Open main menu

Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 24.djvu/727

This page has been validated.

undoubtedly precede its actual and more thorough cultivation, and a great point will have been gained when this literature secures a prominent and established place in the schools. It is a concession to the rights of knowledge. Hitherto we have stopped with rhetoric, careless of the contents of thought, and in subserviency to the dogma that style and expression are everything. Such works as this are tributes to a sounder view, and evidences of advancement in the right direction. On this subject Professor Johonnot well remarks:

"Under the later system, the truth is recognized that the object of all school exercises is to promote mental growth, to which end ideas and thoughts are indispensable. "Words, like bank-notes, are regarded not for their intrinsic but for their representative value. In so far as they clearly reveal the gold of thought, they may be taken for genuine coin, but, failing in this, they are worthless counterfeits. The kinds of ideas and thoughts are also a matter of serious moment. In each stage of the mind's growth, those only should be used that will command the attention by the interest excited, that will stimulate the reflective activities of the mind, and that will incite to further observation and investigation.

"With these objects kept clearly in view, reading and the general acquisition of language become secondary and not primary processes. They are incident to the general objects of instruction. Reading-matter is selected upon the same principles as studies that which will interest, stimulate, and incite. At every stage of growth it is such aa will best serve the present purposes of the mind, and, at the same time, promote the next step in advance. The pupil reads because he is anxious to know. His progress is rapid, because he is interested. His manner of reading is correct, because he understands the thought, and thought controls the expression."

We must add that the "Natural History Reader" is an attractive and a handsome book. It is beautifully illustrated, poems are interspersed with the prose chapters, and it is elegantly printed. Its selections are from the most recent writings of naturalists, and the information they convey will be found fresh and up to the times.

Lectures on Painting. Delivered to the Students of the Royal Academy. By Edward Armitage, R. A. New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons. Pp. 337. $1.75.

Professor Armitage has given in this book a selection of twelve from the lectures delivered by him during the term of his professorship in the Royal Academy, between 1876 and 1882. He has published them under the impression that they might be interesting to other students than those of the Royal Academy, "and possibly even to those who do not intend to follow art as a profession, but who would be glad to have a little daylight thrown on a subject which, though much written and lectured about of late years, does not seem to have been often treated in a simple, practical manner." The subjects of the lectures are, "Ancient Costume," "Byzantine and Romanesque Art," "The Painters of the Eighteenth Century," "David and his School," "The Modern Schools of Europe," "Drawing," "Color," "Decorative Painting," "Finish," "The Choice of a Subject," "The Composition of Decorative and Historical Pictures," and the "Composition of Incident Pictures."

Archivos do Museu Nacional do Rio de Janeiro (Archives of the National Museum of Rio de Janeiro). Dr. Ladislao Netto, General Director. Vol. III, 1878, pp. 194, with Six Plates; Vol. IV, 1879, pp. 154, with Six Plates; Vol. V, 1880, pp. 470. Rio de Janeiro: Typographia Economica.

The "Archives" are a quarterly publication of papers on scientific subjects that properly come under the purview of the Museum. The present volumes include the publications for the second half of 1878, and for 1879 and 1880. In the third volume are included papers on the venom of the rattlesnake, by Dr. Lacerda; on the geology of the diamond-bearing region of the Province of ParanĂ¡, by Orville A. Derby; observations on geological features in the Bay of Todos os Santos, by Mr. Derby and Richard Rathbun; and other papers of a more special character. The fourth volume contains a number of anthropological and linguistic studies on the natives of the country, and papers on subjects of entomology and geology. The fifth volume is given to the "Flora Fluminensis," a Flora, in