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seminary. Even with the best intentions, it is not easy to see how “the reading of the Augustan Confession in connection with instructing in the differences between various symbols of faith” can form part of the general culture which it is the object of the gymnasium to impart to its pupils.
My second scheme for giving more room to mathematics and natural science will probably seem more objectionable, at least to a larger circle of people, than the first. I dare hardly express it, but I would restrict the study of Greek grammatical forms. My enthusiasm for the beauties of Grecian literature is assuredly not less than that of any German schoolman. But, unless I am greatly mistaken, the proper aim of studying Greek-namely, acquaintance with Grecian myth, history, and art, and being imbued with Greek ideas and Greek ideals—can be attained without the unspeakable labor-mostly labor in vain—which it costs to acquire the power of putting together a couple of Greek phrases. Surely neither Goethe when he wrote his “Iphigenie," nor Thorwaldsen when he modeled "The Triumph of Alexander,” could write a Greek composition such as is written by the pupils in the lower second class of our gymnasia. If there is one Greek author whom all pupils read understandingly, and even with enthusiasm, and whom many of them hold dear and commit to memory, it is old Homer. And yet Homer's dialect is so different from that in which the extemporalia' are written that the practice gained by such exercises is of no account as far as his works are concerned. Hence without written exercises one can acquire such mastery of a dead language as is needed in order to read the authors who have written in it; and, as Homer, so, too, might the great Attic masters of style be read, the written exercises being restricted to preparation and translation. On a former occasion I gave utterance to the heretical opinion that our German style has been impaired by too extensive a study of the Greek. For exercising the intellectual faculties, and for awakening and developing a sense of the fundamental properties of a good style-namely, correctness, precision, and brevity of expression—there is no doubt that Latin with its limpid clearness, its rigorous precision, and its absolute definiteness of meaning, is a better object of study than Greek with its multitudinous forms and particles, the import of which is matter rather of skilled conjecture and artistic feeling than of logical analysis. Since the time when our system of gymnasium education assumed its present shape, our knowledge of the ancient world has undergone an almost entire transformation : barren philology has become the living science of that defunct world, and even daily our store of pictures of ancient life is enlarged by successful excavations. To one not versed in the study of pedagogy it would appear as though wonderful results might be attained here, just as in natural science, by the demonstratio ad oculos. Such a one is inclined to think the pupil would, by studying copies of antique works of art, in a few hours imbibe more of the true Hellenic spirit than he could by listening ever so long to dissertations on the aorist tense, the subjunctive and optative modes, and the particle av.
1 Off-hand compositions.
In the teaching of history, the course of instruction which often loses itself in unimportant details—as, for instance, the party struggles of ancient Rome, or the rivalries of emperors and popes in the middle ages—I should like to see more fully illustrated than is usually the case, with general views of the state of civilization, exhibiting the heroes of science, literature, and art. The mass of very unprofitable dates which the young are required to commit to memory seems all the more pitiable when we remember that these pupils are suffered to remain ignorant even of the existence of the most important constants of Nature. Can it be that a knowledge of the date of an agrarian law, or of the accession of a Salico-Frankish emperor, is of more importance for a liberal education than is a knowledge of the combustion-heat of carbon or the mechanical equivalent of heat?
I have not time to enter on the question of the modern languages in the gymnasium. Besides, to me it appears to be a matter of greater moment to find out how we can secure for pupils in the gymnasia more thorough instruction in the mother-tongue. As I have already remarked, we have here to do with overcoming a national defect. But to discuss this point more fully here would carry us too far away ; besides, I have already discussed it elsewhere.
So far I have spoken only of my own wishes. But I do not stand alone. I know of a large number of eminent men who share my views. Under the banner with the motto “ Conic sections ! No more Greek compositions !” I am sure I could assemble a meeting for gymnasium reform which would be formidable for the amount of intellect which would be there represented. I am very glad to find myself, as regards every topic of importance, in accord with my colleague, Prof. Adolph Fick, of Würzburg, who quite recently has written a paper entitled “Considerations on Gymnasium Education.”
