Billeder på siden

Jesuit limitations.

superior to the higher. It is, perhaps, to be expected that a course in which uniform method tends to a definite goal would on the whole be more successful than one in which a boy has to accustom himself by turns to half-a-dozen different methods, invented at haphazard by individual masters with different aims in view, if indeed they have any aim at all.

§ 29. I have said that the object which the Jesuits proposed in their teaching was not the highest object. They did not aim at developing all the faculties of their pupils, but mainly the receptive and reproductive faculties. When the young man had acquired a thorough mastery of the Latin language for all purposes, when he was well versed in the theological and philosophical opinions of his preceptors, when he was skilful in dispute, and could make a brilliant display from the resources of a well-stored memory, he had reached the highest point to which the Jesuits sought to lead him.* Originality and independence of mind, love of truth

* The advantages of learning by heart are twofold, says Sacchini : "Primum memoriam ipsam perficiunt, quod est in totam ætatem ad universa negotia inestimabile commodum. Deinde suppellectilem inde pulcherrimam congregant verborum ac rerum : quæ item, quamdiu vivant, usui futura sit: cum quæ ætate illa insederint indelebilia soleant permanere. Magnam itaque, ubi adoleverint, gratiam Præceptori habebunt, cui memoriæ debebunt profectum, magnamque lætitiam capient invenientes quodammodo domi thesaurum quem, in ætate cæteroqui parum fructuosa, prope non sentientes parârint. Enim vero quam sæpe viros graves atque præstantes magnoque jam natu videre et audire est, dum in docta ac nobili corona jucundissime quædam promunt ex iis quæ pueri condiderunt ?-First, they strengthen the memory itself and so gain an inestimable advantage in affairs of every kind throughout life. Then they get together by this means the fairest furniture for the mind, both of thoughts and words, a stock that will be of use to them as long as they live, since that which settles in the mind in youth mostly stays there. And when the lads have grown up they will feel gratitude to

Gains from memorizing.


for its own sake, the power of reflecting, and of forming correct judgments were not merely neglected-they were.. suppressed in the Jesuits' system. But in what they attempted they were eminently successful, and their success went a long way towards securing their popularity.*

the master to whom they are indebted for their good memory; and they
will take delight in finding within them a treasure which at a time of
life otherwise unfruitful they have been preparing almost without know-
ing it. How often we see and hear eminent men far advanced in life,
when in learned and noble company, take a special delight in quoting what
they stored up as boys!" The master, he says, must point out to his
pupils the advantages we derive from memory; that we only know and
possess that which we retain, that this cannot be taken from us, but is
with us always and is always ready for use, a living library, which may
be studied even in the dark. Boys should therefore be encouraged to
run over in their minds, or to say aloud, what they have learnt, as often
as opportunity offers, as when they are walking or are by themselves :
"Ita numquam in otio futuros otiosos; ita minus fore solos cum soli
erunt, consuetudine fruentes sapientum. . . . Denique curandum
erit ut selecta quædam ediscant quæ deinde in quovis studiorum genere
ac vita fere omni usui sint futura.-So they will never be without em-
ployment when unemployed, never less alone than when alone, for then
they profit by intercourse with the wise. . . . To sum up, take care
that they thoroughly commit to memory choice selections which will for
ever after be of use to them in every kind of study, and nearly every
pursuit in life. (Cap. viij.) This is interesting and well put, but we see
one or two points in which we have now made an advance. Learning
by heart will give none of the advantages mentioned unless the boys
understand the pieces and delight in them. Learning by heart
strengthens, no doubt, a faculty, but nothing large enough to be called
"the memory." And the Renascence must indeed have blinded the eyes
of the man to whom childhood and youth seemed an
ætas parum
fructuosa"! Similarly, Sturm speaks of the small fry "qui in extremis
latent classibus." (Quoted by Parker.) But when Pestalozzi and
Froebel came these lay hid no longer.


* Ranke, speaking of the success of the Jesuit schools, says: "It

Popularity. Kindness.

§ 30. Their popularity was due, moreover, to the means employed, as well as to the result attained. The Jesuit teachers were to lead, not drive their pupils, to make their learning, not merely endurable, but even acceptable, “disciplinam non modo tolerabilem, sed etiam amabilem." Sacchini expresses himself very forcibly on this subject. "It is," says he, "the unvarying decision of wise men, whether in ancient or modern times, that the instruction of youth will be always best when it is pleasantest: whence this application of the word ludus. The tenderness of youth requires of us that we should not overstrain it, its innocence that we should abstain from harshness.

