« 前へ次へ »
physical nature, so long the outward sense may and should be made helpful to the inward understanding, by affording it a sensible means of fixing attained facts, and bringing the whole truth, as it were, bodily before the apprehension. As to the matter of discipline, it is quite as clear that so long as the field of science is boundless and inexhaustible, instead of seeking development and discipline through the agency of needless detention and difficulty, the mind may far more wisely look for it in the direction of the more extended and inspiring advances rendered possible through these graphic aids to the readier and clearer comprehension of truth.
THIS ABSTRACT DISCIPLINE IMPRACTICABLE IN THE CASE OF
THE YOUNG MIND. But beyond this, however possible this abstract comprehension and retention may be in the case of the mature and somewhat disciplined mind, it can not but be altogether beyond the capacity of intellect both immature and untrained. Such intellect imperatively demands all the aid which can be afforded by graphic illustrations or diagrams. They are indispensable auxiliaries in its efforts to climb from the sensible, in the midst of which it has its being, and on which it is so dependent for its earliest ideas, to the region of the abstract or the ideal, in which it may possibly, at the last, become able to move unaided and alone.
THE PREVAILING TENDENCY OF THE LATER METHODS OF IN
STRUCTION IS TOWARDS CONSTANT OBJECTIVE, OR SENSIBLE
And this cardinal principle is practically sustained by the entire tendency of modern instruction. Setting like a flood-tide as it does (perhaps with a somewhat excessive impetuosity) towards objective means and methods in instruction, it gives evidence of a deep-seated conviction that the natural out-workings of the child's intellect are properly suggestive of the natural avenues to his intellect. Hence, everywhere, the endeavor of advancing science, and enlightened education for the young, is, to bring truth within the reach of objective presentation, and to perfect the art of sensible, or graphic illustration. But if this effort is possessed of any validity and excellence, there can be no just reason why the truths of grammatical science may not be thus symbolized in diagrams, as well as those of any other branch. The objection urged is then simply illogical and absurd.
THE HIGHER EXCELLENCE AND UTILITY OF THE
1. The diagrams eminently natural and practical—Naturalness of
the method for principal elements of the method for principal elements having a common dependence-of the method for adjunct elements of the method for auxiliary elements—2. They are peculiarly simple in their elements and laros—But three primary elements in figure-Complicated diagrams composed of these alone, in variation or combination—Variation for adjuncts, prepositions, &c.—Variation in size and proportion for elements in common relation-Combination for included complex elements For complex terms having double relationsSimplicity of general laws—3. • They are in harmony with analysis—Parallelism between general analysis and grammatical analysis and the diagrams-Parallelism between principal elements in analysis and the diagrams_4. They give the clearest view of sentences as wholes-Structure of long sentences difficult to comprehend-Aid afforded to true scholarship in language--Aid afforded in attaining just views of sentential philosophy –5. They give the best view of comparative structure in style—6. They supply a means of representing sentential structure in the abstract - Abstract representation in the diagram compared with verbal description-Resulting advantage in the comparative study of style-Advantage in teach. ing composition.
HAVING thus, sufficiently for the present purpose, considered the objections urged against the diagrams, it remains for us to examine the more direct and positive proofs of their utility, which may be deduced from their nature and practical capacity.
1.- The Diagrams eminently natural and practical.
We urge then, first, that the diagrams are eminently natural and practical in their original idea. Instead of basing themselves upon some artistic idea, and developing a merely picturesque illustration, (which we believe to be the cause of the failure that has hitherto attended such efforts, and the prejudice which has consequently arrayed itself against the use of grammatical diagrams,) the system here advocated restricts itself purely to the end in utility, and gives us, not æsthetic drawings, but pure diagrams.
NATURALNESS OF THE METHOD FOR PRINCIPAL ELEMENTS.
It takes, as its leading idea, the simple enclosing of the fundamental elements of sentences and phrases, as standing in their natural position, in such curvilinear figures as serve to define the field, and represent the relations of each when expressed, or as may, when discharged of the elements themselves, become an abstract symbol of the generalized facts of the involved functions and dependence. Take, for example, the sentences, “God exists ;" « Virtue secures happiness ;" and what device more natural than the following:
in which, by the simplest of figures, each element is represented in its natural order, confined within its own field, established in a common grade of equality, and connected according to its prevailing relation? Or suppose that you take the several phrases, “Of Java ;" “To
dream ;" "To give gifts ;” and “Gaining time;" what more simple and natural than to encloso their elements in the very order in which they occur, as follows :
representing the same facts as before ?
NATURALNESS OF THE METHOD FOR PRINCIPAL ELEMENTS
HAVING A COMMON DEPENDENCE.
Still further, if you have sentences or phrases, involving principal elements having common functions and relations, as, for example, these, “Industry and temperance promote health ;” and “In peace and safety;" how natural to enclose the similar elements in corresponding figures and attach them alike to the one to which they are alike related, thus :
NATURALNESS OF THE METHOD FOR ADJUNCT ELEMENTS.
Again, if the principal elements are accompanied by adjuncts, having the former already enclosed in their respective figures, and connected in a diagram ; what principle could be plainer than that, as ad-juncts, the latter should be enclosed in a half figure, and be attached below the elements which they modify, thus .