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passion ; but the Saxon gives us the names of the individual mental affections included in these terms; such as love, hope, fear, sorrow, shame, as well as the external bodily signs of these affections, such as tear, smile, blush, frown, to weep, to sigh, to groan. Sound is Latin, but to buzz, to hum, to clash, to rattle, are Anglo-Saxon. Colour is Latin ; but white, black, green, red, yellow, blue, brown, are Anglo-Saxon. Crime is Latin ; but murder, theft, robbery, to lie, to steal, are Anglo-Saxon. Member, as applied to the body, is Latin ; but ear, eye, hand, foot, lip, mouth, teeth, hair, finger, nostril, are Anglo-Saxon. Animal is Latin ; but man, cow, sheep, calf, cat, dog, horse, are Anglo-Saxon. Number is Latin ; but one, two, three, four, five, and so on, till we come to million,' are all AngloSaxon.
I repeat, therefore, and this is the conclusion of the whole matter, that whether we consider the character of the Saxon element as containing the most energetic and descriptive words that we possess; whether we consider the important fact that the grammar of the language, including the grammatical words, and those most vital parts, the inflectional changes, is wholly Anglo-Saxon; or, whether we consider merely the relative proportion of the native element, containing as it does nearly two-thirds of our whole stock of words—there are surely, in every view of the case, cogent reasons for giving to the study of the Anglo-Saxon that distinct and prominent position in our course of liberal education which has never yet been assigned to it.
HOW TO MAKE ORDINARY EDUCATION NATIONAL. , TO THE EDITOR OF THE ENGLISH JOURNAL OF EDUCATION.
SIR,—Although when we look forward to what remains to do, the march of National Education seems slow; yet when we look back on what has been done, I see no reason to despair. We have, at any rate, got to a point where, in one or two respects, we begin to see our way clearly; and it is the duty of all concerned about education, to regard well the prospect of the next stage of the journey.
It appears to me that, thanks chiefly to the Committee of Council, national schools have now for the most part risen far above their primitive condition of places where the minimum of knowledge was to be doled out to the children of the very poor. While they have happily avoided the error into which British schools have fallen, of neglecting the labouring class for the shopkeepers, they are every day becoming more adequate to afford, at least, elementary education to the children of farmers, clerks, and tradespeople; and that class is daily appreciating better the advantages offered.
This seems to me a great good, both because this mixture of classes is beneficial in every way, and also because private commercial schools, which, as a class, are very inefficient (though with exceptions), will be gradually eliminated from the problem of education.
But in order to extend the efficiency of our schools in such a way as to make them the seminaries of a really national primary education, one or two subjects will require to be introduced, or to be attended to with more care than they receive at present.
In the first place there is Latin. I am convinced that the confidence which the certificated masters are every year so justly earning, is so great, that in a very few years children of a very far higher class than I have mentioned would be sent for elementary instruction to these schools, if only this one subject were introduced. That such a system is not without precedent, Scotland proves. But there exists an almost universal belief in this country, that Latin is the differentia of such an education as a man who has fought his way up in the world, and entertains that noble wish to see his children better off than he is, would wish to give his son. I confess, that in spite of the high authority of Mr. Congreve (preface to his edition of "Aristotle's Politics”), I entirely sympathize with this feeling. I have neither space nor time to enter into this vexed question of the utility or inutility of classics, but I know that the middle classes of England hold strongly by the old tongue. As far as science, pure or mixed, is concerned, a certificated master can give better instruction than the teachers of any schools to which children of any class in this country are sent under the age of thirteen. Add to this Latin, and I see no reason to doubt, that in twenty years time all children under the age of ten would receive their elementary education at primary schools under government inspection. Gradually to introduce Latin would be easy; at present it is an optional subject for the certificate examination of the second and third years. Make it one of the subjects for first-class Queen's scholarships (not instead of Euclid, algebra, or mensuration, but in addition to them); put it on the same footing in the annual pupil-teacher examinations as music and drawing, i. e., let it for the present not be compulsory, but let it be encouraged wherever possible ; and for the present allow instruction to be given in it by the clerical (or any other) manager, where the master does not know it, and the thing is done. I am so convinced that Latin must soon be made an important element in Government examinations, that I have myself begun to teach it to the pupil-teachers in the school of which I am clerical manager, certain that I am only a little before the age.
