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A Round of Proverbs.
A ROUND OF PROVERBS.
Well begun is half-ended. most obstinate to lead or drive at the will All the actions and enterprises of man- and pleasure of his master. kind labour under the reflection of this
One good turn deserves another. quaint moral sentence whether they be prudent or imprudent in the undertaking is arraigned; it intimates that mutual
In this proverb the vice of ingratitude It intimates that persons should be very offices of love; and alternate helps or assis deliberate and advised in the beginning of tances, are the fruits and issues of true an undertaking; for that to begin wei is friendship; that it is both meet and comely, the only way to quicken and dispatch the and just and equitable, to requite kindness, end, let it be what it will. It intimates and to make them amends who have de that there is a great deal of difficulty in served well of us. beginning well, and that a false step at 'Tis too late to spare when all is spent. first start is hardly to be recovered after
Some persons are so much for enjoywards : That the work does not cost half ment in the present tense, that they cannot so much trouble as the design of it ; that think of being thrifty but in future; and it is an easy matter to make way when by that means, often, from an opulent for. the ice is broke. It reflects upon false tune, precipitate themselves into a condifoundations and foolish projects, and it tion of indigence. To such this proverb holds good from morality and worldly af- is a good admonition to frugality and profairs to religion, That a good beginning is vidence, and not by excess and luxury to a fair step to a good endirg.
outrun the constable; and not to forget parMoney makes the mare to go.
simony while we have something left to This proverb is a good lesson ot industiness of our time, not to be continually
spare. It likewise holds good in a thriftry in our calling, and frugality in our ex: procrastinating and putting off necessary pences, intimating its usefulness, in that duties, till we have no time left us to perit clothes the naked, feeds the hungry, and form them in. buys a crutch for the cripple, as Horace says,
Every man thinkes his own geese swans. Scilicet uxorem cum dote,
fidemque et ami. This proverb intimates that an inbred cos,
philauty runs through the whole race of Et genus, et formam, regina pecunia donat. flesh and blood, and that self love is the In a word, it carries on all the business mother of vanity, pride, and mistake. It upon earth, and there is nothing to be done turns a man's geese into swans, his dungwithout it in any affair, either of necessity hill poultry into pheasants, and his lambs or convenience; and by its assistance we venison. It blinds the understanding, per. may almost work miracles.
verts the judgment, deprives the reason
of the otherwise most modest distinguishNeed makes the old wife trot.
ers of truth ad falsity. It makes a man This proverb intimates the great power so fondly conceited of himself, that be of necessity, which does not only make prefers his own art for its excellency, his the young and lusty go'a trotting to relieve own skill for its perfection, his own comtheir necessities, but also makes old people, positions for their wit, and his own prowho have one foot in the grave, to bestir ductions for their beauty. It makes even their stumps. Necessity makes the weak his vices seem to him virtues, and his de. strong, the
decrepid active and nimble, the formities, beauties; for so every crow cripple walk ; It gives vigour and life to thinks her own bird fairest, though evet the most languishing and feeble starveling; so black and ugly. makes the laine find his legs; excites the
Suum cuique pulchrum.
Συμβούλευε μή τα ήδιστα, αλλά τα άριστα.
It is striking enough, that there should be but little provision for the study of the Greek language, in the country of Ruddiman, of Moor, of Adam, and of Young. We say but little provision; for the time and attention which all our Universities, and most of our public schools devote to the learning of Greek, are just as inadequate to the instruction of youth in the difficulties of that language, as into the mysteries of Indian mythology, or the endless varieties of Chinese ceremony. It is but a little time, since out of the twelve years allotted to an academical education in Glasgow, * only twelve months were spent in the study of Greek. And even now the case is not much altered, for though Greek is taught in the highest class of the Grammar School, whenever the young men from that school enter College, they must return to the elements, and go over just what they have learned before.
The error seems to lie in making the junior side of the Greek an elementary class. For if it were necessary, as in the case of
* The term of attendance in the Grammar School, is either four, five or six years, and in the College eight.
On the University of Glasgow.-Greek Class.
