases in the different sciis evident; our intellectual culture in modern ences are derived from the Latin, is an argutimes has made itself gradually more and ment that scarcely can he advanced seriously. more free from the influence of ancient litera- These phrases can easily be explained etyture, in such a manner as that it is now able mologically as they occur; and besides, this to stand on its own merits and in a position reason, if it were any reason at all, would be altogether independent. Those, indeed, whose a much stronger plea for the introduction of position in the social system calls upon them Greek than or Latin into the education of a to know and to teach, not only what the world German merchant or engineer. As for what now is and ought to he, but also how it caine is commonly said that the Latin is the root of to be, what it is, and through what strange most modern languages, and must, therefore, mutations and metamorphoses it has passed, be studied, is for its own sake, at least for may, nay must, go back to the original germs the sake of these, there is a practical fillacy in and far withdrawn beginnings of things; but this, too obvious to demand any labored refor such as mean only to work on the prepared futation. The time spent in the Latin prefoundation of modern society, and whose activ- paration for learning ihe modern languages, ity is principally directed to the external re- miglit have been as well spent in learning the lations of life, such laborious pilgrima ses into languages themselves. The bulk of the lanthe remote past are neither necessary nor ex- guage, that is to say, the vocables, can be pedient. It is to he particularly observed, taken up as readily in an English, or a Spanalso, that the ancients, however high they ish, as in a Roman shape. And what should stand in literature and philosophy, are in those we say of the man who, when building a branches of science which are most useful to house, first throws away all his money on a the classes we now speak of, particularly de- magnificent threshold, and then finds that he
[Dec. has been laboriously constructing an entry to Greek are exclusive or preponderant, hownothing ? Such is the wisdom of many of ever useful as preparatory palæstræ for those who learn Latin, that they may with philosophising clergymen and gentlemen the greater ease learn French, Spanish, and Italian.
with a large library, are not the schools for “The next argument is that drawn from them; and they have, accordingly, in Glasthe more formal side of the question. Latin, gow and elsewhere, taken various steps, it is urged, however useless as an acquisition, more or less successful, to hunt down the is so admirable as a mental discipline that it pedantic old autocracy of the Humanists. cannot be exchanged for any other subject of 'This is good; but it does not, therefore, study that might seem more directly to bear follow, as some eager innovators will have upon the education of the 'Bürger' class. But here also, unfortunately, the advocates of it, that Homer and Virgil are to be banishclassical ascendancy are found sadly at fauli.ed from our public schools altogether, and No well-instructed educationist will deny the steam-engines and calculating machines superior virtues of the ancient languages as substituted in their place. Mn ysrotto! instruments of mental discipline; but this dis- Let it not be !—Let us not snap cruelly the cipline is most beneficial in the higher steps of advancement, when the spirit of ancient litera. golden chain that has so long and so pleasture begins to be breathed sensibly upon the antly bound us to the past ? — Let us not soul of the student; the mere external ele- unbridge the mystic gulf of centuries proinents of language, and the simple combina- fanely !-Let Virgil and Homer live, as tions of syntax, have comparatively little pow- good things, and among the best, for those er in training the intellect; can achieve no- who have time and capacity to drink deep thing that may not be attained in a far supe- of the Pierian spring,' that never yet gave rior degree by the study of the mother tongue strength to shallow bibbers. How this is and foreign languages.
" Bul continue the Latinists, granting all to be done, we have already, we think, this, is not the learning of the Latin language, sufficiently indicated. Let Latin and Greek it nothing more, at least one of the best exer- be reserved for a higher class of schools, cises for improving the memory that the circle for the gymnasia; and let none be sent to of school instruction presents? This argu- begin Latin there who is not likely serigument is the weakest of all. For to exercise ously to carry it out in the university. the memory on that which does not materially This is Herr Beneke's opinion; and, howadvance the understanding, is surely any thing but wise ; and then considering how rich the ever different the practice of good old Eng. materials are which modern science presents land in many places may be, there can be no for exercising, nay, severely trying the reten- doubt it is a sound opinion. But we shall tive powers of the mind, what need is there now hear at greater length how chivalrousthat we should resort to the artificial ma- ly our catholic-hearted educationist chamchinery of the vocables of a dead tongue?pions those very classics in the gymnasia, There is a danger, moreover, that by overlax, which in the Bürger-schools he had so deing the memory with extraneous things (which Latin words certainly are in a Bürger-school) cidedly condemned. a general distaste to learning may be generated in the minds of the scholars. And, after all, it
“As to what they urge against the ancient is a great mistake in psychology to suppose, too far removed from our modern habits of
languages, in the first place, that they are that there is any abstract faculty of memory thought, too strange, to interest or to edify which can be improved by exercise: memory is improved by exercise, not absolutely, but us, I must be allowed to say, without meaning only in the particular direction of the exercise : 10 say any thing paradoxical, that this very and so it may be that the improvement of the strangeness is precisely the thing that ought memory in the direction of the dead languages, ical student works himself 'sympathetically
to invite our familiarity. For, while the classhowever great, may, to all the effects and pur- into the sentiments and manner of expression poses which belong to the educated modern of the ancient world, he by this very act neBürger, be worse than fruitless."
