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of human sight. Samuel could not detect it, notwithstanding his age, his piety, and his knowledge of mankind. He could see marks of talent in Eliab, a manly and dignified manner, and an agreeable exterior; he could not discern the pride, the envy, that were hidden within, nor the motives which guided the young man's conduct. Observe, too, that a man's fitness for great office depends not on personal accomplishments, but on the state of his heart.

3. The fear of God, the one yreat requisite.Notice how it completed all David's other graces, and gave nobleness to them. 6. The Lord was with him." This is said of Joseph, of Daniel, and of many others. So long as they remembered the nearness of God, and acted as if they were in His sight, they prospered and were happy. All talents, all mental and bodily gifts, are worthless to the possessor, unless they are sanctified by the fear of God, and employed humbly in His service.

E. W.

SKETCH OF AN OBJECT LESSON.

HAIR. (Provide a drawing showing a section of the skin containing a hair; with the sheath or follicle, bulb, pulp, and glands.)

GROWTH AND FORMATION.—The skin is penetrated with innumerable small holes, which are the openings of sheaths or small pipes—these sheaths are lined by a continuation of the fine outer skin of the body-pass in a sloping direction beneath the surface of the skin to a variable depth-expand at the bottom into a small bag containing the bulb or root of the hair.

Bulb of the hair.-A small cone-shaped body-composed of vessels full of blood and nerves-covered with a continuation of the lining of the sheath--substance of the hair deposited on this surface-at first appears as a small black spot—as it increases, it is gradually pushed up the sheath and out beyond the skin-kept supple and firm by oil conveyed through small pipes from glands lying on each side of the sheath.

Recapitulate. (Throughout this part constantly refer to the drawing, and give the etymology, or explain the meaning of the difficult words.)

PROPERTIES.Shape, flat-length, varics ; known to grow on man to the length of pine feet-thickness, from goo to both of an inch-colour, occasioned by a large quantity of oil mixed with sulphuret of iron, of which it is partly composed—in old age this is absorbed when the hair turns grey.

Recapitulate-Uses—I. As a protection from injury. When very thick it is almost impenetrable-Why is the head covered with such a mass of hair ?

2. As a protection both from cold and heat. It is a very bad conductor of heat -Why are the animals of tropical countries so hairy? Why those of the arctic regions ?

3. As a protection from moisture. On account of its oily nature, it is difficult for water to penetrate it. Why are other animals better provided with hair than man?

Recapitulate. (In this part, try to encourage independent thought by questions such as those in italics.)

LESSON.-God's wisdom. How wonderfully minute are all the various parts yet how perfectly adapted to their respective uses. “We are fearfully and wonderfully made.God's goodness.-How well has He secured His creatures, by this provision, from dangers to which they would otherwise have been exposed.

J. B.

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR.

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BLACKSTONE AS A TEACHER'S BOOK. Sir,--I have observed that a remonstrance has lately been presented to the Committee of Council by the principals of certain Training Colleges, respecting the use of Warren's “ Select Extracts from Blackstone," as the basis of examination for certificates; and, in reply to that remonstrance, I notice that the Secretary has announced the intention of the Government to adhere to the use of that work as a text-book, and has also expressed a renewed confidence in the suitableness of the book for the purpose contemplated, as well as in the good sense which originally suggested its employment in that way.

On all other subjects, the Government has very wisely abstained from the specific recommendation of any text-books; but has left their selection to the option of the students and their teachers. There can be little doubt that, as a general rule, it is far better to do so. To specify particular text-books is to encourage cramming, to narrow the basis of the examination, and to discountenance that independent action on the part of teachers which is one of the best safeguards of sound learning. Within certain limits, it is a wholesome thing for the teachers to select their own text-books, and to be guided in their treatment of any given subject, and in the arrangement of their course, by the peculiar bent of their own tastes and the character of their own teaching power. When, therefore, the Committee of Council so far deviated from their usual course as to prescribe the particular book which the candidates for certificates should be required to read, and on which the grammatical exercises were to be founded, it was generally felt to be a somewhat serious precedent, and one which, if followed, would materially affect the whole character of the examination. I have been trying, Sir, to account for this apparent departure from rule, and for the resolute adherence of the Council authorities to the course which they have begun in relation to this matter. Perhaps it may interest those of your readers who are trying to qualify themselves for certificates, to review this question briefly, and to ask wbat are the real merits of the book thus forced upon their notice.

