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We have received copies of two essays on widely differing themes, which bear the titles below, and possess an interest independent of their intrinsic value as discussions of the subjects they severally handle. They are the productions of a young fellow countryman, who has had the unusual honor of winning in the University of Oxford two prizes assigned to excellence in departments of study so distinct that pre-eminence in both implies, not only rare intellectual ability, but breadth of scholarship and completeness of training equally rare. Their author the son of the Rev. William H. Channing, well known in this community, and grand-nephew of the late Dr. Channing of world-wide repute has lately, as we learn, been elected Fellow of University College at Oxford, and charged with the responsible office of preparing the select young men of that College for "honors in greats," as it is technically called; that is, of training students who intend to compete for honors at the great examination.
The first essay, on one of the most obscure and most interesting of psychological problems, the nature of instinct and its relations to organic and to intellectual life, — after stating the popular conception of this form of psychical action, and comparing the views of modern philosophers, Des Cartes, Leibnitz, Condillac, Hume, and others, concerning it, proceeds to analyze the operation of the faculty so named, discriminating its action from that of mere organic mechanism on the one hand, and of pure intelligence on the other, and reaches the conclusion that instinct is a special determination of the vital force; a psychical power, original, distinct, spontaneous, and unconscious in its action; the immediate "response to the natural adaptations and the natural conditions of each creature." The analysis displays a good degree of metaphysical acumen, as well as great clearness and vigor of presentation. The incidental illustrations are pertinent
The second essay is of greater significance and more conspicuous ability. It discusses, with a show of learning, which, judged by the standard of American university acquirements, seems prodigious, the bearings of the speeches of Greek orators, which have come down to us on the facts of Grecian history; introducing this topic
* 1. Instinct. A Prize Essay read in the Theatre, Oxford, June 21, 1865. 2. The Greek Orators considered as Historical Authorities: the Arnold Prize Essay, for 1866. By FRANCIS ALLSTON CHANNING, B.A., late scholar of Exeter College.
with a brief review of the nature and history of Greek oratory of their time. The conclusion arrived at is, that, "down to the wars with Philip, they throw little light on the more important events of Greek history. . . . Still, the full details given by the orators of the internal events of Athens, at some of her most critical moments, are of great value. They complete the scanty information of contemporary historians, and afford more ample materials for judging the strength and weakness of Athenian institutions. In the time of Philip, all the interest of Greek history is gathered around the decisions and the movements of Athens; and, for this period, the orators are the best authorities, as they were the chief actors in the events they describe." The amount of classical research which illustrates the discussion of this topic is very remarkable; but the ease of handling, and the solid maturity of judgment in so youthful a scholar, are still
The gratification afforded by these essays would be complete, if the author could find, in his native land, a sphere of action worthy his attainments, and suited to his powers.
F. H. H.
THE second volume of Napoleon's "Histoire de Jules César" * brings the history down to the outbreak of the civil war in the year B.C. 49. This volume does not differ materially in character from its predecessor. The motive of the work, to uphold the dynasty of the writer by the aid of one of those fallacious parallels in which history so abounds, is perhaps kept rather more in the background than in the first volume; and, probably, whatever original material the emperor has finds its place chiefly in this volume. The notes on the Gallic War, and the appendices, are very valuable.
One is astonished, however, to find so little of worth in the body of the work. It is the fruit, no doubt, of great labor. The events of the period are carefully arranged by years, with great fulness of detail, and with a fidelity which may sometimes be called slavish, but which, at any rate, makes certain chapters a very useful guide to the student. Even those portions of the work which invite most temptingly to widen the verge of inquiry, and give some of the results of modern investigation, are as meagre as any. In the chapter on
* Histoire de Jules César. Par S.M.I. NAPOLÉON III. Tome deuxième. New York: D. Appleton et Cie., libraires-éditeurs 443 et 445, Broadway. MDCCCLXVI.
the state of Gaul, hardly any authority is cited but Cæsar, the chief and most indispensable of all, of course, but who imperatively needs illustration and expanding.
On page 47, for example, the author states, in a matter-of-fact way, - almost translating Cæsar's very words, that each state, each canton, and each family, was divided into two parties. What was the nature of these parties, whether religious, political, personal, or national, he takes no pains to inquire. In a few words, he gives the bare facts as to the rivalry between the Edui and Sequani, but tells us nothing of the relation which this bore to the sacerdotal institutions of the Gauls, or the sense of national unity which was beginning to make itself felt among them; nothing of the degree in which this particular rivalry exerted an influence in the remoter parts of Gaul, or was connected with similar rivalries there; nothing of the connection it had with the parties in the individual cantons and private families, obscure points, to be sure, which can be investigated only by following out slight hints and isolated statements in ancient writers, but, for this reason, all the more interesting and deserving of consideration. But it is not the way of this imperial author to concern himself with any thing but the commonplaces of history.
