« AnteriorContinuar »
young men's societies. They excite, and, | form an opinion on the other subjects, which would be taken up in the series of essays and discussions. Each member having a part to act, and each essay depending on the other, an interest would be created otherwise unattainable, acting up, as far as possible, to the advice stated in the "Aids to SelfCulture," on the "Art of Reading History," British Controversialist, March, 1855.
in part, gratify the natural desire of the mind for knowledge. This is their use and advantage. To render these societies more beneficial, the following hints might be found serviceable. Instead of the usual course of self-selected essays on miscellaneous subjects, let the members, by mutual compact, fix on one subject, either history, poetry, science, philosophy, or art,-and let there be a series of essays and discussions on the subject determined on. For example: A number of young men, forming themselves into a mutual improvement society, might resolve to confine their attention, for a period of time, to a branch of history, say the Reformation, upon something like the following plan:— REFORMATION.
The "Dramatic Literature of Britain;" the "Sensational School of Philosophy;" the "Epic Poetry of the World;" the "Crusades;" the "English Revolution of 1688;" the "French Revolution of 1789;" "Pope Hildebrand;" "Mohammedanism;" "Chivalry;" the" Ballad Poetry of Britain," and other subjects, might be taken up as the members determined on. An objection might be urged against this method, viz., the difficulty of obtaining a number of young men of similar tastes to unite together. But history and poetry are subjects which young men ought to study, and which they will study if they desire sound knowledge. We have no doubt the Editors of the British Controversialist -who have so often shown their sympathy with the earnest young student would insert notices from young men desirous of forming societies for the study of history, politics, or science, so that they might attract the notice of other young men of similar tastes in our large towns or cities.
A second objection might be urged, viz., the difficulty of drawing up a course of essays on periods of our history and other subjects. This might be obviated by the gentlemen who write the "Aids to SelfCulture" furnishing a list of essays on various subjects which societies might fix on, at the same time specifying the books to be consulted on such topics. Such a guide would not only be useful to societies, but also to individuals who have not the opportunity of meeting with others.*
Essays—I. General.—The State of Britain prior to the Reformation.
II. The Causes or Origin of the Refor
III. The Object of the Reformation
Discussions.-I. Whether did Wickliffe, Latimer, Luther, or Knox adopt the most advisable means of effecting the Reformation?
II. Did the Reformation originate from the personal circumstances and nature of these men, or from real evils in the church? III. Was secession from the church advisable?
IV. Whether was Luther or Knox the nobler?
V. Which country was most benefited by the Reformation, England or Scotland?
The series of essays and discussions on this period have been fixed, and the members having selected their themes; and supposing this had been determined on prior to the society's breaking up for the season, then the interval of three or four months would allow sufficient time for members to investigate the subject; and, when so doing, they were at the same time gathering materials, so as to
II. YOUNG MEN'S CHRISTIAN ASSOCIATIONS. These associations are originated to promote the intellectual and religious improvement of young men. This is done by a miscellaneous course of lectures by popular men, and on sabbath evenings by a series of lectures on the evidences of Christianity. We do not object to the
be general, to supply a series of synoptical tables * We shall be most happy, should such a wish for students.-Eds. B.C.
latter, but the tendency of the former is "popular lectures" might be superseded by to dissipate the mind. A lecture on "Habit;" an evening young men's christian college, another on 'Geology," or Romanism," where there might be lectures on history, or "Lord Byron," are not as a whole self- literature, science, and logic, by which the benefiting. The mind is led from one sub- mind would be thoroughly disciplined, and ject to another, and hence the knowledge genuine knowledge acquired? The British acquired is superficial, although the advice Controversialist has taken the initiative, given is worthy of all praise. The popular in the establishment of various classes for lectures of young men's christian associations genuine instruction. It is a true college, but, are too often got up to attract large audiences unlike other colleges, it is free, and the lec-to dazzle rather than instruct. The man turers or teachers are personally unknown, is the attraction, not the subject. Instead though not unappreciated. of general lectures, they might have a con- These hints may be found useful to young nected course of lectures on a particular men bent on true self-culture, and to those subject, so that the members would get a whose "hope of the future is in the young." knowledge of the subject, and such inforD. M. W. mation as would enable them to follow out [Without wishing to be considered as enthe course specified. Why do these societies dorsing all the opinions expressed in this not adopt a higher standard of instruction? paper, we deem the hints thrown out worthy Can the minds of the young men of Britain of serious consideration, and shall be happy be disciplined by such means? We are to do anything in our power to further the afraid not. Is it not possible that these important object desiderated.]—EDS. B. C.
