All knowledge falls into one of two divisions: the knowledge of "truths" and the knowledge of "words:" and if the former is first in importance, the latter is acquired first in order of time. They are not to be commended who, in their anxiety to increase their store of truths, neglect the necessary art of expressing them. For ideas are only intelligible to us by means of the words which describe them; wherefore defective knowledge of language reacts upon our apprehension of the truths expressed. We often find that no one is so apt to lose himself in verbal arguments as the man who boasts that facts, not words, are the only things that interest him. This goes to prove that true education includes what is best in both kinds of knowledge, taught, I must add, under the best guidance. For, remembering how difficult it is to eradicate early impressions, we should aim from the first at learning what need never be unlearnt, arid that only.


    Language thus claims the first place in the order of studies and from the outset should include both Greek and Latin. The argument for this is two-fold. First, that within these two literatures are contained all the knowledge which we recognize as of vital importance to mankind. Secondly, that the natural affinity of the two tongues renders it more profitable to study them side by side than apart. Latin particularly gains by this method. method. Quintilian advised that a beginning should be made with Greek before systematic work in Latin is taken in hand. Of course he regarded proficiency in both as essential. The elements, therefore, of Greek and Latin should be acquired early, and should a thoroughly skilled master not be available, then-but only then-let the learner fall back upon self-teaching by means of the study of classical masterpieces.


    Amongst Greek Grammars that of Theodore Gaza stands admittedly first, next to it I rank that of Constantine Lascaris. Of the old Latin Grammarians Diomedes is the soundest; whilst the Rudimenta of Nicholas Perotti strikes me as the most thorough and most comprehensive of modern works. But I must make my conviction clear that, whilst a knowledge of the rules of accidence and syntax is most necessary to every student, still they should be as few, as simple, and as carefully framed as possible. I have no patience with the stupidity of the average teacher of grammar who wastes precious years in hammering rules into children's heads. For it is not by learning rules that we acquire the power of speaking a language, but by daily intercourse with those accustomed to express themselves with exactness and refinement, and by the copious reading of the best authors.

    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.


    Before touching upon the order in which the various disciplines should be acquired, and the choice of Masters, I will say something on the instruction of beginners. In reading the authors above mentioned for the purposes of vocabulary, ornament and style, you can have no better guide than Lorenzo Valla. His Elegantiae will show you what to look for and note down in your Latin reading. But do not merely echo his rules; make headings for yourself as well. Refer also to Donatus and Diomedes for syntax. Rules of prosody, and the rudiments of rhetoric, such as the method of direct statement, of proof, of ornament, of expansion, of transition, are important both for the intelligent study of authors and for composition. Such grounding in grammar and in style will enable you to note with precision such matters as these: an unusual word, archaisms, and innovations, ingenuity in handling material, distinction of style, historical or moral instances, proverbial expressions: the note-book being ready to hand to record them. Notes of this kind should not be jotted down at haphazard, but carefully devised so as to recall to the mind the pith of what is read.

    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.


    This brings me to treat of the art of instruction generally, though it seems a mere impertinence in me to handle afresh a subject which has been made so conspicuously his own by the great Quintilian.

    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.


    As regards the methods of the rudiments - that is, of learning to talk and knowing the alphabet - I can add nothing to what Quintilian has laid down. For my own part I advise that when this stage is reached the child begin to hear and imitate the sounds of Latin speech. Why should it be more difficult to acquire Roman words or even Greek, rather than the vernacular? No doubt my prescription demands the environment of a cultivated home-circle. But the master may secure even under the conditions of school-life that boys be brought to speak Latin with precision if patience be shown in encouraging and correcting uncertain efforts, and in insisting upon careful observation of the Teacher's own usage. By degrees devices for increasing fluency may be introduced as, for instance, a game of forfeits and prizes for faults and corrections, the Master choosing the judges from amongst the top boys. The more common phrases suitable for play, for social life, for meal-times, must be early learned and be apt, and ready to hand.

    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.


    When this time has arrived care must be taken to propound themes not only worthy in subject but suitable, as being within the range of the boy's interests. For in this way he may acquire not only training in style, but also a certain store of facts and ideas for future use. For example, such a subject as the following would prove attractive: "The rash self-confidence of Marcellus imperiled the fortunes of Rome; they were retrieved by the caution of Fabius." Here we see the underlying sentiment, that reckless counsels hasten towards disaster. Here is another: "Which of the two showed less wisdom, Crates who cast his gold into the sea, or Midas who cherished it as his supreme good? Or, "Eloquence too little restrains brought Demosthenes and Cicero to their ruin." No encomium can exceed the deserts of Codrus, who held that the safety of his subjects claimed even the life of the King himself." But Valerius Maximus will provide you with ample choice of such themes. At first these may be set in the vernacular.

