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Our Book Table. organ of Congregationalism in New England, and
hence sectarian, yet it is a reliable resource for
the stirring events of the day. Its character has A COMPENDIUM OF CLASSICAL LITERATURE; com- always maintained an integrity which cannot be
prising choice extracts translated from the best Greek anil Roman writers, with biographical denied. Its home and foreign correspondence has sketches, accounts of their works, and notes di- a high literary tone, while much talent finds its recting to the best editions and translations. way into the discussions of religious tenets. We Part 1 – From Homer to Longinus. Part II - believe it has the largest circulation of any news. From Plantus to Boëthius. By Charles Dexter Cleaveland, formerly Professor of the Latin and paper of the kind in New England. There are Greek languages in Dickinson College, Carlisle, also very many valuable hints on agriculture, while Pa., and of the Latin language and literature of the fireside and domestic circle enjoys a visit each the New York University. Philadelphia : E. C. and J. Biddle & Co., No. 508 Minor street. 1861. week with wholesome and entertaining matter for
We have read quite thoroughly parts of this the little ones. Who can do without one religious work. The author has evinced a sound classical family newspaper ? Such is the number of this taste in the manner in which the various authors class of prints that no one need complain of their have been brought before the reader. The biogra- want. phy here given of each writer is concise and rendered, we think, with great fidelity. Although SMITH'S ILLUSTRATED ASTRONOMY. Designed for
the use of the Public or Common Schools in the many translations might have been here inserted United States. Illustrated with numerous orig. which are not here, yet the author has summoned inal diagrams. By Asa Smith, formerly Princithe brightest stars in the great firmament of the
pal of Public School No. 12. city of New York.
Boston : Chase, Nichols & Hill, 43 Washington classics. This book will be of great use to all stu- street. 1861. dents in contrasting the varieties of style, as well
It is enough to say of any work of this kind that as sentiment. This will prove a valuable auxiliary it has been revised and improved from notes and in the study of the English classics as a book of manuscripts of the new discoveries which have class reference. All objectionable matter found been made to 1860, by Prof. Newcomb, of the assometimes in the works of ancient writers has been tronomical department of Cambridge, Mass. It is scrupulously omitted. We shall keep copies on destined to go into many common schools. our table of reference books, most assuredly.
We take pleasure in calling attention to the ad. MAYHEW's PractiCAL BOOK-KEEPING. Embrac-vertisement of E. S. Richie, of 313 Washington
ing Single and Double Entry, Commercial Cal- street, Boston. A splendid catalogue has recentculations, &c. By Ira Mayhew, A. M., author of " Means and Ends of Universal Education." ly been issued, giving in detail the great variety of Boston : Chase, Nichols & Hill. 1861. common school apparatus as well as of a more ad
This book has not only the usual rules and forms vanced kind. Any orders for repairing, or for of such a work, but several paragraphs treating of school instruments, &c., will be promptly attended various exchanges and banks, with their uses, to by forwarding to John J. Ladd, of Providence, while one of the best features we potice, is the ap
In our last number we inadvertently neglected peal which it makes to the judgment of the pupil in the work of adjusting accounts. It receives the to give credit to the author of the excellent story hearty approval of a large circle of experienced
for boys, entitled “ Not Ashamed of Ridicule."
It will be found in one of the series of Sargent's accountants. It is just the thing for common
Readers, and was written by Mr. Sargent's own schools.
pen as most of the best matter in those books is
written by himself. We hold this as a valid reaEXCELSIOR SONG Book; A collection of Songs,
Chants and Hymns designed for Juvenile Class- son why they are so fresh and entertaining.
THE DICTIONARIES. - The Massachusetts Le. principles of musical notation. By B. F. Baker. gislature have just rejected, by a large majority, a Boston: Chase, Nichols & Hill. 1860.
proposition to put a copy of Worcester's Dictionary We can truly say of this book what can seldom in each of the public schools in the State. In the be said of another, to wit, that the subject is judi- home of the two dictionaries, Webster seems to be iously arranged for the learner. It goes on from the favorite, as well as elsewhere. Efforts for the simplest explanation of voice and music to the Worcester have also recently failed with the Lehigher principles of the subject, while the pupil is gislatures of Maine and Pennsylvania. pleasantly led upward in this delightful study.
We are receiving calls for the Universal GazetAmong our exchanges we have no one which we teer from some of our enterprising co-laborers, and derive more pleasure in perusal than the Congre- have no doubt, as we can furnish back numbers, gationalist, published by Galen James & Co.. No, that many will secure this two-fold advantage15 Cornhill, Boston. Price, $2.00 a year in ad- that of a book worth $6.00 as well as widening
This paper, although the acknowledged the circuit of the teacher's journal.
