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hopeless because thru their own or their teacher's fault the foundation work has never been thoroly done. Nor is it a simple matter to do that work thoroly. The most experienced teacher, and not the young apprentice, ought to have charge of the beginners. His knowledge of the language cannot be too complete or too ready; nor can he be too richly endowed with the teaching faculty. Yet with a paragon of a teacher and with every possible aid, the young beginner cannot escape the necessity of memorizing forms, syntax and vocabulary. These matters have got to be learned, and thoroly learned, and no other way of acquiring them will ever be found than that of hard study. The mere rote learning of paradigms is sometimes objected to as being mechanical and fruitless; but if the meaning of each inflectional ending is fully fixed, as it should be, by repeated exercises in turning English into Latin and Latin into English, it is hard to see anything but a decided advantage in possessing so perfect a knowledge of the forms,-call it rote knowledge if you will,—that on hearing or seeing any one form the mind instantly and automatically commands all the other forms of the word. It is precisely this ready, unconscious, or subconscious, apprehension of the forms and relations of words that we are aiming to secure, in order that a Latin sentence, in course of time, may come to be absorbed by the mind like an English sentence, automatically, as a whole, as a thought, an idea, and not as a group of words whose separate meanings and relations are consciously sought out and combined. It is the lack of this instantaneous apprehension of the forms, rather than the lack of vocabulary, that causes the difficulty of reading Latin. Brought up speaking a language that has discarded nearly all its inflections, the pupil is confronted with a language in which inflections abound. He has no conception of language apart from fixed forms and a practically fixed word order; but, roughly speaking, almost any order is possible in Latin, and a world of meaning hangs on the ever varying last syllable, or even the last letter of each inflected word. How prone the English-speaking boy is to overlook this vital point is seen in almost every exercise in Latin composition. If he gets the word he wants, he is apt to leave it in the form most familiar to him,—the nominative, if it is a noun, or the first pers. sing, act. indic. pres., if it is a verb. The feeling for the ending is created and fostered only by diligent cultivation; but by some means this feeling must be made to take possession of the boy. It must become with him a kind ri conscience, so that he will feel a moral recoil from putting 2 nominative for an ablative, or an infinitive for a subjunctive.
Naturally the verb forms are the most important; yet in the majority of cases these are not properly learned. In an elementary paper, which I recently set, the principal parts of five verbs, queruntur, verentur, malit, vivere, and acciderit, were called for, also the inflection of malit in the fut. indicative and in the imperf. subjunctive. Not one candidate got the forms exactly right. I know of no other way to overcome this difficulty than to insist from the beginning and thru the first two years that the pupil shall not pass by a verb in his reading without being able to give the principal parts and to vary it freely thru all its changes of voice, mood, tense, number and person.
The order of words too often continues a mystery to the pupil and a matter of indifference to the instructor. The extreme freedom of word order permitted by the synthetic character of the language is skillfully utilized by the best writers, so that to the initiated eye the printed page of Cicero, Cæsar or Livy, of Vergil or Horace, exhibits for all time the nicety of thought and expression that a pageof Shakspere or Webster possesses only when rendered orally by an accomplished elocutionist. The teacher who has trained himself to see and feel these tokens of elegance and force will appreciate his author as never before, and will welcome the opportunity to train his class to the same appreciation. Nor need such training be deferred until the authors are taken up; as soon as the boy can understand puer puellam amat, he can be made to see the varying emphasis in all the possible permutations of these simple words, and from such humble beginnings he may rise to a delighted perception of the very tone and manner of the ancients.
Even a slight knowledge of word arrangement gives to Latin composition a much-to-be-desired interest. Since teachers generally are agreed that the making of Latin should be the chief means of fixing forms and syntax, this should be carried on, not occasionally, but constantly thru the course, even when the class is reading Vergil or Ovid. The elementary manual with its: systematic drill in syntax cannot safely be omitted. After this come naturally the exercises based on the parts of Cæsar, Nepos and Cicero that are familiar to the class. Such exercises are abundantly provided in various good composition manuals; but sentences made on the same basis of text by the teacher himself will in many cases serve his purpose better, as having a fresher interest arising out of closer relations. In this exercise the teacher finds, or may find, an invaluable opportunity of estimating the pupil's knowledge and of getting at the pupil himself. Instead of being, as it often has been, a byword for all that is dry and profitless, Latin composition, rightly treated, can be made, and is made by some, quite as interesting and fruitful as any branch of Latin study. And yet, to judge from the showing at the college entrance examinations, this subject is sadly neglected in many schools.
