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Title: Comenius - And the Beginnings of Educational Reform
Author: Monroe, Will Seymour
Language: English
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  The Great Educators









  Norwood Press
  J. S. Cushing & Co.—Berwick & Smith
  Norwood Mass. U.S.A.


The present volume is an effort to trace the reform movement in
education from Vives, Bacon, and Ratke to Comenius, who gave the
movement its most significant force and direction; and from him to the
later reformers,—Francke, Rousseau, Basedow, Pestalozzi, Fröbel, and
Herbart. A variety of ideas, interests, and adaptations, all distinctly
modern, are represented in the life-creeds of these reformers; and,
in the absence of a more satisfactory term, the progressive movement
which they represent has been styled realism,—sometimes called the “new

It has been well said that “the dead hand of spiritual ancestry lays
no more sacred duty on posterity than that of realizing under happier
circumstances ideas which the stress of age or the shortness of life
has deprived of their accomplishment.” Many of the reforms represented
by the realists occupy no inconsiderable place in the platforms of
modern practitioners of education; and in the belief that a history of
the movement might contribute toward the ultimate reforms which realism
represents, it has seemed expedient to focus such a survey on the life
and teachings of the strongest personality and chief exponent of the

The condition of education in Europe during the sixteenth century is
briefly told in the opening chapter; following are given the traces
of the educational development of Comenius in the writings of Vives,
Bacon, and Ratke; three chapters are devoted to the life of Comenius
and the reforms in which he actively participated; an exposition
of his educational writings has three chapters; a chapter is given
to the influence of Comenius on Francke, Rousseau, Pestalozzi, and
other modern reformers; and the closing chapter sums up his permanent
influence. The volume has two appendices,—one giving tables of dates
relating to the life and writings of Comenius, and the other a select
annotated bibliography.

In the exposition of the writings of Comenius, the author has made
liberal use of English and German translations from Latin and Czech
originals. In the case of the _Great didactic_, the scholarly
translation by Mr. Keatinge has, in the main, been followed. Free
translations of portions of this work had been made by the author
before the appearance of Mr. Keatinge’s book; and in some instances
these have been retained. As regards the account of Comenius’ views
on the earliest education of the child, the author’s edition of the
_School of infancy_ has been followed; and in the discussion of reforms
in language teaching, he is indebted to Mr. Bardeen’s edition of
the _Orbis pictus_, and to Dr. William T. Harris for the use of the
handsome Elzevir edition of the _Janua_, which is the property of the
Bureau of Education.







  Humanism, realism, and naturalism
  characterized—Devotion of the sixteenth century to
  the humanistic ideal—Study of Latin eloquence—Style
  the chief aim—Neglect of the mother-tongue—Views
  of John Sturm and the Jesuits—Devotion to
  Cicero—Decadence of the later humanists—Erasmus
  and Melanchthon on the enrichment of the course
  of study—Satires of Rabelais directed against the
  humanists—Protests of Montaigne—Attitude of Ascham
  and Mulcaster—Transition from humanism to realism             1



  Traces of the intellectual development of Comenius.
  Vives a realist—His early training in Spain
  and France—Educational activity in Belgium and
  England—Views on the education of women—Theory of
  education—Comparison of Comenius and Vives. Bacon
  the founder of modern realism—Views on the education
  of his day—Attacks mediævalism—Study of nature
  and the inductive method—Individual differences
  among children. Ratke—Studies at Hamburg and
  Rostock—Visits England and becomes acquainted with
  the philosophy of Bacon—His plan of education—Its
  reception by the universities at Jena and
  Giessen—Organization of the schools at Gotha—Call
  to Sweden—Summary of Ratke’s views—Harmony of his
  teachings with those of Comenius. Campanella,
  Andreæ, and Bateus—Their influence on the life and
  teachings of Comenius                                        15



  Ancestry of Comenius—Attends the village school
  at Strasnitz—Studies Latin in the gymnasium at
  Prerau—Character of the Latin schools of his
  day—Enters the college at Herborn—Studies theology
  and philosophy—Inspired by the teachings of
  Alsted—Makes the acquaintance of the writings of
  Ratke—Continues his studies at Heidelberg—Begins
  his career as a teacher at Prerau—Ordained as
  a clergyman—Installed as pastor and school
  superintendent at Fulneck—Persecution                        38



  Flight to Poland—Appointed director of the
  gymnasium at Lissa—Reforms introduced—Literary
  projects—Need of a patron—Call to England—Friendship
  with Hartlib—Interest of the English
  Parliament—Discontent with existing educational
  institutions—Lewis de Geer, his Dutch patron—Call
  to Sweden—Interview with Oxenstiern—Located at
  Elbing—Reform of the Swedish schools—Return to
  Poland—Consecration as senior bishop—Consequences
  of the treaty of Westphalia—Ecclesiastical
  ministrations—Call to Hungary—Reform of the schools
  at Saros-Patak—Plan of a pansophic school—Return to
  Lissa—The city burned—Flight of Comenius from Poland         47


  CLOSING YEARS: 1656–1670

  Flight to Amsterdam—Reception by Lawrence de
  Geer—Religious freedom in Holland—Publication of the
  complete edition of his writings—Other educational
  activities—The “one thing needful”—Death at
  Amsterdam and burial at Naärden—Family history of
  Comenius—Alleged call to the presidency of Harvard
  College—Portraits—Personal characteristics                   71



  The _Great didactic_—Conditions under which
  produced—Aim of the book—Purpose of education—Man’s
  craving for knowledge—Youth the time for
  training—Private instruction undesirable—Education
  for girls as well as boys—Uniform methods. Education
  according to nature—How nature teaches—Selection
  and adaptation of materials—Organization of pupils
  into classes—Correlation of studies. Methods of
  Types of educational institutions—The mother’s
  school—School of the mother-tongue—Latin
  school—University. School discipline—Character and
  purpose of discipline—Corporal punishment only in
  cases of moral perversity                                    83



  _School of infancy_—Circumstances under which
  written—View of childhood—Conception of infant
  education. Physical training—Care of the body—The
  child’s natural nurse—Food—Sleep—Play and exercise.
  Mental training—Studies which furnish the symbols
  of thought—Nature study—Geography—History—Household
  economy—Stories and fables—Principle of
  Moral and religious
  virtues to be taught—Character of formal religious
  instruction                                                 109



  Dominance of Latin in the seventeenth
  century—Methods of study characterized by Comenius.
  The _Janua_—Purpose and plan—Its success. _Atrium_
  and _Vestibulum_—Their relation to the _Janua_.
  The _Orbis pictus_—Its popularity—Use of pictures.
  _Methodus novissima_—Principles of language
  teaching—Function of examples—Place of oral and
  written language in education                               123



  Francke—Early educational undertakings—The
  institution at Halle—Character of the
  Pædagogium—Impulse given to modern education.
  Rousseau—The child the centre of educational
  schemes—Sense training fundamental—Order and method
  of nature to be followed. Basedow—Protests against
  traditional methods—Influenced by the _Émile_—His
  educational writings—The Philanthropinum.
  Pestalozzi—Love the key-note of his system—Domestic
  education—Education of all classes and sexes—The
  study of nature—Impulse given to the study of
  geography. Fröbel—His relations to Comenius and
  Pestalozzi—Educational value of play and principle
  of self-activity—Women as factors in education.
  Herbart—Assimilation of sense-experience—Training in
  character—Doctrine of interest 142



  General neglect of Comenius during the eighteenth
  century—Causes—Intrenchment of humanism—Summary of
  the permanent reforms of Comenius—Revived interest
  in his teachings—National Comenian pedagogical
  library at Leipzig—The Comenius Society—Reviews
  published for the dissemination of the doctrines of
  Comenius—Conquest of his ideas                              165


  I. TABLE OF DATES                                           173

  II. SELECT BIBLIOGRAPHY                                     175

  INDEX                                                       181




  Humanism, realism, and naturalism
  characterized—Devotion of the sixteenth century to
  the humanistic ideal—Study of Latin eloquence—Style
  the chief aim—Neglect of the mother-tongue—Views
  of John Sturm and the Jesuits—Devotion to
  Cicero—Decadence of the later humanists—Erasmus
  and Melanchthon on the enrichment of the course
  of study—Satires of Rabelais directed against the
  humanists—Protests of Montaigne—Attitude of Ascham
  and Mulcaster—Transition from humanism to realism.

“Education in Europe,” says Oscar Browning,[1] “has passed through
three phases, which may conveniently be called humanism, realism, and
naturalism. The first is grounded upon the study of language, and
especially of the two dead languages, Greek and Latin. The second is
based upon the study of things instead of words, the education of the
mind through the eye and the hand. Closely connected with this is the
study of those things which may be of direct influence upon and direct
importance to life. The third is not in the first instance study at
all. It is an attempt to build up the whole nature of man,—to educate
first his body, then his character, and lastly his mind.”

The sixteenth century was wedded to the humanistic ideal of education.
Without regard for the diversity of avocations, classical culture was
held to be the safest and best training for the manifold duties of
life. Aristotle’s _Politics_ was considered the wisest utterance on the
direction of affairs of state; Cæsar’s _Commentaries_ the safest guides
to military eminence; the practical Stoicism of the Latin authors the
most infallible basis for ethics and the regulation of conduct; and as
for agriculture, had not Virgil written a treatise on that subject?
It was clear in the minds of the sixteenth-century humanists that
classical culture furnished the best preparation, alike for theologians
and artisans.

To accomplish this purpose, as soon as the child was considered
sufficiently matured for linguistic discipline, and this varied from
the sixth to the ninth years, he was initiated into the mysteries
of Latin eloquence. His preliminary training consisted in a verbal
study of the Latin grammar for purposes of precision in speech and
successful imitation; but, as the grammar was printed in Latin, with
its hundreds of incomprehensible rules and exceptions, all of which had
to be “learned by heart,” the way of the young learner was, indeed, a
thorny one. True, the classical authors were later read, but chiefly
for the purpose of gleaning from them choice phrases to be used in
the construction of Latin sentences, or for purposes of disputations
in dialectics. Logic and history were given most subordinate places
in the course of study, the former merely that it might give greater
precision in writing and speaking, and the latter that it might
furnish illustrations in rhetorical exercises.

This conception of education was almost universally held in the
sixteenth century, by Protestants like Trotzendorf and Sturm, as well
as by Catholics like Aquaviva and the members of the Society of Jesus.
Nor was it confined to elementary and secondary education; for, as
Professor Paulsen[2] has shown, the conquest of European universities
by the humanists was complete by the second decade of the sixteenth
century. The statutes of most of the universities at this time make the
speaking of the Latin compulsory. That at Ingolstadt reads: “A master
in a bursary shall induce to the continual use of Latin by verbal
exhortations and by his own example; and shall also appoint those who
shall mark such as speak the vulgar tongue and shall receive from them
an irremissible penalty.” Again: “That the students in their academical
exercises may learn by the habit of speaking Latin to speak and express
themselves better, the faculty ordains that no person placed by the
faculty upon a common or other bursary shall dare to speak German.
Any one heard by one of the overseers to speak German shall pay one
kreutzer.” There grew out of this prohibition a widespread system
of spying. The spies reported to the university authorities on such
students (_vulgarisantes_ they were called) who persisted in speaking
in the mother-tongue. In spite, however, of statutes, spies, fines, and
floggings, the boys in the sixteenth century spoke little Latin when
they were alone by themselves. Cordier,[3] writing in 1530, says, “Our
boys always chatter French with their companions; or if they try to
talk Latin, cannot keep it up.”

The old ecclesiastical Latin of the Middle Ages had been superseded by
the classical Latin of the Roman poets, and all the energies of the
educational institutions were thrown into the acquisition and practice
of Latin eloquence. The classics were read for the phrases that might
be culled for use in the construction of Latin sentences; these, with
disputations, declamations, and Latin plays, were the order of the
century. Since education consisted in the acquisition of a graceful and
elegant style, the young learner, from the first, applied himself to
the grammatical study of Latin authors, regarding solely the language
of the classics, and taking subject-matter into account only when this
was necessary to understand the words.

There was no study of the mother-tongue preliminary to the study of
the classics. Children began at once the study of the Latin grammar,
and they had to write Latin verses before they had been exercised in
compositions, in the vernacular, or, for that matter, before they
had been trained to express their thoughts in Latin prose. And still
more remarkable, as Oscar Browning points out, “the Latin taught was
not the masculine language of Lucretius and Cæsar, but the ornate and
artificial diction of Horace and Virgil, and, above all, of Cicero.”
“There is no doubt,” he adds, “that narrow and faulty as it was, it
gave a good education so long as people believed in it. To know Horace
and Virgil by heart became the first duty of the scholar. Speeches
in Parliament were considered incomplete if they did not contain at
least one Latin quotation. A false quantity was held to be a greater
crime than a slip in logical argument. Cicero not only influenced the
education of English statesmen, but had no inconsiderable effect on
their conduct.”

The humanist educators of the sixteenth century not only neglected the
study of the mother-tongue—they proscribed it. The _Ratio_[4] of the
Jesuits forbids its use except on holidays, and Sturm at Strasburg
abbreviated the recreation periods of his pupils because of risks
of speaking in the mother-tongue on the playground. And all this
proscription of the vernacular that students might acquire eloquence in
a foreign tongue. Well does Raumer[5] ask, “Why did they continue, like
a second Sisyphus, their fruitless endeavors to metamorphose German
into Roman youths, and to impart to them, in defiance of the laws of
human nature, another tongue?”

They were themselves deceived in assuming that they could call to life
the ancient culture of Rome and Greece. Indeed, they believed that they
had discovered ways of training which would develop scholars capable of
producing Latin works equal to the masterpieces that they had studied
in their schools. John Sturm, one of the most ardent of the humanists,
said: “The Romans had two advantages over us; the one consisted in
learning Latin without going to school, and the other in frequently
seeing Latin comedies and tragedies acted, and in hearing Latin orators
speak. Could we recall these advantages in our schools, why could we
not, by persevering diligence, gain what they possessed by accident and
habit—namely, the power of speaking Latin to perfection? I hope to see
the men of the present age, in their writing and speaking, not merely
followers of the old masters, but equal to those who flourished in the
noblest age of Athens and Rome.” But how misguided and mistaken!

Not only did Latin monopolize the curriculum of the sixteenth-century
school, but the study was primarily philological, for grammatical
structure, and only secondarily for the content of the literature,
for a correct understanding of the author. As a matter of fact, the
method of study was such as to make intelligent comprehension of the
author’s thought next to impossible, since the humanists simply culled
out phrases which might be imitated and used in the exercises of style.
Raumer says of this kind of teaching: “The author was not an end, but
only a means to an end—the cultivation of deified Roman eloquence in
boys. And why? Precisely as the peacock was used by the jackdaw. They
borrowed the author’s words and phrases, grouped them together, and
learned them by heart, in order subsequently to apply them in speech or
writing. Borrow is too feeble an expression; for the jackdaw designed
not merely to borrow the peacock’s feathers, but to represent them
as his own. The doctrine of imitation, as set forth by Sturm and the
others, was, after all, a mere jackdaw theory. The pupil was taught
how, by a slight alteration, to disguise phrases from Cicero, and then
to use them in writing or speech, exactly as if they were his own
productions, so adroitly smuggling them in that the readers or hearers
might not suspect from whence they were taken. Says Sturm: ‘When the
teacher gives out themes for composition, he should draw attention to
those points where imitation is desirable, and show how similarity
may be concealed by a superadded variation.’ Again: ‘We must, in the
first place, take care that the similarity shall not be manifest. Its
concealment may be accomplished in three ways—by adding, by taking
away, and by alteration.’”

In this mad race for Latin eloquence, the sixteenth-century humanists
became more and more circumscribed in the choice of authors. Sturm,
for example, placed Cicero at the head of the list, because of the
faultless models of his eloquence. The Jesuits likewise held Cicero in
high esteem. Said one of their writers, “Style should be drawn almost
exclusively from Cicero, although the most approved of the historians
need not on that account be overlooked.” Again: “The pattern we should
follow in style is comprehended in the words of the rule, ‘imitate
Cicero.’ As in the study of theology we follow the divine Thomas
Aquinas, and in philosophy Aristotle, so in the humanities Cicero must
be regarded as our peculiar and preëminent leader. For he has been
crowned by the palm of superior praise by the common consent of the
world. But some, misguided by a wilful and self-formed taste, have
gone astray, preferring a style totally different from that of Cicero;
such an erratic course is quite at variance with the genius of our
institutions and hostile to the spirit of prompt obedience.”

This servile devotion to Cicero, it should be recalled, was a
marked departure from the more varied and richer curricula of the
fifteenth-century humanists,[6] when men of the stamp of Vittorino
da Feltre, Leonardo Bruni, Vergarius, Sylvius, and Guarino were the
standard-bearers of humanism. Many causes had conspired to bring
about this decadence; and perhaps the most fundamental cause was
the senseless worship of forms of expression. The later humanists
worshipped the _forms_ of thought. “Beauty of expression,” says
Professor Laurie,[7] “was regarded as inseparable from truth and
elevation of thought. The movement soon shared the fate of all
enthusiasms. The new form was worshipped, and to it the spirit and
substance were subordinated. Style became the supreme object of the
educated classes, and successful imitation, and thereafter laborious
criticism, became marks of the highest culture.”

This use of the classics as instruments in grammatical drill and
vehicles of communication had become well-nigh universal by the middle
of the sixteenth century. Erasmus, himself one of the most ardent
advocates of classical learning, perceived apparently the narrowing
tendencies of humanistic training, and urged that students be taught
to know many things besides Latin and Greek in order that they might
the better comprehend the classics. He recommended the addition of
geography, arithmetic, and natural science to the school course.

And Melanchthon, with all his enthusiasm for classical learning,
thought the humanities insufficient to satisfy all the needs of
culture. He advised the incorporation of physics, mathematics, and
astronomy into the curriculum. “Although the nature of things cannot
be absolutely known, nor the marvellous works of God traced to their
original, until, in the future life, we shall listen to the eternal
counsel of the Father,” he writes, “nevertheless, even amid this our
present darkness, every gleam and every hint of harmony of this fair
creation forms a step toward the knowledge of God and toward virtue,
whereby we ourselves shall also learn to love and maintain order and
moderation in all our acts. Since it is evident that men are endowed by
their Creator with faculties fitted for the contemplation of nature,
they must, of necessity, take delight in investigating the elements,
the laws, the qualities, and the forces of the various bodies by which
they are surrounded.”

As has already been shown, however, the humanists took little interest
in the study of subjects not discussed by classical authors. Absorbed
in a world of books, as Mr. Quick[8] suggests, they overlooked the
world of nature. Galileo had in vain tried to persuade them to look
through his telescope, but they held that truth could not be discovered
by any such contrivances—that it could be arrived at only by the
comparison of manuscripts. “No wonder,” remarks Mr. Quick, “that they
had so little sympathy with children, and did not know how to teach

Fortunately for the history of education, there were critics in the
sixteenth century who did not conform to the dogma of linguistic
discipline, and who called attention to the need of educational
reform. Whatever the merits of the classical languages, protested
these critics, they must derive their value ultimately from the rank
they take as literature. The protest of Rabelais early in the century
was not only one of the first but one of the most effective charges
against contemporary practices. In his famous satire he intrusted the
young giant Gargantua to the care and training of the humanist educator
Tubal Holofernes, who spent five years and a quarter in teaching him
to say his A B C’s backward; thirteen years on Donatus’ Latin grammar
and the composition of Latin verses and sentences; thirty-four years
more in the study of Latin eloquence, after which the schoolmaster
dies, when, as Rabelais concluded, Gargantua had grown more ignorant,
heavy, and loutish. “In this confused and ribald allegory,” says Mr.
James P. Munroe,[9] “Rabelais led the way out of ancient superstition
into modern science. More than this, he taught in it that the study
of Nature, observation of her laws, imitation of her methods, must
be at the root of every true system of education. He showed that the
Nature spirit is the true spirit of good teaching. Ever since his
day civilized mankind has been trying to learn this lesson of his
and to apply it in the schools. For three centuries the leaders in
education, under his direct inspiration, have been slowly and painfully
transforming the false pedagogy of the cloister into the true pedagogy
of out-of-doors. Writers and teachers, schools and universities, have
been engaged in a halting and irregular struggle to transfer education
from a metaphysical to a physical basis, to lead it away from the habit
of deductive speculation into one of inductive research. This transfer
Rabelais made boldly and at once. He did not, of course, elaborate
the educational ideal of to-day, but he plainly marked out the lines
upon which that ideal is framed. He taught truth and simplicity, he
ridiculed hypocrisy and formalism, he denounced the worship of words,
he demanded the study of things, he showed the beauty of intellectual
health, of moral discipline, of real piety. Best of all, he enunciated
the supreme principle of Nature, which is _ordered freedom_.”

Montaigne,[10] also, in France, was equally severe in his criticisms
on the humanists. He denounced in no uncertain terms the methods of
introducing Latin to beginners and the harsh and severe discipline
so common in the schools of Europe during the sixteenth century.
“Education ought to be carried on with a severe sweetness,” he wrote,
“quite contrary to the practice of our pedants, who, instead of
tempting and alluring children to a study of language by apt and gentle
ways, do, in truth, present nothing before them but rods and ferules,
horror and cruelty. Away with this violence! Away with this compulsion!
There is nothing which more completely dulls and degenerates
the nature of a bright child.” Again: “Our schools are houses of
correction for imprisoned youths; and children are made incorrigible
by punishment. Visit them when the children are getting their lessons,
and you will hear nothing but the outcries of boys under execution
and the thundering noises of their teachers, drunk with fury. It is a
pernicious way to tempt young and timorous souls to love their books
while wearing a ferocious countenance and with a rod in hand.”

Montaigne was equally convinced of the pedagogic error of the humanists
in regarding classical knowledge as synonymous with wisdom. “We
may become learned from the learning of others,” he said, “but we
never become wise except by our own wisdom.... We are truly learned
from knowing the present, not from knowing the past any more than
the future.... Yet we toil only to stuff the memory and leave the
conscience and understanding void. And like birds abroad to forage for
grain, bring it home in their beak, without tasting it themselves, to
feed their young, so our pedants go picking knowledge here and there
out of several authors, and hold it at their tongue’s end, only to spit
it out and distribute it among their pupils.”

Roger Ascham,[11] in the quaint preface of his _Scholemaster_, also
bears testimony against the harsh discipline of the sixteenth century.
During the great plague in London, in 1563, Ascham and some friends
were dining at Windsor with Sir William Cecil. While there he learned
that many of the students at Eton had run away because of the severe
punishments administered at this famous public school. “Whereupon,”
says Ascham, “Sir William took occasion to wish that some discretion
were in many schoolmasters in using correction than commonly there is,
who many times punish rather the weakness of nature than the fault
of the scholar, whereby many scholars that might else prove well, be
driven to hate learning before they know what learning meaneth; and so
are made willing to forsake their book, and to be willing to put to
any other kind of living.” This incident led to the composition of the
_Scholemaster_, which was a guide for “the bringing up of youth,” in
which gentleness rather than severity is recommended, and “a ready way
to the Latin tongue,” in which an honest effort is made to simplify
language teaching and adapt it to the tastes and interests of young

Richard Mulcaster,[12] another Englishman and humanist of the
sixteenth century, questioned seriously the wisdom of his associates
and contemporaries in their exclusion of the mother-tongue from the
course of study. In his _Elementarie_ he asked: “Is it not a marvellous
bondage to become servants to one tongue, for learning’s sake, the most
part of our time, with loss of most time, whereas we may have the very
same treasure in our own tongue with the gain of most time? our own
bearing the joyful title of our liberty and freedom, the Latin tongue
remembering us of our thraldom and bondage. I love Rome, but London
better; I favor Italy, but England more: I honor the Latin, but I
worship the English.” Mr. Quick is right in maintaining that “it would
have been a vast gain to all Europe if Mulcaster had been followed
instead of Sturm. He was one of the earliest advocates of the use of
English instead of Latin, and good reading and writing in English were
to be secured before Latin was begun.”

These were some of the voices raised against the bookish classical
learning of the sixteenth century; but it remained for Vives, Bacon,
and Ratke to convince Europe of the insufficiency of the humanistic
ideal, and for Comenius, the evangelist of modern pedagogy, to bring
about the necessary reforms. The part played by each in the transition
from humanism to realism, from classical learning and philology to
modern thought and the natural sciences, will be briefly traced in the
succeeding chapters of this work.



  Traces of the intellectual development of Comenius.
  Vives a realist—His early training in Spain
  and France—Educational activity in Belgium and
  England—Views on the education of women—Theory of
  education—Comparison of Vives and Comenius. Bacon
  the founder of modern realism—Views on the education
  of his day—Attacks mediævalism—Study of nature
  and the inductive method—Individual differences
  among children. Ratke—Studies at Hamburg and
  Rostock—Visits England and becomes acquainted with
  the philosophy of Bacon—His plan of education—Its
  reception by the universities at Jena and
  Giessen—Organization of the schools at Gotha—Call
  to Sweden—Summary of Ratke’s views—Harmony of his
  teachings with those of Comenius. Campanella,
  Andreæ, and Bateus—Their influence on the life and
  teachings of Comenius.

Every educational reformer owes much, in the way of inspiration and
suggestion, to his predecessors, and of none is this more true than of
John Amos Comenius. Everywhere in his writings are to be found traces
of the movement he championed, in the writings of Vives, Bacon, Ratke,
Bateus, Campanella, and others. As Professor Nicholas Murray Butler
remarks: “From Ratke he learned something of the way in which language
teaching, the whole curriculum of the time, might be reformed; and
from Bateus he derived both the title and the plan of his _Janua_.
Campanella suggested to him the necessity of the direct interrogation
of nature if knowledge was to progress, and Vives emphasized for
him from the same point of view the defects of contemporary school
practice. But it was Bacon’s _Instauratio Magna_ that opened his eyes
to the possibilities of our knowledge of nature and its place in the
educational scheme.”[13] This obligation to his predecessors Comenius
was the first to recognize. And he recognized it often and specifically
by his willing tributes to the help received by him from Vives, Bacon,
Ratke, and others.


“Comenius received his first impulse as a sense-realist,” says Raumer,
“from the well-known Spanish pedagogue John Lewis Vives, who had come
out against Aristotle and disputation in favor of a Christian mode of
philosophizing and the silent contemplation of nature.” “It is better
for the pupils to ask, to investigate, than to be forever disputing
with one another,” said Vives. “Yet,” adds Comenius, “Vives understood
better where the fault was than what was the remedy.” In the preface
to the _Janua_, Comenius quotes Vives among others as opposed to the
current methods of language teaching.

The Spanish educator was born a hundred years before Comenius, of poor,
but noble parentage. When fifteen years old he was considered the most
brilliant pupil in the academy at Valencia. Two years later he was
matriculated in the University of Paris, where, as his biographers tell
us, he was surrounded by the Dialecticians, whose theology was the most
abstruse and whose Latin was the most barbarous. This condition of
affairs turned the young Spaniard’s thoughts toward educational reform.
He realized in Paris, as he had not before, the uselessness of the
empty disputations which occupied so much time in the schools.

Three years were spent in study at Paris, after which Vives travelled
through portions of Spain and France, and, in 1517, he settled with
the Valdura family in Bruges and married the daughter of his host.
Here he wrote his allegory _Christi triumphus_, in which he holds up
to ridicule the methods of teaching in the University of Paris. A year
later he was installed in the University of Louvain as the instructor
of the young Cardinal de Croy. While here he wrote a history of
philosophy; made the acquaintance of Erasmus; and opened correspondence
with Thomas More and other reformers.

In 1519 he visited Paris with Cardinal de Croy; and, in spite of his
late criticisms, he was cordially received by the university, his
scholarship and ability now being recorded facts. Two years later De
Croy died without having made any provision for the support of his
tutor. Vives began at once a commentary on St. Augustine; but his
health giving way, he returned to Bruges, where, in July, he had a
personal interview with Thomas More, Wolsey, and others, who were in
favor with Henry VIII of England. He taught at Louvain during the
winter semester of 1522–1523, after which, through the influence of the
English dignitaries already mentioned, he was called to England.

In what capacity he went to England is hardly known. Some say as the
tutor of King Henry’s daughter Mary; others as a lecturer in the
University of Oxford. Certain it is that he gave two lectures at
Oxford, which were attended by the king and queen, and that he received
the honorary degree of D.C.L., in 1523. In 1526 appeared his treatise
on the care of the poor, which he dedicated to the municipal council
of Bruges. It was one of the first scientific treatments of pauperism.
He maintained that it was incumbent upon State, and not upon the
Church to care for the poor. Buisson says of it, “Its suggestions are
as attractive as they are wise; and even to-day they continue in full

In 1528 he published his pedagogic classic on the Christian education
of women. The mother, says Vives, like Cornelia, should regard her
children as her most precious jewels. She should nurse her own children
because of possible physical influences on the child. The mother should
instruct her girl in all that pertains to the household; and early
teach her to read. She should relate to her stories, not empty fables,
but such as will instruct and edify her and teach her to love virtue
and hate vice. The mother should teach her daughter that riches, power,
praise, titles, and beauty are vain and empty things; and that piety,
virtue, bravery, meekness, and culture are imperishable virtues. Strong
discipline in the home is urged. Lax discipline, says Vives, makes a
man bad, but it makes a woman a criminal. Dolls should be banished from
the nursery because they encourage vanity and love of dress. Boys and
girls should not be instructed together, not even during the earliest
years of childhood. But women require to be educated as well as men.
This work, which presented in stronger terms than hitherto the claims
of the education of women, was dedicated to Catherine of Aragon. It
was widely republished and had large influence.

For five years Vives had been a distinguished figure at the court of
Henry VIII, but with the king’s application for divorce, in 1528, came
a rupture of these pleasant relations. In a letter to a friend he says:
“You must have heard of the troubles between the king and the queen,
as it is now talked of everywhere. I have taken the side of the queen,
whose cause has seemed to me just, and have defended her by word and
pen. This offended his Majesty to such degree that I was imprisoned
for six weeks, and only released upon condition that I would never
appear in the palace again. I then concluded it safest to return home
[to Bruges]; and, indeed, the queen advised me to in a secret letter.
Shortly after Cardinal Campeggio was sent to Britain to judge the
cause. The king was very solicitous that the queen appoint counsel to
defend her side before Campeggio and Wolsey. She, therefore, called
me to her aid; but I told her plainly that any defence before such a
court was useless, and that it would be much better to be condemned
unheard, than with the _appearance_ of defence. The king sought only
to save appearances with his people, that the queen might not appear
to have been unjustly treated; but he had little regard for the rest.
At this the queen was incensed that I did not obey her call instead
of following my own good judgment, which is worth more to me than all
the princes of the world together. So it has come about that the king
regards me as his adversary, and the queen regards me as disobedient
and opinionated; and both of them have withdrawn my pension.”

His closing years were passed at Bruges with his wife’s family; at
Breda with the Duchess of Nassau, a Spanish lady who had formerly been
his pupil; and at Paris, where he gave some courses of lectures. He
had struggled against a weak constitution all his life, and after his
return from England other diseases developed. He died on May 6, 1540,
in his forty-eighth year, and was buried in the Church of St. Donat at

His most considerable contribution to the philosophy of education
appeared after his return from England. It was entitled _De
disciplinis_; was published in three parts, in 1531; and was dedicated
to the King of Portugal. As Dr. Lange remarks, this work alone entitles
Vives to large consideration as an educational reformer.

