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down rules simply would utterly fail as a method of teaching chemistry, just as much as it would fail in arithmetic; there would be considerable difficulty in impressing these rules in the memory, and, when impressed, there would be a still greater difficulty in realizing them. The exercises in this book are most abundant, and constitute its second recommendation.
We may add that the book is written in a pleasing and readable style, and that there is much that bears upon those interesting topics of the day which involve chemical knowledge, such as agriculture, photography, food, &c. On the whole, we think it a very excellent work, and we recommend it to the notice of our readers.
Short View of the Whole Scripture History. By Isaac Watts, D.D.
New edition. Pp. 301. London : Routledge, 1855. This is anything but a “short view" of the Old Testament history, occupying 214 pages ; and it gives the merest and driest abstract of the New Testament history, knocked off in 85. It-tells infinitely more about Hyrcanus than St. John; and about the garments, altars, lamps, and incense of the Jewish priestcraft than about the essential doctrines of salvation. It is a book quite out of date, and is in perfect keeping with the anxious perplexity of the reverend author “about the shape and form of a cherub," solemnly declaring that “ he has taken no small pains to inquire into this matter;" adding, “that yet he cannot arrive at any satisfaction or certainty as to what was the true figure of those cherubs which were placed on the ark”! Observing a Sunday-school class (of adults) eagerly debating some moot point, in a Calvinistic Methodist Chapel in Wales, we asked what was the point in debate; the answer was, “ Which was the angel who appeared to Balaam ?” We thought this a somewhat useless inquiry ; but Dr. Watts beats the Welsh theologians. Dulce est desipere in loco ; but we must question the judgment of thus inverting the relative importance of scriptural truths, and so presenting them in 1856 to our babes and sucklings, especially in that worst of all forms—the Catechetical.
French Language Simplified. By L. Nottelle, B.A. Pp. 280. London :
Simpkin & Marshall, 1856. We cannot easily imagine the disappointment any one must experience who purchases this book with a view to acquiring a good pronunciation of the French language. We give a few specimens to show that the above is no undue criticism. Facteur' is to be pronounced fact-err;' "la pelouse' as lap-loose ;' "les Zouaves' as ‘lays-who-have ;'Aix la Chapelle' as 'S-la-Shah-pell.' In the more advanced stages of this novel process, we have some amusing specimens. It would somewhat puzzle a good Freuch scholar to guess the sentence intended to be represented by 'no sir lame ;' he would make several trials we think before he hit upon nos soeurs l'aiment ! Those portions of the work which consist of themes for exercises are good and useful, and the plan adopted of exemplifying idiom, grammar, and construction is judicious and sensible.
School Atlas of Modern Geography: a Series of Thirty-seven Maps.
By W. Hughes, F.R.G.S., and John Bartholomew. Edinburgh : Adam & C. Black.
This is, without exception, one of the best atlases we ever saw. It fully sustains Mr. Hughes's high character for accurate knowledge and careful delineation. The too great prominence often given to mountainranges has been avoided, which adds greatly to the beauty of the maps ; physical features are nevertheless well preserved. The names of places are not injudiciously crowded, and are amply copious. Where names differ widely, as Cologne, Cöln, Vienna, in English and the local language, both are given. The index of places, with their geographical position, is admirably full and accurate. We commend this atlas strongly.
The American Journal of Education. Vol. I. Nos. 1 and 2.
Second Edition. 8vo. Pp. 232. This is a work which richly deserves a world-wide circulation. We have already borrowed from its pages a most masterly analysis of our language, which will enable our readers to judge of the eminent ability which, we can assure them, pervades its contents. We shall have occasionally to refer to its opinions as those of standard educational authorities. It is throughout written in the calm, simple language of thoughtful scholarship, embued with the highest sentiments which adorn our nature and enrich mental gifts.
On the Arrangement, Construction, and Fittings of School-houses. By
Robert S. Burn, Engineer. 4to. Pp. 27. Edinburgh : W. Blackwood.
This is an admirable work, full of practical details, with simple and scientific plans for all parts of schoolrooms. Those relating to ventilation appear to be perfect; and the work is well illustrated and beautifully executed. The only part which we are disposed to criticise is the large grouping of too many desks on a level floor. We prefer raised parallel desks in three rows.
A History of Greece. By T. S. Carr, M.A. Third edition. Pp. 700.
