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gaze upon its mother, and to die. Human nature could endure no more; the mother's cup of sorrow was full, even to the overflowing. She lifted 'her eyes to heaven, cast one parting look upon her babe, heaved one deep drawn sigh, and sunk upon her pillow never to rise again.
You weep, young gentleman, and those drops become you. Never let your generous indignation at guilt be suppressed, ncr let the tear given to misery be ever checked; but what, think you, were the sufferings of the husband of that angel girl ?—Edward made no reply, but looked wistfully at the stranger, with his eyes suffused in tears. I am that husband-continued the stranger-and have told you my own story, that you might learn to mitigate your sorrows, when you recall to your remembrance what mine are.
The stranger immediately left the room ; and Edward, as soon as he had a little recovered from the surprize into which this unexpected discovery of the gentleman had thrown him, rang the bell, and inquired of the hostess, who the stranger was ?—The woman replied,—that she did not know; she had never seen him before that day; he had come to her house a few hours since, had told nothing of his history or of his destination, and was gone, she knew not whither. This narrative sunk deeply into Edward's mind, and afterwards, upon farther inquiry, he found, that it was full of truth, and that the stranger (i. e. the Chevalier B—-—had only suppressed some of the circumstances, which showed the old accoucheur in a still more shocking point of view, than that of being merely the indirect murderer of his own child,
AMERICAN LITERATURE REVIEWED.
NATURE DISPLAYED, &c.
BY N. G. DUFIEF.
(Continued from Vol. 2. No. 4. page 229.)
!. what is much worse, he still resolutely continues to be the very same identical Dufief, notwithstanding all the critical pounding, and pummelling, which he hath received at our hands ;-but, as Solomon, very drily, observes,—though you bray a fool in a mortar, yet will not his folly depart from him. Wherefore, although M. Dufief, as one Virgil somewhere remarks, in a certain eclogue of his,—“merits an oaken staff,” for the great display of natural talents, which he hath made,-yet will we travel onward a little while longer in company with a philosopher, who, nothing daunted by the success of his former achievements, now advances upon us with this singularly modest prophecy,-for M. Dufief is, to the full, as great a prophet, as he is a magnanimous philosopher,
“ This logic of irresistible facts rapidly spread the fame of the new method ;--(i. e. N. G. Dufief's nature displayed,)—and so complete was the revolution, that in Philadelphia, the centre of opposition, the natural method completely prevails, and from numerous letters received from gentlemen of learning, in every part of the United States, I may fore-tell, that the old system of teaching living languages by grammatical rules, will, ere long, be driven from this country.”
No, never, never, M. Dufief, will the science of grammar be exploded, in order to make room for your miserable mass of mishapen absurdity, in this country, while a single ray genius, learning, taste, or sense, shall be found to illumine the minds of the American people !!!
M. Dufief, then, presses Mr. Locke into the service, and cites from him these words
“ There is nothing more evident, than that the languages learned by rote, serve well enough for the common affairs of life, and ordinary commerce ; nay, persons of quality, of the softer sex, and such of them as have spent their time in well-bred company, shew us, that this plain, natural way, without the least study or knowledge of grammar, can carry them to a great degree of elegance and politeness in their language; and that there are ladies, who, without knowing what tenses and participles are, speak as correctly-(they might take it for an ill compliment, if I said as well as any country school-master).-as most gentlemen who have been bred up in the ordinary methods of grammar schools."
And, pray, is this speaking of the ladies, which may be sufficient for—"the common affairs of life, and ordinary commerce,”—a real knowledge of the language, which gives the power of writing correctly in that language ?--If it be not, -(and it will require even all M. Dufief's courage, to say, that it is)-of what use is it to discard grammar, and teach language by rote; since this latter method, although it might answer the purpose of enabling the ladies to entertain each other, by talking, and serve_" well enough for the common affairs of life, and ordinary, commerce,”-can never produce such writers as M. Dufief himself recommends to the notice of his pupils ;-we mean M. Voltaire, M. D'Alembert, and the “virtuous French moralist," M.Marmontel, &c. &c.
All the world knows-notwithstanding M. Dufief calls Locke-“that great law-giver in matters concerning education,”-that Locke's book on education is a very meagre performance ; that it is not calculated to give the student an enlarged and a comprehensive view of things; and that he intended it, merely, for the use of country gentlemen. Consult the book, and you will readily perceive this to be true; particularly, turn to his very frigid and unsatisfactory re marks upon poetry, and languages.
