Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 35.djvu/578

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
556
THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

distinctive but their dominating feature. The true aim and the intellectual character of these schools are admirably presented in the article on "The Spirit of Manual Training," by Prof. C. Hanford Henderson, which opens this issue of the "Monthly." As Prof. Henderson shows, there is no school whose plan is so free from one-sidedness as the manual training school. "The specific purpose of such schools," he says, "is to offer an education that includes as far as possible all of the faculties. Its favorite maxim is, 'Put the whole boy to school.' Its mode of carrying out this purpose is the very practical one of occupying the time in any way, formal or informal, that will best lead to the end proposed." The chief danger which besets such a school is that of becoming a shop, and producing artisans rather than developing men. There are many who are not aware that any other effect follows from the training of the hands than the power to make certain articles. But not a finger can be consciously lifted unless an impulse is first sent to that finger from the brain. The bungling motions of unpracticed hands are due to the imperfect control of an undeveloped brain, and the gradual acquirement of the power to move the hands to just the right extent, in just the right direction, and with just the right amount of force, is accompanied by a proportionate development in the brain. The increasing sensitiveness of the eye to detect slight deviations from a perfect square, vertical, or circle carries with it a general ability to see accurately, and to rightly interpret the visual impressions presented to the mind. Manual training has also a higher influence. The boy takes a pride in his work, and, in overcoming the difficulties of his successive tasks, he develops the virtues of perseverance, self-reliance, and honesty. These schools are still in a formative stage, and doubtless imperfections and errors may be found in the character of any particular institution; but if the spirit which Prof. Henderson reveals shall dominate the manual training school, its book-study and its shop-work promise to form the best system of all-around educational development that has yet been devised.

 

 

BRUNO'S STATUE AT ROME.

The erection at Rome of a statue to Giordano Bruno, who on the 17th of February in the year 1600 was publicly burned in that city for the heresies alleged to be contained in his philosophical writings, is a noble act of justice to the memory of a great and much-injured man. It is more than this, however, for it bears emphatic witness to the determination of the Italian Government and people to range themselves on the side of the widest freedom in speculation, and thus to place their whole civilization under the auspices and guidance of the modern spirit. It is satisfactory that, amid not a few partial signs of reaction, we have this great and formal vindication of the principle of intellectual liberty on the part of one of the leading nations of the world. When we read of the thousands of telegrams of sympathy sent to the Pope in connection with this event, we can not help wondering how the sympathizers, who, it may be presumed, all enjoy a fair measure of civil liberty in the countries throughout which they are scattered, would themselves like to be in the hands of a power that could bring them to the stake if their opinions were not of the pattern which that power chose to approve. From the modern point of view the execution of Bruno was simply the cold-blooded murder by ignorant fanatics of a man immeasurably their superior in knowledge and intellectual power; and who, by his refusal, in the face of death, to recant his opinions, proved himself possessed also of the highest degree of moral heroism. He was accused of atheism in his day, but his system of thought was pantheistic rather than atheistic. He believed that the