Origin of the work:
1657 Amsterdam, Opera didactica omnia III
1957 Prague, Opera didactica omnia III, (phototype)
1960 Prague, Vybrané spisy J. A. Komenského, vol. II
1992 Prague, J. A. Comenii Opera omnia, vol.15/III
An account intended for the administrators of the Sárospatak Gymnasium on the need for Comenius’ planned reforms, and on the means by which they might be carried out. At the same time, it is the introduction to later work contained in the volume Primitiae laborum scholasticorum in illustri Patakino gymnasio (First fruits of scholastic labour at the enlightened Sárospatak Gymnasium; the Primitiae laborum).
Comenius turns as counsellor to the three most important men (scholarchs) involved in the running of the Sárospatak school – the prefect of the school (Ondřej Klobusický), the leading Sárospatak spiritual administrator Ferenc Veréci, and the headmaster Jan Tolnai. He states that every act must be preceded by unchanging intent, and that this also applies to the reform of the Sárospatak Gymnasium.
He sets down and presents the reason why this is necessary, explaining the means by which the end may be attained, and shows how these means should correctly be employed. Comenius and they with him are attempting a great thing with which they have little experience. He, Comenius himself, relies on his twenty years of experience, but does not known the conditions in Hungary, for which reason he relies on their expert opinion. If they do not proceed with circumspection, there will be a danger to the school, the Church and to themselves personally. It is necessary not to allow error, and to advance in a premeditated manner. If the matter will not be successful, they will be rebuked for attempting something beyond their strength. Therefore they will not approach the work without having a realistic plan in the palms of their hands. At the same time, care is essential, as difficulties appear about which he will speak later. Their resolutions will be written into a special procedural book (the Agenda Patakina), containing decisions of which they will be the executors. Responsibility for this will be borne by Klobusický before the nobility, by Veréci before the clergy, and by Tolnai before men of learning.
For further study, see also:
Vybrané spisy J. A. Komenského, vol. II. Prague 1960, p478
J. V. Novák & J. Hendrich, Jan Amos Komenský, jeho život a spisy. Prague 1932, pp450-451
J. A. Comenii Opera omnia, vol. 15/III. Prague l992, pp335-338
Jan Kumpera, Jan Amos Komenský, poutník na rozhraní věků. Prague & Ostrava 1992, pp274-278