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well intentioned enthusiasts, who devote their lives to some impossible scheme of human improvement. But no imputation can be more unjust than that which is implied by those who would thus deal with the memory of Pestalozzi-for although unsuccessful himself in the execution of that plan of instruction which bears his name, yet, to no rational mind, can its principle appear in any other light than as one utterly profound in its conception, and perfectly practicable to the youthful mind. The system of education of which we speak has its peculiarity in this, that it endeavours to engender knowledge in the mind of a child upon those ideas which are already existing there. The activity of a child's perception is really astonishing; all the ideas he possesses, it is needless to state, are derived from his observation, and the stock of them which he may be made to acquire, at even a tender age, is not susceptible of almost any limitation. Pestalozzi's principle, then, was to ascertain, in the first place, the impressions of his scholars as to given objects-glass, for instance--and one of these objects being produced, nothing appears easier than the transition of the student from the knowledge of those of its qualities with which he had been familiar, to the knowledge of all its other properties.
The author of the present production, in a preface written with unusual force and elegance, states, that from long personal observation he became fully sensible of the errors which, in the hands of Pestalozzi himself, had rendered his principle so unproductive in its application, and he adds that he considered the most efficient course which he could adopt in order to recommend the Pestalozzian idea to general adoption, was the setting up of a school himself, and furnishing in such an institution an example of the beneficial effects of his favourite system. His ambition has been gratified, for the method has already begun to excite attention, and schools professing to teach upon it are much on the increase. The author, encouraged by such agreeable prospects, has commenced a series of popular publications with the work before us, which is a book destined for merely rudimental purposes, and which will be followed by other publications embodying the same principles, and, of course, varying the points of instruction. We do not know that we could convey, by any analysis or description of our own, a better impression of the mode of teaching which this work is meant to serve, than ihe following extract will give to the reader. The pupils are supposed to be arranged before a black board or slate on which the result of their observation is written. A piece of glass having been handed round to be examined by each of the children, the teacher takes it in his hand. • TEACHER.–What is that which I hold in my hand ?
CHILDREN.-A piece of glass. • TEACHER.-Can you spell the word “glass"? (The teacher then writes the word “ glass” upon the slate, which is thus presented to the whole class as the subject of the lesson). You have all examined this glass; what do you observe ? What can you say that it is?
CHILDREN.-It is bright. • TEACHER.-(Teacher having written the word “ qualities," writes under it-It is bright.) Take it in your hand, and feel it.
;"CHILDREN.-It is cold. (Written on the board under the former quality.).
TEACHER.--Feel it again, and compare it with the piece of sponge that is tied to your slate, and then tell me what you perceive in the glass.
Children.-It is smooth - it is hard. • TeacheR.- Is there any other glass in the room? • ChildREN.-Yes. The windows. 'TeaciER.-(Closes the shutters). Can you see the garden now? "CHILDREN.-No. • TEAC ER.–Why cannot you?
CHILDREN.-We cannot see through the shutters. • TeacheR.- What can you say then of the glass ? •CHILDREN.- We can see through it. • Teacher.—Can you tell me any word that will express this quality ? • CHILDREN.-No.
•TEACHER.-I will tell you then ; pay attention, that you may recollect it. It is transparent.'-pp. 5, 6.
Art. XVI.-- Essay on the History, Religion, Learning, Arts, and Government of Ireland, from the birth of Christ to the English Invasion. By Joho D'Alton, Esq., M.R.I.A. Published for the sixteenth volume of the Transactions of the Royal Irish Academy. 4to. pp. 379. Dublin;
R. Graisberry. 1830. The very lively and agreeable style in which this Essay is written, has been sufficient to carry us triumphantly over a whole quarto of antiquities -a subject for which, we own, we were never blessed with any great predilection; the existence of such predilection being altogether impossible as · to the antiquities of Ireland, on account of the foolish national enthusiasm on the one hand, or the ruthless bigotry on the other, with which their his. tory is so usually found combined. The present volume is singularly free from those faults, which either justified our abstract indifference as to the subject itself, or afforded an excuse for the prejudice which we entertained against it when connected with the sister country.
The evidences of extensive and long-continued research are so striking in almost every page of this essay, that we were not in the least surprised to be told that our author had been all his life a collector of documents calculated to illustrate the history of his native country. How prodigious must have been the toil, the patience, or we might rather say the ardour of that man who could heap up such a vast accumulation of antiquarian stores, as that the indices alone of this varied treasure should extend to five closely written quarto volumes !