cessarily receives a mental expansion and a
breadth of view that the study of no modern Latin, therefore, is to be altogether ex- languages could have conferred; for in these cluded from the Bürger-schools, in the last both the modes of thought and the matter opinion of Herr Beneke; and the Berlin coincide so much with our own that for the professor, it is instructive to see, merely purpose of supplementing our intellectual desystematizes the current opinion of a great feeble. Besides, this greater contrast between
ficiencies, they must ever be comparatively class of intelligent citizens in our commer- the ancient habits of thought and the modern, cial and manufacturing cities. These men has a strong virtue to stir the interest
, and to have long been convinced that the old fix the attention; an ancient author, even grammar-schools, in which Latin and where he is only second or third rate, is in
finitely more suggestive than a modern, mere- j the teacher, therefore, rather to put a drag on ly because he is ancient; it is by the strong the light and ratiling spirits of youth than 10 power of conirast that we most reallily learn nioneer the road too smoothly before them. to compare: and in the habit of extended Now this salutary drag on ihe precipitancy of comparison and faithful deduction, the art of youibful minds is exactly what the ancient philosophizing consists.
languages are so well calculated to supply. “In the second place: if it he a more diffi- While the scholar is laboriously employed in cult task to attain an available knowledge of constructing piecemeal a bisiorical, poetical, the ancient languages than of the modern, this or rhetorical whole, from the biographies of a difficulty also is an advantage. It has been Plutarch, the tragedies of a Sopliocles, or the and is the most perverse of all methods of proorations of a Demosthenes, he is forced to exceeding in education, to think only how we pend as much intellectual strengih on a single may make all instruction as easy as possible elementary trait as he does on a whole work for the learner. Knowledge of any kind can in the mother tongue, or on a whole comparibe easily taken up and appropriated only in son in any modern longur; and in this way proportion as it is superficial. When the time hoih the matter and the manner of the ihing for instruction commences, the time for play is riad are appropriated and assimilaied in a over; the time for intellectual exertion is way most conducive 10 a healthtul reproduccome; and it is the business of the teacher so rion on the part of the receiver, and to select and apportion the objects of teaching a free development of the higher powers of that they may afford a course of gynınastics reflection on the phenonema of the intellectual to the learner. Instead, therefore, of invent.world. ing methods to make study easy, some talk “But it is not only that ancient literature, by might be expected to be made of the best ari pow'r of contrast, is niore suggestive to lis of inventing difficulties. Now there are few inoderns; there is, at the same time. a simstudies that present such a complete course of plicity of character both in the thoughs and in intellectual gymnastics as the siudy of ancient the manner of expression of the ancients that literature. We do not speak here of the mere is more readily appreciable by the youthful external elements of ancient literature-the mind than the more complex relations of our lexicographical and grammatical traine work modern development. The works of the an-all this we most willingly give up to the ob- cjents, are a mirror of the childhood and boyjector, as by no means peculiarly fitted either hood of humanity: our children and boys now to expand or to strengthen the mind; and the understand these works by a natural sympamore such merely mechanical processes, can thy, better than our men. There is too much be facilitated and accelerated, the better. But reflection and philosophizing of all kinds in the sacrifice which we make in mastering the modern literature for the juvenile taste; there mere externals of ancient learning, is more is something more elementary and immediate, than compensated by the developing power more fresh, and, as it were, transparent among which they possess in so eminent a degree the ancients. The ancient world also presents when duly followed out. Those compositions something more self-contained. less strayyling which can be had without any great demands and involved than the moderus. on our intellectual activity, fit across our proach to the view be, as we have admitted, minds superficially, leaving scarcely a trace be- more laborious, the objects, when they fairly hind. Take, for example, any historical or start out from the misi, are more tangible and poetical work in our mother tongue or in any more comprehensible. modern language. Spurred on by an interesi 6. This holds true of ancient literature in a in the subject, we drive rapidly forward from triple sense: it is true of the grammatical comone point of prominence to another; but this hinations in the first place (compare flerodovery celerity of progress, which is so pleasant, tus, for instance, in this respect, with Hume or prevents us from thoroughly grasping and de. Gibbon); it is no less true of the forms which iaining the characters and events us they pass art assured in the hands