#1 THOUGHT AND EXPRESSION FORM THE TWO-FOLD MATERIAL OF INSTRUCTION. (521 A-B)
#2 EXPRESSION CLAIMS THE FIRST PLACE IN POINT OF TIME. BOTH THE GREEK AND LATIN LANGUAGES NEEDFUL TO THE EDUCATED MAN. (521 B-C).
#3 THE RIGHT METHOD OF ACQUIRING GRAMMAR RESTS READING AND NOT UPON DFFINITIONS AND RULES. (521 C - 522A).
Upon this latter point we do well to choose such works as are not only sound models of style but are instructive by reason of their subject-matter. The Greek prose-writers whom I advise are, in order, Lucian, Demosthenes, Herodotus: the poets, Aristophanes, Homer, Euripides; Menander, if we possessed his works, would take precedence of all three. Amongst Roman writers, in prose and verse, Terence, for pure, terse Latinity has no rival, and his plays are never dull. I see no objection to adding carefully chosen comedies of Plautus. Next, I place Vergil, then Horace; Cicero and Caesar follow closely; and Sallust after these. These authors provide, in my judgment, sufficient reading to enable the young student to acquire a working knowledge of the two great classical tongues. It is not necessary for this purpose to cover the whole range of ancient literature; we are not to be dubbed "beginners" because we have not yet mastered the whole of the Fragments.
Some proficiency in expression being thus attained the student devotes his attention to the content of the ancient literatures. It is true, of course, that in reading an author for purposes of vocabulary and style the student cannot fail to gather something besides. But I have in my mind much more than this when I speak of studying "contents." For I affirm that with slight qualification the whole of attainable knowledge lies enclosed within the literary monuments of ancient Greece. This great inheritance I will compare to a limpid spring of whose undefiled waters it behooves all who truly thirst to drink and be restored.
#4 THE SUBJECT-MATTER AND THE METHODS WHICH ARE MOST SUITABLE TO BEGINNERS. (522 A-E).
If it is claimed
that Logic should find a place in the course proposed I do not seriously
demur; but I refuse to go beyond Aristotle and I prohibit the verbiage
of the schools. Do not let us forget that Dialectic is an elusive maiden,
a Siren, indeed, in quest of whom a man may easily suffer intellectual
shipwreck. Not here is the secret of style to be discovered. 'That lies
in the use of the pen; whatever the form, whether prose or verse, or whatever
the theme, write, write, and again write. Supplement writing by learning
by heart. Upon this latter question, memory depends at bottom upon three
conditions: thorough understanding of the subject, logical ordering of
the contents, repetition to ourselves. Without these we can neither retain
securely nor reproduce promptly. Read, then, attentively, read over and
over again, test your memory vigorously, and minutely. Verbal memory may
with advantage be aided by ocular impressions; thus, for instance
we can have charts of geographical facts, genealogical trees, large-typed, tables of rules of syntax and prosody, which we can hang on the walls. Or again, the scholar may make a practice of copying striking quotations at the top of his exercise books. I have known a proverb inscribed upon a ring or a cup, sentences worth remembering painted on a door or a window. These are all devices for adding to our intellectual stores, which, trivial as they may seem individually, have a distinct cumulative value.
Lastly, I urge, as undeniably the surest method of acquisition, the practice of teaching what we know: in no other way, can we so certainly learn the difference between what we know, and what we think we know; whilst that which we actually know we come to know better.
#5 INSTRUCTION GENERALLY: CHOICE OF SUBJECTS OF INSTRUCTION. THE RANGE OF STUDY NECESSARY TO A WELL-READ MASTER. (522 E-523 F).
