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DE AWING.-No. 1.
BY way of preface I would observe that it is not my intention to give lessons on any particular branch of the art of drawing, so much as a general dissertation of the whole, tending to show how much more profitable and useful, conducive to afford pleasure, and important as a branch of education it is than is generally supposed.
Drawing is an imitative art by which the forms and positions of objects are variously represented on a plain surface, and its great importance is most clearly seen when we reflect that in most of our manufactures that takes the primary step. For the beautiful designs which now decorate our dwellings in cornice, plaster, iron, wood, and stone, and our persons in woollen and silks, &c., are we in the first place indebted to the draughtsman or designer.
How rude and barbarous would be the appearance of our dwellings, independently of the rudeness of their appearance—how much wanting would they be in comfort and economy of arrangement or design, were it not for the architect. Little would be the use of the existence of bricklayers, carpenters, and mechanics generally, without the assistance of the architect, for I regret to state, the majority of our mechanics are totally wanting in a knowledge of drawing. They do not appear to see how it would assist and facilitate their operations, nor to understand that by a clear knowledge of the theory the practice is half effected.
Dr. Ure remarks "that the mode in which taste is cultivated in France is well worthy of study and imitation in this country. For example, at Lyons, the great seat of the silk-manufacture; among the weavers of that city, the children and all persons, busied in devising patterns, much attention is paid to everything connected with the picturesque and beautiful. Weavers may be seen in their holiday attire, at leisure times, gathering flowers, grouping them in the most engaging and fascinating manner. Hence it is that they are continually suggesting new designs to their employers, and are the fruitful source of elegant patterns; and from this it may be clearly understood how the French flower-patterns are remarkably free from all incongruities, being copied from nature with scientific precision."
The advantages of such a course are obvious and many; not only are the weavers themselves benefited, but their employers, and even the nation at large,—making their designs in silk pre-eminent above those of all other nations, causing a greater demand for them, and thus bringing capital into the country. And to what may these high and great advantages be traced but to the arts, drawing in particular, and the principles of design, holding a high position amongst the subjects forming the basis of French school education, preparing the minds of the pupils to perceive and appreciate the beautiful in form and colour so abundant in most natural objects; and hence the beauties of the French designs, as observed, remarked by Dr. Ure. But I am induced to hope, from the establishment of schools of design not only in London, but in most of our principal manufacturing towns, that we shall soon successfully compete with our Gallic friends both in form and harmonious colouring.
The first step preparatory to the execution of any great design, whether it be to erect a bridge, form a railroad, build a church, or any other great building, whether intended for civil, military, or religious service, is to draw the plans, sections, and elevations.
As a means of elevating our tastes and desires, and thereby embellishing what would be without that and the kindred arts—music and poetry—a somewhat dull and uninteresting existence, the art of drawing, as I will endeavour to show, occupies a very prominent position.
The person who has acquired a knowledge of botany feels a pleasure and interest in the various little modest wild flowers that he meets with in his rural rambles that he even did not notice before. He now takes them up, marks their various beauties, studies them with attention and delight, amazed at his want of perception in not discovering their claims upon his attention before. So it is with drawing, and it is deeply to be regretted that we have passed by, or looked coldly on, that which has the power of affording us so much delight, for the want of a little refinement, our minds trained to the appreciation of the beautiful; but so it is with many who pass by the most sublime pieces of landscapescenery without any emotion or real pleasure. Many persons walk in the country abstractedly engaged in their own dull—maybe, disagreeable—thoughts, insensible of so much around them calling for their admiration.
The excuse most usually advanced for not studying the art is, "That I have no taste, and consequently do not feel any interest in it;" but it has been felt by most persons that they care but very little for any game, amusement, or accomplishment, that they are almost totally unacquainted with; but as soon as they have got over the elementary drudgery, and begin to understand them, they feel a pleasure and interest which both delights and astonishes them: and in the same manner they who have stedfastly studied the art of drawing, discover a source of innocent pleasure and gratification in external nature, perceiving beauties which they hitherto had not remarked.
One very great advantage arising from the study of drawing is, that it gives an acute sense of observation; objects, formerly passed by with a callous eye and vacant mind, then assume a character and interest which arrest attention and awaken thought; and we are rendered capable of looking with pleasure and interest on the beauties of nature, instead of indifference. In support of which opinion, I will quote Dr. Johnson, who remarks, " He that enlarges his curiosity after the works of nature, demonstrably multiplies his inlets to happiness; therefore we should cherish ardour in the pursuit of knowledge, and remember that a blighted spring makes but a barren harvest, and that the vernal flowers, however beautiful and gay, are only intended by nature as preparations to autumnal fruits."
