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mind to throw light on the characters described and the doctrines recommended in the Gospel of St. Matthew. The volumes abound with interesting and instructive anecdotes. They cannot fail to be found a welcome and valuable acquisition in school libraries, as well as for the young in general.
An Abridgment of the Pupil Teacher's English Grammar and Etymology, adapted to the Higher Classes of Elementary Schools. Published for the use of the Model Schools of the Cheltenham Training Institution. Simpkin, Marshall, and Co. Price 6d. or 8d. bound in limp cloth.
A cheap and useful grammar. We take the liberty of suggesting to the author, in his next edition, to mark the quantities in the list of roots, in order to guide the Teacher in their pronunciation. Greek and Latin words sometimes undergo strange changes in country schools, from the want of a help of this kind.
Schools of Ancient Philosophy. Religious Tract Society. (Monthly Series.)
This is a well-written book; but we much question the propriety of introducing a treatise on so abstruse a subject into the “Monthly Series.”
In the first place, the tenets of the ancient philosophers cannot well be understood without a previous acquaintance with the technical terms used by metaphysicians, and such an acquaintance comparatively few possess. The best short treatise which we know upon the ancient philosophy, is the abridgment by Tennemann of his larger history of philosophy. Many years have elapsed since we read Tennemann's little treatise ; but we remember that, excellent in method and precision of statement as it was, a reader not conversant with technical terms would have found it unintelligible.
The same difficulty will meet an ordinary reader in the present treatise.
Again, the subject is so extensive, and the points of view which may be taken are so numerous, that a small treatise is quite unsuited for the task.
A good history of philosophy, on Christian principles, has yet to be written. And gladly should we welcome the appearance of such a book, as in some measure supplying an antidote to the flood of pantheism and infidelity which is now pouring into this country from France and Germany. But such a history should be profoundly written, and addressed to persons who have leisure for pursuing abstruse studies.
The great mass of Christians will rest satisfied with St. Paul's declaration, “Where is the wise? where is the scribe? where is the disputer of this world ? hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world? For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.” (1 Cor. i. 20, 21.)
The Atmosphere, and Atmospherical Phenomena. By THOMAS
instructive and useful little book. We quote Dr. Dick's account of the well-known experiment by which the famous Pascal refuted a dogma borrowed from the ancient philosophers, whose speculations we have been considering in the preceding notice.
“It has been proved by a variety of accurate experiments, that the atmosphere presses on every part of the earth's surface with a force, at an average, equal to about fifteen pounds on every square inch. This has been ascertained by what is called the Torricellian experiment. Take a glass tube about three feet long, open at one end, and hermetically sealed at the other: fill it with quicksilver, putting the finger upon the open end, turn that end downwards, and immerse it in a small vessel of quicksilver, without admitting any air, then take away the finger, and the quicksilver will remain suspended in the tube about twenty-nine and a half inches above its surface in the vessel, sometimes more and sometimes less, according to the state of the atmosphere. It is evident, then, that the quick silver is kept up in the tube to this elevation by the pressure of the atmosphere upon the surface of the mercury in the bason; for, if the bason and tube are put under a glass, and the air extracted, all the quicksilver in the tube will fall down into the bason; and, if the air be re-admitted, it will rise to the same height as before; or, if an opening be made in the top of the tube, and the air admitted, the quicksilver will sink into the bason. The pressure, therefore, by the atmosphere on the earth is the same as if a coating of quicksilver twenty-nine and a half inches thick were spread over every part of the earth's surface..
“Now, it is proved that a square column of quicksilver, twentynine and a half inches in height, and one inch thick, weighs just fifteen pourds, which counterpoise a column of air of the same thickness, extending to the top of the atmosphere; and, consequently, the air presses with this force upon every square inch of the earth's surface; and, of course, 2,160 pounds on every square foot, and 19,440 on every square yard. The experiment now described is, in fact, nothing else than the common barometer. The tube of the barometer is filled with quicksilver, or mercury; it then stands in a bason of quicksilver, is connected with a ball containing quicksilver, on the surface of which the atmosphere presses, and, in most cases, stands at an elevation of about twenty-nine and a half inches, but subject to certain variations, according to the state of the atmosphere. When the weather is steady and serene, it rises to above thirty inches ; when it is stormy and rainy, it frequently sinks to twenty-eight inches, or under, thus indicating the changes that take place in the weight of the air; and hence, it has obtained the name of the weather-glass.