Vives justifies, in the introduction, the position he assumes in regard
to Aristotle; while he regards the Greek as a great philosopher, he
declares that the world has gained in experience since Aristotle
wrote, and he sees no reason why his teachings should not be set aside
if found to be incorrect. He has no doubt but that later generations
will find theories better adapted to their ends than those he himself
advocates, but he greets as a friend the one who shall point out his

In the first part he treats of the decline of the sciences. The causes
of this decline he considers twofold: (1) Moral; and here he notes
an unwillingness to search for truth for truth’s sake. Pride is the
root of this evil. A student in the University of Paris had remarked
to him, “Sooner than not distinguish myself by founding some new
doctrine, I would defend one of whose falsity I was convinced.” This
moral weakness he thought altogether inconsistent with the advancement
of the sciences. (2) Historical and material, including as causes the
migration of nations by which existing orders of civilization have been
annihilated; the obscurity of ancient manuscripts, requiring more time
to decipher their meaning than it would take to discover from nature
their meaning; the ever increasing use of commentaries in the study
of originals, in which the diverse opinions of the commentators lead
farther from the original sense; the practice of scholastic disputation
which is taught the pupils before they know what they are disputing
about; and the practice of regarding teaching as a trade rather than a
profession, thus causing many bright minds to select other vocations,
and to bring to the work incompetent and coarse minds.

The second part treats of the decline of grammar, and the third part
of the art of teaching, in which he gives some most sane directions.
Schools should be located in the most healthy part of the community.
They should not be too near commercial centres; at the same time,
they should not be too distant from the centre of population. As to
teachers, they should have good academic training; they should be
skilled in the art of imparting knowledge; and their morals should
be such as would furnish examples to their pupils. Covetousness and
ambition, above all things, should be unknown to them. Teachers who
have ambition and reputation in their minds are thereby unfitted
for the work of teaching. On this account, the state should fix the
salaries, and the compensation should be the wage of honest men.
There should be a school in every community. Before pupils should be
assigned tasks, teachers should ascertain their mental capacities and
characteristics. They should also be privately tested four times a
year; and when children are found who possess no taste for study they
should be dismissed from the school. Corporal punishment should seldom
be applied, and never to such a degree as to humiliate the pupils.
Children should be given plenty of play time; and hearty, romping games
are especially recommended. In the matter of method, Vives heartily
commends the inductive,—from particulars to generals,—and he urges such
a grouping of studies that each new subject studied may naturally grow
out of the preceding lesson. While he strongly advises the study of the
natural sciences, he is less enthusiastic here than Bacon, fearing, as
he admits, that a contemplation of nature may prove dangerous to those
not deeply grounded in faith.

But Vives was essentially a realist in his doctrines of education;
and when his views are compared with those of Comenius, community of
ideas is at once apparent. Both would begin education in the home and
make the mother the first teacher. Both realized the need of better
organization and classification of the schools. Both urged reforms
in the matter of language teaching. Both considered education a
matter of state concern, and urged pedagogical training for teachers.
Both presented the claims of science and urged the coördination and
correlation of the different subjects of study. Both emphasized the
value of play and the need of physical training. Both advocated
education for all classes of both sexes, and both exaggerated the need
and importance of the religious training of the child.


“Though there were many before Bacon, and especially artists and
craftsmen,” says Raumer, “who lived in communion with nature, and who,
in manifold ways, transfigured and idealized her, and unveiled her
glory; and, though their sense for nature was so highly cultivated
that they attained to a practical understanding of her ways, yet this
understanding was at best merely instinctive: for it led them to no
scientific deductions and yielded them no thoughtful and legitimate
dominion over her.”

The founder of modern realism was born in London on the 22d of January
in the year 1561. When sixteen years of age he entered Trinity College,
Cambridge, where he studied under Dr. John Whitgift, a noted professor
of theology, and afterward archbishop of Canterbury. He studied
diligently the writings of Aristotle, but was convinced of their
inadequacy. Writing of this period he says: “Amid men of sharp and
strong wits, and abundance of leisure, and small variety of reading,
their wits being shut up in the cells of a few authors, chiefly
Aristotle, their dictator, as their persons are shut up in the cells
of monasteries and colleges; and who knowing little history, either of
nature or time, did out of no great quantity of matter, and infinite
agitation of wit, spin cobwebs of learning, admirable for the fineness
of the thread and work, but of no substance or profit.”

The checkered career of Bacon is extraneous to his writings and may be
passed over in silence. As noted in the first chapter, the educational
institutions of the sixteenth century concerned themselves wholly with
the acquisition and display of Latin eloquence. Grammar was studied
with infinite labor and sorrow for years that students might acquire
correct forms of speech; logic that they might express themselves with
precision; and a minimum of history was taught that ancient records
might furnish ornate illustrations in speaking and writing.

Erasmus and Melanchthon had disputed this ideal of culture, but it
remained for Bacon to demolish this idol of mediævalism. “Forsooth,”
he says, “we suffer the penalty of our first parents’ sin, and yet
follow in their footsteps. They desired to be like God, and we, their
posterity, would be so in a higher degree. For we create worlds, direct
and control nature, and, in short, square all things by the measure
of our own folly, not by the plummet of divine wisdom, nor as we find
them in reality. I know not whether, for this result we are forced
to do violence to nature or to our own intelligence the most; but it
nevertheless remains true, that we stamp the seal of our own image upon
the creatures and works of God, instead of carefully searching for,
and acknowledging, the seal of the Creator manifest in them. Therefore
have we lost, the second time, and that deservedly, our empire over the
creatures, yea, when after and notwithstanding the fall, there was left
to us some title to dominion over the unwilling creatures, so that they
could be subjected and controlled, even this we have lost, in great
part through our pride, in that we have desired to be like God, and
to follow the dictates of our own reason alone. Now then, if there be
any humility in the presence of the Creator, if there be any reverence
for and exaltation of his handiwork, if there be any charity toward
men, any desires to relieve the woes and sufferings of humanity, any
love for the light of truth, and hatred toward the darkness of error,—I
would beseech men again and again, to dismiss altogether, or at least
for a moment to put away their absurd and intractable theories,
which give to assumptions the dignity of hypotheses, dispense with
experiment, and turn them away from the works of God. Let them with
a teachable spirit approach the great volume of creation, patiently
decipher its secret characters, and converse with its lofty truths; so
shall they leave behind the delusive echoes of prejudice, and dwell
within the perpetual outgoings of divine wisdom. This is that speech
and language whose lines have gone out into all the earth, and no
confusion of tongues has ever befallen it. This language we should all
strive to understand, first condescending, like little children, to
master its alphabet.”

Instead of training children to interrogate nature for themselves,
and to interpret the answers to these interrogations, instead of
going straight to nature herself, the schools are forever teaching
what others have thought and written on the subject. This procedure,
according to Bacon, not only displays lack of pedagogic sense, but
gives evidence of ignorance and self-conceit, and inflicts the greatest
injury on philosophy and learning. Such methods of instruction,
moreover, tend to stifle and interrupt all inquiry. We must, says
Bacon, “come as new-born children, with open and fresh minds, to the
observation of nature. For it is no less true in this human kingdom of
knowledge than in God’s kingdom of heaven, that no man shall enter into
it except as he becomes first as a little child.”

Bacon’s notion, as summarized by Raumer, was that “man must put himself
again in direct, close, and personal contact with nature, and no
longer trust to the confused, uncertain, and arbitrary accounts and
descriptions of her historians and would-be interpreters. From a clear
and correct observation and perception of objects, their qualities,
powers, etc., the investigator must proceed, step by step, till he
arrives at laws, and to that degree of insight that will enable him
to interpret the laws and to analyze the processes of nature. To this
end Bacon proffers to us his new method—the method of induction. With
the aid of this method we attain to an insight into the connection and
natural relation of the laws of matter, and thus, according to him, we
are enabled through this knowledge to make nature subservient to our

This was, according to Comenius, the true key to the human intellect.
But he laments that Bacon should have given us the key and failed
to unlock the door to the treasure-house. But Bacon did more than
formulate the laws of scientific induction for pedagogic purposes: he
made possible the enrichment of the courses of study by the addition
of a wide range of school studies. His thrusts at the Latin and Greek,
as the sole exponents of culture, were telling in their effect and
made possible the recognition of the vernacular themes in Comenius’
day. “The wisdom of the Greeks,” he says, “was rhetorical; it expended
itself upon words, and it had little to do with the search after
truth.” Speaking again of classical culture, he says: “These older
generations fell short of many of our present knowledges; they know but
a small part of the world, and but a brief period of history. We, on
the contrary, are acquainted with a far greater extent of the world,
besides having discovered a new hemisphere, and we look back and survey
long periods of history.”

Bacon recognized great individual differences in the mental capacities
of children, and he urged that these differences and special tastes
be taken into account by the teachers. He says: “The natural bent
of the individual minds should be so far encouraged that a student
who shall learn all that is required of him may be allowed time in
which to pursue a favorite study. And, furthermore, it is worth while
to consider, and I think this point has not hitherto received the
attention which its importance demands, that there are two distinct
modes of training the mind to a free and appropriate use of its
faculties. The one begins with the easiest, and so proceeds to the
more difficult; the other, at the outset, presses the pupil with the
more difficult tasks, and, after he has mastered these, turns him to
pleasanter and easier ones: for it is one method to practise swimming
with bladders, and another to practise dancing with heavy shoes. It
is beyond all estimate how a judicious blending of these two methods
will profit both the mental and the bodily powers. And so to select
and assign topics of instruction as to adapt them to the individual
capabilities of the pupils,—this, too, requires a special experience
and judgment. A close observation and an accurate knowledge of the
different natures of the pupils are due from teachers to the parents
of these pupils, that they may choose an occupation in life for their
sons accordingly. And note further, that not only does every one make
more rapid progress in those studies to which his nature inclines him,
but, again, that a natural disinclination, in whatever direction, may
be overcome by the help of special studies. For instance, if a boy has
a light, inattentive, inconstant spirit, so that he is easily diverted,
and his attention cannot be readily fixed, he will find advantage
in the mathematics, in which a demonstration must be commenced anew
whenever the thought wanders even for a moment.”

These citations will suggest parallels in the aims of the two great
reformers. Both sought to introduce the student to nature at first
hand. Both aimed to reorganize the sciences into one great body of
coördinated knowledge. Both emphasized the value of the inductive
method in the development of subjects of study. Bacon said: “A good
method will solve all problems. A cripple on the right path will beat a
racer on the wrong path.” Said Comenius: “The secret of education lies
in method.” Again: “There is no difficulty in learning Latin: what we
want is a good method.”


Although but little more than twenty years the senior of Comenius,
Ratke’s mental development was less tardy, so that when the Moravian
was a young collegian at Herborn, Ratke was enjoying the full flush
of popularity as an educational reformer. Born at Wilster in Holstein
(Germany), in 1571, he trained in the gymnasium at Hamburg, and
later studied philosophy at Rostock. Later he travelled in England
and Holland; studied Hebrew and Arabic, and formulated the plan of
education which made him famous as a reformer. He attached great value
to his plan and expressed great unwillingness to divulge it without
adequate remuneration. He made known his contemplated reforms at a
diet of the German Empire, held at Frankfort on the 12th of May, 1612.
They were threefold: (1) To teach Latin, Greek, or Hebrew, or any
other language, to young or old in a very short time; (2) to establish
schools in which the arts and sciences should be taught and extended;
(3) to introduce a uniform speech throughout the empire, and, at the
same time, uniform government and religion. He proposed to follow the
order and course of nature, and teach first the mother-tongue, after
this Hebrew and Greek, as being the tongues of the original text of the
Bible, and, lastly, Latin.

Through the influence of the princes (and more especially by the
encouragement of the Duchess Dorothea of Weimar), the plans of Ratke
were submitted to a commission selected from the faculties of the
universities at Jena and Giessen,—Professors Grawer, Brendel, Walther,
and Wolf representing Jena and Professors Helwig and Jung, Giessen.
The report was favorable to Ratke. Professor Helwig, who was one of
the best linguists of his day, was the spokesman for Giessen, and he
accepted Ratke’s views with great enthusiasm. “By diligent reflection
and long practice,” he says, “Ratke has discovered a valuable method by
which good arts and languages can be taught and studied more easily,
quickly, and correctly than has been usual in the schools. Ratke’s
method is more practicable in the arts than in the sciences, since
arts and sciences are by their nature consistent with themselves,
while the languages, on the contrary, by long use have acquired many

Professor Helwig commends especially the methodology in Ratke’s plan,
and urges that we must consider not only the knowledge to be imparted,
but as well the method of imparting knowledge. He says: “Nature does
much, it is true, but when art assists her, her work is much more
certain and complete. Therefore it is necessary that there should be
an especial art to which any one who desires to teach can adhere,
so that he shall not teach by mere opinion and guess, nor by native
instinct alone, but by the rules of his art; just as he who would speak
correctly by the rules of grammar, and he who would sing correctly
by the rules of music. This art of teaching, like the art of logic,
applies to all languages, arts, and sciences. It discusses among other
things how to distinguish among minds and gifts, so that the quicker
may not be delayed, and that, on the contrary, those who are by nature
not so quick may not remain behind; how and in what order to arrange
the exercises; how to assist the understanding; how to strengthen
the memory; how to sharpen the intellect without violence and after
the true course of nature. This art of teaching, no less than other
arts, has its fixed laws and rules, founded not only upon the nature
and understanding of man, but upon the peculiarities of languages,
arts, and sciences; and it admits of no ways of teaching which are not
deduced from sure grounds and founded upon proof.” The Jena professors
were no less favorable with regard to this new art of teaching.

The influence of this report on the fame of Ratke was far-reaching.
The following year (1614) he was invited to Augsburg to reform the
schools of that city. This invitation was the outgrowth of a study of
his plan by David Höschel, the principal of St. Anne’s School, and two
other teachers appointed by the city to accompany him to Frankfort
and aid him in the investigation. They reported that Ratke had so far
explained his method to them that they were satisfied and pleased
with it; and the invitation to Ratke promptly followed. Beyond a few
monographs by the Augsburg disciples, based on his method, and inspired
doubtless by his sojourn there, we are altogether without evidence of
the success or failure of the reforms at Augsburg.

Early in 1616, Prince Ludwig of Anhalt-Gotha yielded to the persuasions
of his sister, the Duchess Dorothea of Weimar, and invited Ratke to
Gotha to organize the schools there in accordance with his views. He
engaged to organize and supervise the schools and to instruct and train
the teachers, but he bound the prince to exact from each teacher a
promise not to divulge his method to any one.

A printing-office was established at Gotha to supply the books required
by the new order. Fonts of type in six languages were imported from
Holland, and four compositors and two pressmen were brought from
Rostock and Jena. The people of Gotha were required by the prince to
send their children to the schools organized by Ratke. Two hundred and
thirty-one boys and two hundred and two girls were enrolled.

The school was graded into six classes. The mother-tongue was taught
in the lowest classes; Latin was begun in the fourth, and Greek in the
sixth. He required that the teacher in the lowest class should be a
man of kind manners, and that he need know no language but the German.
This scandalized the whole German nation. A schoolmaster ignorant of
Latin! Critics appeared from the first with the most cogent reasons
for distrusting the “new methods.” But Ratke had the confidence of
the prince, and all went merrily for a time. The instruction was
simplified; and, besides the mother-tongue, arithmetic, singing, and
religion were taught.

But he encountered numerous obstacles at Gotha: the teachers of the
town, it would appear, did not fully share his views; the town adhered
to the Reformed Church and Ratke was a Lutheran,—a fact which caused no
end of trouble; and the prince was not altogether satisfied with the
fulfilment of Ratke’s promises of reform. The pastor of the Reformed
Church of Gotha preferred formal charges of heterodoxy against him, and
maintained, besides, that Ratke made too little provision for the study
of music and the catechism; that too much time was given to recreation;
that the discipline was altogether too mild; and that the children
were permitted to pass from one study to another too rapidly. Singular
charges, these! And the more singular when one recalls the long hours
and the harsh discipline of the seventeenth century.

The opposition was strong, and at the end of eighteen months the
Gotha experiment was brought to an abrupt close. Ratke was not only
dismissed, but was imprisoned on the charge that he “had claimed and
promised more than he knew that he could bring to pass.” After spending
the best of a year in prison, he signed a declaration in which he
assented to the charges. Then the prince released him. He went to
Magdeburg, where he was well received by the school authorities; but
the ecclesiastical dignitaries of the city were soon at war with him,
and he moved on to Rudolstadt, where he was cordially received by the
Princess Anna Sophia, wife of Prince Gunther of Swarzburg-Rudolstadt.

Subsequently Oxenstiern, the chancellor of Sweden, sought his services
in the reformation of the Swedish schools; but instead of the requested
interview, he sent the chancellor a thick quarto. “I accomplished this
wearisome labor,” says Oxenstiern; “and after I had read the whole
book through, I found that he had not ill displayed the faults of the
schools, but his remedies did not seem to me adequate.” Ratke died
shortly afterward at the age of sixty-four years.

Ratke’s contribution to education was chiefly in the matter of
methodology. His leading principles were: (1) In everything we should
follow the order of nature. There is a certain natural sequence along
which the human intelligence moves in the acquisition of knowledge.
This sequence must be studied, and instruction must be based on a
knowledge of it. (2) One thing at a time. Each subject of study should
be orderly developed and thoroughly dealt with before proceeding to
the next. (3) There should be frequent repetition. It is astonishing
what may be accomplished by the frequent repetition of one thing. (4)
Everything first in the mother-tongue. The first thinking should always
be in the vernacular. Whatever the vocation, the pupil should learn
to express himself in the mother-tongue. After the mother-tongue has
been mastered, the other languages may be studied. (5) Everything
without compulsion. Children cannot be whipped into learning or wishing
to learn; by compulsion and blows they are so disgusted with their
studies that study becomes hateful to them. Moreover, it is contrary
to nature to flog children for not remembering what has been taught
them. If they had been properly taught they would have remembered, and
blows would have been unnecessary. Children should be taught to love
and reverence—not to fear their teachers. (6) Nothing should be learned
by rote. Learning by heart weakens the understanding. If a subject has
been well developed, and has been impressed upon the mind by frequent
repetition, the memory of it will follow without any pains. Frequent
hours of recreation are advised; in fact, no two lessons should come
immediately together. (7) A definite method (and a uniform method) for
all studies. In the languages, arts, and sciences, there must be a
conformity in the methods of teaching, text-books used, and precepts
given. The German grammar, for instance, must agree with the Hebrew and
the Greek as far as the idioms of the language will permit. (8) The
thing itself should first be studied, and then whatever explains it.
Study first the literature of a language and then its grammar. A basis
of material must first be laid in the mind before rules can be applied.
He admits that many of the grammars furnish examples with the rules;
but these examples “come together from all sorts of authors, like mixed
fodder in a manger.” (9) Everything must be learned by experience and
examination. Nothing is to be taken on authority. It will be recalled
that Ratke visited England after the completion of his studies at
Rostock; and it is altogether likely that while there he became a
convert to induction and the philosophy of Bacon.

In most particulars Ratke and Comenius were in harmony. Both urged
that the study of things should precede or be united with the study of
words; that knowledge should be communicated through appeals to the
senses; that all linguistic study should begin with the mother-tongue;
that methods of teaching should be in accordance with the laws of
nature; and that progress in studies should be based not on compulsion,
but on the interest aroused in the pupils.

_Campanella, Andreæ, and Bateus_

Comenius derived many of his philosophic concepts from the Dominican
reformer, Thomas Campanella, whose writings influenced him powerfully,
at least during his student years at Herborn and Heidelberg. The
writings of Campanella convinced him of the unwisdom of the study of
nature from the works of Aristotle. Books, Campanella had declared, are
but dead copies of life, and are full of error and deception. We must
ourselves explore nature and write down our own thoughts, the living
mirror which shows the reflection of God’s countenance. These protests
against scholasticism found a responsive chord in the thoughts of the
young Comenius.

In the preface to the _Prodromus_ Comenius is unreserved in his
expression of obligations to his predecessors. “Who, indeed, should
have the first place,” he says, “but John Valentine Andreæ, a man of
nimble and clear brain.” The court preacher of Stuttgart had strongly
impressed Comenius by his deep love for Christian ideals and his warm
enthusiasm for their realization in practical life, as well as by his
humorous polemics against the dead scholasticism of his day. Comenius
incorporates in his _Great didactic_ a brief by Andreæ on “the use of
the art of teaching,” in which he maintains (1) that parents up to this
time have been uncertain how much to expect from their children; (2)
that schoolmasters, the greater number of whom have been ignorant of
their art, have exhausted their energies and worn themselves out in
their efforts to fulfil their duty; (3) that students should master the
sciences without difficulty, tedium, or blows, as if in sport and in
merriment; (4) that schools should become places of amusement, houses
of delight and attraction, and the work so adjusted that students of
whatever capacity might attain a high standard of development; (5)
that states should exist for the development of the young; (6) that
schools should be so efficient that the Church may never lack learned
doctors, and the learned doctors lack suitable hearers; and (7) that
the schools may be so reformed that they may give a more exact and
universal culture of the intellect, and that Christian youths may
be more fervently stirred up to vigor of mind and love of heavenly
things. “Let none, therefore,” says Andreæ, “withdraw his thoughts,
desires, strength, and resources from such a sacred undertaking. It is
inglorious to despair of progress and wrong to despise the counsel of

The obligation of Comenius to William Bateus, the Irish Jesuit, was
not great, although he makes free acknowledgment of the same in the
_Janua_. Indeed, the plan of the _Janua_ was well formulated before
he knew of the existence of the Jesuit father’s book. He made known
the plan of his _Janua_ to some friends, who told him that Bateus had
already published a similar work. He was not content until he had
procured a copy of the book. “The idea,” says Comenius, “was better
than the execution. Nevertheless, as he was the prime inventor, I
thankfully acknowledge it, nor will I upbraid him for those errors he
has committed.” This willing recognition of his obligation to a wide
range of educational writers is proof of the declaration he often made,
“I care not whether I act the part of teacher or learner.”



  Ancestry of Comenius—Attends the village school
  at Strasnitz—Studies Latin in the gymnasium at
  Prerau—Character of the Latin schools of his
  day—Enters the college at Herborn—Studies theology
  and philosophy—Inspired by the teachings of
  Alsted—Makes the acquaintance of the writings of
  Ratke—Continues his studies at Heidelberg—Begins
  his career as a teacher at Prerau—Ordained as
  a clergyman—Installed as pastor and school
  superintendent at Fulneck—Persecution.

Many of the facts concerning the early life of John Amos Comenius are
shrouded in obscurity. It is certain, however, that he was born in the
village of Nivnitz in Moravia (now a province of Austria) on the 28th
day of March, in the year 1592. Nivnitz then, as now, was little more
than a country market town and settled quite largely by members of
the religious organization known as Moravian Brethren. The father and
mother of Comenius, Martin and Anna Komensky, were influential members
of the brotherhood, who had settled here some years previous with other
followers of John Hus, the Bohemian reformer and martyr. The tradition
that Martin Komensky was a miller by trade does not seem to be well
authenticated. Besides John Amos, three daughters were born to Martin
and Anna Komensky,—Ludmilla, Susanna, and Margaret,—but the three girls
died in early childhood.

Martin Komensky died in 1604,[14] and his wife survived him less than
a year. Left an orphan at the early age of twelve years, Comenius was
intrusted to the care and training of an improvident aunt, who soon
made way with his inheritance. In this, as in the neglect of his school
training, the incompetence of the foster parent is clearly apparent.
For something more than four years the lad attended the village school
at Strasnitz. But, as he himself tells us, the curriculum was narrow
and the teaching poor. While here Comenius formed the acquaintance of
a schoolfellow named Nicholas Drabik, through whose prophetic visions
he was so ignominiously led astray in his later life, and so bitterly
reproached by his contemporaries. “It was a strange irony of fate,”
remarks Mr. Keatinge, “that a wanderer like Comenius, when only eleven
years old and in his native land, should commence the intimacy that
was to embitter his old age in Amsterdam.” But, as Benham notes, the
fact that the matter was so soon forgotten shows that the character of
Comenius received no indelible stain by the unfortunate alliance, even
though he excited the ridicule and disrespect, and even the contempt,
of his contemporaries.

At the advanced age of sixteen years, he was initiated into the
mysteries of classical learning in the Latin school at Prerau, where he
studied for two years. A fairly accurate notion of his studies during
this period may be gained from a glance at the course of study in a
contemporary Latin school herewith reproduced in translation from the
Bohemian.[15] The schedule of hours in the second grade of this school
was as follows: In the morning, during the first hour, repetition of
grammar lesson from memory and explanation of the next day’s grammar
lesson. During the second hour, the dialogues of Castalio; and the
third hour, the recitation of Castalio’s dialogues in the Bohemian, and
the grammatical analysis of the words and conversation of the lesson.
In the afternoon, during the first hour, writing and singing; the
second hour, explanation of the writings of Cicero according to Sturm’s
edition, and grammatical analysis; and the third hour, exercises in
words and sayings. This was the programme for Mondays, Tuesdays,
Thursdays, and Saturdays. On Wednesdays there was but one lesson in
the morning and one in the afternoon. In the morning the catechism was
recited; in addition, imitative exercises for the formation of style.
In the afternoon, the writing of short words and a recapitulation of
the week’s lessons.

The programme for the third grade was as follows: In the forenoon of
Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays:—

_First hour._—Repetition of Latin rules in the mother-tongue.

_Second hour._—Exposition of the conversations of John Lewis Vives.

_Third hour._—Repetition of the above, and Bohemian exercises from the

In the afternoon of the same days, first hour, writing and singing;
second hour, Greek grammar and the collected writings of John Sturm;
and third hour, exposition of Greek proverbs from the New Testament,
together with grammatical analysis of the same. This class had for
its forenoon lesson on Wednesdays the catechism and exercises in the
Bohemian, and in the afternoon singing and writing. _In the summer the
more industrious pupils were excused from the lessons on Wednesday

One period on Saturday was devoted to a weekly review; and on Sunday
morning a chapter was read from the New Testament, the same explained
in Greek (to all grades above the second), and all the students
attended church. In the afternoon there was preaching again and more
reading from the New Testament.

Such we may suppose to have been the character of his studies at Prerau
during the two years from 1608 to 1610. Because of his maturity, he
appreciated most keenly the faults of current humanistic methods of
teaching. As one of his biographers remarks: “The defects of this
early education were the seeds from which sprang the whole of his
didactic efforts. Considerably older than his school-fellows, he was
able to criticise the methods and speedily arrive at the conclusion
that the lack of progress was due more to the inefficiency of the
teachers than to the idleness of their pupils. From this time onward,
he began to devise new methods of class instruction and better schemes
of study. From the vivid memory of the horrors through which he had
passed, of the thousand and one rules that had to be learned by rote
before they were understood, of the monotonous study of grammar, only
diversified by the maddening effort to translate Latin authors without
the assistance of suitable dictionaries or commentaries, sprang that
intense sympathy with beginners which characterizes his whole life and
gives practical worth to every precept that he enunciated.”

After two years in the Latin school at Prerau, he entered the college
at Herborn on the 30th of March, 1611. The University of Prague
was at this time in the hands of the Utraquists, whose unfriendly
attitude toward the Moravian Brethren led to the selection of a German
university for his higher course of instruction. He had determined to
qualify for the ministry, and the institution at Herborn at this time
afforded unusual opportunities for the study of theology. Doubtless
another factor in the selection of Herborn was the fact that John Henry
Alsted, one of the most distinguished theological and philosophical
professors of the day, was lecturing there, and aspiring youths of the
temperament of Comenius naturally gravitated toward this centre of
fresh thought. Although but four years older than Comenius, Alsted was
the most commanding figure in the academic circles of Europe at this
time. He had travelled extensively; had made the acquaintance of most
of the learned men in Europe worth knowing; and had advocated views of
education which were new and startling.

For twenty-seven years Herborn had enjoyed unprecedented academic
prosperity. Opportunities for the study of education were unexcelled;
for, connected with the college, there was a preparatory department
which served as a laboratory for the study of pedagogic problems,
in which, for example, the lower classes were instructed in the
mother-tongue—a procedure that was regarded as ultra-heterodox at this

Comenius was most helped by the instruction of the distinguished
theologian and philosopher, Professor John Henry Alsted. The teachings
of Alsted were of a character calculated to deepen the convictions of
the young student from Moravia, for the Herborn professor taught among
other things—as is indicated by his _Encyclopædia of the sciences_,
published a few years later—the following: (1) Not more than one thing
should be taught at a time; (2) not more than one book should be used
on one subject, and not more than one subject should be taught on one
day; (3) everything should be taught through the medium of what is
more familiar; (4) all superfluity should be avoided; (5) all study
should be mapped out in fixed periods; (6) all rules should be as
short as possible; (7) everything should be taught without severity,
though discipline must be maintained; (8) corporal punishment should be
reserved for moral offences, and never inflicted for lack of industry;
(9) authority should not be allowed to prejudice the mind against
the facts gleaned from experience, nor should custom or preconceived
opinion prevail; (10) the construction of a new language should first
be explained in the vernacular; (11) no language should be taught by
means of grammar; (12) grammatical terms should be the same in all
languages. “The teacher,” said Alsted, “should be a skilled reader of
character, so that he may be able to classify the dispositions of his
pupils. Unless he pays great attention to differences of disposition,
he will but waste all the efforts he expends in teaching.”

Another professor of philosophy at Herborn at the time was Heinrich
Gutberleth, who was likewise deeply interested in pedagogy and whose
lectures seem to have influenced Comenius, with special reference
to his advocacy of the study of the physical sciences. In theology
he heard lectures by Piscator, Hermannus, and Pasor. Since 1530 the
schools of Nassau had been marked by great improvement, and this
improvement was in no small measure due to the intelligent interest
of the professors of theology at Herborn in the schools of the
province. Hermannus, with whom Comenius studied practical theology, was
especially active in school reform.

It was during his student life at Herborn that Comenius became
acquainted with Ratke’s plan of instruction, then much discussed at
university centres, and especially at Jena, Giessen, and Herborn.
However much he may have been stimulated to educational reform by
his own belated classical training and by the pedagogic character of
the work at Herborn, the writings of Ratke, as he himself tells us,
played the largest part in making him an educational reformer. While at
Herborn he gave special attention to the Bohemian language, and planned
a dictionary which was never published.

Comenius left Herborn in the spring of 1613; and after a few weeks’
sojourn at Amsterdam he repaired to Heidelberg, where he matriculated
as a student of philosophy and theology on the 13th of June. Beyond
the fact that he purchased a manuscript of Copernicus, and that at the
end of a year, his funds becoming exhausted, he was forced to make
the return journey to Prague on foot, nothing is known of his life at

Back in his native country after these years of study and travel
in Germany, he was still too young by two years for ordination in
the brotherhood. Meanwhile he turned his attention to education,
and engaged himself as a teacher in the elementary school at Prerau
conducted by the Moravian Brethren. This experience brought him face
to face with problems of methodology and discipline, and gave him an
opportunity to apply some of the theories he had formulated while a
student at Herborn. His attention was at once called to the ineffective
methods employed in teaching Latin, for the remedy of which he prepared
an easy Latin book for beginners.

