« PrécédentContinuer »
adventitious aid, which runs through the whole vocabulary, we have no doubt that a person well versed in English, might, in a few days, master all the roots in the Latin language. In the seven days' experiment before mentioned, of course only the words in the first book of the Eneid were attended to, which would materially lessen the labour; but how the grammar and prosody were learnt in the same brief space of time, we shall not attempt to explain. The examiners do not profess to have had any personal knowledge of the student's previous ignorance; and it appears that he was not examined till a considerable time after the seven days' period of study. We shall only further remark on this work of Mr. Hall's, that the vocabulary is not always correct, the secondary meaning of a word being often taken for its primitive signification, (for instance, Bacchus is always used as the Latin for wine;) and the connecting words (as "rimose," "sural," &c.) are many of them preposterous, being less known to the English reader than the Latin itself. The root sentences are also constructed with the most barbarous disregard of the principles of grammar. But though the execution be faulty, the plan itself possesses great merit, and, we think, originality. It might be eminently useful for overcoming the drudgery of learning the elements, and preparing the mind for entering at once upon an extensive critical study of the antient languages.
There is no part of the Hazelwood system which pleases us more than the attention paid to that most useful, though common art, penmanship; for, excepting the facility of speech, there is no acquirement more essential to the whole business of life. The object aimed at is, not to produce beautiful specimens of copperplate imitations for show, but a swift and legible current hand; and one that possesses these two qualities, the authors are of opinion, will seldom want elegance, or, at least, the want must be little felt. They, therefore, reject the usual mode of making the pupil commence with a sort of text copies, in which the letters have very different proportions from those of the small current hand, which it is the main object to learn. But their improvement in this art will be best explained in their own words:
The usual method of instruction in penmanship is to commence by teaching the pupil to imitate an exemplar of large hand, which has the defect before-mentioned, of not being a correctly magnified current hand. Thus his ideas of excellence are injured; but that is not all; for setting aside the incorrectness of the model, the scholar is generally permitted to gain a habit of forming the letters, which he has to unlearn when he begins to write swiftly. He is generally allowed to raise his pen and remove his hand at every stroke; nor does he set his pen down at the precise point at which he raised it; for supposing him to have finished a down-stroke, he springs the following up-stroke, not from the foot of the stem, but from the middle; so that, instead of preserving one uniform gliding motion to the end of the word, in which neither the hand nor the pen is ever removed from the paper, the pupil is learning a system of double leaps,-one horizontal with his hand, another oblique with his pen.
We no more see, we must confess, how the scholar can learn a running
hand by such practice as this, than how he could learn to skate by imitating the jumping of a frog. In fact, he does not learn a current hand by any such process; and nothing is more common than to find a boy, who brings home copy-books beautifully written, fall into a wretched scrawl the moment he attempts an approach to the rapidity of real business.
Laying it down as a principle, that the eye ought to obtain an accurate knowledge first of what the hand is to perform, they, in the first place, make the pupils critically acquainted with the proportions of the letters, by forming them with chalk or pencil on a board or slate, a process which does not interfere with the learner's habit of using the common pen. The standard adopted is exactly the current hand magnified; and when the learner has acquired a tolerably correct "ideal" of it, he is set to write with pen and ink, making the letters as large as he can form them, consistently with preserving all the habits necessary to the correct execution of the running-hand. Then,
The pupil having acquired a certain degree of facility in slow writing, joins a class employed in forming words, which consist of strokes of equal length, as inn, mum, nim, &c. After practising one of these words in his accustomed manner, a pendulum is made to vibrate in the time required for an up-stroke, and the corresponding down-stroke: a boy is appointed to the office of time-beater, who counts the vibrations aloud till he has numbered the down-strokes in the word; when, leaving one vibration blank to give time for a change in the position of the writer's hand, he proceeds to count again, and so on. It is the business of the penman to make the strokes as they are counted. From time to time the pendulum is shortened, until the word is written with great rapidity. Another word is then chosen, the pendulum is again lengthened, and the process goes on as before. The practical effect of this method we have found to answer all our expectations, not only with regard to swiftness, but also with respect to certainty of execution.
The laws of musical time, which are impressed upon the minds of the pupils by the constant, regular, and we may say harmonious, operation of the whole machinery of the system, afford also a superior facility for correcting defects of enunciation; but our space prevents us from pursuing the subject farther, though we had marked many other passages for quotation and comment. Of the volume itself, which describes the Hazelwood Institution, we must say, that for pleasing interest it excels any thing we ever read. It one respect, it is a philosophical history of human nature, exhibiting its most gentle aspect in that delightful period of existence before the fiercer passions come into play. Instead of the dull monotony of a school on the old plan, we find all the lively interest and variety of a busy state, where attention is kept alive by a perpetual succession of objects, and where we contemplate the expanding faculties of the juvenile mind as a flowergarden invited to put forth its blossoms by the genial breath of spring. If, in the foregoing remarks, we have succeeded to any degree in giving an idea of this system, we are persuaded that every parent will desire to secure the benefits of it to his offspring, and every philanthropist wish to see it established in all parts of the globe.
ON THE BULL WORSHIP OF THE EAST.
THE worship of the Bull, now confined to India, was once common over the entire Pagan world. This, the zodiac, at whatever period it be surveyed, and among whatever nation, fully demonstrates.
