« AnteriorContinuar »
its different members. Several of its descriptions of characters and scenes in village life, are quite good.
Natural Philosophr-Peck's Gaxot.*_There is no lack of school books on Natural Philosophy, such as they are. But
of them have sprung from the scissors of the book maker, rather than the pen or brain of the author. And many such works, crude and full of errors, hold their place in schools and academies rather through the tact and enterprise of publishers, or the negligence of school committees, than from any intrinsic merits of their own. The work before us is by no means of this class. It is a translation, from the French, of a thoroughly scientific work, entitled Popular Physics, by M. Ganot, one of the best of modern writers on the subject. It covers the department of physics proper, including mechanics of solids, liquids, and gases; acoustics, heat, optics, magnetism, electricity, and electro-mag
As an elementary work, it is concise in style, yet remarkably clear in definition and explanation, logical in arrangement, and beautifully illustrated with numerous engravings, which are fac-simile copies of those in the original work. These engravings are so complete and accurate, that they are not only well calculated to convey to the mind of the pupil a clear conception of the principles unfolded, but exhibit so fully the structure of apparatus and methods of experimenting, as to render the apparatus itself, in many cases, unnecessary. Professor Peck has done a good thing for American education in producing so attractive and excellent a book for the use of schools and academies. Its convenience as a text-book is enhanced by suitable questions at the foot of each page.
Physics.f-A copy of the second edition of Professor Silliman's Principles of Physics, just ready for publication, has been received too
* Introductory Course of Natural Philosophy, for the use of Schools and Academies. Edited from Ganot's Popular Physics, by William G. Peck, M. A., Professor of Mathematics in Columbia College, New York. New York: A. S. Barnes & Burr. 1860. pp. 480.
+ Principles of Physics, or Natural Philosophy, designed for the use of Colleges and Schools. By BENJAMIN SILLIMAN, Jr., M. A., M. D., Professor of General and Applied Chemistry in Yale College. Second edition, revised and rewritten, with seven hundred and twenty-two illustrations. Philadelphia: H. C. Peck & Theodore Bliss. 1861. pp. 700.
late for more than a very brief notice in our present number. The work on its first appearance impressed us favorably, and we specially commended it to the attention of our readers. The new edition is a great improvement upon the first. Not only has the work been thoroughly revised, but, in order to adapt it more fully to the wants of the higher seminaries, large portions of it have been rewritten and rearranged, and a mathematical method of treatment introduced to a much greater extent than in the former edition. Indeed, so far as we can judge from a cursory examination, the work will now, in this respect, as well as in others, entirely meet the wants of the classes of students for whom it was prepared. The various branches of the subject appear to be treated in just proportion, with great fullness of illustration, and ample nctices of special applications, yet with a constant reference to the elucidation of fundamental principles. While, therefore, it is well adapted to the purposes of elementary instruction, its special richness in the facts of science, and in notices of the most recent discoveries and experiments, renders it a work of peculiar value to practical men and teachers, and at the same time, of interest to the general reader. Its value as a book of reference is much enhanced by a collection of the most important physical tables, in an appendix. In its present improved form, we can most cordially commend this work to teachers and others, as supplying an acknowledged desideratum in the means of teaching physical science in our higher academies and colleges.
RHETORICAL Praxis.* - Books of rhetorical praxis are usually the dullest and most unprofitable of all text-books. The ingenious author of this volume has certainly proposed to himself the true ideal to be accomplished in teaching rhetoric, for he would teach his pupil to write by teaching them to think. We dare not predict that this book will fulfill the aim of the author; but we believe it to be superior to any other of the kind, and to have the highest claim upon practical teachers for a trial, for its thorougliness, its comprehensiveness, as well as for the great ingenuity and skill with which it has been prepared. We should not be surprised if it should prove to be very successful, and would recommend it most cordially to teachers.
* Rhetorical Praxis. The principles of Rhetoric exemplified and applied in copious exercises for systematic practice, chiefly in the development of thought. For use in schools and colleges. By Henry N. Day, author of " Elements of the Art of Rhetoric," &c., &c. Cincinnati: Moore, Wilstach, Keys & Co 1860. 12mo. pp. 309, $1. [T. H, Pease, New Haven.)
Hooker's NATURAL History.* _Dr. Worthington Hooker, Professor of the Theory and Practice of Medicine in Yale College, has been very successful in applying comprehensive and thorough knowledge of natural science to the service of popular education and instruction. His volume on Human Physiology, published some years since, is regarded by many of our most eminent and experienced school teachers as the best book on tbat subject for the instruction of schools; while it is equally adapted to the purposes of general reading. His “First Book in Physiology," and his “Child's Book of Nature,” present their subjects in a simplified manner, which felicitously adapts them to interest and instruct children of an early age. Pursuing the same useful course, he has recently published a work on Natural History, for the use of schools and families. This work we commend to the attention of our readers. It is an octavo of 382 pages, published by the Harpers, in their usual excellent style, and illustrated by a multitude of excellent engravings, which teach in that easiest and most adequate of all modes-through the eye. Horace very truly said that “men believe their eyes more than their ears.” Even a cursory glance over a book, so profusely and correctly illustrated by engravings, is quite instructive.
