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Cowper thus describes the Hornbook of his time:
"Neatly secured from being soiled or torn
A book (to please us at a tender age
'Tis called a book, though but a single page)
Presents the prayer the Saviour designed to teach,
Which children use, and parsons--when they preach."
Tirocinium, or a Review of Schools, 1784.
We have somewhere read a story of a mother tempting her son along the cross-row by giving him an apple for each letter he learnt. This brings us to the gingerbread alphabet of our own time, which appears to have been common a century and a half since.
"To master John the English maid
A Hornbook gives of gingerbread;
And, that the child may learn the better,
As he can name, he eats the letter."-Prior.
An anecdote illustrative of Lord Erskine's readiness is related--that, when asked by a judge if a single sheet could be called a book, he replied, "The common Hornbook, my lord."
In "Specimens of West Country Dialect," the use of the Hornbook is thus shown:
"Commether, Billy Chubb, an breng the hornen book. Gee ma the vester in tha windor, you Pal Came!-what! be a sleepid-I'll wake ye. Now, Billy, there's a good bway! Ston still there, and mind what I da zâ to ye, an whaur I da point. Now; criss-cross, girt â, little â—b-c-d. That's right Billy; you'll zoon lorn the criss-cross-lain-you'll zoon auvergit Bobby Jiffry-you'll zoon be a scholard. A's a pirty chubby bway-Lord love'n!"
John Britton, who was born in the parish of Kington St. Michael's Wilts, in 1771, tells us, in his "Autobiography," that he was placed with a schoolmistress. "Here," he writes, "I learnt 'the Christ-cross-row' from a Hornbook, on which were the alphabet in large and small letters, and the nine figures in Roman and Arabic numerals. The Hornbook is now a rarity." Such a Hornbook we have engraved. It was met with in the year 1850, among the old stock of a bookseller at Peterborough, in Lincolnshire, and is thus described: Its dimensions are 9 by 5 inches. The alphabet, &c., are printed upon white paper, which is laid upon a thin piece of oak, and is covered with a sheet of horn, secured in its place by eight tacks, driven through a border or mounting of brass; the object of this horn-covering being to keep the "book," or rather leaf, unsoiled. The first line is the cross-row; so named, says Johnson, "because a cross is placed at the beginning, to show that the end of learning is piety."
The Hornbook was not always mounted on a board; many were pasted on the back of the horn only.
Such was the rudeness of the "dumb teacher" formerly employed at the dame-school, and elsewhere. It was, in all probability, superseded by Dr. Bell's sand-tray, upon which the children traced their own letters. Next came the "Battledore" and "Reading-made-Easy;" though the Spelling-book is considerably older than either. The Battledore, by the way, reminds us of a strategy of tuition mentioned by Locke: "By pasting the vowels and consonants on the sides of dice, he has made this a play for his children, whereby his eldest son in coats has played himself into spelling."-Timb's "School Days," &c.
The original Tripos, from which the Cambridge class-lists have derived their names, was a three-legged stool, on which, on Ash-Wednesday, a bachelor of one or two years' standing (called therefrom the Bachelor of the Stool) used formerly to take his seat, and play the part of a public disputant in the quaint proceedings which accompanied admission to the degree of B. A. In course of time, the name was transferred from the stool to him that sat on it, and the disputant was called the Tripos; thence it passed to the day when the stool became a post of honor; then to the lists published on that day, containing the seniority of commencing B. A.'s, arranged according to the pleasure of the proctors; and, ultimately, it obtained the enlarged meaning now universally recognized, according to which it stands for the examination, whether in mathematics, classics, moral or physical science, as well as for the list by which the result of that examination is made known.-Notes and Queries, No. 117.
A very prevalent mistake is supposing that men, who have attained great distinction and high honors at the two English universities, do not, in after-life, occupy the most eminent positions at the bar, or the bench, and in the senate.
