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There will be no difficulty in understanding the several class tables ; but the master's scheme may require some slight explanation. In column one, (headed 9 to 91, 9} to 10) and opposite Tuesday is the figure 1. This indicates that the master must be engaged with the 1st class from 9 o'clock till 10 on the Tuesday; and, on referring to the 1st class table, it is found to be a reading lesson. In the master's scheme, for the same day, and in the next column (10 to 11) are the figures 1, 2, 3, 4, superscribed superintend; this shows that on the ' writing-day” the master has to superintend the first four classes during the whole time they write. Proceeding to the next column for Tuesday (11 to 11%) we find 5 inserted therein; this directs the master to the 5th class, and the next column to the 6th.
In conclusion, I would recommend the master to select a situation in his schoolroom, to bring the several classes to, when their time for receiving instruction from himself arrives; and from whence his eye can command a view of the whole school. Thus he may superintend the whole, while he is actively engaged in instructing a part. I would also recommend the appointment of a monitor of the school, whose business, every half hour, shall be to go round to the classes, observe whether they are working strictly by the time tables, and to report upon the formation of the classes, their order, or disorder, whenever requisite.
I am, Mr. Editor, Yours truly, St. Mark's Schools, Hull.
THE ORIGIN OF THE ENGLISH POSSESSIVE CASE IN
NOUNS. One of our most distinguished living grammarians states, in his work on Etymology and Syntax, that "to form the genitive plural, we annex the apostrophe without the letter 8, as eagles' wings. The geni
tive singular of nouns terminating in s, is formed in the same manner, as righteousness' sake."
From this I infer that, as the apostrophe in the latter expression denotes the absence of another s, omitted by reason of its causing too much of a hissing sound; so, in the former example, another s after the apostrophe is omitted for the same reason. Now I take leave to differ from this opinion, and beg a short space to endeavour to fortify my position.
The English language is the form which, in the lapse of time, the Anglo-Saxon has finally assumed by the gradual variation and rejection of its inflexions. In the substantive, the only case retained was the genitive in is or es. In the plural, all the inflexions were ultimately dropped, the three cases (improperly so called), being written in the same way as the nominative plural, which was generally the same as the genitive singular.
To give a few instances :
Tha halige fant water is gelic odhrum waeterum (dat.) ac dhaes halgan gastes niht dhurh sacerda (gen.) bletsunge. (The holy font water is like (to) other waters; but the Holy Ghost's power, through the priests' blessing.)- Alfric's Paschal Homily.
And thei weren glad in the werkis of her hondis.—Wycliffe.
quenes kindred and the kinges blood.-Sir Thomas More.
The princes watche ought to defend the poor mannes house, his labour the subjectes ease **. - John Pagnet (Bishop of Winchester.)
And sing of knights and ladies gentle deeds.-Spenser.
Think not the erectness of man's stature a sufficient distinction of him from brutes.-Stillingfleet.
Weigh the men's wits against the ladies hairs.— Pope.
These examples are taken at random, and fairly represent the ordinary use of the writers from whom they are quoted, though many instan. ces of the s' may be observed, especially in those authors who are nearer to our own times. From these instances, then, I think we are fairly entitled to conclude, that the apostrophe in the singular is a mark of elision denoting the omission of the e or i of the Saxon genitive ; and that this is the only case (properly so called), in our present English
The possessive plural in our early English or Saxon, as may be seen in the first quotation above, ended in a or ena ; and, after the final rejection of the a of the genitive and um of the dative, was written
in the same manner as the nominative. The general use of the apostrophe in the plural is of comparatively modern use. It is merely a sign or mark to distinguish the possessive from the other cases ; and does not denote, as the apostrophe of the singular does, the omission of an e or i; much less the omission of another s.
To take an example to explain myself, more clearly :-" The ladies' slippers." Earlier writers would have written simply,—"the ladies slippers." There is no example of another s, es, or is, being added to the nominative plural to form the possessive case (except in two or three irregular nouns.) The apostrophe, then, in the above instance, is used merely as a grammatical mark to designate the case ; and, therefore, it is absurd to suppose that the proper, the strict, full, and grammatical force and pronunciation of the expression, is—" the ladies-es slippers.”
These opinions are more strongly fortified by the authority of two distinguished men. Hickes, in his Thesaurus, speaking of the Saxon genitive in es, observes, “ Inde in nostratium sermone nominum substantivorum genitivus singularis, et nominativus pluralis exeunt in es vel s.” Dr. Johnson, in his “ Grammar of the English Tongue,” prefixed to his Dictionary, makes the following remarks :-" This termination of the noun (the possessive singular), seems to constitute a real genitive indicating possession. It is derived to us from those who declined smith :-Gen, smithes, of a smith; Plur. smithes, or smithas; and so in two other of their seven declensions.” “ Plurals ending in s," he farther observes, “ have no genitive.” ** Dr. Wallis thinks the Lords' house, may be said for the house of Lords ; but such phrases are not now in use ; and surely an English ear rebels against them. Besides that the mark of elision is improper, for “in the Lords house, nothing is cut off.” If you have space
for this I would wish to have your opinion, or that of some of your able correspondents on the point.
PHILALETHES. Alnwick, Feb. 14, 1845.
Notices of Books.
