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closely concerned in the essential interests of the country !
Things having proceeded thus far, it was soon found that many of the youth, having gone through their course of grammar learning, would be desirous of proceeding to philosophy and the sciences; and this being represented to the trustees, they began to think of enlarging their plan, as they had promised at the beginning. The were very sensible that the knowledge of words, without making them subservi. ent to the knowledge of things, could never be considered as the business of education. To lay a foundation in the languages, was very necessary as a first step, but without the superstructure of the sciences would be but of little use for the conduct of life.
In consideration of this, they determined to complete the remainder of their plain, and applied for an addition to their charter, by which a power of conferring degrees and appointing professors in the various branches of the arts and sciences, was grant. ed to them. By this means, a college was added to, and ingrafted upon their former academy; a joint government agreed upon for both; the style of the trustees changed to that of Trustees of the College, Academy and Charitable School of Philadelphia, in Pennsylvania;” and the professors constituted under them into one body or faculty, by the name of the Provost*, Vice Provost and Professors, of the Col.
* It was about a year before the obtaining this additional charter, via. May 25th, 1754, that the author was settled as head of this seminary,
lege and Academy of Philadelphia.” This charter bears date May 14th 1755.
Having given a short account of the rise of this institution, I proceed now to give a view of the different branches thereof, as they are at present; and shall begin at the lowest, which consists of two charity schools. In one of them forty girls are taught reading, writing, sewing, &c. In the other, eighty boys are taught reading, writing, and arithmetic, in order to fit them for the various sorts of business and mechanic arts.
The second branch is properly an English academy, and consists of two parts; an English and writing school, and a school for the practical branches of the mathematics, drawing, &c. In the former, besides writing, the pupils are taught the mothertongue grammatically, together with a correct and just pronunciation. For attaining this a small rostrum is erected in one end of the school, and the youth are frequently exercised in reading aloud from it, or in delivering short orations; while the professor of English and oratory stands by to correct whatever may be amiss, either in their speech or gesture.
Besides this rostrum, which is in their private school, there is also a large stage or oratory erected in the college-hall, where the speakers appear on all public occasions, before as many of the inhabitants as please to attend.
This part of the institution is of singular benefit. It corrects unbecoming bashfulness, &c. gives the youth presence of mind, habituates them to speak
in public, and has been the means of producing many excellent young orators, that have occasionally entertained large audiences *; and it is hoped will soon become an honour and an ornament to their courie try, in the various stations to which they may be called. This attention to public speaking, which is begun here with the very rudiments of the mothertongue,
is continued down to the end; and especially in the philosophy schools, where the youth frequently deliver exercises of their own composition, at com
* A number of the students and scholars, with very just applause, performed the Masque of Alfred by way of oratorial exercise, before the earl of Loudon and the governors of the several colonies, who met at Philadelphia in the beginning of the year 1757.
The choice of this performance was owing to the great similarity of circumstances in the distress of England under the Danish invasion, and that of the colonies at this time under the ravages and incursions of the Indians. The whole was applied in an occasional prologue and epilogue : and at any time a sufficient number of speakers may be found to perform any piece of this kind, in a manner that would not be disagreeable to persons of the best taste and judgment. Mr. Sheridan, it is to be presumed, never heard of the constitution of this seminary, when he asked the following question in his introductory discourse to Lectures on Elocution, &c.
“ To instruct our youth,” says he, “in the arts of reading and writing, there are many seminaries every where established, throughout this realm ; but who, in these countries, ever heard of a master for the improvement of articulation, for teaching the due proportion of sounds and quantity of syllables in the English language, and for pointing out to his pupils, by precept and example, the right use of accents, emphases, and tones, when they read aloud, or speak in public?"
Now the professor of English and oratory mentioned above, is exacıly such a master of articulation as this, and has been employed in the college and academy of Philadelphia from its first foundation. And if the many advantages, that have arisen from this part of the plan, were suflicienily known, they would furnish one very convincing argument in favour of the point, which Mr. Sheridan is so worthily striving to accomplish, in behalf of the language and elocution of his country.
mencements, examinations, and other public occa. sions.
The third and highest branch of the institution is the coliege, in which the learned languages and the sciences are taught, as in other colleges and universities, though on a plan somewhat different. It consists of the Latin and Greek schools, and three philosophy schools. An account of the whole follows.
LATIN AND GREEK SCHOOLS.
First form or stage. Grammar. Vocabulary. Sententiæ Pueriles. Cordery. Æsop. Erasmus.
N. B. The youth to be exact in declining and conjugating; and to begin to write exercises, for the better understanding of Syntax. Writing, reading and speaking of English to be continued likewise if necessary.
Second stage. Selectæ é Veteri Testamento. Selectæ é Profanis Auctoribus. Eutropius. Nepos. Metamorphosis. Latin exercises and writing continued.
Third stage. Metamorphosis continued. Virgil with Prosody. Cæsar's Comment. Sallust. Greek Grammar. Greek Testament. Elements of Geo. graphy and Chronology. Exercises and writing continued.
Fourth stage. Horace. Terence. Virgil re. viewed. Livy. Lucian. Xenophon or Homer begun.
N. B. This year the youth are to make themes; write letters; give descriptions and characters; and to turn Latin into English, with great regard to punctuation and choice of words. Some English and Latin orations are to be delivered, with proper grace both of elocution and gesture. Arithmetic begun.
Some of the youth, it is found, go through these stages in three years, but most require four, and many five years; especially if they begin under nine or ten years of age. The masters must exercise their best discretion in this respect.
Those who can acquit themselves to satisfaction in the books laid down for the fourth stage, after public examination, proceed to the study of the sciences, and are admitted into the philosophy schools, by the name of Freshmen or Noviciates, with the privilege of being distinguished with an under-graduate's gown, The method of study prosecuted in these schools for the term of three years, follows; and the portion of reading allotted for each month is particularly dis. tinguished.