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choicest literature: secured a better oral expression than any amount of formal elocutionary drill would effect, because pupils have pronounced only what they thoroughly understood and enjoyed; achieved a better style of composition than any amount of writing on enforced themes would produce, because style has largely formed itself by reaction on what has been read, and only the most perfect composition has been under inspection. In addition, pupils have learned what literature is; they have become familiar with its chief forms; they have acquired the habit of reading analytically and critically; they have a criterion of taste and literary excellence by which to judge what they shall read in the future; they have been shown incidentally what are the great masterpieces in all the departments of literature and have been put on their guard against what is inferior; and if our work has been well and faithfully done they have acquired such a love for what is good, and true, and beautiful in books that they may be safely trusted to explore, alone, the great fields of literature, and feel no attraction toward cheap, empty trash, or sensational abominations.

If it is objected that some great forms of literature have not been studied, it may be answered that such a scheme as has been outlined is not supposed to comprise all the literature study of the school, but only enough to form a ground-work for the rhetorical exercises. The Epic, History, and the Novel are too long to be used for this purpose. There must be an understanding among the instructors that each may supplement the others. The teacher of literature and the teacher in charge of this work especially, must plan together. They must agree on definitions, characteristics, and essentials; on what texts shall be studied here, and in the literature classes, so that there may be no duplication and no confusion. As to the kinds of literature omitted, History is usually a prescribed study in all courses. All teachers of this branch, therefore, will have ample opportunity to make clear to their pupils what are its essential qualities. The Epic may be explained by the teacher of Latin in connection with Virgil, by the teacher of Greek when Homer is read, and by the teacher of English when Milton is under discussion. All pupils who have acquired a reading habit at all, will, toward the end of the course, have read novels enough, so that a few informal talks from any competent teacher will make clear to them the requisite qualities of acceptable fiction.



NE cloudy December afternoon during a Christmas vacation, we were ransacking an attic store-room. Among forgotten family portraits and bound volumes of newspapers that had outlived their usefulness, we already had found a valuable Horace, a rare book on American antiquities, and a dainty edition of the Septuagint and New Testament in four volumes. The short winter twilight, made shorter by the leaden clouds, was departing, when in an old cabinet under magazines and pamphlets there was discovered a book published in the reign of Charles the First.

More than ten years have passed since that afternoon, but only of late has the opportunity been mine to study carefully this "quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore." In these few pages it is purposed to give the most important facts discovered therein.

The binding of the book is of brownish leather, much rubbed and worn on edges and corners, from which the pasteboard beneath protrudes. Within are nearly two hundred pages, measuring six inches by four. The back is badly scarred. The covers only cling by the heavy pieces of twine that fasten them to the pages. The brass clasps that formerly held close the ninety-six pages of manuscript notes and the hundred pages of close-printed Latin have long since disappeared; only one of the brass hinges and two or three rivets still remain. Tiny splashes of red were sprinkled on the edges of the pages, but this tinting has faded to a dull, rusty hue. Perhaps the most striking feature in the arrangement of the book compared with modern books is the large number of pages originally blank that precede the title-page and follow after the book proper. There are ninety-four of such pages, forty-eight between the first cover and the title-page, and forty-six between the end of the book and the last cover. Originally there were forty-eight pages in this latter portion also, but one leaf has been cut, and two others have been set in. All of these pages are of linen paper, water-marked in lines, but those which bear printing

are only ordinary white. On the title-page the book styles itself, TOTIVS MATHEMATICE CLAVIS, and the words CLAVIS MATHEMATICÆ appear on every leaf. Just past the centre of the title-page is the dedication to the most noble and illustrious youth, Daniel William Howard, son of the Earl of Arundel and Surrey. The publisher is Thomas Harperus of London, and the date, MDCXXXI. Five pages of introduction follow hereon, beginning, "Nobillissime Heros," and ending,

"Tibi, nobillissimæ que

Howardorum familiæ,


Guilelmus Oughtred."

The Latin heading of the table of errata is rather curious: "The printer pleads as his excuse the difficulty of this unusual subject: he asks the indulgent reader thus to correct the errors occurring in this little book."

A few points are to be found in the printed portion, which have a special interest. In the four fundamental rules, whole numbers, decimal fractions, and algebra are taught side by side. All the letters used in the last mentioned branch are printed in capitals, some of the small letters being reserved for use as exponents in this way: = AXA Aq, and AX AX A Ac, where q stands for quadrata or square, and c for cubica or cube. The arrangement of results obtained by actual multiplication in developing the binomial formula seems exceedingly graphic, as given in table on following page.

At the end of the book are these words:

"Soli Deo Gloria,"


words well worthy of thought in these days of thoroughly secular schools and school-books.

The MSS. notes form by far the most interesting part of the book, and make it unique. With one or two exceptions every available portion of space on these pages has been used. In some cases a note has been written along the edge close to the binding. Words interlined are by no means uncommon, and even the paper on the inside of each cover bears writing. Many of the notes are in English, but by far the greater number of them are written in Latin with the usual abbreviations of two hundred years ago. Once or twice in a few short passages some sort of cypher has

[blocks in formation]

been used whether for Latin or English is difficult to determine. Eleven lines of ligatured Greek also occur. The writing is small but distinct; it can easily be read with an ordinary magnifying lens. Here and there the ink is faded or slightly blurred, but such instances are rare. No fixed method seems to have been used in arranging the notes, and the subjects mentioned shift hither and yon with kaleidoscopic variety.

Page 4.

"As 1 is to 3.14159,26535,89793,23846,26433,83279,50 and more but not 51, so is the diameter to the circumference of a circle.' - Ludolph von Cullon."

In the value of π just quoted, the antique pointing of five figures to a period is worthy of notice. This method does not occur again in this book, but from the name appended below the value is probably a quotation.

Page 6.

"Quod sat sit, sors, da sed ne port tu rape de me;

Sin te sic mens fert, vae mi nec fas neque jus vis." If these Latin hexameters were composed by our note-maker, his skill in mathematics was certainly superior to his knowledge of Latin-versification.

Next to this poetry occurs the following remarkable statement which I have ventured to paraphrase:


"If all England were a pool of black ink twelve yards deep, and the sphere of the lazy moon were used as a unit of measure, it would no more than suffice for expressing the volume of this ink.'-Foster."

Page 8.

"A pound of serpent's dust measures 31.96 cu. in. Latin. when shaken up; but otherwise it measures 31.7 cu. in. Experiment by J. M. Foster in Goldsmith's hall, London." Pages 9, 10&11. Astronomical calculations now engage our scholar's attention. Here are tables of the altitude of the sun in lat. 52° 05', one dated January 1638 and another dated February 15th, 1643. The figures are very distinct, and beautifully formed. In one place a correction has been made by a tiny paper being pasted over some mistake, and the right figures being then written thereon.

Page 13

"A. 12 Henry 7th, and A. 5 & 51 H. 3.

English. A Bushell containeth 8 gallons of wheat, a gallon 8 pounds of wheat Troy weight, a pound 12 ounces Troy, an ounce 20 sterling pwts."

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