Imágenes de página

many are two and two ? Let us write that also. And so on until the last line is written :|||||||| + ll= ||||||||ll. If a child makes a blunder, it is to be corrected by repeating the addition with or without objects as above. The sums, as they have been written by the master on the black-board, are to be copied on the slate. Afterwards the children may do them once more without the original, and also alternately miss one line, thus :. 1 + 11 = 111

11 + 11 = 1111 ||| + || = UIT

|||| + || = |||||| 111|| + || = |||||||

|||||||| + 11 = 110llllll By the method we have followed, by frequent repetition and writing, our pupils, even the less intelligent, will soon know the preceding sums, which now serve as a foundation for the following ones. The addition of three comes next, and is, according to the number and ability of the children, more or less extensively gone through like the foregoing exercise.

M. Here I have four pencils, let us add three to them. How many are four pencils and one pencil ? five pencils and one ? six pencils and one? How many are, therefore, four pencils and three pencils ? Who can say the whole over again and conclude with “therefore ?"-A. Four pencils and one are five pencils, and one are six, and one are seven ; therefore four pencils and three pencils are seven pencils.

M. Find out, in the same way, how many are seven shillings and three shillings, three horses and three horses, five and three.

We may also avail ourselves of the preceding additions, and at once say : Four and two are six, and one more are seven ; therefore, four and three are seven. The best will be to add now in this way, and then in the other. After several similar solutions, another series is prepared and written, first in common on the black-board, afterwards on the slate.

[ocr errors]

[The addition of 4 and 5 offers no difficulty, and is prepared, as well as the respective sums written in the same manner, as for the numbers 2 and 3. 4 may be decomposed into 2 + 2, or 3 + 1, 5 into 3 + 2, or 2 + 2 + 1. To add 4 times or 5 times 1 would perhaps be too long. We do not think it necessary or advisable to go further than 4 or 5 in these preliminary exercises, our intention being only to give our pupils some primary notions about arithmetical operations, and the expressions used with them.]

Subtraction. M. (Holding 5 pens in his hand :) How many pens have I got here? -A. There are 5 pens.

M. Now I take one away, how many pens are remaining ?—A. 4 pens are remaining.

M. Say : If I take 1 pen from 5 pens, there are 4 pens remaining. You see we do something quite different from what we have been doing until now. Up to this time we only added to a sum, now we begin to take away from a number, or subtract. I take another pen away from the four, how many are there now {-A. There are three pens.

M. Say in the same way as before.--A. If I take away one pen from four pens, there are three pens remaining. Several similar questions are put and answered in the same manner, with or without material objects.]

M. Say once more, how many pence are remaining if I take one from ten? I will now say the same answer in different words ; listen, in order to repeat it : Ten pence minus one penny are nine pence. Repeat that sentence. Which is the new word you heard now ? A. Minus.

M. I will now show you how to write this new word. Look, I make a little stroke from the left to the right. Say how many are 7 minus 1, 5 minus 1, 3 — 1? We must now write down what we have learned to-day. Let us begin with 10. Ten minus 1 are 9. What must I write first ?-A. Ten.

M. Well, here are ten strokes. Now minus. Who remembers the sign for minus? And so on until the following sum is written,

[ocr errors]

M. Henry, count the pence I put on the table here.--A. One, two, three, four, five.

M. Take one away; how many are left ? Take another penny away, how many remain ?-A. Three pence are remaining.

M. How many pence were there first? How many did you take away? And how many are left ? Now say with me: Five pence minus two pence, are three pence. Did we take the two pence all at once, or one after the other ? Now do so once more. Here are eight pens, take two away from them in the same manner, and say each time how many are remaining ?-A. 8 pens minus 1 pen are 7 pens, 7 pens minus 1 pen are 6 pens.

M. Conclude : Therefore . . . can you do so!-A. Therefore 8 pens minus 2 pens are 6 pens.

M. How many are 10 children, minus 2 children, 7 minus 2, &c. ?


At last the sums are written on the black-board, as usual, by the master or some of the children, and copied by the latter, in one of the following ways :

TITUTIU - 11 = ||||||||
TII||||||-|| = |||||||
TIIII|| -11 = ||||||

&c. &c.

The subtraction of 3, 4, 5 is effected in the same way, 3 being decomposed into 1 + 2, 2 + 1, or 1+1+1; 4 into 2 + 2, or 3 + 1; 5 into 3 + 2, 2 + 3, or 2 + 2 + 1.

We do again, and for the same reason as above, not exceed that number, and may even stop at four or three. At the end of this, and many of the preceding exercises, some problems from common life may be put to enliven the lessons a little more ; for instance : Paul receives from his uncle 4 apples, and his aunt gives him 3 more, how many has he now? He eats 2 apples, how many are left? Again, he gives 2 to his sister, how many has he now ? A servant is sent to the market with 8 shillings; she buys meat for 3 shillings, how much has she over? Then she gives 2 shillings for butter, how many shillings does she bring home? From Easter to Whit-Sunday there are 7 Sundays, 4 Sundays are gone, how many Sundays is it until Whit-Sunday? You are 6 years old, in how many years will you be 10 ?

(To be continued.)

