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turn to my native country, where I fhall do penance for my foolish prodigalities.


J. A


No study ought to be more interesting to British youth, than that of their own language; yet unfortunately it has happened, that unless it be to learn a ridiculous mimicking of English pronounciation, little other attention has been hitherto paid to this important article in the course of education. A few attempts, it is true, have also been made to make children learn by rote the names that have been given to the different parts of speech by grammarians, which has been called instructing them in the principles of English grammar; but, till the present publication fell in our way, we have seen nothing like a rational plan for enabling British youth to acquire a practical facility in the use of their own native language.

Mr M'Cartney's plan differs from all others we have seen proposed for this purpose, in its being entirely of a practical nature. He justly observes, that every one acquires a knowledge of his mother tongue, merely by imitation and example in common conversation, and that, in every case, more or lefs of error will be thus imbibed. His plan goes in the first place to the pointing out these errors by the instructions of a fkillful teacher, and then by exercises in speaking and in writing, always under the correction of the preceptor, gradually to accustom the pupils to an ease and correctness in the use of language.

He justly observes, that without practice the best rules can be of little avail. To answer the end we propose, by

this part, therefore,' he says, ' a certain portion of a book of acknowledged purity, simplicity, and elegance, will be prescribed, and the scholars called to give, from memory, in the best manner they are able, an account of more or less of it at the time of meeting. Great care must be taken to prevent this talk from degenerating into a task of mere rote, which, though improving to the memory, would not contribute much to the end proposed. By guarding against this practice, farther and better effects will be produced. The memory will continue not only to be equally improved, but the powers of reflection will be awakened, and the judgement matured and confirmed. A clear, just, and strong phraseology, will gradually mix with: the scholar's own, which is most efsentially requisite in this part of Great Britain, where the language that every boy speaks is so unlike, and often so opposite to a good Eng-lish style.'

The author then proceeds to develope the farther particulars of his plan, in a clear and perspicuous manner, for which we refer the reader to the work itself. It consists,、 in general, in exercises in speaking, under correction of the several pupils, and then in exercises in writing, upon nearly the same plan. In the exercises for writing, a sub-ject is given out, and each pupil is required to write upon it as correctly as he can; or a classical sentence is purposely corrupted, and they are desired to put it into good lan-guage. This they are desired to do at home, so that they may be at liberty to correct it, and write it over again asoften as they please. When it is presented to the precep-tor, he merely marks above the words that are defective, and allows them once more to try to correct them, he himself only performing this talk when they cannot do it themselves.

May 30. Such in general are the outlines of this very natural and judicious mode of instructing youth in the practice of the English language*, which, if properly carried into effect, cannot fail to prove highly beneficial to the youth of this country; and we sincerely wish the ingenious author all the succefs that its superior merit claims. The plan meets with our warmest approbation, chiefly from this circumstance, that the author seems to confine himself entirely to the efsentials of good composition, and to disregard all those flimsy, affected, and meretricious ornaments of stile, which, under the name of elocution, and fine composition, have so long turned the heads of our young men, those especially who were meant for the bar, and which has rendered them long the pests of society, and the derision of men of sense. Our author seems well aware, that before an orator can speak with commanding power, his own ideas must be clear, and his understanding cultivated. Without these first and most efsential requisites, an attempt at energy is only bombast; and fine composition only a bundle of disgusting affectation.

We shall beg leave to offer one hint tending to improve this plan, which, if we judge aright, will coincide very much with the author's own ideas. Instead of desiring the pupils, in their exercises, to give from memory, as nearly as they can, the words of the author, we should think it better to require them to give the thoughts of the author as nearly as they could, but entirely in their own words. For this purpose let a passage of some book, to which they could not have accefs, be read

* I wish here to make a distinction between the mere teaching English, that is merely teaching children to read English, and the instructing youth in the practice of English language. The writer of this essay does not propose to teach the first; and these observations are by no means intend ed to affect those who teach reading only; many of them have great meri in that important and laborious employment.


by the preceptor. A little tale, or story, or historical incident will be best; and let each of them be desired to bring, not a transcription of that from memory, but an abstract of it, in which they should aim at giving a clear idea of it, always in the fewest words pofsible. For that purpose they should be desired to distinguish, in their own mind, the circumstances that are essentially necessary and important, from those that are more frivolous or improper, taking care to reject the last, and to seize only the great and leading ideas, thus concentring, as it were into a focus, all the good thoughts, so as to make a strong and vivid impression. By exercises of this sort, under the correction of a judicious preceptor, the attention of the pupil would be directed towards thoughts instead of words. The way to find good words, is first to obtain clear ideas. The man who thinks slovenly phraseology.

justly, will never be satisfied with a The man whose mind is imprefsed with a vivid idea, will not fail to find a forcible exprefsion. He who wants to reach the heart, will soon perceive that he must not play with the fancy. Thus will be introduced a taste for that manly, dignified eloquence which speaks to the heart and understanding, whose greatest ornaments are purity and simplicity alone.

In the prosecution of this plan, our author will have three Goliaths to encounter, Johnson, Gibbon, Sterne. He has, however, the satisfaction to know, that they are already gone to sleep with their fathers, while Xenophon and Thucydides still continue to be admired. It is those writings, alone, that are simple and pure, which continue to be read for ages. Affectation and bombast may please by their novelty; but when that is over, they only excite disgust and contempt. The little book by our countryman Dr John Gregory, on the comparative state of man, whose language is so natural, so simple, and so

May 30% chaste, as never to draw the attention of the reader from the subject, will continue to be read and admired, long after the pompous volumes above mentioned fhall be lost in the obscurity that their own affectation hath engendered.

We are not quite clear that the author's observations en female education are altogether just. We have often imagined that there is an ease, an elegance, even in female compositions, superior to that of males, which seems to arise from a kind of frankness, in overleaping that kind of grammatical precision which often stops the flow of the masculine pen, and gives it a stiffness that smells of pedantry. It deserves to be inquired into whether this stiffness in male writers, does not originate in an attempt to fetter our language by rules borrowed from Latin grammar, to which it will not yield. Women, who know nothing about that grammar, of course write the English language in a more natural and unaffected manner than the great lords of the creation, who will not be content without resting their words upon props borrowed from. Greek or Latin authors.

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To the Editor of the Bee.

As any diverting anecdote relating to a reigning sovereign, especially such a one as at present fills the throne of Britain, seldom fails to please his faithful subjects, and. even to rivet their attachment to him, it is a pity that it should be so little attended to. My chief design, by these few lines, is to stimulate such as. have materials, which would tend to make us better acquainted with the exemplary goodness of disposition, and easy deportment of his present majesty, to communicate them to the public... With this view I send the following ones which have come to my knowledge, vix.

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