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eised as well in regard to the literary as the moral character of


In adopting, compiling, or translating the contents of this collection, 1 have regarded as essential, first, a salutary or unexceptionable moral tone; secondly, literary accuracy and style; and thirdly, peculiar fitness as a reading exercise for schools. The more simple exercises are placed at the beginning. I have observed the line of demarcation that should distinguish a "Reader " from a "Speaker." Exercises of a purely declamatory character should be sparingly introduced into the former, as they are not favorable to the formation of that style of delivery in reading which is most appropriate; while the habit of giving a level tone to pieces requiring the animation and action of declamatory delivery may spoil the speaker without accomplishing the reader. Still, as the mode in which an oratorical passage should be read may differ from that in which it should be declaimed, an adequate number of exercises to illustrate this difference have been introduced.

Although I have been more solicitous to present what was suitable than what was novel, it will be seen that more than twothirds of this collection is composed of pieces to be found in no other " Reader."

"In many instances," says Mr. Mayhew, in his excellent work on Popular Education, in reference to exercises in reading, "commendable effort is made to secure correct pronunciation, and a proper observance of the inflections and pauses. But there is a great lack in understanding what is read." "I am fully satisfied that it is incomparably better for ''lasses to read once around once a day, and understand what they lead, than to read four times around four times a day, without understanding their lessons."

Impressed with the soundness of these views, my a'm has been to smooth the teacher's way and illumine that of the pupil, b5 wntinual monitions in the form of marks of reference to rules in the introductory part, or to explanations in the Index, by the aid of which a pupil is not only kept apprised of his besetting faults in pronunciation, but is pointed to the solution of every difficult word or passage. These referential marks and their use are explained in a few words on page 55.

Part First treats of the elementary sounds, and the relations to them of the vowels, consonants, and diphthongs; of articulation, pronunciation, inflection, punctuation, delivery, &c. This part is regularly arranged in paragraphs, which are continuously numbered, so that a corresponding number attached to a word, in the reading exercises of Part Second, directs the pupil to the rule or caution needed for his guidance. These references are to the articulation and pronunciation of particular words, or to the manner in which certain forms of speech ought to be read. Numberless repetitions would be needed to give, attached to every exercise, the useful hints and directions which, under this simple plan, are supplied without encumbering or disfiguring the page.

Another and equally important feature is the introduction of references to explanations in the index beginning on page 445. Wherever a word occurs in regard to which any special information is useful, either as to the derivation and meaning, or to the pronunciation, the letters Ei (standing for Explanatory Index) are attached, and the word will be found under that head, alphabetically arranged and explained. Thus the pupil has no excuse for omitting to acquaint himself with the information designated.

All the names of authors, and nearly all the proper names that occur, even where they do not have the mark of reference, are also included in this index. In preparing it, I have drawn

largely fron. the excellent work of Mr. Trench, on the Study of Words. He shows that there is an interesting history attached to many of our commonest words; and should the reader find a reference to the index attached to such familiar words as manki?id, odd, husband, wife, amuse, education, field, forest, neighbor, palace, parasite, parlor, and scores of other words, more or less common, he will learn, from a glance at them in the index, that there is a history in their derivation which ought to be known. The importance of this knowledge is well set forth by Mr. Trench in the extracts from his work beginning on page 119.

By acquainting himself with the origin of many words explained in the index, the reader will store his memory with a number of prefixes and postfixes, a knowledge of which will open to him the meaning of large classes of words to which they are the keys. The habit also, which he may thus acquire, of tracing verbal genealogies back to their primary stock, may be to him of incalculable service, in inspiring a taste that must open new sources of intellectual satisfaction and improvement; in leading to greater precision in the use of language; in simplifying and making luminous many a word that before seemed arbitrary, indefinite, and opaque; and, finally, in quickening his powers of penetration into the significance, or absence of significance, of all that he reads.

In conclusion, I may remark, that both in the introductory part and in the index I have freely availed myself of the labors of the best and most recent authorities. In most instances, credit has been given; should it have been occasionally withheld, this general acknowledgment will suffice.


21. Thocontr To Dwell Oh.

Life — Influence of Actious — Now — Fidelity in Little Things

— Imperceptible Formation of Habits — Kindness its own Reward, 84

22. The Boastful Scholar 86

23. Learning to Write, W. Burton 87

25. The Snow of Winter, Zsororke, 90

26. Tho Two Roads Richteb, 92

29. Gladiatorial Combat with a Tiger 94

30. Government of the Thoughts Hohne, 97

32. Compression in Speech, , 102

33. Turning the Grindstone Franklin 103

34. The Present in View of the Future, .... Foster, 104

37. Fall of a Mountain, Dumas, 106

38. The Spider and Bee : an Apologue Swift, 108

39. Climate of the Catskill Mountains, .... Irving, Ill

41. Jchn Pounds, the Cobbler, 115

44. On the Study of Words (Part I.), .... Trench 119

45." « " (Part II.)," 122

46. « « « (Part III.), « 123

47. The Stream Made to Work Kara, 125

50. The Teachings of Nature, From The German, . 130

51. A Chase on the Ice, 131

52. The Particular Lady, 133

56. Spirit the Motive Power, &o., Larnner, 138

57. The Lion and tho Spaniel, Broore, 139

58. Imprisonment of Bonnivard, Dumas, 142

61. Historical Characters.

Alexander Severus—Gibbon. Queen Elizabeth — Hume. IIow-
ard — Burke. Milton—Quarterly Review. Washington — Webster, 144

62. On the Abuse of Genius, Knowles, 147

64. Astronomy and Immortality (Part I.) 150

65. " " " (Part II.), 151

69. The Complaint of a Stomach, Chambers 157

70 The Permanence of Words, J. Montgomery, . . 160

71. The Puffers, Macaulay, .... 162

74. A Pupil's Tribute, Ac., Cottle, 167

75. Self-killing, Chambers, 171

76. Humanity of Robert Bruce, Scott .173

77. First Predictor of an Eclipse, Mitchell, 174

80. Inconvenient Ignorance, Dumas, 181

81. The Cavern by the Sea, 183

82. Thoughts On Enucation.

Air and Exercise — Quarterly Review. Education in tho United

States—Webster. Our Common Schools — Everett. On Pamper-

ing tho Body at the Soul's Expense — lb. True Estimate of the

Teacher's Calling — Channing, 184

83. Columbus and his Discovery, Everrtt,. 187

84. The Discovery of America, Rorertson, ..... 188

86. Unity and Progress of Mankind, .... Bancroft, 19S

87. On Kindness to Brute Animals Chambers, 195

89. The Resolute Whale, 197

90. A Storm in the Indian Ocean, St. Pierre, 200

92. The Prairies of the West, Hall 203

93 Tho Valley of Mexico, Mayea, 205

94 The World of Water, Dickens, 206

95 Tho Wind and Rain, "208

97. The Best Kind of Revonge,. Chambers, 213

98. Labor and Genius Synney Smith 214

99. Permanence of tho Useful, Qu. Review, . . . . 216

102. The Two Palaces: an Allegory, 219

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