By Author [ A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z |  Other Symbols ]
  By Title [ A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z |  Other Symbols ]
  By Language
all Classics books content using ISYS

Download this book: [ ASCII ]

Look for this book on Amazon

We have new books nearly every day.
If you would like a news letter once a week or once a month
fill out this form and we will give you a summary of the books for that week or month by email.

Title: Essays on Educational Reformers
Author: Quick, Robert Hebert
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Essays on Educational Reformers" ***

This book is indexed by ISYS Web Indexing system to allow the reader find any word or number within the document.

produced from images generously made available by The
Internet Archive)

International Education Series



_Volume XVII._


12mo, cloth, uniform binding.

The International Education Series was projected for the purpose of
bringing together in orderly arrangement the best writings, new and old,
upon educational subjects, and presenting a complete course of reading
and training for teachers generally. It is edited by W. T. HARRIS, LL.
D., United States Commissioner of Education, who has contributed for the
different volumes in the way of introductions, analysis, and commentary.
The volumes are tastefully and substantially bound in uniform style.


    ROSENKRANZ, Doctor of Theology and Professor of Philosophy,
    University of Königsberg. Translated by ANNA C. BRACKETT.
    Second edition, revised, with Commentary and complete Analysis.

    Professor of Modern Languages and Literature, Roanoke College,
    Va. $1.50.

    D., Professor of the Institutes and History of Education,
    University of Edinburgh. $1.50.

    GILBERT B. MORRISON, Teacher of Physics and Chemistry, Kansas
    City High School. $1.00.

    and annotated by W. N. HAILMANN, A. M., Superintendent of
    Public Schools, La Porte, Ind. $1.50.

    BALDWIN, A.M., LL. D., author of “The Art of School
    Management.” $1.50.

    THE CHILD.”) By W. PREYER, Professor of Physiology in Jena.
    Translated by H. W. BROWN, Teacher in the State Normal School
    at Worcester, Mass. $1.50.

    KAY, F. R. G. S., author of “Education and Educators,” etc.

    MIND OF THE CHILD.”) By W. PREYER, Professor of Physiology in
    Jena. Translated by H. W. BROWN. $1.50.

    Vol. X.—HOW TO STUDY GEOGRAPHY. A Practical Exposition of
    Methods and Devices in Teaching Geography which apply the
    Principles and Plans of Ritter and Guyot. By FRANCIS W. PARKER,
    Principal of the Cook County (Illinois) Normal School. $1.50.

    Pedagogy, Indiana University. $1.50.

    Ph. D., Principal of the Cincinnati Technical School. Fully
    illustrated. $2.00.

    By GEORGE HOWLAND, Superintendent of the Chicago Public
    Schools. $1.00.

    Authorized Translation from the second French edition, by J.
    RUSSELL, B. A. With an Introduction by Rev. R. H. QUICK, M. A.


    Berlin. Translated and accompanied by comparative statistics by
    L. R. KLEMM. $1.00.

    QUICK, M. A., Trinity College, Cambridge. _Only authorized
    edition of the work as rewritten in 1890._ $1.50.

    HERBART. Translated by MARGARET K. SMITH. $1.00.

    BALDWIN, A. M., LL. D. $1.50.

    Translated and annotated by W. H. PAYNE, Ph. D., LL. D.,
    Chancellor of the University of Nashville. $1.50.


    SCHOOLS. By ISAAC SHARPLESS, LL. D., President of Haverford
    College. $1.00.

    FOUILLÉE. $1.50.

    Professor of Physiology in Jena. Translated by H. W. BROWN.

    Ph. D., LL. D., University of Michigan. $1.50.

    “MOTHER PLAY.” By SUSAN E. BLOW. $1.50.

    HOWE. $1.50.

    DAVIDSON. $1.50.

    SYSTEM. By G. H. MARTIN, A.M. $1.50.

    12mo. $1.50.


    SUSAN E. BLOW. $1.50.

    and JOHN DEWEY, Ph. D. $1.50.

    COMPOSITION. By B. A. HINSDALE, Ph. D., LL. D., Professor of
    Science and the Art of Teaching in the University of Michigan.

    from the French by MARY E. WILSON, B. L. Smith College,
    Member of the Graduate Seminary in Child Study, University of
    California. $1.50.

    Professor of Pedagogy in the University of Illinois; Author of
    “Kant’s Inaugural Dissertation.” $1.50.

    T. HARRIS, A. M., LL. D.

    W. ROSS, LL. D., Minister of Education for the Province of
    Ontario. $1.00

    JOHONNOT. $1.50.



New York: D. APPLETON & CO., Publishers, 72 Fifth Avenue.


                                ESSAYS ON
                          EDUCATIONAL REFORMERS

                           ROBERT HEBERT QUICK
                      M. A. TRIN. COLL., CAMBRIDGE

                         LATE VICAR OF SEDBERGH

                          AS REWRITTEN IN 1890_

                                NEW YORK
                         D. APPLETON AND COMPANY

                            COPYRIGHT, 1890,
                       BY D. APPLETON AND COMPANY.


                           DR. HENRY BARNARD,

          _The first United States Commissioner of Education_,

                          WHO IN A LONG LIFE OF
                        THIS VOLUME IS DEDICATED,


                               THE AUTHOR.

    Οὺ γὰρ ἔστι περὶ ὅτου θειοτέρου ἄνθρωπος ἄν βουλεύσαιτο, ὴ
    περὶ παιδείας καὶ τῶν αὑτοῦ και τῶν οἰκείων. _Plato in initio
    Theagis_ (p. 122 B).

    Socrates saith plainlie, that “no man goeth about a more godlie
    purpose, than he that is mindfull of the good bringing up both
    of hys owne and other men’s children.”—_Ascham’s Scholemaster.

    _Fundamentum totius reipublicæ est recta juventutis educatio._

    The very foundation of the whole commonwealth is the proper
    bringing up of the young.—_Cic._


Many years ago I proposed to my friend Mr. Quick to rewrite his
Educational Reformers, making some additions (Sturm and Froebel, for
example), and allow me to place it in this series of educational works.
I had read his essays when they first appeared, and noted their great
value as a contribution to the right kind of educational literature.
They showed admirable tact in the selection of the materials; the
“epoch-making” writers were chosen and the things that had been said and
done of permanent value were brought forward. Better than all was the
running commentary on these materials by Mr. Quick himself. His style
was popular, taking the reader, as it were, into confidential relations
with him from the start, and offering now and then a word of criticism in
the most judicial spirit, leaning neither to the extreme of destructive
radicalism, which seeks revolution rather than reform, nor, on the other
hand, to the extreme of blind conservatism, which wishes to preserve the
vesture of the past rather than its wisdom.

I have called this book of Mr. Quick the most valuable history of
education in our mother-tongue, fit only to be compared with Karl von
Raumer’s Geschichte der Pädagogik for its presentation of essentials and
for the sanity of its verdicts.

I made my proposal that he “rewrite” his book because I knew that he
considered his first edition hastily written and, in many respects, not
adequate to the ideal he had conceived of the book. I knew, moreover,
that years of continued thinking on a theme necessarily modifies one’s
views. He would wish to make some changes in matter presented, some in
judgments rendered, and many more in style of presentation.

Hence it has come about that after this lapse of time Mr. Quick has
produced a substantially new book, which, retaining all or nearly all
of the admirable features of the first edition, has brought up to their
standard of excellence many others.

The history of education is a vast field, and we are accustomed to demand
bulky treatises as the only adequate ones. But the obvious disadvantage
of such works has led to the clearly defined ideal of a book like Mr.
Quick’s, which separates the gold from the dross, and offers it small in
bulk but precious in value.

The educational reformers are the men above all others who stimulate
us to think about education. Every one of these was an extremist, and
erred in his judgment as to the value of the methods which prevailed in
his time, and also overestimated the effects of the new education that
he proposed in the place of the old. But thought begins with negations,
and originality shows itself first not in creating something new, but in
removing the fettering limitations of its existing environment. The old
is attacked—its good and its bad are condemned alike. It has been imposed
on us by authority, and we have not been allowed to summon it before
the bar of our reason and ask of it its credentials. It informs us that
it presented these credentials ages ago to our ancestors—men older and
wiser than we are. Such imposition of authority leaves us no choice but
to revolt. We, too, have a right to think as well as our ancestors; we,
too, must clear up the ground of our belief and substitute insight for
blind faith in tradition.

These educational reformers are prophets of the clearing-up period
(_Aufklärung_) of revolution against mere authority.

While we are inspired to think for ourselves, however, we must not
neglect that more important matter of thinking the truth. Free-thinking,
if it does not reach the truth, is not of great value. It sets itself
as puny individual against the might of the race, which preserves its
experience in the forms of institutions—the family, the social organism,
the state, the Church.

Hence our wiser and more scientific method studies everything that is,
or exists, in its history, and endeavors to discover how it came to be
what it is. It inquires into its evolution. The essential truth is not
the present fact, but the entire process by which the present fact grew
to be what it is. For the living force that made the present fact made
also the past facts antecedent to the present, and it will go on making
subsequent facts. The revelation of the living forces which make the
facts of existence is the object of science. It takes all these facts to
reveal the living force that is acting and producing them.

Hence the scientific attitude is superior to the attitude of these
educational reformers, and we shall in our own minds weigh these men
in our scales, asking first of all: What is their view of the world?
How much do they value human institutions? How much do they know of
the substantial good that is wrought by those institutions? If they
know nothing of these things, if they see only incumbrance in these
institutions, if to them the individual is the measure of all things, we
can not do reverence to their proposed remedies, but must account their
value to us chiefly this, that they have stimulated us to thinking, and
helped us to discover what they have not discovered—namely, the positive
value of institutions.

All education deals with the boundary between ignorance and knowledge and
between bad habits and good ones. The pupil as pupil brings with him the
ignorance and the bad habits, and is engaged in acquiring good habits and
correct knowledge.

This situation gives us a general recipe for a frequently recurring type
of educational reformer. Any would-be reformer may take his stand on the
boundary mentioned, and, casting an angry look at the realm of ignorance
and bad habit not yet conquered, condemn in wholesale terms the system of
education that has not been efficient in removing this mental and moral

Such a reformer selects an examination paper written by a pupil whose
ignorance is not yet vanquished, and parades the same as a product of
the work of the school, taking great pains to avoid an accurate and
just admeasurement of the actual work done by the school. The reformer
critic assumes that there is one factor here, whereas there are three
factors—namely, (_a_) the pupil’s native and acquired powers of learning,
(_b_) his actual knowledge acquired, and (_c_) the instruction given
by the school. The school is not responsible for the first and second
of these factors, but it is responsible only for what increment has
grown under its tutelage. How much and what has the pupil increased his
knowledge, and how much his power of acquiring knowledge and of doing?

The educational reformer is always telling us to leave words and take
up things. He dissuades from the study of language, and also undervalues
the knowledge of manners and customs and laws and usages. He dislikes
the study of institutions even. He “loves Nature,” as he informs us.
Herbert Spencer wants us to study the body, and to be more interested
in biology than in formal logic; more interested in natural history
than in literature. But I think he would be indignant if one were to
ask him whether he thought the study of the habits and social instincts
of bees and ants is less important than the study of insect anatomy and
physiology. Anatomy and physiology are, of course, important, but the
social organism is more important than the physiological organism, even
in bees and ants.

So in man the social organism is transcendent as compared with human
physiology, and social hygiene compared with physiological hygiene is

To suppose that the habits of plants and insects are facts, and that the
structure of human languages, the logical structure of the mind itself as
revealed in the figures and modes of the syllogism and the manners and
customs of social life, the deep ethical principles which govern peoples
as revealed in works of literature—to suppose that these and the like
of these are not real facts and worthy of study is one of the strangest
delusions that has ever prevailed.

But it is a worse delusion to suppose that the study of Nature is more
practical than the study of man, though this is often enough claimed by
the educational reformers.

The knowledge of most worth is first and foremost the knowledge of how
to behave—a knowledge of social customs and usages. Any person totally
ignorant in this regard would not escape imprisonment—perhaps I should
say decapitation—for one day in any city of the world—say in London,
in Pekin, in Timbuctoo, or in a _pueblo_ of Arizona. A knowledge of
human customs and usages, next a knowledge of human views of Nature and
man—these are of primordial necessity to an individual, and are means of
direct self-preservation.

The old trivium or threefold course of study at the university taught
grammar, logic, and rhetoric—namely, (1) the structure of language, (2)
the structure of mind and the art of reasoning, (3) the principles and
art of persuasion. These may be seen at once to be lofty subjects and
worthy objects of science. They will always remain such, but they are
not easy for the child. In the course of mastering them he must learn to
master himself and gain great intellectual stature. Pedagogy has wisely
graded the road to these heights, and placed much easier studies at the
beginning and also made the studies more various. Improvements in methods
and in grading—devices for interesting the pupil—so essential to his
self-activity, for these we have to thank the Educational Reformers.

                                                            W. T. HARRIS.

    WASHINGTON, D. C., 1890.


“_It is clear that in whatever it is our duty to act, those matters
also it is our duty to study._” These words of Dr. Arnold’s seem to
me incontrovertible. So a sense of duty, as well as fondness for the
subject, has led me to devote a period of leisure to the study of
_Education_, in the practice of which I have been for some years engaged.

There are countries where it would be considered a truism that a teacher
in order to exercise his profession intelligently should know something
about the chief authorities in it. Here, however, I suppose such an
assertion will seem paradoxical; but there is a good deal to be said
in defence of it. De Quincey has pointed out that a man who takes up
any pursuit without knowing what advances others have made in it works
at a great disadvantage. He does not apply his strength in the right
direction, he troubles himself about small matters and neglects great,
he falls into errors that have long since been exploded. An educator is,
I think, liable to these dangers if he brings to his task no knowledge
but that which he learnt for the tripos, and no skill but that which
he acquired in the cricket ground or on the river. If his pupils are
placed entirely in his hands, his work is one of great difficulty, with
heavy penalties attached to all blundering in it; though here, as in the
case of the ignorant doctor and the careless architect, the penalties,
unfortunately, are paid by his victims. If (as more commonly happens)
he has simply to give a class prescribed instruction, his smaller scope
of action limits proportionally the mischief that may ensue; but even
then it is obviously desirable that his teaching should be as good as
possible, and he is not likely to employ the best methods if he invents
as he goes along, or simply falls back on his remembrance of how he
was taught himself, perhaps in very different circumstances. I venture
to think, therefore, that practical men in education, as in most other
things, may derive benefit from the knowledge of what has already been
said and done by the leading men engaged in it, both past and present.

All study of this kind, however, is very much impeded by want of books.
“Good books are in German,” says Professor Seeley. I have found that on
the history of Education, not only _good_ books but _all_ books are in
German or some other foreign language.[1] I have, therefore, thought
it worth while to publish a few such imperfect sketches as these, with
which the reader can hardly be less satisfied than the author. They may,
however, prove useful till they give place to a better book.

Several of the following essays are nothing more than compilations.
Indeed, a hostile critic might assert that I had used the scissors with
the energy of Mr. Timbs and without his discretion. The reader, however,
will probably agree with me that I have done wisely in putting before
him the opinions of great writers in their own language. Where I am
simply acting as reporter, the author’s own way of expressing himself
is obviously the best; and if, following the example of the gipsies and
Sir Fretful Plagiary, I had disfigured other people’s offspring to make
them pass for my own, success would have been fatal to the purpose I have
steadily kept in view. The sources of original ideas in any subject, as
the student is well aware, are few, but for irrigation we require troughs
as well as water-springs, and these essays are intended to serve in the
humbler capacity.

A word about the incomplete handling of my subjects. I have not attempted
to treat any subject completely, or even with anything like completeness.
In giving a sketch of the opinions of an author one of two methods
must be adopted; we may give an epitome of all that he has said, or by
confining ourselves to his more valuable and characteristic opinions, may
gain space to give these fully. As I detest epitomes, I have adopted the
latter method exclusively, but I may sometimes have failed in selecting
an author’s most characteristic principles; and probably no two readers
of a book would entirely agree as to what was most valuable in it: so
my account must remain, after all, but a poor substitute for the author

For the part of a critic I have at least one qualification—practical
acquaintance with the subject. As boy or master, I have been connected
with no less than eleven schools, and my perception of the blunders of
other teachers is derived mainly from the remembrance of my own. Some of
my mistakes have been brought home to me by reading works on education,
even those with which I do not in the main agree. Perhaps there are
teachers who on looking through the following pages may meet with a
similar experience.

Had the essays been written in the order in which they stand, a good deal
of repetition might have been avoided, but this repetition has at least
the advantage of bringing out points which seem to me important; and as
no one will read the book as carefully as I have done, I hope no one will
be so much alive to this and other blemishes in it.

I much regret that in a work which is nothing if it is not practically
useful, I have so often neglected to mark the exact place from which
quotations are taken. I have myself paid the penalty of this carelessness
in the trouble it has cost me to verify passages which seemed inaccurate.

The authority I have had recourse to most frequently is Raumer
(_Geschichte der Pädagogik_). In his first two volumes he gives an
account of the chief men connected with education, from Dante to
Pestalozzi. The third volume contains essays on various parts of
education, and the fourth is devoted to German Universities. There is an
English translation, published in America, of the fourth volume only.
I confess to a great partiality for Raumer—a partiality which is not
shared by a Saturday Reviewer and by other competent authorities in this
country. But surely a German author who is not profound, and is almost
perspicuous, has some claim on the gratitude of English readers, if he
gives information which we cannot get in our own language. To Raumer I am
indebted for all that I have written about Ratke, and almost all about
Basedow. Elsewhere his history has been used, though not to the same

C. A. Schmid’s _Encyclopädie des Erziehungs-und-Unterrichtswesens_ is
a vast mine of information on everything connected with education. The
work is still in progress. The part containing _Rousseau_ has only just
reached me. I should have been glad of it when I was giving an account of
the Emile, as Raumer was of little use to me.

Those for whom Schmid is too diffuse and expensive will find Carl Gottlob
Hergang’s _Pädagogische Realencyclopädie_ useful. This is in two thick
volumes, and costs, to the best of my memory, about eighteen shillings.
It was finished in 1847.

The best sketch I have met with of the general history of education is in
the article on _Pädagogik_ in _Meyers Conversations-Lexicon_.[2] I wish
someone would translate this article; and I should be glad to draw the
attention of the editor of an educational periodical, say the _Museum_ or
the _Quarterly Journal of Education_, to it.

I have come upon references to many other works on the history of
Education, but of these the only ones I have seen are Theodore Fritz’s
_Esquisse d’un Système complet d’instruction et d’éducation et de leur
histoire_ (3 vols., Strasburg, 1843), and Carl Schmidt’s _Geschichte
der Pädagogik_ (4 vols.). The first of these gives only the outline of
the subject. The second is, I believe, considered a standard work. It
does not seem to me so readable as Raumer’s history, but it is much more
complete, and comes down to quite recent times.

For my account of the Jesuit schools and of Pestalozzi, the authorities
will be found elsewhere (pp. 34 and 383). In writing about Comenius
I have had much assistance from a life of him prefixed to an English
translation of his _School of Infancy_, by Daniel Benham (London, 1858).
For almost all the information given about Jacotot, I am indebted to
Mr. Payne’s papers, which I should not have ventured to extract from so
freely if they had been before the public in a more permanent form.

I am sorry I cannot refer to any English works on the history of
Education, except the essays of Mr. Parker and Mr. Furnivall, and
_Christian Schools and Scholars_, which are mentioned above, but we have
a very good treatise on the principles of education in Marcel’s _Language
as a Means of Mental Culture_ (2 vols., London, 1853). Edgeworth’s
_Practical Education_ seems falling into undeserved neglect, and Mr.
Spencer’s recent work is not universally known even by schoolmasters.

If the following pages attract but few readers, it will be some
consolation, though rather a melancholy one, that I share the fate of my

                                                                 R. H. Q.

    INGATESTONE, ESSEX, _May, 1868_.


When I was a young man (_i.e._, nearly forty years ago), I once did
what those who know the ground would declare a very risky, indeed,
a fool-hardy thing. I was at the highest point of the Gemmi Pass in
Switzerland, above the Rhone Valley; and being in a hurry to get down
and overtake my party I ran from the top to the bottom. The path in those
days was not so good as it is now, and it is so near the precipice that
a few years afterwards a lady in descending lost her head and fell over.
No doubt I was in great danger of a drop of a thousand feet or so. But
of this I was totally unconscious. I was in a thick mist, and saw the
path for a few yards in front of me _and nothing more_. When I think of
the way in which this book was written three and twenty years ago I can
compare it to nothing but my first descent of the Gemmi. I did a very
risky thing without knowing it. My path came into view little by little
as I went on. All else was hid from me by a thick mist of ignorance. When
I began the book I knew next to nothing of the Reformers, but I studied
hard and wrote hard, and I turned out the essays within the year. This
feat I now regard with amazement, almost with horror. Since that time
I have given more years of work to the subject than I had then given
months, and the consequence is I find I can write fast no longer. The
mist has in a measure cleared off, and I cannot jog along in comfort as
I did when I saw less. At the same time I have no reason to repent of
the adventure. Being fortunate in my plan and thoroughly interested by
my subject, I succeeded beyond my wildest expectations in getting others
to take an interest in it also. The small English edition of 500 copies
was, as soon as I reduced the price, sold off immediately, and the book
has been, in England, for twenty years “out of print.” But no less than
three publishing firms in the United States have reprinted it (one quite
recently) without my consent, and, except in the edition of Messrs. R.
Clarke & Co., Cincinnati, with omissions and additions made without my
knowledge. It seems then that the book will live for some years yet,
whether I like it or not; and while it lives I wish it to be in a form
somewhat less defective than at its first appearance. I have therefore
in a great measure re-written it, beside filling in a gap here and there
with an additional essay. Perhaps some critics will call it a new book
with an old title. If they do, they will I trust allow that the new book
has at least two merits which went far to secure the success of the old,
1st, a good title, and 2nd, a good plan. My plan in both editions has
been to select a few people who seemed specially worth knowing about,
and to tell concerning them in some detail just that which seemed to me
specially worth knowing. So I have given what I thought very valuable or
very interesting, and everything I thought not particularly valuable or
interesting I have ruthlessly omitted. I have not attempted a _complete_
account of anybody or anything; and as for what the examiner may “set,” I
have not once given his questions a thought.

As the book is likely to have more readers in the country of its adoption
than in the country of its birth, I have persuaded my friend Dr. William
T. Harris, the United States Commissioner of Education, to put it
into “The International Education Series” which he edits. So the only
authorized editions of the book are the English edition, and the American
edition published by Messrs. D. Appleton & Co.

                                                                 R. H. Q.




  =Chapter I.—Effects of the Renascence=                              1-21

  No escape from the Past                                                2

  “Discovery” of the Classics                                            3

  Mark Pattison’s account of Renascence                                  4

  Revival of taste for beauty in Literature                              5

  What is Literature?                                                    6

  Renascence loved beauty of expression                                  7

  No translations. The “educated”                                        8

  Spread of literature by printing                                       9

  School course settled before Bacon                                    10

  First defect: Learner above Doer                                      11

  Second: Over-estimate of literature                                   12

  Literary taste not common                                             13

  Third: Literature banished from school                                14

  Translations would be literature                                      15

  The classics not written for children                                 16

  Language _versus_ Literature                                          17

  Fourth: “Miss as good as a mile”                                      18

  Fifth: Neglect of children                                            19

  Child’s study of his surroundings                                     20

  Aut Cæsar aut nihil                                                   21

  =Chapter II.—Renascence Tendencies=                                22-26

  Reviving the Past. The Scholars                                       23

  The _Scholars_: things for words                                      24

  _Verbal Realists_: things through words                               25

  _Stylists_: words for themselves                                      26

  =Chapter III.—Sturmius. (1507-1589)=                               27-32

  His early life. Settles in Strassburg                                 28

  His course of Latin. Dismissed                                        29

  The Schoolmaster taught Latin mainly                                  30

  Resulting verbalism                                                   31

  Some books about Sturm                                                32

  =Chapter IV.—Schools of the Jesuits=                               33-62

  Importance of the Jesuit Schools                                      34

  The Society in part educational                                       35

  “Ratio atque Institutio.” Societas Professa                           36

  The Jesuit teacher: his preparation, &c.                              37

  Supervision. Maintenance. Lower Schools                               38

  Free instruction. Equality. Boarders                                  39

  Classes. Curriculum. Latin only used                                  40

  Teacher Lectured. Exercises. Saying by heart                          41

  Emulation. “Æmuli.” Concertations                                     42

  “Academies.” Expedients. School-hours                                 43

  Method of teaching. An example                                        44

  Attention. Extra work. “Repetitio”                                    45

  Repetition. Thoroughness                                              46

  Yearly examinations. Moral training                                   47

  Care of health. Punishments                                           48

  English want of system                                                49

  Jesuit limitations                                                    50

  Gains from memorizing                                                 51

  Popularity. Kindness                                                  52

  Sympathy with each pupil                                              53

  Work moderate in amount and difficulty                                54

  The Society the Army of the Church                                    55

  Their pedagogy not disinterested                                      56

  Practical                                                             57

  The forces: 1. Master’s influence. 2. Emulation                    57-58

  A pupil’s summing-up                                                  59

  Some books                                                            60

  Barbier’s advice to new master                                        61

  Loyola and Montaigne. Port-Royal                                      62

  =Chapter V.—Rabelais. (1483-1553.)=                                63-69

  Rabelais’ ideal. A new start                                          64

  Religion. Study of Things                                             65

  “Anschauung.” Hand-work. Books and Life                               66

  Training the body                                                     67

  Rabelais’ Curriculum                                                  68

  Study of Scripture. Piety                                             69

  =Chapter VI.—Montaigne. (1533-1592.)=                              70-79

  Writers and doers. Montaigne _versus_ Renascence                      71

  Character before knowledge. True knowledge                            72

  Athens and Sparta. Wisdom before knowledge                            73

  Knowing, and knowing by heart                                         74

  Learning necessary as employment                                      75

  Montaigne and our Public Schools                                      76

  Pressure from Science and Examinations                                77

  Danger from knowledge                                                 78

  Montaigne and Lord Armstrong                                          79

  =Chapter VII.—Ascham. (1515-1568.)=                                80-89

  Wolsey on teaching                                                    81

  History of Methods useful                                             82

  Our three celebrities                                                 83

  Ascham’s method for Latin: first stage                                84

  Second stage. The six points                                          85

  Value of double translating and writing                               86

  Study of a model book. Queen Elizabeth                            87, 88

  “A dozen times at the least”                                          88

  “Impressionists” and “Retainers”                                      89

  =Chapter VIII.—Mulcaster. (1531(?)-1611.)=                        90-102

  Old books in English on education                                     91

  Mulcaster’s wisdom hidden by his style                                92

  Education and “learning”                                              93

  1. Development 2. Child-study                                         94

  3. Groundwork by best workman                                         95

  4. No forcing of young plants                                         96

  5. The elementary course. English                                     97

  6. Girls as well as Boys                                              98

  7. Training of Teachers                                               99

  Training college at the Universities                                 100

  Mulcaster’s reasons for training teachers                            101

  Mulcaster’s Life and Writings                                        102

  =Chapter IX.—Ratichius. (1571-1635.)=                            103-118

  Principles of the Innovators                                         104

  Ratke’s Address to the Diet                                          105

  At Augsburg. At Koethen                                              106

  Failure at Koethen                                                   107

  German in the school. Ratichius’s services                           108

  1. Follow Nature. 2. One thing at a time                             109

  3. Over and over again                                               110

  4. Everything through the mother-tongue                              111

  5. Nothing on compulsion                                             112

  6. Nothing to be learnt by heart                                     113

  7. Uniformity. 8. Ne modus rei ante rem                              114

  9. Per inductionem omnia                                             115

  Ratke’s method for language                                          116

  Ratke’s method and Ascham’s                                          117

  Slow progress in methods                                             118

  =Chapter X.—Comenius. (1592-1671.)=                              119-171

  Early years. His first book                                          120

  Troubles. Exile                                                      121

  Pedagogic studies at Leszna                                          122

  Didactic written. _Janua_ published. Pansophy                        123

  Samuel Hartlib                                                       124

  The _Prodromus_ and _Dilucidatio_                                    125

  Comenius in London. Parliamentary schemes                            126

  Comenius driven away by Civil War                                    127

  In Sweden. Interviews with Oxenstiern                                128

  Oxenstiern criticises                                                129

  Comenius at Elbing                                                   130

  At Leszna again                                                      131

  Saros-Patak. Flight from Leszna                                      132

  Last years at Amsterdam                                              133

  Comenius sought true foundation                                      134

  Threefold life. Seeds of learning, virtue, piety                     135

  Omnia sponte fluant. Analogies                                       136

  Analogies of growth                                                  137

  Senses. Foster desire of knowledge                                   138

  No punishments. Words and Things together                            139

  Languages. System of schools                                         140

  Mother-tongue School. Girls                                          141

  School teaching. Mother’s teaching                                   142

  Comenius and the Kindergarten                                        143

  Starting-points of the sciences                                      144

  Beginnings in Geography, History, &c.                                145

  Drawing. Education for all                                           146

  Scientific and Religious Agreement                                   147

  Bishop Butler on Educating the Poor                                  148

  Comenius and Bacon                                                   149

  “Everything Through the Senses”                                      150

  Error of Neglecting the Senses                                       151

  Insufficiency of the Senses                                          152

  Comenius undervalued the Past                                        153

  Literature and Science                                               154

  Comenius’s use of Analogies                                          155

  Thought-studies and Label-studies                                    156

  Unity of Knowledges                                                  157

  Theory and the Practical Man                                         158

  Mother-tongue. Words and Things together                             159

  Janua Linguarum                                                      160

  The Jesuits’ Janua                                                   161

  Comenius adapts Jesuits’ Janua                                       162

  Anchoran’s edition of Comenius’s Janua                               163

  Change to be made by Janua                                           164

  Popularity of Janua shortlived                                       165

  Lubinus projector of Orbis Pictus                                    166

  Orbis Pictus described                                               167

  Why Comenius’s schoolbooks failed                                    168

  “Compendia Dispendia”                                                169

  Comenius and Science of Education                                    170

  Books on Comenius                                                    171

  =Chapter XI.—The Gentlemen of Port-Royal=                        172-196

  The Jesuits and the Arnaulds                                         173

  Saint-Cyran and Port-Royal                                           174

  Saint-Cyran an “Evangelical”                                         175

  Short career of the Little Schools                                   176

  Saint-Cyran and Locke on Public Schools                              177

  Shadow-side of Public Schools                                        178

  The Little Schools for the few only                                  179

  Advantages of great schools                                          180

  Choice of masters and servants. Watch and pray                       181

  No rivalry or pressure. Freedom from routine                         182

  Study a delight. Reading French first                                183

  Literature. Mother-tongue first                                      184

  Beginners’ difficulties lightened                                    185

  Begin with Latin into Mother-tongue                                  186

  Sense before sound. Reason must rule                                 187

  Not Baconian. The body despised                                      188

  Pedagogic writings of Port-Royalists                                 189

  Arnauld. Nicole                                                      190

  Light from within. Teach by the Senses                               191

  Best teaching escapes common tests                                   192

  Studying impossible without a will                                   193

  Against making beginnings bitter                                     194

  Port-Royal advance. Books on Port-Royal                              195

  Rollin, Compayré, &c.                                                196

  =Chapter XII.—Some English Writers before Locke=                 197-218

  Birth of Realism                                                     198

  Realist Leaders not schoolmasters                                    199

  John Brinsley. Charles Hoole                                         200

  Hoole’s Realism                                                      201

  Art of teaching. Abraham Cowley                                      202

  Authors and schoolmasters. J. Dury                                   203

  Disorderly use of our natural faculties                              204

  Dury’s watch simile                                                  205

  Senses, 1st; imagination, 2nd; memory, 3rd                           206

  Petty’s battlefield simile                                           207

  Petty’s realism                                                      208

  Cultivate observation                                                209

  Petty on children’s activities                                       210

  Hand-work. Education for all. Bellers                                211

  Milton and School-Reform                                             212

  Milton as spokesman of Christian Realists                            213

  Language an instrument. Object of education                          214

  Milton for barrack life and Verbal Realism                           215

  Milton succeeded as man not master                                   216

  He did not advance Science of Education                              217

  Milton an educator of mankind                                        218

  =Chapter XIII.—Locke. (1632-1704.)=                              219-238

  Locke’s two main characteristics                                     220

  1st, Truth for itself. 2nd, Reason for Truth                         221

  Locke’s definition of knowledge                                      222

  Knowing without seeing                                               223

  “Discentem credere oportet”                                          224

  Locke’s “Knowledge” and the schoolmaster’s                           225

  “Knowledge” in Geography                                             226

  For children, health and habits                                      227

  Everything educative forms habits                                    228

  Confusion about special cases. Wax                                   229

  Locke behind Comenius                                                230

  Humanists, Realists, and Trainers                                    231

  Caution against classifiers                                          232

  Locke and development                                                233

  Was Locke a utilitarian?                                             234

  Utilitarianism defined                                               235

  Locke not utilitarian in education                                   236

  Locke’s Pisgah Vision                                                237

  Science and education. Names of books                                238

  =Chapter XIV.—Jean-Jacques Rousseau. (1712-1778.)=               239-272

  Middle Age system fell in 18th century                               240

  Do the opposite to the usual                                         241

  Family life. No education before reason                              242

  Rousseau “neglects” essentials. Lose time                            243

  Early education negative                                             244

  Childhood the sleep of reason                                        245

  Start from study of the child                                        246

  Rousseau’s paradoxes un-English                                      247

  Man the corrupter. The three educations                              248

  The aim, living thoroughly                                           249

  Children not small men                                               250

  Schoolmasters’ contempt for childhood                                251

  Schoolroom rubbish                                                   252

  Ideas before symbols                                                 253

  Right ideas for children                                             254

  Child-gardening. Child’s activity                                    255

  No sitting still or reading                                          256

  Memory without books                                                 257

  Use of the senses in childhood                                       258

  Intellect based on the senses                                        259

  Cultivation of the senses                                            260

  Music and drawing                                                    261

  Drawing from objects. Morals                                         262

  Contradictory statements on morals                                   263

  The material world and the moral                                     264

  Shun over-directing                                                  265

  Lessons out of school. Questioning. At 12                            266

  No book-learning. Study of nature                                    267

  Against didactic teaching                                            268

  Rousseau exaggerates about self-teaching                             269

  Learn with effort                                                    270

  Hand-work. The “New Education”                                       271

  The Teacher’s business                                               272

  =Chapter XV.—Basedow and the Philanthropinum=                    273-289

  Basedow tries to mend religion and teaching                          274

  Reform needed. Subscription for “Elementary”                         275

  A journey with Goethe                                                276

  Goethe on Basedow                                                    277

  The Philanthropinum opened                                           278

  Basedow’s “Elementary” and “Book of Method”                          279

  Subjects to be taught                                                280

  French and Latin. Religion                                           281

  “Fred’s Journey to Dessau”                                           282

  At the Philanthropinum                                               283

  Methods in the Philanthropinum                                       284

  The Philanthropinum criticised                                       285

  Basedow’s improvements in teaching children                          286

  Basedow’s successors                                                 287

  Kant on the Philanthropinum                                          288

  Influence of Philanthropinists                                       289

  =Chapter XVI.—Pestalozzi. (1746-1827.)=                          290-383

  His childhood and student-life                                       291

  A Radical Student                                                    292

  Turns farmer. Bluntschli’s warning                                   293

  New ideas in farming. A love letter                                  294

  Resolutions. Buys land and marries                                   295

  Pestalozzi turns to education                                        296

  Neuhof filled with children                                          297

  Appeal for the new Institution                                       298

  Bankruptcy. The children sent away                                   299

  Eighteen years of poverty and distress                               300

  “Gertrude” to the rescue. Pestalozzi’s religion                      301

  He turns author. “E. H. of Hermit”                                   302

  Pestalozzi’s belief                                                  303

  The “Hermit” a Christian                                             304

  Success of “Leonard and Gertrude”                                    305

  Gertrude’s patience tried                                            306

  Being and doing before knowing                                       307

  Pestalozzi’s severity. Women Commissioners                           308

  Pestalozzi’s seven years of authorship                               309

  “Citizen of French Republic.” Doubts                                 310

  Waiting. Pestalozzi’s “Inquiry”                                      311

  Pestalozzi’s “Fables”                                                312

  Pestalozzi’s own principles                                          313

  Pestalozzi’s return to action                                        314

  The French at Stanz                                                  315

  Pestalozzi at Stanz                                                  316

  Success and expulsion                                                317

  At Stanz: Pestalozzi’s own account                               318-332

  Value of the five months’ experience                                 333

  Pestalozzi a strange Schoolmaster                                    334

  At Burgdorf. First official approval                                 335

  A child’s notion of Pestalozzi’s teaching                            336

  Pestalozzi engineering a new road                                    337

  Psychologizing instruction                                           338

  School course. Singing; and the beautiful                            339

  Pestalozzi’s poverty. Kruesi joins him                               340

  Pestalozzi’s assistants. The Burgdorf Institute                      341

  Success of the Burgdorf Institute                                    342

  Reaction. Pestalozzi and Napoleon I                                  343

  Fellenberg, Pestalozzi goes to Yverdun                               344

  A portrait of Pestalozzi                                             345

  Prussia adopts Pestalozzianism                                       346

  Ritter and others at Yverdun                                         347

  Causes of failure at Yverdun                                         348

  Report made by Father Girard                                         349

  Girard’s mistake. Schmid in flight                                   350

  Schmid’s return. Pestalozzi’s fame found useful                      351

  Dr. Bell’s visit. Death of Mrs. Pestalozzi                           352

  Works republished. Clindy. Yverdun left. Death                  353, 354

  New aim: develop organism                                            354

  True dignity of man                                                  355

  Education for all. Mothers’ part. Jacob’s Ladder                     356

  Educator only superintends                                           357

  First, moral development                                             358

  Moral and religious the same                                         359

  Second, intellectual development                                     360

  Learning by “intuition”                                              361

  Buisson and Jullien on intuition                                     362

  Pestalozzi and Locke                                                 363

  Subjects for, and art of, teaching                                   364

  “Mastery”                                                            365

  The body’s part in education                                         366

  Learning must not be play                                            367

  Singing and drawing                                                  368

  Morf’s summing-up                                                    369

  Joseph Payne’s summing-up                                            370

  The “two nations.” Mother’s lessons                                  371

  Mistakes in teaching children                                        372

  Children and their teachers                                          373

  “Preparatory” Schools                                                374

  Young boys ill taught at school                                      375

  English folk-schools not Pestalozzian                                376

  Schools judged by results                                            377

  Pupil-teachers. Teaching not educating                               378

  Lowe or Pestalozzi?                                                  379

  Chief force, personality of the teacher                              380

  English care for unessentials                                        381

  Aim at the ideal                                                     382

  Use of theorists. Books                                              383

  =Chapter XVII.—Friedrich Froebel. (1783-1852.)=                  384-413

  Difficulty in understanding Froebel                                  385

  A lad’s quest of unity                                               386

  Froebel wandering without rest                                       387

  Finds his vocation. With Pestalozzi                                  388

  Froebel at the Universities                                          389

  Through the Freiheits-krieg. Mineralogy                              390

  The “New Education” started                                          391

  At Keilhau. “Education of Man” published                             392

  Froebel fails in Switzerland                                         393

  The first Kindergarten                                               394

  Froebel’s last years. Prussian edict against him. His end            395

  Author’s attitude towards Reformers                                  396

  Difficulties with Froebel                                            397

  “Cui omnia unum sunt”                                                398

  Froebel’s ideal                                                      399

  Theory of development                                                400

  Development through self-activity                                    401

  True idea found in Nature                                            402

  God acts and man acts                                                403

  The formative and creative instinct                                  404

  Rendering the inner outer                                            405

  Care for “young plants.” Kindergarten                                406

  Child’s restlessness: how to use it                                  407

  Employments in Kindergarten                                          408

  No schoolwork in Kindergarten                                        409

  Without the idea the “gifts” fail                                    410

  The New Education and the old                                        411

  The old still vigorous                                               412

  Science the thought of God. Some Froebelians                         413

  =Chapter XVIII.—Jacotot, a Methodizer. (1770-1840.)=             414-438

  Self-teaching                                                        415

  1. All can learn                                                     416

  2. Everyone can teach                                                417

  Can he teach facts he does not know?                                 418

  Languages? Sciences?                                                 419

  Arts such as drawing and music?                                      420

  True teacher within the learner                                      421

  Training rather than teaching                                        422

  3. “Tout est dans tout.” Quidlibet ex quolibet                       423

  Connexion of knowledges                                              424

  Connect with model book. Memorizing                                  425

  Ways of studying the model book                                      426

  Should the book be made or chosen?                                   427

  Robertsonian plan                                                    428

  Hints for exercises                                                  429

  The good of having learnt                                            430

  The old Cambridge “mathematical man”                                 431

  Waste of memory at school                                            432

  How to stop this waste                                               433

  Multum, non multa. De Morgan. Helps. Stephen                         434

  Jacotot’s plan for reading and writing                               435

  For the mother-tongue                                                436

  Method of investigation                                              437

  Jacotot’s last days                                                  438

  =Chapter XIX.—Herbert Spencer=                                   439-469

  Same knowledge for discipline and use?                               440

  Different stages, different knowledges                               441

  Relative value of knowledges                                         442

  Knowledge for self-preservation                                      443

  Useful knowledge _versus_ the classics                               444

  Special instruction _versus_ education                               445

  Scientific knowledge and money-making                                446

  Knowledge about rearing offspring                                    447

  Knowledge of history: its nature and use                             448

  Use of history                                                       449

  Employment of leisure hours                                          450

  Poetry and the Arts                                                  451

  More than science needed for complete living                         452

  Objections to Spencer’s curriculum                                   453

  Citizen’s duties. Things not to teach                                454

  Need of a science of education                                       455

  Hope of a science                                                    456

  From simple to complex: known to unknown                             457

  Connecting schoolwork with life outside                              458

  Books and life                                                       459

  Mistakes in grammar teaching                                         460

  From indefinite to definite: concrete to abstract                    461

  The Individual and the Race. Empirical beginning                     462

  Against “telling.” Effect of bad teaching                            463

  Learning should be pleasurable                                       464

  Can learning be made interesting?                                    465

  Apathy from bad teaching                                             466

  Should learning be made interesting?                                 467

  Difference between theory and practice                               468

  Importance of Herbert Spencer’s work                                 469

  =Chapter XX.—Thoughts and Suggestions=                           470-491

  Want of an ideal                                                     471

  Get pupils to work hard                                              472

  For this arouse interest. Wordsworth                                 473

  Interest needed for activity                                         474

  Teaching young children                                              475

  Value of pictures                                                    476

  Dr. Vater at Leipzig                                                 477

  Dr. Vogel and Dr. Vater                                              478

  First knowledge of numbers. Grubé                                    479

  Measuring and weighing. Reading-books                                480

  Respect for books. Grammar. Reading                                  481

  Silent and Vocal Reading                                             482

  Memorising poetry. Composition                                       483

  Correcting exercises. Three kinds of books                           484

  No epitomes                                                          485

  Ascham, Bacon, Goldsmith, against them                               486

  Arouse interest. Dr. Arnold’s historical primer                      487

  A Macaulay, not Mangnall, wanted                                     488

  Beginnings in history and geography                                  489

  Tales of Travelers                                                   490

  Results positive and negative                                        491

  =Chapter XXI.—The Schoolmaster’s Moral and Religious Influence=  492-503

  Master’s power, how gained and lost                                  493

  Masters, the open and the reserved                                   494

  Danger of excess either way                                          495

  High ideal. Danger of low practice                                   496

  Harm from overworking teachers                                       497

  Refuge in routine work. Small schools                                498

  Influence through the Sixth. Day schools wanted                      499

  Teaching religion in England and Germany                             500

  Religious teaching connected with worship                            501

  Education to goodness and piety                                      502

  How to avoid narrowmindedness                                        503

  =Chapter XXII.—Conclusion=                                       504-526

  A growing science of education                                       505

  Jesuits the first Reformers                                          506

  The Jesuits cared for more than classics                             507

  Rabelais for “intuition”                                             508

  Montaigne for educating mind and body                                509

  17th century reaction against books                                  510

  Reaction not felt in schools and the Universities                    511

  Comenius begins science of education                                 512

  Locke’s teacher a disposer of influence                              513

  Locke and public schools. Escape from “idols”                        514

  Rousseau’s clean sweep                                               515

  Benevolence of Nature. Man disturbs                                  516

  We arrange sequences, capitalise ideas                               517

  Loss and gain from tradition                                         518

  Rousseau for observing and following                                 519

  Rousseau exposed “school-learning”                                   520

  Function of “things” in education                                    521

  “New Education” started by Rousseau                                  522

  Drawing out. Man and the other animals                               523

  Intuition. Man an organism, a doer and creator                       524

  Antithesis of Old and New Education                                  525

  Drill needed. What the Thinkers do for us                            526

  =Appendix.= Class Matches. Words and Things. Books for
    Teachers, &c.                                                  527-547



§ 1. The history of education, much as it has been hitherto neglected,
especially in England, must have a great future before it. If we ignore
the Past we cannot understand the Present, or forecast the Future. In
this book I am going to speak of Reformers or Innovators who aimed at
changing what was handed down to them; but the Radical can no more escape
from the Past, than the Conservative can stereotype it. It acts not by
attraction only, but no less by repulsion. There have been thinkers in
latter times who have announced themselves as the executioners of the
Past and laboured to destroy all it has bequeathed to us. They have
raised the ferocious cry, “_Vive la destruction! Vive la mort! Place à
l’avenir!_ Hurrah for destruction! Hurrah for death! Make room for the
world that is to be!” But their very hatred of the Past has brought
them under the influence of it. “Do just the opposite of what has been
done and you will do right,” said Rousseau; and this rule of negation
would make the Past regulate the Present and the Future no less than its
opposite, “Do always what is usual.”

If we cannot get free from the Past in the domain of thought, still less
can we in action. Custom is to all our activities what the mainspring is
to the watch. We may bring forces into play to make the watch go faster
or slower, but if we took out the mainspring it would not go at all. For
_our_ mainspring we are indebted to the Past.

§ 2. In studying the Past we must give our special attention to those
periods in which the course of ideas takes, as the French say, a new
bend.[3] Such a period was the Renascence. Then it was that the latest
bend was given to the educational ideal of the civilized world; and
though we seem now again to have arrived at a period of change, we are
still, perhaps far more than we are aware, affected by the ideas of the
great scholars who guided the intellect of Europe in the Revival of

§ 3. From the beginning to the end of the fifteenth century the balance
was trembling between two kinds of culture, and the fate of the schoolboy
depended on the result. In this century men first got a correct
conception of the globe they were inhabiting. Hitherto they had not even
professed to have any knowledge of geography; there is no mention of it
in the Trivium and Quadrivium which were then supposed to form the cycle
of things known, if not of things knowable. But Columbus and Vasco da
Gama were grand teachers of geography, and their lessons were learnt as
far as civilization extended.

The impetus thus given to the study of the earth might, at the beginning
of the sixteenth century, have engrossed the mind of Europe with the
material world, had not the leaning to physical science been encountered
and overcome by an impulse derived from another discovery. About the
time of the discovery of America there also came to light the literatures
of Greece and Rome.

§ 4. When I speak of the discovery of the ancient literatures as
rivalling that of America, this use of the word “discovery” may be
disputed. It may be urged that though the Greek language and literature
were unknown in the West of Europe till they were brought there by the
fugitives after the fall of Constantinople in 1453, yet the works of the
great Latin writers had always been known in Italy, and Dante declares
himself the disciple of Virgil. And yet I cannot give up the word
“discovery.” In the life of an individual it sometimes happens that he
suddenly acquires as it were a new sense. The world around him remains
the same as before, but it is not the same to him. A film passes from
his eyes, and what has been ordinary and unmeaning suddenly becomes a
source of wonder and delight to him. Something similar happens at times
in the history of the general mind; indeed our own century has seen a
remarkable instance of it. In reading the thoughts of great writers of
earlier times, we cannot but be struck, not only with their ignorance of
the material world, but also with their ignorance of their ignorance.
Little as they know, they often speak as if they knew everything. Newton
could see that he was like a child discovering a few shells while the
unexplored ocean lay before him; but in those days it required the
intellect of a Newton to understand this. To the other children the
ocean seemed to conceal nothing, and they innocently thought that all
the shells, or nearly all, had been picked up. It was reserved for the
people of our own century to become aware of the marvels which lie around
us in the material world, and to be fascinated by the discovery. If the
human race could live through several civilizations without opening its
eyes to the wonders of the earth it inhabits, and then could suddenly
become aware of them, we may well understand its retaining unheeded the
literatures of Greece and Rome for centuries, and at length as it were
discovering them, and turning to them with unbounded enthusiasm and

As students of education we can hardly attach too much importance to
this great revolution. For nearly three centuries the curriculum in the
public schools of Europe remained what the Renascence had made it. We
have again entered on an age of change, but we are still much influenced
by the ideas of the Renascence, and the best way to understand the forces
now at work is to trace them where possible to their origin. Let us then
consider what the Renascence was, and how it affected the educational

§ 5. In endeavouring to understand the Renascence, we cannot do
better than listen to what Mark Pattison says of it in his “Life of
Casaubon”:—“In the fifteenth century was revealed to a world which had
hitherto been trained to logical analysis, the beauty of literary form.
The conception of style or finished expression had died out with the
pagan schools of rhetoric. It was not the despotic act of Justinian in
closing the schools of Athens which had suppressed it. The sense of art
in language decayed from the same general causes which had been fatal
to all artistic perception. Banished from the Roman Empire in the sixth
century or earlier, the classical conception of beauty of form re-entered
the circle of ideas after near a thousand years of oblivion and abeyance.
Cicero and Virgil, Livius and Ovid, had been there all along, but the
idea of composite harmony on which their works were constructed was
wanting. The restored conception, as if to recoup itself for its long
suppression, took entire possession of the mind of Europe. The first
period of the Renascence passed in adoration of the awakened beauty, and
in efforts to copy and multiply it.”

§ 6. Here Mark Pattison speaks as if the conception of beauty of form
belonged exclusively to the ancients and those who learnt of them. This
seems to require some abatement. There are points in which mediæval
art far excelled the art of the Renascence. The thirteenth century, as
Archbishop Trench has said, was “rich in glorious creations of almost
every kind;” and in that century our great English architect, Street,
found the root of all that is best in modern art. (See “Dublin Afternoon
Lectures,” 1868.)

But there are expressions of beauty to which the Greeks, and those who
caught their spirit, were keenly alive, and to which the people of the
Middle Age seem to have been blind. The first is beauty in the human
form; the second is beauty in literature.

The old delight in beauty in the human form has never come back to us.
Mr. Ruskin tells us we are an ugly race, with ill-shapen limbs, and
well pleased with our ugliness and deformity, and in reply we only
mutter something about the necessity of clothing both for warmth and
decency. But as to the other expression of beauty, beauty in literature,
the mind of Europe again became conscious of it in the fifteenth and
sixteenth centuries. The re-awakening of this sense of beauty we call the

§ 7. Before we consider the effect of this intellectual revolution on
education, let us be sure that we are not “paying ourselves with words,”
and that we know exactly what we mean by “literature.”

When the conceptions of an individual mind are expressed in a permanent
form of words, we get literature. The sum total of all the permanent
forms of expression in one language make up the literature of that
language; and if no one has given his conceptions a form which has
been preserved, the language is without a literature. There are then
two things essential to a literary work: first, the conceptions of an
individual mind; second, a permanent form of expression. Hence it follows
that the domain of literature is distinct from the domain of natural or
mathematical science. Science does not give us the conceptions of an
individual mind, but it tells us what every rational person who studies
the subject must think. And science is entirely independent of any form
of words: a proposition of Euclid is science; a sonnet of Wordsworth’s
is literature. We learn from Euclid certain truths which we should
have learnt from some one else if Euclid had never existed, and the
propositions may be conveyed equally well in different forms of words
and in any language. But a sonnet of Wordsworth’s conveys thought and
feeling peculiar to the poet; and even if the same thought and feeling
were conveyed to us in other words, we should lose at least half of what
he has given us. Poetry is indeed only one kind of literature, but it is
the highest kind; and what is true of literary works in verse, is true
also in a measure of literary works in prose. So great is the difference
between science and literature, that in literature, as the first Lord
Lytton said, the best books are generally the oldest; in science they are
the newest.

§ 8. At present we are concerned with literature only. There are two ways
in which a work of literature may excite our admiration and affect our
minds. These are, first, by the beauty of the conceptions it conveys to
us; and second, by the beauty of the language in which it conveys them.
In the greatest works the two excellences will be combined.[4]

Now the literary taste proper fastens especially on the second of the
two, _i.e._, on beauty of expression; and the Renascence was the revival
of literary taste. “It was,” as Mark Pattison says, “the conception of
style or finished expression which had died out with the pagan schools
of rhetoric, and which re-entered the circle of ideas after a thousand
years of oblivion and abeyance.” If we lose sight of this, we shall be
perplexed by the unbounded enthusiasm which we find in the sixteenth
century for the old classics. What great evangel, we may ask, had Cicero
and Virgil and Ovid, or even Plato and the Greek dramatists, for men who
lived when Europe had experienced a thousand years of Christianity? The
answer is simple. They had none whatever. Their thoughts and conceptions
were not adapted to the wants of the new world. The civilization of the
Christian nations of the sixteenth century was a very different thing
from the civilization of Greece and Rome. It had its own thoughts, its
own problems, its own wants. The old-world thoughts could not be thought
over again by it. This indeed was felt though not admitted by the
Renascence scholars themselves. Had it been the thoughts of the ancients
which seemed to them so valuable they would have made some effort to
diffuse those thoughts in the languages of the modern world. Much as
a great literary work loses by translation, there may still be enough
left of it to be a source of instruction and delight. The thoughts of
Aristotle, conveyed in a Latin translation of an Arabic translation,
profoundly affected the mind of Europe in the Middle Ages. The Bible, or
Book _par excellence_, is known to few indeed in its original form. Some
great writers—Cervantes, and Shakespeare, and the author of the “Arabian
Nights”—please and instruct nations who know not the sound of the
languages wherein their works are composed. If then the great writers of
Greece and Rome had been valued for their matter, their works would have
been translated by the Renascence scholars as the Bible was translated
by the Reformers, and the history of modern education would have taken a
very different turn from that which awaited it. But it was not so. The
Renascence scholars did all they could to discourage translations. For
the grand discovery which we call the Revival of Learning was, not that
the ancients had something to say, but that whatever they had to say they
knew how to say it.

§ 9. And thus it happens that in the period of change, when Europe was
re-arranging its institutions, developing new ideas and settling into new
grooves of habit, we find the men most influential in education entirely
fascinated by beauty of expression, and this in two ancient languages, so
that the one thing needful for the young seemed to them an introduction
to the study of ancient writings. The inevitable consequence was this:
education became a mere synonym for instruction in Latin and Greek. The
only ideal set up for the “educated” was the classical scholar.

§ 10. Perhaps the absurdity of taking this ideal, an ideal which is
obviously fitted for a small class of men only, and proposing it for
general adoption, was partly concealed from the Renascence scholars
by the peculiar circumstances of their age. No doubt they thought
literature would in the future be a force capable of much wider
application than it had ever been before. True, literature had till
then affected a small class only. Literature meant books, books meant
MSS., and MSS. were rare and costly. Literature, the embodiment of grand
thoughts in grand words, had existed before letters, or at least without
letters. The Homeric poems, for example, had been known to thousands
who could not read or write. But beauty of expression naturally got
associated and indeed confounded with the art by which it was preserved;
so the creations of the mind, when embodied in particular combinations
of words, acquired the name of literature or letters, and became
almost exclusively the affair of those who had opportunities of study,
opportunities afforded only to the few. During the Middle Ages every
one who could read was allowed his “privilege of clergy;” that is, he
was assumed to be a clergyman. Literature then was not thought of as a
means of instruction. But at the very time that the beauty of the ancient
writings dawned on the mind of Europe, a mechanical invention seemed to
remove all hindrances to the spread of literature. The scholars seized on
the printing press and thought by means of it to give all “the educated”
a knowledge of classics.

§ 11. We cannot help speculating what would have been the effect of the
discovery of printing if it had been made at another time. As there may
be literature without books, so there may be books without literature. If
at the time of the invention of printing there had been no literature,
no creations of individual minds embodied in permanent forms of speech,
books might have been used as apparatus in a mental gymnasium, or they
might have been made the means of conveying information. But just then
the intellect of Europe was tired of mental gymnastics. It had taken
exercise in the Trivium like a squirrel in its revolving cage, and was
vexed to find it made no progress.[5] As for information there was little
to be had. The age of observation and of physical science was not yet.
So the printing press was entirely at the service of the new passion for
literature and the scholars dreamed of the general diffusion of literary
culture by means of printed books.

§ 12. For some two centuries the literary spirit had supreme control
over the intellect of Europe, and the literary spirit could then find
satisfaction nowhere but in the study of the ancient classics. The
natural consequence was that throughout this period the “educated man”
was supposed to be identified with the classical scholar. The great rival
of the literary spirit, the scientific spirit which cares for nothing
but sequences independent of the human mind, began to show itself early
in the seventeenth century: its first great champion was Francis Bacon.
But by this time the school course of study had been settled, and two
centuries had to elapse before the scientific spirit could unsettle it
again. Even now when we speak of a man as “well-educated” we are commonly
understood to mean that in his youth he was taught the two classical

§ 13. The taking of the classical scholar as the only ideal of the
educated man has been a fruitful source of evil in the history of

I. This ideal exalted the learner above the doer. As far back as
Xenophon, we find a contest between the passive ideal and the active,
between the excellence which depends on a knowledge of what others have
thought and done and the excellence which comes of thinking and doing.
But the excellence derived from learning had never been highly esteemed.
To be able to repeat Homer’s poetry was regarded in Greece as we now
regard a pleasing accomplishment; but the dignity of the learned man as
such was not within the range of Greek ideas. Many of the Romans after
they began to study Greek literature certainly piqued themselves on being
good Greek scholars, and Cicero occasionally quotes with all the airs
of a pedant; but so thoroughly was the contrary ideal, the ideal of the
_doer_, established at Rome, that nobody ever dreamt of placing its rival
above it. In the decline of the Empire, especially at Alexandria, we
find for the first time honours paid to the learned man; but he was soon
lost sight of again. At the Renascence he burst into sudden blaze, and
it was then discovered that he was what every man would wish to be. Thus
the Renascence scholars, notwithstanding their admiration of the great
nations of antiquity, set up an ideal which those nations would heartily
have despised. The schoolmaster very readily adopted this ideal; and
schools have been places of learning, not training, ever since.

§ 14. II. The next defect I observe in the Renascence ideal is this:
it attributes to literature more direct power over common life than
literature has ever had, or is ever likely to have.

I say _direct_ power, for indirectly literature is one of the grand
forces which act on all of us; but it acts on us through others, its
most important function being to affect great intellects, the minds of
those who think out and act out important changes. Its direct action
on the mass of mankind is after all but insignificant. We have seen
that literature consists in permanent forms of words, expressing the
conceptions of individual minds; and these forms will be studied only by
those who are interested in the conceptions or find pleasure in the mode
in which they are expressed. Now the vast majority of ordinary people are
without these inducements to literary study. They take a keen interest
in everything connected with their relations and intimate friends, and
a weaker interest in the thinkings and sayings and doings of every one
else who is personally known to them; but as to the mental conceptions
of those who lived in other times, or if now alive are not known even
by sight, the ordinary person is profoundly indifferent to them; and
of course delight in expression, as such, is out of the question. The
natural consequence is that the habit of reading books is by no means
common. Mark Pattison observes that there are few books to be found in
most English middle-class homes, and he says: “The dearth of books is
only the outward and visible sign of the mental torpor which reigns in
those destitute regions” (see “Fortnightly Review,” November, 1877).
I much doubt if he would have found more books in the middle-class
homes of the Continent. There is only one kind of reading that is
nearly universal—the reading of newspapers; and the newspaper lacks the
element of permanence, and belongs to the domain of talk rather than of

Even when we get among the so-called “educated,” we find that those who
care for literature form a very small minority. The rest _have_ of
course read Shakespeare and Milton and Walter Scott and Tennyson, but
_they do not read them_. The lion’s share of our time and thoughts and
interests must be given to our business or profession, whatever that may
be; and in few instances is this connected with literature. For the rest,
whatever time or thought a man can spare from his calling is mostly given
to his family, or to society, or to some hobby which is not literature.

And love of literature is not shown in such reading as is common. The
literary spirit shows itself, as I said, in appreciating beauty of
expression, and how far beauty of expression is cared for we may estimate
from the fact that few people think of reading anything a second time.
The ordinary reader is profoundly indifferent about style, and will not
take the trouble to understand ideas. He keeps to periodicals or light
fiction, which enables the mind to loll in its easy chair (so to speak)
and see pass before it a series of pleasing images. An idea, as Mark
Pattison says, “is an excitant, comes from mind and calls forth mind;
an image is a sedative;” and most people when they take up a book are
seeking a sedative.

So literature is after all a very small force in the lives of most men,
and perhaps even less in the lives of most women. Why then are the
employments of the school-room arranged on the supposition that it is
the grand force of all? The reason is, that we have inherited from the
Renascence a false notion of the function of literature.

§ 15. III. I must now point out a fault in the Renascence ideal which is
perhaps the most remarkable of all. Those by whom this ideal was set up
were entirely possessed by an enthusiasm for literature, and they made
the mistake of attributing to literature a share in general culture
which literature seems incapable of taking. After this we could little
have expected that the new ideal would exclude literature from the
schoolroom, and yet so it has actually turned out.

As a literary creation contains the conceptions of an individual mind
expressed in a permanent form of words, it exists only for those who can
understand the words or at least the conceptions.

From this it follows that literature for the young must have its
expression in the vernacular. The instances are rare indeed in which any
one below the age of fifteen or sixteen (perhaps I might put the limit a
year or two higher) understands any but the mother tongue. In the mother
tongue indeed some forms of literature exercise a great influence over
young minds. Ballad literature seems especially to belong to youth, the
youth of nations and of individuals. Aristotle educated Alexander with
Homer; and we can easily imagine the effect which the _Iliad_ must have
had on the young Greeks. Although in the days of Plato instruction was
not confined to literature, he gives this account of part of the training
in the Athenian schools: “Placing the pupils on benches, the instructors
make them read and learn by heart the poems of good poets in which are
many moral lessons, many tales and eulogies and lays of the brave men of
old; that the boys may imitate them with emulation and strive to become
such themselves.” Here we see a very important function attributed to
literature in the bringing up of the young; but the literature so used
must obviously be in the language of the learners.

The influence of a literary work may, however, extend itself far beyond
the limits of its own language. When our minds can receive and take
pleasure in the conceptions of a great writer, he may speak to us by an
interpreter. At the Renascence there were books in the world which might
have affected the minds of the young—Plutarch, Herodotus, and above all
Homer. But, as I have already said, it was not the conceptions, but the
literary form of the ancients, which seemed to the Renascence scholars
of such inestimable value, so they refused to give the conceptions in
any but the original words. “Studying the ancients in translations,”
says Melancthon, “is merely looking at the shadow.” He could not have
made a greater mistake. As far as the young are concerned the truth
is exactly the reverse. The translation would give the substance: the
original can give nothing but the shadow. Let us take the experience of
Mr. Kinglake, the author of “Eothen.” This distinguished Eton man, fired
by his remembrances of Homer, visited the Troad. He had, as he tells us,
“clasped the _Iliad_ line by line to his brain with reverence as well
as love.” Well done, Eton! we are tempted to exclaim when we read this
passage: here at least is proof that some _literature_ was taught in
those days of the dominion of the classics. But stop! It seems that this
clasping did not take place at Eton, but in happy days before Eton, when
Kinglake knew no Greek and read translations. “Heroic days are these,”
he writes, “but the Dark Ages of schoolboy life come closing over them.
I suppose it’s all right in the end: yet, by Jove! at first sight it
does seem a sad intellectual fall.... The dismal change is ordained and
thin meagre Latin (the same for everybody) with small shreds and patches
of Greek, is thrown like a pauper’s pall over all your early lore;
instead of sweet knowledge, vile monkish doggrel, grammars and graduses,
dictionaries and lexicons, horrible odds and ends of dead languages
are given you for your portion, and down you fall from Roman story to a
three-inch scrap of ‘Scriptores Romani’—from Greek poetry down, down, to
the cold rations of ‘Poetæ Græci,’ cut up by commentators and served out
by schoolmasters!” (“Eothen,” the Troad.)

We see from this how the Renascence ideal had the extraordinary effect
of banishing literature from the school-room. Literature has indeed not
ceased to influence the young; it still counts for much more in their
lives than in the lives of their seniors; but we all know who are the
writers who affected our own minds in childhood and youth, and who affect
the minds of our pupils now—not Eutropius or Xenophon, or Cæsar or
Cicero, but Defoe and Swift and Marryatt and Walter Scott. The ancient
writings which were literature to Melancthon and Erasmus, as they are
still to many in our universities and elsewhere, can never be literature
to the young. Most of the classical authors read in the schoolroom could
not be made literature to young people even by means of translations,
for they were men who wrote for men and women only. We see that it
would be absurd to make an ordinary boy of twelve or fourteen study
Burke or Pope. And if we do not make him read Burke, whose language he
understands, why do we make him read Cicero whose language he does not
understand? If he cannot appreciate Pope, why do we teach him Horace?
The Renascence gives us the explanation of this singular anomaly. The
scholars of that age were so delighted with the “composite harmony” of
the ancient classics that the study of these classics seemed to them the
one thing worth living for. The main, if not the only object they kept
in view in bringing up the young was to gain for them admission to the
treasure house; and though young people could not understand the ancient
writings as literature, they might at least study them as language
and thus be ready to enjoy them as literature in after-life. Thus the
subject of instruction in the schoolroom came to be, not the classics
but, the classical languages. The classics were used as school books,
but the only meaning thought of was the meaning of the detached word or
at best of the detached sentence. You ask a child learning to read if he
understands what he is reading about, and he says, “I can’t think of the
meaning because I am thinking of the words.” The same thing happened in
the schoolboy’s study of the classics, and so it has come to pass that to
this day the great writers of antiquity discharge a humble function which
they certainly never contemplated.

  “Great Cæsar’s body dead and turned to clay
  May stop a hole to keep the wind away.”

And great Cæsar’s mind has been turned to uses almost as paltry. He
has in fact written for the schoolroom not a commentary on the Wars
of Gaul—nothing of the kind—but simply a book of exercises in Latin
construing; and an excellent book it would be if he had only graduated
the difficulties better.

§ 16. IV. There is yet another weakness about the Renascence ideal—a
weakness from which most ideals are free.

Most ideals have this merit at least, that he who makes even a feeble and
abortive attempt to reach them is benefited in proportion to his advance,
however small that advance may be. If he fails to seize the coat of gold,
he carries away, as the proverb tells us, at least one of the sleeves;
or, to use George Herbert’s metaphor—

  “ ... Who aimeth at the sky,
  Shoots higher far than he who means a tree.”

But the learned ideal has not even this advantage. The first stage, the
study of the ancient languages, is so totally different from the study of
the ancient literatures to which it is the preliminary, that the student
who never goes beyond this first stage either gets no benefit at all, or
a benefit which is not of the kind intended. Suppose I am within a walk,
though a long one, of the British Museum, and hearing of some valuable
books in the library, which I can see nowhere else, I set off to consult
them. In this case it makes no difference to me how valuable the books
are if I do not get as far as the Museum.[6] My friends may comfort me
with the assurance that the walk must have done me good. Perhaps so;
but I left home to get a knowledge of certain books, not to exercise my
legs. Had exercise been my object I should probably have chosen another

Now schoolmasters, since the Renascence, have been in the habit of
leading all their pupils through the back slums of the Seven Dials and
Soho in the direction of the British Museum, with the avowed purpose of
taking them to the library, although they knew full well that not one
pupil in ten, not one in fifty, would ever reach the door. To produce
a few scholars able to appreciate the classics of Greece and Rome they
have sacrificed everybody else; and according to their own showing they
have condemned a large portion of the upper classes, nearly all the
middle classes, and quite all the poorer classes to remain “uneducated.”
And, according to the theory of the schoolroom, one-half of the human
race—the women—have not been supposed to need education. For them
“accomplishments” have been held sufficient.

§ 17. V. In conclusion I must point out one effect of the Renascence
ideal which seems to me no less mischievous than those I have already
mentioned. This ideal led the schoolmasters to attach little importance
to the education of _children_. Directly their pupils were old enough for
Latin Grammar the schoolmasters were quite at home; but till then the
children’s time seemed to them of small value, and they neither knew nor
cared to know how to employ it. If the little ones could learn by heart
forms of words which would afterwards “come in useful,” the schoolmasters
were ready to assist such learning by unsparing application of the rod,
but no other learning seemed worthy even of a caning. Absorbed in the
world of books they overlooked the world of nature. Galileo complains
that he could not induce them to look through his telescope, for they
held that truth could be arrived at only by comparison of MSS. No wonder
then that they had so little sympathy with children, and did not know how
to teach them. It is by slow degrees that we are breaking away from the
bad tradition then established, are getting to understand children, and
with such leaders as Rousseau, Pestalozzi, and Froebel, are investigating
the best education for them. We no longer think of them as immature men
and women, but see that each stage has its own completeness, and that
there is a perfection in childhood which must precede the perfection of
manhood just as truly as the flower goes before the fruit. “Childhood,”
says Rousseau, “has its own ways of seeing, feeling, thinking;” and it
is by studying these that we find out how children should be educated.
Our connexion with the world of nature seems much closer in our early
years than ever afterwards. The child’s mind seems drawn out to its
surroundings. He is intensely interested in the new world in which he
finds himself, and whilst so many of us grown people need a flapper,
like the sages of Laputa, to call our attention from our own thoughts to
anything that meets the eye or ear, the child sees and hears everything,
and everything seen or heard becomes associated in his mind not so much
with thought as with feeling. Hence it is that we most of us look back
wistfully to our early days, and confess sorrowfully that though years
may have brought “the philosophic mind,”

  “ ... Nothing can bring back the hour
  Of splendour in the grass, of glory in the flower.”

The material world then seems to supply just those objects, whether
birds, beasts, or flowers, by which the child is attracted, and on which
his faculties will therefore be most naturally and healthily employed.
But the Renascence schoolmasters had little notion of this. If you think
that the greatest scholar is the greatest man, you will, as a matter of
course, place at the other end of the scale those who are not scholars at
all. An English inspector, who seems to have thought children had been
created with due regard to the Revised Code of the Privy Council, spoke
of the infants who could not be classed by their performances in “the
three R’s” as “the fag end of the school;” and no doubt the Renascence
schoolmasters considered the children the fag end of humanity. The great
scholars were indeed far above the race of pedants; but the schoolmasters
who adopted their ideal were not. And what is a pedant? “A man who has
got rid of his brains to make room for his learning.”[7] The pedantic
schoolmasters of the Renascence wished the mind of the pupil to be
cleared of everything else, that it might have room for the languages
of Greece and Rome. But what if the mind failed to take in its destined
freight? In that case the schoolmasters had nothing else for it, and were
content that it should go empty.



§ 1. In considering and comparing the two great epochs of intellectual
activity and change in modern times, viz., the sixteenth century and
the nineteenth, we cannot but be struck with one fundamental difference
between them.

§ 2. It will affect all our thoughts, as Sir Henry Maine has said,
whether we place the Golden Age in the Past or in the Future. In the
nineteenth century the “good time” is supposed to be “coming,” but in
the sixteenth century all thinkers looked backwards. The great Italian
scholars gazed with admiration and envy on the works of ancient Greece
and Rome, and longed to restore the old languages, and as much as
possible the old world, so that such works might be produced again. Many
were suspected, not altogether perhaps without reason, of wishing to
uproot Christianity itself,[8] that they might bring back the Golden Age
of Pericles.

§ 3. At the same time another movement was going on, principally in
Germany. Here too, men were endeavouring to throw off the immediate past
in order to revive the remote past. The religious reformers, like the
scholars, wished to restore a golden age, only a different age, not the
age of the Antigone, but the age of the Apostles’ Creed. Thus it happened
that the scholars and the reformers joined in attaching the very highest
importance to the ancient languages. Through these languages, and, as
they thought, through them alone, was it possible to get a glimpse into
the bygone world in which their soul delighted.

§ 4. But though all joined in extolling the ancient writings, we find at
the Renascence great differences in the way of regarding these writings
and in the objects for which they were employed. A consideration of these
differences will help us to understand the course of education when the
Renascence was a force no longer.

§ 5. Very powerful in education were the great scholars, of whom Erasmus
was perhaps the greatest, certainly the most celebrated. In devoting
their lives to the study of the ancients their object was not merely to
appreciate literary style, though this was a source of boundless delight
to them, but also to _understand_ the classical writings and the ancient
world through them. These men, whom we may call _par excellence_ the
Scholars, cared indeed before all things for literature; but with all
their delight in the form they never lost sight of the substance. They
knew the truth that Milton afterwards expressed in these memorable words:
“Though a linguist should pride himself to have all the tongues that
Babel cleft the world into, yet if he have not studied the solid things
in them as well as the words and lexicons, he were nothing so much to be
esteemed a learned man as any yeoman or tradesman competently wise in his
mother dialect only.” (Tractate to Hartlib, § 4).

So Erasmus and the scholars would have all the educated _understand_ the
classical authors. But to understand words you must know the things to
which the words refer. Thus the Scholars were led to advocate a partial
study of things a kind of realism. But we must carefully observe a
peculiarity of this scholastic realism which distinguished it from the
realism of a later date—the realism of Bacon. The study of things was
undertaken not for its own sake, but simply in order to understand books.
Perhaps some of us are conscious that this kind of literary realism
has not wholly passed away. We may have observed wild flowers, or the
changes in tree or cloud, because we find that the best way to understand
some favourite author, as Wordsworth or Tennyson. This will help us to
understand the realism of the sixteenth century. The writings of great
authors have been compared to the plaster globes (“celestial globes” as
we call them), which assist us in understanding the configuration of the
stars (_Guesses at Truth_, j. 47). Adopting this simile we may say that
the Scholars loved to study the globe for its own sake, and when they
looked at stars they did so with the object of understanding the globe.
Thus we read of doctors who recommended their pupils to look at actual
cases of disease as the best commentary on the works of Hippocrates and
Galen. This kind of realism was good as far as it went, but it did not go
far. Of course the end in view limited the study, and the Scholars took
no interest in things except those which were mentioned in the classics.
They had no desire to investigate the material universe and make
discoveries for themselves. This is why Galileo could not induce them to
look through his telescope; for the ancients had no telescopes, and the
Scholars wished to see nothing that had not been seen by their favourite
authors. First then we have the Scholars, headed by Erasmus.

§ 6. Next we find a party less numerous and for a time less influential,
who did care about things for the sake of the things themselves; but
carried away by the literary current of their age, they sought to learn
about them not directly, but only by reading. Here again we have a kind
of realism which is not yet extinct. Some years ago I was assured by a
Graduate of the University of London who had passed in chemistry, that,
as far as he knew, he had never seen a chemical in his life: he had got
all his knowledge from books. While such a thing is possible among us,
we need not wonder if those who in the sixteenth century prized the
knowledge of things, allowed books to come between the learner and the
object of his study, if they regarded Nature as a far-off country of
which we could know nothing but what great authors reported to us.

As this party, unlike the Scholars, did not delight in literature as
such, but simply as a means of acquiring knowledge, literary form was
not valued by them, and they preferred Euclid to Sophocles, Columella
to Virgil. Seeking to learn about things, not immediately, but through
words, they have received from Raumer a name they are likely to
keep—Verbal Realists. In the sixteenth century the greatest of the Verbal
Realists also gave a hint of Realism proper; for he was no less a man
than Rabelais.

§ 7. Lastly we come to those who, as it turned out, were to have more
influence in the schoolroom than the Scholars and the Verbal Realists
combined. I do not know that these have had any name given them, but for
distinction sake we may call them _Stylists_. In studying literature
the Scholars cared both for form and substance, the Verbal Realists for
substance only, and the Stylists for form only. The Stylists gave up
their lives, not, like the scholars, to gain a thorough understanding
of the ancient writings and of the old world, but to an attempted
reproduction of the ancient languages and of the classical literary form.

§ 8. In marking these tendencies at the Renascence, we must remember
that though distinguished by their tendencies, these Scholars, Verbal
Realists, and Stylists, were not divided into clearly defined parties.
Categories like these no doubt assist us in gaining precision of thought,
but we must not gain precision at the expense of accuracy. The tendencies
we have been considering did not act in precisely opposite directions,
and all were to some extent affected by them. But one tendency was
predominant in one man and another in another; and this justifies us in
calling Sturm a Stylist, Erasmus a Scholar, and Rabelais a Verbal Realist.

§ 9. In one respect they were all agreed. The world was to be regenerated
by means of books. Nothing pleased them more than to think of their age
as the Revival of Learning.




§ 1. The curriculum bequeathed by the Renascence and stereotyped in
the School Codes of Germany, in the _Ratio_ of the Jesuits, and in the
English public school system, was greatly influenced by the most famous
schoolmaster of the fifteen hundreds, John Sturm, who was for over forty
years Rector of the Strassburg Gymnasium.

§ 2. Sturm was a fine specimen of the successful man: he knew what
his contemporaries wanted, and that was just what he wanted. “He was
a blessed fellow,” as Prince Hal says of Poins, “to think as every
man thought,” and he not only “kept the roadway” himself, but he also
“personally conducted” great bands of pupils over it, at one time “200
noblemen, 24 counts and barons, and 3 princes.” What could schoolmaster
desire more?

§ 3. But I frankly own that Sturm is no favourite of mine, and that I
think that he did much harm to education. However, his influence in the
schoolroom was so great that I must not leave him unnoticed; and I give
some information, taken mainly from Raumer’s account of him, which is
translated in Henry Barnard’s “German Teachers and Educators.” I have
also looked at the exhaustive article by Dr. Bossier in K. A. Schmid’s
_Encyklopädie_ (_sub v._)

§ 4. John Sturm, born at Schleiden in the Eifel, not far from Cologne,
in 1507, was one of 15 children, and would not have had much teaching
had not his father been steward to a nobleman, with whose sons he was
brought up. He always spoke with reverence and affection of his early
teachers, and from them no doubt he acquired his thirst for learning.
With the nobleman’s sons and under the guidance of a tutor he was sent
to Liège, and there he attended a school of the “Brethren of the Life in
Common,” _alias_ Hieronymites. Many of the arrangements of this school he
afterwards reproduced in the Strassburg Gymnasium, and in this way the
good Brethren gained an influence over classical education throughout the

§ 5. Between the age of 15 and 20 Sturm was at Lyons, and before the end
of this period he was forced into teaching for a maintenance. He then,
like many other learned men of the time, turned printer. We next find
him at the University of Paris, where he thought of becoming a doctor
of medicine, but was finally carried away from natural science by the
Renascence devotion to literature, and he became a popular lecturer on
the classics. From Paris he was called to Strassburg (then, as now, in
Germany) in 1537. In 1538 he published his plan of a Gymnasium or Grammar
School, with the title, “The right way of opening schools of literature
(_De Literarum Ludis recte aperiendis_),” and some years afterwards
(1565) he published his Letters (_Classicæ Epistolæ_) to the different
form-masters in his school.

§ 6. The object of teaching is three-fold, says Sturm, “piety, knowledge,
and the art of expression.” The student should be distinguished by
reasonable and neat speech (_ratione et oratione_). To attain this the
boys in his school had to give seven years to the acquirement of a pure
Latin style; then two years more were devoted to elegance; then five
years of collegiate life were to be given to the art of Latin speech.
This course is for ten years carefully mapped out by Sturm in his Letters
to the masters. The foundation is to be laid in the tenth class, which
the child enters at seven years old, and in which he learns to read,
and is turned on to the declensions and conjugations. We have for all
classes the exact “pensum,” and also specimens of the questions put in
examination by the _top boy of the next class above_, a hint which was
not thrown away upon the Jesuits.

§ 7. Sturm cries over the superior advantages of the Roman children.
“Cicero was but twenty when he delivered his speeches in behalf of
Quintius and Roscius; but in these days where is there the man even of
eighty, who could make such speeches? Yet there are books enough and
intellect enough. What need we further? We need the Latin language and a
correct method of teaching. Both these we must have before we can arrive
at the summit of eloquence.”

§ 8. Sturm did not, like Rabelais, put Greek on a level with Latin or
above it. The reading of Greek words is begun in the sixth class. Hebrew,
Sturm did not himself learn till he was nearly sixty.

§ 9. With a thousand boys in his school, and carrying on correspondence
with the leading sovereigns of his age, Sturm was a model of the
successful man. But in the end “the religious difficulty” was too much
even for him, and he was dismissed from his post by his opponents “for
old age and other causes.” Surely the “other causes” need not have been
mentioned. Sturm was then eighty years old.

§ 10. The successful man in every age is the man who chooses a popular
and attainable object, and shows tremendous energy in pursuit of it.
Most people don’t know precisely what they want; and among the few who
do, nine-tenths or more fail through lack of energy. But Sturm was quite
clear in his aim, and having settled the means, he showed immense energy
and strength of will in going through with them. He wanted to restore
the language of Cicero and Ovid and to give his pupils great power of
elegant expression in that language. Like all schoolmasters he professed
that piety and knowledge (which in more modern phrase would be wisdom and
knowledge) should come first, but like most schoolmasters he troubled
himself mainly, if not exclusively, about the art of expression. As
an abstract proposition the schoolmaster admits that to have in your
head something worth saying is more important than to have the power
of expression ready in case anything worth saying should “come along.”
But the schoolmaster’s art always has taken, and I suppose, in the
main, always will take for its material the means of expression; and
by preference it chooses a tongue not vulgar or “understanded of the
people.” Thus the schoolmasters with Sturm at their head set themselves
to teach _words_—foreign words, and allowed their pupils to study nothing
else, not even the mother tongue. The satirist who wrote Hudibras has
stated for us the result—

  “No sooner are the organs of the brain
  Quick to receive and stedfast to retain
  Best knowledges, but all’s laid out upon
  Retrieving of the curse of Babylon.
  And he that is but able to express
  No sense in several languages
  Will pass for learneder than he that’s known
  To speak the strongest reason in his own.”[9]

§ 11. One of the scholars of the Renascence, Hieronymus Wolf, was wise
enough to see that there might be no small merit in a boy’s silence:
“Nec minima pueri virtus est tacere cum recte loqui nesciat” (Quoted by
Parker). But this virtue of silence was not encouraged by Sturm, and
he determined that by the age of sixteen his pupils should have a fair
command of expression in Latin and some knowledge of Greek.[10] Latin
indeed was to supplant the mother tongue, and boys were to be severely
punished for using their own language. By this we may judge of the
pernicious effects of following Sturm. And it is a mistake to suppose
that the unwisdom of tilting at the vernacular was not so much Sturm’s,
as of the age in which he lived. The typical English schoolmaster of the
century, Mulcaster, was in this and many other ways greatly in advance of
Sturm. To him it was plain that we should “care for that most which we
ever use most, because we need it most.”[11] The only need recognized by
Sturm was need of the classical languages. Thus he and his admirers led
the unlucky schoolboy straight into that “slough of Despond”—verbalism,
in which he has struggled ever since;

  “Plunged for some sense, but found no bottom there,
  So learned and floundered on in mere despair.”[12]



§ 1. Since the Revival of Learning, no body of men has played so
prominent a part in education as the Jesuits. With characteristic
sagacity and energy they soon seized on education as a stepping-stone
to power and influence; and with their talent for organization, they
framed a system of schools which drove all important competitors from the
field, and made Jesuits the instructors of Catholic, and even, to some
extent, of Protestant Europe. Their skill in this capacity is attested
by the highest authorities, by Bacon[13] and by Descartes, the latter of
whom had himself been their pupil; and it naturally met with its reward:
for more than one hundred years nearly all the foremost men throughout
Christendom, both among the clergy and laity, had received the Jesuit
training, and in most cases retained for life an attachment to their old

§ 2. About these Jesuit schools—once so celebrated and so powerful, and
still existing in great numbers, though little remains of their original
importance—there does not seem to be much information accessible to the
English reader. I have, therefore, collected the following particulars
about them; and refer any one who is dissatisfied with so meagre an
account, to the works which I have consulted.[14] The Jesuit schools, as
I said, still exist, but they did their great work in other centuries;
and I therefore prefer to speak of them as things of the past.[15]

§ 3. When the Jesuits were first formally recognized by a Bull of
Paul III in 1540, the Bull stated that the Order was formed, among
other things, “especially for the purpose of instructing boys and
ignorant persons in the Christian religion.” But the Society well
understood that secular was more in demand than religious learning;
and they offered the more valued instruction, that they might have the
opportunity of inculcating lessons which, to the Society at least, were
the more valuable. From various Popes they obtained powers for founding
schools and colleges, for giving degrees, and for lecturing publicly
at universities. Their foundations rapidly extended in the Romance
countries, except in France, where they were long in overcoming the
opposition of the Regular clergy and of the University of Paris. Over
the Teutonic and Slavonic countries they spread their influence first by
means of national colleges at Rome, where boys of the different nations
were trained as missionaries. But, in time, the Jesuits pushed their
camps forward, even into the heart of the enemy’s country.

§ 4. The system of education to be adopted in all the Jesuit institutions
was settled during the Generalship of Aquaviva. In 1584 that General
appointed a School Commission, consisting of six distinguished Jesuits
from the various countries of Europe. These spent nearly a year in
Rome, in study and consultation; and the fruit of their labours was
the ground-work of the _Ratio atque Institutio Studiorum Societatis
Jesu_. This, however, did not take its final form till twelve other
commissioners had been at work upon it. It was then (1599) revised and
approved by Aquaviva and the Fifth and Sixth General Assemblies. By this
code the Jesuit schools were governed till 1832, when the curriculum was
enlarged so as to include physical science and modern languages.

§ 5. The Jesuits who formed the _Societas Professa_, _i.e._, those who
had taken all the vows, had spent from fifteen to eighteen years in
preparation, viz., two years as novices and one as approved scholars,
during which they were engaged chiefly in religious exercises, three
years in the study of philosophy and mathematics, four years of theology,
and, in the case of the more distinguished students, two years more in
repetition and private theological study. At some point in this course,
mostly after the philosophy, the students were sent, for a while, to
teach the “lower studies” to boys.[16] The method of teaching was to be
learnt in the training schools, called Juvenats,[17] one of which was
founded in each province.

Few, even of the most distinguished students, received dispensation from
giving elementary instruction. Salmeron and Bobadilla performed this duty
in Naples, Lainez in Florence, Borgia (who had been Viceroy of Catalonia)
in Cordova, Canisius in Cologne.

§ 6. During the time the Jesuit held his post as teacher he was to give
himself up entirely to the work. His private studies were abandoned; his
religious exercises shortened. He began generally with the boys in the
lowest form, and that he might be able to study the character of his
pupils he went up the school with them, advancing a step every year, as
in the system now common in Scotland. But some forms were always taught,
as the highest is in Scotland, by the same master, who remained a teacher
for life.

§ 7. Great care was to be taken that the frequent changes in the staff
of masters did not lead to alteration in the conduct of the school.
Each teacher was bound to carry on the established instruction by the
established methods. All his personal peculiarities and opinions were
to be as much as possible suppressed. To secure this a rigid system of
supervision was adopted, and reports were furnished by each officer to
his immediate superior. Over all stood the General of the Order. Next
came the Provincial, appointed by the General. Over each college was
the Rector, who was appointed (for three years) by the General, though
he was responsible to the Provincial, and made his reports to him. Next
came the Prefect of Studies, appointed, not by the Rector, but by the
Provincial. The teachers were carefully watched both by the Rector and
the Prefect of Studies, and it was the duty of the latter to visit each
teacher in his class at least once a fortnight, to hear him teach. The
other authorities, besides the masters of classes, were usually a House
Prefect, and Monitors selected from the boys, one in each form.

§ 8. The school or college was to be built and maintained by gifts and
bequests which the Society might receive for this purpose only. Their
instruction was always given gratuitously. When sufficient funds were
raised to support the officers, teachers, and at least twelve scholars,
no effort was to be made to increase them; but if they fell short of
this, donations were to be sought by begging from house to house. Want of
money, however, was not a difficulty which the Jesuits often experienced.

§ 9. The Jesuit education included two courses of study, _studia
superiora et inferiora_. In the smaller colleges only the _studia
inferiora_ were carried on; and it is to these _lower schools_ that the
following account mainly refers. The boys usually began this course at
ten years old and ended it at sixteen.[18]

§ 10. The pupils in the Jesuit colleges were of two kinds: 1st, those
who were training for the Order, and had passed the Novitiate; 2nd, the
externs, who were pupils merely. When the building was not filled by the
first of these (the Scholastici, or _Nostri_, as they are called in the
Jesuit writings), other pupils were taken in to board, who had to pay
simply the cost of their living, and not even this unless they could
well afford it. Instruction, as I said, was gratuitous to all. “Gratis
receive, gratis give,” was the Society’s rule; so they would neither make
any charge for instruction, nor accept any gift that was burdened with

§ 11. Faithful to the tradition of the Catholic Church, the Society did
not estimate a man’s worth simply according to his birth and outward
circumstances. The Constitutions expressly laid down that poverty and
mean extraction were never to be any hindrance to a pupil’s admission;
and Sacchini says: “Do not let any favouring of the higher classes
interfere with the care of meaner pupils, since the birth of all is equal
in Adam, and the inheritance in Christ.”[19]

§ 12. The externs who could not be received into the building were
boarded in licensed houses, which were always liable to an unexpected
visit from the Prefect of Studies.

§ 13. The “lower school” was arranged in five classes (since increased to
eight), of which the lowest usually had two divisions. Parallel classes
were formed wherever the number of pupils was too great for five masters.
The names given to the several divisions were as follows:

  1. Infima  }
  2. Media   } Classis Grammaticæ.
  3. Suprema }
  4. Humanitas.
  5. Rhetorica.

Each was “absolved” in a year, except Rhetorica, which required two years
(Stöckl, p. 237).

Jesuits and Protestants alike in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries
thought of little but literary instruction, and that too connected
only with Latin and Greek. The subject-matter of the teaching in the
Jesuit schools was to be “præter Grammaticam, quod ad Rhetoricam, Poësim
et Historiam pertinet,” in addition to Grammar, whatever related to
Rhetoric, Poetry, and History. Reading and writing the mother-tongue
might not be taught without special leave from the Provincial. Latin was
as much as possible to supersede all other languages, even in speaking;
and nothing else might be used by the pupils in the higher forms on any
day but a holiday.[20] To gain a supply of Latin words for ordinary
use, the pupils committed to memory Latin conversations on general
topics, such as Francis Pomey’s “Indiculus Universalis” and “Colloquia

§ 14. Although many good school-books were written by the Jesuits, a
great part of their teaching was given orally. The master was, in fact,
a lecturer, who expounded sometimes a piece of a Latin or Greek author,
sometimes the rules of grammar. The pupils were required to get up the
substance of these lectures, and to learn the grammar-rules and parts of
the classical authors by heart. The master for his part had to bestow
great pains on the preparation of his lectures.[21]

§ 15. Written exercises, translations, &c., were given in on every day,
except Saturday; and the master had, if possible, to go over each one
with its writer and his appointed rival or _æmulus_.

§ 16. The method of hearing the rules, &c., committed to memory was
this:—Certain boys in each class, who were called Decurions, repeated
their tasks to the master, and then in his presence heard the other boys
repeat theirs. The master meanwhile corrected the written exercises.[22]

§ 17. One of the leading peculiarities in the Jesuits’ system was the
pains they took to foster emulation—“cotem ingenii puerilis, calcar
industriæ—the whetstone of talent, the spur of industry.” For this
purpose all the boys in the lower part of the school were arranged in
pairs, each pair being rivals (_æmuli_) to one another. Every boy was
to be constantly on the watch to catch his rival tripping, and was
immediately to correct him. Besides this individual rivalry, every class
was divided into two hostile camps, called Rome and Carthage, which had
frequent pitched battles of questions on set subjects. These were the
“Concertations,” in which the boys sometimes had to put questions to the
opposite camp, sometimes to expose erroneous answers when the questions
were asked by the master[23] (see Appendix: Class Matches, p. 529).
Emulation, indeed, was encouraged to a point where, as it seems to me,
it must have endangered the good feeling of the boys among themselves.
Jouvency mentions a practice of appointing mock defenders of any
particularly bad exercise, who should make the author of it ridiculous by
their excuses; and any boy whose work was very discreditable, was placed
on a form by himself, with a daily punishment, until he could show that
some one deserved to change places with him.

§ 18. In the higher classes a better kind of rivalry was cultivated
by means of “Academies,” _i.e._, voluntary associations for study,
which met together, under the superintendence of a master, to read
themes, translations, &c., and to discuss passages from the classics.
The new members were elected by the old, and to be thus elected was a
much-coveted distinction. In these Academies the cleverer students got
practice for the disputations, which formed an important part of the
school work of the higher classes.

§ 19. There was a vast number of other expedients by which the Jesuits
sought to work on their pupils’ _amour propre_, such as, on the one hand,
the weekly publication of offences _per præconem_, and, on the other,
besides prizes (which could be won only by the externs), titles and
badges of honour, and the like. “There are,” says Jouvency, “hundreds
of expedients of this sort, all tending to sharpen the boys’ wits, to
lighten the labour of the master, and to free him from the invidious and
troublesome necessity of punishing.”

§ 20. The school-hours were remarkably short: two hours and a half in
the morning, and the same in the afternoon; with a whole holiday a week
in summer, and a half holiday in winter. The time was spent in the
first form after the following manner:—During the first half-hour the
master corrected the exercises of the previous day, while the Decurions
heard the lesson which had been learnt by heart. Then the master heard
the piece of Latin which he had explained on the previous day. With
this construing, was connected a great deal of parsing, conjugating,
declining, &c. The teacher then explained the piece for the following
day, which, in this form, was never to exceed four lines. The last
half-hour of the morning was spent in explaining grammar. This was done
very slowly and carefully: in the words of the _Ratio Studd._: “Pluribus
diebus fere singula præcepta inculcanda sunt”—“Generally take a single
rule and drive it in, several days.” For the first hour of the afternoon
the master corrected exercises, and the boys learnt grammar. If there
was time, the master put questions about the grammar he had explained
in the morning. The second hour was taken up with more explanations of
grammar, and the school closed with half an hour’s concertation, or the
master corrected the notes which the pupils had taken during the day. In
the other forms, the work was very similar to this, except that Greek was
added, and also in the higher classes a little mathematics.

§ 21. It will be observed from the above account, that almost all
the strength of the Jesuit teaching was thrown into the study of the
Latin language, which was to be used, not only for reading, but also
in writing and speaking. But under the name of “erudition” some amount
of instruction in other subjects, especially in history and geography,
was given in explaining, or rather lecturing on, the classical authors.
Jouvency says that this lecture must consist of the following parts:—1st,
the general meaning of the whole passage; 2nd, the explanation of each
clause, both as to the meaning and construction; 3rd, any information,
such as accounts of historical events, or of ancient manners and customs,
which could be connected with the text; 4th, in the higher forms,
applications of the rules of rhetoric and poetry; 5th, an examination of
the Latinity; 6th, the inculcation of some moral lesson. This treatment
of a subject he illustrates by examples. Among these is an account of
a lesson for the first (_i.e._, lowest) class in the Fable of the Fox
and the Mask:—1st, comes the argument and the explanation of words;
2nd, the grammar and parsing, as _vulpes_, a substantive of the third
declension, &c., like _proles_, _clades_, &c. (here the master is always
to give among his examples some which the boys already know); 3rd, comes
the _eruditio_—something about foxes, about tragedy, about the brain,
and hence about other parts of the head; 4th, Latinity, the order of
the words, choice of the words, synonyms, &c. Then the sentences may be
parodied; other suitable substantives may be found for the adjectives and
_vice versâ_; and every method is to be adopted of showing the boys how
to _use_ the words they have learnt. Lastly, comes the moral.

§ 22. The practical teacher will be tempted to ask, How is the attention
of the class to be kept up whilst all this information is given? This
the Jesuits did partly by punishing the inattentive. Every boy was
subsequently required to reproduce what the teacher had said, and to
show his written notes of it. But no doubt this matter of attention was
found a difficulty. Jouvency tells the teachers to break off from time to
time in their lectures, and to ask questions; and he adds: “Variæ sunt
artes excitandæ attentionis quas docebit usus et sua cuique industria
suggeret.—Very various are the devices for arousing attention. These will
occur with practice and pains.”

For private study, besides written exercises and learning by heart, the
pupils were recommended subjects to get up in their own time; and in
this, and also as to the length of some of the regular lessons, they were
permitted to decide for themselves. Here, as everywhere, the Jesuits
trusted to the sense of honour and emulation—those who did extra work
were praised and rewarded.

§ 23. One of the maxims of this system was: “Repetitio mater studiorum.”
Every lesson was connected with two repetitions—one before it began,
of preceding work, and the other at the close, of the work just done.
Besides this, one day a week was devoted entirely to repetition. In the
three lowest classes the desire of laying a solid foundation even led to
the second six months in the year being given to again going over the
work of the first six months.[24] By this means boys of extraordinary
ability could pass through these forms in eighteen months, instead of
three years.

§ 23. _Thoroughness_ in work was the one thing insisted on. Sacchini says
that much time should be spent in going over the more important things,
which are “veluti multorum fontes et capita (as it were the sources and
starting points of many others)”; and that the master should prefer to
teach a few things perfectly, to giving indistinct impressions of many
things.[25] We should remember, however, that the pupils of the Jesuits
were not _children_. Subjects such as grammar cannot, by any expenditure
of time and trouble, be perfectly taught to children, because children
cannot perfectly understand them; so that the Jesuit thoroughness is not
always attainable.

§ 24. The usual duration of the course in the lower schools was six
years—_i.e._, one year in each of the four lower classes, and two years
in the highest class. Every year closed with a very formal examination.
Before this examination took place, the pupils had lessons in the manner
of it, so that they might come prepared, not only with a knowledge of the
subjects, but also of the laws of writing for examination (“scribendi ad
examen leges”). The examination was conducted by a commission appointed
for the purpose, of which commission the Prefect of Studies was an _ex
officio_ member. The masters of the classes, though they were present,
and could make remarks, were not of the examining body. For the _vivâ
voce_ the boys were ushered in, three at a time, before the solemn
conclave. The results of the examination, both written and verbal, were
joined with the records of the work done in the past year; and the names
of those pupils who had distinguished themselves were then published in
order of merit, but the poll was arranged alphabetically, or according to

§ 25. As might be expected, the Jesuits were to be very careful of the
moral and religious training of their pupils. “Quam maxime in vitæ
probitate ac bonis artibus doctrinaque proficiant ad Dei gloriam.”
(_Ratio Studd._, quoted by Schmid.) And Sacchini tells the master to
remember how honourable his office is; as it has to do, not with grammar
only, but also with the science and practice of a Christian and religious
life: “atque eo quidem ordine ut ipsa ingenii eruditio sit expolitio
morum, et humana literatura divinæ ancilletur sapientiæ.”[26]

Each lesson was to begin with prayer or the sign of the Cross. The
pupils were to hear Mass every morning, and were to be urged to frequent
confession and receiving of the Holy Communion. The Father Confessor was
always a Jesuit, but he was not a master in the school.

