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smaller than those of any other existing nation. Seventeen Hindoo heads, for example, giving a mean of but seventy-five cubic inches. The three received into the table are taken at that average. Becoming a little more specific, the number of individuals of each nation, as far as ascertained, stands thus; Anglo-Americans
6 Germans, Swiss, and Dutch
7 Celtic, Irish, and Scots
4 Geranché (Lybian)
3 Europeans, nations not ascertained
52 2d. The Mongolians measured consist of Chinese and Esquimaux ; and the author considers it worthy of remark, that three of the latter give a mean of eighty-six cubic inches, while seven Chinese give but eighty-two.
3d. The Malays embrace Malays proper and Polynesians, thirteen of the former, and five of the latter ; and the mean of each presents but a fractional difference from the mean of all.
4th. The Ethiopians were all unmixed negroes, and nine of them native Africans. For these Mr. Morton makes his acknowledgments to Dr. McDowell, a gentleman whom our readers may remember as formerly attached to the colony of Liberia.
5th. Respecting the American race, the Doctor says he has nothing to add, excepting the “striking fact," that of all the American nations the Peruvians had the smallest heads, while those of the Mexicans were something larger, and those of the barbarous tribes the largest of all.
The description we have given of this volume, comparatively meagre as it is, goes far, we think, to sustain the praise we have bestowed on it. In its scientific and literary character, indeed, as we hinted before, nothing like adequate justice can be rendered it here; but a word may well be added regarding the character it discloses in the author himself. In this respect, it may be remembered among the “Curiosities of Literature; and if an American counterpart to that curious composition could ever be “got up” by an American, - as we hope one
may in due time, - surely Dr. Morton, independently of his claims and fame as a general savan, or a writer, will deserve to have his volume placed among the foremost of the list, for the morale it discovers. This book, the reader should understand, is, typographically speaking, one of the most magnificent the country has produced. It stands in the same class (as not a great many works south of New-England, in our opinion, do with the beautiful London editions of Homer, and Shakspeare, and Spenser, and Burke, (all by one firm,) and many other issues, American and foreign, sent forth to the world by the publishers of this city, by the aid of a fine establishment at Cambridge, — the “ American Aldine,” it has been called and of other presses and persons, who need not be specified here.* Such a production of art is Mr. Morton's; and while its pages are the richest imperial folio, there are something near a thousand of them in number, including about eighty of the most splendidly finished colored lithographs of skulls and busts, and other matters of the kind, which American art has yet had occasion to boast of.
Mr. Morton's work, we say emphatically, for we understand he has prepared and published it wholly on his private account, though not at all distinguished in society, so far as we know, as an affluent man. Of course, he has had all sorts of difficulty to encounter. We need not allude now to the trials, implied in the Doctor's personal situation, for the mere scholarship and study which the treatise displays. Every scholar, every student at least, will at once appreciate these. Indeed, the most
* We cannot forbear paying a passing compliment, however, to a work which has fallen under our eye since writing the above, and now, we rejoice to say, happily completed, for it is one of national value. We mean Mr. Sparks's edition of Franklin, published by Hilliard, Gray & Co. Hereafter we must endeavor to treat it at large, as it merits. We agree with a cotemporary in considering the circumstance of such a work being at length achieved, and making its appearance, in palpable evidence of the fact, as too signal an event in our little world of letters to pass wholly unobserved. Considering his subject, the range which the author and editor has taken, the material he drew from and wrought up, and finally the ability and fidelity with his long estab-, lished character, is a guaranty that it must have been executed, we may safely say, that a monument has been here raised, not to the fame of a Boston man only, but of Boston herself, and the whole republic. We, too, “cannot do less than congratulate the public accordingly, as we do the indefatigable biographer and historian himself, on the completion of this important portion of his labors."
general reader, who chooses but to amuse himself by skimming over the surface of this work, to pick up its “Curiosities," its flies, can scarcely fail to do so. But difficulties, and great ones, of another kind, there must have been. The author tells us that he began to meditate this publication (several years since) with less than a score of subscribers; the publication of a work now hardly afforded in the market, we believe, for twenty dollars.
Much more might be added on this score, but our limits restrain us.
