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that matter, in the more heinous offences of an earlier month. The address before us, free as it is from the nauseous fustian of its race, is somewhat infected with the license of the season. There is abundant evidence of the ability of the author to distinguish himself as a rhetorician and orator. There are glowing passages in this address, which thrill the very soul. There is here and there a pomp of language, a procession of gorgeous periods, that hurries the reader irresistibly and willingly along. But these spots are interspersed and intersected by veins and seams of quite another ore. We are sometimes surprised and disappointed by a prosaic dash in the very midst of an eloquent paragraph, and occasionally bewildered by a chaotic confusion of metaphors. It would be ungrateful and unfair to ransack a popular oration for instances of bad taste and faulty expression. And yet, where a performance bears ample marks of supplementary additions, we could wish that the author's privilege of retrenchment had also been more liberally exercised. This allusion to Ziska's skin is absolutely revolting:-"God forbid that his [Washington's] sacred character should be profanely stretched, like the skin of John Ziska, on a militia drum to arouse the martial ardor of the American people." Nor is this comparison of man to the lion in Paradise, with the quotation annexed, quite to our liking:-"History shows the sure progress of man, like the lion in Paradise still pawing to get free his hinder parts,' but certain, if he be true to his nature, to emancipate himself from the restraints of earth." The very confines of courtesy are reached in the phrase, "Respectable citizens volunteer to look like soldiers," considering the circumstances of the occasion. We must also call the author's attention to the incongruity of the several kinds of physical elevation and moral grandeur that are huddled together in the following passage: "As the cedars of Lebanon are higher than the grass of the valley; as the heavens are higher than the earth; as man is higher than the beasts of the field; as the angels are higher than man; as he that ruleth his spirit is higher than he that taketh a city; so are the virtues and victories of Peace higher than the virtues and victories of War." Once more, we cannot conceive how, in his description of the massacre of the Roman senators by the Gauls, the author could have tortured Livy's in vestibulis ædium into "in a temple."

But we gladly abandon the invidious work of verbal criticism. We have but a word to say on the general structure of this address. That it should be somewhat amphibious in its nature is not surprising. By the necessity of the case, it is a cross between an oration and an essay; and logic and rhetoric cannot

but be at loggerheads here and there. This is the author's misfortune. But we think he exceeds his privilege. After the text had been distended to its utmost capacity by allusion and quotation, the overflowing fragments are with a somewhat too scrupulous care caught, as in a bowl, in the notes below. The array of authors cited and characterized is oppressive. The page is so overloaded with them, that it absolutely reels and staggers. But these blemishes are but specks; and we gladly take leave of the orator with the honest hope, that we may often hear his free and fearless voice in the defence of struggling truth, and in the assault upon established errors.

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Report of the Committee appointed to make the Annual Examination of the Grammar Schools in the City of Boston. 1845.. 8vo. pp. 147.

By the rules of the Boston School Committee, two sub-committees, of three persons each, are annually appointed in the month of May to conduct a general examination of these schools. One of these committees examines the schools in the grammar department, and the other examines them in the writing depart ment. Formerly, these committees examined all the classes in the schools; but as the increasing number of schools and of scholars made this duty very arduous, it was provided a few years ago, that they should limit their examination to the pupils of the first class.

As is the case in every department of human life, the duties of these several annual examining committees have been discharged with various degrees of thoroughness and ability, according to the capacity, leisure, and conscientiousness of the members composing them. As a general rule, however, the examinations have been superficial, or, at least, not thorough and searching; and this not from want of good-will or a sense of duty on the part of the committees, but partly from inexperience and partly from want of time; the members of the school committee being generally persons engaged in the duties of active life, who had not the leisure requisite to bring so many large schools to any thing like a decisive test of their merits. This year, the duty of examining the schools in the grammar department was committed to singularly competent hands. The members of the committee were Mr. Theophilus Parsons, who, by his great activity of mind and widely varied attainments, does honor to an honored

name, to Dr. Howe, the world-renowned philanthropist and principal of the Blind Asylum, a living proof of the truth that the man who has the most to do has also the most leisure, and to the Rev. Mr. Neale, a highly estimable and intelligent clergyman of the Baptist persuasion.

These gentlemen addressed themselves to their duties with a generous spirit of self-sacrifice which deserves all praise. They entered upon them zealously, and continued in them perseveringly. They brought to their task the two great qualifications of experience and industry. Feeling that the results of mere oral examination must always be to some extent unsatisfactory, they resolved upon a more rigorous and searching test. They submitted to the scholars sets of printed questions upon all the subjects studied in the schools. Fifteen schools declined to be questioned upon astronomy, six upon natural philosophy, and two upon history; all were examined in geography, English grammar, and definitions. To these printed questions the scholars were required to furnish written answers, one hour being allowed to each set of questions, and the scholars placed apart, so as to prevent mutual assistance, and not being allowed to have access to books or maps.

