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purposes of education,* without releasing them from the obligation to to raise the sums already provided for under existing laws. A penalty, of double the amount misapplied, is imposed upon any town that shall pervert any portion of the fund to a purpose not contemplated by the Provision is also made for the future distribution, annually in June, of all sums hereafter received by the Treasurer, under the act of June 29, 1821, creating the fund.


Literary Fund of Virginia.-The literary fund of Virginia actually available, amounts to $1,200,856.

Reading Room for Ladies.-Preparations are making for opening an establishment of this kind in the city of Boston. Much benefit, we think, may result from this aid to mental cultivation and enjoyment. Many of the most agreeable and instructive productions of cotemporary literature, are presented through the medium of periodical publications, or in some of the scarcely less ephemeral forms of narrative writing. Few, perhaps, even of the studious among the male sex, think of introducing such works, to any considerable extent, into their private libaries. For reading of this description, it is customary for men to resort to a reading room. A similar opportunity for those of the female sex to whom their circumstances and taste render it desirable, would seem equally, if not more advantageous.

Extensive reading, however, is not the only benefit which may result from female associations for intellectual purposes; as the progress of the undertaking now mentioned will probably show. The ladies who have taken part in this useful enterprise will, we hope, prosecute it to whatever extent it may seem to them likely to prove beneficial. They will not, we trust, be deterred from their attempt by the influence of the ridicule which some manly censors have endeavoured to throw on it. The female sex are themselves the most competent judges of what are the intellectual aids which their condition requires.

* Taking for a test, the experience of the state of Connecticut, in regard to a school fund, the abovementioned distribution will not probably eventuate in real and permanent benefit; unless it be used in a way different from what is generally anticipated. Would not the money distributed be advantageously employed, if appropriated for the purpose of continuing the public schools for a greater number of months every year, than has been customary, or of securing able instructers, by the offer of an adequate salary?

A part of the money might be very usefully expended in the purchase of apparatus of a cheap and simple kind, for the object of elementary instruction in the practical sciences. Both pupils and teachers would be benefitted by such assistance.


Works in the Department of Education.

History of the States of Antiquity. From the German of A. H. L. Heeren, Professor of History in Gottingen, and Member of the Royal French Academy of Inscriptions. Northampton, Mass. S. Butler, and G. and C. Carvill, New-York. pp. 487.

1828. 8vo.

History of the Political System of Europe and its colonies, from the Discovery of America, to the Independence of the American continent, from the German of A. H. L. Heeren, Professor of History, &e. Northampton, Mass. S. Butler, &c.

1829. 8vo. 2 vols.

As soon as the animal wants are provided for, we naturally seek for knowledge and power. Of all knowledge, the most interesting is that which relates to the nature and destination of man. Self interest sends us on this inquiry in search of profitable lessons for the regulation of our own lives, aided by the sympathetic principle which prompts to a participation in the weal or woe of our fellows. We run to the play and the novel, the court of justice and the crowded assembly, to seek for new views of life, we unravel the web of metaphysics to ascertain the secret springs of human action, we open the volume of history to learn the doings and the sufferings, the character and destiny of the collective race of man. Individuals, nations, ages, all are the subjects of our study. History, therefore, is among the subjects which first occupy the human mind, and dates its origin before the era of civilization. It appears successively in the traditions of the savage; in the poetical colourings of the early epic, in the simple prolixity of the chronicle, in the philosophical narrative which analyzes the causes and consequences of events, and finally in compendiums like those before us, which are intended to introduce the student to the stores of knowledge accumulated through ages. The qualities required in the last class of works are order and precision, accurate statements and judicious reflections. These merits seem to us, to belong to the works of Mr. Heeren, who is considered by his countrymen, one of the best of their living historians. The manual of ancient history begins with the earliest times, and comes down to the destruction of the Roman empire in the west. It contains five divisions. 1. The Asiatic and African states before Cyrus. 2. The Persian empire. 3. The states of Greece. 4. The Macedonian monarchy. 5. The Roman state. The general divisions are of course subdivided. The geography of the several countries included under one division, is given in the first instance, succeeded by a few general remarks on their history, accompanied with references to the best works ancient and modern, which furnish par11


ticular information respecting their remarks on the merits of each. Then follows a condensed chronological sketch of the history of the several states, interspersed with short but just reflections on the character and condition of each, and the causes of their good or bad fortune. The book contains much information in a limited compass, and may be used with advantage by the teacher, as a text-book, by the young student to direct his reading and condense his acquisitions, and by readers of all descriptions as a book of reference.

The preface to the French translation of the Manual, says of it, that 'it is to be considered as a synopsis, in which the most important and precise ideas respecting the constitutions, and the revolutions of the several states are given with order and clearness, and many portions of ancient history, which appear confused even in long and elaborate works, are treated with distinguished talent and erudition. We would cite as instances, the accounts of the Greek colonies, of the successors of Alexander, of the Parthian kings, &c.' Heeren says in his preface translated in the same work, 'The objects which have principally attracted my attention are, the formation of states, the changes which have taken place in their constitutions of government, the direction which they have given to the commerce of the world, the degree in which each has participated in it, and, as immediately connected with this part of the subject, the aggrandizement of the various nations by the means of their colonies. I have felt myself bound not merely to give a simple narrative of events, but to trace their course and connexion, and explain the causes of national development.'