So that a young
Latin, that the students should be acquainted with Greek before coming to College, then they would be placed more on a level one with another, and greater justice done to all. ACcording to the present practice, the same tasks are imposed on those who have learned the Grammar, and on those who have and one of
f two evils must ensue. Either so much time is lost to the former, or they have undue advantage over the latter. If those who know a little of Greek, pass over the first class, and join the second, the old evil exists in all its magnitude, for no more time is afforded to the study than before. Besides it must be remembered, that the senior side is intended to commence at the point where the junior ended. man who has learned more Greek out of College, than is taught in the junior side within College, that is, has been more than six months engaged in the study, loses time even by joining the senior class, which yet would have been far enough advanced for him, if the junior had not been elementary. View then the present system in every possible light, and it will be found to afford only twelve months to the study of Greek.* What are the consequences? Why we venture to say, that there never yet came out of that class, at the termination of the session, a single good scholar who owed all his instruction to it. There may
be, and there actually have been, hundreds of good scholars, so far as they have gone, but their going has been of no length. We have indeed known students of Greek, profess themselves able to read every book in the language, and ready to submit their pretensions to the test of examination; and we particularly remember of one youth of this description, who though examined for a long tiine, with all the ingenuity of the present most acute professor, made not a single slip. But not one of these “rari nantes in gurgite vasto," were originally of University teaching. Numbers there are, excellent scholars, who yet have only attended College classes, but then their excellency is all attributable to after study, without which their attendance in Col. lege would have been of little avail. Of this number, we suppose
the celebrated Dr. Nelson of Belfast to be one, We know
* It is true that a student may attend the Greek class for a third session if he chooses, but from the very constitution of that class, it is impossible that he can be much benefited by such protracted attendance. The authors which are read, or the prelections which are delivered during the third session, must either be the same, or not more difficult, than those of the second, for although he is of three sessions' standing, the class is only of two.
On the University of Glasgow.-Greek Class.
noi indeed, whether he received any instruction in Greek, before coming to Glasgow, but we have been told, that though a diligent and respectable scholar, he did not at that time, give more than ordinary token of eminence.*
It must be evident on very slight consideration, that a University is the last place in which we have reason to suppose,
that the elements of Greek will be successfully taught. The class consists say of a hundred youths, most of them boys, and the Professor meets with them only two hours a day. Is it possible that one man, however eager, however able, can afford to such a class, in so short a time, that degree of attention and of individual examination, which is necessary for boys in so critical a stage of their progress? The elements of language, and especially of Greek, are only to be mastered by patience and perseve. rance, encouraged by examinations much more frequent, than the time or the numbers of a University class will permit, or compelled by severities which the dignity of a Professor's chair, will not allow him to inflict. If a boy cannot repeat his rule, the time of ninety-nine others must not be consumed either in teaching or flogging him—he may be fined, but what is sixpence to an hour's confinement, or a sound drubbing. Besides the infrequency of examination, produces an infrequency of finingwhereas in school, where the numbers are fewer, and the time much longer, the idler is frequently examined, and frequently flogged.
We humbly conceive too, that it is not in any case the business of a Professor to teach the elements of a language, unless he is also able to accompany his students through its greatest difficulties, within the term prescribed for the study, as in the case of Hebrew; because much of the Professor's time is occupied in doing, what a person of very inferior ability could do equally well, and at a much cheaper rate. We are to suppose that he holds his high situation in virtue of superior learning, but of what use is that superiority to his students, if he must be constantly employed in the humbler walks of his profession? Strong meat is not for babes, neither are profound disquisitions on the pre
* Perhaps we assert this fact on insufficient authority. If so we shall be glad to be in. formed of our mistake. At any rate we are very sure, that if he was not taught Greek before he came to College, or if he did not study severely after leaving it, that the bare instructions of twelve months, would never have given him the knowledge of that language, which he possesses.
On the University of Glasgow Greek Class.
positions, or the middle voice, for youths who have only been twelve months in a Greek class.
The truth of these observations is fully manifested by a reference to facts known to every one.
It will not be denied, that the English and Irish are better Greek scholars than the Scotch, and that the Scotch are better Latin than Greek scholars. The reason is plain. In England and Ireland, Greek is a most material part of school education, and that too for years. Before a youth is admitted into either University of the south, he must undergo an examination, touching his skill in the dead languages, and if he is found unqualified, by the laws of the place, at least, admission is impossible. And this examination is not such another, as we are accustomed to hear in the north. " No child's play here,” said the head master of Baliol, to a Scottish exhibitioner, who lately offered himself for trial. And if the appearance at the examination is just such as to warrant admission and no more, the severest tasks, and the most rigorous execution of them are afterwards imposed. This may not be the case at all the colleges, but it is so at Baliol. We know a certain youth, not many miles distant from the spot where we now write, whose circumstances were those we have described, and whose health suffered considerably in consequence.
In Dr. Nelson's school, the practice was * so soon as the scholars had proceeded a certain length in Latin, to begin Greek, and continue the study of both, till they were qualified for the University. This plan has its opposers on the ground, that the study of the one interferes prejudicially with that of the other—but we can say from our own experience, that the effect is quite the contrary. There are so many points of similarity that the learning of the one is really the learning of the other-and even in their dissimilarities, they are the best illustrations of each other.
In Dublin, in Cork, and we believe in the greater part of Ireland, the same method is followed, and with the
Hence the young men from that country, who afterwards study at Glasgow, uniformly bear the character of superior Grecians, and the Greek profession prize is either won by them, or their rivals from the southern side of the Tweed. At times, a Scotsman will unexpectedly dis
* The Doctor is now removed to the Belfast Institution.