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wheat and peas. Those fields are sowed to peas in April. Im. mediately after the peas are harvested, it is ploughed three times, and sowed, from the 10th to the 20th of September, to wheat. After the wheat harvest, it is pastured until winter ; but no grass or clover seed is ever sown upon it, as these grow up spontaneously in great abundance. Sometimes oats and Hax are substituted for peas. Thus 4 fresp.is harvested on each wheat field every year,one year weat, the other
peas, oats or flax. Though no manure is ever applied to this land, it has yielded from twenty-five to thirty bushels of wheat per acre every
ages past. · Certain other fields are devoted to Indian corn, potatoes, &c. In the culture of these there has been nearly the same uniformity, 1st, Corn and potatoes ; 2d, Spring-suwn grain ; 3d, Wheat. Thus corn returns every fourth year.
• The whole of Schaghticoke flats, consisting of almost two thousand acres, is very similar in quality, and cultivated in a similar manner. It is wholly river alluvion, in which the Hosick and the Tomhanick unite their waters.?
Of the correctness of the geological part of this pamphlet, we are unable to judge, not having visited any of the localities to which it refers. We cannot but entertain the hope that the author has derived some improvement from the opportunities he has enjoyed of examining a considerable portion of the northern states. He appears still however, at times, somewhat unfortunate in his definitions, an instance of which will be found in a note at the bottom of page 12. He here informs us that the term breccia was applied by Werner to the old red sandstone, because brittleness or friability is its most distinctive characteristic.' Overlooking the distinction between brittleness and friability, we would inform Mr Eaton, that the term breccia was adopted from the Italian, and is applied to those rocks, which appear to be composed of fragments of other rocks cemented into a compact mass.
While we again express our sense of the value and importance of surveys of this kind, and of the benefits which Mr Van Rensselaer has conferred upon the country in affording them his countenance and patronage, and while we hope to see his patriotic example followed in every part of the United States, we must as freely consess that we do not place entire confidence in the geological speculations of Mr Eaton. Some of these, we apprehend, may admit of revision, while his judicious remarks, that “trees should not be too large when set out,' that March pigs killed about Christmas are the
most profitable pork,' and that 'pigs ought never to come till June,' will, no doubt, be allowed to constitute permanent and important improvements in the branches of agriculture and husbandry.
, Art. XXII.—An Arithmetic on the plan of Pestalozzi, with
some Improvements. By Warren Colburn. Boston : Cummings and Hilliard. 1821.
1821. pp. 143. 18mo. We shall make no apology for calling the attention of our readers to a subject of so humble a nature as elementary instruction in Arithmetic, but such as is contained in the great merit of the book before us.
Notwithstanding every thing that has been said and done of late, in reference to the subject of education, the modes of instruction are still very far behind the actual state of science, and none of them farther than those made use of in arithmetic. The books now almost universally used, and many of the notions which prevail, are of the same sort that were in use and prevailed, when young children were thought quite incapable of learning arithmetic. A notice of so rare a thing as a book on the subject, written by a man of talents, and perfectly adapted to its purpose, cannot be thought useless, while books are used in almost all our schools, suited neither to the comprehension of children, nor, if they could be comprehended, to the end for which they are designed.
The difficulties which, by the prevalent mode of teaching, are thrown in the way of the learner, are well noticed in the preface to this volume.
• The pupil, when he commences arithmetic, is presented with a set of abstract numbers, written with figures, and so large that he has not the least conception of them, even when expressed in words. From these he is expected to learn what the figures sig. nify, and what is meant by addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division ; and, at the same time, how to perform these operations with figures. The consequence is, that he learns only one of all these things, and that is, how to perform these operations on figures. He can perhaps translate the figures into words ; but this is useless, since he does not understand the words themselves. Of the effect produced by the four fundamental operations he has net the least conception.
These difficulties, with others, arising from the manner in which the study is pursued, and the want of capacity in the instructers, render arithmetic, instead of a most simple and practical thing, one of the most irksome and unintelligible that can be presented to the young mind. Mr Colburn's book is liable to none of these objections. A child sees, at once, from the examples, that arithmetic is something which he can understand, and which will be of use to him.
