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to the division of the public grant, and the quiet that was produced by dividing the grant between the Church and the Dissenting societies-that the last phonic reading lesson' of the first volume should be
'We halved the cake;'
and that the concluding lesson of the second volume should present 'The noise abated!'
But when we thus find that the power of reading these two short sentences is the most that Dr. Kay Shuttleworth himself expects from his books, and when we see how little the pupil will have advanced between the end of the first volume and that of the second, we cannot but feel some doubt of the policy of making them the foundation of a general system of national education.
But besides all these, and an hundred other absurdities of detail, there are two radical, and, we think, insurmountable, difficulties in the system itself; one of which Dr. Kay Shuttleworth perceives and persuades himself that he can overcome, but of the other he seems to have no suspicion. The first is, that though the phonic system may be, for aught we know, applicable to Italian, German, Spanish, or other languages where the letters have in all cases uniform sounds, it does not at all suit the English, where the same letter has sounds not only various but arbitrary. This difficulty the Doctor thinks he gets over by borrowing, he says
from Walker, the system of notation by numerals, as a-a-a, &c. When Dr. Kay Shuttleworth attributes the invention of this system of notation to Walker, we must presume that he has verified the fact from some earlier production of Walker's than we have seen; we had always believed that the invention had been Dr. Kenrick's, and that its first general application was in Sheridan's 'Pronouncing Dictionary.' But be this as it may, such a system of notation, however useful for a Pronouncing Dictionary, is totally valueless in teaching to read-unless, indeed, all the books in the language were to be printed with these numerated vowels: if gate and cårt were to be so printed in all ordinary books, there would be some use in teaching a child the vocal value of a and å; but what advantage towards learning to read can possibly be derived from puzzling him with these hieroglyphics, when he finds cart and gate invariably printed without any such distinction? What guide has he against mispronouncing them, cart and gate? And we should like to see the phonic theory which should explain why the o income,' and 'comb,' and cork,' -and the ea in death' and speak,'-and the ough in plough and 'rough,' and 'dough,' and 'through,' should not be pronounced alike.
The other defect in the Doctor's system, and which he does not appear to have so much as thought of, is, that he confounds spelling and pronouncing with reading. He forgets that reading is habitually with most men, and necessarily with many, altogether independent of phonics: the eye reads and not the tongue. The mode in which the printed word 'hand,' for instance, creates an idea in the mind, has no connexion whatsoever with the sound which, through a different organ, excites the same idea. The combination of letters which forms the word 'hand' goes to the mind just as the image would do; and we have seen children's books constructed altogether on this image principle, in which a page of figures, which have no possible connexion with phonics, is as easily read as a page of letters. Again, the Deaf and Dumb can read without any help from phonics; and we have known persons who could read French without knowing a sound of the language. When Doctor Kay Shuttleworth professes to teach a child to read by a phonic method, he forgets that a child cannot learn to read till after he has learned to speak; but that having learned, under the earlier influences of nature and the nursery, to articulate, he is then taught to spell the words so articulated, and finally learns that the combination of letters hand' represents the sound to which his little tongue was already formed; and all the phonic mummery of a, a, a-e, e, e-of hissing sounds,' and bursting sounds,' could have no more effect in teaching him to read, than in teaching him to walk. In fine, we have only to repeat what we said at the outset-that with no other guide but Dr. Kay Shuttleworth's Phonic Lessons,' we are perfectly satisfied that no child could ever learn to read at all.
Some of our readers may think we have thrown away too much time and space on what we cannot dignify by any more respectful title than a gross humbug; but humbug as it is, it seems to be sanctioned by the Committee of Council; and we conceive it to be a grave public duty to expose this extravagant Tomfoolery, and to awaken the attention of the present Committee of Council to the kind of risks which their predecessors have bequeathed to them. We have heard that personally Dr. Kay Shuttleworth is a respectable and well-meaning gentleman, sincerely anxious for the progress of education, but he evidently labours under some kind of anti-alphabetical monomania that renders him peculiarly unfit for advancing the art of Reading— a disability considerably aggravated by what seems to us an indisputable fact that—whatever may be his other talents and accoinplishments he has, unluckily, not happened to discover what the word reading really means.
Art. III.- Travels through the Alps of Savoy, and other Parts of
the Pennine Chain ; with Observations on the Phenomena of Gla-
tifully-illustrated work, is to give a detailed account of the great glacier districts of the Pennine Alps, from the western slopes of Mont Blanc on the one hand, to the eastern sides of Monte Rosa on the other, including the giant peak of the Mutterhorn, and innumerable other intermediate regions. His excursions had in view principally the accurate observance of glaciers, and the careful study of whatever might tend to the establishment of the true theory of these great natural phenomena; but the volume is as far as possible from being a frigid specimen of scientific writing. On the contrary its peculiar merit consists in the combination of minute and ever watchful attention to the details of technical observation and experiment, with an expansive and indeed poetical perception and expression of those most wonderful aspects of nature by which the Alpine traveller is surrounded.
Switzerland is without doubt the most finely-featured and strik, ingly diversified country in the world for the adınirer of natural scenery. We do not believe that even the loftier heiglits of the Himalaya or the Andes afford effects more magnificent, if indeed they equal the grandeur of the great central groups of Europe. The latter, if less vast, are for that very reason more varied; and the traveller thus never feels the tedium of monotony which is doubtless produced by a long continuance of the saine kind of grandeur, however superlative.