His ordination took place at Zerwick on the 29th day of April, 1616,
although he continued teaching at Prerau for two years longer, when
he was called to the pastorate of the flourishing Moravian church
at Fulneck. At the same time, or shortly thereafter, he was elected
superintendent of the schools of the town. In this twofold capacity he
ministered to the spiritual and educational needs of Fulneck for three
years, and passed the only tranquil and happy years of his life. But
the year that ushered in this prosperous career witnessed the outbreak
of the Thirty Years’ War.

In 1621 Fulneck was sacked by the Spaniards, and the conquering
force gave itself up to destruction that baffles description. Houses
were pillaged, including the residence of Comenius, and he lost all
his property, including his library and the manuscripts of several
educational treatises, on the composition of which he had spent years
of labor.

From this time on, the Moravian Brethren were exposed to the most
relentless persecutions. Many were executed, and others took refuge
in caves in the wilderness or on the secluded estates of wealthy
sympathizers. For three years Comenius found an asylum on the estate
of Karl von Zerotin. The death of his wife and children (for he had
married while at Fulneck) added to the afflictions of his exile; but
he sought relief from his sorrow in literary work—the composition of a
metrical translation of the Psalms, an allegorical description of life,
and the construction of a highly meritorious map of Moravia.

The persecution of the enemies rendered concealment no longer possible;
and, although Karl von Zerotin was held in high regard by Ferdinand
II, in 1624 the imperial mandate was issued which banished the
evangelical clergy from the country. For a time Comenius and several
of his brethren secreted themselves from their merciless pursuers on
the Bohemian mountains, in the citadel of Baron Sadowsky, near Slaupna.
But the edict of 1627 put an end to further protection of the Moravian
clergy by the nobles; and in January, 1628, Comenius and many of his
compatriots, including his late protector, Baron Sadowsky, set out for
Poland. On the mountain frontier which separates Moravia from Silesia,
one gets an excellent view of Fulneck and the surrounding country. Here
the band of exiles knelt and Comenius offered up an impassioned prayer
for his beloved Moravia and Bohemia. This was his last sad look on his
devoted country. He never afterward beheld the land of his fathers, but
for more than half a century he lived an exile in foreign regions. Well
might he, in his old age, exclaim: “My whole life was merely the visit
of a guest; I had no fatherland.”



  Flight to Poland—Appointed director of the
  gymnasium at Lissa—Reforms introduced—Literary
  projects—Need of a patron—Call to England—Friendship
  with Hartlib—Interest of the English
  Parliament—Discontent with existing educational
  institutions—Lewis de Geer, his Dutch patron—Call
  to Sweden—Interview with Oxenstiern—Located at
  Elbing—Reform of the Swedish schools—Return to
  Poland—Consecration as senior bishop—Consequences
  of the treaty of Westphalia—Ecclesiastical
  ministrations—Call to Hungary—Reform of the schools
  at Saros-Patak—Plan of a pansophic school—Return to
  Lissa—The city burned—Flight of Comenius from Poland.

After the flight from Bohemia, Comenius and his compatriots found a
refuge at Lissa, Poland, with Count Raphael, a powerful prince of the
faith of the Moravian Brethren, to whose estate hundreds of persecuted
Bohemians had already fled. Twelve years were passed in Lissa, during
which time Comenius was actively engaged in educational reform. Besides
the composition of three of his most important books—the _Janua_,
in 1631, the _Great didactic_, probably in 1632, and the _School of
infancy_, in 1633—he engaged actively in the work of teaching. A
secondary school of acknowledged repute had been maintained in Lissa
by the Moravian Brethren since 1555, and here Comenius found the
opportunity of putting into practice some of his educational theories.
It is apparent, however, from his writings, that he read widely before
undertaking the reorganization of the gymnasium at Lissa, and that he
sought aid from all the writers on education, both ancient and modern.
His correspondents at this period included such distinguished names as
Lubin, Andreæ, Ritter, Vogel, Ratke, Frey, Mencel, Hartlib, Evenius,
Johnstone, and Mochinger. To these distinguished contemporaries he
expresses his dissatisfaction with current educational practices, and
seeks guidance in the reform movement he has instituted in Poland.

“When our people attend school for the sake of the learned languages,
what do they bring with them on returning home?” he asks. “What beyond
that which they obtain there—the tinkling of human eloquence, the
love of disputation, and the knowledge that puffeth up instead of
the charity that buildeth up. Moreover, some acquire corrupt morals;
some, a desire to make themselves agreeable by a show of external
civility; some, habits of intemperance and a distaste or hatred of
firm discipline. And yet these very men were trained for the lights of
the Church and the pillars of the State. O that, instead of such an
education, we had retained the simplicity of childhood. O that we might
bring back the ancient custom of the Spartans, who, more than all the
other Greeks, were intent upon the rational education of their youth.”

A noteworthy feature of his work as a reformer at Lissa consisted in
a careful grading of the schools, and the formulation of a course
of study for the successive grades. The guiding principle in this
schematization of school work was that each grade should pave the way
for the one next higher,—the elements of all subjects of study being
comparatively simple, these elements should be gradually introduced
and elaborated from grade to grade. These reforms were not only
far-reaching, they were revolutionary; and they made possible the
modern graded school.

Civilized Europe did not long remain in ignorance of these reforms.
They were discussed with approval in England, Germany, France, and
Sweden; and several foreign governments sought his services in the work
of educational reform. Sweden, in 1638, tendered him a remunerative
position and unlimited opportunities of reforming the schools of the
kingdom along the lines laid down in his writings. He replied that he
was willing to recommend a competent person to undertake the work, but
that he was not in position to sever his relations with the Moravian
Church in Poland and to leave unfinished some important educational

His own poverty, as well as that of his brethren, made him realize
keenly the need of a wealthy patron to aid him in the realization of
his educational ideals. “The vastness of the labors I contemplate,”
he wrote, “demands that I should have a wealthy patron, whether we
look at their extent, or at the necessity of securing assistants, or
at the expense generally. I propose to render the study of science,
philosophy, and theology more accessible to all parties, and of greater
usefulness in the regulation of human affairs than has hitherto been
the case. In order to do this, two kinds of books are necessary—(1) for
philosophical research and (2) for elementary training.

“Books of the first class would primarily have reference to the Latin
language, and of this class I would adopt eight:—

“1. The _Vestibulum_, or introduction to the Latin tongue.

“2. The _Janua_, or gate of the Latin tongue.

“3. The _Palace_, or essentials of the Latin language.

“4. A dictionary giving the meaning of the Latin words in the

“5. A dictionary giving all the words of the native language in Latin,
and more especially supplying phrases of the former language with
corresponding phrases in the latter.

“6. A Latin dictionary explaining all the peculiar idioms of the

“7. An elementary grammar containing all the declensions and
conjugations, and to be used in connection with the _Vestibulum_.

“8. A more comprehensive grammar, to be used in connection with the

“The books to be used in connection with elementary training are three:—

“1. _Pansophia_, or universal wisdom. This book should comprise the sum
total of human wisdom, and be so expressed as to meet the requirements
of both the present and future ages. The method to be followed in such
a book would be to reduce it to certain fundamental principles, beyond
the compass of which no part of human knowledge can reach. Such first
principles are God, the world, and common sense.

“2. _Panhistoria_, or universal history. This work must comprehend the
most vital facts of all ages. Universal history is a most excellent
handmaid of the understanding, searching into the causes of all things,
and inquiring into the laws of cause and effect. Instruction in history
must be graded. It might be arranged in six classes—Bible history,
natural history, history of inventions, history of morals, history of
the various religious rites, and general history.

“3. General dogmatics. These have to treat of the different theories
taken by human ingenuity, the false as well as the true, thereby
preventing a relapse into vain speculations and dangerous errors.

“One man is not able to accomplish an undertaking of such magnitude.
There ought to be some clever linguists, perhaps three well versed
in philosophy, an able historian, and a man thoroughly acquainted
with Biblical literature. As regards the philological labors, I have
already met with an excellent assistant in Mr. Wechner. Nor are clever
coadjutors wanting for the _Pansophia_, who have not only offered the
treasures of their libraries, but who have offered themselves in their
coöperation in this work. Among these my friend Hartlib far excels. I
do not know his equal in the extent of his knowledge, his acuteness
of reasoning, his zeal to become useful to the welfare of mankind,
his fervent love for a philosophy unmixed with errors and fanciful
speculations, and his self-denial in order to further the objects in

Such a patron, however, was not at once forthcoming, although it would
appear from his letters that Count Bohulslaw of Lissa, whom he styles
“the chief in the kingdom of Poland,” was of some pecuniary assistance
to him at this time in the development of his theories.

The wide publication of his writings aroused a keen interest in his
reforms, and especially in England. Samuel Hartlib, who corresponded
extensively with the learned men of Europe, had already translated
into English several of the educational writings of Comenius, and in
various other ways had interested the English public in the work of the
Moravian reformer.

The keen personal interest of Hartlib in the work of Comenius had
important temporary consequences on the direction of the reformer’s
activities during the next few years. Hartlib at this time was the most
interesting figure in English educational history. “Everybody knew
him,” says Professor Masson.[16] “He was a foreigner by birth, being
the son of a Polish merchant who had left Poland when the country fell
under Jesuit rule, and had settled in Elbing in Prussia, in very good
circumstances. Twice married before to Polish ladies, this merchant
had married in Prussia for his third wife the daughter of a wealthy
English merchant at Dantzig; and thus our Hartlib, their son, though
Prussian born and with Polish connections, could reckon himself half
English. The date of his birth was probably about the beginning of
the century. He appears to have first visited England in or about
1628, and from that time, though he made frequent journeys to the
continent, London had been his headquarters. Here, with a residence
in the city, he carried on business as a merchant, with extensive
foreign correspondence, and very respectable family connections. But
it did not require such family connections to make Hartlib at home in
English society. The character of the man would have made him at home
anywhere. He was one of those persons now styled philanthropists, or
friends of progress, who take an interest in every question or project
of their time promising social improvement, have always some irons
in the fire, are constantly forming committees, or writing letters to
persons of influence, and live altogether for the public. By the common
consent of all who have explored the intellectual and social history of
England in the seventeenth century, he is one of the most interesting
and memorable figures of that whole period. He is interesting both for
what he did himself and on account of the number and intimacy of his
contacts with other interesting people.”

Through Hartlib’s influence the English Parliament invited Comenius
to England. This was in the summer of 1641. Comenius himself may be
permitted to tell how all this came about: “After my _Pansophia_
had been published and dispersed through the various countries of
Europe, many learned men approved of the object and plan of the work,
but despaired of its ever being accomplished by one man alone, and
therefore advised that a college of learned men should be instituted
to carry it into effect. Mr. Samuel Hartlib, who had forwarded
its publication in England, labored earnestly in this matter, and
endeavored by every possible means to bring together for this purpose
a number of intellectual men. And at length, having found one or two,
he invited me with many strong entreaties. As my friends consented to
my departure, I proceeded to London, and arrived there on the autumnal
equinox (September the 22d) in the year 1641, and then learned that
I had been called thither by an order of the Parliament. But, in
consequence of the king having gone to Scotland, the Parliament had
been dismissed for three months, and, consequently, I had to winter in

His friends meanwhile examined with more detail his educational views
and encouraged him to elaborate his views in a tract, which he named
_Via lucis_, or the way of light. This, as he himself says, was “a
national disquisition as to the manner in which wisdom—the intellectual
law of minds—may at length toward the evening of the world be
felicitously diffused through all minds in all nations.”

Around Comenius Hartlib soon collected a group of thoughtful men
interested in the Moravian reformer’s views; and together we may
suppose they discussed at length the larger educational problems
already formulated by Comenius in his published writings. The
group included, besides Hartlib, Mr. John Pell, a mathematician of
acknowledged repute; John Milton, the poet and educational writer;
Theodor Haak, the expositor of philosophic systems; John Wilkins, the
agricultural enthusiast; John Durie, the advocate of evangelical unity;
Thomas Farnaby, the schoolmaster at Sevenoaks and one of the English
editors of Comenius’ _Janua_; and probably the American Winthrop, later
governor of Connecticut, who was wintering in London. He was delighted
with London and the people he met. Writing to friends in Lissa, he
says: “I live as a friend among friends; though not so many visit me
as would if they knew that I could speak English, or if they had more
confidence in their own Latin.”

When Parliament finally convened “and my presence being known,” writes
Comenius, “I was commanded to wait until after some important business
having been transacted, a commission should be issued to certain wise
and learned Englishmen to hear me and be informed of my plan. As an
earnest, moreover, of their intentions, they communicated to me their
purpose to assign to us a college with revenues, whence some men of
learning and industry selected from any nation might be honorably
sustained either for a certain number of years or in perpetuity. The
Savoy in London, and beyond London, Winchester, and again near the
city, Chelsea, were severally mentioned, and inventories of the latter
and its revenues were communicated to me; so that nothing seemed more
certain than that the designs of Lord Bacon to open a universal college
of all nations, devoted solely to the advancement of the sciences, were
now in way of being carried into effect.”

Comenius had assumed that when the call to England came to him at
Lissa, it simply represented a private movement backed by Hartlib and
other influential Englishmen; and he expresses himself in terms of
delighted surprise upon arriving in London to find that he had been
summoned thither by the Parliament of the realm. The parliamentary
sanction of this summons has never been corroborated. Professor Masson
made the attempt, but was unable to find in the Lords’ or Commons’
_Journal_ for the years 1641 and 1642 any traces of communication
between Comenius and the Parliament of which he speaks. He admits
that there may be such corroborative evidence, since the indexes for
these years are incomplete. There are, however, no good and sufficient
reasons for doubting the word of Comenius in this matter.

There are traces at this period of parliamentary dissatisfaction with
current English education, and more particularly with university
education in England. Professor Masson thus states the matter: “There
had for some time been a tradition of dissatisfaction with the existing
state of the universities and the great public schools. In especial,
Bacon’s complaints and suggestions in the second book of his _De
Augmentis_ had sunk into thoughtful minds. That the universities, by
persistence in old and outworn methods, were not in full accord with
the demands and needs of the age; that their aims were too professional
and particular, and not sufficiently scientific and general; that the
order of studies in them was bad, and some of the studies barren;
that there ought to be a bold direction of their endowments and
apparatus in the line of experimental knowledge, so as to extract from
nature new secrets and sciences for which humanity was panting; that,
moreover, there ought to be more fraternity and correspondence among
the universities of Europe and some organization of their labors, with
a view to mutual illumination and collective advancement:—all these
Verulamian speculations, first submitted to King James, were lying here
and there in English intellects in watch for an opportunity.”

But the time was not yet come for the reform movement in English
education. Ireland was in a state of commotion; two hundred thousand
Englishmen had been massacred;[17] the sudden departure of the king
from London on the 10th of January, 1642, and the prospect of a
prolonged civil war convinced Comenius that it would be useless to
tarry longer in England. He informed his friends of his disappointment
of his plans. Hartlib was hopeful and urged delay, but a call to
Sweden, made four years previous, was renewed at this time, and he left
London on the 10th of June, in the year 1642.

Lewis de Geer, a rich Dutch merchant and philanthropist, residing
at Nordköping, Sweden, had offered to render him financial aid in
working out his educational reforms in Sweden. But de Geer’s notions of
reform differed widely from those of the English friends. He was less
interested in universal research, the founding of pansophic colleges,
and the results of original investigation than Hartlib and the
Englishmen. What he wanted was better school-books for the children,
rational methods of teaching for the teachers, and some intelligent
grading of the schools. The English friends were satisfied with the
broad generalities of pansophic learning, the unrealized dreams that
were so very near the reformer’s heart; the Dutch merchant would be
satisfied with nothing less than concrete applications of theories.
There is no doubt that Comenius would have preferred lingering in
England or going to some place where his cherished pansophic schemes
might be given a hearing. But he was human and had organic needs, and
he knew that the liberal remuneration offered him by de Geer would
avert poverty even though the realization of his pure and exalted
pansophic dream was deferred.

“In the history of great renunciations,” says Mr. Keatinge,[18] “surely
none is stranger than this. We have a man little past the prime of
life, his brain teeming with magnificent, if somewhat visionary, plans
for social reform, a mighty power in the community that shaved his
religious ideas, and an object of interest even to those who may have
shrugged their shoulders at his occasional want of balance. Suddenly
he flings his projects to the winds, consigns his darling plans to
the dustheap of unrealizable ideas, and retires to a small seaside
town—not to meditate, not to give definite form to latent conceptions
or to evolve new ones, not to make preparation for the dazzling of
intellectual Europe with an octavo of fantastic philanthropy or of
philosophic mysticism, but—to write school-books for the little boys in
Swedish schools.”

Comenius went from London to Nordköping, where he spent some days in
conference with his new patron, Lewis de Geer. He was not to receive a
stipulated salary, but to be paid certain sums upon the completion of
definite texts, the number and character of the same to be determined
by the educational authorities at Stockholm, whither de Geer directed
Comenius to go for further orders. In Stockholm he met with Lord Axel
Oxenstiern, grand chancellor of the kingdom of Sweden, and Dr. John
Skyte, professor of canon and civil law (as well as chancellor) in
the University of Upsala. Of this conference Comenius says: “These
two exercised me in debate for four days, and chiefly Oxenstiern,
that eagle of the north. He inquired into the foundations of both my
schemes, the didactic and the pansophic, so searchingly that it was
unlike anything that had been done before by any of my learned critics.
In the first two days he examined the didactics, with, at length, this
conclusion: ‘From an early age,’ said he, ‘I perceived that our method
of studies generally in use is a harsh and crude one, but where the
root of the trouble was I couldn’t find out. At length having been
sent by my king [Gustavus Adolphus], of glorious memory, as ambassador
into Germany, I conversed on the subject with various learned men. And
when I heard that Wolfgang Ratke was toiling at a reformed method, I
had no rest of mind until I had got that gentleman into my presence;
but, instead of a talk on the subject, he offered me a big volume in
quarto to read. I swallowed that trouble; and, having gone through the
book, I noted that he detected not badly the maladies of the schools;
but the remedies he proposed did not seem to me sufficient. Yours, Mr.
Comenius, rest on firmer foundations.’”[19]

The consultation with Oxenstiern and Skyte continued four days, at
the conclusion of which they rendered their decision on his various
theories. With reference to his pansophic notions, they saw little
of immediate utility to the welfare of mankind. But his didactics
they regarded with favor. They urged him to give his attention to the
reformation of teaching and the preparation of suitable text-books.
While somewhat chagrined at this unsympathetic attitude toward his
pansophic theories, and a little surprised to learn that de Geer should
be of the same mind, he was forced to acquiesce, not, however, without
the earnest solicitations of Hartlib and his English friends not to
forsake the cherished pansophic principles.[20]

The town of Elbing, on the Baltic Sea, in West Prussia, was designated
by de Geer as a suitable residence for Comenius during the time that he
should be in the service of the Swedish educational department. Here
he settled, with his family and the assistants de Geer had permitted
him to employ at the patron’s expense, in October, 1642. The chief
task imposed upon him was the compilation of a series of text-books
for use in elementary and secondary schools. But progress was slow;
the Swedes became impatient, and de Geer grew restive. In consequence,
the relations with his patron soon became strained, and continued so
during most of the Elbing period. In reply to a complaint from de
Geer, Comenius wrote him in September, 1643: “I compose books and do
not merely copy those of others. Our proposed work is not merely a
book, but a real treasure for the aiding of whose production my patron
will assuredly have no cause for regret.” He admits that he has been
diverted from the completion of a work on language teaching by a
philosophic treatise which he considers of far greater importance than
the details of methodology.

In addition to the philosophic studies, in which de Geer and the Swedes
had little or no interest, Comenius dissipated his energies in other
ways. When it became generally known that he had located in Elbing, the
wealthy patrons of the local high school petitioned the town council
to secure him to give weekly lectures to the pupils. In other ways
he identified himself with local interests, which diverted his time
from his assigned tasks. Moreover, his connection with the Moravian
Brethren compelled him to make frequent trips to Poland to attend
ecclesiastical conventions and minister to the needs of the scattered
brethren. De Geer’s patience must have been sorely tried, for he sent
to Elbing, with annoying frequency, to inquire concerning the progress
of the work. In reply, Comenius begged his patron have patience; he
explained the difficult nature of his labors, and assured him that he
was making as much progress as was consistent with the nature of his

Toward the close of 1646 he went to Sweden and made a personal report
to his patron, covering the four years of his employment. A government
committee was appointed to review his work; its report was most
favorable to Comenius; and he was urged to get the work in shape for
immediate publication. He had prepared during this time, in spite of
distractions, a work on language teaching, which treated of its nature,
function, and the laws to be observed in language teaching; a lexicon
based on these laws; and a series of graded reading books.

At the death of Justinus, the senior bishop of the Moravian Brethren
in 1648, Comenius was elected his successor. His new duties made
his removal to Lissa necessary, and he took with him the unfinished
treatises for the Swedes, and sent them to de Geer as rapidly as he was
able to complete them. It caused him no pang of sorrow to sever his
connection with the Dutch merchant and the Swedes. For he was isolated
at Elbing; his labors were uncongenial, and the remuneration which
he received was small. It is apparent from his letters, subsequently
written, that it was not merely the Dutchman’s gold that held him to
tasks so arduous and uncongenial. He hoped by this connection to
secure the moral support of the Swedes in removing from the Moravian
Brethren the ban which exiled them from their beloved fatherland.

The treaty of Westphalia, however, shattered this hope. There was not
a single stipulation in favor of the exiled brethren. The promises
Sweden had made to Comenius in this matter were disregarded. In vain he
implored Oxenstiern not to forsake his people. “My people have aided
your arms with their weapons, the unceasing offerings of their tears
and supplications to God; and now, when they see your success and
may rejoice in the hope for a more favorable issue of affairs, they
are troubled with dread apprehension lest they should be forsaken.”
Later he wrote him: “Of what use is it to us, who are now deprived of
every hope of peace, to have assisted you with our tears in obtaining
victory; when, although it lay within your power to release us from our
prison-house, you surrender us anew into the hands of our oppressors?
Of what avail now all those holy evangelical alliances formed by our
ancestors, and consecrated with their sacred martyr-blood?”[21] But
these importunities were of no avail; for, while equal privileges were
granted to the Reformed, Lutheran, and Catholic churches in Germany, in
Bohemia, and Moravia, the ritual of the latter alone was established.
It was a severe blow to Comenius, as well as to the whole brotherhood
of the Moravian Church.

The years 1648 to 1650 were passed in ministrations to the dispersed
brethren;[22] he was especially conscientious in the discharge of the
duties of his episcopal office; he established more intimate relations
between the Polish and Hungarian branches of the Moravian churches;
he sought and secured important financial aid for the brotherhood in
England, Holland, and Sweden; he secured positions as teachers for
many of his exiled countrymen; and induced the University of Oxford to
create stipends for Bohemian students. Gindely remarks that at this
period there were few European countries in which the protégés of
Comenius could not be found in the capacity of private tutors, public
school-teachers, artists, or clergymen.

The impoverished condition of the Moravian Church caused Comenius
no little concern, and induced him to look with some favor on the
numerous calls to important educational posts which came to him from
foreign countries. That from the widow of Prince Rakoczy and her
son Sigismund was especially tempting. They wanted him to come to
Transylvania, Hungary, and reform the school system. A liberal salary
was offered, together with complete facilities for the organization of
a school system in accordance with his own views—including a printing
establishment for the publication of required books. It was further
stipulated that he might bring with him ten or a dozen Bohemian youths
to be educated at the expense of the prince and his mother. The
scattered members of the Moravian Church in Hungary, in the belief that
the presence of the bishop in that country would unify the interests of
the brotherhood, also urged him to accept the Transylvanian call, at
the same time petitioning the general synod to relieve Comenius of his
clerical functions at Lissa for a few years.

The Church granted the petition, and Comenius settled in Saros-Patak,
in May, 1650. He at once drew up a sketch of a seven-grade school,
which he published a year later under the title _Plan of a pansophic
school_. “In scope and breadth of view,” remarks a modern historian,
“the scheme was centuries in advance of its time, while many of the
suggestions which it contained are but imperfectly carried into effect
at the present day.”

The _Plan_ is a detailed course of study with specific directions
for the application of the course for the use of teachers. In these
directions he explains the great danger of overworking the children;
and to avoid this, a rest-pause of a half-hour is provided after
each hour’s instruction for free, spontaneous play. After each meal
a full hour’s rest is granted. The pupils are to have eight hours of
sleep; they are granted a half-holiday on Sundays and Wednesdays,
with fortnight vacations at Christmas, Easter, and Whitsuntide, and a
month’s vacation in the summer. This gave a school year of forty-two
weeks, with thirty hours for school work in each week. The forenoon
instruction was as follows: From 6 to 7 o’clock, religious instruction,
including hymns, prayers, and Bible readings. From 7.30 to 8.30,
theoretical exposition of the new subject-matter of the day’s lesson;
and from 9 to 10, a practical treatment and review of the same. There
was music (and mathematics) in the afternoon from 1 to 2; history from
2.30 to 3.30; and composition, with exercises in style, from 4 to 5.

The _Plan_ requires that the seven grades of the school meet in
separate rooms, and that a teacher be provided for each grade. In
each class, the text-books must be adapted to the capacities of the
children. The Vestibulum is the lowest class. Over the door of this
room is the motto, “Let no one enter who cannot read.” The room is so
decorated that the pictures illustrate the subjects taught in this
grade; and, by means of these illustrations, the senses are trained.
The pupils are taught short maxims containing the most important rules
of conduct, a few common Latin words, the elements of arithmetic, the
scales in music, and some short hymns and prayers. Writing and drawing
are also taught, and special attention is given to the games of the

The Janual is the second class. The motto over the class-room door
of this grade is, “Let no one enter who is ignorant of mathematics.”
Provided the more common objects mentioned in the _Janua_ cannot be
readily obtained, pictures of these objects are hung on the wall.
The text-books used are, besides the _Janua_, the Latin vernacular
dictionary and the Janual grammar. In composition, the pupils are
exercised in the structure of phrases, sentences, and periods; in
religion, they learn the catechism; in mathematics, addition and
subtraction and plane figures in geometry. There are more advanced
exercises in music; and, as in the preceding grade, the teachers are
urged to encourage the plays and games of the children.

The Atrial is the third class. Its motto is, “Let no one enter who
cannot speak.” Here Bible readings, in abridged form and suited to the
intelligence of the children, are begun. The text-book is the _Atrium_,
together with a grammar of eloquence and a Latin-Latin dictionary.
In arithmetic, the pupils master multiplication and division, and in
geometry, solid figures. The musical instruction includes harmony
and the rudiments of Latin verse. Famous deeds in Biblical narrative
furnish the basis of the historic instruction. In composition there are
exercises in style, consisting of paraphrasing and the transposition of
sentences. Before the pupils are permitted to pass from this grade they
must be able to read the Latin authors readily and to converse in the
Latin fluently.

The Philosophical is the fourth class, with the motto, “Let no one
who is ignorant of history enter here.” The walls are decorated
with pictures illustrative of arithmetic, geometry, and physics,
and connected with this class-room are a chemical laboratory and a
dissecting-room. The religious instruction includes hymns, Psalms,
an epitome of the New Testament, and a life of Christ. The text-book
is called the _Palace of wisdom_; in it the genesis of natural
phenomena are described. In mathematics, the pupils learn the rules of
proportion; they begin the study of trigonometry; also statics, and
instruction on musical instruments. Greek is begun, and the pupils
study natural history through Pliny and Ælian. Comenius mentions that
he does not consider Greek a difficult study; and he thinks it need
cause the pupils no alarm, since an exhaustive knowledge of Greek
is not required, and the difficulties of the study will be largely
overcome by the use of rational methods of teaching.

The fifth class is the Logical. Over the door is the inscription, “Let
no one enter who is ignorant of natural philosophy,” and the walls
are covered with the rules of logic. The pupils have a Bible manual
and a class-book on problems in philosophy. The problems include a
survey of things that have been and may be discovered by man; a formal
logic explaining the processes of reasoning, and a repertory of such
philosophical problems as present themselves to the human mind. In
arithmetic, the rules of partnership and allegation are studied; in
geometry, mensuration of heights and distances and plane surfaces;
in geography, a description of the earth; in astronomy, an account
of the heavens; in history, a survey of mechanical inventions. For
the formation of a literary style, such historians as Curtius, Cæsar,
and Justin are read. The study of Greek is continued, and Isocrates
and Plutarch are recommended for reading. Dramatic performances are
introduced in the fifth class. Grammar, logic, and metaphysics are
represented in conflict, but a reconciliation is finally effected
through study.

The sixth is the Political class. Its motto, “Let no one enter who
cannot reason.” Sallust, Cicero, Virgil, and Horace are read for style;
provision is made for verse writing; attention is given to geography
and the parts of astronomy dealing with the planets and the laws of the
eclipses; the Bible is read through; more advanced topics in arithmetic
and geometry are taken up; the special class-book studied deals with
human society and the laws of economics; in Greek the pupils read
from Thucydides and Hesiod. Dramatic performances are continued, the
degeneration and moral downfall of Solomon being rendered.

The seventh and last grade of the course is the Philosophic. Its
motto is, “Let no one enter who is irreligious.” The instruction is
of an essentially theological character. On the walls are inscribed
numerous mystic symbols illustrative of the hidden wisdom of the Holy
Scriptures. The most devotional Psalms and church hymns are used in the
school exercises. There are readings from the Scriptures, the works of
the most inspired theologians and martyrs, and a _résumé_ of Christian
beliefs, duties, and aspirations, all written in the phraseology of
the Bible. The text-book of the grade is ultra-religious in character.
It includes (1) an account of the earthly and heavenly revelations
of God; (2) a commentary for Scriptural reading; and (3) a detailed
account of the mysteries of salvation. In arithmetic, the sacred and
mystic numbers that occur in the Scriptures; in architecture, the
sacred structures as exemplified by Noah’s ark, the tabernacle, and the
Temple; in history, the general history of the Church; and in ancient
language, Hebrew takes the place of Greek—this, that the students may
be able to read and understand the Scriptures in the original text.
Oratory is studied that those who become preachers may know how to
address a congregation, and that those who engage in politics may know
how to reason with their hearers.

Such is a condensed survey of the course of study which Comenius
devised for the schools at Saros-Patak; and in no small degree his
reputation as a reformer rests upon this piece of work. For the
Saros-Patak _Plan_ became a model for educators in many lands, and
the progenitor of a long line of graded schemes of instruction which
constitute such an essential feature of the educational economy of
to-day. Not only were subjects of study graded in accordance with the
laws of the development of child-mind, but text-books were graded as
well. Moreover, the scheme made necessary the employment of teachers
who comprehended the character of the work, and, more particularly,
those with some appreciation of the natural history of the child and
the causes which condition its growth. Little as Comenius understood
psychology, at least in the modern use of that term, he was alive to
the fact that in childhood the senses are keenest, and that the line of
least resistance in the acquisition of new impressions is through (1)
objects, (2) pictures, and (3) interesting verbal descriptions in the

His labors at Saros-Patak terminated at the close of the fourth year,
during which time the first three grades of the _Plan_ were organized.
All contemporary evidence confirms the success of the scheme. Although
so marked a departure from traditional educational practices, it
succeeded to a degree that must have been surprising even to Comenius
himself. The fact that the teachers in the schools were trained under
Comenius at Lissa did much, doubtless, to remove otherwise possible

But careful gradation was not the only marked reform carried out at
Saros-Patak during this period. Pictures were introduced as aids in
teaching, and the first child’s picture book, the first of a long line
of books so popular in our own day, was written. This was the famous
_Orbis pictus_, to be discussed in a subsequent chapter.