The R. Schoolmaster.
HIS INSTRUCTION IN NORMAL SCHOOLS.
For the Schoolmaster.
by the example and the precepts of the judiDana P. Colburn.
cious principal, and drinking in his enthusiastic
spirit, he continued for over two years to lay (We are permitted to make the flowing ex
the foundation of his future distinction in this tract from an exceedingly interesting memoir of
department, until in July, 1850, he removed to Dana P. Colburn, prepared by Daniel Goodwin,
Newton to engage in private tuition and to asEsq., for several years associated with Mr. Col
sist Dr. Sears in the Institutes. burn in our Normal School. The entire paper
During the spring and the early summer of will soon appear in Barnard's American Journal
1852, he again engaged in normal instruction as of Education.)
assistant of Prof. Russell, having charge of the
divisions of arithmetic and geography, in his THERE can be no doubt that the great work school at Merrimao, N. H. While there, Mr. of Mr. Colburn's life was his instruction in Colburn, with Prof. Russell and Mr. Arthur normal schools. For ten years he consecrated Sumner, another assistant teacher, entered into to this avocation his ripest powers of mind and an engagement with Prof. Greene, then Superheart, and by his success in it the value of his intendent of Public Schools in Providence, to brief life must be estimated. The normal school- open a normal school in that city. This school, room was his work-shop, whence emanated his the outgrowth of a normal class held the premost positive influence on the surrounding ceding winter by Prof. Greene in the hall of world, and where his loss will be longest felt. the Providence High School, was accordingly
He entered upon this branch of instruction commenced in the autum of 1852 as a private as assistant in the Normal School at Bridgewa- enterprise, supported by the fees of pupils and ter, in March, 1848, resigning the charge of the the liberality of citizens interested in education. school at Brookline, although he was there re- It continued for five or six months with an averceiving a higher salary than was offered him in age of seventy-five scholars, and attracted the his new position. His respect and affection for attention of the best educators of the State by his former instructor, Mr. Tillinghast, was so the excellence and the novelty of its methods great that he gladly made the sacrifice for the of instruction. The triumphant success of the satisfaction of being associated with him, wise- experiment led to a repetition of the session ly judging that the advantage of his compan- during the next winter with the same teachers. ionship and counsel more than compensated for For the intervening period, the summer of 1853, any mere pecuniary loss. His aim was to ob- Mr. Colburn was engaged at the New England tain the highest possible usefulness as a teacher. Normal Institute, Lancaster, Massachusetts, a By his pupils at Bridgewater, he was always school of a most superior standard, conducted regarded with much affection ; his genial man- by Prof. Russell, with such associates as Prof. ners, vivacious conversation and genuine inter- Krůsi and Prof. Whitaker. During the second est in their prosperity rendering him a highly winter of the private Normal School at Proviacceptable instructor. In this school, profiting dence, the necessity of rendering it a public
and permanent institution came to be generally been previously learned. The agreeable exciterecognized, and in the spring of 1854 it was ment of such exercises tended to bring every adopted by the School Committee of the city, power of the mind into play, and to cultivate a and provided for by an appropriation from the readiness and agility of thought rarely reached city council.
even in our best high schools and colleges. Of this school Mr. Colburn was appointed In securing animation, Mr. Colburn was by principal, but, before he entered upon his du- no means neglectful of thoroughness. When ties, another change occurred in its manage- he requested a pupil to explain any process, he ment. By the exertion and advice of the State never allowed him to omit or slur over a single Commissioner of Public Schools, Hon. Elisha step, unless one already so familiar as to be eaR. Potter, the Assembly was induced to assume sily taken for granted. For each step he rethe responsibility of its support as a State insti- quired the principle to be stated, and did not tution, without any change in its teachers or its let it pass until the scholar perfectly understood organization.
it, never allowing an arbitrary rule to take the On the 29th day of May, 1854, he opened the place of an analysis. Rhode Island State Normal School, and, al- In accordance with the normal theory, he of. though several times invited to other fields and ten appointed a member of the class to conduct tempted by greater emolument, continued in an exercise under his own eye, and thus to apcharge of it till the day of his death. He was ply practically the didactic principles he had henceforth its leading spirit. Whatever, there- been learning. This was styled either a teachfore, it came to be is to be attributed, in the ing-exercise or an examination-exercise. In the main, to his talents and his perseverance. The former case the class was considered, for the same commodious hall and recitation rooms on time, as composed of beginners, and the tempoBroad street, which had been occupied by the rary teacher endeavored to present some subPrivate School, continued to be occupied by the ject in such a way as would appeal most easily State School as long as it remained in Provi- and most naturally to the understanding of a dence. In 1857, it was decided by the State child. In the latter case it was the teacher's Assembly to be expedient to remove it from the business to discover what each pupil had acquirCity to Bristol, where it still remains in the plea- ed either from the previous teaching-exercise or sant and convenient apartments provided by the from books. At the close Mr. Colburn used to Town Council of that town.