It were rash to attempt to penetrate the future in so complex a matter as this. But, in conclusion, to come back to the train of thought which led us up to this practical question, it appears to me that in such a reform of the gymnasium as I have here indicated is to be found the best security against the inroads of realism on our intellectual culture. The transformed gymnasium, again, harmonized with the requirements of the period, will for the first time be fully equipped for the struggle with realism. Instead of burdening its pupils with classical studies till they turn from them in disgust, rendering them insensible to the charms of the Hellenic spirit, and giving them an aversion to humanism by the torturing drill in pedantic forms; instead of violently giving to their ideas a direction which sets them at variance with the world around, the gymnasium will insure to them an harmonious education in accordance with modern ideas. While based on an
historic foundation, this education will at the same time embrace the elements of modern civilization in due measure. By itself giving free play, within certain limits, to realism, it will be all the better enabled to resist its encroachments. By yielding a little of its own, it will insure the safety of all the rest; and thus perhaps it will defend—if it is not already too late—the nation's treasure which has been intrusted to it, German idealism.
excitement, and justly so, for the news had reached them from the Academy of Sciences that two chemists, MM. E. Frémy and Feil, had discovered a process for the manufacture by the pound of certain kinds of precious stones ranking in value next to the diamond, and frequently commanding still larger prices than the latter-namely, the ruby, the sapphire, and the most precious of all, the Oriental emerald. At first the Parisian jewelers consoled themselves with the thought that the genuine stones would always be preferred to the artificial ones, but the excitement increased when it became known that MM. Frémy and Feil did not propose to imitate precious stones, but that their productions would be perfectly equal to the natural ones, and that a watch would run on their artificial rubies as well as on natural ones, because both of them were equally hard. Now the dealers in precious stones asserted that it was sinful to imitate Nature's work in that manner, and that the Government ought to prohibit it. On the other hand, a few enthusiastic feuilletonistes proclaimed that the discovery in question foreshadowed a still more important one-that of making gold and diamonds; that the dreams of the alchemists were about to be realized, and that poverty and wretchedness would be no more.
Of the prospect of poverty and wretchedness coming to an end we say nothing here. As for the transformation of lead and other base metals into gold and silver, we have to declare that this branch of alchemy is something altogether different from the manufacture of precious stones. Most of our modern chemists hold metals to be simple, immutable elements, which have always been what they are now, and which may change their form, but never their peculiar nature. Not so with precious stones, most of which, and especially those that are most highly prized, are of very lowly origin indeed. In the eyes of the chemist the ruby, the sapphire, the topaz, etc., are simply modifications of one substance (alumina), which, as clay, forms the greater portion of the earth's crust; and the diamond, which is the prince of all precious stones, is simply pure crystallized carbon, and so allied to charcoal, lampblack, etc. Other highly-esteemed precious stones, such as the emerald, the aqua-marina, and chrysoberyl, on the one hand, and the hyacinth, on the other, contain "earths" chemically related to argillaceous earth-namely, the former consist of beryl-earth, and the latter of zirconia ; but these earths in themselves are neither rare nor precious, so that in some countries the streets are paved with the impurer brothers of the emerald. The same is true of all other precious stones, including pearls ; in the main they are formed of substances of no value whatever, and to be found everywhere, such as argillaceous earth, silicic acid, fluor-spar, boracic acid, lime, magnesia, etc. Their only superiority consists in the fact that the common substance in them has reached an extraordinary degree of crystallization, for, aside from their beauty, their rarity enhances their value in the market.
* Translated from the Gartenlaube.