§ 26. The bodily health also was to be carefully attended to. The pupils
were not to study too much or too long at a time. Nothing was to be done
for a space of from one or two hours after dinner. On holidays excursions
were made to farms in the country.[27]

§ 27. Punishments were to be as light as possible, and the master was to
shut his eyes to offences whenever he thought he might do so with safety.
Grave offences were to be visited with corporal punishment, performed by
a “corrector,” who was not a member of the Order. Where this chastisement
did not have a good effect, the pupil was to be expelled.[28]

§ 28. The dry details into which I have been drawn by faithfully copying
the manner of the _Ratio Studiorum_ may seem to the reader to afford
no answer to the question which naturally suggests itself—To what did
the school-system of the Jesuits owe its enormous popularity? But in
part, at least, these details do afford an answer. They show us that the
Jesuits were intensely practical. The _Ratio Studiorum_ hardly contains
a single principle; but what it does is this—it points out a perfectly
attainable goal, and carefully defines the road by which that goal
is to be approached. For each class was prescribed not only the work
to be done, but also the end to be kept in view. Thus method reigned
throughout—perhaps not the best method, as the object to be attained was
assuredly not the highest object—but the method, such as it was, was
applied with undeviating exactness. In this particular the Jesuit schools
contrasted strongly with their rivals of old, as indeed with the ordinary
school of the present day. The Head Master, who is to the modern English
school what the General, Provincial, Rector, Prefect of Studies, and
_Ratio Studiorum_ combined were to a school of the Jesuits, has perhaps
no standard in view up to which the boy should have been brought when his
school course is completed.[29] The masters of forms teach just those
portion of their subject in which they themselves are interested, in any
way that occurs to them, with by no means uniform success; so that when
two forms are examined with the same examination paper, it is no very
uncommon occurrence for the lower to be found superior to the higher. It
is, perhaps, to be expected that a course in which uniform method tends
to a definite goal would on the whole be more successful than one in
which a boy has to accustom himself by turns to half-a-dozen different
methods, invented at haphazard by individual masters with different aims
in view, if indeed they have any aim at all.

§ 29. I have said that the object which the Jesuits proposed in their
teaching was not the highest object. They did not aim at developing
_all_ the faculties of their pupils, but mainly the receptive and
reproductive faculties. When the young man had acquired a thorough
mastery of the Latin language for all purposes, when he was well versed
in the theological and philosophical opinions of his preceptors, when
he was skilful in dispute, and could make a brilliant display from the
resources of a well-stored memory, he had reached the highest point to
which the Jesuits sought to lead him.[30] Originality and independence of
mind, love of truth for its own sake, the power of reflecting, and of
forming correct judgments were not merely neglected—they were suppressed
in the Jesuits’ system. But in what they attempted they were eminently
successful, and their success went a long way towards securing their

§ 30. Their popularity was due, moreover, to the means employed, as
well as to the result attained. The Jesuit teachers were to _lead_, not
drive their pupils, to make their learning, not merely endurable, but
even acceptable, “disciplinam non modo tolerabilem, sed etiam amabilem.”
Sacchini expresses himself very forcibly on this subject. “It is,” says
he, “the unvarying decision of wise men, whether in ancient or modern
times, that the instruction of youth will be always best when it is
pleasantest: whence this application of the word _ludus_. The tenderness
of youth requires of us that we should not overstrain it, its innocence
that we should abstain from harshness.... That which enters into willing
ears the mind as it were runs to welcome, seizes with avidity, carefully
stows away, and faithfully preserves.”[32] The pupils were therefore
to be encouraged in every way to take kindly to their learning. With
this end in view (and no doubt other objects also), the masters were
carefully to seek the boys’ affections. “When pupils love the master,”
says Sacchini, “they will soon love his teaching. Let him, therefore,
show an interest in everything that concerns them and not merely in
their studies. Let him rejoice with those that rejoice, and not disdain
to weep with those that weep. After the example of the Apostle let him
become a little one amongst little ones, that he may make them adult in
Christ, and Christ adult in them ... Let him unite the grave kindness and
authority of a father with a mother’s tenderness.”[33]

§ 31. In order that learning might be pleasant to the pupils, it was
necessary that they should not be overtasked. To avoid this, the master
had to study the character and capacity of each boy in his class, and to
keep a book with all particulars about him, and marks from one to six
indicating proficiency. Thus the master formed an estimate of what should
be required, and the amount varied considerably with the pupil, though
the quality of the work was always to be good.

§ 32. Not only was the work not to be excessive, it was never to be of
great difficulty. Even the grammar was to be made as easy and attractive
as possible. “I think it a mistake” says Sacchini, “to introduce at an
early stage the more thorny difficulties of grammar: ... for when the
pupils have become familiar with the earlier parts, use will, by degrees,
make the more difficult clear to them. His mind expanding and his
judgment ripening as he grows older the pupil will often see for himself
that which he could hardly be made to see by others. Moreover, in reading
an author, examples of grammatical difficulties will be more easily
observed in connection with the context, and will make more impression on
the mind, than if they are taught in an abstract form by themselves. Let
them then, be carefully explained whenever they occur.”[34]

§ 33. Perhaps no body of men in Europe (the Thugs may, in this respect,
rival them in Asia) have been so hated as the Jesuits. I once heard
Frederick Denison Maurice say he thought Kingsley could find good in
every one except the Jesuits, and, he added, he thought _he_ could find
good even in them. But why should a devoted Christian find a difficulty
in seeing good in the Jesuits, a body of men whose devotion to their
idea of Christian duty has never been surpassed?[35] The difficulty
arose from differences in ideal. Both held that the ideal Christian
would do everything “to the greater glory of God,” or as the Jesuits
put it in their business-like fashion, “A.M.D.G.,” (_i.e._, _ad majorem
Dei gloriam_). But Maurice and Kingsley thought of a divine idea for
every man. The Jesuits’ idea lost sight of the individual. Like their
enemy, Carlyle, the Jesuits in effect worshipped strength, but Carlyle
thought of the strength of the individual, the Jesuits of the strength of
“the Catholic Church.” “The Catholic Church” was to them the manifested
kingdom of God. Everything therefore that gave power to the Church tended
“A.M.D.G.” The Company of Jesus was the regular army of the Church, so,
arguing logically from their premises, they made the glory of God and the
success of the Society convertible terms.

§ 34. Thus their conception was a purely military conception. A
commander-in-chief, if he were an ardent patriot and a great general,
would do all he could to make the army powerful. He would care much
for the health, morals, and training of the soldiers, but always with
direct reference to the army. He would attend to everything that made a
man a better soldier; beyond this he would not concern himself. In his
eyes the army would be everything, and a soldier nothing but a part of
it, just as a link is only a part of a chain. Paulsen, speaking of the
Jesuits, says truly that no great organization can exist without a root
idea. The root idea of the army is the sacrifice and annihilation of the
individual, that the body may be fused together and so gain a strength
greater than that of any number of individuals. Formed on this idea the
army acts all together and in obedience to a single will, and no mob can
stand its charge. Ignatius Loyola and succeeding Generals took up this
idea and formed an army for the Church, an army that became the wonder
and the terror of all men. Never, as Compayré says, had a body been so
sagaciously organized, or had wielded so great resources for good and for
evil.[36] (_See_ Buisson, ij, 1419.)

§ 35. To the English schoolmaster the Jesuits must always be interesting,
if for no other reason at least for this—that they were so intensely
practical. “_Les Jésuites ne sont pas des pédagogues assez desintéressés
pour nous plaire._—The Jesuits as schoolmasters,” says M. Compayré, “are
not disinterested enough for us.” (Buisson, sub v. _Jésuites_, ad f.).
But disinterested pedagogy is not much to the mind of the Englishman.
It does not seem to know quite what it would be after, and deals in
generalities, such as “Education is not a means but an end;” and the
end being somewhat indefinite, the means are still more wanting in
precision. This vagueness is what the English master hates. He prefers
not to trouble himself about the end. The wisdom of his ancestors has
settled that, and he can direct his attention to what really interests
him—the practical details. In this he resembles the Jesuits. The end
has been settled for them by their founder. They revel in practical
details, in which they are truly great, and here we may learn much
from them. “_Ratio_ applied to studies” says Father Eyre,[37] “more
naturally means _Method_ than _Principle_; and our _Ratio Studiorum_
is essentially a Method or System of teaching and learning.” Here is
a method that has been worked uniformly and with singular success for
three centuries, and can still give a good account of its old rivals. But
will it hold its own against the late Reformers? As regards intellectual
training the new school seeks to draw out the faculties of the young
mind by employing them on subjects in which it is _interested_. The
Jesuits fixed a course of study which, as they frankly recognized,
could not be made interesting. So they endeavoured to secure accuracy
by constant repetition, and relied for industry on two motive powers:
1st, the personal influence of the master; and, 2nd, “the spur of

§ 36. To acquire “influence” has ever been the main object of the
Society, and his devotion to this object makes a great distinction
between the Jesuit and most other instructors. His notion of the task was
thus expressed by Father Gerard, S. J., at the Educational Conference
of 1884: “Teaching is an art amongst arts. To be worthy of the name it
must be the work of an individual upon individuals. The true teacher must
understand, appreciate, and sympathize with those who are committed to
him. He must be daily discovering what there is (and undoubtedly there
is something in each of them) capable of fruitful development, and
contriving how better to get at them and to evoke whatever possibilities
there are in them for good.” The Jesuit master, then, tried to gain
influence over the boys and to use that influence for many purposes;
to make them work well being one of these, but not perhaps the most

§ 37. As for emulation, no instructors have used it so elaborately as
the Jesuits. In most English schools the prizes have no effect whatever
except on the first three or four boys, and the marking is so arranged
that those who take the lead in the first few lessons can keep their
position without much effort. This clumsy system would not suit the
Jesuits. They often for prize-giving divide a class into a number of
small groups, the boys in each group being approximately equal, and a
prize is offered for each group. The class matches, too, stimulate the
weaker pupils even more than the strong.

§ 38. In conclusion, I will give the chief points of the system in the
words of one of its advocates and admirers, who was himself educated at

“Let us now try to put together the various pieces of this school
machinery and study the effect. We have seen that the boys have masters
entirely at their disposition, not only at class time, but at recreation
time after supper in the night Reading Rooms. Each day they record
victory or defeat in the recurring exercises or themes upon various
matters. By the quarterly papers or examinations in composition, for
which nine hours are assigned, the order of merit is fixed, and this
order entails many little privileges and precedencies, in chapel,
refectory, class room, and elsewhere. Each master, if he prove a success
and his health permit, continues to be the instructor of the boys in
his class during the space of six years. ‘It is obvious’ says Sheil,
in his account of Stonyhurst, ‘that much of a boy’s acquirements, and
a good deal of the character of his taste, must have depended upon
the individual to whose instructions he was thus almost exclusively
confined.’ And in many cases the effects must be a greater interest
felt in the students by their teachers, a mutual attachment founded on
long acquaintance, and a more thorough knowledge, on the part of the
master, of the weak and strong points of his pupils. Add to the above,
the ‘rival’ and ‘side’ system, the effect of challenges and class
combats; of the wearing of decorations and medals by the Imperators
on Sundays, Festival Days, Concertation Days, and Examination Days;
of the extraordinary work—done much more as _private_ than as _class_
work—helping to give individuality to the boy’s exertions, which might
otherwise be merged in the routine work of the class; and the ‘free
time’ given for improvement on wet evenings and after night prayers;
add the Honours Matter; the Reports read before the Rector and all
subordinate Superiors, the Professors, and whole body of Students; add
the competition in each class and between the various classes, and even
between the various colleges in England of the Society; and only one
conclusion can be arrived at. It is a system which everyone is free to
admire or think inferior to some other preferred by him; but it _is_ a
system.” (_Stonyhurst College, Present and Past_, by A. Hewitson, 2nd
edition, 1878, pp. 214, ff.)

§ 39. Yes, it _is_ a system, a system built up by the united efforts
of many astute intellects and showing marvellous skill in selecting
means to attain a clearly conceived end. There is then in the history
of education little that should be more interesting or might be more
instructive to the master of an English public school than the chapter
about the Jesuits.[38]




§ 1. To great geniuses it is given to think themselves in a measure free
from the ordinary notions of their time and often to anticipate the
discoveries of a future age. In all literature there is perhaps hardly
a more striking instance of this “detached” thinking than we find in
Rabelais’ account of the education of Gargantua.

§ 2. We see in Rabelais an enthusiasm for learning and a tendency to
verbal realism; that is, he turned to the old writers for instruction
about _things_. So far he was a child of the Renascence. But in other
respects he advanced far beyond it.

§ 3. After a scornful account of the ordinary school books and methods by
which Gargantua “though he studied hard, did nevertheless profit nothing,
but only grew thereby foolish, simple, dolted, and blockish,” Rabelais
decides that “it were better for him to learn nothing at all than to
be taught suchlike books under suchlike schoolmasters.” All this old
lumber must be swept away, and in two years a youth may acquire a better
judgment, a better manner, and more command of language than could ever
have been obtained by the old method.

We are then introduced to the model pupil. The end of education has been
declared to be _sapiens et eloquens pietas_; and we find that though
Rabelais might have substituted knowledge for piety, he did care for
piety, and valued very highly both wisdom and eloquence. The eloquent
Roman was the ideal of the Renascence, and Rabelais’ model pupil
expresses himself “with gestures so proper, pronunciation so distinct, a
voice so eloquent, language so well turned _and in such good Latin_ that
he seemed rather a Gracchus, a Cicero, an Æmilius of the time past than a
youth of the present age.”

§ 4. So a Renascence tutor is appointed for Gargantua and administers to
him a potion that makes him forget all he has ever learned. He then puts
him through a very different course. Like all wise instructors he first
endeavours to secure the will of the pupil. He allows Gargantua to go
the accustomed road till he can convince him it is the wrong one. This
seems to me a remarkable proof of wisdom. How often does the “new master”
break abruptly with the past, and raise the opposition of the pupil by
dispraise of all he has already done! By degrees Ponocrates, the model
tutor, inspired in his pupil a great desire for improvement. This he did
by bringing him into the society of learned men, who filled him with
ambition to be like them. Thereupon Gargantua “put himself into such a
train of study that he lost not any hour in the day, but employed all his
time in learning and honest knowledge.” The day was to begin at 4 a.m.,
with reading of “some chapter of the Holy Scripture, and oftentimes he
gave himself to revere, adore, pray, and send up his supplications to
that good God, whose word did show His majesty and marvellous judgments.”
This is the only hint we get in this part of the book on the subject of
religious or moral education: the training is directed to the intellect
and the body.

§ 5. The remarkable feature in Rabelais’ curriculum is this, that it is
concerned mainly with _things_. Of the Seven Liberal Arts of the Middle
Ages, the first three were purely formal: grammar, logic, rhetoric; while
the following course: arithmetic, geometry, astronomy, and music, were
not. The effect of the Renascence was to cause increasing neglect of
the Quadrivium, but Rabelais cares for the Quadrivium only; Gargantua
studies arithmetic, geometry, astronomy, and music, and the Trivium is
not mentioned. Great use is made of books and Gargantua learned them by
heart; but all that he learned he at once “applied to practical cases
concerning the estate of man.” It was the substance of the reading, not
the form, that was thought of. At dinner “if they thought good they
continued reading or began to discourse merrily together; speaking
first of the virtue, propriety, efficacy, and nature of all that was
served in at that table; of bread, of wine, of water, of salt, of flesh,
fish, fruits, herbs, roots, and of their dressing. By means whereof he
learned in a little time all the passages that on these subjects are to
be found in Pliny, Athenæus, &c. Whilst they talked of these things,
many times to be more certain they caused the very books to be brought
to the table; and so well and perfectly did he in his memory retain the
things above said, that in that time there was not a physician that knew
half so much as he did.” Again, out of doors he was to observe trees and
plants, and “compare them with what is written of them in the books of
the ancients, such as Theophrastus, Dioscorides, &c.” Here again, actual
realism was to be joined with verbal realism, for Gargantua was to carry
home with him great handfuls for herborising. Rabelais even recommends
studying the face of the heavens at night, and then observing the change
that has taken place at 4 in the morning. So he seems to have been the
first writer on education (and the first by a long interval), who would
teach about things by observing the things themselves. It was this
_Anschauungs-prinzip_—use of sense-impressions—that Pestalozzi extended
and claimed as his invention two centuries and a half later. Rabelais
also gives a hint of the use of hand-work as well as head-work. Gargantua
and his fellows “did recreate themselves in bottling hay, in cleaving
and sawing wood, and in threshing sheaves of corn in the barn. They also
studied the art of painting or carving.” The course was further connected
with life by visits to the various handicraftsmen, in whose workshops
“they did learn and consider the industry and invention of the trader.”

Thus, even in the time of the Renascence, Rabelais saw that the life of
the intellect might be nourished by many things besides books. But books
were still kept in the highest place. Even on a holiday, which occurred
on some fine and clear day once a month, “though spent without books or
lecture, yet was the day not without profit; for in the meadows they
repeated certain pleasant verses of Virgil’s _Agriculture_, of Hesiod,
of Politian’s _Husbandry_.” They also turned Latin epigrams into French

This course of study, “although at first it seemed difficult, yet soon
became so sweet, so easy, and so delightful, that it seemed rather the
recreation of a king than the study of a scholar.”

In preferring the Quadrivial studies to the Trivial, and still more
in his use of actual things, Rabelais separates himself from all the
teachers of his time.

§ 6. Very remarkable too is the attention he pays to physical education.
A day does not pass on which Gargantua does not gallantly exercise his
body as he has already exercised his mind. The exercises prescribed are
very various, and include running, jumping, swimming, with practice on
the horizontal bar and with dumb-bells, &c. But in one respect Rabelais
seems behind our own writer, Richard Mulcaster. Mulcaster trained the
body simply with a view to health. Rabelais is thinking of the gentleman,
and all his physical exercises are to prepare him for the gentleman’s
occupation, war. The constant preparation for war had a strong and in
some respects a very beneficial influence on the education of gentlemen
in the fifteen and sixteen hundreds, as it has had on that of the Germans
in the eighteen hundreds. But to be ready to slaughter one’s fellow
creatures is not an ideal aim in education; and besides this, one half of
the human race can never (as far as we can judge at present) be affected
by it. We therefore prefer the physical training recommended by the

    Mr. Walter Besant by his _Readings in Rabelais_ (Blackwood,
    1883), has put Rabelais’ wit and wisdom where we can get at
    most of it without searching in the dung-hill. But he has
    unfortunately omitted Gargantua’s letter to Pantagruel at Paris
    (book ij, chap. 8), where we get the curriculum as proposed by
    Rabelais, a chapter in which no scavenger is needed.

    I will give some extracts from it:—

    “Although my deceased father of happy memory, Grangousier, had
    bent his best endeavours to make me profit in all perfection
    and political knowledge, and that my labour and study was fully
    correspondent to, yea, went beyond his desire; nevertheless,
    the time then was not so proper and fit for learning as it is
    at present, neither had I plenty of such good masters as thou
    hast had; for that time was darksome, obscured with clouds of
    ignorance and savouring a little of the infelicity and calamity
    of the Goths, who had, wherever they set footing, destroyed all
    good literature, which in my age hath by the Divine Goodness
    been restored unto its former light and dignity, and that
    with such amendment and increase of knowledge that now hardly
    should I be admitted unto the first form of the little grammar
    school boys (_des petits grimaulx_): I say, I, who in my
    youthful days was (and that justly) reputed the most learned
    of that age. Now it is that the old knowledges (_disciplines_)
    are restored, the languages revived. Greek (without which
    it is a shame for any one to call himself learned), Hebrew,
    Chaldee, Latin. Printing (_Des impressions_) too, so elegant
    and exact, is in use, which in my day was invented by divine
    inspiration, as cannon were by suggestion of the devil. All the
    world is full of men of knowledge, of very learned teachers,
    of large libraries; so that it seems to me that neither in the
    age of Plato, nor of Cicero, nor of Papinian was there such
    convenience for studying as there is now. I see the robbers,
    hangmen, adventurers, ostlers of to-day more learned then the
    doctors and the preachers of my youth. Why, women and girls
    have aspired to the heavenly manna of good learning ... I mean
    you to learn the languages perfectly first of all, the Greek
    as Quintilian wishes, then the Latin, then Hebrew for the
    Scriptures, and Chaldee and Arabic at the same time; and that
    thou form thy style in Greek on Plato, in Latin on Cicero. Let
    there be no history which thou hast not ready in thy memory, in
    which cosmography will aid thee. Of the Liberal Arts, geometry,
    arithmetic, music, I have given thee a taste when thou wast
    still a child, at the age of five or six [Pantagruel was a
    giant, we must remember]; carry them on; and know’st thou all
    the rules of astronomy? Don’t touch astrology for divination
    and the art of Lullius, which are mere vanity. In the civil law
    thou must know the five texts by heart.

    “ ... As for knowledge of the works of Nature, I would have
    thee devote thyself to them so that there may be no sea, river,
    or spring of which thou knowest not the fishes; all the birds
    of the air, all the trees, forest or orchard, all the herbs of
    the field, all the metals hid in the bowels of the earth, all
    the precious stones of the East and the South, let nothing be
    unknown to thee.

    “Then turn again with diligence to the books of the Greek
    physicians, and the Arabs, and the Latin, without despising
    the Talmudists and the Cabalists; and by frequent dissections
    acquire a perfect knowledge of the other world, which is Man.
    And some hours a-day begin to read the Sacred Writings, first
    in Greek the New Testament and Epistles of the Apostles; then
    in Hebrew the Old Testament. In brief, let me see thee an
    abyss and bottomless pit of knowledge, for from henceforth as
    thou growest great and becomest a man thou must part from this
    tranquillity and rest of study ... And because, as Solomon
    saith, wisdom entereth not into a malicious mind, and science
    without conscience is but the ruin of the soul, thou shouldst
    serve, love, and fear God, and in Him centre all thy thoughts,
    all thy hope; and by faith rooted in charity be joined to Him,
    so as never to be separated from Him by sin.”

    The influence of Rabelais on Montaigne, Locke, and Rousseau has
    been well traced by Dr. F. A. Arnstädt. (_François Rabelais_,
    Leipzig, Barth, 1872.)




§ 1. The learned ideal established by the Renascence was accepted by
Rabelais, though he made some suggestions about _Realien_[39] that seem
to us much in advance of it. When he quotes the saying “Magis magnos
clericos non sunt magis magnos sapientes” (“the greatest clerks are not
the greatest sages”), this singular piece of Latinity is appropriately
put into the mouth of a monk, who represents everything the Renascence
scholars despised. In Montaigne we strike into a new vein of thought,
and we find that what the monk alleges in defence of his ignorance the
cultured gentleman adopts as the expression of an important truth.

§ 2. We ordinary people see truths indeed, but we see them indistinctly,
and are not completely guided by them. It is reserved for men of genius
to see truths, some truths that is, often a very few, with intense
clearness. Some of these men have no great talent for speech or writing,
and they try to express the truths they see, not so much by books as by
action. Such men in education were Comenius, Pestalozzi, and Froebel. But
sometimes the man of genius has a great power over language, and then
he finds for the truths he has seen, fitting expression, which becomes
almost as lasting as the truths themselves. Such men were Montaigne and
Rousseau. If the historian of education is asked “What did Montaigne do?”
he will answer “Nothing.” “What did Froebel say?” “He said a great deal,
but very few people can read him and still fewer understand him.” Both,
however, are and must remain forces in education. Montaigne has given to
some truths imperishable form in his _Essays_, and Froebel’s ideas come
home to all the world in the Kindergarten.

§ 3. The ideal set up by the Renascence attached the highest importance
to learning. Montaigne maintained that the resulting training _even at
its best_ was not suited to a gentleman or man of action. Virtue, wisdom,
and intellectual activity should be thought of before learning. Education
should be first and foremost the development and exercise of faculties.
And even if the acquirement of knowledge is thought of, Montaigne
maintains that the pedants do not understand the first conditions of
knowledge and give a semblance not the true thing.—“_Il ne faut pas
attacher le savoir à l’âme, il faut l’incorporer._—Knowledge cannot be
fastened on to the mind; it must become part and parcel of the mind

Here then we have two separate counts against the Renascence education:

1st.—Knowledge is not the main thing.

2nd.—True knowledge is something very different from knowing by heart.

§ 4. It is a pity Montaigne’s utterances about education are to be found
in English only in the complete translation of his essays. Seeing that a
good many millions of people read English, and are most of them concerned
in education, one may hope that some day the sayings of the shrewd old
Frenchman may be offered them in a convenient form.

§ 5. Here are some of them: “The evil comes of the foolish way in which
our [instructors] set to work; and on the plan on which we are taught no
wonder if neither scholars nor masters become more able, whatever they
may do in becoming more learned. In truth the trouble and expense of our
fathers are directed only to furnish our heads with knowledge: not a word
of judgment or virtue. Cry out to our people about a passer-by, ‘There’s
a learned man!’ and about another ‘There’s a good man!’ they will be all
agog after the learned man, and will not look at the good man. One might
fairly raise a third cry: ‘There’s a set of numskulls!’ We are ready
enough to ask ‘Does he know Greek or know Latin? Does he write verse or
write prose?’ But whether he has become wiser or better should be the
first question, and that is always the last. We ought to find out, not
who knows _most_ but who knows _best_.” (I, chap. 24, _Du Pédantisme_,
page or two beyond _Odi homines_.)

§ 6. The true educators, according to Montaigne, were the Spartans, who
despised literature, and cared only for character and action. At Athens
they thought about words, at Sparta about things. At Athens boys learnt
to speak well, at Sparta to do well: at Athens to escape from sophistical
arguments, and to face all attempts to deceive them; at Sparta to escape
from the allurements of pleasure, and to face the slings and arrows
of outrageous fortune, even death itself. In the one system there was
constant exercise of the tongue, in the other of the soul. “So it is not
strange that when Antipater demanded of the Spartans fifty children as
hostages they replied they would sooner give twice as many grown men,
such store did they set by their country’s training.” (_Du Pédantisme_,
ad f.)

§ 7. It is odd to find a man of the fifteen hundreds who quotes from
the old authors at every turn, and yet maintains that “we lean so much
on the arm of other people that we lose our own strength.” The thing a
boy should learn is not what the old authors say, but “what he himself
ought to do when he becomes a man.” Wisdom, not knowledge! “We may become
learned from the learning of others; wise we can never be except by our
own wisdom.” (Bk. j, chap. 24).

§ 8. So entirely was Montaigne detached from the thought of the
Renascence that he scoffs at his own learning, and declares that true
learning has for its subject, not the past or the future, but the
present. “We are truly learned from knowing the present, not from knowing
the past any more than the future.” And yet “we toil only to stuff the
memory and leave the conscience and the understanding void. And like
birds who fly 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 amongst
their pupils.” (_Du Pédantisme._) “We are all richer than we think, but
they drill us in borrowing and begging, and lead us to make more use of
other people’s goods than of our own.”[41] (Bk. iij, chap. 12, _De la
Physionomie_, beg. of 3rd paragraph).

§ 9. So far Montaigne. What do we schoolmasters say to all this? If
we would be quite candid I think we must allow that, after reading
Montaigne’s essay, we put it down with the conviction that in the main he
was right, and that he had proved the error and absurdity of a vast deal
that goes on in the schoolroom. But from this first view we have had on
reflection to make several drawbacks.

§ 10. Montaigne, like Locke and Rousseau, who followed in his steps,
arranges for every boy to have a tutor entirely devoted to him. We may
question whether this method of bringing up children is desirable, and
we may assert, without question, that in most cases it is impossible.
It seems ordained that at every stage of life we should require the
companionship of those of our own age. If we take two beings as little
alike as a man and a child and force them to be each other’s companions,
so great is the difference in their thoughts and interests that they
will fall into inevitable boredom and restraint. So we see that this
plan, even in the few cases in which it would be possible, would not
be desirable; and for the great majority of boys it would be out of
the question. We must then arrange for the young to be taught, not as
individuals, but in classes, and this greatly changes the conditions
of the problem. One of the first conditions is this, that we have to
employ each class regularly and uniformly for some hours every day.
Schoolmasters know what their non-scholastic mentors forget: we can make
a class learn, but, broadly speaking, we cannot make a class think,
still less can we make it judge. As a great deal of occupation has to be
provided, we are therefore forced to make our pupils learn. Whatever may
be the value of the learning in itself it is absolutely necessary _as

§ 11. No doubt it will make a vast difference whether we consider
the learning mainly as employment, as a means of taking up time and
preventing “sauntering,” as Locke boldly calls it, or whether we are
chiefly anxious to secure some special results. The knowledge of the
Latin and Greek languages and the Latin and Greek authors was a result
so highly prized by the Renascence scholars that they insisted on a
prodigious quantity of learning, not as employment, but simply as the
means of acquiring this knowledge. As the knowledge got to be less
esteemed the pressure was by degrees relaxed. In our public schools
fifty or sixty years ago the learning was to some extent retained as
employment, but there certainly was no pressure, and the majority of
the boys never learnt the ancient languages. So the masters of that
time had given up the Renascence enthusiasm for the classics, and on the
negative side of his teaching had come to an agreement with Montaigne.
Any one inclined to sarcasm might say that on the positive side they
were still totally opposed to him, for _he_ thought virtue and judgment
were the main things to be cared for, and _they_ did not care for these
things at all. But this is not a fair statement. The one thing gained,
or supposed to be gained, in the public schools was the art of living,
and this art, though it does not demand heroic virtue, requires at least
prudence and self-control. Montaigne’s system was a revolt against the
_bookishness_ of the Renascence. “In our studies,” says he, “whatever
presents itself before us is book enough; a roguish trick of a page,
a blunder of a servant, a jest at table, are so many new subjects.”
So the education _out of school_ was in his eyes of more value than
the education in school. And this was acknowledged also in our public
schools: “It is not the Latin and Greek they learn or don’t learn that
we consider so important,” the masters used to say, “but it is the tone
of the school and the discipline of the games.” But of late years this
virtual agreement with Montaigne has been broken up. School work is no
longer mere employment, but it is done under pressure, and with penalties
if the tale of brick turned out does not pass the inspector.

§ 12. What has produced this great change? It is due mainly to two causes:

1. The pressure put on the young to attain classical knowledge was
relaxed when it was thought that they could get through life very well
without this knowledge. But in these days new knowledge has awakened a
new enthusiasm. The knowledge of science promises such great advantages
that the latest reformers, headed by Mr. Herbert Spencer, seem to make
the well-being of the grown person depend mainly on the amount of
scientific knowledge he stored up in his youth. This is the first cause
of educational pressure.

§ 13. 2. The second and more urgent cause is the rapid development
of our system of examinations. Everybody’s educational status is now
settled by the examiner, a potentate whose influence has brought back
in a very malignant form all the evils of which Montaigne complains.
Do what we will, the faculty chiefly exercised in preparing for
ordinary examinations is the “carrying memory.” So the acquisition of
knowledge—mere memory or examination knowledge—has again come to be
regarded as the one thing needful in education, and there is great danger
of everything else being neglected for it. Of the fourfold results of
education—virtue, wisdom, good manners, learning—the last alone can be
fairly tested in examinations; and as the schoolmaster’s very bread
depends nowadays first on his getting through examinations himself
and then on getting his pupils through, he would be more than human,
if with Locke he thought of learning “last and least.” A great change
has come over our public schools. The amount of work required from the
boys is far greater than it used to be and masters again measure their
success by the amount of knowledge the average boy takes away with him.
It seems to me high time that another Montaigne arose to protest that
a man’s intellectual life does not consist in the number of things he
remembers, and that his true life is not his intellectual life only, but
embraces his power of will and action and his love of what is noble and
right. “Wisdom cried of old, I am the mother of fair Love and Fear and
Knowledge and holy Hope” (_Ecclesiasticus_). In these days of science
and examinations does there not seem some danger lest knowledge should
prove the sole survivor? May not Knowledge, like another Cain, raise
its hand against its brethren “fair Love and Fear and holy Hope?” This
is perhaps the great danger of our time, a danger especially felt in
education. Every school parades its scholarships at the public schools or
at the universities, or its passes in the Oxford and Cambridge Locals, or
its percentage at the last Inspection, and asks to be judged by these.
And yet these are not the one thing or indeed the chief thing needful:
and it will be the ruin of true education if, as Mark Pattison said, the
master’s attention is concentrated on the least important part of his




§ 1. Masters and scholars who sigh over what seem to them the intricacies
and obscurities of modern grammars may find some consolation in thinking
that, after all, matters might have been worse, and that our fate is
enviable indeed compared with that of the students of Latin 400 years
ago. Did the reader ever open the _Doctrinale_ of Alexander de Villa Dei,
which was the grammar in general use from the middle of the thirteenth
to the end of the fifteenth century? (_v._ Appendix, p. 532). If so, he
is aware how great a step towards simplicity was made by our grammatical
reformers, Lily, Colet, and Erasmus. Indeed, those whom we now regard as
the forgers of our chains were, in their own opinion and that of their
contemporaries, the champions of freedom (Appendix, p. 533).

§ 2. I have given elsewhere (Appendix, p. 533) a remarkable passage
from Colet, in which he recommends the leaving of rules, and the study
of examples in good Latin authors. Wolsey also, in his directions to
the masters of Ipswich School (dated 1528), proposes that the boys
should be exercised in the eight parts of speech in the first form, and
should begin to speak Latin and translate from English into Latin in
the second. If the masters think fit, they may also let the pupils read
Lily’s _Carmen Monitorium_, or Cato’s _Distichs_. From the third upwards
a regular course of classical authors was to be read, and Lily’s rules
were to be introduced by degrees. “Although I confess such things are
necessary,” writes Wolsey, “yet, as far as possible, we could wish them
so appointed as not to occupy the more valuable part of the day.” Only
in the sixth form, the highest but two, Lily’s syntax was to be begun.
In these schools the boys’ time was wholly taken up with Latin, and
the speaking of Latin was enforced even in play hours, so we see that
anomalies in the accidence as taught in the _As in præsenti_ were not
given till the boys had been some time using the language; and the syntax
was kept till they had a good practical knowledge of the usages to which
the rules referred.[43]

§ 3. But although there was a great stir in education throughout this
century, and several English books were published about it, we come
to 1570 before we find anything that has lived till now. We then have
Roger Ascham’s _Scholemaster_, a posthumous work brought out by Ascham’s
widow, and republished in 1571 and 1589. The book was then lost sight
of, but reappeared, with James Upton as editor, in 1711,[44] and has
been regarded as an educational classic ever since. Dr. Johnson says “it
contains perhaps the best advice that was ever given for the study of
languages,” and Professor J. E. B. Mayor, who on this point is a higher
authority than Dr. Johnson, declares that “this book sets forth the only
sound method of acquiring a dead language.”

§ 4. With all their contempt for theory, English schoolmasters might
have been expected to take an interest in one part of the history
of education, viz., the history of methods. There is a true saying
attributed by Marcel to Talleyrand, “_Les Méthodes sont les maîtres
des maîtres_—Method is the master’s master.” The history of education
shows us that every subject of instruction has been taught in various
ways, and further, that the contest of methods has not uniformly ended
in the survival of the fittest. Methods then might often teach the
teachers, if the teachers cared to be taught; but till within the last
half century or so an unintelligent traditional routine has sufficed for
them. There has no doubt been a great change since men now old were at
school, but in those days the main strength of the teaching was given
to Latin, and the masters knew of no better method of starting boys in
this language than making them learn by heart Lily’s, or as it was then
called, the Eton Latin Grammar. If reason had had anything to do with
teaching, this book would have been demolished by Richard Johnson’s
_Grammatical Commentaries_ published in 1706; but worthless as Johnson
proved it to be, the Grammar was for another 150 years treated by English
schoolmasters as the only introduction to the Latin tongue. The books
that have recently been published show a tendency to revert to methods
set forth in Elizabeth’s reign in Ascham’s _Scholemaster_ (1570) and
William Kempe’s _Education of Children_ (1588), but the innovators have
not as a rule been drawn to these methods by historical inquiry.

§ 5. There seem to be only three English writers on education who have
caught the ear of other nations, and these are Ascham, Locke, and Herbert
Spencer. Of a contemporary we do well to speak with the same reserve as
of “present company,” but of the other two we may say that the choice
has been somewhat capricious. Locke’s _Thoughts_ perhaps deserves the
reputation and influence it has always had, but in it he hardly does
himself justice as a philosopher of the mind; and much of the advice
which has been considered his exclusively, is to be found in his English
predecessors whose very names are unknown except to the educational
antiquarian. Ascham wrote a few pages on method which entitle him to
mention in an account of methods of language-learning. He also wrote a
great many pages about things in general which would have shared the
fate of many more valuable but long forgotten books had he not had one
peculiarity in which the other writers were wanting, that indescribable
something which Matthew Arnold calls “charm.”

§ 6. Ascham has been very fortunate in his editors, Professor Arber and
Professor Mayor, and the last editions[45] give everyone an opportunity
of reading the _Scholemaster_. I shall therefore speak of nothing but the

§ 7. Latin is to be taught as follows:—First, let the child learn
the eight parts of speech, and then the right joining together of
substantives with adjectives, the noun with the verb, the relative with
the antecedent. After the concords are learned, let the master take
Sturm’s selection of Cicero’s Epistles, and read them after this manner:
“first, let him teach the child, cheerfully and plainly, the cause and
matter of the letter; then, let him construe it into English so oft as
the child may easily carry away the understanding of it; lastly, parse
it over perfectly. This done, then let the child by and by both construe
and parse it over again; so that it may appear that the child doubteth in
nothing that his master has taught him before. After this, the child must
take a paper book, and, sitting in some place where no man shall prompt
him, by himself let him translate into English his former lesson. Then
showing it to his master, let the master take from him his Latin book,
and pausing an hour at the least, then let the child translate his own
English into Latin again in another paper book. When the child bringeth
it turned into Latin, the master must compare it with Tully’s book, and
lay them both together, and where the child doth well, praise him,” where
amiss point out why Tully’s use is better. Thus the child will easily
acquire a knowledge of grammar, “and also the ground of almost all the
rules that are so busily taught by the master, and so hardly learned by
the scholar in all common schools.... We do not contemn rules, but we
gladly teach rules; and teach them more plainly, sensibly, and orderly,
than they be commonly taught in common schools. For when the master shall
compare Tully’s book with the scholar’s translation, let the master at
the first lead and teach the scholar to join the rules of his grammar
book with the examples of his present lesson, until the scholar by
himself be able to fetch out of his grammar every rule for every example;
and let the grammar book be ever in the scholars hand, and also used by
him as a dictionary for every present use. This is a lively and perfect
way of teaching of rules; where the common way used in common schools
to read the grammar alone by itself is tedious for the master, hard for
the scholar, cold and uncomfortable for them both.” And elsewhere Ascham
says: “Yea, I do wish that all rules for young scholars were shorter
than they be. For, without doubt, _grammatica_ itself is sooner and
surer learned by examples of good authors than by the naked rules of

§ 8. “As you perceive your scholar to go better on away, first, with
understanding his lesson more quickly, with parsing more readily, with
translating more speedily and perfectly than he was wont; after, give
him longer lessons to translate, and, withal, begin to teach him, both
in nouns and verbs, what is _proprium_ and what is _translatum_, what
_synonymum_, what _diversum_, which be _contraria_, and which be most
notable _phrases_, in all his lectures, as—

  Proprium        Rex sepultus est magnifice.

  Translatum      Cum illo principe, sepulta est et gloria et salus

  Synonyma        Ensis, gladius: laudare, prædicare.

  Diversa         Diligere, amare: calere, exardescere: inimicus,

  Contraria       Acerbum et luctuosum bellum, dulcis et læta pax.

  Phrases         Dare verba, adjicere obedientiam.”

Every lesson is to be thus carefully analysed, and entered under these
headings in a third MS. book.

§ 9. Here Ascham leaves his method, and returns to it only at the
beginning of Book II. He there supposes the first stage to be finished
and “your scholar to have come indeed, first to a ready perfectness in
translating, then to a ripe and skilful choice in marking out his six
points.” He now recommends a course of Cicero, Terence, Cæsar, and Livy
which is to be read “a good deal at every lecture.” And the master is to
give passages “put into plain natural English.” These the scholar shall
“not know where to find” till he shall have tried his hand at putting
them into Latin; then the master shall “bring forth the place in Tully.”

§ 10. In the Second Book of the _Scholemaster_, Ascham discusses the
various branches of the study then common, viz.: 1. Translatio linguarum;
2. Paraphrasis; 3. Metaphrasis; 4. Epitome; 5. Imitatio; 6. Declamatio.
He does not lay much stress on any of these, except _translatio_ and
_imitatio_. Of the last he says: “All languages, both learned and
mother-tongue, be gotten, and gotten only, by imitation. For, as ye use
to hear, so ye use to speak; if ye hear no other, ye speak not yourself;
and whom ye only hear, of them ye only learn.” But translation was
his great instrument for all kinds of learning. “The translation,” he
says, “is the most common and most commendable of all other exercises
for youth; most common, for all your constructions in grammar schools
be nothing else but translations, but because they be not _double_
translations (as I do require) they bring forth but simple and single
commodity: and because also they lack the daily use of writing, which
is the only thing that breedeth deep root, both in the wit for good
understanding and in the memory for sure keeping of all that is learned;
most commendable also, and that by the judgment of all authors which
entreat of these exercises.”

§ 11. After quoting Pliny,[46] he says: “You perceive how Pliny
teacheth that by this exercise of double translating is learned easily,
sensibly, by little and little, not only all the hard congruities of
grammar, the choice of ablest words, the right pronouncing of words and
sentences, comeliness of figures, and forms fit for every matter and
proper for every tongue: but, that which is greater also, in marking
daily and following diligently thus the footsteps of the best authors,
like invention of arguments, like order in disposition, like utterance
in elocution, is easily gathered up; and hereby your scholar shall be
brought not only to like eloquence, but also to all true understanding
and rightful judgment, both for writing and speaking.”

Again he says: “For speedy attaining, I durst venture a good wager if a
scholar in whom is aptness, love, diligence, and constancy, would but
translate after this sort some little book in Tully (as _De Senectute_,
with two Epistles, the first ‘Ad Quintum Fratrem,’ the other ‘Ad
Lentulum’), that scholar, I say, should come to a better knowledge in
the Latin tongue than the most part do that spend from five to six years
in tossing all the rules of grammar in common schools.” After quoting
the instance of Dion Prussæus, who came to great learning and utterance
by reading and following only two books, the _Phædo_, and _Demosthenes
de Falsa Legatione_, he goes on: “And a better and nearer example
herein may be our most noble Queen Elizabeth, who never took yet Greek
nor Latin grammar in her hand after the first declining of a noun and a
verb; but only by this double translating of Demosthenes and Isocrates
daily, without missing, every forenoon, and likewise some part of Tully
every afternoon, for the space of a year or two, hath attained to such a
perfect understanding in both the tongues, and to such a ready utterance
of the Latin, and that with such a judgment, as there be few now in both
Universities or elsewhere in England that be in both tongues comparable
with Her Majesty.” Ascham’s authority is indeed not conclusive on this
point, as he, in praising the Queen’s attainments, was vaunting his
own success as a teacher, and, moreover, if he flattered her he could
plead prevailing custom. But we have, I believe, abundant evidence that
Elizabeth was an accomplished scholar.

§ 12. Before I leave Ascham I must make one more quotation, to which I
shall more than once have occasion to refer. Speaking of the plan of
double translation, he says: “Ere the scholar have construed, parsed,
twice translated over by good advisement, marked out his six points by
skilful judgment, he shall have necessary occasion to read over every
lecture a _dozen times at the least_; which because he shall do always in
order, he shall do it always with pleasure. And pleasure allureth love:
love hath lust to labour; labour always obtaineth his purpose.”

§ 13. A good deal has been said, and perhaps something learnt, about the
teaching of Latin since the days of Ascham. As far as I know the method
which Ascham denounced, and which most English schoolmasters stuck to for
more than two centuries longer, has now been abandoned. No one thinks
of making the beginner learn by heart all the Latin Grammar before he is
introduced to the Latin language. To understand the machinery of which
an account is given in the grammar, the learner must see it at work, and
must even endeavour in a small way to work it himself. So it seems pretty
well agreed that the information given in the grammar must be joined
with some construing and some exercises from the very first. But here
the agreement ends. Our teachers, consciously or in ignorance, follow
one or more of a number of methodizers who have examined the problem
of language-learning, such men as Ascham, Ratke, Comenius, Jacotot,
Hamilton, Robertson, and Prendergast. These naturally divide themselves
into two parties, which I have ventured to call “Rapid Impressionists,”
and “Complete Retainers.” The first of these plunge the beginner into the
language, and trust to the great mass of vague impressions clearing and
defining themselves as he goes along. The second insist on his learning
at the first a very small portion of the language, and mastering and
retaining everything he learns. It will be seen that in the first stage
of the course Ascham is a “Complete Retainer.” He does not talk, like
Prendergast, of “mastery,” nor, like Jacotot, does he require the learner
to begin every lesson at the beginning of the book: but he makes the
pupil go over each lesson “a dozen times at the least,” before he may
advance beyond it. As for his practice of double translation, for the
advanced pupil it is excellent, but if it is required from the beginner,
it leads to unintelligent memorizing. I think I shall be able to show
later on that other methodizers have advanced beyond Ascham. (_Infra_,
246 _n._)




§ 1. The history of English thought on education has yet to be written.
In the literature of education the Germans have been the pioneers, and
have consequently settled the routes; and when a track has once been
established few travellers will face the risk and trouble of leaving it.
So up to the present time, writers on the history of European education
after the Renascence have occupied themselves chiefly with men who lived
in Germany, or wrote in German. But the French are at length exploring
the country for themselves; and in time, no doubt, the English-speaking
races will show an interest in the thoughts and doings of their common

We know what toils and dangers men will encounter in getting to the
source of great rivers; and although, as Mr. Widgery truly says, “the
study of origins is not everybody’s business,”[47] we yet may hope that
students will be found ready to give time and trouble to an investigation
of great interest and perhaps some utility—the origin of the school
course which now affects the millions who have English for their

§ 2. In the fifteen hundreds there were published several works on
education, three of which, Elyot’s _Governour_, Ascham’s _Scholemaster_,
and Mulcaster’s _Positions_, have been recently reprinted.[48] Others,
such as Edward Coote’s _English Schoolmaster_, and Mulcaster’s
_Elementarie_, are pretty sure to follow, without serious loss, let us
hope, to their editors, though neither Coote nor Mulcaster are likely to
become as well-known writers as Roger Ascham.

§ 3. Henry Barnard, whose knowledge of our educational literature no
less than his labours in it, makes him the greatest living authority,
says that Mulcaster’s _Positions_ is “one of the earliest, and still one
of the best treatises in the English language.” (_English Pedagogy_,
2nd series, p. 177.) Mulcaster was one of the most famous of English
schoolmasters, and by his writings he proved that he was far in advance
of the schoolmasters of his own time, and of the times which succeeded.
But he paid the penalty of thinking of himself more highly than he
should have thought; and whether or no the conjecture is right that
Shakespeare had him in his mind when writing _Love’s Labour’s Lost_,
there is an affectation in Mulcaster’s style which is very irritating,
for it has caused even the master of Edmund Spenser to be forgotten. In
a curious and interesting allegory on the progress of language (in the
_Elementarie_, pp. 66, ff.), Mulcaster says that Art selects the best
age of a language to draw rules from, such as the age of Demosthenes
in Greece and of Tully in Rome; and he goes on: “Such a period in the
English tongue I take to be in our days for both the pen and the speech.”
And he suggests that the English language, having reached its zenith,
is seen to advantage, not in the writings of Shakespeare or Spenser,
but in those of Richard Mulcaster. After enumerating the excellencies
of the language, he adds: “I need no example in any of these, whereof
my own penning is a general pattern.” Here we feel tempted to exclaim
with Armado in _Love’s Labour’s Lost_ (Act 5, sc. 2): “I protest the
schoolmaster is exceeding fantastical: too too vain, too too vain.” He
speaks elsewhere of his “so careful, I will not say so curious writing”
(_Elementarie_, p. 253), and says very truly: “Even some of reasonable
study can hardly understand the couching of my sentence, and the depth of
my conceit” (_ib._, 235). And this was the death-warrant of his literary

§ 4. But there is good reason why Mulcaster should not be forgotten.
When we read his books we find that wisdom which we are importing in
the nineteenth century was in a great measure offered us by an English
schoolmaster in the sixteenth. The latest advances in pedagogy have
established (1) that the end and aim of education is to develop the
faculties of the mind and body; (2) that all teaching processes should
be carefully adapted to the mental constitution of the learner; (3) that
the first stage in learning is of immense importance and requires a very
high degree of skill in the teacher; (4) that the brain of children,
especially of clever children, should not be subjected to “pressure”; (5)
that childhood should not be spent in learning foreign languages, but
that its language should be the mother-tongue, and its exercises should
include handwork, especially drawing; (6) that girls’ education should
be cared for no less than boys’; (7) that the only hope of improving
our schools lies in providing training for our teachers. These are all
regarded as planks in the platform of “the new education,” and these were
all advocated by Mulcaster.

§ 5. Before I point this out in detail I may remark how greatly education
has suffered from being confounded with learning. There are interesting
passages both in Ascham and Mulcaster which prove that the class-ideal
of the “scholar and gentleman” was of later growth. In the fifteen
hundreds learning was thought suitable, not for the rich, but for the
clever. Still, learning, and therefore education, was not for the many,
but the few. Mulcaster considers at some length how the number of the
educated is to be kept down (_Positions_, chapp. 36, 37, 39), though even
here he is in the van, and would have everyone taught to read and write
(_Positions_, chapp. 5, 36). But the true problem of education was not
faced till it was discovered that every human being was to be considered
in it. This was, I think, first seen by Comenius.

With this abatement we find Mulcaster’s sixteenth-century notions not
much behind our nineteenth.

§ 6. (1 & 2) “Why is it not good,” he asks, “to have every part of the
body and every power of the soul to be fined to his best?” (_PP._,
p. 34[49]). Elsewhere he says: “The end of education and train is to
help Nature to her perfection, which is, when all her abilities be
perfected in their habit, whereunto right elements be right great helps.
Consideration and judgment must wisely mark whereunto Nature is either
evidently given or secretly affectionate and must frame an education
consonant thereto.” (_El._, p. 28).

Michelet has with justice claimed for Montaigne that he drew the
teacher’s attention from the thing to be learnt to the _learner_: “_Non
l’objet, le savoir, mais le sujet, c’est l’homme._” (_Nos Fils_, p. 170.)
Mulcaster has a claim to share this honour with his great contemporary.
He really laid the foundation of a science of education. Discussing our
natural abilities, he says: “We have a perceiving by outward sense to
feel, to hear, to see, to smell, to taste all sensible things; which
qualities of the outward, being received in by the _common sense_ and
examined by _fantsie_, are delivered to _remembrance_, and afterward
prove our great and only grounds unto further knowledge.”[50] (_El._,
p. 32.) Here we see Mulcaster endeavouring to base education, or as he
so well calls it, “train,” on what we receive from Nature. Elsewhere he
speaks of the three things which we “find peering out of the little young
souls,” viz: “wit to take, memory to keep, and discretion to discern.”
(_PP._, p. 27.)

§ 7. (3) I have pointed out that the false ideal of the Renascence led
schoolmasters to neglect children. Mulcaster remarks that the ancients
considered the training of children should date from the birth; but he
himself begins with the school age. Here he has the boldness to propose
that those who teach the beginners should have the smallest number
of pupils, and should receive the highest pay. “The first groundwork
would be laid by the best workman,” says Mulcaster (_PP._, 130),
here expressing a truth which, like many truths that are not quite
convenient, is seldom denied but almost systematically ignored.[51]

§ 8. (4) In the _Nineteenth Century_ Magazine for November, 1888,
appeared a vigorous protest with nearly 400 signatures, many of which
carried great weight with them, against our _sacrifice of education to
examination_. Our present system, whether good or bad, is the result
of accident. Winchester and Eton had large endowments, and naturally
endeavoured by means of these endowments to get hold of clever boys. At
first no doubt they succeeded fairly well; but other schools felt bound
to compete for juvenile brains, and as the number of prizes increased,
many of our preparatory schools became mere racing stables for children
destined at 12 or 14 to run for “scholarship stakes.” Thus, in the
scramble for the money all thought of education has been lost sight of;
injury has been done in many cases to those who have succeeded, still
greater injury to those who have failed or who have from the first been
considered “out of the running.” These very serious evils would have
been avoided had we taken counsel with Mulcaster: “Pity it were for so
petty a gain to forego a greater; to win an hour in the morning and lose
the whole day after; as those people most commonly do which start out
of their beds too early before they be well awaked or know what it is
o’clock; and be drowsy when they are up for want of their sleep.” (_PP._,
p. 19; see also _El._, xi., pp. 52 ff.)

§ 9. (5) 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 (see Appendix, p. 534), and good
reading and writing in English were to be secured before Latin was begun.
His elementary course included these five things: English reading,
English writing, drawing, singing, playing a musical instrument. If the
first course were made to occupy the school-time up to the age of 12,
Mulcaster held that more would be done between 12 and 16 than between 7
and 17 in the ordinary way. There would be the further gain that the
children would not be set against learning. “Because of the too timely
onset too little is done in too long a time, and the school is made a
torture, which as it brings forth delight in the end when learning is
held fast, so should it pass on very pleasantly by the way, while it is
in learning.”[52] (_PP._, 33.)

§ 10. (6) Among the many changes brought about in the nineteenth century
we find little that can compare in importance with the advance in the
education of women. In the last century, whenever a woman exercised
her mental powers she had to do it by stealth,[53] and her position
was degraded indeed when compared not only with her descendants of the
nineteenth century, but also with her ancestors of the sixteenth. This I
know has been disputed by some authorities, _e.g._, by the late Professor
Brewer: but to others, _e.g._, to a man who, as regards honesty and
wisdom, has had few equals and no superiors in investigating the course
of education, I mean the late Joseph Payne, this educational superiority
of the women of Elizabeth’s time has seemed to be entirely beyond
question. On this point Mulcaster’s evidence is very valuable, and, to me
at least, conclusive. He not only “admits young maidens to learn,” but
says that “custom stands for him,” and that “the custom of my country ...
hath made the maidens’ train her own approved travail.” (_PP._, p. 167.)

§ 11. (7) Of all the educational reforms of the nineteenth century by
far the most fruitful and most expansive is, in my opinion, the training
of teachers. In this, as in most educational matters, the English,
though advancing, are in the rear. Far more is made of “training” on
the Continent and in the United States than in England. And yet we
made a good start. Our early writers on education saw that the teacher
has immense influence, and that to turn this influence to good account
he must have made a study of his profession and have learnt “the best
that has been thought and done” in it. Every occupation in life has a
traditional capital of knowledge and experience, and those who intend
to follow the business, whatever it may be, are required to go through
some kind of training or apprenticeship before they earn wages. To this
rule there is but one exception. In English elementary schools children
are paid to “teach” children, and in the higher schools the beginner is
allowed to blunder at the expense of his first pupils into whatever skill
he may in the end manage to pick up. But our English practice received no
encouragement from the early English writers, Mulcaster, Brinsley,[54]
and Hoole.

As far as I am aware the first suggestion of a training college for
teachers came from Mulcaster. He schemed seven special colleges at the
University; and of these one is for teachers. Some of his suggestions,
_e.g._, about “University Readers” have lately been adopted, though
without acknowledgment; and as the University of Cambridge has since
1879 acknowledged the existence of teachers, and appointed a “Teachers’
Training Syndicate,” we may perhaps in a few centuries more carry out his
scheme, and have training colleges at Oxford and Cambridge.[55] Some of
the reasons he gives us have not gone out of date with his English. They
are as follows:—

“And why should not these men (the teachers) have both this sufficiency
in learning, and such room to rest in, thence to be chosen and set forth
for the common service? Be either children or schools so small a portion
of our multitude? or is the framing of young minds, and the training
of their bodies so mean a point of cunning? Be schoolmasters in this
Realm such a paucity, as they are not even in good sadness to be soundly
thought on? If the chancel have a minister, the belfry hath a master:
and where youth is, as it is eachwhere, there must be trainers, or there
will be worse. He that will not allow of this careful provision for such
a seminary of masters, is most unworthy either to have had a good master
himself, or hereafter to have a good one for his. Why should not teachers
be well provided for, to continue their whole life in the school, as
_Divines_, _Lawyers_, _Physicians_ do in their several professions?
Thereby judgment, cunning, and discretion will grow in them: and masters
would prove old men, and such as _Xenophon_ setteth over children in the
schooling of _Cyrus_. Whereas now, the school being used but for a shift,
afterward to pass thence to the other professions, though it send out
very sufficient men to them, itself remaineth too too naked, considering
the necessity of the thing. I conclude, therefore, that this trade
requireth a particular college, for these four causes. 1. First, for the
subject being the mean to make or mar the whole fry of our State. 2.
Secondly, for the number, whether of them that are to learn, or of them
that are to teach. 3. Thirdly, for the necessity of the profession, which
may not be spared. 4. Fourthly, for the matter of their study, which is
comparable to the greatest professions, for language, for judgment, for
skill how to train, for variety in all points of learning, wherein the
framing of the mind, and the exercising of the body craveth exquisite
consideration, beside the staidness of the person.” (_PP._, 9 pp. 248, 9.)

§ 12. Though once a celebrated man, and moreover the master of Edmund
Spenser, Mulcaster has been long forgotten; but when the history of
education in England comes to be written, the historian will show that
few schoolmasters in the fifteen hundreds or since were so enlightened as
the first headmaster of Merchant Taylors’.[56]




§ 1. The history of Education in the fifteen hundreds tells chiefly of
two very different classes of men. First we have the practical men,
who set themselves to supply the general demand for instruction in
the classical languages. This class includes most of the successful
schoolmasters, such as Sturm, Trotzendorf, Neander, and the Jesuits.
The other class were thinkers, who never attempted to teach, but merely
gave form to truths which would in the end affect teaching. These were
especially Rabelais and Montaigne.

§ 2. With the sixteen hundreds we come to men who have earned for
themselves a name unpleasant in our ears, although it might fittingly be
applied to all the greatest benefactors of the human race. I mean the
name of _Innovators_. These men were not successful; at least they seemed
unsuccessful to their contemporaries, who contrasted the promised results
with the actual. But their efforts were by no means thrown away: and
posterity at least, has acknowledged its obligations to them. One sees
now that they could hardly have expected justice in their own time. It is
safe to adopt the customary plan; it is safe to speculate how that plan
may and should be altered; but it is dangerous to attempt to translate
new thought into new action, and boldly to advance without a track,
trusting to principles which may, like the compass, show you the right
direction, but, like the compass, will give you no hint of the obstacles
that lie before you.

The chief demands made by the Innovators have been: 1st, that the study
of _things_ should precede, or be united with, the study of _words_ (_v._
Appendix, p. 538); 2nd, that knowledge should be communicated, where
possible, by appeals to the senses; 3rd, that all linguistic study should
begin with that of the mother-tongue; 4th, that Latin and Greek should
be taught to such boys only as would be likely to complete a learned
education; 5th, that physical education should be attended to in all
classes of society for the sake of health, not simply with a view to
gentlemanly accomplishments; 6th, that a new method of teaching should be
adopted, framed “according to Nature.”

Their notions of method have, of course, been very various; but their
systems mostly agree in these particulars:—

1. They proceed from the concrete to the abstract, giving some knowledge
of the thing itself before the rules which refer to it. 2. They employ
the student in analysing matter put before him, rather than in working
synthetically according to precept. 3. They require the student to _teach
himself_ and investigate for himself under the superintendence and
guidance of the master, rather than be taught by the master and receive
anything on the master’s authority. 4. They rely on the interest excited
in the pupil by the acquisition of knowledge, and renounce coercion. 5.
Only that which is understood may be committed to memory (_v. supra, p.
74, n._)

§ 3. The first of the Innovators was Wolfgang Ratichius, who, oddly
enough, is known to posterity by a name he and his contemporaries never
heard of. His father’s name was Radtké or Ratké, and the son having
received a University education, translated this into Ratichius. With
our usual impatience of redundant syllables, we have attempted to reduce
the word to its original dimensions, and in the process have hit upon
_Ratich_, which is a new name altogether.

Ratke (to adopt the true form of the original) was connected, as Basedow
was a hundred and fifty years later, with Holstein and Hamburg. He was
born at Wilster in Holstein in 1571, and studied at Hamburg and at the
University of Rostock. He afterwards travelled to Amsterdam and to
England, and it was perhaps owing to his residence in this country that
he was acquainted with the new philosophy of Bacon. We next hear of him
at the Electoral Diet, held as usual in Frankfurt-on-Main, in 1612. He
was then over forty years old, and he had elaborated a new scheme for
teaching. Like all inventors, he was fully impressed with the importance
of his discovery, and he sent to the assembled Princes an address, in
which he undertook some startling performances. He was able, he said: (1)
to teach young or old Hebrew, Greek, and Latin, or other languages, in
a very short time and without any difficulty; (2) to establish schools
in which all arts should be taught and extended; (3) to introduce and
peaceably establish throughout the German Empire a uniform speech, a
uniform government, and (still more wonderful) a uniform religion.

§ 4. Naturally enough the address arrested the attention of the Princes.
The Landgraf Lewis of Darmstadt thought the matter worthy of examination,
and he deputed two learned men, Jung and Helwig, to confer with Ratke.
Their report was entirely favourable, and they did all they could to get
for Ratke the means of carrying his scheme into execution. “We are,”
writes Helwig, “in bondage to Latin. The Greeks and Saracens would
never have done so much for posterity if they had spent their youth in
acquiring a foreign tongue. We must study our own language, and then
sciences. Ratichius has discovered the art of teaching according to
Nature. By his method, languages will be quickly learned, so that we
shall have time for science; and science will be learned even better
still, as the natural system suits best with science, which is the study
of Nature.” Moved by this report the Town Council of Augsburg agreed to
give Ratke the necessary power over their schools, and accompanied by
Helwig, he accordingly went to Augsburg and set to work. But the good
folks of Augsburg were like children, who expect a plant as soon as they
have sown the seed. They were speedily dissatisfied, and Ratke and Helwig
left Augsburg, the latter much discouraged but still faithful to his
friend. Ratke went to Frankfurt again, and a Commission was appointed
to consider his proposals, but by its advice Ratke was “allowed to try

§ 5. He would never have had a fair chance had he not had a firm friend
in the Duchess Dorothy of Weimar. Then, as now, we find women taking the
lead in everything which promises to improve education, and this good
Duchess sent for Ratke and tested his method by herself taking lessons
of him in Hebrew. With this adult pupil his plans seem to have answered
well, and she always continued his admirer and advocate. By her advice
her brother, Prince Lewis of Anhalt-Koethen, decided that the great
discovery should not be lost for want of a fair trial; so he called Ratke
to Koethen and complied with all his demands. A band of teachers sworn
to secrecy were first of all instructed in the art by Ratke himself.
Next, schools with very costly appliances were provided, and lastly some
500 little Koetheners—boys and girls—were collected and handed over to
Ratke to work his wonders with.

§ 6. It never seems to have occurred either to Ratke or his friends or
the Prince that all the principles and methods that ever were or ever
will be established could not enable a man without experience to organize
a school of 500 children. A man who had never been in the water might
just as well plunge into the sea at once and trust to his knowledge of
the laws of fluid pressure to save him from drowning. There are endless
details to be settled which would bewilder any one without experience.
Some years ago school-buildings were provided for one of our county
schools, and the council consulted a master of great experience who
strongly urged them not to start as they had intended with 300 boys.
“_I_ would not undertake such a thing,” said he. When pressed for his
reason, he said quietly, “I would not be responsible for the _boots_.”
I have no doubt Ratke had to come down from his principles and his new
method to deal with numberless little questions of caps, bonnets, late
children, broken windows, and the like; and he was without the tact and
the experience which enable many ordinary men and women, who know nothing
of principles, to settle such matters satisfactorily.

§ 7. Years afterwards there was another thinker much more profound and
influential than Ratke, who was quite as incompetent to organize. I
mean Pestalozzi. But Pestalozzi had one great advantage over Ratke. He
attached all his assistants to him by inspiring them with love and
reverence of himself. This made up for many deficiencies. But Ratke
was not like the fatherly, self-sacrificing Pestalozzi. He leads us to
suspect him of being an impostor by making a mystery of his invention,
and he never could keep the peace with his assistants.

§ 8. So, as might have been expected, the grand experiment failed. The
Prince, exasperated at being placed in a somewhat ridiculous position,
and possibly at the serious loss of money into the bargain, revenged
himself on Ratke by throwing him into prison, nor would he release him
till he had made him sign a paper in which he admitted that he had
undertaken more than he was able to fulfil.

§ 9. This was no doubt the case; and yet Ratke had done more for the
Prince than the Prince for Ratke. In Koethen had been opened the first
German school in which the children were taught to make a study of the
German language.

Ratke never recovered from his failure at Koethen, and nothing memorable
is recorded of him afterwards. He died in 1635.

§ 10. Much was written by Ratke; much has been written about him; and
those who wish to know more than the few particulars I have given may
find all they want in Raumer or Barnard. The Innovator failed in gaining
the applause of his contemporaries, and he does not seem to stand high in
the respect of posterity; but he was a pioneer in the art of didactics,
and the rules which Raumer has gathered from the _Methodus Institutionis
nova ... Ratichii et Ratichianorum_, published by Rhenius at Leipzig
in 1626, raise some of the most interesting points to which a teachers
attention can be directed. I will therefore state them, and say briefly
what I think of them.

§ 11. I. _In everything we should follow the order of Nature. There is
a certain natural sequence along which the human intelligence moves in
acquiring knowledge. This sequence must be studied, and instruction must
be based on the knowledge of it._

Here, as in all teaching of the Reformers, we find “Nature” used as if
the word stood for some definite idea. From the time of the Stoics we
have been exhorted to “follow Nature.” In more modern times the demand
was well formulated by Picus of Mirandola: “Take no heed what thing
many men do, but what thing the _very law of Nature_, what thing _very
reason_, what thing _our Lord Himself_ showeth thee to be done.” (Trans.
by Sir Thomas More, quoted in Seebohm, _Oxford Reformers_.)

Pope, always happy in expression but not always clear in thought, talks

  “Unerring Nature, still divinely bright,
  One clear, unchanged, and universal light.”

                      (_Essay on C._, i, 70.)

But as Dr. W. T. Harris has well pointed out (_St. Louis, Mo., School
Report, ’78, ’79_, p. 217), with this word “Nature” writers on education
do a great deal of juggling. Some times they use it for the external
world, including in it man’s _unconscious_ growth, sometimes they make it
stand for the ideal. What sense does Ratke attach to it? One might have
some difficulty in determining. Perhaps the best meaning we can nowadays
find for his rule is: _study Psychology_.

§ 12. II. _One thing at a time._ Master one subject before you take up
another. For each language master a single book. Go over it again and
again till you have completely made it your own.

In its crude form this rule could not be carried out. If the attempt were
made the results would be no better than from the six months’ course
of Terence under Ratke. It is “against all Nature” to go on hammering
away at one thing day after day without any change; and there is a point
beyond which any attempt at thoroughness must end in simple stagnation.
The rule then would have two fatal drawbacks: 1st, it would lead to
monotony; 2nd, it would require a completeness of learning which to
the young would be impossible. But in these days no one follows Ratke.
On the other hand, concentration in study is often neglected, and our
time-tables afford specimens of the most ingenious mosaic work, in which
everything has a place, but in so small a quantity that the learners
never find out what each thing really is. School subjects are like
the clubs of the eastern tale, which did not give out their medicinal
properties till the patient got warm in the use of them.

When a good hold on a subject has once been secured, short study, with
considerable intervals between, may suffice to keep up and even increase
the knowledge already obtained; but in matters of any difficulty, _e.g._,
in a new language, no start is ever made without allotting to it much
more than two or three hours a week. It is perhaps a mistake to suppose
that if a good deal of the language may be learnt by giving it ten hours
a week, twice that amount might be acquired in twenty hours. It is a
much greater mistake if we think that one-fifth of the amount might be
acquired in two hours.

§ 13. III. _The same thing should be repeated over and over again._

This is like the Jesuits’ _Repetitio Mater Studiorum_; and the same
notion was well developed 200 years later by Jacotot.

By Ratke’s application of this rule some odd results were produced. The
little Koetheners were drilled for German in a book of the Bible (Genesis
was selected), and then for Latin in a play of Terence.

Unlike many “theoretical notions” this precept of Ratke’s comes more and
more into favour as the schoolmaster increases in age and experience. But
we must be careful to take our pupils with us; and this repeating the
same thing over and over may seem to them what marking time would seem
to soldiers who wanted to march. Even more than the last rule this is
open to the objections that monotony is deadening, and perfect attainment
of anything but words impossible. In keeping to a subject then we must
not rely on simple repetition. The rule now accepted is thus stated by
Diesterweg:—“Every subject of instruction should be viewed from as many
sides as possible, and as varied exercises as possible should be set on
one and the same thing.” The art of the master is shown in disguising
repetition and bringing known things into new connection, so that they
may partially at least retain their freshness.

§ 14. IV. _First let the mother-tongue be studied, and teach everything
through the mother-tongue, so that the learners attention may not be
diverted to the language._

We saw that Sturm, the leading schoolmaster of Renascence, tried to
suppress the mother-tongue and substitute Latin for it. Against this a
vigorous protest was made in this country by Mulcaster. And our language
was never conquered by a foreign language, as German was conquered first
by Latin and then by French. But “the tongues” have always had the
lion’s share of attention in the schoolroom, and though many have seen
and Milton has said that “our understanding cannot in this body found
itself but on sensible things,” this truth is only now making its way
into the schoolroom. Hitherto the foundation has hardly been laid before
“the schoolmaster has stept in and staid the building by confounding the
language.”[57] Ratke’s protest against this will always be put to his
credit in the history of education.

§ 15. V. _Everything without constraint._ “The young should not be beaten
to make them learn or for not having learnt. It is compulsion and stripes
that set young people against studying. Boys are often beaten for not
having learnt, but they would have learnt had they been well taught. The
human understanding is so formed that it has pleasure in receiving what
it should retain: and this pleasure you destroy by your harshness. Where
the master is skilful and judicious, the boys will take to him and to
their lessons. Folly lurks indeed in the heart of the child and must be
driven out with the rod; but not by the _teacher_.”

Here at least there is nothing original in Ratke’s precept. A goodly
array of authorities have condemned learning “upon compulsion.” This
array extends at least as far as from Plato to Bishop Dupanloup. “In the
case of the mind, no study pursued under compulsion remains rooted in
the memory,” says Plato.[58] “Everything depends,” says Dupanloup, “on
what the teacher induces his pupils to do _freely_: for authority is not
constraint—it ought to be inseparable from respect and devotion. I will
respect human liberty in the smallest child.” As far as I have observed
there is only one class of persons whom the authorities from Plato to
Dupanloup have failed to convince, and that is the schoolmasters. This
is the class to which I have belonged, and I should not be prepared
to take Plato’s counsel: “Bring up your boys in their studies without
constraint and in a playful manner.” (_Ib._) At the same time I see the
importance of self-activity, and there is no such thing as self-activity
upon compulsion. You can no more hurry thought with the cane than you
can hurry a snail with a pin. So without interest there can be no proper
learning. Interest must be aroused—even in Latin Grammar. But if they
could choose their own occupation, the boys, however interested in their
work, would probably find something else more interesting still. We
cannot get on, and never shall, without the _must_.

§ 16. VI. _Nothing may be learnt by heart._

It has always been a common mistake in the schoolroom to confound the
power of running along a sequence of sounds with a mastery of the thought
with which those sounds should be connected. But, as I have remarked
elsewhere (_supra_, p. 74, note), the two things, though different, are
not opposed. Too much is likely to be made of learning by heart, for of
the two things the pupils find it the easier, and the teacher the more
easily tested. We may, however, guard against the abuse without giving up
the use.

§ 17. VII.[59] _Uniformity in all things._

Both in the way of learning, and in the books, and the rules, a uniform
method should be observed, says Ratke.

The right plan is for the learner to acquire familiar knowledge of one
subject or part of a subject, and then use this for comparison when he
learns beyond it. If the same method of learning is adopted throughout,
this will render comparison more easy and more striking.[60]

§ 18. VIII. _The thing itself should come first, then whatever explains

To those who do not with closed eyes cling to the method of their
predecessors, this rule may seem founded on common-sense. Would any
one but a “teacher,” or a writer of school books, ever think of making
children who do not know a word of French, learn about the French
accents? And yet what Ratke said 250 years ago has not been disproved
since: “Accidens rei priusquam rem ipsam quaerere prorsus absonum et
absurdum esse videtur,” which I take to mean: “Before the learner has a
notion of the thing itself, it is folly to worry him about its accidents
or even its properties, essential or unessential.” _Ne modus rei ante

This rule of Ratke’s warns teachers against a very common mistake.
The subject is _to them_ in full view, and they make the most minute
observations on it. But these things cannot be seen by their pupils;
and even if the beginner could see these minutiæ, he would find in them
neither interest nor advantage. But when we apply Ratke’s principle more
widely, we find ourselves involved in the great question whether our
method should be based on synthesis or analysis, a question which Ratke’s
method did not settle for us.

§ 19. IX. _Everything by experience and examination of the parts._ Or as
he states the rule in Latin: _Per inductionem et experimentum omnia._

Nothing was to be received on authority, and this disciple of Bacon went
beyond his master and took for his motto: _Vetustas cessit, ratio vicit_
(“Age has yielded, reason prevailed”); as if reason must be brand-new,
and truth might wax old and be ready to vanish away.

§ 20. From these rules of his we see that Ratke did much to formulate the
main principles of Didactics. He also deserves to be remembered among the
methodizers who have tackled the problem—how to teach a language.

At Köthen the instructor of the lowest class had to talk with the
children, and to take pains with their pronunciation. When they knew
their letters (Ickelsamer’s plan for reading Ratke seems to have
neglected) the teacher read the Book of Genesis through to them, each
chapter twice over, requiring the children to follow with eye and finger.
Then the teacher began the chapter again, and read about four lines
only, which the children read after him. When the book had been worked
over in this way, the children were required to read it through without
assistance. Reading once secured, the master proceeded to grammar. He
explained, say, what a substantive was, and then showed instances in
Genesis, and next required the children to point out others. In this way
the grammar was verified throughout from Genesis, and the pupils were
exercised in declining and conjugating words taken from the Book.

When they advanced to the study of Latin, they were given a _translation_
of a play of Terence, and worked over it several times before they were
shown the Latin.

The master then translated the play to them, each half-hour’s work twice
over. At the next reading, the master translated the first half-hour,
and the boys translated the same piece the second. Having thus got
through the play, they began again, and only the boys translated. After
this there was a course of grammar, which was applied to the Terence,
as the grammar of the mother-tongue had been to Genesis. Finally, the
pupils were put through a course of exercises, in which they had to turn
into Latin sentences imitated from the Terence, and differing from the
original only in the number or person used.

Raumer gives other particulars, and quotes largely from the almost
unreadable account of Kromayer, one of Ratke’s followers, in order that
we may have, as he says, a notion of the tediousness of the method. No
doubt anyone who has followed me hitherto, will consider that this point
has been brought out already with sufficient distinctness.

§ 21. When we compare Ratke’s method with Ascham’s, we find several
points of agreement. Ratke would begin the study of a language by taking
a model book, and working through it with the pupil a great many times.
Ascham did the same. Each lecture according to his plan would be gone
over “a dozen times at the least.” Both construed to the pupil instead of
requiring him to make out the sense for himself. Both Ratke and Ascham
taught grammar not by itself, but in connection with the model book.

But the points of difference are still more striking. In one respect
Ratke’s plan was weak. It gave the pupils little to do, and made no
use of the pen. Ascham’s was better in this and also as a training in
accuracy. Ascham was, as I have pointed out, a “complete retainer.” Ratke
was a “rapid impressionist.” His system was a good deal like that which
had great vogue in the early part of this century as the “Hamiltonian
System.” From the first the language was to be laid on “very thick,” in
the belief that “some of it was sure to stick.” The impressions would be
slight, and there would at first be much confusion between words which
had a superficial resemblance, but accuracy it was thought would come in

§ 22. The contest between the two schools of thought of which Ascham and
Ratke may be taken as representatives has continued till now, and within
the last few years both parties have made great advances in method. But
in nothing does progress seem slower than in education; and the plan of
grammar-teaching in vogue fifty years ago was inferior to the methods
advocated by the old writers.[62]




§ 1. One of the most hopeful signs of the improvement of education is 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. Twenty-three
years ago, when I first became interested in him, his name was hardly
known beyond Germany. In English there was indeed an excellent life of
him prefixed to a translation of his _School of Infancy_; but this work,
by Daniel Benham (London, 1858), had not then, and has not now, anything
like the circulation it deserves. A much more successful book has been
Professor S. S. Laurie’s _John Amos Comenius_ (Cambridge University
Press), and this is known to most, and should be to all, English students
of education. By the Germans and French Comenius is now recognised as
the man who first treated education in a scientific spirit, and who
bequeathed the rudiments of a science to later ages. On this account the
great library of pedagogy at Leipzig has been named in his honour the
“Comenius Stiftung.”

§ 2. John Amos Komensky or Comenius, the son of a miller, who belonged
to the Moravian Brethren, was born, at the Moravian village of Niwnic,
in 1592. Of his early life we know nothing but what he himself tells
us in the following passage:—“Losing both my parents while I was yet a
child, I began, through the neglect of my guardians, but at sixteen years
of age to taste of the Latin tongue. Yet by the goodness of God, that
taste bred such a thirst in me, that I ceased not from that time, by all
means and endeavours, to labour for the repairing of my lost years; and
now not only for myself, but for the good of others also. For I could
not but pity others also in this respect, especially in my own nation,
which is too slothful and careless in matter of learning. Thereupon
I was continually full of thoughts for the finding out of some means
whereby more might be inflamed with the love of learning, and whereby
learning itself might be made more compendious, both in matter of the
charge and cost, and of the labour belonging thereto, that so the youth
might be brought by a more easy method, unto some notable proficiency in
learning.”[63] With these thoughts in his head, he pursued his studies in
several German towns, especially at Herborn in Nassau. Here he saw the
Report on Ratke’s method published in 1612 for the Universities of Jena
and Giessen; and we find him shortly afterwards writing his first book,
_Grammaticæ facilioris Præcepta_, which was published at Prag in 1616.
On his return to Moravia, he was appointed to the Brethren’s school at
Prerau, but (to use his own words) “being shortly after at the age of
twenty-four called to the service of the Church, because _that divine
function_ challenged all my endeavours (divinumque HOC AGE præ oculis
erat) these scholastic cares were laid aside.”[64] His pastoral charge
was at Fulneck, the headquarters of the Brethren. As such it soon felt
the effects of the Battle of Prag, being in the following year (1621)
taken and plundered by the Spaniards. On this occasion Comenius lost his
MSS. and almost everything he possessed. The year after his wife died,
and then his only child. In 1624 all Protestant ministers were banished,
and in 1627 a new decree extended the banishment to Protestants of every
description. Comenius bore up against wave after wave of calamity with
Christian courage and resignation, and his writings at this period were
of great value to his fellow-sufferers.

§ 3. For a time he found a hiding-place in the family of a Bohemian
nobleman, Baron Sadowsky, at Slaupna, in the Bohemian mountains, and
in this retirement, his attention was again directed to the science
of teaching. The Baron had engaged Stadius, one of the proscribed, to
educate his three sons, and, at Stadius’ request, Comenius wrote “some
canons of a better method,” for his use. We find him, too, endeavouring
to enrich the literature of his mother-tongue, making a metrical
translation of the Psalms of David, and even writing imitations of
Virgil, Ovid, and Cato’s _Distichs_.

In 1627, however, the persecution waxed so hot, that Comenius, with most
of the Brethren, had to flee their country, never to return. On crossing
the border, Comenius and the exiles who accompanied him knelt down, and
prayed that God would not suffer His truth to fail out of their native

§ 4. Comenius had now, as Michelet says, lost his country and found his
country, which was the world. Many of the banished, and Comenius among
them, settled at the Polish town of Leszna, or, as the Germans call it,
Lissa, near the Silesian frontier. Here there was an old-established
school of the Brethren, in which Comenius found employment. Once more
engaged in education, he earnestly set about improving the traditional
methods. As he himself says,[65] “Being by God’s permission banished
my country with divers others, and forced for my sustenance to apply
myself to the instruction of youth, I gave my mind to the perusal of
divers authors, and lighted upon many which in this age have made a
beginning in reforming the method of studies, as Ratichius, Helvicus,
Rhenius, Ritterus, Glaumius, Cæcilius, and who indeed should have had
the first place, Joannes Valentinus Andreæ, a man of a nimble 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 as it were, 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 _Didactica Magna_, which shows the art of readily and
solidly teaching all men all things.”

§ 5. This work did not immediately see the light, but in 1631 Comenius
published a book which made him and the little Polish town where he lived
known throughout Europe and beyond it. This was the _Janua Linguarum
Reserata_, or “Gate of Tongues unlocked.” Writing about it many years
afterwards he says that he never could have imagined that that little
work, fitted only for children (_puerile istud opusculum_), would
have been received with applause by all the learned world. Letters
of congratulation came to him from every quarter; and the work was
translated not only into Greek, Bohemian, Polish, Swedish, Belgian,
English, French, Spanish, Italian, Hungarian, but also into Turkish,
Arabic, Persian, and even “Mongolian, which is familiar to all the East
Indies.” (Dedication of _Schola Ludus_ in vol. i. of collected works.)

§ 6. Incited by the applause of the learned, Comenius now planned a
scheme of universal knowledge, to impart which a series of works would
have to be written, far exceeding what the resources and industry of
one man, however great a scholar, could produce. He therefore looked
about for a patron to supply money for the support of himself and his
assistants, whilst these works were in progress. “The vastness of the
labours I contemplate,” he writes to a Polish nobleman, “demands that I
should have a wealthy patron, whether we look at their extent, or at the
necessity of securing assistants, or at the expenses generally.”

§ 7. At Leszna there seemed no prospect of his obtaining the aid he
required; but his fame now procured him invitations from distant
countries. First he received a call to improve the schools of Sweden.
After declining this he was induced by his English friends to undertake a
journey to London, where Parliament had shown its interest in the matter
of education, and had employed Hartlib,[66] an enthusiastic admirer of
Comenius, to attempt a reform. Probably through his family connections,
Hartlib was on intimate terms with Comenius, and he had much influence
on his career. It would seem that Comenius, though never tired of forming
magnificent schemes, hung back from putting anything into a definite
shape. After the appearance of the _Janua Linguarum Reserata_, he
planned a _Janua Rerum_, and even allowed that title to appear in “the
list of new books to come forth at the next Mart at Frankford.”[67] But
again he hesitated, and withdrew the announcement. Here Hartlib came
in, and forced him into print without his intending or even knowing it
(“præter meam spem et me inconsulto”; preface to _Conatuum Pansophicorum
Dilucidatio_, 1638). Hartlib begged of Comenius a sketch of his great
scheme, and with apologies to the author for not awaiting his consent,
he published it at Oxford in 1637, under the title of _Conatuum
Comenianorum Præludia_. Comenius accepted the _fait accompli_ with the
best grace he could—pleased at the stir the book made in the learned
world, but galled by criticisms, especially by doubts of his orthodoxy.
To refute the cavillers, he wrote a tract called _Conatuum Pansophicorum
Dilucidatio_ which was published in 1638. In 1639 Hartlib issued in
London a new duodecimo edition of the _Præludia_ (or as he then called
it, _Prodromus_) and the _Dilucidatio_, adding a dissertation by Comenius
on the study of Latin. Now, when everything seemed ripe for a change
in education, and Comenius himself was on his way to England, Hartlib
translated the _Prodromus_, and when Comenius had come he published it
with the title, _A Reformation of Schools_, 1642.[68]

§ 8. It was no doubt by Hartlib’s influence that Parliament had been led
to summon Comenius, and at any other time the visit might have been “the
occasion of great good to this island,” but _inter arma silent magistri_,
and Comenius went away again. This is the account he himself has left us:—

“When seriously proposing to abandon the thorny studies of Didactics,
and pass on to the pleasing studies of philosophical truth, I find
myself again among the same thorns.... After the _Pansophiæ Prodromus_
had been published and dispersed through various kingdoms of Europe,
many of the learned 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. S. Hartlib, who had forwarded the publication of the
_Pansophiæ Prodromus_ in England, laboured earnestly in this matter,
and endeavoured, by every possible means, to bring together for this
purpose a number of men of intellectual activity. And at length, having
found one or two, he invited me also, with many very strong entreaties.
My people having consented to the journey, I came to London on the very
day of the autumnal equinox (September 22, 1641), and there at last
learnt that I had been invited by the order of the Parliament. But as
the Parliament, the King having then gone to Scotland [August 10], was
dismissed for a three months’ recess [not quite three months, but from
September 9 to October 20], I was detained there through the winter,
my friends mustering what pansophic apparatus they could, though it
was but slender.... The Parliament meanwhile, having re assembled, and
our presence being known, I had orders to wait until they should have
sufficient leisure from other business to appoint a Commission of
learned and wise men from their body for hearing us and considering the
grounds of our design. They communicated also beforehand their thoughts
of assigning to us some college with its revenues, whereby a certain
number of learned and industrious men called from all nations might be
honourably maintained, either for a term of years or in perpetuity.
There was even named for the purpose _The Savoy_ in London; _Winchester
College_ out of London was named; and again nearer the city, _Chelsea
College_, inventories of which and of its revenues were communicated to
us, so that nothing seemed more certain than that the design of the great
Verulam, concerning the opening somewhere of a Universal College, devoted
to the advancement of the Sciences could be carried out. But the rumour
of the Insurrection in Ireland, and of the massacre in one night of more
than 200,000 English [October, November], and the sudden departure of the
King from London [January 10, 1641-2], and the plentiful signs of the
bloody war about to break out disturbed these plans, and obliged me to
hasten my return to my own people.”[69]

§ 9. While Comenius was in England, where he stayed till August, 1642,
he received an invitation to France. This invitation, which he did not
accept, came perhaps through his correspondent Mersenne, a man of great
learning, who is said to have been highly esteemed and often consulted
by Descartes. It is characteristic of the state of opinion in such
matters in those days, that Mersenne tells Comenius of a certain Le
Maire, by whose method a boy of six years old, might, with nine months’
instruction, acquire a perfect knowledge of three languages. Mersenne
also had dreams of a universal alphabet, and even of a universal language.

§ 10. Comenius’ hopes of assistance in England being at an end, he
thought of returning to Leszna; but a letter now reached him from a
rich Dutch merchant, Lewis de Geer, who offered him a home and means
for carrying out his plans. This Lewis de Geer, “the Grand Almoner of
Europe,” as Comenius calls him, displayed a princely munificence in the
assistance he gave the exiled Protestants. At this time he was living at
Nordcoping in Sweden. Comenius having now found such a patron as he was
seeking, set out from England and joined him there.

§ 11. Soon after the arrival of Comenius in Sweden, the great Oxenstiern
sent for him to Stockholm, and with John Skyte, the Chancellor of Upsal
University, examined him and his system. “These two,” as Comenius says,
“exercised me in colloquy for four days, and chiefly the most illustrious
Oxenstiern, that eagle of the North (_Aquila Aquilonius_). 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, and finally said: ‘From an early age I perceived that our
Method of Studies generally in use is a harsh and crude one (_violentum
quiddam_), but where the thing stuck I could not find out. At length,
having been sent by my King of glorious memory [_i.e._, by Gustavus
Adolphus], as ambassador into Germany, I conversed on the subject with
various learned men. And when I had heard that Wolfgang Ratichius was
toiling at an amended Method I had no rest of mind till I had him before
me, but instead of talking on the subject, he put into my hands a big
quarto volume. I swallowed this trouble, and having turned over the whole
book, I saw that he had detected well enough the maladies of our schools
but the remedies he proposed did not seem to me sufficient. Yours, Mr.
Comenius, rest on firmer foundations. Go on with the work.’ I answered
that I had done all I could in those matters, and must now go on to
others. ‘I know,’ said he, ‘that you are toiling at greater affairs, for
I have read your _Prodromus Pansophiæ_. That we will discuss to-morrow, I
must now to public business.’ Next day he began on my Pansophic attempts,
and examined them with still greater severity. ‘Are you a man,’ he asked,
‘who can bear contradiction?’ ‘I can,’ said I, ‘and for that reason my
_Prodromus_ or preliminary sketch was sent out first (not indeed that I
sent it out myself, this was done by friends), that it might meet with
criticism. And if we seek the criticism of all and sundry, how much
more from men of mature wisdom and heroic reason?’ He began accordingly
to discourse against the hope of a better state of things arising from
a rightly instituted study of Pansophia; first, objecting political
reasons, then what was said in Scripture about ‘the last times.’ All
which objections I so answered that he ended with these words: ‘Into no
one’s mind do I think such things have come before. Stand upon these
grounds of yours; so shall we some time come to agreement, or there
will be no way left. My advice, however,’ added he, ‘is that you first
do something for the schools, and bring the study of the Latin tongue
to a greater facility; thus you will prepare the way for those greater
matters.’” As Skyte and afterwards De Geer gave the same advice, Comenius
felt himself constrained to follow it; so he agreed to settle at Elbing,
in Prussia, and there write a work on teaching, in which the principles
of the _Didactica Magna_ should be worked out with especial reference
to teaching languages. Notwithstanding the remonstrances of his English
friends, to which Comenius would gladly have listened, he was kept by
Oxenstiern and De Geer strictly to his agreement, and thus, much against
his will, he was held fast for eight years in what he calls the “miry
entanglements of logomachy.”

§ 12. Elbing, where, after a journey to Leszna to fetch his family
(for he had married again), Comenius now settled, is in West Prussia,
thirty-six miles south-east of Dantzic. From 1577 to 1660 an English
trading company was settled here, with which the family of Hartlib was
connected. This perhaps was one reason why Comenius chose this town
for his residence. But although he had a grant of £300 a year from
Parliament, Hartlib, instead of assisting with money, seems at this time
to have himself needed assistance, for in October, 1642, Comenius writes
to De Geer that he fears Fundanius and Hartlib are suffering from want,
and that he intends for them £200 promised by the London booksellers; he
suggests that De Geer shall give them £30 each meanwhile. (Benham, p. 63.)

§ 13. The relation between Comenius and his patron naturally proved
a difficult one. The Dutchman thought that as he supported Comenius,
and contributed something more for the assistants, he might expect of
Comenius that he would devote all his time to the scholastic treatise
he had undertaken. Comenius, however, was a man of immense energy and
of widely extended sympathies and connections. He was a “Bishop” of the
religious body to which he belonged, and in this capacity he engaged
in controversy, and attended some religious conferences. Then again,
pupils were pressed upon him, and as money to pay five writers whom
he kept at work was always running short, he did not decline them. De
Geer complained of this, and supplies were not furnished with wonted
regularity. In 1647 Comenius writes to Hartlib that he is almost
overwhelmed with cares, and sick to death of writing begging-letters.
Yet in this year he found means to publish a book _On the Causes of
this_ (_i.e._, the Thirty Years) _War_, in which the Roman Catholics are
attacked with great bitterness—a bitterness for which the position of the
writer affords too good an excuse.

§ 14. The year 1648 brought with it the downfall of all Comenius’ hopes
of returning to his native land. The Peace of Westphalia was concluded
without any provision being made for the restoration of the exiles. But
though thus doomed to pass the remaining years of his life in banishment,
Comenius, in this year, seemed to have found an escape from all his
pecuniary difficulties. The Senior Bishop, the head of the Moravian
Brethren, died, and Comenius was chosen to succeed him. In consequence
of this, Comenius returned to Leszna, where due provision was made for
him by the Brethren. Before he left Elbing, however, the fruit of his
residence there, the _Methodus Linguarum Novissima_, had been submitted
to a commission of learned Swedes, and approved of by them. The MS. went
with him to Leszna, where it was published.

§ 15. As head of the Moravian Church, there now devolved upon Comenius
the care of all the exiles, and his widespread reputation enabled him to
get situations for many of them in all Protestant countries. But he was
now so much connected with the science of education, that even his post
at Leszna did not prevent his receiving and accepting a call to reform
the schools in Transylvania. A model school was formed at Saros-Patak,
where there was a settlement of the banished Brethren, and in this school
Comenius laboured from 1650 till 1654. At this time he wrote his most
celebrated book, which is indeed only an abridgment of his _Janua_ with
the important addition of pictures, and sent it to Nürnberg, where it
appeared three years later (1657). This was the famous _Orbis Pictus_.

§ 16. Full of trouble as Comenius’ life had hitherto been, its greatest
calamity was still before him. After he was again settled at Leszna,
Poland was invaded by the Swedes, on which occasion the sympathies of the
Brethren were with their fellow-Protestants, and Comenius was imprudent
enough to write a congratulatory address to the Swedish King. A peace
followed, by the terms of which, several towns, and Leszna among them,
were made over to Sweden; but when the King withdrew, the Poles took up
arms again, and Leszna, the headquarters of the Protestants, the town
in which the chief of the Moravian Brethren had written his address
welcoming the enemy, was taken and plundered.

Comenius and his family escaped, but his house was marked for special
violence, and nothing was preserved. His sole remaining possessions were
the clothes in which he and his family travelled. All his books and
manuscripts were burnt, among them his valued work on Pansophia, and a
Latin-Bohemian and Bohemian-Latin Dictionary, giving words, phrases,
idioms, adages, and aphorisms—a book on which he had been labouring for
forty years. “This loss,” he writes, “I shall cease to lament only when I
cease to breathe.”

§ 17. After wandering for some time about Germany, and being prostrated
by fever at Hamburg, he at length came to Amsterdam, where Lawrence De
Geer, the son of his deceased patron, gave him an asylum. Here were spent
the remaining years of his life in ease and dignity. Compassion for
his misfortunes was united with veneration for his learning and piety.
He earned a sufficient income by giving instruction in the families
of the wealthy; and by the liberality of De Geer he was enabled to
publish a fine folio edition of all his writings on Education (1657).
His political works, however, were to the last a source of trouble to
him. His hostility to the Pope and the House of Hapsburg made him the
dupe of certain “prophets” whose soothsayings he published as _Lux in
Tenebris_. One of these prophets, who had announced that the Turk was
to take Vienna, was executed at Pressburg, and the _Lux in Tenebris_ at
the same time burnt by the hangman. Before the news of this disgrace
reached Amsterdam, Comenius was no more. He died in the year 1671, at
the advanced age of eighty, and with him terminated the office of Chief
Bishop among the Moravian Brethren.

§ 18. His long life had been full of trouble, and he saw little of the
improvements he so earnestly desired and laboured after, but he continued
the struggle hopefully to the end. In his seventy-seventh year he wrote
these memorable words: “I thank God that I have all my life been a man
of aspirations.... For the longing after good, however it spring up in
the heart, is always a rill flowing from the Fountain of all good—from
God.”[70] Labouring in this spirit he did not toil in vain, and the
historians of education have agreed in ranking him among the most
influential as well as the most noble-minded of the Reformers.

§ 19. Before Comenius, no one had brought the mind of a philosopher to
bear practically on the subject of education. Montaigne and Bacon had
advanced principles, leaving others to see to their application. A few
able schoolmasters, Ascham, _e.g._, had investigated new methods, but had
made success in teaching the test to which they appealed, rather than any
abstract principle. Comenius was at once a philosopher who had learnt
of Bacon, and a schoolmaster who had earned his livelihood by teaching
the rudiments. Dissatisfied with the state of education as he found it,
he sought for a better system by an examination of the laws of Nature.
Whatever is thus established is indeed on an immovable foundation, and,
as Comenius himself says, “not liable to any ruin.” It will hardly be
disputed, when broadly stated, that there are laws of Nature which must
be obeyed in dealing with the mind, as with the body. No doubt these laws
are not so easily established in the first case as in the second, nor can
we find them without much “groping” and some mistakes; but whoever in
any way assists or even tries to assist in the discovery, deserves our
gratitude; and greatly are we indebted to him who first boldly set about
the task, and devoted to it years of patient labour.

§ 20. Comenius has left voluminous Latin writings. Professor Laurie
gives us the titles of the books connected with education, and they
are in number forty-two: so there must be much repetition and indeed
retractation; for Comenius was always learning, and one of his last books
was _Ventilabrum Sapientiæ, sive sapienter sua retractandi Ars_—_i.e._,
“Wisdom’s Winnowing-machine, or the Art of wisely withdrawing one’s
own assertions.” We owe much to Professor Laurie, who has served as a
_ventilabrum_ and left us a succinct and clear account of the Reformer’s
teaching. I have read little of the writings of Comenius except the
German translation of the “Great Didactic,” from which the following is

§ 21. We live, says Comenius, a threefold life—a vegetative, an animal,
and an intellectual or spiritual. Of these, the first is perfect in the
womb, the last in heaven. He is happy who comes with healthy body into
the world, much more he who goes with healthy spirit out of it. According
to the heavenly idea, man should (1) know all things; (2) should be
master of all things, and of himself; (3) should refer everything to God.
So that within us Nature has implanted the seeds of (1) learning, (2)
virtue, and (3) piety. To bring these seeds to maturity is the object of
education. All men require education, and God has made children unfit for
other employments that they may have leisure to learn.

§ 22. But schools have failed, and instead of keeping to the true object
of education, and teaching the foundations, relations, and intentions
of all the most important things, they have neglected even the mother
tongue, and confined the teaching to Latin; and yet that has been so
badly taught, and so much time has been wasted over grammar rules and
dictionaries, that from ten to twenty years are spent in acquiring as
much knowledge of Latin as is speedily acquired of any modern tongue.

§ 23. The cause of this want of success is that the system does not
follow Nature. Everything natural goes smoothly and easily. There must
therefore be no pressure. Learning should come to children as swimming to
fish, flying to birds, running to animals. As Aristotle says, the desire
of knowledge is implanted in man: and the mind grows as the body does—by
taking proper nourishment, not by being stretched on the rack.