of antiquity; the before us; at the end of our movement there ancient Epos, the ancient tracedy, anı ihe anremains but an imperfect shadowy outline of cient eloquence and philosophy, are nerer 10 what we have read; and in a short time even this the mind of young persons in modern times shadowy online vanishes. The same thing than works of the same class in our own tongne; happens with the mere style and manner of and it is true, finally, of the matter of the clasexpression. We may pause, perhaps, for a sies as well as of their style, of the characters moment over this and the other passage, pe of the various relations of life, sou ial and politiculiarly pointed and impressive; but in gen. cal. The distance in point of time between eral we are in too great a hurry to receive any an ancient and a modern is nore than comdistinct impression from the beauties of style; pensated to the young mind by the proximity or will not dwell on a passage long enough to in point of cone, ani sentiment, and character. know in what ils rhetorical excelleic: c0') Ancient history, for example, how infinitely sists. And if this be so with grown up men more simple than the molern! it is more the how much more must it be the case with history, in fact, of individual men, or of separate young persons whose minds are so dispored groups ind misses of men easily distinguishaio triviality and dissipation. It is the duly of ble; and the relations that occur between
If ihe ap
then are at the same time comparatively siin- fin estimating the influence which the pattern ple; the passions and the motives also of the pecimens of ancient literature exert on the historical characters (think only of the patri-nodern mind; on account of the different sitarchs in the book of Genesis, or the leaders in ration in which we are placed, and the disthe Troj.in war) are simpler and more kin-terent circumstances by which we are surdred to the habits of thought and feeling that rounded, there is much less danger of a slavish characterize young persons. Modern history, and passive imitation of antiquity, than there on the other hand, the nearer it comes to the is in the case of a modern model." An ancient young student in point of time, the farther it model will be admired, and exercise a benefirecedes from him in point of affinity; its com-cial influence on the taste of those who admire plicated relations, its strange disguises, its it; but as it does not excite, and is not meant state plots and counterplots, and diplomuic in to excite to any imitation of exactly the same trigues, may be made to envelope the youthful kind, it seems to stimulate exertion without mind, but they can never mould it. In what- inciting a discouraging comparison. The ever light, therefore, we view the matter, an- classic models of our own literature, on the cient literature, when the scholar fairly enters other hand, stand so near to us, and so obviinto the spirit of it, affords a inuch more con- ously incite comparison with our own performgenial nourishment for young minds than ances, that a servile imitation, or a despairful modern.
abandonment of self-development is too apt to "It is to be observed, moreover, that this be the result of the early admiration which is bond of connection which attaches us to the fixed on them. ancient mind, is not one of psychological rela “ To meet :hese views, many persons intertionship merely; it is essentially also an his ested in the education of youth have proposed, torical tie. Our whole modern culture is what that instead of the classical languages, the old it is in a great measure as a growth from the German should be used in our higher schools. fertile soil of antiquity, and continues still to In our early Teutonic literature, it is alleged, draw no inconsiderable part of its nourishment we have a contrast !o the indern development from the same source. As the modern lan of the German mind, sufficien:ly strong to guages can be grammatically comprehended stimulate the reflective faculty, and at the same only through the medium of ihe Latin out of time an extension of the view beyond the narwhich they sprung; so in tracing back the rowness of the present horizon. But to this various branch streams of modern intellect we proposal there are two obvious ohjections. arrive, from whatever point we may have set Our old German literature, in the first place, out, always at the same two fresh fountains of though different in several accessory modificaGreece and Rome; so that if a man will not lions, is, in iis fundamental ideas, the same as be content to receive traditionally, and by a the modern. The contrast, therefore, is no? blind instinc, but strives with a full conscious sufficiently marked and decided for the purness and a sympathetic reproduction to under-pose. In the second place, even sopposing the stand the modern mind, he can do so in no fundamental ideas of our old German poetry way at once so speedily and so thororghly, as were every thing that could be desired in this by beginning with the ancient. The food respect, the forms of art in which they have which whether we will or no, we must receive been handed down to us, are any thing but from the ancients with shut eyes, a classical models. As in every other point of human education enables us to adopi and to enjoy culture, so in literary development, the pro with onen vision.
