Billeder på siden

Attention. Extra work. "Repetitio."

vulpes, a substantive of the third declension, &c., like proles, clades, &c. (here the master is always to give among his examples some which the boys already know); 3rd, comes the eruditio-something about foxes, about tragedy, about the brain, and hence about other parts of the head; 4th, Latinity, the order of the words, choice of the words, synonyms, &c. Then the sentences may be parodied; other suitable substantives may be found for the adjectives and vice versâ; and every method is to be adopted of showing the boys how to use the words they have learnt. Lastly, comes the moral.

§ 22. The practical teacher will be tempted to ask, How is the attention of the class to be kept up whilst all this information is given? This the Jesuits did partly by punish-ing the inattentive. Every boy was subsequently required to reproduce what the teacher had said, and to show his written notes of it. But no doubt this matter of attention was found a difficulty. Jouvency tells the teachers to break off from time to time in their lectures, and to ask questions; and he adds: "Variæ sunt artes excitandæ attentionis quas docebit usus et sua cuique industria suggeret. Very various are the devices for arousing attention. These will occur with practice and pains."

For private study, besides written exercises and learning by heart, the pupils were recommended subjects to get up in their own time; and in this, and also as to the length of some of the regular lessons, they were permitted to decide for themselves. Here, as everywhere, the Jesuits trusted to the sense of honour and emulation-those who did extra work were praised and rewarded.

§ 23. One of the maxims of this system was: "Repetitio mater studiorum." Every lesson was connected with two

Repetition. Thoroughness.

repetitions-one before it began, of preceding work, and the other at the close, of the work just done. Besides this, one day a week was devoted entirely to repetition. In the three lowest classes the desire of laying a solid foundation even led to the second six months in the year being given to again going over the work of the first six months.* By this means boys of extraordinary ability could pass through these forms in eighteen months, instead of three years.

§ 23. Thoroughness in work was the one thing insisted on. Sacchini says that much time should be spent in going over the more important things, which are "veluti multorum fontes et capita (as it were the sources and starting points of many others)"; and that the master should prefer to teach a few things perfectly, to giving indistinct impressions of many things. We should remember, however, that the pupils of the Jesuits were not children. Subjects such as grammar cannot, by any expenditure of time and trouble, be perfectly taught to children, because children cannot perfectly understand them; so that the Jesuit thoroughness is not always attainable.

§ 24. The usual duration of the course in the lower schools was six years-i.e., one year in each of the four

"The grinding over and over of a subject after pupils have attained a fair knowledge of it, is nothing less than stultifying-killing out curiosity and the desire of knowledge, and begetting mechanical habits." Supt. J. Hancock, Dayton, Ohio. Every teacher of experience know how true this is.

+"Stude potius ut pauciora clare distincteque percipiant, quam obscure atque confuse pluribus imbuantur.-Care rather for their seeing a few things vividly and definitely, than that they should get filled with hazy and confusing notions of many things." (There are few more valuable precepts for the teacher than this.)

Yearly examinations. Moral training.

lower classes, and two years in the highest class. Every year closed with a very formal examination. Before this examination took place, the pupils had lessons in the manner of it, so that they might come prepared, not only with a knowledge of the subjects, but also of the laws of writing for examination ("scribendi ad examen leges"). The examination was conducted by a commission appointed for the purpose, of which commission the Prefect of Studies was an ex officio member. The masters of the classes, though they were present, and could make remarks, were not of the examining body. For the viva voce the boys were ushered in, three at a time, before the solemn conclave. The results of the examination, both written and verbal, were joined with the records of the work done in the past year; and the names of those pupils who had distinguished themselves were then published in order of merit, but the poll was arranged alphabetically, or according to birthplace.

§ 25. As might be expected, the Jesuits were to be very careful of the moral and religious training of their pupils. "Quam maxime in vitæ probitate ac bonis artibus doctrinaque proficiant ad Dei gloriam." (Ratio Studd., quoted by Schmid.) And Sacchini tells the master to remember how honourable his office is; as it has to do, not with grammar only, but also with the science and practice of a Christian and religious life: "atque eo quidem ordine ut ipsa ingenii eruditio sit expolitio morum, et humana literatura divinæ ancilletur sapientiæ."*

* Sacchini writes in a very high tone on this subject. The following passage is striking : "Gravitatem sui muneris summasque opportunitates aзsidue animo verset (magister). 'Puerilis institutio mundi renovatio est ;' hæc gymnasia Dei castra sunt, hic bonorum om nium semina latent. Video solum fundamentumque republicæ quod

Care of health. Punishments.

Each lesson was to begin with prayer or the sign of the Cross. The pupils were to hear Mass every morning, and were to be urged to frequent confession and receiving of the Holy Communion. The Father Confessor was always a Jesuit, but he was not a master in the school.

§ 26. The bodily health also was to be carefully attended to. The pupils were not to study too much or too long at a time. Nothing was to be done for a space of from one or two hours after dinner. On holidays excursions were made to farms in the country.*

§ 27. Punishments were to be as light as possible, and the master was to shut his eyes to offences whenever he thought he might do so with safety. Grave offences were to be visited with corporal punishment, performed by a 66 'corrector," who was not a member of the Order. Where this chastisement did not have a good effect, the pupil was to be expelled.†

multi non videant interpositu terræ.-Let the mind of the master dwell upon the responsibilities of his office and its immense opportunities. The education of the young is the renovation of the world. These schools are the camp of God: in them lie the seeds of all that is good. There I see the foundation and ground-work of the commonwealth, which many fail to see from its being underground." Perhaps he had read of Trotzendorf's address to a school, "Hail reverend divines, learned doctors, worshipful magistrates, &c."

* "Circa illorum valetudinem peculiari cura animadvertat (Rector) ut et in laboribus mentis modum servent, et in iis quæ ad corpus perti. Dent, religiosa commoditate tractentur, ut diutius in studiis perseverare tam in litteris addiscendis quam in eisdem exercendis ad Dei gloriam possini.”—Ratio Studd., quoted by Schmid. See also infra p. 62.

The following, from the Ratio Studd., sounds Jesuitical: "Nec publicé puniant flagitia quædam secretiora sed privatim ; aut si publicé, alias obtendant causas, et satis est eos qui plectuntur conscios ess



English want of system.

§ 28. The dry details into which I have been drawn by faithfully copying the manner of the Ratio Studiorum may seem to the reader to afford no answer to the question which naturally suggests itself-To what did the schoolsystem of the Jesuits owe its enormous popularity? But in part, at least, these details do afford an answer. They show us that the Jesuits were intensely practical. The Ratio Studiorum hardly contains a single principle; but what it does is this-it points out a perfectly attainable goal, and carefully defines the road by which that goal is to be approached. For each class was prescribed not only the work to be done, but also the end to be kept in view. Thus method reigned throughout-perhaps not the best method, as the object to be attained was assuredly not the highest object—but the method, such as it was, was applied with undeviating exactness. In this particular the Jesuit schools contrasted strongly with their rivals of old, as indeed with the ordinary school of the present day. The Head Master, who is to the modern English school what the General, Provincial, Rector, Prefect of Studies, and Ratio Studiorum combined were to a school of the Jesuits, has perhaps no standard in view up to which the boy should have been brought when his school course is completed.* The masters of forms teach just those portion of their subject in which they themselves are interested, in any way that occurs to them, with by no means uniform success; so that when two forms are examined with the same examination paper, it is no very uncommon occurrence for the lower to be found

* As the Public Schools Commission pointed out, the Head Master often thinks of nothing but the attainment of University honours, even when the great majority of his pupils are not going to the University.

« ForrigeFortsæt »