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of Common Schools. By a Practical Teacher. Boston: Hickling, Swan, & Brown. 1856. 12mo, pp. 196.

We have here a history of our country, that appears to be unusually well adapted to the purpose for which it is designed. It is brief, simple in its language, illustrated by maps and engravings, and attractive in its whole appearance. We hope that it may be instrumental in the more general introduction of this branch of study into our common schools. The young delight in stories ; in facts, rather than abstract truths. This seems to be the voice of Nature, recommending that History should have a larger and an earlier place in our course of school studies, than is usually assigned to it. In this respect, we fall behind other enlightened nations. With a nobler history than any other nation, and stronger reasons, in the character of our institutions, for its universal study, still we believe that there is no well educated people in whose school course this department does not hold a more prominent place. We join most heartily with the author in affirming, as he does in his preface," that every child in the United States should learn something of the history of bis own country, before leaving school. He should bave imprinted on his mind a vivid outline of the story of his native land.”

In the English schools, an elementary work on history is often used as a reading book; and this example might, in many cases, be imi

a tated in our schools with great advantage. Where this practice is adopted with a suitable text-book, it is found that from the mere reading exercise, conducted as it should be, most of the pupils acquire, with scarce a conscious effort, a familiar acquaintance with the chief scenes and incidents depicted in their text-book. They will tell you all about Pocahontas, the landing of the Pilgrims, Mrs. Dustan's escape, the destruction of the tea, the capture of André, and other like subjects, as long as you will listen to them.

This book begins, as popular American history must, with the story of Colunubus; and follows, with vivacious narrative, the stream of events down to the election of President Pierce. It is the more valuable, even for the study of children, from its containing in full the Declaration of Independence, and the Constitution of the United States. The story of the spirited remonstrance of the Boston boys is thus told :

“ During the winter, before the Port Bill passed, the boys were in the habit of building hills of snow on the Common, and sliding down upon them to the pond. The English troops beat down these hills, merely to provoke the children. The boys complained of the injury, and set about repairing it. However, when they returned from school, they found the snow hills beaten down again. Several of the boys now waited upon the British captain, and informed him of the conduct of bis soldiers; but he would have nothing to say to them, and the soldiers were more impudent than ever.

At last they called a meeting of the largest boys, and sent them to General Gage, commander-in-chief.

“ He asked why so many children had called upon him. “We came,





sir,' said the tallest boy, “to demand satisfaction.' What!' said the general; have your fathers been teaching you rebellion, and sent you to show it here ?' Nobody sent us, sir,' answered the boy, while his cheek reddened and his eye flashed; we have never injured nor insulted your troops; but they have trodden down our snow hills, and broken the ice on our skating ground. We complained, and they called us young rebels, and told us to help ourselves if we could. We told the captain of this, and he laughed at us. Yesterday our works were destroyed for a third time; and, sir, we will bear it no longer.'

“ The general looked at them with admiration, and said to an officer at his side, . The very children draw in a love of liberty with the air they breathe. You may go, my brave boys; and be assured, if my troops trouble you again, they shall be punished.' AN AMERICAN DICTIONARY OF THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE, &c. By Noah Web

ster, LL.D, &c. Revised and enlarged by C. A. Goodrich, &c. Springfield : G.


LISH LANGUAGE, &c. By Joseph E. Worcester, LL.D. Boston: Hickling, Swan & Brown. Svo, pp. 565.

We acknowledge, and with no formal gratitude, the receipt of these, the latest works of our two great lexicographers,—ornaments and benefactors of our country and our language. To attempt a review of works of such protracted labor, consummate ability, and established reputation, would seem indecorous. We rather accept them as our masters in the critical art, and lay them upon our table to review other works by. “ But is it possible you had no copies of them there before?Certainly we had ; and these come in very opportunely to save the others from being quite worn out by the thumbing of daily use. Both dictionaries are the more indispensable to us, because they so differ in their especial excellences, their strong points, –a difference so wide that it would scarce seem possible that they should come into any rivalship with each other. Certainly, amid all the Crimean cannonading of the far famed “ Dictionary War,” they have worked upon our table quietly and harmoniously side by side. Of the two distinguished authors,-long life and, for our sakes, yet more abundant labors to the living; garlands of ever fresh memory and gratitude to the departed! THE RISE, PROGRESS AND PRESENT STRUCTURE OF THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE.

By the Rev. Matthew Harrison, A.M. Philadelphia : E. C. & J. Biddle. 1856. 12mo, pp. 398.

