« PreviousContinue »
Is it practicable, by such a system of signs carried through a Read. ing Book, correctly to indicate the ever-varying modulations of the human voice, as employed in reading properly a piece of animated composition ? And if this could be done, is it desirable ? Would not its tendency be, to make mechanical, rather than intellectual readers ?
The compilers of the following work have believed, that such les sons as will interest the scholar, and be understood by him; - such as, by their varied style, of description, of animated conversation, &c., will call for corresponding inflections and intonations of the voice, are best adapted to promote good reading; that a few simple Rules, of obvious and ready application, as they are more likely to be made available by the teacher, are better than a large number, of more diffi. cult application, and with which neither teachers nor pupils are likely to encumber themselves; - and that lessons of the character referred to, in connection with the correct example, and competent instructions, of the living teacher, will more effectually impart a knowledge of the correct tones, inflections, &c., than any systein, however well devised, of notation by signs and characters, which should be applied to each lesson.
While many of the earlier lessons are written in the familiar style, the compilers have yet sought to give a progressive character to the work; believing that, if properly instructed, the scholar will be prepared to understand, and read correctly, pieces of a more difficult character, as he advances in the book. They have endeavored, likewise, to make selections of a practical character - such as contain the
seeds of thought," and as will induce the learner, not merely to repeat, mechanically, the sentiments of others, but to imbibe correct sentiments of his own; - as will lead him to the exercise of the reflecting powers with which his Maker has endowed him ;-as will expand his mind, improve his heart, and aid in preparing him to act a useful and honorable part in life.
Questions have been added to a few of the pieces, some of them having reference to the sentiments of the lesson, and others to the meaning of words, the inflections, emphasis, &c. These are designed as hints, which each teacher must follow out for himself, rather than as a plan entirely filled up. But few of the pieces are found in any sirnilar collection, and several of them have never before appeared in print. With those that have thus appeared, such liberties have been taken, by a careful revision, and the correction of any impurities of style, or inaccuracies of expression, as seemed necessary to adapt them to the purposes for which they were needed.
The rules for Punctuation are commonly printed in the Spelling Book, and learned there ; but since, as there given, they are usually deficient in clearness, or fulness of explanation, and as it is chiefly in his Reading Lesson that the scholar has occasion to apply them, it has been thought best to insert them here, for the convenience of ready reference.
The compilers have been aided, in their selection of several pieces, by a gentleman whose writings for the young have found great favor with the public, but whose name they are not at liberty to mention.
Springfield, Mass., October, 1840.
75. The Mother's Tears,
Rev. J. Todd. 177