The difficulty of Mr. D’Alton's duty will be appreciated when we inform the reader, that the Essay before us (written upon a question proposed by the Irish Academy) was to be supported as to its facts, upon authorities exclusive of those written in Irish or other Celtic languages. No one that had not devoted a whole life to the inquiry, and used extraordinary dili. gence during the time, could have accomplished so much as Mr. D’Alton has done, with means and opportunities so narrowed. He had to represent the genuine state,—not merely the political, but what was infinitely hardler, the social state-of the inhabitants of Ireland, together with the condition of science, literature, and the arts in that country, from the commencement of the Christian era to the twelfth century. Having settled these points, he was further to ascertain the character of the moral and religious
opinions of the inhabitants, as these were connected with their civil and ecclesiastical institutions.
In his introduction, Mr. D’Alton arrays in irresistible force the authorities which support the great historical assertion, that Ireland was, at a period of high antiquity, colonized by the Phænicians, and that they maintained with that island a long intercourse. The very best and safest antiquaries who haye touched upon the history of Ireland, come to a similar conclusion. Indeed we should think it impossible that a doubt of the truth of this assertion should be allowed to remain in the mind of any intelligent inquirer, who has marked the resemblance between Eastern and Irish legends, and the identity of familiar expressions between the inhabitants of two so very remote parts of the earth. In the remainder of this Essay, our author has adopted the arrangement employed by Dr. Henry in his History of Great Britain ; he has made four principal divisions of the time to which his work must be confined, and these again are each subdivided into six sections, each of which has its peculiar subject : thus the first and second treat of the social and political history of Ireland, its government, legislation, &c.; the two next sections are employed on the morals, religion, and intellectual progress of the country; and then the state of the arts, of commerce, with the habits and manners of the people, occupy the two last.
It would be an injustice to the author of this very elaborate performance to select, for particular observation, any one of the multitudinous topics which he has so learnedly and ingeniously illustrated. We have been very much struck with the novel and often satisfactory manner in which he disposes of some much litigated questions of antiquity--that of the round towers, for instance-throwing a degree of light upon them which puts even the most successful of his predecessors out of the pale of competition with him. We presume that no one who desires to be acquainted with ancient Irish history, will hesitate to become conversant with this volume.
Art. XVII.—Cuba ; or, the Policy of England, Mexico, and Spain,
with regard to that Island. By an Englishman. 8vo. pp. 22. London :
J. Ridgway. 1830. The object of the author of this well-written pamphlet is to direct the public attention to a point of foreign policy, which, though lost sight of amidst discussions of a more captivating nature, is not on that account less important to the true interests of Great Britain. The commercial classes in this country have had just reason to complain of the embarrassments which have for some time, if not interrupted entirely, certainly rendered extremely inconvenient our mercantile intercourse with Mexico. These embarrassments altogether arise from the unsettled condition in which the latter country is placed, owing to the peculiar attitude of menace and vengeance, which the King of Spain perseveres in upholding against Mexico alone of all his revolted Colonies in the west. His Majesty of the Two Spains avails himself of the proximity of Cuba, to maintain in that island a constant force to be ready to pour down on the Mexicans at any moment he thinks proper. That under the most favourable circumstances, Ferdinand can ever succeed in making the slightest impression on the Mexican terri
tory, no reasonable man believes; why then is he allowed to keep the udfortupate Mexicans in hot water so constantly, as that they are obliged to turn their ports into places of strength, and their ships of commerce into the engines of security for the coast ? Remonstrance has been tried with the Court of Madrid, but in vain. A remedy for the evil has been, our author states, proposed, namely, that Cuba should be laid hold of by Mexico and Colombia jointly, and thus the means of annoyance by the King of Spain would be effectually removed. The objection to the accomplishment of such an enterprise, this pamphlet declares, lies in the dissent of England only, and the purpose of the author is to shew the impolicy and folly of our continuing this course longer.