Having fortified himself with the assistance of Mr. Locke, M. Dufief proceeds to tell us, that if the student will adopt the phrase-method," he will be surprised to hear himself speak French with facility. It is a miracle, which analogy, and analysis, without his knowledge, will do for him.'
No doubt, it is a miracle : for nothing, short of a miracle, will enable a man to understand a language without his knowledge."
Then follows a touch of the pathetic, which is too exquisitely done in M. Dufief's best manner, to be with-holden from the reader.
“ How dark, tedious, and fruitless, when compared to this, by which we have been taught to speak our vernacular tongue, and by which we taste, in the mutual effusions of the heart, the first delights of human life ; how dark, tedious, and fruitless are the methods which grammars prescribe, tender mothers will much better comprehend than cold grammarians."
Thus we see, that N. G. Dufief is a complete master of his weapons; when argument and sense fail him, and he despairs of making any impression on the men, he has recourse to flattery and nonsense, and turns short round upon the women with—“tender mothers will comprehend, &c."-Sterne, in his Sentimental Journey, says, that, when at Paris, he observed a beggar, standing at the corner of a very public and crowded street leading down to the church of Notre Dame; he watched the motions of this mendicant, and noticed, that he never asked alms of the men who passed by him, but only of the women; and that no woman ever passed by, without giving him
some money. This rouzed Sterne's curiosity, and he reques- ted the beggar to explain the meaning of what he had obser
ved.-Sir, replied the mendicant, I let the men pass, without asking aught from them, because I have, too often, solicited their charity in vain; but I obtain alms from every woman, that I see, by telling her, that I hope God will preserve to her her present exquisite beauty and grace; and thus, by a little flattery, and a very simple compliment to the person of the ladies, I gain a comfortable livelihood.
Pray, did M. Dufief avail himself of the ingenuity of this French beggar,and learn,from that pure fountain of knowledge, the marvellous art of beguiling tender mothers to range themselves under his banner, in the terrible battle which he so valiantly wages against the “cold grammarians ?”
Next followeth a long abuse of grammars, which, it seems, are very vile. We, however, beg leave to inform M. Dufief, that, Shakspeare solemnly advances it as his opinion,—that there is no slander in an avowed fool, though he doth nothing but rail.
Instead of attending to such trash as grammar, N. G. Dufief
says-“I advise the learner when he has been once through that-i.e. the first)-volume to begin anew, and so on, till he is, in fact, master of it !! !”—that is, till he has gotten the whole volume, consisting of four hundred and sixty closely printed octavo pages, by heart !!!
Surely, the tender mercies of that man must be cruel, who eould, in his heart, devise so barbarous a method of torment, as that of loading the memory with a tedious volume full of phrases, to be learned by rote.
We are, also, favoured with another discovery, which take in the author's own words :
“ The above, and in fact, the whole of this discourse, tends to the proof, that the only successful method of learning a language is by custom or practice. Hence, the residing, for a length of time, in a country, where the language we wish to acquire is spoken, much promotes this end; and, where this happens, it is advisable to associate with the politer class of people, in order to acquire a good pronunciation and proper habits of speaking; and to read the most approved authors, under the guidance of a judicious native.”
Is this miserable truism,—that polished people speak more correctly than do the vulgar ;-that practice is necessary to the learning of a language,-(as it is, to the acquisition of every thing else)—and that, in order to form an accurate judgment of a language, we must read the most approved authors, who have written in that language,—to be palmed off upon us as a new and a philosophical discovery?- No doubt, this information must have very highly gratified the_"learned” gentlemen who wrote letters highly approving him, at their own expence, from all parts of the United States.
M. Dufief, however, is not yet satisfied, for he, immediately adds,
“ But this work, in a great degree, precludes the necessity of going to France to acquire the language; for it places the learner nearly in the same situation, as if he were to learn French by an intercourse with the natives.”-i.e. M. Dufief's book is equivalent to the company of the “politer" class of French people, and the “ most approved" French authors !) “ I will, even, assert, (paradoxical as it may appear) on the firm ground of argument, that it would be better for an Englishman to learn French in his own country, under the direction of a good teacher, by my method, than to learn the language in France without it.”