In the first place, it is certainly not a good model of English style. Though, on the whole, written in manly and intelligible English, it is disfigured by many solecisms, and by forms of expression which certainly do not deserve imitation. I do not refer to antiquated phraseology merely, for that is, per se, rather a good thing for modern students to become familiar with ; but to many sentences positively ungrammatical, to some which are illogically and loosely hung together, and which never were allowable in any stage of the history of our language. The mass of technical terminology, the numerous repetitions, and the generally redundant style which characterises this in common with other law-books, render it very unsuitable as an example of classical composition. It abounds also in long, cumbrous sentences, which are often exceedingly difficult to parse and analyse.

Perhaps, on this very account, it is the more useful as the basis of grammatical exercise. An easy book would neither stimulate a student to much exertion, nor reward him for it when made. But many parts of this work certainly require to be read with much vigilance, and analysed with great care, before their meaning becomes apparent. In the hands of a good teacher, its few defects of style also may be made the groundwork for hints as to what should be avoided, as well as what should be imitated in writing.

But whatever may be thought of the style which the sentences are structed, there can be no doubt that the book abounds in words suited for etymological analysis, more perhaps than any other work of the same size. The

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history of our legal terms is particularly interesting and important, and there is no class of words whose roots better repay the student's investigation, or furnish better materials for etymological lessons. And not only are the old Roman lawwords curious monuments of language, deserving attentive grammatical study, but there are a few almost obsolete Saxon words, and antiquated forms of other words derived from Latin, such as every student interested in the history of our language ought to examine, and as he will fail to find in such profusion in any other accessible book. It is not an insignificant circumstance, also, that the volume is also a sort of compendium of those short Latin phrases, many of which, though first used as technical law terms, have passed into current speech, and are constantly met with in the language of good writers and speakers in modern times. 'Unless one learns the Latin language itself, he is often puzzled by such phrases as pro tanto, de jure, particeps criminis, and the like, although they have almost become English by frequent use. In reading Blackstone, he will be forced to find out their meaning, and will thus learn a lesson which is of some value.

As to the facts enumerated in “Blackstone's Commentaries," or at least in that portion which bas thus been selected to form the book in question, there can be no doubt as to their great value and importance. Blackstone's own reasons, as stated in his introductory lecture, for urging the study of the English law and constitution upon English gentlemen generally, whether lawyers or not, are unanswerable, and they apply with undiminished force in our own day. An elementary knowledge of the fundamental principles of our common and statute law, and of the application of those principles to a few of the most important social, political, and personal circumstances, is a most desirable acquisition for every man, and not less so for teachers than for others. I am sure that no teacher will rise from the study of this work without feeling glad that his attention has been thus directed to a subject, which although he perhaps would never voluntarily have chosen, is yet of deep interest in itself; of especial service as an adjunct to his historical studies ; and calculated to suggest much useful thought in other directions also.

Throughout Blackstone's work there runs a strain of encomium on English institutions, and of self-congratulation on English laws and liberties, which are somewhat unusual in modern books. A profound and affectionate regard for " glorious Constitution" may be traced through all his pages, a deep conviction that the whole framework of our civil polity is at once the most wonderful and the most precious of human contrivances. This feeling inspires all he says on the subject of law, and although his main purpose is evidently to give a summary of the law itself, and to explain its theory, he never loses sight for a moment of another design, not less important-that of leading Englishmen to love their country, and to be proud of its institutions. His book is not only an exposition of English laws, but a sustained panegyric upon them. I cannot help thinking that in this fact lies the main recommendation of the book. If the spirit which led the writers of former generations to boast of the British Constitution is extinct now, and such boasts have become obsolete and old-fashioned, I am not sure that it is an advantage for us. At any rate, it is useful to go back and to review, de novo, the foundations of our political system, and to ascertain for ourselves whether that system deserves all that has been said in its favour.

