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instructor, who receives the use of it gratis. In the vicinity of this edifice is a small garden, and sometimes a few acres of land; of wbich he has the use so long as he remains the instructor of the parish. This building is not very elegant, as it usually contains but four or five chambers, but it is suitable for one whose income is so moderate as that of most of the instructors. Every parish has a treasury, from the funds of which the instructor is paid from seventy to eighty dollars per annum. Besides this amount, each parent pays to him six pfennings a week, or about six cents per month, for the instruction of each of his children. In some cases he receives also a small quantity of butter and flax from the parents. His whole income, exclusive of the rent of the schoolhouse and the ground connected with it, rarely amounts to more than one hundred Spanish dollars, if he teaches one of the village schools. Those wbo live in the towns receive about one hundred and fifty dollars.

“All the books which are studied are selected by the consistory, and no new one can be introduced without its permission. The Bible is universally read by the children, and forms, as in our own country, the foundation of education for the youth of Prussia.

“From this statement you will perceive how much this government has done for the people. In no country in Europe, except Saxony and the soutb of Scotland, and possibly in one or two of the smaller states of Germany, is education so universally diffused as in the central part of this kingdom. These schools are established in every village. It may be said with truth of Prussia, that it is one of the most enlightened countries in the world; for among the younger class of the population, it is rare to see an individual who cannot both read and write. I make use of the word younger, because many of the laws relating to education, were enacted during the reign of the present monarch, before whose accession the schools were in a much lower state than at present. No one can help respecting Frederick William for the wisdom he has exhibited, in thus improving the character of bis subjects. This emotion will be stronger, when it is recollected that he is one of the most active members of the Holy Alliance, and that he is still not afraid of the general diffusion of intelligence among bis subjects. He is here laying a broad foundation for the future prosperity of Prussia, and it is to be hoped also, for the future liberty of the nation. This event will not probably happen in many years, but it must come should these institutions continue for a century." pp. 245–252.

The small compensation received by the instructors in these schools will appear to us very extraordinary, but this scanty allowance extends in a proportional degree through all grades of the profession, and to all the occupations of life. It shews the comparative poverty of Germany, wasted as its resources have been, by almost unceasing wars, and by the restrictive system which each petty potentate thinks it patriotic to impose on commerce, and which is most rigorously enforced; but it is likewise a proof of the great number of literary men, when applicants of high qualifications are always found solicitous to

obtain every station, except, perhaps, those of the very lowest degree.

In Saxony, Saxe-Weimar and several other states, provision equally ample is made for the education of the people; in none are the means and opportunities greatly deficient. In Leipsic, a city containing about forty thousand inhabitants, schools which educate between two and three thousand children, and superintended by more than forty instructors, are supported from the funds of the city.* While, besides many private establishments, the great “Burgerschule," or school for the children of the wealthier citizens, is alone provided with twenty-five teachers.

Nothing marks more strikingly the character of the German system of education, than the subdivision of labour and of duties. Of this we shall have to notice many instances as we advance. Instead of employing, as with us, one man to teach every thing, they are satisfied that one person shall teach but one branch of knowledge, but then they require that he shall understand what he professes to teach, and shall teach it accurately and thoroughly. Thus, in the Gymnasia and the Universities, while one professor teaches the grammatical construction of the Greek language, another is employed to lecture on the literature of Greece. This is done from the persuasion that these tasks require different qualifications, one demanding nothing but a critical knowledge of the language to be taught, the other, powers of an higher order, taste, judgment, general literature, and an acquaintance with the history, manners, opinions and writings of the Greeks.

The Gymnasia are the essential features in the literary establishments of Germany. They are the nurseries in wbich those who aspire to a liberal education are trained and disciplined, and in which all the germs of future eminence are nurtured and expanded. Their constitution, their form, their daily exercises, their discipline, are all worthy of our consideration. We wish we could extract from Mr. Dwight, the whole letter (22d) which he has devoted to this subject. We must, however, be satisfied with a few details, and refer those who wish for more information to the work itself.

