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Janua Linguarum.

in words and things, Comenius determined to write a book for carrying it out. Just then there fell into his hands a book which a less open-minded man might have thrown aside on account of its origin, for it was written by the bitter foes and persecutors of the Bohemian Protestants, by the Jesuits. But Comenius says truly, "I care not whether I teach or whether I learn,” and he gave a marvellous proof of this by adopting the linguistic method of the Jesuits' Janua Linguarum.*

* As far as my experience goes there are few men capable both of teaching and being taught, and of these rare beings Comenius was a noble example. The passage in which he acknowledges his obligation to the Jesuits' Janua is a striking proof of his candour and openmindedness.

As an experiment in language-teaching this Janua is a very interesting book, and will be well worth a note. From Augustin and Alois de Backer's Bibliothèque des Ecrivains de la C. de Jésus, I learn that the author William Bath or Bathe [Latin Bateus] was born in Dublin in 1564, and died in Madrid in 1614. "A brief introduction to the skill of song as set forth by William Bathe, gent." is attributed to him; but we know nothing of his origin or occupation till he entered on the Jesuit noviciate at Tournai in 1596. Either before or after this "he ran" as he himself tells us "the pleasant race of study" at Beauvais. After studying at Padua he was sent as Spiritual Father to the Irish College at Salamanca. Here, according to C. Sommervogel he wrote two Latin books. He also designed the Janua Linguarum, and carried out the plan with the help of the other members of the college. The book was published at Salamanca "apud de Cea Tesa" 1611, 4°. Four years afterwards an edition with English version added was published in London edited by Wm. Welde. I have never seen the Spanish version, but a copy of Welde's edition (wanting title page) was bequeathed to me by a friend honoured by all English-speaking students of education, Joseph Payne. The Janua must have had great success in this country, and soon had other editors. In an old catalogue I have seen "Janua Linguarum Quadrilinguis, or a Messe of Tongues, Latine, English, French, Spanish, neatly served up together for a wholesome repast to

The Jesuits' Janua.

This "Noah's Ark for words," treated in a series of proverbs of all kinds of subjects, in such a way as to introduce in a natural connection every common word in the Latin lan guage. "The idea," says Comenius, " was better than the

the worthy curiositie of the studious, sm. 4to, Matthew Lowndes, 1617.” This must have been the early edition of Isaac Habrecht. I have his "Janua Linguarum Silinguis. Argentina (Strassburg), 1630," and in the Preface he says that the first English edition came out in 1615, and that he had added a French version and published the book at London in four languages in 1617. I have seen sixth edition 1627," also published by Lowndes, and edited " 'opera I. H. (John Harmar, called in Catalogue of British Museum 'Rector of Ewhurst') Scholæ Sancti Albani Magistri primarii." Harmar, I think, suppressed all mention of the author of the book, but he kept the title. This seems to have been altered by the celebrated Scioppius who published the book as Pascasii Grosippi Mercurius bilinguis.

This Jesuits' Janua one of the most interesting experiments in language teaching I ever met with. Bathe and his co-adjutors collected as they believed all the common root words in the Latin language; and these they worked up into 1,200 short sentences in the form of proverbs. After the sentences follows a short Appendix De ambiguis of which the following is a specimen: "Dum malum comedis juxta malum navis, de malo commisso sub malo vetita meditare. While thou eatest an apple near the mast of a ship, think of the evil committed under the forbidden apple tree.” An alphabetical index of all the Latin words is then given, with the number of the sentence in which the word occurs.

Prefixed to this Janua we find some introductory chapters in which the problem: What is the best way of learning a foreign language? is considered and some advance made towards a solution. "The body of every language consisteth of four principal members-words, congruity, phrases, and elegancy. The dictionary sets down the words, grammar the congruities, Authors the phrases, and Rhetoricians (with their figures) the elegancy. We call phrases the proper forms or peculiar manners of speaking which every Tongue hath." (Chap. I ad f.)


C. adapts Jesuits' Janua.


Nevertheless, inasmuch as they (the Jesuits) were the prime inventors, we thankfully acknowledge it, no will we upbraid them with those errors they have committed." (Preface to Anchoran's trans. of Janua.)

