صور الصفحة
PDF
النشر الإلكتروني

Entered as second-class matter November 18, 1907, at the Post Office, New York, N. Y., under the Act of Congress of March 1, 1879 VOL. IV NEW YORK, OCTOBER 1, 1910

The Commencement, as we should call it, of the University of Birmingham, England, was held on Saturday, July 9, last. The principal, Sir Oliver

Lodge, in the portion of his address devoted to future developments, spoke as follows (according to an abstract published in an English paper):

On ordinary occasions he would wish to speak of new developments, but in the present state of their finances new developments that involved expensive appliances appeared to be quite impossible. But it was well to remember now and then the steps they would like to take if they could. The subject of law was one that he would very willingly take under the aegis of the University. Then there was the great subject of architecture which in conjunction with the arts of painting and sculpture might find a home in the University, and would, he trusted, some day. It was the fundamental subject underlying all the decorative arts and the arts of building construction. The whole would constitute a great new departure to be taken when the time was ripe. But their most pressing need on the educational side was a chair of Greek (applause). What Greek meant had been brought home to all English-speaking people lately by the genius. of Gilbert Murray. It was the basis of literature. He sometimes heard poetry and literature decried as useless studies; but he asked what, then, was useful? What was the object of life? The human race did not exist to make machinery or any other subsidiary goods. Poetry and letters dealt with humanity and life itself, and the reality and value of those studies could not be exaggerated (applause). The London Daily News, in its issue of July 11, spoke editorially on the subject as follows:

Sir Oliver Lodge, the Principal of Birmingham University, thought it his duty to say on Saturday that the most pressing need of that University was a Chair of Greek. The man and the place heighten the significance of the declaration. Birmingham University was meant to be ultra-modern and practical before all things, and its Principal is a distinguished man of science; and yet here is Greek insisting upon a place in the academic scheme. That need cause little surprise. Sir Oliver Lodge justified his demand by emphasizing the value to the world of poetry and literature generally, but the claim of Greek does not rest upon that ground alone. The truth is that there is no body of literature so inspiriting and so suggestive to the intellect as that which is enshrined in Greek, and to dip into it is an indispensable part of the education of even the most practical person. It is hardly disputed that almost the last word in political speculation was uttered, and lived, by the Greeks; but even in fields where we have made immeasurable advance beyond them they still reign. The progress of science depends upon the fusing of knowledge with understanding. Patiently accumulated facts are a part only of the

No. 1

fabric; the facts must be touched by a living mind. It is precisely this quality of life and vitality which contact with the Greek mind gives. The Greeks do not so much give ideas as make the mind itself pregnant; they put it into a condition to bring forth the best that is within itself. For that reason the writings and the history of the Greeks are not the concern merely of the professor or the poet or the critic; the most sternly realistic of men of science can profit by them, though less quotably, not less surely.

Can we imagine such a thing in this country of ours? Can we imagine the President of Clark University, to take a concrete instance, assuring the friends of that institution as well as the outside world that the most pressing need of that institution is a chair of Greek? The study of language and literature is currently supposed to stimulate the imagination, but our imagination, thus stimulated, even in its loftiest flights, could not reach such an altitude. And yet Clark University rejoices in the appellation of University, and was founded in comparatively recent times. One remembers the foundation of Johns Hopkins in 1876, and that the original group of Professors represented Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Mathematics and-Greek. Other departments were in charge of Associate Professors or Associates. But since that time the trend has been away from Greek. Colleges have ceased to require it, and schools to teach it, and in our large cities in our public school systems even the opportunity of studying it has been taken away from large masses of children, and its advocates have been sneered at by the initiates of that new mystery, 'Vocational Training'.

Hence the words of the distinguished scientist who guides for the time the development of the University of Birmingham (an institution founded as a protest to the conservatism of Oxford and Cambridge) are full of food for reflection-for encouragement? Hardly. For the foes of the Classics are not so much scientists, as some people think, but professional educators'. These men have on their hands the education of the masses-the most important problem that exists. They have need not only of the most thorough all-round training themselves, but of the most sympathetic wisdom. If we admit, as we do, that some are born hewers of wood and drawers of water, we likewise assert that even these should be taught that there is something higher than hewing wood and drawing water. But what of the actual fact? Go to our most expensive

[blocks in formation]

THE PROGRAM OF REFORM1

A program of reform, to be of value, must be based upon a creed. In my opening words, therefore, let me try to formulate a statement of belief to which we can all subscribe. For if we, the priests of this cult, can not agree upon certain elemental reasons why the hours of youth should be spent upon the study of dead languages, then assuredly the right lies with those familiar voices of protest which are here not represented.

