« PreviousContinue »
from those studies which their own interests and the service of their country will generally require them chiefly to cultivate.
Saturdays are set apart for public class exercises. Upon these days, the masters, scholars, and as many of the citizens as please to attend, being assembled in the chapel after morning prayers, one of the students in the first or Greek class appears as respondent with an opponent or interrogator from the third class. The latter pitches upon any Greek author, which the respondent has read during the course of the year in his class, and prescribes a passage in it to be rendered into English extempore. This the respondent does, pointing out the author's beauties, clearing up his obscurities and difficulties, and giving an account of the case, tense, mood, derivation, construction, &c., of every word. The opponent takes care to set him right where he errs, and gives him an opportunity, by proper interrogations, to display his skill and improvements to the best advantage. The master of the class to which the opponent belongs, superintends these exercises, and may interfere with his assistance if there should be occasion. But this seldom happens.
After these, one of the second class appears as respondent, with an opponent from the fourth, who endeavors to impugn a thesis given out and defended by the other. Then he changes the subject, and interrogates him concerning his skill in such branches of the mathematics as he (the respondent) has learned in his class.
In the next place, a respondent appears from the third class with an opponent from the fifth. The method of exercise the same as above. The subject ethics and physics.
Besides bearing a part, as interrogators, in the foregoing exercises, the fourth and fifth classes have an exercise of declamation peculiar to themselves. First, one of the youth in the class of rhetoric delivers a speech with proper grace and action on any philosophical subject, or on the nature, rules, and advantages of eloquence and poetry, which are the studies of the present year.
Lastly, one of the fifth or highest class delivers an oration, framed according to the exact rules of rhetoric, upon any civil topic that is, or may be, disputed with regard to the interest of their country. And such harrangues I have often known to be of very public service, not only when delivered, but when thought worthy of being published. Sometimes, too, their subject is the useful. ness of history and agriculture; the pleasures of retirement, or any moral topic. Thus, when there are not above twenty boys in each class, every boy in the three lower classes appears in public twice a year, and those of the two higher classes four times. There are exercises of the same kind in the higher classes of the academy and mechanic's school. And, in the Latin school
, there are quarterly examinations, and proper rewards distributed to excite emulation.
[These exercises are commonly in the English tongue, although there are some Latin orations and disputations at the anniversary commencement.)
There are likewise masters in the college for teaching the French, Italian, Spanish, and German tongues, at private hours; and a fencing-master, who, be. sides the use of the sword, teaches the military exercise. There is, lastly, a dancing-master, whom I should have mentioned first; as this art is learned by the boys when very young; viz., in the lowest classes of the Latin and me chanic's school. None of the youth, however, are obliged, by the statutes of the college, to attend these masters; and if they do attend them, it must not be before they are entered in the fourth or rhetorical class, because they will not suffer any thing to interfere with the duties of the two higher classes; which, as you will remember, consist chiefly in reading and writing in private.
Religious instruction and training is secured by selecting only such men as professors whose disposition, manners, and character will inspire love and rev. erence, and whose babits of mind leads them to see and speak of the wisdom and goodness of God in all science and occupations—especially in the science of nature, and the material and processes of agriculture.
[These masters are not included in the Faculty, and are paid by special fees.]
CONNECTION WITH ACADEMY AND COLLEGE AT PHILADELPHIA. On the strength of these views, Mr. Smith was invited, in 1753, to become Teacher of Logic, Rhetoric, Natural and Moral Philosophy, in the Aoademy, which he accepted, on condition of being allowed to go to England to receive his regular introduction into the Ministry of the Church of England. He was accordingly ordained Deacon by the Bishop of London, on the 21st of December, 1763, and on the following day, Priest, by the Bishop of Carlisle. On his return, in May, 1754, he entered on his duties at the head of the advanced class, or School of Philosophy, in Philadelphia Before the year closed, the Trustees applied to the Provincial Gov ernor (Morris) for a new charter, confirming the former, and authorizing the Trustees to institute a College, or 'Seminary of Universal Learning,' with the privilege of conferring the usual Academic Degrees. In this new charter, Mr. Smith is named as Provost, and Mr. Alison as Vice-Provost—a change in their relations to the institution, made, doubtless, with their approbation, for they continued to act in unison for a period of twenty-four years. The School of Philosophy and the Latin School were henceforth known as the College. Of the course of instruction pursued, Mr. Smith drew up an account at the request of the Trustees, and which he thought of sufficient value to be included in his collected works.
