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Notices of Books.

NEW CLASSICAL DICTIONARY OF BIOGRAPIIY, MYTHOLOGY, AND GEO

GRAPHY; PARTLY BASED ON THE DICTIONARY OF GREER AND ROMAN BIOGRAPIIY AND MYTHOLOGY." BY W, SMITH, LL.D. · (Lon

don : John Murray; Taylor, Walton, and Maberly. 1850.) Tuis dictionary is intended for younger students, and to elucidate the Greek and Roman writers usually read in schools. In size and in purpose it may be compared with Lempriere's Classical Dictionary, which has passed through many editions. “The biographical and mythological articles," it is observed in the Preface, " are founded upon those in the Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology;" but the geographical articles are written entirely for the present work. In addition to the original sources the Editor has availed himself of the best modern treatises on the subject, and of the valuable works of travels in Greece, Italy, and the East, which have appeared within the last few years, both in England and in Germany. It is hoped that, in the Geographical portion of the work, very few omissions will be discovered of names occurring in the chief classical writers; but the great number of names found only in Strabo, Pliny, Ptolemy, and the Itineraries, have been properly omitted, except in cases where such names have become of historical celebrity, or have given rise to important towns in modern times. The Editor has to express his obligation to his brother, the Rev. Philip Smith, who has rendered him valuable assistance by writing the Geographical articles relating to Asia and Africa.

Teachers have now the opportunity of comparing a new work with the editions of Lempriere, which are about the same size. We say nothing of a comparison between this work and the edition of Lempriere by Anthon, which is overloaded with false learning and useless matter. Besides this, Anthon's edition, we believe, cannot be got in England, because the Editor has taken so much from English copyriglit works, that his book is shut out as a piracy. Though Lempriere has been somewhat purged and improved, by various hands, the book is so radically bad, that it may be pronounced past cure; and a new book was wanted.

All the Editor could do, with names of persons and mythological names, was to abridge carefully the large Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography. Such a work as the large Dictionary cannot be free from error; and, when so many hands were employed, the excculion must be in some degree unequal. To correct all the errors, which unavoidably creep into so large a work, would be almost equivalent to the labour of re-writing the articles. In this work the Editor has judiciously allowed a reasonable space for the names of the chief Greek and Roman writers, and the chief personages in Greek and Roman History; but other names of less importance have not been omitted.

The Editor has marked the quantity of the doubtful syllables in the names of persons and places which stand at the head of an article; and, in the case of Greek names, he has also given the Greek form. In the case of names of places, he has given the Ethnic name. The following is an instance: “ Abdēra (rå "Alònpa, Abdera, ae; and Abdera, orum : 'Abonpions, Abdérītes and Abdērīta).” This will be very useful to young students, who are apt to blunder about proper names; and it may be useful to many teachers, who have been accustomed to allow a careless habit to be acquired by their pupils, as to the use of proper names, and particularly names of people derived from places. The modern names of places also are given when they could be ascertained.

In a work of 832 pages only, though printed in double columns and in a smallish type, it is impossible to give all that many persons would wish; and the student must be satisfied if he finds in a book of such dimensions as much as it could be made to hold. And this appears to have been accomplished by the Editor. Indeed, a small work is much better adapted for boys than a large one. All that they want is to find the names that occur in the ordinary books that they read, and as much good information as the limits of the book will allow. References, which are here omitted, and discussions of disputed points, would be of no use for boys. The work, however, contains a great many Christian names, which a schoolboy will never want to know anything about, such as Zonaras and Zosomus, for instance. This will no doubt be useful to many persons, who cannot afford to buy more expensive works, to find even such names as these; but it may still be a question whether, for school use, a Dictionary would not be best which shall contain only the names of persons and places mentioned in the Greek and Roman writers within a given period. There would not be much difficulty in limiting a work in this way, with respect to names of persons and names of writers; but there would be more difficulty as to names of places. The advantage of limiting a work for school use in the way here mentioned, would be, that more space could be given to the names which occur in books which

young students read. The disadvantage would be, that persons, except young students, would complain of its incompleteness. However, we think that it is still a question worth consideration, which of the two plans should be adopted in a school-book.