§ 24. If we would ascertain how teaching and learning are to have good
results, we must look to the known processes of Nature and Art. A man
sows seed, and it comes up he knows not how, but in sowing it he must
attend to the requirements of Nature. Let us then look to Nature to
find out how knowledge takes root in young minds. We find that Nature
waits for the fit time. Then, too, she has prepared the material before
she gives it form. In our teaching we constantly run counter to these
principles of hers. We give instruction before the young minds are ready
to receive it. We give the form before the material. Words are taught
before the things to which they refer. When a foreign tongue is to be
taught, we commonly give the form, _i.e._, the grammatical rules, before
we give the material, _i.e._, the language, to which the rules apply. We
should begin with an author, or properly prepared translation-book, and
abstract rules should never come before the examples.

§ 25. Again, Nature begins each of her works with its inmost part.
Moreover, the crude form comes first, then the elaboration of the parts.
The architect, acting on this principle, first makes a rough plan or
model, and then by degrees designs the details; last of all he attends to
the ornamentation. In teaching, then, let the inmost part, _i.e._, the
understanding of the subject, come first; then let the thing understood
be used to exercise the memory, the speech, and the hands; and let every
language, science, and art be taught first in its rudimentary outline;
then more completely with examples and rules; finally, with exceptions
and anomalies. Instead of this, some teachers are foolish enough to
require beginners to get up all the anomalies in Latin Grammar, and the
dialects in Greek.

§ 26. Again, as Nature does nothing _per saltum_, nor halts when she
has begun, the whole course of studies should be arranged in strict
order, so that the earlier studies prepare the way for the later. Every
year, every month, every day and hour even, should have its task marked
out beforehand, and the plan should be rigidly carried out. Much loss
is occasioned by absence of boys from school, and by changes in the
instruction. Iron that might be wrought with one heating should not be
allowed to get cold, and be heated over and over again.

§ 27. Nature protects her work from injurious influences, so boys should
be kept from injurious companionships and books.

§ 28. In a chapter devoted to the principles of easy teaching, Comenius
lays down, among rules similar to the foregoing, that children will
learn if they are taught only what they have a desire to learn, with due
regard to their age and the method of instruction, and especially when
everything is first taught by means of the senses. On this point Comenius
laid great stress, and he was the first who did so. Education should
proceed, he said, in the following order: first, educate the senses, then
the memory, then the intellect; last of all the critical faculty. This
is the order of Nature. The child first perceives through the senses.
“_Nihil est in intellectu quod non prius fuerit in sensu._ Everything in
the intellect must have come through the senses.” These perceptions are
stored in the memory, and called up by the imagination.[71] By comparing
one with another, the understanding forms general ideas, and at length
the judgment decides between the false and the true. By keeping to this
order, Comenius believed it would be possible to make learning entirely
pleasant to the pupils, however young. Here Comenius went even further
than the Jesuits. They wished to make learning pleasant, but despaired
of doing this except by external influences, emulation and the like.
Comenius did not neglect external means to make the road to learning
agreeable. Like the Jesuits, he would have short school-hours, and would
make great use of praise and blame, but he did not depend, as they did
almost exclusively, on emulation. He would have the desire of learning
fostered in every possible way—by parents, by teachers, by school
buildings and apparatus, by the subjects themselves, by the method of
teaching them, and lastly, by the public authorities. (1) The parents
must praise learning and learned men, must show children beautiful books,
&c., must treat the teachers with great respect. (2) The teacher must be
kind and fatherly, he must distribute praise and reward, and must always,
where it is possible, give the children something to look at. (3) The
school buildings must be light, airy, and cheerful, and well furnished
with apparatus, as pictures, maps, models, collections of specimens. (4)
The subjects taught must not be too hard for the learner’s comprehension,
and the more entertaining parts of them must be especially dwelt upon.
(5) The method must be natural, and everything that is not essential to
the subject or is beyond the pupil must be omitted. Fables and allegories
should be introduced, and enigmas given for the pupils to guess. (6) The
authorities must appoint public examinations and reward merit.

§ 29. Nature helps herself in various ways, so the pupils should have
every assistance given them. It should especially be made clear what the
pupils are to learn, and how they should learn it.

§ 30. The pupils should be punished for offences against morals only. If
they do not learn, the fault is with the teacher.

§ 31. One of Comenius’s most distinctive principles was that there should
no longer be “_infelix divortium rerum et verborum_, the wretched divorce
of words from things” (the phrase, I think, is Campanella’s), but that
knowledge of _things_ and words should go together. This, together with
his desire of submitting everything to the pupil’s senses, would have
introduced a great change into the course of instruction, which was then,
as it has for the most part continued, purely literary. We should learn,
says Comenius, as much as possible, not from books, but from the great
book of Nature, from heaven and earth, from oaks and beeches.

§ 32. When languages are to be learnt, he would have them taught
separately. Till the pupil is from eight to ten years old, he should
be instructed only in the mother-tongue, and about things. Then other
languages can be acquired in about a year each; Latin (which is to be
studied more thoroughly) in about two years. Every language must be
learnt by use rather than by rules, _i.e._, it must be learnt by hearing,
reading and re-reading, transcribing, attempting imitations in writing
and orally, and by using the language in conversation. Rules assist and
confirm practice, but they must come after, not before it. The first
exercises in a language should take for their subject something of which
the sense is already known, so that the mind may be fixed on the words
and their connections.[72] The Catechism and Bible History may be used
for this purpose.

§ 33. Considering the classical authors not suited to boys’
understanding, and not fit for the education of Christians, Comenius
proposed writing a set of Latin manuals for the different stages between
childhood and manhood: these were to be called “Vestibulum,” “Janua,”
“Palatium” or “Atrium,” “Thesaurus.” The “Vestibulum,” “Janua,” and
“Atrium” were really carried out.

§ 34. In Comenius’s scheme there were to be four kinds of schools for a
perfect educational course:—1st, the mother’s breast for infancy; 2nd,
the public vernacular school for children, to which all should be sent
from six years old till twelve; 3rd, the Latin school or Gymnasium; 4th,
residence at a University and travelling, to complete the course. The
public schools were to be for all classes alike, and for girls[73] as
well as boys.

§ 35. Most boys and girls in every community would stop at the vernacular
school; and as this school is a very distinctive feature in Comenius’s
plan, it may be worth while to give his programme of studies. In this
school the children should learn—1st, to read and write the mother-tongue
_well_, both with writing and printing letters; 2nd, to compose
grammatically; 3rd, to cipher; 4th, to measure and weigh; 5th, to sing,
at first popular airs, then from music; 6th, to say by heart, sacred
psalms and hymns; 7th, Catechism, Bible History, and texts; 8th, moral
rules, with examples; 9th, economics and politics, as far as they could
be understood; 10th, general history of the world; 11th, figure of the
earth and motion of stars, &c., physics and geography, especially of
native land; 12th, general knowledge of arts and handicrafts.

§ 36. Each school was to be divided into six classes, corresponding to
the six years the pupil should spend in it. The hours of work were to be,
in school, two hours in the morning and two in the afternoon, with nearly
the same amount of private study. In the morning the mind and memory were
to be exercised, in the afternoon the hands and voice. Each class was to
have its proper lesson-book written expressly for it, so as to contain
everything that class had to learn. When a lesson was to be got by heart
from the book, the teacher was first to read it to the class, explain it,
and re-read it; the boys then to read it aloud by turns till one of them
offered to repeat it without book; the others were to do the same as soon
as they were able, till all had repeated it. This lesson was then to be
worked over again as a writing lesson, &c. In the higher forms of the
vernacular school a modern language was to be taught and duly practised.

§ 37. Here we see a regular school course projected which differed
essentially from the only complete school course still earlier, that of
the Jesuits. In education Comenius was immeasurably in advance of Loyola
and Aquaviva. Like the great thinkers, Pestalozzi and Froebel, who most
resemble him, he thought of the development of the child from its birth;
and in a singularly wise little book, called _Schola materni gremii_,
or “School of the Mother’s Breast,” he has given advice for bringing up
children to the age of six.[74]

§ 38. Very interesting are the hints here given, in which we get the
first approaches to Kindergarten training. Comenius saw that, much
as their elders might do to develop children’s powers of thought and
expression, “yet children of the same age and the same manners and
habits are of greater service still. When they talk or play together,
they sharpen each other more effectually; for the one does not surpass
the other in depth of invention, and there is among them no assumption
of superiority of the one over the other, only love, candour, free
questionings and answers” (_School of Infancy_, vi, 12, p. 38).[75] The
constant activity of children must be provided for. “It is better to play
than to be idle, for during play the mind is intent on some object which
often sharpens the abilities. In this way children may be early exercised
to an active life without any difficulty, since Nature herself stirs them
up to be doing something” (_Ib._ ix, 15, p. 55). “In the second, third,
fourth years, &c., let their spirits be stirred up by means of agreeable
play with them or their playing among themselves.... Nay, if some little
occupation can be conveniently provided for the child’s eyes, ears, or
other senses, these will contribute to its vigour of mind and body”
(_Ib._ vi, 21, p. 31).

§ 39. We have the usual cautions against forcing. “Early fruit is useful
for the day, but will not keep; whereas late fruit may be kept all the
year. As some natural capacities would fly, as it were, before the sixth,
the fifth, or even the fourth year, yet it will be beneficial rather to
restrain than permit this; but very much worse to enforce it.” “It is
safer that the brain be rightly consolidated before it begin to sustain
labours: in a little child the whole _bregma_ is scarcely closed and the
brain consolidated within the fifth or sixth year. It is sufficient,
therefore, for this age to comprehend spontaneously, imperceptibly and as
it were in play, so much as is employed in the domestic circle” (_Ib._
chap. xi).

§ 40. One disastrous tendency has always shown itself in the
schoolroom—the tendency to sever all connection between studies in the
schoolroom and life outside. The young pack away their knowledge as it
were in water-tight compartments, where it may lie conveniently till the
scholastic voyage is over and it can be again unshipped.[76] Against
this tendency many great teachers have striven, and none more vigorously
than Comenius. Like Pestalozzi he sought to resolve everything into its
simplest elements, and he finds the commencements before the school
age. In the _School of Infancy_ he says (speaking of rhetoric), “My aim
is to shew, although this is not generally attended to, that the roots
of all sciences and arts in every instance arise as early as in the
tender age, and that on these foundations it is neither impossible nor
difficult for the whole superstructure to be laid; provided always that
we act reasonably with a reasonable creature” (viij, 6, p. 46). This
principle he applies in his chapter, “How children ought to be accustomed
to an active life and perpetual employment” (chap. vij). In the fourth
and fifth year their powers are to be drawn out in mechanical or
architectural efforts, in drawing and writing, in music, in arithmetic,
geometry, and dialectics. For arithmetic in the fourth, fifth, or sixth
year, it will be sufficient if they count up to twenty; and they may
be taught to play at “odd and even.” In geometry they may learn in the
fourth year what are lines, what are squares, what are circles; also
the usual measures—foot, pint, quart, &c., and soon they should try to
measure and weigh for themselves. Similar beginnings are found for other
sciences such as physics, astronomy, geography, history, economics, and
politics. “The elements of _geography_ will be during the course of
the first year and thenceforward, when children begin to distinguish
between their cradles and their mother’s bosom” (vj, 6, p. 34). As this
geographical knowledge extends, they discover “what a field is, what
a mountain, forest, meadow, river” (iv, 9, p. 17). “The beginning of
_history_ will be, to be able to remember what was done yesterday, what
recently, what a year ago.”[77] (_Ib._)

§ 41. In this book Comenius is careful to provide children with
occupation for “_mind and hand_” (iv, 10, p. 18). Drawing is to be
practised by all. “It matters not,” says Comenius, “whether the objects
be correctly drawn or otherwise _provided that they afford delight to the

§ 42. We see then that this restless thinker considered the entire course
of a child’s bringing-up from the cradle to maturity; and we cannot doubt
that Raumer is right in saying, “The influence of Comenius on subsequent
thinkers and workers in education, especially on the Methodizers, is
incalculable.” (_Gesch. d. P._, ij, “Comenius,” § 10.)

Before we think of his methods and school books, let us inquire what he
did for education that has proved to be on a solid foundation and “not
liable to any ruin.”

§ 43. He was the first to reach a standpoint which was and perhaps always
will be above the heads of “the practical men,” and demand _education
for all_. “We design for all who have been born human beings, general
instruction to fit them for everything human. They must, therefore, as
far as possible be taught together, so that they may mutually draw each
other out, enliven and stimulate. Of the ‘mother-tongue school’ the end
and aim will be, that all the youth of both sexes between the sixth and
the twelfth or thirteenth years be taught those things which will be
useful to them all their life long.”[79]

In these days we often hear controversies between the men of science and
the ministers of religion. It is as far beyond my intention as it is
beyond my abilities to discuss how far the antithesis between religion
and science is a true one; but our subject sometimes forces us to observe
that religion and science often bring thinkers by different paths to the
same result; _e.g._, they both refuse to recognise class distinctions
and make us see an essential unity underlying superficial variations.
In Comenius we have an earnest Christian minister who was also an
enthusiast for science. Moreover he was without social and virtually
without national restrictions, and he was thus in a good position for
expressing freely and without bias what both his science and his religion
taught him. “Not only are the children of the rich and noble to be drawn
to the school, but all alike, gentle and simple, rich and poor, boys
and girls, in great towns and small, down to the country villages. And
for this reason. Every one who is born a human being is born with this
intent—that he should be a human being, that is, a reasonable creature
ruling over the other creatures and bearing the likeness of his Maker.”
(_Didactica M._ ix, § 1.) This sounds to me nobler than the utterances
of Rousseau and the French Revolutionists, not to mention Locke who fell
back on considering merely “the gentleman’s calling.” Even Bishop Butler
a century after Comenius hardly takes so firm a ground, though he lays it
down that “children have as much right to some proper education as to
have their lives preserved.”[80]

§ 44. The first man who demanded training for every human being _because
he or she was a human being_ must always be thought of with respect and
gratitude by all who care either for science or religion. It has taken
us 250 years to reach the standpoint of Comenius; but we have reached
it, or almost reached it at last, and when we have once got hold of the
idea we are not likely to lose it again. The only question is whether
we shall not go on and in the end agree with Comenius that the primary
school shall be for rich and poor alike. At present the practical
men, in England especially, have things all their own way; but their
horizon is and must be very limited. They have already had to adjust
themselves to many things which their predecessors declared to be “quite
impracticable—indeed impossible.” May not their successors in like manner
get accustomed to other “impossible” things, this scheme of Comenius
among them?

§ 45. The champions of realism have always recognised Comenius as one
of their earliest leaders. Bacon had just given voice to the scientific
spirit which had at length rebelled against the literary spirit dominant
at the Renascence, and had begun to turn from all that had been thought
and said about Nature, straight to Nature herself. Comenius was the
professed disciple of “the noble Verulam, who,” said he, “has given
us the true key of Nature.” Furnished with this key, Comenius would
unlock the door of the treasure-house for himself. “It grieved me,” he
says, “that I saw most noble Verulam present us indeed with a true key
of Nature, but not to open the secrets of Nature, only shewing us by a
few examples how they were to be opened, and leave [_i.e._, leaving]
the rest to depend on observations and inductions continued for several
ages.” Comenius thought that by the light of the senses, of reason, and
of the Bible, he might advance faster. “For what? Are not we as well as
the old philosophers placed in Nature’s garden? Why then do we not cast
about our eyes, nostrils, and ears as well as they? Why should we learn
the works of Nature of any other master rather than of these our senses?
Why do we not, I say, turn over the living book of the world instead
of dead papers? In it we may contemplate more things and with greater
delight and profit than any one can tell us. If we have anywhere need of
an interpreter, the Maker of Nature is the best interpreter Himself.”
(Preface to _Naturall Philosophie reformed_. English trans., 1651.)

§ 46. Several things are involved in this so-called “realism.” First,
Comenius would fix the mind of learners on material objects. Secondly,
he would have them acquire their notions of these for themselves through
the senses. From these two principles he drew the corollary that the
vast accumulation of traditional learning and literature must be thrown

§ 47. The demand for the study of things has been best formulated by one
of the greatest masters of words, by Milton. “Because our understanding
cannot in the body found itself but on sensible things, nor arrive so
clearly to the knowledge of God and things invisible, as by orderly
conning over the visible and inferior creature, the same method is
necessarily to be followed in all discreet teaching.” (_To Hartlib._) Its
material surroundings then are to be the subjects on which the mind of
the child must be fixed. This being settled, Comenius demands that the
child’s knowledge shall not be _verbal_ but _real_ realism, knowledge
derived at first hand through the senses.[81]

§ 48. On this subject Comenius may speak for himself: “The ground of
this business is, that sensual objects [we now say _sensible_: why not
_sensuous_?] be rightly presented to the senses, for fear they may not be
received. I say, and say it again aloud, that this last is the foundation
of all the rest: because we can neither act nor speak wisely, unless we
first rightly understand all the things which are to be done and whereof
we have to speak. Now there is nothing in the understanding which was not
before in the sense. And therefore to exercise the senses well about the
right perceiving the differences of things will be to lay the grounds
for all wisdom and all wise discourse and all discreet actions in one’s
course of life. Which, because it is commonly neglected in Schools, and
the things that are to be learned are offered to scholars without their
being understood or being rightly presented to the senses, it cometh to
pass that the work of teaching and learning goeth heavily onward and
affordeth little benefit.” (Preface to _Orbis Pictus_, Hoole’s trans.
A.D. 1658.)

§ 49. Without going into any metaphysical discussion, we must all
agree that a vast amount of impressions come to children through the
senses, and that it is by the exercise of the senses that they learn
most readily. As Comenius says: “The senses (being the main guides of
childhood, because therein the mind doth not as yet raise up it self to
an abstracted contemplation of things) evermore seek their own objects;
and if these be away, they grow dull, and wry themselves hither and
thither out of a weariness of themselves: but when their objects are
present, they grow merry, wax lively, and willingly suffer themselves
to be fastened upon them till the thing be sufficiently discerned.”
(P. to _Orbis._) This truth lay at the root of most of the methods of
Pestalozzi; and though it has had little effect on teaching in England
(where for the word _anschaulich_ there is no equivalent), everything
that goes on in a German Folkschool has reference to it.

§ 50. For children then Comenius gave good counsel when he would have
their senses exercised on the world about them. But after all, whatever
may be thought of the proposition that all knowledge comes through the
senses, we must not ignore what is bequeathed to us, both in science
and in literature. Comenius says: “And now I beseech you let this be
our business that the schools may cease to _persuade_ and begin to
_demonstrate_; cease to _dispute_ and begin to _look_; cease lastly to
_believe_ and begin to _know_. For that Aristotellical maxim ‘_Discentem
oportet credere_, A learner must believe,’ is as tyrannical as it is
dangerous; so also is that same Pythagorean ‘_Ipse dixit_, The Master has
said it.’ Let no man be compelled to swear to his Masters words, but let
the things themselves constrain the intellect.” (P. to _Nat. Phil. R._)
But the things themselves will not take us far. Even in Natural Science
we need teachers, for Science is not reached through the senses but
through the intellectual grasp of knowledge which has been accumulating
for centuries. If the education of times past has neglected the senses,
we must not demand that the education of the future should care for the
senses only. There is as yet little danger of our thinking too much of
physical education; but we sometimes hear reformers talking as if the
true ideal were sketched in “Locksley Hall:”

  “Iron-jointed, supple-sinew’d, they shall dive, and they shall run,
  Catch the wild goat by the hair, and hurl their lances in the sun,
  Whistle back the parrot’s call, and leap the rainbows of the brooks;
  Not with blinded eyesight poring over miserable books.”

There seems, however, still some reason for counting “the gray barbarian
lower than the Christian child.” And the reason is that we are “the heirs
of all the ages.” Our education must enable every child to enter in some
measure on his inheritance; and not a few of our most precious heirlooms
will be found not only in scientific discoveries but also in those great
works of literature which the votaries of science are apt to despise as
“miserable books.” This truth was not duly appreciated by Comenius. As
Professor Laurie well says, “he accepted only in a half-hearted way the
products of the genius of past ages.” (Laurie’s _C._, p. 22.) In his day
there was a violent reaction from the Renascence passion for literature,
and Comenius would entirely banish from education the only literatures
which were then important, the “heathen” literatures of Greece and Rome.
“Our most learned men,” says he, “even among the theologians take from
Christ only the mask: the blood and life they draw from Aristotle and a
crowd of other heathens.” (See Paulsen’s _Gesch._, pp. 312, ff.) So for
Cicero and Virgil he would substitute, and his contemporaries at first
seemed willing to accept, the _Janua Linguarum_. But though there may be
much more “real” knowledge in the _Janua_, the classics have survived
it.[82] In these days there is a passion for the study of things which
in its intensity resembles the Renascence passion for literature. There
is a craving for knowledge, and we know only the truths we can verify; so
this craving must be satisfied, not by words, but things. And yet that
domain which the physicists contemptuously describe as the study of words
must not be lost sight of, indeed cannot be, either by young or old. As
Matthew Arnold has said, “those who are for giving to natural knowledge
the chief place in the education of the majority of mankind leave one
important thing out of their account—the constitution of human nature.”

  “We live by Admiration, Hope, and Love,
  And e’en as these are well and wisely fixed,
  In dignity of being we ascend.”

So says Wordsworth, and if this assertion cannot be verified, no more
can it be disproved; that the words have become almost proverbial shows
that it commends itself to the general consciousness. Whatever knowledge
we may acquire, it will have little effect on our lives unless we can
“relate it” (again to use Matthew Arnold’s words), “to our sense of
conduct and our sense of beauty.” (_Discourses in America._ “Literature
and Science.”) So long as we retain our sense for these, “the humanities”
are safe. Like Milton we may have no inclination to study “modern
Januas,” but we shall not cease to value many of the works which the
Janua of Comenius was supposed to have supplanted.[83]

§ 51. “Analogies are good for illustration, not for proof.” If Comenius
had accepted this caution, he would have escaped much useless labour,
and might have had a better foundation for his rules than fanciful
applications of what he observed in the external world. “Comenius”
as August Vogel has said, “is unquestionably right in wishing to draw
his principles of education from Nature; but instead of examining the
proper constitution and nature of man, and taking that as the basis
of his theory, he watches the life of birds, the growth of trees, or
the quiet influence of the sun, and thus substitutes for the nature of
man nature _without_ man (_die objective Natur_). And yet by Nature he
understands that first and primordial state to which as to our original
[idea] we should be restored, and by the voice of Nature he understands
the universal Providence of God or the ceaseless influence of the
Divine Goodness working all in all, that is, leading every creature to
the state ordained for it. The vegetative and animal life in Nature is
according to Comenius himself not life at all in its highest sense, but
the only true life is the intellectual or spiritual life of Man. No doubt
in the two lower kinds of life certain analogies may be found for the
higher; but nothing can be less worthy of reliance and less scientific
than a method which draws its principles for the higher life from what
has been observed in the lower.” (A. Vogel’s _Gesch. d. Pädagogik als
Wissenschaft_, p. 94.)

§ 52. This seems to me judicious criticism; but whatever mistakes he may
have made, Comenius, like Froebel long after him, strove after a higher
unity which should embrace knowledge of every kind. The connexion of
knowledges (so constantly overlooked in the schoolroom) was always in his
thoughts. “We see that the branches of a tree cannot live unless they
all alike suck their juices from a common trunk with common roots. And
can we hope that the branches of Wisdom can be torn asunder with safety
to their life, that is to truth? Can one be a Natural Philosopher who
is not also a Metaphysician? or an Ethical Thinker who does not know
something of Physical Science? or a Logician who has no knowledge of real
matters? or a Theologian, a jurisconsult, or a Physician, who is not
first a Philosopher? or an Orator or Poet, who is not all these at once?
He deprives himself of light, of hand, and of regulation, who pushes away
from him any shred of the knowable.” (Quoted in Masson’s _L. of Milton_
vol. iij., p. 213 from the Delineatio, [i.e., _Pansophiæ Prodromus_].
Conf. J. H. Newman, _Idea of a University_, Disc. iij.)

§ 53. We see then that on the side of theory, Comenius was truly great.
But the practical man who has always been the tyrant of the schoolroom
cared nothing for theory and held, with a modern English minister
responsible for education, who proved his ignorance of theory by his “New
Code,” that there was, and could be no such thing. So the reputation of
Comenius became pretty much what our great authority Hallam has recorded,
that he was a person of some ingenuity and little judgment who invented
a new way of learning Latin. This estimate of him enables us to follow
some windings in the stream of thought about education. Comenius faced
the whole problem in its double bearing, theory and practice: he asked,
What is the educator’s task? How can he best accomplish it? But his
contemporaries had not yet recovered from the idolatry of Latin which
had been bequeathed to them by their fathers from the Renascence, and
they too saw in Comenius chiefly an inventor of a new way of learning
Latin. He sought to train up children for this world and the next; they
supposed, as Oxenstiern himself said, that the main thing to be remedied
was the clumsy way of teaching Latin. So Comenius was little understood.
His books were seized upon as affording at once an introduction to the
knowledge of _things_ and a short way of learning Latin. But in the
long run they were found more tiresome than the old classics: so they
went out of fashion, and their author was forgotten with them. Now that
schoolmasters are forming a more worthy conception of their office, they
are beginning to do justice to Comenius.

§ 54. As the Jesuits kept to Latin as the common language of the Church,
so Comenius thought to use it as a means of inter-communication for
the instructed of every nationality. But he was singularly free from
over-estimating the value of Latin, and he demanded that all nations
should be taught in their own language wherein they were born. On this
subject he expresses himself with great emphasis. “We desire and protest
that studies of wisdom be no longer committed to Latin alone, and kept
shut up in the schools, as has hitherto been done, to the greatest
contempt and injury of the people at large, and the popular tongues. Let
all things be delivered to each nation in its own speech.” (_Delineatio_
[_Prodromus_] in Masson _ut supra_.)

§ 55. Comenius was then neither a verbalist nor a classicist, and yet his
contemporaries were not entirely wrong in thinking of him as “a man who
had invented a new way of learning Latin.” His great principle was that
instruction in words and things should go together.[84] The young were to
learn about things, and _at the same time_ were to acquire both in the
vernacular and also in Latin, the international tongue, the words which
were connected with the things. Having settled on this plan of concurrent
instruction in words and things, Comenius determined to write a book
for carrying it out. Just then there fell into his hands a book which a
less open-minded man might have thrown aside on account of its origin,
for it was written by the bitter foes and persecutors of the Bohemian
Protestants, by the Jesuits. But Comenius says truly, “I care not whether
I teach or whether I learn,” and he gave a marvellous proof of this by
adopting the linguistic method of the Jesuits’ _Janua Linguarum_.[85]
This “Noah’s Ark for words,” treated in a series of proverbs of all kinds
of subjects, in such a way as to introduce in a natural connection every
common word in the Latin language. “The idea,” says Comenius, “was better
than the execution. Nevertheless, inasmuch as they (the Jesuits) were
the prime inventors, we thankfully acknowledge it, nor will we upbraid
them with those errors they have committed.” (Preface to Anchoran’s
trans. of _Janua_.)

§ 56. The plan commended itself to Comenius on various grounds. First, he
had a notion of giving an outline of all knowledge before anything was
taught in detail. Next, he could by such a book connect the teaching
about simple things with instruction in the Latin words which applied
to them. And thirdly, he hoped by this means to give such a complete
Latin vocabulary as to render the use of Latin easy for all requirements
of modern society. He accordingly wrote a short account of things in
general, which he put in the form of a dialogue, and this he published in
Latin and German at Leszna in 1531. The success of this work, as we have
already seen, was prodigious. No doubt the spirit which animated Bacon
was largely diffused among educated men in all countries, and they hailed
the appearance of a book which called the youth from the study of old
philosophical ideas to observe the facts around them.

§ 57. The countrymen of Bacon were not backward in adopting the new
work, as the following, from the title-page of a volume in the British
Museum, will show: “The Gate of Tongues Unlocked and Opened; or else,
a Seminary or Seed-plot of all Tongues and Sciences. That is, a short
way of teaching and thoroughly learning, within a yeare and a half at
the furthest, the Latine, English, French and any other tongue, with
the ground and foundation of arts and sciences, comprised under a
hundred titles and 1058 periods. In Latin first, and now, as a token of
thankfulness, brought to light in Latine, English and French, in the
behalfe of the most illustrious Prince Charles, and of British, French,
and Irish youth. The 4th edition, much enlarged, by the labour and
industry of John Anchoran, Licentiate in Divinity, London. Printed by
Edward Griffin for Michael Sparke, dwelling at the Blew Bible in Green
Arbor, 1639.” The first edition must have been some years earlier, and
the work contains a letter to Anchoran from Comenius dated “Lessivæ
polonorum (Leszna) 11th Oct, 1632.” So we see that, however the connexion
arose, it was Anchoran not Hartlib who first made Comenius known in

§ 58. In the preface to the volume (signed by Anchoran and Comenius) we
read of the complaints of “Ascam, Vives, Erasmus, Sturmius, Frisclinus,
Dornavius and others.” The Scaligers and Lipsius did climb but left no
track. “Hence it is that the greater number of schools (howsoever some
boast the happinesse of the age and the splendour of learning) have not
as yet shaked off their ataxies. The youth was held off, nay distracted,
and is yet in many places delayed with grammar precepts infinitely
tedious, perplexed, obscure, and (for the most part) unprofitable, and
that for many years.” The names of things were taught to those who were
in total ignorance of the things themselves.

§ 59. From this barren region the pupil was to escape to become
acquainted with things. “Come on,” says the teacher in the opening
dialogue, “let us go forth into the open air. There you shall view
whatsoever God produced from the beginning, and doth yet effect by
nature. Afterwards we will go into towns, shops, schools, where you shall
see how men do both apply those Divine works to their uses, and also
instruct themselves in arts, manners, tongues. Then we will enter into
houses, courts, and palaces of princes, to see in what manner communities
of men are governed. At last we will visit temples, where you shall
observe how diversely mortals seek to worship their Creator and to be
spiritually united unto Him, and how He by His Almightiness disposeth all
things.” (This is from the 1656 edition, by “W.D.”)

The book is still amusing, but only from the quaint manner in which the
mode of life two hundred years ago is described in it.[86]

§ 60. But though parts of the book may on first reading have gratified
the youth of the seventeenth century, a great deal of it gave scanty
information about difficult subjects, such as physiology, geometry,
logic, rhetoric, and that too in the driest and dullest way. Moreover,
in his first version (much modified at Saros-Patak) Comenius following
the Jesuit boasts that no important word occurs twice; so that the book,
to attain the end of giving a perfect stock of Latin words, would have
to be read and re-read till it was almost known by heart; and however
amusing boys might find an account of their toys written in Latin the
first time of reading, the interest would somewhat wear away by the
fifth or sixth time. We cannot then feel much surprised on reading this
“general verdict,” written some years later, touching those earlier works
of Comenius: “They are of singular use, and very advantageous to those
of more discretion (especially to such as have already got a smattering
in Latin), to help their memories to retain what they have scatteringly
gotten here and there, and to furnish them with many words which perhaps
they had not formerly read or so well observed; but to young children
(whom we have chiefly to instruct, as those that are ignorant altogether
of most things and words), they prove rather a mere toil and burden than
a delight and furtherance.” (Chas. Hoole’s preface to his trans. of
_Orbis Pictus_, dated “From my school in _Lothbury_, London, Jan. 25,

§ 61. The “_Janua_” would, therefore, have had but a short-lived
popularity with teachers, and a still shorter with learners, if Comenius
had not carried out his principle of appealing to the senses, and adopted
a plan which had been suggested, nearly 50 years earlier, by a Protestant
divine, Lubinus,[87] of Rostock. The artist was called in, and with
Endter at Nürnberg in 1657 was published the first edition of a book
which long outlived the _Janua_. This was the famous _Orbis Sensualium
Pictus_, which was used for a century at least in many a schoolroom,
and lives in imitations to the present day. Comenius wrote this book on
the same lines as the _Janua_, but he goes into less detail, and every
subject is illustrated by a small engraving. The text is mostly on the
opposite page to the picture, and is connected with it by a series of
corresponding numbers. Everything named in the text is numbered as
in the picture. The artist employed must have been a bold man, as he
sticks at nothing; but in skill he was not the equal of many of his
contemporaries; witness the pictures in the Schaffhausen _Janua_ (Editio
secunda, SchaffhusI, 1658), in Daniel’s edition of the _Janua_, 1562,
and the very small but beautiful illustrations in the _Vestibulum_ of
“Jacob Redinger and J. S.” (Amsterdam, 1673). However, the _Orbis Pictus_
gives such a quaint delineation of life 200 years ago that copies with
the original engravings keep rising in value, and an American publisher
(Bardeen of Syracuse, New York), has lately reproduced the old book with
the help of photography.

§ 62. And yet as instruments of teaching, these books, _i.e._ the
_Vestibulum_ and the _Janua_ and even the _Orbis Pictus_ which in a great
measure superseded both, proved a failure. How shall we account for this?

Comenius immensely over-estimated the importance of knowledge and
the power of the human mind to acquire knowledge. He took it for the
heavenly idea that _man should know all things_. This notion started him
on the wrong road for forming a scheme of instruction, and it needed
many years and much experience to show him his error. When he wrote the
_Orbis Pictus_ he said of it: “It is _a little book_, as you see, of
no great bulk, yet a brief of the whole world and a whole language;”
(Hoole’s trans. Preface); and he afterwards speaks of “this our _little
encyclopædia_ of things subject to the senses.” But in his old age he saw
that his text-books were too condensed and attempted too much (Laurie,
p. 59); and he admitted that after all Seneca was right: “Melius est
scire pauca et iis recté uti quam scire multa, quorum ignores usum. It is
better to know a few things and have the right use of them than to know
many things which you cannot use at all.”

§ 63. The attempt to give “information” has been the ruin of a vast
number of professing educators since Comenius. Masters “of the old
school” whom some of us can still remember made boys learn Latin and
Greek Grammar and _nothing else_. Their successors seem to think that
boys should not learn Latin and Greek Grammar but _everything else_: and
the last error I take to be much worse than the first. As Ruskin has
neatly said, education is not teaching people to know what they do not
know, but to behave as they do not behave. It is to be judged not by the
knowledge acquired, but the habits, powers, interests: knowledge must be
thought of “last and least.”

§ 64. So the attempt to teach about everything was unwise. The means
adopted were unwise also. It is a great mistake to suppose that
a “general view” should come first; this is not the right way to
give knowledge in any subject. “A child begins by seeing bits of
everything—here a little and there a little; it makes up its wholes out
of its own littles, and is long in reaching the fulness of a whole; and
in this we are children all our lives in much.” (Dr. John Brown in _Horæ
Subsecivæ_, p. 5.) So nothing could have been much more unfortunate than
an attempt to give the young “a brief of the whole world.” _Compendia,

§ 65. Corresponding to “a brief of the whole world,” Comenius offers “a
brief of a whole language.” The two mistakes were well matched. In “the
whole world” there are a vast number of things of which we must, and
a good number of which we very advantageously _may_ be ignorant. In a
language there are many words which we cannot know and many more which we
do not want to know. The language lives for us in a small vocabulary of
essential words, and our hold upon the language depends upon the power
we have in receiving and expressing thought by means of those words. But
the Jesuit Bath, and after him Comenius, made the tremendous mistake of
treating all Latin words as of equal value, and took credit for using
each word once and once only! Moreover, Comenius wrote not simply to
teach the Latin language, but also to stretch the Latin language till it
covered the whole area of modern life. He aimed at two things and missed
them both.

§ 66. We see then that Comenius was not what Hallam calls him, “a man who
invented a new way of learning Latin.” He did not do this, but he did
much more than this. He saw that every human creature should be trained
up to become a reasonable being, and that the training should be such
as to draw out God-given faculties. Thus he struck the key-note of the
science of education.

    The quantity and the diffuseness of the writings of Comenius
    are truly bewildering. In these days eminent men, Carlyle,
    _e.g._, sometimes find it difficult to get into print; but
    printing-presses all over Europe seemed to be at the service
    of Comenius. An account of the various editions of the _Janua_
    would be an interesting piece of bibliography, but the task of
    making it would not be a light one. The earliest copy of which
    I can find a trace is entered in the catalogue of the Bodleian:
    “Comenius J. A. _Janua Linguarum_, 8vo, Lips (Leipzig) 1632.” I
    also find there another copy entered “per Anchoranum, cum clave
    per W. Saltonstall, London, 1633.”

    The fame of Comenius is increasing and many interesting works
    have now been written about him. I have already mentioned
    the English books of Benham and Laurie. In German I have the
    following books, but not the time to read them all:—

    Daniel, H. A. _Zerstreute Blätter._ Halle, 1866.

    Free, H. _Pädagogik d. Comenius._ Bernburg, 1884.

    Hiller, R. _Latein Methode d. J. A. Comenius._ Zschopau, 1883.
    (v. g. and terse; only 46 pp.)

    Müller, Walter. _Comenius ein Systematiker in d. Päd._ Dresden,

    Pappenheim, E. _Amos Comenius._ Berlin, 1871.

    Seyffarth, L. W. _J. A. Comenius._ Leipzig, 2nd edition, 1871.
    (A careful and, as far as I can judge in haste, an excellent
    piece of work.)

    Zoubek, Fr. J. _J. A. Comenius._ _Eine quellenmässige
    Lebensskizze_, (Prefixed to trans. of _Didac. M._ in Richter’s
    _Päd. Bibliothek_.)

    For a Port-Royalist’s criticism of the _Janua_, see infra. (p.
    185 _note_.)



§ 1. In the sixteen-hundreds by far the most successful schoolmasters
were the Jesuits. In spite of their exclusion from the University, they
had in the Province of Paris some 14,000 pupils, and in Paris itself at
the Collège de Clermont, 1,800. Might they not have neglected “the Little
Schools,” which were organized by the friends and disciples of the Abbé
de Saint-Cyran, schools in which the numbers were always small, about
twenty or twenty-five, and only once increasing to fifty? And yet the
Jesuits left no stone unturned, no weapon unemployed, in their attack on
“the Little Schools.” The conflict seems to us like an engagement between
a man-of-war and a fishing-boat. That the poor fishing-boat would soon
be beneath the waves, was clear enough from the beginning, and she did
indeed speedily disappear; but the victors have never recovered from
their victory and never will. Whenever we think of Jesuitism we are not
more forcibly reminded of Loyola than of Pascal. All educated Frenchmen,
most educated people everywhere, get their best remembered impressions of
the Society of Loyola from the Provincial Letters.[89]

§ 2. The Society had a long standing rivalry with the University of
Paris, and the University not only refused to admit the Jesuits, but
several times petitioned the Parliament to chase them out of France. On
one of these occasions the advocate who was retained by the University
was Antoine Arnauld, a man of renowned eloquence; and he threw himself
into the attack with all his heart. From that time the Jesuits had a
standing feud with the house of Arnauld.

§ 3. But it was no mere personal dislike that separated the
Port-Royalists and the Jesuits. Port-Royal with which the Arnauld
family was so closely united, became the stronghold of a theology which
was unlike that of the Jesuits, and was denounced by them as heresy.
The daughter of Antoine Arnauld was made, at the age of eleven years,
Abbess of Port-Royal, a Cistercian convent not far from Versailles.
This position was obtained for her by a fraud of Marion, Henry IV’s
advocate-general, who thought only of providing comfortably for one of
the twenty children to whom his daughter, Made. Arnauld, had made him
grandfather. Never was a nomination more scandalously obtained or used to
better purpose. The Mère Angélique is one of the saints of the universal
church, and she soon became the restorer of the religious life first in
her own and then by her influence and example in other convents of her

§ 4. In these reforms she had nothing to fear from her hereditary foes
the Jesuits; but she soon came under the influence of a man whose theory
of life was as much opposed to the Jesuits’ theory as to that of the
world which found in the Jesuits the most accommodating father confessors.

Duvergier de Hauranne (1581-1643) better known by the name of his
“abbaye,” Saint-Cyran, was one of those commanding spirits who seem born
to direct others and form a distinct society. In vain Richelieu offered
him the posts most likely to tempt him. The prize that Saint-Cyran had
set his heart upon was not of this world, and Richelieu could assist him
in one way only—by persecution. This assistance the Cardinal readily
granted, and by his orders Saint-Cyran was imprisoned at Vincennes, and
not set at liberty till Richelieu was himself summoned before a higher

§ 5. Driven by prevailing sickness from Port-Royal des Champs, the Mère
Angélique transported her community (in 1626) to a house purchased for
them in Paris by her mother who in her widowhood became one of the
Sisters. In Paris Angélique sought for herself and her convent the
spiritual direction of Saint-Cyran (not yet a prisoner), and from that
time Saint-Cyran added the Abbess and Sisters of Port-Royal to the number
of those who looked up to him as their pattern and guide in all things.

Port-Royal des Champs was in course of time occupied by a band of
solitaries who at the bidding of Saint-Cyran renounced the world and
devoted themselves to prayer and study. To them we owe the works of “the
Gentlemen of Port-Royal.”

§ 6. It is then to Saint-Cyran we must look for the ideas which became
the distinctive mark of the Port-Royalists.

Saint-Cyran was before all things a theologian. In his early days
at Bayonne his studies had been shared by a friend who afterwards
was professor of theology at Louvain, and then Bishop of Ypres. This
friend was Jansenius. Their searches after truth had brought them to
opinions which in the England of the nineteenth century are known as
“Evangelical.” According to “Catholic” teaching all those who receive
the creed and the sacraments of the Church and do not commit “mortal”
sin are in a “state of salvation,” that is to say the great majority
of Christians are saved. This teaching is rejected by those of another
school of thought who hold that only a few “elect” are saved and that the
great body even of Christians are doomed to perdition.

§ 7. Such a belief as this would seem to be associated of necessity with
harshness and gloom; but from whatever cause, there has been found in
many, even in most, cases no such connexion. Those who have held that the
great mass of their fellow-creatures had no hope in a future world, have
thrown themselves lovingly into all attempts to improve their condition
in this world. Still, their main effort has always been to increase
the number of the converted and to preserve them from the wiles of the
enemy. This Saint-Cyran sought to do by selecting a few children and
bringing them up in their tender years like hot-house plants, in the hope
that they would be prepared when older and stronger, to resist the evil
influences of the world.

§ 8. His first plan was to choose out of all Paris six children and
to confide them to the care of a priest appointed to direct their
consciences, and a tutor of not more than twenty-five years old, to teach
them Latin. “I should think,” says he, “it was doing a good deal if I
did not advance them far in Latin before the age of twelve, and made
them pass their first years confined to one house or a monastery in the
country where they might be allowed all the pastimes suited to their age
and where they might see only the example of a good life set by those
about them.” (Letter quoted by Carré, p. 20.)

§ 9. His imprisonment put a stop to this plan, “but,” says Saint-Cyran,
“I do not lightly break off what I undertake for God;” so when intrusted
with the disposal of 2,000 francs by M. Bignon, he started the first
“Little School,” in which two small sons of M. Bignon’s were taken as
pupils. The name of “Little Schools,” was given partly perhaps because
according to their design the numbers in any school could never be large,
partly no doubt to deprecate any suspicion of rivalry with the schools of
the University. The children were to be taken at an early age, nine or
ten, before they could have any guilty knowledge of evil, and Saint-Cyran
made in all cases a stipulation that at any time a child might be
returned to his friends; but in cases where the master’s care seemed
successful, the pupils were to be kept under it till they were grown up.

§ 10. The Little Schools had a short and troubled career of hardly more
than fifteen years. They were not fully organized till 1646; they were
proscribed a few years later and in 1661 were finally broken up by Louis
XIV, who was under the influence of their enemies the Jesuits. But in
that time the Gentlemen of Port-Royal had introduced new ideas which have
been a force in French education and indeed in all literary education
ever since.

To Saint-Cyran then we trace the attempt at a particular kind of school,
and to his followers some new departures in the training of the intellect.

§ 11. Basing his system on the Fall of Man, Saint-Cyran came to a
conclusion which was also reached by Locke though by a different road.
To both of them it seemed that children require much more individual care
and watching than they can possibly get in a public school. Saint-Cyran
would have said what Locke said: “The difference is great between two or
three pupils in the same house and three or four score boys lodged up
and down: for let the master’s industry and skill be never so great, it
is impossible he should have fifty or one hundred scholars under his eye
any longer than they are in school together: Nor can it be expected that
he should instruct them successfully in anything but their books; the
forming of their minds and manners [preserving them from the danger of
the enemy, Saint-Cyran would have said] requiring a constant attention
and particular application to every single boy, which is impossible in a
numerous flock, and would be wholly in vain (could he have time to study
and correct everyone’s peculiar defects and wrong inclinations) when the
lad was to be left to himself or the prevailing infection of his fellows
the greater part of the four-and-twenty hours.” (_Thoughts c. Ed._ § 70.)

§ 12. An English public schoolmaster told the Commission on Public
Schools, that he stood _in loco parentis_ to fifty boys. “Rather a large
family,” observed one of the Commissioners drily. The truth is that in
the bringing up of the young there is the place of the schoolmaster and
of the school-fellows, as well as that of the parents; and of these
several forces one cannot fulfil the functions of the others.

§ 13. According to the theory or at least the practice of English public
schools, boys are left in their leisure hours to organize their life for
themselves, and they form a community from which the masters are, partly
by their own over-work, partly by the traditions of the school, utterly
excluded. From this the intellectual education of the boys no doubt
suffers. “Engage them in conversation with men of parts and breeding,”
says Locke; and this was the old notion of training when boys of good
family grew up as pages in the household of some nobleman. But, except
in the holidays, the young aristocrats of the present day talk only with
other boys, and servants, and tradesmen. Hence the amount of thought and
conversation given to school topics, especially the games, is out of
all proportion to the importance of such things; and this does much to
increase what Matthew Arnold calls “the barbarians’” inaptitude for ideas.

§ 14. What are we to say about the effects of the system on the morals
of the boys? If we were to start like Saint-Cyran from the doctrine
of human depravity, we should entirely condemn the system and predict
from it the most disastrous results;[90] but from experience we come to
a very different conclusion. Bishop Dupanloup, indeed, spoke of the
public schools of France as “_ces gouffres_.” This is not what is said
or thought of the English schools, and they are filled with boys whose
fathers and grandfathers were brought up in them, and desire above all
things to maintain the old traditions.

§ 15. The Little Schools of Port-Royal aimed at training a few boys very
differently; each master had the charge of five or six only, and these
were never to be out of his presence day or night.[91]

§ 16. It may reasonably be objected that such schools would be
possible only for a few children of well-to-do parents, and that men
who would thus devote themselves could be found only at seasons of
great enthusiasm. Under ordinary circumstances small schools have most
of the drawbacks and few of the advantages which are to be found in
large schools. As I have already said, parents, schoolmasters, and
school-fellows have separate functions in education; and even in the
smallest school the master can never take the place of the parent, or the
school become the home. Children at home enter into the world of their
father and mother; the family friends are _their_ friends, the family
events affect them as a matter of course. But in the school, however
small, the children’s interests are unconnected with the master and the
master’s family. The boys may be on the most intimate, even affectionate
terms with the grown people who have charge of them; but the mental
horizon of the two parties is very different, and their common area of
vision but small. In such cases the young do not rise into the world of
the adults, and it is almost impossible for the adults to descend into
theirs. They are “no company” the one for the other, and to be constantly
in each other’s presence would subject both to very irksome restraint.
When left to themselves, boys in small numbers are far more likely to get
into harm than boys in large numbers. In large communities even of boys,
“the common sense of most” is a check on the badly disposed. So as it
seems to me if from any cause the young cannot live at home and attend
a day-school, they will be far better off in a large boarding school
than in one that would better fulfil the requirements of Erasmus,[92]
Saint-Cyran, and Locke.

§ 17. As Saint-Cyran attributed immense importance to the part of the
master in education, he was not easily satisfied with his qualifications.
“There is no occupation in the Church that is more worthy of a Christian;
next to giving up one’s life there is no greater charity.... The charge
of the soul of one of these little ones is a higher employment than the
government of all the world.” (Cadet, 2.) So thought Saint-Cyran, and he
was ready to go to the ends of the earth to find the sort of teacher he

§ 18. He was so anxious that the children should see only that which was
good that the servants were chosen with peculiar care.

§ 19. For the masters his favourite rule was: “Speak little; put up
with much; pray still more.” Piety was not to be instilled so much by
precepts as by the atmosphere in which the children grew up. “Do not
spend so much time in speaking to them about God as to God about them:”
so formal instruction was never to be made wearisome. But there was to be
an incessant watch against evil influences and for good. “In guarding the
citadel,” says Lancelot, “we fail if we leave open a single gateway by
which the enemy might enter.”

§ 20. Though anxious, like the Jesuits, to make their boys’ studies
“not only endurable, but even delightful,” the Gentlemen of Port-Royal
banished every form of rivalry. Each pupil was to think of one whom
he should try to catch up, but this was not a school-fellow, but his
own higher self, his ideal. Here Pascal admits that the exclusion
of competition had its drawbacks and that the boys sometimes became
indifferent—“tombent dans la nonchalance,” as he says.

§ 21. As for the instruction it was founded on this principle: the object
of schools being piety rather than knowledge there was to be no pressure
in studying, but the children were to be taught what was sound and

§ 22. In all occupations there is of necessity a tradition. In the higher
callings the tradition may be of several kinds. First there may be a
tradition of noble thoughts and high ideals, which will be conveyed in
the words of the greatest men who have been engaged in that calling,
or have thought out the theory of it. Next there will be the tradition
of the very best workers in it. And lastly there is the tradition of
the common man who learns and passes on just the ordinary views of his
class and the ordinary expedients for getting through ordinary work. Of
these different kinds of tradition, the school-room has always shown
a tendency to keep to this last, and the common man is supreme. Young
teachers are mostly required to fulfil their daily tasks without the
smallest preparation for them; so they have to get through as best they
can, and have no time to think of any high ideal, or of any way of doing
their work except that which gives them least trouble. “Practice makes
perfect,” says the proverb, but it would be truer to say that practice in
doing work badly soon makes perfect in contentment with bad workmanship.
Thus it is that the tradition of the school-room settles down for the
most part into a deadly routine, and teachers who have long been engaged
in carrying it on seem to lose their powers of vision like horses who
turn mills in the dark.

The Gentlemen of Port-Royal worked free from school-room tradition.
“If the want of emulation was a drawback,” says Sainte-Beuve, “it was a
clear gain to escape from all routine, from all pedantry. _La crasse et
la morgue des régents n’en approchaient pas._” (_P.R._ vol. iij, p. 414)
Piety as we have seen was their main object. Next to it they wished to
“carry the intellects of their pupils to the highest point they could
attain to.”

§ 23. In doing this they profited by their freedom from routine to try
experiments. They used their own judgments and sought to train the
judgment of their pupils. Themselves knowing the delights of literature,
they resolved that their pupils should know them also. They would banish
all useless difficulties and do what they could to “help the young and
make study even more pleasant to them than play and pastime.” (Preface to
Cic.’s _Billets_, quoted by Sainte-Beuve, vol. iij, p. 423.)

§ 24. One of their innovations, though startling to their contemporaries,
does not seem to us very surprising. It was the custom to begin reading
with a three or four years’ course of reading Latin, because in that
language all the letters were pronounced. The connexion between sound
and sense is in our days not always thought of, but even among teachers
no advocates would now be found for the old method which kept young
people for the first three or four years uttering sounds they could by no
possibility understand. The French language might have some disadvantage
from its silent letters, but this was small compared with the
disadvantage felt in Latin from its silent sense. So the Port-Royalists
began reading with French.

§ 25. Further than this, they objected to reading through spelling,
and pointed out that as consonants cannot be pronounced by themselves
they should be taken only in connexion with the adjacent vowel. Pascal
applied himself to the subject and invented the method described in the
6th chap. of the General Grammar (Carré, p. xxiij) and introduced by his
sister Jacqueline at Port-Royal des Champs.

§ 26. When the child could read French, the Gentlemen of Port-Royal
sought for him books within the range of his intelligence. There was
nothing suitable in French, so they set to work to produce translations
in good French of the most readable Latin books, “altering them just a
little—_en y changeant fort peu de chose_,” as said the chief translator
De Saci, for the sake of purity. In this way they gallicised the
Fables of Phædrus, three Comedies of Terence, and the Familiar Letters
(_Billets_) of Cicero.

§ 27. In this we see an important innovation. As I have tried to explain
(_supra_ pp. 14 ff.) the effect of the Renascence was to banish both the
mother-tongue and literature proper from the school-room; for no language
was tolerated but Latin, and no literature was thought possible except
in Latin or Greek. Before any literature could be known, or indeed,
instruction in any subject could be given, the pupils had to learn Latin.
This neglect of the mother-tongue was one of the traditional mistakes
pointed out and abandoned by the Port-Royalists. “People of quality
complain,” says De Saci, “and complain with reason, that in giving their
children Latin we take away French, and to turn them into citizens of
ancient Rome we make them strangers in their native land. After learning
Latin and Greek for 10 or 12 years, we are often obliged at the age of 30
to learn French.” (Cadet, 10.) So Port-Royal proposed breaking through
this bondage to Latin, and laid down the principle, new in France, though
not in the country of Mulcaster or of Ratke, that everything should be
taught through the mother-tongue.

Next, the Port-Royalists sought to give their pupils an early and a
pleasing introduction to literature. The best literature in those days
was the classical; and suitable works from that literature might be made
intelligible _by means of translations_. In this way the Port-Royalists
led their pupils to look upon some of the classical authors not as
inventors of examples in syntax, but as writers of books that _meant_
something. And thus both the mother-tongue and literature were brought
into the school-room.

§ 28. When the boys had by this means got some feeling for literature
and some acquaintance with the world of the ancients, they began the
study of Latin. Here again all needless difficulties were taken out of
their way. No attempt indeed was made to teach language without grammar,
the rationale of language, but the science of grammar was reduced to
first principles (set forth in the _Grammaire Générale et Raisonnée_ of
Arnauld and Lancelot), and the special grammar of the Latin language was
no longer taught by means of the work established in the University,
the _Latin_ Latin Grammar of Despautère, but by a “New Method” written
in French which gave essentials only and had for its motto: “Mihi inter
virtutes grammatici habebitur aliqua nescire—To me it will be among the
grammarian’s good points not to know everything.” (Quintil.)[93]

§ 29. With this minimum of the essentials of the grammar and with
a previous acquaintance with the sense of the book the pupils were
introduced to the Latin language and were taught to translate a Latin
author into French. This was a departure from the ordinary route, which
after a course of learning grammar-rules in Latin went to the “theme,”
_i.e._, to composition in Latin.

The art of translating into the mother-tongue was made much of. School
“construes,” which consist in substituting a word for a word, were
entirely forbidden, and the pupils had to produce the old writer’s
thoughts _in French_.[94]

§30. From this we see that the training was literary. But in the study of
form the Port-Royalists did not neglect the inward for the outward. Their
great work, which still stands the attacks of time, is the Port-Royal
_Logic, or the Art of Thinking_ (see Trans, by T. Spencer Baynes, 1850).
This was substantially the work of Arnauld; and it was Arnauld who led
the Port-Royalists in their rupture with the philosophy of the Middle
Age, and who openly followed Descartes. In the _Logic_ we find the claims
of reason asserted as if in defiance of the Jesuits. “It is a heavy
bondage to think oneself forced to agree in everything with Aristotle and
to take him as the standard of truth in philosophy.... The world cannot
long continue in this restraint, and is recovering by degrees its natural
and reasonable liberty, which consists in accepting that which we judge
to be true and rejecting that which we judge to be false.” (Quoted by
Cadet, p. 31.)[95]

§ 31. To mark the change, the Port-Royalists called their book not “the
Art of Reasoning,” but “the Art of Thinking,” and it was in this art
of thinking that they endeavoured to train their scholars. They paid
great attention to geometry, and Arnauld wrote a book (“New Elements of
Geometry”) which so well satisfied Pascal that after reading the MS. he
burnt a similar work of his own.

§ 32. The Port-Royalists then sought to introduce into the school-room a
“sweet reasonableness.” They were not touched, as Comenius was, by the
spirit of Bacon, and knew nothing of a key for opening the secrets of
Nature. They loved literature and resolved that their pupils should love
it also; and with this end they would give the first notions of it in the
mother-tongue; but the love of literature still bound them to the past,
and they aimed simply at making the best of the Old Education without any
thought of a New.

§ 33. In one respect they seem less wise than Rabelais and Mulcaster,
less wise perhaps than their foes the Jesuits. They gave little heed to
training the body, and thought of the soul and the mind only; or if they
thought of the body they were concerned merely that it should do no harm.
“Not only must we form the minds of our pupils to virtue,” says Nicole,
“we must also bend their bodies to it, that is, we must endeavour that
the body do not prove a hindrance to their leading a well-regulated life
or draw them by its weight to any disorder. For we should know that as
men are made up of mind and body, a wrong turn given to the body in youth
is often in after life a great hindrance to piety.” (_Vues p. bien élever
un prince_, quoted by Cadet, p. 206.)

§ 34. But let us not underrate the good effect produced by this united
effort of Christian toil and Christian thought. “Nothing should be
more highly esteemed than good sense,” (Preface to the _Logique_), and
Port-Royal did a great work in bringing good sense and reason to bear on
the practice of the school-room. When the Little Schools were dispersed
the Gentlemen still continued to teach, but the lessons they gave were
now in the “art of thinking” and in the art of teaching; and all the
world might learn of them, for they taught in the only way left open to
them; they published books.

§ 35. Of these writers on pedagogy the most distinguished was “the great
Arnauld,” _i.e._, Antoine Arnauld, (1612-1694) brother of the Mère
Angélique. His “_Règlement des Études_” shows us how literary instruction
was given at Port-Royal. In these directions we have not so much the
rules observed in the Little Schools as the experience of the Little
Schools rendered available for the schools of the University. On this
account Sainte-Beuve speaks of the _Règlement_ of Arnauld as forming a
preface to the _Treatise on Studies_ (_Traité des Études_) of Rollin.
In the _Règlement_ we see Arnauld yielding to what seems a practical
necessity and admitting competition and prizes. Some excellent advice is
given, especially on practice in the use of the mother-tongue. The young
people are to question and answer each other about the substance of what
they have read, about the more remarkable thoughts in their author or the
more beautiful expressions. Each day two of the boys are to narrate a
story which they themselves have selected from a classical author.[96]

§ 36. With the notable exception of Pascal, Arnauld was the most
distinguished writer among the Gentlemen of Port-Royal. A writer less
devoted to controversy than Arnauld, less attached to the thought of
Saint-Cyran and of Descartes, but of wider popularity, was Nicole, who
had Made. de Sévigné for an admirer, and Locke for one of his translators.

Nicole has given us a valuable contribution to pedagogy in his essay on
the right bringing-up of a prince. (_Vues générales pour bien élever un
prince._) In this essay he shows us with what thought and care he had
applied himself to the art of instruction, and he gives us hints that all
teachers may profit by. Take the following:—

§ 37. “Properly speaking it is not the masters, it is no instruction
from without, that makes things understood; at the best the masters do
nothing but expose the things to the interior light of the mind, by which
alone they can be understood. It follows that where this light is wanting
instruction is as useless as trying to shew pictures in the dark. The
very greatest minds are nothing but lights in confinement, and they have
always sombre and shady spots; but in children the mind is nearly full
of shade and emits but little rays of light. So everything depends on
making the most of these rays, on increasing them and exposing to them
what one wishes to have understood. For this reason it is hard to give
general rules for instructing anyone, because the instruction must be
adapted to the mixture of light and darkness, which differs widely in
different minds, especially with children. We must look where the day
is breaking and bring to it what we wish them to understand; and to do
this we must try a variety of ways for getting at their minds and must
persevere with such as we find have most success.

“But generally speaking we may say that, as in children the light depends
greatly on their senses, we should as far as possible attach to the
senses the instruction we give them, and make it enter not only by the
ear but also by the sight, as there is no sense which makes so lively an
impression on the mind and forms such sharp and clear ideas.”

This is excellent. There is a wise proverb that warns us that “however
soon we get up in the morning the sunrise comes never the earlier.” A
vast amount of instruction is thrown away because the instructors will
not wait for the day-break.

§ 38. For the moral training of the young there is one qualification
in the teacher which is absolutely indispensable—goodness.
Similarly for the intellectual training, there is an indispensable
qualification—intelligence. This is the qualification required by the
system of Port-Royal, but not required in working the ordinary machinery
of the school-room either in those days or in ours. When Nicole has
described how instruction should be given so as to train the judgment and
cultivate the taste, he continues:

“As this kind of instruction comes without observation, so is the profit
derived from it likely to escape observation also; that is, it will not
announce itself by anything on the surface and palpable to the common
man. And on this account persons of small intelligence are mistaken
about it and think that a boy thus instructed is no better than another,
because he cannot make a better translation from Latin into French, or
beat him in saying his Virgil. Thus judging of the instruction by these
trifles only, they often make less account of a really able teacher than
of one of little science and of a mind without light.” (Nicole in Cadet,
p. 204; Carré, p. 187.)

In these days of marks and percentages we seem agreed that it must be
all right if the children can stand the tests of the examiner or the
inspector. Something may no doubt be got at by these tests; but we cannot
hope for any genuine care for education while everything is estimated
“_par des signes grossiers et extérieurs_.”

§ 39. Whatever was required to adapt the thought of Port-Royal to the
needs of classical schools, especially the schools of the University
of Paris was supplied by Rollin (1661-1741) whose _Traité des Études_
or “Way of teaching and studying Literature,” united the lessons of
Port-Royal with much material drawn from his own experience and from his
acquaintance with the writings of other authors, especially Quintilian
and Seneca. Having been twice Rector of the University (in 1694 and
1695) Rollin had managed to bring into the schools much that was due to
Port-Royal; and in his _Traité_ he has the tact to give the improved
methods as the ordinary practice of his colleagues.

§ 40. Much that Rollin has said applies only to classical or at most
to literary instruction; but some of his advice will be good for all
teachers as long as the human mind needs instruction. I have met with
nothing that seems to me to go more truly to the very foundation of the
art of teaching than the following:

“We should never lose sight of this grand principle that STUDY DEPENDS
ON THE WILL, and the will does not endure constraint: ‘_Studium discendi
voluntate quæ cogi non potest constat._’ (Quint. j, 1, cap. 3.)[97] We
can, to be sure, put constraint on the body and make a pupil, however
unwilling, stick to his desk, can double his toil by punishment, compel
him to finish a task imposed upon him, and with this object we can
deprive him of play and recreation. But is this work of the galley-slave
studying? And what remains to the pupil from this kind of study but a
hatred of books, of learning, and of masters, often till the end of his
days? It is then the will that we must draw on our side, and this we
must do by gentleness, by friendliness, by persuasion, and above all by
the allurement of pleasure.” (_Traité_, 8th Bk. _Du Gouvernement des
Classes_, 1re Partie, Art. x.)

§ 41. The passage I have quoted is from the _Article_ “on giving a taste
for study (_rendre l’étude aimable_);” and if some masters do not agree
that this is “one of the most important points concerning education,”
they will not deny that “it is at the same time one of the most
difficult.” As Rollin truly says, “among a very great number of masters
who in other respects are highly meritorious there will be found very few
who manage to get their pupils to like their work.”

§ 42. One of the great causes of the disinclination for school work is
to be found according to Rollin and Quintilian, in the repulsive form in
which children first become acquainted with the elements of learning. “In
this matter success depends very much on first impressions; and the main
effort of the masters who teach the first rudiments should be so to do
this, that the child who cannot as yet love study should at least not get
an aversion for it from that time forward, for fear lest the bitter taste
once acquired should still be in his mouth when he grows older.”[98]
(Begin. of Art. x, as above.)

§ 43. In this matter Rollin was more truly the disciple of the
Port-Royalists than of Quintilian. They it was who protested against the
dismal “grind” of learning to read first in an unknown tongue, and of
studying the rules of Latin in Latin with no knowledge of Latin, a course
which professed to lead, as Sainte-Beuve puts it, “to the unknown through
the unintelligible.” They directed their highly-trained intellects to
the teaching of the elements, and succeeded in proving that the ordinary
difficulties were due not to the dulness of the learners, but to the
stupidity of the masters. They showed how much might be done to remove
these difficulties by following not routine but the dictates of thought,
and study and love of the little ones.

    There is an excellent though condensed account of the
    Port-Royalists under “Jansenists” in Sonnenschein’s _Cyclopædia
    of Education_. In vol. ij, of Charles Beard’s Port-Royal, (2
    vols., 1861) there is a chapter on the Little Schools. The most
    pleasing account I have seen in English of the Port-Royalists
    (without reference to education) is in Sir Jas. Stephen’s
    _Essays on Ecclesiastical Biography_. In French the great work
    on the subject is Sainte-Beuve’s _Port-Royal_, 5 vols. (71 ed.,
    6 vols.) The account of the Schools is in 4th bk., in vol. iij,
    of 1st ed. Very useful for studying the pedagogy of Port-Royal
    are _L’Education à Port-Royal_ by Félix Cadet (Hachette, 1887)
    and _Les Pédagogues de Port-Royal_, by I. Carré (Delagrave,
    1887). These last give extracts from the main writings on
    education by Arnauld, Nicole, Lancelot, Coustel, &c. The
    article, _Port-Royal_, in Buisson’s _D._, is the “Introduction”
    to Carré’s book. A 3-vol. ed. of Rollin’s _Traité_ was
    published (Paris, Didot) in 1872. The more interesting parts
    of this book are contained in F. Cadet’s _Rollin: Traité
    des Études_ (Delagrave, 1882). Rollin’s work was at one time
    well-known in the English trans., and copies of it are often
    to be found “second-hand.” The best part comes last; which may
    account for the neglect into which the book has fallen. The
    accounts of Port-Royal and of Rollin in G. Compayré’s _Histoire
    Critique_ are very good parts of a very good book. Vérin’s
    _Étude sur Lancelot_ I have not seen, and it is only too
    probable that I have not given to Lancelot the attention due to



§ 1. The beginning of the 17th century brought with it a change in
the main direction of thought and interest. As we have seen, the 16th
century adored literature and was thrown back on the remote past. Some
of the great scholars like Sturm had indeed visions of literary works
to be written, that would rival the old models on which they were
fashioned; but whether they hoped or not to bring back the Golden Age
all the scholars of the Renascence thought of it as _having been_. With
the change of century, however, a new conception came into men’s minds.
Might not this worship of the old writers after all be somewhat of a
superstition? The languages in which they wrote were beautiful languages,
no doubt, but they were ill adapted to express the ideas and wants of
the modern world. As for the substance of these old writings, this did
not satisfy the cravings of men’s minds. It left unsolved all the main
problems of existence, and offered for knowledge mere speculations
or poetic fancies or polished rhetoric. Man needed to understand his
position with regard to God and to Nature; but on both of these topics
the classics were either silent or misleading. Revelation had supplied
what the classics could not give concerning man’s relation to God;
but nothing had as yet thrown light on his relation to Nature. And yet
with his material body and animal life he could not but see how close
that relation was, and could not but wish that something about it might
be _known_, not simply guessed or feigned. Hence the demand for _real_
knowledge, that is, a knowledge of the facts of the universe as distinct
from the knowledge of what men have thought and said. We have heard of
the mathematician who put down Paradise Lost with the remark that it
seemed to him a poor book, for it did not prove anything; and it was just
in this spirit that the new school of thinkers, the Realists, looked upon
the classics. They wanted to know Nature’s laws: and words which did not
convey such knowledge seemed to them of little value.

§ 2. Here was a tremendous revolution from the mode of thought prevalent
in the Renascence. No longer was the Golden Age in the past. In science
the Golden Age must always be in the future. Scientific men start with
what has been discovered and add to it. Every discovery passes into the
common stock of knowledge, and becomes the property of everyone who knows
it just as much as of the discoverer. Harvey had no more property in the
circulation of the blood, Newton and Leibnitz no more property in the
Differential Calculus than Columbus in the Continent of America; indeed
not so much, for Columbus gained some exclusive rights in America, but
Harvey gained none over the blood.

So we see that whereas the literary spirit made the dominant minds
reverence the past, the scientific spirit led them to despise the past;
and whereas the literary spirit raised the value of words and led to
the study of celebrated writings, the scientific spirit was totally
careless about words and prized only physical truths which were entirely
independent of words. Again, the literary spirit naturally favoured
the principle of authority, for its oracles had already spoken: the
scientific spirit set aside all authority and accepted nothing that did
not of itself satisfy the reason. (Compare Comenius, _supra_ p. 152.)

§ 3. The first great leader in this revolution was an Englishman, Francis
Bacon. But the school-room felt his influence only through those who
learnt from him; and among educational reformers, the chief advocates of
realism have been found on the Continent, _e.g._, Ratke and Comenius.[99]
But the desire to learn by “things, not words” affected the minds of many
English writers on education, and we find this spirit showing itself even
in Milton and Locke, and far more clearly in some writers less known to

§ 4. There is a wide distinction in educational writers between those who
were schoolmasters and those who were not. Schoolmasters have to come
to terms with what exists and to make a livelihood by it. So they are
conservatives by position, and rarely get beyond an attempt at showing
how that which is now done badly might be done well. Suggestions of
radical change usually come from those who never belonged to the class of
teachers, or who, not without disgust, have left it.

Among English schoolmasters of the olden times the chief writers I have
met with besides Mulcaster are John Brinsley the elder, and Charles

§ 5. John Brinsley the elder, a Puritan schoolmaster at
Ashby-de-la-Zouch, a brother-in-law of Bishop Hall’s, and father of John
Brinsley the younger who became a leading Puritan minister and author,
was a veritable reformer, but only with reference to methods. His most
interesting books are _Ludus Literarius or the Grammar Schoole_, 1612
(written after 20 years’ experience in teaching, as we learn from the
_Consolation_, p. 45), and _A Consolation for our Grammar Schooles: or
a faithfull and most comfortable incouragement for laying of a sure
foundation of all good learning in our schooles and for prosperous
building thereupon_, 1622. The first of these, when reprinted, as it
is sure to be, will always secure for its author the notice and the
gratitude of students of the history of our education; for in this
book he tells us not only what should be done in the school-room, but
also what was done. In a dialogue with the ordinary schoolmaster the
reformer draws to light the usual practice, criticizes it, and suggests

§ 6. In Brinsley we get no hint of realism; but by the middle of
the sixteen hundreds we find the realistic spirit is felt even by a
schoolmaster, Charles Hoole,[100] who was a kinsman of Bishop Sanderson,
the Casuist, and was master first of the Grammar School at Rotherham,
then of a private Grammar School in London, published besides a number
of school books, a translation of the _Orbis Pictus_ (date of preface,
January, 1658), and also “A New Discovery of the old art of teaching
schoole ... published for the general profit, especially of young
Schoolemasters” (date of preface, December, 1659). In these books we find
that Hoole succeeded even in the school-room in keeping his mind open.
He complains of the neglect of English, and evidently in theory at least
went a long way with the realistic reformers. “Comenius,” he says, “hath
proceeded (as Nature itself doth) in an orderly way, first to exercise
the senses well by presenting their objects to them, and then to fasten
upon the intellect by impressing the first notions of things upon it and
linking them one to another by a rational discourse; whereas indeed we
generally, missing this way, do teach children as we do parrots to speak
they know not what, nay, which is worse, we taking the way of teaching
little ones by grammar only, at the first do puzzle their imaginations
with abstractive terms and secondary intentions, which, till they be
somewhat acquainted with things, and the words belonging to them in the
language which they learn, they cannot apprehend what they mean. And this
I guess to be the reason why many greater persons do resolve sometimes
not to put a child to school till he be at least eleven or twelve years
of age.... You then, that have the care of little children, do not too
much trouble their thoughts and clog their memories with bare grammar
rudiments, which to them are harsh in getting, and fluid in retaining;
because indeed to them they signifie nothing but a meer swimming notion
of a general term, which they know not what it meaneth till they
comprehend all particulars: but by this [_i.e._, the _Orbis P._] or the
like subsidiarie inform them first with some knowledge of things and
words wherewith to express them; and then their rules of speaking will be
better understood and more firmly kept in mind. Else how should a child
conceive what a rule meaneth when he neither knoweth what the Latine
word importeth, nor what manner of thing it is which is signified to
him in his own native language which is given him thereby to understand
the rule? for rules consisting of generalities are delivered (as I may
say) at a third hand, presuming first the things and then the words to
be already apprehended touching which they are made.” This subject Hoole
wisely commends to the consideration of teachers, “it being _the very
basis of our profession to search into the way of children’s taking
hold by little and little of what we teach them_, that so we may apply
ourselves to their reach.” (Preface to trans. of _Orbis Pictus_.)

§ 7. “Good Lord! how many good and clear wits of children be now-a-days
perished by ignorant schoolmasters!” So said Sir Thomas Elyot in his
_Governor_ in 1531, and the complaint would not have been out of date in
the 17th century, possibly not in the 19th. In the sixteen hundreds we
certainly find little advance in practice, though in theory many bold
projects were advanced, some of which pointed to the study of things, to
the training of the hand, and even to observation of the “educands.”

§ 8. The poet Cowley’s “proposition for the advancement of experimental
philosophy” is a scheme of a college near London to which is to be
attached a school of 200 boys. “And because it is deplorable to consider
the loss which children make of their time at most schools, employing
or rather casting away six or seven years in the learning of words
only, and that too very imperfectly; that a method be here established
for the infusing knowledge and language at the same time, [Is this an
echo of Comenius?] and that this may be their apprenticeship in Natural

§ 9. Rarely indeed have those who either theoretically or practically
have made a study of education ever acquired sufficient literary skill
to catch the ear of the public or (what is at least as difficult) the
ear of the teaching body. And among the eminent writers who have spoken
on education, as Rabelais, Montaigne, Milton, Locke, Rousseau, Herbert
Spencer, we cannot find one who has given to it more than passing, if not
accidental, attention. Schoolmasters are, as I said, conservative, at
least in the school-room; and moreover, they seldom find the necessary
time, money, or inclination for publishing on the work of their calling.
The current thought at any period must then be gathered from books only
to be found in our great libraries, books in which writers now long
forgotten give hints of what was wanted out of the school-room and
grumble at what went on in it.

§ 10. One of the most original of these writers that have come in my way
is John Dury, a Puritan, who was at one time Chaplain to the English
Company of Merchants at Elbing, and laboured with Comenius and Hartlib to
promote unity among the various Christian bodies of the reformed faith
(see Masson’s _Life of Milton_, vol. iii). About 1649 Dury published
_The Reformed Schoole_ which gives the scheme of an association for the
purpose of educating a number of boys and girls “in a Christian way.”

§ 11. That Dury was not himself a schoolmaster is plain from the first
of his “rules of education.” “The chief rule of the whole work is that
nothing be made tedious and grievous to the children, but all the
toilsomeness of their business the Governor and Ushers are to take upon
themselves; that by diligence and industry all things may be so prepared,
methodized and ordered for their apprehension, that this work may unto
them be as a delightful recreation by the variety and easiness thereof.”

§ 12. “The things to be looked unto in the care of their education,” he
enumerates in the order of importance: “1. Their advancement in piety;
2. The preservation of their health; 3. The forming of their manners;
4. Their proficiency in learning” (p. 24). “Godliness and bodily health
are absolutely necessary,” says Dury; “the one for spiritual and the
other for their temporal felicitie” (p. 31): so great care is to be taken
in “exercising their bodies in husbandry or manufactures or military

§ 13. About instruction we find the usual complaints which like “mother’s
truth keep constant youth.” “Children,” says Dury, “are taught to read
authors and learn words and sentences before they can have any notion
of the things signified by those words and sentences or of the author’s
strain and wit in setting them together; and they are made to learn by
heart the generall rules, sentences and precepts of Arts before they are
furnished with any matter whereunto to apply those rules and precepts”
(p. 38). Dury would entirely sweep away the old routine, and in all
instruction he would keep in view the following end: “the true end of all
human learning is to supply in ourselves and others the defects which
proceed from our ignorance of the nature and use of the creatures, and
the disorderliness of our natural faculties in using them and reflecting
upon them” (p. 41).

§ 14. “Our natural faculties”—here Dury struck a new note, which has now
become the keynote in the science of education. He enforces his point
with the following ingenious illustration:—“As in a watch one wheel
rightly set doth with its teeth take hold of another and sets that a-work
towards a third; and so all move one by another when they are in their
right places for the end for which the watch is made; so is it with the
faculties of the human nature being rightly ordered to the ends for which
God hath created them. But contrariwise, if the wheels be not rightly
set, or the watch not duly wound up, it is useless to him that hath it.
And so it is with the faculties of Man; if his wheels be not rightly
ordered and wound up by the ends of sciences in their subordination
leading him to employ the same according to his capacity to make use of
the creatures for that whereunto God hath made them, he becomes not only
useless, but even a burthen and hurtful unto himself and others by the
misusing of them” (p. 43).

§ 15. “As in Nature sense is the servant of imagination; imagination of
memory; memory of reason; so in teaching arts and sciences we must set
these faculties a-work in this order towards their proper objects in
everything which is to be taught. Whence this will follow, that as the
faculties of Man’s soul naturally perfect each other by their mutual
subordination; so the Arts which perfect those faculties should be
gradually suggested: and the objects wherewith the faculties are to be
conversant according to the rules of Art should be offered in that order
which is answerable to their proper ends and uses and not otherwise.”

§ 16. In this and much else that Dury says we see a firm grasp of
the principle that the instruction given should be regulated by the
gradual development of the learner’s faculties. The three sources of our
knowledge, says he, are—1. Sense; 2. Tradition; 3. Reason; and Sense
comes first. “Art or sciences which may be learnt by mere sense should
not be learnt any other way.” “As children’s faculties break forth in
them by degrees to be vigorous with their years and the growth of their
bodies, so they are to be filled with objects whereof they are capable,
and plied with arts; whence followeth that while children are not
capable of the acts of reasoning, the method of filling their senses and
imaginations with outward objects should be plied. Nor is their memory at
this time to be charged further with any objects than their imagination
rightly ordered and fixed doth of itself impress the same upon them.”
After speaking of the common abuse of general rules, he says: “So far as
those faculties (viz., sense, imagination, and memory) are started with
matters of observation, so far rules may be given to direct the mind in
the use of the same, and no further.” “The arts and sciences which lead
us to reflect upon the use of our own faculties are not to be taught till
we are fully acquainted with their proper objects, and the direct acts
of the faculties about them.” So “it is a very absurd and preposterous
course to teach Logick and Metaphysicks before or with other Humane
Sciences which depend more upon Sense and Imagination than reasoning” (p.

§ 17. In all this it seems to me that the worthy Puritan, of whom
nobody but Dr. Barnard and Professor Masson has ever heard, has truly
done more to lay a foundation for the art of teaching than his famous
contemporaries Milton and Locke.

§ 18. Another writer of that day better known than Dury and with far
more power of expression was Sir William Petty. He is the “W.P.,” who
in an Epistle “to his honoured friend Master Samuel Hartlib,” set down
his “thoughts concerning the advancement of real learning” (1647). This
letter is to be shown only “to those few that are Reall Friends to the
Designe of Realities.”[103]

§ 19. Petty sees the need of intercommunication of those who wish to
advance any art or science. He complains that “the wits and endeavours of
the world are as so many scattered coals or fire-brands, which for want
of union are soon quenched, whereas being but laid together they would
yield a comfortable light and heat.” This is a thought which may well
be applied to the bringing up of the young; and the following passage
might have been written to secure a training for teachers: “Methinks
the present condition of men is like a field where a battle hath been
lately fought, where we may see many legs and arms and eyes lying here
and there, which for want of a union and a soul to quicken and enliven
them are good for nothing but to feed ravens and infect the air. So we
see many wits and ingenuities lying scattered up and down the world,
whereof some are now labouring to do what is already done, and puzzling
themselves to re-invent what is already invented. Others we see quite
stuck fast in difficulties for want of a few directions which some other
man (might he be met withal) both could and would most easily give him.”
I wonder how many young teachers are now wasting their own and their
pupils’ time in this awkward predicament.

§ 20. “As for ... education,” says Petty, “we cannot but hope that those
who make it their trade will supply it and render the idea thereof much
more perfect.” His own contributions to the more perfect idea consist
mainly in making the study of “realities” precede literature, and thus
announcing the principle which in later times has led to the introduction
of “object lessons.” The Baconians thought that the good time was at
hand, and that they had found the right road at last. By experiments they
would learn to interpret Nature. After scheming a “Gymnasium, Mechanicum,
or College of Tradesmen,” Petty says, “What experiments and stuff would
all those shops and operations afford to active and philosophical heads,
out of which to extract that interpretation of nature whereof there is so
little, and that so bad, as yet extant in the world!”[104] And this study
of things was to affect the work of the school-room, and redeem it from
the dismal state into which it was fallen. “As for the studies to which
children are now-a-days put,” says Petty, “they are altogether unfit for
want of judgment which is but weak in them, and also for want of will,
which is sufficiently seen ... by the difficulty of keeping them at
schools and the punishment they will endure rather than be altogether
debarred from the pleasure which they take in things.”

§ 21. The grand reform required is thus set forth; “Since few children
have need of reading before they know or can be acquainted with the
things they read of; or of writing before their thoughts are worth the
recording or they are able to put them into any form (which we call
inditing); much less of learning languages when there be books enough
for their present use in their own mother-tongue; our opinion is that
those things being withal somewhat above their capacity (as being to be
attained by judgment which is weakest in children) be deferred awhile,
and others more needful for them, such as are in the order of Nature
before those afore-mentioned, and are attainable by the help of memory
which is either most strong or unpreoccupied in children, be studied
before them. We wish, therefore, that the educands be taught to observe
and remember all sensible objects and actions, whether they be natural
or artificial, which the educators must upon all occasions expound unto

§ 22. In proposing this great change Petty was influenced not merely
by his own delight in the study of things but by something far more
important for education, by observation of the children themselves. This
study of things instead of “a rabble of words” would be “more easy and
pleasant to the young as the more suitable to the natural propensions we
observe in them. For we see children do delight in drums, pipes, fiddles,
guns made of elder sticks, and bellows’ noses, piped keys, &c., painting
flags and ensigns with elderberries and cornpoppy, making ships with
paper, and setting even nut-shells a-swimming, handling the tools of
workmen as soon as they turn their backs and trying to work themselves;
fishing, fowling, hunting, setting springes and traps for birds and other
animals, making pictures in their writing-books, making tops, gigs and
whirligigs, gilting balls, practising divers juggling tricks upon the
cards, &c., with a million more besides. And for the females they will
be making pies with clay, making their babies’ clothes and dressing them
therewith; they will spit leaves on sticks as if they were roasting meat;
they will imitate all the talk and actions which they observe in their
mother and her gossips, and punctually act the comedy or the tragedy (I
know not whether to call it) of a woman’s lying-in. By all which it is
most evident that children do most naturally delight in things and are
most capable of learning them, having quick senses to receive them and
unpreoccupied memories to retain them” (_ad f._).

§ 23. In these writers, Dury and Petty, we find a wonderful advance in
the theory of instruction. Children are to be taught about _things_ and
this because their inward constitution determines them towards things.
Moreover the subjects of instruction are to be graduated to accord with
the development of the learner’s faculties. The giving of rules and
incomprehensible statements that will come in useful at a future stage
is entirely forbidden. All this is excellent, and greatly have children
suffered, greatly do they suffer still, from their teachers’ neglect of
it. There seems to me to have been no important advance on the thought of
these men till Pestalozzi and Froebel fixed their attention on the mind
of the child, and valued things not in themselves but simply as the means
best fitted for drawing out the child’s self-activity.

§ 24. In several other matters we find Sir William Petty’s
recommendations in advance of the practice of his own time and ours. He
advises “that the business of education be not (as now) committed to the
worst and unworthiest of men [here at least we have improved] but that
it be seriously studied and practised by the best and abler persons.” To
this standard we have not yet attained.

§ 25. Handwork is to be practised, but its educational value is not
clearly perceived. “All children, though of the highest rank, are to be
taught some gentle manufacture in their minority.” _Ergastula Literaria_,
literary workhouses, are to be instituted where children may be taught as
well to do something towards their living as to read and write.[105]

§ 26. Education was to be universal, but chiefly with the object of
bringing to the front the clever sons of poor parents. The rule he would
lay down is “that all children of above seven years old may be presented
to this kind of education, none being to be excluded by reason of the
poverty and unability of their parents, for hereby it hath come to pass
that many are now holding the plough which might have been made fit to
steer the state.”[106]

§ 27. From these enthusiasts for realities we find a change when we turn
to their contemporary, a schoolmaster and author of a Latin Accidence,
who was perhaps the most notable Englishman who ever kept a school or
published a school-book.

§ 28. Milton was not only a great poet: he was also a great scholar.
Everything he said or wrote bore traces of his learning. The world of
books then rather than the world of the senses is his world. He has
benefited as he says “among old renowned authors” and “his inclination
leads him not” to read modern _Januas_ and _Didactics_, or apparently
the writings of any of his contemporaries including those of his great
countryman, Bacon. But, as Professor Laurie reminds us, no man, not even
a Milton, however he may ignore the originators of ideas can keep himself
outside the influence of the ideas themselves when they are in the air;
and so we find Milton using his incomparable power of expression in the
service of the Realists.

§ 29. But brief he endeavours to be, and paying the Horatian penalty he
becomes obscure. In the “few observations which flowered off and were the
burnishing of many studious and contemplative years,” Milton touches only
on the bringing up of gentlemen’s sons between the ages of 12 and 21, and
his suggestions do not, like those of Comenius, deal with the education
of the people, or of both sexes.[107] This limit of age, sex, and station
deprives Milton’s plan of much of its interest, as the absence of detail
deprives it of much of its value.

§ 30. Still, we find in the _Tractate_ a very great advance on the ideas
current at the Renascence. Learning is no longer the aim of education but
is regarded simply as a means. No finer expression has been given in our
literature to the main thesis of the Christian and of the Realist and to
the Realist’s contempt of verbalism, than this: “The end of learning is
to repair the ruins of our first parents by regaining to know God aright,
and out of that knowledge to love Him, to imitate Him, to be like Him, as
we may the nearest by possessing our souls of true virtue, which being
united to the heavenly grace of faith makes up the highest perfection.
But because our understanding cannot in this body found itself but on
sensible things, nor arrive so clearly to the knowledge of God and things
invisible, as by orderly conning over the visible and inferior creature,
the same method is necessarily to be followed in all discreet teaching.
And seeing every Nation affords not experience and tradition enough for
all kind of learning, therefore we are chiefly taught the languages of
those people who have at any time been most industrious after wisdom; so
that language is but the instrument conveying to us things useful to be
known. And though a linguist should pride himself to have all the tongues
that Babel cleft the world into, yet, if he have not studied the solid
things in them as well as the words and lexicons, he were nothing so much
to be esteemed a learned man as any yeoman or tradesman competently wise
in his mother-dialect only.”

§ 31. The several propositions here implied have thus been “disentangled”
by Professor Laurie (_John Milton_ in _Addresses_, &c., p. 167).

1. The aim of education is the _knowledge_ of God and _likeness_ to God.

2. _Likeness_ to God we attain by possessing our souls of true virtue and
by the Heavenly Grace of Faith.

3. _Knowledge_ of God we attain by the study of the visible things of God.

4. Teaching then has for its aim _this_ knowledge.

5. Language is merely an instrument or vehicle for the knowledge of

6. The linguist may be less _learned_ (_i.e._, educated) in the true
sense than a man who can make good use of his mother-tongue though he
knows no other.

§ 32. Elsewhere, Milton gives his idea of “a complete and generous
education;” it “fits a man to perform justly, skilfully, and
magnanimously all the offices both private and public of Peace and
War.” (Browning’s edition, p. 8.) Here and indeed in all that Milton
says we feel that “the noble moral glow that pervades the _Tractate
on Education_, the mood of magnanimity in which it is conceived and
written, and the faith it inculcates in the powers of the young human
spirit, if rightly nurtured and directed, are merits everlasting.”
(Masson iij, p. 252.)

§ 33. But in this moral glow and in an intense hatred of verbalism
lie as it seems to me the chief merits of the Tractate. The practical
suggestions are either incomprehensible or of doubtful wisdom. The
reforming of education was, as Milton says, one of the greatest and
noblest designs that could be thought on, but he does not take the
right road when he proposes for every city in England a joint school
and university for about 120 boarders. The advice to keep boys between
12 and 21 in this barrack life I consider, with Professor Laurie, to be
“fundamentally unsound;” and the project of uniting the military training
of Sparta with the humanistic training of Athens seems to me a pure

§ 34. When we come to instruction we find that Milton after announcing
the distinctive principle of the Realists proves to be himself the last
survivor of the Verbal Realists. (See _supra_, p. 25.) No doubt

  “His daily teachers had been woods and rills,”

but his thoughts had been even more in his books; and for the young he
sketches out a purely bookish curriculum. The young are to learn about
things, but they are to learn through books; and the only books to which
Milton attaches importance are written in Latin, Greek, or Hebrew. He
held, probably with good reason, that far too much time “is now bestowed
in pure trifling at grammar and sophistry.” “We do amiss,” he says, “to
spend 7 or 8 years merely in scraping together so much miserable Latin
and Greek as might be learned otherwise easily and delightfully in one
year.” Without an explanation of the “otherwise” this statement is a
truism, and what Milton says further hardly amounts to an explanation.
His plan, if plan it can be called, is as follows: “If after some
preparatory grounds of speech by their certain forms got into memory, the
boys were led to the praxis thereof in some chosen short book lessoned
thoroughly to them, they might then proceed to learn the substance of
good things and arts in due order, which would bring the whole language
quickly into their power. This,” adds Milton, “I take to be the most
rational and most profitable way of learning languages.” It is, however,
not the most intelligible.

§ 35. “I doubt not but ye shall have more ado to drive our dullest and
laziest youth, our stocks and stubbs, from the infinite desire of such
a happy nurture than we have now to hale and drag our choicest and
hopefullest wits to that asinine feast of sow thistles and brambles which
is commonly set before them as all the food and entertainment of their
tenderest and most docible age.” We cannot but wonder whether this belief
survived the experience of “the pretty garden-house in Aldersgate.” From
the little we are told by his nephew and old pupil Edward Phillips we
should infer that Milton was not unsuccessful as a schoolmaster. In this
we have a striking proof how much more important is the teacher than the
teaching. A character such as Milton’s in which we find the noblest aims
united with untiring energy in pursuit of them could not but dominate the
impressionable minds of young people brought under its influence. But
whatever success he met with could not have been due to the things he
taught nor to his method in teaching them. In spite of the “moral glow”
about his recommendations they are “not a bow for every [or any] man to
shoot in that counts himself a teacher.”

§ 36. Nor did he do much for the science of education. His scheme is
vitiated, as Mark Pattison says, by “the information fallacy.” In the
literary instruction there is no thought of training the faculties of all
or the special faculties of the individual. “It requires much observation
of young minds to discover that the rapid inculcation of unassimilable
information stupefies the faculties instead of training them,” says
Pattison; and Milton absorbed by his own thoughts and the thoughts of the
ancients did not observe the minds of the young, and knew little of the
powers of any mind but his own.

For information the youths are not required to observe for themselves
but are to be taught “a general compact of physicks.” “Also in course
might be read to them out of some not tedious writer the Institution of
Physick; that they may know the tempers, the humours, the seasons, and
how to manage a crudity.”

§ 37. Even the study of the classics is advocated by Milton on false
grounds. If, like the Port-Royalists, he had recommended the study of
the classical authors for the sake of pure Latin and Greek or as models
of literary style, the means would have been suited to the end; but it
was very different when he directed boys to study Virgil and Columella
in order to learn about bees and farming. In after-life they would find
these authorities a little out of date; and if they ever attempted to
improve tillage, “to recover the bad soil and to remedy the waste that is
made of good, which was one of Hercules’s praises,” they would have found
a knowledge of the methods of Hercules about as useful as of the methods
of the Romans.

§ 38. Milton was then a reformer “for his own hand;” and notwithstanding
his moral and intellectual elevation and his superb power of rhetoric, he
seems to me a less useful writer on education than the humble Puritans
whom he probably would not deign to read. In his haughty self-reliance,
he, like Carlyle with whom Seeley has well compared him (_Lectures and
Addresses: Milton_), addressed his contemporaries _de haut en bas_, and
though ready to teach could learn only among the old renowned authors
with whom he associated himself and we associate him.

§ 39. Judged from our present standpoint the Tractate is found with many
weaknesses to be strong in this, that it co-ordinates physical, moral,
mental and æsthetic training.

§ 40. But nothing of Milton’s can be judged by our ordinary canons. He
soars far above them and raises us with him “to mysterious altitudes
above the earth” (_supra_, p. 153, _note_). Whatever we little people may
say about the suggestions of the Tractate, Milton will remain one of the
great educators of mankind.[108]




§ 1. When an English University established an examination for future
teachers,[109] the “special subjects” first set were “Locke and Dr.
Arnold.” The selection seems to me a very happy one. Arnold greatly
affected the spirit and even the organization of our public schools at
a time when the old schools were about to have new life infused into
them, and when new schools were to be started on the model of the old.
He is perhaps the greatest educator of the English type, _i.e._, the
greatest educator who had accepted the system handed down to him and
tried to make the best of it. Locke on the other hand, whose reputation
is more European than English, belongs rather to the continental type.
Like his disciple Rousseau and like Rousseau’s disciples the French
Revolutionists, Locke refused the traditional system and appealed from
tradition and authority to reason. We English revere Arnold, but so long
as the history of education continues to be written, as it has been
written hitherto, on the Continent, the only Englishman celebrated in it
will be as now not the great schoolmaster but the great philosopher.

§ 2. In order to understand Locke we must always bear in mind what I may
call his two main characteristics; 1st, his craving to know and to speak
the truth and the whole truth in everything, truth not for a purpose but
for itself[110]; 2nd, his perfect trust in the reason as the guide, the
only guide, to truth.[111]

§ 3. 1st. Those who have not reflected much on the subject will naturally
suppose that the desire to know the truth is common to all men, and the
desire to speak the truth common to most. But this is very far from being
the case. If we had any earnest desire for truth we should examine things
carefully before we admitted them as truths; in other words our opinions
would be the growth of long and energetic thought. But instead of this
they are formed for the most part quite carelessly and at haphazard, and
we value them not on account of their supposed agreement with fact but
because though “poor things” they are “our own” or those of our sect or
party. Locke on the other hand was always endeavouring to get at the
truth for its own sake. This separated him from men in general. And he
brought great powers of mind to bear on the investigation. This raised
him above them.

§ 4. 2nd. Locke’s second characteristic was his entire reliance on the
guidance of reason. “The faculty of reasoning,” says he, “seldom or
never deceives those who trust to it.” Elsewhere, borrowing a metaphor
from Solomon (Prov. xx, 27), he speaks of this faculty as “the candle of
the Lord set up by Himself in men’s minds.” (F. B. ij., 129). In a fine
passage in the _Conduct of the Understanding_ he calls it “the touchstone
of truth” (§ iij, Fowler’s edition, p. 10). He even goes so far in his
correspondence with Molyneux as to maintain that intelligent honest men
cannot possibly differ.[112]

But if we consider it from one point of view the treatise on the _Conduct
of the Understanding_ is itself a witness that human reason is a compass
liable to incalculable variations and likely enough to shipwreck those
who steer by it alone. In this book Locke shows us that to come to a
true result the understanding (1) must be perfectly trained, (2) must
not be affected by any feeling in favour of or against any particular
result, and (3) must have before it all the data necessary for forming a
judgment. In practice these conditions are seldom (if ever) fulfilled;
and Locke himself, when he wants an instance of a mind that can acquiesce
in the certainty of its conclusions, takes it from “angels and separate
spirits who may be endowed with more comprehensive faculties” than we are
(C. of U. § iij, 3).

§ 5. It seems to me then that Locke much exaggerates the power of
the individual reason for getting at the truth. And to exaggerate
the importance of one function of the mind is to unduly diminish the
importance of the rest. Thus we find that in Locke’s scheme of education
little thought is taken for the play of the affections and feelings; and
as for the imagination it is treated merely as a source of mischief.

§ 6. Locke, as it has often been pointed out, differs from the
schoolmaster in making small account of the knowledge to be acquired
by those under education. But it has not been so often remarked that
the fundamental difference is much deeper than this and lies in the
conception of knowledge itself. With the ordinary schoolmaster the test
of knowledge is the power of reproduction. Whatever pupils can reproduce
with difficulty they know imperfectly; whatever they can reproduce with
ease they know thoroughly. But Locke’s definition of knowledge confines
it to a much smaller area. According to him knowledge is “the internal
perception of the mind” (Locke to Stillingfleet _v._ F. B. ij, 432).
“Knowing is seeing; and if it be so, it is madness to persuade ourselves
we do so by another man’s eyes, let him use never so many words to tell
us that what he asserts is very visible. Till we ourselves see it with
our own eyes, and perceive it by our own understandings, we are as much
in the dark and as void of knowledge as before, let us believe any
learned authors as much as we will” (C. of U. § 24).[113]

§ 7. Here Locke makes no distinction between different classes of truths.
But surely very important differences exist.

About some physical facts our knowledge is at once most certain and
most definite when we derive it through the evidence of our own senses.
“Seeing is believing,” says the proverb. It may be believing, but it is
not knowing. That certainty which we call knowledge we often arrive at
better by the testimony of others than by that of our own senses.

Miss Martineau in her Autobiography tells us that as a child of ten she
entirely and unaccountably failed to see a comet which was visible to all
other people; but, although her own senses were at fault, the evidence
for the comet was so conclusive that she may be said to have _known_
there was a comet in the sky.

On sufficient evidence we can know anything, just as we know there is
a great water-fall at Niagara though we may never have crossed the
Atlantic. But we cannot be so certain simply on the evidence of our
senses. If we trusted entirely to them we might take the earth for a
plane and “know” that the sun moved round it.

§ 8. But Locke probably considers as the subject of knowledge not so much
physical facts as the great body of truths which are ascertained by the
intellect. It is the eye of the mind by which alone knowledge is to be
gained. Of these truths the purest specimens are the truths of geometry.
It may be said that only those who have followed the proofs _know_
that the area of the square on the side opposite the right angle in a
right-angled triangle is equal to the sum of the squares on the other
sides. But even in pure reasoning like this, the tiro often seems to see
what he does not really see; and where his own reason brings him to a
conclusion different from the one established he _knows_ only that he is

§ 9. It must be admitted then that first-hand knowledge, knowledge
derived from the vision of the eye or of the mind, is not the only
knowledge the young require. Every learner must take things on trust, as
even Lord Bacon admits. _Discentem credere oportet._ To use Locke’s own
words:—“I do not say, to be a good geographer that a man should visit
every mountain, river, promontory, and creek upon the face of the earth,
view the buildings and survey the land everywhere as if he were going
to make a purchase” (C. of U., iij, _ad f._). So that even according to
Locke’s own shewing we must use the eyes of others as well as our own,
and this is true not in geography only, but in all other branches of

§ 10. But are we driven to the alternative of agreeing either with Locke
or with the schoolmaster? I do not see that we are. The thought which
underlies Locke’s system of education is this: true knowledge can be
acquired only by the exercise of the reason: in childhood the reasoning
power is not strong enough for the pursuit of knowledge: knowledge,
therefore, is out of the question at that age, and the only thing to
be thought of is the formation of habits. Opposed to this we have the
schoolmaster’s ideal which is governed by examinations. According to this
ideal the object of the school course is to give certain “knowledge,”
linguistic and other, and to fix it in the memory in such a manner that
it can be displayed on the day of examination. “Knowledge” of this kind
often makes no demand whatever on the reasoning faculty, or indeed on any
faculty but that of remembering and reproducing what the learner has been
told; in extreme cases the memory of mere sounds or symbols suffices.

