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in which all its parts are put together. You see, too, that all this contrivance, and skill, and design was shown still more wonderfully in the first hen. Now when you look at a kite, you know with what design it was made, and you see the contrivance and skill with which its parts were put together. You know that somebody must have made it, and have thought beforehand how to make it; the kite could not have made itself! So when you look at the curious little chicken, or the curious little nautilus, and see the wonderful design, and skill, and contrivance which are shown in them, you know that some one must have made them, and have made the first hen, and the first nautilus, and have thought beforehand how to make them. It is your spirit, your mind, which thinks beforehand, which designs, contrives, and directs your hand to be skilful whenever you make a kite. It is GoD-the GREAT SPIRIT-the ETERNAL MIND, who thought beforehand, who designed, contrived, and made every little chicken and nautilus, and the first hen and first nautilus, and the first things and beings, and all things and all beings. When you see, my son, such wonderful skill and contrivance in the thousand beings and things which are around you, and the design with which they were made, and all their parts put together, you know certainly that there is a God who made them, just as certainly as you know that the tall kite, which you saw the boys playing with, must have been made by somebody. GoD shows himself to you; he shows you his wonderful knowledge, and contrivance, and power, and skill, and design, in your own body and soul, which he made, and in all the beings and things which are around you.
'R. How does God show himself to me, mother? I don't see him.' In the last line a bit of the child's real nature peeps out, but, instead of taking this as a hint of thorough exhaustion of attention, it is only to serve the reverend author as an ingenious ruse for a further ride on that worn-out hack of his, the soul; in which, after a profuse expenditure of italics, the mother assures her son that it is my soul which is now looking at you with the eyes of the body. It is my soul which is now speaking to you with the lips and tongue of the body. When I rise and walk, or do anything with my hands, it is my soul which does it with feet and hands of the body.' The lady, in short, in proper novel-writing language, is evidently all soul-nay, we should not be surprised if, like Dickens's Mrs. Whittitterly, her soul were found to be too large for her body;' while as to the poor child, if he reasons inductively, as all children do, he will doubtless conclude, bodily actions being made the proofs of the soul's existence, that it is the cat's soul which is now licking up the milk with the tongue of her body, or the cow's soul which is now switching away the flies with the tail of her body.
As the first part of this volume is intended as a simplification of Paley's Natural Theology,' so the latter part, which treats of reason as distinguished from instinct, may be considered as a Socratic elucidation of Coleridge's Aids to Reflection;' but
midway we hit upon a department of ethics, arising from a study of the muscles of the face, which we believe to be perfectly unique. When you are speaking to others look them full in the face-do not try to hide your feelings-let them show themselves in your countenance-let your eye and your countenance have all the expression which your feelings would give. Do all this-try to do it! and you will acquire habits of expression which will make you feel happy yourself, and increase the happiness of others."'
According to this a child may naturally infer that he is never more virtuous than when calling up a look,' or more actively benevolent than in frequent pilgrimages to the lookingglass. Had we time or space, an ingenious hypothesis might hence be deduced for that peculiar cut of countenance observable in a certain class of Yankees. Whether, however, this drawing of the attention to the habits and movements of the child's own face be exactly the system best calculated to ensure that unconsciousness of looks and appearance which constitutes childhood's most ineffable charm, we leave the reader to decide. But we cannot sufficiently admire the forbearance of American mothers implied in the child's pathetic entreaty, a few lines further, to be told of his future 'cross or unpleasant looks.' In our time mothers used to come out with such information, coupled with broad hints of commentary, without waiting to be asked."
The same egregious mistakes as to the nature of a child's understanding the same explanations, which are all but indelicate, and always profane-seem to pervade all these American mentors; and of a number by Peter Parley, Abbott, Todd, &c., it matters little which we take up.
