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Committee on Deceased Members :—R. W. STEVENSON, of Ohio, D. B. HAgar, of Massachusetts, R. D. SHANNON, of Missouri.

Committee on Department of Transportation :- Alex. Hogg, of Texas, J. B. MERWIN, of Missouri, S. H. WHITE, of Illinois, W. A. BELL, of Indiana, E. H. Cook, of Ohio, Mrs. M. A. STONE, of Connecticut, and J. P. WICKERSHAM, of Pennsylvania.

Professor A. B. STARK, LL. D., President of Logan Female College, of Russellville, Ky., was introduced and read the following address :

THE PLACE OF ENGLISH IN THE HIGHER EDUCATION. I shall begin with an unequivocal statement of my position: The study of the English language and literature should occupy the central place—the place of honor-in every scheme of higher education for English-speaking men and women. This primacy I claim for two principal reasons; first, the knowledge obtained from this study is of most worth in the practical affairs of real life; second, the right study of English may be made the instrument of the highest culture of the mind.

All educators, I believe, are agreed that a thorough knowledge of our mother-tongue is of supreme importance to every educated man or woman. The friends of classical studies urge among their strongest arguments in favor of studying Latin and Greek that through a careful study of these languages is the shortest and surest way to a thorough knowledge of English, while on the other hand, the advocates of the New Education magnify the importance of studying English. I think it unnecessary to dwell on this first proposition, and shall therefore, pass at once to a consideration of the educational value of the study of English.

In my first advocacy of the importance of studying English-in a Quarterly Review article printed seventeen years ago-1 concede " that the study of the vernacular is almost valueless as a means of education, or as an instrument of intellectual culture and discipline." I hope I am wiser to-day; I certainly hold a very different opinion. In that article I reviewed all the important books on the subject then published, and yet all those works, with the exception of Marsh's Lectures and Latham's Handbook, have been forgotten. A course of real study in English was then unknown. A young man, whose time had been mainly given to Latin and Greek, might be expected to err in estimating the value of an undeveloped study.

After many years of experience in teaching I have come to believe that one may be liberally educated without knowing even Shakespere's “little Latin and less Greek.” Let us see what is claimed for classical studies by their friends. Dr. Jacob, in a Lecture before the London College of Preceptors, after saying-what is most true-that it is “ of the greatest importance to accustom young boys or girls to exercise such mental powers as attention, obscrvation, exactness or clearness of apprehension, the comparison of contrasts and similarities, generalization from a number of particular instances, the facility in tracing order in the midst of variety,'' tells us that Latin "affords peculiar opportunities for promoting the exercise of the very faculties which most need to be drawn out and trained in

boys, if they are to have an education which deserves the name." I think it will puzzle Dr. Jacob, or any one else, to show wherein Latin affords peculiar opportunities for promoting this training. Indeed an advocate of science-teaching may as well make a similar claim for the particular science which he recommends. Certainly the botanist may accept this language as a statement of his claim. These results can undoubtedly be deduced from the study of English, and, in fact, from almost any real study.

We must, therefore, seek a higher ground for justifying the giving of so much precious time to the study of Latin and Greek. Let us try the real object of learning a language, to use it as a tool for receiving and conveying thought. The utter uselessness of Latin and Greek for this practical purpose to almost every one who studies them, put them out of court at once. After all the years spent in the study of these languages, not one in a thousand of our college graduates ever learns to read them, and I doubt if there are ten teachers of them in America who can read them. There are many who can translate a Latin or a Greek book with the aid of a dictionary; there are others who can translate without the help of the dictionary; but translating is not reading. To read a book in a foreign language, you must think in its language-you must catch the thought at a glance without the intervention of English words at all. Now, who is there before me who can thus read an unfamiliar passage in Latin or Greek ? Although I have spent many of the best years of my life in studying these languages, I am free to say I can not do it. I have never known a man who could do it. Hence we know no more about the thought, the life, the philosophy, the poetry of the Greeks and the Romans than we could have learned far more readily from good translations-using the correct translations of others in place of our own imperfect work.