Comenius returned to Lissa in 1654, to resume his ecclesiastical
labors. But his sojourn was brief; for, with the invasion of Poland
by the Swedes, came the fall and conflagration of the city. Comenius
escaped, “almost in a state of nudity,” to use his own words. He had
not only lost his property and his library in the conflagration, but
he had sustained a yet greater loss in the burning of his numerous
manuscripts, and, more important (to him) than all the others, his
entire pansophic work, on the composition of which he had labored so
arduously for many years. Writing to Montanus, he says, “The loss of
this work I shall cease to lament only when I cease to breathe.” He
escaped from Lissa to Silesia, where he found refuge for a time in the
home of a nobleman. He shortly afterward pushed on to Frankfort, but
not feeling secure here he moved to Hamburg, where for two months he
was prostrated by a severe illness.


CLOSING YEARS: 1656–1670

  Flight to Amsterdam—Reception by Lawrence de
  Geer—Religious freedom in Holland—Publication of the
  complete edition of his writings—Other educational
  activities—The “One thing needful”—Death at
  Amsterdam and burial at Naärden—Family history of
  Comenius—Alleged call to the presidency of Harvard
  College—Portraits—Personal characteristics.

During his last year’s residence at Saros-Patak, Comenius had sustained
a great loss in the death of his friend and former patron, Lewis de
Geer. In a funeral oration which he composed, he characterized his
benefactor as “a man pious toward God, just toward men, merciful to the
distressed, and meritoriously great and illustrious among all men.” The
rich Dutch merchant bequeathed his estates to his son, Lawrence de Geer
of Amsterdam; and not only his estates, but also his deep interest in
the welfare of the Moravian reformer.

Learning of the severe illness of Comenius, Lawrence de Geer wrote
him to leave Hamburg and come directly to Amsterdam, where all the
needs of his closing years would be provided. The younger de Geer, it
would seem, had not only a real and profound affection for the aged
Comenius, but also a keen and intelligent interest in all his schemes
for educational reform.

Amsterdam proved, indeed, a haven of rest to the weary wanderer. At
this time the city enjoyed greater religious freedom than perhaps any
other city in Europe. Says Benham: “Comenius found himself in the midst
of a community then enjoying the largest amount of religious toleration
to be found anywhere in Europe, and with it a great diversity of
religious opinions. Unitarians expelled from their own countries here
united themselves to the friends of speculative philosophy among the
Remonstrants and Arminians; and the philosophy of Descartes here found
admirers even among the members of the Reformed Church. The truly
evangelical Comenius had become known to many through his writings,
which, together with the influence of his patron’s son, Lawrence de
Geer, who continued his father’s benevolence, induced rich merchants
to intrust him with the education of their sons; so that, with the
additions accruing from his literary labors, Comenius found a supply of
food and raiment, and was thereby content.”

In spite of his advanced age, these closing years of his life at
Amsterdam were busy ones; for besides ministering to the needs of the
scattered and disheartened ecclesiastics of the Moravian Brethren,
he engaged somewhat in private teaching, and saw through the press a
complete edition of his educational writings. It was a magnificent
volume of more than a thousand pages, and was printed by Christopher
Cunard and Gabriel à Roy under the title _All the didactical works of
J. A. Comenius_.

The publication of this handsome folio, containing all his educational
writings, was made possible by the generosity of Lawrence de Geer.
The first part of the folio, written between 1627 and 1642, contains
(1) a brief narration of the circumstances which led the author to
write these studies; (2) the _Great didactic_, showing the method of
teaching all things; (3) the _School of infancy_, being an essay on
the education of youth during the first six years; (4) an account of
a six-class vernacular school; (5) the _Janua_; (6) the _Vestibulum_;
(7) David Vechner’s _Model of a temple of Latinity_; (8) a didactic
dissertation on the quadripartite study of the Latin language; (9) the
circle of all the sciences; (10) various criticisms on the same; (11)
explanations of attempts at pansophy.

The second part of the folio, written between 1642 and 1650, contains
(1) new reasons for continuing to devote attention to didactic studies;
(2) new methods of studying languages, built upon didactic foundations;
(3) vestibule of the Latin language adapted to the laws of the most
recent methods of language teaching; (4) new gate of the Latin language
exhibiting the structure of things and words in their natural order;
(5) a Latin and German introductory lexicon explaining a multitude of
derived words; (6) a grammar of the Latin and vernacular, with short
commentaries; (7) treatise on the Latin language of the _Atrium_; (8)
certain opinions of the learned on these new views of language teaching.

The third part of the work, written between 1650 and 1654, contains (1)
a brief account of his call to Hungary; (2) a sketch of the seven-class
pansophic school; (3) an oration on the culture of innate capacities;
(4) an oration on books as the primary instruments in the cultivation
of innate capacities; (5) on the obstacles to the acquisition of
encyclopædic culture and some means of removing these obstacles; (6) a
short and pleasant way of learning to read and understand the Latin
authors; (7) on scholastic erudition; (8) on driving idleness from the
schools; (9) laws for a well-regulated school; (10) the _Orbis pictus_;
(11) on scholastic play; (12) valedictory oration delivered on the
occasion of the completion of his labors at Saros-Patak; (13) funeral
oration on the life and character of Lewis de Geer.

The fourth part of the work represents the years from 1654 to 1657. It
contains (1) an account of the author’s didactic studies; (2) a little
boy to little boys, or all things to all; (3) apology for the Latinity
of Comenius; (4) the art of wisely reviewing one’s own opinions;
(5) exits from scholastic labyrinths into the open plain; (6) the
formation of a Latin college; (7) the living printing-press, or the
art of impressing wisdom compendiously, copiously, and elegantly, not
on paper, but on the mind; (8) the best condition of the mind; (9) a
devout commendation of the study of wisdom.

In addition to his literary labors, he gave much time to the
administration of church affairs; for Lissa had risen from her ashes
and was more prosperous than before the war. Here congregated again
many adherents of the Moravian brotherhood, and the college was
rebuilt and resumed its beneficent pedagogic influence. From this
centre the Moravian influence spread anew to many parts of Europe.
England, Prussia, and other Protestant countries were generous in their
contributions toward the restoration of Moravian churches. All this
money was sent to Comenius at Amsterdam, and by him apportioned to the
scattered brethren. He received thirty thousand dollars from England
alone during the years 1658 and 1659; the only stipulation made in the
disposition of the money was that a portion of it should be used for
the printing of Polish and Bohemian Bibles. The last years of his life
were occupied almost wholly in such ministrations.

He published in 1668 his swan song, the _One thing needful_. This is
his farewell address to the world. It delineates in a forceful yet
modest way his aspirations for educational reform, gives expression
of the deep faith which sustained him during the long years of his
weary pilgrimage, and burns with enthusiastic zeal for the welfare of
mankind—the burning passion of his life. He was well prepared at the
advanced age of seventy-six years to sum up the experience of a long
and afflicted life.

A few citations from this touching bit of reminiscence will hint at the
motives which actuated him in his life-work as an educational reformer.
“I thank God that I have been all my life a man of aspirations;
and although He has brought me into many labyrinths, yet He has so
protected me that either I have soon worked my way out of them, or He
has brought me by His own hand to the enjoyment of holy rest. For the
desire after good, if it is always in the heart, is a living stream
that flows from God, the fountain of all good. The blame is ours if we
do not follow the stream to its source or to its overflow into the sea,
where there is fulness and satiety of good.”

“One of my chief employments has been the improvement of schools, which
I undertook and continued for many years from the desire to deliver the
youth in the schools from the labyrinth in which they are entangled.
Some have held this business foreign to a theologian, as if Christ
had not connected together and given to his beloved disciple Peter at
the same time the two commands, ‘Feed my sheep’ and ‘Feed my lambs.’ I
thank Christ for inspiring me with such affection toward his lambs, and
for regulating my exertions in the form of educational works. I trust
that when the winter of indifference has passed that my endeavors will
bring forth some fruit.”

“My life here was not my native country, but a pilgrimage; my home
was ever changing, and I found nowhere an abiding resting place. But
now I see my heavenly country near at hand, to whose gates my Saviour
has gone before me to prepare the way. After years of wandering and
straying from the direction of my journey, delayed by a thousand
extraneous diversions, I am at last within the bounds of the promised

The rest and peace and glory which he so hopefully anticipated came
to him at Amsterdam on the 15th of November, in the year 1670. His
remains were conveyed to Naärden, a small town on the Zuyder Zee,
twelve miles east of Amsterdam, where they were interred in the
French Reformed Church, on the 22d of November. The figure 8 was the
only epitaph placed on his tomb. More than a century afterward the
church was transformed into a military barracks, and for many years
the date of his death, the church in which he was buried, and the
grave inclosing his remains were unknown. But in 1871 Mr. de Röper, a
lawyer residing in Naärden, found among his father’s papers the church
register, the sexton’s account book, and other documents relating to
the old French Reformed Church. After the figure 8, in the church
register, was this entry: “John Amos Comenius, the famous author of
the _Janua Linguarum_; interred the 22d of November, 1670.” A diligent
search was instituted, and the grave was found. An aged woman residing
in Naärden recalled the location of the French Reformed Church as the
present site of the barracks. By permission of the commanding officer,
an examination was made and the tombstone marked 8 was found. The
remains were subsequently removed to a little park in Naärden, where
there was erected to his memory, in 1892, by friends of education in
Europe and America, a handsome monument. This consists of a pyramid
of rough stones with two white marble slabs containing gold-furrowed
inscriptions in Latin, Dutch, and Czech (Bohemian): “A grateful
posterity to the memory of John Amos Comenius, born at Nivnitz on
the 28th of March, 1592; died at Amsterdam on the 15th of November,
1670; buried at Naärden on the 22d of November, 1670. He fought a
good fight.” A room in the town hall at Naärden has been set aside as
a permanent Comenius museum, where will be found a collection of his
portraits, sets of the different editions of his writings, and the old
stone slab containing the figure 8.

The present work being an educational rather than a personal life of
Comenius, no reference has thus far been made to his family life. It
may be noted briefly that he married, in 1624, Elizabeth Cyrrill, with
whom he had five children, a son (Daniel) and four daughters. Elizabeth
died in 1648 and he married again on the 17th of May, 1649, Elizabeth
Gainsowa, with whom he appears to have had no children. A third
marriage is mentioned by some of his biographers, but the statement
lacks corroboration. One daughter, Elizabeth, married Peter Figulus
Jablonsky, who was bishop of the Church from November, 1662, until his
death, January the 12th, 1670. Their son Daniel Ernst Jablonsky was
consecrated a bishop of the Polish branch of the Moravian Church at
Lissa March the 10th, 1699. He served the Church until his death, May
the 25th, 1741.

An account of the life of Comenius would be incomplete without some
reference to his alleged call to the presidency of Harvard College.
This rests upon an unconfirmed statement by Cotton Mather. In his
_Magnalia_[23] he says: “Mr. Henry Dunster continued the Praesident
of Harvard-College until his unhappy Entanglement in the Snares of
Anabaptism fill’d the Overseers with uneasie Fears, lest the Students
by his means should come to be Ensnared: Which Uneasiness was at length
so signified unto him, that on October 24, 1654, he presented unto
the Overseers, an Instrument under his Hands, wherein he Resigned his
Presidentship and they accepted his Resignation. That brave Old Man
Johannes Amos Commenius, the Fame of whose Worth has been Trumpetted as
far as more than Three Languages (whereof every one is Endebted unto
his _Janua_) could carry it, was agreed withall, by our Mr. Winthrop
in his Travels through the Low Countries to come over into New England
and Illuminate this College and Country in the Quality of a President.
But the Solicitations of the Swedish Ambassador, diverting him another
way, that Incomparable Moravian became not an American.”

The following evidence makes improbable this call:—

1. Some years ago the writer asked Professor Paul H. Hanus to ascertain
for him if the records of Harvard College corroborated Mather’s
statement. After examining the proceedings of the overseers and all
other records of the college during its early history, he reported that
he could not find the slightest corroboration of Mather’s statement,
and that he seriously doubted its accuracy.

2. The historians of the college—Peirce, Quincy, and Eliot—do not
allude to the matter. And President Josiah Quincy,[24] in his complete
and standard history of the institution, refers to the “loose and
exaggerated terms in which Mather and Johnson, and other writers of
that period, speak of the early donations to the college, and the
obscurity, and not to say confusion, in which they appear in the first
records of the seminary.”

3. Careful examination has been made of the numerous lives of Comenius
printed in the German language, as well as those printed in the Czech;
and, although less noteworthy distinctions are recorded, there is no
mention of a call to Harvard College or America.

4. In the _Journals_ of Governor John Winthrop of Massachusetts, there
are no allusions to Comenius. Governor Winthrop died in 1649; and
it was not until 1653 that President Dunster fell “into the briers
of Antpædo-baptism,” when he bore “public testimony in the church
at Cambridge against the administration of baptism to any infant
whatsoever.” And the historians of the college report that up to this
time (1653) Dunster’s administration had been singularly satisfactory,
so that there could have been no thought of providing his successor
before the death of Governor Winthrop. Mather is either in error or he
does not refer to Governor Winthrop of Massachusetts. He may refer to
Governor Winthrop of Connecticut, the eldest son of the Massachusetts
governor, although evidence is wanting to show that the Connecticut
governor had anything to do with the management of Harvard College.
Young Winthrop was in England from August the 3d, 1641, until the
early part of 1643. It will be recalled that Comenius spent the winter
of 1641–1642 in London, and the fact that both knew Hartlib most
intimately would suggest that they must have met. In a letter which
Hartlib wrote to Winthrop after the latter’s return to America, he
says, “Mr. Comenius is continually diverted by particular controversies
of Socinians and others from his main Pansophical Worke.”[25]

5. Mather is clearly in error in regard to the date of the call of
Comenius to Sweden. The negotiations were begun in 1641 and were
completed in August of the next year, so that the “solicitations of
the Swedish Ambassador diverting him another way” took place more than
twelve years before the beginning of the troubles at Cambridge which
led to the resignation of Dunster.

With so many flaws in Mather’s statement, and the absence of
corroborative evidence, it seems altogether improbable that Comenius
was ever called to the presidency of Harvard College.[26]

In closing, brief mention may be made of his most dominant physical
and personal characteristics. Several excellent portraits of Comenius
are in existence, the best perhaps being by Hollar and Glover. From
these it is apparent that he was a man of imposing figure, with high
forehead, long chin, and soft, pathetic eyes. It is not difficult to
read into his sad, expressive countenance the force of the expression
in his last published utterance, “My whole life was merely the visit of
a guest; I had no fatherland.”

There is no conflicting evidence on the personal life of the reformer;
but rather unanimous agreement on the sweetness and beauty of his
character. Says Palacky: “In his intercourse with others, Comenius was
in an extraordinary degree friendly, conciliatory, and humble; always
ready to serve his neighbor and sacrifice himself. His writings, as
well as his walk and conversation, show the depth of his feeling, his
goodness, his uprightness, and his fear of God. He never cast back
upon his opponents what they meted out to him. He never condemned, no
matter how great the injustice which he was made to suffer. At all
times, with fullest resignation, whether joy or sorrow was his portion,
he honored and praised the Lord.” Raumer says of him: “Comenius is
a grand and venerable figure of sorrow. Wandering, persecuted, and
homeless during the terrible and desolating Thirty Years’ War, he never
despaired, but, with enduring and faithful truth, labored unceasingly
to prepare youth by a better education for a better future. His
unfailing aspirations lifted up in a large part of Europe many good men
prostrated by the terrors of the times and inspired them with the hope
that by pious and wise systems of education there might be reared up a
race of men more pleasing to God.” Well might Herder say: “Comenius was
a noble priest of humanity, whose single end and aim in life was the
welfare of all mankind.”



  The _Great didactic_—Conditions under which
  produced—Aim of the book. Purpose of education—Man’s
  craving for knowledge—Youth the time for
  training—Private instruction undesirable—Education
  for girls as well as boys—Uniform methods. Education
  according to nature—How nature teaches—Selection
  and adaptation of materials—Organization of pupils
  into classes—Correlation of studies. Methods of
  Types of educational institutions—The mother’s
  school—School of the mother-tongue—Latin
  school—University. School discipline—Character and
  purpose of discipline—Corporal punishment only in
  cases of moral perversity.

_The Great Didactic_

Most comprehensive of all of the educational writings of Comenius is
the _Great didactic_. It was planned in 1628, while yet in the full
possession of his vigor, before misfortune had hampered his usefulness
and persecution had made him a wanderer. Written originally in the
Czech, it was translated into the Latin and published at Amsterdam in
1657. The original Czech manuscript was discovered at Lissa in 1841,
and presented to the museum at Prague; but the Austrian censors of the
press forbade its publication because Comenius was a Bohemian exile
(!). Through the exertions of the museum authorities, however, it was
allowed to be printed in 1849. Professor Laurie gave English readers a
summary of the _Great didactic_ in his _Life and educational works of
John Amos Comenius_ (London, 1883); but the first complete translation
was made by Mr. M. W. Keatinge of Edinburgh in 1896.

The full title is: _The great didactic setting forth the whole art
of teaching all things to all men; or a certain inducement to found
such schools in all parishes, towns, and villages of every Christian
kingdom that the entire youth of both sexes, none being excepted, shall
quickly, pleasantly, and thoroughly become learned in the sciences,
pure in morals, trained in piety, and in this manner instructed in
all things necessary for the present and future life, in which, with
respect to everything that is suggested, its fundamental principles are
set forth from the essential nature of the matter, its truth is proved
by examples, from the several mechanical arts its order is clearly set
forth in years, months, days, and hours; and finally an easy and sure
method is shown by which it can be pleasantly brought into existence_.

The purpose of the _Great didactic_, as announced by Comenius in
the preface, is to seek and find a method of instruction by which
teachers may teach less, but learners may learn more; schools may be
the scene of less noise, aversion, and useless labor, but of more
leisure, enjoyment, and solid progress; the Christian community have
less darkness, perplexity, and dissension, but more light, peace, and
rest. He promises in his “greeting” an “art of teaching all things
to all men, and of teaching them with certainty, so that the result
cannot fail.” Among the uses of such an art he notes the advantage
(1) to parents, that they may know that if correct methods have been
employed with unerring accuracy, it is impossible that the desired
result should not follow; (2) to teachers, who, without a knowledge of
this art, try in turn first one plan and then another—a course which
involves a tedious waste of time and energy; and (3) to schools, that
they may become places of amusement, houses of delight and attraction,
and that they may cause learning to flourish. Such, in brief, are
fundamental principles of a philosophy of education. How well those
principles were elaborated and applied will be seen in the exposition
of his writings which follows.

_Purpose of Education_

The opening chapters of the _Great didactic_ treat of man as the
highest, the most absolute, and the most excellent of created beings:
of the life beyond as man’s ultimate end, and of this life as merely a
preparation for eternity. The human being passes through three stages
in his preparation for eternity—he learns to know himself, to rule
himself, and to direct himself to God. Man’s natural craving is for
knowledge,—learning, virtue, piety,—and the seeds of knowledge are
implanted in every rational creature. The mind of man is unlimited in
its aspirations. “The body is enclosed by small boundaries; the voice
roams within wider limits; the sight is bounded only by the vault of
heaven; but for the mind, neither in heaven nor anywhere outside of
heaven can a boundary be fixed for it.”

Man delights in harmony; and, as respects both his mind and his body,
he is a harmony. Just as the great world itself is like an immense
piece of clockwork, put together with many wheels and bells, and
arranged with such art that, throughout the whole structure, one
part depends upon another through the harmony and perfection of the
movements—so it is with man. All this harmony and perfection is made
possible through education.

He gave no bad definition, remarks Comenius, who said that man was
a “teachable animal.” But he must be taught, since he is born only
with aptitudes. Before he can sit, stand, walk, or use his hands, he
requires instruction. It is the law of all created things that they
develop gradually and ultimately reach a state of perfection. Plato
was right when he said, “If properly educated, man is the gentlest and
most divine of created beings; but if left uneducated or subjected to a
false training, he is the most intractable thing in the world.”

Education is necessary for all classes of society; and this is the more
apparent when we consider the marked individual differences to be found
among human beings. No one doubts that the stupid need instruction
that they may outgrow their stupidity. But clever and precocious minds
require more careful instruction than dull and backward minds; since
those who are mentally active, if not occupied with useful things, will
busy themselves with what is useless, curious, and pernicious. Just as
a millstone grinds itself away with noise if wheat is not supplied,
so an active mind, if void of serious things, entangles itself with
vain, curious, and noxious thoughts, and becomes the cause of its own

The time for education is in early youth.[27] God has, accordingly,
made the years of childhood unsuitable for anything but education;
and this matter was interposed by the deliberate intent of a wise
Providence. Youth is a period of great plasticity. It is in the nature
of everything that comes into being to bend and form easily while
tender; but when the plastic period has passed to alter only with great
difficulty. If one wishes to become a good tailor, writer, or musician,
he must apply himself to his art from his earliest youth, during the
period when his imagination is most active and when his fingers are
most flexible. Only during the years of childhood is it possible to
train the muscles to do skilled work. If, then, parents have the
welfare of their children at heart, and if the good of the human race
be dear to the civil and ecclesiastical guardians of society, let them
hasten to make provision for the timely planting, pruning, and watering
of the plants of heaven that these may be prudently formed in letters,
virtue, and piety.

Private education is not desirable. Children should be trained in
common, since better results and more pleasures are to be obtained
when they are taught together in classes. Not only is class teaching a
saving of labor over private instruction, but it introduces a rivalry
that is both needful and helpful. Moreover, young children learn much
that is useful by imitation through association with school-fellows.
Comenius, it may be remarked, was one of the first of the educational
reformers to see clearly the value of class teaching and graded
instruction. His reforms in this direction have already been noted.

School training is necessary for the children of all grades of
society, not of the rich and powerful only, but the poor and lowly
as well. Let none be neglected, unless God has denied him sense and
intelligence. When it is urged that the laboring classes need no school
education, let it be also recalled that they are expected to think,
obey, and do good.

Girls should be educated as well as boys. No satisfactory reason can
be given why women should be excluded from the pursuits of knowledge,
whether in the Latin or in the mother-tongue. They are formed in the
image of God as well as men; and they are endowed with equal sharpness
of mind and capacity for learning, often, indeed, with more than the
opposite sex. Why, then, should we admit them to the alphabet, and
afterwards drive them away from books? Comenius takes issue with most
writers on education that study will make women blue-stockings and
chatterboxes. On the contrary, he maintains, the more their minds are
occupied with the fruits of learning, the less room and temptation
there will be for gossip and folly.

Not only should education be common to all classes of society, but
the subjects of instruction should be common to the whole range of
knowledge. Comenius holds that it is the business of educators to
take strong and vigorous measures that no man in his journey through
life may encounter anything so unknown to him that he will be unable
to pass sound judgment upon it and turn it to its proper use without
serious error. This desire for encyclopædic learning, as already noted,
dominated his life and writings.

But even Comenius recognized the futility of thoroughness in a wide
range of instruction, and he expresses willingness to be satisfied
if men know the principles, the causes, and the uses of all things
in existence. It is general culture—something about a great many
things—that he demands.

Comenius clearly saw that the conditions of educational institutions
were wholly inadequate for the realization of these purposes—(1)
because of an insufficient number of schools, and (2) because of
the unscientific character of current methods of instruction. The
exhortations of Martin Luther, he observes, remedied the former
shortcoming, but it remains for the future to improve the latter.

The best intellects are ruined by unsympathetic and unpedagogic
methods. Such great severity characterizes the schools that they are
looked upon as terrors for the boys and shambles for their intellects.
Most of the students contract a dislike for learning, and many leave
school altogether. The few who are forced by parents and guardians to
remain acquire a most preposterous and wretched sort of education, so
that instead of tractable lambs, the schools produce wild asses and
restive mules. Nothing could be more wretched than the discipline of
the schools. “What should be gently instilled into the intellect is
violently impressed upon it, nay, rather flogged into it. How many,
indeed, leave the schools and universities with scarcely a notion of
true learning.” Comenius laments that he and many thousands of his
contemporaries have miserably lost the sweet spring-time of life and
wasted the fresh years of youth on scholastic trifles.

_Education according to Nature_

Comenius proposes to so reconstruct systems of education that (1) all
shall be educated, except those to whom God has denied understanding,
in all those subjects calculated to make men wise, virtuous, and
pious; (2) the course of training, being a preparation for life, shall
be completed before maturity is attained; (3) and schools shall be
conducted without blows, gently and pleasantly, in the most natural
manner. Bold innovator! How clearly he perceived the faults of the
schools of his day; with what keen insight he formulated methods for
their improvement; and with what hope in the reform which has gone
forward steadily for these two hundred and seventy-five years, but
which even now is far from being an accomplished fact!

The basis of the reform which he advocates is an application of the
principle of order—order in the management of time, in the arrangement
of subjects taught, and in the methods employed. Nature furnishes us
a criterion for order in all matters pertaining to the improvement of
human society. Certain universal principles, which are fundamental to
his philosophy of education, are deduced from nature. These, stripped
of their tedious examples and details, are:—

1. Nature observes a suitable time.

2. She prepares the material before she attempts to give it form.

3. She chooses a fit subject to act upon, or first submits her subject
to a suitable treatment in order to make it fit.

4. She is not confused in her operations; but, in her onward march,
advances with precision from one point to another.

5. In all the operations of nature, development is from within.

6. In her formative processes, she begins with the universal and ends
with the particular.

7. Nature makes no leaps, but proceeds step by step.

8. When she begins a thing, she does not leave off until the operation
is completed.

9. She avoids all obstacles that are likely to interfere with her

With nature as our guide, Comenius believes that the process of
education will be easy, (1) if it is begun before the mind is
corrupted; (2) if the mind is prepared to receive it; (3) if we proceed
from the general to the particular, from what is easy to what is more
complex; (4) if the pupils are not overburdened with too many different
studies; (5) if the instruction is graded to the stages of the mental
development of the learners; (6) if the interests of the children are
consulted and their intellects are not forced along lines for which
they have no natural bent; (7) if everything is taught through the
medium of the senses; (8) if the utility of instruction is emphasized;
and (9) if everything is taught by one and the same method.

Nature begins by a careful selection of materials, therefore education
should commence early; the pupils should not have more than one teacher
in each subject, and before anything else is done, the morals should be
rendered harmonious by the teacher’s influence.

Nature always makes preparation for each advance step; therefore, the
desire to know and to learn should be excited in children in every way
possible, and the method of instruction should lighten the drudgery,
that there may be nothing to hinder progress in school studies.

Nature develops everything from beginnings which, though insignificant
in appearance, possess great potential strength; whereas, the practice
of most teachers is in direct opposition to this principle. Instead of
starting with fundamental facts, they begin with a chaos of diverse

Nature advances from what is easy to what is more difficult. It is,
therefore, wrong to teach the unknown through the medium of that which
is equally unknown. Such errors may be avoided if pupils and teachers
talk in the same language and explanations are given in the language
that the pupil understands; if grammars and dictionaries are adapted in
the language and to the understanding of the pupils; if, in the study
of a foreign language, the pupils first learn to understand it, then
to write it, and lastly to speak it; if in such study the pupils get
to know first that which is nearest to their mental vision, then that
which lies moderately near, then that which is more remote, and lastly
that which is farthest off; and if children be made to exercise first
their senses, then their memory, and finally their understanding.

Nature does not overburden herself, but is content with a little at
a time; therefore the mental energies of the pupils should not be
dissipated over a wide range of subject-matter.

Nature advances slowly; therefore school sessions should be shortened
to four hours; pupils should be forced to memorize as little as
possible; school instruction should be graded to the ages and
capacities of the children.

Nature compels nothing to advance that is not driven forward by its own
mature strength; therefore it follows that nothing should be taught to
children not demanded by their age, interests, and mental ability.

Nature assists her operations in every possible manner; therefore
children should not be punished for inability to learn. Rather,
instruction should be given through the senses that it may be retained
in the memory with less effort.

Nothing is produced by nature the practical application of which is not
evident; therefore those things only should be taught whose application
can be easily demonstrated.

Nature is uniform in all her operations; hence the same method of
instruction should be adapted to all subjects of study, and the
text-books in each subject should, as far as possible, be of the same

Comenius observes that there is a very general complaint that few leave
school with a thorough education, and that most of the instruction
retained in after life is little more than a mere shadow of true
knowledge. He considers that the complaint is well corroborated by
facts, and attributes the cause to the insignificant and unimportant
studies with which the schools occupy themselves. If we would correct
this evil, we must go to the school of nature and investigate the
methods she adopts to give endurance to the beings which she has

A method should be found by means of which each person will be able not
only to bring into his mental consciousness that which he has learned,
but at the same time to pass sound judgment on the objective facts
to which his information refers. This will be possible if only those
subjects are studied which will be of real service in the later life;
if such subjects be taught without digression or interruption; if a
thorough grounding precede the detailed instruction; if all that comes
later be based upon what has gone before; if great stress be laid on
the points of resemblance between cognate subjects; if the studies be
arranged with reference to the pupils’ present mental development, and
if knowledge be fixed in the memory by constant use.

In support of his principle of thoroughness, Comenius adduces the
following proofs from nature: Nothing is produced by nature that is
useless. When she forms a body, she omits nothing that is necessary.
She does not operate on anything unless it possesses foundations, and
she strikes her roots deep and develops everything from them. She never
remains at rest, but advances continually; never begins anything fresh
at the expense of work already begun, but proceeds with what she has
started and brings it to completion. She knits everything together in
continuous combination, preserving due proportion with respect to both
quality and quantity. Through constant exercise she becomes strong and

Progress is less a question of strength than of skill. Hitherto little
has been accomplished in the school-life of the child, because no set
landmarks have been set up as goals to be reached by the pupils; things
naturally associated are not taught together; the arts and sciences
are scarcely ever thought of as an encyclopædic whole; the methods
employed are as numerous and diverse as the schools and teachers;
instruction is individual and private, and not public and general,
and books are selected with too little regard for the value of their
contents. If these matters could be reformed, there is no doubt in the
mind of Comenius that the whole circle of the sciences might be covered
during the period of school training. Toward the solution of this
problem he answers the following questions:—

1. How can a single teacher instruct a large number of children at the
same time? In answer, he maintains that it is not only possible for
one teacher to instruct several hundred children (!) at once, but that
it is essential for the best interests of both the teacher and the
children (!!). The larger the number of pupils, the greater will be
the teacher’s interest in his work; and the keener his interest, the
greater the enthusiasm of his pupils. In the same way, to the children,
the presence of a number of companions will be productive not only of
utility, but also of enjoyment, since they will mutually stimulate and
assist one another. For children of this age, emulation and rivalry
are the best incentives to study. The reader will observe that this
scheme of Comenius contemplates some adaptation of the system of pupil
teaching, and that it interdicts all efforts at individual instruction.

