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er with a set of entries or a day-book in a printed form, and so saves the labor of copying what it is unnecessary to copy. Those parts of the subject are withheld from the pupil, which it is his business to find out for himself, by the application of the rules which he has learned. Every such part, however, is furnished in a separate book, called a key, which is designed for the use of the teacher, and saves him the toil of examining minutely the work of every pupil-a task which, in a large school, can seldom be thoroughly performed. The study of the whole subject is carefully graduated; the learner being conducted by regular advances from the simpler and easier parts to the more complex and difficult. Accounts are presented, first, as kept by a person trading for himself only; secondly, as kept by a commission merchant; and, thirdly, as in special partnership. It is not its least recommendation that this work is published in a form adapted to the size of most school desks; and the quality of the blank books, as well as the neat style in which they are finished, is much to the credit of the publishers.
In executing his plan the author seems constantly to have aimed at perspicuity of style, and plainness of expression in definitions. He has taken great pains to adapt his whole system to the minds of the young. His work is, as every school-book ought to be, copious in explanation and in practical exercises. It enables the pupil to go as far as possible in instructing himself, it incites him to activity, and gratifies him with the consciousness of improving to a great extent by independent effort.
In the existing practice of some mercantile houses, the pupil might find some things at variance with the new method. But, as the great merit of the system on which he is taught, is, that it makes the subject perfectly familiar to him, he will find no difficulty in adapting its minor details to particular circumstances.
The Elements of Geography and History, combined in a Catechetical
form, for the use of familics and schools. By Frederick Butler, A. M. Accompanied with an Allas. Wethersfield, 1825. 12mo.
It is gratifying to observe, in modern school-books on geography, that authors and teachers are abandoning the useless and inconsistent method of conducting a child to the centre of the system, for his first lesson in a science which professes to be a description
of the earth. We wish this rational spirit of improvement were permitted to find its way into the study of geography as now pursued, and abolish the unmeaning practice of commencing with the form and composition of the terraqueous globe,' instead of with that portion of the earth's surface, which falls under the young learner's daily notice.
Mr. Butler's work does not begin, as we wish it did, with the United States; but it places them so near the beginning of the book, and devotes so large a space to them, that, even in this point of view, we cannot but regard his book as an important step taken towards a desirable improvement in geographical instruction.
The catechetical arrangement is adopted in this work, with a view to render the subject more easy and familiar. The design is laudable, but we doubt whether, in such cases, it is always attended with the desired result. Catechetical instruction renders the pupil's task more light; as it reduces the memory lessons to portions which he can manage. All this may be done, however, and the lesson, which is said, be still as unintelligible as ever; so that, in reality, the subject itself stands invested with all its original difficulty. We confess that we should like to see the method of alternate printed question and answer abandoned, and recourse more generally had to the simple form of consecutive paragraphs, to be enlivened by the oral explanations and questions of the cher. That is the most efficient kind of instruction, in which the manual furnished by the author is used merely as a book of outlines to be filled up by the teacher's own mind. The writer of a school book should not go before the instructer, and, by a limited number of questions, preclude a wide range of thought, on the part of the pupil.
In other respects, Mr. Butler's Elements contain much that will be gratifying to every teacher who adopts a practical method of instruction. Some of the advantages likely to result from the use of this work, are peculiar. Geography is here combined with history: the former science is thus applied to one of its principal uses, and is rendered more pleasing than it could otherwise be to the young; while the latter is practically and thoroughly taught; and in so interesting a way, too, as to produce a desire for a more extensive knowledge of it.
Another excellent feature in the plan of this geography, is, that half of the book is allotted to America; and much the greater part of that space is occupied with the United States.
The atlas which accompanies this volume, is neatly executed; but it might be better adapted to the work it is designed to illustrate, if care were taken to insert in the maps more of the places which are mentioned in the geography. VOL. I.
The Practical Reader, in five Books. By M. R. Bartlett. Second
Edition, corrected from the first, and enlarged. Utica, 1825. 12mo. pp. 336.
This work must have cost its author much labor. The first part contains the substance of Walker's Elocution, minutely detailed in the form of question and answer. The second part exhibits an attempt to apply the rules of vocal inflection, by means of printed accents.
The toils of the compiler have, we are sorry to observe, been but little alleviated by the diligence of the printer; for the typography of the book is shamefully careless. This negligence is to be the more regretted, as there is, perhaps, no work in the English language, in which the utmost accuracy of execution is more imperiously demanded, than in a book of accented reading lessons.
This work, though, on the part of the compiler, a minute and careful one, is not, we think, in all respects judicious or happy.
In the first place, the rules of elocution which it lays down, are too numerous. This objection is often made,—and with good reason,—to Walker's treatises. His works on elocution are very diffuse; and his rules are unnecessarily multiplied, and are apt to produce much perplexity, especially in extemporaneous reading. quote the following just sentiments from the advertisement to the fifth edition of the Elocutionist, * a work by Mr. Knowles, one of the most successful living teachers of this branch of education, in Great Britain.
