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ever, some fine squares with ornamental fountains. Some of its finest buildings were either destroyed or riddled with cannon-shot during the Peninsular war. Near the town was fought the memorable battle of Salamanca, on the 22nd July, 1812, when the French were completely defeated by the British under Wellington. Population, 20,000.
Ciudad Rodrigo, on the Agueda, a tributary of the Douro, is a very strong town, and the defence of Spain against Portugal, from the frontiers of which country it is distant about sixteen miles. This town was taken by the French in 1810, under Marshal Massena; and in 1812 it was stormed by the English and Portuguese under Wellington, who took it after a siege of twelve days. Great quantities of ammunition, and a large battering train fell into the hands of the conquerors. Wellington, for this important achievement, received from the Spanish the title of Duke of Ciudad Rodrigo, and from the Portuguese that of Marquis Torres Vedras. The town has some trade in soap, leather, linen, and woollen-stuffs. Population, 11,000.
Oporto or Porto, anciently Calle Portus, on the north bank of the Douro, about two miles from its mouth, is the second city in Portugal. It rises like an amphitheatre from the bank of the river, and is built partly on the acclivities of two hills, and partly on a plain between them and the Douro. It is, in general, well built, and the houses are all whitewashed. It is said to be the most agreeable and the cleanest of all the Portuguese towns. From its situation on the Douro, Oporto is the emporium of a large portion of Portugal, and ranks as one of the most commercial cities in Europe. It is noted especially for its trade in Port wine, which derived its name from being shipped at this city. It has manufactories of cotton, linen, silk, and wool, with tanneries, roperies, and ship-building yards. Population, 80,000.
16. The Minuo lias its sources in the northern part of Galicia, in Spain, flows through this province, and after forming the boundary between Spain and Portugal, enters the Atlantic. Its length is from 125 to 150 miles.
W. M.L. (To be continued.)
IMPORTANCE OF ARITHMETIC. Sir,--You deserve thanks for your remarks on the importance of arithmetic as a branch of liberal education. I should be glad to see them followed by observations on the method of teaching arithmetic, such as many of your readers, probably, could record from their experience. I am a young teacher, and have to instruct between thirty and forty boys in subjects from vulgar fractions upwards, and in algebra, in three weekly periods of an hour and a half each, at the end of long days of classical work; and I find it a task somewhat difficult to fulfil thoroughly.
Your obedient Servant,
H., Trin. Coll. Cam. [We shall be glad to try to meet our correspondent's wish; but we
should recommend him in the mean time to get more hours in the week for this work. It is the great evil of the present day to be doing too many things at once, and allowing too little time for each].
LATIN VERSES. SIR.-In giving some hints last month about verses, you were led to urge that a simple version of the fable in hand should be shown to the pupil after his own had been attempted and criticised. This was recommended as an important part of the plan. It has occurred to me that where masters are already overworked, it is too much to expect them to be always ready with a version of their own. As your journal circulates in a great measure among teachers, and as you are doubtless anxious to make it as practically useful as you can, perhaps you may allow a not uninterested looker-on, who has some leisure, to send a couple of fables, turned, as recommended, in a very simple way. They may be perhaps useful to those who have not the time to make a better version for themselves. I send also the original Latin prose, which I think should be printed with them.
“RUSTICUS ET ANGUIS. “Rusticus quidam nutrierat Anguem. Aliquando autem iratus, bestiam petit securi. Ille non sine vulnere evadit. Posteà Rusticus ad paupertatem redactus, ratus est id infortunii propter. Anguem læsum sibi accidisse. Supplicat igitur Angui, ut redeat. Ille ait, Ignoscere se quidem, sed redire nolle ad eum, cui tanta sit domi securis."
Rusticus ex agris latum nutriverat Angiem;
At forte iratus perculit ense feram :
Rusticus ex lauto post breve pauper erat ;
Hanc reputans, Anguem lata per arva petit.
“Tela tenente domo, non rediisse volo.”
Quo læsus, sapiens horret adire locum.
CERVA ET LEÆNA.
“ Cerva, venatores fugiens, in speluncam se recepit. In Leænam autem ibi cum incidisset, ab eâ comprehensa est : moriens autem ingemebat, “Hei mihi! Homines dum fugio, in ferarum immitissimam incidi.”
