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LESSONS ON OBJECTS. The following letter from Professor Jaeger, whose lectures on Natural History have interested so many of our teachers, explains itself.
Prof. Jaeger is now engaged in teaching the foreign languages in Providence.
PROVIDENCE, April 15th, 1852. Dear Sir-I was much pleased to see at the head of your R. I. Educational Magazine, January, 1852, “ Methods of giving lessons on objects.” As this article has reference to one of the countless numbers of natural bodies, which are the most suitable objects for interesting the juvenile mind, by inducing them to think, and at the same time by showing them their nature and use, I take the liberty, Sir, to send you some gleanings in reference to Natural History, flattering myself, that you may, perhaps, honor them with an insertion in your Educational Magazine.
Though some of these articles may be found already mentioned in the second edition of my Class-Book of Zoology, and sometimes even more amplified, I wish, by sending you these lines, to show to the teachers of our youth, how valuable it will be for them, to be more acquainted with the study of Natural History, and how beneficial it would be to our youth to become familiar with the properties and use of the productions of nature, and by doing so, to improve at the same time their morals, in promoting true religious feelings, for the works of the Almighty are His voice in nature. With sentiments of much esteem, I have the honor to be Your obedient servant,
METHODS OF GIVING LESSONS ON OBJECTS. Heads of a Lesson on an Animal Body.—Albatros, Diomedea
exulans. 1. Particulars, regarding external appearances, qualities, etc. 2. Where it is found. 3. How the animal is obtained. 4. Uses to which it is applied. 5. History.
1. The Animal. Its body is white, except the pinion feathers, which are black; it is four feet long, weighs more than thirty pounds, and is larger and heavier than a Swan, or a Condor—for when the wings are expanded, it measures from eleven to seventeen feet across; and is, therefore the largest
flying bird. Its beak is yellow, thick, strong and hooked ; its feet are orange colored and webbod-on which account it belongs to the sixth order of birds, which comprehends the swimming birds.
2. It is often met with from 1000 to 1500 miles from land, in all parts of the southern hemisphere--and flocks of them are seen on the shore of the Cape of Good Hope, of Cape Horn, and Australia, where, at a distance, they look like flocks of white sheep, and on that account they are called Cape sheep.
3. As they seldom fly more than ten or twenty feet above the surface of the sea, where flying fish and cuttle fish form their principal food, they are easily caught with hooks.
4. Their flesh, though tough, is relished by the sailors; but the eggs are very palateable; their feathers are excellent for bedding, their skin furnishes a precious fur, and from their bones, are made needle-boxes and tobacco pipe-stems.
5. They build their nests upon the ground, from earth and grass, three feet high ; the eggs are white, and more than four inches long.
QUESTIONS. What is the size, color, and weight of the Albatros? Compare it with the Swan and the Condor. Describe its feet and its beak. To what order of birds does it belong ? and why? Where is it found ? What do you call the Southern Hemisphere? What is Cape of Good Hope, Cape Horn, and Australia ? Why are these birds called Cape sheep? What do they feed on? How are they caught ? What use is made of this bird ? Describe their nest and eggs.
For the Rhode Island Educational Magazine. THE UNFORSEEN BENEFITS DERIVED FROM THE STUDY OF
NATURAL HISTORY; OR,
THE NOBLE MINDED BOY. Wasili Ostrow, (Basil's Island,) is one of the most pleasant quarters of the city of St. Petersburg. Situated on the borders of the Newa, which sends in slow and silent majesty between two high artificial granite walls its crystal waters to. wards the Baltic—it is adorned with magnificent public and private buildings. At one extremity of this island you may behold the gigantic Exchange, with two lofty light-towers; and at the other, the Imperial Mining School, containing some hundred pupils, with its artificial mountains and mines.
Adjoining the above mentioned Exchange, the Imperial Academy of Sciences will not less attract your attention, for it "contains an extensive cabinet of Natural History, and a splendid Observatory, but also a Palace with more than twenty large dwellings, wherein reside the resident members and functionaries of the Academy.
Not far distant from it, shines out among other buildings, a large and noble looking edifice, known as the Imperial Acadmy of Fine Arts, destined for free instruction.
But besides these great establishments, there are also seen in the same neighborhood, the two spacious Military Academies, together with the Marine School, each containing about 400 pupils, educated at the expense of the government.
Among many private institutions of education, dispersed in different parts of that island, there was also one very flourishing male boarding school, in which was a very bright boy, Twan K-skoy, who attracted the attention of every visitor, not only on account of cheerfulness, fine manners, and correct and modest answers, but principally on account of his well arranged cabinet of Natural History, which he was always ready and very ambitious to exhibit and explain to every one who took the least interest in it.
As the study of Natural History is a regular branch of instruction in every institution of the Russian empire, each boy, also, in this school, amused himself in his leisure hours, with arranging his specimens, which he had collected in his excursions. Thus, one had a cabinet of small quadrupeds, the other of birds, some other of reptiles, or fishes, or insects, or plants, or minerals.