Those who have the opportunity may compare the longer articles in this work with those in the latest editions of Lempriere; and such a comparison will easily enable them to form a judgment of the comparative merits of the two works. The Geographical part, which is entirely new, is very complete, both as to names and the handling of them. In some cases there is less said under the smaller names than one might require; but there is as much said as could be done within the limits, and the Editor has done wisely in not making the book larger. REPORT OF THE FIFTII ANNUAL MEETING OF THE LAMB

RAGGED SCHOOLS, CLERKENWELL. (1850.) The amount of good at present effected by Ragged Schools is a subject which we do not feel competent to discuss. The experiment must probably be tried for a much longer period, and upon a more extensive scale, before any conclusion which will be generally satisfactory can be

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arrived at. The object of these institutions is one which must, under any circumstances, create a lively interest in the mind of every philanthropist. The simple knowledge that such an attempt is being made to reclaim the vagabond neglected children of our huge metropolis, can scarcely fail of having a beneficial effect upon some at least of those unfortunate beings, who hitherto have been without any positive assurance that any of their fellow-creatures cared either for their temporal or spiritual welfare. To render such an attempt successful amidst the many difficulties which surround it seems to require an unusual combination of prudence, patience, and enterprise. Still, if it be made in a Christian spirit, with humble reliance upon assistance from above, there is no reason to despair of its ultimate success. The report sug: gests, that a scheme of emigration, if supported by government, would afford an outlet by which many of those who frequent the Ragged Schools might be rendered useful members of society in foreign lands. It states that, under the care of the Ragged School Union, 150 lads and girls were sent out to several of our colonial settlements, and obtained employment at good wages within three days after landing. With reference to the letters in the Morning Chronicle, which have spoken of Ragged Schools as “ nurseries for crime," it mentions as a fact, “ that during a period of five years not more than half-a-dozen out of many hundreds have rendered themselves amenable to the criminal laws." The report concludes with the testimony of Mr. Serjeant Adams, which the great experience of that learned judge renders peculiarly valuable, and which we are therefore glad to record in our journal, as what may be regarded as a step towards the solution of the question, whether Ragged Schools should be encouraged. His testiinony is :-"Much good has been effected by Ragged Schools; and, lowly as they may be at present, their influence must have inspired the minds of these poor, wretched, and miserable children with self-respect, self-consideration, and good ideas. These institutions are a great blessing, and may God send that they will take root and prosper in the good work which they have begun !"

LECTURES ON NATURAL PHILOSOPIIY. BY THE REV. J. W. M'GAULEY,

CANON, ETC., PROFESSOR OF NATURAL PHILOSOPHY, AND ONE OF THE HEADS OF THE TRAINING DEPARTMENT TO THE NATIONAL BOARD OF EDUCATION IN IRELAND. Vol. I. pp. 368.

Vol. II.

pp. 286.

MADE

SCIENCE SIMPLIFIED; AND PHILOSOPHY, NATURAL AND EXPERIMENTAL,

EASY.
BY THE REV. DAVID WILLIAMS, M.A.

12mo. Pp. 150. The Training Institutions established in this country have been the means of creating a new class of educational works. Hitherto, books on the principles of science have been written, either for the instruction of the collegiate student or for the amusement of the mere popular reader. Now, whilst the student of a training institution should not be left in ignorance of the great principles of science, he has only a short time to bestow upon their acquisition. Mere popular science is not sufficient for him. Books, therefore, intended for his use, should be concise without being obscure--comprehensive without being

shallow-demonstrative without being abstruseand practical without being dogmatic ; in short, the books best adapted for his use must contain the greatest amount of knowledge, communicated in the most simple style, and comprised in the least possible space. Abstruse definitions, axioms, postulates, &c., &c., long and so-called logical investigations are not the sort of things which he requires,

We have arrived at a great educational epoch, when Method, as applied to instruction, is elaiming the attention which it unquestionably deserves ; and when books, constructed on the principles developed by method, must receive more decided attention.

Dr. M.Gauley's book contains a large body of useful information on natural and experimental philosophy, adapted for the use of normal schools. The first volume treats of mechanics, hydrostatics, pneumatics, optics, electricity, galvanism, magnetism, and heat. The second volume treats of chemistry only. Although Mr. M'Gauley's work may not have come fully up to our notions of a system of instruction on science, adapted for the use of teachers, we have no hesitation in saying, that the work is written with considerable ability, and deserves public encouragement.

The second book above-named contains a series of very rudimentary lessons on animal and vegetable physiology, mechanics, optics, astronomy, and geology. One great defect of the book is its want of cuts.