Dum fugimus parvum, magnum persæpe periclum
Obfuit : hoc verum fabula nostra docet.
Qua latebras, vultum torva, Leæna locat.
“ Heu! leve dum fugio, ine capit acre malum.” It would be highly satisfactory to me to find that the plan here suggested is acceptable to your readers.
ON COMPOSITION OF LATIN AND GREEK. Sir,—There is scarcely anything more troublesome or more unsatisfactory than the task of correcting Latin or Greek prose composition. Indeed, to a man who likes the work of tuition this is the only part of it that deserves the name of task. The difficulties and labour attending this particular work, if performed in the usual way, are very great : any suggestion therefore that may help to lessen them will probably be acceptable to many of your readers.
It is a common practice when boys are pretty well at home in the usual exercise-books to give them a passage from the Spectator or some such book, to translate into Latin prose. They turn the passage, each probably after a fashion of his own. If the labour expended by the boys is not to be thrown away, each exercise has to be carefully looked over with the writer of it. One may imagine the various ways in which the sentences will be turned the various degrees of beauty and deformity that will be exhibited: one exercise is nearly Latin, but not quite; another nearly English, in a Roman disguise, not a dress; and besides there will be found sundry substantial mistakes in grammar and construction. No one who has not tried it can imagine the toil and hrain required to look over in any profitable way a dozen of such medleys ; to point out and correct the absolute errors, and to dovetail improvements into the original work, so that the result may be something like Latin ; for Latin it never can be made.
No wonder that, as a rule, it is so indifferently done; particularly where the time allowed for it is short. Nay, we are assured that there are schools where, the number of boys being great, scarcely any attempt is made to correct exercises of this kind at all. This, however, is so absurd as scarcely to be credible, and if ever true, the plan must have been followed only for a short season and under peculiar circumstances. Far better were it to leave boys in the play-ground than set them, for decency's sake, to waste their strength in soiling paper with that which is neither Latin nor English, and in acquiring habits of composition which, like bad spelling, it is next to in possible to eradicate." Where this exercise cannot be done thoroughly, let it be left entirely undone.
There is no doubt that it can be done thoroughly, though never without a considerable amount of labour. Let the master take advantage of some winter vacation. One can scarcely expect him to employ himself in such drudgery in the summer; not, at all events, in the summer of the Exhibition. Let him translate into a book thirty or forty separate chapters of Cæsar's Commentaries, selecting chapters that treat of a variety of subjects, and turning them into good plain English sentences. In addition to this, let him select as many more passages of a reasonable length from Cicero's Offices, Orations, or other works, where the sentences are short and simple. He would do well to take passages from parts of these authors which are but little read in his school, annexing to each passage in the manuscript such a mark as would refer himself only to the original. This last suggestion is made, that, in using these passages, the less industrious pupil may not be tempted to become also less honest ; that is, lest he should find out the part whence the passage was taken, and copy it, altering, it may be, the arrangement of the words or the words themselves,
With these supplies the master is equipped for the next campaign, and, with an additional page now and then, almost for life. He may dictate a chapter to his pupils, making it a kind of lessonnot always an unnecessary lesson-in English orthography. When the Latin exercise is placed before him, he knows what he is about; he has the original ready; he has a standard to refer to, without continually drawing on his own resources; he and his pupils see Latinreal Latin-in the place of the crude and undigested masses which their ignorance and his haste or weariness usually jumble together. The work is pleasant and satisfactory to him, though still requiring some labour, which a good master never grudges; and to them it is highly profitable.
It is probable that some such system would have been general ere this, had it not been supposed that it would lead pupils or others to think that the teacher could not write Latin himself; and hence he is afraid to adopt it. In point of fact, however, such a mode of proceeding does not prove, and ought not to suggest, any notion of the kind. A man may be able to write very elegant Latin when quiet and in his own study, and yet not be able, with either satisfaction to himself or profit to those under his charge, to patch up a dozen indifferent versions of the same paragraph, especially against time, and while he is responsible for the good order of his school or class. Neglecting the work entirely is surely as weak a proof of scholarship as correcting an exercise with the aid of Cæsar or Cicero can possibly be ; while the comfort of the master and benefit to the boy are increased many-fold.
