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of their scholars with words, but to make things intelligible to their understanding; to habituate them to the use of their own reason, by explaining every object of the lesson so that the children themselves may be able to explain it upon examination. The candidates for schoolkeeping must give specimens of their ability, by teaching at one of the schools connected with the seminary, in the presence of the professors at the seminary, that they may remark and correct any thing defective in the candidate's method. If one school suffices for more than one village, neither of them must be more than half a German mile distant from it in the flat country, nor more than a quarter of a mile in the mountainous parts. The school tax must be paid by the lord and tenants without distinction of religions. In the towns the school must be kept the whole year round. It is expected that one month shall suffice to make a child know the letters of the alphabet; that in two it shall be able to join them; and in three to read. The boys must all be sent to school, from their sixth to their thirteenth year, whether the parents are able to pay the school tax or not. For the poor, the school money must be raised by collections. Every parent or guardian who neglects to send his child or pupil to school, without sufficient cause, is obliged to pay a double school tax, for which the guardians shall have no allowance. Every curate must examine weekly the children of the school in his parish. A general examination must be held annually, by the deans of the districts, of the schools within their respective precincts; and a report of the condition of the schools, the talents and attention of the schoolmasters, the state of the buildings, and of attendance by the children, made to the office of the vicar-general, who must transmit all these reports to the royal domain offices. From these, orders are issued to the respective landraths to correct the abuses and supply the deficiencies indicated in the reports. This system was at first prepared only for the Catholic schools; but it was afterwards adopted, for the most part, by most of the Lutheran consistories. Its truly respectable author, Felbiger, was, in the sequel, with the consent of Frederick, invited to Vienna by the Empress Maria Theresa, and her son Joseph II., who appointed him director of the normal schools or seminaries in all the Austrian dominions. His regulations have been introduced and are acted upon in almost all the Catholic countries of Germany.
In Silesia they had at first many old prejudices to contend with. The indolence of the Catholic clergy was averse to the new and troublesome duty imposed on them. Their zeal was alarmed at the danger arising from this dispersion of light to the stability of their church. They considered alike the spirit of innovation and the spirit of inquiry as their natural enemies. Besides this, the system still meets resistance from the penurious parsimony and stubborn love of darkness prevailing in some parts of the province. Many villages neglect the support of their schools; many individuals, upon false pretexts, forbear sending their children to school for the sake of saving the tax. The compulsive measures and the penalties prescribed by the ordinance are used seldom and with reluctance. The benevolent design has not been accomplished to the full extent of which it was susceptible; but as far as it has been accomplished its operation has been a blessing. That its effects have been very extensive is not to be doubted, when we compare the number of schools throughout the province in the year 1752 when they amounted only to one thousand five hundred and fifty-two, with that in the year 1798 when they were more than three thousand five hundred. The consequences of a more general diffusion of knowledge are attested by many other facts equally clear. Before the seven years' war, there had scarcely ever been more than one periodical journal or gazette published in the province at one time. There are now no less than seventeen newspapers and magazines which appear by the day, the week, the month, or the quarter, many of them upon subjects generally useful, and containing valuable information and instruction for the people. At the former period there were but three booksellers, and all these at Breslau. There are now six in that capital, and seven dispersed about in the other cities. The number of printing-presses and of bookbinders has increased in the same proportion.
