Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 5.djvu/385

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371
LITERARY NOTICES.

and divisions of large schools; and as this was a showy demonstration it was very telling with the public, and was carried in some cases to ridiculous extremes. We once heard a thoughtful teacher remark, after observing a long course of these mechanical exercises, "I begin to think that one thing answers just as well as another for education." The encroachment of the military spirit was also visible in the reaction toward a severer discipline, a more decided advocacy of corporeal punishment, and the substitution of physical for moral forces as motives to conduct. In short, our schools were deeply and in various ways impressed by the new retrogressive spirit which carried away the country. But, as it came suddenly, it proves not to be lasting, and things are now beginning to resume their old course. The most striking indication of the disposition to return to the old order has been recently exhibited in Bowdoin College, at Brunswick, Maine. That institution, it seems, was turned into a kind of half-military establishment, field-drill being a regular exercise. So important was it regarded by Government, that a United States officer was sent there to take charge of this branch of the collegiate work. But the exercises became irksome, and such a bore to the students that, after long and unavailing protests, they at length revolted and almost unanimously refused to drill. The college authorities also refused to yield, and the conflict arrested the operations of the institution. It is a little case of revolution, and as revolution is the mother of war, the war-faculty of the college should not have condemned it too decisively. There seems to be a difference of opinion as to which party was right. The sticklers for discipline and authority of course go with the Faculty, and will no more tolerate the rebellion of the students than they would the mutiny of soldiers against their officers. On the other hand, it is maintained that the republican theory should be carried out in college as well as elsewhere; and that all civil government "derives its just powers from the consent of the governed." Whatever be the result, it cannot be denied that the students have taught the Faculty s wholesome lesson, which is, that they have rights that the authorities are bound to respect, and, if not respected, to be enforced by a resort to extreme measures, too frequently the only way in which rulers can be made to learn any thing.

 


LITERARY NOTICES.

Tabular Statements, from 1840 to 1870, of the Agricultural Products of the States and Territories of the United States of America. Classified by their Proximity to the Oceans and other Navigable Waters, Natural and Artificial. By Samuel B. Ruggles, Member of the New York Chamber of Commerce. Fifty pages. Price, 50 cents. New York: D. Appleton & Co.

Although this publication takes the form of a pamphlet, and has been made cheap to facilitate its wide circulation, yet we warn our readers not to infer its importance from its form. Carbon is carbon, but an ounce of diamond will outweigh cargoes of coal in value; and so, while knowledge is knowledge, it is possible that a pamphlet may outweigh cart-loads of books in the intrinsic value of what it contains. Until we took up this monograph of Mr. Ruggles on the agricultural resources of the United States, we did not believe it possible to condense in a clear and classified form such a vast array of valuable facts as he has here presented in the compass of fifty pages. To present the resources of a continent, statical and dynamical, the distribution of the elements and the laws of their changes, so as to give us the data for the evolution of a great empire of industry, is an exploit that no man but Samuel B. Ruggles, with his life apprenticeship at the art and mystery of extracting wisdom from statistics, could have performed.

That agriculture is the foundation of