In the introduction which follows, an attempt is made to simplify Mr. Walker's system of the inflections,—with what degree of success I leave it to the critic to judge; but, even if I have failed, I shall still content myself with the reflection, that the undertaking will most probably have the effect of causing that system to be more narrowly inquired into, and of eventually producing—what every teacher with whom I have conversed upon the subject, has acknowledged to be a thing “devoutly to be wished"-a reduction
* The Elocutionist, a collection of pieces in prose and verse, peculiarly adapted to display the Art of Reading, in the most comprehensive sense of the term Including, among other original matter, a Debate composed expressly for the pur. pose of exercising the young student in purely argumentative Declaviation; and preceded by an Introduction, in which an attempt is made to simplify Mr. Walker's system, and, by referring his illustrations to more general principles, to reduce the number of his rules. By James Sheridan Knowles, teacher of Elocution, Glasgow, author of the tragedy of Virginius, &c. Fisth edition. Glasgow and London, 1825. 12mo. pp. 328,
in the number, and a more lucid economy in the arrangement, of the rules.'
Mr. Bartlett might have rendered the study of elocution in this country an important service, by pruning the system of Walker, so as to reduce it to a manageable compass. The attempt has been successfully made in the department of inflections* by the Rev. Dr. Porter, of Andover.
The subject of emphasis needs a similar simplification; and various improvements might be effected in other departments.
We are sorry to observe in the application of accents denoting inflections, many mistakes for which we are afraid the printer is not to blame. We allude particularly to instances in which the rising inflection is uniformly marked at the end of several of the first clauses, in a sentence, and, particularly, where emphasis requires the falling inflection.
It is but justice, however, to this work, to observe that teachers who feel bound to adhere undeviatingly to Walker, will find the Reader present Walker's system in a more intelligible and practical form than it possesses in the works of the original author, and that consequently Mr. Bartlett's volume is better adapted to school use.
It would afford us much pleasure to see a third edition of the Reader, containing Walker's rules simplified and abridged. We hope, however, that it will appear on better paper, and be issued from a more accurate press. We may suggest, at the same time, what we think would be a valuable improvement in this and every other book on elocution,—we mean double the common space between the lines; so as to leave sufficient room for an easy embarrassed glance of the eye along every line with its accents and pauses. Such an aid is very serviceable to the teacher himself, when reading to his pupils; but it is peculiarly valuable to the youngest class of learners.
Analysis of Vocal Inflections as used in Reading and Speaking : designed to render the principles of Walker's Elements more intelligible. Andover, 1824. 8vo. pp. 20.
BOSTON SCIENTIFIC LIBRARY.
It is a common observation on the libraries of this city and its vicinity, especially the public ones, that they are of too iniscellaneous a character. Books are admitted on all subjects, and unless the library be very large, it contains but few on any one. If intended for general use, such books are sought for as are interesting to the greatest number of persons; and a book, however valuable or important, is not procured if it would be particularly interesting to only a few individuals. As this is the case with the greater part of books on scientific subjects, very few, comparatively, are to be found in our public libraries.-Indeed the want of a collection of scientific books has been long and very generally felt, and is peculiarly pressing at the present time, when the boundaries of knowledge are so widely extended, and rapid advances are continually making in almost every department of science. There is no accessible library which contains the translations of even the greater parl of foreign learned Societies—those rich storehouses of the labors of men, who, during the last two centuries, have brought to unequalled persection branches of science which had long occupied the minds of men, and have explored new regions in the kingdoms of nature and art. Nor is the deficiency less striking in the later publications. Many scientific journals and magazines, of the highest value and respectability, are not to be found in any public library, and, if taken at all, are taken only by individuals, and for individual benefit or gratification. Works are continually appearing on improvements in the arts and manufactures, as well as in science, which it would seem to be of the greatest importance for us to have, of which we see notices in the reviews and literary journals, but which every one must long for in vain, who cannot af. ford to import them.
There has never been so loud and earnest a call as is now heard, for exact and practical knowledge, for scientific principles, and the results of experiment, to guide in the new works of every kind, wbich the engineer and mechanic are erecting on all sides of us. Every one feels how poor are our means of answering this call. It has not hitherto been answered by the public. There is no tolerably complete collection, open to all, on any ore science that can be named. He who wants books on any science, on any art or branch of art, is obliged to send to Europe to procure them for himself, at great expense, delay and uncertainty, hardly knowing what to send for, what to expect, aud oftentimes without the means of ascertaining the extent of his own wants. There is no place to which the artist, or mechanic, or man of science, can resort, where he can ask with any probability or hope of a satisfactory answer, what is doing, or what has been done, on the subject which his curiosity or interest leads bim to investigate.
There is no deficiency of talent for these subjects. Indeed, if there be any trait which has decidedly developed itself in our intellectual character, it is that of the quick invention and skillful application of practical principles in the arts:-But how do we allow this faculty to waste itself in discoveries that have already been made. The same genius might be employed in advancing the limits of knowledge, which is now spent in tracing paths which, perhaps, have long and frequently been trodilen. While books are so much wanted, one of the strongest motives to bold perseverance in original investigations is lost in the fear, that what seems to be new is already familiarly known to others; and whoever has been led to pursue a subject however little beyond the usual course of elementary reading, must soon have felt hinself impeded, if not altogether discouraged, by the want of books.