But Twan's principal passion was Entomology; the study of insects. Early in the spring, he collected from fences, bushes, and branches of trees, a variety of cocoons, and carried whole baskets full of them home, knowing, that as soon as the temperature became warmer, the most perfect specimens of butterflies would emerge from them. Empty cigar-boxes were bought-their bottoms lined with a thin layer of wax; a quantity of long pins were procured, the butterflies stuck upon them, and secured therein. He collected, also, all kinds of beetles, grasshoppers, locusts, bees, wasps, hornets, flies, and a multitude of innumerable other species of insects. Thus, at the end of one summer, this industrious boy had in his collection about one thousand different species of insects. Several learned entomologists did not disdain to visit this enterprising youth; they examined his specimens, they made him acquainted with the names of every species ; they exchanged with him duplicates, and procured him the acquaintance of some foreign entomologists in France, Germany, England and America, fropa
whom he received by exchange, the rarest specimens of all the countries of the world. His valuable collection consisted, at the time he had finished his education, of over 20,000 narried and well arranged species of insects, of which he knew the name, native place, nature, use or injury, of almost every one.
But, notwithstanding his enthusiasm for entomology, spite of his great love for his cabinet, he did not hesitate to part with this splendid collection in order to save his beloved mother and only sister from misery.
As his father was a high functionary in the navy department, and accused of embezzlement of public funds, he was exiled to Siberia, and sentenced to have his estate confiscated, on account of which the whole family became destitute, and without resources.
The generous Twan having only the interest and comfort of his parent and sister in mind, immediately offered for sale his valuable collection, and soon he realized for it 12,000 rubles, ($1,200,) which he hastened to present to them. For himself
, he applied to the Emperor to be received as a free student at the Imperial Chirurgo medical Academy, in Wīburski-Ostrow, near St. Petersburg, which application was granted, and after four years' hard study, Twan K-skoy was appointed a physician in the navy, where he became a highly distinguished man.
From the British and Foreign Review. 1. Stories of the Gods and Heroes of Greece, told by Berthold Nie
buhr to his Son. Translated from the German. Edited by Sa
rah Austin. J. W. Parker, London, 1843. 2. The Home Treasury. Edited by Felix Summerly. London:
J. Cundall, 1843. 3. Puss in Boots. Illustrated by Otto Speckter. London : J. Mur
If as much ingenuity had been expended in tracing the origin and causes of what is called national character, as in inventing hypotheses, to account for it, we might perhaps by this time have arrived at some knowledge of the great secret of moulding the moral form of man. But in all that has been "said or written on this subject, it is no less remarkable than melancholy how little evinces any humane intention, how little has been productive of the smallest good, how little shows any knowledge, or even any desire to obtain knowledge, of the secret causes which so powerfully modify our common nature. Striking contrasts and brilliant sketches, unfair satire, and passionate invective-or, at the best, fanciful theories,-have been lavished on a subject deserving the most profound, cautious, and candid examination. For it ought to be the common labor of the wise and good to understand and correct the variations—be they what they may—of the human mind from the pole of truth. National vanity and national antipathy ought to yield to that benign humanity which looks down upon all infirmities with equal pity, and deems no question insignificant, no labor irksome, no sacrifice painful, so that it can trace one error to its source and then destroy it forever. But we may hope that the bitter and causeless hate of nations is dy-. ing away; we at least, in England, are no longer convinced that an unusual garment is a sign of depraved morals, or a strange dish a proof of an imbecile intellect; and if it be true that some of our neighbors still cling to the dream of a monopoly of excellence, we as least must renounce all such extravagant pretensions for ourselves with still greater eagerness than we deny them to others. The time is come when patient and benevolent research may be applied to the important sub-. ject of the moral differences in the human family, with a view to mutual correction and improvement.
It has often struck us that a humble, though not unimportant, and certainly not an uninteresting branch of this inquiry would relate to the books written professedly for children.Often, while turning from the practical and positive children's books of England to the more imaginative and tender infant literature of Germany, we have asked ourselves, how far each was the cause, how far the effect or the expression, of national character. If, as we are persuaded, they are both the one and the other, there can be no doubt as to the course which reason and conscience would dictate to all those who have the business of administering mental food to the infant generationwhether parents, writers, or publishers. Whatever were the reigning prejudice, the common defect, the darling sin of the country in which they live—whatever the epidemic prevailing in the moral or intellectual atmosphere in which the infant mind has to develop itself,—they would anxiously withhold all that could dispose it to receive the contagion,—they would provide whatever could correct the noxious influences. Unfortunately all-parents, writers, and publishers—do the very reverse of this; the first, from ignorance, fashion, and prejudice; the second, from these mingled with pecuniary interest
; the third, mainly from the latter motive. Accordingly, whatever be the common nbliquity of the old, it is sure to be consciously or unconsciously assumed and prescribed as the norm or pattern for the young; in England, devotion to material objects and social distinctions, flat empiricism, blind religious antipathy; in France, monstrous national conceit, adoration of