Slike strani

10. Origin of Feudalism. Feudal rights, aids, and incidents. (Guizot, Hallam, Stubbs, Digby, Maine, Waitz, Roth).

11. Evils of Feudalism. (Authorities as above). 12. Benefits of Feudalism. (As above).

13. The Saxon Witenagemot and its historical relation to the House of Lords. (Freeman, Stubbs, Hallam, Guizot).

14. Origin of the House of Commons. (Pauli, Creighton, and authorities above stated).

15. Origin of Communal Liberty. (Hegel, Städteverfassung von Italien; Testa, Communes of Lombardy; Wauters, Les libertés communales; Stubbs, Freeman, Guizot, et al).

At Smith College, an institution founded at Northampton, Massachusetts, by a generous woman, in the interest of the higher education of her sex, the study of history was pursued by four classes in regular gradation, somewhat after the college model. The First, corresponding to the "Freshman " class, studied oriental or ante-classic history, embracing the Stone Age, Egypt, Palestine, Phoenicia, the empires of Mesopotamia and ancient India. This course was pursued in 1879 by dictations and ex tempore lectures on the part of the teacher, and by independent reading on the part of the pupils. The first thing done by the teacher in the introduction to the history of any of the above-mentioned countries, was to explain the sources from which the history of that country was derived, and then to characterize briefly the principal literary works relating to it, not omitting historical novels, like Ebers' "Egyptian Princess," or "Uarda." Afterwards, the salient features, in Egyptian history, for example, were presented by the instructor, under distinct heads, such as geography, religion, art, literature, and chronology. Map-drawing by and before the class was insisted upon; and, in connection with the foregoing subjects, books or portions of books were recommended for private reading. For instance, on the "Geography of Egypt," fifty pages of Herodotus were assigned in • Rawlinson's translation. This, and other reading, was done in the so-called "Reference Library," which was provided with all the books that were recommended. An oral account

of such reading was sooner or later demanded from each pupil by the instructor, and fresh points of information were thus continually brought out. The amount of positive fact acquired by a class of seventy-five bright young women bringing together into one focus so many individual rays of knowledge, collected from the best authorities, is likely to burn to ashes the dry bones of any text-book, and to keep the instructor at a white heat.

As an illustration of the amount of reading done in one term of ten weeks by this class of beginners in history, the following fair specimen of the lists handed in at the end of the academic year of 1879 is appended. The reading was of course by topics:

[ocr errors]


Unity of History (Freeman).
Geography (Herodotus).

Gods of Egypt (J. Freeman Clarke).
Manners and Customs (Wilkinson).
Upper Egypt (Klunzinger).

Art of Egypt (Lübke).
Hypatia (Kingsley).
Egyptian Princess (Ebers).


Sinai and Palestine, 40 pages (Stanley).

History of the Jews (extracts from Josephus).
The Beginnings of Christianity, Chap. VII. (Fisher).
Religion of the Hebrews (J. Freeman Clarke).


Phoenicia, 50 pages (Kenrick).

Assyrian Discoveries (George Smith).

Chaldean Account of Genesis (George Smith).
Assyrian Architecture (Fergusson).
Art of Central Asia (Lübke).

In the Second, or "Sophomore" class, classic history was pursued by means of the History Primers of Greece and

Rome, supplemented by lectures and dictations, as the time. would allow. The Junior class studied mediæval history in much the same way, by text-books (the Epoch Series) and by lectures. Both classes did excellent work of its kind, but it was not the best kind; for little or no stimulus was given to original research. And yet, perhaps, to an outsider, fond of old-fashioned methods of recitation, these classes would have appeared better than the First class. They did harder work, but it was less spontaneous and less scientific. The fault was a fault of method.