It will be remembered by my readers that I remarked, that the study of drawing from nature afforded an acute sense of observation: so have I experienced; and which if generally the case, what an inducement is that alone for studying the art; for from observation springs contemplation, an attribute peculiar to man, which induces us to dive into the causes and effects of things; without it, memory and observation would be in a great part useless, for we can profit but little from what we see, unless we think rightly.
It is contemplation which especially distinguishes great minds, and separates them from the herd of superficial and shallow thinkers. If you know a man superior to the rest of your acquaintance, be sure he is habituated to contemplation; it is that which has given strength to his reason, and depth to his judgment. Shakspeare remarks of the contemplative man, as finding
"Tongues in trees, books in the running brooks,
and yet to effect so great a desideratum, for an adult, but a few elementary lessons are required for the practice of the eye and hand, gradually progressing into perspective, theoretical, and practical; and then you are prepared for the grand climax—the study of sketching from nature, the more beneficial (intellectually speaking) and delightful of all pursuits, whether it be landscape, an animal, or the human countenance; for we cannot contemplate either without being strongly impressed with the greatness and goodness of the Creator, in so fashioning His creatures, that however varied the form may be, all are equally to be admired, as being most suitable for their respective requirements. Sept. ith, 1856. William Hobday.
BRIGHTON AND SUSSEX CHURCH SCHOOLMASTERS' ASSOCIATION.
TO THE EDITOR OF THE ENGLISH JOURNAL OF EDUCATION.
Brighton, Aug. 19, 1856.
Sir,—We feel that the necessity for a provision for aged and decayed teachers, and for necessitous widows and orphans of schoolmasters, is acknowledged by all. We also consider that nothing has yet been done because no practical proposition has been made.
The subject having been brought before this Association at its last monthly meeting, held on the 16th instant, it was then resolved that the committee should be requested to communicate with the various educational periodicals (as the best means of reaching the great body of teachers in England), announcing its willingness and anxiety to cooperate with other bodies of teachers in any well-digested plan for the furtherance of this object.
We consider it essential that such should be a national undertaking, and therefore do not presume to make any detailed proposal on the matter, but respectfully suggest that our fellow-labourers should take the subject into consideration, and express their readiness to co-operate in the work, in order that a general meeting may be convened in London for the purpose of deciding upon some definite plan of operation.
We are, Sir, your obedient servants,
The Committee Of The Brighton And Sussex Church
[We wish this communication had been addressed to us earlier in last month. We shall be happy to abet this laudable object, and insert the notice and resolutions of the proposed meeting gratuitously.— Ed. E. J. E.]
ON THE REASONS FOR DESCRIBING THE MOON'S MOTION AS A MOTION ABOUT HER AXIS.
TO THE REVEREND DR. WHEWELL, V.P.R.S., &o. Reverend Sir, Sept. ith, 1856.
You preceded me in reading a paper on the Lunar Motion, at the late Meeting of the British Association at Cheltenham, with some extempore remarks on the subject, of which I have just received a printed report with the above heading, inserted in the last number of the Meclianics' Magazine: and, I presume, with your knowledge and sanction.
The demonstration I then submitted to the Section, that the Moon has no axial rotation, was assailed, as you are aware, by repeated interruptions on the part of one or two persons, who, except by bald and wrathful contradiction, attempted no answer to my argument. Those interruptions, however, deterred me from being the means of prolonging an exhibition of conduct not conducive to the public esteem for science, by any sufficient comments on your lecture. I need therefore make no apology for transferring your remarks into the columns of " The English Journal of Education," with some replies to the very few points on which you differ from my views; these points of difference, relating in no degree to facts, or the motion of the Moon, as described by me and controverted by many of my opponents, but simply to the right of astronomers so far to twist the ordinary application of the term "rotation " as to apply it to that motion, and thus indorse its misdescription.
