« AnteriorContinuar »
tures, interpret them through the deceitful prism of their own passions, and have them continually in their hands, universally endeavouring to propagate them as much as possible by means of the Bible Society...... Now one of these false ministers came on board our vessel to offer the unhappy gift of these adulterated Bibles; but the commander and myself opposed ourselves to such pernicious generosity. Miserable that they are! Is it possible that those who are in the dark should give light to those who are in the light, or that the religion which the chief of the Apostles came to preach in their city, and which is maintained pure and ardent as it was handed down from our pious ancestors, should cool in the hearts of Neapolitans ?
We confess, we think Padre Capobianco had a right to be indignant; but we must pass on to his account of Boston. He says,- "Boston is a city fortified by nature and by art. It rises upon three most pleasant hills, one of which is Bunkerhill, upon the summit of which towers the famous monument named Bunkerhill, erected to commemorate the victory gained by the Americans over the English in 1776. It was commenced by the Engineer O'Donnell Webiter, in 1827, under the presidency of the celebrated la Fayette, and finished in 1843."* This actually beats Captain Hall. He goes on: "The streets of this city are curved and irregular, paved with wood, furnished with wide sidewalks for the convenience of foot-passengers, and spread into delightful squares of surprising cleanliness. It is composed of vast temples, sumptuous establishments, and fine buildings. Among them the City Hall is chiefly worthy of notice. It rises upon a height near to the public garden, and presents a majestic appearance, with columns of white marble, and wide steps leading to the large hall where the senate meets. . . . . . Among the streets, that one is memorable which his grateful country has dedicated to the memory of him who snatched the lightning from the clouds, that is to say, Franklin. . . . . . Finally, erected to the adornment of the city are the Exchange, the Custom-house, the Athenæum, the Library, a Museum, a Steam Printing Establishment, and a most beautiful Arsenal, in which is a cabinet enriched with rare and precious articles, ancient and modern, and even from savage nations brought there by the officers of the navy on their return from the most remote portions of the globe."
Certainly Padre Raffaele observed with favorable eyes, prob
* Lest our readers should doubt the accuracy of our translation, we give here the original :-"Esso fu cominciato dall' Ingegniere O'Donnell Webiter nel 1827 sotto la presidenza del celebre la Fayette e terminato nel 1843."
ably because the miserable Protestants did not here attempt to molest him. The Urania left Boston in June, and after going to Holland, visited the English ports of Portsmouth, and Plimout, or Plymuth, or Plismhut, for it is spelt in these three ways within as many pages, and thence returned by the usual route to Naples.
2.-Titus Livius: Selections from the first five Books, together with the Twenty-first and Twenty-second Books entire ; chiefly from the Text of Alschefski, with English Notes for Schools and Colleges. By J. L. LINCOLN, Professor of Latin in Brown University. New York: D. Appleton & Co. 1847. 12mo. pp. 329.
EVEN English scholars admit the light received through German media, and are glad to profit by it in these days. It was to be expected, then, that Cisatlantic students would strive to lay hold of all means of expanding their field of view, even in ancient history and philology. Accordingly, we find the German philologists and classical editors exerting a very decided influence on the studies of our undergraduates and instructors. Professor Lincoln has spent some time in Germany, adding to his early acquirements in the Latin language, and fitting himself for the office of a teacher. He became, doubtless, soon aware, that, while most of our means of study have been, within twenty years, vastly improved, some text-books, which were excellent for their time, have been left stationary, and needed revisal to meet the wants of the present race of pupils and teachers. He has performed his duty as editor in a very creditable manner, giving evidence of unpretending but accurate scholarship, and a conscientious regard for the rights of others.
On the one
It is not an easy task to prepare such a book. hand, the editor must give every needful aid; he must pass over no difficulty without explanation; he must stimulate to research, and point the way. Yet, on the other hand, he must not, by too much direct aid, enfeeble and render dependent the minds which are to be educated by him. They must learn to act for themselves and judge for themselves, or they will be the worse for every aid offered. Above all, he must make honorable and truthful men by his own upright example.
The notes of such an editor will be rich in references to works where the principles of grammar and interpretation are devel
oped, and where facts in history, geography, and archæology applicable to the text are stated. The desire to benefit others must be alone apparent as his motive. No line he pens should rob another of his due. If possible, it would be well that no passage should be merely translated, and so left. The data may be collected for the pupil, but in nearly all cases it were well, that he should be left to draw for himself the inference which gives him the interpretation.
Such, in their main features, are the aids offered by Professor Lincoln. He has taken the latest and most approved text as the foundation of his own. The selections are judicious. We are particularly pleased with the selection of the entire books which relate the occurrences during Hannibal's invasion of Italy, an event so momentous and interesting.
We must close this notice with the expression of the hope, that all our scholars will remember, while they are provided with such improved instruments for observation as these modern aids for understanding the style and reaching the meaning of the ancients, that their ultimate aim should be, not merely to contemplate the instrument, nor even to observe the phenomena it reveals, but to deduce the great laws of human and divine life and thought displayed thereby.
