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And in the interlude the theologian thanks God that the reign of violence is dead, and that
The war and waste of clashing creeds
I stand without here in the porch,
I hear the bell's melodious din,
I hear the prayer with words that scorch
I hear the sermon upon sin,
With threatenings of the last account,
And all, translated in the air,
Reach me but as our dear Lord's Prayer,
Not to one church alone, but seven,
For him that overcometh are
The new name written on the stone,
The raiment white, the crown, the throne,
And I will give him the Morning Star!
Ah! to how many Faith has been
No evidence of things unseen,
But a dim shadow, that recasts
The creed of the Phantasiasts,
For whom no Man of Sorrows died,
For whom the Tragedy Divine
Was but a symbol and a sign,
And Christ a phantom crucified !
For others a diviner creed
Is living in the life they lead.
The passing of their beautiful feet
The Holy Ghost came from above.
The theologian's story, Torquemada', is a dark tale of Spain, in which a father whose daughters were to him of a dead mother
A memory in his heart as dim and sweet
As moonlight in a solitary street,
Where the same rays that lift the sea are thrown
delivers them over to the Inquisition, and lights himself the fagots that consume them.
Finally the poet tells his tale, 'The Birds of Killingworth', which appeared in the last number of the Atlantic Monthly. Notice the picture of the parson:
The instinct of whose nature was to kill;
And the deacon :
There never was so wise a man before;
No wonder that the birds,
Whose habitations in the tree-tops even
Are half-way houses on the road to heaven!
should lose their cause when they had such foes as these. Listen to
a portion of the preceptor's plea :
Think every morning, when the sun peeps through
The dim leaf-latticed windows of the grove,
How jubilant the happy birds renew
Their old, melodious madrigals of love!
"T is always morning some where, and above
How can I teach your children gentleness,
Or death, which, seeming darkness, is no less
When by your laws, your actions, and your speech,
You contradict the very things I teach?
The birds were doomed, and when they saw their great mistake, they repealed the law, although they knew it would not call the dead to life again,
As school-boys, finding their mistake too late,
At the end of the tale the clock strikes one, and the guests sepA statement has crept into the papers that there are several remarkable characters in the old Sudbury inn and in its vicinity which might have figured in the poem with picturesque effect. Let us hope, if this is so, Mr. Longfellow may pursue the subject further and some day give us the fancies of a second evening's sitting.
Had we room we should like to give two or three of the small poems with which the volume ends. As it is, we can not refrain from closing with 'Weariness', in which the poet alludes so touchingly to himself and his motherless children:
O little feet, that such long years
Must wander on through hopes and fears,
I, nearer to the wayside inn,
Where toil shall cease and rest begin,
O little hands, that, weak or strong,
Have still so long to give or ask!
O little hearts, that throb and beat
Now covers and conceals its fires.
O little souls, as pure and white
And crystalline as rays of light
Direct from Heaven, their source divine!
How lurid looks this soul of mine!
ICELAND, which has a population of about seventy thousand, is under the government of Denmark. The language spoken in Iceland is the old Scandinavian, closely akin to the Saxon, with no admixture of Greek or Latin roots. It has, singularly enough, a literature 900 years old. There are four presses on the island, and four newspapers. About 60 volumes are issued in a year, but most of them are published in Copenhagen.
Ir is a trite remark that the truc reformer is in advance of his age. His contemporaries are slow to recognize the marks of his great mission, and he must patiently look forward to that good time' sooner or later coming' for fame and followers. Nor even then is he sure of his full reward. As soon as the world has opened its eyes to the truths which he was the pioneer to announce, there will be scores of pretenders, to rob him of his honors, impudently appropriating whatever was peculiar in his teachings, and coolly thrusting him into the background as 'not up with the times'. He was very well in his day and generation, they say, but the progress of improvement has left him in the rear; and this, too, when they have shamelessly stolen from him every thing on which they can base their own pretensions to be leaders in the onward march. In the end, however, justice is pretty sure to be done; the crown gets upon the right head at last, and usurpers have to go to their own place of disgrace and ignominy. But this is not what we took our pen to write. Whether it is rhetorically appropriate as an introduction to a few words on the subject. of Mental Arithmetic' we leave the reader to decide.
We were pleasantly surprised, a few days ago, to see a new edition of Warren Colburn's First Lessons', restereotyped and reprinted at the Riverside Press'-the name of which has become the synonym for faultless completeness in all that pertains to the typographic art,and with an illustrated cover, designed by Darley, and as good a thing in its way as he has ever done.
We were glad to see the friend of our childhood in this handsome dress, so different from the well-worn type, and dingy paper, and unattractive exterior, of the copy which we thumbed in our own urchin days. But our next feeling was one of dread lest we should find that the book was not our old friend after all, lest it should have been revised and improved' out of all semblance to the original; not Colburn' in a new suit of clothes made in the fashion of the day, in place of the worn-out linsey-woolsey of a generation ago, but a miseraable impostor masquerading under the name of the instructor of our earlier years.
Right glad, therefore, were we to find, on examining the book, that the work of revision had, for once, the right direction (right, we mean, when the original was as nearly perfect as any thing human may claim to be; for we are not of that very conservative class that clings
to the old merely because it is old, no matter how bad it may be), and had been a restoration rather than a remodeling.
The original preface, which had been dropped for we don't know how many years, has very properly been put into its place again. Even the story of The Boy without a Genius' is there; a story which we believe we must have perused at least a hundred times in the course of our juvenile study of the book. The lesson of it, we are very sure, became inwrought into our very inner life. Few things that we read or heard, in those days, made a deeper or more enduring impression upon us. A critic might object to its being appended in that way to the preface of a text-book on arithmetic, but we are heartily glad to see it restored to its place. Hundreds of young pupils, tired of study, or lazy, it may be, will turn back to it and read it as a relief or a recreation, and will resume their work, not only refreshed by the digression, but encouraged and stimulated by the teaching of the tale, that whatever man has done man may do'. More than one 'boy without a genius', doomed to be under masters who have none of Mr. Solon Wiseman's admirable tact in teaching, will get from the story, as Samuel Acres did from the conversation narrated in it, 'more confidence in his power than he had felt before'.
But Warren Colburn's original preface has in itself a peculiar interest for the teacher. It is a full and clear statement of the design and plan of the work; and for that reason, if for no other, it should always have kept its place, as hereafter, we hope it will. It is the more important that it should be retained, because, to quote from the excellent Introduction' written for this new edition by Geo. B. Emerson, "the very simplicity of the book has prevented many persons from seeing how really profound and comprehensive it is, and that it actually develops every essential principle in elementary arithmetic." We shall recur to this introduction, by and by, in another connection. Again, this original preface' is interesting because some of its leading ideas are an anticipation of the fundamental points of the 'object lesson' system, which is now attracting the attention of our best educators, and which is destined eventually to bring about a complete revolution in our methods of elementary teaching. Would you not suppose you were reading extracts from one of the recent treatises on object-teaching, when you peruse the following passages from this preface written, forty years ago, by Warren Colburn?
"As soon as a child begins to use his senses, nature continually presents to his eyes a variety of objects; and one of the first properties which he discovers is the relation of numbers. He intuitively fixes upon unity as a measure, and from this he forms the idea of more or less; which is the idea of quantity.
"As soon as children have the idea of more or less and the names of a few of