Article Number One.-There are certain universal principles of language which underlie all European languages (as such may be named the distinctions of the parts of speech, of tense and mood, etc., etc.; there are very many others). A scientific knowledge of these principles is a prerequisite, not to the correct use of any language, but (this is the important fact) to the fullest development of thought and to precision in understanding and in expression. By scientific knowledge I mean the power to distinguish, name and classify the parts of a whole, and to know the relation of each to each. To inculcate this scientific knowledge of the universal principles of language is the only reason for prescribing the study of Latin and Greek, in the case of one-half of our students in high school and college. Article Number Two.-Knowledge of terminations and other facts peculiar to one language is of no value as an end in itself; granted, however, that a certain amount of it is indispensable to and must precede the seeking of any other end. The acquisition of this should be, for the most part, the work of the first year.

Article Number Three.-All statements of fact in a foreign language, historic, scientific, theoretical, or idealistic, can be more economically and in general (by immature persons) more accurately obtained from a good translation than from the original. It is only that side of civilization which is conveyed by its art, by literature as a form of art, which can not be found elsewhere than in the artist's own work.

Article Number Four.-The training of the memory, the cultivation of habits of attention, perseverance, studiousness, and accuracy, can be accomplished equally well through the medium of almost any study.

Article Number Five.-The acquisition of a Greek or Latin vocabulary for the sake of facilitating the

1 This paper was read at the Fourth Annual Meeting of The Classical Association of the Atlantic States, at New York City, April 22, 1910.

use of English derivatives is an incidental product (whatever may be the method of study) and is not properly considered an end in itself.

Article Number Six.-There is nothing else to be attained by the study of an ancient language.

Eliminating the negatives, then, and resuming our affirmatives, we find that we teach Latin and Greek (1) for the sake of the knowledge of the universal principles of language, (2) for the sake of character as displayed in art forms. I trust that you will perceive that I mean to include many works of prose composition under the caption "art", quite as definitely as verse. The writings of Caesar, Cicero, Tacitus, and Sallust certainly should be so described; the contents of the Corpus Inscriptionum for the most part not so.

our

Will you grant me these premises? I feel the more encouraged to present this to you as fundamental dogma, because it seems to me in substantial, if not absolute, accord with the views expressed in an article which has appeared in print only this month, by one who might well be called the Dean of this Association, because of the encouragement which he gave by his presence to the first little classical conference in Baltimore, whereby eventually we split off into a separate entity. I quote from that address: "In the period of secondary school life above all, the expansion of linguistic consciousness as a basis of thought becomes a paramount consideration". Again: "The contents of the Latin literature, and the records of its civilization, can be made to contribute somewhat of their significance even to the secondary school pupil; for the college they must be in the very center of interest".

Throughout these remarks, I wish it understood that I am speaking with reference to the nine hundred and ninety-nine whose specialty, if they have any, will not be classical philology or classical pedagogy. The one, who may eventually be eligible to membership in this body, will find his interests also cared for, but subsequently.

Having defined our ends, let us proceed to measure our methods by them.

In brief my program is this: From the beginning of the second year the work in Latin or Greek should be divided into two parts, one, an intensive study of a certain very limited portion of the text in the original, so as to ensure the training in those fundamental universal principles of language which for the most part now we are failing to attain; the other, extensive reading of so far as possible the entire writings of each author studied, in a good English translation. I claim that we are not accomplishing that training because I believe it to be the truth that the majority of our students in college are not able to analyze a complex sentence, even though it be in English, except with hesitation and by an effort of the will, if at all; the

parts should stand out before them unmittelbar, as the musician hears each instrument of his orchestra. They are therefore losing the best of what our old colleges gave. I counsel the use of translations for the extensive reading because I believe it to be the truth that the majority of our pupils, even in college, get no comprehensive idea of what they are reading about under our present methods of translation; in fact it is physically impossible with the existing limitations of time for a boy or a girl to read enough in the original to attain a comprehensive view. By combining the two essentially distinct purposes into one, we have pretty generally overclouded in part either the one, or the other, or both.

