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For the special weekly exercise described above, there can be no considerable preparation beyond incessant faithfulness in the daily work. The time thus left free is utilized in the preparation of a considerable piece of English based upon the Latin recently read. (It will be seen that no textbook in composition is employed.) The exercise handed in by each student is afterwards looked through, and returned to him at the next meeting of the class, with all errors marked.

The writing of the Latin sentence, one word at a time, upon the board in the special weekly exercise which has been described above, gives place in a few weeks to the corresponding dictation of one word at a time, to be written upon his paper by the student, the questions being, of course, given as before. The exercise changes constantly in character by the dropping of questions with which the students have become familiar, and the bringing in of questions involving new principles. Meanwhile, the examination of the papers written shows, from week to week, just where each student's weakness lies. In no long time all the constantly recurring constructions have become familiar as practical, working affairs. Then (and this time properly comes somewhere near the end of the first third of the year) I cease entirely to have the Latin written, and give my passage (which may now be of respectable length) orally, still asking occasional questions for written answers, here and there, at points dangerous or otherwise instructive. After the whole of the passage has been gone through in this way, it is taken up again, one sentence at a time, and a written translation is made by each student. The passages are commonly selected from the book which the class is reading, and not very far in advance of the place reached in the other lessons of the week. The attempt is always made to select a passage with a dramatic or otherwise striking close. Each week, as already said, the whole of the exercise of the previous week is memorized, and repeated by several students, with great attention to the effective conveying of the meaning, by the throwing together, as in all spoken languages, of a number of words making a group in the sentence as a whole, by the careful balancing, in the delivery, of words clearly meant to be balanced, etc., etc.

All this time each student is gaining a working knowledge of syntax regarded from the true standpoint for the first purposes of college work, namely, as a mechanism for conveying meaning from one mind to another; is learning to bring that knowledge of syntax to bear at the most economical point; is gaining familiarity with Roman tricks of order; and is laying up a steadily growing vocabulary.1 And throughout, in order to keep constantly in sight the idea that the aim of the whole business is to learn to read Latin, occasional examinations in translation new passages from a text or printed paper are held during the term (as of course they should be upon any system), and at the end of each term the first exercise at the final exam is translation at hearing, the second exercise is translation at sight, the third exercise is translation at sight from English to Latin, the fourth is the writing of one of the passages memorized during the term; and not until this is done does the student proceed to an exercise in translating and commenting upon passages read during the term. Moreover, the greater part of the grammatical questions of the paper are set, not upon passages read during the term, but upon the passages given for the first time at the examinations; namely, the passages to be translated at hearing and at sight.

1 To vary the exercise, a continuous story of several pages in length is occasionally read through without stopping and without repetition, and each student then writes as complete a résumé of it as he can produce.

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