“ The Gymnasia of the north of Germany, are among the most interesting features of the literature of this country. They have long been considered superior to those of any other part of Europe ; and at no period within the last century, have they enjoyed a higher reputation, than at the present time. It is at these institutions that the foundation

* Between forty and fifty, (says Mr. D.) A few of these, bowever, are attached to Windler's Free School, which educates about two hundred children, and is supported by funds provided by its founder, whose name it bears.

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has been laid for that fame, which so many of the savans of this country have acquired ; and it is to them that the universities are indebted for their extensive reputation.

The gymnasia of this country are divided into two classes: those which are private, where the boys are constantly under the eyes of the instructors, who live with them in the same edifice; and those which are public, and which are established in the large towns, where the youth reside in the city, and recite and attend lectures at the gymnasium. The last class are frequently called schools, with an appropriate name, sometimes still retaining that of the patron saint of the church near which they are situated. The instruction, however, corresponds so nearly with that of the more private institutions, that they will here be included under the same name.

“At the head of these schools is a Rector, or President, and a Conrector, or Vice-President. The instructors are divided into two classes, Ober und Unter Lehren, literally, upper and under teachers. Before an instructor is permitted to occupy a vacant place, he is examined by the Prüfungs Commission, which consists of the professors of the university who lecture on those subjects which are taught in the gymnasium, and of the directors of the gymnasium, 'The first class of teachers must have made such progress in the department in which they desire to teach, as to be qualified to give lectures at one of the universities. The second class must have a thorough knowledge of their particular province. If to instruct in Greek or Latin, for example, they are required to be familiar with the principal writers, and to possess a critical knowledge of these languages. The same minute acquaintance with their departments, is necessary in the other branches of instruction. The examination lasts five or six hours, and if found qualified, they are permitted to fill the vacant place of Unter Lehrer in any of the gymnasia which is offered to them. The salaries of the Rectors in Prussia, vary from one thousand to twelve hundred dollars; those of the Conrectors are somewhat smaller. The first class of teachers receive from seven to nine hundred, the second from three to six hundred, though this varies much with the funds of the institution, as well as with the size of the city in which the gympasia are situated. The former class are required to instruct the students twelve, the latter twenty-four hours per week. They also increase their income, by giving private instruction to those children whose parents desire it.

“ The boys usually enter these institutions from nine to thirteen years of age, and remain from five to seven years, in proportion to the improvement they have made. The first two or three years are devoted to acquiring a knowledge of Greek, Latin, and mathematics; in which they are drilled with a minuteness of intellectual discipline, which I have never seen in the other schools of Europe. The succeeding years are passed in pursuing history, ancient and modern geography, French literature, Latin and Greek exegesis, &c. To acquire a thorough knowledge of these languages, they are taught to write and speak Latin, and in some of the institutions to write Greek. Subsequently, they translate from Greek into Latin, and sometimes from Latin into Greek.


All the conversation, when the recitation is classical, is then held in Latin. The boys write Latin prolegomena to the ode or book they are reciting, which is first criticised by their companions, and then by the professor. The desire of victory that you often see in the objections which the rival scholars bring against the individual to whose dissertation they have listened, as well as the ingenious defence which he makes, calls forth a literary enthusiasm in these combats, which would excite the admiration of any one, who had seen only the grammar schools of our country. In some cases, they write Latin poetry, by translating an ode of Klopstock or Schiller, or if they are the favourites of Apollo, they present their own effusions in Latin verse. These are publicly read by the authors, and criticised by their companions, and then by the instructor. Those who do not possess this talent, write Latin prose, which is read and examined minutely by their companions. The instructors often dictate to them passages from the poetical and prosaic works of the German classics, which they translate into Latin. They are then required to read it, and one after another is called upon to point out the defects which exist in the translation, giving his reasons in Latin. By pursuing this course for several years, you will easily perceive that they must attain a knowledge of the grammatical structure of that language, unkdown in most countries. Accordingly, you discover that most German students speak it with great fluency and correctness.

