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But we have one institution to notice yet. Fortunately, this is of a different character from those we have been speaking about, for we should not like to take leave of the ladies in the language of disapprobation or censure.
The pamphlet relative to the “ Van Norman Institute” is what might be expected from an educator worthy of the name. Had we never seen either the author or his school, it would have convinced us that we were en rapport with a cultivated mind. The observations and suggestions which it contains possess a high value, altogether independently of any particular school system, as we will presently take occasion to show by a few extracts, but the latter must now be brief. The Rev. Dr. Van Norman does not call his school either a college or university, although we know no branch taught in a ladies' seminary, in Europe or America, which is not included in his curriculum. Nor does the Greek language form an exception. But far from being put forward ostentatiously, or recommended as essential to a fashionable female education, it is stated that, “When specially desired by parents, for reasons that will appear satisfactory, the Greek language to which the remarks made respecting Latin apply in nearly equal degree--may be learned instead of Latin” (p. 32). What the character of these “ remarks " is, the reader will now see for himself; we transcribe a portion here, merely premising that the author very properly gives the first place to the vernacular : .
“Next in importance, as a means of mental discipline and adornment, in our judgment, stand the ancient Classics, especially the Latin. There is confessedly no other branch in the entire range of school studies, in the prosecution of which all the faculties of the mind are so fully, simultaneously, and harmoniously brought into exercise.
“In the construction and analysis of difficult passages, the comparison of different idioms, and the determining of different shades of meaning attached to words in their various situations and relations, we have a series of incessant, yet ever-varied exercises in fixedness of attention; in concentrating all the powers of the mind to read hidden meanings, ascertain relations, and reconcile seeming contradictions. We have here endless exercises in patience and perseverance, in caution and comprehension, by frequent surveys of the ground passed over, till the mind, having complete and accurate perception of all the parts in their relations to one another, and to the whole, settles upon a conclusion derived from the entire truth. This study involves unceasing exercises in reasoning; for never is the full sense perceived till all the parts, in their logical relations and dependencies, are completely understood.
"The Latin language is superior to the languages of modern Europe, as an instrument for training the mind, because it is more elaborate in its processes of etymology and syntax, expressing, by multiform inflexion and composition, what those languages express by mere juxtaposition of independent words. The structure of the Latin language, being very remote from that of our own, invests it with a power of fixing the attention scarcely inferior to that of geometrical demonstration. In this respect it is superior to the languages of modern Europe, which, with few exceptions, may be regarded almost as different dialects of the same language. Hence, to pass from one of them to another, requires little effort, and affords but little discipline. The assertion of an experienced educator, that “More mental energy is called into exercise in mastering the Latin language than in acquiring all the polite languages of modern Europe,' will be endorsed by a large majority of those best qualified to judge of its correctness. This study has also the advantage of peculiar adaptation to nearly all ages and capacities. While the child of ten can find in it intellectual food, it furnishes ample scope for the exercise of the most powerful and highly cultivated mind.
“While we highly prize the disciplinary power of mathematical studies, we believe that, for girls, the study of Latin is generally more effective in developing even the reasoning faculties. In regard to girls, a taste for mathematics is commonly the effect of special culture, which is often difficult to carry forward to such a degree as to render their study, beyond certain limits, productive of salutary results; whereas a taste for the study of language is inherent in the female mind. Is not this fact a finger-board set up by God?
“We have considered this study only as a means of mental discipline. There are, however, other considerations, which invest it with great importance. Even a very limited knowledge of Latin greatly facilitates the acquisition of the languages of France, Spain, and Italy, which may be regarded as little else than dialects of the old Latin. Indeed, a thorough etymological knowledge of these languages cannot be acquired without the study of Latin.
• The last remark applies with equal force to our own language, about one third of whose words are of Latin origin. The English language is largely indebted, for its power of expression, to the almost endless modifications and combinations of its Latin roots. However well the meaning of derivative words may be known by memory, and however correctly they may be used, their full force and propriety can never be appreciated without a knowledge of their roots. Providence has thus, by a vital and organic tie, which binds us to the literature and civilization of the past, laid us under a necessity of studying the ancient classics.
“ The study of the Latin classics greatly enlarges the boundaries of mental vision, while it adorns the mind, and enriches the style with a fund of beautiful imagery.
“In giving prominence to this study, we are trying no new experiment. Its educational power and practical utility have been established by the experience of ages; and it is still recommended by the most experienced and influential educators of all countries.”—pp. 24–27,
In every word of this we have the pleasure to concur. It is imbued with more thought, practical good sense and instruction than a score of such pamphlets as those that stand before it at the head of our article. The passages we have marked in Italics are particularly worthy the attention of every intelligent student. The remarks of Dr. Van Norman, VOL. IV.-NO. VIII.
on the judicious use of a library, are equally just and forcible. We are sorry we can only avail ourselves of a brief extract:
“A course of reading, under skilful supervisory care and direction, may be regarded as most valuable aid in the education of the young. It imparts knowledge, and excites thought; it corrects and improves the imagination, and quickens perception; it cultivates a taste for good books; refines and polishes style and expression; liberalizes and adorns the mind, and eralts it above the vapory, infected atmosphere of a poisonous literature. The importance, therefore, of a wisely selected library, in connection with an institution of learning, can hardly be exaggerated. No educational instrumentality, however, is more susceptible of perversion."-p. 35.