But after all we are not compelled to choose between these two theories.
Take, _e.g._, the subject which Locke has mentioned, geography. The
schoolmasters of the olden time began with the use of the globes, a plan
which, by the way, Locke himself seems to have winked at. His disciple
Molyneux tells him of the performances of the small Molyneux. When he was
but just turned five he could read perfectly well, and on the globe could
have traced out and pointed at all the noted ports, countries, and cities
of the world, both land and sea; by five and a half could perform many
of the plainest problems on the globe, as the longitude and latitude,
the Antipodes, the time with them and other countries, &c. (Molyneux to
L., 24th August, 1695.) Here we find a child brought up, without any
protest from Locke, on mere examination knowledge, which according to
Locke himself is not knowledge at all. It is strange that Locke did not
at once point out to Molyneux that the child was not really learning what
the father supposed him to be learning. When the child turned over the
plaster ball and found the word “Paris,” the father no doubt attributed
to the child much that was in his own mind only. To the child “the Globe”
(as Rousseau afterwards said), was nothing but a plaster ball; “Paris”
was nothing but some letters marked on that ball. Comenius had already
got a notion how children may be given some knowledge of geography.
“Children begin geography,” said he, “when they get to understand what
a hill, a valley, a field, a river, a village, a town is.” (_Supra_, p.
145.) When this beginning has been made, geographical knowledge is at
once possible to the child, and not before.

Perfect knowledge in geography, as in most other things, is out of every
one’s reach. Nobody knows, _e.g._, all that could be known about Paris.
The knowledge its inhabitants have of it is very various, but in all
cases this knowledge is far greater than that of a visitor. The visitor’s
knowledge again is far greater than that of strangers who have never
seen Paris. Nobody, then, can know everything even about Paris; but a
child who knows what a large town is, and can fancy to himself a big town
called Paris, which is the biggest and most important town in France has
some knowledge about it. This must be maintained against Locke. Against
the schoolmaster it may be pointed out that making an Eskimo say the
words:—“Paris is the capital of France,” would not be giving him any
knowledge at all; and the same may be said of many “lessons” in the
school-room. If a common sailor were to teach an Eskimo English, he
would very likely suppose that when he had taught the sounds “Paris is
the capital of France,” he had conveyed to his pupil all the ideas which
those sounds suggested to his own mind. A common schoolmaster may fall
into a similar error.

§ 11. In the most celebrated work which has been affected by the
_Thoughts_ of Locke, Rousseau’s _Emile_, we find childhood treated in a
manner altogether different from youth: the child’s education is mainly
physical, and instruction is not given till the age of twelve. Locke’s
system on first sight seems very different to this, but there is a
deeper connection between the two than is usually observed. We have seen
that Locke allowed nothing to be knowledge that was not acquired by the
perception of the intellect. But in children the intellectual power is
not yet developed; so according to Locke knowledge properly so-called is
not within their reach. What then can the educator do for them? He can
prepare them for the age of reason in two ways, by caring first for their
physical health, second for the formation of good habits.

§ 12. 1st. On the Continent Locke has always been considered one of the
first advocates of physical education, and he does, it is true, give
physical education the first place, a feature in his system, which we
naturally connect with his study of medicine, and also with the trouble
he had all his life with his own health. But care of the body, and
especially bodily exercises, were always much thought of in this country,
and the main writers on education before Locke, _e.g._, Sir Thos. Elyot,
Mulcaster, Milton, were very emphatic about physical training.

In the autobiography of Lord Herbert of Cherbury, we may see what
attention was paid in Locke’s own century to this part of education.[114]

§ 13. 2nd. “That, and that only, is educative which moulds forms or
modifies the soul or mind.” (Mark Pattison in _New Quarterly Magazine_,
January, 1880.)

Here we have a proposition which is perhaps seldom denied, but very
commonly ignored by those who bring up the young. But Locke seems to
have been entirely possessed with this notion, and the greater part of
the _Thoughts_ is nothing but a long application of it. The principle
which lies at the root of most of his advice, he has himself expressed as
follows: “That which I cannot too often inculcate is, that whatever the
matter be about which it is conversant whether great or small, the main,
I had almost said only thing, to be considered in every action of a child
is what influence it will have upon his mind; what habit it tends to, and
is likely to settle in him: how it will become him when he is bigger,
and if it be encouraged, whither it will lead him when he is grown up.”
(_Thoughts_, § 107, p. 86.)

Here we see that Locke differed widely from the schoolmasters of his
time, perhaps of all time. A man must be a philosopher indeed if he can
spend his life in teaching boys, and yet always think more about what
they will _be_ and what they will _do_ when their schooling is over than
what they will _know_. And in these days if we stopped to think at all we
should be trodden on by the examiner.[115]

In this respect Locke has not been surpassed. Like his predecessor
Montaigne he took for his centre not the object, knowledge, but the
subject, man.[116]

§ 14. In some other respects he does not seem so happy. He makes little
attempt to reach a scientific standpoint and to establish general
truths about our common human nature. He thinks not so much of the man
as the gentleman, not so much of the common laws of the mind as of the
peculiarities of the individual child. He even hints that differences of
disposition in children render treatises on education defective if not
useless. “There are a thousand other things that may need consideration”
he writes “especially if one should take in the various tempers,
different inclinations, and particular defaults that are to be found in
children and prescribe proper remedies. The variety is so great that it
would require a volume, nor would that reach it. Each man’s mind has
some peculiarity as well as his face, that distinguishes him from all
others; and there are possibly scarce two children who can be conducted
by exactly the same method: besides that I think a prince, a nobleman, or
an ordinary gentleman’s son should have different ways of breeding. But
having had here only some general views in reference to the main end and
aims in education, and those designed for a gentleman’s son, whom being
then very little I considered only as white paper or wax to be moulded
and fashioned as one pleases, I have touched little more than those
heads which I judged necessary for the breeding of a young gentleman of
his condition in general.” (_Thoughts_, § 217, p. 187.)

No language could bring out more clearly the inferiority of Locke’s
standpoint to that of later thinkers. He makes little account of our
common nature and wishes education to be based upon an estimate of the
peculiarities of the individual pupil and of his social needs. And no
one with an adequate notion of education could ever compare the young
child to “white paper or wax.” Perhaps the development of an organism
was a conception that could not have been formed without a great advance
in physical science. Froebel who makes most of it learnt it from the
scientific study of trees and from mineralogy. We need not then be
surprised that Locke does not say, as Pestalozzi said a hundred years
later, “Education instead of merely considering what is to be imparted
to children ought to consider first what they already possess.” But if
he had read Comenius he would have been saved from comparing the child
to wax or white paper in the hands of the educator. Comenius had said:
“Nature has implanted within us the seeds of learning, of virtue, and of
piety. The object of education is to bring these seeds to perfection.”
(_Supra_, p. 135.) This seems to me a higher conception than any that I
meet with in Locke.

§ 15. But if our philosopher did not learn from Comenius he certainly
learnt from Montaigne.[117] Indeed Dr. Arnstädt (_v. supra_, p. 69)
has put him into a series of thinkers who have much in common. This
succession is as follows: Rabelais, Montaigne, Locke, Rousseau; and,
according to Mr. Browning’s division, they form a school by themselves.
“Thinkers on education,” says Mr. Browning,[118] “are 1st those who wish
to educate through the study of the classics, or 2nd those who wish to
educate through the study of the works of Nature, or 3rd those who aim
at an education independent of study and knowledge, and think rather
of the training of character and the attaining to the Greek ideal, the
man beautiful and good.” To the three schools Mr. Browning gives the
names Humanist, Realist, and Naturalist, (“nos autres naturalistes,”
Montaigne says). Locke he considers one of the principal writers of the
“naturalistic” school, and says, Locke “has given a powerful bias to
naturalistic education both in England and on the Continent for the last
200 years.” (_Ed. Theories_, p. 85.)

This use of the word “naturalistic” seems to me somewhat misleading, or
at best vague, and it is a word overworked already: so I should prefer to
speak of the “developing” or “training” school. The classification itself
certainly has its uses but it must be employed with caution. If caught
up by those who have only an elementary acquaintance with the subject a
class of persons apt to delight in such arrangements as an aid to memory,
these divisions may easily prove a hindrance to light.

§ 16. This subject of classification is so important to students that
it may be worth while to make a few remarks upon it. The only thoroughly
consistent people are the people of fiction. We can know all about
_them_. Directly we understand their central thought or peculiarity
we may be sure that everything they say and do will be strictly in
accordance with it, will indeed be explainable by it. To take a bald and
simple instance, directly we know that Mrs. Jellaby in _Bleak House_
is absorbed by her interest in an African Mission, we know all that is
to be known about her; and everything she does or omits to do has some
reference to Borrioboola Ghar. But in real life not only are people much
less easily understood, but when we actually have seized their main
idea or peculiarity or interest we must not expect to find them always
consistent: and they will say and do much which if not inconsistent with
the main idea or peculiarity or interest has at least no connection with
it. Suppose, _e.g._, you can make out with some certainty that Locke
belonged to the developing school, you must not expect him to pay little
heed to instruction as such. Again, suppose you find that his philosophy
was utilitarian; you must not suppose that in everything he says he will
be thinking of utility.

Now the historian is tempted to treat real men and women as the writer
of fiction treats his puppets. Having fastened, quite correctly let us
suppose, on their main peculiarity he considers it necessary to square
everything with his theory of them, and whatever will not fall in with
it he, if he is unscrupulous, misrepresents, or if he is scrupulous,

Again, we are too apt to read into words meanings derived from
controversies unknown at the time when the words were uttered. This is
a well-known fact in the history of religious thought. We must always
consider not merely the words used but the time when they were used.
What a man might say quite naturally and orthodoxly at one period would
be sufficient to convict him of sympathizing with some terrible heresy if
uttered half a century later. We find something like this in the history
of education. If anyone nowadays speaks of the pleasure with which as a
young man he read Tacitus, he is understood to mean that he is opposed
to the introduction of “modern studies” into the school-room. If on the
other hand he extols botany, or regrets that he never learned chemistry,
this is taken for an assault on classical instruction. But, of course,
no such inference could be drawn if we went back to a time when the
antithesis between classics and natural science had not been accentuated.
In many other instances we have to be on our guard against forcing into
language meaning which belongs rather to a later date.

§ 17. With these cautions in mind let us see how far Locke may be said
(1) to be a trainer, and (2) how far a utilitarian.

§ 18. I. Mr. Browning attributes to Rabelais, Montaigne, and Locke the
desire to bring up a well-developed man rather than a good scholar. But
Rabelais certainly craved for the knowledge of _things_; and if he is
to be classed at all I should put him rather with the Realists, albeit
he lived before the realistic spirit became powerful. Montaigne went
more on the lines of developing rather than teaching, and, shrewd man of
the world as he was, he thought a great deal about the art of living.
But his ideal was not so much the man as the gentleman. This was true
also of Locke; and here we see some explanation why both Montaigne and
Locke do not value classical learning.[119] On the Continent classical
learning has never been associated with the character of an accomplished
gentleman; and, as far as I know, the conception that the highest type
of excellence is found in the union of “the scholar and the gentleman”
is peculiar to this country. In the society of Locke’s day this union
does not seem to have been recognized, and Locke observes: “A great part
of the learning now in fashion in the schools of Europe, and that goes
ordinarily into the round of education, a gentleman may in a good measure
be unfurnished with, without any great disparagement to himself or
prejudice to his affairs.” (_Thoughts_, § 94, p. 74.) So Locke sought as
the true essential for the young gentleman “prudence and good breeding.”
He puts his requisites in the following order of importance:—1, virtue;
2, wisdom; 3, manners; 4, learning; and so “places learning last and
least.” Here he shews himself far ahead of those who still held to
the learned ideal; but his notions of development were cramped by his
thinking only of the gentleman and what was requisite for him.

§ 19. II. Was Locke a utilitarian in education? It is the fashion (and
in history as in other things fashion is a powerful force), it is the
fashion to treat of Locke as a great champion of utilitarianism. We
might expect this in the ordinary historians, for “when they do agree
their unanimity is” not perhaps very wonderful. But there is one great
English authority quite uninfluenced by them who has said the same
thing, viz.—Cardinal Newman. The Cardinal, as the champion of authority,
is perhaps prejudiced against Locke, who holds that “the faculty of
reasoning seldom or never deceived those who trusted to it.” Be this as
it may, Newman asserts that “the tone of Locke’s remarks is condemnatory
of any teaching which tends to the general cultivation of the mind.”
(_Idea of a University._ Discourse vij., § 4; see also § 6.) A very
interesting point for us to consider is then, Is this reputation of
Locke’s for utilitarianism well deserved?

§ 20. First let us be quite certain of our definition.

In learning anything there are two points to be considered; 1st, the
advantage we shall find from knowing that subject or having that skill,
and 2nd, the effect which the study of that subject or practising for
that skill will have on the mind or the body.

These two points are in themselves distinct, though it is open to anyone
to maintain that they need not be considered separately. Nature has
provided that the bodies of most animals should get the exercise best for
them in procuring food. So Mr. Herbert Spencer has come to the conclusion
that it would be contrary to “the economy of nature” if one set of
occupations were needed as gymnastics and another for utility. In other
words he considers that it is in learning the most useful things we get
the best training.

The utilitarian view of instruction is that we should teach things useful
in themselves and either neglect the result on the mind and body of the
learner or assume Mr. Spencer’s law of “the economy of nature.”

Again, when the subjects are settled the utilitarian thinks how the
knowledge or skill may be most speedily acquired, and not how this
method or that method of acquisition will affect the faculties.

§ 21. This being utilitarianism in education the question is how far was
Locke the utilitarian he is generally considered?

If we take by itself what he says under the head of “Learning” in the
_Thoughts concerning Education_ no doubt we should pronounce him a
utilitarian. He considers each subject of instruction and pronounces
for or against it according as it seems likely or unlikely to be useful
to a gentleman. And in the methods he suggests he simply points out the
quickest route, as if the knowledge were the only thing to be thought of.
Hence his utilitarian reputation.

But two very important considerations have been lost sight of.

1st. Learning is with him “the last and least part” in education.

2nd. Intellectual education was not for childhood but for the age when
we can teach ourselves. “When a man has got an entrance into any of the
sciences,” says he, “it will be time then to depend on himself and rely
upon his own understanding and exercise his own faculties, which is the
only way to improvement and mastery.” (L. to Peterborough, quoted in
Camb. edition of _Thoughts_, p. 229.) “So,” he says, “the business of
education is not, as I think, to make the young perfect in any one of the
sciences but so to open and dispose their minds as may best make them
capable of any when they shall apply themselves to it.” The studies he
proposes in the _Conduct of the Understanding_ (which is his treatise on
intellectual education) have for their object “an increase of the powers
and activity of the mind, not an enlargement of its possessions” (_C. of
U._ § 19, _ad f._).

Thus strange to say the supposed leader of the Utilitarians has actually
propounded in so many words the doctrine of their opponents.

§ 22. When Locke is more studied it will be found that the _Thoughts_ are
misleading if we neglect his other works, more particularly the _Conduct
of the Understanding_.

§ 23. Towards the end of his days, Locke was conscious of gleams of the
“untravelled world” which lay before the generations to come. With great
pathos he writes to a friend: “When I consider how much of my life has
been trifled away in beaten tracks where I vamped on with others only to
follow those who went before me, I cannot but think I have just as much
reason to be proud as if I had travelled all England and, if you will,
all France too, only to acquaint myself with the roads, and be able to
tell how the highways lie wherein those of equipage, and even the common
herd too, travel. Now, methinks—and these are often old men’s dreams—I
see openings to truth and direct paths leading to it, wherein a little
application and industry would settle one’s mind with satisfaction and
leave no darkness or doubt. But this is the end of my day when my sun is
setting: and though the prospect it has given me be what I would not for
anything be without—there is so much truth, beauty, and consistency in
it—yet it is for one of your age, I think I ought to say for yourself, to
set about” (L. to Bolde, quoted by Fowler, _Locke_, p. 120). But another
200 years have not sufficed to put us in possession of the Promised Land
of which Locke had these Pisgah visions. We still “vamp on,” following
those who went before us and getting small help from expounders of
“Education as a Science.” But as it would seem the days of vamping on
blindly in the beaten track are drawing to a close. We cannot doubt that
if Locke had known the wonderful advance which various sciences have
made since his day he would have seen in them “openings to truth and
direct paths leading to it” for many purposes, certainly for education.
It is for our age and ages to come to set about applying our scientific
knowledge to the bringing up of children; and thinkers such as Froebel
will shew us how.

    Locke’s _Thoughts concerning Education_ and his _Conduct of
    the Understanding_ should be in the hands of all students of
    education who know the English language. I have therefore not
    attempted to epitomise what he has said, but have endeavoured
    to get at the main thoughts which are, so to speak, the
    taproot of his system. Of the _Thoughts_ there is an edition
    published by the National Society and another by the Pitt
    Press, Cambridge. The Cambridge edition gives from Fox-Bourne’s
    Life Locke’s scheme of “Working Schools” and from Lord King’s
    the essay “Of Study.” Of the _Conduct_ there is an edition
    published by the Clarendon Press. “F.B.” in the references
    above stands for Fox-Bourne’s _Life of Locke_.

    In the above essay I have not treated of Locke as a methodizer;
    but he advocated teaching foreign languages _without grammar_,
    and he published “Æsop’s Fables in English and Latin,
    interlineary. For the benefit of those, who not having a
    master would learn either of these Tongues.” When I edited the
    _Thoughts_ for Pitt Press I did not know of this book or I
    should have mentioned it.




§ 1. The great men whom we meet with in the history of education may
be divided into two classes, thinkers and doers. There would seem
no good reason why the thinker should not be great as a doer or the
doer as a thinker; and yet we hardly find any records of men who have
been successful both in investigating theory and directing practice.
History tells us of first-rate practical schoolmasters like Sturm and
the Jesuits; but they did not think out their own theory of their
task: they accepted the current theory of their time. On the other
hand, men who like Montaigne and Locke rejected the current theory and
sought to establish a better by an appeal to reason were not practical
schoolmasters. Whenever the thinker tries to turn his thought into action
he has cause to be disappointed with the result. We saw this in the
disastrous failure of Ratke; and even the books in which Comenius tried
to work out his principles, the _Vestibulum, Janua_ and the rest, with
the exception of the _Orbis Pictus_, were speedily forgotten. In the
world of education as elsewhere it takes time to find for great thoughts
the practice which gives effect to them. The course of great thoughts is
in some ways like the course of great rivers. Most romantic and beautiful
near their source, they are not most useful. They must leave the
mountains in which they first appeared, and must flow not in cataracts
but smoothly along the plain among the dwellings of common men before
they can be turned to account in the every-day business of life.

§ 2. The eighteenth century was soon distinguished by boundless activity
of thought; and this thought was directed mainly to a great work of
destruction. Europe had outgrown the ideas of the Middle Age, and the
framework of Society, which the Middle Age had bequeathed, had waxed old
and was ready to vanish as soon as any strong force could be found to
push it out of the way. As Matthew Arnold has described it—

  “It’s frame yet stood without a breach
  “When blood and warmth were fled;
  “And still it spake it’s wonted speech—
  “But every word was dead.”

Here then there was need of some destructive power that should remove and
burn up much that had become mere obstacle and incumbrance. This power
was found in the writings which appeared in France about the middle of
the century; and among the authors of them none spoke with more effect
than one who differed from all the rest, a vagabond without family
ties or social position of any kind, with no literary training, with
little knowledge and in conduct at least, with no morals. The writings
of Rousseau and the results produced by them are among the strangest
things in history; and especially in matters of education it is more
than doubtful if the wise man of the world Montaigne, the Christian
philanthropist Comenius, or that “slave of truth and reason” the
philosopher Locke, had half as much influence as this depraved serving

§ 3. The work by which Rousseau became famous was a prize essay in which
he maintained that civilization, the arts and all human institutions were
from first to last pernicious in their effects, and that no happiness
was possible for the human race without giving them all up and returning
to what he called the state of Nature. He glorified the “noble savage.”
If man had brought himself to a state of misery bordering on despair by
following his own many inventions, take away all these inventions and you
will have man in his proper condition. The argument seems something of
this kind: Man was once happy: Man is now miserable: undo everything that
has been done and Man will be happy again.

§ 4. This principle of a so-called “natural” state existing before man’s
many inventions, Rousseau applied boldly to education, and he deduced
this general rule: “Do precisely the opposite to what is usually done,
and you will have hit on the right plan.” Not reform but revolution
was his advice. He took the ordinary school teaching and held it up to
ridicule, and certainly he did prove its absurdity. And a most valuable
service he thus rendered to teachers. Every employment while it makes us
see some things clearly, also provides us with blinkers, so to speak,
which prevent our seeing other things at all. The school teacher’s
blinkers often prevent his seeing much that is plain enough to other
people; and when a writer like Rousseau takes off our blinkers for us and
makes us look about us, he does us a great deal of good. But we need more
than this: if we have children entrusted to us we must do something with
them, and Rousseau’s rule of doing the opposite to what is usual will not
be found universally applicable. So we consult Rousseau again, and what
is his advice?

§ 5. Rousseau would bring everything back to the “natural” state, and
unfortunately he never pauses to settle whether he means by this a state
of ideal perfection, or of simply savagery. The savage, he says, gets his
education without any one’s troubling about it, and so he infers that all
the trouble taken by the civilized is worse than thrown away. (Girardin’s
_Rousseau_, ij., 85.) But he does not fall back on _laisser faire_. He
urges on parents the duty of _themselves_ attending to the bringing up of
their children. “Point de mère, point d’enfant—no mother, no child,” says
he; and he would have the father see to the training of the child whom
the mother has suckled.

§ 6. Rousseau’s picture of family life is given us where few Englishmen
are likely to find it, enveloped in the _Nouvelle Héloïse_. Here we read
how Julie always has her children with her, and while seeming to let
them do as they like, conceals with the air of apparent carelessness the
most vigilant observation. Possessed by the notion that there can be
no intellectual education before the age of reason, she proclaims: “La
fonction dont je suis chargée n’est pas d’élever mes fils, mais de les
préparer pour être élevés: My business is not to educate my sons, but to
prepare them for being educated.” (_N. Héloïse_, 5th P., Lett. 3.)[120]

§ 7. There is much that is very pleasing in this picture of ideal
family life; but when Rousseau comes formally to propound his ideas on
education, he gives up family life to attain greater simplicity. “Je m’en
tiens à ce qui est plus simple,” says he: “What I stick to is the more
_simple_.” He tries to state everything in its lowest terms, so to speak;
and this method is excellent so long as he puts on one side only what
is accidental, and retains all the essentials of the problem. But his
rage for simplicity sometimes carried him beyond this. There is an old
Cambridge story of a problem introducing an elephant “whose weight may
be neglected.” This is after the manner of Rousseau. In the bringing up
of the model child, he “neglects” parents, brothers and sisters, young
companions; and though he says that the needful qualities of a master
may be expected only in “un homme de génie,” he hands over Émile to a
governor to live an isolated life in the country.

§ 8. This governor is to devote himself, for some years, entirely to
imparting to his pupil these difficult arts—the art of being ignorant and
of losing time. Till he is twelve years old, Émile is to have no direct
instruction whatever. “At that age he shall not know what a book is,”
says Rousseau; though elsewhere we are told that he will learn to read of
his own accord by the time he is ten, if no attempt is made to teach him.
He is to be under no restraint, and is to do nothing but what he sees to
be useful.

§ 9. Freedom from restraint is, however, to be apparent, not real. As
in ordinary education the child employs all its faculties in duping
the master, so in education “according to Nature” the master is to
devote himself to duping the child. “Let him always be his own master
in appearance, and do you take care to be so in reality. There is no
subjection so complete as that which preserves the appearance of liberty;
it is by this means even the will is led captive.”

§ 10. “The most critical interval of human nature is that between the
hour of our birth and twelve years of age. This is the time wherein vice
and error take root without our being possessed of any instrument to
destroy them.” (_Ém._ ij., 79.) Throughout this season, the governor is
to be at work training the pupil in the art of being ignorant and losing
time. “The first education should be purely negative. It consists by no
means in teaching virtue or truth, but in securing the heart from vice
and the intellect from error. If you could do nothing and let nothing be
done, if you could bring on your pupil healthy and strong to the age of
12 without his being able to tell his right hand from his left, from your
very first lessons the eyes of his understanding would open to reason.
Being without prejudices and without habits he would have nothing in him
to thwart the effect of your care; and by beginning with doing nothing
you would have made an educational prodigy.”[121]

“Exercise his body, his organs, his senses, his powers; but keep his mind
passive as long as possible. Mistrust all his sentiments formed before
the judgment which determines their value. Restrain, avoid all foreign
impressions, and to prevent the birth of evil be in no hurry to cause
good; for good is good only in the light of reason. Look on all delays
as so many advantages: it is a great gain to advance towards the goal
without loss: let childhood ripen in children. In short, whatever lesson
they may need, be sure not to give it them to-day if you can safely put
it off till to-morrow.”[122]

“Do not, then, alarm yourself much about this apparent idleness. What
would you say of the man, who, in order to make the most of life, should
determine never to go to sleep? You would say, The man is mad: he is not
enjoying the time; he is depriving himself of it: to avoid sleep he is
hurrying towards death. Consider, then, that it is the same here, and
that childhood is the sleep of reason.”[123]

§ 11. We have now reached the climax (or shall we say the nadir?) in
negation. Rousseau has given the _coup de grâce_ to the ideal of the
Renascence. Comenius was the first to take a comprehensive view of the
educator’s task and to connect it with man’s nature and destiny; but he
could not get clear from an over-estimate of the importance of knowledge.
According to his ideal, man should know all things; so in practice he
thought too much of imparting knowledge. Then came Locke and treated the
imparting of knowledge as of trifling importance when compared with the
formation of character; but he too in practice hardly went so far as this
principle might have led him. He was much under the influence of social
distinctions, and could not help thinking of what it was necessary for a
gentleman to know. So that Rousseau was the very first to shake himself
entirely free from the notion which the Renascence had handed down that
man was mainly a _learning_ animal. Rousseau has the courage to deny this
in the most emphatic manner possible, and to say: “For the first 12 years
the educator must teach the child _nothing_.”

§ 12. In this reaction against the Renascence Rousseau puts the truth
in the form of such a violent paradox that we start back in terror. But
it was perhaps necessary thus to sweep away the ordinary schoolroom
rubbish before the true nature of the educator’s task could be fairly
considered. The rubbish having been cleared away what was to take its
place? No longer having his mind engrossed by the knowledge he wished
to communicate, the educator had now an eye for something else not less
worthy of his attention, viz., the child itself. Rousseau was the first
to base education entirely on a study of the child to be educated; and by
doing this he became, as I believe, one of the greatest of educational

§ 13. It was, however, purely as a thinker, or rather as a _voice_
giving expression to the general discontent that Rousseau became such a
tremendous force in Europe. He has indeed often been called the father
of the first French Revolution which he did not live to see. But, as
Macaulay has well said, a good deal besides eloquent writing is needed
to cause such a convulsion; and we can no more attribute the French
Revolution to the writings of Rousseau than we can attribute the shock
of an explosion of gunpowder to the lucifer match without which it might
never have happened (_v._ Macaulay’s _Barrère_). Rousseau did in the
world of ideas what the French Revolutionists afterwards did in the world
of politics; he made a clean sweep and endeavoured to start afresh.

§ 14. I have already said that as regards education I think his labours
in destruction were of very great value. But what shall we say of his
efforts at construction? There would not be the least difficulty in
showing that most of his proposals are impracticable. It is no more
“natural” to treat as a typical case a child brought up in solitude than
it would be to write a treatise on the rearing of a bee cut off from the
hive.[124] Rousseau requires impossibilities, _e.g._, he postulates that
the child is never to be brought into contact with anyone who might set
a bad example. Modern science has shown us that the young are liable to
take diseases from impurities in the air they breathe: but as yet no
one has proposed that all children should be kept at an elevation of
5,000 feet above the level of the sea. Yet the advice would be about
as practicable as the advice of Rousseau. A method which always starts
with paradox and not infrequently ends with platitude might seem to have
little in its favour; and Rousseau has had far less influence since (in
the words of Herman Merivale) “he was dethroned with the fall of his
extravagant child, the [First] Republic.” No doubt the great exponent
of English opinion was right in calling Rousseau “the most un-English
stranger who ever landed on our shores” (_Times_, 29 Aug., 1873); and the
torch of his eloquence will never cause a conflagration, still less an
explosion, here. His disregard for “appearances”—or rather his evident
purpose of making an impression by defying “appearances” and saying just
the opposite of what is expected, is simply distressing to us. But there
is no denying Rousseau’s genius. His was one of the original voices
that go on sounding and awakening echoes in all lands. Willingly or
unwillingly, at first hand or from imperfect echoes, everyone who studies
education must study Rousseau.

§ 15. As specimens of Rousseau’s teaching I will give a few
characteristic passages from the Émile.

“Everything is good as it leaves the hands of the Creator: everything
degenerates in the hands of man.”[125] These are the first words of the
“Émile,” and the key-note of Rousseau’s philosophy.

§ 16. “We are born weak, we have need of strength; we are born destitute
of everything, we have need of assistance; we are born stupid, we have
need of understanding. All that we have not at our birth, and which we
require when grown up, is bestowed on us by education. This education we
receive from nature, from men, or from things. The internal development
of our organs and faculties is the education of nature: the use we are
taught to make of that development is the education given us by men;
and in the acquisitions made by our own experience on the objects that
surround us, consists our education from things.”[126] “Since the
concurrence of these three kinds of education is necessary to their
perfection, it is by that one which is entirely independent of us, we
must regulate the two others.”[127]

§ 17. Now “to live is not merely to breathe; it is to act, it is to make
use of our organs, our senses, our faculties, and of all those parts of
ourselves which give us the feeling of our existence. The man who has
lived most, is not he who has counted the greatest number of years, but
he who has most thoroughly felt life.”[128]

§ 18. The aim of education, then, must be complete living.

But ordinary education, instead of seeking to develop the life of the
child, sacrifices childhood to the acquirement of knowledge, or rather
the semblance of knowledge, which it is thought will prove useful to the
youth or the man. Rousseau’s great merit lies in his having exposed this
fundamental error. He says, very truly, “We do not understand childhood,
and pursuing false ideas of it our every step takes us further 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. And this is the study to which I have especially devoted
myself, in order that should my entire method be false and visionary, my
observations might always turn to account. I may not have seen aright
what ought to be done: but I believe I have seen aright the subject on
which we have to act. Begin then by studying your pupils better, for
most certainly you do not understand them.”[129] “Nature wills that
children should be _children_ before they are _men_. If we seek to
pervert this order we shall produce forward fruits without ripeness or
flavour, and tho’ not ripe, soon rotten: we shall have young _savans_ and
old children. Childhood has ways of seeing, thinking, feeling peculiar
to itself; nothing is more absurd than to wish to substitute ours in
their place.”[130] “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.”[131]
“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 fathers and schoolmasters have not as yet learnt the very first

§ 19. In these passages, Rousseau strikes the key-note of true education.
The first thing necessary for us is to see aright the subject on which
we have to act. Unfortunately, however, this subject has often been the
subject most neglected in the schoolroom. Children have been treated as
if they were made for their school books, not their school books for
them. As education has been thought of as learning, childhood has been
treated as unimportant, a necessary stage in existence no doubt, but
far more troublesome and hardly more interesting than the state of the
chrysalis. If some forms of words, tables, declensions, county towns, and
the like can be drummed into children, this is, say educators of the old
school, a clear gain. For the rest nothing can be done with them except
teaching them to read, write, and say the multiplication table.

But since the publication of the Émile, there has been in the world a
very different view of education. According to this view, the importance
of childhood is not to be measured by the amount of _our_ knowledge, or
even the number of _our_ words, we can force it to remember. According to
this view, in dealing with children we must not think of our knowledge
or of our notions at all. We must think not of our own minds, but of the
minds of the little ones.[133]

§ 20. The absurd results in which the opposite course has ended, Rousseau
exposes with great severity. “All the studies demanded from the poor
unfortunates lead to such things as are entirely beyond the range of
their ideas, so you may judge what amount of attention they can give to
them. Schoolmasters who make a great display of the instruction they
give their pupils are paid to differ from me; but we see from what they
do that they are entirely of my opinion. For what do they really teach?
Words, words, for ever words. Among the various knowledges which they
boast of giving, they are careful not to include such as would be of use;
because these would involve a knowledge of things, and there they would
be sure to fail; but they choose subjects that seem to be known when the
terms are known such as heraldry, geography, chronology, languages and
the like; all of them studies so foreign to a man, and still more to a
child, that it is a great chance if anything of the whole lot ever proves
useful to him on a single occasion in his whole life.”[134] “Whatever
the study may be, without the idea of the things represented the signs
representing them go for nothing. And yet the child is always kept to
these signs without our being able to make him comprehend any of the
things they represent.”[135] What does a child understand by “the globe”?
An old geography book says candidly, that it is a round thing made of
plaster; and this is the only notion children have of it. What a fearful
waste, and worse than waste, it is to make them learn the signs without
the things, when if they ever learn the things, they must at the same
time acquire the signs! (Conf. Ruskin _supra_ p. 159, _note_.) “No! if
Nature gives to the child’s brain this pliability which makes it capable
of receiving impressions of every kind, this is not that we may engrave
on it the names of kings, dates, the technical words of heraldry, of
astronomy, of geography, and all those words meaningless at his age and
useless at any age, with which we oppress his sad and sterile childhood;
but that all the ideas which he can conceive and which are useful to
him, all those which relate to his happiness and will one day make his
duty plain to him, may trace themselves there in characters never to
be effaced, and may assist him in conducting himself through life in a
manner appropriate to his nature and his faculties.”[136]

§ 21. With Rousseau, as afterwards with Froebel, education was a kind
of “child-gardening.” “Plants are developed by cultivation,” says he,
“men by education: On façonne les plantes par la culture, et les hommes
par l’éducation” (_Ém._ j., 6). The governor, who is the child-gardener,
is to aim at three things: first, he is to shield the child from all
corrupting influences; second, he is to devote himself to developing
in the child a healthy and strong body in which the senses are to be
rendered acute by exercise; third, he is, by practice not precept, to
cultivate the child’s sense of duty.

§ 22. In his study of children Rousseau fixed on their never-resting
activity. “The failing energy concentrates itself in the heart of the
old man; in the heart of the child energy is overflowing and spreads
outwards; he feels in him life enough to animate all his surroundings.
Whether he makes or mars it is all one to him: it is enough that he has
changed the state of things, and every change is an action. If he seems
by preference to destroy, this is not from mischief; but the act of
construction is always slow, and the act of destruction being quicker is
more suited to his vivacity.”[137]

One of the first requisites in the care of the young is then to provide
for the expansion of their activity. All restraints such as swaddling
clothes for infants and “school” and “lessons” for children are to be
entirely done away with.[138] Literary instruction must not be thought
of. “There must be no other book than the world,” says Rousseau, “no
other instruction than facts. The child who reads does not think, he does
nothing but read, he gets no instruction; he learns words: Point d’autre
livre que le monde, point d’autre instruction que les faits. L’enfant qui
lit ne pense pas, il ne fait que lire; il ne s’instruit pas, il apprend
les mots.” (_Ém._ iij., 181.)[139]

§ 23. If it be objected that, according to Rousseau’s plan, there would
be a neglect of memory, he replies: “Without the study of books the kind
of memory that a child should have will not remain inactive; all he sees,
all he hears, strikes him, and he remembers it; he keeps a record in
himself of people’s actions and people’s talk; and all around him makes
the book by which without thinking of it he is constantly enriching
his memory against the time that his judgment may benefit by it: Sans
étudier dans les livres, l’espèce de mémoire que peut avoir un enfant ne
reste pas pour cela oisive; tout ce qu’il voit, tout ce qu’il entend le
frappe, et il s’en souvient; il tient registre en lui-même des actions,
des discours des hommes; et tout ce qui l’environne est le livre, dans
lequel, sans y songer, il enrichit continuellement sa mémoire, en
attendant que son jugement puisse en profiter.” (_Ém._ ij., 106.) We
should be most careful not to commit to our memory anything we do not
understand, for if we do, we can never tell what part of our stores
really belong to us. (_Ém._ iij., 236.)

§ 24. On the positive side the most striking part of Rousseau’s advice
relates to the training of the senses. “The first faculties which become
strong in us,” says he, “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.” We find that the
young 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.”[140]
“See a cat enter a room for the first time; she examines round and stares
and sniffs about without a moment’s rest, she is satisfied with nothing
before she has tried it and made it out. This is just what a child does
when he begins to walk, and enters, so to say, the chamber of the world.
The only difference is that to the sight which is common to the child
and the cat the first joins in his observations the hands which nature
has given him, and the other animal that subtle sense of smell which has
been bestowed upon her. It is this tendency, according as it is well
cultivated or the reverse, that makes children either sharp or dull,
active or slow, giddy or thoughtful.

“The first natural movements of the child being then to measure himself
with his surroundings and to test in everything he sees all its
sensible properties which may concern him, his first study is a kind of
experimental physics relating to his own preservation; and from this we
divert him to speculative studies before he feels himself at home here
below. So long as his delicate and flexible organs can adjust themselves
to the bodies on which they ought to act, so long as his senses as yet
uncorrupted are free from illusion, this is the time to exercise them all
in their proper functions; this is the time to learn to understand the
sensuous relations which things have with us. As everything that enters
the mind finds its way through the senses, the first reason of a human
being is a reason of sensations; this it is which forms the basis of the
intellectual reason; our first masters in philosophy are our feet, our
hands, our eyes. Substituting books for all this is not teaching us to
reason, but simply to use the reason of other people; it teaches us to
take a great deal on trust and never to know anything.

“In order to practise an art we must begin by getting the proper
implements; and that we may have good use of these implements they must
be made strong enough to stand wear and tear. That we may learn to think
we must then exercise our members, our senses, our organs, as these are
the implements of our intelligence; and that we may make the most of
these implements the body which supplies them must be strong and healthy.
We see then that far from man’s true reason forming itself independently
of his body, it is the sound constitution of the body that makes the
operations of the mind easy and certain.”[141]

§ 25. Rousseau does not confine himself to advising that the senses
should be cultivated; he also gives some hints of the _way_ in which
they should be cultivated, and many modern experiments, such as “object
lessons” and the use of actual weights and measures, may be directly
traced to him. “As soon as a child begins to distinguish objects, a
proper choice should be made in those which are presented to him.”
Elsewhere he says, “To exercise the senses is not simply to make use of
them; it is to learn to judge aright by means of them; it is to learn,
so to say, to perceive; for we can only touch and see and hear according
as we have learnt how. There is a kind of exercise perfectly natural and
mechanical which serves to make the body strong without giving anything
for the judgment to lay hold of: swimming, running, jumping, whip-top,
stone throwing; all this is capital; but have we nothing but arms and
legs? have we not also eyes and ears? and are these organs not needed
in our use of the others? Do not then merely exercise the strength but
exercise all the senses which direct it; get all you can out of each
of them, and then check the impressions of one by the impressions of
another. Measure, reckon, weigh, compare.”[142]

§ 26. Two subjects there were in which Émile was to receive instruction,
viz.: music and drawing. Rousseau’s advice about drawing is well worth
considering. He says: “Children who are great imitators all try to
draw. I should wish my child to cultivate this art, not exactly for
the art itself, but to make his eye correct and his hand supple: Les
enfants, grands imitateurs, essayent tous de dessiner: je voudrais que
le mien cultivât cet art, non précisément pour l’art même, mais pour se
rendre l’œil juste et la main flexible.” (_Ém._ ij., 149). But Émile is
to be kept clear of the ordinary drawing-master who would put him to
imitate imitations; and there is a striking contrast between Rousseau’s
suggestions and those of the authorities at South Kensington. Technical
skill he cares for less than the training of the eye; so Émile is always
to draw _from the object_, and, says Rousseau, “my intention is not
so much that he should get to _imitate_ the objects, as get to _know_
them: mon intention n’est pas tant qu’il sache imiter les objets que les
connaître.” (_Ém._ ij., 150).

§ 27. Before we pass the age of twelve years, at which point, as someone
says, Rousseau substitutes another Émile for the one he has hitherto
spoken of, let us look at his proposals for moral training. Rousseau
is right, beyond question, in desiring that children should be treated
as children. But what are children? What can they understand? What is
the world in which they live? Is it the material world only, or is the
moral world also open to them? (Girardin’s _R._, vol. ij., 136). On the
subject of morals Rousseau seems to have admirable instincts,[143] but
no principles, and moral as he is “on instinct,” there is always some
confusion in what he Says. At one time he asserts that “there is only
one knowledge to give children, and that is a knowledge of duty: Il n’y
a qu’une science à enseigner aux enfants: c’est celle des devoirs de
l’homme.” (_Ém._ j., 26). Elsewhere he says: “To know right from wrong,
to be conscious of the reason of duty is not the business of a child:
Connaître le bien et le mal, sentir la raison des devoirs de l’homme,
n’est pas l’affaire d’un enfant.” (_Ém._ ij., 75).[144] In another place
he mounts his hobby that “the most sublime virtues are negative” (_Ém._
ij., 95), and that about the best man who ever lived (till he found
Friday?) was Robinson Crusoe. The outcome of all Rousseau’s teaching
on this subject seems that we should in every way develop the child’s
animal or physical life, retard his intellectual life, and ignore his
life as a spiritual and moral being.

§ 28. A variety of influences had combined, as they combine still, to
draw attention away from the importance of physical training; and by
placing the child’s bodily organs and senses as the first things to
be thought of in education, Rousseau did much to save us from the bad
tradition of the Renascence. But there were more things in heaven and
earth than were dreamt of in his philosophy, and whatever Rousseau might
say, Émile could never be restrained from inquiring after them. Every boy
will _think_; _i.e._, he will think _for himself_, however unable he may
seem to think in the direction in which his instructors try to urge him.
The wise elders who have charge of him must take this into account, and
must endeavour to guide him into thinking modestly and thinking right.
Then again, as soon as the child can speak, or before, the world of
sensation becomes for him a world, not of sensations only, but also of
sentiments, of sympathies, of affections, of consciousness of right and
wrong, good and evil. All these feelings, it is true, may be affected by
traditional prejudices. The air the child breathes may also contain much
that is noxious; but we have no more power to exclude the atmosphere of
the moral world than of the physical. All we can do is to take thought
for fresh air in both cases. As for Rousseau’s notion that we can
withdraw the child from the moral atmosphere, we see in it nothing but a
proof how little he understood the problems he professed to solve.[145]

§ 29. Although the governor is to devote himself to a single child,
Rousseau is careful to protest against over-direction. “You would stupify
the child,” says he, “if you were constantly directing him, if you
were always saying to him, ‘Come here! Go there! Stop! Do this! Don’t
do that!’ If your head always directs his arms, his own head becomes
useless to him.” (_Ém._, ij., 114). Here we have a warning which should
not be neglected by those who maintain the _Lycées_ in France, and the
ordinary private boarding-schools in England. In these schools a boy
is hardly called upon to exercise his will all day long. He rises in
the morning when he must; at meals he eats till he is obliged to stop;
he is taken out for exercise like a horse; he has all his indoor work
prescribed for him both as to time and quantity. In this kind of life he
never has occasion to think or act for himself. He is therefore without
self-reliance. So much care is taken to prevent his doing wrong, that
he gets to think only of checks from without. He is therefore incapable
of self-restraint. In the English public schools boys have much less
supervision from their elders, and organise a great portion of their
lives for themselves. This proves a better preparation for life after
the school age; and most public schoolmasters would agree with Rousseau
that “the lessons the boys get from each other in the playground are a
hundred times more useful to them than the lessons given them in school:
les leçons que les écoliers prennent entre eux dans la cour du collège
leur sont cent fois plus utiles que tout ce qu’on leur dira jamais dans
la classe.” (_Ém._ ij., 123.)

§ 30. On questions put by children, Rousseau says: “The art of
questioning is not so easy as it may be thought; it is rather the art of
the master than of the pupil. We must have learnt a good deal of a thing
to be able to ask what we do not know. The learned know and inquire, says
an Indian proverb, but the ignorant know not what to inquire about.” And
from this he infers that children learn less from asking than from being
asked questions. (_N. H._, 5th p. 490.)

§ 31. At twelve years old Émile is said to be fit for instruction. “Now
is the time for labour, for instruction, for study; and observe that it
is not I who arbitrarily make this choice; it is pointed out to us by
Nature herself.”

§ 32. What novelties await us here? As we have seen Rousseau was
determined to recommend nothing that would harmonise with ordinary
educational practice; but even a genius, though he may abandon previous
practice, cannot keep clear of previous thought, and Rousseau’s plan for
instruction is obviously connected with the thoughts of Montaigne and of
Locke. But while on the same lines with these great writers Rousseau goes
beyond them and is both clearer and bolder than they are.

§ 33. Rousseau’s proposals for instruction have the following main

1st. Instruction is to be no longer literary or linguistic. The teaching
about words is to disappear, and the young are not to learn by books or
about books.

2nd. The subjects to be studied are to be mathematics and physical

3rd. The method to be adopted is not the didactic but the method of

4th. The hands are to be called into play as a means of learning.

§ 34. 1st. Till quite recently the only learning ever given in schools
was book-learning, a fact to which the language of the people still bears
witness: when a child does not profit by school instruction he is always
said to be “no good at his book.” Now-a-days the tendency is to change
the character of the schools so that they may become less and less mere
“Ludi Literarii.” In this Rousseau seems to have been a century and
more in advance of us; and yet we cannot credit him with any remarkable
wisdom or insight about literature. He himself used books as a means of
“collecting a store of ideas, true or false, but at any rate clear” (J.
Morley’s _Rousseau_, j. chap. 3, p. 85), and he has recorded for us his
opinion that “the sensible and interesting conversations of a young woman
of merit are more proper to form a young man than all the pedantical
philosophy of books” (_Confessions_, quoted by Morley j., 87). After
this, whatever we may think of the merit of his suggestions we can sit at
the Sage’s feet no longer.

§ 35. 2nd. Rousseau had himself little knowledge of mathematics and
natural science, but he was strongly in favour of the “study of Nature”;
and in his last years his devotion to botany became a passion. His
curriculum for Émile is in the air, but the chief thing is to get him to
attend to the phenomena of nature, and “to foster his curiosity by being
in no hurry to satisfy it.”

§ 36. 3rd. About teaching and learning, there is one point on which we
find a consensus of great authorities extending from the least learned of
writers who was probably Rousseau to the most learned who was probably
Friedrich August Wolf. In one form or other these assert that there is no
true teaching but _self_-teaching.

Past a doubt the besetting weakness of teachers is “telling.” They can
hardly resist the tendency to be didactic. They have the knowledge which
they desire to find in their pupils, and they cannot help expressing
it and endeavouring to pass it on to those who need it, “like wealthy
men who care not how they give.” But true “teaching,” as Jacotot and
his disciple Joseph Payne were never tired of testifying, is “causing
to learn,” and it is seldom that “didactic” teaching has this effect.
Rousseau saw this clearly, and clearly pointed out the danger of
didacticism. As usual he by exaggeration laid himself open to an answer
that seems to refute him, but in spite of this we feel that there is
valuable truth underlying what he says. “I like not explanations given
in long discourses,” says he; “young people pay little attention to
them and retain little from them. The things themselves! The things
themselves! I shall never repeat often enough that we attach too much
importance to words: with our chattering education we make nothing but
chatterers.”[146] Accordingly Rousseau lays down the rule that Émile is
not to learn science but to invent it (qu’il n’apprenne pas la science;
qu’il l’invente); and he even expects him to invent geometry. As Émile
is not supposed to be a young Pascal but only an ordinary boy with
extraordinary _physical_ development such a requirement is obviously
absurd, and Herbart has reckoned it among Rousseau’s _Hauptfehler_ (_Päd.
Schriften_, ij., 242). The training prescribed is in fact the training
of the intellectual athlete; and the trainer may put the body through
its exercises much more easily than the mind. Of this the practical
teacher is only too conscious, and he will accept Rousseau’s advice, if
at all, only as “counsels of perfection.” Rousseau says: “Émile, obliged
to learn of himself, makes use of his own reason and not that of others;
for to give no weight to opinion, none must be given to authority; and
the more part of our mistakes come less from ourselves than from other
people. From this constant exercise there should result a vigour of mind
like that which the body gets from labour and fatigue. Another advantage
is that we advance only in proportion to our strength. The mind like
the body carries that only which it can carry. When the understanding
makes things its own before they are committed to memory, whatever it
afterwards draws forth belongs to it; but if the memory is burdened with
what the understanding knows nothing about we are in danger of bringing
from it things which the understanding declines to acknowledge.”[147]
Again he writes: “Beyond contradiction we get much more clear and certain
notions of the things we learn thus of ourselves than of those we derive
from other people’s instruction, and besides not accustoming our reason
to bow as a slave before authority, we become more ingenious in finding
connexions, in uniting ideas, and in inventing our implements, than when
we take all that is given us and let our minds sink into indifference,
like the body of a man who always has his clothes put on for him, is
waited on by his servants and drawn about by his horses till at length he
loses the strength and use of his limbs. Boileau boasted of having taught
Racine to find difficulty in rhyming. Among all the admirable methods of
shortening the study of the sciences we might have need that some one
should give us a way of learning them _with effort_.”[148]

§ 37. 4th. However highly we may value our gains from the use of books we
must admit that in some ways the use of books tends to the neglect of
powers that should not be neglected. As Rousseau wished to see the young
brought up without books he naturally looked to other means of learning,
especially to learning by the eye and by the hand. Much is now said
about using the hand for education, and many will agree with Rousseau:
“If instead of making a child stick to his books I employ him in a
workshop, his hands work to the advantage of his intellect: he becomes
a philosopher while he thinks he is becoming simply an artisan: Au lieu
de coller un enfant sur des livres, si je l’occupe dans un atelier, ses
mains travaillent au profit de son esprit: il devient philosophe, et
croît n’être qu’un ouvrier.” (_Ém._ iij., 193).

§ 38. In these essays I have done what I could to shew the best that each
reformer has left us. In Rousseau’s case I have been obliged to confine
myself to his words. “We attach far too much importance to words,” said
Rousseau, and yet it is by words and words only that Rousseau still
lives; and for the sake of his words we forget his deeds. Of the _Émile_
Mr. Morley says: “It is one of the seminal books in the history of
literature. It cleared away the accumulation of clogging prejudices and
obscure inveterate usage which made education one of the dark formalistic
arts; and it admitted floods of light and air into tightly-closed
nurseries and schoolrooms” (_Rousseau_, ij., 248). In the region of
thought it set us free from the Renascence; and it did more than this, it
announced the true nature of the teacher’s calling, “_Study the subject
you have to act upon._” In these words we have the starting point of
the “New Education.” From them the educator gets a fresh conception of
his task. We grown people have received innumerable impressions which,
forgotten as they are, have left their mark behind in our way of looking
at things; and as we advance in life these experiences and associations
cluster around everything to which we direct our attention, till in the
end the past seems to dominate the present and to us “nothing is but
what is not.” But to the child the present with its revelations and the
future which will be “something more, a bringer of new things,” are all
engrossing. It is our business as teachers to try to realize how the
world looks from the child’s point of view. We may know a great many
things and be ready to teach them, but we shall have little success
unless we get another knowledge which we cannot teach and can learn only
by patient observation, a knowledge of “the subject to be acted on,” of
the mind of our pupils and what goes on there. When we set out on this
path, which was first clearly pointed out by Rousseau, teaching becomes a
new occupation with boundless possibilities and unceasing interest in it.
Every teacher becomes a learner, for we have to study the minds of the
young, their way of looking at things, their habits, their difficulties,
their likes and dislikes, how they are stimulated to exertion, how they
are discouraged, how one mood succeeds another. What we need we may well
devote a lifetime to acquiring; it is a knowledge of the human mind with
the object of influencing it.



§ 1. One of the most famous movements ever made in educational reform
was started in the last century by John Bernard Basedow. Basedow was
born at Hamburg in 1723, the son of a wigmaker. His early years were not
spent in the ordinary happiness of childhood. His mother he describes
as melancholy, almost to madness, and his father was severe almost to
brutality. It was the father’s intention to bring up his son to his own
business, but the lad ran away, and engaged himself as servant to a
gentleman in Holstein. The master soon perceived what had never occurred
to the father, viz., that the youth had very extraordinary abilities.
Sent home with a letter from his master pointing out this notable
discovery, Basedow was allowed to renounce the paternal calling, and
to go to the Hamburg Grammar School (_Gymnasium_), where he was under
Reimarus, the author of the “Wolfenbüttel Fragment.” In due course his
friends managed to send him to the University of Leipzig to prepare
himself for the least expensive of the learned professions—the clerical.
Basedow, however, was not a man to follow the beaten tracks. After an
irregular life he left the university too unorthodox to think of being
ordained, and in 1749 became private tutor to the children of Herr von
Quaalen in Holstein. In this situation his talent for inventing new
methods of teaching first showed itself. He knew how to adapt himself to
the capacity of the children, and he taught them much by conversation,
and in the way of play, connecting his instruction with surrounding
objects in the house, garden, and fields. Through Quaalen’s influence, he
next obtained a professorship at Soroe, in Denmark, where he lectured for
eight years, but his unorthodox writings raised a storm of opposition,
and the Government finally removed him to the Gymnasium at Altona. Here
he still continued his efforts to change the prevailing opinions in
religious matters; and so great a stir was made by the publication of
his “Philalethia,” and his “Methodical Instruction in both Natural and
Biblical Religion,” that he and his family were refused the Communion at
Altona, and his books were excluded, under a heavy penalty, from Lübeck.

§ 2. About this time Basedow, incited by Rousseau’s “Emile,” turned
his attention to a fresh field of activity, in which he was to make
as many friends as in theology he had found enemies. A very general
dissatisfaction was then felt with the condition of the schools. Physical
education was not attempted in them. The mother-tongue was neglected.
Instruction in Latin and Greek, which was the only instruction given,
was carried on in a mechanical way, without any thought of improvement.
The education of the poor and of the middle classes received but little
attention. “Youth,” says Raumer, “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 school punishment was to learn by heart Psalm cxix.
School-rooms 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 besides reading and writing. The pernicious age of Louis XIV. had
inflicted on the poor 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” (_Gesch. d. Pädagogik_, ii. 297). Kant gave expression
to a very wide-spread feeling when he said that what was wanted in
education was no longer a reform but a revolution. Here, then, was a good
scope offered for innovators, and Basedow was a prince of innovators.

§ 3. Having succeeded in interesting the Danish minister, Bernstorff,
in his plans, he was permitted to devote himself entirely to a work on
the subject of education whilst retaining his income from the Altona
Gymnasium. The result was his “Address to Philanthropists and Men of
Property on Schools and Studies and their Influence on the Public Weal”
(1766), in which he announces the plan of his “Elementary.”[149] In this
address he calls upon princes, governments, town-councils, dignitaries
of the Church, freemasons’ lodges, &c., &c., if they loved their
fellow-creatures, to come to his assistance in bringing out his book. Nor
did he call in vain. When the “Elementary” at length appeared (in 1774),
he had to acknowledge contributions from the Emperor Joseph II., from
Catherine II. of Russia, from Christian VII. of Denmark, from the Grand
Prince Paul, and many other celebrities, the total sum received being
over 2,000_l._

§ 4. While Basedow was travelling about (in 1774) to get subscriptions,
he spent some time in Frankfurt, and thence made an excursion to Ems
with two distinguished companions, one of them Lavater, and the other a
young man of five-and-twenty, already celebrated as the author of “Götz
von Berlichingen,” and the “Sorrows of Werther.” Of Basedow’s personal
peculiarities at this time Goethe has left us an amusing description
in the “Wahrheit und Dichtung;” but we must accept the portrait with
caution: the sketch was thrown in as an artistic contrast with that of
Lavater, and no doubt exaggerates those features in which the antithesis
could be brought out with best effect.

“One could not see,” writes Goethe, “a more marked contrast than between
Lavater and Basedow. As the lines of Lavater’s countenance were free
and open to the beholder, so were Basedow’s contracted, and as it were
drawn inwards, Lavater’s eye, clear and benign, under a very wide
eye-lid; Basedow’s, on the other hand, deep in his head, small, black,
sharp, gleaming out from under shaggy eyebrows, whilst Lavater’s frontal
bone seemed bounded by two arches of the softest brown hair. Basedow’s
impetuous rough voice, his rapid and sharp utterances, a certain derisive
laugh, an abrupt changing of the topic of conversation, and whatever
else distinguished him, all were opposed to the peculiarities and the
behaviour by which Lavater had been making us over-fastidious.”

§ 5. Goethe approved of Basedow’s desire to make all instruction lively
and natural, and thought that his system would promote mental activity
and give the young a fresher view of the world: but he finds fault with
the “Elementary,” and prefers the “Orbis Pictus” of Comenius, in which
subjects are presented in their natural connection. Basedow himself,
says Goethe, was not a man either to edify or to lead other people.
Although the object of his journey was to interest the public in his
philanthropic enterprise, and to open not only hearts but purses,
and he was able to speak eloquently and convincingly on the subject
of education, he spoilt everything by his tirades against prevalent
religious belief, especially on the subject of the Trinity.

§ 6. Goethe found in Basedow’s society an opportunity of “exercising, if
not enlightening,” his mind, so he bore with his personal peculiarities,
though apparently with great difficulty. Basedow seems to have delighted
in worrying his associates. “He would never see anyone quiet but he
provoked him with mocking irony, in a hoarse voice, or put him to
confusion by an unexpected question, and laughed bitterly when he had
gained his end; yet he was pleased when the object of his jests was quick
enough to collect himself, and answer in the same strain.” So far Goethe
was his match; but he was nearly routed by Basedow’s use of bad tobacco,
and of some tinder still worse with which he was constantly lighting his
pipe and poisoning the air insufferably. He soon discovered Goethe’s
dislike to this preparation of his, so he took a malicious pleasure in
using it and dilating upon its merits.

§ 7. Here is an odd account of their intercourse. During their stay at
Ems Goethe went a great deal into fashionable society. “To make up for
these dissipations,” he writes, “I always passed a part of the night
with Basedow. He never went to bed, but dictated without cessation.
Occasionally he cast himself on the couch and slumbered, while his
amanuensis sat quietly, pen in hand, ready to continue his work when the
half-awakened author should once more give free course to his thoughts.
All this took place in a close confined chamber, filled with the fumes of
tobacco and the odious tinder. As often as I was disengaged from a dance
I hastened up to Basedow, who was ready at once to speak and dispute on
any question; and when after a time I hurried again to the ball-room,
before I had closed the door behind me he would resume the thread of his
essay as composedly as if he had been engaged with nothing else.”

§ 8. It was through a friend of Goethe’s, Behrisch, whose acquaintance we
make in the “Wahrheit und Dichtung,” that Basedow became connected with
Prince Leopold of Dessau. Behrisch was tutor to the Prince’s son, and by
him the Prince was so interested in Basedow’s plans that he determined
to found an Institute in which they should be realised. Basedow was
therefore called to Dessau, and under his direction was opened the famous
Philanthropinum. Then for the first, and probably for the last time,
a school was started in which use and wont were entirely set aside,
and everything done on “improved principles.” Such a bold enterprise
attracted the attention of all interested in education, far and near:
but it would seem that few parents considered their own children _vilia
corpora_ on whom experiments might be made for the public good. When, in
May 1776, a number of schoolmasters and others collected from different
parts of Germany, and even from beyond Germany, to be present by
Basedow’s invitation at an examination of the children, they found only
thirteen pupils in the Philanthropinum, including Basedow’s own son and

§ 9. Before we investigate how Basedow’s principles were embodied in the
Philanthropinum, let us see the form in which he had already announced
them. The great work from which all children were to be taught was the
“Elementary.” As a companion to this was published the “Book of Method”
(_Methodenbuch_) for parents and teachers. The “Elementary” is a work in
which a great deal of information about things in general is given in
the form of dialogue, interspersed with tales and easy poetry. Except
in bulk, it does not seem to me to differ very materially from many of
the reading-books, which, in late years, have been published in this
country. It had the advantage, however, of being accompanied by a set
of engravings to which the text referred, though they were too large to
be bound up with it. The root-ideas of Basedow put forth in his “Book
of Method,” and other writings, are those of Rousseau. For example,
“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
(_Unnatur_). 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.” Elsewhere he gives
instances of the sort of things to which this method should be applied.
1st. Man. Here he would use pictures of foreigners and wild men, also a
skeleton, a hand in spirits, and other objects still more appropriate
to a surgical museum. 2nd. Animals. Only such animals are to be depicted
as it is useful to know about, because there is much that ought to be
known, and a good method of instruction must shorten rather than increase
the hours of study. Articles of commerce made from the animals may also
be exhibited. 3rd. Trees and plants. Only the most important are to be
selected. Of these the seeds also must be shown, and cubes formed of the
different woods. Gardeners’ and farmers’ implements are to be explained.
4th. Minerals and chemical substances. 5th. Mathematical instruments for
weighing and measuring; also the air-pump, siphon, and the like. The form
and motion of the earth are to be explained with globes and maps. 6th.
Trades. The use of various tools is to be taught. 7th. History. This is
to be illustrated by engravings of historical events. 8th. Commerce.
Samples of commodities may be produced. 9th. The younger children
should be shown pictures of familiar objects about the house and its

§ 10. We see from this list that Basedow contemplated giving his
educational course the charm of variety. Indeed, with that candour in
acknowledging mistakes which partly makes amends for the effrontery too
common in the trumpetings of his own performances, past, present, and to
come, he confesses that when he began the “Elementary” he had exaggerated
notions of the amount boys were capable of learning, and that he had
subsequently very much contracted his proposed curriculum. And even
“the Revolution,” which was to introduce so much new learning into the
schools, could not afford entirely to neglect the old. However pleased
parents might be with the novel acquirements of their children, they were
not likely to be satisfied without the usual knowledge of Latin, and
still less would they tolerate the neglect of French, which in German
polite society of the eighteenth century was the recognised substitute
for the vulgar tongue. These, then, must be taught. But the old methods
might be abandoned, if not the old subjects. Basedow proposed to teach
both French and Latin by _conversation_. Let a cabinet of models, or
something of the kind, be shown the children; let them learn the names of
the different objects in Latin or French; then let questions be asked in
those languages, and the right answers at first put into the children’s
mouths. When they have in this way acquired some knowledge of the
language, they may apply it to the translating of an easy book. Basedow
does not claim originality for the conversational method. He appeals
to the success with which it had been already used in teaching French.
“Are the French governesses,” he asks, “who, without vocabularies and
grammars, first by conversation, then by reading, teach their language
very successfully and very rapidly in schools of from thirty to forty
children, better teachers than most masters in our Latin schools?”

§ 11. On the subject of religion the instruction was to be quite as
original as in matters of less importance. The teachers were to give an
impartial account of all religions, and nothing but “natural religion”
was to be inculcated.

§ 12. The key-note of the whole system was to be—_everything according to
nature_. The natural desires and inclinations of the children were to be
educated and directed aright, but in no case to be suppressed.

§ 13. These, then, were the principles and the methods which, as Basedow
believed, were to revolutionise education through the success of the
Philanthropinum. Basedow himself, as we might infer from Goethe’s
description of him, was by no means a model director for the model
Institution, but he was fortunate in his assistants. Of these he had
three at the time of the public examination, of whom Wolke is said to
have been the ablest.

§ 14. A lively description of the examination was afterwards published
by Herr Schummel of Magdeburg, under the title of “Fred’s Journey to
Dessau.” It purports to be written by a boy of twelve years old, and to
describe what took place without attempting criticism. A few extracts
will give us a notion of the instruction carried on in the Philanthropin.

“I have just come from a visit with my father to the Philanthropinum,
where I saw Herr Basedow, Herr Wolke, Herr Simon, Herr Schweighäuser,
and the little Philanthropinists. I am delighted with all that I have
seen, and hardly know where to begin my description of it. There are
two large white houses, and near them a field with trees. A pupil—not
one of the regular scholars, but of those they call Famulants (a poorer
class, who were servitors)—received us at the door, and asked if we
wished to see Herr Basedow. We said ‘Yes,’ and he took us into the
other house, where we found Herr Basedow in a dressing-gown, writing at
a desk. We came at an inconvenient time, and Herr Basedow said he was
very busy. He was very friendly, however, and promised to visit us in
the evening. We then went into the other house, and enquired for Herr
Wolke.” By him they were taken to the scholars. “They have,” says Fred,
“their hair cut very short, and no wig-maker is employed. Their throats
are quite open, and their shirt-collars fall back over their coats.”
Further on he describes the examination. “The little ones have gone
through the oddest performances. They play at ‘word of command.’ Eight or
ten stand in a line like soldiers, and Herr Wolke is officer. He gives
the word in Latin, and they must do whatever he says. For instance,
when he says _Claudite oculos_, they all shut their eyes; when he says
_Circumspicite_, they look about them; _Imitamini sartorem_, they all sew
like tailors; _Imitamini sutorem_, they draw the waxed thread like the
cobblers. Herr Wolke gives a thousand different commands in the drollest
fashion. Another game, ‘the hiding game,’ I will also teach you. Some
one writes a name, and hides it from the children—the name of some part
of the body, or of a plant, or animal, or metal—and the children guess
what it is. Whoever guesses right gets an apple or a piece of cake. One
of the visitors wrote _Intestina_, and told the children it was a part of
the body. Then the guessing began. One guessed _caput_, another _nasus_,
another _os_, another _manus_, _pes_, _digiti_, _pectus_, and so forth,
for a long time; but one of them hit it at last. Next Herr Wolke wrote
the name of a beast, a quadruped. Then came the guesses: _leo_, _ursus_,
_camelus_, _elephas_, and so on, till one guessed right—it was _mus_.
Then a town was written, and they guessed Lisbon, Madrid, Paris, London,
till a child won with St. Petersburg. They had another game, which was
this: Herr Wolke gave the command in Latin, and they imitated the noises
of different animals, and made us laugh till we were tired. They roared
like lions, crowed like cocks, mewed like cats, just as they were bid.”

§ 15. The subject that was next handled had also the effect of making the
strangers laugh, till a severe reproof from Herr Wolke restored their
gravity. A picture was brought, in which was represented a sad-looking
woman, whose person indicated the approaching arrival of another subject
for education. From one part of the picture it also appeared that the
prospective mother, with a prodigality of forethought, had got ready
clothing for both a boy and a girl. After a warning from Herr Wolke,
that this was a most serious and important subject, the children were
questioned on the topics the picture suggested. They were further taught
the debt of gratitude they owed to their mothers, and the German fiction
about the stork was dismissed with due contempt.

§ 16. Next came the examination in arithmetic. Here there seems to have
been nothing remarkable, except that all the rules were worked _vivâ
voce_. From the arithmetic Herr Wolke went on to an “Attempt at various
small drawings.” He asked the children what he should draw. Some one
answered _leonem_. He then pretended he was drawing a lion, but put a
beak to it; whereupon the children shouted _Non est Leo—leones non habent
rostrum!_ He went on to other subjects, as the children directed him,
sometimes going wrong that the children might put him right. In the next
exercise dice were introduced, and the children threw to see who should
give an account of an engraving. The engravings represented workmen at
their different trades, and the child had to explain the process, the
tools, &c. A lesson on ploughing and harrowing was given in French, and
another, on Alexander’s expedition to India, in Latin. Four of the pupils
translated passages from Curtius and from Castalio’s Bible, which were
read to them. “These children,” said the teacher, “knew not a word of
Latin a year ago.” “The listeners were well pleased with the Latin,”
writes Fred, “except two or three, whom I heard grumbling that this was
all child’s play, and that if Cicero, Livy, and Horace were introduced,
it would soon be seen what was the value of Philanthropinist Latin.”
After the examination, two comedies were acted by the children, one in
French, the other in German.

Most of the strangers seem to have left Dessau with a favourable
impression of the Philanthropin. They were especially struck with the
brightness and animation of the children.

§ 17. How far did the Philanthropinum really deserve their good opinion?
The conclusion to which we are driven by Fred’s narrative is, that
Basedow carried to excess his principle—“Treat children as children, that
they may remain the longer uncorrupted;” and that the Philanthropinum
was, in fact, nothing but a good infant-school. Surely none of the
thirteen children who were the subjects of Basedow’s experiments could
have been more than ten years old. But if we consider Basedow’s system
to have been intended for _children_, say between the ages of six and
ten, we must allow that it possessed great merits. At the very beginning
of a boy’s learning, it has always been too much the custom to make
him hate the sight of a book, and escape at every opportunity from
school-work, by giving him difficult tasks, and neglecting his acutest
faculties. “Children love motion and noise,” says Basedow: “here is
a hint from nature.” Yet the youngest children in most schools are
expected to keep quiet and to sit at their books for as many hours as
the youths of seventeen or eighteen. Their vivacity is repressed with
the cane. Their delight in exercising their hands and eyes and ears
is taken no notice of; and they are required to keep their attention
fixed on subjects often beyond their comprehension, and almost always
beyond the range of their interests. Everyone who has had experience
in teaching boys knows how hard it is to get them to throw themselves
heartily into any task whatever; and probably this difficulty arises in
many cases, from the habits of inattention and of shirking school-work,
which the boys have acquired almost necessarily from the dreariness of
their earliest lessons.[150] Basedow determined to change all this; and
in the Philanthropin no doubt he succeeded. We have already seen some of
the expedients by which he sought to render school-work pleasurable. He
appealed, wherever it was possible, to the children’s senses; and these,
especially the sight, were trained with great care by exercises, such
as drawing, shooting at a mark, &c. One of these exercises, intended
to give quick perception, bears a curious likeness to what has since
been practised in a very different educational system. A picture, with
a somewhat varied subject, was exhibited for a short time and removed.
The boys had then, either verbally or on paper, to give an account of
it, naming the different objects in proper order. Houdin, if I rightly
remember, tells us that the young thieves of Paris are required by their
masters to make a mental inventory of the contents of a shop window,
which they see only as they walk rapidly by. Other exercises of the
Philanthropinum connected the pupils with more honourable callings.
They became acquainted with both skilled and unskilled manual labour.
Every boy was taught a handicraft, such as carpentering and turning,
and was put to such tasks as threshing corn. Basedow’s division of the
twenty-four hours was the following: Eight hours for sleep, eight for
food and amusement, and, for the children of the rich, six hours of
school-work, and two of manual labour. In the case of the children of
the poor, he would have the division of the last eight hours inverted,
and would give for school-work two, and for manual labour six. The
development of the body was specially cared for in the Philanthropinum.
Gymnastics were now first introduced into modern schools; and the boys
were taken long expeditions on foot—the commencement, I believe, of a
practice now common throughout Germany.

§ 18. As I have already said, Basedow proved a very unfit person to be
at the head of the model Institution. Many of his friends agreed with
Herder, that he was not fit to have calves entrusted to him, much less
children. He soon resigned his post; and was succeeded by Campe, who had
been one of the visitors at the public examination. Campe did not remain
long at the Philanthropinum; but left it to set up a school, on like
principles, at Hamburg. His fame now rests on his writings for the young;
one of which—“Robinson Crusoe the Younger”—is still a general favourite.

Other distinguished men became connected with the Philanthropin—among
them Salzmann, and Matthison the poet—and the number of pupils rose
to over fifty; gathered we are told, from all parts of Europe between
Riga and Lisbon. But this number is by no means a fair measure of the
interest, nay, enthusiasm, which the experiment excited. We find Pastor
Oberlin raising money on his wife’s earrings to send a donation. We find
the philosopher Kant prophesying that quite another race of men would
grow up, now that education according to Nature had been introduced.

§ 19. These hopes were disappointed. Kant confesses as much in the
following passage in his treatise “On Pædagogy”:—

“One fancies, indeed, that experiments in education would not be
necessary; and that we might judge by the understanding whether any plan
would turn out well or ill. But this is a great mistake. Experience shows
that often in our experiments we get quite opposite results from what we
had anticipated. We see, too, that since experiments are necessary, it is
not in the power of one generation to form a complete plan of education.
The only experimental school which, to some extent, made a beginning in
clearing the road, was the Institute at Dessau. This praise at least must
be allowed it, notwithstanding the many faults which could be brought up
against it—faults which are sure to show themselves when we come to the
results of our experiments, and which merely prove that fresh experiments
are necessary. It was the only School in which the teachers had liberty
to work according to their own methods and schemes, and where they were
in free communication both among themselves and with all learned men
throughout Germany.”

§ 20. We observe here, that Kant speaks of the Philanthropinum as a
thing of the past. It was finally closed in 1793. But even from Kant
we learn that the experiment had been by no means a useless one. The
conservatives, of course, did not neglect to point out that young
Philanthropinists, when they left school, were not in all respects
the superiors of their fellow-creatures. But, although no one could
pretend that the Philanthropinum had effected a tithe of what Basedow
promised, and the “friends of humanity” throughout Europe expected, it
had introduced many new ideas, which in time had their influence, even
in the schools of the opposite party. Moreover, teachers who had been
connected with the Philanthropinum founded schools on similar principles
in different parts of Germany and Switzerland, as Bahrd’s at Heidesheim,
and Salzmann’s celebrated school at Schnepfenthal, which is, I believe,
still thriving. Their doctrines, too, made converts among other masters,
the most celebrated of whom was Meierotto of Berlin.

§ 21. Little remains to be said of Basedow. He lived chiefly at Dessau,
earning his subsistence by private tuition, but giving offence by his
irregularities. In 1790, when visiting Magdeburg, he died, after a short
illness, in his sixty-seventh year. His last words were, “I wish my body
to be dissected for the good of my fellow-creatures.”

    Basedow has a posthumous connexion with this country as the
    great-grandfather of Professor Max Müller. Basedow’s son became
    “Regierungs Präsident,” in Dessau. The President’s daughter,
    born in 1800, became the wife of the poet Wilhelm Müller, and
    the mother of Max Müller. Max Müller has contributed a life of
    his great-grandfather to the _Allgemeine Deutsche Biographie_.

    Those who read German and care about either Basedow or Comenius
    should get _Die Didaktik Basedows im Vergleiche zur Didaktik
    des Comenius von_ Dr. Petru Garbovicianu (Bucarest, C. Gobl),
    1887. This is a very good piece of work; it is printed in roman
    type, and the price is only 1_s._ 6_d._

    Since the above was in type I have got an important book,
    _L’Education en Allemagne au Dix-huitième Siècle: Basedow et le
    Philanthropinisme_, by A. Pinloche (Paris, A. Colin, 1889.)




§ 1. _Qui facit per alium facit per se._ It is thus the law holds us
accountable for the action of others which we direct. By the extension
of this rule we immensely increase the personality of great writers and
may credit them with vast spheres of action which never come within their
consciousness. No man gains and suffers more from this consideration
than Rousseau. On the one hand, we may attribute to him the crimes of
Robespierre and Saint-Just; on the other Pestalozzi was instigated by him
to turn to farming and—education.

In treating of Rousseau as an educational reformer I passed over a life
in which almost every incident tends to weaken the effect of his words.
With Pestalozzi we must turn to his life for the true source of his
writings and the best comment on them.

§ 2. John Henry Pestalozzi was born at Zurich in 1746. His father dying
when he was five years old, he was brought up with a brother and sister
by a pious and self-denying mother and by a faithful servant “Babeli,”
who had comforted the father in his last hours by promising to stay
with his family. Thus Pestalozzi had an advantage denied to Rousseau
and denied as it would seem to Locke; there was scope for his home
affections, and the head was not developed before the heart. When he was
sent to a day-school he became to some extent the laughing stock of his
companions who dubbed him Harry Oddity of Foolborough; but he gained
their good-will by his unselfishness. It was remembered that on the shock
of an earthquake when teachers and taught fled from the school building
Harry Oddity was induced to go back and bring away what his companions
considered precious. His holidays he spent with his grandfather the
pastor of a village some three miles from Zurich, where the lad learnt
the condition of the rural poor and saw what a good man could do for
them. He always looked back to these visits as an important element in
his education. “The best way for a child to acquire the fear of God,” he
wrote, “is for him to see and hear a true Christian.” The grandfather’s
example so affected him that he wished to follow in his steps, and he
became a student of theology.[151]

§ 3. Even as a student Pestalozzi proved that he was no ordinary man.
In his time there was great intellectual and moral enthusiasm among the
students of the little Swiss University. Some distinguished professors,
especially Bodmer, had awakened a craving for the old Swiss virtues
of plain living and high thinking; and a band of students, among whom
Lavater was leader and Pestalozzi played a prominent part, became eager
reformers. The citizens of the great towns like Geneva and Zurich had
become in effect privileged classes; and as their spokesmen the Geneva
magistrates condemned the _Contrat Social_ and the _Emile_. This raised
the indignation of the reforming students at Zurich; and though their
organ, a periodical called the _Memorial_, kept clear of politics, one
Muller wrote a paper which contained some strong language, and this
was held to be proof of a conspiracy. Muller fled and was banished.
Pestalozzi and some other of his friends were imprisoned. The _Memorial_
was suppressed.

§ 4. It is in this _Memorial_, a weekly paper edited by Lavater who
was five years Pestalozzi’s senior that we have Pestalozzi’s earliest
writing. We find him coming forward as “a man of aspirations.” No one
he says can object to his expressing his wishes. And “wishes” with a
man of 19 are usually hopes. Among other wishes he says: “I would that
some one would draw up in a simple manner a few principles of education
intelligible to everybody; that some generous people would then share the
expense of printing, so that the pamphlet might be given to the public
for nothing or next to nothing. I would then have clergymen distribute it
to all fathers and mothers, so that they might bring up their children in
a rational and Christian manner. But,” he adds, “perhaps this is asking
too much at a time.”

The _Memorial_ was suppressed because “the privileged classes” knew that
it was in the hands of their opponents. Pestalozzi then and always felt
keenly the oppression to which the peasants were exposed; and he spoke
of “the privileged” as men on stilts who must descend among the people
before they could secure a natural and firm position. He also satirises
them in some of his fables, as, _e.g._, that of the “Fishes and the
Pike.” “The fishes in a pond brought an accusation against the pike who
were making great ravages among them. The judge, an old pike, said
that their complaint was well founded, and that the defendants, to make
amends, should allow two ordinary fish every year to become pike.”

§ 5. By this time Pestalozzi had given up theology and had taken to the
law. Now under the influence of Rousseau, or rather of the craving for
a simple “natural” life which found its most eloquent expression in
Rousseau’s writing, Pestalozzi made a bonfire of his MSS. and decided on
becoming a farmer.

§ 6. There was another person concerned in this decision. In his
childhood he had one day ventured into the shop of one of the leading
tradesmen, Herr Schulthess, bent on procuring for his farthings some
object of delight; but he found there a little shop-keeper, Anna
Schulthess, seven years his senior, who discouraged his extravagance and
persuaded him to keep his money. Anna and he since those days had become
engaged—not at all to the satisfaction of her parents. Their intimacy
had been strengthened by their concern for a common friend, a young man
named Bluntschli, who died of consumption. This friend, three years
older than Pestalozzi, seems to have understood him thoroughly; and in
the parting advice he gave him there was a warning which happily for the
general good was in after years neglected. “I am going,” said Bluntschli,
“and you will be left alone. Avoid any career in which you might become
the victim of your own goodness and trust, and choose some quiet life in
which you will run no risk. Above all, do not take part in any important
undertaking without having at your side a man who by his cool judgment,
knowledge of men and things, and unshakable fidelity may be able to
protect you from the dangers to which you will be exposed.”

§ 7. When the friendship with Anna Schulthess had ripened into a
betrothal Pestalozzi spent a year in the neighbourhood of Bern learning
farming under a man then famous for his innovations. His new ideas
Pestalozzi absorbed very readily. “I had come to him,” he says, “a
political visionary, though with many profound and correct attainments,
views, and anticipations in matters political. I went away from him just
as great an agricultural visionary, though with many enlarged and correct
ideas and intentions with regard to agriculture.”

§ 8. During his “learning year” he kept up a correspondence with his
betrothed, and the letters of both, which have been preserved, differ
very widely from love-letters in general. Of himself Pestalozzi gives an
account which shows that in part at least he could see himself as others
saw him. “Dearest,” he writes, “those of my faults which appear to me
most important in relation to the situation in which I may be placed in
after-life are improvidence, incautiousness, and a want of presence of
mind to meet unexpected changes in my prospects.... Of my great, and
indeed very reprehensible negligence in all matters of etiquette, and
generally in all matters which are not in themselves of importance, I
need not speak; anyone may see them at first sight of me. I also owe you
the open confession, my dear, that I shall always consider my duties
toward my beloved partner subordinate to my duties towards my country;
and that, although I shall be the tenderest husband, nevertheless, I
hold myself bound to be inexorable to the tears of my wife if she should
ever attempt to restrain me by them from the direct performance of my
duties as a citizen, whatever this must lead to. My wife shall be the
confidante of my heart, the partner of all my most secret counsels. A
great and honest simplicity shall reign in my house. And one thing more.
My life will not pass without important and very critical undertakings.
I shall not forget ... my first resolutions to devote myself wholly to
my country. I shall never, from fear of man, refrain from speaking when
I see that the good of my country calls upon me to speak. My whole heart
is my country’s: I will risk all to alleviate the need and misery of
my fellow-countrymen. What consequences may the undertakings to which
I feel myself urged on draw after them! how unequal to them am I! and
how imperative is my duty to show you the possibility of the great
dangers which they may bring upon me! My dear, my beloved friend, I have
now spoken candidly of my character and my aspirations. Reflect upon
everything. If the traits which it was my duty to mention diminish your
respect for me, you will still esteem my sincerity, and you will not
think less highly of me, that I did not take advantage of your want of
acquaintance with my character for the attainment of my inmost wishes.”

§ 9. The young lady addressed was worthy of her lover. “Such nobleness,
such elevation of character, reach my very soul,” said she. With
equal nobleness she encouraged Pestalozzi in his schemes and took the
consequences without a murmur during their long married life of 46 years.

§ 10. Full of new ideas about farming Pestalozzi now thought he saw his
way to making a fortune. He took some poor land near Birr not far from
Zurich, and persuaded a banking firm to advance money with which he
proposed to cultivate vegetables and madder. In September, 1769, he was
married, and six months later the pair settled in a new house, “Neuhof,”
which Pestalozzi had built on his land.

§ 11. But in spite of his excellent ideas and great industry, his
speculation failed. The bankers soon withdrew their money. Pestalozzi was
not cautious enough for them. However, his wife’s friends prevented an
immediate collapse.

§ 12. But before he had any reason to doubt the success of his
speculation Pestalozzi had begun to reproach himself with being engrossed
by it. What had become of all his thoughts for the people? Was he not
spending his strength entirely to gain the prosperity of himself and his
household? These thoughts came to him with all the more force when a son
was born to him; and at this time they naturally connected themselves
with education. He had now seen a good deal of the degraded state of the
peasantry. How were they to be raised out of it?

§ 13. To Pestalozzi there seemed one answer and one only. This was
_by education_. To many people in the present day it might seem that
“education,” when quite successful, would qualify labourers to become
clerks. This was not the notion of Pestalozzi. Rousseau had completely
freed him from bondage to the Renascence, and education did not mean to
him a training in the use of books. He looked at the children of the
lowest class of the peasants and asked himself what they needed to raise
them. Knowledge would not do it. “The thing was not that they should
know what they did not know, but that they should behave as they did
not behave” (_supra_, p. 169); and the road to right action lay through
right feeling. If they could be made conscious that they were loved and
cared for, their hearts would open and give back love and respect in
return. More than this, they must be taught not only to respect their
elders but also themselves. They must be taught to help themselves and
contribute to their own maintenance. So Pestalozzi resolved to take into
his own house some of the very poorest children, to bring them up in
an atmosphere of love, and to instruct them in field-work and spinning
which would soon partly (as Pestalozzi hoped, wholly) pay for their keep.
Thus, just at the time when the experiment for himself failed he began
for others an experiment that seemed likely to add indefinitely to his

§ 14. In the winter of 1774 the first children were taken into Neuhof.
The consequences to his wife and to his little son only four years old
might have vanquished the courage of a less ardent philanthropist. “Our
position entailed much suffering on my wife;” he writes, “but nothing
could shake us in our resolve to devote our time, strength and remaining
fortune to the simplification of the instruction and domestic education
of the people.”

§ 15. These children, at first not more than 20 in number, Pestalozzi
treated as his own. They worked with him in the summer in the garden and
fields, in winter in the house. Very little time was given to separate
lessons, the children often learning while they worked with their hands.
Pestalozzi held that talking should come before reading and writing; and
he practised them in conversation on subjects taken from their every day
life. They also repeated passages from the Bible till they knew them by

§ 16. In a few months, as we are told, the appearance of these poor
little creatures had entirely changed; though fed only on bread and
vegetables they looked strong and hearty, and their faces gained an
expression of cheerfulness, frankness and intelligence which till then
had been totally wanting. They made good progress with their manual work
as well as with the associated lessons, and took pleasure in both. In
all they said and did, they seemed to show their consciousness of their
benefactor’s kind care of them.

§ 17. This experiment naturally drew much attention to it, and when it
had gone on over a year Pestalozzi was induced by his friend Iselin
of Basel to insert in the _Ephemerides_ (a paper of which Iselin was
editor), an “appeal ... for an institution intended to provide education
and work for poor country children.” In this appeal Pestalozzi narrates
his experience. “I have proved,” says he, “that it is not regular work
that stops the development of so many poor children, but the turmoil and
irregularity of their lives, the privations they endure, the excesses
they indulge in when opportunity offers, the wild rebellious passions
so seldom restrained, and the hopelessness to which they are so often
a prey. I have proved that children after having lost health, strength
and courage in a life of idleness and mendicity have, when once set
to regular work quickly recovered their health and spirits and grown
rapidly. I have found that when taken out of their abject condition they
soon become kindly, trustful and sympathetic; that even the most degraded
of them are touched by kindness, and that the eyes of the child who has
been steeped in misery, grow bright with pleasure and surprise, when,
after years of hardship, he sees a gentle friendly hand stretched out to
help him; and I am convinced that _when a child’s heart has been touched
the consequences will be great for his development and entire moral

Pestalozzi therefore would have the very poorest children brought up in
private establishments where agriculture and industry were combined, and
where they would learn to work steadily and carefully with their hands,
the chief part of their time being devoted to this manual work, and their
instruction and education being associated with it. And he asks for
support in greatly increasing the establishment he has already begun.

§ 18. Encouraged by the support he received and still more by his love
for the children and his own too sanguine disposition Pestalozzi enlarged
his undertaking. The consequence was bankruptcy. Several causes conspired
to bring about this result. Whatever he might do for the children, he
could not educate the parents, and these were many of them beggars with
the ordinary vices of their class. With the usual discernment of such
people they soon came to the conclusion that Pestalozzi was making a
fortune out of their children’s labour; so they haunted Neuhof, treated
Pestalozzi with the greatest insolence, and often induced their children
to run away in their new clothes. This would account for much, but there
was another cause of failure that accounted for a great deal more.
This was Pestalozzi’s extreme incapacity as an administrator. Even his
industrial experiment he carried on in such a way that it proved a source
of expense rather than of profit. He says himself, that, contrary to his
own principles, which should have led him to begin at the beginning and
lay a good foundation in teaching, he put the children to work that was
too difficult for them, wanted them to spin fine thread before their
hands got steadiness and skill by exercise on the coarser kind, and to
manufacture muslin before they could turn out well-made cotton goods.
“Before I was aware of it,” he adds, “I was deeply involved in debt, and
the greater part of my dear wife’s property and expectations had, as it
were, in an instant gone up in smoke.”

§ 19. The precise arrangement made with the creditors we do not know. The
bare facts remain that the children were sent away, and that the land was
let for the creditors’ benefit; but Pestalozzi remained in the house.
This was settled in 1780.

§ 20. We have now come to the most gloomy period in Pestalozzi’s history,
a period of eighteen years, and those the best years in a man’s life,
which Pestalozzi spent in great distress from poverty without and doubt
and despondency within. When he got into difficulties, his friends, he
tells us, loved him without hope: “in the whole surrounding district it
was everywhere said that I was a lost man, that nothing more could be
done for me.” “In his only too elegant country house,” we are told, “he
often wanted money, bread, fuel, to protect himself against hunger and
cold.” “Eighteen years!—what a time for a soul like his to wait! History
passes lightly over such a period. Ten, twenty, thirty years—it makes but
a cipher difference if nothing great happens in them. But with what agony
must he have seen day after day, year after year gliding by, who in his
fervent soul longed to labour for the good of mankind and yet looked in
vain for the opportunity!” (Palmer.)

§ 21. But he who was always ready to sacrifice himself for others now
found someone, and that a stranger, ready to make a great sacrifice for
him. A servant, named Elizabeth Naef, heard of the disaster and distress
at Neuhof, and her master having just died she resolved to go to the
rescue. At first Pestalozzi refused her help. He did not wish her to
share the poverty of his household, and he felt himself out of sympathy
with her “evangelical” form of piety. But Elizabeth declared she had come
to stay, and when Pestalozzi found he could not shake her determination
he consented, saying, “Well, you will find after all that God is in our
house also.”

§ 22. To this pious sensible but illiterate peasant woman Pestalozzi
was fond of tracing many of his ideas. She was the original of his
_Gertrude_, and it was of her he wrote: “God’s sun pursues its path
from morning to evening; yet your eye detects no movement, your ear no
sound. Even when it goes down, you know that it will rise again and
continue to ripen the fruits of the earth. Extreme as it may seem, I am
not ashamed to say that this is an image of Gertrude as of every woman
who makes her house a temple of the living God and wins heaven for her
husband and children.” (_Leonard and Gertrude_). She was invaluable at
Neuhof and restored comfort to the household. In after years she managed
the establishment at Yverdun and married one of the Krüsis who were
Pestalozzi’s assistants.

§ 23. Writing of the gloomy years at Neuhof Pestalozzi afterwards said;
“My head was grey, yet I was still a child. With a heart in which all
the foundations of life were shaken, I still pursued in those stormy
times my favourite object, but my way was one of prejudice, of passion
and of error.” But with Pestalozzi self-depreciation had “almost grown
the habit of his soul,” and in his writings at Neuhof at this period
we find no traces of this prejudice, passion and error from which he
supposes himself to have suffered. He certainly did not abandon his love
of humanity; and in his sacrifice for it he sought a religious basis.
In these Neuhof days he wrote: “Christ teaches us by His example and
doctrine to sacrifice not only our possessions but ourselves for the
good of others, and shews us that nothing we have received is absolutely
ours but is merely entrusted to us by God to be piously employed in the
service of charity.” (Quoted by Guimps. R’s trans. 72.) Whatever were his
doubts and difficulties, he never swerved from pursuing the great object
of his life, and nothing could cloud his mind as to the true method of
attaining that object. As he afterwards wrote to Gessner (_Wie Gertrud_
u.s.w.), “Even while I was the sport of men who condemned me I never lost
sight for a moment of the object I had in view, which was the removal of
the causes of the misery that I saw on all sides of me. My strength too
kept on increasing, and my own misfortunes taught me valuable truths.
I knew the people as no one else did. What deceived no one else always
deceived me, but what deceived everybody else deceived me no longer....
My own sufferings have enabled me to understand the sufferings of the
people and their causes as no man without suffering can understand them.
I suffered what the people suffered and saw them as no one else saw them;
and strange as it may seem, I was never more profoundly convinced of the
fundamental truths on which I had based my undertaking than when I saw
that I had failed.” (R’s. Guimps 74.)

§ 24. Pestalozzi still had a few friends who did not despise the dreamer
of dreams. Among them was the editor of the _Ephemerides_, Iselin.
This friend encouraged him to write, and there soon appeared in the
_Ephemerides_ a series of reflexions under the title of “The Evening Hour
of a Hermit.” Not many editors would have printed these aphorisms, and
they attracted little or no attention at the time, but they have proved
worth attending to. “The fruit of Pestalozzi’s past years, they are,”
says Raumer, “at the same time the seed-corn of the years that were to
come, the plan and key to his action in pedagogy.... The drawing of the
architect of genius contains his work, even though the architect himself
has not skill enough to carry out his own design.” (Quoted by Otto

§ 25. What was the connexion between Pestalozzi’s belief at this season
and complete belief in dogmatic Christianity? The question is one that
will always be asked and can never, I think, be fully answered. In the
days preceding the French Revolution it was a proof of wisdom to “Cleave
ever to the sunnier side of doubt, and cling to Faith,” even though the
Faith were “beyond the forms of Faith” (see Tennyson’s _Ancient Sage_).
But Pestalozzi did far more than this. He traced all virtue and strength
in the people to belief in the Fatherhood of God; and he saw in unbelief
the severance of all the bonds of society. The “Hermit” does not indeed
use the phrases common among “evangelical” Christians, but that he was
indeed a Christian is established not only by the general tone of his
aphorisms but still more clearly by his last words: “The Man of God, who
with his sufferings and death has restored to humanity the lost feeling
of the child’s disposition towards God is the Redeemer of the world; he
is the sacrificed Priest of the Lord; he is the Mediator between God
and God-forgetting mankind. His teaching is pure justice, educating
philosophy of the people; it is the revelation of God the Father to the
lost race of his children.”

§ 26. The “Evening Hour” remaining almost unnoticed, Pestalozzi’s friends
urged him to write something in a more popular form. So he set to work on
a tale which should depict the life of the peasantry and shew the causes
of their degradation and the cure. With extraordinary rapidity he wrote
between the lines of an old account book the first part of his “Leonard
and Gertrude.” The book, which was complete in itself, and through the
good offices of Iselin (of the _Ephemerides_), soon found a publisher,
suddenly sprang into immense popularity, a popularity of which nothing
but the “continuations” could ever have deprived it. In the works of a
great artist we see natural objects represented with perfect fidelity
and yet with a life breathed into them by genius, which is wanting or
at least is not visible to common eyes in the originals. Just so do
we find Swiss peasant life depicted by Pestalozzi. The delineation is
evidently true to nature; and, at the same time, shows Nature as she
reveals herself to genius. But for this work something more than genius
was necessary, viz., sympathy and love. In the preface to the first
edition, he says, “In that which I here relate, and which I have, for the
most part, seen and heard myself in the course of an active life, I have
taken care not once to add my own opinion to what I saw and heard the
people themselves saying, feeling; believing, judging, and attempting.”
In a later edition (1800) he says, “I desired nothing then, and I desire
nothing else now, as the object of my life, but the welfare of the
people, whom I love, and whom I feel to be miserable as few feel them to
be miserable, because I have with them borne their sufferings as few have
borne them.”

§ 27. Wherever German was read this book excited vast interest, and
though it seemed to most people only a good tale, it met with some more
discerning readers. The Bern Agricultural Society sent the author their
thanks and a gold medal, and Pestalozzi was at once recognised as a man
who understood the peasantry and had good ideas for raising them. The
book is and must remain a classic, but Pestalozzi in his zeal to spread
the truth added again and again “continuations,” and these became less
and less popular in the method of exposition.[153]

§ 28. Here and there we get glimpses of the trials Pestalozzi had gone
through in his industrial experiment. “The love and patience,” he writes,
“with which Gertrude bore with the disorderly and untrained little ones
was almost past belief. Their eyes were often anywhere but on their yarn,
so that this would now be too thick, and now too thin. When they had
spoiled it, they would watch for a moment when Gertrude was not looking,
and throw it out of the window by the handful, until they found that she
discovered the trick when she weighed their work at night.” (E. C’s.
trans., p. 122.) And in this connexion Pestalozzi preached his doctrine
of perfect attainment. “‘What you can’t do blindfold,’” said Harry, “‘you
can’t do at all.’” (_ib._)

§ 29. “Gertrude,” we are told, “seemed quite unable to explain her method
in words;” and here no doubt Pestalozzi was speaking of himself; but like
Gertrude he “would let fall some significant remark which went to the
root of the whole matter of education.” As an instance we may take what
Gertrude said to the schoolmaster: “You should do for the children what
their parents fail to do for them. The reading, writing, and arithmetic
are not after all what they most need. It is all well and good for them
to learn something, but the really important thing for them is to _be_
something.” When this truth is fully realized by teachers and school
managers there will be some hope for national education.

§ 30. “Although Gertrude exerted herself to develop very early the manual
dexterity of her children, she was in no haste for them to learn to read
and write; but she took pains to teach them early how to speak: for, as
she said, ‘Of what use is it for a person to be able to read and write if
he cannot speak, since reading and writing are only an artificial sort
of speech.’ ... She did not adopt the tone of an instructor towards the
children ... and her verbal instruction seemed to vanish in the spirit of
her real activity, in which it always had its source. The result of her
system was that each child was skilful, intelligent, and active to the
full extent that its age and development allowed.” (_Ib._ p. 130.)

§ 31. In this book we see that knowledge is treated as valueless unless
it has a basis in action. “The pastor was soon convinced that all
verbal instruction in so far as it aims at true human wisdom and at the
highest goal of this wisdom, true religion, ought to be subordinated
to a constant training in practical domestic labour.... So he strove
to lead the children without many words to a quiet industrious life,
and thus to lay the foundations of a silent worship of God and love of
humanity. To this end he connected every word of his brief religious
teachings with their actual every-day experience, so that when he spoke
of God and eternity, it seemed to them as if he were speaking of father
and mother, house and home; in short of the things with which they were
most familiar” (p. 156). Thus he built on the foundation laid by the
schoolmaster, who “cared for the children’s heads as he did for their
hearts, and demanded that whatever entered them should be plain and clear
as the silent moon in the sky. To insure this he taught them to see and
hear with accuracy, and cultivated their powers of attention” (p. 157).

§ 32. With all his love for the children, an element of severity was
not wanting. Pestalozzi maintained that “love was only useful in the
education of men when in conjunction with fear: for they must learn to
root out thorns and thistles, which they never do of their own accord,
but only under compulsion and in consequence of training” (p. 157).