HUMANIZING EFFECT OF CLEANLINESS. — A neat, clean, fresh-aired, sweet, cheerful, well-arranged, and well-situated house, exercises a moral as well as a physical influence over its inmates, and makes the members of a family peaceable and considerate of the feelings and happiness of each other; the connection is obvious between the state of mind thus produced, and habits of respect for others, and for those higher duties and obligations which no law can enforce. On the contrary, a filthy, squalid, noxious dwelling, rendered still more wretched by its noisome site, and in which none of the decencies of life can be observed, contributes to make its unfortunate inhabitants selfish, sensual, and regardless of the feelings of each other; the constant indulgence of such passions renders them reckless and brutal, and the transition is natural to propensities and habits incompatible with respect for the property of others, or for the laws.-Canadian Journal of Education.



[ocr errors]


[ocr errors]

LAIR justly observes that “it is not easy to give a precise idea of what is meant by (style. The best definition I can give of it is, the peculiar manner in which a man expresses his conceptions, by means of

language.” Now this is exactly the subject of this Disse paper; and it may be that I shall follow it up by one or two other papers. "My design is to point out by example and comment -but chiefly by means of the former, as being the more striking and instructive,—what are the great requisites of a good style, and how to avoid the common defects which prevail just now in England. In order to make these papers practically useful, the specimens of good writing will be culled from a large field, with little regard to epoch, so long as such specimens be fitly chosen for models ; but for specimens of bad style, I shall, I fear, be compelled to take examples a good deal from authors of our own day. The reason is that cardinal merits are always merits, and belong to no time, and are not matter of fashion ; while faults in style are in their very nature shifting : each age and epoch producing its own peculiar crop, accompanied by its attendant abuses of phrase and term. To be thoroughly useful these papers must deal with errors and defects which now prevail, rather than with those which we are less liable to contract. Our book-shelves contain, no doubt, 'a plentiful supply of faults of style, all of which we are liable to adopt from them : but inasmuch as we all read ten new books and a hundred new articles, for every one old book or article, the danger of contagion is far greater from the former than the latter.


I differ a little from Blair in laying it down as a starting point, that “ All the qualities of a good style may be ranged under two heads, Perspicuity and Ornament.” I should say CLEARNESS and FORCE. I do not regard ornament as necessarily a quality of “good style.” It is ornament and nothing but ornament,-a thing essentially adventitious to what is substantial. Now, the essential qualities of a thing must certainly be substantial and primary, and nowise supplemental or secondary. I should say of a good style such as Addison's or Goldsmith's, that it was ornamental as well as good, but certainly not that either was good because it was ornamental. I am anxious thus to discard ornament as a primary quality of good writing or speaking, because it avoids a great discouragement. Few people can ever hope to write ornamentally and well, but all who have tolerably cultivated minds of average power, may by due care and practice learn to write well, and enjoy the reputation of a good style,-a reputation the more desirable since a bad one is by far more common. Besides, ornaments in writing are very like edged-tools : and it requires a pure taste as well as great discretion to use them effectively. A man of genius acquires, or rather he possesses, a capacity for doing this, not given to lesser intellectual faculties. No man, therefore, who has not some genius and good taste should adventure on ornaments, beyond such as consist in

harmony and in the due choice of expressions, neither of which amount to what is commonly understood by an ornate or ornamental style. This consists usually of flowery or figurative language, and too often of sonorous words, used not because they best express the writer's meaning, but because he thinks them fine and effective.

Though I venture to differ from Blair on Ornament, I wholly agree with him in all that he says so forcibly on the other quality of good writing, which he truly terms fundamental, namely, Clearness :* “a quality,” he says, “so essential in every kind of writing, that for the want of it nothing can atone." Oh, most truly said ! And yet in what puzzle-headed modes of expression do even clever men among us often indulge ; in what conglomerations of useless words ; in what provokingly prolonged and involved sentences ! How many correct thinkers and even learned men write obscurely,--taking no pains to explain fully what they mean to minds which, unlike their own, come freshly to thoughts well conned by the writers, but new and strange to the reader. How many-masters, too, of English,-purposely select long unwieldy words, when shorter and commoner ones lie hard by which are more apt and expressive. It may as well be remarked here, parenthetically, that some of these faults depend on and spring from faults and failings in the writer. Thus, feeble people write feebly; perverse people write testily ; and dry, angular people always unpleasantly. Peevishness and irritability, sarcastic and morose dispositions, peep out in the style, just as they do in the countenance, the voice, and the conversation. These are defects which the heart and moral control and training can alone cure in style. All. I can attempt to do is to grapple with such points as fall more within the domain of the artistic powers of the mind to mould and exercise.

To return to clearness of style, “without which,” says Blair, “the richest ornaments only glimmer through the dark, and puzzle instead of please the reader.”

Akin to clearness is force of style, but they are by no means inseparable : a weak, feeble style may be very clear; and I do not think that it would be useful to discuss them separately at first, but rather to give boldly the best models of strong thoughts clothed in good words, and written in a clear style.

Though previously to Hooker no writer had perhaps won for himself the full guerdon of gratitude due to the first writer who moulded the vernacular style, and created literature in the vulgar tongue, fraught with all the conditions of composition,—yet Sir Thomas More, in 1509, and Sir Thomas Elyot, in 1531, had avowedly attempted to do that for the language, which Wiclif did for the religion of England. But the light and steps of both were dim, devious and feeble, and their followers few. More's “Life of Edward V.,” Hallam calls “the first example of good English language.” Elyot's book, called “ The Governor," went through seven editions. It was designed to set forth the graces of courtiers, and the duties of statesmen, but treats more fully of education. It is now worthless unless as a curiosity to the book-collector. Its style will furnish us with nothing to imitate, and much to avoid ; but it had then the merit of giving to English prose a new status in European literature.

* Blair says "perspicuity,” but I prefer the shorter and simpler word.

« AnteriorContinuar »