“Were the same experiment made with water, instead of mercury, a tube must be provided of about thirty-six feet long; and then it would be found, that the water in the tube would be supported by the atmospheric pressure to the height of thirty-two or thirty-three feet. This costly experiment, which has been seldom repeated, was first performed by the celebrated Pascal, at Rouen, in Normandy, in 1617. He exhibited the experiment bcth with water and with wine, in order to show the different heights to which these fluids would rise, according to their respective densities. He procured, at a glass-house, tubes of crystal glass forty feet long, which were fixed to the mast of a ship, that was contrived to be raised or depressed, as occasion required. He appointed a day for performing this experiment, and invited all the philosophers and others who doubted of the pressure of the atmosphere to attend, and to be witnesses of the wonderful nature of his experiment. The result was, according to the calculations he had previously made, that the altitude of water in the tube was thirty-one and one-ninth Paris feet, equal to thirty-two feet two and a half inches English; and the altitude of the wine was somewhat greater, namely, thirtyone and two-thirds Paris feet, or thirty-two feet ten inches English; the wine, on account of its superior levity, rising about seven and a half inches higher than the water. He performed this experiment to convince the Aristotelian philosophers of those times of the folly of a notion which then prevailed, that the rise of the mercury in the Torricellian experiment and the rise of water in pumps were produced, not by the pressure of the atmosphere, but by an occult quality, which they denominated 'Nature's abhorrence of a vacuum. They asserted that, in the upper part of the tube, deserted by the quicksilver, there were contained some spirits, evaporated from the quicksilver ; which, being rarefied, filled up that space, thus assisting nature, in a great emergency, against her mortal enemy, a vachum. • Well, then, gentlemen,' says Pascal, 'take your own way. Here are two tubes, the one I am to fill with water, and the other with wine. You will all readily admit that there is a greater quantity of spirits in wine than in water; and, consequently, that, if the empty space between the upper surface of the fluids and the top of the tube be filled with spirits, there will be a greater quantity of spirits in the upper part of the tube containing the wine, than in the tube containing the water; and, of course, the wine will not rise so high as the water.' To this they all readily assented. But, when the experiment was made, the wine was found to rise nearly eight inches higher than the water, as Pascal had previously calculated and predicted. This experiment was decisive ; and, since that period, the figment of Nature's abborrence of a vacuum,' along with many other absurdities, has been consigned to the slumber of the dark ages whence it originated.”
FOR THE WEEK-DAY TEACHER.
CAUTIONS TO TEACHERS. 1. Never do anything for a scholar, but teach him to do it for himself. How many cases occur, in the schools of our country, where the boy brings his slate to the Teacher, saying he cannot do a certain sum. The Teacher takes the slate and pencil, performs the work in silence-brings the result-returns the slate the hands of his pupil—who walks off to his seat, and goes to work on the next example; perfectly satisfied with the manner in which he is passing on. A man who has not done this a hundred times himself, will hardly believe it possible that such a practice can prevail. It is so evidently a waste of time, both for master and scholar,
2. Never get out of patience with dulness. Perhaps I ought to say, never get out of patience with any thing, that would perhaps be the wisest rule ; but above all things, remember that dulness and stupidity, (and you will certaiuly find them in every school,) are the very last things to get out of patience with. If the Creator has so formed the mind of a boy, that he must go through life slowly and with difficulty, impeded by obstructions, which others do not feel, and depressed by discouragements which others never know, his lot is surely hard enough, without having you to add to it the trials and suffering, which sarcasm and reproach from you can heap upon him. Look over your school-room, therefore, and wherever you find one whom you perceive the Creator to have endued with less intellectual power than others, fix your eye upon him with an expression of kindness and sympathy. Such a boy will have suffering enough from the selfish tyranny of his companions ; he ought to find in you a protector and friend. One of the greatest pleasures which a Teacher's life affords, is the interest of seeking out such an one, bowed down with burdens of depression and discouragement, unaccustomed to sympathy and kindness, and expecting nothing for the future but a weary continuation of the cheerless toils, which have embittered the past; and the pleasure of taking off the burden, of surprising the timid, disheartened sufferer by kind words and cheering looks, and of seeing, in his countenance, the expression of ease and even of happiness, gradually returning.
3. The Teacher should be interested in all his scholars, and aim equally to secure the progress of all. Let there be no neglected ones in the school-room. We should always remember, that however unpleasant in countenance and manners that hashful boy in the corner may be, or however repulsive in appearance, or unhappy in disposition, that girl, seeming to be interested in nobody, and nobody appearing interested in her, they still have each of them a mother who loves her own child, and takes a deep and constant interest in its history. Those mothers have a right, too, that their children should receive their full share of attention in a school which has been established for the common and equal benefit of all.*- Abbott's Teacher.
EXAMINATION QUESTIONS. We think the following questions, proposed some years ago, at the
examination of the Chester Diocesan Training College, will be found to be useful exercises in self-examination for Teachers preparing themselves for the Government Examinations. QUESTIONS PROPOSED BY THE INSPECTOR.
9th APRIL, 1844.—MORNING. 1. WRITE out any four of the promises of Scripture, with a careful attention to the penmanship and punctuation.
* Yes ; but anterior to the consideration of the parent, is the consideration of the child itself. It is at least as important for the pupil of little abilities to have them cultivated, and advanced, if possible, to respectable mediocrity, as for one more highly gifted to have his talents cherished and pushed on to superior brilliancy.Note by the lute Dr. Mayo.