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AFFECTATION OF LEARNING.
BY W. H. V.
To us as teachers one thing is essential : that we understand thoroughly the object, science, and art of teaching. We need not know as much as the lawyers do about law, or the physicians about medicine, or the clergymen about theology, or the merchant about business, or the farmer about agriculture, or the painter about art; but we must know more than they all about why, what, and how to teach.
Let no one desire a reputation for great scholarship unless he has great scholarship. Away with all shamming and deception. I have seen, and you have seen, a teacher who knows nothing of the classics, sitting with a wise look, at an examination of a class in Greek. He gravely takes the book proffered him, scarcely knowing whether he has it right end up or not, and with “nods and becks and wreathed smiles" gives the spectator to understand that he is as familiar with Ionic, Doric, or whatsoever ancient dialect, as he is with McGuffey's Speller or Ray's Part First.
“Do you understand German and French, Mr. Blowy?”
“Oh yes, I studied the modern languages years ago. Schiller and Goethe are- -are-Schille and Geoth are-quite sublime.”
The fact is, Mr. Blowy would be struck dumb if the simplest German or French sentence should be addressed to him.
I will venture that school examiners could many a tale unfold, whose lightest breath would harrow up the soul, and be destructive to the reputation of Tom, Dick, and Harry, who we have all heard (from their own lips, too,) are men of wonderful erudition.
Poor fellows! how polite and humble they become in the august presence of these certificate-awarders : "I declare, gentlemen, I am a little rusty on that subject, just now-fact is, I haven't looked into it for some years. Used to have it all at my tongue's end; but not being called upon to teach it, you know, I've forgotten. A man will forget. I'll post up on that."
The examiners bow, and, stony-hearted fellows that they are, mark the cringing applicant according to his ignorance. But let him only get his certificate safe in his pocket-whee, Richard's himself again. “What a stupid set those examiners are," he sneers ;
"how little do they appreciate real merit or profound scholarship. Poor fellows! they attach more importance to an
arbitrary fact or two than to the most thorough discipline and culture.'
Why should there be so much pretense and practical falsehood about this matter of intellectual acquirements. "If a man thinks himself to be something when he is nothing, he deceiveth himself.” And if he pretends to be something when he is nothing, he as surely deceives himself, and nobody else in the end. Our equals and our superiors will soon estimate us truly. Brother Blowgun talks well; but every body knows his “means, culture, and limits." In half an hour you may discover whether he is fresh from Emerson or Herbert Spencer, Carlyle or Ruskin, The Nation or The Round Table. If men wish to deceive others in respect to their accomplishments, much the best method is to observe a profound silence. Talk betrays a man. We are all pretty sure to get credit for all the knowledge and wisdom we honestly possess. He whom the world overestimates is of all men most unfortunate. Better wait patiently to be asked “to walk up higher," than to push on by the power of brazen impudence to situations we can not hold. That "beginning with shame to take the lower seats," is a most appalling contingency.
NOTES: ORTHOEPICAL, ORTHOGRAPHICAL, ETYMO
LOGICAL, AND SYNTACTICAL.–No. 6.
BY W. D. HENKLE, SALEM, OHIO.
24. Antiquarian. This word should not be used for antiquary. Antiquarian is properly an adjective. The antiquary engages in antiquarian researches. This distinction I know is not observed by some good writers. Milton says:
“I shall distinguish such as I esteem to be hinderers of reformation into three sorts : antiquarians, for so I had rather call them than antiquaries (whose labors are useful and laudable); second, libertines; third, politicians."
'The long detail of where we'd been,
Of calm amusement could impart.”
and many other recent reputable writers, yet I can not but think that it would be better to adhere to the distinction above given, since there is no need of having two words for the same thing. Worcester says: “Antiquary and antiquarian are now both in good use as substantives.” Todd says that such a use of antiquarian is "improper." Sir Charles Lyell, in his late work on the "Antiquity of Man," carefully observes the distinction above recommended.
25. Reliable. I have been glad to see that the North American Review for October, in a notice of Alford's Plea for the Queen's English, takes the same view of reliable as that presented in my first article. It says:
“Of course the Dean puts his veto upon reliable; men of his stamp always do. He alleges the staple arguments of his class, that rely-upon-able would be the only legitimate form of such a derivation from rely. They ought fairly to put the case somewhat thus: 'It is unaccount-for-able, not to say laugh-at-able, that men will try to force upon the language a word so take-objection-to-able, so little avail-of-able, and so far from įndispense-with-able as reliable;' then we should see more clearly how much the plea is worth.”
26. Such an one. The use of an before one is improper. It is true that some respectable writers use it, but there is now no good reason for it. It was proper when one was pronounced own as it still is in alone, atone, and only. Alford says:
“They (the translators of the Bible] uniformly used 'such a one,' the expression occurring about thirteen times. In the New Testament, the printers have altered it throughout to 'such an one;' in the Old Testament, they have as uniformly left it as it was. It seems to me, that we may now, in writing, use either. In common talk, I should always naturally say 'such a one, not such an one,' which would sound formal and stilted.”