Locke Amsden, or the Schoolmaster; a Tale. By the Author of "May Martin " and "The Green Mountain Boys." Boston: B. B. Mussey & Co. 1847. 12mo. pp. 231.
THIS volume, written by Judge Thompson, of Montpelier, Vermont, is greatly superior to his former publications. It is the first novel that we have seen, the main purpose of which is to advocate and improve the American system of common schools. The writer has performed his work with discretion, good sense, and some skill and humor in the delineation of character. He does not dive among transcendental ideas to find a new basis for elementary education, but represents children and facts as they actually exist, and proceeds to point out the best modes of improving the people's colleges. As nineteen children out of twenty in our land receive in these common schools all the instruction which they ever obtain, it is of measureless importance that the schools should be constantly watched, and the proper mode of managing them be generally understood. Locke Amsden comes forward as a judicious and popular advocate of
school reform, and discourses with considerable ability about school-houses, ventilation, school-books, school-committees, and competent teachers, as well as the best modes of instruction and government. These topics form the main trunk of the book, round which the author has quite prettily entwined the tendrils of a love-story. While book-learning has its place of honor assigned it, self-culture and habits of reflection not learned from books are strongly inculcated. Captain Bill Bunker is the character introduced to illustrate these qualities. Locke Amsden is the schoolmaster, who shows both sources of knowledge united, and his character is well sustained throughout, though it is less original than that of Bunker. His examination as candidate for the situation of teacher of a country district school is laughable enough, and shows with ludicrous fidelity what a farce is acted over in this respect, every season, in most of our villages and smaller towns. The superiority of the solid to the merely ornamental branches in education is humorously set forth in the contrast between two families. Every young lady in the United States might derive a profitable lesson from this portion of the story. The burning of Carter's house, near the end of the tale, is, we confess, rather too tragic a catastrophe for our taste, though professed novel-readers may not complain of it. The heroine is left in the house, and while her lover and father are vainly seeking for her among the flames, she suddenly appears on the roof, which is about to fall. It required all the sagacity of the ingenious Captain Bunker, and all the desperation of a frantic lover, to rescue her from death; and we must think, that the rescue was effected rather more easily than the perilous circumstances would permit. We know that love, at such a crisis, has giant strength and angel wings; but we remember that gravitation does not, on that account, relax a tittle of its claims.
With regard to style, the work is an improvement on May Martin. The language is clear and strong, though there are a few sentences which might be remodelled to advantage. The chief aim of the book is worthy of all praise. It recognizes that central principle in the Prussian system, "As is the teacher, so is the school"; and its main purpose is to illustrate the doctrine, that competent teachers cannot have bad schools, incompetent teachers cannot have good ones. If New England would elevate her seminaries of learning to the point required for the due support of civilization, liberty, and religion, she must have accomplished teachers. We know of few books on this all-important subject which can be read with more profit by all classes than Locke Amsden, revealing, as it does, the defective systems of instruction that are in use, and suggesting the proper remedy for existing evils.
4. — The Journals of MAJOR SAMUEL SHAW, the first American Consul at Canton. With a Life of the Author, by JOSIAH QUINCY. Boston: Crosby & Nichols. 1847. Svo. pp. 360.
THIS volume is a valuable addition to the materials, not only for our revolutionary, but for our commercial history. The part of the work executed by Mr. Quincy is marked by the grasp and vigor of intellect which have stamped themselves upon all his words and deeds. The memoir of Mr. Shaw is written with excellent taste and judgment. It illustrates one of the most pleasing characters that adorned the times of our great national struggle.
Samuel Shaw was born in Boston, October 2d, 1754. He was educated at the Boston Latin School, that prolific mother of good and great men, under the care of Master Lovell. But instead of going to college at the close of his school-days, he entered the counting-house, where he continued until the troubles with the mother country gave a military turn to his thoughts, and opened a different career from the profession he had chosen. As soon as he attained the age of twenty-one, he enlisted in the army then under Washington, at Cambridge. From this time to the end of the war, he wrote a series of letters, addressed to his father, his brother, and the Rev. Dr. Eliot, which not only display the most amiable qualities, but give very interesting glimpses of the scenes and characters of the Revolution. We are greatly struck with the correctness and elegance of their style, and it is pleasing to observe the classical taste which Mr. Shaw preserved in after life from the discipline of the Latin School. The relations between him and his parents and friends were of the most confidential and delightful kind; and we feel grateful to Mr. Quincy for this peep behind the curtain of the past, into the pri vate life of the olden times in Boston.
Some of the earliest of these letters are written from Cambridge, and contain details of the military operations, until the British evacuated Boston. In 1776, Mr. Shaw accompanied the army to New York, whence his correspondence continues, and is filled, not only with notices of military affairs, but pleasant sketches of manners and society there. Among the events particularly described in the letters are the battles of Princeton, Brandywine, Germantown, and Monmouth. It is pleasant to find the young soldier expressing, in confidential correspondence with his own family, in the most ardent terms, his affection and veneration for Washington. "When I contemplate the virtues of