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others, hasty efforts succeed better. 7. Let the boy be given to me, whom praise stimulates, whom honor delights, who weeps when he is unsuccessful. His powers must be cultivated under the influence of ambition; reproach will sting him to the quick; honor will incite him; and in such a boy I shall never be apprehensive of indifference.
8. Yet some relaxation is to be allowed to all; not only because there is nothing that can bear perpetual labor, (and even those things that are without sense and life are unbent by alternate rest, as it were, in order that they may preserve their vigor), but because application to learning depends on the will, which cannot be forced. 9. Boys, accordingly, when re-invigorated and refreshed, bring more sprightliness to their learning, and a more determined spirit, which for the most part spurns compulsion. 10. Nor will play in boys displease me; it is also a sign of vivacity; and I cannot expect that he who is always dull and spiritless will be of an eager disposition in his studies, when he is indifferent even to that excitement which is natural
There must however be bounds set to relaxation, lest the refusal of it beget an aversion to study, or too much indulgence in it a habit of idleness. There are some kinds of amusement, too, not unserviceable for sharpening the wits of boys, as when they contend with each other by proposing all sorts of questions in turn. 12. In their plays, also, their moral dispositions show themselves more plainly, supposing that there is no age so tender that it may not readily learn what is right and wrong; and the tender age may best be formed at a time when it is ignorant of dissimulation, and most willingly submits to instructors; for you may break, sooner than mend, that which has hardened into deformity. 13. A child is as early as possible, therefore, to be admonished that he must do nothing too eagerly, nothing dishonestly,
to his age.
nothing without self-control; and we must always keep in mind the maxim of Virgil, Adeo in teneris consuescere multum est, "of so much importance is the acquirement of habit in the young.”
14. But that boys should suffer corporal punishment, though it be a received custom, and Chrysippus makes no objection to it, I by no means approve; first, because it is a disgrace, and a punishment for slaves, and in reality (as will be evident if you imagine the age changed) an affront; secondly, because, if a boy's disposition be so abject as not to be amended by reproof, he will be hardened, like the worst of slaves, even to stripes and lastly, because, if one who regularly exacts his tasks be with him, there will not be the least need of any such chastisement. 15. At present, the negligence of pædagogi seems to be made amends for in such a way that boys are not obliged to do what is right, but are punished whenever they have not done it. Besides, after you have coerced a boy with stripes, how will you treat him when he becomes a young man, to whom such terror cannot be held out, and by whom more difficult studies must be pursued? 16. Add to these considerations, that many things unpleasant to be mentioned, and likely afterwards to cause shame, often happen to boys while being whipped, under the influence of pain or fear; and such shame enervates and depresses the mind, and makes them shun people's sight and feel a constant uneasiness. 17. If, moreover, there has been too little care in choosing governors and tutors of reputable character, I am ashamed to say how scandalously unworthy men may abuse their privilege of punishing, and what opportunity also the terror of the unhappy children may sometimes afford to others. I will not dwell upon this point; what is already understood is more than enough. It will be sufficient therefore to intimate, that no man
should be allowed too much authority over an age so weak and so unable to resist ill-treatment.
18. I will now proceed to show in what studies he who is to be so trained that he may become an orator, must be instructed, and which of them must be commenced at each particular period of youth.
I. In regard to the boy who has attained facility in reading and writing, the next object is instruction from the grammarians. Nor is it of importance whether I speak of the Greek or Latin grammarian, though I am inclined to think that the Greek should take the precedence.
Both have the same method. This profession, then, distinguished as it is, most compendiously, into two parts, the art of speaking correctly and the illustration of the poets, carries more beneath the surface than it shows on its front. 3. For not only is the art of writing combined with that of speaking, but correct reading also precedes illustration, and with all these is joined the exercise of judgment, which the old grammarians, indeed, used with such severity, that they not only allowed themselves to distinguish certain verses with a particular mark of censure, and to remove, as spurious, certain books which had been inscribed with false titles, from their sets, but even brought some authors within their canon, and excluded others altogether from classification. 4. Nor is it sufficient to have read the poets only; every class of writers must be studied, not simply for matter, but for words, which often receive their authority from writers. Nor can grammar be complete without a knowledge of music, since the grammarian has to speak of meter and rhythm; nor if he is ignorant of astronomy, can he understand the poets, who, to say nothing of other
matters, so often allude to the rising and setting of the stars in marking the seasons; nor must he be unacquainted with philosophy, both on account of numbers of passages, in almost all poems, drawn from the most abstruse subtleties of physical, investigation, and also on account of Empedocles among the Greeks, and Varro and Lucretius among the Latins, who have committed the precepts of philosophy to verse. 5. The grammarian has also need of no small portion of eloquence, that he may speak aptly and fluently on each of those subjects which are here mentioned. Those therefore are by no means to be regarded who deride this science as trifling and empty, for unless it lays a sure foundation for the future orator, whatever superstructure you raise will fall; it is a science which is necessary to the young, pleasing to the old, and an agreeable companion in retirement, and which alone, of all departments of learning, has in it more service than show.
Plutarch, the celebrated biographer and moralist, was born at Chæronea, in Boeotia about 50 A. D. After studying at Delphi under a distinguished teacher, he took up his residence in Rome, where during the reign of Domitian he became a popular teacher of philosophy. In later years the emperor Hadrian, his friend and pupil, appointed him magistrate in his native city, where he died about 120 A. D. He was a man of superior native ability and wide scholarship. History and philosophy were evidently his favorite studies.
He is best known for his “ Parallel Lives," which has always enjoyed a high degree of popularity. The numerous authorities which he quotes, show that his work is based on elaborate research. His “Morals,” a collection of philosophical and practical essays, is less widely known, though it contains his famous treatise “ On Education.” Though the authenticity of this essay has been questioned, there can be no reasonable doubt that it presents the views of the Greco-Roman philosopher. It is singularly modern in tone, and justly entitles Plutarch to a place among the great educational thinkers of the ancient world. Throughout his admirable discussion it will be observed that he particularly insists on moral training. With the exception of the two opening paragraphs, which recommend good birth and sobriety in parents, the essay is given, with unessential omissions, as it appears in Bohn's Classical Library.