Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 6.djvu/345
EMOTIONS IN THE PRIMITIVE MAN.
relates to the lesson—a very limited subject—would never give sufficient practice to enable them really to speak the language. They find themselves together: the professor to give, the pupils to receive instruction. The teacher talks to them in a language they know perfectly well; they listen, and say nothing.
A general conversation outside the lesson would be less practicable. There is nothing in common between the professor and his pupils. There are no subjects, or they are always the same. But it is more than probable that, if, in the presence of thirty or forty pupils little versed in the foreign language, he should speak this language, and seek to make them speak it, all his efforts would produce only confusion, disobedience, and disorder. At best, this chit-chat could only take place in private instruction.
On the other hand, the difficulty of pupils in understanding the master, and the frequent correction of their errors, would constantly draw away the attention from the subject to discuss words; would discourage the pupils and fatigue the master, and make all genuine conversation impossible. But what time would thirty or forty pupils have to converse, in the three hours a week that is granted, even though they did nothing but converse all the time? Each one, if they took turns, would have four minutes a week!
The arts of speaking and writing are acquired without difficulty, if, conforming to the laws of Nature, pupils read and listen beforehand, and always associate the idea with the word. When they perfectly understand the spoken language, the professor can address his class in it, so that each lesson will be, for all, an advance toward the desired end. To listen, and understand what is said, is to learn to pronounce and to talk. Later, the book first used in reading and listening will teach, by imitation, the arts of speaking and writing. Recurring to example instead of rules, the pupils will take their phraseology as a model, and vary it infinitely in expressing their own thoughts.
A MEASURE of evolution in living things is, the degree of correspondence between changes in the organism and coexistences and sequences in the environment. In the "Principles of Psychology," it was shown that mental development is "an adjustment of inner to outer relations that gradually extends in Space and Time, that becomes increasingly special and complex, and that has its elements ever more precisely coordinated and more completely integrated." Though in that place chiefly exemplified as the law of in-