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has not a little truth in it. Words are to serve and to follow a man's purpose.' He quotes Plato as approving of fecundity of conception rather than of fertility of speech, and Zeno as dividing his pupils into two classes, the philologi, who loved things and reasonings, and logophili, who cared for nothing but words. I am scandalised,' he says, that our whole life should be spent in nothing else.'
What would he have then in addition to the usual elements of education, and the teaching of philosophy and of virtue? He would have a man learn thoroughly his own language first, and then that of his neighbour, regarding Greek and Latin as ornamental merely. Little, however, did Montaigne think that instruction, even in our own language, could degenerate into what it has become in these latter days-verbalism of a kind much more offensive than any to be found in classical teaching. He could not foresee detailed analysis of sentences, and the dreary pedantry of school grammars of our native tongue! Pedagogic ingenuity had not yet invented such arid substitutes for the substance of our mother-speech-archenemies of true Humanistic culture the logical babblement of the primary school. Truly teachers have an infinite capacity for
Vernacular and modern languages once secured, Montaigne would thereafter limit the course of study to those things only where a true and real utility and advantage are to be expected and found. To teach a boy astronomy, for example, instead of what will make him wise and good, is absurd. After you have done this last, the pupil may be admitted to the elements of geometry, rhetoric, logic, and physics; and then the science which his judgment most affects, he will generally make his own.' But we must above all teach him what it is to know and what to be ignorant, what valour is, and temperance and justice; the difference between ambition and avarice, servitude and subjection, licence and liberty, in brief, season his understanding with that which regulates his manners and his sense, that which teaches him to know himself, and how both well to die and well to live. Over and above this, let us make a selection of those subjects which directly and professedly serve for the 'instruction and use of life.' But the direct instruction of the master is not all. 'Human understanding is marvellously enlightened by daily conversation with men, for we are otherwise of ourselves so stupid as to have our sight limited to the end of our own noses. One asking Socrates of what country he was, he did not make answer, "of Athens," but " of the world." We must learn to measure ourselves aright: whosoever shall represent to his fancy, as in a picture, that great image of our mother nature pourtrayed in her full majesty and lustre, whoever in her face shall read her so universal and constant variety, whoever shall observe himself and not only himself but a whole kingdom no bigger than the least touch or prick of a pencil in comparison with the whole, that man alone is able to value things according to their true esti
mate and grandeur.' The great world is the mirror wherein we are to behold ourselves, to be able to know ourselves as we ought to do. History naturally suggests itself in this connection as a leading subject of study, for thereby we converse with those great and heroic souls of former and better ages '-an empty and an idle study as commonly conducted, but of 'inestimable fruit and value' when prosecuted with care and observation.
Meanwhile the body is not to be forgotten, for, not to speak of the moral instruction which may be conveyed in connection with leaping and riding and wrestling, &c., we have to forın the youth's outward fashion and mien at the same time as his mind: for "'tis not a soul, 'tis not a body we are training only, but a man, and we ought not to divide him. And, as Plato says, 'we are not to fasbion one without the other, but make them draw together like two horses harnessed to a coach. “It is not enough to fortify the soul: : you are also to make the sinews strong, for the soul will be oppressed if not assisted by the bodily members, and would have too hard a task to discharge two offices at once.' Effeminacy in food or clothes or habits is also to be eschewed.
So much for the end of education according to Montaigne, and the materials of instruction whereby that end is to be attained. Montaigne's public school, if he had to construct one in these days, would certainly be somewhat after the fashion of a German Realschool, and, so far, he is rightly named a realist. But the leading purpose of all his instruction would essentially be ethical and humanistic. The only respect in which his curriculum would be realistic in the utilitarian meaning would be in the subordinate place assigned to Latin and Greek. So far is he from being a realist in the modern sense, that he may be rather set down as
an enemy of mere knowledge or information. The cares and expense our parents are at in our education, point at nothing save to fill our heads with knowledge,' he says, but not
• a word of judgment or virtue. We toil and labour to stuff the memory, and in the meantime leave the conscience and the understanding unfurnished-void.'
