Imatges de pàgina
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thousands pay any respect to that which has made their existence possible. Though this increasing knowledge of the properties and relations of things has not only enabled wandering tribes to grow into populous nations, but has given to the countless members of those populous nations comforts and pleasures which their few naked ancestors never even conceived, or could have believed, yet is this kind of knowledge only now receiving a grudging recognition in our highest educational institutions.

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PART III.

THE SCHOOL AND THE TEACHER.

26

THE POPULAR SCHOOL AND THE TEACHER.

IN ENGLISH LITERATURE.

The character of the school and the teacher at any given period, is to some extent reflected in the popular writings of the day, and is to a still greater extent perpetuated by such representation. As part of the History of Popular Education, we shall republish from time to time in this Journal, not only the elaborate dissertations by the best writers and thinkers of different countries and ages, on the principles and methods of education, but we propose to reproduce the portraitures which have been drawn in prose and verse of the school, the schoolmaster and the schoolmistress, by writers of established reputation-especially in the English language. We shall add a few notes and annotations for the benefit of readers who may not be familiar with the authors quoted, or the names and customs referred to. THOMAS FULLER, D. D.

1608-1661. Dr. Thomas FULLER was the son of a clergyman in Aldwinkle in Northamptonshire, where he was born in 1608,—was educated at Queen's College, Cambridge,-preached in London,-published his History of the Holy War in 1640, his Holy State in 1642, his Good Thoughts in Bad Times in 1645, and his Church History in 1656,and died in 1661. His Worthies of England, the labor of many years and a fund of biographical information, was not printed till after his death. His writings are full of learning, composed in a quaint and witty style, and abound in admirable maxims characterized by sagacity and good sense, and expressed in language always pithy, and frequently irresistibly humorous. His Holy and Profane States contain beautifully drawn characters, of which the following is an admirable specimen.

THE GOOD SCHOOLMASTER. THERE is scarce any profession in the commonwealth more necessary, which is so slightly performed. The reasons whereof, I conceive to be these: first, young scholars make this calling their refuge, yea, perchance before they have taken any degree in the University, commence schoolmasters in the country, as if nothing else were required to set up this profession but only a rod and a ferula. Secondly, others, who are able, use it only as a passage to better preferment, to patch the rents in their present fortune, till they can provide a new one, and betake themselves to some more gainful calling. Thirdly, they are disheartened from doing their best with the miserable reward which in some places they receive, being masters to the children, and slaves to their parents. Fourthly, being grown rich, they grow negligent, and scorn to touch the school, but by the proxy of an usher. But see how well our schoolmaster behaves himself.

His genius inclines him with delight to his profession. Some men had as lief be schoolboys as schoolmasters, to be tied to the school, as Cooper's dictionary and Scapula's lexicon are chained* to the desk therein; and though great scholars, and skillful in other arts, are bunglers in this: but God of his goodness hath fitted several men for several callings, that the necessity of church and state in all conditions may be provided for. So that he who beholds the fabric thereof may say, “God hewed out this stone, and appointed it to lie in this very place, for it would fit none other so well, and here it doth most excellent." And thus God mouldeth some for a schoolmaster's life, undertaking it with desire and delight, and discharging it with dexterity and happy success.

He studieth his scholars' natures as carefully as they their books; and ranks their dispositions into several forms. And though it may seem difficult for him in a great school to descend to all particulars, yet experienced schoolmasters may quickly make a grammar of boys' natures, and reduce them all, saving some few exceptions, to these general rules.

1. Those that are ingenious and industrious. The conjunction of two such planets in a youth presage much good unto him. To such a lad a frown may be a

hipping, and a whipping a death; yea, where their master whips them once, shame whips them all the week after. Such natures he useth with all gentleness.

2. Those that are ingenious and idle. These think, with the hare in the fable, that running with snails (so they count the rest of their schoolfellows) they shall come soon enough to the post, though sleeping a good while before their starting. Oh, a good rod would finely take them napping.

3. Those that are dull and diligent. Wines, the stronger they be, the more lees they have when they are new. Many boys are muddy-headed till they be clarified with age, and such afterward prove the best. Bristol diamonds are both bright and square and pointed by nature, and yet are soft and worthless; whereas, Orient ones in India are rough and rugged naturally. Hard, rugged and dull natures of youth acquit themselves afterward the jewels of the country, and therefore their dullness at first is to be borne with, if they be diligent. That schoolmaster deserves to be beaten himself, who beats nature in a boy for a fault. And I question whether all the whipping in the world can make their parts, which are naturally sluggish, rise one minute before the hour nature hath appointed.

4. Those that are invincibly dull and negligent also. Correction may reform the latter, not amend the former. All the whetting in the world can never set a razor's edge on that which hath no steel in it. Such boys he consigneth over to other professions. Shipwrights and boatmakers will choose those crooked pieces of timber, which other carpenters refuse. Those may make excellent merchants and mechanics which will not serve for scholars.

He is able, diligent, and methodical in his teaching; not leading them rather in a circle than forward. Ho minces his precepts for children to swallow, hanging clogs on the nimbleness of his own soul, that his scholars may go along with him.

He is, and will be known to be an absolute monarch in his school. If cockering mothers proffer him money to purchase their sons an exemption from his rod, (to live as it were in a peculiar, out of their master's jurisdiction,) with disdain he refuseth it, and scorns the late custom in some places of commuting whipping into money, and ransoming boys from the rod at a set price. If he hath a stubborn youth, correction-proof

, he debaseth not his authority by con. testing with him, but fairly, if he can, puts him away before his obstinacy hath infected others.

He is moderate in inflicting deserved correction. Many a schoolmaster better answereth the name παιδοτρίβης: than παιδαγωγός, rather tearing his scholars' flesh with whipping, than giving them good education. No wonder

The practice of chaining the Dictionary to the master's desk, to be there consulted, ex: jsted in the early Grammar Schools of this country See Parker's History of the Free School of Roxbury.

+ BRISTOI. DIAMONDS are small and brilliant crystals of quartz found in the vicinity of Bristol, England, and occasionally used for ornamental purposes. Brande.

I raidorpißns-a teacher of wrestling or gymnastics. Taidaywyos—strictly the slave who went with a boy from home to school and the gymnasium, but used to designate one who teaches and trains boys.

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