Educational Essays, by J. Skinner, Proprietor of the Winchmore Hill
Academy, near Edmonton, Middlesex. 8vo. pp. 104. Whittaker. Many of our readers will remember with interest a series of papers which appeared in the earlier numbers of this Journal, with the signature of J. Skinner ; some of which, especially one on the Means of Exciting Diligence in Study, gave rise to an animated discussion; and they will not be sorry to hear that the author, at the instance of persons having a deep interest in the subject, the parents and friends of his pupils,—has re-published them, with the addition of one or two other
papers, under the title of Educational Essays ; or, Practical Observations on Various Subjects connected with the Instruction, Discipline,
and Physical Training of Youth in Schools. At the same time he announces his intention, should the anticipations of its promoters be realized, of following up the volume with two others. Nearly the whole of the present volume having appeared originally in our own pages, we scarcely like to say what we think of it; there can, however, be no harm in our stating, that these essays are the result of long and thoughtful experience, the greater part of the author's life (more than twenty years) having been devoted to the benefit of the rising generation, in a sphere, too, perhaps best adapted for the gaining of sound experience—the principalship of a select boarding school. It is something to say in favour of this unpretending volume, that it contains nothing which has not been tested by experience and sanctioned by suc
The subjects of the essays are as follows :-(1.) On First Impressions. (2.) On the Order in which the Mental Faculties unfold themselves. (3.) On the Early Formation of Studious Habits. (4.) On Facilitating Youthful Studies. (5.) On the Means of Exciting Diligence in Study. (6.) On Familiar Lectures in connection with the Interrogative System of Instruction. (7.) On Discrimination of Character. (8.) Hints for a Practical Method of Teaching Elocution in Schools. (9.) On the Means of Promoting Quietness in Schools. Also an Appendix, containing two papers in Defence of Emulation as a means of exciting Diligence in Study. We look forward with considerable interest to the appearance of the other two volumes promised in the preface, one on the Moral, and the other on the Physical Education of Youth,
Thirty Chants, Selected from the Best Composers ; Arranged for Four
Voices, with an Accompaniment for the Organ and Pianoforte. Impe
rial 8vo. Hamilton & Co. Any effort, however humble, that tends to the improvement of congregational singing, is worthy of encouragement. There are, however, special reasons for recommending this new selection to the favourable notice of our readers :
(1.) It is a selection, and from the best composers, too, evidently made with the single aim of promoting congregational chanting : there is not one original, scarcely one very modern chant in the volume.
(2.) It is cheap in the right sense of the word. There is nothing poor about it. In addition to the thirty chants arranged in score with an accompaniment, it contains the canticles of the Church of England; and all for one shilling. The profits, too, will be applied to a charita
(3.) Great care and skill have been employed in the distribution of the words of the canticles, the syllables being displayed in a manner plain enough for a child to understand at a glance. There is a short but excellent preface, explaining the principle upon which this is done, blending the syllabic and accented systems, so as to avoid the extremes of either. We shall be pardoned for borrowing the following quotation from the Rev. J. Jebb’s Choral Service of the Church of England :
“ As a general rule, the melody in the first part ought to be upon the three last syllables ; in the second part upon the last five; as in this
“Praise Him, | Sun.and | Moon : || Praise Him, | all · ye stars and · light. Il By a strict adherence to the syllabic system, which is to give the last three or five notes to the last three or five syllables, whatever may be their prosodial value or importance, the rhythm of the words, and what is far worse, the parallelism is in many cases altogether lost. On the other hand, the accented systems, (by which the division is altogether regulated by accent, the last notes being assigned to the last three or five accented syllables), may be carried too far; and by crowding so many words into one note, the solemnity of the chant is impaired, and the harshness of a language, already abounding in so many consonants and close vowels, is exaggerated.
“ The proper method lies between these two extremes. Due attention being paid to the sense and rhythm, regard at the same time should be had to the more deliberate and solemn enunciation of certain syllables, which, from the proneness to abbreviate incident to all languages, we have been taught to slur over, to the great detriment of melody.”
(4.) A peculiar recommendation of this selection, is the original and ingenious way in which the words of each canticle, being printed on each side of the leaf at the bottom of the page, and all but detached from the upper part, are made to fall under the notes of the music to which they are to be sung; the upright lines, dividing the words, corresponding with the bars of the music, on whichever side of the leaf the chant selected may be printed.
Experimental Education. By the Author of “ A Sponsor's Gift," 8c.
12mo. pp. 312. Hatchard.
Our attention was first drawn to this volume by one or two remarks in the “advertisement,” which begins with these words : - This book, intended for parents and teachers only, is to be kept from children, to whom it might prove injurious. When the writer points out the faults of parents, she wishes to assure them, that it is in a faithful and tender spirit; not so much to blame them, as to show the effects resulting from inexperience. The writer has not consulted any other work on education, but has merely recorded her own experience.” We began to hope that we had met with a genuine book, and we have not been disappointed. Making every allowance for low churchmanship, the work is well worthy the attention of young mothers, and others who have the bringing up of children. The author has studied her subject well, and evidently had much experience in the matter. Her method of managing her young charge is very sensible; she evinces great penetration into character, and deals largely in interesting anecdotes of children who have been entrusted to her care. She is no advocate for forcing young plants; for instance, she would not begin to teach a. child to read until it was four years old, maintaining that she has inva