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ticking, and our children wear tuckers at their meals. A tucker was originally a narrow band of linen cloth worn by ladies round the throat. Hence any narrow strip of cloth fastened on the dress was called a tuck or tucker, and when this mode of ornamentation was imitated by a fold in the fabric, the fold or plait itself received the same name. A weaver used to be called a tucker and Tucker is still a common proper name among us.
"From the Walloons we have galloon, i. e. Walloon lace, as well as the finer fabrics which take their names from Valenciennes and Mechlin. From the same region comes Lisle tbread, the rich tapestry called arras, and Brussels carpets. The manufacturing capital of Flanders was Ghent, Gand or Gaunt. [John of Gaunt was John of Ghent.] Hence the French word gant, a glove, and the English gauntlet. In the marshes of Holland the fabrics were of a less costly type than among the wealthy Flemings. From this region we obtain the names of Delft ware, brown Holland and homely frieze, or cloth of Friesland.” — ED.
Questions for Grammar School Teachers. — We should be glad to receive answers from our readers, to any or all the following questions :
1. What percentage of the whole school-time is spent by your pupils in tho study of English grammar?
2. What portion of this time do you consider profitably spent? 3. What do you think the proper age for beginning the study of grammar?
4. What percentage of tine is spent on the study of arithmetic? of geometry? of natural philosophy?
5. Would it, in your opinion, be practicable to introduce into the course of Grammar-School study, the simple principles of plane geometry, with their practical applications, and the simple principles of physical science, if the time now devoted to the study of grammar and arithmetic were curtailed? And could not text-books be constructed that would exercise the pupils' minds in arithmetical calculation in more profitable and practically useful directions, cspecially in connection with mensuration and natural philosophy, than is done by the present ones ? — Ed.
OBITUARY. Died at his residence in Elbridge, N. Y., Jan. 19, 1867, after more than twelve years suffering as an invalid, Professor Horatio N. Robinson, LL.D., the wellknown author of a Series of Mathematical Text-Books, aged sixty-one years.
Professor Robinson was born at Hartwick, N. Y. IIe never attended any but a district school until he was sixteen years old, when he made the calculations for an almanac, which attracted the attention of a wealthy gentleman of tho neighborhood, who sent him to Princeton College. He did not remain, however, to graduate, but at the age of nineteen received and accepted the appointment of Professor of Mathematics in the Navy, which position he filled acceptably for ten years, visiting inany parts of the globe.
In 1835 he married Miss Emma Tyler, of Norwich, Conn., a most estimable lady, and removed to Canandaigua, N. Y., taking charge of the Academy in that place, and subsequently of the one at Geneseo. His health becoming somewhat impaired by teaching, he removed with his family in 1844 to Cincinnati, Obio. 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 1854 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 Professor Robinson 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.
lle 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; and when unable to use the pen, and often while suffering the most acute pains, would he dicta te 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 ; and, still more rare, to find such talent devoted to the preparation of text-books adapted for 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, 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 Ilim who saves to the uttermost all who trust in Him.
A new elementary Latin Grammar, under the title of The Public School Latin Primer, has just been published in England, with the sanction of the head masters of the nine chief public schools, – Eton, Harrow, Rugby, etc. An unhappy schoolmaster, over the signature of “ A Grinder of Small Boys,” utters his despair, through the columns of the London Times, at finding in the new production such rules of syntax as the following: “A dative of a thing is put as a complement, a dative of the recipient being often added.”—“Trajective words take a dative." —" The infinitive stands prolately after prolative verbs and adjectives,” etc. “Let any one,” he says, “ try these two latter rules on an ordinary little boy, and he will see the effect. . . . I am haunted by the small boy's look of blank astonishment when first introduced to the new philosophy.” Poor " ordinary little boy !” Pedantry in England appears to be multiplying bis tortures.
We are sorry to see that a petition to our legislature, that the laws may be so altered as to allow women to serve on school-committees, was tabled without discussion; for we think that very much might be said in favor of such a measure. Every one conversant with school matters knows how difficult in many towns it is, to find men, qualified to serve on school-committees, who are willing to devote the necessary time to the service; while in the same towns there may almost always be found sensible, judicious and well-educated women, whose time perhaps bangs heavy on their bands, and to whom a public duly involving responsibility would be a positive boon. We are ourselves a member of a school-board, having charge, with one other gentleman as fully occupied as ourself, of all the schools of a large ward. We never enter a school, a Primary School especially, without feeling how much might be done to help the teacher and improve the school, which we have no time to do, and which any one of a dozen ladies we might name, in our own neighborhood, could do better than we could.
Female teachers are now employed with complete success in schools of all grades, up to the highest. We hope the next step will be, that women will take their fair share in school superintendence.
We are indebted to Hon. Newton Bateman, Superintendent of Public Instruction of the State of Illinois, for a copy of his Sixth Biennial Report, and it is one of the documents that makes us lament the straitness of our limits which prevents us from transferring many of the good things contained in its pages to our own columns. We must confess to an uneasy feeling that our good old Commonwealth, instead of resting on her laurels, has got to bestir herself more actively than she is doing now, or she will be outstripped at no distant date in the race of educational improvement by these young and vigorous giants of the West. During the two years 1865 and 1866 embraced in this Report, the State of Illinois has built one thousand one hundred and twenty-two school-bouses, at a total cost of one million three hundred and five thousand nine hundred and sixty-one dollars. The wbole school expenditure for the two years has been over seven and a half millions. She has a State Normal School, or rather a State Normal University, containing seven hundred and seventy-two students, and on which she expended in 1865 $16,732, and in 1866 $16,983, and for which appropriations are asked and will doubtless be granted for the building of a house where pupils can be boarded cheaply; for a gymnasium and apparatus for systematic physical culture ; and for the care, preservation and increase of the Museum of Natural Science, to say nothing of other purposes; and she has a system of county supervision, wbich Mr. Bateman calls “the right arm of power in the system.”
