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largely speculative. Observation and experiment, the two great instruments of the physicist, have but recently been brought to bear upon metaphysics. But the results of this latter method of investigation have thus far been wonderfully satisfactory. We refer the student of inquiry to the recent work of Dr. Carpenter of England, on “Mental Physiology." Here the truths of metaphysics are submitted to tests, similar in their character, to those of physics and mathematics, and the results are equally as satisfactory.
The main difficulties encountered in the study of these sciences, viz: the metaphysical, so far as they have been met and overcome by this late method of research, and, indeed, by all others, show, among other things, that these sciences are of a higher order; and that their full development waits upon the growth of physics and mathematics, the tangible before the intangible, the surface before the depths.
Again, it is chiefly because we have not yet been able fully to eliminate the errors, and other extraneous matter from the metaphysics-except, perhaps, in the case of Logic, which may be considered a system of “exact” reasoning—that they present so much that is unsatisfactory to the careful observer, or the true scientist. But let us cease to investigate these truths from a merely speculative stand-point, and apply ourselves to the study of the facts, as they stand related to our own lives and experience; and we shall soon find that a sufficient number of well-accredited phenomenal truths can be "strung together” in a logical way, to constitute a consistent system or science.
[Our outline in the next.] Ohio Central Normal School.
THE SOVEREIGNS OF ENGLAND. The following easily-committed lines will aid greatly the student of English history in remembering the names and succession of English rulers:
First William the Norman, then William his son,
-The text-book question in some form or other has possession of several General Assemblies. New York, Ohio, Wisconsin, and Minnesota seem to have been especially afflicted. There must be some cause for this. We think grows out of the fact that parents begin to feel, and more especially in our present industrial depression, that the purchase of school books for their children is a burden too grievous to be borne. This feeling arises from several causes. The advancement of pupils from grade to grade in public graded schools compels the purchase of new books. Many parents confound these purchases with those caused by an actual change of text-books in the same grade. A comparison of the cost of text-books now and before the war shows a material increase in price and hence parents think that publishers are making exorbitant profits. We think as good a showing could be made against a multitude of manufacturers, especially those who control patents, and even against farmers. But it must be remembered that the inflation of prices caused by our currency and the war has not yet been adjusted even to the low premium now reached by gold. The first-class hotels of Cincinnati and Chicago in 1860 charged their transient guests only $2 a day, and many excellent hotels charged only $1 a day. Now there is not a village hotel of any note that' does not charge $2 a day for very ordinary entertainment. Newspaper men notwithstanding the great fall in the price of paper, now pay 9 cts. a pound for what they bought before the war for 6 cts. a pound.
We firmly believe that if there had been no war the price of flour would to-day not be more than $5 or $6 a barrel. Notwithstanding this, farmers are not making any more money than then, possibly not so much, because labor and most of the articles they have to purchase cost more. Every one knows that sugar, coffee, and tea have not fallen to ante-war prices. Even if gold should fall to par to-morrow it would take a year or two before the adjustments of prices could reach the old standards. In view of these facts we respectfully ask whether publishers can justly be accused of extortion. It is true they have already begun to agitate the reduction of prices of books, since such a reduction will be to their own interest as soon as labor, salaries, cost of materials, and expenses generally, will warrant. We believe some reduction has already been made. If some one had the power by a word to reduce in one night every thing to the old standards but the price of books, we are satisfied that publishers would say amen and voluntarily reduce the price of their books to the old standards. There is one point, however, that would still be against them. School books are now printed on better paper and with more costly illustrations than formerly, and hence would cost more even if old standards were reached, unless the quality of the books should be correspondingly reduced. Legislation cannot relieve us of our difficulties any more than legislation can prevent commereial panics. It is true that the indiscretions of teachers and Boards of Education are the cause in some towns and cities, of more frequent changes of books than are at all necessary, but it is also true that school-book changes generally are much fewer and less expensive than the changes in the fashions of dress. We venture to assert that in nine-tenths of the school districts of Ohio, and probably of the United States, that the school books now used are the same as those used ten years ago. It is very evident that geographies ought to be changed whenever the progress of discovery and political changes render the text in, part or the old maps antiquated. If these changes are not made in the books in use by revised editions the old books must give way to newer works. What is true of geographies is true of scientific books generally. The trouble as to text-books cannot be cured by State uniformity, the publication of the books by the State, nor by State purchases. Legislation for any of these purposes will be shortlived. It cannot fail, however, to do great mischief while it lasts. The true democratic policy is to empower each school district (not sub-district) to determine for itself the mode of supplying text-books whether by purchase, with funds raised by taxation, from local booksellers or the publishers, whether they shall be free or sold to pupils for a price, the duration of their use, etc. As our public education is free it doubtless engenders a feeling that the books ought to be free too. The complaint as to the cost of text-books and the call for legislation do not come from the patrons of private schools. Let us make haste slowly.
