[ocr errors]

nati, Ohio. Here he entered the field of authorship, and his first production, the University Algebra, combined so much of originality, new and practical methods, with such thorough knowledge and treatment of the subject, that it met with great success and popularity. This encouraged him to prepare several other works, all of which were published by Jacob Ernst, of Cincinnati. He removed to Syracuse, N. Y., in 1850, and in '54 to the town of Elbridge, where he resided at the time of his death. In 1858, the publication of his books was removed from Cincinnati to New York, where Ivison, Phinney, Blakeman & Co., continue to publish them.

After this transfer, some of the best practical talent of the country was employed to assist Prof. R. in completing his series, by adding a full course of elementary text-books, and thoroughly revising and rewriting the higher mathematics. The very large and increasing circulation of these books attest their merits, and the name of the author will long be familiar to the best teachers and educators of the entire country.

He was an enthusiast in the pursuit of science, and what would have been considered severe labor, and even drudgery by many, was but recreation to him. During the many long years he was confined to his room, even to the week of his death, he was constantly employed in improving and developing some new thought, principle, or method of his favorite science; when unable to use the pen, and often while suffering the most acute pains, would he dictate for another to write. It is a rare and exceptional case to find the highest scientific talent joined to a pleasing simplicity of style, and remarkable facility in imparting instruction; still more rare it is to find such talent devoted to the preparation of text-books adapted to the young.

His devoted and faithful wife died in the fall of 1863, respected and loved by all who knew her. He has followed her, as we trust, to that better land; for, although never a professed and active Christian, yet he gave unmistakable evidence, in his last hours, of a heart renewed by grace, and of his firm, unshaken faith in Him who saves to the uttermost all who trust in Him.


LEGISLATIVE SUMMARY.--The vote by which the County Superintendent's bill was defeated, was promptly reconsidered, and the bill tabled to wait a more favorable opportunity. It will pass a full House. A bill providing for the support of Catholic Schools as a part of the common school system, was lost on its passage. The vote was reconsidered, and the bill lies on the table. A law has been passed authorizing the boards of education of cities having a population of over twenty thousand, to levy a tax of one-tenth of a mill for the increase and maintenance of public libraries. A bill has passed the House, and will doubtless pass the Senate, making all villages containing three hundred inhabitants, separate school districts. The law of 1853 applied only to incorporated villages.

AN OFFER DECLINED.--The Board of Regents of New York, through their Executive Committee, have tendered Mr.. E. E. White, of this city, the position of Principal of the New York State Normal School at Albany, with a sálary amounting, in

cluding house rent, to over $3,000 per annum. The offer is made by the unanimous vote of the Board, and coming from the Empire State to a citizen of Columbus, known to the members only by reputation, may be considered as a very flattering compliment, but one well deserved. The Board of Regents is respectfully informed that Ohio can not spare just yet the man who has done so much for her public schools, and Mr. White's numerous friends in this state will learn with pleasure that he declines to accept the offer, but will remain still in Ohio.– Columbus Journal.

MANNERS AT A PREMIUM.-Leonard W. Jerome, of New York, has given to Princeton $5,000, the interest of which is to be annually devoted to the presentation of a medal to the graduating senior who shall be declared by the votes of his class-mates to be the first gentleman of his class. We are painfully aware that our students, howover well drilled in science and literature, are not particularly distinguished for politeness among themselves. This roughness of manners is chiefly observable in the colleges whence the refining influence of lady-students is excluded. But is this competition for a paltry medal the way to awaken the spirit of true chivalry in the soul ? Will not rather the student who has set his heart on the glittering bauble be tempted to sacrifice some of his innate manliness to conciliate the uncertain favor of the multitude on whose voices his success depends? The competition will, we fear, give rise to cliques and factions and heart-burnings. Let rather the authorities of the college strive to create a high-toned public opinion in that direction. Then boorishness, rowdyism, dandyism, and other isms “of that ilk,” will, in time, dwindle away, and be succeeded by a natural, not a hot-bed, growth of that genuine courteousness, that delicate regard to the feelings and comforts of others which characterize the true gentleman.

[ocr errors]

Prof. McCosu ON AMERICA.-Prof. McCosh, of Belfast, who visited the United States last summer, read before the Irish Congregational Union an able paper giving some of the results of his observations. The school system of America he considers the finest in the world, and longs to see it adopted in his own country. He believes it to have powerfully contributed to the safety of the states, in the midst of the convulsions through which they have passed. He vividly sketched the present condition and future prospects of the freedmen, showing that, while necessarily it would take as much brain power, as a whole, as is to be found among their white brethren who, for ages, have been maturing, still, that the black children are as quick to learn ordinary lessons, and the adults as ready to appreciate the kindnessses and amenities of life, as are the whites. For the blacks, provided they receive fair play, Dr. McCosh believes there is a great and blessed future.


