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the chair of Natural Philosophy and Chem- correction, would whittle in the school. istry in a college-which is little more In fact, he whittled everywhere. His than a chartered High School--they call jack-knife was his constant companion, me Professor. The title is a matter of no and always in requisition. Jeremiah was moment. Words are cheap. In Germany making something from one week's end to they call every traveller who wears a another. Now it was an extempore waterdecent black coat and sports spectacles, wheel—to be operated upon by the brook Herr Professor. We are nearly as liberal as in front of the school; then it wonld be an the Germans. And now to my story. axe-handle. His knife was rarely idle, and

Jack Summers, the school-master of the his lesson was never learned. village, was as unlike a modern teacher as Jerry heard of the change of masters possible. He smoked a long. pipe during with disgust. I had had a little difficulty recess, ụsing chewing-tobacco shred fine; with him about a dry-goods box, which he chewed pig-tail during school-hours, de- wanted for some purpose, and which I positing the result of his labors, in that would not give him. I anticipated trouble line, in a box of saw-dust at his right hand; with bim; though, as will be seen, I was sang extravagant comic songs at evening mistaken there. I did not sbare Jack's parties; and was everybody's right-hand opinion as to his stupidity. Jerry's face man at a frolic. He had a “gift," how- was generally dull, but I had noticed that ever, in the way of imparting instruction; when the usual crowd, who sat upon and the boys and girls got on so fastly un- store porch on Saturday afternoons, were der his directions, that, although grave discussing political and other questions, his people shook their heads at mention of his eye would light up at every smart or keen faults, they agreed he could not well be saying-and these were not uncommonly replaced. Great was the chagrin of all uttered by the disputants—and now and when they learned that Jack was to be ab- then he would venture a question that sent a month to settle the affairs of a dead showed he comprehended quite clearly the brother in Philadelphia, and possibly might matter in dispute. There was something not return at all. He desired to get some wrong, but it was not stupidity. one to take his place, “to keep it warm for Monday morning came, and at seven the owner," as he phrased it, should he o'clock I was at the school-house, although return. This was difficult. But we had school did not open until eight. In that very little to do in the store just then, and place, in those days, ten weary hours were my employers suggested that I might fill passed in the school-room, from eight the gap. I demurred, but finally yielded. o'clock in the morning until six at night, I attended the school during the three with an hour's intermission, at noon, for days prior to Jack's departure, in order to dinner, and no play-hours. I introduced make myself acquainted with the routine recesses in the morning and afternoon of of instruction. On Friday he left, and a hol- thirty minutes for play, and had bard work iday was given until the following Monday. to maintain the innovation against the

The pupils were about like pupils every- clamor of parents. Before eight the pupils where, in point of capacity and docility, came in, and all were generally at their except one. This was Jeremiah Van Beb- desks at the hour for opening. ber, the son of a farmer who lived about Jerry, though so old, was in the lower two miles from the village. He was, Jack classes, and generally at the tail end. He informed me, stupid to a degree. He read tolerably well, and wrote fairly; but would persist in coming to school, to Jack's he was a poor arithmetician, and his spellannoyance, though he could apparently being was wretchedly bad. Some of his taught but little. He was about sixteen, achievements in that way would have debig-headed, long-limbed and square-set. lighted the lovers of phonetic orthography, He could out-run, out-jump and out-fight He spelled “canteen” thus, knten, and any two boys of his age. With all this he "disease" dzz, which last I thought to be was arrogant and self-reliant, and with all a triumph. And neither reproaches or this, in spite of rules and in defiance of coaxing had any effect upon him. Teach

one.

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1864.] Hypercriticism.

311 him as you would, he would return to the what threatened to become a serious mensame state of ignorance in twenty-four tal dzz." hours.

The only moral I can draw is—that the As I have said before, Jerry's jack-knife surrender to a single idea, may sometimes was in constant requisition ; and it was give a pupil the appearance of stupidity. not long before I discovered that he was constructing some machine at home. After a deal of persuasion on my part, he con

AMERICAN sented to let me look at it; and after I had inspected the queer collection of levers

EDUCATIONAL MONTHLY. and wheels, he let me into the secret.