§ 33. Just at the end of the book “the Duke” appoints a commission to
report on the success of the Bonal experiment, and Pestalozzi makes him
give the following order: “To insure thoroughness there must be among
the examiners men skilled in law and finance, merchants, clergymen,
government officials, schoolmasters, and physicians, _besides women
of different ranks and conditions of life_ who shall view the matter
with their woman’s eyes and be sure there is nothing visionary in the
background” (p. 180). In this respect Pestalozzi is in advance of us
still. No woman has yet sat on an educational commission.

§ 34. Thus we find Pestalozzi at the age of thirty-five turning author,
and for the next six or seven years he worked indefatigably with his
pen. Most men of genius have some leading purpose which unites their
varied activities, and this was specially true of Pestalozzi. He never
lost sight of his one object, which was the elevation of the people;
and this he held to be attainable only by means of education properly so
called. The success of the first part of _Leonard and Gertrude_ he now
endeavoured to turn to account in spreading true ideas of education. With
this intent he published _Christopher and Eliza: My Second Book for the
People_ (1782), which was a kind of commentary on _Leonard and Gertrude_.
But the public wished to be amused, not taught; and the book was a
failure. He was thus driven into the attempt already mentioned to catch
the public ear by continuing _Leonard and Gertrude_, thus endangering his
first and, as it proved, his only great success in literature.

§ 35. To gain circulation for his ideas he also started a weekly paper
called the _Swiss Journal_, and issued it regularly throughout the year
1782; but the subscribers were so few that he was then obliged to give it
up. I have not the smallest doubt that it was, as Guimps says, full of
wisdom, but not the kind of wisdom that readers of periodicals are likely
to care for.[154]

§ 36. In the _Swiss Journal_ we get a hint of the analogy between the
development of the plant and of the man. This analogy, often as it had
been observed before, was never before so fruitful as it became in the
hands of Pestalozzi and Froebel. The passage quoted by Guimps is this:
“Teach me, summer day, that man formed from the dust of the earth, grows
and ripens like the plant rooted in the soil.”

§ 37. Between the close of the year 1787 and 1797 Pestalozzi did not
publish anything. Though he had become famous, had made the acquaintance
of the greatest men in Germany, such as Goethe, Wieland, Herder, and
Fichte, and had been declared a “Citizen of the French Republic,”
together with Bentham, Tom Payne, Wilberforce, Clarkson, Washington,
Madison, Klopstock, Kozciusko, &c., he was nearly starving, and,
naturally enough in that state of affairs both private and public, he
was in great despondency. As we have seen, his whole life and work
were founded on religion and on the only religion possible for us, the
Christian religion; but carried away by his political radicalism he seems
at this time to have doubted whether Christianity was more than the
highest human wisdom. In October, 1793, he wrote to a friend in Berlin:
“I doubt, not because I look on doubt as the truth, but because the sum
of the impressions of my life has driven faith with its blessings from my
soul. Thus impelled by my fate I see nothing more in Christianity but
the purest and noblest teaching of the victory of the spirit over the
flesh, the one possible means of raising our nature to its true nobility,
or in other words of establishing the empire of the reason over the
senses by the development of the purest feelings of the heart.” If this
was the lowest point to which Pestalozzi’s faith sank in the days of the
Revolution, it remained for practical purposes higher than the faith of
most professing Christians then and since.

§ 38. At this time we find him complaining: “My agriculture swallows up
all my time. I am longing for winter with its leisure. My time passes
like a shadow.” He was then forty-six years of age and seemed to himself
to have done nothing.

§ 39. Another five years he had to wait before he found an opportunity
for action. During this time, impelled by Fichte, he endeavoured to give
his ideas philosophic completeness, and after labouring for three years
with almost incredible toil he published in 1797 his “Inquiry into the
Course of Nature in the Development of the Human Race.” This book is
pronounced even by his biographer Guimps to be “prolix and obscure,” and,
says Pestalozzi, “nobody understood me.” But even in this book there was
much wisdom, had the world cared to learn; but the world had then no
place for Pestalozzi, and as he says at the end of this book, “without
even asking whether the fault was his or another’s, it crushed him with
its iron hammer as the mason crushes a useless stone.” He was, however,
not actually crushed, and a place was in time found for him.

§ 40. The world might be pardoned for neglecting an _Inquiry_ which even
a biographer finds “prolix and obscure.” But why could it see nothing
in another book which Pestalozzi published in the same year, “Figures
to my ABC Book,” or according to its later title, “Fables,” a series of
apologues as witty and wise as those of Lessing.[155]

§ 41. As I have said already (_supra_ p. 239) there seems a marked
distinction between thinkers and doers, at least in education, and we
seldom find a man great in both. But with all his weakness as a practical
man Pestalozzi proved great both as a thinker and a doer. He not only
thought out what should be done, but he also made splendid efforts to
do it. His first attempt at Neuhof was, as we have seen, all his own;
so was the next at Stanz; but afterwards he had to work with others,
and the work would have come to a standstill if he had not gained the
co-operation of the magistrates, the parents of the children, and his
own assistants. So he never again had the free hand, or at least the
free thought which bore such good fruit in his enforced cessation
from practice in the years between 1780 and 1798. It is well then to
ask, as his biographer Guimps has asked, what was the main outcome of
Pestalozzi’s thought before he plunged into action a second time in 1798.

§ 42. Pestalozzi set himself to find a means of rescuing the people from
their poverty and degradation. This he held would last as long as their
moral and intellectual poverty lasted; so there was no hope except in an
education that should make them better and more intelligent. In studying
the children even of the most degraded parents he found the seeds, as it
were, of a wealth of faculties, sentiments, tastes, and capabilities,
which, if developed, might make them reasonable and upright human
beings. But what was called education did nothing of the kind. Instead
of developing the noblest part of the child’s nature it neglected this
entirely, and bringing to the child the knowledge, ideas, and feelings
of others, it tried to make him “learn” them. So “education” did little
beyond stifling the child’s individuality under a mass of borrowed
ideas. The schoolmaster worked, as it were, from without to within. This
Pestalozzi would change, and make education begin in the child and work
from within outwards. Acting on this principle he sought for some means
of developing the child’s inborn faculties, and he found as he says:
“Nature develops all the powers of humanity by exercising them; they
increase with use.” (_Evening Hour_, Aph. 22.) No means can be found of
exercising the higher faculties which can be compared with the actual
relations of daily life; so Pestalozzi declares: “The pure sentiment of
truth and wisdom is formed in the narrow circle of the relationships
which affect us, the circumstances which suggest our actions, and
the common knowledge which we cannot do without.” And taking as his
starting-point the needs, desires, and connexions of actual life he was
naturally led to associate the work of the body with that of the mind,
to develop industry and study side by side, to combine the workshop and
the school. With regard to instruction he was never tired of insisting
on the importance of thorough mastery in the first elements, and there
was to be no advance till this mastery was attained. (See what “Harry”
says, _supra_ p. 306.) “The schools,” he says (_E. H._, No. 28), “hastily
substitute an artificial method of words for the truer method of Nature
which knows no hurry but waits.”

§ 43. In this account of Pestalozzi’s doctrine before 1798 I have as
usual followed M. Guimps. According to him Pestalozzi had discovered
“a principle which settles the law of man’s development, and is the
fundamental principle of education.” This principle M. Guimps briefly
states as follows: “All the real knowledge, useful powers, and noble
sentiments that a man can acquire are but the extension of his
individuality by the development of the powers and faculties that God
has put in him, and by their assimilation of the elements supplied by
the outer world. There exists for this development and the work of
assimilation a natural and necessary order, an order which the school
mostly sets at nought.”

§ 44. Now we come to the period of Pestalozzi’s practical activity. In
1798 Switzerland was overrun by the French. Everything was remodelled
after the French pattern; and in conformity with the existing phase in
the model country the government of Switzerland was declared to be in the
hands of five “Directors.” Pestalozzi was a Radical, and he at once set
to work to serve the new government with his pen. The Directors gladly
welcomed such an ally as the author of _Leonard and Gertrude_, and they
made him editor of a newspaper intended to diffuse the revolutionary
principles among the people. Naturally enough they supposed that he,
like other people, “wanted” something; but when asked what he wanted
he replied simply that he wished to be a schoolmaster. The Directors,
especially Le Grand, took a genuine interest in education, and were
quite willing that Pestalozzi should be allowed a free hand in his “new
departure.” They therefore agreed to find the funds with which Pestalozzi
might open a new Institution in Aargau.

§ 45. But the editorship and the plans for the new Institution came to an
abrupt ending. The Catholic cantons did not acquiesce in giving up their
local liberties and being subjected to a new government in the hands of
men whom they regarded as heretics and even atheists. Consequently those
missionaries of enlightenment, the French troops, at once fell upon them
and slaughtered many without distinction of age or sex. The French, we
are told, did not expect to meet with resistance; so their light became
lightning and struck dead the stupid people who could not or would not
see. “Our soldiers” (it is Michelet who speaks) “were ferocious at
Stanz.” (_Nos Fils_, 217). This ferocity at Stanz in September, 1798, was
in secret disapproved of by the Directors, who were nominally responsible
for it. But all they could do was to provide in a measure for the “111
infirm old people, the 169 orphans, and 237 other children,” who were
left totally destitute. Le Grand proposed to Pestalozzi that he should,
for the present, give up his other plans and go to Stanz (which is on
the Lake of Lucerne) to take charge of the orphan and destitute children.
Pestalozzi was not the man to refuse such a task as this. He at once set
out. Some buildings connected with an Ursuline convent were, without the
consent of the nuns, made over to him. Workmen were employed upon them,
and as soon as a single room could be inhabited Pestalozzi received
forty children into it. This was in January, 1799, in the middle of a
remarkably cold winter.

§ 46. Thus under circumstances perhaps less unfavourable than they seemed
began the five months’ trial of pure Pestalozzianism. The physical
difficulties were immense. At first Pestalozzi and all the children were
shut up day and night in a single room. He had throughout no helper of
any kind but one female servant, and he had to do everything for the
children, even what was most menial and disgusting. As soon as possible
the number was increased, and before long was nearly eighty, some of
the children having to go out to sleep. But great as were the material
difficulties, those arising from the opposition and hatred of the people
he came to succour were still worse. To them he seemed no philanthropist,
but only a servant of the devil, an agent of the wicked government which
had sent its ferocious soldiers and slaughtered the parents of these
poor children, a Protestant who came to complete the work by destroying
their souls. Pestalozzi, who was making heroic efforts in their behalf,
seems to have wondered at the animosity shown him by the people of Stanz;
but on looking back we must admit that in the circumstances it was only

§ 47. And yet in spite of enormous difficulties of every kind Pestalozzi
triumphed. Within the five months he spent with them he attached to
him the hearts of the children, and produced in them a marvellous
physical, intellectual, and moral change. “If ever there was a miracle,”
says Michelet, “it was here. It was the reward of a strong faith, of a
wonderful expansion of heart. He believed, he willed, he succeeded.”
(_Nos Fils_ 223.)

What was the great act of faith by which Pestalozzi triumphed? According
to M. Michelet he stood before these vicious and degraded children
and said, “Man is good.” Pestalozzi does not tell us this himself;
and as a benighted believer in Christianity, I venture to differ from
the enlightened Michelet. As far as I can judge from Pestalozzi’s own
teaching the source of his strength was his belief in the goodness not of
Man but of God.

§ 48. But encouraged and rewarded as he was by the result, Pestalozzi
could not long have maintained this fearful exertion. He was over fifty
years of age, and he must soon have succumbed; indeed he was already
spitting blood when in June, 1799, the French soldiers, whose action
had brought him to Stanz, drove him away again. Falling back before
the Austrians they had need of a hospital in Stanz, and demanded the
buildings occupied by Pestalozzi and the children. So almost all the
children had to be sent away, and then at last Pestalozzi took thought
for his own health and retired to some baths in the mountains. But most
of his peculiarities in teaching may be said to date from the experience
at Stanz; and I will therefore give this experience in his own words.

§ 49. The following is the account given in his letter to his friend
Gessner. (I have in part availed myself of Mr. Russell’s translation of
Guimps, pp. 149 _ff._)

    “My friend, once more I awake from a dream; once more I see my
    work destroyed, and my failing strength wasted.

    “But, however weak and unfortunate my attempt, a friend of
    humanity will not grudge a few moments to consider the reasons
    which convince me that some day a more fortunate posterity will
    certainly take up the thread of my hopes at the place where it
    is now broken....

    “I once more made known, as well as I could, my old wishes
    for the education of the people. In particular, I laid my
    whole scheme before Legrand (then one of the Directors),
    who not only took a warm interest in it, but agreed with me
    that the Republic stood in urgent need of a reform of public
    education. He also agreed with me that much might be done for
    the regeneration of the people by giving a certain number of
    the poorest children an education which should be complete, but
    which, far from lifting them out of their proper sphere, would
    but attach them the more strongly to it.

    “I limited my desires to this one point, Legrand helping me in
    every possible way. He even thought my views so important that
    he once said to me: ‘I shall not willingly give up my present
    post till you have begun your work.’ ...

    “It was my intention to try to find near Zurich or in Aargau a
    place where I should be able to join industry and agriculture
    to the other means of instruction, and so give my establishment
    all the development necessary to its complete success. But
    the Unterwalden disaster (September, 1798) left me no further
    choice in the matter. The Government felt the urgent need of
    sending help to this unfortunate district, and begged me for
    this once to make an attempt to put my plans into execution
    in a place where almost everything that could have made it a
    success was wanting.

    “I went there gladly. I felt that the innocence of the people
    would make up for what was wanting, and that their distress
    would, at any rate, make them grateful.

    “My eagerness to realise at last the great dream of my life
    would have led me to work on the very highest peaks of the
    Alps, and, so to speak, without fire or water.

    “For a house, the Government made over to me the new part of
    the Ursuline convent at Stanz, but when I arrived it was still
    uncompleted, and not in any way fitted to receive a large
    number of children. Before anything else could be done, then,
    the house itself had to be got ready. The Government gave the
    necessary orders, and Rengger pushed on the work with much zeal
    and useful activity. I was never indeed allowed to want for

    “In spite, however, of the admirable support I received, all
    this preparation took time, and time was precisely what we
    could least afford, since it was of the highest importance
    that a number of children, whom the war had left homeless and
    destitute, should be received at once.

    “I was still without everything but money when the children
    crowded in; neither kitchen, rooms, nor beds were ready to
    receive them. At first this was a source of inconceivable
    confusion. For the first few weeks I was shut up in a very
    small room; the weather was bad, and the alterations, which
    made a great dust and filled the corridors with rubbish,
    rendered the air very unhealthy.

    “The want of beds compelled me at first to send some of the
    poor children home at night; these children generally came
    back the next day covered with vermin. Most of them on their
    arrival were very degenerated specimens of humanity. Many of
    them had a sort of chronic skin-disease, which almost prevented
    their walking, or sores on their heads, or rags full of vermin;
    many were almost skeletons, with haggard, careworn faces, and
    shrinking looks; some brazen, accustomed to begging, hypocrisy,
    and all sorts of deceit; others broken by misfortune, patient,
    suspicious, timid, and entirely devoid of affection. There were
    also some spoilt children amongst them who had known the sweets
    of comfort, and were therefore full of pretensions. These kept
    to themselves, affected to despise the little beggars their
    comrades, and to suffer from this equality, and seemed to find
    it impossible to adapt themselves to the ways of the house,
    which differed too much from their old habits. But what was
    common to them all was a persistent idleness, resulting from
    their want of physical and mental activity. Out of every ten
    children there was hardly one who knew his A B C; as for any
    other knowledge, it was, of course, out of the question.

    “The entire absence of school learning was what troubled me
    least, for I trusted in the natural powers that God bestows on
    even the poorest and most neglected children. I had observed
    for a long time that behind their coarseness, shyness, and
    apparent incapacity, are hidden the finest faculties, the most
    precious powers; and now, even amongst these poor creatures by
    whom I was surrounded at Stanz, marked natural abilities soon
    began to show themselves. I knew how useful the common needs of
    life are in teaching men the relations of things, in bringing
    out their natural intelligence, in forming their judgment, and
    in arousing faculties which, buried, as it were, beneath the
    coarser elements of their nature, cannot become active and
    useful till they are set free. It was my object then to set
    free these faculties, and bring them to bear on the pure and
    simple circumstances of domestic life, for I was convinced this
    was all that was wanting, and these natural faculties would
    shew themselves capable of raising the hearts and minds of my
    pupils to all that I could desire.

    “I saw then how my wishes might be carried out; and I was
    persuaded that my affection would change the state of my
    children just as quickly as the spring sun would awake to new
    life the earth that winter had benumbed. I was not deceiving
    myself: before the spring sun melted the snow of our mountains
    my children were hardly to be recognised.

    “But I must not anticipate. Just as in the evening I often mark
    the quick growth of the gourd by the side of the house, so I
    want you to mark the growth of my plant; and, my friend, I
    will not hide from you the worm which sometimes fastens on the
    leaves, sometimes even on the heart.

    “I opened the establishment with no other helper but a
    woman-servant. I had not only to teach the children, but to
    look after their physical needs. I preferred being alone, and,
    unfortunately, it was the only way to reach my end. No one
    in the world would have cared to enter into my views for the
    education of children, and at that time I knew scarcely any one
    even capable of it.

    “In proportion as the men whom I might have called to my aid
    were highly educated just so far they failed to understand
    me, and were incapable of confining themselves even in theory
    to the simple starting-points which I sought to come back to.
    All their views about the organisation and requirements of the
    enterprise differed entirely from mine. What they specially
    objected to was the notion that the enterprise might be carried
    out without the aid of any artificial means, and simply by the
    influence of nature in the environment of the children, and by
    the activity aroused in them by the needs of their daily life.

    “And yet it was precisely upon this idea that I based all my
    hope of success; it was, as it were, a basis for innumerable
    other points of view.

    “Experienced teachers, then, could not help me; still less
    boorish, ignorant men. I had nothing to put into the hands of
    assistants to guide them, nor any results or apparatus by which
    I could make my ideas clearer to them. Thus, whether I would
    or no, I had first to make my experiment alone, and collect
    facts to illustrate the essential features of my system before
    I could venture to look for outside help. Indeed, in my then
    position, nobody could help me. I knew that I must help myself
    and shaped my plans accordingly.

    “I wanted to prove by my experiment that if public education
    is to have any real value for humanity, it must imitate the
    means which make the merit of domestic education; for it
    is my opinion that if school teaching does not take into
    consideration the circumstances of family life, and everything
    else that bears on a man’s general education, it can only lead
    to an artificial and methodical dwarfing of humanity.

    “In any good education, the mother must be able to judge
    daily, nay hourly, from the child’s eyes, lips, and face, of
    the slightest change in his soul. The power of the educator,
    too, must be that of a father, quickened by the general
    circumstances of domestic life.

    “Such was the foundation upon which I built. I determined that
    there should not be a minute in the day when my children should
    not be aware from my face and my lips that my heart was theirs,
    that their happiness was my happiness, and their pleasures my

    “Man readily accepts what is good, and the child readily
    listens to it; but it is not for you that he wants it, master
    and educator, but for himself. The good to which you would lead
    him must not depend on your capricious humour or passion; it
    must be a good which is good in itself and by the nature of
    things, and which the child can recognize as good. He must feel
    the necessity of your will in things which concern his comfort
    before he can be expected to obey it.

    “Whatever he does gladly, whatever gains him credit, whatever
    tends to accomplish his great hopes, whatever awakens his
    powers and enables him truly to say _I can_, all this he

    “But this will is not aroused by words; it is aroused only by a
    kind of complete culture which gives feelings and powers. Words
    do not give the thing itself, but only an expression, a clear
    picture, of the thing which we already have in our minds.

    “Before all things I was bound to gain the confidence and the
    love of the children. I was sure that if I succeeded in this
    all the rest would come of itself. Friend, only think how I
    was placed, and how great were the prejudices of the people
    and of the children themselves, and you will comprehend what
    difficulties I had to overcome.”

After narrating what we already know he goes on:

    “Think, my friend, of this temper of the people, of my
    weakness, of my poor appearance, of the ill-will to which I
    was almost publicly exposed, and then judge how much I had to
    endure for the sake of carrying on my work.

    “And yet, however painful this want of help and support was to
    me, it was favourable to the success of my undertaking, for it
    compelled me to be always everything for my children. I was
    alone with them from morning till night. It was from me that
    they received all that could do them good, soul and body. All
    needful help, consolation, and instruction they received direct
    from me. Their hands were in mine, my eyes were fixed on theirs.

    “We wept and smiled together. They forgot the world and Stanz;
    they only knew that they were with me and I with them. We
    shared our food and drink. I had about me neither family,
    friends, nor servants; nothing but them. I was with them in
    sickness, and in health, and when they slept. I was the last
    to go to bed, and the first to get up. In the bedroom I prayed
    with them, and, at their own request, taught them till they
    fell asleep. Their clothes and bodies were intolerably filthy,
    but I looked after both myself, and was thus constantly exposed
    to the risk of contagion.

    “This is how it was that these children gradually became so
    attached to me, some indeed so deeply that they contradicted
    their parents and friends when they heard evil things said
    about me. They felt that I was being treated unfairly, and
    loved me, I think, the more for it. But of what avail is it for
    the young nestlings to love their mother when the bird of prey
    that is bent on destroying them is constantly hovering near?

    “However, the first results of these principles and of this
    line of action were not always satisfactory, nor, indeed, could
    they be so. The children did not always understand my love.
    Accustomed to idleness, unbounded liberty, and the fortuitous
    and lawless pleasures of an almost wild life, they had come
    to the convent in the expectation of being well fed, and of
    having nothing to do. Some of them soon discovered that they
    had been there long enough, and wanted to go away again; they
    talked of the school fever that attacks children when they are
    kept employed all day long. This dissatisfaction, which showed
    itself during the first months, resulted principally from the
    fact that many of them were ill, the consequence either of the
    sudden change of diet and habits, or of the severity of the
    weather and the dampness of the building in which we lived. We
    all coughed a great deal, and several children were seized with
    a peculiar sort of fever. This fever, which always began with
    sickness, was very general in the district. Cases of sickness,
    however, not followed by fever, were not at all rare, and were
    an almost natural consequence of the change of food. Many
    people attributed the fever to bad food, but the facts soon
    showed them to be wrong, for not a single child succumbed.

    “On the return of spring it was evident to everybody that the
    children were all doing well, growing rapidly, and gaining
    colour. Certain magistrates and ecclesiastics, who saw them
    some time afterwards, stated that they had improved almost
    beyond recognition....

    “Months passed before I had the satisfaction of having my hand
    grasped by a single grateful parent. But the children were won
    over much sooner. They even wept sometimes when their parents
    met me or left me without a word of salutation. Many of them
    were perfectly happy, and used to say to their mothers: ‘I am
    better here than at home.’ At home, indeed, as they readily
    told me when we talked alone, they had been ill-used and
    beaten, and had often had neither bread to eat nor bed to lie
    down upon. And yet these same children would sometimes go off
    with their mothers the very next morning.

    “A good many others, however, soon saw that by staying with me
    they might both learn something and become something, and these
    never failed in their zeal and attachment. Before very long
    their conduct was imitated by others who had not altogether the
    same feelings.

    “Those who ran away were the worst in character and the least
    capable. But they were not incited to go till they were free of
    their vermin and their rags. Several were sent to me with no
    other purpose than that of being taken away again as soon as
    they were clean and well clothed.

    “But after a time their better judgment overcame the defiant
    hostility with which they arrived. In 1799[156] I had nearly
    eighty children. Most of them were bright and intelligent, some
    even remarkably so.

    “For most of them study was something entirely new. As soon as
    they found that they could learn, their zeal was indefatigable,
    and in a few weeks children who had never before opened a
    book, and could hardly repeat a _Pater Noster_ or an _Ave_,
    would study the whole day long with the keenest interest. Even
    after supper, when I used to say to them, ‘Children, will you
    go to bed, or learn something?’ they would generally answer,
    especially in the first month or two, ‘Learn something.’ It is
    true that afterwards, when they had to get up very early, it
    was not quite the same.

    “But this first eagerness did much towards starting the
    establishment on the right lines, and making the studies the
    success they ultimately were, a success indeed, which far
    surpassed my expectations. And yet great beyond expression were
    my difficulties. I did not as yet find it possible to organise
    the studies properly.

    “Neither my trust nor my zeal had been able to overcome either
    the intractability of individuals or the want of coherence in
    the whole experiment. The general order of the establishment, I
    felt, must be based upon order of a higher character. As this
    higher order did not yet exist, I had to attempt to create
    it; for without this foundation I could not hope to organise
    properly either the teaching or the general management of the
    place, nor should I have wished to do so. I wanted everything
    to result not from a preconceived plan, but from my relations
    with the children. The high principles and educating forces I
    was seeking, I looked for from the harmonious common life of
    my children, from their common attention, activity, and needs.
    It was not, then, from any external organisation that I looked
    for the regeneration of which they stood so much in need. If I
    had employed constraint, regulations, and lectures, I should,
    instead of winning and ennobling my children’s hearts, have
    repelled them and made them bitter, and thus been farther than
    ever from my aim. First of all, I had to arouse in them pure,
    moral, and noble feelings, so that afterwards, in external
    things, I might be sure of their ready attention, activity, and
    obedience. I had, in short, to follow the high precept of Jesus
    Christ, ‘Cleanse first that which is within, that the outside
    may be clean also; and if ever the truth of this precept was
    made manifest, it was made manifest then.

    “My one aim was to make their new life in common, and their new
    powers, awaken a feeling of brotherhood amongst the children,
    and make them affectionate, just, and considerate.

    “I was successful in gaining my aims. Amongst these seventy
    wild beggar-children there soon existed such peace, friendship,
    and cordial relations as are rare even between actual brothers
    and sisters.

    “The principle to which I endeavoured to conform all my conduct
    was as follows: Endeavour, first, to broaden your children’s
    sympathies, and, by satisfying their daily needs, to bring love
    and kindness into such unceasing contact with their impressions
    and their activity, that these sentiments may be engrafted in
    their hearts; then try to give them such judgment and tact as
    will enable them to make a wise, sure, and abundant use of
    these virtues in the circle which surrounds them. In the last
    place, do not hesitate to touch on the difficult questions of
    good and evil, and the words connected with them. And you must
    do this especially in connection with the ordinary events of
    every day, upon which your whole teaching in these matters must
    be founded, so that the children may be reminded of their own
    feelings, and supplied, as it were, with solid facts upon which
    to base their conception of the beauty and justice of the moral
    life. Even though you should have to spend whole nights in
    trying to express in two words what others say in twenty, never
    regret the loss of sleep.

    “I gave my children very few explanations; I taught them
    neither morality nor religion. But sometimes, when they were
    perfectly quiet, I used to say to them, ‘Do you not think that
    you are better and more reasonable when you are like this than
    when you are making a noise?’ When they clung round my neck and
    called me their father, I used to say, ‘My children, would it
    be right to deceive your father? After kissing me like this,
    would you like to do anything behind my back to vex me?’ When
    our talk turned on the misery of the country, and they were
    feeling glad at the thought of their own happier lot, I would
    say, ‘How good God is to have given man a compassionate heart!’
    ... They perfectly understood that all they did was but a
    preparation for their future activity, and they looked forward
    to happiness as the certain result of their perseverance. That
    is why steady application soon became easy to them, its object
    being in perfect accordance with their wishes and their hopes.
    Virtue, my friend, is developed by this agreement, just as
    the young plant thrives when the soil suits its nature, and
    supplies the needs of its tender shoots.

    “I witnessed the growth of an inward strength in my children,
    which, in its general development, far surpassed my
    expectations, and in its particular manifestations not only
    often surprised me, but touched me deeply.

    “When the neighbouring town of Altdorf was burnt down, I
    gathered the children round me, and said, ‘Altdorf has been
    burnt down; perhaps, at this very moment, there are a hundred
    children there without home, food, or clothes; will you not ask
    our good Government to let twenty of them come and live with
    us?’ I still seem to see the emotion with which they answered,
    ‘Oh, yes, yes!’ ‘But, my children,’ I said, ‘think well of what
    you are asking! Even now we have scarcely money enough, and it
    is not at all certain that if these poor children came to us,
    the Government would give us any more than they do at present,
    so that you might have to work harder, and share your clothes
    with these children, and sometimes perhaps go without food. Do
    not say, then, that you would like them to come unless you are
    quite prepared for all these consequences.’ After having spoken
    to them in this way as seriously as I could, I made them repeat
    all I had said, to be quite sure that they had thoroughly
    understood what the consequences of their request would be. But
    they were not in the least shaken in their decision, and all
    repeated, ‘Yes, yes, we are quite ready to work harder, eat
    less, and share our clothes, for we want them to come.’

    “Some refugees from the Grisons having given me a few crowns
    for my poor children, I at once called them and said, ‘These
    men are obliged to leave their country; they hardly know
    where they will find a home to-morrow, yet, in spite of their
    trouble, they have given me this for you. Come and thank them.’
    And the emotion of the children brought tears to the eyes of
    the refugees.

    “It was in this way that I strove to awaken the feeling of each
    virtue before talking about it, for I thought it unwise to
    talk to children on subjects which would compel them to speak
    without thoroughly understanding what they were saying.

    “I followed up this awakening of the sentiments by exercises
    intended to teach the children self-control, so that all that
    was good in them might be applied to the practical questions of
    every-day life.

    “It will easily be understood that, in this respect, it was
    not possible to organise any system of discipline for the
    establishment; that could only come slowly, as the general work

    “Silence, as an aid to application, is perhaps the great secret
    of such an institution. I found it very useful to insist
    on silence when I was teaching, and also to pay particular
    attention to the attitude of my children. I succeeded so well
    that the moment I asked for silence, I could teach in quite a
    low voice. The children repeated my words all together; and as
    there was no other sound, I was able to detect the slightest
    mistakes of pronunciation. It is true that this was not always
    so. Sometimes, whilst they repeated sentences after me, I would
    ask them as if in fun to keep their eyes fixed on their middle
    fingers. It is hardly credible how useful simple things of this
    sort sometimes are as means to the very highest ends.

    “One young girl, for instance, who had been little better than
    a savage, by keeping her head and body upright, and not looking
    about, made more progress in her moral education than any one
    would have believed possible.

    “These experiences have shown me that the mere habit of
    carrying oneself well does much more for the education of the
    moral sentiments than any amount of teaching and lectures in
    which this simple fact is ignored.

    “Thanks to the application of these principles, my children
    soon became more open, more contented and more susceptible to
    every good and noble influence than any one could possibly
    have foreseen when they first came to me, so utterly devoid
    were they of ideas, good feelings, and moral principles. As a
    matter of fact, this lack of previous instruction was not a
    serious obstacle to me; indeed, it hardly troubled me at all.
    I am inclined even to say that, in the simple method I was
    following, it was often an advantage, for I had incomparably
    less trouble to develop those children whose minds were still
    blank, than those who had already acquired inaccurate ideas.
    The former, too, were much more open than the latter to the
    influence of all pure and simple sentiments.

    “But when the children were obdurate and churlish, then I was
    severe, and made use of corporal punishment.

    “My dear friend, the pedagogical principle which says that
    we must win the hearts and minds of our children by words
    alone without having recourse to corporal punishment, is
    certainly good, and applicable under favourable conditions and
    circumstances; but with children of such widely different ages
    as mine, children for the most part beggars, and all full of
    deeply-rooted faults, a certain amount of corporal punishment
    was inevitable, especially as I was anxious to arrive surely,
    speedily, and by the simplest means, at gaining an influence
    over them all, for the sake of putting them all in the right
    road. I was compelled to punish them, but it would be a mistake
    to suppose that I thereby, in any way, lost the confidence of
    my pupils.

    “It is not the rare and isolated actions that form the opinions
    and feelings of children, but the impressions of every day and
    every hour. From such impressions they judge whether we are
    kindly disposed towards them or not, and this settles their
    general attitude towards us. Their judgment of isolated actions
    depends upon this general attitude.

    “This is how it is that punishments inflicted by parents
    rarely make a bad impression. But it is quite different with
    schoolmasters and teachers who are not with their children
    night and day, and have none of those relations with them which
    result from life in common.

    “My punishments never produced obstinacy; the children I
    had beaten were quite satisfied if a moment afterwards I
    gave them my hand and kissed them, and I could read in their
    eyes that the final effect of my blows was really joy. The
    following is a striking instance of the effect this sort of
    punishment sometimes had. One day one of the children I liked
    best, taking advantage of my affection, unjustly threatened
    one of his companions. I was very indignant, and my hand did
    not spare him. He seemed at first almost broken-hearted, and
    cried bitterly for at least a quarter of an hour. When I had
    gone out, however, he got up, and going to the boy he had
    ill-treated, begged his pardon, and thanked him for having
    spoken about his bad conduct. My friend, this was no comedy;
    the child had never seen anything like it before.

    “It was impossible that this sort of treatment should produce
    a bad impression on my children, because all day long I was
    giving them proofs of my affection and devotion. They could
    not misread my heart, and so they did not misjudge my actions.
    It was not the same with the parents, friends, strangers,
    and teachers who visited us; but that was natural. But I
    cared nothing for the opinion of the whole world, provided my
    children understood me.

    “I always did my best, therefore, to make them clearly
    understand the motives of my actions in all matters likely to
    excite their attention and interest. This, my friend, brings
    me to the consideration of the moral means to be employed in a
    truly domestic education.

    “Elementary moral education, considered as a whole, includes
    three distinct parts: the children’s moral sense must first
    be aroused by their feelings being made active and pure; then
    they must be exercised in self-control, so that they may give
    themselves to that which is right and good; finally they
    must be brought to form for themselves, by reflection and
    comparison, a just notion of the moral rights and duties which
    are theirs by reason of their position and surroundings.

    “So far, I have pointed out some of the means I employed to
    reach the first two of these ends. They were just as simple
    for the third; for I still made use of the impressions and
    experiences of their daily life to give my children a true and
    exact idea of right and duty. When, for instance, they made
    a noise, I appealed to their own judgment, and asked them if
    it was possible to learn under such conditions. I shall never
    forget how strong and true I generally found their sense of
    justice and reason, and how this sense increased and, as it
    were, established their good will.

    “I appealed to them in all matters that concerned the
    establishment. It was generally in the quiet evening hours that
    I appealed to their free judgment. When, for instance, it was
    reported in the village that they had not enough to eat, I said
    to them, ‘Tell me, my children, if you are not better fed than
    you were at home? Think, and tell me yourselves, whether it
    would be well to keep you here in such a way as would make it
    impossible for you afterwards, in spite of all your application
    and hard work, to procure what you had become accustomed to. Do
    you lack anything that is really necessary? Do you think that I
    could reasonably and justly do more for you? Would you have me
    spend all the money that is entrusted to me on thirty or forty
    children instead of on eighty as at present? Would that be

    “In the same way, when I heard that it was reported that I
    punished them too severely, I said to them: ‘You know how I
    love you, my children; but tell me would you like me to stop
    punishing you? Do you think that in any other way I can free
    you from your deeply-rooted bad habits, or make you always mind
    what I say?’ You were there, my friend, and saw with your own
    eyes the sincere emotion with which they answered, ‘We don’t
    complain about your hitting us. We wish we never deserved it.
    But we want to be punished when we do wrong.’

    “Many things that make no difference in a small household could
    not be tolerated where the numbers were so great. I tried to
    make my children feel this, always leaving them to decide
    what could or could not be allowed. It is true that in my
    intercourse with them I never spoke of liberty or equality;
    but, at the same time, I encouraged them as far as possible to
    be free and unconstrained in my presence, with the result that
    every day I marked more and more that clear open look in their
    eyes which, in my experience, is the sign of a really liberal
    education. I could not bear the thought of betraying the trust
    in me which I saw shining in their eyes; I strove constantly to
    strengthen it and at the same time their free individuality,
    that nothing might happen to trouble those angel-eyes, the
    sight of which caused me the most intense delight. But I could
    not endure frowns and anxious looks; I myself smoothed away the
    frowns; then the children smiled, and even among themselves
    they took care not to shew frowning faces.

    “By reason of their great number, I had occasion nearly every
    day to point out the difference between good and evil, justice
    and injustice. Good and evil are equally contagious amongst so
    many children, so that, according as the good or bad sentiments
    spread, the establishment was likely to become either much
    better or much worse than if it had only contained a smaller
    number. About this, too, I talked to them frankly. I shall
    never forget the impression that my words produced when, in
    speaking of a certain disturbance that had taken place among
    them, I said, ‘My children, it is the same with us as with
    every other household; when the children are numerous, and each
    gives way to his bad habits, the disorder becomes such that the
    weakest mother is driven to take sensible measures in bringing
    up her children, and make them submit to what is just and
    right. And that is what I must do now. If you do not willingly
    assist in the maintenance of order, our establishment cannot
    go on, you will fall back into your former condition, and your
    misery—now that you have been accustomed to a good home, clean
    clothes, and regular food—will be greater than ever. In this
    world, my children, necessity and conviction alone can teach
    a man to behave; when both fail him, he is hateful. Think for
    a moment what you would become if you were safe from want and
    cared nothing for right, justice, or goodness. At home there
    was always some one who looked after you, and poverty itself
    forced you to many a right action; but with convictions and
    reason to guide you, you will rise far higher than by following
    necessity alone.’

    “I often spoke to them in this way without troubling in the
    least whether they each understood every word, feeling quite
    sure that they all caught the general sense of what I said....

    “Here are a few more thoughts which produced a great impression
    on my children: ‘Do you know anything greater or nobler than
    to give counsel to the poor, and comfort to the unfortunate?
    But if you remain ignorant and incapable, you will be obliged,
    in spite of your good heart, to let things take their course;
    whereas, if you acquire knowledge and power, you will be able
    to give good advice, and save many a man from misery.’

    “I have generally found that great, noble, and high thoughts
    are indispensable for developing wisdom and firmness of

    “Such an instruction must be complete in the sense that it must
    take account of all our aptitudes and all our circumstances; it
    must be conducted, too, in a truly psychological spirit, that
    is to say, simply, lovingly, energetically, and calmly. Then,
    by its very nature, it produces an enlightened and delicate
    feeling for everything true and good, and brings to light a
    number of accessory and dependent truths, which are forthwith
    accepted and assimilated by the human soul, even in the case of
    those who could not express these truths in words.

    “I believe that the first development of thought in the child
    is very much disturbed by a wordy system of teaching, which
    is not adapted either to his faculties or the circumstances
    of his life. According to my experience, success depends upon
    whether what is taught to children commends itself to them as
    true through being closely connected with their own personal
    observation and experience....

    “I knew no other order, method, or art, but that which resulted
    naturally from my children’s conviction of my love for them,
    nor did I care to know any other.

    “Thus I subordinated the instruction of my children to a higher
    aim, which was to arouse and strengthen their best sentiments
    by the relations of every-day life as they existed between
    themselves and me....

    “As a general rule I attached little importance to the study
    of words, even when explanations of the ideas they represented
    were given.

    “I tried to connect study with manual labour, the school with
    the workshop, and make one thing of them. But I was the less
    able to do this as staff, material, and tools were all wanting.
    A short time only before the close of the establishment, a few
    children had begun to spin; and I saw clearly that, before
    any fusion could be effected, the two parts must be firmly
    established separately—study, that is, on the one hand, and
    labour on the other.

    “But in the work of the children I was already inclined to care
    less for the immediate gain than for the physical training
    which, by developing their strength and skill, was bound to
    supply them later with a means of livelihood. In the same way
    I considered that what is generally called the instruction of
    children should be merely an exercise of the faculties, and
    I felt it important to exercise the attention, observation,
    and memory first, so as to strengthen these faculties before
    calling into play the art of judging and reasoning; this, in
    my opinion, was the best way to avoid turning out that sort of
    superficial and presumptuous talker, whose false judgments are
    often more fatal to the happiness and progress of humanity than
    the ignorance of simple people of good sense.

    “Guided by these principles, I sought less at first to teach my
    children to spell, read, and write than to make use of these
    exercises for the purpose of giving their minds as full and as
    varied a development as possible....

    “In natural history they were very quick in corroborating what
    I taught them by their own personal observations on plants and
    animals. I am quite sure that, by continuing in this way, I
    should soon have been able not only to give them such a general
    acquaintance with the subject as would have been useful in any
    vocation, but also to put them in a position to carry on their
    education themselves by means of their daily observations and
    experiences; and I should have been able to do all this without
    going outside the very restricted sphere to which they were
    confined by the actual circumstances of their lives. I hold
    it to be extremely important that men should be encouraged
    to learn by themselves and allowed to develop freely. It is
    in this way alone that the diversity of individual talent is
    produced and made evident.

    “I always made the children learn perfectly even the least
    important things, and I never allowed them to lose ground; a
    word once learnt, for instance, was never to be forgotten, and
    a letter once well written never to be written badly again.
    I was very patient with all who were weak or slow, but very
    severe with those who did anything less well than they had done
    it before.

    “The number and inequality of my children rendered my task
    easier. Just as in a family the eldest and cleverest child
    readily shows what he knows to his younger brothers and
    sisters, and feels proud and happy to be able to take his
    mother’s place for a moment, so my children were delighted when
    they knew something that they could teach others. A sentiment
    of honour awoke in them, and they learned twice as well by
    making the younger ones repeat their words. In this way I soon
    had helpers and collaborators amongst the children themselves.
    When I was teaching them to spell difficult words by heart, I
    used to allow any child who succeeded in saying one properly to
    teach it to the others. These child-helpers, whom I had formed
    from the very outset, and who had followed my method step by
    step, were certainly much more useful to me than any regular
    schoolmasters could have been.

    “I myself learned with the children. Our whole system was so
    simple and so natural that I should have had difficulty in
    finding a master who would not have thought it undignified to
    learn and teach as I was doing....

    “You will hardly believe that it was the Capuchin friars and
    the nuns of the convent that showed the greatest sympathy with
    my work. Few people, except Truttman, took any active interest
    in it. Those from whom I had hoped most were too deeply
    engrossed with their high political affairs to think of our
    little institution as having the least degree of importance.

    “Such were my dreams; but at the very moment that I seemed to
    be on the point of realizing them, I had to leave Stanz.”

§ 50. Heroic efforts rise above the measurement of time. As Byron has
said, “A thought is capable of years,” and it seldom happens that the
nobleness of any human action depends on the time it lasts. Pestalozzi’s
five months’ experiment at Stanz proved one of the most memorable events
in the history of education. He was now completely satisfied that he
saw his way to giving children a right education and “thus raising the
beggar out of the dung-hill”; and seeing the right course he was urged
by his love of the people into taking it. But how was he to set to work?
His notions of school instruction differed entirely from those of the
teaching profession; and even in the revolutionary age they had some
reason for looking askance at this revolutionist. “He had everything
against him,” we read, “thick, indistinct speech, bad writing, ignorance
of drawing, scorn of grammatical learning. He had studied various
branches of natural history, but without any particular attention either
to classification or terminology. He was conversant with the ordinary
operations in arithmetic, but he would have had difficulty in getting
through a really long sum in multiplication or division; and he probably
had never tried to work out a problem in geometry. For years this dreamer
had read no books. But instead of the usual knowledge that any young man
of ordinary talent can acquire in a year or two, he understood thoroughly
what most masters were entirely ignorant of—the mind of man and the
laws of its development, human affections and the art of arousing and
ennobling them. He seemed to have almost an intuitive insight into the
development of human nature, and was never tired of contemplating it.”
(C. Monnard in R.’s Guimps, p. 174.)[157]

§ 51. This man wished to be a schoolmaster, but who would venture to
entrust him with a school? No one seemed willing to do this; and he would
have been at a loss where to turn had he not had influential friends
at Burgdorf, a town not far from Bern. These got for him permission
to teach, not indeed the children of burgesses but the children of
non-burgesses, seventy-three of whom used to assemble under a shoemaker
in his house in the suburbs. With this arrangement, however, the
shoemaker and the parents of the children were by no means satisfied. “If
the burgesses like the new method,” they said very reasonably, “let them
try it on their own children.” Their grumbling was heard, and permission
to teach was withdrawn from Pestalozzi.

§ 52. The check, however, was only temporary. His friends were wiser than
the shoemaker, and they procured for him admission into the lowest class
of the school for burghers’ children. In this class there were about 25
children, boys and girls between the ages of 5 and 8. Here he proved
that he was vastly different from a mere dreamer. After teaching these
children in his own way for eight months he received the first official
recognition of the merits of his system. The Burgdorf School Commission
after the usual examination, wrote a public letter to Pestalozzi, in
which they said: “The surprising progress of your little scholars of
various capacities shews plainly that every one is good for something, if
the teacher knows how to get at his abilities and develop them according
to the laws of psychology. By your method of teaching you have proved how
to lay the groundwork of instruction in such a way that it may afterwards
support what is built on it.... Between the ages of 5 and 8, a period
in which according to the system of torture enforced hitherto, children
have learnt to know their letters, to spell and read, your scholars have
not only accomplished all this with a success as yet unknown, but the
best of them have already distinguished themselves by their good writing,
drawing, and calculating. In them all you have been able so to arouse and
excite a liking for history, natural history, mensuration, geography,
&c., that thus future teachers must find their task a far easier one if
they only know how to make good use of the preparatory stage the children
have gone through with you” (Morf, Pt. I, p. 223).

§ 53. In consequence of this report, Pestalozzi in June 1800 was made
master of the second school of Burgdorf, a school numbering about
70 boys and girls from 10 to 16 years old. With them Pestalozzi did
not get on so well. Ramsauer, a poor boy of 10 who afterwards helped
Pestalozzi at Yverdun and became one of his best teachers, has left us
his remembrances. Two things seemed clear to the child’s mind: 1st,
that their teacher was very kind but very unhappy; 2nd, that the pupils
did not learn anything and behaved very badly. Many schoolmasters have
smiled in derision at this account of Pestalozzi’s actual teaching; but
in reading it several things should be borne in mind. First Ramsauer
as a child would have a keen eye and good memory for the master’s
eccentricities; but how far the teaching succeeded he could not judge,
for he did not know what it aimed at. Then again he saw that Pestalozzi’s
zeal was for the whole school, not for individual scholars. But the
child who knew of nothing beyond Burgdorf could not tell that Pestalozzi
was thinking not so much of the children of Burgdorf as of the children
of Europe. For Burgdorf—whether it was pleased to honour or to dismiss
Pestalozzi—could not contain him. His aims extended beyond the town,
beyond canton Bern, beyond Switzerland even; and he was consumed with
zeal to bring about a radical change in elementary education throughout
Europe. The truth which was burning within him he has himself expressed
as follows:

“If we desire to aid the poor man, the very lowest among the people, this
can be done in one way only, that is, _by changing his schools into
true places of education, in which the moral, intellectual, and physical
powers which God has put into our nature may be drawn out_, so that the
man may be enabled to live a life such as a man should live, contented
in himself and satisfying other people. Thus and only thus does the man,
whom in God’s wide world nobody helps and nobody can help, learn to help
himself.” “The public common school-coach throughout Europe must not
simply be better horsed, but still more it must be _turned round and be
brought on to an entirely new road_.” (Quoted by Morf, P. I, p. 211.)

§ 54. Pestalozzi was now working heart and soul at the engineering of
this “new road.” His grand successes hitherto had been gained more by
the heart than by the head; but the school course must draw out the
faculties of the head as well as of the heart. Pestalozzi made all
instruction start from what children observed for themselves. “I laid
special stress,” he says, “on just what usually affected their senses.
And as I dwelt much on elementary knowledge, I wanted to know when the
child receives its first lesson, and I soon came to the conviction that
the first hour of learning dates from birth. From the very moment that
the child’s senses open to the impressions of nature, nature teaches
it. Its new life is but the faculty, now come to maturity, of receiving
impressions; it is the awakening of the germs now perfect which will
go on using all their forces and energies to secure the development of
their proper organisation; it is the awakening of the animal now complete
which will and shall become a man. So the sole instruction given to the
human being consists merely in the art of giving a helping hand to this
natural tendency towards its proper development; and this art consists
essentially in the means of putting the child’s impressions in connexion
and harmony with the precise degree of development the child has reached.
There must be then in the impressions to be given him by instruction,
a regular gradation; and the beginning and the progress of his various
knowledges must exactly correspond with the beginning and increase in his
powers as they are developed. From this I soon saw that this gradation
must be ascertained for all the branches of human knowledge, especially
for those fundamental notions from which our thinking power takes its
rise. On such principles and no others is it possible to construct real
school books and books about teaching” (_Wie Gertrud_, &c., Letter I.).

§ 55. In endeavouring to put teaching, as he said, “on a psychological
basis,” Pestalozzi compared it to a mechanism. On one occasion when
expounding his views, he was interrupted by the exclamation, “Vous voulez
mécaniser l’éducation!” Pestalozzi was weak in French, and he took these
words to mean, “You wish to get at the mechanism of education.” He
accordingly assented, and was in his turn misunderstood. Soon afterwards
he endeavoured to express the new thing by a new word and said, “Ich will
den menschlichen Unterricht psychologisieren; I wish to psychologise
instruction,” and this he explains to mean that he sought to make
instruction fall in with the eternal laws which govern the development
of the human intellect (Morf, I, p. 227). But this was a task which no
one man could accomplish, not even Pestalozzi. The eternal laws which
govern the development of mind have not been completely ascertained even
after investigations carried on during thousands of years; and Pestalozzi
did not know what had been established by previous thinkers. He made a
gigantic effort to find both the laws and their application, but if
he had continued to stand alone he could have done but little. Happily
he attracted to him some young and vigorous assistants, who caught his
enthusiasm and worked in his spirit. They did much, but there was one
thing the Master could not communicate—his genius.

§ 56. Just at this time, before Pestalozzi found associates in his
work, he drew up for a “Society of Friends of Education” an account of
his method; and this begins with the words I have already quoted, “I
want to psychologise education.” Basing all instruction on _Anschauung_
(which is nearly equivalent to the child’s own observation), he explains
how this may be used for a series of exercises, and he takes as the
general elements of culture the following: language, drawing, writing,
arithmetic, and the art of measuring. In the education of the poor he
would lay special stress on the importance of two things, then and
since much neglected, viz., singing and the sense of the beautiful.
The mother’s cradle song should begin a series leading up to hymns of
praise to God. Education should develop in all a sense of the beauties
of Nature. “Nature is full of lovely sights, yet Europe has done nothing
either to awaken in the poor a sense for these beauties, or to arrange
them in such a way as to produce a series of impressions capable of
developing this sense.... If ever popular education should cease to be
the barbarous absurdity it now is, and put itself into harmony with the
real needs of our nature, this want will be supplied.” (R.’s Guimps, 186.)

§ 57. In the last year of the eighteenth century (1800) Pestalozzi was
toiling away, constant to his purpose but not clearly seeing the road
before him. In March, 1800, he wrote to Zschokke: “For thirty years my
life has been a well-nigh hopeless struggle against the most frightful
poverty.... For thirty years I have had to forego many of the barest
necessaries of life, and have had to shun the society of my fellow-men
from sheer lack of decent clothes. Many and many a time have I gone
without a dinner and eaten in bitterness a dry crust of bread on the
road at a time when even the poorest were seated round a table. All this
I have suffered and am still suffering to-day, and with no other object
than the realization of my plans for helping the poor” (R.’s Guimps,
189). It was clear that he could not help others till he himself got
help; and he now did get just the help he wanted, an assistant who though
a schoolmaster was, strange to say, perfectly ready to learn, and to
throw himself into carrying out another man’s ideas. This was Hermann
Kruesi, a man twenty-five years old, who from the age of 18 had been
master of the village school at Gais in Appenzell. In consequence of
the war between the French and Austrians, Appenzell was now reduced to
a state of famine, and bands of children were sent off to other cantons
to escape starvation. Fischer, a friend of Pestalozzi’s, and himself an
educationist taught by Salzmann (_supra_ 289), wrote from Burgdorf to the
pastor of Gais, offering to get thirty children taken in by the people of
Burgdorf, and asking that they might be sent with some one who would look
after them in the day-time and teach them. In answer to this invitation
Kruesi, after a week’s march, entered Burgdorf with a troop of little
ones. The children were drawn up in an open place, and benevolent people
chose which they would adopt. Kruesi was taken into the Castle which the
Government had made over partly to Fischer, partly to Pestalozzi. In it
Kruesi opened a day-school. Fischer soon afterwards died; and Pestalozzi
proposed to Kruesi, who had become entirely converted to his views, that
they should unite and together carry on the school in the Castle. By a
decree of 23rd July, 1800, the Executive Council granted to Pestalozzi
the gratuitous use of as much of the Castle and garden as he needed, and
thus was established Pestalozzi’s celebrated Institute at Burgdorf.

§ 58. Very soon Kruesi enlisted other helpers who had read _Leonard
and Gertrude_, viz., Tobler and Buss, and this is his account of the
party: “Our society thus consisted of four very different men ... the
founder, whose chief reputation was that of a dreamy writer, incapable
in practical life, and three young men, one [Tobler] a private tutor
whose youth had been much neglected, who had begun to study late, and
whose pedagogic efforts had never produced the results his character and
talents seemed to promise; another [Buss], a bookbinder, who devoted his
leisure to singing and drawing; and a third [Kruesi himself], a village
schoolmaster who carried out the duties of his office as best he could
without having been in any way prepared for them. Those who looked on
this group of men, scarce one of them with a home of his own, naturally
formed but a small opinion of their capabilities. And yet our work
succeeded, and won the public confidence beyond the expectations of those
who knew us, and even beyond our own” (R.’s Guimps, 304).

§ 59. With assistance from the Government there was added to the united
schools of Pestalozzi and Kruesi a training class for teachers; and
elementary teachers were sent to spend a month at Burgdorf and learn of
Pestalozzi, as years afterwards they were sent to the same town to learn
of Froebel. This Institute opened in January, 1801, and had nearly three
years of complete success. In it was carried out Pestalozzi’s notion
that there should be “no gulf between the home and the school.” On one
occasion a parent visiting the establishment exclaimed, “Why, this is
not a school but a family!” and Pestalozzi declared that this was the
highest praise he could give it. The bond which united them all, both
teachers and scholars, was love of “Father Pestalozzi.” Want of space
kept the number of children below a hundred, and these enjoyed great
freedom and worked away without rewards and almost without punishments.
Both public reports and private speak very highly of the results. In
June, 1802, the President of the Council of Public Education in Bern
declares: “Pestalozzi has discovered the real and universal laws of all
elementary teaching.” A visitor, Charles Victor von Bonstetten, writes:
“The children know little, but what they know, they know well.... They
are very happy and evidently take great pleasure in their lessons, which
says a great deal for the method.... As it will be long before there is
another Pestalozzi, I fear that the rich harvest his discovery seems to
promise will be reserved for future ages.”

The success of the method was specially conspicuous in arithmetic.
A Nürnberg merchant who came prejudiced against Pestalozzi was much
impressed and has acknowledged: “I was amazed when I saw these children
treating the most complicated calculations of fractions as the simplest
thing in the world.”

§ 60. Up to this point Pestalozzi may be said to have gained by the
disposition to “reform” or revolutionise everything, which had prevailed
in Switzerland since 1798. But from the reaction which now set in he
suffered more than he had gained. Switzerland sent deputies to Paris to
discuss under the direction of the First Consul Bonaparte what should
be their future form of Government. Among these deputies Pestalozzi was
elected, and he set off thinking more of the future of the schools than
of the future of the Government. At Paris he asked for an interview
with Bonaparte, but destruction being in his opinion a much higher art
than instruction, the First Consul said he could not be bothered about
questions of A, B, C. He, however, deputed Monge to hear what Pestalozzi
had to say, but the mathematician seems to have agreed with some English
authorities that “there was nothing in Pestalozzi.”[158] On his return
to Switzerland Pestalozzi was asked by Buss, “Did you see Bonaparte?”
“No,” replied Pestalozzi, “I did not see Bonaparte and Bonaparte did
not see me.” His presumption in thus putting himself on an equality
with the great conqueror seems to have taken away the breath of his
contemporaries: but “the whirligig of time brings in his revenges,” and
before the close of the century Europe already thinks more in amount, and
immeasurably more in respect, of Pestalozzi than of Bonaparte.

§ 61. As a result of the reaction the Government of United Switzerland
ceased to exist, and the Cantons were restored. This destroyed
Pestalozzi’s hopes of Government support, and even turned his Institute
out of doors. The Castle of Burgdorf was at once demanded for the
Prefect of the District; but Pestalozzi was offered an old convent at
Münchenbuchsee near Bern, and thither he was forced to migrate.

§ 62. Close to Münchenbuchsee was Hofwyl where was the agricultural
institution of Emmanuel Fellenberg. Fellenberg and Pestalozzi were old
friends and correspondents, and as they had much regard for each other
and Fellenberg was as great in administration as Pestalozzi in ideas,
there seemed a chance of their benefiting by co-operation; but this could
not be. The teachers desired that the administration should be put into
the hands of Fellenberg, and this was done accordingly, “not without my
consent,” says Pestalozzi, “but to my profound mortification.” He could
not work with this “man of iron,” as he calls Fellenberg; so he left
Münchenbuchsee and accepting one of several invitations he settled in the
Castle of Yverdun near the lake of Neuchatel. Within a twelvemonth he was
followed by his old assistants, who had found government by Fellenberg
less to their taste than no-government by Pestalozzi.

§ 63. Thus arose the most celebrated Institute of which we read in the
history of education. For some years its success seemed prodigious.
Teachers came from all quarters, many of them sent by the Governments of
the countries to which they belonged, that they might get initiated into
the Pestalozzian system. Children too were sent from great distances,
some of them being intrusted to Pestalozzi, some of them living with
their own tutor in Yverdun and only attending the Institute during
the day. The wave of enthusiasm for the new ideas seemed to carry
everything before it; but there is nothing stable in a wave, and when
the enthusiasm has subsided disappointment follows. This was the case at
Yverdun, and Pestalozzi outlived his Institute. But the principles on
which he worked and the spirit in which he worked could not pass away;
and, at least in Germany, all elementary schoolmasters acknowledge how
much they are indebted to his teaching.

§ 64. Of the state of things in the early days of the Institute we have a
very lively account written for his own children by Professor Vuillemin,
who entered it in 1805 as a child of eight, and was in it for two years.
From this I extract the following portrait of Pestalozzi: “Imagine, my
children, a very ugly man with rough bristling hair, his face scarred
with small-pox and covered with freckles, an untidy beard, no neck-tie,
his breeches not properly buttoned and coming down to his stockings,
which in their turn descended on to his great thick shoes; fancy him
panting and jerking as he walked; then his eyes which at one time opened
wide to send a flash of lightning, at another were half closed as if
engaged on what was going on within; his features now expressing a
profound sadness and now again the most peaceful happiness; his speech
either slow or hurried, either soft and melodious or bursting forth like
thunder; imagine the man and you have him whom we used to call our Father
Pestalozzi. Such as I have sketched him for you we loved him; we all
loved him, for he loved us all; we loved him so warmly that when some
time passed without our seeing him, we were quite troubled about it, and
when he again appeared we could not take our eyes off him” (Guimps, 315).

§ 65. At this time he was no less loved by his assistants, who put up
with any quarters that could be found for them, and received no salary.
We read that the money paid by the scholars was kept in the room of
“the head of the family”; every master could get the key, and when they
required clothes they took from these funds just the sum requisite.
This system, or want of system, went on for some time without abuse. As
Vuillemin says, it was like a return to the early days of the Christian

§ 66. We have seen that the first Emperor Napoleon “could not be bothered
about questions of A, B, C.” His was the pride that goes before a fall.
On the other hand the Prussian Government which he brought to the dust in
the battle of Jena (1806) had the wisdom to perceive that children will
become men, and that the nature of the instruction they receive will in a
great measure determine what kind of men they turn out. How was Prussia
again to raise its head? Its rulers decided that it was by the education
of the people. “We have lost in territory,” said the king; “our power and
our credit abroad have fallen; but we must and will go to work to gain in
power and in credit at home. It is for this reason that I desire above
everything that the greatest attention be paid to the education of the
people” (Guimps, 319). About the same time the Queen (Louisa) wrote in
her private diary, “I am reading _Leonard and Gertrude_, and I delight
in being transported into the Swiss village. If I could do as I liked I
should take a carriage and start for Switzerland to see Pestalozzi; I
should warmly shake him by the hand, and my eyes filled with tears would
speak my gratitude.... With what goodness, with what zeal, he labours
for the welfare of his fellow-creatures! Yes, in the name of humanity, I
thank him with my whole heart.”

So in the day of humiliation Prussia seriously went to work at the
education of the people, and this she did on the lines pointed out by
Pestalozzi. To him they were directed by their philosopher Fichte, who
in his _Addresses to the German Nation_ (delivered at Berlin 1807-8)
declared that education was the only means of raising a nation, and that
all sound reform of public instruction must be based on the principles of

To bring these principles to bear on popular education, the Prussian
Government sent seventeen young men for a three years’ course to
Pestalozzi’s Institute, “where,” as the Minister said in a letter to
Pestalozzi, “they will be prepared not only in mind and judgment, but
also in heart, for the noble vocation which they are to follow, and will
be filled with a sense of the holiness of their task, and with new zeal
for the work to which you have devoted your life.”

§ 67. Among the eminent men who were drawn to Yverdun were some who
afterwards did great things in education, as _e.g._, Karl Ritter, Karl
von Raumer the historian of education, the philosopher Herbart, and a
man who was destined to have more influence than anyone, except perhaps
Pestalozzi himself—I mean Friedrich Froebel. Ritter’s testimony is
especially striking. “I have seen,” says he, “more than the Paradise of
Switzerland, for I have seen Pestalozzi, and recognised how great his
heart is, and how great his genius; never have I been so filled with a
sense of the sacredness of my vocation and the dignity of human nature
as in the days I spent with this noble man.... 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.”

§ 68. At this time we read glowing accounts of the healthy and happy life
of the children; and throughout Pestalozzi never lost a single pupil by
illness. With a body of very able assistants, instruction was carried
on for ten hours out of the twenty-four; but in these hours there was
reckoned the time spent in drill, gymnastics, hand-work, and singing. The
monotony of school-life was also broken by frequent “festivals.”

§ 69. And yet the Institute had taken into it the seeds of its own ruin.
There were several causes of failure, though these were not visible till
the house was divided against itself.

§ 70. First, Pestalozzi based the morality and discipline of the school
on the relations of family life. He would be the “father” of all the
children. At Burgdorf this relation seemed a reality, but it completely
failed at Yverdun when the Institute became, from the number of the
pupils and their differences in language, habits, and antecedents, a
little world. The pupils still called him “Father Pestalozzi,” but he
could no longer know them as a father should know his children. Thus
the discipline of affection slowly disappeared, and there was no school
discipline to take its place.

§ 71. Next, we can see that even at Burgdorf, and still more at Yverdun,
Pestalozzi was attempting to do impossibilities. According to his system,
the faculties of the child were to be developed in a natural unbroken
order, and the first exercises were to give the child the power of
surmounting later difficulties by its own exertions. But this education
could not be started at any age, and yet children of every age and every
country were received into the Institution. It was not likely that the
fresh comers could be made to understand that they “knew nothing,” and
must start over again on a totally different road. The teachers might
take such pupils to the water of “sense-impressions,” but they could not
inspire the inclination to drink, nor induce the lad to learn what he
supposed himself to know already. (_Cfr. supra_ p. 64, § 4.)

§ 72. But there was a greater mischief at work than either of these. In
his discourse to the members of the Institution on New Year’s Day, 1808,
Pestalozzi surprised them all by his gloom. He had had a coffin brought
in, and he stood beside it. “This work,” said he, “was founded by love,
but love has disappeared from our midst.” This was only too true, and the
discord was more deeply rooted than at first appeared. Among the brood
of Pestalozzians there was a Catholic shepherd lad from Tyrol, Joseph
Schmid by name, and he, in the end, proved a veritable cuckoo. As he
shewed very marked ability in mathematics, he became one of the assistant
masters; and a good deal of the fame of the Institution rested on the
performances of his pupils. But his ideas differed totally from those of
his colleagues, especially from those of Niederer, a clergyman with a
turn for philosophy, who had become Pestalozzi’s chief exponent.

§ 73. After Pestalozzi’s gloomy speech, the masters, with the exception
of Schmid, urged Pestalozzi to apply for a Government inquiry into the
state of the Institution. This Pestalozzi did, and Commissioners were
appointed, among them an educationist, Père Girard of Freiburg, by whom
the Report was drawn up. The Report was not favourable. Père Girard
was by no means inclined to sit at the feet of Pestalozzi, as he had
principles of his own. Pestalozzi, he thought, laid far too much stress
on mathematics, and he drew from him a statement that everything taught
to a child should seem as certain as that two and two made four. “Then,”
said Girard, “if I had thirty children I would not intrust you with one
of them. You could not teach him that I was his father.” Thus the Report,
though very friendly in tone, was by no means friendly in spirit. The
Commissioners simply compared the performances of the scholars with what
pupils of the same age could do in good schools of the ordinary type, and
Père Girard stated, though not in the Report, that the Institution was
inferior to the Cantonal School of Aargau. But the comparison of these
incommensurables only shews that Girard was not capable of understanding
what was going on at Yverdun. Indeed, he asserts “not only that the
mother-tongue was neglected,” but also that the children, “though they
had reached a high pitch of excellence in abstract mathematics, were
inconceivably weak in all ordinary practical calculations.” This is
absurd. In Pestalozzian teaching the abstract never went before ordinary
practical calculations. The good Father evidently blunders, and takes
“head-reckoning” for abstract, and pen or pencil arithmetic for practical
work. Reckoning with slate or paper is no doubt “ordinary,” but a
distinction has often to be drawn between what is ordinary and what is

§ 74. Soon after this the disputes between Schmid and his colleagues
waxed so fierce that Schmid was virtually driven away. In 1810 he left
Yverdun, and declared the Institution “a disgrace to humanity.” Great
was the disorder into which the Institution now fell from having over it
only a genius with “an unrivalled incapacity to govern.” The days which
“remind us of the early Church” were no more, and financial difficulties
naturally followed them. For the next five years things went from bad
to worse, and the masters were then driven to the desperate, and, as it
proved, the fatal step of inviting the able and strong-willed Schmid
back again. He came in 1815, he acquired entire control over Pestalozzi,
and drove from him all his most faithful adherents, among them not only
Niederer, who had invited the return of his rival, but even Kruesi and
the faithful servant, Elizabeth Naef, now Mrs. Kruesi, the widow of
Kruesi’s brother. Pestalozzi’s grandson married Schmid’s sister, and thus
united with him by family ties, Schmid took entire possession of the old
man and kept it till the end. His former colleagues seem to have been
deceived in their estimate both of Schmid’s integrity and ability. He
completed the ruin of the Institution, and he was finally expelled from
Yverdun by the Magistrates.

§ 75. But while Pestalozzi seemed falling lower and lower to the eyes of
the inhabitants of Yverdun, and so had little honour in his own country,
his fame was spreading all over Europe. Of this Yverdun was to reap the
benefit. In 1813-14, Austrian troops marched across Switzerland to invade
France. In January, 1814, the Castle and other buildings in Yverdun were
“requisitioned” for a military hospital, many of the Austrian soldiers
being down with typhus fever. In a great fright the Municipality sent
off two deputies to headquarters, then at Basel, to petition that this
order might be withdrawn. As the order threatened the destruction of
his Institution, Pestalozzi went with them, and it was entirely to him
they owed their success. On their return they reported that “no military
hospital would be established at Yverdun, and that M. Pestalozzi had been
received with most extraordinary favour.”

§ 75. On this occasion Pestalozzi took the opportunity of preaching to
the Emperor Alexander on the necessity of establishing good schools and
of emancipating the serfs. The Emperor took the lecture in good part, and
allowed the philanthropist to drive him into a corner and “button-hole”

§ 76. In 1815 Pestalozzi received a visit from an Englishman, or more
accurately Scotsman—Dr. Bell, who, however, like most of our compatriots,
could find nothing in Pestalozzi. Whatever we may think of Bell as an
educationist, he was certainly a poor prophet. On leaving Yverdun he
said, “In another twelve years mutual instruction will be adopted by the
whole world and Pestalozzi’s method will be forgotten.”[159]

§ 77. In December, 1815, Pestalozzi was thrown more completely into the
power of Schmid by losing the only companion from whom nothing but death
could separate him—his wife. At the funeral Pestalozzi, standing by the
coffin, and as if heard by her whose earthly remains were in it, ran
over the disasters and trials they had passed through together, and the
sacrifices she had made for him. “What in those days of affliction,” said
he, “gave us strength to bear our troubles and recover hope?” and taking
up a Bible he went on, “_This_ is the source whence you drew, whence we
both drew courage, strength, and peace.”

§ 78. The “death agony of the Institution,” as Guimps calls it, lasted
for some years, but in this gloomy period there are only two incidents I
will mention. The first is the publication of Pestalozzi’s writings, for
which Schmid and Pestalozzi sought subscriptions; and the appeal was so
cordially answered that Pestalozzi received £2,000. This sum he wished
to devote to the carrying out of a plan he had always cherished of an
orphanage at Neuhof; but the money seems to have melted we do not know

§ 79. The other incident is that of Pestalozzi’s last success. In
spite of Schmid he would open a school for twelve neglected children
at Clindy, a hamlet near Yverdun. Here he produced results like those
which had crowned his first efforts at Neuhof, Stanz, and Burgdorf. Old,
absent-minded, and incapable as he seemed in ordinary affairs, he, as
though by enchantment, gained the attention and the affection of the
children, and bent them entirely to his will. In a few months the number
of children had risen to thirty, and wonderful progress had been made.
Clindy at once became celebrated. Pestalozzi was induced to admit some
children whose friends paid for them, and Schmid then persuaded the old
man to remove the school into the Castle.

§ 80. In 1824 the Institution, which had lasted for twenty years, was
finally closed, and Pestalozzi went to spend his remaining days (nearly
three years as it proved) at Neuhof, which was then in the hands of his
grandson. The year before his death he visited an orphanage conducted on
his principles by Zeller at Beuggen near Rheinfelden. The children sang
a poem of Goethe’s quoted in _Leonard and Gertrude_, and had a crown of
oak ready to put on the old man’s head; but this he declined. “I am not
worthy of it,” said he, “keep it for innocence.”

§ 81. On 17th February, 1827, at the age of eighty-one, Pestalozzi fell

§ 82. “The reform needed,” said Pestalozzi, “is not that the school-coach
should be better horsed, but that it should be turned right round and
started on a new track.” This may seem a violent metaphor, but perhaps
it is not more violent than the change that was (and in this country
still is) necessary. Let us try to ascertain what is the right road
according to Pestalozzi, and then see on what road the school-coach is
now travelling.

§ 83. The grand change advocated by Pestalozzi was a change of _object_.
The main object of the school should not be to _teach_ but to _develop_.

§ 84. This change of object naturally brings many changes with it.
Measured by their capacity for acquiring school knowledge and skill young
children may be considered, as one of H.M. Inspectors considered them,
“the fag-end of the school.” But if the school exists not to teach but to
develop, young children, instead of being the “fag-end,” become the most
important part of all. In the development of all organisms more depends
on the earlier than on the later stages; and there is no reason to doubt
that this law holds in the case of human beings. On this account, from
the days of Pestalozzi educational science has been greatly, I may say
mainly, concerned with young children. For the dominating thought has
been that the young human being is an undeveloped organism, and that in
education that organism is developed. So the essence of Pestalozzianism
lies not so much in its method as in its aim, not more in what it does
than in what it endeavours to do.

§ 85. And thus it was that Pestalozzi (in Raumer’s words) “compelled
the scholastic world to revise the whole of their task, to reflect on
the nature and destiny of man, and also on the proper way of leading
him from his youth towards that destiny.” And it was his love of his
fellow-creatures that raised him to this standpoint. He was moved by “the
enthusiasm of humanity.” Consumed with grief for the degradation of the
Swiss peasantry, he never lost faith in their true dignity as men, and
in the possibility of raising them to a condition worthy of it. He cast
about for the best means of thus raising them, and decided that it could
be effected, not by any improvement in their outward circumstances, but
by an education which should make them what their Creator intended them
to be, and should give them the use and the consciousness of all their
inborn faculties. “From my youth up,” he says, “I felt what a high and
indispensable human duty it is to labour for the poor and miserable;
... that he may attain to a consciousness of his own dignity through
his feeling of the universal powers and endowments which he possesses
awakened within him; that he may not only learn to gabble over by rote
the religious maxim that ‘man is created in the image of God, and is
bound to live and die as a child of God,’ but may himself experience its
truth by virtue of the Divine power within him, so that he may be raised,
not only above the ploughing oxen, but also above the man in purple and
silk who lives unworthily of his high destiny” (Quoted in Barnard, p. 13).

Again he says (and I quote at length on the point, as it is indeed the
key to Pestalozzianism), “Why have I insisted so strongly on attention to
early physical and intellectual education? Because I consider these as
merely leading to a higher aim, to qualify the human being for the free
and full use of all the faculties implanted by the Creator, and to direct
all these faculties towards the perfection of the whole being of man,
that he may be enabled to act in his peculiar station as an instrument
of that All-wise and Almighty Power that has called him into life” (To
Greaves, p. 160).

§ 86. Believing in this high aim of education, Pestalozzi required a
proper early training for all alike. “Every human being,” said he, “has
a claim to a judicious development of his faculties by those to whom the
care of his infancy is confided” (_Ib._ p. 163).

§ 87. Pestalozzi therefore most earnestly addressed himself to mothers,
to convince them of the power placed in their hands, and to teach them
how to use it. “The mother is qualified, and qualified by the Creator
Himself, to become the principal agent in the development of her child;
... and what is demanded of her is—a _thinking love_.... God has given to
thy child all the faculties of our nature, but the grand point remains
undecided—how shall this heart, this head, these hands, be employed? to
whose service shall they be dedicated? A question the answer to which
involves a futurity of happiness or misery to a life so dear to thee....
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 thy child. But he must be taught
to climb it. And let him not attempt it by the cold calculations of the
head, or the mere impulse of the heart; but let all these powers combine,
and the noble enterprise will be crowned with success. These powers are
already bestowed on him, but to thee it is given to assist in calling
them forth” (To Greaves, p. 21). “Maternal love is the first agent in
education.... Through it the child is led to love and trust his Creator
and his Redeemer.”

§ 88. From the theory of development which lay at the root of
Pestalozzi’s views of education, it followed that the imparting of
knowledge and the training for special pursuits held only a subordinate
position in his scheme. “Education, instead of merely considering what
is to be imparted to children, ought to consider first what they may be
said already to possess, if not as a developed, at least as an involved
faculty capable of development. Or if, instead of speaking thus in
the abstract, we will but recollect that it is to the great Author of
life that man owes the possession, and is responsible for the use, of
his innate faculties, education should not simply decide what is to be
made of a child, but rather inquire what it was intended that he should
become. What is his destiny as a created and responsible being? What
are his faculties as a rational and moral being? What are the means for
their perfection, and the end held out as the highest object of their
efforts by the Almighty Father of all, both in creation and in the page
of revelation?”

§ 89. Education, then, must consist “in _a continual benevolent
superintendence_, with the object of calling forth all the faculties
which Providence has implanted; and its province, thus enlarged, will
yet be with less difficulty surveyed from one point of view, and will
have more of a systematic and truly philosophical character, than an
incoherent mass of ‘lessons’—arranged without unity of principle, and
gone through without interest—which too often usurps its name.”

The educator’s task then is to superintend and promote the child’s
development, morally, intellectually, and physically.

§ 90. “The essential principle of education is not teaching,” said
Pestalozzi; “it is love” (R.’s G., 289). Again he says, “The child
loves and believes before it thinks and acts” (_Ib._ 378). And in a
very striking passage (_Ib._ 329), where he compares the development of
the various powers of a human being to the development of a tree, he
says, “These forces of the heart—faith and love—are in the formation of
immortal man what the root is for the tree.” So, according to Pestalozzi,
a child without faith and love can no more grow up to be what he should
be than a tree can grow without a root. Apart from this vital truth there
can be no such thing as Pestalozzianism.

  “Ah yet when all is thought and said
  The heart still overrules the head.”

It is our hearts and affections that lead us right or wrong far more than
our intellects. In advocating the training of the minds of the people,
Lord Derby once remarked that as Chairman of Quarter Sessions he had
found most of the culprits brought before him were stupid and ignorant.
It certainly cannot be denied that the commonest kind of criminal is
bad in every way. He has his body ruined by debauchery, his intellect
almost in abeyance, and his heart and affections set on what is vile and
degrading. If you could cultivate his intellect you would certainly raise
him out of the lowest and by far the largest of the criminal classes.
But he might become a criminal of a type less disgusting in externals,
but in reality far more dangerous. The most atrocious miscreant of our
time, if not of all time, was a man who contrived a machine to sink ships
in mid-ocean, his only object being to gain a sum of money on a false
insurance. This man was a type of the _élite_ of criminals, had received
an intellectual training, and could not have been described by Lord Derby
as ignorant or stupid.

§ 91. Pestalozzi then, much as he valued the development of the
intellect, put first the moral and religious influence of education; and
with him moral and religious were one and the same. He protested against
the ordinary routine of elementary education, because “everywhere in it
the flesh predominated over the spirit, everywhere the divine element was
cast into the shade, everywhere selfishness and the passions were taken
as the motives of action, everywhere mechanical habits usurped the place
of intelligent spontaneity” (R.’s G., 470). Education for the people
must be different to this. “Man does not live by bread alone; every
child needs a religious development; every child needs to know how to
pray to God in all simplicity, but with faith and love” (R.’s G., 378).
“If the religious element does not run through the whole of education,
this element will have little influence on the life; it remains formal
or isolated”[160] (_Ib._ 381). And Pestalozzi sums up the essentials of
popular education in the words: “The child accustomed from his earliest
years to pray, to think, and to work, is already more than half educated”
(_Ib._ 381).

§ 92. Here we see the main requisites. First the child must pray with
faith and love. Next he must _think_.

“The child must think!” exclaims the schoolmaster: “Must he not learn?”
To which Pestalozzi would have replied, “Most certainly he must.”
Learning was not in Pestalozzi’s estimation as in Locke’s, the “last and
least” thing, but learning was with him something very different from
the learning imparted by the ordinary schoolmaster. Pestalozzi was very
imperfectly acquainted with the thoughts and efforts of his predecessors,
but the one book on education which he had studied had freed him from the
“idols” of the schoolroom. This book was the _Emile_ of Rousseau, and
from it he came no less than Rousseau himself to despise the learning
of the schoolmaster. But when he had to face the problem of organizing
a course of education for the people, Pestalozzi did not agree with
Rousseau that the first twelve years should be spent in “losing time.”
No, the children must learn, but they must learn in such a way as to
develop all the powers of the mind. And so Pestalozzi was led to what he
considered his great discovery, viz., that all instruction must be based
on “Anschauung.”

§ 93. The Germans, who have devoted so much thought and care and effort
to education, greatly honour Pestalozzi,[161] and as his disciples aim
at making all elementary instruction “anschaulich.” We English have
troubled ourselves so little about Pestalozzi, or, I might say, about
the theory of education, that we have not cared to get equivalent words
for _Anschauung_ and _anschaulich_. For _Anschauung_ “sense-impression”
has lately been tried; but this is in two ways defective; for (1) there
may be “Anschauungen” beyond the range of the senses, and (2) there is
in an “Anschauung” an active as well as a passive element, and this the
word “impression” does not convey. The active part is brought out better
by “observation”—the word used by Joseph Payne and James MacAlister; but
this seems hardly wide enough. Other writers of English borrow words
straight from the French, and talk about “intuition” and “intuitive,”
words which were taken (first I believe by Kant) from the Latin
_intueri_, “to look at _with attention and reflection_.”

§ 94. I think we shall be wise in following these writers. On good
authority I have heard of a German professor who when asked if he had
read some large work recently published in the distressing type of his
nation, replied that he had not; he was waiting for a French translation.
If the Germans find that the French express their thoughts more clearly
than they can themselves, we may think ourselves fortunate when the
French will act as interpreters. I therefore gladly turn to M. Buisson
and translate what he says about “intuition.”

“Intuition is just the most natural and most spontaneous action of human
intelligence, the action by which the mind seizes a reality without
effort, hesitation, or go-between. It is a ‘direct apperception,’ made as
it were at a glance. If it has to do with some matter within the province
of the senses, the senses perceive it at once. Here we have the simplest
case of all, the most common, the most easily noted. If the thing
concerned is an idea, a reality, that is, beyond the reach of the senses,
we still say that we seize it by intuition when all that is necessary is
that it present itself to the mind, and the mind at once grasps it and is
satisfied with it without any need of proof or investigation. We advance
by intuition whenever our mind, acting by the senses, or by the judgment,
or by the conscience, knows things with the same amount of evidence and
the same amount of speed that a distinct view of an object affords the
eye. So intuition is no separate faculty; it is nothing strange or new
in the mind of man. It is just the mind itself ‘intuitively’ recognising
what exists in it or around it” (_Les Conférences Péd. faites aux
Instituteurs_, Delagrave, 1879, p. 331). So the “intuitive method” (to
keep the French name for it) is of very wide application. “It appeals to
this force _sui generis_, to this glance of the mind, to this spontaneous
spring of the intelligence towards truth.” It sets the pupil’s mind to
work in following his own intellectual instincts. If in our teaching we
can use it, we shall have gained, as M. Buisson says, the best helper in
the world, viz., the pupil. If he can be got to take an active part in
the instruction all difficulty vanishes at once. Instead of having to
drag him along, you will see him delighted to keep you company.

§ 95. According to M. Buisson there are three kinds of
intuition—sensuous, intellectual, and moral. Similarly M. Jullien
(_Esprit de Pestalozzi_, 1812, vol. j, p. 152) says that there are
“intuitions” of the “internal senses” as well as of the external: the
“internal senses” are four in number: first, the sense for the true;
second, the sense for the beautiful; third, the sense for the good;
fourth, the sense for the infinite.

§ 96. Without settling whether this analysis is complete we shall have
no difficulty in admitting that both body and mind have faculties by
means of which we apprehend, lay hold of, what is true and right; and it
is on the use of these faculties that Pestalozzi bases instruction. No
Englishman may have found a good word to indicate _Anschauung_, but one
Englishman at least had the idea of it long before Pestalozzi. More than
a century earlier Locke had called knowledge “the internal perception of
the mind.” “Knowing is seeing,” said he; “and if it be so, it is madness
to persuade ourselves we do so by another man’s eyes, let him use never
so many words to tell us that what he asserts is very visible” (_Supra_
p. 222).

§ 97. Thus in theory Pestalozzi was, however unconsciously, a follower
of Locke. But in practice they went far asunder. Locke’s thoughts were
constantly occupied with philosophical investigations, and he seems to
have made small account of the intellectual power of children, and to
have supposed that they cannot “see” anything at all. So he cared little
what was taught them, and till they reached the age of reason the tutor
might give such lessons as would be useful to “young gentlemen,” the
avowed object being to “keep them from sauntering.” His follower Rousseau
preferred that the child’s mind should not be filled with the traditional
lore of the schoolroom, and that the instructor, when the youth reached
the age of twelve, should find “an unfurnished apartment to let.” Then
came Pestalozzi, and he saw that at whatever age the instructor began
to teach the child, he would not find an unfurnished apartment, seeing
that every child learns continuously from the hour of its birth. And
how does the child learn? Not by repeating words which express the
thoughts, feelings, and experiences of other people,[162] but by his own
experiences and feelings, and by the thoughts which these suggest to him.

§ 98. Elementary education then on its intellectual side is teaching the
child to think. The proper subjects of thought for children Pestalozzi
held to be the children’s surroundings, the realities of their own lives,
the things that affect them and arouse their feelings and interests.
Perhaps he did not emphasize _interest_ as much as Herbart has done
since; but clearly an _Anschauung_ or “intuition” is only possible when
the child is interested in the thing observed.

§ 99. The art of teaching in Pestalozzi’s system consists in analyzing
the knowledge that the children should acquire about their surroundings,
arranging it in a regular sequence, and bringing it to the children’s
consciousness gradually and in the way in which their minds will act upon
it. In this way they learn slowly, but all they learn is their own. They
are not like the crow drest up in peacock’s feathers, for they have
not appropriated any _dead_ knowledge (“_angelernte todte Begriffe_,”
as Diesterweg has it), and it cannot be said of them, “They know about
much, but _know_ nothing (_Sie kennen viel und wissen nichts_).” Their
knowledge is actual knowledge, for they are taught not _what_ to think
but _to think_, and to exercise their powers of observation and draw
conclusions from their own experience. The teacher simply furnishes
materials and occasions for this exercise in observing, and as it goes on
gives his benevolent superintendence.

§ 100. They learn slowly for another reason. According to Pestalozzi the
first conceptions must be dwelt upon till they are distinct and firmly
fixed. Buss tells us that when he first joined Pestalozzi at Burgdorf the
delay over the prime elements seemed to him a waste of time, but that
afterwards he was convinced of its being the right plan, and felt that
the failure of his own education was due to its incoherent and desultory
character. “Not only,” says Pestalozzi, “have the first elements of
knowledge in every subject the most important bearing on its complete
outline, but the child’s confidence and interest are gained by perfect
attainment even in the lowest stage of instruction.”[163]

§ 101. We have seen that Pestalozzi would have children learn to pray,
to think, and to _work_. In schools for the _soi-disant_ “upper classes”
the parents or friends of a boy sometimes say, “There is no need for
him to work he will be very well off.” From this kind of demoralization
Pestalozzi’s pupils were free. They would have to work, and Pestalozzi
wished them to learn to work as soon as possible. In this way he sought
to increase their self-respect, and to unite their school-life with their
life beyond it.[164]

§ 102. Pestalozzi was tremendously in earnest, and he wished the children
also to take instruction seriously. He was totally opposed to the notion
which had found favour with many great authorities as _e.g._, Locke
and Basedow, that instruction should always be given in the guise of
amusement. “I am convinced,” says he, “that such a notion will for ever
preclude solidity of knowledge, and, for want of sufficient exertions on
the part of the pupils, will lead to that very result which I wish to
avoid by my principle of a constant employment of the thinking powers.
A child must very early in life be taught the lesson that exertion is
indispensable for the attainment of knowledge”[165] (To G., xxiv, p.
117). But he should be taught at the same time that exertion is not an
evil, and he should be encouraged, not frightened, into it. Healthy
exertion, whether of body or mind, is always attended with a feeling of
satisfaction amounting to pleasure, and where this pleasure is absent
the instructor has failed in producing proper exertion. As Pestalozzi
says, “Whenever children are inattentive and apparently take no interest
in a lesson, the teacher should always first look to himself for the
reason”[166] (_Ib._).

§ 103. But though he took so serious a view of instruction, he made
instruction include and indeed give a prominent place to the arts of
singing and drawing. In the Pestalozzian schools singing found immense
favour with both the masters and the pupils, and the collection of songs
by Nägeli, a master at Yverdun, became famous. Drawing too was practised
by all. As Pestalozzi writes to Greaves (xxiv, 117), “A person who is
in the habit of drawing, especially from nature, will easily perceive
many circumstances which are commonly overlooked, and will form a much
more correct impression even of such objects as he does not stop to
examine minutely, than one who has never been taught to look upon what
he sees with an intention of reproducing a likeness of it. The attention
to the exact shape of the whole and the proportion of the parts, which
is requisite for the taking of an adequate sketch, is converted into a
habit, and becomes productive both of instruction and amusement.”

§ 104. I have now endeavoured to point out the main features of
Pestalozzianism. The following is the summing up of these features given
by Morf in his Contribution to Pestalozzi’s Biography:—

    1. Instruction must be based on the learner’s own experience.
    (Das Fundament des Unterrichts ist die Anschauung.)

    2. What the learner experiences and observes must be connected
    with language.

    3. The time for learning is not the time for judging, not the
    time for criticism.

    4. In every department instruction must begin with the simplest
    elements, and starting from these must be carried on step by
    step according to the development of the child, that is, it
    must be brought into psychological sequence.

    5. At each point the instructor shall not go forward till
    that part of the subject has become the proper intellectual
    possession of the learner.

    6. Instruction must follow the path of development, not the
    path of lecturing, teaching, or telling.

    7. To the educator the individuality of the child must be

    8. Not the acquisition of knowledge or skill is the main
    object of elementary instruction, but the development and
    strengthening of the powers of the mind.

    9. With knowledge (_Wissen_) must come power (_Können_), with
    information (_Kenntniss_) skill (_Fertigkeit_).

    10. Intercourse between educator and pupil, and school
    discipline especially, must be based on and controlled by love.

    11. Instruction shall be subordinated to the aim of _education_.

    12. The ground of moral-religious bringing up lies in the
    relation of mother and child.[167]

§ 105. Having now seen in which direction Pestalozzi would start the
school-coach, let us examine (with reference to England only) the
direction in which it is travelling at present.

§ 106. For educational purposes we may, with Lord Beaconsfield, regard
the English as composed of two nations, the rich and the poor. Let us
consider these separately.

In the case of the rich we find that the worst part of our educational
course—the part most wrong in theory and pernicious in practice—is the
schooling of young children, say between six and twelve years old.
Before the age of six some few are fortunate enough to attend a good
Kindergarten; but the opportunity of doing this is at present rare, and
for most children of well-to-do parents there is, up to six years old,
little or no organised instruction. Pestalozzi would have every mother
made capable of giving such instruction. Froebel would have every child
sent to a skilled “Kindergärtnerin.” It seems to me beyond question that
children gain immensely from joining a properly-managed Kindergarten; but
where this is impossible, perhaps the mother may leave the child to the
series of impressions which come to its senses without any regular order.
According to the first Lord Lytton, the mother’s interference might
remind us of the man who thought his bees would make honey faster if,
instead of going in search of flowers, they were shut up and had flowers
brought to them. The way in which young children turn from object to
object, like the bees from flower to flower, seems to show that at this
stage their intellectual training goes on whether we help it or not.
There is no doubt an education for children however young, and the mother
is the teacher, but the lessons have more to do with the heart than the

§ 107. But the time for regular teaching comes at last, and what is to be
done then? Let us consider briefly what _is_ done.

Hitherto, the only defence ever made of our school-course leading up to
residence at a University, has been that it aims not at giving knowledge
but at training the mind. Youths then are supposed to be engaged, not in
gaining knowledge, but in training their faculties for adult life. But
when we come to provide for the “education” of children, we never think
of training their faculties for youth, but endeavour solely to inculcate
what will then come in useful. We see clearly enough that it would
be absurd to cram the mind of a youth with laws of science or art or
commerce which he could not understand, on the ground that the getting-up
of these things might save him trouble in after-life. But we do not
hesitate to sacrifice childhood to the learning by heart of grammar
rules, Latin declensions, historical dates, and the like, with no thought
whatever of the child’s faculties, but simply with a view of giving
him knowledge (so-called) that will come in useful five or six years
afterwards. We do not treat youths thus, probably because we have more
sympathy with them, or at least understand them better. The intellectual
life to which the senses and the imagination are subordinated in the man
has already begun in the youth. In an inferior degree he can do what the
man can do, and understand what the man can understand. He has already
some notion of reasoning, and abstraction, and generalisation. But with
the child it is very different. His active faculties may be said almost
to differ in kind from a man’s. He has a feeling for the sensuous world
which he will lose as he grows up. His strong imagination, under no
control of the reason, is constantly at work building castles in the air,
and investing the doll or the puppet-show with all the properties of the
things they represent. His feelings and affections, easily excited, find
an object to love or dislike in every person and thing he meets with. On
the other hand, he has only vague notions of the abstract, and has no
interest except in actual known persons, animals, and things.

§ 108. There is, then, between the child of eight or nine and the youth
of fourteen or fifteen a greater difference than between the youth and
the man of twenty; and this demands a corresponding difference in their
studies. And yet, as matters are carried on now, the child is too often
kept to the drudgery of learning by rote mere collections of hard words,
perhaps, too, in a foreign language: and absorbed in the present, he
is not much comforted by the teacher’s assurance that “some day” these
things will come in useful.

§ 109. How to educate the child is doubtless the most difficult problem
of all, and it is generally allotted to those who are the least likely to
find a satisfactory solution.

The earliest educator of the children of many rich parents is the
nursemaid—a person not usually distinguished by either intellectual or
moral excellence.[168] At an early age this educator is superseded
by the Preparatory School. Taken as a body, the ladies who open
“establishments for young gentlemen” cannot be said to hold enlarged
views, or, indeed, any views whatever, on the subject of education. Their
intention is not so much to cultivate the children’s faculties as to make
a livelihood, and to hear no complaints that pupils who have left them
have been found deficient in the expected knowledge by the master of the
next school. If anyone would investigate the sort of teaching which is
considered adapted to the capacity of children at this stage, let him
look into a standard work still in vogue (“Mangnall’s Questions”), from
which the young of both sexes acquire a great quantity and variety of
learning; the whole of ancient and modern history and biography, together
with the heathen mythology, the planetary system, and the names of all
the constellations, lying very compactly in about 300 pages.[169]

Unfortunately, moreover, from the gentility of these ladies, their
scholars’ bodies are often treated in preparatory schools no less
injuriously than their minds. It may be natural in a child to use his
lungs and delight in noise, but this can hardly be considered _genteel_,
so the tendency is, as far as possible, suppressed. It is found, too,
that if children are allowed to run about they get dirty and spoil their
clothes, and do not look like “young gentlemen,” so they are made to take
exercise in a much more genteel fashion, walking slowly two-and-two,
_with gloves on_.[170]

§ 110. At nine or ten years old, boys are commonly put to a school taught
by masters. Here they lose sight of their gloves, and learn the use of
their limbs; but their minds are not so fortunate as their bodies. The
studies of the school have been arranged without any thought of their
peculiar needs. The youngest class is generally the largest, often much
the largest, and it is handed over to the least competent and worst paid
master on the staff of teachers. The reason is, that little boys are
found to learn the tasks imposed upon them very slowly. A youth or a man
who came fresh to the Latin grammar would learn in a morning as much as
the master, with great labour, can get into children in a week. It is
thought, therefore, that the best teaching should be applied where it
will have the most obvious results. If anyone were to say to the manager
of a school, “The master who takes the lowest form teaches badly, and
the children learn nothing”; he would perhaps say, “Very likely; but if
I paid a much higher salary, and got a better man, they would learn but
little.” The only thing the school-manager thinks of is, How much do
the little boys learn of what is taught in the higher forms? How their
faculties are being developed, or whether they have any faculties except
for reading, writing, and arithmetic, and for getting grammar-rules, &c.
by heart, he is not so “unpractical” as to enquire.

§ 111. With reference to the education of the first of our “two
nations,” it seems then pretty clear that Pestalozzi would require that
the school-coach should be turned and started in a totally different

§ 112. What about the education of the other “nation,” a nation of which
the verb “to rule” has for many centuries been used in the passive
voice, but can be used in that voice no longer? A century ago, with
the partial exception of Scotland and Massachusetts, there was no such
thing as school education for the people to be found anywhere in Europe
or America. But from 1789 onwards power has been passing more and more
from the few to the many; and as a natural consequence folk-schools
(for which we have not yet found a name) have become of vast importance
everywhere. The Germans, as we have seen, have been the disciples of
Pestalozzi, and their elementary education in everything bears traces
of his ideas. The English have organised a great system of elementary
education in total ignorance of Pestalozzi. As usual, we seem to have
supposed that the right system would come to us “in sleep.” But has it
come? The children of the poor are now compelled by the law to attend an
elementary school. What sort of an education has the law there provided
for them? The Education Department professes to measure everything by
results. Let us do the same. Suppose that on his leaving school we
wished to forecast a lad’s future. What should we try to find out about
him? No doubt we should ask what he knew; but this would not be by any
means the main thing. His skill would interest us, and still more would
his state of health. But what we should ask first and foremost is this,
Whom does he love? Whom does he admire and imitate? What does he care
about? What interests him? It is only when the answers to these questions
are satisfactory, that we can think hopefully of his future; and it
is only in so far as the school-course has tended to make the answers
satisfactory, that it deserves our approval. Schools such as Pestalozzi
designed would have thus deserved our approval; but we cannot say this
of the schools into which the children of the English poor are now
driven. In these schools the heart and the affections are not thought of,
the powers of neither mind nor body are developed by exercise, and the
children do not acquire any interests that will raise or benefit them.

§ 113. An advocate of our system would not deny this, but would probably
say, “The question for us to consider is, not what is the best that in
the most favourable circumstances might be attempted, but what is the
best that in very restricted and by no means favourable circumstances,
we are likely to get. The teachers in our schools are not self-devoting
Pestalozzis, but only ordinary men and women, and still worse, ordinary
boys and girls.[171] It would be of no use talking to our teachers
(still less our pupil-teachers) about developing the affections and
the mental or bodily powers of the children. All such talk could end
in nothing but silly cant. As for character, we expect the school to
cultivate in the children habits of order, neatness, industry. Beyond
this we cannot go.”

And yet, though this seems reasonable, we feel that it is not quite
satisfactory. If so much depends in all of us on “admiration, hope, and
love,” we can hardly consider a system of education that entirely ignores
them to be well adapted to the needs of human nature. If Pestalozzi
was right, we must be wrong. We have never supposed the object of the
school to be the development of the faculties of heart, of head, and
of hand, but we have thought of nothing but learning—learning first of
all to read, write, and cipher, and then in “good” schools, one or more
“extra subjects” may be taken up, and a grant obtained for them. The sole
object, both of managers and teachers, is to prepare for the Inspector,
who comes once a year, and from an examination of five hours or so,
pronounces on what the children have learnt.

§ 114. The engineer most concerned in the construction of this machine,
the Right Hon. Robert Lowe, announced that there could be “no such thing
as a science of education;” and as when we have no opinion of our own
we always adopt the opinion of some positive person, we took his word
for it. But what if the confident Mr. Lowe was mistaken? What if there
_is_ such a science, and the aim of it is that children should grow up
not so much to _know_ something as to _be_ something? In this case we
shall be obliged sooner or later to give up Mr. Lowe and to come round to
Pestalozzi.[172] Science is correct inferences drawn from the facts of
the universe; and where such science exists, confident assertions that
it does not and cannot exist are dangerous for the confident persons and
for those who follow them. Even if “there is no such thing as a science
of education,” such a thing as _education_ there is; and this is just
what Mr. Lowe, and we may say the English, practically deny. They make
arrangements for instruction and mete out “the grant” according to the
results obtained, but they totally fail to conceive of the existence of
_education_, education which has instruction among its various agents.

