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We have received from Hon. W. R. White his Second Annual Report of the Free Schools of West Virginia. It is carefully prepared, presenting a very clear and satisfactory view of the cause of popular education in that State-the typography is unexceptionable. There remains a little of the old barbarian darkness lingering over this new State, but the light of free schools will soon remove it. The Superintendant remarks: "A small portion of the population oppose the system from motives of caste. They frown upon the system, as of plebian tendency. They have a fear of the institution as being fatal to their pretentions. This fear is reasonable—and the sooner it is realized the better." Read what Mr. White speaks to Rhode Island, as well as to his own State, about NORMAL SCHOOLS:

"The great object of these schools is to prepare teachers for the arduous duties of their vocation. During the growth and development of the educational systems in Europe and America, these Institutions came into existence. They meet a want which was long felt. The powerful influence which they exert in advancing the interests of education, puts them among the first school agencies that ought to be in operation. In our own State this fact is very patent. A Normal School would command a large patronage at the present time. The only attempt to afford the benefits of such an enterprise has been made in Marion, where the want of a building only is 'necessary to a complete success. I will offer some advantages among the many which

these schools confer:

"1st. The development of our own intellectual resources. The necessity of importing teachers will be removed. That a special talent for this profession exist amongst us has already been evolved by means of the Institutes held in the State. "2nd. They will supply the greatly increasing demand for good teachers. "3rd. They will diminish the cost of tuition by protecting against loss by inexperienced and unworthy teachers.

"4th. They will establish a uniformity in the mode of teaching, so that pupils, by a change of teacher, will not be embarrassed by a change in the general mode of instruction.


"5th. The student in these Normal Schools, by keeping ever in view the profession in which he proposes to enter, is rendered more thorough in his attainments. consideration that he is to reproduce the lessons there learned will secure greater concentration of mind, and a keener zest in obtaining knowledge.

"6th. These schools are the laboratories where theory is passed through crucible of experiment, and that which is new is received only after it is demonstrated to be true. Many minor advantages manifest themselves in the beautiful simplicity they give to the whole machinery of education, and the inevitable success they impart to

the teacher.

"In behalf of the cause of education I do most earnestly, yet respectfully, ask of the Legislature a liberal appropriation by which our new State may place herself beside her sister States, in the crusade against ignorance. The economists of time, labor and money who erected those monuments of their foresight in Massachusetts, Connecticut, New York and other States have set an example for us. The Normal schools to-day are equalled in their practical utility only by their architectural taste and beauty. Four institutions of this kind are needed in our State. Wheeling and Charleston present points very desirable for the establishment of Normal schools, in connection with a high school department. The other localities might be selected with reference to contingencies likely to arise in the establishment of an Agricultural College, and fixing the site of the State capital."

THE AURORA BOREALIS OF FEBRUARY 20TH, 1866.-Those who witnessed the grand auroral display of the 20th inst., and especially those who have kept a record of similar exhibitions, may have remarked the frequency with which the phenomenon has occurred about the same epoch, viz., from February 15th to February 23rd. Some of the most brilliant that have occurred at this period during the last century are the following; 1. 1773, February 17th; 2. 1784, February 23rd; 3. 1794, February 15th; 4. 1838, February 21st; 5. 1848, February 20th; 6. 1851, February 18th; 7. 1852, February 18th; 8. 1866, February 20th.

Besides the February epoch any extended list of auroras will indicate two or three others, the most remarkable of which is that of November 13th-18th. (See Olmsted's Paper in the Smithsonian Contributions, vol. viii.) Fifty-three brilliant auroras have been observed since 1770. Of these, an accidental distribution would assign but one to the interval between the 13th and 18th of November; whereas eight of the number have actually occurred at that epoch. Are such coincidences accidental, or do they warrant the conjecture that, as in the case of shooting stars, there are particular periods at which the grand display of the phenomenon most frequently occur?-Iowa School Journal.

PRESIDENT NOTT has been justly styled the "father of Presidents." Having graduated more men who have successfully stood at the head of American Colleges than any other college President in this country. At one time no less than five Presidents of prominent American Colleges, were graduates of Union College and received their collegiate honors at the hands of this venerable educator. Dr. Nott has graduated about four thousand students, many of whom have held high positions in church and state, and not a few, having lived to a ripe old age, have passed away, their venerable educator surviving them. What has been said of WASHINGTON can be said of ELIPHALET NOTT. The world has produced but few such men, and America but one such man.

MR. J. L. PICKARD, of Chicago, delivered a very instructive and interesting address, in which he made the following points: 1st. Never attempt to teach what you do not understand. 2d. Never tell a child what you can make it tell you. 3d. Never give a piece of information without asking for it again. 4th. Never use a hard word when an easy one will do as well. 5th. Never give a lesson without a clear view of its need. 6th. Never give an unnecessary command, nor one that cannot be enforced. 7th. Never permit a child to remain without something to do or a motive for doing it.

TEMPERANCE PLATFORM, as set forth by the Indiana State Central Temperance Committee: "No license to sell intoxicating drinks as a beverage, except upon the petition of a majority of the legal voters in the ward or township where such liquor is to be sold." Every teacher should be a teacher of temperance, both by presept and example, illustrating and enforcing the divine injunction, "Live soberly, righteously, and godly."

HOME PRODUCTION.-According to the census of 1860, Illinois produced only six bales of cotton, or from 2,500 to 3,000 pounds. Three years later there were shipped at her railroad stations 100,000 pounds, the next year 400,000, and last year 1,600,000. The total yield, however, for 1865, is estimated at 5,000,000 pounds or 10,000 bales—twice as much as was exported annually from the whole country at the beginning of the century, twice as much as grown by Kentucky, and nearly as much as by Virginia, in 1860. The laborers engaged in cultivating this staple are mostly negroes, familiar with the process. The cotton itself is said to equal that of Tennessee in quality.