    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.

    'I'he pupil 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.


    But I must repeat that when once the simpler rules of composition, in prose and verse, and the commoner figures of speech have been mastered, the whole stress of teaching must be laid upon a close yet wide study of the greater writers. Fortified with this the student can produce original work in prose, under the criticism (this is most important) of a thoroughly skilled instructor.

    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.


    It is now time to call for original composition: in which we leave the task of developing a stated theme to the taste and industry of the pupil himself. The right choice of subjects for such exercises is a test of the Master's talent. Suppose an Epistle to be required, say of congratulation, or of condolence, or expostulation, or of some other recognized type, the Master should limit himself to indicating certain characteristics of structure or phrasing, common to each variety, and then those which may be specially appropriate to the kind of letter actually proposed. The same method will apply to exercises in formal Oratory, - a declamation in praise of Socrates, or in denunciation of Caesar; against reliance on riches, or in favor of Greek Letters; for the married life or against it; against pilgrimages, or in praise of them.

    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.


    In reading a classic let the Master avoid the practice, common to inferior teachers, of taking it as the text for universal and irrelevant commentary. Respect the writer, and let it be your rule to rest content with explaining and illustrating his meaning. This would be the method I advise, say, in taking a class through a play of Terence. You begin by offering an appreciation of the author, and state what is necessary concerning his life and surroundings, his talent, and the characteristics of his style. You next consider comedy as an example of a particular form of literature, and its interest for the student: the origin and meaning, of the term itself, the varieties of Comedy, and the Terentian prosody. Now you proceed to treat briefly and clearly the argument of the play, taking each situation in due course. Side by side with this you will handle the diction of the writer; noting any conspicuous elegance, or such peculiarities as archaism, novel usage, Graecisms; bringing out anything that is involved or obscure in phrases or sentence-forms; marking, where necessary, derivations and orthography, metaphors and other rhetorical artifices. Parallel passages should next be brought under notice, similarities and contrasts in treatment observed, and direct borrowings traced -- no difficult task when we are comparing a Latin poet with his Greek predecessors. The last factor in the lesson consists in the moral applications which it suggests; the story of Orestes and Pylades, or of Tantalus, are obvious examples.

    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.


    Speaking generally, it is advisable to introduce every new book read by indicating its chief characteristics, and then setting out its argument. The characteristics of Epigram are aptness and point; of Tragedy emotion, the various types of which and their exciting causes must be distinguished. In a great play the argument of each speech, the logical fence of the dialogue, the scene where the action is laid, the period, and the surroundings, call for attention in due order. Comedy suggests a different method of introductory treatment: a more familiar setting lighter, less strenuous emotions, are common to every comedy, though each play will require its own prefatory discussion. In beginning the "Andria," the master will note the contrast of Chremes and Simo, as types of old age, of Pamphilus and Charinus as examples of young men. And so through other plays. The Eclogues of Vergil will be shown to have their setting in a Golden Age; their ideas, similes, comparisons, are drawn from pastoral life; the emotions depicted are far from complex; the shepherd's delight is in simple melody and the wisdom of maxim and proverb, his reverence is for traditional lore and augury. A historical book, epic or satire, dialogue or fable, will be introduced each in its appropriate way, before the text is touched upon and the excellence or the defect of the piece emphasized.

    Most important 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 criticism.


    What has been laid down above as the function of the schoolmaster implies, I allow, that he be a person of no slight learning and experience. But, given these qualities, I have no doubt that the class will speedily absorb the kind of knowledge which I have indicated. The first steps may be slow and laborious, but exercise and right instruction make progress certain. I only stipulate that the material selected be of sound classical excellence (nothing mediaeval), and the method skillfully adapted to the growing comprehension; the teacher forcing nothing, but working forward gradually from the broader aspects of his subject to the more minute. Success then is assured. One further counsel, however. The master must not omit to set as an exercise the reproduction of what he has given to the class. It involves time and trouble to the teacher, I know well but it is essential. A literal reproduction of the matter taught is, of course, not required - but the substance of it presented in the pupil's own way. Personally I disapprove of the practice of taking down a lecture just as it is delivered. For this prevents reliance upon memory which should, as time goes on, need less and less of that external aid which note-taking supplies.

#13 CONCLUSION.(530 A-B).

    Such weight do I ascribe to right method in instruction -- and I include herein choice of material as well as of modes of imparting it -- that I undertake by its means to carry forward youths of merely average intelligence to a creditable standard of scholarship, and of conversation also, in Latin and Greek- at an age when, under the common schoolmaster of to-day, the same youths would be just stammering through their Primer. With the foundations thus rightly laid a boy may confidently look forward to success in the higher range of learning. He will, when he looks back, admit that the essential condition of his attainment was the care which was devoted to the beginnings of his education.