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Literatnight on from Jumph,
The Rev. D. Edwards, M. A., was re-elected pre in those characteristics which make a good sident for the ensuing year: Mr. D. Jones, Llan speaker. Our much esteemed president's interest derfel, treasurer; and Mr. E. Davies, Bala, secre- in the society is unabating ; besides his regular tary. At half-past four, from four to five hundred occupancy of the chair at our weekly meetings, he assembled in the Methodist chapel, to hear adju has shown his desire for our improvement by dedications read on the best compositions in prose livering a series of six lectures, which have been on the following subjects, “ Man's influence on thrown open to all desirous of attending. The society," "The life and genius of the Rev, S. topics chosen were-_“The young man and his Lloyd, B.A.," an English essay on "Happiness," | studies ;" “Luther;" “A review of the year's "The character of Joseph," to juvenile members. essays;" and three on “ Uncle Tom's Cabin." A The following in verse, a poem on the “Shep- logic class is taught by the president; and a class herd," “The tragedy of the cbildren of Bethle- for the study and practice of elocution, some time hem," and also a Congregational tune." Prizes ago given up, is to be recommenced.-J. D. were awarded on the above subjects to the suc- Newcastle-upon-Tyne Debating Society.-On cessful competitors. This plan bas been a source Tuesday, 2nd January, 1855, the second annual of considerable interest in the union; and we feel a soirée of this society was held at the Adelphi desire to see it more generally adopted in other Temperance Hotel, Newcastle, when upwards of societies, as we are convinced that“ writing makes seventy members and friends attended, to pass a an exact man." The following gentlemen ad- sociable evening in celebration of its second annidressed the meeting :--Mr. D. Williams, Cablyd; versary. Mr. D. Jones, Llanderfel; Mr. G. Jones, Bala; ! A comfortable tea was provided, which being Rev. J. Parry (editor of a Welsh Cyclopædia, now concluded, the chair was taken by Mr. J. W. in course of publication, and the first ever pub-McNeil, who introduced the proceedings in a suitlisbed in the language); Mr. Simon Jones, Bala; / able speech. The secretary then read his report and the Rev. R. Humphreys, Dyffryn. Alter a of the transactions of the society for the past few remarks from the president upon the evils year, which have been attended with considerable that might ensue from a misconceived notion of prosperity. The treasurer afterwards gave a saliterature, Mr. 0. Jones proposed, and Mr. J. tisfactory account of the monetary concerns of the Roberts, student, seconded, a vote of thanks to all society. Mr. Cook then delivered a speech bearthe benefactors of the society in the past year. ing upon the necessity and usefulness of debating Songs and glees much enlivened the proceedings. societies. These proceedings were intermingled
with vocal and instrumental music, Mr. J. S. Skipton-in-Craven Young Men's Mutual Im- | Liddle presiding at the pianoforte. Dancing and provement Society.-The third annual festival of social games concluded the entertainments. this society was held on Tuesday evening, the 9th The society, during the past year, has obtained instant, in the British schoolroom. An excellent a most elegant and convenient room at No. 15, tea was provided, to which upwards of one hun-Grey-street, where it has met weekly, and where dred members and friends sat down. At seven it commences the new year, encouraged by contio'clock the public meeting commenced, the presi- nuous success, and with a bright and cheering dent of the society, Rev. R. Gibbs, occupying the future before it. chair. After an appropriate introduction, the Kirkintilloch Young Men's Mutual Improvechairman called upon the secretary, Mr. E. Cal- ment Society.-The members of this society held vert, to read the report of the past year's opera- their usual social meeting on the evening of the tions. Addresses were then given by members 9th December, in the New Post Office. Mr. Jas. on the following topics:-“ The pursuit of know. Scott, librarian of the society, occupied the chair, ledge under difficulties," Mr. S. Farey; “ Crom- and delivered an eloquent address, in which he well," Mr. W. Brumfitt, Jun.; “Eminent Re gave an outline of the society from its commenceformers," Mr. R. Cornthwaite; “Nature und ment, referring feelingly to the separation of some Art," Mr. J. Huiscliff'; “ Alfred," Mr. J. Lambert; of the members, who had left the country to push "The class--suggestions for its improvement, their fortune in a new world. The treasurer, Mr. Mr. J. Grayston; “The young men of Skipton," Wm. Whitelaw, then read his report, which Mr. J. Dawson. At the close of these, the chair- showed the finances were in a healthy condition; man gave an instructive and stirring speech on and followed up his report with a spirited address “The popular literature of the day." The meet on the means of obtaining knowledge. Addresses ing was enlivered by the singing of a few amateurs were then delivered by Mr. D. F. Menzies, on of local celebrity, whose valuable services were the War; by Mr.J. Craigie, on the advantages of cheerfully given. A recitation by a juvenile mem such societies. The intervals of the addresses ber, Master T. Holmes, on “The Mariner's were filled up by recitations and songs. A maDream," was very creditably given, and well re nuscript magazine has had five monthly parts ceived. The meeting concluded by singing the issued, and seems to be conducted with good national anthem.
