Lectures & Learning

Sculpture of Education

Education – What sculpture is to a block of marble, education is to a human soul. The philosopher, the saint, and the hero, - the wise, the good, and the great men, very often lie hid and concealed in a plebeian, which a proper education might disinterred, and have brought to light.



Medical Lectures

Dr. Benj. Colby of Nashua, N.H., gives two Lectures next Monday and Tuesday evenings at the Town Hall, on the Allopathic, Homeopathic and Hydropathic systems of medical practice. – The Dr. is an intelligent and scientific man, and will do justice to the subject.

Let the people give him a full house and then judge for themselves.


Lecture on the Senses

Dr. C. V. Smith of Boston, will lecture next Wednesday evening before the institute Subject, the senses.



Mr. S.P. Andrews of Boston has commenced a course of lessons upon the phonographic system of writings. From what knowledge we have of the system, it promises to make great improvement in our present method of writing and spelling, which commends it to the attention of all who are interested in the improvement of the age.


A Mastodon

A Mastodon of the largest size ever discovered, has lately been exhumed near Newbury, N.Y. The bones of the skull alone weight 700 lbs. The tusks are nine feet in length, and the measure across the hip bones is seven feet.


Astronomical Observatory

Measures are being taken to erect an Observatory, in or near New York city.


The Earth

The surface of the earth is 196,862,266 square miles, and its solidity 257,726,934,416 cubic miles. Not more than one fifth of the whole earth is habitable by man. – The mean depth of the ocean is about three miles, and the mean height of mountains above the level of the ocean is one and three-fourth miles. Distribute this land over the bottom of the ocean, and the waters would cover the whole face of the earth. The mean annual temperature of the earth is fifty degrees.


Educate your Children

The following elegant extract ought to be read by every parent, and particularly every farmer:

“If the time shall ever come when this mighty republic shall totter – when the beacon which now rises in a pillar of fire, a sight and a wonder of the world, shall wax dim, the cause will be found in the ignorance of the people. If our union is still to continue to cheer the hopes and animate the efforts of the nation – if our fields are to be untrod by the hirelings of despotism; if you would have the sun continue to shed its unclouded rays on the face of the freemen, then educate all the children in the land. This alone startles the tyrant in his dream of power and rouses the slumbering energies of an oppressed people. It was intelligence that reared up the majestic columns of our national glory; and this along can prevent them from crumbling into ashes.”


Lectures on Anatomy and Physiology

J.M. Wieting M.D. is delivering a course of Lectures on the above interesting subjects at the City Hall, which we hear highly commended. We regret having been unable as yet to attend.


Anatomy Lectures, Resolutions

Anatomy and Physiology Lectures

A friend has requested us to publish the following Resolutions, passed by the audience at the close of Dr. Wieting’s Lectures, as a testimonial of the esteem in which they held them.

Whereas a knowledge of Physiology is of the highest importance to all classes in the community inasmuch as it involves the laws of life, of health and human happiness generally, and

Whereas the manikin, representing the structure and situation of every organ in the human system, together with the aid of the living teacher, affords the more feasible means whereby all may obtain a clear and correct knowledge of this science, therefore

Resolved, That having attended a course of six lectures on Anatomy and Physiology by Dr. Wieting, fro New York, illustrated by manikins, skeletons, models, diagrams, &c. , we take great pleasure in expressing our entire satisfaction with the style and manner of his treating the subject, and cordially approve of the subject and character of these lectures, particularly the practical remarks of the lecture on the importance of exercise, cleanliness, temperance, ventilation, a well-regulated diet and a harmonious development of the nervous system.

Resolved, That we recommend these lectures to the attention and patronage of such communities in New England as Dr. Wieting may visit, and would respectfully invite him to repeat the same again in this city at his earliest convenience.


Results of Astronomy

Results of Astronomy in the Past Year – Besides many minor scientific results proved by the examination of the planetary system during the past year, the observation of the Heavens has given rise to vast discoveries and important results. Amongst phenomena may be mentioned the anomalous appearance presented by Biela’s comet on its late return, and amongst positive discoveries, that of the new asteroid called astrea, of the great Central Sun by Meadler of Russia, and of the planet beyond Uranus – the only object hitherto undiscovered, which was preconceived, and without which there was an apparent want of harmony in the movement of certain celestial bodies. The undiscovered planet beyond the orbit of Uranus which made one of the hypotheses of Le Verrier, has now been seen and examined, and to use the words of Prof. Mitchell, “the only remaining discordant note has been attuned by the hand of that great astronomer, and the voice of Nature is now a voice of melody.”



