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The second paper, on rhetoric, was given to the junior class at their March examination. We are using, as a text-book, Hill's Elements of Rhetoric and Composition. The parts on invention, style and punctuation have been studied, and the chapters on criticism and special forms of composition yet remain. During the fall term, the text-book was laid aside for one month, and “Matthews on Words” was taken
The class were not furnished with the book, but the whole or part of a chapter was read to them each day, and the next day they were to be prepared with a written paper, giving the substance of what they had heard in their own words, with original illustrations, etc. These papers were collected, examined, and returned to them, and a few of the best were published in the village papers. During the present term, we are devoting a month to the study of Hudson's Selections from Addison and Goldsmith. The subjoined examination, in rhetoric, is founded on fifteen papers of “The Spectator," which we have studied in class.
ENGLISH LITERATURE. John Milton: 1. Date of his birth and of his death? Divide his literary career
into three periods, and give the chief productions of each. 2. Give the history of the composition of “Paradise Lost." 3. Give Milton's statement of the subject; what double invoca
tion? Explain the allusion, in Sinai; Sion's Hill; Aonian
Mount? 4. Show how Milton brings us to the picture of the entranced an
gels; how long entranced? Who speaks first? To whom? What escape do they make? How is this followed up? Give
the substance of Satan's address to the fallen spirits. 5. Of the evil spirits, which is the one to whom children
were sacrificed? the god whose image fell prostrate before the ark? a female deity? Who is meant by the expression “lust hard by hate?” Who led in the erection of Pande
monium? 6. In the great consult," who favor open war; who oppose?
Give two arguments on each side. What plan is adopted,
and why? 7. In describing Satan's flight, what does Milton characterize as
utter and what as middle darkness? Describe his exit from the gates of hell, and his flight through chaos. Where does
he find the Limbo of Vanity, and what is it? What part of
our system does he first visit? 8. Are there any good traits about Satan, as pictured by Milton?
Give some account of his character, of the struggling thoughts that arise within him, and compunctions against
his evil course on certain occasions. 9. Define or explain empyreal, orient, prone, satiate fury, erst, ux
orious king, Dorian mood, unessential night, of the eternal
co-eternal beam, arch-chemic sun. 10. Give Milton's explanation of the doctrines of free will and pre
destination; or, Eve's address to Adam, giving her first recollections of life.
RHETORIC. Spectator: 1. What was “The Spectator? ” when issued ? its main contrib
utors? Explain the meaning and use of the name. 2. Give a brief sketch of the life and character of Addison. 3. What seems to have been the aim of most of the papers in
“The Spectator?” What good was accomplished by it? 4. Describe Sir Roger among his domestics; Sir Roger at church. 5. Define itinerant, indigent, aviary, prognostics, chronogram. 6. Explain the use of the underlined words: impertinent terrors;
perplexed branches; the benevolence of an audience; not polite enough to see anything ridiculous in his behavior; the
most material organ of speech is the forehead. 7. What is meant by a knight of the shire? a sibyl? fortune
stealers? a disciple of Coke and Littleton? Sombrius? 8. Give a general outline of the Tale of Marraton. 9. Give the anecdote of Seneca, and his precept about modesty; of
Themistocles, and his choice of a husband for his daughter; "Spectator's” comparison of different classes to the spies
sent out by Moses. 10. Give the author's distinction between cheerfulness and mirth.
What does he regard as the true philosopher's stone, and why? What argument does he make in favor of modesty
in an orator? and against moroseness in religion? Carroll College, Waukesha.
W. L. RANKIN.
DELIBERATE well upon what you can do but once.
THE VALUE OF DATES IN TEACHING HISTORY.
Our ability to forget enables us to remember; for, were every fact that impresses itself upon our consciousness to shine with equal light, the effect upon our mental vision would be the same as if we looked out upon utter darkness. Just what memory is, it may be difficult to say; but this one thing is certainly true of it -- it is a mysterious process of selection, and mostly dependent upon the association of ideas. In teaching history, then, we should not ignore these evident truths.
That we may know a limited portion of history, it is necessary that we know some dates. We must hold in memory some dates or we can not arrange the facts of history so that we can see their proper relationship.
But it is important that we select only those dates which mark events that are either primary, pivotal, radiating, or connective; by this is meant facts that mark either the beginning of a chain of causes and effects; or the event upon which turns the fate of a leader, a campaign, a nation, or a civilization; or yet some event from which radiate many courses of action having no clearly marked connection, and finally some occurrence or series of occurrences which show some connection between separate and distinct lines of action. Such dates should be carefully selected and memorized.