Dr. Johnson, in his Life of Watts, has bestowed a just and exalted encomium upon him for not disdaining to descend from the pride of genius and the dignity of science to write for the wants and the capacities of children. “Every man acquainted,” says he, “with the common princi. ples of human actions, will look with veneration on the writer, who is at one time combating Locke, and at another time making a catechism for children in their fourth year.” But how much greater still is the tribute of admiration irresistibly drawn from us, when we behold an absolute monarch, the greatest general of his age, eminent as a writer in the highest departments of literature, descending, in a manner, to teach the alphabet to the children of his kingdom; bestowing his care, his persevering assiduity, his influence and his power, in diffusing plain and useful knowledge among his subjects; in opening to their minds the first and most important pages of the book of science; in filling the whole atmosphere they breathed with that intellectual fragrance which had before been imprisoned in the vials of learning, or inclosed within the gardens of wealth! Immortal Frederick ! when seated on the throne of Prussia, with kneeling millions at thy feet, thou wast only a king. On the fields of Leuthen, of Zorndorf, of Rosbach, of so many other scenes of human blood and anguish, thou wast only a hero. Even in thy rare and glorious converse with the muses and with science, thou wast only a philosopher, an historian, a poet; but in this generous ardor, this active and enlightened zeal for the education of thy people, thou wast truly great—the father of thy country—the benefactor of mankind.
II.-PUBLIC INSTRUCTION IN AUSTRIA.
(Continued from Vol. xvi., p. 352.)
II.-SECONDARY INSTRUCTION IN THE NON-HUNGARIAN PROVINCES.
I.-HISTORY OF GYMNASIUMS. Up to the time of the Empress Maria Theresa, under whom the present system of secondary instruction was inaugurated, the subjects and methods of teaching in the Latin schools of Austria, as in the schools of the Jesuits everywhere, bore the impress of the “Ratio et Institutio Studiorum" of Aquaviva.* In Bohemia and Moravia, under Rudolph II, (15771612,) there flourished some thirty Protestant schools, based upon Melancthon's system of classical study,t and under the direction of the University at Prague. Great zeal was shown by the cities of the provinces in sustaining these institutions, and the rectors of the University, from time to time, prescribed the course of study that should be followed. The most noted of these regulations were the “ Schola Zatecensis " of the learned Jacobus Strabo (1575), the “ Ordo Studiorum” of Petrus Codicillus (1586), and the rules of 1609, which established five classes and prescribed the grammar of Philip Ramêe, the dialogues of Castalian and Vives, the epistles and select orations of Cicero, Ovid's Tristia, Virgil's Æneid, selections from Horace, Buchanan, and the Greek Testament, with Plutarch and some other historians.
At the abolition of the order of Jesuits there were thirty-seven gymnasiums under their direction in the provinces then belonging to the Empire, of which the oldest was that at Innsbruck. As characteristic of these schools it is scarcely necessary to mention the divison of the course into three “ grammar" classes, devoted to “the rudiments," "grammar,” and “syntax," with some times a preparatory class, two “humanity”. classes, for “poetry” and “rhetoric”—and a two or three years' “philosophical” course, in “logic," "physics” and “metaphysics"; the almost exclusive use of the Latin language in both speaking and writing; and the only occasional introduction of “real” instruction in the lower classes, while it was totally neglected in the higher. Great stress has been laid by the defenders of the system of the Jesuits upon the prominence given in the selection of candidates to the order, to their efficiency as teachers; upon the general use and extended study of the Latin tongue; upon the requirement that each member of the order, after two years of university
Am. Jour. of Ed., Vol. xiv., p. 462.
Am. Jouz of Ed., Vol. iv., p. 749.
study, should become the teacher of a grammar class, thus supplementing the zeal and devotion of youth to the more mature experience and wisdom of the prefects and masters of the higher classes ; upon the usual requirement of three years of service in the instruction of the higher classes before the completion of the theological course; and upon the advantages resulting from the wealth and full endowment of their schools. On the other hand it is asserted that less worthy considerations often governed in the selection of members and in the management of the schools; that “Jesuits' Latin” bore an ill repute among the lovers of pure Latinity, while more accordance was given to the practical use of that language than accords with the spirit of more recent times; that the rules which regulated the removal and change of teachers were such as to make thorough instruction impossible, especially in the philosophical classes; that in these classes the classics and applied mathematics were wholly neg. lected, and other instruction given only by dictation ; and that the amount of instruction was greatly limited by the length of the vacations and the number of holidays. It may at least be asserted, without injustice, that while their schools for a long period answered fully the demands of the times, and were the admiration of even their opponents, yet the stubbornness with which they clung to the forms of scholasticism and humanism, in which their system of instruction originated, showed itself at length unfavorably in the want of originality of thought, in an exclusive fostering of a mere fluency in the use of language, in an utter indifference to the national tongue and to popular enlightenment and culture, and in a fondness for abstract, barren speculation, and a proneness to dogmatism.
