Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

the pre

[ocr errors]

enumerates him among the best writ- who has been employed by the poten. ers of comedy, and in Ben Jonson's tate to paint her portrait ; here is a celebrated epitaph upon Shakespeare soliloquy in which her passion is reoccur the lines :

vealed : I should commit thee surely with thy peers,

Campaspe, it is hard to judge whether And tell how far thou didst our Lily out-thy choice be more unwise, or thy chance shine, etc.

unfortunate. Dost thou prefer — but stay,

utter not that in words, which maketh Blount tells us that his plays “ crowned thine ears to glow with thy thoughts. him with applause, and the spectators Tush, better thy tongue wag than thy with pleasure." Yet of all the produc- heart break. Hath a painter crept farther tions of the age they seem to me the into thy mind than a prince ? Apelles most mediocre. The period in wbich than Alexander ? fond wench! The basethey were composed between 1584

ness of thy mind bewrays the meanness of and 1589 - ranks him

thy birth. But, alas ! affection is a fire

among Shakespearians — Kyd, Peele, Greene, in the oak, and catcheth hold where it first

which kindleth as well in the bramble, as Lodge, Marlowe ; but his style has lighteth, nor where it may best burn. nothing in common with theirs, it Larks that mount aloft in the air, build rather resembles that of a yet earlier their nests below in the earth ; and women class of dramatic writers, such as that cast their eyes upon kings, may place George Gascoigne, and those others their hearts upon vassals. A needle will who translated or adapted classical become thy fingers better than a lute, and plays for the entertainment of the a distaff is fitter for thy hand than a universities and inps of court; in- sceptre. Ants live safely till they have

; deed, the six comedies reprinted by gotten wings ; and juniper is not blown up, Blount in 1632 are styled “Court

till it hath gotten on high top. The mean Comedies,” and were

all originally ueth without pride.

estate is without care as long as it contin-. represented before the queen by the children of Paul's on certain festivals

What a soliloquy for a love-sick damas New Year's Night, Twelfth Night, find the following exquisite song of

sel! And yet in this same play we Candlemas. All are written in prose, the plots and subjects being taken from Apelles :Terence, Ovid, Pliny, etc. The lan- Cupid and my Campaspe play'd guage is for the most part correct and At cards for kisses, Cupid paid ; carefully finished, and is notable for a He stakes his quiver, bow and arrows, delicacy little characteristic of those His mother's doves and team of sparrows; free-speaking times ; any one of these Loses them too; then down he throws

The coral of his life, the rose plays might now be read aloud in a Growing on 's cheek (but none knows how), mixed company with scarcely an omis- With these, the crystal of his brow, sion. But while devoid of the licen- And then the dimple of his chin ; tious freedom of contemporary works All these did my Campaspe win. they are equally barren of the fire, the At last he set her both his eyes, poetry, the wit, the genius which con- She won, and Cupid blind did rise. done that offence. Any productions O Love ! has she done this to thee ? more cold, more pedantic, more weari. What shall, alas ! become of me? somely uninteresting it would be diffi- Here is a lyric worthy of Greene, cult to discover ; scenes intended by Peele, Fletcher, and even Shakethe author to be witty and humorous speare. Can it be from the same pen are stuffed with dull conceits and dis- that wrote the preceding pedantic jartorted words, while the serious parts gon ? It must be remarked that are destitute both of romance and pas- neither this, nor several other charmsion. Campaspe — to take an example ing songs scattered through the plays, from his first play, “ Alexander and appeared in the original quartos, but Campaspe” – is loved by Alexander, only in Blount's edition, to which refbut has fallen in love with Apelles,' erence has been made already ; this

[ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

may render their authenticity doubt- and “Love's

"

Metamorphosis," in ful.

prose; the last bears the date 1601. Alexander, as here presented, is the These, then, like the other six, were very mildest of potentates, and when first represented by the children of he discovers Campaspe's love for Paul's, for, although one of the proApelles, relinquishes her with,“ I per- logues informs us that “ Alexander and ceive Alexander cannot subdue the Campaspe” was at one time performed affections of men, though he conquer at the Blackfriars, it is evident that their countries. Love falleth like a Lyly was at no time a writer for the dew, as well upon the low grass as public theatres. Whether his muse upon the high cedar. Sparks lave was purposely subdued to suit the taste their heat, ants their gall, flies their of those for whose entertainment she spleen."