taste. It is carried on by contributions from the A new and interesting feature in the society's members. D. F. M., Sec. operations during the past year, and one which Bristol (Cooper's Hall) Mutual Improvement we much recommend to all kindred institutions, Society. The fifth annual soirée of this society is the delivery of critical lectures by the members was held at the hall on Tuesday evening, Dec. of the class. Five of these have been given, on 26th, 1854, when about 200 of the members and the following topics :-“Chivalry;" “Oratory and friends were present. After tea, and an opening British Orators;" “ The Alliance for the suppres address was delivered by Mr. H. N. Barnett, who sion of the liquor traffic;" “ Wellington;" and kindly presided, speeches and recitations were “Byron and Kirke White." At the close of these given by the following gentlemen :- Messrs. lectures, friendly criticisms are given by members | Butcher, Taverner, Willway, J. Stoate, Derrick, on the excellences or defects of the lecturer, | Powell, and Peachey. Glees, &c., were .sung intermediately by a very efficient choir, under the was given by the chairman, and after joining in conduct of Mr. Cox, accompanied on the piano “God save the Queen," con molto expressione, by Mr. Albert Denning. A concluding address the meeting separated.--AUGUSTUS.
A pension of £50 per annum has been granted mitted 183 Fellows, 213 demies, and 162 choris. to the widow of the late Dr. Kitto.
ters." In the literature of our country he will We have to record the death of the celebrated ever be distinguished as the author of the Reliand popular writer, Bitzius, better known under quiæ Sacræ," a work distinguished by great clasthe noin de guerre of“ Jeremias Gotthelf." He sical aud ecclesiastical learning. was born in Murten in 1797, and died in October After a long period of decline and helpless sullast.
fering, cheerfully borne, the author of “Our The newspapers record the death, on the 30th Village " died at Swallowfield Cottage, near Dec., at the age of 67, of Mr. W. R. Macdonald, Reading, on Jan. 10th, aged 66 years. She was a gentleman industriously occupied in the early born in 1789, at Alresford, in Hampshire. Her part of his life in editing a weekly newspaper, and father was a sanguine, cheerful, and speculative subsequently in preparing books for the young man, who tried physic, played at whist, spent
The death of Lord Robertson-one of the Scot- every one's money, and something more, and tish judges-is announced to have occurred at made every living creature about him love him, Edinburgh, on Jan. 10th. His eloquence, wit, lend to him, and forgive him. To this love, and and social qualities will long be remembered in to his extravagance, his daughter's lite was sacriScotland. As an author, he sought celebrity late ficed. Miss Mitford first presented herself to the in life, by turning sonneteer, and publishing two public in three volumes of poetry-one a South volumes of poetry.
Sea romance, after the fashion of Scott. It was Another Edinburgh name we have to add to by chance that she afterwards fell on the veins of our literary obituary is that of Dr. A. Crichton, country lite, scenery, and manners, on the one LL.D., an industrious journalist, and author of hand--and on the other, of high tragic passion some volumes in “ Constable's Miscellany." and action, which “ Our Village" and her plays
The death of the venerable president of Mag- in verse severally represent. It is unnecessary dalen College has removed a link which had long to dwell upon these and other works, that made united the present with former times at Oxford, a labourer's cottage with a duchess's “flower garMartin Routh was born in September, 1755, in den," three miles from Reading, a place of pilthe reign of George II., and survived till the grimage to some of the highest and most accomseventeenth year of Queen Victoria's reign, “He plished persons in Europe. She bore up against had known Dr. Theophilus Leigh, Master of the trials of a hard and ill-understood life with: Balliol, the contemporary of Addison, who had a sweetness aud vivacity such as could have made pointed out to him the situation of Addison's strangers imagine that there was nothing to bear. rooins; had seen Dr. Johnson, in his brown wig, Not long after her father's death, her own health, scrambling up the steps of University College; which had been shaken by the dutiful attendance had been told by a lady of her aunt, who had seen on him, began to fail; and the illness which carCharles II. walking round the parks at Oxford ried her away was slow, painful, and dispiriting. (when the Parliament was held there during the But her sweetness of temper and her brightness plague of London), with his dogs, and turning of mind never failed ber to the last. by the crosspath to the other side, when he saw We learn that the subject of the Seatonian prize the heads of houses coming." In more unro- poem at Canbridge for 1855 is to be the “ Plurality mantic fact, it is added, that " Dr. Routh had ad. of Worlds."