On the second point I will be brief. If certificated masters are to do the work which inevitably lies before them, besides the very excellent instruction in mathematics and physics which is afforded them, and which I would not curtail in the least, they should have a much deeper training in moral science, and in studies which conduce to profound and sober reflection on the mind of man and its laws, than they have at present. I would not introduce moral science into the pupil-teacher course, for boys always get it up as “cram ;” but instead of leaving it as an optional subject for the third year certificate examination, it should be a compulsory subject for every certificate examination. To give time for this wider range of subjects, Queen's scholarships might be made renewable for the third year.—Your obedient Servant, R. TEMPLE.
The Lache, Chester, February 6th, 1856.
[This letter well expresses the exact reverse of what we hold on the subject. National schools are designed to grapple with the crass ignorance of the lower orders of the people. Classically-trained masters rarely cope with, or even probe the mental barrenness of, such children, and almost always confine their best exertions to the few who can do credit to them. We want a division of labour in education rigidly preserved ; Mr. Temple's wish is to efface it altogether.- Ed. E. J. E.]
LITERARY STYLE AND COMPOSITION. TN a preceding paper on this subject, we devoted our attention, in I a great degree, to the different styles of writing. We endeavoured to explain in what their several excellences consisted, and into what faults they were most likely to degenerate. We sought also to warn the writers on theology, history, and science, of the dangers which peculiarly beset the paths they were treading, or rather, we sought so far to gain their attention, as to induce them to watch carefully over themselves — to look into their own mind dispassionately,—to note its workings, and then judge in what point they are most likely to err.
But this is only one branch of the subject which we proposed to discuss. If we would write well, and be of any service to our fellowcreatures in so doing, it is not sufficient that we should study to express ourselves forcibly, should avoid errors of style, and endeavour to convey our ideas with clearness and accuracy; it is still more important that those ideas should be worth conveying to the minds of others. The author of a book of which it can only be said that it will do no harm, has wasted his time and energies ; his labour has been without fruit, and the sooner his work sinks to oblivion the better.
But this is not the case with our better class of writers. Their object is to communicate knowledge, and to afford instruction to those around them. To such writers, or rather to those who aspire hereafter to become such, were the observations contained in our previous paper particularly directed. To them we would again address ourselves; and we would warn them to be as careful in the choice of subjects on which to treat, as in their style and manner of treating them. Let them ask themselves a few simple questions, and answer them candidly, before they commence their labours.
First. Is the subject on which I propose to write worthy of being brought before the public ? Will any good accrue from my so doing ?
Secondly. If the subject is good, am I capable of elucidating it in any degree? Have I any new information to bring forward, any old errors to combat, any well-ascertained facts or disputed theories to put in a clearer and simpler form than has been hitherto attempted ? Or, if my object in writing is none of these, can I aid the moral effect of an amount of knowledge already possessed in the world, by my tone and manner of expression ?
If these questions can be answered satisfactorily, let the author delay no longer to take the pen into his hand. His motives are honourable and worthy, and should his labours fail to meet with the success such motives deserve, they will at least bear fruit in his own mind, that will be improved by the thought and study he has undergone; and though his labour may be lost, his time will not have been wasted.
There are many subjects of such a deeply interesting character, that the public seize with avidity any works relating to them. It is no uncommon thing to hear it said, “ Such and such a* book is on a most interesting subject, but written in a bad spirit.” And yet such works, though confessedly jarring against our better feelings, are still read, on account of the information they contain ; and often the subtle poison that is concealed within, leaves its own dark stain on the mind of the incautious. It matters not that the words are well chosen, the similes natural and true, the language flowing and elegant : such beauties do but add to its danger, and the author is responsible for all the harm it may occasion. He has done evil, not gond, in his generation, and has incurred the penalty for misusing the talent conferred upon him.
We are not here advocating the practice of some writers, who, from an earnest desire to inspire their readers with just and religious feelings, wind up every chapter with moral reflections, sometimes appropriate, and sometimes as it were dragged in by force, and then rest satisfied that they have accomplished everything that can be expected of them. But this constant repetition of reflections makes them lose much of their force. We are reminded of the moral always following the fable, yet we think little of applying it to ourselves. We want something that makes its way unconsciously to our hearts, and there gives birth to such reflections. This will be far better done by attending to the whole spirit and tone of our language, than by any regular succession of set phrases. That it is more difficult to do this, we grant at once ; but that is only an additional reason for calling forth our best energies in the attempt. In this way, reflections seem to arise spontaneously from the subject on which we are treating ; are unlaboured, and are therefore received without hesitation by the reader.
