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other book whatever, and is peculiar to no system of education. The most extraordinary instance of presupposition that we have met with is the following: “ Jacotot asserts that the youngest child can comprehend thoroughly the terms representing the most complex abstract notions; that is, if be previously well understands all the simple subordinate notions contained in those that are complex.” This is tantamount to a declaration that an infant a year old may compose an oratorio, if he understands the laws of musical proportion, and their accordance with religious sentiment, together with the practical workings of the orchestra.
These remarks have left us little to say upon the rule, “ Learn something thoroughly, and refer every thing else to it,” but that, though practically useful when sufficiently restricted, it is pernicious in the extreme when applied without limitation. Since “ all is in all,” every thing may be learned by a reference to one thing; but whence comes all the prejudice of little minds, all the professional narrowness, all the sectarian bigotry, all the aristocratic exclusiveness, with which the world is cursed, but from the practice of referring all things to one thing: We know that neither M. Jacotot nor Mr. Payne could have contemplated so large an application of their principle as this. They would not recommend a beeman to look for all truth through the glass of his hive ; nor a chemist to bring an opera to the test of his crucible; and are doubtless as ready as ourselves to laugh at the philosophers of Laputa riding their hobbies : but why leave to their readers to determine the bounds of their principle ? Why needlessly provoke doubt or ridicule ? Furthermore, we doubt the efficacy of the rule as far as they themselves carry it. If the reference was made to a sound principle, there could be no mistake; for there indeed would all be in all : but the reference is to be made to some emanation of the human intellect, (whether Fenelon's or some other,) to something imperfect, impure, and which must therefore be superseded. A necessary consequence is, that exact truth can scarcely be attainable by such means; and there is every danger that the intellect will be cramped, and the moral views distorted, by this subservience to something fallible, if not antiquated. Could Newton have framed his philosophy from the study of the best orrery that was ever made before his time or since ? Till there is a divinely-constituted model presented, no exclusive dependence can be safe ; no perpetual reference may be ventured on; no calculations founded on such a reference can be accurate ; no deductions drawn from it can be pronounced perfect until sanctioned by other authority. Again, Newton might undoubtedly have developed his system by studying one constellation alone ; but would this have been his wisest way, the surest, the speediest, the simplest ? Certainly not. Neither is it the readiest way to verify the moral dicta of Massillon to recur to the “ facts” of the fiction of Fenelon.
“To shew how the principle is verified, the teacher opens any author, Massillon, for instance, and reads,
“ . Pleasure is the first thing that endangers our innocence. The other passions develop themselves, and ripen (so to speak) only with the advancement of reason.'
“ The pupil is asked if he can verify the reflections of Massillon by the facts of Fenelon; and he answers in the following manner :-Telemachus yielding to pleasure in the island of Cyprus, shews that pleasure endangers innocence, and it is the first thing ; because, on the first occasion in which Telemachus found himself exposed to peril, pleasure was the cause. The other passions, &c. this is seen by Telemachus in the camp of the allies, by Idomeneus," &c. .
We will try another experiment. We open a modern work on Political Economy of high reputation, and read, “ The general principle that town and country thrive at the expense of each other, I believe to be quite erroneous.” The pupil is desired to verify this opinion (unquestionably sound) by a reference to his model-book. He may, by patient examination, find some truth from whence he can deduce the soundness of the opinion ; but the first thing which will strike him is a passage in the most direct contradiction to it; viz. that in which Mentor and Telemachus converse on the altered state of Salentum. Now, what is to be done Fenelon knew nothing of Political Economy, and was wrong. Is the pupil to believe him or a less antiquated teacher of the science And what is to be the strength of his faith in bis model-book henceforth: For grammar let him refer perpetually to a model, for a perfect model may be found; but not for style, much less for science, and least of all for morals, should he be confined to one production, be the mind whence it emanates what it may-as pious as Fenelon's, as philosophical as Newton's, or as refined as Michael Angelo's. If we were obliged to choose a model-book, it should be one very unlike Telemaque, even in all its original beauty. It should be a very careful selection of Fables, where deep moral and scientific truth should be embodied in the best forms of narrative, and where there might be a union of the beauties of fact, sentiment, and style. But no book could serve the purpose well or permanently but one absolutely divine. We have no fear of any part of the Scriptures being seized upon for the objects of the system; as it is clearly understood from the beginning that the book itself must be sacrificed ;- must, from being anatomized, and in that state kept for ever before the eyes of the student, lose not only its entireness and grace, but become recognized only in its mutilated parts, and be regarded with loathing for ever.