NOTICES OF BOOKS.
List of Lessons for 1855, 28. per 100.
some 23,514 Sunday schools, with 318,135 teachNotes on the Lessons, ld. per month,
ers, and 2,407,642 scholars, the importance of these The Sunday School Teacher's Class Register institutions can scarcely be over estimated. We and Diary for 18.), cloth, Is. 6d.
look, therefore, with kindly interest on every Bible Class Magazine for 1854, 1s, 6d.
effort made to raise the character of these schools The Union Magazine for 1854, 2s. 6d.
by improving the quality of the instruction. The
publications enumerated at the head of this no. Among the most important revelations of the tice are brought out by a committee of practical census of 1851 are those which relate to the edu- inen; they appear well adapted to meet the wants cation of the people, the agencies employed, and of the majority of teachers, and we therefore corthe institutions established for promoting this dially recommend them to the examination of such object, If, as the census returns state, there are of our readers as are engaged in this work.
b lications enne quality of acter of these
$ of the
Dids to Self-Culture.
THE ART OF READING. IN “the pursuit of knowledge under difficulties," the eager-minded student frequently finds a deficiency of elementary culture a great hindrance to progress. The initiatory processes of education are by no means unimportant, nor .can any one availably exert the higher qualities of mind, unless the more humble and ordinary powers have been trained as aids and auxiliaries in the work. The importance of an accurate and ready acquaintance with words cannot be too strenuously impressed on a student's attention. Words, as the symbols of thought and its processes, possess two prime qualities, on a right comprehension of which their utility almost wholly depends—sound and sense. Reading is the translation of represented thought into such sounds as shall convey the precise sense of the thinker to tho e who are to be impressed by his thoughts. There are implied in Reading, therefore, uany things of essential importance. Accuracy of articulation, fluency and ease of ut: runce, correctness and beauty of intonation, a ready and true knowledge of the meaning of words—singly and combinedly, skill in seizing the point in the structure of a sentence, the power of giving fit and unstrained emphasis to important words, and the constant habit of attending to intellectual pausation: these varied qualities, in harmonious combination, constitute the chief elements in good reading.
It is not our intention to enter into details regarding the mechanic operations enumerated in the preceding paragraph, except in very brief and general terms, as we purpose devoting the chief portion of this paper to the imparting of such hints on intellectual rather than vocal reading as we deem of importance to those engaged in self-culture. We abstair: from making these remarks all the more readily because the greater and the more important portion of these topics has already been treated of by a gentleman whom we know to be, not only an able but an esteemed contributor to this serial. He will readily excuse us for placing the matter before our readers in our own point of view, if our readers will pardon us the repetition of matter with which they are already familiar.
On" the mechanism of speech," and consequently on the elements of articulation, our Jent readers would do well to peruse attentively,“ The Philosophy of Language: Part
Universal Grammar,'" by Sir John Stoddart, Knt., LL.D., chap. xvi.,* and by diligent ad sedulous practice acquire a ready habit of giving to each alphabetic sign its own proSr individual sound; they should then proceed to learn the effect which these have upon tach other in combination. In this they will be very materially aided by the thoughtful study of Latham's “ Handbook of the English Language,” Part III.t If, after this, and with proper attention to the principles laid down in these works, some pronouncing dictionary, such as Walker's, is thoroughly studied, there will be little danger of defective or improper articulation. To make success more certain and decided, however, we advise the reading aloud of a portion of some classical author daily, with strict watchfulness and con
* London: R. Griffin and Co.
tinual reference to the standards laid down in the above works. This will secure the accurate rendering of the sounds of individual words.
Let this same reading be gone over slowly and carefully with the intellect alone in activity; think over the signification of each sentence separately, then analyze each individual word to see what portion of the whole meaning it contributes, and whenever a difficulty arises have immediate recourse to a dictionary. Do not rest satisfied until you are confident you comprehend, not only the meaning of the sentence in the gross, but the different additional elements of thought which each separate word conveys. Thus the precisé sense of individual words will be discovered.
Having studied the sentence thus thoroughly you will know the chief and paramount dement of thought which it embodies, and upon the word or words which contain that, the emphasis must be placed, while according to its peculiar quality the intellectual pausation will occur before or after, as explained in the paper on that topic.
By attention to these rules, the grand universal canon of good reading, viz., “ Understand what you read, and enunciate it as if you did so," becomes easy of obedience.
