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Education does not mean merely reading and writing, nor any degree, however considerable, of mere intellectual instruction. It is, in its larg. est sense, a process which extends from the commencement to the termination of existence. A child comes into the world, and at once his education begins. Often at his birth the seeds of disease or deformity are sown in his constitution—and while he hangs at his mother's breast, he is imbibing impressions which will remain with him through life. During the first period of infancy, the physical frame expands and strengthens; but its delicate structure is influenced for good or evil by all surrounding circumstances-cleanliness, light, air, food, warmth. By and by, the young being within shows itself more. The senses become quicker. The desires and affections assume a more definite shape. Every object which gives a sensation ; every desire gratified or denied ; every act, word, or look of affection or of unkindness, has its effect, sometimes slight and imperceptible, sometimes obvious and permanent, in building up the human being; or, rather, in determining the direction in which it will shoot up and unfold itself. Through the different states of the infant, the child, the boy, the youth, the man, the development of bis physical, intellectual, and moral nature goes on, the various circumstances of his condition incessantly acting upon him—the healthfulness or unhealthfulness of the air he breathes; the kind, and the sufliciency of his food and clothing; the degree in which his physical powers are exerted; the freedom with which his senses are allowed or encouraged to exercise themselves upon external objects; the extent to which his faculties of remembering, comparing, reasoning, are tasked; the sounds and sights of home; the moral example of parents; the discipline of school; the nature and degree of his studies, rewards and punishinents; the personal qualities of his companions; the opinions and practices of the society, juvenile and advanced, in which he moves; and the character of the public institutions under which he lives. The successive operation of all these circumstances upon a human being from earliest childhood, constitutes his education ;-an education which does not terminate with the arrival of manhood, but continues through life, --which is itself, upon the concurrent testimony of revelation and reason, a state of probation or education for a subsequent and more glorious existence.
John LALOR. Prize Essay.
The appropriate and attainable ends of a good education are the possession of gentle and kindly sympathies; the sense of self-respect and of the respect of fellow-men; the free exercises of the intellectual faculties; the gratification of a curiosity that “grows by what it feeds on," and yet finds food forever; the power of regulating the habits and the business of life, so as to extract the greatest possible portion of comfort out of small means; the refining and tranquilizing enjoyment of the beautiful in nature and art, and the kindred perception of the beauty and nobility of virtue; the strengthening consciousness of duty fulfilled, and, to crown all, “ the peace which passeth all understanding."
BIOGRAPHY OF ROGER ASCHAM,
We shall commence in our next number the publication of Roger Ascham's great work—“The Schoolmaster;" one of the earliest and most valuable contributions to the educational literature of our language. As an appropriate introduction, we give a sketch of the author's life drawn mainly from Hartley Coleridge's “ Northern Worthies," and the “ Biographical Dictionary” commenced by the Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge.
Roger Ascham was the third son of John and Margaret Ascham, and was born in the year 1515, at Kirby Wiske, near Northallerton in Yorkshire, where his father resided as steward to the noble family of Scroope. His parents, who were highly esteemed in their station, after living together for forty-seven years, both died on the same day and nearly at the same hour. Their son Roger displayed from his childhood a taste for learning, and was received into the family of Sir Anthony Wingfield, who caused him to be educated with his own sons, under the care of their tutor, Mr. Robert Bond ;* and in the year 1530, placed him at St. John's College, Cambridge, then the most flourishingt in the University. Ascham applied himself particularly to the study of Greek, to which a great impulse had recently been given by the dispersion of the learned Greeks throughout Europe, in consequence of the taking of Constantinople. He made great proficiency in Greek as well as Latin, and he read Greek lectures, while yet a youth, to students still younger than himself. lle took the degree of A. B. in February, 1534, and on the 23d of the next month was elected I fellow of his college, through the influence of the master, Dr. Medcalf, himself a northern man, who privately exerted himself in Ascham's favor, notwithstanding he had exhibited a leaning toward the new doctrines of protestantism, and bad even been exposed to public censure for speaking against the pope. He took the degree of A. M. in 1536, at the age of twenty-one, and began to take pupils, in whose instruction he was very successful. He also read Greek publicly in the university, and privately in his own college.
** To conclude, let this, amongst other motives, make schoolmasters careful in their place, that the eminences of their scholars have commended their schoolmasters to posterity, which otherwise in obscurity had been altogether forgotten. Who had ever heard of R. Bond in Lancashire, but for the breeding of learned Roger Ascham, bis scholar ?" Fuller's Holy and Profane Stales-The Good Schoolmaster.
t Dr. Grant in his “ Oratio de vita et obitu Rogeri Ascham" thus compliments Sir John's College "Yea, surely, in that one college, which at that season, for number of most learned doctors, for multitude of erudite philosophers, for abundance of elegant orators, all in their kind superlative, might rival or outvie all mansions of literature on earth, were exceedingly many men, most excellent in all politer letters, and in knowledge of languages."
1" Dr. Nicholas Medcalf"-writes Ascham later in life, “ was a man meanly learned bim. self, but not meanly affectioned to set forth learning in others. He was partial to none, bat indifferent to all; a master of the whole, a father to every one in that college. There was none so poor, if he had either will to goodness, or wit to learning, that could lack being there, or should depart thence for any need. * * This good man's goodness shall never be out of my remembrance all the days of my life. For next to God's Providence, surely that day was, by that good father's means, dies natalis unto me for the whole foundation of the poor learning I have, and of all furthermore that hitherto elsewhere I have obtained." The hu. man heart is capable of no more generous feeling than the genuine gratitude of a scholar to his instructor. It is twice blessed; honorable alike to the youth and to the elder; and nev. er can exist when it is not just.
In 1544, on the resignation of Sir John Cheke, he was chosen University Orator,* an office which he filled with general approbation.
In the following year, (1545,) appeared his “ Toxophilus, or, the Schole of Shootinge,” a treatise on archery, which he composed with a double view; in the first place, to exhibit a specimen of English prose composition in a parer taste than then prevailed, and in the second, to attract the attention of King Henry VIII., then on the point of setting out on his Boulogne expedition, and to obtain the means of visiting Italy, which he much desired. Ile succeeded perfectly in the first object, and partially in the second; for the king was so well pleased, that he settled on the author a pension of 101. per annum-at that time a considerable sum, especially to a poor scholar. Ascham about this time acquired other great patrons. He enjoyed a pension from Archbishop Lee, acted for some time as tutor to Henry and Charles Brandon, the two sons of the Duchess of Suffolk, and attracted the friendly regards of the Chancellor Wriothesly, and other eminent men.
In 1548, on occasion of the death of William Grindal, who had been his pupil at Cambridge, Ascham was appointed instructor in the learned languages to the Lady Elizabeth, afterwards Queen, a situation which he filled for some time with great credit to himself and satisfaction to his pupil. .
Of Ascham's own attachments, as well as methods of study and teaching, we have the best record in his letters and the Schoolmaster. He held fast the truth, that it is only by its own free agency that the intellect can either be enriched or invigorated; —that true knowledge is an act, a continuous immanent act, and at the same time an operation of the reflective faculty on its own objects. How he applied
* Public Orator is Spokesman on public occasions, and corresponding Secretary of the University. It is an office of great honor and high precedency.