Изображения страниц

expected from a nice gradation of these branches of study and too much importance is attached to the manipulations of the teacher, and too little to his influence in awakening and kindling intellectual energy. In this respect the writer falls too much into the mechanical views that are so current among the pedagogues and school inspectors of the day.

The Essay on Moral Education is open to the same objections, though the paper is quite ingenious and certainly very readable. The writer aims to write from no special or narrow stand-point of his private philosophy, but he cannot avoid it. The moral training which he prescribes is simply mechanical, adapted to the soul as perfected by well balanced associations, and as dependent for their being balanced aright on the molding influences which are furnished from without.

Physical Education is a vigorous plea for few hours of study, many hours of play, a generous diet of meat, and all the appliances that tend to form the muscular Christianity of this generation. This Essay will be received with high favor by all high-spirited boys and girls, and is well managed, being open to exceptions for what it omits rather than for what it asserts.

With all these drawbacks and defects the volume is worthy the attention and perusal of all classes of educators.

DR. HENRY ON SOCIAL WELFARE AND HUMAN PROGRESS.*Dr. C. S. Henry, late Professor in the New York University, has in this volume, at the request of his former pupils, collected several published discourses and fugitive Articles, all of which have relation to the themes indicated in the title.

The subjects of these discourses are as follows:

I. The Importance of Elevating the Intellectual Spirit of the Nation—A Discourse delivered before the Phi Sigma Nu Society of the University of Vermont, August 3, 1837.

II. The Position and Duties of the Educated Men of the Country-A Discourse delivered before the Literary Societies of Geneva College, August 5, 1840.

III. The True Idea of the University, and its Relation to a complete system of Public Instruction-An Address to the Alumni Association of New York University, June 28, 1852.

Considerations on some of the elements and conditions of Social Welfare and Human Progress. Being academic and occasional discourses and other pieces. By C. S. HENRY, D. D. New York: D. Appleton & Co. 1861. 12mo. pp. 415.

IV. California: The Historical Significance of its Acquisition-From the American Review, April, 1849.

V. The Providence of God the Genius of Human History-The Churchman, May 20, 1854.

VI. Young America. The True Idea of Progress-New York Daily Times, May 2, 1854.

VII. The Destination of the Human Race-A Discourse before New Jersey Historical Society, January, 1855.

VIII. Remarks on Mr. Bancroft's Oration on Human Progress-American Quarterly Church Review, July, 1855.

IX. President Making: Three Letters to the Hon. Josiah Quincy-The Century, April, 1859. Letter I. Departure from the Constitution. Letter II. Evil Consequences. Letter III. Are there any Remedies?

X. Politics and the Pulpit.

XL. Corruption, Violence, and Abuse of Suffrage.

Dr. Henry is always downright in his opinions, and outright in the expression of them. He is earnest for a thorough intellectual education, for robust and manly studies, for a reverence for law, a vigorous administration of the laws and an earnest Christian faith. Unlike most of his brethren in the church, he boldly asserts the right and the duty to preach on Politics, which right he vindicates with great vigor in one of the Essays in this volume. His setting forth of the manner of choosing rulers in the city of Baltimore, is fraught with horrible interest, and may well be pondered at the present moment, considering the proximity of Baltimore to Washington. Many of Professor Henry's friends will welcome this volume as a memorial of the author, and the right-minded thinkers of the day will respond most heartily to the sound principles which it asserts and defends.

REMINISCENCES OF SCOTTISH LIFE AND CHARACTER.*—Dean Ramsay, in a note which he has prefixed to the authorized American reprint of these "Reminiscences of Scottish Life and Character," says very modestly, that there must be "families" and "individuals" "scattered throughout the American Union," who will like to be informed of the quaint sayings and eccentric doings connected with the past humorists of Scotland, in all ranks of society;

Reminiscences of Scottish Life and Character. By E. B. RAMSAY, M. A., LL. D., F. R. S. E., Dean of Edinburgh. Boston: Ticknor & Fields. 1861. 12mo. PP. 280. [For sale in New Haven by T. H. Pease. Price $1.]

with her original and strong-minded old ladies,-her excellent and simple parish ministers,-her amusing parochial half daft idiots,her pawky lairds, and her old-fashioned and now obsolete domestic servants and retainers." We do not believe that it is possible for Dean Ramsay, or for any subject of the British empire, who has not visited this country, to appreciate the avidity with which all stories like these which are here given of the "olden times," in the mother country, are seized and devoured by the reading public in the United States. The volume, as we see, has passed through seven editions in Edinburgh, and we have little doubt that as many editions will be rapidly called for here.

The subjects to the illustration of which the five chapters of the book are devoted, are as follows:-Chapter first, is on the "old religious feelings and observances in Scotland." Our limits will allow us to quote but a single one, from the host of anecdotes that are here collected. It is told to illustrate the feeling prevalent on the subject of "Sabbath desecration." Some fifty years ago, the Hon. Mrs. Stewart introduced into her kitchen a new "jack," which was constructed on the principle of "going constantly without winding up." The next Sunday morning, when her daughter went into the kitchen, she found the jack "wholly paralyzed and useless." The cook was called, and the mystery was soon explained. Jeannie indignantly exclaimed, "she was nae goeing to hae the fule thing clocking and rinning in her kitchen a' the blessed Sabbath."