2. How far is it possible for pupils to be taught from the same
book? It is an undisputed fact, says Comenius, that too many facts
presented to the mind at the same time distract the attention. It will,
therefore, be of great advantage if the pupils be permitted to use no
books except those which have been expressly composed for the class
in which they are. Such books should contain a complete, thorough, and
accurate epitome of all the subjects of instruction. They should give
a true representation of the entire universe; should be written simply
and clearly—preferably in the form of a dialogue; and should give the
pupils sufficient assistance to enable them, if necessary, to pursue
their studies without the help of a master.

3. How is it possible for all the pupils in a school to do the same
thing at one time? This may be accomplished by having a course of
instruction commence at a definite time of each year; and by and by so
dividing the course of instruction that each year, each month, each
week, each day, each hour may have a definite appointed task for it.

4. How is it possible to teach everything according to one and the
same method? That there is only one natural method has already been
satisfactorily demonstrated (to the mind of Comenius), and the
universal adoption of this natural method will be as great a boon to
pupils as a plain and undeviating road is to travellers.

5. How can many things be explained in a few words? The purpose of
education is not to fill the mind with a dreary waste of words from
books. Rightly says Seneca of instruction: “Its administration should
resemble the sowing of seed, in which stress is laid not on the
quantity, but on the quality.”

6. How is it possible to do two or three things by a single operation?
It may be laid down as a general rule that each subject should be
taught in combination with those which are correlative to it. Reading,
penmanship, spelling, language, and nature study should work together
in the acquisition and expression of ideas. As Professor Hanus[28]
has pointed out, Comenius clearly foreshadowed the correlation and
coördination of school studies at least two centuries before Herbart.
Indeed, he went so far as to urge the correlation of school instruction
with the plays and games of children. He urged that children be given
tools and allowed to imitate the different handicrafts, by playing at
farming, at politics, at being soldiers or architects. In the game of
war they may be allowed to take the part of field-marshals, generals,
captains, and standard-bearers. In that of politics they may be kings,
ministers, chancellors, secretaries, and ambassadors, as well as
senators, consuls, and lawyers; since such pleasantries often lead to
serious things. Thus, maintains Comenius, would be fulfilled Luther’s
wish that the studies of the young at school might be so organized that
the pupils would take as much pleasure in them as playing at ball all
day. In this way, the schools might become a real prelude to the more
serious duties of practical life.

_Methods of Instruction_

A correct method of instruction was to Comenius, as has already been
pointed out, the panacea for most of the ills of teaching. He made
reform in methodology the starting point of all his schemes for
educational improvement. In the _Great didactic_ he considers reform
in methods of instructing in the sciences, arts, language, morals, and

1. _Science._ Knowledge of nature or science requires objects to be
perceived and sufficient attention for the perception of the objects.
The youth who would comprehend the sciences must observe four rules:
(1) he must keep the eye of his mind pure; (2) he must see that the
proper relationship is established between the eye and the object; (3)
he must attend to the object; (4) he must proceed from one object to
another in accordance with a suitable method.

The beginning of wisdom in the sciences consists, not in the mere
learning of the names of things, but in the actual perception of the
things themselves. It is after the thing has been grasped by the senses
that language should fulfil its function of still further explaining
it. The senses are the trusty servants of the memory, leading to
the permanent retention of the knowledge that has been acquired.
Reasoning, also, is conditioned and mediated by the experience gained
through sense-perception. It is evident, therefore, that if we
wish to develop a true love and knowledge of science, we must take
special care to see that everything is learned by actual observation
through sense-perception. This should be the golden rule of teachers:
Everything should as far as possible be placed before the senses.

When the objects themselves cannot be procured, representations of
them may be used; models may be constructed or the objects may be
represented by means of engravings. This is especially needful in
such studies as geography, geometry, botany, zoölogy, physiology, and
physics. It requires both labor and expense to produce models, but the
results of such aids will more than repay the efforts. In the absence
of both objects and models, the things may be represented by means of

2. _Arts._ “Theory,” says Vives, “is easy and short, but has no result
other than the gratification that it affords. Practice, on the other
hand, is difficult and prolix, but of immense utility.” Since this is
so, remarks Comenius, we should diligently seek out a method by which
the young may be easily led to the application of such natural forces
as one finds in the arts.

In the acquisition of an art, three things are required: (1) a model
which the pupil may examine and then try to imitate; (2) material on
which the new form is to be impressed; and (3) instruments by the aid
of which the work is accomplished. After these have been provided,
three things more are necessary before an art can be learned—a proper
use of the materials, skilled guidance, and frequent practice.

Progress in the art studies is primarily through practice. Let the
pupils learn to write by writing, to talk by talking, and to sing by
singing. Since imitation is such an important factor in the mastery of
an art, it is sheer cruelty to try to force a pupil to do that which
you wish done, while the pupil is ignorant of your wishes. The use of
instruments should be shown in practice, and not by words; by example,
rather than by precept. It is many years since Quintilian wrote,
“Through precepts the way is long and difficult, while through examples
it is short and practicable.” But alas! remarks Comenius, how little
heed the schools pay to this advice. Man is essentially an imitative
animal, and it is by imitation that children learn to walk, to run,
to talk, and to play.[30] Rules are like thorns to the understanding,
since to grasp them requires a degree of mental development not common
during the elementary school life of the child.

Comenius would have the first attempts at imitation as accurate as
possible, since whatever comes first is the foundation of that which
is to follow. All haste in the first steps should be avoided, lest we
proceed to the advanced work before the elements have been mastered.

Perfect instruction in the arts is based on both synthesis and
analysis. The synthetic steps should generally come first, since we
should commence with what is easy, and our own efforts are always
easiest to understand. But the accurate analysis of the work of others
must not be neglected. Finally, it must be remembered that it is
practice, nothing but faithful practice, that makes an artist.

3. _Language._ We learn languages, not merely for the erudition and
wisdom which they hold, but because languages are the instruments by
which we acquire knowledge and by which we impart our knowledge to
others. The study of languages, particularly in youth, should be joined
to the study of objects. The intelligence should thus be exercised on
matters which appeal to the interests and comprehension of children.
They waste their time who place before children Cicero and the other
great writers; for, if students do not understand the subject-matter,
how can they master the various devices for expressing it forcibly?
The time would be more usefully spent on less ambitious efforts,
so correlated that the languages and the general intelligence might
advance together step by step. Nature makes no leaps, neither does art,
since art imitates nature.

Each language should be learned separately. First of all, the
mother-tongue should be learned; then a modern language—that of a
neighboring nation; after this, Latin; and, lastly, Greek and Hebrew.
The mother-tongue, because of its intimate connection with the gradual
unfolding of the objective world to the senses, will require from eight
to ten years; a modern language may be mastered in one year; Latin in
two years; Greek in one year; and Hebrew in six months.

There are four stages in the study of a language. The first is the age
of babbling infancy, during which time language is indistinctly spoken;
the second is the age of ripening boyhood, in which the language is
correctly spoken; the third is the age of mature youth, in which the
language is elegantly spoken; and the fourth is the age of vigorous
manhood, in which the language is forcibly spoken.

4. _Morals._ If the schools are to become forging places of humanity,
the art of moral instruction must be more definitely elaborated. To
this end Comenius formulates the following pedagogic rules:—

All the virtues may be implanted in men.

Those virtues which are called cardinal virtues—prudence, temperance,
fortitude, and justice—should first be implanted.

Prudence may be acquired through good instruction, and by learning the
differences which exist between things and the relative value of those
things. Comenius expresses agreement with Vives, that sound judgment
must be acquired in early youth.

Children should be taught to observe temperance in eating, drinking,
sleeping, exercising, and playing.

Fortitude is to be learned by the suppression of excessive
desires—playing at the wrong time or beyond the proper time—and by
avoiding manifestations of anger, discontent, and impatience. It is
needful for the young to learn fortitude in the matter of frankness and
endurance in toil. Children must be taught to work, and moral education
must preach the gospel of work.

Lastly, examples of well-ordered lives in the persons of parents,
teachers, nurses, and schoolmates must continually be set before the
children, and they must be carefully guarded against bad associations.

5. _Religion._ In the scheme of education which Comenius outlines in
the _Great didactic_, religion occupies the most exalted place; and
while training in morals is accessory to religion, children must in
addition be given specific instruction in piety. For this purpose
definite methods of instruction are outlined. Instruction in piety must
be of such a character as to lead children to follow God, by giving
themselves completely up to His will, by acquiescing in His love, and
by singing His praises. The child’s heart may thus be joined to His
in love through meditation, prayer, and examination. Children should
early be habituated to the outward works which He commands, that they
may be trained to express their faith by works. At first they will
not understand the true nature of what they are doing, since their
intelligence is not yet sufficiently developed; but it is important
that they learn to do what subsequent experience will teach them to be

While Comenius was not willing to go as far as St. Augustine and the
early church fathers in the matter of abolishing altogether the whole
body of pagan literature from the school, nevertheless, he thought that
the best interests of the religious education of the child required
unusual precaution in the reading of pagan books. He reminds his
readers that it is the business of Christian schools to form citizens,
not merely for this world, but also for heaven, and that accordingly
children should read mainly those authors who are well acquainted with
heavenly as well as with earthly things.

_Types of Educational Institutions_

The modern fourfold division of education into kindergarten,
elementary schools, secondary schools, colleges or universities
was clearly foreshadowed by Comenius in the _Great didactic_. His
philosophy of education comprehends a school of infancy, a school of
the mother-tongue, a Latin school, and a university. These different
institutions, he notes, are not merely to deal with different subjects,
but they are to treat the same subjects in different ways, giving such
instruction in all of them as will make true men, true Christians, and
true scholars, although grading the instruction throughout to the age,
capabilities, and previous training of the learners.

1. _School of infancy._ Comenius would have a mother’s school in every
home, where children may be given such training as will fit them at the
age of six years to begin regular studies in the vernacular school. He
prepared for the use of mothers during this period a detailed outline,
which he published under the title, _Information for mothers, or School
of infancy_. An analysis of this book is given in the following chapter
on the earliest training of the child.

2. _School of the mother-tongue._ This covers the years from six to
twelve, and includes all children of both sexes. The aim of this
school is to teach the young such things as will be of practical
utility in later life—to read with ease both printing and writing in
the mother-tongue; to write first with accuracy, and finally with
confidence in accordance with the rules of the mother-tongue; to
compute numbers as far as may be necessary for practical purposes;
to measure spaces, such as lengths, breadths and distances; to sing
well-known melodies, and to learn by heart the greater number of psalms
and hymns commonly used in the country. In addition, the children study
the principles of morality, the general history of the world, the
geography of the earth and principal kingdoms of Europe, elementary
economics and politics, and the rudiments of the mechanical arts.

The six years of the school of the mother-tongue are graded into six
classes, with a detailed course of study for each class. Provision
is made for four lessons daily, two in the forenoon and two in the
afternoon. The remaining hours of the day are to be spent in domestic
work or in some form of recreation. The morning hours are devoted to
such studies as train the intellect; the afternoons to such as give
manual skill. No new work is to be introduced in the afternoon; but the
pupils may review and discuss the lessons developed during the morning
sessions. If it is desired that a foreign language be introduced, it
should not be begun before the tenth year.

3. _The Latin school._ The purpose of the Latin school is to give a
more thorough and comprehensive training to those aspiring to callings
higher than the industrial pursuits. It covers the years from twelve to
eighteen, and was also divided into six classes,—the grammar, natural
philosophy, mathematical, ethics, dialectic, and rhetorical classes.
Since Comenius’ views on Latin are so fully set forth in a later
chapter on language teaching and the _Janua_, it is only necessary here
to recall that his curriculum for the Latin school includes a wide
range of culture subjects. The most important of the culture studies of
the Latin school is history, including an epitome of Biblical history,
natural history, the history of arts, inventions and customs, history
of morals, and a general historical survey of the leading modern
nations of the world.

4. _University._ While Comenius frankly admits that his experience
has been chiefly limited to work in elementary and secondary schools,
still he sees no reason why he should not state his views and wishes
with regard to superior instruction. The curriculum of the university
conceived in the _Great didactic_ is universal in character, making
provision for a wide range of studies in every branch of human
knowledge. The university must possess learned and able professors
in the languages, sciences, and arts, as well as a library of
well-selected books for the common use of all. One of the fundamental
aims of the university is to widen the domain of knowledge through
original investigation; in consequence, its equipment must fit it for
research work.

How fully these schemes have been realized, the reader may appreciate
by comparing the types of educational institutions of the United States
and Germany with those of the _Great didactic_, which were outlined by
Comenius more than two centuries ago.

_School Discipline_

The _Great didactic_ is an eloquent protest against the severe and
inhuman discipline of Comenius’ day. Schools which abound with shrieks
and blows, he says, are not well disciplined. Discipline is quite
another thing; it is an unfailing method by which we may make our
pupils pupils in reality. This makes it necessary for the teacher to
know the child, the being to be disciplined, the subjects of study
which serve as mental stimulants, and the relations which should exist
between the child and the subjects to be taught.

Discipline must be free from personal elements, such as anger or
dislike, and should be exercised with frankness and sincerity.
Teachers should administer punishments just as physicians prescribe
medicines—with a view to improving the condition of the individual.
Nor should severe forms of discipline be exercised in connection with
studies or literary exercises. Studies, if they are properly taught,
form in themselves a sufficient attraction. When this is not the case,
the fault lies not with the pupil, but with the teacher; if his skill
is unable to make an impression on the understanding, his blows will
have no effect. Indeed, he is more likely to produce a distaste for
letters than a love for them by the application of force.

Whenever, therefore, we see a mind that is diseased or dislikes study,
we should try to remove its disposition by gentle remedies; but on no
account should we employ violent ones. The sun gives us an excellent
lesson on this point. In the spring-time, when the plants are young
and tender, it does not scorch them, but warms and invigorates them;
it does not put forth its full heat until they are full grown. The
gardener proceeds on the same principle, and does not apply the pruning
knife to plants that are immature. In the same way the musician does
not strike his instrument a blow with his fist or throw it against the
wall because it produces a discordant sound; but setting to work on
scientific principles, he tunes it and gets it into order. Just such
a skilful and sympathetic treatment is necessary to instil a love of
learning into the minds of pupils; and any other procedure will only
convert their idleness into antipathy and their interest into downright

Severe forms of discipline should be used only in cases of moral
delinquencies, as (1) impiety of any kind, such as blasphemy,
obscenity, and other offences against God’s law; (2) stubbornness and
premeditated misbehavior, such as disobeying orders and conscious
neglect of duty; and (3) pride, disdain, envy, and idleness. Offences
of the first kind are an insult against the majesty of God; those of
the second kind undermine the foundations of virtue; and those of the
third prevent any rapid progress in studies. An offence against God is
a crime, and should be expiated by an extremely severe punishment; an
offence against man is iniquitous, and should be promptly corrected;
but an offence against Priscian is a stain that may be wiped out by the
sponge of blame. In a word, the object of discipline should be to stir
the pupils to revere God, to assist their fellows, and to perform the
labors and duties of life with alacrity.



  _School of infancy_—Circumstances under which
  written—View of childhood—Conception of infant
  education. Physical training—Care of the body—The
  child’s natural nurse—Foods—Sleep—Play and exercise.
  Mental training—Studies which furnish the materials
  of thought, and studies which furnish the symbols
  of thought—Nature study—Geography—History—Household
  economy—Stories and fables—Principle of
  Moral and religious
  virtues to be taught—Character of formal religious

_The School of Infancy_

Plato, Quintilian, Plutarch, and other writers on education have
discussed the earliest training of the child, but none of these
early writers have comprehended the significance of infancy with
any such pedagogic insight as Comenius; and his _School of infancy_
has taken a permanent place among the classics which deal with the
period of childhood. It was written during the years 1628 to 1630,
when he was in charge of the Moravian school at Lissa. A German
edition (it was originally written in the Sclavic tongue) appeared
at Lissa in 1633, a second edition at Leipzig in 1634, and a third
German edition at Nuremberg in 1636. Subsequently Polish, Bohemian,
and Latin translations appeared; and Joseph Müller,[32] a most
painstaking Comenius bibliographer, mentions an English translation
in 1641. I have found no other reference to an English translation
so early. As already noted, however, Comenius was well and favorably
known to Milton, Hartlib, and others high in educational authority in
England; and the fact that most of his other writings were translated
there gives credence to Mr. Müller’s statement. In the year 1858,
Mr. Daniel Benham[33] published in London an English translation, to
which he prefixed a well-written account of the life of Comenius. But
his translation was soon out of print; and this excellent treatise
in consequence remained inaccessible to English readers until the
appearance of my own translation. (Boston, 1896. Republished in London,

The _School of infancy_ was written as a guide for mothers during
the first six years of the child’s life, and was dedicated to “pious
Christian parents, guardians, teachers, and all upon whom the charge
of children is incumbent.” Since the education of the child must begin
at its birth, mothers must assume the teacher’s rôle; and the mothers
of the seventeenth century, according to Comenius, were altogether
unfitted because of lack of training to undertake this high and holy
mission. Accordingly, the _School of infancy_ outlines definite
instructions for mothers.

Comenius was too deeply grounded in the religious dogmas of his day
to abandon altogether the doctrine of original sin, then so generally
held; but he maintained that suitable early training would overcome
most of the original perversity in the human heart. No one, he urges,
should be a mother or a teacher who does not hold unbounded faith in
the possibilities of childhood. The child is not to be regarded with
reference to its youthful disabilities, but rather with a view to the
purposes of the Divine mind, as Fröbel would say, regard the child
as a pledge of the presence, goodness, and love of God. What higher
tribute to childhood than this: “The mother that has under her care
the training of a little child possesses a garden in which celestial
plantlets are sown, watered, bloom, and flourish. How inexpressibly
blessed is a mother in such a paradise!” With Quintilian he asks: “Has
a son been born to you? From the first, conceive only the highest hopes
for him.”

The purpose in the education of the child is threefold: (1) faith
and piety, (2) uprightness in respect to morals, and (3) knowledge
of languages and arts; and this order must not be inverted. Parents,
therefore, do not fully perform their duty when they merely teach
their offspring to eat, drink, walk, and talk. These things are merely
subservient to the body, which is not the man, but his tabernacle only;
the rational soul dwells within, and rightly claims greater care than
its outward tenement.

In the education of the child, care especially for the soul, which is
the highest part of its nature; and next, attend to the body, that it
may be made a fit and worthy habitation for the soul. Aim to train
the child to a clear and true knowledge of God and all his wonderful
works, and a knowledge of himself, so that he may wisely and prudently
regulate his actions.

It must be borne in mind, however, that to properly train children
requires clear insight and assiduous labor. It is to be regretted
that so many parents are too incompetent to instruct their children
and that others, by reason of the performance of family and social
duties, are unable to discharge this high and holy mission. All such,
of course, must hand their children over to some one else to instruct.
But they should intrust their little ones to the care and training of
such instructors only who will make the act of learning pleasing and
agreeable—a mere amusement and mental delight.

Schools should be retreats of ease, places of literary amusement, and
not houses of torture. A musician does not dash his instrument against
the wall, or give it blows and cuffs because he cannot draw music from
it, but continues to apply his skill until he is able to extract a
melody. So by your skill you should bring the mind of the young child
into harmony with his studies.

The first step in the education of the child is the most important.
Every one knows that whatever form the branches of an old tree may
have, that they must necessarily have been so formed from the first
growth. The animal born blind, lame, defective, or deformed remains so.
The training of the child’s body, mind, and soul should, therefore, be
a matter of earnest thought from the very first.

While it is possible for God to completely transform an inveterately
bad man, yet, in the regular course of nature, it scarcely ever happens
otherwise than that as a being is formed during the early stages of
development, so it matures, and so it remains. Whatever seed is sown in
youth, such fruit is reaped in old age.

Nor is it wise to delay such training until the child is old enough
to be instructed in a school, since tendencies are acquired which are
difficult to overcome. It is impossible to make a tree straight that
has grown crooked, or to produce an orchard from a forest everywhere
surrounded with briers and thorns. This makes it necessary for parents
to know something about the management of children, that they may be
able to lay the foundations upon which the teachers are to build when
the child enters school at the age of six years.

Great care must be exercised with reference to the methods adopted with
children so young. The instruction need not be apportioned to the same
degree that it is apportioned in schools, since at this early age all
children are not endowed with equal ability, some beginning to speak in
the first year, some in the second, and some not until the third year.

_Physical Training_

The first care of the mother must be for the health of her child,
since bodily vigor so largely conditions normal mental development.
“A certain author,” says Comenius, “advises that parents ought ‘to
pray for a sound mind in a sound body,’ but they ought to labor as
well as pray.” Since the early care of the child devolves largely on
the mother, Comenius counsels women with reference to the hygiene of
childhood. Prenatal conditions are no less important than postnatal;
and prospective mothers should observe temperance in diet, avoid
violent movements, control the emotions, and indulge in no excessive
sleep or indolence.

For good and sufficient reasons the mother should nurse her own child.
“How grievous, how hurtful, how reprehensible,” he exclaims, “is the
conduct of some mothers, especially among the upper classes, who,
feeling it irksome to nourish their own offspring, delegate the duty to
other women.” This cruel alienation of mothers from their children, he
maintains, is the greatest obstacle to the early training of the child.
Such conduct is clearly opposed to nature: the wolf and bear, the lion
and panther, nourish their offspring with their own milk; and shall the
mothers of the human race be less affectionate than the wild beasts?
Moreover, it contributes to the health of the child to be nourished by
its natural mother.

Comenius has some sound advice for mothers on the kinds of food
for young children. At the first it must as nearly as possible
approximate to their natural aliment; it must be soft, sweet, and
easily digestible. Milk is an excellent food; and after milk, bread,
butter, and vegetables. All highly seasoned foods are to be avoided;
and Comenius urges mothers to regard medicines as they would poisons,
and avoid them altogether. Children accustomed to medicine from
their earliest years are certain to become “feeble, sickly, infirm,
pale-faced, imbecile, cancerous.”

Children during the earliest years require an abundance of sleep,
fresh air, and exercise. They need not only to be exercised, but their
exercises should be in the nature of amusements. “A joyful mind,”
he remarks, “is half health, and the joy of the heart is the very
life-spring of the child.” These exercises for the amusement of the
child may provide for the pleasure of its eyes, ears, and other senses,
as well as contribute to the vigor of its body and mind. Play not only
conduces to the health of the child, but it lays the basis for later

_Mental Training_

For the mental training of the child during its first six years
Comenius has outlined two classes of studies: (1) those which furnish
the materials of thought, such as nature study, geography, and
household economy, and (2) those which furnish the symbols of thought,
such as drawing, writing, and language. This grouping of form and
content studies, it should be noted, has been followed by the disciples
of Herbart in their schemes of classification.

The first and second years of the child’s life must be entirely given
over to the development of organic functions; but, by the beginning
of the third year, the child has acquired a vocabulary, and he should
be taught to comprehend the meaning of the words he uses. This early
knowledge should be of natural things—plants, flowers, trees, sand,
clay, the cow, horse, and dog. He may be taught to comprehend some of
the more important observable characters of these objects and to know
their uses.

Special exercises should be provided for the training of the eye;
excessive lights must be avoided, and also overstraining. Children may
be moderately introduced to objects of color, and thus taught to enjoy
the beauty of the heavens, trees, flowers, and running water. In the
fourth and following years they should be taken into fields and along
the rivers, and trained to observe plants, animals, running water, and
the turning of windmills. In both nature study and geography Comenius
anticipated the _Heimatskunde_ of Pestalozzi.

Children should also during their first six years be taught to know the
heavens, and to distinguish between sun, moon, and stars; to understand
that the sun and moon rise and set; to recognize that the days are
shortest in winter and longest in summer; to distinguish time—morning,
noonday, evening, and when to eat, sleep, and pray.

The study of geography should be begun at the cradle, and the location,
distance, and direction of the nursery, kitchen, bed-chamber, and
orchard should early be learned. They should have out-door lessons in
geography, and be taught to find their way through the streets, to the
market-place, and to the homes of their friends and relatives. In the
fifth year they should study a city, field, orchard, forest, hill, and
river, and fix what they learn about these things in the memory.

The early historic instruction should begin with a development of the
sense of time—the working days and the Sabbath days, when to attend and
engage in divine services, the occurrence of such solemn festivals as
Christmas, Easter, and Whitsuntide, and the significance of these holy
occasions. The child may also be trained to recall where he was and
what he did yesterday, the day before, a week ago.

Household economy should receive important instruction during the first
six years of the child’s life. He must be trained to know the relation
which he is to sustain to his father and mother, and to obey each;
where to place and how to care for his clothes; the use of toys and
playthings; the economy of the home, and his place in that economy.

Comenius also commends stories and fables, particularly those about
animals which contain some moral principle. “Stories,” says Comenius,
“greatly sharpen the innate capacity of children.” Ingeniously
constructed stories serve a twofold purpose in the early development
of the child: they occupy their minds, and they instil knowledge which
will afterward be of use.

The greatest service which parents can render their children during
these early years is to encourage play. This must not be left to
chance, but must be provided for; and children need, most of all, to
play with other children near their own age. In such social plays with
their companions there is neither the assumption of authority nor the
dread of fear, but the free intercourse which calls forth all their
powers of invention, sharpens their wits, and cultivates their manners
and habits.

In his discussion of the form studies, such as drawing, writing, and
language, Comenius remarks that nothing delights children more than
to be doing something. Youthful vigor will not long permit them to be
at rest; and this spontaneous activity requires wise regulation, in
order that children may acquire the habit of doing things that they
will be required to do later.[35] This is the time when children are
most imaginative and imitative; they delight in doing the things that
they have seen done by their elders. All these imitative exercises give
health to their bodies, agility to their movements, and vigor to their

At this period children delight in construction; supply them with
material with which they may exercise whatever architectural genius
they may have—clay, wood, blocks, and stones, with which to construct
houses, walls, etc. They should also have toy carriages, houses, mills,
plows, swords, and knives. Children delight in activity, and parents
should realize that restraint is alike harmful to the development of
the mind and the body.

After children have been taught to walk, run, jump, roll hoop, throw
balls, and to construct with blocks and clay, supply them with chalk or
charcoal, and allow them to draw according as their inclination may be
excited. In arithmetic Comenius recognizes the difficulty in leading
children to see quantitative relations. By the fourth year, however, he
thinks that they may be taught to count to ten and to note resemblances
and differences in quantity. To proceed further than this would be
unprofitable, nay, hurtful, he says, since nothing is so difficult to
fix in the mind of the young child as numbers. Comenius, it would seem,
valued the study of arithmetic much less highly than modern educators.
He thought that some geometry might be taught during these early years;
children may easily be trained to perceive the common geometric forms;
and the measurements and comparisons involved in the perception of such
forms train the understanding of the child.

Music is instinctive and natural to the child. Complaints and wailings
are his first lessons in music. It is impossible to restrain such
complaints and wails; and even if it were possible, it would not be
expedient, since all such vocalizations exercise the muscles involved
in the production of speech, develop the chest, and contribute to the
child’s general health. Children should hear music in their earliest
infancy, that their ears and minds may be soothed by concord and
harmony. He even countenances the banging and rattling noises which
children are fond of making, on the ground that such noises represent
legitimate steps in the development of the child’s musical sense. Give
them horns, whistles, drums, and rattles, and allow them to acquire
perceptions of rhythm and melody.

In the matter of instruction in language, Comenius had one fundamental
principle—that ideas of things must accompany or precede the words
which symbolized the things. In consequence, word training, as such,
had no place in his schemes of education. When children begin to talk,
great care must be exercised that they articulate distinctly and
correctly. The start must always be in the mother-tongue. Comenius, it
will be recalled, was at variance with his contemporaries in deferring
instruction in Latin until the child was twelve years old. During these
early years he believes that poetry—and especially jingles and nursery
rhymes—may be used with great profit in aiding children to acquire
language. They may not always understand the rhymes, but they are
certain to be pleased much more by the rhythm of verse than by prose.

_Moral and Religious Training_

However much Comenius may have valued mental and physical training,
the fundamental aim and end of all education he regarded as moral and
religious. The agencies which he would have employed in the early
moral training of the child are (1) a perpetual example of virtuous
conduct; (2) properly timed and prudent instruction and exercise; and
(3) well-regulated discipline. Children are exceptionally imitative,
in consequence of which there should be great circumspection in the
home in matters of temperance, cleanliness, neatness, truthfulness,
complaisance, and respect for superiors. While lengthened discourses
and admonitions are not expedient, prudent instruction may often
accompany examples with profit.

As to discipline, Comenius thinks that occasionally there is need of
chastisement in order that children may attend to examples of virtue
and admonition. When other means of discipline have been ineffectual,
the rod may be used, but only for offences against morals—never for
stupidity. Comenius gives the impression that children may be whipped
into being good. The influence of the ill-timed advice of Solomon is
clearly apparent here.

Temperance and frugality, he thinks, claim the first place in the moral
training of the child, inasmuch as they are the foundations of health
and life, and the mother of all the virtues. Neatness and cleanliness
should be exacted from the first; so should respect of superiors and
elders. Bold and forward children are not generally loved. Obedience,
like the plant, does not spring up spontaneously, but requires years
of patient care and training to develop into a thing of beauty.
Truthfulness likewise is no less important; so also justice, respect
for the rights of others, benevolence, patience, and civility.

And most important of the virtues to be acquired by the young child is
industry. Nothing hinders moral growth more than indolence. Comenius
agrees with the church fathers that Satan’s best allies are the idle.
Children must not be idle. Teach them to play, to make things, to do
things, to be helpful to themselves and useful to others.

Comenius exaggerated the importance of religious training during the
child’s earliest years. While recognizing that reasoning was necessary
for the best results in religious instruction, he nevertheless
overburdens the memory with formal religious instructions. Before
the child is six years old he is to be taught the Lord’s Prayer, the
Apostles’ Creed, the Confession of Faith, the Ten Commandments, and
numerous hymns.

In spite of his unreasonable demands on the memory, most of Comenius’
counsels to mothers on the religious instruction of their little ones
are sane and helpful. The spirit of the parents, he rightly suggests,
is all important in religious instruction; outward piety is not enough.
The religious nature unfolds slowly, and unusual patience and foresight
are required in its nurture and development.

All this training—physical, mental, moral, and religious—has been
preliminary to the formal training in the school, which is to begin in
the sixth or seventh year of the child’s life. The transition step
from the home to the school is now to be made; for just “as little
plants after they have grown up from their seed are transplanted into
orchards, for their more successful growth, so it is expedient that
children, cherished and nurtured in the home, having acquired strength
of mind and body, should be delivered to the care of teachers.”



  Dominance of Latin in the seventeenth
  century—Methods of study characterized by Comenius.
  The _Janua_—Purpose and plan—Its success. _Atrium_
  and _Vestibulum_—Their relation to the _Janua_. The
  _Orbis pictus_—How conceived—Its popularity—Use
  of pictures. _Methodus novissima_—Principles of
  language teaching—Function of examples—Place of oral
  and written language in education.

Recalling that Latin occupied such an exalted place in the schools
of Comenius’ day, it is not at all surprising that he gave so much
attention to the study of language. Latin absorbed practically all
the energies of the pupils, and with results that were far from
satisfactory. A historian of the period says, “Boys and teachers were
alike unhappy; great severity of discipline was practised, and after
all was done, and all the years of youth had been spent in the study
mainly of the Latin, the results were contemptible.”

