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has not been found, that this mode of training the body is of any real use in preparing it for the performance of the necessary and useful lahours of life. In the works requisite, in peace or war, by land or sea, these men are not found superior to those who have been educated in the common way. Indeed, that disposition of bodily force, and facility of putting it forth into action, which is equally adapted to all useful purposes, and which brings into vigorous exercise all the parts of the body, is evidently the best

. Just such is the fact in regard to the mind. By a peculiar course of education, a particular faculty is exercised and invigorated to the neglect of others; or a habit of performing certain intellectual operations with facility, is acquired. Thus, by constant exercise, the memory may be trained to remember words in their connected series, while not the least attention is paid to the relations of ideas expressed by them; and by artificial associations with things easily recollected in a certain order, this power of memory may be improved to a degree which appears wonderful. Persons skilled in the art of mnemonics are able, therefore, to perform exploits with this faculty, which, prior to all experience, would appear almost impossible. Indeed to one, whose mind has been much neglected, it seems a prodigious exertion of memory to be able to repeat exactly all the words of a discourse, which it requires an houror more to deliver; but, by exercise and long practice, this can be accomplished by many, after a second reading. It has also been found by experience, that children may be easily made to perform calculations by figures, which greatly exceed the powers of sensible adults who have never been exercised in these things. And in some systems of education, the teachers, availing themselves of this susceptibility of the human mind, seek to excite attention, and to obtain celebrity in the business of developing and training the mental faculties, by the extraordinary feats, which, under this mode of instruction, the pupils are able to perform. But all these attainments, however wonderful, are no better, as it relates to the education of the mind, than the ability to perform the feats of a wire dancer, or circus-rider, in the useful education of the body. Some persons seem to have by nature, or to have early acquired from some unknown cause, an extraordinary aptness to perform certain intellectual operations, which are far beyond the ability of other children, or even of most adults. The extraordinary developement of a faculty, by

means of which the person is able to perform operations of a particular kind, has, in several remarkable instances, been witnessed in relation to arithmetical calculations. Now, it has been found in some instances of this kind, that this extraordinary talent was accompanied by a remarkable deficiency in the other faculties of the mind. A man of colour, as we have been informed, in Rhode Island, who possessed the extraordinary faculty of telling, after a moments consideration, the result of the multiplication of a number of figures, was so stupid in other matters, that he could never be taught to read. And in other cases which have fallen under our observation, we have never known this extraordinary faculty to be united with other mental powers in just proportion, so as to constitute a well-balanced and vigorous mind.

We are persuaded, that in the business of education, it is not wise to attempt to elicit and strengthen one faculty, while the others are neglected; for, however successful the means used may be, and however extraordinary the talent which may be acquired, it is nothing more than giving undue vigour to one faculty at the expense of all the rest, which are found to exist in a state of proportionable ability. The vanity of the parents and friends of such children may be gratified by the extraordinary things of which they are capable, but the wise and considerate will prefer to have all the mental faculties brought into exercise and vigour in just proportion. We are led from this subject to remark, that all persons who engage with ardour in intellectual pursuits, which require the exercise of some one faculty, are very apt to contract a twist or distortion in their mental constitution; and to this cause much of that obliquity and eccentricity, for which some men are remarkable, must be attributed. The whole force of their mind is concentrated in some one faculty. Thus a man may pursue mathematical studies with so much ardour, that after awhile he becomes incapable of weighing the force of moral or analogical reasonings; and may appear so destitute of taste, that it may be doubtful whether any vestige of this faculty is left. We have, ourselves, known men who have made high attainments in mathematics, who did not appear to have more sense than a mere child about common affairs. And most persons have heard the anecdote of a celebrated mathematician of the university of Cambridge, who was particularly requested by a friend to peruse Milton's Paradise Lost, and give his opinion of the work; and who, when he returned the book, gravely said, that he had read it from the beginning to the end, but had failed to meet with a single demonstration in the whole work. Yet the danger of destroying the proper balance of the mind is not peculiar to those who are occupied too ardently in the pursuit of the exact sciences. The same thing more frequently takes place in those who become absorbed in studies, when the imagination is the faculty which is brought principally into exercise. Thus it has been found, that the study of the Prophecies has proved dangerous to men of imaginative minds. By degrees, they come to see coincidences which are concealed from other minds; and, at length, fall into a degree of extravagance in their opinions, which clearly indicates, that the proper balance of the mind has been disturbed. In all such cases, there is contracted a certain degree of insanity in relation to the favourite object of pursuit; and it is the more important to give precautionary counsels to prevent this aberration of mind; because, when it is once contracted, advice comes too late. It is one symptom of this disease, to adhere to the sug. gestions of a disordered imagination with a confidence which no arguments can shake; and in this state of mind, nothing is more natural than for the enthusiast to believe that he possesses light which others do not see; and their incredulity is attributed to their ignorance, or want of attention to the subject. How far it may be practicable by a judicious system of education to prevent this evil, we cannot say; but certainly, dangers of this kind are more likely to be avoided when seasonably pointed out, than when persons are permitted to go forward without any warning.