ACCOUNT OF THE ACADEMY IN 1758.* [This institution was opened in January, 1750, with three schools—the Eng. lish, Mathematical, and Latin, To these the College was added in 1755. At present there are
Two Charity Schools : one with ninety boys, under one master and one assist. ant; and a second, with 120 girls, under one mistress. The girls are taught reading, writing, and sewing; and the boys reading, writing, and arithmetic.
The Academy, organized in two classes or schools; viz., the English School, under a Professor of English and Oratory, with one assistant and a writing. master; and a School of Mathematics, under a Professor, with ninety pupils in both schools.
The College, divided into three Philosophy schools, under the Provost and Vice-Provost; and the Latin and Greek schools, under a Professor of Languages, three tutors, and a writing-master-with a total of 100 students.
The chief masters are William Smith, D.D., Provost of the Seminary, and Professor of Natural Philosophy; Francis Alison, D.D., Vice-Provost, and Professor of Moral Philosophy; Ebenezer Kinnersley, M.A., Professor of Oratory; John Beveridge, M.A., Professor of Languages; Hugh Williamson, M.A., Professor of Mathematics.
The studies of the Latin and Greek schools are identical with those of the Grammar school of the period, and occupy from three to five years, according to the age of the pupil when he begins. When mastered, which is ascertained by a public examination, the pupils proceed to the study of the sciences in the Philosophy schools, with the privilege of wearing an undergraduate's gown. The order and method of study is as following:-)
Smith's Works, Vol. I., pp. 230-248. Account of the College, Academy, and Charitable School of Philadelphia.
CLASSICS AND RHETORIC. |Books recommended for improving the youth
in the various branches.
Spectator, Rambler, &c., for the improve-
ment of style, and knowledge of life.
Barrow's Lectures; Pardie's Geometry;
Maclaurin's Algebra; Ward's Mathemat-
ics; Keil's Trigonometry.
Watts' Logic, and Supplement; Locke on
Human Understanding; Hutcheson's Meta-
Thucydides, or Euripides.
physics ; Varenius's Geography.
Watts' Ontology and Essays ; King de
declamation this year.
Vossius; Bossus ; Pere Bohours; Dryden's
Essays and Prefaces ; Spence on Pope's
Odyssey ; Trapp's Prelect. Poet.; Dionysi-
us Halicar.; Demetrius Phalereus ; Strada
Euclid, 11th book.
Patoun's Navigation ; Gregory's Geom-
etry on Fortification: Simson's Conic
Sections ; Maclaurin's and Emerson's Flur-
ions; Palladio by Ware.
Helsham's Lectures ; Gravesande; Cote's
Hydrostatics; Desaguliers; Muschenbroek;
Hydrostatics. N. B.-During the application of the rules Keil's Introduction; Martin's Philosophy
Pneumatics. of these famous orations, imitations of them Sir Isaac Newton's Philosophy: Maclaurin's
Isaac Newton's Philosophy;
Rohault per Clarke.
Puffendorff by Barbeyrac; Cumberland
Cicero de Officiis.
de Leg; Sidney: Harrington ; Seneca ;
Hutcheson's Works : Locke on Govern-
ment; Hooker's Polity.
Patavii Rationar. Temporum.
Scaliger de Emendatione temporum;
Preceptor ; Le Clerc's Compend of History;
Gregory's Astronomy; Fortescue on Laws
N. Bacon's Discourses; My Lord Bacon's
Chemistry. Of Fossils. Afternoons of this third term, for com- Works; Locke on Coin ; Davenant; Gee's
position and declamation on moral and Compend Ray Derham; Spectacle de la NaFour months.
N. B.-Through all the years, the physical subjects.-Philosophy acts held. ture; Religious Philosopher. Holy Bible Examination for Degree of B. A. French language may be studied at
to be read daily from the beginning. leisure hours.
From this view, it will be seen, that in these various schools all branches of education are carried on which are found necessary for the learned professions, merchandise, mechanic arts, or inferior callings. Discipline is maintained through the Trustees (24 in number) resident within five miles of the city. The second Tuesday of every month is set apart for visiting and examining the schools, advising with the masters, encouraging the students, and attending to any business brought before them. All degrees are conferred on their mandate, after an examination in their presence.
