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time since we examined a Latin grammar, compiled by the same gentleman; we found it more in accordance with our idea of what a grammar ought to be than any we had seen for several years, and we took the liberty of recommending it to our educational friends accordingly. For similar reasons we now invite attention to “Bingham's Cæsar,” feeling satisfied that it will elicit the approval of any competent educator who takes the trouble to examine it.
The notes of Prof. Bingham are not "copious," but they contain all the information that a stndent, supposed to have a teacher, ought to receive from his text-book. The vocabulary at the end of the volume is, in every respect, the best we have seen in any edition of Cæsar; nor have we seen a better specimen of the original text in any school-book.
College Life: its Theory and Practice. By STEPHEY Olix, D.D., LL. D.
12mo, pp. 239. New York: Harper & Brothers.
THERE is much excellent advice in this volume. Teachers as well as students will find it worthy of careful perusal. It consists of seven lectures on the theory and practice of scholastic life, and four baccalaureate addresses, each series being much above the average of the similar efforts of the present day.
Letter from the Citizens' Association to George W. Mclean, Esq., Street
Commissioner. New York, August, 1868.
The Citizens' Association has undoubtedly done good: we think it has done so with this letter. Sometimes it has made charges which it could not sustain-charges which, in due time, were proved to be unjust and unfounded. This, it will be remembered, was the character of its charges against Comptroller Brennan; and they were dismissed, accordingly, by Governor Fenton. Feeling satisfied that Brennan performed his duties faithfully, we criticised the action of the Citizens' Association, believing that, however well disposed the majority of its members were, it was led into error on this occasion, by parties whose speculations had been interfered with by the comptroller; and this was the conclusion which Governor Fenton arrived at, on mature deliberation, nearly six months afterwards.
So well convinced were we of the integrity and fidelity of Matthew T. Brennan that we thought it would be difficult for any party to produce a man who would protect the public interests committed to his charge so faithfully as he. When his successor was elected we knew nothing of him; we therefore said nothing. Mr. Richard R. Connolly has now been in office nearly two years, and we have nerer expressed any
opinion of him in one way or other. In the meantime we have not been unmindful of the manner in which he performed his duties. We are not aware whether the Citizens' Association has made any charge against him or not; but the result of our own observation and inquiries is, that we regard him as fully equal to his predecessor in honesty and faithfulness as a public officer.
The charges against Mr. Brennan considerably lessened our faith in the Association; they did not prevent us, however, from examining those which it preferred against the late street commissioner; nor did it prevent us from declaring those charges substantially correct, and urging the removal of the delinquent.
We confess we also thought there was some foundation for its charges against Mr. Richard O'Gorman, our corporation counsel; and we have refrained from discussing the subject only because we did not wish to do so without seeing what explanation he had to offer, and because, if he has ever made one, as he promised to do, it has escaped our attention. It is in order to obviate a similar disappointment that we now take up the letter before us, lest Mr. McLean also may be too tedious in explaining his affair. It is proper to say that we cannot tell, froin our own knowledge, whether Mr. O'Gorman really used the enormous number of ink-bottles, and the immense piles of letter-paper, etc., etc., for which he was alleged to have charged the tax-payers of New York. For aught we know to the contrary the bottles may have been broken, and the paper stolen! Other items in his bill against the city might perhaps be explained in a similar manner. What we thought was, that the gentleman occupied himself in giving "counsel" to the public at large, in the shape of speeches and lectures, much more than in giving it in any shape to the corporation. In short, our opinion was that he devoted so much of his time to the former, that he had little left for the latter—and would not this account for his paying those large sums for "assistant counsel ?” It should, perhaps, be also taken into account, in favor of our corporation counsel, that his peculiar style of rhetoric requires considerable practice, and that it is liable to be injured by the vulgar realities of life.
But our street commissioner cannot pretend that he has any fine strings of metaphors to manufacture, either for the instruction of the corporation, or that of the public at large. All he has to do is simply to keep our streets and wharves clean and in tolerable order, and for this he is allowed plenty of money ; but it is expected by those who pay it, that he will keep honest accounts, and that in making necessary purchases for it he will be somewhat guided by the market-price. The Citizens' Associatior alleges, however, in the communication before us, that he has forgotten this part of his duty, and it enters into details as follows:
"It appears, from the records of your department, that from the aforesaid first day of July, 1867, to the first day of July, 1868, a period of one year, there has been drawn from the City Treasury, on your requisition and certificate, the Lumber.......
sum of $77,883 12 for the alleged purpose of paying for repairing certain of the piers.
“Of this sum, $6,705 86 was alleged to be for lumber used in repairing the planking or sheathing of the piers, $3,181 28 for nine and ten inch iron spikes and bolts to fasten down such planking, and the balance, or $67,995 98, for workmen's labour in laying the said plapking.
“The first matter of astonishment in regarding these figures is the extraordinary disproportion of material and labor.
...... $6,705 86 Spikes and bolts........
3,181 28 Workmen's wages.......
$77,883 12 “It thus appears that to lay one dollar's worth of planking requires eleven dollars' worth of skilled labor !"
Whether all this be true or not, we cannot take it upon us to say; but if it is, it is clear that Mr. McLean must have rather confused notions of the difference between right and wrong, however well he may understand addition, multiplication, and profit and loss. But in the document before us it is further alleged that our street commissioner employed most men when least work was to be done, and that this happened about election time.
“The records of your department show the following singular facts:
“In July, 1867, you employed fifty-four men, and they laid 30,000 feet of planking on the piers. The next month [August) you hired seventy-one men, who laid less than 11,000 feet. The month after (September) you hired 101 men, who laid less than 7,000 feet of lumber. The next month (October) you hired 154 men, who laid a little over 6,000 feet of lumber, and in November it appears you hired 213 men, who laid only 34,000 feet of planking, while in the month of July before, fifty-four men bad laid 30,000 feet."