I have no doubt as to the result of that investigation. No one can turn from the political discussions of our own day to the calm and learned pages of Blackstone, and observe how all his studies led him to love and admire the English Constitution, without gaining a new sense of his own privileges, and a heightened estimate of the wisdom and foresight by which those privileges have been

It seems to me especially desirable that teachers should be led to such experience as this. They and their pupils are surrounded by influences tending to make them forget these things. Modern popular literature and the habits of modern society are not such as to encourage legal studies, still less do they tend to

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promote that feeling of respectful submission to established authorities, and of reverence for the Constitution, which pervades all the pages of Blackstone. It is all the more necessary, therefore, that this branch of inquiry should be brought prominently before teachers, and made to constitute part of their course of study.

Patriotism is not one of the things formally set down to be taught in their schools, and hardly a subject on which to give specific lessons; but no teacher does his duty, if his general instructions and his influence do not indirectly teach it, and teach it well, too. I am sure that no book will help so much in qualifying him for this duty, as the work of which I am speaking; and here we have, probably, the best argument for its use.

A TEACHER.

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CHEAP SCHOOL-APPARATUS. SIR, I should be very glad if, through your pages, I and my fellow-teachers could obtain a few hints as to the best mode of making or purchasing models, &c., for the illustration of school lessons. The sets of drawing models, the cabinets of classified objects, and the scientific apparatus, which are sold by the educational pub. lishers, are all expensive, and even the excellent rams of the Working Men's Educational Union are practically inaccessible to the teachers of small schools.

Now I do not doubt that many of your readers have hit upon various economical expedients for producing or collecting such articles, and that the details of their successes or failures would be interesting to other teachers besides myself. Will you allow me, therefore, to inquire how I should set about obtaining either of the following articles in the cheapest and most effectual way :-An electrical machine ; a model of a steam engine ; a collection of specimens illustrating the progress of the silk, woollen, or cotton manufacture. If, at the same time, any of your correspondents, who are older teachers than myself, will inform me of any means whereby they have availed themselves of the assistance of the boys or their parents in adding to the furniture and apparatus of the school-room, I shall feel greatly indebted to them.

IoTA.

DICTATION.

SIR,_It has often occurred to me that many schoolmasters lose a great deal of time in dictating sentences to children, with a view to the correction of errors in spelling. In every class there is such a diversity, so many quick and so many slow, that either the one wastes much time, or the others are so hurried, that they cannot help making mistakes. I have found in my own experience that the same results may be obtained in a much simpler way. Place a book, containing an easy passage, by the side of each boy, and bid him copy it out on to a slate, or into a rough notebook. If he be careless, he will make the same mistakes as if he had heard the passage dictated; for, in fact, he reads it from the book and dictates it to himself. All that is contemplated, therefore, by reading out in his hearing, is attained by this method ; for his errors will appear in writing, and may be easily detected and corrected. If, however, he copies it carefully, and really looks at the letters of each word before he transcribes it, and then compares them afterwards, the object is still accomplished, for the pupil's spelling becomes improved and rectified in a very efficacious way. In either case, the teacher saves time, labour, and noise,-three very important things to economise; and at the same time that the lesson becomes more quiet, it also becomes more pleasing and more useful to all concerned in it.

It ought not to be forgotten that spelling is a matter for the eye only, and not for

the ear.

We are none the better for being able to spell a word orally. It is only in writing that this accomplishment is of any value. We want so to train children that their eyes shall be offended by the sight of a mis-spelt word, and that a single glance shall detect an error in this respect. Unless this is done, teaching ortho. graphy has no meaning and no purpose. I think teachers who will try the experiment will find that this end may be well secured without actual dictation, by the quieter and simpler exercise which I have described.

L. N.

THE TEACHING OF COMMON THINGS. Extracted from a lecture recently delivered by Mr. Thomas Crampton, Master of the Brentford British School. The entire lecture well deserves the careful perusal of every elementary teacher.