The Late PROFESSOR BachE.-Prof. Alex. D. Bache, who died at Newport, R. I., on the 17th of February, deservedly ranked among the first of our scientific men, his membership in the chief scientific societies of Europe showed that his reputation abroad was equally high. He was a great grandson of Benjamin Franklin. He was born in Philadelphia, July 19th, 1806. He was educated at West Point, graduating with the highest honors in 1825. In 1827, he was elected Professor of Mathematics in the University of Pennsylvania, afterward President of Girard College, and later, Principal of the Philadelphia High School. In 1843, he accepted the position of chief of the U. S. Coast Survey, which he held until his death. His disease was softening of the brain. Prof. Ben. Pierce, of Harvard College, has been appointed his successor.

Sixty of the members of the Ohio House of Representatives have been school teachers!

How SOUTHERN YOUNG IDEAS ARE Taught to Shoot.-An algebra published at the South by Gen. D. H. Hill, just before the war, contains these curious problems among others of a similar character:

1. Milk sells at Boston at a cents per quart. A milkman mixed a certain quantity of water with b quarts of milk, and sold the mixture at c cents per quart, without losing by the sale. What is the quantity of water added ?

2. A Yankee mixes a certain quantity of wooden nutmegs, which cost him a quarter of a cent a piece, with a quantity of real nutmegs worth four cents a piece. He sells the whole for $44, and gains $3.75 by the fraud. How many modern nutmegs were there?

3. A gentleman in Richmond expressed a willingness to liberate his slave valued at $1,000, upon the receipt of that sum from charitable persons. He received contributions from 24 persons, and, of these, there were }} fewer from the North than from the South, and the average donation of the former was smaller than that of the latter. What was the entire amount given by each?

OBERLIN COLLEGE has just received $25,000 from the estate of the Rev. Chas. Avery, of Pittsburg, who left $150,000 in trust, to be devoted to the education and elevation of the colored people in the United States and in Canada. The conditions are that the college shall never make any discrimination, on account of color, against colored students, and that it shall furnish free tuition to fifty of its most needy colored students. By the efforts of the Rev. E. H. Fairchild, as financial agent, $63,000 have been already paid in or pledged for the new endowment of the college, and little doubt is felt that the whole amount aimed at will be duly secured.

DONATION TO BALDWIN UNIVERSITY.—The Hon. J. Baldwin has transferred to that University the deed of forty acres of quarry land, now valued at $2,000 per acre. But this is much below its real worth. All honor to the generous heart of John Baldwin, to whom the college was before so largely indebted. Surely it must needs prosper; for is it not founded upon a rock!

Hon. HENRY BARNARD, of Connecticut, has been appointed National Commissioner of Education. The bill creating the Department, which passed the House in June, 1866, was passed by the Senate March 2, and signed by the President March 4. The success of this great educational movement will depend much upon the co-operative efforts of the educators of the country.

MRS. MARY HOWE SMITH, associate author of Guyot's Geographies, will give a course of lectures on Geography and Primary Instruction before the Franklin County Teachers' Institute, which meets at Groveport the first week of April. Mrs. Smith is to lecture before the Cleveland City Normal Institute the second week in April.

ALEXIS E. HOLCOMB, S. W. agent of the publishing house of Ivison, Phinney, Blakeman & Co., New York, died suddenly of heart disease, at Richmond, Ind. Mr. Holcomb was a native of Ravenna, Ohio, and was one of the most successful teachers of Penmanship in the country. He was highly respected for his personal worth and Christian character.

C. W. H. CATHCART, elected State School Commissioner in 1862, died recently at Urbana, 0.

Miss C. A. STEWART, of Newark, 0., has sent us the names of sixteen subscribers, for which she has our thanks.

INSTITUTES.—We hope to receive a brief report of each institute held this Spring, accompanied with a good list of subscribers. Can still supply back numbers from January.


[ocr errors]


Pp. 170. New York: Ivison, Phinney, Blakeman & Co.

This is an excellent type of the sort of text-books that we should wish to see introduced into our western academies and colleges. No doubt the writer could, with less labor and more satisfaction to himself, have brought forth a more imposing work, which would have added more to his literary reputation than this unpretending volume is likely to do. But what would have been the consequence? In order to make it fit in the scanty allowance of time marked out for it in the inexorable programme, either a portion must be sacrificed, or the whole so skimmed over in hurried and crowded recitations, as to leave on the minds of the students but a dim, unsatisfactory, and evanescent impression. Whereas the author has succeeded in presenting a clear and comprehensive view of the field of Christian Ethics in twenty-four chapters, each of which is just of the right length for a lesson, provided it be not mechanically taken in and given out with passive receptivity, but in its suggestiveness, pondered over, digested, discussed, commented upon, and amplified through all the ramifications of the subject. The author truly says: “A book which leaves nothing for the teacher and pupil to think out, must be a dull one. The books most profitable to read are not those which convey the largest amount of information, but those which are instinct with power.” This is no random or hasty review; we have carefully read the book through, and, as we read, made some seventy annotations, to which, if our limits permitted, we would gladly call the attention of our readers, as specimens of his lucid, aphoristio mode of presenting each subject. Yet, we can not help wishing that he had allowed himself more room for disputable and disputed points, such as—the circumstances under which evil and violence should be resisted, and how far ;-the reciprocal duties of governors and governed ;-when resistance to abuse of authority becomes lawful and expedient;—the true object and limitation of the pardoning power, and, especially, the principle of unbending, uncompromising uprightness which ought to regulate all commercial transactions ;-the immorality of smuggling or otherwise defrauding the revenue, on a petty, no less than on a large scale, points on which many who call themselves honest, do need a great deal of light. All this portion of the book that treats of subjects in which moral philosophy and political economy merge into each other, is so admirably treated that we come to the end of each subject all too soon, and regret that the author had not gone more fully into details. We would greatly like to see a corresponding volume on Political Economy from the same mind, and handled in the same masterly manner.

