Imatges de pàgina

were not introduced, however, for any such silly reason. Latin and Greek were in the days of the Renaissance the keys of almost all knowledge worth having. They were studied, not as being educative, but being instructive. What I advocate is, that we should go back, to the practices and principles of our ancestors in this matter, and act as they would have acted if the languages which it was necessary to learn for the ordinary purposes of an intelligent life had been then, as English, French, and German are now, full of books which introduced the reader to the knowledge best worth having. If that had been so in their day, they would, I trust, have used the classics to do for them what other liter. ature could not do they would not, I trust, have used the classics to do what other literature could do better. There is another question which a committee of scholars might usefully answer. What are the best translations of the clas. sics in English, French, or German, and what is there that must be read in the original? If those two questions were satisfactorily answered, if it became once understood that a classical education must include a familiarity with the best productions of classical art, as represented at least by casts, electrotypes, drawings, and other copies where the originals are not accessible, and ought, if possible, to include a visit to the principal classical sites, I believe that the amount of classical culture in this country would be enormously increased, and give time for more valuable studies.

'I want carefully to guard myself against saying a word against these studies -classical or any of their adjuncts per se. The least useful of these adjuncts is probably Latin and Greek verse composition, but I would utterly banish it from general education, I would endeavor to keep up the traditions of English success in what I admit to be, like fencing, an excessively pretty accomplishment, by giving large rewards for it both at our schools and universities. The best and most legitimate use to which you can put endowments is to encourage studies which will not, so to speak, encourage themselves, and I should be sorry if there were ever a time when a few persons in this country could not write Latin verse as well, say, as the late Professor Conington, or Greek Iambics as well as the late Mr. James Riddell, not to mention the names of living people. It is a common thing to represent those who are opposed to the present system of teaching the classics as enemies to the classics themselves, but nothing could, in my case, be more unjust. I wish, as you have seen, that the classics should still occupy a considerable place in the education of any one who has any apti. tude for literature, and who can carry on his studies to the age at which young men usually leave Oxford and Cambridge. Further, I should like to see such a rearrangement in the application of our University funds as to encourage a small number of specialists to give their attention to every one of the adjuncts of classical study. I can not possibly make it too clear that what I want is, not to diminish the amount of classical knowledge in the world or of classical culture in general education, but by a wiser ordering of classical studies to get time for other studies even more important, without overtasking the strength of fairly intelligent and fairly healthy young persons. I believe that English boys lose at least five clear years of life between seven years old and three-andtwenty, thanks to the unwisdom of our present system, in addition to what they may lose by their own idleness.'



“ If he is elected to the head-mastership of Rugby," wrote one of Arnold's friends in the year 1827, “he' will change the face of education all through the public schools of England." High-sounding prediction, and yet fulfilled to the letter. “A most singular and striking change,” wrote another friend of Arnold, after his death in 1842,“ has come upon our public schools;"—the writer being the headmaster of Winchester school, _“I am sure that to Dr. Arnold's personal earnest simplicity of purpose, strength of character, power of influence, and piety, which none who ever came near him could mistake or question, the carrying of this improvement into our schools is mainly attributable." . Such a reformer can not be too frequently or too widely studied. Often as he may have been portrayed, there still remain fresh lineaments, untried attitudes, in which he may be represented by a new limner. Nor will the effect of his reforms be found confined within the limits of his own land or nation. The English schools are not American, nor are the American schools English in points of constitution, operation, or varying detail; but the reformer of one order of schools will be found closely allied to the reformer of the other order; while it is even truer that the great teacher in England is as much a study to every teacher in America as if he had labored on this side of the Atlantic.

Our purpose shapes itself accordingly. We shall not attempt a biography of Arnold, but rather essay to describe him as the teacher. Nor shall we do this without steady reference to the influence of his example amongst ourselves,—to the lesson which his career as an instructor conveys to every one of us engaged or interested in the great cause of education.

Thomas Arnold. was born at West Cowes, Isle of Wight, in the year 1795. The loss of his father, before he was six years old, left him dependent upon his mother and his aunt, the latter taking charge of his early education. Placed at school, first in Warminster and then in Winchester, he laid the foundations, as a school-boy, of the knowledge and the system which he afterward carried out as a master. He was a stiff and a formal lad, “unlike those of his own age,” said his family and school-fellows, “and with peculiar pursuits of his own," in which play-writing and ballad poetry, geography and history, were particularly remarked. It was not till he entered Corpus Christi College, at Oxford, that his manners became more genial and his occupations more harmonious; he was at once distinguished amongst his brother collegians for courage, candor, and affection,--still more for the spirit with which he ranged himself against the “ Tories in church and state, great respecters of things as they were,” to use the language of one of them, “and not very tolerant of the disposition which he brought with him to question their wisdom.” Arnold won little distinction as a scholar: fonder of philosophy and history than of the regular routine of study; quick to take up geology as soon as there was a professor to assist him; ready for a walk, or what he called a skirmish, across the country at any time; he grew up a young man of large tastes and of aspiring principles, but without preciseness or fullness of development. Future development, however, was so clearly promised in his case, that he obtained a fellowship in Oriel College over several competitors of actual superiority. He remained at Oxford four years more,-a period of evident progress,occupied in private instruction and in extensive reading, in the course of which many of his later principles in education, literature, and religion, were unquestionably grasped if not positively matured. At length, in his twenty-sixth year, he removed to Laleham as a private teacher, and began (1819) the great career which we are to follow.

