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educate the hand as well as the heart, training up lads to be good workmen and good Christians, that they might be "not slothful in business, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord."

It appears needless to add anything to what is stated in the foregoing account, and in the extracts which we gave on a former occasion from the First Annual Report, in order to recommend such institutions as the Cambridge Industrial School as the best remedy yet devised for one of the most notorious evils of our times. To those who may still entertain any doubts we would repeat Mr. Goodwin's challenge: "Go and look at the school yourselves, and see if a great moral work is not going on." We will only again express the satisfaction it will afford us if we are enabled, through our Journal, to give additional publicity to the principles and objects of such an institution; and we shall be happy if its supporters can favour us with any observations that may tend yet further to illustrate its system, and thus to promote its general adoption.

ON TEACHING ETYMOLOGY IN ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS. ETYMOLOGY is now pretty generally taught as a distinct branch of instruction in elementary schools; we mean etymology as signifying a knowledge of the origin and derivation of words, and not as denoting the branch of grammar which treats of the inflexions and modifications of the parts of speech. This subject was foremost among those that were introduced into our schools when the first impulses were given to the recent improvements in the state of elementary instruction in this country. Considerable importance was then attached to it by the friends of education, who were instrumental in promoting the teaching of it in schools; and, since that time, the feeling in favour of its being taught to children has been continually increasing among teachers and managers, and also among Her Majesty's Inspectors.

Accordingly, in almost every spelling-hook and grammar now published, and in one or two of the reading-books, we find long lists of Latin and Greek, and even Saxon roots. Etymological Manuals and Guides, entirely devoted to the subject, have sprung up in abundance, and there are also one or two Etymological Spelling-books.*

We believe that the compiler of the Edinburgh Sessional Schoolbooks was the first to draw attention to etymology as a branch of school instruction. In the preface to his "Etymological Guide" he gives the following account of its introduction into the Edinburgh Sessional School :

* Among the grammars are M'Culloch's, Sullivan's, Allen and Cornwell's, (in which the Greek roots are printed in Greek as well as English characters,) and that of the Irish Series of School-books. Latham, in his " Elementary English Grammar, for the Use of Schools," even goes further, and introduces a good deal of Comparative Philology. In some of the "Guides" there are not merely Saxon, Latin, and Greek roots, but also French roots, Spanish roots, Italian roots, Arabic roots, and Hebrew roots.

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"Etymology not only holds out an object of curious and interesting research to the antiquary, but an acquaintance with it to a certain extent is absolutely essential to all, in order to a right understanding and use of their own language. Its utility, however, is seldom sufficiently valued; those who possess this attainment being often but little aware of the advantage which they thence derive; and those who possess it not, being as little aware of the real cause of the embarrassment which its defect occasions. They who, from their earliest years, through an acquaintance with the dead languages, have been in possession of a highly useful key to their own, can hardly imagine the inconvenience to which the mere English reader is exposed, on whom no pains have been bestowed to compensate for the defect under which he labours. His embarrassment is to a certain degree felt and every day feelingly acknowledged by ladies and others, even in the upper walks of life, ignorant of the learned tongues. But by these it is by no means felt in its full extent. To them, words, of which they may be unacquainted with the origin and full force, are still, from their frequent use in the circles in which they move, practically familiar; which, on the other hand, sadly perplex the lower classes in their vain attempts to spell out the meaning of every sermon which they hear, and even of books and tracts which are written designedly for their perusal and edification. It was not until the compiler of these sheets brought himself into close contact with the humbler grades of society, that he was led to form any due estimate of the disadvantage, in this respect, to which they were exposed. Then, however, he perceived, that if these were to be taught to read at all, far more pains ought to be taken than hitherto had been done, to render reading to them a profitable attainment. Along, therefore, with other explanatory instructions which were afforded to the pupils in the Edinburgh Sessional School, he became desirous to give them such useful etymological knowledge as might be acquired without an acquaintance with those languages which had furnished so many roots for our own. He accordingly made the attempt, the success of which far surpassed his own expectations. As he advanced, he found the obstacles, which he had expected to experience from the pupil's ignorance of the peculiar forms and inflexions of the roots in their original tongues, shrink into nothing. He soon perceived that, without any parade of Latin, it was easy to teach a pupil, in any rank of life, that the syllable con, in his own language, very frequently signified together; that re signified again or back; ex, out; pre, before; and that omni, in such words as omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent, omnivorous, signified all; though the pupil all the while remained ignorant of the original form of the word or its inflection omnis, omnis, omne. The success which attended this attempt having attracted attention, soon led to an extensive adoption of the method in other seminaries in different parts of the country."

