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the writings of Burke, as our young men, in the colleges, too generally study the works of the ancient authors—that is, if he were to read but a page or two a day, with a laborious use of the dictionary, and with his attention almost exclusively turned to the derivation of words, or the construction of sentences, or the force of the smallest particles, how little could we expect him to know of that which gives these celebrated writers their fame! He must read long passages at oncewhole poems or orations, it may be—in order that he may understand the authors' plan and thought, and may feel the force of what they say. He must read again and again, and try to possess himself of everything which, under the inspiration and direction of their genius, contributes to the accomplishment of their design. He must study their works as if he were to make them the models for his own imitation, lie must enter into their spirit. To know the name of every rhetorical fignre, and the history of every word as a mere word, in Shakespeare's Plays is not to know those Plays as one ought to know them. Certainly, to know them thus is not likely to awaken love for them. And this, not because grammar and all that belongs to it, or with it, is not useful or essential to the highest scholarship, but because there is something higher and freer and more inspiring than grammar. Homer might as easily, as it seems to ns, have produced his wonderful poems by thinking only of the force of his own particles, as the student of Homer learn to know or love the beauty of those poems by thinking only of the same thing. It is the letter, here as elsewhere, that kills, and the spirit, alone, that gives true life. We press this point, with something of reiteration even, because we regard it as of so great importance. If our college graduates are to have enthusiasm for classical 6tudy—if they are to receive, in their earlier course, the impulse to go onward in these studies after their graduation—if the section of our University, of which we are now speaking, is lo be filled with its due proportion of ardent lovers of these ancient languages—this higher, (or, if that word be objected to, this more love-inspiring,) part of the study must be much more largely cultivated in the undergraduate years. Young men do not love the classics, because they do not appreciate that
which is rich and beautiful in them. They do not appreciate this, because they are not, carefully and earnestly, taught concerning it. They are not thus taught, because the established system of teaching has been founded so largely on an opposite theory. In the case of English writers, they know the language so familiarly that they naturally study them with reference to style and thought, and, thus, they come to believe in, and to be enthusiastic for, English studies, while they depreciate Latin and Greek, and think them useless or a wearisome burden. The reason of the opposite feelings, and the means of bringing them to a greater similarity, are not difficult of discovery. There was a great deal of force, as we have often thought, in the remark of a foreign acquaintance of ours, on the comparative merits of Schiller and Shakespeare. He regarded the former, he said, as a greater poet than the latter, and, then, with great simplicity and candor, added, " And the reason is, because I understand Schiller and do not understand Shakespeare." Let us make our college students understand the beauties of the Iliad or the Antigone, as they understand those of the noblest English poems, and they will not be content to give up their classical reading. But they cannot thus understand them, if they study only grammatical rules.
We add still another thing, which we think may be done in the undergraduate course to create and increase enthusiasm for these studies, and, thus, may be to the advantage of that section of the University, of which, in this Article, we are speaking. According to the present system, as it seems to us, the student is confined too entirely to the work of mere recitation. He translates a passage of a few lines, or answers certain questions of his instructor, and this is all. He has little or no opportunity to ask questions himself, or to suggest points of discussion which may have interested his own mind. Only one half, therefore, of what is desirable is accomplished for him. We believe, that the other half is greatly needed. A young man in college, who knows that, in the recitation or lecture-room, he must be limited to those matters which, in carrying forward his own plan, the professor is dwelling upon, will learn to prepare himself for the demands made upon him, but he will not be likely to go beyond the routine of these things. He will follow his teacher and depend wholly upon him, without the independent awakening of hie own mind. He will lose the iuward stimulus which comes from the knowledge, that every inquiry of his own suggestion can present itself for discussion and decision. But, on the other hand, if the instructor is ready to answer as well as to ask questions, and if time is given for the student to say what his own investigation impels him to say, it is almost beyond question that he will look at points which are outside of any mere routine. He will investigate the difficulties which he meets. He will inquire into this and that topic which, though not in the immediate line of the daily task set before him, are naturally suggested by it. He will be continually incited to raise questions before his own mind, and to try to answer them, because he knows that, if he cannot answer them after such trial, he will be aided by his instructor. He will be glad to learn new things connected with his study, continually, and, as he is learning them, his love for the study will constantly increase. We cannot help believing, that, under such a system as this, five minds would be awakened to enthusiasm, where one is, at present. And this is what we want. The ends of education are not attained, when a certain kind of mental discipline is given and everything besides this is neglected. The implantation in the soul of love for the stndy is, perhaps, better than all things else; such a love as will inspire the student to continue his work, in after years, and will make knowledge seem to be a thing infinitely to be desired—a reward compensating for every labor and bringing a most perfect satisfaction. Would that such love might be implanted in the soul of every student! It would be worth the loss, even,—if that were necessary,—of some mental discipline. But it can be gained, as we believe, without any such loss.