MR. STAUNTON's work on the great schools of England* contains information which very many will be glad to have in so convenient and attractive a form. In regard to the history, organization, and peculiarities of these schools, he has left little to be desired; although a foreigner would like explanation, now and then, upon points perfectly clear to an Englishman. Matters of professional detail, as systems of instruction, methods of recitation, character of text-books, - he hardly notices at all; and, consequently, we find little in the volume which will be of much practical service to us in America: for, much as we might learn from the English methods of instruction, the organization of their public schools is something entirely foreign to our usages and needs, and has few features which we should care, or have it in our power, to copy.
It is therefore with a view to gratify a praiseworthy curiosity, rather than to draw practical lessons, that we shall copy, from the work before us, some of the most interesting facts as regards these
The Great Schools of England. By HOWARD STAUNTON. London: Sampson Low, Son, and Marston, Milton House, Ludgate Hill. 1865.
schools. We in this country are most familiar with the fame of five of these, Eton, Winchester, Westminster, Harrow, and Rugby,unless, indeed, a kindly memory of Colonel Newcome has given the Charterhouse the next place to Rugby in our affections; and, with the exception of Westminster, these mentioned are the largest of all the schools, Eton far the largest of all; and Harrow next, being a very little larger than Rugby.
A feature which belongs to nearly all of these schools is that they have two classes of scholars, ·Foundationers and Non-Foundationers. The Foundationers are those for whose benefit the school (or college, -as Eton, Winchester, and Westminster, are called) was originally designed they are educated free of charge, or at a small expense. The Non-Foundationers are the outgrowth of a provision for the instruction of filii nobilium and others, additional to the college proper. The Non-Foundationers (called Oppidans at Eton, and Commoners at Winchester) compose the school as distinguished from the college; and, so enormously have these establishments grown beyond the idea with which they were originally endowed, that, whereas the school was at first only an appendage to the college, the college is now, in every case, a mere appendage to the school. The Foundationers at Eton number 70; the Non-Foundationers, 770: the Foundationers at Rugby, 61; the Non-Foundationers, 402: the Foundationers at the Charterhouse, 44; the Non-Foundationers, 92. We all remember the foot-ball match in "Tom Brown," between the "School-House', and the "Whole-School." This was, perhaps, between the Foundationers and the Non-Foundationers.
We think we can give a better notion of the constitution of these schools by taking up one of them more in detail; and, for this purpose, we shall select Rugby, not only because it ranks with Abbotsford and Rydal - almost with Runnymede and Stratford on Avonin the affections of educated Americans, but because it is, no doubt, the most liberal and progressive of all these schools.
It is well known, that the term "Sixth Form" means, in England, precisely what "First Class" does here. Of course, however, in a school of four hundred and sixty-three scholars, there must be practically more than six forms or divisions, each form being supposed to be under the charge of one master. These forms are therefore divided and subdivided. The Fifth and Sixth Forms compose, in the Classical School at Rugby, the "Upper School," divided into the fol
lowing classes: Sixth Form, The Twenty, Fifth Form, and Lower Fifth, one hundred and eighty-seven scholars in all. The Middle School, of two hundred and fifty-five scholars, is divided into First and Second Upper Middle (each with two parallel classes, doing the same work), Third Upper Middle, and Lower Middle (also in two parallel classes). The Lower School, of forty-eight scholars, is divided into Remove, Lower Remove, and the four lower forms under one master. This is the division of the Classical School, which is, of course, the main work of the institution: the numbers of the classes appear to be taken from the returns of a different year from those given in the former statement. The main divisions of the Mathematical School correspond with these, and contain the same boys; so that no boy can be promoted in mathematics, unless he is in the classics: they are, however, subdivided into "sets," according to the needs of this department. The subdivisions of the Modern-Language School correspond more nearly with those of the Classical. The function of the Natural-Philosophy School appears to be to furnish a substitute for the modern languages: it teaches, it would seem, only chemistry and electricity.
The time allotted to these various branches is, for the classics, seventeen hours a week; mathematics, three; modern languages, two; besides time for preparation, and private tuition in mathematics. Every scholar studies mathematics through his course; also French, to which German is added as soon as he has attained sufficient proficiency in French. We do not find any statement of the relative weight of these various studies in making up the rank of the boys at Rugby; but, at Winchester, where mathematics receive more attention than at any of the others, they amount, in the estimate, to one-fourth, and the modern languages to one-eighth, of the grand total.
The school hours at Rugby are less in amount than at most of the others, on account, we suppose, of the tutorial system, of which we shall speak presently. They are three hours before dinner, and an hour and a half after dinner. At Winchester, where the tutorial system is in a very slightly developed form, and at Westminster, where it has been given up, the hours are more nearly like those of our schools, but differently distributed; at Winchester, from 7 to 74, from 9 to 12, and from 3 to 6. Outside of these, there appear to be no regular study hours, except for particular classes. The vacations at Rugby are seven weeks at Christmas, and eight in the summer; at Winchester, sixteen days at Easter, six weeks and a day or two at Mid