gress of the northern nations was at first ex“ Whatever truth there may be in these rep. ceedingly slow and paintiil
. It was not till resentations is independent altogether, it will after they had appropriated and worked up be observed, of any mere external elegance the early ripe literature of the southern nations and polish that may belong to the remains of that they began to exert their independent ancient literature handed down to us. The energies in a more vigorous form, and to ere advanta yes of which we have been talking ate works in some respects superior to the result from the essential character of ancient models by which they had originally been works, in thought, and emotion, and expres. stimulated. In consequence of this difference sion: these advantages belong to them as proof historical development, it is altogether im. ducts of the ancient mind, not as models of possible for us Germans to go back in the what is finished and satisfying in works of art sources of our civilization with the saine intelBut when we consider further, that in addition lectual benefit that the Greeks did to their of to the simplicity and tangibility of their con that even we ourselves can go to the civilizatents, and their less complex character genetion of the Greeks; much less can young per. rally, the works of the ancients stand unrival- sons grow up healthily in an environment tha! led as models of chasteness an: truth in art. is full of waste places and monstrosities even we find ourselves provided with another and for full grown men. a most salutary check against that looseness. “But, continue the advocates of the old Ger ill-regulated luxuriance, and extravagance, by nan education, do we not historically grow which the compositions of modern literature but of German ground-are we not GSRMANS have too frequently been characterized. There and shall we be at home at Rome, and a is another matter, also, of no small importance Athens, and every where-only not amongs
ourselves ?—Here also there is a fallacy. I shall not play off upon us any sophism of What we are as a literary people, we are in this kind. He tells us not only what clasa much greater degree through the influence sics are worth, but for whom—' für denof the Greeks and Romans, and more lately jenigen welcher auf die höchste Bildungsof the English and the French, than throngh the continued working of our own most ancient na
stufe gestellt werden soll,'—for him whom tional literature. Nay, it has been experimen- it is intended to plant upon the highest tally manifested (as it was supereminently in platform of intellectual culture. Thus his the late war of liberation in 1813) that as olien championship of a classical education for as an attempt has been made to bring old the gymnasia, is in the most perfect harGermanism into the fore-ground of our modern mony with his determined exclusion of the culture, so often (after a little artificial parad
same studies from the Bürger-schools. “Non ing) has it been thrown aside. People, how
omnia ever patriotic, had such an instinctive, if not
possumus omnes;' the merchant goes always conscious, feeling of the inferiority of to his counting-house, the young agricultuthese northern productions to those of the rist to his model farm, when the young phisouth and east, that, in spite of all patriotic losopher is going from Homer and Herotrumpeting, and blowing up, the Niebelungen dotus in the gymnasium, to Plato and Imwas forced in a few years to leave the Iliad manuel Kant in the university. This is and the Odyssey in quiet possession of the the way they manage matters in Germany; academic ground. We do not pretend to de- but among ourselves there is still reason to cide which course of development is the pre- fear that the true position and value of classerable for a people, a development thoroughly and entirely national, or a complex growih sical education in relation to the different springing from varied foreign impregnation: classes of society, and their intellectual but Providence has so ordered it that the de- wants, is not every where distinctly undervelopment of the German people should be in stood ; that there is too much of a general this latter fashion decidedly: and with this, as indiscriminating idol-worship of the mere an arrangement of Providence, beyond the letter of Greek and Latin, to which lanhope of human change, we must ever be con. tent.
guages, in their mere rudiments and dis6We conclude, therefore, on a review of ciplinarian externals, a sort of magic virthe whole matter, that for him who wishes to tue is attributed, as if they alone, without plant himself upon the highest position of in- aid from living poetry and philosophy, and tellectual cultivation, an initiation into ancient without the least regard either to social politerature is absolutely indispensable. Only sition or intellectual wants, had the power when so initiated is he in a condition to one of turning every thing into gold. On some vey comprehensively, to contemplate clearly, and to see profoundly into what human na such notion as this the exclusive classicism ture under its various aspects can achieve; of Oxford, and whatever in England is by the aid of ancient learning alone is the connected with that, seems to depend; educator enabled to extend his view beyond while in Scotland we find, in many places, the narrow horizon of the now which encom- herds of young men who should begin and passes him, and to distinguish between that end their education at a commercial school, which is merely local or temporary, and that which is of universal and human significancy.
drilled for five years principally into the And this extent of vision alone, it unquestion
mere beggarly elements of Latin, and then ably is that entitles a man to say, that he is sent to college (still in the shape of mere educated in the highest and complete sense of boys) for a little more Latin, and a little that word.”
Greek, that they may forget both in a year or two over the toils of the comptoir and
the recreations of the circulating library. We have patintly followed our author Now how do the Berlin educationist's senthrough this long defence of classical edu-sible remarks apply to such a case as this? cation, because, hackneyed as the theme Plainly thus, that one-half of the lads, who may be, it is not always that it is handled in Scotland study Latin and Greek at with the requisite degree of discrimination grammar-schools and universities, should and appreciation. Many of our eulogizers have been sent to a Bürger-school, from of a Latin and Greek education in this which the classical languages were excludcountry, plead the cause of classicality on ed, and the other half should have been grounds which are satisfactory enough in brought beyond the point of nibbling at a the abstract, but which have no bearing shell, and really taugl.t to live in the atmoswhatsoever on the circumstances to which phere, and drink from the fountains, of anthey are meant to be applied. Herr Be- cient wisdom. As things stand at present neke, however, takes anxious care that he we have good reason, with the late Profes