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distant parts of the country, and one is not, for God has taken her to himself. The present number of members is 23, representing most of the more important Church Schools of the city and immediate neighbourhood. The following is the order in which the lessons have been given, and essays read, during the year just elapsed. Lessons, 1. Elisha causing iron to swim-Miss Stickley. Ž. Generosity-Miss Perry. 3. The Feudal System-Mr. Ullathorne. 4. The Skin-Mr. Vernon. 5. Music-'Mr. King. 6. Fractions-Mr. Darwent. 7. The Passover-Mr. Thurlow. 8. Coal Gas-Mr. Biggs. 9. The Brazen Serpent-Miss Evans. 10. The Hand-Miss Smallcorn. 11. The Saxon's Home-Mr. Courtney. 12. Presence of Mind-Miss Dadswell. Essays. 1. Haughton's Arithmetical Exercises, their adaptation for class, as well as individual teaching-Mr. Wilson. 2. The Cultivation of the Mind more important than Fact Teaching-Mr. Baker. 3. The importance of General Knowledge Miss Morgan. The failings of our Training-Mr. Vernon. 5. Perseverance-Miss Perry. 6. The Influence of Home on the Children, the School and the Teacher-Miss Dadswell. The subscriptions to the Schoolmasters' and Schoolmistresses' Benevolent Institution will amount, it is hoped, to upwards of £7 in connection with this Association; and when the objects of that excellent Society are more fully understood, this amount will in all probability, be much increased.
GNOLL COLLEGE.—The council of this college, which is situated in the Vale of Neath, and is about to be incorporated as the Western University of Great Britain, have elected their staff of professors. The professor of mathematics is Mr. Arthur Cayley, F.R.S., and barrister-at-law, late Fellow and Tutor of Trinity College, Cambridge, and moderator and examiner in that University. He was senior wrangler and Smith's prizeman in 1842, and is the author of several papers in the Philosophical Transactions." The chair of mechanics they have conferred on the Rev. C. B. Wollaston, of Exeter College, Oxford, Vicar of Felpham, Sussex, and diocesan inspector of schools; and that of physics on the Rev. A. Bath' Power, one of the honorary examiners of the Society of Arts, and formerly superintendent of electric telegraphs on the Norfolk railways. Professor Rodgers, well known as a lecturer at the school of medicine adjoining St. George's Hospital, London, is to be professor of chemistry, while the chair of natural history will be filled by Dr. Spencer Cobbold, lecturer on botany at St. Mary's Hospital, Paddington ; that of human history by the Rev. A. Wilson, late senior tutor of Leamington College; and that of design by Mr. E. H. Wehnert, member of the New Society of Painters in Water Colours. The professors will be assisted by resident tutors and lecturers. The object of the institution, to use the words of their prospectus, is “to complete the education of the sons of gentlemen above 16 years of age, in the practical application of science to the management of land, manufactures, and commerce, to the public services, the liberal professions, and other pursuits."
Non-ATTENDANCE OF CHILDREN AT THE PUBLIC SCHOOLS.-The attention of the New York Board of Education has been directed, recently, to the numerous children who absent themselves from the public schools. From information received, there must be about thirty thousand children, between the ages of five and sixteen, who are not partaking in the benefit of public education in the city of New York.
Cause.—The Board of Education referred this subject to a select committee of which Robert H. Shannon, Esq. is chairman; and this committee have reported that the causes of the non-attendance of the children are various. The principal reason appears to be the poverty of a large portion of our foreign residents, compelling them to employ their children in petty street trades during the school hours of the day. Besides this, numbers are wilfully truant, and are engaged in pilfering and begging. With others, the ignorance of our language, the indifference of parents, or the idle habits of the family, are causes of the absence of the children from the schools.
Remedy.—The committee think that much may be done to remedy the evil, by cooperating with the Children's Aid Society, in the establishment and support of “Industrial Schools.” They also recommend a more stringent enforcement of the truant law by the police and magistrates. By this act, on complaint of any citizen, a child between the age of seven and fourteen, found vagrant, may be taken before a police magistrate for examination; and the parent or guardian can be compelled to enter into an engagement to keep such child from vagrancy, and send him or her to school “ at least four months in each year.” The act provides also for the punishment of the parent if this engagement be broken. It further makes it the duty of all police officers who shall find truant and vagrant children, to make complaint as before described.