In all countries and ages, the most serious and well founded objection to large schools has been, that, where there are so many pupils, though they be of the gentler sex, there must be some amongst them who, having been badly brought up by their parents, are not suitable company for the innocent and pure. It is admitted by all that in no other circumstances can it be more truly said that “evil communications corrupt good manners. Professors who pretend to have sounded the depths of human knowledge, and to be capable of teaching all sciences and languages, may convince the credulous and thoughtless that they can counteract all pernicious influences by Greek, trigonometry, astronomy, &c. (like the famous Dr. Sangrado, in Gil Blas, who cures all diseases that flesh is heir to, by blood-letting and liberal doses of warm water), * they want no aid from parents, guardians, or anybody else. It is otherwise, however, with the author of the pamphlet under consideration, with whose sensible and truthful obseryations on this subject we must close our extracts :
“ The young are generally educated, morally and socially, more by the prevailing sentiments and sympathies of their daily companions, at school, than by parents, pastors, and all other agencies combined. It is, therefore, our constant effort to co-operate with and strengthen all good home influences; and thus to create and maintain in our school a strong popular sentiment, in harmony with all that is beautiful, true, and good. Whenever this is secured in a school, its patrons will not have occasion to complain—as they so often do, in bitterness of soul—that its social atmosphere militates against the influence of parental culture.
“The false and pernicious sentiment, that girls can be educated by school machinery, without parental co-operation, and even in spite of opposing home influences, finds no sympathy nor encouragement in our school.
"In every other profession, practical acquiescence in the measures
Sache, mon ami, qu'il ne faut que saigner et faire boire de l'eau chaudu :. voilà le secret de guerir toutes les maladies du monde.---LE SAGE.
essential to its success is required of those employing its agency; and, but for the influence of patronage, the same principle would obtain in schools. Were the evils resulting from the contravention of home influences solely of a negative character, affecting exclusively their immediate subjects, they might be tolerated; but, by paralyzing the effective puwer of the school, and through its associations rendering fruitless the most earnest and judicious parental efforts, they war against the interests of all.
“The truth of the adage, Union is strength,' is, in no department of human enterprise, more strikingly exemplified, than in the education of youth. In this work, as the most judicious and unwearied efforts of parents at home may be partially or wholly frustrated by influences at school; so the most perfectly organized and judiciously managed school must be comparatively unavailing, without the cordial and active co-operation of parents and guardians. Irregular attendance at school and dissipations of social life are “the little foxes that spoil the vines,' and thus, in vintage time, bring sad disappointment to the hearts of parents.”
pp. 39, 40.
To this we need add nothing on the present occasion. We have made female schools the subject of our first article on education in the “National Quarterly,” only because they seem to us more defective than male schools of a correspond ing grade. Although we do not believe that ladies require as much learning as gentlemen, we hold that society suffers more by the bad education of females than that of males. Young girls are romantic and imaginative enough by nature, without being instructed in the language of exaggeration, and taught to value everything, froin a seat in church, to a telescope, or a picture, according to the amount it has cost, or, rather, is said to have cost, in dollars and cents. The effects of such a course are much worse than many would be willing to admit at first sight. That it has a tendency to create expensive habits, needs no further proof than what is found in daily observation. At all events, we want realities, not shams; we do not care whether they be called schools, colleges, or universities, if they be honest and good. Let women be praised as they may, no matter for what talents or accomplishments, there is nothing they are more esteemed and loved for than for their modesty ; but how can they be expected to cultivate a virtue which, above all others, is that which is most outraged by their teachers ?
Art. IV.-1. Christoph Martin Wieland Geschildert, &c. By J.
G. GRUBER. Leipzig. 2. C. M. Wielands Sämmtliche Werke. Leipzig. 3. Geschichte des Hanses von Sachen. Von Dr. EDUARD VEHSE.
Hamburg 4. Weimer der Musen. Leipzig.
The literature of Germany has never been popular beyond the frontiers of the Fatherland. Not more than a half dozen German authors have attracted much attention abroad. It is much more the fashion to praise and admire even Goethe than to read him. Only the select few do the latter. Fewer read Schiller ; fewer still read Klopstock. But no foreign author, of equal eminence, is so little known, either in England or America, as Wieland, one of the most fertile and most profound of modern thinkers. The simplest account of what he has written and published seems more like the language of romance than sober reality. Lope de Vega, and one or two others, have given the world as large an aggregate of printed matter as Wieland—perhaps they have published more; but, so far as we are aware, no one mind has exhibited such wonderful versatility as that of the author of Oberon. His productions are so numerous and varied, that we do not undertake to do more, on the present occasion, than to give a cursory glance at those which seem to us to be worthy of most attention. In presenting this outline, we feel certain that those of our readers, now unacquainted with the subject, will need no apology on our part, if we return to it in an early number, as it is our intention to do. Nor would it matter much what class of his works we took
up, intention was only to prove what a lofty, noble tone pervades thern, and how replete they are with food for thought. There is no other author whose writings are more richly imbued with the spirit of ancient Greece. We find in them the best thoughts of the Attic writers, not crudely transplanted, but assimilated-adapted to the circumstances of the present time. The best Roman ideas he embodies in his poems and novels in a similar manner. Nor does he overlook the literature of the East or the North; the fairy tales of Persia, or the scarcely less romantic mythology of Scandinavia.
His education had amply qualified him for taking a range,