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LITERARY NOTICES.

by the other half, there was with Mr. Spencer no slightest question of its truth, the evidence for it being to him overwhelming and irresistible on every hand. While a few scientific men were giving to it a reserved adhesion, or testing it in special directions, Mr. Spencer was reconstructing the sciences by its guidance, and building a philosophy out of its principles. In any attempt to appraise his intellectual rank, we are bound to remember the originality and the priority of the labors it is now so easy to applaud. When it is a question of grading the searcher after truth, it makes a profound difference whether he is a pioneer or a follower; and it is but naked justice to Mr. Spencer to recognize that he had worked out the grand doctrine of evolution in systematic completeness as now formulated and accepted before Mr. Darwin had published a word of his important contributions to the subject.

Clearly, then, the action taken by the French Academy is discreditable to its intelligence and to its impartiality. By all the equities that should control it in the discharge of its self-assumed office of rating the intellectual services of eminent men, the name of Herbert Spencer ought long since to have been enrolled among the first in honor. By its culpable tardiness its belated verdict is alike superfluous to the recipient and to the world which long ago formed its judgment of the rank of this philosophical thinker. And when at last the decision comes, it betrays a misconception of the case, which may be fitly characterized as a blunder, while only the following sorry apology can be offered for it. It is well known that the French are behind the world in their appreciation of the doctrine of evolution. The French mind has never recovered from the warp it received half a century ago in getting committed on the wrong side by the overshadowing genius of Cuvier, whose brilliant rhetorical triumph over Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire, in the walls of the Academy itself, strongly biased the national thought in relation to this subject. The savants of France may therefore be not very competent judges of the foreign contributions to the knowledge of it. But surely they should have known better than to offer Herbert Spencer the successorship to "Tappan, of Detroit!" In what way this gentleman ever got into the French Academy, let those explain w T ho can; but certainly, if the place was suited to him, it is not such as should have been proffered as an honor to the most commanding intellect of the age.

 


LITERARY NOTICES.

Notes of Talks on Teaching. Given by Francis W. Parker, at the Martha's Vineyard Summer Institute, July 17 to August 19, 1882. Reported by Lelia E. Patridge. New York: E. L. Kellogg & Co.

The normal schools all over the land have for the past twenty-five years been sending out graduates whose mission it has been to replace the old rote-system of lesson-learning by methods better adapted to the minds of children. We commend this book to that great body of earnest teachers. It contains a series of twenty-five full, clear, and much-needed expositions of the principles that underlie primary and grammar school teaching. The first half of the volume is devoted to lectures, or "talks," as they are called, upon teaching children to read, to spell, and to write. There are nine further "talks" upon teaching composition, numbers, arithmetic, geography, and history. Then follow a chapter upon examinations, another upon school government, and another upon moral training.

It is said, by some of our leading teachers, that the noise about Colonel Parker and the "Quincy System" is largely due to the prominence of his trumpeters—the Adamses. And, no doubt, many willing learners will ask: "Is there really anything new in Colonel Parker's teaching? Have we not, for a generation, been using identical methods?" We reply that this book cer-