OXFORD.-Earl of Eldon, English Prize Essay, 1771; Lord Tenterden, (Lord Chief Justice of the King's Bench,) English Essay, 1786, Latin verse, 1784; Sir W. E. Taunton, (Judge in the Court of King's Bench,) English Essay, 1793; J. Phillimore, (Professor of Civil Law,) English Essay, 1798; Sir C. E. Gray, (Chief Justice of Bengal,) English Essay, 1808; Sir J. T. Coleridge, (Judge in Court of Queen's Bench,) English Essay, 1813, Latin verse, 1810, Latin Essay, 1813, 1st class Classics, 1812; Herman Merivale, (Professor of Political Economy,) English Essay, 1830, 1st class Classics, 1827; Roundell Palmer, (Deputy Steward of the University,) Latin Essay, 1835, Latin verse, 1831, English verse, 1832, 1st class Classics, 1834; Lord Colchester, Latin verse, 1777; Sir J. Richardson, (Judge in Common Pleas,) Latin verse, 1792; Sir Christopher Puller, (Chief Justice at Calcutta,) Latin verse, 1794; G. K. Rickards, (Professor of Political Economy,) English verse, 1830, 2nd class Classics, 1833; Nassau W. Senior, (Professor of Political Economy,) 1st class Classics, 1811; Sir Richard Bethell, (Attorney-General, University Counsel,) 1st class Classics, 1818; Honorable J. C. Talbot, (Deputy High Steward,) 1st class Classics, 1825; Travers Twiss, (Regius Professor of Civil Law,) 2nd class Classics, 1830.
CAMBRIDGE.-Sir F. Maseres, (Baron, Exchequer,) 4th Wrangler, 1752, Senior Medalist; Sir Elijah Imper, (Chief Justice, Fort William, Bengal,) 2nd Senior Optime, 1756, Junior Medalist; Sir J. Wilson, (Judge, Common Pleas,) Senior Wrangler, 1761; Lord Alvanley, (Chief Justice, Common Pleas,) 12th Wrangler, 1766; the late Lord Ellenborough, (Chief Justice, King's Bench,) 3rd Wrangler, 1771, Senior Medalist; Sir S. Lawrence, (Judge, Common Pleas,) 7th Wrangler, 1771; Sir H. Russell, (Judge in India,) 4th Senior Optime, 1772; the late Lord Manners, (Chancellor of Ireland,) 5th Wrangler, 1777; Chief Justice Warren, of Chester, 9th Wrangler, 1785; the late John Bell, Senior Wrangler, 1786, Senior Smith's Prizeman; Sir J. Littledale, (Judge in Court of Queen's Bench,) Senior Wrangler, 1787, Senior Smith's Prizeman; Lord Lyndhurst, (late Lord Chancellor,) 2nd Wrangler, 1794, Junior Smith's Prizeman; Sir John Beckett, (Judge Advocate,) 5th Wrangler, 1795; the late Sir John Williams, (Judge, Queen's Bench,) 18th Senior Optime, 1798; the late Sir N. C. Tindal,
(Chief Justice, Common Pleas,) 8th Wrangler, 1799, Senior Medalist; the late Sir L. Shadwell, (Vice-Chancellor of England,) 7th Wrangler, 1800, Junior Medalist; Starkie, (Downing Professor of Law, University Counsel,) Senior Wrangle, 1803, Senior Medalist; the late Sir T. Coltman, (Judge, Common Pleas,) 13th Wrangler, 1803; Lord Chief Baron Pollock, Senior Wrangler, 1806, Senior Smith's Prizeman; Lord Langdale, Senior Wrangler, 1808, Senior Smith's Prizeman; the late Baron Alderson, Senior Wrangler, 1809, Senior Smith's Prizeman, and Senior Medalist; Sir W. H. Maule, (Judge, Common Pleas,) Senior Wrangler, 1810, Senior Smith's Prizeman; Baron Platt, (Exchequer,) 5th Junior Optime, 1810; Chambers, (Judge of Supreme Court, Bombay,) 5th Wrangler, 1811; Lord Cranworth, 17th Wrangler, 1812; Mirehouse, (Author of Law of Tithes, and Common Sergeant of City of London,) 13th Senior Optime, 1812; Sir J. Romilly, (Downing Professor of Law, and Professor of Law, University College, London,) 4th Wrangler, 1813; Vice-Chancellor Kindersley, 4th Wrangler, 1814; Sir B. H. Malkin, (Chief Justice of Prince of Wales' Island,) 3rd Wrangler, 1818; Lord Justice Turner, 9th Wrangler, 1819; the late R. C. Hildyard, (Queen's Counsel,) 12th Senior Optime, 1823; Mr. John Cowling, Q. C., M. P., (University Counsel, and Deputy High Steward,) Senior Wrangler, 1824, Senior Smith's Prizeman; Vice-Chancellor Wood, 24th Wrangler, 1824; Vice-Chancellor Parker, 7th Wrangler, 1825; Mr. Loftus T. Wigram, Q. C., (M. P. for University,) 8th Wrangler, 1825; Chief Justice Martin, (New Zealand,) 26th Wrangler, 1829, 3rd in 1st class Classics, and Junior Medalist.-Timbs "School Days."