Taste of Science

A mind which has once acquired a taste for scientific inquiry and has learned the habit of applying its principles readily to the cases which occur, has within itself an inexhaustible source of pure and exciting contemplation; one would think that Shakespeare had such a mind in view, when he describes a contemplative man as finding 


“Tongues in trees,
books in the running brooks,
Sermons in stones,
and good in everything.”


Accustomed to trace the operation of general causes, and the exemplification of general laws, in circumstances where the uninformed and uninquiring eye perceives neither novelty nor beauty, he walks in the midst of wonders; every object which falls in his way elucidates some principle, affords some instruction, and impresses him with a sense of harmony and order.

Nor is it a mere passive pleasure which is thus communicated. A thousand subjects of inquiry are constantly arising in his mind, which keeps his faculties in constant exercise and his thoughts perpetually on the wing, so that lassitude is excluded from his life; and that craving after artificial excitement dissipation of mind, which leads so many into frivolous, unworthy, and destructive pursuits, is altogether eradicated from his bosom. It is not one of the least advantage of these pursuits, which however, they possess in common with every class of intellectual pleasures, that they are altogether independent of external circumstances, and are to be enjoyed in every situation in which a man can be placed in life. The highest degrees of worldly prosperity are so far from being incompatible with them, that they supply additional advantages for their pursuit, and that sort of fresh and renewed relish which arises partly from the sense of contrast, partly from experience of the peculiar pre-eminence which they possess over the pleasures of sense, in their capabilities of unlimited increase and continual repetition, without satiety and distaste. They may be enjoyed too, in the intervals of the most active business; and the calm and dispassionate interest with which they fill the mind, renders them a most delightful retreat from the agitations and dissensions of the world, and from the conflict of passions, prejudices and interests in which the man of business finds himself continually involved.

—Sir John Herschel


Young Safford

Young Safford, The Mathematician. – There lives in the town of Royalton, Vt., a young lad whose name is Safford, son of a poor farmer, who bids fair to become an honor to his country, by the extraordinary faculties he possesses of calculation. He is about ten years of age, and has only had the education which a country school affords, but such has been his yearning after mathematical studies, that he has calculated an almanac for the present year, including the eclipses, etc.; without the aid of any one. He solves the most difficult problems without the use of pencil of paper, and when asked a question, he walks carelessly around the room, evidently in a state of great nervous exciting, till he gives the answer. He has never seen an astronomical apparatus, and what he has learnt, he has gleaned from a few books which some gentlemen have been kind enough to give him, and from his own observations.

The engineers who are employed in the vienity, have taken a great interested in him, and he passes most of his evenings with them, astonishing them by his power and knowledge of arithmetic, and confounding them by the profoundness of his inquiries. A gentleman from Ohio offered to take him home with him and educate him, but his parents, although very poor, and unable to give him the advantages which he requires, would not give their consent to be so far separated from him. His health is very delicate, and unless a great care is taken of him and will die young, for the workings of his mental faculties, seem to have shattered his constitution. The schools in the neighborhood cannot afford any relief for his thirst after mathematics, and for the want of a few influential friends he may pine away in his lowly cottage till his mind becomes rusted. In thus giving this short biography which we have form a friend, resident in those parts, we have stated merely facts: many anecdotes are related proving the rapidity with which he calculates, that we have not now at hand, but we hope that some gentleman who may feel interested in this wonder, may consider him an object worthy of their kind attention and afford him the means which he so much needs, to prosecute his studies.



The world, from our first to our last hour, is our school, and the whole of life has but one great purpose – education.


A Reading Room

One of our most pressing wants, at the present time, it has seemed to us, is a public room, or hall, to be made a place of resort for the friends of Progress. We need a gathering place where, when we feel disposed to do so, we can come together for social communication, reading and amusement…It might and should be made a Reading Room, furnished with all the best periodical and other publications of the day, especially those devoted to Reform, and open all the friends of Progress and of Humanity.

A library might ultimately, if not immediately, be connected with such a room. The expense might be paid in a way that would not make it a burden to pay one and we are sure, we think, that nothing that we can do, at the present time, will better promote the cause of Reform that the plan proposed, or a similar one. If ignorance is the cause of the evils under which society is groaning, and knowledge the remedy, we certainly ought to strive to diffuse knowledge as widely as possible.