Art. XVIII.-An Authentic Account of Mr. Canning's Policy with
respect to the Constitutional Charter of Portugal, in Reply to “ Observations on the Papers laid before Parliament.” 8vo. London:
J. Hatchard and Son. 1830. There is no doubt, we understand, that this pamphlet comes directly from the pen of Lady Canning herself; and for a political combatant so unaccustomed, as her Ladyship must be, to public controversy, it shows wonderful dexterity in the use of some of the most effective weapons that are employed in that species of encounter. The present Ministry is rather roughly handled, if we may use such an expression in reference to a lady; the invective, however, having the disadvantage of being poured forth without any sufficient reason, at least appearing, to justify it. The merits of the dispute lie within a small compass. Lady Canning admits that the late foreign Secretary was neither the author nor suggester of the Portuguese Constitution, yet she urges that the circumstances attending its institution were such as to involve England in its support. The Charter, she says, was brought over by a British Minister from Brazil; the Cabinet of this country took upon itself the responsibility of Sir C. Stuart's act, and doing so, it was bound in honour to give ihe Portuguese Charter every moral support and countenance that was possible, consistently with the principles of policy on which it had declared it should act. Further, since many of the supporters of the Constitution in Portugal were led, in their confidence of British protection, to support that Constitution, it was incumbent on our Government to stretch a point in favour of the Constitutional party, to avoid being taxed with its betrayal.' Of such an argument as this, all that we shall say is, that we firmly believe, were Mr. Canning now happily alive, he would be the last man in the country to avail himself of it. That Statesman meant neutrality, or he did not, when he professed it. If he did not mean it, his words, and his manner of uttering them in Parliament, (for of the latter we happen to be able to speak personally,) constituted as gross a delusion as ever was practised, even on the House of Commons. But if, as we feel assured, Mr. Canning was actuated by a deliberate sense of the impropriety of any interference on our part in the internal concerns of Portugal, then it was impossible for him consistently with his avowed policy, to yield an iota of that moral succour of which Lady Canning speaks.“ Of all the systems," says Lord Aberdeen, in the Parliamentary debate of the 23d ult., with that mixture
of good feeling and good sense which characterises him, “ of all the systems that might hare been adopted, that which alone was perfectly indefensible, was to lay down a course of neutrality in the first instance, and afterwards to interpret that course according to our opinions, our feelings, or our interests."-- (Hear, hear.)
It is related by Lady Canding, that the last words on politics spoken by the deceased statesman were to this effect— I have laboured hard to raise the country to its present elevated condition ; two years of the Duke of Wellington's administration will undo what I have accomplished, and sink her to a degraded state :" and then her ladyship triumphanily says, 'the two years are now expired, and has not the prophecy been fulfilled ? Let us suppose it to be so; how, we ask, could the country have been better off under Mr. Canning ? for we see but little difference in the policy, foreign or domestic, pursued by the Duke of Wellington from that of which Mr. Canning chalked the outline. But in our turn, we may be permitted to inquire if Mr. Canning still held the reins of government, would the country be even in so good a condition as she is at present? It will not be denied that the settlement of the Irish question was one which Mr. Canning had at heart, and that principally because he believed it to be indispensable, not merely to the tranquillity, but to the safety of the empire. Could Mr. Canning have carried that measure ? Impossible, we say, for it is only now that we can pretend to a full knowledge of the gigantic obstacles which stood in the way of success, and which called for the full measure of those abilities that could be found only in the modern political Hannibal. If, however, the spirit of exaggeration be ever entitled to lenient criticism, it is when indulged in the pious office of defending the memory of one who, when living, was dear to us.
Art. XIX. - Two Essays on the Geography of Ancient Asia ; intended
partly to illustrate the Campaigns of Alexander, and the Anabasis of Xenophon. By the Rev. John Williams. 8vo. pp. 325. London:
John Murray. "1830. The first of these Essays was partly read before the Royal Society of Edinburgh, and thongh relating to a monarch so renowned as Alexander the Great, it possesses, at least to our imagination, far less interest than the second and more enlarged disquisition on the Retreat of the Ten Thousand--that celebrated march, every step of which is imprinted on the memory of the classic student. We hardly know which most to admire, the vast learning or the ingenuity with which Mr. Williams illustrates the progress of the glorious band of Greeks, whom Xenophon conducted from the banks of the Euphrates to the Euxine Sea, and subsequently to their own country. We always thought that the difficulties which opposed the thorough and easy understanding of Xenophon's text, arose from the extraordinary changes which have taken place in the physical state of the country, between the river and the sea just mentioned, since the era of Cyrus. That seasons have varied the time of their approach and their maturity since those early times, there cannot be the least doubt; it is also very much a matter of certainty, that soils have suffered very considerable alterations as to their power of production; but what is beyond all ques.