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scholastic experience, separate or combined, cannot do it. Wisdom is at fault, and earnest desire has, in a thousand instances, acknowledged itself foiled and bamed in the vain attempt.
Let us try to ascertain what are the qualities indispensable for the production of as perfect a text-book as we can reasonably hope to secure. Sound and varied learning in the first place, as the substratum of all other qualifications ; a lively knowledge of human nature, and, above all, the infant mind; sympathy with it in all its feelings and emotions; respect and tenderness for its helpless. ness and immaturity (a feeling too often overlooked, or, if entertained, then overdone, by the most scientific educators); the faculty of narrowing down a giant intellect to the capacity of a child ; power of expressing interesting facts in simple language, without sinking into childish twaddle; stores of anecdote ; power to deduce from each of them a valuable and striking moral; a pure and lofty morality ; a healthy Christianity, without sectarianism or bigotry ; refined taste, both in prose and verse; clearness in definition and explanation ; and, above all, that genialiiy-God-given as much as the gift of
; genius—which enters at once and takes possession of the hearts of children, causing them to feel, young as they are, that in communing with the author through his written words, they are conversing with a father and a friend.
In the “Series” now before us most, if not all, of the characteristics we have alluded to are to be found. We confess that never before, since our school. boy days, had we paid so much attention to “ Readers,” as we have to these four volumes. This, however, has been more accidental than intentional. We took them up merely with the view of glancing at them in a brief paragraph, designed as a general reply to many inquiries from different parts of the country as to their peculiar merits and value. The First and Second Readers we passed over at first sight, with no stronger impression in their favor than that they are well illustrated. It was not until we took up the “Third Reader" that we began to comprehend the plan of the whole, and feel impressed with its excellence. The first lessons are of the simplest kind. There is a regular and casy gradation throughout the wbole series. According as the pupil makes proficiency tho lessons become more difficult, but, at the same time, more attractive, and better calculated to show that it is worth while to study in order to learn things at once so useful and curious.
The illustrations, which in too many school-books are given merely as embellishments, are here made to act as valuable auxiliaries to the text and the teacher. Every one of the multifarious subjects introduced, whether in prose or verse, froin the first to the last volume, that can be said to have any light shed upon it by the pictorial art, is appropriately and truthfully illustrated. Tho importance of this is most apparent in the chapters on physiology, zoology, botany, the mechanic arts, &c. Thus, in zoology, the different varieties of each species are, as it were, placed side by side, so that the pupil has an opportunity of comparing one with another, as in the case of the monkey tribe of South America, at page 101 of the Third Reader ; that of the animals of the seal kind, at page 193; of those of the whale kind, at page 238, and of the shrew kind, at page 180, &c. Similar groups are given in ornithology, and in vegitable 'physiology, accompanied in most cases with a scale of inches; and all technical or difficult words, which necessarily occur in the text, are clearly and briefly defined at the end of each chapter.
The matter of the First and Second Readers is mostly original, with the exception of the poetry, which in every instance has been judiciously selected ; while in the Third and Fourth Readers we have extracts from the happiest efforts of the best European and American authors, in poetry and prose ; a large number of which have the additional charm of novelty for most pupils,
since they are to be found in no other series. Always taking a warm interest • in the great cause of education, to the progress of which, by means of our
common schools, the Republic owes. so much of its power and greatness, it affords us sincere pleasure to indicate improvements which, like those in the present series, are so well calculated to facilitate and popularize the acquisition of knowledge.
1. Sallustii Crispi Opera: Adapted to the Hamiltonian System by a literal
and analytical translation, by JAMES HAMILTON. Edited by JAMES CLARK.
12mo, pp. 309. 2. The Works of P. Virgilius Maro, with the original text reduced to the
natural order of construction, and an interlinear translation. By LEVI
Hart and V. R. OSBORN. 12mo, pp. 903. 3. The Iliad of Homer, with an interlinear translation, for the use of Schools
and Private Learners, on the Hamiltonian System, as improved by Thomas Clark. Philadelphia : Charles Desilver. 1860. The adage is no less true than trite, that “There is no royal road to learning." Those who would eat of the almond of classical lore must take the trouble of breaking its shell. Were we to believe the editor, or rather the publisher of this series, there would no longer be any need for classical dictionaries ; even grammars would be superfluities. All any one, wishing to become a Greek and Latin scholar, would have to do is simply to arm himself with these “Interlinear Translations” and peruse them at his leisure. A. few months occupied in this way, would be better than years, according to the old system. Lest anybody might doubt this, each volume has a number of " testimonials” prefixed to it, which consist of garbled extracts purporting to be the opinions of Milton, Locke, Erasmus, &c., in favor of the “Interlinean” plan, as the best ever imagined. To fortify these, "opinions of the press” are given at the end, which consist of bombastic eulogies by persons who, in nine cases out of ten, evidently know nothing of what they are in such raptures in speaking about.