In another respect, this book is likely to do a great deal of good. It contains excellent instruction for teachers. Directions are often as much required for them as for their pupils. The discipline of the infant mind is almost the only thing for directing which no apprenticeship, no experience, and very little information are in this country, at least, supposed to be required.* A man is often deemed capable of teaching, for the very reason that he has shown himself incapable of any thing else. The only part of us, which is immortal, is abandoned to the care of such as are unable to do aught for the body; and he who has no memory, nor taste, nor power of reasoning himself, is to communicate them, or develop and show the best means of improving them, in another. Now and then, a poor student in college, who was waked from the lethargy of ignorance by the pressure of adversity, and has been nursed in her arms, who has learned how to teach from the necessity of teaching himself, may stumble upon a natural method; and even then he is compelled to abandon his hope of improvement, from finding books, and the habits of his pupils and common opinion, opposed to him. These are obstacles which it is not easy to overcome.
There are no books which contain the results of the experience of others. These have not been recorded in our language; and a person, on beginning to instruct, is very much in the condition of one who should begin an art or profession, which had never been exercised before. He is ignorant of the material he is to work upon, the instrument he is to use, and the effect to be produced. To such a person, the practical views contained in Mr Colburn's
* In many parts of Germany there are excellent schools for schoolmasters. An institution of this kind, of high repute, is supported by the grand duke of Saxe-Weimar. This is a state of about 200,000 inhabitants. How does the support of the institution of which we speak, in its little metropolis, compare with the Vandal proposal made in the legislature of Massachusetts, at its last session, to abridge the provisions made by our laws for the support of education !
sensible preface, and the directions in the key will be of great use.
These directions and the arrangement of the examples are so excellent, that one hardly need understand the subject previously; if he will but go straight forward in the path pointed out, he will teach exceedingly well
. There are two ways in which the book may be used. The first is with the plates which accompany it, and which are intended for children who are beginning the study. These render the solution of questions practical, as well as the questions themselves. We shall not describe the use of these, nor the particular parts of the plan, which has already been published under the disguise of a disgusting book by Neef. It is sufficient to observe, that the difficulties are so introduced, that one only occupies the attention of the pupil at once. After having gone through the examples with the plates, which may be done by children of eight or nine years, the pupil will be able, by means of the plates, to solve readily and intelligibly, most of the questions that commonly occur, in which the numbers are small.
The same examples, in the same order, proposed to be solved without the slate, or any other mechanical assistance whatever, furnish an intellectual exercise, which may be of great use to pupils in any stage of their education.
We have no doubt that Mr Colburn's book will do much to effect an important change in the common mode of teaching arithmetic ; and of its speedy adoption the rapid sale of the first edition, and its great intrinsic merit, give the highest promise. We understand that a second edition, still farther improved, is in the press; and that the author intends to publish another little volume for the especial use of older pupils.
We hope Mr Colburn will go on in making school books, and, by furnishing one upon a similar plan, for geometry, for drawing, and for algebra, will afford the means of giving instruction in the better sort of schools an entirely new character.
ART. XXIII.-A Discourse on the Early History of Pennsylva
nia; being an Annual Oration delivered before the American Philosophical Society, held at Philadelphia, for promoting useful Knowledge, June 6, 1821. By Peter S. Du Ponceau, LL.D.
The history of almost every people begins in fable. It is not in the first weak struggles of a barbarous tribe, for ascendancy over its neighbors, that the future conquerors of mankind are to be discerned; nor is it in the execution of petty schemes of traffic or plunder, that we can foresee an opulent maritime power, which is to cover the sea with her ships, and the land with monuments of her commercial splendor. Great as may be the destinies of the infant nation, there is nothing to arrest attention in the obscure events of her early growth, as she slowly and painfully emerges from insignificance, until her subsequent wealth, power, and refinement have imparted an interest to the minutest incidents of her primitive history, Then it is that the poet seeks to flatter the pride of his countrymen, and to excite his own imagination by swelling the little chieftains of his ancestry into heroes, and peopling the dark void of his country's origin with demigods, whose pretensions, like objects viewed through mist, are magnified by the very darkness in which they are enveloped. To the rhapsodies of the bard succeed the legends of the annalist, or the researches of the antiquary, each supplying the defect of authentic records by fanciful reasonings, by conjectures whose far-fetched ingenuity is not always enough to redeem them from the imputation of folly and falsehood, and by vain attempts to throw light upon that which the unsparing hand of time has long since consigned to perpetual oblivion. Such are the thousand mystical tales, which Herodotus received from the Egyptian priests. Such are the apocryphal expeditions, wars, and conquests of the Greeks, and the deities, whose combats and intrigues have, at least, furnished the subject of many a beautiful fiction to Homer, Hesiod, or Apollonius. Such too, there is reason to believe, is no small part of the history of the kings of Rome, which Livy confesses to rest upon slender proofs, and which Dionysius and Plutarch narrate with a particularity more suspicious than even the silence of older historians. The same cloud of uncertainty hangs over the rise of the mo