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torical method more carefully, and to derive the greatest benefit from it, it is necessary to continue his studies through that difficult period in the history of the language when the Anglo-Saxon inflexions commenced to weaken and finally to disappear. He will find that this began earliest in the North under the influence of the Danish settlements and the incorporation of the Danes with the Angles as an integral portion of the Eng. lish people. The South retained its old language longer, and strenuously resisted foreign influence. Even in the twelfth century, when the terminations began to weaken and the grammar to be sadly dislocated, we find the vocabulary still pure English, and it was late in the thirteenth century before we find an influx of many Norman-French words. The disintegration of the grammatical structure of the language went on, however, during this century, and by its close we find arising distinctly-marked' literary dialects, each with peculiarities sufficient to determine approximately the locality of the writer using it. By the year 1300 it might have been a question whether the southern language of Robert of Gloucester, or the more northern of Robert of Brunne would furnish the prototype of modern literary English. A century afterwards, by the year 1400, ever memorable for the death of the “first finder of our fair language,” it was no longer a question ; for while the latter dialect contributed most to the standard English, it embraced also certain features of the former, and under the hands of the great writers of the fourteenth century, had taken on the form which, with comparatively slight modifications, was to remain for all time as the language of literature and of all educated Englishspeaking people. The understanding of these changes from the AngloSaxon of King ALFRED to the English of CHAUCER, can be made plain only by the study of specimens of the language itself in its various stages, learning the influences to which it was subjected, and tracing its development from century to century.
This is surely a worthy object of study and of teaching. Apart from the knowledge obtained and the philological training secured, the literature studied in such a course is not to be despised. It is customary to depreciate all English literature before CHAUCER, and to consider it as not worth the trouble of reading. But CHAUCER was the product of influences. which had preceded him. He cannot be regarded as a comet suddenly shooting across the literary firmament. He was “primus inter pares,** but there were others and chiefly LANGLAND, GOWER, and WYCLIFFE, who held no mean place in contemporary literature. He felt to a greater extent the influence of French, and especially of Italian writers, but his master mind made all his knowledge contribute to the enriching of his own tongue, and he could not rest content with being a mere imitator of others. He flourished, however, at the close of the period which we are considering; he was the culmination for a time of all preceding literary influences, and it becomes us to try to ascertain what these were which could produce such a result.
Love for our language and literature in itself, should inspire in every educated man a desire to know the beginning of literature in his own tongue. To know the Anglo-Saxon mind, of which the present English mind is but the outcome, we must study its products, and we shall find a
body of literature, especially of poetry, superior to that of any contemporary European people, and some of which will bear comparison with modern standards. The prose literature is not so valuable, but here we
see the early attempts at history,-in the latter portion of the chronicle character and events are painted with a right vigorous pencil, —the embodiment of law, showing the stern justice and the high appreciation of personal liberty which characterized our forefathers, and in the homilies, the expression of that religious spirit,-based on a knowledge of the gospels in the vernacular and so accessible to all who could read or hear,—which has ever been the heritage of English-speaking people.
We may trace the progress of literature from the Anglo-Saxon period on to the fo teenth century, and while we shall find it meagre and sometimes almost stifled, it never entirely disappears; but the English mind remains active through all the vicissitudes of external circumstances until it blooms forth in its own native strength and brilliancy.