But it is time that we should take some notice of the little, unpretending volumes, which have been recently presented to the public, by the Rev. Mr. Gallaudet, of Hartford, Conn. It ought to be a subject of immense congratulation with the friends of education, that a gentleman, every way so well qualified, has undertaken the humble, but very important work, of preparing elementary books for children.“ Plato thought, that the state of the world would be felicitous, when kings should all be philosophers; but after the trial of the inefficacy of philosophy alone, for several thousand years, we may be permitted to say, that the prospects of society will be bright, when pious, Christian theologians, shall condescend to become the teachers of children. Mr. Gallaudet has enjoyed peculiar advantages for studying the developement of the human mind, during the long period in which he has been engaged in superintending the instruction of the deaf and dumb; and the American public owes him a debt of gratitude, for his patient, persevering, and successful efforts, in establishing institutions for this benevolent object in our land; and in the page of the impartial historian, he will undoubtedly be enrolled as one of the benefactors of his country.

It will readily occur to any one, that the successful instruction of mutes requires a knowledge of the faculties of the mind; but it is known to few how necessary it is, in this kind of instruction, to enter into a discriminating analysis of the various modes of thinking: nor is it understood by most, what a circuitous course must often be pursued to communicate to this unfortunate class of pupils, some one single idea. Now, as the success of the instructer will depend very much on the ingenious devices which he adopts for the purpose of conveying ideas to the minds of those who cannot acquire them in the usual way, teachers, whose minds are fertile in resources, will naturally be led to study the relations of thought with an attention which is uncommon with other persons; and in a long course of such studies, they will make discoveries of leading principles in the exercises of mind, which may be very beneficial in promoting education in general. For occasions such as these, we are much gratified to find a gentleman of Mr. Gallaudet's talents and experience, turning his attention to a system of education adapted to young children; for we are persuaded, that any plan which is effectual must commence with the pupil at an early age. And from what we know of the character of Mr. Gallaudet, we are not acquainted with any person better qualified to give a right direction to this momentous concern. We must not, however, expect too much from the efforts of any man, when so much rubbish lies in the way. Even to make an auspicious beginning, in a business so vital to human happiness—merely to lay a good foundation, on which others may hereafter build, is doing a great

In two respects, the Book of the Soul demands our unqualified approbation. The first is, the unaffected simplicity of the style. The words selected are generally pure Eng, lish; and while every idea is presented in the plainest and most perspicuous manner, there are none of those diversities, into which most persons naturally fall, 'when they write books for children. Our author has happily shunned the

common extremes, of being too learned on the one hand, or too quaint and vulgar on the other. Although, to a superficial observer, it may seem to be the easiest thing in the world, to write in the plain simple style of these little volumes; yet, we have no doubt, that it has cost the writer more sedulous attention and labour, to write in this manner, than to compose in that florid and elegant style, in which many admired books are written. But while we wish to bestow high commendation on the purity, simplicity, and unaffected ease of the style of these little volumes, there are some trivial points on which we would remark. It did not strike us favourably, that the word think is so repeatedly used, where the mental exercise intended to be expressed is willing. I think to move my hand, is a form of expression which sounds very awkwardly to us, and we do not see why the appropriate word might not be as well used. I will to move my hand or feet, is, in our opinion, as intelligible to a child, as the form of expression here adopted. We are of opinion, that no form of speech should be used in such an elementary work which is not correct, and which it would be improper for the child to use when the age of infancy is past. In other instances, when the author has occasion to use a word not likely to be understood by children, he seizes the opportunity of explaining its meaning; and thus a new word is learned by the pupil. And it appears to us, that this would have been the correct course here; sor sooner or later, the proper word to signify that act of the mind termed willing, a volition, must be known; but the child, having been accustomed to the phraseology here employed, will be long subjected to embarrassment.

The only other thing which we have observed in the style of these volumes, which calls for a remark, is the occasional use of the sign of the infinitive mode, without expressing the verb itself, when it can readily be understood: an idiom, which as far as we know, is confined to the inhabitants of New England and their descendants in the other States. In answer to the question, Do you go to town, to day? they say, I intend to, or I want to. Now, however, this method of abbreviation may be tolerated in familiar conversation, it ought not to be admitted in any written composition; and especially in a book from which thousands of children will form their habits of speaking the English language.

VOL. IV. No. II.-U

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