PATRIOTIC ELOQUENCE. Selections of National Literature compiled for Exercises in

Reading and Declamation. By Mrs. C. M. KIRKLAND. Pp. 332. New York: Scribner & Co.

These extracts have not been selected as specimens of high-sounding periods, of artistically constructed sentences and showy rhetoric. But this early American eloquence gushed warm from the heart; its charm is in its truth; its power lies in its confident appeals to conscience, to common sense, and honor. The plain, sturdy Anglo-Saxon of most of the speeches, is no slight recommendation as exercises in reading or speaking. To relieve monotony, the compiler has interspersed some of the popular songs and poems of our revolutionary days. They may sound rugged to a fastidions ear, but “they have a soul in them and deserve to live. Let us not so worship the dress of things as to undervalue the spirit which is life." To give additional interest to the collection, the publishers have introduced a few specimens of the oratory and poetry called forth by our own conflict with rebellion. By way of

[ocr errors]

zest, there have been added a few spicy dialogues, sparkling with national humor and sauciness. We have great objection to raw girls and boys being brought forward to declaim, in a stiff, artificial, awkward manner, pieces into the spirit of which they are too young or too ignorant to enter. Such exercises do harm by substituting lifeless mannerism for genuine feeling. But by reading our national annals, they will learn in time to appreciate those two grand epochs in our history, and to sympathize with the spirit that burns in those undying monuments of patriotism and genius. This book will be valuable also to those who, not having the opportunity of going to the original sources, will be glad to have brought within their reach some of the grand utterances of those stirring and glorious times.

PRINCIPIA LATINA, A First Latin Reading Book. By WILLIAM SMITH, LL.D. With

Notes and a Glossary. Revised and Edited by HENRY DRISLER, LL.D., Prof. of Latin in Columbia College, N. Y. New York: Harper & Brothers.

The book is just what is wanted. This republication of the favorite book of my school days—De viris illustribus urbis Romæ—is an excellent stepping stone to Hanson's Extracts of Roman Classics. The " Introduction on Latin authors read in school," by my old friend, Prof. Pillaus, of Edinburgh University, is worthy of his well-earned reputation. The short but comprehensive account of Roman antiquities is by Dr. William Smith, and that is surely praise enough. The notes and glossary are as full as the young scholar requires. All that is left for the teacher to add of his own, is a set of English sentences, suggested by and formed from the text of each day's lesson, to be translated into Latin, so as to make composition and translation go hand in hand. I only regret the substitution of the epitome of Cæsar's Gallic wars for the Latin elementary book of Jacobs and Doring, consisting of fables, anecdotes, mythology, etc., more interesting, not to say moro moral reading, than the endless repetition of deeds of oppression and bloodshed in that unrighteous war which Cæsar's unprincipled ambition drove him to wage against the rights and liberties of Gaul.

T. E. S.


adelphia : Cowperthwait & Co.

A short and pleasing account of art and literature in Spain, with translations of extracts taken, by permission, from Prof. Ticknor's large work on the same subject. We cordially recommend this little volume to those who are ignorant of the literary history of that very interesting people, and who have not leisure to study a larger and more elaborate work.

The Human EYE: Its Use and Abuse. A popular treatise on far, near, and impaired

sight, and the methods of preservation by the proper use of spectacles and other acknowledged aids of vision. By Walter ALDEN, Optician. R. W. Carroll & Co., Cincinnati, 0. 138 pp. 8vo.

This book is worthy careful perusal, and can not fail to be of profit to students by its plain and specific directions relating to the care of the eyes and the use of spectacles. Its character is well described by the title, and it is not too much to say that the author has accomplished in a highly creditable manner all that he proposed to himself.


Cincinnati : Cole, Nelson & Co.

We have received the first two numbers of these elegant publications. The exercises are based on the old method of learning to draw by copying copies, instead of going to the fountain-head—the object itself. Those who prefer this method of teaching drawing, will like these books, and even those who use what may be called the natural method, will find them an assistance.

« ForrigeFortsett »