Review Of Recent Editions Of Classical Authors -- By: Multiple Authors
BSac 5:17 (Feb 1848) p. 171
Review Of Recent Editions Of Classical Authors1
Association of Teachers
Among the serious disadvantages to which the editors of the higher classics in the United States are subjected, is one which results from the inadequate preparation of the student for college. From a variety of causes, many lads join a collegiate institution without an accurate acquaintance with the grammatical principles of the classical languages. Passing one or two years with a private teacher, or in an academy, possibly with frequent interruptions, they repair to the higher Seminary, where, instead of entering on a course of elevated classical reading, they are compelled to study the elements, and to plod over a weary and unprofitable course, without ability to enjoy the delightful entertainments which might be spread out before them. The student should employ the four collegiate years, so far as they are de-
BSac 5:17 (Feb 1848) p. 172
voted to the classics, in canvassing the higher points of grammar and philology, and in becoming familiar with the principles of rhetoric, philosophy and morals, so far as they are legitimately connected with the study in question. The rudiments ought to be mastered at an earlier stage. In studying a piece, like the Oration on the Crown, when the whole time of a student is needed to investigate questions of law, of history, of legal antiquities, etc., the weightier matters must be neglected or passed over lightly, because common grammatical constructions are not familiar, at least to a considerable portion of a class. Three years, instead of one year or one year and a half, are imperatively demanded in the preparatory course. It is folly to expect that classical studies will ever flourish in the United States, till parents and guardians are wise enough to insist upon this fundamental preparation in the case of their children and wards, and until numbers cease to be the main test of the prosperity of a literary institution. When the quality of the education, not the number of those who are enrolled or matriculated, comes to be the distinguishing characteristic of a seminary, be it preparatory, collegiate or professional, then there will be an adequate motive and encouragement for putting out able editions of the profounder treatises of the masters of ancient wisdom. Another serious disadvantage which the editors of the classics experience, is the want of large libraries. This,—which is almost the first necessity of a collegiate institution,—is not unfrequently the last which receives earnest attention. Spacious and sometimes not very sightly edifices are erected at great expense, professorships are founded, large collections in natural history are ...
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