Under these Trustees, the principal masters are constituted into a Faculty, or Common Body, with all the powers necessary for the ordinary government of the schools and good education of the youth. They are to meet, in Faculty, at least once in every two weeks, and at such other times as the Provost, or Senior Member present, shall think fit to call them, or any two members desire him so to do. At these meetings they are to inquire into the state of the schools, and see that the several parts of education be regularly carried on, and the laws of the institution duly executed and observed. They have also power to enact temporary rules and ordinances, to be in force as laws, till the first en. suing meeting of the Trustees; before whom they are then to be laid, in order to be altered, amended, or confirmed, or left probationary for a longer period, or wholly laid aside, as they shall think fit.
By this method, all laws either do, or may, take their rise from masters, who being daily present in the institution, know best 'what regulations and orders may be wanted. At the same time, as these regulations are to receive their last sanction from the Trustees and Visitors, who are men of experience, influ. ence, and probity, and have children of their own to educate, we may be certain that nothing can obtain the force of a standing law, but what is found salutary and good upon trial.
As many of the youth are too big for corporal punishment, there are small fines by the laws agreeable to the nature of the offense, and the custom of other colleges. Whatever money is thus raised from the slothful and refractory in fines, is appropriated in rewards to the diligent and obedient; so that any youth, who has once been a delinquent, may bave an opportunity of getting back, by future care, what he forfeited by former neglect.
These rewards and punishnients are both administered in the most public manner; and, in short, the whole discipline is so reasonable and just, that any youth who might desire to break through the rules of this institution in his younger years, can bardly be expected to submit to the rules of civil society when grown up.
The youth all lodge, or will shortly, in the houses of their parents, or in lodgings within the walls of the college; a proper number of wbich are now erecting, at a very considerable expense.
In this institution, there is a good apparatus for experiments in Natural Phil. osophy, done in England by the best hands, and brought over from thence, in different parcels. There is also, in the experiment room, an electrical apparatus, chiefly the invention of one of the professors, Mr. Kindersley, and perhaps the completest of the kind now in the world.
Work Outside of the College. Mr. Smith was not a non-resistant-through life he retnrned blow for blow, and he was not slow to assail what he believed to be wrong, and to assert what he thought to be right--and on many of the controversies of bis day he preached his sermon, and printed his book. In the agitation which followed Braddock's defeat, he issued a pamphlet on the Condition of the Province,' in which he bitterly denounced the position taken by the Quakers in the Assembly, and the dissatisfaction of the Germans, who, having fled to escape the horrors of war at home, were slow to enlist in such enterprise here. Mr. Smith's remedies were 'heroic-every member of the Assembly should be compelled to sign a declaration that he would not refuse to defend the country against his Majesty's enemies; no German should be allowed to vote for members of Assembly until he had some knowledge of the English language, and that no newspaper or other periodical, in any foreign language, should be permitted to circulate in the Province. The ill-feeling provoked by this pamphlet, and his military sermons composed in the same spirit, made him a conspicuous object of attack by the party assailed. In 1758, he delivered and printed, at the request of General Forbes, on the opening of the campaign in 1758, an address urging the Colonies to active and aggressive measures This involved the author in some side issues with the Assembly, in the progress of which he was committed to jail .for high and manifest violation of the rights and privileges of the Representatives of the people. The Trustees thought their Provost was in the right, and directed his classes to attend his instructions in the jail. On his release, at the end of three months, they permitted him to go to England and prosecute his appeal to the Privy Council from the judgment of the Assembly. In this appeal he was successful-for he had the sympathy of great and influential personages,' the elder Pitt, among others, who admired his boldness in urging the defense of a distant portion of the Empire against French invasion, as well as for the overthrow of French power on this continent. His discourses were reprinted in England in 1759, and were compared favorably by the Critical Review with those of Bossuet. Before his return be was honored with the degree of Doctor of Divinity from the University of Aberdeen, and also from the University of Oxford; and still later from the University of Dublin. He returned to Philadelphia in Oetober, 1759, with an Order in Council, affirming that the Assembly had been guilty of high and unwarrantable invasion, both of his Majesty's royal prerogative, and the liberties of the subject. He also presented to the Trustees, from the Hon. Thomas Peon, as a permanent fund, the deed of 2,500 acres of land one-fourth part of the manor of Perkasie in Bucks county.
At the commencement exercises of the College and Academy, in May, 1761, Dr. Smith delivered a discourse before the Trustees, Masters, and Scholars, which is printed in his collected works. In this discourse he sums up the work of a College under the heads of Languages, the Science of the Human Mind, the Phenomena of Nature and their subserviency to Human Life, Moral Philosophy, and the Power of Expression by Voice and Pen.