The North American Review says:
"Dean Alford fails to see and to point out that, in the antiquated phrase such an one, we have a legacy from the time when one had not yet acquired its anomalous pronunciation wun, but was sounded one (as it still is in its compounds only, alone, atone, etc.) As we now utter the word, such an one is not less absurd and worthy of summary rejection from usage than would be such an wonder."
27. David. This word designating the distinguished French painter, should be pronounced Dah-veed'. Teachers should observe this when their reading classes come to the extract from Phillips on Napoleon, beginning "He is fallen."
28. Whewell. The name of this distinguished Englishman, recently deceased, is often pronounced W he-well, instead of hewell, as it should be.
29. Latham. Both Webster and Worcester pronounce the name of this eminent English philologist, La-tham, th being
sounded as in thin. We have, however, the authority of the philologist, Alexander J. Ellis, of England, for saying that the th should be sounded as in this.
30. Fresnel. This word, the name of the celebrated French savant, should be pronounced Fray-nel, and not Fres'-nel, as we often hear it.
31. Froude. The name of the author of the History of England now publishing, is pronounced Frood by Webster and Frowd by Worcester. Which is right?
32. Rousseau. This Frenchman's name is often incorrectly pronounced Ross-so', instead of Ru-so'.
33. Gil Blas. Wheeler gives zheel blass (a as in art) as the pronunciation of the hero of Le Sage's famous novel of the same name. It should be remembered that zh is used to represent the sound that z has in azure or s in leisure.
34. Le Sage. This should be pronounced Luh Sazh, u as in urn and a as in art.
35. Campbell. The poet Campbell complained that some persons broke the back of his name by not sounding the b.
Hence we should pronounce his name Cam-bell. Most American families of this name pronounce their name Cam-el.
36. Cowper. Lowell, in his jeu d'esprit, “A Fable for Critics," has the following lines in his analysis of Bryant:
“If you choose to compare him, I think there are two persons fit for a parallel—Thompson and Cowper.* The asterisk refers to the following lines given as a foot note :
** To demonstrate quickly and easily how per
versely absurd 'tis to sound this name Cowper,
I just add that he rhymes it himself with horse-trooper.”
“How are we to call the Christian poet who spells his name Cowp-e-r! He hiinself has decided this for us. He makes his name rhyme with trooper. must therefore call him Coo-per, not Cow-per; seeing that a man's own usage is undeniably the rule for the pronunciation of his own name.
I have had a letter from a correspondent, urging that this rhyme may have been only a poetical pronunciation of the name, not the usual one; as Coleridge in one place makes his name rhyme to 'polar ridge.' But I have received an interesting testimony from Dr. Goddard Rogers, confirming the settlement of the pronunciation as given above. Cowper,' he says, 'not only decided the matter by “making his name rhyme to trooper;" but in conversation always begged his friends to call him Cooper. I have this from a very old gentleman whom I ato tended in his last illness. He was Thomas Palmer Bull, son of Cowper's friend, "smoke-inhaling Bull," and had himself heard the poet make the remark.'
WOMEN AS TEACHERS.
One of the most significant and peculiar characteristics of the public schools of this country, is the very common employment of women to be not only teachers of girls, but teachers of boys and girls in the same classes, and sometimes of boys alone. Thus, in Massachusetts last year only about one-seventh of the teachers of the State were men, six-sevenths women, and the yearly returns showed a decrease of 138 in the number of male teachers, and a still greater increase in the number of female teachers. In Connecticut, the proportion of male teachers is greater than in Massachusetts in winter and less in summer. Nearly 2,000 women teach in summer, and only a few more than 100 men. The facts are similar in other parts of the country. Foreigners find it very hard to understand how this can be a satisfactory arrangement. We well remember meeting once a veteran and distinguished teacher in Germany-Dr. Vogel, of Leipsic—who began a school conversation with emphatic expressions of surprise that the employment of women could prove acceptable to the managers of American schools, and especially in the instruction of boys. Whatever objections may be made, it is certainly at the present time a necessity to employ women, and the necessity is not without many great advantages. If Massachusetts should discharge her brigade of 6,000 female teachers, she could only supply their places with great difficulty, increased cost, and with an inferior class of men. Two note-worthy changes, in respect to the employment of women, are in progress. The first is their selection in positions which require at once high scholarship and superior administrative capacity. It is not uncommon to find ladies regarded as fit to be principals of large and important city schools. * * * * A more remarkable instance is the appointment of Miss Johnson to be principal of the admirable normal school for girls in Framingham, Mass. Gov. Bullock, in a public address, referred to this election “as the first official and conspicuous announcement of a policy which appears to be founded on philosophical reasoning and on the results of a large experience.” This example of Massachusetts is likely to be followed by the other States just as fast as women show themselves to possess the requisite qualifications. Curiously enough, this will be not so much because women are theoretically the best teachers, in the minds of our school committees, but because equally competent men can not be secured at the salaries which are commonly paid.