The truth is, that no one ever became a classical scholar by means of interlinear translations. One might spend years at this series, and be still utterly ignorant of the genius, or even the construction, of both Latin or Greek. Assuming that he could read a little of each language when arranged as in his “ Interlinears," it would be only by vote. And what are Greek and Latin studied for? Is it simply in order to be able to understand what Cicero, Virgil, Demosthenes and Homer have said and sung ? If this were the object two-thirds even of the students of our best universities could learn more from translations than from the originals, for those who can enter into the spirit of the latter are but few indeed. It is as a source of culture the classics are studies; as
a means of invigorating the mind and strengthening the reflective faculties. That they may be made available for these purposes, or in fact for any of the purposes of scholarship, the conjugations and declensions must be studied and impressed on the memory.
It is a more interesting and instructive exercise to conjugate one Greek or Latin verb, especially the former, through all its moods and tenses, than to read whole books by means of an interlinear translation. Who that depends, on the latter, knows anything of derivation ? The English writer or speaker who has studied the learned languages through the medium of the dictionary and the grammar, with or without the aid of a teacher, can, in most cases, refer at once to the Greek or Latin roots, from which so large a proportion of our words are derived ; whereas the interlinear translator cannot tell the derivative from its primitive. In short, there is a greater difference between the two systems than there is between learning music by ear and learning it by note ; and supposing some“ enterprising publisher” gave us a parcel of“ testi. monials,” to the effect that Mozart, Handel, Verdi, etc., thought scales and notes superfluous; that we could learn faster and better by note, who that knows anything of music, would be so credulous as to believe him ?
The tendency of interlinear translations is to encourage indolence—that is, to do harm rather than good ; whereas, the tendency of the grammatical, or analytical system is to discover other systems-nay, other sciences—such, for example, as that of comparative philology, to which modern civilization is so much indebted ; showing, as it does, the close relationship which subsists between the principal languages of the world, and consequently between the different races to whom they belong. But the series before us are not even correctly printed ; neither the English nor the Latin is correct. This any intelligent person can see for himself; and, should the fact be denied, we are ready to prove it at any time, by numerous examples, taken almost at random.
Itwill be observed, that we are told onthe title page of Virgil, that “the original text is reduced to the natural order of construction." Now, what would we say to the Italian or Frenchman who would transpose the English text of Shakespeare or Milton to what, according to his notion, is “the natural order of construction ?" Yet this is precisely what is done to Virgil and Homer; nor do the prose writers, the historians, or the orators, fare anything better. Thus, for example, we turn to that passage in the fourh book of the Æneid, in which Dido makes her passionate appeal to Æneas, imploring him not to leave her, and which is given in the text, as follows:
" Per ogo has lacrymas dextramque tuam to (Quando aliud mihi jam miseræ nihil ipsa roliqui),
Per connubia nostra, per inceptos bymenæos,” etc. The same stands thus in the interlinear translation :
-v. 314, et seq.
Ego oro te per has lachrymas, que tuam dextram (quando ipsa reliqua “I Seseech theo by these tears,
thy right hand (since I have lert jam nihil aliud mihi miseræ) per nostra connubia per Hymenæos now nothing else to me miserable) by our wedlock,
by our conjugal loves inceptos. just began."
This is as much the “ natural order of construction" in Virgil, as if the soliloquy of Hamlet were altered so as to read, “ That is the question, not to be, or to be ; to suffer, whether in the mind 'tis nobler,” &c. But Homer is treated still worse, if possible. We quote from the text a portion of the threat of Agamemnon to Chryses, in the first book :
Μή σε, γέρον, κοίλησιν έγω παρα νηυσι κιχείω, ή νύν δηθύνοντο, ή ύστερον, αύτις ιόντα,
μή νύ τοι ου χραίσμη σκήπτρον και στεμμα θεοίο: which is thus made " natural” in the interlinear translation :
σε, σέρων παρα,
ships, either now delaying, or coming again
allet 'of (the) "god où xpaioun
1profit you. This is English, or rather Philadelphia Greek, the style of Mr. Thomas Clark; not the style of Homer. In short, the whole system is ths veriest quackery; and we take it for granted that no respectable teacher would permit his pupils to have anything to do with it.
