« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »
his reader. We are not awed as by the majestic purity of Milton, but allured by his serene and gentle virtue. We do not merely esteem him as a writer. We love bim as a man. We feel, when we read him as if he were by our side, our companion and friend, and we sympathise with his daily joys and sorrows, however slight their cause may seem, and are perforce, interested in all that interests bim. His works have for many years been always upon our table, and we turn to him as we would to the voice of a brother, to be refreshed by his cheerfulness and ease. As a writer of prose we know not whom to match with Cowper in graceful ease and vivacity. Goldsmith even, with all bis elegance, and nice and skllful variety, is below him in the exquisitely natural structure of his sentences, and freshness of his thoughts. His thoughts are the clear gushing of a fountain. He had doubtless a more delicate perception of the music of language, and a more exact knowledge of the proprieties of our tongue than any one of his contemporaries. As a poet he was eminently classical, not as abounding in references to antiquity, but as having drank deeply of its spirit. He was more Roman than Greek. His style betrays a closer study of the shrewd observation, good sense and wit, and finished versification of Horace, than of Pindar or even of Homer. Hence his poetry is more constructive, while bis prose bas all the freedom of refined conversation. Mr Southey possesses eminent qualifications for the task of writing this life, apart from a poetical (we doubt whether there is enough of religious) sympathy. He was properly a literary contemporary and familiar if not in person, yet by nearness with many of the persons and events recorded in these volumes. The character of Cowper is ably delineated, and the literary digressions, and sketches of persons connected with hini, serve well as a relief, and harmonize well with the body of the work. These brief essays contain much valuable information respecting the distinguished authors of Cowper's time. The mechanical execution of the work is excellent, and we hope the publishers may be encouraged to issue the entire works of the author. Several editions have within a few years been published in England, containing a much more complete collection of his poems and letters, than has ever been printed in this country.
Ar ADDRESS TO THE SENIOR Class, delivered at the Commence ment in Allegheny College, Sept. 20, 1838. By Homer J. Clark, President of Allegheny College. pp. 16. Pittsburgh : printed by D. N. White.
A very respectable discourse, containing many suggestions appro
priate and valuable to young men on leaving college. The plainer, and we may say more personal the instructions given at such an hour, by one whose advice has not yet lost the weight of authority, the better, for at least, all moral purposes. We cannot, however, refrain from remarking that the President of Allegheny College ought not to quote Addison for a statement of Varro, or maintain in the body of his discourse a doctrine, wbich in the beginning of it, he had scouted as that of Epicurus.
AN Address, delivered at the opening of the Observatory of Wil
liams College, June 12, 1838. * By Albert Hopkins, Professor of Mathematics and Natural Philosophy. Pittsfield : printed by Phineas Allen & Son.
A very able address, worthy of the author and of the occasion. We quote a valuable passage.
« The epithet practical, as applied to our times, is descriptive of them; not because we have less theory now than formerly the world was never so speculative-but because the theoretical is made subordinate and valued only as subservient to its applications. These applications, we might remark in passing, respect, for the most part, and centre in the achievement of a good which has little or nothing moral in its elements, a fact which deserves to be well considered, as it throws light on the question just alluded to in relation to ultimate tendencies."
“ The remark so often made and so currently received, that the age is one of dogmatical empiricism and visionary speculation, though true as applied to individuals and in some cases, it may be, even to classes of men, in general appears not to be well founded. The wildness of conjecture is tempered by a turn for the useful, and the subordination of the practical to just theoretical principles is better understood than formerly. It must be confessed, however, as was above hinted, that selfishness has given too much prominence to the question “cui bono." Intellect has thus become tainted with a secularizing spirit, a spirit which as usual has found its way through into the heart, and which would fain measure and gauge the affections by the rules of a sordid and calculating self-interest. Such a tendency as this must be met by counteracting influences in the forni of education. Freedom from a narrow and selfish bias is to be secured not so much by particular precepts, as by the application of a system calculated to give to the mind expansion and enlargement.
This idea seems not to have been sufficiently kept in mind, or suitably appreciated, by those into whose hands has been committed the moulding of our systems of intellectual and moral culture. It is usual with such, through endeavoring to resist the prevailing disposition to make knowleilge cheap by exscinding the doctrinal part and thus reducing the furniture of the mind to a mere bundle of facts, to regard and speak of mental discipline as the end of that course of instruction which precedes professional study. This term is one quite generic, to be sure, and may embrace a great deal. Still, it seems to have clinging to it something of the taint of the selfish system. As much as to say whet up your intellect, make your powers keep, prepare yourselves for action, action, action, the beginning, middle and end of all that duty will require or society demand. It appears not to involve some points of cardinal importance in a perfect system of mental training. It makes provision for the most profitable exercise of those powers which already exist. After the faculties are run in a certain mould, it stands ready to grind and polish so as to give them all the perfection of which the original cast rendered them susceptible. But the mould's moulding is too much overlooked. There is in one word an investment, extending its folds over all the faculties of the mind in common, not in a way to restrain their growth, but rather to screen them from the pinching and stinting influence of selfish and sectarian narrowness. This investment, unlike the loose drapery upon a fine forın, only heightening the beauty which it conceals, restrains that form and gives it symmetry, reducing within the limits of a due proportion that which needs to be checked in its growth and drawing out into proper freedom and enlargement that which requires to be developed. It is this general systematizing and moulding influence, to which mere discipline is subordinate, wbich plants low in the intellectual soil the seminal principles of a fruitful maturity. Discipline may nurse these principles, but it cannot impress upon them that law of their vitality which gives character to mind-which envelopes the germ either of a stunted form or of a well characterized and vigorous expansion.”