SERIALS RECEIVED. Fraser's Magazine for October ---A remarkably interesting number. Many of the papers exhibit a high order of literary power, and no small amount of scholarship.
The Penny Post we cannot approve of as much as we at first did. Its papers are too much like scraps of sermons for children.
The Sunday School Teacher's Magazine for October maintains its high character for the diversity, talent, and profitableness of its contents for the wide class of readers it delights and instructs. “The week day lectures” in this number are most excellent.
LIST OF NEW BOOKS.
TO CORRESPONDENTS. ERRATUM IN ARTICLE ON EARLY BRITISH HISTORY.---Page 351, Bede is quoted to this effect :---" The first inhabitants of this land were Britons. They came from Armenia, &c."
See “ Bede's History,” Lib. 1 cap. 1:---"In primis autem hæc insula, Brittones solum a quibus nomen accepit, inedas habuit, qui de tractu Armoricano ut fertur, Brittaniam advecti australes sibi partes illius vindicarunt."
Questions and Answers.
LABOR.-Is this the best way of spelling this word: and is it so far established as to be safely taught: and in this case would you advise me to make the spelling of it as labour a fault to be corrected ? J. MARSDEN.
Answer.--We think labor a decided improvement and would extend the expulsion of the intruder u from all similar Latin words. It is no reason that they should be mis-spelled because they are Anglicised. We should, however, encourage the adoption of the short spelling without treating those who persist in the old mode as wrong doers. [Ed. J. E.]
SPELLING.-El. v. IE.--Is there any better rule than this : viz. that all words derived from capio, as “deceived,” &c. have the e first and vice versâ ? X. Y. Z.
Answer. We know of no such rule. What does our correspondent say to ceiling, reign, vein ; are they derived from capio? [Ed. J. E.]
FRENCH AND ENGLISH DICTIONARY.—Which is the best modern one at a reasonable price?
Auswer.—Contanseau's, published by Messrs. Longman this year. [Ed. J.E.]
MENTAL ARITHMETIC.—Is there any cheap Manual of easy elementary questions ? A BAD HAND AT IT.
Answer..-.-" The Teacher's Friend,” No. 7, by the Bishop of St. Asaph, published by the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge. It is cheap, good, and short. [Ed. J. E.]
REDUCED CHARGE FOR ADVERTISEMENTS.
Orders and Advertisements must be sent ONLY to MESSRS. GROOMBRIDGE, 5, Paternoster Row; the latter, from strangers, must be accompanied by a remittance, according to the following scale :-- If under 40 words, 38. 6d. ; for every additional ten words, 6d. ; a whole page, £2. 28.; a half-page, or ono column, £1. 58. Ten per cent. discount on all Advertisements inserted more than twice.
Na previous article on this subject we endeavoured to sketch the Ek various stages through which the literature of a country must
almost necessarily pass: those stages bearing a strong resemblance in
character to the childhood, youth, and mature age of an individual By man. We then turned to the literary history of our own country, 76 marking its first steps in the labors of Bede and Alfred the Great.
We should not however be doing justice to this part of our subject did we pass over altogether unnoticed, the efforts of one, who though serving a foreign prince, was yet our countryman, and an honor to the people from whom he sprang—the Anglo-Saxon Alcuin, called by Charlemagne his Master.
This prince like our Alfred was anxious for his own and his people's improvement, and the encouragement of literary pursuits. For this purpose he collected round his court those who were most distinguished by their learning and talent, lived with them in habits of domestic intimacy, and employed them in educating the princes of the blood and the children of the nobility. At the head of this society was Alcuin who boasted that if his own and his scholar's wishes could be accomplished, a christian Athens would soon be seen to rise, and the Muses would fix their abode in the academic groves of France. In the prosecution of this noble design, not only encouragement was offered, but commands were issued, though unhappily the success was very transient. For this failure various causes may be assigned, such as the previous absence of the very rudiments of education, reading, and writing, amongst the higher orders of society; the habitual devotion to martial exercises; the inaptitude of the teachers who knew not how to excite their pupils interest, but above all to the manner in which the so called seven liberal arts, grammar, rhetoric, logic, arithmetic, geometry, music, and astronomy were taught: nothing but their dry and emaciated skeleton being offered to the weary eye of the student.