All this, I know, is unpardonable heresy. My sin is made worse by the fact that I have fallen from grace. I was trained up in the good orthodox creed that the study of Latin and Greek is the chief factor of a liberal education-the central source of “sweetness and light." These gods of Greece and Rome having played their part, still "lag superfluous on the stage," and we must push them from their places to make room for something better, for modern languages and physical sciences. It may be said there is room for all, but I doubt it. Many eminent teachers in America and in England, writing to me in regard to a Prize Paper on Hamlet printed last year as a specimen of the work done by my pupils, use expressions of surprise and admiration that have astonished me, and confess that they are unable to do work so good on account of the overcrowded curriculums of their colleges and universities. From numerous statements of this kind, I infer that, although able and learned men are employed in the department of English in our leading institutions, the students do not have time for any real, earnest work at English. There is too much of something else. We must find this encumbering something and drive it out to make room for English. I think I see it in the form of Latin and Greek,-and abstract mathematics in some colleges.

Like the men of Ephesus who shouted “Great is Diana of the Ephesians ” all the louder because they no longer believed in her greatness, we sometimes cling the closer to our idols after we see their utter powerlessness. So I have done, and in the curriculum of Logan Female College I permitted Latin to hold the place of honor after I had lost faith in its right. Meanwhile I was giving the primacy to the study of English in the actual work of the college. A copy of the College Register having fallen into the hands of Mr. A. J. Ellis, formerly President of the English Philological Association, and author of "Early English Pronunciation,” he wrote me a long private letter in which he severely criticizes my inconsistency, and presses me to an open avowal of my real faith. I can best fortify the position I have taken by quoting his words:

“It is perfectly absurd to speak of the humanizing effect of Latin and Greek; the grand literatures which they contain, their poetry, their philosophy, their history, the enormous influence which they have had upon the literature, poetry, philosophy, the whole tone of thought prevalent among civilized nations—I say that it is perfectly absurd to advance all these arguments, when the only condition which could make them valid is wanting. That condition is, that those who acquire them should be able to use them, that is, should be able to take up a Latin or Greek book, and read as most of those who have learned French and German would be ashamed not to do with French and German books; should be able rapidly by the eye to drink in the sense without the laborious consultation of dictionaries, without having to consider their own language at all; sh be able to thi in the languages so far as to speak and write in them with tolerable facility, making the words and phrases immediate representatives of thought. Without such power, we bave no notion of the meaning or literature of a language. The words are tasks to get up, or symbols to decipher, not the utterances of genius.

* There are certainly not five in a hundred of those who learn Latin in our schools who can read with ease an unconned piece of Latin, or write off-hand a Latin letter on a familiar subject. I need not say a word about Greek. With all such people, learning Latin has been an arrant failure. They have done worse than waste their time. They have learned to make marks, to take places, to receive prizes, for mere botch-work."

These are the words of a man who devoted sixteen years of his early life to the dead languages, with a slight mixture of abstract mathematics. He tells us that, when he left Cambridge at the age of twenty-four, he was totally ignorant of the things he most needed to know, while his knowledge of Latin and Greek was very small, poor, and inaccurate.”

My classical friends must not attempt to refute me by the fallacy of an epithet, that is, by calling me illiberal, narrow-minded. It is just possible that there is some illiberality on the other side; it may be that if they knew more English they would think less of Latin and Greek. It is not enough for them to enlarge upon the educating power of classical studies. I am willing to admit what they usually claim for their favorite studies in that direction, but at the same time I hold that the highest and best discipline of mind is derived from a scientific study of English, German, and French, while the knowledge acquired in the process of learning these

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modern languages is incalculably more valuable in the affairs of real life than the knowledge obtained by pursuing the fullest course in the classics. The friends of the Old Education must meet this position squarely. Fine phrases about liberal culture will no longer be accepted in place of facts. We too, believe in liberal culture. But if a knowledge of the highest thought of the ancient world as embodied in words by its foremost thinkers tends to liberalize and broaden the mind of a student, it must be trebly effective in its liberalizing influences to bring the student's mind up to the level of the highest thought of our own age. We are the ancients—“the heirs of all the ages.” Our young men know vastly more than the wisest in the old time knew. They will, therefore, get most profit in knowledge, and equal profit in discipline, from the study of modern languages. After earning these, if they have leisure and inclination, they will amuse themselves by learning Greek and Latin.