was evoked, or whether she was incaAt Shrovetide, in the same year iu pable of any bolder or loftier flights, it which he produced “ Alexander and would be in possible to determine, but Campaspe, "“ Sappho and Phaon" was she certainly would not have been ac

i played before the queen by the same ceptable to the “ groundlings” who actors, the children of Paul's. And at delighted in the “ Spanish Tragedy," the following Candlemas, “Endym- or "Bussy d'Ambois." ion." “Endymion” is an allegorical As a writer, Lyly can only be esplay, in which, under the character of teemed as a curious fossil, and it is Cynthia, the most fulsome Aattery is scarcely possible that the wheel of lavished upon

" the Virgin Queen.” | fashion can ever bring him into vogue Endymion's love is expressed in the again.

H. LACEY. same Sancho Panzian flow of proverbs and wise saws as that of Euphues or Canıpaspe. The humor of a portion of one of the scenes between the

From The Contemporary Roview. knight and his page is drawn from THE METHOD OF TEACHING LANGUAGES. definitions contained in the author's

BY JOHN STUART BLACKIE. Latin Grammar. The three remaining

The learning of foreign languages, court comedies, “ Galathea,” “ Midas," as the exanıple of the ancient Greeks and “Mother Bombie " present much sufficiently shows, is an accomplishthe same features. In “ Midas ” ment by no means necessary to the occurs the following exquisite mor- highest culture ; still, there are circumiceau ; it is suing by Apollo in his con- stances, social conditions, and histortest with Pan :

ical connections which justly give it a My Daphne's hair is twisted gold,

high place in the field of popular edu. Bright stars apiece her eyes do hold,

cation. In Russia, for instance, a farMy Daphne's brow enthrones the Graces,

back country only half civilized, a man My Daphne's beauty stains all faces,

can neither do his duty to his country On Daphne's cheek grow rose and cherry,

nor perform his part creditably in On Daphne's lip a sweeter berry,

society without knowing French, or Daphne's snowy hand but touch'd does German, or English, or more probably melt,

all the three, in addition to his mother. And then no heavenlier warmth is felt, tongue. England also is a remote My Daphne's voice turns all the spheres,

country, and a certain insularity of My Daphne's music charms all ears.

character and culture has long marked Fond am I thus to sing her praise

us off distinctively from the mass of These glories now are turn’d to bays.

European nations ; but our native Besides these six comedies, there culture, from Chaucer downwards, has are three others extant, which have long been so rich, and so grand, and so been assigned to Lyly : “ The Woman various, that we have felt no urgent in the Moon," in blank verse, “The need, like Russia, to complement our Maid's Metamorphosis," in rhyme, linguistic deficiencies by foreign impor

а

[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]