-We have received a bound copy of the Forty-seventh Annual Report of the Cincinnati Public Schools. It is a volume of 475 pages. The Cincinnati Public Schools have long ranked among the best in the United States. Mr. John B. Peaslee, the Superintendent, presents the facts connected with the present condition of the schools, in a modest way pointing out defects as well as excellencies. The following is what he says in reference to Reading:
“Reading, by the judicious combination of the phonic and the word methods, is excellently taught in the primary grades of our schools. In grades above the primary, too little time is given to ascertaining the meaning of words, and to the logical analysis, on the part of the pupils, of what is read. The result is, that many pupils, even those who read the exercises in their books with clear enunciation, correct expression, and with true spirit, do not understand the meaning of what they read. Such reading is mechanical. It is mere imitation. There is very little intellectual culture in it. The teachers must do away with this rote reading before they can make their pupils intelligent readers."
We are pleased to see that Mr. Peaslee has also called especial attention to the subject of pronunciation. A want of accuracy in the matter of pronunciation characterizes the great mass of teachers. It is shown in nearly all recitations in reading or in geography. The most lamentable thing, however, is the fact that so few teachers can use a dictionary so as to produce unerringly the pronunciation indicated by the diacritical marks. We should like our readers to test themselves in pronouncing all the words in the preceding sentence. How many of them can give an intelligent and scholarly account of the orthoepy of the words lamentable, unerringly, pronunciation, and the word orthoepy in this sentence. Some will doubtless pronounce lamentable la-ment'-a-ble, instead of lam'-ent-able, orthoepy, or-thoʻ-e-py instead of or'-tho-e-py. How many know that although some dictionaries as Webster's (1864) give the same sound to e in erring as in crr, that of e in her, that others change the sound of e in erring to that of e in egg, thus giving a different sound in the infinitive and participle. Both Webster and Worcester pronounce the c in pronunciation as sh, but Smart, the highest English authority as to English usage, and the recent English lexicographers, Donald, Collins, Nuttall, Cooley, Cull, and Storinonth, pronounce it as s. Smart says:
“The ear instinctively avoids, if possible, a quick repetition of similar sounds. Hence some other apparent inconsistencies in the practice of the best speakers. The word pronunciation is regularly pronounced pronủn'-she-a''-shủn, [Smart uses" for the most forcible accent], and by all speakers would probably be so sounded, if it were related to any such verb as to pronunciate, in the same way that association and enunciation are related to associate and enunciate. In the absence of any such related verb, most speakers say pro-nủn'-ce-ā"-shủn, and so avoid the double occurrence of the sound sh in the same word.”
We join most heartily with Mr. Peaslee in urging a more critical study on the part of the teachers of the subject of orthoepy.
