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objects is incalculably great. It is the characteristic which is almost always mentioned in the biographical notices of great men as having been early displayed by them. We hope the time is not far distant when an ardent curiosity and thirst for physical knowledge shall become as common a trait in children as the love of sport, or that sentiment so universally prevalent among our juvenile friends, the love of holidays.

Elements of Geometry, with Practical Applications, for the Use of Schools. By T. Walker, Teacher of Mathematics in the Round Hill School at Northampton, Mass. Boston. Richardson & Lord. 12mo. pp. 104.

We have long earnestly wished for a work of this kind, in which the more important principles of demonstrative geometry might be laid down in a manner adapted to the wants of our high schools and academies. We rejoice therefore at the appearance of this little work, and we have looked it over with eagerness and delight. It seems to us a book, which will do for geometry what Colburn's excellent work has done for algebra-make a science, hitherto vulgarly esteemed dry, and uninteresting, popular among the young of both sexes, and studied with pleasure and advantage by all who aim at possessing an English education, in any degree, finished. We do not say this because we believe the author has made any essential improvement in the science itself. Geometry has remained, in all that is important, nearly the same since the days of Euclid. The utmost, which the most profound modern mathematicians have been able to effect, is to improve the arrangement of the propositions, to add a few new ones, and to call to their aid the formulas of algebra. The works passing under the name of Simson, Playfair and Legendre are nearly perfect in their kind. But they presuppose too much previous knowledge of mathematics, are too abstruse, too large, and too expensive for general use in schools.

What was wanted, therefore, in an important department of elementary education was a book reduced in size and price, simple, and plain in style, full in explanation, avoiding unnecessary technicalities, and explaining the more common and important practical uses of this noble science. Such a work we had been encouraged to expect from one whose elementary works have done more for the developement of the young mind, than those of any other author of our country. But since that has been delayed, and perhaps laid aside, we are gratified in being able to recommend to our readers another which possesses precisely the requisites, we have just mentioned.

It is unnecessary here to speak of the important results to be produced by introducing geometry into all schools of the highest

grade. It is unnecessary to describe the beneficial effect, which the study of the science has on the mind, in sharpening its powers, in imparting accuracy, order, and precision to the reasoning faculty, nor of the grand results to which it leads in astronomy and geography enabling us to measure the heavens andmete out the earth;' to calculate distances on the pathless ocean; and to find how far asunder are the tops of distant mountains; to ascertain the heights of the everlasting hills,' and the size, elevation, and distance of the passing cloud. We shall hope, therefore, to see this work soon in general use, in the highest classes of schools of both sexes, and shall expect to see it produce important and beneficial results; both as affording an excellent discipline for the mind, and as preparing the scholar in the best and most thorough manner, for a clear knowledge of mechanics, natural philosophy, astronomy, surveying, navigation, and the kindred arts and sciences.

A Practical System of Modern Geography; or a View of the Present State of the World. Simplified and adapted to the capacity of Youth: containing numerous Tables exhibiting the Divisions, Settlement, Population, Extent, Lakes, Canals, and the various Institutions of the United States and Europe; the different forms of Government, Prevailing Religions, the Latitude and Longitude of the principal places on the Globe. Embellished with numerous Engravings of Manners, Customs, &c. Accompanied by a new and improved Atlas. By J. Olney. Second Edition. Hartford. D. F. Robinson & Co. 1829. 18mo. pp. 269.

This work is arranged in the catechetical form, and is, in our, opinion, therefore, less fitted to excite thought, and lead to the exercise of judgment, than if it were on a plan not so liable to degenerate into routine, in the actual business of instruction. In other respects the book is well suited to aid in imparting a practical and thorough knowledge of geography, as far as elementary works usually go. It has also several good points peculiar to itself in the arrangement and succession of the lessons.

Books for Children.

The Talisman: a Tale for Boys. Boston. Wait, Greene, & Co. 1829. 18mo. pp. 105.

This tale is a production of one of the ablest writers of fiction in this country. Its design is to cultivate a pure moral taste and to infuse a strength of moral courage into the minds of boys in their school-going days. It is gratifying to see such talents devoted to such a purpose. The story is so interesting and delightful, the style so colloquial and purely English, the charac

ters so natural, and the whole so perfectly unaffected; that there is no hazard in predicting that it will become a favourite in all academies for boys-a fashionable present from mothers who regard the best and highest interests of their sons.

A Brief Memoir of the Life of Dr Benjamin Franklin. With an Appendix. Compiled for the use of Young Persons. New York. Mahlon Day. 1829. 18mo. pp. 90,

This is an excellent specimen of what might be done in the way of useful publications for the young. Of course such reading is not intended for mere children; as it requires a degree of thought and reflection beyond that attained in childhood. But we know of few books more deserving than this to be found in family libraries, with a view to being read by every member of the domestic circle, who is old enough to understand it.