As regards the choice of material, it is essential that from the outset the child be made acquainted only with the best that is available. This implies that the Master is competent to recognize the best in the mass of erudition open to him which in turn signifies that he has read far more widely than the range of authors to be taught by him. This applies even to the tutor of beginners. The Master should, therefore, acquaint himself with authors of every type, with a view to contents rather than to style; and the better to classify what he reads he must adopt the system of classifying his matter by means of note-books, upon the plan suggested by me in De Copia. As examples of the authors I refer to I put Pliny first, then Macrobius, Aulus Gellius, and, in Greek, Athenaeus. Indeed, to lay in a store of ancient wisdom the studious master must go straight to the Greeks: to Plato, Aristotle, Theophrastus and Plotinus; to Origen, Chrysostom, Basil. Of the Latin Fathers, Ambrosius will be found most fertile in classical allusions. Jerome has the greatest command of Holy Scripture. I cannot, however, enumerate the entire extent of reading, which a competent knowledge of antiquity demands. I can only indicate a few directions which study ought to take.
For the right understanding of the poets, the Legends of Gods and Heroes must be mastered: Homer, Hesiod, Ovid, and the Italian Boccaccio should be read for this. A knowledge of Geography is of prime importance, for the study both of ancient poets and of historians. Pomponius Mela makes a useful compendium; Pliny and Ptolemy are learned and elaborate writers; Strabo is something more than a geographer. This subject includes two parts, a knowledge, first, of the names, ancient and modern, of mountains, rivers, cities; secondly, of names of trees, plants, animals, of dress appliances, precious stones, in which the average writer of today shows a strange ignorance. Here we gain help from the works which have come down to us upon agriculture, architecture, the art of war, cookery, precious stones, and natural history. We can make good use, in the same subject, of etymology (the name " unicorn " is an example). Or again we can trace word-change in names through modern Greek, or Italian and Spanish (Tiber, now "'Tevere," is an example). I may say that modern French has wandered too far from its classical mother-speech to be of much help to us in recognizing and identifying ancient names.
Material for the study of Archaeology is to be found not only in literary sources, but in ancient coins, inscriptions, and monuments. Astrology --futile as it is in itself -- must be understood for the sake of many poetical allusions. Of special importance is the study of History, for its own sake as well as for the reason that it is the key to many references in other writings. Finally, to understand such a poet as Prudentius, the one Christian poet of real literary taste, a knowledge of Sacred History is indispensable.
And indeed we may say that a genuine student ought to grasp the. meaning and force of every fact or idea that he meets with in his reading, otherwise their literary treatment through epithet, metaphor, or simile will be to him obscure and confused. There is thus no discipline, no field of study, -whether music, architecture, agriculture or war - which may not prove of use to the teacher in expounding the Poets and Orators of antiquity. "But," you rejoin, "you expect all this of your scholar?" Yes, if he propose to become a teacher; for he thus secures that his own erudition will lighten the toil of acquisition for those under his charge.
#6 THE ART OF TEACHING THE RUDIMENTS OF LANGUAGE UP TO THE STAGE WHEN COMPOSITION IS BEGUN. (523 F-524 C)
The time will
now have come when the able teacher must select certain of the more necessary
rules of accidence and syntax, and state them simply, arrange them in proper
order and dictate them for entry in note-books. An author may now be attempted,
but of the easiest sort; choose one likely to be helpful in composition
and conversation. Through this text the rules just referred to will be
driven home, and the examples of syntactical usages therein contained carefully
worked out; all this of course with an eye to the later stages when regular
exercises in prose and verse are required.
#7 THE IMPORTANCE OF THE ART OF COMPOSITION; ITS METHOD SET OUT. (524 C-525 C).
