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SCHEME* FOR THE CLASSES OF A GRAMMAR SCHOOL "When the introduction, or formation of nouns and verbs, is perfectly mas. tered, let them learn
Corderius, by Mr. Clarke, beginning at the same time to translate out of the introduction, that by this means they may learn the syntax. Then let them proceed to
Erasmus, with an English translation, by the same author.
The second class learns Eutropius and Cornelius Nepos, or Justin, with the translation.
N. B. The first class gets for their part every morning the rules which they have learned before, and in the afternoon learns the Latin rules of the nouns and verbs.
They are examined in the rules which they have learned every Thursday and Saturday.
The second class does the same whilst they are in Eutropius; afterwards their part is in the irregular nouns and verbs, and in the rules for making and scanning verses. They are examined as the first.
The third class learns Ovid's Metamorphoses in the morning, and Cæsar's Commentaries in the afternoon.
Practice in the Latin rules till they are perfect in them; afterwards in Mr, Leed's Greek Grammar. Examined as before.
Afterwards they proceed to Virgil, beginning at the same timo to writo themes and verses and to learn Greek; from thence passing on to Horace, &c., as shall seem most proper."
SCHEME FOR THE STUDIES OF A STUDENT FITTING FOR THE UNIVERSITY.
"I know not well what books to direct you to, because you have not in formed me what study you will apply yourself to. I believe it will be most for your advantage to apply yourself wholly to the languages, till you go to the University. The Greek authors I think it best for you to read are these:
Attic and Doric. Thus you will be tolerably skilled in all the dialects, beginning with the Attic, to which the rest must be referred.
In the study of Latin, it is proper not to read the latter authors, till you are well versed in those of the purist ages; as Terence, Tully, Cæsar, Sallust, Nepos, Velleius Paterculus, Virgil
, Horace, Phædrus. The greatest and most necessary task still remains, to attain a habit of expression, without which knowledge is of little use. This is necessary in Latin, and more necessary in English; and can only be acquired by a daily imitation of the best and correctest authors."
STUDY OF GREEK AND LATIN.
"Dr. Johnson and I one day took a sculler at the Temple stairs, and set out
Mr Croker in his edition of Boswell's Johnson-characterizes this scheme as a "Crude Sketch," and doubts whether it contains Dr. Johnson's mature and general sentiments OD even the narrow branch of education to which it refers.
for Greenwich. I asked him if he really thought a knowledge of the Greek and Latin languages an essential requisite to a good education. JOHNSON. "Most certainly, Sir; for those who know them have a very great advantage over those who do not. Nay, sir, it is wonderful what a difference learning makes upon people even in the common intercourse of life, which does not appear to be much connected with it.” “And yet (said Mr. B.) people go through the world very well, and carry on the business of life to good advantage, without learning." J. "Why, Sir, that may be true in cases where learning can not possibly be of any use; for instance, this boy rows us as well without learning as if he could sing the song of Orpheus to the Argonauts, who were the first sailors." He then called to the boy, "What would you give, my lad, to know about the Argonauts ?” “Sir, (said the boy,) I would give what I have." Johnson was much pleased with the answer, and we gave him a double fare. The Doctor then turning to Mr. B. said, “Sir, a desire of knowledge is the natural feeling of mankind; and every human being, whose mind is not debauched, will be willing to give all that he has to get knowledge."
VALUE OF KNOWLEDGE TO THE WORKING CLASSES.
To Mr. Langton when about to established a school upon his estate, it had been suggested, that it might have a tendency to make the people less indus. trious. "No, sir, (said Johnson.) While learning to read and write is a distinction, the few who have that distinction may be the less inclined to work; but when everybody learns to read and write, it is no longer a distinction. A man who has a laced waistcoat is too fine a man to work; but if everybody had laced waistcoats, we should have people working in laced waistcoats. There are no people whatever more industrious, none who work more than our manufacturers; yet they have all learnt to read and write. Sir, you must not neglect doing a thing immediately good, from fear of remote evil, from fear of its being abused. A man who has candles may sit up too late, which he would not do if he had not candles; but nobody will deny that the art of making candles, by which light is continued to us beyond the time that the sun gives us light, is a valuable art, and ought to be preserved."
On another occasion he said, “Where there is no education, as in savage countries, men will have the upper hand of women. Bodily strength, no doubt contributes to this; but it would be so, exclusive of that; for it is mind that always governs. When it comes to dry understanding, man has the better."