During the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries the Piarists also gradually extended their schools from Bohemia into the other provinces, and in 1773 they numbered twenty-four gymnasiums. They were not strictly bound to the plan of instruction adopted by their founder and followed in general the method of the Jesuits, but giving more attention to Greek, German, history, geography, mathematics, and physics. The candidates, after two years' training, were obliged to teach six or eight years in the common schools before a position could be obtained in a gymnasium. It is to the credit of this order that their schools rivaled in efficiency and reputation the institutions of the far more wealthy and powerful order of the Jesuits. There were also a score of schools of a similar grade under the charge of the Benedictine and other religious orders, including one at Roveredo, conducted by lay teachers, and a single Protestant gymnasium, founded at Teschen in 1709.
The attempt to reform the Jesuit system may be said to have commenced with the cighteenth century, under Joseph I., who, in 1711, called the attention of the rector of the University to the condition of the philosophical course. A commissioner was appointed by the emperor Charles VI. to propose a plan of reform for the entire University, before whom the Jesuits defended their system as in every respect unexceptionable. The commission made no report, but in 1735 the Emperor issued a decree which for the first
time placed their educational operations under government control, and was intended to promote tht introduction of a more judicious and better regulated course of study. The attention of Maria Theresa was drawn to the subject long before her efforts for the improvement of the common schools, and Gerhard van Swieten, previously of Leyden, was selected to guide the reform, who was keen in detecting faults and prompt in applying remedies, but unlike some of his successors, willingly recog. nized and retained whatever was of value in the existing system. Even during the war of the Austrian succession, (which made more evident than ever before the unity of interest of the several provinces,) the Empress instituted inquiries into the condition of instruction, especially in the Protestant gymnasiums of Bohemia, and as a consequence, in 1747, required that greater attention should be everywhere given to history, Greek, and arithmetic, and to the gradual introduction of German grammar. The vacations were to be shortened, much useless instruction was done away with, and in the philosophical course the study of ethics, politics, and applied mathematics was required. Serfs were to be admitted to the schools only with the consent of their lords, and to still further assure the benefits of the schools to those best able to improve them, scholars of proven incapacity were to be immediately removed. At the same time the attainment of an academical degree was made necessary before entrance upon theological or medical study.
This reform was extended by the more general decrees of 1752, which made the course of study still more prescribed, permitted instruction in the prescribed branches only in the authorized gymnasiums, provided a system of inspection and examination, with semi-annual reports to the imperial government, and required the preparation and use of improved text-books. In 1760, a State Board was formed for the supervision of education and text-books, consisting of Swieten and Archbishop Migazzi, while subordinate boards were formed in the several provinces. These changes were introduced but imperfectly and with great difficulty, though the books for instruction, in the languages especially, were revised and improved. Some of the forms of superintendence were never carried into effect. The provincial boards appointed were at first composed entirely of Jesuits, but the war upon the order by the State, the secular clergy, and many of the other religious orders, had now commenced in earnest, their places were soon filled by others, and their influence at the Universities was rapidly and greatly diminished. Finally, in 1772, the order was entirely abolished, and, as a consequence, the whole subject of gymnasial reform assumed new aspect. The extensive possessions of the order were appropriated by the State, and the larger portion shortly afterwards was devoted to educational uses, and has since constituted what has been usually styled the “Educational Fund.” The gymnasiums of the Jesuits thus became endowed State institutions. But the Empress deemed it advisable that their number should be somewhat diminished,