It has to be noted that Montaigne, and after him Milton and Locke, think only of the education of the few and not of the many -of the sons of gentlemen only: but while the extent to which school instruction goes, depends for the most part on the social position of the parent, the principles which regulate a prolonged education are equally operative in the briefest, if they are worth anything at all as principles.
Of equal importance with end and means is method. On this Montaigne has less to say, but what he says contains probably the germs of the most important principles of all method.
• 'Tis the custom of schoolmasters to be eternally thundering in their pupils' ears as if they were pouring into a funnel, whilst the business of the pupil is simply to repeat what the teacher has before
said. I would have a tutor correct this error, and at the very first he should, according to the capacity he has to deal with, put it to the test, permitting his pupil himself to taste and relish things and of himself to choose and discern them, sometimes opening the way to him and sometimes making him break the ice himself; that is to say, I would not have him alone to invent and speak, but also hear his pupil invent and speak in his turn. Socrates, and since him Arcesilaus, made first their scholars speak and then they spoke to them. The authority of those who teach is very often an impediment to those who desire to learn. It is good to make the pupil, like a young horse, trot before the master, that he may judge of his going and how much he, the master, is to abate of his own speed to accommodate himself to the vigour and capacity of his pupil. For want of this due proportion we spoil all: to know how to adjust this and to keep within an exact and due measure is one of the hardest things I know; and it is an effect of a judicious and well-tempered soul to know how to condescend to the boy's puerile movements and to govern and direct them. Those who, according to our common way of teaching, undertake with one and the same lesson and the same measure of direction to instruct several boys of differing and unequal capacities, are infinitely mistaken in their method; and at this rate it is no wonder if, in a multitude of scholars, there are not found above two or three who bring away any good account of their time and discipline.' Here we have the foreshadowing of the organisation of instruction and the classification of pupils. The importance of examination as a part of good method is also insisted on. • Let the master,' he says, 'not only examine him about the grammatical construction of the bare words of the lesson, but of the sense and meaning of them, and let him judge of the profit he has made, not by the testimony of his memory, but of his understanding. Let him make the pupil put what he hath learned into a hundred several forms, and accommodate it to many subjects to see if he yet rightly comprehend it and have made it his own, taking instruction by his progress from the “ Institutions of Plato.” 'Tis a sign of crudity and indigestion,' he says, “to vomit up what we eat in the same condition it was swallowed down, and the stomach has not performed its office unless it have altered the form and condition of what was committed to it to concoct. "What is the good of having the stomach full of meat if it do not nourish us?' Here we have what used to be called the Intellectual method' anticipated, the importance of assimilation enforced, and the distinguishing characteristic of cram well exposed. Montaigne further, in opposition to theories of education still current, advises that the pupil be made to sift and examine for himself, and to accept nothing on mere authority.
thus : that these were the manners of Plato : that these again are the very words of Aristotle: but what do we say ourselves that is our own? What do we do? What do we judge ? A parrot would say as much.'
So much for the method of intellectual instruction. The method
6 We can say,
of moral teaching is summed up in the words that it should 'insensibly insinuate' itself in so far as it is direct, as lessons do which are not set and formal, but suggested by time and place.
Of intellectual and moral discipline in the true sense of these terms we find in Montaigne nothing. Nor does religion, in any true sense, enter into his scheme of education. And when we have said this we convict him of having left unwritten the two chief chapters in any educational theory. These grave omissions the character and upbringing of the man would lead us to expect, and we must not quarrel with what we have, because it falls short of our demands.