Mythology and fable will also serve your purpose. "Hercules gained immortal fame as the destroyer of monsters." The Muses delight in the fountain and the grove; they shrink from the crowded haunts of men." "One should not burden a friend with a difficulty which it is a duty to solve ourselves." All men are conscious of the wallet which hangs in front, but ignore that 'which they carry behind them." Proverb and moral will suggest such themes as these: "It is not every one's good fortune to visit Corinth." "How far above the type of to-day was he who counted a man worthy not for his wealth but for his manhood!" " Socrates despises those who live in order to eat; he applauds those who eat in order to live." My book Adagia will supply you with instances enough. Other themes may be suggested from the properties of natural objects, such as the attraction of tile magnet or the mimicry of the polypus. Similes, also, allegory, sententious sayings, smart turns of expression, will lend themselves to exercises in composition. The Master in the course of his reading will be careful to note instances which present themselves as models suitable for imitation.
will now have attained a certain facility in speaking and in writing Latin.
He will be ready, therefore, to proceed to a more advanced stage in Grammar,
which must be learnt by means of rules aptly illustrated by quotations:
the rules being expressed as tersely as may be consistent with clearness.
I would add that in all that concerns Greek constructions we should do
well to follow the guidance of Gaza's grammar.
#8 THE METHODS TO BE PURSUED IN WRITING ADVANCED EXERCISES IN COMPOSITION. (525 C-F).
Practice in the epistolary style, both in Greek and Latin, may be gained by writing to an argument propounded in the in vernacular. This will come first. Then the whole range of rhetorical prose is open to the student who must I gain acquaintance with the different varieties of style; for instance, that demanded in the production of the Fable, or the moral Commonplace, or the short Story, or the Dilemma; the art of expressing an Encomium, or a Denunciation; a Parallel, a Simile, a Description. Another exercise will take the Form of paraphrasing poetry into prose and the reverse process. There is also much advantage in attempting the same subject, say an epistle, in two diverse styles. Or one motive may be expressed in four or five different meters. Further, an identical topic may be propounded both for verse and for prose, alike in Latin and in Greek. An affirmation may be set to be proved by three or four differing lines of argument. Perhaps the most useful exercise of all consists in construing from Greek into Latin, practice in which demands diligent attention. For in this exercise we are committed. to three distinct operations first, we have to analyze the construction of the passage in the older tongue: next, we are forced to appreciate carefully the peculiar genius of each language and to note the principles which are common to both: thirdly, in producing an accurate rendering from the Greek we are exercised in moving freely amidst the resources of Roman vocabulary and sentence-structure. So exacting a task claims whatever stimulus, encouragement and skilled aid the master has to offer to the pupil who will further find inspiration in the reading of model passages of a similar theme to that which he has in hand.
#9 ORIGINAL COMPOSITION; ITS VARIETY OF AIDING THE STUDENT; CORRECTION OF EXERCISES. (525 F-526 F).
This will lead to the study of the art of Oratory as laid down by Cicero and Quintilian. For the subjects proposed as above must be treated in accordance with accepted methods. The master should suggest the number of propositions to be set out on a given theme, of the arguments to be employed, and of the proofs to be adduced in support of each; and the sources from which these may be drawn. This constitutes a kind of skeleton-form of the oration, to be filled in to suit the actual subject selected. Further, the pupil should be led to consider the various methods by which he may adorn his treatment of the argument, such as simile and contrast, parallel cases, moral reflection, adages, anecdotes, parables, and so on; and he should have some guidance in choice of figure and metaphor as aids to ornament in style. In regard to the logical ordering of argument as a whole, the student should be taught to attend to the niceties of exposition, -the exordium, the transition, the peroration; for each of these has its own peculiar excellence, and each, moreover, admits of the merit not only of precision but also of elegance.
Seven or eight
exercises of this kind done under careful supervision should be sufficient
to enable the pupil to lay out matter for original prose composition without
help. Amongst suitable subjects for the purpose are those drawn from legend
and ancient history, such as these: "Menelaus before a Trojan assembly
claims the restoration of Helen"; Phalaris presses the priests of Delphi
to accept his Brazen Bull as an offering to the god". Cicero is warned
to reject the offers of Mark Antony." As regards the correction of
compositions, the Master will note his approval of passages which show
ingenuity in selection of material, and in its treatment, and
in imitation. He will censure omission or bad arrangement of matter,
exaggerations, carelessness awkwardness of expression. He will at the same
time point out how corrections may be suitably made, and ask for a re-writing
of the exercise. Yet, after all, his chief aim will be to stimulate his
pupils by calling attention to the progress made by this one or by the
other, thus arousing the spirit of emulation in the class.