"To preside over those influences, which thus mould the general intellectual features, to select, combine and apply them in a manner suited to subserve the purposes of a perfect scheme of mental training, is the province of a philosophy, involving inore acquaintance with the real object of knowledge and of the adaptation of means to ends, in the way of elevating the human mind to that standard which constitutes the linit of its attainments—a philosophy, in one word, more deeply read in the science of what man is and what man may be, than has perhaps ever fallen to the lot of a single individual. Indeed the superstructure of a rational system of education has grown up by piece-meal ; and he who adds a stone turned at the proper angle, will deserve well in the commonwealth of mind, though the place which it occupies may be undistinguished, in after times, among the materials which it serves at once to cement and support.”
SECOND ANNUAL REPORT of the Board of Education, together with
the Second Annual Report of the Secretary of the Board. Boston: 1839.
We have room barely to give the title of this interesting document. We intend in our next to speak of it more at large.
THE AMERICAN MECHANIC, by Charles Quill. 12mo. pp. 285.
Philadelphia : Henry Perkins. Boston: Perkins & Marvin. 1838.
Most men live utterly at randon, with no settled purpose as to what they will be, or with no clear convictions of the means they may become what they would be. Hence the value of works like this, which contain specific directions, and state definite methods, (often by implication indeed) and desirable results. The work is divided into fortysix chapters, entitled the Mechanic's Pleasures, the Mechanic's Fashions, the Mechanic's reverse, the Mechanic's Studies, &c. &c. Each of these topics is treated in a sprightly style of warning and encouragement, enlivened with many strokes of humour, and pleasant narratives. We commend it to the perusal of mechanics especially, for whom it is particularly designed, and to all who like to read a cheerful and entertaining book.
Journal Of Religious EDUCATION, AND FAMILY AND SUNDAY
This work is edited by Rev. B. 0. Peers, and Rev. B. L. Haight. It is published by the Protestant Episcopal Sunday School Union. The names of the editors are a sufficient guaranty of the excellence of the work. Sunday School Teachers will find it of especial value, and every parent may derive from it many suggestions for the religious education of his family. We hope that the subject of religious education may receive a thorough discussion in its pages. Such a discussion would be eminently useful in our country.
POPULAR EDUCATION. An Address delivered at the Annual Commencement of East Tennessee College, Sept. 12, 1838. By Joseph Estarbrook, A. M. President of E. Tennessee College.
This address is the result of much shrewd observation and sound sense. The style is not easy, though not elaborate. The writer has not fallen into that pompous and strained manner of expression which we have sometimes noticed as rather characteristic of western eloquence, wbich we reckon po small merit. We quote some passages which we think will be both interesting and curious.
“ Where is the civilized community, in the old or new world, with equal advantages, which can furnish settlements of ninety families with scarcely an individual that can read and write ?"
66 To all the various departments, limbs of education, if I may so speak, Colleges, in this country, are, and of necessity must be, the trunk. From them issue those smaller meinbers, so indispensable
to the health and vigor of the intellectual body. And it is as absurd to talk of systenis of planets without suns, as to attempt the accomplishment of the proposed object, without these Institutions, these luminaries, as they have been aptly called, to give light and life and action."
"In the year 1806 Congress granted to two Colleges, one in East, and the other in West Tennessee, 100,000 acres of land, to be located by the Legislature, at a value of not less than two dollars per acre. After much legislation the claim was adjusted in 1837 ; the Legislature appropriating the proceeds of a township of land equally between East Tennessee College and Nash ville University. 15
“ Seminaries, founded exclusively for the education of common school teachers do not suit the present condition of this section of the country. If our population, like that of Prussia, were so numerous and employment so difficult, that multitudes would esteem it a favor to become teachers of this class for life, and at a moderate compensation, we might adopt her system, educate teachers and give them a pension for life, after a given length of service, as she has done. Her system, though beautiful, and perfect in its place, neither suits our circumstances, por our form of government. Such seminaries for the other sex are highly useful and succeed well ; because they aspire to no higher employment than that for which they are educated. But a young man in this country, where so many attractive avocations present themselves, who aims at nothing further than to become a common school teacher for life, would seldom be worth having. How, then, can we possibly need seminarjes, exclusively to train youth for professions which they will not follow ? The remarks of a New York editor of much experience and talent, in reply to the inquiries of a gentleman of the West, on the subject of teachers, give us the views which are there entertained. “The best teachers,' says the writer, for common schools, are young men, &c. who do not intend to pursue that business for lifebut are preparing themselves for some higher station. The children whom they teach, catch something of their lotty hopes and intentions, and are the better for it. We never saw a professional commop school-master for life who was good for anything.'»
LETTERS TO SCHOOL CHILDREN. A work under this title has been published by Mr E. C. Wines, who is well known as an excellent and popular writer on education. The principal topics are their duties as school children ; the necessity of government in schools; the dangers to which school children are exposed; the means of improevment in moral excellence ; the nature, objects, means, and advantages of education ; and the value of time.
CARSTEN NIEBUHR's Travels.—Third VOLUME. The third volume of Carsten Niebuhr's Travels in Arabia has