QUESTIONS REQUIRING ANSWERS.
261. May I be permitted to ask a favour from your correspondents, viz., that they will kindly inform me of the origin of the "broad arrow," I mean the government mark?-WALES.
262. Being but an amateur medalist, I am somewhat puzzled by some old Roman coins, the reverse and obverse being of different coinages; can any of your correspondents account for this? -CESAR.
263. Cæsar. This name has been variously explained in classical dictionaries, but I think a more satisfactory explanation may be deduced by comparing it with several oriental names-as, e.g., Aserymus, brother and successor of Delea astartu, king of Tyre; Esarhaddon, Shalmaneser, and Tiglath pileser, kings of Assyria. To this may be added, that ESAR was the name of the chief divinity amongst the ancient Etruscans. Query: Is Esar the same element in all the above names? And if so, Aserymus may be rendered "man" (i. e., worshipper)" of the god Aser or Eser." In like manner, to me, at least, the hame Cæsar seems connected with the name of the Etruscan god Esar, and the initial C, perhaps, an honorific prefix. Should my conjectures be erroneous, may I request the favour of some of your talented correspondents to supply the needful correction? Of course I am aware that the Tartars and other Orientals give the name of Kyser or Caesar to the sovereigns of the West, as an equivalent to Emperor; and hence we find in Tamerlane's "Autobiography" the following statement and use of the appellation:-"When the Kyser [Emperor] Bayezid advanced against
me," &c., &c. But Dr. Smith (in his "Classical Dictionary," p. 132) says, the name Cæsar "is probably connected with the Latin word Cas-aries, and the Sanscrit keysa, hair, for it is in accordance with the Roman custom for a surname to be given to an individual from some peculiarity in his personal appearance." And in Adams's "Roman Antiquities," by Boyd, p. 141, it is said, "CESAR was properly a family title. According to Dio, it also denoted power."-W. G. H.
264. J. T. C. would feel obliged by being informed through the pages of the British Controversialist, the origin of the term "The White Feather," and why it is applied to individuals who are not remarkable for their bravery.
265. Can any of the readers of the Controversialist give me any information regarding what is called "The Collodion Process" of Photography; also direct me to a good manual of Photography, with the publisher's name, price, &c., &c.-SCIPIO.
266. Would any of your correspondents explain to me the mystic and mysterious operation of death? How, for instance, a little arsenic, when taken into the stomach, has such an intrinsic potency, as to cause the almost immediate separation of the soul from the body?-HIDER.
ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS.
255. How to obtain a thorough Knowledge of Latin.--"A thorough knowledge" of the Latin language, which it is our friend, R. Clark's desire to acquire, is, we would assure him, the work of years' study. The term, "thorough knowledge," necessitates this. "To translate Latin
into English, and English into Latin," a person must not only have had long practice in composition and the many rules, with their various exceptions and modifications, of syntax, but he must have largely perused the Latin classic authors --not as a mere reader, but as a collating student, observing the different styles of composition and idiomatic construction with which classic Latin abounds. Let us not be misunderstood on this point. We take the words " thorough knowledge" in their legitimate meaning. Far be it from us to discourage any learner in his pursuit after Latin lore; we would much rather aid him in his arduous work, and, as a proof, now offer such a one our services as pioneer, having had long experience both as a learner and teacher in the many difficulties which beset the students path in this important study.
It has become the fashion in this fast age of ours to sweep away all difficulties besetting the path to universal knowledge, i. e., professionally so. True it is, and we rejoice in the fact, that the facilities of learning are now vastly increased, and that so many from amid the plebeian ranks of Englishmen may ever be seen climbing the steeps of knowledge, and not a few reposing, crowned with amaranthine, on its glorious summitspoesy, science, art, and literature.
Nevertheless, the acquisition of knowledge, especially languages, is and must ever be attended with difficulties, even in the experience of the most gifted among men-difficulties, be it ever remembered, which nothing but industry and application can remove. Every reader must have been often astonished with the flaming announcement of works or pamphlets, professing to teach the languages in a few months. We have seen them. One now lies before us, according to which, Hebrew may be well learned in three months! It is by one H. M. Wheeler. Neither is he alone in such professional humbug. We might quote books of similar pretensions in other languages. Latin in six months! French in three! and so on. Now this is all popular non. sense, and vile literary quackery, and merits the most unqualified denunciation, inasmuch as it is a serious stumblingblock to self-educators, who credit such works.
it as "a thorough knowledge of the Latin language," as this much is absolutely necessary in order to easily and correctly translate Latin into English, and vice versa.