Jerry had discovered perpetual motion. It had been left to a Van Bebber to solve

OCTOBER, 1864. a problem that had baffled the learned.

After a farther examination of his machine, I discovered one defect only—a bad

HYPERCRITICISM.
It would not move without great

correspondent, residing in Illinois, trouble; and when set in motion, wound

sends us two queries, which he proitself up in a little while, and came to a dead stop. This, in my opinion, was a

pounds with evident satisfaction. He says: serious defect under the circumstances.

“In your remarks to contributors,' last I enlightened Jerry on the salient points month, you say that the practice of underof natural science as speedily as possible,

scoring certain words to be italicized, is a and in a half hour's lecture, knocked into

bad one.' Please tell us what we should bis head a few points that astonished him.

do we wish to have a word or senI began a regular course of lectures on

tence so printed as to indicate emphasis ?” Mechanical Powers in the school, using In an article entitled "To contributors,” the simplest language and the plainest il- which appeared in the September number lustrations. In about two weeks' time, I of this Magazine, we did say that “the pracnot only succeeded in putting all ideas of tice of underscoring certain words to be perpetual motion out of Jerry's head, but italicized is a bad one.” The paragraph I did more. I started him on the road to

was five lines longer, and the compositor knowledge. Jerry's mind had been filled with his one idea, to the exclusion of every- finding it necessary to treat it as Procrusthing else. Hence there had been no ef

tes did his unwilling guests, in order to just fort to acquire ordinary facts. He took to

fill the page, cut the tail off without consulthis studies kindly enough after, and though ing us. Thus we stopped short of conveyhe did not particularly distinguish himself, ing our meaning. Had he placed the words soon came to the level of the rest of the “ unless in the case of quotations from forschool in rudimental knowledge.

eign languages, names of things that cusAfter leaving the school I lost sight of tom requires to be so distinguished, or him. He was apprenticed to a white with words that are meant to be emphasmith and bell-hanger in Philadelphia, and sised without having inherent emphasis”there served out his time. He finally did

our meaning would have been plain enough. acquire some distinction, though I only

The question of our correspondent alknew it recently, when I was introduced

most answers itself. If your word is not to & Mr. Van Bebber, who had made & large fortune through a number of his placed, or your sentence not so constructed

as to indicate the emphasis required, your patented inventions. The face seemed familiar, but I could not place it at first, in language is weak. To pepper your paramy memory. I recalled it readily enough graph with italics in order to call attention when Mr. Van Bebber took out a pencil to the points made, is to show that your and wrote the following upon a card :- sentences have no force, or that you sup

“Jerry is indebted to you for a cure of pose your readers to be noodles who must have ideas shot into them in the shape of “The result, or sum, is 18. That is, the leaning letters. A very clever article was sum of the sum is 18." Nothing of the sent to us for last month's number which kind. Eighteen is the sum or total amount we printed. In the MS. at least one-sixth of of the three given numbers; and the sum the words were underscored, if our memo- or problem given was to discover the sum, ry serves us rightly, and we simply directed or amount obtained by the addition of those the compositor to pay no attention to the given numbers. And the teacher does not black lines at all. The paper appeared, exactly give a sum. lle “sets a sum" or and when printed was seen to have required “proposes a problem,” or “puts a question no indications of emphasis.

in arithmetic.” In the instance furnished, Our correspondent puts another query as 18 is the result of the sum or problem; the follows:

sum of the numbers named, or the answer “In the extracts you make from Collard's to the question propounded. We prefer the * Practical Hints' such expressions as these word “problem,” but if others, bred after occur :-“The setting of several sums on the old fashion, use “sum,” it is merely a the blackboard.' "The teacher has the matter of taste, calling for no special anianswers of the sums given.' 'A quick way madversion. of setting sums.' Is it proper to use the Has any body other questions to ask? word sums’in such cases? For example, Feeling ourselves as full of wisdom as Jack the teacher gives the pupil a sum in addi- Bunsby, we are ready to be tapped by all tion. How many are 9 and 6 and 3? This

inquisitive readers. is the sumn. The result, or sum, is 18. That is, the sum of the sum is 18. Do you regard this as proper and worthy to be commended ?

