Text: Edgar Allan Poe (ed. J. A. Harrison), “Review of Address Delivered at the Annual Commencement of Dickinson College,” The Complete Works of Edgar Allan PoeVol. IX: Literary Criticism - part 02 (1902), pp. 158-159


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[page 158, continued:]

ADDRESS DELIVERED AT THE ANNUAL COMMENCEMENT OF DICKINSON COLLEGE, JULY 21, 1836, BY S. A. ROSZEL, A. M. PRINCIPAL OF THE GRAMMAR SCHOOL. PUBLISHED BY REQUEST OF THE BOARD OF TRUSTEES. BALTIMORE: JOHN W. WOODS.

[Southern Literary Messenger, October, 1836.]

MR. ROSZEL, we have good reason for knowing, is a scholar, of classical knowledge more extensive, and far more accurate than usual. In his very eloquent Address on Education now before us, he has confined himself to the consideration of “tutorial instruction as embraced under the divisions of the subjects to be taught, and the manner of teaching them.” Of the first branch of his theme, the greater portion is occupied in a defence of the learned tongues from the encroachments of a misconceived utilitarianism, and in urging their suitableness as a study for the young. Here, Mr. R. is not only forcible, but has contrived to be in [page 159:] a great measure, original. We are especially pleased to see that, in giving due weight to the ordinary ethical and merely worldly considerations on this topic, he has most wisely dwelt at greater length on the loftier prospective benefits, and true spiritual uses of classical attainment. We cite from this portion of the address a passage of great fervor and beauty.

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In Mr. R’s remarks “on the manner of teaching” — on the duties of a teacher — there is much to command our admiration and respect — a clear conception of the nature and extent of tutorial duties, and a stern sense of the elevated moral standing of the tutor.

We see, or we fancy we see, in the wording of this Address, another instance of that tendency to Johnsonism which is the Scylla on the one hand, while a jejune style is the Charybdis on the other, of the philological scholar. In the present case we refer not to sesquipedalia verba, of which there are few, but to the too frequent use of primitive meanings, and the origination of words at will, to suit the purposes of the moment. But to these sins (for the world will have them such) a fellow-feeling has taught us to be lenient — and, indeed, while some few of Mr. Roszel’s inventions are certainly not English, there are still but very few of them “qui ne le doivent pas être.”

 


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Notes:

None.


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[S:1 - JAHCW, 1902] - Edgar Allan Poe Society of Baltimore - Editions - The Complete Works of Edgar Allan Poe (J. A. Harrison) (Review of Address Delivered at the Annual Commencement of Dickinson College)