But, above all, in teaching composition, have in hand but one kind at a time. We are convinced this is a golden rule. Never mix the kinds. Go on with one at once, for a month at least; if possible, for a longer time; we had nearly said, the longer the better. Prose and verse, Latin and Greek, being in some respects alike, and in others distinct, should never be practised in the same day, nor even in the same week. We repeat, practise your pupils only in one kind of composition at once, if you would succeed. Let them become tolerably proficient and ready in one thing, and then they may proceed to anoiher without risk of confusion.
Notices of Books.
A MANUAL OF BRITISH GEOGRAPHY ; EMBRACING THE PHYSICAL, IN
DUSTRIAL AND DESCRIPTIVE GEOGRAPHY OF ENGLAND AND WALES, SCOTLAND AND IRELAND. BY WILLIAM HUGHES, F.R.G.S., LATE PROFESSOR OF GEOGRAPHY IN THE COLLEGE FOR CIVIL ENGINEERS,
&c. &c. (Edinburgh : Adam and Charles Black. 1851.) A MANUAL OF EUROPEAN GEOGRAPHY; EMBRACING TIIE PHYSICAL INDUSTRIAL,
AND DESCRIPTIVE GEOGRAPHY OF THE VARIOUS COUNTRIES OF EUROPE. BY WILLIAM HUGHES, F.R.G.S., LATE PROFESSOR OF GEOGRAPHY IN THE COLLEGE FOR CIVIL ENGINEERS, AUTHOR OF A MANUAL OF BRITISI GEOGRAPHY,” &c.
(Edinburgh: Adam and Charles Black. 1851.) These new productions of Mr. Hughes will form a most valuable addi
tion to our educational books. They contain, within small compass, a vast amount of useful practical information on the subject of which they profess to treat, and their phraseology and arrangement are interesting and attractive. We strongly recommend them, both as textbooks for teachers, and as general reading-books for all persons interested in this important subject. Nor do we see any reason why these “ Manuals ” may not be used also with much advantage as classbooks in colleges and commercial schools, and even in the upper classes of our parochial schools. If the knowledge of the earth, of its climate, soil
, and productions, and of the various conditions of men, with their social relations, be a valuable branch of instruction, it is doubly so to those who get their living from the soil. To them, a knowledge of their country, of the peculiarities of its soil, of its climate and productions, is something more than a refined accomplishmentit is a means of existence. And if this existence can be improved -if the toil and drudgery of the poor man's life can be sweetened or alleviated by these “ intellectual implements and tools,” we surely do him injustice by withholding them from him.
The study of geography is the most comprehensive of all studies, for it embraces every branch of human science, and those persons who have neither time nor ability to contemplate the mysterious economy of nature,the unity as well as the diversity of creation,-and those secret links which knit together the animal, mineral, and vegetable worlds, may still have cause for thankfulness to Mr. Hughes for bringing within their comprehension so much material for self-improvement and moral reflection. It is surely something to have our thoughts directed to the beauties of nature and art, to those striking peculiarities of climate, situation, and soil, which as much determine the condition and occupations of men, as they influence the productions and interest the traveller ; and also to be reminded of those famous spots at home and elsewhere which mark the great events of past ages, the revolutions of kingdoms, the seats of learning, or the birthplaces of eminent men. These are matters of common interest. In a pamphlet published four years ago, entitled "Remarks upon Geography as a Branch of Popular Education,” the author showed the utility of the subject,—why it should be taught; in the present publications he has shown most satisfactorily its practicability,-how it may be taught. He has stripped it of those dry and forbidding features which were wont to characterize this branch of science; and instead of presenting us with what Mr. Hughes truly terms “ lists of names arranged in a dull and monotonous succession of alphabetical and other tables," which, to the disgust of many a tyro, formed the principal ingredients in the old treatises of geography, he has favoured us with an entertaining description of the different features of the countries of Europe-of England in particular--of their position, magnitude, form, surface, climate, natural productions, population, manufacturing and commercial emporiums, picturesque scenery, the relative positions of mountains and valleys, of moorlands and marshes, and distinguished places, with a variety of other matter, highly interesting and instructive to every lover of learning.