Page images
PDF
EPUB

The whole of these subjects are carefully treated, and the Pupil Teacher will find quite sufficient for his year's study. We can commend the book confidently. MANUALS OF THE SCIENCE AND ART OF TEACHING. National

Society. How to teach Languages. This is written in a simple and pleasant style, and is evidently the work of one who knows how to teach.

How to teach Mechanics.—This is a clear, interesting, and well-written little treatise on mechanics, somewhat resembling in style the Elementary Lessons in Physics, by Tyndall ; but it has little, if any, claim to the title How to teach Mechanics."

How to teach Physiology':-Under the heading of “What to teach, when to teach, and how to teach,” the author of this little book does what he professes to do; and does it well. This manual will be found to contain many useful hints on the teaching of Physiology.

How to teach English Literature.—We like this least of the series. It seems pervaded with a fault-finding spirit, which does not improve the book. THE STANDARD BOOK OF SONG, for Temperance meetings and

home use. Arranged by T. Bowick. Musical Editor, James A. Birch. London: National Temperance Publication Depôt,

337, Strand, W.C. This work is to be continued monthly till completed. When finished, it will make a handy though large volume, and will probably become the standard book of song with temperance advocates. Part I. contains thirtynine pieces, either sacred or secular, and nearly all bearing on the great object of the Temperance movement. Every piece has music set to it, and the selection of tunes appears to be a judicious one. There are many sterling favourites among them, that have stood the test of time, and which one naturally expects to meet with in such a book. There are two editions of the work, one in the established notation, and one in sol-fa, the price of each being the same. When the book becomes known, its merits ought to make it command a large sale. THE PROBLEM OF TEACHING TO READ. W. R. Chambers.

This pamphlet of 66 pages is naturally divided into two parts. The first, and by far the greater portion of the book, is taken up with a statement of the problem to be solved—the difficulties to be met with and overcome in teaching young children to read. And the second part is given up to the solution of the problem—that is, to a statement of Mr. Meiklejohn's method of teaching the first stages of reading. The first is the ablest part of the book. The anomalies of English orthography are clearly, graphically, and humourously set forth, and the reader's curiosity is excited as to how these difficulties are to be overcome.

Mr. Meiklejohn's “antidote ” will probably be found disappointing. He has made, he tells us, the important discovery, that amidst a mass of contradiction in the English language, there is to be found a set of words possessing a persect and self-consistent notation,-an “inner language,” in

[ocr errors]

fact,-in which stories and poems may be written without violating English idiom or common sense. These are to be mastered first; this is the solution of the problem. In effect, Mr. Meiklejohn informs us that the English language is made up of regular and irregular words; and that the regular words should be taught before the irregular ones! What is the revelation ? Where is the discovery? For our parts we confess we cannot see it. Nevertheless, there is much in the book that will well repay the teacher's careful perusal. It is freshly, brightly, ably written, and will be found a useful contribution to the literature of the subject. DEDUCTIONS FROM EUCLID, AND HOW TO WORK THEM. By

E. H. Matthews. London : Moffatt & Paige. It would be impossible to find a more complete guide to the solution of Deductions” than the work before us. It contains an introduction, giving useful general hints for the assistance of the student in this branch of mathematical work ; then follow one hundred and fifty-five exercises fully worked out and provided with figures. Four appendices supply a large number of examples selected from various public examination papers, and give the student ample opportunity of exercising his own powers of investigation. We can recommend this work with the greatest confidence.

BOOKS RECEIVED.
Joseph Hughes. Stories for Standard III.
The National Society. The New National Readers, Primer,

Infant Reader, and Standard I. How to teach Physical
Geography

ANSWERS TO CORRESPONDENTS. All communications must be accompanied with the correct name and address of the writer, and, when requiring prompt attention, should be forwarded early in the month.

Letters should be addressed to the Editor, Messrs. Moffatt & Paige, 28, Warwick Lane, Paternoster Row, E.C. J. T.–We think Wilson's Solid Geometry would answer your purpose.

Published by Macmillan. SPES.—Matter useful to those studying for the London Matriculation

Examination will be found in our Papers. F. F.—You should join an elementary class in vocal music. It is impossible

to obtain a competent knowledge of the subject without an instructor. A piano or harmonium would assist you.

CHARGES FOR ADVERTISEMENTS.—Back of cover £2. Inside pages of cover, each £1 155. Ordinary pages, £l Ios. Parts of ordinary pages at the rate of £2 per page.

THE NORTH-EAST PASSAGE. On Thursday, March 25, the Swedish vessel, the Vega, entered Falmouth Harbour, after successfully performing the voyage from a European port along the northern shores of Asia, through Behring's Straits, into the Pacific Ocean. As this is the first time such a voyage has ever been performed, some account of this remarkable enterprise, and of the brave men who have accomplished it, will probably prove acceptable to our readers.

