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HARVARD COLLEGE LIBKAMY
ENTERED, According to Act of Congress, in the year Eighteen Hundred Forty-two
BY CHARLES W. SANDERS, Iu the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the United States for
the Southern District of New York.
STEREOTYPED BY T. B. SMITH,
216 WILLIAM-STRELT, &W YORK. J. D. Bedford Printer, 138 Fulton st. N. Y.
In the previous Numbers of the SCHOOL READERS, the general design was to furnish, in addition to other important characteristics, those facilities whereby the scholar might acquire an easy and fluent manner of reading-aiming to prevent the acquisition of those pernicious habits, so commonly contracted in the perusal of first lessons. "It was, therefore, thought proper to reserve an exposition of the elementary principles of reading for the present work, believing that an earlier introduction of them, would be attended with injury rather than benefit. Accordingly, Part First of the present work, is devoted to that subject; and PART SECOND, being mainly conformed to the general plan presented in former numbers, aside from such peculiarities as the design of the work seemed to demand, contains such lessons for exercise in reading, as are illustrative of the principles set forth in Part First.
The principal features which characterize that portion devoted to the Rhetorical Principles, will be found to consist in its brevity and general arrangement; while, at the same time, all the important principles, taught in works especially devoted to the subject, are fully explained and illustrated. In order that these LESSONS may be rendered of practical utility, and the principles which they are designed to set forth, as perspicuous as possible, they are accompanied with such examples as arc calculated not only to illustrate the subject, but also to afford appropriate lessons for exercise in reading. Each lesson is followed by a series of QUESTIONS, adapted to elicit a knowledge of the several topics which it embraces.
As to the importance of a concise and appropriate exposition of the Elementary Principles of reading, in a work of this kind, a doubt will not be entertained; and it is believed that its utility will be generally, if not universally, appreciated. For a want of it, teachers are often compelled to make use of works, so voluminous in their character, as tend to excite a distaste in the mind of the scholar, for a study which otherwise might be rendered pleasing and beneficial.
It is often the case that scholars become familiar with the principles of Inflection, Emphasis, and the like, in theory, but derive from it little or no practical benefit. This is in consequence of not applying such knowledge when perusing their reading lessons. For this reason, the Author has been induced to add, to the ordinary questions in relation to the subject, such GENERAL QUESTIONS in regard to certain Rhetorical and Grammatical Principles, as each lesson is adapted to illustrate, and thereby bringing into practical exercise, a knowledge of the principles presented in the former part. In instances where it is thought a doubt might exist as to what Rule or Remark allusion is made, the reference is noted in connection with the question. Thus, by frequent reference to the several topics treated upon in the Elementary Part, a practical and thorough knowledge of them will be acquired.
In making choice of Lessons for exercises in reading, it has been the aim to introduce those of that character, which might serve to impart prac tical instruction, awaken interest, excite inquiry, and inspire pure, virtuous, and noble sentiments. While this object has constantly been kept in view, another of equal importance has not been lost sight of, which is, that they possess a pure and chaste style, as well as elegance of expression.
The monotonous method of reading, so often acquired in consequence of perusing successive lessons which present one uniform style, such as historical and the like, has led to the adoption in the present work of that variety, which is calculated to prevent the acquisition of such a sameness, and afford the greater pleasure to the reader. The prevalence of the colloquial style, which characterizes the former Numbers, has also been regarded in the present.
Experience has fully shown that the most ready and judicious means of imparting a knowledge of the meaning and use of words, consist in giving their signification in zonnection with their use in well formed sentences. Those words, the efore, of each lesson, the import of which is not already understood, are previously DEFINED, both in a literal sense, as well as that in which they are employed in the lesson. Also, those words, the orthoepy of which might be mistaken, are divided into syllables, and the true pronunciation designated. But in cases where there was little or perhaps no liability to mistake, no division has been made,-believing that the judgment of the scholar should be exercised in such cases, in determining the true division,--thus enabling him to acquire a practical knowledge of this department of his instruction, independent of assistance derived from his book.
The NotATION, adopted in the Elementary Part, has, to some extent, been carried out in the lessons for exercise in reading, especially in instances where there is a liability to err in regard to the true inflection and the like, and in such portions as were peculiarly illustrative of some elementary principle.
The principal object had in view throughout the work, has been to render it a book in every respect adapted to teach the science and art of reading. Teachers will perceive, however, that the plan of instruction herein presented, is by no means designed to dispense with their efforts, but rather to facilitate them.
The Fourth Book completes the proposed Series of School Readers; and the very great favor, manifested by the public in the ready approval and acceptance of the former numbers, has encouraged the Author to spare no efforts in endeavoring to render the present number equally acceptable and worthy of patronage.
The Author would take this opportunity to express his grateful acknowledgment for the many assurances, with which, from time to time, he has been favored on the part of those having the supervision of schools, and others interested in their welfare, that his labors have proved acceptable. And should the present number be found calculated to subserve their interest, and promote the advancement of the great object for which it is designed, his desire and purposes will be fully realized.