Mr. Boswell observed, that he was well assured, that the people of Otaheite who have the bread tree, the fruit of which serves them for bread. laughed heartily when they were informed of the tedious process necessary with us to have bread;—plowing, sowing, harrowing, reaping, threshing, grinding, baking. JOHNSON. “Why, sir, all ignorant savages will laugh when they are told of the advantages of civilized life. Were you to tell men who live without houses, how we pile briek upon brick, and rafter upon rafter, and that after a house is raised to a certain height, a man tumbles off a scaffold, and breaks his neck, he would laugh heartily at our folly in building; but it does not follow that men are better without houses. No, sir (holding up a slice of a good loaf) that is better than the bread tree."
Goldsmith once attempted to maintain, perhaps from affectation of paradox, " that knowledge was not desirable on its own account, for it often was a source of unhappiness." "Why, sir, (said Johnson) that knowledge may in some cases produce unhappiness, I allow. But upon the whole, knowledge, per se, is certainly an object which every man would wish to attain, although perhaps, he may not take the trouble necessary for attaining it. Much might be done if a man put his whole mind to a particular object. By doing so, Norton made himself the great lawyer that he was allowed to be."
He one day observed, “All knowledge is of itself of some value. There is nothing so minute or inconsiderable, that I would not rather know it than not. In the same manner, all power of whatever sort, is of itself desirable. A man would not submit to hem a ruffle of his wife, or his wife's maid; but if a mere wish could obtain it, he would rather wish to be able to bem a ruffle." PUBLIC SCHOOLS (THE GREAT BOARDING SCHOOLS) AND PRIVATE TUITION AT
HOME COMPARED. Of education at the Public Schools, Johnson displayed the advantages and disadvantages in a luminous manner; but his arguments preponderated much in favor of the benefit which a boy of good parts might receive at one of them.
"At a great school there is all the splendor and illumination of many minds; the radiance of all is centered in each, or at least is reflected upon each. But we must own that neither a dull boy, nor an idle boy, will do so well at a great school as at a private one. For at a great school, there are always boys enough to do easily, who are sufficient to keep up the credit of the school; and after whipping being tried to no purpose, the dull or idle boys are left at the end of the class, having the appearance of going through the course, but learning nothing at all. Such boys may do well at a private school, where constant attention is paid to them, and they are watched. So that the question of public or private education is not properly a general one, but whether one or the other is best for my son."
At another time he said, “There is now less flogging in our great schools than formerly, but then less is learned there; so that what the boys get at one ond end they lose at the other." Yet more, he observed, was learned in public than in private schools, from emulation; "there is the collision of mind with mind, or the radiance of many minds pointing to one center."
REFINEMENTS AND NOVELTIES IN EDUCATION. "I hate by-roads in education. Education is as well known, and has long been as well known, as ever it can be. Endeavoring to make children prematurely wise is useless labor. Suppose they have more knowledge at five or six years than other children, what use can be made of it? It will be lost before it is wanted, and the waste of so much time and labor of the teacher can never be repaid. Too much is expected from precocity, and too little performed. Miss
was an instance of early cultivation; but in what did it terminate? In marrying a little Presbyterian parson, who keeps an infant boarding school, so that all her employment now is,
"To suckle fools, and chronicle small beer." She tells the children, 'this is a cat, and that is a dog with four legs and a tail; see there! you are much better than a cat or a dog, for you can speak.' I am always for getting a boy forward in his learning; for that is a sure good. I would let him at first read any English book which happens to engage his attention; because you have done a great deal when you have brought him to have entertainment from a book. He'll get better books afterward."
Johnson advised Mr. Boswell not to refine in the education of his children. "Life will not bear refinement; you must do as other people do. Above all accustom your children constantly to tell the truth; if a thing happened at one window, and they, when relating it, say that it happened at another, do not let il pass, but instantly check them; you do not know where deviation from truth will end." BOSWELL. "It may come to the door: and when once an account is at all varied in one circumstance, it may by degrees be varied so as to be totally different from what really happened." A lady in the company, whose fancy was impatient of the rein, fidgeted at this, and ventured to say, "Nay, this is too much. If Mr. Johnson should forbid me to drink tea I would comply, as I should feel the restraint only twice a day; but little variations in narrative must happen a thousand times a day, if one is not perpetually watching. JOHNSON. "Well, Madam, and you ought to be perpetually watching. It is more from carelessness about truth than from intentional lying that there is so much falsehood in the world."
Talking of instruction, “People have now-a-days got a strange opinion that every thing should be taught by lectures. Now I can not see that lectures can do so much good as reading the books from which the lectures are taken. I know nothing that can be best taught by lectures, except where experiments are to be shown. You may teach chemistry by lectures; you might teach making of shoes by lectures!"