We have now considered all that is peculiar to the system of Jacotot ; for the modes of interrogation described by Mr. Payne must vary with the varieties of teachers and pupils, and be, moreover, only such as would be practised under any other system of instruction which has any utility in it at all. We will only remark that there are many modes of suggesting and stimulating to inquiry besides mere interrogation; and, knowing how wearisome and irritating the interrogative practice becomes to children, we cannot but hope that all the examinations of Jacotot's school are not conducted by question and answer only, as is the case with those presented in the pamphlet before us. The merit of this far-famed system appears to us to reside in its extensive substitution of the analytical for the synthetical method. The use made of this method in teaching reading, writing, grammar, and all the sciences, we approve as fully as our observation, reflection, and partial experience, authorize us in pronouncing; and we admire the courage with which M. Jacotot has pushed this principle further than it has ever before been systematically carried in the business of education. Of the subordinate parts of his plan we do not think so well, though it is upon these that he and his followers set the highest value. An exclusive attachment to any model-book whatever we consider highly objectionable, and are too well convinced of the injurious effects of the laborious and irksome repetition required in disgusting the learner, and cramping his intellectual powers, to wish to see it adopted for the sake of any possible advantage it may offer in learning a language.
We much doubt whether there be not already a prevalent sameness of thought and style among the compositions of Jacotot's pupils; and whether among a certain number, faithfully and exclusively educated on his principles, a fair average will arise of independent thinkers,-of men of free intellect, who will do as much for their race as their master has probably done. Fluent writers, cultivated readers, ready-witted speakers, will probably issue from his schools in abundance; but for a higher order of intellect than theirs we shall have, we imagine, to look elsewhere. This system has done much by making its disciples “ learn something thoroughly," which is more than can be said for some other modern systems; and, by doing this, it has opened the way for various and extensive future improvements which were not originally anticipated. Thus it is with all reforms. They do something that was intended; they fall short of much that was intended; and they ultimately effect a vast deal that never was intended. Jacotot's system will initiate many into the analytical process at the beginning instead of the middle part of their course. It will not long or advantageously keep up its practice of repetition, and it will be obliged to limit its rule of reference; but it will suggest new systems which in their turn will have partial success, and be, in due course, improved upon.
As we feel that we have scarcely sanctioned our remarks sufficiently by extracts from the Exposition of the system before us, we proceed, in justice to it and to ourselves, to give a passage in which the principles of Jacotot and the practice of the old school are contrasted with much force and truth :
“ It may not be amiss to consider, in the first instance, what is generally meant by the expression-learning a thing. To learn any thing is evidently not the same as to forget it; yet we might almost imagine it were, by referring a moment to the common plan pursued in the old method. Will any one maintain that, speaking generally, at the end of his seven years or more of school instruction, be actually recollects one thousandth part of the facts that have been brought before him, or the observations that have been addressed to him, connected with the course of tuition? A considerable portion of all this combined mass of information has remained perfectly unintelligible to him, from the first moment that it was introduced to his notice, to the time at which he throws down his books and enters on the world. He perceived neither the end nor the design of it, and perhaps even the terms in which it was expressed were never thoroughly comprehended, although repeated incessantly in his hearing. In illustration of this it may be asked, Does one child in a hundred understand a single page of that book which is put into his hands as soon as he can read, and over which he pores, year after year, and at length by dint of constant repetition, has thoroughly impressed on his memory- the English Grammar?” (An exposure of the incomprehensibility of grammar rules follows.) “The same remarks will apply, more or less, to many others of the generalities which, in the common course of instruction, a pupil is called upon to learn, but which he cannot, from a want of the information previously requisite, understand. Even, however, supposing that he does actually acquire a number of useful facts, they form in his mind an indigesta moles, a shapeless mass, in which he perceives neither order nor connexion. He has not been taught by the inethod of Jacotot to refer every thing learned for the first time to something previously learned ; and he cannot, therefore, perceive the relation which the latter bears to the former. But there must necessarily exist a relation. Uuless the parts of the book committed to memory bad been connected with each other in the mind of the author, he would, of course, have produced a disorderly patchwork of incoherent facts. But this is not the case, at least in any approved work; and if this be not the case, if it was necessary for the author to see clearly the end and aim of all that he proposed to write in order to convey a connected idea of the subject to the reader, it must be equally necessary for the reader, if he wishes to understand the subject as well as the author, to gain possession of
the entire series of facts which compose the subject as presented to his view, This, however, cannot be done, unless the pupil is taught to counect what he learns one day with all that he has learned, relating to the saine subject, on every previous day, from the time when it was first urged on his attention. But the facts forgotten cannot, of course, he connected with those remembered ; though it is easily seen that, were these supplied, the whole subject would be before the mind. This leads again to the remark previously made, that scarcely a thousandth part of what is learned (using the word in its conventional sense) at school, is retained for use in the actual business of life ; though this, most evidently, was the ostensible purpose throughout the entire course.--If the considerations here adduced be thought to have any weight, they must evince one of two things,-either the positive incapacity of pupils of the usual scholastic age to comprehend any subject in the inanner referred to, or the defectiveness of the customary method of tuition. It would be impossible, in the face of countless instances in opposition, to maintain the former assertion. If a child can be made to commit to memory and understand one sentence, for instance, there seems no physical obstacle to his doing the same with another, still retaining the first in his memory by constant repetition, and thus connecting the new fact with all that preceded it. This is the method of Jacotot, and he has proved incontestibly both the pos. sibility and effectiveness of such a process." -As to the fitness of the old systems of education to the purposes for which instruction is valuable“ Two or three facts, from which the inferences requisite to the view now intended may be drawn, are sufficiently obvious to the personal experience of all. After sedulously going through all the manœuvres of instruction for several years, we come from school to begin our education afresh, according to the particular objects which it may be desirable for us to attain in life. We are in possession, indeed, of a vast number of facts, but they lie for the most part unconnectedly and incoherently in the mind. Of a number of others we have a loose and vague notion, just sufficient to admit of conscious. ness that they exist and have names attached to them, which names we know well, without knowing the things themselves. Still Jess, however, in these latter fragments of knowledge than in the former do we perceive any sort of coherency or natural connexion : and upon a review of the whole of our acquirements during the long time that we have been ernployed in making them, the feeling which takes full possession of our mind is, that nine-tenths of all that we learned has been forgotten; that we are well acquainted with no one subject whatever ; and that in nearly every point which most concerns us, we are
“ Unpractis'd, unprepard, and still to seek. “But, by the system of Jacotot, the faculties of the mind are kept in constant action, from the commencement to the end of the course of instruction; the first acquisitions, as well as all that succeed, are permanently retained, and accordingly every thing learned once is learned for ever.”—Pp. 2–6.