call for the criticisms of the members of the In reviewing Mr. Colburn's methods of in- class, as to the manner and the accuracy of the struction and his manner of conducting the conductor of the exercise, and himself added school, the most salient points are, perhaps the such suggestions as would lead him to gain cheerfulness and the liveliness which pervaded greater self-reliance and to adopt a more affable every exercise. He was himself always in good style of address, a simpler and more exact mode spirits, teaching because he loved it, and, where of expression, or a more natural and logical orit was not totally absent by nature, never failed der in presenting facts and principles. Withal to elicit a corresponding degree of viracity on in such a genial and kindly spirit did he convey the part of his pupils. Many of his exercises, these hints, that even the most delicate sensiparticularly when there was a great class, were tiveness was rarely wounded. like play, — full of joy and laughter; and yet Although mathematical science was his cho. there was hard work done by every student sen department of instruction, he yet especially with all this merry face. Question and answer avoided, in the scope of his teaching, an exclu. were sent forward and back and through the sive bias toward what are called practical studies. ranks so promptly that, out of a large class, He delighted in promoting a broad culture and nearly every member got a good share of atten- was fond of general exercises, where he could tion, and no one was suffered to wander. Es throw aside text-books, and discuss, with all pecially sprightly were his exercises in arithme- the members of the school, questions of taste, tic. So rapidly were long mental processes per- politics, commerce, and history. In these exerformed by scholars who had been a short time cises he would often display an amount of culunder his training, that when the same result ture and information truly remarkable, in view was given by the whole class at once, it seemed of the imperfection of his means of education. like magic, and spectators, present for the first Sometimes he would discuss a question in natime, scarcely believed that the answers had not tural philosophy and so draw on his pupils by
skillful questioning as to make them seem to cussion of what are commonly considered the discover for themselves the principles involved simplest matters, such as the most reasonalle As far as possible he endeavored to illustrate methods of teaching the alphabet, and the first each point by experiment, or to fix it on the lessons in reading words and figures, rightly mind by an exhibition of the object to which it esteeming the mastery of a system of arbitrary app'ied. At another time he would present the characters for the expression of thought the outlines of the science of astronomy, and by most difficult achievement of the human mind. the force of his vivid illustrations, so lift his Help a child well over this barrier to intellectual hearers with him in imagination above our pla- advancement and he will help himself over the net, that they could not choose but see all the rest. No torn and blood-stained banner tells of bodies of the solar system revolving in their or more hard-fought battles than a well-thumbed der, the earth among the rest. Then taking primer. The dull and neglectful methods of advantage of this imaginary point of view, he teaching the abcedarians, often adopted on the would direct the attention to the various rela- plea of gaining time for the older scholars, is tions that determine the changes of the seasons, like launching a ship without lubricating the the varying temperature of the zones, or eclipses ways, and then oiling the sea. Often would a of the sun and the moon, so much more easily young lady, who had already gained the repugrasped from an outside stand-point. Indeed tation of an experienced teacher, and could have one of the prime secrets of his success was his demonstrated a proposition in geometry or gone great imaginative power and his happy faculty through an abstruse discussion in algebra withfor impressing a lively picture on the imagina. out tripping, utterly fail in giving an exercise, tion of others.