THE BRITISH MUSEUM.
The British Museum has been the growth of a century, between the purchase of Montague House for the collection in 1753 and the completion of the new buildings. The Museum originated in a suggestion in the will of Sir Hans Sloane, (d. 1753,) offering his collection to parliament for £20,000, it having cost him £50,000. The offer was accepted; and by an Act (26th George II.) were purchased all Sir Hans Sloane's "library of books, drawings, manuscripts, prints, medals, seals, cameos and intaglios, precious stones, agates, jaspers, vessels of agate and jasper, crystals, mathematical instruments, pictures," &c. By the same Act was bought, for £10,000, the Harleian Library of MSS., (about 7600 volumes of rolls, charters, &c. ;) to which were added the Cottonian Library of MSS., and the library of Major Arthur Edwards. By the same Act also was raised by lottery £100,000, out of which the Sloane and Harleian collections were paid for; £10,250 to Lord Halifax for Montague House, and £12,873 for its repairs; a fund being set apart for the payment of taxes and salaries of offiTrustees were elected from persons of rank, station, and literary attainments; and the institution was named THE BRITISH MUSEUM. To Montague House were removed the Harleian collection of MSS. in 1755; other collections in 1756; and the Museum was opened to the public January 15, 1759.
ROBERT RECORDE was the first who wrote on Arithmetic, and the first who wrote on Geometry, in English; the first who introduced Algebra into England; the first who wrote on Astronomy and the doctrine of the Sphere in England; and, finally, the first Englishman (in all probability) who adopted the system of Copernicus. Recorde was also the inventor of the present method of extracting the square-root; the inventor of the sign of equality; and the inventor of the method of extracting the square-root of multinomial algebraic quantities.
XIX. BOOKS OF REFERENCE.
THIRTY years ago, a very few expensive foreign works were the only books of reference accessible to the American scholar. But so rapid has been our progress as a nation in this respect that there now exists, not a complete American scientific and learned apparatus, but an exceedingly valuable and creditable collection of American books of reference, extensive enough for most purposes of the teacher, the scholar, the literary man, the man of business, and the general reader,
With a view to afford our subscribers some useful directions for selection among such books, we have collected the following list of American Reference Books. The names of several others, which have already been noticed in this Journal, are given at the end of the list.
The New American Cyclopædia. Edited by GEORGE RIPLEY and C. A. DANA. Vol. VIII. Fugger-Haynau. New York. D. Appleton & Co. 1859. Roy. 8vo., pp. 788.
We have already twice referred to this greatest American literary enterprise of the day, with hearty commendation. We know of no encyclopædia more certain to be needed every day by every man. The mastery of half the work would alone constitute a man of extended general information.
Appleton's Dictionary of Machines, Mechanics, Engine-work, and Engineering. New York: D. Appleton & Co. 2 vols., roy. 8vo., pp. 960 each.
A very valuable and convenient manual for the mechanician. Its treatises contain much that is interesting to all; the articles, e. g., on the Croton Aqueduct and the Brooklyn Dry Dock, both afford the engineer his professional information and contain narratives of two enterprises in which every American may take justifiable pride. Large masses of technical information, and many valuable tables, and clear and detailed cuts, are throughout given.