London : Simpkin & Marshall. This is the third edition of a successful book. It is what the author calls it,-"A compendious history of Greece," and "a narrative drawn from authentic sources, and exhibiting, within a narrow compass, not only the results but the modes af argument adopted in more voluminous histories.” It is fairly entitled to praise as a useful manual of facts and dates, admirably attested throughout by indisputable references; but any one who wishes for the philosophy of history may look for it in vain in these pages. We sadly want the same service performed for Greek and Roman history, and also that of modern peoples, which Mr. White has so ably performed for the history of England in his “ Landmarks.” We desire short treatises which shall give us the spirit of the times, the philosophy, literature, and social habits of each great epoch, not indeed
with the tedious prolixity of some popular historians, but so as to impress general life-like pictures on the minds of youthful readers. And if this cannot be done without sacrificing a knowledge of the number of triremes which accompanied Demosthenes and Eurymedon, or how many Argives joined the Athenian army at Tanagra, we confess that we do not believe that a single rational parent in the kingdom would condemn the omission. There are in this history before us a mass of facts which no one wants any one to remember, and the utter oblivion of which would be no sort of loss to any portion of mankind. If these very dry facts are not intended to be remembered, why are they to be read ? And if they need not be read, why are they not only written, but re-written ad infinitum ? There is positive mischief in it; for nothing can more surely tend to nauseate minds which should be allured by history, its beauties and its uses, and not repelled by its abuses. One might as well feed a young carpenter on sawdust, by way of giving him a taste for timber.
Lessons in General Knowledge. By R. J. Mann, M.D., F.R.A.S.
London : Longmans. A good elementary reading-book has long been a desideratum ; and by a good one, we mean one that will not only serve as an instrument for teaching the mechanical process of reading, but will also furnish the mind with food adapted for it. Dr. Mann presents us with one which possesses many of the essentials of a good reading-book : he endeavours to combine instruction in reading with instruction in matters of general knowledge, or rather of physical science. The subjects of his lessons are such as the following :-Movement of the Earth, Balloons, the Esquimaux, Volcanoes, Vegetable Life, Deserts, Mungo Park, the Eye, Sound, &c. &c.
These subjects are arranged in a certain natural order. The ordinary phenomena of the world, such as its movements, winds, and rain, are first described : then the peculiarities, which are exhibited in certain districts only, are illustrated ; as, for instance, snow-mountains, volcanoes, rivers, and seas. The general characteristics of the different regions of the earth's surface are described : the connection between the vegetable and animal kingdoms in the great economy of the universe follows : and thence the subjects ascend to the higher ranks of animal life ; and, finally, to man in his intellectual and moral pre-eminence, and in the highest proofs of that pre-eminence in the discoveries of astronomy and in the construction of machinery. Biographical sketches are interspersed, with the view of exciting the interest and ambition of the youthful mind.
These lessons are designed for pupils of the age of seven years and upwards : each lesson is prefaced with a glossary of any difficult or technical terms, the derivations being also given : illustrations are thrown in to elucidate philosophical subjects : in short, no pains have been spared to make the work adequate to its proposed object. As an elementary reading-book, therefore, we deem this one of the best we have seen : and the only caution we have to give in the use of it is, that the pupil should not be confined to it, but that some other reading-books, containing poetry and narrative, should be studied at the same time.
Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography. Edited by W. Smith, LL.D.
Parts XIII. and XIV. London : Walton & Maberly ; Murray.
This admirable work is now approaching its completion ; the fourteenth number brings us down to P; and we observe in a foot-note that the editor anticipates having the whole out in the course of the present year. It is superfluous to express a favourable opinion on a work so well known to every scholar ; suffice it to say, that its excellence flags not as it proceeds, and that it will be a worthy companion of the dictionaries that have preceded it.
LITTLE BOOKS. First German Book for Beginners. By the Rev. Albert Wintzer. Pp. 196. (London: Longmans, 1856.)
A very easy stepping-stone to German Grammar, and by which the diligent young student may, without the aid of any other book, pick up a fair insight to the idiom of the language, and begin to construe; but as to thus learning how to pronounce itoh, no! We must not minister to such a delusion; that can be taught only orally, and learnt only by the young.
Readings for the Thoughtful. By the Rev. H. Hubert, M.A. Pp. 78. (London : Longmans, 1856.)
The author of this work states in his preface, that “ Few attempts are made to expound the spiritual lessons which we should endeavour to learn from the remarkable occurrences of these eventful days ;" and he has endeavoured to supply that deficiency, by taking " for bis text, as it were, the circumstances of some interesting modern event, and thence to deduce important lessons of practical Christianity.”
We think Mr. Hubert has succeeded well in his aim. The subjects of his readings are as follow :—The three scourges, i. e., Cholera, Potatoe Disease, and the War; « False Security.” - The Fallen Tent." "ó Cast Down, but not Destroyed,” “ Adulteration of Food,” 6. The Capture of Sebastopol.” We hardly know which is the best of these subjects. Mr. Hubert introduces the present war into almost all of them, and some of his reflections will doubtless lead many a careless reader to look more into his own heart and ways of life. “The Adulteration of Food ” is particularly well written, and we hope and trust, that many who have availed themselves of this practice may see the mischievous effects produced, and for the future cease to risk the lives of their fellow-creatures for the sake of benefiting their own pockets.