without the aid of a text-book, in teaching the While he particularly delighted in inviting alphabet or the first steps in arithmetic. the attention of his pupils to generous researches In the government of the school, Mr. Colburn in the higher fields of science and of literature, almost attained the acme of perfection by not he yet never forgot that his main business was seeming to govern at all. He never issed any to teach how to teach the elementary branches arbitrary rules, so often only guides to insuborin the common schools of the State. It was dination, but rather depended on creating a high on account of his keeping this constantly in moral atmosphere in which the scholar found view that the Rhode Island School has acquired doing right more natural and easy than doing a reputation, for its strictly normal character, wrong. He never assumed an arbitrary mansecond to none in America. He was accustom- ner, but strove by kindness and manifest honed to set apart a portion of each term to famil-esty of purpose to win over all to his side. iar lectures on the Theory and Practice of Teach- Every one felt that the Principal was earnest ing, in which he would discuss the best methods and sincere, and thus became earnest and sinof opening a school for the first time, the man- cere himself. Probably there was never a school ner in which a young teacher should conduct where a majority of the scholars were more wellhimself in order to win the respect and the con- disposed towards the teacher; yet he did not, fidence of his pupils and their parents, the prin- in gaining their good-will, sacrifice his dignity ciples to guide him in the arrangement of classes and his proper authority. When cases of disand the selection of text-books, the necessity of cipline arose, he managed them with firmness a rigid order of exercises, the most prudent sys- and decision, but never with the slightest hasty tem of discipline, the proper treatment of re- feeling. After listening patiently to all extenufractory scholars, and the legal rights and lia- ating circumstances, he would state his conclubilities of a teacher. There can be no doubt sion so reasonably and so kindly, that the ofthat, embodied in these lectures, was an amount fender would almost always anticipate the penof practical wisdom, founded on enlightened alty and acknowledge its justice. So singular theory, sufficient to form a volume of high val. was his prudence in such cases that it is doubtue to the young teacher. Nor were his pupila ful if he ever had occasion to regret an unwise on such occasions mere passive listeners. He or an unjust decision. Almost certain is it that always delighted to lead them to the desired no scholar left the school entertaining perma-, results by carefully arranged questions, rather nent ill-will against him. than to attempt to convince them by a dogmatic While his primary aim was always to have a statement of his own opinion.
hard-working school, he yet did not fail to diHe was not ashamed to descend to the dis- versify labor by such social amenities as would make it more agreeable and attractive. In ad. In the open casement a lingering bee dition to recreations now and then on a small
Murmured a drowsy tune; scale, he every summer arranged some excur
And from the upland meadows, a song, sion or entertainment, such as a sail down the
In the lulls of the afternoon,
Had come on the air that wandered by, Bay, a clambake, or a pic-nic on the sea-shore,
Laden with the scents of June. in which all the pupils and many of their friends were invited to participate. At these times his Our tasks were finished, and lessons said, genial spirits reigned supreme, and he attained And we sat all hushed and still, the height of happiness in ministering to the Listening to the purl of the brook, happiness of others. The most notable of these And the whirl of the distant mill; occasions was the rtunion held on the removal
And waiting the word of dismissal that yet of the school from Providence to Bristol, at the
Waited the master's will. close of the summer term in 1857. To this fes
The master was old, and his form was bent, tival all the past and present scholars were in- And scattered and white his hair; vited, to listen to audresses from gentlemen of But his heart was young, and there ever dwelt distinction and to partake of an elegant colla- A calm and kindly air, tion.
Like a halo over a pictured saint, Such is an imperfect sketch of the outlines of
On his face, marked deep with care. Mr. Colburn's great work in the Rhode Island His eyes were closed, and his wrinkled hands Normal School. Who can estimate its results ? Were folded over his vest, To do so one must go through the length and As wearily back in his old arm chair breadth of the State, and in a hundred school.
He reclined as if to rest; houses notice the cheerful, self-reliant faces of
And the golden, streaming sunlight fell
On his brow and down his breast. the teachers, the vitalized methods of instruction, and the wide-awake exercises which have We waited in reverent silence long, superseded the old, stereotyped, sleepy routine. And silence the master kept; It has been the uniform testimony of the suc
Though still the accustomed saintly smile
Over his features crept; cessive school commissioners, that in their an
And we thought, worn with the lengthened toil nual visits they recognize in a moment the pres
Of the summer's day, he slept. ence of a teacher trained by Mr. Colburn, and do not need to inquire farther concerning the So we quietly rose and left our seats, success of the school. Thousands of children And outward, into the sun, are better taught to-day for his having taught From the gathering shades of the dusty room, their teachers how to teach. Who can doubt
Stole silently, one by one;
For we knew by the distant striking clock, that he has there, in the quiet retirement of his
It was time the school was done. school-room, exerted a more wide-spread and positive individual influence, than if, as Govern- And left the master sleeping alone, or of the Commonwealth, he had sat for years
Alone in his high backed chair; at the head of the Senate ?
With his eyelids closed, and his withered palms
Folded, as if in prayer;
And the mingled light and smile on his face-
And we knew not death was there !
His kindly soul away
From his trembling house of clay,
To be a child with the saints of Heaven,
And to dwell with Christ alway!
THE Register General of England estimates
that there are in that country nearly 40,000 surThe mingled hum of the busy town, Rose faint from her lower plain ;
names. Among them there are 51,000 families And we saw the steeple over the trees,
bearing the name of Smith, and 51,000 that of With its motionless, golden vane;
Jones. The Smiths and Joneses alone are supAnd heard the cattle's musical low,
posed to include about a million of the populaAnd the rustle of standing grain.
DY WILLIAM B. HART.