It is now high time to inquire with what results this subject has been taught in our schools. Upwards of fifteen years have elapsed since this its first introduction, and we have therefore had sufficient time to enable us to form a correct judgment upon its merits as a branch of popular instruction. We already begin to see symptoms of a wavering faith in its efficacy, and, if we are not mistaken, the tide of opinion, which has hitherto borne it along so steadily, will ere long


In the first place, it is necessary to observe, that the method of teaching it which was at the outset followed by the compiler of the Edinburgh Sessional School-books, and subsequently adopted by other schoolmasters, has been universally abandoned. The reason is, that it does not supply the pupil with definite forms for the roots.


same root occurs in so great a variety of forms in different words, that it is impossible to seize upon any particular collocation of letters as representing it in all of them. Take, for instance, the Latin root, duco, ductum, to lead. Among many others, we have the following dissimilar looking words derived from it-dux, duke, duchess, ducal, conduce, ductile, conduct, conduit. The only part of the root which is common to all of these derivatives is du; so that, according to this method, the pupil must be told that du means to lead, and then he will apply his knowledge to the explanation of such words as due, duly, duel, duplicate, dubious, endue, and many others, which do not belong to the same stock. At any rate, much ambiguity and confusion will necessarily arise, especially where, as in the above case, some of the derivates have come to us through the French. The more they have been corrupted in passing through that language, the greater will be the difficulty of pointing out their connection with others from the same root that have come to us directly from the Latin, or have suffered little alteration. Thus, for example, it would be almost impossible to show a boy that the two words indomitable and daunt have a common origin, without explaining the successive changes which the latter has undergone.

The method that has been generally adopted, instead of this, is that of teaching the exact forms of the roots, with their principal inflections, and requiring the pupils to construct from these, with the aid of prefixes and affixes, the English words in which they occur. This method is recommended by the Commissioners of National Education in Ireland. In the preface to their "Fourth Book of Lessons," the following directions are given :

"In hearing the Latin and Greek roots, teachers will be careful to examine their pupils on the formation of English words from them, by joining prefixes, affixes, and other words, and they will also cause them to give, in addition to the examples in the book, as many English words formed from the same root as they can recollect. The object of this exercise is to accustom young persons to habits of combination and analysis, as well as to give them a command of expressions in their own language. When the teacher is examining on the Reading Lesson, he will make his pupil point out all the words of which he has learned the Latin and Greek roots, explain them according to their derivation, and show how they are formed."

It is also recommended by Sullivan, in his "Attempt to simplify English Grammar;" by Morrison, in "The Pupil's Guide to English Etymology;" by Allen and Cornwell, in their "English School Grammar;" and by Christie, in his "Constructive Etymological Spellingbook." In fact, it appears to be the only feasible one, if the subject is to be taught systematically in elementary schools.

That, however, is the question which we have now to consider. It is obvious, that to teach the etymology of even the most common and useful of our 60,000 English words requires a considerable acquaintance with the vocabularies of, at least, four languages which enter into the composition of our own. The greatest number of words which any one of the "Guides" comprises, is about 8000, or less than a seventh part of the whole number; so that, if the teacher's knowledge do not extend beyond the "Guide," he will constantly run the risk of

being puzzled by his scholars, who are sure to ask him for the derivation of words not included in it. This is more especially the case with pupil-teachers, whose knowledge cannot be expected to reach so far as the master's, and whom the scholars are sometimes glad of an opportunity to embarrass. Etymology is not a subject which admits. of a progressive arrangement, like mathematics or physical science; and accordingly, if a person profess to teach it systematically, he is immediately supposed to know the whole, although he may really know but a very small part. He may have no wish to pretend to a greater acquaintance with the subject than he actually possesses; but when, perhaps out of their very admiration for his attainments, his pupils have unconsciously placed him in this false position, it is hard for him to be obliged to abate this feeling on their part by confessing his ignorance. The fact is, that a man cannot teach English etymology, thoroughly, unless he is prepared with the derivation of almost every compound word in the language. To qualify him for this, he must necessarily have an acquaintance with more than the mere vocabularies of the four languages above alluded to: he must know something of their inflections and usages, of their grammar, in fact. At the very least, he must possess a competent knowledge of Latin, from which we derive so large a proportion of our compound words. This is insisted on by Mr. Trench, in his lectures to the students of the Winchester Training School on the Study of Words, which we have noticed in another part of the Journal. We extract the following passage from Lecture V. :

