pupil for such a study, renders it easy, and can alone render it profitable.

One very marked advantage in larger reading and less extensive grammatical drill at the beginning of the course, is that of making the pupil most familiar with what is of most frequent occurrence, and thus giving due perspective to the facts and prin. ciples of the language,-a perspective which can not be correctly given by the artificial mode of using two sizes of type in the grammar. We say less extensive drill, but in intensity of drill on the constantly recurring forms and idioms met with in read. ing, there should be no abatement; the ordinary paradigms should be made as familiar as the alphabet.

" Another very marked error in the modern mode of teaching both modern and ancient language lies in assigning too much time and too early a time to the writing of exercises. The absurdity of writing sentences in a tongue before attaining a familiarity by reading or hearing native authors with its usages and idioms, is curiously illustrated in a recent serious attempt to give the Portuguese in Brazil “a new guide to English ; " the English having been written by Portuguese, and being much less intelligible to an Englishman than Portuguese itself. Writing exercises in a tongue should be postponed until the student is familiar with the style of several native authors, has learned something of the grammar, and has committed to memory many passages in both poetry and prose. No preparation for writing Latin and Greek can be so good as the reading of Cicero and Xenophon; and this is true not only with reference to the study of the classic authors, but it holds also of a more temporary preparation. That is to say, if a student is compelled to write an exercise, and has a reasonable time allowed in which to write it, he will find it to his advantage to spend the first half of that time in the rapid cursory reading of a classic author in the language, writing apon some similar topic.

These views are not new, they have been frequently urged by the best writers upon education. "The only way," says Professor Conant, “ to impress upon the mind of a pupil the genius of a foreign tongue, is to impress upon it the phraseology of native speakers and writers. The habit of conception in conformity with the models thus furnished will follow of itself. The practice of expressing English conceptions in the words of a foreign language for the purpose of learning it, is not only useless, but positively injurious." Yet this positively injurious method has been

of late years made a prominent feature in the teaching both of ancient and modern tongues, to the great detriment of English and American learning.

. The natural mode of learning a new language by a direct attack upon the works of native authors, committing poems, and finer passages of prose, to memory, and endeavoring, by incessant comparisons with the context, to elucidate the meaning without the aid of the lexicon, not only gives the pupil the ability to read the new tongue in much less time than the grammar and exercise book manner, but it furnishes a vastly better gymnastic for the mind, stimulates the pupil to more original thought, and gives him greater confidence and freedom.

We trust that a reaction has already begun, and that we may soon see the day return when classic writers of Latin, Greek, German, and French literature will occupy more of the pupil's time while studying those languages, than he shall give to English or American writers on grammar; all the processes of learning will then be easier, and all the uses of the knowledge more speedily obtained.

THOMAS HILL. The subscribers, members of the committee, finding President Hill's paper to be full of useful and timely suggestions, recommend its publication.



The March number of the MONTHLY contains an editorial on this important subject. In it the writer indorses the sentiments expressed in the educational reports from all the States where that system has been in operation and has received the unequivocal sanction of the people. I have longed to see this powerful educational engine put into operation in our own State.

The appointment of county superintendents would at once revolutionize and vivify that very portion of our educational machinery which most needs to be roused into action-our country schools, graded and ungraded, more especially the latter. They are in a forlorn situation, removed from the healthy influence of experienced and judicious educators, committed for the most part to some young teacher with but slender qualifications and without any experience, left to his own discretion,


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unsupported by advice on which he can rely, uncheered by intellectual companionship and sympathy, at the mercy of ignorant, narrow-minded, and bigoted directors.

Until I became acquainted with the Pennsylvania plan of county supervision, I could think of no better expedient to help those district schools, at once the most important and the most neglected in our system of national education, than that of establishing in each township a superior model school whose principal should exercise over all schools of that township below a certain grade the same kind of oversight which the superintendents of our union schools exercise over each department.

But how much more practical and effectual is the plan of having for each county an experienced educator of active habits of mind and body, whose sole and constant business should be to visit every school under his jurisdiction ! Under his vigilant eye, especially if he be, ex officio, one of the Board of Examiners, it is scarcely possible that a poorly qualified or otherwise unfit teacher should long escape detection. District school teachers could no longer be, as now, appointed at random, or from favoritism by incompetent or niggardly local directors. Thus, our national system of education would be, at once, purified at its very source. From our country schools, the more ambitious and talented scholars would come better prepared for our town schools; there would no longer be a danger of their being a dead-weight and a drag on their better trained schoolmates.

