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قراءة كتاب The Orbis Pictus

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The Orbis Pictus

The Orbis Pictus

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دار النشر: Project Gutenberg
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contrived by the Author in the German and Latin Tongues.

What profitable use may be had thereof, respecting chiefly that his own country and language, he himself hath told you in his preface; but what use we may here make of it in our Grammar-schools, as it is now translated into English, I shall partly declare; leaving all other men, according to my wont, to their own discretion and liberty, to use or refuse it, as they please. So soon then as a child can read English perfectly, and is brought to us to school to learn Latin, I would have him together with his Accidence, to be provided of this Book, in which he may at least once a day (beside his Accidence) be thus exercised.

I. Let him look over the pictures with their general titles and inscriptions, till he be able to turn readily to any one of them, and to tell its name either in English or Latin. By this means he shall have the method of the Book in his head; and be easily furnished with the knowledge of most things; and instructed how to call them, when at any time he meeteth with them elsewhere, in their real forms.

II. Let him read the description at large: First in English, and afterward in Latin, till he can readily read, and distinctly pronounce the words in both Languages, ever minding how they are spelled. And withal, let him take notice of the figures inserted, and to what part of the picture they direct by their like till he be well able to find out every particular thing of himself, and to name it on a sudden, either in English or Latin. Thus he shall not only gain the most primitive words, but be understandingly grounded in Orthography, which is a thing too generally neglected by us; partly because our English schools think that children should learn it at the Latin, and our Latin schools suppose they have already learn’d it at the English; partly, because our common Grammar is too much defective in this part, and scholars so little exercised therein, that they pass from schools to the Universities and return from thence (some of them) more unable to write true English, than either Latin or Greek. Not to speak of our ordinary Tradesmen, many of whom write such false English, that none but themselves can interpret what they scribble in their bills and shop-books.

III. Then let him get the Titles and Descriptions by heart, which he will more easily do, by reason of these impressions which the viewing of the pictures hath already made in his memory. And now let him also learn, 1. To construe, or give the words one by one, as they answer one another in Latin and English. 2. To Parse, according to the rules, (which I presume by this time) he hath learn’d in the first part of his Accidence; where I would have him tell what part of Speech any word is, and then what accidents belong to it; but especially to decline the nouns and conjugate the verbs according to the Examples in his Rudiments; and this doing will enable him to know the end and use of his Accidence. As for the Rules of Genders of Nouns, and the Præter-perfect-tenses and Supines of Verbs, and those of Concordance and Construction in the latter part of the Accidence, I would not have a child much troubled with them, till by the help of this Book he can perfectly practise so much of Etymology, as concerns the first part of his Accidence only. For that, and this book together, being thoroughly learn’d by at least thrice going them over, will much prepare children to go chearfully forward in their Grammar and School-Authors, especially, if whilst they are employed herein, they be taught also to write a fair and legible hand.

There is one thing to be given notice of, which I wish could have been remedied in this Translation; that the Book being writ in high-Dutch doth express many things in reference to that Country and Speech, which cannot without alteration of some Pictures as well as words be expressed in ours: for the Symbolical Alphabet is fitted for German children rather than for ours. And whereas the words of that Language go orderly one for one with the Latin, our English propriety of Speech will not admit the like. Therefore it will behove those Masters that intend to make use of this Book, to construe it verbatim to their young Scholars, who will quickly learn to do it of themselves, after they be once acquainted with the first words of Nouns, and Verbs, and their manner of variation.

Such a work as this, I observe to have been formerly much desired by some experienced Teachers, and I my self had some years since (whilst my own Child lived) begun the like, having found it most agreeable to the best witted Children, who are most taken up with Pictures from their Infancy, because by them the knowledge of things which they seem to represent (and whereof Children are as yet ignorant) are most easily conveyed to the Understanding. But for as much as the work is now done, though in some things not so completely as it were to be wished, I rejoyce in the use of it, and desist in my own undertakings for the present. And because any good thing is the better, being the more communicated; I have herein imitated a Child who is forward to impart to others what himself has well liked. You then that have the care of little Children, do not much trouble their thoughts and clog their memories with bare Grammar Rudiments, which to them are harsh in getting, and fluid in retaining; because indeed to them they signifie nothing, but a mere swimming notion of a general term, which they know not what it meaneth, till they comprehend particulars, but by this or the like subsidiary, inform them, first with some knowledge of things and words wherewith to express them, and then their Rules of speaking will be better understood and more firmly kept in mind. Else how should a Child conceive what a Rule meaneth, when he neither knoweth what the Latin word importeth, nor what manner of thing it is which is signified to him in his own native Language, which is given him thereby to understand the Rule? For Rules consisting of generalities, are delivered (as I may say) at a third hand, presuming first the things, and then the words to be already apprehended touching which they are made. I might indeed enlarge upon this Subject, it being the very Basis of our Profession, to search into the way of Childrens taking hold by little and little of what we teach them, that so we may apply ourselves to their reach: But I leave the observation thereof to your own daily exercise, and experience got thereby.

And I pray God, the fountain and giver of all wisdom, that hath bestowed upon us this gift of Teaching, so to inspire and direct us by his Grace, that we may train up Children in his Fear and in the knowledge of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord; and then no doubt our teaching and their learning of other things subordinate to these, will by the assistance of his blessed Spirit make them able and willing to do him faithful Service both in Church and Commonwealth, as long as they live here, that so they may be eternally blessed with him hereafter. This, I beseech you, beg for me and mine, as I shall daily do for you and yours, at the throne of God’s heavenly grace; and remain while I live

Ready to serve you, as I truly love and honour you, and labour willingly in the same Profession with you,

CHARLES HOOLE.

From my School, in

Lothbury, London, Jan. 25, 1658.

 

N.B. Those Heads or Descriptions which concern things beyond the present apprehension of Children’s wits, as, those of Geography, Astronomy, or the like, I would have omitted, till the rest be learned, and a Child be better able to understand them.

The Judgment of Mr. Hezekiah Woodward,

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