The study of Latin is thus characterized by Comenius:

1. The Latin language is taught abstractly without a knowledge of the
things which the words denote. Words should be learned in connection
with things already known; it is false to conclude that, because
children know how to utter words, they therefore understand them.

2. The second evil in the study of language is driving children into
the manifold intricacies of grammar from the very first. It is a
blunder to plunge them into the formal statements of grammar on their
first beginning Latin. To make matters worse, the Latin grammar is
written in Latin. How should we adults like it, if, in the study of
Arabic, we had a grammar written in the Arabic first put into our hands?

3. The third evil in the study of language is the practice of
compelling children to make impossible leaps instead of carrying them
forward step by step. We introduce them from the grammar into Virgil
and Cicero. The sublimity of poetic style is beyond the conception of
boys, and the subject-matter of Cicero’s epistles not easy for grown
men. It will be said that the object is to place before children a
perfect model to which they may attain. It is right to aim at a perfect
model, when the aim is practicable, and if we proceed gradually to
the highest. But larger things are with advantage postponed to lesser
things; and lesser things, if accommodated to the age of the learners,
yield greater fruits than large things. If Cicero himself were to enter
our schools and find boys engaged with his works, Comenius believes
that he would be either amused or indignant.

Professor Laurie remarks that “when we bear in mind the construction of
the Latin grammars then in use,—that of Alvarus, for example, having
five hundred rules and as many exceptions,—we cannot be surprised at
the unanimous condemnation of the then current methods of teaching, and
the almost universal lamentation over the wasted years of youth.”

_The Janua_

We are now to see how Comenius proposed to reform these evils. “I
planned a book,” he says, “in which all things, the properties of
things, and the actions and passions of things should be presented, and
to each should be assigned its proper work, believing that in one and
the same book the whole connected series of things might be surveyed
historically, and the whole fabric of things and words reduced to one
continuous context. On mentioning my purpose to some friends, one of
them directed my attention to the Jesuit father’s _Janua linguarum_,
and gave me a copy. I leaped for joy; but on examination, I found that
it did not fulfil my plan.”

The _Janua_ referred to by Comenius was that written by William Bateus,
an Irish Jesuit, who was spiritual father at Salamanca, Spain. His
_Janua_ appeared in Spain prior to 1605. It contained twelve hundred
short Latin sentences with accompanying Spanish translations. The
sentences were made up of common Latin root-words, and no word was
repeated. In 1615 an English-Latin edition appeared; and subsequently
editions in French, German, and Italian. The object of Bateus in the
publication of his _Janua_ was to promote the spread of Christianity by
enabling the heathen the more easily to learn to read the Latin.

It will thus appear that the plan of the _Janua linguarum reserata_ of
Comenius, the book that was destined to make his name known throughout
the world, was not wholly original with the Moravian reformer. The
name and to some extent the plan of the book had been suggested by the
publication of the Jesuit.

The first edition of Comenius’ _Janua_ appeared in 1631.[36] In the
numerous subsequent editions the author made important changes and
additions. In subject-matter, the _Janua_ comprehends the elements of
all the sciences and arts. There are a hundred chapter headings with
a thousand Latin sentences and their German equivalents arranged in
parallel columns. The subjects treated cover a wide range—from the
origin of the world to the mind and its faculties. The first chapter
is an introduction, in which the reader is saluted, and informed that
learning consists in this: to know distinctions and names of things. He
is assured that he will find explained in this little book the whole
world and the Latin language. If he should learn four pages of it by
rote, he would find his eyes opened to all the liberal arts.

The second chapter treats of the creation of the world, the third
of the elements, and the fourth of the firmament. In chapters five
to thirteen inclusive, fire, meteors, water, earth, stones, metals,
trees, fruits, herbs, and shrubs are treated. Animals occupy the next
five chapters; and man—his body, external members, internal members,
qualities and accidents of the body, ulcers and wounds, external and
internal senses, the intellect, affections, and the will—the eleven
following chapters. Nineteen chapters are given to the mechanic arts.
Twenty-one chapters deal with the house and its parts, marriage, the
family, civic and state economy. Twelve chapters are assigned to
grammar, dialectics, rhetoric, arithmetic, geometry, and the other
branches of knowledge, describing briefly what they are; and ethics
gets twelve chapters, a chapter being devoted to each of the twelve
virtues. In the four succeeding chapters, games, death, burial, and
the providence of God and the angels are treated. Chapter ninety-nine
treats of the end of the world; and in the one-hundredth chapter
Comenius gives some farewell advice, and takes leave of his reader.

Each chapter of the _Janua_ is to be read ten times. In the first
reading there is to be an accurate translation into the vernacular;
at the second reading the whole is to be written out, Latin and
vernacular, and the teacher is to begin conversation in the Latin
tongue. At the third reading the teacher is to read the Latin aloud,
and the pupils are to translate into the vernacular without seeing
the printed page. At the fourth reading the grammar is to be written
out and the words parsed. Special attention is to be given to the
derivation of words at the fifth reading; the synonyms to be explained
at the sixth; and the grammatical rules applied at the seventh. At the
eighth reading the pupils are to learn the text by heart. The ninth
reading is to be devoted to a logical analysis of the subject-matter;
and the tenth and last reading is to be conducted by the pupils
themselves. They are to challenge one another to repeat portions of the

In this ingenious manner Comenius applies his long-cherished pansophic
theories to language teaching, the _Janua_ being an application of
ideas formulated in the _Great didactic_. It is, however, more than
an application of pansophic notions—it is an attempt to realize his
oft-enunciated educational maxim that words and things should never be
divorced, that knowledge of the language should go hand in hand with
the knowledge of the things explained.

The success of the _Janua_ was most unexpected, and no one was more
surprised at its sudden popularity than Comenius himself. “That
happened,” he writes, “which I could not have imagined, namely, that
this childish book was received with universal approbation by the
learned world. This was shown me by the number of men who wished me
hearty success with my new discovery; and by the number of translations
into foreign languages. For, not only was the book translated into
twelve European languages, since I myself have seen these translations
(Latin, Greek, Bohemian, Polish, German, Swedish, Dutch, English,
French, Spanish, Italian, and Hungarian), but also into the Asiatic
languages—Arabic, Turkish, and Persian—and even into the Mongolian,
which is understood by all the East Indies.”

The _Janua_, more than any other book that he wrote, made Comenius’
name familiar to scholars throughout the world, and for more than a
century it was the most popular secondary-school text-book in use.
How came this book to confer on its author such world-wide fame?
“Partly,” answers Raumer, “from the pleasure found in the survey of
the whole world, adapted both to young and old, and at a day when
no great scientific requirements were made. Many were amused by the
motley variety of the imaginations and investigations of the book; by
its old-fashioned grammatical, didactic, and rhetorical discussions,
and its spiritual extravagances. The greatest influence was, however,
exerted by the fundamental maxim of the book—that the knowledge of a
language, and especially of the Latin, should go hand in hand with a
knowledge of the things explained in it.”[37]

_Atrium and Vestibulum_

The _Janua_ was followed in 1633 by the _Atrium_. It contains 427
short sentences somewhat more amplified than in the _Janua_. In the
introduction the teacher promises to initiate the pupil into the
mysteries of wisdom, the knowledge of all things, the ability to do
right always, and to speak correctly of everything, especially in
Latin, which, as a common language to all nations, is indispensable
to a complete education. The foundation of things is laid in the
_Vestibulum_ (subsequently published); the _Janua_ furnishes the
materials for the building; and the _Atrium_ provides the decorations.
With the completion of these, pupils may confer with the wisest authors
through their books, and through this reading they may become learned,
wise, and eloquent.

The second part treats of substantives, as the classification
of things; the third part of adjectives, as the modification of
things; the fourth part explains pronouns; in the fifth part verbs
are introduced; the sixth part discusses adverbs, the seventh part
prepositions, the eighth part conjunctions, and the ninth part
interjections. The tenth part contains examples of the derivation of
words. The _Atrium_ was intended as a simplified Latin grammar to be
used with the graded system of language teaching outlined by Comenius.

The _Vestibulum_, although written and published after the _Janua_
and _Atrium_, was intended as a first book or Latin primer. The
_Janua_ was found to be too difficult for the younger learners, and
so this simple book was composed during his sojourn at Saros-Patak.
The sentences were abbreviated, and they deal with simple things.
The following are the chapter headings: (1) Concerning the accidents
or qualities of things; (2) Concerning the actions and passions of
things; (3) The circumstances of things; (4) Things in the school; (5)
Things at home; (6) Things in the city; (7) Concerning the virtues.
He expresses regret that he is unable to illustrate the text of the
_Vestibulum_ with cuts to amuse the pupils and enable them the better
to remember, but says that he could find no artists competent to do the
required illustrative work. He urges the teachers to supply the want
of such cuts by explanations of the things, or by showing the things
themselves. Without some such devices, the instruction must necessarily
be lifeless. “The parallelism of the knowledge of words and things is
the deepest secret of the method.”

_Orbis Pictus_

The idea of the use of pictures in elementary school work was suggested
to Comenius by Professor Lubinus, of Rostock, who edited in 1614
a Greek testament in three languages. He suggested reforms in the
simplification of language instruction, and advised the construction
of a book containing pictures of things, with a certain number of brief
sentences attached to each, until all the words and phrases of Latin
were exhausted.

While at Saros-Patak, he carried into effect the desires set forth in
the _Vestibulum_ with reference to an illustrated child’s first Latin
reader, although the book was not printed until some years later,
because of unexpected difficulty in finding a skilful engraver in
copper. In a letter to Michel Endter, of Nuremberg, who subsequently
published the _Orbis pictus_, Comenius wrote in 1655: “It may be
observed that many of our children grow weary of their books, because
they are overfilled with things which have to be explained by the help
of words. The pupils, and often the teachers themselves, know next to
nothing about the things.”

The _Orbis pictus_ was first published at Nuremberg in 1657; and,
although the _Janua_ had been received with well-nigh universal favor,
its popularity was surpassed by the illustrated book. I have no means
of knowing how many editions of the _Orbis pictus_ have appeared
during the last two hundred and fifty years. I have myself seen
twelve different editions in the British Museum, Comenius-Stiftung,
library of Harvard University, and elsewhere. These are: Nuremberg,
1657, Latin-German; London, 1658, Latin-English; Amsterdam, 1673,
Latin-Dutch-German; Nuremberg, 1679, Latin-German-Italian-French;
London, 1727, Latin-English; Nuremberg, 1746, Latin-German; London,
1777, Latin-German; St. Petersburg, 1808, Latin-Russian-German; New
York, 1810, Latin-English; Wroctawin, 1818, Latin-Polish-French-German;
Königsgratz, 1883, Latin-Bohemian-German-French; Syracuse, 1887,

The purpose of the _Orbis pictus_, as indicated by Comenius in the
preface, was:

1. To entice witty children to learn; for it is apparent that children,
even from their infancy, are delighted with pictures and willingly
please their eyes with them. And it will be very well worth the pains
to have once brought it to pass that scarecrows may be taken away out
of wisdom’s gardens.

2. This same little book will serve to stir up the attention, which is
to be fastened upon things, and even to be sharpened more and more,
which is also an important matter. For the senses being the main guides
of childhood (because therein the mind does not as yet rise to an
abstract contemplation of things), they must evermore seek their own
objects; if the objects are not present, the senses grow dull and flit
hither and thither out of weariness. But when the objects are present,
they grow merry, wax lively, and willingly suffer themselves to be
fastened upon them till the things be sufficiently discerned. This
book, then, will do a good piece of service in taking flickering wits
and preparing them for deeper studies.

3. Children being thus interested and the attention attracted, they
may be furnished with the knowledge of the most important things by
sport and merry pastime. In a word, this book will add pleasure to
the use of the _Vestibulum_ and _Janua_, for which end it was at the
first chiefly intended. The accounts of the things being given in the
mother-tongue, the book promises three good things: (1) It will afford
a device for learning to read more easily than hitherto, especially
having a symbolical alphabet set before it, with pictures of the voices
[creatures] to be imitated. The young ABC pupils will easily remember
the force of every character by looking at the creatures, and the
imagination will be strengthened. Having looked over a table of the
chief syllables, the children may proceed to view the pictures and the
inscriptions set under them. Simply looking upon the object pictured
will suggest the name of the object and tell how the picture is to
be read. Thus the whole book being gone over by the bare use of the
pictures, reading cannot but be learned. (2) The book being used in the
vernacular will serve for the perfect learning of the mother-tongue.
(3) The learning of the vernacular words will serve as a pleasant
introduction to the Latin tongue.

The _Orbis pictus_ was translated for use in English schools in
1658 by Charles Hoole, a London schoolmaster. He observes in his
introduction: “There are few of you (I think) but have seen, and with
great willingness have made use of (or at least pursued), many of
the books of this well-deserving author, Mr. John Comenius, which,
for their profitableness to the speedy attainment of a language,
have been translated into several countries, out of Latin into their
native tongue. Now the general verdict (after trial made) that hath
passed, touching those formerly extant, is this, that they are indeed
of singular use, and very advantageous to those of more discretion
(especially of such as already have a smattering of Latin) to help
their memories to retain what they have scatteringly gotten here and
there, to furnish them with many words, which (perhaps) they have not
formerly read, or so well observed; but to young children (whom we
have chiefly to instruct), as to those that are ignorant altogether
of things and words, and prove rather a mere toil and burden, than a
delight and furtherance. For to pack up many words in memory of things
not conceived in the mind, is to fill the head with empty imaginations,
and to make the learner more to admire the multitude and variety (and
thereby to become discouraged) than to care to treasure them up in
hopes to gain more knowledge of what they mean.”

The first lesson in the _Orbis pictus_ is a dialogue between a teacher
and a pupil. The former says, “Come, boy, learn to be wise.” Whereupon
the latter asks, “What doth this mean?” The master makes reply, “To
understand rightly, to do rightly, and to speak rightly all that are
necessary.” The boy asks who will teach him these things, to which
the master makes reply, “I, by God’s help, will guide thee through
all. I will show thee all; I will name thee all.” To all this the boy
makes eager response: “See, here I am. Lead me in the name of God.”
The master concludes the dialogue with this injunction: “Before all
things thou oughtest to learn the plain sounds of which man’s speech
consisteth, which living creatures know how to make, and thy tongue
knoweth how to imitate, and thy hand can picture out. Afterward we
will go into the world, and we will view all things.” Mr. Maxwell[38]
thus characterizes this introduction and the picture that illustrates
it: “The boy, a plump but not a pleasing person, and the master, a man
‘severe’ and ‘stern to view,’ who has evidently all the frowns and none
of the jokes of Goldsmith’s schoolmaster. They are conversing on a
barren plain, the only other living thing in sight being a wild animal
apparently of some extinct species. In the background are a village
church, of the regulation pattern, the roofs of houses, and a couple of
pyramids which are intended for mountains.”

The introduction is followed by an illustrated lesson on the sounds
of the letters of the alphabet, with a picture and statement (in
the vernacular and Latin) of the sounds made by animals. The crow
illustrates the sound of _a_, the statement in the English being, “The
crow crieth”; in the Latin, _Cornix cornicatur_. A lamb illustrates the
sound of _b_, the statement being, “The lamb bleateth” (Latin, _Agnus
balat_). And so on through the alphabet. This is what Comenius calls “a
lively and vocal alphabet.”

Like the _Janua_, the subjects treated in the _Orbis pictus_ cover a
wide range of topics. Their character may be indicated by the following
citations of chapter headings: God, the world, the heavens, fire, the
air, the water, the clouds, the earth, the fruits of the earth, metals,
stones, trees, fruits of trees, flowers, potherbs, corn, shrubs, birds,
tame fowls, singing birds, birds that haunt the fields and woods,
ravenous birds, waterfowls, ravenous vermin, animals about the house,
herd-cattle, laboring beasts, wild cattle, wild beasts, serpents and
creeping things, crawling vermin, creatures that live as well by water
as by land, river-fish and pond-fish, sea-fish and shell-fish, man, the
seven ages of man, the outward parts of man, the head and the hand,
the flesh and bowels, the charnels and bones, the outward and inward
senses, the soul of man, deformed and monstrous people, dressing of
gardens, husbandry, grazing, grinding, bread-making, fishing, fowling,
hunting, butchery, cookery, the vintage, brewing, a feast, and so
on to the one hundred and fifty-first chapter, in which the first
illustration is reproduced with this benediction by the master: “Thus
thou hast seen in short all things that can be shewed, and hast learned
the chief words of the Latin and mother-tongue. Go on now and read
other good books diligently, and thou shalt become learned, wise and
godly. Remember these things: Fear God and call upon him that he may
bestow upon thee the spirit of wisdom. Farewell.”

Under the pictures illustrating each chapter follows the descriptions
in the vernacular and the Latin. The following on the school may be
taken as characteristic of the book:—

    A school (1)                         Schola (1)
  is a shop in which young wits        est officina in quâ novelli animi
  are fashioned to virtue, and it      formantur ad virtutem
  is distinguished into classes.       & distinguitur in classes.

    The master (2)                       Præceptor (2)
  sits in a chair (3)                  sedet in cathedra (3)
  the scholars (4)                     discipuli (4)
  in forms (5)                         in subsellüs (5)
  he teaches, they learn.              ille docet, hi discunt.

    Some things are writ down            Quædam præ scribuntur illis
  before them with chalk on a          cretâ in tabella. (6)
  table. (6)

    Some sit                             Quidam sedent
  at a table and write (7)             ad mensam & scribunt (7),
  he mendeth their faults (8).         ipse corrigit mendas (8).

    Some stand and rehearse              Quidam stant & recitant
  things committed to memory           mandata memoriæ (9).

    Some talk together (10) and          Quidam confabulantur (10)
  behave themselves wantonly           ac gerunt se petulantes
  and carelessly; these are chastised   & negligentes; hi castigantur
  with a ferrula (11)                  ferulâ (baculo) (11)
  and a rod (12).                      & virgâ (12).

The braced figures refer to the objects numbered in the cut; for
example, a group of students conversing together in the illustration
is marked 10 in the cut and in the text. The purpose of Comenius, it
should be noted in passing, was primarily to teach the vernacular
through things and the representation of things; although he had no
objection to the learning of the Latin with the vernacular. His aim, as
stated by himself, “That instruction may progress without hindrance,
and neither learning nor teaching delay, since what is printed in words
may be brought before the eyes by sight, and thus the mind may be
instructed without error.”

“Primer though it be,” says G. Stanley Hall, “the _Orbis pictus_ sheds
a broad light over the whole field of education.” Compayré remarks,
“It was the first practical application of the intuitive method, and
has served as a model for the innumerable illustrated books which for
three centuries have invaded the schools.” And Raumer, who is little
given to praise of Comenius and his schemes, adds, “The _Orbis pictus_
was the forerunner of future development, and had for its object, not
merely the introduction of an indistinct painted world into the school,
but, as much as possible, a knowledge of the original world itself, by
actual intercourse with it.”

Professor Laurie is doubtless right when he says that Comenius knew
little psychology—scarcely more than the generalizations of Plato and
Aristotle, and these not strictly investigated by himself. Yet who can
read these lines in the preface of the _Orbis pictus_, “This little
book will serve to stir up the attention, which is to be fastened upon
things, and ever to be sharpened more and more; for the senses ever
more seek their own objects, and when the objects are present, they
grow merry, wax lively, and willingly suffer themselves to be fastened
upon them, until the things are sufficiently discerned”—who can read
these lines, and reflect upon the manner in which volitional attention
operates in the higher spheres of thought and emotion, and say that
Comenius was altogether ignorant of the psychological law that the
power of the will over the attention of little children is largely a
matter of automatic fixation, depending upon the attractiveness of the
objects that affect the senses.

_Methodus Novissima_

While residing at Elbing, Comenius wrote the _Methodus novissima_
for the use of the teachers of Sweden. This he intended as a plan of
studies, and it contains the principles which must lie at the basis of
every rational course of study. The three principles of his method are
the parallelism of things and words, proper stages of succession, and
easy natural progress. In God are the ideas, the original types which
he impresses upon things; things, again, impress their representation
upon the senses, the senses impart them to the mind, the mind to the
tongue, and the tongue to the ears of others; for souls shut up in
bodies cannot understand each other in a purely intellectual way.

Any language is complete in so far as it possesses a full nomenclature,
has words for everything,—and these significant and consistent,—and is
constructed in accordance with fixed grammatical laws. It is a source
of error when things accommodate themselves to words, instead of words
to things. The same classification prevails for words as for things;
and whoever understands the relation of words among themselves will,
the more easily, study the analogous relations among things.

Vives thought that the most complete language would be that in which
the words express the nature of things, and Comenius believed that
there could be composed a real language in which each word should be a

To be able to represent a thing by the mind, hand, or tongue is to
understand it. The mental process involved consists of representations
and images of the pictures of things. If, says Comenius, I perceive
a thing by the senses, its image is impressed upon my brain; if I
represent a thing, I impress its image upon the material; but if I
express in words the thing which I have thought of or represented, I
impress it upon the atmosphere, and through it upon the ear, brain, and
mind of another.

Things are learned by examples, rules, and practice. Before the
understanding, truth must be held up as an example; before the will,
the good; before the forming powers, the ideal; and to these must be
added practice regulated by suitable rules. But rules should not be
given before the examples. This is well understood by artisans; they
do not begin by lecturing to their apprentices upon trades, but by
showing them how masters work and then by putting tools in their hands
and training them to imitate their masters. We learn to do by doing, to
write by writing, and to paint by painting.

The second step must never be taken until the first is learned; and the
first step should be repeated and assimilated with the second step. We
should advance from the easy to the more difficult, from the near to
the more distant, and from the simple to the complex. Proceed toward
knowledge by the perception and understanding of objects present to the
senses, and later to the information of others about the objects.

The attention should be fixed upon one object at a time; first upon
the whole, then upon the parts. The understanding should compare the
objects being perceived with similar objects previously observed.
The memory has three offices: to receive impressions, to retain
impressions, and to recall impressions. Retention will be made easier
by repetition, and recollection by the association of perceived
relations. The youngest children should be instructed by means of
visible objects, and pictures impress themselves most firmly upon the

Teachers who are themselves intellectually quick must avoid impatience.
The pupils who learn the quickest are not always the best; and the
dulness of the pupils must be supplemented by the teacher’s industry.
Learning will be easy to pupils if teachers manage them in a friendly
way and study the disposition of each child. Children must not only
be made to look at their lessons, but to enter into the spirit of the
subject under consideration.

We should remember that schools are the workshops of humanity; and
that they should work their pupils into the right and skilful use of
their reason, speech, and talents—into wisdom, eloquence, readiness,
and shrewdness. Thus will the teachers shape these little images of
God, or, rather, fill up the outlines of goodness, power, and wisdom
impressed upon them by divine power. The art of teaching is no shallow
affair, but one of the deepest mysteries of nature and salvation.



  Francke—Early educational undertakings—The
  institution at Halle—Character of the
  pædagogium—Impulse given to modern learning.
  Rousseau—The child the centre of educational
  schemes—Sense training fundamental—Order and method
  of nature to be followed. Basedow—Protests against
  traditional methods—Influenced by the _Émile_—His
  educational writings—The Philanthropinum.
  Pestalozzi—Love the key-note of his system—Domestic
  education—Education for all classes and sexes—The
  study of nature—Impulse given to the study of
  geography. Fröbel—His relations to Comenius and
  Pestalozzi—Educational value of play and principle
  of self-activity—Women as factors in education.
  Herbart—Assimilation of sense-experience—Training of
  character—Doctrine of interest.

It is less easy to trace the influence of Comenius on modern
educational reformers than to indicate the traces of his pedagogic
development, since he read widely and credited cheerfully the paternity
of his educational ideals. He says in this connection: “I gave my mind
to the perusal of divers authors, and lighted upon many which at this
age have made a beginning in reforming the method of studies, as Ratke,
Helwig, Rheinus, Ritter, Glaum, Cæcil, and, who indeed should have the
first place, John Valentine Andreæ, a man of noble and clear brain;
as also Campanella and the Lord Verulam, those famous restorers of
philosophy; by reading of whom I was raised in good hope, that at last
those so many various sparks would conspire into a flame; yet observing
here and there some defects and gaps, I could not contain myself from
attempting something that might rest upon an immovable foundation, and
which, if it could be once found out, should not be subject to any
ruin. Therefore, after many workings and tossings of my thoughts, by
reducing everything to the immovable laws of nature, I lighted upon my
_Great didactic_, which shows the art of teaching all things to all

Such commendable frankness is not always found in the reformers that
follow Comenius; but in their writings it is not difficult to discern
community of ideas first definitely formulated by Comenius. This holds
true in a degree of all reformers since Comenius’ day, but in a measure
sufficiently large to require passing note in Francke, Rousseau,
Basedow Pestalozzi, Fröbel, and Herbart.


Of a profoundly religious nature like Comenius, Francke applied himself
to the study of theology at the Universities of Kiel and Leipzig, after
having studied at Erfurt. The listless and heartless character of the
teaching and study at these institutions impressed him profoundly,
and directed his attention to the need of educational reform. Four
years after taking his degree at Leipzig (1688), he established an
infant school at Hamburg, which, though brief, was, as he tells us,
the richest and happiest experience of his long and varied career. It
taught him the lesson which he thought was needed alike by himself and
his contemporaries— that teachers of little children entered upon
their work with altogether too little preparation. He says, “Upon the
establishment of this school, I learned how destructive is the usual
school management, and how exceedingly difficult is the discipline of
children; and this reflection made me desire that God would make me
worthy to do something for the improvement of schools and instruction.”

He received an ecclesiastical call to Erfurt, which he accepted, but
his orthodoxy was questioned and he was not permitted to fill the
office to which he had been appointed. The foundation of the University
of Halle, in 1691, made an opening for him in the chair of Greek and
Oriental languages. While serving in this capacity, he organized the
philanthropic institution which has made Halle famous. It began as a
charity work among the poor, and grew to such proportions that at his
death, in 1727,—thirty-three years after its inception,—it included
(1) the pædagogium with eighty-two students and seventy teachers and
pupil-teachers; (2) the Latin school of the orphanage with three
inspectors, thirty-two teachers, four hundred pupils, and ten servants;
(3) elementary schools in Halle for the children of citizens, employing
four inspectors, ninety-eight male and eight female teachers, and
having an enrollment of one thousand and twenty-five children; (4)
apothecary shops and bookstores. As a charity school, Francke’s
institution became the model of hundreds organized in Europe during the
next century.

The pædagogium, which was a part of the great philanthropic
institution, was opened in 1696, as a select school for the sons of
noblemen. It was one of the earliest training schools for teachers,
and the forerunner of university pedagogical seminaries, which, in
Germany at least, serve as training schools for teachers in secondary
schools. Francke aimed to fit young men, and particularly university
students, in the faculties of philosophy and theology, for greater
usefulness as teachers. Indeed, much of the teaching in the pædagogium
was done by the university students who contemplated teaching careers.
Besides the practice work, instruction was given in the history and
theory of education, methods of teaching, and school organization and
government. Francke’s pædagogium was a worthy progenitor of the long
line of renowned university seminaries which are now integral factors
of the German universities, such, for example, as the deservedly noted
pedagogical seminary at Jena under the direction of Professor Wilhelm
Rein, and the not less noted pedagogical seminaries at Leipzig under
Professors Volkelt, Schiller, and Richter.

Like Comenius, Francke valued less the classical culture, but more the
modern learning which fitted for the duties of life. “It is a common
evil,” he says, “that we do not teach what we use in our occupations
every day.” This led him to give large consideration to the study of
the mother-tongue. “I find few university students,” he says, “who
can write a German letter correctly spelled. They violate orthography
in almost every line. I know of many examples where, after they have
entered upon the ministry and have had occasion to have something
printed, it has been necessary to have their manuscripts first
corrected in almost every line. The reason for this defect is usually
in the schools, where only the Latin translation of their exercises is
corrected, but not the German.” In many ways he labored to actualize
the larger idea of education which Comenius had outlined in the _Great


While he does not mention Comenius by name, even a cursory reading of
the _Émile_[40] furnishes abundant evidence of Rousseau’s familiarity
with the writings of the Moravian reformer, if not at first hand, then
through the writings of others. At any rate, some striking parallels
are suggested in a comparative study of the writings of the two
reformers. As summarized by Mr. Davidson,[41] Rousseau’s educational
demands are threefold: (1) the demand that children should, from the
moment of their birth, be allowed complete freedom of movement; (2)
that they should be educated through direct experience, and not through
mere information derived from books; (3) that they should be taught to
use their hands in the production of useful articles. These demands, it
will be recalled, were also made by Comenius in one form or another.

Comenius and Rousseau both emphasized the fact that school systems must
be made for children, and not children for school systems. Neither
reformer shared the schoolmaster’s customary contempt for childhood,
but both urged that childhood must be studied and loved to be
understood and trained, and both, if they had lived in the nineteenth
and twentieth centuries, would have been enthusiastic advocates of
child study. Says Rousseau: “We do not understand childhood, and
pursuing false ideas of it, our every step takes us farther astray.
The wisest among us fix upon what it concerns men to know, without
ever considering what children are capable of learning. They always
expect to find the man in the child, without thinking of what the child
is before it is a man.... We never know how to put ourselves in the
place of children; we do not enter into their ideas; we attribute to
them our own; and following always our own train of thought, even with
syllogisms, we manage to fill their heads with nothing but extravagance
and error.... I wish some discreet person would give us a treatise on
the art of observing children—an art which would be of immense value to
us, but of which parents and teachers have not as yet learnt the very

Sense training was fundamental in Comenius’ scheme of primary
education. Nature studies—plants, animals, and minerals—were introduced
from the first, that the child might early cultivate his powers of
observation, and form the habit of acquiring knowledge at first hand.
Rousseau likewise lays great stress on sense training. “The faculties
which become strong in us,” he says, “are our senses. These, then,
are the first that should be cultivated; they are, in fact, the
only faculties we forget, or at least those which we neglect most
completely. The child wants to touch and handle everything. By no means
check this restlessness; it points to a very necessary apprenticeship.
Thus it is that the child gets to be conscious of the hotness or
coldness, the hardness or softness, the heaviness or lightness of
bodies, to judge of their size and shape and all their sensible
properties by looking, feeling, listening, especially by comparing
sight and touch, and combining the sensations of the eye with those of
the fingers.”

Comenius, Rousseau, and, in fact, all the realists from Bacon to
Herbert Spencer, have emphasized the thought that education should
follow the order and method of nature; though, as Professor Payne
suggests, it is not always easy to form a clear notion of what they
mean by nature, when they say that education should be natural,
and that teachers should follow the method of nature. The key-note
of Rousseau’s theory, as expressed in the opening paragraph of the
_Émile_, is that “everything is good as it comes from the hands of the
author of nature, but everything degenerates in the hands of man.” Mr.
Davidson points out in his study of Rousseau that the air was full of
nature panaceas during the middle years of the eighteenth century, and
that these were applied alike to social, political, and educational
institutions. He says: “The chief of these notions were (1) a state of
nature as man’s original condition—a state conceived sometimes as one
of goodness, peace, freedom, equality, and happiness, sometimes as one
of badness, war, slavery, inequality, and misery; (2) a law of nature
independent of all human enactment, and yet binding upon all men; (3)
a social contract, voluntarily and consciously made, as the basis of
justification for civil society and authority—a contract by which
men united for the protection of rights and the enforcement of laws
which had existed already in the state of nature; (4) false inequality
among men, as due to private property, or the usurpation by some of
what, by natural right, belonged to all; (5) a peaceful, untroubled,
unenterprising, unstruggling existence as the normal form of human

While less sane, less practical, less comprehensive in his educational
views than Comenius, it can scarcely be said that he was less
influential. Differing in many important particulars, a common ideal
permeates the writings of the two reformers—an unbounded faith in the
possibilities of youth, and a deep conviction that it is the business
of teachers to view the world and nature from the standpoint of young
and growing children, and to cling with less tenacity to points of view
established by antiquity and convention.