Chemical combinations and simple substances of mineral as well as of organic nature assume their due crystal shapes, which are so well defined as frequently to bear a strong resemblance to those of cut stones, only when they pass from the liquid into the solid state, and they assume a large size only when this transition takes place very slowly. For instance, if we dissolve in hot water as much alum as can be dissolved therein, and suspend in the fluid, while allowing it to cool in a quiet place, a wire vessel-a basket, a rosette, or a crown, wrapped in wool-we shall find next morning that wire vessel covered with glasslike, transparent, more or less large, glittering octahedral crystals. Cold water is unable to hold in solution as large a quantity of the salt as warm water; and the surplus, as the temperature of the water decreases, has to separate slowly from it. In so doing, small crystals are formed. They grow constantly as the separation goes on, and, if we leave the solution exposed to the fresh air so that it slowly evaporates, we shall at last obtain very large crystals. If the alum contained an impure admixture of other salts, they would remain in the water. Crystallization, as a general thing, is also a purification of foreign admixtures.
In all probability, in Nature many precious stones have formed in the same manner; and most mineralogists concur in the opinion that rock-crystals, consisting of nothing but silicic acid, and frequently weighing hundreds of pounds, have originated thus. It is almost certain that this formation from liquids into solid bodies has taken place in a large class of half-precious stones, such as quartz and pyrites, consisting likewise of nothing but silica-namely, agate, jasper, opal, chalcedony, chrysoprase, carnelian, heliotrope, and others.
At the same meeting of the Parisian Academy where MM. Frémy and Feil described their process of manufacturing artificial rubies and sapphires, M. Monnier stated that he had obtained artificial opals by pouring a highly-diluted solution of oxalic acid cautiously upon a solution as thick as molasses of silicate of soda, which brings about a slow separation of the silicic acid. When, in so doing, he used a solution of the sulphate of nickel protoxide, he obtained apple-green stones, such as the chrysoprase. Thus we see that, as long as the process of separation lasts, we may talk of the growth of precious stones; and we perceive, from the laws of crystallization, how by the attraction of similar parts, and the exclusion of foreign ones, the formation of precious stones of perfectly "pure water” among the more impure ones, which are frequently found, becomes more intelligible.
Another process of crystallization is the slow cooling of molten substances. This can be explained very strikingly to students of chemistry if a kettle of sulphur or molten bismuth is cooled slowly, until it is covered with a crust of congealed matter, so to speak. Pierce that crust in the middle, and pour out a portion of the liquid, and there will form on the walls of the cavity thus created crystals of surpassing beauty, and the whole assumes the appearance of a so-called crystal druse, a form often assumed by amethysts and other half-precious stones. It has been thought that, to make artificial diamonds, it was necessary only to melt coal; but, unfortunately, the results thus far obtained are of no value.
Nature's most successful way of producing precious stones was not to dissolve minerals, but to put them into a fiery liquid condition, and to separate the new productions slowly from their former impure parts by chemical and electric influences, as we shall see directly. The earth, like the sun and most fixed stars at present, was undoubtedly formerly in a fiery, liquid condition. Then the elements were commingled ; all substances met, and entered the strangest combinations; the whole globe was an immense chemical laboratory. The earthy substances with the light metals, at the last period of those gigantic processes, probably formed the “mother-liquor,” from which, under various chemical agencies, there separated now valuable metals, now grains of gold, and still more frequently substances which were ennobled by crystallization. The "mother-liquor," cooled with its productions, we call primitive formations-granite, feldspar, porphyry, etc. It may here be stated that these primitive processes have recently been imitated in part, and that two principal components of feldspar, albite and orthoclase, have lately been obtained from a fiery, liquid mixture of minerals.
Precious stones so formed would be colorless if, in the terrible furnace of the primordial world, fire-proof metals had not taken upon themselves the task performed by aniline in our present dying-works. Long before there were colored plants and animals, metals played the part of pigments in Nature, and thus produced, in stones, colors almost surpassing in brilliancy those to be found in the animal kingdom. Rubies and emeralds are probably colored with chrome, sapphires with cobalt, lapis-lazulis with iron, and other precious stones with copper, nickel, manganese, etc. But we only have to refer our readers to the