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ranks is found no practised scholar, that the principles of grammar which they thus undervalue must, necessarily, be acquired at some period of the literary progress. The understanding of a given sentence depends upon the dissection of its clauses and the knowledge of its construction, and this upon the accurate discrimination of those particular inflections which occur; and this is what the principles of grammar inculcate. In the art of war it is a maxim, that fortresses are never to be left unsubdued in the rear. Mutatis mutandis, it is a maxim in every walk of life. The question then arises, shall the principles which are necessary to the enucleation of every sentence be learned at the outset, or shall they be acquired by piecemeal at the moment when they are needed? Shall the grammar be mastered in its simple form, with its parts in beautiful connexion, or the scattered members of its harmonious arrangement be picked up by the way disconnected, with the inevitable evil of mistaking exceptions for rules, and anomalies for established usage? This is to revert to the condition in which learners were placed before the formation of grammars. It reduces the scholar to the labour of doing for himself, at immense pains, and with doubtful success, what able philologists have long since provided to his hand. Under pretence of saving toil, it rejects the labour-saving machine, and returns the learner to the sorrowful process of unassisted nature. For although the new system purports to be in analogy with the mechanical improvements of modern physics, it is every thing else, and upon close inspection the lucid, brief and symmetrical grammar is the very appliance which we need.
In these strictures, we do not wish to be understood as including the many ingenious methods which faithful teachers and private scholars have found useful in varying the monotony of philological pursuits, or exciting the enthusiasm of the learner, or adapting the mode of special inculcation to the subject. The minds of men differ, and a thousand minor systems have been devised, all, let it be observed, founded on a sense of the indispensable necessity of labouring the preliminary discipline. Erasmus acquired his knowledge of Greek by laborious translations into Latin. The ancient grammarians recommended the practice of translating and retranslating into the original; a method recommended and adopted by Sir William Jones. Henry de Nismes tells us, that he could, while at school, "repeat Homer from one end to the other." Wyttenbach repeated each paragraph of the author whom he stu
died, and then each book, and finally each volume. These and various methods which might be cited are not unlikely to be useful to individuals; but how far do they agree with the newly-discovered plan of giving by wholesale what the laborious scholars of other times took years to accomplish by wearisome steps?
It is, therefore, much to be desired, that those under whose auspices the education of the next race of men is to be conducted, should be above the danger of mistaking these specious lights of false learning for their guides in the path of instruction.
Travels in Turkey, Egypt, Nubia, and Palestine, in 1824, 1825, 1826 and 1827. By R. R. Madden, Esq. M.R. C.J. In two volumes. London, 1829.
Voyages and travels, unlike most other books, are becoming every day more interesting. Mere curiosity might, perhaps, have been sated long ago; but the character and circumstances of the age have created a demand for information not so easily supplied. The great schemes of philanthropy, which form so prominent a feature in the present aspect of the Christian world, give an importance to the most minute details respecting distant countries, which intrinsically they do not possess. Every new light that is thrown upon the character and manners of Mohammedans and Pagans, facilitates the access of religion and civilization, and puts new instruments into the hands of those who are employed in pulling down the strong holds of the adversary. Neither missionaries nor their patrons, nor the christian public appreciate aright, before experiment, the infinite importance of an accurate acquaintance with the state of society in heathen lands, the specific influence of different false creeds, and the methods of attack upon their prejudices most likely to produce effect. Many a well meant effort has been met with disappointment, and many a promising design abandoned in despair, from an unfortunate neglect of these minutiæ, on the part of those who formed the plan or under
took to execute it. One error of this kind, which has produced such effects in particular abundance, it may be well to specify. The habit of despising those less civilized, becomes so fixed in all the natives of enlightened countries, that they come at last to imagine that the objects of their scorn entertain the same views. Our own understandings are so strongly impressed with the advantages which we enjoy, that we scarcely think it possible for those less favoured not to feel their humiliating distance. We go among them, therefore, with an expectation that they will at once recognize us as superiors, and accept of us as masters. Mortifying experience soon undeceives the traveller. He soon becomes acquainted with the obvious fact, that those among whom he finds himself, not only feel no disposition to do him reverence, but despise him heartily. When the first paroxysm of wonder is subsided, he discovers that the degree of their contempt is greater even than his own for them, and is indeed in exact proportion to their inferiority in knowledge and refinement. It is in vain that he sets before their eyes the circumstances which to his mind are demonstrative of their inferiority. He learns too late that the value of such advantages can be estimated only by those who have enjoyed them, and that the exhibition of his gifts and graces to the semi-barbarian or savage, is a wasteful casting of pearls before swine.