We entirely agree with the Association, that “these figures tell their own tale, and no comment on them is necessary." The only question is, Are they correct? We have no reason to think they are otherwise; although we should be very glad to see Mr. McLean prove that they are wrong, because the conduct they imply as they stand would be a disgrace, not only to the individual or individuals guilty of it, but to the city of New York. But we will extract one passage more for future refeence :
" This system of overcharging is found as well in the iron spikes and bolts used in repairing the piers, as in the lumber. The spikes bought by you for this purpose, to the amount of 34,279 pounds, were charged to the City and paid for on your certificate at the rate of nine (9) cents per pound, when they could be obtained at the same time for four and one half to five cents per pound.
“But it is in the contemplation of the gross overcharge that the full extent of the wrong done the City can be understood.
“The following brief statement will show it :
You charge for 189,519 feet of lumber..
$6,705 86 For 34,729 pounds spikes and bolts....
. 3,181 28 Workmen to lay same....
67,995 78 Total for repairing 21 piers............... $77,883 12
" While the same repairing should cost :
82,500 feet of lumber......
............ $4,601 45 "From this statement it appears that the tax-payers are compelled to see their officials expend over seventy thousand dollars more than is necessary in and about a single item of the public works."
A pretty costly "item," it must be admitted. Now what we would advise is this; let those who squander the public money in this way, be brought to trial as soon as possible, whether they be counsellors or commissioners. If there be no law to punish office-bolders for obtaining money out of the treasury under false pretences, then let our citizens convene in an orderly manner and call on them to resign.
The functions of the Citizens' Association are similar to those of the Spartan, Ephori, whose duty it was to see that the people were not imposed upon by either the kings or the senate; but it was also the duty of the ephori to see that malefactors were not confounded with benefactors. They were sworn to distinguish the good from the bad; the innocent from the guilty. But is this distinction made in New York at the present day? The best answer to this, is, that no one can charge Mayor Hoffman or Comptroller Connolly with any malfeasance in office, or any abuse of the power with which they have been entrusted by the people, and yet they are constantly ranked in the disgraceful category of “the ring." This is not fair or just; what is worse, it has a vicious influence. Its tendency is to create the impression that it is all the same, so far as reputation is concerned, to those filling public offices in New York, whether they be honest or dishonest, since they will all be stigmatized alike as belonging to “the ring."
But why does not the Association turn its attention to the customhouse? Why not send Smythe a letter? Is it considered imprudent or dangerous to catechise him relative to his army of dark lanterns and dead-beads ?
COMMERCE AND HISTORY. Annual Report of the Director of the Bureau of Statistics on the Com
merce and Navigation of the United States, for the Fiscal year ended
June 30, 1867. Octavo, pp. lxxxii, 379, Washington, 1868. All who take any interest in our commerce, or in our progress as a nation, should carefully examine this work; they should not be deterred by the enormous mass of figures which it contains, and of which it is chiefly composed; for it only requires a slight examination of those figures, to see that they speak an eloquent language, and give warnings to which nope should be indifferent. It is one of the greatest defects in our system of education, that it overlooks the value of statistics, which
form the basis of every system of philosophy that has any pretensions to truth.
It will be easy to understand this, if it be remembered that statistics, properly so-called, represent a collection of facts; and it is by comparing facts with each other and examining their relations that the most important discoveries are made. Without the study of statistics, no people can understand their own relative position as a nation; hence it is that there are so few statesmen and so much national arrogance. There is no other criterion by which the statesman can be distinguished from the mere politician, or the scientific man from the thoughtless smatterer, than by the attention he bestows on facts which, when taken singly or casually, appear insignificant, calculated rather to lead astray than to guide in the right direction, but which, when classed into series, reveal the most abstruse mysteries.
Exaggerated praise of a people by their politicians, or their press, does them as much mischief as exaggerated praise by their teachers does students. The former as well as the latter become arrogant and boastful. They think that since they already surpass all their neighbors, they need not give themselves much trouble about any greater progress. If upon the other hand they are reminded that they are lagging, or at least, that they will soon be outstripped if they do not bestir themselves, their efforts, and the results of those efforts will be very different.
The latter is the course pursued in the valuable Report before us. Neither the Director of the Bureau of Statistics, por the Secretary of the Treasury, whom he addresses, is a politician. Both address themselves to stern facts, and show what these facts mean--let the politicians and their aiders and abettors growl or abuse as they will, when the conclusions they arrive at are not favorable to their plans. Everybody knows how much it is the habit with our third and fourth-rate political orators to congratulate us on the immense progress we are making. But the facts show a different state of things. Thus, in commenting on a table exhibiting the domestic export trade of the United States with all countries, in 1860 and 1867, respectively, amounting to over one million dollars, Mr. Alex. ander Delmar makes the following rather startling remarks :
“Compared with 1860 our domestic exports for 1867 have fallen off nearly 39 millions of dollars, or over 10 per cent. During the same period the domestic exports of the United Kingdom have increased 237 millions of dollars, or 30 per cent., and those of France (proper) 226.2 millions, or 43 per cent. Whatever have been the causes that have enabled Great Britain and France to outstrip us in their foreign commerce, it would seem that now no means should be neglected that will tend to at least restore our lost position. France has now double the amount of exports that we have, the United Kingdom three times the amount, and when it is remembered, not alone in its commercial, but in its social and equalizing aspect, what an important agent international commerce has become in the diffusion of intelligence and capital, and in the consequent promotion of peace and happiness, the suggestion derives pew force, and demands that it be regarded cith more than passing attention.”—(p. xxxv.)
Very few are ready to believe all this, so prone are our politicians to