Of the symbols which compose it, Taurus, or the Bull, is the most conspicuous, inasmuch as it is supposed to have once been the leading constellation; but chiefly, inasmuch as the superstitions connected with it have deeply coloured the whole stream of antient mythology.
Most of the conquests of animals ascribed to heroes, belong to Hercules, under other names, as Jason, Theseus, Cadmus, Perseus. They originate, most probably, in Egyptian illustrations of the zodiac, or mystical paintings of the sun passing through the signs, which were misunderstood, or misinterpreted, by the Greeks.
In Grecian fable, Hercules was represented as conquering the Elean bull. In Persia, he was pictured as Mythra Victrix, grasping a bull with one hand, and in the other holding a sacrificial knife. Jason the Argonaut, who killed the bull with brazen hoofs, and thereby obtained the golden fleece; Cadmus, whom a bull conducted to the site of Thebes; and Theseus, who slew the Minotaur, (the Grecian Apis,) are only modifications of the same story which describes the Grecian Hercules as triumphing over the Elean bull.
The mysteries of Apis, as this sign was called in Egypt, were the oldest in the world, and entered into the religious dogma of most, if not all, of the primeval nations. The antient Persians pictured the first man with a bull's head. The Hindoos antiently and still venerate the same character. One of the Hindoo avatars pictures the bull-man perishing in the flood. A bull-headed human form is frequent among Javanese monuments; and agrees precisely with similar figures of those of Egypt. The monuments preserved by Hyde leave nothing uncorroborated on the same subject, as far as regards the mythratic rites. The god Osiris was sometimes portrayed with a bull's head, sometimes with bull's horns. Among the Syrians, Astarte was a human figure with a bull's head; for she was male and female. So, among the Phenicians, their chief god, Moloch, bore the head of an ox annexed to the figure of a man. The Greek Osiris, namely, Bacchus Bugenes, or Tauriformis, was represented, as the name imports, by the same form. So was the Cretan Minotaur. The golden fleece and golden apples of the Hesperides were equally guarded by bulls. An apple formed into the shape of a bull was sacred to Hercules. A bull's head hung upon a tree was a symbol appertaining, as appears from Hyde, to Mythra Victrix. The head of Bacchus Tauriformis was hung upon trees, as Spence instances, in order to produce fructification. Even the Druids devoted two milk-white steeds to the sacred mistletoe. The same traditional veneration exhibits itself repeatedly among the Jewish antiquities. The Jews had scarcely left Egypt, when they recurred to the worship Oriental Herald, Vol. 9.
of the calf Apis; and, as it was their first offence, so it adhered to them till their punishment and dispersion. "Thy calf, O Samaria!" says the denouncing Prophet, "has cast thee off." The chimerical bulls of the Hebrews, or cherubim, (as they named them from the root to plough,) are evidently of Egyptian origin. The twelve bulls of Solomon's brazen sea, arranged in threes towards each cardinal point, have a precise Egyptian counterpart in the twelve bulls, arranged also in three, round the apex of the Heliopolitan obelisk; and, like the former, quadrate with the cardinal points. The behemoth and leviathan of the Rabbins are the Apis, or Osiris, and the river-dragon, symbolized by an ox, as well as the half-tribes of Manasseh and Ephraim; and it was to him, under this symbol of behemoth, that the blessing of the "antient mountains was promised, the "thousand hills" of Esdras, and the "Elysios colles " of Hesiod. To the last, according to Esdras, was assigned the ocean, and thence the Scandinavian sea-snake. The leviathan and riverdragon were both to receive their fatal wound. According to the Rabbins, behemoth, or the ox, is, at the consummation, to be divided among the elect. By this was evidently implied the partition of Paradise, or of the whole earth in a state of Paradise, as by the wine of Adam to be then produced, was meant original prosperity; for grapes and prosperity are synonymous in Hebrew. This rabbinical fable is very singular, inasmuch as Osiris Apis appears to have been similarly separated into various divisions during the mysteries, which divisions were subsequently rejoined, with one exception; a type not not to be mistaken of the expected restoration of mankind, as one family, to pristine innocence. In the mysteries of the Grecian Osiris, or Bacchus, the same remarkable feature was preserved,-a bull being torn to pieces by the devotees. Among the hieroglyphics, the thigh of Apis is frequently seen; Belzoni found one in the tomb of Psammis. We take it, as the ox was a symbol of the first race of men, perhaps of antediluvian man, that the thigh was a symbol of the choicest part of the earth, or Paradise; hence it was always set apart for the gods, and considered sacred. The thigh was the region sacred to oaths. It continued the sinew forbidden to be eaten by the Jews, and the incorruptible bone, or luez, which the Rabbins supposed to be the germ of a restored future corporeal life. Paradise is called Meru by the Hindoos, which is the root of the Greek word thigh; and the Brahmins seat their tenth world of gardens in the thigh of Brahma.It is worthy here of remark, that pots of flowers, similar to what were called the gardens of Adonis, (see Coptic manuscript in Denon,) were offered to the ox; neither will it be unimportant to add, that apples and apple-trees were connected with the mysteries of Apis.
What is human reason to infer from all this singular analogy of facts, and images as singular? Our inference is short: that the whole is a hieroglyphical portraiture (of what Moses described in words, viz.) of the fall and expected restoration of man, with some dark shadowing of the means through the death of a second Adam, leader or teacher, [ox, in Hebrew.]