The Mother and her Children, or Twilight Conversations. By Abigail Mott. New York. Mahlon Day. 1829.

This is another plain and practical little volume, intended chiefly for usefulness, but rendered entertaining and attractive by a judicious selection of subjects and an easy, animated style. This volume is adapted to juvenile capacities, but admits in a peculiar manner of the superintending mind of a mother accompanying those of its young readers in their progress through the whole.

Rhode Island Tales. By a Friend to Youth, of Newport, R. I. New York. Mahlon Day. 1829.

Simple and easy verses for the young are, as yet, one of the rarest things in the 'book' market. Writers of this description of poetry are generally in pursuit of striking imagery, or lofty and abstract morality, very little accommodated to juvenile tastes or to juvenile life. This is a matter of regret; for at no period can poetry be rendered more influential on the mind, than in early childhood. All that children naturally understand and like, is in fact poetry, as far as thought and feeling and imagination are concerned. But grown people are too prone to forget this, and to go in quest of artificial circumstances, and laboured expression, when attempting to write for the mind of childhood.

The little volume mentioned above is a happy exception to the general practice in this respect. It manifests no over ambitious aim in thought or language; and its only fault is that of human life itself, as managed by adults,-viz. that it is sometimes dull and prosaic. This, we think, is the right sort of fault, (if we may use such a phrase,) in books of this order. It leaves the mind unexcited and uninjured, while a single exaggerated metaphor, or affected expression, or overdone description does more harm to the tender mind than can be calculated or expressed.

The Pet Lamb in Rhythm: intended as an innocent exercise for the Memory of Children. New York. Mahlon Day. 1829. The preface to this miniature volume deserves the attention of mothers and teachers. It is by no means common to meet with a train of original and ingenious thought on the subject of education, in the preface to a toy-book, yet here it occurs; and the matter to which it forms an introduction, is well worthy of it. The whole book makes not only a pleasing story but an excellent exercise for the memory; and the frequent repetition so ingeniously involved in it, would make it a very useful manual for first lessons in reading.

The Infant Library. New York. Mahlon Day. 1829.

This is a neat little volume, formed by binding together two dozen of little toy-books, of the kind usually sold at a cent a-piece. The peculiarity of this selection is that it has been formed with care and attention, and, as seems to us, with much judgment and taste. Instead of the trash usually offered in this form, we have here a little collection of useful and entertaining matter in a great variety of shapes. The publisher who turns mind and capital into such channels, is a true friend to childhood, and deserves well of parents and teachers.

The Child's Library. New York. Mahlon Day. 1829. This volume differs from the preceding, only in containing matter adapted to older children than are intended in that, and in the size and cost of the book being somewhat greater.

The books now mentioned are portions of a series somewhat similar in design, though not, in our opinion, equally meritorious in all cases. Several of these, however, would have been selected for particular notice, at present, had our limits permitted.

In bringing these humble publications before our readers, an important service, we trust, is done to the interests of domestic education and of infant schools.

In justice to the publisher of these books, and, at the same time, in explanation of the circumstance of a succession of notices confined to the productions of one press, we ought, perhaps, to mention that the interest expressed in these publications had its origin in the accidental falling in with a copy of one of the smallest class of these books, when in search of a work of a different nature. The apparent merit of the little volume led to a desire to peruse the series to which it belonged; and the result was the conviction already expressed, that to assist in attracting notice to the whole, with a view to the selection of the best, would be perhaps a useful service to parental instruction.



No. IV.



ART. I.-The Constitution of Man, considered in Relation to External Objects. By George Combe. Boston. Carter & Hendee. 1829. 12mo.

Pp. 310.

In the preface to the American edition of Mr. Combe's work on the constitution of man, it is remarked that this essay treats of education. This term has within a few years been used in a sense somewhat different from its earlier and more usual acceptation. It is not now limited to what may be acquired at a certain age, and which is supposed to be completed when the time for such acquisitions has passed. It is the business of our whole lives; the state in which the mind may be at any moment of its being; and it is continued through all the periods of its existence. Education does not stop; because the mind does not. It cannot be completed, because a vast and interminable future is before, and every moment of its illimitable progress, is producing its effect upon the mind. It is this effect, it is all the effects which all influences have been producing, which is truly education, and this is the comprehensive and wide sense in which this term is beginning to be understood. The means for this end, it has been said, are various. They are in short every thing which affects the mind. They are all of them more or less directly instrumental in the production of what is termed character, the whole state of the being who has been formed by them. It is this view of the subject which has given to education the strong interest which now attaches to it, and he who has not learnt thus much of its history, is unacquainted alike with

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