' add to this,' says Professor Forbes, “ that the actual height of the zone of perpetual snow is as great as that of any mountains in the world, with one or two exceptions; for the highest land on the surface of the globe is near the equator, where the corresponding high temperature raises the limit at which perpetual snow commences to nearly the extreme height of European mountains. The eye, which must always have some actual or conventional standard of reference, if it cannot judge by the level of the sea, takes the level of the plain as a startingpoint; or, if there be no plain, the level of perpetual snow is a natural index of elevation, which, connected as it is with height, solitude, and vastness, impresses the mind with the highest sense of grandeur in natural scenery.
It has often been observed that Chimborazo is less elevated above the table-land from which it rises than Mont Blanc is above the valley of Chamouni; and taking the level of perpetual snow in the Alps at 8500 feet, Mont Blanc is snow-clad throughout its higher 7000 feet. Now, a peak in the Himalaya range, in order to show as
much, would need to rise to above 22,000 feet-a height which few of them exceed.'-p. 12.
It is these and other notices of a corresponding kind which, pervading the present work, bestow upon it a substantiality so seldom found in our ordinary Journals and Tours de force,' so many of which illustrate rather activity of body than accuracy of mind. We may add that, in addition to Mr. Forbes's natural and acquired qualifications for the fulfilment of his task, his opportunities have been ample. He had the advantage, he informs us, of receiving his first impressions of Switzerland in early youth; and these he has carefully refreshed and strengthened by successive visits to almost every district of the Alps between Provence and Austria. He has crossed the principal chain twenty-seven times, generally on foot, by twenty-three different passes, and has intersected the lateral ranges in various directions. His accomplishments as a natural philosopher are widely known. Had he been an angler and an entomologist, the circle of his capacities would have been complete.
That portion of the Alps of Switzerland and Savoy called the Pennine chain is strongly characterised by the great number and large extent of its glaciers. From the increasing coldness of the atmosphere as we ascend, the upper portions of all extremely lofty mountains must be covered with snow. Whilst the plains are covered with the verdure of summer, eternal winter reigns upon the summits; and thus the stupendous ranges of the Himalaya or the Andes present, in one condensed picture, all the climates of the earth, from the tropics to the poles.** A snow-covered mountain, however, is not itself, neither does it necessarily produce, a glacier; and why these icy ranges are found in certain countries and not in others, of which the natural climate and prevailing attributes seem quite the same, is a point which we shall not attempt to solve; but let Professor Forbes now inform us of what is meant by a glacier, in the ordinary acceptation of the term :
'The common form of a glacier is a river of ice filling a valley, and pouring down its mass into other valleys yet lower. It is not a frozen
*Mr. Moore sings of Eastern Alps,
"Whose head in wintry grandeur towers,
And whitens with eternal sleet,
While summer, in a vale of flowers,
Is sleeping rosy at their feet.'
There is, however, no sleet upon the extremest heights of any Alpine mountains, where the snow, from never-absent frost, falls dry and powdery. There is a great difference between perpetual snow and perpetual congelation. The latter condition is inconsistent with sleet, which results from a reduction of temperature; but it would be scarcely fair to expect always both rhyme and reason,
ocean, but a frozen torrent. Its origin or fountain is in the ramifications of the higher valleys and gorges which descend amongst the mountains perpetually snow-clad; but what gives to a glacier its most peculiar and characteristic feature is, that it does not belong exclusively or necessarily to the snowy regions already mentioned. The snow disappears from its surface in summer as regularly as from that of the rocks which sustain its mass. It is the prolongation or outlet of the winter world above; its gelid mass is protruded into the midst of warm and pine-clad slopes and green sward, and sometimes reaches even to the borders of cultivation. The very huts of the peasantry are sometimes invaded by this moving ice; and many persons now living have seen the full ears of corn touching the glacier, or gathered ripe cherries from the tree with one foot standing on the ice.
Thus much, then, is plain, that the existence of the glacier in comparatively warm and sheltered situations, exposed to every influence which can ensure and accelerate its liquefaction, can only be accounted for by supposing that the ice is pressed onwards by some secret spring, that its daily waste is renewed by its descent, and that the termination of the glacier, which presents a seeming barrier or crystal wall immoveable, and having usually the same appearance and position, is, in fact, perpetually changing-a stationary form, of which the substance wastes a thing permanent in the act of dissolution.'-p. 19.
From the lower end of all large glaciers there consequently runs a stream of very chill and rather turbid water, derived from the melting of the ice and snow, the rain of summer, and the natural springs which no doubt occur in the bed or basin of the icy vale. The waste of the glacier itself during the warmest months may be presumed to yield the main supply of moisture, and hence many of the continental rivers which flow from Alpine sources are observed to have their greatest floods in July. So also does the voice of the mountain torrent become louder and louder as the day advances, while it diminishes towards evening, and is least of all in early morning.
'Nothing is more striking than the contrast which day and night produce in the superficial drainage of the glacier. No sooner is the sun. set than the rapid chill of evening, reducing the temperature of the air to the freezing-point or lower, the nocturnal radiation at the same time violently cooling the surface-the glacier life seems to lie torpid-the sparkling rills shrink and come to nothing-their gushing murmurs and the roar of their waterfalls gradually subside-and by the time that the ruddy tints have quitted the higher hill-tops, a death-like silence reigns amidst these untenanted wilds.'—p. 21.
But how beautiful to the eye and mind-more striking, indeed, from their increased solemnity-are the subdued glories of that nocturnal scene! The moon, an unconsuming fire, may be rising slowly from among the wooded steeps of the Montanvert, casting her silvery light into the depth of shadowy vales, or spreading a