To lead our pupils to take this survey, and to learn for themselves the development of our language and literature, is our part. Men, after leaving school and college, will not turn their attention to these subjects unless the impulse has been given earlier. To give this impulse and to lay the necessary foundation for this study is all that we can do, just as in the classical and the modern languages. No one hopes, in a school and college course, to do more than open the door to the treasures of classical and modern literature, Unfortunately it too frequently happens that the pupil permits the door to stand open and deliberately turns his back upon it. Perhaps he thinks that the appropriation of these treasures takes too much time and too much labor. But in our study it need not
We can give the necessary preparation in much less time than in these other studies, and when once given it is much more available for the prosecution of the study. I would theñ renew the plea made elsewhere * for the historical teaching of English in every school and college. Let the former arrange courses so far as time and place admit; if only back to CHAUCER, it will be a great gain, and teachers will be amply repaid. Such is the variety in our High-School courses of study, that each school must judge for itself how far it can pursue the study of the English language and literature. Only let it have some recognized position, even if something else must go to the wall, and however meagre the course, let it be taught thoroughly, and let the historical method be used as far as applicable. Above all let not the teacher be satisfied with knowing no more than the course requires, but let him pursue his own private studies in the same direction as far as possible, being confident that whatever knowledge he gains will inure to the benefit of his pupils.
But the college must go further and do more. It must elevate English to its natural position side by side with Latin, Greek, Mathematics, and
* In a paper on “ The Study of the Anglo-Saxon Language and Literature,". printed in the Proceedings of the National Educational Association for 1876, and in one on “Text-Books and Methods of Instruction in English,” printed in the Virginia Educational Journal for December, 1878, and January, 1879, and in the Maryland School Journal for January and March, 1879.
the Sciences. Through the four years of the collegiate curriculum there is room for a full course in English, and a well-organized course should embrace instruction in each college class. There is room here to teach Anglo-Saxon, and time and place for it should be found in every college in the land. On its basis a thorough course in historical English should be reared, and pupils should understand that the teaching of English means something, and is not an ornamental appendage to the rest of the curriculum. When students realize that studying English requires work, just as studying Latin or Greek, and that it cannot be shoved aside into the odds and ends of time, and regarded as no great matter whether it is studied or not, they will have respect for it and take an interest in it. Any study that is too easy for a pupil will fail to receive its due proportion of time, and will fail also to develop the mental faculties, for they cannot be developed without continuous exercise. Moreover, if any study is not esteemed by collegiate authorities and put on a par with others both in the requirements for a mission and in the course of instruction, its honors and emoluments, it will be similarly regarded by the students and will naturally go by the board. If then we wish to secure efficient teaching of English, we must show that we esteem it as a regular branch of collegiate instruction, and require proficiency in it as in other branches for the attainment of collegiate honors. By applying the historical method in the teaching of English we can secure these several objects, and can train up a generation of scholars fitted to do the work still necessary to be done in the development of this study and in its extension, so that ere long there will be no college or university which will not have its chair of English, where the language of all periods will be taught well and thoroughly. By the use of this method alone, we believe, will this much wished-for consummation be attained.
This paper was discussed by Dr. Frank TAYLOR, of Pennsylvania, HENRY E. SHEPHERD, of Maryland, Dr. Jas. A. Paxson, the Rev. Dr. Hays, EDWARD SHIPPEN, Esq., and Miss SARAH E. HUNTER, of Pennsylvania, Mrs. M. A. STONE, of Connecticut, and Dr. LEMUEL Moss, of Indiana. On motion of the Rev. A, L. WADE, of West Virginia, it was
Resolved, That the propriety of a Graduating System for Country Schools, be called to the attention of State Superintendents of Public Instruction, throughout the United States, for their consideration.
The names of the new officers of the Association were again read.
EVENING SESSION. The Association met at 5 P. M. in the auditorium of the Main Centennial Building.
In the absence of President HANCOCK, the Secretary, W: D. HENKLE called the Association to order and on motion of the Hon. JOHN EATON was directed to preside until Pres. HANCOCK arrived.
Zalmon RICHARDS, Chairman of the Committee on Necrology, made the following report:
REPORT OF COMMITTEE ON NECROLOGY.
Your committee would respectfully report in part, and ask for further time to complete their report at the next annual meeting.
We feel grateful to our Heavenly Father, that he has shown such distinguished favor towards the officers and members of this Asssociation, in the preservation of their lives. Very few have fallen.
