That is what I understand by scientific education. To furnish a boy with such an education, it is by no means necessary that he should devote his whole school existence to physical science; in fact, no one would lament so one-sided a proceeding more than I. Nay, more, it is not necessary for him to give up more than a moderate share of his time to such studies, if they be properly selected and arranged, and if he be trained in them in a fitting manner.

I conceive the proper course to be somewhat as follows: To begin with, let every child be instructed in those general views of the phenomena of nature for which we have no exact English name. The nearest approximation to a name for what I mean, which we possess, is "physical geography"; that is to say, a general knowledge of the earth, and what is on it, in it, and about it. If any one who has had experience of the ways of young children will call to mind their questions, he will find that, so far as they can be put into any scientific category, they come under this head. The child asks," What is the moon, and why does it shine ?" What is this water, and where


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does it run?" What is the wind? the sea?" "Where does this animal live, and what is the use of that plant?" And if not snubbed and stunted by being told not to ask foolish questions, there is no limit to the intellectual craving of a young child, nor any bounds to the slow but solid accretion of knowledge and development of the thinking faculty in this way. To all such questions answers which are necessarily incomplete, though true as far as they go, may be given by any teacher whose ideas represent real knowledge, and not mere book learning; and a panoramic view of nature, accompanied by a strong infusion of the scientific habit of mind, may thus be placed within the reach of every child of nine or ten.


After this preliminary opening of the eyes to the great spectacle of the daily progress of nature, as the reasoning faculties of the child grow, and he becomes familiar with the use of the tools of knowledge, reading, writing, and elementary mathematics, he should pass on to what is, in the more strict sense, physical science. Now, there are two kinds of physical science. The one regards form and the relation of forms to one another; the other deals with causes and effects. In many of what we term our sciences, these two kinds are mixed up together; but systematic botany is a pure example of the former kind, and physics of the latter kind, of science. Every educational

advantage which training in physical science can give is obtainable from the proper study of these two; and I should be contented for the present if they, added to physical geography, furnished the whole of the scientific curriculum of schools. Indeed, I conceive it would be one of the greatest boons which could be conferred upon England, if henceforward every child in the country were instructed in the general knowledge of the things about it, in the elements of physics and of botany; but I should be still better pleased if there could be added somewhat of chemistry, and an elementary acquaintance with human physiology.

So far as school education is concerned, I want to go no further just now; and I believe that such instruction would make an excellent introduction to that preparatory scientific training which, as I have indicated, is so essential for the successful pursuit of our most important professions. But this modicum of instruction must be so given as to insure real knowledge and practical discipline. If scientific education is to be dealt with as mere book-work, it will be better not to attempt it, but to stick to the Latin Grammar, which makes no pretence to be anything but book-work.

If the great benefits of scientific training are sought, it is essential that such training should be real; that is to say, that the mind of the scholar should be brought into direct relation with fact, that he should not merely be told a thing, but made to see by the use of his own intellect and ability that the thing is so and no otherwise. The great peculiarity of scientific training, that in virtue of which it cannot be replaced by any other discipline whatsoever, is this bringing of the mind directly into contact with fact, and practicing the intellect in the completest form of induction; that is to say, in drawing conclusions from particular facts made known by immediate observation of nature.

The other studies which enter into ordinary education do not discipline the mind in this way. Mathematical training is almost purely deductive. The mathematician starts with a few simple propositions, the proof of which is so obvious that they are called self-evident, and the rest of his work consists of subtile deductions from them. The teaching of languages, at any rate as ordinarily practiced, is of the same general nature, authority and tradition furnish the data, and the mental operations of the scholar are deductive.

Again, if history be the subject of study, the facts are still taken

upon the evidence of tradition and authority. You cannot make a boy see the Battle of Thermopylæ for himself, or know, of his own knowledge, that Cromwell once ruled England. There is no getting into direct contact with natural fact by this road; there is no dispensing with authority, but rather a resting upon it.

In all these respects science differs from other educational discipline, and prepares the scholar for common life. What have we to do in every-day life? Most of the business which demands our attention is matter of fact, which needs, in the first place, to be accurately observed or apprehended; in the second, to be interpreted by inductive and deductive reasonings, which are altogether similar in their nature to those employed in science. In the one case, as in the other, whatever is taken for granted is so taken at one's own peril. Fact and reason are the ultimate arbiters, and patience and honesty are the great helpers out of difficulty.