Thus much we have said, not merely in justice to an individual, but for more general reasons, touching somewhat the national character and the public weal. We say it on Shakspeare's principle, that
“ One good deed dying tongueless
Slaughters a thousand hanging upon that.” We should not forget to mention that the Appendix, which we are told may be considered as the application and completion of the inquiries and observations contained in the body of the work, is furnished by Mr. George Combe, at the request of the author, under the title of “ Phrenological Remarks on the Relation between the Natural Talents and Dispositions of Nations and the Development of their Brains.” Dr. Morton remarks, in his preface, “ that, by means of this Essay, which is accompanied by two illustrative plates, the reader will be able to apply phrenological rules to every skull in the series here refigured.” As to the skulls referred to here and elsewhere, the Doctor shows, by the numerous acknowledgments of aid he feels bound to make, the extraordinary perseverance and energy he has himself exercised. His collection must be, by this time, a greater curiosity, if possible, than his book ; and undoubtedly it is much the most valuable on this side the Atlantic. The old world and the new, alike, Ireland, and Egypt, and Mexico, and the “Great West," - all have been ransacked to supply it.
B. B. T.
1. Abstract of Massachusetts School Returns, for 1838 – 9. Boston : Dutton & Wentworth, Printers to the State, 1839. 2. Third Annual Report of the Board of Education, together with the Third Annual Report of the Secretary of the Board. Boston, 1840. - 3. Report of the Committee on Education upon the expediency of abolishing the Board of Education and the Normal Schools. House of Representatives, March 7th, 1840.
-4. Minority Report of the Committee on Education. House of Representatives, March 11, 1840. — Much as the friends of Education have been indebted, the two previous years, to the labors of the Massachusetts Board, the debt the present year is still greater. So much exact and useful information regarding Common Schools has probably never before been given to the public, as is contained in the volume of School Returns on our table. Returns were received from 298 towns, and reports from 170 towns. The Secretary of the board must have given a vast amount of labor to the preparation of the Abstract. He has read the reports once and again, and often a third time, and furnished for the press such selections, as promised to be of general utility. Laying aside everything of merely local interest, he has sought to present to the public all, that illustrates the general condition of the schools throughout the state - the mature views of school committees, respecting the causes, that have conspired to produce the present condition of our schools, their evils, dangers, and the means of their reform : every testimony to the inestimable worth of our Common Schools and to the high rank assigned them among our free institutions, by the most enlightened portion of our community.
The Report of the Board of Education gives an encouraging statement of the progress of its labors thus far, in exciting interest by local conventions, in establishing Normal Schools, two of which are in successful operation, in providing appropriate books for the School Libraries, and by various means advancing the great cause, to which their office is devoted. The Secretary's Report is, as must be expected, able, interesting, and valuable. It is written with that freshness, which always marks the productions of a man, whose soul is in his work. Far from being a repetition of previous communications, the present report is as original, as if the subject had been treated now for the first time. The author writes in a cheerful, hopeful spirit, while none is better informed than himself of the ob
stacles in the way of his labors. He begins by stating some encouraging symptoms of interest in Common School Education throughout the State, especially the disposition to furnish ample and suitable School Houses, and provide for the accommodation of all youth of suitable ages. He goes on to give some very valuable information as to the observance or nonobservance of the law “for the better instruction of youth, employed in manufacturing establishments." He states, that in most cases the law has been regarded, and children under fifteen years of age have received at least three months' yearly schooling. Yet in some cases the law has been utterly disregarded, and young persons have been made to plod on from year to year at their task, without any means of education to redeem them from brutal drudgery and slavish ignorance.
A large part of the Secretary's Report is given to the subject of Reading. What shall the rising generation read ? A very valuable account is given of the general reading of our population, the number of libraries in the several counties of the State, and also of the various means of information, such as Lyceums, Debating Societies, &c. The character of the books most frequently found in the hands of the young is given, and the want of suitable juvenile books is exhibited, and the healthful kinds of reading are very fully indicated. The Secretary states and vindicates the scheme of the Board of Education for providing suitable School Libraries. He warmly repels the charge of an attempt on the part of the Board to control arbitrarily the choice of Books for the schools of the State, and asserts the entire freedom of all School Committees to provide such books, as they may choose for themselves. The great aim of the Board is to put suitable books within reach of the School Committees, not to force them into circulation. Mr. Mann's Remarks upon Reading would make an admirable tract for popular use.
We now turn from the first two productions at the head of this article, and will speak briefly of the last two. Strange indeed, that any man, who had seen the two first documents, could have had any hand in such a narrow and illiberal Report, as that of the Majority of the Committee on Education, recommending, that the Board of Education be abolished, the Normal Schools be given up, and the generous gift of their public spirited founder be returned. But so it is. The author of the Majority Report finds all manner of fault with the Board of Education and their plans of School Libraries and Normal Schools. If the Board has any power, the Report argues it is a dangerous one, and is giving to a central tribunal the authority