We have said this much to guard our friend from the delusion so common, and which so characterizes the present age. Superficiality meets the knowing and learned mind on every hand, but that which excites a smile with him, in many gains credit and fires hope. There is a slight ambiguity in "R. Clark's" question, and we propose that instead of saying "a thorough knowledge of Latin arrangement, to understand
It has been the custom to put, as a first book, a Latin grammar into the hands of a beginner. This we think decidedly wrong. A grammar in any language can be of but little use until the mind is somewhat familiar with the words and general features of the language itself: ergo, as a first book, let "R. Clark" take Henry's "First Latin Book," and first commit to memory the few preliminary rules with which it commences; also the collection of words before the opening exer cise of translating English into Latin, which is followed by an exercise vice versa. Particular attention must be given to the declensions of nouns and conjugations of verbs. Take successively the exercises as they occur, and having gone through the first twenty exercises, go over them again, comparing them this time with the declensions of nouns and conjugations of verbs as contained in Valpy's "Latin Grammar," and this will prove a good introduction to the otherwise unmeaning study of the grammar alone, and as a first book. Ever bear in mind that, as a general rule, the key to the declension of a noun is the genitive case, and the key to a verb is the termination of the infinitive mood; observing this simple rule, much difficulty in parsing and construing Latin may be avoided. Having done this much, you may, as an extra exercise, take Valpy's "Delectus," and commence translating; but take particular care to parse every word, as that will ultimately render translation comparatively easy. If parsing were more particularly observed, espe cially with beginners, much of the difficulty which attends the reading of authors would be avoided.
Do not be too anxious to commence "Cæsar," "Virgil,"" Ovid," &c., &c. Content yourself with the acquisition of the elements of the language, and occasional glimpses of the glory to be revealed in the "Delectus." Remember that the closer you apply yourself to the study of the elements, the easier and pleasanter will be the reading of the great standard works in Latin. Before you commence "Virgil" or "Cæsar," you ought to be able to do any exercise in "Henry's First Latin Book," or to translate and parse any passage in the "Delectus."
Thus far we have merely opened up our plan for studying Latin; of course there are many things which might be here mentioned if space and time permitted.
In the course of our experience, we have met with unsuspecting individuals in the height of expectation, led by such literary quackery to try their plans of learning Hebrew, Latin, French, &c., in three or six months, as the case of wonder may be. But what has been their unvarying experience? The worst kind of disappointment. We may further enlarge on a future occasion; They have ere long found out the delusion, and in the meantime we shall be happy to render too often have never had the courage to apply"R. Clark" any help in his study. Our name themselves to the study again. Unapprised of and address may be obtained of the Editors.the real difficulties in the outset, they have met ROLLA. them unprepared, and the meagre resources of 255. It would evidently be impossible to satisfy their catch-penny instructors failing them, the in these pages a want which the most elaborate study has been abandoned with disgust and dis-grammars, dictionaries, and works bearing on appointment. the structure of the Latin language are but attempts to supply; but, as the number of guide books is legion, a few words as to choice may be of more real service than a useless endeavour to give a summary of the contents of any one of them. For the prima elementa (supposing the querist knows nothing as yet), the Eton Latin Grammar stands its ground well as a school-book, but I see no reason why a private student should not commence at once with Dr. Zumpt's "Latin
Grammar," as translated by Dr. Schmitz, reading first chaps. 5-43 on the Accidence, and carefully learning throughout the declension of nouns and conjugation of verbs. Next, go carefully through Arnold's "Henry's First Latin Book," a capital elementary work, now used in almost all public and private schools, and recommended by the Oxford Diocesan Board of Education, at the same time reading, with the help of a grammar and a good dictionary (Riddle's school edition, or Andrews'), one or more of the easier Latin authors, as "Eutropius," or "Cornelius Nepos," and subsequently Cæsar;" for the accurate study of good classical models should always accompany attempts at composition. Proceed then gradually to" Henry's Second Book," and to Ovid's "Epistles," and afterwards to Arnold's "Introduction to Latin Prose Composition," Part I., which should be gone over again and again (nocturna versate manu, versate diurná), and the exercises written, till the use of the different cases, moods, and tenses, and verbal and idiomatic peculiarities, are thoroughly mastered. Part II. may then be tried, and having read carefully through chaps. 