#10 THE BEST METHODS OF PROCEDURE IN READING AN AUTHOR IN CLASS: (526 F-528 C).
It may be wise in some cases to open the reading of a fresh book by arousing interest in its broader significance. For instance, the Second Eclogue of Vergil must be treated as something more than a purely grammatical or literary exercise. "The essence of friendship," the Master would begin, "lies in similarity. Violently contradictory natures are incapable of mutual affection. The stronger and the more numerous the ties of taste and interest the more durable is the bond." This, amplified by apt adages and wise reflections, of which literature is full, will serve to draw the pupil's thought to the more general aspects of his reading. But it is only a Master of ability, insight and wide culture, to whom such a method is possible. A store of pertinent quotations is the product of careful reading. For instance, in illustration of this particular theme, he will adduce such quotations as this: "cascus cascam ducit: balbus balbus rectius intelligit: semper graculus arridet graculo," and others of the same import. Again, the master will have learnt from his knowledge of men that extreme differences of fortunes or of intellectual tastes do not consist with abiding friendship, that a fool laughs at a man of education, a boor has nothing in common with a courtier. He knows that there is a complete lack of sympathy between the Stoic and the Epicurean, the philosopher and the attorney, the poet and the divine, the orator and the recluse. See, too, what advantage learning gives to the master in enforcing the same theme from tradition and from history. He can refer to Castor and Pollux, to Romulus and Remus, to Cain and Abel. The beautiful myth of Narcissus will, in able hands, prove a parable of striking force. What has more likeness to ourselves than our own reflection? Thus when one man of learning feels drawn to another, is he not in truth attracted by the reflection of himself? And so of a man of wise temperance, or a man of integrity, conscious of similar excellence in another. Upon such recognition of identical qualities is friendship based, --I mean the frank, open and abiding friendship which alone deserves the name. The Platonic myth of the two types of Aphrodite, the celestial and the profane, may be adduced to prove that true affection can subsist between the good alone. For where excellence is only upon one side, friendship is but a fleeting and insecure thing. Now it is as a parable of unstable friendship that the Master should treat this Eclogue. Alexis is of the town; Corydon a countryman; Corydon a shepherd, Alexis a man of society. Alexis cultivated, young, graceful; Corydon rude, crippled, his youth far behind him. Hence the impossibility of a true friendship. The lesson finally left on the mind of the pupil is that it is the prudent part to choose friends among those whose tastes and characters agree with our own. Such methods of treating a classical story, by forcing attention to the moral to be deduced from it, will serve to counteract any harm which a more literal interpretation might possibly convey. After all, it is what a reader brings to a passage rather than what he finds there which is the real source of mischief.
#11 AN INTRODUCTION T0 LITERARY CRITICISM IS AFFORDED BY SUCH A METHOD OF CLASSICAL INSTRUCTION. (528 C-529 B).
is it that the student be brought to learn for himself the true method
of such criticism, that he may distinguish good literature from mediocrity.
Hence the value of acquaintance with the judgments to be found in the oratorical
writings of Cicero and Quintilian; in Seneca and in the old grammarians
such as Donatus. Once acquired, this power of insight into the mind of
the great writers will lead to a habit of general criticism of character
and situation. The student will put such questions to himself as these:
Why did Cicero feign to be afraid in his defense of Milo? Why did Vergil
depict Turnus as a second hero? But enough to indicate what I mean by literary
#12 PROGRESS IN CLASSICAL KNOWLEDGE DEPENDS UPON THE LEARNING AND THE SKILL OF THE MASTER. (529 B-530 A).
#13 CONCLUSION.(530 A-B).