Neither would the reaction stop there. Not only would the work in our high schools be done more thoroughly and in a shorter time, but, since our colleges are mainly recruited from our public schools, we should no longer have to lament over the want of proper training, the actual ignorance of even the elements of a bare English education, which make our examinations at the beginning of each college term so heavy and so dreary to the unfortunate examiners (haud inexpertus loquor) and so mortifying to the still more unfortunate examinees or patients, who, in spite of their years and stature, have often to be either rejected

, altogether or assigned to some very low class in the preparatory department.

For these reasons, therefore, I would recommend to my fellow teachers that the agitation for an improvement of our public school system should take the course of a speedy and earnest applieation to the Legislature, backed by petitions from every educational district, for the appointment of county superintend

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ents, vested with ample power to supervise and regulate the schools within the circle of their jurisdiction, instructed to use all proper means in their power to create an “ Esprit de corpsamong the teachers, to rouse their professional enthusiasm and to call them together at stated times to educational conferences (not to supersede, but to accompany teachers' institutes) for mutual improvement, by the interchange of ideas and the free and candid communication, in a brotherly and sisterly spirit, of their varied experiences in the school-room. To secure the full benefit of the measure, let means be devised to divest the office (if in America such a thing be possible !) of all political bearing, so that the choice may fall on the ablest educator, not the most popular partisan.

T. E. s.



Hæc ait: et Maia genitum demittit ab alto;
Ut Terræ, ut que novæ pateant Carthaginis arces
Hospitio Teucris; ne fati nescia Dido
Finibus arceret.

Æneis, Liber I, 297–300.We wish to show the uninitiated what is meant by a lesson in Latin, and have taken these lines because they happened to be the first short passage, complete in itself, which presented itself to our search. We have selected verse because it affords the best means of verifying certain rules which we are about to consider. It is but fair to state that the passage is only of medium difficulty, and also that we do not propose to go over the whole ground, but merely to indicate what might be done.

In the first place we must pronounce the lines, and, as we are accustomed to the English method, we shall follow that. To pronounce correctly, the student must first learn the quantities of the penultimate and final syllables, he may then determine the accents, then the division of the word into syllables, and finally give the proper sounds to the letters. Therefore the student must first learn the general rules of Prosody, but as the lines are verse, he will in the course of time have to learn all the rules of Prosody, and for the sake of convenience, we will consider what this includes at this point, although it is a little out of place, inasmuch as some of the rules are not necessary for Orthoëpy. Finibus shall serve for our example. Derivatives follow the quantities of their primitives (Etymology comes in). The word is the ablative plural of Finis. Words in na, ne, ni, nis lengthen the penult, therefore the first i is long. In plural increments i and u are short, therefore the penult of finibus is short. Final syllables of is, us, and ys are short, which settles the quantity of the last syllable. Because the penult is short the accent falls on the antepenult Finibus. Because the b comes between the last two vowels it must be joined to the latter. Because the n comes after the accented antepenult it must be joined to it. Now we can divide the word thus, Fin-z-bus. The consonants have their English sound; because the first and final syllables end with a consonant their vowels have the short English sound; because the penult is unaccented the i sounds like short e. Here is the result of our first labors: Fin'-i-bŭs. But we have also learned that it is a dactyl. The example, however, was an easy one. Carthaginis, Hospitio, genitum, are 'barder nuts to crack, and several others are not much easier. The careless student excludes these difficulties by a frequent appeal to authority.

2. Etymology. We must now learn the accidents of each inflected word, and determine the special form in the sentence. Hæc is in one of five cases—ait is from a defective, and needs special reference-Maia is a Greek word-genitum is from the third root of a verb, and the first root, or the one given in the lexicon, is so unlike that it is quite a puzzle to find it; and when found, there is little satisfaction in learning that all the perplexity has been caused by an exchange of the obsolete geno for gigno. Then gigno means to beget, and genitum means one begotten, but we must first determine that it is not a supine following the verb of motion, demittit ; so our troubles multiply. Leave these to consider Derivation. The next word is a good example. Meo is the primitive, and means to go, mitto is some how derived from it with a causative signification, and means to cause to go, then it is compounded with de meaning down, and so demittit means he causes to go down. Nescia and fati are easy conquests. It is a good exercise of the imagination to show any connection of Hospitio with a verb which means to strike. How does alto come from alo, to nouri ? How are arces and arcer derived from the same root? Do not imagine we omit the others because there is no work in them. See how even hæc will lead you to is, iste, ille, ipse, and where not. Then try the others. .

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