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The novice in drawing, first delineates individual objects or the several parts of the body. It is the business of a more advanced stage of his progress to draw even a single human figure ; and it is not until he is master of the eleinents of the art, that he is permitted to combine a variety of objects into a group or a landscape, and to imitate the colouring of nature.
With these principles in view, the author has endeavoured to present the essential facts of Geography in the order of science, and to make the student familiar with its great outlines. The less importaut details wbich form the "filling up” of the picture are thrown into supplementary paragraphs and articles in a smaller type, for subsequent study. In order to complete the delineations, a series of statistical and topographical descriptions is added, in which each country forms a distinct subject of consideration, and a collection of tables, exbibiting the most important numerical statements which are well established.
lu order to form a perfect system of Geography, it would be necessary to present upon a map a complete sketch of a country, with its inhabitants, their institutions, employments, &c. An approximation has been attempted in the Atlas wbich accompanies this work. In pursuance of the principles which have been stated, the author has devised a classification of mountains, rivers, cities, and countries, according to their size, which renders comparison easy, and diminishes the labour of recollection in a subject proverbially difficult. By means of numbers referring to these classes, the sketch of a country on the Inap exhibits the comparative size, as well as situation, of the prominent objects. On the Physical Chart of the world are shown the various divisions of climate, with their productions and animals. On the Moral and Political Chart, the degree of light or shade marks the intellectual and moral state of a country; and the emblems annexed serve, like the standard of a nation, to designate its religion and government. “The faithful sight” is thus called in to aid “the less retentive ear,” and so far as the expense permitted, the same principle is pursued by inserting engravings of remarkable objects, to supply the defects of description.
The general approbation bestowed upon this plan, as it was partially developed in the “Rudiments of Geography," and the desire frequently expressed for a larger work on similar principles, have led to the preseat pub. lication. In collecting the materials, the author has resorted, not merely to the latest and most valuable publications of geographers and travellers, but to the best and most recent works on natural science. He owes particular acknowledgments to the works of Humboldt, Brogniart, Bakewell, Myer, ani Malte Brun. Many facts are brought forward which are not found in systems of Geography; and he believes none of importance are omitted, which do not more properly belong to a geographical dictionary, or the journal of a traveller.
The author bad commenced the publication of his first work, when he learned with surprise, that a similar classification of numbers and arrangement of subjects had been devised and used by Mrs. Willard, Principal of the Female Seminary, at Troy, originated like his own, in the efforts to give instruction on this subject, eight or ten years since. Under these circumstances, it was thought advisable that both should unite in the publication of the sys. tem,--the Modern Geography being assigned to the author, and the Ancient to Mrs. Willard. The author takes pleasure in referring to the following preface by Mrs. Willard, for a more full illustration of the principles of the svork, and the nature of this singular coincidence.
BY MRS. WILLARD.*
When a system is brought before the public, professing to be new, and claiming to be considered as peculiarly useful, it is incumbent on those who introduce it, to show in what respects it is original, and why it is an im. provement.
The objects to be attained in arranging the parts of any science for the use of learners, admitting the elements of that science to be first correctly ascertained, are to place them in that order which shall be most advantageous to the pupil in three respects ; first, facility of acquirement; secondly, durability of impression ; and thirdly, discipline of the mind. An attempt has been made to keep these objects steadily in view, and to discard all others as for reign to the purpose, and calculated rather to perplex than to enlighten the student : and it is not known to us, that any preceding writer has, with respect to the subjects of this work, done the same. The traveller who wishes to trace out the course he is to pursue, or to gain at one view a description of the country to which he is journeying, will not find this book and atlas so well fitted to his purpose as many others. No facts or modes of arrangement, however desirable to him, are here admitted, if detrimental to the work as to its sole object, the improvement of those who wish to learn the science.