The year before, he was ordained a deacon in the English church. There had been inquiries and misgivings in relation to his faith ; intellectual doubts had risen up to shake his religious trust; but they were driven down, to rise no more for him. It would be out of place to describe him as a believer, or as a clergyman; but this much is .necessary to the comprehension of him as a teacher, that his whole theory of education, as of life, rested upon Christianity. We shall see it hereafter.

Another point of view is equally necessary. Arnold took to Laleham his mother, his sister, and his aunt; the next year he brought his wife thither, and children soon crowned the new home with completeness and with joy. It would never do to study such a teacher as Arnold was, without appreciating the domestic influences which contributed 80 largely to his cheerfulness, his tenderness, and his devotedness. We regret that we can not linger over them.

His Laleham life, upon which he entered at the age of twenty-four, lasted nine years, a period of incalculable importance to him. Steadily working his way out of narrow inlets into broader and deeper waters, he was at once fulfilling the promises of his youth and preparing for the achievements of maturer years. We shall not attempt to set forth his expanding energies in their completeness. He was the theologian and the historian, the public-spirited citizen as well as the retired teacher; and if, in pursuance of our present purpose, we devote ourselves to a single aspect of the man, it must not be in for-getfulness of his other interests or his other powers. The caution is hardly necessary. If Arnold proves great as a teacher, even at Lalebam, the implication is inevitable that he was great in other ways likewise. The great teacher, as we shall remark hereafter, is never merely the teacher and nothing more.

Perhaps the most striking point about his work as a private tutor, was that with which he may be said to have started, in relation to the reception of his pupils. Those who have ever engaged in similar labors can bear witness to the fact that a large proportion of the pupils offered them are below the average, intellectually or morally, or both. It is rare, however, that this is acted upon as it should be; most instructors accepting every offer made them, at least until their numbers are full and overflowing. Arnold knew better, and did better. He would decline a boy, if there was no prospect of doing any thing with him; and, if he detected such a character amongst his pupils, he would dismiss him as soon as improvement seemed out of the question. Nay, while a boy of the sort was with him, Arnold would refuse new pupils, for fear of exposing them to the influences of bad companionship.

It was moral, not intellectual inferiority, to which Arnold was so sensitive. “You could scarcely conceive," he writes at one time, " the rare instances of ignorance that I have met with amongst them, [his pupils.] One had no notion of what was meant by an angle; another could not tell how many gospels there are, nor could he, after due deliberation, recollect any other names than Matthew, Mark, and Luke; and a third bolds the first concord in utter contempt, and makes the infinitive mood supply the place of the principal verb in the sentence, without the least suspicion of any impropriety. My labor, therefore, is more irksome than I have ever known it; but done of my pupils give me any uneasiness on the most serious points, and five of them staid the Sacrament when it was last administered. I ought constantly to impress upon my mind how light an evil is the greatest ignorance or dullness when compared with habits of profligacy, or even of wilful irregularity and riotousness." "They are an awful

charge,” he writes again, "and I find my comfort depends more and more on their good and bad conduct.” In a word, it was the determination to make bis instruction Christian, and his pupils Christian, that animated Arnold as a teacher in early as in later years.

This was very far from making him a stern instructor. On the contrary, he was full of considerateness and companionableness with his boys, sharing in their leisure as well as their study hours, and - entering into their amusements with the same earnestness in which he led their labors. “My pupils,” he says, “all come up into the drawing-room a little before tea, and stay for some time, some reading, others talking, playing chess or backgammon, looking at pictures, &c.” It was not only in the evening that the pupils and their master were together; they shared almost alike in the out-ofdoor sports of the day,—the vigorous exercises to which the men as well as the boys of England are not ashamed to be faithful. Would that they entered into the training of the American, that the young and the old amongst us were learning the lessons of the cricketmatch, or of the pull upon the river,-lessons as full of value to the mind as to the body; without which, indeed, there is no complete development of the man.

One of Arnold's pupils gives us a sketch of the work at Laleham. Ile wrote it eighteen years after he had left the place; but there is a freshness in it beyond any thing that we can hope to give to words of our own.

The most remarkable thing which struck me at once on joining the Laleham circle was the wonderful healthiness of tone and feeling which prevailed in it. Every thing about me I immediately found to be most real; it was a place where a new comer at once felt that a great and earnest work was going forward. Dr. Arnold's great power as a private tutor resided in this, that he gave such an intense earnestness to life. Every pupil was made to feel that there was a work for him to do; that his happiness as well as his duty lay in doing that work well. Hence, an indescribable zest was communicated to a young man's feeling about life; a strange joy came over him on discovering that he had the means of being useful, and thus of being happy; and a deep respect and ardent attachment sprang up toward him who had taught him thus to value life and his own self, and his work and mission in this world. All this was founded on the breadth and comprehensiveness of Arnold's character, as well as its striking truth and reality; on the unfeigned regard he had for work of all kinds, and the sense he had of its value, both for the complex aggregate of society and the growth and perfection of the individual. Thus pupils of the most different natures were keenly stimulated ; none felt that he was left out, or that, because he was not endowed with large powers of mind, there was no sphere open to him in the honorable pursuit of usefulness. This wonderful power of making all his pupils respect themselves, and of awakening in them the consciousness of the duties that God had assigned to them personally, and of the consequent reward each should bave of his labors, was one of Arnold's most characteristic features as a trainer of youth; he possessed it eminently at Rugby ; but, if I may trust my own vivid recollections, he had it quite as remarkably at Lalebam. His hold over all his pupils I know perfectly astonished me. It was not so much an enthusiastic admiration for his genius, or learning, or eloquenoe which stirred within them ; it was a sympathetic thrill, caught from a spirit that was earnestly at work in the world ; whose work was healthy,

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