 As a plan to pay the expenses of the Reading Room, we would merely suggest, that those who wished to avail themselves of its privileges, and others interested in the cause, might make a trifling regular contribution, say, ten cents a month, for its support. A hundred individuals paying ten cents a month would pay $120 per year, which would go far towards paying the whole expense of the room which would also, be used for Sunday Meeting, Social Reunions, &c. Nearly all the papers and periodicals that we should need might be procured without expense. Publishers friendly to the cause would send them to us gratis. The exchanges of the “Voice” might, many of them, be appointed to that purpose, and individuals might contribute books and papers occasionally. To meet the expense of the Sunday Meetings, a contribution of one or two cents each week from each individual attending them would be amply sufficient.

We have thrown out these thoughts merely as suggestions. Think of the subject and speak and act as your conviction may dictate.



Over 17,000 persons visited the circus during Monday. There were four performances during the day which would give an average of 4,000 persons to each performance. Just think of this: $4,240 paid by the citizens in one day to see men making monkeys of themselves, while there is not a public library in the city. – The Circus during its stay here, four days, sold 44,000 tickets, amounting to $10,500 – a sum quite sufficient to purchase a Library of 10,000 volumes! Comment is unnecessary. –

—Pittsburg Dispatch


Associative School

Education – One of the lecturers of the American Union of Associationists, writing from New York, says: –

“I gave on the last evening of our lecturing at Albany, an address upon the mode of educating proposed by the Associative School, in contrast with the mechanical, false, tyrannical, cramping system of civilization. This interested the Normal Scholars more than any other view of the subject. Some of them came to me and said they were sorry they were present, that they felt as though they could not teach school again on the old plan, and seemed to be in a good mode to sympathize with Shakespeare’s hero, in the exclamation of disappointment and despair, “Othello’s occupation’s gone.” But I was so cruel as to rejoice at this calamity, inasmuch as a conviction of the falseness, emptiness, bareness of present social and education opportunities is the first step towards constructive effort of Reform.”


Free Inquirers Meeting

We are requested to say that a meeting of the Society of Free Inquirers will take place in the Half over the Workingmen’s Protective Store Market street, on Sunday next, at 6 o’clock P.M., and will continue to hold their meetings there every Sunday evening in the above place, all friendly or opposed are respectfully invited to attend. Subject for debate Sunday first: What utility will result from free inquiry.


Hummingbirds in Brazil

Wherever a creeping vine opens its fragrant clusters, or wherever a tree-flower blooms, may these little things be seen. In the garden or the woods, over the water, everywhere they are darting about; of all sizes, from that might be easily mistaken for a different kind of bird, to the tiny Hermit, T. rufigaster, whose body is not half the size of the bees buzzing about the same sweets. The blossoms of the ingatree, as before remarked, bring them in great numbers about the rosinhas of the city, and the collector may shoot as fast as he can load the day long. Sometimes they are seen chasing each other in sport with a rapidity of flight and intricacy of path the eye is puzzled to follow.

Again, circling round and round, they rise high in mid air, then dart off like light to some distant attraction. Perched up on a limb, they smooth their plumes, and seem to delight  in their dazzling hues, then starting off leisurely, they skim along, stopping capriciously to kiss the coquetting flowers. Often they meet in mid air and furiously fight, crests, and the feathers upon their throats all erected and blazing, and altogether pictures of the most violent rage. Several times we have seen them battling with large black bees, who frequent the same flowers, and may be supposed often to interfere provokingly. Like lightening our little heroes would come down but the coat of shining mail would ward their furious strokes. Again and again would they renew the attack, until the apathetic bee, once roused, had put forth powers that drove the invader from the field. A boy in the city several times brought us hummingbirds alive in a glass cage. He had brought them down while, standing motionless in the air, they rifled the flowers, by balls of clay blown from a hollowed tube.

—Edward’s Voyage up the River Amazon


A Curious Flower

A singular phenomenon, says a French paper, has shown itself in a green-house at Lyons. At the time when all the growers of amellias, roses, dahlias, &c., are puzzling themselves to get the blue color, the only shade which nature has refused to these kinds of plants, chance has thrown a shade of azure blue upon the petals of flowers produced by one single branch of a camellia root of the species ambricala rubra. This plant belongs to M. Dagene. the interior petal of the flowers are of a delicate red, the superior are white, and both are united with blue. The flower thus unites three additional colors.


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