It may be said, indeed, that the time is wanting for the accomplishment of both these objects, and that it is better to secure one of them perfectly, than to make but half-way work with both. Wo admit that the time is very fully occupied It is for this reason that we think a large increase in the number of instructors, in the academical department, is imperatively required. The students need to bo divided into smaller sub-divisions, where there can be freer opportunity for all of which we have spoken. But a beginning can be made, we think, even now. If even one exercise in each week could be taken from the ordinary recitation work and devoted to such discussion or questioning, or if one-fourth part of every recitation hour could be thus employed, the results would more than justify the outlay. At almost any sacrifice the results ought to be secured.
We are not here discussing this point, or the others of which mention has been made in connection with the undergraduate department, with reference to themselves and to their own importance. We have only in view, at the present time, the relation of them to the growth of the higher department of philology and philosophy. It is sufficient, therefore, to hint at what is needed, and to show what would be its bearing on the end to be desired. Another time and place would be more suitable for a full development of the whole subject. We would, only, add that we would not speak exclusively of the classical studies. The same thing may bo urged, to a greater or less extent, with regard to every branch which is to be pursued in this higher department. More inspiration and enthu siasm need to be imparted in the earlier conrse, if there is to be any fullness of growth in the later course. The preparation of this character must be made in the part of the University where the education begins, in order that the part, where it is carried onward toward the highest culture, may be enabled to do its work for the greatest number and with the most perfect success. We wish it to be borne in mind, also, that we would not demand too much at once. The changes, which are needed,—if our views are correct,—cannot be made in a moment. The full and satisfactory accomplishment of them will require the progress of years and a large increase of means. A University cannot grow into perfection in a year or in a score of years. It cannot do with ten thousand the work which requires twenty thousand. It must move gradually, and must wait, often, for opportunities and possibilities as yet unrealized. No greater unreasonableness can be manifested than in the way ot indiscriminate fault-finding. The men of the past generations could not do what we can, and we cannot do, to day, what may be an easy work for those who shall come after us. In our discussion, at this time, we are only endeavoring to show where work is needed and what early steps may be taken now. The coming era has its peculiar work. Its dawning is upon ns. How are we to meet it? What courses of action shall we enter upon, and what shall we try to do in each one of them as we first enter upon it?
If we may divide the Department of Philosophy and the Arts into two sections, and, for the purposes of our present thought, call the section devoted to general studies, (not within the field of Natural Science), the Department of Philosophy— the great work of the coming years, of which we now speak, is the work of strengthening this department. It has had a name to live, thus far. It needs to live in reality. Even in its imperfect state, it has accomplished some praiseworthy results. It needs, with a more perfect organization, to do a larger and better work. Ths university needs to grow into completeness* in this section of its life. And, if it does, it will accomplish for American scholarship—for the refinement and cultivation of the people—in the future, more, perhaps, than any mind can measure or estimate.
We are aware that against all which we have said some persons may urge, that the attempt is useless—that such high education is best obtained in Europe, and that students will, certainly, go there, if they desire it. We believe this to be true, to a certain extent, and we believe that our young men ought to go to those older countries, for this object. But this need not prevent our doing all we can at home. If the Universities abroad are to be better than ours, for a hundred or five hundred years to come, or for all time even, there is still no reason why our own should not be made as good as possible, in every part. The more a young man knows when he goes to the European universities, the more good his sojourn there will accomplish for him. The longer he can study at home— within certain limits—the better it will be for his final success. All of ns, who have been in Germany, know how many American students there lose one half, or more than one half, of what they go thither to gain, because of their imperfect preparation for their work. They have not made progress enough at home