44 to 68 in Zumpt's "Grammar," so as to understand the irregularities of verbs, the subsequent portions of that admirable work should be carefully studied, viz., the Syntax and Syntaxis Ornata, of which chap. 69, on the Connection of Subject and Predicate; 76, on the Use of the Tenses; 77 to 83, on the Moods; 84, on Peculiarities in the Use of Parts of Speech; and 87, on the Arrangement of Words and Structure of Periods, appear to me most important. Composition in verse might be attempted at about this stage, or a little previously, with Arnold's "First Verse Book," then Rapier's "Introduction (edited by Arnold), and subsequently Arnold's larger "Introduction," containing the Horatian metres. Much assistance herein will be derived from committing to memory daily a dozen lines or so from Ovid's "Epistles," or the "Fasti," or from any part of "Virgil:" and of course the "Odes" of Horace should be "familiar in the mouth as household words," in order to attain facility of composition in the Horatian metres. Thus not only will the knowledge of Latin phraseology and poetical imagery be increased, but a fund of quotations, of daily practical application, will be stored in the memory. For prose composition, no author deserves more attention than Cicero: his style and language have generally been regarded as the standard of pure Latinity. Translations should be carefully made from the "De Officiis," the "De Natura Deorum," the "De Finibus," or "Epistolæ ad Atticum," or from the two golden treatises," De Senectute and "De Amicitia." These should be rendered as literally as is consistent with good English; then laid aside for a time; and when the author's phraseology had passed from mind, be re-transated into Latin. This, both in Greek and Latin, is a most improving exercise, and, though difficult to do well at first, will serve the double purpose of making the student familiar with a standard author, and with differences of idiom in the two tongues. And here I would observe, by the way, that the value of classical studies appears to me to consist, not so much in their forming a guage whereby to test the intellectual capacities of an individual, nor in the positive information they convey, or the privilege of holding commu
nion with the great minds of past ages,—although these are something,-but in their very difficulty. As an educational maxim, it is allowed by nearly all, that exercise of the intellectual faculties in the pursuit of knowledge, whereby the powers of the mind are harmoniously and progressively developed, is of infinitely more importance than the merely storing the memory with any amount of positive information. Thus, however carefully the controversial articles in this magazine may be read by anyone, he cannot, although standing to the writers in the enviable position of a judge to special pleaders, derive half so much benefit from them as the latter; because the writing of any article demands far more labour and research than the perusal of it. And what modern language, or what branch of science, can afford such varied and such bracing exercise of the mind as the study of Greek and Latin? Moreover, the affinities existing between these and modern European languages, which the earnest student cannot fail to notice, will quicken his perception of the ultimate unity of national modes of thought, and of language, which is thought's exponent. But to resume. There is one caution it appears necessary to make in reference to Latin composition (for I do not remember to have seen it in books, perhaps because considered too obvious), viz., beware of attempting to translate abstract ideas from English into Latin literally. It might by some be thought unnecessary to warn the youngest school-boy against rendering such phrases as "sphere of duty," "in point of fact," &c., by " sphæra officii," "in puncto facti," &c., yet I have known errors quite as grave made by much older students. In all such phrases we must consider what the English means, put it, if possi ble, in another form, and be sure that the Latin word, or combination of words, besides being the nearest equivalent to the English idea is admissible. Thus," sphere of duty" may be rendered by "bounds or limits of duty or occupation;" "in point of fact" meaning " indeed ;"" in reality," " truly," may be rendered by "re vera," "re et veritate," "sane," or "profecto." Riddle and Arnold's
English-Latin Lexicon" is the most complete and exact guide in this particular, and should be constantly in the hands of one ambitious of writing Latin correctly and easily. It would be well, if possible, to have all written exercises looked over and corrected by a friend or tutor, to prevent loss of time or labour from "working in the dark." Also, it may be desirable, as a test of progress, or for various other reasons, to preserve all translations, re-translations, notes on classical authors, or original essays; for which end I have myself adopted the plan of having a number of common school exercise books (buying as wanted), which I rule with pencil, so as to leave a wide margin on each side of the page; and thus, when a dozen or more exercise-books are filled, they may be arranged according to subject or time of writing, and sent to the binder, whereby a stout volume of useful MS. matter is obtained, in a form easy of preservation. A few leaves at the end should be left vacant, and the whole properly numbered, so that an index may be made to the contents. This is a hint applicable to any kind of literary composition, or to extracts from books, and for which probably many readers will feel obliged to-F. J. L.