Among other interesting topics, Mr. Bateman dwells upon one which has always appeared to us to be strangely neglected in our own State, — and that is, the importance of good school libraries, and of a class of teachers competent to show their pupils how to use them - how to read in a different sense from that of putting letters together into syllables, or syllables into words." The ability to read the best books,” says Mr. Bateman, “ interpreting and possessing their mean
ing, is a power which a teacher should seek to awaken and cultivate. Children are taught Arithmetic, Grammar, Rhetoric and Elocution in the school, but what parent insists that his child shall be taught to read in the only true sense ? or what teacher remembers the truc aim, scope and dignity of his profession in this regard ?”
From Hon. W. R. White we get the third annual report of Free Schools of the State of West Virginia. Here is the story of difficulties besetting the establishment of a free-school system in a young and sparsely settled mountain State. Three hundred and fifteen school-houses have been erected during the year ; two hundred more are in progress. A normal school and other essential portions of a complete system are contemplated. Thus are the steps rapidly making to redeem the benighted South from her worse than heathen darkness. The free mountaineers of West Virginia may well be congratulated on the severance of that tie wbich bound their home so long to their paralyzed eastern neighbor.
Corporal Punishment in Boston Schools. — Dr. John P. Ordway has recently stated that nearly 20,000 pupils have been whipped in the Boston schools the past year. “ To know the relative value of such statistics,” says the Boston Commonwealth,“ one should know also the number of pupils in the schools, and the number of sessions they have attended. Thus, we average at least 25,000 pupils in our public schools. There were, last year, taking out the Sundays, vacations and holidays, 243 school-days, in which there were sessions each forenoon and two-thirds of the afternoons, making 405 single sessions. The number of pupils multiplied by the number of sessions equals the number of opportunities to whip a singlo child, which is 10,125,000 !-or, to state the fact, differently, the attendance of all the children during the school year was equal to the attendance of ono child that number of times. Now 20,000 whippings (it is asserted) were indulged in, with 10,125,000 opportunities; which is one to every 50644! or, in other words, the per cent of whippings to the attendance, is just .000,198!-(one' hundred and ninety-eight one-millionth of one per cent !) We think we can dismiss the charge of excessive severity against the Boston school teachers without further argument."
INTELLIGENCE. The teachers of Worcester held a meeting at the High School house, Feb. I, to organize a Teachers' Association, Colonel Chenoweth, the Superintendent in the Chair. We believe ther3 should be such an organization in every city and town, and we are glad to see that at Worcester no distinction is made in regard to ses, but that a lady, Miss Hapgood, is Recording Secretary, and two ladies, Miss Parkinson, and Miss Wilmarth, are on the Executive Committee.
We regret to learn that the State is to lose the efficient services of Miss ISABEL C. Texney from the Salem Normal School, who has to go only a few rods from her former room to receive a higher salary than the Commonwealth is willing to pay. If there are any schools in which the best talent should be secured by ample remuneration, they are our Normal Schools. We do no
think it is creditable to Massachusetts that the salaries of her Normal teachers should be so low.
The Framingham Normal School is also to lose the efficient services of Mrs. · FRANCES A. Rich, lately one of the Contributing Editors of this journal. She will leave school to enter upon her new sphere of life with the heartiest respect and warmest good wishes of her friends and fellow-teachers.
BOOK NOTICES. The North AMERICAN Review. — The most noticeable article in the current number of our venerable quarterly – which has more than renewed its youth under its present managers — is one which we are heartily glad to sec. We refer to Mr. Parton's truthful exposition of the character of Daniel Webster. We have long thought it a great misfortune to the youth of New England that such a man should be held up before them as a model for imitation. Not a man of any great or original ideas, not eminently pure in private character, in pecuniary matters a spendthrift, and a pensioner, in his public career false to his own convictions, false to duty, to liberty, and to justice, the disappointed victim of a weak and vulgar ambition, - it will be a dark day for Massachusetts when she cannot find men better and greater than he. And we hope the time will come when the rising moral sense of the community will remove the ugly lump of iron which represents him, from our State House grounds, and substitute some figure as a companion to Ilorace Mann which will better represent the principles of our good old Commonwealth.
We are reluctantly compelled to reserve several other book-notices for our next number.
NOTICE TO CORRESPONDENTS. We often receive returned numbers of the Teacher, on which there is no bint of any kind as to the person or place whence they came. Of course, the Teacher continues to go to the persons sending them, who sometimes afterwards refuse to pay, on the ground that they had stopped the paper. We do not think that teachers who manage their affairs in such clumsy fashion are to be complimented on the brilliancy of their parts, or that we should visit their schools if we desired to fill a vacancy. We wish it to be understood that no one connected with this journal has any power of divination which enables him to tell from what quarter a paper comes, simply from its general appearance.
A teacher who is two years in our debt returns a number slightly rubbed in the mail, but which he had evidently taken out and unfolded, with the indorsement that he declines to take the Teacher while it is mailed in such "slovenly fashion." If he will pay us what he owes us, and his subscription for 1867, we will send him the next number enclosed in three distinct wrappers.
Subscribers to the Teacher who wish to have their copies bound, can have them put into good cloth binding at an expense of 50 cents, by leaving them at the Educational room.