An intention to remember them is not enough. We must labor with them, struggle with them, master them, and hold them subject to the law of "association of ideas," so that at the slightest hint they will stand forth, clear and distinct, to tell us " where in the world we are," and guide us on our way. We must learn them to-day, to-morrow we should review, and next day repeat and write them down; and so on, until they come without effort and with perfect certainty.
There is no good reason why every reader of history may not know at least fifty dates in the world's history, with the same certainty as that of 1492, if he will persistently ignore the unimportant, and so persistently fasten upon the important facts of historical knowledge. Evansville.
A. R. SPRAGUE.
To rejoice in the prosperity of another is to partake of it.
DISADVANTAGES AND ADVANTAGES OF THE TEACHER'S
I will attempt to set forth some of the disadvantages and some of the advantages in our profession.
The first disadvantageous influence to which I refer, is the temptation to limit our development and attainments to the amount required for our every day work. We are naturally lazy. We do not like to do more work than is necessary to appear respectable. If we have but a single branch to teach, the danger is that we confine ourselves to that particular thing. If we have many, we may become dabblers in many things, and proficient in nothing. If I were selecting a teacher I should not ask what are his present attainments, but has he a capacity or talent for grouth.
Another danger is that of falling into ruts in our every day life. We have to teach a thing over and over again, and we lose something of the freshness and elasticity of our early work. There are many people teaching who are not as good teachers as they were ten years ago; they have lost the zest of their earlier teaching, and nothing can compensate for that loss. As every day breaks upon us as a fresh creation from the hand of God, bringing new glory and brightness, so the every day work in the school room should not be a monotonous repetition of the preceding one, but should bring with it new life; and it should be known that we have lain down and slept, and awaked with the stir of a new day in our blood, and that there is not a machine, but a living man or woman at the head of the school.
Another danger is that of being led to cherish an undue opinion of our own attainments or talents; this is what the outside world calls conceit. I have heard it said that there is more conceit in an ordinary gathering of teachers than in any other convention on earth. I suppose that none of us are so vain as the distinguished Frenchman, who had so much respect for himself that he took off his hat every time he mentioned his own name, but I am compelled to believe that there are circumstances in the life of the teacher which expose him to this peril. The danger lies in the fact that the teacher is compelled all the time to work with persons of an inferior state of
development to himself. He is tempted to become pedantic, and to astonish the audience before him. And when he goes out in the world and meets his peers, it is difficult to lay aside this habit.
There is another peril to which we are exposed; that of exaggerating the character of the profession. You will sometimes meet nice, prim, "goody-goody" people, of very solemn style. These people, in our profession, seem to be advertising their wares, as a barber with his nicely perfumed and powdered hair announces his calling. They display themselves in a very nice use of language. Some teachers are so painfully grammatical that you can almost hear the creaking of a grammar machine in them. They seem to be trembling for fear they will say "don't” for “do not,” and “tisn't” for “it is not." The conversation of such people is about as graceful as the gait of a man with a wooden leg. I once knew a teacher of elocution who was compelled to pay strict attention to his articulation. He said he got so tired of it that he allowed himself two days out of every week for a grammatical spree. I commend that mode of resting.
Another peril. We are in danger of becoming despondent about the children committed to our care, education in general, and all our work. We all know despondency is pernicious, and we ought not to give way to it. Out of these groups of boys and girls will come beautiful lives of which you will one day be proud, because you have had some hand in shaping them. Boys and girls are as good to-day as when you and I were boys and girls.
There is also danger that we may become recluses in life. We are necessarily secluded in our life, but we must remember that we are to keep ever fresh our sympathies with the breezy, bright life of childhood itself, and all the bright, active life going on in the outside world. Our teaching will otherwise become dull and lifeless.
But we are not to shun a profession on account of its disadvantages. If we do we will be shifting all our lives. You never saw a man come to anything who blindly abandoned a profession on that account.
Our profession has great advantages. First, the advantage of furnishing constant and high stimulus to development on our part. The material on which we work is the chosen handiwork of God's creation, given to us in its most plastic state. Not Raphael, not Michael Angelo, with his poor material from which he realized such forms of beauty, had such material as you have.
The girl who is teaching a child to stumble over the a-b-abs, is