tation. Nevertheless, an obligation of ophy and medieval scholasticism, only a serious nature lies on the natives of vague conjectures and ingenious specthis stout old island to make ourselves ulations gave the law. Without mod. familiar with the tongues of foreign ern science, therefore, modern peoples. Like the Romans, we are, in education, like scholarship without a sense, masters of the world ; and as Greek and Latin, is a body without these old civilizers found themselves bones. Botany and geology, zoology, forced to study the language of the chemistry, mechanics — all present Greeks, the most cultivated people be- their claims to a place in the educaneath their sway, so we in the wide tional progranıme, with a force and a sweep of our political interests, coming pungency which it is impossible to in contact with all peoples from the resist. Let the educational linguist Thames to the Seine, from the Seine to seriously consider this, and either bring the Nile, and from the Nile to the fewer languages into his programme, Ganges, have serious obligations laid or improve his method of inculcation ou us to study the temper and the in such a fashion that three languages tongues of the people we strive to in- may be acquired in the time now necesfuence. But again the facilities of sary for one. That something effectual travel in these latter days are so many can be done in this latter alternative of and so manifold that in the mere the option, it will be the business of course of intelligent travel, the En- the present paper to consider. glishman abroad, who is not content to Happily, in this inquiry we have not lodge in hotels where English is far to seek for a starting-point. The spoken, finds himself forced to steal a starting-point is nature. Magna est glance into German souls through natura, et prcevalebit. Every child not German, into Frenchmen through organically defective learns its motherFrench, into the Italian soul through tongue as certainly as it came from its Italian, and into the soul of living mother's womb. Let us examine the Greece through living Greck. But in process. In this primary school of linaddition to this, Latin and the Greek guistic training the mother is the of the old Attic masters, in that noblest teacher; and how does she act ? As of all tongues, have acquired a place in the child's observant faculties develop the higher culture of Englishmen which themselves, and are turned, now on brings them into the foreground of this interesting object, now on that, educational competition, with more fa- she accompanies the young observant miliar, and for social purposes more eye with a sound expressing the name useful, tongues ; so that without men- of the object, and this sound being tioning Sanscrit and other Eastern dia- constantly repeated in conjunction with lects, which it is the special duty of the the object, is responded to by the rulers of India to cultivate, the field young speaker, as his faculty of voiceof linguistic appropriation which lies ful expression grows, and so becomes before an intelligent young English- indissolubly connected with the object. man is sufficiently formidable. The The thing seen thus becomes practiquestion then arises, how, by what cally one with the hearing ear, the method and appliances, shall the En- seeing eye, and the voiceful tongue. glish educator hope to gain some lau- The only points in the process, in addirels in this extensive field, without tion to this vital conjunction, in the encroaching on the time necessary for case of the child and the mother, are other, and it may be more important, the vividness of the interest felt by the subjects of study. We live in an age child in the act of connecting a similar of science; from the days of Bacon sound with an interesting object, and and Newton downwards, a minute ex- the loving devotion of the mother in actness, along with a grace of descrip- watching and drawing out the linguistic tive detail, is found in regions where, faculty of her offspring. · So much for in the good old times of Greek philos-'the model teacher of languages, the

[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]

a

mother. What now, we have to ask, the garden of flowers in the green is the specific difference between the meadow ; also all living creatures that position of this primary teacher in na- habitually meet the eye and delight the ture's school, and the official person soul of a healthy young child - the dog whc performs the same function in a that wags his tail, the cock that crows, village or a burgh school, or in a grand the hen that pecks the gravel for grains provincial college ? The difference lies of corn, the bird that sings in the wood, simply in this : that what the mother the duck that paddles in the pond, and does incidentally, and as opportunity the trout that rises to the fly; all this offers, the school teacher is called upon in the direct and circumambient drama to do systematically and as a formal of living interest, not granımar rules business. In this systematic action of and grey books, should form the matethe professional teacher it is plain that rial used by the teacher of languages, an immense advantage lies ; an advan- just as directly as the stones from the tage so great that, if faithful to the quarry form the material out of which method of nature in its main direction, the cunning architect trims his cottage the regular teacher will train a novice or piles his palace. The advantage of to as great a familiarity with a foreigu this natural method is twofold: (1) It tongue in five months as the mother or is the living things themselves, and not any unsystematic teacher can do in as the dead symbols of things, with which many years. And if this is not always the linguistic faculty of the learner is the case - or, rather, if the contrary is called to correspond ; (2) And, what is not seldom the case - it is simply be- even more important matter, the cause the teacher is not careful to follow constant re-appearance of the same the leading of nature in the matter, and objects with their new designation instead of turning the classroom into a brings with it a habit of repetition in living echo-chamber of familiar souuds, the tongue of the learner, and creates as the mother does with her parlor and that familiarity between word and the nurse with her nursery, the maid- thing in which the knowledge of all servant with the whole house, and the languages essentially consists. So cook with the kitchen, he remits his much for the method of nature, which scholars all at once to an apparatus of has nothing at all to do primarily dead books, with which of course a with books. Hower, I am sure, could living boy has no living sympathy. In- neither read nor write ; and Plato, in a stead of books and grammar rules, the famous passage of the “Phædrus,” teacher of languages should commence maintains that letters and printed pawith giving the foreign name to all the per, though useful for record, are more familiar objects which the schoolroom hurtful than helpful to the exercise of contains, and with which it is sur- the memory, on which the knowledge rounded. The door and the window, of languages mainly depends. Neverthe teacher's rostrum and the chil- theless, books — books of reading, and dren's seats, the fire, with the tongs grammar, and decleusions have their and poker, and the coal-scuttle, the use in the study of languages, but pictures on the wall, and the lobby, always in a secondary way, as a supwhere caps and great-coats, and um- plement to what direct commerce with brellas for a rainy day, and all the the object is inadequate to provide, but paraphernalia of a well-ordered school never as a substitute. Thus the sight are marshalled in orderly array. And of the field of Bannockburn may sug. not only inside but outside the school-gest the story of the Bruce, which house, everything that meets the eye throws the spectator back into the of the observant lyro should be greeted brightest page of a book on Scottish with the new name the old castle on history ; and in the same way a visit to the brae, the hollow cave iu the glen, the old palace of Holyrood naturally the flowers in the meadow, the cloud- leads the inquiring mind of youth into cleaving Beu that kisses the sky, and the history of the beautiful but unfor.

