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his pupils to repeat the names at the same moment that the lines were pointed out to them, and then to show the corresponding bones in their own bodies. Large classes of children were thus taught at once their anatomical catechism, and became, it is said, wonderfully expert in their anatomical exercises. But without any assistance from masters or foreign professors, every parent can, with the help of engravings, or of a real skeleton, give their sons all the elementary instruction in anatomy that can be desired. Many curious and entertaining facts, relative to the internal structure of men, animals, and plants, may be told to the pupil, or read to him, to increase his interest on this subject, and to fix technical knowledge and names in his memory. Thus when he has examined a print of the anatomy of the human heart, when he has learnt how “ the great aorta bends,” he may be told, that the aorta of a whale is larger in the bore than the main-pipe of the waterworks at London-bridge', and the water roaring in its passage through that pipe is inferior in impetus and velocity to the blood gushing from the whale's heart. The minute wonders of anatomy, though less striking, will, perhaps, appear still more curious and interesting to children, who will learn with astonishment, that in the iris of the human eye, and the drum of the ear, there are innumerable muscles of the fineness of microscopic hairs, which must be magnified to be visible. To continue the pupil's idea of comparative anatomy, he might, nearly at the same time that he learns these facts concerning the human eye, be informed of several curious particulars about
• Paley.-Natural Theology.-See also, in the Philosophical Transactions, Hunter's account of the dissection of a whale.
the eyes of those minute animals, spiders, moths, and bees, which never fail to interest children. For instance, he may be told, that the eyes of many species of insects have the powers of multiplying glasses; he may see in a solar microscope, or he may, from magnified prints, form some idea of the sort of lattice work, of which the eye of a fly seems to be composed: he will hear with surprise, that 1400 of these reticulations have been counted in the eyes of a drone bee, and that each reticulation is a lens. If the boy should not know the nature of a lens, this would be a good occasion to explain it, and to begin to give him some notion of optics. So easy, indeed so necessary, is the transition from one science to another! Whoever knows any one thing accurately, must have some acquaintance with many other branches of knowledge.
After the attention of the child has been wakened by the display of the solar microscope, after he has been told a few striking facts in natural history just sufficient to rouse his mind, it will not be necessary further to feed his imagination by a selection of wonders. Every object will excite his curiosity, and many, seemingly the most trivial, will command his admiration, when once he has learnt how to observe and reflect; he will
“ With sharpen'd eyes inspect a hornet's sting,
In these little pursuits he should be left at liberty: the small obstacles and disappointments that occur, he should be accustomed to bear, or to conquer for himself: if every circum.
stance be made easy, if every thing be explained, he must lose the delight of making what would be, to him, discoveries : he never can enjoy the pride and pleasure of vanquishing difficulties. Let him fix the objects, for instance, in the solar microscope without assistance, and let ủim have all the trouble of preparing them : this will increase his ardour; and the interruption of these active employments will relieve the fatigue of passive admiration..
Even parents and preceptors, who have not particularly attended to natural history, may easily select from various books, that are in every one's hands, facts and information sufficient to give their sons the species of elementary instruction we recommend, sufficient to tincture their minds early with a love of science and a taste for experiment. From Goldsmith's Animated Nature, Buffon, and Hook's Micrography, Adams's Wonders of the Microscope, &c., they will find ample materials for microscopical researches ;, and for facts in anatomy that may be interesting to young people, we, must again refer to Paley's Natural Theology, which is interspersed with a great variety of facts from various authors of undoubted veracity. Paley judiciously observes, that, in beginning to learn anatomy, the pupils should not be disgusted by human dissections. “ In many instances,” says he, “a “ plain observer of the animal oeconomy may spare himself “ the disgust of being present at human dissections, and yet “ learn enough for his information and satisfaction by even « examining the bones of the animals which come to table. “ Let him take, for example, into his hands a piece of the “ clean-picked bone of a hare's back—” The passage is too
long to insert here, but it is hoped, that enough has been quoted to make some reader look for the remainder. The common practice of carving may lead the young anatomist to useful observations. The ball and socket in the joints of a fowl or a turkey, the integument by which they are fastened together; the strength of the shoulder-blade of some animals ; of the wings of others; the different shape of the beaks and feet of different birds ; the scales of a fish, its gills, its fins, its tail ; innumerable subjects of amusing and instructive conversation may be suggested by what children see every day at dinner. Of course their preceptors would not be so imprudent as to attempt to teach at the moment when their pupils want to eat.
The structure and anatomy of vegetables should not be neglected. You may begin by showing a child the skeletons of leaves; an ivy leaf in particular affords a beautiful specimen : he may amuse himself afterwards by taking off impressions of the fibres of different leaves, as impressions are taken from a copper-plate. These hints are given not to lay down any precise mode of awakening the pupil's attention ; but something specific is mentioned lest parents should complain, that they are at a loss how to proceed when they have only general directions. For example, if the child be stung by a nettle, make the accident of use to him; show him,—but not till the tingling pain has subsided,-show him the magnified representation of the sting of a nettle, explain to him its structure, and let him compare it with the print of the sting of
P Hook's Micrography,
a bee. The attention of Linnæus was turned to the examination of numerous tribes of insects and worms, which had been but imperfectly described by preceding naturalists, and he acquired knowledge, which threw new light upon the history of the inferior orders of the animal world, in consequence of an accident, which would have damped the ardour of a less zealous youth. He was stung in so terrible a manner by an insect called the furia infernalis, that his life was endangered ”. This anecdote, with proper precautions, might be related to the young naturalist.
· Much depends on the time and the manner, in which anecdotes or knowledge of any kind is introduced. Sometimes a remarkable circumstance may be impressed on the memory, when the feelings are roused by pain or pleasure ; sometimes a new idea and a whole train of thought may be advantageously introduced, when the mind is quite at ease and vacant. If on a fine summer's day, when a boy is walking in the garden, he observes that the lettuces are tied up, seize the opportunity to tell him, that plants kept from the light lose their colour, become (etiolated) blanched. Excite him to try this simple experiment, and from this you may lead on to many curious facts: to the action of light and air upon plants, to the circulation of the sap; to many of the experiments of Hales, Priestley, Ingenhouz, Knight, and Banks. It cannot be too strongly impressed upon the mind of the preceptor, that the pleasure of observation is much increased by connecting it
4 See Coxe's Travels, and Dr. Pulteney's General. View of the Writings of Linnæus,