With the Senior class the method described as in use at the Johns Hopkins University was tried with marked success. With text-books on modern history as a guide for the whole class, the plan was followed out of assigning to individuals subjects with references for private reading and for an oral report of about fifteen minutes' length. The class took notes on these reports or informal student-lectures as faithfully as on the extended remarks and more formal lectures of the instructor. This system of making a class lecture to itself is, of course, very unequal in its immediate results, and sometimes unsatisfactory; but, as a system of individual training for advanced pupils, it is valuable as a means both of culture. and of discipline. Contrast the good to the individual student of any amount of mere text-book memorizing or idle notetaking with the positive culture and wide acquaintance with books, derived in ten weeks from such a range of reading as is indicated in the following bond fide report by one member of the Senior class (1879), who afterwards was a special student of history for two years in the "Annex" at Harvard College, and who in 1881 returned to Smith College for her degree of Ph. D. First are given the subjects assigned to this young woman for research, and the reading done by her in preparation for report to the class; and then is given the list of her general reading in connection with the class work of the term. Other members of the class had other subjects and similar reports:


1. Anselm and Roscellinus.

Milman's Latin Christianity, Vol. IV., pp. 190–225. Ueberweg's History of Philosophy, Vol. I., pp. 271–385. 2. Platonic Academy at Florence.

Roscoe's Life of Lorenzo di Medici, Vol. I., p. 30 et seq.

Burckhardt's Renaissance, Vol. I.

Villari's Machiavelli, Vol. I., p. 205 et seq.

3. Colet.

Seebohm's Oxford Reformers.

4. Calvin.

Fisher's History of the Reformation (Calvin).

Spalding's History of the Reformation (Calvin).

D'Aubigné's History of the Reformation, Vol. I., book 2, chap. 7. 5. Frederick the Great.

Macaulay's Essay on Frederick the Great.

Lowell's Essay on Frederick the Great.

Ency. Brit. Article on Frederick the Great.

Menzel's History of Germany (Frederick the Great).

Carlyle's Frederick the Great (parts of Vols. I., II., III.).

6. Results of the French Revolution.

French Revolution (Epoch Series).


Roscoe's Life of Leo X. (one-half of Vol. I.).

Mrs. Oliphant's Makers of Florence (on cathedral builders, Savonarola,

a Private Citizen, Michel Angelo). Symonds's Renaissance (Savonarola).

Walter Pater's Renaissance (Leonardo da Vinci).
Hallam's Middle Ages (on Italian Republics).

Benvenuto Cellini's Autobiography (about one-half).
Burckhardt's Renaissance (nearly all).

Vasari's Lives of the Painters (da Vinci, Alberti).

Lowell's Essay on Dante.

Carlyle's Essay on Dante..

Trench's Medieval Church History (Great Councils of the West, Huss

and Bohemia, Eve of the Reformation).

Fisher's History of the Reformation (Luther).
White's Eighteen Christian Centuries (16th).
Macaulay's Essay on Ranke's History of the Popes.

Lecky's European Morals (last chapter).

Seebohm's Era of the Protestant Revolution.

Froude's Short Studies on Great Subjects (studies on the times of Eras

mus and Luther, the Dissolution of the Monasteries).

Spalding's History of the Reformation (chapter on Luther).

Carlyle's Essay on Luther and Knox.

Hosmer's German Literature (chapters on Luther, Thirty Years' War,

Minnesingers and Mastersingers).

Gardiner's Thirty Years' War.

Morris's Age of Anne.

George Eliot's Romola (about one-half.)
Hawthorne's Marble Faun (parts).

It is but fair to say in reference to this vast amount of reading, that it represents the chief work done by the abovementioned young lady during the summer term, for her class exercises were mainly lectures requiring little outside study. The list will serve not merely as an illustration of Senior work in history at Smith College, but also as an excellent guide for a course of private reading on the Renaissance and Reformation. No more interesting or profitable course can be followed than a study of the Beginnings of Modern History. With Symonds's works on the "Renaissance in Italy," Burckhardt's "Civilization of the Period of the Renaissance" (English translation), and Seebohm's "Era of the Protestant Revolution" (Epoch series) for guide-books, a college instructor can indicate to his pupils lines of special investigation more grateful than text-book "cramming," more inspiring than lectures or dictations. The latter, though good to a certain extent, become deadening to a class when its members are no longer stimulated to original research, but sink back in passive reliance upon the authority of the lecturer. That method of teaching history which converts bright young pupils into note-taking machines is a bad method. It is the construction of a poor text-book at the expense of much valuable time and youthful energy. Goethe satirized this, the fault of German academic instruction, in Mephistopheles' counsel to the student, who is advised to study well his notes, in order to see that the professor says nothing which he hasn't said already :

Damit ihr nachher besser seht,

Dass er nichts sagt, als was im Buche steht;
Doch euch des Schreibens ja befleisst,

Als dictirt' euch der Heilig' Geist !

« PrejšnjaNaprej »