16 The 99 66 Tak’ yer

[ocr errors]

tupate Queen Mary, and the Episcopal | natural sequence, through the direct despotism of the Stuarts. But even picturing of a living imagination ; and here historical and topographical books, this sequence, while furnishing the however excellent, are to be used by mental picture-gallery in the first place, the learner of languages only in a sec- will have a reflex action in cultivating ondary way. On a visit to Holyrood the memory ; for the learner will in the teacher must first describe viva voce this way see that the verses of a song to the learuer all the speaking facts or a ballad follow one another as necthat stir his soul iu that rich repository essarily as the acts of a drama, and not of patriotic nemories, and next day only are in such and such an order, but cause him to repeat viva voce as much must be so. This dramatic sequence of of his vivid explanation as he has man- the verses of a well-constructed lyrical aged to carry off. Then, and only poem is specially characteristic of the then, does the province of printed Scottish popular songs, as compared books and reading in the acquisition of with the songs of sentiment in the languages come naturally and without voicing of which our modern public prejudice into play.

singers are so fond of displaying their In the next place, with regard to the power. Take, for instance, function of books to be used in a sec- Bonnie Hoose o' Airlie,' ondary way, as a supplement to the Auld Cloak aboot Ye," or the humormaterials of familiar dialogue - the ous ballads of “Duncan Gray,” the main thing here will be to prepare a “ Laird o’ Cockpen,” and the “ Barrin' series of books rising from stage to o' the Door,” which cannot be sung stage, of variety and expanse of matter effectively without a progressive idenand style, but all starting from the tification with the progressive stages material supplied by the living dia- of the situation ; but this dramatic elelogue. Thus, if Bannockburn has ment, though particularly dominant in been viewed and discussed in its main the Scottish ballad, forms an essential features by living appeal through the feature in all popular poetry, as in object to the ear aud voice, some chap- "Was blasen die Trompeten” and ters of the great war of Scottish inde- other historical songs of the German pendence may wisely be read by the liberation war in 1813, and in the learner from a book of topographical, “ Death of Nelson,” the “Battle of historical, and descriptive natural his- the Nile,'' and other most popular extory in the foreign tongue, with the pressions of our patriotic seamanship. double object of enlarging his views So much for reading ; but there is beyond what the narrow range of dia- one sort of books, commonly employed logue can supply, and furnishing him in the acquisition of foreign tongues, with a breadth and variety of expres- of which our method has as yet taken sion which belong to the written rather no account - viz., grammars. than to the spoken style of language ; mar not a science? And is it not a but always he will be called upon by science, though abstract and formal, the wise teacher to express with grace, which bears the same relation to a proin the foreign tongue, the larger range ficient in any language that the study of thought and feeling to which he has of anatomy does to the medical practibeen introduced by his books.

tioner? Assuredly, in all good teachIn connection with books and reading of languages, grammar will have its ing the teacher will not neglect the place ; but it comes in as the regulator opportunity presented by books, of im- of voiceful material, not the precedent. proving the imaginative faculty, wbile A regulating power is by its very naprofessionally he is only inculcating a ture secondary ; it cannot come into new system of vocables. In reading play till there is something to regulate. an historical ballad, for instance, the Take an exanıple : pointing to the sun learver must be trained to call up the when teaching Greek, I say before my different scenes of the story in their tyro in his first lesson, 'O sacos háumetai,

Is gram

[ocr errors]
« AnteriorContinuar »