For the study of Caesar I should assign, for home-study, two days per week to the intensive study, the remaining three to extensive reading of all of Caesar's and some related writings. For the intensive study I strongly recommend the use of a system of diagramming, similar to that of the Reed and Kellogg English grammars; that every sentence should be diagrammed (at least for several weeks), so that the relation and functions of its parts should be beyond all question the object of study in the consciousness of every child for the time being.

Here I pause to make a distinction between homework and school-work. Although assigning three days a week to extensive reading in the Caesar year, I do not contemplate that it will be necessary to give any more classroom time to that than enough to ensure that the work is done and that here and there it is correlated by the teacher with facts of ancient history and antiquities. The equivalent of one recitation period per week would seem to be sufficient. The balance of the time should be devoted to language work in the classroom,-sight translation, re-translation, analysis, prose composition, grammatical, etymological, and subsequently rhetorical, study of passages previously assigned, oral retroversion, Latin conversation if you wish. The total should be not less than four-fifths of the classroom time, in the Caesar year, devoted to pure language study, as against one-fifth or less spent upon history, biography, and antiquities. But this one-fifth, together with the assignments of home-reading referred to above, I venture to esteem of very great, though not the greatest, importance. The same ratios, both in school-work and in home-work, may be maintained by any teacher who may prefer to treat the daily assignment, rather than the weekly, as the unit.

For the study of Cicero I suggest a similar course-two days of intensive study and three of extensive reading, with the same reservation as to the use of classroom periods. There should be less diagramming and more attention to rhetorical features and the art of translation. The reading should

cover mostly all of Cicero's orations, all his letters, Sallust's Catiline and Jugurtha, and possibly some other writings of the last century of the Republic.

In the Vergil course there is a greater value in familiarity with the form of the original. I should apportion, therefore, three days to study of the Latin and two to extensive reading in a good metrical translation, such as Conington's. The latter should cover all of Vergil's poetry.

Shall this be continued into college? I say, yes. The value of Livy is increased tenfold by extensive reading. Horace should be intensively studied, chiefly for the practice in translation, but his spirit can not be grasped until he is extensively read. Tacitus should be studied intensively for his style, but he should also be read extensively for his content. The reading course should include some authors who now are usually omitted from college curricula, Suetonius, Seneca, Pliny, and others. Terence and Plautus, Catullus and Propertius should be read in the original; but why omit Lucretius? Why omit, even from a high-school course, the treasure-house of Ovid?

So much for the freshman and sophomore years. There is enough left to fill two more years for those who can afford to carry their culture further. I need not take the time here to detail similar courses in Greek.

This is not a surrender of our ideals. Quite the contrary, it is an effort to attain more effectively, and with a larger proportion of our pupils, the ideals which we now hold. We shall make sure of inculcating deeply the universal principles of language. That is our first end. Being relieved of the strain to cover ground, which we now feel necessary for the attainment of the requisite comprehensive view, we shall take time to appreciate and to impart appreciation of art forms and the character which they half conceal, half display. That is our second and last end.

Neither is it an entire innovation. For, I am told, very nearly what I here propose was practiced many years in one of the oldest three of American colleges by one of our best-known classicists, not to speak of places where the light shines with less intensity.

What is the measure of our present success? We rush through a part of Caesar so rapidly that many of our pupils learn nothing about grammatical structure. (Do not interpret me to deny their advancement in knowledge of facts peculiar to Latin. But these in our creed we have admitted to be of no final value). Of the real man Caesar of course they get nothing. Our pace in Cicero is no less rapid: not one out of ten pupils makes permanent acquisition of any idea but what he may obtain from chapter-headings and 'running summaries'. The one who does very likely has been devoted to Latin

in a degree which necessitated the neglect of some of his other studies. What then is gained? Where there is little comprehension of thought, there can be no progress in grammar and still less appreciation of art. I say "still less" with intent, because there is apt to be engendered distaste.