Latin and Greek, being almost valueless in the work of fitting one for the duties of modern life, and by no means indispensable in the work of mental development, are, therefore, relegated to the position of pleasant accomplishments, or of professional helps for ministers, teachers, and specialists. The student who is rightly trained in the study of modern languages will in a very short time-one or two years-learn the grammatical forms and acquire facility in the translation of Greek and Latin. So far am I from accepting the once-popular notion--still heard of in outof-the-way corners of the country-that English is best learned through the study of Latin that I maintain the opposite view; namely, the true, natural method is to pass from English, which is easy for us, to the study of Latin which is difficult—to pass in true logical order from the known to the unknown. I apply this great principle in my method of teaching English,-beginning with the simple modern forms that are known to the student and working back gradually to older and more complex forms which, if presented at once to the student, would seem as uncouth as Greek or Choctaw.

I must now say a few words about the methods of teaching English ; for if the study of English is to occupy the foremost place in our institutions of higher instruction, the method of teaching omes exceedingly important. I am disposed to think that the unfruitfulness so often seen in English teaching is the result of wrong methods. Most destructive of all good results is the theory of the grammar-mongers, who, not recognizing the fact that the English language is a language with facts and idioms worthy of independent study, attempt to bring its facts into conformity with the rules of the Latin grammar. It would of course be just as wise to take English grammar as the basis of a Latin grammar. English is a Teutonic language with its own independent grammar, and must be studied as English and not as a corrupt form of Latin. It has borrowed words, but not grammatical principles, from the Latin. Whatever is common to the languages comes to each alike from their common mother, the Aryan Ursprache. The two great instruments of study are history and comparison.

The historical method of study is the only road to a critical knowledge of our mother-tongue; but before we can employ this method intelligently, we must get a clear conception of the continuity of English. We must recognize the fact that in English literature there has been an unbroken succession of authors from CÆDMON to Tennyson, a period of twelve hundred years. The language of King ALFRED and the language of President Hayes are one and the same English tongue. “In fact,” says Mr. SKEAT, “there is no difference between modern English and that Oldest. form of it to which the name of Anglo-Saxon has been given, except such as has been naturally and gradually brought about by the mere lapse of time, (occasioning the loss of some words and some alteration in the form and meaning of others,) and by the enlargement of the vocabulary from foreign sources. In a word, Old English is the right key to the understanding of modern English, and those who will not use this key will never open the lock with all their fumbling,"—with all their attempts to use the counterfeit Latin-grammar key. No critical student, following the historical method, can stop in the 14th Century in his search for Old English. He can find no resting place-no distinct break in the continuity of the language. Between the writers of one period and those of the preceeding generation the differences are always slight even in times of most rapid change—differences wholly insufficient to mark the death of one language and the birth of another.

Old English is synthetic, with an elaborate system of inflections; modern English is analytic; and almost inflectionless. We must not fall into the error of supposing that this change has been brought about by the Norman Conquest. Other kindred dialects, as Danish and Low Dutch, have undergone similar changes without the influences of external causes. So our mother-tongue has developed itself into its present forms, not by chance or by the will of Norman masters, but according to fixed laws. In its wonderful growth and all its seemingly-lawless transformations, it has followed necessary rules. In our teaching we must leave the unfruitful field of guess-work and investigate the manner in which the general laws of linguistic change and development are applicable to the growth of the English language. It is impossible to explain words and grammatical facts or idioms, except by their history. We must first know their affiliations and the facts that have preceded them; just as in the sciences of observation, such as chemistry or natural history, we can give an account of a fact only by knowing what has preceded it. For instance, in order to explain the manner in which a tree is formed, it is not enough to study the tree as it stands before us in its full-leaved glory; it is necessary to construct a history of the tree by the aid of accurate observations of the different states and forms through which it has successively passed. We are able to understand clearly what is only through a knowledge of what has been. We can discover the causes of a phenomenon only by taking a comprehensive view of antecedent phenomena. Grammar, in its true method, is the botany of language.

Modern English without Old English is a tree without rootsma lifeless trunk. The words that have been imported from Latin and other sources have been engrafted upon the English stock and draw their life-nourishment from roots that strike deep down into the death-kingdoms of the oldest Teutonic speech.

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