“Education in England has been in danger of being hurt by two of its greatest men, Milton and Locke. Milton's plan is impracticable, and I suppose has never been tried; Locke's I fancy, has been tried often enough, but is very imperfect; it gives too much on one side, and too little on the other: it gives too little to literature."
CORPORAL PUNISHNENT BY THE SCHOOLMASTER.
The master of a public school at Campbell-town, in Scotland, had been suspended from his office, on a charge against him of having used immoderate and cruel correction. Mr. Boswell was engaged to plead the cause of the master, and consulted Dr. Johnson on the subject, who made the following observations: "The charge is, that he has used immoderate and cruel correction. Correction in itself, is not cruel; children, being not reasonable, can be governed only by fear. To impress this fear, is therefore one of the first duties of those who have the care of children. It is the duty of a parent, and has never been thought inconsistent with parental tenderness. It is the duty of a master, who is in the highest exaltation when he is loco parentis. Yet, as good things become evil by excess, correction, by being immoderate, may become cruel. But when is correction immoderate? When it is more frequent or more severe than is required ad monendum et docendum, for reformation and instruction. No sererity is cruel which obstinacy makes necessary; for the greatest cruelty would be to desist, and leave the scholar too careless for instruction, and too much hardened for reproof. Locke, in his treatise of Education, mentions a mother with applause, who whipped an infant eight times before she had subdued it; for had she stopped at the seventh act of correction, her daughter, says he, would have been ruined. The degrees of obstinacy in young minds are very different; as different must be the degrees of persevering severity. A stubborn scholar must be corrected till he is subdued. The discipline of a school is military. There must either be unbounded licence or absolute authority. The master who pun. ishes, not only consults the future happiness of him who is the immediate subject of correction, but he propagates obedience through the whole school, and establishes regularity by exemplary justice. The victorious obstinacy of a single boy would make his future endeavors of reformation or instruction totally ineffectual: obstinacy therefore must never be victorious. Yet it is well known, that there sometimes occurs a sullen and hardy resolution, that laughs at all common punishment, and bids defiance to all common degrees of pain. Correction must be proportioned to occasions. The flexible will be reformed by gentle discipline, and the refractory must be subdued by harsher methods. The degrees of scholastic, as of military punishment, no stated rules can ascertain. It must be enforced till it overpowers temptation; till stubbornness becomes flexible, and perverseness regular. Custom and reason have, indeed, set some bounds to scholastic penalties: the schoolmaster inflicts no capital punishments, nor enforces his edicts by either death or mutilation. The civil law has wisely determined, that a master who strikes at a scholar's eye shall be considered as criminal. But punishments, however severe, that produce no lasting evil
, may be just and reasonable, because they may be necessary. Such have been the punishments used by the schoolmaster accused. No scholar has gone from him either blind or lame, or with any of his limbs or powers injured or impaired. They were irregular, and he punished them; they were obstinate, and he enforced his punishment. But, however provoked, he never exceeded the limits of moderation, for he inflicted nothing beyond present pain; and how much of that was required, no man is so little able to determine as those who have determined against him—the parents of the offenders. It has been said, that he used unprecedented and improper instruments of correction. Of this accusation the meaning is not very easy to be found. No instrument of correction is more proper than another, but as it is better adapted to produce present pain without lasting mischief. Whatever were his instruments, no lasting mischief has ensued; and therefore, however unusual, in hands so cautious they were proper. It has been objected, that he admits the charge of cruelty, by producing no evidence to confute. Let it be considered, that his scholars are either dispersed at large in the world or continue to inhabit the place in which they were bred. Those who are dispersed can not be found; those who remain are the sons of his persecutors, and are not likely to support a man to whom their fathers are enemies. If it be supposed that the enmity of their fathers proves the justice of the charge, it must be considered how often experience shows us, that men who are angry on one ground will accuse on another; with how little kindness in a town of low trade, a man who lives by learning is regarded; and how implicitly, where the inhabitants are not very rich, a rich man is hearkened to and followed. In a place like Campbell-town, it is easy for one of the principal inhabitants to make a party. It is easy for that party to heat themselves with imaginary grievances. It is easy for them to oppress a man poorer than themselves; and natural to assert the dignity of riches, by persisting in oppression."
Upon the same subject, Mr. Boswell also observed, “It is a very delicate matter to interfere between a master and his scholars; nor do I see how you can fix the degree of severity that a master may use." JOHNSON. "Why, sir, till you can fix the degree of obstinacy and negligence of the scholars, you can not fix the degree of severity of the master. Severity must be continued until obstinacy be subdued and negligence be cured."