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ward amid the cheers of the multitude, who vainly imagined that they saw in its train liberty, equality, and happiness. But soon it acquired a momentum that its leaders could not control. “Death is preferable to dishonor," exclaimed one, as he saw the abyss towards which they were tending, and with heroic endurance resigned himself to his fate. The world looked on with astonishment and fear, as they saw the Republic freighted with the life, liberty, and fortune of millions, rushing madly on till it was lost in a sea of blood. And France is now proving to the world in her own sad experience, that freedom and happiness dwell not with a people who will have “no God.”
That our own country may be saved from superstitious bigotry on the one hand, and mad infidelity on the other, it is necessary that the young should be taught to study the Bible, and to regulate their conduct by its instructions. And in doing this, they have the example of one who served his country faithfully through a long life, receiving the highest honors that country could bestow; who aimed not so much to uphold a party, as to do right, and who, we are told, made the Bible « his counsel and his monitor.' It is not necessary to mention the name of John Quincy Adams, for he was known and read of all men."
Let the youth who go out from our schools, with all other accomplishments, be “ adorned with the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit;" let them possess that firmness of character, that fearless independence which a determination to do right can bestow, and we may exultingly say, Happy, thrice happy America ! Happy in a “philosophy to which the lightnings of heaven yield.” Happy in a “patriotism that the temptations of earth cannot seduce," and happy in a pure and holy religion, with the God of Israel for thy defence, and the Lord Jehovah for thy King.
“ Happy is that people that is in such a case: yea, happy is that people whose God is the Lord."
“How many a man in our own country, who would not acknowledge himself to come within the precincts of luxury, taxes both the Indies to supply his sugar and spices, and the eastern and western continents to furnish fruits for his dessert; while South America supplies mahogany for his tables, France his glass ware, China his dining service, England his table linen and his cutlery. If we look to his clothing, the wool grew on the flocks of Devonshire, the fur on the beaver of Hudson's Bay; while England furnished his coat, France his cravat, Ireland his linen, Switzerland his watch. The frame of his umbrella was borrowed from the whale, its covering from the silkworm, and its ivory head from the elephant.”—Prof. Olmsted. PHONETICS. Report of the Minority of the Committee appointed by the Mas
sachusetts Teachers' Association at the Meeting in 1851, to report on the subject of Phonetics. READ AT THE LAST MEETING BY REV. CHARLES HAMMOND,
OF GROTON. THE subject of Phonetics was brought to the notice of the Association at their last meeting, at Fitchburg, in a lecture by Dr. Stone, of Boston. He illustrated the system of orthography which he advocated, by an exhibition of " Phonetic children, as they were called, who were little girls of the usual age of children who are learning to read and spell easy lessons.
It was very evident that these children had been well instructed, in both the common and phonetic methods of spelling. It is rare to meet so much enthusiasm as was apparent in both the lecturer and the learners under his charge. His earnestness secured the respect of his audience, and disposed not a few to regard with favor his views.
The system of phonetics, as presented by Dr. Stone, has the merit of simplicity; and it is also true that children of common capacity can acquire it without difficulty. It has, furthermore, some of the conditions of a perfect alphabet, as given by Dr. Latham, particularly these two,—That “no sound may have more than one sign to express it, and no sign may express more than one sound.” Dr. Latham gives as another condition of a perfect alphabet and orthography, “ That its primary aim be to express the sounds of words, and not their histories.” The phonetic system makes it the sole aim to express sound, and regards in no manner whatever the histories of words; and for this reason it is rightly called the Phonetic system. It aims to perfect the present orthography of the English language, by removing all arbitrary signs which represent thought to the eye only, and making the elements of written language represent only articulate sounds as heard in the living speech of men. present orthography abounds with aphonetic elements, and, therefore, the aim of the phonetic system seems radical and revolutionary in the extreme. And yet, there is that which is common to both systems, for the general structure of the Eng. lish language is, after all, phonetic, although it is so full of aphonetic anomalies.
Proceeding upon the assumption that every element introduced into the alphabet should have one sound only, and that every sound should have but one symbol, the Phonetic system aims to improve the present alphabet by giving new names to the sym
bols of articulation. The names given to the vowels are, of course, no other than the powers or sounds of the vowels. The names given to the consonants are the articulations, or syllables produced by each consonant sound, or power, when joined with the vowel sound of a as heard in hate. The consonant letters, or elements, are understood to have no other designations than these. This plan serves to designate each element by its power, and has led to the impression, entertained by some, that no onomatology, or system of names was employed or deemed necessary in the Phonetic Alphabet, further than the powers of the elements themselves.