The result of such a method, in the barbaric ignorance of the times succeeding that of Charlemagne, should be a warning to all teachers that education, to be efficient in manhood, should be made interesting in youth. In the decline of life Alcuin retired from court to the monastery of St. Martin in Tours, and a letter of his to Charlemagne giving an account of his occupations is so curiously quaint and descriptive of the state of literature at that period, that we cannot forbear giving the following extract. “As you advised me, and as my own inclinations lead me, I am sedulously employed within these walls in imparting some instruction from the pot of the holy scriptures; while I labor to inebriate others with the old wine of the ancient schools, feed others with the apples of grammatical subtilty, and illumine others with arrangements of the stars placed as in the painted ceiling of some great edifice." This method of giving encouragement to his scholars was also somewhat original, as it was his practice when he had VOL. XI. NO. 132, N.S.
a student whose talents he admired to give him the appellation of some ancient worthy, distinguished by his literary acquirements or moral qualities. Thus he gave to the poet Angelbert the title of Homer, to Charlemagne that of David, to his celebrated scholar Rabanus, of whom it was said “that Italy ḥad not seen the like, nor Germany produced his equal,” that of Inaurus, a man of dignity in the Benedictine order. Alcuin's favorite studies were of an ecclesiastical character, but nothing in the then circle of human knowledge appears to have escaped him, and William of Malmesbury gives us a long list of his works on various subjects.
From this digression we must turn once more to the period of Alfred, and trace the first commencement of a change which in the following century had produced a considerable effect, both of a favourable and unfavourable character. The change to which we refer was in sacred literature, and was occasioned by the labors of one of our countrymen, John Erigena.
The fame of Erigena's learning and talents having reached the ears of Charles the Bald, grandson of Charlemagne, he was invited by that prince to come over to his court, and appointed to the superintendence of the schools. Acute in intellect and subtle in disputation, he engaged in the Predestinarian controversy against Gotteschale, and afterwards, by the King's request, translated from the Greek the mystical works of the pseudo Dionysius. By this means the chaotic 'obscurities of the Alexandrian school, rendered still more impenetrable by his translation, became an object of devout attention and disputatious interest. Nothing like it had before been presented to the ears of western scholars; and as it was pretended to be derived from the deep recesses of the ancient school, we can hardly be surprised that it was received by many with awful admiration; but as even evil is overruled by the all-wise Ruler of the earth, and turned into good, so from these unhappy controversies, which caused so much discord and contention, some good effects were produced by forcing the human mind to action and exercising its power. Erigena subsequently returned to Britain where he received from Alfred a reception as flattering as that which he had met with from Charles; but here let us mark the different characters of his two royal patrons. In Charles's court he had been involved in all the mysticism of the Alexandrian theology, in Alfred's we find him engaged in the recital of Saxon poems.
We now come to the tenth century which is thus characterized by Baronius; as “a period which for its sterility of every excellence, may be denominated iron; for its luxuriant growth of vice, leaden; for its dearth of writers, dark.” This pleasing picture however applies more especially to the continent, as in England the successors of Alfred evinced a laudable desire to support the institutions he had formed in which, while ignorance reigned all around, learned men still flourished, and able masters continued to teach. Amongst the foremost of these we are told was the celebrated Archbishop Dunstan, who was educated at the monastery of Glastonbury. Dunstan's biographer Osbernus gives us a curiously unintelligible account of the studies he there pursued, namely, “the knowledge of those things which are, and which may be in another manner; such as magnitudes, of which some are fixed and without motion, while others are ever subject to change, and at no time are at rest; and such as multitudes, of which some are so, per se, alia in ratione posita.” We trust that Dunstan had some key explaining to him the meaning of these studies : for ourselves we confess our utter inability to comprehend them; at all events the study of