Lest you say that this is overstated, I muster support again from the columns of THE CLASSICAL WEEKLY, from an article which I shall call the Apologia Machinae Scholasticae Novi Eboraci. It appeared about six weeks ago. Speaking of pupils at the end of the third high-school year, the writer says: "What they lack is, as I have said, the ability to grapple with the period, and the appreciation of the content". Judging by recollections of his own youth in German schools, he finds that, though the German boys may have adequate language training, they are no more proficient in appreciation than our own students. He concludes: "More and more do the high schools number among their student body boys who will never go to college, and who will receive all their Latin training in the school. There must be given a course of study which will leave them at its end with some knowledge of Roman life, and this must be gained from other authors than those now read". Those of you who are engaged where wealth can afford small and discreetly assorted classes, whose contact is wholly with the children of cultured families, where economic stress is not felt I beg to remind again that we are endeavoring to construct a course, not for the special few, but for the great numbers, all of whom we believe belong within our fold.

Does your experience tell you that conditions are very different in the Vergil year or in college? In the latter, courses are usually either intensive and cover little ground, but attain appreciation of what is read, or else they are extensive and cover much ground, but accomplish very little beneficial results. For this is an important truth: that only by progressing through the fundamental intensive training can the ordinary student ever attain the rhetorical and ethical culture of deeper significance which it is hoped he will acquire by the longer, or the broader, contact with the ancient literatures.

In direct consequence-I speak out of a deep conviction-in direct consequence of these habits-shall I say this rut?-into which we have fallen, these studies find themselves in disfavor-these studies upon which we have pinned our faith, these studies out of which, we say, has grown the manhood of the modern age. And there is no other reason. It is not from arbitrariness or ignorance that so large a percentage of our pupils never study the classical languages and that a still larger percentage of those who begin them drop out before the end of the highschool course. By the very laws of nature there is an inevitable underlying truth, to which we dare not close our eyes, that the most of those pupils

are the better off for not devoting their time to Latin and Greek, as these subjects are now taught. On the other hand, so far as we can foresee, can there be a human being of ordinary intelligence who would not in the years of his youth profit by a course such as I have described, and continue to profit by it up to the day of the beginning of his specialization?

The question will be asked, why not devote ourselves entirely to the intensive study and omit the reading. The answer is self-evident: because the comprehensive view necessary to the appreciation of a personality or of a civilization can not be attained in such a course. Why not turn over the extensive work to the department of history, or literature, or elsewhere? Give it over to the department of literature, yes; but we ourselves must constitute the department of the classical languages and classical literature. After the first year or two, the fruit of the intensive study will be inextricably bound up with the faithful performance of the extensive reading and the two can not be divorced: else the study of character will be totally eliminated.

What about the pony? Will the legitimizing of its use in the major portion of the reading diminish its baneful effect upon the part that is intensively studied? No, that will not. But the teacher who is unhampered by a minimum-that-must-be-coveredin-a-fixed-time bogy will have no fear of the pony: he can take time to discover whether or not his pupils understand the sentences. It is to be observed, also, that this plan brings a larger proportion of the language work (wherein lies the entire menace of the pony) into the classroom, and eliminates from all the work except sight reading the testing whether the pupil got the 'sense of it', to which we now devote so much of our time. One thing, however, this plan will necessitate, that is the preparation of a series of thoroughly good translations of all the Classics, adapted to the average maturity of the pupils who will study them -quite a different set of books from the present best-sellers. This will be a more profitable exercise-in more senses than one-than the multiplication of annotated texts.

Now as to the specialist, the one man who is to become a philologist or teacher of the ancient languages. His specialization should begin at a definite point in his course, most often at the beginning of the junior year in college. After that he should devote a closer attention to the language as an end in itself. For the doctorate degree, I think we are agreed, the reading of mostly all the Latin and Greek Classics in the original should be a requirement. I can conceive of no better foundation for this than the course which I have suggested.

Mental discipline, and the early fundamental

knowledge of Latin and Greek forms, will be better attained for just one reason: because we shall be rid of the omnipresent pressure for time. My plan contemplates that each teacher shall be his own judge of how much shall be covered in the intensive study. The results of the linguistic work will be measured by what his pupils can do, not by what they 'have done'. By setting free twice the classroom time for every home assignment in language work, we shall enable the teacher to uphold a higher ideal. Particularly, if a masterful comprehension of each sentence is insistently demanded, a pupil can not be allowed to slip along without being nailed down to accuracy in his declensions, conjugations, and elementary syntax. Sentence-analysis has been made a little god in its day. I do not countenance that; but in the backswing of the pendulum we have sapped much of the life-blood out of language study.