The second chapter is on "old Scottish conviviality," in the times when at dinner parties the guests were expected to drink till they could sit no longer at the table. A single anecdote must here again content us. The late Mr. Mackenzie, the author of the "Man of Feeling," used to tell a story of having been present at a drinking party. He kept as free from excess as possible, and when at last others began to disappear from their seats, he feigned intoxication, and dropped with them under the table. Here he was lying, quietly as possible, when his attention was called to a small pair of hands working at his throat. With some alarm, he demanded what was wanted. A low voice replied, "Sir, I'm the lad that's to lowse the neckcloths."

The third chapter is upon the "old Scottish domestic servant ;" a fruitful theme, as might be expected, to one whose recollections go back to the times when the greatest familiarity prevailed be

tween the members of all families and their domestics. He tells us that at a dinner party at the house of one of his friends, a member of the family noticed that one of the guests was looking for the saltspoon. The old servant, Thomas, was appealed to. He did not seem to notice it. The appeal was repeated in a more peremptory manner. "Thomas, Mrs. Murray has not a salt spoon!" To which he replied most emphatically, "Last time Mrs. Murray dined here, we lost a salt spoon!"

The volume closes with Chapters IV and V, which are altogether the longest in the book, and are devoted to "Scottish Proverbs" and "stories of Scottish wit and humor." These are, certainly, very entertaining chapters, and valuable as illustrating Scottish manners and customs fifty years ago. Still we confess, after reading them, that our former opinion is not materially changed. Dean Ramsay endeavors to defend his countrymen from the sarcastic fling of Sidney Smith, that "it requires a surgical operation to get a joke well into a Scotch understanding." We still think, though there are of course brilliant exceptions among the literary celebrities of Scotland, that the Scottish common mind is hardly capable of real, genuine wit. It is too practical, too matterof-fact, too rough; there is an absence of all bonhomie. Here is an instance, from Chap. V.-A young man stepped on the gouty toe of an old gentleman, as they were "in the press of the kirk skailing." He hastened to apologize. "I am very sorry, sir! I beg your pardon!" The only answer was, "And ye've muckle need!" Now this is certainly very funny, but whatever else it may be, it is no very exalted specimen of wit.

THE ROMANCE OF NATURAL HISTORY.*-This is a charming book by Philip Henry Gosse, who has already achieved a wide reputation as a popular writer on Natural History. His plan is quite novel. He has grouped the most interesting facts respecting the animal kingdom, according as they are calculated to affect the different emotions of the human mind. As illustrative of the way in which this is done, we give the titles of some of his chapters. The Vast-The Minute-The Memorable-The Re

*The Romance of Natural History. By PHILIP HENRY Gosse, F. R. S. With elegant illustrations Boston: Gould & Lincoln. 12mo. 1861. pp. 372. [For sale by T. H. Pease, New Haven. Price $1.]

cluse-The Wild-The Unknown. Under each of these heads he has described those scenes and objects and aspects of nature, the contemplation of which is calculated to arouse feelings of surprise or wonder, terror, revulsion, admiration or love. And he has sought to accomplish this not by dry statistics, or any accuracy of scientific definition, but in such a way as to awaken a poetic interest in the mind of the reader. As we have turned over the pages of the book we have found ourselves carried along by the author's enthusiasm, and impressed anew with the wisdom and harmony and beauty that everywhere mark the works of the Creator.

The book closes with a chapter which has altogether more of a scientific character than any of the others, and well deserves general attention. It is devoted to a discussion with regard to what has been popularly called the "Sea Serpent." A full abstract is first given of the evidence, which seems quite conclusive to prove that there actually exists "some oceanic animal of immense proportions which has not yet been received into the category of scientific zoology." Then, after an examination of the theory of Professor Owen, who has "given his verdict against the serpentine character of the animal, and pronounces it to have been a great seal," Mr. Gosse propounds his own theory, which he urges with a great deal of force and warmth.

He gives it as his opinion that the animal possesses close affinities with "the fossil Enaliosauria of the lias." He does not undertake to identify it with any known species. He would not say it was an ancient Plesiosaur. It is hardly to be expected that even any genus would be perpetuated from the oolitic period to the present. But many of the characteristics of that strange animal, this sea-monster of our day unquestionably possesses. The argument is very ingenious, and a fine engraving gives us the appearance of this "Great Unknown," according to the theory of Mr. Gosse.

JERVIS'S RAILWAY PROPERTY.*-Mr. Jervis, well known as an engineer of experience and skill, has embodied in a little book

* Railway Property. A treatise on the construction and management of railways: designed to afford useful knowledge, in a popular style, to the holders of this class of property; as well as to railway managers, officers and agents. By JOHN B. JERVIS, Civil Engineer. New York: Phinney, Blakeman & Mason, 61 Walker street, 1861. [For sale in New Haven by E. P. & R. J. Judd.]

« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »