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instruction where a large number of pupils are brought together. One of the greatest is, that the instructers cannot be sufficiently intimate with the pupils. Whether this evil is remedied by the proposal to have one person entirely devoted to the moral character of the pupils, as is proposed by our author, seems to us a little questionable. One person cannot obtain an intimate knowledge of the character of a hundred young ladies at the same time. Besides, is there not danger that, by making morals the peculiar charge of one instructer, all the rest may become forgetful of their responsibility for the good character and conduct of their pupils?
We would not, however, have it thought that we disagree with our author as to the importance of a greater attention to moral culture in all places of education. On the contrary, there is much reason to fear, that the formation of the moral character is too often lost sight of by instructers. Not that this object is not understood, or that it has not been duly considered in treatises on education, or even that all teachers are insensible to its importance; but merely that, in many schools, academies, and colleges, as commonly conducted, the cultivation of the moral powers and feelings is not made so constant and direct an object of attention as it should be, and as we trust it will become in the gradual progress of improvement.
ART. IV.—Elements of Technology, taken chiefly from a Course of Lectures delivered at Cambridge, on the Application of the Sciences to the Useful Arts. Now published for the Use of Seminaries and Students. By JACOB BIGELOW, M. D., Professor of Materia Medica, and late Rumford Professor in Harvard University; Corresponding Secretary of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences; Member of the American Philosophical Society; of the Linnæan Societies of London and Paris, &c. Boston. Hilliard, Gray, & Co. Svo. pp. 507. 1829.
THE Word Technology gives but an imperfect idea of the contents of this volume. The end of a name would have been better answered by some title showing, that it treated
of the scientific and practical principles of many of the useful, curious, and elegant arts. All the arts may safely be called useful; it would be difficult to bring one to mind, which has not been, or might not be, made to promote the benefit of society,' and all probably owe their remote origin to that necessity which has so long been recognised as the mother of inventions. But what are the elegant arts, if not some of those treated of in this volume, Architecture, Painting, Sculpture, Engraving? And what objects of Art are more curious than the Steam Engine, the Hydrostatic Press, the beautiful exhibition of mechanical contrivance called a Governor, checking or hastening, almost of itself, the too rapid or too tardy action of water or of steam; the Hydraulic Ram of Mongolfier, creating a perennial fountain by the simple passage of the current of an open river through a tube; or the machine called Barker's Mill, in which, without wheels or flume, corn is ground by the reacting force of a stream of water spouting against the empty air?
Everything however, in the volume, has a practical tendency, and is suited to fulfil the intentions of the founder of the Rumford Professorship, from the chair of which the lectures of Dr Bigelow were delivered.
A certain degree of acquaintance with the theory and scientific principles of the common arts, is found so generally important, that most educated men, in the course of an ordinary practical life, are obliged to obtain it from some source, or to suffer inconvenience for the want of it. He who builds a house, or buys an estate, if he would avoid disappointment and loss, must know something of the arts which render them appropriate and tenantable. He who travels abroad to instruct himself, or enlighten his countrymen, finds in the works of art the most commanding objects of his attention and interest. He who remains at home, and limits his ambition to the more humble object of keeping his apartment warm, and himself comfortable, can only succeed through the instrumentality of the arts.
"There has probably never been an age in which the practical applications of science have employed so large a portion of the talent and enterprise of the community, as in the present; nor one in which their cultivation has yielded such abundant rewards. And it is not the least of the distinctions of our own country, to have contributed to the advancement of this branch of improvement, by many splendid instances of inventive genius, and successful perseverance.
The importance of the subject, and the prevailing interest
which exists, in regard to the arts and their practical influences, appear to me to have created a want, not yet provided for, in our courses of elementary education. Information on these subjects is scattered through the larger works on mechanics, on chemistry, mineralogy, engineering, architecture, domestic economy, the fine arts, &c., so that it rarely happens, that a student in any of our colleges gathers information enough to understand the common technical terms which he meets with in a modern book of travels, or periodical work. It is only by making the elements of the arts themselves subjects of direct attention, that this deficiency is likely to be supplied.' pp. iii, iv.
Such are the purposes for which the lectures were originally written, and for which the substance of them is now given to the public. Probably few young men, during the last twenty years, have come out from their courses of study at college into the business and interests of the world, without feeling more or less of the want, of which Dr Bigelow speaks. The great end of a rightly conducted education is, to bring out and give the complete exercise of one's faculties; and SO long as the possession of a clear judgment, a quick apprehension, a fine taste, a correct mode of reasoning, and the right and ready use of language shali continue to be desirable, something like the system now pursued at our highest places of education will undoubtedly be continued.