260. Is Bull's Blood Poison?-We take the
following hints upon this subject from an article by Mr. Wm. Bates, of Birmingham, which has recently been published in "Notes and Queries." "The question, as to whether bull's blood possesses such qualities as, taken under certain conditions and in sufficient quantities, would produce death, arises from the assertion that certain individuals have died from its imbibition. If, therefore, it can be shown that the alleged cases rest upon very slender authority, while modern experience shows that such a draught is harmless, little will remain but to account in a plausible manner-as by the too literal interpretation of a figurative expression-for the existence of a popular belief. If, on the other hand, it can be shown that deaths, penal or suicidal, ever have been so caused, there can be no doubt that the modus operandi, as explained by Mr. Leachman, is correct, and the supposition of Niebuhr at once extravagant and unnecessary. In an inquiry as to the actuality of the alleged cases, it appears to me that we may safely dismiss those of Aison and Midas as belonging to a fabulous rather than an historical period, and allow the question to depend upon those of Themistocles and Hannibal. With regard to the former, the testimony of Valerius Maximus is the most unqualified and circumstantial. Thucydides mentions the tradition while asserting that he died of disease. Cornelius Nepos is aware of the diversity of opinion, but, following Thucydides, mentions the town where his death from illness took place, and treats the story of his suicide as a mere report. Lastly, Cicero accounts for the tradition on the ground of the opportunity which it afforded for rhetorical display, and the prosaic nature of the actual fact. I think that the consideration of these authorities, without further discussion of the corrupted passage from Sophocles, will lead to the case of Themistocles being given up. That of Hannibal appears still more improbable. The general belief is that this warrior, upon learning that Prus sias, King of Bithynia, had invested the house in which he had taken refuge, destroyed himself by means of poison which he carried about with him in his ring, so as to be prepared for such an emergency. If this was not the case it will require to be explained how, under the circumstances, he contrived to obtain the bull's blood for the purpose; unless, indeed, the poison in his ring were a concentrated preparation from that liquid, resembling in its effects the prussic acid of modern chemistry. The evidence of Pliny is very unsatisfactory. It is true that he speaks of bull's blood
as a poison, but asserts that it is innocuous at Ægira. He places also the blood of the horse in the same category. Passing on to modern dissertations on the subject, the theory of M. Salverte is not unworthy of notice: Experience has proved that the blood of bulls does not contain any deleterious property. But in the East, and some of the Grecian temples, they possessed the secret of composing a beverage which could procure a speedy and an easy death; and which, from its dark red colour, had received the name of "bull's blood," a name unfortunately expressed in the literal sense by the Greek historians. Such is my conjecture, and I trust a plausible one.' Voltaire treats the whole matter as fictitious, and adduces his own experience as to the harmlessness of the sanguinary draught. Similar opinions were expressed by Sir Henry Halford, in an erudite paper on the poisons of the ancients, read in 1832 at the annual conversazione of the College of Physicians. In this interesting dissertation the idea that the blood of bullocks or oxen is poisonous, and that the death of Themistocles or Hannibal was occasioned by its agency, is treated as a fable. Sir Henry farther states that he had been informed by a nobleman, that at a bull-fight in Spain, at which he had been a spectator, a man rushed forth, caught the blood of the dying animal in a goblet, and drank it off in the belief of its efficacy as a cure for consumption. A writer in the "Gentleman's Magazine " (Vol. XXVIII. p. 312), asserts that he has heard it said of the Rapparees in Ireland, that it was customary with them to bleed black cattle in the night time, and to carry off the blood for their nourishment; and that, though taken from bulls, cows, and oxen indiscriminately, no inconvenience was experienced from its use. I myself am informed by a friend who has resided for some years in the south of Africa, that an exhausted Kaffir will plunge his attaghai between the ribs of a bull or cow, plunge his hand into the gory orifice, tear forth the heart, and gulp down its contents with avidity, without the slightest fear of gastric inconvenience. Pliny, after denouncing horse blood as poison, tells us of delicate cakes made by the Sarmatians by mixing it with meal; and visitors to the Great Exhibition may remember the scheme of M. Brocchièri for utilizing the blood of the animals killed in the abattoirs of Paris; by sepa rating the serum from the crassamentum a hard dry substance was formed, available for food in various forms, as biscuit, bonbons, &c."
The Young Student and Writer's Assistant.
Perform the exercise for the Senior Division contained in the July No. for 1854. Page 276.
MODEL EXERCISE, No. XXVI.
1. I intended to visit my friend last Thursday, if pressing business had not hindered me.
2. Neither he nor his wife was present when I called last.
3. We have derived both pleasure and profit from reading Milton.
4. I have spoken to him about the business. 5. I did the work yesterday.
6. My brother has not written to me for some time past.
7. At Lystra the people began to worship Paul as a god, and then stoned him as unfit to live.
8. The husband of that poor woman drank himself to death.