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straight and a curved line, into one, and forms the letter l or i; an oval placed behind the 7, makes the d; two ii's joined together, give the letter u; and reversed, n; or with the addition of another curve, m. In the cypher D (as written) are combined the curved line, the semicircle, the oval, and the spiral line: such a knowledge of the first principles of form, as already shown, greatly assists the pupil in the acquirement of writing, and gives great freedom and ease to the hand.*

Spelling and reading are taught to the whole of the scholars at the same time; at other times a class is selected, and each child separately examined. In many schools the monitorial system is introduced. The materials used to impart the elementary signs of language are various the master takes his black board, and forms thereon the various description of letters, as used both in printing and in writing, comprising syllables and words; and at the same time exercises the thinking powers of the children, by requiring them to name other words and syllables which may be formed with the same letters when transformed or decreased. From the letters used in the word BREAST we may get bear, beat, rest, beer, brat, rare, rear, babe, stab, star, bare, rate, tare, tear, beast, stare, ate, eat, are, ear, bat, set, sat, sea, tea, tar, rat, art, best, rest, seat, east. For the purpose of teaching spelling upon this plan, a provision is made by having narrow slips of wood about two inches wide by nine or ten long, painted black, with white letters; each slip contains six letters of the same name, but in different characters.

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* The elementary forms of the writing characters are these If a child can be made to execute these six forms well, he will very rapidly acquire a good hand. Having had occasion to attend a school in which the pupils were generally destitute of writing, we proceeded upon this method,

On the second slip are six B's, on the third six C's, on the fourth, six D's, and so on until the alphabet is completed. The advantages of this plan, which is not generally known,* are obvious, for by these means a child gets the knowledge of the letter in six different forms at the same time; and any word may be spelled by placing the letters side by side in the six characters at the same moment, and afterwards altering, according to the specimen already given. That the idea may be fully comprehended, we give the following as an example :—

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Here is a word spelt six times in the same moment; and by transposing or removing one or more of these slips, many others will be found. The amusement which this method affords, and which is of great consequence among infants, is very great; it also saves books: besides the child becomes acquainted with both reading and writing characters, a thing of more importance than is at first seen. When a school is supplied with three sets of the alphabet, and three sets of the vowels

taking care that the forms were well drawn before a letter was formed the result was perfectly satisfactory; in the short space of three months there was scarcely a child who could not make all the letters of the alphabet correctly, and in six weeks more, could combine the letters, and write a good hand.

* Letters on the System of Development in Infant Schools; by a Master. We have received much information from this little work; it ought to be in the hands of all who wish for information on the Infant System. We have frequently referred to it.

in addition, the teacher can form simple sentences; and thus reading is taught as well as spelling.

Reading is not only taught, however, in this way, but also by printed lessons pasted on boards, sometimes attached to a picture, sometimes not; of these, however, there is no sort of progression or uniformity, those masters who supply them being obliged to go to four or five different publishers to make up a set; and these are very imperfect from their not going upon any regular system. Thus reading in infant schools has in too many instances been neglected, although lately more attention has been paid to it. Reading from lessons is generally used on the monitorial system: a card is hung against the wall, and a boy points to it with a stick, the children who form the class reading in rotation. Singing is very much used in infant schools, for the purpose of making study pleasing, and adding a cheerfulness to application. Children are very soon found to acquire the sounds of harmony, and a variety of hymns of a devotional character, and short pieces of a useful kind, with the arithmetical tables, are sung to various popular airs. In some schools the children are taught by notes; and there appears no more difficulty in doing this by means of chalking them down before the children on the black board, than in teaching the sounds of the letters. In some schools the children are become so proficient as to be able to sing off a tune from the notes in this way represented.

As a variety in the instruction, and to give the children ideas, the works of God are continually brought under their observation. The human body, animals, grass, corn, plants, earth, stones, insects, and fruit, are the subject of short and interesting lectures made by the teachers, some of whom are provided with a microscope, with which they exhibit the minute wonders of creation. They are also taught to distinguish between the trees, plants, and shrubs. The various descriptions of roots, stems, branches, leaves, &c., are the bases of useful and edifying conversation; and from these discursive remarks are made of the more common phenomena of nature's operations, vapours, clouds, rain, dew, frost, heat, water, &c., so as to keep the children incessantly amused and profitably employed.

The Scriptures frequently refer to the luminaries of heaven, as in the 19th Psalm. For the purpose of giving correct ideas concerning the heavenly bodies, the solar system and the orbits of the planets are represented on the large black board, as are also eclipses. The Globe is also at times projected by a clever teacher in the same manner, in various elevations or depressions of the pole, so as to give an idea of the globular form of the Earth, while the first principles of Geography are taught in a simple oral manner. This is also extended in various ways: vallies, rocks, hills, forests, seas, lakes, rivers, &c., being explained and illustrated in the most familiar style, and with a view to assist the children to understand the Scriptures and such other books as may fall under their notice.