M. Antonin Roche's work contains so valuable a passage on this subject, that we cannot forbear giving a translation of it at full length :
“ Reflections, to make a proper impression, should be short, and given as certainties, instead of being announced with emphasis ; above all, they should spring from the subject, and mix with it. It is still better to describe an event in such a manner that the reader may find the reflections for himself : we thus make him reason without addressing any reasoning to him. It is a certain means of arousing his attention and pleasing him ; he will be gratified with you for having instilled into his mind that which he himself finds there. To conclude, there is a pretence about reflections, they have a sarcastic and pedantic air, which is disagreeable to the greater number of readers. Men do not like to be schooled, and have morality preached to them. We should know how to inspire a feeling of morality without moralizing.”
While, however, we are thus advocating a constant attention to the spirit and probable effect of our words, we must not forget to notice that there are many faults which detract from, and occasionally quite destroy, the effect we are desirous of producing. The greatest of these, and perhaps the one in which we are most inclined to indulge, is irritation of manner towards those who differ from us.
In most subjects, whether theological, historical, or scientific, conflicting opinions are held on certain points. That which one man supports as a mighty truth, another denounces as a dangerous falsehood. Let each, in such a case, hold to his own opinion so long as he can do so conscientiously. Let him bring forward every argument he can to convince his adversary ; but let it all be done with liberality of feeling. Let reasoning never give place to vituperation, or calmness to irritability.
When we perceive a bitter feeling rising in our author's mind, his arguments at once lose half their force, because we no longer trust in his justice, but fear that prejudice will cast its baneful colouring over his thoughts and words. A painful example of this kind occurs in a work by Sir D. Brewster, entitled, “ More Worlds than One,”—an answer to
“ Plurality of Worlds," by Professor Whewell. The subject of the habitability or non-habitability of other worlds beyond our earth, is the point of controversy ; and it is one that has latterly excited much attention amongst scientific men. We do not here pretend to give an opinion on the merits of the case ; but we regret that so able and talented an author should have injured his cause, by allowing his feelings to get the better of his judgment. Phillips, in a work* also designed as an answer to Whewell's theory, makes the following just remarks on this subject :
“Scientific theories should always be discussed with the full understanding that all human beings are fallible, and that, though we may approximate to the truth, yet an imperfect approximation is all which we can here attempt. •
“ Let us all consider our own imperfect reason, and keep ever in mind the memorable words of Him who spake as never man spake,Judge not, that ye be not judged.'”
This is not the only kind of irritation, however, into which authors sometimes fall; there is another species of this error, which is almost more unpleasing to the general reader than the one we have noticed above. It is, irritation against the public generally, or against & certain class of the public, for either a real or supposed want of appreciation of the author himself. Now there is something in this, which so sinks the writer in our estimation, and offends so much against good taste, that it cannot be too carefully avoided. An example of this failing we meet with in the conclusion of an admirable treatise on Thought and Language, by B. H. Smart. The passage is as follows
“How does such a one as he,"—the author is speaking of himself,—"of small name even now, of no name before he took up this subject, dare enter a field appropriated by men who have gained the ear of the reading public, and are interested in keeping it ? Is it likely they would have drawn attention by any notice of theirs, to a writer who, while he had youth, and spirits, and time to accomplish it, might have produced a work important enough to contend with --nay, to have overturned—the philosophers, the logics, and the grammars of the day ? Instead of assistance in this way, while the generality of periodicals have been content to avoid all aid by keeping a cautious silence and ignoring the author, one at least among the number has stood between him and the public by designed and decided misrepresentation.”
We will notice but one other fault in which controversial writers are apt to indulge ; namely, the use of ridicule and sarcasm instead of argument. Such tools are undoubtedly very effective, and a man may often crush his adversary by the galling effects of ridicule, when he could not reach him with sober reason. This would be very desirable, if our object were simply warfare ; but we have a far higher aim, a far loftier purpose to accomplish ; which is, the elucidation of truth; and this can only be done by answering reason with reason, argument with argument. It is a harder task to do this, but it is far more satisfactory both to the reader and to ourselves, and demands far greater intellectual powers ; for, while a weak man may ridicule one of profound learning and abilities, a clever man alone can answer him. Besides this, it saves
* “ Worlds beyond the Earth."