One of the manifest excellencies of this book is, that its author has successfully avoided two extremes, into one or the other of which writers of books on Natural History for the use of schools, often runon the one hand, in the endeavor to adapt them to popular use, depriving them of a real scientific character, so that they have not the substance of the science in such a form as to be clearly and definitely apprehended and learned ; and, on the other hand, presenting the subject in a form so scientific, or with so many of the technical terms of science, and with such an overloading of the details of science, that both pupils and general readers are baffled and confused. Dr. Hooker avoids the use of technical terms except when they are necessary; and when he uses them, always explains them in the first instance of their use, and explains them not by a bare definition, but by interesting as well as clear description. And his glossary at the end of the book consists, not of definitions, but simply of references to the paragraphs in the book, in which the words are first used, and in which they are explained in a better manner than by a mere definition. And from the great mass of materials in Zoology he makes a judicious selection for the purpose of popular instruction, presenting specimens of different groups of animals, and representative features of the science, and avoiding a confused multitude of details and particulars, too often presented in books designed for popular education and instruction, and necessary only in books of reference, or for the purposes of a scientific zoologist.
* Natural History. For the use of Schools and Families. By WORTHINGTON HOOKER, M. D., Professor of the Theory and Practice of Medicine in Yale Col. lege, Author of “Human Physiology,” “ Child's Book of Nature,” &c., &c. Illustrated by nearly three hundred engravings. New York: Harper & Brothers. * Home and College. A public Address delivered in the Hall of the House of Representatives, March 8, 1860. By F. D. HUNTINGTON, D. D. Boston: Crosby, Nichols, Lee & Co. 1860. 18mo. pp. 70.
We have noticed, also, that Dr. Hooker, while avoiding a confused flood of information, brings to light many interesting features which we have not seen in works of this kind. As an example of this, we would refer, in his chapter on the characteristics of Birds, to bis felicitous exhibition of the arrangement of the bones and muscles for the purposes of flying.
In this book Dr. Hooker avoids the catechetical style, or that of questions and answers, and the style of formal statement, and adopts that of the Lecture. This, while it is far preferable to the others for the general reader, is also best for pupils, except perhaps those of the youngest class. It interests them more. It habituates them to express in the natural form the knowledge which they acquire. And it communicates information to them in that mode in which they must receive it in the usual experience of life.
We are pleased to learn from the author's preface that he has in the course of preparation books on some of the other natural sciences, Natural Philosophy, Chemistry, &c, according to the same general plan which has been adopted in this work. We are confident that they will promote an object which we regard as very desirable, the study of these subjects in the common school as well as in the academy and the college.
HOME AND COLLEGE.*—This is the public address which was de livered by Rev. F. D. Huntington, D. D., in the Hall of the Massachusetts House of Representatives, on March last. We rejoice to see
that it has been printed, and hope it may now have wide circulation, and reach every parent who expects ever to send a son away from home to college. We are deeply impressed with the truth and justness and importance of every line. It presents to parents, and to their sons also, much food for reflection, with an earnestness and a genial sympathy which must secure a thoughtful perusal.
Our limits will allow us only to advert to the leading thought in the book, when we could wish, if this were the proper place, to republish the whole entire. Dr. Huntington insists throughout that “home”not hotels or boarding houses--but that the “ Christian home” is the place where the principles of the boy who is to be a student, should be carefully formed and trained from the first. He says: “To ask a college government to play the father to lads who have never learned what it is to be sons, is to make the place not only a charity school, but a foundling hospital.” He then describes the points of peril, and the conditions of success in college life. He specifies the lessons that the boy should be taught from the very beginning: I. To control his appetites and animal passions; II. To obey rightful authority; III. To respect the opinions of those who are his superiors in age, in official position, and wisdom; IV. To love knowledge for its own sake; V. To beware of an inordinate desire of popularity, than which nothing is more seductive to those whose dispositions and manners are intrinsically attractive; VI. To cultivate genuine kindness of heart, and true gentlemanly feeling; VII. Above all, religious reverence and faith. How little has a faithful Christian parent to fear for a son who has been trained with such principles. Dr. Huntington says:
“The average age at which Freshmen enter college, is now, perhaps, eighteen years. Suppose it were a year or two younger. Does it seem probable, according to all we know of the moral laws, that after that time, and within a short period, desires which had before been unfelt should break out into sudden and ungovernable activity, or that those which had been held in rational subjection should all at once overmaster their restraints, ar.d spring up with prurient eagerness, and rush into shameless license ?"
The Wild SPORTS of India.*_This book is written by no carpet
* The Wild Sports of India. With remarks on the breeding and rearing of horses, and the formation of Light Irregular Cavalry. By Capt. HENRY SHAKESPEARE, Commandant Nagpore Irregular Force. Boston: Ticknor & Fields. 1860. 12mo. pp. 283. $1. [T. H. Pease, New Haven.]