Elementary sentence-analysis should be a chief subject of instruction and practice in the first year, equally with forms, vocabulary, and a very few peculiarities of the foreign syntax. The art of translation should be taught in the second and subsequent years, not forced down into the preliminary course, as we are doing now,-for instance, in much of our so-called first-year instruction in Latin syntax. There will then be found plenty of opportunity to sharpen the tools of the language before Caesar or Xenophon is begun. And by putting emphasis from the first upon language for its own sake we shall have a progressive course which will benefit in proportion the boy whom economic necessity withdraws at the end of one term equally with the one who continues for nine years.

Finally, we shall cause a great moral uplift. For we shall terminate the omnipresent temptation of the pupil to pretend that he has gotten the meaning of a sentence by individual study when in fact he has ascertained it from a pony; because the conscious purpose will no longer be the getting of the meaning.

In a word let me summarize that our high-pressure system in the study of Latin and Greek and our increasing dearth of good results is the product of our failure, in the adaptation of ancient language courses to external changes, to keep distinct the two motive causes which I have tried herein to differentiate. BARCLAY W. BRADLEY.

College oF THE CITY OF NEW YORK.

CAESAR DE BELLO GALLICO 2.11

It is a view all too frequently held that certain Latin authors constitute fields that have been so thoroughly cultivated that further tillage will yield no results. It is none the less true that in the most widely studied authors, such as Caesar, Vergil and Horace, many points yet await solution, and many

passages have not received proper analysis and interpretation. One of these is to be found in Caesar De Bello Gallico 2.11. The Remi, repulsed in their attempt to dislodge Caesar from his fortified position, have determined to return to their homes (see Chapters 9-10). At the second watch of a certain night they set forth; Caesar learns of their movement at once, but, inasmuch as he does not immediately fathom its meaning, he keeps his own men in camp till daybreak. Then he sends cavalry and legions in pursuit. Now comes the passage which forms the theme of this note: Hi novissimos adorti et multa milia passuum prosecuti magnam multitudinem eorum fugientium conciderunt, cum ab extremo agmine, ad quos ventum erat, consisterent fortiterque impetum nostrorum militum sustinerent, priores, quod abesse a periculo viderentur neque ulla necessitate neque imperio continerentur, exaudito clamore perturbatis ordinibus omnes in fuga sibi praesidium ponerent.

Various questions at once arise: What is the force of cum? what verb does it introduce? The only note in Professor Kelsey's edition that helps here at all runs thus: "cum....consisterent: 'since (those) on the rear of the line of the march, to whom (the Romans) had come, were making a stand"". Messrs. Harper and Tolman translate cum ....consisterent by "while those in the rear, to whom our men had come up, were standing firm". They ask the pupil, further, to supply et before priores! Messrs. Lowe and Ewing sang the same song, 'Since those in the rear of the (Belgian) army, whom (our men) had overtaken, were making a stand'. In the galley proofs of their Second Year Latin Book Messrs. Miller and Beeson had interpreted cum.... consisterent exactly as others had done, and had then written the following note: "(et) priores (hostes): 'and (since) the van of the enemy'". In reading the proofs of that book for the authors I questioned this view and suggested the view which I shall give in full below. Their work, as finally printed, shows these two notes: "Cum....consisterent: 'since (only) those in the extreme rear, whom our men had overtaken, were making a stand' ", and "priores (hostes), etc: this clause, though having the same construction as the preceding subjunctives, is balanced off against them. Tr. 'while the van of the enemy', etc."

Why did editor after editor content himself with merely translating the cum....consisterent clause, without stopping to review the sentence as a whole?1 The ordinary notes here make Caesar say that the Romans killed a great host of the Belgians as they were running away because the rearguard made a stand!!! Strange doctrine, surely! Why did they

1 I trust a reference will be pardoned to the American Journal of Philology 31.72, Note 1, where I have protested against the failure of modern editors to read in the large, the tendency "to curtail the comprehensive ancient sentence and to fail to grasp it as a whole".

« السابقةمتابعة »