"You all here are made acquainted, I believe, with a good deal more than the first rudiments of the Latin tongue. Every one, who can at all appreciate what your future work will be, must rejoice that it is so; indeed, it is hard to understand how you could be otherwise fitted and accomplished for the work which you have before you. It is conceivable, in languages like the Greek and the German, which for all practical purposes may be considered rounded and complete in themselves, which contain all the resources for discovering the origin and meaning of their words in their own bosom, or so nearly so, that the few exceptions need not be taken into account: it is conceivable, in such languages, that a thorough knowledge of his own tongue may be attained by one who remains ignorant of any other, and that he may be able to impart to others this same knowledge which he himself possesses. In fact, the Greek, who certainly understood his own language thoroughly, never did extend his knowledge beyond it. But it is different with English. Would we follow up its words, not to their ultimate sources, but only a step or two, it carries us at once beyond itself and to a foreign soil, and mainly to the Latin. This being the case, he who has not some acquaintance with Latin can only explain a vast number of words loosely and at hazard; he has some general sense or impression of what they intend, of the ideas which they represent, but nothing certain. He stands on no solid ground; he does not feel able to plant himself securely as at a middle point, from which, as from a common centre, all its different meanings diverge."

The absurdities committed by teachers who do not possess sufficient acquaintance with languages are ludicrous beyond everything. The facetious etymologies with which some persons have endeavoured to cast ridicule upon the labours of philologists are nothing in com

parison. The derivation of fox from alopex (alopex, lopex, opex, pex, pax, pox, fox,) may now pass for grave matter of fact, without exciting even a smile of incredulity. We will mention but one single instance out of many that are constantly occurring. The other day, one of Her Majesty's Inspectors visited a certain girls' school in the ordinary course of his duties. Our readers must imagine all the preliminaries of an official inspection, in the way of an assembled gallery of attentive children, the presence of a more numerous than either intelligent or sceptical committee, the position of the awe-stricken mistress, and lastly the entrance of the Inspector.

The lesson was about canvass, and began as follows:

Mistress. Now, children, we are going to have a lesson on a very useful article. I hold a piece in my hand. Can you tell me what it is? Girls. Canvass.

Mistress. Yes, canvass. But before we proceed, some one will tell me the meaning of canvass,—will tell me the etymology of the word.

A dead silence denotes ignorance.

Mistress. Why, have I not often told you that con means together, and verto, to turn? Well, then, canvass means something turned together, so as to make a kind of cloth.

The Inspector felt considerable difficulty on the occasion, not knowing what course to pursue. If he did not stop the mistress, he would be sanctioning a gross mistake. If he stopped her, the Committee, astonished at the profundity of her knowledge, would consider him to be exceeding the limits of his province; he would be branded with "officious, meddle-making Government Inspection."

We have no doubt that Her Majesty's Inspectors are very often placed in a similar difficulty at public examinations, and that they are edified by much new and startling information upon the subject of English etymology.

There is another disadvantage which has reference to the pupils. Not to say anything of the pedantry which the practice of repeating roots from the learned tongues engenders in their minds, we cannot help thinking that the time given to these exercises might be much more agreeably and profitably employed.

It is true, that, in the hands of some teachers, the subject may be made interesting for a time; but the interest soon ceases, for the same process has to be gone through with each of the roots, namely, that of joining with them the several prefixes and affixes to form derivative words. It has also been sought to diminish the irksomeness of the study by causing the pupils to construct sentences upon the words as they are formed, and by teaching the etymology in connection with spelling; but, in the former case, the pupils are made to apply words which they have never heard or seen, and in the latter, they are taught etymology before they are at all prepared for it. All exercises, in fact, on mere words, are but as the dry bones in the Valley of Vision to children, especially when they do not clearly understand their meaning, which they cannot well be expected to do until they have met with them in their proper connection, either in written or spoken language.

In the two or three hours a week, which, as appears from the timetables published in the Minutes of the Committee of Council, are

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