This is by no means the first attempt that has been made to accomplish the north-east passage. It is said that no less than twelve expeditions had previously been sent out for this purpose, five of which were English, six Dutch, and one Austrian. The English expeditions were mostly despatched in the 16th century. They did not succeed in getting any further than Nova Zembla, on account of the ice. In the 17th century the celebrated navigator, Hudson, was equally unsuccessful. The Dutch, under Barentz, attempted the passage at the end of the 16th century, and though they did not attain the direct object of their voyage, they were rewarded for their toils by the discovery of Spitzbergen. Of late years the attention of English navigators has been more directed to the north-west passage (first discovered by Sir John Franklin, who perished in the attempt), and the honour of opening up the north-east passage has been reserved to the Swedes.

The Vega, a wooden vessel, manned by a crew of between twenty and thirty sailors, all volunteers, sailed from Gottenburg at the end of June, 1878. She was accompanied by a small steamer, the Lena, which had orders to escort the Vega as far as the mouth of the River Lena. Captain Palander, of the Swedish Navy, was the first in command of the Vega ; he was assisted in the navigation of the vessel by Brusevitz, a Swede, Hovgaard, a Dane, Nordqvist, a Russian, and Bove, an Italian of Lombardy. The head of the scientific part of the expedition was Professor Nordenskjöld. In co-operation with him were Doctors Kjellman, a botanist, Stuxberg, a zoologist, and Almqvis, a physician. One of the chief purposes of the expe

F

dition was to explore the northern coasts of Siberia with the object of discovering the capabilities of that vast region for increasing the supplies of corn to Europe. Hence one of the principal supporters of the expedition was Sebiriakoff, a rich merchant of St. Petersburg, who has acquired great wealth by trading with Siberia. The King of Sweden, and some of the leading Swedish merchants, entered warmly into the scheme. The Vega was skilfully fitted out, provisioned for two years, provided with all the appliances which modern science could afford, and the ships started on their hazardous but glorious mission with the best wishes of the Swedish nation.

The vessels sailed round the coast of Norway, touching at one or two places to take in supplies of coal and provisions. Then proceeding along the northern coast of Russia, they arrived in the Straits of Karsky, between Nova Zembla and the mainland, where most of the previous expeditions had been compelled to turn back. Being fortunate enough to find the passage clear, they continued their voyage, and on the 19th August, arrived off the north-east cape (Chelyuskin), a point never reached by any previous navigators. This most northerly point of the continent of Europe and Asia was, till then, only known from the reports of Siberians who had reached it by land. When the expedition arrived at the mouth of the Lena, the vessels parted company; the Vega continued its adventurous course without charts and on unknown seas, while the Lena sailed up the river, which bore the same name, to explore the interior of the country. The Vega was singularly fortunate in its voyage towards Behring's Straits ; for though it had to traverse thick fogs, sail between mountains of ice, and proceed for hundreds of miles either without information or with information constantly found to be incorrect and misleading, and therefore often worse than useless, the course of the navigators was not interrupted till they arrived near the north-east point of Asia. In two or three days they would have passed through Behring's Straits, found themselves in known waters, and actually been able to attain the purpose of their enterprise in a single season, when suddenly, on the 28th September, they found themselves immovably fixed in a solid plain of ice, from which they found it impossible, with all their efforts, to extricate themselves. Here they were forced to remain for three hundred days, till the breaking up of the ice on the 26th July, 1879. The cold attained its maximum on the 25th January, when it reached forty-five degrees below zero (Centigrade), or five degrees beyond the freezing point of mercury. The intrepid voyagers kept up their health and spirits in their terrible solitude, and passed the time in the best way they could. They had taken with them complete sets of newspapers for the years 1876, 1877, and 1878, and they now read these with the greatest interest. They formed sledge parties and explored the neighbouring coast, making the acquaintance of a nomad tribe called Tschuktcher, who live by hunting, and dwell in tents of skins, in which they hang lamps fed by fish-oil and suspended from the centre. They lie all huddled together at night, and seem to have no ideas of modesty nor of religion. They were very friendly to the strange visitors. They speak a language with a very limited vocabulary, of which the officer Bove managed to collect about three hundred words. These latter seem to bear no affinity to those of any other known language. Astronomical observation and scientific investigation were carried on from time to time as opportunity offered.

At length, when the end of July was approaching, and the voyagers were beginning to fear the approach of another winter, a narrow passage formed itself in the ice. By means of axes this was enlarged into a canal broad enough for the passage of the Vega, and the navigators once more pursued their voyage, passed the Straits, and with a song of triumph and thankfulness to God, sailed into the waters of the Pacific Ocean. The rest of their passage was fortunate and peaceful. On the 29th September they arrived at Yokohama, where the Japanese proved once more their accessibility to modern European ideas by receiving them with a festive welcome. From Japan they crossed the Indian Ocean, sailed up the Red Sea, passed through the Suez Canal, and arrived at Naples, where they were treated with great honour on their first arrival in Europe. Continuing their voyage, the Vega arrived, as we have already stated, in Falmouth Harbour, March 25th.

Probably the chief result of this memorable voyage will be the opening up of the vast region of Central and Southern Sib:ria to European enterprise. Professor Nordenskjöld thinks there is a great future in store for that portion of the globe. An anecdote in illustration of this was quoted at the banquet given in his honour at Paris. A traveller said to an inhabitant of

a

« PreviousContinue »