§ 115. In one respect the analogy between the educator and child and
the gardener and plant, an analogy in which Pestalozzi no less than
Froebel delighted, entirely breaks down. The gardener has to study the
conditions necessary for the health and development of the plant, but
these conditions lie outside his own life and are independent of it. With
the educator it is different. Like the gardener he can create nothing
in the child, but unlike the gardener he can further the development
only of that which exists in himself. He _draws out_ in the young
the intelligence and the sense of what is just, the love of what is
beautiful, the admiration of what is noble, but this he can do only
by his own intelligence and his own enthusiasm for what is just and
beautiful and noble. Even industry is in many cases _caught_ from the
teacher. In a volume of essays (originally published in the _Forum_),
in which some men, distinguished as scholars or in literature in the
United States, have given an account of their early years, we find that
almost in every case they date their intellectual industry and growth
from the time when they came under the influence of some inspiring
teacher. Thus even for instruction and still more for education, the
great force is _the teacher_. This is a truth which all our “parties”
overlook. They wage their controversies and have their triumphs and
defeats about unessentials, and leave the essentials to “crotchety
educationists.” In such questions as whether the Church Catechism shall
or shall not be taught, whether natural science shall or shall not figure
in the time-table (without scientific teachers it can figure nowhere
else), whether the parents or the Government shall pay for each child
twopence or threepence a week, whether the ratepayers shall or shall
not be “represented” among the Managers in “voluntary” schools, in all
questions of this kind _education_ is not concerned; and yet these are
the only questions that we think about. In the end it will perhaps dawn
upon us that in every school what is important for education is not
the time-table but the teacher, and that so far as pupil-teachers are
employed education is impossible. Elsewhere (_infra_ p. 476) I have told
of a man in the prime of life (he seemed between 40 and 50 years old)
whose time was entirely taken up in teaching a large class of children,
boys and girls, of six or seven years. He most certainly could and did
educate them both in heart and mind. He made their lessons a delightful
occupation to them, and he exercised over them the influence of a good
and wise father. Here was the right system seen at its best. I do not
say that all or even most adult teachers would have exercised so good
an influence as this gentleman; but so far as they come up to what they
ought to be and might be they do exercise such an influence. And this of
course can be said of no _pupil_-teacher.

§ 116. As regards schools then, schools for the rich and schools for the
poor, the great educating force is the personality of the teacher. Before
we can have Pestalozzian schools we must have Pestalozzian teachers.
Teachers must catch something of Pestalozzi’s spirit and enter into his
conception of their task. Perhaps some of them will feel inclined to
say: “Fine words, no doubt, and in a sense very true, that education
should be the unfolding of the faculties according to the Divine idea;
but between this high poetical theory and the dull prose of actual
school-teaching, there is a great gulf fixed, and we cannot attend to
both at the same time.” I know full well the difference there is between
theories and plans of education as they seem to us when we are at leisure
and can think of them without reference to particular pupils, and when
all our energy is taxed to get through our day’s teaching, and our
animal spirits jaded by having to keep order and exact attention among
veritable schoolboys who do not answer in all respects to “the young”
of the theorists. But whilst admitting most heartily the difference
here, as elsewhere, between the actual and the ideal, I think that
the dull prose of school-teaching would be less dull and less prosaic
if our aim was higher, and if we did not contentedly assume that our
present performances are as good as the nature of the case will admit
of. Many teachers (perhaps I may say most) are discontented with the
greater number of their pupils, but it is not so usual for teachers to be
discontented with themselves. And yet even those who are most averse from
theoretical views, which they call unpractical, would admit, as practical
men, that their methods are probably susceptible of improvement, and that
even if their methods are right, they themselves are by no means perfect
teachers. Only let the _desire_ of improvement once exist, and the
teacher will find a new interest in his work. In part, the treadmill-like
monotony so wearing to the spirits will be done away, and he will at
times have the encouragement of conscious progress. To a man thus
minded, theorists may be of great assistance. His practical knowledge
may, indeed, often show him the absurdity of some pompously enunciated
principle, and even where the principles seem sound, he may smile at
the applications. But the theorists will show him many aspects of his
profession, and will lead him to make many observations in it, which
would otherwise have escaped him. They will save him from a danger caused
by the difficulty of getting anything done in the school-room, the danger
of thinking more of means than ends. They will teach him to examine what
his aim really is, and then whether he is using the most suitable methods
to accomplish it.

Such a theorist is Pestalozzi. He points to a high ideal, and bids us
measure our modes of education by it. Let us not forget that if we are
practical men we are Christians, and as such the ideal set before us is
the highest of all. “Be ye perfect, even as your Father in heaven is

    The Pestalozzian literature in German and even in French is now
    considerable, but it is still small in English. The book I have
    made most use of is _Histoire de Pestalozzi par R. de Guimps_
    (Lausanne, Bridel), with its translation by John Russell
    (London: Sonnenschein. Appleton’s: N. Yk.). In Henry Barnard’s
    _Pestalozzi and Pestalozzianism_ are collected some good
    papers, among them Tilleard’s trans. from Raumer. We also have
    H. Kruesi’s _Pestalozzi_ (Cincinatti: Wilson, Hinkle, & Co.). I
    have already mentioned Miss Channing’s _Leonard and Gertrude_.
    The _Letters to Greaves_ are now out of print. A complete
    account of Pestalozzi and everything connected with him,
    bibliography included, is given in M. J. Guillaume’s article
    _Pestalozzi_, in Buisson’s _Dictionnaire de Pédagogie_. (See
    also _Pestalozzi_ par J. Guillaume (Hachette) just published.)




§ 1. I now approach the most difficult part of my subject. I have
endeavoured to give some account of the lessons taught us by the chief
Educational Reformers. No doubt my selection of these has been made in a
fashion somewhat arbitrary, and there are names which do not appear and
yet might reasonably be looked for if all the chief Educational Reformers
were supposed to be included. But the plan of my book has restricted
me to a few, and I am by no means sure that some to whom I have given
a chapter are as worthy of it as some to whom I have not. I have in a
measure been guided by fancy and even by chance. One man, however, I dare
not leave out. All the best tendencies of modern thought on education
seem to me to culminate in what was said and done by Friedrich Froebel,
and I have little doubt that he has shown the right road for further
advance. Of what he said and did I therefore feel bound to give the
best account I can, but I am well aware that I shall fail, even more
conspicuously than in other cases, to do him justice. There are some
great men who seem to have access to a world from which we ordinary
mortals are shut out. Like Moses “they go up into the Mount,” and the
directions they give us are based upon what they have seen in it. But we
cannot go up with them; so we feel that we very imperfectly understand
them; and when there can be not the smallest doubt of their sincerity
we at times hesitate about the nature of their visions. For myself I
must admit that I very imperfectly understand Froebel. I am convinced,
as I said, that he has pointed out the right road for our advance in
education; but he was perhaps right in saying: “Centuries may yet pass
before my view of the human creature as manifested in the child, and of
the educational treatment it requires, are universally received.” It
has already taken centuries to recover from the mistakes made at the
Renascence. For the full attainment of Froebel’s standpoint perhaps a few
additional centuries may be necessary.

§ 2. Friedrich Wilhelm August Froebel[173] was born at Oberweissbach, a
village of the Thuringian Forest, on the 21st April, 1783. He completed
his seventieth year, and died at Marienthal, near Bad-Liebenstein, on the
21st June, 1852. Like Comenius, with whom he had much in common, he was
neglected in his youth; and the remembrance of his own early sufferings
made him in after life the more eager in promoting the happiness of
children. His mother he lost in his infancy, and his father, the pastor
of Oberweissbach and the surrounding district, attended to his parish
but not to his family. Friedrich soon had a stepmother, and neglect was
succeeded by stepmotherly attention; but a maternal uncle took pity on
him, and for some years gave him a home a few miles off at Stadt-Ilm.
Here he went to the village school, but like many thoughtful boys he
passed for a dunce. Throughout life he was always seeking for hidden
connexions and an underlying unity in all things. In his own words: “Man,
particularly in boyhood, should become intimate with nature—not so much
with reference to the details and the outer forms of her phenomena as
with reference to the Spirit of God that lives in her and rules over
her. Indeed, the boy feels this deeply and demands it” (_Ed. of M._,
Hailmann’s trans., p. 162). But nothing of this unity was to be perceived
in the piecemeal studies of the school; so Froebel’s mind, busy as it
was for itself, would not work for the masters. His half-brother was
therefore thought more worthy of a university education, and Friedrich
was apprenticed for two years to a forester (1797-1799). Left to himself
in the Thuringian Forest, Froebel now began to “become intimate with
nature;” and without scientific instruction he obtained a profound
insight into the uniformity and essential unity of nature’s laws.
Years afterwards the celebrated Jahn (the “Father Jahn” of the German
gymnasts) told a Berlin student of a queer fellow he had met, who made
out all sorts of wonderful things from stones and cobwebs. This “queer
fellow” was Froebel; and the habit of making out general truths from the
observation of nature, especially of plants and trees, dated from his
solitary rambles in the Forest. No training could have been better suited
to strengthen his inborn tendency to mysticism; and when he left the
Forest at the early age of seventeen, he seems to have been possessed by
the main ideas which influenced him all his life. The conception which
in him dominated all others was the _unity of nature_; and he longed to
study natural sciences that he might find in them various applications
of nature’s universal laws. With great difficulty he got leave to join
his elder brother at the university of Jena; and there for a year he
went from lecture-room to lecture-room hoping to grasp that connexion of
the sciences which had for him far more attraction than any particular
science in itself. But Froebel’s allowance of money was very small, and
his skill in the management of money was never great; so his university
career ended in an imprisonment of nine weeks for a debt of thirty
shillings. He then returned home with very poor prospects, but much more
intent on what he calls the course of “self-completion” (_Vervollkommnung
meines selbst_) than on “getting on” in a worldly point of view. He
was soon sent to learn farming, but was recalled in consequence of the
failing health of his father. In 1802 the father died, and Froebel, now
twenty years old, had to shift for himself. It was some time before he
found his true vocation, and for the next three-and-a half years we
find him at work now in one part of Germany now in another,—sometimes
land-surveying, sometimes acting as accountant, sometimes as private

§ 3. But in all this his “outer life was far removed from his inner
life.” “I carried my own world within me,” he tells us, “and this it
was for which I cared and which I cherished.” In spite of his outward
circumstances he became more and more conscious that a great task lay
before him for the good of humanity; and this consciousness proved fatal
to his “settling down.” “To thee may Fate soon give a settled hearth and
a loving wife” (thus he wrote in a friend’s album in 1805); “me let it
keep wandering without rest, and allow only time to learn aright my true
relation to the world and to my own inner being. Do thou give bread to
men; be it my effort to give men to themselves” (K. Schmidt’s _Gesch. d.
Päd._, 3rd ed. by Lange, vol. iv, p. 277).

§ 4. As yet the nature of the task was not clear to him, and it
seemed determined by accident. While studying architecture in
Frankfort-on-the-Main, he became acquainted with the director of a model
school who had caught some of the enthusiasm of Pestalozzi. This friend
saw that Froebel’s true field was education, and he persuaded him to give
up architecture and take a post in the model school. “The very first
time,” he says, “that I found myself before thirty or forty boys, I felt
thoroughly at home. In fact, I perceived that I had at last found my
long-missed life-element; and I wrote to my brother that I was as well
pleased as the fish in the water: I was inexpressibly happy.”

§ 5. In this school Froebel worked for two years with remarkable success;
but he felt more and more his need of preparation, so he then retired
and undertook the education of three lads of one family. Even in this he
could not satisfy himself, and he obtained the parents’ consent to his
taking the boys to Yverdun, and there forming with them a part of the
celebrated institution of Pestalozzi. Thus from 1807 till 1809 Froebel
was drinking in Pestalozzianism at the fountain head, and qualifying
himself to carry on the work which Pestalozzi had begun. For the science
of education had to deduce from Pestalozzi’s experience principles
which Pestalozzi himself could not deduce; and “Froebel, 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, Froebel 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” (Schmidt’s _Gesch. d. Päd._).

§ 6. Holding that man and nature, inasmuch as they proceed from the
same Source, must be governed by the same laws, Froebel longed for more
knowledge of natural science. Even Pestalozzi seemed to him not to
“honour science in her divinity.” He therefore determined to continue
the university course which had been so rudely interrupted eleven years
before, and in 1811 he began studying at Göttingen, whence he proceeded
to Berlin. In his Autobiography he tells us: “The lectures for which I
had so longed really came up to the needs of my mind and soul, and made
me feel more fervently than ever the certainty of the demonstrable inner
connexion of the whole cosmical development of the universe. I saw also
the possibility of man’s becoming conscious of this absolute unity of the
universe, as well as of the diversity of things and appearances which is
perpetually unfolding itself within that unity; and then when I had made
clear to myself, and brought fully home to my consciousness the view that
the infinitely varied phenomena in man’s life, work, thought, feeling,
and position were all summed up in the unity of his personal existence I
felt myself able to turn my thoughts once more to educational problems”
(_Autob._ trans. by Michaelis and Moore, p. 89).

But again his studies were interrupted, this time by the king of
Prussia’s celebrated call “To my people.” Though not a Prussian, Froebel
was heart and soul a German. He therefore responded to the call, enlisted
in Lützow’s corps, and went through the campaign of 1813. His military
ardour, however, did not take his mind off education. “Everywhere,” he
writes, “as far as the fatigues I underwent allowed, I carried in my
thoughts my future calling as educator; yes, even in the few engagements
in which I had to take part. Even in these I could gather experience
for the task I proposed to myself.” Froebel’s soldiering showed him the
value of discipline and united action, how the individual belongs not
to himself but to the whole body, and how the whole body supports the

Froebel was rewarded for his patriotism by the friendship of two
men whose names will always be associated with his, Langethal and
Middendorff. These young men, ten years younger than Froebel, became
attached to him in the field, and were ever afterwards his devoted
followers, sacrificing all their prospects in life for the sake of
carrying out his ideas.

§ 7. At the peace of Fontainebleau (signed in May, 1814) Froebel
returned to Berlin, and became curator of the Museum of Mineralogy under
Professor Weiss. In accepting this appointment from the Government he
seemed to turn aside from his work as educator; but if not teaching he
was learning. The unity of nature and human nature seemed more and more
to reveal itself to him. Of the days past in the museum he afterwards
wrote: “Here was I at the central point of my life and strife, where
inner working and law, where life, nature, and mathematics were united
in the fixed crystaline form, where a world of symbols lay open to the
inner eye.” Again he says: “The stones in my hand and under my eye became
speaking forms. The world of crystals declared to me the life and laws of
life of man, and in still but real and sensible speech taught the true
life of humanity.” “Geology and crystallography not only opened for me
a higher circle of knowledge and insight, but also showed me a higher
goal for my inquiry, my speculation, and my endeavour. Nature and man now
seemed to me mutually to explain each other through all their numberless
various stages of development. Man, as I saw, receives from a knowledge
of natural objects, even because of their immense deep-seated diversity,
a foundation for and a guidance towards a knowledge of himself and life,
and a preparation for the manifestation of that knowledge” (_Autob._
_ut supra_, p. 97). More and more the thought possessed him that the
one thing needful for man was unity of development, perfect evolution
in accordance with the laws of his being, such evolution as science
discovers in the other organisms of nature.

§ 8. He at first intended to become a teacher of natural science, but
before long wider views dawned upon him. Langethal and Middendorff were
in Berlin, engaged in tuition. Froebel gave them regular instruction in
his theory, and at length, counting on their support, he resolved to
set about realising his own idea of “the new education.” This was in
1816. Three years before one of his brothers, a clergyman, had died of
fever caught from the French prisoners. His widow was still living in
the parsonage at Griesheim, a village on the Ilm. Froebel gave up his
post in Berlin, and set out for Griesheim on foot, spending his very
last groschen on the way for bread. Here he undertook the education of
his orphan niece and nephews, and also of two more nephews sent him by
another brother. With these he opened a school, and wrote to Middendorff
and Langethal to come and help in the experiment. Middendorff came at
once, Langethal a year or two later, when the school had been moved to
Keilhau, another of the Thuringian villages, which became the Mecca of
the new faith. In Keilhau, Froebel, Langethal, Middendorff, and Barop,
a relation of Middendorff’s, all married and formed an educational
community. Such zeal could not be fruitless, and the school gradually
increased, though for many years its teachers, with Froebel at their
head, were in the greatest straits for money, and at times even for
food. Karl Froebel, who was brought up in the school, tells how, on one
occasion, he and the other children were sent to ramble in the woods
till some of the seed-corn provided for the coming year had been turned
into bread for them. Besides these difficulties the community suffered
from the panic and reaction after the murder of Kotzebue (1819), and
were persecuted as a nest of demagogues. But “the New Education” was
sufficiently successful to attract notice from all quarters; and when he
had been ten years at Keilhau (1826) Froebel published his great work,
_The Education of Man_.

§ 9. Four years later he determined to start other institutions in
connexion with the parent institution at Keilhau; and being offered by
a private friend the use of a castle on the Wartensee, in the canton of
Lucerne, he left Keilhau under the direction of Barop, and with Langethal
made a settlement in Switzerland. The ground, however, was very ill
chosen. The Catholic clergy resisted what they considered as a Protestant
invasion, and the experiment on the Wartensee and at Willisau in the
same canton, to which the institution was moved in 1833, never had a
fair chance. It was in vain that Middendorff at Froebel’s call left his
wife and family at Keilhau, and laboured for four years in Switzerland
without once seeing them. The Swiss institution never flourished. But
the Swiss Government wished to turn to account the presence of the great
educator; so young teachers were sent to Froebel for instruction, and
finally he removed to Burgdorf (a town already famous from Pestalozzi’s
labours there thirty years earlier) to undertake the establishment of
a public orphanage, and also to superintend a course of teaching for
schoolmasters. The elementary teachers of the canton were to spend three
months every alternate year at Burgdorf, and there compare experiences,
and learn of distinguished men such as Froebel and Bitzius.

§ 10. In his conferences with these teachers Froebel found that the
schools suffered from the state of the raw material brought into them.
Till the school age was reached the children were entirely neglected.
Froebel’s conception of harmonious development naturally led him to
attach much importance to the earliest years, and his great work on _The
Education of Man_, published as early as 1826, deals chiefly with the
education of children. At Burgdorf his thoughts were much occupied with
the proper treatment of _young_ children, and in scheming for them a
graduated course of exercises modelled on the games in which he observed
them to be most interested. In his eagerness to carry out his new plans
he grew impatient of official restraints; and partly from this reason,
partly on account of his wife’s ill health, he left Burgdorf without even
actually becoming “Waisenvater” (father of the orphans).[174] After a
sojourn of some months in Berlin, where he was detained through family
affairs, but used the opportunities thus afforded of examining the
recently founded infant schools, Froebel returned to Keilhau, and soon
afterwards opened the first _Kindergarten_, or “Garden of Children,”
in the neighbouring village of Blankenburg (A.D. 1837). Not only the
thing but the name seemed to Froebel a happy inspiration, and it has
now become inseparably connected with his own. Perhaps we can hardly
understand the pleasure he took in it unless we know its predecessor,

§ 11. Firmly convinced of the importance of the Kindergarten for the
whole human race, Froebel described his system in a weekly paper (his
_Sonntagsblatt_) which appeared from the middle of 1837 till 1840. He
also lectured in great towns; and he gave a regular course of instruction
to young teachers at Blankenburg.

§ 12. But although the principles of the Kindergarten were gradually
making their way, the first Kindergarten was failing for want of funds.
It had to be given up; and Froebel, now a widower (he had lost his wife
in 1839), carried on his course for teachers first at Keilhau, and from
1848, for the last four years of his life, at or near Liebenstein, in
the Thuringian Forest, and in the duchy of Meiningen. It is in these
last years that the man Froebel will be best known to posterity; for in
1849 be attracted within the circle of his influence a woman of great
intellectual power, the Baroness von Marenholtz-Bülow, who has given us
in her _Recollections of Friedrich Froebel_ the only life-like portrait
we possess. In these records of personal intercourse we see the truth
of Deinhardt’s words: “The living perception of universal and ideal
truth which his talk revealed to us, his unbounded enthusiasm for the
education and happiness of the human race, his willingness to offer up
everything he possessed for the sake of his idea, the stream of thoughts
which flowed from his enthusiasm for the ideal as from an inexhaustible
fountain, all these made Froebel a wonderful appearance in the world, by
whom no unprejudiced spectator could fail to be attracted and elevated.”

§ 13. These seemed likely to be Froebel’s most peaceful days. He married
again; and having now devoted himself to the training of women as
educators, he spent his time in instructing his class of young female
teachers. But trouble came upon him from a quarter whence he least
expected it. In the great year of revolutions, 1848, Froebel had hoped to
turn to account the general eagerness for improvement, and Middendorff
had presented an address on Kindergartens to the German Parliament.
Besides this a nephew of Froebel’s published books which were supposed
to teach socialism. True the uncle and nephew differed so widely that
“the New Froebelians” were the enemies of the “Old.” But the distinction
was overlooked, and Friedrich and Karl Froebel were regarded as the
united advocates of “some new thing.” In the reaction which soon set
in, Froebel found himself suspected of socialism and irreligion; and
in 1851 the _Cultus-minister_ Raumer issued an edict forbidding the
establishment of schools “after Friedrich and Karl Froebel’s principles”
in Prussia. It was in vain that Froebel proved that his principles
differed fundamentally from his nephew’s. It was in vain that a congress
of schoolmasters, presided over by the celebrated Diesterweg, protested
against the calumnious decree. The Minister turned a deaf ear, and the
decree remained in force ten years after the death of Froebel (_i.e._,
till 1862). But the edict was a heavy blow to the old man, who looked to
the Government of the “_Cultus-staat_” Prussia for support, and was met
with denunciation. Of the justice of the charge brought by the Minister
against Froebel the reader may judge from the account of his principles
given below.

Whether from the worry of this new controversy, or from whatever cause,
Froebel did not long survive the decree. His seventieth birthday was
celebrated with great rejoicings in May, 1852, but he died in the
following month, and lies buried at Schweina, a village near his last
abode, Marienthal.

§ 14. Throughout these essays my object has been to collect what seemed
to me the most valuable lessons of various Reformers. In doing this I
have had to judge and decide what was most valuable, and at times to
criticise and differ from my authorities. This may perhaps give rise
to the question, Do you then think yourself the superior or at least
the equal of the great men you criticise? and I could only reply in all
sincerity, I most certainly do not. If I am asked further, what then is
my attitude towards them? I reply, it differs very much with different
individuals. I cannot say I am prepared to sit at the feet of Mulcaster,
or Dury, or Petty. In writing of these men I simply point out very early
expression of ideas that following generations have developed partially
and we are developing still. When we come to the great leaders we see
among them men like Comenius who unite a thorough study of what has
already been thought and done with a genius for original thinking, men
like Locke with splendid intellectual gifts and a power of happy and
clear expression, men like Rousseau with a talent for shaking themselves
free from “custom”—custom which “lies upon us with a weight, Heavy as
frost and deep almost as life,” and besides this (in his case at least)
endowed with a voice to be heard throughout the world. Then again we
have men like Pestalozzi who with a genius for investigating, devote
their lives to the investigation, and men like Froebel who seem to
penetrate to a region above us or at least beyond us, and to talk about
it in language which at times only partially conveys a meaning. From all
these men we have much to learn; and that we may do this we must come as
learners to them. When we thus come we find that the great lessons they
teach become clearer and clearer as each takes up wholly or in part what
has been taught by his predecessors and adds to it. Some of these lessons
we may now receive as established truths and seek to conform our practice
to them. But in following our leaders we dare not close our eyes. Before
we can know anything we must see it, as Locke says, with our mind’s eye.
The great thing is to keep the eye of the mind wide open and always on
the lookout for truth. Acting on this conviction I have not blindly
accepted the dicta even of the greatest men but have selected those of
their lessons which are taught if not by all at least by most of them,
and which also seem to evoke “the spontaneous spring of the intelligence
towards truth” (see p. 362, _supra_).

§ 15. In reading Froebel however I am conscious that this “spring” is
wanting. Before one can accept teaching one must at least understand it,
and this preliminary is not always possible when we would learn from
Froebel. At times he goes entirely out of sight, and whether the words
we hear are the expression of deep truth or have absolutely no meaning
at all, I for my part am at times totally unable to determine. But where
I can understand him he seems to me singularly wise; and working in the
same lines as Pestalozzi he in some respects advances far beyond his
great predecessor.

§ 16. Both these men were devotees of science; but instead of finding
in science anything antagonistic to religion they looked upon science
as the expression of the mind of God. Their belief was just that which
Sir Thomas Browne had uttered more than 200 years before in the _Religio
Medici_: “Though we christen effects by their most sensible and nearest
causes yet is God the true and infallible cause of all, whose concourse
[_i.e._, concurrence, co-operation] though it be general, yet doth it
subdivide itself into the particular actions of everything, and is that
spirit by which each singular essence not only subsists but performs its
operation.”[175] With this belief Froebel sought to trace everything back
to the central Unity, to God. The author of the _De Imitatione Christi_
has said: “The man to whom all things are one, who refers all things to
one and sees all things in one, he can stand firm and be at peace in
God. Cui omnia unum sunt, et qui omnia ad unum trahit, et omnia in uno
videt, potest stabilis esse et in Deo pacificus permanere” (_De Im. Xti._
lib. i; cap. 3, § 2). So thought Froebel, and his great longing was to
refer all things to one and see all things in one. However little we may
share this longing we must admit that it is a natural outcome from the
Christian religion. If there is One in Whom all “live and move and have
their being,” everything should be referred to Him. As Froebel says, “In
Allem wirkt und schafft _Ein_ Leben, Weil das Leben All’ ein einz’ger
Gott gegeben. (In everything there works and stirs _one_ life, because
to all One God has given life.)” So long then as we remain Christians we
must agree with Froebel that all true education is founded on Religion.
Perhaps in the end we may adopt his high ideal and say with him,
“Education should lead and guide man to clearness concerning himself and
in himself, to peace with nature, and to unity with God; hence, it should
lift him to a knowledge of himself and of mankind, to a knowledge of God
and of Nature, and to the pure and holy life to which such knowledge
leads.” (_E. of M._, Hailmann’s t., 5.) “The object of education is the
realization of a faithful, pure, inviolate, and hence holy life” (_Ib._

§ 17. This is indeed a high ideal: and we naturally ask, If we would work
towards it what road would Froebel point out to us? This brings us to his
theory of development or, as it has been called since Darwin, evolution.
The idea of organic growth was first definitely applied to the young by
Pestalozzi, but it was more clearly and consistently applied by Froebel.
It has gone forth conquering and to conquer; and though far indeed from
being accepted by the teaching profession of this age, it is likely
to have a vast influence on the practice of those who will come after
them. I therefore give the following statement of it, which seems to me

“The first thing to note in the idea of development is that it indicates,
not an increase in bulk or quantity (though it may include this), but
an increase in complexity of structure, an improvement in power, skill,
and variety in the performance of natural functions. We say that a thing
is fully developed when its internal organisation is perfect in every
detail, and when it can perform all its natural actions or functions
perfectly. If we apply this distinction to mind, an increase in bulk
will be represented by an increase in the amount of material retained
in the mind, in the memory; development will be a perfecting of the
structure of the mind itself, an increase of power and skill and variety
in dealing with knowledge, and in putting knowledge to all its natural
uses. The next thing to consider is how this development is produced.
How can we aid in promoting this change from germ to complete organism,
from partially developed thing to more highly developed thing? The
answer comes from every part of creation with ever-increasing clearness
and emphasis—development is produced by exercise of function, use of
faculty. Neglect or disuse of any part of an organism leads to the
dwindling, and sometimes even to the disappearance, of that part. And
this applies not only to individuals, but stretches also from parent to
child, from generation to generation, constituting then what we call
heredity, or what Froebel calls the connectedness of humanity. Slowly
through successive generations a faculty or organ may dwindle and decay,
or may be brought to greater and greater perfection. As Froebel puts
it, humanity past, present, and future is one continuous whole. The
_amount_ of development, then, possible in any particular case plainly
depends partly on the original outfit, and partly (and as a rule in a
greater measure) on the opportunities there have been for exercise, and
the use made of those opportunities. If we wish to develop the hand, we
must exercise the hand. If we wish to develop the body, we must exercise
the body. If we wish to develop the mind, we must exercise the mind.
If we wish to develop the _whole_ human being, we must _exercise the
whole_ human being. But will _any_ exercise suffice? Again the answer
is clear. Only that exercise which is always in harmony with the nature
of the thing, and which is always proportioned to the strength of the
thing, produces true development. All other exercise is partially or
wholly hurtful. And another condition, evident in every case, becomes
still more evident when we apply these laws to the mind. To produce
development most truly and effectively, the exercise must arise from
and be sustained by the thing’s own activity—its own natural powers,
and all of them (as far as these are in _any_ sense connected with the
activity proposed) should be awakened and become naturally active. If,
for instance, we desire to further the development of a plant, what we
have to do is to induce the plant (and the whole of it) to become active
in its own natural way, and to help it to sustain that activity. We may
abridge the time; we may modify the result; but we must act through and
by the plant’s own activity. This activity of a thing’s own self we call
_self-activity_ (_E. of M._, § 9). We generally consider the mind in the
light of its three activities of _knowing, feeling, and willing_. The
exercise which aims at producing mental development must be in harmony
with the nature of _knowing_, _feeling_, and _willing_, and continually
in proportion to their strength. And, further, it is found that the more
the activity is that of the _whole_ mind, the more it is the mind’s _own_
activity—self-produced, and self-maintained, and self-directed—the better
is the result. In other words, knowing, feeling, and willing must _all_
take their rightful share in the exercise; and, in particular, feeling
and willing—the mind’s powers of prompting and nourishing, of maintaining
and directing its own activities—must never be neglected” (H. C. Bowen on
_Ed. of M._).

§ 18. “A divine message or eternal regulation of the Universe there
verily is, in regard to every conceivable procedure and affair of man;
faithfully following this, said procedure or affair will prosper ... not
following this ... destruction and wreck are certain for every affair.”
These words of Carlyle’s express Froebel’s thought about education.
Before attempting to educate we must do all we can to ascertain the
divine message and must then direct our proceedings by it. The divine
message must be learnt according to Froebel by studying the nature of the
organism we have to assist in developing. Each human being must “develop
from within, self-active and free, in accordance with the eternal law.
This is the problem and the aim of all education in instruction and
training; there can be and should be no other” (_Ed. of M._, 13). For
“all has come forth from the Divine, from God, and is through God alone
conditioned. To this it is that all things owe their existence—to the
Divine working in them. The Divine element that works in each thing is
the true idea (_das Wesen_) of the thing.” Therefore “the destiny and
calling of all things is to develop their true idea, and in so doing to
reveal God in outward and through passing forms.”

§19. What we must think of then is the “true idea” which each child
should develop. How is this idea to be ascertained? In other words, how
are we to learn the Divine Message about the bringing up of children?
This Message is given us through the works of God. “In the creation,
in nature and the order of the material world, and in the progress of
mankind, God has given us the true type (_Urbild_) of education.”

§ 20. So Froebel would have all educators lay to heart the great
principle of the Baconian philosophy: We command Nature only by obeying
her. They are to be very cautious how they interfere, and the education
they give is to be “passive, following.” Even in teaching they must bear
in mind, that “the purpose of teaching is to bring ever more _out of_
man rather than to put more and more _into_ him.” (_Ed. of M._, 279.)
Froebel in fact taught the Pestalozzian doctrine that the function of the
educator was that of “benevolent superintendence.”[176]

§21. But if Froebel would thus limit the action of the educator he would
greatly extend the action of those educated; and here we see the great
principle with which the name of Froebel is likely to be permanently
associated. “The starting-point of all that appears, of all that exists,
and therefore of all intellectual conception, is act, action. From
the act, from action, must therefore start true human education, the
developing education of the man; in action, in acting, it must be rooted
and must spring up.... Living, acting, conceiving,—these must form a
triple chord within every child of man, though the sound now of this
string, now of that, may preponderate, and then again of two together.”

§ 22. Many thinkers before Froebel had seen the transcendent importance
of action; but Froebel not only based everything upon it, but he based
it upon God. “God creates and works productively in uninterrupted
continuity. Each thought of God is a work, a deed” (_Ed. of M._, § 23).
As Jesus has said: “My Father worketh hitherto and I work” (St. John v,
17). From this it follows that, since God created man in his own image,
“man should create and bring forth like God” (_Ed. of M._, _ib._). “He
who will early learn to recognise the Creator must early exercise his own
power of action with the consciousness that he is bringing about what
is good; for the doing good is the link between the creature and the
Creator, and the conscious doing of it the conscious connexion, the true
living union of the man with God, of the individual man as of the human
race, and is therefore at once the starting point and the eternal aim of
all education.” Elsewhere he says: “We become truly God-like in diligence
and industry, in working and doing, which are accompanied by the clear
perception or even by the vaguest feeling that thereby we represent the
inner in the outer; that we give body to spirit, and form to thought;
that we render visible the invisible; that we impart an outward, finite,
transient being to life in the spirit. Through this God-likeness we rise
more and more to a true knowledge of God, to insight into His Spirit;
and thus, inwardly and outwardly, God comes ever nearer to us. Therefore
Jesus says of the poor, ‘Theirs is the kingdom of heaven,’ if they
could but see and know it and practice it in diligence and industry, in
productive and creative work. Of children too is the kingdom of heaven;
for unchecked by the presumption and conceit of adults they yield
themselves in child-like trust and cheerfulness to their formative and
creative instinct” (_Ed. of M._, § 23. P. 31).

§ 23. This “formative and creative instinct” which as we must suppose
has existed in all children in all nations and in all ages of the world,
Froebel was the first to take duly into account for education. Pestalozzi
saw the importance of getting children to _think_, and to think about
their material surroundings. These the child can observe and search into;
and in doing this he may discover what is not at first obvious to sight
or touch and may even ascertain relations between the several parts of
the same thing or connexions between different things compared together.
All these discoveries may be made by the child’s self-activity, but
only on one condition, viz.: that the child is interested. But in the
search interest soon flags and then observation comes to an end. Besides,
even while it lasts in full vigour the activity is mental only; it is
concerned with perceiving, taking in; and for development something more
is needed; the organism must not only take in, it must also _give out_.
And so we find in children a restless eagerness to touch, pull about,
and change the condition of things around them. When this activity of
theirs, instead of being checked is properly directed, the children are
delighted in recognising desirable results which they themselves have
brought about; especially those which give expression to what is their
own thought. In this way the child “renders the inner outer;” and in thus
satisfying his creative instinct he is led to exercise some faculties
both of mind and body.

§ 24. The prominence which Froebel gave to action, his doctrine that
man is primarily a doer and even a creator, and that he learns only
through “self-activity,” may produce great changes in educational methods
generally, and not simply in the treatment of children too young for
schooling. But it was to the first stage of life that Froebel paid the
greatest attention, and it is over this stage that his influence is
gradually extending. Froebel held that each age has a completeness of
its own (“First the blade, then the ear, then the full corn in the
ear”), and that the perfection of the later stage can be attained only
through the perfection of the earlier. If the infant is what he should
be as an infant, and the child as a child, he will become what he should
be as a boy, just as naturally as new shoots spring from the healthy
plant. Every stage, then, must be cared for and tended in such a way
that it may attain its own perfection. But as Bacon says with reference
to education, the gardener bestows most care on the young plants, and it
was “the young plants” for whom Froebel designed his Kindergarten. Like
Pestalozzi he attached the very highest importance to giving instruction
to mothers. But he would not like Pestalozzi leave young children
entirely in the mother’s hands. There was something to be done for them
which even the ideal mother in the ideal family could not do. Pestalozzi
held that the child belonged to the family. Fichte on the other hand
claimed it for society and the state. Froebel, whose mind, like that of
our own theologian Frederick Maurice, delighted in harmonising apparent
contradictions, and who taught that “all progress lay through opposites
to their reconciliation,” maintained that the child belongs both to the
family and to society; and he would therefore have children prepare
for society by spending some hours of the day in a common life and in
well-organised common employments.

§ 25. His study of children showed him that one of their most striking
characteristics was restlessness. This was, first, restlessness of body,
delight in mere motion of the limbs; and, secondly, restlessness of
mind, a constant curiosity about whatever came within the range of the
senses, and especially a desire to examine with the hand every unknown
object within reach.[177] Children’s fondness for using their hands
was especially noted by Froebel; and he found that they delighted, not
merely in examining by touch, but also in altering whatever they could
alter, and further that they endeavoured to imitate known forms whether
by drawing or whenever they could get any kind of plastic material by
modelling. Besides remarking in them these various activities, he saw
that children were sociable and needed the sympathy of companions. There
was, too, in them a growing moral nature, passions, affections, and
conscience, which needed to be controlled, responded to, cultivated.
Both the restraints and the opportunities incident to a well-organised
community would be beneficial to their moral nature, and prove a cure for

§ 26. As all education was to be sought in rightly directed but
spontaneous action, Froebel considered how the children in this community
should be employed. At that age their most natural employment is play,
especially as Wordsworth has pointed out, games in which they imitate
and “con the parts” they themselves will have to fill in after years.
Froebel agreed with Montaigne that the games of children were “their most
serious occupations,” and with Locke that “all the plays and diversions
of children should be directed towards good and useful habits, or else
they will introduce ill ones” (_Th. c. Ed._, § 130). So he invented a
course of occupations, a great part of which consisted in social games.
Many of the names are connected with the “Gifts,” as he called the series
of simple playthings provided for the children, the first being the ball,
“the type of unity.” The “gifts” are chiefly not mere playthings but
materials which the children work up in their own way, thus gaining scope
for their power of doing and inventing and creating. The artistic faculty
was much thought of by Froebel, and, as in the education of the ancients,
the sense of rhythm in sound and motion was cultivated by music and
poetry introduced in the games. Much care was to be given to the training
of the senses, especially those of sight, sound, and touch. Intuition
(_Anschauung_) was to be recognised as the true basis of knowledge, and
though stories were to be told, and there was to be much intercourse in
the way of social chat, instruction of the imparting and “learning-up”
kind was to be excluded. There was to be no “dead knowledge;” in fact
Froebel like Pestalozzi endeavoured to do for the child what Bacon
nearly 200 years before had done for the philosopher. Bacon showed the
philosopher that the way to study Nature was not to learn what others had
surmised but to go straight to Nature and use his own senses and his own
powers of observation. Pestalozzi and Froebel wished children to learn in
this way as well as philosophers.

§ 27. Schools for very young children existed before Froebel’s
Kindergarten, but they had been thought of more in the interest of the
mothers than of the children. It was for the sake of the mothers that
Oberlin established them in the Vosges more than a century ago, his
first _Conductrices de l’Enfance_ being peasant women, Sara Banzet and
Louise Scheppler. In the early part of this century the notion was taken
up by James Buchanan and Samuel Wilderspin in this country (see James
Leitch’s _Practical Educationists_) and by J. M. D. Cochin in France.
But Froebel’s conception differed from that of the “Infant School.”
His object was purely educational but he would have no “schooling.” He
called these communities of children _Kindergarten_, Gardens of children,
_i.e._, enclosures in which young human plants are nurtured.[178]
The children’s employment is to be play. But any occupation in which
children delight is _play_ to them; and Froebel’s series of employments,
while they are in this sense play to the children, have nevertheless,
as seen from the adult point of view, a distinctly educational object.
This object, as Froebel himself describes it, is “to give the children
employment in agreement with their whole nature, to strengthen their
bodies, to exercise their senses, to engage their awakening mind, and
through their senses to bring them acquainted with nature and their
fellow-creatures; it is especially to guide aright the heart and the
affections, and to lead them to the original ground of all life, to unity
with themselves.”

§ 28. No less than six-and-thirty years ago Henry Barnard (in his
Report to Governor of Connecticut, 1854) declared the Kindergarten to
be “by far the most original, attractive, and philosophical form of
infant development the world has yet seen.” Since then it has spread
in all civilised lands, and in many of them there are now _public_
Kindergartens, the first I believe having been established in 1873 by Dr.
William T. Harris in St. Louis, Mo. But Froebel’s ideas are not so easily
got hold of as his “Gifts,” and the real extension of his system may be
by no means so great as it seems. “The Kindergarten system in the hands
of one who understands it,” says Dr. James Ward, “produces admirable
results; but it is apt to be too mechanical and formal. There does not
seem room for the individuality of a child, to which all free play
possible should be given in the earliest years.” (In _Parents’ Review_
Ap. 1890.) And Mr. Courthope Bowen has well said: “Kindergarten work
without the Kindergarten idea, like a body without a soul, is subject to
rapid degeneration and decay.” So perhaps it will in the end prove that
Froebel in his _Education of Man_ which is “a book with seven seals” has
left us a more precious legacy than in his “Gifts” and Occupations which
are so popular and so easily adopted.

§ 29. It has been well said that “the essence of stupidity is in the
demand for final opinions.” How our thoughts have widened about education
since a man like Dr. Johnson could assert, “Education is as well known,
and has long been as well known, as ever it can be!”[179] (Hill’s
_Boswell’s J._ ij, 407.) The astronomers of the Middle Ages might as well
have asserted that nothing more could ever be known about astronomy.

Was Froebel what he believed himself to be, the Kepler or the Newton
of the educational system? Whoso is wise will not during the nineteenth
century lay claim to a “final opinion” on this point. But the “New
Education” seems gaining ground. F. W. Parker emphatically declares “the
Kindergarten” (by which he probably means Froebel’s encouragement of
self-activity) to be “the most important far-reaching educational reform
of the nineteenth century.” We sometimes see it questioned whether the
“New Education” has any proper claim to its title; but the education
which Dr. Johnson considered final and which seems to us old aimed at
learning; and the education which aims not at learning, but at developing
through self-activity is so different from this that it may well be
called New. If we consider the platform of the New Educationists as it
stands, _e.g._, in the New York _School Journal_, we shall find that if
it is not all new in theory it would be substantially new in practice.

§ 30. Let us look at a brief statement of what the “New Education”

1. Each study must be valued in proportion as it develops _power_; and
power is developed by self-activity.

2. The memory must be employed in strict subservience to the higher
faculties of the mind.

3. Whatever instruction is given, it must be adapted to the actual state
of the pupil, and not ruled by the wants of the future boy or man.

4. More time must be given to the study of nature and to modern language
and literature; less to the ancient languages.

5. The body must be educated as well as the mind.

6. Rich and poor alike must be taught to use their eyes and hands. 7.
The higher education of women must be cared for no less than that of men.

8. Teachers, no less than doctors, must go through a course of
professional training.

To these there must in time be added another:

9. All methods shall have a scientific foundation, _i.e._, they shall be
based on the laws of the mind, or shall have been tested by those laws.

§ 31. When this program is adopted, even as the object of our efforts,
we shall, indeed, have a New Education. At present the encouragement
of self-activity is thought of, if at all, only as a “counsel of
perfection.” Our school work is chiefly mechanical and will long
remain so. “From the primary school to the college productive creative
doing is almost wholly excluded. Knowledge in its barrenest form is
communicated, and tested in the barrenest, wordiest way possible. Never
is the learner taught or permitted to apply his knowledge to even
second-hand life-purpose.... So inveterate is the habit of the school
that the Kindergarten itself, although invented by the deep-feeling and
far-seeing Froebel for the very purpose of correcting this fault, has
in most cases fallen a victim to its influence.” So says W. H. Hailmann
(_Kindergarten_, May, 1888) and those who best know what usually goes on
in the school-room are the least likely to differ from him.

§ 32. During the last thirty years I have spent the greatest part of my
working hours in a variety of school-rooms; and if my school experience
has shown me that our advance is slow, my study of the Reformers
convinces me that it is sure.

  “Ring out the old, ring in the new!”

It has been well said that to study science is to study the thoughts
of God; and thus it is that all true educational Reformers declare the
thoughts of God to us. “A divine message, of eternal regulation of the
Universe, there verily is in regard to every conceivable procedure and
affair of man;” and it behoves us to ascertain what that message is in
regard to the immensely important procedure and affair of bringing up
children. After innumerable mistakes we seem by degrees to be getting
some notion of it; and such insight as we have we owe to those who have
contributed to the science of education. Among these there are probably
no greater names than the names of Pestalozzi and Froebel.

    Froebel’s _Education of Man_, trans. by W. N. Hailmann, is
    a vol. of Appleton’s Series, ed. by Dr. W. T. Harris. The
    _Autobiography_ trans., by Michaelis and Moore, is published
    by Sonnenschein. The _Mutter-u-K.-lieder_ have been trans.
    by Miss Lord (London, Rice). _Reminiscences of Froebel_ by
    the Baroness Marenholtz-Bülow, is trans. by Mr. Horace Mann.
    _The Child and Child Nature_ is trans. from the Baroness by
    Miss A. M. Christie. The Froebel lit. is now immense. I will
    simply mention some of those who have expounded Froebel in
    _English_: Miss Shirreff, Miss E. A. Manning, Miss Lyschinska,
    Miss Heerwart, Mdme. De Portugall, Miss Peabody, H. G Bowen,
    F. W. Parker, W. N. Hailmann, Joseph Payne, W. T. Harris,
    are the names that first suggest themselves. Henry Barnard’s
    _Kindergarten and Child Culture_ is a valuable collection of




§ 1. We are now by degrees becoming convinced that teachers, like
everyone else who undertakes skilled labour, should be trained before
they seek an engagement. This has led to a great increase in the
number of Normal Schools. In some of these schools it has already been
discovered that while the study of principles requires much time and
the application of much intellectual force, the study of methods is a
far simpler matter and can be knocked off in a short time and with no
intellectual force at all. Methods are special ways of doing things, and
when it has been settled what is to be done and why, a knowledge of the
methods available adds greatly to a teacher’s power; but the what and
the why demand our attention before the how, and the study of methods
disconnected from principles leads straight to the prison-house of all
the teachers’ higher faculties—routine.

§ 2. I have called Jacotot a methodizer because he invented a special
method and wished everything to be taught by it. But in advocating this
method he appeals to principles; and his principles are so important that
at least one man great in educational science, Joseph Payne, always
spoke of him as his master.

§ 3. In the following summary of Jacotot’s system I am largely indebted
to Joseph Payne’s Lectures, which he published in the _Educational Times_
in 1867, and which I believe Dr. J. F. Payne has lately reprinted in a
volume of his father’s collected papers.

§ 4. Jacotot was born at Dijon, of humble parentage, in 1770. Even as
a boy he showed his preference for “self-teaching.” We are told that
he rejoiced greatly in the acquisition of all kinds of knowledge that
could be gained by his own efforts, while he steadily resisted what was
imposed on him by authority. He was, however, early distinguished by his
acquirements, and at the age of twenty-five was appointed sub-director
of the Polytechnic School. Some years afterwards he became Professor
of “the Method of Sciences” at Dijon, and it was here that his method
of instruction first attracted attention. “Instead of pouring forth a
flood of information on the subject under attention from his own ample
stores—explaining everything, and thus too frequently superseding in a
great degree the pupil’s own investigation of it—Jacotot, after a simple
statement of the subject, with its leading divisions, boldly started it
as a quarry for the class to hunt down, and invited every member of it
to take part in the chase.” All were free to ask questions, to raise
objections, to suggest answers. The Professor himself did little more
than by leading questions put them on the right scent. He was afterwards
Professor of Ancient and Oriental Languages, of Mathematics, and of
Roman Law; and he pursued the same method, we are told, with uniform
success. Being compelled to leave France as an enemy of the Bourbons,
he was appointed, in 1818, when he was forty-eight years old, to the
Professorship of the French Language and Literature at the University
of Louvain. The celebrated teacher was received with enthusiasm, but he
soon met with an unexpected difficulty. Many members of his large class
knew no language but the Flemish and Dutch, and of these he himself was
totally ignorant. He was, therefore, forced to consider how to teach
without talking to his pupils. The plan he adopted was as follows:—He
gave the young Flemings copies of Fénelon’s “Télémaque,” with the French
on one side, and a Dutch translation on the other. This they had to study
for themselves, comparing the two languages, and learning the French by
heart. They were to go over the same ground again and again, and as soon
as possible they were to give in French, however bad, the substance of
those parts which they had not yet committed to memory. This method was
found to succeed marvellously. Jacotot attributed its success to the
fact that the students had learnt _entirely by the efforts of their own
minds_, and that, though working under his superintendence, they had
been, in fact, their own teachers. Hence he proceeded to generalise, and
by degrees arrived at a series of astounding paradoxes. These paradoxes
at first did their work well, and made noise enough in the world; but
Jacotot seems to me like a captain who in his eagerness to astonish his
opponents takes on board guns much too heavy for his own safety.

§ 5. “_All human beings are equally capable of learning_,” said Jacotot.

The truth which Jacotot chose to throw into this more than doubtful form,
may perhaps be expressed by saying that the student’s power of learning
depends, in a great measure, on his _will_, and that where there is no
will there is no capacity.

§ 6. “_Everyone can teach; and, moreover, can teach that which he does
not know himself._”

Let us ask ourselves what is the meaning of this. First of all, we
have to get rid of some ambiguity in the meaning of the word _teach_.
To teach, according to Jacotot’s idea, is to cause to learn. Teaching
and learning are therefore correlatives: where there is no learning
there can be no teaching. But this meaning of the word only coincides
partially with the ordinary meaning. We speak of the lecturer or preacher
as teaching when he gives his hearers an opportunity of learning, and
do not say that his teaching ceases the instant they cease to attend.
On the other hand, we do not call a parent a teacher because he sends
his boy to school, and so causes him to learn. The notion of teaching,
then, in the minds of most of us, includes giving information, or showing
how an art is to be performed, and we look upon Jacotot’s assertion as
absurd, because we feel that no one can give information which he does
not possess, or show how anything is to be done if he does not himself
know. But let us take the Jacototian definition of teaching—causing to
learn—and then see how far a person can cause another to learn that of
which he himself is ignorant.

§ 7. Subjects which are _taught_ may be divided into three great
classes:—1, Facts; 2, reasonings, or generalisation from facts, _i.e._,
science; 3, actions which have to be performed by the learner, _i.e._,

1. We learn some facts by “intuition,” _i.e._, by direct experience.
It may be as well to make the number of them as large as possible. No
doubt there are no facts which are _known_ so perfectly as these. For
instance, a boy who has tried to smoke knows the fact that tobacco is
apt to produce nausea much better than another who has picked up the
information second-hand. An intelligent master may suggest experiments,
even in matters about which he himself is ignorant, and thus, in
Jacotot’s sense, he teaches things which he does not know. But some facts
cannot be learnt in this way, and then a Newton is helpless either to
find them out for himself, or to teach them to others without knowing
them. If the teacher does not know in what county Tavistock is, he can
only learn from those who do, and the pupils will be no cleverer than
their master. Here, then, I consider that Jacotot’s pretensions utterly
break down. “No,” the answer is; “the teacher may give his pupil an
atlas, and direct the boy to find out for himself: thus the master will
teach what he does not know.” But, in this case, he is a teacher only
so far as he knows. For what he does not know, he hands over the pupil
to the maker of the map, who communicates with him, not orally, but by
ink and paper. The master’s ignorance is simply an obstacle to the boy’s
learning; for the boy would learn sooner the position of Tavistock if it
were shown him on the map. “That’s the very point,” says the disciple of
Jacotot. “If the boy gets the knowledge without any trouble, he is likely
to forget it again directly. ‘Lightly come, lightly go.’ Moreover, his
faculty of observation will not have been exercised.” It is indeed well
not to allow the knowledge even of facts to come too easily; though the
difficulties which arise from the master’s ignorance will not be found
the most advantageous. Still there is obviously a limit. If we gave boys
their lessons in cipher, and offered a prize to the first decipherer,
one would probably be found at last, and meantime all the boys’ powers
of observation, &c., would have been cultivated by comparing like signs
in different positions, and guessing at their meaning; but the boys’
time might have been better employed. Jacotot’s plan of teaching a
language which the master did not know, was to put a book with, say,
“Arma virumque cano,” &c., on one side, and “I sing arms and the man,
&c.” on the other, and to require the pupil to puzzle over it till he
found out which word answered to which. In this case the teacher was the
translator; and though from the roundabout way in which the knowledge
was communicated the pupil derived some benefit, the benefit was hardly
sufficient to make up for the expenditure of time involved.

Jacotot, then, did not teach facts of which he was ignorant, except in
the sense in which the parent who sends his boy to school may be said to
teach him. All Jacotot did was to direct the pupil to learn, sometimes in
a very awkward fashion, from somebody else.[180]

§ 8. 2. When we come to science, we find all the best authorities agree
that the pupil should be led to principles if possible, and not have the
principles brought to him. Men like Tyndall, Huxley, H. Spencer, J. M.
Wilson have spoken eloquently on this subject, and shown how valuable
scientific teaching is, when thus conducted, in drawing out the faculties
of the mind. But although a schoolboy may be led to great scientific
discoveries by anyone who knows the road, he will have no more chance
of making them with an ignorant teacher than he would have had in the
days of the Ptolemies. Here again, then, I cannot understand how the
teacher can teach what he does not know. He may, indeed, join his pupil
in investigating principles, but he must either keep with the pupil or
go in advance of him. In the first case he is only a fellow-pupil; in the
second, he teaches only that which he knows.

§ 9. Finally, we come to arts, and we are told that Jacotot taught
drawing and music, without being either a draughtsman or a musician.
In art everything depends on _rightly directed practice_. The most
consummate artist cannot communicate his skill, and, except for
inspiration may be inferior as a teacher to one whose attention is
more concentrated on the mechanism of the art. Perhaps it is not even
necessary that the teacher should be able to do the exercises himself,
if only he knows how they should be done; but he seldom gets credit for
this knowledge, unless he can show that he knows how the thing should
be done, by doing it. Lessing tells us that Raphael would have been a
great painter even if he had been born without hands. He would not,
however, have succeeded in getting mankind to believe it. I grant, then,
that the teacher of art need not be a first-rate artist, and, in some
very exceptional cases, need not be an artist at all; but, if he cannot
perform the exercises he gives his pupil, he must at least _know how they
should be done_. But Jacotot claims perfect ignorance. We are told that
he “taught” drawing by setting objects before his pupils, and making them
imitate them on paper as best they could. Of course the art originated
in this way, and a person with great perseverance, and (I must say, in
spite of Jacotot) with more than average ability, would make considerable
progress with no proper instruction; but he would lose much by the
ignorance of the person calling himself his teacher. An awkward habit of
holding the pencil will make skill doubly difficult to acquire, and thus
half his time might be wasted. Then, again, he would hardly have a better
eye than the early painters, so the drawing of his landscape would not
be less faulty than theirs. To consider music I am told that a person
who is ignorant of music can teach, say, the piano or the violin. This
seems to go beyond the region of paradox into that of utter nonsense.
Talent often surmounts all kinds of difficulties; but in the case of
self-taught, and ill-taught musicians, it is often painful to see what
time and talent have been wasted for want of proper instruction.

I have thus carefully examined Jacotot’s pretensions to teach what he did
not know, because I am anxious that what seems to me the rubbish should
be cleared away from his principles, and should no longer conceal those
parts of his system which are worthy of general attention.

§ 10. At the root of Jacotot’s paradox lay a truth of very great
importance. The highest and best teaching is not that which makes the
pupils passive recipients of other peoples’ ideas (not to speak of the
teaching which conveys mere words without any ideas at all), but that
which guides and encourages the pupils in working for themselves and
thinking for themselves. The master, as Joseph Payne well says, can no
more think, or practise, or see for his pupil, than he can digest for
him, or walk for him. The pupil must owe everything to his own exertions,
which it is the function of the master to encourage and direct. Perhaps
this may seem very obvious truth, but obvious or not it has been very
generally neglected. The old system of lecturing which found favour with
the Jesuits, has indeed now passed away, and boys are left to acquire
facts from school-books instead of from the master. But this change
is merely accidental. The essence of the teaching still remains. Even
where the master does not confine himself to hearing what the scholars
have learnt by heart, he seldom does more than offer explanations. He
measures the teaching rather by the amount which has been put before
the scholars—by what he has done for them and shown them—than by what
they have learned. But this is not teaching of the highest type. When
the votary of Dulness in the “Dunciad” is rendering an account of his
services, he arrives at this climax,

  “For thee explain a thing till all men doubt it,
  And write about it, Goddess, and about it.”

And in the same spirit Mr. J. M. Wilson stigmatises as synonymous “the
most stupid and most _didactic_ teaching.”

§ 11. All the eminent authorities on education have a very different
theory of the teachers function. According to them the master’s attention
is not to be fixed on his own mind and his own store of knowledge, but
on his pupil’s mind and on its gradual expansion. He must, in fact, be
not so much a _teacher_ as a _trainer_. Here we have the view which
Jacotot intended to enforce by his paradox; for we may possibly train
faculties which we do not ourselves possess, just as the sportsman trains
his pointer and his hunter to perform feats which are altogether out
of the range of his own capacities. Now, “training is the cultivation
bestowed on any set of faculties with the object of developing them” (J.
M. Wilson), and to train any faculty, you must set it to work. Hence it
follows, that as boys’ minds are not simply their memories, the master
must aim at something more than causing his pupils to remember facts.
Jacotot has done good service to education by giving prominence to this
truth, and by showing in his method how other faculties may be cultivated
besides the memory.

§ 12. “_Tout est dans tout_” (“All is in all”), is another of Jacotot’s
paradoxes. I do not propose discussing it as the philosophical thesis
which takes other forms, as “Every man is a microcosm,” &c., but merely
to inquire into its meaning as applied to didactics.

If you asked an ordinary French schoolmaster who Jacotot was, he
would probably answer, Jacotot was a man who thought you could learn
everything by getting up Fénelon’s “Télémaque” by heart. By carrying your
investigation further, you would find that this account of him required
modification, that the learning by heart was only part, and a very small
part, of what Jacotot demanded from his pupils, but you would also find
that entire mastery of “Télémaque” was the first requisite, and that
he managed to connect everything he taught with that “model-book.” Of
course, if “tout est dans tout,” everything is in “Télémaque;” and, said
an objector, also in the first book of “Télémaque” and in _the first
word_. Jacotot went through a variety of subtilties to show that all
“Télémaque” is contained in the word _Calypso_, and perhaps he would
have been equally successful, if he had been required to take only the
first letter instead of the first word. His maxim indeed becomes by his
treatment of it a mere paraphrase of “_Quidlibet ex quolibet_.” The
reader is amused rather than convinced by these discussions, but he finds
them not without fruit. They bring to his mind very forcibly a truth
to which he has hitherto probably not paid sufficient attention. He
sees that all knowledge is connected together, or (what will do equally
well for our present purpose) that there are a thousand links by which
we may bring into connexion the different subjects of knowledge. If by
means of these links we can attach in our minds the knowledge we acquire
to the knowledge we already possess, we shall learn faster and more
intelligently, and at the same time we shall have a much better chance of
retaining our new acquisitions. The memory, as we all know, is assisted
even by artificial association of ideas, much more by natural. Hence the
value of “tout est dans tout,” or, to adopt a modification suggested by
Joseph Payne, of the connexion of knowledges. Suppose we know only one
subject, but know that thoroughly, our knowledge, if I may express myself
algebraically, cannot be represented by ignorance plus the knowledge of
that subject. We have acquired a great deal more than that. When other
subjects come before us, they may prove to be so connected with what we
had before, that we may also seem to know them already. In other words
when we know a little thoroughly, though our actual possession is small,
we have potentially a great deal more.[181]

§ 13. Jacotot’s practical application of his “tout est dans tout” was
as follows:—“_Il faut apprendre quelque chose, et y rapporter tout
le reste._” (“The pupil must learn something thoroughly, and refer
everything to that.”) For language he must take a model book, and become
thoroughly master of it. His knowledge must not be a verbal knowledge
only, but he must enter into the sense and spirit of the writer. Here we
find that Jacotot’s practical advice coincides with that of many other
great authorities, who do not base it on the same principle. The Jesuits’
maxim was, that their pupils should always learn something thoroughly,
however little it might be. Pestalozzi insisted on the children going
over the elements again and again till they were completely master of
them. Ascham, Ratke, and Comenius all required a model-book to be read
and re-read till words and thoughts were firmly fixed in the pupil’s
memory. Jacotot probably never read Ascham’s “Schoolmaster.” If he had
done so he might have appropriated some of Ascham’s words as exactly
conveying his own thoughts. Ascham, as we saw, recommended that a short
book should be thoroughly mastered, each lesson being worked over in
different ways a dozen times at the least, and in this way “your scholar
shall be brought not only to like eloquence, but also to all true
understanding and right judgment, both for writing and speaking.” In this
the Englishman and the Frenchman are in perfect accord.

§ 14. But if Jacotot agrees so far with earlier authorities, there is
one point in which he seems to differ from them. He makes great demands
on the memory, and requires six books of “Télémaque” to be learned by
heart. On the other hand, Montaigne, Locke, Rousseau, H. Spencer, and
other great writers would be opposed to this. Ratke insisted that nothing
should be learnt by heart. Protests against “loading the memory,” “saying
without book,” &c., are everywhere to be met with, and nowhere more
vigorously expressed than in Ascham. He says of the grammar-school boys
of his time, that “their whole knowledge, by learning without the book,
was tied only to their tongue and lips, and never ascended up to the
brain and head, and therefore was soon spit out of the mouth again. They
learnt without book everything, they understood within the book little or
nothing.” But these protests were really directed at verbal knowledge,
when it is made to take the place of knowledge of the thing signified.
We are always too ready to suppose that words are connected with ideas,
though both old and young are constantly exposing themselves to the
sarcasm of Mephistopheles:—

  ... eben wo Begriffe fehlen,
  Da stellt ein Wort zur rechten Zeit sich ein.

  ... just where meaning fails, a word
  Comes patly in to serve your turn.

Against this danger Jacotot took special precautions. The pupil was to
undergo an examination in everything connected with the lesson learnt,
and the master’s share in the work was to convince himself, from the
answers he received, that the pupil thoroughly grasped the meaning, as
well as remembered the words, of the author. Still the six books of
“Télémaque,” which Jacotot gave to be learnt by heart, was a very large
dose, and he would have been more faithful to his own principles, says
Joseph Payne, if he had given the first book only.

§ 15. There are three ways in which the model-book may be studied. 1st,
it may be read through rapidly again and again, which was Ratke’s plan
and Hamilton’s; or, 2nd, each lesson may be thoroughly mastered, read in
various ways a dozen times at the least, which was Ascham’s plan; or,
3rd, the pupil may begin always at the beginning, and advance a little
further each time, which was Jacotot’s plan.[182] This last, could not,
of course, be carried very far The repetitions, when the pupil had
got on some way in the book, could not always be from the beginning;
still every part was to be repeated so frequently that _nothing could
be forgotten_. Jacotot did not wish his pupils to learn simply in
order to forget, but to learn in order to remember for ever. “We are
learned,” said he, “not so far as we have learned, but only so far as
we remember.” He seems, indeed, almost to ignore the fact that the act
of learning serves other purposes than that of making learned, and to
assert that to forget is the same as never to have learned, which is
a palpable error. We necessarily forget much that passes through our
minds, and yet its effect remains. All grown people have arrived at some
opinions, convictions, knowledge, but they cannot call to mind every spot
they trod on in the road thither. When we have read a great history,
say, or travelled through a fresh country, we have gained more than the
number of facts we happen to remember. The mind seems to have formed
an acquaintance with that history or that country, which is something
different from the mere acquisition of facts. Moreover, our interests,
as well as our ideas, may long survive the memory of the facts which
originally started them. We are told that one of the old judges, when a
barrister objected to some dictum of his, put him down by the assertion,
“Sir, I have forgotten more law than ever you read.” If he wished to
make the amount forgotten a measure of the amount remembered, this was
certainly fallacious, as the ratio between the two is not a constant
quantity. But he may have meant that this extensive reading had left its
result, and that he could see things from more points of view than the
less travelled legal vision of his opponent. That _power_ acquired by
learning may also last longer than the knowledge of the thing learned
is sufficiently obvious. So the advantages derived from having learnt a
thing are not entirely lost when the thing itself is forgotten.[183]

§ 16. But the reflection by no means justifies the disgraceful waste of
memory which goes on in most school-rooms. Much is learnt which, for
want of the necessary repetition, will soon be lost again, besides much
that would be valueless if remembered. The thing to aim at is not giving
“useful knowledge,” but making the memory a store house of such facts
as are good material for the other powers of the mind to work with; and
that the facts may serve this purpose they must be such as the mind can
thoroughly grasp and handle, and such as can be connected together. To
_instruct is instruere_, “to put together in order, to build;” it is not
cramming the memory with facts without connexion, and, as Herbert Spencer
calls them, _unorganisable_. And yet a great deal of our children’s
memory is wasted in storing facts of this kind, which can never form
part of any organism. We do not teach them geography (_earth knowledge_,
as the Germans call it), but the names of places. Our “history” is a
similar, though disconnected study. We leave our children ignorant of the
land, but insist on their getting up the “landmarks.” And, perhaps, from
a latent perception of the uselessness of such work, neither teachers
nor scholars ever think of these things as learnt to be remembered. They
are indeed got up, as Schuppius says of the Logic of his day, _in spem
futuræ oblivionis_. Latin grammar is gone through again and again, and a
boy feels that the sooner he gets it into his head, the better it will be
for him; but who expects that the lists of geographical and historical
names which are learnt one half-year, will be remembered the next? I have
seen it asserted, that when a boy leaves school, he has already forgotten
nine-tenths of what he has been taught, and I dare say that estimate is
quite within the mark.

§ 17. By adopting the principles of Jacotot, we avoid a great deal of
this waste. We give some thorough knowledge, with which fresh knowledge
may be connected. And it will then be found that perfect familiarity
with a subject is something beyond the mere understanding it and being
able, with difficulty, to reproduce what we have learned. By thus going
over the same thing again and again, we acquire a thorough command over
our knowledge; and the feeling perfectly at home, even within narrow
borders, gives a consciousness of strength. An old adage tells us that
the Jack-of-all-trades is master of none; but the master of one trade
will have no difficulty in extending his insight and capacity beyond
it. To use an illustration, which is of course an illustration merely,
we should kindle knowledge in children, like fire in a grate. A stupid
servant, with a small quantity of wood, spreads it over the whole grate.
It blazes away, goes out, and is simply wasted. Another, who is wiser
or more experienced, kindles the whole of the wood at one spot, and the
fire, thus concentrated, extends in all directions. Similarly we should
concentrate the beginnings of knowledge, and although we could not expect
to make much show for a time, we might be sure that after a bit the fire
would extend, almost of its own accord.[184]

§ 18. From Joseph Payne I take Jacotot’s directions for carrying out the
rule, “II faut apprendre quelque chose, et y rapporter tout le reste.”

1. LEARN—_i.e._, learn so as to know thoroughly, perfectly, immovably
(_imperturbablement_), as well six months or twelve months hence,
as now—SOMETHING—something which fairly represents the subject to be
acquired, which contains its essential characteristics. 2. REPEAT that
“something” incessantly (_sans cesse_), _i.e._, every day, or very
frequently, from the beginning, without any omission, so that no part
may be forgotten. 3. REFLECT upon the matter thus acquired, so as, by
degrees, to make it a possession of the mind as well as of the memory,
so that, being appreciated as a whole, and appreciated in its minutest
parts, what is as yet unknown, may be _referred to_ it and interpreted by
it. 4. VERIFY, or test, general remarks, _e.g._, grammatical rules, &c.,
made by others, by comparing them with the facts (_i.e._, the words and
phraseology) which you have learnt yourself.

§ 19. In conclusion, I will give some account of the way in which
reading, writing, and the mother-tongue were taught on the Jacototian

The teacher takes a book, say Edgeworth’s “Early Lessons,” points to the
first word, and names it, “Frank.” The child looks at the word and also
pronounces it. Then the teacher does the same with the first two words,
“Frank and”; then with the three first, “Frank and Robert,” &c. When
a line or so has been thus gone over, the teacher asks which word is
Robert? What word is that (pointing to one)? “Find me the same word in
this line” (pointing to another part of the book). When a sentence has
been thus acquired, the words already known are analysed into syllables,
and these syllables the child must pick out elsewhere. Finally, the
same thing is done with letters. When the child can read a sentence,
that sentence is put before him written in small-hand, and the child is
required to copy it. When he has copied the first word, he is led, by the
questions of the teacher, to see how it differs from the original, and
then he tries again. The pupil must always correct himself, guided only
by questions. This sentence must be worked at till the pupil can write
it pretty well from memory. He then tries it in larger characters. By
carrying out this plan, the children’s powers of observation and making
comparisons are strengthened, and the arts of reading and writing are
said to be very readily acquired.

§ 20. For the mother-tongue, a model book is chosen and thoroughly
learned. Suppose “Rasselas” is selected. “The pupil learns by heart
a sentence, or a few sentences, and to-morrow adds a few more, still
repeating from the beginning. The teacher, after two or three lessons of
learning and repeating, takes portions—any portion—of the matter, and
submits it to the crucible of the pupil’s mind:—Who was Rasselas? Who was
his father? What is the father of waters? Where does it begin its course?
Where is Abyssinia? Where is Egypt? Where was Rasselas placed? What sort
of a person was Rasselas? What is ‘credulity’? What are the ‘whispers of
fancy,’ the ‘promises of youth,’ &c., &c.?”

A great variety of written exercises is soon joined with the learning by
heart. Pieces must be written from memory, and the spelling, pointing,
&c., corrected by the pupil himself from the book. The same piece must
be written again and again, till there are no more mistakes to correct.
“This,” said Joseph Payne, who had himself taught in this way, “is the
best plan for spelling that has been devised.” Then the pupil may
write an analysis, may define words, distinguish between synonyms,
explain metaphors, imitate descriptions, write imaginary dialogues or
correspondence between the characters, &c. Besides these, a great variety
of grammatical exercises may be given, and the force of prefixes and
affixes may be found out by the pupils themselves by collection and
comparison. “The resources even of such a book as “Rasselas” will be
found all but exhaustless, while the training which the mind undergoes in
the process of thoroughly mastering it, the acts of analysis, comparison,
induction, and deduction, performed so frequently as to become a sort
of second nature, cannot but serve as an excellent preparation for the
subsequent study of English literature” (Payne).

§ 21. We see, from these instances, how Jacotot sought to imitate the
method by which young children and self-taught men teach themselves. All
such proceed from objects to definitions, from facts to reflections and
theories, from examples to rules, from particular observations to general
principles. They pursue, in fact, however unconsciously, the _method of
investigation_, the advantages of which are thus set out in a passage
from Burke’s treatise on the Sublime and Beautiful:—“I am convinced,”
says he, “that the method of teaching which approaches most nearly to
the method of investigation is incomparably the best; since, not content
with serving up a few barren and lifeless truths, it leads to the stock
on which they grew; it tends to set the reader [or learner] himself in
the track of invention, and to direct him into those paths in which the
author has made his own discoveries.” “For Jacotot, I think the claim
may, without presumption, be maintained that he has, beyond all other
teachers, succeeded in co-ordinating the method of elementary teaching
with the method of investigation” (Payne).

§ 22. The latter part of his life, which did not end till 1840, Jacotot
spent in his native country—first at Valenciennes, and then at Paris. To
the last he laboured indefatigably, and with a noble disinterestedness,
for what he believed to be the “intellectual emancipation” of his
fellow-creatures. For a time, his system made great way in France, but we
now hear little of it. Jacotot has, however, lately found an advocate in
M. Bernard Perez, who has written a book about him and also a very good
article in Buisson’s _Dictionnaire_.



§ 1. I once heard it said by a teacher of great ability that no one
without practical acquaintance with the subject could write anything
worth reading on Education. My own opinion differs very widely from this.
I am not, indeed, prepared to agree with another authority, much given
to paradox, that the actual work of education unfits a man for forming
enlightened views about it, but I think that the outsider, coming fresh
to the subject, and unencumbered by tradition and prejudice, may hit upon
truths which the teacher, whose attention is too much engrossed with
practical difficulties, would fail to perceive without assistance, and
that, consequently, the theories of intelligent men, unconnected with the
work of education, deserve our careful, and, if possible, our impartial

§ 2. One of the most important works of this kind which has lately
appeared, is the treatise of Mr. Herbert Spencer. So eminent a writer
has every claim to be listened to with respect, and in this book he
speaks with more than his individual authority. The views he has very
vigorously propounded are shared by a number of distinguished scientific
men; and not a few of the unscientific believe that in them is shadowed
forth the education of the future.

§ 3. It is perhaps to be regretted that Mr. Spencer has not kept the
tone of one who investigates the truth in a subject of great difficulty,
but lays about him right and left, after the manner of a spirited
controversialist. This, no doubt, makes his book much more entertaining
reading than such treatises usually are, but, on the other hand, it has
the disadvantage of arousing the antagonism of those whom he would most
wish to influence. When the man who has no practical acquaintance with
education, lays down the law _ex cathedrâ_, garnished with sarcasms at
all that is now going on, the schoolmaster, offended by the assumed tone
of authority, sets himself to show where these theories would not work,
instead of examining what basis of truth there is in them, and how far
they should influence his own practice.

I shall proceed to examine Mr. Spencer’s proposals with all the
impartiality I am master of.

§ 4. The great question, whether the teaching which gives the most
valuable knowledge is the same as that which best disciplines the
faculties of the mind, Mr. Spencer dismisses briefly. “It would be
utterly contrary to the beautiful economy of nature,” he says, “if one
kind of culture were needed for the gaining of information, and another
kind were needed as a mental gymnastic.”[186] But it seems to me that
different subjects must be used to train the faculties at different
stages of development. The processes of science, which form the staple
of education in Mr. Spencer’s system cannot be grasped by the intellect
of a child. “The scientific discoverer does the work, and when it is
done the schoolboy is called in to witness the result, to learn its
chief features by heart, and to repeat them when called upon, just as
he is called on to name the mothers of the patriarchs, or to give an
account of the Eastern campaigns of Alexander the Great.”—(_Pall Mall
G._). This, however, affords but scanty training for the mind. We want
to draw out the child’s interests, and to direct them to worthy objects.
We want not only to teach him, but to enable and encourage him to teach
himself; and, if following Mr. Spencer’s advice, we make him get up the
species of plants, “which amount to some 320,000,” and the varied forms
of animal life, which are “estimated at some 2,000,000,” we may, as Mr.
Spencer tells us, have strengthened his memory as effectually as by
teaching him languages; but the pupil will, perhaps have no great reason
to rejoice over his escape from the horrors of the “As in Præsenti,” and
“Propria quæ Maribus.” The consequences will be the same in both cases.
We shall disgust the great majority of our scholars with the acquisition
of knowledge, and with the use of the powers of their mind. Whether,
therefore, we adopt or reject Mr. Spencer’s conclusion, that there is
one sort of knowledge which is universally the most valuable, I think we
must deny that there is one sort of knowledge which is universally and at
every stage in education, the best adapted to develop the intellectual
faculties. Mr. Spencer himself acknowledges this elsewhere. “There
is,” says he, “a certain sequence in which the faculties spontaneously
develop, and a certain kind of knowledge, which each requires during its
development.” It is for us to ascertain this sequence, and supply this

§ 5. Mr. Spencer discusses more fully “the relative value of knowledges,”
and this is a subject which has hitherto not met with the attention it
deserves. It is not sufficient for us to prove of any subject taught in
our schools that the knowledge or the learning of it is valuable. We
must also show that the knowledge or the learning of it is of at least
as great value as that of anything else that might be taught in the same
time. “Had we time to master all subjects we need not be particular. To
quote the old song—

  Could a man be secure
  That his life would endure,
  As of old, for a thousand long years,
  What things he might know!
  What deeds he might do!
  And all without hurry or care!

But we that have but span-long lives must ever bear in mind our limited
time for acquisition.”

§ 6. To test the value of the learning imparted in education we must
look to the end of education. This Mr. Spencer defines as follows: “To
prepare us for complete living is the function which education has to
discharge, and the only rational mode of judging of an educational course
is to judge in what degree it discharges such function.” For complete
living we must know “in what way to treat the body; in what way to treat
the mind; in what way to manage our affairs; in what way to bring up a
family; in what way to behave as a citizen; in what way to utilise those
sources of happiness which nature supplies—how to use all our faculties
to the greatest advantage of ourselves and others.” There are a number
of sciences, says Mr. Spencer, which throw light on these subjects. It
should, therefore, be the business of education to impart these sciences.

But if there were (which is far from being the case) a well-defined and
well-established science in each of these departments, those sciences
would not be understandable by children, nor would any individual have
time to master the whole of them, or even “a due proportion of each.”
The utmost that could be attempted would be to give young people some
knowledge of the _results_ of such sciences and the rules derived from
them. But to this Mr. Spencer would object that it would tend, like
the learning of languages, “to increase the already undue respect for

§ 7. To consider Mr. Spencer’s divisions in detail, we come first to
knowledge that leads to self-preservation.

“Happily, that all-important part of education which goes to secure
direct self-preservation is, in part, already provided for. Too momentous
to be left to our blundering, Nature takes it into her own hands.” But
Mr. Spencer warns us against such thwartings of Nature as that by which
“stupid schoolmistresses commonly prevent the girls in their charge
from the spontaneous physical activities they would indulge in, and so
render them comparatively incapable of taking care of themselves in
circumstances of peril.”

§ 8. Indirect self-preservation, Mr. Spencer believes, may be much
assisted by a knowledge of physiology. “Diseases are often contracted,
our members are often injured, by causes which superior knowledge would
avoid.” I believe these are not the only grounds on which the advocates
of physiology urge its claim to be admitted into the curriculum; but
these, if they can be established, are no doubt very important. Is it
true, however, that doctors preserve their own life and health or that
of their children by their knowledge of physiology? I think the matter
is open to dispute. Mr. Spencer does not. He says very truly that many
a man would blush if convicted of ignorance about the pronunciation of
Iphigenia, or about the labours of Hercules who, nevertheless, would not
scruple to acknowledge that he had never heard of the Eustachian tubes,
and could not tell the normal rate of pulsation. “So terribly,” adds Mr.
Spencer, “in our education does the ornamental override the useful!”
But this is begging the question. At present classics form part of the
instruction given to every gentleman, and physiology does not. This is
the simpler form of Mr. Spencer’s assertion about the labours of Hercules
and the Eustachian tubes, and no one denies it. But we are not so well
agreed on the comparative value of these subjects. In his Address at
St. Andrews, J. S. Mill showed that he at least was not convinced of
the uselessness of classics, and Mr. Spencer does not tell us how the
knowledge of the normal state of pulsation is useful; how, to use his
own test, it “influences action.” However, whether we admit the claims
of physiology or not, we shall probably allow that there are certain
physiological facts and rules of health, the knowledge of which would be
of great practical value, and should therefore be imparted to everyone.
Here the doctor should come to the schoolmaster’s assistance, and give
him a manual from which to teach them.

§ 9. Next in order of importance, according to Mr. Spencer, comes the
knowledge which aids indirect self-preservation by facilitating the
gaining of a livelihood. Here Mr. Spencer thinks it necessary to prove
to us that such sciences as mathematics and physics and biology underlie
all the practical arts and business of life. No one would think of
joining issue with him on this point; but the question still remains,
what influence should this have on education? “Teach science,” says Mr.
Spencer. “A grounding in science is of great importance, both because
it prepares for all this [business of life], and because rational
knowledge has an immense superiority over empirical knowledge.” Should
we teach all sciences to everybody? This is clearly impossible. Should
we, then, decide for each child what is to be his particular means of
money-getting, and instruct him in those sciences which will be most
useful in that business or profession? In other words, should we have a
separate school for each calling? The only attempt of this kind which has
been made is, I believe, the institution of _Handelschulen_ (commercial
schools) in Germany. In them, youths of fifteen or sixteen enter for
a course of two or three years’ instruction which aims exclusively at
fitting them for commerce. But, in this case, their general education
is already finished. With us, the lad commonly goes to work at the
business itself quite as soon as he has the faculties for learning the
sciences connected with it. If the school sends him to it with a love of
knowledge, and with a mind well disciplined to acquire knowledge, this
will be of more value to him than any special information.

§ 10. As Mr. Spencer is here considering science merely with reference to
its importance in earning a livelihood, it is not beside the question to
remark, that in a great number of instances, the knowledge of the science
which underlies an operation confers no practical ability whatever. No
one sees the better for understanding the structure of the eye and the
undulatory theory of light. In swimming or rowing, a senior wrangler
has no advantage over a man who is entirely ignorant about the laws of
fluid pressure. As far as money-getting is concerned then, science will
not be found to be universally serviceable. Mr. Spencer gives instances
indeed, where science would prevent very expensive blundering; but the
true inference is, not that the blunderers should learn science, but that
they should mind their own business, and take the opinion of scientific
men about theirs. “Here is a mine,” says he, “in the sinking of which
many shareholders ruined themselves, from not knowing that a certain
fossil belonged to the old red sandstone, below which no coal is found.”
Perhaps they were misled by the little knowledge which Pope tells us is
a dangerous thing. If they had been entirely ignorant, they would surely
have called in a professional geologist, whose opinion would have been
more valuable than their own, even though geology had taken the place of
classics in their schooling. “Daily are men induced to aid in carrying
out inventions which a mere tyro in science could show to be futile.” But
these are men whose function it would always be to lose money, not make
it, whatever you might teach them.[187] I have great doubt, therefore,
whether the learning of sciences will ever be found a ready way of making
a fortune. But directly we get beyond the region of pounds, shillings,
and pence, I agree most cordially with Mr. Spencer that a rational
knowledge has an immense superiority over empirical knowledge. And, as
a part of their education, boys should be taught to distinguish the one
from the other, and to desire rational knowledge. Much might be done in
this way by teaching, not all the sciences and nothing else, but the main
principles of some one science, which would enable the more intelligent
boys to understand and appreciate the value of “a rational explanation
of phenomena.” I believe this addition to what was before a literary
education has already been made in some of our leading schools, as
Harrow, Rugby, and the City of London.[188]

§ 11. Next, Mr. Spencer would have instruction in the proper way of
rearing offspring form a part of his curriculum. There can be no question
of the importance of this knowledge, and all that Mr. Spencer says of the
lamentable ignorance of parents is, unfortunately, no less undeniable.
But could this knowledge be imparted early in life? Young people would
naturally take but little interest in it. It is by parents, or at least
by those who have some notion of the parental responsibility, that this
knowledge should be sought. The best way in which we can teach the young
will be so to bring them up that when they themselves have to rear
children the remembrance of their own youth may be a guide and not a
beacon to them. But more knowledge than this is necessary, and I differ
from Mr. Spencer only as to the proper time for acquiring it.

§ 12. Next comes the knowledge which fits a man for the discharge of his
functions as a citizen, a subject to which Dr. Arnold attached great
importance at the time of the first Reform Bill, and which deserves our
attention all the more in consequence of the second and third. But
what knowledge are we to give for this purpose? One of the subjects
which seem especially suitable is history. But history, as it is now
written, is, according to Mr. Spencer, useless. “It does not illustrate
the right principles of political action.” “The great mass of historical
facts are facts from which no conclusions can be drawn—unorganisable
facts, and, therefore, facts of no service in establishing principles
of conduct, which is the chief use of facts. Read them if you like for
amusement, but do not flatter yourself they are instructive.” About the
right principles of political action we seem so completely at sea that,
perhaps, the main thing we can do for the young is to point out to them
the responsibilities which will hereafter devolve upon them, and the
danger, both to the state and the individual, of just echoing the popular
cry without the least reflection, according to our present usage. But
history, as it is now written by great historians, may be of some use
in training the young both to be citizens and men. “Reading about the
fifteen decisive battles, or all the battles in history, would not make a
man a more judicious voter at the next election,” says Mr. Spencer. But
is this true? The knowledge of what has been done in other times, even
by those whose coronation renders them so distasteful to Mr. Spencer, is
knowledge which influences a man’s whole character, and may, therefore,
affect particular acts, even when we are unable to trace the connexion.
As it has been often said, the effect of reading history is, in some
respects, the same as that of travelling. Anyone in Mr. Spencer’s vein
might ask, “If a man has seen the Alps, of what use will that be to
him in weighing out groceries?” Directly, none at all; but indirectly,
much. The travelled man will not be such a slave to the petty views
and customs of his trade as the man who looks on his county town as the
centre of the universe. The study of history, like travelling, widens the
student’s mental vision, frees him to some extent from the bondage of the
present, and prevents his mistaking conventionalities for laws of nature.
It brings home to him, in all its force, the truth that “there are also
people beyond the mountain” (_Hinter dem Berge sind auch Leute_), that
there are higher interests in the world than his own business concerns,
and nobler men than himself or the best of his acquaintance. It teaches
him what men are capable of, and thus gives him juster views of his race.
And to have all this truth worked into the mind contributes perhaps as
largely to “complete living” as knowledge of the Eustachian tubes or of
the normal rate of pulsation.[189] I think, therefore, that the works
of great historians and biographers, which we already possess, may be
usefully employed in education. It is difficult to estimate the value of
history according to Mr. Spencer’s idea, as it has yet to be written; but
I venture to predict that if boys, instead of reading about the history
of nations in connection with their leading men, are required to study
only “the progress of society,” the subject will at once lose all its
interest for them; and, perhaps, many of the facts communicated will
prove, after all, no less unorganisable than the fifteen decisive battles.

§ 13. Lastly, we come to that “remaining division of human life which
includes the relaxations and amusements filling leisure hours.” Mr.
Spencer assures us that he will yield to none in the value he attaches
to æsthetic culture and its pleasures; but if he does not value the fine
arts less, he values science more; and painting, music, and poetry would
receive as little encouragement under his dictatorship as in the days of
the Commonwealth. “As the fine arts and belles-lettres occupy the leisure
part of life, so should they occupy the leisure part of education.” This
language is rather obscure; but the only meaning I can attach to it is,
that music, drawing, poetry, &c., may be taught if time can be found when
all other knowledges are provided for. This reminds me of the author
whose works are so valuable that they will be studied when Shakspeare
is forgotten—but not before. Any one of the sciences which Mr. Spencer
considers so necessary might employ a lifetime. Where then shall we look
for the leisure part of education when education includes them all?[190]

§ 14. But, if adopting Mr. Spencer’s own measure, we estimate the
value of knowledge by its influence on action, we shall probably rank
“accomplishments” much higher than they have hitherto been placed
in the schemes of educationists. Knowledge and skill connected with
the business of life, are of necessity acquired in the discharge of
business. But the knowledge and skill which make our leisure valuable
to ourselves and a source of pleasure to others, can seldom be gained
after the work of life has begun. And yet every day a man may benefit
by possessing such an ability, or may suffer from the want of it. One
whose eyesight has been trained by drawing and painting finds objects of
interest all around him, to which other people are blind. A primrose by
a river’s brim is, perhaps, more to him who has a feeling for its form
and colour than even to the scientific student, who can tell all about
its classification and component parts. A knowledge of music is often
of the greatest practical service, as by virtue of it, its possessor
is valuable to his associates, to say nothing of his having a constant
source of pleasure and a means of recreation which is most precious as a
relief from the cares of life. Of far greater importance is the knowledge
of our best poetry. One of the first reforms in our school course would
have been, I should have thought, to give this knowledge a much more
prominent place; but Mr. Spencer consigns it, with music and drawing,
to “the leisure part of education.” Whether a man who was engrossed by
science, who had no knowledge of the fine arts except as they illustrated
scientific laws, no acquaintance with the lives of great men, or with
any history but sociology, and who studied the thoughts and emotions
expressed by our great poets merely with a view to their psychological
classification—whether such a man could be said to “live completely” is
a question to which every one, not excepting Mr. Spencer himself, would
probably return the same answer. And yet this is the kind of man which
Mr. Spencer’s system would produce where it was most successful.

§ 15. Let me now briefly sum up the conclusions arrived at, and consider
how far I differ from Mr. Spencer. I believe that there is no one study
which is suited to train the faculties of the mind at every stage of
its development, and that when we have decided on the necessity of this
or that knowledge, we must consider further what is the right time for
acquiring it. I believe that intellectual education should aim, not so
much at communicating facts, however valuable, as at showing the boy
what true knowledge is, and giving him the power and the _disposition_
to acquire it. I believe that the exclusively scientific teaching which
Mr. Spencer approves would not effect this. It would lead at best to
a very one-sided development of the mind. It might fail to engage the
pupil’s interest sufficiently to draw out his faculties, and in this
case the net outcome of his school-days would be no larger than at
present. Of the knowledges which Mr. Spencer recommends for special
objects, some, I think, would not conduce to the object, and some could
not be communicated early in life, (1.) For indirect self-preservation
we do not require to know physiology, but the results of physiology.
(2.) The science which bears on special pursuits in life has not, in
many cases, any pecuniary value, and although it is most desirable that
every one should study the science which makes his work intelligible to
him, this must usually be done when his schooling is over. The school
will have done its part if it has accustomed him to the intellectual
processes by which sciences are learned, and has given him an intelligent
appreciation of their value.[191] (3.) The right way of rearing and
training children should be studied, but not by the children themselves.
(4.) The knowledge which fits a man to discharge his duties as a citizen
is of great importance, and, as Dr. Arnold pointed out, is likely to be
entirely neglected by those who have to struggle for a livelihood. The
schoolmaster should, therefore, by no means neglect this subject with
those of his pupils whose school-days will soon be over, but, probably,
all that he can do is to cultivate in them a sense of the citizen’s
duty, and a capacity for being their own teachers. (5.) The knowledge
of poetry, belles-lettres, and the fine arts, which Mr. Spencer hands
over to the leisure part of education, is the only knowledge in his
program which I think should most certainly form a prominent part in the
curriculum of every school.

§ 16. I therefore differ, though with great respect, from the conclusions
at which Mr. Spencer has arrived. But I heartily agree with him that we
are bound to inquire into the relative value of knowledges, and if we
take, as I should willingly do, Mr. Spencer’s test, and ask how does
this or that knowledge influence action (including in our inquiry its
influence on mind and character, through which it bears upon action),
I think we should banish from our schools much that has hitherto been
taught in them, besides those old tormentors of youth (laid, I fancy, at
last—_requiescant in pace_)—the _Propria quæ Maribus_ and its kindred
absurdities. What we _should_ teach is, of course, not so easily decided
as what we _should not_.

§ 17. I now come to consider Mr. Spencer’s second chapter, in which,
under the heading of “Intellectual Education,” he gives an admirable
summing up of the main principles in which the great writers on the
subject have agreed, from Comenius downwards. These principles are,
perhaps, not all of them unassailable, and even where they are true,
many mistakes must be expected before we arrive at the best method of
applying them; but the only reason that can be assigned for the small
amount of influence they have hitherto exercised is, that most teachers
are as ignorant of them as of the abstrusest doctrines of Kant and Hegel.

§ 18. In stating these principles Mr. Spencer points out that they merely
form a commencement for a science of education. “Before educational
methods can be made to harmonise in character and arrangement with the
faculties in the mode and order of unfolding, it is first needful that
we ascertain with some completeness how the faculties _do_ unfold. At
present we have acquired on this point only a few general notions. These
general notions must be developed in detail—must be transformed into
a multitude of specific propositions before we can be said to possess
that _science_ on which the _art_ of education must be based. And
then, when we have definitely made out in what succession and in what
combinations the mental powers become active, it remains to choose out
of the many possible ways of exercising each of them, that which best
conforms to its natural mode of action. Evidently, therefore, it is not
to be supposed that even our most advanced modes of teaching are the
right ones, or nearly the right ones.” It is not to be wondered at that
we have no science of education. Those who have been able to observe
the phenomena have had no interest in generalising from them. Up to
the present time the schoolmaster has been a person to whom boys were
sent to learn Latin and Greek. He has had, therefore, no more need of
a science than the dancing-master.[192] But the present century, which
has brought in so many changes, will not leave the state of education
as it found it. Latin and Greek, if they are not dethroned in our higher
schools, will have their despotism changed for a very limited monarchy. A
course of instruction certainly without Greek and perhaps without Latin
will have to be provided for middle schools. Juster views are beginning
to prevail of the schoolmaster’s function. It is at length perceived
that he has to assist the development of the human mind, and perhaps,
by-and-bye, he may think it as well to learn all he can of that which he
is employed in developing. When matters have advanced as far as this, we
may begin to hope for a science of education. In Locke’s day he could
say of physical science that there was no such science in existence. For
thousands of years the human race had lived in ignorance of the simplest
laws of the world it inhabited. But the true method of inquiring once
introduced, science has made such rapid conquests, and acquired so great
importance, that some of our ablest men seem inclined to deny, if not the
existence, at least the value, of any other kind of knowledge. So, too,
when teachers seek by actual observation to discover the laws of mental
development, a science may be arrived at, which, in its influence on
mankind, would perhaps rank before any we now possess.

§ 19. Those who have read the previous Essays will have seen in various
forms most of the principles which Mr. Spencer enumerates, but I gladly
avail myself of his assistance in summing them up.

1. We should proceed from the simple to the complex, both in our choice
of subjects and in the way in which each subject is taught. We should
begin with but few subjects at once, and, successively adding to these,
should finally carry on all subjects abreast.

Each larger concept is made by a combination of smaller ones, and
presupposes them. If this order is not attended to in communicating
knowledge, the pupil can learn nothing but words, and will speedily sink
into apathy and disgust.

§ 20. That we must proceed from the known to the unknown is something
more than a corollary to the above;[193] because not only are new
concepts formed by the combination of old, but the mind has a liking
for what it knows, and this liking extends itself to all that can be
connected with its object. The principle of using the known in teaching
the unknown is so simple, that all teachers who really endeavour to make
anything understood, naturally adopt it. The traveller who is describing
what he has seen and what we have not seen tells us that it is in one
particular like this object, and in another like that object, with which
we are already familiar. We combine these different concepts we possess,
and so get some notion of things about which we were previously ignorant.
What is required in our teaching is that the use of the known should
be employed more systematically. Most teachers think of boys who have
no school learning as entirely ignorant. The least reflection shows,
however, that they know already much more than schools can ever teach
them. A sarcastic examiner is said to have handed a small piece of paper
to a student and told him to write _all he knew_ on it. Perhaps many
boys would have no difficulty in stating the sum of their school-learning
within very narrow limits, but with other knowledge a child of five years
old, could he write, might soon fill a volume.[194] Our aim should be to
connect the knowledge boys bring with them to the schoolroom with that
which they are to acquire there.[195] I suppose all will allow, whether
they think it a matter of regret or otherwise, that hardly anything
of the kind has hitherto been attempted. Against this state of things
I cannot refrain from borrowing Mr. Spencer’s eloquent protest. “Not
recognising the truth that the function of books is supplementary—that
they form an indirect means to knowledge when direct means fail, a
means of seeing through other men what you cannot see for yourself,
teachers are eager to give second-hand facts in place of first-hand
facts. Not perceiving the enormous value of that spontaneous education
which goes on in early years, not perceiving that a child’s restless
observation, instead of being ignored or checked, should be diligently
ministered to, and made as accurate and complete as possible, they insist
on occupying its eyes and thoughts with things that are, for the time
being, incomprehensible and repugnant. Possessed by a superstition which
worships the symbols of knowledge instead of the knowledge itself,
they do not see that only when his acquaintance with the objects and
processes of the household, the street, and the fields, is becoming
tolerably exhaustive, only then should a child be introduced to the new
sources of information which books supply, and this not only because
immediate cognition is of far greater value than mediate cognition, but
also because the words contained in books can be rightly interpreted into
ideas only in proportion to the antecedent experience of things.”[196]
While agreeing heartily in the spirit of this protest, I doubt whether we
should wait till the child’s acquaintance with the objects and processes
of the household, the streets, and the fields, is becoming tolerably
exhaustive before we give him instruction from books. The point of time
which Mr. Spencer indicates is, at all events, rather hard to fix, and
I should wish to connect book-learning as soon as possible with the
learning that is being acquired in other ways. Thus might both the books,
and the acts and objects of daily life, win an additional interest. If,
_e.g._, the first reading-books were about the animals, and later on
about the trees and flowers which the children constantly meet with,
and their attention was kept up by large coloured pictures, to which
the text might refer, the children would soon find both pleasure and
advantage in reading, and they would look at the animals and trees with
a keener interest from the additional knowledge of them they had derived
from books. This is, of course, only one small application of a very
influential principle.

§ 21. One marvellous instance of the neglect of this principle is found
in the practice of teaching Latin grammar before English grammar. As
Professor Seeley has so well pointed out, children bring with them to
school the knowledge of language in its concrete form. They may soon be
taught to observe the language they already know, and to find, almost
for themselves, some of the main divisions of words in it. But, instead
of availing himself of the child’s previous knowledge, the schoolmaster
takes a new and difficult language, differing as much as possible from
English, a new and difficult science, that of grammar, conveyed, too,
in a new and difficult terminology, and all this he tries to teach at
the same time. The consequence is that the science is destroyed, the
terminology is either misunderstood, or, more probably, associated with
no ideas, and even the language for which every sacrifice is made, is
found, in nine cases out of ten, never to be acquired at all.[197]

§ 22. 2. “All development is an advance from the indefinite to the
definite.” I do not feel very certain of the truth of this principle,
or of its application, if true. Of course, a child’s intellectual
conceptions are at first vague, and we should not forget this; but it is
rather a fact than a principle.

§ 23. 3. “Our lessons ought to start from the concrete, and end in the
abstract.” What Mr. Spencer says under this head well deserves the
attention of all teachers. “General formulas which men have devised to
express groups of details, and which have severally simplified their
conceptions by uniting many facts into one fact, they have supposed
must simplify the conceptions of a child also. They have forgotten that
a generalisation is simple only in comparison with the whole mass of
particular truths it comprehends; that it is more complex than any one of
these truths taken simply; that only, after many of these single truths
have been acquired, does the generalisation ease the memory and help the
reason; and that, to a mind not possessing these single truths, it is
necessarily a mystery. Thus, confounding two kinds of simplification,
teachers have constantly erred by setting out with “first principles,”
a proceeding essentially, though not apparently, at variance with the
primary rule [of proceeding from the simple to the complex], which
implies that the mind should be introduced to principles through the
medium of examples, and so should be led from the particular to the
general, from the concrete to the abstract.” In conformity with this
principle, Pestalozzi made the actual counting of things precede the
teaching of abstract rules in arithmetic. Basedow introduced weights
and measures into the school, and Mr. Spencer describes some exercise
in cutting out geometrical figures in cardboard, as a preparation for
geometry. The difficulty about such instruction is that it requires
apparatus, and apparatus is apt to get lost or out of order. But if
apparatus is good for anything at all, it is worth a little trouble.
There is a tendency in the minds of many teachers to depreciate
“mechanical appliances.” Even a decent black-board is not always to be
found in our higher schools. But, though such appliances will not enable
a bad master to teach well, nevertheless, other things being equal, the
master will teach better with them than without them. There is little
credit due to him for managing to dispense with apparatus. An author
might as well pride himself on being saving in pens and paper.

§ 24. 4. “The genesis of knowledge in the individual must follow the same
course as the genesis of knowledge in the race.” This is the thesis on
which I have no opinion to offer.

§ 25. 5. From the above principle Mr. Spencer infers that every study
should have a purely experimental introduction, thus proceeding through
an empirical stage to a rational.