With regard to the facility with which geography may be acquired, this plan includes the system of teaching from maps, formed upon the principle of making the eye the medium of conveying instruction; and it contains some new modifications of this principle, for which the public are indebted solely to Mr. Woodbridge. Such is the chart, from which the pupil learns the government, religion, and comparative civilization of countries, at the same
* This is the same preface, with a few trifling alterations, which was published in 1821, in the first edition of the Rudiments of Geography. Mrs. Willard having devised, and for a number of years taught, a system of geography in all essential points agreeing with the one contained in that work, but more fully developed in this, then felt and still feels bound to make some explanation of the views with which she originated the system, and also to give to her friends her reasons for relinquisbing her own right to publish it, although she had repeatedly promised them that she would, and had in a measure prepared to fulfil her engagement. This preface contains those explanations, made at a time when the subjects were more resh in her mind than they now are. Subsequently to the printing of the preface, it was determined that the Ancient Geography should not be appended to the “Rudiments,” but reserved as more suitable, both from the subject, and from the manner in which Mrs. Willard had treated it, for a work to be used by more ad. vanced pupils ; and such a work the authors agreed at that time to publish. This preface has been withdrawn from later editions of the “Rudiments." Mrs. Wil lard prefers that her friends should consider this, rather than that, the work which she offers them to redeem the pledge she had given them to publish her own. Fully to redeem it, she is bound to give them at least as good a work as she could hare produced herself; and the more it exceeds that measure the better.
time that he is fixing in his mind their shape and relative position ; and such is the chart of climates and productions..
The principle of teaching by the eye, has also a place in the classification of such objects as are compared by means of numbers
. For example, after the pupil has learned the tables of population, he will in many instances forget the exact class to which a city belongs ; but he wiil retain in his mind a picture of the page containing his table, and he will recollect whether the city whose rank he wishes to remember, was near the beginning, about the middle, or at the close of his catalogue, and thus he will know whether it is of a large, a middling, or a small size. In entering so systematically into the formation of tables of this kind, the work here offered to the public, differs, it is believed, from all preceding publications on the study of geography. The arrangement relieves the memory from a fruitless burden, by substituting few numbers for many, and perhaps it is not asserting too much to say, that some such mode of classification is not merely the easiest and the best, but that it is in fact, the only method of conveying instruction to the youthful mind, on subjects where numbers are the medium of comparison. A person who knows by rote merely, that a city contains a certain number of inhabitants, cannot from that circumstance be said to understand its rank ; that is, he does not know whether it is a great or a small city, for all ideas of great and small are relative, and are obtained by comparing things with others of their own kind.
With regard to durability of impression, we discard that method of arrangement generally found in the description of countries, where many distinct and dissimilar subjects are treated of in quick succession ; because, from the want of any associating principle, information received in this way cannot be well remembered. We admit little which may not be traced to one of these two laws of intellect ;-first, that the objects of sight more readily become the subjects of conception and memory, than those of the other senses ; and secondly, that the best of all methods to abridge the labour of the mind, and to enable the memory to lay up the most in the smallest compass, is to class particulars under general heads.
That this method of teaching geography is a judicious application of these principles, has become completely evident to me from observing the fact, that, of all the branches of study which my pupils learn, geography taught in this manner is that which they most easily call to recollection ; and this is the case, whether the examination takes place after the lapse of a few months, or a few years.
But in none of the objects of education do I conceive that this system is so peculiar, as in that which relates to the discipline of the mind; and none are, in my opinion, of so much importance. Although it is of consequence to teach the student what to think, yet it is more important to teach him how to think. flowever well it may be for a man to have a good knowledge of geography, yet, it is still better for him to possess a sound judgment and a well regulated intellect. 6 The correctness of every process of julgment and reasonin; depends either immediately or’ultimately on the accuracy of our comparisons."* Capacity of mind is acquired by those habits of study, which cultivate the powers of abstraction and generalization.The study of geography has heretofore been regarded as a mere exercise of the memory; but taught in this manner, it brings into action the powers of comparing and abstracting, thus laying the foundation, not only of good scholarship in the science of which it treats, but of a sound judgment and an enlarged understanding.
* Hedge's Logic.