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OUTLINES OF PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY, DESCRIPTIVE OF THE INORGANIC

MATTER OF THE GLOBE, AND THE DISTRIBUTION OF ORGANIZED BEINGS. BY EDWARD HUGHES, F.R.G.S., HEAD MASTER OF THE ROYAL NAVAL LOWER SCHOOL, GREENWICH HOSPITAL. WITH EIGHT MAPS, COMPILED BY WILLIAM HUGHES, F.R.G.S., LATE PROFESSOR OF GEOGRAPIIY IN THE COLLEGE FOR CIVIL ENGINEERS. Second edition, greatly enlarged. (London : Longmans, 1850.)

ELEMENTS OF PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY, WITH OUTLINES OF GEOLOGY,

MATUEMATICAL GEOGRAPHY, AND ASTRONOMY, AND QUESTIONS FOR EXAMINATION. BY IIUGO REID, WITH NUMEROUS ILLUSTRATIONS, AND A LARGE COLOURED PHYSICAL CHART OF THE GLOBE, BY W. AND A. K, JOHNSTON, INTENDED AS A COMPANION TO ALL GEOGRAPHIES. (Edinburgh : Oliver fo Boyd, 1850.)

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A COMPENDIUM OF MODERN GEOGRAPHY, WITH REMARKS ON THL PHY

SICAL PECULIARITIES, &c. OF THE VARIOUS COUNTRIES, AND DESCRIPTIVE TABLES, IN WHICII ARE GIVEN THE PRONUNCIATION, AND A CONCISE ACCOUNT OF EVERY PLACE OF IMPORTANCE, &c. TO WHICHI ARE NOW ADDED OUTLINES OF MATHEMATICAL GEOGRAPHY, ASTRONOMY, AND PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY, ILLUSTRATED BY TEN MAPS, INCLUDING A COLOURED CHART OF THE GLOBE. BY THE REV. A. STEWART. Ninth edition. (Edinburgh : Oliver & Boyd, 1850.)

In no department of school instruction lias modern improvement proceeded more satisfactorily, both as to matter and method, than in the subject of the above-named treatises. We remember with vexation the uninteresting and unprofitable task-work imposed upon us by the geography of our school-boy days; and we congratulate the present generation of learners on the pleasure and advantage now associated with the means of geographical instruction. The benefit 10 which we refer is, in a great measure, the fruit of the cultivation which Physical Geography has of late years received. It is in this that the seeds and sources of what is commonly called Descriptive Geography are to be sought; and any attempt to learn the science without an examination of these, must be very irksome, and of very small utility.

Accordingly, we find appended, in the latest edition of Stewart's Compendium, a systematic view of Physical Geography, which certainly much enhances the value of what had been previously one of our best approved school-books. We can now, therefore, recommend this little volume as a very economical and useful text-book for elementary schools.

A larger amount of well-digested information on the subject of Physical Geography will be found in Hugo Reid's Elements, from which the appendix in Stewart appears to be mainly an abstract. The cheapness of Reid's book is a great merit in relation to the excellence and well-developed order of the matter.

But decidedly the best book for schools on the subject of Physical Geography is, in our opinion, the one first named at the head of these remarks. The interesting and useful information which it contains, the just and well-expressed sentiments with which it is interspersed, and the judicious arrangement of the whole subject, entitle Mr. Hughes's Outlines to far more extensive patronage than that of the scholastic profession. As a teacher of Geography, Mr. Hughes is acknowledged to be most successful; and his Outlines, in the hands of any judicious instructor, will, we apprehend, contribute greatly to the attainment of similar success. The Maps compiled by Mr. William Hughes are what the reputation of that eminent geographer would argue, and form a valuable feature of the book,

FOR THE USE OF SCIIOOLS AND

SELECT ENGLISH POETRY, DESIGNED

YOUNG PERSONS IN GENERAL. EDITED BY THE LATE DR. ALLEN.

Pp. 360. (Juckson and Walford.) Tuis Selection, which has reached a fifth edition, deserves the favour with which it has been received. It has evidently been inade by a person of good and correct taste. It is not a hasty compilation, but the result of a careful and deliberate consideration of what is most likely to prove engaging and instructive to the young, and to give them a general notion of the different styles and characteristics of English poetry. For a work of this description, the proportion of pieces and extracts from our principal modern poets is perhaps unusually large; but interspersed with them are to be found many of the best known passages from our older writers. The pieces are not placed under different heads or in chronological order, but the arrangement is miscellaneous, thereby rendering the volume more interesting and varied. We can confidently recommend it for young persons in general, as calculated to promote the cultivation of poetical taste, and an acquaintance with the differ styles of many our English poets.

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