If we ever learn any more languages, we shall be tempted to begin on this system, which seems to us admirably calculated to help such an achievement. Our readers will judge for themselves of the Synopsis of the Method ; and as for the introduction to Latin,-the Epitome Historiæ Sacræ,
-it can scarcely be too highly praised. The style rises from extreme simplicity (through a most ingenious choice of parallel idioms) to a considerable degree of involution; and the pupil is led on insensibly from phrases so inartificial that he cannot mistake them, to paragraphs of easy and even elegant Lalinity. This little work, originally compiled by M. L'Homond, Emeritus Professor in the University of Paris, is used as an introduction to the Latin language in nearly all the Jacototian establishments on the continent.-We give the Synopsis of the method of learning a language; and
(by way of specimen of the plan of the work) the first and last sections of the Epitome, by contrasting which the extent of the pupil's progress may be perceived :
“ Make yourself master of some one book written in the language you wish to acquire: that is, commit it to memory-repeat it incessantly- take notice of every sentence, phrase, word, and syllable it contains-study and compare these facts of the language, and analyze them first in the aggregate, then in the detail, so as ultimately to obtain a thorough knowledge of their minutest elements. Refer, by continual reflection, all or any other books in the language to the one you have mastered ; that is, compare every sentence, phrase, word, and syllable that you meet with afterwards with those of the book you have learned, and thus make what you know serviceable in interpreting and acquiring what you do not yet know. And, in the last place, verify the observations of others by what you know yourself ; that is, read the remarks that have been made on the language as you find them in grammars, books of idioms, dissertations on style, &c. Try or put to the proof the correctness of these remarks, by comparing them with the general observations you have yourself made on the facts that you know : you will thus systematize your knowledge, and ultimately master the language.”- Epitome, p. vii.
“Deus creāvit cælum et terram “God created the heaven and the intra sex dies.
earth within six days. Primo die fecit lucem.
On the first day he made light. Secundo die fecit firmamentum, On the second day he made the firquod vocavit cælum.
mament, which he called beaven. Tertio die coēgit aquas in unum On the third day he brought the locum, et eduxit è terrà plantas et waters together into one place, and arbores.
drew out of the earth plants and trees. Quarto die fecit solem et lunam, et On the fourth day he made the sun, stellas.
and the moon, and the stars. Quinto die, aves quæ volitant in On the fifth day he made the birds aěre, et pisces qui natant in aquis. which fly about in the air, and the
fishes which swim in the waters. Sexto die fecit omnia animantia, On the sixth day he made all living postrēmò hominem, et quiēvit die creatures, lastly man, and rested on septimo.”—Epitome, pp. 2, 3. the seventh day. CXCII.
192. “ Mortuo Aristobulo, Alexander “ After the death of Aristobulus, ejus filius regnavit : is nullâ re me. his son Alexander reigned. He died morabili gestă decessit: duos reliquit without performing any distinguished filios, qui acriter de regno inter se action, and left two sons, who condecertârunt.
tended most obstinately for the pos
session of the kingdom. Hujus dissidii occasione, Pompeius, Pompey, the general of the Roman populi Romāni dux, in Judæain venit, people, availing himself of this disspecie quidem restituendæ inter fra- sension, came into Judæa, under pretres concordiæ, revērà ut istam pro- text of restoring concord between the vinciam Romano adjungěret imperio: brothers, but in reality with the design Judæam stipendiariam populi Romani of attaching that province to the Rofecit.
man empire ; he rendered Judæa tri
butary to the Roman people. Paulo post regnum Judæa in vasit A short time after, the kingdom of Herodes alienigěna: hunc primum Judæa was seized by Herod, a foJudæi habuerunt regem et aliâ gente reigner. He was the first king of ortum, eoque regnante natus est another nation that ruled over the Christus, uti prædixerant prophetæ.” Jews; and in his reign Jesus Christ Epitome, pp. 124, 125. was born, as the prophets had fore