While resembling Rousseau more than Comenius in temperament and
character, as well as in educational ideals, there is yet much in
Basedow’s educational scheme that recalls the Moravian reformer.
Born at Hamburg, in 1727, he experienced, like Rousseau, an unhappy
childhood, and, like Comenius, received a belated education. He
prepared for the University of Leipzig at the Hamburg gymnasium; but
at both institutions he rebelled against the traditional methods of
instruction. After completing the course in theology at Leipzig, it was
found that he had grown too heterodox for ordination, and he engaged
himself as a private tutor to a gentleman in Holstein. Remarkable
success attended his labors as a teacher. He studied his children,
adapted subject-matter to their capacities, and made extensive use of
conversational methods. This experience secured him an appointment in
Denmark, where he taught for eight years. But his essays on _Methodical
instruction in natural and Biblical religion_ disturbed alike the
serenity of the Danish clergy and schoolmasters, and he was released
and called to the gymnasium at Altoona, where he encountered opposition
no less pronounced.

Rousseau’s _Émile_ appeared at this time, and it influenced him
powerfully. He renewed his attacks on contemporary educational
practices; charged universal neglect of physical education and the
mother-tongue; criticised the schools for devoting so much time to the
study of Latin and Greek, and for the mechanical and uninteresting
methods employed in teaching these languages; and admonished society
for neglecting to instruct the children of the poor and middle classes.
Raumer, who is no admirer of Basedow, admits the justice of the
charges. He says: “Youth was in those days for most children a sadly
harassed period. Instruction was hard and heartlessly severe. Grammar
was caned into the memory; so were portions of Scripture and poetry. A
common form of school punishment was to learn by heart the One Hundred
and Nineteenth Psalm. Schoolrooms were dismally dark. No one conceived
it possible that the young could find pleasure in any kind of work, or
that they had eyes for aught but reading and writing. The pernicious
age of Louis XIV had inflicted on the children of the upper class hair
curled by the barber and messed with powder and pomade, braided coats,
knee breeches, silk stockings, and a dagger by the side—for active,
lively children a perfect torture.”

The publication, in 1774, of his _Elementary book with plates_ and his
_Book of methods_ for parents and teachers, formulated and brought to
public notice his views on education. The _Elementary book with plates_
followed closely the lines of Comenius, and it has often been called
the _Orbis pictus_ of the eighteenth century. The purpose of the book
was clearly encyclopædic. As stated by himself, his aims were: (1)
elementary instruction in the knowledge of words and things; (2) an
incomparable method, founded upon experience, of teaching children
to read without weariness or loss of time; (3) natural knowledge;
(4) knowledge of morals, the mind, and reasoning; (5) a thorough
and impressive method of instructing in natural religion, and for a
description of beliefs so impartial that it shall not appear of what
belief is the writer himself; (6) knowledge of social duties and
commerce. The work was published in four volumes and illustrated by one
hundred plates.

The _Book of methods_ presents the root-ideas of Comenius and Rousseau.
In it he says: “You should attend to nature in your children far more
than to art. The elegant manners and usages of the world are, for the
most part, unnatural. These come of themselves in later years. Treat
children like children, that they may remain the longer uncorrupted. A
boy whose acutest faculties are his senses, and who has no perception
of anything abstract, must first of all be made acquainted with the
world as it presents itself to the senses. Let this be shown him in
nature herself, or, where this is impossible, in faithful drawings or
models. Thereby can he, even in play, learn how the various objects
are to be named. Comenius alone has pointed out the right road in this
matter. By all means reduce the wretched exercises of the memory.”

The institution which carried Basedow’s educational theories into
practice was the Philanthropinum at Dessau, which became both famous
and notorious in the days of the founder, and exercised, withal, a
powerful influence on the pedagogy of Germany and Switzerland during
the last quarter of the eighteenth and the first half of the nineteenth
century. Whatever may have been its faults, it had the merit of looking
at education from a more modern standpoint. With the conviction
that the final word had not been spoken on pedagogy, Basedow boldly
determined to find new methods of approach to the child’s mind. As an
experiment the Philanthropinum was both interesting and suggestive.
Kant, who recognizes this aspect of its utility, says: “It was imagined
that experiments in education were not necessary; but this was a
great mistake. Experience shows very often that results are produced
precisely the opposite to those which had been expected. We also see
from experiments that one generation cannot work out a complete plan
of education. The only experimental school which has made a beginning
toward breaking the path is the institution at Dessau. Whatever its
faults, this praise must be given it: It is the only school in which
teachers have had the liberty to work out their own methods and plans,
and where they stood in connection, not only with each other, but with
men of learning throughout all Germany.”

In subjects taught, as well as in methods of teaching, Basedow followed
Comenius in the main. Words were taught in connection with things;
object teaching occupied an important place; pictures were extensively
used; children were first taught to speak and later to write in foreign
languages; German and French held positions of honor; arithmetic,
geometry, geography, and natural history were all taught; great
attention was given to the physical development of the children, and
play was considered as important as Latin; school hours were shortened;
the discipline was much less severe; and the children were allowed
and permitted to take degrees of freedom altogether unheard of before
Basedow’s day.


Pestalozzi was not widely read in the literature of education; in
fact, the _Émile_ was about the only such book he ever read, as he
himself tells us. It is, nevertheless, apparent that he was quite as
much influenced by Comenius as by Rousseau. The vital principle of
his reforms—love of and sympathy for the child—had been as forcefully
enunciated by Comenius as by Rousseau; and the saner and more practical
character of Pestalozzi’s enthusiasm would lead one to suppose that he
was less influenced by the author of the _Émile_ than by the Moravian
reformer. “The first qualification for the task [of teaching],” says
Pestalozzi, in a letter to Greaves,[44] “is _thinking love_.” And this
spirit dominated all his efforts in behalf of educational reform. He
says: “It is recorded that God opened the heavens to the patriarch of
old, and showed him a ladder leading thither. This ladder is let down
to every descendant of Adam; it is offered to your child. But he must
be taught to climb it—not by the cold calculations of the head, or by
the mere impulses of the heart, but by a combination of both.”

Both reformers started with the child at birth, and made domestic
education fundamental to their schemes. “Maternal love,” says
Pestalozzi, “is the first agent in education. Nature has qualified the
mother to be the chief factor in the education of the child.” In _How
Gertrude teaches her children_[45] he tells us, “It is the main design
of my method to make home instruction again possible to our neglected
people, and to induce every mother whose heart beats for her child
to make use of my elementary exercises.” Again, in the account of his
school at Stanz, he says: “My aim was to simplify teaching so that
the common people might be induced to begin the instruction of their
children, and thus render superfluous the teaching of the elements
in the schools. As the mother is the first to nourish her child
physically, so also, by the appointment of God, she must be the first
to give it spiritual and mental nourishment. I consider that very great
evils have been occasioned by sending children too early to school; and
by adopting so many artificial means of educating them away from home.
The time will come, so soon as we shall have simplified instruction,
when every mother will be able to teach, without the help of others,
and thereby, at the same time, go on herself always learning.” This, it
will be recalled, was also Comenius’ cherished desire in the _School of

Comenius and Pestalozzi stand almost alone among the great educational
reformers in proclaiming the doctrine of universal education—training
for the poor as well as the rich, for the lowly born as well as for the
privileged classes, for girls as well as boys. “Popular education,”
says Pestalozzi, “once lay before me like an immense marsh, in the
mire of which I waded about, until I had discovered the source from
which its waters sprang, as well as the causes by which their free
course is obstructed, and made myself acquainted with those points
from which a hope of draining its pools might be conceived. Ever since
my youthful days, the course of my feelings, which rolled on like a
mighty stream, was directed to this one point,—to stop the sources
of that misery in which I saw the people around me immersed.” Such
regeneration he thought could be brought about by consecrated and
intelligent schoolmasters, and particularly, as G. Stanley Hall notes
in his admirable introduction to the American translation of _Leonard
and Gertrude_,[46] “by the love and devotion of noble women overflowing
from the domestic circle into the community, by the good Gertrudes of
all stations in life, the born educators of the race, whose work and
whose ‘key-words’ we men pedagogues must ponder well if our teaching is
to be ethically inspired.”

The study of nature, and this at first hand, was likewise an
inheritance from Comenius. Pestalozzi makes observation the basis
of all knowledge. “If I look back and ask myself what I have really
done toward the improvement of methods of elementary instruction, I
find that in recognizing observation as the absolute basis of all
knowledge, I have established the first and most important principle
of instruction. I have endeavored to discover what ought to be the
character of the instruction itself, and what are the fundamental laws
according to which the education of the human race must be determined
by nature.”

Comenius was the first of the educational reformers to recognize the
importance of geography as a subject of school study; and although
he had it taught in the schools he conducted, and gave it important
consideration in his educational schemes, the study received no fresh
recognition until the time of Pestalozzi. At Stanz, at Burgdorf, and
at Yverdon, geography ranked as one of the foremost elementary school
studies. And not only was geography taught in the schoolrooms, but
better than that, it was taught in the open air. Vulliemin, who was
two years a student under Pestalozzi at Yverdon, writes: “The first
elements of geography were taught us on the ground. We began the study
by taking a walk along a narrow valley on the outskirts of Yverdon.
We were led to observe all its details, and then to help ourselves to
some clay we found there. This we carried back in our baskets, and, on
our return home, we had to make a model of the ground walked over, and
of the surrounding country; this we did on long tables. Our walks were
extended, from time to time, and, on our return, we added new features
as we learned them.”

Pestalozzi was fortunate in having with him at Yverdon two eminently
successful German teachers, who comprehended his aims, and who
subsequently applied his methods in the fatherland. One was Hennig, the
author of a popular pedagogic work on home geography, and the other
was Karl Ritter, the deservedly renowned German geographer. Ritter
brought with him to Yverdon two young men from Frankfort whom he was
tutoring, and he served Pestalozzi in the capacity of a pupil-teacher;
and, while a developed man when he entered the institution, in 1807,
he came to Yverdon, as so many other enthusiastic Germans had done, to
study pedagogy with the most distinguished master of the century. Years
later, when Ritter had become the best-known geographer of his age,
he wrote: “Pestalozzi knew less geography than a child in one of our
primary schools, yet it was from him that I gained my chief knowledge
of this science; for it was in listening to him that I first conceived
the idea of the natural method. It was he who opened the way to me,
and I take pleasure in attributing whatever value my work may have
entirely to him.”

Comenius and Pestalozzi had much in common in their aims as educational
reformers; and they together share, as Dr. Hoffmeister[47] points out,
the honor of having originated and carefully elaborated one of the
most efficient elementary school systems in Europe—the Volksschule
in Germany. Pestalozzi gave himself to education, or, to use his
own significant characterization, “I have lived all my days like a
beggar, that I might teach beggars how to live like men.” Comenius
gave himself, also, and he gave besides a half-dozen books, which take
classic rank in the permanent literature of education.


The large obligations of the founder of the kindergarten to both
Comenius and Pestalozzi cannot be gainsaid. Fröbel’s attention
was called to the writings of the Moravian reformer early in his
educational career by Professor Krause, Herder, and others interested
in his schemes. “Comenius proposes an entirely new basis of education,”
Professor Krause wrote to Fröbel. “He attempts to find a method of
education, consciously based upon science, whereby teachers will teach
less, and learners will learn more; whereby there will be less noise
in the schools, less distaste, fewer idle pupils, more happiness and
progress; whereby confusion, division, and darkness will give place
to order, intelligence, and peace.” He adds, “Comenius was the first
to advocate Pestalozzi’s doctrine of observation (Anschauung).” Mr.
Hauschmann,[48] one of Fröbel’s biographers, remarks: “Krause looked
upon Fröbel as the educational successor of Comenius and Pestalozzi.
Fröbel, he thought, might show, as it had never been shown before,
how the Pestalozzian doctrine of Anschauung was to be applied to the
education of every child.”

The weeks spent with Pestalozzi in the autumn of 1805 and the two
subsequent years (1808–1810) passed with him at Yverdon, gave Fröbel
ample opportunity to study thoroughly the Swiss reformer’s theories and
practices; and these he subsequently applied with even greater skill
than his master had done. Schmid, the German historian of education,
says, “Fröbel, the pupil of Pestalozzi, and a genius like his master,
completed the reformer’s system; taking the results at which Pestalozzi
had arrived through the necessities of his position, Fröbel developed
the ideas involved in them, not by further experience, but by deduction
from the nature of man, and thus he attained to the conception of true
human development and to the requirements of true education.”

He was thus, in a sense, the combined product of the philosophy of
Comenius and the zeal of Pestalozzi, although working along lines
carefully marked out by himself. It does not detract from the fame of
Fröbel to say that most of the root-ideas of his kindergarten are to be
found in the _School of infancy_. Mr. Bowen, who has given us one of
the best expositions[49] of Fröbel’s ideas, pays a just tribute of the
obligation of his master to the writings of Pestalozzi and Comenius. He
says: “With all his enthusiasm for education and his desire to found
it on a scientific basis, Comenius had but little scientific knowledge
of child-nature, and troubled himself not at all to acquire it. He
constantly insisted, it is true, upon the exercise of the senses,
and an education in accordance with nature; but his exercise of the
senses soon reduced itself, in the main, to the use of pictures, with
a view to a readier and more intelligent acquirement of language; and,
even in his _ergastula literaria_, or literary workshop, the manual
and other work introduced was intended to aid poor children in partly
getting their own living while at school, rather than to exercise
faculty; while his ‘nature’ was as quaint and conventional as that in a
pre-Raphaelite picture. _None the less, however, Comenius was the true
founder of educational method._”

There is entire agreement in a few of the most fundamental aims of the
two reformers. Comenius, no less than Fröbel, preached the gospel of
self-activity, and demanded that play be given important consideration
in the training of the child. What Comenius says on these subjects
has already been given in the exposition of the _School of infancy_.
In his _Education of man_,[50] Fröbel says: “Play is the purest, most
spiritual activity of the child at this period; and, at the same time,
typical of human life as a whole—of the hidden natural life in man
and all things. It gives, therefore, joy, freedom, contentment, inner
and outer rest, peace with the world. A child that plays thoroughly,
with self-active determination, perseveringly, until physical fatigue
forbids, will surely be a thorough, determined man, capable of
self-sacrifice for the promotion of the welfare of himself and others.
Is not the most beautiful expression of child-life at this time a
playing child?—a child wholly absorbed in his play?—a child that has
fallen asleep while so absorbed?... The plays of the child contain the
germ of the whole life that is to follow; for the man develops and
manifests himself in play, and reveals the noblest aptitudes and the
deepest elements of his being.”

Fröbel joined with Comenius in demanding that women shall take a
responsible part in the education of the child. Mr. James L. Hughes[51]
says in this connection: “The greatest step made toward the full
recognition of woman’s individuality and responsibility since the time
of Christ was made when Fröbel founded his kindergartens and made women
educators outside the home—educators by profession. This momentous
reform gave the first great impetus to the movement in favor of women’s
freedom, and provided for the general advance of humanity to a higher
plane by giving childhood more considerate, more sympathetic, and more
stimulating teachers.” Fröbel was convinced that women were better
adapted than men for the early stages of instruction. He says: “All
agree that, compared with the true mother, the formal educator is
but a bungler. But she must become conscious of her own aim, and must
learn intelligently the means to reach it. She can no longer afford to
squander or neglect the earliest years of her child. As the world grows
older, we become richer in knowledge and art. But childhood remains
short as before.”

In other important particulars Fröbel owed much to Comenius, as well
as to Pestalozzi. Compare, for example, the _School of infancy_
with the aims of the kindergarten, and the bequests of the Moravian
reformer will at once be apparent. The exaggerated and unpedagogic
symbolism, however, with which Fröbel burdened his otherwise excellent
kindergarten system, formed no part of his heritage from Comenius.


Professor De Garmo,[52] who has given us a most succinct statement of
Herbart’s educational views, remarks, “that one of the main results
of Comenius, Rousseau, and Pestalozzi is the firmly fixed conviction
that observation, or the use of the senses, and, in general, the
consideration of simple concrete facts in every field of knowledge, is
the sure foundation upon which all right elementary education rests.
This truth is now the acknowledged starting-point of all scientific
methods of teaching. Yet the fact of importance of observation in
instruction does not carry with it any information showing how the
knowledge so obtained can be utilized, or what its nature, time,
amount, and order of presentation should be. In short, it does
not show how mental assimilation can best take place, or how the
resulting acquisitions can be made most efficiently to influence the
emotional and volitional sides of our nature. Perception is, indeed,
the first stage of cognition, but its equally important correlative
is apperception and assimilation. It is Herbart and his successors
who have made us distinctly conscious of this fact.” There can be no
reasonable doubt but that Herbart did give a powerful impulse to the
judicious assimilation of acquired sense-experience; and yet even here
it is quite possible to underestimate the character and value of the
nature studies of Comenius and the object lessons of Pestalozzi.

Herbart, like Comenius, emphasized the necessary effect of all
instruction on character. “The circle of thought,” says Herbart,
“contains the store of that which by degrees can mount by the steps
of interest to desire, and then, by means of action, to volition.
Further, it contains the store upon which all the workings of prudence
are founded—in it are the knowledge and care, without which man cannot
pursue his aims through means. The whole inner activity, indeed, has
its abode in the circle of thought. Here is found the initiative
life, the primal energy; here all must circulate easily and freely,
everything must be in its place, ready to be found and used at any
moment; nothing must lie in the way, and nothing like a heavy load
impede useful activity.” Indeed, as Kern suggests, in Herbart’s scheme
interest is the moral monitor and protector against the servitude that
springs from passions and desires.

The doctrine of interest, but vaguely suggested by Comenius, is
perhaps the most noteworthy contribution of Herbart to modern
pedagogy; but to summarize Herbart’s views on interest would be to
summarize his whole theory of education. He recognizes two groups of
interests—intellectual and social. Two phases of intellectual interests
are distinguished: (1) empirical interests, or the pleasures occasioned
by disinterested curiosity; (2) speculative interests occasioned by
the impulse to search out causal relations; and (3) æsthetic interests
aroused through beauties in nature, art, and character. The social
interests are likewise threefold: (1) sympathetic or altruistic; (2)
social and fraternal; and (3) religious.

Herbart’s contribution to empirical psychology, although important, was
second to his application of direct pedagogic problems to actual school
practice—the working out of his doctrine of many-sided interest, the
selection and adjustment of materials of instruction, and the reform of
school government and discipline.[53]



  General neglect of Comenius during the eighteenth
  century—Causes—Intrenchment of humanism—Summary of
  the permanent reforms of Comenius—Revived interest
  in his teachings—National Comenius pedagogical
  library at Leipzig—The Comenius Society—Reviews
  published for the dissemination of the educational
  doctrines of Comenius—Conquest of his ideas.

The permanent influence of Comenius remains to be noted. Famous in his
own day; enjoying the friendship of great scholars and the confidence
of royal personages; the founder of numerous school systems; the author
of more than a hundred books and treatises, which were translated
into most of the languages of Europe and Asia,—the name of the great
Moravian reformer was quite if not entirely forgotten, and his writings
practically unknown, for more than a century after his death. Professor
Nicholas Murray Butler,[54] in likening him unto the stream that loses
itself in the arid desert and then reappears with gathered force and
volume to lend its fertilizing power to the surrounding country, says:
“Human history is rich in analogies to this natural phenomenon; but
in Comenius the history of education furnishes its example. The great
educational revival of our century, and particularly of our generation,
has shed the bright light of scholarly investigation into all the dark
places, and to-day, at the three hundredth anniversary of his birth,
the fine old Moravian bishop is being honored wherever teachers gather
together and wherever education is the theme.”

The world, which usually takes pause for a moment, when a great man
dies, to seriously consider what there was in the dead that lifted
him above the ordinary level, took no such inventory when the remains
of Comenius were laid at rest in a quiet little town in Holland. “The
man whom we unhesitatingly affirm,” says Mr. Keatinge, “to be the
broadest-minded, the most far-seeing, the most comprehensive, and
withal the most practical of all writers who have put pen to paper on
the subject of education; the man whose theories have been put into
practice in every school that is conducted on rational principles; who
embodies the materialistic tendencies of our ‘modern side’ instructors,
while avoiding the narrowness of their reforming zeal; who lays stress
on the spiritual aspect of true education, while he realizes the
necessity of equipping his pupils for the rude struggle with nature
and with fellow-men—Comenius, we say, the prince of schoolmasters,
produced, practically, no effect on the school organization and
educational development of the following century.”

The causes of this universal neglect are not easily explained. That
he lived most of his days in exile; that he belonged to a religious
community which was numerically insignificant and which suffered
all those bitter persecutions following in the train of the Thirty
Years’ War; that indiscretion entangled him in certain alleged
prophetic revelations, which subsequently turned out the baldest
impostures; and, more important than all, as Professor Laurie points
out, that schoolmasters did not wish to be disturbed by a man with
new ideas,—these facts help to explain the universal neglect into
which his name and writings fell. In a personal letter, Oscar Browning
expresses the belief that if the teachings of Comenius had been
dated a century earlier, that the realistic type of education might
have been generally followed—at least in the countries that had
broken with the Church of Rome. As it was, however, Melanchthon, the
schoolmaster of the Reformation, adopted, with slight modifications,
the humanistic type of education. For the time being, at least, the
ideas held by Comenius were pushed into the background, and humanism,
already deeply intrenched, dominated educational practices. Reformers
were not wanting, however, to champion the reforms of Comenius, men
like Francke, Rousseau, Basedow, Pestalozzi, Fröbel, and Herbart. But
it remained for the nineteenth century to realize, in considerable
measure, the aims and aspirations of the far-reaching reforms of the
Moravian bishop.

“There is nothing startling about the educational reforms of Comenius
to-day,” says Professor Earl Barnes. “They are the commonplace talk of
all school conventions. But to see them when no one else has formulated
them, to enunciate them before an audience often hostile, and to devote
a life to teaching them and working them out—this requires a broad mind
and something of the spirit of the martyr, and both these elements were
strong in Comenius.”

In spite of the neglect into which the reforms of Comenius fell, his
influence has been lasting because his work was constructive and his
reforms were far reaching. Among the reforms which he advocated (and
since incorporated in the modern educational movement), the following
may be named:—

1. That the purpose of education is to fit for complete living, in
consequence of which its benefits must be extended to all classes of

2. That education should follow the course and order of nature, and be
adapted to the stages of mental development of the child.

3. That intellectual progress is conditioned at every step by bodily
vigor, and that to attain the best results, physical exercises must
accompany and condition mental training.

4. That children must first be trained in the mother-tongue, and that
all the elementary knowledge should be acquired through that medium.

5. That nature study must be made the basis of all primary instruction,
so that the child may exercise his senses and be trained to acquire
knowledge at first hand.

6. That the child must be wisely trained during its earliest years, for
which purpose mothers must be trained for the high and holy mission of
instructing little children, and women generally be given more extended
educational opportunities.

7. That the school course must be enriched by the addition of such
useful studies as geography and history.

8. That the subjects of study must be so correlated and coördinated
that they may form a common unit of thought.

9. That teachers must be specially trained.

10. That schools must be more rationally graded and better supervised.

11. That languages must be taught as “living organic wholes fitted
for the purposes of life, and not as the lifeless tabulations of the

It was the opinion of Mr. Quick that the most hopeful sign of the
improvement of education was the rapid advance in the last thirty years
of the fame of Comenius, and the growth of a large literature about
the man and his ideas. The revival of Comenian ideas really dates
from the beginning of the present century, when Germany, crushed and
dismembered, looked to her schools as the surest means of regaining
fallen glory; so that the battle of Jena may be given as the date of
this awakened interest in the reforms of the Moravian educator. This
interest culminated in the foundation of the great national Comenius
pedagogical library (Comenius-Stiftung) at Leipzig, in 1871. It was
founded by a band of enthusiastic disciples of Comenius, of whom Julius
Beeger was the foremost; and, although it numbered but 2642 volumes
at the end of the first year, the interest in the movement has been
so great that it now numbers over 70,000 volumes, and constitutes the
largest single collection of pedagogical books in the world. The books
are classified in 56 departments, the most important of which are:
encyclopædias of pedagogy, complete collections of the writings of
standard educational writers, sources of history of education, general
works on the history of education, histories of special periods in
education, histories of education in different countries, histories of
individual educational institutions, educational biographies, works
on systematic pedagogy, physical education, etc. The library covers
every department of educational thought, and is especially strong
in the literature relating to the elementary schools of Germany.
The privileges of the library are freely open to all students of
education. The library is under the control of the Leipzig teachers’
association, and is sustained in part by the association and in part by
appropriations from the city of Leipzig and the kingdom of Saxony.[55]
What more appropriate memorial to the long and devoted life of Comenius
to the cause of education could be desired, and what stronger evidence
of the permanent influence of his work and worth.

A second recent manifestation of the permanency of the Moravian
educator’s influence is the Comenius Society (Comenius-Gesellschaft),
with headquarters in Germany, and numbering among its members most of
the leaders in educational thought in the world. It was organized in
1891. The objects of the society are (1) to spread the living influence
of the spirit of Comenius and the men who have represented cognate
reforms; (2) to work toward an increased knowledge of the past and a
healthy development of the future on the principle of mutual union
and forbearance, by means of the cultivation of the literature which
has grown out of that spirit; and (3) to prepare the way for a reform
of education and instruction on the lines laid down by Comenius. In
order to realize these objects, the society further proposes (1) the
publication of the more important writings and letters of Comenius
and his associates; (2) inquiry into the history and dogmas of the
old evangelical congregations (Waldenses, Bohemian Brethren, Swiss
Brethren, etc.), chiefly by publishing the original sources from their
history; and (3) the collection of books, manuscripts, and documents
which are important for the history of the above objects.

The membership of the society, while overwhelmingly German, includes
a considerable number from Austria-Hungary, Holland, Great Britain,
the United States, Russia, Sweden, Norway, Italy, Switzerland, France,
Greece, Belgium, and Denmark. The society inspired the numerous
celebrations in commemoration of the three hundredth anniversary of the
birth of Comenius (March 28, 1892). These celebrations, held at most of
the educational centres in the Old World, and at a number of places in
the New, revived the memory of Comenius, and brought his teachings to
thousands of teachers who had known him before only as a name.

The society began in 1892 the publication of a high-grade
review,—_Monatshefte der Comenius-Gesellschaft_,—which is published
bi-monthly at Berlin, and is edited by the distinguished Comenius
scholar, Dr. Ludwig Keller. This review has most creditably carried
out the purposes of the society in publishing a wealth of original
material on Comenius and his contemporaries, that hitherto has been
altogether inaccessible to the student of the history of education. The
society also publishes a bi-monthly educational journal for the use of
teachers in the elementary schools of Germany especially interested
in the doctrines of Comenius. It is entitled _Comenius-Blätter für
Völkserziehung_, and is also published at Berlin and edited by Dr.
Keller. The propaganda of the Comenius Society has done much to restore
this worthy to the place he so justly merits—the foremost educational
reformer of modern times.

These are some of the agencies employed by the Comenius Society
in opening up an appreciation of this great man, who, “born in
Moravia, working amongst Czechs, Germans, English, Dutch, Swedes, and
Hungarians, with friends in France and Italy, has won by his thought,
as well as by his life, a universal significance. As philosopher and
divine, in union with Andreæ, Dury, Milton, and others, he devoted his
life to a work of peace. He placed the weal of man, as he termed it,
above the respect for languages, persons, and sects; thus his energies
were directed toward restraining the wrangling people, churches, and
classes from the violent utterance of their differences, and leading
them on the ground of early Christian views to mutual peace and
forbearance. As educationalist, inspired by Bacon, he successfully
asserted the claims of experimental science in the elementary schools
of his time, placed the mother-tongue on the list of subjects of
instruction, and included in the conception of the school the idea
of physical culture. By his demand for education of all children,
including girls, who till then had been neglected, he became one of the
fathers of modern elementary education.”



(a) _Pertaining to the Life of Comenius_

  1592. Born at Nivnitz, Moravia, March 28th.

  1604. Death of his father and mother.

  ——. Entered the elementary school at Strasnitz.

  1608. Entered the gymnasium at Prerau.

  1611. Matriculated in the college at Herborn.

  1613. Matriculated in the university at Heidelberg.

  1614. Appointed teacher in the Moravian school at

  1616. Ordained as a minister, April 29th.

  1618. Called to the pastorate of the church at
  Fulneck; also superintendent of schools.

  1624. Marriage to Elizabeth Cyrrill.

  ——. Driven into the Bohemian mountains by religious

  1627. Banished from his native country.

  1628. Fled to Poland; given charge of the gymnasium
  at Lissa.

  1632. Consecrated as a bishop, October 6th.

  1641. Called to England, arriving there September

  1642. Left London, June 10th, for Sweden.

  ——. Settled at Elbing, Prussia, in October.

  1648. Returned to Lissa; death of his wife; chosen
  president of the council (senior bishop), of the
  Moravian Church.

  1649. Re-married, to Elizabeth Gaiusowa.

  1650. Took charge of the schools at Saros-Patak,
  Hungary, in May.

  1654. Returned to Lissa.

  1656. Lissa burned; flight to Silesia.

  ——. Settled in Amsterdam.

  1670. Died at Amsterdam, November 15th; buried at
  Naärden (Holland), November 22d.

(b) _Principal Writings of Comenius_

  1616. _Grammaticæ facilioris præcepta_ (Simple
  grammatical rules). Prague.

  1617. _Listowé do nebe_ (Cries of the oppressed
  poor). Olmütz.

  1622. _De Christina perfectione_ (On Christian
  perfection). Prague.

  1623. _Labyrint svéta a ráj srdce, to jest_
  (Labyrinth of the world and paradise of the heart).

  1631. _Janua linguarum reserata_ (Gate of languages
  unlocked). Lissa.

  1633. _Informatorium der Mutter-Schul_ (School of
  infancy). Lissa.

  ——. _Atrium linguæ Latinæ_ (On the study of Latin
  style). Lissa.

  1634. _Physicæ ad lumen divinum reformatæ synopsis_
  (Physics remodelled in accordance with divine
  light). Leipzig.

  1638. _Prodromus pansophiæ_ (Fragment of the _Great
  didactic_. Published in London, 1639, by Hartlib).

  1641. _Via lucis_ (The way of light). Amsterdam.

  1643. _Pansophiæ diatyphosis, inconographica, et
  orthographica_ (Published in England in 1650 with
  the title: A pattern of universal knowledge). Danzig.

  1647. _Vestibulum Latinæ linguæ rerum_ (Vestibule of
  the Latin language). Lissa.

  1648. _Linguarum methodus novissima_ (New method of
  language study). Lissa.

  1650. _Lux in tenebris_ (Light in darkness—on
  prophetic visions). Amsterdam.