A REASON BY INFERENCE. The querist will remember that we gave the quotations because they contained some hints of value, and did not find it necessary

we used the word “firstly" in our last to express any opinion on the structure of number, in a certain sentence, rather than sentences, or the character of phrases. On

6. first." There is a negro song which says: such matters we thought that most of our “Dey used to call him Sambo readers were possessed of sufficient sense

Bekase it was his name." and knowledge to judge for themselves, and We used it to qualify a verb, and for such did not require us, when we trotted out a a purpose we have a prejudice in favor of brown, bob-tailed horse to say-."Ladies and an adverb rather than an adjective. Posgentlemen, this is a horse; his color is brown sibly he thinks our language would have and his caudal extremity has been abbrevi- gained in truth, by cutting off the “ly." ated.” Still, since it seems to be a matter of interest to our worthy friend, we will give our opinion. We think the expressions not

THE TEACHER AND THE PLAYGROUND. so precise as some others, but they convey the meaning of the author very clearly, and N the mid-summer examination of stualthough we shall not tell all our readers so, we inform our correspondent that one of ham, among the other questions propoundthe uses of language is to convey meaning. ed, was, “Why should school be made atThe word “sum” is commonly used as tractive to children?” and the examinants equivalent to "arithemetical problem,” were directed to give some of the means while “working a sum,” and “setting a by which a teacher might make school a sum,” are phrases almost as old as the happy place. As a matter of course, there English language. Our correspondent, too, was little variance in the replies, and that is not so precise as he might be. He says chiefly in matters of detail. Stripped of

A

Idents at the Normal Collegati che litenW

1864.]
Science and the Arts.

313 their words, the points made tended to the teacher may find that the play-ground, ane end, the institution of kindly and beside improving the health and strengthfriendly relations between the teacher and ening the body, has become a nursery of the children. There was one suggestion, bad manners and worse morals. however, from which we must dissent. The answer states—“In their games they” [the children] "should be left alone."

OUR SCHOOL FURNITURE. Children should not be left alone entirely in their games. If they be engaged in the HATEVER may be our short-comusual standard games of children, top, ings in thoroughness of teaching, ball, &c, they should not be interfered

or whatever may be the defects in the with, so long as they pursue the even tenor prevailing system of instruction, there of the sport. The teacher should keep can be no doubt that the American comaloof, except his judgment be asked for in

mon schools, even of, the lowest grades, a matter of dispute; and a teacher who

are more fitted with physical conveniences wishes to strengthen the personal attach- than those of other nations. In England, ment of his scholars, will not only be boys sit on forms, or benches, and have ready to give such an opinion, but will let no desks before them. A recent circular the fact of his readiness to give it be indi- of the French Minister of Public Instrucrectly known. Indeed, in the more ath- tion points out various reforms, and urges letic games, such as leaping and base-ball, teachers, if possible, to so arrange affairs it is good policy for the teacher to occa- that boys will not have to do their writing sionally join. If he have tact, he can do upon their knees! In this respect we it without lowering his personal dignity have done none too much; but the Engor impairing the respect due to his au- lish and French have done too little. If thority. A parent can join in his chil- we can improve the system of instructiondren's sports at times, with manifest ad- and we are in a fair way toward such a vantage, and a schoolmaster should re- result-in the same ratio with our immember that for the time being he stands proved appliances of teaching, we will be in loco parentis. And in all games there able to point out instruction in the United should be a silent, if possible an unseen, States, as a tolerably near approach to but nevertheless, an actual supervision, or perfection.

SCIENCE AND THE ARTS.