§ 26. 6. A second conclusion which Mr. Spencer draws is that, in
education, the process of self-development should be encouraged to the
utmost. Children should be led to make their own investigations, and to
draw their own inferences. They should be told as little as possible,
and induced to discover as much as possible. I quite agree with Mr.
Spencer that this principle cannot be too strenuously insisted on, though
it obviously demands a high amount of intelligence in the teacher. But
if education is to be a training of the faculties, if it is to prepare
the pupil to teach himself, something more is needed than simply to
pour in knowledge and make the pupil reproduce it. The receptive and
reproductive faculties form but a small portion of a child’s powers,
and yet the only portion which many schoolmasters seek to cultivate.
It is indeed, not easy to get beyond this point; but the impediment
is in us, not in the children. “Who can watch,” ask Mr. Spencer, “the
ceaseless observation, and inquiry, and inference, going on in a child’s
mind, or listen to its acute remarks in matters within the range of
its faculties, without perceiving that these powers it manifests, if
brought to bear systematically upon studies _within the same range_,
would readily master them without help? This need for perpetual telling
results from our stupidity, not from the child’s. We drag it away
from the facts in which it is interested, and which it is actively
assimilating of itself. We put before it facts far too complex for it to
understand, and therefore distasteful to it. Finding that it will not
voluntarily acquire these facts, we thrust them into its mind by force
of threats and punishment. By thus denying the knowledge it craves, and
cramming it with knowledge it cannot digest, we produce a morbid state
of its faculties, and a consequent disgust for knowledge in general.
And when, as a result, partly of the stolid indolence we have brought
on, and partly of still-continued unfitness in its studies, the child
can understand nothing without explanation, and becomes a mere passive
recipient of our instruction, we infer that education must necessarily
be carried on thus. Having by our method induced helplessness, we make
the helplessness a reason for our method.” It is, of course, much easier
to point out defects than to remedy them: but every one who has observed
the usual indifference of schoolboys to their work, and the waste of time
consequent on their inattention or only half-hearted attention to the
matter before them, and then thinks of the eagerness with which the same
boys throw themselves into the pursuits of their play-hours, will feel a
desire to get at the cause of this difference; and, perhaps, it may seem
to him partly accounted for by the fact that their school-work makes a
monotonous demand on a single faculty—the memory.

§ 27. 7. This brings me to the last of Mr. Spencer’s principles of
intellectual education. Instruction must excite the interest of the
pupils and therefore be pleasurable to them. “Nature has made the
healthful exercise of our faculties both of mind and body pleasurable.
It is true that some of the highest mental powers as yet but little
developed in the race, and congenitally possessed in any considerable
degree only by the most advanced, are indisposed to the amount of
exertion required of them. But these, in virtue of their very complexity
will in a normal course of culture come last into exercise, and will,
therefore, have no demands made on them until the pupil has arrived at
an age when ulterior motives can be brought into play, and an indirect
pleasure made to counterbalance a direct displeasure. With all faculties
lower than these, however, the immediate gratification consequent on
activity is the normal stimulus, and under good management the only
needful stimulus. When we have to fall back on some other, we must take
the fact as evidence that we are on the wrong track. Experience is daily
showing with greater clearness that there is always a method to be found
productive of interest—even of delight—and it ever turns out that this is
the method proved by all other tests to be the right one.”

§ 28. As far as I have had the means of judging, I have found that the
majority of teachers reject this principle. If you ask them why, most of
them will tell you that it is impossible to make school-work interesting
to children. A large number also hold that it is not desirable. Let us
consider these two points separately.

Of course, if it is not possible to get children to take interest in
anything they could be taught in school, there is an end of the matter.
But no one really goes as far as this. Every teacher finds that some of
the things boys are taught they like better than others, and perhaps
that one boy takes to one subject and another to another; and he also
finds, both of classes and individuals, that they always get on best
with what they like best. The utmost that can be maintained is, then,
that some subjects which must be taught will not interest the majority
of the learners. And if it be once admitted that it is desirable to make
learning pleasant and interesting to our pupils, this principle will
influence us to some extent in the subjects we select for teaching, and
still more in the methods by which we endeavour to teach them. I say we
shall be guided _to some extent_ in the selection of subjects. There
are theorists who assert that nature gives to young minds a craving for
their proper aliment, so that they should be taught only what they show
an inclination for. But surely our natural inclinations in this matter,
as in others, are neither on the one hand to be ignored, nor on the
other to be uncontrolled by such motives as our reason dictates to us.
We at length perceive this in the physical nurture of our children.
Locke directs that children are to have very little sugar or salt.
“Sweetmeats of all kinds are to be avoided,” says he, “which, whether
they do more harm to the maker or eater is not easy to tell.” (Ed. §
20.) Now, however, doctors have found out that young people’s taste for
sweets should in moderation be gratified, that they require sugar as
much as they require any other kind of nutriment. But no one would think
of feeding his children entirely on sweetmeats, or even of letting them
have an unlimited supply of plum puddings and hardbake. If we follow out
this analogy in nourishing the mind, we shall, to some extent, gratify
a child’s taste for “stories,” whilst we also provide a large amount
of more solid fare. But although we should certainly not ignore our
children’s likes and dislikes in learning, or in anything else, it is
easy to attach too much importance to them. Dislike very often proceeds
from mere want of insight into the subject. When a boy has “done” the
First Book of Euclid without knowing how to judge of the size of an
angle, or the Second Book without forming any conception of a rectangle,
no one can be surprised at his not liking Euclid. And then the failure
which is really due to bad teaching is attributed by the master to the
stupidity of his pupil, and by the pupil to the dulness of the subject.
If masters really desired to make learning a pleasure to their pupils, I
think they would find that much might be done to effect this without any
alteration in the subjects taught.

But the present dulness of school-work is not without its defenders. They
insist on the importance of breaking in the mind to hard work. This can
only be done, they say, by tasks which are repulsive to it. The schoolboy
does not like, and ought not to like, learning Latin grammar any more
than the colt should find pleasure in running round in a circle: the very
fact that these things are not pleasant makes them beneficial. Perhaps
a certain amount of such training may train _down_ the mind and qualify
it for some drudgery from which it might otherwise revolt; but if this
result is attained, it is attained at the sacrifice of the intellectual
activity which is necessary for any higher function. As Carlyle says,
(_Latter-Day PP._, No. iij), when speaking of routine work generally, you
want nothing but a sorry nag to draw your sand-cart; your high-spirited
Arab will be dangerous in such a capacity. But who would advocate for all
colts a training which should render them fit for nothing but such humble
toil? I shall say more about this further on (_v._ pp. 472 _ff._); here I
will merely express my strong conviction that boys’ minds are frequently
dwarfed, and their interest in intellectual pursuits blighted, by the
practice of employing the first years of their school-life in learning
by heart things which it is quite impossible for them to understand or
care for. Teachers set out by assuming that little boys cannot understand
anything, and that all we can do with them is to keep them quiet and cram
them with forms which will come in useful at a later age. When the boys
have been taught on this system for two or three years, their teacher
complains that they are stupid and inattentive, and that so long as they
can say a thing by heart they never trouble themselves to understand it.
In other words, the teacher grumbles at them for doing precisely what
they have been taught to do, for repeating words without any thought of
their meaning.

§ 29. In this very important matter I am fully alive to the difference
between theory and practice. It is so easy to recommend that boys should
be got to understand and take an interest in their work—so difficult to
carry out the recommendation! Grown people can hardly conceive that words
which have in their minds been associated with familiar ideas from time
immemorial, are mere sounds in the mouths of their pupils. The teacher
thinks he is beginning at the beginning if he says that a transitive verb
must govern an accusative, or that all the angles of a square are right
angles. He gives his pupils credit for innate ideas up to this point, at
all events, and advancing on this supposition he finds that he can get
nothing out of them but memory-work; so he insists on this that his time
and theirs may seem not to be wholly wasted. The great difficulty of
teaching well, however, is after all but a poor excuse for contentedly
teaching badly, and it would be a great step in advance if teachers in
general were as dissatisfied with themselves as they usually are with
their pupils.[198]

§ 30. I do not purpose following Mr. Spencer through his chapters on
moral and physical education. In practice I find I can draw no line
between moral and religious education; so the discussion of one without
the other has not for me much interest. Mr. Spencer has some very
valuable remarks on physical education which I could do little more than
extract, and I have already made too many quotations from a work which
will be in the hands of most of my readers.

§ 31. Mr. Spencer differs very widely from the great body of our
schoolmasters. I have ventured in turn to differ on some points from Mr.
Spencer; but I have failed to give any adequate notion of the work I
have been discussing if the reader has not perceived that it is not only
one of the most readable, but also one of the most important books on
education in the English language.



$ 1. One of the great wants of middle-class education at present, is
an ideal to work towards. Our old public schools have such an ideal.
The model public school-man is a gentleman who is an elegant Latin and
Greek scholar. True, this may not be a very good ideal, and some of our
ablest men, both literary and scientific, are profoundly dissatisfied
with it. But, so long as it is maintained, all questions of reform are
comparatively simple. In middle-class schools, on the other hand, there
is no _terminus ad quem_. A number of boys are got together, and the
question arises, not simply _how_ to teach, but _what_ to teach. Where
the masters are not university men, they are, it may be, not men of
broad views or high culture. Of course no one will suppose me ignorant
of the fact that a great number of teachers who have never been at a
university, are both enlightened and highly cultivated; and also that
many teachers who have taken degrees, even in honours, are neither.
But, speaking broadly of the two classes, I may fairly assume that the
non-university men are inferior in these respects to the graduates.
If not, our universities should be reformed on Carlyle’s “live-coal”
principle without further loss of time. Many non-university masters
have been engaged in teaching ever since they were boys themselves,
and teaching is a very narrowing occupation. They are apt therefore to
be careless of general principles, and to aim merely at storing their
pupils’ memory with _facts_—facts about language, about history, about
geography, without troubling themselves to consider what is and what is
not worth knowing, or what faculties the boys have, and how they should
be developed. The consequence is their boys get up, for the purpose of
forgetting with all convenient speed, quantities of details about as
instructive and entertaining as the _Propria quæ maribus_, such as the
division of England under the Heptarchy, the battles in the wars of the
Roses, and lists of geographical names. Where the masters are university
men, they have rather a contempt for this kind of cramming, which makes
them do it badly, if they attempt it at all; but they are driven to this
teaching in many cases because they do not know what to substitute in
its place. In their own school-education they were taught classics and
mathematics and nothing else. Their pupils are too young to have much
capacity for mathematics, and they will leave school too soon to get
any sound knowledge of classics; so the strength of the teaching ought
clearly not to be thrown into these subjects. But the master really
knows no other. He soon finds that he is not much his pupils’ superior
in acquaintance with the theory of the English language or with history
and geography. There are not many men with sufficient strength of will to
study whilst their energies are taxed by teaching; and standard books are
not always within reach: so the master is forced to content himself with
hearing lessons in a perfunctory way out of dreary school-books. Hence it
comes to pass that he goes on teaching subjects of which he himself is
ignorant, subjects, too, of which he does not recognise the importance,
with an enlightened disbelief in his own method of tuition. He finds it
uphill work, to be sure, and is conscious that his pupils do not get on,
however hard he may try to drive them; but he never hoped for success in
his teaching, so the want of it does not distress him. I may be suspected
of caricature, but not, I think, by university men who have themselves
had to teach anything besides classics and mathematics.

§ 2. If there is any truth in what I have been saying, school-teaching,
in subjects other than classics and mathematics (which I am not now
considering), is very commonly a failure. And a failure it must remain
until boys can be got to work with a will, in other words, to feel
interest in the subject taught. I know there is a strong prejudice in
some people’s minds against the notion of making learning pleasant. They
remind us that school should be a preparation for after-life. After-life
will bring with it an immense amount of drudgery. If, they say, things
at school are made too easy and pleasant (words, by the way, very often
and very erroneously confounded), school will cease to give the proper
discipline: boys will be turned out not knowing what hard work is, which,
after all, is the most important lesson that can be taught them. In these
views I sincerely concur, so far as this at least, that we want boys to
work hard, and vigorously to go through the necessary drudgery, _i.e._,
labour in itself disagreeable. But this result is not attained by such a
system as I have described. Boys do not learn to work _hard_, but in a
dull stupid way, with most of their faculties lying dormant, and though
they are put through a vast quantity of drudgery, they seem as incapable
of throwing any energy into it as prisoners on the tread-mill. I think
we shall find on consideration, that no one succeeds in any occupation
unless that occupation is interesting, either in itself or from some
object that is to be obtained by means of it. Only when such an interest
is aroused is energy possible. No one will deny that, as a rule, the
most successful men are those for whom their employment has the greatest
attractions. We should be sorry to give ourselves up to the treatment of
a doctor who thought the study of disease mere drudgery, or a dentist who
felt a strong repugnance to operating on teeth. No doubt the successful
man in every pursuit has to go through a great deal of drudgery, but he
has a general interest in the subject, which extends, partially at least,
to its most wearisome details; his energy, too, is excited by the desire
of what the drudgery will gain for him.[199]

§ 3. Observe, that although I would have boys take pleasure in their
work, I regard the pleasure as a _means_, not an end. If it could be
proved that the mind was best trained by the most repulsive exercises, I
should most certainly enforce them. But I do not think that the mind _is_
benefited by galley-slave labour; indeed, hardly any of its faculties are
capable of such labour. We can compel a boy to learn a thing by heart,
but we cannot compel him to wish to understand it; and the intellect
does not act without the will (_v. supra_ p. 193). Hence, when anything
is required which cannot be performed by the memory alone, the driving
system utterly breaks down; and even the memory, as I hope to show
presently, works much more effectually in matters about which the mind
feels an interest. Indeed, the mind without sympathy and interest is like
the sea-anemone when the tide is down, an unlovely thing, closed against
external influences, enduring existence as best it can. But let it find
itself in a more congenial element, and it opens out at once, shows
altogether unexpected capacities, and eagerly assimilates all the proper
food that comes within its reach. Our school teaching is often little
better than an attempt to get sea-anemones to flourish on dry land.

§ 4. We see then, that a boy, before he can throw energy into a study,
must find that study _interesting in itself, or in its results_.

Some subjects, properly taught, are interesting in themselves.

Some subjects may be interesting to older and more thoughtful boys, from
a perception of their usefulness.

All subjects may be made interesting by emulation.

§ 5. Hardly any effort is made in some schools to interest the younger
children in their work, and yet no effort can be, as the Germans say,
more “rewarding.” The teacher of children has this advantage, that his
pupils are never dull and listless, as youths are apt to be. If they are
not attending to him, they very soon give him notice of it; and if he has
the sense to see that their inattention is his fault, not theirs, this
will save him much annoyance and them much misery. He has, too, another
advantage, which gives him the power of gaining their attention—their
emulation is easily excited. In the Waisenhaus at Halle I once heard a
class of very young children, none of them much above six years old,
perform feats of mental arithmetic quite, as I should have said, beyond
their age, and I well remember the pretty eagerness with which each
child held out a little hand and shouted, “_Mich! Bitte!_” to gain the
privilege of answering.

§ 6. Then again, there are many subjects in which children take an
interest. Indeed, all visible things, especially animals, are much more
to them than to us. A child has made acquaintance with all the animals
in the neighbourhood, and can tell you much more about the house and its
surroundings than you know yourself. But all this knowledge and interest
you would wish forgotten directly he comes into school. Reading, writing,
and figures are taught in the driest manner. The two first are in
themselves not uninteresting to the child, as he has something to do, and
young people are much more ready to do anything than to learn anything.
But when lessons are given the child to learn, they are not about things
concerning which he has ideas and feels an interest, but you teach him
mere sounds—_e.g._, that Alfred (to him only a name) came to the throne
in 871, though he has no notion what the throne is, or what 871 means.
The child learns the lesson with much trouble and small profit, bearing
the infliction with what patience he can, till he escapes out of school
and begins to learn much faster on a very different system.

§ 7. We cannot often introduce into the school the thing, much less the
animal, which children would care to see, but we can introduce what will
please them as well, in some cases even better, viz., good pictures. A
teacher who could draw boldly on the blackboard, would have no difficulty
in arresting the children’s attention. But, at present, few can do this,
and pictures must be provided. A good deal has been done of late years
in the way of illustrating children’s books, and even childhood must be
the happier for such pictures as those of Tenniel and Harrison Weir. But
it seems well understood that these gentlemen are incapable of doing
anything for children beyond affording them innocent amusement, and we
should be as much surprised at seeing their works introduced into that
region of asceticism, the English school-room, as if we ran across one of
Raphael’s Madonnas in a Baptist chapel.[200]

§ 8. I had the good fortune, many years ago, to be present at the lessons
given by a very excellent teacher to the youngest class, consisting both
of boys and girls, at the first _Bürger-schule_ of Leipzig. In Saxony the
schooling which the state demands for each child, begins at six years
old, and lasts till fourteen. These children were, therefore, between six
and seven. In one year, a certain Dr. Vater taught them to read, write,
and reckon. His method of teaching was as follows:—Each child had a book
with pictures of objects, such as a hat, a slate, &c. Under the picture
was the name of the object in printing and writing characters, and also
a couplet about the object. The children having opened their books, and
found the picture of a hat, the teacher showed them a hat, and told them
a tale connected with one. He then asked the children questions about
his story, and about the hat he had in his hand—What was the colour of
it? &c. He then drew a hat on the blackboard, and made the children copy
it on their slates. Next he wrote the word “hat” and told them that for
people who could read this did as well as the picture. The children then
copied the word on their slates. The teacher proceeded to analyse the
word “hat, (_hut_).” “It is made up,” said he, “of three sounds, the
most important of which is the _a_ (_u_), which comes in the middle.” In
all cases the vowel sound was first ascertained in every syllable, and
then was given an approximation to consonantal sounds before and after.
The couplet was now read by the teacher, and the children repeated it
after him. In this way the book had to be worked over and over till the
children were perfectly familiar with everything in it. They had been
already six months thus employed when I visited the school, and knew the
book pretty thoroughly. To test their knowledge, Dr. Vater first wrote a
number of capitals at random on the board, and called out a boy to tell
him words having these capitals as initials. This boy had to call out a
girl to do something of the kind, she a boy, and so forth. Everything was
done very smartly, both by master and children. The best proof I saw of
their accuracy and quickness was this: the master traced words from the
book very rapidly with a stick on the blackboard, and the children always
called out the right word, though I could not follow him. He also wrote
with chalk words which the children had never seen, and made them name
first the vowel sounds, then the consonantal, then combine them.

I have been thus minute in my description of this lesson, because it
seems to me an admirable example of the way in which children between
six and eight years of age should be taught. The method (see Rüegg’s
_Pädagogik_, p. 360; also _Die Normalwörtermethode_, published by Orell,
Füssli, Zürich, 1876), was arranged and the book prepared by the late Dr.
Vogel, who was then Director of the school. Its merits, as its author
pointed out to me, are:—1. That it connects the instruction with objects
of which the child has already an idea in his mind, and so associates
new knowledge with old; 2. That it gives the children plenty to _do_ as
well as to learn, a point on which the Doctor was very emphatic; 3. That
it makes the children go over the same matter in various ways till they
have _learnt a little thoroughly_, and then applies their knowledge to
the acquirement of more. Here the Doctor seems to have followed Jacotot.
But though the method was no doubt a good one, I must say its success
at Leipzig was due at least as much to Dr. Vater as to Dr. Vogel. This
gentleman had been taking the youngest class in this school for twenty
years, and, whether by practice or natural talent, he had acquired
precisely the right manner for keeping children’s attention. He was
energetic without bustle and excitement, and quiet without a suspicion of
dulness or apathy. By frequently changing the employment of the class,
and requiring smartness in everything that was done, he kept them all on
the alert. The lesson I have described was followed without pause by one
in arithmetic, the two together occupying an hour and three quarters, and
the interest of the children never flagged throughout.

§ 9. Dr. Vater’s method for arithmetic I cannot now recall; but I do
not doubt that, as a German teacher who had studied his profession, he
understood what English teachers and pupil-teachers do not understand,
viz., how children should get their first knowledge of numbers.
Pestalozzi and Froebel insisted that children should learn about numbers
from _things_ which they actually counted; and, according to Grubé’s
method, which I found in Germany over 30 years ago, and which is now
extending to the United States, the whole of the first year is given to
the relations of numbers not exceeding ten (see _Grubé’s Method_ by L.
Seeley, New York, Kellogg, and F. L. Soldan’s _Grubé’s M._, Chicago).
In arithmetic everything depends on these relations becoming thoroughly
familiar. The decimal scale is possibly not so good as the scale of eight
or of twelve, but the human race has adopted it; and even the French
Revolutionists, with all their belief in “reason,” and their hatred of
the past, recoiled from any attempt to change it. But in accepting it,
they endeavoured to remove anomalies, and so should we. Everything must
be based on groups of ten; and with children we should do well, as Mr.
W. Wooding suggests, to avoid the great anomaly in our nomenclature, and
call the numbers between ten and twenty (_i.e._, twain-tens or two-tens),
“ten-one, ten-two, &c.” Numeration should by a long way precede any
kind of notation, and the main truths about numbers should be got
at experimentally with counters or coins. In these truths should be
included all that we usually separate under the “First Four Rules,” and
with integers we may even from the first give a clear conception of the
fractional parts of whole numbers, _e.g._, that one third of 6 is 2.[201]

Actual measuring and weighing, besides actual counting, go towards actual
arithmetic for children.

All this teaching, if conducted as Dr. Vater would have conducted it,
would not give children any distaste for learning or make them dread the
sound of the school bell.

§ 10. I will suppose a child to have passed through such a course as this
by the time he is eight or nine years old. Besides having some clear
notions of number and form, he can now read and copy easy words. What
we next want for him is a series of good reading-books, about things in
which he takes an interest. The language must of course be simple, but
the matter so good that neither master nor pupils will be disgusted by
its frequent repetition.

The first volume may very well be about animals—dogs, horses, &c., of
which large pictures should be provided, illustrating the text. The first
cost of these pictures would be considerable, but as they would last for
years, the expense to the friends of each child taught from them would be
a mere trifle.

§ 11. The books placed in the hands of the children should be well
printed and strongly bound. In the present penny-wise system,
school-books are given out in cloth, and the leaves are loose at the end
of a fortnight, so that children get accustomed to their destruction and
treat it as a matter of course. This ruins their respect for books, which
is not so unimportant a matter as it may at first appear.

§ 12. After each reading lesson, which should contain at least one
interesting anecdote, there should be columns of all the words which
occurred for the first time in that lesson. These should be arranged
according to their grammatical classification, not that the child should
be taught grammar, but this order is as good as any other, and by it
the child would learn to observe certain differences in words almost

Here I cannot resist quoting an excellent remark from Helps’s _Brevia_
(p. 125). “We should make the greatest progress in art, science,
politics, and morals, if we could train up our minds to look straight
and steadfastly and uninterruptedly at the thing in question that we
are observing. This seems a very slight thing to do; but practically
it is hardly ever done. Between you and the object rises a mist of
technicalities, of prejudices, of previous knowledge, and, above all,
of terrible familiarity.” Perhaps it is this “terrible familiarity”
that has prevented our seeing till quite lately that reading is the art
of getting meaning by signs that appeal to the eye, _not_ the art of
reporting to others the meaning we have thus arrived at. “Accustoming
boys to read aloud what they do not first understand,” says Benjamin
Franklin, “is the cause of those even set tones so common among readers,
which, when they have once got a habit of using [them], they find so
difficult to correct; by which means, among fifty readers we scarcely
find a good one.” (_Essays, Sk. of English Sch._) It seems to have
escaped even Franklin’s sagacity that reading aloud is a different art
to the art of reading, and a much harder one. The two should be studied
separately, and most time and attention should be given to silent
reading, which is by far the more important of the two. Colonel F. W.
Parker, who has successfully cultivated the power of “looking straight
at” things, gives us in his _Talks on Teaching_ the right rule for
reading. “Changing,” says he, “the beautiful power of expression, full
of melody, harmony, and correct emphasis and inflection, to the slow,
painful, almost agonising pronunciation that we have heard so many times
in the school-room, is a terrible sin that we should never be guilty of.
There is, indeed, not the slightest need of changing a good habit to a
miserable one if we would follow the rule that the child has naturally
followed all his life. _Never allow a child to give a thought till he
gets it_” (p. 37). Now that the existence of a thought in children is
allowed for, we may expect all sorts of improvements. Reading, as a means
of ascertaining thought, is second only to hearing, and this art should
be cultivated by giving children books of questions (_e.g._, Horace
Grant’s _Arithmetic for Young Children_), and requiring the learner
silently to get at the question and then give the answer aloud.

§ 13. Easy descriptive and narrative poetry should be learnt by heart at
this stage. That the children may repeat it well, they should get their
first notions of it from the master _vivâ voce_. According to the usual
plan, they get it up with false emphasis and false stops, and the more
thoroughly they have learnt the piece, the more difficulty the master has
in making them say it properly.

§ 14. Every lesson should be worked over in various ways. The columns
of words at the end of the reading lessons may be printed with writing
characters, and used for copies. To write an upright column either of
words or figures is an excellent exercise in neatness. The columns will
also be used as spelling lessons, and the children may be questioned
about the meaning of the words. The poetry, when thoroughly learned,
may sometimes be written from memory. Sentences from the book may be
copied either directly or from the black-board, and afterwards used for

§ 15. Boys should, as soon as possible, be accustomed to write out
fables, or the substance of other reading lessons, in their own words.
They may also write descriptions of things with which they are familiar,
or any event which has recently happened, such as a country excursion.
Every one feels the necessity, on grounds of practical utility at all
events, of boys being taught to express their thoughts neatly on paper,
in good English and with correct spelling. Yet this is a point rarely
reached before the age of fifteen or sixteen, often never reached at
all. The reason is, that written exercises must be carefully looked over
by the master, or they are done in a slovenly manner. Anyone who has
never taught in a school will say, “Then let the master carefully look
them over.” But the expenditure of time and trouble this involves on the
master is so great, that in the end he is pretty sure either to have few
exercises written, or to neglect to look them over. The only remedy is
for the master not to have many boys to teach, and not to be many hours
in school. Even then, unless he set apart a special time every day for
correcting exercises, he is likely to find them “increase upon him.”

§ 16. The course of reading-books, accompanied by large illustrations,
may go on to many other things which the children see around them, such
as trees and plants, and so lead up to instruction in natural history and
physiology. But in imparting all knowledge of this kind, we should aim,
not at getting the children to remember a number of facts, but at opening
their eyes, and extending the range of their interests.

§ 17. I should suggest, then, for children, three books to be used
concurrently, viz., a reading book about animals and things, a poetry
book, and a prose narrative or Æsop’s Fables. With the first commences a
series culminating in works of science; with the second, a series that
should lead up to Milton and Shakespeare; the third should be succeeded
by some of our best writers in prose.

§ 18. But many schoolmasters will shudder at the thought of a child’s
spending a year or two at school without ever hearing of the Heptarchy
or Magna Charta, and without knowing the names of the great towns in
any country of Europe. I confess I regard this ignorance with great
equanimity. If the child, or the youth even, takes no interest in the
Heptarchy and Magna Charta, and knows nothing of the towns but their
names, I think him quite as well off without this knowledge as with
it—perhaps better, as such knowledge turns the lad into a “wind-bag,” as
Carlyle might say, and gives him the appearance of being well-informed
without the reality. But I neither despise a knowledge of history and
geography; nor do I think that these studies should be neglected for
foreign languages or science: and it is because I should wish a pupil
of mine to become, in the end, thoroughly conversant in history and
geography, that I should, if possible, conceal from him the existence of
the numerous school manuals on these subjects.

We will suppose that a parent meets with a book which he thinks will
be both instructive and entertaining to his children. But the book is
a large one, and would take a long time to get through; so instead of
reading any part of it to them or letting them read it for themselves, he
makes them _learn by heart the table of contents_. The children do _not_
find it entertaining; they get a horror of the book, which prevents their
ever looking at it afterwards, and they forget what they have learnt
as soon as they possibly can. Just such is the sagacious plan adopted
in teaching history and geography in schools, and such are the natural
consequences. Every student knows that the use of an epitome is to
_systematise_ knowledge, not to communicate it, and yet, in teaching, we
give the epitome first, and allow it to precede, or rather to supplant,
the knowledge epitomised. The children are disgusted, and no wonder. The
subjects, indeed, are interesting, but not so the epitomes. I suppose if
we could see the skeletons of the Gunnings, we should not find them more
fascinating than any other skeletons.[203]

§ 19. The first thing to be aimed at, then, is to excite the children’s
interest. Even if we thought of nothing but the acquiring of information,
this is clearly the true method. What are the facts which we remember?
Those in which we feel an interest. If we are told that So-and-so has met
with an accident, or failed in business, we forget it directly, unless we
know the person spoken of. Similarly, if I read anything about Addison
or Goldsmith, it interests me, and I remember it because they are, so
to speak, friends of mine; but the same information about Sir Richard
Blackmore or Cumberland would not stay in my head for four-and-twenty
hours. So, again, we naturally retain anything we learn about a foreign
country in which a relation has settled, but it would require some little
trouble to commit to memory the same facts about a place in which we
had no concern. All this proceeds from two causes. First, that the mind
retains that in which it takes an interest; and, secondly, that one of
the principal helps to memory is the association of ideas. These were,
no doubt, the ground reasons which influenced Dr. Arnold in framing his
plan of a child’s first history book. This book, he says, should be
a picture-book of the memorable deeds which would best appeal to the
child’s imagination. They should be arranged in order of time, but with
no other connection. The letter-press should simply, but fully, tell
the _story_ of the action depicted. These would form starting-points
of interest. The child would be curious to know more about the great
men whose acquaintance he had made, and would associate with them the
scenes of their exploits; and thus we might actually find our children
anxious to learn history and geography! I am sorry that even the great
authority of Dr. Arnold has not availed to bring this method into use.
Such a book would, of course, be dear. Bad pictures are worse than none
at all: and Goethe tells us that his appreciation of Homer was for years
destroyed by his having been shown, when a child, absurd pictures of the
Homeric heroes. The book would, therefore, cost six or eight shillings at
least; and who would give this sum for an account of single actions of
a few great men, when he might buy the lives of all great men, together
with ancient and modern history, the names of the planets, and a great
amount of miscellaneous information, all for a shilling in “Mangnall’s

However, if the saving of a few shillings is more to be thought of than
the best method of instruction, the subject hardly deserves our serious

§ 20. It is much to be regretted that books for the young are so seldom
written by distinguished authors. I suppose that of the three things
which the author seeks, money, reputation, influence, the first is not
often despised, nor the last considered the least valuable. And yet both
money and influence are more certainly gained by a good book for the
young than by any other. The influence of “Tom Brown,” however different
in kind, is probably not smaller in amount than that of “Sartor Resartus.”

§ 21. What we want is a Macaulay for boys, who shall handle historical
subjects with that wonderful art displayed in the “Essays,”—the art of
elaborating all the more telling portions of the subject, outlining the
rest, and suppressing everything that does not conduce to heighten the
general effect. Some of these essays, such as the “Hastings” and “Clive,”
will be read with avidity by the elder boys; but Macaulay did not write
for children, and he abounds in words to them unintelligible. Had he been
a married man, we might perhaps have had such a volume of historical
sketches for boys as now we must wish for in vain. But there are good
story-tellers left among us, and we might soon expect such books as we
desiderate, if it were clearly understood what is the right sort of book,
and if men of literary ability and experience would condescend to write

§ 22. If, in these latter days, “the individual withers, and the world
is more and more,” we must not expect our children to enter into this.
Their sympathy and their imagination can be aroused, not for nations,
but for individuals; and this is the reason why some biographies of
great men should precede any history. These should be written after
Macaulay’s method. There should be no attempt at completeness, but what
is most important and interesting about the man should be narrated in
detail, and the rest lightly sketched, or omitted altogether. Painters
understand this principle, and, in taking a portrait, very often depict a
man’s features minutely without telling all the truth about the buttons
on his waistcoat. But, because in a literary picture each touch takes up
additional space, writers seem to fear that the picture will be distorted
unless every particular is expanded or condensed in the same ratio.

§ 23. At the risk of wearisome repetition, I must again say that I
care as little about driving “useful knowledge” into a boy as the most
ultra Cambridge man could wish; but I want to get the boy to have wide
sympathies, and to teach himself; and I should therefore select the great
men from very different periods and countries, that his net of interest
(so to speak) may be spread in all waters.

§ 24. When we have thus got our boys to form the acquaintance of great
men, they will have certain associations connected with many towns and
countries. Constant reference should be made to the map, and the boys’
knowledge and interest will thus make settlements in different parts of
the globe. These may be extended by a good book of travels, especially
of voyages of discovery. There are now many such books suitable for the
purpose, but I am still partial to a book which has been a delight to
me and to my own children from our earliest years:—Miss Hack’s “Winter
Evenings; or, Tales of Travelers”; or, as Routledge now calls a part of
it, “Travels in Hot and Cold Lands.” In studying such travels, the map
should, of course, be always in sight; and outline maps may be filled
up by the boys as they learn about the places in the traveller’s route.
Anyone who has had the management of a school library knows how popular
“voyage and venture” is with the boys who have passed the stage in which
the picture-books of animals were the main attraction. Captain Cook,
Mungo Park, and Admiral Byron are heroes without whom boyhood would
be incomplete; but as boys are engrossed by the adventures, and never
trouble themselves about the map, they often remember the incidents
without knowing where they happened.

Of course, school geographies never mention such people as celebrated
travellers; if they did, it would be impossible to give all the principal
geographical names in the world within the compass of 200 pages.

§ 25. What might we fairly expect from such a course of teaching as I
have here suggested?

At the end of a year and a half, or two years, from the age, say, of
nine, the boy would read to himself intelligently; he would write fairly;
he would spell all common English words correctly; he would be thoroughly
familiar with the relations of all common numbers, that is, of all
numbers below 100; he would have had his interest aroused, or, to speak
more accurately, not stifled but increased in common objects, such as
animals, trees, and plants; he would have made the acquaintance of some
great men, and traced the voyages of some great travellers; he would be
able to say by heart and to write from memory some of the best simple
English poetry, and his ear would be familiar with the sound of good
English prose. So much, at least, on the positive side. On the negative
there might also be results of considerable value. He would _not_ have
learned to look upon books and school-time as the torment of his life,
nor have fallen into the habit of giving them as little of his attention
as he could reconcile with immunity from the cane. The benefit of the
negative result might outweigh a very glib knowledge of “tables” and
Latin Grammar.



§ 1. All who are acquainted with the standard treatises on the theory of
education, and also with the management of schools, will have observed
that moral and religious training occupies a larger and more prominent
space in theory than in practice. On consideration, we shall find perhaps
that this might naturally be expected. Of course we are all agreed that
morality is more important than learning, and masters who are many of
them clergymen, will hardly be accused of under-estimating the value
of religion. Why then, does not moral and religious training receive a
larger share of the master’s attention? The reason I take to be this.
Experience shows that it depends directly on the master whether a boy
acquires knowledge, but only indirectly, and in a much less degree,
whether he grows up a good and religious man. The aim which engrosses
most of our time is likely to absorb an equal share of our interest; and
thus it happens that masters, especially those who never associate on
terms of intimacy with their pupils out of school, throw energy enough
into making boys _learn_, but seldom think at all of the development
of their character, or about their thoughts and feelings in matters of
religion. This statement may indeed be exaggerated, but no one who
has the means of judging will assert that it is altogether without
foundation. And yet, although a master can be more certain of sending
out his pupils well-taught than well-principled, his influence on their
character is much greater than it might appear to a superficial observer.
I am not speaking of formal religious instruction. I refer now to the
teacher’s indirect influence. The results of his formal teaching vary
as its amount, but he can apply no such gauge to his informal teaching.
A few words of earnest advice or remonstrance, which a boy hears at the
right time from a man whom he respects, may affect that boy’s character
for life. Here everything depends, not on the words used, but on the
feeling with which they are spoken, and on the way in which the speaker
is regarded by the hearer. In such matters the master has a much more
delicate and difficult task than in mere instruction. The words, indeed,
are soon spoken, but that which gives them their influence is not soon
or easily acquired. Here, as in so many other instances, we may in a
few minutes throw down what it has cost us days—perhaps years—to build
up. An unkind word will destroy the effects of long-continued kindness.
Boys always form their opinion of a man from the worst they know of him.
Experience has not yet taught them that good people have their failings,
and bad people their virtues. If the scholars find the master at times
harsh and testy, they cannot believe in his kindness of heart and care
for their welfare. They do not see that he may have an ideal before him
to which he is partly, though not wholly true. They judge him by his
demeanour in his least guarded moments—at times when he is jaded and
dissatisfied with the result of his labours. At such times he is no
longer “in touch” with his pupils. He is conscious only of his own power
and mental superiority. Feeling almost a contempt for the boys’ weakness,
he does not care for their opinion of him or think for an instant what
impression he is making by his words and conduct. He gives full play to
his _arbitrium_, and says or does something which seems to the boys to
reveal him in his true character, and which causes them ever after to
distrust his kindness.

§ 2. When we consider the way in which masters endeavour to gain
influence, we shall find that they may be divided roughly into two
parties, whom I will call the open and the reserved. A teacher of the
_open_ party endeavours to appear to his pupils precisely as he is.
He will hear of no restraint except that of decorum. He believes that
if he is as much the superior of his pupils as he ought to be, his
authority will take care of itself without his casting round it a wall
of artificial reserve. “Be natural,” he says; “get rid of affectations
and shams of all kinds; and then, if there is any good in you, it will
tell on those around you. Whatever is bad, would be felt just as surely
in disguise; and the disguise would only be an additional source of
mischief.” The _reserved_, on the other hand, wish their pupils to think
of them as they ought to be rather than as they are. Against the other
party they urge that our words and actions cannot always be in harmony
with our thoughts and feelings, however much we may desire to make them
so. We must, therefore, they say, reconcile ourselves to this; and since
our words and actions are more under our control than our thoughts and
feelings, we must make them as nearly as possible what they should be,
instead of debasing them to involuntary thoughts and feelings which are
not worthy of us. Then again, a teacher who is an idealist may say,
“The young require some one to look up to. In my better moments I am not
altogether unworthy of their respect; but if they knew all my weaknesses,
they would naturally, and perhaps justly, despise me. For their sakes,
therefore, I must keep my weaknesses out of sight, and the effort to do
this demands a certain reserve in all our intercourse.”

§ 3. I suppose an excess in either direction might lead to mischievous
results. The “open” man might be wanting in self-restraint, and might say
and do things which, though not wrong in themselves, might have a bad
effect on the young. Then, again, the lower and more worldly side of his
character might show itself in too strong relief; and his pupils seeing
this mainly, and supposing that they understood him entirely, might
disbelieve in his higher motives and religious feeling. On the other
hand, those who set up for being better than they really are, are, as it
were, walking on stilts. They gain no real influence by their separation
from their pupils, and they are always liable to an accident which may
expose them to their ridicule.[204]

§ 4. I am, therefore, though with some limitation, in favour of the
_open_ school. I am well aware, however, what an immense demand this
system makes on the master who desires to exercise a good influence on
the moral and religious character of his pupils. If he would have his
pupils know him as he is, if he would have them think as he thinks,
feel as he feels, and believe as he believes, he must be, at least in
heart and aim, worthy of their imitation. He must (with reverence be
it spoken) enter, in his humble way, into the spirit of the perfect
Teacher, who said, “For their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also
may be sanctified in truth.” Are we prepared to look upon our calling in
this light? I believe that the school-teachers of this country need not
fear comparison with any other body of men, in point of morality, and
religious earnestness; but I dare say many have found, as I have, that
the occupation is a very _narrowing_ one, that the teacher soon gets to
work in a groove, and from having his thoughts so much occupied with
routine work, especially with small fault-findings and small corrections,
he is apt to settle down insensibly into a kind of moral and intellectual
stagnation—Philistinism, as Matthew Arnold has taught us to call it—in
which he cares as little for high aims and general principles as his
most commonplace pupil. Thus it happens sometimes that a man who set
out with the notion of developing all the powers of his pupils’ minds,
thinks in the end of nothing but getting them to work out equations and
do Latin exercises without false concords; and the clergyman even, who
began with a strong sense of his responsibility and a confident hope of
influencing the boys’ belief and character, at length is quite content if
they conform to discipline and give him no trouble out of school-hours.
We may say of a really good teacher what Wordsworth says of the poet; in
his work he must neither

      lack that first great gift, the vital soul,
  Nor general truths, which are themselves a sort
  Of elements and agents, under-powers,
  Subordinate helpers of the living mind.—_Prelude_, i. 9.

But the “vital soul” is too often crushed by excessive routine labour,
and then when general truths, both moral and intellectual, have ceased
to interest us, our own education stops, and we become incapable of
fulfilling the highest and most important part of our duty in educating

§ 5. It is, then, the duty of the teacher to resist gravitating into this
state, no less for his pupils’ sake than for his own. The ways and means
of doing this I am by no means competent to point out; so I will merely
insist on the importance of teachers not being overworked—a matter which
has not, I think, hitherto received due attention.

We cannot expect intellectual activity of men whose minds are compelled
“with pack-horse constancy to keep the road” hour after hour, till they
are too jaded for exertion of any kind. The man himself suffers, and
his work, even his easiest work, suffers also. It may be laid down as a
general rule, that no one can teach long and teach well. All satisfactory
teaching and management of boys absolutely requires that the master
should be _in good spirits_. When the “genial spirits fail,” as they must
from an overdose of monotonous work, everything goes wrong directly. The
master has no longer the power of keeping the boys’ attention, and has to
resort to punishments even to preserve order. His gloom quenches their
interest and mental activity, just as fire goes out before carbonic acid;
and in the end teacher and taught acquire, not without cause, a feeling
of mutual aversion.

§ 6. And another reason why the master should not spend the greater
part of his time in formal teaching is this—his doing so compels him to
neglect the informal but very important teaching he may both give and
receive by making his pupils his companions.

§ 7. I fear I shall be met here by an objection which has only too much
force in it. Most Englishmen are at a loss how to make any use of
leisure. If a man has no turn for thinking, no fondness for reading, and
is without a hobby, what good shall his leisure do him? he will only pass
it in insipid gossip, from which any easy work would be a relief. That
this is so in many cases, is a proof to my mind of the utter failure of
our ordinary education: and perhaps an improved education may some day
alter what now seems a national peculiarity. Meantime the mind, even of
Englishmen, is more than a “succedaneum for salt;”[205] and its tendency
to bury its sight, ostrich-fashion, under a heap of routine work must be
strenuously resisted, if it is to escape its deadly enemies, stupidity
and ignorance.

§ 8. I have elsewhere expressed what I believe is the common conviction
of those who have seen something both of large schools and of small,
viz., that the moral atmosphere of the former is, as a rule, by far the
more wholesome;[206] and also that each boy is more influenced by his
companions than by his master. More than this, I believe that in many,
perhaps in most, schools, one or two boys affect the tone of the whole
body more than any master.[207] What are called Preparatory Schools
labour under this immense disadvantage, that their ruling spirits are
mere children without reflection or sense of responsibility.[208] But
where the leading boys are virtually young men, these may be made a
medium through which the mind of the master may act upon the whole
school. They can enter into the thoughts, feelings, and aims of the
master on the one hand, and they know what is said and done among the
boys on the other. The master must, therefore, know the elder boys
intimately, and they must know him. This consummation, however, will
not be arrived at without great tact and self-denial on the part of the
master. The youth who is “neither man nor boy” is apt to be shy and
awkward, and is not by any means so easy to entertain as the lad who
chatters freely of the school’s cricket or football, past, present, and
to come. But the master who feels how all-important is the _tone_ of the
school, will not grudge any pains to influence those on whom it chiefly

§ 9. But, allowing the value of all these indirect influences, can we
afford to neglect direct formal religious instruction? We have most of us
the greatest horror of what we call a secular education, meaning thereby
an education without formal religious teaching. But this horror seems to
affect our theory more than our practice. Few parents ever enquire what
religious instruction their sons get at Eton, Harrow, or Westminster. At
Harrow when I was in the Fourth Form there (nearly fifty years ago by the
way) we had no religious instruction except a weekly lesson in Watts’s
Scripture History; and when I was a master some twenty years ago my form
had only a Sunday lesson in a portion of the Old Testament, and a lesson
in French Testament at “First School” on Monday. Even in some “Voluntary
Schools” we do not find “religious instruction” made so much of as the

§ 10. In this matter we differ very widely from the Germans. All their
classes have a “religion-lesson” (_Religionstunde_) nearly every day, the
younger children in the German Bible, the elder in the Greek Testament
or Church History; and in all cases the teacher is careful to instruct
his pupils in the tenets of Luther or Calvin. The Germans may urge that
if we believe a set of doctrines to be a fitting expression of Divine
revelation, it is our first duty to make the young familiar with those
doctrines. I cannot say, however, that I have been favourably impressed
by the religion-lessons I have heard given in German schools. I do
not deny that dogmatic teaching is necessary, but the first thing to
cultivate in the young is reverence; and reverence is surely in danger
if you take a class in “religion” just as you take a class in grammar.
Emerson says somewhere, that to the poet, the saint, and the philosopher,
all distinction of sacred and profane ceases to exist, all things become
alike sacred. As the schoolboy, however, does not as yet come under any
one of these denominations, if the distinction ceases to exist for him,
all things will become alike profane.

§ 11. I believe that religious instruction is conveyed in the most
impressive way when it is connected with worship. Where the prayers
are joined with the reading of Scripture and with occasional simple
addresses, and where the congregation have responses to repeat, and
psalms and hymns to sing, there is reason to hope that boys will
increase, not only in knowledge, but in wisdom and reverence too. Without
asserting that the Church of England service is the best possible for
the young, I hold that any form for them should at least resemble it
in its main features, should be as varied as possible, should require
frequent change of posture, and should give the congregation much to say
and sing. Much use might be made as in the Church of Rome, of litanies.
The service, whatever its form, should be conducted with great solemnity,
and the boys should not sit or kneel so close together that the badly
disposed may disturb their neighbours who try to join in the act of
worship. If good hymns are sung, these may be taken occasionally as the
subject of an address, so that attention may be drawn to their meaning.
Music should be carefully attended to, and the danger of irreverence
at practices guarded against by never using sacred words more than is
necessary, and by impressing on the singers the sacredness of everything
connected with Divine worship. Questions combined with instruction may
sometimes keep up boys’ attention better than a formal sermon. Though
common prayer should be frequent, this should not be supposed to take the
place of private prayer. In many schools boys have hardly an opportunity
for private prayer. They kneel down, perhaps, with all the talk and play
of their schoolfellows going on around them, and sometimes fear of public
opinion prevents their kneeling down at all. A schoolmaster cannot teach
private prayer, but he can at least see that there is opportunity for it.

Education to goodness and piety, as far as it lies in human hands, must
consist almost entirely in the influence of the good and pious superior
over his inferiors, and as this influence is independent of rules, these
remarks of mine cannot do more than touch the surface of this most
important subject.[209]

§ 12. In conclusion, I wish to say a word on the education of opinion.
Sir Arthur Helps lays great stress on preparing the way to moderation
and open-mindedness by teaching boys that all good men are not of the
same way of thinking. It is indeed a miserable error to lead a young
person to suppose that his small ideas are a measure of the universe,
and that all who do not accept his formularies are less enlightened than
himself. If a young man is so brought up, he either carries intellectual
blinkers all his life, or, what is far more probable, he finds that
something he has been taught is false, and forthwith begins to doubt
everything. On the other hand, it is a necessity with the young to
believe, and we could not, even if we would, bring a youth into such a
state of mind as to regard everything about which there is any variety of
opinion as an open question. But he may be taught reverence and humility;
he may be taught to reflect how infinitely greater the facts of the
universe must be than our poor thoughts about them, and how inadequate
are words to express even our imperfect thoughts. Then he will not
suppose that all truth has been taught him in his formularies, nor that
he understands even all the truth of which those formularies are the
imperfect expression.[210]



§ 1. When I originally published these essays (more than 22 years ago)
the critic of the _Nonconformist_ in one of the best, though by no
means most complimentary, of the many notices with which the book was
favoured, took me to task for being in such a hurry to publish. I had
confessed incompleteness. What need was there for me to publish before I
had completed my work? Since that time I have spent years on my subject
and at least two years on these essays themselves; but they now seem to
me even further from completeness than they seemed then. However, I have
reason to believe that the old book, incomplete as it was, proved useful
to teachers; and in its altered form it will, I hope, be found useful

§ 2. It may be useful I think in two ways.

First: it may lead some teachers to the study of the great thinkers on
education. There are some vital truths which remain in the books which
time cannot destroy. In the world as Goethe says are few voices, many
echoes; and the echoes often prevent our hearing the voices distinctly.
Perhaps most people had a better chance of hearing the voices when there
were fewer books and no periodicals. Speakers properly so called cannot
now be heard for the hubbub of the talkers; and as literature is becoming
more and more periodical our writers seem mostly employed like children
on card pagodas or like the recumbent artists of the London streets who
produce on the stones of the pavement gaudy chalk drawings which the next
shower washes out.

But if I would have fewer books what business have I to add to the
number? I may be told that—

  “He who in quest of quiet, ‘Silence!’ hoots,
  Is apt to make the hubbub he imputes.”

My answer is that I do not write to expound my own thought, but to draw
attention to the thoughts of the men who are best worth hearing. It is
not given to us small people to think strongly and clearly like the great
people; we, however, gain in strength and clearness by contact with them;
and this contact I seek to promote. So long as this book is used, it will
I hope be used only as an _introduction_ to the great thinkers whose
names are found in it.

§ 3. There is another way in which the book may be of use. By considering
the great thinkers in chronological order we see that each adds to the
treasure which he finds already accumulated, and thus by degrees we are
arriving in education, as in most departments of human endeavour, at a
_science_. In this science lies our hope for the future. Teachers must
endeavour to obtain more and more knowledge of the laws to which their
art has to conform itself.

§ 4. It may be of advantage to some readers if I point out briefly what
seems to me the course of the main stream of thought as it has flowed
down to us from the Renascence.

§ 5. As I endeavoured to show at the beginning of this book, the Scholars
of the Renascence fell into a great mistake, a mistake which perhaps
could not have been avoided at a time when literature was rediscovered
and the printing press had just been invented. This mistake was the
idolatry of books, and, still worse, of books in Latin and Greek. So the
schoolmaster fell into a bad theory or conception of his task, for he
supposed that his function was to teach Latin and Greek; and his practice
or way of going to work was not much better, for his chief implements
were grammar and the cane.

§ 6. The first who made a great advance were the Jesuits. They were
indeed far too much bent on being popular to be “Innovators.” They
endeavoured to do well what most schoolmasters did badly. They taught
Latin and Greek, and they made great use of grammar, but they gave up the
cane. Boys were to be made happy. School-hours were to be reduced from 10
hours a day to 5 hours, and in those 5 hours learning was to be made “not
only endurable but even pleasurable.”

But the pupils were to find this pleasure not in the exercise of their
mental powers but in other ways. As Mr. Eve has said, young teachers
are inclined to think mainly of stimulating their pupils’ minds and so
neglect the repetition needed for accuracy. Old teachers on the other
hand care so much for accuracy that they require the same thing over and
over till the pupils lose zest and mental activity. The Jesuits frankly
adopted the maxim “Repetition is the mother of studies,” and worked over
the same ground again and again. The two forces on which they relied for
making the work pleasant were one good—the personal influence of the
master (“boys will soon love learning when they love the teacher,”) and
one bad or at least doubtful—the spur of emulation.

However, the attempt to lead, not drive, was a great step in the right
direction. Moreover as they did not hold with the Sturms and Trotzendorfs
that the classics in and for themselves were the object of education
the Jesuits were able to think of other things as well. They were very
careful of the health of the body. And they also enlarged the task of
the schoolmaster in another and still more important way. To the best of
their lights they attended to the moral and religious training of their
pupils. It is much to the credit of the Fathers that though Plautus
and Terence were considered very valuable for giving a knowledge of
colloquial Latin and were studied and learnt by heart in the Protestant
schools, the Jesuits rejected them on account of their impurity. The
Jesuits wished the whole boy, not his memory only, to be affected by the
master; so the master was to make a study of each of his pupils and to go
on with the same pupils through the greater part of their school course.

The Jesuit system stands out in the history of education as a remarkable
instance of a school system elaborately thought out and worked as a
whole. In it the individual schoolmaster withered, but the system grew,
and was, I may say _is_, a mighty organism. The single Jesuit teacher
might not be the superior of the average teacher in good Protestant
schools, but by their unity of action the Jesuits triumphed over their
rivals as easily as a regiment of soldiers scatters a mob.

§ 7. The schoolmaster’s theory of the human mind made of it, to use
Bartle Massey’s simile, a kind of bladder fit only to hold what was
poured into it. This pouring-in theory of education was first called in
question by that strange genius who seems to have stood outside all the
traditions and opinions of his age,

          “holding no form of creed,
  But contemplating all.”

I mean Rabelais.

Like most reformers, Rabelais begins with denunciations of the system
established by use and wont. After an account of the school-teaching and
school-books of the day, he says—“It would be better for a boy to learn
nothing at all than to be taught such-like books by such-like masters.”
He then proposes a training in which, though the boy is to study books,
he is not to do this mainly, but is to be led to look about him, and
to use both his senses and his limbs. For instance, he is to examine
the stars when he goes to bed, and then to be called up at four in the
morning to find the change that has taken place. Here we see a training
of the powers of observation. These powers are also to be exercised on
the trees and plants which are met with out-of-doors, and on objects
within the house, as well as on the food placed on the table. The study
of books is to be joined with this study of things, for the old authors
are to be consulted for their accounts of whatever has been met with.
The study of trades, too, and the practice of some of them, such as
wood-cutting, and carving in stone, makes a very interesting feature
in this system. On the whole, I think we may say that Rabelais was the
first to advocate training as distinguished from teaching; and he was the
father of _Anschauungs-unterricht_, teaching by _intuition_, _i.e._, by
the pupil’s own senses and the spring of his own intelligence. Rabelais
would bestow much care on the body too. Not only was the pupil to ride
and fence; we find him even shouting for the benefit of his lungs.

§ 8. Rabelais had now started an entirely new theory of the educator’s
task, and fifty years afterwards his thought was taken up and put forward
with incomparable vigour by the great essayist, Montaigne. Montaigne
starts with a quotation from Rabelais—“The greatest clerks are not the
wisest men,” and then he makes one of the most effective onslaughts
on the pouring-in theory that is to be found in all literature. His
accusation against the schoolmasters of his time is twofold. First, he
says, they aim only at giving knowledge, whereas they should first think
of judgment and virtue. Secondly, in their method of teaching they do
not exercise the pupils’ own minds. The sum and substance of the charge
is contained in these words—“We labour to stuff the memory and in the
meantime leave the conscience and understanding impoverished and void.”
His notion of education embraced the whole man. “Our very exercises and
recreations,” says he, “running, wrestling, music, dancing, hunting,
riding, fencing, will prove to be a good part of our study. I would have
the pupil’s outward fashion and mien and the disposition of his limbs
formed at the same time with his mind. ’Tis not a soul, ’tis not a body,
that we are training up, but a _man_, and we ought not to divide him.”

§ 9. Before the end of the fifteen hundreds then we see in the best
thought of the time a great improvement in the conception of the task of
the schoolmaster. Learning is not the only thing to be thought of. Moral
and religious training are recognised as of no less importance. And as
“both soul and body have been created by the hand of God” (the words
are Ignatius Loyola’s), both must be thought of in education. When we
come to instruction we find Rabelais recommending that at least part of
it should be “intuitive,” and Montaigne requiring that the instruction
should involve an exercise of the intellectual powers of the learner. But
the escape even in thought from the Renascence ideal was but partial.
Some of Rabelais’ directions seem to come from a “Verbal Realist,” and
Montaigne was far from saying as Joseph Payne has said, “every act of
teaching is a mode of dealing with mind and will be successful only in
proportion as this is recognised,” “teaching is only another name for
mental training.” But if Rabelais and Montaigne did not reach the best
thought of our time they were much in advance of a great deal of our

§ 10. The opening of the sixteen hundreds saw a great revolt from the
literary spirit of the Renascence. The exclusive devotion to books was
followed by a reaction. There might after all be something worth knowing
that books would not teach. Why give so much time to the study of words
and so little to the observation of things? “Youth,” says a writer of the
time, “is deluged with grammar precepts infinitely tedious, perplexed,
obscure, and for the most part unprofitable, and that for many years.”
Why not escape from this barren region? “Come forth, my son,” says
Comenius. “Let us go into the open air. There you shall view whatsoever
God produced from the beginning and doth yet effect by nature.”
And Milton thus expresses the conviction of his day: “Because our
understanding cannot in this body found itself but on sensible things,
nor arrive so clearly to the knowledge of God and things invisible as by
orderly conning over the visible and inferior creature, the same method
is necessarily to be followed in all discreet teaching.”

This great revolution which was involved in the Baconian philosophy may
be described as a turning from fancy to fact. All the creations of the
human mind seemed to have lost their value. The only things that seemed
worth studying were the material universe and the laws or sequences which
were gradually ascertained by patient induction and experiment.

§ 11. Till the present century this revolution did not extend to our
schools and universities. It is only within the last fifty years that
natural science has been studied even in the University of Bacon and
Newton. The Public School Commission of 1862 found that the curriculum
was just as it had been settled at the Renascence. But if the walls of
these educational Jerichos were still standing this was not from any
remissness on the part of “the children of light” in shouting and blowing
with the trumpet. They raised the war-cry “Not words, but things!” and
the cry has been continued by a succession of eminent men against the
schools of the 17th and 18th centuries and has at length begun to tell
on the schools of the 19th. Perhaps the change demanded is best shown in
the words of John Dury about 1649: “The true end of all human learning
is to supply in ourselves and others the defects which proceed from our
ignorance of the nature and use of the creatures and the disorderliness
of our natural faculties in using them and reflecting upon them.” So the
Innovators required teachers to devote themselves to natural science and
to the science of the human mind.

§ 12. The first Innovators, like the people of the fifteen hundreds,
thought mainly of the acquisition of knowledge, only the knowledge
was to be not of the classics but of the material world. In this they
seem inferior to Montaigne who had given the first place to virtue and

§ 13. But towards the middle of the sixteen hundreds a very eminent
Innovator took a comprehensive view of education, and reduced instruction
to its proper place, that is, he treated it as a part of education
merely. This man, Comenius, was at once a philosopher, a philanthropist,
and a schoolmaster; and in his writings we find the first attempt at a
science of education. The outline of his science is as follows:—

“We live a threefold life—a vegetative, an animal, and an intellectual
or spiritual. Of these, the first is perfect in the womb, the last in
heaven. He is happy who comes with healthy body into the world, much more
he who goes with healthy spirit out of it. According to the heavenly idea
a man should—1st, Know all things; 2nd, He should be master of things and
of himself; 3rd, He should refer everything to God. So that within us
Nature has implanted the seeds of learning, of virtue, and of piety. To
bring these seeds to maturity is the object of education. All men require
education, and God has made children unfit for other employment that they
may have time to learn.”

Here we have quite a new theory of the educator’s task. He is to bring
to maturity the seeds of learning, virtue, and piety, which are already
sown by Nature in his pupils. This is quite different from the pouring-in
theory, and seems to anticipate the notion of Froebel, that the educator
should be called not _teacher_ but _gardener_. But Comenius evidently
made too much of knowledge. Had he lived two centuries later he would
have seen the area of possible knowledge extending to infinity in all
directions, and he would no longer have made it his ideal that “man
should know all things.”

§ 14. The next great thinker about education—I mean Locke—seems to me
chiefly important from his having taken up the principles of Montaigne
and treated the giving of knowledge as of very small importance.
Montaigne, as we have seen, was the first to bring out clearly that
education was much more than instruction, as the whole was greater than
its part, and that instruction was of far less importance than some other
parts of education. And this lies at the root of Locke’s theory also.
The great function of the educator, according to him, is not to _teach_,
but to _dispose_ the pupil to virtue first, industry next, and then
knowledge; but he thinks where the first two have been properly cared for
knowledge will come of itself. The following are Locke’s own words:—“The
great work of a governor is to fashion the carriage and to form the mind,
to settle in his pupil good habits and the principles of virtue and
wisdom, to give him little by little a view of mankind and work him into
a love and imitation of what is excellent and praiseworthy; and in the
prosecution of it to give him vigour, activity, and industry. The studies
which he sets him upon are but, as it were, the exercise of his faculties
and employment of his time; to keep him from sauntering and idleness; to
teach him application and accustom him to take pains, and to give him
some little taste of what his own industry must perfect.”[211] So we see
that Locke agrees with Comenius in his enlarged view of the educator’s
task, and that he thought much less than Comenius of the importance of
the knowledge to be given.

§ 15. We already see a gradual escape from the “idols” of the Renascence.
Locke, instead of accepting the learned ideal, declares that learning
is the last and least thing to be thought of. He cares little about the
ordinary literary instruction given to children, though he thinks they
must be taught something and does not know what to put in its place. He
provides for the education of those who are to remain ignorant of Greek,
but only when they are “gentlemen.” In this respect the van is led by
Comenius, who thought of education for _all_, boys and girls, rich and
poor, alike. Comenius also gave the first hint of the true nature of our
task—to bring to perfection the seeds implanted by Nature. He also cared
for the little ones whom the schoolmaster had despised. Locke does not
escape from a certain intellectual disdain of “my young masters,” as he
calls them; but in one respect he advanced as far as the best thinkers
among his successors have advanced. Knowledge, he says, must come by the
action of the learner’s own mind. The true teacher is within.

§ 16. We now come to the least practical and at the same time the most
influential of all the writers on education—I mean Rousseau. He, like
Rabelais, Montaigne, and Locke, was (to use Matthew Arnold’s expression)
a “child of the idea.” He attacked scholastic use and wont not in the
name of expedience, but in the name of reason; and such an attack—so
eloquent, so vehement, so uncompromising—had never been made before.

Still there remained even in theory, and far more in practice, effects
produced by the false ideal of the Renascence. This ideal Rousseau
entirely rejected. He proposed making a clean sweep and returning to what
he called the state of Nature.

§ 17. Rousseau was by no means the first of the Reformers who advocated
a return to Nature. There has been a constant conviction in men’s
minds from the time of the Stoics onwards that most of the evils which
afflict humanity have come from our not following “Nature.” The cry of
“Everything according to Nature” was soon raised by educationists. Ratke
announced it as one of his principles. Comenius would base all action
on the analogy of Nature. Indeed, there has hardly ever been a system
of education which did not lay claim to be the “natural” system. And by
“natural” has been always understood something different from what is
usual. What is the notion that produces this antithesis?

§ 18. When we come to trace back things to their cause we are wont to
attribute them to God, to Nature, or to Man. According to the general
belief, God works in and through Nature, and therefore the tendency
of things apart from human agency must be to good. This faith which
underlies all our thoughts and modes of speech, has been beautifully
expressed by Wordsworth—

  “A gracious spirit o’er this earth presides,
  And in the heart of man; invisibly
  It comes to works of unreproved delight
  And tendency benign; directing those
  Who care not, know not, think not, what they do.”

                              _Prelude_, v, _ad f._

But if the tendency of things is to good, why should the usual be in such
strong contrast with “the natural”? Here again we may turn to Wordsworth.
After pointing to the harmony of the visible world, and declaring his
faith that “every flower enjoys the air it breathes,” he goes on—

  “If this belief from heaven be sent,
    If this be Nature’s holy plan,
  Have I not reason to lament,
    What Man has made of Man?”

This passage might be taken as the motto of Rousseauism. According to
that philosophy man is the great disturber and perverter of the natural
order. Other animals simply follow nature, but man has no instinct,
and is thus left to find his own way. What is the consequence? A very
different authority from Rousseau, the poet Cowper, tells us in language
which Rousseau might have adopted—

  “Reasoning at every step he treads,
    Man yet mistakes his way:
  While meaner things whom instinct leads,
    Are seldom known to stray.”

Man has to investigate the sequences of Nature, and to arrange them for
himself. In this way he brings about a great number of foreseen results,
but in doing this he also brings about perhaps even a greater number of
unforeseen results; and alas! it turns out that many, if not most, of
these unforeseen results are the reverse of beneficial.

§ 19. Another thing is observable. Other animals are guided by instinct;
we, for the most part, are guided by tradition. Man, it has been said,
is the only animal that capitalises his discoveries. If we capitalised
nothing but our discoveries, this accumulation would be an immense
advantage to us; but we capitalise also our conjectures, our ideals, our
habits, and unhappily, in many cases, our blunders.[212] So a great deal
of action which is purely mischievous in its effects, comes not from our
own mistakes, but from those of our ancestors. The consequence is, that
what with our own mistakes and the mistakes we inherit, we sometimes go
far indeed out of the course which “Nature” has prescribed for us.

§ 20. The generation which found a mouthpiece in Rousseau had become
firmly convinced, not indeed of its own stupidity, but of the stupidity
of all its predecessors; and the vast patrimony bequeathed to it seemed
nothing but lumber or worse. So Rousseau found an eager and enthusiastic
audience when he proposed a return to Nature, in other words, to give
up all existing customs, and for the most part to do nothing and “give
Nature a chance.” His boy of twelve years old was to have been taught
_nothing_. Up to that age the great art of education, says Rousseau, is
to do everything by doing nothing. The first part of education should be
purely negative.

§ 21. Rousseau then was the first who escaped completely from the notion
of the Renascence, that man was mainly a _learning_ and _remembering_
animal. But if he is not this, what is he? We must ascertain, said
Rousseau, not _a priori_, but by observation. We need a new art, the art
of observing children.

§ 22. Now at length there was hope for the Science of Education. This
science must be based on a study of the subject on whom we have to act.
According to Locke there is such variation not only in the circumstances,
but also in the personal peculiarities of individuals, that general laws
either do not exist or can never be ascertained. But this variation is
no less observable in the human body, and the art of the physician has
to conform itself to a science which is still very far from perfect. The
physician, however, does not despair. He carefully avails himself of such
science as we now have, and he makes a study of the human body in order
to increase that science. When a few more generations have passed away,
the medical profession will very likely smile at mistakes made by the old
Victorian doctors. But, meantime, we profit by the science of medicine
in its present state, and we find that this science has considerably
increased the average duration of human life. We therefore require every
practitioner to have made a scientific study of his calling, and to
have had a training in both the theory and practice of it. The science
of education cannot be said to have done much for us at present, but
it will do more in the future, and might do more now if no one were
allowed to teach before he or she had been trained in the best theory and
practice we have. Since the appearance of the Emile the best educators
have studied the subject on whom they had to act, and they have been
learning more and more of the laws or sequences which affect the human
mind and the human body. The marvellous strides of science in every other
department encourages us to hope that it will make great advances in the
field of education where it is still so greatly needed. Perhaps the day
may come when a Pestalozzi may be considered even by his contemporaries
on an equality with a Napoleon, and the human race may be willing to
give to the art of instruction the same amount of time, money, thought,
and energy, which in our day have been devoted with such tremendous
success to the art of destruction. It is already dawning on the general
consciousness that in education as in physical science “we conquer Nature
by obeying her,” and we are learning more and more how to obey her.

§ 23. Rousseau’s great work was first, to expose the absurdities of the
school-room, and second, to set the educator on studying the laws of
nature in the human mind and body. He also drew attention to the child’s
restless activity. He would also (like Locke before him), make the young
learner his own teacher.

§ 24. There is another way in which the appearance of the Emile was,
as the Germans say, “epoch-making.” From the time of the earliest
Innovators, we have seen that “Things not Words,” had been the war-cry of
a strong party of Reformers. But _things_ had been considered merely as
a superior means of instruction. Rousseau first pointed out the intimate
relation that exists between children and the material world around them.
Children had till then been thought of only as immature and inferior men.
Since his day an English poet has taught us that in some ways the man is
far inferior to the child, “the things which we have seen we now can see
no more,” and that

              “nothing can bring back the hour
  “Of splendour in the grass, of glory in the flower.”

Rousseau had not Wordsworth’s gifts, but he, too, observed that childhood
is the age of strong impressions from without and that its material
surroundings affect it much more acutely than they will in after life.
Which of us knows as much about our own house and furniture as our
children know? Still more remarkable is the sympathy children have with
animals. If a cat comes into a room where there are grown people and also
a child, which sees the cat first? which observes it most accurately?
Now, this intimate relation of the child with its surroundings plays a
most important part in its education. The educator may, if so minded,
ignore this altogether, and stick to grammar, dates, and county towns,
but if he does so the child’s real education will not be much affected
by him. Rousseau saw this clearly, and wished to use “things” not for
instruction but for education. Their special function was to train the

§ 25. Perhaps it is not too much to say of Rousseau that he was the first
who gave up thinking of the child as a being whose chief faculty was the
faculty of remembering, and thought of him rather as a being who feels
and reflects, acts and invents.

§ 26. But if the thought may be traced back to Rousseau, it was, as left
by him, quite crude or rather embryonic. Since his time this conception
of the young has been taken up and moulded into a fair commencement of a
science of education. This commencement is now occupying the attention
of thinkers such as Herbert Spencer, and much may be expected from it
even in the immediate future. For the science so far as it exists we are
indebted mainly to the two Reformers with whom I will conclude—Pestalozzi
and Froebel.

§ 27. Pestalozzi, like Comenius more than 100 years before him, conceived
of education for all. “Every human being,” said he, “has a claim to a
judicious development of his faculties.” Every child must go to school.

But the word _school_ includes a great variety of institutions. The
object these have in view differs immensely. With us the main object in
some schools seems to be to prepare boys to compete at an early age for
entrance scholarships awarded to the greatest proficients in Latin and
Greek. In other schools the object is to turn the children out “good
scholars” in another sense; that is, the school is held to be successful
when the boys and girls acquire skill in the arts of reading, writing,
and arithmetic, and can remember a number of facts—facts of history, of
geography, and even of natural science. So the common notion is that what
is wanted in the way of education depends entirely on the child’s social
position. There still linger among us notions derived from the literary
men of the Renascence. We still measure all children by their literary
and mnemonic attainments. We still consider knowledge of Latin and Greek
the highest kind of knowledge. Children are sent to school that they may
not be ignorant.[213] Pestalozzi, who had studied Rousseau, entirely
denied all this. He required that the school-coach should be turned and
started in a new direction. The main object of the school was not to
teach, but to develop, not to _put in_ but to _draw out_.

§ 28. The study of nature shows us that every animal comes into the world
with certain faculties or capabilities. There are a set of circumstances
which will develop these capabilities and make the most of them. There
are other circumstances which would impede this development, decrease it,
or even prevent it altogether. All other animals have this development
secured for them by their ordinary environment: but Man, with far higher
capacities, and with immeasurably greater faculties both for good and
evil, is left far more to his own resources than the other animals.
Placed in an almost endless variety of circumstances we have to ascertain
how the development of our offspring may best be brought about. We have
to consider what are the inborn faculties of our children, and also what
aids and what hinders their development. When we have arrived at this
knowledge we must educate them by placing them in the best circumstances
in our power, and then superintending, judiciously and lovingly, the
development of their faculties and of their higher nature.

§ 29. There is, said Pestalozzi, only one way in which faculty can be
developed, and that is by exercise; so his system sought to encourage the
activities of children, and in this respect he was surpassed, as we shall
see, by Froebel. “Dead” knowledge, as it has been called—the knowledge
commonly acquired for examinations, our school-knowledge, in fact—was
despised by Pestalozzi as it had been by Locke and Rousseau before him.
In its place he would put knowledge acquired by “intuition,” by the
spring of the learner’s own intelligence.

§ 30. The conception of every child as an organism and of education as
the process by which the development of that organism is promoted is
found first in Pestalozzi, but it was more consistently thought out by
Froebel. There is, said Froebel, a divine idea for every human being,
for we are all God’s offspring. The object of the education of a human
being is to further the development of his divine idea. This development
is attainable only through action; for the development of every organism
depends on its self-activity. Self-activity then, activity “with a will,”
is the main thing to be cared for in education. The educator has to
direct the children’s activity in such a way that it may satisfy their
instincts, especially the formative and creative instincts. The child
from his earliest years is to be treated as a _doer_ and even a _creator_.

§ 31. Now, at last, we have arrived at the complete antithesis between
the old education and the New. The old education had one object, and that
was learning. Man was a being who learnt and remembered. Education was
a process by which he _learnt_, at first the languages and literatures
of Rome and Greece only; but as time went on the curriculum was greatly
extended. The New Education treats the human being not so much a learner
as a doer and creator. The educator no longer fixes his eyes on the
object—the knowledge, but on the subject—the being to be educated. The
success of the education is not determined by what the educated _know_,
but by what they _do_ and what they _are_. They are well educated when
they love what is good, and have had all their faculties of mind and body
properly developed to do it.

§ 32. The New Education then is “passive, following,” and must be based
on the study of human nature. When we have ascertained what are the
faculties to be developed we must consider further how to foster the
self-activity that will develop them.

§ 33. We have travelled far from Dr. Johnson, who asserted that education
was as well known as it ever could be. Some of us are more inclined to
assert that in his day education was not invented. On the other hand,
there are those who belittle the New Education and endeavour to show
that in it there is nothing new at all. As it seems to me a revolution
of the most salutary kind was made by the thinkers who proposed basing
education on a study of the subject to be educated, and, more than this,
making the process a “following” process with the object of drawing out

§ 34. This change of object must in the end be fruitful in changes
of every kind. But as yet we are only groping our way; and, if I may
give a caution which, in this country at least, is quite superfluous,
we should be cautious, and till we see our way clearly we should try
no great experiment that would destroy our connexion with the past.
Most of our predecessors thought only of knowledge. By a reaction some
of our New Educationists seem to despise knowledge. But knowledge is
necessary, and without some knowledge development would be impossible.
We probably cannot do too much to assist development and encourage
“intuition,” but there is, perhaps, some danger of our losing sight of
truths which schoolroom experience would bring home to us. Even the
clearest “concepts” get hazy again and totally unfit for use, unless they
are permanently fixed in the mind by repetition, which to be effective
must to some extent take the form of _drill_. The practical man, even
the crammer, has here mastered a truth of the teaching art which the
educationist is prone to overlook. And there are, no doubt, other things
which the practical man can teach. But the great thinkers would raise us
to a higher standing-point from which we may see much that will make the
right road clearer to us, and lead us to press forward in it with good
heart and hope.



[1] When the greater part of this volume was already written, Mr. Parker
published his sketch of the history of Classical Education (_Essays on
a Liberal Education_, edited by Farrar). He seems to me to have been
very successful in bringing out the most important features of his
subject, but his essay necessarily shows marks of over-compression. Two
volumes have also lately appeared on _Christian Schools and Scholars_
(Longmans, 1867). Here we have a good deal of information which we want,
and also, it seems to me, a good deal which we do not want. The work
characteristically opens with a 10th century description of the personal
appearance of St. Mark when he landed at Alexandria. The author treats
only of the times which preceded the Council of Trent. A very interesting
account of early English education has been given by Mr. Furnivall, in
the 2nd and 3rd numbers of the _Quarterly Journal of Education_ (1867).
[I did not then know of Dr. Barnard’s works.]

[2] This article is omitted in the last edition.

[3] The rest of this chapter was published in the September, 1880 number
of _Education_. Boston, U.S.A.

[4] On the nature of literature see Cardinal Newman’s “Lectures on the
Nature of a University. University Subjects. II. Literature.”

[5] I see Carlyle has used a similar metaphor in the same connexion:
“Consider the old schoolmen and their pilgrimage towards Truth! the
faithfullest endeavour, incessant unwearied motion; often great natural
vigour, only no progress; nothing but antic feats of one limb poised
against the other; there they balanced, somerseted, and made postures; at
best gyrated swiftly with some pleasure like spinning dervishes and ended
where they began.”—_Characteristics_, Misc., vol. iii, 5.

[6] This illustration was suggested by a similar one in Prof. J. R.
Seeley’s essay “On the teaching of English” in his _Lectures and Essays_,

[7] Miss J. D. Potter, in “Journal of Education.” London, June, 1879

[8] See Erasmus’s _Ciceronianus_, or account of it, in Henry Barnard’s
_German Teachers_.

[9] “On Abuse of Human Learning,” by Samuel Butler.

[10] Multum ilium profecisse arbitror, qui ante sextum decimum ætatis
annum facultatem duarum linguarum mediocrem assecutus est. (Quoted by

[11] R. Mulcaster’s _Positions_, 1581, p. 30. I have reprinted this book
(Longmans, 1888, price 10_s._).

[12] Sturm’s school “had an European reputation: there were Poles and
Portuguese, Spaniards, Danes, Italians, French and English. But besides
this, it was the model and mother school of a numerous progeny. Sturm
himself organized schools for several towns which applied to him. His
disciples became organizers, rectors, and professors. In short, if
Melanchthon was the instructor, Sturm was the schoolmaster of Germany.
Together with his method, his school-books were spread broadcast over
the land. Both were adopted by Ascham in England, and by Buchanan in
Scotland. Sturm himself was a great man at the imperial court. No
diplomatist passed through Strasburg without stopping to converse with
him. He drew a pension from the King of Denmark, another from the King
of France, a third from the Queen of England, collected political
information for Cardinal Granvella, and was ennobled by Charles V. He
helped to negotiate peace between France and England, and was appointed
to confer with a commission of Cardinals on reunion of the Church. In
short, Sturm knew what he was about as well as most men of his time. Yet
few will be disposed to accept his theory of education, even for the
sixteenth century, as the best. Wherein then lay the mistake?... Sturm
asserted that the proper end of school education is eloquence, or in
modern phrase, a masterly command of language, and that the knowledge of
things mainly belongs to a later stage ... Sturm assumed that Latin is
the language in which eloquence is to be acquired.”

This is from Mr. Charles Stuart Parker’s excellent account of Sturm in
_Essays on a Liberal Education_, edited by Farrar, Essay I., _On History
of Classical Education_, p. 39.

I find from Herbart (_Päd. Schriften_, O. Wilmann’s edition, vol. ij,
229 ff; Beyer’s edition, ij, 321) that the historian, F. H. Ch. Schwarz,
took a very favourable view of Sturm’s work; and both he and Karl Schmidt
give Sturm credit for introducing the two ways of studying an author that
may be carried on at the same time—1st, _statarisch_, _i.e._, reading a
small quantity accurately, and 2nd, _cursorisch_, _i.e._, getting over
the ground. These two kinds, of reading were made much of by J. M. Gesner
(1691-1761). Ernst Laas has written _Die Pädagogik J. Sturms_ which no
doubt does him justice, but I have not seen the book.

[13] Why did Bacon, who spoke slightingly of Sturm (see Parker, in
_Essays on Lib. Ed._), rate the Jesuits so highly? “Consule scholas
Jesuitarum: nihil enim quod in usum venit his melius,” _De Aug._, lib.
iv, cap. iv. See, too, a longer passage in first book of _De Aug._ (about
end of first 1/4), “Quæ nobilissima pars priscæ disciplinæ revocata est
aliquatenus, quasi postliminio, in Jesuitarum collegiis; quorum cum
intueor industriam solertiamque tam in doctrina excolenda quam in moribus
informandis, illud occurrit Agesilai de Pharnabazo, ‘Talis cum sis,
utinam noster esses.’”

[14] (1) Joseph Anton Schmid’s “Niedere Schulen der Jesuiten:”
Regensburg, 1852. (2) Article by Wagenmann in K. A. Schmid’s
“Encyclopädie des Erziehungs-und Unterrichtswesens.” (3) “Ratio atque
Institutio Studiorum Soc. Jesu.” The first edition of this work,
published at Rome in 1585, was suppressed as heretical, because it
contemplated the possibility of differing from St. Thomas Aquinas. The
book is now very scarce. There is a copy in the British Museum. On
comparing it with the folio edition (“Constitutiones,” &c., published
at Prag in 1632), I find many omissions in the latter, some of which
are curious, _e.g._, under “De Matrimonio:”—“Matremne an uxorem
occidere sit gravius, non est hujus loci.” (4) “Parænesis ad Magistros
Scholarum Inferiorum Soc. Jesu, scripta a P. Francisco Sacchino, ex
eâdem Societate.” (5) “Juvencius de Ratione Discendi et Docendi.”
Crétineau-Joly’s “Histoire de la Compagnie de Jésus” (Paris, 1844), I
have not made much use of. Sacchini and Jouvency were both historians of
the Order. The former died in 1625, the latter in 1719. There is a good
sketch of the Jesuit schools, by Andrewes, in Barnard’s _American Journal
of Education_, vol. xiv, 1864, reprinted in the best book I know of in
English on the History of Education, Barnard’s _German Teachers_.

[15] “L’exécution des décrets de 1880 a eu pour résultat la fermeture de
leurs collèges. Mais malgré leur dispersion apparente ils sont encore
plus puissants qu’on ne le croit, et ce serait une erreur de penser que
le dernier mot est dit avec eux.”—_Compayré, in Buisson_, ij, p. 1420.

[16] According to the article in K. A. Schmid’s “Encyclopädie,” the usual
course was this—the two years’ novitiate was over by the time the youth
was between fifteen and seventeen. He then entered a Jesuit college as
Scholasticus. Here he learnt literature and rhetoric for two years, and
then philosophy (with mathematics) for three more. He then entered on
his Regency, _i.e._, he went over the same ground as a _teacher_, for
from four to six years. Then followed a period of theological study,
ending with a year of trial, called the _Tertiorat_. The candidate was
now admitted to Priest’s Orders, and took the vows either as _professus
quatuor votorum_, professed father of four vows, or as a _coadjutor_. If
he was then sent back to teach, he gave only the higher instruction. The
_fourth_ vow placed him at the disposal of the Pope.

[17] Karl Schmidt (Gesch. d. Päd., iij. 199, 200), says that however much
teachers were wanted, a two years’ course of preparation was considered
indispensable. When the Novitiate was over the candidate became a
“Junior” (_Gallicè_ “Juveniste”). He then continued his studies _in
literis humanioribus_, preparatory to teaching. When in the “Juvenat” or
“Juniorate” he had rubbed up his classics and mathematics, he entered
the “Seminary,” and two or three times a week he expounded to a class
the matter of the previous lecture, and answered questions, &c. For this
information I am indebted to the courtesy of Father Eyre (S. J.), of

[18] So says Andrewes (_American Journal of Education_), but other
authorities put the age of entrance as high as fourteen. The _studia
superiora_ were begun before twenty-four.

[19] “Non gratia nobilium officiat culturæ vulgarium: cum sint natales
omnium pares in Adam et hæreditates quoque pares in Christo.”

[20] Even junior masters were not to be much addicted to their own
language. “Illud cavendum imprimis juniori magistro ne vernaculis nimium
libris indulgeat, præsertim poetis, in quibus maximam temporis ac
fortasse morum jacturam faceret.”—_Jouvency._

[21] “Multum proderit si magister non tumultuario ac subito dicat, sed
quæ domi cogitate scripserit.—It will be a great gain if the master does
not speak in a hurry and without forethought, but is ready with what
he has thought out and written out in his own room.”—_Ratio Studd._,
quoted by Schmid. And Sacchini says: “Ante omnia, quæ quisque docturus
est, egregie calleat. Tum enim bene docet, et facile docet, et libenter
docet; bene, quia sine errore; facile, quia sine labore; libenter, quia
ex pleno.... Memoriæ minimum fidat: instauret eam refricetque iterata
lectione antequam quicquam doceat, etiamsi idem sæpe docuerit. Occurret
non raro quod addat vel commodius proponat.—Before all things let
everyone be thoroughly skilled in what he is going to teach; for then
he teaches well, he teaches easily, he teaches readily: well, because
he makes no mistakes; easily, because he has no need to exert himself;
readily, because, like wealthy men he cares not how he gives.... Let him
be very distrustful of his memory; let him renew his remembrance and rub
it up by repeated reading before he teaches anything, though he may have
often taught it before. Something will now and then occur to him which he
may add, or put more neatly.”

[22] In a school (not belonging to the Jesuits) where this plan was
adopted, the boys, by an ingenious contrivance, managed to make it work
very smoothly. The boy who was “hearing” the lessons held the book upside
down in such a way that the others _read_ instead of repeating by heart.
The masters finally interfered with this arrangement.

[23] Since the above was written, an account of these concertations
has appeared in the Rev. G. R. Kingdon’s evidence before the Schools
Commission, 1867 (vol. v, Answers 12, 228 ff.) Mr. Kingdon, the Prefect
of Studies at Stonyhurst, mentions that the side which wins in most
concertations gets an extra half-holiday.

[24] “The grinding over and over of a subject after pupils have attained
a fair knowledge of it, is nothing less than stultifying—killing
out curiosity and the desire of knowledge, and begetting mechanical
habits.”—_Supt. J. Hancock_, Dayton, Ohio. Every teacher of experience
knows how true this is.

[25] “Stude potius ut pauciora clare distincteque percipiant, quam
obscure atque confuse pluribus imbuantur.—Care rather for their seeing a
few things vividly and definitely, than that they should get filled with
hazy and confusing notions of many things.” (There are few more valuable
precepts for the teacher than this.)

[26] Sacchini writes in a very high tone on this subject. The following
passage is striking: “Gravitatem sui muneris summasque opportunitates
assidue animo verset (magister).... ‘Puerilis institutio mundi renovatio
est;’ hæc gymnasia Dei castra sunt, hic bonorum omnium semina latent.
Video solum fundamentumque republicæ quod multi non videant interpositu
terræ.—Let the mind of the master dwell upon the responsibilities of
his office and its immense opportunities.... The education of the young
is the renovation of the world. These schools are the camp of God: in
them lie the seeds of all that is good. There I see the foundation and
ground-work of the commonwealth, which many fail to see from its being
underground.” Perhaps he had read of Trotzendorf’s address to a school,
“Hail reverend divines, learned doctors, worshipful magistrates, &c.”

[27] “Circa illorum valetudinem peculiari cura animadvertat (Rector) ut
et in laboribus mentis modum servent, et in iis quæ ad corpus pertinent,
religiosa commoditate tractentur, ut diutius in studiis perseverare
tam in litteris addiscendis quam in eisdem exercendis ad Dei gloriam
possint.”—_Ratio Studd._, quoted by Schmid. See also _infra_ p. 62.

[28] The following, from the _Ratio Studd._, sounds Jesuitical: “Nec
publicé puniant flagitia quædam secretiora sed privatim; aut si publicé,
_alias obtendant causas_, et satis est eos qui plectuntur conscios esse

[29] As the Public Schools Commission pointed out, the Head Master often
thinks of nothing but the attainment of University honours, _even when
the great majority of his pupils are not going to the University_.

[30] The advantages of learning by heart are twofold, says Sacchini:
“Primum memoriam ipsam perficiunt, quod est in totam ætatem ad universa
negotia inæstimabile commodum. Deinde suppellectilem inde pulcherrimam
congregant verborum ac rerum: quæ item, quamdiu vivant, usui futura sit:
cum quæ ætate illa insederint indelebilia soleant permanere. Magnam
itaque, ubi adoleverint, gratiam Praeceptori habebunt, cui memoriæ
debebunt profectum, magnamque lætitiam capient invenientes quodammodo
domi thesaurum quem, in ætate cæteroqui parum fructuosa, prope non
sentientes parârint. Enim vero quam sæpe viros graves atque præstantes
magnoque jam natu videre et audire est, dum in docta ac nobili corona
jucundissime quædam promunt ex iis quæ pueri condiderunt?—First, they
strengthen the memory itself and so gain an inestimable advantage in
affairs of every kind throughout life. Then they get together by this
means the fairest furniture for the mind, both of thoughts and words, a
stock that will be of use to them as long as they live, since that which
settles in the mind in youth mostly stays there. And when the lads have
grown up they will feel gratitude to the master to whom they are indebted
for their good memory; and they will take delight in finding within them
a treasure which at a time of life otherwise unfruitful they have been
preparing almost without knowing it. How often we see and hear eminent
men far advanced in life, when in learned and noble company, take a
special delight in quoting what they stored up as boys!” The master, he
says, must point out to his pupils the advantages we derive from memory;
that we only know and possess that which we retain, that this cannot
be taken from us, but is with us always and is always ready for use,
a living library, which may be studied even in the dark. Boys should
therefore be encouraged to run over in their minds, or to say aloud,
what they have learnt, as often as opportunity offers, as when they are
walking or are by themselves: “Ita numquam in otio futuros otiosos; ita
minus fore solos cum soli erunt, consuetudine fruentes sapientum....
Denique curandum erit ut selecta quædam ediscant quæ deinde in quovis
studiorum genere ac vita fere omni usui sint futura.—So they will never
be without employment when unemployed, never less alone than when alone,
for then they profit by intercourse with the wise.... To sum up, take
care that they thoroughly commit to memory choice selections which will
for ever after be of use to them in every kind of study, and nearly every
pursuit in life.”—(Cap. viij.) This is interesting and well put, but we
see one or two points in which we have now made an advance. Learning
by heart will give none of the advantages mentioned unless the boys
understand the pieces and delight in them. Learning by heart strengthens,
no doubt, a faculty, but nothing large enough to be called “the memory.”
And the Renascence must indeed have blinded the eyes of the man to whom
childhood and youth seemed an “ætas parum fructuosa”! Similarly, Sturm
speaks of the small fry “qui in extremis latent classibus.” (Quoted by
Parker.) But when Pestalozzi and Froebel came these lay hid no longer.

[31] Ranke, speaking of the success of the Jesuit schools, says: “It was
found that young persons learned more under them in half a year than with
others in two years. Even Protestants called back their children from
distant schools, and put them under the care of the Jesuits.”—_Hist. of
Popes_, book v, p. 138. Kelly’s Trans.

In France, the University in vain procured an _arrêt_ forbidding the
Parisians to send away their sons to the Jesuit colleges: “Jesuit schools
enjoyed the confidence of the public in a degree which placed them beyond
competition.” (Pattison’s _Casaubon_, p. 182.)

Pattison remarks elsewhere that such was the common notion of the
Jesuits’ course of instruction that their controversialists could treat
anyone, even a Casaubon, who had not gone through it, as an uneducated

[32] “Sapientum hoc omnium seu veterum seu recentum constans judicium
est, institutionem puerilem tum fore optimam cum jucundissima
fuerit, inde enim et ludum vocari. Meretur ætatis teneritas ut ne
oneretur: meretur innocentia ut ei parcatur ... Quæ libentibus auribus
instillantur, ad ea velut occurrit animus, avide suscipit, studiose
recondit, fideliter servat.”

[33] “Conciliabit facilè studiis quos primùm sibi conciliârit. Det itaque
omnem operam illorum erga se observantionem ut sapienter colligat et
continenter enutriat. Ostendat, sibi res eorum curæ esse non solum quæ
ad animum sed etiam quæ ad alia pertinent. Gaudeat cum gaudentibus, nec
dedignetur flere cum flentibus. Instar Apostoli inter parvulos parvulus
fiat quo magnos in Christo et magnum in eis Christum efficiat ... Seriam
comitatem et paternam gravitatem cum materna benignitate permisceat.”
Unfortunately, the Jesuits’ kind manner loses its value from being due
not so much to kind feeling as to some ulterior object, or to a rule
of the Order. I think it is Jouvency who recommends that when a boy is
absent from sickness or other sufficient reason, the master should send
daily to inquire after him, _because the parents will be pleased by such
attention_. When the motive of the inquiry is suspected, the parents will
be pleased no longer.

[34] “Errorem existimo statim initio spinosiores quasdam grammaticæ
difficultates inculcare ... cum enim planioribus insueverint difficiliora
paulatim usus explanabit. Quin et capacior subinde mens ac firmius cum
ætate judicium, quod alio monstrante perægre unquam percepisset per sese
non raro intelliget. Exempla quoque talium rerum dum praelegitur autor
facilius in orationis contextu agnoscentur et penetrabunt in animos quam
si solitaria et abscissa proponantur. Quamobrem faciendum erit ut quoties
occurrunt diligenter enucleentur.”

[35] See, _e.g._, marvellous instances of their self-devotion in that
most interesting book, Francis Parkman’s _Jesuits in N. America_ (Boston,
Little & Co., 10th edition, 1876).

[36] I have referred to Francis Parkman, who has chronicled the
marvellous self-devotion and heroism of the Jesuit missionaries in
Canada. Such a witness may be trusted when he says: “The Jesuit was as
often a fanatic for his Order as for his faith; and oftener yet, the two
fanaticisms mingled in him inextricably. Ardently as he burned for the
saving of souls, he would have none saved on the Upper Lakes except by
his brethren and himself. He claimed a monopoly of conversion with its
attendant monopoly of toil, hardships, and martyrdom. Often disinterested
for himself, he was inordinately ambitious for the great corporate power
in which he had merged his own personality; and here lies one of the
causes among many, of the seeming contradictions which abound in the
annals of the Order.”—_The Discovery of the Great West_, by F. Parkman,
London, 1869, p. 28.

[37] In a letter dated from Stonyhurst, 22nd April, 1880.

[38] The best account I have seen of life in a Jesuit school is in
_Erinnerungen eines chemaligen Jesuitenzöglings_ (Leipzig, Brockhaus,
1862). The writer (Köhler?) says that he has become an evangelical
clergyman, but there is no hostile feeling shown to his old instructors,
and the narrative bears the strongest internal evidence of accuracy. Some
of the Jesuit devices mentioned are very ingenious. All house masters who
have adopted the cubicle arrangement of dormitories know how difficult it
is to keep the boys in their own cubicles. The Jesuits have the cubicles
barred across at the top, and the locks on the doors are so constructed
that though they can be opened from the inside _they cannot be shut
again_. The Fathers at Freiburg (in Breisgau) opened a “tuck-shop” for
the boys, and gave “week’s-pay” in counters which passed at their own
shop and nowhere else. The author speaks warmly of the kindness of the
Fathers and of their care for health and recreation. But their ways
were inscrutable and every boy felt himself in the hands of a _human_
providence. As the boys go out for a walk, one of them is detained by the
porter, who says “the Rector wants to speak to you.” On their way back
the boys meet a diligence in which sits their late comrade waving adieus.
_He has been expelled._

Another book which throws much light on Jesuit pedagogy is by a
Jesuit—_La Discipline_, par le R. P. Emmanuel Barbier (Paris, V. Palmé,
2nd edition, 1888). I will give a specimen in a loose translation, as it
may interest the reader to see how carefully the Jesuits have studied the
master’s difficulties. “The master in charge of the boys, especially in
play-time, in his first intercourse with them, has no greater snare in
his way than taking his power for granted, and trusting to the strength
of his will and his knowledge of the world, especially as he is at first
lulled into security by the deferential manner of his pupils.

“That master who goes off with such ease from the very first, to whom the
carrying out of all the rules seems the simplest thing in the world, who
in the very first hour he is with them has already made himself liked,
almost popular, with his pupils, who shows no more anxiety about his work
than he must show to keep his character for good sense, that master is
indeed to be pitied; he is most likely a lost man. He will soon have to
choose one of two things, either to shut his eyes and put up with all
the irregularities he thought he had done away with, or to break with a
past that he would wish forgotten, and engage in open conflict with the
boys who are inclined to set him at defiance. These cases are we trust
rare. But many believe with a kind of rash ignorance and in spite of
the warnings of experience that the good feelings of their pupils will
work together to maintain their authority. They have been told that this
authority should be mild and endeared by acts of kindness. So they set
about crowning the edifice without making sure of the foundations; and
taking the title of authority for its possession they spend all their
efforts in lightening a yoke of which no one really bears the weight.

“In point of fact the first steps often determine the whole course. For
this reason you will attach extreme importance to what I am now going to

“The chief characteristic in your conduct towards the boys during the
first few weeks should be _an extreme reserve_. However far you go in
this, you can hardly overdo it. So your first attitude is clearly defined.

“You have everything to observe, the individual character of each boy and
the general tendencies and feelings of the whole body. But be sure of one
thing, viz., that _you_ are observed also, and a careful study is made
both of your strong points and of your weak. Your way of speaking and
of giving orders, the tone of your voice, your gestures, disclose your
character, your tastes, your failings, to a hundred boys on the alert to
pounce upon them. One is summed up long before one has the least notion
of it. Try then to remain impenetrable. You should never give up your
reserve till you are master of the situation.

“For the rest, let there be no affectation about you. Don’t attempt
to put on a severe manner; answer politely and simply your pupils’
questions, but let it be in few words, and _avoid conversation_. All
depends on that. Let there be no chatting with them in these early days.
You cannot be too cautious in this respect. Boys have such a polite, such
a taking way with them in drawing out information about your impressions,
your tastes, your antecedents; don’t attempt the diplomate; don’t
match your skill against theirs. You cannot chat without coming out of
your shell, so to speak. Instead of this, you must puzzle them by your
reserve, and drive them to this admission: ‘We don’t know what to make of
our new master.’

“Do I advise you then to be on the defensive throughout the whole year
and like a stranger among your pupils? No! a thousand times, No! It is
just to make their relations with you simple, confiding, I might say
cordial, without the least danger to your authority, that I endeavour
to raise this authority at first beyond the reach of assault.”—_La
Discipline_, chap, v, pp. 31 ff.

In this book we see the best side of the Jesuits. They believe in their
“mission,” and this belief throws light on many things. Those who hate
the Jesuits have often extolled the wisdom of Montaigne, when he says:
“We have not to train up a soul, nor yet a body, but a man; and we cannot
divide him.” Can they see no wisdom in _this_? “Let your mind be filled
with the thought that both soul and body have been created by the Hand of
God: we must account to Him for these two parts of our being; and we are
not required to weaken one of them out of love for the Creator. We should
love the body in the same degree that He could love it.” This is what
Loyola wrote in 1548 to Francis Borgia (Compayré, _Doctrines, &c._, vol.
j, 179). But if we wish to see the other side of the Jesuit character,
we have only to look at the Jesuit as a controversialist. We sometimes
see children hiding things and then having a pretence hunt for them. The
Jesuits are no children, but in arguing they pretend to be searching
for conclusions which are settled before arguments are thought of. See,
_e.g._, the attack on the Port Royalists in _Les Jésuites Instituteurs_,
par le P. Ch. Daniel, 1880, in which the Jesuit sets himself to maintain
this thesis: “D’une source aussi profondément infectée du poison de
l’hérésie, il ne pouvait sortir rien d’absolument bon” (p. 123). One good
point he certainly makes, and in my judgment one only, in comparing the
Port Royalist schools with the schools of Jesuits. Methods which answer
with very small numbers may not do with large numbers: “You might as well
try to extend your gardening operations to agriculture” (p. 102).

[39] I am sorry to use a German word, but educational matters have been
so little considered among us that we have no English vocabulary for
them. The want of a word for _Realien_ was felt over 200 years ago.
“Repositories for _visibles_ shall be prepared by which from beholding
the things gentlewomen may learn the names, natures, values, and use
of herbs, shrubs, trees, mineral-juices (_sic_), metals, and stones.”
(_Essay to Revive the Antient Education of Gentlewomen._ London, 1672.)

[40] See the very interesting _Essay on Montaigne_ by Dean R. W. Church.