A Critical Dictionary of English Literature, and British and American Authors. By S. AUSTIN ALLIBONE. Vol. I. Philadelphia: Childs & Peterson, 1858. Roy. 8vo., pp. 1005.
This work fills a new place in literature. We have had cyclopædias of biogra phy, and of books; but none of the book-makers' lives and works together.
The list of names is very satisfactorily full; for no such list will ever be perfect. The bibliographical lists of each author's works are also remarkably full and correct. The indexes, which Mr. Allibone proposes to add, will constitute an extensive apparatus for referring to literature. In short, the work promises to be indispensable to every man of letters or literary culture or leisure.
American Almanac and Repository of Useful Knowledge for 1860. Boston: Crosby, Nichols & Co. 12mo., pp. 391.
This invaluable annual has now completed a series of thirty-one numbers. The thirty volumes contain a mass of general and detailed information respecting the financial, political, intellectual, and social condition of the country and the states nowhere else so compact and accessible. Each year's number furnishes the owner with the means of a solid knowledge of the condition of the country
for that year. Its meteorological and scientific discussions are of a high order of value; and the almanac is prepared by Mr. Geo. P. Bond, of Cambridge, one of the most competent persons in the United States. The obituary notices alone, which, as well as the miscellaneous matter, may be referred to by the indexes in the volumes for 1839, 1849, and 1859, constitute a great body of biographical information.
A Copious and Critical Latin-English Lexicon, founded on the larger Latin-German Lexicon of Dr. W. FREUND. By E. A. ANDREWS, LL. D. New York: Harper & Brothers. 1860. Imp. 8vo., pp. 1663.
There are many living graduates of our colleges who had no Latin Lexicon, except the venerable school edition of Ainsworth; and, until the publication of Prof. Andrews' work, no other was accessible to the American student, except Leverett. Prof. Andrews' Lexicon is a vast advance upon either of these, and is beyond all comparison the best for the present student. There is no other Latin Lexicon which we should recommend to him. It contains all the substance and much of the detail of the vast and conscientious learning and labor of Freund, judiciously condensed; and the prominent, heavy-faced type of the vocabulary words and directing figures is a most convenient guide to the eye of the consulter.
A Copious and Critical English-Latin Lexicon, founded on the Dictionary of Dr. GEORGES. By RIDDLE and ARNOLD. First American edition, revised by CHARLES ANTHON. New York: Harper & Brothers. Imp. 8vo., pp. 753.
It is impossible to be a really good Latin scholar without being able to speak and write decent Latin. It is only within a few years that this department of the study, formerly so predominant, has a little been revived in some American colleges. The wretched English-Latin department of Ainsworth, reprinted by Leverett, furnished the only and inadequate vocabulary. The present work is the joint result of first-class scholars of three nations. It will be found an indispensable assistant in the study of Latin.
A Classical Dictionary; containing an account of the principal proper names mentioned in ancient authors. Together with an account of coins, weights, and measures. By CHARLES ANTHON. New York: Harper & Brothers. 1859. Roy. 8vo., pp. 1451.
The standard work of its class for the American student. Prof. Anthon's reputation for faithfulness and ability is too high to be increased by our praise. This fourth edition testifies to his standing with the public. This volume belongs to the apparatus of reference, without which the student, confined to his dry text and drier grammar, will gain but a scant and unsymmetrical measure of learning. It is preceded by a useful list of authorities used in compiling it.
A Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities. Edited by WILLIAM SMITH, Third American edition, revised by CHARLES ANTHON. New York: Harper & Brothers. Roy. 8vo., pp. 1124.
The work of Smith is of established reputation, and is here variously improved in arrangement and increased in materials, for the better accommodation of the American scholar. As thus edited, it belongs to the same group of necessary. reference-books as the Classical Dictionary noticed above, and the Geography noticed below.
A System of Ancient and Medieval Geography, for the Use of Schools and Col leges. By CHARLES ANTHON. New York: Harper & Brothers. 1855. 8vo., pp. 769.
As the author remarks in his preface, ancient history and ancient geography