-Every teacher should own a copy of the Proceedings of the National Educational Association, at Baltimore. It is the largest volume yet issued by the Association, and covers a wide field. A new Department has been added to the Association. The proceedings of this Department, the Industrial, were characterized by several excellent papers. Of the proceedings in the General Association there are published fourteen addresses and papers; in the Department of Higher Instruction, eight; of Normal School, five; of Elementary Instruction, two; Industrial Department, seven, making thirty-six in all. The authors of these addresses were Gov. John Lee Carroll and Mayor F. C. Latrobe of Maryland, Prof. W. F. Phelps of Minnesota, now of Wisconsin, Rev. A. D. Mayo of Massachusetts, Prof. Edward Olney of Michigan, the Hon. W. H. Ruffner of Virginia, Dr. Da Motta of Brazil, Dr. Mejerberg of Sweden, Dr. Richard Edwards of Illinois, Dr. David Murray and the Hon. Fujimaro Tanaka of Japan, Senor G. Videla Dorna, of the Argentine Confederation, Prof. Alex. Hogg of Alabama, now of Texas, Prof. W. J. Rivers of Maryland, the Hon. H. A. M. Henderson of Kentucky, Dr. Edward Joynes of Tennessee, Professors Henry E. Shepherd and Wm. M. Thornton of Maryland, Prof. W. C. Sawyer of Wisconsin, Rev. E. Jones of England, Dr. J. M. Garnett of Maryland, Dr. Edward Brooks of Pennsylvania, Dr. J. H. Hoose of New York, Prof. C. A. Morey of Minnesota, H. B. Buckham of New York, John Ogden of Ohio, Madame Kraus-Boelte of New York, Miss Minnie Swayze of New Jersey, the Hon. S. R. Thompson of Nebraska, the Hon. Ezra S. Carr of California, Prof. Manly Miles of Michigan, now of Illinois, Prof. Wm. C. Russel of New York, Prof. E. M. Pendleton of Georgia, and C. B. Stetson and Prof. S. Edward Warren of Massachusetts.
The volume is an octavo of 308 pages, printed in brevier type. We feel satisfied that many years will not elapse before it will be difficult to procure a copy of this volume, as only 1000 copies were printed. We will send postage 'paid a copy to any one who will remit $2.00, or we will send 10 copies or more by express, express charges to be paid by the purchaser, at $1.25 a copy.
-The Department of Superintendence of the National Educational Association recently passed the following resolution, which is of great interest, especially that part relating to a visit, in a body, of teachers to the Paris Exposition next year:
"That Congress be earnestly requested to make ample provision at once for a full representation of the several interests of this country, especially that of education, at the Paris Exposition; that we earnestly desire that such a commission be constituted by the General Government or by the several State Governments conjointly to take charge of the educational exhibit as will make it comprehensive, complete, thoroughly
organic, and representative; that the United States Commissioner of Education be requested to lay before this department at the meeting of the National Teachers' Association in August next, the result of his correspondence with the Minister of Public Instruction in France and other foreign officials in reference to an International Congress to be held in conjunction with the Paris Exposition ; that a committee of this body be appointed to ascertain and report at its next meeting the feasibility of chartering a steamer for a great teachers' excursion to the Exposition at Paris, and the accommodations that can be secured in that city for the board and lodging of a large body of teachers, and, in addition, what arrangement can be made for such an excursion of teachers, to embrace, in addition to the Paris Exposition, a tour through several of the most interesting countries of Europe.”
-The Proceedings of the meeting of the New-York Teachers' Association at Watkins, July 25, 26, and 27, 1876, has been published in a neat pamphlet of over 180 pages, by the School Bulletin office at Syracuse, N. Y. It is needless to say that the proceedings were full of interest, befitting the Centennial Year of the Republic. Edward Smith of Syracuse will send a copy of the pamphlet postpaid on receipt of 50 cents.
-The Report of the Columbus Public Schools contains a strong plea by the Superintendent, R. W. Stevenson, for state or local legislation to cure as far as possible the evils of irregular attendance in schools. He says that 1067 of the pupils enrolled in their schools last year attended less less than 60 days, and that they were not in attendance either in the public or private schools “because they did not choose to attend." This Report plainly indicates that the Public Schools of Columbus are in excellent condition. Mr. Stevenson is not only one of the most sensible and energetic of Ohio's model school superintendents, but he is aided by an excellent corps of instructors-no other kind would please him.
-We have not space this month to refer to the good things in the Galaxy, Scribner, St. Nicholas, Harper's Magazine, Weekly, and Bazar, Lippincott, The Popular Science Monthly, The Naturalist, North American Review, National Repository, Our Young Folks' Magazine, Journal of Speculative Philosophy, Wide Awake, etc.