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98 FRAGMENTS OF SCIENCE.

powers must be also taken into. account. He comes to us
as a bundle of inherited capacities and tendencies, labelled
“ from the indefinite past to the indefinite future ;” and he
makes his transit from the one to the other through the
education of the present time. The object of that educa-
tion is, or ought to be, to provide wise exercise for his ca-
pacities, wise direction for his tendencies, and through this
exercise and this direction to furnish his mind with such
knowledge as may contribute to the usefulness, the beauty,
and the nobleness of his life.

How is this discipline to be secured, this knowledge im-
parted ? Two rival methods now solicit attention—the one
organized and equipped, the labor of centuries having been
expended in bringing it to its present state of perfection;
the other, more or less chaotic, but becoming daily less so,
and giving signs of enormous power, both as a source of
knowledge and as a means of discipline. These two
methods are the classical and the scientific method. I wish
they were not rivals; it is only bigotry and short-sighted-
ness that make them so ; for assuredly it is possible to give
both of them fair play. Though hardly authorized to ex-
press any opinion whatever upon the subject, I nevertheless
hold the Opinion that the proper study of a language is an
intellectual discipline of the highest kind. If I except dis-
cussions on the comparative merits of p0pery and Protes-
tantism, English grammar was the most important discipline
of my boyhood. The piercing through the involved and
inverted sentences of “ Paradise Lost ;” the linking of the
verb to its often distant nominative, of the relative to its
distant antecedent, of the agent to the object of the transi-
tive verb, of the preposition to the noun or pronoun which
it governed—the study of variations in mood and tense, the
transformations often necessary to bring out the true gram-
matical structure of a sentence—all this was to my young.
mind a discipline of the highest value, and, indeed, a source

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