-Professor Helmboltz, in one his lec- arise which are condensed into a “fog,” as tares before the Royal Institution, when it were, by cooling; and our sunlight is obtreating of the origin of solar and stellar tained from the glowing particles of which heat, has propounded a theory of the form- these banks of fog are composed. Now the ation of sun spots, which, he asserts, has vapor of water is transparent, and the the advantage of reconciling telescopic ob- enormous evaporation which it allows is servation with Kirchhoff's theory, whose sufficient not only to permit of the reducwholesale overthrow of astronomical work tion of the underlying surface to a comparhe does not endorse. Of the different mix- atively red heat, but to tone down the heat tures of chemical elements given off by the of the surrounding “fog;" so that, from glowing white-hot sun, some are more vola- our standpoint, the transparent part of the tile than others; hence glowing vapors sun's atmosphero, filled with the vapors of

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water, shows us an underlying, compara- tention among European scientific men. tively cooled surface, fringed with a belt of Mr. Scott Russell has ascertained, by direct cooling vapors.

experiment, that in disruptive explosion its

strength is six-fold that of good gunpowder. -In the Proceedings of the Royal So- Twenty-five pounds of gun-cotton, conciety, of England, No. 63, Dr. T. Phipson fined in a cylindrical shell, sixteen by reports some interesting reasearches on twelve inches, completely shattered a the metal magnesium, now becoming so powerful stockade, such as is used in fortiinteresting in relation to its illuminating fications. Professor Abel, chemist to the properties. He states that magnesium is British War Department, has shown, howcapable of reducing silicic acid at a high ever, that its gaseous products corrode temperature, which the alkaline metals, metal, and although its disruptive power is sodium and potassium, cannot do, as they much greater, yet its projectile force is volatilize before the crucible attains the much less than that of gunpowder. Thereproper heat. It decomposes carbonic acid fore he thinks that we are not yet in a confrom dry carbonate of soda, and it precipi- dition to adopt it as a substitute. tates nearly all the metals from their neutral solutions. Unlike zinc, it will not -Poggendorff's Annals contain unite with mercury at the ordinary tem- paper from which M. Magnus remarks that perature of the air. Magnesium will be if a little sodium is introduced into a nonfound a useful metal wherever tenacity luminous gas flame it becomes luminous, and lightness are required, and where tar- and, at the same time, its heat-radiating nish is of no consequence. It is especially power is augmented. The flame must valuable in the laboratory for effecting have lost heat in vaporizing the sodium, decomposition, which sodium and potas- but still it emitted nearly one-third more sium cannot effect on account of their heat. If a plate of platinum was introgreater volatility.

duced, instead of the sodium, the radiation

was still greater. When a little sodium -Dr. Crace Calvert, in his concluding was placed on the platinum the effect inlecture of the Cantor course, delivered be- reased, and a still greater augmentation fore the English Society of Arts, called of emitted heat occurred if some sodium attention to the same metal, and showed was introduced into the flame below the the brilliant light which the combustion of platinum. In the latter case three times as wire made of it affords, pointing out at the much heat was radiated as when the flame same time the special quality of the light was used rithout any addition. From as an illuminating agent for photographic these experiments M. Magnus concludes, purposes. Mr. Claudet, at the close of the that solid bodies radiate much more heat lecture, illustrated its value in this direction than gaseous bodies, and consequently he by taking several successful photographs of thinks that solar heat cannot reside in a the bust of the Prince Consort in the ante- photosphere composed of gas or vapors. room of the society's lecture hall, illuminated by the burning of this material. The -Mr. Grove, of the Royal Society, time of exposure in the camera was only having perceived that with the oxygen and thirty seconds, and much interest was ex- hydrogen, resulting from the decomposition cited among the audience. It was stated of water by ignited platinum, there was that the manufacture of the metal commer- always mingled some nitrogen, was led to cially had been undertaken by Messrs. initiate a more careful examination of the Johnson & Malthey, the well-known metal phenomenon of boiling. He found that lurgists, who are prepared to supply the water freed from air and boiled in a vacuwire at the rate of 21s. per ounce, the um, boiled, not in the ordinary way, but ounce of wire being one hundred and like sulphuric acid, in bursts, between each twenty feet long.

of which the surface was tranquil. By

means of carefully arranged apparatus ho -Gun-cotton still attracts great at- ascertained that, after condensing the

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