Religious and moral instruction is attended to in a variety of ways, and brought home to the minds of the children by improving every circumstance which happens to them, or to those around them. The leading truths of salvation are clearly pointed out, and those moral

duties which affect children are diligently enforced. The system of catechism, whether of the Church of England, Dr. Watts, or The Assembly, is reprobated: there are no set questions and answers upon given subjects to be committed to memory; but the teacher interrogates and the pupils answer according to impressions received, to ideas imbibed, or to suggestions which may arise from the objects. presented; by which means the natural powers of the mind are brought into action, and together with its better feelings developed; while the conscious pleasure generally experienced by the child is a sufficient reward to pay its most industrious efforts and to stimulate to new exertion.

But the most important principle upon which Infant Schools are conducted is that of not allowing Emulation as a motive. "Strive to excel" is not thought to be a proper text for the young. Thus rewards for doing what is right are considered not only useless, but positively hurtful. The child is taught by the highest of all possible motives, "social love," and the desire of pleasing the Almighty; and he is taught to think, speak, and act, as much for the sake of his brethren as himself; the feeling of Emulation being thought to enkindle and cherish those principles of pride and selfishness so com

mon to our nature.

Such are the principles, and such is a brief outline of the history and character of the Infant System; and though we may not be disposed entirely to agree with some of its principles, we should be heartily glad to see the Infant System carried into effect more fully than it is. That the germs of a good system are to be found in it, no one can be disposed to deny ;-that its success has been equal to its pretension, every one will concede. But it still labors under the want of generalizing and systematizing, so as to make it progressive and perfect as a whole. The system is now without any responsible agents; there is no standing committee, no central or model schools, no authorized manual, no regular lessons, no systematically adapted books, for teaching either the principles themselves, or the lessons which should be inculcated in the children. Several of the infant schoolmasters have published books on and of the system, containing general observations, slight directions, hymns, and other matters, expedient to teach; but being composed by those who are unaccustomed to philosophize and think; and who, from want of the requisite education, are unable to express their ideas forcibly, or to put them into a connected and proper position, have hitherto failed in producing any work which can be said to exhibit the system and its beauties, at the same time that it gives the method of teaching, and the things most proper to be taught. Wilderspin himself, who has done more than any other man, has proved himself unqualified for the task in most particulars. Those who have followed him have generally written in different spirits, and advocated different principles; so that he who would study the system of infant instruction, would be greatly puzzled to know which of the many teachers of teachers to follow. Beside this, there are no regular places for the training of teachers-no central establishment-no examination of candidates, excepting as to

testimonials of character, and no consecutive or progressive, lessons as before stated. The result of this is that little, compared with what ought to be doing, is being done by the Infant System. In many places it has wholly failed, from the inefficiency and the want of intelligence in the teachers, few of whom understand at all the principles under which they should teach; while from the too common method of engaging single females, who have not sufficient physical strength for the work, the schools are degenerating into the veriest dame-schools. The Infant System, then, requires the prompt and serious attention of the friends of human improvement. Let a central committee be immediately formed;-let à competent body of men draw up a manual of instruction, both for the teachers and the pupils -let the lessons be systematized-let auxiliary societies be established, and training schools set up in various convenient places, where the principles of the system may be thoroughly learned, and the habit of their application be acquired. The teachers of London, many of whom are talented and worthy men, have formed a society for the laudable purpose of self-improvement and mutual benefit; but this will go but a little way in producing the important change which must be produced, before the system can have proper play. The Infant System was established under favourable auspices :-where are now the noble founders and their colleagues? There are those who, if the cause was laid before them in a proper manner, would be as anxious as they have ever been to come forward to resuscitate the expiring cause. We believe that his Grace the Duke of Bedford is a munificent patron to the infant school in Covent-garden. No place could be better adapted for a central-training establishment; and if application were to be made to his Grace, to enable an establishment, now diffusing its usefulness on his property, to extend and perpetuate that usefulness, the acts of that noble house on all occasions, in which the good of the people has been the object, have always been so illustrious, that it is not too much to infer that now, upon due representation being made, means would be provided for the promotion of so excellent an object as the one we have ventured to point out as indispensable. We shall, at the present, add no more, except expressing the hope that a consummation so devoutly to be wished, may, ere long, be realized; and that the Infant System may be placed on an extended, a comprehensive, and a permanent footing.



Religion does not fix her dwelling-place
Exclusively in streets, or rural shades;-
The Omnipresence of Redeeming Grace
The crowded cities-forests' depths pervades.

The contrite heart, which unto God would sigh,—

The faltering tongue, which on His name would call,

In both alike may own its Maker nigh,

For HE is every where, and all in all.

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