§ 56. The plan commended itself to Comenius on various grounds. First, he had a notion of giving an outline of all knowledge before anything was taught in detail. Next, he


Hitherto, says Bathe, there have been in use, only two ways of learning a language, “regular, such as is grammar, to observe the congruities; and irregular such as is the common use of learners, by reading and speaking in vulgar tongues." The "regular" way is more certain, the "irregular" is easier. So Bathe has planned a middle way which is to combine the advantages of the other two. The "congruities" are learnt regularly by the grammar. Why are not the "words" learned regularly by the dictionary? Ist, Because the Dictionary contains many useless words; 2nd, because compound words may be known from the root words without special learning; 3rd, because words as they stand in the Dictionary bear no sense and so cannot be remembered. By the use of this Janua all these objections will be avoided. Useful words and root words only are given, and they are worked up into sentences easy to be remembered." And with the exception of a few little words such as et, in, qui, sum, fio no word occurs a second time; thus, says Bathe, the labour of learning the language will be lightened and “ as it was much more easy to have known all the living creatures by often looking into Noe's Ark, wherein was a selected couple of each kind, than by travelling over all the world until a man should find here and there a creature of each kind, even in the same manner will all the words be far more easily learned by use of these sentences than by hearing, speak. ing or reading until a man do accidentally meet with every particular word." (Proeme ad f.) "We hope no man will be so ingrateful as not to think this work very profitable," says the author. For my own part I feel grateful for such an earnest attempt at "retrieving of the curse of Babylon," but I cannot show my gratitude by declaring "this work very profitable." The attempt to squeeze the greater part of a language into 1,200 short sentences could produce nothing better than

Anchoran's edition of C.'s Janua.

could by such a book connect the teaching about simple things with instruction in the Latin words which applied to them. And thirdly, he hoped by this means to give such a complete Latin vocabulary as to render the use of Latin easy for all requirements of modern society. He accordingly wrote a short account of things in general, which he put in the form of a dialogue, and this he published in Latin and German at Leszna in 1531. The success of this work, as we have already seen, was prodigious. No doubt the spirit which animated Bacon was largely diffused among educated men in all countries, and they hailed the appearance of a book which called the youth from the study of old philosophical ideas to observe the facts around them..

§ 57. The countrymen of Bacon were not backward in adopting the new work, as the following, from the titlepage of a volume in the British Museum, will show: "The Gate of Tongues Unlocked and Opened; or else, a Seminary or Seed-plot of all Tongues and Sciences. That is, a short way of teaching and thoroughly learning, within a yeare and a half at the furthest, the Latine, English, French and any other tongue, with the ground and foundation of arts and sciences, comprised under a hundred titles and 1058 periods. In Latin first, and now, as a token of thankfulness, brought to light in Latine, English and French, in the behalfe of the most illustrious Prince Charles, and of British, French, and Irish youth. The 4th edition, much enlarged, by the labour and industry of John Anchoran, Licentiate in Divinity. London. Printed by Edward Griffin for Michael Sparke, dwelling at the Blew Bible in Green Arbor, 1639." The first edition must have been some ears earlier, and the work

a curiosity. The language could not be thus squeezed into the memory of the learner.

Change to be made by Janua.

contains a letter to Anchoran from Comenius dated "Lessivæ polonorum (Leszna) 11th Oct, 1632.” So we see that, however the connexion arose, it was Anchoran no Hartlib who first made Comenius known in England.

§ 58. In the preface to the volume (signed by Anchoran and Comenius) we read of the complaints of "Ascam, Vives, Erasmus, Sturmius, Frisclinus, Dornavius and others." The Scaligers and Lipsius did climb but left no track. “Hence it is that the greater number of schools (howsoever some boast the happinesse of the age and the splendour of learning) have not as yet shaked off their ataxies. The youth was held off, nay distracted, and is yet in many places delayed with grammar precepts infinitely tedious, perplexed, obscure, and (for the most part) unprofitable, and that for many years." The names of things were taught to those who were in total ignorance of the things themselves.

§ 59. From this barren region the pupil was to escape to become acquainted with things. "Come on," says the teacher in the opening dialogue, "let us go forth into the open air. There you shall view whatsoever God produced from the beginning, and doth yet effect by nature. Afterwards we will go into towns, shops, schools, where you shall see how men do both apply those Divine works to their uses, and also instruct themselves in arts, manners, tongues. Then we will enter into houses, courts, and palaces of princes, to see in what manner communities of men are governed. last we will visit temples, where you shall observe how diversely mortals seek to worship their Creator and to be spiritually united unto Him, and how He by His Almightiness disposeth all things." (This is from the 1656 edition, by "W.D.")


The book is still amusing, but only from the quaint

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