A Grammar of the English Language, for the use of Schools. By W. H. WELLS,
M. A., Superintendent of Public Schools, Chicago, and late Principal of the State Normal School, Westfield, Mass. Two hundred and twenty-fifth
thousand. 12mo, pp. 220. New York : Ivison, Phinney & Co. 1860. THE extraordinary number of editions of this little work, as stated on the title page, has attracted our attention; and we have examined it with no slight
. curiosity in order to be able to form an opinion for our own satisfaction, as to whether it deserves a popularity which would seem to be almost universal. We confess that we undertook the examination, with no disposition to be indulgent to the author; but the result is, that we only wish that all our grammars were so concise, yet comprehensive ; so graphic and clear in their definitions ; and so systematically and admirably arranged throughout.
THEOLOGY, The Benefit of Christ's Death; or, the Glorious Riches of God's Free Grace,
which every True Believer receives by Jesus Christ, and Him Crucified. Originally written in Italian, and now reprinted from an ancient English Translation, with an introduction. By Rev. JOHN AYER, M.A., Minister of St. John's Chapel, Hampstead. 16mo., pp. 160. Boston: Gould & Lin
coln, 1860. PROBABLY no theological work of the same size has been more read than this little volume, which was written so far back as the beginning of the sixteenth century. The author was an Italian, as the title implies—a native of Veroli, in the Campagna di Roma ; and numbered among his friends the most earned men of his time, including the most liberal of the dignitaries of the
Church, such as Cardinals Sadolet, Pole, etc. But,
an who did not hesitate to give free expression to whatever opinions he happened to entertain, it seems that his most powerful friends were unable to shield him from persecution, until finally he was committed to the flames as a heretic. It would appear, however, that his fate was more the result of personal enmity on the part of Otho Melius Cotta, than of his alleged heresy. In one of his own letters, the following passage occurs : “Cotta asserts, that if I am allowed to live, there will not be a vestige of religion left in the city. Why? because, being asked one day, what was the first ground on which men should rest their salvation ? I replied, “Christ!' Being asked what was the second, I replied, • Christ!' and being asked what was the third, I replied, Christ!'”
Had he been a daring and noisy fanatic, his death at this period, when the old religion seemed threatened on all sides, would be little more than might have been expected ; but there is no proof, so far as we can see, that he was any such character. On the contrary, his letters written to his wife and sons, while under sentence of death, are remarkably temperate in their tone ; containing not a word of reproach, even against the Inquisition that condemned him. This seems, indeed, to establish the fact, that he was the victim of private malice, most probably superinduced by jealousy for his superior talents. At all events, we prefer taking this view of the case, rather than making it an occasion of casting odium on a church, which, whatever have been its errors, has never ceased to be an instrument of civilization, and the friend of peace and good will among men, without regard to differences of races, languagesor political institutions.
Protestantism has its dark spots as well as Catholicism ; if the former has fewer than the latter, let us be thankful for it; but deal charitably with errors which, however reprehensible when they were committed, cannot now be remedied. Assuming that it was solely on account of his religious views, Paleario was burned, the outrage against humanity and the liberty of conscience was no worse than such similar acts on the part of the founders of our own religion, as, for example, the burning of the unfortunate Servetus, one of the most learned men of his time, before a slow fire, under the sanction of Calvin and other leaders of the Reformation. True, no attempt is made in the volume before us to give any coloring to the circumstances of the author's persecution and death, further than the facts of history seem fully to justify. The Greek and Latin extracts given in the Appendix, from the early fathers of the Church, form a strong recommendation of the book, by themselves, to the student of mediæval history, as well as of theology.
Lessons on the Liturgy of the Protestant Episcopal Church in America. By a
כאן שעריו בתודה העותיו בְּתִמְלח הודו לו ברכוּ שְׁמוּ
Ps. c. 4.
Boston: E. P. Dutton & Company. We have had the pleasure of examining some proof sheets of this work ; and have been agreeably surprised at the amount of information, historical and biographical, as well as religious, which it contains. From a careful