Such names should, indeed, be employed, as readily suggest the powers of the elements, and therefore the appellatives given to the aspirate letter h and to w are objectionable. But with these exceptions, the names given to the letters of the English alphabet are as suggestive of the powers of the letters as those employed by the Phonetic alphabet. It may be thought that the use of one vowel only will make the modifications of the consonants more obvious, because, then the sole distinction of names is in the difference of one consonant from another. This would seem to be an improvement, and would really be an improvement, if the assumption be true, that the more similarity there is in names or things, the easier it is for children to learn them. But we do not believe this is the fact, but rather the opposite, that the greater the diversity in names or things, the more readily will they be distinguished from each other. The distinctive powers of the consonants are just as obvious, whatever vowel be employed in their articulation. If the sole object of Phonetics be the analysis of the elements and powers of the letters and combinations of the letters of the English alphabet, then we will not say that the new onomatology would not be of service. But the child, when required to learn the alphabet, is not required as the first thing to learn the resemblances or differences of the letters, but the letters or elements themselves. When he has learned their names—the next step is to learn their powers. The Phonetic system aims to blend the names and powers as much as possible, assuming that the task of the learner will thereby be diminished, and a dislike of study be prevented. We prefer the old system by which the child learns the name and then the power or powers of each nameand let the name of each element be as distinctive as possible. We are not sure that the dissyllabic names of the Greek or Hebrew are better than the Romanic, so far as respects the sole point of distinguishing the elements.
The child, when he has learned the names of the letters in the English alphabet, proceeds to the next lesson, the abs chapter of the primer, which is to all intents a phonetic exercise. The object now is, to learn the powers of the elements in monosyllables of two or three letters, at first, in which every element is sounded-and this practice in phonetics is continued till a facility is acquired in spelling easy words that is, words entirely phonetic in their structure.
The pupil in phonetics does really just the same thing, and goes as far as we have carried the learner, and there he stops, for the reason that the road leads him no farther. By his system all words are made easy, and the art of spelling is in effect not only improved but abolished.
The mode of spelling easy, or phonetic words is, indeed, varied. Sometimes, in enumerating the elements, the pupils may give the names of the letters, and sometimes the powers only, and with a little practice one method is just as easy as the other if the powers be first taught the child. The phonetic pupils at Fitchburg spelled words with great rapidity by giving only the powers of the letters, without any other designation, and all this may be done just as easily by any teacher of the common or Romanic alphabet; and it is a very useful exercise. It may be a novel mode of spelling, but phonetics deserve not the credit of its invention, for the common orthography would just as soon suggest it. It would be, moreover, just as easy to spell words by giving the Hebrew or Greek name to the letters as the new phonetic distinctions, and the process would be of just as much consequence--and no more.
We do not believe it to be a great task for children to learn the English alphabet; and if it were a task difficult to perform, we really do not know to what the energies or the time of our abecedarians could be better devoted. It has been proved to be a fact, we think, that with the exception of the phonetic schools in Boston and in some other places in the vicinity of that city of notions, the forty vocal utterances of English speech have been taught to our entire reading populations with the aid of Webster's spelling book and kindred treatises. So easy is the task, indeed, of learning to read and spell easy words, that is, phonetic words, that multitudes cannot remember the time when they could not spell such words. Indeed, the amount of trouble in learning first lessons is so small, that the child soon forgets that he ever had any.
The claim set up by the advocates of phonetics, that the system is easy and saves time, is no recommendation.
Whatever is acquired easily, and in a short time by a child of common capacity only, cannot be worth much. Mental laborsaving processes at any stage, or in any process of mental growth, are to be objected to a priori. True it is that phonetics are so easy that any child may learn them, for they begin and end with the primer. With aphonetic words they have nothing to do but to banish them from the language-if, perchance, it can be done.
But just where the phonetic system ends with the primer --there the aphonetic system begins, and this system is a real science—something besides boys' play. English orthography has difficulties, and needs time to master them; and like other sciences it is one in which few become absolutely perfect. The Phonetic system is only a theory, as yet unapplied. It has no literature except its own apparatus of instruction. No one has adopted it except its own teachers and stenographists, to which last class it may be of some service, and through them to the world, just as the alphabet of the magnetic telegraph is of use but not as a branch of common school education.
But the common orthography is, and must always be, a necessity. Nor is the time of the child lost in learning it. A knowledge of it is no mean acquisition. The exercise of learning to spell is one of the best that can be conceived of for young pupils. It is an exercise that trains the memory rather than the reason, and that is a happy circumstance. It calls for close attention-it induces the habit of discrimination and generalization, and thus it happens that in their earliest years children are, by means of a study, not above their capacity, and yet not easy, able to secure some of the best results of all education that truly deserves to be called education. Time spent by children, and adults even, is not lost in learning to spell." Whó, that thinks, needs to be told, that to be a first-rate speller implies the possession of what is of greater value by far, than even that rare accomplishment ought to be considered, when taken alone by itself, without its relation to those habits of accurate thought and retention, which are the best fruits of all study ?
But it is said that the Phonetic system has its uses in learning and analyzing the Romanic system of orthography. This claim we admit to some extent and to just the same extent that the Romanic aids in learning the phonetic orthography. We have said that the general structure of English orthography is phonetic, and we say farther that the phonetic elements predominate in almost all English words. If, then, we leave out what the phonographists would thrust out, then one method cannot be used without suggesting essentially the other. And, therefore, it is no wonder that a phonetic children" can read Romanic print-and, on the other hand, pupils taught as everybody must be till the phonetic millennium comes, can without much pains read phonetic print. If, then, it is so easy, what other reason, than that it is of but little worth, prevents its prompt introduction and use?
But the claim is set up, that Phonetics teach more than the phonology of our common orthography. It is said that Mr.