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not you make some of them fit to be senators or representatives in the State Legislature ? Or if this, on second thought, looks a little presumptuous, can you not qualify more or less of them for some respectable city or town office ?
But perhaps some of you will here remind me of the smith, who had a piece of iron of which he said he would make an axe. But on heating and hardening and hammering it, it proved wholly insufficient for an axe. “Well,” said be, “I can heat it again and make a hatchet.” But by heating and tempering it the second time, so much of the substance was lost in cinders and scoriæ, that it now proved as insufficient for a hatchet, as it was before for an axe. “Well,” said he, “I will at least make a knife of it.” So he heated, and tried to temper it the third time; but its texture had been destroyed, and there was only a residuum of dross left. “Ay,” cried he, in a pet, “I'll heat you seven times hotter than before, and douse you into the water, and make a mighty great hiss !!”
Now do you say you will have scholars from whom you can make nothing but a mighty great hiss; or perchance, a mighty little hiss,—two or three bubbles only? I reply by asking, whether you may not fall into the same error as did the hero of my story. Doubtless, his piece of iron, in the beginning, would have made a very respectable hatchet; but it was by a series of over-estimates that its owner reduced it, at last, to the smallest kind of “sizzle.” Do not teachers and school-officers, too, make the same sort of mistake, when they inflate the ambition of all the boys in the school, by talking to them about being governors and presidents, and thus disgusting them with the sober pursuits of life? Probably not more than one in a hundred thousand, even in Massachusetts, will ever be vernors; and even if it were probable that she could ever have another president, her turn would not come once in fifty years. But all children may be that “noblest work of God, an honest man,” which is far better than any chief magistracy of state or nation.
But perhaps you will here retort upon me, that you cannot make all children honest. Here, for instance, say you, is a boy whose natural organization is frightfully bad. His head is shaped like the segment of a sphere ; his eyes are close together, and his ears close behind his eyes; so that almost the entire mass of his brain lies at the base and in the rear. His cranium resembles that of a tiger or a serpent, rather than that of a man. His father was a devil and his mother no better. He was not only conceived in sin and brought forth in iniquity, but he was nursed at the paps of intemperance and lewdness, from his birth drank milk which was nothing but rum leached through human lacteals, and this too, adulterated by the basest impurities of heart and brain ; was trained to steal from the day he could walk, to swear from the day he could talk, and long before talking, could lie in pantomime. If other children are quantities, more or less, dipped out of the infernal cauldron of total depravity, he is its essential oil, its rectified, thrice distilled spirit,--the Prussic acid of it, and the sulphuretted hydrogen of it! What can be done, I hear some of you defiantly ask, with a case like this? I acknowledge this to be a tough problem. I admit that there is no extraction of roots so difficult as the extirpation of vice from a heart, which is prone to evil as the sparks to fly upwards. Grant then, that you cannot, from such a quasi-monster as has been supposed, make an intelligent, honest, exemplary, high-souled man. But can you, by no possibility, save him from the house of correction or the county jail ? Or if this would be hope run mad, can you not save him from the state-prison; or at least reduce his sentence to one of ten years, instead of imprisonment for life? Yes, my friends, the vilest and most intractable of them all, can you not save him from being a thief; or if not from theft, then from highway robbery; or, if not from highway robbery, then from incendiarism and murder; or, if not from these, then from piracy on the high-seas, scuttling ships, and murdering crews; or, once more and finally, from the commission of all these atrocities, together? Can you not reduce him to a single devil, instead of his being a legion? If, animated by a sublime hope, and filled with the wonder-working spirit of love, you can do all or any of these things, we have reason to believe that you will cause a thrill of joy among the angels of heaven.
THE NEW DICTIONARY.