[ocr errors]

That which enters into willing ears the mind as it were runs to welcome, seizes with avidity, carefully stows away, and faithfully preserves."* The pupils were therefore to be encouraged in every way to take kindly to their learning. With this end in view (and no doubt other objects also),

was found that young persons learned more under them in half a year than with others in two years. Even Protestants called back their children from distant schools, and put them under the care of the Jesuits."-Hist. of Popes, book v, p. 138. Kelly's Trans.

In France, the University in vain procured an arrêt forbidding the Parisians to send away their sons to the Jesuit colleges: "Jesuit schools enjoyed the confidence of the public in a degree which placed them beyond competition." (Pattison's Casaubon, p. 182.)

# 66

Pattison remarks elsewhere that such was the common notion of the Jesuits' course of instruction that their controversialists could treat anyone, even a Casaubon, who had not gone through it, as an uneducated person. "Sapientum hoc omnium seu veterum seu recentum constans judi cium est, institutionem puerilem tum fore optimam cum jucundissima fuerit, inde enim et ludum vocari. Meretur ætatis teneritas ut ne oneretur: meretur innocentia ut ei parcatur Quæ libentibus auribus instillantur, ad ea velut occurrit animus, avide suscipit, studiose recondit, fideliter servat."

Sympathy with each pupil.

the masters were carefully to seek the boys' affections. "When pupils love the master," says Sacchini, "they will soon love his teaching. Let him, therefore, show an interest in everything that concerns them and not merely in their studies. Let him rejoice with those that rejoice, and not disdain to weep with those that weep. After the example of the Apostle let him become a little one amongst little ones, that he may make them adult in Christ, and Christ adult in them . . . Let him unite the grave kindness and authority of a father with a mother's tenderness."*

§ 31. In order that learning might be pleasant to the pupils, it was necessary that they should not be overtasked. To avoid this, the master had to study the character and capacity of each boy in his class, and to keep a book with. all particulars about him, and marks from one to six indicating proficiency. Thus the master formed an estimate of what should be required, and the amount varied considerably with the pupil, though the quality of the work was always to be good.

"Conciliabit facilè studiis quos primùm sibi conciliârit. Det itaque omnem operam illorum erga se observantionem ut sapienter colligat et continenter enutriat. Ostendat, sibi res eorum curæ esse non solum quæ ad animum sed etiam quæ ad alia pertinent. Gaudeat cum gaudentibus, nec dedignetur flere cum flentibus. Instar Apostoli inter parvulos parvulus fiat quo magnos in Christo et magnum in eis Christum efficiat Seriam comitatem et paternam gravitatem cum materna benignitate permisceat.' Unfortunately, the Jesuits' kind manner loses its value from being due not so much to kind feeling as to some ulterior object, or to a rule of the Order. I think it is Jouvency who recommends that when a boy is absent from sickness or other sufficient reason, the master sh uld send daily to inquire after him, because the parents will be pleased by such attention. When the motive of the inquiry is suspected, th parents will be pleased no longer.

[ocr errors]

Work moderate in amount and difficulty.

§ 32. Not only was the work not to be excessive, it was never to be of great difficulty. Even the grammar was to be made as easy and attractive as possible. "I think it a mistake" says Sacchini, "to introduce at an early stage the more thorny difficulties of grammar : . . for when the pupils have become familiar with the earlier parts, use will, by degrees, make the more difficult clear to them. His mind expanding and his judgment ripening as he grows older the pupil will often see for himself that which he could hardly be made to see by others. Moreover, in reading an author, examples of grammatical difficulties will be more easily observed in connection with the context, and will make more impression on the mind, than if they are taught in an abstract form by themselves. Let them then, be carefully explained whenever they occur."*

§ 33. Perhaps no body of men in Europe (the Thugs may, in this respect, rival them in Asia) have been so hated as the Jesuits. I once heard Frederick Denison Maurice say he thought Kingsley could find good in every one except the Jesuits, and, he added, he thought he could find good even in them. But why should a devoted Christian find a difficulty in seeing good in the Jesuits, a body of men whose devotion to their idea of Christian duty has never

* "Errorem existimo statim initio spinosiores quasdam grammaticæ difficultates inculcare cum enim planioribus insueverint difficiliora paulatim usus explanabit. Quin et capacior subinde mens ac firmius cum ætate judicium, quod alio monstrante perægre unquam percepisset per sese non raro intelliget. Exempla quoque talium rerum dum prælegitur autor facilius in orationis contextu agnoscentur et penetrabunt in animos quam si solitaria et abscissa proponantur. Quamobrem faciendum erit ut quotes occurrunt diligenter enu cleentur.'

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
« ForrigeFortsæt »