“In some respects, I could have preferred a name less vague; the term Natural Philosophy would be more definite, but would perhaps be too limited, and too much identified with the apparatus and experiments of the scientific lecture. We must, however, deal with facts as we find them, and accept the term, Common Things,' to represent our school course of physics, the science of familiar objects, the principles of physiology in their relation to health ; to which may be added, the most familiar arrangements of social life, involving the main principles of political economy. Mind, I would refer to the principles of these several subjects to explain the philosophy of the object, or common things, selected, and not select a number of common things to illustrate a course of lessons on any of the above subjects. This latter course, though apparently systematic, would be inconsistent with our direct purpose of exploring the philosophy of the facts that fall under our observation. We must, at starting, not only refer to the objects most common to our respective pupils, but also clothe our explanations in most familiar language. Though I advocate the science of common things, I deprecate the scientific language thereof, understanding thereby mere technical phraseology. "Nothing, conceive, is so calculated to defeat our object of arousing thoughtful attention to familiar subjects, as failing to be homely and well understood in our explanations. A feeling of depression inevitably arises in our pupils' minds, together with disappointment, that their labour-excessive and strained has been in vain. This induces a tone of disgust which is likely to associate itself with other educational operations.

“ I conceive we shall regard a knowledge of common things less for any probable special adaptation to the future employments of our youths, than as bearing on their general development of mind and character. Somebody very justly observed, that we have not to educate boys to become shoemakers, or tailors, or labourers, but men. Of course, the common duties of every-day life among all classes prove the necessity for a knowledge of common things. But whether such knowledge should form part of school instruction is a very different question. It would be simply absurd to attempt to teach one-hundredth part of the knowledge gained by common observation. A child sees that a cow has horns, that a dog runs, and that a bird flies, and we need not arrange an encyclopædiac course, which assumes ignorance of such matters. So far as the mere dogmatic teaching of common facts is concerned, I regard such teaching as useless, owing to the knowledge being already gained, and absurd, by occupying the time which could be better devoted to the subjects that could not be studied out of school. Allow me to claim your earnest attention on this point, as I fear young teachers will be liable to glide unconsciously into this error, of being very industrious in the inculcation of facts; of working very hard at grinding or cramming--esteeming too exclusively the powers of memory--and reproaching themselves for failure at any fact being unknown. In such teaching I have not only no faith, but conceive it will produce vague, desultory, and enervating results; tending to supersede rather than stimulate observation, and altogether ignoring the higher mental powers. The want of inductiveness, in truth, characterises too much of our ordinary teaching. Our lesson-books are too often formed on the ide: that the development of the reasoning faculty, by means of the reading lesson, was not worth consideration. We have had plenty of descriptive lessons of all sorts of things, and in all sorts of styles; but I fear there are few, if any, simple inductive lessons in many of the common reading books.

“You are now prepared for the remark, that the including of 'common things' in our daily routine, depeuds on what methods we adopt, or rather what principles we keep in view, in teaching the subject. I can see no necessity for making it special, if the teaching be merely dogmatic. This mere inculcation of facts on common things only requires the taking of a quarter-of-an-hour daily from writing, arithmetic, and grammar, and devoting this time to reading text-books of what any one's fancy may deem common things.

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I would earnestly impress upon you the importance of carrying out, as much as possible, the valuable Pestalozzian plan of using the object itself. It is a trite maxim with us, that the eye learns as well as the ear, and we do wisely to enlist all the senses we can, in the process of mental development. Lord Ashburton, you remember, attributed the development of his own mind very much to the six months he studied at the University of Geneva. There," he says, “I did not indeed learn much, but my eyes were opened to mark and understand what had before passed unheeded. Faculties were called into play, which lay till then undeveloped, and I found my mind ripen more rapidly during these four months, than in years previous. I need not stay to remark on the prevalence of Pestalozzian principles and methods at Geneva, where they estimate the importance of objects in teaching much better than we do. However familiar be the object, eren such a thing as a pocket-knife, so well known to every urchin, the attention is kept up, interest excited, and general mental activity sustained by the mere sight of the knife.

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