The objects of the author seem to us accomplished, and the remarks of the French translator correct. This Manual, in our opinion, surpasses its predecessors in order and accuracy, in sound views and copious references to the best sources of information. The compendium of modern history, beginning with the end of the 15th century, and coming down to the year 1821, has similar merits. We think the translations will prove useful additions to our books of instruction. Our system of study has been hitherto too desultory and superficial. As population becomes condensed, life systematized, labour divided, and competition increased among us, the want of a more thorough education is felt. The best European text-books should be introduced into our schools and colleges; and we are under obligations to Mr. Bancroft for giving us the Manuals of Heeren in an English dress. Considering the translations as elementary books, intended to be used in our colleges, we think they would have been better, if German idioms had been more studiously avoided. The intimate acquaintance of the learned translator with the language and literature of Germany, has made him partial to some phrases and constructions which sound harsh to an English ear. In the next edition, (for we trust there will be many,) these small blemishes, we hope, will be removed. The Manuals will then be entitled to a very respectable place among the higher class of text-books.

Geometry for Schools. By Josiah Holbrook. Boston. 1929. We are grateful for the attempt of Mr. Holbrook to make Geometry

a study for children, as we think it may give an impulse to some more successful undertaking for the same purpose.* The fault of this book is, that the questions do not serve to lead the mind of the pupil to make the discoveries himself; they merely serve to remind him of the several sentences which he must previously learn by heart; thus the book is, after all, an exercise of memory, and not of that power of the mind which apprehends proportion.

To make ourselves fully understood, we will claim the attention of our readers to some remarks on the method of teaching the exact sciences. That this subject is yet in obscurity, is evident from the little success attendant on instruction in this department. Few children who go to school with a prepossession against arithmetic, become tolerable arithmeticians. And how small is the proportion of mathematicians to linguists in every university! A friend has assured us, that in the University of Gottingen, when it has taught three thousand pupils, and every other lecturer had a thousand hearers; the lecturer on mathematics commenced his course with sixty, and ended it with three; and the lecturer one of the first mathematicians of Europe.

But when we reflect that no human mind can at the same time be sound and not endowed with the power of apprehending those axioms which include within them the mathematics, and that the practical applications of this science are most important in common life; we must feel both that the methods of teaching are essentially defective, and that to remedy the defect is most desirable.

The evil lies at the very beginning. The defective method bears upon the first stages of the instruction in arithmetic given to chil dren who are naturally slow in calculation, or, to speak more accurately, whose power of calculation is comparatively late in its development. Children whose mathematical faculty developes before the age when school discipline commences, get the start of their instructers; they have methods of their own, and almost unconsciously throw all questions into a form corresponding to their own methods. And besides, the practical questions which circumstances give them, are level to their capacity, constant success gives them a calm sense of power, before which all difficulties vanish. It has been remarked, that the mind often goes to a certain point in mathematics, and then stops. We apprehend that this, however, is no proof of a limited capacity, and that were no violence done the mind, no hurrying forward of the faculties to grasp what is at present beyond them, but patient courage possess the mind, it would go on, after an interval, as before.

But we will dismiss the consideration of the case of those, who have mathematical genius. They are not the only ones who must study arithmetic. No individual of either sex, can be placed in any situation in life, in which a knowledge of arithmetic is useless, and to which those powers of mind are not indispensable, to whose evolvement the exact sciences mainly contribute.

The danger of this false exercise of mind is especially to be guarded against. Children, slow in calculation, or even indolent, will always

* We are happy to learn that a second edition of this little work will soon be wanted. The suggestions offered above, will, we doubt not, receive attention from the author,

be in danger of endeavouring to supply the deficiencies of calculation by memory. And if they go to school, they have an excellent opportunity to do so, easily acquiring it by rote, in hearing the recitations of their companions. Even the plan of Colburn does not entirely neutralize this danger. It tends however to do so, and especially if the lessons are recited faithfully. But it often happens that the pupil may perfectly comprehend one section of the book, while the next is beyond him for the present; and unless there is care taken, in a few drillings the next will be acquired by rote.

When the mind staggers at any particular class of operations, the teacher should in the first place make himself quite sure that all the preceding processes are perfectly familiar, not only in the practical applications, but in the rationale. This may be aided by a parallel knowledge of geometry; and if, after this, the mind does not spontaneously start forward, nothing can be done but to rest a little; and if there is no despair, which is the common source of mental helplessness, this waiting will not be in vain. New power will come.

It is, indeed, difficult in many instances, to discriminate between want of comprehension and indolence, which produces precisely the same effects. Against the latter there is no guarding, except by moral means, but these should never be neglected, if the teacher would be faithful. There can be no uniform progress in these sciences, when the mind is originally slow or disinclined to them, unless there is strict conscientiousness. The pupil must be made aware that the power by which he apprehends mathematical truths is the gift of heaven, something which the will may take advantage of, but which it cannot create; that faithfulness in the exercise of this power, and exercise of it on its appropriate subjects is necessary, lest it be altogether lost; that the result must always be reasoned out, and not merely remembered. These views should often be recalled to the pupils' mind by the teacher at the moment of recitation, and their honour and integrity brought so into exercise, that he may be able to say in any particular instance, 'Have you calculated, or did you remember the answer?' In doubtful cases, and often, at any rate, he should require the reasoning to be audibly detailed.

A child naturally inclined to arithmetic, and of quick talent in this department, will not need so much care, it is true. It is the instinct of mind, when it is powerful, to be true to itself; and this holds good of any particular talent which is peculiarly powerful.

But though this care is especially necessary for a child, who from original want of talent for arithmetic, is tempted to exercise his mind falsely, it can do no harm to any child. There is an important moral good to be derived from giving children a sense of religious responsibility in the exercise of their minds. Besides, it is giving the best ground work for future progress and discovery, in the sublime regions of mental philosophy, to turn the attention of children, early, to the discrimination of their various faculties, appropriating each to its proper department of inquiry and exercise. "There are other studies to strengthen your memory: arithmetic is intended to improve your judgment,'- -is a truth, which any child who is old enough to study

arithmetic can understand.

There is great danger in stimulating the pupil except by moral motives. All others will produce excitement injurious to the mind.

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