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other speakers of human language, understood the power that resides in not saying too much, in curbing and restraining language, and thus mastering it, and making it do their bidding, instead of giving loose reins to it, and thus being mastered by it. This same idea of self-control is dominant in literature and art, in philosophy and life. Greek sculpture is the embodiment of it in marble. Both Plato and Aristotle, in different ways, made it the essence of virtue. The typical Greek, spare in form, moderate in his pleasures, philosophical in his enthusiasms, chaste in art,—a manhood filled out on all sides, yet nowhere in excess,—is a good ideal to contemplate, and especially good for our typical American boy to study, impetuous as he is, ready to run into wild extremes of fancy and passion. idea thoroughly inwrought into the sense of the American boy, is worth all that it costs to learn Greek.
To get this one brain and moral
Another very prominent idea in classic literature,— much more prominent than in ours, at least up to this centennial year,-is public virtue. There is no modern literature in which the state, and all the talents and virtues which qualify men to serve the state, occupy so conspicuous a place, as they do in these classical writings. Not that the ancient statesmen were all men of immaculate virtue, but all the resources of language and all the force of public opinion were employed to prevent and punish public corruption, and to ennoble public virtue. The man who would take no part in public affairs in Greece, drew down upon himself and upon the name of a private man, the imputation of idiocy. The man who proved false to his trusts, is consigned in Greek history to an infamy paralleled only in the fate of Benedict Arnold. If the civil service reform, to
which both parties have, in this season of courtship, pledged eternal fidelity, should become a fact, I should like to see inscribed over the entrance to high public office at Washington, "Let no man enter here who has not read Thucydides."
The one great moral idea which runs through all Roman literature and Roman history, is the supremacy of law: the one great and comprehensive virtue which Rome ever exemplified and bequeathed to civilization, was obedience. The grandeur of Roman character as it rises before us in its Catos and Scipios, its Fabii and Antonines, is the austere grandeur of men who stood ready at any moment to sacrifice everything personal at the high behest of the common weal.
Teachers, it is good for our youth to be put under the training of these great moral ideas, to be subject to influences that come from a literature which enforces and exemplifies self-control, public virtue, and the sacredness of law. There is something healthful and invigorating, something in the highest degree, and in the best sense, practical in this training ;-something that we can by no means afford to give up for anything that French and German literatures, valuable as they are, can offer as substitutes.
My half hour's limit leaves me time for only a few words on the methods of classical instruction as affecting character. A boy may be trained in the classics in such a way as to become thereby an adept in verbal pedantry, and a small critic in other quiddities, or he be taught accuracy, truth-telling, and magnanimity. Much will depend upon the system of teaching, and much on the individual teacher. The publication of translations of all the classical text books, has driven teachers to adopt a new and inferior method of classical
discipline to put the main stress of recitation-work into an irritating minuteness of criticism upon matters which are remote from the main purpose of classical studies, and thus to sacrifice the best parts both of the intellectual and moral benefits of such studies. The best results of classical instruction are to be got by using only text-books without notes, a good grammar, and a good lexicon, and after a thorough preliminary drill in the elementary principles of the language, reading large quantities critically, but not so critically as to prevent the reading of large quantities. If it be said that the translations have spoiled this plan, let us take the ground that the pupils whose moral nature is beyond appeal as to the dishonesty of the course in question, are unfit to pursue the study further, and at all events that the exceptional pupil's perseverance ought not to rob all other pupils of the plan which is best for them. It is pleasant to witness some signs of a reaction against the vernacular style of teaching which is so prevalent, and the narrowing and belittling effect of which has become painfully apparent in the schools where it is carried to greatest extremes. To count the pebbles in the now dry bed of the Ilissus, is hardly worth the while of one who may drink the Chian wine of Homer, or feast on the dripping honey of Plato. Accuracy let us have, by all means, especially that accuracy which is clearly allied to truth-telling, the exact word for the idea, the correct discrimination of the syntactical place and meaning, the true color added by the imagination, and the warmth supplied by the feelings. All these let us think no pains too great to secure. But the conjectural Sanscrit root, the supposititious Arian myth, the microscopic analogy, the millionth dilution of the shadow of a meaning between this and that apod
osis as related to this and that protasis,-these matters let us leave where they belong to advanced philology.
But the most important consideration connected with the teaching of any subject, is the teacher's own moral personality. How the classics, or anything else, shall be taught, depends on the kind of men and women who teach them. Give me for my children, strong, thorough-gong men and women, strong-minded, strong-willed, true - hearted men and women, I shall not trouble myself greatly about their methods of teaching. Such men and women are very likely to have peculiarities, and very strong ones; they would not be easily brought over to adopt methods made for them by others. But they have stuff in them; they rouse, stimulate, and fructify other minds. Oh, for a few such men in each State in the classical schools and the professorial chairs, to arrest this triturating process of instruction which is so wearying young men of classical studies! The old name for studies was "the Humanities." Would that we might get back to that idea that we study the classics for the sake of the manhood, the morality, the broad and generous views of life we get from the study. On this basis, the time-honored classical discipline can be defended against all the assaults of its adversaries. In the hands of competent teachers, men of moral appreciation and enthusiasm, it can be made a most effective agency for quickening and developing the moral nature of lazy persons; and we may rest assured that if it can make good its claim to be able to accomplish this, mankind will not let it die until it be superseded by something that, in this respect as well as others, can maintain an unquestioned superiority.
The Moral Element in Education.
BY A. D. SMITH, D.D.,
I am to speak, this evening, of "The Moral Element in Education." I use the term moral in its broadest sense, and as pertinent to all the various ways in which human nature is trained; yet with chief reference to the organic instrumentalities and the more formal methods. The subject, if I mistake not, is a timely one. There is a tendency in certain quarters to a merely intellectual training, a tendency which is, in all respects, of evil influence, and which should be promptly and steadfastly resisted.
1. The moral, I remark then, is the principal element in education. Without it, I hardly need say, the process is but a partial one: there are certain powers and susceptibilities of the human soul which you touch not, or touch but incidentally and to little purpose. But what is more, these are chief in our being. Conscience is regnant there, and righteousness is man's crowning endowment. We are made, indeed, for the moral and spiritual,—if we are true to ourselves we find in them our end. God is the Great Educator, and it is in this relation to the universe that he does his most