The pamphlet before us contains the results of the examination, and the remarks of the committee upon these results and the condition of the schools revealed by them, with suggestions for changes and improvements. The Report alone comprises fortynine pages. The remaining pages are devoted to an appendix, containing the various tables referred to in the Report, which are very elaborately and carefully prepared.

The first thing which strikes us in this Report is the astonishing amount of labor which it shows the committee to have gone through with. Besides the Report itself, which is a carefully prepared document, there are nearly a hundred pages of tables, which would alone, apparently, have been as much as the committee could have been expected to do, with all the assistance of intelligent clerks, in the space of three months. The quality of the work, too, deserves commendation no less than the quantity. In the preparation of this Report, a gratuitous and perhaps a thankless labor, the committee have expended no small quantity of severe intellectual toil; of such as usually goes to the composition of grave books, written for bread or fame. When we add to the labor of preparing the Report, that of the examinations themselves, and remember that all has been done since last May, and that none of the committee are men of leisure, we can only explain the results by supposing that they have discovered some short-hand method of working, which bears the

same proportion to common toils and efforts, that logarithms do to the cumbrous processes which they superseded. Their labors are certainly a great encouragement to all the bees, and a severe rebuke to all the drones, in the world's great hive.

The results of the examination are unquestionably not creditable to the Boston schools, and are not commensurate with the high reputation which they have enjoyed. Our limits will not permit us to go into details, or to cull from the appendix any of the many startling and ludicrous errors which it presents, in the answers therein recorded. We earnestly commend the whole document alike to the friends of education everywhere, and to the people of Boston in particular, who have a right to a faithful account of the large sums devoted to the support of those schools which have so long been their pride and boast. The following general results, which we copy from the Report, are sufficiently significant; but they make but a faint impression, compared with the actual answers set down in the appendix.

"The whole number of pupils present in the Schools on the days when we examined, was 7,526; the whole number offered for examination, -a number comprising the flower of the Boston Public Schools, was 530; their average age is about thirteen years, six months.* The whole number of questions put to them

In Geography,


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Natural Philosophy,

Making a total of 154 questions.








To these there should have been 57,873 answers, if each scholar had been able to answer; but there were only 31,159, of which only 17,216 were correct in sense, leaving unanswered 26,714. The 31,159 answers contained 2,801 errors in grammar; 3,733 errors in spelling; and 35,947 errors in punctuation." pp. 7, 8.

In order to obtain a comparative view of the Boston schools, the committee extended their examination into some of the schools in the neighbouring towns; but they include only the Dudley school in Roxbury among their returns, feeling a conviction, that, in that school, neither master nor scholars knew any thing beforehand of their questions, while in the others there was room for doubt. As if by way of special rebuke to the pride which Boston feels in her public schools, it appears, that, in the general summing up of the relative merits of all the schools examined,

*In the Girls' Schools, the average age of the scholars examined is about 14 years.

the Dudley school takes precedence of all the Boston schools, and that all of the latter, with one exception, fall very considerably short of it.

Upon the condition of the Boston schools, as revealed by this examination, the committee have much to say in their Report, and many improvements to suggest. Here, too, we cannot fol low them minutely or in detail, without expanding a short notice into a long article, but must content ourselves with remarking upon one or two points.

The committee recommend a change in the organization of the schools. They would have them under the charge of one head master instead of two, and would increase the number of female teachers, advancing the standard of qualifications by enlarging their salaries. They recommend, also, the appointment of a school commissioner or superintendent, who shall be a permanent officer, with a competent salary. Here, too, we are emphatically with them. The arguments which they employ in favor of the appointment of this officer are unanswerable, and commend themselves to the good sense of every one who knows any thing about the operation of bodies constituted like the Boston school committee. The vigilant combination of a body of teachers is ever an overmatch for the sleepy wisdom of a board, which meets regularly but once a quarter, and is composed of persons, most of whom have their time and thoughts engrossed by their own affairs. The essential weight of these arguments is also enforced by the good results which have followed the appointment of such an officer in other places.

We have been pleased with the remarks on corporal punishment contained in the Report. They are well conceived and well expressed, and put the whole subject upon its true ground. They flow from an enlightened and humane spirit, restrained by knowledge and experience from running into visionary extremes. We commend them to the careful consideration of all teachers, especially those in the Boston schools, where (we speak advisedly) the rod has been heretofore far too much used, as a moving and restraining power. We give, too, our hearty and admiring assent to the observations upon the moral requisites and duties of the teacher.

A bold and uncompromising Report of this kind, as might be expected, has met with some opposition. Its conclusions have been assailed with vehemence, and even the motives of the committee have been impugned. Forming our judgment from a considerable knowledge of the schools and from an examination of the Report itself, we do not hesitate to say that nothing can be more unwarrantable than such charges. We do not find a line

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