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Value Of Knowledge Of Natural History

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A recent viait to Professor ncnry A. Ward's " Natural Science Establishment " at Rochester, New York, led the writer to some reflections on the comparative value of a knowledge of natural liistory. In the prevailingsystomsof education, the subject is totally disregarded, or receives but triflinj; considcration. The classical languages and history, on the othor hand, have always been taught, and are yct conxidered by the greater portion of the. cultivated people as os.sential to a complete eduoation, while the scienceshave been treated as only of sooondaryiniportance. The inlbrmation possessed by a country boy, gained by intelligent observation, of the birda or planta oí hi- nt:ighborhoüd, ie viewcd by the so-culled educated comiuumty as nsignifioant in comparison with that of the college boy wh can relate stories, from ek.ssicnl history, 01 persons who nevcr existed and eveuts that nover occurred. Consideriug the circumstancc that all things, except what we make of'them, are natural objectí, it would seeru that the first and main efforts of education, alter acquiring language and arithmetio to expressour ideas ofqualities and nnniberis would bc to learn what tho objects are. The child on leaming to speak at once begin to ask abou the things U seea, but unfortunately too often the parent and teacher are incapab!t of giving the desired inforraation, and ordinarily it uieets with so little satiafaction that finally the spirit of inquiry disappears. For most persons, after diitinguishing the or-. dinary articles pertaining to the necessities and conveniences of lifc, the crudest generaüties of knowledge appear to be suffioient. With them it seems to be enough to know that things are stones, inetals, aud dirt ; weeds, flowers, and trees ; bugs, animals, and uien. Auiong the cultivated, one is considered the no less educated if he calis a worm a snakc, or a Caterpillar a nasty reptile ; while he may run the risk of being called ignorant, or at least uneducated, if he can not translate a Latin text. Though quartz is the most abundant mineral substance of the land in which wo live, yet perhaps not onc in a hundred of an educated community knows a quartz-pebble