[41] Perhaps the saying of Montaigne’s which is most frequently quoted
is the paradox _Savoir par cœur n’est pas savoir_: (“to know by heart is
not to _know_.”) But these words are often misunderstood. The meaning, as
I take it, is this: When a thought has entered into the mind it shakes
off the words by which it was conveyed thither. Therefore so long as the
words are indispensable the thought is not known. Knowing and knowing by
heart are not necessarily opposed, but they are different things; and as
the mind most easily runs along sequences of words a knowledge of the
words often conceals ignorance or neglect of the thought. I once asked a
boy if he thought of the meaning when he repeated Latin poetry and I got
the instructive answer: “Sometimes, _when I am not sure of the words_.”
But there are cases in which we naturally connect a particular form of
words with thoughts that have become part of our minds. We then know, and
know by heart also.

[42] Lord Armstrong has perhaps never read Montaigne’s _Essay on
Pedantry_; certainly, he has not borrowed from it; and yet much that
he says in discussing “The Cry for Useless Knowledge” (_Nineteenth
Century Magazine_, November, 1888), is just what Montaigne said more
than three centuries ago. “The aphorism that knowledge is power is so
constantly used by educational enthusiasts that it may almost be regarded
as the motto of the party. But the first essential of a motto is that
it be true, and it is certainly not true that knowledge is the same as
power, seeing that it is only an aid to power. The power of a surgeon
to amputate a limb no more lies in his knowledge than in his knife. In
fact, the knife has the better claim to potency of the two, for a man
may hack off a limb with his knife alone, but not with his knowledge
alone. Knowledge is not even an aid to power in all cases, seeing that
useless knowledge, which is no uncommon article in our popular schools,
has no relation to power. The true source of power is the originative
action of the mind which we see exhibited in the daily incidents of
life, as well as in matters of great importance.... A man’s success in
life depends incomparably more upon his capacities for useful action
than upon his acquirements in knowledge, and the education of the young
should therefore be directed to the development of faculties and valuable
qualities rather than to the acquisition of knowledge.... Men of capacity
and possessing qualities for useful action are at a premium all over the
world, while men of mere education are at a deplorable discount.” (p.

“There is a great tendency in the scholastic world to underrate the value
and potency of self-education, which commences on leaving school and
endures all through life.” (p. 667).

“I deprecate plunging into doubtful and costly schemes of instruction,
led on by the _ignis fatuus_ that ‘knowledge is a power.’ For where
natural capacity is wasted in attaining knowledge, it would be truer to
say that knowledge is weakness.” (p. 668).

[43] In another matter, also, we find that the masters of these schools
subsequently departed widely from the intention of the great men who
fostered the revival of learning. Wolsey writes: “Imprimis hoc unum
admonendum censuerimus, ut neque plagis severioribus neque vultuosis
minis, aut ulla tyrannidis specie, tenera pubes afficiatur: hac enim
injuria ingenii alacritas aut extingui aut magna ex parte obtundi solet.”
Again he says: “In ipsis studiis sic voluptas est intermiscenda ut puer
ludum potius discendi quam laborem existimet.” He adds: “Cavendum erit ne
immodica contentione ingenia discentium obruantur aut lectione prolonga
defatigentur; utraque enim juxta offenditur.”

[44] Professor Arber is one of the very few editors who give accurate and
sufficient bibliographical information about the books they edit. All
students of our old literature are under deep obligations to him.

[45] Mayor’s is beautifully printed and costs 1_s._ (London, Bell and

[46] “Utile imprimis ut multi præcipiunt, vel ex Græco in Latinum vel
ex Latino vertere in Græcum; quo genere exercitationis proprietas
splendorque verborum, copia figurarum, vis explicandi, præterea
imitatione optimorum similia inveniendi facultas paratur: simul quæ
legentem fefellissent transferentem fugere non possunt. Intelligentia ex
hoc et judicium acquiritur.”—_Epp._ vii. 9, § 2. So the passage stands in
Pliny. Ascham quotes “_et_ ex Græco in Latinum _et_ ex Latino vertere in
Græcum.” with other variations.

[47] _Teaching of Languages in Schools_, by W. H. Widgery, p. 6.

[48] Much information about our early books, with quotations from some of
them, will be found in Henry Barnard’s _English Pedagogy_, 1st and 2nd
series. Some notice of rare books is given in _Schools, School-books, and
Schoolmasters_, by W. Carew Hazlitt (London, Jarvis, 1888), but in this
work there are strange omissions.

[49] The paging is that of the reprint. It differs slightly from that of
first edition.

[50] Mulcaster goes on to talk about the brain, &c. Of course he does
not anticipate the discoveries of science, but his language is very
different from what we should expect from a writer in the pre-scientific
age, _e.g._, “To serve the turn of these two, both _sense_ and _motion_,
Nature hath planted in our body a _brain_, the prince of all our parts,
which by spreading sinews of all sorts throughout all our parts doth work
all those effects which either _sense_ is seen in or _motion_ perceived
by.” (_El._, p. 32.) But much as he thinks of the body Mulcaster is no
materialist. “Last of all our soul hath in it an imperial prerogative
of understanding beyond sense, of judging by reason, of directing by
both, for duty towards God, for society towards men, for conquest in
affections, for purchase in knowledge, and such other things, whereby
it furnisheth out all manner of uses in this our mortal life, and
bewrayeth in itself a more excellent being than to continue still in this
roaming pilgrimage.” (p. 33.) The grand thing, he says, is to bring all
these abilities to perfection “which so heavenly a benefit is begun by
education, confirmed by use, perfected with continuance which crowneth
the whole work.” (p. 34.) “Nature makes the boy toward; nurture sees him
forward.” (p. 35.) The neglect of the material world which has been for
ages the source of mischief of all kinds in the schoolroom, and which has
not yet entirely passed away, would have been impossible if Mulcaster’s
elementary course had been adopted. “Is the body made by Nature nimble to
run, to ride, to swim, to fence, to do anything else which beareth praise
in that kind for either profit or pleasure? And doth not the Elementary
help them all forward by precept and train? The hand, the ear, the eye
be the greatest instruments whereby the receiving and delivery of our
learning is chiefly executed, and doth not this Elementary instruct the
hand to write, to draw, to play; the eye to read by letters, to discern
by line, to judge by both; the ear to call for voice and sound with
proportion for pleasure, with reason for wit? Generally whatsoever gift
Nature hath bestowed upon the body, to be brought forth or bettered by
the mean of train for any profitable use in our whole life, doth not this
Elementary both find it and foresee it?” (_El._, p. 35). “_The hand,
the ear, the eye, be the greatest instruments_,” said the Elizabethan
schoolmaster. So says the Victorian reformer.

[51] I wish some good author would write a book on _Unpopular Truths_,
and show how, on some subjects, wise men go on saying the same thing
in all ages and nobody listens to them. Plato said “In every work the
beginning is the most important part, especially in dealing with anything
young and tender.” (_Rep._, bk. ii, 377; Davies and Vaughan, p. 65.) And
the complaints about “bad grounding” prove our common neglect of what
Mulcaster urged three centuries ago: “For the _Elementarie_ because good
scholars will not abase themselves to it, it is left to the meanest, and
therefore to the worst. For that the first grounding would be handled
by the best, and his reward would be greatest, because both his pains
and his judgment should be with the greatest. And it would easily allure
sufficient men to come down so low, if they might perceive that reward
would rise up. No man of judgment will contrary this point, neither can
any ignorant be blamed for the contrary: the one seeth the thing to be
but low in order, the other knoweth the ground to be great in laying, not
only for the matter which the child doth learn: which is very small in
show though great for process: but also for the manner of handling his
wit, to hearten him for afterward, which is of great moment. The first
master can deal but with a few, the next with more, and so still upward
as reason groweth on and receives without forcing. It is the foundation
well and soundly laid, which makes all the upper building muster, with
countenance and continuance. If I were to strike the stroke, as I am
but to give counsel, the first pains truly taken should in good truth
be most liberally recompensed; and less allowed still upward, as the
pains diminish and the ease increaseth. Whereat no master hath cause to
repine, so he may have his children well grounded in the _Elementarie_.
Whose imperfection at this day doth marvellously trouble both masters and
scholars, so that we can hardly do any good, nay, scantly tell how to
place the too too raw boys in any certain form, with hope to go forward
orderly, the ground-work of their entry being so rotten underneath.”
(_PP._, pp. 233, 4.)

[52] Quaint as we find Mulcaster in his mode of expression, the thing
expressed is sometimes rather what we should expect from Herbert Spencer
than from a schoolmaster of the Renascence. I have met with nothing
more modern in thought than the following: “In time all learning may be
brought into one tongue, and that natural to the inhabitant: so that
schooling for tongues may prove needless, as once they were not needed;
but it can never fall out that arts and sciences in their right nature
shall be but most necessary for any commonwealth that is not given over
unto too too much barbarousness.” (_PP._, 240.)

[53] “Subject to a regulation like that of the ancient Spartans, the
theft of knowledge in our sex is only connived at while carefully
concealed, and if displayed [is] punished with disgrace.” So says Mrs.
Barbauld, and I have met with similar passages in other female writers.

[54] John Brinsley (the elder) who married a sister of Bishop Hall’s and
kept school at Ashby-de-la-Zouch (was it the _Grammar School_?) was one
of the best English writers on education. In his _Consolation for our
Grammar Schooles_, published early in the sixteen hundreds, he says:
“Amongst others myself having first had long experience of the manifold
evils which grow from the ignorance of a right order of teaching, and
afterwards some gracious taste of the sweetness that is to be found in
the better courses truly known and practised, I have betaken me almost
wholly, for many years unto this weighty work, and that not without much
comfort, through the goodness of our blessed God.” (p. 1.) “And for the
most part wherein any good is done, it is ordinarily effected by the
endless vexation of the painful master, the extreme labour and terror
of the poor children with enduring far overmuch and long severity. Now
whence proceedeth all this but because so few of those who undertake
this function are acquainted with any good method or right order of
instruction fit for a grammar school?” (p. 2.) It is sad to think how
many generations have since suffered from teachers “unacquainted with
any good method or right order of instruction.” And it seems to justify
Goethe’s dictum, “_Der Engländer ist eigentlich ohne Intelligenz_,” that
for several generations to come this evil will be but partially abated.

[55] At Cambridge (as also in London and Edinburgh) there is already a
Training College for Women Teachers in Secondary Schools.

[56] All we know of his life may soon be told. Richard Mulcaster was a
Cumberland man of good family, an “esquier borne,” as he calls himself,
who was at Eton, then King’s College, Cambridge, then at Christ Church,
Oxford. His birth year was probably 1530 or 1531, and he became a student
of Christ Church in 1555. In 1558 he settled as a schoolmaster in London,
and was elected first headmaster of Merchant Taylors’ School, which dates
from 1561. Here he remained twenty-five years, _i.e._ till 1586. Whether
he then became, as H. B. Wilson says, surmaster of St. Paul’s, I cannot
determine, but “he came in” highmaster in 1596, and held that office
for twelve years. Though in 1598 Elizabeth made him rector of Stanford
Rivers, there can be no doubt that he did not give up the highmastership
till 1608, when he must have been about 77 years old. He died at
Stanford Rivers three years later. While at Merchant Taylors’, viz., in
1581 and 1582, he published the two books which have secured for him a
permanent place in the history of education in England. The first was his
_Positions_, the second “The first part” (and, as it proved, the only
part) of his _Elementarie_. Of his other writings, his _Cato Christianus_
seems to have been the most important, and a very interesting quotation
from it has been preserved in Robotham’s Preface to the _Janua_ of
Comenius; but the book itself is lost: at least I never heard of a copy,
and I have sought in vain in the British Museum, and at the University
Libraries of Oxford and Cambridge. His _Catechismus Paulinus_ is a
rare book, but Rev. J. H. Lupton has found and described a copy in the

[57] _Lectures and Essays_: _English in School_, by J. R. Seeley, p.
222. Elsewhere in the same lecture (p. 229) Professor Seeley says: “The
schoolmaster might set this right. Every boy that enters the school is
a _talking_ creature. He is a performer, in his small degree, upon the
same instrument as Milton and Shakespeare. Only do not sacrifice this
advantage. Do not try by artificial and laborious processes to give him
a new knowledge before you have developed that which he has already.
Train and perfect the gift of speech, unfold all that is in it, and you
train at the same time the power of thought and the power of intellectual
sympathy, you enable your pupil to think the thoughts and to delight in
the words of great philosophers and poets.” I wish this lecture were
published separately.

[58] _Rep._ bk. vii, 536, _ad f._; Davies and Vaughan, p. 264.

[59] In Buisson (_Dictionnaire_) No. 7 is “The children must have
frequent play, and a break after every lesson.” Raumer connects this with
No. 6, and says: “breaks were rendered necessary by Ratke’s plan, which
kept the learners far too silent.”

[60] In the matter of grammar Ratke’s advice, so long disregarded, has
recently been followed in the “Parallel Grammar Series,” published by
Messrs. Sonnenschein.

[61] The ordinary teaching of almost every subject offers illustrations
of the neglect of this principle. Take, _e.g._, the way in which children
are usually taught to read. First, they have to say the alphabet—a
very easy task as it seems to us, but if we met with a strange word
of _twenty-six syllables_, and that not a compound word, but one of
which every syllable was new to us, we might have some difficulty in
remembering it. And yet such a word would be to us what the alphabet is
to a child. When he can perform this feat, he is next required to learn
the visual symbols of the sounds and to connect these with the vocal
symbols. Some of the vocal symbols bring the child in contact with the
sound itself, but most are simply conventional. What notion does the
child get of the aspirate from the name of the letter _h_? Having learnt
twenty-six visual and twenty-six vocal symbols, and connected them
together, the child _finally comes to the sounds_ (over 40 in number)
_which the symbols are supposed to represent_.

[62] See Mr. E. E. Bowen’s vigorous essay on “Teaching by means of
Grammar,” in _Essays on a Liberal Education_, 1867.

I have returned to the subject of language-learning in § 15 of _Jacotot_
in the _note_. See page 426.

[63] Preface to the _Prodromus_.

[64] Preface to _Prodromus_, first edition, p. 40; second edition (1639),
p. 78. The above is Hartlib’s translation, see _A Reformation of Schools,
&c._, pp. 46, 47.

[65] Preface to _Prodromus_, first edition, p. 40; second edition, p. 79.
_A Reformation, &c._, p. 47.

[66] Very interesting are the “immeasurable labours and intellectual
efforts” of Master Samuel Hartlib, whom Milton addresses as “a person
sent hither by some good providence from a far country, to be the
occasion and incitement of great good to this island.” (_Of Education_,
A.D. 1644.) See Masson’s _Life of Milton_, vol. iii; also biographical
and bibliographical account of Hartlib by H. Dircks, 1865. Hartlib’s
mother was English. His father, when driven out of Poland by triumph of
the Jesuits, settled at Elbing, where there was an English “Company of
Merchants” with John Dury for their chaplain. Hartlib came to England not
later than 1628, and devoted himself to the furtherance of a variety of
schemes for the public good. He was one of those rare beings who labour
to promote the schemes of others as if they were their own. He could,
as he says, “contribute but little” himself, but “being carried forth
to watch for the opportunities of provoking others, who can do more, to
improve their talents, I have found experimentally that my endeavours
have not been without effect.” (Quoted by Dircks, p. 66.) The philosophy
of Bacon seemed to have introduced an age of boundless improvement; and
men like Comenius, Hartlib, Petty, and Dury, caught the first unchecked
enthusiasm. “There is scarce one day,” so Hartlib wrote to Robert Boyle,
“and one hour of the day or night, being brim full with all manner of
objects of the most public and universal nature, but my soul is crying
out ‘Phosphore redde diem! Quid gaudia nostra moraris? Phosphore redde

But in this world Hartlib looked in vain for the day. The income of £300
a year allowed him by Parliament was £700 in arrears at the Restoration,
and he had then nothing to hope. His last years were attended by much
physical suffering and by extreme poverty. He died as Evelyn thought at
Oxford in 1662, but this is uncertain.

[67] _Dilucidatio_, Hartlib’s trans., p. 65.

[68] The _Dilucidation_, as he calls it, is added. All the books above
mentioned are in the Library of the British Museum under _Komensky_.

[69] Masson’s _Milton_, vol. iii, p. 224, Prof. Masson is quoting _Opera
Didactica_, tom. ii, Introd.

[70] _Unum Necessarium_, quoted by Raumer.

Compare George Eliot: “By desiring what is perfectly good, even when we
don’t quite know what it is, and cannot do what we would, we are part of
the Divine power against evil—widening the skirts of light and making the
struggle with darkness narrower.”—_Middlemarch_, bk. iv, p. 308 of first

[71] Compare Mulcaster, _supra_, p. 94.

[72] Comenius here follows Ratke, who, as I have mentioned above (p.
116), required beginners to study the translation _before the original_.

[73] Professor Masson (_Life of Milton_, vol. iii, p. 205, _note_) gives
us the following from chap. ix (cols. 42-44), of the _Didactica Magna_:—

“Nor, to say something particularly on this subject, can any sufficient
reason be given why the weaker sex [_sequior sexus_, literally the
_later_ or _following_ sex, is his phrase, borrowed from Apuleius, and,
though the phrase is usually translated the inferior sex, it seems to
have been chosen by Comenius to avoid that implication] should be wholly
shut out from liberal studies whether in the native tongue or in Latin.
For equally are they God’s image; equally are they partakers of grace,
and of the Kingdom to come; equally are they furnished with minds agile
and capable of wisdom, yea, often beyond our sex; equally to them is
there a possibility of attaining high distinction, inasmuch as they
have often been employed by God Himself for the government of peoples,
the bestowing of wholesome counsels on Kings and Princes, the science
of medicine and other things useful to the human race, nay even the
prophetical office, and the rattling reprimand of Priests and Bishops
[etiam ad propheticum munus, et increpandos Sacerdotes Episcoposque, are
the words; and as the treatise was prepared for the press in 1638 one
detects a reference, by the Moravian Brother in Poland to the recent
fame of Jenny Geddes, of Scotland]. Why then should we admit them to
the alphabet, but afterwards debar them from books? Do we fear their
rashness? The more we occupy their thoughts, the less room will there be
in them for rashness, which springs generally from vacuity of mind.”

[74] Translated by Daniel Benham as _The School of Infancy_. London, 1858.

[75] Here Comenius seems to be thinking of the intercourse of children
when no older companion is present; Froebel made more of the very
different intercourse when their thoughts and actions are led by some
one who has studied how to lead them. Children constantly want help
from their elders even in amusing themselves. On the other hand, it is
only the very wisest of mortals who can give help enough and _no more_.
Self-dependence may sometimes be cultivated by “a little wholesome

[76] Comical and at the same time melancholy results follow. In an
elementary school, where the children “took up” geography for the
Inspector, I once put some questions about St. Paul at Rome. I asked in
what country Rome was, but nobody seemed to have heard of such a place.
“It’s geography!” said I, and some twenty hands went up directly: their
owners now answered quite readily, “In Italy.”

[77] “A talent for History may be said to be born with us, as our chief
inheritance. In a certain sense all men are historians. Is not every
memory written quite full of annals...? Our very speech is curiously
historical. Most men, you may observe, speak only to narrate.” (Carlyle
on _History_. Miscellanies.)

[78] South Kensington, which controls the drawing of millions of
children, says precisely the opposite, and prescribes a kind of drawing,
which, though it may give manual skill to adults, does not “afford
delight” to the mind of children.

[79] “Generalem nos intendimus institutionem omnium qui homines nati
sunt, ad omnia humana.... Vernaculæ (scholæ) scopus metaque erit, ut
omnis juventus utriusque sexus, intra annum sextum et duodecimum seu
decimum tertium, ea addoceatur quorum usus per totam vitam se extendat.”
I quote this Latin from the excellent article _Coménius_ (by several
writers) in Buisson’s _Dictionnaire_. It is a great thing to get an
author’s exact words. Unfortunately the writer in the _Dictionnaire_
follows custom and does not give the means of verifying the quotation.
Comenius in Latin I have never seen except in the British Museum.

[80] In Sermon on Charity Schools, A.D. 1745. The Bishop points out that
“training up children is a very different thing from merely teaching
them some truths necessary to be known or believed.” He goes into the
historical aspect of the subject. As since the days of Elizabeth there
has been legal provision for the maintenance of the poor, there has
been “need also of some particular legal provision in behalf of poor
children for their _education_; this not being included in what we
call maintenance.” “But,” says the Bishop, “it might be necessary that
a burden so entirely new as that of a poor-tax was at the time I am
speaking of, should be as light as possible. Thus the legal provision
for the poor was first settled without any particular consideration of
that additional want in the case of children; as it still remains with
scarce any alteration in this respect.” And _remained_ for nearly a
century longer. Great changes naturally followed and will follow from the
extension of the franchise; and another century will probably see us with
a Folkschool worthy of its importance. By that time we shall no longer be
open to the sarcasm of “the foreign friend:” “It is highly instructive
to visit English elementary schools, for there you find everything that
should be avoided.” (M. Braun quoted by Mr. A. Sonnenschein. The _Old_
Code was in force.)

[81] “Adhuc sub judice lis est.” I find the editor of an American
educational paper brandishing in the face of an opponent as a quotation
from Professor N. A. Calkins’ “Ear and Voice Training”: “The senses are
the only powers by which children can gain the elements of knowledge;
and until these have been trained to act, no definite knowledge can be
acquired.” But Calkins says, “act, under direction of the mind.”

[82] “What do you learn from ‘Paradise Lost’? Nothing at all. What do
you learn from a cookery book? Something new, something that you did
not know before, in every paragraph. But would you therefore put the
wretched cookery book on a higher level of estimation than the divine
poem? What you owe to Milton is not any _knowledge_, of which a million
separate items are but a million of advancing steps on the same earthly
level; what you owe is _power_, that is, exercise and expansion to your
own latent capacity of sympathy with the infinite, where every pulse and
each separate influx is a step upward—a step ascending as upon a Jacob’s
ladder from earth to mysterious altitudes above the earth. All the steps
of knowledge from first to last carry you further on the same plane, but
could never raise you one foot above your ancient level of earth; whereas
the very _first_ step in power is a flight, is an ascending into another
element where earth is forgotten.” I have met with this as a quotation
from De Quincey.

[83] When I visited (some years ago) the “École Modèle” at Brussels
I was told that books were used for _nothing_ except for learning to
read. Comenius was saved from this consequence of his realism by his
fervent Christianity. He valued the study of the Bible as highly as the
Renascence scholars valued the study of the classics, though for a very
different reason. He cared for the Bible not as literature, but as the
highest authority on the problems of existence. Those who, like Matthew
Arnold, may attribute to it far less authority may still treasure it as
literature, while those who despise literature and recognise no authority
above things would limit us to the curriculum of the “École Modèle” and
care for natural science only.

In this country we are fortunately able to advocate some reforms which
were suggested by the realism of Comenius without incurring any suspicion
of rejecting his Christianity. It is singular to see how the highest
authorities of to-day—men conversant with the subject on the side of
practice as well as theory—hold precisely the language which practical
men have been wont to laugh at as “theoretical nonsense” ever since
the days of Comenius. A striking instance will be found in a lecture
by the Principal of the Battersea Training College (Rev. Canon Daniel)
as reported in _Educational Times_, July, 1889. Compare what Comenius
said (_supra_ p. 151) with the following: “Children are not sufficiently
required to use their senses. They are allowed to observe by deputy. They
look at Nature through the spectacles of Books, and through the eyes of
the teacher, but do not observe for themselves. It might be expected that
in object lessons and science lessons, which are specially intended to
cultivate the observing faculty, this fault would be avoided, but I do
not find that such is the case. I often hear lessons on objects that are
not object lessons at all. The object is not allowed to speak for itself,
eloquent though it is, and capable though it is of adapting its teaching
to the youngest child who interrogates it. The teacher buries it under a
heap of words and second-hand statements, thereby converting the object
lesson into a verbal lesson and throwing away golden opportunities of
forming the scientific habit of mind. Now mental science teaches us that
our knowledge of the sensible qualities of the material world can come to
us only through our senses, and through the right senses. If we had no
senses we should know nothing about the material world at all; if we had
a sense less we should be cut off from a whole class of facts; if we had
as many senses as are ascribed to the inhabitants of Sirius in Voltaire’s
novel, our knowledge would be proportionately greater than it is now.
Words cannot compensate for sensations. The eloquence of a Cicero would
not explain to a deaf man what music is, or to a blind man what scarlet
is. Yet I have frequently seen teachers wholly disregard these obvious
truths. They have taught as though their pupils had eyes that saw not,
and ears that heard not, and noses that smelled not, and palates that
tasted not, and skins that felt not, and muscles that would not work.
They have insisted on taking the words out of Nature’s mouth and speaking
for her. They have thought it derogatory to play a subordinate part to
the object itself.”

This subject has been well treated by Mr. Thos. M. Balliet in a paper on
shortening the curriculum (_New York School Journal_, 10th Nov., 1888).
“Studies,” says he, “are of two kinds (1) studies which supply the mind
with thoughts of images, and (2) those which give us ‘labels,’ _i.e._ the
means of indicating and so communicating thought. Under the last head
come the study of language, writing (including spelling), notation, &c.”
Mr. Balliet proposes, as Comenius did, that the symbol subjects shall
not be taken separately, but in connexion with the thought subjects.
Especially in the mother-tongue, we should study language for thought,
not thought for the sake of language.

But after all though we may and _should_ bring the young in connexion
with the objects of thought and not with words merely, we must not forget
that the scholastic aspect of things will differ from the practical.
When brought into the schoolroom the thing must be divested of details
and surroundings, and used to give a conception of one of a class. The
fir tree of the schoolboy cannot be the fir tree of the wood-cutter. The
“boiler” becomes a cylinder subject to internal or external pressure. It
is not the thing that the engine-driver knows will burn and corrode, get
foul in its tubes and loose in its joints, and be liable to burst. (See
Mr. C. H. Benton on “Practical and Theoretical Training” in _Spectator_,
10th Nov., 1888). The school knowledge of things no less than of words
may easily be over-valued. It should be given not for itself but to
excite interest and draw out the powers of the mind.

[84] Ruskin seems to be echoing Comenius (of whom perhaps he never heard)
when he says “To be taught to see is to gain word and thought at once,
and both true.” (_Address at Camb. Sch. of Art_, Oct. 1858.)

[85] As far as my experience goes there are few men capable both of
teaching and being taught, and of these rare beings Comenius was a noble
example. The passage in which he acknowledges his obligation to the
Jesuits’ _Janua_ is a striking proof of his candour and open-mindedness.

As an experiment in language-teaching this _Janua_ is a very interesting
book, and will be well worth a note. From Augustin and Alois de Backer’s
_Bibliothèque des Ecrivains de la C. de Jésus_, I learn that the author
William Bath or Bathe [Latin Bateus] was born in Dublin in 1564, and
died in Madrid in 1614. “A brief introduction to the skill of song as
set forth by William Bathe, gent.” is attributed to him; but we know
nothing of his origin or occupation till he entered on the Jesuit
noviciate at Tournai in 1596. Either before or after this “he ran” as
he himself tells us “the pleasant race of study” at Beauvais. After
studying at Padua he was sent as Spiritual Father to the Irish College at
Salamanca. Here, according to C. Sommervogel he wrote two Latin books.
He also designed the _Janua Linguarum_, and carried out the plan with
the help of the other members of the college. The book was published at
Salamanca “apud de Cea Tesa” 1611, 4to. Four years afterwards an edition
with English version added was published in London edited by Wm. Welde.
I have never seen the Spanish version, but a copy of Welde’s edition
(wanting title page) was bequeathed to me by a friend honoured by all
English-speaking students of education, Joseph Payne. The _Janua_ must
have had great success in this country, and soon had other editors. In an
old catalogue I have seen “_Janua Linguarum Quadrilinguis_, or a Messe
of Tongues, Latine, English, French, Spanish, neatly served up together
for a wholesome repast to the worthy curiositie of the studious, sm.
4to, Matthew Lowndes, 1617.” This must have been the early edition of
Isaac Habrecht. I have his “_Janua Linguarum Silinguis_. _Argentinæ_
(Strassburg), 1630,” and in the Preface he says that the first English
edition came out in 1615, and that he had added a French version and
published the book at London in four languages in 1617. I have seen
“sixth edition 1627,” also published by Lowndes, and edited “opera I. H.
(John Harmar, called in Catalogue of British Museum ‘Rector of Ewhurst’)
Scholæ Sancti Albani Magistri primarii.” Harmar, I think, suppressed all
mention of the author of the book, but he kept the title. This seems to
have been altered by the celebrated Scioppius who published the book as
_Pascasii Grosippi Mercurius bilinguis_.

This Jesuits’ _Janua_ is one of the most interesting experiments in
language teaching I ever met with. Bathe and his co-adjutors collected
as they believed all the common root words in the Latin language; and
these they worked up into 1,200 short sentences in the form of proverbs.
After the sentences follows a short Appendix _De ambiguis_ of which the
following is a specimen: “Dum malum comedis juxta malum navis, de malo
commisso sub malo vetita meditare. While thou eatest an apple near the
mast of a ship, think of the evil committed under the forbidden apple
tree.” An alphabetical index of all the Latin words is then given, with
the number of the sentence in which the word occurs.

Prefixed to this _Janua_ we find some introductory chapters in which
the problem: What is the best way of learning a foreign language? is
considered and some advance made towards a solution. “The body of
every language consisteth of four principal members—words, congruity,
phrases, and elegancy. The dictionary sets down the words, grammar the
congruities, Authors the phrases, and Rhetoricians (with their figures)
the elegancy. We call phrases the proper forms or peculiar manners of
speaking which every Tongue hath.” (Chap. 1 _ad f._) Hitherto, says
Bathe, there have been in use, only two ways of learning a language,
“regular, such as is grammar, to observe the congruities; and irregular
such as is the common use of learners, by reading and speaking in vulgar
tongues.” The “regular” way is more certain, the “irregular” is easier.
So Bathe has planned a middle way which is to combine the advantages of
the other two. The “congruities” are learnt regularly by the grammar. Why
are not the “words” learned regularly by the dictionary? 1st, Because
the Dictionary contains many useless words; 2nd, because compound words
may be known from the root words without special learning; 3rd, because
words as they stand in the Dictionary bear no sense and so cannot be
remembered. By the use of this _Janua_ all these objections will be
avoided. Useful words and root words only are given, and they are worked
up into sentences “easy to be remembered.” And with the exception of a
few little words such as _et_, _in_, _qui_, _sum_, _fio_ no word occurs a
second time; thus, says Bathe, the labour of learning the language will
be lightened and “as it was much more easy to have known all the living
creatures by often looking into Noe’s Ark, wherein was a selected couple
of each kind, than by travelling over all the world until a man should
find here and there a creature of each kind, even in the same manner
will all the words be far more easily learned by use of these sentences
than by hearing, speaking or reading until a man do accidentally meet
with every particular word.” (Proeme _ad f._) “We hope no man will be
so ingrateful as not to think this work very profitable,” says the
author. For my own part I feel grateful for such an earnest attempt at
“retrieving of the curse of Babylon,” but I cannot show my gratitude by
declaring “this work very profitable.” The attempt to squeeze the greater
part of a language into 1,200 short sentences could produce nothing
better than a curiosity. The language could not be thus squeezed into the
memory of the learner.

[86] This book must have had a great sale in England. Anchoran’s
version (the Latin title of which is _Porta_ not _Janua_) went through
several editions. I have a copy of _Janua Linguarum Reserata_ “formerly
translated by Tho. Horn: afterwards much corrected and amended by Joh.
Robotham: now carefully reviewed and exactly compared with all former
editions, foreign and others, and much enlarged both in the Latine and
English: together with a Portall ... by G. P. 1647.” “W. D.” was a
subsequent editor, and finally it was issued by Roger Daniel, to whom
Comenius dedicates from Amsterdam in 1659 as “Domino Rogero Danieli,
Bibliopolæ ac Typographo Londinensi celeberrimo.”

[87] Eilhardus Lubinus or Eilert Lueben, born 1565; was Professor first
of Poetry then of Theology at Rostock, where he died in 1621. This
projector of the most famous school-book of modern times seems not to be
mentioned in K. A. Schmid’s great _Encyklopädie_, at least in the first
edition. (I have not seen the second.) I find from F. Sander’s _Lexikon
d. Pädagogik_ that Ratke declared he learnt nothing from Lubinus, while
Comenius recognised him gratefully as his predecessor. This is just what
we should have expected from the character of Ratke and of Comenius.
Lubinus advocated the use of interlinear translations and published (says
Sander) such translations of the New Testament, of Plautus, &c. The very
interesting Preface to the New Test., was translated into English by
Hartlib and published as “The True and Readie Way to Learne the Latine
Tongue by E. Lubinus,” &c., 1654. The date given for Lubinus’ preface is
1614. L. finds fault with the grammar teaching which is thrashed into
boys so that they hate their masters. He would appeal to the senses: “For
from these things falling under the sense of the eyes, and as it were
more known, we will make entrance and begin to learn the Latin speech.
Four-footed living creatures, creeping things, fishes and birds which
can neither be gotten nor live well in these parts ought to be painted.
Others also, which because of their bulk and greatness cannot be shut up
in houses may be made in a lesser form, or drawn with the pencil, yet of
such bigness as they may be well seen by boys even afar off.” He says
he has often counselled the Stationers to bring out a book “in which
all things whatsoever which may be devised and written and seen by the
eyes, might be described, so as there might be also added to all things
and all parts and members of things, its own proper word, its own proper
appellation or term expressed in the Latin and Dutch tongues” (pp. 22,
23). “Visible things are first to be known by the eyes” (p. 23), and the
joining of seeing the thing and hearing the name together “is by far the
profitablest and the bravest course, and passing fit and applicable to
the age of children.” Things themselves if possible, if not, pictures
(p. 25). There are some capital hints on teaching children from things
common in the house, in the street, &c. One Hadrianus Junius has made a
“nomenclator” that may be useful. In the pictures of the projected book
there are to be lines under each object, and under its printed name. (The
excellent device of corresponding numbers seems due to Comenius.) For
printing below the pictures L. also suggests sentences which are simpler
and better for children than those in the Vestibulum, _e.g._ “Panis in
Mensa positus est, Felis vorat Murem.”

In the Brit. Museum there is a copy of _Medulla Linguæ Græcæ_ in which L.
works up the root words of Greek into sentences. He was evidently a man
with ideas. Comenius thought of them so highly that he tried to carry out
another at Saros-Patak, the plan of a “Cœnobium” or Roman colony in which
no language should be used but Latin.

[88] For full titles of the books referred to see p. 195.

[89] The solitaries of Port-Royal used to vary their mental toil with
manual. A Jesuit having maliciously asked whether it was true that
Monsieur Pascal made shoes, met with the awkward repartee, “Je ne sais
pas s’il fait des souliers, mais je crois qu’il _vous a porté une fameuse

[90] A master in a great public school once stated in a school address
what masters and boys felt to be true. “It would hardly be too much to
say that the whole problem of education is how to surround the young
with good influences. I believe we must go on to add that if the wisest
man had set himself to work out this problem without the teaching of
experience, he would have been little likely to hit upon the system of
which we are so proud, and which we call “the Public School System.”
If the real secret of education is to surround the young with good
influences, is it not a strange paradox to take them at the very age
when influences act most despotically and mass them together in large
numbers, where much that is coarsest is sure to be tolerated, and much
that is gentlest and most refining—the presence of mothers and sisters
for example—is for a large part of the year a memory or an echo rather
than a living voice? I confess I have never seen any answers to this
objection which _apart from the test of experience_ I should have been
prepared to pronounce satisfactory. It is a simple truth that the moral
dangers of our Public School System are enormous. It is the simple truth
that do what you will in the way of precaution, you do give to boys of
low, animal natures, the very boys who ought to be exceptionally subject
to almost despotic restraint, exceptional opportunities of exercising
a debasing influence over natures far more refined and spiritual than
their own. And it is further the simple but the sad truth, that these
exceptional opportunities are too often turned to account, and that the
young boy’s character for a time—sometimes for a long time—is spoiled
or vulgarized by the influence of unworthy companions.” This is what
public schoolmasters, if their eyes are not blinded by routine, are
painfully conscious of. But they find that in the end good prevails; the
average boy gains a manly character and contributes towards the keeping
up a healthy public opinion which is of great effect in restraining the

[91] “The number of boarders was never very great, because to a master
were assigned no more than he could have beds for in his room.”
(Fontaine’s _Mémoire_, Carré, p. 24.)

[92] “Plerisque placet media quædam ratio, ut apud unum Præceptorem
quinque sexve pueri instituantur: ita nec sodalitas deerit ætati, cui
convenit alacritas; neque non sufficiet singulis cura Præceptoris; et
facile vitabitur corruptio quam affert multitudo. Many take up with a
middle course, and would have five or six boys placed with one preceptor;
in this way they will not be without companionship at an age when from
their liveliness they seem specially to need it, and the master may
give sufficient care to each individual; moreover, there will be an
easy avoidance of the moral corruption which numbers bring.” Erasmus on
_Christian Marriage_ quoted by Coustel in Sainte-Beuve, P.Riij, bk. 4, p.

[93] Lancelot’s “New way of easily learning Latin (_Nouvelle Méthode
pour apprendre facilement la langue Latine_)” was published in 1644, his
method for Greek in 1655. This was followed in 1657 by his “Garden of
Greek Roots (_Jardin des racines grecques_)” (see Cadet, pp. 15 ff.)

The Port-Royalists seem to me in some respects far behind Comenius, but
they were right in rejecting him as a methodiser in language-learning.
Lancelot in the preface to his “Garden of Greek Roots,” says that the
_Janua_ of Comenius is totally wanting in method. “It would need,” says
he, “an extraordinary memory; and from my experience I should say that
few children could learn this book, for it is long and difficult; and
as the words in it are not repeated, those at the beginning would be
forgotten before the learner reached the end. So he would feel a constant
discouragement, because he would always find himself in a new country
where he would recognize nothing. And the book is full of all sorts of
uncommon and difficult words, and the first chapters throw no light
on those which follow.” To this well-grounded criticism he adds: “The
_entrances to the Tongues_, to deserve its name, should be nothing but
a short and simple way leading us as soon as possible to read the best
books in the language, so that we might not only acquire the words we
are in need of, but also all that is most characteristic in the idiom
and pure in the phraseology, which make up the most difficult and most
important part of every language.” (Quoted by Cadet, p. 17).

[94] Lemaître, a nephew of La Mère Angélique, was one of the most
celebrated orators in France. In renouncing the world for Port-Royal, he
retired from a splendid position at the Bar. Such men had qualifications
out of the reach of ordinary schoolmasters. Dufossé, in after years, told
how, when he was a boy, Lemaître called him often to his room and gave
him solid instruction in learning and piety. “He read to me and made me
read pieces from poets and orators, and saw that I noticed the beauties
in them both in thought and diction. Moreover he taught me the right
emphasis and articulation both in verse and prose, in which he himself
was admirable, having the charm of a fine voice and all else that goes
to make a great orator. He gave me also many rules for good translation
and for making my progress in that art easy to me.” (Dufossé’s _Mémoires,
&c._, quoted by Cadet, p. 9.) It was Lemaître who instructed Racine (born
1639, admitted at Les Granges, Port Royal des Champs, in 1655).

[95] In 1670 the General of the Jesuits issued a letter to the Society
against the Cartesian philosophy. The University in this agreed with its
rivals, and petitioned the Parliament to prohibit the Cartesian teaching.
This produced the burlesque _Arrêt_ by Boileau (1675). “Whereas it is
stated that for some years past a stranger named Reason has endeavoured
to make entry by force into the Schools of the University ... where
Aristotle has always been acknowledged as judge without appeal and not
accountable for his opinions.... Be it known by these presents that
this Court has maintained and kept and does maintain and keep the said
Aristotle in perfect and peaceable possession of the said schools ...
and in order that for the future he may not be interfered with in them,
it has banished Reason for ever from the Schools of the said University,
and forbids his entry to disturb and disquiet the said Aristotle in the
possession and enjoyment of the aforesaid schools, under pain and penalty
of being declared a Jansenist and a lover of innovations.” (Quoted by
Cadet, p. 34.)

[96] Although so much time is given to the study of words, practice in
the use of words is almost entirely neglected, and the English schoolboy
remains inarticulate.

[97] Rollin somewhat extends Quintilian’s statement: “The desire of
learning rests in the will which you cannot force.” About attempts to
coerce the will in the absence of interest, I may quote a passage from
a lecture of mine at Birmingham in 1884, when I did not know that I had
behind me such high authorities as Quintilian and Rollin: “I should
divide the powers of the mind that may be cultivated in the school-room
into two classes: in the first I should put all the higher powers—grasp
of meaning, perception of analogy, observation, reflection, imagination,
intellectual memory; in the other class is one power only, and that is
a kind of memory that depends on the association of sounds. How is it
then that in most school-rooms far more time is spent in cultivating
this last and least-valuable power than all the rest put together? The
explanation is easy. All the higher powers can be exercised only when the
pupils are interested, or, as Mr. Thring puts it, ‘care for what they
are about.’ The memory that depends on associating sounds is independent
of interest and can be secured by simple repetition. Now it is very hard
to awaken interest, and still harder to maintain it. That magician’s
wand, the cane, with which the schoolmasters of olden time worked such
wonders, is powerless here or powerful only in the negative direction;
and so is every form of punishment. You may tell a boy—‘If you can’t say
your lesson you shall stay in and write it out half-a-dozen times!’ and
the threat may have effect; but no ‘_instans tyrannus_’ from Orbilius
downwards has ever thought of saying, ‘If you don’t take an interest in
your work, I’ll keep you in till you do!’ So teachers very naturally
prefer the kind of teaching in which they can make sure of success.”

[98] Here as usual Rollin uses Quintilian without directly quoting him.
He gives in a note the passage he had in his mind. “Id imprimis cavere
oportebit, ne studia qui amare nondum potest oderit; et amaritudinem
semel præceptam etiam ultra rudes annos reformidet (Quint., lib. j, cap.

[99] Rousseau, Pestalozzi and Froebel were also in this sense realists,
but they held that the educational value of knowledge lay not in itself,
but only in so far as it was an instrument for developing the faculties
of the mind.

[100] Henry Barnard (_English Pedagogy_, second series, p. 192), speaks
of Hoole as “one of the pioneer educators of his century.” According to
Barnard he was born at Wakefield, in 1610, and died in 1666, rector of
“Stock Billerica” (perhaps Stock with Billericay), in Essex.

[101] A very interesting suggestion of Cowley’s is that another house
be built for poor men’s sons who show ability. These shall be brought
up “with the same conveniences that are enjoyed even by rich men’s
children (though they maintain the fewer for that cause), there being
nothing of eminent and illustrious to be expected from a low, sordid, and
hospital-like education.”

[102] It would seem as if these Puritans were more active in body than in
mind: even the seniors, like the children at Port-Royal, _tombent dans la
nonchalance_. Dury has to lay it down that “the Governour and Ushers and
Steward if they be in health should not go to bed till ten.” (p. 30.)

[103] It is a sign of the failure of all attempts to establish
educational science in England that though the meaning of “real” and
“realities” which connected them with _res_ seemed established in the
sixteen hundreds, our language soon lost it again. According to a
writer in _Meyer’s Conversations Lexicon_ (first edition) “_reales_”
in this sense occurs first in Taubmann, 1614. Whether this is correct
or not it was certainly about this time that there arose a contest
between _Humanismus_ and _Realismus_, a contest now at its height in the
_Gymnasien_ and _Realschulen_ of Germany. For a discussion of it, _see_
M. Arnold’s “Literature and Science,” referred to above (p. 154).

[104] Many of Petty’s proposals are now realized in the South Kensington

[105] Later in the century Locke recommended that “working schools should
be set up in every parish,” (_see_ Fox-Bourne’s _Locke_, or Cambridge
edition of the _Thoughts c. Ed._, App. A, p. 189). The Quakers seem
to have early taken up “industrious education.” John Bellers, whose
_Proposals for Raising a College of Industry_ (1696) was reprinted by
Robt. Owen, has some very good notions. After advising that boys and
girls be taught to knit, spin, &c., and the bigger boys turning, &c.,
he says, “Thus the Hand employed brings Profit, _the Reason used in it
makes wise_, and the Will subdued makes them good” (_Proposals_, p. 18).
Years afterwards in a Letter to the Yearly Meeting (dated 1723), he
says, “It may be observed that some of the Boys in Friends’ Workhouse in
Clerkenwell by their present employment of spinning are capable to earn
their own living.”

[106] Petty does not lose sight of the body. The “educands” are to “use
such exercises whether in work or for recreation as tend to the health,
agility, and strength of their bodies.”

I have quoted Petty from the very valuable collection of English writings
on Education reprinted in Henry Barnard’s _English Pedagogy_, 2 vols.
Petty is in Vol. I. In this vol. we have plenty of evidence of the
working of the Baconian spirit; _e.g._, we find Sir Matthew Hale in a
_Letter of Advice to his Grandchildren_, written in 1678, saying that
there is little use or improvement in “notional speculations in logic
or philosophy delivered by others; the rather because bare speculations
and notions have little experience and external observation to confirm
them, and they rarely fix the minds especially of young men. But that
part of philosophy that is real may be improved and confirmed by daily
observation, and is more stable and yet more certain and delightful, and
goes along with a man all his life, whatever employment or profession he

[107] “In this respect,” says Professor Masson, “the passion and the
projects of Comenius were a world wider than Milton’s.” (_L. of M._ iij,
p. 237.)

[108] _Of Education. To Master Samuel Hartlib_ (“the Tractate” as it is
usually called), was published by Milton first in 1644, and again in
1673. _See_ Oscar Browning’s edition, Cambridge Univ. Press.

[109] The University of Cambridge. The first examination was in June,

[110] “Believe it, my good friend, to love truth for truth’s sake is the
principal part of human perfection in this world and the seed-plot of
all other virtues.” L. to Bolde, quoted by Fowler, _Locke_, p. 120. This
shows us that according to Locke “the principal part of human perfection”
is to be found in the intellect.

[111] Lady Masham seems to consider these two characteristics identical.
She wrote to Leclerc of Locke after his death: “He was always, in the
greatest and in the smallest affairs of human life, as well as in
speculative opinions, disposed to follow reason, whosoever it were that
suggested it; he being ever a faithful servant, I had almost said a
slave, to truth; never abandoning her for anything else, and following
her for her own sake purely” (quoted by Fox-Bourne). But it is one thing
to desire truth, and another to think one’s own reasoning power the sole
means of obtaining it.

[112] “I am far from imagining myself infallible; but yet I should
be loth to differ from any thinking man; being fully persuaded there
are very few things of pure speculation wherein two thinking men who
impartially seek truth can differ if they give themselves the leisure to
examine their hypotheses and understand one another” (L. to W. M., 26
Dec., 1692). Again he writes: “I am persuaded that upon debate you and
I cannot be of two opinions, nor I think any two men used to think with
freedom, who really prefer truth to opiniatrety and a little foolish
vain-glory of not having made a mistake” (L. to W. M., 3 Sept., 1694).

[113] Compare Carlyle:—“Except thine own eye have got to see it, except
thine own soul have victoriously struggled to clear vision and belief
of it, what is the thing seen or the thing believed by another or by
never so many others? Alas, it is not thine, though thou look on it,
brag about it, and bully and fight about it till thou die, striving to
persuade thyself and all men how much it is thine! Not _it_ is thine,
but only a windy echo and tradition of it bedded [an echo _bedded_?] in
hypocrisy, ending sure enough in tragical futility is thine.” Froude’s
_Thos. Carlyle_, ij, 10. Similarly Locke wrote to Bolde in 1699:—“To be
learned in the lump by other men’s thoughts, and to be right by saying
after others is much the easier and quieter way; but how a rational man
that should enquire and know for himself can content himself with a faith
or religion taken upon trust, or with such a servile submission of his
understanding as to admit all and nothing else but what fashion makes
passable among men, is to me astonishing.” Quoted by Fowler, _Locke_, p.

[114] For Rabelais, _see_ p. 67 _supra_.

In the notes to the Cambridge edition of the _Thoughts_ Locke’s advice on
physical education is discussed and compared with the results of modern
science by Dr. J. F. Payne.

[115] “Examinations directed, as the paper examinations of the numerous
examining boards now flourishing are directed, to finding out what the
pupil knows, have the effect of concentrating the teacher’s effort upon
the least important part of his function.” Mark Pattison in _N. Quart.
M._, January, 1880.

[116] Michelet (_Nos fils_, chap. ij. _ad f._ p. 170), says of
Montaigne’s essay: “c’est déjà une belle esquisse, vive et forte, une
tentative pour donner, _non l’objet_, le savoir, mais _le sujet_, c’est

[117] Pope seems to contrast Montaigne and Locke:

  “But ask not to what doctors I apply!
  “Sworn to no master, of no sect am I:
  “As drives the storm, at any door I knock,
  “And house with Montaigne now, or now with Locke.”

                                _Satires_ iij., 26.

Perhaps as Dr. Abbott suggests he took Montaigne as representing active
and Locke contemplative life.

[118] _See_ “An introduction to the History of Educational Theories,” by
Oscar Browning.

[119] “History and the mathematics, I think, are the most proper and
advantageous studies for persons of your quality; the other are fitter
for schoolmen and people that must live by their learning, though a
little insight and taste of them will be no burthen or inconvenience to
you, especially Natural Philosophy.” _Advice to a young Lord written by
his father_, 1691, p. 29.

[120] “Il n’y a point avant la raison de véritable éducation pour
l’homme.” (_N. H._, 5th P., Lett. 3. Conf. _supra_, p. 227.)

[121] “La première éducation doit donc être purement négative. Elle
consiste, non point à enseigner la vertu ni la vérité, mais à garantir
le cœur du vice et l’esprit de l’erreur. Si vous pouviez ne rien faire
et ne rien laisser faire; si vous pouviez amener votre élève sain et
robuste à l’âge de douze ans, sans qu’il sût distinguer sa main droite
de sa main gauche, dès vos premières leçons les yeux de son entendement
s’ouvriraient à la raison; sans préjugés, sans habitudes, il n’aurait
rien en lui qui pût contrarier l’effet de vos soins. Bientôt il
deviendrait entre vos mains le plus sage des hommes; et, en commençant
par ne rien faire, vous auriez fait un prodige d’éducation.” _Ém._ ij.,

[122] “Exercez son corps, ses organes, ses sens, ses forces, mais tenez
son âme oisive aussi longtemps qu’il se pourra. Redoutez tous les
sentiments antérieurs au jugement qui les apprécie. Retenez, arrêtez
les impressions étrangères: et, pour empêcher le mal de naître, ne vous
pressez point de faire le bien; car il n’est jamais tel que quand la
raison l’éclaire. Regardez tous les délais comme des avantages: c’est
gagner beaucoup que d’avancer vers le terme sans rien perdre; laissez
mûrir l’enfance dans les enfants. Enfin quelque leçon leur devient-elle
nécessaire, gardez-vous de la donner aujourd’hui, si vous pouvez différer
jusqu’à demain sans danger.” _Ém._ ij., 80.

[123] “Effrayez-vous donc peu de cette oisiveté prétendue. Que
diriez-vous d’un homme qui, pour mettre toute la vie à profit, ne
voudrait jamais dormir? Vous diriez: Cet homme est insensé; il ne jouit
pas du temps, il se l’ôte; pour fuir le sommeil il court à la mort.
Songez donc que c’est ici la même chose, et que l’enfance est le sommeil
de la raison.” _Ém._ ij., 99.

[124] “Il n’y a pas de philosophie plus superficielle que celle qui,
prenant l’homme comme un être égoïste et viager, prétend l’expliquer et
lui tracer ses devoirs en dehors de la société dont il est une partie.
Autant vaut considérer l’abeille abstraction faite de la ruche, et dire
qu’à elle seule l’abeille construit son alvéole.” Renan, _La Réforme_,

[125] “Tout est bien, sortant des mains de l’Auteur des choses; tout
dégénère entre les mains de l’homme.”

[126] “Nous naissons faibles, nous avons besoin de forces; nous naissons
dépourvus de tout, nous avons besoin d’assistance; nous naissons
stupides, nous avons besoin de jugement. Tout ce que nous n’avons pas à
notre naissance, et dont nous avons besoin étant grands, nous est donné
par l’éducation. Cette éducation nous vient ou de la nature, ou des
hommes, ou des choses. Le développement interne de nos facultés et de nos
organes est l’éducation de la nature; l’usage qu’on nous apprend à faire
de ce développement est l’éducation des hommes; et l’acquis de notre
propre expérience sur les objets qui nous affectent est l’éducation des
choses.” _Ém._ j., 6.

[127] “Puisque le concours des trois éducations est nécessaire à leur
perfection, c’est sur celle à laquelle nous ne pouvons rien qu’il faut
diriger les deux autres.” _Ém._ j., 7.

[128] “Vivre ce n’est pas respirer, c’est agir; c’est faire usage de
nos organes, de nos sens, de nos facultés, de toutes les parties de
nous-mêmes qui nous donnent le sentiment de notre existence. L’homme qui
a le plus vécu n’est pas celui qui a compté le plus d’années, mais celui
qui a le plus senti la vie.” _Ém._ j., 13.

[129] “On ne connaît point l’enfance: sur les fausses idées qu’on en
a, plus on va, plus on s’égare. Les plus sages s’attachent à ce qu’il
importe aux hommes de savoir, sans considérer ce que les enfants sont
en état d’apprendre. Ils cherchent toujours l’homme dans l’enfant, sans
penser à ce qu’il est avant que d’être homme. Voilà l’êtude à laquelle
je me suis le plus appliqué, afin que, quand toute ma méthode serait
chimérique et fausse, on pût toujours profiter de mes observations. Je
puis avoir très-mal vu ce qu’il faut faire; mais je crois avoir bien vu
le sujet sur lequel on doit opérer. Commencez donc par mieux étudier vos
élèves; car très-assurément vous ne les connaissez point.”

[130] “La nature veut que les enfants soient enfants avant que d’être
hommes. Si nous voulons pervertir cet ordre, nous produirons des fruits
précoces qui n’auront ni maturité ni saveur, et ne tarderont pas à se
corrompre: nous aurons de jeunes docteurs et de vieux enfants. L’enfance
a des manières de voir, de penser, de sentir, qui lui sont propres; rien
n’est moins sensé que d’y vouloir substituer les nôtres.” _Ém._ ij., 75;
also in _N. H._, 478.

[131] “Nous ne savons jamais nous mettre à la place des enfants; nous
n’entrons pas dans leurs idées, nous leur prêtons les nôtres; et, suivant
toujours nos propres raisonnements, avec des chaînes de vérités nous
n’entassons qu’extravagances et qu’erreurs dans leur tête.” _Ém._ iij.,

[132] “Je voudrais qu’un homme judicieux nous donnât un traité de l’art
d’observer les enfants. Cet art serait très-important à connaître: les
pères et les maîtres n’en ont pas encore les éléments.” _Ém._ iij., 224.

[133] Rousseau says: “Full of what is going on in your own head, you do
not see the effect you produce in their head: Pleins de ce qui se passe
dans votre tête vous ne voyez pas l’effet que vous produisez dans la
leur.” (_Ém._ lib. ij., 83.)

[134] “Or, toutes les études forcées de ces pauvres infortunés tendent
à ces objets entièrement étrangers à leurs esprits. Qu’on juge de
l’attention qu’ils y peuvent donner. Les pédagogues qui nous étalent
en grand appareil les instructions qu’ils donnent à leurs disciples
sont payés pour tenir un autre langage: cependant on voit, par leur
propre conduite, qu’ils pensent exactement comme moi. Car que leur
apprennent-ils enfin? Des mots, encore des mots, et toujours des mots.
Parmi les diverses sciences qu’ils se vantent de leur enseigner, ils se
gardent bien de choisir celles qui leur seraient véritablement utiles,
parce que ce seraient des sciences de choses, et qu’ils n’y réussiraient
pas; mais celles qu’on paraît savoir quand on en sait les termes, le
blason, la géographie, la chronologie, les langues, etc.; toutes études
si loin de l’homme, et surtout de l’enfant, que c’est une merveille si
rien de tout cela lui peut être utile une seule fois en sa vie.” _Ém._
ij., 100.

[135] “En quelque étude que ce puisse être, sans l’idée des choses
représentées, les signes représentants ne sont rien. On borne pourtant
toujours l’enfant à ces signes, sans jamais pouvoir lui faire comprendre
aucune des choses qu’ils représentent.” _Ém._ ij., 102.

[136] “Non, si la nature donne au cerveau d’un enfant cette souplesse
qui le rend propre à recevoir toutes sortes d’impressions, ce n’est pas
pour qu’on y grave des noms de rois, des dates, des termes de blason,
de sphère, de géographie, et tous ces mots sans aucun sens pour son âge
et sans aucune utilité pour quelque âge que ce soit, dont on accable sa
triste et stérile enfance; mais c’est pour que toutes les idées qu’il
peut concevoir et qui lui sont utiles, toutes celles qui se rapportent à
son bonheur et doivent l’éclairer un jour sur ses devoirs, s’y tracent
de bonne heure en caractères ineffaçables, et lui servent à se conduire
pendant sa vie d’une manière convenable à son être et à ses facultés.”
_Ém._ ij., 105; also _N. H._, P. v., L. 3.

Sans étudier dans les livres, l’espèce de mémoire que peut avoir un
enfant ne reste pas pour cela oisive; tout ce qu’il voit, tout ce qu’il
entend le frappe, et il s’en souvient; il tient registre en lui-même des
actions, des discours des hommes; et tout ce qui l’environne est le livre
dans lequel, sans y songer, il enrichit continuellement sa mémoire, en
attendant que son jugement puisse en profiter. C’est dans le choix de
ces objets, c’est dans le soin de lui présenter sans cesse ceux qu’il
peut connaître, et de lui cacher ceux qu’il doit ignorer, que consiste le
véritable art de cultiver en lui cette première faculté; et c’est par là
qu’il faut tâcher de lui former un magasin de connaissances qui servent à
son éducation durant sa jeunesse, et à sa conduite dans tous les temps.
Cette méthode, il est vrai, ne forme point de petits prodiges et ne fait
pas briller les gouvernantes et les précepteurs; mais elle forme des
hommes judicieux, robustes, sains de corps et d’entendement, qui, sans
s’être fait admirer étant jeunes, se font honorer étant grands.

[137] “L’activité défaillante se concentre dans le cœur du vieillard;
dans celui de l’enfant elle est surabondante et s’étend au dehors; il se
sent, pour ainsi dire, assez de vie pour animer tout ce qui l’environne.
Qu’il fasse ou qu’il défasse, il n’importe; il suffit qu’il change l’état
des choses, et tout changement est une action. Que s’il semble avoir plus
de penchant à détruire, ce n’est point par méchanceté, c’est que l’action
qui forme est toujours lente, et que celle qui détruit, étant plus
rapide, convient mieux à sa vivacité.” _Ém._ j., 47.

[138] It would be difficult to find a man more English, in a good sense,
than the present Lord Derby or, whether we say it in praise or dispraise,
a man less like Rousseau. So it is interesting to find him in agreement
with Rousseau in condemning the ordinary restraints of the school-room.
“People are beginning to find out what, if they would use their own
observation more, and not follow one another like sheep, they would have
found out long ago, that it is doing positive harm to a young child,
mental and bodily harm, to keep it learning or pretending to learn,
the greater part of the day. Nature says to a child, ‘Run about,’ the
schoolmaster says, ‘Sit still;’ and as the schoolmaster can punish on the
spot, and Nature only long afterwards, he is obeyed, and health and brain
suffer.”—_Speech in 1864._

[139] All this is very crude, and so is the artifice by which Julie in
the _Nouvelle Héloïse_ entraps her son into learning to read. No doubt
Rousseau is right when he says that where there is a desire to read the
power is sure to come. But “reading” is one thing in the lives of the
labouring classes to whom it means reading aloud in school, and quite
another in families of literary tastes and habits with whom the range of
thought is in a great measure dependent on books. In such families the
children learn to read as surely as they learn to talk. They mostly have
access to books which they read to themselves for pleasure; and of course
it is absurdly untrue to say that they learn nothing but words and do not
think. In my opinion it may be questioned whether the world of fiction
into which their reading gives them the _entrée_ does not withdraw them
too much from the actual world in which they live. The elders find it
very convenient when the child can always be depended on to amuse himself
with a book; but noise and motion contribute more to health of body and
perhaps of mind also. While children of well-to-do parents often read too
much, the children of our schools “under government” hardly get a notion
what reading is. In these schools “reading” always stands for vocal
reading, and the power and the habit of using books for pleasure or for
knowledge (other than verbal) are little cultivated.

[140] “Il veut tout toucher, tout manier; ne vous opposez point à
cette inquiétude; elle lui suggère un apprentissage très-nécessaire.
C’est ainsi qu’il apprend à sentir la chaleur, le froid, la dureté, la
mollesse, la pesanteur, la légèreté des corps; à juger de leur grandeur,
de leur figure et de toutes leurs qualités sensibles, en regardant,
palpant, écoutant, surtout en comparant la vue au toucher, en estimant à
l’œil la sensation qu’ils feraient sous ses doigts.” _Ém._ j., 43.

[141] “Voyez un chat entrer pour la première fois dans une chambre: il
visite, il regarde, il flaire, il ne reste pas un moment en repos, il
ne se fie à rien qu’après avoir tout examiné, tout connu. Ainsi fait un
enfant commençant à marcher, et entrant pour ainsi dire dans l’espace
du monde. Toute la différence est qu’à la vue, commune à l’enfant et au
chat, le premier joint, pour observer, les mains que lui donna la nature,
et l’autre l’odorat subtil dont elle l’a doué. Cette disposition, bien ou
mal cultivée, est ce qui rend les enfants adroits ou lourds, pesants ou
dispos, étourdis ou prudents. Les premiers mouvements naturels de l’homme
étant donc de se mesurer avec tout ce qui l’environne, et d’éprouver
dans chaque objet qu’il aperçoit toutes les qualités sensibles qui
peuvent se rapporter à lui, sa première étude est une sorte de physique
expérimentale relative à sa propre conservation, et dont on le détourne
par des études spéculatives avant qu’il ait reconnu sa place ici-bas.
Tandis que ses organes délicats et flexibles peuvent s’ajuster aux corps
sur lesquels ils doivent agir, tandis que ses sens encore purs sont
exempts d’illusion, c’est le temps d’exercer les uns et les autres aux
fonctions qui leur sont propres; c’est le temps d’apprendre à connaître
les rapports sensibles que les choses ont avec nous. Comme tout ce qui
entre dans l’entendement humain y vient par les sens, la première raison
de l’homme est une raison sensitive; c’elle qui sert de base à la raison
intellectuelle: nos premiers maîtres de philosophie sont nos pieds, nos
mains, nos yeux. Substituer des livres à tout cela, ce n’est pas nous
apprendre à raisonner, c’est nous apprendre à nous servir de la raison
d’autrui; c’est nous apprendre à beaucoup croire, et à ne jamais rien
savoir. Pour exercer un art, il faut commencer par s’en procurer les
instruments; et, pour pouvoir employer utilement ces instruments, il
faut les faire assez solides pour résister à leur usage. Pour apprendre
à penser, il faut donc exercer nos membres, nos sens, nos organes, qui
sont les instruments de notre intelligence; et pour tirer tout le parti
possible de ces instruments, il faut que le corps, qui les fournit, soit
robuste et sain. Ainsi, loin que la véritable raison de l’homme se forme
indépendamment du corps, c’est la bonne constitution du corps qui rend
les opérations de l’esprit faciles et sûres.” _Ém._ ij., 123.

[142] “Exercer les sens n’est pas seulement en faire usage, c’est
apprendre à bien juger par eux, c’est apprendre, pour ainsi dire, à
sentir; car nous ne savons ni toucher, ni voir, ni entendre, que comme
nous avons appris. Il y a un exercice purement naturel et mécanique, qui
sert à rendre le corps robuste sans donner aucune prise au jugement:
nager, courir, sauter, fouetter un sabot, lancer des pierres; tout cela
est fort bien: mais n’avons-nous que des bras et des jambes? n’avons-nous
pas aussi des yeux, des oreilles? et ces organes sont-ils superflus à
l’usage des premiers? N’exercez donc pas seulement les forces, exercez
tous les sens qui les dirigent; tirez de chacun d’eux tout le parti
possible, puis vérifiez l’impression de l’un par l’autre. Mesurez,
comptez, pesez, comparez.” _Ém._ ij., 133.

[143] _E.g._—What can be better than this about family life? “L’attrait
de la vie domestique est le meilleur contrepoison des mauvaises mœurs. Le
tracas des enfants qu’on croit importun devient agréable; il rend le père
et la mère plus nécessaires, plus chers l’un à l’autre; il resserre entre
eux le lien conjugal. Quand la famille est vivante et animée, les soins
domestiques font la plus chère occupation de la femme et le plus doux
amusement du mari. Ainsi de ce seul abus corrigé résulterait bientôt une
réforme générale; bientôt la nature aurait repris tous ses droits. Qu’une
fois les femmes redeviennent mères bientôt les hommes redeviendront pères
et maris.” _Ém._ j., 17. Again he says in a letter quoted by Saint-Marc
Girardin (ij., 121)—“L’habitude la plus douce qui puisse exister est
celle de la vie domestique qui nous tient plus près de nous qu’aucune
autre.” We may say of Rousseau what Émile says of the Corsair:—“Il savait
à fond toute la morale; il n’y avait que la pratique qui lui manquât.”
(_Ém. et S._ 636). And yet he himself testifies:—“Nurses and mothers
become attached to children by the cares they devote to them; it is the
exercise of the social virtues that carries the love of humanity to
the bottom of our hearts; it is in doing good that one becomes good; I
know no experience more certain than this: Les nourrices, les mères,
s’attachent aux enfants par les soins qu’elles leur rendent; l’exercice
des vertus sociales porte au fond des cœurs l’amour de l’humanité; c’est
en faisant le bien qu’on devient bon; je ne connais point de pratique
plus sure.” _Ém._ iv., 291.

[144] Elsewhere he asserts in his fitful way that there is inborn in the
heart of man a feeling of what is just and unjust. Again, after all his
praise of negation he contradicts himself, and says: “I do not suppose
that he who does not need anything can love anything; and I do not
suppose that he who does not love anything can be happy: Je ne conçois
pas que celui qui n’a besoin de rien puisse aimer quelque chose; je ne
conçois pas que celui qui n’aime rien puisse être heureux.” _Ém._ iv.,

[145] This part of Rousseau’s scheme is well discussed by Saint-Marc
Girardin (_J. J. Rousseau_, vol. ij.). The following passage is striking:
“How is it that Madame Necker-Saussure understood the child better
than Rousseau did? She saw in the child two things, a creation and a
ground-plan, something finished and something begun, a perfection which
prepares the way for another perfection, a child and a man. God, Who has
put together human life in several pieces, has willed, it is true, that
all these pieces should be related to each other; but He has also willed
that each of them should be complete in itself, so that every stage of
life has what it needs as the object of that period, and also what it
needs to bring in the period that comes next. Wonderful union of aims and
means which shews itself at every step in creation! In everything there
is aim and also means, everything exists for itself and also for that
which lies beyond it! (Tout est but et tout est moyen; tout est absolu et
tout est relatif.)” _J. J. R._, ij., 151.

[146] “Je n’aime point les explications en discours; les jeunes gens y
font peu d’attention et ne les retiennent guère. Les choses! les choses!
Je ne répéterai jamais assez que nous donnons trop de pouvoir aux mots:
avec notre éducation babillarde nous ne faisons que des babillards.”
_Ém._ iij., 198.

[147] “Forcé d’apprendre de lui-même, il use de sa raison et non de celle
d’autrui; car, pour ne rien donner à l’opinion, il ne faut rien donner
à l’autorité; et la plupart de nos erreurs nous viennent bien moins de
nous que des autres. De cet exercice continuel il doit résulter une
vigueur d’esprit semblable à celle qu’on donne au corps par le travail et
par la fatigue. Un autre avantage est qu’on n’avance qu’à proportion de
ses forces. L’esprit, non plus que le corps, ne porte que ce qu’il peut
porter. Quand l’entendement s’approprie les choses avant de les déposer
dans la mémoire, ce qu’il en tire ensuite est à lui: au lieu qu’en
surchargeant la mémoire, à son insu, on s’expose à n’en jamais rien tirer
qui lui soit propre.” _Ém._ iij., 235.

[148] “Sans contredit on prend des notions bien plus claires et bien
plus sûres des choses qu’on apprend ainsi de soi-même, que de celles
qu’on tient des enseignements d’autrui; et, outre qu’on n’accoutume
point sa raison à se soumettre servilement à l’autorité, l’on se rend
plus ingénieux à trouver des rapports, à lier des idées, à inventer des
instruments, que quand, adoptant tout cela tel qu’on nous le donne, nous
laissons affaisser notre esprit dans la nonchalance, comme le corps d’un
homme qui, toujours habillé, chaussé, servi par ses gens et traîné par
ses chevaux, perd à la fin la force et l’usage de ses membres. Boileau
se vantait d’avoir appris à Racine à rimer difficilement. Parmi tant
d’admirables méthodes pour abréger l’étude des sciences, nous aurions
grand besoin que quelqu’un nous en donnât une pour les apprendre avec
effort.” _Ém._ iij., 193.

[149] I avail myself of the old substantival use of the word _elementary_
to express its German equivalent _Elementarbuch_.

[150] “Who has not met with some experience such as _this_? A child with
an active and inquiring mind accustomed to chatter about everything
that interests him is sent to school. In a few weeks his vivacity
is extinguished, his abundance of talk has dried up. If you ask him
about his studies, if you desire him to give you a specimen of what he
has learnt, he repeals to you in a sing-song voice some rule for the
formation of tenses or some recipe for spelling words. Such are the
results of the teaching which should be of all teaching the most fruitful
and the most attractive!” Translated from _Quelques Mots_, &c., by M.

[151] In these visits he observed how the children suffered from working
in factories. These observations influenced him in after years.

[152] In these aphorisms Pestalozzi states the main principles at work in
his own mind; but this bare statement is not well suited to communicate
these principles to the minds of others. For most readers the aphorisms
have as little attraction as the enunciations, say, of a book of Euclid
would have for those who knew no geometry. But as his future life was
guided by the principles he has formulated in this paper it seems
necessary for us to bear some of these in mind.

What he mainly insists upon is that all wise guidance must proceed from
a knowledge of the nature of the creature to be guided; further that
there is a simple wisdom which must direct the course of all men. “The
path of Nature,” says he, “which brings out the powers of men must be
open and plain; and human education to true peace-giving wisdom must
be simple and available for all. Nature brings out all men’s powers
by practice, and their increase springs from _use_.” The powers of
children should be strengthened by exercise on what is close at hand;
and this should be done without hardness or pressure. A forced and rigid
sequence in instruction is not Nature’s method, says he: this would
make men one-sided, and truth would not penetrate freely and softly
into their whole being. The pure feeling for truth grows in a small
area; and human wisdom must be grounded on a perception of our closest
relationships, and must show itself in skilled management of our nearest
concerns. Everything we do against our consciousness of right weakens
our perception of truth and disturbs the purity of our fundamental
conceptions and experiences. On this account all wisdom of man rests
in the strength of a good heart that follows after truth, and all the
blessing of man in the sense of simplicity and innocence. Peace of mind
must be the outcome of right training. To get out of his surroundings
all he needs for life and enjoyment, to be patient, painstaking, and in
every difficulty trustful in the love of the Heavenly Father, this comes
of a man’s true education to wisdom. Nothing concerns the human race
so closely and intimately as—God. “God as Father of thy household, as
source of thy blessing—God as thy Father; in this belief thou findest
rest and strength and wisdom, which no violence nor the grave itself can
overthrow.” Belief in God which is a part of our nature, like the sense
of right and wrong and the feeling we can never quench of what is just
and unjust, must be made the foundation in educating the human race. The
subject of that belief is that God is the Father of men, men are the
children of God. To this divine relationship Pestalozzi refers all human
relationships as those of parent and child, of ruler and subject. The
priest is appointed to declare the fatherhood of God and the brotherhood
of men.

The only text I have seen is that reprinted by Raumer (_Gesch. d. Päd._).
From Otto Fischer (_Wichtigste Pädagogen_), I learn that this is the
edition of 1807, which differs, at least by omission, from the original
of 1780.

[153] There are now four parts, first published respectively in 1781,
1783, 1785, and 1787 (O. Fischer). The English translation in two small
vols. (1825) ends with the First Part, but Miss Eva Channing has recently
sought to weld the four parts into one (Boston, U.S.—D.C. Heath & Co.),
and in this form the book seems to me not only very instructive but
very entertaining also. Not many readers who look into it will fail to
reach the end, and few are the books connected with education of which
this could prudently be asserted. “All good teachers should read it with
care,” says Stanley Hall in his Introduction, and if they thus read it
and catch anything of the spirit of Pestalozzi both they and their pupils
will have reason to rejoice.

[154] In the pages of this Journal Pestalozzi taught that it was “the
domestic virtues which determine the happiness of a nation.” Again he
says: “On the throne and in the cottage man has equal need of religion,
and becomes the most wretched being on the earth if he forget his God.”
“The child at his mother’s breast is weaker and more dependent than any
creature on earth, and yet he already feels the first moral impressions
of love and gratitude.” “_Morality is nothing but a result of the
development of the first sentiments of love and gratitude felt by the
infant._ The first development of the child’s powers should come from his
participation in the work of his home; for this work is what his parents
understand best, what most absorbs their attention, and what they can
best teach. But even if this were not so, work undertaken to supply real
needs would be just as truly the surest foundation of a good education.
_To engage the attention of the child, to exercise his judgment, to
raise his heart to noble sentiments, these I think the chief ends of
education_: and how can these ends be reached so surely as by training
the child as early as possible in the various daily duties of domestic
life?” It would seem then that at this time Pestalozzi was for basing
education on domestic labour and would teach the child to be useful. But
it is hard to see how this principle could always be applied.

[155] One of these I have already given (_supra_ p. 292). I will give
another, not as by any means one of the best, but as a fit companion to
Rousseau’s “two dogs.”


“Two colts as like as two eggs, fell into different hands. One was bought
by a peasant whose only thought was to harness it to his plough as soon
as possible: this one turned out a bad horse. The other fell to the lot
of a man who by looking after it well and training it carefully, made a
noble steed of it, strong and mettlesome. Fathers and mothers, if your
children’s faculties are not carefully trained and directed right, they
will become not only useless, but hurtful; and the greater the faculties
the greater the danger.”

Compare Rousseau: “Just look at those two dogs; they are of the same
litter, they have been brought up and treated precisely alike, they have
never been separated; and yet one of them is sharp, lively, affectionate,
and very intelligent: the other is dull, lumpish, surly, and nobody could
ever teach him anything. Simply a difference of temperament has produced
in them a difference of character, just as a simple difference of our
interior organisation produces in us a difference of mind.” _N. Héloise._
5me P. Lettre iii.

[156] Pestalozzi was with the children at Stanz only during the first
half of 1799.

[157] As Pestalozzi wrote to Gessner (_How Gertrude, &c._): “You
see street-gossip is not always entirely wrong; I really could not
write properly, nor read, nor reckon. But people always jump to wrong
conclusions from such ‘notorious facts.’ At Stanz you saw that I could
teach writing without myself being able to write properly.” He here
anticipates a paradox of Jacotot’s.

[158] Years afterwards Napoleon, though he could not foresee Sedan, got
a notion that after all there was _something_ in Pestalozzi; and that
the aim of the system was to put the freedom and development of the
individual in the place of the mechanical routine of the old schools,
which tended to produce a mass of dull uniformity. With this aim, as
Guimps says, Napoleon was quite out of sympathy, and whenever the subject
was mentioned he would say, “The Pestalozzians are Jesuits”; thus very
inaccurately expressing an accurate notion that there was more in them
than could be understood at the first glance.

[159] Pestalozzi had from this country some more discerning visitors,
_e.g._, J. P. Greaves, to whom Pestalozzi addressed _Letters_, which
were translated and published in this country; also Dr. Mayo, who was
at Yverdun with his pupils for three years from 1818 and afterwards
conducted a celebrated Pestalozzian school at Cheam. Dr. Mayo in 1826
lectured on Pestalozzi’s system at the Royal Institution. Sir Jas.
Kay-Shuttleworth and Mr. Tufnell also drew attention to it in the
“Minutes of Council on Education.”

[160] The disciple is not above his master, and if parents and teachers
are without sympathy and religious feeling the children will also be
without faith and love. This cannot be urged too strongly on those who
have charge of the young. But there is no test by which we can ascertain
that a master has these essential qualifications. As in the Christian
ministry the unfit can be shut out only by their own consciences. But let
no one think to understand education if he loses sight of what Joseph
Payne has called “Pestalozzi’s simple but profound discovery—the teacher
must have a heart.” “Soul is kindled only by soul,” says Carlyle; “to
_teach_ religion the first thing needful and also the last and only thing
is finding of a man who _has_ religion. All else follows.”

[161] In 1872, a Congress in which more than 10,000 German elementary
teachers were represented, petitioned the Prussian Government for “the
organization of training schools in accordance with the pedagogic
principles of Pestalozzi, which formerly enjoyed so much favour in
Prussia and so visibly contributed to the regeneration of the country.”

[162] Did Pestalozzi make due allowance for the system of thought
which every child inherits? Croom Robertson in “How we came by our
Knowledge” (_Nineteenth Century_, No. 1, March, 1877), without mentioning
Pestalozzi, seems to differ from him. Croom Robertson says that “Children
being born into the world are born into society, and are acted on by
overpowering social influences before they have any chance of being
their proper selves.... The words and sentences that fall upon a child’s
ear and are soon upon his lips, express not so much his subjective
experience as the common experience of his kind, which becomes as it were
an objective rule or measure to which his shall conform.... He does, he
must, accept what he is told; and in general he is only too glad to find
his own experience in accordance with it.... We use our incidental, by
which I mean our natural subjective experience, mainly to decipher and
verify the ready-made scheme of knowledge that is given us _en bloc_ with
the words of our mother-tongue” (pp. 117, 118).

[163] One of the most interesting and most difficult problems in teaching
is this:—How long should the beginner be kept to the rudiments? With
young children, to whom ideas come fast, the main thing is no doubt to
take care that these ideas become distinct and are made “the intellectual
property” of the learners. But after a year or two children will be
impatient to “get on,” and if they seem “marking time” will be bored
and discouraged. Then again in some subjects the elementary parts seem
clear only to those who have a conception of the whole. As Diderot says
in a passage I have seen quoted from _Le Neveu de Rameau_, “Il faut
être profond dans l’art ou dans la science pour en bien posséder les
éléments.” “C’est le milieu et la fin qui éclaircissent les ténèbres du
commencement.” The greatest “coach” in Cambridge used to “rush” his men
through their subjects and then go back again for thorough learning. To
be sure, the “scientific method” suitable for young men differs greatly
from the “heuristic” or “method of investigation,” which is best for
children. (See Joseph Payne’s Lecture on Pestalozzi.) But even with
children we should bear in mind Niemeyer’s caution, “Thoroughness itself
may become superficial by exaggeration; for it may keep too long to a
part and in this way fail to complete and give any notion of the whole”
(Quoted by O. Fischer, _Wichtigste Päd._ 213).

[164] Nearly 20 years ago (1871) appeared a paper on “Elementary National
Education” in which “John Parkin, M.D.,” advocated making all our
elementary schools industrial, not only for practical purposes, but still
more for the sake of physical education. The paper attracted no notice
at the time, but now we are beginning to see that the body is concerned
in education as well as the mind, and that the mind learns through it
“without book.” The application of this truth will bring about many

[165] Herbart, when he visited Pestalozzi at Burgdorf, observed that
though Pestalozzi’s kindness was apparent to all, he took no pains in
his teaching to mix the _dulce_ with the _utile_. He never talked to
the children, or joked, or gave them an anecdote. This, however, did
not surprise Herbart, whose own experience had taught him that when the
subject requires earnest attention the children do not like it the better
for the teacher’s “fun.” “The feeling of clear apprehension,” says he, “I
held to be the only genuine condiment of instruction” (Herbart’s _Päd.
Schriften_, ed. by O. Willmann, j. 89).

[166] _First_ look to himself, but there may be other causes of failure
as well. The great thing is never to put up contentedly, or even
discontentedly, with failure. In teaching classes of lads from ten to
sixteen years old, when I have found the lessons in any subject were not
going well, I have sometimes taken the class into my confidence, told
them that they no doubt felt as I did that this lesson was a dull one,
and asked them each to put on paper what he considered to be the reasons,
and also to make any suggestions that occurred to him. In this way I have
got some very good hints, and I have always been helped in my effort to
understand how the work seemed to the pupils. Every teacher should make
this effort. As Pestalozzi says, “Could we conceive the indescribable
tedium which must oppress the young mind while the weary hours are slowly
passing away one after another in occupations which it can neither relish
nor understand ... we should no longer be surprised at the remissness of
the schoolboy creeping like snail unwillingly to school” (To G., xxx,

[167] With Morf’s summing-up it is interesting to compare Joseph Payne’s,
given at the end of his lecture on _Pestalozzi_:

I. The principles of education are not to be devised _ab extra_; they are
to be sought for in human nature.

II. This nature is an organic nature—a plexus of bodily, intellectual
and moral capabilities, ready for development, and struggling to develop

III. The education conducted by the formal educator has both a negative
and a positive side. The negative function of the educator consists
in removing impediments, so as to afford free scope for the learner’s
self-development. His positive function is to stimulate the learner to
the exercise of his powers, to furnish materials and occasion for the
exercise, and to superintend and maintain the action of the machinery.

IV. Self-development begins with the impressions received by the mind
from external objects. These impressions (called sensations), when the
mind becomes conscious of them, group themselves into perceptions. These
are registered in the mind as conceptions or ideas, and constitute that
elementary knowledge which is the basis of all knowledge.

V. Spontaneity and self-activity are the necessary conditions under which
the mind educates itself and gains power and independence.

VI. Practical aptness or faculty, depends more on habits gained by the
assiduous oft-repeated exercise of the learner’s active powers than on
knowledge alone. Knowing and doing (_Wissen und Können_) must, however,
proceed together. The chief aim of all education (including instruction)
is the development of the learner’s powers.

VII. All education (including instruction) must be grounded on the
learner’s own observation (_Anschauung_) at first hand—on his own
personal experience. This is the true basis of all his knowledge. First
the reality, then the symbol; first the thing, then the word, not _vice

VIII. That which the learner has gained by his own observation
(_Anschauung_) and which, as a part of his personal experience, is
incorporated with his mind, he _knows_ and can describe or explain in his
own words. His competency to do this is the measure of the accuracy of
his observation, and consequently of his knowledge.

IX. Personal experience necessitates the advancement of the learner’s
mind from the near and actual, with which he is in contact, and which he
can deal with himself, to the more remote; therefore from the concrete
to the abstract, from particulars to generals, from the known to the
unknown. This is the method of elementary education; the opposite
proceeding—the usual proceeding of our traditional teaching—leads the
mind from the abstract to the concrete, from generals to particulars,
from the unknown to the known. This latter is the Scientific method—a
method suited only to the advanced learner, who it assumes is already
trained by the Elementary method.

[168] Most parents do not seem to think with Jean Paul, “If we regard
all life as an educational institution, a circumnavigator of the world
is less influenced by all the nations he has seen than by his nurse.”
(_Levana_, quoted in Morley’s _Rousseau_.)

[169] I will quote the first paragraph of this work which is still
considered mental pabulum suited to the digestions of young ladies and

“_Name some of the most Ancient Kingdoms._—Chaldēa, Babylonia, Assyria,
China in Asia, and Egypt in Africa. Nimrod, the grandson of Ham, is
supposed to have founded the first of these B.C. 2221, as well as the
famous cities of Babylon and Nineveh; his kingdom being within the
fertile plains of Chaldēa, Chalonītis, and Assyria, was of small extent
compared with the vast empires that afterwards arose from it, but
included several large cities. In the district called Babylonia were the
cities of Babylon, Barsīta, Idicarra, and Vologsia,” &c., &c.

[170] I shall always feel gratitude and affection for the two old ladies
(sisters) to whom I was entrusted over half a century ago. More truly
Christian women I never met with. But of the science and art of education
they were totally ignorant; and moreover the premises they occupied were
unfit for a school. As all the boys were under ten years old, it will
seem strange, but is alas! too true, that there were vices among them
which are supposed to be unknown to children and which if discovered
would have made the old ladies close their school. The want of subjects
in which the children can take a healthy interest will in a great measure
account for the spread of evil in such schools. On this point some
mistresses and most parents are dangerously ignorant.

[171] Having watched the “teaching” of pupil-teachers, I find that some
of them (I may say many) never address more than one child at a time,
and never attempt to gain the attention of more than a single child. So,
by a very simple calculation, we can get at the maximum time each child
is “under instruction.” If the pupil-teacher has but three-quarters of
the pupils for whom the Department supposes him “sufficient,” each child
cannot be under instruction _more_ than two minutes in the hour. The rest
of the time the children must sit quiet, or be cuffed if they do not.
What is called “simultaneous” teaching in, say, reading, consists in the
pupil-teacher reading from the book, and as he pronounces each word, the
children shout it after him; but no one except the pupil-teacher knows
the place in the book.

But perhaps the dangers from employing boys and girls to teach and govern
children are greater morally than intellectually. Whether he report on
it or not, the Inspector has less influence on the moral training than
the youngest pupil-teacher. Channing has well said: “A child compelled
for six hours each day to see the countenance and hear the voice of an
unfeeling, petulant, passionate, unjust teacher is placed in a school
of vice.” Those who have never taught day after day, week after week,
month after month, little know what demands school-work makes on the
temper and the sense of justice. The harshest tyrants are usually those
who are raised but a little way above those whom they have to control;
and when I think of the pupil-teacher with his forty pupils to keep in
order, I heartily pity both him and them. Is there not too much reason to
fear lest in many cases the school should prove for both what Channing
has well described as “a school of vice”? (R. H. Q. in _Spectator_, 1st
March, 1890.)

[172] Since the above was written, another “New Code” has appeared
(March, 1890), in which the system of measuring by “passes,” a
system maintained (in spite of the remonstrances of all interested
in _education_) for nearly 30 years, is at length abandoned. We are
certainly travelling, however slowly, away from Mr. Lowe. Far as we are
still from Pestalozzi there seems reason to hope that the distance is

[173] This short sketch of Froebel’s life is mainly taken, with Messrs.
Black’s permission, from the _Encyclopædia Britannica_, for which I wrote

[174] This office was first filled by Langethal and afterwards by
Ferdinand Froebel. I learned this at Burgdorf from Herr Pfarrer Heuer,
whose father had himself been Waisenvater.

[175] For this quotation, and for much besides (as will appear later
on), I am indebted to Mr. H. Courthope Bowen. See his paper _Froebel’s
Education of Man_.

[176] The educator _as teacher_ has his activity limited, according to
DeGarmo, to these two things; “(1) The _preparation_ of the child’s
mind for a rapid and effective assimilation of new knowledge; (2) The
_presentation_ of the matter of instruction in such order and manner
as will best conduce to the most effective assimilation” (_Essentials
of Method_ by Chas. DeGarmo, Boston, U.S., D. C. Heath, 1889). Besides
this he must make his pupils _use_ their knowledge both new and old, and
reproduce it in fresh connexions.

[177] “Little children,” says Joseph Payne, “are scarcely ever contented
with simply doing nothing; and their fidgetiness and unrest, which often
give mothers and teachers so much anxiety, are merely the strugglings of
the soul to get, through the body, some employment for its powers. Supply
this want, give them an object to work upon, and you solve the problem.
The divergence and distraction of the faculties cease as they converge
upon the work, and the mind is at rest in its very occupation.” _V. to
German Schools._

[178] I entirely agree with Joseph Payne that where the language
spoken is not German, it would be well to discard _Kindergarten_,
_Kindergärtner_, and _Kindergärtnerin_. All who have to do with children
should master some great principles taught by Froebel, but there is no
need for them to learn German or to use German words. The French seem
satisfied with _Jardin d’Enfants_, but we are not likely to be with
_Children-Garden_. _Playschool_ _might_ do.

[179] Contrast this with what has been said by an eminent thinker of
our time: “No art of equal importance to mankind has been so little
investigated scientifically as the art of teaching.” Sir H. S. Maine,
quoted in J. H. Hoose’s _M. of Teaching_.

[180] Here Jacotot’s notion of teaching reminds one of the sophism quoted
by Montaigne—“A Westphalia ham makes a man drink. Drink quenches thirst.
Therefore a Westphalia ham quenches thirst.”

[181] _See_ H. Courthope Bowen on “Connectedness in Teaching”
(_Educational Times_, June, 1890). Mr. Bowen quotes from H.
Spencer—“Knowledge of the lowest kind is _un-unified_ knowledge: science
is _partially unified_ knowledge: philosophy is _completely unified_

[182] As I have said above (p. 89) these methodizers in language-learning
may, with regard to the first stage, be divided into two parties which I
have called _Complete Retainers_ and _Rapid Impressionists_. Two Complete
Retainers, Robertson and Prendergast, have, as it seems to me, made,
since Jacotot, a great advance on his method and that of his predecessor
Ascham. As I have had a good deal of experience with beginners in German,
I will give from an old lecture of mine the main conclusions at which
I have arrived:—“My principle is to attack the most vital part of the
language, and at first to keep the area small, or rather to enlarge
it very slowly; but within that area I want to get as much variety
as possible. The study of a book written in the language should be
carried on _pari passu_ with drill in its common inflexions. Now arises
the question, Should the book be made with the object of teaching the
language, or should it be selected from those written for other purposes?
I see much to be said on either side. The three great facts we have to
turn to account in teaching a language, are these:—first, a few words
recur so constantly that a knowledge of them and grasp of them gives
us a power in the language quite out of proportion to their number;
second, large classes of words admit of many variations of meaning by
inflection, which variations we can understand from analogy; third,
compound words are formed _ad infinitum_ on simple laws, so that the root
word supplies the key to a whole family. Now, if the book is written by
the language-teacher, he has the whole language before him, and he can
make the most of all these advantages. He can use only the important
words of the language; he can repeat them in various connections; he can
bring the main facts of inflection and construction before the learner
in a regular order, which is a great assistance to the memory; he can
give the simple words before introducing words compounded of them; and
he can provide that, when a word occurs for the first time, the learners
shall connect it with its root meaning. A short book securing all these
advantages would, no doubt, be a very useful implement, but I have never
seen such a book. Almost all delectuses, &c., bury the learner with a
pile of new words, under which he feels himself powerless. So far as I
know, the book has yet to be written. And even if it were written, with
the greatest success from a linguistic point of view, it would of course
make no pretension to a meaning. Having myself gone through a course of
Ahn and of Ollendorf, I remember, as a sort of nightmare, innumerable
questions and answers, such as “Have you my thread stockings? No, I have
your worsted stockings.” Still more repulsive are the long sentences of
Mr. Prendergast:—“How much must I give to the cabdriver to take my father
to the Bank in New Street before his second breakfast, and to bring him
home again before half-past two o’clock?” I cannot forget Voltaire’s
_mot_, which has a good deal of truth in it,—“Every way is good but
the tiresome way.” And most of the books written for beginners are
inexpressibly tiresome. No doubt it will be said, “Unless you adopt the
rapid-impressionist plan, any book _must_ be tiresome. What is a meaning
at first becomes no meaning by frequent repetition.” This, however, is
not altogether true. I myself have taught Niebuhr’s _Heroengeschichten_
for years, and I know some chapters by heart; but the old tales of Jason
and Hercules as they are told in Niebuhr’s simple language do not bore me
in the least.

  “Ein Begriff muss bei dem Worte sein,”

says the Student in Faust; and a notion—a very pleasing notion,
too—remains to me about every word in the _Heroengeschichten_.

These, then, would be my books to be worked at the same time by a
beginner, say in German:—A book for drill in the principal inflexions,
followed by the main facts about gender, &c., and a book like the
_Heroengeschichten_. This I would have prepared very much after the
Robertsonian manner. It should be printed, as should also the Primer,
in good-sized Roman type; though, in an appendix, some of it should be
reprinted in German type. The book should be divided into short lessons.
A translation of each lesson should be given in parallel columns. Then
should come a vocabulary, in which all useful information should be
given about the really important words, _the unimportant words being
neglected_. Finally should come _variations_, and exercises in the
lessons; and in these the important words of that and previous lessons
should be used exclusively. The exercises should be such as the pupils
could do in writing out of school, and _vivâ voce_ in school. They should
be very easy—real exercises in what is already known, not a series of
linguistic puzzles. The object of the exercises, and also of a vast
number of _vivâ voce_ questions, should be to accustom the pupil to use
his knowledge _readily_. (But some teachers, young teachers especially,
are always _cross_-examining, and seem to themselves to fail when their
questions are answered without difficulty.) The ear, the voice, the hand,
should all be practised on each lesson. When the construing is known,
transcription of the German is not by any means to be despised. A good
variety of transcription is, for the teacher to write the German clause
by clause on the black-board, and rub out each clause before the pupils
begin to write it. Then a known piece may be prepared for dictation. In
reading this as dictation, the master may introduce small variations, to
teach his pupils to keep their ears open. He may, as another exercise,
read the German aloud, and stop here and there for the boys to give the
English of the last sentence read; or he may read to them either the
exact German in the book or small variations on it, and make the pupils
translate _vivâ voce_, clause by clause. He may then ask questions on the
piece in German and require answers in English.

For exercises, there are many devices by which the pupil may be trained
to observation, and also be confirmed in his knowledge of back lessons.
The great teacher, F. A. Wolf, used to make his own children ascertain
how many times such and such a word occurred in such and such pages.
As M. Bréal says, children are collectors by nature; and, acting on
this hint, we might say, “Write in column all the dative cases on pages
_a_ to _c_, and give the English and the corresponding nominatives.”
Or, “Copy from those pages all the accusative prepositions with the
accusatives after them.” Or, “Write out the past participles, with
their infinitives.” Or, “Translate such and such sentences, and explain
them with reference to the context.” Or, questions may be asked on the
subject-matter of the book. There is no end to the possible varieties of
such exercises.

As soon as they get any feeling of the language, the pupils should learn
by heart some easy poetry in it. I should recommend their learning the
English of the piece first, and then getting the German _vivâ voce_ from
the teacher. To quicken the German in their minds, I think it is well
to give them in addition a German prose version, using almost the same
words. Variations of the more important sentences should be learnt at the
same time.

In all these suggestions you will see what I am aiming at. I wish the
learner to get a feeling of, and a power over, the main words of the
language and the machinery in which they are employed.

[183] I append in a note a passage from the old edition of this book
referring to the Cambridge man of forty years ago. “The typical Cambridge
man studies mathematics, not because he likes mathematics, or derives any
pleasure from the perception of mathematical truth, still less with the
notion of ever using his knowledge; but either because, if he is “a good
man,” he hopes for a fellowship, or because, if he cannot aspire so high,
he considers reading the thing to do, and finds a satisfaction in mental
effort just as he does in a constitutional to the Gogmagogs. When such a
student takes his degree, he is by no means a highly cultivated man; but
he is not the sort of man we can despise for all that. He has in him, to
use one of his own metaphors, a considerable amount of _force_, which
may be applied in any direction. He has great power of concentration and
sustained mental effort even on subjects which are distasteful to him. In
other words, his mind is under the control of his will, and he can bring
it to bear promptly and vigorously on anything put before him. He will
sometimes be half through a piece of work, while an average Oxonian (as
we Cambridge men conceive of him at least) is thinking about beginning.
But his training has taught him to value mental force without teaching
him to care about its application. Perhaps he has been working at the
gymnasium, and has at length succeeded in “putting up” a hundredweight.
In learning to do this, he has been acquiring strength for its own sake.
He does not want to put up hundredweights, but simply to be able to put
them up, and his reward is the consciousness of power. Now the tripos
is a kind of competitive examination in putting up weights. The student
who has been training for it, has acquired considerable mental vigour,
and when he has put up his weight he falls back on the consciousness of
strength which he seldom thinks of using. Having put up the heavier, he
despises the lighter weights. He rather prides himself on his ignorance
of such things as history, modern languages, and English literature. He
“can get those up in a few evenings,” whenever he wants them. He reminds
me, indeed, of a tradesman who has worked hard to have a large balance at
his banker’s. This done, he is satisfied. He has neither taste nor desire
for the things which make wealth valuable; but when he sees other people
in the enjoyment of them, he hugs himself with the consciousness that he
can write a cheque for such things whenever he pleases.”

[184] On this interesting subject I will quote three men who said
nothing _inepte_—De Morgan, Helps, and the first Sir James Stephen. De
Morgan, speaking of Jacotot’s plan, wrote:—“There is much truth in the
assertion that new knowledge hooks on easily to a little of the old
thoroughly mastered. The day is coming when it will be found out that
crammed erudition got up for examination, does not cast out any hooks
for more.” (_Budget of Paradoxes_, p. 3.) Elsewhere he says:—“When the
student has occupied his time in learning a moderate portion of many
different things, what has he acquired—extensive knowledge or useful
habits? Even if he can be said to have varied learning, it will not long
be true of him, for nothing flies so quickly as half-digested knowledge;
and when this is gone, there remains but a slender portion of useful
power. A small quantity of learning quickly evaporates from a mind which
never held any learning except in small quantities; and the intellectual
philosopher can perhaps explain the following phenomenon—that men who
have given deep attention to one or more liberal studies, can learn to
the end of their lives, and are able to retain and apply very small
quantities of other kinds of knowledge; while those who have never learnt
much of any one thing seldom acquire new knowledge after they attain to
years of maturity, and frequently lose the greater part of that which
they once possessed.”

Sir Arthur Helps in _Reading_ (_Friends in C._) says:—“All things are so
connected together that a man who knows one subject well, cannot, if he
would, have failed to have acquired much besides; and that man will not
be likely to keep fewer pearls who has a string to put them on than he
who picks them up and throws them together without method. This, however,
is a very poor metaphor to represent the matter; for what I would aim at
producing not merely holds together what is gained, but has vitality in
itself—is always growing. And anybody will confirm this who in his own
case has had any branch of study or human affairs to work upon; for he
must have observed how all he meets seems to work in with, and assimilate
itself to, his own peculiar subject. During his lonely walks, or in
society, or in action, it seems as if this one pursuit were something
almost independent of himself, always on the watch, and claiming its
share in whatever is going on.”

In his Lecture on _Desultory and Systematic Reading_, Sir James Stephen
said:—“Learning is a world, not a chaos. The various accumulations of
human knowledge are not so many detached masses. They are all connected
parts of one great system of truth, and though that system be infinitely
too comprehensive for any one of us to compass, yet each component member
of it bears to every other component member relations which each of us
may, in his own department of study, search out and discover for himself.
A man is really and soundly learned in e