Translation into English has been and must be the main matter in classical study. Rightly managed, it is an unsurpassed means of sharpening the understanding and of gaining a mastery of the mother tongue. It is a twofold process, an analysis of the highly complicated original sentence and simultaneously a synthesis of the English words, phrases, and clauses that are found to be the equivalents of the Latin. It is no more a study of Latin than of English composition; and for generations was practically all the training in English to be had in the higher schools and colleges. It is undeniable that such discipline bore some splendid fruit, which has not yet been surpassed, if equaled, by the present systematic training in the vernacular. How difficult genuine translation is, a rendering that combines spirit and letter in the best way possible, every classical teacher knows from his own case, and is, or ought to be, prepared to deal gently with the erring pupil. Still, his stock of patience needs to be very large. The ordinary“ translation English ” of the classroom is indeed a shocking thing, and lends some color to the gibe of the Philistines, that students not only fail to learn the ancient languages but unlearn their own in the attempt. And yet, in spite of his apparent helplessness, the pupil often has a fair understanding of the passage he is dealing with. His trouble lies in the twofold nature of his effort, in coupling simultaneously with his Latin analysis his English synthesis. The supply of English words at his command is small. For every Latin word in the sentence he has, probably, one English equivalent. “Fides,” for instance, is always “faith," tho it stands also for
credit," "credibility,” “ truth,” “conscientiousness,” etc.; so “res” is always “thing” or “affair,” tho it may stand for anything concrete or abstract, according to the context. Besides, there is the natural tendency to transfer, rather than translate, the Latin words, by using the obvious English derivatives, regardless of the fact that in very many instances the English meaning has wandered far from that of the classical original. And not only must he work with a scanty vocabulary in both languages: with the conscientious feeling that he must be accurate and literal, he is prone to give the numerous participles just as they stand, perhaps too the infinitive with subject accusative and the passive impersonal. With the best intentions and with some well-earned knowledge, he makes but a poor showing. Another pupil, perhaps, of a more offhand temperament, will glide freely over the characteristic points of the Latin and produce a superficial paraphrase. To be as literal as the English idiom permits, but in rio case to violate English idiom, is of course the guiding principle; but the thoroly successful application of it is beyond the power of the schoolboy, and of the great majority of college students. It is, I repeat, largely a study of English diction and style. A mature taste, a copious vocabulary in both languages, an intimate knowledge of Latin and of Roman life and thought and, in the case of a poet author, a feeling for poetry amounting to a poetic gift, are qualifications demanded in a real translator. Naturally few such are to be found in the classroom, either in the chair or upon the benches.
But tho perfect translation may well be the despair of the ordinary student or teacher, there is abundant recompense for conscientious work. Inspired with this conviction, the teacher will impress it upon the pupil that the cardinal sin is to violate good English, and that, with this point guarded, the version must be as literal as possible. He will see to it that the grammar of the translation, whether oral or written, is right; that the diction is correct and appropriate, and that the style is clear, simple, forcible and smooth. What better training in practical rhetoric can be found, provided the teacher is himself well trained not only in the Latin language, but in English rhetoric, in addition to the indispensable requisites, personal magnetism and teaching power.
This ideal teacher will find methods of his own to accomplish the purpose in view, and these will doubtless prove the best for his pupils; but he will not be slow to try promising methods of other people. One or two suggestions therefore may not be out of place. Oral translation at hearing has already been spoken of as a means of getting a direct grasp of the Latin; it is perhaps equally serviceable in giving a ready command of English idiom. The time-honored oral translation read from the Latin text must continue to be the practical stand-by with large classes; and widely differing results have been and will be accomplished with it by different teachers. But the monotony that is apt to be felt by pupil and teacher alike may be appreciably relieved by writing. A passage translated upon the blackboard, whether by teacher or pupil, fixes attention, awakens intelligent criticism and serves as a useful object lesson for the correction of common faults. For the benefit of individuals, translations written by them in the classroom, seldom elsewhere, for obvious reasons, may be made the subject of personal conferences to the limit of time and strength. Then, too, by way of adding example to precept, after the assigned lesson has been gone over in the class, section by section, the teacher should render it as a whole with