As there has never been a report on the Necrology of this Association, we have no record to which we can refer for facts; and as the membership consists of persons from every part of our country, many of whom do not represent themselves regularly at our meetings, we are unable in the few hours allotted to us for a report, to ascertain the necessary facts.
Within the past year, one of the originators, and perhaps the first, to move in its organization, who met with us in this city twenty-two years ago, and read the first paper ever prepared for this Association—though prepared by Prof. Wm. RUSSELL — has died. We refer to T. W. VAL
Mr. VALENTINE was the firm friend of this Asspciation, and did much towards giving it the high character it secured at the first, and has maintained ever since. His name has been prominent in the work of the American Institute of Instruction, and of the New-York Teachers' Association. He was always ready to give his whole influence to aid in giving character to the profession of teaching. He, himself, was an exam
mple of one of the best teachers, and died in the harness; struck down with scarcely a moment's warning, in the city of Brooklyn, N. Y. He was a man of a true heart, consistent character, and high culture. In his death the cause of education has lost a true and an able advocate and friend,
We regret also to record the death of one of our warmest friends in Miss HENRIETTA B. HAINES, of New York City, who had made herself a Life Member of our body of Teachers. We hope to be able to add more particulars of her life, character, and death, hereafter.
We can hardly expect that our report will embrace no other names of our friends who have been called away from their earth-work.
Believing that this Association ought to preserve a record and memorial tribute of all its deceased members, we make this partial report, and recommend that this Committee, or some other special committee be authorized to make further report at the next annual meeting, Respectfully submitted,
J. D. PHILBRICK.
bers that may be known to them and also to give any facts known to them in reference to the deceased.
W: E. SHELDON who assisted at the organization of the National Teachers' Association in 1857, paid a fitting tribute to T. W. VALENTINE, his co-laborer in that work.
Mrs. KRAUS-BOELTE, of New York, spoke in glowing terms of Miss HENRIETTA B. Haines, and especially of her Missionary labors.
On motion of J. ORMOND Wilson, of the District of Columbia, the report was adopted by a standing vote, and the committee continued.
Remarks were made in reference to having the report on Necrology complete.
J. ORMOND Wilson, Chairman of the Committee on Resolutions, reported back the resolutions of Prof. Alex. Hogg, of Texas, and recommended their adoption. At the request of Mr. Wilson, Prof. Hogg read these resolutions with explanations.
PROF. HOGG'S RESOLUTIONS. WHEREAS, The Congress of the United States, July 2, 1862, donated of the public domain 10,000,000 acres of land for the purpose of endowing and maintaining colleges of agriculture and the mechanic arts in each State and Territory of the Union; and,
WHEREAS, These all have been inaugurated and are now in full operation, but with few exceptions are intended for the education of young men; therefore, be it
Resolved, That this Association re-indorse the resolutions adopted at Louisville, at its regular meeting, 1877, as follows:
Resolved, That it is the sense of this Association that the general government should, at an early period, look to the feasibility of donating a portion of the public domain for the endowment and maintenance of at least one institution in each State and Territory for the higher education of women.
Resolved, That this Association appoint at this meeting a committee, whose duty it shall be to draft a suitable memorial to Congress, and to urge this distribution of the public lands for the purposes mentioned; and,
Resolved, Further, that this Association endorse both the action of Congress, as expressed in House bill No. 2059, entitled “A bill donating lands to the several States and Territories which may provide colleges for the education of females” (introduced by the Hon. ROGER Q. Mills, of Texas,) and also that of the Senate, as set forth in a resolution offered by Senator John T. MORGAN, of Alabama, viz. :
“ Resolved, That the committee on labor and education is instructed to inquire whether it is practical in the establishment and endowment of schools of science and technics in the several States and Territories, and in the District of Columbia, for the education of females in appropriate branches of science and the useful arts upon a plan similar in its principles to that of agricultural and mechanical colleges which have been