« PreviousContinue »
duce some independent effort, beyond the mere text of the lesson. It is recommended that in the first reading, the home-lesson should consist in learning the head words and meanings, and writing those of the words given in the exercises. This will make the scholar familiar with each lesson as one in language. In the second reading, he may be required to show that he has mastered the subject matter of the lesson, and can put it into an intelligible shape. The other requirements will usually call for some independent thought, and may be taken with either the second or the third reading, at the discretion of the teacher.
The editor cannot close this preface without acknowledging his great obligation to his friend Mr. J. G. Davis, who has most carefully gone through the manuscripts of the book, in which he has made valuable emendations and suggestions, and further has secured more than ordinary accuracy by his careful correction of the proof sheets.
The Ancient Britons
THE FIFTH BOOK.
* Votary, one given up to some
fused by chemists.
Docility, willingness to learii.
of a chemist. Submarine, under the sea.
In the lessons on science in the Fourth Book, it was shown how the study of natural sciencc should be entered upon, and how it should be pursued. We there explained how the careful observation of facts and phenomena laid the foundation of all scientific research. That, in many cases, the full knowledge of facts could only be obtained by experiment, by means of which objects are seen under new circumstances and in new combinations.
We also showed that after having obtained an ac.
* TO THE TEACHER.—The pupils, on the first reading, should be required to learn accurately the words and definitions at the head of each lesson, these being to them new and unknown words. The words to be defined in the first exercise are either explained in the lesson itself or in a previous book of the series, and may with advantage be now re-produced.
quaintance with a wide range of facts, it becomes the province of the student to form or accept some hypothesis or theory, that is some general principle according to which the several observed facts may be said to arise. And we showed further that when any such hypothesis or theory has stood the test of examination by many minds, acting and thinking under varied circumstances, then the hypothesis is accepted as a scientific law.
We now pass on to consider how some of the great truths of science have been brought to light by the students of nature, of either present or past times. And perhaps no better type of the true votary of science can be presented than our countryman, Michael Faraday. Of him we may truly say, that as a learner he possessed the docility of a little child; while that very docility led him to be the discoverer of some of the greatest truths unfolded to men during the present century. Moreover, what he had learned by close and rigid investigation, he taught with the simplicity and fervour of one who was but a step in advance of his learners.
Michael Faraday was born at Newington Butts, Southwark, in 1791. His boyhood was spent in acquiring the elements of an English education, and at the age of thirteen he was apprenticed to a London bookbinder. And while he worked faithfully at this calling, he sought to carry on that education which he felt had only been begun by the elementary lessons of school. Hence, we find him spending his few spare pence in buying some simple chemicals, with which he began to question nature, so as to make her reveal to him some of her mysteries. Soon after, we find him making some rough but available electrical apparatus, from which he first