  ——. _Scholæ pansophicæ delinætio_ (Plan of a
  pansophic school). Saros-Patak.

  1656. _Schola ludus_ (School dramas). Saros-Patak.

  1657. _Orbis sensualium pictus_ (The world
  illustrated). Nuremberg.

  ——. _Opera didactica omnia_ (Complete didactic works
  in four volumes). Amsterdam.

  1660. _Historia fratrum Bohemorum_ (History of the
  Bohemian brethren). Amsterdam.

  ——. _Cartesius cum sua naturali philosophia a
  mechanicis eversus_ (Descartes and his natural
  philosophy overthrown by arguments derived from
  mechanical principles). Amsterdam.

  ——. _De natura caloris et frigoris_ (On the nature
  of heat and cold). Amsterdam.

  1608. _Unum necessarium_ (The one thing needful).


(a) _Writings of Comenius_

  1. _The great didactic._ Translated with
  introductions, biographical and historical, by M. W.
  Keatinge. London: Adam and Charles Black. 1896. pp.

  This first complete translation of Comenius’ most
  philosophic work is admirably done. The biographical
  introduction is given ninety-eight pages, and the
  historical introduction fifty pages. These are both
  interesting and critical. The book unfortunately is
  not indexed.

  2. _The school of infancy: an essay on the education
  of youth during the first six years._ Edited with an
  introduction and notes by Will S. Monroe. Boston: D.
  C. Heath & Co. 1896. London: Isbister & Co. 1897.
  pp. xvi + 99.

  There are numerous foot-notes, intended to show
  the origin of Comenius’ educational ideals and
  the influence of his writings on later educators.
  Collateral reading references are given at the
  end of each chapter, and in the appendix there is
  a reasonably complete bibliography of Comenius

  3. _The orbis pictus._ Translated into English by
  Charles Hoole. London: John and Benj. Sprint, 1728.
  Syracuse, N.Y.: C. W. Bardeen. 1887. pp. 100.

  This is a very satisfactory reproduction of the
  famous Hoole translation by the photographic
  process. Some of the cuts are indistinct, but Mr.
  Bardeen wisely refrained from retouching them,
  preferring occasional indistinctness to modern
  tampering with the originals.

  4. _John Amos Comenius: his life and educational
  work._ By S. S. Laurie. Boston: Willard Small. 1885.
  pp. 229.

  The introduction (pp. 1–16) gives the effect of the
  Renaissance on education; a brief but appreciative
  sketch of the life of Comenius follows (pp. 17–64);
  and the remainder of the book is given to an
  exposition of his writings.

  5. _Grosse Unterrichtslehre._ Aus dem Lateinischen
  übersetzt mit Einleitungen und Anmerkungen versehen
  von Julius Beeger und Franz Zoubek. Leipzig:
  Siegismund und Volkening. No date. pp. clxxvii + 280.

  The sketch of the life of Comenius (176 pp.) is by
  Zoubek, and the translation of the _Great didactic_
  from the Latin into German by Beeger.

  6. _Ausgewählte Schriften._ Aus dem Lateinischen
  übersetzt und mit Einleitung und Anmerkungen
  versehen von Julius Beeger und J. Leutbecher.
  Leipzig: Siegismund und Volkening. No date. pp. xvi
  + 359.

  A collection of the miscellaneous educational
  writings of Comenius, including the _School of
  infancy_, _Panegersia_, and fragments of the

  7. _Grosse Unterrichtslehre._ Mit einer Einleitung:
  J. Comenius, sein Leben und Wirken. Einleitung,
  Übersetzung und Commentar von Gustav Adolph Lindner.
  Wien und Leipzig: A. Pichler’s Witwe und Sohn. 1892.
  pp. lxxxix + 311.

  Perhaps the best German edition of the _Great
  didactic_. The biographical sketch is less valuable
  than the one in the edition by Beeger and Zoubek;
  but the annotations on the _Great didactic_,
  covering about forty pages, give it special
  pedagogic value.

  8. _Ueber “Eins ist noth” (“Unum necessarium”)._ Von
  Joh. Amos Comenius. Znaim: Fournier und Haberler.
  1892. pp. 22.

  A convenient edition of Comenius’ pathetic swan
  song, “The one thing needful.” #/

(b) _Biographical and Critical_

  1. _Educational Review._ Nicholas Murray Butler,
  editor. New York: Educational Review Publishing Co.
  March, 1892. Vol. III. pp. 209–236.

  The issue for March, 1892, is a Comenius number. It
  contains a brief on Comenius by Professor Butler
  (pp. 209–211); “The place of Comenius in the history
  of education,” by Professor Laurie (pp. 211–223);
  “The text-books of Comenius,” by Mr. C. W. Bardeen
  (pp. 223–336); and “The permanent influence of
  Comenius,” by Professor Hanus (pp. 226–236).

2. _Proceedings of the National Educational Association for 1892._ pp.

  The department of superintendence of the National
  Educational Association, in connection with the
  meeting at Brooklyn, February 16–18, 1892, held
  exercises in commemoration of the three-hundredth
  anniversary of the birth of Comenius, with the
  following addresses: “Private life and personal
  characteristics,” Dr. John Max Hark (pp. 703–711);
  “Text-books of Comenius,” Superintendent William H.
  Maxwell (pp. 712–723); “Place of Comenius in the
  history of education,” Professor Nicholas Murray
  Butler (pp. 723–728).

  3. _Essays on educational reformers._ By Robert
  Hebert Quick. New York: D. Appleton & Co., 1893. pp.

  One of the best brief critical surveys of the
  writings of Comenius and written in the fascinating
  style of the genial Quick.

  4. _History of pedagogy._ By Gabriel Compayré.
  Translated by W. H. Payne. Boston: D. C. Heath & Co.
  1886. pp. 122–136.

  A brief summary of Comenius’ most important
  contributions to primary instruction.

  5. _The educational ideal: an outline of its growth
  in modern times._ By James Phinney Munroe. Boston:
  D. C. Heath & Co. 1895. pp. 68–94.

  A concise and critical survey of the reforms of
  Comenius and the other realists. After Quick, the
  best brief survey of the modern movement; and at
  many points it supplements Quick.

  6. _Barnard’s American Journal of Education._
  Published at Hartford by the editor, Henry Barnard.
  June, 1858. Vol. V. pp. 257–298.

  Dr. Barnard was one of the earliest to call
  attention to the pedagogic value of Comenius’
  writings. This translation from Karl von Raumer’s
  _Geschichte der Pädagogik_ was, up to the time
  Professor Laurie’s book appeared, the only
  comprehensive study of Comenius in English. Raumer,
  however, is not an impartial critic of the realists.

  7. _The history of the unitas fratrum._ By Edmund de
  Schweinitz. Bethlehem, Penn.: Moravian Publication
  Office. 1885. pp. 693.

  An authoritative account of the Moravian Brethren
  and of Comenius’ relation to the same.

  8. _Monatshefte der Comenius-Gesellschaft._
  Ludwig Kellar, editor. Berlin: Hermann Heyfelder.
  1892–1900. 10 volumes.

  A high grade bi-monthly review published by the
  Comenius Society in the interest of education
  generally, and in particular of the views held by
  the Moravian reformer. The review is a mine of rich
  material on Comenius and his contempories.

  9. _Leben und Schicksale des Johann Amos Comenius._
  Von Anton Vrbka. Znaim: Fournier und Haberler. 1892.
  pp. 160.

  The best _brief_ German life of Comenius. It is
  accurate and sympathetic, and contains 17 wood-cuts.

  10. _Über des Johann Amos Comenius Leben und
  Wirksamkeit._ Von Anton Gindely. Znaim: Fournier und
  Haberler. 1893. pp. 109.

  Another brief German work. Professor Gindely is a
  Roman Catholic, and while he writes of Comenius with
  less enthusiasm, he presents his life with critical

  11. _Johann Amos Comenius: sein Leben und seine
  Schriften._ Von Johann Kvacsala. Berlin: Julius
  Klinkhardt. 1892. pp. 480 + 89.

  This, so far as I know, is the most comprehensive
  life of Comenius to be found in any language; but at
  many points it is unnecessarily tedious and diffuse.

  12. _Rein’s Encyclopädisches Handbuch der
  Pädagogik._ Langensalza: Hermann Beyer und Söhne.
  Vol. I. pp. 558–569.

  An excellent brief article by A. Nebe. An article on
  the Comenius-Stiftung follows (pp. 569–573).

  13. _Der Anschauungsunterricht in der deutschen
  Schule von Amos Comenius bis zur Gegenwart._ Von
  Gottlieb Gustav Deussing. Frankenberg: C. C.
  Rossberg. 1884. pp. 66.

  A historical and critical dissertation on the growth
  of object teaching and nature study.

  14. _Die pädagogischen Grundgedanken des Amos
  Comenius._ Von Hermann Gottsched. Magdeburg: A. und
  R. Faber. 1879. pp. 64.

  A dissertation on Comenius’ philosophy of education.

  15. _Comenius: ein Systematiker in der Pädagogik._
  Von Walter Müller. Dresden: Bleyl und Kaemmer. 1887.
  pp. 50.

  A dissertation on the contributions of Comenius to
  systematic pedagogy and school systems.

  16. _Die Pädagogik des Spaniers Johann Ludwig Vives
  und sein Einfluss auf Joh. Amos Comenius._ Erlangen:
  Junge und Sohn. 1890. pp. 69.

  Indicates traces of the educational theories of
  Comenius in the writings of Vives.

  17. _Die Didaktik Basedows im Vergleiche zur
  Didaktik des Comenius._ Von Petru Garbovicianu.
  Bucharest: Carol Göbl. 1887. pp. 82.

  The influence of the _Great didactic_ of Comenius on
  Basedow and his institution is pointed out.

  18. _Schmidt’s Encyclopädie des gesammten Erziehungs
  und Unterrichtswesen._ Gotha: Besser. 1876. Vol. I.
  pp. 941–951.

  The article is by G. Baur. It is less comprehensive,
  although more sympathetic, than the article in
  Raumer’s _Geschichte der Pädagogik_.

  19. _Buisson’s Dictionnaire de pédagogie et
  d’instruction primaire._ Paris: Hanchette et Cie.
  1887. Vol I. Part I. pp. 421–427.

  Three brief but discriminating articles. The
  first, on the life of Comenius, by C. Progler (pp.
  421–423); the second, on the pedagogical writings of
  Comenius, by Ferdinand Buisson (pp. 423–426); the
  third, on the permanent influences of Comenius, by
  A. Daguet (pp. 426–427).


[Footnote 1: _Aspects of education._ By Oscar Browning. New York:
Industrial Educational Association, 1888.]

[Footnote 2: _The German universities: their character and historical
development._ By Friedrich Paulsen. Authorized translation by Edward
Delavan Perry, with an introduction by Nicholas Murray Butler. New York
and London: Macmillan & Co., 1895. pp. xxxi + 254.]

[Footnote 3: _De corrupti sermonis emendatione._ By Maturin Cordier.
Paris, 1530. Quoted by Mr. Keatinge.]

[Footnote 4: For an account of the schools of the Jesuits see _Loyola
and the educational system of the Jesuits_. By Thomas Hughes. New York:
Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1892. pp. 302.]

[Footnote 5: _Geschichte der Pädagogik._ Von Karl von Raumer.
Gütersloh: Bertelsmann, 1882.]

[Footnote 6: See the admirable sketch of the earlier humanists:
_Vittorino da Feltre and other humanists_. By William H. Woodward.
Cambridge: University Press, 1897. pp. 256.]

[Footnote 7: _John Amos Comenius: his life and educational work._ By S.
S. Laurie. Boston: Willard Small, 1885. pp. 229.]

[Footnote 8: _Essays on educational reformers._ By Robert Hebert Quick.
New York: D. Appleton & Co., 1893. pp. 560.]

[Footnote 9: _The educational ideal: an outline of its growth in modern
times._ By James Phinny Munroe. Boston: D. C. Heath & Co., 1895. pp.

[Footnote 10: _Montaigne’s Education of children._ Translated by L. E.
Rector. New York: D. Appleton & Co., 1899. pp. xxiii + 191.]

[Footnote 11: _The scholemaster._ By Roger Ascham. Edited by Edward
Arber. Boston: Willard Small, 1888. pp. 317.]

[Footnote 12: _Positions._ By Richard Mulcaster. Edited by Robert
Hebert Quick. London: Longmans, Green & Co., 1888. pp. 309.]

[Footnote 13: _The place of Comenius in the history of education._
By Nicholas Murray Butler. Proceedings of the National Educational
Association for 1892.]

[Footnote 14: I am aware that Comenius says that his father died in
1602; but the evidence which Vrbka has adduced seems to me conclusive
that the senior Komensky died two years later.]

[Footnote 15: _Rukovét Skolstvi Obecného._ By Karel Toubenek and Karel
Vorovka. Prague, 1892. Translated by Miss Clara Vostrovsky.]

[Footnote 16: _The life of John Milton._ By David Masson. Vol. III.
London, 1873.]

[Footnote 17: Professor Masson.]

[Footnote 18: _The Great didactic of John Amos Comenius._ With
introductions, biographical and historical. By M. W. Keatinge. London,
1896. pp. 468.]

[Footnote 19: _Mittheilungen über Wolfgang Ratichius._ Von Agathon
Niemeyer. Halle, 1840.]

[Footnote 20: In a letter to Governor Winthrop of Connecticut, Hartlib
laments that Comenius should continually allow himself to be diverted
from his pansophic works.]

[Footnote 21: The correspondence between Comenius and Oxenstiern over
the treaty of Westphalia is given by Gindely, _Über des Comenius Leben
und Wirksamkeit in der Fremde_. Vienna, 1855.]

[Footnote 22: For a full account of these labors see Gindely’s
_Geschichte der Böhmischen Brüder_. Prague, 1857–8.]

[Footnote 23: _Magnalia Christi Americana, or the ecclesiastical
history of New England._ By the Reverend and Learned Cotton Mather and
Pastor of the North Church in Boston, New England. London, 1702. Book
IV, p. 128.]

[Footnote 24: _The history of Harvard university._ By Josiah Quincy.
Boston, 1840. 2 vols.]

[Footnote 25: _Correspondence of Hartlib, Haak, Oldenburg, and others
of the founders of the Royal Society with Governor Winthrop of
Connecticut, 1661–1672._ With an introduction and notes by Robert C.
Winthrop. Boston, 1878.]

[Footnote 26: For further discussion of the question see my article,
“Was Comenius called to the presidency of Harvard?” in the _Educational
Review_, November, 1896, Vol. XII, pp. 378–382, and the article by Mr.
James H. Blodgett in the same Review for November, 1898, Vol. XVI, pp.
390–393; also the closing chapter in Professor Hanus’ _Educational aims
and educational values_ (New York, 1899), pp. 206–211.]

[Footnote 27: For an excellent discussion of the meaning of infancy
see Professor John Fiske’s _Excursions of an evolutionist_ (Boston,
1896), pp. 306–319, and Professor Nicholas Murray Butler’s _Meaning of
education_ (New York, 1898), pp. 3–34.]

[Footnote 28: Permanent influence of Comenius, _Educational Review_,
March, 1892. Vol. III, pp. 226–236.]

[Footnote 29: The _Orbis pictus_, the first child’s picture-book, was
subsequently prepared to meet this need.]

[Footnote 30: See in this connection Tarde’s _Laws of imitation_. New
York, 1900.]

[Footnote 31: For a more detailed account of Comenius’ views on the
religious education of children see the following chapter on the
_School of infancy_.]

[Footnote 32: Zur Bückerkunde des Comenius. _Monatshefte der
Comenius-Gesellschaft._ 1892. Vol. I., pp. 19–53.]

[Footnote 33: _School of infancy: an essay on the education of youth
during the first six years, by John Amos Comenius._ To which is
prefixed a sketch of the life of the author. London, 1858. pp. 168 +

[Footnote 34: To except Locke no reformer before Comenius’ time has set
forth the need of physical training with anything like the clearness
and fulness of the _School of infancy_. See _Some thoughts concerning
education by John Locke_. Edited with introduction and notes by R. H.
Quick. London, 1884. pp. 240.]

[Footnote 35: Note the harmony of this conception of play with the
modern theories of Professor Karl Groos in his _Play of animals_ (New
York, 1898, pp. 341) and in his _Spiele der Menschen_ (Jena, 1899, pp.

[Footnote 36: I am indebted to Dr. William T. Harris for the use of the
copy of the _Janua_ belonging to the library of the Bureau of Education
at Washington. It is a handsome Elzevir, bound in vellum, and published
at Amsterdam in 1661. It contains 863 pages, 511 of which are given to
the thousand parallel sentences in the five languages (Latin, French,
Spanish, Italian, and German), in which the book appears. The remaining
352 pages are given to the lexicon-vocabularies in the different

[Footnote 37: The _Janua_ has lately been brought out in France in
inexpensive form by Professor A. C. Vernier of the College of Autun.
(Autun, 1899. pp. 350.)]

[Footnote 38: The text-books of Comenius. Proceedings of the National
Educational Association for 1892. pp. 712–723.]

[Footnote 39: For a full account of Francke’s life and work see _A.
H. Francke’s Pädagogische Schriften_. Nebst einer Darstellung seines
Lebens und seiner Stiftungen. Herausgeg. von G. Kramer. Langensalza,

[Footnote 40: An abbreviated translation of the _Émile_ has been made
by Miss Eleanor Worthington (Boston: D. C. Heath & Co., 1891, pp. 157),
and a fuller (though not complete) translation by Professor William H.
Payne (New York: D. Appleton & Co., 1893. pp. 355).]

[Footnote 41: _Rousseau and education according to nature._ By Thomas
Davidson. New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1898. pp. 253. Also the
excellent life by John Morley, in two volumes (London and New York,

[Footnote 42: To except the brief sketch by Quick (_Educational
reformers_, pp. 273–289) and von Raumer’s sketch in translation in
Barnard’s _American Journal of Education_ (Vol. 5, pp. 487–520),
there is dearth of material on Basedow in English. For an excellent
account in the German see _Pädagogische Schriften_. Mit Einleitungen,
Anmerkungen, und Basedow’s Biographie. Herausgegeben von Hugo Göring.
Langensalza, 1879–80.]

[Footnote 43: There is a wealth of material in the English language
on Pestalozzi. See: _Pestalozzi and the modern elementary school_,
by Professor A. Pinloche (New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1900);
_Pestalozzi: his life and work_, by Roger de Guimps (New York:
D. Appleton & Co., 1897, pp. 438); _Life, work, and influence of
Pestalozzi_, by Hermann Krusi (New York: American Book Co., pp. 240);
and the rich volume of sources by Henry Barnard, _Pestalozzi and
Pestalozzianism_ (Hartford, 1859, pp. 238 + 230).]

[Footnote 44: _Letters on early education._ Addressed to J. P. Greaves,
Esq., Syracuse, 1898, pp. 180.]

[Footnote 45: Translated by Lucy E. Holland and Frances E. Turner, and
edited with introduction and notes by Ebenezer Cook. Syracuse: C. W.
Bardeen, 1894. pp. xliv + 256.]

[Footnote 46: Translated and abridged by Eva Channing. With an
introduction by G. Stanley Hall. Boston: D. C. Heath & Co., 1897. pp.

[Footnote 47: _Comenius und Pestalozzi als Begründer der Volksschule._
Von Hermann Hoffmeister. Berlin, 1877.]

[Footnote 48: _The kindergarten system: its origin and development as
seen in the life of Friedrich Fröbel._ By Alexander Bruno Hauschmann.
Translated and adapted by Fanny Franks. London: Swan Sonnenschein &
Co., 1897. pp. xvi + 253.]

[Footnote 49: _Fröbel and education through self-activity._ By H.
Courthope Brown. New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1897. pp. 209.]

[Footnote 50: Translated and annotated by W. N. Hailmann. New York: D.
Appleton & Co., 1887. pp. 332.]

[Footnote 51: _Fröbel’s educational laws for all teachers._ By James L.
Hughes. New York: D. Appleton & Co., 1897. pp. 296.]

[Footnote 52: _Herbart and the Herbartians._ By Charles De Garmo. New
York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1895. pp. 268.]

[Footnote 53: See Herbart’s _Science of education_. Translated from the
German, with a biographical introduction by Henry M. and Emmie Felkin.
Boston: D.C. Heath & Co., 1895. pp. 268.]

[Footnote 54: _The place of Comenius in the history of education._
Proceedings of the National Education Association for 1892. pp.

[Footnote 55: An excellent account of the national Comenius pedagogical
library will be found in: _Die pädagogischen Bibliotheken, Schulmuseen
und ständigen Lehrmittelausstellungen der Welt_. Von Julius Beeger.
Leipzig: Zangenberg & Himly, 1892. pp. 84.]


  Alsted, John H., 43.

  Andreæ, John Valentine, 35.

  Aquaviva, 3.

  Aquinas, Thomas, 7.

  Aristotle, _Politics_, 2;
    philosophy of, 7.

  Arithmetic, 116.

  Arts, 99.

  Ascham, Roger, on humanism, 12;
    the _Scholemaster_, 13.

  _Atrium_, 65, 129.

  Bacon, Francis, dangers of science, 22;
    views on education, 23–28;
    criticisms on English education, 56;
    education according to nature, 148.

  Bardeen, C. W., editor of _Orbis pictus_, 175;
    text-book of Comenius, 177.

  Barnard, Henry, contributions to the literature of Comenius, 178.

  Barnes, Earl, on the reforms of Comenius, 167.

  Basedow, Johann Bernhard, educational theories and labors, 149–153.

  Bateus, William, the _Janua_, 36, 125.

  Baur, G., sketch of Comenius, 179.

  Beeger, Julius, relation to the Comenius-Stiftung, 169;
    translation of the writings of Comenius, 176.

  Benham, Daniel, translation of _School of infancy_, 110.

  Bibliography of Comenius, 177–180.

  Blodgett, James H., call of Comenius to Harvard, 81.

  Bowen, H. Courthope, relation of Fröbel to Comenius, 159.

  Browning, Oscar, on humanism, 1;
    on the study of Latin, 4.

  Bruni, Leonardo, an early humanist, 8.

  Buisson, Ferdinand, Vives on pauperism, 18;
    the pedagogical writings of Comenius, 180.

  Butler, Nicholas Murray, forerunners of Comenius, 15;
    meaning of infancy, 86;
    permanent influence of Comenius, 165, 177.

  Cæsar, _Commentaries_, 2.

  Campanella, Thomas, on study of nature, 35.

  Comenius, John Amos, forerunners, 15;
    relation to Vives, 16;
    agreement with Bacon, 23;
    influenced by Ratke, 28;
    obligations to Bateus, 36;
    birth at Nivnitz, 38;
    ancestry, 39;
    classical training at Prerau, 40;
    studies at Herborn, 42;
    matriculation at Heidelberg, 44;
    teacher in an elementary school, 44;
    ordination as a minister, 45;
    exile in the Bohemian mountains, 46;
    flight from Bohemia, 47;
    literary connections, 48;
    first call to Sweden, 49;
    call to England, 53;
    English friends, 54;
    failure of English schemes, 55;
    second call to Sweden, 56;
    relations with Lewis de Geer, 57;
    location at Elbing, 60;
    ordination as senior bishop of the Moravian Brethren, 61;
    ecclesiastical ministrations, 62;
    call to Hungary, 63;
    organization of the schools at Saros-Patak, 64;
    return to Poland, 69;
    flight to Amsterdam, 71;
    complete edition of his works, 72;
    death at Amsterdam, 76;
    burial at Naärden, 76;
    marriage and children, 77;
    alleged call to presidency of Harvard College, 78;
    portraits, 81;
    the _Great didactic_, 83–108;
    the _School of infancy_, 109–122;
    the _Janua_, 123–129;
    the _Atrium_ and the _Vestibulum_, 129–139;
    the _Orbis pictus_, 130–138;
    _Methodus novissima_, 138–141;
    influence on modern educators, 142;
    on Francke, 143–146;
    on Rousseau, 146–149;
    on Basedow, 149–153;
    on Pestalozzi, 153–158;
    on Fröbel, 158–162;
    on Herbart, 162–164;
    permanent influence, 165–171;
    bibliography, 177–180.

  Comenius-Blätter, 172.

  Comenius-Gesellschaft, 170.

  Comenius-Stiftung, 169.

  Compayré, Gabriel, the _Orbis pictus_, 137;
    sketch of Comenius, 177.

  Cordier, Maturin, condition of education in France in the 16th century,

  Daguet, A., sketch of Comenius, 180.

  Davidson, Thomas, relation of Rousseau to Comenius, 146.

  De Garmo, Charles, Fröbel and Comenius, 162.

  De Geer, Lawrence, aid to Comenius, 71.

  De Geer, Lewis, patron of Comenius, 57.

  De Schweinitz, Edmund, account of the _Unitas fratrum_, 178.

  Discipline of schools, 89, 106–108.

  Dunster, Henry, president of Harvard College, 78.

  Durie, John, connection with Comenius, 54.

  Elbing, the Prussian home of Comenius, 60.

  _Émile_, 146.

  Erasmus, on classical learning, 8, 24.

  Fables, 117.

  Fiske, John, meaning of infancy, 86.

  Food of children, 116.

  Francke, August Hermann, studies at Kiel and Leipzig, 143;
    organization of the Pædagogium at Halle, 144;
    attitude toward classical learning, 145.

  Fröbel, Friedrich, obligations to Comenius, 159;
    studies with Pestalozzi, 159;
    views on the education of women, 161.

  Galileo, opposed by the humanists, 9.

  Geography, 116, 138.

  Gindely, Anton, life of Comenius, 178.

  Girls, education of, 88.

  Gotha, Ratke’s experiment at, 31.

  _Great didactic_, 36, 63–108.

  Groos, Karl, on play, 118.

  Hall, G. Stanley, value of the _Orbis pictus_, 137;
    influence of Pestalozzi, 156.

  Hanus, Paul H., call of Comenius to Harvard College, 79;
    correlation, 97;
    permanent influence of Comenius, 177.

  Hark, John Max, personal characteristics of Comenius, 177.

  Harris, William T., 126.

  Hartlib, Samuel, account of, 51–54.

  Harvard College, alleged call of Comenius to the presidency of, 78–83.

  Heidelberg, matriculation of Comenius at the university, 44.

  Henry VIII, relations with Vives, 19.

  Herbert, Johann Friedrich, obligations to Comenius, 162;
    effect of instruction on character, 163;
    doctrine of interest, 164.

  Herborn, studies of Comenius at, 42.

  History, 116.

  Hoole, Charles, editor of the _Orbis pictus_, 133, 177.

  Hughes, James L., Fröbel and the education of women, 161.

  Hughes, Thomas, account of Loyola, 5.

  Humanism, 1–14.

  Hus, John, first bishop of the Moravian Brethren, 38.

  Infancy, meaning of, 86;
    Comenius’ _School of infancy_, 103, 109–122.

  Interest, doctrine of, 163.

  _Janua_, of Bateus, 87;
    of Comenius, 65, 125–129.

  Jena, relations to Ratke, 29;
    pedagogical seminary, 145.

  Jesuits, the _Ratio studiorum_ of, 5;
    devotion to Latin eloquence, 7.

  Justinus, Laurentius, bishop of the Moravian Brethren, 61.

  Kant, Immanuel, on the labors of Basedow, 152.

  Keatinge, M. W., quoted, 39, 57;
    edition of the _Great didactic_, 84, 175.

  Keller, Ludwig, editor of _Monatshefte der Comenius Gesellschaft_, 170,

  Kindergarten, 158.

  Komensky, Martin, father of John Amos Comenius, 38.

  Kvacsala, Johann, sketch of Comenius, 178.

  Language, 100, 123–141.

  Latin, schools, 105;
    study of, 2.

  Laurie, S. S., quoted, 137;
    edition of the _Great didactic_, 176;
    place of Comenius in the history of education, 177.

  Leipzig, study of pedagogy at the university, 145;
    national pedagogical library, 169.

  Lindner, G. A., edition of the _Great didactic_, 176.

  Luther, Martin, 69.

  _Magnalia_ of Cotton Mather, 78.

  Masson, David, quoted, 52.

  Mather, Cotton, call of Comenius to Harvard, 78.

  Maxwell, William II., text-books of Comenius, 134, 177.

  Melanchthon, Philip, on classical learning, 9, 24.

  Mental training, 115–120.

  Methods of instruction, 97–103.

  _Methodus novissima_, 138–141.

  Monatshefte der Comenius-Gesellschaft, 171, 178.

  Monroe, Will S., call of Comenius to Harvard College, 81;
    edition of the _School of infancy_, 110, 175.

  Montaigne, on humanism, 11.

  Moral training, 101, 120.

  Moravian Brethren, 38.

  Mulcaster, Richard, on humanism, 13.

  Müller, Joseph, bibliography of Comenius, 110.

  Munroe, James P., on Rabelais, 10;
    sketch of Comenius, 177.

  Music, 119.

  Naärden, burial place of Comenius, 76.

  Naturalism, 1.

  Nature, education according to, 90–97.

  Nivnitz, birthplace of Comenius, 38.

  Nursing of children, 114.

  _Orbis pictus_, 69, 130–138.

  Oxenstiern, Axel, 33, 58, 62.

  Oxford, university of, 63.

  Pædagogium at Halle, 144.

  _Pansophia_, 51, 53, 64.

  Paulsen, Friedrich, on European universities, 3.

  Pestalozzi, anticipated by Comenius, 116;
    influenced by the _Émile_, 153;
    domestic education, 154;
    study of nature, 156;
    geography, 157.

  Philanthropinum of Basedow, 152.

  Physical training, 113–115.

  Pictures, use of, 98.

  Play, 160.

  Portraits of Comenius, 81.

  Private education, 87.

  Purpose of education, 85–89.

  Quick, Robert Hebert, quoted, 9, 169;
    estimate of Comenius, 177.

  Quintilian, 99.

  Rabelais, on humanism, 10.

  _Ratio studiorum_ of the Jesuits, 5.

  Ratke, Wolfgang, 28–35, 59.

  Raumer, Karl von, 5, 6, 16, 17, 128.

  Realism, 1.

  Rein, Wilhelm, 145, 179.

  Religious training, 102, 120–122.

  Ritter, Karl, 157.

  Rousseau, Jean Jacques, 146–149.

  Saros-Patak, 64.

  Schiller, Hermann, 145.

  _School of infancy_, 103, 109–122, 175.

  Science, 98.

  Sense-training, 115, 147.

  Skyte, John, 58.

  Spencer, Herbert, 148.

  Sturm, John, 3, 5, 7, 14.

  Symbolism of Fröbel, 162.

  Trotzendorf, Valentine Friedland, 3.

  University, 105.

  Vergarius, Petrus Paulus, 8.

  Vernier, A. C., edition of the _Janua_, 129.

  _Vestibulum_, 129.

  Vittorino da Feltre, 8.

  Vives, John Lewis, account of educational views, 16–22.

  Volkelt, Johannes, 145.

  Volksschule of Germany, 158.

  Vostrovsky, Clara, 40.

  Vrbka, Anton, life of Comenius, 178.

  Westphalia, treaty of, 62.

  Women, education of, 18, 88.

  Zerotin, Karl von, patron of Comenius, 46.

  Zoubek, Franz, edition of Comenius’ writings, 176.

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