I have now endeavoured to give some of the reasons for considering this method as an improvement; and also to show that it is in several respects original. Yet perhaps the very circumstance that it is new, may form a ground of objection. It may be said that however plausible a system appears in theory, it is often found in practice to be attended with inconveniences which were not anticipated, and could not be foreseen. But notwithstanding this system has never before been published, yet it has been brought to the full test of experiment. It is nearly eight years since I began to teach geography in the method here recommended. Intending to publish my plan of instruction, I carefully watched its operation on the minds of my pupils, while at the same time, I studied in reference to it, the most approved systems or the philosophy of the mind, and my success in teaching it far surpassed my expectations.
It may seem singular, that I should bere allude more particularly to the modern geography than to the ancient, as that alone bears my name. The arrangement entered into between Mr. Woodbridge and myself, was predicated solely on my having compiled and taught a system of modern geog. raphy similar to his : whereas my writing the ancient, was merely an accidental consequence of my becoming a partner in the concern. In applying my mind to the subject, many ideas, new to me, occurred, as to the difference of the studies of modern and ancient gcography, the difficulties attending the latter, and the methods of surmounting them. In finding these methods, I have been guided by the general views just explained, concerning the proper objects of books for instruction.
I could wish those of my friends to whom I have heretofore explained the principles of my method of arranging the study of geography, and the means by which I was led to this arrangement, to read with attention, Mr. Woodbridge's preface. * They will be no less astonished at the coincidence of our views in originating this system, than were those of our friends who witnessed our first conversations, and in fact, than we were ourselves. They will however perceive, that our agreeing in so many points in the execution of our plans, was by no means the effect of chance; but naturallý arose from our setting out with the same end in view, and agreeing in opinion as to the means most proper for its attainment. The end proposed, was to find that method of teaching this science, the most casily learned, the longest remembered, and which in studying would afford the most profitable discipline to the mind. In our opinion, the means proper to attain this end, was carefully and patiently to scrutinize our own minds, as to the effect of methods of teaching this science, which in the course of our education had been adopted with us. It is true that each individual intellect possesses, not only those principles which are common to every human mind, but some modifications of them peculiar to itself; and a person forming a system wholly by consulting the operations of his own mind, might adapt it to these peculiarities, rather than to the general laws which regulate the intellectual powers of man. But in the present instance, the fact is before us, that two persons proceeding upon the evidence of conscious. ness have without any concert whatever, formed a system in all material points alike. Now if we have calculated upon those principles of our own minds which are common to all others, it is not surprising that in a hundred particulars we have brought out the same result.
But if we have each mistaken our own peculiarities for the general laws of mind, our finding so many points of agreement in the execution of our plans is
* The preface here alluded to was that published in the first edition of the Rudiments.
wonderful; for the whole number of the possible peculiarities of the human mind is incalculably great. If this reasoning is not fallacious, it cannot but go far to establish the correctness of the system, which we here unitedly present to the public.
May I be excused for offering in this place a few remarks in reference to those friends, to whom I have repeatedly pledged myself to publish my me thod of teaching geography; and who know that I have been for years collecting and arranging materials for this purpose. It would not be surprising, if they should consider me unwise in thus relinquishing the labour of years. But let them consider on the other hand, that Mr. Woodbridge has also relinquished part of a copyright obtained solely by his own invention and industry
It is true I have pledged myself, to give to my friends my metbod of teaching geography; I offer them this book to redeem that pledge. If they have all that is valuable in my plan, it matters not from whose hand they receive it; and in this book they will find all its essential parts, with important ad. ditions.
If Mr. Woodbridge and myself had without knowing each others systems, each published our own, according to our separate intention, it would have been right that both of us should have made the most of our labours; but it may easily be seen that this would have been productive of vexation to ourselves, and, on the supposition of our having made an improvement, unfortas nate for the public. But having met and discovered the coincidence of our plans, how much better is it to incorporate them togetber: thus uniting in one system the peculiar excellences of each, and forbearing to wound the cause of education, to which, in ways somewkat peculiar, our labours bare heen bitherto devoted.