« FöregåendeFortsätt »
you; it has to do with you only in that you may hereafter become active members of it. You have no need of discussing what ought or ought not to happen in the state; it is only proper for you to consider how you shall yourselves in future act in it, and how you may worthily prepare yourselves to do so. In short, all that you do should be done only with reference to yourselves, to your life as students; and all else should be avoided, as foreign to your occupations and your life, in order that your setting out in life may not be ridiculous."
These words point out clearly the mistaken road by which the students afterward departed further and further from the right road. But they should not bear all the blame.
If a child has good and bad qualities, some people will look only at the former, and will foretell all manner of good of him; while others will see only the evil in him, and will prophesy an evil future for the child. But any one, who loves him truly, will consider how to cherish his good qualities, and to subdue his bad ones.
Such a child, with good qualities, but not without faults, was the Turning system. Passow, a man of honesty and benevolence, and of disinterested activity, looked almost altogether at its bright side, and in his “ Object of Turning" (Turnziel) expressed hopes quite too great; it might almost be said that he spoke ill-luck to the child. Blame always follows excessive praise; praise must absolutely state the truth, must contain a just estimate of things.
My friend Steffens, on the other hand, saw only the dark side, the evils of the system; and he wrote his “ Caricatures,” (Curicaturen,) and his “ Object of Turning," (Turnziel,) which was directed against Passow's “ Turnziel.” This talented man had lived all his life in the enthusiastic love of science and art; and this new system seemed to him to be cold and even inimical to every thing which he loved best. Jabn's rough, harsh, strong character was not agreeable to him; in the bitter censoriousness of many of the Turners, he naturally saw a hasty, presumptuous endeavor to improve the world; in their disrespect for many eminent men, unruly vulgarity, and in their German manners, only an affectation of them.
Thus there broke out in Breslau a violent contest between the friends and enemies of the Turners,* which called out many other
This contest, in which I also look part, Steffens bas described in his Memoirs. Steffens exercised a most profound and kindly influence upon my life; for which I shall forever be grateful to him. He was my instrnctor and my brother-in-law; and for eight years we lived as faithful colleagues together, in the same house at Breslau. And now suddenly we came into opposition to each other. Our lasting, and mutual, and heartfelt love was such that it can not be described how much we both suffered from this truly trigic relation. My friends at Breslau even advised me to leave the place. When Steffens visited me, eighteen years afterward, at Erlangen, we there quietly reviewed the evil days at Breslau. This, our last
publications besides Passow's and Steffens', only part of which would now have
any historical interest. A work of permanent value on the subject is that of Captain von Schmeling, on Turning and the Landwehr; in which he showed how Turning was a valuable preparatory school for the training of the militia men.* Harnisch wrote “ Turning in its Universal Relations,” (Das Turnen in Seinen Allseitigen Verhaltnissen.)
In a dialogue entitled “ Turning and the State,"t I defended Jahn and the Turning system from the charge of being Jacobinical, and of hate toward France; and, in some others, against those who charged it with being anti-Christian. But this controversy was warmly carried on in other places besides Silesia. Arndt wrote powerfully in favor of Turning. The physician Könen, in Berlin, w.ote upon its medical importance ; $ not to mention many other publications.
During this controversy, the Prussian goverument showed great and deep interest in the Turning system. A plan had even been prepared for the establishment of Turning-grounds throughout the whole kingdom. But on the very day when this was to have been laid before the king for his approval the news of Sand's murder of Kotzebue reached Berlin, and the approval was withheld.
This was the first fruit of that unhappy deed.
Many years passed before Turning was again freely practiced in Prussia. In Wurtemberg alonel it has been uninterruptedly maintained down to the present day. In Bavaria the present monarch, as soon as he came to the throne, took the system under his protection, and employed Massmann to have a Turning institution erected at Munich.
TRAINING OF THE SENSES.
+ See my
Rousseau, in " Emile," discussed the education of the senses. I earthly meeting, seemed to me to join immediately on to the early youthful intercourse of thirty-three years before ; and I felt myself drawn to him by a love which had lasted through good and evil times, and which will outlive death, because it is stronger than death.
* At a later period, in 1813, Dr. Münnich wrote • Turning and Military Service,” (Das T'urnen und der Kriegsdienst,) in which he clearly stated the important relation between the
W. Menzel, in his treatise, “ Bodily Training from the Point of Viero of National Economy,” (Die Körperübung aus dem Gesichtspunkt der Nationalökonomie,) has earnestly recommended Turning, as a means of educating defenders of the fatherland.
“ Miscellaneous Writings," (Vermischte Schriften.) First printed in the Silesian " Provincial Gazette,” (Provinzialhlat'ern.)
: “Spirit of the Age,” Geist der Zeit.) vol. 4, 1818. Reprinted with the title “Turning; with an Appendix," (Das Turnwesen nebst einen Anhange.) By E. M. Arndt. Leipzig, 1812. A most valuable work.
9 - Life and Turning, Turning and Life," (Leben und Turnen, Turnen und Leben) By von Könen. Berlin, 1817.
P A man of noble character and full of love for Germany and the German youth, Professor Klumpp, established the Siutigart Turning Institution, and conducted it for many years. In 1312 he wrote his valuable treatise, “ Turning; a Mirement for German National Derelop ment," (Das Turnen ; ein Deutsch-Nationales Entuicklungs-Moment.)
1 I have gone more into detail on this point in my chapter on Emile, which see.
According to him, all the senses should be cultivated; the eye, in estimating magnitudes and distances, and in drawing geometrical figures; the touch, in judging by means of feeling, which the blind learn to do remarkably; &c.
In this department of gymnastics, Guts Muths substantially followed Rousseau. He assigned to the senses a remarkable office; namely, to “awaken, from the slumber of non-existence, the child, at first asleep in its quiet bosom." The emptiness and impossibility of Locke's opinion, that man is at first a mere sheet of white paper,
is made very clear and evident by Guts Muths' expression.
“ The soul of the young citizen of the world,” says Guts Muths, in another place, “yet lies in the profound slumber which comes with it out of its condition of non-existence." The mind becomes at first susceptible of powerful impressions on the feelings; and then becomes more and more awakened, and capable of more and more delicate impressions. “But, as the gradations of impressions on the senses, from the most violent to the most delicate of which we can conceive, are immeasurable, so is the refinement of our susceptibility to such impressions also possible to an immeasurable degree." All the life long, the mind is becoming constantly susceptible to fainter and fainter impressions; that is, more awake.”
Guts Muths' idea of training the senses is thus the sharpening of them; as also appears from the examples of it which he gives. The boys are made to shut their eyes and feel of letters, figures, the devices on coins, &c. Seeing must be trained by cultivating the vision of small things and distant things. The children are to follow Nature even to her minutest objects, even those scarcely visible to the eye." “The pupil,” he says,
" should observe not only the coarser parts of flowers, but his eye should pierce even their minutest portions. He should study the absorbent vessels, the structure of the skin, the bark and leaves of trees, many kinds of seeds; the reproductive organs of plants, the pollen, anthers, &c." He should be able to recognize a 'flower or a stone at thirty races, and a tree at from a hundred to a thousand paces. IIis ear should be trained not only by music, but " he should observe the sound of laden and empty vehicles, of the squeaking of doors," &c. If the keenness of the senses, their susceptibility, were the measure of their improvement, those who are disordered in their nerves would surpass the most practiced senses of the healthy. They are annoyed by the least and most distant noise ; and distinguish its exact nature only too well. If the pupils of Guts Muths could distinguish by the touch, with their eyes closed, between gold and silver coins, this was far outdone by a sick person, who
became uneasy when any one, even without his knowledge, brought a silver spoon near him.
The American Indians, as is well known, whose mode of life is little better than that of animals, surpass most Europeans in the keenness of their senses; and thus, according to Rousseau and Guts Muths, the Caribs and Iroquois should be valued as our models. They might equally as well have proposed the eyes of a lynx, the pose of a hound, &c., as ideals. I have expressed my views already upon such doctrines as to bodily training, particularly that of the senses, in the following aphorisms, in which I have described an ideal of the cultivation of the senses.
The ancient legends clearly expressed the difference between mere animal strength of body and the human intellectual strength of body, by making their giants—huge, stupid, uncouth masses of fleshbe conquered by knights, smaller in body, but of keener intellects. Are then tigers models for springing, apes for climbing, and birds for flying ? are they inaccessible ideals, to which the gymnast should look up with resignation and longing ? We might like very well to fly, but not in the form of a crow or a stork; we would be angels. We would prefer to live imperfect, in a higher grade of existence, with the sense of capacity for development, than to fall back into a more complete but lower grade, behind us and below us.
Caesar despised being the first man in a small village, because he felt himself capable of being the first man in Rome. In like manner, the Turning system contemns a lower animal development, because a higher human one is accessible to it.
If the eye were only a corporeal mirror of the visible world, it would represent equally well or equally ill the most different things, according to the bodily health and strength, or sickness and weakness, of its condition. But it is an organ of intellectual susceptibility; of not only a bodily but also an intellectual union with things. And accordingly it is a well-grounded usage in language by which we say " to have keen eyes ;” and “to have an eye for” particular things, such as plants, animals, &c. The former indicates bodily health and strength; the latter points to an original spiritual relation between the eye and certain things, trained by close study.
The same is more or less true of the other senses. The art of cultivating the senses has only to a very small extent any thing to do with what increases their corporeal strength—as, for instance, with medical rules for taking care of and strengthening the eyes.
It has much more to do with the cultivation of the intellectual susceptibility of each of the senses. Therefore it begins not with
the arbitrary, one-sided cultivation of one sense, which tends to diminish the susceptibility of the others; and still less does it direct one sense arbitrarily to one single class of objects, as the eyes to plants or animals exclusively. For this would cripple the intellectual application of the senses to things of other kinds. But if the teacher has begun, as the universal microcosmic character of every well-organized · child requires, with as general a cultivation of all his senses as is possible, and then observes a prominent and stronger activity in one sense, or an especial applicability of it to some one department of the visible world, as of the eye to minerals, &c., then only may he undertake the cultivation of that one sense or susceptibility, as a peculiar talent.
If now the intellectual senses are supplied by the external senses with an abundance of intuitions of all kinds, the impressions thus received gradually ripen, and desire to be brought to the light of day. Thus a little child speaks words which it has often heard its mother use, then sings what it has often heard sung, and tries to draw what it has often seen.
With every receptive organ nature has coupled a producing or representing one, or even more; in order that man may not be solitary in the midst of his inward wealth, but may communicate with others. He can, in many ways, represent a known object, whose picture is visible to his mind; he can describe it in writing, act it, &c.
The development of the susceptibility to impressions must naturally precede that of the power of representing. Hearing must precede speaking and singing; seeing, painting, &c. There exists a sympathy, as is well known, between the susceptible organs and the corresponding representing ones; of the organs of hearing with those of speech, of those of vision with the hand, &c. The use of the receiving organs seems to produce a secret, quiet growth of the representing ones, though these latter be not directly practiced.
In many trades, the apprentice is made to look on for a whole year, before putting his hand to the work. When his eye thus becomes intelligent, the hand follows it sympathetically. It is to be wished that the example might be followed in all the cultivation of the senses.
The teacher who tries to cultivate receptivity and power of representing together, who requires the pupil to furnish an expression immediately after the impression is made, mistakes Nature, who requires a quiet, undisturbed condition of the senses for their receptive office, and usually a slow development of the power of representing.
It is said of some of the North American Indians that the devel. opinent of their senses furnishes, for those who would combine them