We are glad to welcome a second edition of this valuable work so well fitted to interest in the study of our noble language, and so richly supplied with happily chosen illustrative examples. THE EXHIBITION SPEAKER, AND GYMNASTIC Book; containing Farces, Dialogues,

and Tableaux, with Exercises for Declamation, in Prose and Verse. Also, a Treatise on Elocution and Oratory, to which is added a System of Gymnastic and Calisthenic Exercises, adapted to Schools, with instructions for Teachers and Pupils, and Sixty Illustrations. By P. A. Fitzgerald. Rochester: D. M. Dewey. New York: Sheldon, Lamport & Blakeman. 1856. 12mo, 268 pages.

This book contains, as its title indicates, a great variety of materials for use in school exhibitions. We hope that that part of it which relates to gymnastic and calisthenic exercises will receive especial attention. There is a lamentable neglect of physical training in our systems of education ;-a neglect of comparatively little consequence

when our boys and girls for the most part lived on farms, with the free air blowing all around them, plain, healthy food, early hours, long walks to school, and invigorating farm work for half the year wben the school was not keeping ; but which threatens to be disastrous, now that they are chiefly gathered into cities and villages, are indulged in luxuries, indolence, and fashionable dissipation, and have little work except school work, often counting that a hardship which boys and girls used to look upon as comparative play. My First EXERCISES IN COMPOSITION WRITING. By an experienced Teacher. Boston: Robinson & Richardson.

This is a book specially prepared for the purpose of rendering the oft-dreaded exercise of composition not only easy but pleasant to the pupil. It is attractive in its appearance, judicious in its brief directions, and spreads out before the pupil tempting pages of beautiful white paper, all ready to receive the expression of bis young thoughts and fresh feelings. It may be usefully put into the heads of scholars, as soon as they have learned to write. ELEMENTARY MORAL Lessons, for Schools and Families. By M. F. Cowdery, Su

perintendent of Public Schools, Sandusky, 0. « The Good alone are Great." Philadelphia: H. Cowperth wait & Co., 1856. pp. 261.

We like the plan of this book exceedingly, and have the feeling, from the attention we have been able to give to it during the day since we received it, that it ought to be in every school and every home. We shall return to the book, when we have more time; we shall study it; and if we find it what we expect, shall regard it as the most important addition to our list of school books that has been made since the publication of Colburn's First Lessons in Arithmetic.

Works RECEIVED. — Our obligations are due to the School Committees of Bridgewater, Falmouth, Georgetown, Hingham, Millbury, Northampton, Saugus, and Springfield, for copies of their Annual Reports; to the Commissioner of Public Schools in Rhode Island, for a copy of his Annual Report to the General Assembly; and to our mathematical friend, Benjamin Greenleaf, Esq., for his Almanac in Cherokee, which we should be happy to review if we could read it. But we can never look without interest upon anything printed in that wonderful syllabic alphabet, the invention of the unlettered George Guess. We would also acknowledge the receipt of a Lecture by Rev. Thomas Hill, on “ Geometry, the Foundation of Learning;” an Address before the Alumni of the Connecticut State Normal School, by L. L. Camp; and Catalogues or Circulars of the Albany Female Academy, now under the charge of Mr. E. S. Stearns, late Principal of the Framingham Normal School, of the M'Neely Normal School of Ohio, of Wauwatosa Academy, near Milwaukee, Wis., of the Classical and English Boarding School of Rev. E. H. Barstow, at Newton Centre, of Mrs. Sherman's Family School for Young Ladies (formerly Mrs. Peabody's), at Hanover, N. II., and of the Temple Place School for Young Ladies, to be opened in this city in September next, by Mr. Williams, now Principal of the Winthrop School. We have also received a great amount of valuable reading in the Educational Periodicals which have made us their monthly visits. The value of several of the above mentioned works we hope to acknowledge hereafter more fittingly than we can do in this brief notice.


We thank our correspondents for the kind attention which they have given to our Question Box, and trust that they will continue their favors, and that others will follow their example, both by answering the questions in our present number, and by furnishing new queries.

ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS IN THE JANUARY NUMBER. 1. I have a board whose surface contains 49 5-8 square feet; the board is 11-2 inches thick, and I wish to make a cubical box of it. Required the length of one

of its equal sides. 2. A carpenter has a plank 1 foot wide, 22 37-72 feet long, and 2 1-2 inches thick ;

and he wishes to make a box whose width shall be twice its height, and whose length shall be twice its width. Required the contents of the box.

Is it worth while to try to make astronomical observations without a telescope? Is it worth while to study mosses without a microscope ? Or to travel without using steam? Or to report verbatim without learning Phonography? In other words, is it worth while to endeavor to solve intricate questions involving second and third roots, without the use of Algebra ? I think not; and should advise “a Young Teacher," when he meets with a question asking bow large a cubical box he can make of a given quantity of board, to tell his class that the question requires Algebra for its solution.