“The same severe discipline is pursued in other languages, though in none excepting the French, do they arrive at a similar degree of excellence, it not being thought necessary to speak either Greek or Hebrew.

“ The great superiority of these institutions, results first from the exegetical mode of instruction. The remarks I have made on this subject in reference to the universities, are equally applicable to the gymnasia. It is true that exegesis is not pursued here with the same ardour as in those institutions, for this is impossible while laying the foundation of an education. It is pursued, however, to a greater degree than in most universities of other countries, even of Europe. This mode of studying throws a charm around classic literature, which makes it almost a fairy land to a student. With us, “the dull, hard lesson is crammed down word by word,” until the student often bates bis Horace, as much as ever Byron did. In the mere dull translations which we make in our grammar schools and colleges, all the “ lyric flow" of the poet is lost. We read the language, and often translate it into words corresponding with those of the original, but the impression made on the mind of the student in usually so indistinct, that he wonders how any one can compare ancient with modern poetry. Why is this? It is because his previous education has not qualified bim for feeling the beauties of the author he is perusing. He lives in a country whose religion, laws, gove ernment, state of society, customs, philosophy, language, natural features, in one word, almost every thing but the heavenly bodies which illumine it, present a different aspect from those of Greece and Rome. How could one of Napoleon's guard have understood the retreat of the ten thousand, if he had not previously become acquainted with the armour, marches, mode of fighting, and evolutions of the ancient world:


how could Nelson have comprehended the battle of Salamis, from merely a knowledge of modern naval tactics? I have seen many intelligent Europeans, who, although they have had almost daily opportunities of studying our institutions for years, were still unable to comprehend the nature of their influence on society. How often do we see Frenchmen, even when Shakspeare is presented to them, unable to discover its beauties, when only a channel of twenty miles separates them from that land, where almost every heart beats to the sound of his lyre. If our contemporaries find it so difficult to understand our national character and literature, because they will not for the time lose their local feelings and adopt those of the country whose institutions or literature they are examining, how is it possible for us to comprehend ancient authors without a previous knowledge of every thing relating to the moral, political, religious, and natural character of Greece or Rome?

“Without a minute acquaintance with ancient Greece, most of the life, the beauty, and the sublimity of her poetry disappears. The mind wanders over the pages of its bards, without being much enlightened, the heart never feels those exquisite allusions and comparisons, which arose in the poet's mind, when contemplating the country of his birth. To such an eye some of the noblest creations of Grecian genius, some of the brightest conceptions of uninspired poesy are almost without form and colourless. The vale of Tempe presents no more loveliness than one of our western prairies ; the temples of their deities are as destitute of beauty as a Chinese pagoda, or the residence of Juggernaut. While studying the page of Homer, he feels as Byron did when looking at the political degradation of the classic land of that poet;

*. 'Tis Greece, but living Greece no more."

to him every object is inanimate, and he turns from the perusal of the bard who has been the delight of more than one hundred generations to read the ephemeral rhymes of the day; and, in their jingle, he perceives more melody; and, in their comparatively insipid thought he finds more feeling aud energy, than in the verse of him, who has been the wonder

of ages.

Why is this great difference between a German and an American youth? There is as much of the grand and beautiful in our natural and poetical world, as in his. We are not less susceptible to the influence of real or ideal loveliness. Our minds and our hearts are as much excited by a perusal of Hamlet, the Midsummer's Night Dream, or Comus, as his by Faust or Wallenstein or Oberon. The diffcrence is this. He reads Homer with the eye of a Grecian who is familiar with its society, and with the thoughts and actions of the heroic age; we peruse the Iliad with views formed solely by the manners and feelings, and systems of the nineteenth century. The former, by his previous studies, has been able to transport himself to a distant age and people, while we, standing at the distance of nearly three thousand years, look with the feelings we have acquired from our peculiar education, at a country which seems indefinitely remote. To him, the seige of Troy is a living reality, and VOL. IV.NO. 7.


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