Under the name of Peter Parley such a number of juvenile school-books are current-some greatly altered from the original --and many more written by adopters of Mr. Goodrich's pseudonym--that it becomes difficult to measure the real merits or demerits of the said magnus parens, Goodrich. As we happen, however, to be in possession of a large number of American publications, we have been led to the conclusion that his popularity was in the first instance owing to the avidity for new books and new systems of education among a certain class, and has been kept up by the better efforts of those who have borrowed the pseudonym. To prove this, we need only give a specimen from a work, which, as he expressly designates it as his farewell book, and designs it as his last and best effort in the service of children, may be taken as the fairest standard of his own proper opinions and style. All these American writers concur so curiously in mode of illustration, that it is their fault, not ours, that the reader is condemned to another tirade upon hens and chickens. This is à propos of a feather.
'Parley. If a man can neither make a feather nor a wing, he certainly cannot make a bird. He can as well make a whole bird as a
part; but if he cannot make a part, he cannot make a whole.
James. But, Mr. Parley, birds are hatched from eggs, and then they grow up-that's the way birds are made.
'P. True, my boy-but are you satisfied with that answer? Who makes the eggs of the birds? Who contrived eggs from which birds are hatched?
'J. Don't the birds make the eggs?
'P. Surely not. The eggs grow in the bird, and they lay them in the nest. This is all the birds do in producing the eggs. And then they sit upon them for two or three weeks, and the young birds break the shell and come out of the egg. But have birds ingenuity enough to contrive eggs? Can they do what the most ingenious man that ever lived could not do? And if they could contrive eggs, could they put into them that principle which would make the yolk and white turn into feathers and claws, and bones and flesh, and endow the body thus formed with a power of life, which should enable the creature to move, to eat, to sleep, to sing, and to produce other eggs? It is absurd to suppose that a bird devises, contrives, or makes an egg. It is absurd to suppose that one bird makes another bird. Whoever makes an egg must be infinitely superior to man, for he does that which puts man's ingenuity to shame. Whoever makes a bird must be the maker of the egg some being of wonderful skill in contriving and designing-some thinking intelligent power must exist, else birds could not exist-that being is Gon. The existence of birds then proves the existence of a Being of wonderful ingenuity in design and power of execution, and therefore proves the existence of God.
'J. I have no doubt, Mr. Parley, that what you have told us is true, but I have been so long accustomed to think that one bird has the power of producing another that I can hardly get over the impression. We say that a bird lays an egg, and then she sits upon it and produces the young birds, and we say that she hatches them: now all this seems to imply that the old bird makes the young birds.
'P. This language is accurate enough for common uses, but it is not strictly true. The old bird produces the eggs, and by the heat of her body she hatches them; but she does not make the egg. Consider a moment what an egg is. It consists of a delicate shell polished without, and lined with a soft silky pellicle. It is filled with a glutinous matter, the outer part of which is called the white, and the inner part the yolkyet this fluid is so wonderfully mixed, and consists of such elements, that, by being kept warm for two or three weeks, it is converted into a living bird-with claws, legs, wings, tail, neck, head, bill, and all the means for eating and digesting its food. It has also a principle of life by which it moves, breathes, eats, drinks, flies, sings, and produces eggs, which eggs produce other birds.
'Such is the wonderful ingenuity displayed in the construction of an egg. It surpasses in ingenuity and contrivance everything that man can do. A man can make a watch, but it cannot breathe, or eat, or
drink. It has no principle of life-nor can one watch produce another watch. How infinitely superior, then, is an egg to the most ingenious of man's contrivances! It produces a bird, which in every part surpasses man's invention. Man cannot even make a single feather; yet an egg produces a bird with hundreds of feathers. It also produces a bird that can produce other eggs, and these eggs will produce other birds.
'Can a bird then make an egg?-a thing which puts to shame the boasted ingenuity of man, and excites our utmost wonder? Certainly not. An egg must be the work of One infinitely superior to man in ingenuity-it must be one who can not only command and mould the elements of earth, air, heat, and water, but who can endow his works with that mysterious power which we call life. It must therefore be the work of one whose skill in contrivance and power in execution infinitely surpasses, not birds only, but man himself.