Such, we believe, has been the mortifying experience, more or less, of all ancient and modern travellers, whatever may have been their character and previous preparation, or the scene of their adventures. In no part of the world, however, has this mishap befallen travellers with such provoking uniformity and to so galling an extent, as among the Mohammedans, Arabs, Moors, Persians, and particularly Turks. Besides the contempt for foreigners already spoken of, as characteristic of all nations, in proportion to their ignorance and want of cultivation, there comes in this case into play, religious prejudice and the very quintessence of bigotry. The Gentoo worshipper of Juggernaut, and the African adorer of the Devil, may regard the Christian as heretical, because he will not join them in their orgies; but he bears this stigma in common with all others who dissent from their religion. The Moslem, on the contrary, is taught contempt and hatred of the Christians as an article of faith, and learns to curse them when he learns to pray. He execrates them, not because they are not Moslems, but because they are Christians; his antipathy is not a
general one against all unbelief, but a specific one against the gospel. According to the Koran, they are Cafirs or Infidels, par eminence, and the zealous Musselman cannot vindicate his orthodoxy more triumphantly than by spitting in the face of every Frank whom he encounters in the lanes of Constantinople, or on the wharves of Alexandria. The first Christian travellers in the east had, therefore, a twofold difficulty to encounter, one resulting from the imperfect civilization, the other from the religious prejudice of the nations whom they visited. The first circumstance which wrought a change in the views of the orientals, was their inevitable discovery of the superior value of European manufactures. When they had once allowed themselves to be convinced, that for firearms, cutlery, and many other articles of luxury and convenience, they must be indebted to the Franks, they began to court their intercourse; but it is curious to observe how they continued to do it, without abating a tittle of their orthodox contempt. Europeans found more favour in their eyes, but it was the favour shown to craftsmen and mechanics, and the Turkish Aga, while he bargained for a pair of pistols or a shirt, made no scruple of spitting on the beard of the vile giaour who offered them for sale. The notion now prevailed, that all Europeans were manufacturers and pedlars, an opinion which gained them freer access to those countries, but by no means added greatly to their dignity. A second discovery soon followed. The residence of one or two physicians from the west, in Egypt and the Levant, opened the eyes of the inhabitants to a new trait of superiority in the unclean dogs, as they politely call us, and one of more moment than all others previously known. The gift of healing is valued every where beyond all price, but no where so extravagantly as in those countries where disease abounds, and medicine is only known by name. A few simple cures performed by surgeons to the European factories, or by travelling physicians, spread like wildfire through the miserable population of the west of Asia. The Russels of Aleppo received every thing but an apotheosis, and many an awkward operator whom necessity had palmed upon the French and English factories in Asia as their medical advisers, acquired a reputation never earned by the most successful practice in the wards of the Hotel Dieu and St Bartholomew's. Every Frank was now a doctor. The most solemn disavowals were unable to rescue the most unpretending stranger from this honourable imputation. Natu
ralists, traders, soldiers, missionaries, all received a medical degree, on getting into Asia; but the multitude of their patients, the unreasonableness of their demands, and the moderation of their fees, made it a dear bought honour.
This false idea of the sanative abilities of all Christian travellers, annoying as it has been in its effects to many individuals, has opened a new source of information with respect to oriental countries. Domestic society among Mohammedans is, like their dwelling-houses, protected on the outside by a uniform dead wall. Nothing can be seen upon the surface. To know any thing about them you must get inside; a privilege which none but a physician can enjoy. So long as the Mohammedans retain their present views, with respect to female character and manners, the harem must be kept inviolate from all but necessary visiters. And it is only there that the real disposition of the individual appears to be revealed. The uniform monotony of character exhibited by Turks and other Moslems when abroad, is obviously constrained and artificial; it is only in domestic privacy that those distinctive traits which mark the individual become apparent. It seems probable, therefore, that for many years to come, medical men must be relied upon for information of this kind; a circumstance which has suggested the propriety of travellers and missionaries furnishing themselves with some degree of skill in that profession, if for no other purpose, merely as a passport, and the surest means of conciliating favour. That this device will prove successful there can be no doubt; for nothing can exceed the confidence reposed in European therapeutics by the orientals. It seems as if their extreme religious and political antipathy to Franks and Christians, as such, had reacted to produce an opposite extreme of superstitious admiration of their merits in a medical capacity. And yet it is amusing to observe here, as in a former case, with what facility this reverential awe is made to coalesce with a cordial detestation of the same men as unbelievers, and a profound contempt for them as savages. A curious example of this kind is given by Mr Madden. His Greek drogueman had been applauding, in no measured terms, the skill of his employer, at a coffee-shop in Constantinople. After some extravagant falsehood of this kind, “ one turned up his eyes and said there was but one God; another praised my skill and cried, Mahomet is the friend of God! The latter gentleman held out his wrist to have his pulse felt, and said in a very civil tone of voice,