With respect to discipline, in the vulgar school sense-that is to say, the means taken to force boys to do what their masters want them to do-Montaigne takes up a position substantially the same as that of the greater number of eminent writers on education. He is persuaded that, by following a good method, instruction will become pleasant, and that it will not be difficult to allure the pupil to both wisdom and virtue. If you do not allure the appetite and affection,' he says, you make nothing but asses laden with books, and, by virtue of the lash, give them their pocket full of learning to keep; whereas, to do well, you should not merely lodge it with them, but make them to espouse it.' Physical punishment fails of its aim, and must fail by the nature of the case. If it be necessary at any time to punish a child, it should be done when we are calm. 'No one,' he says, would hesitate to punish a judge with death who should have condemned a prisoner in a fit of passion. Why is it allowed any more to parents and masters to beat and strike children in their anger? That is not correction: it is revenge. Chastisement stands to children in the place of medicine; and should we endure a physician who was angry and violent with his patient?' 'Education,' he says elsewhere, should be carried on with a severe sweetness, quite contrary to the practice of our pedants, who, instead of tempting and alluring children to letters by apt and gentle ways, do, in truth, present nothing before them but rods and ferulas, horror, and cruelty. Away with this violence! away with this compulsion! than which nothing, I certainly believe, more dulls and degenerates a welldescended nature. If you would have the pupil alive to shame and chastisement, do not harden him to them. . . . . The strict government of most of our colleges has even more displeased me; and peradventure they might have erred less perniciously on the indulgent side. The school is the true house of correction of imprisoned youth. .... Do but come in when they are about their lesson, and you shall hear nothing but the outcries of boys under execution, with the thundering noise of their pedagogues, drunk with fury, to make up the concert. A very pretty way this to tempt these tender and timorous souls to love their book-with a furious countenance and a rod in hand! A cursed and pernicious way of proceeding!. How much more decent would it be to see their classes strewn with green leaves and fine flowers, than with the bloody stumps of
birch and willows! Were it left to my ordering, I would paint the school with the pictures of Joy and Gladness, Flora and the Graces, that where the profit of the pupils is, there might their pleasure also be.'
We are all of Montaigne's opinion nowadays; for he did not forbid punishment or coercion, in some form or other, when all other means failed. Extrema in extremis. He merely protested against the scholastic tyranny of his time-a tyranny still existing, and till lately prevalent. Slave-driver and schoolmaster were almost convertible terms. The school and the rod were ideas of inseparable association. Samuel Butler calls ó whipping '
Tutoress of arts and sciences.
Holland, France, England, Germany, and Spain,
It mends the morals; never mind the pain. Thomas Hood, in looking back on his school-days, has before his mind chiefly the place where he was birched; and yet his pleasant humour can call up some regret :
Ay, though the very birch's smart
Should mark those hours again,
Some sugar in the cane. The subject, however, is too serious for a jest. Before Montaigne's day, and long after it, the brutality of schoolmasters was such as to leave an almost indelible stain on the profession for all time. The whole body should make an annual pilgrimage of penitence for the sins of their predecessors. Schoolmasters are now beginning to understand that it is only by balanced temper and by sound method that they can dispense with physical motives, and out of the more or less contemptible dominie of the past, evolve the educator of the future. In no other way certainly can they make good their claim to that social position which ther, often too morbidly, claim.
Montaigne's educational views were defective certainly, though in substance and in their main purpose sound. The defects, as before observed, may be traced to his own upbringing and character. Everything with him is too easy. Wisdom's ways, alas! are not always ways of pleasantness, nor are her paths always those of peace. The charming way of life of Montaigne is for a few fortunate souls only. We have to train our boys to work hard, to will vigorously, to be much in earnest, to have a high sense of duty. Such qualities do not come by wishing. By intellectual and moral discipline, by doing what may be disagreeable, by obedience, by enforcement of law, we have to mould our British savage. For all this kind of work Montaigne bas little to teach us; but we can learn much from him, and we part from the wise and kindly Frenchman with gratitude, and even affection.
S. S. LAURIE.