'But it is important here to observe one thing, and it will easily explain James's difficulty. In executing his various works God employs certain tools and instruments, and proceeds according to certain rules. Thus he uses a bird as the instrument or tool by which an egg is produced. You have seen a carpenter build a house. He has in the first place a plan, and then he has tools and instruments to work with, such as planes, chisels, saws, axes, &c.: by means of these tools the carpenter produces the house. But would it not be silly to say that the tools of the carpenter, the planes, chisels, saws, and axes, made the house? Certainly it would; and it would be equally silly to say that birds make eggs, while they are only the tools or instruments by which the Creator makes them.
'But let us suppose for a moment that a bird has the power of making an egg-a real one that may be hatched-who made the first bird? for there must have been a beginning to the race of birds?
'Jane. It might have been hatched from an egg.
Parley. But who then made that egg?
'Jane and James (both at once). It must have been God-there must be a God!
'Parley. Yes, my dear children-there must be-there is a God!' This bears no comment. Suffice it to say, that a repetition of the same arguments as respects the various animal tribes is carried on till the mind is palled-the whole winding up or breaking off for a pompous flourish upon the wisdom and goodness of the Almighty, which evinces much rather the author's sense of his own wisdom and goodness in having found them out than any other feeling. In our unqualified censure of this mode of teaching, we do not deny that there is much that is beautiful and true in the facts of natural history he adduces; but these, be it observed, are all culled from established English authors-while in his adaptation of them Mr. Goodrich reminds us of those tasteless and irreverent workmen who, in the building of modern Rome, pounded the most beautiful antique marbles to make mortar!
The child having thus, thanks to Mr. Gallaudet, heard that name, the first mention of which no Christian child ought to be able to remember, and from him and Peter Parley attestations of that Creator which no Christian child ought ever to have doubted -the latter now humanely takes up the cause of the Christian Revelation-pursuing the same plan of stating objections that may never be made, and anticipating doubts that may never be raised, and thus, at all events, securing to himself the honour of first putting them into the child's head. Children neither want to know that there are such persons as 'Atheists,' as Mr. Gallaudet informs them, nor that there are those who disbelieve the Bible,' as Mr. Goodrich states. This, however, gives scope to his full swing of familiar and disrespectful argument; and to a betrayal of his own opinions, in which we are noways surprised to find strong indications of Socinianism.
Having now, we trust, sufficiently shown that, however mischievous and absurd such a system may sound in theory, it is incalculably more mischievous and absurd when once in practice, we must pass on to another section of American juvenile books which, as booksellers do not usually pirate works which have no chance of sale, it is to be concluded contain some claim to popu. larity. These are works, not of amusement-those we shall touch on later-but of that half-and-half description where instruction blows with a side-wind, like those alluded to in a former part of this article. But writers who can err so egregiously in one respect, it is not to be expected will go very right in any. Accordingly, after the patient investigation of an immense number of little tomes, we are come to the conclusion that they may be thus briefly classified-firstly, as containing such information as any child in average life who can speak plain is already possessed of; and secondly, such as, when acquired, is not worth the having. Persons who are not brought into contact with the systems of modern education have no idea of the truisms, and, more frequent, utter nonsense which is now-a-days connected with all the parade of teaching and learning. They would hardly believe that it could be worth while asking children with a grave face How many noses have you?' What is your chin for?' Do reptiles require warm clothing?' Can a duck swim? Are all persons of the same size? 'Are all tables of the same height?' 'Which are most nearly of the same size, horses or dogs?' Or that they can require to be taught that the sun shines-that the grass is green-that birds fly with their wings, and not with their legs -and that young cats are called kittens-on all of which heads most elaborate first lessons are here given. Nor will they understand the use of wasting childhood's precious hours on the acqui