[BY THE EDITOR.] Although Americans are more addicted to making dollars than books, yet when they undertake the latter with a will, they do something worth while. This is certainly true in the matter of lexicography. Webster's and Worces ter's Great Dictionaries were already superior to anything of the kind yet produced in England, the home of our language. The New Illustrated Edition of Webster is in advance of all its predecessore. Although based in some considerable degree upon Dr. Webster's labors, and conforming to his principles 80 far as they have met the approval of scholars, still it is in a large degree a new work-much more so than the edition of 1859. It is in fact the production, long contemplated by the Publishers, of a large number of ripe scholars. This is the secret of its excellence. No single mind is equal to so vast and varied an undertaking. No man, unless a Shakspeare, is many-sided enough to do so many things well.
Without attempting a critical analysis of the work, which would imply the space, labor and learning necessary for a solid article in a first class review, we will nevertheless attempt to give our readers some idea of its contents and character. It should be premised that the general Editors were the late Dr. Chauncey A. Goodrich, who brought out the edition of 1859, and Dr. Noah Porter, of Yale College; Dr. Goodrich having deceased before he had accomplished any considerable portion of his last labor.
The work is a massive quarto, of 1340 electrotyped pages, with a small but sufficiently clear and distinct letter, (the initial words of the vocabulary being full-faced to assist the eye in reference,) beautifully printed at Houghton's celebrated establishment the Riverside Press—in Cambridge, ou fine, white, smooth, firm paper, and substantially bound, in various styles, to suit different purses and tastes. Its contents are :
1. The introductory matter (78 pages,) consisting of-(a) the Editor's preface, which sets forth the plan and peculiarities of the edition, and the nature of the improvements made, and specifies the various co-laborators in the work, showing that persons specially fitted for each distinct task were employed; (b) the preface to the Revised Edition of 1847; (c) Dr. Webster's own modest preface to the edition of 1828 ; (d) a Memoir of the Author, by Dr. Goodrich ; (@) a brief but judicious and interesting History of English Language, by Prof. James Hadley, of Yale College, which takes the place of Dr. Webster's own “Introduction"-now somewhat out-grown in the advance of Philological Science; () a statement of the Principles of Pronunciation adopted, followed by a list of about 1250 words variously pronounced, with a presentation of the authority of Perry, Walker, Knowles, Smart, Worceso ter, Cooley and Cull; (g) a brief chapter on Orthography, with 36 Rules for Spelling Certain Classes of Words and a list of about a thousand words spelled in the recent past, or present usage, in two or more different ways.
2. The Vocabulary, or Dictionary Proper, which contains as the Editor states upwards of 114,000 words. The excellence of a Dictionary does not consist in swelling it with the greatest possible number of words, many of which would be simply lumber. On the contrary it is improved by ommitting, as this work does, words whimsically coined, and never adopted into the language, and selfexplaining compounds. Additions have been made by the introduction of such known new words as have reputable authority, and many words which though obsolete or obsolescent, so far as present usage goes, are found in good authors of former days. Some of these old words, like coins bid away, will come back into circulation. Although not perfect, we suppose it to be the most complete vocabulary of our language yet made.
3. The Appendix, which embraces not only the former Pronouncing Vocabularies of Scriptural, Classical, Geographical and Biographical Proper Names, re-edited and enlarged, but an Explanatory and Pronouncing Vocabulary of the names of noted Fictitious Persons and Places—à new and valuable feature, while the Quotations, Proverbs, etc., from other languages are placed in one table, a more convenient arrangement. The minor features of the Appendix, are very full tables of Abbreviations and Contractions and Arbitrary Signs used in writing and printing.
4. The Pictorial Illustrations, 3,000 in number, many of them from original drawings, and beautifully engraved, are inserted, as in Worcester, in the body of the work, in connection with the text designed to be illustrated, while they are also repeated with some additional ones in a classified form, at the close of
the book. The advantages of this twofold plan are obvious. The illustrations are all that could be expected or desired in a work of the kind.
In conclusion we may observe that the work has undergone great changes and improvements in its Etymologies and Definitions. Dr. Webster was sometimes fanciful as an Etymologist, and if he had been otherwise, the subject is much better understood now than early in the century; and though his definitions were by common consent highly meritorious, greater simplicity and condensation have been attained by a thorough revision of his work in this respect. In a word, the volume exhibits great and decided improvements upon the Edition of 1859, and is a monument of praise to all concerned in its production.