Fig. 1.

No. 1. — Suppose the 6 pieces of which the box is made, to be so arranged (Fig. 1), that the edges of the top, bottom, and sideswill appear at the ends, as in the shaded parts about E; and

that the edges of the top and bottom will appear

E at the sides, as in the shaded parts above and S

below S.

The external area of each face of the box may be considered as divided into, 1st, a large square, as at E; 2d, 4 strips, one on each side

of the large square, having each a width equal to the thickness of the board, (1} in.,) and the same length as one side of the large square; and 3d, 4 small squares, each having, for the length of a side, the thickness of the board. In the 6 faces of the box, then, there are 6 large squares + 24 strips + 24 small squares.

But the shaded parts, though forming part of the external area of the sides and ends, do not form part of the side and end pieces of the box,* and are not to be reckoned as consuming any part of the surface of the board. If, then, from the large squares, strips, and small squares, that make up the whole external area of the box, we deduct 12 strips, (2 for each side, and 4 for each end), and 16 small squares, (4 for each side, and 4 for each end), we have left 6 large squares +°12 strips + 8 small squares

the area of the board = 494 sq. ft.

:7146 sq. in. *Notice the difference between the side and side piece, and the end and end piece, of the box.





From this, deduct the area of the 8 small squares ((11 in.) ? X 8= 18 sq. in.) and we have 6 large squares + 12 strips = 7146 sq. in. — 18 sq. in. 7128 sq. in. Divide this by 6,

Fig. 2. and we find 1 large square + 2 strips 2128 sq. in. 1188 sq. in. This large square and the 2 strips Strip.

10: may be arranged as in Fig. 2, which will be an exact square if we fill the corner C, (14 in.)2 = 24 sq. in. Then, 1188 sq. in. + 24 sq. in. the area of the

Large Square square (Fig. 2) completed = 1781 sq. in.


Then, 1701 sq. in. = 92 in. length of one side of the square, or the line A B. This, it is evident (see Fig.

A 1), is 14 in. less than the length of a side of the box ;

Bj therefore, in. + 1} in.

36 in.

the length of one side. Fig. 3.

No. 2.- Let, in Fig.

3, the shaded parts about A

E E, represent the edges E

of the top, bottom, and

sides, at the end of the S


box; and the shaded B

parts above and below

SS, the edges of the top and bottom, at the side. These shaded parts represent the thickness of the plank, and form part of the external area of the side and end of the box, but no part of the side and end pieces.

If we draw the line A B vertically across the middle of the end of the box, the whole end is divided into 2 equal squares; but taking away the shaded portions, it is evident that the end piece is not divided by this line into squares; since we have diminished each square of the end, in one direction, by twice the thickness of the plank, and in the other by only once its thickness.

To get two equal squares in the end piece, let there be marked off on each side of A B, by dotted lines, two strips, each as wide as the plank is thick. We may now suppose the end of the box, (not the end piece,) to be divided into, 1st, 2 large squares, E and E; 2d, 8 strips, each equal in length to the side of a large square, and in width to the thickness of the plank (24 in.) ; and 34, 8 small squares, each having its side equal in length to the thickness of the plank. Since the box is twice as wide as it is high, and twice as long as wide, the area of an end is doubled in a side, and quadrupled in the top or bottom. Then an end, a side, and the top or bottom, contain 7 times as many large squares, strips, and small squares as an end; that is, 14 large squares + 56 strips + 56 small squares; and both ends, both sides, and the top and bottom, or the whole external area of the box, 28 large squares +112 strips + 112 small squares.

But these exceed the area of the 6 pieces of which the box is made, by the strips and small squares in the edges of the top and bottom at the sides, and of the top, bottom, and sides at the ends. Referring to Fig. 3, and noticing that the strips marked off by dotted lines are part of the pieces in which they are found, and not to be deducted, we see that we must deduct, for each side, 8 strips and 16 small squares; and for an end, 6 strips and 8 small squares; or 28 strips and 48 small squares, for both sides and both ends. Subtracting these from the large squares, strips, and small squares of the whole external area of the box, we have 28 large squares + 84 strips +- 64 small squares the area of the 6 pieces=2231 sq. ft. = 3242 sq. in. From this, deduct the 64 small squares ((24 in.) 2 X 64 400 sq. in.) and we have 28 large squares + 84 strips 3242 sq. in. - 400 sq. in. = 2842 sq. in. Divide by 28, and we find, 1 large square + 3 strips - 2012 sq. in. = 293 sq. in.


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