FIELD, GUNBOAT, HOSPITAL AND PRISON. By Mrs. P. A. Hanaford. C. M. Dinsmoor & Co., Boston.

The title of this book is its greatest fault. "Heroic Incidents of the Rebellion," would have been less ambitious and loud sounding. A marvelous vision, extending from the gloomy and uncertain April day of 1861 to the joyful and victorious events of 1865, passed before us as we read the title, and we wonder what so few pages can tell of such a mighty struggle. A history this book does not profess to be. What then? A string of pearls. A notice of some splendid examples of self-sacrifice, noble daring and heroic deaths. The writer loves heroes and has made a little compend of the various ways in which manhood and womanhood has achieved immortal fame in such a fitting time. With such gems as these the future historians and novelists may adorn their pages. We have read the book as we would examine the beautiful display of the jeweller's show case, with admiration at the profusion of the display. The authoress evidently belongs to the noble “ Bay State." She does not say so,

but the book does.

The Massachusetts boys figure largely, and they deserve to. What Massachusetts man or woman has not his or her eyes filled by the sight of Massachusetts heroes. We pardon the partiality and in our own admiration of the brilliant services of that noble State, worship, too. We hope the book will serve to keep alive in the memories of its readers some of the choice examples of American bravery and patriotism. It is a good book of the kind and we wish it well.

SIMPLICITY AND FASCINATION. By Anne Beal. Loring, Publisher, Boston.

This is a story of English life, and gives, in an interesting style, the struggles and trials of a family of orphans in early life. The eldest sister, Jessie, is one in all respects, worthy of imitation; full of sweet simplicity, earnest frankness, good sense, and deepest trust and faith in God. Pynsent is a model brother, an eminent physician and a christian man. Uncle Timothy is a refreshing character, holding an abiding faith in God and man with a desire ever to do good. There are many other characters that the reader will follow with interest. The book is one of the best which Loring has issued.

SNOW-BOUND. A Winter Idyl.

By John G. Whittier.

Ticknor & Fields, Boston. In this new poem, the author has given a perfect picture of winter country life in the olden time. No one who has not lived and moved and had his being amid such a scene, could have drawn the picture with such exactness; and none whose youthful days were not spent in the country can fully appreciate the poem. Take these lines :

"Meanwhile we did our nightly chores.

Brought in the wood from out of doors,
Littered the stalls, and from the mows
Raked down the heard's-grass for the cows;
Heard the horse whinnying for his corn;
And, sharply clashing horn on horn,
Impatient down the stanchion rows

The cattle shake their walnut bows."

"Within our beds awhile we heard
The wind that round the gables roared,
With now and then a ruder shock,
Which made our very bedsteads rock.
We heard the loosened clapboards tost,
The board-nails snapping in the frost,

And on us, through the unplastered wall,
Felt the light sifted snow flakes fall.

If the city "Fashionables" would hurry off into some secluded town in the country just before a heavy snow storm, and witness a genuine winter carnival of the élements as was seen by our Grandfathers, the memory of it might be more pleasing than that brought back from a Summer tour to fashionable resorts.


We have read this book with pleasure and profit. The name of the principal character does not appear on the title page. The rich, proud, sharp witted, and keen tongued Miss Kate McQuarrie, the "ancient maiden lady," forms the background of this word painting. The interesting features of the Hagart family and Miss Cora and Maggie, whose matrimonial allegiances, in due season after the usual trials, are properly effected from the foreground. There is an unity of purpose in the plot, but each character does not say and do enough to give us a great insight into the workings of human nature. "All is well that ends well." This book is therefore well, for the curtain drops upon the parties under the most favorable circumstances. There are many passages of beauty and eloquence, and the interest awakened on its first pages lead us on, increasing to the last. So will it be for you, kind reader.

Many bees engaged, and many flowers contributing their sweets, to furnish the honey for one hive. In the preparation of the new illustrated edition of Webster's Dictionary, in addition to the collection of works of reference, directly owned and used by the editors, the following public libraries were accessible to all or to different members of the editorial corps, and consulted by them as occasion required: Library of Yale College; Astor Library, New York; Boston Atheneum; Boston City Library; Library of Harvard University; Atheneum and Connecticut Historical Library at Hartford, and others. Some fifty to seventy-five different individuals were actively employed upon, or directly contributed to, the literary preparation of the work, thirty or forty of them at directly and regularly compensated labor.

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"It is no doubt true, that we cannot really know our own language, or have an intelligent understanding of what language means, until we have obtained some knowledge of one or two foreign tongues."

I accept this sentiment, as presented in the leading article in the May number of THE SCHOOLMASTER, as true without qualification; and upon it as a foundation I propose to rest the novel claim for the Study of Latin in our Common Schools. And without apology, or any attempt to soften the surprise which the announcement of my subject may awaken, I propose to urge a few considerations in its favor, and possibly to anticipate a few objections that may be raised against it.

Every reasonable person will admit the importance of a thorough knowledge of our own language; and it is still an open question how this knowledge may be most effectually acquired and with the greatest facility. Of course by knowledge I here mean practical knowledge such a knowledge as will enable its possessor to use the English language readily and correctly in speaking and writing. This involves three important elements, viz.: an understanding of the meaning of separate words, of the structure of sentences, and such practice in the use of the former, and construction of the latter, as will enable a speaker or writer to express his ideas with propriety, beauty and force. And without expecting from my readers any unqualified indorsement of the views presented, I shall maintain that

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