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ment than the preceding ones, and this will come by practice. These phrases differ among themselves, inasmuch as they may contain two propositions merely grammatical, or only one that is so, or none at all. These last require the greatest effort of mind, and therefore should come last in this series.

Secondly. The phrases of four or five propositions, or more, form the highest grade of our progressive syntax, and our special object in this last part is to give correctness of reasoning.

It would be useless to add to this second part of the syntax any observations in justification of it, because such will occur of themselves to the reader; as it is obvious that such a plan of syntax passes regularly through the whole province of language. I shall, therefore, proceed at once to consider the three parts connected with it.


Exercises in conjugation must necessarily accompany syntax, for it belongs to them to develope the different forms of the verb, and to teach children their signification and their use; and this knowledge can only be acquired by frequent exercises.

Conjugation, advancing step by step with the first part of syntax, is also performed by propositions, and supplies it with the simple and compound tenses of the indica tive, then with the infinitive in its two forms, and with the imperative. Lastly, it gives the two conditionals, for the use of the proposition, but mainly with a view to the phrase which will follow.

Engaging in the service of the phrase, conjugation is performed by phrases in the second part; and here its task is to pass on to the subjunctive, and to teach pupils the agreement of the tenses, partly by rules, but still more by practice. It will also take occasion to introduce the participle.

Thus will conjugation come in aid of syntax, while steadily furthering its own particular object. It will not only place the verb in all its different forms at the disposal

of exercises in syntax, but it will be a continuous syntax in itself. Sometimes it will prepare propositions and phrases which will afterwards undergo a regular analysis; sometimes it will adopt the propositions and phrases which have been analysed, and will decline them through the different tenses and persons; thus imprinting correct forms of speech on the minds of the pupils. In this manner language will be taught, as it ought to be, by practice; but the rule will cast light upon the practice. On the other hand, exercises in conjugation will follow the example of syntax, in leaving some scope for invention.


It is not a dictionary in alphabetical order that we here place in the hands of children, for them to turn over its pages,

and hunt out words which they do not know, and which they do not care to know. These strangers must be led out to meet them, and they must be enticed to make their acquaintance in order to enlarge the confined circle of their ideas. The black board must be employed for the purpose. The master will write upon it the words that he has selected for the exercise, or that the pupils themselves furnish. The object is to make them learn or discover the sense of these words; and they are invited to form propositions or phrases freely upon each. In this exercise the master is not only the living dictionary, who attaches the proper signification to the several words, but he also corrects any inaccurate thoughts and false expressions. He takes care, moreover, to enliven the work, and to interest the pupils in it; and he himself gives the tone, in order that it may be followed, and may awaken analogous ideas in their young minds.

A note-book made out for the use of the master alone regulates this lesson; and it suggests thoughts to be expressed on several words of the series appointed for the day. Thus the note-book gives the tone to the master himself, in order that he may work on steadily for the interests of the course of language.

Derivation is the corner-stone of vocabulary. It leads the pupils on from what is known to what is unknown, by tracing the derivatives to their root. This is done at first on a small scale, with the different kinds of words, and is afterwards applied to whole families of words; and meantime the scholar learns to distinguish the initials and the finals which assist in derivation, and which modify the signification of the word itself. In this long series will also be included homographs, homonymes, compound words, derivatives, and words of opposite signification ; and lastly, as has been already said, a selection of synonymes. Thus will a large portion of the materials of language, as far as regards their meaning and orthography, be passed in review.

It is unnecessary to dwell upon the advantages of such a vocabulary, both for written and spoken language, and I shall, therefore, only mention one fact in support of it, viz., that it succeeded in my own school far beyond my expectations. The pupils entered into it with the utmost interest and animation whenever the teacher himself did; and it is obvious that intellectual developement, as well as command of language, could not fail to be greatly aided by it.


A course of language to be complete must be accompanied by a series of compositions of a different nature. The subjects will be suggested to the master by a notebook, which he alone will have; narratives, familiar letters, descriptions, dialogues, fables, little treatises in a modest epistolary form; and then, by a contrary work of the mind, some abstracts or summaries of connected pieces. Such will be the different kinds of composition which will advance together with the syntax of the phrase of several propositions, and which will complete our course.

I need not say that the treatise and the abstracts must come last in order, by the side of synonymes, in the vocabulary ; but all the other kinds may be mingled together fortuitously, for the sake of variety, and to render the lesson more attractive.

There is a gradation also to be observed in the dicta

tion. It should at first be fuller, and contract by degrees, in order to leave more scope to the invention of the pupils, in proportion as they gain strength and knowledge by practice. Thus, for example, the teacher will begin by reading or relating some trait in history; this will be repeated by one or two of the pupils; then all will write it down; and the whole will be a mere trial of memory. Afterwards invention will have its share of the work; the dictation on the black board will only indicate the principal points, introducing in parentheses the usual questions in gram. mar: Where? When? Why? Wherefore ? and then, little by little, the questions will cease altogether, and only the general subject of the narrative will be given.


Syntax being the most important part of language, must be the basis of the whole of our teaching, and vocabulary and conjugation will be annexed to it; but vocabulary need not wait for the developement of syntax, or be bound at first by its trammels. Later, however, it will refer to the rules of syntax as opportunity offers. Conjugation will also commence together with syntax, though it cannot give the names of the tenses and persons till syntax shall have supplied them.

Vocabulary and conjugation will advance step by step with syntax; but the latter will be entitled to two lessons for one of the others. A few compositions of each kind will be drawn up by the pupils during school-time, and under the eye of the master, after he has given the necessary directions; and the first attempts will be only by word of mouth; with these exceptions, the compositions will be the work of the pupils in private, and the master will look them over in school. It will not be necessary to make a critical review of each, but only to point out striking defects or merits; and in such a manner as shall be profitable to all, and shall convince each that his own particular work has not been overlooked. I now subjoin a Table of the whole plan.


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Syntax. Compositions.

Phrases of three Grammatical and Logical A mixture of Narratives, of Familiar A Selection of Synonymes

Letters, of Dialogues, and Descriptive Also of words expressing Genera and
Phrases of four or more Propositions Pieces

Species The Logic of Childhood, and, at the same Their Treatises, Summaries, and Abstracts Also of words with a Literal and a Figutime, of Life

rative Meaning

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