L'Abeille. (Brussels : par Th. Brauw. London: G. Bell.) L'Abeille is an able educational journal, published in Belgium, and having as its sphere the discussion of all subjects connected with primary schools. A summary of the contents of the 11th Number, published January 1st, in the present year, will give our readers an idea of its general character. It commences with a summary of the proceedings of the department of public instruction for the year 1855, the appointment of officers, and the expenditure. A review of the work of M. Rendu, Sur l'Education Populaire dans d'Allemagne du Nord, and an original article on “Religion in the School,” follow. Then some short papers on Method, an “Object Lesson," and “ Hints on Questioning." Then a lesson on " Geometry," designed for a class in a middle school, the subject being the “Measurement of the Area of Plain Figures." A piece of music, correspondence, and varieties, complete the number.
The Educator, No. 8. (London : Ward & Co.) The Educator is the quarterly journal of the Congregational Board of Education. The present number contains a “ Sketch of the Life of Becker, the Grammarian;" a paper on the “ Influence of our Popular Education on the Manners of the People,” extracted from the Educational Expositor; “ Hints on Method ;" and a letter on - Education in the United States.” The last contains some apposite remarks on the subject, the writer being unfavourable to the American system of common schools.
Self-Education. By E. C. Whitehurst. Pp. 14. (London : Cousins.) This is the substance of a Lecture delivered at the Cadogan Institute, Chelsea, addressed to the “ Early Closing Association." The author recommends the young men, of whom his
audience consisted, to commence their studies with Abercrombie's “Inquiry into the Intellectual Powers,” “ Locke on the Conduct of the Human Understanding," and Dugald Stewart's " Elements of the Philosophy of the Human Mind ;” and then to proceed on to Logic. Whether such books as these are likely to whet the appetite of young shopmen, our readers will judge for themselves ; we think that such abstruse, though able essays, as a commencement, might repel some who are ambitious of entering on a course of self-education.
SERIALS RECEIVED. Fraser's Magazine ; American Journal of Education ; Lardner's Handbook of Natural Philosophy-Optics ; Museum of Science and Art; Old Jarvis's Will ; Wanted a Wife.
Document. EXTRACT FROM THE PRESIDENT'S ADDRESS AT THE UNITED
(Concluded.) " What the artisans had performed successfully on a limited scale, he proposed to employ in the advancement of universal science. Thus, Bacon's philosophy was borrowed from the workshop ; and what he did for science, we may now do for education; we must borrow from the workshop, by adopting in our schools, more or less, those processes of reasoning, habits of thought, and peculiar modes of self-instruction, employed by our practical men.
vi If the great intellect of Bacon could condescend to borrow from the workshop, why should we be ashamed of borrowing from the same source ? But yet so it is. Talk to some of our professional men,-it may be our lawyers, or our clergymen,about borrowing ideas, and taking hints from the working man, they would smile at you with contempt, and say, 'Can men who have had a college education obtain any information from persons of the lowly class, whose education has been altogether neglected ?" Ay, neglected, to be sure ; neglected so far as the schools in which these men had been put in their childhood are considered ; but those workmen, when they left the schools, had to commence a course of self-education, and that selfeducation has had its results; that self-education makes the English workman what he is,-the pride of his country, the most skilful artisan of the world.
“ Notwithstanding all that has been done for primary education within the last twenty years, we are still very far from having realized the Baconian condition of utility and progress.
"We are still under the dominion of abstract theories of education, consecrated by great names, and sanctioned and patronized by great societies. That philosophy is false, and not less hateful than it is false, which arrests the progress of knowledge by extinguishing the spirit of inquiry and destroying freedom of thought and action. The Platonic philosophy enslaved the human mind for 2,000 years, and during that long period it produced no fruit, because it superseded inductive processes of inquiry by laying down theoretic dogmas and sublime philosophic fictions. Bacon emancipated the human mind from this degrading and enfeebling slavery. He showed mankind that the inductive method would lead them to new truths, far exceeding in brilliancy and utility anything which the ancient gods of philosophy, whom the people had blindly worshipped, had ever discovered. I need not tell you, ladies and gentlemen-for I am happy to be able to add another substantive to my addresshow wonderfully this prediction has been fulfilled. Thus our Platonic theories of education must one day fall before the inductive method of inquiry.
“In moral questions, there is, perhaps, no such thing as absolute certainty. A question in education cannot be answered in the same manner as a problem in geometry. Moral evidence has little in common with mathematical evidence; and the inductive method of research is in many respects widely different from the analytic method, by which we demonstrate abstract truths. In the inductive sciences, such as education, we seem only to approximate to truth. We can hardly ever say that we have actually arrived at the absolute truth ; but we approach nearer and nearer to it, according as we extend our inductive processes. The truth lies in the asymptote of a curve towards which we are always approaching, but which