DEPARTMENT OF PRIMARY INSTRUCTION.
HOW NOT TO HAVE A GOOD SCHOOL.
For several years we have sought with some diligence to learn the essential elements and conditions of a good school, and occasionally our observations on this point have been written out for the pages of the Journal. As there seems to be a very numerous class if not a majority, who have not adopted the views from time to time set forth, it is presumed that such would be more interested in hearing something on the other side of the question. We now, for the first time, offer a few hints to this class of our fellow-citizens.
You are now to organize the winter school for your district. You will, first, not allow yourself, for a momənt, nor allow others if you can help it, to think of a school of any unusual grade of merit. Do not think of trying to go beyond the old land-marks. It will only cost you trouble and vexation of spirit, and worse still, under the plea of progress, some change will find its way into the school that may cost the district from twenty-five cents to a dollar and a half more than the statute requires to be expended. Among so many radical and novel things that may be proposed it is difficult here to say what may be most dangerons. But in general, oppose everything that you have not had thirty years in your district, and you will be making a right start. Second, never spend any time nor waste any money in looking after teach
Let them come to you. Let your neighboring districts do the foolish work of seeking teachers. They are almost sure to have to pay for it. What are left can be hired cheaper. Besides, I am certain that your district is a very backward one and only needs a cheap teacher. If a child is very sick, you know almost any sort of a doctor will do. It could not take much medicine anyway, at such a time. And this cheap teacher is just the man you want to keep your district backward, and bright as the storm-cloud of midnight, and so prepare the way for other cheap teachers. Bc sure to wait for the teacher to come to you.
Third, after the teacher is fairly engaged at the lowest possible figure, and the time is definitely fixed for him to begin and end his work, give yourself no further concern about him or the school. He doubtless holds a certificate from the County Examiners of fitness for his work, and that is enough for you to know. Only be particular that he “keeps his full time.” Don't let him cheat you out of Thanksgiving-day, or Christmas, or every-other Saturday. See well to that.
Fourth, if you hear of any tendency to rebellion among the larger boys, don't interfere by any means. Especially do not favor any measures of coercion ; it might chafe and depress the spirit of manliness among the boys. Besides, it is impossible to subjugate such chaps, and you will only get yourself into difficulty with them and your neigbors if you attempt it. If the boys begin a disturbance, just let your teacher “exhaust the resources of” schoolmastership, and if the turbulent spirits are not then amiable and gentle and reasonable, “ let the consequences be with them."
Fifth, if your teacher, in spite of all probabilities against it, should complain of diversity of text-books or loose management on the part of the district, none of which can be helped, of course, treat all such fault-finding with indifference, if not with contempt.
Sixth, there is now, I warn you, a strong disposition in many townships and districts to have separate schools for young children. It is claimed that little children are happier, better taught and more cheaply instructed in schools by themselves, and that the elder children are more thoroughly and rapidly advanced by this change. Combat this heresy everywhere, and with all your might. Cannot everybody see, without reasoning, that two schools must cost more than one? Urge people who must be trying experiments, to turn their attention to patent rights, or improved swine-something of a practical character.
Much more might be added, but a little advice at once, and that well remembered, may be better for those for whom it is written.— Ohio Ed. Monthly.
The importance of Normal Schools as a means for accomplishing this desirable end needs no argument. The question is simply whether an educated, trained teacher, specially fitted for the work of teaching, is more likely to be successful than one who has not had such preparation. The decision of unbiased, unprejudiced judgment would clearly indicate the importance of these institutions. If special preparation is necessary for the physician, the clergyman, and the lawyer, much more is it demanded in a work which requires so much judgment, skill and tact as that of the teacher. No amount of mere literary acquisition can ever supply the place of dexterity in organizing, tact in managing, and skill in teaching and training, or give to the teacher the pow