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wits of former times were far more acute and subtle than ours are?”
We must not I think accept this inference too readily. For indeed the fact of the decay of inflections and of the substitution for them of prepositions and auxiliaries, may be accounted for on many other hypotheses than that of a decline in human acuteness, or in intellectual exactitude. Yet it is plain that by pointing out at each stage in learning the Latin grammar the difference between a given modification in the meaning of a word as expressed, say by an, ablative in Latin, and by a preposition in English ; by a future tense in Latin, and by the word shall or will in English; you are giving to the pupil a truer notion of the functions of grammar and the extent of its province than if you taught either of these
forms by itself. The Vo- As to the vocabulary, I think we often put needless cubulary. difficulties in the way by requiring every word to be
separately hunted out in a dictionary. This is a very slow and wearisome process, and after all there is no particular value in it. It does nothing to encourage accuracy, and it certainly does not help to give any special love for the act of research.
So in all early exercises it is well to bring the vocabulary specially needed in those exercises close under the eye of the learner so that he has not far to look for them. Later of course it is very desirable that he should know how to consult a dictionary, and should often use it ; but if he has to make this reference in more, say, than one in ten of the words which occur in his lesson you are placing
a needless impediment in the way of his progress. Use
Again, it is desirable that as soon as possible you genuine escape from the little graduated exercises in what may be Latin sen
called manufactured Latin ;—the sort of Arnoldian exEarly exercise in translation.
ercise in which “Balbus strikes the head of the father of tences, not
those the maiden;"—and get to real sentences, little narratives manufacwhich have an interest of their own, and which are taken tured for
purpose. from good authors. Of course these should be so graduated, that the difficulties do not come all at once. But it is better to deal with a short passage, or a verse of an ode, which has a prettiness and interest of its own, even though there are one or two phrases in it a little beyond the reach of the learner's present grammatical knowledge, than to keep him too long on bald and meaningless sentences., merely because they illustrate a particular kind of grammar rule.
After a little progress has been made, a teacher may wisely select an easy ode of Horace, some passages from Ovid; the sentences from Cæsar descriptive of his visit to Britain ; a few of the happier examples of characterization from the Catiline of Sallust, or some eloquent sentences from an oration of Cicero; and will make these first of all the subject of thorough grammatical investigation, postponing however any special difficulties and promising to recur to them hereafter. Then he will give a full explanation of the meaning, circumstances, and purpose of the extract, and finally after it has been translated carefully, will cause it to be learned by heart. This was Jacotot's method. Tout est dans tout. quired that some one interesting passage should be dealt with exhaustively, and should be made not only a specimen of the way in which a passage might be investigated, but a centre round which grammatical knowledge might cluster, and to which all new acquisitions might be referred by way of comparison or contrast. Nothing is more depressing and unsatisfactory than to arrange all authors in the order of their supposed difficulty, and to say, e.g. that one must spend so many months over Eutropius, and
then another term on Cæsar, and afterwards proceed to Ovid and to Virgil, as if these books represented so many advanced rules in Arithmetic. A child properly taught Latin with the object I have indicated, should above all things be interested and made from the first to feel that the Latin language is like his own in the variety and attractiveness of its contents, and not a series of
exercises in grammar and vocabulary only. Literature For after all, one of your chief aims in teaching should
language at all is to make the scholar enjoy literature, come early.
and get an enlarged acquaintance with the meanings of words. The sooner we can bend our teaching towards these particular purposes the better.
One way of doing this will be to study some English classic pari passu with a Latin book or extract of a cognate kind. We have spoken of the simultaneous study of Latin and English Grammar. There is an equally good reason for the simultaneous reading of Latin and English literature. Side by side with the Latin lessons, or alternating with them, I would take good sentences from Classical English books and treat them in the same way. In the one lesson you will note down all Latin words which have supplied English derivatives, in the other all English words which have a Latin origin. You will make a list of them, illustrate their meaning and use, the way in which some portions of the original meaning have disappeared, and other shades or varieties of signification have become attached to the words since their introduction into English. By requiring these words to be collected in a special list you will at the same time be increasing your pupil's store of Latin words and will make him more accurately acquainted with the history and significance of words in his own language. Constant care should also be taken to secure Connexion of Latin and English Lessons. 245
that resemblances or differences in the idiom and structure of the two languages should be clearly apprehended, and free use should be made of note-books in order to promote thoroughness and accuracy. And as the pupil becomes further advanced, it is well to take up the parallel and simultaneous study of portions of an ancient and a modern author, e.g. with the Ars Poetica of Horace Pope's Essay on Criticism or Byron's Hints from Horace might be read; with a Satire of Juvenal, Johnson's imitation or some well-chosen passage from Dryden; with an oration of Cicero, a famous speech of Burke or Macaulay; with one of the Georgics of Virgil, an extract from Thomson or Cowper descriptive of rural life; with a passage from Livy or Tacitus, another passage from Gibbon or Froude.
This is a large subject, and no one of you can be more conscious than I am of the inadequacy of such few hints as can be given on it in a short lecture. Those of you who are engaged in teaching Latin or Greek, will find it necessary to read much and to think more, before you will attain a satisfactory course of procedure. By far the wisest and most suggestive of old books on the methods of teaching is Roger Ascham's Scholemaster, which explains fully his system of teaching by translation and re-translation. He would go through a Latin passage and translate it into English, writing the translation down carefully; then after an interval of an hour or two, he would give the scholar those English sentences for re-translation into Latin, and as he well shews, whether this be done by memory or by invention it is almost equally useful. I strongly advise also the reading of Mr Quick's admirable book on Educational Reformers, for that work not only summarizes well the
main excellencies of Ascham's method, but it also gives an account of the methods of teaching Latin recommended by Milton, by Comenius, by Locke, and by others--subjects which it is beyond my province to discuss here. Nor ought I to omit the mention of Mr Henry Sidgwick's thoughtsul paper in the Essays on a Liberal Education, and of Mr D'Arcy Thompson's Day dreams of a Schoolmaster, which is full of practical suggestion as to rational and simple means of teaching
grammar. The place In what I have said hitherto we have been chiefly of Latin
concerned with the use which should be made of Latin Primary in secondary schools. And this, as we have seen, does School.
not aim at making what are called 'scholars,' nor at using Latin as a vehicle for the expression of the learner's own thoughts, but mainly at enabling him to understand the laws of language, and especially of his own language, better. Now what is the place, if any, which Latin should hold in a Primary school or in one whose course will probably terminate at 14?
There has been much contention as to the expediency of including in the Schedule of additional “Specific Subjects," attached to the Code of the Education Department, lessons on the elements of Latin Grammar. By some this is defended on the grounds that such knowledge will be serviceable to those promising scholars whom it may be worth while to encourage to go forward to a secondary school, and that in the open competition for admission to such schools Latin grammar is often one of the required subjects. But the truth is that at the age of 12 or 13 at which it is fitting to select such a pupil for an exhibition, Latin ought not to be required at all. It is of far more importance to secure that his intelligence shall have been quickened by the ordinary discipline of a