Here is the report of your remarks, which I have divided into paragraphs, numbered seriatim for ease of reference :—
"On the Reasons for Describing the Moon's Motion as a Motion about
"BY THE REV. DR. WHEWELL.*
(1.) "The Moon's motion may be described, in one way among others, by saying that in each month she revolves about the Earth nearly in one plane, turning always the same face to the Earth. But if a body were rigidly fastened to a rigid radius which revolved about the Earth nearly in one plane, such a body would during that revolution turn always the same plane to the Earth. (2.) Now, would such a body be described as revolving upon its axis during such a revolution? By many persons it would not be so described. (3.) But the Moon is described by astronomers as revolving about her axis in the course of every month. What are the reasons for such a description? (4.) The reasons are briefly these :—I. The Moon is not fastened to the Earth rigidly, nor fastened at all. II. The Moon being thus detached, the reference of the Moon to the Earth as a centre of revolution is arbitrary. III. The other celestial bodies which revolve about centres also revolve about their axes, and the rule regarding thein as not revolving about their axes when they turn always the same face to the centre, would produce confusion; it would, for instance, compel me to say that the Earth revolves upon her axis 365^ times in a year, whereas with regard to the fixed stars she revolves 366^ times; (5.) Also, when a body revolves about a centre, turning always the same face to the centre, then is mechanical force required to make it so turn; but no mechanical force is required to make it remain parallel to itself while it revolves round a centre.
(6.) "I. The Moon is not fastened to the Earth rigidly, as the ancients supposed when they invented the crystalline spheres as the mechanism by which the heavenly bodies revolve, and by which they are connected with one another; and as the body repre
* British Association, 1856.
seating the Moon is fastened to the body representing the Earth in machines made by man. (7.) The Moon in nature is entirely detached from the Earth, and the fact of her turning the same face to the Earth does not at all form the machinery of her monthly revolution. (8.) Hence it is ascribed to a separate motion, her monthly revolution on her axis.
(9.) "II. The reference of the Moon to the Earth is arbitrary. The Moon revolves about the Earth, but Bhe revolves about the Sun also. She revolves about the Sun. more than about the Earth; for when she is between the Sun and the Earth, her face is concave to the Sun and convex to the Earth's orbit. (10.) There are, in some respects, stronger reasons for regarding her as fastened to the Sun than as fastened to the Earth. (11.) But in truth she is not fastened at all; and the simplest way is to regard her as quite detached, and to consider her motion by which she turns her face different ways as quite separate from the motion by which she revolves about any centre.
(12.) " III. The other celestial bodies also revolve about their axes, and especially the Earth. (13.) All persons agree in thus expressing the fact in the case of the Earth; and as there are 365 days in the year, the Earth revolves 365 times on her axis with reference to the Sun. By doing this she revolves 366 times on her axis with reference to the fixed stars.
(14.) " IV. It may easily be shown experimentally that mechanical force is requisite in order that a body revolving about another may always turn the same face to the other. (15.) The following is one way of doing this. Let a cup containing water be fastened at the extremity of an arm which revolves in a horizontal plane about a centre. The cup will, of course, always turn the same side to the centre, being forced to do so by the rigid connection of the parts. (16.) But the water in the cup, not having any rigid connection with the centre, will not turn the same side to the centre during the revolution of the cup. (17.) This will appear if a straw be made to float upon the surface of the water; for the straw will always point in the same direction with regard to surrounding objects, and not with regard to the centre. (18.) If the motion is very rapid or long continued, a slight deviation of the straw from its original position will be produced by the friction of the water against the sides of the cup."
Pars. 1 and 2. In these you affirm nearly all that I contend for, and my opponents deny. In Par. 3 you cite what I venture to think the erroneous dictum of the astronomers; and in Par. 4 you give reasons why you agree with them also, in stating the Moon's motion to comprise rotation about her own cms. Your first reason,—that inasmuch as the Moon is not fastened to the Earth, any reference of her motion to it is arbitrary, I deny. Nothing is arbitrary which nature has bound by fixed laws. The Moon's orbital path round the Earth, its ellipticity, her distances from the Earth at each point in that orbit, her librations, and the face she presents to the Earth, are all determinate and immutable, and bear an unvarying relation to the Earth. On what conceivable ground, permit me to ask, do you therefore, as a mathematician and an English scholar, say that such reference is " arbitrary" in any sense of the word? I also venture to inquire what is your authority for affirming that the other celestial bodies which revolve round centres (including, of course, the Moons of the most distant planets) rotate on their axes? How do you know this 1 And if you do not know it, why do you, placed at the head of one of our noblest seminaries of sound learning, assert it? Mathematicians, who have endeavoured in this discussion to silence inquiry and sneer at inquirers, should at least use dogmas which have some ostensible foundation in facts.
You object to be debarred from saying that the Moon rotates, because you would be "compelled to say that the Earth revolves [rotates ?] upon her axis 365i times in a year, whereas with regard to the fixed stars she revolves 366J- times." Pray, is not the former statement true? Will you venture to contradict it? And if it be true, why do you object