On this topic, viz., vocal reading, the student will find some observations, distinguished fr by the tisual good sense and lucidity of 'exposition of their author, in" The Elements of Rhetoric,” by Archbishop Whately, D.D.,* Part IV., chap. i. and iii., and he may also consult with advantage “A Course of Lectures on Elocution," by Thomas Sheridan, A.M.
f So much we felt bound to say upon the vocal symbolization of written thou, ht, prior to entering upon the main subject of our present prelection.
“Books are not seldom talismans and spells;" but they become much more efficaciously so when to the energy and richness of thought there is added the living power and melodious tones of a voice which
“Pours a sensibility divine
Along the nerve of every feeling line," when the reader, sympathizing with the writer, becomes one in thought with him, and,
“ Life rising s iin life, in higher tone," gives audible embodiment and actual 1, "i'u11.," sweet silence" which hides and in the pages of a book, and makes reg e s which surround him “ trem thought." But we are not so frequen
i n reading aloud for the gra. 1** and culture of other minds, I as in silently I wrely gathering up the significatii tained in the thought-embalming 'words of wish good books are composed. At these si -if we choose our books aright and well-we sit in quiet communion with the sun master-spirits of the universe, and learn their choicest thoughts. It is thus that we w .' into the texture of our own minds the wisdom of past ages, and reproduce them in next and richer combinations. It is in this process of moving circumspectly along the pathw 1*
. London: J. W. Parker.
# We cannot help thinking, however, that amongst all the beneficial exercises prescribed in ot. mutual improvement societies, the art of reading" is too much neglected. Would it not be advantageous were one evening a month set aside and devoted to select readings upon any pre-determired topic, on which evenings each member would be expected to bring some extract having a bearing. the subject agreed upon, and be called upon to read, and, if need be, explain it?
of thought, that the earnest student most requires the guidance of method; and it is here that we are most desirous of rendering him the aid of which we in our student years felt the want, and of which we have for many years been experimentally feeling the immense importance.
Reading is the primary process in study. The course of reading which ought to be pursued by each one ought, therefore, to be in a great measure directed by the purpose which he intends to fulfil by his studies. Each will therefore have one broad, direct course of thought marked out for himself, to and along which all the traffic of his thinking hours will be carefully carried. It will be impossible to lay down, in this paper, any system of reading which will be equally available and beneficial to all parties, but we do expect to furnish some general hints upon this subject which—when modified as each may see needful—will materially assist our readers in their study of the great thinkers on any peculiar branch of knowledge.
All knowledge, according to the Baconian classification, may be regarded as appealing to, and exciting, three grand energies of human thought, viz., the Memory, the Imagination, and the Reason. This, which may be called the subjective classification of knowledge, agrees with the objective division of all topics of thought into History, Poesy, and Philosophy. Facts are the prime elements of knowledge. To ascertain, classify, and remember these, therefore, are rightly the earliest efforts of thought. Memory lays up in its archives the passports upon the credit of which each element of thought was allowed entrance into the kingdom of ideation, translates the original into the current language of that realm, and re-examines each on each occasion of ingress or egress. Our earliest reading, like our earliest thoughts, should refer to facts;—whenever a new topic of study is undertaken, the facts regarding that study, its objects, its utility, its successive steps of improvement, &c., should earliest receive attention. History is always the most interesting reading for the youthful, and we doubt not it is so for wise ends. History is a record of facts, to whatsoever those facts relate. It is, therefore, the great supply-store for the operations of thought and fancy. History is an extension of experience. One who reads the history of nations and of sciences is not limited to the little sphere in which his own eyesight confines him, but widens his range of vision, by the use of a thousand eyes. There can be no doubt that great pleasure as well as much benefit is derivable from the study of history properly pursued. The greater number of readers of history, however, look upon it as combining the excitement of the novel with the additional quality of truthfulness, and they take up a work of this class as a harmless and pleasing pastime. They do not read with a high endeavour and a lofty aim ever before them. Immethodical, irregular, inconsecutive reading of history is most injudicious and injurious. Vague and confused notions fill up the mind, and order is quite impossible. History thus read is like a succession of episodes, with no great co-linking, harmonizing, epic structure into which they fit-like the scenes of a strange tragedy, read as the book chances to open, in which the characters become a jumble, and the plot of the play a complicated maze-like one of the masterpieces of Raphael, cut up into scraps like a child's puzzle to be replaced without a key, reconstructed into unity without a comprehension of the design of the picture-like all these, but oh! how different; for history is the poem of the Deity, traced by the finger of man—the drama of God, in which men and women are merely players—the painting of