But these are not enough. There is this great want to be supplied. The young graduate finds the conversation of people in society occupied with subjects that are new to him, on which he feels, notwithstanding, that he is expected to be better informed than others. He has long had his best thoughts absorbed with the principles of science; he is eagerly looking round for their applications. In considering the connexion he is to have with the productive classes of society, he sees how important it is to him, in whatever relation he is to stand to them, to have some knowledge of their pursuits. He is surrounded by the products of the arts; his necessities are supplied, his taste is gratified by them; he wishes to understand how the raw productions of nature have been so skilfully and beautifully converted into the fabrics which minister to his use and convenience, and give such facilities to his advancement. What are the combinations of machinery, which have, in a few years, in the manufacture of cotton, woollen, and iron, increased the productive labor of a great nation in a twofold or threefold degree? What are the modifications in the
application of steam, which are so changing the face and condition of parts of our own country and of others, opening new regions to the light of society and commerce, and bringing near each other the inhabitants of distant climates? What are the inventions to which he hears such frequent reference, as proving the great superiority of the age, and which have exercised, and brought forward to public view, the genius of Watt and Fulton, Arkwright and Perkins?
He has curiosity of a higher kind. He has not drawn so long from the Greek and Roman fountains, without imbibing an undefined reverence for the hitherto unseen and almost unimagined excellence of creative art in painting, architecture, and sculpture. What are these charming arts of Greece and Italy, which the highest and noblest have admired most? What were the slow advances, what the coincidence of sagacity and fortune, urged by what necessity, or what inspiration, has Grecian skill converted the log hut of the savage Pelasgian into the temple of Virgin Athené or of Olympian Jupiter? What is the art by which Phidias could so give the form of life to marble,
'Che non sembiava imagine che tace'?
To gratify, and still more to excite this curiosity, and to supply this want, are the tendency and object of the Elements of Technology. Such have undoubtedly been the effects of Dr Bigelow's lectures, and many will recollect with what interest and advantage they were heard. As a textbook, this work is likely to be still more useful. It may of fer the occasion, as it gives the means, of forming, in many places of education, a new department or a new study, as inportant undoubtedly, and capable of being rendered as attractive, as any study or department whatever.
The object of such a department would be the application of the principles of philosophy to the arts and pursuits of men. And philosophy should be here understood in its most extensive sense, as comprehending, not only what has been fixed by the principles of science, but what has been discovered by experience and observation, or brought accidentally to light, in whatever concerns the external accommodation of the solitary or social man, facilitates his intercourse immediately or remotely with his species, gives him power over the elements and the productions of the earth, or enables him to extend his inquiries above or below him, and to penetrate
into the hidden parts of the creation. Such a department, or course of instruction, should not take the place of any other now existing, but should be superadded, as the key-stone of the arch, to give completeness and solidity to the fabric of education.
At the end of an elaborate, but somewhat flattering, comparative estimate of the character of the arts of ancient and modern times, we have the author's opinion of the value of the study we are recommending, which we are glad to bring forward in support of the view we have taken.
'Let any one, who would know what modern arts have accomplished, compare the repeating watch, and the unerring chronometer of the present day, with the rude sun-dial and clepsydra of the ancients. Let him consider the multiplied advantages which attend the invention of glass, which has enabled us to combine light with warmth in our houses; which has given sight to the aged, which has opened the heavens to the astronomer, and the wonders of microscopic life to the naturalist. Let him attend to the complicated engines and machinery, which are now introduced into almost every manufacturing process, and which render the physical laws of inert matter, a substitute for human strength.
'But it is not the contrast with antiquity alone, that enables us to appreciate the benefits which modern arts confer. In the present inventive age, even short periods of time bring with them momentous changes. Every generation takes up the march of improvement, where its predecessors had stopped, and every generation leaves to its successors an increased circle of advantages and acquisitions. Within the memory of many who are now upon the stage, new arts have sprung up, and practical inventions, with dependent sciences; bringing with them consequences which have diverted the industry, and changed the aspect of civilized countries. The augmented means of public comfort and of individual luxury, the expense abridged, and the labor superseded, have been such, that we could not return to the state of knowledge which existed even fifty or sixty years ago, without suffering both intellectual and physical degradation. At that time philosophy was far distant from its present mature state, and the arts which minister to national wealth were in comparative infancy. No man then knew the composition of the atmosphere, or of the ocean. The beautiful and intricate machinery, which weaves the fabric of our clothing, was not even in existence. When George the Third visited the works of Messrs Boulton and Watt at Birmingham, and was told that they were manufacturing an article of which kings were fond, and that that article was power; he was struck with the force and disadvanVOL. XXX.-No. 67.