But if scientific training is to yield its most eminent results, it must, I repeat, be made practical. That is to say, in explaining to a child the general phenomena of nature, you must, as far as possible, give reality to your teaching by object-lessons. In teaching him botany, he must handle the plants and dissect the flowers for himself; in teaching him physics and chemistry, you must not be solicitous to fill him with information, but you must be careful that what he learns he knows of his own knowledge. Don't be satisfied with telling him that a magnet attracts iron. Let him see that it does; let him feel the pull of the one upon the other for himself. And, especially, tell him that it is his duty to doubt, until he is compelled by the absolute authority of nature to believe, that which is written in books. Pursue this discipline carefully and conscientiously, and you may make sure that, however scanty may be the measure of information which you have poured into the boy's mind, you have created an intellectual habit of priceless value in practical life.

One is constantly asked, When should this scientific education be commenced? I should say with the dawn of intelligence. As I have already said, a child seeks for information about matters of physical science as soon as it begins to talk. The first teaching it wants is an object-lesson of one sort or another; and as soon as it is fit for systematic instruction of any kind, it is fit for a modicum of science.

People talk of the difficulty of teaching young children such

matters, and in the same breath insist upon their learning their Catechism, which contains propositions far harder to comprehend than anything in the educational course I have proposed. Again, I am incessantly told that we who advocate the introduction of science into schools make no allowance for the stupidity of the average boy or girl; but, in my belief, that stupidity, in nine cases out of ten, is unnatural, and is developed by a long process of parental and pedagogic repression of the natural intellectual appetites, accompanied by a persistent attempt to create artificial ones for food which is not only tasteless, but essentially indigestible.

Those who urge the difficulty of instructing young people in science are apt to forget another very important condition of success ; important in all kinds of teaching, but most essential, I am disposed to think, when the scholars are very young. This condition is, that the teacher should himself really and practically know his subject. If he does, he will be able to speak of it in the easy language, and with the completeness of conviction, with which he talks of any ordinary every-day matter. If he does not, he will be afraid to wander beyond the limits of the technical phraseology which he has got up; and a dead dogmatism, which oppresses or raises opposition, will take the place of the lively confidence, born of personal conviction, which cheers and encourages the eminently sympathetic mind of childhood.



HENRY TIMROD was born in Charleston, South Carolina, on the 8th of December, 1829. His father, William Henry Timrod, was also a poet. The son received his collegiate education at the University of Georgia, although he left a short time before the graduating commencement. He taught as private tutor several years in his native city; and during the civil war for a year or two was upon the editorial staff of the South Carolinian newspaper in Columbia. In 1860 Ticknor and Fields of Boston issued a small volume of Poems by Timrod; and since his death — in 1872-a complete edition has appeared, with a sketch of the poet's brief and painful life. He died on the 7th of October, 1867.

Mr. Timrod's best poems are the patriotic and the idyllic; and his reputation, especially in the South, rests just now mainly upon the former. In this vein his Carolina is his strongest and best, and is as terse and vehement in movement as a Greek war-cry. A Cry to Arms has also many admirers; and if we transfer the scene of it to Greece or Germany, substituting Tyrtaios or Körner for Timrod, its musical vehemence would be striking. This stanza especially is notable for its fanciful realism:

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But clearly the poet was more at home among the beauties of nature, to which he was exquisitely alive. In this vein Katie is one of his happiest efforts. It is earnest, natural, musical, chaste, and at the same time sensuous. His longest poem is A Vision of Poesy, the story of aspiration, struggle, and heart-failure, - - a foreshadowing of his own brief, eager, and unattaining struggle for success.


SPRING, with that nameless pathos in the air
Which dwells with all things fair,

Spring, with her golden suns and silver rain,

Is with us once again.

Out in the lonely woods the jasmine burns

Its fragrant lamps, and turns

Into a royal court with green festoons

The banks of dark lagoons.

In the deep heart of every forest tree

The blood is all aglee,

And there's a look about the leafless bowers

As if they dreamed of flowers.

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